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As I enter my final year as president of this outstanding organization I’d like to take just a few minutes to reflect on the past 3 years. I have been incredibly blessed to work with an amazing team of professionals in our chapter’s mission to be the HR voice on Long Island. I’d like to thank the entire membership for the continued support and encouragement I’ve received during these past 3 years. I’d also like to thank the Board of Directors, Executive Board, Committee Co-Chairs and Committee Members who continue to work tirelessly on behalf of SHRM-LI year in and year out. Through their amazing efforts we have been successful in so many of our initiatives including;
Providing quality certified programming & networking events,
Increasing our focus on Diversity and Inclusion,
Engaging our legislators in areas relating to HR, our chosen profession,
Providing Certification Prep sessions & other Professional Development efforts
Launching our hugely successful VHR Program & other Workforce Readiness initiatives,
Establishing our now Omni presence on all things social media,
Continuing and enhancing our college relations outreach
Maintaining and improving our steadfast Membership efforts
And our continued increased support of the SHRM Foundation (supported by the many raffle prizes here this evening)
And of course our annual conference continues its long standing tradition of being the pre-eminent HR event on the Island by consistently surpassing the success of the one before!!!
So, when you see someone one of our chapter leaders thank them and know that it’s only through their hard work and efforts that SHRM-LI remains one of the largest and most respected chapters in all of SHRM National.
But we cannot and will not stand only on our past reputation; you have my word that we will continue our efforts to continue to be your go to source for HR information, knowledge & networking.
However, none of these successes would be possible without the continued support of our valued Corporate Sponsors, Jackson Lewis LLP & Five Star Financial Group an Office of MetLife.
Our sincerest appreciation is also sent to our respected Business Directory Partners & Conference Sponsors. Without the sustained support of these organizations throughout the years it would be virtually impossible to provide the kinds of events that you have come to expect from SHRM-LI.
Further, my deepest thanks and gratitude goes to LBS Business Services and my very dear friend Linda Selden-Paduano, our Executive Director & Conference Producer. Without her steadfast support, her day in and day out hard work and tireless and thorough efforts on behalf of SHRM-LI believe me when I say nothing would ever get done!! While I may be your elected president, Linda is truly the heart and soul of the organization.
This is somewhat an unusual time as Thanksgiving and Chanukah converged this year and won’t happen again for another 76,000 years!! The Holiday season is now fully upon us. So at this time as we pause to count our blessings, let us not forgot the hardships of others including the devastation that recently hit the Philippines. As Sandy survivors we know only too well the challenges they have yet to overcome. And our hearts go out to the victims and families of the recent Metro North train crash.
May the good things of life be yours in abundance not only during the holidays but throughout the years as well. Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Chanukuah, Merry Christmas and Happy Kwanzaa.
Wishing you a beautiful holiday and a New Year of peace and happiness.
Life Among the Digital Natives: Why HR Professionals Should Actively Support School District Industry Boards
Several months ago, I agreed to speak and participate in a panel discussion at the January 25th SHRM-LI meeting. The topic was High School Industry Advisory Boards. As volunteer co-chair of the Smithtown IAB I was supposed to address the reasons why HR professionals should consider actively participating in one of these organizations. Unfortunately, a bout with bronchitis prevented me from attending the meeting, but I did send an email outlining my thoughts to the program moderator, Sue Gubing, who would be speaking in my stead. She chose to read the email verbatim during the meeting, and it apparently struck a responsive chord with many of the attendees. I was asked to expand upon my key premise, the result being this blog.
I’m sure it was assumed that I would present the standard and widely accepted inducements for participation: mentoring young people, contributing to curriculum reform as it relates to career development, and generally helping to prepare today’s youth for a future in the workplace. Indeed, those were pretty much the motivators that inspired me to join the Smithtown IAB nearly 20 years ago. In recent years, however, I have come to realize that a subtle but important change has occurred. Regardless of industry or professional discipline, we have as much to learn from the students as they have to learn from us.
If you have not encountered the term “digital natives” yet, you soon will. In my own area of expertise–marketing and advertising–we spend a good deal of time identifying population segments and trends. In the last few years digital natives has emerged as a significant new population segment. Born during the last quarter century, these individuals have never experienced a world without digital technology. As a group, they differ from earlier generations across a wide range of attitudes and behaviors. They are markedly different in the choices they make regarding such things as entertainment, privacy, networking, and personal space. Their nearly organic relationship with digital technology makes them less subject to the limitations of time and geography. They are both achievement driven and highly competitive.
As much as we need to help prepare these young people for the workplace, we also need to prepare the workplace for them. In terms of basic skills, the digital natives are already better prepared than any preceding generation to exist and succeed in the workplace that will evolve over the next five to ten years. They have no problem multitasking on mobile devices (which may indeed become the workplace in the near future). They are adept at solving problems through the use of social networks, and have a visceral understanding of how digital technology is changing the nature of communication.
Here is an example from my own industry. Just last week I read an online article addressing the issue of whether or not social media pros should be paid overtime for tweeting after work hours. It also raised the question of what actually constitutes “work hours” in the social media arena. Four years ago there were no social media pros; today they can score top starting salaries. And when we hire them we don’t even look at anyone over 25 years old.
Every industry will be affected by this evolution, but none more than HR. I’ll bet that in the last 12 months most HR specialists have had to write a job description for a position they weren’t sure they completely understood–with a set of job skills no one in the company could clearly define. This kind of thing will increase asymptotically over the coming years.
What will it take to motivate and train these digital natives? What kind of working conditions will be needed to maximize their productivity? What kind of work schedules will mesh with their time-independent, 24/7 lifestyles? And remember, as they become more of the workforce, they also become more and more of the market. How does the HR professional learn and grow as this new workforce emerges?
Go back to school.
Become involved with the local IAB, either in the community where you live or near your place of business. Do all you can to help it to grow and expand. Work with the kids. Get to know what motivates them and the things they find important. Learn and understand how they live in their mobile world. Trust me, there’s no better way to avoid feeling that you’re a dinosaur by the time you’re in your 50s than spending time with those less than half your age. Smart HR professionals will realize that in the very near future these will be the people they will be hiring, based on job skills none of us yet know about. It’s fine to keep up with change through professional journals, but nothing beats first-hand experience.
Insight is the result of involvement and a long-term commitment. Expecting to develop understanding by attending a few sessions is like expecting to understand Italy on the basis of a two-week guided bus tour. The benefits, however, are profound in terms of relating a new generation that is busy defining its own future. Remember this: When it comes to the digital world of tomorrow, they are the natives and we are the aliens.
Executive Vice President & Founder
SHRM-Long Island, in Conjunction with Jackson Lewis, Holds Dedication Ceremony for Long Time Employment Law Partner, Matt Halpern, on November 5th at Bailey Arboretum
GREENLAWN, NY — (October 26, 2011): The Society for Human Resource Management – Long Island Chapter (SHRM-LI) will host a private memorial at the Bailey Arboretum in Locust Valley on November 5th, in loving memory of Matt Halpern. Matt, who suddenly and tragically passed away on June 28, 2008, was a senior partner at the Jackson Lewis employment law firm in Melville, Long Island, NY.
As a consummate professional, Matt understood the educational value of employment law and frequently presented on many topics in an entertaining and informative manner. He was extremely approachable and relished the opportunity to share his knowledge. Matt was particularly supportive of, and partnered with, the Long Island Chapter of the Society for Human Resources (SHRM-LI), making significant contributions to its monthly meetings and annual conference held each April.
On a personal note, Matt enjoyed horticulture, and this is reflected in the extraordinary gardens at his residence. He was also an avid sailor and enjoyed sailing on Long Island Sound. Most importantly, Matt was a devoted husband to his wife Andrea, and a loving father to their three beautiful daughters.
After much research, SHRM-LI member, Ed Sliwinski SPHR, proposed and coordinated a memorial at the Bailey Arboretum. The memorial reflects Matt’s dedication to education, horticulture and sailing and consists of an observation platform, an information kiosk and a “tea set,” which is a conversational bench and table. There will also be a simple memorial stone with Matt Halpern’s name. The platform extends slightly over a pond and is designed to allow students to collect specimens for further study. The kiosk will contain educational information and the site over the water reflects Matt’s interests in fauna. Over time, plantings in and around the memorial will reflect his interests in flora. The memorial has been designed to be a “living memorial” as it further develops with various additions as approved by the arboretum.
In a further reflection of Matt’s dedication to education and development, the memorial was built by the Bayville Boy Scout Troop 176 and was coordinated by Mr. Kyle Cronauer, who is working toward his Eagle Scout status. Major contributors of material were provided by Florence Lumber with the support of Ms. Diana Perenza, who advocated on the behalf of the memorial efforts. The managers of the Bailey Arboretum were instrumental in getting the project approved by their board of directors. This project would not have been possible without the support of these individuals and the funding by Jackson Lewis LLP and SHRM-LI.
The memorial may be visited and enjoyed at any time the arboretum is open.
About SHRM and SHRM-LI
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to Human Resource management. The Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, and more than 575 affiliated chapters. The Long Island Chapter is one of the largest and most active in North America with a local chapter membership of 1,500 HR Professionals. Recently, SHRM-LI had its Annual Conference and Exhibitors’ Showcase in April with more than 800 Long Island Professionals in attendance, and continues to hold informative monthly networking meetings throughout the year. Membership is free to national SHRM members.
To Contact SHRM-LI
To contact the Chapter for membership information: Contact Linda Selden @ 631.262.8807 or via email email@example.com. For more about SHRM-LI please visit us at: www.shrmli.org.
The number of employees working into their senior years continues to grow for a variety of reasons, with financial need, the failure of private pension plans, and lack of sufficient health benefits being among the most prominent. Older workers typically bring many vital assets to the table, such as solid life experience, better attitudes, work flexibility and an interest in learning new things. However, there are many issues for management to consider when it comes to successfully managing an increasingly “graying” workforce. Here are seven of the most common ones:
- RATIO OF OLDER WORKERS – Compared with the past, their numbers can be expected to grow disproportionately in the years to come. This is not an issue in the US alone – but a pattern being observed globally.
- LONGER-TERM RETIREMENTS – Today the average number of years that workers spend in retirement is more than 30, compared with just a few years of retirement a century ago. This means that many will choose to remain working part time, while others may take a break to travel and enjoy their free time before beginning their job search again.
- HEALTH ISSUES – Chronic health problems and age-related disabilities need to be considered. Among employees over 55, arthritis is the number one chronic condition. The implementation of better wellness programs and similar initiatives offers possible ways of avoiding excessive time off for illness.
- MULTI-GENERATIONS – In the years to come, HR professionals will be increasingly challenged by the need for multi-generational workers to successfully function as a team. Different generations often hold opposing attitudes towards work and life. If not managed properly, these differences could result in ineffective performance in the workplace. The pairing of an experienced, competitive baby-boomer with a lifestyle-centric, laid-back Gen Y employee represents just one of the potential situations. It will take a proactive leader to understand the problems that are likely to arise, and how to preemptively act to avoid them.
- AGE DISCRIMINATION – With more senior Americans still in the workforce, we can expect to see an increasing number of lawsuits being initiated by disgruntled employees seeking to play the ”age” card. Workers over the age of 40 are protected from discrimination on the basis of age by the provisions of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (which affects employers with 20+ employees). HR will need to be educated on the latest laws and the trends in discrimination-based litigation.
- SUCCESSION PLANNING – With fewer “young” workers entering the job market due to lower fertility rates in the US and most the industrialized world, succession planning will become more and more difficult. The talent may just not be available in every area. Using remote workers from across the country may need to be considered.
- MEDICAL COSTS – Older employees won’t necessarily cost more in healthcare. Although it is a well-known fact that health benefits for older workers are costly due to age-related diseases, younger workers also have a host of cost-related health issues such as smoking, pregnancy, lack of exercise, and obesity. Older workers who qualify may have Medicare benefits as well.
Although the change in demographics may change the face of talent acquisition and management, with simple strategies, the change may be a smoother transition for business.
Vice President, SMM Advertising, Recruitment Division