Duck Season, Wabbit Season, Conference Season and March Madness

Mark Fogel Employment Law, HR & Sports, Mark Fogel, Policies, politics, Talent Management

Unlike most of my posts, this one is a mixed bag with multiple topics. First, it’s conference season for the talent community as there is a smorgasbord of offerings and some cool places to travel to. Austin, Vegas, San Diego, and later this year Chicago. Let’s not forget some overseas offerings as well. Big, small, and everything in between.

For many of us in the talent community, it creates our busy season, layered on top of our day to day responsibilities. It also offers the opportunity to learn, network and explore. A few of us are speaking too, including myself and some of my FOT family. You can catch me in DC at the SHRM Law and Legislative conference next week and again in Vegas at the SHRM Talent conference in April. If you’re at either one, please stop me and say hello.

It is also March Madness in college basketball. For some, it brings the challenge of gambling in the office (I always turn a cheek on this one) and this year the added interest of scandals impacting some of the biggest and best-known Universities. It seems that bad behavior, sexual and other, that has been happening for years in the college sports world is now visible to all of us. Louisville, Michigan State, Arizona, and several others are all under the microscope. Hookers for new recruits, under the table payments to players and sporting good companies, player agent scandals…the FBI is even involved (as if they don’t have enough on their plate). By the way, I am only talking basketball. Gymnastics and football get their own blog post… Anyway, it is college sport’s version of a television drama from the 1980s, only it’s real. And we thought only politicians, media moguls, and CEOs were suspect of bad behavior. In this case, it is sport imitating life…

Finally, we are embroiled in gun control and regulation debates across the country. This past month’s school shooting tragedy in Florida is still taking top billing on every news outlet and at every water cooler across the country. It seems to be an annual event, only playing out in a different location each time. Companies including Delta Airlines, who rescinded their discount to the NRA, along with Walmart and Dick Sporting Goods, have all taken steps as a result. The latter has changed their rules on purchasing guns, rifles and clips in their stores.  The Florida legislature even passed sweeping gun regulation changes as this article goes to print (finally some action). This conversation is even too hot for me to weigh in on, except to say how tragic these repeated shootings in schools are and we should not wait to have this happen again to get politicians to act. We all have a voice and a vote and if there is ever a time to use it, it is now.

HR and Talent folks need to review their policies and protocols for dealing with active shooters and other types of violent acts in the workplace. They need to work with their management teams to ensure folks feel and are safe too. In the end that is always more important than making a profit. As far as gambling and office pools, I’ll leave it to you to decide how you want to handle it.

Oh, just in case you are wondering who I like this year, Xavier, Virginia, Michigan, and Gonzaga top my list to make it to the Final 4. Check back in 3 weeks to see how I did…

Well, I gotta go rehearse for my spring conference presentations…hope to see you all on the road!