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Summer 2015

In This Issue!

Upcoming Events

June 12thStrengthening Organizations Through Solid Human Resource Practices (Annual 1-Day Conference)

August 20th CNY SHRM Salary/Total Rewards Survey Debrief

September 10th Paying for Performance

September 20th 2015 NYS SHRM Conference

October 8th Legal Update

Looking For a New Career Opportunity?
Need to Hire an HR Professional?

When you are ready for a transition, or when you need to hire an HR professional at any level, remember that CNY SHRM offers a free job posting service! Click here to check out the latest postings. 

Employers—send any requests to post your HR openings to [email protected].

New CNY SHRM Website

Have you seen the new CNY SHRM website? We are excited to announce that it has been recently redesigned by Chair 2 Marketing. The new site is more streamlined and easy to navigate. Check it out today!

Management Tip of the Day

Harvard Business Review
April 8, 2015
Rethink Your Employees’ Cross-Cultural Training
Most managers make a mistake when it comes to cross-cultural training: they focus only on explaining what the cultural differences are. Understanding these differences is important, but you can’t stop there. Once people learn how behaviors and norms differ across cultures, the real challenge becomes learning to adapt and adjust their own behavior to work with others. So help your employees take the next step in their cross-cultural training. Assess what skills they need to develop to better work across cultures, and then integrate training into their actual work. Cross-cultural training doesn’t happen with a manual, website, or off-site. You have to give employees opportunities to practice and hone their skills in the actual contexts where they’ll need to use them. Bring people from different backgrounds together for long-term projects, encourage mentorships, and initiate group discussions for people to voice what they’re learning and what they’re struggling with.

Adapted from “The Mistake Most Managers Make with Cross-Cultural Training” by Andy Molinsky.

Need to Renew your Membership?

• To renew your National SHRM Membership, click here

• To renew your CNY SHRM Membership, please complete the Primary Chapter Designation Form.

Please email the form to: [email protected]

Volunteer Opportunities

CNY SHRM operates through the leadership of our volunteers who give their time to further the mission of the association.  Serving as a volunteer is a great way to give back to the HR community and to network with your peers.  It is also a great way to broaden and build your leadership skills. Get Involved!


Don’t Miss the CNY SHRM Annual One-Day Conference!

There is still time to register for the CNY SHRM Annual One-Day Conference, taking place on Friday, June 12 at the Doubletree Hotel in East Syracuse.  The full-day agenda is brimming with useful content that every local HR professional can benefit from.  Of particular note:

  • Lou DiLorenzo, Esq., of Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, will give a fresh spin on an important topic – workplace harassment.  In his breakfast keynote, he will discuss the most common misconceptions and mistakes that he encounters in his practice, and provide guidance on how to avoid them.
  • Jesan Sorrells’ dynamic lunch keynote will give you new tools for conflict resolution.
  • Susan Post of SHRM will provide an introduction to the new SHRM certification program.
  • The always-popular “Ask the Experts” session will once again provide attendees with an open forum to discuss their most vexing compliance problems.
  • Break-out sessions will cover a broad spectrum of other practical topics, including I-9 compliance, healthcare cost control, EAP programs and communication styles.

This year’s program promises not to disappoint!  Come, network with your HR peers across CNY, and enjoy a day of learning at the Doubletree. While there, make an effort to visit our sponsor tables and convey your appreciation for their support of CNY SHRM. Their sponsorship dollars help keep CNY SHRM programs affordable. We could not run our programs without them!

Click here for more information and to register.

 Join the CNY SHRM Compensation & Benefits Survey!

Once again, CNY SHRM is offering a compensation and benefits survey exclusively focused on the CNY market.  The survey is open right now, and will close on June 26th (no extensions!)  Organizations that participate receive the results of the survey completely free!  Job categories and positions represented in the survey include:

  • Administrative/Clerical
  • Human Services
  • Sales
  • Engineering
  • Information Technology
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Customer Service
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing  

Participate in the Survey Now!

