Sour Grapes Make The Best “Whine”


Yes, my spelling is correct…. Whine or bitching. That is what I was afraid my informative emails and conversations would be viewed as recently.

For those who follow me on Social Media you know that I made the Administration at Adelphi aware of the poor employee treatment of several Business Department Adjunct Professors this past school year (myself included). You can click here to catch up on the discussion.

Another 4 weeks has passed and I did meet with the university’s Provost as mentioned in my previous rant. To be fair it went well, he listened and did  all that I expected including the mia culpa for the President, who in her own words was just too busy to meet with me. The spin was that she wanted to provide me adequate time for a full conversation and did not want to short change me.

Well I still haven’t heard a thing, not a single email, follow up phone call or anything even close. The semester is ending. Several of my colleagues are now taking the conversation to another level. It’s getting serious, the union is involved, there is talk of taking this public and even exploring a union just for the Adjuncts.

My position on Union’s is that I am not a fan and have sat on the opposite side of the table thru the back half of my career. Never could I have imagined shifting positions, but I am seriously doing so. I still believe when management is open, honest and cares about its employees that we don’t need to evoke the “U” word.

Unfortunately, I don’t see a silver lining or a positive resolution in the near term. I suspect this will get at the very least interesting the next few weeks….

I will be back to share outcomes over the summer (if there are any)….

Damn what a great HR case study and I am on the inside of it for a change.

Have a great week…no more whining…..

A Sneak Peak at SHRM 2017 with Jennifer McClure

Jennifer McClure (002)

I had a chance to catch up with Jennifer McClure who will be presenting two separate programs at SHRM 2017 in New Orleans this June. Jennifer is well known to many in the HR community as a speaker, writer and innovator.

Jennifer, give us a 30 second elevator pitch, tell us who you are and what you do.
I’m a professional speaker, and a leadership success coach who works with growth-oriented leaders to encourage and equip them to build careers that they love, relationships that matter, and lives that have maximum positive impact.

You have been involved with SHRM and affiliate organizations for a long time. How did that all start, and what are you doing now in the HR volunteering and programming space?
I first became a member of the student chapter of The American Society For Personnel Administrators (SHRM’s original name) way back when I was in college. Unlike many people who work in HR, I didn’t land in HR by accident. I actually chose to pursue a career in “Personnel”, because I thought that would be the best place to get the opportunity to have as much influence and impact on all employees as possible – without going straight to being CEO. See, I was a millennial, before being a millennial was cool. 🙂 And, I was right! HR was, and is, a great place to be in an organization to be able to make a big difference, and to positively impact a lot of people.

I’ve been a member of my local SHRM chapter (The Greater Cincinnati HR Association) for many years, and have served on several committees, as well as the Strategic Planning Team for a couple of years. GCHRA is in very capable hands now, and these days, I spend quite a bit of time leading programs or workshops for SHRM chapters all over the US.

In 2013, along with two friends in Cincinnati (Chris Ostoich and Steve Browne), we decided to hold an event to offer something in addition to traditional SHRM/HR conference programming, and held the first DisruptHR event. DisruptHR is an information exchange designed to energize, inform and empower HR leaders, business professionals, and community leaders who are interested in disruptive ideas, and moving our collective thinking forward when it comes to talent in the workplace.

We didn’t have a plan beyond doing something fun for the business community in Cincinnati when we first started, but DisruptHR has since grown to over 80 communities in 18 countries that are holding annual or semi-annual events where ideas are shared. From those events, we have over 1,000 five-minute talks online. I’m tremendously proud of the ideas that have been shared, the relationships that have been built, and that we’ve provided an opportunity for people to have a voice/share an idea that might not be interested, or invited, to share at some of the more traditional events.

Tell us about your program at SHRM17, and what is the one take away you hope every attendee has?

I’m really looking forward to speaking at SHRM17! It’s truly one of the biggest honors for me as a speaker, to have the opportunity to share at our profession’s largest event. I cry every year when I get the speaker acceptance letter. 😉

This year, I have the opportunity to have double the fun, as I’ll be speaking twice! My first program is on Monday at 2pm – Disrupt HR! Approaching HR, Talent Acquisition (& Your Career) in a Whole New Way. In this session, I’ll share new ways of thinking, and ideas that have been implemented in a variety of organizations by leaders who are changing the way that they approach people and talent in order to achieve competitive advantage. Several of the ideas and concepts I’ll be sharing have been highlighted in DisruptHR Talks, so they’ve been implemented by real people, in both small and large companies. So everyone should be able to take something back that they can try in their organization.

The second program will be on Tuesday at 4pm – Getting The C-Suite’s Attention: Seven Strategies For Transforming From HR Leader to Business Leader. This is one of the most popular programs that I deliver, and my goal is to encourage and equip HR leaders to be effective business leaders who understand how they/HR can directly impact major business initiatives and influence organizational decision-making by focusing on 7 high-impact areas that HR traditionally owns.

