Leadership Lessons in Embracing Pets at Work

Hosted by

Steve Boese

Co-Founder of H3 HR Advisors and Program Chair, HR Technology Conference

Trish Steed

CEO and Principal Analyst, H3 HR Advisors

About this episode

Leadership Lessons in Embracing Pets at Work

Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish Steed

Guest: Lori Bradley, VP of Talent and Inclusion, Chewy

This episode of At Work in America is sponsored by Paychex, one of the leading providers of HR, payroll, retirement, and insurance solutions for businesses of all sizes.Think stress-free payroll isn’t possible? Think again. Whether you need to simplify your tax filing or streamline your day-to-day pay system, Paychex makes managing your payroll easier and more profitable. That’s why we’re here with open arms and a special offer for new clients — for a limited time, get one year of complimentary digital W2s so you can focus on growing your business instead of time-consuming payroll tasks. Learn more at paychex.com/awia. Terms and conditions apply.

Today, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Lori Bradley from Chewy to talk about how Chewy embraced pets at work and the learnings that followed.

– Pet-friendly workplaces and their benefits

– How does customer experience relate to employee experience?

– Pet-friendly workplace policies

– Workplace pets and how they affect company culture


Thank you for joining the show today!  Remember to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts!

Transcript follows:

Lori Bradley 0:00
Welcome to At Work in America, sponsored by Paychex. At Work in America digs in behind the headlines and trends to the stories of real people making a difference in the world of work. And now here are your hosts, Steve Boese and Trish Steed.

Steve 0:26
Welcome back to the At Work in America show. My name is Steve Boese. I’m with Trish Steed. How are you today?

Trish 0:31
I’m good. Steve, how are you?

Steve 0:34
I’m fantastic. Because you know why Trish, this is a show we’re doing today. It’s all about something we love, and most listeners probably love. It’s somewhat about our pets, but it’s also about the importance of pets, to employees, to workers to the workforce. And we have today, our guests is from maybe the most beloved pet brand out there, Chewy. If you worked with Chewy ever, like do you get the Chewy boxes like on the doorstep?

Trish 1:03
I have not. I admit I didn’t know much about them until this show. So I’m excited actually to learn more and to share it with everyone else who may be just learning about them, as well.

Steve 1:14
Yeah, I want to tell the story about how we decided to do this show in a second. But let’s welcome our guests right away to the show. Our guest today is Lori Bradley, as I mentioned from Chewy. Lori is the VP of talent and inclusion at Chewy. She supports their mission to be the most trusted and convenient destination for pet parents and partners everywhere by leading teams responsible for setting a global human capital strategy, including employer branding, talent acquisition, talent management, talent development, employee engagement and diversity, equity and inclusion. Lori previously held executive leadership roles responsible for setting and leading global talent strategies at Amazon, United Airlines and PVH, which is one of the world’s largest global apparel companies, including iconic brands such as Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. Lori, thank you so much for doing this and welcome to the show.

Lori Bradley 2:04
You are so welcome. Thank you for having me.

Steve 2:08
It’s great to see you and we talked a little bit in the pre show, I have a dog on my lap as we speak in the show. Dogs are roaming around in the background and Lori your pup is away at learn how to be a better dog camp or something. Let’s start off with that story.

Lori Bradley 2:27
it’s really tough. He’s a three year old 80 pounds sheepadoodle named Sailor. And he’s the cutest dog in the whole world. Everyone’s he made some agrees. But he’s very stubborn. And so he’s at a two weeks sleepaway camp, we call it learning to be nicer on the leash, because like I mentioned, he’s 80 pounds to come when calls because at the dog park, when I’m ready to go home, and I call him he actually runs away from me and sort of coming to me, and then I chased him all around the dog park. But most importantly, because he’s also an office dog is he’s learning to be a little less exuberant when he meets new people. And so that would include not jumping up on them and licking their faces.

Steve 3:18
Yeah, cuz weirdly, not everyone loves that, you know, especially with a larger dog.

Lori Bradley 3:23
Yeah, I think I may have caused that one because I actually love it. So after he’s done with his training, will then receive mine.

Trish 3:32
I love I’m glad that you mentioned that there’s a people component of that. My dogs are 10 and 17. And, and my 10 year old is a beagle, which, as you can imagine, very stubborn dogs been through training and is pretty good. But yeah, it’s always about sort of retraining myself and reminding myself as the owner, like, what not to encourage that I think is cute, which may not be the best behavior once in a while. I understand.

