• Never Change Steve Browne

    Steve Browne in HR Magazine

    Steve Browne in HR Magazine

    Do you know Steve Browne?  One of his annual goals is to make sure that he meets everybody at the Annual Conference.  He is serious about this, he would really like to do that.

    Steve has been my friend for a long time, I think since 2009 to be exact. Steve has helped me grow my circle of friends, and in a smaller way I like to think that I have done the same for him.

    Steve has been active in the HR community for many years. He has given back so much to the profession and to his friends.  He has moved through the ranks of local SHRM chapter official, Ohio State Council, MAC rep and now as member of the Board of Directors of SHRM.

    Steve has maintained his humble roots and is still the engaging, funny inspiring HR guy he has always been.  He now has his FIRST Book published called Practicing HR on Purpose.  There is also a big spread in Jun/July Issue of SHRM Magazine featuring Steve and his new book.

    Steve will also be presenting a session at the annual conference and I bet the room will be packed,  and the doors shut,  meaning no one else can come in.

    Steve is still looking to change the world. We want to break down barriers, connect with everybody and dress the world in ty-died attire.

    He is also a wonderful father, husband and all around family guy.

    Through all of this, Steve has managed to keep his humility and be the same guy all of his friends know and love.  I am proud to call him my friend.

    Rock on dude!!

  • Happy TK Day

    Tiffany Kuehl is one of the greatest people that I know.   She is a fabulous friend,  a wonderful mom, a great wife,  a special daughter, a consummate Human Resources professional and simply the best friend a person could have.  I am truly blessed to have TK in my circle of friends!!

    I first met TK on line and later IRL (in real life) as we like to say on line at a SHRM event in Washington.  Currently, Tiffany and I are headed down a path of SHRM State Director together.  She will be in this role in her home state of Minnesota and me in Illinois.   We have spent a lot of time at numerous SHRM events and have come to be besties.

    Tiffany was with us on the PIC team, but based upon other demands in her life, she felt that she could not continue that commitment and bowed out.  Nonetheless, we all still love her dearly and wanted to make this day special for her.

    Those of us who are Facebook friends with Tiffany see how involved she is in EVERYTHING!

    If you don’t know TK, you should have her in your network, IMO.   You will be a better person because of it!!  Here are some pics of my pal in her conference element.

  • MOSHRM15 Wrap Up

    The Missouri SHRM State Conference for 2015 is over.  For those who attended there is always the melancholy feeling when a big event is over.  The build up to these things is S-O-O-O big that the let down afterward is bound to be similarly sized.  This was my first opportunity to attend MOSHRM and I was in awe of the entire event. It came off flawlessly! That said, tip of the hat to conference planner Lori Maher, you, your staff and volunteers are to be commended for a job well done!

    Some other details about the event include me and my co-presenter Donna Rogers.  Our HR Department of One program seemed to get good reviews.   We hope the fact that this is the fourth time we have spoke on the subject, it will give rise to this area getting more attention.  My friends who are running the small shop #HR are dying for more attention and content; so SHRM National and SHRM State Councils take note as  you have an underserved market.  As Donna and I point out, from SHRM, 48,000 of the 280.000 (17.1%) members are sole practitioners.

    Count of #MOSHRM15 tweets by day.

    Count of #MOSHRM15 tweets by day.

    In addition to being a speaker at the event, I was also part of the Social Media Team for the event.  So I did my best to keep the tweet stream rolling, while posting some content on Facebook as well. Based upon the graph it looks like the team did a good job with twitter.

    I attended all of the keynote sessions as well as several breakout sessions.   The breakout session seemed to average about 100 attendees per session.   I attended a couple that were very interactive with a lot of audience participation and then several others that were more lecture format. At a conference this size I think a mix of the two works very well.

    Another thing I enjoyed was the Thursday night Karaoke event.  MOSHRM was not a commuter conference.  The attendees that came were staying at the Tantara Resort and were a captive audience. Based on my non-scientific observation I would guess that 200-300 people attended the event over the course of the evening. The drinks were good and the music was fun. Unlike myself several of the folks at this event were darned good singers, so they were fun to watch perform.

    Big Jason rocking the attendees world at MOSHRM15

    Big Jason rocking the attendees world at MOSHRM15

    In terms of takeaways the most impactful session for me was Thursday’s keynote addressJason Lauritsen presented some great material on employee engagement.  Personally my biggest takeaway was the three line mantra that he made his participant repeat…

    “Uncertainty kills engagement”

    Think about that.  That is powerful, simple, direct and to the point.  Jason went on to explain further to give “CLARITY” to those things that are or seem to be somewhat uncertain.

    This advice was wrapped in the context of a presentation about Best Places to Work. All of those who I spoke with who attended the session told me they found it to be quite applicable to what was going on in their workplaces.

    I talked to know no one at the event who had anything bad to say. In fact nearly everyone in attendance had rave review.

    #MOSHRM15 is in the books and by any measure I can come with was a huge success.  I was happy to get to be a part of the event.

    So from DaveTheHRCzar a big thanks to the conference planners, attendees,  exhibitors and presenters!

