Organizations can’t survive without people. And HR professionals have the privilege to and responsibility for starting conversations, creating influence, and leading the cause and effect that happens in our organizations.
When we empower employees and support them through challenges and adversity, encouraging them to grow and develop themselves personally and professionally, they get to make an impact on those around them–in the office and at home.
On this episode, chief marketing and experience officer of the Society for Human Resource Management Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman talks about the role of human resources in business today and why it’s so important that we create a ripple effect with our work.
Jeaneen also shares some more background about The SHRM conference in June: who’s on the schedule, what attendees will get out of it, and how SHRM is helping to spearhead hope and mental health conversations at work.
About Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman
As Chief Marketing and Experience Officer for The Society for Human Resource Management, or better known as SHRM, Jeaneen is responsible for all activities related to conceptualizing and implementing market strategy and achieving marketing targets. She is responsible for providing executive leadership and management of SHRM’s marketing activities worldwide.
Prior to joining SHRM, she was Senior Vice President, Marketing at Merkle Inc., leading the marketing strategy and execution for the performance marketing agency, where over the course of 5 years, she transformed the marketing organization into a strategic asset to the business while gaining recognition with multiple Stevie Awards for marketing and customer experience programs.
Previously, Jeaneen was the Head of Global Product and Channel Marketing at the Corporate Executive Board (CEB). While there, she architected the marketing organization to support 7 practice areas and 54 programs for both acquisition and retention marketing. She also cofounded two marketing-related entrepreneurial ventures in suburban Washington, D.C., and earlier in her career, she spent more than 10 years in the telecommunications industry at both Sprint and AT&T.
Jeaneen is highly educated, holding a Bachelor of Science in marketing from the University of Scranton and attended Cornell University’s Executive Management Program while at AT&T.
Mentioned In This Episode:
- Season 5, Episode 1
- Mental Health for Leaders
- FREEBIE: Guide to Influence & Impact at Work
- Society for Human Resources Management
- SHRM Annual Conference & Expo
- Mental Health Skills Training
people, organization, conference, hr professionals, business, hr, marketing, mental health, important, workplace, feels, leaders, opportunity, wellness, years, talk, employee, elevated, new orleans, joining
Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman, Lindsay Recknell
Lindsay Recknell 00:01
You are a people leader or an HR professional working hard to create an amazing employee experience for your team and your organization. But between the operational tasks of your job managing emotions and politics both up and down the corporate ladder, and trying to find some semblance of work life integration in your own life, I suspect you are also overwhelmed and burnt out. If even the thought of navigating the complicated world of mental health at work probably seems like too much to handle. Let this podcast be your not so secret weapon to help fix that. I’m your host Lindsay Recknell. And my mission is to help great leaders like you feel less awkward and more confident talking about mental health at work. So you can stress less, take more action and continue to make a valuable difference in your job as a leader positively impacting the lives of your I’ll be bringing you the experts insights and actions that will give you the skills you need to navigate mental health in the workplace, and foster a workplace where everyone’s mental health can thrive. As I mentioned in episode one of season five of this mental health for leaders podcast, this is a special season focused on the insights actions and advice we can expect to hear at the upcoming SHRM conference being hosted in June of 2022. In New Orleans, I’ll be at the conference bringing you more thought leadership from speakers, attendees and conference organizers direct from the press room at the event. So definitely check out my LinkedIn page for those live videos broadcasting from the floor of the conference. To start this special season, I have an incredible guest introduce you to Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman as chief marketing and experience officer for the Society for Human Resource Management, or better known as SHRM, Jeaneen is responsible for all activities related to conceptualizing and implementing market strategy and achieving marketing targets. She is responsible for providing executive leadership and management of SHRM’s marketing activities worldwide. Prior to joining SHRM, she was Senior Vice President of Marketing at Merkel Inc, leading the marketing strategy and execution for the performance marketing agency, where over the course of five years she transformed the marketing organization into a strategic asset to the business while gaining recognition with multiple Stevie awards for marketing and customer experience programs. Previously, Jeaneen was the head of Global Product and channel marketing at the Corporate Executive Board. And while there, she architected the marketing organization to support seven practice areas and 54 programs for both acquisition and retention marketing. She also co founded two marketing related entrepreneurial ventures in suburban Washington DC. And earlier