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.

3 Critical Elements of Teamwork

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision.  The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives.  It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” ~Dale Carnegie

“Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.” ~Kenyan proverb

Crimson Studios 2007Today, I am thankful for all the sticks in my bundles and teamwork is on my mind.  There are a couple things in my life right now that are reinforcing the importance of a strong team.  One is work, the other is personal.  From a work standpoint, having my own company and working for myself can be a limiting factor on teamwork….at least that is what I thought.  I was so wrong.

I’m learning that when you are independent, you can choose your team every day.  In just three short months, I have had the opportunity to work with more people and teams than ever before.  Add to that the ability to work with some former colleagues and it’s like winning the lottery.  I look at teamwork as a much more fluid state now because it’s something I can constantly change and evolve.  I also find that teaming in this way means having to quickly adapt to other work styles and it helps everyone grow.

What are the elements I view as critical to being a team?

  • Mission– Working with a group of people who have clear mission and who actively keep each other on track by ensuring we provide service that clearly links to the mission
  • Communication–  Open lines of communication and knowing your opinion will be heard
  • Respect–  Acknowledging the experiences of individual members and embracing them

The other team I am on is personal….my HRevolution team.  Working with Steve BoeseMatt Stollak and Ben Eubanks is wonderful.  Each of us volunteers our time to work together toward the common mission of pulling together an event for you~ the HR and recruiting professionals we want to interact with.  If you’re reading this blog, HRevolution is for YOU.

And, much like a work team or athletic team, the HRevolution team is focused.  We’ve got our goal, we communicate every day, and we have the utmost respect for each other and the strengths and abilities each individual brings to the table.  It’s a great feeling to be part of that.  And, we want YOU to be part of that.  Be sure to check out the HRevolution registration site and register for the event on November 7th in St. Louis, MO.  

Teaming is something that is important and impactful to all aspects of life.  What teams are you grateful for?  Feel free to share in the comments.  Hope to see you at HRevolution and add you to MY team!

Pulling Back the Curtain on Bloggers

What is a blogger?  I have my own working definition in my head that I can spout off when someone asks me.  I have to admit that it is a definition that evolves as I, and my writing, evolve.  Here’s how Miriam Webster defines it:

blog– a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer; also : the contents of such a site

Ok, so they don’t exactly define blogger, but it’s the person that writes the online journal….yadda yadda.  One thing I find interesting is that people who do not blog are often curious about the process.  You’ve probably watched the Wizard of Oz, so you know that closer to the end of the movie, Dorothy and her crew pull back the curtain in the palace to find out that the great and powerful Oz is no more than a regular guy.  I don’t claim to be great and powerful, but I am just a regular girl.  I get a lot of questions and in the spirit of the Wizard of Oz, I thought I’d answer a few:

What made you start blogging? I worked at a company that offered a short video training on how to write a blog.  Since all employees had to go through our digital training, I did too.  I had been reading blogs for several years and it sounded like a good way for me to challenge myself to learn how to do something I knew nothing about.  Also, I did not see myself as a strong writer, so I thought that by writing for myself, I would get better at it.  Never once did I think that other people would really start following my blog.  I was so thrilled when that happened.

How did you learn the mechanics of having your own blog? Thankfully for me, WordPress has a great free blog platform with answers to many of the questions you have as you get started.  It was a breeze to set up and it was free.  After a couple months, I had connected with other bloggers and we share tips and tricks with each other.  Eventually I was forced with a hot poker up to my eye, I mean convinced by Ben Eubanks that I should switch to a self-hosted site.  That process was very challenging and as I made that move I learned much more about HTML code and how it all works.  When you have your own site, you can research online or get a trusted friend to help you with the administration.  Almost every blogger I know has someone to help him/ her with things on the site.  My guru is Ben Eubanks from UpStart HR.

