The Single Most Important Takeaway from SHRM 2019

SHRM 2019 conference

The following post comes from Bright Horizons Senior Marketing Specialist, Amanda Cozzens.

Not long ago, Salesforce made this observation about customers

Consumers are likely to switch brands if they feel they’re treated like a number rather than an individual.

That’s true in our own houses, too.

Those of us supporting people in any capacity know our own employees are our customers, people who want (and let’s face it, expect) the same things external customers want: speed, technological advancements, and – most of all -- responsiveness.  And if they don’t get it, they’re out the door. 

Over and over, speakers at this year’s SHRM Conference reinforced that point – specifically the importance of tuning in to give people – and get from them – the best…

In product development: “The people that you hire,” said former Starbucks President Howard Behar, recalling the nearly tossed-aside employee idea that became the company’s $4-billion product, “are going to change your organization.” 

In developing culture:  “Leadership,” said Brené Brown, “is having all the right questions, not all the right answers.” That means being willing to “peel the onion” to get down to the root cause of issues in your workforce, even if it means having the tough conversations. 

In bringing perspectives: “Hiring people with different backgrounds brings a unique set of skills to the workplace,” observed SHRM President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor Jr. “Put bias behind and tap into untapped talent.” 

Attendees may have come for thought leadership, strategy, and ideas. But they were also hungry for inspiration. And over and over, in sessions about resilience, kindness, and happiness, there was one, incontrovertible takeaway. We may be in different industries with different audiences, but no matter what we sell, supply, program, create, or deliver, it all comes down to one thing:

“The best way to take care of business,” concluded the former Starbucks president, “is to take care of your people.”

Written by: Bright Horizons Blog Editor

July 9, 2019

About the Author

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The Bright Horizons Blog Editor frequently posts on the real solutions that meaningfully support employees, advance careers, and drive the world’s leading brands. The Editor curates the latest news, trends, and challenges facing HR pros because your time is scarce. Follow the Bright Horizons Blog to receive this insight in your inbox.