  • A Doctor at an HR Conference

    When you attend a SHRM State Conference there is always the obligatory Exhibit Hall where the Vendor eagerly await the arrival of the buyers of HR Services and Products. Missouri SHRM is no different than any other state conference with their mix of vendors. They run the gambit from insurance providers to background checking vendors to payroll providers.   The one that caught my eye on my first trip through was Orthopedic Associates of St. Louis, MO.

    Dr. Byler at the OA Booth in the exhibitors hall.

    Dr. Byler at the OA Booth in the exhibitors hall.

    I was curious to know, what were the marketing opportunities, for this clinic, at the Missouri SHRM State Conference.  So I introduced myself to Dr. Cynthia Byler, DO, MPH.  Dr. Byler is one of the physicians with the clinic. We chatted for a bit and she explained to me why the firm was exhibiting at MOSHRM.

    In response to the question why are you here?  Dr. Byler said want to help employers accommodate their injured workers get the proper diagnosis, so that Companies can return their workers to the job as quickly as possible.  MOSHRM is a way to get in front of the HR folks who are charged with managing and taking care of these injured workers.

    Dy Byler’s specialization is Occupational Medicine.  I asked her what is different about an Occupational Medicine Physician and any other MD? She said one thing we try to do is address causation.   We do our best at trying to get the injured worker back to work as quickly as possible.  Dr. Byler says she has gotten to know the jobs of many of her clients.  She said she has UPS as a client.  To understand exactly what their drivers’ do she has donned a brown uniform and ridden along with them.  Dr. Byler says this has helped her build credibility with those employees who know she tries hard to understand exactly what the jobs consist of, and the work that is actually accomplished.

    Dr. Byler said part of her mission in attending MOSHRM is to help educate the attendees so they can understand that occupational injuries may be far different than other injuries.  She pointed out that Occ Med doctors will try to return injured workers to work as quickly as possible.  She said they also aware of medications that employees are taking and how this could affect the workplace. Further, she said Occ Med Doctors understand OSHA recordability of accidents and the importance of timely follow up.

    Dr. Byler said that attending the MOSHRM conference also gave her and people from her practice an opportunity to gains some new clients and network with the other vendors who are participating in the event.

    However in wrapping up she said their main reason for participating in the event is to educate the attendees to make them smarter thus helping them improve their bottom lines.  Dr. Byler said the world has become a specialized place, there is a need for what we do and that’s why we exist.

  • MOSHRM15 Bound

    Tomorrow I am leaving to attend the Missouri SHRM State Conference.   I am attending in a dual purpose capacity; I am both speaking and am part of the Social Media Team. I love both of those roles but to get to do both makes me feel blessed. In my personal life I have been very busy in the month of July. July found me in Las Vegas, Phoenix, St. Louis, Ft. Wayne, Memphis, and Chicago and with a little time in Springfield, IL where I call home.

    Donna and Dave at Illinois SHRM

    Donna and Dave at Illinois SHRM


    While I have been preparing with my Co-Presenter Donna Rogers for our session, I feel somewhat remiss in not booking up more on the conference. Well, better late than never as we say. So over the weekend I got the #MOSHRM15 app downloaded and got to pursue the offerings.


    This is a fabulous line up of speakers and topics. I have seen a number of folks speak who are on the agenda. MOSHRM is offering up some the best and the brightest in the #HR space. The folks listed below are all friends of mine and are great speakers. I will vouch for their ability to wow you with their HR prowess.

    • Ryan Estis
    • Donna Rogers
    • Jessica Miller Merrell
    • Craig Fisher
    • Jason Lauritsen
    • Meredith Nethercutt
    • Don MacPherson

    Now this is not to say that the other presenters are not equally good, or maybe even better as I have not seen them present. No matter who you pick to see MOSHRM has put together a great line-up.

    While at the conference, I am going to challenge myself. I am going to attend one session on a subject that I shy away from or simply am not interested in, why, so I can learn a little more about the matter. I am also going sit with a bunch of people I don’t know, why, so I can meet more new people and grow my network. And lastly, I am going have a ball, smiling, chatting, listening, and learning all the while I am hanging out at a beautiful resort with a bunch of people who are jacked-up to be in Human Resources!

    See you Wednesday!

  • Washington Update

    Yesterday I had a chance to listen to Mike Aitken, SHRM’s VP of Government Affairs, spend an hour and 15 minutes going over what is going on in Washington DC.  Suffice it to say, for those of us dealing with complying with all of the rules and regulations from the myriad of government agencies, we have a lot coming our way!
    There are BIG changes coming regarding the FLSA.  The word today was either this week, or if not this week it will be sometime before Congress goes home in August. These changes have to do with Supervisor exemption status, pay and job duties. Some major issues for employers.
    Mike also talked about changes in the Americans with Disabilities Act,  rule changes at the EEOC, and NLRB rule changes.  All of this VERY pertinent to anyone in HR.
    This got me to thinking about SHRM’s overall legislative efforts.  We are seeing a number of administrative changes taking place in government which are not favorable to most business.  All the while SHRM and other lobbying entities are doing what they can to help shape this legislation into something more favorable to business.   They are in Washington to be our eyes and ears.  In my opinion SHRM serves a serious accountability prospective. Imagine what this would be like without someone there looking out for our collective interests?
    SHRM is our voice in government.  To date this year SHRM has been contacted more than 40 times by different government agencies, requesting SHRM’s position on an issue.   SHRM members have testified three times before Congress.  Twice a year member go to Capitol Hill to personally lobby members of Congress.
    All of this does have an impact, SHRM members can and do help shape public policy and laws.  If you are interested in doing more there are many ways that you can be involved.  If you simply want to learn more there are many opportunities for you do that or you can get into an even more active role.
    I speak from experience, having developed a relationship with one Congressman and having him visit our place of employment. Sadly he quit and I have to  start over, but that’s how it works.
    So to wrap this up, know that SHRM is on point for it’s members when it comes to government relations, and you can be a part too!


