is this the golden age of hr?

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8 Bold Quotes From SHRM 2017.

When you walk into the largest conference for Human Resource professionals on the planet, you should expect the role of HR to be in the spotlight. Elevated. Perhaps even glorified a bit. But this year, the case was made, and I would argue successfully, that HR has become the most critical role in the organization.

Why? Because the business world is hungry for workplace cultures that bring out the very best in people—and the responsibility to shape and create those cultures rests clearly on the shoulders of HR.

Wise HR leaders are reshaping workplace cultures by shattering barriers to greatness, giving people permission to solve problems and delight customers, and aligning processes to help people do the best work of their lives. They know the best and the brightest people aren’t attracted to the ordinary. They are attracted to greatness. And companies who make it easy for people to pursue meaningful accomplishments will crush the competition.

Consider these quotes about the critical role of HR from keynote and session speakers at SHRM 2017:

1) “The HR function is the biggest influencer of culture outside the CEO.”

– Kat Cole, COO, President North America, FOCUS brands

2) “Human Resource management is the most important factor in business strategy today.” – Henry G. Jackson, SHRM President and CEO

3) “It’s the golden age of HR. Want to do important work? Build successful teams and you change people’s lives. Help organizations foster teamwork and you will become the most valuable executive in your company.”

– Patrick Lencioni, Bestselling Author, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

4) “You can’t control people. It’s more about influence. People consume the culture you create. HR needs to inspire and enable them.”

– Ben Fanning, Bestselling Author

5) “HR professionals have the hardest jobs in business. But they also have the greatest opportunity to impact people and work. They can make things better.”

– Lazlo Bock, Former SVP, People Operations, Google

6) “In change management, HR maps out the route, pioneers the trail, and runs it twice: once to define the path, and again to help travelers along their way.”

– Britt Andreatta, CEO, 7th Mind Company

7) “Retention is the number one issue for HR. Employee experience is something every HR person cares about. We need to focus on learning, development, coaching, improving work spaces, and rewards and recognition.”

– Dan Schawbel, Bestselling Author

8) “When HR leaders provide meaning to work, engagement goes WAY up. This doesn’t just apply to millennials. It applies to all five generations in the workforce.”

– Gary Kushner, President, CEO, Kushner & Company

So is HR really the most important job title on earth? Who knows? But the facts are these: Companies need differentiation. They need to give customers a solid “why” in order to earn their business and their loyalty. The secret to that lies with an organization’s employees. No argument there. And on the people side, now more than ever, employees seek purpose and meaning from their work. They want to make a difference. They want to change the world.  It’s HR’s job to help them do it. Which puts HR in a very critical role indeed.

By chris drysdale
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