HR Lagniappe

Louisiana SHRM

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Drive thru HR – #LASHRM12 Preview

I hope by now you’ve had the opportunity to listen to the Drive Thru HR show – the only daily radio show devoted to everything HR!  The Drive Thru HR guys have been champions of Louisiana SHRM for quite some time; in 2011 they even did their show LIVE from the conference when it was held in Lafayette!

Hosts Bryan Wempen and William Tincup (who will be leading a session at this year’s Louisiana SHRM State Conference) are the show’s hosts and every day at noon (central time) they have conversations with HR professionals – people just like you and me!

I’m pleased to report that I’m once again scheduled to be the DTHR guest on Monday April 2nd  – I must do an OK job (or not embarrass myself too much) because they keep inviting me back. In addition to our regular conversational topics surrounding what’s top-of-mind in HR and what it is that’s keeping me up at night, we’re going to do some previewing of the upcoming Louisiana SHRM State Conference (woo hoo!).

Oh sure, we’ll cover the awesomeness that awaits us in our conference city of New Orleans (food, fun, beads, Hurricanes) but more importantly I want us to talk about the focus for this year’s event – our desire to provide awesome and NEW content from speakers who engage with the attendees and provide information that is thought-provoking and relevant to HR practitioners in 2012.  Our conference committee’s goal is that all attendees go home with actionable ideas that they can use to drive the business of their organizations and the HR profession forward!

So put April 2nd on your calendar and listen in!  You can follow the twitter stream via the hashtag #dthr, or better yet, CALL IN at 347-996-5600.  Give us the reasons why YOU’RE attending the conference – in addition to the Hurricanes of course.


Today’s post is by Robin Schooling, SPHR, who is a Vice President of HR in Baton Rouge.  She blogs at HR Schoolhouse and you can also find her hanging out at Women of HR and SHRM’s We Know Next blog.  Robin serves on the LASHRM State Conference Committee so does have a bit of skin-in-the-game for the success of the conference.

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Why I’m Going to #LASHRM12 – I’m Coming Home!

So the ten million dollar question faces me:  Why am I attending #LASHRM12?

Hmm, so many reasons. Can I buy a lifeline?

Not! I don’t need a lifeline to explain why I am super stoked to attend the #LASHRM12 conference. With that, let’s break it down:

–         I am coming back to my home state! I had the great satisfaction of spending a great portion of my life in Shreveport/Bossier/Lake Charles, Louisiana both educationally and professionally and look for every opportunity to get back.

–        I get to reconnect with friends from Shreveport and Baton Rouge, friends that I have met through social media, as well as meet new friends that will continue to push my professional and personal growth

–        Louisiana HR folks rock! Louisianans not only know how to have fun, but they also know how to get things done through innovative, impactful ideas. Thus, the reason why I had to make it a priority this year to attend.


–        Have you seen the conference presenters? If you haven’t, you can check them out at the LASHRM conference page. But I am going to let you in on a secret about the presenters:  the Louisiana SHRM group has put together a fantastic panel of speakers! I know many of the folks that will be presenting and you can expect some great return for your investment.


–        This conference will challenge you. You will be pushed to think outside of your normal comfort zone and the one thing that I ask:  embrace it. The more you open yourself to what these great speakers are challenging you with, the more you will gain.

–        I get to hang with Robin Schooling and Shauna Moerke on the #LASHRM12 Social Media Team providing attendees and non-attendees with conference updates through Twitter and blogging. Stay tuned for some great content.

I could most certainly go on with many more reasons, but I think you are getting the gist of what I am saying – the #LASHRM conference is AWESOME!

April 26th – April 27th is an opportunity for you to get out of your office, hang with great HR folks, learn a little bit, and have fun. If you haven’t registered yet, I suggest you register toot sweet.

On that note, I will see you all in the Big Easy.

P.S. I just found out that Buzz Rooney will be attending. She is cool people. Buzz blogs at her personal blog – The Buzz on HR – and my contribution blog – Performance I Create.


Today’s guest post is by Chris Ponder II, PHR – a human resources professional who has harnessed his human resources knowledge and experience across the casino, retail, and service industries, while pushing the extreme in: talent acquisition, employee engagement, training and development, human resources information systems, employee relations, process development and redesign, performance improvement, project management, and human resources analytics. Chris shares his knowledge and experiences at his blog,  XtremeHR, as well as at the contributor blog he founded,  PerformanceICreate. You can  follow him on Twitter at @ChrisPonder and connect with him via LinkedIn.