  • Think of the Expo Hall as Disney World

    You are attending the SHRM 2015, it is imperative that you plan some time to visit the Expo Hall.  I suggest you do this on the front -plan – when you are going to do this. Perhaps you might make an appointment on your calendar “Visit Expo Hall”.
    2014-06-23 11.21.32Even if you have attended the Annual Conference before you should  have a plan for The Expo Hall visit. It would seem to me that you would be visiting the hall for one of several reason, so depending upon your motivation you will want to plan accordingly.
    Some people are in it simply for the swag – the free stuff! Others are looking big picture and trying to grasp what is the latest and greatest in HR, what is or is soon to be the buzz.  I myself have attended with this objective, I want to see all of the vendors that I can that sell a particular service or product.  You might also want to meet face to face with a representative of a product that you currently are using, but are facing some challenges or anticipated changes. Or, you may have some very special reason of your own for attending.
    So assuming you have figured out the why, I suggest the next thing is the  who.  Who do you want to see? This is where the conference app can be a huge help.  Use the app to search and find those vendors  you wish to visit.  Check them off in your app, and bam you are ready to hit The Expo Hall Floor.
    I try to be an organized  person so I tend to do things in this fashion, with a plan. However, don’t let that stop you from immersing yourself in what is going on.  Be sure to simply wonder around,  talk to the vendors who are friendly or appear to have an interesting product or service.  Check out new vendors.  If you use ADP for payroll this might be a great opportunity to see what other companies offer.  If you use Paychex or another payroll provider, this might be a great time to see what ADP has to offer.  (I picked on ADP because they are the biggest, toughest kid on the block.)
    In case you don’t know this, if you talk to a vendor, do expect them to call you. This is ok, because that is why they pay SHRM a lot of money to get in front of people like you and me.  If you have no interest, or are not the right person to purchase the product or service, simply let them know, and the sales person should respect this,
    In trying to keep this short and to the point, remember The Expo Hall is like Disney World;  don’t walk in the park and spend all of your time shopping in the shops on Main  Street.  Visit those rides and attractions you came to see!
    The Expo Hall opens at 4 PM on Sunday and   you will find free drinks there!  Have a great conference!
  • Meet Tiffany Kuehl at SHRM 15

    I recently ran a post about my top ten reasons for attending the SHRM 2015 (aka #SHRM15) annual conference.  This got me to thinking about other folks and got me to wondering why others attend.  So, I contacted some of my friends and asked them.  For the next several days I am going to post up their comments at to why they are attending.  Today is day five and we are going to hear from a really, really good friend of mine Tiffany Kuehl.


    Tiffany is all over the place when it comes to conferences, SHRM, Social Medai, HR, motherhood and Minnesotaism (I made up the last one). Tiffany is sought after for her knowledge, skill, her social media cache among other things.  So what I am say is this, you can take Tiffany’s comments to the banks. If she said It – it’s true! BAM!


    So I asked her why do you attend this event Tiffany? This is what I got.

    1. First and foremost is for the networking, as well as to connect with people outside of my organization.  Tiffany said that attending this event allows me to connect with people from very small organizations to fortune 500 companies and I can’t do that sitting at my desk.  It also allows me to hear what others in the field of recruiting are up to, and what problems and challenges they are managing.
    2. For the second reason Tiffany said I have been a local SHRM volunteer for 12 years – as the president of my  local chapter I got to meet other volunteer leaders, as well as people from other states and even other countries.  We share stories of struggles and successes in our role as volunteer leaders.  It is most informative to compare notes and learn how other mega chapters are handling various topics. The annual conference is such a different venue than any other state conference no matter how good it may be.
    3. Thirdly Tiffany said is about professional development, with the caveat that It is not about the credits, it is about staying current and knowing what is going on in the industry. I can go back to my work place and say yes we are doing the right things, or here are some of the things that we should be doing. While it is not the be-all end-all, it is a great gut check, to see if things are getting done right. But you can’t get this stuff without getting out of the office.   You can get some of this from your local groups, if you have them as a resource, however you can’t get all of what you get from walking through the expo hall and seeing what is cutting edge technology in the HR business. In the hall you can find vendors for anything and everything all in one place.

    In closing Tiffany remarked, that at the show, you make friends, and you hang out with old friends. In some respect the SHRM Annual Conference is like a reunion – exactly what Steve Browne said earlier in the week.

    You can connect with Tiffany on Twitter, or on LinkedIn and you can find blogs posts from here at Performance I Create

  • Meet Brad Galin at SHRM 15

    I recently ran a post about my top ten reasons for attending the SHRM 2015 (aka #SHRM15) annual conference.  This got me to thinking about other folks and got me to wondering why others attend.  So, I contacted some of my friends and asked them.  For the next several days I am going to post up their comments at to why they are attending.  Today is day four and we are going to hear from Brad Galin.

