Sarah reveals that she never wanted to run a company, but did aspire to be a “strategic influencer” - the person behind the CEO to answer “What advice do you have to help me make this decision?”
And that is just what Sarah does.
Dr. Sarah Johnson, Vice President of Enterprise Surveys and Analytics at Perceptyx, Inc., has more than two decades of experience in her field. She specializes in employee engagement, organizational development and effectiveness and survey data analysis – advising senior leaders at Fortune 500 firms around the world.
Sarah witnesses executives struggling across industries with such common challenges as leading a global company through transformational change, leading successfully in turbulent times, and driving employee engagement and retention among high-potential employees. Sarah says she is most often asked by clients how to leverage employee engagement to drive organization strategy. Her clients rely on her to capture the attention of senior leadership in a way that “makes the light bulb go off in their heads” when discussing employee engagement and alignment.
Sarah says she believes that companies need people who are not just book smart, but “maze bright” – people who can adapt to different cultures and continually changing circumstances. As she puts it, those people who can “read the signs and figure out where to go from here.”
Sarah, an industrial/organizational psychologist, began her career by happenstance: she initially wanted to become a clinical psychologist. One day Sarah’s father, a metallurgist and head of research laboratory, described how a group of consulting psychologists helped his leadership team make hiring and executive succession decisions based on background gathered from leadership assessments. “My father helped me see how psychology could be used in a corporate setting, which led me into the field of organizational psychology” she says.
Sarah works with clients around the world, from as far north as Denmark to as far south as Brazil. She enjoys the travel global consulting entails, experiencing different cultures and getting out of her comfort zone, which she attributes to the fearlessness and abilities she acquired as a child growing up near the city of Chicago, which she explored every chance she had.
Sarah received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Purdue University, and holds a Master of Arts degree and PhD in industrial organizational psychology from The Ohio State University. Prior to joining Perceptyx Sarah was a Global Practice Leader at CEB. Prior to CEB, she led the global organizational survey program at IBM, and held a number of HR positions at IBM that gave her experience in Employee Relations, Compensation, and Resource Planning. Sarah began her professional career at Procter & Gamble.