Leadership, personal

The whole world turned upside down: brain cancer & awesome workplaces

In June this year my life took an unexpected turn. I had my parents (John & Jenny) visit from New Zealand, they said it was to visit Sam and I (but I knew the truth, my 2-year-old was the main attraction).

After an action-packed week of Aquarium and Zoo visits, and tramming their way all over Melbourne they were ready to go home.

One day before they were due to leave, Mum and I took John, my wonderful, kind, generous Stepdad, to the hospital after some headaches and confusion.

The outcome of that long ED visit was a Stage 4 GBM (brain cancer), brain surgery, chemo and radiation. Their short stay, arranged during school holidays, was then extended indefinitely as we fought this. They ended up staying with us an additional 9 weeks.

I cannot help but look at the past couple of months and see some of the best lessons of my life playing out.

The biggest part of that lesson for me was a personal one. Despite his diagnosis, despite the uncertainty and surgery and tears from us all, John has been unashamedly positive.

* Positive because of the incredible care he received at the Royal Melbourne.

* Positive because of the doctors, nurses and staff who took the time to care for him.

* Positive because, despite the circumstances, we had unexpected bonus-time as a family together, with my brothers and sister visiting from NZ and America.

* Positive because of the outpouring of love from family, friends, colleagues, strangers, and ex-students of my parents who sent messages of aroha and support from near and far.

* Positive in continually repeating that he’s lucky, he’s got a great life, and wife(!) and wonderful kids, it could all be so much worse.

John manages to find good in everything, and everyone. (after you meet his Mum, Nana Jean, you know where this comes from). The one nurse who during his time in hospital was a little short, hungover and on her phone? He refused to complain, because “you don’t know what’s going on in someone’s life, she might be having a really hard time”. John is the definition of positivity and love. I’m so fortunate that he came into our lives when I was a kid.

The second biggest lesson was what I experienced, along with each member of my family during a really tough time. My parent’s employers (Devon Intermediate, and Frankley School in NZ) were both amazing. They made organising time off easy and they sent messages full of love and hope. They sent tins of tea and flowers and fruit. They contacted us and asked what would help and listened.

My work (bloom hearing specialists), and, in particular my direct manager, have been nothing but incredible. While I’ve been on the HR-end of many crises, that’s not the same of the overwhelming sense of thankfulness you get when your manager makes it clear that there’s nothing that matters more than being there with your family. When your colleagues forgive your absentmindedness and don’t mention your horrendous eyebags/unkempt hair after another sleepless night. When you are encouraged to do what is right for you and your family, knowing it really is OK.

This post is part thanks, and part encouragement. Encouragement to do what you know is right, and treat others with empathy and love. At the time you might not consider it something monumental, especially when you know someone is going through *big* things. But every message, every small gesture meant an incredible amount to us as we grappled with all we had to deal with during this time, and it won’t be forgotten.

* John & Jenny have now returned to New Zealand, leaving our two-bedroom house very quiet.

#SHRM19

#SHRM19 Q&A: Jonathan Segal on HR & Sexual Harassment

#SHRM19 is just around the corner, and one of the speakers I always make time to see is Jonathan Segal. This isn’t just because he is a genuinely delightful human being who also is a champion for animal rights. It’s also due to his exemplary knowledge and wisdom in the field of gender bias and sexual harassment and his ability to clarify complex issues for an HR audience.

I spoke to Jonathan recently to hear more about his session Sexual Harassment Case Studies.

Tell me more about why you wanted to speak about sexual harassment case studies?

We all know now that harassing conduct is both severe and pervasive. No industry is immune. Responsible employers have done even more to prevent and remedy harassing conduct since the “great awakening” in 2017. This includes strengthening policies, complaint procedures, training, etc.

Now, however, I fear that HR may have some #metoo fatigue. After all, it has been the topic de jure for more than a year. While #metoo is not the only issue for HR, it must remain top of mind. This means focusing not only on compliance but also on culture.

This program will provide guidance to HR to assist other leaders navigate the gray, receive complaints, respond to potentially harassing behavior, avoid retaliatory conduct, etc.

What motivated you to get started in law?

I grew up in a family where social justice was very important. Dr. King remains my hero. I became interested in how law could increase equality.

When I went to law school, I became particularly interested in employment law. Originally, I had considered being a plaintiffs’ lawyer. But, for many reasons, I decided I wanted to try to make a difference by working within the system, that is, for employers. A recovering litigator, I focus entirely on maximizing compliance and managing risk with an eye toward culture. I love what I do. I am quite fortunate.

What has been your most valuable lesson professionally so far?

There is no such thing as risk avoidance. In HR, it’s all about managing risk.

Avoid risk by hiring a questionable applicant? You may have a riskier termination if things do not work out. Avoid risk by not terminating an employee who should be separated? You may be creating a bad “comparator” when you terminate someone else for same or similar reasons. Plus, what damage can the employee cause while remaining employed?

Somethings are legally mandated or prohibited. But where there is legal risk rather than illegality, we must get comfortable with the gray. Afterall, sometimes the greatest risk of all is to take no risk at all.

What is your favorite part of attending SHRM?

I love the short and not-so-short conversations with HR professionals, scheduled or impromptu. I like listening to what issues HR people face day to day. I think I am a better business partner as a result.

But it goes beyond the professional. Annual is a great opportunity to meet up with people I don’t see often live but really like. It is also an opportunity to meet people I “know” from social media and get to know them the old fashion way.

What do you think attendees will be most interested in in your session?

I suspect people will be interested in how to respond “in the moment” to harassing and other unacceptable conduct, even if no complaint. This is so important and so much room for error.

I anticipate there may be questions on navigating the gray. I never expected that a large part of my counseling practice would be the “when and how” of hugs and compliments.

What sessions are you most excited about attending yourself?

So many great sessions but here are but 5 (in alpha order):

1. Steve Brown, HR Rising! From Ownership to Leadership

2. Sol Adrianna Echeverría, Doing Business Globally with Multicultural Teams: Strategies to Manage Integration

3. David Edelman, The Emotional Connection Between Your Brand and Employees

4. Jim Reidy, When Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: Legal Issues and Hiring Strategies in Era of Legalized Marijuana

5. Allison West, He Said, She Said- Now What? Tips for Effectively Assessing Credibility

What do you do when you’re not at work?

My passion outside of work is animal rescue. I have been a hands-on volunteer virtually every week for more than a dozen years. Thank you Montgomery County SPCA. In the interest of full disclosure, I am now a Board member, too.

No feeling is better than getting a shelter cat or dog adopted. I have a soft spot for the older animals, so I push a bit harder for them and, by a bit, I mean a lot. We cannot save every animal. But we save a universe with every animal we save.

To quote Anatole France: “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” In addition to the shelter animals, Scotty, Finny and Larry awaken my soul every day.

What’s the most important lesson you want attendees to your session to walk away with?

That the problem of harassment remains, and that HR plays a critical role in ensuring that our workplaces are respectful, safe and productive.

We can make a difference. We must! I hope to support HR by sharing some practical tools to make this happen.

AHRI, Australian HR, Career, Human Resources, Leadership

5 Key Takeaways From The AHRI Awards

AHRI get a lot of things right for me as an association – they work incredibly hard (every employee or volunteer I’ve met have confirmed this), they listen to their membership, and they lead with the genuinely good intent that our profession can be better and can create better work environments for others.

Last week I attended the AHRI Awards, a national event that I have never had the opportunity to go to before. It was fabulous. Not just because of the great MC (Peter Berner), performances & food – but for the great conversations and stories that were shared throughout the evening.

The “people profession”, as described by Lyn Goodear, came together to celebrate the hard work of both individuals and workplaces in bettering work for others.

Ok, ok, ok – without further ado, here are my 5 key takeaways from the event:

1. Individual awards are where it’s at

The first two acceptance speeches for the night really set the tone, both giving heartfelt thanks to their teams, mentors and managers who believed in them. It was a timely reminder that no matter how busy you are, how much you’ve got going on, the support you give those in your team will make an impact far bigger than you realise at the time.

There is amazing talent coming through in the field of HR and I’m excited about the impact and change that this will inevitably bring.

2. Diversity & inclusion is where all the cool work is happening

The HR Diversity Champion Award as a really big one for me. The Defense Force isn’t necessary an employer that I would have picked as a front runner in innovative HR practice (which I full well acknowledge may be my own denseness) but I was really impressed with Shane Cox’s work in providing career pathways for indigenous youth.

3. The numbers of people with AHRI certification are growing

I’m really enjoying the growing professionalisation of HR in Australia, largely due to the efforts of AHRI. Certification was a topic of conversation at the awards – which definitely prompted me to reflect on exactly when I will be getting my A into G on that one!

