HR professionals: What are your New Year’s resolutions?

We asked a handful of HR leaders to share their New Year’s resolutions for 2022. Here’s what they said.
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· 5 min read

As we speed toward the end of the year like John Candy driving the wrong way down a two-lane highway in the dead of night possessed by the devil, we are thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Like not leaving beer cans on a vibrating bed in 2022, or using fewer curse words when renting a car. As you can see, we need better resolutions. So for our last HR Brew issue of the year, we asked a handful of HR leaders to share their professional New Year’s resolutions for 2022. Here’s what they said:

Alex Buder Shapiro

Alex Buder Shapiro, Chief People Officer at Flatiron Health

In mid-August, when it became clear that the delta wave was going to yet again discard all of our carefully crafted plans, one of my fellow leaders asked a room of us, “If you knew in March 2020 that this is where we’d be today, what would you have done differently?” For me, that answer has become my resolution: Stop letting the headlines dictate my team’s roadmap.

An HR team always has to leave time and space for unforeseen events. I’ve put “Expect the Unexpected” on my team goals every single year. Yet over the past two years, it’s been hard not to get overly distracted by the external noise—another variant! The Great Resignation! A new way of working!—and to remain confident that we know what the company needs. I think we will all be more energized if we take a more proactive approach to shaping the work we want to do. We know the projects and areas that we want to tackle next year, we just have to stay focused on them.

Bernard Coleman

Bernard Coleman, Chief Diversity Officer at Gusto

One of my professional New Year’s resolutions for 2022 is scaling Gusto’s corporate social-responsibility program. It’s an exciting endeavor, particularly when applied to the hybrid workforce. You must contemplate how you can include the plurality of your employees no matter location, time zone, and all while fostering community and connection—for the greater good.

The existential societal crisis caused by the combination of George Floyd’s murder and Covid-19 generated widespread calls for action and renewed attention to inequities and injustice. As a company, we want to channel energy into meaningful action. Fast action often feels good on this front, but can often lead to results that feel short-lived, performative, and scattered. We’re making a conscious decision to fight that tendency and align our CSR intent to our impact.

Carla Yudhishthu

Carla Yudhishthu, Chief People Officer at Mineral

Looking ahead toward 2022, my professional resolution is to apply my learnings from this epic year! This means continuing to embrace and acknowledge the things I can’t control and to act on the things I can. I used to operate on the 80/20 rule—if I was 80% sure of something, I’d act on it. But as we’re still in uncharted territory, we’re living in more of a 60/40 world, even 50/50 at times. That means we’re often making decisions based on gut instinct and the limited information that’s available. It is critical for both my team and those we partner with that we operate from a place of confidence so that my team (and the company) feels peace of mind in our decision-making, even if it means changing course later on.

Zoe Harte

Zoë Harte, Chief People Officer at Upwork

Inclusive decision-making. I want to push decisions downward and give our workforce—no matter the level—the clarity and context they need so they are empowered to own, decide, and execute on the future of the business. At Upwork, we encourage everyone to be their true selves and speak their own POVs. In this way, decision-making isn’t made in a silo but is open to debate and multiple perspectives.

HR is challenging. HR news doesn’t have to be.

HR Brew keeps you effective in the fast-changing business environment.

I also want to be clearer about expectations so everyone on my team knows what they’re expected to do, what goals need to be addressed, and what they are uniquely owning. This will allow us to drive impact quicker, and continue to scale and level up in the New Year.

Sarah Sheehan

Sarah Sheehan, cofounder and president of Bravely

I want to set better boundaries so I can spend more time with my young children and focus on my own wellness. I talk to my team about the importance of healthy boundaries, but I know that the best way to empower them to take action for their well-being is modeling that in my own behavior. By continuing to work on clear communication and effective delegation, I’ll be able to set boundaries while staying as productive as I need to be.

Ben Jackson

Ben Jackson, Founder of Hear Me Out

Read at least one science-fiction book [each] month that offers a more hopeful, imaginative vision of the future, instead of the sci-fi cliché of “conquering space.” Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower makes a prescient case for working together to sustain our communities in the face of widespread suffering. So many of our problems at work are failures of imagination—we literally can’t conceive of a workplace where everyone feels seen, heard, and valued.

HR is challenging. HR news doesn’t have to be.

HR Brew keeps you effective in the fast-changing business environment.