20 September 2008

Things We Would Love To Say

There are things most HR professionals would love to say from time to time. I know I do. But insulting people is (un)fortunately not in our job description ;-)

Dr. House doesn't care. He's rude, insensitive and he speaks his mind. I'm only halfway through episode 1 of the 5th season, but he already inspired me. Someday, maybe, I'll tell a line manager:
You're being an idiot!

17 September 2008

Are You Like The Pizza Guy?

The pizza delivery guy really impressed me. I met him the other day in the elevator and immediately commented on his huge delivery bag.

"It's for family pizzas," he explained. I grunted something to indicate that I understood.

"They're really convenient." And without missing a beat, he added "The prize is very good, and they even come with a free drink."

That's when we reached the ground floor. If he had handed me a 4-color leaflet with a list of available toppings and a big fat phone number printed on top, I would have asked for his CV and given it to the sales director first thing the next morning. Okay, we don't have a sales director, but you get my drift.

Afterwards I wondered how our employees respond when asked where they work. Do they just mention the name of their employer or do they add two or three positive things about our company or products?

13 September 2008

Tagging Season Has Started

It's tagging season again. This time I've got tagged twice. The HR Blog Diva who tagged me last December for the Christmas Meme got tagged three times. This is what happens when you become an online celebrity ;-)

The interesting thing is that both Maren Hogan and HR Maven informed me via Twitter direct
message. And Maren answered the challenge via vlog (or whatever young people call these things nowadays). The times they are definitely a-changin'.

So I'm supposed to tell you six random things about myself. Luckily I'm good at saying random things...
  1. I burned my arm when I was 1 year old and I still think that the scar looks kinda cool
  2. I bought my first bass guitar when I was 16 and joined my first rock band 1 year later
  3. The ironing board is still standing in my living room
  4. I've had my driving license since 1991 but bought my first car this April
  5. I'm trying to come up with number 5. Hey, that was random!
  6. The Chief Personnel Officer at a former company gave me a Fender Stratocaster and I call her White Beauty
Bonus: I call my Black Golf "La Nera"

Now I'm supposed to tag 6 innocent bloggers...
  1. Rachel Robbins
  2. HC3
  3. Claude Rinfret
  4. Mr. Scrubby
  5. Cali Ressler (5 random things)
  6. Jody Thompson (5 random things)
Okay, I cheated a little bit with Cali & Jody because they already posted random things in August.

But you know what? Sue me! And by the way, I live in Switzerland. Good luck! A judge would probably pat you on the head, give you a lollipop and say that he finds you amusing.

And here is the Tag Policy (approved by the Executive Management):
  1. Link to the person who tagged you.
  2. Post the rules on the blog.
  3. Write six random things about yourself.
  4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
  5. Let each person know they have been tagged.
  6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
JT O'Donnell said in the comments that 5 (or 6) things were doable. So I'm also tagging her now ;-)

The Interwebs - And Why Sometimes I'm Too Enthusiastic

It's almost scary how much I love the Interwebs. And sometimes I can even go a bit overboard with my enthusiasm.

Jenn Barnes published a post on HRM Today called 10 Reasons Why HR Professionals Should Blog (hint to recruiters: she's currently looking for a job!).

So I started happily commenting on 5 of the 10 points and hit the "add comment" button. Afterwards I realized that my comment was almost as long as the original post and felt that this was a really rude thing to do. Luckily the HRM Today engine (hosted on Ning) lets you delete comments.

On the other hand I really liked what I had written, so here it is, so to speak within my own four virtual walls.

Comments on the 10 Reasons Why HR Professionals Should Blog

1.It's fun
Yeah, you betcha. I'm definitely having a blast with this whole online stuff including my blog!

2. It's a great conversation starter
Nope, my techie friends are usually not interested in HR and many of my HR buddies think the Interwebs are for crazies and don't have time to read these blog thingies. Seriously, most times I mention my blog during a conversation the topic changes within 20 seconds or less.
And then people wonder why I spend so much time with my HR blogger friends on Twitter and HRM Today ;-)

6. You participate in talking about the profession instead of hearing about the profession from others (especially those pesky "experts").
It's true, exchanging ideas with and learning from like-minded people from all over the world is amazing.
And the funny thing is that some of them are actually "experts", but in this situation they're just another blogger who talks to you instead of at you.

8. Sometimes you have fans - and they are adorable and sometimes even "star struck" when they meet you in person. Really!
Star struck? Not yet. But I'm realizing that some truly awesome people are reading my blog. Some leave comments, others tell me through email or Twitter. Some are complete strangers who impress me with their insights or just because they're friendly and supportive. Others are bloggers I truly admire and I would never have expected them to notice what I write.

10. You learn more about yourself, the profession and technology than you ever thought possible.
This is so true! When blogging I reveal my point of view on certain things and everybody in the world with an Internet connection can potentially read it. This forces me to think very hard about certain things. It's amazing how much I learned and the matrix (as in Gibson, not the movie) is a major reason why my passion for HR is still growing and growing.

