Monday, August 19, 2013

The crew at #ILSHRM13 are buzzing around putting the final touches on the start of the conference!  All the chapters are getting their booths setup and the SHRM Bookstore is ready to go.  They even have copies of our opening speaker Dan Crosby’s, You’re Not That Great.  Be sure to stop and get a copy so he can autograph is for you!
This year there is an awesome app on Bizzabo for the attendees to plan their conference sessions. If you are attending, this should be your first priority.   
Come check us out in the Social Media Lab!  You'll find a vast array of folks from WI, IN, IL, and OH that are ready and waiting to meet you.  Remember, if we are connected online I would love to connect with you IRL!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Work/Life Balance

As the annual SHRM Workflex Conference is in full swing this week, I thought it ironic that my blog post was on this topic.  Well, maybe I planned it that way.  You never know.

This year I participated in an OHSHRM State Council meeting where Scott Ferrin (@SHRMSCOTT)  from SHRM explained  different Workflex ideology and how to incorporate that into the workplace.  It was a highly educational for someone like myself who never had the opportunity to explore these options in their workplaces. 

So, what are some of the things he shared with us?  For one, did you know that SHRM partners with the Families and Work Institute?  They define themselves as: 

 "Families and Work Institute is a nonprofit center dedicated to providing research for living in today’s changing workplace, changing family and changing community."

Their most recent research suggests several things that stroke a chord with me about the changing workforce.  Maybe these stats will resonate in your life as well.  Did you know that:

There are so many options available for employers to review their rigid policies/procedures on Workplace Flexibility.  SHRM and the Families and Work Institute have dedicated time and money to research and offer such solutions.  I encourage you to take a look at them.  Times have changed...this should be no surprise to you!  We are all dealing with some balance issues in our lives.

Many of you have noticed and reached out to me as to why I haven't been blogging as much.  Well, to put it simply, I am working on my own Work/Life Balance.   Sometimes you have to take a step back, take a deep breath, and listen.  I'll still be blogging, but not once a week.  The next few months will be very hectic at work and at home.  Make time for the important things in your life - relationships.  I've said it from the beginning, it's not about the numbers - it's about the relationships.

So, what are you struggling with? 
What are your employees struggling with? 
How can you use all this research/solutions to better the lives of your employees?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What do you do all day long?

Recently, a colleague asked me a very simple question.  He said, "So, What do you do all day long?"  At first, I thought "How Rude." I work in a manufacturing plant and this colleague use to as well.  How could he not know what I do all day long.

Then after what felt like justifying my existence, I started to think.  What is a typical day for me.  What do I do?  In a futile exercise, I jotted down "the list."  Then I looked and said, this isn't what I want to do all day long.  My day revolves around firefighting.  For anyone who has ever worked in manufacturing, you know what I mean. 

How do successful HR folks NOT concentrate on the firefighting.  How do we find the time to make a difference?  We intentionally take time out of our day to find the good in situations.  We brainstorm about solutions to reduce the fires.  We focus on the positives not the negatives. 

So - how do you find time to make that difference?  Have you been struggling lately?  I have.  As Simon T Bailey reminds us, we need to reach out to our personal board of directors for a lift.  A gentle reminder that we are marvelous. 

As my conversation with my colleague closed, he reminded me of a Nora Ephron quote, "Be a Heroine, not a Victim."  Thanks, Jim for the gentle reminder.

Let's share today.  Tell me, how are you able to focus on the positives in the midst of the negatives?  You just might make a difference in the life of someone you have never met.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Engage or Leave...

Last week was OHSHRM. It was a baseball theme, so you'll have to pardon the puns!  In case you missed the Tweets from the conference, here are a few folks that I was able to engage with.  

The conference lead off with Steve Gilliland.  Steve brought some reality into my life when he told us a story about coming home from a long roadtrip for work, saying hello to everyone and then jumping onto his computer to answer emails.  Totally missing the fact that his wife and son had cleared their evening to spend with him. Steve told us of how he purposely turns off his cell phone.  Yikes.  Can you still do that?  There's an off button on those things?

Social GravityThen, in the Talent Anarchy general session, Joe and Jason reminded me that online "friends" are not about the sheer number of people, but the relationships and overlap you have with folks.  So, I purposely made it a point to introduce myself to Joe and Jason.  I wanted them to know what an impact they have had on me.  I am purposely choosing to take a deeper dive into my "connections." If you haven't picked up a copy of their book Social Gravity - what are you waiting for?

Our closer was, Jeff Havens.  Which, if you know me and my family, he could be my brother's twin.  His satire on what to do to "Unleash Your Inner Tyrant"  made everyone laugh.  Well, almost everyone.  There's always a few HR folks who won't dress down or laugh at a conference.  Jeff pointed that out too!  Jeff was able to remind us how ridiculous we could be when faced with leadership challenges.  It was great to end the conference laughing.  We truly don't laugh enough in HR.

