Conference - Day 1

Tuesday, February 27

Workshop 1: Leveraging Your Strengths and Values to Create Positive Change at Work
Megan Leatherman - Sponsored by 15Five

Support staff in organizations often underestimate the power they have to influence others and create positive change. We all have the ability to do important, meaningful work that feels fulfilling to us, and in this workshop we’ll spend time aligning our unique strengths and values with the work we do each day. When we understand what makes us good at what we do, we’re much more equipped to develop effective and innovative strategies for our workplaces.

In this workshop, learners will be asked to examine their strengths and clarify the values that drive them to do what they do. From this place of strength and value, we’ll discuss strategies for influencing and partnering with members of leadership in our organizations. Through all of these exercises, we’ll each create a picture of the resources (internal and external) that are available to help us make a meaningful impact on our organizations.

Workshop 3: The Compensation and Culture Link
Katie Augsburger

Pay transparency can strengthen a great culture and provide engaged employees a deeper level of understanding of how the business is run. If your organization is pocked with strife, infighting, and division, many compensation programs can have devastating effects. Poorly thought out compensation plans can create canyons in what was a crack when implemented in an organization in cultural chaos or confusion. Communicating clearly about compensation can expose inequities that people assumed were there but did not have evidence of. It could push people with low morale to have the evidence they need to shop around for a better fit. And, of course, it could expose you and your team to legal ramifications that could have devastating effects. Finding the right pay program for your culture and implementing it at the right time is critical to creating a healthy culture. 

Workshop 5: Employer Branding & Recruiting that Works
Allison Krug

Workshop 2: Exploring Work Culture: An Interactive Experience
Cheryl Wunder & Erin Mahoney

We will be co-facilitating and guiding the learners through an interactive experience that will be exploring work culture. The workshop will include: *Discussion: Defining work culture*Discussion: is work culture tangible or intangible?*Discussion: a deeper dive into who owns work culture and whether an organization or person can control, create or build it (collective ownership)*Activity: identifying work culture attributes and themes through an organization development process (GSM)*Discussion: discovering ways to look at positively influencing work culture by fostering and celebrating its desired attributes*Discussion: Plus/Delta debriefUnderstanding work culture is important for all team members in an organization, especially leadership and people operations teams. Work culture can directly or indirectly impact change and strategic initiatives and therefore resist or contribute to the success of an organization. 

Workshop 4: Growing the Team You've Got                                                    Caro Griffin

As your company grows, so does the workload. Everyone has too many things on their plate and hiring can start to feel like the magic wand that would solve all of your problems. But hiring can exacerbate the organizational issues you already have, and leave you with even more, when it’s not done strategically.

When I started my previous role, I had to learn how to scale a growing team fast, and structure our organization in a way that delivered the most business value. I discovered that a thoughtful growth plan could help me turn a stack of needs into actual roles with well-defined responsibilities, create a hiring timeline for each one, and reduce organizational debt as I went.

In this workshop, attendees will map out their organizational structure, identify pain points that will be exacerbated by growth, and make a hiring plan for the next two quarters that takes advantage of the existing talent on their teams.

Workshop 6: Reimagining Your Approach to Diversity
Stephanie Ghoston Paul

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” (Margaret Mead). This workshop is dedicated to Mead's premise. As a people operations professional, you play a critical role in your company's relationship to diversity, equity, and inclusion work. This workshop will help you examine your approach and offer transformational shifts that impact internal company culture, your industry, and the community at large. You'll walk away with a deeper understanding of DEI work, your organization's DEI challenges, and clear next steps both professionally and personally to advance equity within your sphere of influence. 

Special Happy Hour Event at 6pm
Recess @ Human.School
Emily Fitzgerald & Erica Thomas

Recess @ Human.School is a happy hour activity facilitated by the creative team from Works Progress Agency. The WPA team coalesced around the idea that your life’s work is a creative process, and that people do their best work when it has meaning. The team will encourage lively conversations and relationship building through quick, participatory activities around topics such as workplace culture, personal empowerment, invisible labor, productive conflict, empathy, and others. They will demonstrate how to use prompts or scores to break out of conventional ways of relating to one another in a work setting. Each conference attendee will receive a copy of the engagement strategies, printed inside of the workbook, which they can use as a facilitation tool at their workplace. Join your colleagues for light refreshments and a playful take on workplace engagement.
Ig: @worksprogressagency

