Posts by: Laurie Ruettimann

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We’re in a new era of collaboration where strategic business goals are accomplished by full-time, part-time and flexible workers who operate within communities with the same purpose: to achieve extraordinary results while having meaningful experiences at work.

Well, that’s optimistic.

It’s a transformative period, for sure. Leaders can navigate this change by being hyper-focused on people engagement strategies and by creating transparent, ethical and inclusive communities where all workers feel engaged and are prepared for the imminent changes to the workplace.

That’s easier said than done, which is why I’m attending SAP’s SAPPHIRE NOW conference in Orlando on May 6-9, 2019.

This year, SAPPHIRE redesigned its conference experience around “neighborhoods.” Neighborhoods bring people together, create a sense of community and provide a shared experience that supports growth and enrich lives.

I am excited to take part in the People Engagement neighborhood and have conversations about how technology enhances the employee experience. We’ll cover topics such as working in a socially connected world, demographic shifts, and emerging business models. All of it calls for a flexible workforce with new and different skills. Empowering this workforce and capitalizing on the diversity of thought and experience is key to ensuring people are engaged in their work.

Some of the sessions I look forward to the most are: Empower Your Leaders to Improve Every Workforce Experience, Combine Finance and HR to Improve Decision-Making and Performance, Give Your Employees a Completely New Human Resources Experience.

I’m also thrilled to meet the talented team behind Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman and learn how they are transforming luxury retail with a business strategy that is founded on innovation and inclusion.

You know I’m passionate about fixing work.

The verdict is in, and organizations see a positive impact on revenue and profitability when they combine technology and best practices to empower all workers and create an inclusive environment. So, join me in real life in Orlando on May 6-9, 2019, or find it live online. And I’ll share the good stuff from behind-the-scenes in the neighborhoods and the greater Orlando area on my Twitter account.

Not a bad way to stay on top of what’s happening in the future of work.

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I don’t like people who make promises they don’t keep. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves in the world. If you make a professional commitment, own it. Especially if you’re a business owner. Yes, life gets challenging. We have multiple obligations, but I expect you to prioritize your responsibility to me and treat me as if I’m just as important as the other five things happening in your life. If you can’t be a person of your word, you should choose your words better.

Well, I’m an overcontrolling jerk!

Turns out I promised Namely that I’d come to their HR conference on May 6-7 in New York City and can’t make it. I’m double-booked and will be in Orlando, and I’ll miss Shawn Achor keynote this fantastic event. I’m also bummed because I wanted the chance to hear from key opinion leaders both inside and outside of the HR function who will share solid advice and practical takeaways.

I need a virtual assistant to help me out!

If you work in human resources or live in the New York City area, you should head on over to this event for one reason: the best HR professional in America, Lorna Hagan, works for Namely. She leads their people and talent function, and you shouldn’t turn down an opportunity to learn from the best. I’m not joking, Lorna is hands-down the best HR leader I’ve ever met.

There are also other amazing people on the speaker roster and plenty of fun people in attendance. My former editor, Vadim Liberman, will be in the audience. He’s no Shawn Achor, but he taught me how to write when I was a contributor to The Conference Board Review. We once did a webinar for The Conference Board and they shut down the entire magazine shortly thereafter. Coincidence? I think not.

(Vadim now works at The Starr Conspiracy and is an active member of DisruptHR. You want him to emcee your event!)

I’m really bummed to miss this event, so I asked Namely for a discount code to offer ya — use the code HRR196 at checkout for 50% off your tickets: hrredefined.namely.com/tickets

Hope you take advantage of the event if you’re able, and I’m sorry to miss it. I’ll be back in 2020, and I look forward to eating crow and being a woman of my word!

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We live in a world where everybody hates HR.

If they don’t hate human resources, they don’t give it much time. It’s a shame because HR is the one department in any company that could, without much effort, positively change people’s lives for the better. People should love human resources, and, if their department stinks, they should get promoted — or get a job in HR — to make it better.

But HR doesn’t change if we stand around waiting for people to stop complaining. It changes when we raise our hands and commit to making work better while simultaneously making companies profitable.

The two can go hand-in-hand.

That’s why I’ve been honored to partner with Ultimate Software over the past three months to sponsor my podcast called Let’s Fix Work. We hoped you would sign up for their free HR workshops around America — where you can earn HRCI, SHRM and APA credits — and learn new ways to fix work.

Turns out, y’all signed up in record numbers. You believe in the future of human resources, and you also believe in professional development and continuous learning.

As recently reported in Harvard Business Review, “Employees experienced fewer negative emotions on days when they engaged in more learning activities at work compared to other days.”

Even if your company has an awful culture and doesn’t spend money on your professional development, your “employee experience” is yours. Ultimate Software continues to offer its free and fantastic HR workshops all across America. You should sign up for a workshop if one is in your area, and take advantage of the unfettered opportunity to learn and grow.

Please visit ultimatesoftware.com/LFW and tell them Laurie sent you when you attend one of those fantastic live events!

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If the world is engaged in stalker-culture, it’s because companies started it.

At first, your organization was slow to embrace the internet. If you have time to lean, you have time to clean. If you had to have a computer, they sure as hell weren’t gonna let you shop on Zappos or check out your friends on Myspace.

But a funny thing happened on the way to late-stage capitalism …

Once businesses understood the power of the web to merge power and surveil its workforce, they encouraged everybody to hop on the internet and even bring their own devices to work.

We all know companies watch what you do; however, many employees and contractors don’t understand the depths. Legal, finance, IT, and HR can easily map the intricacies of your whole life into one large pivot table for cynical business folk to manipulate. Does it violate the law? Yes, no, maybe, who cares. Depends on where the corporation resides, where the worker sits, what legal precedent if any has been set, and the ruthless calculation of the cost of doing business.

Examples?  

You might come to work on Monday morning, open your laptop, grab a cup of coffee, read your email on your computer, check the New York Times on your tablet and book a flight on your phone. Some of that online behavior is monitored through apps and programs on your company’s IT equipment; your company may hook your badge up to a software that connects with cameras in the office and monitors your whereabouts and to analyze how work gets done; and, if you log onto your organization’s wifi with your own devices, you consent to be monitored and tracked.

Is that a big deal? Well, maybe.

What you don’t know is that all of this data can be collected and analyzed using natural language processing and sentiment analysis to understand if these are predictable patterns of behavior, if you’re about to leave the organization, if you’re depressed and about to commit suicide, if you are a candidate for financial wellness programs based on your internet shopping, or if you’re swinging by Janet’s workspace every morning — just like she complained to HR — and harassing her.

And we’re just getting started.

How many times a day do you use the toilet? For how long? Where do you go after you pee? What sites do you visit after lunch? Where do you go when you block off “creative time” on your schedule? Does your calendar match your physical location or are you blocking time off to nap in the lactation room? Are you sharing files on Slack to foster inter-departmental collegiality or are you trying to sabotage a project? Where do you go for lunch? Who’s going with you? Are the two of you leaving for lunch together? Are you having an affair and putting the company at risk? Are you giving away corporate secrets to competitors? Did you take this job for the intended reasons you stated in the interview? Are you only working there to bump up your salary and rebound to your prior employer? Does your criminal history match what you shared? What about your ongoing activities — are you employed at this job while running a small cannabis ring from your house?

Some of this data needs to be reverse-engineered when there’s an HR complaint, but that’s so very 2015. Much of this data can be collected and analyzed in real-time by sophisticated technology and third-party vendors who monitor a spectrum of activities to ensure that you’re not a risk to the organization by lying, cheating, stealing, leaving too soon after being hired, giving away company secrets, getting too fat, harassing your colleagues, or, honestly, being depressed enough to bring a gun to work.

UR being watched.

Stalker-culture exists because we’ve fetishized work as the ultimate form of purpose and given over our lives to corporate overlords — founders, C-level executives, business consultants — who don’t fetishize work and have second and third homes in tax-free locations throughout the United States and find meaning and faith in accumulated interest and capital gains earnings and not “growth opportunities” or “feedback from colleagues.”

So, what can you do if you don’t want to be surveilled by your employer?

• First, understand the depths of the surveillance. Find a friend in IT, risk management, finance or even HR and ask good questions. Go back and read your employment agreement.

• Think about where you sit on the corporate hierarchy and get promoted. Just because we live in a stalker-culture in 2019 doesn’t mean you can’t change things.

• Go work in HR. The one department that might fix all of this is often staffed with people who don’t know, don’t care, or don’t understand what’s going on in the enterprise. There’s no more significant opportunity to fix work than to work — and get promoted — in HR.

