Posts by: Laurie Ruettimann

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Today is Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday and Pączki Tuesday. It’s all fun and games until Ash Wednesday when everything goes downhill for Baby Jesus.

(Someone should warn him!)

Lent is such a downer a time of reflection, and many Christians give up smoking, drinking, chocolate, swearing, being on the internet, etc., to honor the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Then, on Easter, they go back to normal as if those 40 days never happened.

Let’s do this whole thing differently in 2019.

I think giving stuff up is narcissistic. Instead of embracing austerity and being miserable for six weeks, I think it’s time to improve the quality of your life and take up something new.

What can you take up for Lent?

• Can you embrace a new hobby?
• Get to know somebody new?
• Be curious about your neighbors, colleagues or associates?
• Become a little healthier by adding instead of subtracting things to your diet?

Don’t do less of something bad and mope around about it. Do more of something good and make small but incremental improvements to your life.

Wonder how to do Lent differently? Time to get quiet and reflect on your needs. What makes you happy? Who brings you joy? How do you know when life is good?

Stop punishing yourself for being human. Give your time, attention and energy to the activities that positively move the needle.

I’m not Christian, but I think that’s what Jesus wants for me during Lent 2019. What does He want for you?

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored National Car Rental, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

When’s the best time to visit New Zealand? Whenever someone pays for you to come!

Back in November 2017, someone invited me to speak at a recruiting conference. As part of my compensation package, the organizers paid my airfare and travel expenses to Auckland. You can’t fly around the world without seeing a few sights, so I extended my visit for two weeks and explored the North and South Islands of New Zealand.

It’s common for business travelers to add leisure activities to business trips. It’s called “bleisure,” and according to the second annual National Car Rental State of Business Travel Survey, 90 percent of millennials have engaged in bleisure travel in the past year compared with 81 percent of Generation Xers and 80 percent of baby boomers.

Do You Bleisure?

Bleisure travel is common among millennials; however, it’s hot with business travelers of all ages. Those of us who blend business with leisure report having a higher satisfaction with our quality of life (93 percent vs. 75 percent of non-bleisure travelers) and better work/life balance (87 percent vs. 64 percent of non-bleisure travelers).

I bleisured the heck out of my trip to New Zealand!

I began in Auckland by renting a car and learning how to drive on the left-hand side of the road. I drove to Rotorua and walked through a volcanic park and soaked in hot springs that smelled like sulfur pools.

From there, I headed south to Lake Taupo, which is a gorgeous body of water with an adorable lakeside village nearby. After I watched the sunrise, I drove to a town called Napier. Decimated by an earthquake, they rebuilt it during the Art Deco era with lots of gold and ornate gilding. The whole town looks like The Great Gatsby meets Al Capone.

Millennials Bleisure More Than the Rest

Millennials lead the way in bleisure. Almost half (49 percent) of millennials say they’ve extended business travel into a leisure trip or scheduled a vacation around business travel to save on vacation costs.

I was born in 1975, which makes me a late Gen Xer, but I love the bleisure trend and try to bring my audience along on my work-related trips. While millennials are more likely to share photos of their bleisure travel experiences on social media (72 percent) compared to Gen Xers (60 percent) and baby boomers (41 percent), I’m an outlier and shared about 500 photos from that trip to New Zealand. In fact, this blog post proves I’m still bragging about my trip.

From that little Art Deco town, I caught a flight to Christchurch and kicked around the main city center for a day. An earthquake destroyed Christchurch in 2011, but there are signs of life all over that city. Because it was springtime, the roses were in bloom and the town was booming with birds and bees and tourists.

Tell Everybody About Bleisure

I left Christchurch and drove to Mt. Cook, which is the highest mountain in New Zealand. I stopped at beautiful towns like Fairlie—an Irish-looking settlement with lots of sheep and goats—and Lake Tekapo Village, which is a picturesque lakeside hamlet on the shores of stunning turquoise-colored Lake Tekapo. The sun was shining, the lupins were blooming, and the Southern Alps rose in the distance. It was a breathtaking drive.

I stayed at The Hermitage at Mt. Cook and had a baller room with a fabulous view. Not to rest on my laurels, I went on an excursion to see the Tasman Glacier. It was a bucket-list item attained. 

