Apr 12

HR Florida’s HR Professional of the Year-Could it Be YOU?

PeopleAnnually HR Florida recognizes a human resource leader who has advanced the profession in a significant way.
“Best in class,” the individuals nominated for this award serve as role models for the profession by setting the standard for others to follow and apply their expertise to enhance organizational effectiveness.

Who is eligible?

Nominees must be a member in good standing with SHRM and a member of a local Florida State Chapter. Self-nominations are welcomed and encouraged.

What kind of HR professionals is HR Florida looking to recognize?

HR Florida wants to formally recognize those members who represent the “best” in HR – those individuals who serve as role models for the profession, those who are leaders, those who set standards for others and for the profession, and those who apply their professional expertise outside of their organizations.


  • Entries must be received no later than June 30, 2016 via e-mail to awards@hrflorida.org.
  • Submission of the entry implies support and approval of the entry by the nominee.
  • Chapters may nominate more than one candidate.
  • Incomplete entries may be disqualified at the discretion of the selection committee.
  • At the discretion of the selection committee, an award winner may not be chosen.

The selection committee is comprised of:

  • Award Sponsor Representative
  • HR Florida State Council President
  • HR Florida State Council President Elect
  • HR Florida State Council Awards Director
  • 2014 HR Professional of the Year Winner

When will the winner be announced?

Award presented at the annual state conference and associated council meeting attended by 1500 professionals from around the world!

What will the annual award winner receive?

  • Detailed coverage in the HR Florida Review magazine with a readership of over 12,000!
  • $500 contribution made in his/her name to the SHRM Foundation
  • Invitation to the associated State Council dinner
  • An honorarium of $500 to the winner
  • A complimentary State Conference registration to the following year’s HR Florida State Conference & Expo

If you have any other questions regarding the award, please direct them to awards@hrflorida.org

Visit http://www.hrflorida.org/?page=78 for more information and to submit!


Apr 04

Writing Your Personal Mission Statement in Five Steps

Mission-Vision-and-GoalsHaving a personal mission statement has many clarifying and focusing effects, but how does one distill hopes and dreams into one sentence?  First, it is important to recognize that the mission statement cannot and should not be a comprehensive representation.  It is merely (but importantly) a crystallization of the essence of what you want to be and how you wish to be perceived.  It need not be limiting or unchanging.  Just as Nike is associated with an ever-growing number of goods, services, and causes, you have many facets to your life, yet the Nike swoosh symbolizes athleticism, and all Nike’s endeavors are, in some way, reflective of that mission.  It is the cohesiveness that holds the company’s many endeavors together.  The same should be true of your mission statement.  Also, since a person’s inclinations change over time, so, too, mission statements should be reviewed regularly.

The most important part of drafting a personal mission statement is to WRITE.  WRITE down your responses to each of the five steps; don’t just do it in your head.  When you write, patterns emerge readily and those patterns are the key to your mission.  So, with pen in hand, go through the five steps:

  1. Identify your passions. Ask yourself:  What work do I find meaningful?  What excites me?  What am I doing when time flies?  What would I choose to do if there were no obstacles or conflicting responsibilities?  Another telling angle is to consider the people, living or dead, you most admire and specify the reasons for your admiration.
  1. Clarify your strengths. There usually is an overlap between passions and natural talents – a serendipity of desire and ability.  Thus, indications of strengths would be situations in which you have been successful, contests won, and compliments received.   Sometimes people do not recognize a strength unless they have received compensation for it, but remuneration has nothing to do with passion or strength, merely circumstance.  Therefore, hobbies and extra-curricular activities are important clues.  Asking friends and colleagues what they think are your strengths can also be telling because we often underestimate the uniqueness of a trait or skill we possess.  Be as specific as you can when identifying strengths.  For example: “good at written communication” is too broad; “effective at persuasive writing” is more precise.
  1. Specify your values. A mission statement not only indicates WHAT you want in life but HOW you want to get it.  How do you view life and make decisions?  Are there certain principles that guide you?  Are there sayings or mottos you like to repeat or for which are you are known?  Pull up a list of values from the Internet and check off those which resonate most with you.
  1. List your aspirations. Perhaps it sounds morbid, but asking yourself what you would like to hear said at your funeral reveals what is necessary for you to feel you have lived a fulfilled, satisfying life.  The “would likes” quickly divide themselves from the “musts.”  It is vital that you not feel pressured by what others think you want or should want.   Remember that it will be you and not your family and friends who will answer for the way you spent your years; YOU must account for whether they were fruitful or wasted.
  1. Write your mission statement incorporating the patterns that emerged from your answers to steps 1-4. Don’t try to put in anything except obvious patterns; you don’t have room and it isn’t necessary.  Tweak the mission statement until it is says the most it can in the fewest words possible.  Revise it until it is both memorable and inspiring.  Share it with a friend or colleague because their questions and comments often clarify ambiguities and lead to important revisions.

