DisruptHR Lansing! March 19th – Call for Speakers is Open!

Lansing, MI is about to get all Disrupted and Stuff!

Everyone already knows I’m a big believer in DisruptHR events. I’ve spoken at many, I’ve been on the team running DisruptHR Detroit from the beginning, and I decided to start DisruptHR Lansing in my own backyard!

Our first event, DisruptHR Lansing 1.0 will take place in Downtown Lansing on March 19th in the evening (more details to follow) at The Exchange. Great speakers, free food and drinks, and disruptive HR talks throughout the night!

What is DisruptHR?

  • 5-minute hr-based micro-talks. Might be HR, talent, employee experience, leadership, rap music, who knows!
  • Each talk has a very specific format – 20 slides and each slide moves automatically every 15 seconds.
  • The goal is to be fast and challenge the status quo of the people side of the business!


We’ll be selecting a great group of speakers. I encourage HR pros and Leaders from the Mid-Michigan area to throw your names into the hat for speaking spots!!! It’s a great way to get yourself on stage with a group of fellow HR peers who’ll support you and laugh at our bad HR jokes!

Speakers also get a professionally recorded version of your talk. This is an awesome parting gift for your own development, and to show other conferences, etc. if you decide you want to speak in a longer format in the future. Almost every conference I know now asks for some proof of your ability to speak, as such, this becomes a very valuable piece of content!

Why Speak at DisruptHR Lansing 1.0? 

1. Well, I’ll be there!

2. Lansing, MI is the capital of Michigan. The epicenter of all things people in our state. It’s also might be the one place in Michigan that needs the most HR disruption!

3. HR pros need a network. We need to support each other. This is a great event to make that happen!

4. Cocktails & Hugs! (which ironically is the name of one of my upcoming future books!)

5. I’ll owe you!

Let’s face it. It’s March 19, 2020. We’ve just spent the last 120 days in pure grayness. We need to get out and do something! The event space will be intimate, the energy will be high, and we’re going to have some fun! Come join us! Tickets will go on sale after the holidays. We wanted to open up the Call for Speakers first!

If you want to get an email when tickets go on sale, leave your email on the comments below and I”ll make sure you’re the first to know!

What is the biggest driver of Employee Engagement?

I got to see Marcus Buckingham speak at the HR Technology Conference in Vegas a couple of weeks ago. I think it’s the 2319th time I’ve seen him speak. I’m not sure if I’ve seen Marcus or Josh Bersin speak more, it’s probably almost a tie. Basically, if you go to HR conferences, you get to see those two dudes speak, a lot!

That’s not a bad thing. Both bring great data and are strong presenters, Marcus has the English accent which all American’s love. Marcus and ADP’s Reseach Institute released some new data on Engagement and that was the main focus of the talk. The research shows that 85% of employees are just showing up to work, because only 15% are ‘fully’ engaged, and if you’re not fully engaged, you’re basically showing up to collect a check.

That was pretty shocking, but the most shocking piece the research showed was the number one driver of engagement in any organization had to do with one simple thing: Are you a part of a team.

The research shows that being a part of a team is the strongest predictor of full engagement. There are others, like being new to an organization is fairly strong and makes sense. When we first start working at a new job, we are usually more engaged. Do you trust your team leader is another strong predictor, but first you better be on a team!

Being a member of a team.

It seems fairly simple, but for those of us who are constantly working on teams, we know it’s not. You could simply just throw everyone who works for you on teams and think, “okay, I just fixed engagement!” It’s really more about the dynamic of being on a team where you feel you belong and have a role that is valuable to that team.

Belonging is a big part of being on a team and being fully engaged. There are plenty of people who are on teams but don’t feel like the team they’re on needs them or wants them. Or you are on a team that isn’t successful. Turns out, failure is a big deterrent to engagement as well.

Once you are on a team, it then becomes critical that you trust the team leader. Lack of trust of the team leader is another negative driver to engagement. This then becomes more about the leader themselves establishing trust, and having team members who are open enough to first assume trust. Too often we get on teams and immediately believe the team leader is keeping things from us, probably because many times they are.

