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Australian HR, Human Resources, SHRM, Social Media & Learning

HR in Australia (Unlike everything else here, it probably won’t kill you)

Everything is more likely to kill you in Australia right? The snakes, the spiders, the great whites…

When I moved to Australia (from New Zealand, a rainforest-filled paradise with amazing beaches… but a small economy) I had a rude awakening – luckily this wasn’t in the form of meeting the wildlife face to face. Despite having heavily preparing for the changes in employment law I would encounter on my transition ‘across the ditch’ I realised there was a lot I didn’t know. There are a lot of facets of HR that are location-agnostic. Sure, there are legislative differences, and cultural/business practice differences. But the core of what we do is understanding both people and organisations and help them work better together – and that doesn’t change across borders. I relied on this in my move, although I think I underestimated how much there would be that I didn’t know.

Now, 5.5 years later, I’m travelling to the USA to speak about lessons learned over my time working in HR in Australia; the good, the bad & the ugly (just kidding, there’s not too much that’s ugly). I’ve learned from some amazing HR practitioners, both in Australia and internationally, I’ve benefited from some (forced) networking and getting my head around social media and I’m excited to share the lessons learned over the past few years.

In a matter of weeks I’m catching up with my SHRM friends, speaking at both the Illinois and Ohio State Conferences. Even though it was just a couple of months ago that I had the pleasure of seeing many of these superstars at the SHRM18 National Conference, I’m even more excited about this trip, reasons being;

– smaller conferences are less overwhelming (There were 22,000 people at SHRM18 – TWENTY-TWO THOUSAND!) and I find it easier to join more conversations, learn from people and you get a better chance of speaking with keynote speakers at a smaller conference

– the speaker line ups for both conferences are incredible – seriously, check them out

– even though I’ll miss my son I’ll get a good week of uninterrupted sleep – win!

I can’t wait to share my learnings and meet more SHRMers at these conferences. If you’re heading along and would like to find out about something in particular message me – I’d love to chat. I hope to see you there!

 

Career, Human Resources, Parenting, Working in People & Culture

How NOT to lose your employees to a competitor while they’re on parental leave

Lately there’s been more and more discussion around parental leave. Who legally has to offer it. Who goes above and beyond. Who pays for it. Who doesn’t.

But what isn’t often discussed is the risk you face of losing your employees while they’re on parental leave. Not just to full-time parenthood – but to your competitors. This isn’t just something to think about in terms of women who work for you – 50% of men say they’ve passed up work opportunities or switched jobs after they’ve had kids.

There are few times within a person’s career when they’re more susceptible to being approached than when they’re in the new fog of parenthood. People are disconnected from their role and organisation – even when engagement is high. During this time people are far more likely to be revaluating their priorities, what they enjoy, and what they want to be doing when they’re ready to re-join the workforce.

Last year I went on parental leave to have my first baby. Despite working in HR for many years, I wasn’t quite prepared for the up-ending that taking a break from my role would mean for me in how I saw myself and my career going forward.

My former employers did a great job of trying to keep me engaged. They were accommodating in my hours of work as I worked through severe ‘morning sickness’ (the name of it which still makes me laugh). They were very thoughtful when sending me off from my role. They agreed to me coming in for meetings now and again (at my request) with my baby, so I could stay connected with my team.

So why did I accept a role at another organisation when approached as I neared the end of my leave? (And what made me consider this role, rather than the offers I had prior to going on parental leave?)

Changes were happening, and they made me uneasy

While I was on leave there were some major changes within our leadership team, including a couple of people leaving who I worked with closely. I found out about these changes on the grapevine, rather than directly from my team. This made me nervous – were my role and key objectives going to change on my return? When would I know more?

I wanted career progression when others assumed I’d want to put my career on hold

Not linear career progression, but new projects, challenges and opportunities. I started to feel (whether this was rooted in any truth was irrelevant) that my new role as a ‘New Mother’ was defining me in my interactions with some people at work (please note, this was not true of the organisation as a whole, but it was true enough with some people that I felt limited).

I had originally intended to take a relatively short break of 7 months; however, I was approached by my current company who wanted to meet me in relation to a role they had come up. I initially said no but due to a superb recruiter I came and met her and the reporting Executive. It was (professional) love at first sight.

  • They reassured me they knew what it was like to juggle babies and work
  • They had created a role that had heaps of opportunity to deliver on outcomes – and help shape the focus of HR
  • The role was an excellent career step for me
  • They were unbelievably awesome at what they did (people say people leave managers? I would challenge you to think about that flipped – I joined because of a manager).