For additional help, I recommend StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath, How to Develop Your Personal Mission Statement by Steven Covey, and Discovering Your Passion, The Thing that Makes Your Heart Sing by Kennette Reed.

J Lenora BreslerJ. Lenora Bresler, JD, SPHR, ASC graduated at age 20 from law school, J. Lenora Bresler is an attorney, SPHR, and leadership and engagement speaker, author, trainer, and coach.  She is the owner of Bresler Training, LLC. dedicated to assisting organizations to create the best leaders, teams, and relationships on earth.  An in-demand keynote speaker and consultant and a favorite with HR Florida audiences for years, J. Lenora specializes in bringing strategies that can immediately be applied. Her most recent book is Instant Insight: 15 Questions to Great Relationships. J. Lenora also teaches all modules of the certification review courses for two separate universities.

J. Lenora is Immediate Past President for Mid Florida SHRM, and currently serves as Editor for the HR Florida Review Magazine.


Mar 21

HR Recertification – it’s an investment in You!

HRFL16 Banner1024X300

HR Florida Conference and Expo

Conf days


We know becoming certified as an HR professional is not easy. Many of you have recently received the new SHRM certifications: SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP.  There are also many of you PHR or SPHR certified by the Human Resource Certification Institute.  For those of you who are new to this process, once you receive your certification, you must recertify your credentials every three years through professional development activities. Whether you have one or both certifications, keeping those certifications current requires an investment in You!

Earn those valuable recertification credits at the 2016 HR Florida Conference!

Options include: Sunday Sessions, Full Conference, One Day Conference Pass, and Keynote Only Passes

More details & registration: HR Florida Conference Page

Sunday, August 28th, Pre-conference sessions are offered for your convenience.


We look forwarding to seeing you!



Mar 15

How to Evaluate Trainers

In-house, tailored cross-training can make it possible for workers to do more with less.  Offering training outside the narrow confines of an employee’s current job can open up the option of a transfer rather than elimination and allay fears of personal ruin should a layoff be ultimately necessary.  Businesses can get big impact for a relatively small amount of money by partnering with a good trainer. But how do you know if the person asking for your training business is a good one or a bad one?  Here are 10 questions you need to ask and the answers you need to hear!

