It’s a new year, and many of you SHRM chapters and state councils out there will be looking for content to engage your members this year. I’m yet again volunteering on the board of NASHRM, my local chapter, so this is near and dear to my heart. I’ll be hosting a SHRM Chapter Volunteer Leader Series occasionally as a way to give content ideas (as I am today), offer advice on board leadership, and more. I’m working to republish the free Rock Your Chapter eBook, and these are updates I expect to include in the new version. And now, with no further delay, the content…

Note: I'm hooked on The 100. Great sci fi show, if you're that kind of geek.

Note: I’m hooked on The 100. Great sci fi show, if you’re that kind of geek.

A consistent challenge I have observed for the last six years of working as a volunteer board member is finding good content for our members. The Programs team works hard, but they, like virtually all SHRM volunteers, have full time jobs, families, and other responsibilities. So I wanted to pull together 100 programming ideas to consider in the coming year. One of the great things about SHRM chapters is that you don’t always have to bring in world class speakers (but you can if you have the budget, of course). You can pull in a local subject matter expert to share about things they know and are passionate about, and your members will benefit. Keep that thought in mind as you read through these. If any of them strike you, try to think of people you know that could share on the topic. And these are just starter ideas–take them where you wish!

Also, if you’re a SHRM chapter/council volunteer and have requests for the series (or speaking opportunities), email me.



100 SHRM Chapter Seminar Ideas

  1. No, really, please use the 401k: how to drive engagement in retirement plans
  2. Get outta here: how to prepare your employees to retire
  3. Nuke the paper: how to reduce clutter in your HR processes
  4. You want what?!? The role of influence in HR
  5. Small but mighty: how to run a great (small) HR department
  6. Yours is bigger, but mine is better: how to succeed with a small team
  7. Best practices for establishing efficient, yet lawful, HR processes
  8. Just Hand Over the Handbook and Nobody Gets Hurt: moving from static to active HR
  9. 10 Things I Hate About Your Career Site
  10. 6 tips to “wow” employees with HR communications
  11. How to make succession management a success
  12. Face the Fear: How to Demonstrate Positive HR Practices
  13. 20 small ways to revolutionize your leadership
  14. First, Admit You Have a Problem: How to move to proactive HR
  15. Bite me: how to handle aggressive employee behaviors
  16. Open Up: what level of transparency makes sense for your business?
  17. Way to go, Sherlock–How to investigate the workplace
  18. Branding: What it is and Why you need it
  19. Great HR is Invisible (hat tip to Frank Roche)
  20. Oh no you didn’t–how to mediate employee conflict
  21. Did you see what she’s wearing? How to create a common sense dress guideline
  22. Yours, Mine, Ours: how to integrate after a merger or acquisition
  23. Hello, Sweetheart: how to deal with workplace romance
  24. Why does everyone look like me? How to develop a diverse workforce
  25. 3 key ways to recruit minority candidates
  26. Top 5 laws that apply to recruiting and selection
  27. Avoid the Noid: how to keep bad candidates from getting in the door
  28. Hands off: supervisor training essentials
  29. 4 benefit trends to capitalize on
  30. Oops: 7 ways to ruin your high potentials
  31. In Case of Emergency: how to create crisis plans
  32. The Walking Dead: how to identify and remove disengaged staff
  33. Radio for backup: How to build a team you can depend on
  34. The Lowdown on Leadership Development
  35. 10 things marketing can teach us about smarter HR practices
  36. Say it like you mean it: how to deliver great presentations
  37. A vs B: how to compare and contrast vendor options
  38. How to keep people awake in training (without using coffee)
  39. Email: Corporate Comms or Strategic Engagement Driver?
  40. Whoops! How to handle workplace safety issues
  41. Yo Mama! How to recruit a candidate’s family
  42. Congratulations! Key ways to keep new parents engaged
  43. Sigh. How to make your meetings engaging and powerful
  44. 13 insights you can get from HR metrics
  45. The Next Generation: Moving from metrics to analytics
  46. He Said What? Why you need to train your supervisors
  47. 8 ways to identify high potential employees
  48. 3 methods for cutting HR costs
  49. 12 points to consider in your change management planning
  50. All together now! Developing strong collaboration practices
  51. How to disengage your employees in 5 stupid ways
  52. Flexibility: What it looks like and how it boosts your business
  53. Agility: how an engineering term can help HR
  54. Close the gap: Knitting together employees and leadership
  55. Don’t motivate, inspire (hat tip to Chris Ferdinandi)
  56. Creating a passionate, productive workforce
  57. Show me the money: calculating the value of your talent practices
  58. Back to the Future: HR practices in 2020
  59. What would HR have looked like 300 years ago?
  60. 15 critical HR skills for today’s practitioners
  61. Go Pro: how to become an HR pro in 3 easy steps
  62. 4 (not so easy) ways to make candidates love your brand
  63. You Break It, You Buy It: how to handle careless employees
  64. Ah, ah, achoo! Creating Sick Leave Policies that Work
  65. 4 Employee Perks that Won’t Cost a Dime
  66. Why Voluntary Benefits are the Best Benefits
  67. Get Well Soon! How to drive wellness initiatives
  68. HR as a Conductor of the Organizational Orchestra
  69. School’s Out for Summer! PTO, Vacation, and Employee Leave Best Practices
  70. 3 Reasons You Should Quit Relying on Talent Technology
  71. Once Upon a Time: How storytelling makes your communications better
  72. There’s a Monster In My Closet: dealing with irrational leadership
  73. 4 Things Your Assessment Provider Won’t Tell You
  74. 3 Questions to Ask Your Talent Acquisition Vendor
  75. 6 Ways to Know if An Employee is Lying
  76. Personnel to Human Resources: How to be a strategic business asset
  77. How to manage the email monster and get more done
  78. 3 easy ways to turn managers into leaders
  79. Bert and Ernie: How to leverage friendships for engagement
  80. Cookie Monster: How to drive healthy employee behaviors
  81. Oscar the Grouch: How to manage negative employees
  82. Big Bird: How to demonstrate executive presence
  83. How to reward innovation without breaking the bank
  84. 7 tips for empowering employees
  85. Culture Shock: Preparing expatriates for new assignments
  86. Anylearning: How to encourage employees by offering non-work related training
  87. Intermittent what? How to manage employees on FMLA leave
  88. A Pile of Shift (Workers): Managing a 24-hour workforce
  89. Make my day: How to negotiate like a pro
  90. 5 things HR can learn from finance
  91. How to create a strategic partnership with your CFO
  92. 6 things HR does that drives employees crazy
  93. Anything you can do I can do better: Ensuring gender equality in the workplace
  94. 8 ideas for revolutionizing your HR service, starting today
  95. With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: How to prepare employees for greatness
  96. Say Hello to My Little Friend: Weapons at work, how to handle it, and what’s legal
  97. I’ll Be Back: How to deal with boomerang employees
  98. Life is like a box of chocolates: Predicting employee performance before they’re hired
  99. Frankly My Dear, I… Want to know how to handle profanity at work
  100. ET Phone Home: How to communicate based on employee preferences

