If you’re interested in getting certified with your PHR or SPHR (or heck, even your GPHR, we don’t discriminate over here at upstartHR headquarters!), then I have a tool you might not be aware of. For the past year, I’ve been writing a monthly email newsletter and sending it to HR pros who are prepping for their certification exams.

The emails usually go out on the first day of the month, but February’s shortened calendar always screws with me, so this one will be a day or two late. :-)

As a bonus, there’s an exclusive 3 part video series I put together on why I help people get certified, how to get your employer to pay for your materials, and what to do with it once you have the certification.

If you’re one of those great (great!) people who purchases the Rock the PHR study guide, you get access to the entire archive of the newsletters back through January 2010. I consistently hear back from people who pass the exam telling me they really appreciate this tool keeping them motivated and on top of their studies.

Now, I know that certification isn’t for everyone, but if you would like to get on the list, here’s a snapshot of a recent email newsletter. If you’d like to sign up, just click the image! Did I mention it’s free?


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!

Whew! There are so many great resources I’d like to share today. Let’s jump right in.

Free employee engagement webinar

These events by Workforce.com are fantastic. They have multiple sessions throughout the day and you can even get HRCI recert credits for some of the sessions. Definitely worth checking out!

Make your age an afterthought in your career

Careers are built on ability, not on age. (best quote ever!)

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

  • What excites you? Why do you get up in the morning? If time and money were no object and you had no pressing responsibilities, how would you like to spend your days?
  • What bothers you? What problem would you like to fix? There are all kinds of problems in the world… which one(s) are you most troubled by?

If A’s hire B’s and B’s hire C’s, will A’s collect a pension?

The B\’s need to hire A\’s, and the A\’s need to hire A+\’s. Even old, wasting companies can thrive again if the leaders can just recognized that if they are better than their predecessors, isn\’t it likely that those following should be better? Then hire to get them in, and not just turn the keys over to your workplace sons and daughters, hand-picked because they remind you of you at that age…

The 3 most important HR metrics

First, I would say that the metrics that will make my top 3 list have to be those that demonstrate they measure impact and/or results for the organization. So, you won’t see metrics like these on my top 3 list…

Know of some other neat/helpful resources? Feel free to share in the comments below!

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

My friend Steve Browne is known as the facilitator for the HR Round Table Discussions up in Ohio. The neat part about his efforts? He shares the notes with anyone and everyone so we can all benefit from the work of the group! Cincinnati News actually wrote a piece on Steve’s role in the Roundtable a while back. It’s an interesting read.

(He made me promise to remind you that it’s the group that does the heavy lifting and he just adds his own thoughts, but we all know he’s doing a great service to the HR community with this stuff.) :-)

This morning, he let me know that it was okay to share the notes with everyone, so if you’d like to see the archives of the discussions from the past few years, click the link below to check them out. A few topics they’ve covered over the years:

Click here to see the HR Roundtable notes (and get your learning on!)

Follow Steve on Twitter if you don’t already! @sbrownehr