The world of work is changing – and changing fast. Research, technology, and economic movements are but a few of the myriad forces flexing their muscle on the world of business, reshaping and redirecting it in many ways.
HR professionals, too, have seen an impact. The function and the department are now looked at as more than the mere administrative HR of the past – it is now highly people-focused more than task-focused, as the people of the company are the most valuable resource, key to achieving overall strategic goals.
An HR career is no smooth sailing, as there are a number of complications to handle. The toughest part possibly is having to deal with human emotions, which can be overwhelming and is never a cinch. The HR department needs to not just hire and retain employees, but to also faultlessly ensure the employees are always productive, loyal, and motivated. Obstacles getting in the way range from discrepancies in employee work or records, to workplace diversity, and much more.
How frequently does HR work on its own knowledge development?
In this process, the members of the HR department tend to have a packed schedule of daily activities – interviews, salaries, employee development programs, and other routine tasks – that is essential to keep the business running smoothly and people working at their optimum levels. This leaves them with little time to understand the evolving big picture of the industry, and to learn the latest innovations and trends in the field.
Why are conferences important?
This is why it becomes important for HR professionals to not just stay in the office but to attend the latest HR conferences. Here, they can discuss and learn about multiple aspects of HR as well as get advice on tackling typical situations and problems. This is a great way to refine on-the-job skills, given that celebrity keynote speakers and other experts are in attendance and conducting the events. These are occasions to have best-practice conversations and discuss strategies to deal with challenges.
Also, given that the pandemic has all but stopped large gatherings, most conferences have moved online, making them even more accessible to everyone regardless of location, company size, or sector. They become an even safer option to interact with accomplished professionals, many of whom hold some of the best HR and talent management certifications.
What are the obstacles in taking part in conferences?
What sometimes gets in the way is the cost of attending a conference. It may have moved online, but there are still fees to be paid. Then there is the matter of knowing conference schedules well in advance so that work and other important activities can be planned accordingly
Leadership teams often do not understand why such events are important, and getting their buy-in is hard but essential. They tend to look at the direct expense of enrolment fees as well as the indirect cost of lost time and productivity, forgetting that these are investments toward higher future productivity and other long-term gains.
Sometimes, even the HR employee may not appreciate the value of such events for an HR career, and here a push and some effort in explaining the benefits can be very useful. They may in fact be unsure of attending as they do not feel confident about communicating with other attendees or those conducting the conference.
How does a conference help in employee development?
Companies and their leadership teams can be reluctant to invest in employee development. They feel employee tenures are getting shorter, and do not want to spend more than what is absolutely essential. The thought is that the person will leave the company within a few years and thus take all new skills to the new employer, so development expenses will be a lost cause.
This is far from the truth, and can pull down employee morale, company culture, and future growth. Employee development does not just pay off in the short run, it is an investment that helps to retain employees and keep the most talented people within the company fold. Disengaged and disaffected employees will be more likely to move, and this could encourage them to stay.
Here are the factors making conferences integral to a great employee life cycle experience:
- Attracting and retaining great talent: Sending HR professionals to good conferences shows the company invests in professional growth and long-term success of its employees.
- Encouraging innovation and ideas: Such events spark fresh ideas, challenge assumptions, and encourage out-of-the-box thinking
- A chance to recharge: These encourage thinking about the big picture and reduce the chance of burnout in an HR career.
How do you select the best conference?
Options are many, and making a choice is hard. Evaluate the following:
- Agenda: it should cover the goals of the particular company
- Speakers: these should be reputed persons, and there should be a Q&A session
- Other features: the event should have takeaways such as useful literature, downloadable, demonstrations, and more.