    BradGalinTwitter Header

    Brad Galin is an HR guy who has done a lot of work in the public sector. Brad has been involved in social media since 2009ish.  While Brad may reside in Michigan currently, he is most well known in SHRM circles for his contributions to Indiana SHRM (it’s a long story).  Brad currently works in HR for a Michigan School district.  Brad is one of the Veterans on the Conference scene.  I caught up with him and asked him what it is about the SHRM National Conference that really trips his trigger.  These are his responses.

    • Seeing the speakers both the keynotes and the breakouts is one of the things I enjoy the most. I always try to see a speaker I don’t know and listen to them speak about something that is not in my wheelhouse. I like to challenge myself to do this. This year I am looking forward to seeing Marcus Buckingham.   When asked how this works out for him, Brad said sometimes good and other times not so good. In Chicago, I went to a Master Series to see an author who had received great acclaim. I was expecting more and was somewhat disappointed.  He said maybe I was not in the mood for his message. Brad continued though, saying last year in Orlando I attended a concurrent session on legal matters, the speaker was ok but the content was very great.
    • Reason number two to attend –The SHRM Store. Brad says it is not just because of Andy and Vince, I am a voracious reader and it allows me to obtain some new books that I may have overlooked which adds to my annual reading list. Even though I get to peruse the bookstore at the SHRM leadership conference and INSHRM those versions of the SHRM book store do not rival the bookstore at the big show.  (Note regarding the bookstore, if you do not know Andi Cale or Vince Caldwell stop by the bookstore and meet them. They are two people in SHRM that it is imperative that you know, and they are genuinely nice folks.)
    • The third reason Brad enjoys attending is this. He says he likes getting to reconnect in person with all of the people that he knows and has met over the years . Brad said he was looking at the blogger list, and I know personally and have met all but three of the folks on the list.

    Wrapping up our conversation Brad said that this is my first trip Vegas.  Being the roller coaster nut that I am I going check out all of the stuff that Vegas has to offer when it comes to coasters.  Be sure to connect with Brad on Twitter, on Linkedin  or visit his aptly named blog site Roller Coaster HR.

  • Meet Kristina Minyard at SHRM 15

    I recently ran a post about my top ten reasons for attending the SHRM 2015 (aka #SHRM15) annual conference.  This got me to thinking about other folks and got me to wondering why others attend.  So, I contacted some of my friends and asked them.  For the next several days I am going to post up their comments at to why they are attending.  Today is day three and we are going to hear from  Kristina Minyard.


    Kristina a.k.a. “Hutto” Minyard is one of our younger SHRM Members “YP” (young professionals take note).  She is back for a repeat engagement on the SHRM Social Media team.  This year’s conference will be her third – having attended both #SHRM14 in Orlando and #SHRM13 in Chicago.  I visited with Kristina and asked her about attending this year’s event.  So Kristina and I talked about the upcoming conference, and she shared with me some of her thoughts on why she is stoked about attending.

    Asked why she wanted to attend the event, Kristina gave me her big three reasons for attending …

    • Kristina said she is stoked to get exposure to the higher level topics. At our local chapter the topics are mid level and often very general. At the national level, you can pick from whatever you want to attend.  Kristina said she is helping to prepare herself  to be doing higher level HR, in the future. Kristina said last year she attended a Global HR session with Heather Kinzie and Joan Ginsberg.  She said the content of the session was great, but she was really intrigued in chatting after the session as all three of them had significantly different takeaways from the session.
    • The second reason that Kristina sees value in attending is – Networking. She said, it is easy for me to meet people in my area, but I never even thought I would need a network beyond my home state.  The people I have met outside of my area have helped me to learn more about HR and are part of my network that I can call upon if I ever have questions or am looking for a little help on a specific subject.
    • The third reason that Kristina enjoys attending she says is because it is a great place to get away from the work place and re-charge. It allows me to get away from the day to day stuff which helps reinvigorate me. When I come back to my workplace I am revved up and ready to go again. Sometimes the events of the workplace can get to you, but the conference gives you new energy.

    You will be able to find Kristina in the bloggers lounge from time to time.  She says she will be tweeting a lot during the keynotes.  She says she is going to be putting out a lot of content on  Instagram,  during the conference.  Also,  she  wants to talk to more people to see what their key take aways are, which will no doubt make for some good blog posts.

    You can read Kristina’s blog post at her site HRPockets, you can also follow Kristina on Twitter and LinkedIn.

  • Meet Steve Browne at SHRM 15

    I recently ran a post about my top ten reasons for attending the SHRM 2015 (aka #SHRM15) annual conference.  This got me to thinking about other folks and got me to wondering why others attend.  So, I contacted some of my friends and asked them.  For the next several days I am going to post up their comments at to why they are attending.  Today is day two and we are going to hear from the omnipresent Steve Browne.


    Steve Browne is an enigma – he is a great guy too.  Steve is from Ohio and is died in the wool SHRMie who bleeds blue.  Steve has been an outspoken leader for quite sometime.  If you have not met him I would encourage you to do so, he is knowledgeable about HR, he loves HR, he is a great father and husband and he chews with his mouth shut – what more can I say.

