By Todd Horvath, President of ADP’s Multinational Clients business
Barcelona was the place to be recently as a record-breaking 230-plus executives from some of the world’s largest multinational companies met for ADP’s 13th annual ReThink Global HCM conference.
The influential decision makers attending represented over 11 million employees globally or $3.5 trillion in annual revenue– these are the people who are truly shaping the future of the global workforce.
So what were some of the event highlights?
If you ask the media, the showstopper was International Law and Human Rights Expert Amal Clooney’s appearance at Rethink.
Amal Clooney at the ADP ReThink Global HCM Conference being interviewed by Nick Clooney
On stage, Amal was interviewed by her father-in-law, award-winning journalist Nick Clooney and shared her story of growing up as a refugee from Lebanon and her insights into how businesses can help advance human rights around the world. Her message: Companies increasingly want to play a role in doing good and many customers are glad to support organizations and products that are tied to a good cause. Human rights support does not have to mean lower profits for businesses.
Another outstanding keynote speaker was Laszlo Bock, former Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google® and author of The New York Times® best-seller “Work Rules!” Laszlo spoke about his role in Google’s explosive growth and shared 10 steps any organization can take to transform the way they live and lead. The takeaway– people spend the majority of their day at work and a lot of them HATE working. But companies can make work “suck less” by giving their employees a clear mission to make their work meaningful, trusting their people more and hiring people who are BETTER than them, not just LIKE them.
“Work Rules!” Author Laszlo Bock presenting at the ADP ReThink Global HCM Conference
Other highlights – Financial Times’® chief editorial writer Robert Armstrong shared his insight on how globalization is not going to save itself. His opinion: Barriers to free trade need to be lowered, and terms of trade should be made by groups of countries and companies agreeing to multilateral rules.
We also heard about how companies can make themselves more beautiful and more human from Tim Lebrecht, entrepreneur, coach, and author of the international bestseller, “The Business Romantic®: Give Everything, Quantify Nothing, and Create Something Greater Than Yourself.” Tim’s tips: Do the unnecessary, like granting employees unexpected stock options, and create intimacy between coworkers with small moments that connect them to each other and the corporate culture.
ADP thought leaders also took to the stage to share their expertise including Ed Flynn, the new President of ADP’s Global Enterprise Solutions business and Stuart Sackman who leads ADP’s Global Product and Technology organization. ADP’s Roberto Masiero, senior vice president of ADP Innovation Labs, spoke about the impact digital tools are having on humans and how companies can simplify processes by focusing on the tasks at hand and not the design of the tool. Think about how eyeglasses enable you to read text: You don’t see the glass in the lens, only the end result. The content is visually clearer to consume.
ADP’s Chief Security Officer Roland Cloutier dove into what it takes to defend a company’s global HCM platforms. His tips to help HR leaders sleep better at night: Own your HCM defense, map where your data flows, and authenticate, authorize and audit your data. Roland was also the star of a virtual reality tour of the ADP Critical Information Response Center (CIRC) demonstrating how his team monitors for and collects alerts/incidents and initiates forensic investigations, incident containment and recovery.
The agenda also included presentations from our clients at American Express®, Blackstone®, HMSHost®, Pfizer®, IBM® and United Technologies®. They shared their thoughts on the benefits of building a global payroll foundation, transforming the talent acquisition process, and integrating HR and payroll. It was eye-opening to hear that at one point in time so many global firms were dealing with anywhere from 14 to more than 40 global payroll vendors. The takeaway: Switching to one global payroll solution helped them save time and stress less knowing their data is reliable and their company’s in compliance with ever-changing regulations.
From informative client presentations to the expert insights provided by my ADP colleagues and our keynote speakers, I think this year’s event was a standout. I can’t wait until we reconvene next year to see how much we’ve transformed the way the world works over the next 12 months!