#CarnivalofHR: Scary Tales from HR

It’s that time of year where we typically think of witches, candy and what we’re going to use to spike the Halloween punch.  This year, it seems to be more about the widespread scary clown sightings.  That said, I’m still a fan of watching scary movies- the cheesier, the better.

With that in mind, I decided to have a scary theme for this month’s Carnival of HR.  Anyone who works in Human Resources knows that it can be scary from time to time.  We’ve all had employees that went a little crazy, situations that seemed to fall apart no matter how hard we tried to make them work, and technology that scared us to death.  I think I’ll start by sharing a “scary HCM” blast from the past that is still relevant today, then a few new posts from the industry influencers who will show you how scary it is out there in the trenches.  First up, my favorite video of China Gorman sharing HR Horror Stories with me.  Trust me, it’s good and even my hairstyle is scary!



Westworld has to be one of my favorite scary movies of all time.  Made in 1973, I can remember my Dad taking me to the movie theater to see this when I was a very little girl.  What was he thinking?!?  If you haven’t seen it, or haven’t watched in awhile, it’s a great story of how AI has gone horribly wrong.  It makes me think about employees being scared the robots will take their jobs.  We have two great posts that tackle this topic.  First up, Steve Boese hits us with We are Pretty Sure Robots Will Take All the Jobs- Just Not OUR Job.  As always, Steve backs this up with data.  Next up is Ben Plant from Navigo News.  He shares Is Your Job in Danger of Being Automated? Click through to see if your job makes the list!


One of my all time favorite scary movies is SAW and most of the sequels.  I’m a sucker for going to those movies alone to make it even more scary than having someone to grab.  What scares me the most about SAW is that the situations are all caused by things people should already know.  It’s when the person doesn’t pay attention to the information or situation that they end up in the evil, life-threatening devices created by a madman.  Along those lines, but hopefully not as severe in consequences, are people who don’t know how their company operates and makes money.  You’d be surprised how many employees, and leaders, do not fully understand the process.  Ben Eubanks from Lighthouse Research & Advisory gives us some insight to help keep the boogeyman away.  Oops! How Failing an Interview Question Taught Her About HR Strategy.

Sleeping With the Enemy

While not a true horror movie, Sleeping with the Enemy as a suspenseful thriller has always kept me on the edge of my seat.  The idea that someone you think you know or can trust is really a psychopath, or worse, is the stuff real nightmares are made of.  What if Julia Roberts’ character had checked her husband’s background before marrying him?  It may have turned out a whole different way.  How does this play out in the world of work?  Well, there is still a stir about how much we should research our candidates online before we make an offer.  Ben Plant at Navigo News shares 4 Things To Check in a Candidate’s Facebook Profile to provide some insight on just how far we should go to not hire that “enemy” candidate.

The Witch

Now, bear with me on this next comparison.  The Witch is one of the best made modern horror stories.  Set in the 1700’s in New England, it’s a story of a family that strikes out on their own to create a life and settlement.  At that time, witchcraft was one of the scariest things to those settlers and the movie captures how a very raw, basic way of life can be turned upside down by something very scary.  This brings us to Robin Schooling and her post HR and the Digital Bubble.  Robin shares stories of HR teams who are still forced to operate using archaic tools and how technology can be wanted, but feared.

The Temp and Pacific Heights

It almost goes without saying that any kind of movie that has a stalking dimension is scary.  Whether it was watching The Temp or Pacific Heights, the stories are similar in that people are not always as nice as they present themselves.  They do scary, creepy things.  Check out this post if you’ve ever considered the question, “Do You Know Who You Work With?


We’re almost to the end of the carnival and I may have saved the best for last.  What is a good scarefest without mention of Mike Myers and Halloween?  Maybe it was his scary white, expressionless face.  Maybe it was the way he moved slowly after his prey.  Either way, he epitomizes all the key elements of a good scary character.  And like many good scary stories, there are SO many chapters so you can get your fix.  Similarly, I decided there has to be some industry leader out there with enough scary content to make a series.  I found it!  Mike Haberman.

Now, if you know or follow Mike, he is one of the nicest men you’ll ever meet.  He’s also incredibly smart and intuitive and his writing is always the type that teaches lessons.  Check out these three we’ll call:

Halloween: A Story of Sexual Harassment and Bad HR

Halloween 2: Onionhead in the Workplace

Halloween 3: Bit By Generosity in Pay

So, there you have it! I hope you have as much fun reading these as I did.  Stay safe this Halloween!


Oracle “Human Talks” Episode 3: Guest, Matthew Jurosek

H3 HR Advisors is excited to share a new video series we have in partnership with Oracle.  Human Talks is a show where we talk to HCM practitioners, analysts, and Oracle partners.  Each episode is approximately 5 minutes, so well worth your time in hearing what is happening in the world of HCM.  These episodes were recorded at HCM World 2016.

