About five years ago, I was asked to a super-secret lunch to answer one question:
“What do you think of an idea called WorkHuman?”
I was like, whoa, tell me more.
My friends at Globoforce wanted to launch a movement to bring more humanity to the workplace. America was feeling its sea legs from the Great Recession. People were rejoining the workforce. Topics like big data and AI were emerging in HR-friendly circles, but few people were discussing diversity, inclusion, and employee emotions.
What did I think of a community, a conference, and a movement called “WorkHuman” to help HR professionals and business leaders create high-performing organizations that also care about individual workers?
I remember saying, “Your idea is big and bold. If you do it right, the market will copy you.”
I have to laugh because — not that it matters — Globoforce got it right. It turns out, people want to work human. Here we are in late 2018 with sub-4% unemployment and almost every significant employer out there is talking about “being human” or “working human” or “bringing humanity back to the workplace.”
You can’t work in HR without working human.
WorkHuman turns five in 2019.
The first WorkHuman was a leap of faith, but every single event after has doubled in size. I love it when the market recognizes a good idea. More importantly, it’s rewarding to see a change in behavior within the human resources industry. Whereas HR professionals once tried to align themselves with a 1995 University of Michigan model where they are business consultants first and human beings second, now it’s clear you must attend to individual and social needs first to move the business forward.
I’m still helping out in the background with WorkHuman because I’m 100% down with putting humanity at the core of workplace issues. I’m a paid consultant to the conference, but I’ll be doing a live webcast on Tuesday, December 4th at 1 PM ET with my buddy Jason Lauritsen.
It’s free, and I hope you can attend. Jason and I will tell stories about work and bring you real-world answers to help make your workplace more productive, more engaging, and, ultimately, more human.
Isn’t that what HR is all about?