4 Great Things About Your 401K Taking a Dump!

The stock market is in the crapper and everyone’s 401K took a hit that will take years to recover, so how can any of this be great!?!

Oh, just give me a minute to explain…

Yeah, it sucks! I mean panic in the streets sucks, I just lost my retirement condo in Boca sucks! I’m trying to make light of a bad financial situation. Oh wait, I kind of am.

The reality is we all put ourselves in this situation. We gambled. We put our money into mutual funds and 401Ks and other investment vehicles and we loved watching them gain money for the last ten years! Since the great recession, the S&P 500 has tripled! If you got in early, you’ve seen your entire retirement increase substantially from where it was.

Good news, bad news. It sucks we are all taking this hit, but we’ve had a great ride up! Plus, it will ride up again, for those who have a few years. For those who don’t, I’m very sorry, truly. It’s a great lesson for us all that as we get close to retirement, get the vast majority of your money out of the market and into much more conservative investments.

So, what about this nightmare do I think is great?

1. GenX lives! It’s too late for the Baby Boomers, they’re out. The Millennials thought they were on the cusp of taking over, well sorry, kids, Daddy isn’t leaving just yet! Thanks to the market fall, Gen X is here to stay for another decade and the Millennials looking to take over as leaders are just going to have to sit back and relax.

2. Retirement is Boring! I know you wanted to retire. It seems so great sitting around Florida watching your friends get older, sicker, and eventually die. Look, you get one run around this rock, why just stop, let’s keep this thing going! There isn’t one part of me that is looking forward to retirement. What am I going to do, sit home and watch crappy CBS cop shows? Nope, apparently, I’ll be getting a second job to help pay for the food bill with all my Gen Z kids at home that can’t find jobs.

3. Being Poor is a Great Diet Plan. Do you know no one has ever written a diet book about not having money and how it reduces your caloric intake? It seems like someone would have ‘scientifically’ picked up on that. Ugh, I lost most of my retirement in the stock market, now I have to stop going out for the nice 3,000 calorie dinners at the Applebee’s! America is way fat! LIKE WAAAAYYY FAT! We all need a diet. To feel a bit hungry again. We’ll all be tougher for it!

4. I’m buying great companies at a super discount! I’m a conservative gambler. I only like winning! Do you know how you win? Buy great, profitable companies, at 50% off and double your money in a shorter period of time! Now is not the time to be gun shy. This will be one of the top 2 or 3 buying opportunities in the history of the market!

I know, there is a portion of folks who will read this and think, “Tim’s an asshole!” How can he say this!?! He has no empathy! (Editor’s Note: Tim is an asshole.)

We all choose to react to tragedy in different ways. This sucks. This sucks for me and my family. This sucks for my business. This sucks for you. We can all agree on that. I also need to move on. To move forward. We did that after the great recession and we were stronger for it. We’ll do that again.

Also, Gen X Lives!

3 Immediate #Coronavirus Rules for Every Workplace!

I’m not an alarmist, but this Coronavirus thing is getting serious!

While this isn’t a big deal in the U.S. I respect the fact that the CDC and WHO are telling us all we need to get prepared. That Covid-19 is going to have an impact on our daily lives. In HR, we tend to be the ones who are responsible for the preparation of stuff like this in our organizations.

So, what should you be doing at your company to ensure your employees are safe and you stay Covid-19 free!?! (Editor’s Note: Tim is not a doctor or a medical professional, his advice might actually kill you. Continue reading at your own risk.) 

#1 – The Fist Bump! 

The what, what!?! Shaking hands in the U.S. is still a thing. You know I like hugging, but holy crap, a really good hug could kill a person nowadays! That being said, I’ll still be hugging, even if it kills me. I’ll die happy. There’s actually research, from the American Journal of Infection Control, showing that a better greeting to limit virus exposure is a Fist Bump! By the way, a wet handshake or sloppy cheek kiss is definitely going to give you the virus!

That’s right, just a quick fist bump if you must have physical contact with the person you are coming into contact with. Also, stop wearing the masks, there are also studies that have shown those don’t actually work at all and you just creep everyone out!

