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SHRM President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., Calls on HR to Cause the Effect

A man standing in front of a purple sign that says cause the effect.
​Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., at the SHRM22 Conference & Expo in New Orleans.

​New Orleans – SHRM President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., addressed the SHRM22 (the Society for Human Resource Management) Annual Conference & Expo today virtually and in-person at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans in a keynote speech that called on HR to cause the effect—encouraging business and HR leaders to boldly bring about the changes they want to see in the world of work.

"Our theme this year is much more than a theme. It's literally a paradigm-shifting call to action," said Taylor. "It's a mandate from employers, employees, government leaders all over the globe to do more than practice HR but to Cause The Effect mankind so badly needs at this, frankly pretty scary and still tenuous time. Our very existence as human beings is at a crossroad."

Taylor also identified three quintessential opportunities that the profession of HR must focus on for people and for businesses: The importance of mental health, building strong workplace culture, and embracing alternative credentials.

"Nearly 1 in 4 workers tell us they are feeling down, depressed, or hopeless-not sometimes, but often," said Taylor. "HR Leaders must 'listen' well. And in our work 'listening' is done with your eyes and your ears. We often times have to observe our employees to hear WHAT they're saying as well as what they are NOT saying."

Taylor also expounded on the responsibility of HR for "building inclusive, empathetic and resilient cultures that highlight agility, adaptability, and alignment. This will require thinking differently by us, the HR profession."

"As our workplaces grow more diverse by the traditional milestones of race, ethnicity, and gender, so too should we cultivate diversity in thought, backgrounds, and paths of life," Taylor said.

And the SHRM Foundation surveyed executives, managers, and HR professionals on their views about alternative credentials (like training certificates and industry certifications) and found that 50 percent of executives placed a high value on them when making hiring decisions for open positions, while only 15 percent of HR professionals felt the same.

"SHRM is building partnerships with forward-looking organizations to tap the talent pool of those who may not have specific work experience or even a degree, but have been trained in the essential skills needed to do the job," said Taylor about the evaluation of credentials, training, and experience.

The SHRM22 Annual Conference & Expo continues tomorrow with Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive, leading a conversation focused on the importance of workplace mental health and Wednesday as Taylor engages in an exclusive conversation with former President George W. Bush.

About SHRM

SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today's evolving workplaces. More than 95% of Fortune 500 companies rely on SHRM to be their go-to resource for all things work and their business partner in creating next-generation workplaces.  With 300,000+ HR and business executive members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 115 million workers and families globally. Learn more at and on Twitter @SHRM.



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