Posts

Internal Mobility for Your Talent Clouds: #TChat Recap

If you want to make it rain inside and out, you’ve got to be able to control your talent weather.

More precisely, you must be able to understand the molecular makeup of your talent clouds, and how rapidly the combining and recombining of the molecules change the innovative power of your people.

Wouldn’t you rather be able to predict your weather rather than be carried away in the storm? That means having to look outward for talent sunshine, which is usually more costly in regards to attracting, recruiting, hiring, on-boarding and training. Necessary depending on who and what you’re hiring for, but more costly.

Companies today need talent insight on:

  • What happened before
  • What’s happening now
  • What will happen if I move the warm front to the cold front and back again…

I’m talking about understanding who you have now who can then help later when you need them then, over there, or over there. This can include selecting from full-time, part-time, temps, contractors as well as your own customers, partners and competitors (poaching is a lightning storm and story for another time).

Internal mobility has been mixed blessing for many organizations because although many would prefer to hire and promote from within, if they don’t have the right insight on their employees and teams, then it becomes difficult making those decisions.

Of course you can open up your position searches to internal folks and compare and contrast them and then hire/promote the most qualified, but that linear thinking doesn’t help when it comes to understand how your internal folks work individually, together, what their value is combined and recombined, and how they impact your business.

In the smaller organizations I’ve worked in, it’s easier to orchestrate your talent clouds. But in larger ones it can become the cliché of the resume database that stagnates like pooled rainwater that then breeds mosquitoes, not mobility.

The HR software available today gives organizations the tools to better orchestrate their talent weather, although we all know how glacial change management can be.  And you can’t have just-in-time sunshine if you can’t see through the clouds.

All right – enough with the weather. Internal mobility done right with insight can help the cost of hire be lower.

Right on.

You can read the #TChat preview here and here were last night’s questions:

  • Q1: What are some of the benefits to promoting/filling jobs with internal candidates?
  • Q2: What can business leaders do better to encourage internal mobility?
  • Q3: What can employees do to improve their chances at internal promotions or transfers?
  • Q4: How does social media fit into the internal talent planning picture, if at all?
  • Q5: Is internal mobility the responsibility of the employer or the employee?  Or both?
  • Q6: Can internal mobility hurt a company or career?  How?

A special thank you to @MattCharney and @Monster_Works for moderating last night’s #TChat!

PLEASE NOTE: Starting next week on Wednesday, August 10, #TChat will move to Wednesdays at 4 pm PT (7 pm ET). More announcements soon!

Internal Mobility Inside Look At Talent: #TChat Preview

Originally posted by Matt Charney on MonsterThinking Blog

Perhaps nowhere is the divide between HR theory and people practice more evident than when it comes to the issues surrounding internal mobility.  In theory, employers and talent organizations almost always have a “promote from within” philosophy that formally or informally favors internal candidates.

In practice, however, internal mobility is frequently hindered by cumbersome processes, company politics and issues like salary compression which unilaterally matter more to HR than the business for which they’re recruiting.

Too often, recruiting is on a just-in-time basis, measured against the ticking clock of days-to-fill (or some similarly nebulous metric).  This ‘need it now’ mentality places a premium, particularly in middle management and leadership roles, on highly specialized skills and experience that are easier to acquire on the open market rather than plan, and promote, from within.

The byproduct of this, of course, is that top talent’s professional growth, and viability, often stagnates as soon as the job does – because just-in-time is not a long term career strategy, and if the next step for top talent can’t be within, it’s your organization that’s going to be without.

Tonight’s #TChat will examine internal mobility and its impact on talent organizations, business leaders and employees.  We hope you can join the conversation at 8 PM ET and let us know whether you think internal mobility is worth promoting or if it’s an issue that’s worth passing up.

#TChat Preview & Recommended Reading: 08.02.11

To help prepare, and inform, your participation in tonight’s conversation, here are some articles we recommend checking out for this week’s #TChat: “Internal Mobility: An Inside Look at Talent.”

Q1: What are some of the benefits to promoting/filling jobs with internal candidates?

Read: Knowledge Transfer: Whose Knowledge Matters Most by William J. Rothwell

Q2: What can business leaders do better to encourage internal mobility?

Read: Focus On Your Employees: The Key to Workplace Culture Success by William Powell

Q3: What can employees do to improve their chances at internal promotions or transfers?

Read: Getting Noticed At Promotion Time by Therese Droste

Q4: How does social media fit into the internal talent planning picture, if at all?

Read: Company Branding and Employee Social Networks: A Social Media Win-Win by Emily Bennington

Q5: Is internal mobility the responsibility of the employer or the employee?  Or both?

The 4 Ws of Internal Mobility by Rosario Longo
Q6: Can internal mobility hurt a company or career?  How?

Read: Ten Questions to Ask Before Making An Internal Move by Nancy Mercurio

Visit www.talentculture.com for more great information on #TChat, as well as other great resources on careers and hiring.

Monster’s social media team supports #TChat’s mission of sharing “ideas to help your business and your career accelerate — the right people, the right ideas, at the right time.”

We’ll be joining the conversation this Tuesday night as co-hosts with Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman from 8-9 p.m. (Eastern) via @MonsterCareers and @Monster_Works.

Break the Mold: Improve Leadership Development

When it comes to Leadership Development, we tend to want to let our system dictate the direction of where things should go. HR loves to have performance management systems that keep things in check.

We have “annual” cycles for checking in with people to make sure they get their yearly dose of feedback.  Employees begrudgingly participate and Supervisors take a passing look at the process to fill out the endless forms and force rank their staff.

People then set goals that aren’t really development goals. They are “goals” to shore up your weaknesses, because development continues to be focused on filling the gaps in what you don’t do well.  We all agree that this is the best path for the employee, and then everyone files the review away until one day before the next annual cycle. Then, it gets dusted off and people hastily fill out the next form to make sure it’s complete for HR . . . and development NEVER occurs !!

We need to break out of this never ending death spiral and do the one thing that we refuse to do – treat development individually vs. collectively.

It amazes me when companies state that people are their #1 asset, but they won’t spend one hour with them A YEAR.

Recently, I’ve been trying this individual approach with our Executive Leadership, and it works.  It has allowed us to truly take the time to look at the fantastic strengths they bring every day to work and we are focusing on how to leverage them.

Also, the challenges that they all face can be addressed through their strengths. We aren’t taking the approach that most HR functions take by continuing to list the factors that will continue to be challenges for people. We want to reduce the challenges by making sure that they are reviewed, addressed and given a chance to improve.

The other very different approach is that there is no set cycle or annual schedule. We’re meeting with people one-on-one monthly to see how their development is going. We’re looking to provide resources and, most importantly, we’re being intentional. This isn’t the “next trend” or “best practice.” This is an intentional decision to take the time to develop our leaders so that they, in turn, will continue to drive our company forward.

So, break the mold. Quit following the collective. Highlight the individual. It’s worth the time!

Leaders Create Solutions, Not Dysfunction: #TChat Recap

There’s a scene in the movie The Company Men where a laid-off executive (Tommy Lee Jones) confronts his old CEO (Craig T. Nelson), who happens to be his partner with whom he started the now struggling shipping business.

The fired exec taunts his CEO about all the recent lay offs and his selfish focus on shareholder value. The CEO fires back “this is a business, not a charity.” And when the CEO reveals that the company was bought out at $X per share for a lucrative return, the fired exec says, “Good for you.”

Then the CEO asks his old partner pointedly, “How many shares did you have?”

I won’t spoil the plot any further with what happens next, but the story tells of the divergence in leadership choices, business and personal lives, and the ultimate impact of those choices. We’ve seen this plot play-out in reality again and again – through boom years – and most recently through the protracted bust.

The reality is that business leaders are responsible for growing a business, which means they have an important hand in selecting who helps them do just that, which means their employees must be a partner in that if they want to share in any success, but not at the expense of all our humanity and our very livelihoods.

That sentimental gibberish used to get you shot in the executive washroom, but these times they’ve been a-changin’, again, with corporate social responsibility taking center stage in many early-stage ventures, start-ups and growing SMB’s with the focus on the talent that makes it all happen, as opposed to the focus making it all happen at the expense of the talent.

These new business leaders, and those of the reformed nature, understand that they need to work with their “talent” acquisition and development teams to align business strategy with needed competencies/skills and a splash of authenticity, transparency, salt and pepper to taste and bam! We’ve got the new age of talent management. Today’s street-smart business leaders know not everyone can be a complete “right” fit, but they’re smarter if they work with those with promise, actually welcoming them into the fold and talking with them directly about the business and their new role. Business leaders today also need the “crystal ball” insight into their talent with predictive workforce analytics, so then workforce planning can take promising shape. Without direct involvement and detailed insight, organizations are just flailing in the dark.

And as Matt wrote in his #TChat preview, “when it comes to attracting and retaining talent, active, engaged and innovative leaders provide a key competitive advantage. After all, it’s that magnetism they possess which creates a powerful draw for potential workers (and customers), not to mention providing a potent, and public, voice for communicating with both internal and external stakeholders.”

And as a leader, if you’re not part of the talent solution from the beginning, then you’re probably part of the self-serving dysfunction that destroys businesses and lives in the end, regardless of how much you cash in. Conservative and progressive leaders alike and all in between, if you’re not of mindful presence and high emotional intelligence, then as far as I’m concerned you shouldn’t be leading anything except a 12-step program. Everyone’s a leader of self and Me, Inc., but that doesn’t mean it’s at the expense of building and growing a company.

Inspire your team to own it as you do, baby. That’s the truest form of success.

Again, you can read the #TChat preview for the first ever, and highly successful, joint #TChat and #LeadershipChat last night. A very special thanks to Lisa Petrilli and Steve Woodruff from #LeadershipChat! Here were the questions we explored:

  • Q1: What is the role of a leader when it comes to making talent decisions?
  • Q2: What should a leader consider when addressing “talent alignment?”
  • Q3: How can a leader show genuine authenticity to new recruits and current employees?
  • Q4: How does being a genuine leader impact a workplace culture brand?

Magnetic Leadership Attracts Top Talent: #TChat Preview

Originally posted by Matt Charneyone of #TChat’s moderators, on MonsterThinking Blog

The CEO of today looks a lot different than  the company man of previous generations, increasingly likely to have traded  in the gray wool suit for shorts and flip-flops, their secretaries for smart phones, and corporate branding with personal branding.

One only has to look as far as Steve Jobs’ black turtleneck, or Bill Gate’s bifocals, or even Undercover Boss to see the impact that leaders have on the way clients, and candidates, perceive and interact with an organization.  Tony Hsieh has made Zappos as recognizable for its corporate culture as its corporate product; likewise, Donald Trump is his corporate product.

The close correlation between leadership and talent extends far beyond these high profile examples, two concepts that have long been inexorably intertwined.  Influential lists like Fortune’s annual 100 Best Companies to Work For or a company’s Glassdoor.com ratings, rely heavily on workers’ perceptions of leadership and management within their organizations.

Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that executive and managerial communications and engagement are among the primary drivers for employee satisfaction and, subsequently, retention.  Satisfaction with leadership plays a similarly prevalent role in worker productivity, with magnetic leaders adding more to the bottom line than can be reflected on a balance sheet.

When it comes to attracting and retaining talent, active, engaged and innovative leaders provide a key competitive advantage.  After all, it’s that magnetism they possess which creates a powerful draw for potential workers (and customers), not to mention providing a potent, and public, voice for communicating with both internal and external stakeholders.

