After years of fighting for a seat at the table, this a “reset moment” for HR to innovate and build culture, according to Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., President and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Taylor, who serves 300,000 SHRM members in 165 countries, asserted that the human resources function is more indispensable than ever in an interview on Paylocity’s popular PCTY Talks Podcast.
“I’ve been at this for now 25 plus years, and we’ve never had the platform that we have in business than this very moment,” Taylor observed. “I’m talking with CEOs and board leaders and chairs of boards, and they’re all talking about HR; they’re all talking about talent strategy,” he added.
As a global leader on the future of employment, culture and leadership, Taylor is a voice for the industry on all matters affecting work, workers, and the workplace. He has testified before Congress on critical workplace issues and authors a weekly USA Today column titled "Ask HR." He also released a national bestselling book recently, called “Reset: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval.”
A critical area raised by podcast host Shari Simpson was the importance of navigating and building culture. Taylor agreed, noting that culture consists of two challenges. The first is determining what he called “cultural clarity” -- an accurate picture of a company’s total employee experience. The second, he said, is devising strategies for what HR teams want their cultures to become. “That’s the big challenge for us as HR professionals--to lead, nurture, and facilitate the process of concluding and getting cultural clarity,” he said.
It is more important than ever to deliver an employee experience that meets employees where they are, and lets them experience their company’s values. Modern employees want to grow and be successful, and they crave collaboration, communication, and connection along the way. Companies using social collaboration hubs like Community, Surveys, Premium Video, and Peer Recognition are creating a better sense of belonging. And new features across the platform to enable Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility are also contributing to the impact. In the last year on the Paylocity platform, overall employee engagement in the form of employer announcements, employee visits and posts, reactions, and comments has increased by more than 56% overall, with employee comments up by more than 150%.
Taylor also remarked that based on lessons learned during the pandemic, this is a perfect time for human resources to think differently and revisit the employee-employer relationship. “A lot of good happened in the pandemic, particularly from a human capital and talent standpoint,” he said. “We were forced to innovate overnight, and we did it, and the world didn’t come to an end,” he added. “We actually saw an acceleration of some of the best ideas and best innovations when it came to the workplace.”
Innovation at Paylocity means an obsession with creating the most complete platform for the modern workforce. Paylocity views its clients as co-creators, gathering valuable feedback to iterate and improve. During the pandemic, Paylocity and clients refined a number of innovations, including new features in Community like one-to-one and one-to-many chat functionality to improve real-time communication, the ability to upload, create, edit, and share files; and automatic creation of team groups for supervisors and direct reports to help new teammates connect easily with icebreaker questions.
PCTY Talks is the Paylocity podcast dedicated to helping HR pros stay current on the latest news and issues. Host Shari Simpson, an HR Program Manager at Paylocity, has recorded more than 100 episodes to date, reaching listeners in 44 countries. Subscribe or find the full interview with Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., on the great reset here.