• 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.

    SHRMVegas

    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!

     
  • 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!

    -TheCzar

     
  • 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.

     

     

     
  • The #ILSHRM No Kid Hungry Challenge

    It is a little past mid-year now and we are into a very active time for SHRM State Conferences.  In mys state, Illinois, we have recently completed our state conference.  And while I have not seen the tabulated results from the sessions, I have a sense that the event was well received by the attendees.

    In 2014 we did a couple things that were a new to our event. One of the thing we did is brought a speaker who was new to the Midwest #HR speaking Circuit.  I had the pleasure to see Jim Knight speak at HRFlorida in t 2012.  This year we had Jim speak at #ILSHRM14.  Jim had a great message for our attendees and was well received.  Jim is an interesting guy who has spent most of his working years in the food business, from the HR and training side.  While presenting Jim did mention a favorite charity of his – it is called No Kid Hungrymore on that later.

    Another other thing we did differently this year was our opening night social event.  For the past few years we had a so called “Tweet Up”.  For those of you that don’t know, it is simply a social event and people tweet from the event. There are no special hats or handshakes, purely a social event. This year on day one, we did have a social event.  It was held at a unique venue called Pinstripes.

    Pinstripes is a restaurant and sporting  venue.  They have bowling alleys and boccie ball courts.  This means you can be active while having drinks and socializing. But we added one more wrinkle to the event. ILSHRM cabbaged onto an idea which has been used at SHRM National.  For the last three years, the folks in the social media lounge have endeavored to raise money for a charity. This was done again in 2014 in Orlando.

     

     

    The Braintrust of ILSHRM thought that this was such a great idea that we should (you will like this Dwane) DOVETAIL onto The SHRM Socail Media Team concept and have a No Kid Hungy fund raising with our social event.

    So to organize this effort we engaged ILSHRM bestties Dwane Lay and Johnathan Brewer to help us with this. As luck would have it Dwane was attending the event as a speaker and Brew, well he had to fly in from Kansas City to join us but he was all in.

    So we bowled, we rolled (boccie balls), we had a few drinks and we raised $1500 for no kid hungry. AND NOW…

    I hear from a reliable source that Dwane is trying to help put something like this together for NYSHRM.A

    Accordingly, I guess Illinois SHRM should lay down some sort of challenge now to NYSHRM. So let’s do something like this.  Since we set the bar you can’t just inch over the bar – we challenge you to double our efforts of $1500 for No Kid Hungry.  And it shouldn’t be that hard cause you got Dwane there to help you make it happen.  Are we own NY?

     

     

     
  • #TNSHRM14 Bound

    I will be attending the Tennessee SHRM State Conference in Sevierville, TN on September 17th.  Boy am I excited to attend – do you know why?  The reason is this – because I only know about 10 people that are going to be there.   Yep, I will hardly know anyone there and I am stoked to attend.

     

    HR conference are about learning and networking – I kind of view them as the mosh pit of HR. Meeting new people, talking HR and getting to see a few old friends is a formula for a good time for me.  (Perhaps I need to check in with my own EAP – maybe after TNSHRM,)

     

    My role at the event is simple. Come to the conference and be part of the Social Media Team.  We are the folks who descend  upon the event and bring our skills of sharing things on Blog sites, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube. LinkedIn and Instagram with the conference attendees and to the whole rest of the world.  Not to be arrogant, but I have played this role many times and it is not unusual for tweets from one of these events to reach 20 countries.   I might also mention that sponsors often enjoy having us on site as well as we help them amplify their message to the attendees and the rest of the world – usually in a soft sell non-offensive manner  (see this post  I wrote last year from TNSHRM13).

     

    As part of the team I like all of my other team mates have put together a short video piece introducing myself and sharing a little bit about my home town.  Please take a look and introduce yourself at the conference.   I love networking!

     

     
  • ILSHRM14 Day Two

    Another ILSHRM conference is in the books. The conference was a success. Thank you to Sabrina Baker for your efforts on this and to Cathy Plouzek for your leadership and guidance as our State Director.

    The Entrance to ILSHRM14

    The Entrance to ILSHRM14

    The conference itself appeared to be flawless to me. There were no outward signs of failure; things like a speaker not showing up, a room being too full or problems with food.  I did not hear of anyone who was upset or offended by session content or speaker conduct – so I call this a success.

    The purpose of the conference is to provide educational opportunities to our Illinois SHRM Members at a reasonable price, and the board accomplished this.  While the reviews have not been tabulated as the military folks like to say the anecdotal evidence indicated that attendees were pleased with the session content. This included all three keynotes, which by my measure were fabulous.