4. AHRI = genuine advocacy

A message I heard loud and clear – not just from AHRI (because what member association isn’t going to advocate this), but from volunteers, staff members, and from what efforts are recognised makes it clear, we are fortunate to have this be our professional association.

I heard multiple times from the winners in their acceptance speeches of the honour of their work being recognised by AHRI. What AHRI is doing is celebrating work that is changing the way others work, interact and experience their own work. Work that is genuinely changing peoples’ lives.

5. Conversations!

The AHRI Awards was a fabulous opportunity to get out and meet (and reconnect with) people who do great HR. Sometimes life can get busy and its easy to forget, or just not prioritise, meeting new people and listening to what makes them tick. I was lucky enough to sit next to someone who had also rejoined the workforce, and changed role, soon after becoming a parent for the first time. I got to hear about the fascinating experiences of someone who has moved into HR after a long career in energy. These conversations, among others, were a good reminder that its easy to get caught up in your own bubble and forget to take the time to learn from others.

I had such a brilliant night. Not just because of the organ (OMG THE ORGAN), the showtunes from Wicked, the Phantom, Les Mis & Jersey Boys, but because of the honour of being around people that are so brilliant at what they do that they inspire me to be better.

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!

HR for non-HR people, Human Resources, Leadership, Thinking differently

What’s Your HR Problem? (Or is it just you…)

HR wants a remuneration review.

HR wants to improve employee engagement.

HR wants to create a better graduate program.

HR wants to review performance management policies…

Ugh.

My problem with all this?

If it’s only HR wanting it, you may as well not bother.

You’ve got two options in your organisation:

  1. Employ a HR team to manage your legal liability, administration, check pay rates and holidays are by the book, manage recruitment… etc. Or,
  2. Be the kind of leader that prioritises ensuring you cultivate a brilliant place to work that people love and then, employ a HR team to help you and your leadership team achieve that.

If the opening paragraph of this article resonated with you (and you inwardly groaned because it all sounds so bloody familiar) I’m challenging you to consider – what if it’s not the HR team who is getting it wrong? What if it’s you?

The HR function has two primary purposes in my mind:

  • Ensure that the company is meeting its legal obligations, policies, procedures. remuneration etc. This stuff is boring critical but is crucially important for a well-functioning business.
  • Providing the leadership team with the tools, knowledge and advice so they can actualise the workplace they want for their people. This could be the cultivation of a zany, fun, creative workplace. Or a results-driven one. Or a family atmosphere. But the most critical component for me is that they enable the leadership to fulfil their mission.

What often happens instead of the latter is that either, the HR team aren’t set up for success in terms of team/experience, or, the leadership team doesn’t know what work environment they want, or they don’t think the HR team can help deliver it.

How do you figure out what your problem is?

If this is resonating with you and you recognise something has to change, I’d recommend looking at:

Step 1. Consider, where does your HR team report into?

Rather than a blanket ‘you should have a CHRO’ statement – as clearly there isn’t a one-size-fits-all structure that you can pick up and drop in – I’d challenge you to consider what your HR team’s place in the structure says about your priorities.

– Does the HR Director report to the CFO? An operational executive? Safety? What does that say about how important your people strategy is to your business?

– Do you have an HR Manager who is focused on the detail? Or someone the CEO comes to for advice, HR related or not.

– Is your HR function strategic? Has your structure been set up to give them that luxury?

Step 2. Ask yourself the tough questions:

– Are you the problem? Potentially your HR team has the capability to deliver much more than you’re currently allowing them to.

– Have you ever seen HR operate in a truly strategic capacity? If not, ask your network. What business leaders do you know who count their HR leader as one of their first ports of call when considering a strategic business decision?

– Do you really consider establishing the culture of the workplace as a priority? How much thought have you given, how much strategic planning time? How linked do you see the workplace environment to reaching your goals as an organisation?

Step 3: Conduct a HR review:

Two years ago, I completed a piece of research for my Masters on how my organisation’s shared service functions were delivering on what the operational part of the business required (and the concept of organisational drift – thanks Snook). As a part of this work I examined the literature around how shared service teams evaluate their own work, vs those they business partner with. Surprise surprise, we’re often not great at critically reviewing our own work.

Be wary of engaging a random consultant to analyse your team, instead, go with recommendations and someone who has successfully reshaped HR teams for reasons driven by the business. This can’t just be a review of your HR function either – remember, the problem could be bigger than just the team! So, as well as their capability, capacity and ability to deliver to the business, look at their remit, the support and the responsibility given to the team.

