Wednesday, December 20, 2017

HR is Messy

A few years ago a member of my team asked me a question. We were discussing a sensitive issue that required some finesse to work through. I was also working toward a specific outcome, and knew I needed to take several important steps in order to get there.

She asked..."do you always have an agenda for everything?"

I Love Plans
For most of us...well, at least for me...I like to be in control of my situation. I want to understand the issues, prepare to address the ever-present political landmines, and be organized so I can deliver the results everyone expects from me.

Good plans do that. Heck, even half-baked plans can often do most of the job. But something happens in spite of having a clear work plan...and it seems to happen consistently.

People get involved.

A Beautiful Mess
Here's the part where I do not vent about people being a source of frustration as I try to get my work done "according to plan."

It turns out I'm one of those people that gets involved...even in my own plans! Sometimes I change my mind, or learn new information, or discover a new challenge that needs to be managed thoughtfully.

HR work is messy....and I love it.

How About You
The next time someone "interrupts" your plans, consider this: the world does not revolve around your view exclusively. If you are always the smartest one in the room, you have a pretty weak room.

Focus on being savvy, understanding all of the dynamics involved, and focus on the end result versus winning every battle along the way.

Oh, and my answer to her question about having an agenda?

It was yes, of course.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Should Have Known Better

"That time I pushed for what I thought was best, without really listening to what my colleagues were telling me."

I should have known better.

"When I didn't take the time to fully understand all of the politics involved."

I should have known better.

"The new policy I thought would be so good for the bottom line, but didn't realize how ill-prepared I was with the communication plan."

I should have known better.

"I wish the others could have seen how important that was...what's wrong with them?"

I should have known better.

"I wasn't threatened by them...I just needed to have things go my way...and be really popular."

I should have known better.
How About You
Who on your team needs a healthy dose of "should have known better?" Go tell them. Be firm. Stop treating them like they will break in two, or that chaos will follow. They need your coaching wisdom, and bold leadership.

Tell them today.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Carved In Stone

Regardless of the size of the organization.

Let's agree they are all complex.


Many Parts




My eyes only see a fraction of the whole.

What part am I not seeing?

Which employee am I missing?

What issue is just beyond my line of sight?

Who is struggling that I can help, but I just don't notice them?

How About You
Am I inflexible and carved so deeply in stone that I'm missing...well... everything around me? 

What, or more importantly, who, might you be missing in your world?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, December 11, 2017

If Not Us, Then Who

"That's not my job."
"Those issues are outside my scope."
"I don't have authority to address that."
"I'm in HR, that's an Operations issue."

It's About Action
What in the world is happening?

Have we lost our way in HR? Is there something inherent in how we view our roles, that has inadvertently backed us into a position where we feel we are not leaders of the organization?

Check out this recent example of HR in action:

A hospital's laboratory department [not a client] was struggling with turnover, scheduling, and low morale. The HR leader proactively joined in the solutions process and pulled schedules, department financials, and reviewed employee concerns. 

The result? She built a new schedule that solved both the morale and staffing problems. The Lab Director was thrown off initially, but once the progress became apparent, was appreciative of the support.

Leadership (Not Just HR)
That my friends, is real HR leadership. 

Was that in the HR Director's job description? No.
Was that "old school" HR? No.
Was that taking a risk that the organization could not recover from? No.

Here's the part that so many of us miss, including me, multiple times.

We have the authority as leaders to do any damn thing we need to do. There is no one holding us back. There is no one telling us 'no.' If we are going to earn the respect that we must earn, it is entirely up to us to take action.

Action trumps excuses every time.

How About You
What's holding you back from being a leader, not just the "HR person?" HR means so much more than the HR department, right?

Am I wrong? Should we lead for real...or just keep processing all of that paperwork?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Get Off My Lawn

I have become an angry old man.

You see, getting (a bit) older is an interesting thing. While I try really hard to be a positive force in my little world, I can sometimes fall in the trap of...well...not being so positive.

Those Darn Leaders
The curse of high expectations can be costly. On one hand I work extremely hard to ensure phenomenal results are achieved; and, I can also be critical when junior-level leaders try hard but repeatedly fall short.

Get off my lawn you struggling leaders!

Those Darn Team Members
I'm blessed to help lead an organization that is absolutely loaded with bright young minds. Their energy is infectious, and pushes me to keep bringing my A-game each day. Except, I fall into my own expectations-trap.

I expect those fired up young minds to understand everything I already have been exposed to and learned over many years. Sigh. Another #JayFail.

Get off my lawn you young people!

Those Darn Executives
Ah, at least I can rely on all of the executives leading organizations around the globe! They are my "angry old man" salvation, for sure!

But wait...did I just hear one (er, all!) of them say they don't have time for social media, branding, have any time to spend with employees, or mentor a young motivated leader because they have more meetings?

What is happening?
Excuses? Meetings? Noise!

When did policies, process, busy calendars and egos take over our passion for leadership?

Get off my lawn you scared executives!

How About You
Have you become angry in your "old age?" Well, I for one am done with being the old angry guy in the corner of the conference room. Complaining doesn't support new leaders, educate motivated young employees, or call-out stressed executives.

Action + a positive attitude does all of these things and more!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, December 4, 2017

Your Career Site Is A Retention Tool

A job list.

That is literally what your "career" site is. A simple, boring, ineffective list of current open positions.

Oh, wait. You might have a picture of a smiling beautiful person who doesn't work at your company on your "site" too. Nice touch. I'm sure that will bring in the qualified applicants!

Content (hint, your employees sharing their stories)
Their is a reason that you hear employer branding and content so frequently relative to recruitment. It's how you represent yourself in 2017 to prospective employees. What is often not said however, is that employer branding can move the needle on retention as well.

Think about it. A robust employer brand / recruitment marketing strategy uses current employees constantly to spread the good news about the employer. Highlighting your own employees (instead of those 'models') on your career site is a very public form of recognition.

Sure, the certificates you hand out thanking people for being awesome are a sure-fire strategy; but maybe interviewing them for a blog post or video that could reach the entire universe is a bit more impactful? 

Are you with me?

Retain First, Recruit Second
Have any of you ever said this phrase..."our employees are our most important asset." Of course you have... WE ALL HAVE!

Except, how many of us highlight our employees on our digital properties to make sure we keep the best ones, and attract the ones we need like they do and they do?


When you put your people on your careers page, loaded with stories, engaging photographs and videos, you send a powerful message that your employees literally are your most important asset.

How About You
Are you ready to start retaining your people, and show potential applicants that you are the most progressive employer in your industry? What are you waiting for? I'm ready to help you!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.