    Steve’s top three reasons that he enjoys attending the SHRM Annual Conference are this.

    • Steve likes to talk, and talking/speaking is something that Steve is going to get to do at the conference. When I say speak I mean Presenting (doing a session).   He says getting to do this is a very humbling experience. Steve says that he think that conference participants like to hear from real HR Practitioners .
    • Another reason he likes attending the conference is that this allows him to meet many of his peers. Steve says he has commented that he wants to meet everyone at the conference, while knowing that this is not practical, but he would be elated if he could in fact meet ALL of the attendees.  Steve said that all members need to “reached out” more.  Steve mentioned a conversation where he was recently speaking with a young man from Lubbock, TX who had contacted him recently about a student chapter.  Steve said that this young man was told that if he didn’t have some documents complete by 6/1 or it would be rejected.  Steve told the young man get it done as soon as you can and let me see if I can help you out.   The bottom line is this Steve likes people!
    • The third reason Steve talked about was this. Steve said that as a MAC rep he likes to hear from people about their thoughts and ideas about SHRM. Steve feels like he can help shape and move those messages both up and down the line.   Steve said he thinks sometimes members feel that the organization could listen to members better, while countering that sometime members could do a better job of listening and trying to help SHRM.  Steve says this conference is a great opportunity to improve our professions.

    In closing Steve said he also enjoys meeting up with old friends.  Steve said that we have become far more connected with the advance of social media, so when people do get to meet up  it’s reminiscent of a family reunion type of atmosphere.

    So if you don’t know Steve Browne, I suggest you meet him at the event! In the meantime you can connect with Steve on Twitter, on LinkedIn and visit his blog site Everyday People


  • Meet Carlos Escobar at SHRM 15

    I recently ran a post about my top ten reasons for attending the SHRM 2015 (aka #SHRM15) annual conference.  This got me to thinking about other folks and got me to wondering why others attend.  So, I contacted some of my friends and asked them.  For the next several days I am going to post up their comments at to why they are attending.  Today we are going to hear from Carlos Escobar.


    Carlos hails from San Antonio, TX and is an active SHRM volunteer.  I have been friends with him on twitter for several years now and had the pleasure of meeting him face to face (literally) at a session that Steve Browne did last year. Carlos is full of enthusiasm and is excited to work in Human Resources.

    I asked Carlos what it is that he enjoys about attending the SHRM National Conference. These are his responses.


    1. Carlos says he really enjoys seeing the big name speakers. Carlos said, without attending this conference these are folk he would otherwise never get a chance to hear. Carlos said the big names are reason enough to attend, but he also gets a lot out of the breakout sessions as well. He said it is all great– even the bad sessions are good.  One of the best speakers I have heard is Malcomn Gladwell, I am a big fan of his and it was great to get to see him in person. Carlos  said this conferences allow you to hear from the thought leaders around HR.  These are the movers and shakers and they help set the agenda in our field.
    2. Reason number two for Carlos is what he calls Unavoidable networking and unavoidable engagement. Carlos says this is not him, but even if you are trying to avoid people you can’t at this event.  You will make friends from around the world and this makes your education richer.  As these networks develop you learn to call on these people any time – anyplace to learn or share.  All of these people are here for a common purpose.
    3. Lastly Carlois calls this SHRM National Conference his yearly nerdcation. He elaborated, say this is a vacation where you can be a nerd. I love to learn. Going to these annual conference is for me. I pay my own way.  I come back refreshed.  The destination is not important.  This is my learning vacation and I love attending and learning.

    Wrapping up, Carlos closed with this, When I go this conference, I remember why I got into this line of work.  The rest of the year can be kind of tough.  Any time you can reconnect with a purpose it is great. Going to this conference for me is like hitting the reset button.

    Thanks Carlos and we will see you in Vegas.  Be sure to connect with Carlos on Twitter and Linkedin and visit his blog site.

  • Top Ten Reasons to Attend #SHRM15

    I have written this post at least five times in my life.  We will call it, “Do yourself a favor and attend the SHRM National  Conference.”

    The post has two distinct audiences, those who are attending  (Group 1) and those who are not attending (Group 2). The purpose of the post is to attempt to motivate those in Group 2 to become part of Group 1.


    If this works right then EVERYONE in group one will come to understand what I am talking about and the cache of attending this event.  Social Media celebrity Charlie Judy was once quoted  as saying (and I am paraphrasing here) Do yourself a favor and attend this event, even if your tight ass company won’t pay for you.  Pay your own way and you will be thankful that you did.


    But why, you as why should I attend or ask to attend? I am going to answer that question this way, in an effort to honor David Letterman in retirement, (as we share the same first name) I am going to give you my Top Ten List of Reasons to Attend #SHRM15


    10.) This is the largest HR Conference in the World. This is one of the larger conferences that takes place in the county.  So to say it simply, the scale of this event is EPIC.

    9.) You will hear from all of the key leaders in the SHRM organization.

    8.) You will get to hang out with 15,000 other HR Professionals (this should present some networking opportunities).

    7.) In the exhibit hall you will get to see ALL THINGS HR (and maybe have a cocktail while you are doing so).