Lori Bradley 4:03
Exactly. I when I got Sailor, we had just lost our two golden retrievers. And so to say, this dog is spoiled. It’s like I broke all the rules. It’s like the crate lasted for you know, three nights and then was sleeping outside the crate. And then he was sleeping in a bed. So I treat this, you know, he is like my human child. And so the the training will be good for me too.

Steve 4:29
Yeah, baby. Certainly, Lori, those of us who have dogs and other pets as well, it seems to be a little bit more of a dog thing. That’s not unusual right to treat your dog especially like this another family member on equal ground if not even higher ground and some of the humans in the household. Our pets are so important to us, though. And they’re important to people everywhere, including people who work in our organizations and certainly one of the reasons that we could talk cute dog stories for the whole show and that would be a lot of fun. But one of the other reasons we wanted to talk to you a lot and talk a little bit about what happened at chewy and some of the philosophies around, it’s an important thing, I think, and a valuable thing to consider the role of pets in an employee’s life, including bringing them into welcoming them into workplaces. I, obviously Chewy as this well known iconic, you know, pet brand, it makes sense that you’d embrace that kind of approach to pets. But I’d love for you to talk a little bit about that, and especially for organizations who are not in the pet business, right, and, but are maybe considering things like becoming more pet friendly and supporting pets in their employees lives a little bit more meaningfully?

Lori Bradley 5:43
Absolutely. So as you refer to it, Steve, really, pet owners increasingly think of their pets as members of the family. And so you know, it feels good when you’re at work, and someone knows the name of someone you love. You know, it’s it’s connecting, and you you feel a sense of belonging and acceptance. And so I think when employers offer pet friendly benefits, it sends a really important lesson to the employee that the company cares about every member of their family, even the four legged ones.

Steve 6:18
Laurie, is there any specific ways a Chewy, that you have to think about those issues around really embracing employees? Pets in workplaces? Right? Because I’ve been on the website, I’ve seen loads of pictures, or even your the picture you showed us before the show of your pop sailor, when I looked like it was it was in an office somewhere, right? Or conference room? It’s not as simple as just saying, oh, yeah, go ahead, bring your pets into the office, it’s fine. I think you have to think about it a little bit more. holistically, if maybe it’s the way to describe it, I’d love for you to talk a little bit about that. Sure, absolutely.

Lori Bradley 6:50
Um, so we try as best we can to make sure that all of our facilities are pet friendly. And we have a great facilities team who cares a lot about both the safety of our employees, as well as our, our dog members. And so, but there are some places that it’s just not, you know, it’s not safe, or it’s not reasonable. So, you know, some of our buildings like in fulfillment centers, where there’s heavy machinery, you know, things like that, where, you know, it’s a safety hazard. But other than that, we really, as we’re negotiating leases, with where our facilities are, you know, is as we’re building out spaces, we really do prioritize making sure that it’s pet friendly. We have, so you can’t just bring your dog and just went up and show up at work the first day with your dog, we do have some parameters in place. And so So we ask our employees to make sure that dogs are kept current on vaccinations, and on their flea and tick medicine. So that we’re not passing any any little dog colts around. We also asked that if their dog does have a cold or something that they don’t come into the office. And then there’s a we have kind of a good canine citizen set of guidelines that you know, if they’re, if you hear barks all the time at chewy. But if they’re like an incessant Barker, then probably not good for an office pet. Certainly, any dogs are aggressive or reactive to other dogs that probably wouldn’t be good for an office pet. But But yeah, we they you fill out an application and then you get the tweet office pets get official pup tags for their collar. Nice.

Steve 8:47
I love it.

Trish 8:48
Oh fun. Do they have to go through any sort of a trial period or a training day or anything like that, I guess socialization day where we’re setting maybe someone at chewy can make a final determination if they’re ready, or is it truly just more the honor system and sort of see how it goes.

Lori Bradley 9:05
So actually, it’s more on the honor system. But we’re very unique company and that this literally is our business and so you know, pet having pets around our office is also keeping us very focused on our mission as a company and also very close to the customer. And so it’s more on the honor system. It’s amazing because I’ve worked with other companies that have also have nice pet policies, and have never seen like a dog fight. Like it’s amazing how well behaved the dogs are. And I think that comes from trusting your employees that you know if they’ve got a dog with a behavioral issue, you know, the last thing they want to do is bring a dog there and you know and cause a safety issue or something and so we don’t police it very heavily. It just kind of works out.