    We even added a new wrinkle this year with the Monday evening social event, which raised $1600 for the No Kid Hungry organization. A special thanks to ILSHRM long-time friend Dwayne Lay for his efforts on this.

    So all good, BUT… the underlying concern, the elephant in the room was still the “new” certification. Illinois SHRM members are still concerned about this and are looking for hard fast answers to the questions.   In an effort to ally these concerns we did have a couple representatives on site.  SHRM CHRO Jeff Pon held a town hall style meeting Tuesday morning with what looked to be about 100 folks or so.  It appeared that most if not all of the folks in the room held some certification and were concerned about where this whole process is going, and how it got there.

    Mr. Pon did a 20 minute presentation and fielded questions for about 20 minutes.  Thank you SHRM for trying to put us in the loop.

    However, in my opinion, this is a very complicated story with a lot of history behind it. Accordingly many questions cannot be fully answered in two minutes. In this instance I am referring to what happened between SHRM and HRCI. We will get the story in the days to come and I would venture to say it will all make sense.

    Regarding the new certifications and the transition from one to the other or the holding of both, this is going to happen. It is a reality whether you like it or not.  There still are details to be worked out –but it is a reality.  I would guess most folks will maintain both, this is what I intend to do.

    Another fear I heard was this; SHRM is dumbing down/devaluing the certification, and/or it is a money grab by SHRM. As we say on twitter, IMO I can’t see the benefit for SHRM, or any group of HR pros, to lower the bar. This makes no sense to me! Regarding the money matter, I can see where one would want to think this.  My thoughts are that there has to be a great deal of cost in ramping up for and implementing this program.  So if the plan is for SHRM to monetize the certification program I think they are working outside the standard 12 month ROI model.

    One other concern that was raised was the delivery method for training.  Some sole HR practitioners/contractors expressed some concern about who and how training will be done. The answer I heard on this matter was that this is still a work in progress.

    Ironically there was little discussion of the some of the upside arguments.  I have heard countless chapter volunteers complain about the process of getting certification credit for meetings. This will improve dramatically the new system.  Chapters will be pre-approved, no submission for meetings – BAM!

    If you are a SHRM member who holds a certification I implore you to follow this matter.  It will get better, and it will be good.  SHRM has been too good, too long for it not to be.

    If you attended Illinois SHRM the board thanks you. If you did not we would love to have you join us next year. I hope to see you then!

     
  • The MTSHRM Tale of Two Dans

    I have been active on twitter since 2009 and on LinkedIn since 2007.  One of the things I love about both of these platforms is the social aspect of them.  It is another way to meet people.  One of the people I have met and befriended this way is named Dan Ryan.   Dan lives in Nashville.   I have a son named Dan Ryan, he lives In Memphis.  Two Dan Ryan’s both live in Tennessee.

    DanRyanLinkedInPageI sought out Nashville Dan’s assistance out after son Dan’s girlfriend moved to Memphis and was in need of employment.  You see Nashville Dan is in the recruiting and employment business.

    As it turns out I found out Nashville Dan grew up right here,in Central Illinois,  in the area where I grew up and still reside.  Small world huh?  I had several conversations with Nashville Dan, about Memphis Dan’s significant other. Ultimately she did find employment. Nashville Dan was most helpful in contacting folks about her, although he knew nothing much about me, other than we shared the same last name and we both worked in Human Resources.

    Along the way Nashville Dan and I had several conversations.  He and I discussed how he might present at ILSHRM.   For whatever reason that did not happen in 2013, perhaps it might happen in 2014.  I really wanted to have an opportunity to get to meet him, and do something to assist him.

    This all came to came back to me last week.  After a couple phone conversation about MTSHRM, I thought  I am going to be in Nashville at a BIG TIME SHRM event.  I would almost bet, for sure, that Nashville Dan will be there.   So I reached out to him last week via LinkedIn.   Guess what, not only is Dan going to be at MTSHRM, he is going to be presenting at a breakout session.   Dan told me about this, and I responded back and told him I will be there to meet him and tweet his session – that’s what I do!

    DanRyanSessionAtMTSHRM

    So  Mr. Ryan I am looking forward to meeting you in real life, as we say – and getting to sit in on your session as part of the MTSHRM Social Media Pit Crew. I can’t wait!

