The ROI of Human Resources (w/ Sarah Morgan)

Zach chats with Sarah Morgan, the founder and CEO of BuzzARooney, LLC, about the role of HR and the future of the profession in a corporate context increasingly focused on inclusion and belonging. Check the links in the show notes to connect with Sarah and learn more about BuzzARooney!

You can connect with Sarah on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

Click here to check out her website,, where you’ll find her podcast “Leading in Color” and more.


SPEAKER 1 0:10

What’s going on y’all, this is Zack we live in corporate. And look, I’m really, really excited about 2021. Lord say the same, I’m going to be here, and we’re going to have some stuff I’m telling you. I’m so excited about what we’re going to be sharing with you all. What I want to do, though, before we get to 2021 is really still embrace the fact that we’re not in 2021 yet, right, like we’re in the last month of a crazy year. And we want to kind of like the book in this year and celebrate this year by doing something called 12 days of podcast. So we’re dropping the podcast every single day for the next 12 days, to wrap up the year, and make sure that the content some of the interviews that we had earlier this year, that we couldn’t fit into our regular schedule, because this was not a regular gear gets heard and absorbed and appreciated. So we’re going to check in and tap in to our next interview. But not before we tap in with Tristan, you see what I did there a little bit of, you know, I’m saying, what’s the word transition pivot. Anyway, catch on the second.

SPEAKER 2 1:21

What’s going on live in corporate FAM, it’s just enough lay field resume consulting, and I’ve teamed up with living corporate to bring you all a weekly career tip. So today, let’s talk about why you should prepare for your one on ones and how to do just that. Most of us in corporate America have bosses who are pulled in many different directions. So we should really be making the most of our one on one time with them. No meeting is ever productive without some preparation beforehand. So take 10 to 15 minutes, either the day before or morning have to prepare. By coming prepared to your one on one, you can get your questions answered. Make sure you’re aligned with your boss, and most importantly, show the work you’ve been doing. So let’s talk about some ways you can prepare. First I say check your notes from the last time you met. This way, if you didn’t get to a topic, you can come back around to it, but you also know what follow ups are needed? Now that takes me to my next point, check your follow up and task list. If your boss gave you some things to follow up on or to do, it’s the worst when you get together and realize you didn’t complete those tasks. At least now you may be able to get in a few calls and a few emails to say you’ve reached out. Also, it’ll refresh your memory on things your boss took away that they’re supposed to be checking on so you can bring those up as well. Next, I would say check any email exchanges you or your boss have had since your last meeting, maybe there’s something in those messages that you didn’t understand. And this is a great time to ask. Maybe there’s something you know your boss will want an update on and now you can make sure that you have it. This shows your boss that you’re paying attention to their correspondence. Last but definitely not least, review your goals. At the end of the day, everything a corporate comes back to your annual goals. This will allow you to know where you stand. And sure your goals are aligned and potentially gained feedback if you need assistance. Preparing for a one on one can make a world of difference in how your boss views you take the time to do so. And I’m sure at the very least your working relationship will improve. This tip was brought to you by Tristan of lay field resume consulting, check us out on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook at lay field resume or connect with me Tristan lay Field on LinkedIn.

SPEAKER 1 3:33

Sarah Morgan is the CEO of bizarre Rooney LLC. She’s the HR executive and expert and writer, speaker, Coach Consultant. She also has a podcast called leading in color. Now she’s out here. And yes, she has this thing. HR ROI summit and Black Lives Matter leading and co I mean, there’s a lot of things that she has going on. So I’m not going to try to like mansplain her own profile. I just want to make sure that y’all know the person we have on I’m really excited about and I’m thankful to have Sarah what’s going on. Welcome to the show. How you doing?

SPEAKER 3 4:03

Zach, what is up, I am happy to be here. And to do this. Thank you so much for having me.

SPEAKER 1 4:09

Okay, so let’s talk a little bit about this. Like, I like to understand your start, right? Like why HR, why you’re here what you’re doing, and then like how you pivoted into or maybe it’s not a pivot, right? But how you connected human resources with diversity inclusion, because a lot of people even though I think they’re, they should be like hand in hand. A lot of people don’t see it that way. Like to just understand like, how you envision your space and, and how it all comes together for you.

SPEAKER 3 4:35

So when I graduated college, shout out to University of Richmond go spiders. I had really no idea what I wanted to do. I spent most of my college years believing that I wanted to be an attorney. And then I spent a summer interning at the Virginia Attorney General’s office and I was like Ooh, this isn’t what jack McCoy be doing. I don’t want to do this work no more about this like so. I changed my majors I ended up doing a fifth year of college and finish didn’t have a job didn’t really know what I wanted to do, I spent the summer being a very bad temp employee just like full from project to project, really just earning enough money to like pay my bills and party a little bit. And then finally, my roommate and my parents were like, Oh, I got to get a real job. And so ended up as a recruiting coordinator for a staffing company. My mom was in human resources. And she was like, why don’t you try this? Like, why don’t you try to do it? You know, you grew up watching me work. You’ve always been fascinated by the work that I do. Why don’t you try that? And so that was like my entry level way into HR and just fell in love with it went from being a recruiting coordinator to a recruiter to a client site manager. And that that time I worked at a plant as their sole staffing person, for we had 410 long term temporary workers at this packaging facility outside of Petersburg, in Virginia, and I was 2223 years old. And I just completely immersed myself in learning about the business, learning about providing strong client service, and learning about how to train and develop and keep people engaged. And from that moment forward, I was just hooked. And so eventually, I made the as we used to call it, the crossover into traditional HR. So moved out of staffing into an HR generalist role. And now I’ve been in like director and head of HR roles, as a full time practitioner for about 10 years of my HR career spans like 20 years, probably, about, I guess, close to 10 years ago now is when I won’t, I don’t necessarily say I pivoted, I think it evolved, because I started feeling frustrated, like so many of us do with the unwillingness of my leadership to listen to the recommendations that I was making, about how we needed to progress and do different and better when it came to how we treat people in the workplace. So from there, I started my blog, the buzz on HR. And when I started my blog that I was, so I did not want to talk about black stuff, you know, like I really stayed away from that, for probably the first min. First two or three years like I was hard-core, traditional HR, like how you administer benefits and how you deal with employee relations issues, but I really didn’t touch on the issue of race and gender and marginalized identities and diversity and inclusion at all, for the first few years that I was blogging. And then

SPEAKER 1 7:55

What was that not to cut you off?

SPEAKER 3 7:58

I think it was that I just hadn’t found my voice yet from an activism standpoint, and there was still very much a part of me that believed you had to separate your racial identity from the professional work that you did, which I know now is complete, like supremacist ideology. And I absolutely, you know, wouldn’t ascribe to that anymore, but then, you know, I was still very much not aware. So I just felt like, it was natural for those to be two separate parts of my identity. And so there were times where I would deal with employee relations issues that were heavily racially charged, or heavily gender charged. And here I am, as a black woman, having to deliver this news that leaves this this black woman, this black man, unprotected in their workplace and unheard, feeling unheard and unsupported by a person who looks like them. And I took that home, you know, with me all the time and shed tears, you know, did a lot of kickboxing exercises to get like the frustration of that off of me. And there was no space that I felt comfortable in talking about that openly. And so it really wasn’t until, like most of us It wasn’t until Trayvon Martin’s death, that I just hit the point where it was enough of feeling like I can’t bring my whole self and in all of my identities with me into the workplace. And that’s when I started to be more outspoken both at work and in my writing and in my speaking about these issues, and that’s what launched the black box matter challenge. And so the hash tag I don’t want to say I started the hash tag because I’m pretty sure I didn’t, I would definitely say my challenges is what started it so I trend and be used more often. I won’t say that I own it, you know, I do now because I trademarked it down, but got to you got to protect your intellectual property, because I’ve invested a lot in that. But started the challenge because I hit a point where I just couldn’t write anymore. I couldn’t write that fluffy, human resources, crap about, you know, how to be a good mentor and how to, you know, create a successful potluck and all that other, you know, both that they try to make HR do that has absolutely nothing to do with creating psychologically safe, inclusive and equitable work environments, which should be the work, you know, that we’re doing. And once that was over, the doors just blew off. I went, I talked about everything from colorism to black hair to being the first and only person of color only first and only woman youngest person. And almost every space that I occupied in my career up to that point in and it took off, people really responded to it. And so the next year I did it again, the topics were much more controversial. I had a white privilege so fragile. I think that was the one that people were like, oh, she snapped. Yes, I did. I don’t care what white people think, the Miseducation of white people. So I just went, you know, I just kept going harder and harder to really shake people and lost some friends along the way.

SPEAKER 1 11:40

What did that look like?

SPEAKER 3 11:42

So it really was the folks, you know, white people who had not been accustomed to me standing in my full blackness, who looked at me and began because of how I look. And because of how I carried myself professionally, didn’t think I was like, quote, unquote, the rest of them. And these were, you know, some of them were people I really didn’t care about to be honest. Like, they were people that you know, you network with, and you build professional friendships, but they’re not that deep. And so to lose those types of individuals, I, you know, not a big deal. But there were some folks who I was fairly close to who have built real professional friends with him to help him become friends outside of work and spend time with them. They spent time with my children, and suddenly, I’m too black for them. And I don’t even I’m like, I don’t even know what that means. So just having to, you know, have some of those difficult conversations. And, you know, why am I now speaking like this, and it’s like, I don’t know who you are anymore? Well, if you don’t know who I am in this moment, and why it is that I’m feeling the need to express the anger that I feel about the ongoing oppression, the ongoing murders without justice of my people, I don’t know what to tell you. Other than that, you never knew me in the first place. And so you know, if we have to part ways, based on that, I’m sad, but, um, we’ll be alright. So yeah, moved on from that. But I won’t necessarily say that it impacted my day to day job, to be honest, then eventually started my podcast leading in color. After I had done black lives matter for a few years. The cool thing about doing the challenge that I didn’t expect, was the number of people beyond the kind of business HR leadership space that we occupy, who jumped onto it, I had fashion bloggers, history, bloggers, food bloggers, who were jumping in and talking about their experiences in their industry surrounding the same issues that I was experiencing in more traditional corporate world. And so everybody is sharing these stories and using the hashtag, and then continue to use the hashtag. So it created just a community of content sharing. And so I was like, oh, man, this is so cool. And then I remember having a couple of podcasters reached out and was like, Can we participate too, and I’m like, of course. So now I’ve got black pods matter. So I added that into the mix and have more content sharing there. And so then I was like, you know, I need to have a podcast where these voices and these stories have the opportunity to be told, and that’s what led to me creating, leading in color. And so I’m now in my second season, I’m talking about the issues that we’re dealing with in the workplace from a diversity equity inclusion lens, giving advice on how we can do it better. And then I’m also talking to experts in the space as well as executive CEOs. And heads of industry that can say, here’s what you know we need to do and just keep pushing at it. And now I’m just about 50 days away from my first virtual event, where I’ll be doing two workshops to one day to train on how to do a proper equity audit and how to address pay inequity in your organization. Because I don’t, I don’t want to celebrate another black women’s equal pay day, I don’t want to come to another August and have to talk about how we are only making 61 cent on the white male dollar and 20 and still to almost 25 cents less than our white female counterparts. As the most educated group of humans on the planet, I don’t want to have that conversation anymore. So we need to do something about that. And the answer is, is creating equity, it’s looking at how we’re compensating people in our organizations, seeing where there are deficiencies, and coming up with a plan to correct it. So I created an event to show people how to do that, combined with a coaching cohort, that’s going to help you put together your presentation. So you can go in there, talk to your leadership, and convince them to move forward with this plan to bring equity and keep equity and pay transparency in your organization. And then day two, is going to be anti-racist HR, and really teaching what the core concepts of anti-racism are. And that anti-racism is a practice is not a one and done type of thing. It’s something that you because racism is so insidious, that it’s something that we have to you know, work out of every nook and cranny and crevice of how we think and how we structure organizations and processes and, and the like, and so, but how do we start, you know, if you are an organization who wants to really focus on the AI and improved, this is how you get started to lay the groundwork so that your organization is a is a safe, inclusive space for people of color and people with marginalized identities. And you know, how you put the blueprint together of how you move forward to eradicate that from your organization altogether. And both of those then leave you with the option to join my coaching cohort, where it’ll be me and four other coaches and from the space. We’ll be working with you for two months after the workshop and to help you get your plans together. And again, present it to your decision makers, so that they can be confident and give you the green light to go forward. And you can feel supported in doing that. Because for those of us doing human resources, we’re and those of us in the DEI space, doing similar work of trying to get these programs and initiatives implemented and maintained best the hurdle is how do I convince my leadership to do this, and having a community of people who can help you be prepared and help you overcome those hurdles is crucial. And so you know, I just felt like it was time to do that. And this is the idea I’ve been sitting on for a couple of years now. And finally, just even before everything blew up with George Floyd, I had already set the wheels in motion, I just finally felt like now was the time for me to move forward with implementing this. And part of it was to be honest, the power of broke moment. Because everything got cancelled with COVID. And so I do all this while you do this work on the side, I do this work on the side, we both work full time jobs, in addition to the businesses we were on, but I don’t do this for free. I have a husband and five children who have, you know, sacrifice time to be away from in order to do this work. And so it’s got it’s got to be lucrative. It’s got to make up for the time that I don’t spend, you know, with them and with my friends and family. So when I watched, you know, men, many of my second and third quarter events just completely get cancelled. And then my fourth quarter started looking iffy. I was like, oh, man, I got to figure out a way to generate some revenue. And so I said, Okay, you know, let me you know, see what if I can put this together and pull this off and it came together. But the time is, is bittersweet and serendipitous simultaneously, because I think it’s the necessary conversation that we need to be having in this season is just unfortunate that this man had to lose his life. You know, in order for us to have this awakening.

SPEAKER 1 19:47

Well, first of all, I appreciate that and we’re going to make sure we have all the stuff about h ROI, all the information in there and the show notes. The side note, I’m about to get to something you said in a minute, but I’m going to tell you something as a pet peeve of mine is that people really think that like HR, because I say this as someone who used to be in human resources was the HR manager before I got into change management they got into like external client facing consulting is people really think that like, there’s some invisible hands at the top of every organization that forces leadership to hire black and brown people unqualified, black and brown. Like that’s just not like they, like, you know, affirmative action. Like, that’s the reason why they like that’s not how actually any of this works.

SPEAKER 3 20:24

No, and I’ve started to challenge that, because you never flip that on its head when you’re hiring white people. So I’ve started to challenge just when I hear that I just challenged the complete supremacy of that notion, because no one ever says, what about all the black and brown candidates that we’re overlooking by hiring this white dude, never, no one ever says that. So the fact that it comes out of your mouth to say that by hiring this highly qualified person of color, that you are somehow disenfranchising white people is like the epitome of the supremacist culture that just is deep in the underbelly of our organizations that we have to eradicate and get rid of 100 hire the person because you’re hiring them because they’re qualified isn’t no unqualified black and brown people sneaking into corporate America, spoiler alert is not happening, right? We are in 90% of the time overqualified for those positions and still underpaid. So the gate is not open with people sneaking in. It’s not happening.

SPEAKER 1 21:38

Well, I mean, here’s my, here’s my piece with this too, right is like, even when you talk about like hiring people, like how many times have we had these conversations? Or like, I’ve been in the rooms where people are getting hired, right? And like, we never go, well, we don’t want to hire that person. Because we were looking for diversity. Like, I haven’t even had those conversations. Like I’m like, they’re not passive, or aggressive or passive aggressive. They’re not, they’re not a, it’s not a thing that happens, and absolutely right. Like, I can’t, I can’t count, I’m not going to expose the people I’ve had these conversations with, but they’re like little red flags. When I talk to folks, they’re like, Well, you know, we want to make sure. And they kind of go, well, you know, we want to make sure that people aren’t getting promoted and hired for the right reasons. Like, what do you mean, what does that mean? What does that mean, and the front of the wild part about it is, you think that you’re honouring me and having a respectful conversation, when you say that to me? First of all, again, black and brown people hire for the wrong reasons, because black and brown people don’t get hired in rates that are even comparable, that you can even have an argument. But we all know that there’s plenty of white folks who get hired for the wrong reasons, they get hired, because they know somebody, they get hired, because really, again, because they have a network because they have something they have, like they have they went to a certain school doesn’t mean, they don’t know anything. So like, that’s not true.

SPEAKER 3 22:53

Like, oh, this person remind, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard in my career, you know, they remind me of me when I was a young, so if you can’t see me, and you don’t, and you don’t see that, you know, if I if I’m the black, brown, brown person, the woman, this white executive doesn’t look at me and see themselves in me. So they don’t excuse all of the behaviours and things they can’t relate to me whatsoever. I’m a unicorn. And that ends up you know, hurting us, you know, so tremendously. So yeah, over the years, and in human resources, I’ve absolutely had those same experiences and sat in rooms. And I’m just flabbergasted and hurt, you know, by the ignorance that that comes out of people’s mouths so comfortably. And I’m glad to be at a point in my career where I call it out on apologetically and without pause. And I’m regret regretful for the many, many years that I didn’t do it. And I think a lot of times about the people who I harmed because I feared saying something. Can I don’t know that I can go back and apologize to them all? But when I’ve had the opportunity, I definitely do. And definitely, you know, acknowledge that it happened and say, you know, not one further, I’m not doing it any more.

SPEAKER 1 24:24

100% I’m also thankful for me just coming to peace with the fact that like, Look, you know, your job, whatever, they’re going to fire you or they’re not going to fire you. So you might as well just, just be yourself, right? Live in the authenticity of your experience and your identity. And keep it moving from there. Um, you know, you made a lot of statements earlier about just your journey and creating your platform. I think about the fact that like, in a live in corporate is unique in that. Very rarely do we like come out and just like I’m not saying that you do this, but like we’re not necessarily antagonistic towards rifles, but like our very platform is seen as threatening to a lot of people Right, because we’re like, in certain ways, pretty respectable. And then we also have this network of folks and corporations, because of just the guests that we’ve had, that the company I work for. Most people on the face will smile. But the thing about it is, is that the more senior folks I talked to, the more nervous they are about me. Right? The more nervous they are not like, just the existence of what I do. And they’re quoting the questions around like, so what are you doing this for? Right? Like, why are you doing this? Like? I mean, the question is why I haven’t child paid me to do this for y’all like this, you know, I’m saying like, one, don’t ask me the fact that you even have to ask me why I’m doing this lets me know that. I should be doing it. And then two, I don’t have time to explain why I’m doing this. Because like, like, what are we doing here?

SPEAKER 3 25:49

What was funny about that? Yeah. And not funny in a in a good way? Is this colloquial funny, like, isn’t it funny is that there are so many white people who have whole side businesses. And nobody asks them those types of questions, I worked in a previous position and our payroll manager had ran an entire consulting business on the side, and took half days every Friday so that she could go and work with clients in her side business, and no one batted an eye. But here, I get a little podcast, and y’all want to ask me what I’m doing. And, you know, discourage me from posting in certain places, because you don’t want it to reflect bad on the company. And we got to talk about potential conflict of interest and all of these kinds of things. And you isn’t said nothing to her. And I know you isn’t said nothing to her, because I’m the one that does conflict of interest documents, because I’m an HR. So it’s like, what exactly is it that you’re concerned about? It’s ultimately fear of the conversations that we’re having that hear you are out here pushing for things, and, and a way of being that we know doesn’t exist here. And so at some point, that dissonance is going to cause a problem for us. And now, what do I do? And that’s all that that boils down to, and that’s not my problem. That’s your problem

SPEAKER 1 27:33

That is your problem solved. And I think its wild, because it’s like, the very reason that you’re frustrated or that you’re uncomfortable with the platform is the very reason that you need to have the conversations internally to fix the problem. Right?

SPEAKER 3 27:45

Right. Right. And I will much rather that you Buck up and have the conversation with me as uncomfortable as it might be, because then at least I can continue to hold like a base level of respect for you. But that you just kind of tippy toe around it. As though, you know, and say, Well, you know, you know, and all the hemming and hawing instead of just being like, yo, you out here talking about this stuff. And this really uncomfortable for me? I will that’s a conversation I can have. But I can’t have the Well, do you think that you could just refrain from posting it on LinkedIn.

SPEAKER 1 28:23

I am not reframing doggone thing and see, that’s why I get triggered because it’s like, Okay, first of all, y’all are already harming me at this job. So like, let’s have that conversation right now. Okay, you’re already harming me here. And now you want to police what I do outside of this job on platforms that you do not own. Okay, so now I’m not going to refrain from doing anything, right. I’m going to post what I want them to say what I’d like. And you know, what, if we need to have a discussion about separation? Let’s write that check. And I’ll leave, huh? You don’t say like, what are you talking about? Like, I’m not I guess like this is done. Like, and that’s, these are discussions I’ve been having. Not with my employer. But I have had with other people about just like the concept of being scared, right? Like, it’s like that, that part that stuff is done right? Is 2020 black blood has to be worth something. Okay? Like the black blood has been spilled in the streets from black Tran’s women get murdered for no doggone reason, by the state and by operatives of the state and by folks that look like us in hopes that don’t look like us. Black blood has to be worth something to black men and getting murdered by the state authorized by the state and also accomplices of the state. And you know what, in the blank blood still pumping in my body got to be worth something. So no, I’m going to say what I want. I’m not being disrespectful. I’m not being violent. I’m speaking truth to power which you find violent because you’re used to being the person whose inflicting violence. And so now when so now when someone calls your violence into account and your twisted mind you think that’s violence, but it’s not you’ve been right So like, I think, for me, like I’m really passionate about, like any work that really comes down to like dismantling systems and structures that are white supremacy in their structure and an origin right, I think, you know, you and I just run this panel. And I think for me, like what frustrated me in the moment was even now, you know, HR professionals in the HR space, and they’re trying to get into diversity and inclusion, or whatever it is, like, we’re still talking about race and racism in these abstract terms, almost like you walk into the loop, right? And you’re looking at some like, post-modernist sculpture. And we’re trying to define what post modernists mean, you’re rubbing your chin, and you’re going, I wonder what the artist meant by this, and what the artist meant by that. But instead of looking at a postmodern sculpture, looking at a black dead body, and you’re over here talking about, so what is white fragility? No, that’s not actually the discussion we need to be having right now. Right? Like, that’s not actually the conversation, the conversation right now is? Why is it that we’ve been so conditioned to be unmoved by black trauma? Why is it that we don’t look at people and see them as human beings? And I think like that same mind-set, then you say, okay, and where and how do we still maintain this attitude in the workplace? And what do we need to do from a policy and procedure and process perspective, to make sure that we are not carrying over those same systems of oppression and harm out there in this space? Like that, right? That’s where I really want us to go and like anytime I get invited to some spot, some platform, and we don’t talk about that, like you heard me on that that one, but anytime I’m in a space, and we don’t do that, I’m going to call that out, because that’s the conversation I believe we need to have.

SPEAKER 3 31:39

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And I think we have to get, because we’re still having these very surface level conversations that are all about tolerance, and assimilating, and, you know, defining things. And instead, as you said, we need we need to actually be moving to the point where we acknowledge in full awareness, the harm that we have done, and commit fully, to finding ways to stop harming, harming them psychologically, harming them financially, we need to start finding ways to stop causing that harm.

SPEAKER 1 32:27

You know, and so for me, like, I really want to give you more space, because I know and I, you know, I know, we’ve been talking for a minute, but I want to give you more space, one more time to talk about a try. And then again, like, as you talk about that, like, what are some practical ways you think HR can reaffirm and reduce harm of black and brown people in this space? And like, where do you think HR stands today in that, that work?

SPEAKER 3 32:51

Yeah, today, we, overall are nowhere in that work. Because the vast majority of human resources, professionals simply are not equipped to have that conversation. There are so many words, so many who after the incident with the murder, of George Floyd, I don’t even want to call it an incident because this is the murder of George Floyd occurred, went on this whole, all lives matter. We respect everybody statements, these Very Vanilla, very bland statements, instead of coming out very firmly in the camp of this is completely unacceptable. This is completely against what we stand for, as an organization. We know that our black employees are hurting, we know that black people are dying. And we are going to do whatever we can as an organization to support the eradication of supremacy because we believe Black Lives Matter. It was just unbelievable how much argument there was and how much disagreement there was among human resources professionals as to whether or not this is even a space that we need to be getting ourselves into. And so in that regard, I continue to say we’re nowhere. So what we have to do to get started and let me back up and say, I don’t want to vilify HR, I love my profession. The challenge with human resources that I see is that many organizations do not put people in charge of Human Resources who are classically trained in human resources. You would not put some finance who had never for, you know, created a profit and loss sheet, or had any type of education surrounding how accounting is supposed to happen, you would rarely put someone in charge of sales who did not have experience in sales or operate. But for whatever reason, we continue to think that it’s okay to take the office manager. And I would argue that, in this time, human resources and how you structure your people operations, is just far too important to leave to just any old body. And so we’ve got to be honest about that. Because when you have people in the profession, who don’t have the background, and dare I say, classical training, and then don’t force them too, to get caught up on that, then you’re automatically going to have problems with those individuals being ready and prepared to handle these sorts of incidents and move the organization forward, and you’re going to have problems, because they don’t know what to do. When someone comes to them and says that they’ve been micro aggressed, they don’t know what to do when someone comes to them and says that they’ve been harassed or accuses the organization of discriminating against them, or says that they found out that they make, you know, 20% less than their white male counterpart, and they want an explanation as to why when you have not been trained, and you don’t have traditional human resources, education, you don’t know what to do. So you know, neighbour, who you hire to be your office manager, who’s now your manager of HR is not equipped to handle those sorts of issues. And that’s going to get your organization into a ton of trouble, legally, and culturally, that you just don’t want. So that’s where, for me, it really starts is we have to be honest about, you know, the ways in which people come to HR value that we place on that function within the organization. I think organizations, here’s where, like capitalism, and supremacy, intersect, like, you know, they’re evil spawns wins, anyway, and human resources as a function. When you look back on the history of the profession, and how it has evolved, it has evolved out of the need for administration surrounding people that came out of the labour movements. So organizations were already mistreating people, making them work in unsafe conditions, not paying them a minimum wage, not paying them, you know, over time, letting children you know, work in factories and things like that, and the labour movement, change those things. And that’s really where you saw Human Resources get its start. So we became part of corporate structure out of a need that was anticapitalist. So didn’t nobody want HR to begin with? And then we stick women in charge of it. And isn’t nobody going to listen to a woman either. So you’re going to take women and put them in charge of the thing that the organization inherently doesn’t want to do, because of the way the capitalist structures work, and then wonder why is not working. And then you enter, you know, people of color and other marginalized identities, those tend to be the people who are in charge of HR, and isn’t nobody trying to listen to them. When capitalism says, we don’t want to do that anyway. Right. So it was all really, I want to say doomed to fail, but definitely don’t struggle from its inception. But now we’ve reached a point as we look towards the future of work and what I think will be our next revolution from a labour perspective with where people are demanding equity where people are demanding more flexibility and more support for their whole humanity. I think that’s the place that we’re going to see work go in the future because people just are not with us anymore of work in like, a Hebrew slave making bricks out of straw and mud for pennies, and two weeks off, right. So as we start to see that be the direction. Now you have to have somebody at the helm of your organization who can understand how to balance capitalism with humanity, which are too couldn’t be more two contrary.

SPEAKER 1 40:10

They are just so diametrically opposed. Yeah. And I think like there’s like this push for like chairman’s, like the police, right? Oh, yeah. Right, like Sherman

SPEAKER 3 40:20

And I will say that it’s always been this way, but Sherman at a national level right now is so off course, from where it was going and where it should be. From a people perspective, there is nothing about that organization in this time that shows that it’s prepared to lead in this time. So and it’s a shame, It’s a shame that here it is, you know, led by black man and so completely without a moral compass with varsity equity or inclusion, and by the way, within its own ranks, is in complete disarray. And that shows in terms of what it is that they’re putting out there you have a CEO, who is serving on three committees of this racist administration right now. Sit in on USA Today weekly, right, answering questions about how to create equitable workplaces and how to address immigration issues. Are you kidding me? So never mind the fact that here we are in the middle of a pandemic, and they are mandating their employees to go into their office

SPEAKER 1 41:39

It’s wild because as I recall when Sherm because it was kind of messy, right when like HRCI, insurance split.

SPEAKER 3 41:48

But yeah, when they broke up,

SPEAKER 1 41:51

Right, and so that’s when I remember so Oh, snap sherm. Okay, because I already had my PHR. I automatically got that Sherm certification, and all I had to do was take like that 15 Minute.

SPEAKER 3 41:58

Yeah, you had to do that webinar.

SPEAKER 1 41:59

Whatever the thing was right. And so I remember that, Oh, well, it’s like a legitimate, like, you know, stand up, look at like, look at this, this is great. And it just, But to your point, like, over the past four or five years, I’ve just noticed, like this pivot, and also in the rhetoric, but also in the emails that I used to get, because, again, I was a part of Sharon. And so emails obligate just like this more and more like pushing for policies and legislation that we’re not that we’re not advantageous to employees across the board, but certainly not supportive of black and brown employees at work. And so I was just like, what is this? And then on top of that, yeah, like, you know, you look at their latest little bit of the AI stuff and like, So to be clear, like, I got an email because I just, you know, just like a lot of stuff, you get subscribed, like you forget that you’re on those subscription lists, right? So I got the email talking about, you know, what would you like to see that Shawn would do from a when it comes to diversity inclusion. And I just emailed the person, I found them on LinkedIn, I was like, Hey, I got an automated email. And, you know, this is what I think you need to do you need to work with live in corporate, we create this type of content, that’s what you need to work on. And you know, of course, I didn’t get a response. And then a couple days later, they dropped the whole you know, write something on your arm and take a picture, whatever that nonsense was. And so yeah, this is this is not this is not bagged on Sherm time, even though I think I’m sure I’m sure is the police. So like, and I don’t, I do not mess with police. And I do not mess with police organizations. But I do think that like, if we don’t have a radical, like reimagining of what HR is going to be, essentially, like, we’re going to continue this path forward. Now. We’ll see what happens, maybe that’ll shift and change. But like, irrespective of that, it’s just sad. And it’s frustrating because there’s so many black and brown folks who just myself included, who just have yet to really see HR act in a way or mobilize organizational justice. Typically, they toe the company line, and really reinforce the harm that is enacted by the senior most people in charge because it’s senior, most people in charge run the business. Right now, like we’ve been talking for like an hour, so we don’t get up out of here. Y’all. This has been Zach Lim corporate, like you know, we do, right. Okay, every single week. Until next time, you’ve been listening to Zach, and you’ve been listening to Sarah Morgan, co executive leader coach, you know, all around dope, individual peace. And we’re back Look, I’m really, really excited. I’m thankful for all the growth we’ve been able to achieve this year. Right? We got Westwood One, we launched a new podcast, we launched some web shows. We’ve done a lot. We’ve done a lot. Got some sponsorships. Like we’re actually we’re cooking y’all like we’re actually growing and that’s because of y’all. You know, selfishly I have to admit as challenging and exhausting as Tony has been for me personally, live in corporate seeing some incredible growth. And that isn’t possible without you. So I want to thank you. Now if you’re listening to this, and this is your first time listening or this is let’s just say she’d like your 20 of time listening. And you haven’t given us five stars on Apple podcasts. I need you to stop what you’re doing. Pull over to the side of the Row, you know, I’m saying keep your mask on. But just go on a little apple app. And just you know, I’m saying give us five stars. Don’t give us four. Don’t be a hater. Give us five stars. Share it with a friend or two. You know, I’m saying and get back to you day night. All right. We’ll be back soon. Catch y’all later, peace.

SPEAKER 4 45:25

Living corporate is a podcast, living corporate LLC. Our logo was designed by David Dawkins. Our theme music was produced by Ken Burns. Additional music production by Anton Franklin for musical elevation. Post production is handled by Jeremy Jackson. Got a topic suggestion. Email us at living corporate You can find us online on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and living dash Thanks for listening. Stay tuned.

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