Steve Browne, SHRM-SCP is the Executive Director of Human Resources for LaRosa's, Inc. - a regional Pizzeria restaurant chain in Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southwest Indiana with 16 locations and over 1,200 Team Members. Steve has been an HR professional for 25+ years and has worked in the Manufacturing, Consumer Products, and Professional Services industries in various Human Resources roles. He is on the SHRM Board of Directors and a former MAC member. Steve facilitates a monthly HR Roundtable in Cincinnati and runs an internet message board for HR professionals that reaches 8,400 + people globally on a weekly basis.
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Articles by Steve Browne
The back-to-school season is upon us once again. You can see it in the stores as aisles and aisles of supplies are displayed. Backpacks, notebooks, laptops, pencils and pens, etc.
My two “kids” are now adults and in various stages of college. My wife and I are very fortunate that we have such incredible kids. We don’t ever overlook that. Our son is going to be a sophomore at Ohio University (proud Bobcat Dad alum !!), and our daughter is in graduate school at the University of Indianapolis.
This past week, I had the opportunity to participate in something that still seems surreal. I spent a few days in Cleveland, Ohio during the Republican National Convention. It was an incredible spectacle, and it was hard to take it all in.
This past week, we had an amazing celebration at work!! We had two Team Members retire, which isn’t common at our company. We’re so fortunate to have a great culture where people work for us for many years. It’s a true anomaly in today’s workplace environment, but it’s a true differentiator for us.
I am very fortunate to be a father. I mean that. This is something that I wanted to become at some point in my life. I am also very fortunate to have grown up surrounded by an extended family where I saw strong fatherhood models both from their personal example and how they loved their spouse and their children.
I think it’s fascinating that we have so many amazing people in our lives, and that most of them are acquaintances. There’s nothing wrong with this because people have a certain capacity on how many people they’re both willing to know deeply, or can dedicate the time to do that.
This past week I attended the SHRM Talent Conference and it was spectacular !! The keynote speakers were all solid and the concurrent sessions had depth and relevant content.
I love that people come to conferences to learn, gain skills and get professional development to do their jobs better. I also dig hearing speakers that motivate me, make me laugh and allow me to have a release from what I do on a daily basis. All of those facets of attending a conference are needed. Chances are you’ll even be asked to give a report back to your boss about the takeaways you had.
HR is dead.
(At least that’s what people want you to believe.)
It’s staggering to me that there continues to be this on-going conversation that is desperately trying to kill Human Resources. Blogs, magazine articles, conference presentations, etc. It’s happening throughout the profession, and very few people are standing up against it!! Why in the world should we allow people to degrade, belittle and tear down our profession? It’s especially disheartening when some of those voices are coming from inside HR itself!!
Every so often I am fortunate enough to travel for HR. I’ve been an active volunteer for SHRM for over 15 years now and it’s always cool to me to get to go to a place away from home and see my peers. I never take it for granted and I’ve been able to venture out to places I may have never gone to on my own.
I don’t know if you’ve attended HR conferences or SHRM chapter meetings. I have a feeling that many HR pros want to do this, but they may have not gone to them . . . yet. There may be great reasons that you haven’t taken this step yet, but I want to challenge this (and some other things.)
The calendar has turned which is always exciting !! I’m really geeked about this year because it is also a Presidential election year. This post isn’t about one candidate or another because I think everyone should make their own choice for who they support. It’s unique this year because we have those vying for their party’s nomination and they are either polarizing or nominal. But it’s January. I’m sure many things will change before November comes !!
I know this may sound presumptuous, but I have one of the best HR jobs ever !! It has definitely been the best of my career. One of the highlights is that I meet weekly with my boss who is part of the C-Suite. Now, don’t start to shudder thinking this is going to be another one of those “seat at the . . . ” posts.
This past week I was fortunate to attend one of my favorite events – the SHRM Volunteer Leader Summit. It’s a great event for many reasons, but the main draw for me is being with other HR volunteers. We have a common bond. It doesn’t matter if you are attending for the first time or have been attending for several years. There is an instant recognition and affinity because we share some commonality in our experiences.
I’m a fairly tall HR pro. I’m 6’4″ tall and have always been one of the tallest folks in a crowd all the way back to Kindergarten. I mention this because I notice this more when I attend HR conferences. As I lurch down the hallways of the conference centers, I see the crowd mill around me and I wonder what they’re thinking and experiencing as they head from session to sessions.
The work week starts and I’ll bet you do things in a certain pattern that has little variation. It’s great to be organized and have methods of doing your work. It keeps you efficient and allows you to perform.
The problem that creeps up on all of us ever so silently is complacency. Most people don’t even recognize that they’re trapped. We continue to do things the same way and never think that stagnation occurs. How many training sessions state that people won’t make change happen because things have “always been done this way”?
. . . shouldn’t stay in Vegas !!
The SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition starts in one week in Las Vegas !! This venue seems to scream “extrovert” with all of it’s bright lights, shows and casinos. With over 15,000 people, expected the Conference can be overwhelming for everyone.
This past week I had a very cool experience !! I was one of the judges for the SHRM Student Case Study competition. I sat with two other great HR pros from the area as we heard graduate students from various schools give their take on an HR scenario. It was very cool to hear their approaches which ranged from a traditional HR viewpoint to some that were extremely creative.
Many people are trying to shake the winter doldrums in the hope that spring will renew them. This happens every year and is very predictable behavior. Instead of enjoying the season we’re in, we keep looking forward to a rebirth in the next season to come. Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying the thaw that is finally upon us and am glad to see the snow start to dissipate.
It’s a simple word that carries incredible power. When it occurs, you see people light up and respond in ways that they hadn’t mere moments from receiving it.
It’s something we’re hesitant to do – especially in HR. People tend to hesitate because we don’t know when you’re either doing it “enough” or “too much.”