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5 Things We Learned from the First-Ever HR Learning Festival

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What do you do when you have a department of employees telling you they’re looking for additional growth and development opportunities? Well, if you’re Groupon’s HR Pulse Taskforce, you spring into action and start planning. And thus, the HR Peer Learning Festival was born. 

The HR Peer Learning Festival took place from May 9th - 20th and provided Groupon’s People Team the chance to hear from colleagues across the organization about the areas of HR in which they work. 

You had to be there, but we did our best to recap five of our favorite moments from the two-week festival below. Read on to capture some of the magic! 

1. Groupon’s Chicago HQ used to be live streamed to

A Thursday session during the festival’s first week dealt us a true #TBT as HR members who have been at Groupon for 10+ years shared their favorite stories about what it was like to work here “back in the day.” The tidbit surfaced thanks to Sr. Recruiting Manager Courtney M., one of Groupon’s first 100 employees. 

To be clear, we don’t do that anymore. But it sure was a trip down memory lane!

2. How to Conquer Excel, once and for all. 

HR is a melting pot of skills, talents, and roles. From recruiting, to compensation, to people analytics and more, there’s something for everyone - whether you’re a “math person” or “decidedly not a math person.” For those who are “decidedly not a math person” and have never really needed to dig into Excel, Sr. Compensation Manager Michael F. hosted an “Excel Tips and Tricks” course. Attendees left knowing how to do pivot tables, vlookups, if/match, and other mind-blowing and time-saving tricks. 

3. Self-care is just as important for HR professionals as it is for anyone else - and being “Skinfluenced” is actually a part of our business. 

Director, HR Jenny S. lead an engaging session during the festival’s second week around the topic of "Self Care for HR Professionals." Groupon’s People Team works tirelessly to recruit, develop, enable, engage, grow, and reward the people who guide our business forward. Because of that, we all need some self-care in our day-to-day routines. Sure, Jenny is a legend around the halls for her glowing skin, but what we most appreciated from the session is how she brought it all back to our strategy around beauty and wellness, plus all of the amazing Groupon deals out there for skincare sessions. #TreatYoSelf

4. Some of us were born to be in HR. Some of us ended up here by happy accident.

Several sessions throughout the week allowed members of the People Team to speak about their career paths and how they ended up in a role in HR. Sessions like “A Day in The Life Of…” and “Senior Human Resources (SHR) Team Panels” taught us that there’s no one straight path to the HR organization. For example, Recruiting Manager James A. always knew he wanted to go into recruiting. But Doug B., Global Head of Compensation and Benefits, and Melissa S., Global Head of Talent Development, both obtained engineering degrees before they realized their passion for people-centered work. 

5. Groupon’s People Team knows how to make life less boring.

Ok, maybe we already knew this one. But it became more than apparent during the second Thursday of the festival, dubbed “HR Appreciation Day.” In honor of the day, lunch was on the HR Pulse Task Force, and Grouponers were encouraged to meet up with their local colleagues. From Dublin to Southern California, we loved seeing pictures of #TeamGroupon having fun! 

But then (cue dramatic music) the London HR Team met up not only for lunch. No, there was a whole scavenger hunt around the city involved. Planned by Sr. HR Business Partner Jacques W., scavenger hunt checklist items involved “Group selfies outside of a current Groupon Merchant,” “Explain Groupon to a stranger who has never heard of it,” and “Longest Congo Line.” 

There was so much more learned at the festival than we even got to cover - public speaking, how Groupon’s finances work, and internal internships, just to name a few. Because of the festival, Groupon’s People Team is coming into the summer refreshed and recharged (with extra thanks to the HR Half Day on the last Friday of the festival), engaged, and ready to enable employees to fulfill Groupon’s mission. 

Special thanks to Groupon’s HR Pulse Task Force for their hard work - none of this would have been possible without them!

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