Home Most Inspiring Leaders to Watch 2024 Navigating the HR Landscape: A 30-Year Journey of Learning, Adapting, and Leading Change

Navigating the HR Landscape: A 30-Year Journey of Learning, Adapting, and Leading Change

Navigating the HR Landscape: A 30-Year Journey of Learning, Adapting, and Leading Change

As an esteemed leader at the forefront of Human Resources innovation, Amanda Bailey brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. With a career spanning over three decades in HR management and labor relations, Amanda has navigated the ever-evolving landscape of workforce dynamics with agility and foresight. Her journey from an individual contributor to a strategic HR leader has been marked by a commitment to learning, adaptability, and driving positive change within organizations. In this exclusive interview with Biz Tech Outlook, Amanda shares insights into her remarkable career trajectory, her vision for leveraging technology in HR, and the transformative impact of AI on the future of work.

Our readers would be very much interested about you and your journey, could you please share it with us?

My career has spanned 30 years in Human Resources – starting as an individual contributor in the profession and specialized later in HR Management and Labor Relations. I moved into the non-profit sector and developed my career over the past two decades in education. With rapid change in HR, my career journey has been a unique, non-linear, developmental experience. For example, I traveled across the US extensively over the years and resided within different regions across the US to expand my skills and experiences. My willingness to travel has helped me to learn more about how diverse and rich our cultures are across our country. My hope is to travel internationally as our workforce expands globally. In addition, I really enjoy researching and learning about new HR trends that advance the future workforce. Being at the forefront of HR allows me to constantly be ready to lead change, create new ideas, ways of thinking about HR in organizations, and how HR can retain multiple generations in the workforce.

Being a leader in a Human Resources office, how do you see AI and how are you planning to utilize technology?

We are assessing all functions across HR to learn how Generative AI can enable faster response time for HR services to all members of our community. Using GenAI, we believe HR policies, procedures, operational guides, and other administrative tasks (such as ChatBot services) will more readily enable our community members to receive faster and better service delivery to meet their needs. These improvements will reduce processing time, so HR colleagues can focus more on delivering strategic services that improve workforce planning and organizational development needs.

The pandemic has changed the work culture. How has it shaped work productivity?

One irreversible workplace trend post pandemic has been establishing a hybrid work schedule across most industries. With enabled technology, the traditional work week and related norms (such as building community only in person) have been disrupted. Consequently, workplace culture has been redefined with new workforce norms. Employees can meet at different work locations instead of only one work location, and meetings can occur virtually and not only in person. Meetings at the workplace now include time for connection among employees, intentionally focusing team efforts to collaborate on initiatives, projects, and sustaining their relationships with other team members, and these moments and experiences have improved productivity. We’ve learned also that there is a need to balance frequent connection to other colleagues to prevent loneliness and a decline in work productivity. These norms have created a model for successful hybrid work. Reallocating workspaces to open space concepts are also an outcome that can be re-imagined for the current and future workforce needs. I anticipate more norms and new workforce changes will emerge to address the economic impact to local economies due to hybrid work.

What advice would you give to current & future generations of employees on how to develop their skills?

Understanding that skill development is an ongoing, iterative process, employees can benefit from doing their research to learn how to improve their interests in areas where they can uniquely contribute their talents. For example, someone who learns how to ski will learn unique skills alongside another colleague who learns how to speak a different language. Both experiences have a permanent, unique impact to that employee. The direct and indirect learning outcomes of each experience can only enrich career development by expanding personal and professional networks; advancing personal and professional brand identity; and, most significantly, acquiring new knowledge for each employee. While one may seem more relevant to the workplace, both opportunities are important to employee development. The imperative is to seek out learning in as many diverse ways as possible in order to improve personally and professionally.

What tips would you give to the HR industry to develop or set recruitment efforts in a fast-paced, evolving workforce?

Similar to strategic efforts in other HR functions, recruitment benchmarks must be conducted frequently within an industry sector and industry. Contextual data that compares similar industries, national or international, also offer greater insights for comparison. For recruitment in our industry sector, I think it’s important to standardize metrics for emerging employee population groups such as employees nearing retirement within five years, students within five years of graduation from high schools, GED graduates, students who didn’t complete their degrees, and internationally-based employees interested in relocating to the US for permanent employment.

Being able to create a talent management strategy that addresses labor shortages in specific industries is necessary now to address future workforce challenges. That means identifying and developing talent within workers who haven’t been looking for a specific role in a specific organization, but they possess unique skills and experiences that can contribute to that role. This is the responsibility of the entire organization and HR professionals are in the best position to use resources to lead such efforts and create positive organizational impact.

What is one thing you want to change if given a chance?

While there has been improvement in valuing HR post pandemic, I’d love to see that HR professionals continue to be considered for CEO or similar organizational leadership roles. People leaders are central to advancing an organization’s successful performance, and they have the talent to learn more and develop others as successfully as other functional leaders typically in finance, marketing, or IT.

Finally, what are your future endeavors and what is the philosophy that you use to keep yourself motivated?

With a keen interest to advance organizational performance, I’m always seeking to support strategic initiatives and outcomes for organizations with a strong purpose and mission. My energy and motivation are rooted in the believe that HR can create successful organizational performance when HR is viewed and treated as an enterprise-level partner.

“Enrich your journey, expand your networks, and advance your identity.”

“Recruitment in a fast-paced world: Contextual benchmarks for unique talent.”


 Website : www.bu.edu/com

 Management Team

 Amanda Bailey, Vice President for Human   Resources

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