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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Defying Gravity

In the world of physics there is only one type of gravity.  It’s the attraction between two bodies, and the biggest one wins.  That’s why we all find it difficult to fly like Superman – the earth’s gravitational pull keeps us in place.  It’s tough to bend the laws of physics.

Thankfully, the world of work isn’t quite as daunting.  You have the power to adjust the mental mass of different objects.  In essence, there are only two major objects at work:  the status quo and efforts to change and improve upon the status quo.  In most companies, the size of the mental mass associated with the status quo is truly gargantuan, rending the gravitational pull of change efforts useless – so most change efforts underwhelm or fail.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  You can reverse this reality and reshape the collective behavior of your team and organization.

In the case that the status quo has huge mental mass, understand that it’s built on known quantities.  Your employees have learned to succumb to the status quo’s gravity.  It’s a simple mental phenomenon driven by the context that surrounds them.  They have learned to give in.  They were taught by their job descriptions, by watching the boss shoot down new ideas, and by company policies dictating every aspect of work-life.  

Turning the tide will be tough, but it can be done.  We used to think overcoming real gravity was impossible.  Then we learned how to fly.  Then we learned how to go to space.  Today we know it takes immense work, huge costs, and significant risks – but we know how to beat gravity. 

It’s similar for business.  Long-term innovation and reinvention is tough but possible.  The number one reason it’s so tough?  Companies cling to the status-quo!  IBM and the typewriter.  RIM’s Blackberry.  Record companies selling albums.  The list is long.  Same goes for any organization.  Church anyone?  Boxing?  You have to change or become less relevant, or you could even cease to exist. 

You can shift the mental gravitational pull away from where we are today towards where we need to be tomorrow.  Think about job descriptions, the company mission and vision, the goal setting process, evaluations and other feedback mechanisms, training and development resources, new product development, sales and marketing, and how you hire and promote individuals.  Every single one of these areas must be scrutinized to determine ways we can shift the focus to change and innovation.  You get what you ask for and what you reward.  It’s time to start asking for and genuinely rewarding people willing and able to help your company be relevant five years from now, not just holding the line next quarter.

It all starts with how we promote and train managers.  They have to be honest stewards of current products, processes, and practices – and they have to support the always-brewing revolution of new things that will upset the current order.  Great parents love and affirm their children in their current state, and also push them hard to study, learn, and grow.  Same goes for your team.  

Sometimes the path forward is clear, but daunting.  It feels as if a million things are holding you down.  But now you know that truth.  If you really want to, you can beat gravity. 

Todd Dewett, PhD
President, TVA Inc
Keynote Speaker at the HR Tampa Expo 8/27/14

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Living for the Weekend?

If you find yourself embracing “living for the weekend” and thanking you-know-who that it’s Friday, consider that you might only be “living” two out of every seven days. And, since we only have one pass through this life, maybe it is time to consider enjoying seven out of seven days each and every week. That would mean enjoying work every day in addition to non-work activities. Here are a couple of thoughts if you are considering a career change:

Define success – This is a critical first step in developing a fulfilling work life. Defining the “who, what, where, when and why” of work is the foundation of your career game plan. If you are honest with yourself, chances are you may have a breakthrough to the path that is going to lead to a much more satisfying job. 

Be selfish – Career success is not a function of what other people think you would be good at, or what friends and loved ones think “you should do.” Pursue a career path that you desire, otherwise you are performing jobs in a career to please everyone else. Is that really what you want?

Light my fire – The most “successful” people will tell you that their success is directly attributable to their passion for their livelihood. The old saying, “Love what you do and you will not work a day in your life” applies to this crowd. Believe in what you are doing and you will not care if it is Friday or Monday. Ironically, if you love what you do, you might be saying “thank goodness it’s Monday” instead of TGIF!

Knowledge is power – You better know your stuff, plain and simple. Continuous learning both on and off the job is a lifelong requirement for those passionate about their trade. Invest in training in and out of the classroom, attend applicable conferences, and gain the critical experience necessary to get better and succeed.

Work your butt off – Hard work and a little luck go a long way to support a successful career. And, it does not have to be about how many hours you put in, rather what you put into the hours you work. Highly efficient workers are often the most effective in achieving job and career success.

Play time – As you define career success, don’t forget to include family, leisure, civic and other non-work activities. Career planning is really a part of life planning.

Plugged in – It does not hurt to develop a strong professional network regardless if you are working or in a job transition. In fact, too many people forget about developing strong professional and personal relationships while they are gainfully employed.

Talk to me – Regardless of the career path, strong written and verbal communication skill sets are critical. Great communicators add credibility to an already strong foundation of knowledge and experience. Incidentally, if your strength is communicating through email or texting, you might want to consider enhancing your ability to hold in-person conversations and write out professional correspondence.

Be happy! – There is no rule that says that you need to be unhappy in your job and/or career. If you hate your job, it is time to take action or accept your fate.  Complaining about your job to others is a dead end street and does not help anything.  Remember that you have total control over your destiny.

Attaining success in your career may not happen overnight. It might take four weeks or 40 years. Regardless, it is a journey that I hope you enjoy.  Life is not a dress rehearsal, so you might as well go for the gold in your career.  So do yourself and your co-workers a favor if you want something more from your job and career. Take the steps necessary to move on if necessary.  The alternative is to occupy a job where you quit and stay.
Pat Perry, President, ERC and Opening Keynote speaker for the 2014 HR Tampa Expo

Get ready to ROAR! at the 2014 HR Tampa Expo

This one-day conference is focused on providing education and development on current trends within the HR profession, networking opportunities with peers, and the opportunity to interact with over 40 vendors providing the latest in products and services to our attendees. Human Resources professionals also have an opportunity to obtain HRCI credits in support of PHR, SPHR, and GPHR certifications. We welcome all HR professionals, business leaders and small business owners who have responsibility for Human Resources within their organization.

Register today and don't miss out on the premier HR Conference in our area!! 
A record-breaking attendance with over 325 human resource professionals in greater Tampa Bay attended the 2013 Expo! We're confident that you'll have a great experience at the 2014 conference.

Our conference is scheduled for Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 at the USF Marshall Student Center, Tampa. We are pleased offer an early-bird session for the first time ever in addition to  three talented keynote speakers this year!

Opening the conference will be Pat Perry, President, ERC. “ROAR”

Our Luncheon Keynote will be Eric Winegardner, Vice President, Client Adoption at Monster Worldwide. “The Evolving Way of Work” 

Closing Keynote will be Todd Dewett, Ph.D., President, TVA Inc., Rockstar Motivational Speaker, Coach and Author, The Little Black Book of Leadership “Show Your Ink: Understanding the Power of Authentic Leadership”

Great Reasons to Attend HR Tampa’s Expo ROAR! 2014:
• Recertification Credits – earn HRCI credits for PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification – including strategic management credits!
• Exceptional Speakers - hear from many HR experts and choose from several concurrent speaker sessions. We’ve added an entirely new track of speakers to our conference lineup.
• Networking opportunities with over 350 HR professionals
• Shop the Exhibit Hall – In the market for new HR products/services? There will be over 40 exhibitors for you to visit in the exhibit hall. 
• Great prizes and fun activities all day long.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Conference Tips and Etiquette

We’ve all attended our fair share of conferences.  For those of us in the HR field, often these conferences are an easy affordable way to earn CEU credits, meet and make new connections through networking, and expand our knowledge base. 

Proper etiquette establishes respect among the conference participants, helps the sessions begin and end on time, and fosters an atmosphere of cooperation.

Get here early!  You can get registered, find a seat for the opening general session, review your program, and have a few moments to figure out where everything is, (i.e.) restrooms, breakout rooms and charging station.

Know where and when the sessions you want to attend are. Generally the conference website will list the speakers, the topics and the locations of the breakout sessions. 

Be Prepared
Usually you will receive a conference tote containing various swag including a pen and a notebook, but bring a backup just in case.  Often for an all-day conference your cell phone may begin to lose power, bring your charger for use at the charging station.  Make sure to bring any medications needed for the day, as well as gum, mints etc. for after lunch!  Bring your business cards!  The connections you make at a conference could turn into new business, valuable business resources and new friends! 

The dress code for conference is generally business casual.  Wear comfortable clothing, comfortable shoes and bring a light jacket or sweater as break out rooms can often be chilly. 

Ask questions during the designated question period, and raise your hand to be recognized. Do not interrupt someone while they are speaking or asking a question. 

You may find that many of the questions you have about a topic are answered by the content of the session. Listen attentively and take notes. 

Cell Phone
Turn off or silence your cell phone prior to the start of the session. If you are expecting an urgent call, then set your phone to vibrate and excuse yourself from the session if the call comes in.   While “tweeting” is encouraged, refrain from checking emails and texting during the session.  Your speaker has worked very hard to provide you with this learning experience, respect that time and effort by paying attention!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Get the most out of your next HR conference

The work you do before the conference is just as important as what you do while you’re there. That's because your preparation can determine how much education you truly gain.

Here are five proactive steps you can take to maximize your conference experience:
  1. Practice your pitch. Ever bumped into someone in an elevator whom you’ve been dying to meet, but you became tongue-tied? Plan now for next time. Rehearse a 30-second “elevator speech” that you can call up when someone at a conference asks you about yourself.
  2. Share notes. Strike a deal with a co-worker or new conference buddy to split the agenda. Each of you attends different sessions and then shares notes and observations afterward. That way, you won’t be bound to attend only the workshops that are directly related to your comp and benefits job. Instead, you’ll be able to tap into some sessions just because they sound interesting, like work/life or diversity. 
  3. Stay close. Most conferences are booked in warm, exciting locations, making it tempting to ditch the afternoon sessions to see the sights. Resist! Show up on time in the morning and stay until the evening social functions end. Attend group lunches and cocktail parties. You’ll learn more and meet more people. A tip: Stay at the host hotel, where you’ll have your best chance of running into other attendees.
  4. Pack your business cards. Hand them out liberally. And collect as many as you can. Use them to follow up with new acquaintances who might be able to advise you when you’re working on new projects. A networking idea: Sit next to people you don’t know rather than sticking with your co-workers.
  5. Raise your hand. Even if you’re not making a presentation at the conference, you can make yourself known to the audience by asking questions or offering observations during workshops and general sessions. Other attendees might seek you out later to follow up on the discussion.
This information is proudly provided by Business Management

Monday, July 1, 2013

4 Reasons to Attend the HR Tampa Conference and Expo

1.) Conferences provide excellent opportunities to expand your knowledge base and improve your personal skills.
2.) You get the chance to network with others in your field, meet new people and often even meet and greet authors, motivational speakers and professionals who inspire you.
3.) Conferences give you the chance to shine as student and scholar, especially if you’re presenting. You can also list conferences you’ve participated in on your resume.

4.) Conferences are great way to rejuvenate yourself. Attending a conference is one of the most exciting, accessible opportunities that can give you the boost you need to get re-energized and motivated.