Category: Community and Connection

The Carnival of HR is in town!

Posted on September 11th, by Shauna Moerke in Community and Connection, Social Media. 2 comments

HR-Carnival

Good morning everyone, we have something very special for you. The Carnival of HR is in town and it is here to commemorate the importance of today.

September 11th is a day that we honor and remember all that was lost and all those who stood up to make a difference, often leading them to make the ultimate sacrifice for others. But it is also a day that we should remember as a symbol of our strength. The tragic events of that day did not break us. Life moves forward. Babies are still born on this day, couples get married, and a million other forms of happiness are celebrated. Living our lives to the fullest, to me, is truly the best way to honor those who lives were cut too short.

So for the Carnival of HR today, I asked for posts that were positive, encouraging, and life affirming. From everyday successes to huge positive strides forward, I asked for contributions that would put a smile on your face. I hope you agree that the contributors below stepped up and that when you read their selections, you can find a moment of joy in an otherwise solemn day.

First up, we have Ian Welsh who beautifully writes about Opening the doors of opportunity in a world of inspiration. Even the title makes me happy. Add in a cute picture of a puppy and some inspiring reflections and now you have to check it out.

Next, Jay Perry and Dan Maruska encourage you to Be the hero in your own talent story which is quite the call to action to make some positive changes in your life.

Also joining us is the wonderful Robin Schooling and her take on 4 Weddings and a Funeral, where she looks at all the times that HR really gets to put the “Human” back into what we do everyday, such as when we step up and help employees during the hard times, as well as helping them celebrate the good.

Jesse Lyn Stoner, who incidentally is also our fabulous Carnival of HR host on Sept 25th, shares with us A tweet, a blog post, and a profound teaching. In it she demonstrates how profound thoughts and ideas can be expressed in only a few characters and challenges her readers to do the same. I think we could all learn something valuable from that exercise.

Next, Julie Winkle Giuliani brings us a great lesson learned from an activity I really want to try one day, Paddle boarding, in her post Staying Afloat. Balance in life, as in paddle boarding, is something worth striving for.

Now, our next contributor Amit Bhagria may be taking us international, but his post on The 80/20 rule of becoming a good HR Manager has universal importance. After all, there is a big difference between just any HR Manager and an HR manager who is loved by employees and management alike. It takes a positive attitude and commitment to your role.

Continuing on with posts about positive management, the unstoppable Ben Eubanks brings us a post about the importance of making sure those around us are happy in his submission, Send this to your Managers Today. Sometimes we all need to remember that manager-employee relationships need to be a two way street in order to be successful.

Next, Andreea Hrab brings us a post with heart, specifically a story about A Team Building Retreat with Heart and how you get positive results when you put your whole heart into what you do.

And finally, who better to close out a Carnival full of positive messages than the amazing Steve Browne? If you can read his blog without getting a smile on your face you must also be the type of person who doesn’t find puppies cute and thus you immediately need to get some help. In his post Spread the word, Steve reminds us that ALL HR pros need to be voices for HR and share information with each other, because there is no reason we should be isolated in what we do.

And with that, another Carnival of HR comes to a close. I hope that we have been able to bring a smile to your face, caused you to think about things in a different way, and that you will take some of the positive energy you’ve experienced and share it with others. Because the best way to bring joy into your own life, is to give joy to others.

Nurturing the 80%

Posted on June 11th, by Tamkara Adun in Community and Connection, Leadership. 2 comments

 

There’s so much on the blogosphere about how to motivate and retain your High Potential employees and top performers. This is great because you do want to retain the lot of them if you want to maintain and increase your competitive edge.

There is research to show that employers will actively seek out and reward their top 10% or 20%, because it is believed that that select group will be responsible for the bulk of their productivity and will outperform the rest of their counterparts.

This brings to mind the Pareto Principle which states that …roughly 80% of the effects will come form 20% of the causes.

Therefore it does make sense to nurture the top 20 %.  I definitely agree but will add a note of caution that while we must nurture and recognize the 20% it should not be to the detriment of the remaining 80.

