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TalentCon 2019

TalentCon 2019 (Materials)

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TalentCon 2019

Check back for 2020 dates soon!
Conference Held: March 12-13, 2019 — San Antonio, Texas

TALENTCON 2019: The Employee Experience Revolution learn how to strategically design and develop positive employee experiences at every stage of the employment lifecycle to promote sustainable employee engagement, retention, and business innovation.

A growing body of research reveals an irrefutable link between employee experience (EX) and employee engagement and productivity, propelling EX to the top of HR’s strategic priorities for 2019.

Top employment brands recognize that to win the war for talent and counter increasing turnover and disengagement, they must ensure that their efforts to recruit, onboard, manage performance, develop leaders, manage change, create and maintain a healthy culture, and provide exceptional wellness and benefits programs actually deliver a positive employee experience.

If candidates and employees have a bad experience at any of these integral touchpoints in the employment lifecycle, you run the risk of losing them to your competitors—and losing money. But, when organizations excel at EX they are far more likely to attract, engage, and retain talent—plain and simple.

When you attend TalentCon, you will learn how to:

  • Skyrocket the return on investment for initiatives to recruit and onboard talent
  • Create a retention- and productivity-boosting benefits experience that incorporates the latest research on behavioral economics to structure incentive- and recognition-based programs
  • Diagnose and fix your performance management system by implementing proven feedback-collection and goal-setting techniques
  • Develop a continuous listening structure and cross-functional data-sharing pipeline to better inform your talent management efforts and investments
  • Create customized professional development experiences for high potential employees (HIPOs) so they’re continually engaged and you’re better prepared to meet succession planning and leadership development needs
  • Finetune your employee value proposition and brand message so you don’t lose out on attracting talent whose passion aligns with your workplace culture and staffing needs
  • Elevate HR’s seat at the executive table by focusing on employee experience to drive retention, reduce turnover, and positively contribute to your organization’s bottom line
  • And so much more!


Preconference Workshop | FMLA Master Class Agenda

7:30 a.m.–8:30 a.m. 

Part IMastering FMLA Fundamentals 

FMLA Eligibility: Granting Leave When It’s Due and Getting It Right  ** 
8:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m.
Could you be missing critical first steps in managing FMLA leave—determining employee eligibility? A defined, consistent process helps you not only deny leave when employees don’t qualify, you’ll grant leave for a period that is reasonable and necessary when they do. In this opening session, gain new insights on eligibility determinations and recent trends and developments affecting leave. You’ll be armed to adjust policies and practices in 2019 to ensure compliance with the changing regulatory, legal, and practical landscape. You’ll learn:

  • How to determine FMLA eligibility quickly and easily
  • How the FMLA rules and related court decisions define who qualifies as a covered family member
  • How to coordinate leave for workers caring for adult children
  • Rules related to determining in loco parentis status
  • How to coordinate state and federal leave when definitions of “covered family member” differ

Managing Serious Health Conditions and Medical Certifications 
9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.
At the heart of many FMLA leave requests is the serious health condition. The regulations do offer some guidance and allow you to require medical certification, yet there are a multitude of reasons for needing time off. Assessing those reasons requires keen judgment, and this session will show you how to make the right call. You’ll learn about:

  • Illnesses and injuries that may be serious health conditions --  even though the regulations say they generally aren’t
  • How many health conditions it takes to be “serious”
  • What to do if a medical certification is incomplete or unclear
  • Your options if an employee or doctor doesn’t cooperate with obtaining the required certifications
  • When you may require employees to provide recertification of a serious health condition
  • The “do’s and don’ts” of return-to-work certifications

10:00 a.m.–10:15 a.m. 

Meeting FMLA Deadlines: Notification, Curbing Abuse, and Preventing Claims 
10:15 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
FMLA is ruled by deadlines for giving and receiving information, for measuring how much leave has been taken, and for determining how much leave employees have remaining in a given year. A good grasp of timing rules—and learning how to monitor other key areas of FMLA usage—can help you prevent abuse of FMLA entitlements and fend off litigation. This session covers:

  • How to give the four kinds of FMLA notices—on time and on point
  • What to do if an employee refuses FMLA designation
  • Selecting the best type of FMLA leave year for your organization
  • Counting holidays that fall during leave
  • Rules regarding “making up” FMLA leave
  • Handling suspected FMLA abuse without running afoul of the law
  • How to manage employee leave without risking claims of interference
  • How to legally discharge employees who are on or just returned from FMLA leave

Mastering Tough FMLA Issues 
11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
It’s one thing to understand FMLA rules, but another thing entirely to apply them in the real world. For example, intermittent leave seems pretty straightforward, but what about temporary light-duty positions and fluctuating work schedules? Reinstatement after leave? How do you handle an investigation by DOL? This session will show you:

  • How to manage intermittent and reduced schedule leave
  • How to handle leave duration
  • How to calculate leave for fluctuating work schedules
  • Rules on substitution of various types of paid leave for FMLA leave
  • When employees have job reinstatement rights and when they do not
  • Tips on how to effectively manage an FMLA investigation by the DOL

Networking Power Lunch (included with your registration) 
12:15 p.m.–1:15 p.m. 