The answer is not to work for yourself. Running away from a problem never solved anything, and, also, the problem still follows you. While there’s less monitoring of your activity as a small business owner, you still abdicate many of your rights and freedoms while working with corporate clients.

We fix work by fixing ourselves. Get smart, get educated, and get promoted. There’s no cavalry coming to solve these problems. Want to change the way corporations act? It starts with you.

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stalker culture

The internet is a strange place.

Instagram tells me that I might be interested in following your cousin. Facebook thinks your colleagues are my friends. And Twitter shows me snippets of conversations you’re having with strangers I’ve never met.

Why is this happening? How did we get to a place where conversations are public, relationships are measured in avatars, and connections mean nothing at all?

Welcome to stalker culture, where algorithms show you photos of your co-worker’s girlfriend or encourage you to connect with your neighbor’s inlaws.

Or maybe that’s just me.

I’ve come to understand that mobile device and internet usage mirrors Chernobyl — once exposed, you’re altered. The only way to fix your brain chemistry and get back to the real world is to ban the devices and minimize contact with the social web.

But I’m writing a book, and half of what constitutes “writing a book” in 2019 is marketing. So, here’s what I’m doing to participate a little less in stalker culture and make my exposure to my phone and social media a little less toxic.

Use the browser instead of apps.

I don’t have any social apps on my phone, right now. If I want to use Instagram, which has a horrible browser experience, I download the app for a moment and then delete it when I’m done.

Block, block, block.

It’s tough to beat the algorithm, but maybe we can collectively influence its thinking by blocking inappropriate friend requests and muting content recommendations. If your mom comes up in my feed, I’m now blocking your mom. To be honest, I don’t think she’ll notice.

Take it less seriously.

Just because LinkedIn or Facebook thinks I know someone doesn’t mean I know someone. These commands are suggestions, not requirements. And I don’t think anybody gives a shit if I mute them — or block their kids — because I don’t want to see private, intimate conversations.

Be true to your values.

People confuse politeness for connection. For me, I’m done with manners. The moment I feel uncomfortable, the relationship is over without explanation or apology. I’ve been on the other side of that equation, too. Being dropped is hard; however, it’s the kindest thing you can do to someone who has no place in your life.

Let’s end stalker culture.

Stalker culture exists because we let it happen to our society. Maybe it’s too late to turn back time, but we can make an effort to modify our behaviors and avoid undesirable exposure to the toxic elements of the social web.

But please stay tuned — and click on all the links and sign up for the newsletter — for my upcoming book, okay?

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ultimate Software, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I finished a book called “The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More, and Change the Way You Lead Forever” by Michael Bungay Stanier. The book teaches you how to form a habit, so you can adopt a coaching mindset, and then offers seven types of questions to have richer and more fulfilling discussions with your team:

    • The Kickstart Question
    • The Awe Question
    • The Focus Question
    • The Foundation Question
    • The Lazy Question
    • The Strategic Question
    • The Learning Question

Most of this is self-explanatory. In a world of continuous feedback and ongoing coaching, the kickstart question gets you involved in a conversation with your direct report or mentee right away so you talk about what matters most.

The awe question encourages you to dig a little deeper and try to help someone get to the heart of what’s going on mentally or emotionally at work. The focus question asks an individual to figure what’s happening, and the foundation question gets to the heart of what the person wants at work, in relationships, and from you.

I’m lazy, so I loved that there’s a lazy question. The author invites you to ask ‘how can I help?’ without being the first responder in someone else’s life. The strategic question is all about looking at the bigger picture and weighing what matters. Finally, the learning question is all about insight and what we’ve learned, and what we’ll take away, from our experiences.

It’s a good book for your organization to dig deeper and have better conversations with one another.

CONVERSATIONS ENHANCED BY DATA

Those seven questions are helpful, but it’s not like you have hours in your day to sit around and ask all seven questions to every employee in your department. Also, not every employee needs you to ask each question. Some people are in the early stages of their journey while others are further ahead.

Human resources leaders are often scared of people data and believe analytics dashboards are for data scientists; however, people data and analytics can help you have the right coaching conversations with the correct people while understanding core needs and without making assumptions.

Think about it. If we use the framework of those seven questions and map it to the performance management process, some employees may go years without understanding the real challenges in their jobs while others are struggling with their time, attention and focus.

