Employee Spotlight: Annie Taylor
Do you enjoy fulfilling work at your job? Kforce Manager of Organizational Development Annie Taylor takes pleasure in helping leaders and teams become more productive. Learn more about Annie’s passion for organizational development and her best tips for effective leadership.
Annie, how did you get started at Kforce?
It was divine timing. I wasn’t necessarily looking for a job, but a recruiter reached out to me on LinkedIn about an organizational development opportunity at Kforce. As soon as I saw the job description and heard about the work I’d be doing, I knew it was the right fit for me.
Why are you passionate about organizational development?
My passion has always been helping people be more effective in their roles and making work enjoyable. What I do today embodies that. In my line of work, I spend time with leaders by facilitating development programs and coaching them through scenarios with their teams to improve productivity and effectiveness.
I make sure the employee experience across the firm is the best it can be.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
As a manager of organizational development, I love coaching leaders. I like being able to meet one-on-one with someone who is looking to be more productive. I get to help leaders figure out how to have impactful conversations with their team, motivate employees and engage them at work.
How would you describe an effective leader?
An effective leader is someone who empowers their team to be productive and provides associates with guidance, encouragement and support when their team needs it. Great leaders inherently know what people need, are invested in their development and consistently help to develop other leaders.
Would you say your work at Kforce is fulfilling?
Absolutely, I enjoy working at Kforce! I get to do what I love every day—helping people. At Kforce, I have the autonomy to make a difference in the lives of others.
I’m empowered to make an impact by speaking up about the things that are important to me.
Can you recall an exciting moment you had this year?
One thing that has been cool for me this year has been developing our inaugural internship program alongside my team. The program has been a big success so far! Hearing the excitement from our interns has been incredible.
My team spent a lot of time with interns in the orientation process. We also coached them through the big lessons you learn when you first start working, such as office attire, workplace etiquette and asking for feedback. It has been a fulfilling experience to help jumpstart associates’ careers and to see the impact they have already made in such a short time.
Are there any mentors or role models at Kforce who have inspired you?
My leader Jessica Schwaller has been my beacon since I've been here. She has been my primary motivator in all the work that I do. I can't imagine working for anybody else. I feel so fortunate that the person I would seek to be my mentor also happens to be my leader.
I would also say that John McRae inspires me because he is plugged into everything. He's always willing to provide insight and guidance when I need it. This year, I’ve participated in different projects across the organization for the first time. Even though he's probably the busiest person that I've ever encountered, he’s always been available and eager to help me.
What is unique about Kforce’s culture?
You can be yourself here. That’s something I have struggled with at past employers. When I started my career as a consultant in New York, it was very cutthroat. I had high expectations and a lot of competition, which sometimes made me fearful of being my authentic self.
At Kforce, I feel respected. I love that I can be myself while at work.
Do you have any hobbies outside of work?
I enjoy hanging out with friends, doing crafts, playing board games, riding my bike, rollerblading and paddleboarding. Spending time with my family and traveling are also significant activities for me. Anyone who knows me would say I travel more than anyone they've ever known.
Why do you enjoy traveling, and where would you visit next?
Traveling takes you out of your day-to-day and makes you live a different lifestyle for a moment. You can visit a new location and immerse yourself in new experiences, rather than just living the same life.
My next place to visit would be Greece. I think it's beautiful, and I have friends who have gone and raved about the culture and food.
What are your book recommendations, and what are you currently reading?
My favorite books are anything by Brené Brown. I’ve read all her books. I'm currently reading Michelle Obama's memoir “Becoming,” and I listen to a lot of audible books.
Lastly, can you share some professional tips for leaders?
- Remain self-aware and practice emotional intelligence. The better you understand yourself, your style and what drives you, the more you can connect with others. Staying self-aware and open to feedback allows you to continually grow as a leader.
- Be flexible and apply situational leadership. Each person you lead will come with a unique set of needs and perspectives. Every person is motivated by different things, learns in different ways and is impacted by change differently. Adapting your style to meet their needs and understanding what helps them be successful allows you the freedom to lead individuals as just that, unique individuals.
- Have the tough conversations. It can be easy to avoid the uncomfortable, challenging or downright scary discussions, but they are the most important. Employees live and thrive off feedback. If they aren’t receiving the feedback and development from you, it will only hold them back from being successful.
We’re more successful when we confront the hard things. That’s the only way we can move past them!