06 May 2008

Challenge: A World Without HR [Update 5]

Here's another contribution to the A World Without HR Contest:

  • HR Minion (including dress code policy and nepotism)

Previous entries:

Thanks to everybody who participated!
You're so diverse, I'm proud of you ;-)


03 May 2008

What Would You Buy?

I love money, but I'm in HR. And since I'm not willing to give up either my love or my calling, I need to find alternative ways to generate additional income ;-)

When thinking about starting a business, the first question is probably:
What could I sell to as many people as possible?
But I just read Seth Godin's post Self Promotion, so if and when I start selling something, I want to be able to say:
Here's something you'll enjoy, so I made it available to you.
Now my question to my valued readers:
What would you enjoy?
I've been thinking about coffee mugs, t-shirts and mouse pads with silly and/or witty phrases that have something to do with HR.
  • Would you buy this kind of stuff?
  • If yes, do you prefer text only or text combined with some nice/cute/funny/surprising picture?
  • Do you have any great ideas?
  • Do you want to license them? (see this post on Tim Ferriss' blog)
Don't hesitate to leave a comment or send me an email.

Come on, don't be shy, we're a small circle of friends here (around 40 Feedburner subscribers plus almost 300 unique visitors per week on the blog page).

Dressing Up For Business Made Simple

"Clothes make the man." And now I've even experienced it firsthand.

New dress code for The Happy Employee
I've been wearing a suit (including tie) for the last three weeks. And here are examples of how people reacted:
  • A friend of mine almost choked from laughing too hard when he saw me (too bad the Stupid Kid didn't laugh harder...).
  • On two separate occasions people apologized several times for something I thought wasn't even worth mentioning (this never happened before).
  • And my favorite: The guy at the gas station always called me "buddy", now he calls me "Sir".
Business clothes have the advantage that, at least for men, the choices are quite restricted. Therefore you don't have to think too hard about what to wear. On the other hand good quality clothes can be quite expensive.

What you need to keep the thinking and spending to a minimum
  • 2 pair of black shoes
  • 2 black suits
  • 5 white shirts
  • 10 ties
This way you will always have spare clothes. Even if you don't manage to wash them every week, you could still wear each shirt twice (unless it's very hot, you're sweating a lot, etc.).

Only one decision to make in the morning
It's simple: "which tie should I wear today?" After all, any tie will match the rest of your black and white clothes anyway.

Tie Storage System
If this is still too much effort, store your ties in a row. Then select each morning the first one on the right and put it back on the far left in the evening. For more variation without too much additional effort, you can randomize the order of the first five ties from the right each Sunday evening.

Even Blacker
And yes, you could also decide to use black ties only, but your boss and co-workers might see this as laziness and you would certainly become the target of many Blues Brothers and Men In Black jokes.

For more sophisticated information on dress codes check out Dresscode Guide.

02 May 2008

Random Thoughts: Work Smarter, Not Harder

I'm a bit embarrassed to say, but I always thought the expression "work smarter, not harder" was invented by Scott Adams since I first read it in a Dilbert comic.

Now I learned in Drucker's "The Essential Drucker" that it was first coined by Frederick Taylor, the father of Scientific Management.

Oh well, at least I learned something ;-)

01 May 2008

SHRM In The World

This is my rant about SHRM (Society For Human Resource Management).

Laurie Ruettimann wrote about "Where In The World Is SHRM"? The answer is very simple: it's in the US, baby!

I'm following dozens of HR blogs and sites dedicated to HR and I have to admit that they're mostly originating from the US. So from time to time I read about SHRM.

Whenever I visit their homepage I realize that you get zilch unless you're a member. So here's my beef with SHRM:

1) Be a paying member
Surf the Internet, read blogs, google for cool keywords, but whenever you land on the SHRM page, all the interesting articles are only for members.

2) SHRM is international
Laurie quoted in her post from the SHRM homepage: "individual members in over 125 countries". My guess is that it's people who joined SHRM in the US and then moved to another country. Lucky for SHRM that they both continued to pay their membership fees and sent in their address changes.

3) SHRM is international (again)
After reading Laurie's post I checked out their homepage (again) for 10 minutes trying to find out how I could become a member of this international organization (on a good day, I usually give a site 90 seconds to convince me they're worth my time...).
There are chapters in plenty of US states, but how can I subscribe as a non-US resident? This is supposed to be an international HR organization (again: "individual members in over 125 countries")!

I'm hard-core HR, I have an international attitude, but where can I register?

Conclusion: SHRM is an organization for yankees. Period.