Putting The Human Back Into Human Resources w/ Eventbrite's David Hanrahan
Best-Self Management · 44 minutes ·

Putting The Human Back Into Human Resources w/ Eventbrite's David Hanrahan

Toughness is often considered an essential ingredient in success. Sacrificing our humanity in the name of results is part of how many organizations do business. This dangerous approach ignores the central part of an organization: its people. Today’s guest works to bring the human element back to the workplace so that we can succeed with empathy and kindness. 


In this episode: 

  • Quickly adapting to the changes of 2020 [1:58]
  • A new approach to leadership development and empathy [10:05]
  • The role of kindness in creating high-performance [13:40]
  • How convergence builds great cultures [17:32]
  • Fostering values and competencies to create results [21:11]
  • The new responsibility of supporting mental and emotional wellbeing in the workplace [26:30]
  • Important questions leaders should ask their team [37:50]


About David Hanrahan

As Chief Human Resources Officer of Eventbrite, David Hanrahan leads the global human resources team and plays a key role in leading organizational culture initiatives. David’s career has spanned more than 18 years building strong HR teams and fostering a collaborative team culture across global organizations such as Niantic, Zendesk, Twitter, Electronic Arts, and Universal Pictures.


Adapting in a Crisis

David recounts how, shortly after he joined Eventbrite, the whole company had to restructure due to the pandemic. In a company built on live events, David has had to be very creative. There’s nothing like a crisis to bring out creativity. David describes some of the new ways in which he keeps his team engaged as they redefine what a live event is in 2020.


An Empathetic Approach To Leadership

As we all struggle, David explains how leaders can best manage by leading with empathy and kindness. One thing many organizations are embracing is employee flexibility. Giving your people choice in how they can best do their work reinforces their value. Leadership development is also more important than ever. When few things are predictable these days, so much rests on leadership. David explains how building one’s capacity for empathy leads to more trust and stronger leadership overall. It also gives leaders the power to address the mental health issues that may be affecting their team members. Taken altogether, this leads to a more productive and satisfied team of people.



“In this pandemic and this human organization that we’re going to try to build, this is going to rest on leadership.... We need all of our leaders to be fostering the experience that we want.” [10:38]

“If we have more impact and less activity - activity for fewer things and do them better - then that is a ticket for us to be a better team. It’s a ticket for me to actually have more control in my life.” [17:13]

“I think mental health has a stigma. The more that leaders talk about this openly and have forums, then you see that it becomes normal. It’s okay to not be okay is something we talk about.” [27:01]


Key Takeaways:

Productivity and results actually increase with more employee flexibility. Allowing your people to make more choices is empowering and leads to better use of time and resources.

Leaders have the responsibility to support mental health in the workplace. Providing resources for help, normalizing struggles, and addressing issues in a compassionate way will lead to higher performance and satisfaction.


Links & Resources

Follow David Hanrahan on Linkedin

“The Culture Factor” - Harvard Business Review


Find 15Five online

Follow 15Five on Facebook | Twitter | Linkedin


Podcast production & marketing support by the team at Counterweight Creative

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