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SHRM 11: The Ties That Bind

Originally posted: June 27, 2011 on TrishMcFarlane.com

I survived my first day at the SHRM 2011 Annual Conference.

I must say that it is quite an impressive event.  As someone who plans a much smaller scale HRevolution, I can only estimate the hours and manpower behind this monster conference.  And, being in Las Vegas, everything is mammoth in size.  Huge exposition halls with hundreds of vendors, expansive lists of sessions to choose from and more swag than I’ve ever seen at a state SHRM event.  I’m also enjoying the press room and SHRM Social Media lounge (thanks to Curtis Midkiff and SHRM for hosting).  Both are great places to duck out of the hustle and bustle and get some down time with friends and fellow bloggers.

One thing I’ve noticed already is that it doesn’t seem to matter what state you’re from or what your exact role is in the HR industry, everyone you meet here is an instant friend.  From my plane ride to Vegas where I met an amazing HR pro, Dyan Connolly from Savvis, to waiting in line to check in the hotel, HR people are friendly.  We’re talkers.  We NEED to engage.  Seeing this in action it’s certainly no surprise that we tend to take the lead in pushing for greater employee engagement.  HR pros are some of the most engaged people you’ll meet.

Another commonality has to be the HR horror story.  You know the ones: employees gone wild, crazy terminations, risky behaviors.  I’ve heard plenty of those stories too.  And then there are all the good stories too.  Sharing what is working best an the organization, talking about communication tactics and strategies.  There is so much to share.

I guess what coming to an event like this confirms is that we are not alone.  And in HR, we tend to feel alone much of the time.  We’re all islands in our organizations.  We try to fit in, but we’re never really “in”.  Coming together with HR bretheren and finding and sharing the commonalities is an amazing feeling.  That, my friends, is the tie that binds.

To get more details on SHRM Day 1, click through to Steve Boese’s blog.  Stay tuned for more from SHRM11….

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