11 September 2008

ROWE-y: No More Bragging About Long Hours

This is my public commitment:
From now on I will stop bragging or complaining about the hours I spend at work.
It's no secret that I'm a big fan of ROWE (Results-Only Work Environment). And although I won't actively promote it at work, I will start making adjustments to my attitudes and work habits.

Therefore "ROWE-y". Not quite ROWE, but getting closer. Baby step after baby step.

The 7th ROWE Guidepost is:
Nobody talks about how many hours they work.
If I work too many hours, it's my problem.
True, if I'm on sick leave because of burn-out, then it becomes my manager's problem too. But at the end of the day, it's still my responsibility.

Whenever somebody tells me how tough their job is and how many hours they put in I feel the urge to prove that I'm a hard worker too.
At the same time saying that I worked over 50 hours last week is lame. 60 or 70 hours would sound much tougher.

But I'm sick of this. It's a senseless pissing contest which you can only loose because you'll end up either frustrated or in a coma.

If I can't brag about long hours, I will have to validate my value to the company in a different way.
The alternative is to figure out what I'm actually doing all day, deciding what is really useful and necessary and then, of course, remember all these great things that I'm doing for my employer. Because seriously, of the several dozen things I did today, I could hardly remember 10 right now.

Whether I work many or few hours, I'll start concentrating on my achievements. This is me getting ROWE-y!

09 September 2008

Less Cheese, More Meat!

Are there still people who pretend that the Interwebs aren't any good for generating and sharing ideas?

Mark's article at HC3 Take Control Of Your Job And Your Success reminded me of an idea I had for a t-shirt. I also mentioned his article as an inspiration for my post Give Them What They Want. Mark then shared in the comments one of the reasons why he's in charge of HR for a multinational corporation:
I jumped to doing all the things in HR most just dream about when I figured out "its not all about me"...I am with you on this one, less cheese, more meat!!! [..]
By the way, "It's not about you" is the 3rd career lesson in Dan Pink's book Johnny Bunko.

And as today's grand finale, here's a terrible picture of my great idea:


08 September 2008

HR Carnival: I'm Finally In!

The newest Carnival of HR is up at Guerilla HR and this time I finally contributed something. Patrick Williams even gave Employees Are A Necessary Evil the award for most shocking post title ;-)

Short commercial break:
Jon Ingham from the Strategic HCM blog and another Carnival of HR participant, will hold a webinar on 11 September 2008 about The Evolution Continues: Trends in Digital HR (free registration here).

Jon is based in the UK, wrote a book and you can follow him on Twitter.

And finally, a little walk down memory lane:

The next Carnival of HR will be released 17 September 2008 at Sharp Brains. The full schedule can be found at the Evil HR Lady's.

05 September 2008

Give Them What They Want!

I'm in a great mood today (see previous post), but I really need to get this off my chest:

HR people need to stop whining all the time.

Instead, we need to start listening to our customers and provide them with what they really need.

Free bonus tip:
They might want something different from what we think they need.

Shocking hypothesis:
They might even be right!

Rick at Flip Chart Fairy Tales discussed a McKinsey article mentioning that
  • HR professionals see themselves in a far better light than Line Managers see them
  • HR thinks they should be the judge of how effective they are
  • And we're still looking for reasons why we should have a seat at the table
Mark at Human Capital 3 wrote a very inspiring post explaining why he can't stand mediocrity and encouraging HR professionals to strive for more.

Yes, I want my seat at the table someday. But I'm not ready yet and still have a long way of hard lessons and painful mistakes in front of me.

I also want to start seeing my HR job more like a business. How can I expect line managers to play along with all the cool HR stuff like employee development programs if they still struggle with basic processes? Why should they see me as a valuable strategic partner if I don't deliver them solid support with basic things?
Wait, we're in HR. We read all the good books and know what the company needs. We're just misunderstood and under appreciated. Nobody understands us. The other kids are so mean.
Or could it be that I have to prove myself first? Do I understand my line managers' business and know what they're struggling with day after day? Did I seriously think about how I could make their lives easier?

Would the line managers agree to pay me if I was an outside consultant?

My recent post Employees Are A Necessary Evil is probably a sign that I'm losing patience lately. And I know that I have a tendency to make snarly comments, but I really like this quote from the TV show Burn Notice. It's about spies, but I decided to apply it to us HR folks.
You know HR professionals... bunch of bitchy little girls.

04 September 2008

The Interwebs Are A Village (Shameless Self-Promotion)

Now this is just too cool: While reviewing Dan Pink's book Johnny Bunko I mentioned the red stapler. Believe it or not, it seems that I was the first one to pick up on this Office Space reference and Dan mentioned it on his blog!

He also called me "a blogging HR Guru".
This man's got a great sense of humor ;-)

Be sure to check out Dan's blog!
And for the Obama fans, here's a post showing how the principles from the book apply to Obama.

Other things that are just too awesome not to mention here:
Now I really need to post a review of Why Work Sucks. And maybe, who knows, the two nice ladies might even mention it ;-)

This is my little trophy gallery so far.