In any team, in the beginning, or when new team members come in, they should do a transition meeting. A meeting designed to establish trust from the beginning. It’s a time to get everything out in the open, at the beginning (or when it’s new for someone else) and do things like ask all the questions that usually go un-asked but then become issues down the road, establish communication likes and dislikes, share items that you should know, but might not, etc. I always have this facilitated by someone outside the team, so the leader doesn’t try and control the outcomes.

Go download the research paper, there’s great information about how to drive higher engagement in your organization and more information about the importance of the team dynamic.

Are Employees Really Upset Over Being Replaced By Robots?

I think we all want to believe that our employees are freaking out that one day their job, in the near future, will be replaced by a robot. It’s all you hear right now in our space! “A.I. will be taking over 97% of jobs by next week!”

The reality is our employees are not afraid of their job being taken by a robot. But they are afraid!

Turns out, our employees are more afraid of their job being taken by another employee, not a robot! A new study by the Technical University of Munich has shown that our employees are actually more afraid of other people taking their jobs, then by A.I.

The study shows: In principle, most people view it more favorably when workers are replaced by other people than by robots or intelligent software. This preference reverses, however, when it refers to people’s own jobs. When that is the case, the majority of workers find it less upsetting to see their own jobs go to robots than to other employees…

People tend to compare themselves less with machines than with other people. Consequently, being replaced by a robot or software poses less of a threat to their feeling of self-worth. This reduced self-threat could even be observed when participants assumed that they were being replaced by other employees who relied on technological abilities such as artificial intelligence in their work.

Turns out, it’s a huge punch to our gut to be replaced by another human since we compare ourselves to being equal, or better, to other humans, but we can comprehend that technology, like A.I., is actually better than ourselves at many tasks.

“The robot can definitely do parts of my job better than me, but g*d damn it, Mark can not!” 

It makes sense, for the most part, we all have fairly fragile egos. It’s hard for us to comprehend that our employer would replace us with another person because that means we probably suck at our job, or at least, our employer thinks we suck. If I’m replaced by a machine I can rationalize that away. If I’m replaced by another person, that’s a hard one to explain to family and friends.

It’s definitely something to keep in mind as we transition many tasks over to the robots. I think from an organizational behavior standpoint we are very concerned about what our employees will think, but the reality is they’ll probably have less issue with it than if we were shopping their jobs offshore to people who will do it cheaper but are real!

The Employee Walk of Shame

I’ve lost jobs and I’ve called old employers to see if they would want to hire me back. I’ve usually gotten a response that sounded something like, “Oh, boy would we want you back but we just don’t have anything. Good Luck!”  Many of us in the talent game talk about our employee Alumni and how we should engage our Alumni but very few of us really take true advantage of leveraging this network.

I was reminded of this recently when a friend of mine took a new job.  You know the deal, shorter drive, more money, growing company and oh, boy, just where do I sign!?  The fact was, it was all they said, shorter drive, more money and they were growing, but they forgot to tell him was our operations are broken beyond repair, you will work 7 days a week and probably 12-14 hours per day because of the mess we have, but keep your head up it’s the only way you won’t drown here!

So, now what does he do?

He already had the going away party, bar night out with the work friends with the promises to do lunches and not get disconnected, packed up and unpack the office into the new office.  Let’s face it, big boy, you’re stuck!  Not so fast.  He did the single hardest thing an employee can do he called his old boss after 7 days and said one thing, “I made a mistake, can I come back?”

Luckily for him, his past boss was a forward-thinking leader and so this past Monday he did the 2nd hardest thing an employee can do he made the “Employee Walk of Shame“.

You can imagine the looks from people who didn’t know him well, “Hey, wait a minute, didn’t you leave?” Having to tell the same story over and over, feeling like he failed, like he wasn’t good enough to make it in the new position.

