This year’s conference started off with a great mega session by Kat Cole, the CEO of Focus Brand (yes, the cinnamon rolls from Cinnabon that is the size of your face.) Kat became the CEO at the age of 32 and never gave up. Why? Because she had the “Hustle Muscle” to do it, no matter what problems came in her way. Despite of whatever problems she had faced in her personal and professional life, she learned from those mistakes and kept growing. Yes, like every other human being, she made mistakes but then she said to herself – if not now, then when? If not me, then who? I loved her quote “saying yes before you’re a 100% sure” because its human nature that once you commit to something, you will do whatever it takes to achieve it.
Key learnings from the conference:
1. Always ask yourself and others “WHY?” Sometimes we don’t question the status quo and let things be the way they are. But ask yourself WHY? Why can’t we always think about improving and doing things in a better way? Thinking about how we can save time and money for the company and focus on what matters the most?
2. Network, network and network – socializing is the key. Being in HR, one should always look out for what and how other companies are doing. But is that enough? No, application is the key! Learn and see how it applies to your organization – and then do it!
3. Have the guts to speak up. Sometimes, being in HR, people resist to challenge the status quo just because they think they are hired to support the organization no matter what. It doesn’t matter even if you’re a newly hired employee or have been working for 30 years, if you have an idea that you think can be beneficial for the company – share it. I love this quote below:
"You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere." - Lee Iacocca
4. Trust your employees! I am sure most of you must have experienced or have come across, at least once, a manager that doesn’t trust his employees and micromanages. Does anyone of you like that style? I am sure not. Being in HR, we should lead by example and start building up this culture of trust where the employees are given autonomy to get work done in a way they think would be better. Take feedback, give feedback but never micromanage. Micromanaging will kill the creativity out from your organization and your organization won’t be able to grow.
5. Give Millennials career opportunity if you want to retain them. Belonging to a millennial generation myself, I can relate to every word I wrote in the last sentence! The key to retain us is to show us how we can grow. An ideal organization for millennial would be where there is a great career ladder and the leaders are not micromanagers. In my last job, 95% of our employees were millennials and it was getting harder and harder to retain them. After doing anonymous surveys, exit interviews and one on one discussions, we found out that our employees weren’t leaving because of the money. They were leaving because they couldn’t see growth potential in their role or they were not satisfied with their managers micromanaging them every day. My team and I worked day and night to change the culture and were finally able to see the results. Our retention rate went up, people started loving the company and their managers, came up with new ideas to do things in a better way. Result? We grew, our employees grew and overall our company grew!
I am trying to come up with new ways to improve my workplace, are you?
Let me know in the comments what was your best part about #SHRM17 Conference.