“Putting the Human Back into Human Resources” TEDx Talk Highlights Cost of Employee Disengagement, Encourages Believing in People at Work

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Discussing the value of appreciating colleagues and direct reports, Mary Schaefer’s recent TEDx Wilmington talk discusses the importance of “Putting the Human Back into Human Resources.” She encourages treating employees humanly to foster greater engagement, productivity and commitment in organizations.

When we as human beings are treated as if we are capable of more, we rise to the occasion.

According to the Gallup’s 2013 “State of the American Workforce” report, active employee disengagement is costing the U.S. $450 to $550 billion a year. To help businesses increase productivity and profits and bolster employee engagement, talent management consultant Mary Schaefer recently offered a TEDx Wilmington talk on “Putting the Human Back into Human Resources.”

Schaefer distinguished the difference between companies treating people humanely and humanly. For example, to treat people humanely is to offer bathroom breaks and water fountains. To treat people humanly would mean to respond to the human needs to feel appreciated, to belong and to feel a sense of contribution.

“When human beings are treated as if they are capable of more, they rise to the occasion,” Schaefer said. “The more human needs are met, engagement increases —meaning that employees want to be there and are willing to go the extra mile even when no one is looking. Higher engagement is linked to increased profitability.”

In the same 2013 report, Gallup, which studies employees and organizations, states that 70 percent of American workers are disengaged, including 20 percent who are actively disengaged, serving to undermine companies’ success and growth.

A talent development specialist and principal of her own business, Artemis Path, Inc., Schaefer's mission is to help both organizations and employees thrive by working with what motivates humans beings at work. The sold-out TEDx Wilmington 2014 event focused on “The Roots of Change,” bringing together creators, catalysts, entrepreneurs, artists, technologists, designers, scientists, thinkers and doers to offer positive ideas. TED, Technology, Education, Design, offers live global events, an active online community and global initiatives designed to enhance the world.

“What I want to ask you today is to make a commitment to take responsibility to honor someone’s worth at work,” Schaefer concluded. “We all want to feel appreciated, like we belong and like we make a difference.”

“Putting the Human Back into Human Resources” can be viewed at:

About Mary Schaefer
Co-author of “The Character-Based Leader,” Schaefer is a talent development consultant who owns Artemis Path, Inc., a coaching, training and consulting business specializing in talent management, change management and workplace interactions; she works with Fortune 500 companies and local businesses alike. She is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR).

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Mary Schaefer
since: 11/2008
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Artemis Path, Inc.

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