HR plays a huge part in this story because it was HR who can make this walk of shame a little less rough.  Let’s face it, it is different.  You just don’t leave and come back as nothing happened. Something did happen, there was a reason he left and that reason isn’t going away.  A transition back needs to be put into place even though he was gone seven days.  It’s not about just plugging back in, it is about re-engaging again and finding out what we all can do better so it doesn’t happen again.

It’s also about making sure you let those employees who you truly want back, that they are welcome to come back (assuming you have the job) and not just saying that to everyone.  There are employees who leave that you say a small prayer to G*d and you are thankful they left!  There are others where you wish there was a prayer you could say so they wouldn’t leave.

Make it easy for your employees to do the Walk of Shame, it helps the organization, but realize they are hurting, they are embarrassed, but they are also grateful!

DisruptHR Detroit 3.0 Speaker Applications Now Being Accepted!

For those who don’t know, I’m involved with DisruptHR Detroit with an amazing team of HR pros and leaders, and we are putting on our 3rd event on Thursday, September 19th at 6 pm.

Great DisruptHR events start with Great content and we are now Accepting Speaker Applications for DisruptHR Detroit 3.0!

Due Date is August 2nd!

Tickets for this event will go on sale on August 5th and we’ll announce the full slate of speakers and the agenda on August 9th.

The location of DisruptHR 3.0 will be downtown Detroit at The Madison. Click through to the DisruptHR Detroit site for more information.

Who makes a Great DisruptHR Speaker

Anyone with a passion for HR, Recruiting, People and pushing the envelope around what, why and how we do what we do every day in the world of work!

We especially love practitioners of all experience levels. You don’t know have to be a twenty-year vet to be great at DisruptHR! You can be an HR pro in your first year on the job. It’s all about passion and ideas!

So, what makes a great DisruptHR Talk?

  1. It’s 5 minutes – so you better be tight around what your topic and idea is!
  2. 20 slides that move every 15 seconds – you don’t control this, we do. So you better practice!
  3. No selling products or services – Yes to selling ideas and passions!
  4. Make us feel something – laugh, cry, anger – have a take and be proud of that take!
  5. We see and feel your passion.

We’ve built DisruptHR Detroit to be a supportive hub of HR and Recruiting. We want people to come and challenge us, but know you’ll be rewarded with an audience that will support you and cheer you on. These talks aren’t easy, and we get that! The audience gets that!

How can you speak at DisruptHR Detroit 3.0?

APPLY to Speak it’s easy! It’s a great development opportunity for those looking to get on stage and have some professional experience speaking. You actually get a professionally produced video of your talk that you can use as evidence of your ability. It’s also a great networking opportunity with the Detroit metro HR and Talent community!

Career Confessions from Gen Z: Bathrooms matter to a great Employee Experience!

In my opinion, there are few places that are worse than a public restroom. There have been very few times in my life where I’ve been happy to use a restroom in a public area. I strongly dislike any bathroom that is not a private restroom or one that is in my home.

I have 2 main reasons for my strong distaste for public bathrooms: cleanliness and privacy. I can thank my Mom for my concerns about germs, and 9 times out of 10 a public restroom will be dirtier than my nice and tidy bathroom at home. My main problem with using public bathrooms is privacy. Even if I just went in to fix my hair, I don’t want anyone looking and judging me for doing it!

Although I really would prefer if I could just use my bathroom at home 24/7, that is not realistic especially when I’m working every day. I’m going to at least have to pee a few times. So, if I have to use a different bathroom than my own, I want it to be as nice as possible.

The bathrooms at Quicken Loans(where I’m doing my summer internship! Hey, guys!) check almost all of my boxes. They are extremely cleanly and I see cleaning staff work on the bathrooms a few times a day. But, the best part is the almost completely private stalls that they have! The walls in between the stalls and the doors go all the way from the ceiling to the floor. It’s my dream honestly.

No one wants to poop at work, and if they have to, it might as well be in almost complete privacy.

