My name is Laurie Ruettimann, and I have a confession to make: I've been to every single WorkHuman conference because it's the only event that makes me feel like I belong.
What Is WorkHuman?
WorkHuman is an annual conference and community where HR and business leaders can explore business trends, learn about compelling issues, and discuss hot topics facing our culture with visionaries, creative thinkers, and academics with expertise in the world of work.
WorkHuman aims to educate, challenge, and inspire attendees to create an inclusive, human workplace. There are more than 70 breakout sessions across eight content tracks, covering topics including diversity and inclusion, modern performance management, creating cultures of community, and the value of bringing humanity to the workplace.
WorkHuman makes me feel it's possible for HR to bring humanity back to the core of an organization. Whenever there's a group of people passionate about fixing work, I will be there.
There has never been a better time to be alive. Steven Pinker is a psychology professor at Harvard and wrote several best-selling books including “The Language Instinct,” “How the Mind Works,” “The Blank Slate,” “The Better Angels of Our Nature,” and “The Sense of Style.”
Dr. Pinker's believes life is improving across the world. The global average IQ score has risen about three points every decade, the world is 100 times wealthier than it was two centuries ago, and people have more vacation time than ever before.
For all the progress we've made on individual outcomes, sometimes it's hard to remember that we're living in an age of prosperity. From the #MeToo movement to the mental health crisis sweeping across America, far too many employees are disengaged and feel isolated from their company's culture.
Even though unemployment is at a forty-nine-year low in America, not everybody has a great job. Moreover, HR has work to do even if just one person suffers from institutional racism, sexism, ageism, or ableism.
It's never been trendier to talk about bringing humanity back to the workplace; however, WorkHuman offers more than talk. The keynote speakers are teachers, and people like Shawn Achor and Brené Brown have inspired me to think about happiness, gratitude, and equality in new and unconventional ways. Last year's historic panel on #MeToo, moderated by Adam Grant, made me appreciate how far we've come in the fight against inequality and how much more work there's left to do.
For many years, I worked in corporate human resources and didn't have friends or colleagues who talked about fixing work. Back then, most HR professionals were too afraid to be soft on employee issues. They wanted to be seen as hard-nosed "business partners" and consultants and didn't connect the dots between working human and creating a profitable culture.
Those days are ending.
Now I attend WorkHuman every year because it's uplifting and refreshing to surround myself with HR colleagues who want to fix work by exploring topics such as wellbeing, equality, diversity, and inclusion. Not only does WorkHuman offer an opportunity to discuss real issues, but there are also resources that keep me connected beyond the conference. From WorkHuman Radio to the blog to a thriving community on LinkedIn, I'm never more than a few clicks away from like-minded peers who understand that the future of work isn't just about A.I. and robots. It's about bringing humanity front and center in our business strategy.
Maybe you think I'm crazy for attending every single WorkHuman since its beginning in 2015, but I love this event and what it represents. This year, I’m honored to be a speaker and contribute my ideas to the community.
Where else can you find a group of people who are passionate about fixing work while learning about the best research on culture, performance, recognition, and leadership?
There's nothing like WorkHuman, which is why I hope to see you there.