     
  • Kelly Clarkson she ain’t Hall and Oates

    What do Kelly Clarkson and Stevie Wonder have in common?  They are both recording artists whose KellyClarksonConcertconcerts I have attended.   While I was never an over the top fan of either one of them I have enjoyed  many recordings each has made.

    So many years ago, I attended the Stevie concert, and last night I attended the Kelly Clarkson show.  The thing that was interesting to me comparing the two artist was this. Both have an amazing catalog of hits. Hits are those songs that you know some of the words and most of the melody.  Only recently have I taken to listening regularlly to top 40 stuff. I now have XM and I have been compelled by  my wife and my son to listen to current music.  So my knowledge of current music isn’t all that good.

    Well while I knew all of the Stevie stuff – more or less based on my age.  But I was truly amazed to see that I recognized all of the things that Kelly played. It was good stuff too!  The harmonies were very tight – spot on.  Kelly got the audience rocking, dancing and singing along.  It was a great show and let’s just say a little more current than some of the artists that have appeared at SHRM National over the last few years.

    I had the good fortune to bring my wife and my son to the event. It was a great 1:20 minute show. That rocked all of the HR Pros in the house, and all of the other people like my wife and son, and the two cute little teenage girls who were seated next to me.

     
  • We can make SHRM Better and Stronger

    SHRM Advice day– it sounds like a sale or something.  I would like to thank the Cynical Girl for the invite to contribute to this concept. This is a BIG topic and like so many of the other HR bloggers out there, I have an opinion about most everything.  This is what it is… an opinion no more.

    Out of the box I need to say that I am a big supporter of the Society of Human Resource Management a.k.a. SHRM.  I have been involved with a local chapter for many years. I have been involved with the Illinois State Council of SHRM, and I have attended more than my fair share of SHRM events.  I can honestly say I know SHRM.   But when asked what could they do better, I have some thoughts.

    I am not a really big picture guy,  I tend to focus on things that can be done easily and can affect change in short order. You might call it low hanging fruit, from a trench HR guy.

    Let me also say I do not claim ownership of these improvement I am listing. The concepts have been around for a long time. I subscribe to them, and think they are things that Duke Street should act on quickly.

    Share the names and contact information of at-large members with the State Councils and Local Chapters. We are all on the same team. SHRM want all organizations to  grow membership, well this would be a great group to target.  I don’t know all the behind the scenes details but I know that friction remains between the National and the state and local organizations about at-large members.

    Coordinate/Facilitate/Help State Councils share information about events,  while helping promote state conferences.  Again, we are not the competition.  State Councils are challenged to put on good conferences each year.  We could learn more from one and other. There are many of us who have fostered relationships with folks in other states and around the country.  We share information, talk about sessions, speakers, content, venues etc.   Why not help us out with this, coordinate this and exhibit some leadership.  We are on the same team.

    This is a really a subset of the second item.  Create a National Speaker Database for use by all local chapter and state councils.  This would allow  State Councils and local chapters to coordinate information and not feel like they were on their own.  This once was framed this way by Matt Stollack – create a Yelp like database for SHRM speakers at all level. That sums up this concept.

    Make free Wi-Fi available at all SHRM National events!  Nuff said!

    That’s my take on some improvements that SHRM could make that would go a long way toward improving the relationships with the organizations up and down the line.

    No argument , I am a supporter through and through, but I do believe if the mothership acted on my suggestions thing would improve at all levels.

     

     
  • The BIG SHOW in Chicago

    If you are in Human Resources this is the BIG SHOW.  Yes I am talking about the Society for Human Resource Management Annual Conference – this year in Chicago, IL.  Are you going?  If you are in HR this is the big kahuna – even if, gasp -god forbid you are not a SHRM member.

    Ok so that’s my opinion, GO even if your employer won’t pay for it. It will be good for you, your career, your education, your network and your self-esteem. I am not the only one who subscribes to this theory; check out this 2011 post from Charlie Judy.

    Ok so having said that, this post is the lead in to SHRM chat for April 2013,  We are going to drive the discussion toward why attend this conference, what it can do for you, your local  SHRM Chapter and/or State Council.

    Question 1

    What is the biggest take away YOU’ve  gotten from a SHRM National Conference? (and the answer can not be Strategic Credits)

    Question 2

    With so many sessions, what drives your decision to attend one session over another one?

    Question 3

    What advise would you have for someone whose employer will not pay for their attendance?

    Question 4

    What benefit can the National Conference offer for local SHRM Chapters?

    Question 5

    What is your must see/must do in the Windy City?