#2 – If you are sick, don’t be a hero! 

Cue Enrique Iglesias Hero song…Tim whispering “Let me be your hero…” Was there anyone sexier when that song came out and he’s in that stocking cap!? And that accent! Stop it. I’m straight and I’m fairly sure I thew my boxers on stage.

Look if you’re sick, DO NOT come to work. But my boss thinks I’m faking!?! Look, if your boss thinks that, you’ve probably given them a reason and you should be worried. Still don’t come to work and kill our entire company, you moron!

#3 – Cancel your travel to the hot zones! 

No, that’s not the Cayman Islands! Yes, it’s quite temperate there, but we’re talking about traveling to places where they have known outbreaks. Next week isn’t the time to “get back into” China! “Hey Billy, buy a ticket! We’re heading to Wuhan!” Traveling on an airplane is one step away from patient-zero on your best days. I’m fairly certain I’ve had patient-zero sitting behind on three flights already this year!

If you do have to fly to the non-hot zone, be smart. Dudes! Yes, I’m talking specifically to you. I see you in the airport bathrooms taking a leak and then walking out without washing your hands! That is beyond gross! It could kill you! Two words – Antibacterial Gel! Use it. Wear it. Gargle with it! (Editor’s note: Do not gargle antibacterial gel, Tim is an idiot!). 

I’m going on record right now that this entire Covid-19 thing got started by dumb dudes who don’t wash their hands after using the restroom.

So, what have we learned today?

– Fisting good.

– Enrique sexy.

– Dudes are gross.

Stay safe out there my friends and get prepared! This is not a warning! 

 

The Top 5 Gifts to Get that Special Someone at the Office for Valentine’s Day!

Let’s get creepy today!

Remember back when you were in elementary school and your mom or dad would take you to the store and you would pick out your box of Valentine’s to give out at school? You had to make one of those little ‘mailboxes’ out of shoebox so everyone in your class could drop off one, and then you would go home after school and analyze each one like the Zapruder film!

Did Amber make me her ‘special’ Valentine or did she use a generic message card on me!?! Why did Jill put a ‘heart’ on top of her “i” to me? Why did Billy give me the card with kittens? Oh, the humanity of trying to figure out who loved you through the meaning of store-bought valentine cards!

Talk about stress! I’m not sure a kid goes through something more stressful than getting down to those last two or three cards and having to decide which crappy card you have left to give to the school bully so you don’t get beat up!

Thankfully, we are now all adults! Now we just have some weird or creepy person at work who believes they are in love with us and also believing that Valentine’s Day is the day they should profess this love! I’m going to make it easy for you, weird, creepy peeps! I’ve been there. I’ve been in love and struggled for the right gift! No worries, I got your back:

1. Their favorite work-appropriate drink. That special someone likes Starbucks double-shot, low-fat caramel mocha whatever, get them one! If you don’t know their drink order, you aren’t even trying to be a proper crush! This says, hey, I like you, but I’m not a completely insane stalker. Drop it off and be casual, and just say, “I got you your drink, wanted you to have a good start to your valentine’s day”, then walk away, don’t make it awkward!

2. Something sweet. Candy, cookie, cupcake. It’s traditional. It’s thoughtful. It doesn’t have to be consumed immediately. You can drop it off when they are at their work station or when they aren’t with a little note. Don’t be weird and make some creepy note (“I got you something sweet because I bet you taste sweet!” Vomit!)

3. Flowers from Anonymous. If you really want to win the day. Send that special someone flowers, but make it anonymous, and keep it anonymous! The great thing about the anonymous flowers is that person will talk about it all day, if not longer. The downfall is they might assume they came from the person they are really attracted to and that person might not be you! This doesn’t work if you’re already “kind of talking” to this person.

4. Jewelry! Kidding, don’t ever give jewelry to a co-worker that you are not romantically involved with! This is super creepy! Plus, it’s poor taste to do that level of gift at work. Only give jewelry to that special someone when you’re alone. Those idiots who propose to their special someone in a public place should be shot.

