Soundbite: This is HR’s time to ‘influence and use our voice’

Jo Deal, chief human resources officer of software company LogMeIn, has always believed the role of HR leaders was important to an organization. But the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with social unrest, is making her recognize that more than ever.

“I always thought my job was as important around the executive table … but at this point in time, it’s at a more macro-social level.”

To be sure, when the coronavirus outbreak first popped up earlier this year, Deal says she met several times a day with the company’s chief executive officer and general counsel to figure out company strategies and logistics, like moving employees remote. Months later, she still meets daily with them about coronavirus issues, how to help employees and so on. Diversity and inclusion is now an important topic, too, in light of recent social unrest and nationwide protests.

Related: COVID, social unrest prompting ‘real change’ from HR

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Deal says that HR professionals need to be a voice on those topics and a leader in their organization. And it’s a time for human resource professionals to step up and prove their worth to other company leaders.

With the dual roles of tackling social justice issues in the workplace and helping employees through COVID-19, “there’s definitely a platform right now for HR to be leading [those] conversations around the executive table,” she says. “We have the ability to influence and use our voice.”

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Kathryn Mayer
Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s former benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver.