Human Capital Newsreel

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Need a Career or Job Change? The Keys to Change Are In Your Hands

“You are so right! I do own the keys to my career! Love it!”

One of my most pleasurable activities is following up with people who have read a blog post that caused them to send a note. This response was from a Chief HR Officer who is striving to be a new style senior level HR person.

The problem is her leadership team is stuck in the old ways of HR and can’t see the forest for the trees.
In our email exchange, I used the expression “you own the keys to your career; no company ever owns that.”
That is a statement that I have always believed in. When I hear of people discussing their situations, while valid, they should always remember who is in charge. That is something that no one can take away from you.

Get in and move up is an old concept

The strategy at one time was to get into a major company and build your career there. Over the years, theoretically, you would climb the proverbial ladder to more responsibilities, title, and the accompanying benefits that result.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Living the Brand: Infusing Employees With a Greater Purpose

This is from China Gorman, CEO, Great Place to Work
I love Southwest! ‪#‎SWA‬. The pilot of our flight to Orlando just approached them sitting next to me with two extreme special needs boys (4 and 6 years old) to ask if the boys wanted to board first and get their pictures taken in the cockpit before everyone else boards. The pilot was just walking through the boarding area, noticed the family and asked. Really. One of the many reasons I give Southwest my corporate and personal business.”
And this was one of the comments in response, from Gerry Crispin, Co-Founder CareerXroads
Empathy and care for your customers. That’s how companies excel. But I also think that guy is probably a great human being to start with, then add a great culture and workforce engagement and… boom.”
I saw the above exchange on Facebook the other day and my thoughts went immediately to the Southwest pilot. There was no advance notice; the pilot was simply doing what he perceived as something good to make the customer’s day.  There’s nothing in the rule book or policy manual that says you have to be nice outside of your normal job duties. This is a perfect example of an employee living the brand.

Mission accomplished

I went over to the Southwest website and pulled up this mission statement:
The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride and Company Spirit.”
As I read this I thought back to a time when my wife and I were on a beach vacation. We noticed that three women kept passing us as we sat in our beach chairs. After the third pass, I noticed that they were now coming towards us. I was wondering what this was going to be about.

Do you really work for Martha Stewart, they asked? Yes, I replied; how did you know that? They said it was because of the cap I was wearing.

Then I realized that I had on a baseball cap with the Martha Stewart name prominently displayed. A half-hour later, we had all become “friends.” I told them how much I enjoyed our conversation and asked for their address. I told them that I would send over some Martha Stewart swag.

When I returned to the office, I shipped them caps, t-shirts, cookbooks and a few magazines back to the address they had given me. The recipient was absolutely incredulous that I had responded, and secondly, that I gave them some gifts.

I did it because I believed in the brand and wanted to share with them since they also believed in the brand. Our mission statement at that time was “Turning dreamers into doers.

Our conversation on the beach centered around how they had baked cookies, decorated cakes, and cleaned with a home remedy. They talked to me about how when the magazines arrived, they literally plotted out what they would try. Yes, they had become doers.

A greater purpose than your job

A company is in business to make money, but there has to be a greater purpose. More importantly, the employees must buy into that greater purpose. You can spend all day working with wordsmiths to come up with a mission statement, but if it does not resonate, it may as well be a foreign language.

I see phrases with terms like “operational excellence,” “product leadership,”  and “customer intimacy,” and I think, “what does that mean?” Yes, what does it mean and can my employees connect to those terms and phrases?
Your mission statement must differentiate your organization from others, and it needs to define a unique position in the marketplace. A copycat or “me-too” statement will not have enduring value.

Successful organizations distinguish themselves from others that provide similar services. Strategy without differentiation is really no strategy at all.

The best mission statements are inspiring, clear, memorable, and concise. There are numerous web sites which have a plethora of sample statements you can peruse.

But, if you have to go to website to come up with something to define your mission, you have not given your business a lot of thought. If you have to hire a consultant to come up with a slogan, you are sadly missing the point. Where is the burning desire of what your organization is trying to do?

Peter Drucker once said: “People buy with their hearts, not their minds.” I say that the same is true with employees.

Customer and employees are the same

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Growing Your Career: Let Your Goals Be the Rudder That Guides You There

A headhunter called this week and their client is interested in me for a CEO role. Never really thought of myself at that level. I don’t know if I should call back. I want your thoughts. Current role VP, Operating Committee member, etc.

Need to discuss this opportunity. I have a job offer but it would require me moving to Charlotte. Current situation: working as HR Manager for six plus years, no movement and none in sight.

Received a resume which showed 4-5 roles with same job title: Recruiting Manager.

This past week was career advice week. This is how it started.

Facing tough career decision

Wow, I thought sarcastically, these are real tough decision. I sure would lose a lot of sleep over all of them.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Yes, It’s Time to Finally Bid the HR Generalist Goodbye

I do not have time for LinkedIn or any of that, but I DO make time for my pedicures. Super serious HR lady at #gbrshrm.”