Steve 10:00
Lori, thank you for that. Yeah, I think it makes sense, right? Because the employees are also this is their workplace, they want to, you know, show their best selves as well, they don’t want to be disruptive or bringing a dog that maybe potentially could be disruptive or harmful, even worse, right to to another dog or another colleague. So that makes, that makes a ton of sense. Already, I know, I don’t think you’re a lawyer. I didn’t see that in the bio. So I won’t necessarily ask you to ask heavy legal questions. But are there things that companies worry about? who maybe have considered this but rule it out? Is there liability things? Is there something that like it cuz I feel like for organizations, it can be kind of easy to say no to this, right, because of being afraid of some of the things we’ve talked about potential issues that don’t seem to come up with Chewy, but I guess could come up.

Lori Bradley 10:50
So I’m not a lawyer. I’m actually an industrial organizational psychologist. And so I’ll stick to I’ll stick to the human behavior or emotion side of this. But I think that a lot of times the biggest pushback is just that people think it’s going to be incredibly disruptive, like, how would we get any work done? And so they worry more about like dogs running all around, you know, how will that not be chaos? Yeah, as I mentioned, we have some rules. And so one of them is that the dog is always with you. So we don’t have dogs that are just, you know, kind of tied to a cubicle by themselves or in an office even by themselves. So you have to keep your dog with you. And they have to be on a leash. One of our facilities in actually our building in Boston, and we had a chance to renovate it, we added an indoor dog park. And so there’s actually a place in Boston that that you know, has toys and games and puzzles, and employees can hang out and let their dogs interact. And so that’s fun. But usually, it’s just making sure that the dog is always with you. There’s, they actually, this is getting very, this may be TMI, but dogs are not allowed in bathrooms and restrooms. And so usually, I volunteer to be the person that as people are heading into the restroom, and they can drop their dog off with me in my office while they go. And so, you know, the there’s some practicalities like that, that you have to be aware of that usually the biggest pushback would just be like, wouldn’t that be chaotic?

Trish 12:44
I would imagine that, again, if that’s the expectation of the office that this is, you know, a well thought out sort of part of how the business operates. It wouldn’t be very natural, right? Because everyone sort of comes at it in the same way. Whereas maybe those of us who haven’t worked in a workplace like that are thinking like, oh, goodness, it would be challenging to get to get that started. But I’d love to hear I know, there are studies, of course, that talk about the benefits, not just of dogs, but pets in general, you know, for for us with regard to just, you know, maybe making people more calm or, you know, being more productive. Have you found that it chewy, that you have some of those type of results after having pets be able to come to the workplace?

Lori Bradley 13:32
Absolutely. And as I mentioned, I’m a psychologist, and so I’m very interested in the human pet bond. And the benefits from that. And so, studies have shown that some of the benefits are higher levels of employee engagement, higher retention, easier to attract candidates, the largest percentage of pet owners in the country are millennials. And in Millennials also have a very family like relationship with their pets. And that’s also a pool that we recruit from heavily.

Steve 14:10
It’s so huge, right? 25 to 40 or so probably the millennials are right now. Right? So that boom, that’s like the sweet spot right? In your career for your arc, I’d say right those years.

Lori Bradley 14:20
Exactly. So being able to offer this and and also it keeps the employee from so being able to bring your dog to work, and, you know, could save you money and not having to have, you know, doggy daycare or pet sitter or pet walker come. And so, you know, for that target population, there’s just a big benefit to being able to bring them so we’re really finding that it is a nice factor in attracting talent to chewy or to any workplace. And then also we’ve seen that I just read a study by the human animal bond research Institute, which has some interesting studies on the animal bond concept or topic, that they’re showing that absenteeism is lower in companies who have pet friendly policies. And so there’s been benefits all around. And of course, you know, we think that allowing pets in the workplace, and also companies are starting to offer pet insurance as part of their benefits. They offer employees as a voluntary benefit. But really, in addition to kind of just being great psychologically and emotionally, from a stress standpoint, for employees, it can be a pretty significant savings to a company’s bottom line.

