A conversation with Nicolette Quispe, One Concern’s Chief People Officer

In this Q&A, our Chief People Officer Nicolette Quispe discusses personal and organizational resilience, career learnings and how to empower people to perform at their best.

Tell us about yourself. What brought you to One Concern?

Prior to One Concern, my career has focused on building technology companies with inclusive, high-growth environments. I joined LegalZoom as the first member of the People Ops function, where I built that group to more than 20. I spent 14 years supporting organizational culture, talent acquisition, performance management, and learning & development. When I started at LegalZoom, there were only about 150 employees, and we scaled that to nearly 1,000. It was an exciting journey to support the firm’s growth, and the lessons I learned during that explosive phase in the company’s development have helped to shape my approach for growing companies. Prior to that, I held recruiting roles with two other e-commerce companies, including Yahoo and PeopleSupport. Seeing these firms grow and scale via acquisition and organic growth, and the key role of people & culture in that journey, inspired my philosophy on building resilient, supportive and welcoming environments for people to thrive and do their best work.

How would you describe your role at One Concern?

What are some learnings you’ve observed around remote workforces and the overall work climate driven by the pandemic?

We know that virtual work environments can present new challenges for many of our people. For instance, it’s not uncommon for the team to see children appear in the background while they’re leading a presentation or workshop. Meanwhile, others may have families and shared living arrangements that require greater flexibility and different work hours. My role is to facilitate a thriving work environment, whatever that might mean for individual employees, where people’s unique needs for resources, time and engagement are not only met, but exceeded.

In particular, employee resource groups have helped us to foster community by establishing closer ties with our employees for team building, problem-solving and overall better communication. We’ve found remote workforces can democratize access to positions at the company and vastly deepen our talent pool beyond those living in proximity to our Silicon Valley HQ. Inspired by One Concern’s resilience perspective, this enables us to build a workforce of “digital first responders” — talent located in the communities One Concern aims to serve globally.

With our learnings from how the pandemic has affected us all differently, we are building an environment that looks at each person holistically, in order to empower them to perform at their best, while still managing their personal lives and all of the situations where home and work responsibilities overlap. This approach requires empathy for the individual. We actively seek out feedback, listen, and involve our employees collaboratively in building a productive community atmosphere. At the organizational level, we’re investing in strategies to build better cross-functional collaboration tools for our employees in virtual and hybrid work environments.

What is your view of personal and organizational resilience?

What are you passionate about outside of One Concern?

We’re advancing science and technology to build global resilience, and make disasters less disastrous