Woah! That’s a lot of food for thought. If this is something that you’re keen to talk more about I’d love hear your thoughts.

Reflective practice, Social Media & Learning

#50messagesofholidaythanks

This year has been nuts. There, I’ve said it. 2017 was full of almonds and pistachios (figuratively).

I have had a great year – working at YMCA Victoria with some of the best people I know, I got to enjoy some maternity leave, meet a very cool new little human, and a few more things have fallen into place, hinting that 2018 will be even better yet.

But sometimes it can take a little effort to appreciate how good life can be. A practise I like to try to adhere to is showing gratitude to those around me, who, knowingly, or completely obliviously, made my life better, or richer in some way.

This year I decided to take some time out and thank some friends/colleagues/groups through Twitter. So #50messagesofholidaythanks was born, a small way to let the people at the other end of the @handle know they’re appreciated.

I encourage you to jump on Twitter, search the hashtag, and perhaps add a few messages of gratitude to #50messagesofholidaythanks.

Happy holidays and I hope your break is safe, enjoyable and filled with good people.

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

12 good egg HR & people people to follow

New to HR or new to the wonderful world of free resources that is the net? I was introduced to the wonderful online community of HR & people professionals on the net about four years ago and can’t even tell you what a difference it’s made to my own professional practice.

From keeping up to date on the latest trends (and sometimes hearing about why they’re a load of rubbish) to having a ready-made community who are always keen to help out with a challenging scenario or provide you with a different perspective, I’ve gained so much from this generous online community.

A bit overwhelmed? Wondering where to start? Check out these amazing people! (in alphabetical order, because who on earth could possibly begin to play favourites with these legends???).

 

  1. Colin Ellis @colindellis
    At first glance you might not think you need to be following a project management guru. You do. Colin is phenomenal. If you can ever hear him speak in person do not miss the chance. If that’s not in your near future check out Colin at www.ColinDEllis.com (and sign up for his newsletter, its fantastic), so you can apply great leadership to projects and initiatives that you manage.

 

  1. Dave Ryan @DaveTheHRCzar
    Dave is the Director of HR at Mel-O-Cream Donuts and also an avid cyclist (don’t hold that against him). More importantly though, Dave is a SHRM fountain of knowledge, and is a great sharer of employment law (USA) that makes for excellent reading.

 

  1. Dr Jason Fox @drjasonfox
    Head of www.cleverness.com Jason is a wonderful author, speaker (youtube him and you’ll see what I mean) and is probably the most engaging ‘business’ speaker I’ve ever had the pleasure of engaging with. I say ‘business’ because invariably, people that label themselves this way are overly exaggerated and ineffectual, but I don’t know anyone who hasn’t heard Jason speak who doesn’t think he’s the bees knees. #bumblebeescanfly

 

  1. Greg Savage @greg_savage
    Want to hear about recruitment from someone who has been there, done that and done it better than anyone else? Look Greg up. You can read his take on the world of work at www.gregsavage.com.au and I’d also highly recommend a twitter follow as what he shares is fantastic.

 

  1. Jeff Waldman @jeffwaldmanHR
    Jeff is the founder of @SocialHRCamp and a massive advocate of HR, social HR, recruiting (the smart way) and employer branding. On top of all this (because he needs to be great at more things?) Jeff is a riveting speaker, if you ever see him on a conference line up make sure to get along to hear what he has to say!

 

  1. Jessica Merrell @jmillermerrell
    Jessica is the founder of @Workology and is an awesome source for a tonne of business & HR related thinking. On top of this Jessica is an absolute love and the website www.workology.com is a great source of a range of different writers discussing all things work & HR.

 

  1. Joey V Price @joeyvpriceHR
    Joey is an absolute HR superstar, he’s smart, entertaining (you can also catch his podcast @bizlifecoffee via goo.gl/PEJZ1S or via iTunes) and has a wealth of HR knowledge specially catered for a small business audience. On top of all this Joey is also a big advocate of inspiring the next generation of HR pros and his quick videos are always worth a view.

 

  1. Lars Schmidt @Lars
    Lars is a contributor for Fast Company, Forbes and Tech Co HQ, Lars has written the book (literally) on employer branding (Employer Branding for Dummies), he’s an advocate for the creation of great workplaces (not just workplaces that just sound great), and another fascinating person to follow!

