How Disruptive is your HR Team?

I was lucky enough to attend the latest DisruptHR event last night, hosted by Arthur Cox in their fabulous Dublin offices. For those of you who are unfamiliar with DisruptHR, it is “an information exchange designed to energise, inform and empower leaders who are passionate about talent”, and last night certainly lived up to that, as I came away with a bucket full of golden nuggets.

DisruptHR events have taken place in 86 cities so far, and was the second time it hit the Emerald Isle. As the title suggests, the aim is to be disruptive and challenge to status quo. Therefore, the format of the evening is somewhat disruptive, with 12 speakers each allowed 5 minutes to present on the topic of their choice. It is a fun and different way to keep the audience captivated and interested, compared to those drawn out talks we have all been to! All of the speakers have been recognised in their fields and it truly was a treat to hear them speak so passionately about HR and to be in the same room as such thought leaders. It would be hard (and boring for you) to comment on every speaker, but there were three speakers who’s topics resonated with me the most and who spoke about areas that every HR team/ professional should take on board.

Firstly, Clint Clarkson, Founder & Managing Partner of eLearning Alchemy Ltd., presented on his topic titled; Training Guru Says…. During his five minutes, Clint spoke about how your training department can stop being seen as just a business cost by following three simple steps.

1. Speak the Language of your Business

2. Prove that value outweighs the Cost

3. Get Results First

According to Clint, the only way you will “earn your seat at the table” is if you start speaking the language of your business, stop using terms and expressions that only other trainers will understand and start conversations by showcasing the value and results training provides rather than the cost.

The second topic which I feel is relevant for every HR professional, was that delivered by Stephanie Brady. Stephanie is the Head of HR for Retail inMotion and her topic titled, Putting the RRRR into HR, was based around the people aspect of HR. Stephanie asked the question, “How Human is your HR team”? and how important it is for your team to be human. People need leaders with warmth and compassion for their employees and a HR team that possesses one tone and consistency. Bringing the people element in to the equation will build the respect and commitment from employees that HR need to develop.

The final topic I feel that HR departments need to sit up and listen to was given by Adam Coleman. Adam is the CEO of HR Locker and his topic; Work is no longer a place, was based around remote working. According to Adam, remote working is becoming increasingly common and companies need to be more flexible to this should they wish to retain their top talent. Remote working lowers costs and keeps your employees engaged and motivated. As Adam said, it’s time to turn HR from a support function to an asset management function – the asset being your people.

For me, these three topics are so relevant to our market and working with candidates and clients. From a candidate perspective, they want to hear about culture and team dynamics and hearing how warm and engaging a team is would seal the deal. Likewise, candidates are also increasingly asking about work/ life balance, working from home etc. and companies need to implement new policies in order to attract and retain the right talent.

From a client perspective, they want to see candidates who are articulate, understand their job and how they add value to a business. So, it’s important for candidates to “speak the language of the business” should they wish to succeed.

Other topics that I found really interesting were from Claudine McMahon, Vodafone, who spoke about leading with purpose, Doone O’ Doherty, PwC, who broached the topic of the 100 year life and finally, Susan Elliot, AIB, who gave us an insight in to how they transformed their employee engagement model.

Overall, a super event to have attended and one that I will hopefully get to attend again in the future!