CEO's LetterNewsNotes from the President

CEO’s Letter: Recognition on Impact

Honoring HR for two years of awesome performance while facing adversity.

By Elliot Clark

It’s only fitting that in an issue where we feature the Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Ratings™ for recognition (see page 14) that we also feature a preview of the upcoming HRO Today Forum. A large part of the HRO Today Forum this year will be the recognition and celebration of the positive impact of HR. Our intention (as of press time) is to hold the event live in Chicago with social distancing and other precautions as prescribed at that time.

While we recognize the need to monitor the ongoing situation with the COVID-19 delta variant, we believe that we can do so safely because we are mandating that every attendee attest to being fully vaccinated (two weeks post final injection) during registration. I encourage employers to consider the same policy of vaccine mandates, and while it may engender some short-term pain, it will lead to long term gain.

Back to the event: We will be spending significant time on CHRO of the Year Awards, the Talent Acquisition Leader of the Year Awards, and the Most Admired Employer Brand Awards. Why so much recognition? Because the HR community has earned it and because the HR community deserves it. The HR community has just been through a two-year grist mill -so let’s celebrate the positive contribution of HR. Any questions?

At the start of the pandemic, no one turned to the head of logistics and asked, “What do we do about remote workforces?” No one asked the head of sales, “What should we do about diversity and inclusion?”, after the social unrest of last summer. No one asked the head of engineering, “How do we engage our current staff and care for our furloughed colleagues?” The major crises of the past 24 months all fell into HR’s lap. Before any healthcare worker or first responder stepped into an emergency room or stood a post, an HR leader was up at night thinking about how to keep employees safe from infection and ways to discuss these troubling topics publicly.

In the midst of all this pain, all of this loss, and all of this anxiety, there was a silver lining. It was executive leadership teams in all industries all over the globe recognizing the importance, the impact and the professionalism of HR. Yes, HR is a profession just like accounting, architecture, law, and medicine. And in the past 18 months, the recognition of the importance of HR professionals was on display in a global crucible of adversity.

So, it’s time to gather safely and collectively congratulate each other. It’s time to remember colleagues and friends who are absent, but more so to celebrate those that helped organizations get through the pandemic, the employees supported, the furloughed workers rehired and the recognition of the importance of HR. And of course there will be a bar open in the back of the ballroom -that always helps smooth out those rough edges from the last year. Let’s take a moment when the HR community can gather as a community and take a quiet, but collective bow.

I hope to see you all -if you are vaccinated -in Chicago at the HRO Today Forum, September 13-15 (

Elliot H. Clark, CEO

Tags: July August 2021

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