in her career, she spent more than 10 years in the telecommunications industry at both sprint and AT&T. Jeaneen is highly educated, holding a Bachelor of Science and marketing from the University of Scranton, and attending Cornell University’s executive management program while at AT&T. Before we get started, I want your time to be valuable here. So in order to get the most from this podcast, head to my website at https://mentalhealthforleaders.com, and download the Guide to Influence and Impact at Work, which has the step by step action plan, you’ll need to embed a focus on mental health into the employee experience of your workplace, it’s totally free. And it’ll give you the start to your action plan steps to follow to create engagement to build a budget, and a method to measure the value, influence and impact that you are going to be making as you lead this transformational change in your organization. We haven’t been taught the mental health skills we need to truly lead our organizations into the future. So let this guide and this podcast be the advantage you need to elevate your career, your leadership skills and the positive impact you’ll bring to your organization, head to https://mentalhealthforleaders.com and download the free guide to influence and impact at work now. The opportunity is yours, and I cannot wait to see what you’ll do. All right. Now let’s get to our guest. Good morning. Jeaneen, thank you so much for joining me on the show today.
Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman 03:57
Well, thank you, Lindsay. Thanks for inviting me.
Lindsay Recknell 03:59
I’m very excited to talk about the upcoming annual SHRM conference. But before we get into that, maybe you could share a little bit with the audience about who you are and what you do.
Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman 04:09
Sure. Great, thank you. So Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman, and I’m the Chief Marketing and Experience Officer here at SHRM. I’ve been blessed to work with SHRM, about six and a half years and it’s been an amazing experience truly a privilege, love working with HR professionals and being able to help them you know, stay ahead of where we need to be from a business strategy standpoint. So it’s been an exceptional experience. So and now I’m here to talk about one of my favorite subject, SHRM annual conference.
Lindsay Recknell 04:37
Yeah, I love it. I love that we get to have discussions about HR professionals and business strategy in the same sentence. I feel like that’s not something that has always been the case and I know that a big part of the conference is to kind of address HRs role in in the business. Could we start with the overall theme and objective of the conference, which is coming up in June of 2022. In New Orleans.
Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman 05:06
Yeah, great. And so and I’m glad you picked up on that the business strategy piece, I mean, that is so important. I often actually even like in some of the work that HR does with marketing. And so it’s, it really is a great opportunity to be able to talk business strategy. So the theme, the theme is Cause the Effect. And it really is encouraging business and HR leaders to boldly bring about the changes that they want to see in the world of work. This is our opportunity, as HR professionals, as business leaders to drive that change. And we can do that on an individual basis, and then begin to see that ripple effect that we can cause and the effect.
Lindsay Recknell 05:44
Oh, I love that it feels so empowering. And I love the language you used of opportunity, because I I believe that as well that we have a really cool opportunity right now, especially with the influence that we have demonstrated over the last couple of years as HR professionals really into the business and again, aligned to that strategy and helping organizations to move forward into whatever our fantastic organizations of the future look like. Right? Could we talk a little bit about the speakers and the topic tracks that were chosen for the conference and how they were chosen? And why?
Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman 06:19
Yeah, I mean, we have over 200 sessions. So there’s just a ton of content that that folks can engage with. And there’s really 12 content tracks, some of them, you’ll see year over year, that there they the needed content tracks that HR professionals look for. And then of course, as the pandemic arose, right, mental health and wellness became much more important became a part of the forefront in terms of topics. And you’ll see more focused on that at this year’s conference. And so, you know, it goes from the gamut of compensation and benefits to DE&I to employment law regulations. If you’re an HR department of one, it’s so important that you understand how you can actually move the needle in your business when you’re the only HR professional HR tech and data analytics. So there’s a number of different things. So it’s 12 different content tracks, but you’ll see some themes that will come through in each of those. And certainly things that we’re all experiencing in the business world. Mental Health, I mentioned already DE&I, that has certainly become more in the forefront for sure. We’ve been doing inclusion DE&I conferences for years. But now we’re talking more about that. Certainly the great resignation, talent acquisition, workplace culture has been another big topic over the course the last couple years that really has evolved into into more of a of a track area conferences. And then of course, remote work, right. We’d be remiss if we didn’t say how do you deal with this, the remote work piece, as well as hybrid workforces?
