#SHRM22 Asked HR to #CausetheEffect – Let’s Celebrate it!
By Tina Marie Wohlfield
Last week, over 18,000 HR professionals came together both in New Orleans and virtually during four incredible days at the SHRM Annual Conference and Expo. From sessions to connections, #SHRM22 had something to offer an HR profession regardless of your level, industry, employer size or location.
With any conference or trip requiring travel, one should always expect there to be a “little rough air”, but those bumps bring the greatest opportunities to connect with someone you may have missed in the crowd. Some of my most cherished moments this year, were the people or sessions I found myself with, because my very carefully planned conference agenda had a detour or two.
There are so many highlights and takeaways from this year’s conference. Here are my top 5 Session Takeaways.
Johnny C. Taylor Jr – “Be a Thermostat! Change the Temperature by Influencing the hearts and minds of our people so that we all benefit.” This is one of my favorite quotes from this year’s conference in how HR can cause the effect in our organizations.
Greg Schwem – “When is it NOT a good time to be laughing – NEVER!” We need to recognize that it is ok to laugh at work. Because it is, especially if you are in HR.
Steve Browne – “If you are not here for the people – get out.” In HR we are people that deal with other people. We need to be sure our practices, policies and strategies focus on the people we serve.
April Callis-Birchmeier – “Create a narrative that is relevant and relatable to get people to embrace change.” Stories connect people and the more we connect them with the need and why for change – we will have detailers and not derailers!
Johnny C. Taylor Jr. – “Being valued is different than showing value.” Sometimes in HR we focus so much at proving our value that we miss or lack being valued ourselves.
From airport gates, shuttles, UBERS, and lines in the expo, I had the incredible opportunity to meet and share experiences with members of our global HR Community.
On my flights to and from NOLA, I ran into old HR friends I had not seen in a while (no thanks to COVID) and had the pleasure of making new ones! On my flight out of Detroit, it was the #SHRM22 party plane with more than half the flight headed to the conference! And we had a VIP on the flight as “Mr. Steve Browne” was on board. Sorry, no tiny hands or squirrels were allowed in the cabin during that flight.
Like many of you, getting home was a little challenging and I had gotten bumped off my direct return flight back to Detroit and was now flying out of Atlanta with a early morning arrival. That switch (thank you Delta) was a blessing as I got to meet Johnny C. Taylor for the first time (I admit a definite fan girl moment). Johnny was on the same flight sitting behind me and I had the best seat mates for that segment of my trip meeting Clint Clayborn from Columbia South Carolina, who has spent 25 years working at a credit union (I spent 10 in the industry) so we celebrated stories even during a little turbulence.
I took Steve Browne’s advice and said hello to people going up and down the escalator (some chatted back). I met Jennifer and Christine from New York in the expo when it first opened. I danced in the entrance outside Hall F and made new friends along the way that celebrated my excitement for being at #SHRM22.
I also had the pleasure of meeting in real life, Izabel Masiarchin from Utah. Izabel and I connected on social media prior to the conference. She surprised me by attending my session on Tuesday afternoon. Best part, her comment to a post on LinkedIn after my session was that “I killed it”. I hope she shared that in the speaker survey (best feedback ever!)
Our SHRM HR Volunteers Cause the Effect at SHRM22
One of the highlights of my conference was the ability to meet and connect with attendees and the army of volunteers (yellow and green shirts) who worked hard to ensure that your conference experience was #HRAwesome. When an event of this magnitude is planned, it takes a village of volunteers, many behind the scenes to make it happen. These incredible volunteers come from our local and state chapter network, members of our SHRM #HRCommunity. From our host New Orleans SHRM to Texas, South Carolina and more – I want to shout cheers of appreciation to these amazing individuals a few of which I want to highlight here.
I met Alicia Long from South Carolina in the volunteers’ lounge over breakfast on Day 2. She had just got done being a room host of a session I had tried to make (but missed) and was happy to share how amazing it was. She is the founder, CEO of “I am My Sisters Bra” a non-profit. I loved her energy and cracked a joke that I wish she would be my room host for my session the next day. Alicia made that happen – by the way. As a result, a new HR connection was born over waffles and coffee! #Priceless
The ability to volunteer and represent our SHRM community is an amazing part of the SHRM annual conference experience for so many of our local and state council members.
