Creating a Culture of Care at HR Retreat 2022

Thursday, September 8, 2022 - 9:10 am
Biz Ghormley

As the HR Retreat approaches each year, I crave hummus. Perhaps because we opened the first Council on Foundations and CHANGE Philanthropy HR Summit (now HR Retreat) in 2016 with dinner at a Mediterranean restaurant in San Francisco. The mezze was amazing; the night was full of curiosity. Who were all these new people? What would we uncover together with Human Resources and operations leads from foundations across the U.S.? What was possible for us as a group?

After six years as a participant and facilitator, I still come to the annual event with curiosity. The HR Retreat is a space to take a step back and see the big picture as we strive to align ourselves with our ambitions, to be accountable to our dreams, and to find tools to make them real. It is a community where you can connect socially and dig in deeply with peers on the practical stuff that stumps us. Together, we examine everything through a lens of equity as we inquire about ourselves and our work. Each year I wonder, What will we reveal?

This year's agenda has been deeply informed by HR professionals on the frontlines. We surveyed the HR landscape to keep your voices at the center and heard from you that in 2022, care, justice, and feasibility are the hot topics. We aim for each session to offer practical methods and tools to operationalize around this constellation of priorities.

We will focus on building a culture of belonging and care, developing and engaging the shifting workforce, and integrating equity across the HR landscape. Expertise will be shared from those doing the work and those looking at the macro picture on important issues, including pay equity, disability in the workplace, how to engage the hybrid/remote/in-person office and its implications, what it looks like to meaningfully retain staff of color in the era of the Great Resignation, how to move beyond the baseline of compliance and toward robust values alignment, and so much more.

Across it all, we hope to be fortified by community space and connection. We will ask together: How do we ensure HR isn't just a function that cares for others, but one that's led by folks receiving the care they need as well?

This year's event will also be informed by the upcoming release of two critical research tools to aid our work towards equity in HR:

  • The Council on Foundations' Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Report, due to be released this month, highlights the state of staff compensation and composition structures for U.S. foundations. Email to receive updates when the 2022 Key Findings and the full report are published.
  • The CHANGE Philanthropy Diversity in Philanthropic Professionals (DAPP) first-ever qualitative research report, connected to the 2020 DAPP quantitative research, already available. The DAPP Qualitative Report underscores the critical role HR plays in the structural, organizational, and individual experience of equity at grantmaking institutions (follow CHANGE for updates on this report).

I look forward to the HR Retreat and to catching up with colleagues and digging into hard questions together. Over six years, the attendee community has grown and fortified. Some of the people I ate hummus and babaganoush with in San Francisco are still there each year. Many new folks have joined each year with fresh questions and perspectives. 

From the beginning, HR Retreat has been grounded in the conviction that Human Resources, as a function and a community, is critical to the world we aim to co-create. We know that external efforts will never be enough if we cannot effectively model our values in our internal work. I hope to see you there September 8-9, 2022, to dig in together and remain curious to see what will emerge!

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