2013 SHRM Key Takeaways

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More than 15,100 HR and business leaders blew into the Windy City for SHRM 2013, making this year’s event the largest ever in the 65-year history of the conference.
With 200 workshops led by the brightest minds in HR and business, an all-star lineup of keynote speakers, unrivaled networking opportunities and a one-of-a-kind conference exposition, it’s no wonder that so many HR pros from around the country — and around the world — came to Chicago for the four-day event.
If you were there, we hope you filled up on all the insights and connections you could possibly ask for. If you weren’t, we’ll help fill you in.
We were there for all of the keynote speeches and the most important workshops, and we’ve drilled down all of the critical messages and lessons learned into these six key takeaways.

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2013 SHRM Key Takeaways

  1. 1. Last week, more than 15,100 HR and business leaders blew into the Windy City for SHRM 2013, making this year’s event the largest ever in the 65-year history of the conference. With 200 workshops led by the brightest minds in HR and business, an all-star lineup of keynote speakers, unrivaled networking opportunities and a one-of-a-kind conference exposition, it’s no wonder that so many HR pros from around the country — and around the world — came to Chicago for the four-day event. If you were there, we hope you filled up on all the insights and connections you could possibly ask for. If you weren’t, we’ll help fill you in. We were there for all of the keynote speeches and the most important workshops, and we’ve drilled down all of the critical messages and lessons learned into these six key takeaways. Drive success by being data driven. If there was one message that resonated in every presentation, it was to think, act and interact more analytically. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton touched on this in her opening keynote address, when she said that “Good decisions are based on evidence; not ideology.”1 This is an especially prudent point considering that HR is a people function and, when dealing with people, feelings and ideologies often come into play. However, feelings aren’t good predictors of successful outcomes — information is. Learn how to collect, analyze and interpret data to drive better business decisions2 and to gain trust and credibility with your employees and your executives.3 For example, you can target your hiring efforts by analyzing demo- graphic information related to your location, your industry and the available position. You can also use data to project which employees are likely to stay long-term, and which are bound for the exits, in order to reorient your training and engage- ment programs.4 There is so much data out there and making sense of it all can be both empowering and overwhelming. Fortunately, there is a growing number of software tools designed specifically to help HR professionals analyze data and make more accurate workforce decisions.4 If you haven’t already done so, consider exploring these software options for your organization. If you don’t think that analytics are important, perhaps your CEO will change your mind. CEOs now rate HR analytics as the most important new information source,4 making it especially crucial not only to your business, but to your standing in your company and career. Get ready for the millennials.5 By 2025, millennials (those born between 1982 and 1993) will account for 75 percent of the U.S. workforce. Don’t wait until then to start planning for their arrival in your business. Take a close look at how millennials work in order to understand how to work with them. Lessons learned. • Key takeaways from SHRM 2013 adeccousa.com 1 Clinton, H. (2013, July). General Session conducted at SHRM 2013, Chicago, IL. 2 Hendricks, C., PH.D. (2013, July). The Science of a Good Hire. Presentation conducted at SHRM 2013, Chicago, IL. 3 Howe, A. & Jones, G. (2013, July). Trust and Influence: Making the C-Suite your Sweet Spot. Presentation conducted at SHRM 2013, Chicago, IL. 4 Alper-Leroux, C. (2013, July). HR’s Secret Weapon: The Power of Analytics. Presentation conducted at SHRM 2013, Chicago, IL. 5 Schawbel, D. (2013, July). Building the Workforce of Tomorrow: How to Recruit, Retain and Grow Your Young Talent. Presentation conducted at SHRM 2013, Chicago, IL.
  2. 2. Key takeaways from SHRM 2013 Millennials have gotten a bad rap. They are perceived as entitled, insubordinate, lazy and ungrateful. However, the truth is that they are anything but. More than any other generation, millennials want to make a difference, and they’re willing to put in a lot of time and energy to do so. In addition, they do what their managers tell them to do more frequently (45 percent of the time) than those of any other age group. To make better connections with millennials, keep these ten tips in mind: • Let go of your stereotypes and focus on their positive attributes. • Pair them with executives who can support their careers while having millennials teach execu- tives about new technologies. • Focus on their results more than where and when the job gets done. • Use social networks to engage them — not to just post jobs. • Don’t restrict Internet usage; if you block social networks, they may not want to work for you. • Establish internal hiring programs to give millennials — and all members of your workforce — opportunities for growth. • Align your company’s message to a cause to give them a sense of fulfillment at work. • Sit down with them and be open about the company’s health, their performance and the future of your group. They will trust you in return. • Millennials want to make a major impact at your company, so give them the tools, support and resources to do so. • Develop gamification applica- tions to engage millennials and build your brand. Doing good can be great for business.6 “Giving doesn’t just feel good; it’s actually really good for business,” said Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes, the multi-million dollar shoe company that donates a pair of shoes for every pair it sells. The importance of giving, of doing good, of being about more than just profits, was an idea echoed by many at SHRM. That’s because, by making giving a priority, you can turn your customers (both internal and external) into champions of your company, champions who tout your mission and actually market on your behalf. In addition, creating a culture of giving can help you attract better employees, including members of the millennial generation who are eager to work for companies that share their passion for social change. As an HR professional, you can play an instrumental role in establishing a culture of giving in your organi- zation, and the good news is you don’t actually have to “give” away anything at all. You merely need to give your employees the opportunity to serve, contribute and participate in charitable events and causes together. It’s a great way to enhance camaraderie and business results alike. Take the pulse of healthcare reform. Thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), more commonly known as Obamacare, everyone has questions about healthcare reform. Unfortunately, not too many people have the answers — and HR professionals are no exception.7 Employees are looking to HR pro- fessionals for direction. In fact, nearly 100 percent of employees expect to receive information and education related to healthcare reform from their employers. How- ever, only 13 percent of companies think educating their employees about healthcare reform is an important issue. At the same time, executives are counting on HR to make informed decisions to drive business results.7 Your employees, your bosses and your business are all counting on you. That’s why it is so important to educate yourself about healthcare reform. It’s a daunting challenge, but there are resources available to you. For example, you can work directly with your broker to brush • adeccousa.com 6 Mycoskie, B. (2013, July). General Session conducted at SHRM 2013, Chicago, IL. 7 Amos, P. (2013, July). Navigating Health Care Reform: Putting More Control in Employees’ Hands. Presentation conducted at SHRM 2013, Chicago, IL. 8 Pink, D. (2013, July). General Session conducted at SHRM 2013, Chicago, IL.
  3. 3. Key takeaways from SHRM 2013 up on all of the changes, or you can take professional development courses geared specifically towards healthcare reform.7 SHRM even offers customized research and reporting on the topic, for a fee. Once you have the knowledge you need, be sure to share it. Proactively educate your workforce about the laws, the rules and the options avail- able to them. Present an evidence- based presentation to your executives to share your recommendations. Sell. Sell. Sell. “We’re all in sales now.” That was the message delivered loud and clear by Dan Pink, the best-selling author and internationally renowned business and economic expert. It was a line repeated by many presenters and attendees both inside and outside the conference center.8 “Sales is a big part of what people do every day, and my guess is that HR is doing more of this than other jobs,” he said. “Just think of trying to convince executives in the C-suite to accept a new idea or recruiting a top job candidate to come work for your organization. Even though the cash register isn’t ringing, these are sales.” To become a better sales person, Pink recommended five action items: • Reduce your feelings of power and focus on the value of your subordinate before engaging them in conversation. • Be ambiverted — strike the right balance between being internally focused and externally focused. • Make it easy for people to buy what you’re selling; “give people an off-ramp.” • The next time you walk into a meeting, don’t tell yourself “you can do this.” Instead, ask yourself, “Can I do this?” to get yourself thinking. • Make every action personal and personable. To be successful, you not only have to sell your ideas, you have to sell yourself. Constantly self-promote and shrug off the notion that your work will speak for itself — it won’t. You need to speak for yourself, and you need to get others speaking about you, too. To do so, carefully craft your personal brand, seek out publicity and constantly network.9 Watch the gap. As an HR professional, the American skills gap is probably not news to you. But there is new evidence that suggests the issue is getting worse. According to a March 2013 survey conducted by SHRM, 66 percent of organizations that are currently hiring full-time staff said they are having a difficult time recruiting for specific job openings, up sharply from 52 percent in 2011. The most common skills gaps persist in English proficiency (writing, speaking and reading) and mathematics. To overcome the skills gap and attract qualified talent in this highly compet- itive marketplace, HR professionals recommend enhancing healthcare benefits and touting retirement savings and planning perks.10 For more insight into all of the sessions from SHRM 2013, check out our blog for daily recaps and highlights. For help implementing any of these key takeaways, contact your local Adecco representative or visit adeccousa.com. • ©2013 Adecco 9 Ingram, S. (2013, July). How to Master the Inner Game of Self-Promotion and Internal Branding. Presentation conducted at SHRM 2013, Chicago, IL. 10 Coombs, J. (2013). SHRM Research Reports Reflect Sluggish Labor Market. SHRM Conference Daily, p13.adeccousa.com

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