    6.) Re-certification credits abound. If you are looking to keep up either one of your HR certifications you can get a bunch of them at this event.

    5.) It’s Vegas baby!

    4.)  Men only … really short lines at the restrooms.

    3.) Jennifer Hudson

    2.) Evening events away from the conference and MORE NETWORKING

    1.) You will have the opportunity to see me and my Partner Donna Rogers aka @HRWarrior present a break out session on Wednesday morning July 1 titled – Running an HR Department of One.   You should come because Donna is really awesome!


    If you have any questions about the event whether we know each other or not contact me.  You can find me on twitter as @DaveTheHRCzar or email me at drsrdrkr@att.net  and put SHRM Annual Question in the subject line.

    Hope to see you there and meet you IRL as we say!

  • Chris Ponder A High Impact Dude

    Chris Ponder (R) after a tough mudder competition.

    Chris Ponder (R) after a tough mudder competition.

    In addition to my personal blog site here at the HROfficial, I also have written a bunch at the ILSHRM site.  But in reality I am most proud of the stuff I have written at www.performanceIcreate.com . This is a site with a bunch of other great people who I hold in high regard.

    One of them recently decided to throw in the towel.  My friend Chris Ponder (pictured to the left) has decided to hang up his blogging jock, and maybe even his #HR jock too.

    These had to have been tough choices for him, because I have known him for several  years and he has always been quite passionate about everything that he does.   Both he and I have been on this social media, blogging thing since 2009 – that’s 6 blogging years (they are like dog years).

    I can’t let Chris off the spot without a story and some well wishes.  So, I recall, while attending #LASHM in 2014 Chris was supposed to present at the conference.  His flight got canceled, then a later new flight got rerouted, and then he ended up driving in from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, without his luggage or much sleep.  Chris was in his (travel attire) shorts still. Undeterred he did his presentation and was a big hit with one and all. This guy is a beast!

    I was invited to write at PIC by both, Chris Ponder and Chris Fields, (the two Chrises).  It has been a good fit for me personally and I am thankful for the opportunities and the friendships that this has presented to me.  I would like to publicly thank Chris Ponder for his friendship, leadership and willingness to put himself “out there.”

    I am not sure where Chris is going but I know where ever he ends up he will be a high impact dude. Godspeed my friend!

  • WIU-QC Bound for #ILSHRM

    The Entrance to ILSHRM14

    The Entrance to ILSHRM14

    This coming Friday 4/24/2015,  finds me out of the office and headed out of town to the Quad Cities in North West Illinois.  I am excited to be taking this trip!  This will be my first official act as the incoming Director Elect for Illinois SHRM. I am going to visit a newly chartered SHRM Student Chapter (largely because of the big goings on over in Cincinnati and the SHRM Student Conference.) So I guess I can consider myself a pinch hitter.  This is my chance; I hope I WOW these young folks and welcome them into the life of being a SHRMie!!


    I have been fortunate to attend and speak at a couple other student events.  These things are always chock full of energy, those young minds and bodies can’t wait to get on task.  That is just exciting to be around.  I always go back to this clip … it sums up my feelings about hanging with the Student Chapters!


    I have been given the honor of inducting the officers of this newly formed chapter into those positions, another task not to be taken lightly.  I also have been asked to talk about SHRM – and to impart some wisdom on these folks.  I think I got the SHRM thing covered, the knowledge, um maybe simply some #TrenchHR stories so they can really understand what they are getting into.  We’ll just have to see where this goes.


    I also owe a big shout out to Chapter advisor Susan M. Stewart, Ph.D. for all of her efforts in helping pull this together.  This has been nearly a year long effort.  SHRM does not make this easy. It is my opinion that they want these Student Chapters to work hard to attain their charter, because it is probably going to be just as hard and just as much work to keep it. The passing of the torch, keeping committed focused student leader running the chapter is a mammoth undertaking.  I do know one college professor who requires participation in the student chapter (do what you want with that Dr. Stewart).


    So I will be passing though Peoria on Thursday night headed up to the Quad Cities.   WIU-QC Student SHRM Chapter  members –drink your coffee, Coke or Pepsi, were going to make this a high -energy morning!

    The HR Superhero

    The HR Superhero


    Find me and follow me on Twitter at @DaveTheHRCzar and feel free to connect with me on Linked In as well.

  • SHRM State Council Director’s Meeting

    I have just wrapped up my meeting of the Secret Society of SHRM State Leaders (#SSOSSL).  Many of you who have been involved with SHRM at different levels are familiar with this meeting – even if you did not know the name of the group. This is the meeting where State Directors and Directors’ Elect jet off to some exotic and usually warm destination in the first quarter of the year and huddle. (FYI not really the name of the group even if you thought that.)

    Rumor was the meeting was going to cease, and then apparently there was some mass uprising (again, not really) –let’s go with concern that the meeting had significant value and that if the meeting were scuttled it could be problematic.  So apparently the powers that be at Duke Street listened and decided to continue with the meeting, which is now called a business meeting.  It is called a business meeting because there are no keynote speakers, no guest speaker sessions, just sessions on how to run our State Councils, and this year the SHRM Certification was also on the agenda (there is still more work to do here).


