Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) National Conference 2018 in Chicago brought together over 20,000 people from around the world. This was my fourth conference, but it was unique in so many ways. Lucky is a simple way to put what I feel. Lucky to be representing SHRM National’s Young Professional Advisory Council (YPAC) and to be the first from Hawaii. Lucky to be representing my local chapter, SHRM Hawaii Young Professionals (YP). Lucky to be a part of the SHRM Blogger Squad, #SHRM18Blogger, where I can share my thoughts, ideas, and live stories while having my conference attendance fee covered. I am especially lucky to be fully supported by my organization to this national conference for the very first time. Lucky is much more than what I got from going to Chicago.
As a young(er) person in the world of HR, I often find myself wanting to compensate for my age. What I’ve learned is knowledge truly is power. Each year, when I leave SHRM’s National Conference, I am reinvigorated with a sense of confidence in my knowledge. With over 200 sessions, many attendees could only wish that we were given the opportunity to see it all. Of the sessions I did get to attend, I was able to capture the three lessons below and I am bringing them back with me.
*Quotes are paraphrased, and interpretations are mine.
- “Make sure others know your song so they can clap to it too.” – Adam Grant
Sometimes we get bent out of shape that others in our organization don’t follow processes or do things similar to how other people do it. The big problem is that they don’t know what that song is so let’s not be surprised when they can’t clap (or hum) to it with you. Let’s teach them a few lines, the melody, maybe the chorus, and soon we’ll have the best choir.
- “Be a moment molder.” – Bruce Christopher
There are times where people act wacky and we could react in a way that they’d expect. We could react and be upset about it. Instead, use the surprise effect and be a moment molder. We have control of our emotions and our soul. No one else does. Why not turn it around and help the person realize that they are being difficult. Often, difficult people don’t know that they are difficult. They behave the way that they do because it has worked for them.
- “You do not have the right to remain silent.” – Natasha Bowman
Human Resources is not a job for everyone. We bear the responsibility of upholding policies in compliance for the company’s success, the wellbeing of our employees, and the safety of everyone in between. All while being the face when the words culture, process, and jobs come up. We need to use our role to significantly impact how our organization operates and not remain silent.
True to my extroverted self, I couldn’t help but make new friends. The SHRM YPAC had a Super Sunday Session with young professionals and students from all over the country and world. Their leadership and facilitation skills were top notch! We connected with over 150 young people in the short morning session to kick off this conference with a bang. Although Hawaii is about 8,000 miles away from Chicago, we had a couple dozen people attend #SHRM18. Our Hawaii Employers Council (HEC) hosted a dinner for Hawaii folk on Sunday night. As the world is so small, I met other HR professionals in my industry that work on the same street and park in the same parking lot. Who would’ve thought! All the way in Chicago would be where we met for first time, but it won’t be the last time we connect. The SHRM Bloggers had the opportunity to connect in real life, #IRL, at the Bloggers Lounge, various events, and just by catching each other’s tweets during sessions. These folks have been so encouraging as I am a newbie to the world of blogging and tweeting.
SHRM’s CEO, Johnny Taylor, put it best, “Gone are the days when HR wanted a seat at the table, we are now looked at to be the solutions and change organizations need. We will help set our organizations apart, plan for the staffing shortage and needs, and be the ones to bring success for tomorrow.”
There’s so much to do as generations are rapidly changing and as technology continues to advance. I take it that we must tap into resources we’ve never thought about like high school programs for new and fresh talent. We need to be flexible with traditional requirements such as college degrees and years of experience. We should give second chances for those that have shown their potential to change. We must invest in systems and processes that make sense to help HR and the business be more efficient. We cannot sit around and hope for the best but always be proactive and ready for movements such as #MeeToo. Lastly, we have the seat so let’s to do what’s right for our employees and our organizations.
To echo other great #SHRM18Blogger posts, I am sad that #SHRM18 is over. Let’s start the clock. I’m coming for you, Las Vegas, #SHRM19!