Employee engagement

3 Key Takeaways for HR and People Leaders from InspireHR

David Brown
October 14, 2022
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Buy one get two free cowboy boots, Battle of the Bands, custom Bonusly guitar picks, and … employee retention. 💚 

We attended HR.com’s Inspire HR in Nashville in October of 2022 and spent time talking with fellow HR professionals about employee engagement, learning from HR leaders on how to better care for employees, and brainstorming with others on how to build company culture.

The common theme among every conversation, breakout, and keynote was—yep, you guessed it—retention, and all the various ways companies can better care for, invest in, engage with, and ultimately retain, their top talent. 

Let’s break down this common retention theme into three main insights we took away from the event. 🔎


3 insightful takeaways from InspireHR

#1: HR leaders are redefining what employee engagement means

Bonusly’s VP of Product had the opportunity to lead a roundtable discussion around the term engagement. We have seen this word come up over and over again, but what does it really mean? 

In our roundtable, a common hurdle for many HR leaders was how to engage their employees in this new work environment where offices are beginning to open back up, hybrid workforces are more common, and employees are working from all across the globe. The old ways of engaging employees do not work anymore and employees are beginning to expect more from their companies. 

We heard that many leaders are going back to the drawing board in terms of engagement. They are surveying and listening to what their employees want and investing in new tools like recognition and rewards programs to help keep their employees engaged. 

Also check out: The essential guide to employee engagement 

#2: Company culture needs to be lived on a daily basis

Another big takeaway from our conversations was organizational culture. Gone are the days when companies can get away with only having their values framed in the break room and call it company culture. ✅ Employees are seeking out companies who truly live out their values and have leadership who exhibit the company values on a daily basis. 

Many HR leaders are listening to their employees and evaluating their company culture to be sure it is healthy and growing in a positive direction. They are using new tools, like pulse surveys, to gather data to be sure their company’s culture is healthy and growing. 

#3: Leaders need to put their people first

One of the biggest takeaways from the conference was the reinforced idea that the well-being of employees should always come first. This can be practiced and shown in a multitude of ways, such as through a company DEI program and by creating a psychologically safe workplace.

KristyAnne Boyd, the head of people operations at Cruise Automation, shared a framework at the conference for creating psychological safety. It involves four stages of safety:

  • Inclusion safety
  • Learner safety
  • Contributor safety
  • Challenger safety

Boyd explained how psychological safety can be something that companies measure and work to improve. People want to work at and stay at companies where they feel safe, listened to, invested in, and equipped with the tools they need to get the job done.

The takeaway

While every HR leader’s path to retaining their top talent is different, one thing is certain: there is no shortage of tools to help do this. 

The expo floor was full of new technologies to improve the employee experience. Each session was filled with new studies and ways to measure the data to ensure we are making the most of our HR programs. 

We are so thankful to have been able to meet with, learn from, and engage with so many fellow HR professionals striving to better their places of work and better care for their employees. 💚

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