Steve 15:46
Yeah, Lori, I think that that really eloquently kind of makes the case for organizations to at least consider adopting these kinds of policies, particularly right now. And I’ve not seen this specifically mentioned anywhere, but we’ve seen a lot of pieces in the news, especially in the financial services sector and other others as well tax as well have very strong return to the workplace return to the office kinds of vibes, right bring Ray trying to get people back in, whether it’s two days a week, three days a week, in some cases, full time, and we’re not seen in any of those pieces. I’ve seen a lot of kind of stick approach, like we’re going to track your badge swipes. And if you don’t come in so many days, bah, bah, bah, bah, you’re in trouble. I’ve not seen anybody, at least in the reporting I’ve read mentioned something like, let’s make the workplace pet friendly, perhaps because we know that for all the reasons he said its employees really like it. But also it could be maybe that little nudge to Okay, I’ll, I’ll be willing to come in a little more often, perhaps.

Lori Bradley 16:51
Right. But it’s, uh, I haven’t seen it either. Steve, it’s interesting. You know, we we talked about making our buildings, more better collaborative spaces, and more employee friendly. But yeah, I haven’t really seen in a return any pet connection in the returned to Office movement. But it makes a ton of sense. I think I’m gonna write an article about this, because so many people adopted pets during the pandemic. And so, ship went way up. And so as you know, these people with, with these young pets are now on the job market. You know, it may be even more appealing as a benefit. Yeah,

Trish 17:34
I think it would absolutely decrease the stress that a pet parent would feel, too. I mean, especially, you know, I have older dogs. So that’s one concern, right? You don’t want to leave an older dog too long. If you think about even just a normal eight hour workday, which many people work more than that, that’s a long time for a dog to be left home alone and not being led out. And they might not even be able to, like physically do that. As well as on the other end of the spectrum, like you said, I mean, people were adopting, you know, puppies. And so now here, they are a couple years old. And same thing, you can’t really leave a young dog alone for that long, it’s just sort of that sweet spot right in the middle where they might be able to go eight hours, but I’m sure that would cause a lot of worry for someone who was in the workplace and will trap themselves.

Steve 18:22
Yeah. And Lori, as you said, it’s for folks who adopted during pandemic, we’re working from home, largely, if not exclusively, adopted, during the pandemic, these poor dogs were, again, not only talking about drugs, but we’re largely talking about dogs in the context of bringing the office. These poor dogs don’t know another lifestyle either, right? They don’t know, a lifestyle of being left alone from 7am till 5pm. Right or put in a crate, say if they have to be created all day long. That’s a rough, that’s a rough go.

Lori Bradley 18:55
Exactly. And Sailor, I adopted Sailor during the pandemic, and so not only has he never been left alone for hours like that, but he also grew up working with me so he grew up and you know, under my desk and because I was working from home during the pandemic, and so, we go into the office, it’s you know, hey, I go into the office, he kind of goes to his corner and lays down and just everybody walking by. Yeah, I have a beware of sheepadoodle sign on my office.

Steve 19:28
We’re gonna ask you for send us a picture of that puppy for the show. Lori, we can put that up when we when you get all the dogs on the promotional materials for this show. Well, where was Lori Bradley from chewy we’re talking about the benefits and the opportunities for organizations about being more pet friendly embracing pets in the workplace and just thinking about their people as thinking about pets as part of their their employees, families, which they are, Lori but one other thing I certainly wanted to tell talk about just a little as you know, I’m a fan of chewy, I follow Chewy in social and LinkedIn and other places. And it’s really you guys do a great job, you know, not just promoting the business that you’re in which is providing products and services to pet owners but it also from the employment side from the talent branding side and I right before the show, I finished watching the the life of chewy 2022 video that you guys put together, it’s like four and a half minutes long, it was great. By the way, I recommend it. I’d love for you to talk a little bit about leveraging that really not just the brand, but also kind of this ethos chewy is well known for sending sympathy cards to pet owners whose pets have passed, sending pet portraits, unsolicited pet portraits, which are beautiful to pet owners, I’d love for you to talk a little bit about just that connection between the customer facing side and the customer experience and the work you do in talent.