In the end, my decision to leave my role came down to quite a few reasons – and I must be honest, there were a couple of times when I regretted making such a big change at the time that I did.

If you’re thinking about how to keep your people engaged when they’re on parental leave, steal some tips from employers that do it brilliantly:

  • Remember that different employees may want different things – no matter your approach be clear that you can accommodate individuals wants and needs accordingly
  • Utilize technology – you don’t have to just rely on emails and phone calls – Pinterest & Reddit both offer employees access to parenting app Cleo and there are other similar things out there
  • Be inclusive – families come in many different forms and it pays to run a critical eye over any materials/advice you’re circulating. Don’t assume the primary carer is a woman, remember same-sex parents, and don’t accidentally not include adoptive parents – they need accommodations too!
  • Find out more about organisations similar to yours who are ranked highly in terms of appeal to parents – Fortune Magazine has a list of the best 50 workplaces for parents and you can also check out lists of employers that promote gender equity (as often a factor in calculating this is recognising flexibility for any parent rather than just women)
  • The best advice though? ASK YOUR EMPLOYEES! What do they value? What benefits/approach would they appreciate. Being a great employer for new parents doesn’t necessarily need to cost big dollars – workplace flexibility is priceless!

 

#SoMe, Career, Human Resources, Leadership, SHRM, Social Media & Learning, Working in People & Culture

The #HRTribe – they open doors like you wouldn’t believe!

Next month I’m on my way to the Illinois SHRM and Ohio SHRM Conferences to speak about HR in Australia & the lessons I’ve learned along the way. How this opportunity to speak outside Australia has come about is an excellent example of the collaborative nature of the international HR community (for which I am forever thankful).

A few years ago I had a brilliant conversation with a guy called Steve Browne. You might know him, he’s one of the Board Members at SHRM, he’s an all-round nice guy and he’s an active promoter of everything that’s good in HR. I’d been blogging a bit and was thinking about my professional development and what might be a good investment in my career and had decided that I’d like to apply to be a part of the SHRM Blogging team for 2016.

Well it all happened. And it changed my career and the way I think about HR exponentially.

While I’ve worked across different countries, was a member of SHRM and an avid reader of international HR & business blogs I was not at all prepared for the shift in my thinking that resulted from becoming a part of the SHRM community.

Since attending that first conference, not only have I been lucky enough to attend some phenomenal conferences and see some true thought leaders in the HR/management space (not lame, self-proclaimed ‘thought leaders’ that I think we’re ALL sick of), but I found my tribe (#HRTribeTM) AND became a part of an incredibly community that seeks to progress our profession and help us adapt to the new world of work as people-people aka HR professionals.

Two years after that first SHRM Conference I’ve now been a part of the Official SHRM Blogging team twice and this September I’m heading to the Illinois SHRM and Ohio SHRM Conferences to speak – what a roller-coaster!

The way HR is evolving internationally is so exciting because I believe it makes us confront what is unique and special about our profession, rather than resting on our laurals as the rule-makers and police. It’s forcing us to consider what those assumptions that may have been holding us back. Gone are the days (well… hopefully) where we are a primarily an administrative function. Having the opportunity to speak to people about what works well in different countries – and what doesn’t – is an incredible gift and one I’m looking forward to sharing an Australian perspective on this September. I’ve loved practising HR in Australia over the past 5 years and think that the quirks of employment law and common practice here definitely have some (interesting) lessons for those operating in different environments!

I owe a huge debt to Steve Brown, Dave Ryan, Andrew Morton, Mary Kaylor & the whole SHRM community (especially the bloggers!) for their generosity in time, guidance & mentoring over the past few years. I sincerely believe that as we further collaborate and learn more from each other we will only serve to further cement HR as a function that is seen as indispensable and valuable to organisations as we all believe it is.

 

#SHRM #SHRMBlogger #Speaker #HRTribe #Gday

AHRI, Human Resources, Leadership, SHRM, SHRM18, Working in People & Culture

Reflections on the Global HR Community #SHRM18

An interview with Lyn Goodear, AHRI CEO, on SHRM18 & the WFPMA Conference in Chicago, Illinois

lyn goodear

The global HR community is evolving, particularly as technology enables us to communicate and learn from our colleagues across borders. This year, the World Federation of People Management Associations (WFPMA), of which Peter Wilson has been the Chairperson & President of for the past two years, met in Chicago, coinciding with the US Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) National Conference.

The combination of both conferences meant an audience and exhibitors totalling over 22,000 – which is a fair amount larger than any professional body conference anything on my side of the equator.

I caught up with Lyn Goodear, the CEO and Managing Director of AHRI (the Australian HR Institute), during the conference, to discuss HR challenges globally, and the value of being able to collaborate with other HR practitioners and take time out for professional development.

