Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes !!

This past week the Browne household went through a massive change !! We dropped our son, and second child, off at college. He is now blazing his own path at my alma mater Ohio University. I am geeked that he’s a Bobcat now. In fact, he even chose to live in my old dorm and dorm room !! (Note: He did this all on his own without suggestions from his Dad who bleeds green and white.)

The move went very smoothly and was pretty emotionless . . .

When it was time to go, I thought he’d say Goodbye in his room and move on. He wanted to walk my wife and I out to the car, and then it hit. My 6’3″ gentle giant hugged my wife first and the tears started flowing. He then turned to me, and we hugged so hard I thought I’d burst. As we were both crying, I told him that I loved him. Our embrace ended and he headed towards James Hall and we started on our way back home misty eyed.

I’m excited to see what the future holds for my son. I’m sure he’ll have great adventures and grow as an adult just as his older sister did when she started her college path three years ago. Another change which occurred was that my wife and I became empty nesters. We hadn’t been alone in the house for the past 20 years !! This is exciting but also a bit unnerving. Our story is no different than every family. Transitions happen every day.

The thought that came to mind during this change was how this affected me at work. Why does this even matter to what I do? I think it’s everything. I think the family changes/transitions that occur in our lives are the REAL generational issue we face.

The recent trend about amplifying generational differences just makes me crazy !! Let me ask you this. When have there been generations in the workplace? And, secondarily, when has one generation ever thought that the generation that followed was odd, didn’t work as hard, or had poor habits? The answer to both is that these facts and feelings have always been a factor in the workplace !!

Life EventsThe area where we have missed in truly working with different generations is to help them through the life events we all face. Times such as the birth of a child or grandchild. Or, when there’s someone going off to kindergarten, elementary school, high school or college. Marriages, deaths, divorces, health issues, the care of elderly parents, the loss of a pet, etc. These events are where HR can, and should, make a difference with both their presence and their understanding.

We have tried to take all of this changes and force them into some form of leave system that’s tracked and accounted for. We try to keep a tight rein on these systems to make sure that people comply versus allowing them to fully experience these life events.

We should know our people for who they are and what’s going on in their lives. This shouldn’t be a hassle, or feel like it’s a waste of time. These personal connections are the most meaningful connections you could make !! Great HR happens when you have a personal knowledge of what’s going on in the lives of your employees. You can celebrate with them, empathize with them and care for them. This is something missing in our workplaces and is sorely needed.

It’s time to change how we see the life events of our people. Let’s walk alongside them and experience the ch-ch-ch-ch-changes that happen naturally !!

The Wisdom of Tide Pools !!

I am a big fan of Social Media. I use most of the well known forums liked Twitter, Facebook and Linked In. I dabble in Instagram and Pinterest, and am always interested in watching other platforms to see what they offer. I think they’re an incredible way to communicate with people globally and they provide avenues to connect that we didn’t have in the past.

I know there’s a negative side to Social Media and the way I look at it is just like all areas of life. If you want to find the dark side of something, you’re sure to find it. I choose not to – ever. I use the great wisdom of Eric Idle from Monty Python – “Always look on the bright side of life !!” (double exclamation points are my addition, always wanted to be a Python)

The biggest challenge for me is taking note of how I use my time on Social Media. It’s easy to get bombarded with friend requests, likes, invitations, retweets, etc. It can grab your attention and take it away from other things. Let me share a story . . .

This past week I was on vacation with my family in San Diego. It was our first time there and we rented a condo that sat up high enough on a hill to see the rolling waves of the Pacific Ocean. We took in the phenomenal San Diego Zoo our first full day and I took tons of pictures of the animals and the park. The second day we went to Coronado Island and the beach. Again, incredible and tons of pics. I felt compelled to post a few !! The third day we ventured to Cabrillo National Monument which is a National Park.

