I was so excited when I found out Jennifer McClure was coming to the annual SE SHRM Safety & Health Conference in Sioux Falls. I knew I needed to attend. I don’t believe I’ve attended in the past because while safety can tend to fall into the HR lap, I’ve found most front line workers don’t want to listen to safety tips from someone who sits behind a desk all day. (Next year I’m pushing harder for front line supervisors to attend — though I’ve got a safety post pending from today).
Full confession, I saw this presentation at #SHRM16 & loved it then. So so so happy to hear it again as it’s just the kick I needed.
This seemed a bit off topic for a safety conference but still lots of good things for the HR practitioner (and non-HR practitioner if they were curious). After all for the past 6 years, Human Capital (such a weird phrase) is at the top of the list for CEO’s concerns. If Humans are important, we should look at their safety right? Jennifer likes to get us thinking disruptively and this presentation talks about the 4 challenges of the future of HR & ends with action steps because we need to know how to get there right? So let’s see if I can tie this to the safety part of the conference (don’t hold your breath, but I’ll give it a go).
Jennifer’s presentation was on the 4 challenges facing the future of HR. There’s nothing earth shattering in the presentation, but these are all things we need to do in order to be that Strategic Business Partner(tm) [right, because we all want a “seat at the table” and to be a “strategic partner” — how may of us can actually define that ??] What I love about these challenges is they build off of each other, you can’t tackle the second until you’ve done the first.
The 4 Challenges:
- Know the Business: What does our business do? We need to get beyond the traditional HR data, which has us looking backwards. What story is the data trying to tell us? What are we doing with that information? How can we dive deeper or differently to find the information we need? Look at more than just the turnover number — what else can we look at to see why people are leaving or better yet, why are they staying? What do our successful people have in common? And we need to be able to answer the ultimate question: how does this improve the business?
- Think Strategically: what are you putting first in your goals? HR or your business? How do your goals support the company goals? This is how you show your boss that HR matters, that we can affect the bottom line.
- Solve Business Problems: this goes hand in hand with the previous challenge. Look at your organization. What is the biggest challenge? How can you, HR, solve or assist to solve that problem?
- Influence Change: (notice the pattern yet) if you understand the business, think strategically to solve business problems you can influence change. Key here is to influence change, not manage it. We need to be proactive and not reactive (which is also why we need to dig deeper into the data that shows us the past & not the future.) we can’t just identify the problems, we need to find or help find the solutions. We need to stop with the Nos. We can answer with “let me think on it” “I have some concerns” “let’s figure out how to make it happen”
You don’t get to influence change through control. You get to influence through other people’s positive experiences of you. You get influence through people wanting you to be involved not by telling them you have to be. Neil Morrison
And finally your action steps:
- Shift your thinking. Don’t just be HR. Be a business leader who just happens to know HR.
- Feed your mind. READ!! Books, blogs (I can recommend a few you should read), listen to podcasts. And not just business related. I had a goal to read 30 books this year. I’m at 29. Good mix of fiction & nonfiction. Harry Potter to Jon Acuff.
- Connect with people. Find your tribe! Loneliness is affecting more & more people as we get lost in the crowd. Be present in person, online with your tribe.
- Focus on Impact. Go where you can make an impact — or better yet, find it where you are! (I SO needed to hear this one)
- Step out. Outside your comfort zone. Outside your circle. Just OUT. And get disruptive!