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Meet the #LASHRM12 Speakers – Jennifer Ledet

I was chatting with a client recently, and she said, “Well, you know, we’re really in the relationship business.” As I noodled that concept, my first thought was, “Well show me an organization that’s not in the relationship business.”

The client happened to be an international non-profit organization and one could clearly make the connection that relationships play a vital role in their “business”. The next day, as I spoke to a group of bankers, I thought, “well these guys and gals are surely in the relationship business!” My clients in the healthcare, insurance, engineering, manufacturing, and technology industries are all in the relationship business.

Let’s face it. We’re all in the relationship business, regardless of the industry or product or service we provide. We all know that people do business with people they:

  • Know
  • Like, and
  • Trust

Team members are loyal, committed and engaged when their leader is someone they know, like, and trust.

Relationships — building, nurturing, and maintaining them — are at the core of your business. Without customers, you would have no reason for being. Without employees you would likely not be able to provide the goods or services to your customers – or at least not in a timely fashion.

How’s Ya Mama ‘n’ ‘Em? No, I haven’t taken leave of my grammatical senses. This is a very common expression here in South Louisiana.

It is our way of asking how a person is doing, how their family is doing, and what’s going on in their lives outside of work. And it’s a huge part of our culture. I think it’s a practice that, if you implement it in your interactions with others, could just possibly change your work culture too.

Taking a few minutes to engage someone in a conversation about themselves is a great way to invest in the relationship. Most people like to talk about themselves and are flattered that you’re interested enough to ask. The key, though, is that your interest must be sincere and genuine — not like your interactions with your “pseudo friends” on Facebook, (or as my friend James calls it, “Spacebook”).

Theodore Roosevelt said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” This holds true for your team members as well as your customers. In fact, in many ways, you should treat your employees as you would a valued customer. And yes, it does take some effort and a little bit of time. But, consider it a deposit in your relationship account, and always strive to make more deposits than you do withdrawals in that account.

This ability to take an interest in others may not come naturally for everyone. And that’s okay, because it’s a skill you can learn. I had a client once who was an introvert and who needed coaching in this area. He was so analytical, that he wanted a specific formula for creating great relationships. I remember he even asked me how many minutes he would need to engage in conversation with team members. (I could picture him setting an egg timer on the desk to time the conversation precisely!)

There is no magic formula for creating great relationships. Here are just a few quick tips:

  • Ask questions about his family. (You can start with “How’s Ya Mama ‘n’ ‘Em?”)
  • Notice what she talks about — hobbies, interests, etc. and ask about them. (Ex: “How long have you been competing in underwater basket weaving?”)
  • Make a mental note of, say, his weekend plans so that on Monday you can ask how it went. (Ex: “How was the fishing trip? Did ya’ll catch? I must’ve missed your call inviting me to supper.”)
  • It’s also okay to engage in brief group conversations after a big weekend or event. (Ex: “How ’bout dem Saints?”)

Your ability to influence team members to perform and produce will hinge directly on the relationship that you have created with them. Taking an interest in them, their family, and life outside of work is a small investment to make with potentially huge returns.

What? You say you can’t afford to take the time to engage in conversation with your employees or customers? I say you can’t afford not to. Your business success depends on it.

By the way, “How’s ya Mama ‘n’ em?”


Today’s guest post comes from Jennifer Ledet, SPHR, who is the owner of Ledet Management Consulting in Thibodaux.  Check out Jennifer here, follow her on Twitter, and join her at the Friday  session Leadership… Cajun Style! The GUMBO Recipe for Success.

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Why I’m going to #LASHRM12 – La Nouvelle-Orléans

Even before Robin Schooling was awesome enough to ask me to be part of the #LASHRM12 Social Media team, I was making plans to attend the Lousiana State SHRM conference. Now, I’ve been to my share of SHRM conferences and there certainly isn’t a lack state run ones (I hear there are 50 of them in fact!). But once I heard what the conference planners had scheduled, I knew I couldn’t miss it.

Never mind that the city of New Orleans is playing host, though that fact alone should get your attention. No need to even discuss all the networking opportunities with local, and not so local, amazing HR peeps. And who doesn’t know about the great opportunities to learn and develop your skills as a professional? Do I even need to go into that? I didn’t think so.

So what about the opportunity to go to #LASHRM12 get me really excited? Well, I’m glad you asked. It’s because it’s not your everyday HR Conference. It’s not safe, it’s not typical, and it’s going to challenge your perception of what HR is and could be.

Check out the show schedule. Sure, there is some quality and traditional HR stuff planned. You will earn HRCI credits and leave comfortable knowing you did something meaningful towards your professional development. I bet some HR vendors in the exhibit hall will even be giving way a Coach bag or two. Thank goodness for that too or there might be a riot. A riot of HR ladies, hmmm, that I would pay to see… But I digress.

What makes this conference so atypical is they are willing to do things that a lot of state conferences still aren’t willing to do. It’s not just that they are actively embracing and engaging in social media, though that by itself puts them in the top 10% of HR conferences as far as I’m concerned. It’s that when it comes to speakers and content, they went out of their way to find as many forward thinking, perception shattering, and most importantly, engaging speakers they could get. I challenge you to come out of the conference and not feel inspired to do things better. No, to be a better HR Professional.

So if you are like me and you have come to expect more from an HR Conference, then you have to get yourself down to New Orleans April 26th & 27th. Trust me when I say it’s an easy decision to hang with us in The Big Easy.


Today’s guest post is from Shauna Moerke, PHR – a member of the #LASHRM12 Social Media Team/Blog Squad.  Shauna is an HR professional with a diverse work history, a Master’s degree, and a PHR certification. She is also a huge geek, social media advocate, and infectious giggler. Besides blogging at her own site as the HR Minion, Shauna is a co-founder of the Women of HR site, serves as the current Ringmistress of the Carnival of HR, and is the former co-host of the HR Happy Hour blogtalk radio show.  You can follow her on twitter at @HR_Minion.

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Why I’m Going to #LASHRM12 – Opportunities

Why am I going to #LASHRM12? My first thought was it’s an amazing “excuse” for a northerner to get down to party town…but what really happens is much better.  An HR employee requests to be out of the office for a professional development, work related conference…and then receives recognition for the fantastic take aways upon return (reminder to self – take notes during seminars). My personal ‘whys’ or WIIFM can’t be ranked so read them in any order that works for you:

  • It’s New Orleans! We get this chance to gather there less frequently than leap year extra days (or so it seems)·        
  • I get to see, and spend Quality Time with, my SHRMies as well as meet soon-to-be-fabulous- new- partners-in-deeds (crime doesn’t seem to fit in our world). People that understand the language and share that quirky sense of humor only SHRMies can.        
  • The uplifting, encouraging boost of “we CAN do it” presentations that we remind us all of the need to revive our LOVE for this work called HR.  It’s what we call our career because we are passionate about ________(fill in the blank).  My “fill in the blank” is ‘helping people’.         
  • The knowledge. Not only the incredible amount of HRCI credits to be gained (that’s just icing on the cupcake) but the need to know new laws and best practices we can implement in our business as soon as we return!·        
  • SHRM meetings, conferences and socials are where I feel at home with like minded, driven, caring and helpful individuals that ‘get it’. SHRMies are my second family; ones I can rely on (and have) in times that cross work/life boundaries.  I’ve found they are always there to lend a hand, an understanding ear, or provide guidance in many situations.

You never know who you will meet or why your paths cross until at some point down the road of life.  You may find yourself sitting back and saying:   “Wow! I’m sure glad I took the time out of the everyday struggle to go and get to know others with similar interests in life.  I’m glad I chose to join National and Local SHRM many years ago. I would not be where I am now without the people I met or the knowledge our national, state and local societies provide through meetings and conferences!”

So just think – the next light bulb moment or person who impacts your life may be at # LASHRM12!

Aww heck, wasn’t I supposed to be focused on a great excuse to go to New Orleans and then just happen to be in town in time for Jazz Fest to start right after the Louisiana SHRM conference ends?! 


Today’s guest post is written by Courtney Young, MA, PHR.  Courtney is a Senior Recruiter with Cisco Systems and is currently the President of the Northeast Louisiana SHRM chapter (NELA SHRM).  You can connect with Courtney on Twitter.

image courtesy of Zazzle