    Ok folks, that the set up for #SHRMChat on Twitter on Tuesday April April 9th.

    8 PM – Eastern | 7 PM Central | 6 PM Mountain | 5 PM Pacific|.   We hope to see you on the stream!

     

     

     
  • BNHRC – Why I’m Attending

    While I am not a hugely prolific blogger, I do post regularly here and at the Illinois SHRM site.  I try keep my SHRM posts to business and HR related. However I do afford myself the luxury to rave out or discuss things that might not cut the HR mustard for a strictly HR related site here at the HR Official.

    Having said that today I wanted to talk about an upcoming meeting at the Bloomington Normal Human Resources Council (BNHRC) that I will be attending on Wednesday September 26.  I have written another post about this which ran recently on the ILSHRM site.  Today I wanted to talk about the how and the why of the conference (Social Media Strategies for HR).

    I believe I was invited, for a number of reasons, some of those are

      • I am good friends with one of the organizers
      • I am the Director of Social Media of the Illinois State Council of SHRM
      • I do know a few things about Social Media & HR
      • When I attend events I help promote them nicely on Twitter & Facebook
      • I have actually used Social Media in recuiting in a small 1-2 person HR Shop
      • I am a good networker and help people to connect
      • (Possible) I have a cool twitter avatar (thanks to my son)

    That the how, now for the why, why do I want to attend

    • I like to travel and it’s not too far
    • I get to hear Jennifer Mc Clure speak
    • I like to meet new people (call it networking if you like)
    • Bloomington is close enough I can recruit from the area
    • All of the people I have met from BNHRC are great
    • I want to support my friends from BNHRC
    • It is part of my gig as SM Director for ISC SHRM

    There is one last reason, why I, so much enjoy attending conferences/meetings/seminars. My reason is a stolen idea (just like we do at conferences). I once heard blogger and good friend, Mike Vandervort asked, “Why do you do all this?”  (The questioner was referring to Mike’s involvement in social media, SHRM, speaking, blogging, etc.)

    His succinct answer was this, “It keeps me learning?”

    I am trying. Are you?

     
  • August SHRMChat Talking Communication

    Joan Ginsberg has done such a fine job getting #SHRMChat up and running AND growing, that we have given her an evening off. Actually, the ironic thing is that she can not attend because she will be attending a dinner with SHRM staff. So I offered to fill in for her and keep the chat going. So here is what we are going to talk about this month…

    We don’t get paid, we don’t have any money and we have to maintain an organization. Those are two things driving you as a SHRM volunteer. While I may have overstated the case on ANY and don’t get, the bottom line is we are all operating on a shoe-string budget, accordingly we look for solutions that are free or minimally priced.

    To run a chapter or a State Council, involves a lot of communication. This includes scheduling meetings, sending notifications, sending calendar reminders, following up with surveys, monitoring feedback and chatter from you members. Fortunately, the internet helps us immensely to do this. There are many tools that are out there that are free or cost very little to use.

    So our next #SHRMchat is going to be about communicating with your membership. What tools do you use? What medium is the most effective a particular type of message or conversations? We would like to hear from each of you on some of the following subjects.

    Q1.) What tools do you use to notify and register members for meetings?

    Q2.) Do you use a method for members to have closed end chat, such as Facebook, Wiggio, Yammer?

    Q3.) Do you use video and if so, how and what for? If you do not use video what is keeping your organization from doing so?

    Q4.) Does your chapter or council use SMS (text) messaging, or surveys? If you do please share what you do, if not what is keeping your organization from using these?

    Q5.) Have you encountered a application or piece of software that you thing would help state councils or chapter easily improve their communication efforts.

    Per usual, our chat will take place at 8PM EDT, 7 PM CDT, 6 PM MDT and 5 PM PDT on the second Tuesday of the month (August 14, 2012).

     
  • SHRM 12 in the Rear View Mirror

    The Big  Show for 2012  is over. It is on from Atlanta to Chicago for 2013.  This year SHRM stepped up their social media game. With the addition of The Hive, and the return of an expanded Bloggers Lounge, all of the social media devotees felt that SHRM had moved forward on the SM front. I could not agree more.

    It is my sincere hope that these efforts will result in increased membership, a more engaged membership and a greater and more effective utilization of social mediaas a strategic business tool.  This would provide the SHRM Leadership with the tools that they need to accurately measure the return on their social media on investment. It would also let them clearly see that this is the wave of the future.

