Insights | November 19, 2012
the importance of gathering offline
By mindi cox
We all have work investments we need to explore, validate, and benchmark. Sure, we can pose an inquiry on a LinkedIn discussion thread or turn to any of a number of industry forums or publications.
Instead, I brought mine to an HR leadership conference and left with a wealth of standards, tools, practices, opinions, newfound connections, and other precious resources.
The experience got me thinking. Getting to a conference can be a hassle: the planning, travel, and time away from day-to-day priorities. But this year, the opportunity to gather with peers, discuss urgent issues, and have real-life, in your face (occasionally inconvenient!) dialogue has felt particularly valuable.
In this age of digital chit-chat, it’s absolutely crucial to gather in person. There’s nothing like a concept—presented in real-time, by a voice you can see—to spark ideas or discussions, or to help you solve a problem or re-evaluate your own priorities. There’s no place richer to compile best practices and explore groundbreaking new ones. And if these are the more obvious benefits to getting together with your HR peers, here are a few additional pluses you may want to consider:
- Gathering is a great opportunity to validate what you’re working on is also a priority for your peers. This is particularly helpful if you have a long-term project, such as employee engagement or leadership development, with no clear end date.
- Correspondingly, face time provides an unexpected source of renewed energy and motivation for reinvestment in an idea, initiative, or team.
- You can learn about trends and even establish coalitions for benchmarking everything from compensation strategies to performance measurement or recognition solutions.
As a company that helps organizations discover and adopt strategic appreciation solutions, we meet with other HR executives regularly. Every company—regardless of brand, industry, or size—shares similar issues. And we always find these face-to-face meetings irreplaceable—a key reason we host the O.C. Tanner Executive Recognition Summit every September.
Have you re-evaluated your priorities, changed a practice, or felt validated in the aftermath of gathering with your peers? We’d love to hear about it. Share your experiences and strategies for creating more face-to-face time.