Enhance Your Skillset: Join CLA’s LEAD HR Council

People In Council Meeting

Members of the Learn, Engage, and Develop (LEAD) council meet in person nine times, choosing between a foundational and experienced level to fit their human resource background.

Invest in yourself and your organization by joining one of CLA’s LEAD HR councils. Each LEAD (Learn, Engage, and Develop) council meets nine times between September and May. During these three-hour sessions, you will learn from and engage with peers in your community and develop skills to address human resources issues.

Councils convene virtually and in select Wisconsin locations (Wausau, Green Bay, and Fox Cities), and each session is led by a member of CLA’s human resources consulting team.

Thomas is a great facilitator. He has the passion for this information, and he is there to help us. He gets the whole group included in the discussion. He wants your opinions. We get so much material, and I bring that information back to my leadership team and apply it to our work Kathy Meidl, Vice President/Human Resources Director
Partners Bank

Why Join the Council?

Leverage the knowledge of your peers and CLA’s HR professionals in a confidential, non-competitive setting. By joining the LEAD HR Council, you will gain the opportunity to grow in your career in several ways.

1. Apply HR fundamentals in real time. Rather than sitting at a desk listening to a lecture, you’ll engage in hands-on learning, which you can immediately begin to apply in your workplace.

2. Bring resources back to your workplace. Participants electronically receive all of the research, PowerPoints, and handouts from each session. If you choose, you can use these resources for presentations in your workplace.

3. Grow your professional network. Participants regularly interact with each other outside of session to share best practices and gain valuable insight from similarly-positioned professionals in other organizations.

4. Interact with professionals outside of HR. Participants in LEAD are not necessarily HR professionals. Many business owners, controllers, operations professionals, and leaders join the council to develop their leadership abilities.

LEAD HR Council is a great support group for HR people. As a group, we connect well and there is mutual trust and respect for each other. It’s more than just learning, it’s an idea sharing, feedback session. I look forward to our LEAD HR Council sessions because our facilitators keep us thinking. Becky Weiland, Human Resource Manager
Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope

Two Council Levels Available

Our two council levels cater to professionals new to HR, and those who know the basics and are looking to develop their strategic thinking.

Foundation level

Our standard-level council sessions are designed for those who would benefit from a peer group focused on understanding and applying HR fundamentals within their organization.

Topics will include tactical HR and compliance issues to help participants understand the relevance and impact of HR on their business. Sessions will leverage a combination of presented materials and the shared experience and perspectives of participants.

Experienced level

Our upper-level council sessions are designed to engage business professionals in the critical thinking necessary to better understand how to approach strategic actions supporting a strong workplace culture. Members will receive perspective, direction, tools, and support from CLA professionals as well as other group members.

Topics will focus on strategic HR issues that have wide business impact. Members will walk away with the knowledge necessary to develop an action plan for their business.

Annual fee: $1,295 (Early bird discount: $100 if enrolling before the 3rd Friday of August.)

Contact Thomas Schultz for more information. 

Experienced Level: 2021-2022 Topics and Timelines

Month Topic Description
September Rallying a Team During the “Daily Grind” Our work lives are busier than ever. Deadlines! Goals! Quotas! It doesn’t end! Through it all, leaders who know how to “rally” teams are the ones getting promoted, asked for perspective, and influencing. This session explores methods to rally a team to results.
October* Confronting with Care: Workplace Mental Health Challenges Today and on the Horizon The last 18 months taught us that people are resilient. It also reminded us of our shared need to take care of our mental health. Work and home are becoming more seamless than ever, and the result is less ability to disengage. This session explores the implications of work/life blurring on mental health and how businesses are responding.
November Assertiveness 2.0:
Beyond the Basics
Between “passive” and “aggressive” is assertive — a skill some are unable to describe and seldom taught. This session revisits the basics of assertiveness, then dives deeper into how its use makes a leader more effective and influential.
December Concrete Shoes or Concrete Steps: Confronting, “We have always done it that way” “We have always done it that way!” A common refrain? Perhaps harmless on the surface, yet it impacts innovation, evolution, and excellence. People change when they: (1) want to, (2) know how, (3) have the ability, and (4) when it improves their experience. This session provides approaches to “We have always done that way.”
January Leadership Structure: What is it? What to expect? How should it work — together? Organizational leadership continues to get flatter. With fewer “swim lanes” of leadership, what should each “lane” contribute to the success of the company? This session looks at leadership structure and the competencies that engage talent.
February The Knowledge, Skill, and Ability “Hoarder” Every organization has at least one. A person with a breadth of knowledge that few other staff can rival. The only problem is … they keep the knowledge to themselves. This session discusses how to engage and create “teachers” that benefit the team.
March* Incentive Plans: Discretionary or Non-Discretionary. Does It Really Matter? Incentive plans fall into two broad categories: discretionary and non-discretionary. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines how each type impacts overtime calculations. This session looks at how the application of discretionary or non-discretionary incentive plans need to be monitored for compliance with the FLSA.
April Law vs. Ethics vs. Company Policy: What to Do When They Differ There are times when legally you can do ‘it,’ yet your instincts say ‘it’ would not be received positively by staff. Where, ethically, should you stand? We don’t want to be perceived as cold-hearted. This session navigates the grey areas, providing leaders strategy on balancing the law, ethics, and company policy when they seem at odds.
May Collaborative Meetings — Can Do! Too many meetings? You show up for the meeting, the leader talks, information is given, you listen, then get up and leave. Another hour wasted? This session covers how to establish, lead, or facilitate, and ultimately minimize the number of meetings.

* = Denotes guest facilitators planned.

Foundation Level: 2021-2022 Topics and Timelines

Month Topic Description
September HR 101 Gain an understanding of key laws, terms, and best practices as a person responsible for Human Resources. This session is a high-level overview of what it means to work in the HR field, and sets the stage for the rest of the year in LEAD HR Council.
October Recruiting and Retention Employment recruiting and retention is evolving. This session covers best practices and tactics on how to brand your opportunities and promote your recruiting needs in ways that get noticed.
November Onboarding and Orientation Once a person is recruited and hired, the person needs to be onboarded! This session covers the modern ways and steps businesses use to connect, prepare, and retain new employees through a quality orientation process.
December Employee Engagement and Morale Engaged employees, who are proud of their workplace — the key words for any business leader. These two areas are the hallmarks of a successful organization. This session covers tools and techniques for knowing when, why, and how to actively engage and connect with employees.
January Building an Effective Handbook Written policies can support a growing, healthy business. Members will look at essential tips, language, and approaches to the design of handbooks in light of current employment laws and climate.
February Performance Management Systems Employees want (and should receive) feedback, yet there are times when feedback is not done on a timely basis — maybe not even at all. This session engages members in learning about the components of an effective performance management process and provides guidelines for building a framework.
March Total Rewards Employers can’t compete on pay alone — they must communicate more value. Finding quality talent can be difficult and retaining it even harder. This session looks at other forms of compensation employers provide — and employees sometimes forget about.
April State and Federal Compliance Legislation abounds and you are responsible for complying with it. Regulations evolve with court-rendered decisions that interpret laws. Members will look at many of the federal and state laws and how they interact and impact their business.
May Documentation and Termination We hear it all the time, “Document, document, document!” But how much is the “right” amount? When is it necessary to document? This session provides guidance on the essentials of documentation to understand the answers to those questions.

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