5. An invitation. You don’t know until you know…The reality is we all want to be wanted, but they might not want you, or they might. An email that says, Happy Valentine’s Day! I would love to take you out for a drink or dinner or a coffee. Let me know. Big risk, big payoff or big rejection. But, it allows the person in their own space to make a decision. If you don’t push the issue, you can survive this in the workplace. Pro tip: if you get rejected on this attempt, never do it again with this person and never mention it, ever, to anyone. Lock it away! The most creepy people in the world will turn this into a public thing at the office. Don’t do that!

So, you’ve got your one-week warning! Next Friday is Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day on a Friday is like the holy grail of Valentine’s Day. Crazy stuff happens because you have the weekend to fall in love or recover from your heartbreak! Are you ready!?!

Do you want to work with Tim Sackett? This video will answer that question!

I’m a big fan of DisruptHR and the format! I’ve been part of the team that has run the first three DisruptHR Detroits and in 2020 we’ll do our first DisruptHR Lansing. Five minutes, 20 slides, each slide moves automatically every 15 seconds. Simple, yet so hard to pull off effectively!

There are now well over a hundred DisruptHR cities and hundreds of events worldwide taking place each year. My friend, Jennifer McClure, is the co-Founder of DisruptHR and it might the single best thing that’s happened to HR this decade! Truly. To get HR leaders and pros out of the office and stretch our minds, have a little fun, push the envelope of what HR could become. Give me something better than that in the last ten years!

You can start your own DisruptHR (input city name here) for $500! It’s easy, just contact Jennifer through the DisruptHR website. It’s fun. It really engages the HR community in your city. It’s fairly easy to get a few sponsors to throw some bucks at you to help with the cost. And even bad DisruptHR talks are some of the best DisruptHR talks!

I was fortunate enough to be chosen to speak at DisruptHR Grand Rapids this past fall and I went with a topic that started on my blog as a series – Rap Lyrics that have shaped my leadership style over time. On my blog, I think I counted down twenty-five in the series a number of years ago. I even once did a presentation for the local SHRM chapter in Jackson, MI on the concept and watched 40 mostly white HR ladies look at me in horror! 😉 Actually, they asked me to do it! Which shows how disruptive they are!

In the comments hit me with your best Rap Lyric that shaped your leadership style!

Let’s face it. If you hate the video, you probably don’t want to work with me, and I probably wouldn’t have much fun working with you! But, if you like the video – we can probably be fast friends! Let’s talk!

DisruptHR Detroit 3.0 – Limited Tickets On Sale Now!

DisruptHR Detroit is coming back to Downtown Detroit on September 19th from 5:30-8: 30 pm. Once again we want to give a big shout out to Quicken Loans and the HR and TA teams of Quicken Loans for hosting this great event onsite at The Madison!

We changed things up a bit this year – still great speakers (see the list below) and still great food, drinks, and fun – but we are going smaller, more intimate, can we say a bit more Disruptive! On top of this great, cool venue (that is literally across the street from Tiger Stadium) we have the founder of DisruptHR, Jennifer McClure, making a celebrity speaking appearance!

Here’s the deal though, we can only fit 150 folks into the venue! We’ve already sold half those tickets! Last year we sold 300+! So, if you want to come this year, you better be quick and go buy your tickets! We will sell-out and I apologize in advance, but there’s no way for us to increase seating capacity for this event. The cost is $30 per ticket, which includes the speakers, food, drink & parking!

DisruptHR Detroit 3.0 Speakers:

Becky Andree: SOS! I am Drowning in Complexity

April Burton-Welch: HR Perspective: Let’s Be Fair, Firm & Consistent

Adam Klug: Texting Candidates – You’re Not Doing It, but You Should!

Jennifer Laidlaw: Your Training Did Nothing!

Jill Melton: Words Can Kill – Words Can Heal! Choose Wisely

Clarene Mitchell: Don’t be shy…Create Your Own Digital Footprint!

Greg Mood: Jerry Springer-type HR Stories!

Joan Morehead: What’s your brand of IPA, and it’s not about beer!

James Reid: Employment Issues: Drugs Sex Money Rock’n Roll

Michelle Snay: Show IT the love, HR!

