Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. on ‘cause the effect’

Industry leaders discuss initiatives and ideas at SHRM 2022 Annual Conference & Expo – Cause the Effect
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“I hope to inspire and motivate HR professionals to think more of themselves like thermostats where they can actually change the temperature,” says Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., president and CEO, SHRM. The goal is to make the workplace even more empathetic to the employee in light of the past few years.

WorkingNation sat down with Taylor at his organization’s annual conference in New Orleans.

“I described a number of situations and examples of where we as HR professionals – as opposed to just telling our employers, senior managers and senior executives in our organizations what employees are saying – how about influence their hearts and their minds in such a way that we actually cause the effect that we want.”

Taylor says all the disruption of the last couple years is giving HR the opportunity to really pay attention to employees’ insights. 

“I talk about HR needing to engage in what I’m going to call extreme listening and nuanced listening. When we think about wanting to understand culture, it’s just not enough to survey the senior leaders in an organization or the most tenured employees in the organization or the high potentials in an organization. We’ve got to find a way to extract insights from every type of employee in an organization.”

Taylor notes that empathy is the new workforce currency. “Employees are expecting – I’ll dare to say – demanding empathetic leadership.”

According to Taylor, they are saying, “’I need leaders who are willing to try to understand what my experiences are, my whole experiences so that they can maximize my contributions in the workplace.’”

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