#WorkHuman2019: Creating a Culture of Community

It’s WorkHuman’s fifth annual conference in Nashville, TN in the next few days. It’s my first WorkHuman conference and I’m very eager to learn and experience it in person. I’ve heard of WorkHuman in 2017 – the same year I attended my first SHRM Annual Conference held in New Orleans. I learned so much just from what was shared via social media, from blog posts, tweets, and LinkedIn. The more I hear and read about it, the more determined that I wanted to attend the conference.

This year, I get to be one of those blogging, tweeting, and sharing the in-person experience on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook! It is still surreal to me that I get commissioned to do this, I just hope that I can keep up with the big influencers in the room! I am very grateful to Tim Sackett and Mike Wood for this opportunity!

There are so many sessions to learn from! As I was going through their app, I noticed a pattern on the sessions I was signing up for – Creating a Culture of Community track! So I decided to focus on this track and signed up for the following:

  • The Relationship Comes First: Path to Employee Engagement
  • Leadership is Not A Thing
  • Purposeful Collaboration: Igniting Teams & Changing…
  • Get Out of the Way! Enabling Innovation by All
  • Reimagining What’s Possible – A Story of Culture Transformation
  • Everybody Matters: Transform Your Organizational Culture
  • Beyond Buzzwords: Real Talk on What it Takes
  • Leading Transformation: Overcoming the Invisible Human Barriers
  • The Power and Potential of People-Centric Cultures

I was signing up based on the topic that resonates with me as a #HR practitioner as well as a community leader/organizer. I wear my HR heart on my sleeve and many of the skills and knowledge required to be successful are also useful and transferrable in community involvement.

It was interesting to realize as I was signing up that many people that I connected with in the past two years were also leading those sessions, from Jason Lauritsen, John Baldino, Cy Wakeman, and Robin Schooling.

Of course, I’m also looking forward to George Clooney, Viola Davis, and Geena Davis as keynote speakers – big names who at least uses their money and influence for global humanitarian efforts.

I hope through my experience, you get to pick up a nugget or two that will inspire you to create a culture of community. I also hope that you will add to your bucket list to attend WorkHuman in the near future and make it one of your go to conference for learning!

Full Disclosure: Although I am commissioned to attend #WorkHuman2019, my opinions are my own and may not reflect WorkHuman or any entity affiliated with the event.

I went “All In” for SHRM17 and Now I’m Expanding My World for SHRM18.

I’ve been in HR for decades, but I’ve been truly active on Social Media for less than two years. SHRM18 will only be my second annual conference.

My first SHRM Annual Conference was in 2017 and the theme was “All In.” I took that theme to heart from the time I signed up for the conference. While attending, I wrote on a sticky note declaring my commitment to the HR profession and to myself about being “all in.” So did many of the other attendees, and you can see the result below.


It was an eye opener! The experience vastly exceeded my expectations. I came alone and left with many new friends who share my passion for the profession. I didn’t realize until that time that many of the HR pros I met on Twitters were also bloggers. I knew some were, but, was still surprised that I knew so many! I learned how to have fun with HR folks. It wasn’t just about learning. It was also about connecting with the HR community, getting to know partners in technology, employee engagement, learning & development, marketing/promos, and meeting vendors that do business with HR folks.  The conference opened my eyes to the fun side of HR. I’ve never been to a party with a bunch of HR folks. Yes, HR pros like to party and have fun just like the rest – we’re people, too!

The SHRM17 conference has inspired me to launch “All in HR Services”. I chose “All In HR” as a constant reminder of that commitment. It’s the latest expression of my desire to showcase everything I know about the discipline, from administration to compliance to technology. A few months after the conference, I got inspired by the friends I’d met and started my HR Blog. I wasn’t seen as a competitor but as a fellow contributor. I tried not to miss #NextChat, a twitter chat on Wednesday sponsored by SHRM that fosters the exchange of HR ideas and the sharing of experiences related to HR topics. Before long I found myself tagged on other twitter chats with the same theme.

Fast forward to my birthday (January 2018). I was asked if I wanted to be one of the bloggers for SHRM18. I immediately said, Yes! I didn’t have to think about it because I was “All In”.

When the SHRM18 Bloggers Team were announced, I got even more excited when I noticed that many of them hail from my #HRTribe (We’re a bunch of HR pros out to show the world that there are great people in HR.

The SHRM18 theme is “Expand Your World”. What a great sequel to “All In”. A few days after the announcement, I’m already getting out of yet another comfort zone. It’s bad enough that I’m so poor at taking “selfies” now, I have to make a video announcement? Fortunately, I’m not one to back away from challenges. You can see that video here.


The next 4 months will bring interviews with SHRM18 speakers and vendors. Expect a podcast and video interview with one of these individuals sometime next month.

If you haven’t been to SHRM Annual Conference, what a great way to expand your HR world. You never know how it could change you, your organization, and your local HR community. Learn, connect, and have fun! Come follow the #SHRM18 on all social media. Check out the SHRM18Bloggers Team here: https://blog.shrm.org/blog/shrm18-bloggers

Follow us on all Social Media, you never know where it will lead you. You can start expanding your world by joining #NextChat and following the #SHRM18Bloggers team on all Social Media channels as we take you on a journey all the way to SHRM18 in Chicago, Illinois. You never know how SHRM’s Annual Conference might help you evolved as an HR Professional.  Make the investment. I’m glad I did!


HR Is Not For Lazy People


HR is not for lazy people.  Working in HR involves a lot of work and that includes working with PEOPLE!

HR is trending again in the news, but not in a positive way. With all the harassment and discrimination that has recently come to light, the common denominator is this: HR didn’t do a thing! HR personnel either proved to be ignorant concerning their duties in this area, or just plain lazy! Either way, it’s not acceptable, and the fear of losing one’s job is no excuse.

If fear for one’s livelihood is prompted by a desire to do the right thing, it means that our work culture is even more toxic than one might think. Don’t be part of the rot that is slowly killing your organization. No HR Pro should ever tolerate such behavior, even if our jobs are at risk.

We can’t be lazy when it comes to harassment complaints (or any employee issues)!

  1. Deal with it. Don’t excuse it.
  2. Listen, don’t judge, don’t retaliate
  3. Investigate and document every conversation you have with everyone involved
  4. Make the necessary recommendations.


First and foremost, an HR pro must protect employees, and must make this a priority that supersedes selfish concerns.

  1. Remember: protecting the employees is ultimately protecting the organization
  2. Remember: protecting a person in power or leadership is NOT protecting the organization.
  3. If threatened by management, turn to the EEOC.

Yes! We can blow the whistle on those who protect the harasser. We can call to account those who throw the victims under the bus.

When misdeeds are allowed to snowball, this inevitably makes things worse. They eventually come to light, affecting the organization’s reputation and profitability in a way that cannot be readily remedied. It could cost the company millions of dollars in judgements and court fees! Being the founder or the CEO is no longer a shield of protection. The founder for Uber, Travis Kalanik, Harvey Weinstein, and Kevin Spacey, have all been axed for inappropriate behavior and illegal activities in the workplace. As far as I’m concerned, the ax should also fall on the cowardly and irresponsible HR pros who tacitly enabled their behavior.

As HR Pros, we must be courageous, fighting for what is fair, what is right, and what is ethical.  If we can’t do that, who will?  Organizations need to recognize that in order for HR to be effective, it’s practitioners must to be supported and empowered—a beacon of light for everyone in the organization.  For HR to be truly be business partners, our mission to keep the organization in compliance and be competitive in the job market has to be welcomed instead of threatened.

Corporate leaders: Invest in HR and invest in your people. Your leaders and superstars may bring you robust profits in the short term, but if their performance is marred by toxic behavior the long-term costs may be extraordinary.


Penalties and fines.

Court awarded damages.

Tainted reputations.

Don’t commit career suicide by covering up the misdeeds of callous and entitled individuals.

HR is not for lazy people.  It’s a complex field that calls upon us to wear many hats—sometimes two or three at once.  As HR pros, we are mentors, teachers, therapists, mediators, legal wranglers, safety experts, marketing mavens, and techies. Most of us do it all.

We not only help write policies, we teach them and reinforces them. We do this across the board, at every level in the organization. As Steve Browne (@sbrownehr) said, “We are responsible for every employment’s life cycle – from talent acquisition through termination or retirement”. We provide services to every single employee, and even former employees.  This includes broadcasting an unequivocal message:

  • Harassment will not be tolerated
  • Harassment will be reported and investigated using well-defined processes
  • Harassment training will be completed on an annual basis, at the very least.
  • Prevention is key!

We are constantly learning, and not just because we need CE for our recertification. We keep learning in order to become more effective in the workplace. It is how we can protect our organizations and employees in the face of constant change. From legal compliance to best practices, the sand is always shifting under our feet. That learning process has taught us how to deal with toxic employees within a well-understood legal framework. We have the skills, we have the knowledge, but we must, in addition, have the confidence and courage and will.

Being lazy or complacent jeopardizes our organization, employees, and ultimately, our job!

#HRCourage #TogetherForward #SHRM18 #MeToo