This was one that I saw posted last when someone was asking what HR could do that would create more employee engagement. The big answer: “company picnic.”
Robin Schooling’s posted the comment the other day concerning an HR person who told her that she does not have time for LinkedIn and other stuff, but she makes time for pedicures. Both these Facebook comments give insight into the mess that HR finds itself in today.
Trying to step out of this simplistic, gut feel solution to be taken seriously in today’s climate of constant change will require a lot more than this type of approach.
Why HR is in a funk

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Building a Brand By Building a Culture of Positive Reinforcement

“All their training is based on positive reinforcement. We keep fish throughout the area and as part of our training routine, we reinforce and reward with a fish. This is how we train them to master a maneuver.“
This comment was from the trainer that trains the sea lions at Disney. I’m a big fan of certain channels such as Animal Planet,Discovery and my all time favorite, National Geographic.
This episode was centered around the trainer and how he puts these animals through their paces for the shows at Sea World. As foolproof as this positive reinforcement is, some will wash out and will not make it. However, the vast majority of them perform their routine flawlessly
Positive reinforcement is the key
Cesar Millan uses the same method on his TV show when he is called in for unruly and problem animals. One of the anecdotes from his show is that he trains people [owners] and not animals to be pack leaders
As I watched this story unfold in its simplicity, I remembered back to our Cocker-Spaniel and how we trained him to do just about anything using the same method.
I have always used a similar approach in managing people — positive reinforcement for a job well done, and encouragement during trying times. I am here to announce that it works.
Positive reinforcement makes it more likely that the behavior will occur again in the future. When given directly after an action, that particular response or behavior will be strengthened.
However, when raising kids this sometimes has the opposite effect of reinforcing bad behavior. How many times have you stood in a grocery store and seen a child act out? The parents response is to give in and let them get what they want or use the proverbial time out to no effect.
Children quickly learn that by acting out, they can gain attention from the parent or even acquire objects that they want.  Essentially, parents are actually reinforcing the misbehavior. In this case, the better solution would be to use positive reinforcement when the child is actually displaying good behavior.
Life happens in real time
Within the dynamic of manager-employee, this is a great tool to create high performers within your domain. The problem is that we wait for the end of year or “scheduled” meetings to have this action take place.
However, life happens in real time and you can’t wait a week later to have this encounter. If organizations want to build a top flight organization, timely, positive reinforcement is the missing ingredient.
There is so much information written on the pros and con of performance reviews, but if you are looking for this tool to build a high performance culture, you need to go back to square 1.
A performance culture is built on day-to-day interaction.. If you think that you are going to walk into a room once a year and have a serious discussion, you need to relinquish your manager’s badge. As the comedian Dana Carvey would say, “Not gonna do it.”
Managers need to seize the moment
In the case of the sea lions, would they perform their daily routines if they had to wait till the end of the year to be told how they did? Can you see a trainer saying, “You know back in June you did not give it your all and the performance fell flat,” or “that project you completed a few months ago was awesome.”
As comical as that may seem, that is what goes on in so many organizations today as managers do not seize the moment..
A performance evaluation is an everyday process of interaction with your team, manager, or the organization. Getting this process right will instill in everyone that the daily interaction is the key to superior performance. This culture has to be created and can not be left to chance.
So many of the pillars of organizational superiority are going to have to be built or nurtured through this type of reinforcement. Nothing can be left to chance. When it is reinforced throughout the organization, you begin to build momentum, and reinforcement is needed for all of our processes to keep the fire alive. Otherwise, the embers will slowly burn out.
Flavors of the month
Over our careers, we have seen time and again all the fanfare that happens around a given initiative. But as time goes by, the brightness of the big launch dims, and eventually, the initiative is no longer salvageable.
When we have follow this process over a period of time, all of our succeeding initiatives simply become the next “flavor of the month.” To be successful, we need to reinforce our people as well as our initiatives.
Successful companies that zero in on a process such as employee engagement know that this is an ongoing journey. They know, and have successfully proven, that in order for it to be successful, they must use every opportunity to reinforce what is important.
Like the sea lion training, any new initiative must be reinforced each and every day.
When superior performance is ingrained
What will happen eventually is that your organization will get it and be in synch so that it becomes a part of the natural fabric. That, in turn, will begin to spread superior performance.
Championship caliber sports teams have superior performance ingrained in their entire organization. There is the sense throughout the organization that “we are good and we know we are the best at what we do.”
Once that feeling has permeated your culture, talent acquisition, retention, and market superiority become easier.
Better yet, your brand will speak for itself and everybody will want to be a part of it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Networking in the Internet Age: It’s Still About Building the Relationship

“Hello sir this is XXXX. I just completed my engineering degree. If you have any opportunities, please let me know.”
“I would like to have a job with your company, please help me.”
“Mr. Ron, please review my resume and give me a job.”
In the course of a week, I get numerous emails of this type. Sometimes it feels as if people think I can just create a job for them even though their skill set does not match up with my company. I also feel that they think I have the time to filter their resume and advise them.
But what amazes me most is the lack of forethought in reaching out to someone, especially on LinkedIn.
Did you read their company profile? Do you know the industry they are in? Have you researched the visa relationship between Saudi Arabia and your country?
I could go on and on.
Do your research

Friday, March 14, 2014

100 Experts for Dubai HR Press Release: 9th annual Human Assets Expansion Summit Mena 2014

http://www.tradearabia.com/news/EDU_253834.html

An interview with the Chief Human Resources Officer,RGTS Group Ronald Thomas

http://www.humanassetsmideast.com/2014/03/12/interview-ronald-thomas-chro-rgts-group/#.UyLCt_ldWSp

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Feeling Like We’re Stealing: It’s How to Know When You’re Really Engaged

Every time I get paid, I feel as if  I’m stealing. I just can’t believe that I am getting paid to do this.
I was watching an interview last week, and when I heard that statement,  I immediately stopped what I was doing to listen more. Unfortunately, the interview was basically over, and not only that, I didn’t catch the person who said it.
But that sentence stood with me throughout the day.
Are you stealing?
With all the disillusioned workers out there [about two-thirds of the workforce], it was a good to hear someone talk about hitting the bullseye. He said he works sometimes on weekends and late into the night without worry, and I contrasted that with people complaining about having to stay past the allotted time and (God forbid) work on weekends.