SHRM Highlights and Breakthroughs

It’s been a week since 2016 SHRM has concluded in Washington, D.C. No doubt SHRM is now a fading memory for many HR Professionals who are climbing out of their inboxes and extinguishing the daily fires. Back to a day-in-the life with a twinkle of residual inspiration still energizing us from our “Breakthrough” sessions, the 2016 SHRM theme.

Whether you attended SHRM or not, I challenge you to think about your company and HR department today. What is your 2016 Breakthrough? What are action items necessary to achieve your Breakthrough?

My breakthrough at SHRM was a validating discovery: “Wow, my company is killing it! In our present state, we are ahead of the curve!” The sessions I attended in the Business Acumen track echoed the sentiments of our leadership and development plan as well as our company values. A few of the consistent themes at SHRM that resonated with me were change, innovation and transparency; I’m fortunate to work for an organization motivated in these areas.

  • Live Change – We live change at PayScale. At our annual kick-off this year, our CEO challenged that if we aren’t uncomfortable, we aren’t achieving in abundance. In order to be successful we can’t be maintaining the status quo, we must be constantly reinventing and growing. One of my favorite quotes from SHRM was Randy Pennington from Pennington Performance Group: “Your ability to quickly change and adapt in pursuit of serving your customers is the difference between excellence and irrelevance.” This really hit home, both with our culture of living change and or core value to deliver innovative solutions and service. Change is critical to your culture and customer.
  • Celebrate Innovation – Another of our core values at PayScale is to “Promote Ownership and Experimentation.” Experimentation leads to innovation. A quote by @rustylindquist that captured this concept at SHRM was “Knowledge is how you catch up to the world. Imagination is how you push it forward.” Make innovation impulsive within your organization. Remove the fear of failure. By making it OK to fail, you will promote and foster the communication of creation.
  • Promote Transparency – One of the most resonating quotes from SHRM for me that aligns with our culture was “The best we can do is to be honest with you” another gem from Randy Pennington’s session “Make Change Work: Leading Change in a world of constant change.” Does honesty mean good news? Certainly not always. Annually we provide all of our employees with a detailed compensation report. When you can use a tangible communication tool to discuss something as important as salary, you create a culture of trust through comprehension.

I came home from SHRM fired up to push the envelop and drive our culture forward even further.  My Action Plan:

  • Acknowledge our Breakthrough.  We are killing it! Champion our company values, as well as our leadership and development plan, which are inherently connected to achieving our Breakthrough and making us a cutting edge company.
  • Proactively influence change, innovation and transparency. My partner in crime (our other HRBP) and I are scheduled to meet with all of our PayScale people managers in early Q3 to initiate conversations on talent. How is your team doing? How can we help? Proactive conversations will initiate collaboration. Instead of having emergent “fire drill” conversations, we’ll be able to acknowledge areas of opportunity in advance.
  • Build strategic partnerships. What does this mean to me? We echo these words all the time in HR but I think the easiest way to initiate these partnerships is to, gasp, ask for help. BOOM! Ask for help from other departments in your organization. We celebrate a collaborative work environment at PayScale. Do I ask for help? Nope. So this is an action item for me. For instance, partner with IT on HR technology optimization, partner with Marketing on effective and appealing communications.
  • Invest time and resources into areas of impact. I loved how Rusty Lindquist illustrated this by saying “HR needs to be less optimized around processes, policies, and procedures, and more around people, productivity, and performance.”

And with that, it’s time for me to get going on my action plan.  What are your Breakthroughs this year?  And, maybe more importantly, what is your action plan to accomplish them?  Who will you ask for help?


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