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Part One: The Art of Benefits Communication #shrm14

Benefits communication is one of those topics that everyone hates to love…or just hates. There are rules and procedures in place that make being fun with benefits communication almost impossible. Today I attended a session titled, Perception is Reality: Best Practices in Benefits Communication” with Mary Schafer of ADP. For those who are new to benefits you’ll quickly learn that getting people to enroll in different programs can be a challenge, especially with rising costs and uncertainty on how Obamacare is really beneficial for the everyday employee.

Mary spoke on some very crucial aspects of benefits communication that allow practitioners the...


#Nextchat: Returning to the Workforce After a Career Gap

Re-entering the workforce after a long break to raise children, to care for aging parents or for other life-changing reasons can be an intimidating--and sometimes humiliating--experience.  

Research shows how difficult returning to the workforce can be: A study by the Center for Work-Life Policy found that only 40 percent of mothers find full-time jobs. Mothers returning to the workforce face many obstacles such as anti-mommy bias, limited work/life balance and the loss of job-related skills over time. The job search to re-enter the workforce leaves many mothers feeling discouraged and frustrated when they can’t even secure an interview,...


SHRM National Conference Kicks off with Winner

The 2014 SHRM national conference kicked off today with huge attendance and more non-US representatives than ever before. Hank Jackson talked about a new direction and new things HR must attend to in the future. I as happy to hear about the future stuff because that is what I write about on Future Friday.

Robin Roberts, TV sports and newscaster, told her courageous story of surviving not only cancer but another potentially fatal disease. There were few people left sitting, out of 13,000+, when she asked everyone to stand who had a someone in their life affected by cancer. Emotions...


Increasing Benefit Value at No Cost (#SHRM14)

Before I jump in, I realize that there is some cost associated with everything. My love of economics doesn’t allow me to get away with the idea of a “free lunch” without mentioning that; however, I’m talking about increasing the perceived value without increasing the direct cost of the various options offered. Hang with me, there’s good stuff to share. 

My first SHRM 2014 session focused on benefit communication best practices and was presented by Mary Shafer at ADP. Here are nine tips, ideas, and concepts for improving your benefits communication.

  1.      What’s the key to crafting a
  2. ...

#SHRM14 Robin Roberts on the Virtues of Just Rolling With It

If there is one lady I have always liked it’s Robin Roberts.  She is probably the singular reason GMA is on my morning news rotations between CNN, Morning Joe and my local news (which I just need for traffic).

Robin kicked off SHRM#14 with a little humor, good storytelling and I LOT of levity.  “We are all a little bit stronger than we think we are”.  We hear about engagement at work. And I have written several post with the sentiment “everybody’s got their S**t” from the point of view of an HR pro and also about being your


The Power of Optimism with @RobinRoberts #SHRM14

The 2014 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition kicked off this afternoon with opening keynote speaker Robin Roberts. Anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” in 2007 Robin was diagnosed with breast cancer and then, in 2012, she underwent a life-saving bone marrow transplant for myelodysplastis syndrome. She needed a bone marrow donation and, in her case, received the donation from her sister Sally-Ann Roberts, an anchor at WWL in New Orleans. (note – although Robin grew up in Mississippi, we in Louisiana have always considered her one of ours; she attended Southeastern Louisiana University and graduated cum laude with a degree...



Here is a short post...but was inspired this afternoon after being disappointed by people stirring the pot.

I had the pleasure of spending some time with two fantastic HR professionals, Joel Peterson and Enrique Antonio, this afternoon. After catching up with our lives and careers, the conversation turned to professional certification, and the recent decision by SHRM to manage it on its own.

I've already posted about my thoughts on What Do We Have to Lose if you're interested.  As a matter of fact, many have already written countless opinions on the subject...feel...



Do you know what astounds me about HR Pro’s sometimes? The fear to connect at networking events.  I’ve noticed at many conferences, monthly meetings, and networking events, the self-proclaimed “People-Persons” sitting at a table of 10 (via monthly chapter meeting) not saying a word.  Or  getting comfy in their “phone-zone” (hiding behind their phone).  Or coming 20 minutes late to a meeting just to “miss” the pre-meeting networking.

I know because a long time ago I was that person.  And I’m a talker.  And not  shy.  But what I didn’t have was the confidence I was competent enough as an...


Life Less Ordinary

I start this post as I hurdle along at 501 mph in seat 30C over the skies of Ohio on my way to the 2014 SHRM Annual Conference in Orlando.  It occurs to me that I am very fortunate in so many ways in life and this certainly counts as one of them.

Many people who practice in the area of human resources will either never have or never take the opportunity to learn from others in a setting like a large HR conference. For many, the way things are being done in their...