Accelerate 2019

Accelerate 2019

This year's event promises additional opportunities to hear directly from your peers and industry experts on how to overcome your biggest HR challenges.

General sessions

New Orleans' Musical Pasts, Presents, and Futures
Wednesday, June 12 from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

New Orleans is an extraordinarily musical city, the birthplace of jazz and the home of blues, soul, funk, and hip-hop. Black New Orleanians have long nurtured these styles in the face of extreme adversity. At the start of the twentieth century, trumpeter Louis Armstrong arose from extreme poverty and racism to become an ambassador of New Orleans music to the world. At the start of the twenty-first century, drummer Derrick Tabb overcame the allure of crime to achieve success with the Grammy-award winning Rebirth Brass Band. As children, both Louis and Derrick were shaped by music teachers who intervened in their lives and set them on a path to success. Now Derrick is trying to do the same for a generation of kids with his after school program Roots of Music. Prof. Sakakeeny will discuss the past, present, and future of New Orleans music, bookended by a performance from students in the program.

Are we advancing Inclusion & Diversity? Empowering your talent through an inclusive culture 
Thursday, June 13 from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

For years, organizations have been focused on attracting and retaining highly skilled talent from a broad and diverse talent pool. But more recently, organizations are shifting their focus to place equal (if not more) importance on creating a healthy company culture where all employees feel a sense of safety, self-worth, opportunity, and acceptance, and have the ability to bring their true selves to work.

Inclusion and diversity trailblazers, GE Appliances, The Posse Foundation, Seneca Women and Vizient bring their unique perspectives to our panel discussion. We’ll look at what organizations can do to better create an inclusive culture that focuses on creating equity, equality, opportunity and a sense of belonging to attract and grow a diverse workforce that drives sustained financial success.

Insights from industry experts: Trends accelerating HR Tech
Thursday, June 13 from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Riffing on TEDx-style educational programming, these 25-minute, high energy talks will give you the latest on cutting edge trends from HR industry experts including Mark Stelzner of IA and Suzanne McAndrew of Willis Towers Watson. It’s a session you won’t want to miss.

Beyond HR Tech: How to put the employee at the center of EVERY experience
There’s a change happening in the way we think about employees. The competitive labor market, consumer expectations, and ever-shifting work cultures are putting the employee at the center of everything. But with the market’s disproportionate emphasis on the digital experience, employers may be missing the opportunity to meet truly meet employees where they are. Mark Stelzner of IA will present new ways to improve both digital AND old-school analog experiences to build a better overall employee experience. Using market research, storytelling, and his own support of Fortune 1000 transformations, Mark will offer practical approaches to sustainable outcomes.

What Powers Your Ambitions? Why Should You Care?
When someone tells you they have ambition, you say…?  As a human capital leader, you have the incredible opportunity to create every day stories about where business and human goals meet. From new software solutions that better the employee experience to data-driven insights that retain someone who could be your next CEO. But, how do you do that if you don’t have clarity about the ambitions of your people? Or, taking it a step further, are you clear about what powers your own ambitions? In this talk, we will step out of the learning context to reflect on why we should care about what powers ambition. Suzanne McAndrew, global leader of Willis Towers Watson’s Talent business, will share her story and her point of view on the collective opportunity we have to de-mystify what we mean by ambition.

Driving business outcomes through Sustainable Human Capital Management: Keeping employees at the center of the talent experience
Friday, June 14 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

In a world advancing at an unprecedented pace through constant change, the notion of sustainable human capital is helping leaders create a better tomorrow through efforts that improve the overall wellbeing, engagement and productivity of talent, today. Join Willis Towers Watson thought leader John Bremen as he discusses the latest concept of sustainable human capital and how you can best drive desired and measurable business outcomes and keep the employee at the center of the talent experience.

Breakout sessions

10:15 AM - 11:00 AM

Accelerating growth: Pathways to digital enablement: Panel discussion ft. American Water, BorgWarner and MetLife
Digitalization is disrupting and transforming organizations and talent experiences globally in powerful ways. From new product development to changing customer interfaces, to modifying internal environments with new technology, the pace of change is relentless. Yet, most organizations struggle with digital transformation because of a limited understanding of the organizational and human capital requirements for successful digital transformation.

In this core Accelerate session, we will showcase high-impact interventions you can take to drive and support agile and digital behaviors. We’ll explore new ways of working, behaviors and skills and new rewards structures that support your transformation. You’ll have the opportunity to map your current position on the digital enablement continuum, envision the future and create a roadmap for accelerated growth.

Lessons in employee listening: Practical advice from GM Financial and Arizona Public Service on transitioning to comprehensive listening strategies
Not that long ago, most companies relied exclusively on an annual survey as their sole means of gathering employee opinion on important workplace topics. Today, there are a seemingly limitless number of alternative options, fueled by the combination of advances in technology, a desire to mirror consumer-grade user experience, and a promise of big data/artificial intelligence power and insights.

Join us for an exciting and powerful session with GM Financial and Arizona Public Service who will share practical experience on making the transition from an annual survey event to a comprehensive listening strategy including:

  • A review of the core elements of listening strategy and important design and execution considerations including governance
  • Key questions around the value of the large census “event” today and the who, what, when, where and how of pulse surveys
  • How to manage the manage feedback across the employee lifecycle – The role of onboarding and exit surveys
  • The integrative power of advanced analytics, and
  • The role of qualitative data through virtual focus groups

Pay Transparency…Allergan’s lessons learned on the journey to pay fairness
The ever changing global landscape of pay fairness and pay equity legislation continue to put a strain on employers struggling to not only keep up with requirements, but also the demands of shareholder activists. The social media frenzy accompanying this movement has shined a spotlight on pay fairness and led to increased employee expectations regarding fairness, what they are paid and why. Today’s HR leaders are rising to the challenge of creating an authentic narrative around pay and fairness that leaders can embrace and own. Join Kristen Allgor as she shares the pay transparency lessons learned on this important journey for Allergan.

Reimagining Performance Management: Say goodbye to ratings and hello to Touchpoints
Join this session for an inside look at how CACI reimagined performance management and reinvigorated engagement by saying goodbye to performance ratings, focusing on frequent employee-manager conversations, and leveraging Workday to guide and stimulate a highly personal experience.


11:30 AM - 12:15 PM

Setting a foundation for growth, scale and change with executive leveling at Genentech
When business priorities transform as a result of mergers, acquisitions, digital transformation, and shifting competition, organizations need to scale quickly. A consistent foundation for managing executive talent provides much needed stability in times of change.

Join us for a fast-paced session in which we will explore how organizations can more clearly define and operationalize executive contribution. Learn how biotech heavyweight Genentech, a member of the Roche Group since 2009, shaped and defined executive leveling for its leadership ranks and how this set a solid foundation for providing consistency across Roche and its diverse range of businesses.

Simplifying the employee experience through technology with Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric began its journey of communicating its total rewards programs globally through technology roughly 5 years ago. As its global needs and technology changed, there was a greater desire to simplify the user experience from the endless sources of content, vendors and data.
In this session, you’ll learn how Schneider Electric’s Galileo project used a personalized approach through technology to simplify the employee experience to help their employees navigate the HR and Total Rewards universe.

Talent and Rewards for the Future: How National Bank of Canada stays ahead of its competition
As organizations adapt and adjust to employing transient workforces, what are the right incentives to recruit, motivate and retain them? How do leading organizations like National Bank of Canada evolve their culture, their work architecture, and develop rewards that resonate and are responsive to the needs of a modern workforce?

Join this core session to learn more about the current employment landscape including market influencers driving change, and delve deeply into where organizations need to go with their employee experience to create competitive advantage. National Bank of Canada will share their Fail Fast, Learn, Adjust approach, central to the success of their digital transformation and explore how employers are embracing the shift in the evolving workforce, key gaps in rewards programs, and real human needs uncared for by traditional rewards systems.

The power of story telling
You don't need to be an award winning actor to be a good story teller, but on stage acting techniques can help you be more successful at work.

Join us for this unique learning session, in which we’ll offer tips from the stars on creating compelling stories that captive your audience and help you inspire and catalyze change in your organization.


1:30 PM - 2:15 PM

Lessons in employee listening: Reimagining Total Rewards at Corteva after divestiture
As Corteva Agriscience spun from DowDuPont, HR leaders set out to create a compelling Total Rewards program that would be valued by its global employee population and help them attract, retain and engage the talent they needed following the divestiture.

In this session, you’ll learn how Corteva cultivated the rich employee insights they needed from their global workforce to shape a new global Total Rewards strategy and inform program changes using new techniques in employee listening and innovative sampling and analytical approaches to global survey data.

Reinventing Jobs in HR with MetLife
The fourth industrial revolution is bringing unprecedented change, as human-automation combinations create vital competitive advantage, work is optimized and new skill requirements emerge. How are these changes impacting HR and what role does HR have in helping leaders implement automation and reinvent jobs?

Come accelerate your thinking in this core session in which we’ll explore new methods for understanding and architecting HR work in your organization. MetLife executives will reveal their innovative approach for reinventing jobs in HR, uncovering critical work, freeing up capacity, and getting focused on the new and emerging capabilities required.

