SHRM Wrap-up: 4 Takeaways You Need To Know!


It was great to meet so many of you at the Society for Human Resource Managers (SHRM) conference in Las Vegas! At WorkBright, we pride ourselves on being on the forefront of the HR industry. To keep up with our rapidly changing world, it is critical that we attend conferences, talk face-to-face with real HR managers, and invest in our own education on a daily basis. With that in mind, let me start by saying this year’s conference did NOT disappoint! From the exhibit hall to the sessions and panels, this year’s conference delivered the latest and greatest from HR managers across the country.

With so much quality content coming out of the show, it can be a bit overwhelming to digest it all. So I’ve spent the last week pouring over my notes to come up with 4 key takeaways to share with those that were not have been able to join us in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, I couldn’t be at every session, so if you were at the show and have anything to add, please leave it in the comments box and we’ll add to this post as contributions are made!

SHRM Takeaway #1: Fair Standards Labor Act (FSLA) Overtime Rules Changing

11 million workers will be affected by changes coming to the FSLA overtime rules in early 2016. Primarily, it will require employers to move many workers from exempt to nonexempt status. This change will require meticulous tracking of hours worked. Heres the details:

  • Currently, workers must make more than $23,660 annually are Exempt from overtime. The proposed rule moves that up to $47,892 annually. That means that, if adopted, any salaried workers you have making less than $47,892 will need to be moved to hourly workers, and paid overtime when due.
  • Currently there is an exemption for any employee making over $100K/yr, meaning that they can be considered Exempt no matter what their job entails. This is proposed to increase to $122K/yr and to adjust annually.
  • The proposal is to start updating the minimum salary level annually. (See takeway 2 for more on this.) There are not currently any big changes proposed to the Exempt Duties Test.
  • States, like California, have historically had stricter applications of FSLA. You will need to dig in to your state standards and continue to adhere to the stricter standards.

SHRM Takeaway #2: Minimum Wage is Increasing

Changes in both local and federal minimum wage laws are rapidly unfolding. Many municipalities, such as San Francisco, have stricter minimum wage laws in place that must be followed if you have employees working there. It is your responsibility to be aware of both the federal and local requirements, as well as how these apply to situations such as wilderness guiding where an employee’s on/off hours could come into question.

SHRM Takeaway #3: Three Big Shifts in HR

First, build tools for Team Leaders, not just organizations. Strong Team Leaders most often make the difference between top-performing units and failing ones. Yet, most systems are designed to provide feedback on the entire organization, which eventually trickles down to the unit. Design systems that will immediately inform Team Leaders about the people they manage, specifically: What are they doing; What are their strengths; How are they feeling

Second, reveal PERFORMANCE and ENGAGEMENT information in real-time. Don’t focus as much on Big Data, but instead look to _real time, reliable data._Performance evaluation is not reliable data as it is influenced by the observer by over 60%.

Finally, look at what the best leaders in your organization actually do, then encourage others to do the same. For example, in managing Millennials don’t give feedback, five ATTENTION. Frequent interaction between Team Leader and Team Member drives performance and collaboration. Every week is key. Frequent, light touch. Don’t call it feedback, call it touch-in.

SHRM Takeaway #4: HR Managers & Data Security

It is the HR Manager’s job to be the “defender of employee data”. Interestingly, most employee data breaches occur not due to malicious access to HR systems, but through accessing email in which HR Managers have downloaded and sent spreadsheets containing sensitive information. Remember to:

  • Limit email exchange of sensitive information.
  • Password protect any spreadsheets that contain employee data.
  • Remove documents with employee data from your desktop and empty your computer’s trash often.
  • Safeguard your computer and email passwords and change them often. And (teaser) check back here very soon for more on this particular subject!