I attended the Louisiana SHRM State Conference in New Orleans last week. I had the BEST time while I was there — I made a lot of connections with some awesome people and I learned some things (Read about the 1st DAY of the Conference HERE)
But before I dive into the lessons from Day 2, I want to say a quick blurb about the importance of conferences and continued education …
I get that we’re all busy. I get that we all are trying to make a buck, either as independent businesses or apart of an organizations. I get that conferences and courses can be expensive and time-consuming and that sitting in a room with other practitioners isn’t going to put more money in your pocket or necessarily teach you something you don’t already know.
Yes, it is expensive. Yes, it is time-consuming. Yes, you may not learn anything you didn’t already know.
And yes, you should still go anyway.
No matter whether you are in HR or some other career, at least once a year, you need to get out of your normal workspace, sit in a big room with people who do the same type of work that you do and listen to someone else give you tips on how to improve at it. You owe it to yourself and the people you serve to stay informed, encouraged and refreshed. The continued learning that happens at conferences, seminars and similar courses will give you that.
So work it into your budget and make it happen!
Ok. I’m off my soapbox. Now back to Day 2 of Louisiana SHRM. Here’s what I learned:
- Get technical. HR is not rocket science. It takes commitment and practice to understand, like any other discipline — but the administration of it is fairly simple once you understand the moving parts and how they work. HR administration can be much easier if you use technology to help you. In his session on HR software adoption, William Tincup highlighted the importance of selecting a system that will work best for your organization. Our organizations spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on HRIS systems yet we barely scratch the surface of what these systems can do. And we don’t demand enough from our providers to get the support to make sure our users are trained and using the system. Push back on your vendors to get make sure they not only provide technical support when something breaks but also ensuring proper training and usage and success with the system.
- Get lean. The principles of “lean” as a method for ensuring process consistency and efficiency has been used in the production and manufacturing world for over at least a decade. Now it’s making their way into the office — and HR! One of the leading voices on this is Dwane Lay, who led the session on Lean at the Conference. In order for HR to help improve the flow and efficiency of work in our departments and organizations, we have to study the work — how it’s done, where it’s done, who does it and why it’s done — so we can determine if it is being done in the best and most efficient way possible.
- Get it together. HR cannot allow their organization to be a revolving door of employees. Turnover can do major damage to the morale, reputation and bottom line of your organization. Carla Major led the session on the impact of turnover to the bottom line and how to turn-around negative turnover trends. Get tuned in to the reasons for turnover in your organization and look for ways to address unwanted exits.
And with all conferences, the guests walked away with goodies. Check out this fun video from Dwane Lay’s blog on all the swag from the conference. I even make a cameo!