HR Lagniappe

Louisiana SHRM

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I Come from the Water – #lashrm14 preview w/ @Kris_Dunn

Kris Dunn will be kicking off the 2014 Louisiana Conference on Human Resources with his keynote presentation –  I Come from the Water (The Evolution of the Modern People Manager).  Folks in the HR space know and love Kris,; he’s the CHRO at Kinetix and the Founder/Editor-in-Chief of The HR Capitalist and Fistful of Talent.

Follow the hashtag #lashrm14 Sunday April 6th through Tuesday April 8th for all the conference activities coming out of Baton Rouge.

Here’s a preview of Kris’ session:

Evolution.  Whether you’re a Scientist with a PhD in Evolutionary Biology or in Church every Sunday (or both), one thing is clear: Managers of people have evolved over the past century. But some environmental clues tell us there’s more adaptation available – for the companies, HR Pros and solutions that can lead it.

We’ll tell the story of the evolution of the modern manager through the lens of three managers.  Henry Ford, Don Draper and Ari Gold.  All three developed adaptations that allowed them to succeed where the others couldn’t.

But evolution doesn’t stop with Ari Gold – lucky for us.  The real evolution of the modern manager is about performance art – and the ability to facilitate 5 distinct conversations to the people they manage, in an authentic, free flowing, believable way Managers with this adaptation are already thriving, those that don’t have it are struggling to survive.  Could your managers survive in an Saturday Night Live skit?  Those with the adaptation we’re talking about can.

The adaptation that makes managers thrive in 2014 – the equivalent of opposable thumbs when it first appeared – is the ability to be a career agent for the employees that report to them when delivering one of the 5 distinct conversations. That sounds easy, but it’s actually counter-intuitive to everything companies have taught managers over the last century. In addition to the 5 key conversations, we’ll share 4 ways that managers consistent deliver the “career agent” theme to those that report to them every day – and get trust and commitment levels that average managers don’t as a result.

Can companies and HR pros help managers evolve in this way?  The answer is yes – but as we’ll explore, it’s complicated.  It’s also the biggest challenge for HR pros that exists in today’s talent world.

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Transforming the Future of Human Resources with Neuroscience

Today’s guest post is from Rebel Brown who will be speaking on the topic “Neuroscience in Business” at next week’s Louisiana SHRM State Conference on Human Resources


Featured_Big_NeuroBusiness-285x100Whether you’re running HR for a smaller business or are the Chief Human Resources Officer in a larger corporation, you’re focused on humans in business. Creativity, engagement, performance and satisfaction are driven by our human minds. Thanks to neuroscience, every organization has the opportunity to leverage the power of our human minds to create competitive advantage.

That’s why neuroscience is so exciting for HR professionals. Finally, we can understand what makes our employees, teams and organization tick.

We can use this understanding to create human excellence.

A Mind Design for Every Human

Who we are, what we think and how we act is driven by our mindware, the designs and programs that run our human brains. No two humans have the same mindware or mind design. Hence no two humans have the same perceptions, thought processes, communication styles, motivational responses or behaviors.

Whether we’re making a decision about our strategy, designing a new product promotion, selling to a new prospect or solving a problem for a customer, our unique individual mindware drives our decisions, behaviors and beliefs.

We can’t and don’t separate our human minds from our business minds. That’s why understanding the intricacies of our human mind design is key to fueling human excellence within our organizations.

Thanks to neuroscience, human resources and business leaders can now leverage the technology of our minds to fuel excellence in individuals, teams and across the organization.

Upside Down and Inside Out

Discoveries in neuroscience are turning traditional beliefs about our human minds, about what drives us to think, respond and act, upside down and inside out.

For example, we are not the conscious, logical, rational beings we’ve all been led to believe. Quantum biologists have now proven that over 95% of our decisions and behaviors are driven by our unconscious minds. Our conscious minds don’t even know it’s happening.

Our unconscious minds filter our information, determine our perception of the world around us and automatically trigger our responses.

  • Motivated or not so much?
  • Able to concentrate or distracted?
  • Clear communication or misunderstood?
  • The right job fit or a mismatch?

When we identify the mind design of each employees’ unconscious mindware, we gain powerful insights into human motivation, performance, satisfaction and so much more.

Human Resources: The Center of Human Excellence

Applying neuroscience to business creates a huge opportunity for Human Resources.

Who is better positioned to leverage the power of the human mind to fuel human excellence within our organizations?

Applying the knowledge of Mind Designs within our organizations brings a new level of performance. Just imagine:

  • Every employee feeling understood by their leaders, motivated to perform, clear about their role and responsibilities, eager to collaborate with others, filled with fresh ideas and excited at the prospect of another day on the job.
  • Hiring the best fits for your organization, based on the fundamental mind characteristics that make each team successful. Training people knowing they will excel in their ultimate role.
  • Every leader knowing exactly how to communicate, motivate and lead their individual team members to create breakout results.

All of this and so much more is possible with the application of neuroscience in business.

Human resources is poised to take the lead in this powerful new world, acquiring the knowledge and expertise to radically shift the way we think about and work with employees, teams, customers and every human who touches our organization.

The opportunity is now for HR. Excellence is all in our minds. We simply have to step into that opportunity.


To learn more about the Power of Neuroscience to Transform Human Resources, attend Rebel’s concurrent session at the LA SHRM Conference, Monday April 7, 2014 at 10:30 am.  Attendees will learn about the power of our minds to create excellence and experience the insights provided by our Mind Designs, up close and personally. 

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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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Meet the #LASHRM12 Speakers – Scott Eblin

Scott Eblin is the author of “The Next Level” and president of The Eblin Group, a leadership development and strategy firm that supports organizations in ensuring the success of their executive level leaders.  Fellow  #LASHRM12 presenter Mary Ellen Slayter asked him a few questions in advance of his keynote address.


In what ways do you think the role of the HR professional has changed since your days as #trenchHR, as Charlie Judy likes to call it? In what ways has it stayed the same?

So, my HR heyday was back in the ’90s, and I was fortunate enough in both companies I worked for to have the kind of CEO that every HR leader would want to have.  They were both convinced of the impact that HR could have on business results.  That was kind of rare 15 years ago.  I think it is less so today.   Talent management was an emerging concept without a name back then.  These days, I think talent management is what most executives expect HR to deliver.  The separation of the more purely administrative aspects of HR from the more strategic aspects has helped move the field forward I think.

What is the biggest challenge HR professionals face when transitioning from functional roles in their departments to executive roles? What’s your advice for overcoming that?

One of the big challenges in making that transition is not really unique to HR – it’s the challenge of leading and setting the agenda for people who once were your peers on the org chart. 

My advice for an HR exec in this situation would be the same for any exec.  Have some conversations early on about roles and responsibilities, what is expected of you in your new role and what you need and expect from each member of your team.  In addition to that, I think it’s really important to establish co-equal relationships with your new executive peers. 

You have to let go of a small footprint view of your role and pick up a big footprint view.  You’re a member of your organization’s executive team and, as such, are on stage in a more pronounced way.  One of the benefits that comes with that is the perspective you gain from being in conversations that you may have not been in previously.  Part of your new job is to share that perspective (in appropriate ways) with your team so they have a better understanding of the strategic context for their work.

You wrote a great blog post last year about how a bad HR chief can brief down a CEO. Any advice for HR leaders to recognize that they themselves may be committing these sort of high crimes of HR?

So, here’s the bad news.  If you’re committing them you’re the wrong person for the job in the first place.  The common denominator in the five factors discussed in that post is the manifestation of a narcissistic ego.  No HR executive can be successful if they can’t keep their ego and sense of self-aggrandizement in check.  The job is simply too visible and there are too many people willing to take shots at it for anyone that doesn’t have their ego under control to survive for very long.

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Meet the #LASHRM12 Speakers – Craig Juengling

Today’s guest post is by Craig Juengling who will be presenting a session on Thursday April 26th entitled “Becoming the Employer of Choice.”


Become the Employer of Choice – Focus on Employee Engagement!

What would you do with 5 to 10 extra hours in your work week, every week? Could you use it to finally finish off those projects that never seem to get done? Or, would you become the proactive leader that drives bottom line results and begins to implement your vision for what your work world could be… and finally stop the reactive circus that consumes your regular day.

The average manager spends about 18% of their day managing employees. That’s everything from hiring, firing, managing the petty conflicts but also the good stuff that comes with being a manager.  But would your performance skyrocket by cutting that 18% in half? What if your turnover dropped by nearly 50%? What if your absenteeism ratcheted down by 37%? What if the time you spent investigating and solving safety incidents declined because incidents declined by 49%? I bet you’d have a whole lot more time in your day. All of these positive outcomes can occur with the results that come from a focus on creating a highly engaged workforce!*

Employee engagement is very different from employee satisfaction. Satisfaction is a left brain rational thought process that focuses on issues like pay equity, workplace conditions, fairness of the boss and the performance review methods. It is very much a “head” thing.  Employee engagement is when you have your employee’s heart… you have made an emotional connection with the employee, their values are aligned with the company’s and they see their success being inextricably intertwined with the success of the employer.  The outcomes from engaged employees are vastly different from satisfied employees. The examples in the second paragraph are just a beginning… the engaged employee’s contributions are beyond production, they volunteer for countless projects and squelch the negativity of the naysayers.

The path to creating engaged employees is long, but amazingly inexpensive. It’s not about wooden clocks, gold watches or expensive retreats. It’s about understanding the “drivers of engagement” and how to bring them alive at your company. It’s about doing a real employee engagement survey (not a satisfaction survey) and holding yourself and managers accountable for following through on the opportunities for improvement. It’s about consistency because going from good to great takes time. It’s about understanding the tactics that demonstrate your commitment to employee well-being.

The role of leadership is crucial to creating a highly engaged workforce.  Personal buy-in AND involvement is non-negotiable; creating the vision of what the engaged workplace looks like and the employees’ role in getting there must be articulated frequently and completely. Every manager, supervisor and leader must be on the same page and speak to engagement with one voice.

Wouldn’t you love to come to work because you love where you work? How about the rest of your folks?

Over the next 15 years, 80 million baby boomers may retire, changing the demographics of your workforce forever. With nearly 35% of the workforce potentially retiring, the war for talent will become absolutely fierce. Employee engagement represents that game – changing opportunity to get out front of the competition and transform your work world.

*Research from Gallup Consulting and 12 The Elements of Great Managing by Rodd Wagner and Dr. James Harter.


Craig Juengling’s session is guaranteed to get you thinking about Employee Engagement and putting some plans into action.  At the age of 29 Craig was already running his first hospital and by the time he left that company 7 years later he was responsible for 11 hospitals in 7 states.  He then proceeded, over the course of 10 years, to build Maryland’s second largest specialty hospital system.  Today, Craig is a Professional and Executive Coach with an MBA from LSU where he also serves on the faculty of LSU’s Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute Executive Education Program.  You can follow Craig on Twitter and find him blogging and sharing insight at The E2 Coach.