The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), in partnership with the National Academy of Human Resources (NAHR), opened the first-ever Retail HR Leaders Forum with sold-out attendance. Opening keynote Paul Raines, CEO for GameStop Corporation, gave his perspective about how the chief human resources officer (CHRO) can contribute to a retailer’s success, specifically citing four key roles of the CHRO: change management, communication, business partner (to all functions of the business) and advisor/confidant to the CEO. Raines put particular emphasis on “inviting yourself to the party” – making sure that you as CHRO are sharing the knowledge, concerns and issues that you believe are important to the business.
Dana Telsey, CEO & Chief Research Officer of Telsey Advisory Group, followed, discussing macro retail and economic trends and the importance of “people” issues to the analyst’s view on a company’s outlook. The retailers’ ability to create the in-store experience that keeps consumers coming back is clearly critical to the company’s success – and people are the key to that in-store experience.
Employee engagement was also in the spotlight, as speakers from Towers Watson, Kroger and Target covered the latest research on employee engagement and its importance to retail performance as well as how these two companies have tackled the issue successfully.
The afternoon focused on leadership and development, including developing HR talent and teams, development of the CHRO, and leadership development throughout the organization. Critical takeaways included the importance of development and recognition for HR people and teams, who sometimes may get overlooked. Additionally, developing new HR leaders was discussed in depth, including how to address competency gaps for newly promoted leaders who may have gaps in their careers or training.
The day concluded with a detailed session on workforce planning. Laura McDonald, senior director, store operations and Bob Ravener, EVP and chief people officer, both from Dollar General Corporation, explained the need for proactive planning processes in business operations and employment practices.
“RILA, together with the National Academy of Human Resources is so pleased with the response to the first-ever HR forum, which features informative presentations on best practices and an open dialogue for professionals to network and consult with one another,” said RILA President Sandy Kennedy. “As we close out the first day of this exciting event, we look forward to tomorrow’s panels and the dialogue ahead.”
The Retail HR Leaders Forum is an invitation-only event for the top HR executive from large-scale retailers. For more information, visit the RILA website at www.rila.org/events/events/Pages/default.aspx
RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.
NAHR, founded in 1992, is the organization where individuals of distinction in human resources are recognized for exceptional professional achievement by election as "Fellows of the NAHR". In addition, the NAHR furthers the HR profession through the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) Academy and other philanthropic and educational activities.
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