I was shocked to learn millennial bleisure travelers (45 percent) feel they should avoid telling others about taking time for fun or personal activities while on a business trip compared to Gen Xers (40 percent) and baby boomers (30 percent). Millennials avoid telling their bosses (46 percent) and their families (41 percent).

Life’s too short not to at least have a little fun on your business trips. After all, you can emulate healthy adult behaviors and show people the real meaning of work-life balance.

Take a Trip, Embrace Bleisure

“Sightseeing” is the single most popular leisure activity among bleisure travelers (75 percent), and that rings true for me. I left Mt. Cook and drove to Queenstown on a route that’s famous for old mining towns, rivers, and bungee jumping localities. 

From Queenstown, I went on an excursion to the Doubtful Sound. It’s in the center of New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park, and the long ride was worth the trip. It was a stunning day, not a cloud in the sky, and we saw six whales and a bunch of penguins. If you don’t think I didn’t blast that video on Instagram, you must be new around here.

Life for a road warrior can be challenging. The best way to make your work trips more exciting and entertaining? Get a little bleisure in your life and take pictures of your fun activities.

Ultimately, work-life balance comes down to choices. You might as well have a little fun if you have to travel, so channel your inner millennial and bleisure your way through your next work trip Make sure you tag me on the photos so I can see what you’re up to, too! 

You can find out more about the National Car Rental Stats of Business Travel Survey here.

Visit the website to register for the National Car Rental Emerald Club to save on your next business trip.

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I’m speaking at the Watermark Conference on Friday about HR, salaries, and negotiations. I’ll be answering questions about the role of HR in the hiring process.

Here are some questions I’ll try to tackle.

Is it okay to talk to HR about compensation, benefits, and the offer process during salary negotiations? Will I be dinged by asking questions?

If you’re working with an executive or third-party recruiter, direct all your compensation questions that way. Don’t ask HR about money. Stay focused on the position, leadership, culture, and internal mobility. You want to seem like someone who’s a sure bet and interested in making a long-term contribution to the company.

If you’re working with a member of the HR team (HR Generalist, HR Business Partner, Corporate Recruiter, or Talent Acquisition Specialists), be careful when you talk about compensation. They are obsessed with culture and sometimes forget that people work for cash. Keep your questions process-oriented.

Here’s what I would ask:

• What’s the offer process like?
• What would you like to me to know about the organization’s compensation philosophy?
• Who extends an offer?
• What’s the timeline generally like?

Listen to what’s said and unsaid. Sometimes there’s a compensation philosophy, and sometimes it’s a crapshoot.

What questions are off-limits?

HR people think it’s gauche when you ask about raises and job titles during the interview process. If you want to know when you’ll be considered for a raise or a promotion, try to find out from an internal source other than HR.

How do recruiters work? Do they represent me in salary negotiations? What’s the difference between a corporate recruiter, a normal recruiter and an executive recruiter?

In general, recruiters fill jobs for companies. Executive recruiters and third-party recruiters want you to earn as much as possible, but they also know what a company is willing to pay. Follow their good advice when it comes to salary negotiations.

A corporate recruiter or talent acquisition specialist also wants you to be happy, and, if they’re any good, will offer you good counsel during the hiring process. A company that nickels and dimes you during salary negotiations is one that will always hassle you. If you get the sense that an internal employee is messing with you in any way during the hiring process, follow your gut and decline that offer. Go work somewhere else.

Are salary websites any good? Where can people find the best sources for salary information?

Salary websites are mostly garbage. Every job pays between $36,000 and $186,000 depending on the city, years of experience and your online shopping history. The best source of information comes from executive recruiters, internal recruiters and your friends who work for the company. Wonder what you should be earning but don’t have a recruiter working on your behalf? Ask Tim Sackett. Seriously, he’ll tell you. Now you have a friend and a source.

How do I know if I’m leaving money on the table? What are the signs that the company could pay more?

A company can always pay more. You’re probably still leaving something on the table because, even in a tight labor market, the power dynamics are skewed. That’s late-stage capitalism. If you don’t want a job, go try out your skills in the gig economy. Good luck to ya.

The good news is that negotiations are choices. You get to choose when to push and when to submit. Do you like the organization? Do you love the leader? Will you be surrounded by people who have your back? Do you trust that the benefits far outweigh the $2500 you might be leaving on the table?

Sometimes you have to trust the person on the other side of the table to take care of you.

What are some compensation trends in 2019?

Some companies make one offer and it’s their first, best and final offer. They are trying to eliminate bias and use survey data to determine what the job pays regardless of race, gender, age, or what you’re currently earning. What this means is that you have to be clear on what’s important to you upfront and be willing to walk away if you don’t get it.

Another trend is to extend an offer with a detailed breakdown of your total rewards package — and information on how the compensation package compares to competitors in the same industry — so candidates can see the value of their health insurance, PTO, retirement contributions combined with their monthly salary.

I’m sure there’s information that I’ve missed.

Have some advice on salary negotiations and HR? Please leave a comment and let’s help the women of Watermark make some excellent career decisions.

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I’ve worked in the HR technology space since 2008, and I’ve been involved in hiring over a dozen CMOs (Chief Marketing Officers) and VPs of Marketing for some companies you know and some that are no longer in business.

CMOs have the shortest tenure in the C-suite at just over four years, according to Korn Ferry. When they arrive, there’s a lot of hoopla. They bring big ideas from the outside world and often change the brand, logo, and sometimes even the company’s name.

But almost immediately, marketing leaders get locked in political battles with key sales leaders. New CMOs try to win the favor of the CEO and board of directors instead of finding allies and, even, co-conspirators among the rank and file employees.

The currency of business is relationships, and, ultimately, CMOs get fired for not building connections. Then a new CMO arrives to repeat the cycle.

(That’s oversimplified, but not much.)

So, when I’m asked to consult on CMO searches, I do a quick premortem. How will this new CMO fail? What’s the path to success? What attributes will work against this new leader? What skills are needed to ensure a smooth transition and steady leadership?

I won’t give away the farm, but here are some things you must hire for — beyond the obvious competencies — in the HR Tech CMO role.

Likability. The single most important quality for a CMO is likability. The role, when done well, opens doors and creates cross-departmental collaboration. The best marketing leaders create fellowship and inspire trust between teams, and the CMO has the power to unite an organization behind a brand and to generate excitement with vendors, partners, and contractors. Get this wrong, and your marketing team becomes an island, and the organization doesn’t move forward. Don’t be afraid to check around and ask, “Was this individual likable? Did people enjoy working with him?”

Perceptibility. The best CMOs have spidey sense and know what’s happening in the company — and the industry — before anybody else. You’ve got to hire someone who has operational acumen but also has a strong sense of communication, culture, and art. Ask your CMO what they do when they’re not working. Do they travel? Support the arts? Volunteer? Teach? Mentor? All work and no play makes for a one-dimensional leader.

Maturity. Sometimes we use the words “seasoned” and “experienced” when we mean mature. A lot of people finally get promoted to CMO and lose their minds — they imbibe in company perqs, act like benevolent rulers, and forget that marketing departments run on the blood, sweat, and tears of assistants and coordinators. The best CMOs are emotionally regulated, understand the priorities of the organization, and know that they’ll be rewarded if the company meets its goals and objectives. You can screen for maturity by asking your candidate to reflect on the notion of power. What are their priorities and core values? What matters most to them in a leader?

Prior Experience with HCM. In the world of HR, we often hire business leaders with no previous experience and ask them to swoop in and fix it. (My friend Kris Dunn writes extensively about this phenomenon.) While most CMOs have prior marketing experience, I believe marketing leaders in the world of HR must have previous HCM experience. Even if it’s just a stint during the early part of their career, it’s vital for marketing leaders to understand the industry and love the technology to some extent before trying to convert eyeballs to users. If you can’t find someone in the HCM industry for your CMO role, ask yourself — am I working with the right executive recruiter?

Tenacity. Finally, your CMO must be tenacious and outwork everybody else in the marketing department. It’s always nice to have staff. How you keep your team happy and engaged is by showing them that we’re all in this together. It’s not about working 100 hours a week or being on email at weird hours; it’s about digging into the real work, being a part of everyday conversations, and being gracious enough to take on tasks that should really be done by a junior member of your team in order to facilitate better work-life balance. A tenacious CMO models good behavior for the marketing department but also raises the game for other leaders in the organization, too.

Those are my thoughts on how to hire a successful CMO who lasts longer than four years. Have you hired marketing leaders? Do you have some expertise in this area? Leave a comment and let me know what resonates — and what I’ve missed — in this blog post.

I’m about to help out on another search, and I’m trying to be useful to my clients!

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Whenever I come across news reporting on gun violence and mass shootings, which is almost daily, I remind myself what’s happening in our country is not normal.

