Learning into action #SHRM17

As I sit in another general session for #SHRM17 I wonder with my colleagues if this information is new to people in the audience. Great speaker, great information, fun delivery, but is the core of the message still new?

We have to remind ourselves that there are over 15,000 folks in this session & some of them are entry level so it is BRAND NEW to them. Some of our attendees this year have never been to any conference let alone a national conference. Some of our attendees are so busy at work that they don’t make time to read up on “new things” in our profession. So yes, for some of the audience this is new.

It’s going to continue to be new until our profession as a whole get better at it. If you haven’t been to a general session this week, “it” could be anything from improving recruitment and selection processes to building teams. So take what is inspiring you here and put it into action when you get back to work. Make a plan to present your case and turn your new information into a solution.

A few steps to not skip when turning this into action:

-Make sure it makes sense for your organization. If you can’t make a sound business case for it or identify the ROI you probably don’t need to waste your time on it.

-Don’t try and copy what you’ve heard, figure out how it applies to your organization.

-The 140 character words of wisdom floating around with the hashtag are only a tiny piece of the story. Paint the bigger picture so you can make a sound decision.

-Solve the problem your organization has. Don’t create a problem to solve, solve the one that exists.

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5 ways to be “All In” at #SHRM17

The countdown is on for #SHRM17!! I get so excited for the SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition every year because I’m guaranteed to see some of my extremely smart HR pals, discover some awesome presenters, learn a thing or two, and have a great time. All of these things have been true of my conference experience every year, regardless of the location so bringing it to New Orleans is just the cherry on top for me this year! I’ve only been to New Orleans one other time and I absolutely loved it-I’m thrilled to have a reason to go back!

This year is a great opportunity for us to challenge each other to be “All In” given that is the theme for the conference and when I thought about what that means for me I realized it means the following few things.

First, it means I’ve got to increase my behavioral competencies knowledge because that was my lowest score on my SHRM-SCP results. I was really happy with the rest of my results so I’m going to take this opportunity at conference to find sessions to help me improve in this area. Second, I have to grow my network some more, let more people into my circle. I’ve made some great connections through the years at these events so I can’t stop now- after all something like 15,000 people go to this conference, I only know a small FRACTION of those folks! Also, I have to be intentional about finding knowledge and people who can help me solve my HR problems rather than cluster around and complain about our HR problems. This is tough because as HR professionals we cannot typically vent within our organizations when we are troubled by something so it’s easy to let it all out at a conference away from work with our HR brethren. Fourth, I have to be “All In” with what I learn at conference this year. That means when I get back to work, I need to use what I learned. I need to bring back ideas to Huntsville and share with our chapter. I can’t just take notes and never look at them again. Finally, I’ve got to challenge my peers to be “All In” on taking HR to the next level. I will not enable you to complain about what you “don’t have” in your organization (resources, table, support, etc.) instead I will empower you to use what you’ve got to get you what you need!

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Best practices danger

I’ve noticed that in our profession we are constantly motivated to find the “best practices” surrounding a scenario or issue. I’m sure this isn’t restricted to the HR profession, but that’s obviously what we are going to talk about on this HR blog today! I myself often support this avenue for problem solving or collaboration, but I’ve witnessed the danger to this process and thought I’d share as a reminder to all of my HR peers.

I recognize that seeking best practices is how we make the most of our resources (especially on tight budgets) and how we find out what other organizations are doing when faced with challenges we are experiencing. Those are good reasons to seek best practices, but this is a real example from this year that I want to use to illustrate the danger in seeking best practices the wrong way.

When faced with a recruiting challenge, an HR manager sought the advice of a fellow HR manager from a company that often times competed for the same talent. She asks the other HR manager “how is your recruiting team set up?” On the surface, this was a good idea. This HR manager found a trusted professional that works for a similar type company and has a recruiting team that she manages to find out how she should structure her recruiting team going forward. She gets her answer, but then she makes a mistake. She takes the answer from the second HR manager and she applies it to her recruiting team.

best-practiceWhat did she do wrong you ask? She didn’t find out how many positions the recruiting team is responsible for filling, what type of positions they are responsible for filling, how much travel does that recruiting team have to do, what steps are the recruiters actually responsible for, etc. She may have gotten a bit more information than how the team was set up, but not enough to know whether that answer was correct for her organization or not. For example, a glaring difference in the two companies is that her company does a TON of college recruiting and the company she received advice from-basically does none. This is a huge factor in determining how many recruiters you need and who should be responsible for what. Your resources look a lot different when they are on the road for 6 weeks at a time, twice a year.

