At the 2013 Human Capital Leadership Forum in Chicago on May 30, Linal Harris, Chief Diversity Officer, U.S. Cellular Corporation, shared his thoughts about possible blind spots in human resources in a fireside chat with senior executive and thought leader Rita Trehan. During the discussion, “The Ripple Effect of Blind Spots in HR,” Harris noted that many HR professionals view a business as slightly detached from its customers. However, he stated that HR officials must understand how a company interacts with its clients, as this may help a business profit for years to come.
In addition, Harris recognized that diversity is important in the workplace for numerous reasons: “Diversity in itself is about inclusive leadership. You can go to a lot of different places, but let’s talk about a blind spot. I think when you think about diversity, the normal stuff comes up. You have race and gender – that’s what comes up. One of the things we really began [studying] at U.S. Cellular is [that it’s] important and we want to make sure that we keep an eye on that, but what we noticed from running some generational workforce reports is that we had not been keeping an eye on our millennials.” Harris stated that if HR professionals can engage a workforce, however, these specialists can help construct a collaborative work environment.
HR experts are important contributors to a business, and Harris said that those who understand their roles can help a company reach new heights: “I think HR, no matter what role you play in HR, because of what we do for an organization, it’s a leadership role.” While many business executives may focus exclusively on data, HR specialists can help a business shape its strategy by engaging a workforce to help team members thrive for extended periods of time.