6 of the Best Quotes from HR Leaders in the First Half of 2020


A good quote is more than the content of your office decorations or fodder for your social media feed, it can be words and principles to live by.

We’ve all heard a good one in our time, but in times of crisis, these are amplified and ring true in ways they may not otherwise have done. The good ones stick with us even more and have the power to inspire us to be better, achieve new things and help others get through these times. With HR professionals facing some challenges they won’t have been prepared for coming into 2020, we thought it’d be good to share some of our favorite quotes from this year so far.

  1. Eric Torigian, Vice President and Assistant Head of Global HR for Akebono Brake Corporation

“I think this is the beginning of the most exciting period we’ve ever been part of. People are going to figure out how to pour their passion into it. The world has been getting ready for this for a while. We’ve been moving to an online world, a gig economy, toward remote work groups. In the next 20 or 30 years, this world is going to change a lot and people are going to come back to this time and ask ‘who were the people that made the difference?’ I think they’re going to look at HR people and say they’re the ones who led us through this.”

  1. Ben Whitter, Author and Founder of the World Employee Experience Institute

“In my view, the workplace has never been a building. It’s the spaces and places that enable our best work. We have lots of choice in this regard. It has taken something like COVID-19 to force through a mindset shift, yet the goals of great businesses have not really changed. We want people to be at their best and deliver their best work. Any option or choice that helps with that is in scope.”

  1. Darren Murph, Head of Remote for Gitlab in an interview with HREN

“In a remote setting, culture = values. There should be no unwritten rules in remote culture. Intentional documentation is essential to avoiding dysfunction within a remote company, and this also applies to culture. It may sound counterintuitive, but there is great value in putting process and structure around culture. For example, if a company has an unlimited vacation policy, but has no suggestions or process around it, you may create a culture of fear with regard to taking time off. It’s important for leadership to set the tone, but it’s even more important to document what will define your culture. Each time a scenario arises where there is no clearly defined answer, look to your company values to determine the answer, and then document.”

  1. Sarah Johnson, Vice President of Enterprise Surveys and Analytics at Perceptyx

“I think this is a moment of reckoning for organizations and leaders,” Sarah Johnson, Vice President of Enterprise Surveys and Analytics at Perceptyx said. “Companies that haven’t invested in their employees or thought about the value of engaging employees in the past are now reaping what they’ve sown versus organizations that have always invested in their employees and built their capabilities. Those companies can now rely on that bank of engagement capital and their employees will do what it takes to get the organization through this.”

  1. Jan van der Hoop, President Fit First Technologies

“Things are not going back to the way they were. Business will be done differently on the other side of this. More people will work from home, permanently. People will not converge the way they did. They won’t travel, commute or take mass transit in the way they did, at least not for a long time. People will consume and spend differently. All of these things have implications to almost every aspect of your business. Now is your golden opportunity to think through how you could shift, change, restructure, re-staff to be ready for when things turn around. Which they surely will, in surprising, scary and uneven ways. Fasten your seatbelt.”

  1. Jeffrey Moss, CEO of Parker Dewey in an interview with Forbes

“Companies are finding new ways of harnessing remote work. One is recruiting –using remote work as a mutual “test drive,” to identify, assess, and connect with prospective candidates, especially career launchers in college or recently graduated.”

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