Lyn emphasizes that “as a profession we share the same aspiration to create better work and better workplaces” and that one of the highlights of attending events like the WFPMA and SHRM Conferences is seeing how different professional bodies approach issues affecting their membership base.

Culture permeated as an overarching theme of the conference (attendees from recent AHRI Conferences will recognise some real similarities) – Lyn credits Adam Grant as being one of the speakers who articulated this well in his keynote describing the importance of not getting lost looking for cultural fit, rather, focusing on cultural contribution.

The Australian Human Resources Institute’s CEO has a refreshing take on how she applies this to her own work, describing how she asks herself each day “What are you doing to lift the culture in the way you behave? We don’t often connect our actions to culture. If you’re not doing something overtly to lift the culture then you may be leaving it stagnant or pulling it down.”.

Prior to her current role as CEO, Lyn was formerly the National Manager of Professional Development of AHRI, which gives a whole other level of credibility to her assessment of the value, and approach of professional development opportunities for HR professionals. Lyn’s description of careers as lattices, saying that it’s not always about aspiring continuously upwards in a ladder motion. That not everything is linear was echoed when Sheryl Sandberg delivered her keynote where she also emphasized the importance of not just trying to grow your career in a linear path – if you just try and joint the dots you may well miss out on the best opportunities.

The advantage of course of being able to attend state, national and international conferences (and interacting with other HR professionals via the great idea exchange of the web) is that you can see that while we have many differing challenges between countries, there are many that are similar as well. Lyn is animated when she talks about the excitement of connecting with others who are passionate about advancing the field of HR. Her take on real career growth and development often comes back to developing peer to peer relationships and upwardly challenging your networks.

Lyn leaves me with an excellent challenge, one I hope that many other HR professionals will also take up – we need to applaud our profession for the progress that we’ve made, but we need to challenge ourselves at the same time. We cannot blame business for being confused about the value that HR can add if we haven’t created that clarity.

 

Human Resources, SHRM, SHRM18

1 Week Until #SHRM18!

With less than 1 week until #SHRM18 I realised there was an amazing #NextChat on Twitter that I missed that would make a great share in anticipation of the conference.

(A ‘tweetchat’ for the uninitiated, is basically an hour or so of open, collaborative discussion over Twitter, using a specific hashtag.)

Something you may not be aware of is that alongside the SHRM18 Conference & Expo, SHRM are hosting the WFPMA (World Federation of People Management) World Congress. I’m particularly interested in this, as the current President is the Australian HR Institute’s very own Peter Wilson. 🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺

So, as well as getting incredibly excited for the #SHRM18 lineup, I’m also keen to hear more from the global track of the conference, which has particular interest for those of us attending internationally.

Right! Let’s get to it. Eight questions to prepare you for #SHRM18:

What are some basic do’s and don’t’s for a SHRM Annual Conference?

Do: bring a charger and talk to as many people as you can.

Don’t: wear new shoes or get hung up on planning out every second of your experience. The best stuff is always spur of the moment.

What is your No. 1 goal for attending #SHRM18, and how are you planning to accomplish it when there?

Talk to as many people as possible about global HR trends. I’m noticing more and more the ‘hot topics’ are international in nature rather than country specific.

Thousands of HR pros will attend #SHRM18. What advice can you share for successful networking in such a large crowd?

Ask people about what brought them to #SHRM18 – often there’s a particular challenge/area of interest where you can find common experience.

What are your picks and recommendations for #SHRM18 “must-see” sessions and speakers, and why?

Oh my gosh so many! But definitely Steve Browne & Charles Jennings. I’m also booked in for much of the global HR track (which Charles, Brad Boyson & Eric Owski are all a part of – all of whom I’ve completed Q&As with recently).

Also I want to see all the official SHRM Bloggers who are speaking but realistically I think my ‘must see’ list in the conference app (which is amazing BTW) is getting very, very full… I’ve got so many sessions I want to see I’ll never know where to go!

What are some important etiquette guidelines when visiting the SHRM Annual Conference exposition hall?

Be thoughtful – as good as the swag can be, be considered in where you spend your time. What are your biggest challenges? What vendors may be able to help you look at those challenges in a different way?

What SHRM18 Expo Hall vendors and solutions are you most excited about visiting and learning more about?

Finding the gems I’ve never heard of before. Expo’s are a great opportunity to see new products/services that you may not get to see/hear about/question otherwise.

What are the top three things attendees might forget to take to — or bring back from — a SHRM Annual Conference?

