Quick, Actionable Items from HR Virtual Summit 2019

April LoebickBy April Loebick

BambooHR's annual HR Virtual Summit was last week. Of the nine sessions I attended, there was a lot of information gleaned. Two sessions, in particular, stood out and gave me actionable takeaways that I am excited for and that I can implement quickly.

Rituals for Workplace Culture

First, Kursat Ozenc’s presentation on "Rituals for Workplace Culture" was a discussion on how rituals can help a community grow together. According to Gallup, 66% of employees are disengaged, and 7 out of 10 millennials have burnout. Creating workplace rituals can help create a more engaged and connected workforce.

There are two sides to culture, the visible and the invisible. The visible consists of things like artifacts (basically, stuff), behaviors, and metrics. The invisible is things like beliefs, values, and assumptions. Rituals can be used to shift cultures and bring these two sides of culture into alignment.

Quick, Actionable Takeaway: One ritualistic takeaway from this talk is to conduct a reverse treasure hunt on a person’s first day. Cover their desk/work area in other people’s stuff (tchotchkes, office supplies, sunglasses, etc). Put stickies on each item saying “Return to so-and-so” and the newbie has to go around and return all of the items to their rightful owners. This initiation ritual is a way for people to get immediate face-to-face interactions with their team and other employees and can open up conversations about shared interests.

3 Ways to Increase Retention

Later in the day, Chad Littlefield presented on "3 Ways to Increase Retention."

As kids, we ask 300-600 questions a day. As adults, this number plummets to 6-12 questions a day. Chad’s presentation mostly focused on creating a culture that asks more questions to enhance engagement, vulnerability, trust, knowledge, and communication.

Actionable Takeaway: Create a culture of questions. Littlefield suggested using a set of 60 cards from his company weand.me called We! Connect cards. They are color-coded cards with different types of questions on them. Purple cards encourage self-reflection, green cards are questions that are fun and light, while blue cards ask deeper questions. Each card also has an action to perform, like stretches or other simple movements.

There are lots of ways you can use these cards to encourage people to start asking questions and to be a little more vulnerable, which leads to increased trust. This can be accomplished even without the cards themselves by creating a series of your own questions to ask, just be careful that they don’t force anyone into doing or saying anything that makes them uncomfortable. Start asking more quality, open-ended questions. Ex. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? What’s something that has caused a sense of awe in you recently? What do you have on your fridge doors?

Did you attend the HR Virtual Summit 2019?

What are some quick takeaways that you’re excited to implement at your company?

And, in case you missed it, you have one more chance! The on-demand, encore presentations will be available from December 2 - 13, 2019.

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