Lindsay Recknell 07:53
Those are very timely topics topical topics, know what the right language is. But it really feels like SHRM has their pulse on what’s going on out there for HR professionals. Can you talk a little bit about SHRM as an organization? Like how many people are you influencing and how many people do you expect at the conference?
Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman 08:16
Yeah, I mean, well, we actually talked about we influenced the lives of 115 million people. Because yes, we’ve got our members, we’ve got the folks that are in organizations in the workplace. But the work that we’re doing as being the voice of all things work, the individual in the office is not just the an individual, an office, they have a family, they have a spouse, they have friends. And so the things that we do in the office certainly impact those lives. And so that’s why we talk about impacting lives of 150 million people. At the conference itself, we expect to have about 15,000 registrants there. And but you know, overall, when you talk about the folks in the exposition Hall, you know, it’ll be closer to, you know, I’m gonna say 18,000 people that will get into New Orleans. So we’re really excited about that. And, you know, if you take a look at our previous conferences, they’re all even larger than that. So I think we’re in the process of bringing people back. And, and I think this will be a good year that for that.
Lindsay Recknell 09:14
And how important was it to host an in person conference this year?
Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman 09:19
You know, I think it was really important. You know, we’re seeing people wanting to get back together to get back to that normal life, right. And so the learning the networking, the inspiration, I mean, seeing people in person, we did it live and virtual last year, and you can see the energy. I mean, there was just a lot of people like they missed the year before. And so getting people back together helps normalize things. I think it helps again, we talked about mental health and wellness bringing people together in a social and networking environment. I think people have yearn for it. So I think that was an important part of our planning for 2022.
Lindsay Recknell 09:56
When there’s there’s that, that quote I’m sure you’re familiar with it says you are the five people you surround yourself with. And I, I love conferences like this, you know, like minded people and thought leaders to kind of look for more opportunities to hang out with really smart, intelligent people who can help solve the problems that I’m experiencing in my business, but also to, I don’t know, expose me to things that I’m I wasn’t even aware of before. And I think in person, you just get more opportunity for that.
Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman 10:27
Yeah. And I think, you know, if you take a look at the last couple years, HR has really played such a critical role between COVID. And you know, now getting people back in more of a normalized environment, or what this new normal would be, I guess, they’ve quarterbacked it. And so really now bringing back more learnings, more connections, that’s what it’s all about. And whether you’re in person, which is obviously the I think the optimal, and if you can’t travel, you know, because of your business, whatever the needs are, at that point, we’ve got a virtual offering. And so, you know, pleased to be able to provide the opportunity for people to be able to get the content and engage, albeit in a different way, but still be able to participate.
Lindsay Recknell 11:08
That’s awesome. A hybrid option and the way you know, the way of the future, right, the hybrid organization over conference, love it. Is that connection, the desired outcome you hoped participants will get from the conference? Or are there other outcomes that you’re expecting?
Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman 11:24
Well, I mean, I think there’s strength in numbers, right. So actually, having 15,000 or so people attend a conference enables you to find those like minded people, and that 15,000, I guarantee and you’ll find a bunch. And so really, to connect with people to learn to bring those those learnings back to your office, is what people are looking for, I think, you know, enables us to also grow our networks, I think whether it’s virtual, or whether it’s in person, because we enable that those those networking opportunities in both areas, I think is what people also want. That’s one of the things that people tell us in their feedback of conferences is that part of not only is it the learning piece of it, but being able to connect with people, and learning from them, and just kind of a, I guess, feeling the energy of others. And you know, kind of getting engaged in that way is important.
