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Breaking Through: Overflow Sessions, Feather Boas, #SHRM16 and You!

It was Las Vegas 2011, and my first time attending SHRM Annual Conference as a staff member. In the bowels of the convention center, I saw her—the same person who was yelling at our information booth the day before—tired, stressed out, angst surrounding her as thoroughly as the neon-blue feather boa she wore (a prize won from some exhibitor in the expo hall, no doubt). Being a psychologist, my initial clinical diagnosis was: RUN!

Nevertheless, I approached the subject and offered my assistance. As soon as she spotted...


#Nextchat: HR Departments of One—Controlling the Chaos


In many small to midsize companies, the human resources department consists of one person—an HR department of one who must do it all. Often, these professionals have one of the most challenging jobs on the planet because they must manage every HR function including recruiting, onboarding, training, compensation and benefits, employee relations, compliance, human resource information systems, analytics, and strategy … and are frequently responsible for other business processes at the same time.  

The individuals who make up many HR departments of one typically have diverse backgrounds and levels of training. Whether


HR and the Challenge of 'Agile Talent'

There is no doubt that the dependence of organizations on external expertise is growing. Deloitte estimates that 30 to 40 percent of full-time workers today are what we term “agile talent” (contractors, gigsters, consultants and other external advisors sought for their special expertise). Our data suggest that number may grow in the future: More than 50 percent of the global companies we surveyed plan to increase their use of agile talent. 

In our new book Agile Talent: How to Source and Manage Outside Experts (Harvard Business Review Press, 2016),...


It Takes Two to Make a Leadership Connection

HR is continuing to make inroads in the leadership arena, but work is still needed. There is a renewed awareness that HR is a critical function of organizations. Boards are focusing on HR skills and holding CEOs accountable to be more aligned with their HR functions. CFOs have long been connected to HR, and that connection remains in 2016. Technology and globalizing are removing many competitive barriers – but human capital continues to differentiate the best businesses today.

Interesting data in a study by Harvey Nash shows that connections...


Three Things Vendors Should NOT Be Doing at #SHRM16

In about two months, individuals will be heading to Washington, D.C. to attend the 2016 SHRM Annual Conference.  This will be my 16th SHRM Annual Conference, and, based on my years of experience, here are the things vendors should NOT be doing as they prepare for the big event and the thousands attending:

1.  Do NOT treat students with disrespect 

Ideally, every person who walks through the exhibit hall should be addressed with respect.  However, it is inevitable every year that my students will come back with horror stories about being...


Lessons from the "Kelly and Michael" Mess

In the recent "Live with Kelly and Michael" controversy, organizational psychologist and #SHRM16 Blogger Dr. Michael "Woody" Woodard says the old adage "Nothing personal, it's just business" does not ring true. He joins Lunch Break with Wall Street Journal's Tanya Rivero and discusses how any solid relationship is founded in respect, which must begin with open communication. 






Q & A with #SHRM16 Presenter Catherine Mattice

As part of our coverage of the 2016 SHRM Annual Conference, each of the official bloggers is conducting a Q&A with one of the session speakers.  The speaker I chose was Catherine Mattice of Civility Partners.  Her session, “The Real World: Case Studies of Real Organizations Who Solved Their Workplace Bullying Problems” caught my eye for several reasons.  First, I’m an HR practitioner, so any session that focuses on solutions to real world problems interests me.  Second, workplace bullying is a topic that I believe is gaining more traction and attention. I’m personally a believer in the power of...


4 Things "Bring Your Child to Work Day" Can Teach Us About The Power of Play in the Workplace


Today, over 37 million workers in over 3.5 million offices across the country are taking part in  Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. Founded by Gloria Steinem, the program was originally created in response to research that found many girls lacked confidence and were dropping out of school by the eighth grade.  

While this one special day injects a much needed element of levity into the office and breaks up the monotony of the normal work week, there are some powerful lessons we can take from...


FLSA Changes…Again!

In 2004, there were significant changes to the parts of the FLSA that addressed overtime exemptions and 12 years later, we’re going to see some more changes…probably as soon as May 2016!

What will these changes look like?

The rule is not final, so we don’t know for sure yet; but it is likely that the changes will:

  • raise the salary minimum considerably –from $455 weekly to $970,
  • increase the annual compensation requirement for highly compensated employees from $100,000 to about $122,148,
  • establish a built-in mechanism for
  • ...