• Never Change Steve Browne

    Steve Browne in HR Magazine

    Steve Browne in HR Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Rock on dude!!

  • Happy TK Day

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

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

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

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

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

  • MOSHRM15 Wrap Up

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

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

    Count of #MOSHRM15 tweets by day.

    Count of #MOSHRM15 tweets by day.

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

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

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

    Big Jason rocking the attendees world at MOSHRM15

    Big Jason rocking the attendees world at MOSHRM15

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

    “Uncertainty kills engagement”

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

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

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

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

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

  • A Doctor at an HR Conference

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Washington Update

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


  • Think of the Expo Hall as Disney World

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

  • Meet Brad Galin at SHRM 15

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

    BradGalinTwitter Header

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

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

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

  • Meet Kristina Minyard at SHRM 15

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


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

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

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

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

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

  • Meet Steve Browne at SHRM 15

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


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

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

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

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

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


  • Top Ten Reasons to Attend #SHRM15

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

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

    5.) It’s Vegas baby!

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

    3.) Jennifer Hudson

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Written by Chris Fields and Dave Ryan

  • 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 One

    ILSHRM Day one

    imageFor my unbiased review of #ILSHRM14 I will say that things have gone exceedingly well. Outwardly there no fatal flaws or major blow ups. On a personal level I have been thrilled having two very positive things going on. First is this, I have become the director elect for ILSHRM, which means I will be running the operation for 2017 and 2018 (as I must spend two years in a director elect status), The second matter had to do with our afternoon keynote speaker Jim Knight, I had recommended Jim (pictured above), from seeing him at HR Florida in 2012. I wanted Jim to “kill it” and he did – in spades.

    The speakers/presenter have all been eliciting positive feedback. But the one thing that continues to be rumbling underneath the surface is the issue with the certification system/process. If you are not familiar with this issue you have been living under a rock.

    SHRM has dispatched Jeff Pon Ph.D., SPHR, SHRM’s CHRO here to speak to the ILSHRM group. On Monday he spoke with a small group of SHRM members and leaders in an attempt to “fix the problem.” However the jury is out whether or not that is going to happen. While I arrived late for the meeting and did not hear all of what was said, the consensus was that Mr. Pon had not fixed the problem, at least with this group of people.

    These are the facts as I know them.

    • SHRM has been working on a new set of competencies for more than 2 years, and this was not a secret.
    • SHRM did a poor job on the roll out and informing the members about this.
    • Most members do not understand how and why HRCI is now “out of the picture.”
    • The new SHRM certification is moving forward.
    • You may choose to continue to keep your PHR, SPHR, GPHR or CA designations if you choose to do so.
    • The transition for the new certification process is in place.

    On Tuesday morning Mr. Pon will be holding a town hall style meeting before the keynote address. I hope that his presentation is effective in communicating SHRM’s position on all of this to the general members of SHRM, here in Illinois. After all, it is the general membership that we are all charged with supporting.


  • Jim Knight Keynote Speaker at Illinois SHRM

    I am getting really excited about our Illinois SHRM Conference coming up in August for many reason.  Some of the reason are purely selfish and some are a little more esoteric.  I have all of the garden variety reasons like getting meet up with a bunch of friends in the HR community, that have become like family to me.  I, like all of you, relish all of the strategic “business”  credits  I can get for my re-certification.  And it is always invigorating to get your batteries charges at these events.  Do you know what I mean?  After you heard a great speaker or sat through a fabulous session – don’t you feel like you can go back to your facility and leap tall buildings and the like.  Yeah I know it is silly but I still get that and I hope you do too. BUT the biggest reason I am geeked about ILSHRM14 this year is I personally had a big hand in landing one of our keynote speakers for this year’s conference.  I am talking about Jim Knight.   Jim is going to be somewhat of a deviation from our recent line up of HR Speakers.  He is a worldly, well spoken fellow with some great insights into talent management.

    2014-06-23 17.56.30

    Jim Knight (L)  Mike Vandervort (R)  at SHRM14

    Jim had the good fortune to speak at HR Florida in 2012.  This dude helped them out something fierce.  In the late summer of 2012 there was a hurricane blowing around down that way. Hurricane Isaac caused a keynote speaker to be unable to attend HRFlorida and they were without a keynoter.  They had less than 48 hours to cover the slot, and there were lots of people waiting to here a great opening keynote.  As it turns out, Jim lives in the Orlando area, and was around town and available.  He came and gave the opening presentation and just killed it. The audience loved him. After my return from HRFlorida,  I spoke with ILSHRM conference boss Sabrina Baker (she likes it when I call her boss) and told her we have to get this guy.  Well last year was a down year because the big show (SHRM Annual) was in Chicago so we had to pass.  But then when I heard that Jim would be coming to ILSHRM14 I was stoked. He will be new to the Mid-West HR conference speaking scene and I am sure several other states will pick him up after they see or hear about his presentation, which will of course put Illinois SHRM in the position of being a trend setter.  So if you have not registered yet for ILSHRM14 yet, I am telling you this. Do it! Jim Knight is worth the  price of admission alone.

  • Are You the Next SHRM Speaker

    Yesterday I attended a 7 AM session at #SHRM14.  So what you should know is the room was filled with dedicated people. These are people who are intent on getting more information, making their careers better and advancing themselves and this is especially true for those who attend a 7 AM session.  What they learned is a little different than what I learned.

    2014-06-23 07.36.37

    Steve Browne introducing SHRM student member Serg Moreno

    They learned that being more connected, more engaged and involved with your employees in a real way makes you a better HR pro and makes your organization better.  What I learned is that HR conference need more presenters like Steve Browne.  Steve is so damn excited and so damn extroverted that he infects anyone who is with earshot.  As an HR pro Steve has so much credibility because he is the real deal. He walks the walk and talks the talk.  He does this nearly every day at LaRosas Pizzeria in the Metro Cincinnati area.

    Steve told his audience they need to be jacked-up and talk to, really talk to, their employees.  He made a number of other points, but in a sentence that is exactly what he told them.

    What I saw was someone presenting at the SHRM National conference who really connected with his audience because he does what they do.  Steve happens to do it very well.  As they say, (IMO) in my humble opinion, we need to have conferences, and probably not just HR conferences move in this direction.  It’s not rocket science and it simply makes so much sense.

    Let’s have people who really do the work, present and talk about that work. Look for this to be a trend.

    What does this mean? This means that YOU could be the next presenter. Think about what you do and what you do well and get ready to take it on the road. Make  plans to speak at your local SHRM chapter, your local Chamber of Commerce, a local Rotary Chapter, your kid’s school.  If you want be the pied piper of HR you can. And those of us in the space need you to do that. We need fresh and excited voices.

    On Sunday, we heard from Heather Abbott and about her powerful story.  She talked about doing EEOC at her organizations.  She was proud of that and excited about that. And while Heather had many other issues to work around, given her life changing event at the Boston Marathon, she remains a dedicated HR Pro. That is the kind of person we need to be hearing from – she lives this; everyday, and many of you do too!

  • SHRM14 Is Open

    It is here #SHRM14.  Got here yesterday, and hooked up with some old friends for a great dinner, some silliness and drinks.   It is go day today Sunday, day one of the conference.

    Arriving at SHRM14

    Arriving at SHRM14

    So far most of the talk is about certification – duh.  At this point everyone knows that this could have been handled better.  Have you ever screwed up anything at work?  I have.  On the run up to the conference SHRM has worked diligently to communicate to its membership about this.  I have been on calls at the national, state and local level; all of which were designed to push the message out. I have heard from numerous SHRM officials that they know they handled this poorly.  All of us are held accountable for our actions at work, just as the SHRM folks should be. I am sure that a few people at Duke Street “heard about this.”

    There will be more meetings today with the volunteer leaders and the general membership.  The new certification process is probably going to get top billing.

    Perhaps by the end of the conference, if the efforts are successful, this wrong will be righted.  If you are part of the faithful, listen to message, hear what is being said and give SHRM a chance to explain the whole matter.  Remember if you are like me you have probably screwed up a thing or two at work, listen up and see what is being said about this.

  • Your First SHRM National Conference

    Is this your FIRST SHRM National Conference? If so, this post is directed to you.  If you have been before you are welcome to review my thoughts, and add any helpful thoughts you might have in the comments section. I am told by a reliable SHRM insider that there will be a session Sunday morning for first time attendees, so you might check on that as an option while you are at registration.

    Ok so it is your first National Conference, this is called THE BIG SHOW for many reasons, and it is BIG.  In recent years the number of attendees has been from 12,000 to 14,000 +.  Then when you factor in the speakers, the vendors, staff and the other hangers on the number can grow to about 15,000.   So SHRM, takes over the town for a few days.  If you fly in, I would guess that 25% to 33% of the folks on the flight are bound for the conference. The conference fills dozens of hotels (45 official hotels this year), and there may be as many as 60 coaches in operation shuttling conferences guest to various designations.

