Author Archives: Ben

Bringing HR Together: Announcing HR Summer School #hrsummerschool

HR Summer School
In the middle of the strange state we are in right now, one thing is certain: HR conferences are out. Of the 10 speaking events at spring conferences, internal training events, and workshops I was scheduled to attend, four of them were canceled, four of them “postponed,” and the other two were moved to virtual. Our family is definitely feeling this challenging time along with the rest of you.

If you were planning on getting recertification credits or building your professional network at an event this month, you may be out of luck.

To compound that issue, I’ve seen posts from friends (and even a new Slack community sprouting up) that have been furloughed, laid off, or outright terminated because of the current economic standstill.

So I decided to reach out to some friends and colleagues in the industry to do something about it. I’d like to introduce you to HR Summer School. This is a free, virtual HR event designed to bring us closer together while improving our skills as talent leaders.

HR Summer School: The Details

This event is something I’ve been thinking about for some time, but the issues facing our various communities right now have pushed it urgently to the forefront. The goal is to not only drop a bunch of content on you, but recreate the opportunity to connect with and engage with both speakers and other attendees throughout the event.

Tickets are free! Anyone can come, whether it be an HR pro, a small business owner looking for HR help, or even students that need some practical understanding of HR in the real world.

This event will be livestreamed the week of June 1st daily from 10a-2:30p central time. That’s a lot of content, but if you register for the main event you can attend any session you want during the conference at your leisure. Simply come and go for the sessions that matter most to you. More details on sessions and speakers will be shared in the next few days.

We will have over 30 speakers sharing their insights around:

  • recruiting
  • training
  • inclusion and diversity
  • talent management
  • leadership development
  • managing teams
  • coaching and mentoring
  • wellness and wellbeing
  • resilience
  • and more!

In addition, we will be hosting daily trivia competitions to add to the “fun factor,” courtesy of our friends at Water Cooler Trivia.

We have several amazing supporters already lined up for the event, but we are accepting a few more sponsors and partners if anyone is interested in coming alongside our team for this community event.

Giving back: Can you help?

I have a request. We are doing this event for free, but our hope is that it will be the largest online HR summit ever. Now is the time to pull together and support each other.

The event link is HRSummerSchool.org

If you are an educator, share this with your students, but also share it with your peers so they can share with their students as well.

If you are an HR practitioner, share this with 2-3 friends you think could benefit from the latest thinking on the topics listed above. Or share it with all of them, we don’t mind.

If you are a SHRM chapter or association leader, share this with your members as a free resource or benefit.

Heck, even if you’re just married to someone in HR, make sure they register and share as well! :-)

At the time of this writing, we already have over 100 people registered to attend and the event hadn’t even been formally announced yet! There’s clearly a need for quality education and connection right now.

Questions? Please feel free to reach out to me at any time. I’m honored to support HR leaders like you in this time.

81: Rethinking Work, Productivity, and Engagement in the Modern Workplace

“People don’t want flexibility. they want complete control over their time.”

Today, we keep hearing that flexible work is the way to go. People want it. They crave it.

Yet in today’s episode of We’re Only Human, Ben talks with Jody Thompson, creator of the ROWE movement. ROWE stands for “results only work environment,” and it has been around for some time (the first book, Why Work Sucks, was published in 2008).

Today the workplace looks different than it did then, but according to Thompson, employers are still chasing the wrong things. We’re looking at when work gets done and where work gets done, but we’re not focusing enough on the what in terms of results.

That lack of focus on the right things sometimes forces our people to fight for control over their work. How? By looking for workarounds, playing the “I’m busy” game, arriving early or staying late, and more. Instead of looking at managers as controlling figures, we should look at them as performance coaches. Expect to explore all of this and more in today’s conversation. Enjoy!

Learn more about Jody and ROWE at: https://www.gorowe.com/resource-library

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What I Should Have Said

I lost a friend recently.

He was a great guy who was always willing to help those around him, regardless of his own needs. Selfless. Kind. Compassionate.

I had a phone conversation with him a few months back. We lived in different states and mostly stayed in touch online, but I gave him a call and we talked for over an hour about work, life, family, and more. In the conversation, he recommended a movie that he loved called Green Book.

When he passed, I realized that I hadn’t made time to watch the movie yet, so this weekend I carved out some time to enjoy it with my wife. It was a great movie, and every time I saw someone on screen standing up to do the right thing, I thought of my friend and the impact he had in his time on the earth.

When people make mistakes in life, you can either choose to vilify them and write them off or you can choose to believe in the goodness of people and that they still have value. He was in the latter camp, and I am so thankful that I had a chance to see him in person several times over the course of the last 10 years. He was quick to smile and always had a kind word or compliment to share with those around him.

We never know how much time we have with those we love, whether they be friends or family. In the midst of all this chaos swirling around us, I have implored each of us to be kind to those around us, but it’s easy to lose focus when things are out of what feels like their natural rhythm.

I’m resolving to say what I should have said this week. Not in a backbiting or angry way, but in a way that would honor the memory of my friend, Chris Fields. When I talk with someone, anyone, this week, I’m going to say what I should have said but held back, whether that is “I’m sorry,” “I love you,” or “thank you for who you are.”

