As you know, my daily work is filled with data crunching, report publishing, and other nerdy stuff. But occasionally I get the opportunity to leave my virtual cubicle and interact with the world. Here’s your chance to listen in.

Assessments Webinar

On Wednesday, February 5th at 1:00 EST, I’ll be co-hosting a Brandon Hall Group research spotlight where we talk about some of our recent assessments research and what you need to know. Here’s the marketing blurb:

What’s the big deal about assessments anyway? Assessments have been around for decades now, so why all the attention to the assessments industry these days? Organizations large and small are using a wide variety of assessment types – skill, behavioral, personality, cognitive and more – throughout the hiring process and the employee lifecycle to help make better talent decisions, guide managers in developing their teams, and help individuals further their own career goals. It’s not enough to get an assessment score or profile. Managers and individuals need to know how to take action on that information. It’s a balance of science driven assessments, and the art of integrating the results with your talent processes.

Click here to sign up

Why you should attend

Working as the HR Director for a small company, I don’t know that I would have spent much time looking at information on assessments. After all, you just use those for hiring, right?

Wrong!

  • Hiring assessments (I started using these for key positions, and it was a great tool for helping our selection process)
  • Talent assessments (Who are your high potential employees that would make good leaders?)
  • Individual assessments (What is my team good at? How can I help them to play to their strengths and downplay weaknesses?)

Plus, you get the opportunity to listen to my friend and colleague, Mollie Lombardi, as she shares other insights into the world of assessments. I’m excited and hope you can join us!
assessments webinar invite

I’ll keep this as brief as I can. It’s been a long few days and I’m still trying to catch my breath.

I’m always floored by people who say they read this blog. I see the stats–there’s a lot of you out there. However, it’s always interesting to meet someone face to face. Jane, you know who you are. Thanks for reading.

The session I led with Matt Charney was a success. We wanted to cover specific topics with regard to generations in the workplace, and although we didn’t prepare heavily (you normally don’t for an unconference-like event like HRevolution anyway), it went exactly as we had hoped. We helped the audience to open their eyes to the idea that maybe everything they “know” about Gen Y isn’t really as solid as they once thought.

The HR improv session was, by all accounts, pretty freaking hilarious. My only regret? I was running the A/V and wasn’t able to do videos again this year of all the presentations. Darn. Next year…

The session on “anything but HR” was a blast. I left there with some new ideas and am still trying to decide what it all means to me. Thanks to Jennifer McClure for asking some big questions.

We’re already discussing the next HRevolution. This year we had about 50% new participants. That’s amazing. And so many that I spoke with were itching to come back again. It’s tough to measure the effectiveness or success of the event quickly, or from year-to-year, but this year’s event was above par, even for our high standards.

For those of you who wanted to come but couldn’t make it, I urge you to make it happen next time. Tickets are cheap. The experience and deep questions you leave with are anything but.

Thanks again to my great teammates and to the volunteers who jumped in last minute to help this event be as successful as possible. I appreciate all of you, and I’m honored to know you.

Yesterday, Jose Berrios of SHRM spent some time talking about diversity, and he mentioned using a Twitter-like tool to let managers give employee feedback in short, 140-character snippets. Many of the audience members agreed that it was a good idea, but I was quick to point out that it isn’t really that easy. My alternative solution:

In response to my comment, someone else came back with a (poor) excuse for why my idea wouldn’t work:

I can’t help but laugh. HR pros need to be forcing managers to manage well, not giving them a free pass to be poor communicators. If they are not talking with their employees, that’s not going to change by offering to let them talk to their employees with a software program in snippets too small to give real, useful feedback.

Let’s fix the problem with managers who don’t take the time to talk with their people. Then we can discuss software tools that help to supplement the feedback process with more frequent, informal pieces here and there. It’s not an either/or answer–both can (and should) be used effectively.

I arrived in Atlanta just a few short hours ago, and I’ve already seen some great things that tell me this is going to be a fantastic event. My goal in the next few days is to 1) take as many notes as possible so I can go back to work and impact my employer in a big way (as should be the goal for any attending HR professional!) and 2) share as much content from the event as I possibly can with those who are unable to attend. A few things that hit me right away:

  • The SHRM Hive/Smart Bar is a great setup. SHRM put the bloggers and “experts” to work answering attendee questions, helping people get started with Twitter, and generally being a helpful resource for anyone looking for help with social media.
  • I was able to help a young man who was looking for some assistance with WordPress. To be honest, I’m kind of a nerd, so it was great to delve into that a bit and discuss the blogging tool with a friendly audience.
  • The Blogger Lounge (sponsored by Dice) is phenomenal. They definitely went the extra mile to make the area suitable for people who want an area to relax, write, and enjoy the event.
  • The collection of incredibly intelligent people never ceases to amaze me. I’m talking about the bloggers and “guru” types that everyone looks up to. The main difference between them and the average attendee? They are active not only in their job, but in the profession. Just like SHRM works to advance the profession, these HR activists are working around the clock to make human resources better.
  • The SHRM Public Relations team is simply amazing. I have gotten to know Julie and Jenny just a little bit, and they are the sweetest, kindest folks you’ll ever meet.
  • Curtis and Anne-Margaret are the whiz kids behind SHRM’s social media efforts, and it definitely shows. They are bringing social media to the forefront of the HR professionals at the event so they can’t ignore the impact of these tools any longer.
  • I had a chance to sit down with the other HRevolution planners-Steve Boese, Trish McFarlane, an Matt Stollak. Brilliance was shared. Expect an agenda soon with speakers and session details! Funny to think that 3 years ago, the first HRevolution unconference was born because Trish and I couldn’t make it to the SHRM conference that year…

I know this is just a glimpse of the event, and the real sessions haven’t even started yet! I still have to visit the SHRM Volunteer Leader’s Lounge, the SHRM Bookstore, the expo hall (hellooo, vendors!), and attend some exciting events. Look for more great content in the coming days live from SHRM12!

Wow! We just got the finishing touches on the website and the registration page for HRevolution 2012 in Chicago. While we had planned to launch on Tuesday, we have already had a handful of people happen across the site to register early. It still amazes me at the fanatical level of devotion embodied by the fans of the HRevolution event (movement?!?).

For the new readers, you can see everything I’ve ever written on HRevolution here.

It is a different kind of HR event, and I highly encourage you to check it out. While it costs less than most other events, the content is anything but cut-rate. You’ll be rubbing elbows with some of nicest, smartest people I’ve ever met. And if you participate like we hope you will, there’s a good chance the other people will walk away thinking that you are one of those intelligent people they are glad to know. All we ask is that you bring the enthusiasm and passion that led you to this profession in the first place!

I’ll be posting more on the event in the coming months, but if you want an early bird ticket (25% off), you probably need to get a move on! Click here to register Continue reading

So, are you thinking about going to the 2012 SHRM Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia? Yeah, me, too.

I was able to attend back in 2010 due to the boundless generosity of my friend Eric Winegardner. However, at that time I was working in a 6-person HR department as the low man on the totem pole. Nobody cared what I thought. Nobody wanted to hear my ideas. So when I returned from the event, my enthusiasm and fervor was quickly extinguished.

While I enjoyed the experience, I didn’t get a lot out of the event in the form of takeaways.

If I can attend this year, that’s going to change drastically.

My hopes for the 2012 SHRM Annual Conference

First of all, it’s right next door in Atlanta, Georgia. That alone makes it more appealing! :-)

Seriously, though. I work in a small company. I have some support from the Operations Team, but the main body of HR duties is mine. And while I love it, sometimes it gets a little overwhelming. I realize that I can’t be great at everything. I can’t have all the answers to every benefits, employment law, and recruiting question someone throws at me. And I certainly don’t have time to look into the “nice to haves” like online performance review software, leadership development strategies, and internal culture training. However, learning opportunities like the SHRM conference affords don’t come along every day.

I’m working to see if there’s money in the budget to attend the 2012 SHRM Annual Conference. Even if there isn’t, I’m going to try to make it happen one way or another.

Is anyone else already planning to attend? I’d love to meet you if so!

I spent some time on the phone with my good friend Trish McFarlane the other day discussing HRevolution 2012. This event is going to be fantastic. Then I heard the phrase “don’t be a fan, be a player” today, and I knew the two topics were related.

You see, HRevolution isn’t your average, ordinary event.

There’s a reason we talk about “participants” when we discuss HRev. Why? Because they are expected to participate. We want people to come and share ideas, ask questions, and walk away with more than they came with.

The differences between this event and the traditional conference are many, but that is one that I keep coming back to as the main sticking point when comparing the two.

Give it a chance

If your employer pays for you to attend conferences during the year, this is one you need to seriously consider. You will walk out the door fired up and ready to take on whatever is thrown at you. Not sure if it’s right for you? Email me and we can discuss your individual position and how it might be applicable (or not) to what you need. The positive side is that it’s not going to cost you a thousand dollars to attend this event. We have done our best to keep costs low so that anyone can attend, no matter what career level they may be.

There’s a reason we have so many people who have attended every single HRevolution event. They believe in it, and you can, too.

Sponsors welcome

If you are a vendor in the HR space and would be interested in sponsoring, please reach out and I can get you the information you’ll need to make it happen.