    This convention is one of a few that can only be held in certain select cities, because they have enough infrastructure in place to support an event of this magnitude.

    Me and my MNSHRM buddy Tiffany Kuehl hamming it up at #SHRM13 in Chicago.

    Me and my MNSHRM buddy Tiffany Kuehl hamming it up at #SHRM13 in Chicago.

    This conference costs a lot to attend, just in case you haven’t figured that out yet.  Depending upon your conference fee, your travel, lodging and meals can easily tip over the $3K mark, so if your employer is sending you to this you should be prepared upon your return to explain the value proposition to them – what did they get for their three grand (keep this in mind as we go through this post.)

    The pre-conference (Student portion) and other events start on Saturday June 21 and run through Wednesday June 25.  Within the time frame SHRM is offering up hundreds (I am not sure of the exact number) of sessions.  The sessions are wide and varied. You need a plan. What do you want to learn about?  Who do you want to hear speak? What topics do not interest you and what sessions do you want to steer clear of.  This is the plan.  Get the conference planner, go on line or download the conference app when it comes out.  Then plan your conference and work your plan, otherwise it will be sheer and utter chaos and you will not accomplish nearly what you need to, in order to provide value to your organization (remember that is why you are attending).

    Hopefully there are some people at this event that you would like to meet.  Whether it is an author, a speaker, an HR peer, me or Hank Jackson, include this in your plan. SHRM also does an interesting thing where you can get paired up with people you don’t know and share a meal with them.  Some of your meet and greet plans might not come to fruition, but if you do not plan to meet these people it most likely will not happen. Do keep this in mind most people are very approachable and truly like meeting people. Also plan to see any HR colleagues who may be attending the event. That is always enjoyable. (I always have a huge list of people to meet and to see.)

    The exhibit hall is huge. Plan to spend quite a bit of time wandering this floor. There will be over 1000 vendors in the hall. This may very well be where you will find that value I have been speaking of in this post.  In the vendor hall you will see all of the latest and greatest stuff in the world for HR.  All of these vendors want to talk to YOU and tell you about their stuff.  Be courteous to all of them, but at least have an idea of some of the type of vendors you should be speaking to.  You will find out what is new in this area, where the markets are going and what your company is or isn’t doing right.  Also understand that all of the vendors you engage with, will most likely follow up with you.  This, after all is why they are there.  If you are not interested in any further information, you can very nicely tell them so, so that they don’t waste their time or your time.

    Don’t forget to plan a little me time too.  Whether it is taking in some local culture, via a restaurant or a night spot, or seeing a local attraction like umm WDW don’t deny yourself this – just remember the value proposition and bring it home with you. Enjoy the conference!


  • Musings On LASHRM

    As I write this post I am on my way to the Louisiana SHRM State Conference.  I am attending as a co-presenter of a break out session and as a member of the Performance I Create Blog site.  I am not sure how this all came together but I feel quite fortune to be in this position.

    Looking up the river in Baton Rouge

    Looking up the river in Baton Rouge

    No doubt Robin Schooling had a lot to do with this, but I think it is largely my willingness to put myself out here in the social space of HR and roll with it. If you think about it in this context, I am an HR guy from Central Illinois and I am traveling to Louisiana to talk about my craft and help promote the event; Wow!   I guess it has been an evolutionary process of meeting people, and being afforded the opportunity to share with a bunch of excited, like-minded bright and insightful people.

    Sometimes this involvement centers around doing a lot of work, with little or no compensation while putting yourself out there with a significant risk of failure.  Not every blog post is Pulitzer Prize material, not every presentation gets rave reviews,  and a large portion of the things people do in the social space seem to go unnoticed, but yet we persevere.   I wonder if in the future this condition will get a diagnosis.

    One of the outrageous benefits of being in this space is the people.  Nearly everyone I have met through SHRM and other conference associations is just a great person.  These people like Robin, and the entire cavalcade of Social Media micro-celebrities that will be at LASHRM, fall into this category. (You know who you are.)  Trying to understand what makes these people tick, might be a good project for Dr. Daniel Crosby to look into.  I am one of them and I am clueless as to what “really” motivates me.

    So without being too self-serving I will say thanks to LASHRM and Robin for inviting me, thanks to my partner in crime Donna Rogers @HRWarrior  – I hope we don’t suck.

    Also a shout out to all of my Performance I Create fellow bloggers.  I am really proud to be a part of this group and some of the amazing content we put out there.

    I am looking forward to a great conference. Stay tuned for more tweets and dispatches from Baton Rouge…