Grow, Engage, Inspire: Day Two of the Halogen Customer Conference

by Melany Gallant | Posted | Business Impact

Grow, Engage, Inspire: Day Two of the Halogen Customer Conference

Well, day two of ninth annual Halogen Customer Conference wrapped up on Friday and what a flurry of activity and learning it’s been! We had a great time networking and collaborating with customers and partners during this two-day event, and it’s surprising how quickly time flew by.

The day was filled with more great customer stories, tips, tools, and learning. Here a few of my favorite takeaways from the day…

Halogen customer achievements recognized through annual Bright Lights awards

Before I get into the day two highlights I need to mention that the Customer Appreciation Party held at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum on Thursday evening was phenomenal. The opportunity to network and dance the night away in such a historical venue was truly amazing.

customer appreciation party hscc14

It was also where the Bright Lights award winners were announced. These awards are given to Halogen customers who have achieved excellence in talent management.

This year’s winners include:

  • Dazzling Implementation award: Cornerstone Healthcare Group
  • Bright Bottom Line award: the State of Wyoming
  • Brilliant Corporate Culture award: the City of Minneapolis
  • Strategic Vision award: SenriLock

Here are the award winners with Halogen President and CEO Paul Loucks:

customer appreciation party hscc14

Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Halogen

The morning kicked off with one of our most popular sessions: The Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Halogen! Halogen experts walked through some of the greatest – and most underutilized – ways organizations can tap into the flexibility and power of the Halogen TalentSpace suite.

For example, did you know that feedback can be used to support performance appraisals? Well it can! Incorporating feedback directly in appraisals supports goals and development plans and gives deeper context to performance discussions.

Any feedback your managers and employees add to Feedback Central, can be easily added to your appraisal form.

All you need to do is turn that setting on in your form properties:

customer appreciation party hscc14

Practical tips to take home

Day two was full of a lot more great content including customer success stories from Development Dimensions International (DDI), Penn-Mar Human Services and Community Care, Inc. 

There were also awesome presentations from Nicole Martin, Founder, HRBoost who linked HR to Profitability; Donna Neumann, Principal Consultant, Camden Delta who gave a how-to guide for talent segmentation; as well as great presentations from many awesome pros from Halogen’s own team on everything from building a strong competency framework to getting the most from Halogen TalentSpace.

Attendees listen in on some practical Halogen TalentSpace tips in the Tips & Tools track:

customer appreciation party hscc14

I had the opportunity to stop by several of the breakout sessions and gather a great mix of key takeaways from many different aspects of talent management. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Learn by example: All my life I’ve been taught to lead by example, but did you know you can also learn by example? In a Talent Strategy session on persona-based leadership, Karen Phelan, Author, Speaker, Consultant, and Co-founder of Operating Principals, outlined a simple method of improving both leadership and communication skills – find someone who has the skills you need and imitate them.

We all have leaders we look up to – both inside and outside of our organization. Persona-based leadership is an awesome tool for leadership development, feedback, team development, and expectations setting, among others.

2. Retention is intrinsically linked with engagement: I stopped by the Customer Success breakout session titled, Retention Junction: What’s YOUR Function, led by John Breon, SPHR, Sr. HR Generalist with Penn-Mar Human Services.

This session offered insight into one of the biggest issues facing employers in today’s market – engagement! John highlighted some key reasons employees are actively disengaging from companies, and identified strategies to increase engagement and retention from top performers.

Using the Halogen TalentSpace Suite, and linking core values to performance appraisals, Penn-Mar Human Services experienced a 47% increase in retention and an 89% increase in employee engagement.

Here’s what John had to say about the opportunity to participate as a speaker at this year’s conference:

“The 2014 conference was an amazing experience! Halogen employees were involved with customers and genuinely interested in helping us grow and learn from our user 'stories.' Our organization has been using Halogen for just over two years and we’ve seen tremendous results. For example, we have improved employee relations and connections between staff and management thanks to the robust Feedback Central features. It was great to be able to share Penn-Mar’s successes with my peers.”

3. Employees have ‘hidden talents’: Once again, the TalentSpace Lab presentation led by Sean Conrad, Sr. Product Analyst for Halogen Software really got me thinking about getting the most from your employees. Oftentimes employees have knowledge, skills and experience that they're not necessarily using in their current role but would still be valuable organizational assets.

Sean walked customers through the ins and out of Halogen Talent Profiles and showed how you can utilize this feature of the TalentSpace suite to undercover some hidden talent gems in your organization.

HR needs to focus on its own development needs

The day closed out with an HR Executive Panel featuring:

  • Dominique Jones, VP of Human Resources, Halogen Software (moderator)
  • Sherrice Gilchrist, Chief Human Resources Officer, Community Care, Inc.
  • Jon Ferrell, VP of Business Development, The Albert M. Higley Group
  • Glenn St. Onge, Head of Human Resources, AFCC Auto

Panelists shared their leadership insights and experiences, as well as their personal focus on critical HR issues that make a difference to them as well as their organizations.

Here’s what Sherrice Gilcreast had to say about some of the challenges she’s faced in her own leadership development:

“Some of my challenges in my own personal leadership development have been getting buy-in from other executives on investing in tools to help us with things like talent management and leadership development. I understand that it’s my role is to help them understand the value. I’m learning to not approach these conversations with a, “I can’t believe you don’t think this is a great idea,” but to instead be a strategic partner in helping them understand that value.” 

When it comes to their own development, HR professionals are often “the shoemaker’s children” so having a panel discussion on the steps these HR leaders have taken to develop and grow as leaders and individuals was great to hear.

And that’s a wrap!

It’s been a busy, informative, and fun past few days! But don’t just take my word for it. Here are some favorite takeaways from conference attendees…

Kimberlie Reinhardt, HR Manager at Hannover Life Reassurance Company of America:

“One of my favorite parts of the conference is where we get to hear about the road ahead as well as Paul's address to the attendees. The reason I enjoy coming to the Halogen conference year after year is largely linked to the level of respect I have for the culture of the organization. I believe in the culture and it’s obvious everyone with Halogen believes it too.” 

And from a few other conference attendees:

customer appreciation party hscc14

customer appreciation party hscc14

customer appreciation party hscc14

Thank you to all of our customers, partners and employees who made this year’s conference so successful. See you next year at #HSCC15!

Missed the day one #HSCC14 highlights? We have a full summary for you on the blog.

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