Tide PoolWe decided to see the tide pools before the monument, lookout and light house. To get to the tide pools, you hike up and down the cliffs alongside the Pacific as the waves do their best to erode the shoreline every few seconds. It was physically challenging, but I wouldn’t have missed it. The views were panoramic and inspiring. We took our time and were careful as we worked our way over to the area where the pools were formed inside a rock ledge. As the kids and my wife were taking pics of their own, I leaned over one of the pools and said to my wife, “Debbie, you have to see this !! It’s beautiful !!”

And . . . then I slipped and slid down into the tide pool. I panicked and tried to push off the bottom, but never felt it. I was up to my chest (and I’m 6’4″) when I grabbed hold and pulled myself out of the tide pool. The kids yelled “Phone !! Camera !!” I yanked them out of my cargo shorts, but they were blank, black rectangles. My “swim” took less than 30 seconds.

I was safe but drenched. Everyone around asked if I was okay, and I was thankful I was. I’ve seen many posts from my friends about the need to be unplugged from Social Media and I agree with them. I’ve taken breaks, but I’ve never had one taken for me. It seems that my slip broke the chain I didn’t know I had.

When we got back on the trail to see the rest of the National Park, Debbie reminded me that I lost a phone and camera, but she could have lost me. I was only a few feet from dropping down into the ocean. A sober reminder.

The break was what I needed because it was life before Social Media and technology. The rest of the trip was better than the beginning !! We saw one of my past Eagle Scouts who is training with his brother at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista to try and make the Archery Team for the 2016 games in Rio. We climbed the California Tower at the San Diego Museum of Man and saw the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park, and we enjoyed delightful food and picturesque sunrises and sunsets.

I was missing the reason that I post, blog, tweet, etc. in the first place and that’s the people in my life. I learned a great lesson from that tide pool. It’s not the technology that’s a problem, it’s how I choose to use it.

I plan to take this lesson to heart from now on.

 

What’s Your Culture Type ??

I’m a donor, a blood donor. I’ve been doing it for years because I had an incredible example who did it well before I even thought about giving blood. My grandfather lived in the mighty metropolis of Luckey, Ohio (now at 1,013 people). My brother and I were raised by my incredible grandparents as my mom worked and went to college. Our father passed away when I was four and my brother was two.

My grandfather was a dairy farmer who also raised crops. He was a person who I admired greatly because of his humor, his outlook on life and his work ethic. Growing up on a farm is something that I know shaped me, and I cherish every moment of those years with him.

On the brim of his hat, my grandfather affixed pins representing the gallons of blood he donated. He kept his hat a hat rack near the front door. One day as he put it on while walking out to the barn to care for the cows, I asked him what the pins meant. He said he donated blood and I had no idea what that was. I said, “If they take your blood, won’t you run out?” Without missing a beat he said, “Heck no Steve, God gave me enough blood for everyone. I’ll always have what I need.” Then he laughed deeply and we went out to the barn.

As soon as I was able to donate as a teenager, I started giving. I’ve been fairly regular in doing this and just gave again recently. In the mail last week, I received my next pin. I am now up to seven gallons. I might catch Grandpa in a few more decades !!

The great thing about giving blood is that they tell you your blood type. This is necessary for you to know because some day, you may need help from somebody. My blood type is O Negative – the universal donor. Kind of cool that I have “enough blood for everyone.”

Your workplace has a culture type too. The question that comes up is – do you know what your culture type is? Does it fit everyone?

HRPositive Logo 2I’d like to tell you about a “new” culture type that Paul Hebert and I are introducing called #HRPositive !!

We’re both a bit tired of people tearing down HR thinking that by doing this, it will build up the field in the end. When has this ever worked? How does approaching HR negatively and ripping it up for its faults, which it does have, improve what we do and who we are? Who sits back and says, “Man, if I could find a job that wallows in misery all the time, I’d be set with my dream career ??”

Enough’s enough. I have always believed in being positive. It’s not a shtick or some social media persona. I also am a huge believer that HR drives the culture of an organization. We do it through our behavior and approach. I don’t know about you, but I have seen being positive work with people almost every time you interact with them.

