The Website and Blog of HR Author and Speaker Lori Kleiman

Big Ideas and New Tools Gained at SHRM National!


The national HR conference was held 3 weeks ago in New Orleans. Over 15,000 professionals attended, and I was glad to see that once again small organizations were represented in force. There were a number of hot topics, and lessons learned on the exhibit floor. Since many of community are not able to attend, I am taking space this week to share some of my “hot topics” from the event.  I spoke twice, but these are lessons I learned as an attendee.

Future of HR was a common theme for many of the presentations. HR is going through an evolution, and the professionals in the field need to get on board.  As I discuss in my first book, if you don’t own the strategy and goals of your organization, HR may not be the place for you. Both the business leader and HR need to agree to this – or it may be time to Fire HR Now!

HR must play offense. The skill sets needed for the future in many discussions are disruption and innovation. HR can’t be reactive to events as they occur. We have to get out of our comfort zone in payroll and benefits and get to a place of learning and continuous improvement.  If there is risk – take a chance… Mistakes should be seen as a learning opportunity for our organizations, and ourselves.

Continuous learning was also a constant theme. HR people must learn the business, as well as their constant need to stay up on HR compliance and best practices. I also advocate for HR professionals to get involved in the community and industry. Find places to learn new things, as well as new ways to do old things.

Don’t say there is no budget. We invest in our retirement, you may have to invest in yourself as well! Have you considered HR Certification? Think about joining our class starting soon!

Compliance – well, no shortage of conversations there! Most notably, the Dept. of Labor has a budget for additional labor focused solely on compliance. Need a copy of our HR Assessment – click here! Here are just some of the hot topics that were brought up at sessions:

  • New Secretary of Labor and what that will mean for us – thinking is “not so bad.”
  • The overtime laws – will they go forward or not?
  • Marijuana laws – where will they pop up next and what do you do about it?
  • Gender – states and local communities are now requiring a 3rd gender
  • Paid time off – requirements at a federal level
  • Changes to the OSHA law – now they can only go back 6 months!

A highlight was a keynote presentation by Patrick Lencioni, the author of 5 Dysfunctions of a Team. He broke teamwork down to people being humble, hungry and smart. Add those up, put them together and you’ve got a great team! He also had a great recruiting tip: Stop interviewing in the office. Get candidates out, see how they act in the real world, treat staff etc. That will tell you more then any interview ever could.

It was 3 packed days, so these are only a few tips I wanted to be sure and share. Let me know if you have specific questions, or want to know more.

Lori Kleiman is an HR expert who presents to business people and groups. Click here to see a video of Lori in action. If you’d like to have Lori keynote one of her HR presentations at your upcoming event, click here, or email Lori directly at!
HR Critical Dates

Never Miss a Critical HR Date Again!

Grab our FREE download that lists all the critical HR dates throughout the year that you don't want to miss!

Thanks! Watch your email - we are ending your Critical HR Dates download!