Women in HR Technology #HRTechConf #nextchat

Today is the start of the HR Technology Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas; it’s the 20th annual event and we’re kicking off with the 2nd Annual Women in HR Tech pre-conference event today. Sessions include:

and many more.

The blended topics at the intersection of gender, technology and workplace inclusion make regular headlines and they’re important conversations. Yet, for many HR practitioners who either don’t work in tech or live here with me in “flyover country” the discussions are seen as much ado about nothing. Admittedly, I’m not basing that opinion on anything other than my own anecdotal experiences. To wit: within the last few months I spoke to two separate HR audiences, a thousand miles apart, and when I asked these several hundred HR practitioners/leaders who had heard of James Damore’s “google manifesto” the vast majority were unfamiliar. Which made me sad. This is important for human resources leaders to discuss and it’s not just about “women in tech;” there are bigger issues surrounding gender inclusion and ongoing stereotypes in any workplace/industry.

So yeah…I’m quite thrilled that for the second year the team the #HRTechConf is providing an opportunity for us to have these conversations.

In addition, SHRM will be running this week’s #nextchat live from the conference; join Conference presenter Cecile Alper-Leroux @cecilehcm; and members of the HR Tech Insiders Blogger Team: Dawn Burke @DawnHBurke, Heather Bussing @HeatherBussing, Heather Kinzie @HeatherKinzie, Jennifer Payne @JennyJensHR, (and me!) as we discuss “Women in HR Tech” live on the twitterz at 3 PM/ET on Wednesday (tomorrow).

p.s. check out this great post “Women and Tech – The Pace of Change” from Heather Bussing.

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image: Wikipedia: About 8,000 women worked in Bletchley Park, the central site for British cryptanalysts during World War II. Women constituted roughly 75% of the workforce there

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Human Centered Hiring and Culture Fit

The importance of aligning hiring to organizational culture is endlessly discussed, debated, and analyzed. Everyone from researchers to C-suite leaders to HR professionals has an opinion on how to achieve this seemingly elusive nirvana. We constantly ask ourselves, “What’s the best way to ensure the individuals we’re hiring are a ‘fit’ with our culture?”

Most of us have a clear definition of organizational culture; we understand it’s the collective behavior of the people who are part of the organization, as formed by vision, values, norms, systems, beliefs, symbols, and traditions. We know that culture affects the way individual employees and groups interact with each other, as well as customers, clients, and other stakeholders.

[click here to read the rest of this post that recently ran over at Globoforce….]

 

For more on this topic, check out the WorkHuman Radio interview with myself and Bill Boorman, embedded here.

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image: American Horror Story: Cult (season 7; creepy) 

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Happiness and Engagement: Can’t We All Get Along?

Are you happy at work? Do you awake refreshed each morning? Do you leap out of bed eager to take on a new day? Do you look forward to hanging out with your co-workers as you complete your spreadsheets and TPS reports? Do you find joy and camaraderie with Meghan in the next cubicle whilst doing these mind-numbing and meaningless tasks? If so….why?

On the other hand, are you engaged at work? Do you have an emotional and psychological attachment to your work and your employer? Do you go above and beyond? Use discretionary effort? Do you, as the kids like to say, “give a shit?”

And, if you are, God bless you, ‘engaged,’ must you also be happy? Do they have to co-exist? Should they? Can they?

Questions for the ages.

And we’re going to have a bit of a discussion on Wednesday (June 28th – 2 PM ET) over at TLNT when I’ll be leading a webinar with the super-long title of Happiness and Employee Engagement; Mutually Exclusive or Necessary Partners for Organizational Success? (click here to register). Here’s what I’m going to be chatting about:

Employees make a bargain with their employers upon the acceptance of a job; to complete required job duties, hit assigned goals and, ideally, contribute to the success of the organization, financial or otherwise, through committed actions and endeavors. Meanwhile, employers make a commitment to their employees to provide a safe workplace with a job that fulfills basic human needs and, ideally, allows for some level of satisfaction and professional growth.

Nestled within there however, and often unspoken until the employment relationship begins, is the goal of the employer to have “engaged’ employees and the desire of many employees to be ‘happy’ at work.

But what do these terms really mean, and how can employers and employees work together to foster the most productive environment for business success? In this webinar, our speaker will explore how we measure and promote employee engagement, how employee engagement and business success correlate, and whether “happiness” does, or should, be involved.

