The High Cost of Neglecting Low-Wage Workers
Harvard Business Review | Joseph Fuller and Manjari Raman May–June 2023
Six mistakes that companies make—and how they can do better...

Despite all their efforts since the summer of 2021 to bring frontline workers back into the fold, companies are struggling to rehire and return operations to a prepandemic normal. As a result they have failed to deliver products and services, lost revenue, and disappointed their customers. Supply chains remain snarled, with warehouse and delivery operations woefully understaffed. Grocery stores and pharmacies are unable to keep their shelves stocked. Restaurants can’t find enough cooks, cleaners, and waiters. Hotel chains can’t book to their full capacity, because they don’t have enough housekeeping staff. Airlines have been forced to ground hundreds of flights.
How To Help Employees Return to Office: It’s More Than Mandates
Workable | Suzanne Lucas - The Evil HR Lady | June 2023
The Evil HR Lady goes into why your company's successful transition back to offices hinges on more than just coaxing white-collar workers through the doors. Learn how robust support staff can determine whether your employees will embrace or resent an office return. Salesforce tried to get people to come into the office by offering a donation to charity if they showed up. Farmer Group CEO Raul Vargas wanted people to return to the office – even though some had been hired as exclusively remote – and employees rebelled. And Martha Stewart says America will “go down the drain” if companies don’t return to cubicle farms. Then there’s the problem of empty office space because employees aren’t returning. This is a massive problem for the building owners and the restaurants and shops that sold to the people who worked in those offices.
"You’ve Got to Set Your People Up to Succeed”
Harvard Business Review | Steve Prokesch | May–June 2023
An interview with Tim Simmons, chief product officer of Sam’s Club... 

In June 2019 Sam’s Club, the membership warehouse retailer owned by Walmart, with 600 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, launched an effort to change virtually every major aspect of its operating model. The chain significantly reduced prices and the number of stock-keeping units (SKUs), introduced an array of digital technologies, redesigned jobs, and raised the average pay of employees (whom it refers to as “associates”) in its clubs by 31% (according to fiscal year comparisons). Since then Sam’s Club’s net sales (exclusive of membership fees) have increased by 43%, and comparable-store sales have grown by double digits 12 quarters in a row—despite the pandemic’s inventory challenges and continuing inflation. Associate turnover—which excludes people who move to a different Sam’s Club or a Walmart store—significantly decreased within the first year of the implementation. And the percentage of associates who respond positively to the question “Would you recommend this as a place to work to friends?” has soared by 440%.
"This conference is absolutely game and perspective-changing! The wide variety of sessions to grow and learn from are incredibly engaging, packed with powerful approaches that resonate and dig deep. It is rare to find a conference where you come out feeling entirely energized and ready to try new tactics to what is currently in play. Better yet, for those of us where we've made changes in our careers, we can see the evolution of where things were, and where they could go (or even didn't). Not only can I look back on my prior experiences and apply these newfound thoughts and ideologies, I am able to do the same in the current day and provide a future outlook for where we are and where we want to go. Life is about the journey and learning every step of the way. This conference has been an absolutely amazing experience, and I'm incredibly grateful to share this experience with my company. Just as life changes, so does everything around us. Being open to new approaches and ideas, we then open ourselves up to growth and opportunity. And being able to take this back and share it with others - you gain the great satisfaction of paying it forward. Such a profound and rewarding experience! Thank you for taking the time and dedication to making the most out of this event, and for bringing it to so many to share in the wonders."

IEC 2023 Attendee
What’s Included in A Good Employee Management Strategy?
Workable | Content Team | June 2023

Learn eight essential focal points to effectively manage your employees, improve team dynamics, and boost overall productivity. Invest in these strategies to ensure a thriving work environment and set your organization up for long-term success. When a business has clear goals and plans for its employees and a defined management style, you’ll see the benefits.
But first, to ensure a good process, you’ll need to address each one of the following aspects of the employee lifecycle to ensure an effective employee management strategy.
 IEC Sponsor BecomeMore | Karman Hotchkiss | June 28, 2023

