The Leap to Leader
Harvard Business Review | Adam Bryant | July–August 2023
To succeed as a senior executive, you need more than just special skills and competencies. You need a new mindset. 
When Penny Herscher stepped into her first chief executive role, at the tech firm Simplex Solutions, she felt sure she was prepared. After all, she had held marketing, business development, and general manager positions at her previous company, Synopsys, and she was comfortable taking on difficult challenges. Even so, her confidence quickly evaporated. “I had no clue how to be a CEO,” she says. “I kept finding myself in situations where I didn’t feel I had the experience and the tool set to know what to do, and I kept waiting for permission to make decisions.”
HR’s Latest Disruptive Trend: Goodbye, College Degrees; Hello, Certifications
HR Executive | Dawn Kawamoto | July 21, 2023

Call it the perfect storm rolling across the talent acquisition landscape: Employers are increasingly moving away from requiring job candidates to hold a college degree, as some seek a more diverse candidate pool. It’s a storm that continues to build as HR leaders brace for a disruptive trend that will result in new models for talent assessment, according to a survey released Thursday by Gartner’s software and services advisory firm Capterra. According to Capterra’s survey of 300 U.S. recruiters, 41% said their employers have dropped degree requirements.
Three Easy Staff Recognition Ideas
The Center for Association Leadership | Tim Badolato | June 27, 2023

Your staff ensures your association runs smoothly, so it’s only fitting that you’d thank them for all their hard work. Here are three simple ways you can show your appreciation.
Your association’s staff are talented, dedicated professionals, and you can retain them with the right recognition efforts. For modern associations, there are many ways to show your staff you appreciate them beyond just saying “thanks” at the end of the day. Plus, going the extra mile doesn’t always mean having to expend extra time and resources either. 
"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
6 Myths About Accessibility in the Workplace, Debunked
         IEC Sponsor UKG | Heather Van Houtteghem | July 11, 2023   
The Employer’s Guide to Accessible and Inclusive Meetings

One aspect of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEI&B) often gets overlooked or inadequately addressed: accessibility. The suggestions in this guide will improve the quality of your in-person, virtual, and hybrid meetings with everyone on the team, not only those with declared disabilities. As a result, your meetings will be more productive, efficient and inclusive.
HSAs and Employee Health Incentives Drive Prepaid in Healthcare
Presented by IEC Sponsor Patton Insurance Benefits | Payments Journal | Josh Einis | July 14, 2023
As healthcare costs rise, employers are moving towards high-deductible health plans, leaving consumers to have to pay more out of pocket. To help alleviate the high costs of healthcare services, many companies are deploying prepaid options for employees that offer some benefits.

In a recent report, “Prepaid Healthcare Options Expanding,” Jordan Hirschfield, Director of Prepaid at Javelin Strategy & Research, discusses the two fields of prepaid that are expanding dramatically: HSA accounts and health incentives.
Innovation Doesn’t Have to Be Disruptive
Harvard Business Review | W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
May–June 2023
Create new markets for growth without destroying existing companies or jobs. The era of international travel began in the mid-19th century, with the golden age of transatlantic ocean-going. The British company Cunard, a leader in the industry, transported millions of immigrants from Europe to the United States around the turn of the 20th century. By the end of World War II it had emerged as the largest Atlantic passenger line, operating 12 ships to the United States and Canada as it captured the flourishing North Atlantic travel market in the first postwar decade.
How To Start a Diversity and Inclusion Committee at Work
Power to Fly  

A diversity and inclusion committee is an important tool that can aid and accelerate the impact of your Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging initiatives at work. Companies know that diverse teams perform better. That’s why 83% of U.S. companies say they have implemented DEIB initiatives in their organization. Yet 62% of surveyed workers feel their company’s DEIB work is not effective. A diversity and inclusion committee could be the critical missing component. This committee is a group of employees tasked with the oversight and leadership of DEIB within the organization.
Return-To-Office Mandates Don’t Improve Productivity. Here’s What Does
HR Executive | Kevin Oakes and Mollie Lombardi |July 19, 2023
With approximately three-quarters of organizations today requiring their workforce to be onsite for at least a few days a week, we’ve officially exited the era of flexibility and entered an era of forced hybrid. Most companies don’t like the word “forced,” so they’ve been using softer terms like distributed, agile or blended work.

Whatever it’s being called, the simple fact is these organizations don’t trust the workforce to be fully productive working remotely and believe there are benefits to requiring employees to work in closer proximity to each other, at least some of the time. Three days a week is the most popular mandate, and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are usually the chosen days (most have given up on Fridays).
"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
5 Psychological Concepts Every Manager Needs to Know to Bring Out the Best in People
Fast Company | Harrison Monarth | July 28, 2023
Leaders don’t have to be organizational psychologists to inspire and motivate people. Just experiment with these concepts to make work better for all. There is no shortage of well-established psychological concepts and excerpts of studies decoding human nature for the purpose of making work a more inclusive, fair, and rewarding experience.
Although they are delivered to us in bite-size chunks on LinkedIn, Instagram, and countless podcasts by bona-fide cognitive scientists such as Laurie Santos, professor of Psychology at Yale University, organizational psychologist and professor Adam Grant of the Wharton School of Business, and others, are the right people listening?
5 Ways AI Can Make HR Professionals More Efficient
HR Exchange Network | Francesca Di Meglio | June 15, 2023
Generative artificial intelligence is transforming the workplace, and Human Resources can take advantage of its capabilities to become more efficient. Many in HR are already using this advanced technology to make their work lives easier.
"I hope that HR would view this as an opportunity to routinize and get rid of the work that they don’t have to do," said Bryan Hancock, partner in McKinsey & Co.'s Washington, D.C. office during a podcast on generative AI. "Then for the work that they do have to do, they can use this technology to find a way to get better answers more quickly." In fact, some in HR are already using AI to improve productivity. Count the ways HR is using AI in its everyday work: 
How Leaders Can Make a Lot Happen with Very Little
Fast Company | Alexa Von Tobel | June 29, 2023
A silver lining to building during a downturn is that it creates a certain kind of leader, someone who can unlock success in spite of constraints like a limited budget or a small team working toward a giant goal. Many business leaders today view our economic climate as a challenge. Capital has tightened and the economy is rocky, which impacts businesses of all shapes and sizes, both consumer and B2B. But there’s a silver lining to building during a downturn. It creates a certain kind of leader who has to learn to make a lot happen with very little.