Lori Bradley 20:57
Absolutely, because they’re really intricately intertwined. Yeah, chewy isn’t, you know, the the halo of our brand, what differentiates us from not just other pet companies, but I think from most companies in general, is our approach to customer service. And so you have as you mentioned, I actually wasn’t with chewy when he my golden retrievers passed away. And but I was a Chewy customer and received a bouquet of flowers, actually, when I called to cancel, that I had auto ship their dog food. And of course, you don’t think about canceling that when you’re in the throes of just losing your pet. And so the their food showed up right on time on auto ship, you know, and it’s heartbreaking. And you know, so I call to say, Actually, can I return this, I need to cancel this. And like so many people who’ve experienced that the woman who answered the phone was just full of empathy. She let me know that it makes sense, of course, that we couldn’t really return it since it’s such a consumable, and you can’t guarantee that something hasn’t been tampered tampered with and say you can’t. But she called up local shelters in my area that accepts donations of food, and what like just search for that on our own and said, Here’s where you can donate it. And they refunded me, they didn’t charge me for that. And the next day, the doorbell rang and there was bouquet of flowers. And it says, from your chewy family, we’re so sorry for your loss. And so I was blown away as a talent management professional, and it’s just like, Man, if I ever had an opportunity to work for a company like that, I wouldn’t jump at it. And it was literally just a few weeks later that I got a call from a recruiter from two weeks. Starting to say we’re gonna stand up a talent role, and we’d love to talk to you. And you know, you get those all the time. And you don’t take very was like, Okay, this, I will be happy to have a conversation with you guys.

Steve 23:11
In the candidate experience people I’m doing air quotes here have been taught talk about that for years and years, like, Oh, those, you know, the consumers could be your next employee. And I always I always to blow that off. I’m like, that’s, that never happens. I you know, I think that’s so rare, right? It’s like that’s, but yeah, that’s a great example that you were you were a consumer, right, a customer of this brand. And that brand experience, made you at least take a phone call, when perhaps you wouldn’t know if you might have been completely happy with what you were doing and didn’t.

Lori Bradley 23:44
Yeah, but as far as how you translate that customer experience to our employee experience, and it to me, we call our employees, team members. And so the team member experience really is at the center of everything we do in HR. And so we we use a talent lifecycle model, and we look for moments that matter around you know, in, in attraction, selection, onboarding, development, our customer service agents are empowered to look for opportunities to wow their customers. And so like the, the woman who sent those flowers to me, did not have to go through eight levels of approval to send me those flowers, you know, and so literally, she knew what she’s empowered to do, and she’s trusted to, you know, to, to help connect with the customer. And so and so we’ve really actually learned a lot from the way our customer service organization and teaches and trains their employees how they select, and what we’re also really good at Chewy is knowing our customers and so we have a consumer insights team that does it’s really fun research I did something else I think I’d want to go via The end consumer insights because they do lots of studies and find out interesting things like a certain percentage of people surveyed have changed vacation plans because of their pets in the last year. So, my team works really closely with consumer insights, so that we can use their same methodology, and even their same database to get insights on prospective employees. And so it’s really important to have to us with, you know, our an employee value proposition is both externally facing and internally facing. And so one is what different differentiates you and what do you want to what’s most important to highlight about your company, to an external audience. And so our consumer insights team really helps us break down potential employees, and what would appeal, but it feels to them from an employee value proposition. But it’s got to be authentic, it can’t be false advertising. So the internal portion of that is really the employee experience. And making sure that, you know, we’re not great at talking about the company, but when you get in your experience, it’s different. And so just like the customer, where, you know, you’ve got to make sure that the experience matches the promise. That’s really what our team and HR is focused on.

Trish 26:31
Thank you for sharing that I love that you’re not just sort of approaching it from the traditional way that you would any candidate right at any company, or you’re layering in all of those insights that you you get from your own customer, intelligence teams, I’d be curious to know in terms of the way that you’re doing your recruitment, or even, you know, maybe through the interview process or onboarding, you know, we did a show recently with the CHRO from Northwestern Mutual, and he was talking about working from home, and he would have his dog, you know, in on the Zoom calls with him. And it turned out to be a way for him to really connect with all of the employees that they had, right, all of their associates, I’d love to hear does does having a pet, whether that be a dog or cat or whatever. does that become part of your recruitment process in any way? Are they are your employees encouraged to make them part of the process as their interview?

Steve 27:34
It’s so interesting.

Trish 27:34
I never thought kind of, I’m just thinking because he was sort of saying, you know how when you see someone’s pets, it makes them maybe a little less intimidating and more human. And it gives you maybe a commonality with that person? Do you? Are you on mindful of that within your own, you know, whether it’s recruitment or onboarding process.

