The Grammy Awards | What Taylor Swift's record-breaking win can teach HR

What Taylor Swift's record-breaking win can teach HR

This year's Grammy Awards happened over the weekend, with the star-studded ceremony seeing some of the biggest music names join for a night to celebrate the talent of the past year.

Women dominated the celebration, taking home a majority of the wins on the night, and taking over most of the ceremony’s live performances.

Women dominated so many of the major categories that this years’ Awards has been dubbed ‘Year of the Women’. The Song of the Year award went to Billie Eilish for “What Was I Made For?”, whilst Record of the Year went to Miley Cyrus, her first ever Grammy, for the hit song “Flowers”.

Notably, it was Taylor Swift who made the most headlines for winning Album of the Year for the fourth time – the only person in history who has done this. The 34-year-old singer-songwriter is one of the most famous people on the planet. And her winning of the most coveted award at the Grammys, as well as how much female artists dominated this years’ event, can teach us a few things about navigating HR and how to be a good employer...

Give praise where praise is due

It’s common knowledge that there is a glass ceiling and barriers to progression faced in the corporate world by women and marginalised groups. One way of combatting this is giving praise to those who deserve it, especially when certain individuals are likely to be overlooked due to bias.

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Looking at performance over other factors is a good way to celebrate the work of employees whilst negating the possibility of unconscious bias being in appreciation and promotion processes.

The need for female role models

Women won big at this years’ Grammy Awards. When it comes to dismantling misogyny and inequality in the workplace representation plays a massive factor. Shining a light on the achievements of people who have historically been marginalised is important in the fight for equality in the workplace, as you have to see it to believe it.

The importance of storytelling

If there’s anything that Taylor Swift is good at it’s telling a story through her lyrics – that's what has made her albums so popular amongst fans and made her a record-breaker. Stories are instrumental in shaping and reinforcing the culture you want in your business and building your employer brand.

HR can share stories about employees' experiences, career growth opportunities, and the company's impact to attract top talent. Authentic stories about employee experiences can give potential candidates insight into what it's like to work for the organisation.

Own your power

Swift famously regained control over her music through re-recording all of her discography when the record label she was signed to, and ultimately all the rights to her songs, were bought by Scooter Braun – who famously discovered Justin Bieber. Swift showed the importance of having the courage to be confident and take control of your own power, a quality that’s important for someone at any stage of their career.

Embrace change

Swift’s record-breaking win on the weekend is a sign and culmination of a successful, and yet tumultuous, journey professionally and personally. Whether it's been scrutiny from press, a record label wrongfully owning the rights to all of her music, or Kanye West interrupting her acceptance speech at the VMAs, it hasn’t always been an easy ride to the top for Swift. Recognising that change, and sometimes adversity, is all a part of a process of improving and becoming even better than you originally were, is a major aspect of growth and success.

The Grammys might be an event for the beautiful, famous and rich, but this years’ felt a bit different. Women dominating across the board and Taylor Swift’s record-breaking victory is a welcome sign of the world changing to a more inclusive, open and diverse place – where women in power and successful positions are the norm. Through learning from these events, we can make our organisations that little bit better.

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