An Oasis in the Desert !!

As I sit to type my weekly post, I am overlooking a beautiful mountain range that encircles the Las Vegas strip.  It’s my first time to visit Vegas, and I find it to be an incredibly intriguing human experiment !!  (That will be for a later post to be sure.)

One thing that strikes me though is that in the midst of a desert sits an endless series of skyscrapers, neon lights, constant movement and a throng of people taking in absolutely everything their senses can endure.  It’s like an oasis filled with people searching for something to refresh them.

After finishing the Ohio SHRM State Conference, I noted another oasis in the midst of a desert. During the hustle and bustle of the sessions, vendor hall, food, SHRM Store and entertainment, people are looking for something to refresh themselves professionally.  You see Social Media usage jump from literal non-existence to a robust life because people have to tell others what they’re experiencing.  It’s great to see people embrace social media, even if it’s for this short burst.  Ironically, there’s still a movement out there at conferences that wants to squish and limit social media.  In fact, one of my friends was attending another State Conference said that they had speakers (who weren’t on social media themselves) encouraging HR to not allow social media.  That narrow look at things kills me.

You see, I think social media is more than a platform for exposure.  Sure, that’s what many people use it for.  However, I think social media is the best method to connect, communicate and curate.  There is a hole in HR people.  They want to connect and become this amazing tribe, but they don’t know how.  It starts to bubble at HR events, but then it dissipates as soon as the event concludes and “real” work starts again.

OasisWe continue to compartmentalize social media as something that exists “out there” and is “for others.”  I’d like to see that change.  To me the first primary function of social media is to connect.  Before social media, our HR sphere was limited geographically both in how far we were willing to go and who we met at traditional gatherings.  Social media allows us to meet others who do what we do and face the same challenges and opportunities we do.  You aren’t alone !!  This is one facet of the oasis that is within your reach.

The next is communication.  Now we have the ability to reach out with the touch of an “enter” button to talk to anyone.  We have no reason to say that resources aren’t accessible.  People want to help each other, but YOU need to be the one who reaches out.  Sitting by your mobile device hoping someone will ask you for your keen and sage advice isn’t going to happen.  Reach out first.  It’s not as risky as you think.

The last piece is curation and it’s something that needs to start happening more.  This is more geared to my friends who are already well-versed and comfortable in the social media space.  People want to hear your voice and the voices of others.  I appreciate that people fill social media with content, but I see most people publish and not push.  By “push” I mean sharing the great content you see to others.  When we get caught up in analytics and how our numbers are running, I feel that we want see how our personal social media brand is doing more than making the profession stronger.

Be the oasis !!  Get information out to people and gather them together so that they are renewed and equipped to be able to do the good work of HR in their corner of the HR universe.  I want you to join me in making social media a platform that is more than just a series of announcements !!

People in HR are seeking the oasis.  Let’s start meeting there.  The desert isn’t really where need to be.  HR practitioners want to gather and come together.  Join me in making this happen !!

7 thoughts on “An Oasis in the Desert !!”

  1. Fantastic post, Steve!

    First of all…how have you NEVER been to Vegas????!!!!!

    In terms of the power of social media to expand exposure, I couldn’t agree more. Some of my best connections and HR friends are online and I only see them maybe once a year. But with social media, I’m able to interact, get amazing feedback on ideas, and reach people I wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise.

    I often joke that I know more people out of state than I do in state…and I love it.


  2. Great article as always Steve! You are at the forefront of this movement and your social media efforts are the only reason I still feel a part of the field after retirement. Keep up the great work! Chris V

  3. Very nice point! Just because you don’t understand something you don’t immediately discount and/ or discourage its use. You explore and learn! And you never stop!

    Thanks Steve!

    P.S. Also amazed you’ve never been to Vegas!!

  4. Roomie,

    Great post! Having been to Vegas, I appreciate your analogy. Being in the group who is somewhat intimidated and to some degree stymied with social media I accept you invitation to join your “tribe”. Need some help in getting me over the hump.

  5. Steve,

    Thanks for the post and for urging me to get out of my “introvert” bubble. Social media is a platform to use for sure!

    Remember, what happens in Vegas….

  6. I, too, am a newbie getting my feet wet with social media beyond Linked In and Facebook! Steve, you always have fresh ideas, ways of improvising to make outcomes more satisfying to all. I guess you could say that you’re an oasis in the vast world of content!

  7. HR wants “to connect and become this amazing tribe, but they don’t know how.” Steve, you do such a great job of bringing the tribe together! Thanks for a great post about how social media can be used to connect with and learn from each other.

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