Surprise Me Rob Lowe! #WorkHuman

workhumanThere are many things I’m looking forward to at the Globoforce WorkHuman 2015 conference including hearing from Tania Luna who is a trainer, consultant and “surprisologist.” She’s a founder, along with her sister, of Surprise Industries where, according to their website, they provide “a collection of non-routine experiences for non-routine people” as they focus on surprising and delighting individuals, couple and companies. Working with SI, a friend, partner, or employer can provide personalized and unique gifts, customize events to create memories, or schedule events ranging from a private yoyo workshop to a Michael Jackson class where one can learn the dance moves to MJ’s Thriller, Beat It or Smooth Criminal.

Imagine giving Karl in Purchasing (who loves loves LOVES MJ!) a never-to be-forgotten memory? That’s just one example but it’s illustrative of how organizations are refining their understanding of how human relationships at work can energize, excite, and transform the business. HR and business leaders are starting to “get it;” appreciation and recognition is much more effective when we bring the personal-and-human element back into the workplace. Karl probably doesn’t want another lapel pin to toss in his dresser drawer…but Karl will never forget learning how to moon walk.

And that’s what we’re going to talk about at WorkHuman. We’re going to explore engagement, recognition, psychology, and technology. We’re going to discuss the business impact of the human-centered workplace. We’re going to hear from keynote speakers including:

  • Arianna Huffington (Co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post)
  • Rob Lowe (Best-selling author, activist, and award-winning actor)
  • Adam Grant (Wharton School professor of psychology and best-selling author)
  • Shawn Achor (Harvard-trained researcher and NY Times best-selling author)

This is going to be good. I don’t even care which Rob Lowe shows up; I’m just looking forward to his stories about teamwork, risk-taking, work, and life. (Oh…and please please please let him talk about the Snow White at the Oscars thing…)

According to Globoforce CEO Eric Mosley “WorkHuman is designed to empower organizations to harness the transformative power of emotional connections among colleagues, and supercharge efforts to build a humanity-focused workplace culture.”

Interested in joining us? Use code RSWH15100 and you’ll receive $100 off the registration price.

I hope to see you there!

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HR Technology Next: It’s All About Retention and Re-recruitment

cogRecently I had the opportunity to weigh in on the topic of “The Power of HR Technology in the Quantified Organization.”

How the datafication of HR fits into the quantified organization is the focus of a new paper from LBi Software, which asked me and a handful of other observers of the HCM space to weigh in on this timely topic.

What did we cover? We answered the questions:

  • What Does the “Datafication of HR” Mean to You? More Important, What Should It Mean to HR Leaders Today?
  • Has the Role of HR Technology Changed to Meet the Demands of the Quantified Organization?
  • What Area of HR Technology Is Most Likely to Have the Most Immediate and Measurable Impact on, or in, the Quantified Organization?

In this paper I brought up software that gathers and collects data to help boost employee retention; after all, this may be the year we suffer the double hit when boomers finally retire after the economic downturn and disengaged employees finally exit as the economy continues to at least stabilize.

In my estimation, HR technology that offers predictive modeling can allow HR leaders to get ahead of the game. There may be recognizable organizational value when HR professionals use technology that can track patterns and trends related to work conditions that may lead to turnover — or consider how the use of predictive technology may allow for improvement in employee retention. Some of this requires shaking up the traditional recruiting and HR model in organizations by creating open access to platforms and data across the HR and talent function. Give your recruiters access to the HRIS and LMS and let your Regional HR Managers poke around in the success planning system.

That’s my vision anyway.

So go and check out this interesting and informative paper; also providing insight are Stacey Harris, Steve Boese, Paul Hebert, Lance Haun and Richard Teed.

Analytics? Covered. Assessment tools? Yes. Mobile, trackable and wearable? Yup, yup and yup.

“The quantified organization is here, it’s definable, and the business benefits it offers are undeniable.”

Agreed.

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Attribution: Font Awesome by Dave Gandy

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Assertiveness: Flaw, Strength, or a Poo on the Desk?

pooping+dogLast week I wrote a post that ran at Recruiting Daily. Per my sources, this critique overview of SHRM activities got some pretty good viewership. It also led to numerous conversations and feedback as I received a fairly sizable number of emails and messages ranging from “woo hoo” to your “post on SHRM was awesome this week” to someone telling me I not only have guts but am also a clear thinker.

I also had an HR friend chastise me for tearing down the people I’m trying to change. His opinion was that I was merely advancing stereotypes of HR while simultaneously trashing the entire HR profession.

Well…no.

While I admit to a few well-placed generalizations in the post, I also noted that I, myself, FIT half those stereotypes. I wrote the post, I pointed out to him, because I do care. If I didn’t…I would be silent.

SHRM drama. Sigh.

In the larger scheme of things though it got me thinking…why did this seem like such a big deal? Is it because, to reference another generalization, human resources professionals are reluctant to state their opinion? Take a stand? State the uncomfortable truth – as they see it?

Chatting about SHRM’s lack of transparency is not a life or death situation. It barely ranks up there with taking a poop on the boss’ desk and resigning in a blaze of glory.

I gathered that my post just made some HR people uncomfortable. And not, may I state, only the SHRM diehards. Is that because in HR we’re expected to play it safe? “Keeping it sweet” is for followers of Warren Jeffs and the Duggars…not for HR professionals. With that attitude we are but one step away from the prairie dresses and ginormous hairdos.

Is assertiveness a bad word in HR? Most practitioners have built up the requisite skills to negotiate with vendors or brokers. We’ve developed a boastful pride in having the cajones to chastise a manager or participate in a meeting where an employee is given feedback. (note: this is also known as the “PIP” meeting. HR ladies love nothing more than making sure they sit in on every damn PIP meeting that occurs in the history of their company.)

