how to employee engagementEmployee engagement. What is it? Why should you care? Studies show that employees that are “engaged” in their work perform significantly better than those who are not. The problem is finding real, tangible ways to make that happen. Good thing there’s a book for that.

Recently I reached out to a few people to see if they wanted to contribute to an eBook to help HR pros, managers, and business leaders learn more about this topic. The response was a good one, and today I’m happy to share the free eBook with you. It’s titled “All together now! A guide to employee engagement.”

There are personal stories about engagement and what it means, tips for companies on communication and culture, and some really great, specific how-to content.

Special thanks to Shauna Moerke for helping me to promote the guide through the HR Carnival channel. I also want to thank the contributors for offering up some great, useful content: Nathaniel Rottenberg, Chris Ferdinandi, Paul Smith, Laura Schroeder, Dwane Lay, Dave Ryan, Krista Francis, Jennifer V. Miller, Lisa Rosendahl, Keith McIlvaine, Karen Seketa, Tamkara Adun, Cori Curtis, Lance Haun, Robin Schooling, Susan Heathfield, Stuart at 1.00 FTE, and Tanmay Vora, . You can find links to each of these contributors’ websites within the guide.

Click here to download All together now! A guide to employee engagement


new hire orientation free ebookOnboarding. New hire orientation. If you’ve been through a bad experience, you know how important this stuff is. Conversely, if you’ve been through a great experience, you know how important it is to help you feel connected to the organization and people from the very beginning.

Introducing the New Hire Orientation and Onboarding eBook

Recently I reached out to a few people to see if they wanted to contribute to an eBook to help HR pros, managers, and business leaders learn more about these topics. The response was a good one, and today I’m happy to share the free eBook with you. It’s titled “So, what’s next? A guide to onboarding and new hire orientation.”

There are three loose groups of articles in the book. First you’ll hear some stories about new hire orientation gone bad. Next you’ll learn some tips and ideas on how to do it the right way. And finally there are a few pieces on the unique challenge of onboarding new managers.

Special thanks to Shauna Moerke for helping me to promote the guide through the HR Carnival channel. I also want to thank the contributors for offering up some great, useful content: Paul Smith, Jennifer McClure, Trish McFarlane, Laura Schroeder, Dwane Lay, Dave Ryan, Lance Haun, Charlie Judy, Robin Schooling, Sabrina Baker, Michael VanDervort, and Tanmay Vora. You can find links to each of these contributors’ websites within the guide.

Click here to download So, what’s next? A guide to onboarding and new hire orientation

china gorman HRYP comment

I\’ve been working as the chair for the SHRM YP (Young Professional) committee since August of 2010. Chuck Salvetti at SHRM put together a great team of people to work on connecting young professionals to chapters and to the SHRM organization as a whole. At this point we are working on a short guide for chapters to use as a tool for attracting and engaging the young professionals in their area.

My mission

When I first started writing this blog, I wanted to help those people who were in my shoes. They were just getting started in the HR field. They knew that school didn\’t teach them enough to be successful. They were ready for an adventure. While my audience has shifted somewhat over time, I\’m always looking for ways to point back in that direction and offer something of value to someone in that situation. This guide is one of those ways for me to be true to my original vision for upstartHR.

My hopes for this guide

I hope it helps young pros to answer a few of the big, scary questions we all face. I hope it helps more experienced professionals to connect with the people who are looking to them for leadership. I hope it helps chapters see how they can serve young professionals by meeting their needs.

Geeky glee

I was overjoyed to see China Gorman, former COO of SHRM, endorse the guide the other day (see photo above). It really meant a lot to me and I can\’t wait to meet her at HRevolution.

Click here to download or print the free young professional guide.

Free ebook innovation collaborationAfter that title, I bet you’re wondering if I have a game of business buzzword bingo up my sleeves for the day. Well, sorry to mislead you, but there’s something even better on tap.

The 2011 version of the free Do Amazing Things eBook is here!

There are 21 great, short stories and ideas to get your year moving in the right direction. I already made a copy for my manager and put it on her desk.

A suggestion

Instead of trying to scarf it down in one sitting (which is easy to do!), hold off and read one of them per day. Then try to find a way to do something different that day to align with what you’ve read. Whether it’s simplifying the way you work, looking deeper into your motivations, or innovating your way through a new process, try to make real, actual change in the way you do what you do. I’ve personally seen amazing results from that and hope you do as well.

Click here to download Do Amazing Things in 2011 for free.

Thanks to Chris for putting this together. His efforts are definitely appreciated!

So… I finally finished the Rock Your Chapter eBook! It’s been a long time coming, but I hope it’s really useful to the volunteer chapter leaders out there. Know someone who’s in a leadership position with a local chapter or state council? Share this guide with them. I’d appreciate it and so will they. :-) I’m passionate about helping our volunteer leadership with leading and growing their chapters, and this guide is just a small piece of what I’d like to do overall. Thank you to everyone for your support!

click to downloadClick here to download.

Want to help?

I love giving these things away for free. The best part for me is knowing that it’s helping a person somewhere that I don’t even know, simply because someone like you shared it with them. Here are a few ways you can help me (and other chapters in your area):

Testimonials for Rock Your Chapter

Ben hits the nail on the head. “Rock Your Chapter” rocks!!
Posted by Lori Goldsmith, SPHR, GPHR
Thanks for putting your ideas on paper and working to make us all better.
(Cincinnati HR)
Posted by Julie Johnson
Hey Ben – nice work!
Posted by Michael VanDervort
This is great stuff! I will share with the Guam and Saipan chapters and let you know the results. Thank you for taking the time to put this together.
Posted by Katherine Gillespie Dote
Nicely done. Finally had a chance to download and read. Will happily pass along to others as well!
Posted by Bradley Galin, SPHR
Great book Ben. I printed it, read it and have sent links to my Chapter Board Members. I also posted a link on both the Georgia SHRM State Council LinkedIn Group and the Georgia SHRMState Council Membership LinkedIn Group!
Posted by Kevin Smith, SPHR
Ben: Thank you. I am sharing with our Board (Charleston West Virginia) and State Council Director.
Posted by James Wells, SPHR, IPMA-CP
Great guide! I’ll be sharing with my board colleagues in the Volusia/Flagler Chapter (Daytona Beach, FL)
Posted by Cheryl Perreault

Your document “Rock Your Chapter” is excellent. Thank you. As the Charleston West Virginia Chapter 2011 – 2013 President I have shared with our Board, and as a West Virginia State Council District Director I have encouraged the State Council Director to share with each Chapter in our State. Thank you.

Congratulations on your production of a useful tool for chapters.  Many of your ideas will fit any non-profit organization. Thank you for your efforts.

Good stuff. I\’ll be sharing with my local ASTD chapter during our board retreat in December.
Traci Cuthbertson

What We Teach How We Learn eBook CoverIt seems like 2010 is the year of free eBooks, but it’s really a lot of fun to come together with some other brilliant minds and put together a resource like the What We Teach and How We Learn eBook. Big thanks to Benjamin McCall of ReThinkHR for pulling this together!

The neat part about the book is the open space for you to add notes, ideas, and ways you can implement what you’re reading. Love that it’s interactive like that.

Here’s a snippet of my piece called “Train for the minimum, fail half the time.

How do you recognize when someone has been trained to do something? For instance, if Bob is training for a marathon, you can plainly observe the results of that preparation when he finishes the race, right?
What would have occurred if Bob trained not for the marathon, but for a half marathon? He wouldn’t have been successful! Then why do companies train supervisors to recognize the minimum acceptable standards but not much more?
A Painful realization
I had to sit in on a supervisor training session recently,and it was painful to watch. All of the material was geared toward teaching them how to reach just above the minimum acceptable level (how not to get sued),but the training never went farther by teaching how to give positive feedback or how to have a difficult conversation with their staff.
If we train people only to recognize the minimum acceptable standards, but we don’t give them anything more, then they won’t know how to do–and be–better.

Click here to download the free eBook

My companions in this venture

  • Erin Schreyer, President of Sagestone Partners, Founder of Authentic Leadership Cincinnati, Twitter: @eschreyer
  • Jennifer V. Miller,, Managing Partner at SkillSource, Twitter: @jennifervmiller
  • Steve Boese, HR Technology Blogger, HR Technology Instructor, Rochester Institute of Technology, Twitter: @steveboese
  • Sharlyn Lauby, SPHR, CPLP, She is the, President of Internal Talent Management (ITM) Group, Twitter: @sharlyn_lauby
  • Matthew J. Stollak, Ph.D., True Faith HR, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, St Norbert Collage, Twitter: @akaBruno
  • Ben Eubanks ,, Runs his SHRM chapter\’s RocketHR blog, HR pro at Volunteers of America, Twitter: @beneubanks
  • Chris Ferdinandi,, Author of CultureConvo, Employee Development & Social Media Specialist at EMC, Twitter: @chrisferdinandi
  • Lance Haun,, Community Director for ERE Media, Twitter: @thelance
  • Steve Browne, Executive Director of HR for Larosa\’s Pizza, Facilitator, HR Net, Twitter: @sbrownehr
  • Benjamin McCall, Leadership Performance Consultant, Editor,, Twitter: @BenjaminMcCall

If you’re anything like me, I bet you’ve said the following statement dozens of times in your life.

If I knew then what I know now… I’d be a killer chess player in Canada.

Okay, so maybe the last half of your sentence might be a little different, but you get the point. The idea is that you’d have extra knowledge to do more than you would otherwise have done. Today I have a free eBook titled “If I Would Have Known Just One Thing” to share with you on that very topic. Shane Mac asked me to give him a hand, and he’s just too awesome to turn down. Continue reading