We’re taking this seriously and would love to have you join this movement. We’re looking for examples of HRPositive that is happening in workplaces, in social media and anywhere we can find it. We’ve started a Linked In Group called “HRPositive” that is open to folks who want to see the tide turn back to HR being a great field to be in. You’ll also see us use the #HRPositive hashtag on Twitter.

So, would you like to be a culture donor? We’d love to see Human Resources be practiced in a way that encourages people, engages employees and moves companies forward. Remember – we have enough energy for HR to be positive for everyone !!

The Silent Trap.

The work week starts and I’ll bet you do things in a certain pattern that has little variation. It’s great to be organized and have methods of doing your work. It keeps you efficient and allows you to perform.

The problem that creeps up on all of us ever so silently is complacency. Most people don’t even recognize that they’re trapped. We continue to do things the same way and never think that stagnation occurs. How many training sessions state that people won’t make change happen because things have “always been done this way”?

The other side of this spectrum is change. There are countless articles and books on being a “change agent” or some other catchphrase. If change was normal and regular we’d never have the need for the term “out of the box” because it wouldn’t seem like an anomaly. Doing something different takes effort and energy. It’s not easy and never has been.

Staying stuck in an endless rut is a real concern. HR is a master at this because the nature of the majority of what we do is to reduce variation. There’s no consistent reason for this, but it has become the traditional way to practice. We seldom shift in any dramatic way when it comes to our systems. We may edit or tweak things annually because we’re “supposed” too, but it’s insignificant. Most people strive for comfort themselves and want the environment around them to be comfortable as well. This isn’t wrong, but it is narrow.

Being UncomfortableI like being uncomfortable. I really do. I don’t like to stay in the same patterns if I can avoid it. Please understand that I think that being uncomfortable is a personal choice, and I try to keep it in how I approach life. I’ll travel different ways to work, order an entire menu over time, and other little things that keep things new. I also surround myself with others who are comfortable in being uncomfortable because I learn from their diverse perspectives and outlooks on many different areas of work and life.

There is so much that can, and should, happen in HR. We have a natural playing field because people are fluid and moving. They may seek stability personally, but when you work in HR, you work with a vast array of humans who are all different and unique. This is one of the main draws of the profession that keeps me energized and passionate. The idea that you can encounter another person who is distinctly different than you every day is fascinating !!

Do your systems have cobwebs? Have you taken a risk and blown something up in how you practice HR? How is your department, role, approach designed? Do you know . . . or do you just follow the same steps you ALWAYS follow?

If you keep doing things to be comfortable, you will miss the variations that are occurring all around you. It’s not that you’re negligent, you just won’t see the changes because they will fall out of your line of sight.

This next week be intentional and do something uncomfortable. I don’t know what that is, but you do. If you consciously do this on a regular basis, HR will remain alive and colorful for you. Isn’t that better ??

It’s time to act because the trap will silently grab you if you don’t.

 

Stop Adding Bricks !!

“All in all you’re just another brick in the wall” – Pink Floyd

The incredible double album, The Wall, was released my senior year of high school. I listened to it endlessly. It is still one of my favorite sets from one of my favorite bands. During college I worked as a Resident Assistant and we had “Cool Steve’s Movie Night” every year. We played the movie of The Wall each year at midnight and sang every word of every song !!

(Pardon the nickname. It was given to me because I ran things differently in the dorms. I was practicing my brand of HR even then and didn’t realize it.)

The theme of the movie and the album was that seen from a character who felt every situation in his life kept building a wall that continued to constrict him. It’s not a cheerful way to look at life by any means. However, it seems to be how many people see life . . . and HR.

Too harsh? Tell me, have you had this happen? You walk into a room and people rustle and say, “Shhh, here comes HR.” Not a great feeling is it? Have you ever noticed that when people do this, they never say your name. It’s honestly the most impersonal comment anyone could make in the workplace, and it paints us in a poor light.