Lindsay Recknell 12:13
I’m a strong believer that hope is contagious. And so when we get to hang out with other hopeful people, we can’t help but feel good in environments like that. And I also think going to conferences, we all know why we’re there. And so it makes it a little bit easier as well to interact with other people maybe less awkward, or, you know, you know, you have an easy in to open the door to those kinds of conversations. So networking feels a little bit less intimidating, maybe for those who aren’t so comfortable in those environments. Right, right. Absolutely. You mentioned HR and the opportunity and how I think as a profession, we’ve really grown over the last couple of years in our influence and our ability to impact and the the way that our organizations are really, depending on our skills and competencies in this space. In your opinion, what has been the greatest of all challenges that HR professionals have faced over the last couple of years? And how do you think the conference is going to address that?
Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman 13:11
Yeah, I mean, I think HR executives and business leaders in general here have faced certainly the biggest challenge in their career to date. And these So over the past few years with COVID, and certainly the great resignation, talent development in that. So there have been many unique challenges that they’ve had to navigate. And I think the workplace has changed. And so some of them, some of the outcomes from COVID. And the impact that mental health and wellness has had. HR professionals are ready, they’ve got the tools that they need. They’re engaged in the business. I mean, I think, you know, we’ve always said that people were important, but we’ve actually proven it. You can’t operate a business without people. And HR is running that part of it. And so I expect that the conference will certainly help provide some of those tools, some of the thought leadership to help people understand better how they can retain talent, how they can develop policies and processes, certainly for remote and hybrid workplaces. And most importantly, again, talking about mental health and wellness. It’s, you know, we’ve actually dedicated an entire day to talking about that, aside from the tracks and the content you have, but we’ve got Arianna Huffington coming and she’s on the main stage. That’s actually a game changer, that I think mental health and wellness isn’t something that you’re keeping quiet anymore about. We’re free to be able to talk about it and in fact, we encourage it as HR professionals, so I think that’s huge.
Lindsay Recknell 14:45
I could not agree with you more being in the business of workplace mental health and mental health skills training. I absolutely am so encouraged by the fact that we get to have these conversations and that big name people are speaking out loud about their own struggles, it gives us confidence to be able to have these conversations out loud. And also for us in organizations to encourage the people, leaders and the frontline workers and all of the folks in our organizations to really care about each other as the human beings that we are, you know, you mentioned, the, the overall wellness of an organization depends on the overall wellness of the humans that work in that organization. And HR has such a such a role to play there. One of the things that I experienced over the last couple of years is, I feel like HR has had it really hard in comparison to some other roles and organizations, you know, having to manage employees having to manage executives having to manage themselves and their families and their communities the same as, as so many other of us and have thrived through through that environment have really come out on top, in many, many cases, really growing, they’re growing their capacity and their skills in those areas. What do you think is the greatest opportunity for HR professionals moving forward?
Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman 16:16
Yeah, I mean, so whether you’re certainly the founder of an organization, the CEO, or head of a management team, HR matters, we said that early right people matter. And I think there’s a absolute recognition for that phrase, he’s like, COVID-19, simply put an exclamation point on that fact. Now, COVID-19 has certainly given a platform to the HR protecting practitioner. In this moment, we have to seize that momentum, not just as HR professionals, but also as leaders. These are lessons here for all of us, not only in terms of crisis management, and employee welfare, but also in meeting business opportunities and transformations. I would say that’s one of the biggest things that organizations have had to go through really transformation of their business model in some cases, and HR was a big part of that. So and you know, I’d say the other thing is, we know certainly from Sherm research that 70% of employees say now that they value HR more than ever before, when their during experiencing the pandemic, and what HR did to support them in that. So HR was their light in the fog, right? It was detailing safety, explaining work policy, providing work life balance, designing solutions to problems, and many of us were doing it on the fly. So we were coming up with those plans, those operations to be able to help our employees because things were happening so fast. And so I think there’s a lot of opportunity. The biggest thing here, though, is that I think HR and people really matter, and we can help drive some of those business outcomes. And, and we’ve done it. So it’s just a matter of making sure that we stay on top of what those business challenges are going forward. It’s COVID is changing, it’s evolving, staying on top of what those policies need to be for the workplace, ensuring that we’re hiring the right talent. You know, Sherm has talked a lot about untapped talent pools before, that’s just as important as it was. So making sure that we’re hiring the right people, and giving people the opportunity to thrive in a role that they may not have been considered for before, but they should be. So I think there’s just a ton of opportunity for HR professionals, and it’s really, really exciting.
