Conferences always give me so much energy because you get a chance to connect with others, learn a few things, and secure some dope swag.  ✅

Transform was no different! 

So without further ado here are some of my highlights and lowlights, inspired by my friend Jennifer Dawson


  • The topics: from Gen Z to the election year, some spicy convos were being had. I didn’t care for them all but quite a few caught my eye.
  • The PEOPLE: Over 40+ Safe Space members gathered and we expanded our team and met even more dope HR people. I screamed, I hugged, and I dubbed at least 5 my new bestie. Hey, I have a lot of friendship love to give!! 
  • The vibes: I mean Flo Rida and Flava Flav showed up!! It was refreshing to chat with so many HR people who want things TO CHANGE. Sure, there are always folks who are comfortable with the status quo but TBH that wasn’t my crew!!


  • Lack of tangible takeaways. I need to know how something is getting done or else why are we talking???
  • Some exclusionary comments that I didn’t agree with.  The office isn’t inclusive and I don’t think we should go back! Sorry, not sorry. 
  • I didn’t get to meet everyone! I felt like I was constantly rushing from thing to thing and it left me missing out on convos with folks. So, if I didn’t get to meet you – DM me and we’ll make coffee happen.

Every conference has its highs and lows, this isn’t unique to Transform!

And despite the lowlights, Transform was still an amazing 4-day experience. 

Shoutout to all the folks behind the scenes making things happen! Conferences are never easy and it takes a village to pull something like this off. 

Now, let’s dive into my 3 biggest takeaways from Transform and I’m gonna share some thoughts from my peers!

Gen Z and their impact:

So, I’m biased because I was on this panel but this topic is SUPER IMPORTANT. 

I’ve now done a keynote on Gen Z’s role in shaping the workplace and I’m heading back to Vegas in April to talk about this topic again at Epic. 

Why is this so important???

Well, because Gen Z will eventually make up the majority of the workforce, and if you care about culture, engagement, and retention you need to listen to what Gen Z wants. 

If you don’t believe me, the research shows:

  • 54% of Gen Z are disengaged
  • 34% of Gen Z intend to leave within 2 years
  • 1 of 3 would leave without another job lined up


Shoutout to my friends at Hibob who shared this research


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What can HR do??

Check out what Gen Z expert Danielle Farage suggests: 

One characteristic of Gen Z to be mindful is our outspokenness. One way for leaders to navigate this is to:

1. Minimize inauthenticity, maximize transparency: As digital natives who grew up with personalization and advertising, we’re naturally great at sniffing out BS. As leaders, the more authenticity and transparency you’re able to show, the better. This builds trust quickly, and the lack thereof can break it easily.

2. Involve us in the convo: Ask yourself, “How are we including Gen Z – and other diverse perspectives – in our decision making?” Reflect on how you could be co-creating solutions to existing challenges (ex. connection at work, promotions, flexible working) with us and giving us a seat at the table. There’s nothing we dislike more than being spoken for, rather than spoken with.

3. Follow up: Even if you don’t move forward with our suggestions, the conversations following major decisions are extremely important. Like anyone would, we want to feel included, considered, and respected. Approach hard conversations with empathy, kindness, and again, as much transparency as possible.

Danielle Farage, Gen Z Talent Strategist & Speaker

HR’s role in an election year:

NGL, this was one of the sessions I was looking forward to the most. 

❤️ And not because my brilliant friend Jessica Winder was moderating but because this is something that I think A LOT of People leaders are thinking about.  

Not just this year, but ANYTIME there is an election. 

This session covered what HR leaders need to be mindful of as we navigate these waters. 

There’s always a winner and a loser when it comes to elections and that means some of your employees may be elated while others may be devastated. 

And on top of that, we have to put our personal feelings aside and support our employees regardless of how they feel about the results. 

Here are some tips from the moderator herself, Jessica!

So, here’s the scoop from my panel discussion during this crazy election year: You gotta have a game plan for the days leading up to, on, and after Election Day.

No matter who wins, some folks will be celebrating while others will need a virtual shoulder to cry on. Have you thought about offering therapy for those post-election blues? Maybe plan a team meeting for the day after to hash out feelings and get back on track. And hey, let’s not forget to give a nod to the election results as a leadership team – it’s kind of a big deal! And don’t leave out support for our ERG pals.

Bottom line: Start chatting about all this jazz pronto!”

Jessica Winder, VP of Talent Tailscale 

Connection is EVERYTHING!! 

Pictured above are a few members of my community Safe Space! We got together several times during the conference to hang out, exchange ideas and even vent. 

For most of us it was the first time we were meeting in person despite the dozens of virtual hangouts and online chatting we had done. 

In-person hangs hit differently. 

My biggest takeaway of the week? We all need connection.

It was clear from observing everyone that being in the same space with each other and spending time together was making a huge impact on our happiness and dare I say, our mental health?

Check out what DeMario had to say about this!

At Transform HR, we witnessed the power of community.

Many of us had formed genuine friendships online, so it was fantastic to finally meet in person and establish new connections. As a global HR community builder, I felt genuinely welcomed.

The role of an HR professional can be lonely at times, as we are the ones that people turn to for everything. However, we often lack our own support system. Conferences like Transform HR allow us to feel less alone and supported. I encourage people to find communities to foster those connections and support.

As my pastor once said, “You don’t need folk until you need folk.”

DeMario Bell, Senior Community Manager Culture Amp 

What’s next:

Next week I’m back with my regularly scheduled content to wrap up this quarter all about performance, expectations and goals. 

I cannot believe this quarter is almost over!

More on that next week, until then I’m climbing back under my covers and avoiding human contact for a few more days. 

Hebba Youssef
Hebba Youssef

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