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 #SHRM14 is just a few days away and I’m packing up for a week away with my HR buddies. I’m pretty excited for the opportunity to attend annual conference again. For me it’s like a place to recharge and get excited for the profession again. You’ll hear inspiring stuff from the keynote speakers, something you can bring back to the workplace in concurrent sessions and you’ll grow your network while you are there. You’ll have everything you need to be a great HR pro under one roof from an I “heart” HR jacket to the latest and greatest HR books to vendors for every...


Maximizing Your #SHRM14 Experience

This weekend I’ll be heading to Orlando for the #SHRM14 Annual Conference and Expo.  Many of you may be joining me; for some of you it may be your first time, others of you may be SHRM Annual veterans.  No matter if it’s your first time or tenth time attending, I ask you this question: Are you maximizing your conference experience?

I’ve written about this topic in previous years, but I feel that it’s worth revisiting as I’m not convinced that even the most veteran of conference goers utilize the opportunities available as well as they could.  So here’s some of...


How To Maximize The Exhibitor Hall Experience

The Society for Human Resource Management Annual Conference is upon us. How do I know? Because my inbox is flooded with requests for interaction from the world's finest sales people. If you haven't attended the SHRM Annual conference in the past, the Exhibitor Hall can be a bit intimidating. Sales and Marketing professionals in logo-ed polo shirts engage their core audience through i-pad raffles, branded handouts and interactive stuffed Monster giveaways.

I've had the equal pleasure of working a vendor booth and walking the Exhibitor Hall as a conference staff member. So, while this week's SHRM preparation editorials are aimed at conference attendees, I'd...


Can We DO That?! FMLA Q & A

Also known as the Friday and Monday Leave Act, these are just a few names affectionately (not) given to the acronym for the Family and Medical Leave Act. Know some others? Click here to share and I'll publish them in next month's newsletter.  

So why does the FMLA continue to be so challenging for covered employers? To begin with, just consider the definition of a covered employer. It's not just simply an employer with 50 or more employees, nor an employer with 50 or more employees for 20 or more weeks.  A covered employer...


Follow Through

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. - Anne Frank

I have three talents…none of them are bowling.

I have bowled quite a bit in my 44 years; I used to be on a team in my late 20s but that’s mostly because it came with pizza and beer and, to be honest, there wasn’t much else to do in Juneau, Alaska in the wintertime so I thought, “why not bowl…and eat and drink with friends?”  

I wasn’t very good…my only claim to fame is that I can bowl equally...


7 Strategies for Making Conference Connections — Get Ready for #SHRM14

Conferences offer many opportunities, professional development being one of the most significant.

And one aspect of professional development that’s often overlooked is building a professional network.

This isn’t an activity you should just undertake in your hometown. Because the business world is global, our professional network needs to be global too.

Now, I’ll be the first one to admit that making connections at conferences can be tough. It’s hard to walk up to a stranger and introduce yourself.

So with the Society for Human Resource Management’s annual conference right around the corner, I thought I'd list some of the things I’ve done...


Some States Offering Private-Sector Workers Retirement Options

America’s pending retirement crisis—a scenario characterized by millions of workers facing financial shortfalls in their golden years—has gotten the attention of state governments.

While many workers who enroll in pension or 401(k) plans do so through their employers, many businesses do not offer a formal plan. Connecticut recently decided to develop a state-administered retirement plan for private-sector workers. The plan, which will be operated separately from the state’s public retirement system, will be developed by a newly formed retirement security board and will create a low-fee individual retirement account (IRA) for workers who don’t have access to a...


Leisure and Learning

It makes me happy to think about journeying to Orlando in less than two weeks to attend my second SHRM Annual Conference.  Having experienced my first last year, I now know that the event is much bigger than the sessions held in the conference center. The variety of events that occur along with the conference bring opportunities for not only learning, but fun as well. I’ve heard some discount the importance of these events, but they are an important element of advancing our profession.

The ‘H’ in HR stands for “human” (at least in most places!) and we as HR professionals...



Human Resources is often written about in vast layers and fantastic catch phrases !!  When I see posts about “harnessing the synergy of human capital” I start to twitch.  One of the shortcomings of what we do is that we try to make it harder than it needs to be.  I think that HR has fallen into the trap that if we sound like we’re more intricate, then people will give us more credibility.

Weaving a broader web of terms and efforts that keep the “mystique” of HR as our brand lends itself to more confusion than clarification.  When I...