Gun violence, which is often linked to domestic violence, is terrorism. And terrorism is happening more frequently at work.

Last week, the worst happened. A gunman shot five people in Aurora, IL. Their names are:

Clayton Parks, HR Manager
Trevor Wehner, HR Intern and Student at Northern Illinois University
Russell Beyer, Mold Operator & Union Representative
Vicente Juarez, Forklift operator
Josh Pinkard, Plant Manager

The shooting is the latest in a very long string of attacks by men who are disturbed, agitated, and take out their anger and aggression on colleagues. The individual in Aurora? Shocking nobody, he’s a convicted felon with a history of violence against women.

The GoFund Me for the victims of the Aurora shooting can be found here.

Right now, America’s largest HR association is engaged in a dialogue about how to help convicted felons find work after they are released from prison. It’s called “Getting Talent Back to Work.”

Getting Talent Back to Work is a national pledge open to all organizations that was signed even before the formal announcement by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Restaurant Association, the National Retail Federation, the American Staffing Association, SHRM, Koch Industries, Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation and more. Organizations are pledging to give opportunities to qualified people with a criminal background, deserving of a second chance, which creates successful outcomes for employers, all employees, customers and communities. Ninety-five percent of people in prison will be released—that’s more than 650,000 people every year. As they re-enter society, people with criminal backgrounds are deprived of employment opportunities and organizations are deprived of qualified talent, creating harmful consequences for millions of people.  

The argument goes that, once our neighbors and family members people have paid their debt to society, we should make it easier for them to find jobs and return to normal lives. SHRM believes that HR can be a positive force for change and help these men and women contribute to society.

I’m supportive of this initiative, but there’s more work to do.

While it makes sense for HR professionals to be recruiting advocates — and former criminals are an untapped talent pool — we should also be advocates for colleagues who are victims of domestic violence. We should push for better funding for mental health programs. And we should fight for commonsense gun reform to protect our employees from localized forms of terror, too.

Those three things alone would be game-changing for every American worker and might make a lot of people feel better about working alongside convicted felons.

So, tonight I’m going to say a prayer for the families in Aurora and also pray for SHRM to use its sizable lobbying powers and financial coffers to tackle the problem of criminal justice reform and physical and psychological safety at work.

That’s what HR should be all about.

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Today is Carnival of HR Day, a splendid celebration of writers and thinkers who create fabulous HR content.

This year, blog submissions were down. So, instead of waiting for people to send links, I’ve gone into the community and pulled some of the best articles I’ve read.

That’s right. I still read HR blog posts. Do you?

Sarah Morgan kicks off the carnival with a post about race, dialogue, and debates. www.thebuzzonhr.com/2019/01/30/blackblogsmatter-week-3-i-aint-going-black-forth-with-you/

Doug Shaw wants to know where good ideas come from? consultingartist.com/creative/practicing-part-two

Mollie Lombardi is writing about real-time pay visibility and other lessons from the US federal shutdown. www.linkedin.com/pulse/real-time-pay-visibility-other-shutdown-lessons-mollie-lombardi/

Kris Dunn writes about regrettable career decisions, bold career moves, and criticism. www.hrcapitalist.com/2019/02/the-coldblooded-art-of-owninggetting-in-front-of-huge-career-mistakes.html

Katie Augsburger offers five HR mind-shifts we all need to make. medium.com/@katie_16182/five-hr-mindshifts-we-all-need-to-make-b510cabe1df0

Dorothy Dalton thinks it’s time to KonMari your career. dorothydalton.com/2019/02/02/time-to-konmari-your-career/

Mary Faulkner walks us through her HR career journey. ia-hr.com/how-i-got-here-my-hr-story/

Lars Schmidt tells us how a CHRO should plan their first 100 days. amplifytalent.com/21st-century-hrpost/how-a-chro-should-plan-their-first-100-days

Tim Gardner writes about how he could’ve done more in his career to stop discrimination. www.performanceicreate.com/confronting-discrimination/

Kate Bischoff is doing what she does best and writing about harassment with an eye towards how we manage grief. thrivelawconsulting.com/2019/02/07/like-grief/

Kate is also doing double-duty on the Ultimate Software blog and writing about whistleblowers. blog.ultimatesoftware.com/whistleblowers-are-good-thing/

Don MacPherson describes the future of energy in America by interviewing an expert named Lauren Azar. www.12geniuses.com/12-geniuses-podcast/2019/1/28/the-future-of-energy-in-america

Joey C. Price interviews Esther Weinberg and asks, “Why is dignity such an important aspect of the workplace? Is lack of dignity an unintentional occurrence?” jumpstart-hr.com/180-how-to-develop-and-maintain-dignity-in-the-workplace-ft-esther-weinberg/

Fabulous blogger Sabrina Baker writes about stepping into a new HR role. www.acaciahrsolutions.com/stepping-into-a-new-hr-role-do-this-first/

Prasad Kurian writes about OD Managers and the unconscious of the organization. prasadokurian.blogspot.com/2019/01/od-managers-and-unconscious-of.html

Tim Sackett is big enough to write about himself in the third person and ask, “What Does Tim Sackett Do?” timsackett.com/2019/02/11/what-does-tim-sackett-actually-do/

Kathy Rapp wants to know if money buys happiness? fistfuloftalent.com/2019/02/money-buy-happy-employees.html

Robin Schooling tells us about her work-life balance challenges and managing the care of her aging mother. robinschooling.com/work-and-life-and-everything-in-between/

Wendy Berry gives us an overview of her 2018. wendyberry.com/more-about-my-2018/

Tracie Sponenberg asks, “HR is changing. Are you?” www.linkedin.com/pulse/hr-changing-you-tracie-sponenberg-shrm-scp-sphr/

Brad Galin writes a motivational post about not giving up. www.rollercoasterhr.com/10-percent/

Wally Bock wrote a review of Cal Newport’s new book called “Digital Minimalism: Choosing A Focused Life in A Noisy World.” www.threestarleadership.com/books/what-im-reading-now-digital-minimalism

Melissa Fairman wants you to save your sanity this time of year. melissafairman.com/save-your-sanity-this-year/

Steve Browne is writing about people, people, people, and HR. sbrownehr.com/all-the-verts/

Tamara Rasberry also has a fabulous 2018 year in review. tamaramrasberry.com/2018/12/31/2018-my-hr-year-in-review/

Mike Haberman wants to know if a new minimum wage should come with an education? omegahrsolutions.com/2019/02/should-a-new-minimum-wage-come-with-some-education.html

Renée Robson writes that your organization is drifting and you have no idea. reneerobson.com/2019/02/12/your-organisation-is-drifting-and-youve-got-no-idea/

HR Jazzy says that black blogs matter — Y’all Want to Play? hrjazzy.blog/2019/02/04/blackblogsmatter-yall-want-to-play/

John Sumser is writing about security and the HR center of excellence. www.hrexaminer.com/security-series-7-the-hr-security-center-of-excellence/

Jane Watson would like to help you understand toxic cultures. talentvanguard.com/2019/02/03/understanding-toxic-cultures/

Red Branch Media wants to tell you which social media platforms work best for your company. redbranchmedia.com/blog/social-media-platforms-work-best-your-company/

Ben Eubanks celebrates the 50th episode of his podcast. upstarthr.com/were-only-human-50-hitting-a-milestone-plus-special-guests/

Wendy Dailey talks to Aiko Bethea about #HRUprise and the conversation about HR, women, the LGBTQ+ community and other topics that will fascinate you. mydaileyjourney.com/2019/02/08/hrwonderwomen-episode-4-with-aiko-bethea/

Jonathan Segal is writing about Valentine’s Day and kindness. blog.shrm.org/blog/valentine-s-day-and-kindness

Here’s what Katrina Kibben learned by writing 60 job posts in 60 days. katrinakibben.com/2019/01/15/what-i-learned-job-postings/

John Baldino is writing about choosing happiness, excellence, and intentionality. humareso.com/2019/02/12/really-dont-care/

HR Bartender writes about the next challenge in the workforce—loneliness. www.hrbartender.com/2019/employee-engagement/loneliness-workplace/

Dan Miller at Globoforce writes about storytelling, the Grammy’s and Michelle Obama. resources.globoforce.com/globoforce-blog/michelle-obama-builds-on-storytelling-theme-at-grammys

Claire Petrie also revisits 2018. clairepetriehr.com/2018/12/31/2018-revisited/

Dave Ryan writes about ageism and being a white guy. www.performanceicreate.com/ageism-a-white-man-intro-to-discrimination/

Ginny Engholm writes that the future of content marketing is female. managingeditor.com/future-of-content-marketing-feminine/

Carlos Escobar helps us to be more patient, say thank you, and contribute a little more to the world. cescobar.com/2019/02/01/5-reads-how-to-be-a-more-patient-person-say-thank-you-no-excuses-how-to-exclude-people-from-projects-and-more/

Achievers submitted an interview with Lauren Brittingham of BayHealth Medical Center. www.achievers.com/blog/2019/01/a-recognition-moment-an-interview-with-lauren-brittingham-of-bayhealth-medical-center/

William Tincup shares the top 25 reasons the HCM industry wants Workday to implode. www.linkedin.com/pulse/top-25-reasons-hcm-industry-wants-workday-implode-william-tincup/

Paul Hebert believes that ageism is real and it’s your fault. fistfuloftalent.com/2019/02/ageism-real-fault.html

Madeline Laurano gives us a look ahead at talent acquisition. www.aptituderesearchpartners.com/2018/12/07/talent-acquisition-a-look-ahead/

The Recruiting Animal interviews Robert Smith, not from The Cure. www.blogtalkradio.com/animal/2019/02/06/robert-smith-partner-at-rockstarfindercom

The folks at Limeade want you to know why they love Tim Gunn. Spoiler alert: he’s keynoting their conference. www.limeade.com/2019/02/why-we-love-tim-gunn/

Jeanette Bronée wants you to create remarkable relationships. pathforlife.com/create-remarkable-relationships/

Yvonne LaRose writes about OD and Title VII Consulting. consultantdesk.blogspot.com/2019/02/od-and-title-vii-consulting.html

Greg Poulin gives us an article about HR and benefits trends for 2019. medium.com/@goodlyapp/latest-hr-myth-busted-by-human-resource-experts-14b67e05a1a3

Nicole Roberts wants to motivate us and tells us to do it, anyway. hrwithoutego.com/2019/01/09/do-it-anyway/

Ryan Estis shares the traits of mindful leaders. ryanestis.com/personal-growth/the-mindful-leader-inside-ey/

Neil Morrison leaves us with this thought: we need to embrace the truths that hurt. change-effect.com/2019/02/11/we-need-to-embrace-the-truths-that-hurt/

Like what you read? Want to read more? Check out the Carnival of HR twitter account and write something interesting for next month’s edition!

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Super excited to announce that Ultimate Software is sponsoring Let’s Fix Work for the next few months.

Ultimate Software is an American technology company that develops and sells UltiPro, a cloud-based human capital management solution for businesses. That’s payroll, HRIS, talent management, engagement, employee experience, and all the nerdy stuff that goes along with getting you paid and making sure you love your job.

It’s a significant achievement because Ultimate Software has never partnered with a podcaster before, and they trust me enough to collaborate on Let’s Fix Work over the next 12 weeks. We have fabulous guests lined up including Armen Berjikly and Rana Hobbs, along with Kevin Kruse and Dan Pink.

(Okay, maybe not Dan Pink. His people keep turning me down, but, nevertheless, I’m persisting!)

I’m also eager to spread the world about Ultimate Software’s free HR workshops where you can improve your skills and earn HRCI, SHRM and APA recertification credits.

It’s so important to stay current in the field of HR, and these free and local courses will help you learn and network at the same time. Click here for more information —> www.ultimatesoftware.com/LFW

So, please help me welcome Ultimate Software to the Let’s Fix Work family. They’ve been named as the best places to work in tech, they scored 100% on Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 16th Annual Scorecard on LGBTQ Workplace Equality, and they are a Great Place to Work® Certified Company.

It’s an honor to work with an organization that’s walking the talk and fixing work!

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What is SHRM?

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR professional society, representing 300,000 members in more than 165 countries. You can find their website here: shrm.org

What is the purpose of SHRM?

According to the SHRM website, “SHRM provides education, thought leadership, certification, community, and advocacy to enhance the practice of human resource management and the effectiveness of HR professionals in the organizations and communities they serve.”

Where is the SHRM headquarters?

The SHRM headquarters are in Alexandria, VA. The SHRM address is 1800 Duke St # 100, Alexandria, VA 22314. The last time I was there, it was an office building with a small bookstore in the lobby.

You can find them on a map here: goo.gl/maps/corKMCPRARu

Who runs SHRM?

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP is the President & CEO. Mary Mohney is the Chief Financial Officer. Emily M. Dickens, J.D. is the Corporate Secretary and Chief of Staff. Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman is the Chief Marketing and Experience Officer. James L. Banks, Jr., J.D. is the General Counsel. Nick Schacht, SHRM-SCP is the Chief Global Development Officer. Alexander Alonso, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP is the Chief Knowledge Officer. Jessica Perry is the Chief Digital Officer. Marc Goldberg is the Chief Technology Officer. Wendi Safstrom is the Executive Director of the SHRM Foundation. Lisa Connell is the Executive Director of HRPS. Lynn Shotwell is VP and Head of Global Outreach & Operations. Achal Khanna is the CEO of SHRM India & Business Head of Asia Pacific and MENA. Mike Aitken is SVP of Membership.

Sean Sullivan is the new Chief HR Officer of SHRM, which has to be the most meta-HR job out there.

You can find the leadership email addresses here: www.shrm.org/about-shrm/Pages/default.aspx

Who is on the SHRM Board of Directors in 2019?

Right now, the Chair is David Windley, SHRM-SCP. Other directors include Coretha M. Rushing, SHRM-SCP, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, Janet Alberti, Melissa Anderson, Sally Hornick Anderson, SHRM-SCP, Michelle Bottomley, Steve Browne, SHRM-SCP, Thomas W. Derry, Johanna Söderström, Patrick Wright, Ph.D., and Gretchen Zech, SHRM-SCP.

You can reach the group at Board@SHRM.org with any questions.

Is SHRM political?

Depends on who you ask, but they tend to mimic and mirror the US Chamber of Commerce in many ways.  In advance of the SOTU, SHRM just published a report about the “world of work” and immigration.

Why should I have a SHRM membership?

A SHRM membership gives you access to content, courses, materials news and conferences to help improve your core competencies in HR. Additionally, a SHRM membership provides access to a community of like-minded individuals who care about the field of Human Resources.

Does a national SHRM membership cover my SHRM state council’s dues?

No, you must join your local and state SHRM chapters separately.

How much are SHRM membership dues?

SHRM Professional Membership is $209/year. Global membership is $95 if you live outside of the United States, and you can pay in Rupees.

What is a SHRM certification? How do you become SHRM certified?

SHRM offers testing and credentialing for business professionals who demonstrate an aptitude in the field of human resources. You must pass an exam to become SHRM certified; from there, you can recertify using continuing education credits.

Which SHRM test should I take?

There are two types of SHRM certification: the SHRM-CP and the SHRM-SCP. You can learn more here: www.shrm.org/certification/

What is the SHRM Certification test like?

According to the SHRM website, “The SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams contain two types of multiple choice questions: stand-alone knowledge-based items that assess a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of factual information, and scenario-based situational judgment items that assess a candidate’s judgment, application, and decision-making skills.”

See their webpage for more information: www.shrm.org/certification/

Is the SHRM certification the same as an HR certification?

No, there are various types of HR certification tests. Please visit the websites of HRCI, CEBS, APA or explore getting your MBA, which is the ultimate HR certification.

Why is the SHRM certification important?

SHRM certification is essential if an employer asks for the credentials in a job description.

Where to buy the SHRM learning system?

You can buy the SHRM Learning system anywhere online or on Amazon.

What is a SHRM conference?

SHRM conferences are structured events where business-focused speakers provide insights and ideas to audience members who want to learn more about the topics relate to the field of HR.

Events are open to members and non-members for various rates. Find SHRM events and how much SHRM conferences cost here: www.shrm.org/events/pages/default.aspx

Where is the 2019 SHRM Conference?

The 2019 Annual SHRM Conference & Exhibition is in Las Vegas, NV.

Where is the 2020 SHRM Conference?

The 2020 Annual SHRM Conference & Exhibition is in San Diego, CA.

What are SHRM webcasts?

Per the website, “SHRM webcasts cover important HR and workplace topics such as hiring, recruiting, onboarding, certification, labor laws, open enrollment, benefits, interviewing and more.”

You can learn more here: www.shrm.org/learningandcareer/learning/webcasts/pages/default.aspx

Are SHRM webcasts free?

Many if not all of them are free.

Per the website, “Most SHRM Webcasts are available for three months after their live broadcast. Unless otherwise noted, these programs are approved to offer professional development credits (PDC) for SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP credentials. SHRM webcasts are also approved by the HR Certification Institute for recertification credit hours. Programs approved for HRCI business credit or Global HR credits are indicated after the program date.”

