SHRM annual conference 2019: 7 awesome sessions to catch

Carol Foote
Last updated on 5th November 2019
3 min read

They make a motley crew – but what do Lionel Ritchie, Martha Stewart and the Founder of TOMS shoes all have in common?

The answer is they’ll all be speaking or performing at the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2019 annual conference 2019 from June 23 to 26.

SHRM’s annual conference 2019 is the place to be for any HR professional, and this year’s event won’t disappoint.

We’ll be there ourselves at booth 2424, located near the east entrance, where we’ll be talking about People Companies and giving demos of our global cloud HR and People system.

These keynotes are just the tip of the iceberg, however. The conference will also feature a wealth of subject matter experts including Josh Bersin, Principle Research Partner at HR People + Strategy, and Vineet Nayar, Founder and Chairman of NGO, Sampark Foundation.

There are heaps of remarkable sessions that you simply cannot afford to miss. Here are the top seven sessions to put in your calendar.

1. The emotional connection between your brand and employees, Dave Edelman, Chief Marketing Officer at Aetna (Tuesday, June 25 at 7:15am)

“You don’t join us, we join you,” says Dave Edelman, Chief Marketing Officer of healthcare company Aetna.

Edelman will discuss how HR and People leaders can inspire teams around a brand vision, with best-in-class examples.

He’ll also explain how to bring the principles of marketing to HR, so that companies can get to know their people as well as they know their customers.

At Sage People, we call this People Marketing, and we believe it can help you to craft and deliver great employee experiences and define your reputation as a best-in-class employer.

2. Results-based KPIs: Demonstrating your impact for bottom-line results: Zahid Ali Mubarik, CEO at HR Metrics (Monday, June 24 at 3:00pm)

Are you one of the 90% of HR leaders who struggle to gain strategic insight from their HR and People data? Then this is the session for you.

Zahid Ali Mubarik will explain the process of aligning employee KPIs with organizational KPIs for verifiable impact.

He’ll explain how we must analyze our organization’s vision, mission, values, goals and objectives, before determining organizational priorities. Only from here can we develop a framework to align employee KPIs with our business goals.

Find out more about People Science: the move from data reporting to data analysis

3. Using artificial intelligence to enhance the employee experience: Jeanne Meister, Founding Partner at Future Workplace (Tuesday, June 25 at 2:00pm)

It’s a scary fact that only one-third of people are fully motivated and productive at work, as we found in our research. Could the brave new world of AI help? Jeanne Meister says it can.

Meister will discuss detailed HR case studies of how pioneers are utilizing AI to enhance the candidate and employee experience, as well as a five-step strategic framework to get started using AI for HR.

Read more about how bots and AI are transforming HR

4. Employee offboarding matters: Three reasons why HR should give exiting employees the red-carpet treatment: Raymond Lee, CEO at Careerminds (Monday, June 24 at 7:15am)

Offboarding’s often treated as the poorer, neglected cousin of onboarding. However, as Raymond Lee argues, it has a huge impact when you get it right (or wrong). According to Lee, less than 30% of organizations have a formal offboarding process.

Poor offboarding practices can affect an organization’s bottom line, tarnish its reputation, and directly influence its ability to acquire talent in the future.

Get it right and departing employees will be better brand ambassadors, spokespeople and allies, telling others and possibly even coming back to work for you again.

5. #ZigZagHR: Navigating the global future of work: Lisbeth Claus, Professor of Global Human Resources at Atkinson Graduate School of Management of Willamette University (Tuesday, June 25 at 7:15am)

We live in a global workforce where the traditional HR practices are no longer sufficient. That’s the basis of this session by Lisbeth Claus, who’ll share examples of progressive HR best practices.

Claus will share which strategic decisions you should continue, which activities you should stop because they no longer add value, and which new activities to introduce.

6. Leadership skills for the senior HR professional: Mastering the art of negotiation, Valerie Grubb, Principal at Val Grubb and Associates (Saturday, June 22 at 1:00pm)

“If you think negotiating skills are only for sales people, think again. Every single relationship in your life entails some negotiation,” says Valerie M. Grubb.

A successful negotiation isn’t just about getting what you want at all costs. Instead, it’s really about engaging in a discussion to listen, learn and understand the other party’s goals and objectives, then finding a win-win scenario in which everyone benefits.

This session is a masterclass on how to effectively negotiate with any CEO, vendor or employee through a step-by-step process that offers wins for everyone involved.

7. Rewarding performance in a globalized gig economy: Robert James Greene, CEO of Reward Systems (Sunday, June 23 at 8:00am)

Dolly Parton was right. Working 9-–5 is no way to make a living. A report by McKinsey and Company found that 162 million people in Europe and the United States – or 20-30% of the working-age population – engage in some form of independent work.

Join the author of Rewarding performance: Guiding principles; custom strategies, Robert James Greene, as he guides us through performance-rewarding strategies that are appropriate for culturally diverse workforces of employees as well as outsiders.

With over 30 years of experience in the industry, Greene is ideally placed to help us understand the implications of talent mobility across the globe. He’ll explain strategies that will attract, retain and motivate talent – no matter where in the world they’re from.

Take a look at our eight tips for managing a gig economy workforce

We’ll see you there!

With over 600 vendors and almost 200 sessions at this year’s event, you can craft a schedule that suits your personal development as well as your business’ needs, no matter the challenge.

We’ll be at booth 2424, located near the east entrance. While you’re creating your schedule, remember to make time to visit us and say hi. We look forward to seeing you there.

Want to book a short demo of our global cloud HR and People system at the show? Let us know by dropping an email


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