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 Management, Training & Development

HR Roundtable: Performance Management vs. Professional Development

HR round table

The August HR Roundtable in Cincinnati took a stab at the age-old HR conundrum of Performance Management vs. Professional Development.

The forum took the focus of development as its launching point, but the conversation inevitably fell back into what we know and practice. It was a really interactive session and the attendees started with these brain teasers to get conversation going.

The questions: Read more…

HR Insights, HR Management

HR Roundtable: How to Make Change Sustainable


As the summer heat started to take hold, the HR Roundtable in Cincinnati gathered to take on the ever elusive topic of “How to Make Change Sustainable.”

Change, and change agent, have become terms that are thrown around in HR to the point of being ineffective catchphrases. The Roundtable was going to take a different approach to “change” to see if they could come up with ideas that put some substance to this topic which could be translated into action within companies.

So, the small groups started with the following questions: Read more…

HR Insights, HR Management

HR Roundtable: The Many Challenges of Post-Recession Recruiting

HR round table

The HR Roundtable in Cincinnati took on a different buzz than normal this month because we were jumping into a hot topic.

The group gathered to tackle “Post Recession Recruiting.” The recruiting landscape has definitely changed since the Great Recession, and it appears to be on the verge of shifting again.

To sate the excitement of the attendees, they took on the following questions:

  1. How has recruiting changed since the recession?
  2. Why should companies care about the candidate experience?
  3. How can both sides (candidates and employers) get better at recruiting? Read more…
HR Insights, HR Management

HR Roundtable: Making Ethics, Mission and Vision Come Alive


You could tell that Spring was in the air as people began to gather for the May HR Roundtable in Cincinnati.

The attendees were excited to talk about the topic of “Making Ethics, Mission and Vision Come Alive in Your Organization.” The focus of everything was to see what we could suggest so that these weren’t just pretty statements hanging on a wall or stuffed deep inside an employee handbook.

To get started, the small groups took on the following questions: Read more…

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…