Steve Browne has devoted 30+ years of his career to human resources. He currently is the Chief People Officer for LaRosa's, Inc., a regional Pizzeria restaurant chain in Southwest Ohio with 13 locations and more than 1,200 Team Members.
Prior to LaRosa's, Steve held various HR management positions in the manufacturing, consumer products, and professional services industries.
An active member of SHRM for more than 18 years, Steve has held several leadership roles, most recently serving as the Membership Advisory Council (MAC) representative for the North Central Region of SHRM. Other responsibilities include Immediate-Past Ohio State Council Director for SHRM; State Conference Director for Ohio HR Conference Committee; and Past President of the Greater Cincinnati Human Resources Association.
Steve is an accomplished speaker who has been featured at local, regional and national Conferences, Chambers of Commerce, HR chapters and businesses. He also has testified on behalf of SHRM before Congress and has lead advocacy efforts at the state and national levels. He is the author of HR on Purpose !! which has been a bestseller for SHRM and Amazon.
He's very active in Social Media, has a nationally recognized HR blog – Everyday People. (http://sbrownehr.com) – and often ranks among the 100 most influential HR voices on social media. He facilitates a monthly HR Roundtable as well as an HR internet forum called the HR Net which reaches over 9,500 people globally each week.
Outside of his professional HR environment, Steve has held leadership roles in a host of civic groups, including the Boy Scouts of America, the Southwest Ohio Region Workforce Investment Board and the Great Oaks Business Partnership Council.
Steve received a Bachelor of Science in Interpersonal Communication from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
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We keep trying to attack it from the whole you can't do it never happened able to. You have to have faith that if you take care of the individual, the whole will work in, I preach this so much. There we go. Cool. We're gonna have a 75 page dress code policy. Well done, well done.Kyle Roed:
This is the rebel HR podcast. If you're a professional looking for innovative thought provoking information in the world of human resources, this is the right podcast for you. Alright, rebels HR listeners, I am extremely pumped up for today's show. So, the man the myth, the legend, Steve Brown is with us. If you don't know, Steve, then you probably aren't on HR Twitter. But for those of you that don't know, Steve, an absolutely wonderful speaker. I've seen him speak a few different times. And I have some of his some of his speeches literally framed in my office. So I don't forget some of the the truth bombs that he drops. Steve is the chief people officer for low Rossos pizzeria Incorporated. He has written a couple books about HR HR on purpose and HR rising, and just really excited to have him on the show today. Welcome, Steve.Steve Browne:
Hi, Kyle. Hi, Patrick. It's good to be here, man.Kyle Roed:
Well, Steve, thank you again, so much for for being here. And and you know, this is a little bit of a of an exciting podcast for me, just simply because I'm such a huge fan. And whether you realize it or not, I sincerely thank you for influencing the way that I've approached HR, especially over the last few years, as well as the network that you have really built up around human resources. So I think for the for the benefit of anybody that maybe isn't familiar with your some of your work. Why don't we just start with why did you choose HR? And what is your approach towards HR.Steve Browne:
I'm one of those people that chose HR on purpose. And I know that's my book title. And I didn't mean that I'm sorry. But when I was in college, I was in the sciences because I wanted to make money and had this huge career and the career counselor said sciences were the way to go. By end up doing poorly, I graduated valedictorian in my high school class. And by the end of the second quarter of college, because I went when there were quarters and not semesters. By the end of the second quarter, I was one quarter away from getting kicked out for failing college. And I went home after a real good experience in a chemistry class where I was trying to take care of a friend instead of pay attention to the chemistry class. And my mom said, Why aren't you doing a field where, where you're around people? Don't you realize you're around people all the time. And what's interesting is, I love when people say I'm a people person, I doubt it. Okay, I am, I'm the guy that when I would walk to class, I said hi to every single person all the way up to the class, and all the way back down. And people hated to go into class with me. And I wasn't doing it for show I was doing it because I wanted to know, Patrick, and I wanted to know, Kyle, and I want to know, Mary, I mean, he's just wanted to know. So when I started, I got into recruiting. And the reason I got into recruiting was I took an interviewing class at OSU. And at the end of the class, they said, Who should interview the people who should be interviewed, and the class said, we think Steve should interview himself. That's, that's, that's a sign. So started recruiting, and