I’d love to hear your thoughts on some of these. Which ones would you like to hear? Which ones would bore you to tears? :-) Anything you’d add to the list?



SHRM Chapters are local SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management) affiliates that live out SHRM’s mission on a local scale. I’ve been serving on the board of NASHRM, my local chapter, since the middle of 2009, and at the end of this year I am stepping down from my position on the board to focus on some other priorities in my life (family, work, etc.).

For those looking to have an impact on their profession on a local level, SHRM chapters provide a great way to jump in, get some volunteer credits, and develop a strong local network for career and professional development opportunities. (If you’re already volunteering with a SHRM chapter, be sure to check out the free SHRM Chapter Leadership guide.)

What to expect Continue reading

Mike Durant Headshot

Our July NASHRM program is going to be very special. We have a speaker coming to talk about leadership, teamwork, and how it applied to his situation as a prisoner of war.

Mike Durant, speaker, veteran, and CEO, is going to take us through his experience and share some lessons about how it applies to each of us in our own organizations. His own story was chronicled in his books (namely, In the Company of Heroes). There was also a movie made about the event called Black Hawk Down.

This would be an excellent opportunity to invite your own manager to come and hear a dynamic speaker with a great message, so start planning now to get them signed up!

Hope to see you there!

hit by a bus-succession planning at its finestLast week I attended a NASHRM luncheon called Growing and Buying Talent for Tomorrow, and it focused mainly on succession planning. I thought it sounded interesting, so I went to the lunch meeting. Little did I know that it would raise some interesting questions that I hadn’t considered before. Sure, you think about the usual reasons to plan for succession:

  • what if person x leaves suddenly?
  • what if person y retires?
  • what if person z needs a defined career track to stay engaged?

But the thing that I stopped to seriously consider was the proverbial “getting hit by a bus” scenario.

I kid about it often at work as a way to emphasize the importance of documenting processes and the arcane knowledge tidbits that are floating around the brains of our engineers. “We need to write this down in case Bob gets hit by a bus” might sound silly, but it gives you a chilling visualization about how true it really is.

Maybe it’s a stress-related illness that puts the person out of work for a while. Maybe it’s a family illness and the employee needs to become the primary caregiver. Whatever the case, it needs to be something you consider. If you want to share the phrase to get a laugh, feel free, but understand the underlying implications and plan accordingly.

What would you do if one of your key people was “hit by a bus” and couldn’t work for you ever again? Would you survive? What would the cost impact be?

I’ve been beating myself up about not posting as frequently here lately, but it’s for good reason(s). Really. Here is the full slate I’ve been working on these days, just in case you are interested. And if I’m slow to respond to an email or a phone call, now you know why!