Do not ignore the 80%.You still need the rest of the team to achieve a comprehensive output.

The focus should be on elevating the team to All star status via mentoring, knowledge sharing, and recognition. There is value to be gained from moving the 80% progressively from good to better and then best.

It involves investigation, digging deeper to discover the root causes and seeking out customized solutions. Are they in the wrong jobs ill-suited to their skills and competencies? Is mentoring and coaching required? Is it a case of a lack of awareness and ignorance? These are pertinent questions to consider in the quest to bridge the gap.

We are the sum of our parts and when there is a weak link, inevitably we are less than we really could be.

The goal should be the continuous improvement of the whole rather than just the visible parts. When the average moves a notch to become great, and the great becomes exceptional, then everybody wins.

We recently had an employee return to work and after a lay off and if there was one thing that I found really remarkable, it was the new found zeal and dedication to work that was exhibited second time around.

There was an increased appreciation for the opportunity to work and also a willingness to learn and succeed second time around. Plus there was less training required as she was familiar with the work flow and hit the ground running with little to no adjustment required.

I’d like to see more career comebacks in the work place. There are so many benefits to be accrued for all concerned.

While I fully agree that by injecting fresh blood into the system provides access to new ideas and innovation, managing or “loving the ones you are with” beats expending time, energy and resources to engage a new hire.

I am of the opinion that everyone has the potential to be a high potential. I admit this might seem overly simplistic but under the right conditions and circumstances, employees will excel and progressively improve on competencies and abilities.

In work environments, past experience or performance are usually great indicators of future performance but there will always be the exception. One person’s career slips and challenges can make them a better person and can produce a stronger and more valuable team member.

Sometimes, we just need to take a step back and pause, and with keen eyes, seek out ways that we can improve on the existing rather than discarding. So, develop other potentials and every now and then, look past the obvious to find talent hidden in the unlikely. Finally, create an all-star team where everyone can be on the winning streak.

Would we all benefit? I believe so.


Transitions…and Thank Yous

Posted on May 16th, by Jennifer Payne in Community and Connection, On My Mind. 5 comments

As Women of HR gets ready to turn three years old this June, we’re in the process of going through our first major transition.  For the past three years, the amazing and talented Lisa Rosendahl has been the driving force behind this site, spending countless hours soliciting, editing, and scheduling all of the fantastic and informative posts that have run.  If not for her, this site would not be what it is today, and I know I’m not alone in expressing my gratitute to Lisa for all of her efforts.  But as with any major project, as things evolve, changes become necessary.  To allow her more time to focus on her own endeavors, Lisa has decided to step aside as editor, and I have stepped in to assume those duties.  To read Lisa’s thoughts on the transition, stop over to her blog where she’s talking about it today as well.

As the new editor, I look forward to continuing to provide you, our readers, with the informative and thought-provoking posts you have come to expect.  I’ll also be looking to add new themes, series, and topics to keep the site ever evolving and in tune with the changing nature of our profession and business in general.

I would like to offer a public THANK YOU to all of our intelligent, talented, and hard-working contributors who generously give of their own time to share their thoughts and experiences with all of you.  Without them, we wouldn’t have a Women of HR!

And last but not least, a big THANK YOU to all of our readers for continuing to come back, week after week, to see what we’re currently talking about.  If there’s anything in particular that you’d like to see us posting about, please comment below or send me a note at  womenofhr@gmail.com.  I welcome any suggestions for topics and themes, or any ideas you may have for ensuring that we’re relevant and providing you what you need.  And if any of you have ever thought about wanting to write and would like to become a contributor, or even just test the waters with a guest post, please send me a note as well.  We’d love to have you as part of our team!