 

Simple illustration to serve as a reminder to you that when you seek out best practices, gather the right information. Do not just copy what someone else is doing, make it fit your organization. The decisions you make as an HR manager should align with your organization’s mission and vision and it should serve your community of employees. You cannot copy and paste another organizations processes and expect the same results!

Collaborate. Don’t copy.

Dying HR

If it’s only an HR initiative, it will die.

If it’s only an HR initiative, it will die.

it. will. die.

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I was taken aback when a very seasoned HR professional shared this phrase with me recently. Not so much because its a true or false statement, but because SHE works in HR and she said it… out loud. She 100% meant that statement too. I’ve been pretty busy so I pushed that statement to the side of my brain and I’ve carried on through a lot of work and a whole SHRM conference since, but it came back up this week during a couple of conversations.

I had a C-suite level person explaining to me an issue that they’ve seen time and time again. He summed it up like this “managers have work to do-maybe a product to deliver or a service to provide & they don’t care about HR. HR doesn’t care about the work managers have to get done, they just care about the HR side of things.” Yep. That’s how some people are viewing the HR function, which explains why if it’s only an HR initiative, it will die.

Another C-suite level executive told me (while discussing recruiting goals) that it had to be a collaborative effort. There’s no way HR could do it alone and no way the departments can do it without HR. Reinforcing yet again that if it’s only an HR initiative, it will die.

What do you think? Can an initiative be successful if it’s only an HR initiative?

The Fortune is in the Follow-Up (#SHRM16)

In networking marketing we have a phrase that fuels everything we do: “The fortune is in the follow-up.” Basically when we say this we are encouraging our teammates or down-line to follow-up with prospects, don’t let the conversation or the interest die. People need more than one exposure to something before they are comfortable buying whatever it is or acting on whatever it is. It is the way my fellow network marketers drive their business and support their families and let me tell you, it works.

When I first joined a network marketing team other teammates were saying it so much that I became absolutely tired of it, but thinking about #SHRM16 coming to an end has me looking at that phrase in a new light. Because the fortune really is in the follow-up in everything we do. In this specific instance how are you going to use what you’ve learned here at the conference? You won’t if you treat it like “out of sight, out of mind” but if you put some follow-up to it you are way more likely to have some fortune from your experience here. Before you roll your eyes, let me just throw a couple of things out there for you. First, I’m on your side-I want you to be the best HR/business professional you can be. Second, before you do any of this please take time to recharge, unwind, and recover from the conference. You need to take care of you before you start executing some of these ideas! Personally I’m looking forward to spending a whole day by myself soon after being surrounded by 15,000 of my colleagues for 3 days. Back to the follow-up, let’s start with some easy ideas:

  • Follow up with a contact you made. Simple. You connected with someone on a social media platform or exchanged business cards, now follow-up with them. This is how relationships start.
  • Look back through your notes and pick one thing from #SHRM16 that you would like to see in your own organization. It can be small-Rome was not built in a day. If you did not take notes then hop on over to twitter at search the hashtag SHRM16 and use someone else’s notes.
  • Don’t get discouraged. We’ve  heard some great stories from wonderful leaders this week. Some of these executive level leaders already know the value of HR and they include them at their table and in their decision making strategy, but I know that isn’t the case for every single company right now! Someone had to take the lead on showing the value of HR to the leaders and they worked hard to do it. Don’t get discouraged when you take some of these tidbits back and execute them and you’re not immediately welcomed into the circle. It’s going to take a lot of work, focus, and determination.
  • Use some calendar reminders to start picking dates to measure what you’ve decided to implement and when to start executing the next thing on your list. It’s easy to get distracted by our day-to-day stuff, but you have plenty of tools to help you manage your time and tasks efficiently-use them!
  • Have conversations with your team about what you learned here. If all of your team didn’t get to attend the conference, they need to hear about the conference from you! Don’t leave them hanging. Taking 15-2o minutes to chat about some of your takeaways could lead to great ideas that wouldn’t have come up otherwise.
  • Commit to continued education after this conference. An easy way to do that is to get involved with your local SHRM affiliate chapter back home.
  • Be involved in the online HR community. Don’t just follow HR professionals on twitter today and then forget about them until you log back into your twitter account next year for #SHRM17 in New Orleans.

