Five SHRM 2019 Takeaways for Small and Midsized Businesses

by Mammoth Team on July 8, 2019



Seven team members from Mammoth HR joined nearly 20,000 other HR professionals for this year’s annual SHRM conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. If that sounds like a packed convention center, it was!

The theme for the conference was “Creating Better Workplaces,” a goal near and dear to our hearts here at Mammoth. The sessions themselves covered a range of topics across the HR landscape. Here are our 5 main conference takeaways:


1. Employers are facing exponential changes in technology, and many of them are underusing the technology they have.

Technology can free up a lot of HR’s time for other meaningful activities and enable employers to stand above the crowd, but only if it’s used effectively. Organizations that don’t adapt to technological changes risk wasting valuable resources and spending significantly more money on tasks that their competitors do on the cheap.


2. Distrust and drama are a death sentence to collaboration and communication, and when these begin to die, innovation and creativity dry up.

Fortunately for businesses of all sizes, you don’t need a huge budget or costly program to counter distrust and drama in the workplace. In their respective sessions, Cy Wakeman and Sarah Noll Wilson each showed attendees how self-reflection, shared accountability, and setting others up for success alleviate the stressors that bring us down, causes us to distrust one another, and clog up our day with unnecessary drama. People are the hardest part of work, Brené Brown noted in her keynote, but people are all we have.


3. Employer branding has become even more important.

That's especially true with the demand for workers at a record high and unemployment rates at record lows. Multiple speakers recommended that HR and Marketing departments should work together to improve their employer brand. Further, Dave Edelman of Aetna encouraged organizations to involve their employees in brand development and execution.


4. Sexual harassment remains a focus.

Sexual harassment prevention efforts took on greater urgency following the #MeToo movement, and now companies are looking to improve and expand their harassment prevention efforts to combat other forms of unwelcome conduct that’s based on a protected class.


5. There’s an exciting, collaborative spirit in the HR world.

You could feel it in the sessions, witness it in the hallway conversations, see it on full display in the expo hall, and follow it in all the social media discussions. Recruiters, specialists, generalists, directors, and other HR professionals want to connect, learn, and grow together. The SHRM conference provides a huge space for that collaborative development to happen, and collaboration is central to our mission as well. HR is done better when it’s done together—when practitioners and providers come together to share their expertise and build great workplaces. The future of HR is Collaborative HR.


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Topics: Insider, Culture