You do not need to be a member to listen to these webcasts.

Can SHRM help me calculate a turnover rate?

If you are a member, you have access to information on how to calculate the turnover rate.

Can SHRM help me document reasonable suspicion?

Yes, if you are a member, SHRM can help you document reasonable suspicion. Here’s the article.

Want more SHRM information? Visit shrm.org today. Please send HR-related questions to hello@letsfixwork.com and Laurie will try to answer them.

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Can HR fire me?

The answer is yes and no.

You can be fired for nearly any reason and at any time as an American with few exceptions. However, it’s rare for HR to fire you.

If you are fired, the decision to fire you comes from someone else. A supervisor or manager can fire you for just about any reason. An HR professional will coordinate the process and make sure the reason you are fired is grounded in legal reasoning. They are also there to explain your rights and benefits when you leave the organization.

HR professionals rarely have the authority to fire an employee summarily.

Can HR force my manager or supervisor to fire me?

Some people run afoul of the HR department, but your local human resources representative cannot force your manager to fire you. If you are fired because HR doesn’t like you, it most likely means that your manager didn’t like you.

Often, HR is a scapegoat.

Can HR fire me if I am a whistleblower?

The Whistleblower Protection Act can shield federal workers from retaliation. However, this law doesn’t apply to private-sector workers, many of whom are fired for reasons that are, on the surface, unrelated to their whistleblower activities. There may be state protections or other ways private citizens have rights and privileges. Contact an employment lawyer or attorney for more information.

But, again, I can’t stress this enough: HR professionals rarely make a decision to fire anybody. In most organizations, the decision to fire an employee is made by a supervisor or manager. The local HR department clears the determination with the legal department or outside counsel and simply processes the paperwork. When the decision to fire someone has been made, HR can offer limited support and explain the next steps to the affected employee.

Should HR support workers? Of course, but sometimes that’s not enough to protect you from being fired.

Can I blame HR for being fired?

Sure, but it’s not always fair or accurate.

I hate HR.

Maybe you should hate the corporatist agenda that puts a bureaucratic layer between you and your supervisor due to outdated, 20th-century labor laws and vote for federal and state candidates who will have your back. Or maybe you should go work in HR.

Have you got HR questions? Email Laurie at hello@letsfixwork.com and she’ll try to answer them on her blog.

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From a reader:

Have a quick question for you…how in the heck did you learn to market the way you do? I’ve been studying your Twitter feed and it’s like you take people on a journey of your life both professional/personal. You make people feel like they know you. How do you do this?

That’s not a quick question, but here was my quick answer:

I’m talented. 😘

The reader is asking two questions about himself:

1. Can I learn to do what Laurie is doing?
2. How do I create a sense of authenticity and intimacy like Laurie?

The first question is very easy. Sure, you can do what I do. I’m storytelling via digital media, and I learned how to do this from watching other people and copying their methods. The tools are out there. The roadmaps are built. You can even outsource your social media and still get away with storytelling.

But the second question — the one about authenticity and intimacy — is much harder to answer. I’ve had to negotiate my way through relationships and endeavors to land at the place where I am now: interesting enough that key people pay attention but not interesting enough where I’m stalked and harassed online.

The only people who pay attention to me are the individuals who go out of their way to look, which means that I’m relatively safe. My fan base is 52% male, mostly over the age of 35, and they earn more than $100,000/year. I can share details and perspectives without being assailed.

I love the fact that it’s easy to live my middle-aged life in public and without much hassle. There are some people who don’t care for me — and it’s for respectable reasons — but nobody wants to destroy or defame me. They just ignore me, dismiss me, block me, or disregard me when my name comes up in their social media feeds.

Isn’t that just great? How blessed am I to live this life of HR fame and fortune?

I’m fully aware that my HR famousness gets renegotiated when I publish my next book and start making media appearances, again. More people will watch, I’ll have new competition, and I’ll have to figure out a new strategy to share important information about my journey while maintaining some level of privacy and safety.

I’m not sure how it will go, but I know this: my relationship with my readers — executives, HR leaders, supervisors, and individual workers — matters to me. Call it influencer marketing or call it storytelling. The only way to take people on a professional and personal journey is to open the damn door and invite them in.

That’s not marketing, that’s manners.

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