 

  1. Sharlyn Lauby @sharlyn_lauby @hrbartender
    Sharlyn was one of the first people I ever followed in the online world of HR and I must say I find her content to still be amongst the best there is. Sharlyn is all about setting up managers for success in HR and the management of people. She always has practical, easy to understand advice and assistance ready for what seems like a million different scenarios. Highly, highly recommend.

 

  1. SHRM Research @SHRM_Research
    I love SHRM! And SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) Research is the best place to get your latest HR news. There’s a lot of US-specific information there, but if you’re not practising in the USA don’t let that put you off, there’s also a wealth of employment research and great transferable studies that you can apply no matter where you work. On top of that, www.shrm.org is a fantastic resource, and they put on the best HR conferences in the world!

 

  1. Steve Browne @sbrownehr
    Steve! What can I say? If you want to connect with the person that, without a doubt, knows the most people globally in the world of HR, is possibly the nicest guy on the planet and also has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things HR then make sure you follow Steve. He’s definitely not one to brag but he’s one of the most wonderful speakers and sharers (is that even a word?) of HR knowledge I’ve ever met. To top it off, Steve also produces HR Net, a weekly HR newsletter (available from www.sbrownehr.com), which is a great source of HR know-how.

 

  1. TLNT @TLNT_com
    Interested in what’s new in the world of HR? www.tlnt.com is the spot to find well-written articles on every aspect of the profession, from culture to remuneration and benefits, it’s all here. You also get a great spectrum of writers so you may find some new bloggers to follow too!

 

If you have any other must-follows I’d love to hear about them – the amount of my own professional development that is purely from the generosity and sharing of others online I am truly thankful for.

 

 

 

Difficult Conversations, Human Resources

Getting Uncomfortable in HR: Adapting to our Changing World

This article was first published at Blogging4Jobs.com

We hear it a lot: the world of work is changing. Often we hear it at the beginning of a big sweeping statement about how we need to become more ‘responsive’, more ‘agile’ and that because Google, Facebook and Snapchat are doing something new with their approach to employment then you should be too.

At first I thought this was another one of those ‘Death of HR’ things (google that phrase – you’ll have fun for hours) – but then after a bit more research, reading and interviews I realised that I’d been looking at it all wrong.

We shouldn’t just throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater because everyone else is ditching their performance reviews (or whatever everyone’s talking about at the moment) – we at least need to look into what they’re replacing it with, how they’re supporting their people in the change and does throwing the baby out work for us in our context? But when the research stacks up we do have to start thinking differently about how HR happens and what value we add as the people-people of the organisation.

I recently spoke to Michael Haywood, co-founder of LiveHire, about the changing world of work and how HR needs to adapt. It was really satisfying to speak to someone who, instead of waxing lyrical about an inevitable need to change (really? Of course we need to change and evolve, calling it out as a new trend is decidedly old) he focused on what has already changed, what changes are probable, and what the world of work, and HR, needs to think about to respond.

Michael and the team at LiveHire are part of a new wave of antipodeans taking on the world through innovative solutions to changes in the world of work, joining HROnboard, Atlassian and Culture Amp in global domination. Much like the globalisation of the workforce, HR solutions are going international too, proving that geographic location is in no way a barrier to the world of globalising HR.  As a New Zealander, it’s great to see colleagues in the USA be able to access some of our best and brightest (well… some of Australia’s best and brightest, but we’ll take some of the credit due to proximity,) as we’ve enjoyed HR solutions from the USA for years.

Globally our issues are similar – managers are worried about the next generation and how they ‘just don’t get it’ #socratessaiditfirst, we have increasingly diverse and contract-based workforces, and we’re all transitioning from wanting to do HR differently to needing to do it differently.

Social media & the internet are great playing field levellers: knowledge-based workers can now be in far more control of their destiny through identifying potential employers, being able to find the good, the bad and the ugly out about them online, before using user-centred platforms to register their interest and put the ball in the employer’s court.

HR practitioners in knowledge-based workplaces need to respond accordingly. It’s not just a matter of using a few new buzzwords, it’s getting comfortable with changing some of our fundamental assumptions born from the way we have operated in the past. And then, advocating for, and leading change within those organisations that are slower to adapt to make sure they don’t get left behind.

