Moving HR from Tactical to Strategic Thinking

I had the pleasure of chatting with Val Grubb who will be facilitating two pre-conference sessions, a Smart Stage presentation, and presenting a mega session at SHRM’s annual conference next month in New Orleans.  After speaking with Val, it was evident why this dynamic individual has been asked to share her knowledge and experiences at this premier, international HR event. A blog post can’t adequately capture Val’s vibrant personality, and readily apparent expertise, but the following synopsis should whet your appetite and build your excitement for her upcoming sessions:

Me:  Why are you excited to be presenting at the SHRM annual conference this year?

Val: It is SHRM national!  If you are in HR and are looking to elevate your skills, SHRM’s annual conference is where to be.  There is so much to learn.  Pre-conference offerings, key notes, mega sessions, plenary sessions, and the Smart Stage provide a variety of choices.  It is exciting to be around thousands of HR professionals.  Also, it is an honor to present to such a prestigious group of global HR professionals and to be included with other speakers who are thought leaders. 

Me: What can attendees expect to learn in your Mega Session?

Val:  Strategic HR leadership.  HR professionals need a deep understanding of how your organization succeeds and makes money.  We need to connect HR to the bottom line.  We need to define what strategic HR leadership is and do so through a deep focus on people.  In my mega session I’ll talk about what the future of the workforce looks like, both in the short-term and long-term.  Implications of digitization, AI, and the gig workforce will also be addressed.  This leads to rethinking recruitment and selection and understanding shifting skill requirements.  I will also share the key things HR professionals need to focus on in order to get people to want to join, and then stay with, your organization.  This mega session, in fact all of my sessions, highlight elevating skills from tactical to strategic.  We consistently state that we want a seat at the table, but we have to earn it.

Me: What is the best piece of advice you could give to an HR professional?

Val: Find an organization that values you.  Work for a company that also values its people.  This is your life, not a dress rehearsal. You don’t want to represent a company that doesn’t value its people. 

Me:  What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

Val: Everybody has value.  My father taught me that.  He was a private pilot and one day we were in the hanger and the janitor told me that my dad is a great man.  The janitor shared that “your father always says hello to me, shakes my hand, respects me, and sees me.”  My father explained that every person has an important role to play and we need to recognize this.  That has been a secret to my success.  For me, it is privilege to be a leader of people.  Their dreams are as important as the work they are doing for me.  In sum, everybody matters. 

Me:  Other than presenting, what are you most looking forward to at SHRM 22?

Val:  The opening reception in the Expo on Sunday evening will be terrific! This session helps me get my “conference legs” and lets me plan which vendors I’ll go back and talk with in depth.  It is also an opportunity to connect and reconnect with so many people. I’m looking forward to talking to people, more informally, during break times and while enjoying some delicious New Orleans cuisine.  Of course, Brad Paisley will be outstanding, so I’m looking forward to Tuesday night’s concert.

My closing thoughts after chatting with this amazing SHRM speaker: If you want to learn how to unleash your strategic HR skills, be sure to add one or more of Val’s sessions to your conference schedule at SHRM 22.  Information gained will definitely help you #CauseTheEffect and influence positive change through your work.

The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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