HR Professionals Share 2019 New Year's Resolutions

Kathy Gurchiek By Kathy Gurchiek January 2, 2019

​It's a new year—the time when many make resolutions for change.

SHRM Online heard from HR professionals and others who work in human resources about their workplace resolutions for 2019:  


yoga at work.jpg

"Support my employees and provide resources that focus on mental health. Focus on creating a nurturing culture, be more transparent about the mental health stigma that still surrounds our society. Be more mindful and create more meditation and mindful practices in the workplace. I want to help my employees manage their stresses … [and] help employees develop coping techniques, resources and a mindful culture."
—Jill Micklow, wellness manager for Assurance, Chicago 

man in wheelchair2.jpg
"Put more resources behind fostering an inclusive environment. I think diversity hiring is the easier part; it's the inclusion piece that will always be an ongoing effort to maintain. An inclusive environment will ultimately serve as a diversity tool. I'd like to bring in resources who provide coaching on inclusion in 2019. This is in the works."
—Melinda Ramos, director of talent and diversity for marketing communications agency Brownstein Group, Philadelphia  

"I will champion a culture of belonging through open and inclusive dialogue with employees. I will seek feedback from the missing voices to obtain different ideas."
—Tammy Perkins, chief people officer for Pacific Market International, Seattle  

"My HR New Year's resolution would be to help companies win the war for talent in the gig economy by attracting, integrating and deploying the right talent at the right time. … My wish for 2019 is that more companies understand that a talent revolt is underway among knowledge workers. Companies need to understand how to respond quickly to this employment shift." 
—Jody Greenstone Miller, CEO and founder of Business Talent Group, Los Angeles  

Onboarding for Retention
welcome aboard.jpg
"We recognized the need to reach out more to new employees before they actually begin working, in order to make sure that we retain them and that they feel part of the team from the get-go. This resolution includes having them participate in trainings and meet other new employees … [and] set them up with a peer mentor who can help them get ready for their first day. As part of this resolution, all [new] employees will have a meeting about their salary, benefits and retirement plans so that any questions they have are answered before they begin."
—Nate Masterson, HR manager for Maple Holistics organic and natural beauty products, New York City  

Reverse Mentoring
reverse mentoring2.jpg
"To keep me grounded in what early-career associates care most about, I resolve to create a reverse-mentoring board of three to five associates to advise me on their experience, Paycor's culture, and their communication interests. It's a way for the next-generation leaders to shape the approaches we take in HR. ... It's also a way to create grassroots advocates for key programs and initiatives. Lastly, it's a way for me to learn about technology advancements that are shaping how associates learn, communicate and connect. My goal: Bring more front-line perspectives to top-line strategies." 
—Karen Crone, chief human resources officer for Paycor, Cincinnati  

Remote Employees
remote working.jpg
"In 2019, one thing we'll be focusing on is the balance between work and the personal lives of our remote employees … [who are] more likely to work longer hours, sit at their desk all day without getting up much and have fewer personal connections during the workday. Caring for them and ensuring that policies and benefits provide quality personal time is critical to prevent the burnout. Caring for their social, mental and physical wellness is key." 
—Jamie Newton, senior demand generation manager for Hanapin Marketing, Bloomington, Ind.  

Bringing Joy
fun at work.jpg
"My New Year's resolution for work is to bring more fun and joy into our workplace. Some ways to accomplish this: Use more GIFs in messaging, organize team challenges incorporating wellness and give back to the community." 
—Kerry Wekelo, HR director for Actualize Consulting, Reston, Va.   

"In 2019, I want to ensure that I am organized and compliant with the new laws. It's extremely important for every HR professional to be up-to-date with changes in the law." 
—Dana Case, director of operations for, Los Angeles  


"[Another] New Year's resolution is to streamline processes and simplify unnecessary policy complexities and distractions to allow employees to do their best work. Simplification and clarification are critical when defining future work. Employees need the resources to succeed without complex HR processes."
—Tammy Perkins, chief people officer for Pacific Market International, Seattle  

Training and Development
training and development2.jpg
"My New Year's resolution is to help employers and business owners (or management) understand the importance of training and leadership development programs to help retrain and retain current employees, given the tight job market and volatility in the financial markets." 
—Chad Sorenson, SHRM-SCP, treasurer of the Society for Human Resource Management's HR Florida State Council, Orlando, Fla.  

