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#OpenUpTheWorkforce with Elizabeth Newman, Chief Administrative Officer & Chief Human Resources Officer at CBIZ

Written by Mitra LeBuhn on March 23, 2023
4 min read

Presented by Symba, #OpenUpTheWorkforce interviews feature executives advancing inclusion, diversity, and equity for the future of work. In these short audio-only episodes, we talk with the top about what it takes to develop and implement inclusive processes. 

In this episode of #OpenUpTheWorkforce, Elizabeth Newman, Chief Administrative Officer & Chief Human Resources Officer at CBIZ shares what makes their internship program award-winning, what CBIZ does to empower women, how to support an intergenerational workplace, and more. Listen here.

Elizabeth kicks off by discussing her career journey and the barriers that candidates face when entering the workforce. She emphasizes the importance of recognizing the evolving nature of work and the need to attract talent that possesses the skills and experiences required for success in the present and future.

Elizabeth's career path has been diverse, including experience in government, professional services, nonprofit, and private sectors. This experience has made her a well-rounded leader who is able to approach problems differently due to her varied experiences. She advocates for non-traditional career paths, highlighting that they can also lead to advancement and success.

What makes CBIZ a RippleMatch 2023 Campus Forward Award winner?
“I think what's unique about CBIZ especially compared to other professional services companies is that we offer such a wide breadth of services that they can get exposure to a lot of different things,” says Elizabeth. This variety of roles and responsibilities allows CBIZ interns to explore career paths and find the right lane for them. Elizabeth adds, “from the moment we make that initial first contact until they're making a career decision, we're developing a long-term relationship with the idea that this is a future leader of CBIZ.” Their internship program is at the center of plugging talent into the company and community. Elizabeth and her team understand that they are competing for talent and need to be intentional about the experiences they create. As a result, they have leaned into helping their interns network, feel the company culture, and tap into the endless opportunities CBIZ can provide.

Provide Mentorship through a Young Professionals Employee Resource Group (ERG).
About 5 years ago, a group of early career professionals at one of the CBIZ offices identified a gap – they wanted to expand their network from their immediate teams and connect with others that were trying to navigate early career steps. CBIZ listened and formed what is now a national Young Professionals ERG, all thanks to their early talent’s leadership in calling for greater community and mentorship. Elizabeth shares, “We lean on our employee resource groups to identify different strategic initiatives that really contribute to CBIZ overall and look at those ERGs as being opportunities for people to problem solve and also to lead.” They’re gearing up to launch another phase of the program this year.

How does CBIZ empower women in the workplace?

The Women’s Advantage ERG (CWA) is a force within CBIZ. They provide tailored business development and networking opportunities for women of all levels which opens up leadership opportunities. CWA’s strong community is the glue that motivates women to stay at CBIZ and has been a successful retention strategy. In fact, all of their ERGs have aided their employee retention. In addition, CBIZ powers an annual Women Transforming Business Award which recognizes the impact a woman is having at her company and raises awareness of the contributions women make in a variety of industries and company sizes. Elizabeth elaborates, “[It] really shines a spotlight on why women have made so much progress. But we need to continue to support them and make sure that they feel like they have, again, incredible opportunities.”

How do we best support a very intergenerational workplace?

With Gen Z entering the workforce and Boomers moving towards retirement, there are some big shifts happening from a workplace planning standpoint and when considering how to manage these population changes Elizabeth shares, “the biggest thing for us is what does engagement look like? And how do we make sure that those lines of communication and feedback are open? So we can understand from this group of people that are entering our workforce, what's important to them? How do we make the work meaningful? How do [we] make sure that they feel supported?” Elizabeth says that might mean adapting communication styles and collecting feedback and sincerely acting on it, like adopting the tech and tools they need.

What do leaders need to do to #OpenUpTheWorkforce?

Elizabeth shares, “In terms of opening up the workforce, we've got to recognize that people have different expectations. They may want a different schedule. They may want to work remotely. They may want to be able to flex up and down based on different things that are happening in their life or things that they want to accomplish outside of work. And how are we adapting that if we can get quality talent, but that doesn't necessarily fit that traditional mold? The onus is really on us to figure out a model and a system and a structure to support that. And we really see that as the future.”

About Elizabeth Newman

Elizabeth Newman serves as the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) for CBIZ, Inc. Elizabeth provides oversight for all administrative operations and leads all people, culture, and communications efforts across the company. As a member of the executive leadership team, she also directs strategic initiatives and investments focused on accelerating growth while also driving day-to-day operational improvement.

Elizabeth has over 20 years of leadership experience in the for-profit, non-profit and government sectors. She is the former President and CEO for The Centers, a large, regional, multi-service health and human services organization. Elizabeth joined The Centers from KPMG LLP where she was a Senior Manager specializing in operational transformation, human capital, M&A integration and change management to improve performance in global corporations, federal agencies and state and local governments.

Elizabeth is an active member of YPO, In Counsel with Women and a Leadership Cleveland (Class of 2016) and Cleveland Bridge Builders (Class of 2004) alumnus. She currently serves as a director on the boards of College Now and the Greater Cleveland LGBTQ Center, non-profit organizations serving the Northeast Ohio region. In 2017, Elizabeth was honored as a Crain’s Cleveland Businesswoman of Note. She holds a BA from Brown University, a MS from the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University and an MBA from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business.




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Mitra LeBuhn

Mitra is the Head of Impact and Communications at Symba and leads social impact, PR, and marketing partnerships for the business. She combines a unique background in Global Health and Higher Education, and speaks French. Beyond Symba, Mitra spends her time outdoors, traveling the world and making music.

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