People data and analytics help our leaders have personalized discussions with employees by understanding behavior and trends to create more meaningful experiences. Technology like UltiPro’s Workforce Intelligence tool isn’t just a platform that collects data in a vacuum. The analytics and reporting functionality — combined with predictive, prescriptive, and sentiment analysis — helps leaders understand an employee’s story and have personalized solutions to meet whatever challenges a worker might face.

CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT OF COACHING

Create a coaching culture by marrying people data and analytics with a coaching framework of your choice. I enjoyed reading “The Coaching Habit” and think it offers a simple and effective way to craft a working relationship between leaders and employees in seven easy steps.

Whatever you choose, remember that data can enhance relationships by helping HR professionals and leaders get to the heart of an employee’s story and experience faster.

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ultimate Software, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

The big buzz in the world of HR is the concept of a distributed workforce.

A distributed workforce is a workforce that reaches beyond the restrictions of the conventional office environment. These are FTEs, PT workers, temps, consultants, freelancers, flexible workers and task assistants who may or may not be paid by your payroll department. A distributed workforce can work remotely and still be local, national and international. You can learn more here.

The challenge with a distributed workforce is to make everybody feel like they’re having a fabulous time “working for you” and achieving your goals without making employment promises you can’t keep.

The other challenge is ensuring that all workers treat one another respectfully — and follow all safety guidelines — by following your company’s training and adhering to your organization’s policies and practices.

NEARLY EVERYBODY HAS A DISTRIBUTED WORKFORCE

You probably have a distributed workforce; however, you may not interact with it. HR only deals with FTEs, fully benefited remote workers, part-time employees who work over thirty hours and receive company benefits and administrative temps/receptionists.

Why is that? Why is HR’s role so small when many people come together and “work” for your company?

Well, your legal department is afraid of establishing a joint employer relationship where you and a consulting firm are both liable for the employee experience. Your company decided HR should deal with the “real employees” while everybody else has a “contractor email address,” a different color badge, and parks in a different parking lot when they come to the office.

So, we can blame the lawyers. Contractors and temps have sued companies when employment statuses haven’t been clear; then corporate lawyers overreacted and made you stop inviting contractors to the holiday party.

WHY IS THIS APPROACH A RISK TO PRODUCTIVITY?

When people work at your company, they should have one set of goals: achieving your organization’s mission while following its vision and aligning with the values.

Unfortunately, eager workers are showing up at your company on the first day and having varied and inconsistent experiences. FTEs feel welcome while everyone else is made to feel like their output — and not their humanity — is the only thing that matters.

Nobody wants that!

A second-class experience anywhere within the distributed workforce can impede your organization’s ability to do great work. While you don’t want a temp worker suing you for benefits, you also don’t want talented people opting-out

GET A HANDLE ON YOUR ENTIRE WORKFORCE

Success in a distributed workplace is measured by a worker’s ability to find what they need to achieve your organization’s goals. That’s why it’s critical for HR to be involved and have a handle on where people work and for whom. Your in-depth knowledge of the distributed workforce means lower training costs, less administrative overhead, and less risk for your entire organization.

Orientation — on the first day of work and beyond — is the biggest opportunity where you can send consistent but clear messages to your distributed workforce. HR could be involved from the onset and help the “talent” understand that nobody is a second-class citizen and all experiences matter.

But I think HR draws such a sharp distinction between employee and contractor because they don’t have a handle on who works for the organization.

    • •The company’s HRIS is old,
    • • managers fill requisitions without telling anybody,
    • • and employee data sits on an unsecured spreadsheet on somebody’s laptop.

If you work in human resources, get your FTE house in order. UltiPro and its Workforce Intelligence product bring together HR, payroll, and talent management data to help you build better leaders, empower employees, and improve the overall work experience.

ALL EXPERIENCES MATTER

You can’t achieve revenue goals if everybody isn’t on board with your purpose and organizational values whether somebody works for your full-time in the office or is a remote worker paid by a consulting firm, attitudes and beliefs matter. From day one, all workers affect the tone, climate, and productivity of your company.

Begin with your full-time and part-time employees. Lay the foundation for a great workforce experience by gaining visibility and gleaning insights into your employee base. Build the right foundation and apply the lessons you’ve learned to your distributed workforce.

You’ve got to start somewhere. The distributed workforce is here, and it is time to clean up the existing employee experience before you tackle the buzzwords of the day.

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When people try to force food on you, be suspicious. And there’s no more suspicious food item than yogurt.

