People Heroes

Rethinking people operations on an international scale with Cory McGonigle Rose

Tips for navigating a global workforce.
December 22, 2021
Oyster Team
Rethinking people operations on an international scale with Cory McGonigle Rose

Our People Heroes series celebrates People leaders across the globe. These insights were pulled from our conversation with Cory McGonigle Rose on the New World of Work podcast.


Navigating a leadership role is never easy, but when you add to the mix a global team operating from 100 different countries with a variety of different cultural norms, languages, and customs, things can get even trickier. Cory McGonigle Rose knows all about this, as her career has taken her from Vegas, to San Francisco, all the way to Berlin where she’s managed teams on an international scale.

Meet Cory McGonigle Rose, Senior Director of People Operations, Total Rewards, and HRIS at Chime

Cory was a liberal arts major in college and started her career right after graduating as an associate agent with Ron Ronstadt in Savannah, Georgia. Moving around has been a common theme in Cory’s career, and she says that for someone who hates moving, she’s pretty good at it. 

After spending time in recruitment, she began to wonder what it was like on the other side of talent acquisition. She was doing a job where she was bringing all these great people into a company, but what she really wanted to understand is what happens when they get into the company. How do they grow in their roles? How do they get promoted? How do they continue to move up through the corporate ladder?

After spending time working for the government and at Deloitte, she felt that she really got an understanding of HR from a people business partnering perspective. From there, is where she jumped in to the tech world, where she still is currently. 

What we learned from Cory about managing people operations across borders

1. Rally your team around a common goal

“Once you have the north star, then regardless of where somebody is from or their background experience, everybody has at least a common theme to rally around.”

When operating a large company across multiple countries, nationalities, and languages, having a key theme or common goal to rally around is essential. Cory calls this a “north star,” and she believes it helps to unite a large team despite cultural differences so they can work together more efficiently.

2. People operations should act as a steward of the company’s culture

“HR builds the programs and the strategy to keep the boat moving forward, but also keeps all of the members of the boat focused on that north star by either removing conflict or removing issues.”

While the role of a people operations professional can be many things, it really comes down to acting as a steward of the company’s culture. Cory noted that the greatest asset of any company is always the people, and it’s the role of People teams to ensure everyone stays satisfied, efficient, and focused on the organization’s overarching mission. 

3. Clear communication is essential

“It goes back to basically what we're responsible for, and that's seeing around corners and helping our leaders see blind spots, but also at the same time being that open door, that open office communicator, where people feel safe to come and tell you about the things that they don't necessarily agree with or things that they're they're having trouble with."

It all comes down to clear communication. The importance of communication can never be stressed enough in the world of people operations. As Cory mentioned, communication breakdowns are all-too-common, so making sure everyone in the room is aligned and on the same page is a crucial step in avoiding mishaps.

Looking ahead with Cory

Through her most recent career journey, Cory’s become interested in the world of total rewards—which includes everything from how you pay people, how you treat people, and how people show up to work. 

Cory also shared her passion for global cultures and working in a company that stretches across countries. Since she’s lived and worked abroad at a company that didn’t do any business in the United States, she’s grateful for the more inclusive perspective it’s given her when it comes to capturing racial demographics and thinking about other nationalities. 

To hear more about navigating the global workforce, tune in to this episode of the New World of Work podcast featuring Cory

About Oyster 

Oyster is a distributed HR platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, hire, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce. It lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches or the expense.

Oyster enables hiring anywhere in the world—with reliable, compliant payroll and great local benefits and perks.

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