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SHRM Conference 2019 "Creating Better Workplaces"

Kiwi Partners supports organizations of all sizes. We stay updated on key themes that affect our clients by interacting with other human resource service providers, vendors, thought leaders, advocates and legislators. We continued our pursuit of the newest trends by attending the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) National Conference.

The theme of the conference was “Creating Better Workplaces.” The sessions provided examples of how the workplace experience could be improved by embracing technology, using data to increase efficiency in Benefits Administration, and establishing alternative methods to manage performance. Some of the key themes and takeaways were:

Session: Keeping the Human in HR: How AI and Technology Changes Everything!

Conference attendees gained a better understanding of the differences between Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, and how both processes can be used as a catalyst in organizational efficiency.

Key Takeaway: AI and other types of technology were not created to eliminate human labor, and should be viewed as tools to help organizations complete more tasks and increase effectiveness. These advances have the potential to reduce the number of administrative tasks so that companies can spend more time engaging employees and customers.


Session: The Future of Health Insurance

In a national survey of employees in organizations of varying sizes and industries, we learned:

  • 60% of employees are not confident in choosing the right health plan

  • 25% say benefits are so complicated they ‘give up and hope for the best’

  • 84% of employees say current benefit enrollment systems are confusing

Key Takeaway: We shouldn’t reserve conversations about benefits to open enrollment season. There are so many concepts and provisions within health insurance policies to create yearlong training initiatives to educate employees. Through this process, employees will arrive at open enrollment with confidence that they are making the right decisions for themselves and their families. Organizations can streamline many aspects of day-to-day benefits administration through the adoption of technology. There are many vendors that operate independently from HRIS systems and can provide a better experience.


Session: Emerging Trends in Performance Management and Compensation

An increasing number of organizations are finding semi-annual/annual review processes to be cumbersome and ineffective for managers and employees alike. During this session we reviewed methods adopted by other organizations with intent to make the process more engaging.

Key Takeaway: Many organizations are moving away from annual and semi-annual review processes by creating programs that use continuous and ongoing feedback to manage performance and compensation. Some organizations found it beneficial to move away from ratings systems when a position had key productivity indicators (KPI’s) that were more vague or ambiguous. Other organizations saw success in separating the performance management and compensation processes altogether.

Some of the benefits of these programs:

  • More motivated employees

  • More meaningful conversations

  • Improve relationships

  • Team dynamics are more accurately captured

  • Create a culture of growth and development

The HR Services Team is excited to see that many of the key takeaways from the SHRM National Conference are already being practiced by our team. We returned with more ideas and solutions that will aid our clients with achieving their mission-specific goals.

If your organization is looking for a partner to help modernize, automate, and improve the Human Resource function, don’t hesitate to contact your HR advisor for assistance.

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