Celebrating HR Pros: Lisa Rosendahl

Happy Tim Sackett Day!  Unsure what I’m talking about? Well, it’s the one day each year that the HR blogging community takes time to select and recognize one unsung HR hero in our midst.  The original selection was Tim Sackett.  Since his recognition many years ago, he has continued to prove he has the HR chops and innovation and is someone to follow.  This year, the recipient of the day is…..Lisa Rosendahl!

Lisa is the acting Associate Director of the US Department of Veterans Affairs and has been active in the HR world since she started as an Officer in the US Army.  That sentence alone should tell you she is someone who takes her career seriously.  Lisa is a HR leader who approaches every challenge with positivity.  In fact, since the day I first met her at HRevolution in 2009, I’ve watched her do what few leaders can do.  She handles her professional role with grace and style, and a little bit of nails, while coming up with new ways to serve her wider HR industry. 

Lisa not only holds ranks in the HR trenches, she has written her popular blog for many years and was a co-founder of the Women of HR blog.  I remember talking with her about that when we, along with some other great ladies, came up with the idea.  Lisa not only wanted to start the blog, she tackled being our first editor.  She did a beautiful job.  She’s also a fierce and devoted momma and from what I have seen, a great wife.

So here’s to Lisa Rosendahl~ leader and friend who deserves the accolades.  Lisa is one of the most fun, smart, happy people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.  She inspires me every day, even though I may not tell her as often as I should.  

Be sure to connect with Lisa on LinkedIn and Twitter.  When you do, thank her for her service to our HR community as well as to our country!

How Valuable are Personality Tests

I’m not a lover of tests.  Whether it was tests in school, medical tests or tests at work, I’m not a fan.  So why is it that when I see quick little tests on Facebook that my friends take, I’m intrigued?  Now there are many that I chuckle at… for example, I saw one this past week that would tell you what your “Old Lady” name should be.  Nah- count me out on that one.  Today was different though.

Someone I trust, fellow writer Lisa Rosendahl, posted a link to a blog by a mutual friend, Jennifer McClure.  Jennifer participated in a personality test and offered a free code for readers to participate.  I tend to feel confident that I know who I am and how I feel, but I was curious, so I participated.

The test was designed to share how others see you based on your responses.  I must admit, I wasn’t surprised by the results.  My assessment basically said the following about me:

  1. I am ambitious, focused and compelling.
  2. I provide influential leadership that leads to results
  3. I have strong opinions and very high standards for myself and others.

There were a few more nuggets, but those were the major ones in the report.  The real value for me came in the part of the assessment that told about what would not be a good work environment for me.  I don’t know that I’ve ever taken one before that addressed that specifically.  Here’s what I learned:

  1. Other people should not put me on a work treadmill and expect me to do well.
  2. If people try to over-manage my agenda, I won’t stay motivated.
  3. I like to drive my success, so I need to be in charge of my own deliverables.

As I think through those things, it really makes sense.  When I think back to jobs that were good but just not the right “fit” for me, it usually was because they were highly-controlled, over managed workplaces.  Not the ideal setting for someone with my personality and skills.

I think having the extra portion of the assessment that shares how the assesse might work best, it sets you up to really evaluate your own work situation.  If you’re like me and find this interesting, I invite you to check out Jennifer McClure’s post and get your free code/ assessment today.  It just might make you approach work differently.

Blogger Highlight: Seiden, Stelzner, Rosendahl, and Mitton

*From the dusty archives…

It’s been several weeks since I removed my old blog roll and started highlighting bloggers I recommend.  If you missed my post on blowing up my blog roll, the reason is that I think the list of blogs is long and anyone new to my site would not understand what each blog I like is about or why I read them.  Instead, they would just have some random link to a blog.

I will highlight several blogs each month and add them to a new page.  I hope the additional detail will help people find some great blogs to read.  Here are my four for today:

  • Seiden Leadership–  This blog, by author, acclaimed speaker, and advisor to SmartBrief Workforce Jason Seiden, is one of my “must reads” every day.  Jason is the author of two highly successful business books; ‘How To Self Destruct‘ and ‘Super Staying Power‘.  Jason’s blog mixes solid leadership advice with humor and a good dose of snark.  He covers everything from business to politics to music.  Best of all, Jason tells you how to LIVE.  I don’t mean like all kumbaya.  I mean, he tells you how not to be a jerk, how to be a better colleague, a better boss, a better friend, a better parent.  That’s pretty damn cool.  Now go, read his stuff.  Oh, and be sure to reach out to him because he’s someone you’ll want to know.
  • Inflexion Point–  Mark Stelzner.  Need I say more?  I don’t think I do, but I will for the sake of this being a blog I just told you I’d tell you about.  Mark is a respected industry leading consultant who guides us on all things related to business strategy and operations as it relates to human resources.  He is an advisor to SmartBrief Workforce and also founded Job Angels, a grass roots movement to help job seekers.  Mark’s writing style is direct and is often in story-telling mode.  When you read his posts, you’ll feel as if you’re on the journey with him, not just reading something where you’re on the outside looking in.  I think that is one thing that makes his blog so special.  You become PART of it with him.
  • Simply Lisa– Don’t let her blog’s title fool you, there is nothing simple about Lisa Rosendahl or her blog.  Lisa is a seasoned HR pro and blogger who has been recognized by more industry experts than I can list here.  Suffice to say, she’s a writer you need to follow.  Lisa brings the practical, “in the trenches” side of HR to you in her blog.  She also brings a unique spin on all aspects of human resources.  Throw in a little on social media and some posts on how Lisa personally deals with challenges and you’ve got a great blog to add to your reader.
  • tHRyving–  Kelly Long authors this GenY blog.  While relatively new to the space, don’ t let that or the fact that she’s early in her career stop you from subscribing.  It’s the main reason I read her posts.  She brings a fresh look to some of the old, tired processes of HR.  Kelly tells us what is on the mind of college students and those recent graduates as they enter the HR arena.  She is basically like a coach for all of us who have been doing this job for a long time.  And, we NEED her.  What a great opportunity to hear from someone like Kelly so that we can understand what motivates our future leaders.  So, take a moment and head over to her blog.  She’s definitely thrYving!

So, if you’re not already subscribed to these four blogs (OR Mine for that matter), why not do it today?  I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.  And, if you have any feedback on why you like reading Jason, Mark, Lisa, or Kelly, add that to the comments.

50 Shades of Social

By now, we’ve all either heard of and/or read The 50 Shades of Grey trilogy.  If you’ve been cooped up somewhere and haven’t, let’s just say that if you Google it, you’ll get quite a lesson in what is captivating most of the moms this summer.

I bring it up only because I had the opportunity this week to participate in a social technology panel at the HR Florida Conference called 50 Shades of Social.  Let me tell you, the title alone may have enticed many of the audience members, so kudos to Mike Vandervort for coming up with it as well as the idea to have each panelist present in mini-ignite fashion.  Panelists Lisa Rosendahl, Amanda Hite, Steve Boese, Joe Gerstandt, Jason Lauritsen and myself each had a chance to think of something about social to share with the conference-goers.

What social nuggets were shared?

  • HR needs to lead in social in order to  have credibility in the organization.
  • You need to use collaborative (social) sites to save time.  Try Prezi.com and Slideshare.net.
  • Social media is talking.  As a HR pro, are you listening?  Do you know what is being said about your organization online?
  • Think “local”.  Create places to have people share info in a way that seems smaller than the twitter flow, like Branch.
  • Social platforms are becoming more visual.  Take advantage of that for your business.
  • Use social to build community around charitable events or needs.
  • Accept risk, don’t fear social media.

This was a great way to change up a traditional panel, share information and take questions from people who are looking for more than just FaceBook 101.  Thanks to Mike, my fellow panelists and HR Florida for a great session!

When Writing Speaks To You

On this gorgeous Sunday, after spending quality time with my family, I find myself staring through the woods behind my house.  The creek that usually trickles by is swollen and full from all the rain.  The way it bubbles and sings is so soothing I long for a nap.  Instead, I use the time to catch up on reading.

Quite often when I write something, people reach out to tell me that I must have been writing about them.  I smile each time because it is rare that I write about a specific person.  I believe that if I write about myself or general observations I make, it will resonate with the reader in a way that they believe it is written about them.  Similarly, I find that some of the most personal writing by others is what speaks to me.  Today has been no exception.

What Are Your Fears When No One Is Looking?

The first piece I’d like to share is by Jason Seiden.  Jason is an author, professional speaker and CEO of Ajax Social Media Consulting.  He wrote The Reality of Authenticity which is a post I know he wrote for me.  Actually, I’m sure he didn’t, but it touched a nerve with me.  Have you ever had sleepless nights where you question yourself about your family, your career, your beliefs or your physical well being?  We don’t like to expose those moments to even our closest confidants, but we all have them.  Jason’s take on the value of recognizing these feelings is well worth your reading time.

The Importance of Friendship In Your Life

The second article that touched me today is by someone who I love and respect.  Lisa Rosendahl; mommy, wife, HR leader, veteran, and friend extraordinaire, shares her take on the importance of spending time with your friends.  As a mother myself, I can attest to not leaving much time for myself or my interests.  I do realize that in order to be the best parent that I need to do small things to rejuvenate myself and Lisa’s post gets to the heart of that.  Spend a moment today reading Girl Friends: A Day In The Life Sunday. 

