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Annual Conference Educational Programs Hone Diverse Skills
 

By Steve Bates  4/23/2012
 


A wide variety of in-depth educational offerings, many beginning on Saturday, June 23, offer 2012 SHRM Annual Conference attendees a chance to jump-start their Atlanta experience.

SHRM Executive Education, Seminar Series and Certification Preparation courses provide some basic HR course work, some advanced studies and some targeted training. Additional program fees are collected for these courses, and many will sell out before the second half of June. Attendees can see what courses are available and can register for them at the Annual Conference website, http://annual.shrm.org.

The PHR/SPHR Certification Preparation course has sold out and seats in other classes are filling up fast, noted Matthew Konetschni, SHRM’s director of educational programs.

The Executive Education offerings are presented in partnership with other organizations, such as “Sustaining a Competitive Advantage through a Culture of Excellence,” which features Scott Milligan, SPHR, business programs consultant at the Disney Institute. Disney is a recognized leader in workforce management and is an employer of choice, in large part because of its philosophies and practices designed to engage and retain employees. This program usually sells out quickly.

Leadership Skills, Strategic Outlook

“The Executive Education programs provide an opportunity to hear directly from high-level, high-performing organizations and instructors providing unique programming,” Konetschni said. The topics are timely and enhance participants’ leadership skills and strategic outlook, he added.

The programs run from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, and conclude with Sunday sessions from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. They are being held in the Omni Hotel, where participants can also take care of their registration for the Annual Conference.

The first Executive Education session to sell out for 2012 was “Strategic Leadership: The Next Paradigm for HR,” presented in partnership with Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

A third Executive Education program is titled “Improving Employees’ Financial Fitness,” presented in Partnership with The George Washington University; the instructor is Annamaria Lusardi, Ph.D. The final offering is “Boundary Spanning Leadership: Collaborate, Innovate and Transform Your Organization,” presented in partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership; the instructors are David Magellan Horton and Edward M. Marshall, Ph.D.

The SHRM Seminar Series addresses the professional development needs of the entire HR profession, from the “SHRM Essentials of HR Management” course, aimed at those starting out in the profession, to sessions in strategic, financial and global challenges faced by higher-level HR professionals. All are offered on Saturday, June 23. Some continue on Sunday and on Monday.

“The Seminar Series is a diverse offering of skill- and person-specific training opportunities,” Konetschni said. “They are a great way to package some very specific training with the broad umbrella of offerings that the Annual Conference provides.” In addition to offering learning opportunities, the programs provide “another great opportunity for networking and small-group interactions with instructors and other participants,” he added.

The “HR Generalist” course is designed for the professional with two to four years of experience and for those looking for an overview or refresher course. The “HR Business Partners” program allows participants to develop or enhance their knowledge of how businesses operate and how HR contributes to the bottom line. Another course allows participants to “Drive Results with HR and Workforce Analytics.” “Employee Relations” covers a broad range of issues faced by many HR professionals, regardless of level or experience.

High-level offerings include “Finance for Strategic HR Partners,” “Global Cultural Competence for Business Leaders” and “Strategic Human Resources: Delivering Business Results.”

For Annual Conference attendees who find their preferred educational programs are sold out, there are alternatives. One- and two-part workshops offered on Saturday and Sunday—also with additional fees and advance registration—deal with such topics as managing a virtual workforce, creating a culture of integrity, boosting negotiation skills and mastering project management.

Free Super Sunday sessions also help attendees get a head start on the conference.

Steve Bates is SHRM’s manager of online editorial content.

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