HR Rising!!

Importance of Human Resources

Too often, Human Resources has been painted as a passive profession – a team that only comes into play when something goes wrong. Reactive, rather than proactive, HR is too often seen as the compliance police, mired in red tape. But this narrow view of Human Resources and the role they play in successful organizations is changing, in part thanks to the crises of 2020, which showcased exactly what HR can achieve when given the space to do so. Our guest today is Steve Browne, Chief People Officer at LaRosa's Pizzeria and author of HR on Purpose: Developing Deliberate People Passion. He is here to discuss his latest book, HR Rising! From Ownership to Leadership, and here, he explains:

  • The global importance of human resources;
  • The expanding role of HR;
  • The value of connection; and
  • Why taking the time to enjoy what we do is so valuable!

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Steve Browne’s Books

  • HR on Purpose: Developing Deliberate People Passion (2017)
    • Focuses on the topic of ownership of the HR profession.
    • Too often are HR professionals apologetic for their profession, which negatively impacts the industry and the people who work in it.
  • HR Rising!!: From Ownership to Leadership (2020)
    • Focuses on the topic of leadership within HR. 
    • HR professionals can and should lead from wherever they are within the organization. 
  • Both books really speak to the importance of human resources and how it can affect all different areas of an organization.
  • Just about every issue in business is a “people” issue at heart, which means that HR professionals should be leading at all times, not just when a crisis is at hand.
  • If you are someone who leads or manages others or you are in any sort of supervisor role, the concepts discussed in Mr. Browne’s books will be extremely relevant and helpful.
  • These books will be beneficial to anyone looking to understand the importance of human resources, and for ways to have a positive outlook on people.
  • Mr. Browne believes his books can be used as inspiration to create better HR practices within organizations, as well as a challenge to organizations to actually do it.
  • There are numerous stories throughout each book that provide real-world examples of the importance of human resources and how it can completely transform the atmosphere of an organization.
  • He hopes that the books will influence leaders outside of HR while also helping to equip HR professionals to truly lead themselves.


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The Global Importance Of Human Resources

  • At the heart of any organization, it is the people who want to succeed, do good work and be valued for who they are and what they do.
  • HR has missed that message for decades, so now it is important for HR professionals everywhere to understand that people are more than just their output.
  • We often mention that companies and organizations are global but Human Resources is rarely mentioned as a global profession.’
    • While the labor issues may vary from country to country, people are at heart, the same everywhere.
    • HR professionals should be able to connect and learn from one another all across the globe.
    • The future should lean toward a global HR community rather than running different human resource strategies, solutions, and philosophies, all over the world.
  • The hashtag #HRCommunity has sparked a global phenomenon in which HR professionals from all different levels of the profession use to connect. People use it to share ideas, encouragement, experiences, and so much more, creating a true sense of community among human resource professionals. So many of these people are doing great work within their own organizations and now have a platform to share their work and experiences with others, and vice versa.  

Expanding HR’s Role

  • It’s time for us, as human resources professionals, to become more intentional.
  • Our role is to move the organizations forward by connecting the organization together. 
  • Building relationships across the organization and even across other organizations is the key to eliminating the so called “silos” that occur when HR is viewed as a department as opposed to a resource. 
  • The importance of human resources truly lies within connecting people and building relationships.

Begin By Shifting Perspective

  • The notion that “visibility creates value”, is outdated. 
    • Many people still believe that if someone is in a certain position, is a certain gender, has a certain amount of face time within the company, or can be seen working in any way, that they are being productive and successful.
    • Today, HR professionals need to ditch that way of thinking and take the strengths that people have and expect performance, not simple presence.
    • They should also listen to people’s expectations and use those expectations to move the company forward.

Changing the Tone

  • People discuss other people at work - and often these discussions involve complaints or concerns about issues on-the-job.
  • By working with senior leadership, HR can help change the tone of these conversations to be more encouraging, uplifting, and positive.
  • This shift in tone will help develop connections with people throughout the organization.

Enjoying What We Do

  • Adopting this more positive and productive approach takes some introspection.
  • One of the best things we can do is to love what we do -- and enjoy the relationships and connections we maintain at our workplaces.
  • We should strive to be consistently curious -- change is expected in HR, so why not be curious as to what kind of change is best for our organizations?
  • Finally, we should challenge the status quo: Find new ways to connect and bring about positive relationships between people within our companies and challenge others to reach out to their coworkers and do the same.

The Recognizing & Celebrating the Importance of Human Resources

  • Companies very rarely celebrate successes within HR because they are often treated like a tune-up rather than a real accomplishment.
  • HR successes should be celebrated within the organization as well as outside of it. 
  • The importance of human resources extends far beyond the organization itself, so if one company chooses to promote and celebrate a success story from their HR department, maybe that will inspire or challenge the HR team at another organization.
  • Others should feel like HR is worth celebrating because they improve their personal experiences within the organization. 
    • Spending time with people and making it abundantly clear that HR professionals genuinely care about them will encourage this celebration.
  • Mr. Browne maintains a small HR team at LaRosa’s Pizzeria, one that places an emphasis on the personal connections throughout the organization.
  • He’s been with LaRosa’s for 15 years, but he is still one of the least tenured people at the company because of the culture of care and trust they have built. 

Steve Browne Background


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