All Together Now: Coordinating FMLA with ADA, Workers’ Comp, and State Family Leave Laws 
1:15 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
FMLA seems pretty comprehensive, but it’s not the only law that applies when employees need time off for their own serious health condition, to care for a family member, or for other reasons. You need to know when other laws create different obligations—and how their requirements work in tandem with FMLA. In this session we’ll cover:

  • How FMLA and ADA interact
  • Why FMLA serious health conditions are more likely to qualify as disabilities under the ADAAA
  • When you should offer leave as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, including a discussion of ADA leave cases and agency guidance
  • How to offer accommodations other than leave without violating FMLA
  • When you can require employees to take FMLA leave concurrently with workers’ comp leave
  • Recent developments in state leave laws, including paid sick leave, family leave, pregnancy accommodation, and other trends

2:30 p.m.– 2:45 p.m.

Part IIIntensive Workshop Addressing the Real-Life Application of FMLA Rules, DOL Regulations, and Court Rulings

Applying Your Knowledge
2:45 p.m.–4:00 p.m. ** 
In this highly interactive portion of the FMLA Master Class, your faculty of labor and employment attorneys will walk you through a series of scenarios illustrating real-life FMLA issues that stump even the most seasoned of HR practitioners. You’ll discuss case-studies with the lawyers and fellow attendees to determine the correct course of action, based on the facts and FMLA compliance principles.

Recent court rulings, long-standing precedent, DOL interpretations, opinion letters, and regulations—as well as the trainers’ own experiences in advising clients—are interwoven into this engaging afternoon workshop to provide actionable guidance on tricky FMLA challenges facing HR and employers in 2019. We’ll dive deep into:

1. Medical certifications and what to do when:

  • Certification submitted by employee is not sufficient
  • Employee does not return the certification
  • Employee refuses to update the certification if need for leave changes
  • Employee does not submit fitness-for-duty certification at end of leave

2. Intermittent leave

  • Certification of need for intermittent leave
  • Specific information on when leave is needed, expected frequency and duration
  • What to do if an employee uses more leave than expected
  • Abuse of intermittent leave (Mondays and Fridays, before and after holidays)

3. Reduced schedule leave

  • Certification and specific information on reduced hours, expected duration
  • Updating certification
  • Tracking leave time

4. FMLA during holidays and shutdowns

  • How to count FMLA leave during holidays
  • Administering FMLA leave during extended plant or office shutdowns
  • Determining whether an employee on FMLA leave during holidays is entitled to holiday pay

5. Addressing performance issues that arise prior to the request for leave

  • What to do when an employee requests FMLA leave in the midst of the disciplinary process or just before discipline or termination steps are taken
  • Addressing performance issues that arise during intermittent or reduced schedule leave
  • Addressing performance issues discovered while an employee is on leave
  • Reductions in force while employee is on FMLA leave

6. Return to work—what to do if an employee is:

  • Not able to return to work at end of leave (ADA considerations)
  • Cleared to return to work with restrictions
  • Temporarily unable to perform essential functions
  • Unable to perform essential functions in the long-term

Final Questions and Closing 
4:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
Have lingering questions about points raised during this intensive FMLA workshop or want to revisit a fundamental concept or two from earlier in the day? Take advantage of this opportunity to get clarification from the attorneys before you wrap up for the day.

*Agenda subject to change


Day 1  — Tuesday, March 12

Continental Breakfast
7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

Welcome Remarks 
7:55 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

Kickoff Keynote: Why EX Is HR’s Biggest Strategic Power Play Yet
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Presented by: Mark Levy, Allbirds and Backstage Capital

Forward-thinking companies like AirBnB have carved out a game-changing role for HR devoted to employee experience (EX). And, the burgeoning chief employee experience officer (CEEO) position has a critical business mission: to tap into the needs of the workforce as a means to keep them engaged, which is an important driver of employee performance, organizational growth, and talent retention. Whether you have the budget right now to devote an entire job to EX or not, there is much to be learned from those currently serving in the capacity as CEEO. There is a lot to be learned about the shift to EX, including the fact that it should not be a budgetary challenge, and this case study will reveal:

  • Revolutionary insights on how CEEOs are promoting company values and developing a more strategic role for HR within the organizational structure and how small-to-mid-size companies without big budgets can translate big-company ideas into actionable plans to enhance their organizations’ employee experience
  • Tips on what a CEEO from one of the nation’s top employment brands does to get the right people into the organization, regardless of which jobs are open at a given time
  • Winning  strategies for reaching the end goal of better candidate attraction, onboarding, performance management, retention, and employee engagement
  • How their company made diversity and inclusion a top priority—and how it’s paid off
  • A game-plan for jumpstarting EX focus at your company, including tips on how to get the CEO’s buy-in and create a successful transition to an EX mindset and ways of working


The Rules of Engagement for Candidate Attraction: How What You’re Doing—Or Not Doing—Could Be Sabotaging Your Recruitment Efforts
9:10 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.
Presented by: Adela Schoolderman, Expert Velocity and Alexis Smith, Anheuser-Busch

In today’s flourishing economy, jobseekers have the upper hand in many ways—and businesses need to adapt their approach to recruiting so that they can make the process as easy and impactful as possible. To succeed at recruiting, it’s important to pay close attention to how candidates perceive your organization and what their experience is throughout the process. By the end of this session, you’ll have a road map for evaluating how your company’s current recruiting practices are helping or hurting your goal of attracting talent that’s not only right for a given job but is right for your business’s culture, mission, and values. 