Shorter presentations seem to be more popular these days (Your Disrupt HR format at 5 minutes, SHRM Smart Stage at 18 minutes), Do you think this is a trend or do you think we will see more of this with SHRM conferences in the future?

I definitely see a lot more short presentation formats, and shorter presentations on conference agendas, and I think that’s great for both speakers and attendees. A good speaker should be able to convey a powerful message, and inspire people to take action or want to learn more in a 5, 10 or 20 minute talk.

In the future, I think successful conferences and events will include at least a few shorter talks in their programming – like SHRM does with the Smart Stage. But I think there is still a place for traditional keynote talks and longer workshop-style sessions as well. Attendees will benefit from the variety – and they can also get inspired, have fun, and do some deeper work.

Do you have favorite programs or speakers from the national conference over the years ? 

I’ve attended the SHRM Annual Conference every year since 2009, and I always stay for the full event, and attend as many sessions as I can. I’m typically looking to learn about topics like leadership, effective communication, and building influence. As a professional speaker, I also try to choose a few sessions given by speakers that I can learn from in terms of style and effectiveness, so I can become a better speaker myself.

A few of my favorites over the years have included Dianna Booher in 2009. I wrote about what I learned in her “Creating Executive Presence: Communicate with Confidence in the C-Suite” session, and it remains the most popular post on my blog today. I also really enjoyed Brand Karsh’s mega session in 2014 – “Once Upon a Time…” 4 Steps to Using Storytelling to Deliver Unforgettable Presentations.” My favorite keynote speaker has been Mike Rowe in 2016 – because I love him. He was incredibly funny and engaging, but also delivered a great message about appreciating workers who perform seemingly thankless jobs that are critical to our day-to-day lives.

How can someone get in touch with you or follow you on social media?

I’m all over the internets and social medias, and would love to connect!


Thank you Jennifer, we look forward to seeing you in New Orleans!



SHRM Behind the Scenes, An Interview with Mary Kaylor and the Blog Squad

MaryKaylor SHRM (003)

Inquiring minds wanted a peak behind the scenes of SHRM and their Social Media for the SHRM Annual conference, which will be held June 18 – 21 in New Orleans.

Mary Kaylor is the manager of public affairs for the Society for Human Resource Management. She is the managing editor of the SHRM Blog and the creator and producer of #Nextchat, a leading global Twitter chat on HR trends. Her career in HR and communications spans from recruiting to technology management to external affairs and public relations. She is an HR Technology Conference Insiders blogger. You can find her on Twitter at @SHRMKaylor.

Mary tell us who you are and what you do:

 HR has a story and every day is a new chapter. As Manager of Public Affairs for SHRM, it’s my job to help tell that story and to communicate to external audiences SHRM’s role in supporting, educating and advancing the HR profession.

As creator and producer of the weekly #Nextchat conversations and as the managing editor of the SHRM blog, I watch top trends and deliver content that will assist HR in building a stronger workforce and a better workplace.

You have been involved with SHRM for a while (since 2007), how did that all start, and what attracted you to SHRM?

 Before arriving at SHRM, I worked in a technology role and managed the call center systems and workforce management software for a large telecom provider in Virginia. I joined SHRM in 2005 as Manager of Member Contacts where I supervised a team of contact center reps and contributed my background in technology to serve as a subject matter expert on a committee tasked with selecting a new call management technology for SHRM. In 2007 I accepted an offer to join the External Affairs team as Manager of Public Affairs. I now influence communications in an entirely different way — and love it.

Earlier in my career I did some recruiting for a brief period at a boutique agency that specialized in sourcing executive-level HR professionals for Fortune 100 companies. I recall running into the SHRM name several times while in that role and was amazed – and impressed — that HR had such a large organization supporting it. It must have been fate that I eventually landed a job at an organization that I had always admired from afar.

 Let’s talk about the “blog Squad”, what is your primary goal for them to accomplish?

The SHRM Blog squad started with five members in 2010 and has grown to 40 this year.  The primary goal of the blog squad is to increase engagement with attendees while connecting millions of HR professionals from around the world through blog posts, tweets, photos and video — on every social media platform.

Through activities such as the Social Solutions preconference seminar, The Smart Stage and several pop-up micro-sessions, the bloggers will deliver real-time solutions to the many challenges that HR faces in the new world of work.

The SHRM annual conference is the largest and most valuable event for HR professionals for education, recertification or networking, and the “SHRM Blog Squad” helps to communicate that value — and the amazing experience — to the entire world.

How big a part does social media (tweeting, blogging, etc.), have in the lead up to the conference as well as the conference itself? What portion (%) of the attendees do you reach and are they following Next Chat, blogs, twitter, etc…..?

