Wednesday, 25 July 2018 20:33

Head of The Table

Written by Patricia Williams, CSP, SHRM-CP, 2018 Louisville SHRM President

The Human Resource profession, in the twenty-first century, has reached the pinnacle! For decades, HR leaders have argued to defend and prove their value within organizations. Now, the battle has been won! The importance of a strategic human resource department is clearer now than ever before. Once upon a time, HR professionals yearned for “a seat at the table”. Today, HR leaders are not only critical business partners at the table where strategic plans are being made, human resource leaders are at the head of the table!

A thriving and growing workforce is the antidote to a plethora of economic challenges. Human resource leaders serve a vital role in assessing current and future talent demands. The aging workforce, the diverse needs of the new generation of workers, and the absence of available talent with the necessary skills to fill job openings are a few key focus areas. KYSHRM disseminated the Bridging the Talent Gap survey in 2017 to query organizational leaders across Kentucky regarding the current state of the workforce. The data reveals anticipated industry growth, skill deficiencies, and employee retention are critical workforce concerns.

Workforce development and planning is essential for organizations to be successful. Human resource leaders stand ready to support the demands of businesses. HR is at the table proposing strategies and thought leadership that assist companies to achieve goals. In 2017, human resource management extends far beyond the walls of the buildings where business takes place. Innovative HR leaders are developing talent both internally and externally simultaneously to prepare for talent demands. Louisville Society of Human Resource Management (LSHRM) has continued to lead the demand for workforce development solutions in Louisville.

HR is the bridge that connects employers, resources, and talent to facilitate solutions to cutting edge human resource matters. LSHRM, under the leadership of Laura DeFazio, leveraged numerous partnerships in 2017 to support workforce development. In an effort to support workforce development, LSHRM provided professional training to over one thousand students in Greater Louisville. We also invited local colleges and universities and local government to a brainstorming discussion about how LSHRM can advocate stronger alliances between them and employers. To assist organizations in creating and maintaining successful internship programs, LSHRM partnered with Intern Bridge, the nation’s premier internship research and consulting firm, to deliver a grassroots workshop for HR professionals! This training received excellent reviews from 2017 attendees and will be presented again in March of 2018. LSHRM supported numerous wellness initiatives; including education on physical, mental, and financial health that promote healthy work cultures. LSHRM partnered with over 50 organizations to support preparing the workforce for current demand through coaching and professional development.

In 2018, Louisville SHRM will continue spearheading the workforce movement by creating bold and innovative programming, training and networking opportunities that address Kentuckian’s most pressing workforce issues. We believe that serving the community promotes positive change, and our impact goes beyond the HR professional. We believe that in business, PEOPLE matter most, and innovation drives business solutions. LSHRM is a catalyst for advancing Louisville’s workforce. LSHRM proudly serves as a change agent. We are committed to providing best in class solutions to human resource professionals and the business community in Louisville, Kentucky. We are at the head of the table!

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patricia williams

Patricia Williams is the 2018 President for Louisville SHRM. She is a workforce advocate, author, and a consultant that helps organizations develop innovative talent development strategies. She can be reached at:

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