  1. What makes your training unique? Listen for a clear, concise articulation of some uniqueness. If a trainer cannot easily state what makes them different from the myriad of other trainers and training companies, run!  What you want is the right “fit” for your employees on your particular subject at this particular time.  Trainers have different styles and strong points. Not every trainer is right for every topic, for every audience, or every timeframe.  Good trainers understand this truth and are comfortable self-identifying.
  2. What three words would participants use to describe your training style? This question forces the trainer to focus on others’ perception of them. The answer gives you three descriptive words which you can later check through calls to former clients and which you can compare to the training style you believe is the most appropriate for your current need.  If the three words the trainer states wind up being identical to those his or her references use, it is a good bet that the trainer cares about follow-up with clients and knows the three words because he or she has heard them many times.
  3. How do you prepare curriculum? Y need to know from whence the substance of the training is coming. Many good trainers pull from a variety of sources, and that is fine, as long as they can list for you credible sources.  Listen for mentions of well-respected professional organizations, websites, journals, and continuing education programs.  If the trainer has written his or her own material, you will want to know if it is compatible and consistent with the basic philosophy underpinning well-known, credible training systems such as Achieve Global, DDI, CRM, SHRM Learning System, and the like.
  4. To what extent do you tailor your curriculum to a client’s specific business goals and employees? Adults are notorious for paying attention only to that training they perceive as specifically and immediately relevant to their current jobs. Adult learners generally do not like learning for its own sake, but rather only want to learn what and when it is necessary—”just in time” learning.  Thus, effective training is extremely tailored. The more that examples, skill practices, role-plays, and case studies are modeled on real-life situations familiar to the participants, the more interested the participants will be and the more effective the training will be because they will get to practice theory applied to their own work lives.  If the trainer is asking YOU questions about how you hope this training will assist in obtaining your bottom-line strategic goals, you have a winner!
  1. How do you customize your training? Listen for common-sense ways of obtaining different perspectives on the information he or she needs in order to write specific, tailored scenarios. Examples could include one-on-one conversations with supervisors and HR personnel and a survey of employees regarding their needs and hopes for the training.  A trainer’s sensitivity is evident if she suggests the option of anonymity provided by allowing participants to contact her directly and if she asks if there are specific policies or unique methods that she needs to incorporate into a general topic.
  2. How do you recommend engaging the participants before the training? A good trainer knows that preparing the mindset is a key to effective retention and implementation of learning. Listen for common-sense recommendations about some kind of “internal marketing” campaign preceding training.  Ideas could include a series of intriguing e-mails to participants piquing their curiosity and answering that all-important question: WIIFM (what’s in it for me?), the creation of posters, interesting and not tedious pre-work including questions to ponder, requests for specific scenarios, or what employees hope will be covered, and even a brief appearance by the trainer at a staff meeting or other function to get acquainted prior to the training.
  3. Do you incorporate different learning methodologies? People are primarily one of three types of learners: visual (these types like slides, Powerpoint presentations, manuals, charts, graphs, a demonstrations), auditory (they learn mostly by hearing things repeatedly) or tactile (hands-on, skills-practice, role-play, discussion). Listen for a specific description of how the trainer will incorporate all learning styles throughout the entirety of the training.  You do not want one part taught in one style and another taught in another style; all parts must be taught utilizing tools amenable to all participants’ learning style.
  4. What logistical steps do you recommend we take to ensure an optimal learning environment?  Little things mean a lot.  Listen for the trainer’s sensitivity to details such as the placement of furniture and the use of tent cards or name badges to encourage participation, quick and easy methods for dividing people into break-out groups (ex: colored chips make it easy to separate people into pairs, small groups or larger groups by calling out colors or a combination of colors), what format or software version you will need his or her presentation, and the approximate number and timing of breaks.  When reviewing a proposed training outline, look for activities that will change the pace every 20 minutes or so.   Believe it or not, one sign of experienced trainers is if they ask about their ability to adjust the thermostat, particularly if the training will be done after-hours when the usual support staff of the organization may not be available.
  1. What contingencies could have a negative impact on the learning environment and how would you handle them? Listen for a solution-oriented attitude of “making it work.” Common contingencies include technology failures, an inordinately low or unexpectedly high turnout of participants, extreme lateness on the part of a large percentage of the group, disruptive and/or hostile participants, groups which, as a whole, refuse to participate in interactive exercises, trust issues, and the presence of management who might have a freezing influence on discussion.
  2. How should we measure the effectiveness of this training and will you help us develop a tool? That which gets measured, gets done. A good trainer’s recommended metrics will be tied as closely as possible to seeing a change in the participants’ on-the-job, post-training behavior. Although you will probably still want participants to complete the traditional reaction-level survey and possibly even a pre– and post-training knowledge quiz, what you really want is a behavior-level evaluation tool.  The easiest way of creating one is for the trainer to list specific behaviors that managers can expect to see either performed or stopped because of the training.  A trainer’s answer to this question gives insight into whether he or she really cares about the long-term value of the training being provided.  If the trainer is satisfied and perhaps even appears relieved with only a reaction-level  measurement of his training, it probably means he is only interested in making a good enough immediate impression to make it to the bank to cash your check!

J Lenora BreslerJ. Lenora Bresler, JD, SPHR, ASC graduated at age 20 from law school, J. Lenora Bresler is an attorney, SPHR, and leadership and engagement speaker, author, trainer, and coach.  She is the owner of Bresler Training, LLC. dedicated to assisting organizations to create the best leaders, teams, and relationships on earth.  An in-demand keynote speaker and consultant and a favorite with HR Florida audiences for years, J. Lenora specializes in bringing strategies that can immediately be applied. Her most recent book is Instant Insight: 15 Questions to Great Relationships. J. Lenora also teaches all modules of the certification review courses for two separate universities.

