Your Action Plan for the Next Horizon of People Practices

June 28, 2022 John Baldino

Our first in-person conference in three years, Workhuman® Live Atlanta was a week to remember. Attendees followed one of eight different content tracks tackling HR’s hottest topics, gaining insights into the future of work from thought leaders and experts themselves.

If you weren’t at the conference or are curious about one of the content tracks you didn’t follow, don’t worry! We had some of those who know HR best following these tracks to bring some of the goodness back to you. Use these action plans to assess and tweak your HR strategy and better position your organization for the future of work.

Our first action plan comes from Humareso president, John Baldino.

Work human live action plan

The phenomenon of “human capital management” is waning. Not so much the intention, but the labeling is changing. According to the experts at Workhuman Live 2022, true people management is the focus, as opposed to process and compliance.

The focus of work has to evolve. A recent Gallup report found “only 23% of employees strongly agree that they get the right amount of recognition for the work they do.” If human resources departments have been such great partners to our organizations, then how do we explain these numbers? The time to explore new approaches is here.

Own the set up

According to famed author and podcast host of “Revisionist History” Malcolm Gladwell:

The job of developing people to thrive towards their full potential is really hard.

What we know for sure is that most organizations find it easier to promote surface-level programs rather than identify the inherent challenges of people development. Malcolm affirmed that “ability is assessed naively, while talent is complicated.”

We spend so much time and effort creating coursework and not enough time on the uniqueness of talent contributors. We are steadfast in “this is just how it’s always been,” rather than directing that energy towards an innovative approach to expand the competencies of many, while also supporting the needs of the individual.

Buckle up and build me up, Buttercup

Futurist Neil Sahota reminded Workhuman Live attendees that

change is here, of course, but the pace of change is rapid and advancing at a clip beyond our attention span.

There is no way that any one person can keep up with all of this.

What’s needed, according to Sahota, is a hybrid corporate intelligence of human and machine abilities. People will need to be developed in areas of the arts and philosophy to think more critically and to ask better questions.

Machine learning for problem solving and structured communication allows our “eye” to be more focused on the creativity and empathy necessary to be encouraged in our teams. This won’t happen by accident, but with a plan.

No more weak compassion

One of the more hyped perspectives presented at Workhuman Live had to do with a compassionate approach in the workplace. Jason Lauritsen, author and trainer presented a definitive engagement equation based upon survey data. Well-being, satisfaction, and drive all combine to give clarity on employee engagement.

This clarity is needed so that an engagement plan can be activated. Compassion is where caring meets action, according to Jason, so organizations must stop with the speak and get going on the walk.

Performance chats need to include real check-ins with employees. Give employees a scale to rate their well-being. Provide discussion points about well-being so that both managers and employees have a guide. Give space for teams to drive one another towards health through a compassionate approach to work.

The goal is not to merely share problems or to complain about missing an objective, it’s to formulate robust contributory success for each person and all teams.

Tell me what you want

Steve Cadigan, former head of HR for LinkedIn, talked about learning, and in many ways, wrapped up the last leg of action professionals can put into place at their organizations. “People want a learning curve. They really do,” according to Steve.

The concept of being challenged is nothing new, but the standard fare of completing the Learning Management System (LMS) coursework as an affirmation of being challenged is not it. Employees are asking for more. They want to believe that their contribution in a more advanced role is beneficial, for both themselves and for the company.

It’s no longer enough to merely say that we don’t want you to leave because you can be a manager very soon. We ought to have our performance chats be true conversations. Ask employees how they see themselves contributing.


Have them point out gaps that they see themselves filling. Allow for innovation by affirming a flexible approach for work. Steve drew upon his experience at LinkedIn, but couched it by saying things continue to evolve. We need to keep exploring.

A people-focused approach has often been encouraged, but the truth is, we often fall back to tactical checklists. We believe that completion equals engagement or success. To be more relevant, to be more productive, to be more competitive requires a vastly different approach. It requires collaborative communication and an active commitment to people development.

Workhuman Live pushed this conversation forward and is challenging us to change.

About the Author

John Baldino

John is president at Humareso and an SPHR and SHRM-SCP certified professional with more than 25 years of HR experience.