So that’s my simple list of follow up actions for you to use to get the most from your experience here in DC this week. I hope to hear from you throughout the year and can’t wait to hear about what you’re doing with the things you’ve learned at #SHRM16!!!

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See y’all in New Orleans!

HRs role in the skills gap

Day 2 of #SHRM16 is underway and I’m hearing a lot of good things and seeing some fun takeaways via social media for all levels of HR professionals.

Mike Rowe and Alan Mulally killed it yesterday at the opening session-I never thought a story about poo could be so entertaining and educational (in more than one way). I love Mike Rowe’s work to close the skills gap, it is absolutely intriguing to me as a recruiter. I’m never surprised at how often companies use the “skills gap” as a problem to blame the results of their subpar recruiting functions on. We throw around this term to protect our team and pretend like someone else created this problem for us, but guess who contributed to the skills gap? US! As recruiters and hr professionals we should be helping high schools and colleges understand what our employers need, before our employers need it!

Here’s the deal, its 2016. We have access to people like  never before and it’s time to use it. If we can’t find the talent we need, its our own fault. We must take an active role in preparing the next generation of our employers workforce. How do we do that? We get to know what our future needs are and we get in the schools and start talking about it. Its not always glamorous, but someone has to do the job. If you think people view skills relevant and required for your industry as something they don’t want to do then fix it.Don’t just complain about it being a challenge! Revive it. Don’t misrepresent it, share the good, bad, and the ugly and let students know what all of their options are. If high school students are only hearing from engineering companies while they are deciding on what to do after high school, then you’re going to have a lot of students go off to get an engineering degree and then we will eventually have way more engineers than we can hire and not enough candidates for a variety of other positions.

So where I hail from a lot of people become teachers, nurses, or take up a career at the steel mill in town. I wondered why a majority of people chose 1 of those 3 options more than anything else, but looking back those are the professions we were exposed to the most through career days and that’s what the majority of our parents did. The exposure to the professions had a direct impact on the path we chose. It wasn’t necessarily the glamorous exposure of the professions that intrigued us either, it was the correlation to impacting something bigger that drew us in. No one wakes up and says I want to teach teenagers today, they usually have a revelation that they want to impact the lives of teenagers or instill an excitement about a particular subject in them. Without identifying the motivation behind the work, they are just teaching teenagers.

As Mike shared his story of his experience in the sewer with a full time sewer professional I kept thinking “how would I sell this job to a candidate?” Boy, have I got a job for you? You work underground and get a close up view of the inner workings of our wonderful city. You’ll have companions that won’t talk your ear off to keep you company through your shift and probably focused through your tasks.As most jobs do, this one comes with its own set of hazards, but nothing a rubber suit can’t protect you from. The residents of our city will undoubtedly appreciate your work  and even view you as a hero because they understand the necessity of your work to keep s*#! flowing.

No. That’s not what I would do at all, but that’s what some of us are doing, which is causing us more problems beyond the skills gap. We are trying to sell made up glamour instead of acknowledging the realities of the positions we are trying to fill and hoping the right candidate will pick us. This approach is contributing to the skills gap and we aren’t even acknowledging it because we are just trying to make our field/company sound like a fun place to work that will pamper you so we are pretending like we are doing the right thing. Now we have people who have chosen a field based on the half truth we sold them in a specific field and now they are in a career they are unhappy with because another field they weren’t exposed to was probably a better fit for them. Instead, we should uncover the skills gap, shine a light on the cause of it, and get out there and educate people before they choose their professions.

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I’m ready for #SHRM16

IMREADY

Are you?

I am ready to get to DC and see some of my friends and get some running done in my favorite place in just a couple of days! So here’s all the things I’m doing in the 11th hour to get ready:

  • Download #SHRM16 app
  • Add sessions to app
  • Add back up sessions to app (in case my desired session is full)
  • Download presentations for the sessions I’ve chose
  • Checking to see which friends I know will be there (search the #SHRM16 hashtag on twitter)
  • Finding HR pros on Snapchat and Instagram to connect with before getting to DC (seriously, I love snapchat- add me: kminny32)
  • Checking my sessions one more time
  • Double checking my hotel reservations (just in case)
  • Checking to see if the keynotes have a book I want to buy (I have to mentally prepare myself for the line at the SHRM store)
  • Making sure I have shoes (besides my running shoes) in my suitcase so TK doesn’t have to save the day two years in a row!
  • Packing my portable phone charger battery pack thingamajig

What did I forget? I’m sure I forgot something…

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