Ideas of How to #WorkHuman Today

It’s been a good week here in the mid-west.  I had a great time leading a webinar earlier in the week with Globoforce.  The topic was how to make our workplaces more human.  Tall order, right?  Well, I hope I provided many examples that HR leaders (and other leaders) can use to make small strides in this area.  In case you missed it, you can listen HERElogo_light_backgrounds2

One of the main points I made in the webinar is that people need a workplace where there is LOVE.  Not the romantic kind of love that is the nightmare of every HR pro around, the kind of love that means that you genuinely care and are concerned for your colleagues.  We all have so many things going on in our busy lives that sometimes, when things are less than perfect outside of work, we can’t help but let it impact us during work.  AND THAT’S NORMAL.  For years, we’ve all been brainwashed that we need to leave all our troubles at the door when we come to work.  We have to be strong, stay focused and produce, produce, produce.  Well, no more!

One reason workplaces quickly become less human and don’t have that love and compassion is that we don’t know many of our colleagues.  I was watching CBS Sunday Morning, my favorite news show, and they did a story about Freshbooks and how they are innovating in the way they encourage connection among colleagues.  Freshbooks is a Toronto-based company that has instituted voluntary “employee dating” at work.  This isn’t romantic dating, it’s setting people up on blind dates with colleagues for purposes of getting to know their co-workers better.  You can catch the whole video HERE.  Basically, employees volunteer to be matched with someone they don’t know.  The woman who makes the matches tries to select people who would never normally cross paths or work on projects together.  The two parties then have a “work date”.

While awkward at first, 100% of the employees who participated say they would do it again and it was worth it.  They are able to learn more about what other parts of the organization are up to AND they get the benefit of making a new work connection.  Think about what would happen if you tried this in your company.  Would it lead to greater connection, more collaboration, more innovative ideas?  I’d venture to say that it would.  That’s what I call #WorkHuman in action.

So, my challenge for you as we go into this next week at work is to view your workplace through a different lens.  Is it human?  Do you feel real connection there?  If you can’t answer yes to those, then find ONE thing you can do differently to start changing the tone.  It may just be taking a stranger to lunch.  I’d love to hear how it goes in the comments…

 

Hanging By A Thread- How to Make Your Workplace More Human

Did you know that you’re only connected to your employer by the weakest link?

Think about it.  No matter what we are paid or the type of work we do, we are connected to organizations we feel make strong connections with us.  If that organization, or the leaders we work with, give any reason to weaken the links that tied us to them in the beginning, everything begins to unravel.  That’s why it is no surprise to anyone who has done exit interviews that money is usually not the main reason employees leave your organization.  They leave because they do not feel connection to their leader or to their colleagues.

So, what is the thing you need to have or know in order to retain your best employees?  It’s a more human workplace.  What do I mean by more human?  Well, it’s the kind of place where you are recognized and validated.  You see, many organizations today think that they are doing something special by giving recognition, if they do it at all.  But like money, that is only a small part of appealing to your employees.  It’s giving them validation that what they do matters.  That WHO they are, the whole person, matters.

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There are many other things you need to know when it comes to making your workplace more “human”.  Join me Tuesday, January 26th for a free webinar.  I’m teaming up with Globoforce to spend an hour talking with you about strategies to make your workplace one where employees really will want to stay.  Be sure to share this with your colleagues too….the more people you enlist to get on board with this idea, the better your workplace will be!  Click here to REGISTER free.

 

Life Logging Your Organization: The Value of Performance Reviews

hrhappyrhourAs a career HR practitioner, I have been involved with many types of performance evaluations.  I’ve worked at companies where they are very important and tie directly to compensation and promotions and I’ve worked where they don’t.  Being part of the broader online HR community has also brought many discussions into my life about this topic.  It has also been a topic we’ve debated at HRevolution in the past.
Today, I want to share a new, evolving vision of performance reviews.  In our most recent HR Happy Hour podcast, Steve Boese and I welcomed Eric Mosley to the show.  Eric is the CEO of Globoforce and author of the new book  The Crowdsourced Performance Review: How to Use the Power of Social Recognition to Transform Employee Performance.  I have been a fan of Eric and his view on employees, social and performance for many years.  I remember being very influenced by him when I first heard him speak in 2010.  Check out that review HERE.
Fast forward to 2013 and he again brings forth a forward-thinking view on performance reviews.  Listen to Eric talk about the reasoning behind the move to crowdsourcing performance feedback and the benefits to your organization.

HR Happy Hour: The Crowdsourced Performance Review

 

The How and Why of Leveraging Internal Social Networks

How do you feel about influence?  Do you actively try to map it in your organization?  Over the last few months, I’ve begun to hear this theme come up more and more in the workplace.  To me, this is like the puzzle piece we’ve been missing.  I became more personally interested in it when I met Josh Letourneau of Knight & Bishop earlier this year.  Today I’m at the Conference Board’s Senior HR Executive Conference and it appears to be a theme they are picking up on as well.

Eric Mosley, Chief Executive Officer of Globoforce presented one of the finest sessions I’ve seen all year.  I’d like to share some of the items he covered regarding the internal social networks in organizations and the impact of tracking the relationships.

The discussion began around how the word “social” means different things to different companies.  It’s one of those words that is everywhere lately, much like innovation.  So, the first step has to be defining what the word social means in your organizational culture.  For purposes of his discussion, social did not just mean social network platforms.  It mainly meant the internal network that we each have in our organization in order to share information.

The How

Analysis by J. Letourneau of knightbishop.com

Globoforce sees the benefit of tracking and identifying the internal social network and are doing so through social graphing.  It allows the leaders to see who the influencers are and which employees are breaking down the silo barriers.  This is where using social network analysis comes into play.  By visually charting the connectedness of employees throughout your organization, you begin to see where there are the greatest synergies and where the opportunities lie.  From a succession planning aspect, you also begin to promote not just based on who is “next in line”, but you see who actually adds the most value from a connectedness standpoint.  It will also indicate where your vulnerability lies because if you lose key influencers, it can fracture department relationships.

The Why

Eric talked about how the size of the organization can impact these relationships.  Imagine you have 3,000 employees or even 30,000.  It is not possible to share information easily among this number of employees in an efficient manner.  According to Dunbar’s number, the amount of relationships humans can absorb is 150.  Think how that impacts your workplace.  If you could identify the influencers, you could use them as the focal points in information sharing.  That would make those 3,000 or even 30,000 much more integrated in the organization’s communication.  It would also bring those employees much closer.

If you believe like I do that influence does not come from holding a specific title and that organizations need to do a better job of identifying their influencers, I encourage you to connect with Globoforce.  They are also doing amazing things with regard to identifying recognition via social graphing.

What are your thoughts?  Do you have any sources we should all know about around influence?  Share them in the comments.

*Thank you to The Conference Board for hosting me at the Senior HR Executive Conference.  As always, the opinions are all my own and I look forward to sharing more key learning points from this year’s conference!