 

 


Smart Social Media Policy Starts With Managers: 5 Key Questions to Ask

With social media, what you don’t know can seriously hurt your organization. One 2010 survey found that employees estimate spending roughly four hours every day checking multiple email accounts, with up to two hours spent on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. A 2012 Salary.com survey found that 64 percent of employees visit non-work related websites daily. And don’t think blocking employee access to social media on company networks is the answer; personal smartphones and tablets are ubiquitous, and easily fill the gap.

The rub for today’s organizations is that while social media use at work has definite risks, it also is one of the best ways to empower and engage employees. Increasingly, in our connected 24/7 businesses, the line between work and personal time is blurring. This is especially true for Generation Y employees; as long as they meet deadlines and deliver, these employees don’t feel that it’s particularly useful to distinguish between time spent updating Twitter or engaged in team meetings. Organizations may beg to differ, especially when an offensive or inappropriate blog post or tweet can damage their brand, lower employee morale, and even lead to workplace lawsuits.

Yet, most organizations don’t really know how their employees are using social media, either personally or professionally, let alone what impact it’s having on employees’ overall levels of productivity.

That’s why it’s so important, before you set policy, to know how your managers currently handle social media use at work, as well as how its use by employees is effecting their management. Get at these fundamental issues by asking managers five key questions:

  1. Have your employees’ use of social media ever triggered a workplace lawsuit or regulatory investigation?
  2. What impact have your employees’ personal use of social media during work hours had, if any, on their productivity?
  3. How do you use social media, if at all, to help manage your projects and employees?
  4. Have you reviewed all applicable federal and state laws governing electronic data content, usage, monitoring, privacy, e-discovery, data encryption, business records and other legal issues in all jurisdictions in which you operate, have employees or serve customers?
  5. Could you comply with a court-ordered “social media audit”, by producing legally compliant business blog posts, email messages, text messages and other electronically stored information (ESI) within 990 days?

Social media can speed innovation and collaboration, but ONLY if your employees know how to both use it as well as steer clear of its many pitfalls. Start by asking managers these simple questions; they often surface extremely important information that, especially in larger organizations, you may not have been aware of. Finally, remember that for reasons of both confidentiality and fear, getting access to this sort of information is not always easy. It’s therefore important that organizations create mechanisms by which examples of social media use (and abuse!) can be regularly shared with the broader employee base.

Photo credit iStockphoto

About the author: Steve Miranda is Managing Director of Cornell University’s Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (CAHRS), a leading partnership between industry and academia devoted to the field of global human resource management. He is also a faculty author of the new eCornell certificate program,Social Media in HR: From Policy to Practice. Prior to CAHRS, Miranda was Chief Human Resource and Strategic Planning Officer for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world’s largest professional HR association, serving over 260,000 members in over 100 countries.


I've Got the Music in Me!

Posted on February 14th, by Steve Browne in Community and Connection. Comments Off

There are some things in life that truly tie us all together. I think that one of them is music!! Seriously, think about it.

We can remember a certain song or group that defined high school, college, weddings, etc.  I distinctly remember the rush of emotion I would get when the High School pep band would play “Jet” by Paul McCartney & Wings during the warm up. Geeked !!

Music follows all people and when you look at that in the context of HR, there is a gold mine of tunes that resonate with all of us.  Paul Smith, author of Welcome to the Occupation, gathered some great lists of HR/work related songs that we can all see ourselves in. Check out his post here: Songs About Work 3-D.

Along those lines and to get you hooked, I want you to try these:

THE song when you're thinking about the potential termination of a team member from The Clash!!

Or, when you've had one of those days that seem to drone on and on, there's the new wave classic by Trio – “Da Da Da”

My “go to” song lately has been what I see happening to employees as they come to work each week - ”I Don't Like Mondays” by the Boomtown Rats.

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Those are just a few that hit me and you can probably guess what type of music I tend to listen to. What does that say about me?  That's up to your interpretation. The thing to remember in this is that the great people around you everyday have music in them too!!  They are full of different styles, genres, and themes that get them through each day.