Phone charger. Reusable coffee cup. Phone charger. 📱 ☕️ 📱

What are the best ways to demonstrate the value and return on investment of your #SHRM18 attendance to your organization’s senior leaders?

Come back armed with new ideas and new ways of looking at old problems. Vendors, speakers and the random person you chat to in the lunch line are all your allies here

See you there!

Human Resources, SHRM18, Working in People & Culture

Q&A with #SHRM18 Speaker, LinkedIn’s Eric Owski

Eric Owski, self-confessed sports nut, a voracious reader, traveler and above all else, a committed dad to his eight-year-old boy, leads Talent Brand & Talent Insights for LinkedIn – before that incredibly impressive role Eric was an executive at Bright (acquired by LinkedIn) where he led sales and marketing. Eric is leading the #SHRM18 session ‘Talent Intelligence: Building the Workforce of the Future’ which is getting into the detail of what we all know – your company’s cutting edge isn’t product, tech or services – it’s your people.

Eric’s passion for getting talent right comes across easily and I for one am excited to hear him speak – particularly for the passion that comes across when he discusses companies which get talent intelligence right!

Eric-Owski

What makes you tick? 

First and foremost, I’m a dad to a wonderful and curious eight-year-old boy. When I’m not hanging out with him or at LinkedIn HQ, you can find me watching a game, rooting on the Tigers, Lions, or Pistons (I’m a diehard Detroit fan, win or lose) or somewhere reading a good book. Some of my recent favorites include The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen and Return to the Dark Valley by Santiago Gamboa. Traveling is also on top of my list of favorite things to do. I love to discover new places and often seek out the art these cities have to offer.

 

What work experience has influenced your career path the most?

At my first professional job, I held six different positions in six years. It allowed me to learn many different sides of business, and to see the whole strategic picture. What I learned during that time has helped inform decisions to this day.

 

What company (other than LinkedIn) do you think uses talent intelligence the best? Why?

Using talent intelligence means that companies are leveraging real-time insights about the movement and development of talent to inform strategic talent decisions. On average, LinkedIn sees about 10,000 requests per year for insights on talent pools, competitors, and more as the pressure to leverage data to make smarter decisions, is on.  As data reaches a maturity level where even more analytics are possible, we see companies making great progress with their talent intelligence strategies.

Take Intel for example. They were facing a shortage of software engineers at Intel’s offices in Gdansk, Poland. When searching for specialized tech talent, LinkedIn Talent Insights revealed large populations of this talent pool in neighboring cities Krakow and Warsaw. Competitive insights further revealed that professionals in Warsaw were working across many different companies, whereas in Krakow it was largely concentrated in a few top organizations. Using these insights, Intel built a strategy to run a highly targeted billboard campaign in Krakow and received buy-in from engineering leadership. This campaign, coupled with a recruitment event in the area, led to a 20 percent increase in visits to Intel’s careers site.

Atlassian is another great example. Their talent marketing team was tasked with developing recruitment campaigns that target both designers and developers. Atlassian wanted to understand the size of their talent pool in desired locations, so the team turned to LinkedIn Talent Insights. They learned that for every 25 developers in the markets they were targeting, only one designer was available. Using this insight, the team was able to recommend investing a greater amount of money in a talent brand campaign targeting the designer talent pool, in order to hit their hiring goals.

 

Do you think what Intel and Atlassian have created is transferable?

Absolutely.  Over the past year, I’ve talked to a few hundred talent leaders and the questions I hear are universal. We’ve talked about using data in talent so much that we’ve almost mythologized it. The reality is, every talent leader wants to make more informed decisions. When you’re trying to figure out where to open an office, no one wants to be endlessly debating the merits of each stakeholder’s anecdotal evidence. The right insights can quickly prove or disprove someone’s thesis and it leads to more efficient and more confident decision making. I think the vast majority of talent organizations are on their way there.

 

What do you think attendees will get the most excited by with your session?

The HR industry is feeling the pressure to use data and insights in their decisions, whether that be finding talent, or retaining and understanding the talent they currently have. Ultimately, talent intelligence can help empower talent acquisition teams to tackle both the simplest and the most complex issues. Attendees will walk away understanding how they can dig into their own data and use these insights to help build and deliver a winning talent strategy.

 

You can hear Eric speak at #SHRM18, in Chicago June 17-20 (Tuesday 19th June 2.15pm). I’ll see you there!

SHRM18, Training

How to Build a High Performing Global Workforce: A Q&A Charles Jennings

Charles Jennings

Charles Jennings is a co-founder of the 70:20:10 Institute and is widely renowned as one of the premier experts on building and implementing 70:20:10 and organizational performance strategies.