    In an effort to make a lot of noise in the HR space Curtis Midkiff assembled a team of 70+  bloggers to assist in covering the event.  I think we did a good job, but could have done a lot better.  SHRM put The Buzz Site together at the suggestion of previous year’s Blog Squads.  Curtis had asked us to please post there first, wanting to drive our collective traffic to the site. It was a good plan that should have been executed better.  The bloggers collectively did not execute this as well as we might have.

    Dice provided us (paid for) an excellent space for us.  The bloggers (myself included) did not always use the “suggested” hashtag when or as often as we should have.  We owe Dice our continuing gratitude and support for their willing support in what probably be called an experiment.  In addition to providing us space, they also had working staff in the room at all times.   Also we owe a big thanks to Sarah Warner White for all of her behind the scenes work on the bloggers lounge.

    There was another aspect of the bloggers lounge I wanted to address. The live video feeds from the floor were spectacular. It allowed folks to blog, tweet, Facebook and Google + while they were multitask or using a plugged-in full size laptop. There were many other aspects of that, that also made covering the sessions easier, but I feel like we lost the “feel” of the conference floor.  Whether it was watching people grimace when the speaker commented, or simply seeing people walking out of sessions in droves.  From the bloggers lounge, we lost that prospective and I am not sure that was a good thing.

    There was a great deal of communication between the bloggers and the vendors (wanting us to schedule time to talk with their CEOs) about their product or service .  I don’t know if I missed some emails or what, but that whole effort seem to leave all parties involved bewildered, frustrated or just plain mad. Hopefully that will go better in Chicago

    Curtis Midkiff working The Hive

    The Hive was a fantastic  effort to engage the general membership in social media by engaging members and answering questions one on one right after a session, while the fires were still burning hot.  There were also a number of group discussion that went on from time to time in The Hive. From my prospective this was hugely successful.  While I only worked 3 hours there, the interactions I had were superb.  At ILSHRM12 we hope to mimic The Hive in a scaled down or modified version. Fortunately Curtis will be there to help us.

    In terms of sessions I only actually attended five. I have stacked up enough HRCI credits to push me through 2013 so I was not really in need of them.  It made attending the conference with no agenda most enjoyable.  I was afforded the opportunity to wonder around, stop and visit or just listen in on a session.  And on a personal level I got to meet and hang with some of the best and the brightest in the space. Just being around them and watching them work, the way the interact with others was enlightening and informative.

    It will be remembered as the SHRM 12 the year the Social Media Experiment went full tilt.

     
  • The Buzz Site, SHRM12 and Social Media

    A Happy conference attendee getting her book autographed by Marcus Buckingham - SHRM-2010

    If you follow much at all of what is going on in this space, you certainly know that the SHRM Annual Conference is coming up in Atlanta.  It is at the end of June, start of July – just about the same time every year.  Volumes have been written about the conference, the attendees and so on, so suffice it to say it is a big deal. If you work, live or feed off of the HR space, it is something you should attend routinely; even if you have to pay your own way.

    Again, this year I have been lucky enough to find myself in the ranks of those attending. I am attending as part of a cast of social media bloggers.   In 2010 in San Diego SHRM has an official blog squad of 5. This year it is 75.  Amazing, Simply Amazing.

    Given the count it is obvious that top power players at SHRM have dedicated a lot of resources to social media this year. However, like any other business entity, even the Not for Profits, they are looking for their return on investment.    I am not sure specifically how that will be measured.  In my opinion, while aspects of social media can be monitored and measured – I am unclear on how you accurately measure the true impact?

    I have noticed on a number of television shows now, such as Dancing with the Stars, American’s got Talent and Deadliest Catch the producers are now marrying the tweet stream with the show. I also see Delta Airlines, and their #DeltaAssist program growing. Again I am not sure how what this is generating or how it is being measured, but it is continuing to grow.

    I think this is reflective of the business intrigue surrounding Social Media.  There is so much going with SM it is mind boggling. We have new sites, new tools, court cases, new users, IPOs going on, and just when you think you have a handle on it everything changes.

    Now back to the conference, let’s discuss this year.   I think that SHRM is to be applauded for their efforts and the amount of resources they are dedicating to this year’s event.

    My worst fear is that it has become a case of go big, or go home, with the analogy being this.  If we (SHRM) don’t see some tangible results from this event we will contemplate a “push back” from social media.  I hope my fears are unfounded.  To help ally my fears I implore all of you to share in the conference via social media – even if you aren’t there. Watch the tweet stream, check out the video uploads, watch the Facebook posts, read some of the thousands of blog posts that will be coming out – and lastly share it with a friend or acquaintance who is not yet immersed in Social Media.  In order to get the needed ROI we must continue to grow the base.

