7 Quotes from HR Professionals that Prove 2020 Wasn’t All Bad and 2021 is Full of Hope

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We’re lucky here at the HR Exchange Network in that we get to speak with HR leaders on a regular basis. In doing so, sometimes we stumble into someone saying something that inspires us and we hope inspires you.

It goes without saying, 2020 was a unique and challenging year for everyone in human resources. At times, it was tough to keep your head up as difficult decisions had to be made and the amount of outside factors impacting stress around the office just kept multiplying. And it’s at times like these you needed a little boost from someone who can remind you that you weren’t alone in what you were feeling. With that in mind, here are 7 quotes to take into the New Year to make 2021 the year we all hope it will be.

1. “I don’t like corporate speak and a lot of times you hear things like valuing differences to create unique contributions and innovations, but at the end of the day for me it’s not so much about the company, it’s about the individual. I firmly believe that companies today have the power to end the cycle of poverty for black and brown folks, but you have to create access, you have to create equity, you have to create a sense of belonging. If we don’t create it, the cycle is going to continue, so as corporations we have to think of it in terms of a bigger picture. We can change people’s lives with this work.” Patty Dingle, Head of Diversity and Inclusion Americas at BNY Mellon.

2. “There are positive things we are seeing, such as people bringing deep resources of resilience and perseverance to face this task. We are hearing from people who are inspired by what is happening in the world and taking action to create a better work environment. It signals that more than ever companies need to listen to the voices and contributions from people they may not have in the past.” – Ara Tucker, SVP of Talent Culture at Audible

3. “You can’t manage a remote team well, long-term, with command and control tactics. You have to learn to be a feedback-loving servant leader. Your role shifts to being a listener, dot connector, and unblocker, and the coaching element comes after you open up the door for feedback.” – Darren Murph, Head of Remote at Gitlab

READ: 6 of the Best Quotes from HR Leaders in 2020

4. “Go back to making sure you have a just-in-time and employee life-cycle feedback mechanism. This is a time to make sure we embrace a pulse survey philosophy. In the end, there is no such thing as too many surveys, but there is such a thing as not acting on the ideas and suggestions you have received.” – Sebastien Girard, Senior Vice President Workforce Engagement at Atrium Health

5. There are amazing talent development opportunities right now, for both talent who are actively seeking their next role, and those who are considering their future career path. Virtual offerings of courses or certification programs that might have required cost-prohibitive travel in the past and increasing offerings of open and free online learning are just a few examples.” – Jenny Hill, Talent Development Leader at Sun Life Financial

6. “These are times that people need the opportunity to express themselves in forums where they can talk publicly, to share what their thinking about and they need to hear what other people are thinking as well. Sometimes when we did this type of thing, it created some good ideas, but really people were just thankful for the opportunity to do this. That’s something I would encourage anyone to do in their own organizations and if there are some things that come out of those that are specific to your company that might help address issues or fears that people have, then that’s a great opportunity to bring that out and hopefully deal with it.” – Mark Biegger, former CHRO at Procter & Gamble

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7. “It’s been a year with more town halls and leaders sharing their own stresses during the pandemic and being willing to say they don’t have the answers. Through that, we’ve found that with all the stress and crazy of the pandemic, employee engagement was up significantly. I think it will be interesting to come back in a year and do a pulse check on that again, but people are bonding more closely to organizations at a time when things are maybe the most uncertain that they’ve ever been.” Larry Clark, Managing Director of Global Learning Solutions at Harvard Business Publishing’s Corporate Learning Division.

HR and Future of Work - 3rd Annual Online Event

The Future of Work is here. Things like remote work, flexible work hours, learning being integrated into the work experience and upskilling are all happening before our eyes. Now, the Future of Work discussion must shift once again to figure out how to evolve the employee experience further and help humans integrate with technology in ways that will drive efficiency and the growth of new skills. Roles are changing, demands on the workforce are shifting and HR will be at the forefront of what the future of work looks like. Registering and attending this FREE ONLINE event will provide you real strategies for preparing your company and your employees now for the challenges that lay ahead. Challenges such as predicting the skills of the future, strengthening and sustaining the workforce through new digital technologies and fostering a cohesive corporate structure.  Attendees will also be able to put their real questions to the speakers and get valuable, actionable feedback that can be used to plan your organization’s plan for the next 5, 10 and 20 years.

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