What have you been reading that touched you?  Share with me in the comments.

5 Ways to Influence a Culture of Engagement

Employee engagement has been on my mind continuously.  For as long as I can remember and regardless of the organization I’ve worked for, I’ve been part of an employee engagement team.  Like many things, as professionals we know what engagement is and that we need employees to feel engaged to achieve the goals of the organization.  What we all struggle with is what can we do to influence the work culture so that employees are more engaged.

Several months ago I wrote about using this blog as a collaboration tool in order to learn more about employee engagement.  Specifically, I said I wanted to show:

  • Engagement means different things to different employees
  • If an employee is engaged, you should be able to see evidence of it every day
  • Engagement is an ongoing cycle, not an annual survey

There were some great contributions from HR and business colleagues from around the country.  Most notably, people responded that engagement happens when you feel valued for what you do, when your supervisor shows they are committed to you and your development, and when you’re appreciated for excelling at work that may not (directly) be part of your job.  Lisa Rosendahl and Paul Hebert had some impressions about what employee engagement means that I’d like to share.  Lisa said that it’s, “people choosing to come to work and give it their best.”  Paul added that it’s, “the PROACTIVE application of the knowledge, skills, and abilities,” of the employees.  Those are all great descriptors that capture engagement.

Having a working definition allows us to bring it back to the important question of what we can do to influence the culture to promote an engaged workforce.

  1. Foster an innovative environment
  2. Provide challenging work assignments
  3. Give recognition daily
  4. Connect employees to the organization’s mission
  5. Be intentional, honest, and interact with integrity

Remember, engaging employees is far more than a pep rally or a fun event.  While those have value, it’s the day-to-day interactions with individuals that matter.  What do you think?  What other ways do you try to influence a culture that promotes engagement?

Who Owns Culture?

Culture by AagaardDS

Do you ever get your mind stuck on a topic and then every thing you hear, see, or read seems to be about that topic?  I’ve been like that lately on the topic of culture.  I go to Barnes and Noble or Borders and pour through books about it.  I read articles and posts online about it.  I am a sponge when it comes to learning about different perspectives on culture.  I am especially interested since I am working in a new organization and still learning about and adapting to the culture.

How important is culture fit in retaining your employees?  I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying  it is a critical component.

An organization’s culture is a mixture of many things:

  • Culture is based on the core values that define the way the company does business.
  • It is the make up of personalities and behaviors of the employees that are hired.
  • It is also the framework within which employees must work in order to be successful.

It is not always easy to pinpoint the culture, but an employee certainly knows when they do not fit within it.  It is important for hiring managers to understand their culture and hire employees who will be likely to achieve success within the framework.  In the “Can HR Keep Your Secrets?” session at HRevolution, led by Jen McClure and Lisa Rosendahl, there was quite a bit of discussion around culture and who owns it.  Jen asserted that HR ultimately owns culture because we are the ones who have some power to influence it.  While part of me knows this is true and that in many organizations HR does have the ability to influence culture, is that how it SHOULD be?

Who owns the organization’s culture?  In a mature organization, can employees actually shape culture?  Give your opinion in the comments.

Big Day! Fistful of Talent Power Rankings & HR Carnival

Today, I want to point you in two different directions.  Sometimes there are other bloggers who just have info that is far more interesting than what I alone can create.  Today is one of those days.

First up, Fistful of Talent.  As I’ve mentioned before, this is my personal favorite HR blog.  I love reading posts from multiple contributors on many different leadership and business topics.  Not just HR.  Today, they have posted their Talent Management Blog power rankings.  I’m thrilled and honored to be included.  WHY?  Because when peers recognize you for what you do, it is just an honor.  This one means a LOT to me.  Thank you FOT team!

Please check out their post today to see what blogs they are reading and find some new ones to follow yourself.

It’s also HR Carnival time again and Steve Boese has pulled together a fun sports edition of the HR carnival.  Be sure to check out his blog for all the great contributions.

Some of my favorites that are “must reads” this time are:

  • Naomi Bloom’s post ‘Reflections of a Digital Immigrant Gone Semi-Native‘.  This post inspired me to write my own plan and I hope it will inspire you if you haven’t checked it out.
  • Lisa Rosendahl asks us ‘Have You Checked Your Credibility‘?  I didn’t know this was going to be part of the carnival and I just read the post earlier today.  Lisa does a great job of challenging us to reflect on our own credibility and how it affects decision-making.