We talk to HR practitioner Stephanie Beard about her tips on how to maximise the 2014 AHRI National Convention experience.
A celebration of HR in all its glory, the 2014 AHRI National Convention & Exhibition, held 20–21 August, will be the largest annual gathering of HR practitioners in Australasia.
Stephanie Beard, human resources manager at legal firm Harwood Andrews, attends each year and says that the best part is that the convention re-energises and re-ignites her passion for HR.
“It reminds me why I do what I do,” she says. “And it’s very important to continue to build knowledge and to develop as a HR professional, no matter how young or old you are.”
This year, Ita Buttrose kicks off the event with the opening keynote on the evening of 19 August, before the main program, over two days, showcases thought leadership, information and tools to help practitioners address every-day issues relevant to the HR profession.
Beard says she takes the time each year to walk around the various exhibitions to see all the different HR products and services available. And at the end of the convention, she prepares a report for the board that provides an overview of what she learnt and how she can put it into practice at Harwood Andrews.
“By doing this, it allows me to identify what we’re doing well, where there are gaps and where we can improve,” she says.
But what brings the most value, according to Beard, is the diverse range of topics and the expertise of thought leaders.
“In previous years, I was so excited to see people like Marshall Goldsmith and Lois Frankel in real life. I had read their books, so to see them in person was very inspiring. By attending the convention, it helps me to remember why I became a HR professional and the difference that I can make. It gives me another perspective that allows me to walk away and think about my role at a more strategic level,” she says.
“I have the opportunity to get a helicopter view of what I need to implement within my own organisation. It provides clarity for me, but most of all it inspires me.”