didn't really know what HR was because showing my age, it wasn't HR, then it was personnel still. And it wasn't what it is. Now. After my first job, which was an experience. I got thrown into a generalist role. And that was before the term generalist existed. It was you're in charge of my people. And I've written about I've shared, you know, my boss said, if you're not here for my people, I don't need you. And so from that on, I was like, I can be with people on purpose. This is amazing. So now, since then, so that was back in the late 80s. From then till now, I've always been a people first person. Now I'm in a position where I can really make it happen. organizationally, I've tried in pockets throughout my career. But now I'm in a role where it's an expectation, and it's something that leads the company.Kyle Roed:
Yeah, I love that. And I think, you know, one of the things we were talking about before we hit record, the the evolution of HR for me is very exciting, to the point that you know, your title is chief People officer, not chro. So what is that difference mean to you?Steve Browne:
I was told my boss and the CEO. So I reported to the CEO, the CEO and the president, our brothers, I worked for a family company. And they gave me the news, but I got to go talk to my boss. He says, We're gonna promote you, you choose the title. They said, Really? And I said, Well, I really kinda like the people officer versus chro. is it now? I don't think that there's that much differentiation. But if you meet ch Rs, genuine highbrow, cr charros. The one of the fewest things they talk about is people. They talk about systems and strategic thinking and life design, all positive stuff, organizational type of approach. But without people, it doesn't matter. So I said, Can I be the chief people officer? And he says, I think that fits. And I went, Okay, so then I went to Michael, the CEO said, I think I'd like to be the chief people officer, because we were hoping you'd say that that way. Okay. says, What was interesting, one of the reasons they promoted me when they said, We want to have a people first focus. So we need to have the person who's in charge of people be in that role. So it's part of our cultural fabric. I think, if we went that route, as an industry, we'd have a much different approach to the most senior HR roles.Patrick Moran:
That's a question I have for you, Steven, I've thought about this a lot. The way HR is just transitioning the way it has been over the past, mainly seven to 10 years roughly into this more of seat at the table people first the title human resources, you know, that profession, do you see that? In, in your career in the next 15 years, 20 years, that actual title of that profession changing at all, it's more of a people centered type of title or, or what have you.Steve Browne:
I'd like it to but I think there's a contingency that you have to address first. When you say I'm in charge of people operations, then HR needs to be operational instead of transactional. So until it's operational, you can change the title you want. where we're going, as our organization is, I'm trying to change the mindset from HR being support. For years, it's been where our support function. If you listen to that, there's nothing wrong with support. But it means I go to see, Patrick, if I have to go to see Patrick when things are wrong. Therefore, Steve gives me support, or Patrick gives me support. We're a resource, we should be an integral resource for the company, not a business partner, not, you know, an operational function unless we're truly operationalized. But being a resource, so I'm here to make you do better. So you can perform. I'll solve problems too. But I'm not coming at it from a problem focus. I'm coming at it from How can I be a resource to help you IPatrick Moran:
love that approach. It reminds me of a conversation, Kyle and I went out what was that Wednesday, we met up for about an hour and had a drink. And I was telling him about the story that happened to me on Monday where you know, some companies, very HR department, you tried to drive it more strategically, were more of a partner. But some companies still fall into that transactional piece. We go to you when we need you. And just so happened. It was a conversation Monday where one of my my direct boss or CFO, VP of operations, another person came in my office started asking me about all the staffing questions and what we're going to do, and I just stopped and I'm just kind of like, what are you guys even talking about? Like, oh, we just came from a meeting. I said, and you were talking about staffing? Well, yeah, that that came up in the meeting. And my response was, so you had an HR meeting without HR, why are we doing still get wrapped into this? And I wasn't just offended, but you could see the light bulbs go off in their head like, yeah, we should have called you once we started going down that road, and it just happens.Steve Browne:
It does. I think that one of the other cycles to break though, is I was just meeting with a fellow CPO today he's brand new, it is fun. We got to hang out and share thoughts. And I said, if you hear the term, I have to go to HR. It tells you how HR is positioned. So don't don't tell me your strategic if I have to go some distance to see you don't don't have a meeting about HR functions and we go Oh, I guess we should include Patrick If you're in an afterthought, now, I appreciate that you stepped up and kind of caught him on the carpet. But a lot of HR people would just, you know, internalize that and go, Oh, they did it again. We got to stop that. Just gonna stop 100%Kyle Roed:
Yeah, and I think, you know, it's it's really it's an interesting story, Patrick, that, you know, you in the time of need, ie, all of 2020 for the most part, you know, you were you were there, right? You were helping support the business and answering questions about employee safety and well being and, you know, being concerned about mental health and working from home and all those things. And now that some of those things are starting to loosen up, it's almost like the attitude is shifting I, I think it's going to be really interesting to see which organizations continue to prioritize the people side of the business, now that they can reprioritize on profitability, for instance, as opposed to making sure people don't catch a, you know, global pandemic disease. And so, but I see a great call out, I think, for any HR practitioners out there. Don't give up the cloud that you just built last year, make it strategic, you know, don't give people an option. And and, you know, I think so many of us added so much value to our organizations, that we have to continue to push forward. And we can't settle back into being the, you know, the people you have to include I it's so right. I mean, just even the phrase I have to go to HR means that it's a chore. Yes. It's like, Oh, now I have to go talk to the cop, the traffic cop, right.Steve Browne:
So two things for you real quick one that I did with my CEO, to the ones that we're really doing right now. While we were transitioning during the pandemic, we have been talking about doing curbside pickup at our pizzerias for three years. And it's the right thing to do. pandemic happens, we changed in a week. And went from not having it to having it. So we go, we need to be more agile, and we're not, we need to be more of this. And we're not crisis hits. Well. So I went to the CEO afterwards, I said, congratulations, this is awesome. That's going to help our company we're going to do so well. And it's and we're so good at this. Isn't it interesting that people come together during a crisis, but they don't to expect performance? And he went, Oh, I see. So Can't we have the same passion and agility and creativity and collaboration all the time? Or do we need to be on fire to do it. And he says good point jerk. Anyway, it went well. But he took he took it in stride and we move forward. Then somebody didn't mention earlier, my boss that I'd been with for 14 plus years, three days before Chris was passed away unexpectedly. And he and I were tied to the hip. I mean, literally, every day we were together. So as we came out of it, trying to figure out what we were going to do as a company, Michael said this, and it's out there, but I don't hear people practicing it. He says we're doing a company reset. And I went, Okay, so what we're doing is we're resetting to move forward, we're not returning to what we did. So our thing is reset. Hey, let's go back to the way it was, do you really want to do that? And honestly, you can't, because things have changed. So this falling back, like you mentioned, Kyle, we have to step in and say I'm not gonna allow this. We're only moving forward.Patrick Moran:
It's almost like companies where they weren't only forced to pivot, they were forced to go into survival mode, in a way we were in a position to sacrifice profitability, just to keep people employed. But now that things are getting back to normal, and I hate that, and I say that with with quotations like that it's not the new normal. It's, it's our, it's our reality, you know, it's our reality. And some of those things still need to maintain and stay in place. But I think I hope we've all learned that not only can we pivot and be stronger together, but we can be more efficient now and cut out some of the BS that we don't need to be doing.Steve Browne:
in HR people have to get a spine. I'll just be honest, amen. You need to stand up and say, You know what, you've relied on me. But the other thing that's very fascinating to me about the whole pandemic and Kyle and I were talking a little bit about this before we came on the air. Even through tragedy, you can learn this is the first time globally or generally generationally that we've ever had something that has affected the entire world. We weren't around for World War Two, we weren't around for some other big global things. So here's the first global thing we've all been through. So do you learn from that? And move ahead? Or do you be known it to return to what you didn't like? separate HR people tend to go, Well, you know, I'm not in charge anymore. They're not. They don't come to me anymore. That's on you. Yep. So my thing is, lead from where you are, stand up for what you believe. And tell them this. every issue issue is a people issue. If you don't believe this, and I've been practicing, this is so much fun. When you, Kyle, sorry, Patrick, you just said this. Here's the meeting, CFO comes to you. And if you listen to organizational conversation, the second sentence or third at the least, you'll hear someone's name. Hey, we're having a meeting. And Patrick, you go, Ah, people issue. So quick, good. Tell me it's about staffing. You need people and involves people. So for HR people not to go, Hey, everything's people issue always has been. It just took a pandemic for us to realize it. And that's awful. We shouldn't have to go through something so horrible in order to elevate people in organizations.Kyle Roed:
Absolutely, I distinctly remember, and this was back in like, April, May 2020. Like, you know, at that point, you could have called me the chief firefighter, because it was like, it was just like, Oh, It's here, it's here, It's here, it's here, what do we do? Or you could call me chief whack a mole. You know, like, let's go whack that one. Oh, there's a problem. Let's whack that one. Let's walk. And and you know, we are it was just craziness. And my CEO, who's just a wonderful person, and just understands people very emotionally intelligent. He, he's like, Man, these are all people issues. So I was lamenting to him about all the issues. And I'm like,Patrick Moran:
But I think, thankfully, he had that mindset. So that that that became the priority. And then once that was the clearly articulated priority, then it became a focus. And it's something that we're not willing to let go away. And so I'm very fortunate to be to be in this organization that I'm in currently. But we're starting to face that now, at kind of the departmental manager level, where you have a manager comes to you and says, Well, we need to go back to 2019, because we were, you know, X percent more efficient. And, and the truth is, you know, I think as HR, we have to be the disruptors a little bit and challenge that and say, you know, is that data even relevant? You know, the data set that that you're using is not relevant, especially when Oh, by the way, the job that you want to bring into the office five days a week, right now, I can't even get an applicant. If I don't post that there's at least some flexibility to work from home with a new job.Steve Browne:
It's a new norm. It's a new world. Yeah,Steve Browne:
I had a friend say this. She's an HR tech vendor. cooler. If you don't know what hula is, you need to check it out. It's cool new thing that aggregates all your sites really cool. But here's what she said, she talked to a potential client and the person said, Well, if people work from home, I want to have the cameras on all the time. And I want to have knowledge that they're logged into the computer. And she said, so what did you do before the pandemic? And he says, Well, I don't know. Why was important. Why is performance important differently now? because someone's not sitting down the hall from you. When in 2018, and 2019, you didn't really know. And he came back and said, I don't care. I want cameras and keyboards. And she says, I think we're done. And walked away from potential business because she said, I'm not going to work with a company, if that's how they view their people.Kyle Roed:
Interesting, and coming from such a place of distrust. That's what I that's what it sounds like to me. I don't know the company, but I don't even know. That doesn't sound fun. I don't want to work there. Do you wanna work?Patrick Moran:
that's taken Big Brother.Steve Browne:
Yes. Yeah. And I think you're gonna see it. It's funny. I remember when we used to have big conversations at conferences, HR conferences about should we allow telecommuting? It was should we allow? right because the idea is if someone's home And oh, by the way, their dress comfortably, that's evil. You know, there are out there in familiar circumstances. That's stupid. I mean, you just listen to It, you go, oh, and then all of a sudden, our hands were forced. And now people are like, I kind of like this, I'd like to work a hybrid thing, can we be more flexible? in companies automatically go back to what they think is successful by being more rigid and more rigid has never worked, ever.Patrick Moran:
You know, what Kyle and I are nursing we were talking about this week, I've noticed through my wife's organization, a lot of times when people are at home, whether the boss knows it or not, they're actually not only more productive majority of the time, they're working more than when they were in office, you know, they're not getting eyes, the interruptions, the coffee talk. And unfortunately, now there's an expectation that the people working from home are always accessible. If frontline managers are in at 545, six in the morning, you know, your employee at home has their laptop open, even though they're probably getting their kids ready. And you know, they're probably going to be accessible at 530. In that shift that demand and that expectation, it I mean, that really were on my wife for a while until she learned how to draw a line. But that's starting to become a new normal, more and more remote being allowed, I think, I hope not. But I.Steve Browne:
Well, I agree. One of the other things I wrote about this recently on LinkedIn, it was funny, LinkedIn, we've found asked for my opinion, which is creepy. But they said, Hey, you'd like to respond to this post. And the post was remote work. And what's so funny is we make everything in HR blankets. It's like this giant blanket that covers the globe. Everyone's remote. My pizza cooks had been live every day. So I wrote, we got to quit having a white collar mentality for everything, and have an employee mentality on everything. So what's the mix of white collar blue collar frontline office? So we're trying to make all these giant shifts for the workplace saying, remote? Is this because instead of saying, I expect performance, what's the best way to do it? How does that fit your needs, put the person's name in. And we're so afraid to turn it around and make it what it could be better for expecting great performance and allowing people the latitude to do that, in building new systems that accommodate this new flexible workforce. Because the blue collar people are going to be coming to work every day and have been. But we write policies from a white collar perspective, we write handbooks from a white collar perspective, instead of saying, as team members, here's what we have, here's our culture.Patrick Moran:
Yep. It's it's all doesn't work. Right?Kyle Roed:
It doesn't work. And one of the things that that I wanted to hit on is the the propensity for us in HR to think that bureaucracy is safe, or good. And I love in your book, HR on purpose, I love the example of the handbook at an engineering firm, because believe me, I that is that spoke to me with like section 1.1 and the eight pages of coffee, you know how to make coffee. And, and, you know, I just, I look at handbooks as it's like, the lowest common denominator, like you're writing this Handbook, assuming that everybody is trying to do the absolute least amount of work possible. Or, you know, and you're writing it for, like the 2% of employees that are gonna screw up, as opposed to the 98% of employees that come to work and want to do the right thing on a regular basis.Steve Browne:
I agree. I think the one of the other things I've been working on recently, is how to simplify what we do. And it was interesting. In a presentation idea, it talks about house being simple as majestic. I forget the exact quote. But Martin Scorsese said this simple is hard. I mean, you think of it, here's this, you know, Oscar winning legend in the film industry. And he says, simple, simple as hard. And he is so right. We think the more layers we have in by building things to an exception, we're actually covering the majority, instead of saying, I bet people will come to work. So it was funny, I had somebody said, so what's your return to work policy? Now listen to that. I'm gonna fire you. Because it's a policy for returning to work, nigga. No, no. I said, Well, and then how about, how about a procedure? How about an action? So how are these people? What's your return return to work policy? I said, This is what I said. Wherever you are, I expect you to work. And they go, that's it. I go. Yep. How do you measure that? They don't have to. The expectation is that you will work. Well, how do you how do you quantify that and what's the performance management metrics, and what's the ROI and how much investments you might have? I'd like you to use Got your awful? You got to make it simple.Kyle Roed:
How dare you? How dare you treat an adult like an adult?Patrick Moran:
I know what I want to touch on there. Steve, I want to ask you to touch on this because I think last time I saw you we were in, in Vegas at the National Sherm conference. And I think you touched on this in your book, and we talked about people and Kyle made the comment, we write the handbook for the 2% of people we need it for, or the people we're talking about all the time. And this is where I'm going, Steve, is our high potential people. And you call it out? I hate that term, high potential. Because can't everybody have potential? I think that's how you phrased it. Can you elaborate on that, cuz I think that's so important in the HR world for just people to hear your viewpoint on that.Steve Browne:
I think everybody can add value. And it doesn't matter whether some person adds more value or not. When companies build entire systems on, boy, you talk about the the trap of lack of diversity, lack of inclusion, lack of equity, all the big things that we always should have been doing. When you start identifying somebody as a category, you are automatically eliminating every other person. And what if that person cannot fulfill the potential you think he or she could fulfill? Because it happens? Or you think if they're going to do it the way you want? And they can't? I would much rather have us look at this. What's the person's capacity? How much can they take on? What's their capability is that best thing when I measured those two things? What's the best role for that person to fully be fulfilled in their capacity, and fully be capable and work from their strengths. And I'm not talking aspirational fact, this is what Steve's good at, this is what Steve's not good at. And then you build an organization that way, you'll find more talented people fill roles better, without ever having to identify a subset of future is false succession planning, it just is. I've seen it fail far more often than succeed. I worked with the firm I worked for before I came here. We had a person who the second week I was with him. I said, I don't trust him, we need to fire him. Which is not what you want