HRevolution

I’ve been doing some work on HRevolution lately, getting neat stuff posted like speaker interviews and sponsor info. I figure posting here will slow somewhat until May gets here, but I just wanted to set expectations early. :-) By the way, if you want to go there are 8 tickets left at the time this is published. Snag one if you want to attend an event like no other.

The day job

People still ask me about my job that I started back in November. The most common question is, “Do you still like your job?” And my answer is a resounding yes(!). I get to do fun stuff and get paid for it. What kind of fun stuff? Well, lately I’ve been working two big recruiting initiatives to bring in helicopter pilots and survival instructors. How cool is that?

When I’m not working on that kind of effort, I’m developing training for managers, handling our benefits, and creating systems and processes to help us prepare for some growth we are planning for later this year.

I have an amazing manager, the culture is fantastic, and the free Diet Dew in the fridge doesn’t hurt. Plus I get to interact with our CEO, Mike Durant, on a regular basis. Hard to get that kind of access to senior leaders in other companies. One of my friends has this offer to come work for another company locally for about $10k more than what I’m making now. I told him if I ever started hating my job I’d be there in a heartbeat, but it doesn’t look promising. :-)

RocketHR

If you aren’t reading RocketHR, you should! I post there about once a week and most of the time it’s new, unique content. Click here to get it delivered to you. A few recent posts include reasons why you should read blogs, the SHRM blog carnival, and a video about really being ethical.

NASHRM

In my spare spare time, I also am the Social Media Director for my local Society for Human Resources Management chapter. Not only do I write the RocketHR blog, but I’ve made myself available to anyone and everyone locally who is looking for information or advice on getting involved with social media. It’s so much fun helping someone make the leap from “interested” to “practitioner.”

Project Social

If you’ve been following Project:Social for long, you know it’s a social media mentoring program for HR pros. We are in our second round of the program and are looking to get the third one started soon. Some people have asked why Victorio and I haven’t had more people in the program, but as you can see with other things I am working on, it is definitely a challenge to devote time to this and if you don’t have a good experience, then it wasn’t worth it anyway. We are looking at ways to scale the program to have more mentor and mentee pairs working at the same time.

SHRM YP Council

I’m about halfway into my term as the SHRM YP Council Chairman, and it’s been interesting so far. We are creating a guide that will be used to help young professionals get more involved with their local chapters. It also has some great tips and advice for volunteer leaders to help them connect with those individuals. I’m definitely glad that I am in the group!

On the home front

Don’t know that you specifically care, but I thought I’d offer my house up if anyone’s interested in buying. :-) Seriously, we are looking to move now that we’ve outgrown our little place, and if you’ve ever been through the process, you know how much that process takes out of you. We are also having so much fun watching the girls grow up. They are always doing something new and interesting, and I’m doing what I can to keep up! A few pics: Bree (our little puppy), Bree at dinnertime, Bella taking the car for a spin, and both girls first thing in the morning (FYI-Bella on the right, Bree on the left).

And that’s just to get me started. What is everyone else up to these days?

Recently I attended a NASHRM workshop session on questions to ask during an investigation. One of the points the speaker hammered home was the importance of asking open-ended questions to get the most information out of the people you have to interview. She referenced this Saturday Night Live skit as a good reminder how not to look at questions to ask during an investigation.

I’ve seen people who are excellent at asking questions to steer the conversation where they want it to go. I’ve seen others tank and blow up an investigation with poorly constructed questions. It really is a skill you should cultivate as an HR pro!

Questions to ask during an investigation

Trying to find out who is telling the truth? Check out this free guide detailing signs that a person is lying.

Recently I posted about a neat recruiting referral bonus program I heard about. Then I heard about another referral program a little closer to home and wanted to share. Members of NASHRM who refer others to become members in the coming months will get a chance to win a handful of cash. Here are the details:

Drawing #1 January – May

Drawing at June Meeting

  • 1st – $100.00
  • 2nd – $75.00
  • 3rd – $50.00

Drawing #2 July – November

Drawing at December Meeting

  • 1st – $100.00
  • 2nd – $75.00
  • 3rd – $50.00

For every person that you refer your name gets entered into the drawing for the cash prize. For example, if you refer one person, you get your name into the drawing once. If you refer ten people, you get your name in the drawing ten times, greatly increasing your chances of winning!

Why should you refer others to join NASHRM?

There are some great benefits to being a member of the North Alabama Society for Human Resources Management, including volunteer opportunities, a larger, more robust local network, and discounts on our programming for local HR pros.

Many of the people I know locally in the HR industry have either found their jobs through a connection they made at a NASHRM event or they found it through a friend-of-a-friend (so it’s still based on professional networking). You’re doing a favor for your friends by helping them to get involved, and you’re getting the chance to win something special for yourself. What’s not to like?

If you have questions about the program (or if you’re a volunteer with another local SHRM chapter who is interested in the inner workings of this initiative), feel free to reach out to our Membership Director for more info.