    So what is the purpose to the meeting, you might want to know – as I did?  Why spend a bunch of money flying people from all over the country to get together and talk about what they do? One could take the cynical approach and say that it is just a junket and a payback to those who volunteer at the highest level. While I think that may be a small piece of the equation, in my opinion that certainly is not the main reason.

    To the best of my recollection we had people from 48 states and Guam in attendance (all part of the 280,000 members).  In terms of priorities I am not sure which is first or last but here is a lot of what was going on in my view.

    • The Directors and the Directors’ Elect got to meet (face to face) one and other
    • Ideas/Best Practices were shared between all states
    • SHRM staff spent a great deal of time asking questions and soliciting responses TRULY wanting to hear our opinions on specific issues
    • The SHRM Mission is reaffirmed and clarified
    • The SHRM Staff gets an opportunity to meet and assess their Directors’ & DEs
    • Bonds and friendships are built through planned and spontaneous activities
    • It gets everyone excited to hold the role that they are and jazzed up for when they head home

    So as the new incoming Director I am looking at this and attempting to put the value proposition to this.  What is each of these items worth to my state council?   After considerable contemplation I am pretty much stumped, to come up with a hard dollar value.

    However, I am not naive enough to think that there is not value in this, it is just hard to measure in tangible dollars.  Had we not had this meeting what would we have lost?

    This reminds me of an HR parallel.  If your organization has a really effective safety program and you rarely if ever have accidents – how much money did you save by not having any accidents?  In this instance, how do you measure the cost of things that never happen?  It is unknown, in fact, never to be known.

    Another unknown I have always likened this to, is advertising.  I once asked a friend of mine who is in the car business why they spend so much on advertising. He said, “To help sell cars.”   Looking for a number I asked him how they measured that?  He said this, “when we spend less on advertising we sell fewer cars.”  That’s about as specific as he could get.  So to some degree it is a leap of faith.

    So to bring this back to our meeting, as the Director Elect I will be mindful of my opportunity to attend this even, and try to keep a record of the benefits of having attended this (let’s hope the list isn’t too short).  I will re-visit this issue next year at this time, as I prepare to head to Dallas for the 2016 version of the meeting.


    Lastly this is more on a personal level, but I need to put this out there.  For anyone who has been around SHRM, you have seen Steve Browne move up and through the organization at every level. This year is Steve’s final year on the MAC.  By rule, and we know us HR peeps are all about rules, Steve will be done with that role this year.   What will happen then…(to be continued)

  • ILSHRM Leadership Game On

    Another SHRM Leadership Conference is in my future. One might think even a died in the wool SHRMie would yawn at another one, after a fashion, but yet for me it’s not like that. In fact it’s more like one of my favorite scenes from Animal House.


    Sorry I love that clip – but I do feel that way about heading out to yet another SHRM gathering of the faithful.    This year has even more of an exciting twist to it as I am now in line to be the State Director (an exciting and frightening thought all at once).

    Dave and Connie at ILSHRM14

    Dave and Connie at ILSHRM14

    This year we are changing things up a bit and doing some things that are somewhat untested – yes, pushing the envelope.  Kudos to our new Director and my partner in crime Connie Wolgemuth (whose name I will be able to spell without looking it up at the end of her term) for taking a little risk and trying some new things.

    How many SHRM State Leadership Conference invite Officials from other states to speak at their state conference?  We are going to try that this year.  Connie has asked long time SHRMie and MAC Rep Steve Browne to keynote our program and to facilitate an experiment of sorts.  If you know Steve you know he is game for just about anything.  To prove my point check out this video from Steve opening his own Ohio SHRM State Conference in 2011


    Ok so you think the guy gets crazy once in his life and someone gets him on video – such is not the case, this is how Steve rolls. Check out more of his antics at SHRM Leadership in November of 2012.

    Ok so these are a couple of gotcha moments where I happened to be around with a video device and got my fun loving buddy Steve being all in on the activity De Jour. That truly is what he is all about. Steve is all in on everything he does.   So ILSHRMies should have a  fun and learning day hanging out with Steve – in fact I guarantee it!

    As for the rest of the event I am so “geeked” (Steve’s favorite term) to be rolling to Tinley Park in the morning where I will be visiting with all of my HR buddies with lot of hugs, smiles, sea stories (from my pal Joe) and maybe time for a couple cocktails in there somewhere.

    To those of you who do not know very many people in this group, this is a fabulous opportunity to grow your network and connect with some savvy HR folks who love connecting and are frightenly passionate about Human Resources and SHRM.

    Here is a re-cap of a 2012 event if you are curious to know how a previous event went down.

    As you read this I will be northbound on I-55 and I am looking forward to seeing each and every one of you there!


  • The SHRM Certifications – Game Changing

    The SHRM Volunteer Leaders summit is in the books.  I have had a day or two to reflect on it and have gathered my thoughts on the event.

    For those of you who don’t know me well, in addition to the HR/twitter/social media thing, I also am involved in hockey.  I am part of a board that runs a local high school hockey league, and I referee youth, high school and senior men’s hockey.  I have found many times that these things all intersect which is good blog fodder.

