The 2018 Annual SHRM Conference and Exposition is now in the record books, and it proved to be the event of a lifetime. I’ve taken a few days to reflect on what the event has meant to me personally, and how it has not only impacted my life, but also the lives of people across the globe. I have a feeling my key takeaway from the event may be shared by so many others. I want you to take a second and remember the best moments from the event for you personally. The moments that mattered most for you, and still resonate in your heart. Keep those moments close to you as you continue reading.
Amongst the diverse offering of sessions, a common theme can be found. Everything we do in our field of work should be rooted in kindness. There’s no more fundamental truth about HR. That’s where the impact takes place. The key takeaway for me was the fact that every action we take within the workplace (and certainly outside of the workplace) should be based upon being good to others. And while that may seem so simple, it’s also so powerful.
Did you attend a session about the latest trends in benefits? How about creating a culture where people can flourish and thrive? There is a simple premise behind each of these sessions; the concepts presented within are all predicated on acknowledging and valuing the humanity of the people we’re serving.
Kind words can warm the heart, but kind actions will change lives.
The highlight for me personally was connecting with so many people in person, and building relationships that I believe will last a lifetime. These are genuine relationships, where people sincerely care for one another. My heart was so full and content when I was around these remarkable people. Watching everyone interact with one another with a heartfelt interest in their lives and well-being was absolutely incredible. There was certainly a smile on my face in the company of so many good and kind-hearted people. And really, the truth here is that these people were simply being good to each other.
We’re all complex individuals, with our own interests, strengths, and challenges. But this does not mean that every issue we experience in working with and serving our people calls for a complex solution. Often times, we find that the solutions to some of the most difficult challenges we face can be overcome with some of the most basic answers. When we see someone we care about experiencing feelings of pain and suffering, isn’t our natural reaction to heal and comfort that person? When they’re experiencing feelings of joy, isn’t our natural reaction to celebrate and lift them up? That’s the same concept we should be using in our approach to our work as HR professionals and business leaders. Gratitude, love, appreciation, empathy; they’re all incredibly powerful forces that can change someone’s outlook, and change their life.
None of this is complicated, but companies must be willing to shift their thinking if change is to be sustainable. We all can be that catalyst for change within our workplaces. There’s never been a relationship that hasn’t flourished and endured when genuine care for each other was present.
Remember those beautiful moments I asked you to remember earlier in this post? I’m willing to bet they’re based on the feeling of people simply being good to each other. The simplicity that surrounded those moments makes them even more beautiful. There are so many ideas out there that promise to help us as we all traverse the journey to making work better. When thinking about the future of work, I encourage you to keep it simple, keep it memorable, and keep it authentic.
In my initial post as a member of the #SHRM18 Blog Squad, I wrote of my confidence in the belief that many of the people in attendance at #SHRM18 would ultimately be the ones that created the spark to move our field in exciting new directions. Having connected with so many incredible people, and building so many new friendships, I’m more confident than ever that we’ll all approach the future of work fearlessly, and with kindness in our hearts. We’re not going to settle for how things are done.
What are new ways you can show kindness to your people, through the employment experience you provide? And when you discover those new ways, please don’t hesitate to share them. We’re always stronger together.
I can’t wait to see how you change the world.