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We’re passionate about the world of work, and how we can make it better. To help satisfy our curiosity, we’ve launched an interview series where we pick the brains of experienced leaders, business owners, managers, and individual contributors to get their thoughts on how we can collectively build better workplaces.

Taylor Goucher

Join us in our next installment below as Taylor Goucher—Head of Growth at Connext—shares his insights with us.

We’d love to get to know you a bit better, tell us a bit about your backstory.

Of course, I graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2015 with a degree in Nuclear Engineering. From there I moved to Fort Benning Georgia as an Infantry Officer and completed the Army Ranger and Airborne School. After that, I served at Schofield Barracks, HI in the 25th Infantry Division for a little over 5 years. Once that journey was over, I moved into the startup world and began helping build Connext as the premier outsourcing firm for small and mid-sized businesses. 

If we were to ask a friend to describe your personality to us, what would they say?

Constantly striving to get better, learn more, and make more happen every day. 

Thinking back to your career journey, what’s an interesting story that stands out?

When I was transitioning out of the military, right as the pandemic began, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I had spent 8+ years in the military and truly didn’t understand anything about the outside world. I ended up sending cold LinkedIn messages to a wide variety of folks simply asking for help. I received many replies, but one stood out. That person is now my boss. I would have never imagined being in a place or position like this and am thankful every day that I had the guts to do the cold outreach. 

What’s the most impactful lesson you've learned over your career thus far?

Networking and building relationships are the number one most important thing you can do to improve your career or business. Second, but definitely related to the first point, is the importance of communication. I never understood the power of these two lessons until I entered the civilian workforce. Now, I try to practice them daily as I grow both in my career and at Connext.

Thanks for giving us some insight into who you are! Let’s jump into things. When you hear the phrase “build a better world of work”, what comes to mind?

A better world of work to me is one that is more productive.

Whether that is working from home, in the office, hybrid, or part time, we need to strive to continue to make the workforce more productive.

I think now, more than ever, we have the ability to optimize what can be accomplished daily. Whether that is adjusting schedules, allowing someone to work remotely, or supplementing them with artificial intelligence or robotic process automation, we can maximize individual employee productivity. If we can do that, organizations will be able to achieve amazing things. 

For you, what’s the main blocker you see as standing in the way of building a better world of work?

Rigid thinking when it comes to how and where work is done.

Taylor Goucher interview quote graphic

Embracing a flexible world of work, whether that is staff working from home, in different countries, freelancers, or a combination of all the above, will be critical to companies having happy, loyal, and productive employees. 

What’s one thing within our control that we can practically do to build a better world of work today? And, how do you recommend going about it?

We need to do a better job of understanding employee performance.

Creating measurable and useful metrics to measure employee performance and then using the data to make informed decisions about how and where employees are working and what they can do to be better.

At Connext we measure productivity, utilization, and quality for each of our employees. Productivity tells us how much someone is able to get done, utilization tells how long it took and what else they spent their time on, and quality gives us an idea of their accuracy. We measure these metrics against well thought out key performance metrics to help us give better feedback to employees, conduct retraining or performance improvement plans if needed, allocate work differently to optimize the performance of the team, and get ahead of potential employee issues. 

You don’t have to have these exact metrics in place, but you should have something to gauge how employees are performing and to have quantitative insights so that you can manage better. 

Can you share one thing you’ve experienced, seen, or read about that is leading us towards a better world of work?

A dedication to employee development and education. We just launched an internal management university that promotes manager and employee development and gives them opportunities to learn and improve. When I was in the military, we would spend massive amounts of time and energy on leader development. I think we need to do that in all organizations and industries more consistently. 

I’m curious, thinking about building a better world of work, is there a company and/or leader who stands out to you as someone we should follow? If so, what are they up to?

Simon Sinek uses the phrase ‘Infinite Game’. He uses this to describe how we can build better companies, working environments, and employees for the long run rather than just focusing on building profits. I think taking this approach will help us achieve a better world in both work and life. All of his other books and work are fantastic as well. 

How can our readers follow your work?

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Thank you for adding your voice to People Managing People’s interview series on How to Build a Better World of Work!

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By Tim Reitsma

Tim has deep experience in HR, people & culture, leadership, business strategy and operations with a focus on building great teams who are excited about their craft and their organization. With over 15 years of leadership experience, Tim has always been guided by his core values: faith, family, curiosity, and fun. He is a coach, mentor, speaker, advisor, and an active volunteer in his community. Tim loves spending time outdoors with his wife and two kids as well as mountain biking in the north shore mountains.