Conference - Day 2

Wednesday, February 28

Breakfast Talk: Babies at Work - It's Weird that it's Weird
Leah Silber

Many potential parents are stuck with an either/or choice: professional success or a family, but not both. As a business owner and future parent, that wasn’t acceptable to Leah. She and her business partner/husband started researching the options, and stumbled on something they’d never considered: babies at work! Fast forward a year, and they have a robust Babies at Work program at their small software company, along with paid parental leave, to help communicate an important value to themselves and their employees: you matter, and your family matters, and your company cares about both. Come back to work when you’re ready, without needing to leave your kiddo behind during their most formative year. The fundamental belief is: workplaces that support families and parents are all around better for society, better for our families, and yes, better for our workplaces. It’s weird that we think it’s weird.

Workshop 8: The Language We Use
Ali Colleen Neff

When a workplace has committed to transforming its culture to not just accommodate-but nurture-the work of women and minorities, diversity training must go a step beyond basic training. After we establish a sense of what kinds of interpersonal communication are acceptable and unacceptable at the workplace, we hope to foster a community that is open to new issues in inclusion and diversity as they arise, and that signals an ongoing commitment to a world of cultural voices and influences. This means acknowledging cultural difference rather than bracketing it out of workplace interactions.

This workshop is based on the idea that no one is born knowing how to think about and talk about race, gender, religion, sexuality, ethnicity or other kinds of social difference and inequality.

Workshop 10: The (Very Vocal) Human Side of the Bottom Line
Kate Ertmann

According to a recent McKinsey & Company study, companies in the top quarter for racial diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns higher than the national median in their industry, while gender diversity boosts performance by an additional 15%. In addition, there has been much discussion about systemic actions and attitudes that have been the basis for so much homogeneity and exclusiveness in large corporations. Patriarchy. Ageism. Cultural Biases. With Gen Y on track to be 50% of the workplace by 2022, and Gen Z beginning to enter the workplace, there are ways to embrace the characteristics of our 21st Century Workplace that will bring long-term benefits to all levels of the organization.

Workshop 7: Creating a Better Workplace for Trans & NB Folks
Brook Shelley

A modern workplace includes folks from all walks of life, and many of them may be thinking about gender outside of their birth assignments, or even the idea of gender itself. This workshop will go over concepts in a 101-style, like "cisgender," "non-binary," and more. It will also discuss the complex challenges that trans and nonbinary people face in the workplace concerning healthcare, job access, discrimination, and harassment. You will leave this workshop with concrete ideas on what you can do to make your company a better place for everyone, as well as more inclusive language to use in your daily life.

Workshop 9: Humanizing Performance Management
Emily Logan

When it comes to performance management, many organizations are stuck in an antiquated pattern of yearly performance reviews, inconsistent rewards, and hierarchical feedback loops. Whether you're creating a performance management program from scratch or revamping your current practices, you can humanize with two simple tools: using an evidence-based approach to develop your programs and tactics, and making your program a two-way process. These simple tools and a few extra handy tips will put you on your way to a more human organization. 

During this session, we'll share stories and experiences and craft a performance management program for your company that is based on evidence and helping people be happier in their work.

Workshop 11: Negotiating & Advocating for your own (and your team) success
Elizabeth Robillard

Negotiating at work is a critical skill for People Ops managers, whether it is negotiating contracts with suppliers, negotiating your own raise with your boss or navigating difficult conversations with your leadership team. In today's technology companies, and in these key roles in particular, you are asked to do more with less, be available 24/7, and support the growth of the organization in new ways. Your ability to negotiate what you need to be successful is more important than ever.

Whether you are looking for new opportunities such as a promotion, better work/life balance, buy-in on a new project, more support, or credit for your work, this talk will offer concrete strategies on how to reach your goals and gain practical advice on how to manage your own career and how to negotiate for yourself and your organization more effectively.

Lightening Talk: Human Terms & Conditions: How Branding Could/Should/& Will Shape Human Resources
Jordan Hayles

Contracts people can understand; communication that feels delightful; and tough conversations that create space for feelings of discomfort, fear and angst in a meaningful way. This is what defines Human Terms & Conditions. This lightning talk will help you understand the advantages of leveraging brand power to shape internal culture, so you treat employees like clients and get everyone on the same (human) page.

Thanks to our amazing sponsors: