Steve Browne

Steve Browne, SPHR, is the Executive Director of Human Resources for LaRosa's, Inc., a regional pizzeria restaurant chain in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana with 18 locations and over 1,400 team members. Steve has been an HR professional for more than 20 years in the manufacturing, consumer products, and professional services industries. He also facilitates a monthly HR Roundtable in Cincinnati and runs an Internet message board for HR pros that reaches 5,700 people weekly. Contact him at

Articles by Steve Browne

HR Insights, HR Management

HR Roundtable: How HR Approaches Behavior in the Workplace


As attendees at the April HR Roundtable in Cincinnati began to gather for the monthly forum, you could tell they were excited about this month’s topic.

We were going to be discussing “Behavior at Work and HR’s Approach.” To get the ball rolling, Steve opened with the following questions:

  1. How do you define “behavior” in the workplace?
  2. Why do HR/Supervisors/Management struggle with behavior?
  3. How can we change our perspective and approach? Read more…
HR Basics, HR Management

HR Roundtable: The Challenges Handling Religion in the Workplace


The February HR Roundtable in Cincinnati met under a “cloud” because January’s Roundtable was canceled due to the serious winter weather – not because the topic of “Religion in the Workplace.” (or so Steve hoped !)

This topic could become very divisive and heated, but Steve encouraged the attendees to look at this from some different angles.

Here are the three questions the small groups took on:

  1. What misconceptions do people have about religion in the workplace?
  2. What’s the difference between tolerance and being knowledgeable? Read more…
HR Management

HR Roundtable: Just What Is Performance Management, Anyway?

HR round table

Steve wanted to end 2013 on a high note with the HR Roundtable in Cincinnati, so he made sure there had a juicy topic to discuss.

The topic was this — “Just what is Performance Management?”  This drew a very engaged group of folks who wanted to dive in and discuss this emotion-filled area of HR.

The small groups were tasked with answering the following questions:

  1. How do you define “performance management?” Read more…
HR Insights, HR Management

HR Roundtable: What Is Talent – and Why Aren’t We More Focused On It?


The word “talent” gets thrown around rather easily in the HR community.

In fact, in some corners it’s become more of a catchphrase versus an actual focus. Because of that, the November HR Roundtable in Cincinnati decided to tackle this topic and give it the bones/context it deserves.

We started with the basics and built from there. Here’s where we began: Read more…

HR Insights, HR Management

HR Roundtable: Getting a Fix on the Value of Workplace Communication

HR round table

Every time the HR Roundtable in Cincinnati gathers, the subject of “Communication” comes up during the discussion.

Ironically, no one really knows what that word means because everyone has their own definition or perspective on the subject.

For the October HR Roundtable, we tried to peel back the layers to see if we could find some common ground to work from by seeing if we could quantify the “Value of Communication!”

To get started, the small groups tackled the following discussion starters:

  1. What are the common obstacles and excuses regarding communication in companies? Read more…
HR Insights, HR Management

HR Roundtable: Why Don’t We Focus More on Generational Strengths?


It has been literally months since the last HR Roundtable summary, and I want to thank you for the short respite. Please note that the forum is still strong and growing, but I needed a few months to recharge.

So in September, the HR Roundtable in Cincinnati reconvened to once again tackle the hot topics of HR! This month’s topic was Generational Strengths. Did you catch that? The focus was on what makes us great together vs. what differentiates us.

Steve opened  the discussion with a true brain teaser — When did we start having people from different generations in the workplace at the same time?

The answer is FOREVER! This is not a new issue, but those of us in HR treat it as this amazing revelation that people who are at different ages are working together. We need to discontinue the “dichotomy” approach of the generations and come together. Read more…

HR Management

HR Roundtable: The Challenge in Dealing With Creative People


The May HR Roundtable in Cincinnati took a significant turn to address something that is discussed in closed offices and hallways, but rarely in the open.

The topic was, “How do we deal with those creative people at work?”

The challenge in this topic is that creative people look for, and expect CHANGE when most companies what employees to just CONFORM. The small groups tackled the following questions to get everything started: Read more…

HR Management

HR Roundtable: Networking Do’s, Don’t's, and Handling Creepy People

HR round table

Networking. To be honest, most people are horrible at it.

The vast majority of people network out of necessity, but few do it consistently. It is a needed business skill, so why do people struggle with it so much?

The HR Roundtable in Cincinnati gathered in April to take this on. They started with the following questions to get discussion going:

  1. What do you do about creepy people?
  2. What are networking “Don’ts?
  3. What are networking “Do’s?” Read more…
HR Management

HR Roundtable: The Struggle With Defining Employee Engagement


The people gathering for the March HR Roundtable in Cincinnati were faced with “change” because Steve was called away for a great event recognizing one of his Team Members, so his best friend and mentor, Fred Eck, stepped in to tackle the topic of defining Employee Engagement.

To get the discussion kicked off, the following questions were posed:

  1. How does your organization define and implement “engagement?”
  2. What are we doing wrong when it comes to employee engagement?
  3. What could we do better? Read more…
HR Insights, HR Management

HR Roundtable: How Do We Integrate HR Throughout the Organization?


While the attendees bustled into the room for the February HR Roundtable in Cincinnati, you could feel that it was going to be a very lively discussion!

The forum was tackling a tough topic this month by looking at “How do we integrate HR throughout the organization?” The fact that HR is siloed in most companies makes this difficult. So, the following questions were posed to see what would come out:

  1. Why isn’t HR integrated in companies?
  2. What actions does HR do to shoot itself in the foot?
  3. How can we turn this around and integrate HR? Read more…