 

#SHRM16, #SoMe, Reflective practice, Social Media & Learning, Working in People & Culture

The HR World is Becoming More Connected

I have LOVED the #SHRM16 conference and it has really forced me to get out and meet some fantastic people – both ones that I’ve had the opportunity to connect with online and also some completely new friends.

That’s the amazing thing about our HR world becoming more and more connected. Having worked across Australia and New Zealand it was the advent of social media allowing professionals to share and collaborate that really changed the game for me. All of a sudden, it wasn’t just the few having access to information about HR in other organisations and countries through printed journals, conferences and site visits. The many can now collaborate, share and create together, coming together on Twitter, LinkedIn, through blogs and vertical platforms (and many other ways) to work across industries and oceans.

The effect this is having on HR is massive. Our employees were already globalising through migration – but now our HR approach is globalising. We’re being able to access information about state of the art employee attraction schemes happening in the USA, learning and development taking a front seat in the UK and I’m able to talk to the creators of such things through Twitter, Skype and a host of other social platforms. People, and companies, are sharing more: the session from Craig Briscoe and Jenn Saavedra from Dell was a testament to that, an excellent example of a large company inviting others to learn from their journey.

It is through social media that I connected with the good folks at SHRM and had the opportunity to get closer to a whole new world of ways to approach people at work. I had initially used social media professionally as tool to observe – I began to follow some prolific HR and learning experts on Twitter and the more they shared the more engaged in this community I became. I began to share content that was relevant to me and then began to blog myself, I also engaged in tweetchats, LinkedIn groups, discovered more great resources and authors and also began to share this knowledge and my own journey in real life.

Often the ‘social media role’ is, by default, given to a millennial. What is critical to remember is that while these technological changes may be most associated with millennials it does not mean they’re the most expert in the subject, nor that those changes aren’t impacting other generations just as much. In fact, one of the most prolific tweeters I know in Australia is a baby boomer L&D professional who has taught me a huge amount about the value of social media in learning.

My breakthrough HR moment from SHRM16? It, without a doubt, has been that technology has the power to change the world for the positive. Sal Kahn moved every single person present in the closing keynote describing the impact that Kahn Academy has had on people the world over. I was very misty eyed (OK, I was tearing up) when Kahn described the emailed letters of impact from his students from children and their parents around the word. This man has changed the world with his “delusional optimism” and I’m so happy that the world has embraced his message.

Don’t be scared of technology. Don’t think it is something that you can’t learn because you’re of a certain generation or the couple of times you’ve dipped your toe in the water you’ve found it confusing. The power to connect is incredibly powerful and technology is a great way for you to access a world of people who are willing to help you, your organisation and your employees develop.

Just try it.

SHRM connected.png

 

This article was first published at https://blog.shrm.org/blog/the-hr-world-is-becoming-more-connected-shrm16 

#SHRM16, Career, Working in People & Culture

A Kiwi Who Lives in Oz Takes on America!

I’ve had an amazing time in the USA (just like last time) – but there are some things that I just can’t get used to. Nothing negative, but there certainly are some differences between the USA and Australia/New Zealand!

I’m here for the #SHRM16 conference, some work and also holidaying with family – so I’m getting to see a bit of this awesome country.

 

Things that have made me, or those around me, face palm:

  • Where is the coffee I’m used to? I’m now detoxing.
  • Why is everyone so nice? It makes me feel uncomfortable when everyone you meet is so darned helpful!
  • Californians texting/facebooking/on the phone while they drive! (Definitely is a negative for me).
  • Drying everything in a clothes dryer – don’t your clothes shrink? And you miss out on the feeling of air-dried clothes which is the best!
  • Alcohol is so cheap in the USA (scratch that: everything is cheaper).
  • Tipping – it’s a constant struggle for me to math it up.
  • Australian/NZ humour is much drier, I’m constantly tripping myself up saying things I think are clearly jokes but are not translating so well.
  • Kiwi’s earn 42% less (but also spend 63% less on healthcare, 72% less likely to be in prison and experience 19% less of a class divide (CIA World Fact Book).

 

And the things that remind me of home:

  • The beaches in California – mmmm the smell of the sea!
  • Hotel rooms look the same everywhere #corporateart
  • Sometimes in Australia I can’t understand what people say if they’ve got a thick accent, it’s still true in the USA!

 

I have to admit… I was dubious about how I would find the USA – but I love it. The people are lovely, the place is beautiful, and the ultimate seal of approval? I love how many dogs I got to pat, because everyone seems to have one, in California.