On Saturday, March 21, Seton Hill University’s business program hosted the 11th annual Human Resources: Training and Development Best Practices Forum. A panel of five human resource professionals, including Rosann Linza of SMC Business Councils, Adam Alexander of Mastery Works Inc., and Jason Lioy of Philips Respironics, as well as Seton Hill alumni Julia C. Harr of accessAbilities, Inc. and Karen Kistner of Alcoa, presented their best practices to the attendees

Linza spoke on the topic of “Human Resources as an Active Business Partner” and employee issues. “This is my favorite part of human resources. I believe employees deserve to be treated fairly and consistently,” said Linza, a human resource consultant at SMC Business Council.

Alexander is vice president and senior consultant at Mastery Works Inc. Alexander’s topic was “Essential Components of Career Development Systems.” He discussed the importance and process for developing a career development system for an organization.

“Today, organizations are focusing on increasing employee engagement to tap the discretionary level of effort provided by employees. I explored the research behind the value of a career development system for the organization, and the key components to developing a successful system for one’s own organization and employees,” Alexander said. “Key research has shown a key driver of employee engagement is showing employees what’s in it for them in regard to their development opportunities at the organization. There is a demonstrated link between an employee’s realistic and robust career options at an organization and their increase in engagement.”

Lioy’s topic was “Driving Employee Engagement.” Lioy is the senior human resources manager for the operations group that is comprised of manufacturing and global sourcing and services at Philips Respironics. Lioy spoke on the idea that focusing and driving employee engagement is the only way to truly have a competitive advantage over competitors, especially during these tough economic times.
“I strongly believe in giving back to the academic community and helping share experiences that can help guide students to where they want to be after school. It’s the only reason why I chose the career path I have chosen because graduates took the time to come back and talk to the students,” said Lioy.

“Each speaker spoke about their various responsibilities within their corporation. They constantly gave examples and kept the forum very interesting. With each topic I was able correlate to my business classes and work experience in the past,” said Daniela Pagan, a senior business major at Seton Hill University.

“Each company takes different approaches and practices to making their companies flourish. Not only is training new employees necessary but providing skills to existing employees will benefit the company greatly. Both Human Resource Management and Training and Development can work collectively in supporting a business,” said Erika Yates, senior business major at Seton Hill University.

“Training is a process that can progress a company to a higher level than where they currently stand. A company relies on its individual employees to create an enhanced workplace each day with the way they perform and run the company. The best way to have a great company is product and customer knowledge,” said Catherine Giunta, Ph.D., associate professor of business at Seton Hill University.