Vol 20 Issue 10  October 2013

Monthly Meeting

2013 Gulf Coast Conference

Topic: Absolute Honesty:  Building A Corporate Culture That Values Straight Talk and Rewards Integrity.

Keynote Speaker: Larry Johnson

Sponsor: America's First

Bank Logo

List of Full Conference Sponsors "Click Here"

When: November 8, 2013 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Location :
 Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center
One South Water Street
Mobile, AL 36602
Contact Email: lmosley@oninstaffing.com

From The President's Desk

Under ConstructionAs you know, we took on the monumental task of upgrading our website this year. Many of you have experienced challenges and frustrations when registering for events, and we greatly appreciate your patience. We’re almost done and ask for your continued partnership. The upgrade will allow us to identify you, as a select member of Mobile SHRM.

A few things to remember:
First:  You must register by creating a user id and password. (Hint: you can use the same login information used on the old website.)
Second: Feel free to email president@mobileshrm.org to report challenges and request resolution.
(If you are having issues with conference registration, you may email conference@mobileshrm.org.)
Third: The new requirement to log in when completing registration(s) will ensure that only our valued members are afforded reduced fees for events.

Thanks so much for your feedback and support as we work towards quality improvements.

Best Regards,
Kay Watson

In This Issue


Our Newest Members!

New members announced next month.




Mobile SHRM Community Service Award Nomination

Mobile SHRM is accepting nominations to honor those outstanding HR professionals that have furthered our profession by dedicating themselves in service to their community. Do you know someone that has served the community and furthered our profession this year?

If so, please email the name of the nominee and their contact information, as well as the type and name of community service to certification@mobileshrm.org before 5pm Friday, October 25, 2013.

The Annual Charity Nomination form for organizations Click Here


Click here for more information

If your company uses SAP, we want to hear from you!

Asa member of the SAP University Alliance, faculty in the Mitchell College of Business (MCOB) can train your employees on SAP.  To help us develop useful training content, we would like to know which SAP modules your company uses and your greatest challenges related to SAP.  Our value added is MCOB training covers SAP usage and explains the business reasons behind the ERP system. 
If your company would benefit from SAP software training offered by MCOB contact Dr. Marjorie Icenogle micenogle@southalabama.edu

Dis CartoonThings ‘to’ Say to People With Disabilities

Things ‘to’ Say to People With Disabilities to Promote Diversity & Inclusion

The key to interacting with a colleague who has a disability, says Nancy Starnes, vice president and chief of staff, National Organization on Disability, is to interact with the person, not the disability, particularly if you’re meeting the colleague for the first time.
“When it’s a new employee, people have to tread lightly,” says Starnes. “Give them time to learn something about their coworkers while they’re learning about you. And hopefully the very first thing you’re not going to care about is the disability. Ask them how they’re finding their new job here. Or ‘do you want any suggestions for the local restaurants where we go to lunch?’ The mantra we put out there is that it’s people first … not the disability.”
Sounds simple enough. Yet many “able-bodied” colleagues still seem to make blunders. In DiversityInc’s Things Not to Say series, we’ve given plenty of examples of insensitive comments to avoid. Now we are turning the tables and offering advice on some things to be mindful of when talking to coworkers from traditionally underrepresented groups. Here are a few ways to better communicate or ask questions to people with disabilities without offense.

1. “You may not need help, but please don’t hesitate to ask me if you do.”

The offer of help is often loaded because it presumes that the person is in need of assistance and is unable to deal with a given task or objective on his own, says Starnes, who has been in a wheelchair since being injured in a plane crash. So in most cases it’s better to wait until assistance is requested.

“I think the challenge becomes avoiding making the offer sound pejorative, because you can’t presume what anyone’s level of ability is,” says Starnes.

Alan Muir, executive director of Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities, says someone’s attempt to “help” him without asking first once nearly caused a major mishap.

“One time I was boarding a jet with my bag and doing just fine making my way up the tarmac to get into the plane,” says Muir, who stands 3 feet tall. “The engines were roaring; you couldn’t hear anything. A tarmac person … came up and grabbed me from underneath my arms and attempted to lift me up to the next step with my bag. I nearly fell backwards on top of her.”

