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The Best Boss Blog

 

We always hear about terrible HR and Boss stories. As we head into 2017, I’m hoping we can all be more positive. With that said, I want HR to focus on things all the things that have gone right.  Feel free to share any awesome HR or “Best Boss” stories here.

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When you’re a virtual employee…

who loves breakfast and your co-workers share that your office brought Chick-fil-a breakfast in.

You know you work virtual when…

you love your company and clap at appropriate times in meetings… even when you know that no one can hear you.

Virtual employees

Can go an entire week in the same socks and no one can judge you…

Virtual Employee

You know you’re a virtual employee when you find our your office has a breakfast bar via Snapchat.

Virtual Employees

Can literally break a bone and count the number of people you tell on one hand.

I dropped HR class.

I dropped HR class. And I’m proud of myself.

In the past year, I’ve learned so much about Human Resources. I’ve learned how technology can improve the industry, I’ve learned symptoms of engaged and disengaged employees and how to prevent high performers from leaving, and I’ve also learned how to determine good HR practices from bad HR practices. (I detail some of them in a post I wrote “Do you trust me?”)

My initial reaction to the class began before I even started – hmmm… this sounds a lot like the candidate experience, doesn’t it? The syllabus was 25 pages long. I started to read the syllabus. The course materials were over $500 for this one class alone. Between the text book and online access code, this simulation technology, the case studies and more, it was a lot. In addition to the massive initial expense, before class 1, we had to prepare chapters 1 and 2 of the textbook, interview an HR director at our companies, and read/ prepare questions for two different cases.

Now, every respected HR professional I know, and when I say “respected” I mean “respected by their CFOs or other departments within your organization as business leaders,” knows that HR has to prove the value of their work and proposals before they can just ask the CFOs to spend a ton of money on their initiatives. So, why, on earth, if you’re a great HR professional, would you require students to spend over 500 dollars in materials and a butt load of hours reading 2 chapters, 2 cases, and writing a report based on an interview, all before you’ve proven your value in the first? (Might I add, this class is an elective, not required, and it does not offer any certifications at the end at all. In my mind, this is already 2 strikes against you…)

In the first class, the professor talked about “putting people first,” something I hear every day and something that I see being done, not just talked about every day at work. I thought for a minute “maybe there is hope.”

But, then I went to complete the post 1st week of class homework assignments and realized that the professor assigned homework deadlines three times a week. Now, this program is specifically designed for working professionals. Everyone in the program has a full time job, most of the students even are married with kids. And, almost everyone in the program is taking at least 2 classes, some 3, and fewer 4. But, how can one professor expect working professionals with families and other classes to have time to make 3 deadlines a week? This doesn’t seem like a very sensitive action that will lead to 15 weeks of engaged students….

I decided I should bring the issues to his attention. I approached him privately before class and said how difficult meeting 3 deadlines a week would be for students in this program and thought “maybe he just doesn’t know?” I asked if he could consolidate some of the deadlines.

He smirked and shook his head “no.”

I said, “Okay, then I have to drop your class. These expectations aren’t reasonable or realistic for this program.”

He said, “leave.”

I picked up my backpack and walked straight into Managerial Accounting (a required class that all my friends were in and that is taught by the nicest professor who asks after every section if we are following.)

How can the human resource professor of all people teach us to put our people first when he’s not even putting his own student’s first? How can someone learn good HR from something who doesn’t listen to the concerns of employees/students when they bring them up nicely to his attention? How can someone learn good HR from someone who sets the students/employees up to fail?

I dropped the HR class. And I feel good about it.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

I started Human Resource Management class this week as part of my MBA program. The case studies we’ve read for Week 2 (tomorrow’s class) focus on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace – a huge problem for employers. The case studies and reading materials focused on India’s 2013 Sexual Harassment Handbook, which lays out the Anti-Sexual Harassment laws they passed to protect women in their workforce.

I live-tweeted my reading of the case study, which focused on a real-life situation in which an employee sexually harassed a female at an organization with which his company shared an office space, as well as India’s 2013 Handbook and wanted to share some of my thoughts.

In the case study, the male mentioned above asks a woman out on a date, she says no, but then he tries to add her (and add her and add her and add her) as she continuously rejects his friend requests on social media. She complains to HR and then the HR department of her company reaches out to the owners of his.  The owners of the offender’s company aren’t sure who to proceed. They contemplate retaining him, firing him, banning social media, and other options. My thoughts on the matter?

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An awesome HR friend of mine, Jonathan Segal, agrees. Jonathan is an employment lawyer; check out his blog here.

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In regards to the case study, I noticed some areas where India should be praised and others where they may have missed the mark. Check some of these areas out here. Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 9.26.12 PM.pngScreen Shot 2016-08-28 at 9.24.56 PM.pngScreen Shot 2016-08-28 at 9.26.05 PM.png

 

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Anyway, sexual harassment is never okay, it’s never acceptable, and there are clear and serious implications to the workplace. Cultures that allow this type of behavior stifle worker productivity and are walking lawsuits waiting to happen. Maybe your organization could benefit from some of the regulations and practices India has recently adopted.

 

 

 

REBLOG from #PICHR: Do you trust me?

This is a reblog of a post I wrote that Performance I Create featured. Check out Performance I Create on Twitter here.

 

Today we have guest post from Micole Kaye, Social Media Strategist with Ultimate Software, she is a new voice in the HR social scene who has made a positive and immediate impact with her online interactions and presence at SHRM National in 2016.  In the article, she explains the importance of TRUST. You will find her contact information at the bottom of the article.

“Do you trust me?”

I met my boyfriend at summer camp when we were seven. Our camp groups were playing soccer. He kicked the ball and it hit me in the chest, knocking the wind out of me. It’s safe to say our relationship started out rocky.

Since then, we attended each other’s birthday parties. When he misbehaved, my parents yelled at him like he was their own. True story. By the time we started dating, I already knew his sense of humor, his study habits, that he’d never miss a birthday party, and that he’d always text me that he got places safe so I didn’t worry. To this day, that predictability, reliability, unsaid agreement that we both have each other’s’ backs – that trust – still exists.

These qualities don’t just exist between couples; they exist in every healthy relationship – including the employee, employer relationship.

We’ve all worked for a company or a boss that doesn’t trust employees. My former employer wasn’t doing well financially, and blamed everyone but the leadership who was unwilling to innovate. I can’t tell you how many times I heard “but things have always been done this way” – one of the biggest red flags. I also heard, “we are reorganizing but not laying off staff.” Then half a department would disappear. Then, “we’re financially stable.” But, they’ll no longer cover certain reimbursements.

Quite a few times, I called my managers with ideas on how to improve. By them not trusting me and the rest of the staff, they lost out on the innovative ideas we all had come up with to increase sales and brand awareness. Because they refused to trust or listen, they lost the respect of trustworthy employees (who started looking for other jobs because they, too, noticed blazing red flags). And, they lost any chance of us trying to fight for them because why trust someone who doesn’t trust you? And, why waste your time if they won’t listen?

Soon after leaving this organization, I started working at Ultimate Software. I didn’t trust anyone. I was afraid to share my ideas because who would listen? Who would try to claim the idea as their own? Who would shut me down? It didn’t take long for me to realize that I was projecting insecurities from the other organization onto Ultimate – big mistake.

I soon learned what happens when companies do trust employees.

  1. Innovation – At Ultimate, we know managers will listen to ideas that may improve the organization, the product, the customer service, and the culture. The greatest part of working in this environment is everyone has the same opportunity to provide input and everyone credits the person who came up with each idea.
  2. Loyal “brand ambassadors” – When employees feel heard, that they are trusted to do their jobs and do them well, and that they can own their ideas, they will share positive work experiences with the world and their friends.
  3. Talent improvements – When people are happy and engaged with their jobs, they will want to work harder and smarter for the organization. This not only improves the current level of talent but future talent as well. We’ve all heard ‘top talent attracts top talent.’ It sounds cliché, but it’s true! When top performers tell their friends about their amazing company, friends will want to join your organization. I see this at Ultimate all the time and have even personally tried to recruit many of my friends.
  4. Financial stability – When organizations constantly innovate, have employees promoting the organization, products, customer service, and culture, and are constantly improving their biggest asset – their employees – they make money.

The difference is amazing.

So, if you’re reading this and have employees you don’t trust because they have acted untrustworthy more than a few times, replace them. Please do not take these feelings out on your team.

If you’re reading this and don’t know if your employees can handle the “we’re not doing financially well and are no longer covering reimbursements” (or a similar) conversation, I encourage you to be honest and then listen. Loyal and trustworthy employees may give you some great ideas on how to make money. The un-loyal employees will leave. Isn’t that what you’d want anyway? Replace them with someone willing to put in the hours to improve your organization’s situation.

If you’re reading this and debating whether to admit you’re laying off your staff, do them a favor and let them know they may want to start sending out resumes.

Finally, if you’re reading this and don’t currently trust your employees but don’t have a good reason why, put aside your ego and your insecurities (yes, I said it) and give them room to thrive.

 

Connect with Micole Kaye on Twitter @socialmicole and LinkedIn Micole Kaye

I did a thing… a Podcast on Internships… Check it out!

So, a while back, my friend and HR Influencer, Paul Hebert, interviewed me for a podcast on interviews. He finally edited and loaded the podcast episode and this little bio. With that said, I reposted his post and the podcast episode below. Check out his blog and more episodes on Paul’s blog “What is Paul Thinking.”

Reblog: Normally I start these “Paul”Casts with the tag line “what I wished I had been told…” but my interview partner in this discussion is fresh out of school and really hasn’t had the opportunity to experience a ton of life yet and be burdened by the weight of “woulda, shoulda, coulda.” But even without years of hindsight to reflect on Micole Kaye from Ultimate Software was a wonderful and fun guest to have on the call. She and I talked about her experience as a political intern and a business intern. I tried to find some political dirt to throw around during this “boring” election cycle but alas she was tight-lipped about her experience.

However, she did spend some time talking about the process of getting an internship (hint: it’s who you know…) and what she really learned during her internship. Another hint – a lot of things!

Take a few minutes (21 to be exact) and listen to Micole and I chat it up. Simply hit the play icon in the embedded player below. Those who receive these posts in an email – click here to go to the site and listen in there.

Thanks to all of you for listening in and if you ever want to be on the “Paul”Cast and talk about what you wished you’d been told early in your career click here and let’s get going!

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