"My New Year's resolution is to invest in soft-skills training for our team. In the past, we've generally done training for our team members that focuses on practical, on-the-job skills—for example, a corporate-sales training workshop for our staff in New York City. 
"However, in 2019 our priority is helping our team develop and build their skills as people. We want to invest in helping our employees develop their emotional intelligence, conflict-resolution abilities, public speaking and more. Though these are generally considered people skills, we've found they are critical for success in a digital workforce."
—Alex Robinson, HR manager at Team Building Hero, New York City  

[SHRM members-only toolkit: Developing Organizational Leaders]  

"Help leaders learn to be more accountable to their teams, not the other way around. Show them how to leverage their strengths to develop a leadership style that is authentic, unique and reflects their company culture."
—Jennifer L'Estrange, managing director, organizational change management and HR consulting for Red Clover, Mountain Lakes, N.J.  

"My New Year's resolution is to educate organizations on the potential of strength development—a leadership and managerial focus on the talents and gifts an individual brings to their role rather than trying to fix employees' weaknesses. … My resolution is to test the premise: What would the impact be to you and your organization if people did more of what they are good at and enjoy?" 
—Mark Epp, senior management consultant for Talent Plus Inc., Lincoln, Neb.  

"Continue to find opportunities to develop front-line managers and supervisors in nonprofit organizations. We are in the process of implementing the learning organization model and key performance indicators; 2019 will be the 'year of metrics.' "
—Matthew W. Burr, owner of Burr Consulting, Elmira, N.Y.  

"When employees come to me with complaints about why they can't succeed, I'm going to challenge them to think about what skills they need to grow in order to succeed." 
—Heidi Collins, vice president of people operations for computer software company 15Five, San Francisco  

Aligning Teams with Company Goals
alginging goals.jpg
"Create total alignment across our teams that support our company and departmental goals. … We will be holistically restructuring our onboarding process and dedicating more focus to management training and professional development." 
—Jihee Kim, HR manager for Flexe, Seattle  

Empowering Employees
speak up.jpg
"Empower employees to speak up against sexual harassment in the workplace. I will also be working on empowering myself to speak up when I hear or see something that's inappropriate." 
—Nikki Larchar, SHRM-CP, co-founder of Define the Line, Fort Collins, Colo.  

Supporting and Advancing Women
advancing women.jpg
"My New Year's resolution is to make 2019 a turning point for women in the workplace by giving companies new ways to support and advance women and create environments where employees thrive, lead and stay."
—Addie Swartz, CEO of reacHIRE, Concord, Mass.  

Time to Read
"My New Year's resolution is to finally step away from all of my daily duties for long enough to read this pile of interesting HR articles that have been collecting on my desk! The HR social media scene is very rich, and I'd like to better understand the stories behind all the buzzwords I'm seeing." 
—Meghann Arnold, director of team success at One Click Ventures, Greenwood, Ind.  

Keeping Your Resolutions 

It's much easier to make New Year's resolutions—whether they involve dropping a few pounds or instituting a mentoring program―than to keep them long enough to make a change, said behavioral science expert and PeopleScience editor-in-chief Jeff Kreisler.

He offers the following advice:

  • Create goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, time-bound and realistic. For example, instead of resolving to give up dessert, vow to eat no more than one dessert every week for two months.
  • Mark your progress by immediately acknowledging small achievements with some type of reward.
  • Identify what triggers the behavior you want to change (cutting down on desserts) or adopt (adding exercise to your daily routine) and create a new system—with reminders and rewards—to make your resolution into a habit.
  • Remember that relapse is OK and normal. Don't let a temporary setback sabotage your long-term goals or signal failure.
  • Have fun.

"Emotions are what drive our unconscious decision-making," Kreisler said in a news release, "so infuse some joy, purpose and meaning into your new habits so they're something which you look forward to, through whatever tools you design to help you achieve them."



Hire the best HR talent or advance your own career.

Member Benefit: Ask-An-Advisor Service

SHRM's HR Knowledge Advisors offer guidance and resources to assist members with their HR inquiries.

SHRM's HR Knowledge Advisors offer guidance and resources to assist members with their HR inquiries.



HR Daily Newsletter

News, trends and analysis, as well as breaking news alerts, to help HR professionals do their jobs better each business day.