5 Takeaways from BambooHR’s HR Virtual Summit 2020

Didn’t get a chance to attend the BambooHR 2020 Virtual Summit?

We’ve got you covered! Kazoo was proud to sponsor the event, which drew more than 47,000 registrants in the human resources, L&D, and DE&I workspaces.

Here’s what we learned.

1. “Employee-obsessed is the new customer-obsessed”

BambooHR CEO Brad Rencher opened the summit with a hard-hitting question: Were we wrong to focus on customer experience before the employee experience? 

Focus on the employee experience is an increasing theme in the world of work. And it’s clear why: Companies that invest in their employee experience are outperforming S&P 500 companies by 122%. When companies align employee goals and concerns with company goals and concerns, they forge a connection that’s critical to productivity and organizational resilience. 

Love a good visual? Check out Rencher’s quote from Zappo’s CEO Tony Hsieh:

An image of Zappo's CEO Tony Hsieh with a quote, Our number one priority is company culture.
Slide from Brad Rencher.

Learn more about improving your employee experience.

2. DE&I initiatives are top priority — and critical for organizational resilience

Diversity, equity, and inclusion have been buzzwords in the HR sphere for too long. DEI is no longer a nice-to-have or a checkbox for progressive workplaces. It’s of critical importance in every company, and companies that aren’t on the train need to hop on yesterday.

But what to do next? UNBIAS’s Stacey Gordon had answers — including the things leaders need to stop saying if they want to create truly inclusive workplaces:

Slide by Stacey Gordon.

The key to being a truly authentic leader is building psychological safety — and taking time to make sure your DE&I actions are well thought out. Too many companies are jumping straight from awareness of DE&I issues to action, without taking the time to clarify what their goals are and align the organization behind them.

Intrigued? Learn more about creating inclusive workplaces.


Missed the summit? Check out our keynote:
The Only People Strategy That Matters for Your Business Right NowDania Shaheen presenting her virtual keynote at BambooHR's HR Virtual Summit 2020

Watch now


3. Burnout is higher than ever — and frequent feedback can fix it

As global workforce expert Dr. Shirley Davis pointed out, we’re in the midst of three pandemics: coronavirus, the unprecedented and prolonged mental health stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting economic downturn. Not to mention the fierce emotions around social movements like #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter.

So it’s no wonder that burnout is high in the workplace. The solution? More than ever, we need human connection. For leaders and managers, this means more frequent feedback and check-ins than ever before. 

Why? Continuous feedback removes the fear factor, transforming once-dreaded performance reviews into ongoing conversations that facilitate the growth we need to be psychologically resilient. 

And more human check-ins build valuable emotional foundations that can boost retention, among other metrics. As coach Lindsay Boccardo shared, her clients often note, “I would never quit on my friend. But I would quit on my boss.”

How do you build those friendships? As tHRive Law & Consulting, LLC’s Kate Bischoff said, it starts by managers asking their reports two simple questions: “How are you?” and “What can I do to help?”

Kate Bischoff on how to ask human questions in check-ins
Slide by attorney and HR consultant Kate Bischoff.

Learn more about the humanizing power of manager/employee check-ins.

4. To get the most out of your HR data, first ask, “What do I want to get out of this?”

Here’s a stat from Employee Cycle CEO Bruce Marable that should make your blood run cold: 91% of HR leaders are still using spreadsheets to track their HR data.

At BambooHRs HR Virtual Summit 2020, Bruce Marable shares that 91 percent of HR staff still uses spreadsheets to track data
Slide by People Cycle CEO Bruce Marable.

We know the majority of us are using data to drive decisions — in Kazoo’s conference survey of over 600 attendees, 68% of respondents say their companies use data in performance management. But are we getting what we need out of it? (These spreadsheets say… probably not.)

To get the most out of HR data, Marable says, you need to first internalize what you want to get out of it. Don’t use data for data’s sake. Instead, be strategic. He offers 4 steps to using data to drive positive change:

  • Develop a hypothesis about what’s wrong with your workforce now, and how it’s negatively impacting your business
  • Collect, prep, and visualize your data
  • Analyze the data
  • Link that data to business outcomes

Need to present data to your leadership? Check out our free, downloadable C-suite pitch deck. Plus, see how Kazoo puts data in your hands.

5. Agility and recognition are taking center stage in performance management

We’ve been saying it for years: the annual performance review is dead. Exemplary Consultants CEO Jo Weech made a case for learning from our friends in the software world. The new performance management direction? Agile.

The key ingredients, Weech noted, are:

  • Ongoing feedback
  • Shorter timeframes for check-ins
  • Managers as coaches

In implementation, it’s snappy. And the way we celebrate success needs to change.

Slide by Jo Weech on agile performance management
Slide by Jo Weech on agile performance management.

In the past, we’ve celebrated achievements. But the people who are “on target” are the ones who are accomplishing the most in 2020.

“These are the people who managed to get all their tasks done despite the chaos of 2020,” Weech said. “They shouldn’t be overlooked because they’re not “going above and beyond.”

Learn more about the motivational science of employee recognition and rewards.


Transform your employee experience with technology

We had an absolute blast at BambooHR’s HR Virtual Summit this year. And if you got even a fraction of that excitement and learning from this write-up, then we should keep talking.

Because being passionate about joyful workspaces and virtual workforces is Kazoo’s whole deal. That’s why the Kazoo Employee Experience Platform brings goals, performance management, recognition, rewards, surveys, and more into one simple, easy-to-use platform: Because we love those moments when work is working. And we love helping other companies realize it for themselves.

If you’re ready to align, connect, and engage your workplace, check out our Kazoo overview. Or, schedule a personalized demo today.

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