Category Archives: Humanity in the workplace

Conference Attendance 301

In 2010 I wrote Conference Attendance 101, a post on my blog, Data Point Tuesday. It has been one of the most shared, re-posted, and quoted blog posts I’ve ever written.

Attending HR conferences successfully – getting the most out of the experience – really has taken careful planning and tons of time management. Some HR conferences are so big and have so much going on, that it can really feel like work to make sure you’re achieving an appropriate ROI for your employer.

But conferences have changed over the last 7 years. For one, there are a TON of HR-related conferences to choose from. Significantly more than 7 years ago. HR-related professional associations, HR products and services providers, publishers, networking organizations, research organizations – a whole host of organizations – all want a piece of HR professionals’ time to ply their wares and influence the direction of people policy making. They all provide re-certification credits from the HR certifiers of your choice and they promise you’ll learn everything you need to know (until the same time next year) to be successful HR leaders. It’s a booming business. But there are some new approaches to HR conferences – and their content and targeted attendees – that deserve your consideration.

I’ve been affiliated with Globoforce’s WorkHuman conference since its inception in 2015. Eric Mosely, Globoforce’s CEO, had a vision of turning his organization’s annual customer conference into a global force for good. A global force for taking 2 days each year to consider the value of humanity, the value of creating human cultures for our organizations, the value of truly focusing on human relationships to power organization success. And, in large part, his vision has come true:  at its core, WorkHuman is a global movement of people, purpose, and passion bringing more humanity to today’s modern workplace.

WorkHuman this year is May 30 – June 1 in Phoenix, Arizona. If you’ve attended, you already know it’s a conference experience unlike any other. If you haven’t attended, you should know that it aims to educate you on the value of creating a more human organization culture; to nourish your human spirit allowing you to do the same for your colleagues; and to connect you with like-minded individuals. The keynote speakers are not the usual HR fare (Michelle Obama, Susan Cain, Adam Grant, Chaz Bono, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and they all bring a particular point of view to the human organization experience. Breakout sessions – or Spotlight sessions as they are called at WorkHuman – bring additional academics, leaders, authors, and experts to help attendees get their arms – and hearts – around their humans.

In my earlier blog post, Conference 101, I suggested that pre-planning, networking, and smiling (as a way to be approachable) were time-tested ways to maximize conference attendance. At WorkHuman, I suggest that giving yourself permission to be human and being open to meet like-minded people are all you need for a successful and meaningful conference experience. Creating a human organization culture starts with allowing yourself to be human. And where better to begin that process than with thought leaders of all stripes, and attendees from all organization functions, all coming together to learn from each other the value of the human experience at work.

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Globoforce, Humanity in the workplace, WorkHuman

Watson Agrees With Me!

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“More positive employee experiences are linked to better performance, extra effort at work, and lower turnover intentions.”

For people who follow my work as a speaker and a writer, this quote may seem familiar. And it’s true. I’ve said variations of this for several years. And I’ve had a range of data sources to back me up. But now, Watson has said it, so it must be true!

My friends at Globoforce and the IBM Smarter Workforce Institute have published a new white paper:  The Employee Experience Index. And it’s definitely worth a read – and not just because Watson agrees with me.

Together, Globoforce and IBM have created the Employee Experience Index that should give all those legacy engagement survey data analyses a run for their money. Frankly, I think focusing on “employee experience” rather than “engagement” makes sense. Employee experience is specific, it’s logical, it’s definable. “Engagement” is none of those things. After a broad research study that included literature review and construct identification, construct measurement, and index and driver definitions, they define employee experience as:  “a set of perceptions that employees have about their experiences at work in response to their interactions with the organization.” An elegantly simple definition. We can work with this!

And they did:  they created a 5-dimension, 10-item index to capture the core facets of employee experience:

  • Belonging – feeling part of a team, group or organization
  • Purpose – understanding why one’s work matters
  • Achievement – a sense of accomplishment in the work that is done
  • Happiness – the pleasant feeling arising in and around work
  • Vigor – the presence of energy, enthusiasm and excitement at work

These dimensions make so much sense to me. And here is the framework of drivers and outcomes of employee experience at work:

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Again, elegantly simple. Note the “Human Workplace Practices.” Not “best practices.” Not “effective practices.” Human practices. Watson is on to something!

This 13 page analysis and report includes findings like the following:  Positive employee experience is linked to better work performance, more effort, and retention. And their data supports these conclusions.

This is a terrific report. Download it here. It will give you a perspective on what many call engagement and will give you a context in which to engage your leaders – the folks who set the stage for your employees’ experience.

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Engagement, Employee Experience Index, Engagement, Globoforce, HR Trends, Humanity in the workplace, IBM Smarter Workforce, Watson