Yogurt can go fuck itself.

First of all, my cats love to eat yogurt, which should tell you everything you need to know. Roxy will fight you for the spoon, and she also licks her butt. Yogurt goes well with toxoplasmosis.

Also, yogurt isn’t as healthy as you think. Nobody has ever been like — “I went from couch to London Marathon, and I did it all thanks to yoghurt.”

Yeah, that’s right. British people spell yogurt with an H, which is another reason why yoghurt sucks.

And did you know yogurt is full of sugar? I’m not saying sugar is the enemy, but I am saying that I’d rather eat a Kit Kat bar or Gummy Bears because some varieties of yogurt have as much sugar as a candy bar.

Wait, please don’t tell me about sugar-free yogurt. And check yourself before you go down the road of being a plain yogurt advocate. Is it low in sugar and full of protein? Goddammit, it’s not full of taste. This is America, I shouldn’t have to choose.

And speaking of America, this is a land of abundance. If you study history, you know that we’ve always been great without the help of Individual Number One and his MAGA cohort. When I was a kid, we watched the news and saw how Russian families stood in breadlines and suffered the impact of KGB oppression.

In the Soviet Union, they eat yogurt. In America, we eat freedom.

However, now that it’s okay for both Russians and corporations to steal elections, the Putin-Greek Yogurt conglomerate will be everywhere.

Get ready to be hungry.

So, in summary, there is no place for yogurt. It’s a bullshit food and should be banned from the supermarket.

Want to fight me on this? Feel passionate about your breakfast blueberry Chobani? Email me at hello@letsfixwork.com, and I’ll feature your pro-yog(h)ut position statements in future blog posts.

But you’ll still be wrong.

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I spoke at my first American human resources conference in 2008.

George W. Bush was still president. Foreclosures were in the news and layoffs were rampant. We didn’t have universal access to healthcare and people were going bankrupt due to medical bills and prescription drug prices. The mortgage crisis was imminent, and the economic growth in our country had stalled. Just as things couldn’t get much worse, elder Millennials entered the workforce.

The world looked bleak, and HR leaders and leadership experts would come together at these stale events and say things like, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.

An event planner asked me to come to her conference and be on a panel to discuss multiple generations in the workforce. How do we deal with different attitudes and expectations? How do we talk to the youth of today? What policies will stay the same, and what policies will change? With emerging technology and a push towards greater productivity, will there be enough jobs to go around?

When you have a blog called Punk Rock HR, everybody in your industry reads it, but nobody takes you seriously. It was important for me to get on stages and talk about my ideas in the public arena. So, I donned a black sweater dress and tall boots and told the audience three things:

1. Be political. HR sits at the intersection of work, power, politics, and money. Everything you do — from headcount to policy — is connected to budget, and budget is power. Think bigger than “being cultural stewards” and mitigating risk. Learn the political game your CEO is playing, and gain his favor. Then, exercise your power of influence and be the change you wish to see in the world for the greater good of humanity.

2. Pay attention to the headlines. The news is a lagging indicator of the hot-button issues in our society. If foreclosures or unemployment or student debt or childhood obesity are a part of every headline, it means you don’t have to do an employee survey and ask your workforce about their lives. You already know that financial problems and wellbeing issues are plaguing your workforce. Stop wasting time. Fix that.

3. Nobody likes to be stereotyped. Long before we knew the word “personalization,” I told HR professionals that employees are consumers of work and expect programs and policies to be tailored to their experiences. Instead of talking about generations, let’s discuss life stages and try to dig deeper at the individual level.

Finally, I wrapped up my time on stage by encouraging HR leaders to use emerging social platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn to recruit and hire talented workers. If they’re on those platforms in 2008, they are relatively early adopters and primed to say yes when someone of substance reaches out to connect. Be that person who can change lives and help someone find a dream job on Twitter.

I was nearly laughed off stage.

I received very hostile audience questions about the risks of being political in a primary season in 2008. Also, people told me the news was biased. Why, with their limited schedules, would they prioritize reading the national or local news when they wanted to spend time learning more about HR.

And people in the audience wanted to talk about Millennials and dress codes and work output. No joke, would the quality of work suffer if we went to a more casual policy and they could wear hoodies and jeans?

The whole first experience did not go well, and I remember thinking, “Am I the asshole? Is it possible that I’m wrong? Are my speaking skills that bad?”

