The nature of “labor” is undergoing a transformation, reflected by rapidly changing attitudes and policies regarding how, when and where work is done.
The impact of these transformative changes will be the focus of a new annual conference that the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Families and Work Institute (FWI) will co-host, with the premiere conference taking place Nov. 8-10, 2011, in Washington, D.C., Work-Life Focus 2012 and Beyond.
"This conference will bring together the best experts in the work/life field and provide information and resources to help businesses successfully implement workplace flexibility," said Henry G. (Hank) Jackson, SHRM’s president and CEO. The conference is one of many new offerings from the SHRM/FWI multiyear partnership launched in 2011.
"HR professionals and other business leaders are actively engaged in building and implementing effective and flexible workplace strategies, which increases employee productivity and job satisfaction with a positive impact on the bottom line," Jackson added. "This conference will provide a platform for sharing, learning and networking with leaders from around the globe. We encourage you to apply for this conference and come ready to engage in meaningful dialogue about what’s next in the world of work."
Keynote Speakers Announced
The conference will feature keynote addresses by best-selling authors Dan Heath and Daniel Gilbert.
Heath, a columnist for Fast Company magazine and a senior fellow at Duke University’s CASE center, is the co-author of Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, which debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list. He will reveal a simple, three-part framework that will help conference attendees to change things in tough times, whether the change they seek is at work, at home or in society.
Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard University, authored the acclaimed Stumbling on Happiness, which spent 25 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. He will explain why, when people try to imagine what the future will hold, they make some basic and consistent mistakes." Just as memory plays tricks on us when we try to look backward in time, so does imagination play tricks when we try to look forward," he has observed.
Innovative Learning Labs
"Learning lab" sessions at the conference are designed to provide attendees with effective and flexible workplace practices by providing comprehensive tools and resources. The learning labs have been grouped into topics that support the important strategic journey of effective workplace practices. On day one, attendees will learn how to set the stage for change, concentrate on Strategies to Make Change Happen, and close out the day covering Strategies for Tackling the Tough Issues.
On day two, they'll round out the journey with Change as Transformation, highlighting the momentum required to build effective and flexible workplaces with strategies, tactics and innovative ideas.
Conference sessions will include:
• Gender and Global Differences in Work/Life Effectiveness.
• Top 10 Manager Objections to Flex and How to Overcome Them.
• The Intersection of Health and Life: Disparities and Creative Solutions at Prudential.
• Flexibility: What’s Social Media Got to Do with It?
• Workplace Flexibility in Action: A Discussion with the Sloan Award Winners.
• And They Said It Couldn't Be Done...
• Changing Chaos into Productivity.
• Tell Us about Flexibility and Organizational Effectiveness.
• Moxie for Managers: The Secret to Turning Managers into Middle Leaders Who Instigate, Influence and Effect Change.
• HR and the Business: Strategic Co-Owners of Flexibility.
New Study and Guide to Be Released
In addition, the 2011 National Study of Employers—a joint project of FWI and SHRM—will be released at the conference. The study takes a comprehensive look at the practices, policies, programs and benefits provided by U.S. employers to address the changing needs of today's workforce and workplace.
Also being released at the event will be the SHRM/FWI 2012 Guide to Bold New Ideas for Making Work Work, which will highlight the practices of the 2011 winners of the Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility.
SHRM conference website: Work-Life Focus 2012 and Beyond
SHRM Online Workplace Flexibility Resource Page