In a previous professional life, I worked in the same department for 20 years. Because I’d served in many roles, my institutional knowledge of our business was deep and wide: That new product we released in 2015? I knew why we launched it and why we weren’t creating it anymore. That old process for tracking expenses? I knew why we replaced it.
Whatever the topic, I enjoyed being the go-to sage regarding organizational history. I was like those bumpers in a bowling lane, filling the gutter so that ideas couldn’t go out of bounds and repeat past mistakes. I made sure new initiatives stayed in the “safe” zone based on what had and had not worked before.
Employee Satisfaction vs Engagement: What’s the Difference?
15Five | Nicole Klemp | June 2023

We all want to be satisfied with our jobs. None of us want to hate what we do, be underpaid, treated poorly, or experience the “Sunday Scaries” because we’re so dreading the workweek. But is satisfaction enough? Does having a workforce full of satisfied employees always lead to positive business outcomes? The terms “employee satisfaction” and “employee engagement” are often used interchangeably. But while you can assume engaged employees are satisfied with their job, not all satisfied employees are engaged. (Wait, what?) To clear things up, let’s dig into what sets employee satisfaction and engagement apart and learn about the major factors that influence engagement in an organization.
Navigating Snarky Colleagues: Staying Professional for a Healthy Workplace
People Equation | Jennifer V. Miller | June 2023
Here’s an interesting question about workplace communication: What do you say to someone who says, “Want some cheese with that whine?” to you at work? Google is sending folks to this blog with those keywords, so apparently, there are people who are grappling with it. So, let’s take a look at how to handle the snarky jab from a potentially less-than-friendly source.

Maintain Your Composure
First of all, know that you’ll most likely be momentarily stunned. It’s easy to get caught off guard when a coworker experiences an outburst. Try your best, however, to maintain your composure.
Why Some Companies Are Making Their Workers Take Vacation
HR Brew | Courtney Vinopal | June 20, 2023
HR leaders at these companies say mandatory minimum PTO can provide workers with an energy boost when they return to work. Even as some companies are introducing more generous PTO policies, taking enough vacation remains a challenge for many employees.
In order to ensure employees take the time off they’re allowed, some companies are implementing minimum PTO policies. Goldman Sachs now requires all employees to take a minimum of three weeks of vacation every year, according to an internal memo shared with HR Brew. Smaller firms, such as spend management company Emburse and photo-book company Chatbooks, also have similar policies in place.
"This conference! It's like this was meant to be, it all fell into place just right. I heard what I need to hear, I learned what I need to learn and it left me wanting more! :) In order to help others we must help ourselves, that will then flow to others with more ease. Thank you for helping us help ourselves and be happier!"

IEC 2023 Attendee
Unleashing the Power Within: The Significance of Nurturing Personal Growth
Employee Connect | Matthew Dedes | June 22, 2023 
Indeed, it is an undeniable truth that offering individuals the opportunity for personal development lays the foundation for various forms of growth. As an employer, you may view this as the enticing proposition extended to potential candidates during the recruitment process for a specific position. This perception stems from your confidence in the anticipated returns on this investment, assuming it will lead to consistent performance. However, what often remains unknown is the subsequent shortfall, wherein employees become demotivated and their productivity begins to decline.
Young Workers Don’t Have High Hopes of Retiring At 65, But Maybe HR Can Help
HR Brew | Adam DeRose | June 26, 2023

A new survey finds financial outlook for Gen Z and young millennials is far from rosy; many blame student loans and consumer debt.
It’s gonna be a tough road to financial freedom for millennials and their younger Gen Z colleagues: a Great Recession, a global pandemic and post-pandemic inflation woes, a student debt crisis, with paused repayments set to resume in a few months, and a sky-high housing market. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that young adults (aged 24–35) expressed little hope for their golden years, according to a new Georgetown University and Bank of America survey.
A Third Of LGBT+ Workers Are Looking for New Job with A More Inclusive Employer
HR Dive | Carolyn Crist | June 27, 2023
Gen Z and millennial workers are more likely to emphasize diversity and inclusion when seeking a new employer.
One-third of LGBT+ workers are actively looking for a new job with a new employer that is more LGBT+ inclusive according to a June 22 report from Deloitte Global’s 2023 LGBT+ Inclusion @ Work Survey. The percentage is even higher for ethnic minority respondents, with more than half of LGBT+ employees currently looking for a new role and a new employer.
Using Employee Feedback to Shape HR Strategy and Drive Business Success
HR Dive | Inspirus | June 12, 2023
Ignore your employees and they’ll go away. Just ask Elon Musk whose heavy-handed leadership as he took the helm at Twitter resulted in a mass exodus of employees — and not just the ones he asked to leave. If you haven’t asked your employees what’s important to them lately, now is the time. We see a critical need for organizations to develop ongoing processes for gathering — and acting on — employee feedback. It’s no longer simply a “nice to do” — if it ever was — it’s now a need to do.
Bringing Economics and Employee Well-Being into Harmony 
IEC Sponsor Mercer | Melissa Swift &
Mary Beth Ryan | April 6, 2023

 In case you were thinking a declining economy would lessen the talent supply challenge – we don’t see it. We anticipate demand in the labor market will remain higher than usual and employees will continue to reevaluate their relationships with their employers. We’re offering up some strategies that can help employers priortize growth in harmony with their employees’ well-being. The talent supply shortage is here to stay.
Despite recessionary fears and recent reports of...
"TBH – I’m usually that person who may or may not be going through the motions… Not this time… the #IEC2023 was great! Thank you to Nan Boland and the team. I actually felt some fomo because I couldn’t decide on which speaker to hear next!! See everyone in October."

IEC 2023 Attendee Bethe Hlas
"If you are looking to connect with like-minded HR people over quality, relevant content, you've found the conference for you. I will absolutely attend again."

IEC 2023 Attendee
Celebrating and Supporting Our LGBTQI+ Co-Workers
Dept of Labor Blog | Anthony Golden | June 13, 2023

Diversity is an essential component of a successful team. The more skills, experiences and ideas we have to draw from, the more equipped we are to develop creative solutions. America’s diversity has always been one of our greatest strengths, which is why the Department of Labor is proud to support and enforce laws that protect America’s workers in all of our diversity. Diversity, however, has to consider and acknowledge any barriers to full participation and inclusion of all workers. For workers in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI+) community, such as myself, concerns about harassment, prejudice and discrimination can prevent us from comfortably owning our identities in the workplace. So this Pride Month, we’re taking the opportunity to joyfully celebrate our LGBTQI+ colleagues and all the policies that protect our rights at work.

E-Verify NextGen will be an exciting new product that modernizes and streamlines the Form I-9 and verification process for employees and employers.
ICE Updates Form I-9 Requirement Flexibility to Grant Employers More Time to Comply with Requirements

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today that employers will have 30 days to reach compliance with Form I-9 requirements after the COVID-19 flexibilities sunset on July 31, 2023. These flexibilities were first announced in March 2020 and subsequently extended throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. DHS encourages employers who have been using those temporary flexibilities to plan ahead to ensure that all required physical inspection of identity and employment eligibility documents is completed by Aug. 30, 2023.
"I've planned enough events to know that there were likely about a thousand random things that went awry behind the scenes, but from a participant perspective, it was all extremely well organized and smooth. The people helping were awesome and helpful. The location was convenient and great. And it flowed really smoothly. Overall, a good experience."
IEC 2023 Attendee
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Good Headspace Helps Make a Safe Workplace
Doug Parker • May 4, 2023
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s mission is to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers. As a regulatory agency, we have historically approached that mission by focusing on physical hazards in workplaces, things you can see and measure. But today's work environment requires a broader approach that includes both traditional occupational safety and health and paying attention to the huge impact of mental health on workers' well-being as well.

"It was a HUGE thing for me to get to go again this year. Grateful to you for putting it together and it was still amazing as always!"
IEC 2023 Attendee
"I had such a great time today presenting at the IEC! Wonderful group of people and lots of growing together. Thanks, Nan, for having me there another year!"

IEC 2023 Speaker Gilmara Vila Nova-Mitchell
"I think I have been coming for 5 years or so and this one was the absolute very best! Thank you for helping us be happier!"