For those who have heard the ‘70:20:10 model’ referenced, it’s a learning model that describes the optimal sources of learning to be 70% on the job, 20% from interactions with others an 10% from formal education/events – a well understood core component of many learning and development approaches the world over.

I had the pleasure of meeting Charles when we were on a PSK Performance Fishbowl panel together in Melbourne – to have the opportunity to hear him speak on how to build a high-performing global workforce is absolutely unmissable. To see Charles speak in Chicago at SHRM18 is a must for any HR professional who wants to deliver effective, evidence-based people solutions, on a global scale.

After a 40-year career focusing on how to help people “just do their jobs better’, Charles has a wealth of experience and notes that he’s seen a real sea change in how people view organisational learning over the past 15 years.  He says that we’ve have “moved from a world where learning and ‘doing’ were separate. In the past the focus was exclusively on ‘learning to do’ rather than also focusing on ‘learning from doing’… So, one of my key motivators is to help HR and L&D professionals navigate their way out of the straightjacket of formal learning.”

Who has influenced your understanding of learning in the workplace the most?

Many people have influenced me over the years.  To name just a few:

Jay Cross, whose book ‘Informal Learning: Rediscovering the Natural Pathways That Inspire Innovation and Performance’ was a ground-breaking insight into the art of the possible for workplace learning. It should be required reading for every HR and L&D professional.

Jeffrey Pfeffer and Bob Sutton, whose 1999 book ‘The Knowing-Doing Gap’ exposed the fallacy of knowledge-based training as a universal solution to today’s problems.

Gloria Gery, whose 1991 seminal book ‘Electronic Performance Support Systems’ is another one that should be required reading for every L&D professional when they start out on their career. Gloria opened eyes to the practical ways (which are usually more efficient and effective than training) to help people ‘do their jobs better’.

Additionally, I’ve been influenced by many conversations I’ve had over the years, and many articles and books I’ve read.  Thinkers and practitioners such as Roger Schank, Marcia Conner, Ellen Langer, Charles Handy, Joseph Stiglitz, Harold Jarche, Jos Arets and others have all helped my own understanding that learning is a natural process that occurs mostly in the daily flow of work, and that learning alone is not a destination, but a journey with waypoints to higher performance.

Where have you seen a high performing workforce be most improved?

At the 70:20:10 Institute we have worked with organisations that have demonstrated huge organisational performance improvements.  Friesland Campina, the world’s largest diary co-operative, is one example. By implementing our 70:20:10 methodology, just one project at Friesland Campina delivered a saving of EURO 248,000 for a EURO 1,000 input plus some work from the L&D team. This won the Gold Award at the 2018 Learning Technologies awards. Friesland Campina also reports that more than 90 percent of training demands are now re-directed to other solutions which deliver greater impact.

There are many other examples of improved organisational performance across all types of enterprise – government departments, hi-tech, energy companies and large financial institutions – by re-focusing on learning beyond the classroom and eLearning module.

Do you think what they’ve created is transferable?

Absolutely. They are transferable. No two organisations are identical, which is why I find the cry for ‘best practice’ a futile one, but we can learn ‘good practice’ from other organisations and then mould it for our own needs.

The research analysts Bersin by Deloitte and others have reported that organisations with strong informal (workplace) learning capabilities are 300 percent more likely to excel at global talent development than organisations without those capabilities.

The Corporate Leadership Council (now part of Gartner) reported a study across a number of organisations that showed an increase in employee engagement of more than 250 percent and an increase in employee performance of 300 percent where people engaged in learning activities ‘integrated into manager and employee workflow’.

In other words where people focused on learning from their daily work and sharing their learning with colleagues rather than just relying on training to build capability.

What do you see HR practitioners most often get wrong when it comes to understanding learning in the workplace?

The most common mistake I see HR practitioners maintaining a ‘command and control’ mindset. In the past when we focused almost exclusively on formal training and development, it was possible to control and manage all the activities that we designed to improve learning. In the new world where we also need to support and encourage workplace learning that’s simply not possible.

The question I am asked frequently is “how can we be sure people are learning the ‘right’ things’ if we add support for workplace learning to our job?”.  The answer to this is that adults learn best through experience, practice, conversations and networks and reflection, and that if we try to control those processes we’re likely not only to stifle effective workplace learning, but to create a culture where self-empowerment will shrivel and people will expect learning to be ‘done to them’.  That’s an environment that sounds a death knell for innovation and agility. It’s also a death knell for capturing and sharing exemplary performance across our organisations.

We also often leave measurement metrics until last.

