Friday, June 10, 2011

IL SHRM 2011 – Let the Excitement Build

Sabrina Baker

Today's guest post is from Sabrina Baker, PHR,  who is working with ILSHRM on the Conference, helping to fill the exhibitors/sponsor rolls.  She also writes a great blog as the HR Chatterbox. You can also find Sabrina on twitter as Sabrina_PHR

I know that everyone is gearing up for the National SHRM conference coming up in a few weeks, but truth be told, I’m more excited about our state conference happening in August.  The national conference is a great experience and offers lots of opportunity for personal growth, but there is something about bringing that down to a local level that really makes it impactful.

I was lucky enough to see the space where we will be hosting the 2011 conference and participate in discussions around setup.  This year’s event is sure to be bigger and better than ever before and I can not imagine anyone not walking away feeling energized and excited about the direction our profession is heading.

Working with the planning group has opened my eyes to how much conference organizers care about your experience.  This group is wholly dedicated to making sure this is a meaningful event for you, that conference tracks and speakers are relevant to the issues facing HR professionals today and that you have a sense of pride in not only yourself, but the professional organization that supports you.

If you have not made the decision to attend, I encourage you to do so today.  We are expecting over 600 attendees from all over the state and even if you get nothing out of the speakers (which I promise you will) you will have a great opportunity to network and learn from one another.  It doesn’t get much better than that.ns around setup.  This year’s event is sure to be bigger and better than ever before and I can not imagine anyone not walking away feeling energized and excited about the direction our profession is heading.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Blue Cross & Blue Shield Doing it Right!

It is another WOWIE Wednesday at the ILSHRM blog and time to promote our partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois and wellness at work programs.  Today I am writing either a shameless plug or a post that is simply the unfettered truth, depending upon your perspective.

We have received a lot of applications for the 2011 WOWIE Awards and we are extending the deadline to apply to this Friday, June 10th.  Email your application to Chris Martin at

BCBSIL has sponsored the WOWIE program for three years now for the Illinois State Council of SHRM.  In that time, the two organizations have recognized employers who really get it and are putting a huge push behind their wellness programs.  Recently it came to my attention, in my day-to-day activities of doing my job, how really committed BCBSIL is to the wellness concept.

Now this  is where it starts to get murky.  At my employer,  we are a Blue Cross and Blue Shield client and have been so for more than 20 years.  You don’t have to read too much into that to know that we think they do a good job (with an occasional outrageous rate increase now and then – sorry!). In fairness they were market-based increases.  Ok, back the wellness aspect of this post.  Either I have been remiss as the benefits administrator (most likely) or Blue Cross has not wanted to let me know about their on-line wellness tools and incentives for employees and companies. 

So I was offered up some training in how to fully utilize BCBSIL’s employer and employee web sites.  I took them up on the offer. After looking at the employer side we then looked at the employee portion.  Now I have been here numerous times before but mostly to check on EOBs or to see how much money I had left in my HSA account.   After looking at the most of the other features my on-line tour guide asks if I want to look at the wellness stuff.  We do so and oh my goodness I was truly amazed at all of what is going on there.

Since they have all of my health records, they can bring them together in one place and give me a total picture of my overall wellness.  In presenting this, they point out where the risks are at and where I can make improvements.   There is a place to research aches and pains. If you feel you need it, you can have an on-line consultation with an RN.  In another area I can log my weight, my exercise routines and my diet.   BCBSIL then awards you “Blue Points” (like frequent flyer miles) for doing these activities.  If you get enough Blue Points, you can get some really cool stuff.  The site also offers tips and support to quit smoking. There are recipes too!
A screen shot from the wellness program.

So speaking as one of their insured, BCBSIL has done a bang-up job on their web-site trying to communicate to me how to get healthy and what I need to do to get healthy.  If I choose to do nothing – my bad; but know that BCBSIL has done just about everything they can to try and make me healthy  - short of coming over to my house and taking my plate full of food away from me.

Kudos to my friends at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, and thank you for your support of wellness.

- Dave Ryan Director of Social Media ISC SHRM