But somehow we’re still left with a whole bunch of HR practitioners who never feel it’s safe to state exactly what they mean or to voice a personal opinion.

“Hey Ms. CEO…hiring Bob Smith as your VP of Sales is the dumbest thing you could ever do and here’s why…” “Hey Mr. CEO, I’m done cleaning up your messes; keep it in your pants or I’m out of here!” “Hey Ms. CHRO…you may be 3 layers up the totem pole from my lowly minion status but you are dead wrong with this initiative.”

I get it; it’s hard to do. It’s not easy to push back to the senior executive who seemingly holds our fate in his well-manicured hands.

But it takes courage and chutzpah and guts to work in human resources. You can be assertive and bold while still being direct and respectful.

You can be smart without being a know-it-all.

Assertiveness might just be the ticket to being a leader…versus being led.

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The Ecosystem of Innovation – #DiceTalentNet

TalentNetAustinMeme (1)Last week I got the opportunity to attend #DiceTalentNet in Austin. Hosted by my friend Craig Fisher in partnership with Dice, this annual event serves as a catalyst to bring together talent acquisition professionals, recruiting leaders, tech geeks, inventors and provocateurs as a kick-off to SXSW. We gathered at the Whole Foods corporate headquarters (fantastic!) thanks to global recruiting leader Andres Traslavina, noshed on healthy food, and hoisted a glass or two over the course of several days.

As is always the case when I attend an event of this sort it takes me a few days to process what I learned. I like to pause, evaluate, and think about the conversations and the sessions. There was a lot to think about.

We had incredible wide-ranging discussions last week; Gerry Crispin spoke about the Candidate Experience, Bill Boorman discussed Data for Good vs. Data for Evil, and Matt Charney, Lars Schmidt and Ambrosia Humphrey discussed Boomerang Communities (those former employees who want to come back…or the ones we want back!). James Mayes discussed concepts around Bringing Engineering to Recruiting (fascinating!). Even my friend Kristi Jones and I got in on the action and led a session called Attack of the HR Ladies.

And, needless to say, there was much much MUCH more.

I’ve spent some time this week looking back over the years (decades really) that I’ve been involved in recruiting/HR/talent roles and reflecting on both how things have changed…and how things have stayed the same. So often, especially when going to a typical conference, we find that we re-hash the same topics, the same ideas, and the same solutions. Not so at #DiceTalentNet.

For me, the theme (if you will) that emerged from #DiceTalentNet was INNOVATION. I know… it seems like an overused word but I think it fits what’s happening amongst the smart and curious people who tend to gather together to talk about these things. (note: #TalentNet attendees don’t show up for credits…they show up for community. Know how I could tell? The conversations about recruiting, tech, and talent were still going strong at midnight…and well into the wee hours of the morning).

So … innovation?

During #DiceTalentNet we had the perfect convergence of imagination and ideas. I heard about (and saw) initiatives that are designed to make things better. I had discussions about forming new alliances and creating new ways of doing things to satisfy the evolving (evolved) needs of organizations and recruiters.

I won’t call it disruption – although that word popped up now and again during the day. What I saw in action was thoughtful and informed. We talked about breaking barriers and knocking down pre-conceived notions…but doing so with purpose.

We even put it in action with a sourcing challenge using Dice Recruiter which, since I was too slow, I didn’t win; but kudos to Alice Case who did. (You can download the app here. note: The Dice Recruiter App requires a Dice Open Web account. Learn more about Open Web.)

So yeah. Innovation.

What a great day. And a great future.

“The future you create is the one you get prepared for”

@Seiden

#DiceTalentNet 2015

 

Thanks again to Craig and Dice for joining together and hosting; I definitely intend to return in 2016!

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The Neil DeGrasse Tyson of HR

NDTOccasionally I’m witness to an interesting phenomenon when gatherings of HR professionals play a round of “HR Solar System.” This game is also known as “I’m in HR and I think the planets revolve around me.”

I recall a workshop I attended where the speaker posed the following question: “if an employee is getting off track, whose job is it to get them back on board?”

So while I ticked through some answers in my mind – “the employee, the manager” – I really wasn’t surprised to hear an answer bubbling up from throughout the audience – “it’s HR’s job.”

Oh boy.

One thing that always makes me wince is when HR colleagues make statements along the line of  “I have to meet with Sally Sue Employee to issue her write-up/written warning/PIP.” And Sally Sue works in Accounting. Or Marketing. In other words, Sally Sue is NOT having this performance discussion with her manager – she is having it with the HR lady.

Please stop.

HR’s role is not to insert itself into every single employee interaction. Our role is to assist the managers by providing them with coaching, support, and guidance so THEY can have performance discussions with the employees who report to them.

Our role is to assist in supporting a culture where employees are treated with dignity and their abilities and contributions are aligned with organizational goals. Our role is to work to ensure that our organizations provide the foundational structure and the environment in which the employees can succeed. And ultimately our role is to do all these things in order to impact our organization’s performance and success.

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The quickness of the attendees at this workshop to respond “it’s HR’s role to get an employee back on track” points to a continuing desire to be acknowledged and validated. I saw it happen live. I hear stories about it on a regular basis. Jason Lauritsen wrote a great post about this syndrome after the conclusion of the HR Reinvention Experiment in Omaha a few years ago.  He made some great points and readers chimed in with some super comments. Go check it out and then let me know —

—- does HR still view itself as the center of the universe?  Do we suffer from Solar System Syndrome?

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this post originally appeared at the HRSchoolhouse. Reprinted because I still think it holds true. 

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