In addition to the cleanliness and the private stalls, the restrooms on my floor have baskets of toiletries; toothbrushes, stain sticks, lotion, hairspray, basically anything you could need to make you comfortable and fix any problems you may have. It’s so comforting to know that if I ever spill something on my clothes or have bad breath, I have a quick fix just a few steps away.

If you want to make sure your employees are comfortable and doing their best work, the bathroom is a good place to put some luxury into. Most people don’t enjoy using the restroom but we all have to do it. So why not make it a more enjoyable experience for your employees!


This post was written by Cameron Sackett (not Tim) – you can probably tell because it lacks grammatical errors!

HR and TA Pros – have a question you would like to ask directly to a Gen Z? Ask us in the comments and I’ll respond in an upcoming blog post right here on the project. Have some feedback for me? Again, please share in the comments and/or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Career Confessions from Gen Z: How Painful is Your Onboarding?

One of the most painfully awkward experiences of my life was my college orientation. I remember being so excited to go; this is the start of a whole new journey where you’re supposed to meet all of your lifelong friends and become a whole new person! I failed to remember that forcing a group of 17 and 18-year-olds to try and become friends in an 8-hour time span probably won’t work that well. Not only did I have to suffer through one college orientation, I had to do ANOTHER one when I decided to transfer to my current school. College orientations are absolutely necessary but absolutely agonizing.

Since I detest college orientations, I am not looking forward to the lifetime of onboarding processes that I will have to endure. The average person will hold 12-15 jobs in their lifetime, and Gen-Z’ers will definitely raise that number significantly. I’m already on my 5th job and I’m 19! While I may need to accept the fact that I have many onboardings ahead of me, here is what I suggest to make them as painless as possible for everyone involved:

  1. Short and Sweet: The general rule for all onboardings should be the shorter, the better. Just because you have a full day set aside, doesn’t mean you need to use the whole thing! Many people hold the same resentment to onboardings and orientation as me and will immediately forget approximately 97% of the information given at these sessions. So, instead of spending more time droning on, have your employees get started and let them figure things out as they come!
  2. Specificity is key: I get that there’s a lot of general information that needs to be relayed to your employees, but the more specific you can be with every person’s individual needs, the better. Not only is it more efficient because it is straight to the point, but it will force your onboardie’s to pay attention because the information directly applies to them!
  3. Food, food, and more food: If you are going to make your new employees sit through a full day of onboarding, there better be food. And not just some crappy sandwich platter. Food is essential in keeping your new employees awake and alert. Also, coffee, soda, or other refreshments should be widely available as well.
  4. Cut Out the Fluff: While preparing onboarding procedures, do your best to cut out all non-essential information. We don’t need an hour presentation on your company’s culture. Let us live and learn by experiencing it ourselves!

The goal of an onboarding process should be to make everything as clear as possible to your newbies. You don’t need to get us excited about working or pump us up: odds are that us Gen-Zer’s are already excited because it’s our first real job! I just started my internship this week and I didn’t need the constant pump-up music and overdone cheering and applause (for literally everyone and everything); I’m already excited to start! So, stuff us with junk food, coffee, and essential information and then send us on our way to get started!

This post was written by Cameron Sackett (not Tim) – you can probably tell because it lacks grammatical errors!

HR and TA Pros – have a question you would like to ask directly to a Gen Z? Ask us in the comments and I’ll respond in an upcoming blog post right here on the project. Have some feedback for me? Again, please share in the comments and/or connect with me on LinkedIn.

The Weekly Dose of HR Tech: @ClickBoardingHR Blow New Hires Away with Great Onboarding

The week on The Weekly Dose I review the employee onboarding technology Click Boarding. Click Boarding is a best of breed employee onboarding solution that you can use with any ATS or HRIS system. What you’ll find is most ATSs and HRISs have something in their system that is considered ‘onboarding’, but what we know is that it’s usually a very weak version of what we actually need and want for onboarding our new employees.

Click Boarding is a technology designed for organizations that believe Candidate Experience and Employee Experience are paramount to their organizational success. You spent a ton of resources recruiting great talent to your organization, the last thing you want to happen is a poor onboarding experience to take place and that talent bails on you before they even got started!

