Another year, another amazing edition of the SHRM Annual Conference in the books.
We were there, of course, talking to all of you about some of the great things we’re cooking up. We debuted our latest release to Saba Cloud , which has some awesome new features around video learning as well as rewards & recognition . If you were there, you may have noticed our name all over the place as we were a conference sponsor!
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Also, one of our favorite parts of heading out to these conferences is seeing friends from around the country. We had an awesome visit with pals and Saba Blog “video personalities,” Tim Sackett and Dawn Burke!
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But enough about what we did. There was a whole show going on around us! We had our people on the floor attending sessions and workshops, soaking up all the information they could about what’s important in HR and talent development in 2018 and beyond.
We’re happy to report back with some of SHRM 2018’s key takeaways.
Takeaway #1: The Workforce of the Future Needs to Be Adaptable
Read any business publication nowadays and a common phrase you’ll notice is “pace of change.” That is, it’s speeding up, and shows no signs of losing momentum. Technology is the obvious driver here with industries being upended left and right.
Preparing your people for such a world was at the center of the session led by Amy Hayes, VP of Learning & Development at Facebook. Her talk was all about building a culture of learning – a necessity if you want a highly adaptable workforce. She provided points beyond your typical ideas about L&D, like providing more learning content or enabling people to learn on an informal basis. She suggested encouraging ownership among your employees, hiring “builders” and people who are excited by the prospect of tackling complex problems, and bringing diverse perspectives to your organization.
Takeaway #2: Small Is the New Big
A huge buzz was the changing landscape of development & learning to target a new generation of workers – the new world order of “bite-sized, instant, continuous.” Those words came from Karishma Patel Buford, Vice President of Global Talent Management at Groupon. The way people consume information is changing, but the way we distribute learning and development to our organizations hasn’t kept pace. In the same way that we look up how to fix our appliances on YouTube, how to cook certain foods on Google, or get our headlines and news from social media, the learning and development function needs to become similarly bite-sized, instant and continuous . Informal, micro, social, these are all buzzwords that pertain to learning. But the buzz is not empty. It’s how we’re all going to be learning sooner than we all think.
Takeaway #3: Communication, Coaching and Feedback Continue to Be Big Deals
Like we’ve seen at other conferences in years past , feedback, coaching and all other forms of employee communication continue to be a very big deal. Our people went to sessions about office politics and employee relationships, creating a culture of coaching, how to deliver bad news to your people, and those were just on the surface. At the core of all these sessions was an emphasis on a few things:
- Allowing your employees to be their authentic selves at work
- Encouraging open lines of communication throughout organizations
- The manager-employee relationship is more important than ever
- When coaching, emphasize strengths and play off of them as much as possible
How are organizations accomplishing some of these things? It really comes down to well-trained leaders and culture. Great leaders are now emphasizing skills like active listening, fostering accountability and ownership in their people , building trust and giving employees space to share. And when leaders espouse these things, they become ingrained in the organization itself, creating a culture of trust, openness and honest communication.
Your turn: Did you attend the conference? What did you notice in your time on the SHRM 2018 show floor?