2019 Human Resources Forum Highlights

The Unified Group held its first Human Resources Forum October 9th - 12th in Rosemont, IL.  Day one started off with Rita Craig, President of Top Tier Leadership, discussing and sharing best practices on building a high-performance work environment including; trends in human resources, branding your company, managing talent, training and development and performance management.  Pamela Lambiase (VHV Company) and Juan Flores (Blauch Brothers, Inc.) talked about what their companies are doing to recruit into the trades, as everyone is struggling to find technicians.  The day ended with Susan DiGraitis (Tebarco Mechanical) sharing how they on-board their employees and the processes that she has put in place to make sure all employees have the same experience.  “It was really great to work through issues with others, sharing great ideas and resolutions.  There was a lot of value in this.” Amy Hansen, Cox-Powell Corporation

On day two, the group heard from Bill Judge, Founding Member of the Drug Screening Compliance Institute.  He gave the Human Resource professionals information on medical marijuana and how to address issues that are arising due to legalization as well as advice on how company drug policies should be written.  The group shared some best technology ideas they have implemented; Juan Flores (Blauch Brothers, Inc.) discussed how they are using Docusign to collect signatures and their GIS Benefits Portal,  Mendi Arnold (Cullum Mechanical Construction) told the group about Benefit First and how much time it has saved them in the office by having their employees utilize the portal, and Susan DiGraitis (Tebarco Mechanical) talked about how they use Kronos Time Tracker and Paperless Pay to become more efficient.  The group had a breakout session to share and get feedback on solving the greatest challenge they are currently facing.  Pamela Lambiase (VHV Company) informed the group how they have started an accredited apprenticeship program in Vermont.  The day ended with Danielle Lang (Glassman Corp.) and Mike Biske (B&I Contractors) walking the group through how each of them give and track performance appraisals.  “The breakout sessions are what I love about the forums. It’s a chance to talk about real challenges and get good, relevant feedback.” Gretchen Riddle, A&G Piping

On day three, Brian Martinenza, Jr. (Service Unlimited, Inc.) and Shantel Bradley (Standard Plumbing & Heating) shared their off-boarding process and what information and equipment they gather when an employee is leaving or being asked to leave their organization.  We rounded out the day with a discussion on benefits member organizations are offering to see if anyone was doing anything unique to differentiate themselves in their market.   “Great forum and one of the best HR focused meetings I’ve attended in my career.” Shantel Bradley, Standard Plumbing & Heating

Special thanks to our task force who interviewed speakers and created the agenda for this session: Mike Biske (B&I Contractors), Danielle Lang (Glassman Corp.), Juan Flores (Blauch Brothers, Inc.) and Susan DiGraitis (Tebarco Mechanical).