Lori Bradley 27:55
I think we are actually less mindful of it than the candidates are. Good, get a lot of interviews where the dog makes an appearance or, or you hear a lot about otet. And what a pet lover they are. You don’t have to be a pet owner to work it to me, we don’t screen for that. And I don’t think you’d be happy working at chewy though, if you weren’t a pet lover, and so are an animal lover. So I think really, when I look at the chewy culture, and what makes it so vibrant, it really is cool. That one, the main thing that we all have in common is that we’re pet lovers. Some of us are pet owners, one of our senior executives tried to have a fish in the fish, it didn’t fare well for them. And so there are some people who just shouldn’t shouldn’t be pet owners. And that’s okay. Right. But most of the employees it should we care very deeply about animal welfare, about the bond between pets and humans and our customers. And so I think just staying really focused on our customer needs is more the unifying factor. But I love that connection.

Steve 29:06
Right? That’s it’s very explicit. It’s intentional, right? You and in HR and talent, understanding kind of the approach that she has towards customer service and customer experience and trying to make it seamless, right across all those touch points to your wider group of stakeholders, which is a fantastic story. It’s funny, too, I would just throw this out there. Maybe think of that we’re talking about that interviews and maybe a dog shows up in an interview or so they think through the pandemic era. We got so jaded with all these zoom calls, right that we’re on one right now. I was on a call with three or four other people from some other company recently and midway through the call a dog it’s normal dog got filed through the shot, crawled up on someone’s desk or lap or something who is on the call, sat there for a second. She picked him up or her up. I don’t even know what kind of dog it was. And then the dog laughed. No one said a word NO ONE MAN Janette no one even acknowledged it, and she didn’t either. And no one just said, Oh, that’s like, remember at the beginning of the pandemic, we would all go oh my god, look at this the cutest dog ever. Right? And everything would start. I’m so sorry. Now we don’t care. Yeah.

Lori Bradley 30:11
Ya know, for, for us, it’s just so common. We, we tend to know the name, everybody’s you know, we know their kids names know their dog’s names, though every now and then we’ll be like, oh, there’s Marco. He’s in the back. But for the most part, they’re just around us all the time. And, you know, they’re also on site. They’re, you know, they’re in our conference rooms, and they’re in our offices. It’s called our facility in plantation, Florida. We have our amazing TV studios, one of our TV studios is there. And so, you know, I’ll get a call like, hey, Laurie is Sailor with you today? Could could he come down and try on this lobster Halloween costume? Oh, wow. Like, yeah, just kind of get out of it. It says XXL, we need a really big dog to see it. Yes. And so, you know, a lot of also a lot of our own chewy pets are in, you know, are on the website or in our advertisements. And so yeah, another engaging thing that, that our employees can actually see their dog there in customer facing content.

Steve 31:25
Yeah, I just, I just pulled up the chewy careers page right now, which we’re gonna give out. It’s careers.chewy.com. And like Lori, you could also potentially turn into turn from a customer to an employee, there’s plenty of open jobs right now. And let’s start including Laurie. I’m gonna say this because this is happening. This is early October. As we record this, there’s a bunch of HR jobs listed on the site right now as a matter of fact, so I’ll be creating career statue.com And you can see read all about life at chewy learn more about it. See lots of pictures of cool paths. And just it looks like it does. It looks like an incredibly fun, engaging, exciting and caring place to work. And I’ll tell one quick story, Lori, you your story of what sort of got you to accept that recruiter’s phone call about you receiving a sympathy card and flowers from chewy one of your pets. That’s how Trish this show came to be right Karen, who’s our producer and our colleague, one of her dogs. Her dog sadly had to be put down a few months back. And she was a Chewy customer and received a card and some flowers from Chewy after she had thought to let them know to also the same thing to stop a standing order. And after that, we talked about it like oh my god, what a nice gesture. That’s a wonderful, we should really have Chewy on the podcast and I didn’t know anybody chewing and turns out I did I didn’t know I do somebody chewy was our old friend Lisa Holden, we we knew from years ago, who’s a wonderful person in comms and PR and she helped get the show set up. So hopefully, so listen to this. And I hope she hears me thank her for her, her help and getting this set up. But it was the same thing. Lori, we were moved by that experience with the brand to take, you know, to do something we maybe wouldn’t have done either, right. And so I think that’s a great testament to the what you guys are doing there Chewy.

Lori Bradley 33:18
Yeah, it’s really becoming a landmark for so many of our customers. And, you know, my job is the same way that we take care of our customers. And when we focus that on our employees and make sure that they feel a sense of belonging that you know, they’re embraced for their whole selves.

