Skykit Employee Spotlight Autumn

This week on the Skykit blog, our Employee Feature Story is on our Skykit HR Leader Autumn Amadou-Blegen. Autumn is an avid outdoor enthusiast and works with our team to ensure Skykit is a great place to work. 

Tell me about your role at Skykit?

I am honored and excited to serve as the new Senior Human Resources Business Partner. My goal is to build on the great foundation Skykit has already established and to continue cultivating the pillars that make Skykit an employer of choice. Many folks ask me if HR in general is about protecting the company or advocating for employees. To me, it is both. If the organization is a boat, the employees are the crew.

To get to the planned destination, they are mutually interdependent. The journey is all the better when both are cared for. As I get started, I will be working on many things both tactical and strategic, focusing on the “hire to retire” employee experience.

Sticking with boat analogies, from stem to stern this will include: sourcing, recruiting, pre-boarding, onboarding, training & development, workforce planning, people operations systems, employee events, engagement, recognition, compliance, policy, equity & inclusion, compensation, and employee benefits.

What excites you most about what you are doing at Skykit?

Meeting and working with so many bright and thoughtful strategists, creatives, and builders! I’m also very excited about using our products – Beam and Turf – to enhance the employee experience at Skykit.

I just created and published my first content for Beam and created a playlist – it was quite exciting! Hopefully, using our products will also help me tell our story to prospective employees by being an end-user myself.

What makes Skykit’s culture (or benefits or team) unique from other companies?

Skykit’s desire to be as innovative with the employee experience as they are with their products and customer experience makes this place very special. Additionally, the leadership team is accessible and visible, open to questions and ideas, and there is genuine care about the well-being of employees.

Why should job seekers want to work at Skykit?

Skykit is a place where experience, maturity, and talent are abundant; while still being a dynamic start-up environment welcoming of fresh ideas and perspectives, and where you can make a positive impact quickly and visibly.

It is also a bonus that our work environment is beautiful and the location here in the North Loop gives employees easy access to transit, restaurants, coffee shops, breweries, professional sporting events, walking and bike trails, and gorgeous green spaces.

You’ve worked in a variety of industries throughout your career, what is something that you’ve done that you hope to share with Skykit?

I hope to enhance the employee experience so that we retain, nurture, and attract amazing talent. This begins with the moment someone considers Skykit as a place to work. Done well, this flows through the employee experience to our customer and brand experience.

There are many ways to do this, so it will be a calibration of what I’ve done in the past and what Skykit needs now and in the future. I still have much to learn from everyone here to bring new ideas I have to fruition that also fit Skykit’s culture, strategic goals, and employee needs.

What kinds of projects/activities/hobbies do you like to do while not at work?

I love spending time with family and friends. I love any activity that connects me to the natural world – cycling, bike touring, bikepacking, trail running, hiking, backpacking, and when home, tending to our garden and flock of chickens. I have an art practice, mainly writing, drawing, and painting.

I’ve also been known to binge watch ‘What We Do In The Shadows’ and have spent a good deal of time in the winter months exploring open-world games (mainly Bethesda).

Proudest accomplishment?

Raising two strong, creative, and independent humans – my now adult children Elton and Oli. Finishing graduate school and gaining my SPHR and SHRM-SCP designations. Oh, and I learned to paddleboard this summer, so that was pretty neat.

Strangest/favorite place you’ve been? Why?

The Apostle Islands in Lake Superior is probably my favorite place on earth. I grew up on Lake Superior so the islands are like home. My partner and I did a bike tour in June and spent some time on Madeline Island, which filled my heart. The islands are each unique and all beautiful.

I also love exploring big cities. Our oldest child is a senior at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, so we enjoy the various neighborhoods and museums in Chicago when we visit them. Boston is another favorite city. This photo was taken at the Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston – one of my favorite museums.

It is supposedly haunted and was also the site of one of the most significant art heists of all time ($500 million in art was pilfered!). It encapsulates an intriguing mix of dark, eerie spaces and open, bright, lush, and serene spaces (this applies to both the museum and Boston, actually).

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