The metrics HR professionals should be looking at are their stakeholder metrics. These are often gathered as a matter of course in the daily business workflow. If you want to understand if some interventions and solutions HR has co-developed with your customer support team, use the CSAT (customer satisfaction) data that your stakeholder will surely be gathering.

What are you hoping to get out of the #SHRM18 conference?

As with all large conferences I have attended over the years, I’m looking to meet new people and learn as much as I can from them.

At SHRM18, I’m looking forward to hearing some great stories about successes and lessons that have been learned.  We learn as much, if not more, from our failures as we do from our successes.

I’m also looking forward to hearing how the wider HR community at SHRM18 is approaching the challenges of helping to build resilient, high performing workforces through exploiting the principles behind the 70:20:10 approach –  supporting learning from working, learning from others and learning from high-quality structured training and development.

 

Human Resources, SHRM, SHRM18, Working in People & Culture

Is Global HR Still Relevant? A Q&A With Brad Boyson

Brad Boyson is the Executive Director of SHRM’s Dubai office and has an impressive career history including the Mitsubishi Corporation, Royal Caribbean International and Hamptons/Emaar. In short? Brad is global HR.

Brad Boyson.jpg

Brad is a self-confessed deep diver… 8 months after being introduced to triathlons and hearing that the gold standard for the sport is the Ironman, he completed his first one in Hawaii. This “jump-and-backfill” approach to learning has stretched him careerwise as well, during the 1990s, he was fascinated by the Japanese way of doing business, so Brad studied Japanese (history, language and culture), moved to Japan and eventually ended up working for the Mitsubishi Corporation. While working in his next job for a ‘dotcom’, he concurrently completed 60% of a bachelor degree in computer science.

So it’s fair to say when Brad gets interested in something, he fully commits. This is why I’m looking forward to hearing Brad speak about whether global HR is still relevant. I’m one of the many international attendees that the SHRM Conference & Exposition attracts each year and it seems more and more that with migration and technology, HR expertise is becoming a more mobile profession.

Where does your passion for HR come from?

My passion for HR comes from my very first job as a teenager when I worked in a unionized supermarket back in Canada. When you are that age you are devoid of workplace politics and other more ‘adult’ issues. Nevertheless, the younger version of me was asking myself:  why was the union and management so fixated on each other while the key stakeholder, in my humble opinion, was the customer who was paying my salary?  I was a strange kid who subscribed to and would read the Harvard Business Review cover to cover even though, at the time, I was just a high school graduate.

What made you decide to join SHRM?

I think like a lot of people, SHRM becomes a part of your bloodstream once you take the red pill and decide that HR is your career not just a job.  I first ‘discovered’ SHRM in 1998 when, as a Canadian living and working in Canada, I decided to look outside the national HR box for career and professional development.  I quickly realized that SHRM was doing the most of any HR association in the world to advance and promote the HR profession. I proceeded to earn my SPHR in 1999.

A few years later I started to actively volunteer with SHRM in 2007 after participating in the SHRM delegation to China. In 2012 there was an opportunity to set up a SHRM office in Dubai and, as you might expect, I jumped at that opportunity.

What do you think of the current commentary in the global HR space?

I don’t want to give too much away about my session at this year’s conference, but the eureka moment seed was planted in my head when I was traveling through Heathrow airport last year and there was a book on display in the bookstore with a title that immediately grabbed my attention: From Global to Local – the making of things and the end of Globalization.  It reminded me of the book by Francis Fukuyama entitled, The End of History and the Last Man.  And I asked myself, are we really at the end of globalization? If so, what’s next, what’s next for HR?

Again, I’m hesitant to give away too much, but let me say I think we’ve made a big mistake by all too often framing HR as having two-worlds: one is an inward looking ‘domestic’ HR, and the other is an outward looking ‘global’ HR. At the highest-strategic level other professions don’t do this. You don’t have US-medicine or Canadian-law or Australian-finance, those are technical or lower order differences which do not define the ‘profession’, they define the local practices. In contrast, the profession is defined as the profession: medicine is medicine, law is law, finance is finance and … HR is HR. If ‘We’ choose to emphasize the technical aspects of HR at the expense of the higher level strategic aspects of HR, then we deserve the outcome we have always gotten: HR perceived as a secondary profession or worse yet, merely a management function.

How has your experience been working in Dubai? Has it shifted your thoughts on global HR?

I live and work in one of the most unique cities in the world – Dubai in the country United Arab Emirates (UAE). And as someone who has travelled most of the world, I’m confident of my assertation that Dubai is a real-world case study in what’s next. Imagine a place where 90% of the workforce is on a temporary work visa (akin to an H1B), imagine how that fact would change the work environment?  It might work a lot like an economy where the vast majority of workers are gig-economy, project to project, dependent-contractors. I think that’s the workplace of the future – a new category of work that fits in between the more traditional notions of employee and self-employed; a bit both.

What are you hoping to get out of the SHRM18 conference?

At the risk of oversimplifying, I always learn something at SHRM’s annual conference I and hope that trend continues.  As an employee of SHRM, most of our hours are allocated to supporting the event and hosting our coveted attendees, but if I can find time to sneak away and catch one or two concurrent sessions, I will be better for having had that experience.  And I really look forward to the international reception and encourage anyone attending from outside the US to mark that event on your daily planner. My experience has been that event is one of the best single opportunities to connect and network with all our international delegates.

Brad is speaking at #SHRM18 in Chicago this June, make sure you get along to see him:

SHRM18 Conference & Exposition

June 17-20

Brad’s session on ‘Is Global HR Still Relevant?’ 4-5.15pm Tuesday 19 June (concurrent)

Career, Human Resources, Leadership, Reflective practice, SHRM, SHRM18, Uncategorized

The Disruption of HR

Disruption doesn’t happen from the inside.

The founders of Invisalign weren’t dentists. Uber wasn’t created by Taxi drivers. Airbnb wasn’t created by hoteliers. And yet now they dominate their industries after completely upending them.

The digital disruption means that everyone’s specialty is at risk of being toppled by someone else. Someone that doesn’t know your business and industry as well as they did. But it turns out that’s an advantage. Because they’re not constrained by the same limitations you place on yourself.

I’m fascinated by speakers in the disruption of HR, of how we treat people within business.

Over the past month I’ve been soaking up some gems from a few people who are the very thought leaders (without making you sick with an over-used term) who I believe will take HR where it needs to go to deliver on what the world of work needs in the future.

The futurist

I am lucky enough to know the fantastic Alex Hagan – Alex is the founder & CEO of Kienco, a workforce strategy consultancy based in Melbourne who works all over the world and as well as being generally excellent at what he does, is a lovely human. We got talking about the future of HR the other day.

The discussion centred around the ‘old guard’ (AKA those who live for policies, procedures, control and to say ‘no’), and the opportunity and responsibility of nurturing those who see the real value-add: to provide strategic people counsel and guidance to help organisations flourish along with the people within them. The ones who will guide the HR profession into the future, when the ‘no’ crowd’s value is superseded by apps and automation.

The Dr of Change

I went to a fascinating breakfast learning session the other week (often an oxymoron) where Dr Josephine Palermo spoke on the cultural disruption an exceptionally large telecommunications company in Australia – Telstra – is facing as it expands over borders and moves into becoming a technology company – rooting it’s change in the customer experience. I know. Customer experience. It’s so overdone. But what got me excited about hearing Josephine speak was this was real.

The key takeaway for me? That we need to move away from ‘best practice’ – there’s no such thing when you’re looking at such new concepts and changes. What you should be aiming for is ‘emerging practice’ and knowing your business well enough to create a fail fast safe environment.

This really resonated with me – it speaks to the core of what HR needs to understand, live and breathe and then teach others to do. If we’re all about people – then we should be modelling great change, understanding the people in our organisation (and by extension, our customers), and helping the business deliver on what’s required to meet our goals.

The Social Movement

I’m so fortunate to be a part of the #SHRM18 blogging crew – but what’s cooler about this than me being stoked to be a part of it is the company I get to keep. HR is a social beast and to continually improve we need to surround ourselves with people that do it differently, people that do it better, and learn and adapt and share what we know to help make work better – because isn’t that what we all want?

To be a part of the social movement making HR better I’ve got some brilliant recommendations of where to go:

  • (self promotion alert) check out the phenomenal crew of #SHRM18 bloggers – they’re all on Twitter and there’s also some great individual blogs that you can follow. It’s easy to set up a feed rather than subscribe to them all if that’s your thing? Feedly is a great resource to get all your blog/article/website articles in an easy-to-read magazine style one stop shop.
  • Definitely get onto HR Open Source. They are freaking awesome. What could be better than a community of people just like you (if you are also fantastic) who want to make HR and work better for everyone? There’s a tonne of crowd-sourcing of HR challenges, sharing of resources and just a great sense of community.
  • Soak up some podcasts. On your way to work? You can totally learn while you’re doing that. Check out:
    • Drive Thru HR (so good – and heaps of content!) hosted by @MikeVanDervort it is seriously good stuff.
    • HR Happy Hour – hosted by some of the best in the business @SteveBoese & @TrishMcFarlane.
    • Impact Makers from @JenniferMcClure – this is a new one but Jennifer is AWESOME and you should definitely check it out.
    • We’re Only Human – HR is about people, and Ben (@BenEubanks) is a phenomenal interviewer who has one of the longest histories in HR/work podcasting out there. Highly recommend.
    • Business, Life & Coffee @joeyvpriceHR, the CEO of Jumpstart:HR is an excellent interviewer and really expands your horizons with some really interesting business leaders and a wide variety of experts.
    • Talking People & Tech from @DaveGass & Jared Cameron looking at the intersection of HR & Technology.

