• Project Social – On Holiday

    Project Social isn’t taking a holiday, although maybe the people involved in it will.  While Laura and I are working on our Green HR initiative, we both had plans to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with our families and friends.  So long story short I did not get a chance to work on my PS assignment, however I did want to talk about the program itself.

    There are only a few pairs of us working on this to see how this thing was going to work. So I thought I would talk about the program as a whole.  To a degree it is 21st pen pal program.  The difference is that we are working with the social media tools of the trade.  We are skyping, blogging and tweeting. Our sphere of on-line friends is melting into one.  Many of my tweeps are following @workgal and some of her tweeps are following me back. Our on-line friends are helping us socialize.

    We chat about how we are going to use video, with vimeo and youtube, as well as using linked in.  The program is giving us a purpose, a reason to do these things.  Laura is no novice when it comes to SM, so she is challenging me and pushing me to do new and different things via SM. I think this is what Ben and Voctorio had in mind when they hatched this idea. While I have used most of these tools, I do not consider myself close to being an expert, but the more I use them the better I get.  I think the point is this, just do it, get involved, get waist deep – after all – necessity it the mother of invention.

    The program got a shot in the arm last week at the SHRM Annual Leadership Conference.  Both Ben and I were asked to participate in a panel discussion on Social Media,  SHRM Social Media director Curtis Midkiff (@shrmsomedguy) gave Ben an opportunity to talk about the program and how people might participate in it.  While the session had no more than 100 participants, interest in Project Social and social media in general seem to be high.

    So next week I will be back on track with our Green HR Project and moving Project Social forward.

  • Project Social Seeing Green

    Another week has gone by and Laura and I are striving to be the best Project Social students- yeah we’re both overachievers.  While we have made reference to our super secret project, we have to be honest.  It has changed a couple of times because we got beat on the draw. 

    One of the things that the two of wanted to do as a pair is create some body of work that would be interesting and useful to those in the hr blogosphere.   We have kicked around several ideas during our various conversations. One topic that seems to return is what we call green HR.  This would include jobs that directly or indirectly relate to environmental sensitive matters, and practices that are designed to reduce waste and improve recycling. 

    In our dialogue I was pontificating to Laura how we are scarring the landscape here in the Mid-West.  My brother-in-law, who is an Arizona native disparagingly refers to me as a flat-lander, well we are changing that.  In my travels over the summer I have seen three what I will call Garbage Mountains.  They are all within about 100 miles of Chicago.  There are literally mountains of garbage that are from the waste hauled of ht urban area.  The one pictured  here is near Pontiac, IL, just to the west of I-55.  If you have driven this stretch of road you have no doubt seen this and hopefully wondered – what in the hell is that? 

    Garbage Mountain - Near Pontiac, IL (I-55 mile post 200)

    I shared this story with Laura and she began to tell me how most European countries are much more forth right about dealing with environmental matters.  In Europe there is much more regulation around the matter than in the states. I told Laura it was interesting to met because at my employer we are diligent about recycling – but only because it makes good business sense – it cheaper to recycle than dump!  We segregate paper, metal, wood and food products and push them to the approriate recycling stream. While we don’t actually make money doing this, it does cost less than sending it to a dump, therefore we have ROI! 

    We both thought Green HR is good direction for our contibutions to Project Social.  At lease in this country, it has to make good business sense ($$$) to get American businesses to be on-board.  We seem to lack the social responsibility held by our European partners.

    So the on-going conversation got us to thinking we need to begin to create a body of resources for HR on  green issues.  We need to learn about green jobs –  jobs that specifically helping address environmental matters. We want to learn about Companies that genuinely care about their carbon foot print, why they care and what they are doing about it.  We are going to  be looking for help and assistance from our fellow bloggers and tweeps as well.  We are going use the simple formula exspoused by fellow Project Social betaite Lisa Rosendahl– tweet out an idea, build on it, look for feedback and blog about it. 

    My Project Social partner Laura Schroeder feels the same way and has posted similarly on this topic over at Working Girl and we want to do our part to encourage the growing movement toward corporate social responsibility. So if you have some knowledge about Green HR that you could share please contact Laura or me.

  • Sick Uncle SHRM

    This year I headed out to the SHRM Leadership conference with a bit of trepidation.  There was a bit of uncertainty in the air about “the memo.”   Upon arrival my fears seemed to be somewhat justified as the vibe was somewhat muted.  The number of attendees seemed to be down compared to previous years, so from the get go it seemed somewhat ominous.

    On Thursday Outgoing Board Chairman Rob Van Cleave spoke to the group and there was no talk or mention of “the memo.” 

    While there are a number of attendees who are involved in new media at the conference, my sense is that many folks view us as a lunatic fringe element that is hell bent on causing problems. I don’t see it that way at all.  We are concerned for SHRM like you would be a family member that’s ill. Our concern is born out of passion for the organization and what we do.  

    With “the memo” it is like we hear that our Uncle SHRM has cancer and damn it we want to know about that. 

    Well yesterday my friend Jeff Williams took the conversation to the sources.  While visiting the mothership on Duke Street Jeff proceeded to approach Mr. Van Cleave and ask him straight up about the matter (read his post here).

    What we found out is that, he will discuss it with the state council leaders on Saturday.  I guess to use a figure of speech HIIPA rules are preventing him from discussing sick Uncle SHRM with the whole family.  He will talk to the family elders on Saturday and hopefully we will all feel better about old Uncle SHRM.

