By Andi Kezh and Sumon Ray
As the Director of Human Resources (HR) at The Task Force, Slavomira “Cici” Roberts MBA, SHRM-CP, is constantly looking for creative ways to support public health professionals. Born in the Czech Republic, Cici immigrated to the United States in 2000. She received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Business Administration from Mercer University, and worked as Operations Manager and then Director of HR at the National Association of Chronic Diseases Directors before joining The Task Force in 2020.
We caught up with her to learn more about her role and evolving workplace trends :
What do you enjoy most about your work?
What I love about HR is that the field is constantly changing, growing and evolving. I enjoy supporting employees and collaborating on different projects with them. I love finding ways to create a workplace culture that makes employees want to come to work and where they continue to grow professionally. There is never a dull moment in HR. Our small but mighty HR team has to tackle a variety of matters including change management, performance management, recruitment, implementing DEIB, training and development, engagement and retention practices, and constantly finding a balance between organization needs and employee needs, and so much more. Being a part of the leadership team at The Task Force has allowed the HR team to have a seat at the table as the voice for the employees. I hope that this role will give me the ability to assist with creating new solutions that benefit both The Task Force and employees within our organizational culture through proactive and strategic methods.
What are some challenges within the field of HR?
I started at The Task Force in June 2020, which was quite a challenging time for any organization. Since 2020, the whole field of HR has been met with many challenges. From navigating virtual work, managing issues around COVID-19 (difficulties such as childcare and sick leave), to supporting employees through returning to the office, managing retention and engagement; it sometimes feels that we are in an ongoing storm. We experienced Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting and the Great Rebalance might be next. Fun stuff 🙂
What are some of your proudest accomplishments at The Task Force?
I am really proud of the strong HR team we have built. We call ourselves the “HR Queens.” Our team values are Inclusivity, Integrity and Impact. While supporting staff through the pandemic has been difficult, we have accomplished a lot. I think we have excelled in keeping people together through the creation of initiatives like CREW (Creating a Really Engaging Workplace) and CODE (Council for Opportunity, Diversity, and Equity). For example, CREW is designed to create opportunities for community and belonging, collaboration and service for the cultivation of staff culture and connections within The Task Force. CODE is a staff-led employee resource group committed to creating a more equitable and inclusive workplace for employees through education, discussion, and action, and HR works closely with CODE as we lead Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging initiatives.
What is your favorite part about working for The Task Force?
The people, of course. I love the diversity of our employees and teams, and the overall culture of our workplace. I am glad when staff feel safe and comfortable enough to come to the HR team for questions, and to raise issues or concerns so we can have productive conversations and work towards solutions. There is a great level of trust between employees that allows us to think about ways to continually improve our work environment and see what needs to be changed. I am also inspired by the overall mission of The Task Force that brings together a group of professionals with the same goal to eliminate diseases and strengthen health systems to protect people globally, which is extremely impactful and humbling to be a part of.
What kind of legacy do you want to leave at The Task Force?
That’s a great question. I am still figuring out my legacy at The Task Force. But, when I leave the organization, at some future point, I would like to be remembered as someone who believed in others, persisted to do the right thing, and treated people with integrity and kindness. Someone who made a positive impact in people’s professional lives and empowered others to grow and be successful.
What is your advice to someone wanting to pursue a career in HR?
My advice would be “Just Do It”! Find a mentor that can help you navigate the always changing HR field, decide what kind of certifications you need, and what speciality you’d like to enter. Whoever wants to join the HR field, won’t regret it. Working in HR will give you the opportunity to help others to grow professionally, impact the workplace and co-create culture where people can thrive.