If I Could Change The World: #SHRM18 Recap


“Stop everything you’re doing. I need this in two hours.”

I was submerged back into the real world of work almost instantly as I walked into Midway airport after SHRM 2018. For a few days, I was in this oasis of people with big ideas and plans for changing the world. We were having conversations that were so much larger than work. The kind of stuff that could really change people’s lives. But there I was, slammed back into the real world abruptly.

In all fairness, our bubble was just that – a bubble. There are a lot of eyes on the world of work and HR’s role in doing what’s right. Between #MeToo and general bad behavior, there are so many more eyes on HR and recruiting professionals to change the stats. To be bold.

Looking back to 10 years ago when I was first introduced to SHRM, no one was talking about how to make work better. It was process and procedure. More broadly, most people in the world operated with this belief that work was never ending. That work had to be bad. That work had to be something we dread. There was a quiet understanding that bad things happened and HR could play for either side. They could be corrupt.

Now there’s conversation about how we make it better, yet the community who can do the most to make it work better is not the one generally addressed: HR. We charge the leadership – the men, the women, and whoever else – and while I believe we all have a role, we as human leaders have an even more significant one.

We can change the freakin’ world.

I’m tired of talking to recruiters about changing employee experience when they own no part of the delivery. They just make the promise. HR is the one who is in charge of the story and the details. They’re the support system when all hell breaks loose, when things go wrong, or when paving a path for things to go right.

I think HR can actually fix work. And so many sessions proved me right. Here’s how (via overviews and tweets from SHRM 18):

1) We can create a continuous talent brand. HR and recruiting need to work together better to create a continuous experience from apply to exit. As leaders, we have a tremendous opportunity to communicate with custom experiences. I actually hope to submit to speak at SHRM 2019 on this topic.

#HR is not the NO police. Unless it’s legally, morally, or ethically wrong, turn ‘No’ into ‘Not that way.’ #SHRM18 #SHRM18Blogger – @tmrasberry

2) We must be aware of the data. Survey tools are going to be more important than ever for getting snap polls. HR needs to understand what NPS (net promoter score) is and how it works for their organization so they can make incremental improvements and track it over time.

As HR waiters we can track incremental biases overtime. Then, we can do something. Train ourselves in difficult conversations and evolve as communicators. We can also communicate our changes. – @mfaulkner43

3) We engage every time, not just times when things are changing. Often times, as an HR committee, we are reactive. We just move in when things aren’t going quite right and try to create change or evolve. What we really need is ongoing relationships and communication that make people aware of who we are and our faith in them. It is human resources after all. Be a resource to humans.
What did you hear at SHRM 18 that inspired you to go and change the world?