  • How I got my Friend A Job Using LinkedIn

    With my new found status as Director of Social Media for the IL State Council of SHRM I have had a number of folks question me about social or new media and its use.  During the summer I met a local SHRM chapter member at a chapter event.  She asked if we could discuss SM. I chatted with her a while and gave her some ideas.  Being a networking kind of guy, I gave her a business card and told her to call me if she wanted to talk more or had any questions.

    Well she did call me, and wanted to know more about Linkedin and Twitter.  So we agreed to meet at Panera and discuss some of her questions.  During lunch she had to take a call, as she was in transition at that time and actively pursing employment.   After this meeting, I encouraged her to trade emails or mock group issues with me so she could get a feel for how Linkedin functioned.

    Fast forward to almost Thanksgiving, when I spoke to my friend again.  She told me that she had landed a new job.  She landed the job through an old friend from high school who was now working as a recruiter.  She told me this recruiter had over 500 connections on Linkedin.  This recruiter was staffing a job she had been eyeing and low and behold she ended up getting this job.  And it was all because of Linkedin.

  • U.I.S. HRM- FA10

    Now that I have my own blog site, I can write whatever I want and not worry too much if I offend someone, or if I narrow-cast directed at an audience that is too small.

    This post goes out to these fine people…

    Laura Gasparas

    Brenda Blanchar

    Lisa Touloumis

    Tonya Laux

    Jenni Case

    Mindy Hassebrock

    Niccol Stout

    Thiyumi Abesysinghe

    Linda Bomya

    Shane Stafford

    Lindsay Birdsong

    Becky Skehan-Passie

    Aaron Banks

    Danielle Haley

    Brandie Forcum

    Michelle Theobald

    Rachel Ona

    Kristina Miller

    Kari Elliott

    Ryan McKillips  _–>>> GO BLUES!

    Kyle Nestlehut

    Kendall Burrage

    Patrick Davis

    Amy Zappo

    Alisha Kulek

    Randy Knuppel

    Chelsea Jones

    Lawrence Crowley

    Lacey Pollock

    Lesley Kaspraun

    Andrea Bennett

    Amy Hallmark

    Matthew Scrivano

    James Schacht

    Tara Sablotny

    Timothy Dillon

    Matthew Duff

    Christine Magallon (good to see you again!)

    Bailey Meek

    Steve Blythe

    Sinh Mai

    WHEW! Damn that’s a big class

    I wanted to thank all of you guys for being a great audience and for taking the time to write thank you notes (although I’ll bet that was required- right?).

    I really enjoy the opportunity to speak to students, and especially the one who are interested and enthusiastic about learning.  Keep my name and number and if our paths cross remind me that we met and how. Use this tactic to your advantage.  You should do this with all of the other HR people you meet. We are, after all people people.

    You have a great instructor, Donna Rogers, learn all you can from her and all of the other classes you take at UIS which is a fine institution.  I graduated from there and have done ok too. Thanks again – Dave!

  • Business is Down – Cut the HR Programs

    Business is down, this is your HR budget

    My partner Laura and I are taking our roles in Project Social very seriously and want to make a difference with what we are doing.  We are trying to talk at least once a week and this seems to be enough to keep the project moving forward. While this week, Laura and I continued work on our super-secret world changing project (sswcp), we talked about some more mundane HR matters. 

    I spend my most of my days in what Charlie  Judy –HRFishbowl  calls trenchHR  Laura is removed from the trenches by one degree of separation, working in the HR Software industry.  As we brainstormed about the sswcp, we traded some HR war stories, Laura recounted to me about a friend of hers who had taken on an HR position in an upstart company. Her post on that story is here. Laura said things were going well for her friend, (I’ll call her Ann) at the young company, Ann said that the Company was taking off, and was quite financially successful.  

    Accordingly most everything Ann requested funding for was funded and implemented.  But like with any success story, things slowed down, the money slowed and the financial picture of the Company changed. And now – the Company was pulling the plug on programs and not nearly so committed to the strong employee engagement programs, or other employee focused initiatives. 

    Laura asked me if I have I had ever experienced this phenomenon? This became a SAY WHAT moment for me.  The answer was yes – with about every slow down in business. 

    Like many of my trench HR peers, I have lived through this numerous times, Even if your department is allocated certain funds for a period of time that can change in an instant! When the funding/sales/revenue slows, or goes away, business functions that do not directly enhance the bottom line (product or service), quickly loose their luster, to most CEOs and CFOs. While a seasoned HR pro may be able to salvage a program or two, they  must choose their battles wisely and hold on to the program or service that is certain to bring benefits to the organization. That has to be the last thing you won’t give up – because you know it is too valuable to loose and your Company’s image may be tarnished if you let it go. For me, this has always been safety training – you just can’t stop regardless of the cost! 

    Meanwhile, it is only the true visionary leaders that manage to stick to their guns and not pull the plug on the people programs during downturns. So consider yourself one of the lucky ones if your CFO/CEO has gone through a downturn in revenue and did not take the meat ax to the HR budget or the people programs. They are the leaders who get it. 

    Like it or not this is one of the realities of HR.  As an HR pro, if you wish to understand business you need to understand this – you don’t have to like it but you need to get it. I don’t have hard date but over the year I have learned 9 out 10 times, the money people are NOT going continue with the HR people programs in a downturn. It’s not personal it’s just business.