Dan Ryan, social media expert and president of Ryan Search & Consulting, is one of the featured speakers at this year's Advanced Employment Issues Symposium. After working as a senior consultant for the Human Capital Group, Dan launched his own consulting business, where he focuses his efforts on industry segments that involve technology and leadership, such as engineering, architecture, construction, life sciences, defense, and healthcare.
Recently, we had a chance to chat with Dan Ryan about social media and this year's AEIS.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became involved with AEIS.
Dan: "I got involved with AEIS in 2010 after having done many webinars for M. Lee Smith Publishers. I have worked in a variety of leadership roles throughout my career, and the last 5 years have been quite interesting as I have ventured into my own business providing Retained Search and Leadership Consulting services for clients across the United States and in many foreign countries."
Q: What is your own personal social media story?
Dan: "I started using LinkedIn several years ago and branched out into many other networks. Almost everything I know is self-taught, and I take a very pragmatic approach to using networks and integrating networks."
Q: Personal Facebook pages and blogs are the new norm nowadays for social communications, but what's the best advice you can give to organizations who want to make the jump to using these social media tools and more at a professional level?
Dan: "My best piece of advice is to have a complete strategy first before you enter into any new venue or network. I see many people who set up a site, but they don’t have a clue what to do once they get started."
Q: How has recruiting changed in the digital age? Is it better or worse?
Dan: "Recruiting is not better or worse, but I find it to be much different and that is a hard transition for many job seekers, especially those who are mid to late career. Many of these potential candidates have never used any social media networks and most have never had to conduct a job search. It is a cold, cruel world for many."
Q: What's on the horizon in terms of new social media technology that employers should be aware of?
Dan: "GIS (location identification) will be utilized more and more as time passes and many networks will become more “mobile” in their usage of devices such as the iPhone and related smart phones."
Q: Can you give us a teaser as to what AEIS attendees can expect from this year's "Social Media in the Workplace Track"?
Dan: "Attendees in the 'Workplace Track' session will see and learn many methods to use social media and networks. The applications will range from recruiting to communication and even touch upon employee engagement."
The 2011 AEIS is coming to these locations:
Nashville, The Hutton Hotel: October 6-7
Las Vegas, Paris: November 17-18
Dan will be leading the "Social Media in the Workplace" track at this year's AEIS. Click here to register.
By Jen Carsen, ERI Managing Editor
As you’ve probably heard by now, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently proposed to amend the procedures it follows prior and subsequent to conducting a secret ballot election to determine if employees wish to be represented for purposes of collective bargaining.
The new rules would shorten the time period between a union's election request and the actual voting, force you to turn over employee lists to the union much faster, and delay any lawsuits or appeals you might file to slow things down.
Unsurprisingly, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has criticized the move: “This is another, not-so-cleverly-disguised effort to restrict the ability of employers to express their views during an election campaign, to inform employees of the pros and cons of unionization,” said Randel K. Johnson, the Chamber’s senior vice president for labor matters.
In a public statement, the Chamber called the proposal a “blatant attempt to give unions the upper hand by limiting the ability of employers to exercise their free speech rights. Unions already win more than 60% of all elections held by the Board, undermining any argument that current rules are unfair.”
We’ve scheduled a special webinar on July 29th to keep you informed on exactly what the proposed rules say and – even more importantly – what you need to do to protect your workplace. We hope you’ll consider joining us; click here for all the details.
By Jen Carsen, ERI Managing Editor
If you have even a passing familiarity with the employment laws in California, you know that they’re nothing like the ones that exist in the rest of the country. And if you don’t – well, brace yourself for a rude awakening the first time you encounter them.
California employment laws are complex, often running in tandem with their federal counterparts yet demanding much more of employers. These include the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and myriad state wage/hour laws.
Even experienced California-based HR professionals get tripped up sometimes. And if you’re new to the industry? As they say in some parts of the opposite coast, fugghedaboutit.
Now in its 6th acclaimed year, CELU is the very best way we know of to make sure you’re up to date on everything you need to know about both California and federal law –and how they interact – for the year to come.
We’ve assembled a baker’s dozen of California’s leading employment law experts to clearly explain (no legalese!) everything from social media, to workers’ comp, to leaves, to meals and breaks, and much more – and give you practical tips for staying in compliance and out of court.
If you do any business at all in California, we’d love to have you join us in Berkeley this fall. All the conference info is available here. Plus, if you register by midnight Pacific time this coming Friday, the 24th, you’ll save $100 off your registration.
Questions about the event? Please feel free to contact me directly; I’d love to hear from you.
By Matt Humphrey, Chief Marketing Officer
BLR’s annual employment law conference, the National Employment Law Update (NELU), is undergoing the most significant expansion and enhancement since its debut in 2007.
For 16 years, Advanced Employment Issues Symposium (AEIS) has assembled Human Resources professionals, employment law attorneys, and experts on workforce management for 2 days of intensive discussion of critical compliance topics. Participants learn about the latest laws, regulations, and court decisions affecting employers and how to amend workplace policies and procedures to meet changing requirements.
Now, BLR’s NELU conference is joining forces with AEIS to create the ultimate HR professional learning experience. This combined event will take place under the AEIS banner.
“It’s really about making a better event for attendees.” That’s what Bob Brady (BLR’s founder) said when I asked him how he would explain the logic behind the change, “We’re combining the most popular parts of these two programs into a single, best-in-class event. And attendees get a choice of two locations, Las Vegas or Nashville.”
The new event’s 4-track program targets employment law enforcement, FMLA and ADA practices, leveraging social media to meet HR objectives, and creating a workplace that retains top performers.
Attendees get updates, insights and compliance strategies that help them remain a crucial part of the organizational decision-making process. AEIS also includes sessions where participants share ideas, techniques, and war stories with colleagues, building relationships and professional strengths.
The majority of the 32 experts on the AEIS faculty are attorneys with the Employers Counsel Network, a nationwide affiliation of law firms with expertise in employment law. They bring the latest compliance solutions, experience in helping employers meet complex requirements, and guidance for implementing workplace policies that pass legal muster.
By Brian Gurnham, Chief Operating Officer
As I was diligently observing the body counts in each of the 3:30 sessions at this year's National Safety Council’s Congress and Expo, I was struck by the overflow crowd in “3 Potential Strategies to Enhance Your Safety Culture,” so I sat in. Whether developing a culture of safety continues as the elusive Holy Grail or there is newfound interest borne out of the tragedy in the Gulf, I don’t know, but it took an extra 5 minutes to find more seats.
Dr. Earl Blair from Indiana University presented his three most important strategies based on extensive reading and his experience in facilitating labor management safety-related negotiations. His first strategy is to “Work toward a 100% Reporting Culture.” The focus should be on developing openness around injury and near-miss reporting, as well as encouraging workers to identify and report unsafe conditions. “Don’t insult your employees with a slogan” said Blair, making immediate reference to “All injuries are preventable” and “No injuries are acceptable.” “Most employees don’t believe it, and it’s more likely to be harmful.” He cited examples of underreporting based on fear of retaliation and how these slogans focus on the downstream (injuries), how they don't present ways to improve, and how they are frequently not much more than feel-good catch-phrases for management. Blair was careful to point out that there is a difference in the belief that injuries are preventable and the slogan. “There is nothing wrong with a vision of no accidents, just don’t evangelize,” he cautioned. As far as developing the culture, Blair suggested developing trust, making reporting easy and reporting everything, not retaliating, making reporting anonymous whenever possible, and making follow-up actions very visible, because people want to know they were listened to.
Strategy number two: Develop Safety Awareness with Meaningful Safety Rules. Blair cited companies where safety procedures were so voluminous and complex as to be “unknowable.” He recommended making rules dynamic, inviting participations from workers in their development, making rules practical and relevant, monitored and enforced, effectively communicated, and continually improved upon.
The final strategy was to help leaders understand how to consistently act to develop a safety culture. “Most CEOs are very bright people,” said Blair, “but they don’t know how lead in this area.” Safety professionals must help teach leaders how to develop the culture. Safety is a very complex web of processes, systems, and people, and the best solutions presented focused on observation – LBWA (lead by walking around) –monitoring the workplace and, most important, listening to workers.
As Blair said in conclusion, “Developing a Safety Culture isn’t rocket science – it’s much more complex than that.”
We all know the importance of thoroughly training employees, whether
it be in workplace safety issues or critical HR topics such as sexual
harassment or discrimination. Now, to help you get the most out of your
employee training program, BLR® has created "The Instant Trainer," a
series of five free webinars specifically designed for trainers looking
for best practices and solutions to the common problems that affect
everyone's training efforts.
The program kicks off this Thursday, Feb. 25, with "Train the Trainer," a 1-hour session aimed at helping your organization's trainers understand how to assess, identify, and develop effective training.
The sessions will be conducted by Peggy Cretella, an editor and project manager with BLR who has developed various training products in print, electronic, video, and online format, and Patricia Trainor, a legal editor for BLR’s human resources and employment law publications who has years of experience representing employers and school districts in labor and employment matters.
Be sure to mark your calendars for these invaluable training aids:
Whether your a trainer, manager, or supervisor, and whether your
field is human resource or environment, safety or health, these free
1-hour sessions will help you become the best trainer you can be. Go here for more information and to sign up for some or all of the presentations.
We know it's not good form to toot your own horn, but sometimes you just have to. We're proud to announce that BLR founder and CEO Bob Brady has been named B2B Publisher of the Year, and inducted into the Mequoda Hall of Fame at the Mequoda Publisher of the Year Awards.
The Mequoda Group provides research, training and educational services exclusively for the publishing industry, including best practices for online media management and Internet marketing strategy.
The following report appeared in the Mequoda Daily:
Brady told publishers in the room that it's extremely important for your staff to understand the purpose of your company as a whole. "We have a .NET programmer who understands how marketing copy is a part of our efforts at BLR. Just the same, if you have an editor with no sense of marketing, you're losing an opportunity."
"I think one of the big reasons I've been successful at this, is that I was free to make mistakes, and there was no one around, because I own the company, to fire me," Brady joked. "In the culture that we're all in, we need to allow mistakes as long as we learn from them. You need to make mistakes and immediately know what you can improve next time."
Brady reminisced about the first time he used a CD, which was basically an encyclopedia on disc. He said, "I went in thinking, what can I do with a CD? I make books! But then I thought, I have 600 page books, that cost me $25 to mail. A light went off that this was a real opportunity."
Brady went on to explain that the Internet happened in the same fashion for him. "Being outside the company, talking to the "propeller heads", and people who are experimenting with new things can help you in your own business".
On the topic of creating new products, Brady told the audience that "the customer doesn't know what they want, it's our job to take on the challenge and figure that out."
Congratulations, Bob -- well deserved.
Anthony: Yes, it's important for legal professionals to understand they need to get their head out of the clouds and help HR to come up with practical, workable solutions that effectively manage risk while furthering the business objective.
Bob: What are the downsides when this doesn't happen—when the cooperative efforts fail?
One upshot of the economic downturn was that many employees saw their jobs change and grow. There may be fewer bodies out there, but the work still has to get done. In a lot of cases, that means job descriptions are out of date and inaccurate. And that could be prime fodder for a lawsuit.
For example, if an employee is classified as exempt, but is now doing some non-exempt work, a lawsuit could be on the way, said Attorney Sandra Rappaport. "In this age of downsizing and job consolidation, even your best, most complete job descriptions have likely become outdated." she said, "And outdated job descriptions are a plaintiff's lawyer's best friend."
Rappaport, a partner at the San Francisco office of law firm Hanson Bridgett, LLP, said that many employers don’t realize that it’s what an employee does that matters, not the person’s job title: “Someone called a ‘manager’ may not be an exempt employee,” she said. “Exempt workers who perform too many nonexempt duties may not be exempt.”
With employers around the country trying to do more with less these days, that means that once-exempt workers are spending more time on non-exempt duties. And, when the balance tips too far in that direction, you’re required to pay overtime. You could even be on the hook for years of back overtime, depending on how long the misclassification has gone on. “Relying on an old job description and thinking you’re safe is a sure path to disaster," she said.
National Employment Law Update conference Oct. 19-21, at the Venetian in Las Vegas. The workshop will cover:
Attendees will have the opportunity to submit their own job descriptions for exempt/nonexempt review by Rappaport and Moye before the session.
You can read more of Rappaport's job description tips in the HR Daily Advisor.