Saluting @LisaRosendahl – #TimSackettDay

Today, just like every other day, hundreds of thousands of HR leaders will head off to work. A veritable battalion of professionals, they work in every industry and at every size organization imaginable. Unsung heroes, most of them; leading the good fight and doing their best to make the profession, their teams and their organizations better.

Lisa Rosendahl, Acting Associate Director at the US Department of Veterans Affairs, does those things every day.

And today, on #TimSackettDay, we’re celebrating Lisa.

This is a day when we celebrate the inspirational folks in HR and recruiting; we started with Tim Sackett and have since sent a collective shout out to Paul Hebert, Kelly Dingee, Victorio Millian and Animal. Oh…and it’s a surprise too (I wish I would have thought to ship some cake up to Lisa in Minnesota. Damn).

So let me tell you how Lisa inspires me…and countless others.

  • She’s a mom to a wonderful daughter
  • She’s a fearless HR leader with a focus on exceptional leadership, the building of high-performance teams, and strengthening the contributions of her team
  • She’s an inspirational writer
  • She’s a military veteran who served our country as an Officer in the US Army
  • She’s one of the co-founders of the site WomenofHR

I first met Lisa in 2010 and we’ve had the opportunity to get together at various events for lunch and laughs and coffee and dinner over the years. Not enough though. And here on #TimSackettDay I vow to rectify that for 2017.

So congratulations Lisa – you are an inspiration and I, for one, salute you!

A Tale of Disengagement: The Marginalized Employee

A friend of mine is frustrated at work. Frustrated enough to adopt the mantra “I’m learning to not even care.” (as he so succinctly put it). 

And he is, by nature, a very caring person. 

He cares about his customers, his company, and his performance.  He continues to focus on results and doing the best job he can.  But his joy, delight and mojo has left the building.  The energy – the effort! – he’s always put forth has been dialed down a few several many notches.

We can pontificate all we want about ‘attitude’ being a personal choice.  We can exhort people to show up at work and put their nose to the grindstone.  But we can’t, and we know it, make people give a shit.  And then, when they don’t give a shit, we absolutely cannot wonder “why.” 

But we do. We still aimlessly meander down the leadership trail in our pointless journey; doling out surveys, studying reports and lamenting the lack of employee engagement. Which, by the way, we have neglected to even DEFINE.

Naturally we look internally and pat ourselves on the back for doing it right (“damn straight Mr. CEO! We’re most assuredly doing all we can!”) and therefore decide it must be that individual.  That lazy employee.  That person who just shows up to collect a paycheck.  “We’ll never change that person”, we decide.

And deep down we know that’s the biggest crock ever.  But we’re afraid, more often than not, to take a real hard look at how things really are in our companies.  Am I right?

My friend?  A perfect example of how an organization can make someone a statistic and cause an individual to become yet another disengaged employee.  A few  of the recent happenings at his company:

  • A command and control management culture has returned after a brief hiatus (once upon a time some C-suite dude heard that, you know, command-and-control was ‘dead,’ but then…they somehow managed to bring it back to life).  Orders once again come trickling down from on high – through layers of management – and employees are expected to execute.  No input, no discussion and no questioning.
  • My pal, as are many others at his organization, is effectively out of the loop.  Business decisions and organizational strategies – even those which directly impact how he does his job – are not shared.  He operates in a vacuum. A giant corporate soul-sucking Dyson.  It may be the fancy kind with the patented cyclone technology, but it’s certainly not a vacuum with desirable features.
  • His position, one that is absolutely critical to success in the organization, has been relegated to the sidelines.  “Do as you’re told until we tell you to do differently.  That information is on a need-to-know basis.  And you don’t need to know.”

Soul-sucking.

Demoralizing.

Marginalizing.

So when he says “I’m learning to not even care,” it’s because that’s what he’s being taught.

Not exactly what’s meant by learning and performanceis it?

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this post is a re-run/re-work of one of the most (still) searched/linked/googled/found posts on the HRSchoolhouse (my old original site). I think it’s worth a re-run. I’m also re-running the picture/image from that original 2013 post because I just freakin’ LOVE this picture of the kitty with the vacuum cleaner.  

Now Listen Up: #TalentTalk

old-time-radioI like to talk (surprise!) and, perhaps more specifically, I quite often like to talk about HR, talent development, and leadership.  Nothing wrong with that; I enjoy what I do in my day-to-day life and never (well, rarely ever) get tired discussing the impact exceptional HR practitioners can have on the success of their organizations.

Oh sure – the vast majority of the population may not have a burning desire to listen in to a radio show (let alone a podcast that lives on well past the air date) about HR and talent practices, but many folks, just like me, do.

If you happen to be someone who falls into the “yes; let’s talk talent!” camp, make sure to join me today (Tuesday November 29th – 1 PM PST), when I join CEO Chris Dyer from peopleG2 as we have a conversation about the state of human resources, how HR leaders can make a difference, organizational culture and whatever else strikes our fancy.

You can listen here and follow along on twitter at #talenttalk.