J. Lenora is Immediate Past President for Mid Florida SHRM, and currently serves as Editor for the HR Florida Review Magazine.


Mar 07

Fair Labor Standards Act Changes-What We Know, What We Don’t and What You Should Do Now to Prepare

Undoubtedly every HR professional has heard by now that change is coming to the exempt classifications under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The changes we are expecting were provided by the Department of Labor (DOL) for public comment in June 2015.  They include:

  • Raising the salary threshold level to the equivalent of the 40th percentile of weekly earnings for full-time salaried workers as tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). DOL estimates that the 40th percentile will increase the salary threshold to $970 per week or $50,440 annually.
  • Setting the highly compensated employee annual compensation level equal to the 90th percentile of earnings for full-time salaried workers (estimated to be $122,148 annually).
  • Adding a new provision to automatically update the salary levels every year—either based on BLS data or changes to inflation.

Earlier this year, the Solicitor of Labor, M. Patricia Smith, shared that DOL has the authority to make changes to the duties tests as well.  Although no specific changes to the duties tests were included in the June 2015 release of the draft changes, there was an opportunity for public comment on:

  • Whether exempt employees should be required to spend a minimum amount of time on exempt work.
  • Whether the DOL should adopt the California requirement that more than 50% percent of an exempt employee’s time be spent performing exempt duties.
  • Whether the DOL should reconsider reinstating a long and short duties test (which existed prior to the 2004 regulatory amendments).
  • Whether the DOL should eliminate the concurrent duties rules (allows for performance of exempt and nonexempt duties at the same time).

The final rule revising the overtime regulations could be released by DOL as early as May 2016 or as late as October 2016.  Further, it has been strongly suggested by Ms. Smith that the time between the release of the final regulations and the effective date will be particularly short—30 or 60 days.

Given the short time expected to implement the final rule, we urge you to prepare now to address the budgetary and operational impacts of these changes.  With this much higher salary level requirement, a substantial number of employees who are currently classified as exempt will be reclassified as non-exempt and will then be subject to the overtime requirements.

Here are some steps you may want to take in preparation of the upcoming changes:

  1. Confirm that your current job descriptions accurately reflect the actual job duties performed by each exempt position.
  2. Identify all exempt positions that will not satisfy the salary level test of $50,440.
  3. Develop a plan for how you will respond. Will you increase the salary to the new minimum or reclassify the position to non-exempt?  And, if you reclassify the position to non-exempt, will you maintain the current salary level given the position will now be overtime eligible?
  4. Talk to your organizational leaders and managers to give them a heads up that these changes are coming. The impact to your organization could be significant.
  5. Talk to your employees. Let them know you are monitoring the situation and are currently working to develop a plan of action within your organization.  There are tough choices ahead, but the more lead time you can provide to your currently classified exempt employees, the greater the opportunity for acceptance of the changes.

joycex125Joyce has over 30 years of progressive human resources experience in the private sector environment.  She holds a Business Administration degree from Emmanuel College, Franklin Springs, GA; was awarded Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation by the Human Resources Certification Institute and holds an Advanced Certificate in Internal Investigations.

She has served on the board of the HR Florida State Council since 2007 and currently serves as Immediate Past President.  She has been a member of the Florida State University Center for Human Resource Management Board since 2008 and was a Board Member of the Big Bend Society for Human Resource Management from 2006 through 2009, serving as President in 2008.  She served on the Big Bend Business Leadership Network Board from 2005 until 2007 and currently serves on the Springtime Tallahassee Foundation Board.  She is a past-president of Extra Point Club, a Florida State University Seminole Booster organization.

Joyce has been named a Tallahassee Volunteer of the Year Finalist and Leon County Schools Volunteer of the Year.  She was selected as one of the “Twenty-five Women You Should Know in Tallahassee” and was honored with the designation of the Florida Resources Professional of the Year in 2008.  In 2009, the Florida Trend Magazine featured her as a Trendsetter in Human Resources.


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