to hear from your HR person. I said, I'm just telling you, something's wrong. They go You just don't like him. I said no. As a person. Fine. Something's wrong. Nine years later, not exaggerating. We were one month away from making him a partner in the firm. And I raise Cain, I'm like, you are making the biggest mistake. I wouldn't let this guy invest in the company. I'm telling you something's wrong. But he's a potential. And he has such this. And he has such that. Someone, he told his story, said, Oh, you're so wonderful. And they hired him. And he left. The next week, we found out he had been stealing from the company for years. He had been billing hours for work that wasn't done for years. All of these horrible things that he was able to cloud over because he was seen as this chosen person. It's wrong. It's not fair to the people, either. It's not because they're their expectations are never clearly defined or clearly expressed. It's kind of a let's see if Patrick sinks or swims. That's so old school crap. I'm sorry. You know, let's see who writes the cream rises to the top Shut up. It's, it's awful. I'd rather say how can you do your best today? How do you know the expectations to do your role today? Do you know the expectations of others today? show you your capacity fill your capability, you'll show who gets the most potential.Patrick Moran:
I think sometimes frontline managers get so wrapped up. And Kyle, I think we've talked about this before about just eliminating the problem. They're not working out for us whether it's productivity motivation, who knows? Well, maybe they're just not the right fit for that role. So let's look somewhere else. Let's explore options before we just say let's get rid of them. And I think that it's our position in this profession to push back on that and try to understand or let people under See, there could be another avenue for this employee.Steve Browne:
My rule of thumb if someone loses their job, they earned it. Okay. It's based on behavior, not perception and not personality. Because my goodness, we all have huge giant blind spots. But If someone's behavior, we're trying to change completely as an organization, because what I'm learning now that I'm older is this, I can influence behavior, I can control nothing. I can shape behavior, if I can shape behavior, and you choose to fall within the parameters of behavior, which we feel are good, constructive, legal, all that HR stuff in there. But if you can fall within those behaviors, watch what happens. People will choose, and they won't have people managers pick people out because they don't fit their style, or fit their direction, or lack the same strengths that the value you're spot on.Kyle Roed:
100% I love this conversation. And I mean, for me, I'm reflecting on a on a situation are much earlier in my career where I was on that I was on the hypo list, you know, and it was like, to the point that in that organization, you almost got like a, almost like a merit patch. Right, you know, all your hype? Oh, yeah, man, I was trying to get that hypo list, you know, it was like this weird, weird situation. And then, a few years later, my priorities started to change. And I wanted to start a family looking to get married, wanting to buy a house and in this specific organization, in order to be on that list, you had to be able to move anywhere, anytime. And and the minute that you said, you know, I'm really not looking to move, at least not needed, you know, no, okay, fine. Now, you're a strong contributor? Well, well, the difference between being a high potential and a strong contributor meant you are this close to getting fired, and the next time you screw up, it was in the organization didn't do it intentionally. But I mean, I had I can't tell you how many people pulled me aside, and they were also strong contributors. And they're like, Man, you shouldn't have said you can't move. Why did you tell him that? You That was stupid, you shouldn't have done that. Now, you got to work a lot harder. Like the guys just just really left up? Being honest.Steve Browne:
Yeah, I was being genuine, you don't like that? You're a high potential?Kyle Roed:
Well, no surprise, I didn't, I didn't stay there much longer. You know, I mean, and, and that's what happened. So I had every intention of working there as long as I possibly could until that scenario. And that's what happens to people who have capabilities and get disenfranchised because of some archaic ranking system.Steve Browne:
There's a new, newer factor that's coming up that I really like, the tone of that addresses this better called internal mobility. So how can I move? Can I move? If I move, where do I move? If I don't, and I fail, but internal mobility systems are much clearer and allow for people to do well, and they may take a technical track, they might take a professional track, they might take a development track or change, you know, from operations to HR to finance, you just don't know. Or they might go in the field and run. I mean, you've actually facility just, it's a lot broader way to look at this. So I think people are well intentioned, but we're not giving people a good pathway to do it. So I'd rather focus on how do you how are you mobile? Can you be mobile? There's some companies you can't be. You know, like your example, Kyle, yet mobility was contingent? Well, you know, be upfront about that.Patrick Moran:
Right? It's unfortunate. corporate structures, the big corporations still live in that world of, well, if you're not going to sell your soul to me, you're not going to get the opportunities. God forbid, true. Families, right.Steve Browne:
What it what's funny is, most people that say that are a latter part of their career, they forget that they had families. And they forget that they were given that latitude. We are very, it's funny when people talk about generations in the workplace, being that I'm in the last generations, which is fun. Now. I want the next generation to be better than my generation. Because we went through, I went to work because I was told to. I followed rules, because if you don't follow rules, you're disruptive and we don't like disruptive people. I went through all of the stuff that people will never remember. And thank goodness, because now we need to have a workforce in a workplace that allows for personal growth, any value instantly when you start the company, flexibility to in order to handle my personal family situation. One of the things the CPO and I were talking about this morning at coffee was this. I think too many people practice HR corporately instead of individually. If I can take of Patrick care, Patrick and take care of Kyle and take care of Steve and take care of Suzy and take care of Laura, the whole work, we keep trying to attack it from the whole you can't do it never happened able to, you have to have faith that if you take care of the individual, the whole will work. In, I preach this so much. There we go, cool. We're going to have a 75 page dress code policy. Well done, well done.Kyle Roed:
I hate dress code policies to somebody asked me so I've been in my company about three years now. And when I came in, it was kind of the Wild West, to be honest, they that we actually needed some policies. But one of the one of the issues was dress code. So I walk in the door, and they're, you know, oh, we need one specific manager, like we really need a dress code. We just can't i can't handle people coming in. And I took a page out of the, I think she's the CEO at GE now. I took I took her dress code, and it's literally two words, dress appropriately. And that was it. And I so I put it on letterhead. And I like signed it. And you know, all this stuff, like made it really, really official. And I emailed it to her and I said here, here's your policy, you can show that to the employee are concerned about?Steve Browne:
That's awesome. Well done. Yeah,Kyle Roed:
that's fine. I just love I, I don't know what it is. But I just kind of love trolling my managers to just to you know, it's just kind of fun. It's just, it's just twisted humor, but you know, they say that's a sign of intelligence, at least I read that on the line. So it's probably true, right.Steve Browne:
Everything online.Kyle Roed:
But I digress. I think, you know, it's just been such a fascinating evolution just in I've only been in the, in the profession for, you know, almost two decades now. So, so still very much a student of human resources, but just the the amount of change that I've seen in my short career. And the fact that it seems to be accelerating so quickly, it's exciting for me to try to envision what the future of work looks like and be a part of that. It's really exciting. So, you know, it's, it's, it's just fun. This is fun, right? What we do is fun.Steve Browne:
It's fun, right? Right. Yeah, yeah. Yeah,Kyle Roed:
I mean, I'm not I'm not totally off my rocker right.Steve Browne:
Now, it's the best profession there is. I see it all the time. No other job, other than HR, or whatever we call it in the future, no other job gets the chance to positively impact every person every day. Not one. Why would you pass that up? You know, if I heard that, and I knew that was true. And I had that ability, I would join HR today,Patrick Moran:
you know, we're unique, it's kind of like us, and it touches every every single person in the organization all the time, but no fest it but we get to have a little bit of fun with it.Kyle Roed:
Sometimes I don't want to know what it does.Steve Browne:
That's right, we have different firewalls.Kyle Roed:
Well said, Well, you know, if, you know, as we get to the end of our time together here, I just want to again, Steve, thank you for for all your work and your influence. Inside and outside of your organization. I think, you know, especially your book, HR on purpose, there was a time when I was reading that book for the first time. It was, you know, a little bit of a darker period in my career, and I was really struggling with HR and what am I going to do in the future? And how am I going to impact this and it was dealing with some struggles. And, you know, your book helped to, you know, what I would say I would call it clarify why we do what we do. And so for that I thank you and and for any HR practitioners out there that are are looking for some inspiration or struggling with with where to go next or how to add value in the organization. Check out Steve's work. It's it's well well said.Steve Browne:
It's very kind gentlemen, very kind.Kyle Roed:
All right. Well, we have a few questions. We have to do a couple formal questions just to ruffle your feathers, Steve a little bit. So we're going to go into the rebel HR flash round. Alright, question number one. What is your favorite people book?Steve Browne:
Oh, got it. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, which is not a typical business book, but he talks about how how to have a social epidemic, which is a bad word right now. Yeah. But, you know, he talked he talks about how to get things changed on a grand scale and it's brilliant. You If you take the points from it, you can really move things internally and professionally.Kyle Roed:
Alright, love it. Yeah. Malcolm Gladwell is amazing author. Question number two, Who should we be listening to?Steve Browne:
Ah, trick question. I think you should be listening to your team members. If we don't, one of the things I'm working on, and I think that a lot, but I'm allowed to be an idea person now and I just fascinating. It, I think it's this, we focus so much on output. But we don't ask for input. I would rather get your input, it doesn't mean that the output is going to change or that I'm going to change the direction. But to continue to focus on productivity only, and not ask for people's opinions and genuinely listen to what they have to say. We're just missing the opportunity. So I think you should listen to your employees. Love it extraKyle Roed:
question I'm gonna throw in here just because I know you're a music fan. What's your favorite band?Steve Browne:
tough one.Kyle Roed:
That's the toughest.Steve Browne:
It is, it is by far. I have to say you too. Okay. And this is, and this is why they hit right when I was in college. They were huge. I have every song literally every song they've ever done. Regular bootleg, you name it. And then when I was the conference chair for the Ohio State trim conference, I've always been a guy who just doesn't like the rules. So in the past, they'd go. So Kyle, great job as the chair, here's your big piece of crystal junk that you'll never use. So I changed it. And I said, we're going to have here's the budget, you need to ask the chair what they want. So one year we bought a person a Ohio State thing. That was she was a huge back, I went alumni. And we made the script Ohio in her name with the band and got a picture of it, and bought some other things that she lost her mind. And then the next person who was chair, we bought a flagpole for her house. So she could put a flag in her yard. Which again, is differently said, so what do you want? I said, I want something music related. You choose? You know who I am. So they got me an autographed copy of the Joshua Tree. Nice.Kyle Roed:
Wow, that's awesome.Steve Browne:
Yeah. And I'm just like, Oh, you know. So YouTube, man, if I could meet bondo on the edge, and Larry. Oh, my gosh, there it is. Right there.Patrick Moran:
My Pandora station de YouTube. Yeah,Kyle Roed:
I think I just told you 2.2. This is why we get along.Steve Browne:
That's right. That's right. But yeah, I have a ton of music. I have a huge music person. You guys know that. But YouTube is my go toKyle Roed:
love it. Alright, last question. How can our listeners connect with you?Steve Browne:
Two great ways. Three, we'll see if people will respond. LinkedIn, but understand if you connect with me on LinkedIn it's on. If you just want to be connected to me, get over it, because I'm going to come after you. Because I want you to because I want you to succeed. I just don't want you to be a number that I am connected to Twitter. But if you're on we on Twitter with me, we talk. We don't just, you know, post about what's happy, we should positive things. But we have conversations because that's what the platform was always intended to be. And the third one is you can email me at s Brown. at La Rosa la r o s, talk on it l a r o s a s calm Brown with an E, I want to get you more connected. So if you want to have somebody who's a senior person, I never had a senior person talk to me. Growing up. I had to figure a lot of this stuff out on my own. And that was a mess. I would rather help somebody do well in the career whether they're in the beginning of their career in the middle or at the end. I'd love to help people out.Kyle Roed:
Love it. And Steve's not just saying that i've i've personally benefited just from some of his his speeches, and I'm definitely an HR Twitter guy. And hashtag is it hatchet hashtag HR community. Yes, that's the hashtag, you just follow the hashtag. And listen to all of the wonderful HR practitioners that follow that hashtag and share and help and support each other. I consider Steve one of the one of the primary reasons that that's been successful. So get connected, guys. It's It's It's well worth it. So with that, Steve, we are beyond time and I want to be respectful of your time. So thank you so much for joining us today. So much knowledge is is has been shared and really appreciate your time.Steve Browne:
Thanks a lot. Really appreciate the opportunity.Kyle Roed:
All right. That does it for the rebel HR podcast. Yes, follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast, Twitter at rebel HR guy, or see our website at rebel a human resources.com using opinions expressed by revelator. Our podcast was the opposite of not necessarily policy or position during this podcastJude Roed: