HR Lagniappe

Louisiana SHRM


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Curse Words & Racial Slurs: Guest Post

Today’s post is from Chris Fields who is a member of the #lashrm14 Social Media Team.  Chris is an HR professional and Expert Resume Writer with over 13 years of experience as a former practitioner and current HR consultant. He is the curator of two websites; CostofWork.com and The ResumeCrusade and contributes HR focused content to many others, includingPerformanceIcreate.com and SmartRecruiters.  Follow Chris on Twitter

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clear as mudOur love affair with the “N-word” just keeps on – who can say it? Should we say it? Rappers say it, why can’t I say it? We are taking our community language and behavior into the workplace. Community language is the type of communication you do at home or around your friends and family – your community. When I was growing up, there were things you said at home and things you never said outside the home. Not anymore – everyone wants everyone else to know all about them. They bring their cursing and insensitive attitudes into the workplace.

Maybe you are not a fan of the NFL so you haven’t heard about the Miami Dolphins firestorm. The Dolphins are in the midst of a headline grabbing situation involving 2 offensive linemen. In October Lineman Jonathan Martin abruptly left the team in the middle of week.  It was reported that he was a victim of teasing by his fellow offensive linemen.  As more information became available we learned that he was hazed unmercifully by some teammates.

As many questioned Martin’s manhood – how does a 300lb man allow another man to bully him – the face of the bullying appeared, it was Lineman Richie Incognito (real name). The bully also has a voice – he left voice messages calling Martin a “half n—-er, piece of sh-t”. And Incognito even threatened to kill Martin and his mother. Incognito has a history of aggressive behavior, he was kicked off 2 college teams and the St. Louis Ram released him because of his bad attitude. But now we are hearing that the coaches in Miami told Incognito to toughen up Martin. We are also learning that Richie Incognito and Martin talked to each other this way all the time.

This story is still unfolding everyday but the NFL locker room – all sports locker rooms will forever be changed by the Dolphins situation. The NBA has already issued a statement to all teams that any and all hazing is to stop immediately and no more “n-word.”

Is this common? Does it happen everywhere? Well…

Recently, I went to the store to purchase some fruit and veggies and the 2 check out girls were talking to one another, the one girl says “That b*tch know I don’t fool with her a** like that!” and they both laugh. My face clearly showed my reaction to the comment, and the girl says “I’m sorry, we just talking.” I wanted to respond “I know you are talking, but did you know I can hear you and it’s not cool?”

A former co-worker reminded me that in her department many of the employees refer to each other as rednecks, now with the whole Jeff Foxworthy thing – maybe you don’t consider that racial but it totally is.  Imagine if a group of blacks used THAT word; you know the word, to refer to each other – hopefully you would be offended.

One of my HR homies, who will remain nameless for the sake of this article, often shares some of the ridiculous things that happens in her line of work. Things like sex at work, drugs, cursing and fighting in the workplace – we call it #HoodHR.

All of this has me thinking…we need to ask some obvious and blunt questions before hiring. Oh, I know, you will say, “Well, you need to review your hiring procedures – where are you finding your people?” Oh, and you’re probably thinking, “You aren’t managing well enough.”

Look, people change. They lie to you to get hired, but there is something about documentation and clear expectations that could help also.

How about instead of spending a bunch of money on assessments we just get real with some people. For instance in the interview we ask questions like these.

  • Do you know that using racial and sexual slurs and curse in the workplace is wrong and you can and will be fired for it?
  • Do you know that sex at work is wrong and you can and will be fired for it?
  • Do you know that bullying and intimidation at work is wrong and you will be fired for it?
  • Do you know that fighting which includes heated arguments is not permitted at work and you can be terminated for it?

These may seem obvious to you but they are not. Read this article from Mike Haberman about a guy who called his boss a “f—king clown” because he didn’t agree with his performance evaluation and the guy didn’t see anything wrong with it. In fact he tried to sue for wrongful termination, saying that heated discussion should be expected at work.