(There are so many more I could go on about – but often I find out about a really good one from listening to another – it does become a bit of an addiction).

  • Get into the HR Book Club – it’s not too late! From the HR-famous (yeah, that’s a thing) @LRuettimann herself. Laurie also has an excellent Vlog series that you can access on her website.

So what do we need to do? Keep asking questions, soak up all the knowledge you can, and as you’re figuring it out make sure you share so we can all learn from you too!

Uncategorized

#HRMixTape2018 – The Beyoncé Edition

I was spending some time waiting on my flight to Sydney getting right into my twitter feed and what do I find?

The perfect opportunity to work Beyoncé quotes into my blog. #lifeachievementunlocked.

#HRMixTape2018 is a challenge issued by @MarkSWHRF to write an HR blog using and linking 5 pieces of music to illustrate your point. So, in honour of one of the smartest HR pros I know, and an epic Beyoncé fan, Bella Yool, this one’s dedicated to you!

1

Single Ladies

(AKA: Engagement)

All the single ladies

Now put your hands up

Oh, oh, oh

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

Oh, oh, oh

Oh, oh, oh

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

Oh, oh, oh

‘Cause if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it

What’s one of the most critical elements of getting HR right in your organisation? Employee engagement. Because you can have the best of everything but if your people aren’t committed and they don’t care then you’re fighting a loosing battle.

In the wise words of the Queen herself, if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it.

2

Run the World

(AKA: Creating an Environment Where Women Can Succeed)

Who are we?

What we brought?

We run the world

Who run the world? Girls

The #metoo movement has been a timely reminder for many who (mistakenly) thought that sexual harassment in the workplace was a thing of the past. It still happens all the time, and just because this type of harassment (and others) aren’t always visible doesn’t mean they aren’t happening.

While this cannot ever be just HR’s responsibility, we have an important role to play in making sure that organisational leadership makes a conscious effort to create environments where women can thrive (and maybe run the world?) without fear of harassment.

3

Telephone (with Lady Gaga)

(AKA: Work/life Balance)

‘Cause I’ll be dancin’

‘Cause I’ll be dancin’

Tonight I’m not takin’ no calls, ’cause I’ll be dancin’!

Work is important. You can work your whole life towards a career objective and I respect that. But you can’t just be work. Family, friends, quality puppy time, these things are important. And sometimes HR people, when our lives are about careers, it’s easy to forget that we should also be the guardians of promoting a healthy balance.

So kick off your work shoes, grab some dancing ones, and head out for a boogie!

4

Daddy Lessons

(AKA: Know Your Business)

My daddy warned me about men like you

He said baby girl he’s playing you

He’s playing you

Cause when trouble comes in town

And men like me come around

Oh, my daddy said shoot

Oh, my daddy said shoot

Don’t let yourself get played! A key element of being an excellent business partner and delivering valuable people guidance to your stakeholders?

Know your business. Don’t just listen to the spiel. Get in there, understand the crucial elements of your business. What keeps your CEO up at night? What about the executive team? Your manager? The frontline staff? They all matter. Don’t take anything on face value alone, you need to dig deep.

5

If I Were a Boy

(AKA: The Gender Pay Gap)

If I were a boy

Even just for a day

I’d roll out of bed in the morning

And throw on what I wanted and go

Drink beer with the guys

And chase after girls

I’d kick it with who I wanted

And I’d never get confronted for it

‘Cause they’d stick up for me

You know what sucks? People getting paid differently for the same job because of their anatomy. You know what else sucks? Not understanding the systems behind the undervaluing of work traditionally seen as feminine.

I’m not suggesting a radical overhaul of your remuneration policies to put the cleaners on the same salary as the C-Suite – but when reviewing and setting remuneration continually challenge yourself and your colleagues:

  • Is this decision fair?
  • Does this decision consider equity? (Not always the same thing as ‘fair’), and
  • What assumptions are we making about the real value of someone’s work and them as a valued member of our company?

Oh my gosh – and now I’m realising. I could run my whole career on Beyoncé’s advice? Who knew?!

Thanks Mark – I have really enjoyed this!