HR Virginia – Leading Through Workplace Hurdles: Session Previews, Part 2

Less than one week remains until the 2024 HR Virginia State Conference in Richmond, VA: Leading Through Workplace Hurdles.


In the spirit of the Olympic Games, where athletes from around the world strive for excellence, determination, and unity, this year’s conference promises to be a dynamic and transformative experience tailored for HR professionals. The year 2024 marks not only the celebration of global athletic achievements but also an opportunity for HR leaders to harness the same principles of dedication, collaboration, and resilience in navigating the complex landscape of workplace hurdles.


Here is an overview of concurrent sessions that will focus on management & leadership, legal issues, and benefit strategies. As leaders, we can’t build a winning team without knowing how to lead and manage successfully. The following sessions are just a few of many that will focus on leadership and performance management:


  • The Olympic Challenge of Leading in 2024Loralyn Mears, PhD The contemporary workplace is evolving rapidly – and not necessarily for the better. Leading multi-generational teams that work from here, there, and everywhere has become an Olympic-level challenge. A communication breakdown is costing US-based companies more than $1 trillion per year [Grammarly/Harris Poll, 2022]. Today’s leaders need a new way to train and a different approach to coaching if they want to “go for the Gold.” Adaptive Leadership is that new model: it is characterized by a blend of soft skills, change management, resilience, and innovation. This is not just a leadership style; it’s a dynamic mindset, a way of approaching stewardship by embracing change and converting challenges into opportunities to propel organizations to greatness. In 2024, HR professionals find themselves at the forefront of a transformative journey, forced to navigate massive shifts in workforce dynamics, the intractability of remote work, and the changing expectations of employees. This presentation is not merely a lecture; it’s a playbook teaching leaders and HR professionals how to achieve victory.


  • Investigation Prevention: Critical People Management SkillsAnya Soto Complex situations that demand workplace investigations arise in even the healthiest workplace cultures. In fact, almost two-thirds of employees in the U.S. say they have either witnessed or been the victim of workplace discrimination – one of the most common investigation triggers. Anya is fortunate to get referrals from her partners who conduct workplace investigations and it’s unfortunate to see how many of these expensive investigations could have been easily prevented. Nobody teaches us how to lead teams and most managers get promoted into a leadership role based on their individual performance. Very few companies have the tools, capacity, and resources to run assessments to identify who actually has leadership potential and specific blind spots/weaknesses that must be developed. Doing good work and helping others do good work are two completely different skill sets. After designing and delivering custom training solutions for managers and supervisors to over 70 clients since 2012, Anya will share with you the most critical skills every manager and supervisor must master to reduce turnover and prevent potential investigation.


  • Out of Sight, But Not Out of Mind: Managing Remote EmployeesRandy C. Sparks, Jr During the COVID-19 pandemic, telework became the new norm for a lot of employers. Now, as we start to get back to normal, more and more employees and companies do not want to go back to working in the office. In this session, we will look at HR issues raised by remote work – from what to do about employees working from other states to data protection to wage and hour issues – and policies and best practices to enable your company to navigate our strange new business world.


Finally, no competition is complete without rules and regulations, but also rewards! Here are some sessions you can check out if you are interested in keeping up with legal changes affecting the workplace, trends to keep an eye on, and benefit strategies to help your team thrive:


  • AI-lympic Games: The Possibilities and Pitfalls of AI in the WorkplaceAnne Bibeau, Ross Broudy, and King Tower Is artificial intelligence a trending topic or is it here to stay? With services like ChatGPT growing in size and attention, many are wondering how and when AI is going to impact their job. Is it going to revolutionize the way we work, or is it just going to create more problems? While some may say that only time will tell, it is important for businesses to understand the possibilities and potential pitfalls of using artificial intelligence in the workplace. Join Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black Labor & Employment and Cybersecurity attorneys for a deep dive into AI in the workplace.


  • Training Day: Learn to Think Like a Lawyer Patrick Bolling, Michael Gardner, and Dean Buckius You don’t need to pass the bar to “think like a lawyer.” Instead, you can develop a mindset that analyzes risk, recognizes evidence, and communicates persuasively to steer your organization clear of liability. Join Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black Labor & Employment attorneys as they teach how lawyers approach issue spotting, evidence, documentation, and strategy.


  • Adapting Benefit Strategies to Improve Attraction & Retention While Meeting Business ObjectivesKristin Henshaw & Kathryn Woollum In order to lead through workplace hurdles, one must adapt to changing employee needs as well as the business objectives. Understanding and meeting employee needs through an evolving benefits strategy helps to meet both objectives. We’ll share key data to understand current and emerging benefits trends, and help you ensure your benefits strategy is aligned with your Total Rewards strategy and in concert with organizational objectives.


  • Game-changing Strategies to Improve Employee Healthcare ExperiencesTim Johnstad Helping employees get the most out of your benefits program is a top priority for HR and benefits leaders today. In this session, we will tackle common mistakes that sabotage plan utilization, uncover sneaky cost drivers, and offer an insider’s look at the short and long-term strategies that top employers are leveraging to create better health outcomes. The Transparency Act opens new doors to employers in helping their employees see maximum value from their employer sponsored plan. We’ll showcase ways employers can harness the power of this information to drive better health outcomes for their employees and their plan.


With nearly 70 sessions on the schedule, the 2024 State Conference is approved for a total of 20 HRCI and SHRM recertification credits. In addition to the areas of interest we’ve included in this post, there are sessions covering global talent trends, outrageous employment law cases, multigenerational workplace challenges, and many other topics relevant to HR professionals in today’s environment.


While you are making final travel preparations this weekend, don’t forget about the Conference Toy Drive. Show your support for ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation by bringing a new (in its original packaging), unwrapped, smallish toy for the little ones, or a gift card to Starbucks, Chick-fil-a, etc, for teens. Drop off items at the Anthem Booth. View suggested toys/items here. These items will fill a treasure chest for the children to select a gift. Click here to support HR Virginia’s fundraising efforts or to join the team.


For a full conference schedule and descriptions of all keynote and concurrent sessions, click here.

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