Maybe we need to make our rules, guidelines and expectations more clear because what’s clear to you or me, seems to be clear as mud to employees.

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this post originally appeared at Cost of Work

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SHRM’s Pinnacle Award 2013

SHRM PinnacleAt last week’s SHRM Leadership Conference, the Society for Human Resource Management announced the winners of the 2013 Pinnacle Awards.  This is an annual recognition program that honors outstanding initiatives of 2 state councils and nine chapters,

Categories/criteria include an evaluation of chapter size (small, medium/large or mega/super mega) as well as a review of whether the initiative serves the HR professional, advances the HR profession or enhances the SHRM community.

We were thrilled in Louisiana when the Northshore Region Human Resource Association (NRHRA) won as a small chapter in the Serving the HR Professional category for their St. Tammany Parish Drug Court Participant Mentoring and Education Program.  Per SHRM, winning programs in this category reflect excellence in activities that support and promote professionals with HR responsibility to be successful business leaders.

Congratulations to all the Pinnacle winners from across the country:

Chapters

  • Anchorage SHRM (Alaska), The Last (Recertification) Frontier
  • Northern Virginia Society for Human Resource Management, Special interest groups that provide programs that complement the chapter’s monthly meetings.
  • Sooner Human Resources Society (Oklahoma), Smart Work Ethics: Taking Responsibility in the Workplace.
  • Northeast Indiana HR Association, HR Joins the Ranks: Training & Jobs for Our Heroes.
  • Morris County SHRM (New Jersey), Tomorrow’s Promise. This program provided information, guidance and job-search support to transitioning homeless veterans.
  • Cullman Area SHRM (Alabama), Relaunch CSHRM 2013, a rebranding and reorganization initiative.
  • Northwest Arkansas Human Resources Association (NOARK SHRM), “Why NOARK?”—a strategic plan to increase and retain membership.
  • Philadelphia SHRM, Emerging Leaders Initiative.

State Councils

  • Washington State, Veteran Pre-employment Academy.
  • Alaska, WEB-INAR: Alaska—Where Technology, Certification and Common Sense Converge.

Sponsored by ADP, Inc (for 20 years!) the awards ceremony is a highlight of each year’s Leadership Conference.


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In Case You Missed It; or Even if You Didn’t #LASHRM13 Recap

BRCheck out a variety of blog posts recapping the Louisiana SHRM State Conference on Human Resources.  It’s the next best thing to having been there!

#LASHRM13: Jennifer McClure, on the Future of HR – from MonsterThinking (Monster Worldwide)

#LASHRM13: HR’s Turning Point: Are You Staying in Place or Moving Forward? – from MonsterThinking (Monster Worldwide)

Hey HR Get Over It, Social Media Is Here to Stay! – from Michael Haberman

The “Word” From #LASHRM13: HR’s Culture, Turning Point & Future-Pt. 1from Janine Truitt

The “Word” from #LASHRM13: Sleuths, HR Tech, Communication, Culture, and Social Media-Pt.2 – from Janine Truitt

10 steps to change (and a bonus) #LASHRM13 – from Bill Boorman

And Then This Happened – from Doug Shaw

#LASHRM13 TAKEAWAY: “BURNING THE BRAS” IN #HR – from Crystal Miller

Live from #LASHRM13: A Lawyer’s Advice on Employee Classification – from My Back Office

Live from #LASHRM13: How Social Media Helps HR – from Reputation Capital Media

#LAshrm13: A Social Media Success Story – from The Starr Conspiracy

Social activity from the Louisiana State SHRM Conference 2013 (April 7-9) – Storify by Lizzie Maldonado

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image courtesy of RedStickNow


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NY Comes to Baton Rouge – #lashrm13

new-york-skyline-at-nightToday’s guest post is from Janine Truitt who will be attending the Louisiana SHRM State Conference as a member of the Social Media Team. Janine’s career spans eight years in HR and Recruitment and she is best known for her blog “The Aristocracy of HR” (TAOHR) where she discusses Talent Management triumphs, blunders, and best practices.  You can follow Janine on twitter at @CzarinaofHR.