We rarely counter this comment. In fact, most of the time, we try to deflect it, ignore it or work around it. I think that we need to step up and not allow this attitude towards us anymore. However, there is a key thing that needs to occur before that happens. We need to quit adding bricks to the walls of our organizations. We do this all the time in the majority of our human resources efforts. We have the best intentions when we put out policies and procedures, but to be honest we manage to the exception. We have supervisors who see a small fraction of people behaving in ways they don’t like and they ask for another layer of bricks to be added. This is done instead of expecting people to talk to each other and address situations as they occur.

Brick in the WallHonestly, it’s easier to pen another policy and lay more bricks than it is to face human interaction. However, it is our job as HR professionals to show people how to interact, listen and address people. We should refuse to pen one more item that builds the barriers in the workplace we already battle.

I recommend that you follow a test I call, The Three “O’s”. If your actions hit any of these three, then don’t do them. Come up with another alternative. It takes effort, but it works. So, don’t move forward with policies or procedures if they:

Obstruct

Are your efforts causing more obstacles for people to do their jobs? Have you considered how these methods affect performance? Chances are you’re only developing layers of rules which won’t be practiced consistently. Play out how things will affect others before you are quick to implement them.

Ostracize

Evaluate how many people your policies and procedures actually apply to. If you see that you’re addressing a small minority, then step back and refuse to add it. This is a poor business practice not just a narrow HR practice. Companies should not have systems which only impact a thin ribbon of the organization. The same is true for HR. Remember we are business people who practice HR – not the other way around.

Obfuscate

This word even sounds clunky !! It describes when things are obscure, unclear or even unintelligible. Have you even looked at your policies and procedures recently? There is an old mantra from the world of education which states “publish or perish.” HR falls into this trap by writing more and more rules for people to follow. The lack of clarity that occurs is a huge brick in the way of people understanding their roles and what they are to do.

This week take a look at your HR practices and see what walls exist. Apply the Three “O’s” test and then start taking those bricks down. When you do this, the next time you enter a room people will be geeked to see you and call you by name !!

 

 

Do Something Meaningful !!

A few weeks ago as I was leaving for some activity or another, my wife grabbed my hand as I was heading out the door and said, “Do something meaningful today !!”

I stopped for a second and asked her what she just said. “You heard me,” she said. And, then I headed out to my activity with this thought guiding my way. I’ll be honest it threw me. I was in such a rush to go that I wasn’t even thinking about why I was doing it. I had fallen into a pattern of just going to participate, that I hadn’t even remembered what motivated me to do this in the first place. Now, fast forward a few weeks . . .

I was fortunate to speak this year at the SHRM Annual Conference. I enjoy speaking to my peers at HR events. You could say I get Geeked about it !! I never quite shake the nerves you get before a presentation starts, and this was no different. Before anyone came to the 7:00am session, I stared at a vast room filled with 1,200 empty seats. The thought of, “I wonder if anyone will come?,” crossed my mind once or twice. Slowly the room began to fill, and I felt less anxious.

SHRM Speaker PicThe next hour and fifteen minutes flew by !! We laughed together and talked about how to make your company’s culture rock. I’ve always been someone who thinks HR is simply the best field ever to work in, and I shared that with the group. This message was one of encouragement. I believe in what HR folks do for organizations and for employees individually.

During the presentation, I pulled out my favorite HR tool available – my Magic 8 Ball. Yes, this is the toy from the 1970’s where you ask it a question and then turn it over for it’s response. I usually ask, “Are you going to keep your job?” Shake the 8 Ball, turn it over and see “Doesn’t look good.” It’s fun because you get to mess with your employees and there’s nothing that says you can’t do this !! At the end of the presentation, I make sure to give out a Magic 8 Ball to make sure that someone has a new tool to take on HR in a different way.

The same anxious feeling you get before you give your presentation you have after it’s over. You don’t know if what you covered mattered or not. Was it meaningful?

