As I sit in the audience of the opening of HR Florida, I am reflecting on my twenty one years in Human Resources. Why? HR Florida Conference and Expo is celebrating their 40th anniversary.
The event began with a retrospective on music, entertainment, and technology from the past forty years. They wove in how our profession has grown and changed over these forty years. Can you think back to when we were known as the personnel department? A time when smoking was allowed in the office and women were new to the professional workforce? Fast forward to a time when diversity in the workplace is embraced and encouraged, where we crave technology for better people and organization performance. We have been hearing for years that HR is behind the times, HR is “dead”, and that we are not adaptable. I can attest that when you reflect on all the changes in the workplace that HR has dealt with in the past forty years, we are most certainly NOT any of those things. We are also continuing to evolve and embrace ways to better our employees, managers and organizations.
HR is advancing at a fast pace as we keep up with technological, social and political changes in our world. This is no easy task. Not only are we charged with being the keepers of our organization’s people practices, we’re handling the compliance, engagement, professional development and recognition, and more. But, we’ve got this….we ARE the people experts, after all. Coming to an event like HR Florida is a great reminder of all the HR professionals on the front-line who are working to maintain many of their current practices and processes, while diving head first (or maybe toe first!) into the technology trends.
I look forward to the next few days of sessions. I’m assured that I will walk away smarter and better able to apply the learning to the work I am doing. If you did not make it to HR Florida this year, I urge you to follow the hashtag #HRFL18 on Twitter and be sure to register for next year. You do not have to live or work in Florida to attend. You just need to have a passion for people and human resources, an openness to learn, and a spirit that embraces fun! Hope to see you here.
Stay tuned for more learning and takeaways from HR Florida Conference and Expo.