Over 500 participants attended a recent meet on the future of the workplace

In the era of social networking websites, taking two days off to go networking seems hard to believe. But it happened recently when over 500 delegates assembled for a conference organised by The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). The conference held at Hyatt Regency, Gurgaon focused on “Empowering Change - Workplace of the Future”.

It addressed some key issues concerning HR management in different sessions. First, Ben Casnocha, an expert on the future of work,emphasised the different duties of an employee, the importance of alumni and the role of social media which together would aid in building an HR strategy for the future. Then, Jeff Pon, Chief Human Resources and Strategy Officer at SHRM Global, shared his inputs about the emerging workplace trends and how the responsibility of HR executives has grown with time.

Each session followed by a question and answer session allowed executives, students, management experts and all others present to look for solutions for queries from the workplace.

SHRM is a non-profit organisation, catering to the creation and dissemination of knowledge relating to HR and enabling professional development. “This year's conference has generated new learning across borders. By focusing on aspects like workplace trends, assessment, skill enhancement etc we look forward to broaden the role of the HR professional. The HR practitioners of the future would be business partners, talent developers and people who would be in the hot seats themselves. Gone are the days when HR professionals were concerned only with the hiring, and the granting of leaves,” said Achal Khanna, CEO of SHRM India.

“The HR work is now more value added, more strategic. It requires specialisation and expertise. There have been new things coming up like HR Analytics,” said Samik Basu of PepsiCo India who won an award in the category of ‘Developing Leaders of Tomorrow’. Other award categories were ‘Community Impact’, ‘Diversity and Inclusion’, ‘Workplace Flexibility’ and ‘Academic Institute of the Year’ which went to Cognizant, Aegis Global, Arbitron and School of inspired Leadership respectively.

Among the companies present were Flipkart, monsterindia.com, Linkedin, Raymond, Yahoo, Aditya Birla Group and Trimble. With all their representatives busy interacting and exchanging insights from their work. Syed Faizan Iqbal from Flipkart said, “It is a nice initiative. An opportunity to connect to so many other people from the same line of work. At the conference you get to physically meet with people and then later through social networking websites you keep in touch.”

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