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How Cut+Run’s ‘Proactive’ Approach to HR Is the Key to Company Culture


Darrell Moore, talent / HR manager at Cut+Run New York, speaks to LBB’s Addison Capper about reimagining the perception of ‘people operations’ to ensure employers and employees enjoy a healthy working life

How Cut+Run’s ‘Proactive’ Approach to HR Is the Key to Company Culture
Image credit: Andre Perry

Darrell Moore, talent / HR manager at editorial studio Cut+Run, New York, is a Florida native that has called Brooklyn home for nearly a decade. He graduated with a bachelors in communications from the University of Miami, focusing on music business and psychology. Prior to his transition into the world of human resources, Darrell worked in film and TV music with RCA/Sony Music and payroll at both CBS and AEG Entertainment. Darrell was an HR Partner at Droga5 before he made the move to talent / HR manager at Cut+Run.

A key goal for Darrell is to shift the human resources mindset from being reactive to proactive. He ultimately hopes to reimagine the perception of ‘people operations’' by providing support to employees and resources to management that fosters a healthy and balanced employer and employee relationship. 

LBB’s Addison Capper chatted with Darrell about his thoughts on the evolution of HR as a practice in 2023, and how he employs his beliefs in his job at Cut+Run. 

LBB> You worked in payroll and music prior to finding your path in HR - what drew you to HR and why do you think it's a profession you've settled in? 

Darrell> Throughout college I worked in payroll while simultaneously interning with iHeartMedia, NBC, Atlantic Records and Sony Music/RCA. My goal at the time was to be a music supervisor. As a music and film enthusiast I thought it would give me the chance to focus on both creative and business. But as I started growing professionally, working in HR really sparked my interest because of the psychology surrounding company culture. And with the ever-changing dynamics of our workplace, HR is at the ground level of an evolution that provides endless opportunities to learn and take on new challenges. Settling into HR felt like a natural progression because of the emotional gratification the field offers. HR grants you access to meet, work with, and help a diverse group of professionals. There is no question that HR can be complex and challenging, but the ultimate win for me is the space to use my expertise to the benefit of the employee and employer. 

LBB> Before landing at Cut+Run, you worked at Droga5. How does running HR for an edit company like Cut+Run differ from a larger agency like Droga5? And what is very much the same?

Darrell> Understandably, when you are a part of a larger company there are more channels of approval and sometimes it may take a bit longer to finalise policy. Also, coming from a larger organisation equipped me with the tools to scale efficiencies and processes at Cut+Run. In my current position, I have access to directly collaborate with our managing partner Lauren Hertzberg on best practices and policies which means we are able to enact change at a quicker pace. Commitment to success, impact on necessary change, and the overall mission to provide organisational stability, resources, and a healthy working environment remains the same regardless of company size.

LBB> Let's get your thoughts on HR as a profession - how do you feel the practice has evolved over the last couple of years? How have the impacts of covid influenced how you approach your job?

Darrell> The landscape of HR has evolved over the last couple of years. Technology has played a major role in the evolution, providing efficient ways to manage internal workflows. And on a more human level, HR has had to respond to the needs of today's workforce with updates on how we approach recruiting, retention, salaries, benefits, performance management, and the overall employee experience. Since the summer of 2020, this has also led to more companies expanding their HR teams to include initiatives on diversity, equity and inclusion. And of course with covid, we all had to quickly pivot to function and support our teams remotely. I do feel that the learnings from covid have increased HR’s focus on the wellbeing and satisfaction of staff from entry level positions to those in leadership roles. 

LBB> A key goal for you is to shift the human resources mindset from being reactive to proactive. What do you mean by that and how do you think it can benefit the work you do?

Darrell> Traditionally, HR has had a reputation for being the ‘grim reaper’ problem solver, briefed long after the issue started and once a manager/leader is at a point of frustration. When this occurs, there is little discussion on preventative measures and few opportunities to coach and engage with the manager or employee. Operating in a constant state of reacting to issues and grievances is similar to putting out little fires everywhere - exhausting and not sustainable. Being proactive means being prepared, anticipating the needs of staff, and making changes that are necessary to promote a positive work culture. The implementation of proactive HR strategy creates an efficient and effective workplace where both leadership and employees are supported. A proactive approach gives employees and employers the freedom to focus on growth and development while knowing exactly what is expected of them – which ultimately leads to higher morale and productivity.

LBB> You also have a point of view on how 'people operations' can be reinvented within organisations for the benefit of both employers and employees. What are your thoughts on that?

Darrell> The foundation and culture of a company is not only built on its mission statement but also its interactions and engagements with its employees. I believe the employee-employer relationship contributes to the ultimate success of an organisation. To ensure a healthy work environment and meet the needs of both parties, ‘people operations’ must continuously find ways to reinvent our approach. And to guarantee the success of people operations it should be in the company's DNA and not an afterthought. 

LBB> Generally, what do you think HR should and could be within all organisations in 2023? 

Darrell> It’s vital for HR to provide training and mentoring resources to all employees to ensure they are equipped with the skills and knowledge to be successful in their roles. This holds HR leadership accountable in promoting collaboration and the overall wellbeing of the organisation. This also can lead to a more level playing field within organisations which is imperative in moving forward.

And while HR provides legal guidance on best practices, it is also important for HR to present perspectives on the human implications of decisions being made. Integrating empathy, as well as interpreting policies with the human side of things in mind, will lead to an enhanced workplace culture. 

LBB> What are imperative qualities to be a successful and beneficial HR lead today?

Darrell> I believe it's important to know your team and what motivates them. It's essential to be nimble, emotionally intelligent, know how to leverage technology, and think strategically (and sometimes) outside of the box. Knowing when to involve yourself in the details and when to think big picture. And last, but not least, communication is key.

LBB> Any parting thoughts?

Darrell> Be kind and give people a chance. 

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Cut+Run US, Fri, 21 Apr 2023 15:32:09 GMT