tHRiving in Las Vegas: The Secrets of SHRM 2015

by Tiffany Kuehl

Now back home from Vegas (and in the comforts of the humidity to which I have grown accustomed), I find myself reflecting on what is referred to in the HR world as “The Big Show” – more commonly known as the SHRM Annual Conference.

This year over 16,000 HR professionals converged on Las Vegas at the end of June for the Society for Human Resource Management’s biggest conference. We filled seats in keynote and breakout sessions, got a glimpse of the latest and greatest from vendors in the expo hall, and endured the Nevada heat (and if one more person says: “It’s a dry heat” they will be put on a performance improvement plan)!

While the event can be a bit overwhelming, there is ALWAYS something to be gained – be it a new connection, insight into new technology, or a fresh way of approaching how best to get work done.

This year was no different. With the theme being THRIVE, there was a focus on the tools, connections, and conversations that would help attendees advance the HR profession. In addition to thriving, the ideas that stood out for me include authenticity (not the trendy buzzword, but the real, true and genuine article), the use of reliable data to aid in making sound business decisions, and the ability to connect with people where they are – not where you are.

As I attended to keynote sessions from Coach K and Marcus Buckingham, and engaged in breakout sessions, I found additional ideas, values, and standard operating procedures that I look forward to incorporating into the work I do.

1. Leadership

  • Integrity: aligning what you do with what you believe.
  • The best team leaders help employees get better ALL THE TIME.

2. Branding

  • Your personal power trumps your positional power, every time.
  • Branding is not about what you do in life, but how you do it.

3. Talent Acquisition

  • It is essential to use relationships, as well as your own internal databases, (revisit / re-engage past candidates).
  • Use data to establish and build credibility.

4. Workplace Culture

  • Rule 1) Be Happy. Rule 2) Be Awesome. Rule 3) Help others with 1 & 2.
  • Spend less time focusing on trying to fix what is broken and more time on building up all the things that are awesome.

I listened, enjoyed, hugged, danced, ate, sipped, laughed, shared, tweeted, noted, walked, relaxed, selfied, connected, chatted, and learned. And I’m already looking forward to doing it all again next year in Washington D.C.!

What interesting HR ideas have you picked up recently? Let’s talk in the comments below!

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Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn

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