Too often in HR we want everyone to “be on the same page” which really means that we want people to conform to a certain direction or movement.  We often aren't looking for their input. We just want them to get in line with everyone else. Wouldn't it be better if we let them express themselves and bring their ideas, approaches and insight to situations?  It doesn't mean that we won't reach consensus or agreement.

In fact, it's just the opposite.  By involving the diverse reality of employees around us, we come up with better conclusions and strategies.

So, this week, let your music flow!! Let others see the great tunes you love and take in the symphony of those around you. You'll love the mix that comes from it!!

Remember, You've Got the Music in YOU !!

About the author: Steve Browne is the ultimate connector and social media guidance counselor and also works in the trenches of Human Resources. Steve is the Executive Director of HR for LaRosa’s. He has responsibilities for the strategic direction of over 1400 employees. In his spare time, he is active in Ohio SHRM and runs a subscriber-based newsletter called HR Net. Connect with Steve on Twitter as @sbrownehr and on LinkedIn.

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Life After Hurricane Sandy

Posted on November 22nd, by Kimberly Patterson in Community and Connection. Comments Off

I live in a small commercial fishing town at the beach.  When Hurricane Sandy was gearing up and making news, we heard, “this town hasn't been breached since 1962, everything will be fine.”  Folks weren't panicked since Irene mandated an evacuation and not one light bulb flickered.  These families' incomes are on the water so their lives are driven by the weather.

Then came Sandy.  She was on a mission to tell her own story.

I live in Barnegat Light, NJ which is a small community at the most northern point of Long Beach Island. Also the highest part of the island with a man-made jetty and built-up sand dunes.

Here's a picture of our street at high-tide.

The water was rising and it was terrifying.  I was following Twitter for updates. Our phones were all we had to communicate.  By morning and low tide, the water had receded.  Barnegat Light was dry again.

We jumped in the car and started checking on friends and neighbors.  Possessions were blown around and I was tweeting pics from our town and surrounding communities.  Random folks were tweeting back and asking me to check on their house. We did.

What I didn't realize is that we would be doing that for the next 3 days. Not only did we check on homes and take pictures, we were turning off gas lines, emp

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tying out freezers and trying to put homeowners' minds at ease.

When I'm working I feel like I'm moving 100 miles an hour.  But I've never really known what it feels like to move at 100 miles an hour until those days following Sandy.

So while I sit here in a hotel room in Pennsylvania seeing the devastation caused by Sandy for the first time on television, I'm off-kilter in every way possible.  The wide range of feelings and emotions that I experienced from the building of the storm, going through the storm and what we saw after the storm have left my soul feeling like one of those tiny knots you get in a thinly-threaded necklace. You have no choice but to let time, patience and perseverance loosen it.

How do folks decompress and process this experience?

While we have been displaced with a few belongings, it's nothing more than a string of inconveniences.  After all, we have an intact home to go to and so many others don't.

Like other tragedies, we get our temporary wake-up call and then move on. Do we ever truly realize and appreciate what really matters?

I bet the folks who lived here will.

About the author: Kimberly Roden is an HR pro turned consultant and the founder of Unconventional HR.  She has 25 years of progressive experience as a strategic HR and business leader.  Her hands-on and innovative approach allows her to create and deliver HR solutions to meet business challenges and needs by managing human capital, talent acquisition and technology.

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Eliminating Business Card Clutter

Posted on October 2nd, by Maggie Tomas in Community and Connection. Comments Off
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You know the routine. You attend a networking event, professional conference, association meeting and collect a bucket load of 2 x 3 inch business cards from a collection of professionals, ranging from the gentleman who sat next to you at breakfast to an engaging mentor-worthy executive.  Then the event ends and you transport the business cards from your suit pocket to your work bag and forget about them until you arrive to work the next morning.

Now what?

Traditional networking wisdom would tell you to take the time in the next couple of days to log each contact’s information onto a spreadsheet and then follow up with an email (and log that too).  Sound like a lot of work?  Probably because it is and the fact that it is time consuming and really not top of mind (after all the conference is over and you have a stack of work to get to done) leads to a high likelihood of business card abandonment.

A better way to deal with a stack of business cards is to embrace social media to make your life easier.  I constantly hear colleagues, friends, and family lamenting the main social sites calling them a time-zappers when really if used effectively they can be a time saver.

Below are a couple of tips for how to manage newly made contacts that will not consume your time for half a morning.

  • Business card reader apps. If you have a smart phone or tablet then you can utilize this immediately.  After collecting a business card you can take a photo of it and it will automatically be added to your phone contacts.  Some of these apps go so far as finding the contact on LinkedIn and sending them a connection request.  How is that for a time saver?
  • In the moment notes. Immediatel

    y after you collect someone’s card, take 30 seconds to jot down something you learned about them on the back of the card.  This will help you remember what was meaningful about this particular person. Trust me after a long day of networking many of these contacts will blur together and you may remember that someone has a daughter at UCLA and loves mountain bike riding but deciphering if it was Cindy at GM or Greg from Target will be more challenging.

  • Connections through LinkedIn. Instead of taking the time to enter contact information on a spreadsheet, invest that time by finding your contacts on LinkedIn and sending a connection request with a personal message that refers to something you learned about them (jotted down on the back of the business card- see point 2) when you met.

Remember, the point of sharing business cards isn’t to increase the number of contacts on your spreadsheets. Business card exchanges are solely for staying connected. Utilize social media  and allow relationship building and productivity to co-exist.

What has worked for you?

Photo credit: iStockphoto

About the author: Maggie Tomas works at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota as Associate Director and Career Coach in the Graduate Business Career Services office. Her background includes teaching and career counseling at the college level, namely at the University of St. Thomas, University of California Santa Barbara, and  Brooks Institute, where she served as Director of Career and Student Services.  She is a contributing writer to several blogs and publications including Opus Magnum, Women of HR and Job Dig.

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5 Networking Tips When You Don’t Have Time to Network

Posted on August 30th, by Maggie Tomas in Community and Connection. Comments Off
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The statistics spouting the importance of networking are sprinkled in every career article from the small college newsletter to major international publications.   We all feel the pressure to expand our network, meet new people and make a stellar first impression.

As a career coach working with MBA students who are looking to get connected in the business world, the most common question I encounter is about networking.  In this tough economy many of students I work with are also juggling multiple roles such as full time professional, involved parent or caretaker. I often get an exasperated look when I bring up the importance of networking because the thought of adding another item to an already full to – do list is overwhelming.

Here are some of the best, most applicable, tips on how to network with limited time.

  1. Be prepared. You don’t have time to waste so come to any networking event with a plan. Know who is going to be attending, look them up on LinkedIn, find any commonalities you have to discuss, and then make the connection.  This creates meaningful networking and allows you to leave at a reasonable time because you had a plan of attack.
  2. Be focused. I say this because I have been there, in the moment at a networking event, and all I can think of is my kids waiting for me at home, the school project that needs to be done or the paper that isn’t yet written. That makes the networking meaningless because your mind is elsewhere and you won’t appear genuine.  You might as well have not been at the event at all.  If you have taken the time to attend, then make sure to make it worthwhile and be present.
  3. Utilize an established network. When you have children at home, going  blindly to a networking event outside of your network will be more challenging and take more time, and you may not find others there who are in your same  situation (i.e. balancing mult

    iple roles).  It makes most sense to attend a networking event affiliated with your school (undergrad or grad), company or passion (think volunteer groups).

  4. Join a professional association. Yes, the dues are high but you have access to a ton of networking events each month and you can pick and choose which events best fit your life and schedule.  Many are breakfast events which are the best way to squeeze in a little professional networking during a jam packed day without impacting your “at home” or “at work” responsibilities.
  5. Network everywhere. A dear friend of mine from California recently networked her way into her dream job.  How?  She met the hiring manager at her daughter’s toddler dance class!  She started chatting with the other parents, made a great contact, kept in touch, one thing led to another and voila!  Networking as a parent is unique in that many of the people who are sitting next to you at your son or daughter’s after school events are also professionals and may be able to impact your career.

Ultimately networking is about building relationships.  As a business professional there is nothing that will impact your career success more than having a strong network.  Make time for growing your network in a way that works for you.

Photo credit: iStockphoto

About the author: Maggie Tomas works at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota as Associate Director and Career Coach in the Graduate Business Career Services office. Her background includes teaching and career counseling at the college level, namely at the University of St. Thomas, University of California Santa Barbara, and  Brooks Institute, where she served as Director of Career and Student Services.  She is a contributing writer to several blogs and publications including Opus Magnum, Women of HR and Job Dig.

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Don't Laugh Too Loudly

Posted on July 3rd, by Bonni Titgemeyer in Community and Connection. 3 comments
How To Get Your Ex Boyfriend Back

I can say without reservation that most HR folks I know are really nice people who do a respectable job.

I can also say without reservation that most HR folks I know are not wild party animals live life on the edge and who routinely break company policy.

But does the term “respectable” go hand in hand with, shall I say, “boring”?

A few years ago, my firm did a “What HR Likes” survey, and to my great surprise, the respondents’ favourite TV show was Two and a Half Men.

I liked Two and a Half Men, a lot, but up until seeing those results, I really thought I was the only one, and kept my love of it a secret.  I watched it by myself, low volume, lights out.  It was not something I admitted publicly.

Why?  Because Two and a Half Men at its core was and is still offensive to some people.  It is full of outlandish situations that the HR profession cannot condone at work.  Sex, sexism, adultery, fraternization, debauchery, harassment, alcoholism, double entendre—you name it, the show had it.  I laughed loudly when Alan needed Charlie to cover as the Receptionist at his clinic, and within hours Charlie had turned the office into a seedy massage parlour.  As

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an HR Professional, how can I be expected to hold high standards if secretly I think certain escapades like this are funny (actually hilarious)?  After all, we’ve all had a “Charlie” in our workplace we’ve had to deal with before, right?

There used to be “rules” about what could be said in mixed company.  In some people’s lives, these rules no longer apply and anything goes.  The challenge is in some cases, for some people, these rules very much still do apply, and at work, there is still a need for a decorum that respects higher standards of behaviour.

I guess I’m trying to say that if you’re in HR, it is hard to have overly liberal views.  Basically, there is no way of winning, which is probably why our profession is full of closet Two and a Half Men fans.

Photo credit: iStockphoto

About the author: Bonni Titgemeyer is the Managing Director of The Employers’ Choice Inc. She has been in human resources for 20+ years and works in the international HR arena. She is the recipient of the 2012 Toronto Star HR Professional of the Year Award.  You can connect with Bonni on Twitter as @BonniToronto, often at the hashtag #TEPHR.

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Not So Terrible Twos: 2 Years of Women of HR

Posted on June 1st, by Shauna Moerke in Community and Connection. 2 comments
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Today commemorates the 2 year anniversary of Women of HR. 2 years, over 300 posts, 50 some regular and guest contributors. Dudes, can you believe it?

2 years ago, I was lucky enough to kick off the site by encouraging you all to be subversive in our inaugural post. 1 year ago, I told everyone they got puppies and ice cream in celebration of our first anniversary. Hmm, what should we do for our 2nd anniversary then?

Unicorns! You, and you, and you…everybody gets a unicorn! Or not, whateves.

In all seriousness though, thank you

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, everyone, for your continued support, contributions and readership. The thought provoking posts, the encouraging comments, and this wonderful community.

We do this for you. Because we've got your back.

Huge love and hugs to our Editor-in-Chief Lisa Rosendal, and my lovely fellow co-founders Trish McFarlane, Sarah White, Charee Klimek, and Jennifer Payne. There are no words to express how grateful I am to share in this great project we started one fun night in Chicago.

I know that this next year is going to be just as amazing and exciting as the last two. I hope you will all be there to experience it with us.

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