The annual HR Summit offers HR executives an intimate environment to participate in a focused discussion of the key new drivers shaping corporate priorities and HR strategies. This year, on its 10th anniversary, Choice Career Services was a proud sponsor and participant; engaging in dialogue around fundamental issues challenging management. The Summit was a fantastic opportunity to engage and learn from HR’s elite on issues such as establishing resilience, building employee engagement, and improving productivity within the workplace; matters that these executives face daily.

Numerous presentations were made throughout the week by members of the group, and were well received by all attendees. It was a unique opportunity to not only absorb new ideas, but shape them too.

As you know, we are always on the lookout for new insights, and constantly seeking to share this new knowledge with you, so we thought you would find what we learned valuable in developing your own ideas and strategies for your organisation. With that in mind, we wanted to leave you with our 3 key takeaways from the event:

1. Adopt a marketing approach to HR

Key note speaker and HR guru, David Ulrich challenged the audience to transform their understanding of HR’s role in customer-centric organisations. Drawn from basic marketing principles, David cultivated the idea that HR, too, should think from the point-of-view of the customer. In essence, he was promoting the notion of understanding the needs of customers and subsequently, tailoring an organisation to respond to those needs.

2. Walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk

The Coles presentation by Jenny Bryant, Group HR Director for Coles was all about transforming a business and the Coles people. They wanted to build a community that was proud to be Coles – and this culture was embodied in their chosen tag lines; ‘I wouldn’t shop anywhere else’ and ‘I wouldn’t work anywhere else’ – simple but effective communication to both customers and employees. The lines also recognise the history of Coles and its involvement in the Australian community. The key part of her talk was about ‘walking the talk’ and ensuring the organisation’s values and language were reflected in the employees’ behaviours. This was particularly important during the period of transformation which began the day Wesfarmers acquired Coles, and something that is important to ensure in your own organisation.

3. Understand and communicate your Employee Value Proposition

Bob Hogarth, General Manager of People and Culture at Heritage Bank, presented to the audience an idea he calls People First. He argued that a powerful EVP is the key to attracting, retaining and empowering winning talent. Heritage Bank pride themselves on exemplary employee engagement and low staff turnover due to their approach to EVP, which is as follows:

  • Focus and Measure
  • Improve communication of EVP
  • Develop staff
  • Look for innovative staff benefits
  • Reward and recognition practices
  • External recognition

As a result of the implementation of this approach, Heritage Bank have witnessed employee engagement jump to 88%, and a decrease in staff turnover from 32% to a mere 13%.

The HR Summit also offered a fantastic opportunity to network and meet other thought leaders in the industry. We held numerous one-on-one meetings over the duration of the week, and it was interesting to note how different organisations approach the ‘management of human change.’ We look forward to building on these relationships and providing customised solutions to assist our own clients in this domain.

If you are interested in exploring further ways to manage change more effectively in your own organisation, please contact us for more information.