Muir says he screamed at the attendant not to touch him, since his weight might knock them both off balance and sends them tumbling down onto the tarmac. “That was unreasonable, rude and unnecessary,” he says. “But in her mind she was trying to help. When you’re invading personal space without any kind of permission that is a definite no-no.”

In that situation, Starnes says a little communication would have gone a long way.

“The best thing to do is say, ‘You may not need any help, but please don’t hesitate to ask me if you do.’ But don’t assume the help is needed,” she says. “There are people that use wheelchairs that actually walk for short distances that wouldn’t need your help in every instance.”

2. “What is the term that you prefer?”

Black or African American? Gay or homosexual? Handicapped or a person with a disability? Labeling someone because of a preconceived notion is also a stumbling block that some otherwise well-meaning employees run into.

“When I talk to you about disability as a person with a disability, what’s the term that you prefer?” says Starnes. “Some people prefer to be called people with abilities, some have no problems with the term disability, handicapable or some term like that. But asking helps give that person the option to lead the knowledge. It says to the person with the disability … ‘You are going to teach me–I’m not presuming that I know.’ And it shows that you respect them as an individual and are not lumping them into a class.”

3. “Can I ask about your disability?”

Let’s say you’ve bonded with a coworker with a disability. You’ve chatted, gone out to lunch a few times and even developed a genuine rapport over griping about the boss. You’ve really hit it off when curiosity overcomes your judgment and you blurt out, “So how did you get this way?” How many seconds will tick off the clock before you realize what a gaffe that was?

If you feel you’ve reached a point where such a question can be asked without offense, there’s a very respectful way to do it, says Karen Putz. “Ask permission.”

Putz, who has been deaf since the age of 19 as the result of a rare family gene, says asking in a simple, respectful way will often illicit a genuine response. “I’m generally an open book about being deaf,” she said. “So for me it wouldn’t be offensive if someone said, ‘May I ask you some questions about being deaf or hard of hearing?’”

Indeed, if presented the right way, Putz says she’s more than open to sharing stories about the deaf community, seeing it as an opportunity to teach those that may want a better understanding. “The deaf and hard-of-hearing community is quite diverse, with many different communication modes used and various levels of hearing loss. If one approaches those questions with an air of respect and genuineness, the subject is more likely to be discussed without a heated debate.”

At the end of the day, you should treat a coworker with a disability as you would any other colleague in the office, says Starnes–with simple dignity and respect.

Taken from: DiversityInc website

HR Internships Needed
Spring 2014
HR students in the Mitchell College of Business are in need of Human resource management internships for spring semester.


  • Students must work at least 150 hours, approximately 10 hours per week in a 15 week semester (15 hours per week summer semester).
  • Students are engaged in meaningful HR/business work and projects, not just menial office tasks.
  • Supervisors and students jointly complete the internship applications
  • Supervisors complete two performance appraisal forms provided by the management department.
  • Students are paid at least minimum wage, unless employed by a not for profit.
  • Students maintain a log of daily activities and hours worked.
  • Students write a report describing what they learn and their experiences as an intern.

To download the Company Internship Application, please visit http://www.southalabama.edu/mcob/shrm.html or call Dr. Marjorie Icenogle (251) 460-6716.

Mobile SHRM Thanks!

Thank you

Employment Screening Services
Hargrove Engineers-Constructors
MHCA-Managed Healthcare Administration

We appreciate your support of our chapter and our mission!

** All Door Prize Donors will be recognized in our Monthly Newsletter **
For more info contact Jane Bahr
(Door prizes are needed for future meetings)

2013 Meeting Sponsorships!

Would you like to have an opportunity to market your company’s products or services to a captive audience of HR professionals? Sponsor a Mobile Society for Human Resource Management chapter meeting and you’ll have an exclusive opportunity to do just that! For only $400, sponsors may have an exhibit near the check-in table, place literature on each table, and have an opportunity to speak briefly about their companies during the meeting agenda. What could be better than that?

Limited opportunities are available, as there can be only one sponsor for each regular meeting. Contact Carol Statter at pres-elect@mshrm.org to reserve your month!
The Mobile, Alabama chapter of SHRM exists to promote quality human resource practice among local industries, businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies. We bring together leading practitioners to provide education, networking and discussion of various human resource topics and to identify the best practices for all aspects of human resource and industrial relations work.

6300 Grelot Rd., Suite G 102, Mobile, AL 36609

Register Today lana Mobile SHRM Website