The reality of this is that it isn’t in your control and it’s a humbling factor of speaking. I’m good with this though because doing something meaningful shouldn’t be self-serving, it should help others. This runs contrary to most everyone today because we still keep focusing on the “what’s in it for me” approach. We build entire systems to make sure that we cover the WIIFM factor.

Is practicing HR meaningful for you? Are you focused on others? What happens when you practice every day and you’re not sure it matters to others. You honestly may not hear if what you do every makes an impact. It’s hard to keep going, but I want to encourage you to not give in.

Since the presentation, I’ve heard from several people who say they’re Geeked about HR again. Two people told me they bought Magic 8 Balls and they’re already “using” them at work. I also was humbled when two young HR pros from Utah called me to talk about their ideas on benchmarking HR to improve their culture !! There were many others that talked to me and I loved meeting each one of them.

As you start the week, I want to leave you with the encouragement my wife gave me – Do something meaningful today !!

Who Will Speak for Me ??

A little over a week ago, I lost a dear SHRM HR friend and peer, Sharon Connell-Rick from North Dakota. It is tragic because Sharon was a victim of domestic violence. I don’t pretend to understand this in any logical way whatsoever. It hurts to know that a friend is gone and that a family is going to face incredible challenges going forward.

The situation has given me time to reflect about my own relationships, humanity, mortality and role in HR. Every day I go to work with literally thousands of employees who are facing their own personal situations that may be burdens or joys. I pass each one of them wondering how they’re doing and also if they’d be willing to share what’s going on. It consumes me at times.

I don’t want to know dirt or pain. I want to check in and give them someone who will be their voice in their location, their department and our company. For if HR isn’t the voice of the employee, who is? You need to note that if you choose not to speak for your employees – someone will. You may not want that to happen !!

I hadn’t talked to Sharon in over a year. It was at the last SHRM Annual Conference in Orlando. I don’t know if talking to her more regularly would have changed anything, but I just wonder if she had someone who spoke for her?

As people, we were created to be connected and there for each other. In the workplace, we downplay this fact and rush to our cubes to make sure “work” is being done. Also, when we talk about HR we spend our time either in the transactional trenches or in the lofty strategy speak in the constant chase of organizational validation. Let me be candid. We’re missing the boat.

If we aren’t in our roles to care for others, truly care for others, we shouldn’t be in HR.

This isn’t the claptrap catchphrase of putting the “H” back in HR. I hate hearing that. It’s contrite and dumbs down who we are and what we do. We need to be humans all the time and not just in the workplace.

If you aren’t caring for others, it may be because you feel someone doesn’t care for you. Let me put aside that concern. If you’re in HR, I care for you. If you share in this great profession, you have someone who wants to be there for you and walk with you in what you do. We are called to be the caretakers of our people.

If someone wants to challenge this as some fluffy Kum By Ya approach, try this on. If HR truly cared for your people and listened to them and helped them be better humans themselves, wouldn’t your company be better? I can’t think of a stronger value added facet for any organization. Period.

Be PresentTo do this, we have to adopt a new behavior where we haven’t been consistent. When I talk to my peers, they share about how people bother them and if they have to listen to another problem, concern, bitch, etc. they’re going to explode. Stop it. We need to be present for our people and for each other.

So, when you’re with people, put your phone down, stop staring at the computer screen or looking over their shoulder wondering when this conversation will stop. You need to be present when they’re present !! No exceptions. The person standing before you needs to be your focus, not your step to the next thing that’s “more important.”

HR friends, we can do this and it’s needed in our organizations and in our profession. We need to be present for each other and connect more than we currently do. It’s imperative that we are there for each other so we too can make it through the ups and downs of life.

I choose to speak for my employees. Will you join me in speaking for yours ??

Fly Like An Eagle !!

This post isn’t a tribute to the incredible Steve Miller Band, but I may have to do that at a later time !! No, this week I’m straying from the world of HR to pay tribute to my son, Josh.

Josh as Eagle ScoutMy son became an Eagle Scout on Tuesday !! There really aren’t words that capture how proud I am of him. He has been in Scouts for almost 12 years and I was fortunate enough to travel along with him. It’s hard to picture that the little first grader who started as a Tiger Cub Scout is now a young man who will surely change the world !!

There are so many things that I love about Josh which made his Scouting experience unique and singular. My son is a free thinker who looks at the world as if it were an endless landscape. He took merit badges that others didn’t because he wanted to track things that interested him. He was disappointed that he wasn’t able to get the Truck Transportation badge before reaching Eagle. He really wanted to do this !!

Josh is smart, creative and has a sharp sense of humor. He often encouraged the other scouts in the Troop to look at things differently and try different experiences. He’s becoming a confident speaker in front of his peers and in front of crowds. It’s great to see him continue to develop and grow.

He didn’t settle on his project either. He wanted to do something that made an impact and would help many, so he decided to build a 12′ x 12′ shed for a local Animal Shelter. It was the largest project anyone in the Troop has ever attempted. He not only was successful, with the help of many of our scouts and adults from the Troop, but he also raised the most money ever for an Eagle Scout project. I’m not surprised that Josh wanted to “go big” because that’s how he sees life.

He faced a challenge that most Scouts don’t face while they work their way through ranks. His Dad was the Scoutmaster of the Troop at the same time he was moving up. Josh and I are very close. He would deny that if you asked him because our personalities are so similar. At times we are oil and water, but that never stood in his way. I can proudly say that Josh was able to develop relationships and become a strong individual even with me in the Scoutmaster role.

The other thing that I just have to say for him and about him (because we’ve talked about this) is that my son is a great example of why we shouldn’t stereotype and generalize his generation !! He is a fierce millennial and hates it when my generation (and others) say things about how his generation won’t be successful.

Did you know that only 4% of boys who start scouting become an Eagle Scout? His accomplishment has absolutely nothing to do with his age, and everything to do with his character and work ethic !!

He’s about to literally “fly” from our house as he heads to college in the Fall. It won’t be the same to not have him here to go to weekly Troop meetings on Monday night or go on another camping adventure or a national event like going with him to Sea Base. He’s not set on a firm major yet in college, but I have no doubt that he will be successful in all he does just like he was in earning this honor.

I can’t wait to see what he will do and who he will become. It will be an adventure I’m sure !!

Oh, yeah. I needed to close with this . . .

 

Extroverts Guide to #SHRM15 !!

The SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition starts in one week in Las Vegas !! This venue seems to scream “extrovert” with all of it’s bright lights, shows and casinos. With over 15,000 people, expected the Conference can be overwhelming for everyone.

We don’t write about extroverts much because we assume they’re going to fill the space with their outward thoughts anyway !! I have to be honest, most of my friends are not extroverts. I assumed because they were active socially, they’d be extroverted. I am, so why wouldn’t they be? (1st fault of the extrovert . . . )

Being introverted or extroverted is neither right nor wrong. It just is who we are and how we’re wired. So, I wanted to put some hints and advice that will fill up the extrovert’s need for constant communication and interaction so that you can fully enjoy SHRM15 !!

Pick Sessions that STRETCH you !!

There are so many great sessions at this year’s Conference. Don’t fall into the trap of going to ones that reflect your day-to-day role. Stretch yourself and feed your inner desire to see what HR could look like and may look like in the future. Get on the edge of what we do and claw out of the trenches for a week. These sessions will challenge the way you think and you’ll love it.

Talking To YouMake connections that matter !!

Extroverts have to talk. They can’t help but express themselves. Use that fact to meet the folks who are at the event. We are all in HR together and instead of trying to continue to go it alone, meet the folks that are milling around you. We’ve lost sight that we’re all in the same profession. The best resource you are looking for could be right next to you. So, when you talk to strangers, because you will, connect with them so that you can be resources for each other long after the conference concludes. To put this in HR math – if you connect with 10 people and each of those folks are connected to 10 people, you have just built an incredible network !!

