@AnythingOverIce Takes Over The Project at #SHRM16

I couldn’t be at SHRM National this year so I sent my roving reporter, HR Pro, and friend, Chris Bailey! BTW – He’s also the Director of PwC’s HR Practice in the Caribbean. Chris will be giving you daily updates from D.C. and filling you in on all things #SHRM16! (P.S. – We could name this series “Selfies of Chris Around D.C.!) P.S. You can tell this isn’t me – I never write 1200+ words! Thanks to Chris for the SHRM updates! Make sure you connect with Chris on Twitter and on LinkedIn! 

Dear Tim Sackett and his many readers,

As my last ramble was filled with spelling errors I must apologize.  As mentioned it was mainly written on the go on my iPhone! I should also point out that I was a “train”- wreck yesterday as subsequent videos on my Facebook feed will attest to. You see the heavens opened which could only mean that I was destined to spend some time at the bar as it was far too wet to venture outside late in the day. It did, however, mean that I attended some of the later sessions which can often be the graveyard session for speakers as most people are off getting ready for the big night out! Now at this point I need to ask for some feedback from the HR community – Have we forgotten how to party? I mean, really, going home at 9:30pm after a kick ass concert from Train just doesn’t seem like the right thing to do. I know the majority of us are mid 30’s onwards and have kids but isn’t the point of a conference to come get away from it all learn some stuff then party like your graduating college? I have a theory on this and you’re not going to like it!

HR people are not healthy! Yet we are the people promoting the wellness campaigns in our organizations, if you we’re tired after walking around the expo followed by getting on an escalator and sitting down for an hour in a session then you need to take a good look at yourself.  Seriously, people were having to rest just from moving from one session to another, it’s no more than about 1000 meters which is a 10-minute walk from the furthest session to the next – I know because I measured it on my Garmin. So if a 10-minute walk tires you out to the point where you enter the next session sweating and slumping down into the chair with an audible sigh then you need to outsource your wellness program cuz people are not going to buy what your selling!  I weigh 260lbs – I ran every morning around the Washington monuments, (About 10km) I took the stairs not the escalators during the conference and frequently walked the 3km back to my hotel. I did this as I wanted to see the city, stay in shape and work up to the dinner and beer I had in the evening. It really made me wonder whether wellness in the workplace is just a thing that we talk about rather than a thing that we should practice.  

Two of my colleagues from Cayman also wanted to get a little exercise and see the city.  So, at lunchtime rather than running for the box lunches (which are proper rubbish btw) we grabbed those capital bikes and we cycled the monuments of Washington. They had a blast and we had a healthy lunch stop mid-way. Quick shower and change then back for afternoon sessions. Now when they posted those picture back to their teams at work they were happy smiling and being active way more engaging for their own wellness programs. So I am going to throw it down for New Orleans #SHRM17 I will do a daily bike or running tour for any HR pros who believe as I do that we have to be the ambassadors for what we do and if corporate wellness is a part of that then so must we be. So my theory was that due to the lack of activity amongst our HR Pros they were all knackered by 9:30pm and went to bed… leaving Washington to me….(enter evil laugh here). Ok wellness rant over, sessions – as mentioned I attended a 4pm session, but first caught very well-polished –

Brad Karsh presenting, How to Be Present When You’re Not.

I was interested in seeing what he would talk about for an hour on this and much to my amusement the first 15 minutes I spent going OMG really 1000 people in this room don’t know this stuff! However he had to start somewhere and he was very funny in his delivery but a couple of key points which reminded me that I should do these during Webex or webinar on phone conferences etc…

·        Start with a bang

·        Tell them what is coming up

·        Keep it simple

·        Don’t send them slides in advance

·        Refer to their names often (makes them pay attention in case they get asked something)

·        Every 10 minutes do something that engages the group

55% of what someone takes in from you come from body language, 38% of that same engagement comes from tone, and only 7% is your actual words! Which means if you’re not present you have to engage through tone and visuals cues to have your message heard. Now this is Brad’s take on it and I would love to know how we measure those percentages but I am not going to argue with them as I happen to think they are true. So some interesting this to consider from a session that I didn’t think would hold much relevance.

Lizbeth Clause (@global_I_press) Trends in Global HR Practice – Avoiding the Disruption.

Now, the last session of the day had a title with some promise, so I wondered what she saw as disruption and how she was promoting we combat it. To say I was blown away was an understatement. She should have had a mega session not the smattering of die-hard HR folk still actively participating at 4pm on the evening of a Train concert!  She got off to a slow start but after she explained what she believed trends where and how HR analytics play a big part in identifying them she started giving some real world examples of how her data had avoided massive disruption. That’s the part that hit home for me because the academic principles that she employed to gather and extract data plus employ a hypothesis which subsequently delivered a solution became real and it’s something I will absolutely use going forward.

Stay with me here! Example when the Ebola scare was hitting US hospitals. They used string data mining to formulate hotspots amongst nurses which showed they were really concerned about providing treatment. Nurses would use company email to voice their concerns to colleagues which when triggered in the algorithm created a hotspot of worry that HR was able to respond to and avoid industrial action. They used data analytics to get ahead of the problem.  

I could go on and give the several examples she did but I’ll simply leave you with some of her key takeaways:

·        Make HR Decision based on Analytics

·        Change the Organization culture to include Evidence-based decision making and HR Management

·        Balance the use of ambient corporate data with privacy

·        Move HR to the cloud

·        Use HR apps

I did a little  video interview with her afterward as I wanted to continue the discussion. As an academic, she is brilliant, and passionate and I wish other speakers who waffled out the same old crap would take note. HR analytics + Passion + solving real time and real world issues with simple use = Awesome so glad I went to this!

So then I went to see train perform and the night became a blur…… Thank SHRM and goodnight!

Drops mic walks off……

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