Reporting In From #SHRM13 – Days 1 & 2

For the next week, as thousands of HR professionals from around the country and world converge on Chicago for the 2013 SHRM Annual Conference and Expo, Women of HR will be joining them and featuring all things SHRM Annual related.

The 2013 SHRM Annual Conference and Expo has been underway for a day and a half now. As expected, a lot of great information and thought-provoking ideas have already been shared, and even more thought-provoking questions have been raised.
Fareed Zakaria kicked off the opening keynote with his case for optimism. He proposed that even in a world filled with gloom and unease, there is reason to be optimistic. Though it may not always feel like it in the midst of hard times, there is always a recovery: this too shall pass.

As HR pros, we need to be ready…as this recovery comes, are we ensuring that our companies are prepared? Dr. Zakaria also proposed that the 21st century will be the century for human capital, and that will be the differentiating factor between successful companies and less successful companies. We will need to focus on lifelong learning and retaining with an intensity that we never have before. Are we, as HR pros, ensuring that our companies have the people practices and work models in place to encourage lifelong learning? Are we ready to maximize our human capital to ensure the continued success of our organizations? What are we doing now to ensure that we will continue to sustain and develop our talent going forward?

On Monday morning, TOMS CEO Blake Mycoskie talked about his entrepreneurial journey, taking his company from a start-up with just a few interns working from his kitchen table, to the philanthropic giant it is today. By the example of his own company’s success, he encouraged us to give our employees the opportunity to serve; when employees feel good about what they do and what the company does, they will work harder. Giving doesn’t just feel good, it’s good for business.

So I ask you this….how many of our companies give our employees the opportunity to truly be evangelists? Moreover, do our company cultures encourage this, or are we afraid to allow it? And what can we as HR pros do to help build a culture of evangelists?

I challenge you to start asking yourself these questions….

About the Author

Jennifer Payne

Jennifer Payne is a 20+ year human resources leader with a focus on researching, developing, and implementing talent management programs. She is a believer in lifelong learning and self-development who strives to stay current in HR trends, technology, best practices, and the future of work by sharing knowledge with and learning from HR colleagues and thought leaders across the country and throughout the world through writing, speaking, and involvement in various industry conferences and events.  She is one of the co-founders of Women of HR, and is currently the Editor of the site. You can connect with her on Twitter...


Johann Gauthier

Thanks Jennifer for reporting on the proceedings of #shrm13 !
Wish I was there however am quite happy to read about it through your lens.
I’m an HR Professional and very much agree with your take on things.
HR’s value is front and center these days as we revamp and improve processes and strategize for the future.
The trend of change evangelists is all around us for employers to embrace the best people have to bring !
Cheers !


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