Welcome to Donna Rogers, MEd., SPHR Blog Site!

I share insights into the field of Human Resources Management from my perspective and experience, information upcoming conferences and seminars I participate in, as well as a bit about my personal life from time to time as it relates to my profession. I hope you enjoy and encourage you to connect with me on other social media platforms.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The MAC Doctor

The MAC Doctor

I just noticed 7/28/14 that I did not post this summary. I think it was because my dad went in the hospital upon my return from this conference and I simply forgot. So even though it's over six months old and I am no longer the MAC rep, it may give those a taste of where SHRM, SHRM Foundation, and HRCI was last fall before the riff. Also, it may give State Directors thinking about the MAC position a taste of what to expect. 

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Written in October 2013:

On my return from the SHRM Foundation Thought Leaders Retreat and the SHRM Strategy Conference where we had a chance to participate in our third in person Membership Advisory Council meeting, I have had a chance to do a little reflection on what we have accomplished so far this year. During the conference we had a chance to see Ben C speak about his 6th grade classmate which he referred to as the "MAC Doctor". Last night a few jokes were made about the MAC as it relates to McDonalds as well as Ben's friend. All kidding aside, "the MAC doctor" isn't all that far from the truth. 

You see, over the past three quarters we have listened to member and volunteer concerns, diagnosed the situation via brainstorming and survey result analysis, and made recommendations for improvement. While you will be hearing more about those results and a full year end report late, I wanted to bring you up-to-dad on a few things that have come up since my last MAC post just after annual conference in July. 

First, we had a follow-up presentation from Amy at HRCI who reported on the status of many of the suggestions we made in June. Much of which have already been put in process or are on schedule to be out in process in the near future. 

Second, we had a follow-up presentation from Mark Schmidt, SHRM Foundation, with practically the same type of feedback as mentioned above from HRCI. 

Third, had a chance to spend some time 

While we are still in process of finalizing our year-end report to include some of the following information (with much less detail), I think it is necessary to provide you with an interim report much like those provided earlier in the year. The MAC (membership advisory council) meets twice annually.

The last few days at SHRM Annual Leadership Conference has proven to be quite fruitful as a MAC rep. We met with the SHRM board yesterday to report on findings from our most recent MAC volunteer leader survey for which we had over 300 responses. The demographics of the volunteers who responded actually mirrors the majority of the overall SHRM members worldwide.  

Thus, most respondents (over 70%) work in departments with 1-5  HR professionals and have 15-25 years of experience in the field. The majority were mid to top level HR professionals considering their skill set in the senior category.  With that said, many are over the need for HR basics and business acumen focusing instead on the desire to grow professionally.  Executive coaching, strategic planning and other related topics were at the top of the list and are already currently being provided by SHRM especially with their most recent rollout of opportunities via the website. 

The most telling piece of advice that I gleamed from this report that will have the professional development department working to resolve is just how to deliver said programs. The cost is the most important issue to resolve whereas we suggested multiple price points. While cost will affect delivery options, the respondents did say the best method was leader-led/web-based.  I personally just completed a program led by SHRM that used Adobe Connect which is a perfect example of what the respondents find most desirable. Therefore, I know it is possible but the question is can it be done more affordability. One of the board members was curious as to how members will use this education and while we did not inquire, I responded personally based on previous feedback I have heard from members in our region earlier in the year:

"To be CHRO" - its been said that CHRO's don't see any successors in the pipeline even though there are so many of us at the senior level who feel that we are...perhaps this additional knowledge, experience and coaching will convince those currently in the CHRO role that we are ready. It certainly can't hurt!

In addition to the SHRM board we also met with the director and incoming board chair of HRCI. While the website has been updated all the backend technology is still in process which will have positive impact for certificants who are entering data for recertifcation and pre-approved providers such as vendors, chapters, and state councils. The changes are expected to roll-out in 1st quarter of 2014. many of the improvements we suggested to HRCI in June should be implemented within the new back end technology roll out. 

