The Kantola team takes on SHRM 2022
For 75 years, SHRM has served millions of HR professionals who in turn have continued on to impact the lives of billions of workers across the world. When we attended SHRM22 in New Orleans last week, we celebrated the relationships formed over those years and how we can move forward collectively to make workplaces better, for everyone.
The SHRM Conference and Expo was anticipated to attract up to 20,000 attendees with more than 500+ exhibiting companies represented on the show floor. With more than 200 sessions, SHRM22 gave attendees in-depth insights into all things HR. From the basics every HR professional needs, to offerings for C-suite leaders, to the latest ideas that are changing the workplace landscape, SHRM22 was set out to help folks stay on top of what’s to come in the world of work–and we took in every second.
Our top three takeaways
1. DEIB: Diversity, equity, inclusion (and belonging)
It’s no secret DEI initiatives have become a major focus for organizations and employees alike; but at SHRM22 we noticed another letter becoming more and more present in the acronym we’ve come to know, and it’s a “b,” for belonging. At Kantola, we already know just how important it is for your employees to feel a sense of belonging, not only for your retention and overall company success, but for better teamwork and more positive overall employee wellbeing.
Many of the sessions focused on DEIB as the work of every person in an organization—not transactional, but cultural. Kyra Matkovich, SHRM-CP, describes DEIB as “Shaping a culture that determines the way everyone in the organization makes decisions, sets priorities, acts, and how we hold accountability. DEIB impacts every aspect of an organization and is the responsibility of everyone.” This new addition to the work of DEI is yet another reminder why now, more than ever, it’s important to align your policies to ensure that employees feel cared about as human beings, not just as workers.
2. A call for Mental Health awareness
Mental health awareness and transparency in the workplace is critical to both employee and employer success. SHRM research found “57 percent of U.S. workers feel mentally and physically exhausted at the end of the workday, while another 50 percent report feeling burned out from their work.” That’s why Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive, lead the conversation focused on the importance of workplace mental health on SHRM’s mainstage.
In addition, other sessions were offered for attendees like Shifting Mental Health Awareness into Action in the Workplace, Helping Humans “Home from Work” – How to be a Mental Health Ally, and Nourish to Thrive: How Cognitive Nutrition Can Unlock Your Team’s Well-being and Productivity. Our takeaway? When it comes to Mental Health, HR professionals need the tools and resources to navigate current times, and SHRM 22 did not disappoint.
3. Empathy: it’s trending
SHRM 22 took a look at some of the biggest challenges of HR in today’s climate (and their solutions). Among the sessions offering tools for facing these challenges, we noticed a trending term: empathy. For example, attendees could choose to attend sessions like Empathy: The New Work Culture Norm, Creating Empathy through Conversation, or Empathy Plus Accountability Equals A Balanced Diet for a Healthy Organization.
At Kantola, we loved the focus on empathy, because we know how exceptional storytelling and effective learning combine to create transformative change that can lead to a more diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment.