Key Takeaways from NELSONtalks Business: East Bay
Nelson Welcomes East Bay Professionals to NELSONtalks Business for Engaging Sessions and Networking Opportunities
Held on Wednesday, April 25 at the Lafayette Park Hotel, Nelson’s first-ever East Bay NELSONtalks Business event was a tremendous success! More than a typical East Bay HR conference, NELSONtalks Business provided attendees with concrete tips and strategies to solve a variety of business and HR challenges.
The morning opened with Nelson’s Vice President of HR, Lisa Johnson, welcoming attendees. An engaging host, she introduced the session speakers and topics and broke the ice with interactive polls designed to help everyone get to know who all was in attendance.
The Economy of Labor in the East Bay: Trends and Predictions for a Shared Future
Dr. Robert Eyler, Professor of Economics at Sonoma State University and President of Economic Forensics and Analytics, Inc.
Dr. Eyler’s uncanny ability to break down complicated economic concepts and data and share how that data is relevant to everyone on a day-to-day basis makes him a favorite speaker among NELSONtalks attendees. His session for this NELSONtalks Business event did not disappoint.
Many attendees expressed concerns about talent availability, and the impact of economic conditions on labor markets. Dr. Eyler drew parallels between national, state, and local economic trends. He used these trends to explain in detail how tight housing market conditions, wage pressures, record-low unemployment rates, record-high housing prices, and changing commute patterns are impacting the availability of talent. He shared economic growth forecasts that that predict continued steady job growth throughout California and the East Bay through 2026. And with increasing job opportunities in nearly every sector except agriculture–especially in healthcare, energy technology, and services–the California economy is expected to continue its steady upward climb for the near future.
Victims, Villains, and Heroes Workshop: Managing the Emotions of Work
Don Phin, Esq., Founder and President of HR That Works (acquired by ThinkHR in January 2014)
Don covered how to avoid emotional gamesmanship in the workplace and create a culture of shared productivity. He discussed how, in interpersonal communications, people default to playing the role of “the victim,” “the villain,” or “the hero.” He described the characteristics of each of these roles, as well as what happens when they interact. He also provided many examples from his personal and professional life of how these roles take shape.
Don’s takeaway for attendees focused on communication not being split 80/20 (as many relationships of varying power dynamics are split), or even 50/50 (as many would assume is ideal). He shared that communication is an ideal balance when it is 40/40. This allows both parties room to step forward and lead when appropriate or necessary and avoids confrontation, aggression, and victimization. He also provided several examples and strategies for achieving this balance in the workplace.
Hire Power: Legal Trends in California Hiring
Jennifer Shaw, Esq., Founder, Shaw Law Group
A dynamic speaker, Jennifer provided crucial updates on legal requirements for hiring in California for employers in attendance. She covered recent “Ban the Box” rules focused on consideration of criminal history when offering employment. Perhaps most importantly, she shared what steps employers need to take (and in what order they need to take them) to comply with the new requirements. She also reviewed new gender identity laws, and the background behind and requirements of Equal Pay Act developments.
Many employers falsely believe they are safe from litigation because they use a vendor to provide background checks. However, Jennifer pointed out that many vendors do not comply with various state and local requirements. And, if they don’t, employers may still be liable for the mistakes of the vendor. She recommended everyone check with their vendors to ensure their processes are compliant. She also stressed the importance of updating employment applications to remove gender/sex inquiries, criminal history inquiries (unless the employer in question is exempt from the “ban the box” requirements), and salary history inquiries.
The entire Nelson team would like to say a huge thank-you to everyone who joined us for this inaugural event in the East Bay. If you missed this event, please join us on May 2nd in the North Bay, or on May 17th in Sacramento for our other 2018 Northern California NELSONtalks events. Or feel free to reach out to your Nelson representative to receive a copy of the East Bay NELSONtalks presentation materials.