    One final note, a specail and unique web site has been launched just for and about the conference. The site is called The Buzz and you can find it here.

     
  • Meet Chester and Amanda – I Did

    Me. Chester Elton and Amanda Hogue

    While it has been in the bag for more than a week, I am still referring back to the recently completed SHRM Leadership Conference to talk about things that went on at the event.  I was particularly looking forward to the last breakout session of the day.   I was attending a session put on by Chester Elton on Team Building.  I had just met Chester at lunch and found out he was the writing partner of another author I had seen speak a couple of years earlier. Chester and his partner Adrian are the Carrot Culture – Think Orange guys.  I highly recommend their books.

    In waiting to hear Chester get underway, I sat in obscurity along the wall (close to an outlet) so I could cabbage on to some electricity for

    John Jorgensen, Amanda Hogue and Steve Browne

    my gadgets.  A  young man and young lady walked into the room  and sat down in the row in front of me.  The young lady turned around and smiled at me and said hello, then turned forward.  In about 5 seconds she turned back around and said in a confirmatory fashion – “You’re the HR Czar?”  I smiled and said “Yes.”    She told me her name was Amanda Hougue  and that she was HRAmanda on Twitter.  Bingo, the twitter handle gave her away, and then I made the connection.

    She was so cute, funny and energetic, she was genuinely excited to meet me.  So to some degree, or at least in this instance I had reached the status of micro-celebrity stardom, for a day, or an hour, or a minute perhaps.  I look3d at her profile to see that she had not been on twitter too long and so I understood the way she was feeling.    I too have met folks in real life, that I had first met on line and I was truly jazzed to do so. It’ s fun!

    Now the rest of the session was just an enjoyable.  Chester killed it talking about Teams.  After the session, people were coming in from the next room and asked what went on in here, it sounds like you guys had a blast – we did.  Amanda and I tweeted each other from row to row.  We tweeted to the conference and the world that #ChesterElton was rocking the house at #SHRMLead.  When the session wrapped up Amanda and I were lucky enough to get a picture with Chester, before he had to run off and sign books.

    I ran into Amanda later and she got to meet a couple of my buddies and now her new friends John Jorgensen and Steve Browne. Us folks in Human Resources are a pretty cool bunch – don’t ya think?

     
  • OHSHRM HR Rocks Wrap Up

    The Trip

    Sandusky, OH – The Kalahari Resort September 20 – I arrived at the Kalahari Resort at 11 PM local time, after a seven hour ride – and $15 in tolls across Indiana and Ohio. Upon our arrival, my traveling partner John Jorgensen, via the magic of twitter, has determined that there are a bunch of late-nighters from the state board still in the bar.  So we decided to dump our stuff in the room and head for a beverage or two, after a long ride. As we headed to our room, who should appear but the infamous host of Drive Thru HR and VP of People Clues Bryan Wempen.  After a little small talk with Bryan, we learn he is headed to the bar – we tell him we will be along shortly. Bryan responds, “Yeah after your 100 mile walk to your room.” Perhaps a bit overstated, as Kalahari Resort is a big facility, but it was about a 5 minute walk to the room.

    Once in the bar, we hook up with Steve Browne – and many of the OHSHRM board members who are enjoying themselves. A couple other faces stand out in the bar – Mike VanDervort and Bill Boorman. A few beers, some conversation and loud music then off to hit the hey after 1 a.m.

    Ohio SHRM Day 1

    Like most conferences, this is a self contained event, that means you don’t have to stick your head outside, if you choose not to. The first session I attended was billed as an Opening Act. The speaker was Mark Stelzner and the topic Social Media & HR – Cutting through the Hype. I have had the good fortune to meet Mark a few times, however, this was the first time I heard him present. Mark is a skilled presenter and engages his audience very well. The content of his presentation was well thought out and eye-opening. He presented a lot of facts and information – but it was not dry at all. If you have a chance to see Mark present, I would highly recommend it. You will not be disappointed.

    It is now lunch time and the conference official opening. This spectacle sets the tone for the event. Conference Chair Steve Browne unabashedly made his entrance in a darkened room to some head-banging HR music. If you haven’t seen it, you can check it out here. So following Steve, we heard from keynote speaker Simon T. Bailey. Simon, a former cast member of Disney, sports an infectious laugh and super-charged level of energy. Simon’s role was to engage everyone and create a buzz, while delivering his message of networking and getting things accomplished. Simon gets my recommendation as well.