Legal Q & A

Katie Schafer, Esq.By: Katherine Schafer, Esq., CNY SHRM Legislative Chair
[email protected]
Question: What do I need to know about the NLRB’s new Guidance on Employee Handbook Rules?
Answer: Recently, the General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) published Guidance Memorandum Number GC 15-04 providing specific examples of lawful and unlawful employee handbook rules regarding confidentiality, employee conduct, use of company logos and trademarks, conflicts of interest, photography/recording, interaction with the media/third parties, and leaving work (i.e., walking off the job).  Both the General Counsel and the NLRB have closely scrutinized many of these common handbook provisions over the past few years with respect to whether the rules have a chilling effect on the right of employees to engage in protected concerted activity under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. “Protected concerted activity” includes the right to engage in union organizing, but also includes the right to discuss, challenge, question, and advocate changes in wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.  Importantly, these rights extend to employees in both unionized and non-unionized workplaces.  Accordingly, all employers need to be aware of the NLRB’s position on employee handbook rules regardless of whether their employees are unionized.
The General Counsel’s memo is helpful to employers in that it explains the NLRB’s concerns with respect to each type of policy and it provides some specific examples of policies found to be lawful and unlawful.  However, employers should proceed with caution before relying too heavily on the guidance.  A comparison of the examples provided confirms that as little as one or two words can mean the difference between a lawful policy and an unlawful policy.  Additionally, the guidance stresses that the context in which the policy appears can be a key factor in the analysis. That is, an otherwise unlawful policy may have been found lawful because the surrounding provisions in the handbook provided the clarity necessary for employees to understand that it was not restricting their Section 7 rights. Of course the opposite is also true; an otherwise lawful policy could be found unlawful based on the context in which it appears.
The issuance of this guidance signifies that employee handbook policies will continue to face close scrutiny from the NLRB.  Employers should consider reviewing and revising their policies to eliminate broad prohibitions and the use of generic terms that may be construed to restrict Section 7 activity.  Appropriate context and clarifying examples should also be provided whenever possible.
Please note that the material contained in this column is intended to provide general information and understanding about the law for educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice, nor should it be used or relied upon as a substitute for consultation with competent legal counsel.

Diversity & Workforce Readiness

diversity imageThe CNY SHRM Diversity & Workforce Readiness Committee has been working with an after school program at the South West Community Center for the past two years with a focus on career exploration.  On Wednesday, May 20, 2015 we arranged for a tour of a local company for the middle school students who participate in the program.  Ten students and two chaperones from the SWCC  along with two CNY SHRM Diversity & Workforce Readiness Committee members (James Branche, PHR, SHRM-CP and Mary Anne Ciccarelli, SPHR) took a tour of UnitedRadio® in East Syracuse. They were able to see a Customer Service area, Research and Development, shipping and receiving and one of the technology areas.  We received word from UnitedRadio that that the tour went well and employees throughout the building found the students to be very polite.

Congratulations to the Diversity & Workforce Committee for spearheading such a meaningful initiative with the SWCC. The committee is always looking for new members; if you are interested in getting involved, please contact Melanie Woodward.

Save the Date:
Paying for Performance – Mythical No More!

peopleIt is not too early to mark your calendar for an exciting CNY SHRM event this fall.  On Thursday,  September 10, 2015, we are pleased to host HR Consultant Jennifer Loftus from Astron Solutions right here in Central New York.
Jennifer will speak about performance-based pay.  For decades, employers have attempted to link pay and employee performance, with mixed results. These processes may be met with frustration, particularly as the economy continues to improve from the depths of the Great Recession while salary increase budgets remain low.  In addition, talented employees are finding more job opportunities than before, and are open to changing employers. This program will interactively explore the newest approaches to pay for performance while remaining sensitive to organizational financial pressures.  Jennifer will review trend data on employee retention, motivation, & engagement, the dilemmas raised by historical pay for performance programs, and approaches for successfully linking pay and performance moving forward.

Certification Prep Course & Teaching Opportunity

certificationThe CNY SHRM Chapter and LeMoyne College have again joined forces to offer a SHRM Learning System instructor-led course to expand your human resource knowledge and prepare you for the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) or the SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) exam. This course will be offered in the Fall and Spring semesters.  Information about this course will be available on our cnyshrm website in the near future.

In anticipation of offering the course in the Fall, the Center for Continuing Education at Le Moyne College is looking to hire two instructors to teach the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP Certification Preparation Course on campus beginning in September, 2015.  If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity and/or to apply, please visit the CNY SHRM job postings page.

2015 New York State SHRM Conference    

networkingRegistration for the 2015 NYS SHRM conference and solution center is now open. The conference will be held September 20 – 22 at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, NY.

There will be FIVE amazing keynote presentations, EIGHT awesome BONUS sessions to choose from and a variety of authors, consultants, business leaders, attorneys and HR practitioners in the mix of presenters.

NYS SHRM has requested 19 Professional Development credits from SHRM to support your SHRM Certifications (SHRM-SCP or SHRM-CP). They have also requested 19 recertification credits from HRCI in the areas of PHR (Professional in Human Resources), SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) and GPHR (Global Professional in Human Resources) certifications.

Networking with your peers will allow you the opportunity to hear new ideas, share common issues and strategies from a different perspective. Connecting with other HR practitioners will broaden your network of contacts and help further your own career.

Sign up today by going to For additional information you may visit the NYS SHRM web site at

SHRM-CP & SHRM-SCP Certifications
SHRM Preferred Provider

CNY SHRM is now recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. More information regarding these certifications is available on the National SHRM website.