I got to spend time with Damona Barnes and Nancy Springler, two volunteers from our host city chapter New Orleans SHRM. Damona is an HR rockstar and former president of the NOSHRM. When I was chatting with Nancy, I asked her why she chose to volunteer at our annual conference this year. She shared for her it is the ability to meet and interact with so many individuals from our global HR community and make lasting connections that may otherwise be missed if she was just an attendee.
From the SHRM Store to the Student Lounge, Volunteer Leader Lounge, to the Certification Lounge…expo hall to room hosts and in between; an army of SHRM employees and volunteers were working hard to make our conference experience impactful. Thank you to all of you, SHRM, our volunteer team leaders (green shirts), and volunteers (yellow shirts) for giving us the gift of your time and new connections made through your efforts. If you are attending SHRM alone and want to meet new individuals and/or looking for a way to give back, watch for volunteer opportunities through your local chapter or SHRM for next years conference!
Celebrate our HR Community – We are Better Together
As my final blog post for #SHRM22 I want to say thank you. I was incredibly honored to have been selected to speak and be on the #SHRM22Influencer team to share my conference experience with you real time. From leading up to the conference, during and this post event summary I got to share my excitement with you. I was able to meet 19 of the 21 individuals on this team in #NOLA several for the first time “in real life” including Mary W, Melanie P, Anish and Baskaran. Diane F, our time is coming, and I can’t wait to see you in person next year!
Most of us in the SHRM22Influencer group are HR professionals like you. We are passionate for our HR community and the incredible work happening within it. I was welcomed by these amazing humans and other friendly faces who screamed, “Welcome to SHRM22 – We are SO glad you are here!” Me too! I am glad to have embarked on the incredible experience last week with all of you!
I came to this year’s conference with three objectives – to make connections, have meaningful conversations (learn from speakers and my peers) and celebrate our #HRAwesome global SHRM HR community. I left with incredible memories with old friends and new, feeling empowered with the tools to continue to #CauseetheEffect in my HR role, and gratitude for the ability to have this experience and share it with you.
The impact we can have as a profession, when we come together to support, advocate, celebrate and inspire other HR professionals is evident. I have never been prouder to be a long-time member of SHRM. One last tip (thank you to Jeff Palkowski), if you are planning on joining us in Vegas for #SHRM23 (which I hope you are), don’t forget to book your room early (via the SHRM23 housing block.
Viva Las Vegas!
One of the many #HRAwesome experiences in store for attendees at #SHRM22 will be interacting with HR vendors and service providers in the conference expo hall. One of the companies on my must visit list is RecogNation. I recently had the pleasure to chat with a member of the RecogNation team that will be joining us in New Orleans, Kailey Savona. Tina Marie: I am very excited to learn more about RecogNation. What makes you different from other HR rewards and recognition providers? Kailey:...
I recently had an opportunity to sit down with fellow #SHRM22Influencer and speaker Tim Sackett to talk about all things #SHRM22 and #TA. Tim is a Talent Acquisition expert, author of “The Talent Fix” and an HR leader who is helping to #CausetheEffect every day.
Tina Marie: Tim can you share a little about what we can expect from his session “Your ATS In Not Enough! Recruiting Tech and Strategies to Attract More Talent”
Tim: The concept of my session is around what does HR need besides an ATS. Everybody buys an ATS and thinks that should solve all their recruiting problems. It’s far from that, our ATS’s are basically our HCM’s, our systems of record. There are so many other cool systems and technology outside of what your ATS will do, unfortunately some ATS providers will tell you “Oh yeah, we can do that, sure we can do customer relationship management (CRM).” In all actuality, they likely do some pieces of it, very lightly or whatever that may be. We are going to talk about going beyond that, in really trying to figure out what HR should be looking at, what’s out there and the ROI.