    These were the only two sessions I attended in entirety on Wednesday. I did post a couple things on the internet and visit with a group of old friends who had all assembled at the venue. As we chatted, Steve passed us by and made a seemingly snide remark about sessions going on. We continued to visit. It’s too soon to tell, but there is a possibility that a new Blog Talk Radio show may have come from these conversations. The co-hosts for this show are Frank Zupan and John Jorgensen – hmm.

    While the conversation continued, the main ballroom was being transformed into an exhibit hall. This is no minor feat, as we had lunch in the room and were not out of there until sometime after one. But the vendors, the volunteers and the staff pulled it off. So it was off to the exhibit hall to look, eat, mingle, talk with resource partners, drink, talk, mingle, hold drawings, walk around and then it was time for a real dinner upstairs. Dinner and drinks…. and no animals were harmed!

    Ohio SHRM Day 2

    Day two, I slept in – didn’t make the early session –BUT my travel partner did. He is a trooper! The first session I attended was kinda of deja-vu. It was the same room with Mark Stelzner with today’s topic Making a Business Case to the C-Suite. This was another great presentation by Mr. Stelzner. His content and presentation were dead on. The only sad thing about this session is that Mark was heard to say he is contemplating throwing in the towel on doing speaking engagements. I hope this is not the case, this would be a huge loss for the collective body and knowledge of the entire HR community.

    My next Thursday session was Your Employees are going Social. The presenter for this session was Mike VanDervort. Mike had one of the smaller breakout rooms, but it was packed. I thought Mike’s content and presentation were excellent. Mike is a well-known expert in both social media and labor relations. He married the two topics with some compelling information for the folks in attendance. My understanding is his encore session was equally well attended and received very positive feedback. This is a personal observation, I know Mike and would have expected nothing less from him – and I was not disappointed.

    Dave was bad and skipped out of another session to visit with some old friends and talk with some of the folks working the conference to learn a bit from them.

    The last session I attended on Thursday was put on by Bill Boorman. Bill lives in England but is quite involved in HR on both sides of the pond. This session was deemed eligible for GPHR credit. Bill’s session was edgy. Bill used Prezi in lieu of Power Point. Bill, who is also known for hosting TruConferences, did a great job of involving his audience in his session. Bill’s content, while global in nature, shows that things are really not that different in other countries. Bill also touched on some international subjects that would later be covered in China Gorman’s closing keynote address. I had not met Bill, let alone heard him speak, he truly is a thought leader in the HR field. If you get a chance to hear Bill or attend an event that he is attending, I would highly recommend this. Undoubtedly, you will find Bill on the HR scene in many places state-side.

    In typical conference style, I left Bill’s session around 6:30 and found myself back in the big hall at 6:45 for dinner, a contest and a comedy show. In keeping with the rock ‘n roll theme for dinner, it was burgers, fried pickles (they were great), fried green beans, chips and some other things that I didn’t chase down. After everyone had a chance to dine, it was competition time. Throughout the conference, there were gaming stations around for people to compete in the game Rock Band. The highest scoring teams competed in front of the nearly 800 attendees. I am proud to say on of my buddies, Brad Galen from Indiana SHRM, was in the band that placed second.

    With that competition complete, it was on to the main event. Heywood Banks was the entertainment for the evening. I had heard a lot of his material on the Bob and Tom Show. His show was a gut-buster. He had some outrageous stuff and didn’t go with the blue material. The highlight without a doubt was his song Big Butter Jesus. This was a hoot and is based on a true story. He was some of the best entertainment I have seen at any HR conference.

    Ohio SHRM Day 3

    This is go home day and I got up at 5:30 am to attend a 7:15 am session. I was going to be ahead of the game. I walked the ½ mile back to the lobby to take my belongings out to the car, only to find it was pouring outside. So the long walk back to the room to store my bag for later, I headed down to the session early and got to grab some coffee and visit with some folks. Before long, it was time for the “early” session. The poor fellow that had been dealt this unenviable time slot was Benjamin McCall. I really wanted to attend this session because I have met Ben, and have communicated with him often via Social Media. I had always had an inclination to think that Ben was a pretty sharp young man. Well after sitting though his session, I proved myself to be correct. This guy is going places. He is one heck of a presenter, sharp and on his A game. His presentation was very well received and had fabulous content, all the while Ben kept it light and entertaining. No doubt Ben will be speaking more in the days to come. If you get a chance to hear him present, I would suggest you not miss it. Good job Ben!