Rethinking tradition: Skill-based evaluation and pay
Our fast-changing market demands organizations be agile and respond to change swiftly by hiring and deploying employees with specific skills required to support whenever and wherever needed and not just for a specific benchmark job. Whether the skillset is ‘traditional’, ‘premier’, or even ‘niche’, skills have become the new currency for workers today and it’s leading to a resurgence of the skills-based pay approach.

Join Willis Towers Watson compensation experts for an informative session on tracking talent investments and accounting for a skills premium in this evolving jobs economy of new skills and reinvented roles. We’ll discuss emerging trends in job design with an added bonus of exploring next-gen tech that can help you innovate your rewards strategy, and retain and engage key talent.

Winning the [Digital] Talent War – Cross-Industry Lessons from the Battlefield
All industries are chasing [digital] talent from the technology industry and face the same recruitment challenges that come with attracting a scarce resource from the outside.

Join us for this research packed session in which we will explore key tech differentiators in Total Rewards and Employee Value Proposition as identified in the latest Willis Towers Watson research among tech companies. Hear stories from the front line as we are joined by a panel of HR pros from Loblaws, BorgWarner and Royal Caribbean Cruises who will tell their personal tales of success winning talent away from tech sector giants. You’ll learn tested strategies to bend more traditional pay models to reflect the recruitment challenges and effectively win the recruiting war for digital talent.


2:45 PM - 3:30 PM

Career journeys as unique as your employees: Redefining careers at The Coca-Cola Company
In our new world of work – one characterized by unprecedented growth and change – organizations are moving toward leaner and more efficient organizational structures and rethinking traditional career paths for employees. Yet amid this rapid progress, employers are challenged to keep employees engaged when career development and advancement isn’t clearly defined and ambiguity persists in who owns career growth: individuals or managers?
Join us for an interactive discussion with leaders from The Coca-Cola Company who recently embraced the opportunity to challenge and rethink traditional career paradigms within their Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability function. Participants will discuss what defines a “successful” career, how to enable and empower employees as they chart their own career journey, the shifting emphasis on gathering career experiences versus job titles, and the inclusion and diversity implication of the changing nature of work.

Caring for employees who care about pets: Reinventing Total Rewards at Mars Veterinary Services
Mars’ 55,000 Veterinary Services associates spend their days thinking about the 400 million pets of the world and how to improve their lives. So when it came to creating a Total Rewards strategy for these caring employees, Mars knew they had to get it right.

Join us for an engaging breakout with Lubcha Paclikova, Total Rewards Strategy Director who will share their inspiring journey to modernizing Total Rewards for their animal loving employees and accelerate your own thinking about how to optimize Total Rewards for your workforce. Mars will share key learnings in how to better understand the rewards preferences of your associates, incorporate innovative rewards program research into your thinking and maximize return on investment to align with your business model.

From pain in the neck to personalized tech: The digital communication transformation of Northside Hospital
Northside is so much more than a hospital. As one of Georgia's largest & most respected health care delivery systems, Northside is a community of skilled, caring professionals dedicated to the health and wellness of the communities they serve. With more than 15,000 employees, Northside recognizes that each employee has unique HR needs and concerns. And taking care of each employee as part of their community is critical to its success. That’s why Northside is focused on creating and nurturing all aspects of the Northside employee experience from recruiting and onboarding to HR and benefits, career and development for their employees.

Join us for an inspired profile of Northside’s communication transformation, from static, costly, one-sided, paper-based HR communications to a multi-faceted, technology enabled communications strategy resulting in a 50% reduction of calls/emails to their service center, a 48% open rate on their automated emails and an average annual enrollment rate of 85%. You’ll learn how to create a personalized experience for your employees and improve the engagement of your workforce.

The bots are here! Chatbots and the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI has moved from science fiction to reality opening up enormous potential to improve how organizations manage talent and rewards.

Join us for this cutting edge innovation lab to explore the real and potential impacts of AI on HR, including AI myths and facts, interesting applications we’ve seen and how AI may impact your work as an HR leader. Be inspired by how AI can be applied to improving the employee experience and see a sneak peak of our own future plans in the AI category.


9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

Discover how IBM has integrated AI to develop insights for managers and employees to drive better pay and career decisions ultimately providing positive business outcomes 
IBM HR organization was challenged to reimagine its role within the organization and in particular how HR could better support business needs and decisions. 

Join us for an engaging session in which we will explore IBM’s journey in leveraging technology effectively to enable the business.  Learn how IBM is applying AI technology to create personalized career pathing for employees, identify retention risks and the compensation changes needed to retain, and provide actionable insights for managers to make smarter compensation decisions.

The DNA of a leader today: Moving beyond traditional competencies to identify what leaders need to be successful now and in the future given the changing business and talent landscape

It’s time to look beyond competencies and focus on the DNA a leader needs for ongoing agility: to pioneer their businesses, engage diverse teams and diverse stakeholders. 