This session will cover:

  • How to evaluate the strength of your organization’s external-facing persona—what do you want to communicate—and how—to social media users, website visitors, etc.? And, what does your current persona really say about your company’s value proposition, your culture, and your brand?
  • How candidate personas can effectively be used to attract talent that aligns with your company’s present and future needs
  • The latest—and greatest—ways to create a candidate attraction strategy that’s engaging, easy to use, and stands out to candidates
  • How to walk through each step of your hiring process—from the application process to the offer or the rejection—to identify deficits that could be tanking your underlying recruiting strategy
  • Examples of well-structured candidate journeys and the biggest mistakes to avoid when designing or revising your candidate attraction strategy
  • How to bring your brand and strategy to life in all touchpoints of the candidate journey and ideas on how to break the mold and be innovative with candidate experiences
  • Effective ways to coach your hiring managers and interviewers through their role in the candidate journey
  • How to effectively use communication, coaching, and feedback loops to sustain solid connections with candidates
  • Suggestions on process-improvement committees you can launch to support technology, diversity and inclusion, core values, and core branding improvements 

Networking Break, Refreshments & Exhibits Open

10:10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Onboarding in B Flat: How to Apply Design Thinking to Build a World-Class Onboarding Program, Improve Customer Experience, and Reduce Turnover
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Presented by: Chris Williams, Root Inc.

Onboarding is one of the most important touchpoints of the new employee experience because if you fail at onboarding, there’s a good chance you’ll lose talent. In fact, 25 percent of new hires will quit within the first 90 days of employment if they aren’t happy. The cost of identifying and onboarding a replacement could be as much as nine months of that employee’s salary!  So, if you fail at onboarding, your company is likely going to tank in the retention department too.  That has huge implications for your customer experience. To nail employee engagement and achieve healthy retention rates (not to mention customer retention)—it’s critical to invest in your onboarding experience. It’s time to take the focus off of the process-driven aspects of onboarding and opt for a more human-centric—and strategic—approach that serves your company’s needs and ensures a stellar customer experience, all while enhancing new hires’ expectations. Chris Williams, a Managing Director of Root Inc., has helped some of the world’s largest organizations revamp their approach to onboarding and deliver a clearer, more dedicated focus on creating and sustaining an exceptional employee experience. His Onboarding in B Flat program is designed to unleash the truth about what’s working and what’s not with your current onboarding practices.

You’ll learn to:

  • Apply design thinking principles to your onboarding approach, so your efforts resonate well with all sectors of your workforce—from Millennials and younger subsets of the workforce to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers
  • Consider several types of employee preferences when designing or re-designing your onboarding program
  • Build a strong onboarding experience that sets your company apart from others
  • Align new hires’ personal goals to your company’s purpose from day one, so those employees feel connected, engaged, and pumped about performing at a high level
  • Create meaningful opportunities for new hires to connect with coworkers and managers from day one
  • Design and build a world-class onboarding experience


11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Fixing Today’s Broken Performance Management System by Designing Feedback, Performance, and Development Goals Around Personal Employee Fulfillment
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Presented by: William A. Schiemann, Ph. D., Metrus Group

Traditional performance management approaches aren’t working well—and there are good reasons why.  To succeed, the workplace of today must be more agile and adaptive to business and market demands. This, in many cases, means more frequent organizational restructurings, shifting resources and business priorities, the integration of new technology, and finding new ways of completing work. But, where does your talent fit into this equation? Nowadays, many businesses are focused taking new approaches to goal setting and appraisal systems, but without a concurrent and continued focus on how the company is engaging its people, the new way of addressing performance management is likely to fail because an on-going dialogue about performance is a key facet to employee engagement success. To succeed at performance management in today’s environment, it’s important to take a holistic approach that factors in the personal fulfillment for each employee, and this session will show you how.

We’ll cover:

  • Examples of performance management strategies designed to align employees’ personal goal with your business goals to bolster performance and retention
  • How companies with the most forward-thinking approaches to performance management are helping the workforce attain personal fulfillment while excelling at business performance
  • Multi-generational issues that factor into performance management as a piece of the employee experience pie
  • What HR can do to align organizational and employee goals in a more effective and holistic manner
  • How to identify which skills employees want to develop and find a way to align their development goals with your business needs to optimize their personal fulfillment and your company’s growth
  • How to create a framework for identifying the fundamental competencies and skills for each role—and career mapping examples that show how those skills and competencies can be linked to employees’ personal goals to drive their productivity, satisfaction, and retention
  • The role career mapping can play in your succession planning strategy

People Analytics: How to Develop a Continuous Listening Structure and Cross-Functional Data-Sharing Pipeline—and How to Interpret and Act on That Data to Align with Your EX Strategy (Approved for HRCI business credit) 
1:40 p.m. – 2:40 p.m.
Presented by: Astrid Huebner, PMP, Deloitte Consulting LLP  

It’s clear that making an investment in improving EX throughout the employment lifecycle can give you a competitive edge. But, getting to the point of actually improving your current talent-management system is the end-game—to get where you want, it’s important to take a data-driven approach so you can interpret relevant data and take actions to enhance EX. That’s where people analytics and particularly the concepts of continuous listening and data-sharing come in.

This session will explore:

  • What continuous listening is and successful methods for collecting and analyzing your workforce’s feedback regarding how they’re managed, presented with opportunities for professional growth, etc. to pinpoint ways to improve their EX and your business outcomes
  • How social networking and company blogs can be used to mine for data on employees’ perceptions about their experience at various stages of the employment lifecycle
  • How to strike the right balance so you’re not gathering everything under the sun in way of feedback and how to test whether your feedback-collection process does a good job at providing data that’s relevant and comprehensive to provide meaningful insights
  • How to use direct, indirect, and inferred feedback from performance management discussions and other communications, as well as relationship and transactional surveys, to get the data you need to make informed decisions related to your people
  • The #1 challenge organizations face and how to develop a cross-functional data-sharing and integration strategy to bust through the traditional siloed HR approach to data collection and analysis

Networking Break, Refreshments & Exhibits
2:40 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

HIPO Development Programs: How to Shape High-Potential Talent Through Customized Experiences  
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Presented by: Gregg Thompson, Bluepoint Leadership

Are your high-potential employees (HIPOs) satisfied with the learning and development experiences you provide? If you’re not paying close attention to how you cater to this important segment of your workforce, you’re at a big disadvantage.

This session will cover:

  • The distinguishing traits HIPOs share and how to identify who within your organization is likely a HIPO
  • How to evaluate how your HIPO-development program stacks up against the competition
  • Why all the formal and informal training in the world means nothing if you don’t give HIPOs challenging experiences from which they can build and grow competencies
  • Why it’s important to focus on how HIPOs are presented with opportunities to learn in your workplace
  • How to identify the external and internal factors that shape HIPOs, so you can create customized experiences that align with their professional and personal aspirations
  • The importance of recognizing the difference between high potential and high performing employees and how to capitalize on HIPOs key attributes to develop them into leaders as part of your succession planning strategy
  • And more!

The Collision of CX and EX: Turning ‘Intangibles’ into Impact
4:10 p.m. – 5:10 p.m.
Presented by: Elizabeth Loucheur, YouEarnedIt/High Ground, and Evan Fournet and Cristina Mancha, Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union (RBFCU)
As a business leader, what is more important to you: your customers or your employees? It’s not a trick question – but it might as well be. Companies today prioritize the customer experience in every facet of their business, from how they build products to how they judge success as a company, but when it comes to investing in the employee experience, there's a lot left on the table. While it’s easier to focus on the measurable things that have a clear and direct impact on near-term growth goals, how do we evaluate the intangibles that also impact organizational health? The question becomes how do we put as much emphasis on the intangibles and the qualities that make up the employee experience as we do the customer experience?

You’ll learn:

 The “intangibles” of CX and EX and their value for your organization

  • Qualities of a positive employee experience and how to measure its impact on your customer experience—and your business’s bottom line
  • How to evaluate your employee experience initiatives and adjust them as necessary to maximize positive results
  • How to build awareness for, and ownership of, the employee experience across your organization

Day 2  — Wednesday, March 13


Breakfast & Learn
7:30 a.m. – 7:45 a.m.

Workshop | Culture Mapping Techniques for Better EX:  Charting Your Path to Talent Attraction and Retention
8:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Presented by: Dave Mastronadi, School of the Possible

We’re busting out the sticky notes for this one! A culture mapping expert will walk you through how to evaluate the many moving parts of your company’s culture and where there’s room for improvement. The goal of this intensive exercise is to get you thinking about how to actively engage the workforce to create inspired employee experiences. By the end of this session, you’ll have a better sense of which internal and external activities your company is currently using to sustain a strong culture, which activities you’re not incorporating but could, and how those activities fit into your overall cultural pillars, which likely include your core mission and values, communication, employer-sponsored events, leadership, the work environment, diversity and inclusion, learning and development, benefits and perks, employee recognition, community involvement, and more. And, because each attendee will be performing this visualization exercise, at the end, you’ll have a roadmap on the table in front of you that you can snap a picture of to take back to the office and share your thoughts on how your company can grow and improve your culture and your employee experience.

Networking Break, Refreshments & Exhibits
10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Is Your Organization NORMal? (Approved for HRCI business credit)
10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Presented by: Don Everett, Workforce Interactive

This question may lead many to assume a comparison between your organization and others is in play. However, the question is intended for you to only contemplate your organization, and whether or not your management team has established norms. Norms are informal guidelines about what is considered normal (what is correct or incorrect) social behavior. They are critical because they create dynamics that can strongly affect behavior, and ultimately establish a company culture. Recent university studies showed that top teams have norms. Furthermore, relationships between leader emotional intelligence and team emotional intelligence were analyzed and revealed that leaders affected team performance through their influence on team norms. Team norms are then what influences team performance. This is where it gets really interesting. A study involving almost 100 companies determined that leaders with strong emotional intelligence produced a very positive climate, outstanding performance, greater job satisfaction plus improved quality of work from their whole team. In other words, hire and/or develop managers with strong emotional intelligence who can positively affect team norms, and you’ll be rewarded with optimal employee engagement and wellness levels. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for? So how can we measure emotional intelligence and establish a management team that successfully sustains norms that inspire our workforce in the best manner possible? This session will cover the vital role of emotional intelligence in cultivating workplace norms that yield ideal employee experiences. You’ll learn how to:

  • Effectively convey your organization's core values, strategic vision & mission, and ethical behaviors
  • Develop strategic relationships with key individuals to influence organizational decision-making
  • Reinforce your organization's core values and behavioral expectations through effective communication and coaching
  • Identify specific leadership competencies involving emotional intelligence, integrated with organizational strategy, and the related acquisition, identification and development of key talent
  • Leverage the role that norms can play in successfully creating and implementing leadership development initiatives linked to business strategy

The Latest Strategies for Improving the Benefits Experience, Attracting and Retaining Talent While Lowering Costs – Hot Topic Power Talks!
11:20 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.        

Hot Topic Power Talk #1—Behavioral Economics: Using Neuroscience for Smart Incentive- and Recognition-Based Program Design
11:20 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.
Presented by: Melissa Van Dyke, The Incentive Research Foundation

If your incentives and rewards programs don’t initiate a positive response in the audience their designed for—your employees—what good are they? For years, employment incentives and recognition focused on extrinsic motivators—think cash bonuses, awards, etc. But, if you don’t have a grasp on what really motivates your workforce to act, you’re missing an integral piece of the puzzle. And, if you don’t make it easy for employees to take advantage of what you’ve got to offer, you could lose them.  Consider, too, that big data is playing an increasing role in the future of employee benefits. Data analytics offer employers insights into how to improve their benefit plan performance all while driving costs down. By employing a mix of cloud and mobile computing technologies, many companies are also seeing increased engagement in their benefits programs.

We’ll cover:

    • How to structure your incentive and recognition programs with an eye on behavioral economics, a psychology-based principle predicated on user emotions
    • Incentives, rewards, and recognition in a new way—a way that will help you identify how to design and launch workforce motivation programs to achieve better performance, employee morale, and retention

Hot Topic Power Talk #2—Fostering Stress Resilience to Unlock Workforce Potential
11:55 a.m. – 12:25 p.m.
Presented by: Laurie Warren MSN, Warren Wellness LLC

Paid sick and family leave, smoking cessation, medical screenings, fitness and weight loss program reimbursements—these are just a few of the benefits companies offer to address a growing body of research suggesting employees want more out of work than just a paycheck. Today’s employees seek an environment that fosters their mind, body, and spirit. But everyday stressors often overpower employees, and the negative effects can manifest through anxiety, unhappiness, absenteeism, and a lack of productivity and focus. And, while many employment benefits are designed to be coping mechanisms for stress management, to truly get your employees to a place where they’re able to unlock their potential requires you to think beyond what you can do to help employees managing stress. Through the practice of stress resilience employees are better equipped to handle what comes at them in the course of a day—whether it’s a work, family, or financial issue that’s commanding their attention.

This insightful talk will teach you:

    • The business case for making stress resilience a top wellness-based priority, and how it differs from stress management
    • Science-backed data demonstrating why helping nurture a stress-resilient workforce should be a top wellness priority for your organization
    • How stress resilience works
    • Tips on how company executives, supervisors, and managers can do their part to create and foster a stress resilient culture
    • How stress resilience helps employers and management better navigate toxic employees and situations


12:25 p.m. – 1:25 p.m.

How to Apply Consumer-Based Marketing Techniques to Engage Employees During Times of Transition or Turmoil (Approved for HRCI business credit)
1:25 p.m. – 2:25 p.m.
Presented by: Neil Bedwell, Local Industries

To drive meaningful change requires buy-in and influence from the bottom, not just the top. This session aims to dispel myths about what it takes to engage employees in organizational change—from new vision and values, to new processes and technologies, to structural transformation, so you can eradicate negativity and foster positive change. As change marketing expertsNeil Bedwell and Andrew Osterday explained in a recent HR Works podcast, 79% of executives say engaged employees are a key driver of performance and 90% of HR leaders recognize the value of employee engagement.Research proves that companies with highly engaged employees outperform those with low engagement by 250%. So, if engagement is so critical, why do many business leaders struggle to improve it? The fact is that 70% of employees remain actively disengaged and a majority of HR professionals admit that companies are bad at turning employee data into action. So, what can be done about it? Fortunately, a lot provided you’re willing to commit to a union between marketing and HR. Through this marriage, your business will be better poised to attain markedly improved employee engagement.

During this session, you’ll learn:

  • Why preaching things like “we need a change in mindset” and “we need to change our attitude, people” is likely to sink efforts to smoothly manage changes in the workplace
  • A game plan for sparking impactful conversations with your people about how to develop their suggested approaches, policies, methods, and ideas to support change-based initiatives
  • How to write a compelling change messaging using storytelling techniques to get critical buy-in from your people on why something needs to be done differently
  • How to help your people become “owners of change”—so they feel empowered to work out effective solutions with help from the managerial and executive teams 
  • How to apply consumer-grade marketing principles to drive real cultural change, establish a formidable employment brand, and enhance employee-to-customer interactions
  • How to really put the focus on your company’s most important asset—your people—by treating them more like consumers
  • How to evaluate the way you communicate with employees, and how to tell if your message and methods for communicating align
  • Tips for enlisting the C-suite and HR’s other business partners to adopt your vision for treating employees as consumers to enhance EX—and, in turn, foster engagement
  • How to apply 3 essential human motivations—growth, impact, and relationships—to build a belief system that works

Conference adjourns
2:25 p.m.

*Agenda subject to change

Why Attend

TALENTCON 2019: The Employee Experience Revolution provides a solution-focused curriculum addressing the 8 core touchpoints where you have the biggest opportunity to enhance EX at your company to leverage your human capital to achieve measurable improvements in retention, productivity and, consequently, revenue:

RECRUITING  Fine tune and fortify your external-facing brand to attract the talent that’s right for your organization and create a seamless and successful candidate experience.

ONBOARDING – Reduce the risk of losing new hires during the first 90 days of employment and substantially reduce costs to replace and train their replacements.

PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT  Design feedback, performance, and professional development goals around personal employee fulfillment in a way that also meets business needs.

METRICS & MEASUREMENT  Apply cross-functional data-sharing programs that will help you align your people analytics with your EX strategy.

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT  Nurture high-potential talent (HIPOs) for a stronger leadership pipeline while increasing employee engagement and  business continuity.

WELLNESS & BENEFITS  Use behavioral economics to design and build high-value wellness and incentives programs and help employees better manage work/life balance and everyday stress.

CULTURE  Map your culture and how it aligns to your organization’s core mission and values to identify the cultural deficits that may be causing disengagement and turnover.

CHANGE MANAGEMENT  Apply innovative consumer-based marketing techniques to keep employees engaged during times of transition or turmoil and foster better EX overall.