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My pending travels to Baton Rouge for Louisiana SHRM 2013 (LASHRM) is my first trip to Louisiana ever. Even more interesting is that this is my first state SHRM conference (gasp). I had no clue that people from other states attended other state conferences and that there was all of this pomp and circumstance behind it. Who knew? I have never even gone to the SHRM New York State Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY, which is slightly shameful. The only brownie point I get is for knowing that it is held in Saratoga Springs, NY, I mean Buffalo, NY.

Many of my colleagues have asked me, what is the purpose of my involvement with LASHRM? How is it benefiting you? More importantly, why am I going all the way to Baton Rouge to learn more about HR?

Quite simply. I’m intrigued.

It is amazing that there is a social network that exists beyond, well, social media. This network moves from state to state supporting each other’s state SHRM conferences and other HR events. Isn’t this after all what HR aspires to be? It is the epitome of HR moving from silos to working collaboratively and sharing knowledge freely.

How boring we were sitting in our own ordinary conferences commiserating over the same legislature challenges and HR state trends year after year. The same faces. The same voices. The same program. Boring!

Conferences like LASHRM are shifting the paradigm of conference attendance to something more haute and fashionable. It is a paradigm of getting a diverse group of people in a room somewhere across this great U.S. A. to discuss how we keep this HR machine alive and going.

I am a diehard fan of HR. Progressive HR events and initiatives are what get me going. Plus, I’m a New Yorker so if it’s or a reason to party I’m all there. I can’t dismiss the true jewel in all of this which will be my chance to explore a new locale and some great food.

As a member of LASHRM’s esteemed social media team, I will be coaching HR people on how to effectively utilize social media for their HR efforts. However, please know that I will be indulging in some Gumbo, Po Boys, and some warm, powdery beignets when I am not fulfilling my social HR duties.

Okay, I’m a self-confessed foodie, but anyhow, be sure to give this New Yorker a warm welcome when you see me at LASHRM on Social Media Street. I know they say that we New Yorkers aren’t friendly, but I promise I will let the hospitality of the south overcome me. I hope to see you there.


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HR Certification – its value to me

I always read with interest the debate within the HR community about the value of holding certification of professional credentials, specifically those through the Human Resource Certification Institute.  Since 2003, I have held my SPHR certification and had the PHR for 3 years before that.  Although I am an advocate for having the certification, I also recognize that it is not the end all be all of HR knowledge and there are many smart and accomplished HR pros who do not hold a certification of any kind, hold a certification other than through HRCI, and those who do not feel the value is enough to continue to hold such a thing.  Unfortunately, there are also those individuals out there with the initials PHR, SPHR, or GPHR after their name who do not represent the best and brightest of the human resource profession.

Speaking solely for myself, the certification has provided several benefits.  First, it forces me to keep current by achieving 60 recertification credits over a three year period of time.  Now, there are those who simply ease through and get whatever credits they can, but I like to think of myself as a diligent and conscientious person (most of the time!) and truly try to get something out of the programs or sessions I attend.  It seems that the possibilities to gain recertification credits continue to grow each year.   This can provide motivation for those not inclined to pursue additional formal education.  There have certainly been times during my MBA program that I have been able to benefit from the knowledge gained through the recertification process.

The second benefit I gain is recognition by others for my knowledge.  Those outside the HR practice arena are starting to recognize the certification and will look for it.  When I first attained my PHR certification, my supervisor at the time asked me what that PHR was and why I did it.  It meant nothing to her or the company at the time.  When I interviewed for my current position, the expectation was there that I not only have my certification, but that I pursue the SPHR within 2 years of joining the organization.  Within six months, I tested and passed and have maintained it ever since.  It is nice to see a growing number of HR related job postings placing some emphasis on it.

Finally, there are those who see the indication of professional certification as something that sets apart the willingness of someone to take a chance and do something to advance themselves.  I have been in several conversations with other HR professionals who have told me that they are not willing to take the exam because they are afraid that they might fail.  Life is about taking risks and as risks go, this is not a particularly dangerous one!  I view it as an investment in myself and when I first tested, a challenge to my fledgling HR knowledge.

As someone who holds a certification from HRCI, I am certainly in favor of strengthening the certification and what it takes to receive and maintain it.  There are those in every profession who do not hold up to the ideal of their title, certification, or degree.  My SPHR certification by itself does not represent who I am or what I know.  It does show that I was able to show mastery on a test over a particular set of subjects and that I have maintained knowledge in my chosen field of human resources.  It does not show my professionalism, the ability to apply the knowledge I have demonstrated, or that I am an avid roller coaster rider.  It’s important, no matter the certification, degree, or qualifications, that we ensure that the person brings the qualities we want to a position, and not simply a fancy set of letters after their name.  Certification is important to me for me; it doesn’t need to be an important factor to anyone else.

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This guest post from Brad Galin, SPHR originally ran on his blog RollercoasterHR where he writes about HR and roller coasters.  .
 
Spending much of his early life working in theme parks, first as a ride operator and later in public relations at Kings Island near Cincinnati, Ohio, Brad has had many unique and fun experiences since graduating from Indiana University.  Brad’s HR experience began in policy development and training for International Theme Park Services and took him around the world to train including extended assignments in China, Mexico, & Brazil.  Brad is now the Director of HR for Stone Belt, a non-profit organization with over 500 employees fulfilling its mission to prepare, empower, and support people with disabilities throughout south-central Indiana.  In addition to his day job, Brad currently serves as the Communications and Technology Director for the Indiana State Council of SHRM.
 
You can also follow Brad on Twitter.


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The Students Bring It: HR of the Future – #shrm12

This post was originally published at the HR Schoolhouse by Robin Schooling, Louisiana SHRM Communications Director and one of the #SHRM12 Official Bloggers.

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Each year, during the SHRM Annual Conference, the SHRM Student Conference is also held.  While we’re here in Atlanta enjoying the heat and humidity, the students are also meeting today and tomorrow (June 23rd and June 24th).

During the conference, the recipients of SHRM’s Outstanding Student Chapter Awards are announced.  The Outstanding Student Chapter Award is given in recognition of significant activities within the following areas: compliance with SHRM bylaws, fundraising efforts, educational events, volunteerism, professional development, internships, mentorships, newsletters and external communications, social media programs, legislative advocacy, support of the SHRM foundation and participation in seminars or conferences.

I’m a big fan of the work of the SHRM student chapters and each year usually make a trip (or two!) to local student chapter meetings.  Apparently they haven’t gotten sick of me yet because they keep inviting me back.  Then again, it might be because sometimes I swear when I’m either (1) sharing an HR horror story or (2) getting all riled up about the good/bad/ugly/exciting aspects of our chosen profession.

So let’s send a hearty congrats to the 2011-12 Outstanding Student Chapter Award Recipients:

  • Eastern Michigan University, #5041, Ypsilanti, MI
  • Louisiana State University of Shreveport, #5335, Shreveport, LA
  • McNeese State University, #5393, Lake Charles, LA
  • Meredith College, #5177, Raleigh, NC
  • Nicholls State University, #5431, Thibodaux, LA
  • Rutgers University, #5154, Newark, NJ
  • University of Guam, #5356, Mangilao, GU
  • University of North Texas, #5017, Denton, TX
  • University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, #5333, Mayaguez, PR
  • University of Tennessee, #5254, Knoxville, TN

And of course I have to add that I’m super proud, as a Louisiana HR pro, of the fantastic showing by the three SHRM Student Chapters from the State of Louisiana who’ve been selected as Outstanding Student Chapters for the 2011-12 award year:   Louisiana State University of Shreveport, McNeese State University, and Nicholls State UniversityAs an added benefit, another Louisiana SHRM Student Chapter was recognized as a Runner-Up for the award  – Southeastern Louisiana University.

There is awesome work being done by SHRM student chapter members and their extremely dedicated chapter advisors.  Thanks to all of them for focusing on HR of the future.


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Getting HS Students on the HR Bandwagon

This guest post is courtesy of Nikolas (‘Nik’) Verret, student at Nicholls State University.  The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has acknowledged that NSU’s Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Management and a concentration in Human Resources fully aligns with SHRM’s HR Curriculum Guidebook and Templates.

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With so many options to consider in high school, many students find it difficult to narrow down a specific career path for the future. Some may have a general idea; some may have a specific job in mind, while others may be clueless. It’s absolutely essential to research careers of interest to formulate a general plan for post high school endeavors. It also doesn’t hurt to talk to someone who was once in those shoes to discuss this state of uncertainty and experiences along the way. That’s why I decided to sit down one-on-one with a few students from my former high school and do some mentoring.

     I met with five South Lafourche High School students to discuss the benefits of a career in human resources. To start off the discussion, I asked each of the students what job/ career they were considering upon graduating high school. Three of them stated they planned on going to college and majoring in business or biology. The other two stated that they will seek a job following high school. I then asked if anyone had considered a career in human resources. I got a negative response along questions about what the human resource field is about and that’s when the discussion commenced.

          I began to explain that human resource management is primarily managing people whether it is through hiring, training, safety, or administration. Next, I elaborated on the major functions of human resources including recruiting, managing, and providing direction (organizational development). Then, I transitioned to the newer fields that have flourished in recent years including strategic management and sculpting the work environment/culture. When done effectively, human resource management can yield a productive workforce and an organization that exceeds its goals and objectives. I stated that this can be a rewarding job when you feel as if you have contributed to the success of the organization.

Perhaps the biggest reason to consider a HR career is the versatility of the jobs offered. I talked about a few of the most popular jobs and briefly summarized each of their primary roles, including:

  • Human resource generalist – large range of responsibilities that varies with the specific industry
  • Recruiters – engage in recruiting, hiring, and placement of employees
  • Benefits manager – oversee and coordinate benefit packages for employees
  • Training managers –  mainly focus on developing employee skills
  • Organizational policy manager – form labor policies and oversee labor relations
  • HR director – in charge of all HR departments and reports to upper management to develop strategic planning

     I then explained the credentials needed for the above positions. I explained that most people obtain a bachelor’s in human resources or a related business field. Some choose to seek a master’s degree to pursue advancement opportunities. However, it is not uncommon for someone to drift into this field without a HR degree and/or with years of experience within an industry. In fact, it is fairly common for experienced individuals to enter HR later on in their careers because experience is highly valued in the HR world. These individuals often take on training and safety roles within an organization.

For example, one of my professors recently told my class a story about how her husband transitioned from being a tankerman to a safety instructor. He witnessed a co-worker have his foot nearly amputated. Prior to the accident, he tried to be proactive and warn the company of hazards that needed to be addressed to avoid harm. The company ignored his comments and the inevitable happened. He witnessed the injury firsthand and assisted the co-worker to the ambulance and eventually in the settlement that followed. The dramatic event inspired him to consider safety as an area of interest. He is now employed as a safety instructor with a different company. The moral of the story is that events can change your perspective and lead you into areas that you may have never considered before.

Lastly, I spoke about the future of the HR field and its benefits. I explained that there will be about a 20% increase in employment in HR over the next decade, which is much faster than the average. The main growth areas are within safety, healthcare, retirement, and training. The average starting salary for college students with HR degrees is about $50,000. With experience and certification, potential earnings can increase to $70,000 – $107,000 depending on the industry and location.

I ended the discussion with giving the students links to websites related to HR that offered more insight into this great area. I also mentioned the HR concentration offered at my university, Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, LA, and the SHRM chapter that complements that program. I talked about the activities SHRM is involved in and how being a member can be beneficial to them.