I got off stage and went to the bathroom where I proceeded to hear a group of women make fun of me and my ideas while I was peeing. They even laughed at my outfit on stage. The audacity of a woman to wear tall boots with heels was too much!

It was so fucking mean.

Other than Kris Dunn and a few other people in the industry, I didn’t have a peer group who had my back. I wanted to die.

But, eventually, the world turned and HR professionals like me decided to start speaking. Now, Trump is president, our healthcare system is still a mess, foreclosures are up, labor force participation is down, no net-new FTE jobs have been created since the Great Recession, LinkedIn has its colossal conference, Twitter’s HR team speaks at HR conferences, and we’re starting to talk about the challenges of Gen Z workers.

Everything old is new again.

It was lonely being early to these events, but it was worth it. While you still get those hesitant HR audiences and bullshit leadership speakers who have a ten-stage plan to empowering and engaging the workforce — and who tell you to use data to be more strategic — you also have thoughtful and dedicated speakers and thinkers who understand the intersection of social justice and workplace challenges and have good ideas on how to fix this mess.

And for those speakers and bloggers out there who wonder if what they’re doing has an impact beyond that immediate audience, it does. To this day, I’m approached by young men and women who read my Punk Rock HR blog back in college — or saw me when they were just entering the workforce, and I was working for free at smaller events — and challenged themselves to ask good questions, be a little braver, and learn the political game at work.

So, when I see smart people with provocative ideas step on stage to an audience that may or may not be on board, it warms my heart. Please have faith and courage in your message. Don’t worry about getting booed off the stage. It’s HR, and even the boldest and most courageous ideas about work are already mainstream. If anything, take heart. History has your back. I know this because it had mine.

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“When somebody thinks enough of you to ask, say yes.”

An event planner offered this advice in 2009. I was encouraged to attend more industry events even if I wasn’t on the speaker roster.

“If you’re building a business and asked to take part in a conference — and they’re offering to pay your expenses — you accept the offer and build a relationship. Give them a fabulous experience. Make yourself so indispensable and provide excellent social media coverage so they invite you back, next time, as a paid speaker.”

Ten years later, some of this advice is okay and some of it is dumb.

Relationships are the currency of business. If you want to build a business or expand your brand, you’ve got to be the Chief Relationship Officer of your life. This applies to entrepreneurs, students, and even HR ladies.

Saying Yes

So, that’s part of the reason I attend the Qualtrics X4 Experience Management Summit in Salt Lake City, last week. I have a long-standing relationship with people at SAP, but I don’t know the leadership team at Qualtrics. It was time to learn more about their approach to fixing work.

Beyond the exceptional speakers — Oprah Winfrey, President Obama, Sir Richard Branson, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Ashton Kutcher, Adam Silver, and many more — there were excellent breakout sessions with HR leaders from big brands like Quicken Loans, Ford Motor Company, Sephora and Buzzfeed. These are HR leaders who are collecting and analyzing experience data and operational data to have a more informed understanding of onboarding, engagement, performance, diversity, training, development, inclusion, retention, and wellbeing.

The sessions were outstanding because the conference took a story-first approach, which meant nobody was selling a widget or a subscription. Speakers were selling big ideas and experiences about fixing HR and work, and nearly everybody offered real-world examples of how both small and massive HR departments can use technology and pivot from ‘listening to employee complaints’ to creating moments that matter.

So, the event was great. No regrets saying yes and accepting the invite.

Does It Pay Off?

Will I ever be invited to speak at one of these Qualtrics events? I’m not sure that’s the point.

Superficial relationships never move the needle for my business. I’ve learned it’s best to approach every opportunity as a unique experience to deliver excellence at the moment with no expectation for additional opportunities.

If you’re an aspiring keynote speaker and think you will get on a stage at a conference because you’re blogging or tweeting, you’ve got the speaking model all wrong. You get on stage because you have big ideas and a business built around those ideas.

However, being in the audience is never a bad idea because you can learn more about your industry and see how other people express their expertise. And you can develop relationships because you’re a decent human being who knows that connections are the undercurrent of life. If you take a service-oriented approach to your attendance at these events, you can’t go wrong.

So, I’m excited to continue this newfound relationship with Qualtrics. We’ll see what happens. If anything, I’m happy to bring you future podcast stories of how smart people like Ryan and Jared Smith are fixing work. That’s worth the trip to Utah alone.

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