IEC 2023 Attendee
The IEC article library is growing monthly with valuable information relevant to the ever-changing work environment. Check the website frequently for updates. If you have something important for our readers to benefit from, reach out to us to be included in the next newsletter or article library!
"I've made some really great professional and personal connections at this conference, I always learn new things and it helps remind me why I love doing what I do!"

IEC 2023 Attendee
"This is my 4th year attending the Iowa Employment Conference. Each year the program gets better and better. I come home motivated and energized with plenty of new ideas."
IEC 2023 Attendee Mindy Webb Todd, CFO The Dana Company
"The conference is well run, well organized, and professional in every way. Thank you for an outstanding event."
IEC 2023 Speaker Todd Saffell
THANK YOU to all 2023 Conference Sponsors!

Sponsor support is integral in continuing the growth, quality & integrity of the continuing education unique to this conference year after year. You are appreciated!
"This was my first experience attending this conference and I thought it was just a terrific balance of valuable content and sponsor/participant interactions. Very well managed by Nan and team."
IEC 2023 Sponsor
"Your conference is the best conference we attend. We sponsor every year." 

Spring & Fall IEC Sponsor Delta Dental Iowa Representative Dave Zahn

Looking to move forward with your career? Check out the amazing opportunities our sponsors have to offer within their organizations. 

"Really wonderful conversations with those participants who were engaged enough to stop by our booth to learn how they might implement a volunteer, team-building activity."

IEC 2023 Sponsor
By definition, Servant Leadership is a leadership philosophy in which the goal of the leader is to serve. If you are in a place where your talent and skills will help others, by all means, use them. We are proud of the work our leaders have done and hope that if you are in a place to serve, you choose to step up.
Do you know someone in your HR department (or company-wide) who deserves to be recognized for making a positive impact in your company from day to day??

Whether personal or professional, in a big or a small way, we all know those people who go above & beyond for the greater good.

We want to help these everyday (H)eroes be (R)ecognized! Send your nominations to us & one deserving person each month leading up to the current conference will be selected to receive a $50 VISA gift card! We will announce the winner in the following month's newsletters.
Christmas in July Returns to Great American Family with Brand-New Premiere
Parade | K.L. Connie Wang | June 20, 2023

The network's popular holiday movies, including a brand-new premiere, kicks off on Great American Family with 24/7 Christmas movies!

Love them or hate them, Christmas movies abound. There are so many out there now that you can pretty much find a Christmas movie playing somewhere year round. Hallmark Channel was first to corner the market on holiday films over a decade ago and they literally have hundreds of films to choose from. Lifetime, Freeform, CBS, Netflix and others also have a variety of holiday films in their cache. Upstart network Great American Family also has a growing library of original Christmas movies.

Headed by former Hallmark exec, Bill Abbott, Great American Family launched their Great American Christmas lineup a few years ago and they have a couple dozen films under their belt. To celebrate these films, they're bringing back their "Christmas in July" lineup which features holiday movies 24/7 beginning June 30 and running through the month of July. You'll see plenty of old favorite Great American Family movies as well as the premiere of a brand-new holiday flick, A Belgian Chocolate Christmas.


Shared Appetite | Chris Cockren

The secret?  Food that can be prepped way ahead of time and encourages grazing for hours and hours.  And there’s nothing more perfect than an epic meat and cheese board (with plenty of beverages, of course).  

Let me show you How To Build A Summer Charcuterie Board with Sabra HummusShared Appetite style. 
As we approach the 4th of July, our hearts are filled with patriotic pride and gratitude for the freedom we enjoy in America. We believe it is important to honor the sacrifices made by our forefathers and to continue to educate ourselves on the values that have made America the land of the free.

As we celebrate the birth of our nation this month, let us also take time to honor the values of freedom and independence that make America great. Experience the excitement and wonder of fireworks as they light up the night sky and take the opportunity to learn more about the rich history and culture of our country. From the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the sacrifices made by our brave servicemen and women, there is so much to discover and celebrate.

Our hope is that we continue to find ways to come together as one nation and show our appreciation for the blessings of freedom, opportunity, and liberty that we enjoy. 

Enjoy your many blessings and stay safe this month!

Nan and the Conference Crew