Another improvement is the new techology will also include a learning plan builder as well as improved category names.  Terminology will be changing to better define the types of certification credits to be earned. 
General will change  HR 
- Strategic will change to Business
International will change to Global 
- Recertification date changing to your birthday (not year end like in past)

Finally, we had the opportunity to meet with four staff members and three board members from the SHRM Foundation. They too had already implemented several of our suggestions from the June meeting to include the SHRM Foundation Story brochure that will be helpful to explain the history, research, and scholarship offerings to chapter and state council. Boards as well as members in advance of the ASK for money. Personally, I use the foundations products at least weekly and see the value in fundraising and giving, but I have also been a volunteer for over 16 years now and have the benefit of what I have learned over those years. However, as a lead volunteer I have seen less experienced and educated volunteers turn their nose up at all the fundraising efforts. This piece as well as the shift in approach will go along way to helping bridge those gaps in my humble opinion. 

Other topics included:

- SE winner of Sue Meisinger scholarship and need to get word out better in coming years to increase awareness and applications 
Directed vs open call research...thus an increase in the directed to move toward a more futurist approach for Thought Leadership  
- Looking for big ticket sponsorships 40-50k cost is 3/4 of a mil total to help fund futurist topics
- Next DVD will be on Aging Workforce which personally I think is a perfect topic
- We asked in June if the Role Model DVD could be updated and that is already in process
-SHRM Foundation staff will on the road more at chapter and state council events so as education and fundraising is not fully the responsibility of volunteers 
- ideas are being sought to give some freshness to how funds are developed similar to other organizations who have known annual events that participants look forward to joining such as Foundation Friday - annual event 
- It was Suggested to use social Media Ambassadors to get bite size information out about the foundation. Detailed suggestions were made on how to do this whereas the time commitment for identified volunteers is minimal. 
-Annual state council foundation donation giveaway suggested new item in place of iPod 

Summary
All-in-all progress is being made and the MAC is making a difference. I am so very blessed to be a part of this process and look forward to my what my successor, Steve Brown, will do for our region in the coming year. 

Thank you all for always being there for me as I work to make North Central Region of SHRM a great place to volunteer.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Learning Fun in Adulthood

I wrote this post last year but just now getting a chance to actually finalize and publish it.

This past week I had the privilege of speaking at a very well attended annual women's conference sponsored by the Illinois Women in Leadership. A group I have been a member of before but have not been available to attend meetings over the past several years especially since I took on leadership roles at the state and national level of SHRM



The program covered several adult learning principles, strategies and tips not to mention a little fun for the attendees who had a chance to "create" what IWIL meant to them using PlayDoh. Since I shared a blog series I wrote a couple years ago while working on my Master Online Teaching Certificate during the program, I thought I would write a post that allowed participants to find the entire series called "Teaching with Technology" all in one place.    

While some of the technology mentioned in this series of almost a dozen posts may have been updated or replaced since I wrote the series, I still use a majority today. If anyone reading this post has additional suggestions, please feel free to comment on this post and share the love. 

Post Leadership North Central MAC Update

While we are still in process of finalizing our year-end report to include some of the following information (with much less detail), I think it is necessary to provide you with an interim report much like those provided earlier in the year. The MAC (membership advisory council) meets twice annually.
 
The last few days at SHRM Annual Leadership Conference has proven to be quite fruitful as a MAC rep. We met with the SHRM board yesterday to report on findings from our most recent MAC volunteer leader survey for which we had over 730 responses. The demographics of the volunteers who responded actually mirrors the majority of the overall SHRM members worldwide.  
Thus, most respondents (over 70%) work in departments with 1-5  HR professionals and have 15-25 years of experience in the field. The majority were mid to top level HR professionals considering their skill set in the senior category.  With that said, many are over the need for HR basics and business acumen focusing instead on the desire to grow professionally.  Executive coaching, strategic planning and other related topics were at the top of the list and are already currently being provided by SHRM especially with their most recent rollout of opportunities via the website. 
The most telling piece of advice that I gleamed from this report that will have the professional development department working to resolve is just how to deliver said programs. The cost is the most important issue to resolve whereas we suggested multiple price points. While cost will affect delivery options, the respondents did say the best method was leader-led/web-based.  I personally just completed a program led by SHRM that used Adobe Connect which is a perfect example of what the respondents find most desirable. Therefore, I know it is possible but the question is can it be done more affordability. One of the board members was curious as to how members will use this education and while we did not inquire, I responded personally based on previous feedback I have heard from members in our region earlier in the year:
"To be CHRO" - its been said that CHRO's don't see any successors in the pipeline even though there are so many of us at the senior level who feel that we are...perhaps this additional knowledge, experience and coaching will convince those currently in the CHRO role that we are ready. It certainly can't hurt!
In addition to the SHRM board we also met with the director and incoming board chair of HRCI. While the website has been updated all the backend technology is still in process which will have positive impact for certificants who are entering data for recertification and pre-approved providers such as vendors, chapters, and state councils.
 
