Submitted by Kohler
When someone pours their heart and soul into their work, it shows. Spend just a few minutes talking with Kandyce Reyna, and you’ll be lit up by her passionate insights and relentless drive to help others.
“It’s so much more than a job to me—it’s helping people resolve issues both personal and professional, offering guidance and advice, speaking openly about mental health and wellness, and sometimes, just being a shoulder to lean on,” explains Kandyce.
As the human resources manager for a brand-new Kohler manufacturing facility in Arizona, she is navigating the uncharted territory of a new hiring market, contributing to a new workplace culture, and setting the tone for human resources in that location. We couldn’t ask for a better person for the job. In fact, Kandyce’s proudest professional achievement isn’t really an achievement but more of an epiphany—and one that really showcases her extraordinary empathy and intuition in working with others.
“I’ve realized that it is incredibly powerful to consistently, but professionally and respectfully, speak my truth in the workplace. It can be difficult, and sometimes terrifying, but we each have an opinion that matters,” says Kandyce.
She’s even coined a phrase around the office, “The conversation matters,” because she wants her coworkers to know that what they have to say has value and adds value, even if it’s a different opinion from the majority.
As a woman of both Hispanic and Caucasian heritage, her diverse background has brought both opportunity and difficulty, particularly in facing stereotypes, racial bias, and microaggressions. From those experiences, she has learned first-hand the importance of inclusivity—and to her, that means getting to know people on an individual basis and embracing everything they bring to the table, especially their diversity of experience and thoughts.
“There are few things more special in the workplace than when you have a room full of diversity,” adds Kandyce. She insists that nothing new and exciting has ever come from a room full of people who all think the same way. But when we take the time to truly connect, empathize and consider the viewpoints of others, especially those who are different from us, our own worldview widens and changes forever.
“The conversations really do matter—they cultivate diverse and inclusive dialogue, which leads to deeper understanding and innovative thinking.”
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