Steve 33:39
I love it. Well, I’m so excited we were able to do this Lori, we mentioned careers.chewy.com Is there anything else you’d like to mention any find you or any other things you want to throw out there anything exciting happening at Chewy that we should know.

Lori Bradley 33:55
One of the things I would say is if you’re an employer thinking about more pet friendly policies, to just do some pilots or do some experiments. Again, like I said, sometimes you think oh, dogs will be running around and we’ll be crazy. It’s amazing how that’s not the case. It’s actually very orderly. And you know, and there’s nothing like the connection like building connections when you know when your CEO is sitting on the floor playing with your dog, you know, it’s a great opportunity here networking, but but there are other ways to that you can bring dogs into the workplace and so I I used to be with United Airlines and at Christmas time we would have a golden retriever rescue group in the in the concourses and it was amazing just with the stress of you know, the hustle and bustle the busy airport season, how many people would just stop and come and pet a dog it literally has such an Amin and things I have really been impact and so also looking for organizations that will bring pets in. We’re going into team member Appreciation Week and we’re actually going to do puppy yoga. And so it’s an all the puppies that will be there for our puppy yoga session are available for adoption. Wow. So I would strongly recommend even if you feel like going, you know, going there with pets at work is too far. There are a lot of ways that you can actually benefit take advantage of that bond between pets and pets and humans.

Steve 35:34
Yeah, I love it. Those are great ideas. Thank you, Lori. This has been great Trish. That’s my my fear I and I will say this, I’ve had a puppy on my lap for the entirety of this recording. And I feel like I’ve been much calmer and mellower. I don’t know if I’ve performed any better but I felt better about it.

Lori Bradley 35:53
Pretty calm. And I saw Marco go by earlier to say welcome but Yeah, so I miss Sailor. Sailor will be home next week.

Trish 36:02
You know what I think it’s it’s good to show obviously, I mean, here we are recording. And Steve and I are not worried about pets. Oh, there’s Miss Tillie. You know, pets really do adapt. They they know when we’re working. And you know, they can be pretty quiet, obviously, even on a recording. So I would encourage people to try it. I think you’re also right is when make a point about how you say that it just can really relax you and, you know, start small, if you can’t have a whole program, I love the suggestion of maybe just doing some small things to bring dogs or other animals into your workplace to sort of alleviate stress and anxiety. Steve and I actually we were just at a big event last week out in Las Vegas, a very fun but stressful event. And you can imagine the travel and all the things right now. And at the hotel, we were at the when we had the opportunity to do a masterclass with their canine unit, which, you know, these are the bomb and explosive dogs and the bedbug dog and all the things which these are some pretty scary looking dogs to be quite honest.

Steve 37:13
That dog was less scary.

Trish 37:15
The guy was a golden retriever. But the you know, what was interesting to me is that also dogs are very trainable and able to do very challenging work. And then on a simple command were very friendly and completely relaxed with us. So I think too, when you think about dogs who are working animals, it just further proves that they can be in your workplace and be quite effective.

Lori Bradley 37:42
So the we’ve had dogs in the workplace for a long time when they’re service animals. And so we know that can work, but just the benefits of the stress release. People who suffer from PTSD have service animals. And we’re also finding in our in our dei work that with neuro diversity, pets can you know if there are employees who aren’t as comfortable making eye contact or something pets really connect people instead of you know, they can find that sense of engagement and belonging by connecting through a pet workplace. So many benefits.

Steve 38:26
Absolutely. I’m sold for sure. I’m lucky enough to have this puppy on my lap all day today. So Lori Bradley from Chewy, thank you so much for taking some time today. We really appreciate it. We love the stories. We love the insights and I hope more organizations really kind of come on board or at least consider it as you said start small. And I think you’ll see huge benefits from embracing dogs and other pets as well more broadly in the workplace. So thank you so much, Lori.

Lori Bradley 38:53
Thank you. Bye Tillie, bye Myla and Marco.

Steve 38:58
All right Trish great stuff. Say hello to all your puppies. I woke totally up so she’s now a little mad at me, I think but that’s okay.

Trish 39:06
I know you’re keep holding her up. I think she’s like put me down.

Steve 39:09
She had to make an appearance on camera. So we want to thank everybody for listening. Remember to check out all the show archives at h HRHappyHour.net. For our guests Lori Bradley, for Trish Steed, my name is Steve Boese. Thank you to our friends at Paychex for their support. We will see you next time and bye for now.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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