• Chris Ponder A High Impact Dude

    Chris Ponder (R) after a tough mudder competition.

    Chris Ponder (R) after a tough mudder competition.

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

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

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

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

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

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

     
  • WIU-QC Bound for #ILSHRM

    The Entrance to ILSHRM14

    The Entrance to ILSHRM14

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

    The HR Superhero

    The HR Superhero

     

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

     
  • SHRM State Council Director’s Meeting

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

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

     


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    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 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.

     

     

     
  • HR Conferences Get Me Stoked

    #TNSHRM13 session with Dan Ryan

    #TNSHRM13 session with Dan Ryan

    If you dig deep into the reaches of your mind, can you recall your childhood?  Do you remember how excited you would get as your birthday neared?  There was all of the anticipation.   You knew the day would be great.  With your parents you could do little wrong and it was often a special day at school. Geez, who wouldn’t love and look forward to that?

    Well I am kind of feeling that way about #TNSHRM14 coming up on Wednesday this week.  It seems like a lingering 11 months and 29 days of build up and then BAM – it’s here.

    Some folks don’t get it, what is the jazz about an HR conference. Here’s why I am excited about coming to #TNSHRM14 (and this list probably works for every event that I have attended in the last 7 years).

    • It keeps me learning
    • I am going see a number of old friends
    • I am going to meet a bunch of new people
    • I will be immersed in HR with HR people for 2 ½ days (motorcycle riders like hanging out with other riders – it’s like that).
    • I will be traveling to attend
    • I will be staying in a hotel (I still enjoy that).
    • I will gain a bunch of HRCI credits
    • I will get to Tweet and Facebook a lot
    • Having drinks with friends and talking HR
    • Enjoying the short lines to the Men’s restrooms

    Ok so most of my reasons are valid, perhaps, a couple points are suspect.  I would bet that most people share my thoughts on attending this and other conferences.

    Something else happens to me with the conferences as well. When it’s over there is always this huge let down. To go back in time again, let’s go back to high school.  Think of the big dance, the big game, or the big trip – how did you feel when it was over?  There was a certain emptiness.  It isn’t/wasn’t all bad but it was just so much fun you don’t want it to ever end.  That’s how the conferences end for me.

    Hmm maybe that is what Heaven is – An HR Conference that never ends.

    Looking forward to seeing you all at #TNSHRM  – and as an aside good luck to our friends with #OHSHRM and #NCSHRM and they will be conferencing concurrently with the #TNSHRM crowd.

     
  • 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?

     

     

     
  • Let’s Fine the Emloyees

    If you have been in the HR trenches at some point  you have had to, no doubt, had to do some employee safety training at some point,  And while many of the staff, where ever you may be, tend to yawn when it comes to safety training, I often find myself defaulting back to this.  I tell them, the trainees, that this stuff is important to me, because I do not want to have to be the Company employee who has to contact the family and say,”Mrs. Ryan there has been an accident,,,”

    Good Companies work very hard to ensure that their employees are aware of safety rules and laws.  But there are those employee who refuse to follow the rules, to do what they are supposed to do.  What then should an employer do to get them to be compliant?   Recently I have been following a debate in the industrial safety circles where the conversation centers on OSHA fining employees.

    As I contemplated this, I got to thinking about another group of employees- those who drive.   Whether you are a truck driver, a sales manager or a claims adjuster there are those employees who must drive to get their job done.  So while they are doing their job, if they break the rules (run stop lights or speed) there is the chance that they may receive a traffic citation – a ticket.

    So what would be so wrong with an employee being fined by OSHA during an inspection. Here is the scenario;  during an OSHA inspection an employee is found not to be wearing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment,   Upon investigation it is found that the  employee has been trained and provided with the equipment.  It is even discovered that the employee has previously recieved discipline for not wearing their PPE.  So to look at this another way, this would be this employee “speeding”.  What is wrong with giving the employee a “PPE Speeding Ticket” ?

    According to a few blogs I have read, something similar to this is now going on in Canada.  I think this would add a level of accountability to both employer and the employee as well.  Employee fines would also be something else for safety trainers to hold over the head of their trainees as well.  We could be in the situation now where the employer is threatening to call OHSA to come to their place of business to see and fine non-compliant employees – or maybe they might already in the facility and have s PPE trap already set-up.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
  • ACA The latest Update

    POTUSThe last post I wrote had to do with minimum wage – politics if you will. I got some decent feedback on the matter, so I will continue down that dark road.    I like to think of myself as a man of action (maybe that’s a bit much) but anyway as someone who would rather try and do something about a matter, other than just complain.

    So The Affordable Health Care Act is on my radar now.   While I have not been an ardent supporter of the matter from the get-go, I have tried to refrain from proclaiming it to be the end of civilization as we know it, unlike a particular television network.  But the longer this thing drags out and morphs and changes and results in more delays, and revamping of other plans, I am slowly migrating into the pool of people who are ready to throw the whole damn thing on the sh$%heap.  I am trying to be a good HR rep and comply as the government requests, but then they turn around and can never meet any of their own self-imposed deadlines.

    People in government do not ingratiate themselves to people  in business by delaying and delaying and extending delays.  I can’t understand it to mean anything but utter and shear incompetence.  By the way who got fired over any of this?  The last time I check Ms. Sebelius was still in charge over at HHS.  If somebody botched something like this at your shop – wouldn’t heads roll?

    Now this is what is going on in front of implementation.  I am really troubled as to how this will work when they actually have to run or operate a program.   And I don’t know what to do about it – as I am a man of action.  There is not much that “old fat Dave” can do to affect change on the Affordable Health Care Act.  Got any good ideas?

     

     
  • Fight for Fifteen

    I live in a state where we have sent four of our previous six governors to jail.  We have our problems and it would appear that our governor’s 15 An hourhaving good sense is at the top of that list.  I am not sure what happens to them when they become the state’s top executive.

    Our current governor, Pat Quinn appears to have the same problem solving ability and the last 7 of them.  He is now beating the drum on the same subject as President Obama – raising the minimum wage.  I am just flabbergasted at their apparent lack of understanding about this matter.

    I am not an economist or a business expert but I do understand that the people at the bottom end of the economic spectrum, whoever they are, will always be there. No matter how much money the people at the bottom have, we will always have people at the bottom. They are there for a reason – right or wrong.

    We can raise the bottom, but then the top will go up and everyone in between will be raised.  Here is a simple example. If we raise the nation’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, the cost of everything will go up.  The cost of a gallon of gas will rise to around $8 a gallon.  Other employers will have to raise wages to retain highly skilled employees.  Highly compensated fields compensation will increase dramatically.

    When automobiles cost $75.000, people who make $15 an hour won’t be able to afford car insurance (which is required by law) let alone the car itself.

    Let me demonstrate graphically.

     

    Current Pay Rate $7.50 $9.00 $11.00 $15.00 $20.00 $25.00
    $15 an hour minimum wage $15.00 $18.00 $22.00 $30.00 $40.00 $50.00

    So to keep everything in proportion under the $15 an hour minim wage, people who used to make $25 an hour will make $50 – because of the market place.  That is what employers will have to do to keep those skilled quality employees.  Then they will be so much further ahead of the people who are now making $15 an hour.  It isn’t fair, I know.  Life isn’t fair and this is how free enterprise works.

    I get this – AND I am not an economist.  The only sense I can make of this, is that this is politicians are trying to placate the masses who work at minimum wage. It is a flawed concept and will not work.  HELLO?

     
  • TNSHRM and Mission Point

    Every Human Resource Conference has at least one, if not more Flagship Conference Sponsor.  They are the Company whose name is the biggest on the marquee and on all of the literature.  They are also the Company who has dedicated the most resources (dollars and people) to this event.  This year at TNSHRM13 that organization was Mission Point.

    Have you even thought about this — a company has paid a gazillion dollars to bring in an ostentatious booth to a show, have their staff all attired alike, seemingly giving away money, or a close equivalent.  Why in god’s name would they do this?  Do they have so much money they are trying to get rid of it to lower their income tax liability,  is it a cult, or are they just weird?  No;  they do it because you and me, the attendees, at these events are the people they want and need to talk to, in order to grow their business.

    And it is my opinion, that every conference you attend you should spend at least 5 to 10 minutes listening to what the flagship sponsor has to say.  After all the money they are spending on the event, just to try to get in front of you help keep your ticket price down.  This is savings for you or your employer or both.  You may think that you are not in a position to buy, use, resell whatever it is that the sponsor is selling, and maybe you aren’t – TODAY.  But, one never knows where the future will take us, and in what capacity we may be operating in at that time. It will also help you be plugged into what is going on in the industry around you.

    I once had a friend who sold the services of a freight company.  He was always infuriated by one large local shipper who would never see him.  He would always confide in me and say, “If he won’t see me at least once a year, he is not doing his job right. How does he know I might not be offering up a 90% discount?”  In other words he didn’t think this fellow had a handle on what was going on in his industry.

    So now are you feeling guilty because you did not drop by and chat with the good people at Mission Point, and perhaps you don’t know what is going on?  Well brother Dave can help you repent!  I did stop by the booth and chatted briefly with Allison Foulds – Vice President Client Services for Mission Point Health Systems.  Here is what she had to say about being at TNSHRM13.  Check it out, maybe they can help you. If not you can be thankful that they helped support a great event and a bunch of Human Resource professionals.  Thanks Mission Point!

     

     
  • MTSHRM I am Nashville Bound

    One of the things I enjoy most is anticipation, the run up to an event. Whether it is a wedding,  a family get together,  an event like a concert or a conference.  For me the anticipation just jazzes me, like a 7 year-old waiting for his birthday to come. Well one of the things I have on horizon is MTSHRM.  It is right around the corner.

    Ground transportation for this dude

    Ground transportation for this dude

    So you might wonder why is a guy from Central Illinois stoked about an HR conference in Tennessee – fair question.  Here are my reasons, in no particular order.

    I was invited to participate by two people I hold in very high regard; my friends Lyn Hoyt and Chris Fields.   These two folks have taken on the task of bringing social media to this event. They have done so with passion, drive and determination – and I am proud to do what I can to help and support them.  I have met a couple other folks involved with SHRM from Tennessee at the SHRM Leadership Conference.  Teri Levy and Dennis Stull  seem to be pretty darned friendly as well, so I figure I will know at least 4 or 5 folks when I walk in the door.

    Another reason is this… It’s MTSHRM and I GOT A TICKET !  Yeah that’s right it is SOLD OUT – you can’t get in even if you want to. You waited too long! Not me I am in!

    I have checked out the line-up card, all 21 pages, and have found a whole cavalcade of speakers that I have never seen or heard.  In the last few years, I have attended a number of HR events and MTSHRM’s line-up is all new for me.  The choices will be difficult, but I will walk away with a whole bucket full of HRCI credits.

    While at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, I will also be checking out the SHRM Bookstore and my friend Andi Cale.  She will have in stock – every book that has anything to do with HR/Comp/Benefits/Engagement/Leadership/Risk Management and Organizational Development;  just to name a few areas.  Andi also always stocks all of the cutest, latest and greatest HR stuff and SHRM wear, be sure to check this out –even if you do have to wait in line.

    Otherwise I will be hanging out in “The Pit” –The Social Media Pit that is.  This is where the social media folks will be posting up and dispensing their wisdom, to those who have questions. We will probably be tweeting out conference wisdom and posting Facebook fun as well.

    Now do bring those smart phones, tablets,and  even a PCs because my advice is this;  leave the notebooks and the legal pads at home.  I challenge you to live on the edge and do it all electronically at this conference.  Having just attended another conference I have seen how popular these things truly have become.  You are not cool anymore if you are not mobile at an HR conference.  (Just giving you all a heads up.)

    Lastly, I love networking and meeting new people.  So based on the ads, the event is sold at with 800+ attendees – and I know 4 or 5. Looks like I have some serious networking to do!

    Come by The Pit – say hi – let’s connect!

     
  • A Necessary Evil – Book Review

    Book coverWhen you first open a new book, you wonder where it is going to go.  Well  “A Necessary Evil” was no different, but this work took a very different twist compared to any book I have ever read. First of all, I had met the author, Aliah Wright before I undertook to read the book.  Naturally I was excited to hear what she had to say.

    The next quirk began on page two, I actually knew a person (Janine Truitt) who is being quoted.  This trend continued throughout the book,  All of the people quote, referenced, or otherwise mentioned in the book are REAL PEOPLE, many of whom I have met, and would consider them friends.  While this may be amusing to me, I suppose that is not really enough to get anyone to buy the book.  So I need to delve into the content and the material covered in the book.
    I found the book to be an excellent introduction into social media use in the workplace.  It is directed at people who would like to, or who need to learn more about social media use in the workplace. So if you come down in the camp of shut it down, lock it down and don’t allow anyone to use Facebook or text at work, save your money and just continue with your head in the sand, we will see how that works out for you long term, ugh!
    But if you are interested in learning about how to manage your way through some of the conundrums that social media will present the book is a quick read and an excellent resource.  Ms. Wright calls on people who actually deal with these issues routinely.
    On page 99,  we hear from Paul Smith, a working HR professional. Paul talks about his views on use of social media in the workplace.  Paul deals with this  matter week in and week out.  Paul represents his organization in developing sound policies to deal with social media use at work.  His views are pragmatic and practical, and if you want to know more you could find Paul on twitter, on Facebook or on his blog and without a doubt he will speak to you.
    Throughout the book there are concrete examples of things that a manager should know about social media use.   Tweets can be programmed and sent out at later times.  If you don’t know this, Mr. Manager, you could end up with egg on your face.  I recall the first time I saw one of my schedule tweets flash before my eyes, I thought, that is weird, I just tweeted into cyberspace, but I wasn’t on my computer at the time.
    The book is well referenced and has a through index, which makes it an excellent resource.  I found it hard to put the book down.  I highly recommend it.  This should be in every HR pros library.
     
  • Gotta run to My Session

    Tuesday my third day of the conference. I have not attended a session yet, and it is ok.   One of my blogging peers, was working in The Hive. She was talking social media, and helping this person understand some of the nuances of the particular platform.  There was  a real  exchange of ideas going on.  But then … the conference attendee looked at here watch and said she had to run and did not have time to bring the conversation to a close.

    Our attendee was off to attend a session. While this is commendable, what sometimes gets lost in the conversation is that there is other learning and things of value going on, outside of the scheduled sessions.  And while SHRM does encourage networking through events, and other activities,  attendees don’t seem get or understand that is ok to hang out at the conferences, and just have conversations, exchange ideas,  learn from a peer who has a vast knowledge of a subject and is willing to share.

    I also get the concept of coming to the conference location and not setting foot in the event hall.  Remember the commercial where the guy is supposed to be at “the conference” and is badly  sunburned.  He wasn’t learning or networking, he was simply entertaining himself.  This is not what I am talking about.

    So here is the takeaway. If you are attending the convention  and you are having a really great conversation with someone, if you are learning about something by eavesdropping on a conversation, if you are talking with a presenter and you find them really engaging – don’t feel like you have to run off – just to get to the next session.  What you are doing is part of the overall conference learning experience.  It is ok.  Those of us in HR need to understand things are changing and the rules are changing.

    Learning and knowledge exchanges do take place outside of the scheduled sessions – don’t be afraid to do it.

     
  • Performance I Create #PICHR – Show Us Some Love

    Click on over and see what it's all about

    Click on over and see what it’s all about

    It is my hope that most of you who are gracious enough to drop by and read some of my thoughts occasionally, find me to be an honest up-front straight shooter.  Having said that,I will cut to the chase.  This post is nothing more than an unabashed shameless self-serving plug for the multi-contributor blog site Performance I Create.  I am plugging the site because I am one of the nine contributors.  For the most part, we each contribute one post a month. This means that we have new content about every 3 or 4 days on average.

    Personally I think this is the future of blog sites (and I said so in a January 2013 post).  Somebody must be a damn good writer and have a lot to say, if  you think your readers or going to read each and every post, if you offer up 20+ posts a month.  On our site , with the variety of people, you can see different points of view, differing prospective and see content from people working in various areas of the Human Resources craft.

    Additionally, if you do not have a blog site but would like to venture into the blogging arena, we always welcome guest posts.  So check us out, and follow our twitter hashtag of  #PICHR .  I think you will find the site and my team mates to be scintillating.

     
  • Happy Mother’s Day

    Sheila phtoshopped with me. Art work by Kevin Ryan.

    Sheila photoshopped with me.
    Art work by Kevin Ryan.

    This is a blog post  as a Mother’s Day gift for my wife. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!  However unconventional this may be, I am following along the lines of a friend of mine, Steve Browne.  Steve once got a blog – for Christmas.

    I wanted to take time out of my life and tell anyone who might come across this post that my wife is the greatest person in the world.  She has been with me since I was a misguided overgrown teenager, to where I am now, the  proud father of two wonderful young men – our children.

    We are friends, business partners and our own little self contained support group.  She puts up with me doing just about what ever I want to do, as crazy as it may be.  But she balances me too. Sometimes I head down the wrong path and she is my wisdom and my guiding light.

    She has also been a wonderful mother. She has always made sure that our family, whoever that may be – at any given time is always well cared for. Her loving ways are known by all who come in contact with her.

    It was only within this year I began to understand how tolerant she is.  As my cell phone dings and chimes and buzzes and goes through all of my social media machinations, she merely rolls her eyes now and then. What a great wife!

    I could go on but the message is clear – for nearly 35 years now – Sheila (Marrin) Ryan has  been the love of my life and the best thing that ever happened to me.  Happy Mother’s Day!

     

     
  • SHRM Atlanta Takeaways

    The exhibit hall at SHRM ATL 13

    The exhibit hall at SHRM ATL 13

    I have been back from the SHRM Atlanta conference for a couple of days now and had a chance to gather my thoughts about the event. First and foremost I would like to thank the Board of SHRM Atlanta for putting on a superb event.  It all worked;  the hotel, the meeting rooms, the exhibit hall, lunch and the tweet-up.

    There were a number of familiar faces on-site, all smiling and enjoying themselves.  It was particularly nice to run into Joe Gerstandt and Jason Lauritsen, who apparently brought down the house with their opening keynote address.  Unfortunately, I did not arrive in time to catch them. Those of us in Illinois hold Talent Anarchy in high regard.

    One thing that did jump out to me about this conference was that there was really no regionality to the event.  Any of the Atlanta sessions would have worked just as well in Albuquerque or Anchorage.  This tells me HR shares the same issues no matter where you are in the country – and probably in North America.

    Some other things that I noticed at the event were that HR folks in Hotlanta dress nicer than those in the Mid-West. Many, if not most, of the men had on coats – yeah sport coats or suits.  The women – many dresses.  I told one of my friends Deborah Herman, I expected to hear ZZ Top bust out into Sharp Dressed Man at some point.  This actually was a nice departure from what I have become used to.

    I was somewhat surprised at the continued lack of adoption of twitter by HR Pros.  I took  a look at Tweet Reach and only found 707 tweets for the event. (Although I do not know what that time frame represents.)  There were a number of the social media luminaries there, but overall I really didn’t feel the twitter big buzz.  Nonetheless, Jim Stroud and Teela Jackson took it upon themselves to do some heavy lifting on  the twitter stream for the conference.

    Probably the most interesting thing I encountered in the exhibit hall was a booth selling Pet Insurance as an employee voluntary benefit. VPI Pet had two representatives on site and they were working the crowd very well.

    I did get to attend a few sessions (so I could grab some of those old HRCI re-cert credits).  I caught the end of Joe Gerstandt doing “No, Great Minds Do NOT think Alike.”  Joe gets an A+.  I also caught Beth Miller speaking on Multi-Generational Management.  I give her a B+.  She needed to have her twitter handle out there so folks could mention her in their tweets.  And the only other session I attended was one that Teela Jackson commanded me to attend (not really).  Jennifer Mc Clure did an encore presentation of her program “From HR Leader to Business Leader.”   Her room filled up early, and there was simply no place left for anyone to sit.  So the ever gracious Jennifer did it again. A+

    Julie and I getting ready

    Then capping off the day were the last break out sessions at 3 PM on day two of the conference.  This was my reason for being there. I, along with my co-presenter Julie Moreland Senior VP from PeopleClues presented, as advertised, a highly interactive session, on HR Thinking Creatively.  I would like to thank Julie and People Clues for giving me the opportunity to work with them.  I would really also like to thank the 30 or so people who stuck around and joined in our session. It was an excellent group – diehards; each and every one of them. I do need to call a few of the folks out by name – Deborah Herman, Chris Havrilla, Lisa Watson and especially my friend Mike Haberman.  They all stuck with us, and Mike was gracious enough to talk about our presentation in one of his blog posts on SHRM ATL.  SHRM Atlanta ’13 was great experience for me. I got to visit with and make some new friends, meet up with some old friends, and I was a presenter at an awesome conference – a pretty good way to spend a couple of days out of  the office.

     
  • SHRM Atlanta Bound

    SHRM-ATL LogoSaturday April 27th, 2013.  –  SHRM Atlanta begins on Monday morning April 29th.  I have attended and participated in my share of HR events, most of them in the Mid-West. On Monday I am off to a different region, to look at conference from a little different prospective.   I will be a Mid-Westerner in the South, and I will a speaker at one of the break out session.

    Fortunately for me, I am not flying solo, I will be presenting with the Uber-Talented  Julie Morelandfrom People Clues. Julie and I are leading an interactive session entitled HR Thinking Creatively.   This is going to be an intensely interactive session, so much, that I imagine (although I hope not) we may chase a few folks out at the opening.  The session takes place at 3 PM, and is the last of the day, as well as the last of the conference.  The challenge is on,  but I am confident we will bring home the goods!

    Past all of this, I am stoked to attend the event.  My twitter buddy Teela Jackson is one of the main conference organizers, and the President Elect of SHRM-ATL.  Teela tops the list of people I want to visit.  However, I must comment, as I reviewed the agenda I have discovered this is in-fact a varitable whose-who of peeps who will presenting at the event – below are  just the ones I know (and I am honored to be among them.)

    Jennifer Mc Clure | Matt Charney | Joe Gerstandt | Jason Lauritsen | Eric Winegardner | William Tincup | Daniel Crosby | Chris Hoyt

    I will no doubt have some tweets, some Facebook posts, and probably a blog post or two from the event.  So it’s off to Hartsfield- Jackson.

     

     

     
  • 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!

     

     

     
  • Social Media, Blogging and Me

    Why do we all do it, tweet, blog, facebook, Google  + and Linkedin

     

    I have an undergraduate degree in Communication.  Some might argue that my BA simply  exists so that institutions can crank out diplomas.  (Said another way communications ain’t rocket science.)  While this may be true, there is actually something to studying, understanding and undertaking to create effective communication.   Many of us do this in our jobs everyday, whether it is written, oral, or through pictures or video.

     

    Whether or not we realize it, communication is an intrinsic part of business.  The better that we do it, the more effective we will be at conducting business. Thus it behooves most of us to endeavor to be better communicators.

     

    One of the ways that I try, to do this, or practice at it, is through my  writing and blogging.   While my posts don’t draw the traffic that some folks do, I have had enough moments, that make me want to continue to do so.  One post I wrote about a young man who works at Fridays in the MSP airport,  was the impetus for a customer service award and recognition he received from the corporate headquarters.  I have also been invited to be a regular contributor on other sites.  This too has been rewarding.  But why, why do I do it?  I enjoy writing , I  like to get better at everything I do, and to recall a quote from one of my professors – she said, “Remember, writers write.”

     

    While I find blogging both enjoyable and rewarding it is not the only are of social media in which I participate.  I very much enjoy communicating with people on twitter.  I really don’t know what it is about the 140 character medium it is that I so enjoy, but it sure intrigues me, and keeps me coming back.  Probably most of all I enjoy tweeting from conferences and seminars.  I am not sure if it is the reporter in me or I just enjoy being a blabber mouth.  Either way DaveTheHRCzar loves being on the conference hashtag.

     

    For twitter,second to conference of are some selected twitter chats.  With my all-time long-time favorite twitter chat is the engaging and intellectually stimulating #Tchat.   The twitter portion of that chat takes place weekly for 60 minutes beginning at 6 PM Central  on Wednesdays. You can learn more about #Tchat at the Talent Culture website.

     

    In terms of other social media, there are two other platforms in which I regularly participates with those being Facebook and Google +.  Facebook is Facebook and if I connect with you on twitter or LinkedIn I will be happy to connect with you on these platforms as well.  I enjoy sharing my life, my family and my work with those who care to look or listen.  I  have adopted the philosophy that i got from William Tincup.  I am who I am and I am the same person on all of the platforms/mediums.  So if you are willing to connect with me on one platform, I am happy to connect with you on any other platform.
    Chris Fields and I at our first meet up.  Yep we had some drinks!

    Chris Fields and I at our first meet up. Yep we had some drinks, and a great time visiting!

     

    Regarding LinkedIn I have been active on it since April of 2008.  While LinkedIn is a social media I really see it as a tool.   I enjoy spending time, interacting and connecting with people on this platform as well.

     

    When it is all said and done, that is what all of this is all about -meeting people, and that is what I enjoy about social media.  I really and truly can not put into what it feels like, or how it makes me feel – but when you meet someone face to face that you have known on-line for a while – that feeling is simply awesome. That is what I enjoy most about social media.