Meet WorkTango’s CEO, Patrick Manzo

Meet WorkTango’s CEO, Patrick Manzo

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WorkTango is excited to welcome CEO Patrick Manzo!

Patrick comes to WorkTango after spending the last three years at Skillsoft, where he most recently served as Chief Revenue Officer. As a former US Naval Officer and a licensed attorney, Manzo is a mission-driven leader focused on team development, a disciplined management operating system, and a culture of ownership. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a Juris Doctor from Boston College. 

But you don’t have to take our word for it. Let’s jump into our Q&A.

WorkTango: Patrick, it’s so great to have you as our new fearless leader. Tell us a little about your journey here.

Patrick: It’s wonderful to be here. I’ve been in the HR tech space for 16+ years. Before Skillsoft, I worked with a couple of startups in strategic advisory roles, one of which was in the human capital space. Prior to that, I spent 11 years with Monster Worldwide Inc., which encompasses and other global recruiting services. Throughout my career, I’ve spent the majority of my time working with talent leaders and Chief People or Chief Human Resources Officers. So I’m thrilled to be at WorkTango now, a company that’s dedicated to helping HR leaders deliver an exceptional employee experience.

WorkTango: And you were a WorkTango user before you came on board, right? Will you tell us about your experience using the platform?

Patrick: Absolutely. This was when I was the Chief Revenue officer at Skillsoft. We were navigating a significant sales transformation, which meant changing the way we went to market and shifting roles and responsibilities for many of the team. 

We needed to drive a major cultural change across the organization, and we knew we would need a specific set of tools to reinforce the behaviors we wanted to see. After exploring the market, we determined that WorkTango was the best tool out there to help us do that. Our purchasing and user experience was very positive. For me personally, getting to know WorkTango as a user ended up being an incredible introduction to the company I would later join as CEO.

I was fortunate to use WorkTango at my previous company and witnessed first hand its positive impact on overall employee engagement. As I’ve had the opportunity to learn more about WorkTango, I’m excited to get to work growing the business while helping our customers create a world-class employee experience.

WorkTango: What are some key things you see happening right now in the world of work?

Patrick: There’s a very interesting confluence of events happening. First, you have the demographic changes: Boomers are starting to retire, Millennials have become the most numerous generation in the workforce, and Gen Z is starting to arrive. 

Second, work is increasingly digitized and decentralized. You’ve got the pandemic diaspora, and the rise of the remote worker. 

Third, there are more jobs available than there are people to fill them. That’s true across all industries and levels, but it’s particularly a problem for knowledge industries. Talent is at a premium, and the dynamics of the  employer /employee relationship is shifting. I’ve spent a lot of time helping leaders acquire talent, but that’s not where the challenge stops. Many organizations are having difficulty retaining their workers or keeping them fully engaged. 

The fact is, you can’t have a truly invested, enthusiastic, engaged workforce unless you invest in them. As a result, the role of Chief People Officer is now an increasingly important driver of business success.

WorkTango: Those are great insights. In your experience, what are the business impacts of investing in your employees?

Patrick: Without a doubt, the biggest business impact I’ve witnessed firsthand is the direct link between employee experience and customer satisfaction.

In a previous role, I led a large customer service and success organization. The teams operated on different continents and were managed differently. Employee engagement varied from group to group. 

You could see after a while that renewals and customer satisfaction were directly, measurably tied to the degree of motivation in each team and its management. Having engaged workers led directly to happier and more loyal customers — hands down.

WorkTango: So what do you see for the future of the employee experience space?

Patrick: It’s an interesting space. We’re still in the relatively early days of the “employee experience category.” It’s not tightly defined right now – which is great for us. That means we have a real opportunity to influence the meaning of the concept. We’re trying to do that by taking three critical components of employee experience: 1) employee listening, 2) rewards and recognition, and 3) performance management, and connecting them, so that leaders have a consistent, comprehensive view of data describing both their employees and their organization. When you look at all information together, a clear picture emerges that can help inform decision making and actions to improve employee sentiment, engagement, and performance.

We’re working to define “employee experience software” as technology that allows you to have an authentic and meaningful two-way conversation between an employer and employee. It should lead to changed behaviors on both sides of the equation. We’re hoping to see it shape the way managers invest in and develop their employees, and we’re hoping to see employees be motivated and empowered to bring the best version of themselves to work.  

WorkTango: And what are you most excited to dig into at WorkTango?

Patrick: I’m very excited about putting together Kazoo and WorkTango. Both very well respected brands in the marketplace and they provide a very complementary set of product capabilities. 

From the company perspective, I’m enthusiastic about the fact that the cultures are so aligned. They’re both purpose-driven, employee-first, customer-centric cultures. That bodes well for the future of the company and for our customers.

When I start looking at the three components we’re bringing together, it’s 1+1+1= 5 from a customer outcomes perspective. What’s exciting to me is that we’ll be able to prove that 5. We can use employee listening tools to show the improvement in employee sentiment in various segments of the business– by geographic area, demographics, anything.

WorkTango: Sounds like a big challenge. What’s on your mind as you walk the companies through the merger?

Patrick: As a management team, we’re zeroed in on keeping our own internal employee experience front and center. We want to practice what we preach. And we know that having empowered, motivated employees will naturally lead to a great customer experience going forward.

I feel confident and excited about what’s ahead. Here’s why: Often when there’s a merger, there’s a very practical, immediate goal to save money. That’s not our driver here.  We’re not looking to cut back – we’re looking to magnify and amplify our growth. We’re pushing forward

The question is how we bring together two already great teams, two great product sets, two great companies. The premise of combining these two is really exciting to me. 

As far as the prospects of the merger go: What I’ve seen from my past experience is that if integrations suffer, there are usually a few predictable causes. Maybe it’s because there’s a mismatch between corporate cultures. For us, that’s not a problem. In fact, it’s one of our areas of strength. We have tons of overlap, and where there isn’t overlap, the cultures are very, very complementary. Other times mergers falter because there are just too many people doing the same job. But we’re not in that boat either. We need everybody from both sides of the house in order to go forward. The last issue that often comes up is the timeline: how quickly can you get the product out? And that’s the work that’s ahead of us. But in that corner, I’m very enthusiastic about our prospects for offering industry-defining value for our current and future customers right from the start.


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