How long does it take to write a post? It can take me anywhere from ten minutes to several hours depending on whether or not the idea just flows or needs thorough research.  I’d say on average that 30 minutes to an hour is pretty typical for me.  I tend to write after my kids go to bed, or I wake up around 5:00 am to write, like I’m doing today.

Where do you get your ideas? EVERYWHERE.  I jot observations about the world down on paper scraps, on napkins, and on my hand.  Sometimes I capture interesting things on my camera (phone) that spark something I’d like to write about.  Or, someone says something that I disagree with and that sparks a post idea.  I have many posts that are drafts.  Some will get published and others won’t.  Right now, I have 43 draft ideas just waiting for me to put more thought into them.

Do you think everyone should blog? Absolutely not.  That’s like saying that I think everyone should ride bulls or skip to work every day.  If you’re good at something, do it.  If not, spend your time doing something that you’re good at and you enjoy.  Writing should not make you feel like it’s a chore and that you’re too pressured.  I think great bloggers that I admire speak from their heart and keep it real.

Why do you keep writing? What started out as a way to find challenge when I wasn’t challenged in my last job has turned into a way for me to network, collaborate, make friends, get offered opportunities to travel and speak, and the list goes on.  Maintaining my blog is one of the best things I’ve done for my own self-development and that is very important to me.

What has been the best thing about having a blog? For me, it’s the collaboration.  My favorite time is when people comment and we can get a dialog going.  It’s also been great in giving me opportunities to travel and collaborate with people and organizations I would have never been exposed to.

So, that’s a taste of what I am asked.  I can’t speak for all bloggers and why or how they do things, but I’ve learned that many of us are similar in that we put the pressure on ourselves and we all have a ton of draft posts on the shelf that may or may not ever make it to being published on our blogs.  Feel free to ask me questions anytime, and not just about blogging.  Some I’ll answer in a post and most get answered via e-mail.  Just leave them in the comments.

Scene Makers in 2010: Tell Me Yours

I was listening to the radio the other day and the hosts were talking about the new movie Black Swan. I haven’t seen the movie yet, so no chance of me spoiling it for you.   The hosts were saying that there is a scene so powerful it makes the whole movie worthwhile.  This led them to talking about other movies in 2010 where an actor or actress really made a movie better by what they did in the scene.

I started thinking of that from a business perspective.  In my own organization, my number one scene maker is my colleague Cathie Meyers.  Since I started this job in February of this year, it’s been Cathie who supports and guides me.  She’s also the one who has a sarcastic “jab” every time one is needed.  She makes me laugh and makes every scene she’s involved in better.

From an online perspective, I was hoping you’d help me recognize the people who have made a difference and MADE our scene. I’ll list a few to get us started:

  • Steve Browne- For bridging the online HR world with practitioners through his HR Net.  If you’ve not seen it or want to be part of it, reach out to Steve today.
  • Victorio Milian and Ben Eubanks Always leaders in thinking of new ways to collaborate and bring people together, they created Project Social. Be sure to check it out if you haven’t already.
  • Laurie Ruettimann and Mark Stelzner This year they created the 1st ever online Career Summit.  To have the vision and creativity to bring some outstanding voices together from the recruiting arena for the benefit of job seekers, these two deserve an award.  They made the scene for sure!

So, there are a couple of mine.  Think back through the year…..who made the scene better for you?  Let’s recognize as many people as possible in the comments!

PHR Study Resources- Rock the PHR

It’s the time of year when HR professionals are preparing for their PHR and SPHR exams.  One resource I’ve supported from it’s inception is the Rock the PHR e-book written by Ben Eubanks.  This study resource is different because it not only focus on the actual test preparation, it also provides strategies for study and keeps you motivated in a humorous way.  What else do you get for $19.97?

  • Details HRCI standards for each section of the exam
  • Provides links to helpful outside resources
  • Helps to organize your exam strategy
  • Walks you through the exam day process
  • Builds your confidence
  • Makes you a stronger HR professional overall

What won’t the study guide do?

  • Empty your wallet (the $19.97 price tag is a steal!)
  • Wash your car
  • Take the exam for you

There’s also a free newsletter if you need some motivation and help with studying. Once you click through the link below, click “Freebies” and then scroll down until you see the little envelope picture to get on the email list.

So, there you have it.  It’s a great resource and if you know of anyone studying for the exam and needing that little extra “boost”, point them in the direction of Rock the PHR. To get your copy, click on the icon on the right side of the blog.  You’ll have your copy within minutes and can begin to ROCK the PHR!  Good luck!!

Remember the Lid

I was walking through the store a few days ago and this sign caught my eye. It was on a shelf next to the boxes and containers, and it served a very simple purpose. People had apparently been coming into the store and purchasing containers, but they were leaving the lids behind! In an effort to correct that problem, the store added this little reminder you see in the photo.

There really is a point to all this

This store’s response is a fantastic example of how to provide great feedback.

  • Be concise (make it as simple as possible)
  • Be direct (address the problem head-on)
  • Be clear (don’t mince words)
  • Be relevant (stay focused on the issue)

Any other lessons you get from this simple picture? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks to Ben Eubanks for guest posting today.  Ben is author extraordinaire of UpStart HR.  He’s also instrumental in spreading the word on the future of HR to students and seasoned pros.  He’s the co-founder of HRevolution, writes for multiple websites, wrote the wildly successful e-book ‘Rock the PHR’, and collaborates on many other projects.  Oh, and as if that’s not enough, he is the new daddy to twin girls Bella and Bree.  The fact that he does all that and still guest posts for me blows me away!  Thanks Ben!!

When Teamwork Really Happens

“Coming together is a beginning.  Keeping together is progress.  Working together is success.” ~Henry Ford

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” ~ Michael Jordan

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision.  The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives.  It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” ~Dale Carnegie

“Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.” ~Kenyan proverb

Crimson Studios 2007Today, I am thankful for all the sticks in my bundles and teamwork is on my mind.  There are a couple things in my life right now that are reinforcing the importance of a strong team.  One is work, the other is personal.  From a work standpoint, you may know that I am still relatively new in my position at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.  And, while there are many things there that continue to impress me, the teamwork here really stands out.  Never before have I felt such a strong pull of a team.  Sure, we all hear the lip service about being on a team, but have you ever REALLY experienced it?  I’m not sure I have.

Until now.

What are the elements I view as critical to being a team?

  • Mission– Working with a group of people who have clear mission and who actively keep each other on track by ensuring we provide service that clearly links to the mission
  • Communication–  Open lines of communication and knowing your opinion will be heard
  • Respect–  Acknowledging the experiences of individual members and embracing them

The other team I am on is personal….my HRevolution 2010 team.  Working with Ben Eubanks, Jason Seiden, Crystal Peterson, Steve Boese, Mark Stelzner, and Joan Ginsberg is wonderful.  Each of us volunteers our time to work together toward the common mission of pulling together an event for you~ the HR and recruiting professionals we want to interact with.  If you’re reading this blog, HRevolution is for YOU.

And, much like a work team or athletic team, the HRevolution team is focused.  We’ve got our goal, we communicate every day, and we have the utmost respect for each other and the strengths and abilities each individual brings to the table.  It’s a great feeling to be part of that.  And, we want YOU to be part of that.  Be sure to check out the HRevolution 2010 registration site and register for the event on May 7- 8, 2010.  Tickets are going fast.  Also, if your company is interested in sponsoring HRevolution 2010, let me know via e-mail at trisham89@hotmail.com.

So tell me, are you part of a great team?  Who are the “sticks in your bundle”?  It can be work-related or personal.  Share your story, tell us how it works, inspire us in the comments.

