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Why Now is the Best Time to be in HR

I love HR. In my past, I have been a bit of an HR outlier, testing and challenging norms and traditional practices. At times, it has been uncomfortable, and I have wondered whether I fit, and where.

Over the past few years, though, I have felt more and more kinship with my fellow HR practitioners. There is a movement underway, to reinvent how we manage talent in the workplace. I meet HR leaders every day who are trying new and innovative ways to attract, engage and develop people. Social Media and new, innovative HR events have helped me to meet this progressive breed of HR pro.

A few reasons why I think now is the best time to be in HR:

We have our “seat at the table”. Time spent whining about that can be spent on much more positive things now!

Abysmal engagement numbers… again… I cannot remember the last time engagement was over 30%. This doesn’t sound positive, but over the past few years, I have felt a groundswell of organizations who are saying that’s not good enough, and they are ready to shake things up – HR can have huge impact here, and I know HR leaders across industries, sizes of organizations, and experience, who are having awesome impact here.

Collaboration within HR. With events like HREvolution in the US and Impact99 in Canada (which I produce – shameless plug), I am seeing HR leaders ready to share what’s working, ask for suggestions for their challenges, and collaborate to help each other.

Technology for administrative functions. Technology like self serve HRIS and social and employee driven performance management, frees us up to work on other things. Now is the time for HR to ensure a focus on strategy, to create new ways of working, to build culture and competency within our organizations.

Social Enterprise technology. Many organizations are implementing company wide social technology with wikis, social streams, social recognition and more. HR needs to be involved in this. It is not an IT project. It’s a people and change initiative. There is a lot of opportunity to affect real, positive culture change with these new technologies, as long as you have a clear plan and engagement strategy to encourage their use.

New ways of working. Companies like Google are making life easier for their employees by bringing everything they need to work – daycare, meals, dry cleaning, massages, nap areas, and more. Other companies like Mabel’s Labels in Canada are adopting systems like the Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) which has people setting clear objectives and then achieving them where, when, and how they choose to, freeing up everyone to get work done in their own best way. HR’s role in helping to change culture in these ways is critical and exciting.

For the past three years, at Impact99, we have brought 99 HR practitioners together to discuss the future of work, how technology and other factors are affecting the workplace, and how we can help our organizations navigate these new waters. I cannot wait to learn from our community and see how these 99 leaders will reinvent work in their organizations after this year’s Summit!

If you’re not sure yet whether to join us for Impact99 on October 23rd, please join us September 19th from 5:30-7:30pm for our Meet and Tweet at Milestones. Feel free to contact me ( with any questions about the event or about reinventing the workplace!

Also – exclusively for EOList members, I would like to extend a special VIP discount. We are more than 60% sold out, and we want to make sure the remaining seats are filled with people passionate about creating positive change in their organizations. If that is you, reserve your seat before September 12th, using promocode: EOReinvent99 to receive our early bird rate for a regular price ticket.

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