Corporate Wellness, Events | By | 06/22/18 | 3 Minute Read

SHRM 2018 Recap: 4 Major Takeaways from the World’s Largest HR Conference

The Fitbit Health Solutions team is still flying high from the SHRM Annual Conference 2018 that took place in Chicago this week. The world’s largest HR conference, packed with 20,000 attendees, consisted of 4 days of learning, networking, and of course, stepping. Here’s what we learned:  

Be open to others’ views:

Former Governor and presidential candidate Jeb Bush kicked off the conference as the keynote speaker. Throughout his session, he explained the importance of being open-minded to different people, views, and information that might not match your own opinion. For starters, teams don’t always need to be 100% aligned to get the job done. If a clear goal is in place, people can work on compromising and come up with a plan that best fits the task at hand.

Something that people in HR can attest to often is the power of listening. Bush stressed how essential it is to listen to others, even (and especially) if you don’t fully see eye to eye. Focus on being present and accepting of what someone is saying so they feel heard and in a safe space.

It’s time for the business of people:

The president and CEO of SHRM, Johnny C. Taylor Jr., walked attendees through his vision for what human resources can be in 2018 and beyond. He expressed his excitement about the attention that HR is finally getting as leaders start to understand that HR matters and that it’s here to stay. Taylor stated that now is the time to stay innovative, come up with transformational ideas, invigorate leadership skills, and create inclusive and valuable cultures that employees can thrive in.

Confront biases and change them:

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg closed out the conference in a moving session. Psychologist Adam Grant led a Q&A with Sandberg to talk through her views on crucial workforce topics, like paid parental leave, bereavement leave and the gender gap.

She emphasized the importance of breaking down barriers and confronting biases that are preventing people from having equal opportunities, specifically women of color. She explained that HR has the power to “systematically find these biases, systematically acknowledge them, and systemically change them.”

She went on to stress how essential generous paid parental and bereavement leave is, touching on her own personal experiences with both. It is up to companies to show their support and give employees the resources they need when handling whatever life altering change comes their way. If companies don’t provide supportive benefits like these, employees will not only suffer, but the talent, and ultimately, the success of the company will suffer too.

Attendees were stepping machines:

Fitbit had the honor of being the official platform for the SHRM Foundation Step Challenge, the activity challenge attendees could participate in using a Fitbit tracker or the Fitbit mobile app, and the competition was fierce. After three days of stepping, the “PAC West Is Best!” team took home the gold with a total step average of 48,421, with several other teams trailing close behind.

This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.

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If you’re interested in running an activity challenge similar to the one at SHRM, check out our Challenges Playbook.




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