In this guest post, Tia Smith — Senior Manager, Global Talent for OHL —shares highlights from day two of the 8th annual Halogen Customer Conference taking place in Henderson, NV September 23rd and 24th.
What a wonderful whirlwind of activity the last couple of days have been here at the Halogen Customer Conference. Yesterday was capped off by an unforgettable customer appreciation party. It was a great opportunity to talk with other industry professionals, share ideas and, of course, have some fun.
My favorite part of the evening?
The entertainment! From Michael Jackson, to Elvis, from fire eaters to jugglers and hip hop dancers — the party was fantastic.
With day two now in the books, I’m left with some great information to chew on. Not only did I get to sit back and listen to some amazing presentations these last two days, I also had the privilege of sharing OHL’s talent management journey in the Customer Success Track this morning.
I had a lot of fun up there talking about how we at OHL have made employee performance and development a day-to-day priority — something that was enabled through the Halogen TalentSpace™.
This certainly wasn’t something that happened overnight. We deployed a staged step-by-step implementation plan for an expansive multi-module deployment. I was pleased to be able to share our process with others at the conference in hopes that they might learn something from our experience.
But let me back up and share some key highlights from day two that I really liked.
Claire Schooley, Principal Analyst at Forrester delivered a powerful keynote to start the day. Today’s work environment is so dramatically different than it was in decades past. There’s an increasingly global workforce, the Millennial generation makes up a major portion of the workforce, and technology and data access are more advanced than they’ve ever been.
What this ultimately means, as Claire explained, is that organizational leaders must re-invent the workplace and bring new thinking to the process of professional development and ensure the right people, culture and systems are in place to handle the new ways of working.
Practical tips to take home
The breakout sessions I attended today offered a real mix of key takeaways – not just for me and my team but information I can bring back to OHL’s people managers as well.
Case in point: The information delivered in the session “For your managers: 5 ways to avoid losing your high performers” was very practical. Halogen senior consultant Shawna McKnight provided tips and guidance to help managers keep star employees happy, engaged and onboard.
For example, Shawna suggested rewarding and recognizing high performers in ways that are meaningful to them, which can really only be understood by having open and honest conversations with them. I found Shawna’s advice super relevant to OHL’s needs and I want to take her presentation and deliver it to OHL managers when I get back from the conference.
I also attended the session titled “CFO and HR – Can we just get along?” and really enjoyed the insight provided on how HR can work more effectively work with the CFO to gain buy-in on talent management strategy and execution. Halogen CFO Pete Low and VP of HR Dominique Jones offered practical strategies on tightening the HR/finance relationship.
Their advice wasn’t just about helping HR “get a seat at the table”; it was about understanding how to communicate with your CFO in a way that gets you buy-in into your talent management strategy. Everything from strengthening communications around shared goals, making the effort to understand the links between financial and people metrics and making a true business partnership between the two units.
The closing keynote was interesting too. Josh Bersin from Bersin by Deloitte shared what’s next with integrated talent management. I’m a huge fan of Bersin’s work — and use his research all the time.
The “datification of HR”
His presentation was based on his company’s recent research and on trends he and his colleagues have seen throughout the world. I thought the point he made about the “datification of HR” intriguing. Josh stated that big data is becoming more and more important in HR.
He said only 15% of organizations are using HR metrics effectively and that the impact on the bottom line is something we all need to pay attention to. For example, Josh stated that companies using HR metrics generate 30% higher stock returns than companies who don’t.
He predicts that HR is going to be hounded for data by their senior leadership team. Most CEOs want numbers and answers on how you’ll fix challenges like skills gaps, talent shortages and addressing retention issues, and so HR professionals have to start thinking of themselves as information sources.
We are the people in the organization who can provide valuable insight into how to build competitive advantage through a strong and high-performing workforce.
A big thank you to the whole team at Halogen for putting together such a great lineup and to Green Valley Ranch for making us feel so welcome over the last few days.
I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference. If you missed the 2013 conference, don’t be left out in 2014!
For more insight on the Halogen Customer Conference, read the day one conference recap by Tim Mulligan, CHRO for the San Diego Zoo.