Jun 15Yesterday 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!
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”.Even 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!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.