HRD Summit EUHRD Summit Europe 2019: Day 2 – LinkedIn, PeopleDoc, stand-up comedy and more

HRD Summit Europe 2019: Day 2 - LinkedIn, PeopleDoc, stand-up comedy and more

Day 2 of the HRD Summit Europe 2019 at the RAI Amsterdam featured sessions from LinkedIn, the World Employee Experience Institute, PeopleDoc and more.

Across two days of packed panels on the future of work, the HRD Summit Europe 2019 hit the RAI Amsterdam this week, playing host to an audience of leaders and solution providers from across the world of work.

Following a packed Day 1 of the HRD Summit Europe 2019, featuring giants of business and people leadership including Patagonia, Erica Keswin and Uber, Day 2 kicked off with a future-focused back-t0-back keynote double bill of Ben Whitter, Founder and CEO, World Employee Experience Institute, and Lisa Finnegan, Senior Director HR EMEA & LATAM, LinkedIn.

“How do we scale moments of truth?” Ben Whitter asked the HRD Summit audience.

Drawing on his work and real-world research across countries and contexts, Ben shared secrets of employee experience, focusing on how to connect the head and heart of employees to their organisations. The session began with audience members being encouraged to share their greatest career milestones, and their biggest challenges, in the spirit of sharing as an opportunity to learn and to appreciate one another. This was followed by a talk from Ben on the importance of great experiences in the workplace, and the difficulty on the route to achieving those great experiences.

Next up, LinkedIn’s Lisa Finnegan explored some key ways that talent teams and businesses can overcome barriers facing the creation of a truly inclusive work culture  – from using data and insights to inform strategies and looking critically at the hiring process, to creating the right culture from the beginning.

Lisa detailed LinkedIn’s committed and detailed approach to gaining essential data insights on diversity within their organisation, and how doing so is enabling them to become more diverse and inclusive as a whole.

“The ‘why’ is so important”, said Lisa of changing your organisation’s approach to D&I.

“It’s not enough to say ‘this is what we’re going to do, and it will all be fixed in two years’. Leaders should be saying, ‘We are going to make this a more inclusive work environment because’.”

Later in the day, there followed a variety of breakout sessions and CoLab workshops. HR leaders from ING, WeWork, DHL and more engaged packed sessions throughout the afternoon on everything from the future of performance development to #metoo in the workplace.

The CoLabs – collaborative workshops based on design thinking – featured topics as varied as purpose-driven leadership, digital talent strategy and improving workplace conversations.An interactive session about the value of humour in the workplace and at business events. Using comedy, information and improvisation-based activities, we ask: How does humour make teams and leaders more effective? How does it help communicate messages (yes, even serious messages)? How can humour tackle the elephant-in-the-room scepticism some might be thinking? Most importantly, how can you make your workplace the kind of place where humour and new ideas can flourish?

One such CoLab had a packed room of HR professionals falling about in stitches.

Boom Chicago’s session, ‘Humour Makes Business Better’, led by comedian and co-founder Pep Rosenfeld, was an interactive workshop about the value of humour in the workplace. Using comedy, information and improvisation-based activities, the session helped HR leaders to develop ways of enabling ideas to flourish in the workplace.

There also followed a session by Richard Miskella, Divisional Managing Partner, IUS Laboris, on dealing with #metoo in the workplace. As part of the legal team that aided The Old Vic in dealing with the fallout of accusations of sexual assault made against actor Kevin Spacey in 2017. It was a hard-hitting and revealing session, which placed strong emphasis on the need for businesses to improve the ways in which they deal with harassment claims and enable their employees to feel empowered to speak out in such instances.

The final day of the HRD Summit Europe 2019 concluded with a keynote panel discussion entitled, ‘The New World of Work: Creating Endless Possibilities”. The panel featured HR leaders from across the spectrum of business – Cécile Alper-Leroux, VP, HCM Innovation, Ultimate Software Lynda Magee, Global Senior HR Director/VP, Change & Transformation Leader, and Jacob Grech, Global HR Operations Leader- Arcadis.

The panel, coordinated by Summit chair Mark Ellis, was far-reaching in scope, taking in the complexity of diversity and inclusion initiatives, the promise and dangers of AI, and the future of the HR function in business.

“I think we focus too much on the digital side of experience”, said Cécile, “Crucially, technology can help us to improve the human side of our work experience.”

Mark encouraged the panelists to share the greatest successes and challenges they’ve experienced in their careers.

“The satisfaction of stopping a CEO, telling them that their people are frustrated, and watching them get their people together and go off-script to talk from the heart”, said Lynda Magee, relating an experience that all HR leaders would like to witness in their organisations.

Jacob Grech shared the joy he has felt in creating “a more vulnerable leadership team, who can be their authentic selves”, a sentiment shared by more and more HR leaders today, who wish to see greater vulnerability at leadership level.

The final keynote session was followed by a rousing closing address by chair Mark Ellis on the lessons learned during the Summit – with the help of some Marvel heroes – met with laughter and applause from the audience.

If you missed the HRD Summit Europe 2019, stay tuned to HRD Connect for video interviews with the key speakers from across both days, including Uber, Patagonia, Erica Keswin, ING, LinkedIn and more.

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