Leadership teams are operating in increasingly challenging environments dealing with multiple agendas such as accelerating digital transformation, the need to be increasingly agile, and a closer lens on the promotion of diversity and inclusion.  In this session, we will focus on:

  • The Impact that digital transformation is having on leaders today
  • Components of pioneering leadership and being a catalyst for change
  • Bridging the crucial gap between leadership behavior and organizational outcomes
  • Leadership agility and the future of work

The future of the Compensation Committee – Inclusion & diversity at Zebra Technologies
Driven by an increasing interest by investors in Environmental, Social and Governance issues, Board Compensation Committees are rapidly expanding their purview beyond C-suite executive compensation to include a broader range of human capital concerns including I&D, pay fairness, gender pay equity and the overall quality and demographics of the workforce.

Join us for an exploration of the powerful market forces driving this change in focus and how boards are responding to the economic, legal, regulatory and business factors that have led to this “tipping point” in corporate governance. Leaders from Zebra Technologies will share how this shift came to life for this manufacturer and seller of marking, tracking and computer printing technologies, and how management is addressing and improving the diversity, capabilities and effectiveness of its workforce today.

To the brink of merger and back: A high stakes game of rewards, engagement and change management at Humana
In February 2017 after 19 months of planning, the proposed $37 billion acquisition of Humana by Aetna was blocked by U.S. District Judge John Bates, who ruled the merger would ultimately reduce competition among insurers. In this unique “failure” story, Humana executives will share how they were able to successfully move the organization through a prolonged period of uncertainty and change while retaining and engaging key talent.

Join us for this curiosity-invoking, breakout session to learn best practices for managing information flow and messaging across an organization, how resiliency, transparency, and the role of leaders can ensure success, cultural considerations and their impact on the success of a merger, and how to make full use of your Total Rewards programs to successfully manage a complex M&A transaction.


10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Are your employees ready for change?  Capital One shares its approach to organizational readiness.
If you build it, they will come.  When it comes to implementing process or technology changes, it’s not as easy as they said it would be in “Field of Dreams.”  Even if you implement the best technology tools, it doesn’t mean employees will use them.  And the most streamlined process will not improve efficiencies without manager and employee support. Capital One overcomes these challenges by building a robust organizational readiness approach to prepare their Associates to ensure awareness, understanding and adoption, whether it is a technology implementation or a set of policy, process and tools changes.

Join this session to learn about the value of leadership engagement, the identification of stakeholders in a complex environment, and the value of engagement and communications during large scale programs that impact thousands of Associates across multiple lines of business.  Consider how your business may benefit from employing similar strategies to prepare your employee population for both strategic and tactical changes on your corporate playing field.  

Incentive compensation: To benchmark or not to benchmark?
Designing effective incentive compensation plans is hard. One, it’s not something most companies need to do every day (or even every year) especially when done right the first time. And two, it can be difficult to find good benchmark data for plan design market practices. Understanding what incentive design elements can (and should) be benchmarked versus those that do not lend themselves to benchmarking (and why) is a good place to start.

Join us for an educational session in which Willis Towers Watson experts will help accelerate your thinking about short-term incentives including broad-based employee plans, management plans, sales plans and other custom plans. We’ll discuss alternative methods for identifying the right strategy for your organization, especially in cases where benchmarking alone can’t provide complete answers.

Reigniting employee listening
Reigniting trust and willingness to participate in employee listening efforts can be daunting after a break in efforts, or even after prior missteps.  In this session, we’ll hear how The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® took a strategic approach to restarting listening efforts after a two year break, increasing participation by over 50% and increasing engagement across all categories in just 12 months.  We’ll also hear how CBTL is leveraging detailed reporting to support engagement and reduce turnover across their retail store environment.

Total Rewards in High Tech: Balancing employee expectations, cost, inclusion, diversity and equity at Twitter

Many sectors within High Tech face extraordinary challenges recruiting and retaining technical talent, particularly within the Software and Social Media industries. Creating effective Total Reward strategies is at the forefront of both the HR and business agenda, and determining the right mix of employee-valued rewards at the right cost is at the heart of it. Throw into the mix the need to fuel diversity and ensure reward equity across the organization, and the challenge grows exponentially.

Join Dalana Brand, Vice President of People Experience and Head of Inclusion and Diversity at Twitter, for a highly engaging breakout session. Hear her firsthand experiences at Twitter and how she and her colleagues are accelerating growth for their organization through thoughtful and strategic #TotalRewards.

Back to top

Outlook Outlook
iCal iCal
Google Google
Yahoo! Yahoo!