#SHRM17, Career, Human Resources, Working in People & Culture

Heading to #SHRM17 as an International Attendee?

Last year I attended SHRM for the first time – it was spectacular!

Attending as an international delegate, the scale of the conference was mind-blowing – much bigger than anything I’ve attended in Australia or New Zealand. I was surprised with the number of international participants, but to be honest the biggest takeaway for me was the calibre of attendees and speakers alike.

This year the conference is in New Orleans – somewhere that would be amazing to get to!

SHRM17StreetSignLOGO

It wasn’t just the keynotes either (although they were pretty spectacular all round) – the value I got from the other attendees – in particular, the organisers, volunteers, bloggers and the people I met in the lunch lines was the absolute highlight. Being able to share in their enthusiasm for rethinking how we engage with people in our organisations and witness the evolution of HR was career changing.

As a first time attendee I relied a huge amount on the SHRM Blogger articles and the guides published on the conference website. The scale being much bigger than anything I’d interacted with before was a little (edit: a lot) daunting: multiple streams, concurrent sessions, a large venue, all meant that relying on advice from the experts in planning my time was invaluable.

Things to consider for international attendees?

  1. Check out the international lounge – you will meet a huge variety of people and it’s nice to have a ‘base’ to work from.
  2. Read up on the SHRM Blogger articles. These are the people to take advice from, veteran SHRM attendees and new additions alike, they’ve scoped some of the hottest speakers and expo attendees and will point you towards all the hidden treasures of the conference.
  3. The Smart Stage is absolutely the place to be when you’ve found yourself with a bit of time (and there’s undoubtedly a number of speakers that you want to schedule into your conference time too) – but the ‘aha!’ moments I had when just sitting down for half an hour were some of the highlights of my SHRM16 time.
  4. Plan plan plan! No you don’t have to plan down to every minute (unless that’s your thing – then go nuts!) but make sure you’ve had a good look through the schedule and find your top picks – the venue is big and if you have a must-see you don’t want to miss out because that session was at the other end of the venue or you got lost (see step 5 for getting lost).
  5. Make use of the friendly volunteers. Unless you’re a conference location savant you will be thanking your lucky stars for the hundreds of volunteers who will point you towards the bathrooms with the smallest lines, direct you to your next session and let you know where the lost property stash is for that bag you left behind!
  6. Get on to the message boards – there are the official SHRM ones you get access to with your ticket, but there will also be numerous Facebook groups spring up where people will organise dinners and you’ll hear about events happening over the time of the conference. If you’re not one to normally get out of your shell make this the exception – I’ve never met such a welcoming group of people as at these events, some who have become wonderful friends.

The most important thing to do though? Have fun! Open your mind and listen to a few speakers that have different points of view than you. Make it a mission to speak to as many different people as you can and make the most of what will be one of the best professional learning experiences you can hope for.

 

This blog post was first published at the SHRM blog for the #SHRM17 conference.

#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.

 

 

 

#SHRM16, Career, Reflective practice

My 2016: The oh-darn-it’s-already-December Edition

2016-blog-december

Well well well….

It’s December tomorrow, I’m about to get the Christmas tree up and I’ve only just stopped to take a breath and I’ve realised that the year has gone so fast™ (I used to think that only old people said this and I’m now one of them).

2016 was a huge year for me – I bit the bullet and completed my Masters in Management while working full time, travelled to #SHRM16 in Washington D.C. (career highlight!) and had my first full year in my role as Learning and Organisational Development Manager at YMCA Victoria. In all the insanity my blogging dropped off considerably, I have an enormous pile of books next to my bed half read and many incomplete book reviews and articles waiting their turn to be completed. In short, my own personal learning journey has been usurped by the busyness of life.

A few months ago I was asked to participate in a gratitude study, which measured gratitude practices and their impact on self-esteem. That week I added to my morning ritual a journal entry of what I’m grateful for and it was an eye-opening exercise. In the spirit of sharing a few of the highlights for me were:

  • My family and friends – who are spread very much across the world but thanks to technology I’m able to be connected with constantly.
  • My dog. This might seem a bit trite but he makes me incredibly happy and forces me to do more exercise (good for the brain, body and soul) and his positive world view is pretty infectious!
  • My career, colleagues and workplace. I am very aware how fortunate I am to work for an organisation (shoutout to YMCA Victoria!) that I truly believe in that has given me huge opportunity. Add to that working with some of the loveliest people on the planet who all care deeply about their work and getting to focus my career on developing people and organisations to increase their potential I’m stoked!
  • I’m incredibly thankful for the many people who I’ve learned and grow with locally and the globe over – the fantastic #PeoplePeopleCU crew in Melbourne, the incredible bloggers and SHRM community, and my online & IRL networks who provide support and learning opportunities constantly.
  • Living in Australia – my husband and I (and our dog Vito) moved to Australia in 2013 from New Zealand. While we love our country and going back for time with family and friends the lifestyle and opportunities offered to us in Australia remind us how fortunate we are.

2016 has been an interesting year in some respects #JohnOliver….

2016-john-oliver

… But for me it has been incredible – so now I’m going to take my last month and try and correct the neglect some of my own personal learning habits suffered earlier in the year.

Facilitator, Formal learning, Training

Learning Event Measurement for Non-L&D Folk

A quick 5 in 5 on why we should be measuring learning events in the workplace!

 

1. Why should I be measuring learning ?

It’s important to measure learning events so you can ensure that your intended outcomes translate into behaviour change or action within the workplace.

Evaluating training, seminars, workshops or events that you have put time into developing is important so you can:

  • Find out if your learning event had the intended outcome
  • If your learners didn’t get the required outcomes from the event, you can find out if there’s anything you need to follow up on (e.g. extra resources, follow up training etc.)
  • Reflect on what went well and could be improved next time to help you embed continuous learning to how you develop your people.

 

2. What do you mean by ‘learning event’?

If you have developed/delivered a training/event/workshop/seminar for staff or volunteers. This might be as simple as a two-hour face to face training session or a series of workshops or experiences that build into a ‘program’.

 

3. What if I think I need more comprehensive measurement?

You might do! If you’re doing a large scale project/change/series of events I would recommend a more detailed approach to measurement than a standard event follow up survey.

For example in some situations it may make sense to test your learner’s knowledge of the topic prior to the learning event/s so you can ask the same questions after and see the impact of your approach.

Alternatively in some situations it may make sense to survey both the learner and their manager to discuss change of behaviour from both perspectives.

A word of warning though – you don’t want to disengage your stakeholders through asking too much of them!

 

4. How do I measure?

You want to be careful that you’re measuring with a purpose – so don’t ask anything of your learners that isn’t going to feed in to constructive analysis afterwards.

Check out this great basic analysis on Kirkpatrick’s four-level evaluation model from Mind Tools.

This PDF of possible training questions is a good start – but it leans towards the old-school ‘happy sheet’ model where impact on, and change to, behaviour isn’t measured.

I recommend choosing a couple of questions around the experience of the learning event and then focusing most of your questions on what impact your learning event had on your main objective. This might be something like ‘increasing amount of time customer service staff spend making potential customers feel welcome in store prior to engaging in sales’, or ‘sharing personal personality testing results to enable constructive conflict to happen within our team’.

Once you’ve defined your primary objective it should be much easier to build a couple of questions around assessing the impact of your learning event on changing behaviour in this space.

 

5. What tools can I use?

Well you can go old school – forms at the end of the session. But for your convenience – as well as some additional analytics tools – I recommend using something like Survey Monkey to send out your survey electronically. It’s free to use and is a great starting point for  gathering data on your learning events.