Session Descriptions

Strategic HR@Iowa: The Path Forward

This site will be continuously updated as additional sessions are confirmed.

Keynote Session Descriptions

Leveraging Diversity and Equity for Organizational Transformation, Rusty Barcelo, PhD. 

The University of Iowa has long been in the forefront of the nation as an advocate of diversity and equity with significant efforts being made following the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Today, UI continues to explore how to enhance diversity and equity efforts that not only meet the needs of diverse groups but also how to create a climate whereby all students, staff and faculty can achieve at the highest level. This presentation will focus on the how diversity and inclusion has contributed to the transformation of higher education and how it is a strategic tool institutional transformation.

HR Levers that Drive Business Results, David Forman

HR often does a poor job in marketing itself and demonstrating its value to the business. HR does, in fact, have a variety of levers to drive business results. The four primary drivers for improved results are 1) strategic alignment, 2) cost savings, 3) productivity improvements and 4) improved outcomes. It is important, however, to go beyond these general drivers and get as specific as possible about the ways in which HR adds value to the business. Specifically, ten levers will be discussed, including

  • HR’s ultimate metric
  • Turnover of high performers
  • The value of internal hires
  • Productivity by engagement levels
  • Costs of vacant positions
  • Costs of managing poor performers
  • Absenteeism
  • Global staffing mix
  • Strength of professional networks
  • Proficiency curve
The Multiplier Effect,  Elise Foster

We’ve all had experience with two dramatically different types of leaders, one who operates as a Diminisher, draining intelligence and capability and conversely the Multiplier, an amplifier of smarts and capability. In this highly engaging talk, Elise Foster will share the research behind Multipliers and illustrate the resoundingly positive and productive effect they have on organizations, driving innovation. She'll introduce the five disciplines that distinguish Multipliers from Diminishers and provide practical tips for leading like a Multiplier. Learn the simple reason Multipliers access more than 2X the intelligence from their people.

Rethinking the Role of HR:  From ‘Compliance Police’ to a ‘Strategic Partner’, Sarah Fisher Gardial

The purpose of this presentation is to encourage a rethinking of the HR function.  Without an expanded view that brings HR “to the table” as a full partner in strategic planning, we will continue to underutilize this critical asset.   Correctly envisioned and implemented, HR is both necessary and critical to helping leaders steer a successful pathway through challenging times.  Specifically, the presentation proposes a “three-legged” stool for an HR partnership including 1) procedural guidance, 2) culture building, and 3) support for strategic management.

Breakout Session Descriptions

Building Your Own HR Levers,  David Forman

In this hands-on session, participants will build their own HR Levers by examining different HR metrics, outcomes and intangible assets.  The emphasis will be on moving away from easy-to-measure internal factors to one’s that appeal to leaders throughout the organization.  HR must become better at demonstrating the value that it brings the organization and marketing these contributions.  This session will enable you to develop your list of compelling ways in which HR drives business results.

Leading with Curiosity,  Elise Foster

When a leader sees a problem, it is common to offer a solution and the team is even likely to be directly asking for “the answer.” As the complexity of the problems leaders are asked to solve increases, it becomes increasingly important to formulate the right questions, to be sure we’re not only solving the right problem, but more importantly tapping into all of the capability inside our organizations. In this session, you’ll learn how shifting from having the answers to having the questions can stimulate growth and amplify organizational capability. Elise Foster, co-author of the Multiplier Effect, will share strategies on how to lead with curiosity in order to grow talent and increase the collective capacity of your organization.

You’re Not the Boss of Me! How Life Outside of Work Can Impact Your Job, Jackie (Meirick) Vavroch

This session looks at employee behaviors in and outside of the workplace that decrease productivity and/or diminish the organization’s reputation and brand. We will address legal issues created by the nonstop use of smartphones, the recreational use of marijuana, the need to post every thought on Twitter and Facebook, Internet surfing, fantasy leagues, and other work time wasters. Join Kate for a discussion of the legal and practical issues concerning these activities, as well as best practices for keeping employees focused on doing their jobs.

Becoming an Inclusive Leader,  Dr. Denise Martinez

Studies on unconscious (implicit) bias have demonstrated that this implicit attitude, defined as a preference for a social group that is both unconscious and automatic, is ubiquitous in society and informed by an individual’s experiences and perceptions of others. Recent work has shown that implicit biases also exists in the healthcare system. It can have a significant impact on communication, decision-making, and perceptions and beliefs about others. This session will introduce the participants to the Implicit Association Test, case examples that have resulted from implicit bias, and microagressions. Participants will learn how to explore their own personal unconscious biases, and be introduced to approaches that may mitigate those biases to become an inclusive leader.

Thriving at Work: Building Resiliency and Coping Skills, Celina Peerman

With more pressure, fewer resources, and increased focus on results, today's HR professionals need resiliency to adjust to the changing profession and organization. With an energetic, interactive approach, this session will review recent findings from the organizational research and apply key actions that help us all succeed as professionals. Known for her humor and real life application, Celina will guide participants with real life applications to strengthen our ability to bounce back under the weight of our responsibilities. Come renew your energy and passion for human resources in an uplifting session to keep doing the great work you strive to do.

Freedom of Speech: Staff and Students at Public Universities, Todd Pettys

Professor Pettys will be discussing the First Amendment free-speech rights of staff and students at public universities.  He will be paying particular attention to speech that staff produce in the course of doing their jobs, speech that might amount to harassment, and speech that some listeners might regard as "hate speech."

Transitioning at Work: The Modern Employers’ Guide to Transgender Employees, Jackie (Meirick) Vavroch

Transgender employees frequently report experiencing discrimination at work. This session will explore how employers can effectively work with employees who seek to transition genders in the workplace. The discussion will include development and implementation of effective transition action plans and how to deal with unique situations that may arise relating to an employee’s gender transition. We’ll also discuss other issues related to LGBT employees in the workplace and best practices for employers to implement.

Coaching Leaders and Employees, Heather Woody

Being a leader and/or an employee comes with the tall order of being influential to get work done, to be organized, to behave in ways that elevate strong team performance and to execute on the most important goals of your organization. These priorities although they can be exhilarating, they can also stretch and challenge the capacity of any leader and employee. Learning how to coach or be coached is one of the most effective ways to improve the quality of the outcomes you and your team get as well as a strong method to improving your image and impact in your organization. In this session, participants will learn basic coaching imperatives and skills as well as how to deliver coaching that counts that drives successful outcomes!

HR Conference Registration

Registration for the 2017 HR Conference is now closed.