Please check out our third episode with Matthew Jurosek.  Matt is a Sales Engineer for Workforce Software.  Workforce Software  provides tailored solutions to empower enterprise and mid‐sized organizations to fully automate time, labor, and workforce scheduling processes, simplify absence management, and enable strategic business insight.

We talked to Matt about working with technology in union environments.  Being able to track absence compliance and all of the types of leaves are examples of the complexity that they help organizations deal with.  Check it out! Also, be sure to connect with Oracle and Workforce Software.

Thank you for watching.  Be sure to visit the Oracle site for more information about Oracle and HCM World 2017.

Steps to Re-Imagine and Reinvent Your Workplace

HR Happy Hour 256- Steps to Re-Imagine and Reinvent Your Workplace

Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish McFarlane

Guest: Jeanne Meister

This week on the show, Steve and Trish were joined by Jeanne Meister.  Jeanne is a Partner at Future Workplace, a firm dedicated to re-thinking, re-imagining and re-inventing the workplace. Jeanne is the receipt of the Distinguished Contribution in Workplace Learning Award, an award given by Association For Talent Development to one executive each year honoring their body of work. She is also a Contributor to Forbes Magazine.  She is the co-author of the best selling book, The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop & Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today.

Steve and Trish talked with Jeanne about the importance of thinking ahead, about identifying important trends in workplaces, and how HR and business leaders can be ready for the future. We also talked about the panel Jeanne will be leading at the upcoming HR Technology Conference in October, on ‘The Consumerization of HR’.

Give this lively episode a listen, and be sure to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, or your favorite podcast app.

Oracle “Human Talks” Show: Guest, Tim Hickey of Exelon

H3 HR Advisors is excited to share a new video series we have in partnership with Oracle.  Human Talks is a show where we talk to HCM practitioners, analysts, and Oracle partners.  Each episode is approximately 5 minutes, so well worth your time in hearing what is happening in the world of HCM.  These episodes were recorded at HCM World 2016.

Please check out our second episode with Tim Hickey.  Tim is the Director of HR Strategic Services at Exelon.  Exelon is the largest utility and largest nuclear operator in the US.  With over 30,000 employees, Tim’s job reaches across many of the HR issues other organizations face.  We talked to him about some of those issues, including how organizations are implementing modern HR technology.  Check it out! Also, be sure to connect with Oracle and Exelon on Twitter.


Thank you for watching.  Be sure to visit the Oracle site for more information about Oracle and HCM World 2017.

Trish McFarlane on the Future of Work: Live from Inforum

I had the privilege of being a keynote speaker at Infor‘s Inforum 2016 a few weeks ago. If you’re not familiar with Infor, they provide comprehensive suites that have industry-specific functionality.  Their solutions consist of ERP, HCM, supply chain management, CRM, asset management, financials, and HCM.  Infor may have embraced HCM through a variety of acquisitions, but they have reinvented these into a powerful set of cloud-based human capital management solutions built to adapt to the organization’s evolving business strategy.

I was fortunate to be asked to share my thoughts on the future of work with the Inforum 2016 attendees.  With so many trends being discussed in the industry, I keyed in on a few I think are most important to HR leaders, practitioners and other business leaders.  Thanks in advance for watching and feel free to share any comments or your ideas about the future of work with me in the comments section.

In the growing field of HCM suite providers, Infor remains one to watch!

Announcing the HR Happy Hour Podcast Network!

Today is a big day for H3 HR Advisors, and specifically, for the HR Happy Hour podcast.  Steve Boese, my co-host, created the show back in 2009.  I was a listener and guest host until 2013, when I joined officially as a co-host.  Since then, we’ve talked to business leaders, technology solution providers, authors and more.  We’ve shared research and ideas on how to make your business better.  It’s been such a great experience and we’re so proud that our listener network has grown so much.  That growth led us to the realization that even more shows are needed.  This is where things get exciting.

Today is the official launch of the HR Happy Hour Podcast Network, and the details of the three new shows that will soon debut on the HR Happy Hour umbrella. We are thrilled to be joined by such a great lineup of shows and contributors, and you can read the details of the announcement HERE.


And now with the launch of the new HR Happy Hour Network (details are in the release here), we are partnering with George LaRocque, Ben Eubanks, Madeline Laurano, and Mollie Lombardi in what we know will be an exciting new group of shows.  Their shows will expand on topics that Steve and I know are important to not only the HCM industry, but to businesses globally.

Many thanks to everyone who has listened to, supported, or even guested on the show so far – stay tuned for more great and informative content, HR and HR technology insights, and hopefully – lots of fun from your pals at the HR Happy Hour Show and Network.

