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How to Do Internships the Right Way

Internships are not meant to be free help. They are not meant to replace an employee. And they shouldn't be used for busy work.
Internships are a great way for students to get real-world experience in a particular career and for employers to scope out potential new hires upon graduation. But when they are not well planned, they won't be successful for the interns or the employer, said Sharon Beaudry, a former HR director and currently an assistant professor of management and program director at Oregon Institute of Technology...

Are You Really “All In”?



It’s been a week since I’ve returned home from SHRM17 and I’ve been contemplating what I learned this time around. I certainly gained a lot from the sessions and the experts who presented them, from the exhibitors who took the time to educate, and from my colleagues I see but once per year.

And then there are the takeaways from observing the folks who attended the conference. I’m an expert eavesdropper and rarely miss conversations in the elevator, on the escalator, in the line for coffee, etc. This year, I was...


Hurry Up & Wait; It'll Change - Worker Status Updates



Is it really any wonder that employers sometimes can't get the answer right?  How can we when the answer to the same question either changes from the same agency, depending upon which political party is in power or varies depending upon the source being asked.  

In 2007 I had the honor and privilege of testifying before a joint US Congressional subcommittee hearing on worker classification. Not the FLSA type of classification, exempt v. non-exempt but with regard to worker status: employee versus independent contractor.  Here are just a few...


FMLA Abuse: Serving Jail Time, Moonlighting, Vacationing and More



People who abuse the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) do so for a variety of off-the-wall reasons: to serve a jail sentence, attend a criminal court hearing, travel to exotic locations, go fishing or build a family business, for example.
But even if the fraudulent conduct is outrageous, whether an employer prevails in an FMLA leave abuse case often depends on whether it has conducted an exhaustive investigation, said Jeff Nowak, an attorney with Franczek Radelet PC in Chicago.
Some employers learn this lesson the hard way....

What Being a Parent Has Taught Me About Leadership


Two years ago, my wife and I were blessed with not one, but two little bundles of joy.  As they grow and develop, I am coming to believe that I am learning as much from them as they are from my wife and I.  It got me to thinking about my job in HR, and how I have evolved as a professional and as a leader.

I started in HR out of college, as a young single guy.  A few years later I met Kristi, we got married in 2010, and...


#SHRM17 as an Intern


Between the SHRM Foundation Annual Luncheon, the #ALLinSTEP Challenge, and general conference happenings, it’s hard to sum up my entire #SHRM17 experience.

I first heard about #SHRM17 when applying to be a marketing intern for the SHRM Foundation. When I received an offer from SHRM via a phone call with HR, I mentioned I had another offer and would get back to them on my decision. Not even ten minutes later, I received a call from my manager-to-be saying there was a possibility I could travel to New Orleans for SHRM’s...


What to Do When Bedbugs Bite at Work

The infestation prompted BuzzFeed’s chief communications officer to order employees to work from home. 
Bedbugs—those nasty parasites that feed off human blood—are typically a household problem. But every now and then, the critters find their way into the workplace, as they did last week at BuzzFeed’s headquarters in New York City.
“We are acting out of an abundance of caution and asking you to work from home tomorrow to give facilities the chance to deal with this in the fastest and environmentally safest

#SHRM17 in a Nutshell



This year’s conference started off with a great mega session by Kat Cole, the CEO of Focus Brand (yes, the cinnamon rolls from Cinnabon that is the size of your face.) Kat became the CEO at the age of 32 and never gave up. Why? Because she had the “Hustle Muscle” to do it, no matter what problems came in her way.  Despite of whatever problems she had faced in her personal and professional life, she learned from those mistakes and kept growing. Yes, like every other human being, she...


Are you an HR Thought Partner?



I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what it means to be a strategic HR partner, leader and influencer. I’m a department of one, and I strongly believe that the key to success is investing in relationships. The combination of being trustworthy and invested, along with really knowing your stuff, makes you both a subject matter expert and also a partner that folks in your organization will want in their corner.

One way to accomplish this is to be a thought partner. According to the internet (and honestly, I found...


#SHRM 17- Report on Patrick Lencioni


Day three of the conference started off with a keynote address by Patrick Lencioni, the author of the book The Ideal Team Player and founder of The Table Group. His presentation was very interesting and I have tried to capture the high points below.

The old model

Lencioni started off by telling us that the old model of trying to construct teams is dysfunctional. We try to construct teams based on five characteristics. These are trust, conflict, commitment, accountability and results. Unfortunately we have not been successful with such a model. Most teams based on these five characteristics...