Social media plays a huge role in promoting engagement before and during – and even after –the conference. The pre-conference Q & A blog posts and #Nextchats with speakers and vendors help build awareness for the excellent content and provide “know before you go” advice for first time attendees. Frequent updates via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the SHRM Conference Community assist with communication efforts and promote greater attendee networking.

Visits to the SHRM blog always spike before and during the conference, as do tweets and retweets on the #SHRM17 hashtag. Engagement numbers have increased steadily over the past few years. The SHRM annual conference hashtag has trended on Twitter since 2013 and that is always exciting to see. The HR profession has embraced social media – especially for networking – and it’s great to see their enthusiasm and the increase in adoption rates.

 Do you have a subject/topic that you think is a burning issue for HR practitioners this yr. at the conference (example A.I. in recruiting – artificial intelligence, dehumanizing of the workplace, etc.)?

Yes, yes and yes. Every topic is on fire for HR. I think it’s important for HR professionals to know as much about every new trend as possible. From talent acquisition to compliance to technology, each topic affects the others — and all impact the profession – and the expanded scope of knowledge will increase your value and effectiveness.

What keeps you up at night?

The excitement that accompanies thinking about what I’m going to do tomorrow…. about what new topic or trend I’m going to feature on a future #Nextchat. I love that I can produce a virtual opportunity for micro learning that connects HR professionals in the trenches and that provides a platform to share ideas. I love bringing people together and helping them to learn and get ahead in their careers, and my job allows me to do that.

What advice would you offer a first-time attendee?

I recommend attending the conference orientation session on Sunday morning. You’ll get valuable tips to help chart your course, meet other “newbies” and find new friends.

Try to “clear your desk” and leave your job behind as much as possible, so you can focus all your attention on the education and networking opportunities, and not miss a beat. Do everything you can while there – the expo hall, meet to eat, the Tuesday night show. Explore the SHRM Store. You will meet so many amazing HR professionals and build networks that will last a lifetime.

Also, select one session that you would normally NOT attend – and attend it.  Find an expo vendor that you would normally not approach and visit them. You’ll be surprised at what you will learn and how it will affect your experience.

Finally, please stop by the Bloggers Lounge (Room 240) and say hello.  I can’t wait to meet you.

Thanks Mary, all of us blogging for SHRM appreciate all that you do. we can’t wait to see you in New Orleans




The Answer Is Sometimes Down the Hall


One of my first published pieces in an HR magazine was on the topic of internal capabilities being right down the hall. Published in World at Work’s WorkSpan in March of 2008 as a First person editorial. I had stated; “when did business forget that the people who know best work within its own four walls?”

Now I want to revisit the topic, but instead of “consulting” on a project, I want to talk about hiring for open positions. The same rules apply. Before looking to the outside to fill positions you should look inside first.

Recently I had my own personal experience with being snubbed for an internal role at Adelphi University where I teach one or two classes a semester in the business school.

As many of you know I have been an adjunct there for several yrs. I love the classroom and more importantly the students. I am refered to as the “HR guy” by administration and some of the faculty. If I could have a do over in life, I would have worked towards a PHD years ago, and I would be teaching full time right now…

In 2012 I was recognized for HR innovation by HR Executive Magazine, when I “Traded Places” with Professor Hyland, a well respected HR professor at the University. She worked her sabbatical in my HR group at Marcum.  I taught one of her classes in the MBA program. You can read the article here.

In 2013 I was awarded the University’s Teaching Excellence award for my innovation in the classroom. I was the first Business School professor to be recognized for this prestigious award in over a decade.

I often help my students navigate the real world of work. Whether it be job search and interview coaching, letters of recommendation, networking to HR folks, or mentoring on a myriad of life/work issues.

And the icing on the cake is I regularly receive some of the highest student ratings year after year in the Business school.

So, one might think when I applied for not one but two different full time roles in the Business school this past year I would at least be considered.

Well not only was I not considered, I never was asked to interview, I never received an email, a phone call, or a courtesy conversation by the Dean or the HR department. Not even a “Dear John” rejection letter . Zero communication…..

Now with all my years leading HR functions across multiple industries, I can say personally that I would never allow this to happen to an internal applicant. Putting aside policy and protocol, you just don’t treat an employee this way, even if they are not the most qualified or the best choice.

You show them decency and respect. You act ethically and humanly by communicating with them. If they fall short in an area they can work on you make sure they get positive feedback and some direction for the future. You turn a disappointment into a positive feedback opportunity. You close the loop.

But I received none of that. So, I did what many would like to do but few would do. I pushed my concern and dismay up the ladder. And here is the biggest learning from the whole experience. The Business School Dean knew nothing about my situation and when confronted tried to pass it off to others on his team. The President of the University also took a flyer on meeting with me and “Punted” the situation to the Acting Provost. She said she was just too busy and thanked me for all I do for the University.  I didnt even bother approaching HR at the university as it plays only an administrative role of posting jobs and work flowing resumes. They probably don’t even know there is an issue. This all happened over an 11-week time frame this winter and early spring. As of the time of my hitting the Publish button, this is still unresolved….


I am meeting with the Provost shortly (this week) and am sure to receive the proverbial mia culpa without anyone taking responsibility or action. The sad part of this story is I am not the only Adjunct faculty member in the business school to be treated improperly or passed over for open roles this past year. Just the bravest or maybe dumbest to actually say something and try to evoke a response and some feedback.

When I ran Customer Service and E-commerce, along with HR at Leviton a few years ago, we used to get a customer complaint on rare occasions over our product or tech support. We always responded quickly and with keen interest to make the customer feel they were heard and to do our best to resolve the situation. We prided ourselves on this. It was part of our culture and maybe part of the DNA of each of our employees. They understood the value of listening to customers and treating them right. Many organizations view their employees as customers and treat them in a similar matter. Unfortunately in this instance there was no employee centered action.

So, what can we learn from my personal experience?

Let’s start with some basics. Internal candidates should be parsed or filtered from external candidates. If your organization isn’t doing this, stop reading this now and take some action. If you have a different view point please feel free to comment.

We all know our internal employees are known quantities and regardless of whether they are the best choice, you should provide a level of dignity and respect. You should also close the loop with at minimum some type of dialogue.

I have been monitoring Gallup Data on employee engagement for years and it continues to be poor here in the United States. The majority of employees are not engaged or disengaged. Recent Gallup data is 70% not engaged. That is a scary number and one you should take note of. Turnover is still an issue that all organizations continue to struggle with.

If your employees had similar experiences to mine, how do you think they would feel when treated poorly.

We all know the answer.

Now some might say this is sour grapes and maybe in some way it is. But it is also a cautionary tale and one that unfortunately happened to me. One that all of us should learn from.

Unfortunately in the end Organizations prefer to look to the outside as if the folks down the hall are incompetent. That is a sad commentary on our society. We can do something about it if we choose. We can find better ways to treat people…

Anybody with me???


It’s Official I am an #SHRM17 Blogger

I am not only presenting at #SHRM17 in New Orleans this June, I am writing as a blogger team contributor too!

How did that happen you might ask? Well it was a no brainer. After speaking 4 of the last 6 years and watching the Social Media coverage grow, I said why not. I already write for 2 of the premier sites for Talent Executives, Fistful of Talent and Recruiting Daily (on their Recruiting Tools site) and I cover the HR world on a regular basis.  So covering the conference and more specifically some of the interesting topics and speakers seemed like a natural next step.

Let me be transparent, I have never done an actual interview before except for my “Selfie Interview” done right here a few weeks ago, so this will be a learning curve experience. I have reached out to some of the best bloggers in the HR space to get there take and advice before hitting the “publish” button.

So be on the lookout as I post a couple of preconference interviews in the next few weeks. And you can follow me on twitter at @HC3  for my most up to date quips too..

Have a great day!!!

March Madness and Other Distractions

Today is the start of March Madness (16 games). It’s a sports fan smorgasbord of college basketball the next 4 days. For the record I am rooting for Vanderbilt, but have North Carolina in most of my pools winning it all.

It’s my favorite multi-day event, eclipsed only by the Super Bowl and the rare championship when one of my teams is playing (Mets, Islanders, Knicks, Giants). The intrigue is the first two rounds when David can slay Goliath. This year I like Middle Tennessee , Wichita State and St. Mary’s  to advance further then the pundits think… The beauty is you never know who this years VCU or Butler will be. In fact Butler is now part of the main stream top 20 with Gonzaga. So if you work it long enough you can break through.

In the end 2 of the top 10 usually end up in the final. I like NC and Duke, but there are a lot of possibilities (Villanova, Gonzaga, Arizona, Kentucky  and Kansas are all possible).

So please don’t bet based on my own beliefs, bet your own…and enjoy the next 4 days when anything is possible….

A Quick Update

I am speaking at #SHRM17 in June. It’s double duty, “Money Ball “and “The Dark Side of HR”. Here is my latest preview for Money Ball (click here). and for the Dark Side (click here). I am also speaking at the SHRM – NYC conference, April 26th, on a compensation analytics panel (click here for details). I am sure to blow that panel up too!!!

I have been really busy with consulting stuff  and writing for and, but I will be back with a few posts over the next month. In the mean time follow me on those sites, LinkedIn and @HC3 on twitter, you won’t be disappointed…..

Oh, if you need some HR assistance, please reach out…I am doing some Gallup Strengths and Harassment training work over the next few weeks, but always available to fit you in….

PS, that’s my nephew in the hat, sorry the cotton candy girl is not related……