Tina Marie: Tim, many of us work for small to medium size companies that are struggling with recruiting. How can we better leverage things outside of our ATS (if we have one) or get other technology that integrates with an ATS to enhance our recruiting experience.
Tim: Tech vendors all the time will talk about “oh we have open API’s.” What an API is, basically is how information flows back and forth between technology sources. Open API is good because your ATS can then talk really well with other technologies and connect (interact). What is not known for most HR buyers is that if I have an applicant tracking system, which has tons of these “API integrations”, what other technologies do their clients want to use. They (the vendors) actually know which ones clients want to use the most.
Part of my RFP and selection process includes asking vendors to give me the” top 10 technologies” that other clients are actually plugging into to. What that information will tell you is where the system holes are that all these other clients (of the product) have already figured out. Finding out how others had to find ways to make the technology work for them helps show you what technology plays well with the system and what doesn’t. ATS companies tend to always tell you they integrate with everybody, they likely do. Some integrations are really easy, and some are really hard. What you want to try to do is find the ATS that is closest to what you need and has the technology integrations that are already built so that you can plug and play really quickly and not have to recreate the wheel.
You can learn more ways about leveraging technology to enhance your recruiting experience to #CausetheEffect at Tim’s session on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, at 3:30 pm CST. Tim’s book (a must have in every HR library) – “The Talent Fix” will be available for sale in the #SHRM22 bookstore and he will be doing an onsite book signing at the conference. You will likely spot Tim in the SHRM expo checking out new technology options so be sure to say hello!
Are you attending #SHRM22 and finding it a challenge to pick from one of the many #HRAwesome sessions available? As I plan my #SHRM22 conference agenda, there are a few sessions that stand out. One of those sessions is “Ready Set, Change! Simplify and Accelerate Organizational Change”. When I think about many ways that we in HR can #CauseTheEffect, having the ability to navigate and facilitate positive change in the organizations we serve is one of them. I recently had the opportunity to connect with session presenter, April Callis-Birchmeier on what we can expect when we see her take the stage at the SHRM Annual Conference and Expo in June.
April, can you share a little preview on what #SHRM22 attendees will experience when they attend your session?
ACB: Organizations are inundated with change. New technologies, operational challenges, and adjusted expectations are creating rapid, compounding change. My goal is to help those attending my session discover a model to navigate personal and organizational change while building both agility and resilience in yourself and others.
In your book, you help us identify the why and framework to help prepare and successfully navigate change through storytelling. We watch this process unfold through the eyes of an HR Manager named Elizabeth. I think we can all relate to Elizabeth’s struggles as fellow HR professionals. For those of us facing similar barriers to implementing change in our organizations, share one tip of advice for all of us out there navigating HR today.
ACB: Using a framework or model is extremely helpful when you are not a change management expert, but you’re expected to lead change. The READY framework is flexible and effective in communicating with others about change and implementing various change management tasks and milestones. It is a great tool to assist people in adopting new behaviors and beliefs due to change initiatives and projects.
As you continue to plan your conference agenda, I hope you will join me at one of two onsite attendee offerings for this session taking place on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, at 2:00 pm or Wednesday, June 15, 2022, at 8:45 am.
April’s book “Ready Set, Change! Simplify and Accelerate Organizational Change” will also be available for sale in the SHRM Bookstore (accessible to both onsite and virtual attendees). Get your copy signed and meet April at book signing during the conference.
I can’t wait to see you and April in New Orleans at #SHRM22
SHRM annual is not just for CHRO’s or those in HR at larger organizations. What I discovered last year was that our conference has something to offer every HR pro, regardless of your title, career level, organizational size or industry. Most importantly, the opportunity to meet, connect and share conversations with other HR professionals and build that “phone an HR friend” network.
Steve Browne, Tina Marie and Tom Daniels I can remember pretty vividly the moment I first discovered Steve Browne. I was flipping through the pages of SHRM's HR Magazine and came across Steve's long standing column (in the back on the last page before the end cover). At that exact moment in time, I was struggling to find my place in HR. I was different. I believed that in order for HR to serve the people, they needed to know their people (employees). I was however facing resistance and...
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