When you attend TalentCon, you will learn how to:

  • Skyrocket the return on investment for initiatives to recruit and onboard talent
  • Create a retention- and productivity-boosting benefits experience that incorporates the latest research on behavioral economics to structure incentive- and recognition-based programs
  • Diagnosis and fix your performance management system by implementing proven feedback-collection and goalsetting techniques
  • Develop a continuous listening structure and cross-functional data-sharing pipeline to better inform your talent management efforts and investments
  • Create customized professional development experiences for high potential employees (HIPOs) so they’re continually engaged and you’re better prepared to meet succession planning and leadership development needs
  • Finetune your employee value proposition and brand message so you don’t lose out on attracting talent whose passion aligns with your workplace culture and staffing needs
  • Elevate HR’s seat at the executive table by focusing on employee experience to drive retention, reduce turnover, and positively contribute to your organization’s bottom line
  • And so much more!

Why is it important to address the employee experience?

  1. It will have an impact on business: The 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends states that "a strong employee experience also drives a strong customer experience.” By focusing on EX, you can improve your talent pipeline and provide a better deliverable for your customers.
  2. Neglecting your employee development efforts could hurt retention: 40% of employees who receive poor job training leave their positions within the first year, according to a recent go2HR survey.
  3. Turnover is costly: A recent SHRM study shows that losing an employee salaried at $60,000 will cost the company anywhere from $30,000 to $45,000 to hire and train a replacement.
  4. Engagement is waning: Proudfood Consulting estimates that nearly 29% of company time is unproductive – the equivalent of 33.5 days per worker per year. The estimated cost of this lack of productivity tops out at nearly $600 billion per year in the United States.

Who Should Attend:

This program is designed for HR managers/directors/vice presidents, CHROs, talent development professionals, compensation and benefits professionals, and others responsible for managing recruiting, onboarding, performance management, leadership development, and other initiatives to drive employee and business performance.

Your Conference Presenters

Neil BedwellNeil Bedwell
Founding Partner
Local Industries

A digital-native and strategic leader with 15 years running work, teams, and businesses in London, Amsterdam, and San Francisco. Neil Bedwell is a founding partner at Local Industries, a change marketing consultancy focused on using consumer-grade marketing techniques to design and implement meaningful organizational change. The Local team works with a wide variety of clients including Coca-Cola, P&G, Delta Airlines, and eBay.

Neil has been lucky enough to experience life on the agency side - as Head of Strategy and Managing Director at Isobar—and as a client—leading digital strategy and content for Coca-Cola's Global Content Excellence group. His work included leadership of the digital program for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, developing new ways to create and publish content in real-time across multiple social channels and managing global digital agency relationships.

Neil is an advisor to multiple start-ups, a General Assembly Instructor, and a regular keynote speaker on brand-building, storytelling, and marketing innovation in the social age, with appearances at The Adobe Summit, SXSW, IAB Mexico, The Economist Big Rethink, and Atlanta HR Summit.

Don EverettDon Everett
Workforce Interactive

Don Everett is the founder and CEO of Workforce Interactive. After a 20-plus year career in the technology sector with organizations like Oracle, he formed his own company and began providing HR Analytics services whereby emotional intelligence competencies are correlated with operating performance metrics. His organization has assessed emotional intelligence elements of 300,000 applicants and employees, and his firm’s analysis of that type of data helps his clientele enhance their talent evaluation and internal development initiatives. He is certified in Values Science - the social science advanced by Nobel Prize-nominated Dr. Robert Hartman, and the unprecedented methodology for objectively gaining insight pertaining to one’s emotional intelligence. Don is routinely requested as a featured speaker, especially in the HR community, and his entertaining presentations engage thousands of attendees annually.

Evan FournetEvan Fournet
AVP Learning and Development
Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union

Evan Fournet began her career with Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union (RBFCU) in 2003 with a position in Branch Operations. She worked at a branch location until 2007 when she transferred to Payment Services. After a few years she transferred to Learning and Development where she has spent the remainder of her time moving into an Assistant Vice President position. Evan has built a team that produces award-winning training programs for the credit union employees. For instance, L&D was recognized by the Credit Union National Association for an ELearning module that was gamified after Monopoly. L&D also implemented MXP and the You Earned It! program that is crafted to reflect RBFCU core values, and employees have responded with impressive numbers. Evan has a passion for learning and engaging employees at RBFCU to better serve the membership and shows that passion with the programs and courses implemented for RBFCU employees.

Astrid HuebnerAstrid Huebner, PMP
Senior Manager
Deloitte Consulting LLP

Astrid Huebner, PMP, a Senior Manager in the US HR Transformation practice within Human Capital focuses on designing and implementing Workforce Experience programs and solutions for her global clients. With over ten years of Consulting experience, she has broad business transformation experience from strategy to implementation, as well as deep functional and technical expertise in HR technology solutions across the full talent lifecycle. As part of Deloitte’s Workforce Experience leadership team, Astrid is currently supporting organizations across industries to become human centric organizations embedding design thinking, cultural traits and innovative technologies into their day to day to establish, track and maintain a differentiated workforce experience.

Mark LevyMark Levy
Head of Employee Experience @ Allbirds
Employee Experience Advisor @ Backstage Capital

Mark Levy is a seasoned, globally-minded employee experience leader who has chosen to work for big-hearted companies – including Best Buy, Levi Strauss & Company, and Gap Inc. – to unleash the talents and passions of a company’s employees. Most recently, Mark pioneered the design of the Employee Experience at Airbnb, which was recognized as the #1 Place to Work in 2016 by Glassdoor, and which has since inspired significant changes in the way organizations around the world are looking to expand the HR function to focus on the entire employee journey.

Mark has helped numerous organizations enable their employees to help those less fortunate through volunteering programs and community involvement, served on the Gap Foundation Board of Directors, and is currently on the Board of First Graduate, a non-profit which helps those who are the first in their family to attend and graduate college. Mark brings his experience and passion to Backstage to help further our efforts in investing in underestimated founders and to support our Founders in the areas of people and partnerships.

Elizabeth LoucheurElizabeth Loucheur
VP, Customer Success

Elizabeth Loucheur Vice President of Customer Success YouEarnedIt/HighGround Elizabeth Loucheur, Vice President of Customer Success at YouEarnedIt/HighGround has applied a belief that positive employee and customer experiences are not mutually exclusive. As a result, YouEarnedIt/HighGround is seeing exceptional customer and employee retention. Today, Elizabeth leads a team of customer success professionals that serves nearly 600 organizations worldwide. Before joining YouEarnedIt in 2015, she led teams focused on consumers and partnerships at FOX Sports, The Ultimate Fighting Championship, and Comcast Corporation. She holds a degree from George Washington University.

Cristina ManchaCristina Mancha
Sales & Service, Learning and Development Supervisor
Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union

Cristina Mancha has been with Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union (RBFCU) since 2008. She started her tenure with RBFCU working at various branch locations before joining Learning and Development in 2012. Currently, Cristina serves as the Sales & Service, Learning and Development Supervisor. She is responsible for the Sales and Service Programs for RBFCU. Notable accomplishments while in Learning and Development, Cristina spearheaded the following platforms: a member satisfaction program called MemberXP and an employee-to-employee recognition program called YouEarnedIt. Through her own initiative and overwhelming passion for the credit union movement, she has managed to effect change on the organizational level all the while making a positive impact in the community by improving the members’ of RBFCUs economic well-being and quality of life.

Dave MastronadiDave Mastronadi
School of the Possible

Dave Mastronadi has spent his 19-year career helping organizations rethink and change the way they work. He’s held strategy positions at some of the world’s biggest brands and consulted for others seeking to adapt to the changing digital landscape. Most recently, he served as the director of global digital strategy at Samsung where he helped the traditional marketing organization go digital and achieve a cultural transformation at its core. Previously, at Sprinklr and Dachis Group he also honed in on transformation, as he was committed to helping to change—and enhance—the way employees thought about their work.

Joan PetersonJoan Peterson
Vice President, Master Facilitator & Leadership Coach
Bluepoint Leadership, A Simplify Compliance Company

Joan Peterson of Bluepoint Leadership is a highly skilled facilitator and coach with over 15 years of hands on experience working with leaders at all levels and in many different industries. She is noted for her passion for what she does and for her energetic and interactive facilitation style. Her feedback typically includes the words: engaging, excellent, enthusiastic, informative and professional. She is equally adept at working with front line emerging leaders as she is with executive teams.

Joan is noted for her unique workshop design and delivers measurable results by inspiring participants to build on their strengths to improve their bottom line results. Her growing renown as a facilitator is equaled by her growing reputation as a thought leader and a respected authority on what it takes to deliver a learning experience that will last the test of time.

Her areas of expertise include helping organizations, teams and individuals, understand how to lift the performance of others, how to improve team execution by way of innovation and creativity, and how to create an aligned and engaged organization that is primed to deliver on its vision.

William ScheimannWilliam A. Schiemann, Ph. D.
Principal and CEO
Metrus Group

William A. Schiemann is Principal and CEO of Metrus Group, and founder of the Metrus Institute. He is known for his pioneering work in the creation of the People Equity (ACE) talent optimization framework, strategic performance metrics and scorecards, organizational alignment, employee engagement/fulfillment and strategic employee surveys that link people to business strategy and drive high performance.

He has consulted extensively with many major corporations on the development and implementation of business strategies, people and HR measurement, talent acquisition and retention, productivity and quality improvement, and creation of high performance cultures.

Bill is a thought leader, global speaker and author in the human resources field, having written scores of articles and multiple books in the human capital area, including his latest book, Fulfilled! Critical Choices: Work, Home, Life (Secant Publishing, 2016).

Adela SchooldermanAdela Schoolderman
Talent Acquisition Manager
Expert Velocity

Adela Schoolderman is a senior talent acquisition professional at Expert Velocity, a subsidiary of Point B, Inc., headquartered in Seattle, WA. Point B is a management consulting firm, and Expert Velocity manages the firm’s partnerships with independent consultants to help deliver projects on client sites across the country.

Adela has over 11 years’ experience in talent acquisition, specializing in management consulting, technology, financial services, healthcare and retail; in the Seattle market and up and down the west coast. She is AIRS certified and holds a Masters of Human Resource. Candidate Experience is her passion, and coaching recruiters and hiring managers on how to deliver a white glove experience to their candidates is her favorite part of the job.

Since helping her previous company win a Candidate Experience Award in 2016, she has partnered with the Talent Board to bring Candidate Experience strategies and inspiration to organizations across the country. This experience has also led to multiple Customer Experience speaking engagements in 2017.

Alexis Smith

Alexis Smith
Director of Employment Branding & Digital, North America

Alexis Smith is Director of Employer Brand & Digital, North America for Anheuser-Busch, home to several of America’s most recognizable beer brands, including Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra and Stella Artois. Alexis joined Anheuser-Busch as a Global Management Trainee more than a decade ago and has since worked in both the US and Canada across a variety of roles. A marketer by trade, having run brands including Michelob Ultra and Natural Light and spearheading Budweiser’s award winning Budweiser Red Light Campaign, Alexis made the leap to the People and Culture team in 2015 and is now on a mission to manage the Anheuser-Busch and the employer Brand the same way they manage beer brands - with great storytelling and memorable experiences both internally and externally.

