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Embracing the Future of HR: A Recap of the Wisconsin School of Business SHR Symposium 2023

By Shanae Doerr

October 12, 2023

Shanae Doerr

The Wisconsin School of Business Strategic Human Resource Management Center recently hosted its annual SHR Symposium, themed “Engaging Minds, Creating Connections, Future Thinking, Now!” The event brought together industry professionals, alumni, faculty, staff, and students to explore the dynamic world of strategic human resources leadership. With a focus on navigating the challenges of today’s ever-evolving workplace, the symposium proved to be an enlightening experience.

The symposium kicked off with a thought-provoking discussion that aimed to unravel the intricacies of change and transformation within the HR domain. Esteemed speakers emphasized the paramount importance of adaptability and innovation in the face of an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous workplace. Attendees were not merely advised but empowered to embrace change as a unique opportunity for growth, a catalyst for evolution rather than a hinderance.

A personal highlight of the symposium was the early-afternoon session that dissected strategies for propelling one’s HR career forward early on. Panelists generously shared their personal journeys, insights, and lessons learned, providing invaluable advice to both aspiring HR professionals just embarking on their journey and career switchers seeking a new path. Attendees left the session armed with newfound motivation and inspiration, ready to navigate their careers to unprecedented heights.

Recognizing the importance of mental health in the workplace, the symposium had a crucial session to shed light on this paramount issue. Speakers engaged in a candid and interactive discussion with the attendees about the significance of cultivating a supportive work environment that consistently prioritizes employee well-being.

Another important discussion revolved around the vital principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) within the HR realm. The speakers underscored the pivotal role that HR professionals play in fostering diversity and ensuring that every employee feels valued and included. The session dispelled any notion that DEIA is a mere buzzword; rather, it’s a fundamental pillar of successful HR leadership, and a compass guiding organizations toward a more inclusive future.

In summary, the Wisconsin School of Business SHR Symposium 2023 was a resounding success, providing attendees with a wealth of knowledge and inspiration to thrive in today’s ever-changing HR landscape. It reinforced the notion that the future of HR is now, and those who embrace change and innovation will lead the way. As HR professionals, we must continue to engage our minds, create meaningful connections, and think boldly about the future of human resources.

I’ll wrap up by sharing a couple of standout moments from the SHR Symposium that struck a chord on a personal level:

1. The first thing that truly left a mark was the incredible diversity among the speakers and panelists. It was so impactful to witness a multitude of voices and lived experiences. They were refreshingly honest about their invisible disabilities and the unique challenges they’ve encountered in their personal and professional lives because of their diverse backgrounds. A big shoutout to the SHR director for ensuring the Symposium was truly inclusive and for making sure we had such a rich blend of perspectives in one place. I can’t stress enough how much I appreciate the effort put into having a variety of speakers and panelists. This commitment to inclusivity, to me, is one of the many reasons I take immense pride in being a part of the SHR program.

2. The second standout moment, something equally special, was the incredible support and kindness I experienced from the SHR program alumni. They really went out of their way to make everyone feel welcome and supported. The way our fellow alumni rallied around us, offering advice, sharing their experiences, and making us feel like part of a larger SHR family was truly heartening. These connections and sense of belonging the alumni foster make me grateful to have joined the SHR profession and community.