Finally, we had the opportunity to meet with four staff members and three board members from the SHRM Foundation. They too had already implemented several of our suggestions from the June meeting to include the SHRM Foundation Story brochure that will be helpful to explain the history, research, and scholarship offerings to chapter and state council. Boards as well as members in advance of the ASK for money. Personally, I use the foundations products at least weekly and see the value in fundraising and giving, but I have also been a volunteer for over 16 years now and have the benefit of what I have learned over those years. However, as a lead volunteer I have seen less experienced and educated volunteers turn their nose up at all the fundraising efforts. This piece as well as the shift in approach will go along way to helping bridge those gaps in my humble opinion. 
Summary
All-in-all progress is being made and the MAC is making a difference. I am so very blessed to be a part of this process and look forward to what my successor, Steve Brown, will do for our region in the coming year. 
 
Thank you all for always being there for me as I work to make North Central Region of SHRM a great place to volunteer.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Concealed Carry Signage for IL Business

Several of my clients have asked about signage for their property so they can rest easy not worrying about guns in the workplace.  Since I don't have time to email all of my clients as an FYI...Here is the information from the State Police site regarding the topic

Where can business owners or property owners obtain information about required signage? via http://www.isp.state.il.us/firearms/ccw/ccw-faq.cfm

The 4 inch by 6 inch sign is available for download at http://www.isp.state.il.us/firearms/ccw. The Illinois State Police has proposed administrative rules permitting the design and posting of a larger sign if the property owner feels the entrance to their building, premises or real property requires one. The 4 inch by 6 inch sign must be visible somewhere on the larger sign. The administrative rules proposed by the Illinois State Police also permit the larger sign to include additional language. The proposed administrative rules have been filed with the Illinois Secretary of State pursuant to the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act and will be subject to a hearing before JCAR in December 2013.

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Owners of any statutorily prohibited area or private property, excluding residences, where the owner prohibits the carrying of firearms must clearly and conspicuously post the Illinois State Police approved sign, in accordance with Firearm Concealed Carry Act, at the entrance of the building, premises or real property. Please refer to Section 65 (Prohibited Areas) of the Firearm Concealed Carry Act for more information on statutory requirements for signage as well as where concealed weapons are prohibited.
Pursuant to Section 65(d) of the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, signs must be of a uniform design and the Illinois State Police is responsible for adopting rules for standardized signs. The Illinois State Police has proposed rules which require a white background; no text (except the reference to the Illinois Code 430 ILCS 66/1) or marking within the one-inch area surrounding the graphic design; a depiction of a handgun in black ink with a circle around and diagonal slash across the firearm in red ink; and that the circle be 4 inches in diameter. The sign in its entirety will measure 4 inches x 6 inches.

CCW Prohibited Area SignClick on the image or use the link below to download a template of the approved sign.

NOTE: When printing the sign, please ensure the black borders surrounding the "no firearms" symbol measure 4 inches from top to bottom and 6 inches from left to right.

Concealed Carry Prohibited Area Sign (PDF)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Fall North Central SHRM MAC Update


The MAC Representatives participated in a conference call on September 17, 2013 with Elissa O'Brien, SPHR - SHRM Vice President of Membership, Amy Schabacker Dufrane, Executive Director of the HR Certification Institute (HRCI), and other SHRM Staff Members. Amy provided HRCI's response to the MAC Reps report presented in June 2013. Her presentation showed HRCI is listening to the volunteer leaders and HRCI is working on meeting the volunteer leaders needs. Amy noted HRCI is working on a communication piece on how they plan to address the issues the volunteer leaders voiced in the MAC Survey. Once this document is received by the MAC Reps, we will provide to you. 

Recently, volunteer leaders were asked to complete a second 2013 MAC Survey regarding "Professional Development".  We had over 700 volunteer leaders complete the survey. The MAC presented the findings to the SHRM Staff during the SHRM Foundation Thought Leaders Retreat and SHRM Strategy Conference on September 30, 2013.  We will finalize the results and present to the SHRM Board during the SHRM Leadership Conference in November. However, as a sneak peak take a look at the following:

 
Click on this link to see the NEW SHRM Professional Development program offerings as compared to our newest survey results.  They are already hitting the mark even before our report at least from a topic match standpoint.
 Our survey data shows the highest level of interest in these program types:
1. Employee Development
2. Performance Management
3. Succession Planning
4. Talent Acquisition


The SHRM Foundation Board has asked the MAC to meet with them for a two hour meeting during the SHRM Leadership Conference to discuss their feedback from our June 2013 report.  In addition, the MAC will provide an annual report to the SHRM Board as well as the volunteer leaders which will include feedback on all 2013 MAC Focuses. This will be the first time a MAC Annual Report will be provided and it will become a yearly practice by future MAC Reps.  We as leaders know change is vital to our organization and as a team are and will continue to make a difference.

November reminds us that it's time for Thanksgiving, I want to thank all State Directors for working with me over the past ten months to be a voice for the North Central Region.  I look forward to seeing all volunteers who are able to get to DC later this month.  I especially want to congratulate next years "voice" Steve Browne for stepping up as the next MAC representative.  He will be awesome and I will be proud to support him as the MAC Rep alternative and stay involved for one more year. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

My First State Conference Prezi



As I  publish this post, I noticed how long it has been since I wrote anything on here and all the blame is on my crazy schedule since the conference season started and the semester began. My last post was about ILSHRM in August.  Since then I have attended three additional state conferences and the SHRM Thought Leaders Retreat and SHRM Strategy conference. So while this post is about KSSHRM, I am also grateful to WISHRM and MNSHRM as well! 
So my first ever State Conference presentation was indeed at KSSHM...Whoo Hoo! I am humbled and ecstatic to have had the gracious privilege of presenting in front of my peers at the Kansas State SHRM conference recently at the Overland Park Convention Center in Kansas City, KS.  Although, my trip was quick and we ran out of time to cover everything planned, I am confident that I made a difference for some who may have either been reassured of their own process or had little to no experience with the topic. The proof was in the probing questions during the program and the line to speak to attendees after the program. My goal was met which was to make a difference. 

Having been a conference attendee for years, I know if you stink, people won't hesitate to walk out because they do have choices. One of the choices they had was the morning keynote, Jeff Tobe.  I don't recall his topic but he was doing a concurrent session in the room beside me as was a few other speakers.  So you can bet I breathed a sigh of relief when I had over a handful in the room.  If i had to guess, I'd say around 50 or so.  Yes!  

The topic was workplace investigations and having worked both in corporations with internal counsel available and as a HR department of one with little to no budget, I shared everything I have learned.  If I can help others cut costs and get the kudos from attorneys for a job well done, that is all the reward I need.  Although, the chocolate covered sunflower seeds in the "Kansas Speaker Goody Bag" came in handy on the drive home. Yum!

The focus was on being well prepared for attorney if they do need to get involved or doing the entire investigation on your own in case you don't have the budget to hire outside counsel. Of course, at some point if the situation gets ugly and you end up going to court you will not have a choice but to involve an attorney. In that case it certainly pays to be thorough. 

In addition to sharing horror stories while explaining the content of the presentation, I also walked through an actual example of the final report.  The components if a well written report included sections titled: a) synopsis of allegation; b) documents reviewed; c) list of interviewees; d) summary of findings; d) determination & conclusion. The most important points made where:

1 Respond Immediately
2 Document 
3 Be Objective
4 Communicate
5 File Separate

 Thanks #KSSHRM for the opportunity to take years of training, education, and chapter speaking experiences to the next level!

As an addendum, I also want to thank WISHRM for selecting me to speak on Hiring & Developing Top Employees & MNSHRM for selecting me to speak on Conducting Compensation Studies. I know on elf the rooms had well over a 100 attendees. Thankful!
 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Will I See You at ILSHRM13?

I sure hope to see you at ILSHRM13 and hear about your SHRM related membership and volunteer experiences!

The first half of the year has been extremely successful for the Membership Advisory Committee (MAC) for which I am one of five members. Illinois is one of ten states I represent in the North Central Region.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank those of you in Illinois for participating in the Spring MAC survey that assisted us in our meetings with the SHRM, SHRM Foundation, and HRCI boards just prior to the annual conference in Chicago in June.  The following are links to all of the MAC related communications I have produced so far this year.  

MAC Meetings with "the Boards" Feedback

SHRM (NCR) North Central Region MAC Update

1st Offical SHRM NCR MAC Update
http://donnarogershr.blogspot.com/2013/05/2013-1st-official-shrm-mac-update.html included in this post is a recorded screen cast (power point presentation) that you can watch to get more details beyond the written blog post. The following is the direct link to the screencast:

What is the MAC? A SHRM term.

Please feel free to share this information with other HR professionals and keep me in mind if you have any comments or suggestions for SHRM.  I am always happy to pass the information along.  I hope to see you at the upcoming annual Illinois State Council of SHRM conference in Oakbrook.  The speaker line up is awesome!

Friday, July 12, 2013

MAC Meetings with "the Boards" Feedback

First of all, thanks to all those who participated in the Spring 2013 MAC Survey and to all the SHRM State Council Directors in the North Central Region for electing me to serve you. The input we received was so valuable and made our jobs easier as representatives of our volunteer leaders and the members in the states we serve.

The MAC Representatives met for an hour each with the HRCI Board, SHRM Foundation Board and SHRM's Board of Directors prior to the SHRM Annual Conference.  The MAC Reps expected to spend about 20 minutes with each board; however, they were so engaged and interested in the information that we had to share on behalf of the members that we were given additional time. Since our approach for collecting data was via survey, we were able to provide actual data and statistics to back up the information that we covered. Our methodology paid off, as the information we discussed was fact based and gave it credibility in the eyes of the board members.

The MAC Survey had 5 Areas of Focus:

·       Information in regards to SHRM's Global Strategy
·       Obtaining Feedback for the SHRM Board and its Leadership Team
·       Feedback on SHRM Foundation and HR Certification Institute
·       The challenge of the Skills Gap that HR Professionals are facing
·       Ways that SHRM can better serve the HR Professional

Overviews of the discussions were as follow:

SHRM’s Global Strategy

Our members fully understand SHRM's global strategy; however, they feel that this strategy and membership growth have resulted in SHRM losing sight of supporting the professional.  SHRM's Board took note of this discussion and was appreciative for the feedback. 

Obtaining Feedback for the SHRM Board and its Leadership Team

Members truly resonated with the previous strategy of “Advancing the Profession”, which told a compelling story. They are looking to SHRM to continue to raise awareness of the value of HR and certification.  We were pleased to hear Hank Jackson bring language about Advancing the Profession (ATP) in his remarks during the SHRM Annual Conference the day after we met.  You should also know that Bette Francis is passionate about professional development.

We shared with the board that communication needed to be a strategy and that improved communication is needed particularly when new strategies are being implemented.

We also discussed the membership's feedback on the high cost of the Annual Conference, recertification programs, and local and national membership dues. This was the number 1 rated feedback received in our survey.

SHRM Foundation

Overall, those that completed the survey, 95% are pleased and proud of what the SHRM foundation provides to the members in the form of grants, scholarships, and research. 

Symbiotic relation that the average member doesn't understand what the SHRM foundation does. There needs to be better communication from the foundation and the flow downward.

One area of focus is those volunteer leaders and members are constantly being marketed to donate to the SHRM Foundation even after they've made their annual donation.  It becomes overwhelming to those members that have made their annual donation. 

We shared with the foundation board the feedback relating to the state council's and chapters burden to always be fundraising and having to communicate the value of donating to the foundation. Members need more support from the foundation in marketing their value and need a greater outreach for fundraising.

HRCI

We shared with HRCI, some of the challenges chapters and state councils are having in obtaining certification credits for programs, as well as the difficulty with entering recertification credits. You will be pleased to hear that HRCI is in the process of implementing a new web site.

Skill Gap

The survey simply reinforced there is an ongoing problem with skills needed for most jobs in various industries.  This is an area SHRM has been working on and will continue to work with different partners to provide resources for HR Professionals.  The Board was interested in hearing developing stories such as “work centers” creating a stir with NLRB (#Fightfor15 & OurWalmart where among several examples) shared by the MAC Reps.

Ways to Better Serve the HR Profession

We shared with the Board top resources for SHRM to Serve the HR Professional of which the following were ranked as a result of the survey:

#1 Join for Professional Development- Professional Society
#2 Employment Law Resources- Immigration, caveat on how to apply, not just what law says
#3 Comp & Benefits- PPACA, ADAAA, FMLA
#4 Employee Relations- what to do

Other concerns for members were Talent Retention/Employee Engagement as economy improves.

Also members continue to look to SHRM to expand technology resources.
Finally, members don't want SHRM to reinvent the wheel, just embrace it. SHRM doesn’t have to be everything to everyone. What we do, should be done great! Continue to engage in strategic partnerships to achieve goals.

Future Focus

Lastly, the MAC Reps are waiting for our next focus areas and that we will once again be conducting a survey. You will be happy to know that the SHRM Foundation has agreed to help us generate our next survey and that we are looking to expand our survey to reach out to the At-Large Members.

Overall, this was a positive exchange as well as a positive experience and we are hoping the information we shared with all three boards along with recommendations made by the MAC Reps will have a successful outcome for all.   

Donna Rogers, MEd., SPHR
Instructor, University of Illinois at Springfield
President, Rogers HR Consulting
North Central Region MAC Representative

Illinois SHRM Immediate Past State Director

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Independence Keepers - It's All In The Family

As we approach our countries annual celebration of "Independence Day" (the 4th of July), I would like to give a "shout out" to my father, Donald Eugene Rogers Sr., who has dedicated his life to the freedom of this America and continues to support the troops who fight for this great country of ours.  He supports the troops, so much so that he formed his own "troop", if you will, as a father of three children who all served this country and proudly followed in his footsteps.

Today, it brought tears to my eyes as I opened an unexpected card from him thanking me and my son for taking him to see the grand canyon which is something he had always wanted to see but never had the opportunity.  He not only had never had the opportunity to see one of the worlds greatest wonders but up until that point, from June 4-10, 2013, he had never really been able to go on a real vacation.  The reason is because he always gave his vacations over the years to his country serving his annual two weeks on active duty.  It was an honor and privilege to take him to Arizona to see his brother, nieces and nephews that he had not seen in decades (since they drove to see us).  I will always cherish the time we shared as will my son Adam.

While visiting the family, he pulled out his pictures to share and while the photos are rather aged, he is most proud of these pictures because they show everyone how all three of his kids served the country.  The photos are all laminated.  As one of those kids, I can't help but feel honored that your father is proud of you even if that accomplishment is not necessarily one that I am personally most proud of in my life.  The fact that he is proud and he takes those photos with him everywhere he goes and most likely shows anyone he can is touching to say the least.

I took the photo to the left here before he put them all back very neatly in his wallet with the intent to eventually write this blog to honor him.  He doesn't realize how much he is honoring us each time he pulls them out.  The photos he is holding from left to right are in order of age and when we went into the service.  I was the oldest and the first to join the Illinois Air National Guard serving 6 years.  My brother Donald Eugene Rogers, Jr. served not quite as long as my dad but definitely long enough to earn a retirement from the Air Force as an active duty safety specialist just last March.  He has moved to Nashville, TN and now works for a private employer.  My youngest brother Ernest Nelson Rogers served four years active duty on the flight lines at Shaw AFB, SC.  He lives in Rembert, SC now with his two boys and occasionally has an opportunity to appear in big screen movies such as, my favorite, Dear John.  While we all don't see each other much we still keep in touch and most often to check up on the status of my fathers condition.

You see, my father, is a four and a half year cancer survivor who against all odds has been able to stay alive primarily because of his almost three decades of military service.  Upon his honorable discharge (which all of us have earned by the way) he retired with full TriCare coverage.  Without that he would not be able to pay for the nearly $6,000 a month in meds (one of which is a chemo pill) that is keeping him going.  Sure he had his moments of not knowing when the good lord was going to take him (and still doesn't) to include days of intravenous chemotherapy, radiation, blood transfusions, etc.  However, after being initially diagnosed with lung cancer in February of 2009 and then brain cancer in February of 2011, we are all so grateful he is still here.

This final picture is one that his niece shared with us on our trip to Arizona of dad being honored with a medal in the Marines.  After his active duty service he later joined the Illinois Air National Guard retiring as a Technical Sergeant.  When I joined I had to work with my dad on the same base  and as the safety inspector once had to ask him to put his seatbelt on.  He also made sure the young airmen kept their distance.  The most memorable moment during our service together was the drive to summer camp in Biloxi, MS where I had to spend the night in the car to save hotel costs.  I don't remember sleeping much that night as I was a bit scared of who might come knocking on the window.  All in all, I was and still am, as are my brothers, proud to carry on the torch of honoring independence.

So thank you dad for your effort in maintaining our country's independence and your willingness to not give up on a good fight (including that damn cancer fight you're currently in)!  You make us proud to be your children! We love you forever and ever!

Happy 4th of July to all and thank you to a service member who is or has ever served America!

Friday, June 28, 2013

SHRM NCR (North Central Region) MAC Update

It's been awhile since I wrote about the Membership Advisory Committee (MAC) for which I am proud to be part of this year.  The last update was in May and was the first official North Central Region Update. The original post from February:  What is the MAC? A "SHRM" Term has risen to the most popular post on my blog site.  So thank you to those who felt it was a worthy read.  Having just returned from the annual SHRM conference in Chicago, I felt I owed my region (the North Central Region aka NCR) an update, especially since so many of you took time to fill out the survey sent out in the Spring.


However, before I get into the results, I would just like to say that the hashtag I started a few years ago: #NorthCentralRegionRocks is one of the most accurate descriptors for the leaders in our region among any in the #SHRMLead stream, in my humble opinion, of course.  As I recall, the Ohio, Minnesota, and North Dakota state directors get my vote for "most enduring" as they literally danced for three hours straight at the SHRM TweetUp at the House of Blues.  Two of them in 80s costume as well which I know the white wig must have been HOT to wear for that long.  You definitely have a "healthy" leadership team representing you!

Now for the results:  Overall, the NCR was not much different from what I heard the other MAC reps sharing about their region results which we will be sharing a combined report later on.  We do have some unique things going on in our region whereas at least one of our states is not experiencing the same unemployment rates as a majority of the others in our region and in the nation for that matter.  While the majority of survey responses came from volunteers, some did not due to my publicizing a link via social media.  Therefore, I had some responses that was from general members and/or non members.  It was difficult to determine if there were any differences in opinion between volunteers and members who were not in a volunteer capacity either at the chapter, state, national level.  Many of you who are volunteers know that our region actually ended up with two separate surveys both asking essentially the same thing because I had done my own survey using the questions posted in the original February update which followed by a survey SHRM assisted all of the regions in conducting.  The major difference is there were choices to select from in the second survey where the first one was open ended questions.  So combined we had over 150 responses and it is difficult to determine if some of the responders answered both surveys or not.  Regardless, I have reviewed the contents of both and the following is a list of the most popular findings:

Q1 SHRM has numerous initiatives in development for HR professionals, ranging from a competencies model, and new business-related seminars, to the development of HR standards, and the promotion of workforce flexibility. What new things should SHRM be working on to better serve the HR profession?
  • Professional Development Opportunities - 19.82%
  • HR Profession Awareness Advertising to General Public - 9.01%
  • Employment Law Resources & Updates - 6.31%


Q2 SHRM is leading efforts to address the nation's skills gap, and we are piloting a new survey to help you identify the specific gaps in your immediate geographical area. What do HR professionals in your area need to help them address skills gaps and talent shortages? NOTE: Not all of our states indicating having a skills gap.
  • Cooperation with Learning Institutions to educate FASTER (nurses 2 yr wait for example) – 26.19%
  • Talent Management Skills especially related to new technologies – 16.67%
  •  Local Involvement at the State level from a Legislative Standpoint – 7.14%


Q3 Under SHRM's global strategy, the Society's first priority is to provide training and development tools to HR professional through its partners around the world. What are your perceptions of SHRM's global strategy?
  • 56% Do not understand SHRM’s Global strategy mainly as a priority (don't forget US members)
  • Of the 44% that do, 27% of those disagree – primarily with the allocation of funds


Q4 We will be meeting with our partners at the HR Certification Institute and the SHRM Foundation. What messages would you like for me to carry back to them? Note: HRCI issues almost exclusively (less than 4% SHRM Foundation issues) 
  • Strategic Credit Difficulties (obtaining and consistency among HRCI reviewers) – 16.07%
  • Slow Turnaround Time for Credit Approval at Chapter level primarily – 11.61%
  • Website/Technology issues (finding information primarily) – 8.04%
Q5 What else would you like me to share with the SHRM Leadership and Board?
  •  Most common theme running through many responses for NCR is the cost of many SHRM functions.  
We will be talking again in November at the annual SHRM Leadership conference to all three boards of directors (SHRM, SHRM Foundation, and HRCI).  Please keep the lines of communication open and let me know your thoughts on any topic (positive or negative).  You can find me on twitter, LinkedIn, or respond to this blog post.  I am open an available and would love to hear from you!