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The SHRM conference is a yearly meeting of the minds of industry
experts, coaches, entrepreneurs, and professionals, who gather
to learn what’s on the rise in the world of HR. This year’s conference
focused on preparing for the future while engaging leaders and
Read on for the 7 key insights we gained from SHRM 2015.
CULTURE IS KEY
According to Jason Lauritsen, an awesome culture
can make for a lot of organizational love–and
that is the key to becoming one of the best places
to work. And, Kevin Ames added, transforming
company culture can inspire great work that makes
a difference people love.
Steve Browne shared his insights
on how to build a culture that
rocks. They include:
• Focusing on the positive.
• Having fun with HR.
• Asking for (and listening to!) feedback.
• Understanding that even a small change
can make a huge impact on culture.
“WE,” NOT “ME”
In his keynote, Marcus Buckingham drove home
the idea that the HR world is changing. To drive
great performance in our organizations, we need
to change with it. Buckingham delivered forward
thinking tips that change the way we view
organizational structure, employee engagement,
Buckingham’s key takeaways:
• Think of organizations as groups of teams. Team
leaders are the key ﬁgures who set the tone and
pave the road for future success.
• Employee data today doesn’t always capture the
big picture. To really understand employee
engagement, we need to move past big data
and learn to gain insights through frequent
discussions and check-ins, not survey numbers.
• Leadership isn’t one-size-ﬁts-all. Seeing ﬁrsthand
what the best leaders do reveals that they
tweak their leadership styles to inspire and
motivate their teams. One quality many great
leaders do share is the “we,” not “me” mentality.
They focus on what they can do for others to
help their teams succeed.
By 2018, Millennials will make up 50% of the workforce.
Amy Hirsh Robinson focused on how companies can best
attract and retain this growing demographic.
Robinson’s advice on how to set Millennials, and your
organization, up for success:
• Deﬁne your employer value proposition.
• Intern and onboard with intention.
• Invest in career development.
• Develop the management fundamentals.
• Make ﬂexibility a reality.
And, Gary Kushner added, some of the
best ways we can integrate and engage
the multigenerational workforce is to invite
multiple viewpoints to the table and
utilize ﬂexible workdays and experience-
WELLBEING AT WORK
Wellness was a huge buzzword at SHRM this
year. And the one thing speakers agreed upon
is that wellness isn’t just about your life at work
(though it hugely aﬀects it). Wellness depends
on your habits and lifestyle far beyond what
you do at the office.
Dr. Mehmet Oz presented
compelling ideas about wellbeing:
1. We control 70% of how long and how well we live.
2. There are 5 big life adjustments we can make to
improve our wellness:
• Aiming for a healthy blood pressure.
• Exercising 30 minutes a day.
• Eating a healthy diet that’s easy to love.
• Controlling stress and sleeping enough.
• Curtailing addictions.
3. Give yourself 2 weeks to try a new habit or
APPRECIATION CAUSES GREAT WORK
"Great work makes a difference people love.
Appreciated people love making a difference."
Kevin Ames highlighted the importance of
employee recognition, and creating a culture
where people feel appreciated and are inspired
to make a difference.
Kevin Ames gave 3 simple tips to build the
kind of culture that inspires great work:
• Encourage effort throughout the process.
Cheer all the little wins along the way.
• Rewarding results is critical. Appreciate
behaviors you want to see repeated.
• Celebrate careers. Give employees a
deep sense of belonging by applauding
their loyalty and contributions to the
GLOBAL IS GROWING
For many companies, the multigenerational
workforce is becoming increasingly multinational,
too. Gary Kushner spoke about the 4 trends that
aﬀect HR globally, and explained how companies
can attract and engage shifting demographics.
His main point? Today, organizations need to
adapt to their people, not vice-versa.
Kushner’s global HR advice:
• Be creative with work arrangements. Part-time,
outsourced, remote, and task-based work is
becoming the norm. Try integrating these new
forms of work into your existing business structure.
• Embrace diversity to raise engagement. Being
receptive and inclusive to different viewpoints,
needs, and opinions positions you as a global
Amy Hirsh Robinson brought a key insight to the
table: attracting and retaining female leaders isn’t
a one-size-ﬁts-all process. Multiple generations,
expectations, and approaches of women in today’s
workforce create different needs and opinions.
Companies should keep the following in
mind to appeal to a broad range of
1. Make equal pay and ﬂexibility a reality.
2. Onboard with intention.
3. Offer career development with mentorship
and executive sponsorship.
The annual SHRM conference sets the
stage for HR in the year ahead. Use
these key insights to build a better
culture, promote wellbeing, and help
your employees lead happier, more
productive, and more engaged lives.
SHRM CONFERENCE 2015
For more insights from SHRM
2015, visit blog.octanner.com
for our conference recaps.
O.C. TANNER AND THE O.C. TANNER INSTITUTE
O.C. Tanner, number 40 on the 2015 FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to
Work For® list, helps organizations create great work environments by
inspiring and appreciating great work. Thousands of clients globally
use the company’s cloud-based technology, tools, awards, and education
services to engage talent, increase performance, drive goals, and create
experiences that fuel the human spirit. Learn more at octanner.com.
The O.C. Tanner Institute regularly commissions research and provides
a global forum for exchanging ideas about recognition, engagement,
leadership, culture, human values, and sound business principles.
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