In August 2021, Amanda Bailey joined Boston University as the Vice President of Human Resources. With a wealth of experience in the field, Amanda previously held the role of Vice President of Human Resources at Brown University as well as Associate Vice President and Acting Chief of Staff at Morehouse College. During the past two decades, Amanda has consistently taken on senior leadership positions in Human Resources at both secondary and post-secondary educational institutions. Amanda is a national board member of the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, the American Research Universities’ Human Resource Institute, the Skills for Rhode Island’s Future, the New England Human Resources Association, and the Society of Higher Education Human Resources Executive (SHERE). She also serves as the Chair of CUPA-HR’s Research Advisory Council and is a member of several local organizations, such as the Boston HR Council, and the Executive HR Roundtable by Evanta, a Gartner company. She is a member of SHRM’s Executive Network and served as a board member of the SHRM-Brevard County chapter.
Ms. Bailey frequently participates in various panel discussions as a thought leader to address human resources challenges and critical considerations for key trends impacting the workforce, future of work initiatives, and redefining the workplace environment and culture. Before joining the education industry, Ms. Bailey held HR positions at private and public organizations such as American Express and Region 1 of the National Labor Relations Board. When available, Amanda enjoys volunteering and traveling.
“I’ve been fortunate to be considered for expanded roles that allowed me to continue my career journey within and beyond human resources, particularly leadership roles that prepared me to lead other HR professionals effectively. Having the adaptability to relocate for more senior career roles has remained a hallmark to advance my career, which has led to exciting adventures for me and my loved ones”- she states.
Ms. Bailey earned her bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University. She also pursued a master’s degree in Human Resources Management and Labor Relations from the University of Rhode Island and has an additional certification in labor relations in education.
Ms. Bailey’s impressive professional accomplishments have garnered significant recognition in recent years. She was featured in the Leader Spotlight in 2021 through Profile Magazine, named one of the Top 10 Most Influential HR Executives to Watch in 2022 by CIOViews Magazine, and even graced the cover of Vision Magazine also in 2022. Most recently, Ms. Bailey was recognized as one of the Most Ambitious Women in Business in 2023 by Fortune’s Crown Magazine. Her success is rooted in her commitment to excellence and its impact on the lives of others, all while leading with empathy and humility. These core values have undoubtedly contributed to her influential status in human resources.
Motivating Creativity and Innovation
Ms. Bailey emphasizes the importance of maximizing automation for administrative tasks, which frees up much more time for knowledge work such as design thinking for initiatives, idea generation, and increased consultation. She also learned from her team that this work is crucial for individual and team development. In order to manage their time better, Ms. Bailey consistently encourages ways to eliminate manual and time-consuming administrative tasks that can be performed more efficiently and accurately through automation and digitization. By reducing the burden of administrative duties, more time is devoted to creative thinking, which helps to prevent employee burnout.
“With so much disruption impacting our time, it is easy to maintain a high level of interaction for long periods of time throughout each day, which is not sustainable on a long-term basis. I have found taking short (3-5 minute) breaks throughout the day gives me a chance to get away for a few minutes for a brief, necessary mental break,”- explains Ms. Bailey. “I return to my work from those breaks more aware, perceptive, and focused on managing my schedule throughout the day. The lesson I’ve learned is to remain disciplined to focus during those breaks – no email, calls, or interaction with anyone – just silence in walking or engaging in a mindfulness activity.”
Ms. Bailey believes that identifying innovative ways to advance careers for employees remain a significant challenge that is influenced by the existing workforce skills gap. This gap is particularly concerning given the predicted transformation of over 1.1 billion jobs due to technological advancements. In light of this upcoming transformation, organizations must prioritize their workforce strategies to create more employee learning opportunities that result in career advancement or lateral career changes. Learning new skills will support both career advancement and mobility to be considered for new jobs.
Improving Employee Benefits
Ms. Bailey expresses gratitude for the opportunities she has had to make positive changes in employee pay, benefits, and work conditions. She takes pride in being able to contribute to policies and initiatives that have had a significant impact on employees’ lives. In particular, Ms. Bailey has found great joy researching and offering employees’ perspectives to support these outcomes. The commitment to improving the workplace for employees is a driving force in her work.
Suggestions for Young Entrepreneurs
Ms. Bailey emphasizes the importance of showing genuine concern for employees’ personal and professional well-being to cultivate strong workplace cultural values of care and empathy. It is essential to remember that employees are more likely to be supportive of the business when they feel valued and cared for. Additionally, focusing on the principle of failing fast is crucial for maintaining the courage needed to drive organizational growth and workforce strategies. By remaining open to taking risks and learning quickly from failures, organizations can more effectively advance their workforce and operational goals through a culture of innovation.
Preparing for the Future
Ms. Bailey plans to advance her career internationally and take broader roles overseeing human resources and other functions that closely align with or are impacted by human resources. She is ambitious in pursuing professional growth and eager to take on new challenges that will help achieve her career goals. On a personal level, Ms. Bailey hopes to travel more frequently in the coming years, both domestically and internationally.
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