In particular, we’ll focus on:

  • The state of employee engagement
  • The role that employee happiness plays
  • The critical importance in defining, clarifying and understanding the differences and the interdependence for organizational success.

So come join us! Sponsored by our good friends at Cornerstone on Demand , this will be a great way to spend Hump Day because, of course, if you’re neither happy nor engaged, all you’re thinking about is how you’re on the downhill slide to Friday at 5 PM!

 

 

 

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Candor in the Workplace #WorkHuman

There’s a new (ish) concept in the arena of employee feedback – Radical Candor. In the best selling book Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity, author Kim Scott (a former Google director and consultant) explains that radical candor encourages employees to directly confront issues with colleagues in a completely honest—yet respectful and compassionate—way.

I recently weighed in on the topic for the Baton Rouge Business Report along with the Director of Operations for a local law firm that has added it to their workplace/operational mix ; you can read the article here. (just please ignore the incredibly awkwardly staged photo. ugh).

I found it to be perfect timing for this article’s published date (last Thursday) since I’m hitting the road today for the WorkHuman Conference; 3rd year of the event and my 3rd time attending. I’ll also, along with my co-presenter Bill Boorman, be speaking at a Spotlight Session on the topic “How to Hire for a “Challenging” Culture.”

In many ways the word “culture” seems to have become yet another over-used buzzword in the business and HR sphere; toss the word “culture” into an article or a speaker submittal and you’ll garner lots of interest. But, cynicism aside, it really does all come down to culture.  The amorphous, ever-evolving, squishy, and somewhat-hard-to-articulate GLUE that connects employee-to-organization and connects employee-to-employee.

Candor in the workplace? –“In order for organizations to make a switch to a radical candor environment, they first must do the hard work of ensuring their organizational culture can sustain a style of working that requires employees to directly challenge each other, while ensuring those forthright conversations emanate from a place of truth and personal caring.” (so sayeth me in that Business Report article).

Hiring for a challenging culture? – “We’re fully aware that we can’t make-up our organizational culture and we also know that being false and inauthentic, while it may garner more applicants, leads to mismatched hiring. The true differentiator in talent acquisition and retention is being real, honest and truthful with both candidates and employees in order to provide them with an honest version of the actual working experience at your organization.” (so sayeth me for WorkHuman)

Glue.

It’s sticky.

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Julia and Me (and Chaz! And Michelle!) #WorkHuman

This is year 3 (three!!) of Globoforce’s #WorkHuman conference and I have been attending since the beginning.

I’ve also been the biggest fan of this event. It’s kind of tribal…like heading to get tattoos with all your girlfriends one weekend.  Or a super bonding camping trip where everyone has to use a communal port-a-potty.

Sounds weird for an HR conference but it’s really not.

I’ve never been a devotee of the sunrise yoga at 7 AM (have not attended one single session…#shocker), nor have I been particularly enamored with the flavored water served at “refreshment break” time when all I really desired was carbonation and/or a strong cup of java, yet…I still get all ramped up by every other element.

And the attendees? Smart people who are interested in what makes human beings tick. Talent professionals who are intrigued by how to make work better and how to create organizations that allow people to do their best work.

So yeah…I planned on attending in 2017 as soon as last year’s conference ended and then, BAM, the following ‘announcements’ are made (in this approximate order):

  1. Adam Grant back as a keynote (omg.. y’all…I loved him so much! And he wrote a new book with Sheryl Sandberg)
  2. Susan Cain announced as another keynote speaker; author of “Quiet Power”
  3. Globoforce extends an invitation to me and my co-presenter Bill Boorman to lead a session on “Hiring for a ‘Challenging’ Culture.” 
  4. OMG!  Julia Louis-Dreyfus is announced as a keynote speaker (Elaine moments galore float through the recesses of my brain).
  5. Sweet Fancy Moses – we now have Chaz Bono as a keynote
  6. Michelle Obama is unveiled as the closing keynote! Michelle Obama! 

When that Michelle Obama announcement was made I swear to you that I literally died and somehow resurrected my temporal not-quite-human spirit to come back to earth and assume bodily form in order to get myself to Phoenix at the end of May.

Truly.

So…do YOU wanna join me?  There are still some tickets left but you have to move fast; the conference is almost sold out! But, if you register HERE and use code WH17INF-RSC you can save $500 off the price of registration.

See you in Phoenix! 

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