• Are You the Next SHRM Speaker

    Yesterday I attended a 7 AM session at #SHRM14.  So what you should know is the room was filled with dedicated people. These are people who are intent on getting more information, making their careers better and advancing themselves and this is especially true for those who attend a 7 AM session.  What they learned is a little different than what I learned.

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    Steve Browne introducing SHRM student member Serg Moreno

    They learned that being more connected, more engaged and involved with your employees in a real way makes you a better HR pro and makes your organization better.  What I learned is that HR conference need more presenters like Steve Browne.  Steve is so damn excited and so damn extroverted that he infects anyone who is with earshot.  As an HR pro Steve has so much credibility because he is the real deal. He walks the walk and talks the talk.  He does this nearly every day at LaRosas Pizzeria in the Metro Cincinnati area.

    Steve told his audience they need to be jacked-up and talk to, really talk to, their employees.  He made a number of other points, but in a sentence that is exactly what he told them.

    What I saw was someone presenting at the SHRM National conference who really connected with his audience because he does what they do.  Steve happens to do it very well.  As they say, (IMO) in my humble opinion, we need to have conferences, and probably not just HR conferences move in this direction.  It’s not rocket science and it simply makes so much sense.

    Let’s have people who really do the work, present and talk about that work. Look for this to be a trend.

    What does this mean? This means that YOU could be the next presenter. Think about what you do and what you do well and get ready to take it on the road. Make  plans to speak at your local SHRM chapter, your local Chamber of Commerce, a local Rotary Chapter, your kid’s school.  If you want be the pied piper of HR you can. And those of us in the space need you to do that. We need fresh and excited voices.

    On Sunday, we heard from Heather Abbott and about her powerful story.  She talked about doing EEOC at her organizations.  She was proud of that and excited about that. And while Heather had many other issues to work around, given her life changing event at the Boston Marathon, she remains a dedicated HR Pro. That is the kind of person we need to be hearing from – she lives this; everyday, and many of you do too!

     
  • SHRM14 Is Open

    It is here #SHRM14.  Got here yesterday, and hooked up with some old friends for a great dinner, some silliness and drinks.   It is go day today Sunday, day one of the conference.

    Arriving at SHRM14

    Arriving at SHRM14

    So far most of the talk is about certification – duh.  At this point everyone knows that this could have been handled better.  Have you ever screwed up anything at work?  I have.  On the run up to the conference SHRM has worked diligently to communicate to its membership about this.  I have been on calls at the national, state and local level; all of which were designed to push the message out. I have heard from numerous SHRM officials that they know they handled this poorly.  All of us are held accountable for our actions at work, just as the SHRM folks should be. I am sure that a few people at Duke Street “heard about this.”

    There will be more meetings today with the volunteer leaders and the general membership.  The new certification process is probably going to get top billing.

    Perhaps by the end of the conference, if the efforts are successful, this wrong will be righted.  If you are part of the faithful, listen to message, hear what is being said and give SHRM a chance to explain the whole matter.  Remember if you are like me you have probably screwed up a thing or two at work, listen up and see what is being said about this.

     
  • Your First SHRM National Conference

    Is this your FIRST SHRM National Conference? If so, this post is directed to you.  If you have been before you are welcome to review my thoughts, and add any helpful thoughts you might have in the comments section. I am told by a reliable SHRM insider that there will be a session Sunday morning for first time attendees, so you might check on that as an option while you are at registration.

    Ok so it is your first National Conference, this is called THE BIG SHOW for many reasons, and it is BIG.  In recent years the number of attendees has been from 12,000 to 14,000 +.  Then when you factor in the speakers, the vendors, staff and the other hangers on the number can grow to about 15,000.   So SHRM, takes over the town for a few days.  If you fly in, I would guess that 25% to 33% of the folks on the flight are bound for the conference. The conference fills dozens of hotels (45 official hotels this year), and there may be as many as 60 coaches in operation shuttling conferences guest to various designations.

    This convention is one of a few that can only be held in certain select cities, because they have enough infrastructure in place to support an event of this magnitude.

    Me and my MNSHRM buddy Tiffany Kuehl hamming it up at #SHRM13 in Chicago.

    Me and my MNSHRM buddy Tiffany Kuehl hamming it up at #SHRM13 in Chicago.

    This conference costs a lot to attend, just in case you haven’t figured that out yet.  Depending upon your conference fee, your travel, lodging and meals can easily tip over the $3K mark, so if your employer is sending you to this you should be prepared upon your return to explain the value proposition to them – what did they get for their three grand (keep this in mind as we go through this post.)

    The pre-conference (Student portion) and other events start on Saturday June 21 and run through Wednesday June 25.  Within the time frame SHRM is offering up hundreds (I am not sure of the exact number) of sessions.  The sessions are wide and varied. You need a plan. What do you want to learn about?  Who do you want to hear speak? What topics do not interest you and what sessions do you want to steer clear of.  This is the plan.  Get the conference planner, go on line or download the conference app when it comes out.  Then plan your conference and work your plan, otherwise it will be sheer and utter chaos and you will not accomplish nearly what you need to, in order to provide value to your organization (remember that is why you are attending).

    Hopefully there are some people at this event that you would like to meet.  Whether it is an author, a speaker, an HR peer, me or Hank Jackson, include this in your plan. SHRM also does an interesting thing where you can get paired up with people you don’t know and share a meal with them.  Some of your meet and greet plans might not come to fruition, but if you do not plan to meet these people it most likely will not happen. Do keep this in mind most people are very approachable and truly like meeting people. Also plan to see any HR colleagues who may be attending the event. That is always enjoyable. (I always have a huge list of people to meet and to see.)

    The exhibit hall is huge. Plan to spend quite a bit of time wandering this floor. There will be over 1000 vendors in the hall. This may very well be where you will find that value I have been speaking of in this post.  In the vendor hall you will see all of the latest and greatest stuff in the world for HR.  All of these vendors want to talk to YOU and tell you about their stuff.  Be courteous to all of them, but at least have an idea of some of the type of vendors you should be speaking to.  You will find out what is new in this area, where the markets are going and what your company is or isn’t doing right.  Also understand that all of the vendors you engage with, will most likely follow up with you.  This, after all is why they are there.  If you are not interested in any further information, you can very nicely tell them so, so that they don’t waste their time or your time.

    Don’t forget to plan a little me time too.  Whether it is taking in some local culture, via a restaurant or a night spot, or seeing a local attraction like umm WDW don’t deny yourself this – just remember the value proposition and bring it home with you. Enjoy the conference!