Saturday, October 6, 2012

SHRMStrat Day 3

Yesterday was the final day of the SHRM Strategy Conference for 2012 which ended on a deep note in my opinion.  The world famous Deepak Chopra discussed topics like Karma, positive intention, and psychological implications to value added leadership.  He began with a touching story about an incident that happened when he was only seven years old related to a rose his mother had received that thousands came to see and pay deep respect to.  When the rose finally dried out his mother had a party with her closest friends to distribute a pedal to them which they all valued as if it were diamonds.  Weeks later, young Deepak asked his mother what was so important about the rose and she told him they were the soul of India.  The impact of that story has had a profound effect on his life and mission ever since.

Mr. Chopra is actually an MD but learned early in life that in order to achieve well being one needs to well inside and out.  He is actually known as the Dr. of body, soul and mind.  During his session he asked us to do several exercises that allowed you to think about the suggestions her was sharing and at one point made people realize that it is our soul that is present and not our mind.  For example, the soul may be listening to him but the mind may be thing king "why did I not go to the ladies room before I sat down".  The purpose for all this deep discussion and understanding what to set the stage for what is necessary in leadership to help individuals manifest their dreams. It's all about being intentional every day and being present with that person which includes not looking down at your iPhone all the time.  The most important person in your life is the one in front of you and the most important moment is the one you are in right here and now.

Trust, Stability, Hope & Compassion are components of stories leaders must tell just like the one he started the program with at this session.  There were so many jewels he shared that it is difficult to put them all down here but one famous acronym he shared using the word leaders is this:

Look and listen
Emotional bonding

He went on to explain what he meant with each of the above words or phrases and ended with both a call to action and a suggestion that our next phase of human evolution will be survival of the wisest instead of prior survival of the fittest.  It takes intention to be wise about how to increase other well being on a day to day basis.  Ultimately, you will increase your own well being by intentionally waking up each day with the mindset to consistently be positive and uplifting to others which will in turn increase the well being of those around you.

In addition to the well being of individuals within the company that Mr. Chopra spoke of, I also had the opportunity to attend a session the focused on a cultural aspect that is very important now and into the future for companies to be successful.  Workflex was the focus of Cali Williams Yost session titled HR and Business as Strategic co-owners of Flexibility.  The biggest takeaway from this session is that workplace flexibility cannot be a policy or program that HR writes and expects the leaders to implement.  Like other sessions this week there must be a common element among all stakeholders which is trust.  This element along with others create a culture of workplace flexibility where ultimately employees are trusted to get the job done while they flexibly manage other aspects of their life. 

Surveys had cited workplace flexibility, when employees have it, as a top reason they stay with the organization.  It is more important than pay as employees would give up 8.6% of their compensation just to have the option of workflex.  The forecast for 2020 in tech journals say 26% of the workforce will be working remotely.  That is just covering technical positions while I have personally heard statistics that say 68% of our overall workforce will be working from home at least part of the time by as early as 2016.  This is very promising as I have lost excellent employees over the years who wanted flexible schedules so they could be home with their new babies more.  I started my company 11 years ago so I could be home with my son more when he was younger because I missed so much of my daughters younger years.  This whole concept supports our opening speaker Linda Rottenberg's comment about how you can be an employee for a short time but a mommy forever.  Ms. Yost has a blog about the topic called work+life fit, inc with some very important tips for organizations who want to move in this direction.

In addition, SHRM has moved in this direction providing resources and information about this topic for a couple years now partnering with Families and Work Institute.  The second annual SHRM Workflex conference will be held in Chicago later this month.

All in all this conference was a hit and I know many are looking forward to next years strategy conference which will be October 1-3 in Scottdale, Arizona so they can earn another nine plus hours of strategic HRCI credit, network with some awesome practitioners, and takeaway valuable ideas to help their employees move forward.

by Donna Rogers, SPHR, ILSHRM Director

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