Coaching: Rules of Engagement

(Originally posted in May 2009)

picture from shorespeak.comAs I wrote Part One of my coaching post (Creating A Coaching Culture), I said I feel strongly that HR professionals need to take a different approach to coaching programs. A stronger approach. The more I thought about it, it only made sense that we need some Rules of Engagement. Now, for those who do not know what Rules of Engagement entail, the phrase alone implies very strong force or action. Rules of engagement are used by the military or by police forces to describe the parameters of when, how, the duration and magnitude, location, and against what targets force can be used.

While coaching is definitely something that cannot and should not be forced, it is a topic that HR can take a strong stand on to implement better coaching strategies in a company or department. And, by creating some Rules of Engagement, we can set the parameters under which optimal coaching can occur.

HR can offer training that covers the basic rules of engagement:

When? A coach should be mindful of the time. Depending on the situation, there are certain times of the day that are more beneficial to coaching. For example, attempting to coach an employee on Friday afternoon is probably not a good idea. His mind will be elsewhere. The coach should also do all he/she can to ensure that the coaching is timely. If the employee has a known issue, the coach should talk to the employee about it. Don’t let it fester.

How? The “how” of being an effective coach could be a post in itself- an entire course for that matter. I’ll just touch on some of the things that an effective coach would do in order to build the relationship and really inspire some positive outcomes.

One important thing a coach can do is be an active listener. If a coach has his/her own agenda and is not actively listening to the employee, the relationship will not work. A coach must also be willing to give honest feedback. This is often harder than it sounds. The only way the coach can build trust with the employee is by being honest and straightforward. The coach also needs to reach out to others (sometimes discretely) to solicit feedback on the employee.

A common misconception of managers I train to coach is they think that a coach is supposed to solve the employee’s problems. This cannot be further from the truth. An optimal coach will ask the employee what he/she thinks they should do. Then, the coach can talk through pros and cons of different approaches. In the end, coaching is about teaching the employee to make good decisions, not to make the decisions for them.

Why (duration & magnitude)? You may need to convince leadership why a coaching strategy is important. It will allow them to diagnose performance problems and quickly work to correct unsatisfactory performance or behavior. It will also foster stronger workplace relationships thus improve retention. It is also an effective means to convey appreciation and improve morale.

Some coaching relationships go on for years, others last only a short time or are for a specific reason. The coach and employee can negotiate the “why” of it all together. The outcome is the important piece. The coach should be able to guide and train the employee to use techniques that will improve their performance. The coach can also serve as a role model for the employee. They may also serve as a sounding board when the employee receives their performance evaluation from the supervisor. And, can assist the supervisor in corrective action with the employee if that is needed.

Location? The most important point about location is this…it can occur almost anywhere but it needs to be somewhere that both the coach and employee feel comfortable in order for it to be optimal.

Who to coach? Coaching is a voluntary arrangement. In order to be coached, the employee has to want the relationship. It is an “at will” relationship.

I reached out to you, the readers, and you helped me come up with some of the guidelines for what optimal coaching should include in addition to the rules of engagement.

  • MANAGERS SHOULD BE TRAINED TO COACH- HumanResourcePufnStuf mentioned that it is not always easy for your top performers to coach. I agree with him. Coaches are not born, they are trained. Sure, some people have more of a knack than others at having frank and meaningful conversation, but it is a learned skill.
  • COMMUNICATION IS CRITICAL TO EFFECTIVE COACHING – Ben Eubanks (UpstartHR) brought up the point that company leadership needs to communicate with the employees. The same can be said of effective coaches. If we are not talking to each other, new ideas will not be generated and shared. Change in behavior or performance will not happen.

I believe that providing good coaching is a manager’s way to take a pre-emptive strike at poor performance. Instead of spending so much time training managers how to write performance improvement plans, my challenge is for HR to spend more time developing their coaching skills. I think April over at Pseudo HR said it best, “Coaching is preferred over corrective action.”

So what have I missed?  Are there rules of coaching engagement to be added?  What should optimal coaching include?  Add your thoughts to the comments.