Newsletter Detail

February 2020 - MVHRA Connections






Check out these exciting Human Resources job opportunities:

  • Human Resources Generalist – Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services
  • HR Assistant - (company undisclosed)
  • Recruiter – Graceworks Support Services
  • Recruitment Coordinator and Administrative Assistant Intern – Applied Optimization (AO)
  • Recruitment and Business Process Coordinator – Applied Optimization (AO)
  • HR Manager – Regal Beloit America, Inc.
  • HR Coordinator – Cornerstone Research Group, Inc.

Details regarding employment opportunities can be found on the MVHRA website.





















By Matt Bakota


At our February luncheon, Tim Furlong spoke on “Productive Conflict.”  Although it was just a passing comment, Tim noted that 2020 is an “election year” in which a good deal of conflict probably should be expected. 


Tim’s comment and his presentation got me thinking about something that I admire about you folks in the HR profession.  One of the things that many of you strive to do is be cordial and respectful in your professional communications with others.  That includes communications in which you’re delivering difficult news that people may not want to hear.  Sometimes, you’re tasked with delivering the worst news that someone may hear in a year or even a decade.  Doing such things in a professional and respectful way, with the other person in mind, is an extremely difficult and underappreciated skill that I think is a hallmark of the HR profession. 


In many of your professional communications, there is an unmistakable undercurrent of conflict and/or potential conflict that you are working carefully to manage.  It’s tough to imagine what workplace communications might look like if HR professionals suddenly stopped caring.  Maybe they would look a lot like social media and “comment” sections on websites do these days.  But, because I’ve gotten to know and respect so many of you through MVHRA, I don’t expect that to ever happen at least here in the Miami Valley.   


To sum it up, my guess is that in 2020 people will appreciate, on some level, just about any cordial and respectful communications they come across.  That includes at work, even if they may not be pleased with the news that’s being relayed to them.  So, please consider this an acknowledgment and a thank you, in advance, for continuing to do what you do, day in and day out, within your organizations.  The careful attention you give to your communications with others may be far more “productive” than we could ever imagine.



Lessons from the Lawn Chair: What Youth Sporting Events Taught Me About Talent Management


By Steve Black (via LinkedIn)


When it comes to youth sports, “experts” abound on both sides of the field. At my son’s most recent soccer tournament, I found myself joining other parents doing our version of “coaching” from our parent-side lawn chairs. Yes, I believe I was correct, but so did every other parent. After receiving a few glances from my wife, I realized I needed to stop instructing and start encouraging the kids. My wife’s corrective action caused me to start observing player behavior as they received contradictory instructions from parents and coaches. What confusion! This scene caused me to think of recent talent management work challenges. Epiphanies exploded as I saw on-field parallels with current workplace challenges. I began to watch youth sports with an eye toward how they mirror workplace talent management. 


Here is what I learned:


1.      Without a single voice, confusion and tears will reign


The enthusiastic seven-year-old raced down the soccer field chasing the ball. On the player sideline, the coach yelled “Get back in your position!” On the fan sideline, the father yelled “Go get the ball and score a goal!” What was the child to do? Two authority figures yelled out contradictory directives. I have seen such situations bring children to tears. The child was in a no-win situation where s/he learned little about the game and even worse, lost the initial excitement to play.


Sound familiar in some workplaces? A direct supervisor gives an employee a directive without communicating with other indirect supervisors. The employee has mounting work and confusion regarding what to do first. Many times, lack of clarity (e.g.—deadlines, purpose, coordination with other leaders) goes by the wayside due to everyone’s “busyness.” If an employee does not feel empowered, s/he will let the work pile up and eventually quit. It is the responsibility of leadership to create a common voice and ensure all team-members are moving in the same direction. 


2.      Knowing the skill level and desire of a player is key to know how to teach them


When coaching youth sports, players of all levels of willingness and ability step onto the field. Some kids come to practice excited while others are practically shoved out of the car by a parent. In addition, some kids come with the ability and skills to perform at a high level. Other kids, well, not so much. It is easy to plan a “one size fits all” practice or game plan. Although easy on paper, it seldom works. Successful teams have coaches, who recognize individual and team abilities and desires. Those, who recognize and adjust, create cultures where fun and development reign.


Workplaces must recognize individual team-member’s ability and willingness to do the job if they are going to create an engaged team. Managers and leaders must adapt how they train, develop, and manage overall performance management to fit the willingness and ability levels of each team-member. Failing to do so minimizes effectiveness, creates frustration, and ultimately leads to lessened trust. All of these result in lower productivity and higher turnover.


3.      Skill development happens in real time and with many mistakes


Kids step on to fields needing skill development. Sure, a coach can put them through several drills and simulations, but nothing replaces real game-time experience. Playing the game creates better understanding. Yes, isolated drills help with player development, but it is hard to recreate game-like situations without playing a game. I call this “development in the flow of the game.” Mistakes happen, often. These mistakes are so valuable to overall player improvement. When properly coached, a player learns from the mistakes and is encouraged to keep trying without fearing mistakes. Without mistakes, it is likely that the player is not learning and growing.


In the workplace, real growth and learning takes place “in the flow of work.” Isolated training has its place, but it is my experience that when an employee gets the opportunity to learn while working (even in a simulated atmosphere) s/he better understands the context. Now, this does not mean throwing a new employee into the job without proper scaffolding. Sometimes this scaffolding includes watching, asking questions, doing, messing up, and relearning. These are essential. Just like with sports, employees need a long time to improve and master a skill. When given the time and trust to learn “in the flow of work,” employees experience less anxiety and gain a deeper appreciation for and ability to do the job. 


4.      Yelling typically accomplishes little


If you attend youth sports, you have seen it. A coach or parent makes a complete fool of him/herself by yelling and screaming. These people appear to have little awareness of what they are doing. Most of the time, you can spot their child. S/he is the one looking embarrassed. As a motivational tool, this rarely has the intended effect. In the end, respect is lost and effectiveness diminishes.


Supervisors and co-workers can play a similar role to the sports “yellers.” An employee makes an error or does something wrong, and another person loses control. Yes, the employee in the wrong may deserve negative feedback, but losing one’s temper only fuels resentment, and it rarely produces positive outcomes. The workplace should be filled with people, who know how to interact in respectful ways. However, some toxic workplaces fail to do this. In most cases, these places find themselves with lower morale.


5.      Emotional intelligence matters on and off the field


Players, parents, and coaches all face stress during a sporting event. Such events are a prime place to better understand emotional intelligence. Emotions often run high for players, parents, and coaches during intense game situations. For instance, pitchers face immense pressure. All eyes are on them when they take the mound. Good pitchers often crumble due to the stress and anxiety brought on by a “bad outing.” The great pitchers recognize these times, and they regulate their emotions to overcome their struggles. On the sidelines, the coaches and parents, who can identify times of frustration (e.g.—a bad call by a referee or umpire) reduce their chances of embarrassing themselves and their child(ren) by regulating what they say and do.


In the workplace, emotional intelligence is being identified as a driving force of the most successful workers. According to Daniel Goleman’s research, “When I compared star performers with average ones in senior leadership positions, nearly 90% of the difference in their profiles was attributed to emotional intelligence factors rather than cognitive abilities” (Goleman, Daniel. “What Makes a Leader.” Harvard Business Review, January 2004). Organizations with high levels of emotional intelligence will lead their sectors of the economy. Are there exceptions? Sure, but I question their long-term viability and success. 


6.      Trust = competence and character


Stephen MR Covey breaks trust into two components: competence and character. I define competence as the ability to do or understand a task/topic and character as being truthful and having integrity. As I watch youth athletes, I see that some possess a greater degree of trust from their teammates and coaches than others. For instance, on the soccer field, it is easy to see the players, who have the competence to make a pass, take a shot, or defend an opposing player. In addition, these same players can be trusted to do what they say they will do. Sure, there are some players, who say they will do something (e.g.—make a solid pass), and they sincerely intend to do so. But, in the end, their competence is not on par with their intended character. This does not make them a bad person. However, it does affect the level of trust other players and coaches have for their abilities.


The workplace has many levels of people when it comes to competence and character. There are some people, who genuinely want to do a task right, but they do not have the competence to do so. There are other people, who have the competence, but they do not have the character to do what they say they will do. High performance organizations, teams, and workers build trust. They have the competence and character to get the job done. They produce results in line with what they promise to do. Such cultures improve all aspects of an organization. For more about this subject, please see my blog entitled “Trust…the Ultimate Competitive Advantage.” 


There are many more lessons to explore, but I will save that for another time. In the end, people are people. Whether they are playing youth sports or in the prime of their career, universal truths exist. We can learn much about effective talent management by slowing down, grabbing a lawn chair, and watching kids play ball!



Successful Job Preparedness Opportunities Provided for Senior HR Majors 


In January and February, two job preparedness events were held for the Senior Capstone class for HR majors at Wright State University. These events were organized by Beth Mitrousis and Dr. Kim Lukaszewski of the College Relations Committee.


First, each student received a professional resume review from MVHRA members who shared what employers are looking for in today’s job market resume. Second, the students participated in mock interviews which allowed them to be interviewed by a MVHRA professional. They received feedback on their interviewing style and tips and suggestions to help improve on future interviews.


Thanks to all MVHRA members who shared their expertise and volunteered for these events to help make them a success. Companies represented included DMax Ltd., Enginetics, Fern Expo, JL HR Consulting, South Community, LS Benefits Group, MVCC, Recless Technologies, Acco Brands and Right Management.


The feedback received from the students was very positive. Participants believed it gave them realistic insights into what HR professionals are looking for from job seekers. The resume feedback provided valuable advice on how best to present themselves to a potential employer. The students shared that the mock interviews allowed them to get detailed feedback and advice to improve. They also stated this was a valuable experience and recommended it should continue for Capstone classes in the future.



Reminder:  MVHRA Legal Services Plan Available 


MVHRA has an agreement with local attorneys to provide a legal services plan for MVHRA members (the “Plan”).  The Plan is available again for 2020 and is included as part of your current membership at no additional charge.  Further details available at


Note:  You must be a MVHRA member AND logged into to access this service within the "MY MVHRA" link at the top of the page.



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March 10, 2020


 Luncheon: Getting the Right Talent to The Table

Speaker: Patrick McHale

Location: Sinclair Community College

Time: 11:15 AM - 11:30 AM: Registration & Networking

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM: Announcements & Lunch

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Speaker


Credits: This program is being submitted for approval of recertification credits by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) and for SHRM Professional Development Credit (PDC).



Kathleen Carlson, CFA®
Vice President | Financial Advisor


7812 McEwen Road, Suite 400 | Dayton, OH 45459
937.223.0600 (ext. 29112) | 919.870.8891 fax |800.216.0645 toll free |



March 31, 2020


Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce: Talent 360

Location: Sinclair Community College

Time: 7:30 AM - 1:15 PM:


MVHRA and the Dayton Chamber are excited to present Talent 360 on March 31st, 2020.  Watch MVHRA members discuss how HR Professional Navigate the Skills Revolution.  The event will be held at the Sinclair Conference Center.


Talent 360 addresses every function for professionals in HR, Recruitment, Hiring, Retention, Onboarding and Compliance. This event includes a variety of breakout sessions with panel discussions on the skills revolution, plus an in-depth look at the legal hot topics and integrating conflict resolution into your company's culture.


Keynote speaker: Dr. Thomas Traynor, Professor of Economics and Dean of the Raj Soin College of Business at Wright State University


Attendees will also network, collaborate and benchmark with their peers and exhibitors to better align their talent strategies.




Ninth Annual OELS: How To Engage Employees: S.O.A.R., Positive Culture & The Power of Conversations

Speakers: Dr. Jackie Stavros, Scott McGohan

Location: Wright State University Nutter Center, Berry Room

Time: 7:30 AM - 12:00 PM


This event will address questions, such as:

• What is the S.O.A.R. framework that inspires innovation and engagement at any level?
• How do we harness the power of small conversations to create engagement?
• How do we design organizational experiences for employees in a holistic way (e.g. building strengths,
maintaining mental health, creating engagement)?
• When and how do we engage employees to design and implement organizational change?
• How do we create the resilience in people and in an organization to persevere through challenging moments?

For more information or to register, visit


Credits: This program is being submitted for approval of recertification credits by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI).



April 14, 2020


Luncheon: Financial Stress in the Workplace

Speaker:  Kathleen Carlson 

Location: Sinclair Community College

Time: 11:15 AM - 11:30 AM: Registration & Networking

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM: Announcements & Lunch

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Speaker


Credits: This program is being submitted for approval of recertification credits by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) and for SHRM Professional Development Credit (PDC). 



April 23, 2020

2020 HR Collaborative Annual Conference

Location: Sharonville Convention Center

Time: 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM: 


Register now for the HR Collaborative Annual Conference taking place on April 23rd, 2020 in Cincinnati! Alicia Rainwater and Thane Maynard are the keynote speakers. The Miami Valley Human Resource Association is proud to support the conference! 



May 12, 2020


Workshop: How to Find Confidence in Conflict and Negotiate Effectively 

Speaker: Kwame Christian

Location: Sinclair Community College

Time: 7:45 AM - 8:00 AM: Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:00 AM - 11:15 AM: Professional Development Workshop


Credits: This program is being submitted for approval of recertification credits by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) and for SHRM Professional Development Credit (PDC).


Luncheon: Employee Engagement Or Employee Encagement: Have We Got It All Wrong? 

Speaker: Davis Robinson 

Location: Sinclair Community College

Time: 11:15 AM - 11:30 AM: Registration & Networking

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM: Announcements & Lunch

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Speaker


Credits: This program is being submitted for approval of recertification credits by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) and for SHRM Professional Development Credit (PDC).



June 9, 2020


Luncheon: HR Legal Update

Speaker: Jeff Mullins, Taft

Location: Sinclair Community College

Time: 11:15 AM - 11:30 AM: Registration & Networking

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM: Announcements & Lunch

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Speaker


Credits: This program is being submitted for approval of recertification credits by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) and for SHRM Professional Development Credit (PDC).






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