Alexis is a transformational HR professional on a mission to reimagine the way employers engage with their workforce. While at Anheuser-Busch she has developed its innovative approach of managing its company and employer brands the same way that it manages its beer brands, both internally and externally. Alexis is frequently interviewed by the HR and workplace media and is often asked to contribute her own original thought leadership.

A true intrapreneur, passionate marketer and employee advocate, Alexis is sure to inspire and provoke creative thinking.

Gregg ThompsonGregg Thompson
Bluepoint Leadership, A Simplify Compliance Company

As a much-in-demand speaker, Gregg Thompson leads his audiences on interactive, highly-engaging learning journeys that are both educational and entertaining. He dares audiences to abandon many of their closest-held beliefs about leadership and to explore new ways of seeing, relating to and influencing others. He confronts audiences with their own biases, judgments and attitudes, and challenges them to replace these with fresh new perspectives and practices. He vividly demonstrates how leaders can make a major shift in their personal impact and use their natural strengths to master the art of leadership. Gregg is the author of The Master Coach written for leaders who understand the impact of coaching on performance and career acceleration. The book is an invitation to all leaders who want to make a significant shift in their attitudes, values and behaviors and become more coach-like in all of their daily interactions and conversations. The Master Coach forms the basis for the Leader As Coach workshop, which is used to equip thousands of leaders around the world with potent, immediately-usable coaching skills.

Gregg is President of Bluepoint Leadership Development, one of the finest leadership training and coaching companies in the world today. He personally coaches many of the most successful executives in the Fortune 100 companies and has worked in 40 countries in nearly every major industry. He has a passion for coaching and leadership that is unmatched, and his multimedia Keynote Workshops are guaranteed to be provocative, inspiring and memorable.

Melissa Van DykeMelissa Van Dyke
The Incentive Research Foundation

Melissa Van Dykeserves as president of the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), where she is responsible for all day-to-day operational, financial, and marketing programs. Over the last 9 years she has helped triple IRF’s research and education footprint.

Previously Melissa worked as Managing Consultant of the Employee Engagement Practice at Maritz Inc., where she also held leadership positions in solution management, product development, and business technology solution management. She also worked as a senior business process and technology consultant for Ernst & Young.

Melissa has written articles for numerous organizations, including the American Management Association and CHRO Magazine, and travels frequently to speak on the topic of motivation and engagement in the workplace. She has been named one of the "Top 25 Women in theMeetings Industry”, a "Perennial Leader in the Meetings Industry”, and was selected as Incentive magazine’s “Top 25 Most Influential People in the Incentives Industry.”  She has authored numerous articles in various publications including the chapter on “Using Non-Monetary Awards to Support Business Behaviors that Drive Results” in the sixth edition of the Compensation Handbook and  “Changing the Compensation Conversation and the Growing Utility of Noncash Rewards and Recognition” in the Compensation and Benefits Review-Journal. 

She has a bachelor’s degree in economics and international studies from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois. 

Laurie WarrenLaurie Warren, MSN
Founder & Vibrant Living Advocate
Warren Wellness LLC

Laurie Warren is a passionate educator, advocate, and mentor who guides individuals and groups to holistically rewrite their BodyMindSpirit® wellness story. She integrates her research and training in functional medicine, neuroscience, biochemistry, psychology, and wisdom with her MS in Clinical & Integrative Nutrition to inform and inspire people to foundationally change their whole-person health experience. Laurie's ability to wrap all of this into a dynamic, thought-provoking, and fun group learning experience makes her a sought-after corporate wellness consultant and speaker, who invites her audiences to challenge the status quo and forge a realistic, sustainable, and proven path toward holistic wellness.

Building off of her previous career in high tech—both as a director of financial analysis and later as a sales executive—Laurie utilizes her deep and wide wellness expertise to implement the health and wellness employee experiences and support she yearned for in her corporate career. Her Unlock Workforce Potential™ curriculum and training program educates, guides and empowers companies to care for and better support their employee's wellbeing. The result is the creation of thriving and sustainable corporate wellness cultures - and more successful companies. Laurie is an industry influencer, speaker and author who uniquely contributes to the pressing conversations and change that the wellness field now requires.

Chris WilliamsChris Williams
Managing Director
Root Inc.

Chris Williams, Managing Director at Root Inc., the leader in organizational change, has a strong passion and expertise in culture transformation and strategic onboarding. He has worked some of the world’s largest organizations on initiatives such as enterprise onboarding, business transformation, strategy deployment, tech integration, and culture change. Chris is a highly sought-after speaker at human resources, learning and development, change management, and onboarding conferences and is considered an “energy amplifier” in group facilitation environments.


March 12-13, 2019 — San Antonio, Texas

Sheraton Gunter Hotel 
205 E. Houston St.
San Antonio, TX 78205
Hotel Website

Room Rate: $175/night
Call 1-888-999-2089 for Reservations.
Reference TalentCon room block when making reservation.
Reservation cut-off date: February 18, 2019

Pricing Details

Main Conference

  • Retail Pricing | $999
  • Materials Only | $399.60


  • $549

Special Discounts:

  • Military, Government, & Previous Attendees - Take an Extra $50 Off
  • Send a Team of Five or more and save an additional 20%! (Your discounts will automatically calculate in your cart.)

Questions on a discount you've received? Please email