    Next up was Paul Hebert and Influencing Behavior. Paul had the same room that Mike did and they were standing all over for Paul’s session. I was one of the folks standing. It did not diminish the content. Paul killed it. I was unable to send out any tweets given my position. I felt bad because Paul had some killer content and I had no internet service on my phone and couldn’t fire up my lap top, so I was cyber shut-down. Paul’s content was great, some of it almost clinical in nature. Paul knows his subject material well. He charmed his audience. Paul, I am sorry for not tweeting at your session, but you didn’t need me. I watched the tweet stream for Paul’s encore session, and they were loving it too. Go see Paul if you get a chance.

    The final session before the closing keynote was with William Tincup. William was back in the Cypress Room; his session was titled How to Create User Adoption of HR Software. William is a very intelligent and insightful guy. This comes through in most of what he does. In his session, William provided some great insights into the process of finding, purchasing and implement various types of HR software applications. The information offered by William almost seemed above some of the folks in attendance. William provided some great strategies in dealing with software vendors. I hope people got what he had to say. It was all good. William, too, is on my short list of people you should know and hear speak. If you want to get to know him, reach out to him he is one of the most approachable people that I know.

    Back to the main hall for lunch and the wrap up. I had a really nice lunch and got to sit with Kyle who is one of the three HR people from the Kalahari Resort. After lunch, it was time to wrap things up and Ohio SHRM called on one of the best people in business. China Gorman former COO of SHRM was given the podium. After sharing her life’s journey in the workplace, China gave the audience some tough talk and great advise. She urged them to be business partners and understand all aspect of business. Her presentation also had an international flavor touching on business opportunities throughout the world. She used some video examples to drive her point home. At one point I had to move close to a wall to plug in, so my laptop wouldn’t die. I looked around the room to see everyone riveted to everything that China had to say. China was a strong closer and brought the conference full-circle. She is awesome.

    Wrap-up

    That was it. There were the thank yous and the congratulatory accolades. And there was one final matter – Ohio SHRM State Council Director Andrea Gurcsik had been conspicuous by her absence. It was announced that she was at a conference for her work in Arizona and could not attend. Late on Thursday, her boss told her to get out of town, get back to Ohio, no matter the cost and see the end of her state conference. Her boss really knew how to motivate and take care of one of his employees. That is probably one of the biggest take aways from the event – know your employees and know how to take care of them!

    A big thanks to all of the folks from Ohio SHRM for being such gracious hosts. We would love to have a couple of your folks come learn and share with us next year in Illinois.

     

     
  • Talk Time An Ohio SHRM Takeaway

    Bill Boorman (in the tie died shirt) making his point at OHSHRM

    At the end of day two of the Ohio SHRM conference, I am a little wiser than I was when I arrived.  People attend conferences for a number of reasons, some more honorable than other reasons. But regardless of the reason you can not sit through these sessions and not take something away. My big takeaway is this. Implementation is hard.   I suppose you could use change interchangeably with implementation, as they are generally one in the same.

    At the typically conference you hear about how others have done it, You hear about why you need to do it.   You can learn all of the techniques that have worked in the past, but ultimately YOU have to go do it in your organization. Usually whatever it is, no one else has any interest in getting it done or helping you do it.

    Well today I got a pretty good tip from Bill Boor man on how to get things done.  Bill’s presentation was on global HR, but one thing he talked about must be a universal concept.  During Bill’s program he discussed how HR wasn’t willing to put the TALK TIME into things.

    Talk time is when you sit down with someone and look them in the eye and tell them what you are feeling and thinking.  By and large this needs to be done with all of the staff – they get talk time.   Technology is making it really easy no to grant talk time, or how we can come up with other ways of communicating a message without talk time.

    I guess it seems elementary, but it isn’t. Many of the conversations are difficult. They involve tough subjects, and matters that people don’t want to hear.  These conversations are going to make more work for the employee. It is going to make the employee feel less positive about the organization because of what you are telling them. Nobody wants to hear it, nobody want to deliver the message. So we choose to communicate in way that is less confrontation – but yet removes the human element.

    When I send an email it does not show my facial expression.  When you leave a voicemail you can’t pat someone on the back.  If you use an intermediary they just say, so and so told me to tell you.

    Talk time will make implementation easier. We need to give more talk time and we need to get more talk time. I am going to work on this – thanks Bill!