Tweet, SnapChat, Post, Blog, etc. !!

Face it, you’re already social. It’s part of your inherent nature. Social Media use by HR pros jumps through the roof during SHRM15 and that’s awesome. The challenge is that you carry it forward and remain social. Remember, social media is just another way to communicate and connect. Tweet during sessions using the speaker’s Twitter handle and the hashtag #SHRM15. Post to Instagram with pics from all over the SHRM Store and the Vendor Hall. Show HR people who weren’t able to attend all of the great things going on.

As an extrovert, you have a drive that needs to be constantly fed on the social side of your personality. Use the Conference to launch your social side and then keep it going strong with all of your new connections once you head back to your part of the HR universe.

Take in EVERYTHING !!

I know that the temptations of the Vegas Strip will pull on every attendee, and there will be plenty of time for that. My hope is that you take in the entire vendor hall and talk to people to see what they have to offer and not just make the dash for swag. Sit up front in the keynotes and the concurrent sessions to grow and develop.

Extroverts are great at “conferencing” which means that you are eager to see the 7:00am sessions and then you are on the go through the wee hours of the night. Don’t miss a thing. You’ll be glad you did !!

Finally, don’t just hang with your own kind. There will be people from all over the world at the Conference. Don’t just stay with those from your own state or country. Release your inner extrovert and meet folks from everywhere !!

When you meet our introvert counterparts, greet them, give them a second and then hug away !! (if they’re cool with it). Have fun !! The SHRM Annual Conference is always a great event. This is where you can flourish and be your extroverted self !!

I will make sure to find you – count on it !!

What Happened in Vegas . . .

. . . shouldn’t stay in Vegas !!

I just returned from the SHRM Annual Conference (SHRM15) in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a great even from start to finish. I enjoyed the Bloggers Lounge, the Smart Stage, the SHRM Store, the vendor hall, the keynote speakers, Jennifer Hudson, the concurrent sessions, being on TChat with Kevin Grossman, Callie Zipple and Chanel Jackson, the No Kid Hungry Poetry Slam and especially meeting the great attendees throughout the week !!

Tomorrow, I return to work and the great folks I get to be with most of the time !! Please note that I don’t HAVE to go back to work, I GET to go back to work. I have great new information on how to work with my Team Leaders from Marcus Buckingham, how to build my team from Coach Mike Krzyzewski, how to develop leaders that leave a legacy from Mary Faulkner, how to drive strategy through HR from Jennifer McClure and much more.

Las Vegas SignI have information that I can use immediately to make my role better and more effective. I’m sure that everyone who came also gathered information that they could use in their HR roles. The question is – will that information stay in Vegas or make it back to your workplace?

People tend to get all geeked up at HR Conferences which is fantastic and needed !! It is a great release from the day-to-day functions we perform. We don’t get that release often enough and it’s fun to decompress with your peers. In sessions, we find tons and tons of takeaways that we promise ourselves that we will use the moment we step back into the office.

Then . . . Monday hits and the pattern that we have been following every day takes over. The first “fire” of the day bursts into flame and it builds from there. The excitement we felt at the Conference rapidly fades and all of our good intentions never come to life. Aren’t you tired of that? I know I am !!

Break the past and hit Monday running and take it head on. Be intentional about changing how you’ve been practicing HR, and implement the takeaways that mattered to you into your day right of the bat. Also, reach out to the people you connected with during the Conference and build your network. Refuse to go back to the days of practicing HR on your own. The people you met will be the best HR resources you will ever have. Keeping in touch with each other will make you an even better HR professional !!

Trust me when I say that these hints are things I practice myself. I met hundreds of new HR folks and have already reached out to them to make sure we’re connected. I’m going to introduce the takeaways I had in my department and with our Team Members. I used to go to HR conferences and left everything behind me. They were great fun, but they weren’t very sustainable.

That never seemed to work, and I changed my approach several years ago. Once I brought things back on purpose, my love for HR grew and grew even more.