Lindsay Recknell 18:29
It is it feels so, so exciting. And to your point, HR should be very, very proud of the way they’ve handled themselves over the last couple of years and how they’ve elevated their profile in organizations and really became go to people for for all levels of organizations. You know, this is this is a moment in time that nobody’s been through before. But I also think that this is just one more change that an organization is has experienced is going to experience. And I think the the transformation of an organization, this is another blip on that kind of radar. And if we can take the lessons from the last couple of years and apply them to the next crisis or challenge that the organization faces. I think we’re going to continue to elevate a charge profile in these kinds of organizations.
Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman 19:23
Yeah, perfect. And you know, I’d even add to that and say that, not only do we have Arianna Huffington, and we’re dedicating the day to mental health and wellness, but our first set of speakers are coming from Humana, the CEO and the CHRO. And so the fact that we’re putting the CEO and the CFO on stage at the same time, it shows us support from a business standpoint of the value and the importance of HR from a people management standpoint is to the business.
Lindsay Recknell 19:50
No, yes. I couldn’t agree with you more. Definitely. I think that’s a change that we’re seeing as well. The strategic alignment the partnership. You know, we talk a lot about HRBPs, HR business partners, but we are actually seeing it at higher levels of the organization CHRO is being elevated to, to the C suite, which is new, I would say even there’s more executive level wellness positions, and DE&I related positions, strategic, really strategic placements of intelligent thought leading folks that are that are being elevated to those strategic positions, which is very, very helpful and very, very encouraging. Is there anything about the conference we haven’t talked about that you want to make sure everybody is aware of?
Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman 20:41
Oh, you know, we’ve talked a lot about the value, obviously, I mean, I think the conferences just, you know, I sort of tell the story of my first annual conference, and I had, it was in DC. And it was, it was a moment where you saw I was purple bags, we have gave people purple bags, as part of it, right? You saw all of this flood of people going towards the convention center. And I have to tell you, for me, it was goosebumps. It was goosebumps, because I knew that we were going to have 15,000 or so people coming together, to share to learn to connect. And that’s something that HR does better than any other function. And so I was thrilled for that. And I’m thrilled to be able to invite people to come to SHRM22 in New Orleans and to connect, to learn to engage and whether you can be with us in person, or whether you’re joining us virtually, there’s a path for anybody here. And, you know, we are your people. We are SHRM, and so we look forward to having people join us and learn together.
Lindsay Recknell 21:45
I can’t wait to be there. You’re giving me goosebumps just talking about it? How do people get more information? Where do they go?
Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman 21:53
To our website at https://SHRM.org.
Lindsay Recknell 21:56
Amazing. And we will have all the links to those places, to your social media, as well, on in the show notes of this episode. Jeaneen, it has been such a pleasure to get to know you. Thank you so much for being here and telling us all about the show and why we all need to go to the conference. i It’s been real pleasure to have you join us today. And I thank you very much for your time.
Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman 22:16
Well, thank you for having me. And hope to see you in New Orleans.
Lindsay Recknell 22:19
You will see me there for sure. I’ll see you then. Take care. Thanks for joining me for another awesome episode of the mental health for leaders podcast. To make sure you don’t miss any future episodes, please go to https://mentalhealthforleaders.com and subscribe to have these episodes delivered right to your inbox each week. You’ll also find all the show notes, links and resources that my guest mentioned on the show and the link to the Guide to Influence and Impact at Work freebie I mentioned at the beginning of this episode. You’re listening to this podcast because you know our people need us more than ever. But being a people leader and an HR professional is especially hard right now. If the thought of figuring out how to best support your people and yourself feels overwhelming and impossibly hard. Let’s talk. I don’t promise I can make it easy, but I can make it simple. So let’s do that together. Go to https://mentalhealthforleaders.com and download the Guide to Influence and Impact at Work now. Until next time, take good care. And as always, call me if you