• 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?

     

     

     
  • #TNSHRM14 Bound

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

     
  • ILSHRM14 Day Two

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

    The Entrance to ILSHRM14

    The Entrance to ILSHRM14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     
  • 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…

     
  • 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!

     

     
  • Observations from TNSHRM13

    Compared to most other SHRM state conferences this one is large. I am told that there were nearly 1200 people in attendance.  That is big.  The location for the event moves around the state on a four year cycle. It goes from Memphis to Nashville, to Knoxville to Chattanooga.  The story is that Nashville always draw best due to it central location.

    TNSHRM seems to have more men in attendance than most other state or the national conference. I would say it looked like about a 50/50 mix men to women here.  Most other events seem to favor women 75/25; just check the bathroom lines at any of the events and you will see what I mean.tweetdeck

    The venue of the Opryland hotel (a Gaylord Property) is amazing.  The atrium area is huge and simply amazing. Go on line and check it out. My attempt to describe to describe it would not do it justice.

    HR issues in the macro sense do not change from state to state. Employee engagement, turnover, diversity issues and hiring practices are concerns in all 50 states.  You will see virtually the same agenda in Ohio, Wisconsin,  Tennessee or Illinois.

    Tennessee SHRM has done an excellent job of assembling a great staff of unpaid volunteers. They are all friendly, dedicated and immensely competent. Kudos one and all!

    Monday’s lunch was served buffet and hot. It was good and the seating was plentiful.

    The exhibition hall is rocking.  There are the peaks and valleys when sessions are going on (slow in the hall) and when they are out (rocking in the hall).  The traffic is good. I am guessing that there are 150+ vendors, making the event big but not too big.

    The last thing is to reflect upon is social media and it conference interaction.  I know from the people I have been working with that they have worked diligently attempting to give social media a large presence at this event.  They have done an excellent job. They admit that there is more to do, but due to their perseverance they have shown the TNSHRM board that there is merit and value into using social media as a way to both promote the event and interact with participants and vendors.  The Social Media team here in Tennessee is feeling positive about their efforts as I feel they should.

    Today is full day number two.  I think things will only get better on Tuesday. At this point if I could change one thing about TNSHRM13… I am not sure what that might be.   More to come…

     
  • TNSHRM13 – Volunteers make it Happen

    Nashville , TN – September 15, 2013…

    The Social Media Team is assembled.  We are here to do our thing.  We will support the conference, its

    IMG_2214organizers, its sponsors and all of the volunteers who help pull off an event like this. I had been meeting with the team, having dinner and a drink or two. We are good to go!

    On my way back to my room, I thought I would check out the digs one more time.  The conference hall (for the exhibitors) was coming together nicely.  It looks like most of the hardware is in place. The displays were set. The signs for the am sessions were ready.

    Then I walked down by the registration desk to see three women there.  These three  women who were  there, were there when I registered at about 2 PM. It was now pushing 8 PM, and they were going to be there until 9 PM.  I stopped to chat with them.  They were still all smiles and most courteous.

    I asked them if they would chat with me a bit.  They did.  They are Aimee Hull,  Shannan Duggin and Verta Ross.  Aimee and Verta were co-chairs for registration and  finance. Shannan’s official role is as a chapter management professional.    These ladies had been on-site since 6:30 am and were working until 9 PM.   At my shop those kind of hours are grievance material. These ladies were still happy and smiling.

    IMG_2216

    Verta, Shannan and Aimee (L to R)

    So if  you see  Aimee, Shannan or Verta during the conference, or any one of the TNSHRM volunteers goes out of their way to help you or make you feel welcome, tell them this.  “Thanks, I appreciate your efforts and volunteerism!” These three and many others like them are the people that really make these conferences happen.  When asked why do you do this, Verta responded, like this, “Because it’s fun and I get to meet people from around the state.  It allows me to give back to the organization that has allowed me to develop.”

    So during the conference know this, it is volunteers like this that make these conferences happen.  They don’t get much out of it, other than the satisfaction of knowing they did their job well.

    Please treat them accordingly!

     
  • The MTSHRM Tale of Two Dans

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

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

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

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

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

    DanRyanSessionAtMTSHRM

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

     
  • 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.
     
  • Kelly Clarkson she ain’t Hall and Oates

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

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

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

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