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Written by Barbara Irwin on .

Russ Obrien and Gido
Growth and Ownership Strategies Conference

November 8-10 2017
Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, FL


AE Advisors CEO Forum

The Phoenician Resort
February 26-28 2018

2018 HR Leadership Connection for Engineering and Architecture

Written by Barbara Irwin on .


Connect with colleagues, share your stories and grow in your career.

HR Advisors Group is excited to host our second HR Leadership Connection, bringing together the brightest HR minds in the engineering and architecture consulting communities to discover and dissect the latest issues facing the fields. As the dynamics of our consulting fields continually evolve, it’s crucial for HR professionals to evaluate best practices and tools that will allow their organizations to stay current and competitive. This interactive two-day conference will include keynote presentations, panels and roundtable discussions that offer tangible solutions to prepare your organization for the next generation workforce. In addition, the event provides an unrivaled opportunity to network with peers and colleagues from across the nation to share your personal experiences and learn from each other. Don’t miss this roundtable!

Here are a few highlights of the 2018 program:

Social Networking in the Workplace –
the Blurred Line between Personal and Professional
Jason Branciforte
Littler Mendelson, PC

How Your Firm’s People Can Launch (or Torpedo) Your Strategic Plan
Ray Kogan and Cara Bobchek
Kogan & Company

Emotional Intelligence as a Gateway to HR Excellence
Cyndi Branciforte
HR Advisors Group

Is Retention Overrated?
Ahmed Kurtom
Design Force

The 115th Congress and the Trump Administration: The Washington Outlook for HR Public Policy
SHRM Representative

A CEO Panel on Leadership Issues

An HR Panel on Looking at the HR Profession from a Generational Lens

Registration will open in January!

This event will take place in the Mosaic District Hyatt House in Fairfax, Virginia

Stay tuned for more information or contact Barbara Irwin
at 703.476.4025 or moc.puorgsrosivdarhnull@niwrihb

The Importance of Families During the Holidays

Written by Barbara Irwin on .

The holidays to me are always a time of family. We surround ourselves with those we love, people that bring us joy and happiness, with whom we create new memories while reminiscing about days of past. It’s a special time that I look forward to every year.

I reflect often about family during the holidays. I think about how for many of us, our coworkers are family as well. These are people that we see day in and day out, with whom we create and share memories, laugh and cry, celebrate new experiences, and participate in life journeys. Many of my coworkers over the years have become lifelong friends.

The same goes for clients, partners, customers and other individuals in your professional life. I sometimes think that if we looked at the entire business landscape through the lens of family, that we’d be a more productive, cooperative and successful society.

Obviously as HR professionals we often see the other side of the coin. The disputes, in-fighting, unprofessional behavior, etc., but I’d say for the most part those experiences are few and far between.

With the year drawing to a close and where it seems every time we turn on the TV, radio or look around us we see so much hate, distrust and condemnation, I’d like to offer up a holiday wish for everyone.  I hope for all of you, nothing but the best within your families both at home and in the workplace. I hope the New Year brings joy, happiness, cooperation, new experiences and success. From all of us here at HR Advisors Group, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Riding Off Into the Sunset in Style – Ensuring Smooth Knowledge Transfer and Retention for Retiring Employees

Written by Barbara Irwin on .


My husband recently retired and his firm held a lovely party to send him off. It was a wonderful event and he was deeply touched for the recognition that they showed him for his years of service to the company.

As we were driving home, I began reflecting that many friends and colleagues will be attending these parties over the next few years as the Baby Boomers finally decide to retire.

As an HR professional, I’ve been involved in reviewing, writing and implementing various retirement and recognition policies over the years. Many firms have rewarded their employees’ long-term service both when they leave and while they’re still employed. Some firms give extra vacation time with year milestones (5,10,15, etc.), allow them select from a gift registry and some even have explicit policies for retirement gatherings and send-offs. It’s important to have robust programs and policies to ensure your employees are recognized for their commitment to your organization.

However, while festivities and recognition are very important to ensure that your retiring employees feel the ‘love and commitment’ for their service, for the company and the employee, the transition meeting is probably the most important part of an employee retiring. This is the meeting that formally ends the employment relationship. At this meeting, it’s critical for the organization to work with the retiring employee to make sure that the employee understands and has all questions answered regarding 401(k) plans, pensions, health insurance and other items that are considered retirement benefits.  A well-organized transition meeting gives employees the peace of mind on important factors that will have an impact on the next chapter in their life.

One of the areas that has become more of a hot topic today around employee retirement is knowledge transfer. Many organizations are starting to recognize that as employees exit the workforce, the knowledge they have obtained throughout their career goes with them.  Thus, it’s absolutely critical for organizations to take a long and hard look at their current knowledge retention and transfer programs, succession plans and their overall transition retirement plans to ensure that they are creating effective programs and capturing the relevant information that is critical to the future success of the organization.

While knowledge transfer is an important part of the retirement transition session, this is something that ideally is done well before an employee’s departure.  Not only does knowledge transfer provide a strong foundation for future employees to continue to learn and be mentored by these retiring employees, it’s also a gesture that signals to retiring employees that the organization values their insights, knowledge and expertise.

Retirement can be a difficult decision for a lot of employees. Ensuring that your retiring employees have a smooth transition out of the organization is one step to mitigate some of the added stress with such an important life decision. It’s also absolutely critical that your organization ensures that these retiring employees’ expertise and knowledge stays with the firm and can be leveraged for continued organizational success.  It’s a win-win for the employee and the organization if both are handled with professional care and importance.

A Moment of Thankfulness

Written by Barbara Irwin on .

It’s hard to believe that the holidays are here again. It seems with every passing year, the season creeps up on me faster than the year before. and faster. Heck, I’m expecting my children to walk through the door at any moment from college for their Thanksgiving holiday.

This is the time of the year where businesses often focus on “giving back” and it’s a popular time for food and gift drives, community service and other activities to make a corporate impact. These are all terrific activities, and I absolutely believe that businesses do have social responsibility. However, I was reflecting the other day on how these activities shouldn’t always necessarily be around the holidays.

I think that as organizational leaders the holidays offer a perfect opportunity to examine our corporate social responsibility policies and make sure that we’re pushing our organizations to be in a perpetual state of giving. Do you have policies in place that allow employees to regularly participate in community service? Does your business donate to nonprofits and charities? Do you encourage employees to participate in social and civic groups and pay for membership fees and other dues?

Why is this important? Besides being good corporate citizens, countless studies have shown that millennials who continue to take up a greater share of the workforce, seek out employers who have robust corporate social responsibility programs. They value these opportunities and often weigh these factors when making employment decisions.

I’d be remiss also to mention that we must as HR leaders ensure we’re also taking the time to adequately give thanks to those who matter most to our business – our employees.

Either way, whether you do it for the community recognition or recruitment value, in today’s world of seemingly increased cynicism and hate, being thankful and giving back is just good practice, both for the community and our employees.

I for one am so thankful for my team members, partners, clients and colleagues. You all make every moment of my business life richer and push me to be a better steward of the HR profession. Thank you.

From all of us here at HR Advisors Group, have a wonderful Thanksgiving, we hope it’s full of merriment and thankfulness and that the holiday season shines bright upon you and your organizations.