For my money, great onboarding in the bridge from a great candidate experience to show your new employee they are about to have a great employee experience. Click Boarding is the bridge we all wish we had between those two extremely important experiences!

What I like about Click Boarding: 

– Click Boarding does everything you expect from great onboarding. As HR Pros we tend to get caught up in all of the compliance things we need to get done with new hires, and rightfully so, but true onboarding also has to be less about what we need in HR and more about creating a great experience for the new employee. This is where Click Boarding shines.

– New hires are welcomed, prior to starting, with your branded information, video welcome, access to team directory, etc. Everything they need to be ready for their first day. All of which is configurable to how you want to make it.

– TA and HR Pros, depending who covers onboarding for your organization, have easy to follow checklists to keep you on task to ensuring you easily get everything accomplished you need in onboarding, accessible via desktop and mobile.

– Click Boarding gives you a tool to personalize the onboarding experience like no other suite HRIS system currently has. From forms to pre-hire instructions, to video messages from your boss and teammates, Click Boarding allows you to make an experience to forget, to one you will remember.

I was asking the same question you are asking yourself right now. Why do we need a standalone onboarding technology, our HRIS system has onboarding? Your HRIS system has built-in new hire compliance. That is not onboarding.  This is what every single person in the world hates about HR, including those of us working in HR.

Click Boarding is easy to use, delivers a great onboarding experience for your new hires, and if that is important to you, they are a technology you should demo. I find most organizations spend a ton of time talking about making onboarding better, but spend almost zero when it comes to resources on technology to actually make onboarding better. If this is you, it’s worth an hour to see how technology can drive great onboarding.

The Weekly Dose – is a weekly series here at The Project to educate and inform everyone who stops by on a daily/weekly basis on some great recruiting and sourcing technologies that are on the market.  None of the companies who I highlight are paying me for this promotion.  There are so many really cool things going on in the tech space and I wanted to educate myself and share what I find.  If you want to be on The Weekly Dose – just send me a note – timsackett@comcast.net

Want help with your HR & TA Tech company – send me a message about my HR Tech Advisory Board experience.

Career Confessions from GenZ: Are you Pre-boarding Interns?

College orientation was one of the most uncomfortable and awkward experiences of my life. I would say that most other current college students would attest to this. I think it’s very unreasonable to expect a group of 18-year-olds to meet for the first time and become friends in a short time span while learning everything you’re supposed to know about the school you are attending.

Thankfully I am through the college orientation process, but I have a lifetime of job orientations ahead of me. Apparently, this process in the workforce is called “onboarding” (thanks, Dad!), but to newbies like me, we invented a new term to describe this orientation called “pre-boarding”.

This new style of onboarding is a more in-depth look into general ideas about the workforce in addition to normal onboarding events. This is for people that have never worked real-life jobs before (yup, that’s me). I like this idea of pre-boarding because I am a very curious person that has a million questions and likes them all to be answered! So, here are some specific topics that I want companies to focus on while pre-boarding newbies like me:

  1. Dress Code: For someone that has always put a heavy emphasis on what I wear, this is very important to me and other young people. The words “business casual” mean absolutely nothing to me. I need concrete examples of what to wear and this means VISUALS.  I want someone to show me pictures or even show me real-life examples of what I should be wearing every day to work. Please and thank you.
  2. Logistics: I’m calling this section logistics because it encompasses a whole array of logistical things. I need to know where to park, where to sit, when I eat, where I eat, where’s the bathroom, when I’m supposed to arrive, when I’m supposed to leave, among many other things. And I would like a concrete answer to all of these. Coming from a school environment, like most newbies are, we are always told when to do things and how to do them. Therefore, it is important to realize this and adhere to how your new employees have been given information for most of their lives.
  3. Job-related content: This part of the pre-boarding process should be different for every job because it has to do with the specific duties and tasks that new employees will be performing. This can include things like meeting your fellow team members, learning how to use certain software or programs, and other instructional demonstrations as needed (you guys already know how to do this part). Will I have a laptop, desktop, no computer, no desk? Should I bring my own laptop? What about my phone, you know I’m not going anywhere without that!? 

I’m sure I’m forgetting a million other things that are important, but these are just things that I specifically worry about. For this pre-boarding process, it is extremely important to leave all questions unanswered. Gen-Z (and young people across history) DON’T ask questions, so it is important to make sure you think of everything beforehand. This process will help alleviate pressure from your new employee and will warrant an easy and successful transition into their new position.

Here’s to hoping that my future bosses will be reading this post to make it easier for me!


HR and TA Pros – have a question you would like to ask directly to a GenZ? Ask us in the comments and I’ll have Cameron respond in an upcoming blog post right here on the project. Have some feedback for Cameron? Again, please share in the comments and/or connect with him on LinkedIn.


Now That’s What I Call HR! Vol. 1

So, if you’re a regular reader of this blog you know of my friend Chris Bailey, is a Brit expat who is running PWC’s HR consultancy in the Caribbean, and he lives in Cayman. Yeah, Chris has the one job on the planet that every HR pro in the world wants! And, he’s an awesome human being.

Chris also is an integral part of the team that puts on the annual Cayman HR conference. It’s like your normal state level SHRM conference, except that it’s completely awesome, in Cayman, Chris, and the team go so far overboard on making sure they run a great conference, if you run an SHRM conference, you’re now going to feel bad about yourself!


Chris and the team at Cayman Island Society of HR Professionals (who by the way have like 30 people going to SHRM national this year!) made their own musical album of HR songs for the conference! It’s on iTunes! You can buy the full thing for like $5.94! They had to create their own record label to actually get the album on iTunes! What the hell did you do for your HR conference!?

I’ll give you a review here of each song on the album since I’m clearly a critic of everything and I actually listened to Now That’s What I Call HR, Vol. 1 (insinuating there might be a Vol. 2, God help us all!):

Track 1 – HR Stars – Les Mis – Chris Bailey lead vocals – If you’re a Broadway musical fan of Les Miserables, you’ll instantly know the tune of this remake of Stars with HR lyrics in place of the original brilliance by Claude-Michel Schonberg, whom I’m sure never could foresee this happening! To Bailey’s credit, he’s probably more of a classical Broadway singer than he is a pop singer!

Track 2- Stars Original Les Mis – Chris Bailey lead vocals – Didn’t get enough of track 1, here’s another minute of the same stuff! Yep, instead of two minutes of Chris, you get three. Buckle up. For some reason, iTunes shows this track as the most popular which I can only surmise means Chris’s Mum downloaded five times.

Track 3 – Don’t Stop Believing HR – Elisa Brown & Chris Bailey lead vocals – Popular Journey remake and everyone’s favorite karaoke go-to song! We get to meet the great vocals of Elisa Brown who is awesome, and we get more of Chris destroying a song I’ll never listen to the same again.

Track 4 – HR State of Mind – Elisa Brown lead vocals – My favorite song of the album is only you don’t have to hear Bailey! Also, crafty lyrics and a great voice by Elisa. Rewriting a popular song with HR lyrics is super hard, just ask Steve Browne!

Track 5 – HR Baby – Chris Bailey lead vocals – This is actually the song that started it all for Bailey and company. Chris first performed this song at the CISHRP conference in 2015 – “If there is a problem, yo, check out HR we’ll resolve it – Ice Ice Baby” – a remake of the famous Vanilla Ice song, this is Bailey in his natural habitat.  It was a must for the album!

HR Baby By Chris Bailey from CML TV on Vimeo.

Track 6 – Vacation – Matt Brown lead vocals – hip hop, mixed up song that’s all fun and HR – great conference kick-off song. Pretty sure they CISHRP went to a local producer for this one to add a little more HR excitement to the album!

Hat tip to Chris and Elisa for putting themselves out there for the good of HR! We need more people like this in our lives.

HR conference organizers around the world, you’re on the clock.