Jennifer McClure: (She’s surprising us with her title!)

We would also love to thank our sponsors for this event:

Headliner – 

Ultimate Software

Food and Drink Sponsor –

Marsh & McLennan Agency

Gold Sponsors –

Grace & Porta

Purpose Point

HireVue

SkillScout

Silver Sponsors- 

O.C. Tanner

Background Check Central

What’s the Secret to a Great Marriage? The Sackett Rules!

I’m on vacation this week with my wife. It’s our 27th wedding anniversary. Yes, it was a child marriage, don’t judge us. When I tell people I’ve been married 27 years I frequently get “the question”! So, tell us, what’s the secret to a great marriage!?

I like to answer that very straight forward, and while staring at the opposite spouse or partner who asked the question, I say directly into their eyes:

“Great sex!” 

Their immediate reaction to that answer tells me everything I need to know about their relationship.

Kidding! I don’t do that, but I should! That would be fun, but I think most HR ladies would be offended because they aren’t having great sex! 😉

Okay, why has my marriage lasted 27 years in no particular order:

– My wife holds it all together and has made me a million times better person than I would without her.

– My wife is exceptional at managing home finances, which has made our life a million times easier because we have very few disagreements over money. I let her buy anything she wants, and she takes an extremely long time to make up her mind on what to buy. It works!

– I put my wife first, in front of my kids, my family, my friends, my work, and well, maybe not my dog. I’ve told my three boys since they were little, I can make another one of you, I can not make another one of your Mom. (Honestly, I’m not perfect at this – sometimes any of these others get pushed ahead of my wife, but she knows, push comes to shove, whose team I’m on!)

– We have separate passions that we are free to explore, but we also have things we love to do together. I love to fish and golf, she doesn’t. She loves photography and scrapbooking, I don’t. We love to go to movies and to shop. You need alone time and you need together time. All of either doesn’t work.

– I’m a child of divorce, my wife is not. She had to fight like hell to get my head around just because you have a fight or don’t see eye to eye on something doesn’t mean you just walk away. Marriage isn’t easy, but it also shouldn’t be hard.

– My crazy fits her crazy. She constantly will say, “Do you think other people talk like this to each other!?” G*d I hope not for the sake of the world! My humor can be a bit dark, and while she is not that way, I think she secretly likes it.

– I agreed to never write about her on my blog. Okay, to be fair, when we got married I didn’t have a blog! So, just understand that you’ll constantly be renegotiating what you can and can’t do in marriage until you die!

What are your secrets to a great marriage?

 

It’s Time for our HR Community to Give Back! #SHRM

I’m asking a favor. I do this extremely rarely as a blogger. But I know the power of our HR community worldwide! We have a bright, shining star in our industry who is in need of a miracle.

If you haven’t heard SHRM’s Field Service Director, Callie Zipple has recently been diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer.

Callie isn’t her diagnosis. If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting her you know she’s a tiny ball of pure energy and smiles. She loves her job. She loves our industry. It pours out of her like a fountain.

She graduated from St. Norbert’s College’s HR degree program in 2010, under the mentorship of my friend and Professor at St. Norbert’s, Matt Stollak. He wrote a post about her – check that out.

This is from Callie’s Go Fund Me page that he sister set up for her:

“Callie is a 31-year-old, Harry Potter loving midwestern girl. She loves her husband Shane and Frenchie Gryff madly. She is an HR professional and wonderful wife, daughter, sister, human being. This past week Callie was diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer and started chemo immediately post-diagnosis. It’s a very aggressive cancer but she’s young and going to fight as hard and as long as she can.”

I got a chance to spend time with Callie twice this year. Once at a local SHRM event in Kalamazoo, where she showed up and we got to meet in person for the first time. And then at SHRM National this year where I was drilling her with questions about her popular podcast she does with SHRM.

Callie is the perfect spokesperson for SHRM. She’s positive. She’s high energy. She’s helpful. She’s hopeful. Callie sees the best of our industry. She sees potential in all we do. She isn’t naive to the realities of how hard HR can be, but she leans on the side of ‘we’ll figure it out together”.

Callie’s Go Fund Me page is seeking $100,000 to help her battle her diagnosis. Currently, she only has $25,000. She has a gigantic battle in front of her. She is going to go through hell to beat this. She needs our help.

What you begin to understand, even with great health insurance, is beating cancer takes money. Insurance only covers certain treatments. It won’t cover everything and it won’t cover stuff like travel and loss of income from missing work, etc. Beating cancer becomes Callie’s full-time job and it’s an expensive job, but the most important job of her life.

So, I’m asking for your help. Help Callie in her fight. If you can give $5 dollars, give $5 dollars. $10, $100, whatever you can do, please do. If you can’t afford to give money, please share this post socially online – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.

Give to Callie Zipple’s fund to Beat Cancer! 

Who has been your biggest influence in your life?

Great personal story to share today of a very cool interaction that happened this week.

So, if you’re reading this blog post you’ve by now guessed that I write a bit. This all started ten years ago and I have frequently told you to blame my great friend, Kris Dunn, who got me started in blogging, but there’s more to this story!

When I was a freshman in high school at Godwin Heights High School in Wyoming, MI (basically a neighborhood in Grand Rapids, MI), is when I really started writing. Godwin Heights was a blue-collar high school. We actually walked by a GM plant on our way to school. Our baseball field was next to the plant parking lot and the workers on break would throw the foul balls over the fence so we didn’t have to climb the fence.

So, ‘start writing’ is a bit of a stretch. I was forced to write every day by my freshman English teacher, Ruth Kemp. Ruth was one of those great educators, a throwback in public education to a time when individuals became teachers because they just love teaching kids. They would have probably done it for nothing if they could. Always excited to see her kids learn, and she was super passionate that writing was like any other skill if you wanted to be good, you had to do it every day, so she made us journal for fifteen minutes every day.

I didn’t matter what you wrote, but you had to write for fifteen minutes. To me, this was torture. At first I actually just copied articles out of magazines (which she allowed) but that got super boring. The other crazy part about Ms. Kemp (not a Mrs., never married) was she would comment on each kids journal. Sometimes just a word or two, sometimes paragraphs, even more than you wrote yourself.

Being a class-clown type, I wanted to see how far I could get her to interact with me ‘in the comments’ of my journal, so I started to make up random stories about people in the class. She didn’t bite, but instead played along and expanded the stories. Asked all these probing questions about my stories, etc. She got me to write more in a creative way and I was energized by her feedback and interaction with me, I couldn’t wait to get to the next class to read what she wrote back to me.

So, this isn’t the story I wanted to share, but you need the context. 

When my book got published last year, I tracked down Ms. Kemp’s address through the school, even though she had retired, and sent her a copy with a long letter explaining her influence on me. Again, she wrote back, and it took me all the way back to my freshman year of high school, her words, tone, energy were still exactly the same.

This week I’m flying out of the Grand Rapids, MI airport. I usually don’t, because it’s not the closest to my house, and it’s fairly small so no direct flights, but there was a direct flight of Minneapolis, so it was going to be easy. I probably go out of Grand Rapids 3-4 times per year. One of my high school classmates I had mentioned on social media a few years ago that Ms. Kemp was a volunteer at the Grand Rapids airport, so each time I fly through I look, but in years have never seen her, so I figured she probably didn’t do it anymore.

On Tuesday night I fly in at 11 pm. 11 pm airports are pretty quiet. Especially small airports. I’m walking from the gate to the parking garage and I spot Ms. Kemp, at 11 pm, standing at the visitor desk packing up her things. I hadn’t seen her in person since my senior of high school.

I walk up and she looks at me and says “Can I help you?” I say, “I’m Tim Sackett”, and she says “Of course you are!” And gives me a giant hug. We catch up, I get to thank her again for her influence on me in person, and I say goodbye. Turns out, that Tuesday night shift was Ms. Kemp’s last shift ever at the airport, and now she is fully retiring. It was done at 11 pm. She was packing up to leave for good.

We have some pretty crazy things happen to us in our life. The fact that I got to see Ms. Kemp again, probably for the last time ever, by a chance meeting in an airport at 11 pm on a Tuesday is insane. One of the biggest influences in my life, and call what you will, Karma, etc. , the universe let me have that moment. Student, teacher.

Enjoy your retirement, Ms. Kemp. You influenced countless blue-collar kids to be better than we thought we could be.

I’m Afraid of Being Me Too’d!

For the last ten days, I’ve been at HR and TA conferences. It was the longest, consecutive run of speaking I’ve done in my career. Basically, in ten days I did a total of 14 sessions. I now want to crawl into a dark sensory deprivation chamber for a week!

If you haven’t seen me speak, I do some hugging!

At one of my stops, I had a fellow come up to me during a private moment and ask me if I was afraid. “Afraid of what!?”, I asked. “Well, you are doing this hugging thing and I’ve seen you hug people outside of the sessions as well, aren’t you afraid of #MeToo? (I added the hashtag, he just said Me Too’d) I’m afraid if I did that, I would be #MeToo’d!”

I might be super naive, but I said, “No, absolutely not.” I hug in a context around my speaking. It’s about rules, and rules of hugging. It’s not me, drunkenly throwing myself at HR Ladies, trying to hit on them. In fact, it’s the opposite of that, I’m telling them we have rules about this kind of thing! (half making a joke about us HR pros and our rules!)

He persisted. “Doesn’t matter, Tim, it only takes one who feels like they might want to make an example out of you!”

Yeah, still, hard No. I’m a hugger. I’m an equal opportunity hugger. I hug all pronouns, very comfortably.

I think someone who is afraid of being MeToo’d is probably doing some stuff that they shouldn’t be doing. I’m not saying that someone couldn’t take a hug from me and spin it, but I hope with all my being someone wouldn’t do that. I also hope I’m smart enough not to put myself in a position where anyone would even consider that a hug from me was inappropriate!

I’ve had a career in HR and I’ve investigated some pretty nasty stuff where people were willing to do some pretty bad stuff to each other, for a million different reasons, mostly around hate and anger. So, I think I know what someone, improperly motivated, is capable of. I still was uncomfortable with the conversation, because it made me feel like somehow this person was trying to lessen the power of #MeToo.

“Well, someone could lie!” Of course, ‘someone’ could, but we would need to ask ourselves, why? And in 99.99% of those cases, there isn’t a why only some dude doing something stupid.

I’m going to keep hugging. I like hugs. I love the feeling of hugging someone who hugs me back for real. It makes both of our days a little better. I’m going to keep asking those I hug if they actually want a hug. That’s one of the rules!

What do you love to do?

We have a hard time really telling others what we love to do. Many times it turns into this humble brag of stuff we don’t really love to do, but it sounds impressive and we know others won’t judge us based on the answer.

I tell people all the time I love fishing!

I do love fishing, but not as much as I probably tell people. Sometimes going fishing sucks. It’s cold. The fish don’t bite. You get sunburned. You have to get up super early.

What I really love is being on the lake by myself, fishing, when it’s a great mild temperature. It’s quite with a slight breeze. I can hear the water and the birds. And it helps if I’m also catching some fish, but the serenity is really what I love.

Too often I find people define themselves by what they hate versus what they love.

I don’t like recruiting, I just want to do my HR stuff! What stuff is that? You know doing the benefits and the employee relations things, and the… Oh, the stuff that has no accountable measures? Okay, I get it, having pressure on your sucks! But what is it that you really love to do?

It doesn’t really help us by defining what we want to do around what we hate, because in any thing we do we probably will have some hate and some love. If that’s the case, the best way to decide what you’ll do is by deciding what is it that you actually love to do because if you love some portion of it, the stuff you hate really doesn’t seem to bad.

The opposite would be that you decide you want to work at a job because you don’t hate anything about it. Well, okay, so you don’t hate it, but is there any part of it that you love? Because if you don’t love any of it, you probably won’t end up liking it either.

It’s not just work, this works in all aspects of our lives. If you are out in the world telling everyone what you hate, it will probably push most people away. If you are telling them what you love, it might not bring everyone to you, but it will definitely bring some folks to you that share that love.

Define yourself by what you love, not what you hate.