I recently spoke with Julia Hartz, who started Eventbrite in 2008 during the height of the Great Recession. I started LearnVest during the same vintage of companies, so I asked her how being a fellow “recession entrepreneur” has given her an edge: “I think the best companies are built during times of scarcity, because there’s not as much margin for error,” she said. “At the same time, there’s an immense amount of freedom and creativity.” 
"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
Promoting Mental Health-Friendly Workplaces — for Everyone
Julie Su | July 27, 2023

Recently, I got to sit down and listen to families share their stories – families who had struggled and fought mightily to access the mental health care they and their loved ones needed. 

July is Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month – a time to explore important mental health issues impacting racial and ethnic minority groups and to promote mental health equity for everyone everywhere, including in their workplace. People from marginalized populations face inequities accessing needed mental health support. In 2021, among people aged 18 or older, only 39.4% of Black individuals and 36.1% of Hispanic individuals with mental health conditions received mental health services in the previous year, compared to 52.4% of white individuals with mental health conditions. 

At the Department of Labor, we are committed to advancing mental health resources and fostering supportive workplaces that prioritize mental health. In that spirit, we recently launched our Mental Health at Work initiative to centralize and promote related resources for employers and workers. 

E-Verify NextGen will be an exciting new product that modernizes and streamlines the Form I-9 and verification process for employees and employers.
New Form I‑9; Notice Published Allowing E‑Verify Employers to Remotely Examine Form I‑9 Documents
"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
  • Start the day at a Round Table Discussion with expert, hand-selected professionals!
  • 20 HR-focused breakout sessions to help YOU make a difference in your workplace!
  • You asked & we answered - new for the season... hot lunch options!
  • Network with business & industry leaders during breakfast, after lunch & between sessions!
  • Earn CE credits!

2023 Iowa Employment, Training, Benefits & Wellness Conference

October 18, 2023

The Meadows Events & Conference Center
Prairie Meadows ● Altoona, IA
Since 2006, the Iowa Employment Conference has been THE source for classroom instruction covering topics in the areas of employment, training, benefits & wellness education.

The mission of the Iowa Employment Conference is to deliver affordable conferences that provide the opportunity to develop professionally as well as receive continuing education credits through multiple professional associations such as:

  • American Payroll Recertification Credit Hours
  • American Society of Association Executives CAE Credits
  • Continuing Legal Education Credits
  • Continuing Professional Education Credits
  • Human Resource Certification Institute Credits
  • Iowa Licensed Insurance Producers Continuing Education
  • Iowa Municipal Finance Officers Association Certification
  • Society for Human Resource Management Professional Development Credits
"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.

We've been busy this summer making an impact in our community!


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.
Iowa State Fair 2023:
Deals, Discounts and Other Ways to Save

We Are Iowa | Laryssa Leone, Emma Brustkern | July 27, 2023

Although ticket prices rise year-to-year, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the Iowa State Fair on a budget.

It's not summer without the Iowa State Fair.

But between ticket prices, trying all the new foods and attending concerts, prices can quickly add up. The Iowa State Fair announced in 2022 that they would increase all admission prices by $2 as a result of inflation. It wasn't the first price increase in recent memory. In 2020, advance tickets increased by $1, while tickets purchased at the gate increased by $2. 
Free Concerts and Entertainment at the Iowa State Fair
We Are Iowa | Emma Brustkern | May 2, 2023

From daytime family-friendly shows to performances by up-and-coming stars, there are plenty of free entertainment options at the Iowa State Fair. 
All free entertainment is included in the price of your ticket. 

Check out the full list of free entertainment...
64 new foods on the menu for 2023 Iowa State Fair
  KCCI 8 Des Moines | Adam Wilson | July 18, 2023
As we continue on through the dog days of summer, we can't help but feel excited for all of the adventures it holds. From watching gorgeous sunsets to admiring fields of sunflowers, the season is filled with beauty and joy. As Iowans, we can celebrate the success of 2023 RAGBRAI, the annual bike ride across Iowa that brought together cyclists from all over the world. The stories and community involvement that came from this year’s ride will be remembered for a long time! And while that was exciting in itself, we're even more pumped for the upcoming conference in October.
We invite you to join us in making the last days of summer into fall full of adventure, learning, and igniting change. Our conference will bring together thought leaders, innovators, and change-makers to explore the latest trends and ideas in the workplace. You'll have the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals, attend inspiring round table discussions and sessions, and learn about the latest tools and technologies that are transforming the workforce as we know it.
So mark your calendars for October 18th and get ready for an unforgettable conference. Let's soak up the beauty of the current season and ignite change together. We can't wait to see you there! 

Nan and the Conference Crew