For those of you that attended OHSHRM.  I hope you were able to engage in the sessions, the networking, and the amazing Resources Partners at your fingertips.  Fred Eck and his team put on a great conference.  If you haven't had a chance to connect with Fred, you should.  And...tell him thank you for hitting it OUT OF THE PARK!

In closing, I leave you with these thoughts.  There was a lot of discussion around relationships, family, and priorities.  Have you disengaged with people at home or work?  Do you have priorities straight?  Sometimes, you have to change the lineup in your life. Batter up!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Efficiency vs Effectiveness

Graph, Chart, Icon, Symbol, clipThere is a lot of chatter on Twitter around data points.  What is the most effective way to recruit.  What is the percentage of folks living paycheck to paycheck.  How many people will vote for Obama or Romney.  Those are a few headlines I saw today.  Everything is about the numbers.

This week I had to travel for business.  So, I spent all weekend catching up on emails, prioritizing the tasks for the week, and finishing those last minute business processes that must be completed so payroll can be processed.  Tasks...I caught up on my tasks.

I went into work on Tuesday briefly before flying east.  When I was at the office, I had a list of "things" I had to accomplish before I left.  I cancelled a conference call, I ignored an incoming phone call (I have caller ID), and I short changed a very important person in my life that just needed help and guidance on some HR things.  This very important person never short changes me when I need his time.  BUT... my desk was clean and I was ready for the trip.

In the end, the guilt eats me alive.  I was totally efficient - isn't that what every boss wants?  I was not effective.  It was more important to get the numbers out than it was to deal with the human side of the business.  How many times do you short change those people in your daily life strictly to get the numbers out?

We are in the Human Resource Business.  Human being the key word here.  So, all I can do is say, "I'm sorry, Boss" for short changing our conversation on Tuesday.  It's time to step back and remember why we are in the field of Human Resources.  Clean desks and empty inboxes are important, but the relationships we build are more important.

Who have you short changed this week?  We all have shorted someone.  Call them, and say you're sorry.  After all...we're all human. 


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Take Me Out To The Ballgame!

Well, it's time. OHSHRM is finally here! September 19th-21st at the Beautiful Kalahari Resort in Sandusky Ohio.  After months and months of anticipation, there will be over 500 HR Professionals under one roof.  That should scare some CEOs.  Just kidding.

Have you taken a look at the Grand Slam Line Up for this event?  You can visit our website here. But let me tell you what I am looking forward to! Getting to see some of the folks I met at ILSHRM12. 

Dr. Daniel Crosby (@incblot) will be speaking at an early-bird session.  While I met him at ILSHRM12, I didn't have the opportunity to hear him speak.  He's first on my lineup of sessions with "Becoming A Strategic Five Tool Leader!" 

Then there are the Talent Anarchy (@talentanarchy) guys!  Jason Lauritsen and Joe Gerstandt.  Remember, I didn't get to meet them at ILSHRM12, but I heard them motivate!  Can't wait to introduce myself to them.  I might even ask them to hang out at our chapter social hour - that's the introvert in me.  Can't wait for Joe's inning on "Freak Flag Flier!"

Besides the folks I met at ILSHRM12, there are two folks I am excited to meet IRL. 

Meredith Soleau (@LifesCrazyJoke)  is a resource in my own outfield (about an hour away) and I have never met her.  I am looking forward to her session on "Recruiting Your Designated Hitter Using Facebook and Twitter."   

The last guy I want to tease you with is Tim Sackett (@TimSackett).  I have followed him from the start on Twitter.  He is speaking on "What Your CEO Wishes HR Would Do." Who wouldn't attend that inning???

So, if you haven't registered, it's NOT TOO LATE!!!  If you are coming to OHSHRM, give me a shoutout on this blog or Twitter.  I'd love to have you join us for our chapter social hour!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


While at ILSHRM I was able to participate in a conference session from a local Ohioian, Benjamin McCall.  Benjamin is from the Cincinnati area and can be found at his blog

Ben's session was on how to develop a leadership training program.  He started the program out by asking us one simple question, "Do you think leaders are born or made?" My initial instinct was to say, "Duh...they are born with it." Being the introvert that I am, I said nothing.  Neither did anyone else!

So he had us all ball up a piece of paper.  Those folks that thought leaders are born, were to thrown their paper towards the left side of the room.  Those folks that thought leaders are made, were to throw their paper towards the right side of the room.  There weren't too many of us throwing our papers on the left side of the room.

The next statement sounded so simplistic that I almost was embarassed that he knew which side of the room I threw my paper on.  Ben said, "If leaders are born, then why do we have tons of consultants teaching Leadership Development Programs?" Ok - so what had I missed.  He was right.  We as HR professionals tend to look for the quick fix. We want to find that next leader that is ready to go so we can move on to the next firefight. 

My challenge to you today is simple.  When you are looking for your next leader, look at the potential to make someone a leader.  Don't just look for the natural born ones. You never know what introvert is waiting in the wings!