Chris, we will miss you. Thank you for making us all better just by being here.

WOH 80: 11+ Ideas to Engage and Support Your Remote Teams

In recent weeks the podcast has covered critical topics like the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and how HR technology providers are supporting businesses during this time. Today, we’re going to take a step toward engaging those workers that are working remotely, many of them doing so for the first time. 

In this solo episode, Ben covers 11+ ways HR leaders and line managers can support and engage their workers, from simple concepts like one on one’s to more complex ideas for how to run company all hands briefings. Working remotely may be a challenge right now, but for those workers that enjoy the experience and want to remain remote after the COVID-19 scare is over, managers will need new tools and ideas to help them support workers they can’t see on a daily basis. 

If you have your own ideas to add to the list, please send them to ben@upstarthr.com and we’ll add them to the show notes here. Thanks!

WOH 79: How Employers Are Responding to Shutdowns, Quarantines, and Coronavirus

“As the head of HR, I’m now suddenly expected to be a doctor, virologist, and epidemiologist.” 

That quote came from a discussion with an HR leader in the last few days, and it clearly outlines what many companies are going through right now. In today’s conversation, Ben talks with Brett Meager of Paycor to learn how employers are responding to the dynamic situations happening across the country as well as how the company is supporting its small and mid-size clients in the middle of the chaos. Brett talks about how the firm is helping to keep people informed on legislation and other details as they arise (see the links in the show notes below for more on that).

The best thing we can all do right now is share positive, helpful resources and information with each other, so if you would be willing to share this episode with a friend or colleague as a way of making work better and safer, I would greatly appreciate it. 

 

For pandemic preparedness plans, advice, resources, webinar and communication templates check out the Paycor Coronavirus Support Center for SMB Leaders. Paycor posts on Twitter and LinkedIn daily with our latest COVID19 resources, we encourage you to follow along!

Brett also shared a few tips on Working From Home with Kids: https://www.paycor.com/resource-center/how-to-work-from-home-with-kids

WOH 78: Families First Coronavirus Response Act – What Employers Need to Know

“Here’s my general advice for businesses–don’t be afraid to get help.”

In recent weeks a flurry of legislative activity has led to numerous laws to help employers and businesses dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak, and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act is a big part of the activity. What does this law mean for employers, and how does it benefit them? What other considerations should employers think through as they support their workforces during this pandemic? 

In this episode, Ben talks with Eric Meyer, Partner at FisherBroyles, LLP, about how employers should be responding to the current environment and what the law means for them. 

Connect with Eric: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emeyer/

Follow Eric’s blog: https://www.theemployerhandbook.com/

 

List of HR Tech companies offering free software and/or support: https://lhra.io/blog/hrtech-companies-offering-free-resources-information-covid-19-crisis/ 

 

Ben’s personal piece on how to respond to the crisis: https://upstarthr.com/rising-up-to-embrace-our-humanity/

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Rising Up to Embrace Our Humanity

“Come on. You can do it. I know you can. I believe in you.”

I’m watching my baby make the transition to “toddler,” and it’s a bittersweet moment. No longer will she stay where she’s put. She’s going to start exploring the world, and that exploration will only speed up as time goes on.

This moment, this incredibly precious moment, is forever burned into my memory. We learn very early in life that when we fall, we try again. When we struggle, we try again. When we fail, we try again.

We rise up again.

In the grand scheme of things, simply standing up, or doing anything, would be so much easier than hunkering down, cutting most of our ties to human contact, and sitting around waiting for this crisis to be over.

Throughout this challenge we are all going through as individuals, as communities, and as a global population, we have seen the worst that humanity has to offer. We’ve seen the hoarding and the selfishness. We’ve seen anger and hatred.

But we have also seen glimpses of the amazing kindness, grace, and love that we all have to offer.

In an eye-opening interview with a former astronaut and flight leader for several key space missions, the interviewer asked how it was possible to survive in close quarters with other humans for weeks and months on end.

The answer was fairly simple, even if it wasn’t always easy in the moment. The astronaut said that the recipe for success was doing one random act of kindness for someone else every day. This practice formed deeper bonds, created more goodwill, and smoothed over any potential slights or issues that might appear in the day to day.

Was it perfect? No.

But it did create an experience that allowed each person to try and bring out their best and most human qualities of charity and goodness that make us who we are.

If “rise up” is too vague of an instruction, then resolve yourself to doing at least one random act of kindness daily for others. Better yet, why not journal that list of deeds so that you can look back on it one day far into the future and remember how you embraced your humanity in a time that tried to wrest it from you.

If you’re a rational thinker, Thomas Paine once said, “These are the times that try men’s souls… [Y]et we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

If you’re more spiritual, James said in the New Testament, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial.

Either way, the concept of struggle isn’t new or novel, but an essential component of the human experience. Let’s not just survive this thing. Let’s rise up and share kindness, charity, compassion, and love for our neighbors and communities.

I leave you with this: “Come on. You can do it. I know you can. I believe in you.”

Family, Parents, Mother, Father, Toddler, Life, Evening