    Well it has happened again.  While I was at the conference, I was speaking with Andrew Morton, SHRM’s Director of Social USAHockeyRefCardEngagement, and we were talking about the new SHRM certifications.  I was telling Andrew that this year USA Hockey (the governing body of youth hockey) had implemented a number of new training requirements for officials.  This year in addition to attending an 8 hour clinic, taking and open book and closed book test, we had to watch and test on over 6 hours worth of video material.   The material covered a number of new penalty situations as well as an overall change in the way on-ice officials are to conduct the games.

    There is a reason for all of this. The game is changing. No longer is acceptable to punish or intimidate your opponents in USA Hockey.  The reason for that is this. USA Hockey wants to reduce the number of concussions caused as a result of playing the game. Going forward they want today’s current players to understand that the game has changed and the wreckless style of play will not longer be tolerated.  All of this requires new systems, new training and a new understanding resulting in an enlighten view of the game.

    The old systems that USA Hockey was using no longer meet the needs of today’s game.  Now let’s compare that to the SHRM certifications and how the world of Human Resources has changed.

    For the past several years SHRM has been saying and working to change the certification process. Why? Because they are the governing body of this, just like USA Hockey and they see the long game and understand things need to change.

    They have recognized this, and acted upon it.SHRM-SCP

    This has been troubling for those who like the level of homeostasis that HRCI has given to many for decades.  Well those days are gone. The new certification is here, SHRM is certifying members. We have moved on.   I think the HRCI certifications will be around for a while longer but unless HRCI can go through some radical changes in a very small space of time they will be a thing of the past.

    I have my new SHRM-SCP. I am proud of it and will begin sporting it everywhere.

    Now for the conference review, in my word(s) – “AWESOME“.   If you want more details Steve Browne has a great wrap-up right here.

  • The SHRM Pilgrimage

    VolunteerLeaderSummitIt is the week before Thanksgiving, and to the SHRM faithful that means it is time for the annual trek to Washington DC to drink the kool-aide and get the latest news from Duke Street, as to  how our mission is being refined.  I have had the good fortune to attend this event eight out of the last ten years.  It is always lively, fun, informative and energizing. The gather typically has ranged from 750 to more than 1000 over the years.  This year’s event has nearly 800 attendees registered.

    The 2014 version of the SHRM Volunteer Leader’s Summit will have a little different flavor than those of years gone-by.  We will be at a new venue this year, and some of my long time SHRMies will be visibly missing this year (Donna Rogers, John Friend and Matt Stollak to name a few).

    One of the purposes of the event is to help support current our incoming chapter presidents. SHRM works very hard to make sure that the chapters understand they have a wealth of resources and support from SHRM National.  This shouldn’t be an epiphany, as most incoming or current chapter presidents should have a good idea of how the organization functions, as taking on the role of chapter president is not something that should be done without significant planning and forethought.

    No doubt we will be hearing more about the SHRM certifications.  We will hear how it is going to rolled out and implemented, and I would bet $100 there will be a handful of naysayers who want to continue to bash SHRM over this, but I am confident they will be a very small minority.

    One other matter that takes place during the Leadership Summit is the visit to Capitol Hill.  On Thursday morning the SHRM A Team is going to empower 408 SHRM members to go to Capitol Hill and lobby their elected officials. This is awesome, it really is. WE/YOU actually get to help shape public policy – we are not that far removed!  The SHRM Legislative Affairs folks brief us, train us and send us on our way to “The Hill”  (that just sounds cool) to carry out our mission.  Here is a post from a previous visit to Capitol Hill.

    If you would like another take on the Leadership Conference, here is a post from my son Danny who got to attend a large portion of the event in 2012 and had this take on the event.

    I look forward to seeing many of you there, if we haven’t met- let’s connect.



  • Wow you don’t know how to do that? #TNSHRM14

    10629566_687334284706714_6248169064907363735_nWe have come to the conclusion that yes there is hope for greater social media adoption in HR. From the social media lounge of the TNSHRM14 conference we have seen greater interest, better questions and increased desire to understand social media and how to use it as an HR tool. The attendees are asking more sophisticated questions demonstrating a better understanding or and willingness to explore social media for engagement.

    Last year the TNSHRM Social Media Pit crew led 2 concurrent sessions on social media and we only had 6 attendees come to the sessions; 5 in one, and 1 in the other. This year we also led 2 breakout sessions; Social Media, Why Should I Care? and Using Social Media at Work (Engagement) and we had 400% more attendance which were well attended even with increased competition and some negative comments from other sessions. We debunked many of those statements with great presentations and tactical information.

    We are proud of our attendees because they asked more questions about specific social platforms and strategies. They are past the whole “how do I tweet?” thing.  Now they want to know how do I use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram for engagement. They wanted to know drive the conversation to employees and perspective employees via the various social media networks. They asked questions about the demographics of each network so they can figure the best plan of action for their company.

    This is refreshing because the attendees are ready to get social. The old way of doing things is dead. Now HR is ready to become a major player in the social media game. We are finally catching up to the earlier adopters of social and it feels good.

    So the take away from this for conference planners is thus.  We must continue to include training and education on social media as part of HR conferences. While there is more interest and more activity in social media as an HR tool the training and support must continue.  There are still those out there who are fear mongering and wanting to shut down social media“ as an HR tool.  Carry on!

    Written by Chris Fields and Dave Ryan