What I learned from the HR Summit

by HCA23 Jun 2015
Recently I was lucky to attend the HR Summit 2015, to support our very own Beth Nurnberger.  Beth was presenting the closing session on day one and I got to mix with the HR professionals and enjoy the conference and as a delegate for the first time since my previous life as a professional conference organiser!

Run by the highly efficient Katie and Jess from Key Media, it was a sensational event and one that I hope they are proud to have delivered.  I enjoyed it very much and got a lot from it.  This was the consensus from all the participants I spoke with too.

Over 2 days, about 80 HR professionals and I were exposed to some truly innovative and cutting edge work.  We were invited to consider new models and initiatives in leadership, employee value propositions, policy transformation, change management, innovation, learning and development and employee engagement.  Stand outs for me were case studies from the Kelly McKenzie at the CBH Group, Bruce McCowan at Western Power, Erica Haddon at RAC and Crystal Murphy and Amanda Fletcher at Tronox.  Julie Harrison from Deloitte gave us some great insight into the latest HR trends and Robyne Walshe from Kaya Consulting closed the conference with an enlightening and fun look at the serious topic of underperformance causes and told us to start getting more done by stopping working….. As Tony Swartz, Global Head of the Energy Project says ‘the way we are working, isn’t working’.  And Robyn Walshe had the t-shirts to prove it!

In no particular order, here are my key take-outs:

During change, communicate often with persistence and clarity. And then communicate again.
  • If you can measure it – you can understand it, if you can understand it – you can control it, if you can control it – you can improve it.
  • Brilliant business people synthesise highly complex business concepts and communicate them simply.
  • An organisation, in order to be successful, cannot continue to do that which has made it unique and successful, because this will be easily replicable by the competition.  You must have a culture of continuous change to ensure continuous success.
  • Change must be an organic part of your culture, not something you do when things are broken.
  • HR must build credibility to earn the right to influence.   They must understand the deep business issue the HR initiative is solving.
  • Poor leadership communication leads to stress which shows up as unsocial behaviours, absenteeism and high turnover.
  • Multitasking is a myth.  Your primary task takes 25% longer when you multi task
  • It’s not the number of hours that we work that determines the value we create, but rather the energy we bring to whatever hours we work. Intermittent renewal fuels higher productivity.
2015 Global Human Capital Trends

Julie Harrison from Deloitte shared the key findings from the study of data from 3300+ clients in 100+ countries.
  •  ‘Softer’ areas such as culture and engagement, leadership and development have become urgent priorities
  • HR organisations and HR Skills are not keeping up with business needs
  • Talent and people analytics are a high priority and a tremendous opportunity but progress is slow
  • Leadership and learning have dramatically increased in importance, but the capability gap is widening
  • HR Technology systems are a growing market, but their promise remains largely unfulfilled
  • Simplification is emerging theme: HR is part of the problem
 The top five issues for APAC Companies
  1.  Leadership is a perennial issue.  Companies are struggling to develop leaders at all levels and are investing in new and accelerated leadership models.
  2. Organisations are recognising the need to focus on culture and dramatically improve employee engagement as they are facing looming crises in engagement and retention
  3. The percentage of companies rating learning and development as very important has jumped since last year.  But as the importance of the issue rose, the readiness to address it went down, indicating a widening capability gap.
  4. Companies are taking a more sophisticated approach to managing all aspects of workforce including hourly, contingent and contract workforce.
  5. Both HR and business leaders, on average, rated HR leaders performance as low; furthermore, business leaders rated HR performance 20% lower than HR leaders did, showing how important it is to accelerate HRs ability to deliver value as the economy improves
You can dig deeper into this survey at www.deloitte.com/hctrends2015.

Strategic Communication Techniques:  How to get buy-in from even the most change resistant

Beth from Alive & Kicking spoke about the patterns people use that can provide us with real insight into how they reason, how they think about change and how they are motivated.  And if you can understand people better, you can adapt your language to communicate better with them.

Keep an eye on our blog for updates on this fascinating subject.

Finally, I’ll leave you some food for thought with the statement from Julie Harrison at Deloitte …… ‘If you want to be a highly effective HR professional in the next 5 years, you need to ensure you are a skilled, internal consultant with complete understanding of HOW your business operates’.

About the author: Joanna Bryant is a client relationship manager at Alive & Kicking Solutions, Perth’s leading training development, design and delivery company.