Oracle “Human Talks” Show: Guest, Brent Skinner

H3 HR Advisors is excited to share a new video series we have in partnership with Oracle.  Human Talks is a show where we talk to HCM practitioners, analysts, and Oracle partners.  Each episode is approximately 5 minutes, so well worth your time in hearing what is happening in the world of HCM.  These episodes were recorded at HCM World 2016.

Please check out the first episode with one of our favorite industry analysts, Brent Skinner, Principal Analyst at Nucleus Research.  Brent shares information on what their research is uncovering about performance management and learning and the impact from HCM technology.  He also touches on how predictive analytics plays out in the workplace.  Be sure to connect with Brent and Nucleus Research to learn more.


Thank you for watching.  Be sure to visit the Oracle site for more information about Oracle and HCM World 2017.

How Advice From Leaders Early In My Career Almost Derailed Me

There is no shortage of articles that share stories of all the amazing things that former bosses taught the writer.  Maybe your former boss taught you to be resilient, bold, careful, approachable or accurate.  Maybe they were successful leaders, or maybe they were only mediocre.  Either way, we tend to try to look for the silver lining when remembering those people that mentored us.  The flip side is looking at bad bosses and the impact they have.  Again, no shortage of articles on this topic.  My take today will have a little different spin.  I’d like to think back to good bosses that did impart some not-so-valuable nuggets along the way.

I spent the first years of my career working for some amazing companies that truly had brilliant leaders.  I do credit them for almost all of my good business habits.  However, there were a few times that they gave me advice that could have helped derail my career, had I listened.  Here are five things the Traditionalist and Boomer leaders taught me early in my career that I was smart enough to ignore.

  • Work as many hours as possible-  I can’t tell you how many times in my twenties that someone older told me to always arrive before the boss and leave after the boss.  I’m not sure why, but I listened.  At first.  Then, I realized that not only did this make me quite tired, it didn’t equate to better performance or results.  Not one leader ever mentioned that they noticed I was doing this.  So, early in my career, I decided to focus more energy on creating great work product instead of putting in time before/ after the boss’ hours.
  • OT is a badge of honor– Related to the concept of working early in the morning and late at night is the idea that by putting in a lot of OT, you’re doing well.  Let me be clear, OT is NOT a badge of honor.  Like before, I fell into this time tracking trap too.  My first couple years, I was logging 500- 600 hours of OT a year.  Now, as a salaried employee I was not getting pay for this, it was just an exercise to see if I worked more than 40 hours per week.  Again, once I realized that this did not yield better results, I stopped.  I began to adopt the theory that I would work as hard as I could to produce a great result, in whatever time frame that took.  Often, it’s not requiring OT.  Sometimes it does.  I think this approach has been a much healthier one for me and certainly led to me being more engaged at work and at home.
  • Drink if the leader or client drinks- Maybe this was a 90’s thing, but looking back, I can’t believe this advice.  Early in my career, I had several leaders who told me this.  They said that even if I didn’t drink the alcohol, to order it to be polite to the host or client.  Now, I have the stance that as an adult, you do what makes you comfortable.  Believe me, if a client wants a drink, that’s fine.  It doesn’t mean I have to order one just to look cool.  Same with a boss.  On the flip side, if I want to order one, I will.  It really depends on the setting, the situation, the people involved and my own mood.  The point is not to let colleague or boss peer pressure you into ordering alcohol.
  • Always wear professional clothing-  When I first received this advice, it was quite specific.  Those were the days when business suits reigned and specifically, a skirt suit for women.  I found that wearing suits usually made me feel stuffy and quite unnatural.  I know some people love them, and that’s great.  However, I’ve managed to have a successful career with my altered approach.  I recommend dressing for the occasion.  At times I addressed or worked with people in manufacturing settings, I would dress more casually.  If the situation was a group of highly professional business people, a nice dress and blazer tends to do the trick.  Either way, the point is that I am not smart or full of ideas because I wear a suit.  As long as clothes are clean and pressed, go with what makes you most comfortable. For me, this even means wearing jeans and dressing them up or down.
  • Don’t get too close with anyone at work–  The idea that HR is an island and we are “nobody’s friend” stuck with me for years.  This likely meant I missed out on some really great relationships in my lifetime.  But, I’m not bitter.  I have learned in the past few years that being myself (professional when needed, fun when it makes sense) is the best approach.  I don’t mind clients getting to know me personally.  Many know my kids and what my family likes to do in our free time.  In return, I like to know about them too.  I care about their families, their dreams, their challenges, their health.  They are friends and business partners.  It’s a much more human, caring way to work, and I love it!

As you can see, I’ve tried to adopt my own approach to my work style.  Had I followed all the advice given to me, I definitely would not be where I am today.  So what about you?  Have you worked with some great leaders who gave any bad advice?  What have you hung on to and what have you cast aside?  Tell me in the comments.