Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Two Tips for HR Conference Planners

In the last two months I have attended more then my fair share of Human Resources Conferences. For this I am thankful, although the HRCI credits are worthless, as I have way too many already and my certification doesn't run out until February of 2013.  At every event I have attended, I was treated exceedingly well, at so it pains me to make what may be perceived as some negative remarks.

For the record I am not the first, nor will I be the last to re-state this issue. Point number one is this - If you are going to have a Human Resources Conference especially where you are trying to get people to interact YOU MUST PROVIDE FREE and OPEN WIRELESS INTERNET SERVICE.   Sorry - I feel there are no ifs, ands or buts about this.   I have been involved in quite a bit of conference planning and here is what I know.  Providing internet service is damned expensive, but it is also damned essential. In fact it can run into the thousands of dollars, and if it does you had better build it into your budget, it's essential.

The next point is directed at conference planners who are trying to promote social media.  We can not continue to give a forum to lawyers who want cap and control social media in the workplace.  I understand that we as employers do need to have rules, and have a plan to deal with social media and all of the issues that it can bring about in the workplace.  However, we need to do this in a realistic fashion.  Most workplaces have rules against people bringing guns to work and shooting their co-workers.  Yet the shootings still continue,  do we need more effective policies to prevent this?  In my opinion no policy can stop this.  I see the social media issue in a similar vein.

Dealing with social media is a problem that is going to require employee interaction, discussion and dialogue  Further, in my opinion, to continue  to write policies that are going to change because of technology or an NLRB ruling, and be passe or outmoded upon their publication is ludicrous.  I am consistently drawn back to a policy stated by my friend William Tincup.  Regarding workplace use of social media, William says the policy is this, "Use Common Sense."

Now in fairness to the legal profession, not all of them share the view that social media is something that can dealt with completely through the implementation of Company policy. So let find these folks and share our forum with them.

I very much enjoy the conference scene and everyone involved with all of them, so this is my way of trying to make the overall experience a better one.

- Dave Ryan Director of Social Media ISC SHRM


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