A #SHRM21 Interview with Jeanne Morris

We had a chance to catch up with Jeanne Morris, the Vice President, Education at SHRM. Jeanne will be presenting a conference orientation on Thursday, September 9 at 11 a.m. PT.

 Jeanne, tell us about your current role at SHRM and what your number one challenge is during COVID-19.

I have been with SHRM for over 25 years, contributing and providing leadership to the Accounting and Finance, Strategic Planning, Professional Development, and Education teams during my tenure at this amazing organization. I currently serve as VP, Education which includes oversight for all Education products, programs, and services. The Education business encompasses SHRM seminars; SHRM on-site training; SHRM e-Learning; SHRM Learning System and our newest and one of the most innovative approaches to new manager development—The PMQ (People Manager Qualification.) https://pmq.shrm.org     It’s safe to say I’m a conference veteran—I never lose my passion or excitement about the world’s largest HR event!

Covid definitely challenged us in more ways than we ever thought possible, but it also opened us up to thinking in new ways, pushing us to pivot our businesses so we could still serve and elevate HR professionals. We learned even more about each other during the pandemic and our capacity to endure and empathize with each other while maintaining business continuity.  Our CEO, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. was extraordinary through it all—he kept us informed, aware and put our health and safety at the forefront of everything.

You will be presenting an orientation for first-time attendees and others who would like to maximize their experience at #SHRM21?

Here’s what we’re recommending during orientation:

We want you to have an incredible conference experience. We suggest the following tips:

  • Download the app and become familiar
  • Use the app to plan your daily schedule
  • Create a backup plan (2nd, 3rd, and 4th choices)
  • Bring key items: Badge, business cards, phone
  • Map out the exhibitors you want to visit—There are so many great vendors here who can help elevate your organization!
  • Buy books ahead of time to participate in book signings
  • Expand your professional network

Since we will be in a hybrid model of live and virtual attendees, how can virtual attendees meet people and interact between sessions?

Virtual attendees will be able to participate in chat channels. They can have live conversations with fellow SHRM21 attendees in one of the Event Public Channels like Peer Group and Just for Fun or even start their own channel.

Is there one speaker on the main stage or in breakouts that piques your interest, or you find especially important given the environment we are in right now?

Our keynote speakers are leaders in their industries. Their stories will inspire you to expand your boundaries and widen your perspectives. You’ll leave general sessions feeling energized and motivated – they set the tone for the SHRM conference experience – transformative, innovative, and practical. We have an impressive group of keynoters this year including Michael Phelps, Brian Niccol, and Marissa Andrada from Chipotle and Bert Jacobs, the co-founder of Life is Good, and of course our very own Johnny C. Taylor.

To be honest, I’m most excited to see my President and CEO, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP on the main stage.  Johnny has a unique way of building excitement and imparting practical advice from his many years and experiences elevating workplaces and putting talent first.  His new book, RESET defines the new rules for building better workplaces and shares data-driven principles to help leaders reinvent their organizations so they can thrive in an age of upheaval – and beyond. 

Finally, what can you share about new education and learning programming at SHRM in the coming year?

One of SHRM’s Guiding Principles drives SHRM Education-  Bold Purpose is our compass as we continue to develop innovative programs and learning experiences to upskill and reskill today’s workers.  As mentioned earlier, the PMQ will help new managers to rev up productivity and revitalize workplace culture.  Now more than ever, building strong and empathetic leaders is critical. 

We continue to expand the SHRM Specialty Credential portfolio.  Leading specialties continue to be in Talent Acquisition, Inclusive Workplace Cultures, People Analytics and Workplace Investigations.

We look forward to seeing Jeanne kick off the conference on Thursday with her conference orientation!


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