Tonight’s combined #TChat and #LeadershipChat recognizes the critical correlation between talent and leadership, and that’s why we’re partnering up to discuss some of the most critical challenges – and opportunities – confronting leaders and the workers who rely on them every day.

We hope you can join us tonight at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT for what’s been jokingly called “Twitter Chat M&A” as our communities come together for a conversation on magnetic leadership and how it fits in with the bigger talent picture.

To follow along or to join the conversation, remember to use both the #LeadershipChat and #TChat hash tags; for more background on #LeadershipChat, click here.

It’s sure to be a lively discussion, so we’re only including four questions tonight instead of our regular seven to keep the conversation flowing while keeping it focused on the issues, and ideas, that matter most.

#TChat + #LeadershipChat Questions and Recommended Reading: 06.14.2011

Here are tonight’s questions, along with some related posts on leadership and talent  we think are worth checking out.  This background reading isn’t mandatory to get in on tonight’s joint #TChat #LeaderChat action, but we suggest checking out these articles by top leadership and talent-management thought leaders before the chat (or if you missed it):

Q1: What is the role of a leader when it comes to making talent decisions?

Read: How Successful Companies Attract and Retain Employees by Connie Blaszczyk

Q2: What should a leader consider when addressing “talent alignment?”

Read: 5 Things Every CEO Should Know About Talent Alignment by Lisa Petrilli

Q3: How can a leader show genuine authenticity to new recruits and current employees?

Read: Starbucks Wakes Up and Smells the Coffee (And Buzzes Back Up the Leader Board) by Allen Adamson

Q4: How does being a genuine leader impact a workplace culture brand?

Read: 5 Authentic Keys to Attracting Top Talent by Meghan M. Biro

Visit www.talentculture.com for more great information on #TChat, as well as other great resources on careers and hiring.

Monster’s social media team supports #TChat’s mission of sharing “ideas to help your business and your career accelerate — the right people, the right ideas, at the right time.”

We’ll be joining the conversation this Tuesday night as co-hosts with Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman from 8-9 p.m. (Eastern) via @MonsterCareers and @Monster_Works.

The HR Technology Disconnect…Not What You Think

Last week on May 25th and 26th, Las Vegas hosted the 2011 HR Demo Show in conjunction with the HRO Today Forum, including the RPO Summit. The point of the demo show was to showcase the best and latest HR and talent management technologies. Organizations that presented were Kenexa, Guidant Group, Epicor, CareerBuilder, Taleo, iCIMS, RECSOLU, JSTN, OneWire and many more. Throughout the two days, I closely followed the main hashtags for the event, which were #HRDemo and #HRTech. I also paid close attention to the Blog Squad, particularly the ones I personally knew—Geoff Webb, Meghan M. Biro and Jessica Merrill.

During the event, the weekly #TChat that I am religiously a part of focused on “Innovation Gap Realities Workforce Technology.” From my perspective it was probably one of the most active #TChat’s that I have ever participated in because the focus was on innovation, or lack of innovation when it comes to HR technology. Here is the high level “Jeff Waldman Brain-Dump Summary” of what I discovered during this chat, which is also inspired by the #TChat Recap: “HR tech innovation should keep us all in business.”

  1. Most HR technology is focused on recruitment and talent management.
  2. People think that innovation must be something new or a re-imagining of how technology can drive efficiencies in HR, and contribute to the business.
  3. HR practitioners need to better educate themselves on the use of technology in the workplace.
  4. Technology “users” think that existing HR technology is NOT innovative but “providers” think otherwise.  As Meghan M. Biro of TalentCulture stated, “HR and recruiters just are not perceiving what’s out there as innovative, perhaps because most of what we’re seeing isn’t screaming cloud, mobile application.”
  5. There is huge disconnect between technology providers and technology users regarding their perception of how valuable technology is in completing work.
  6. Technology cannot replace the human element.

What’s the main point in all of this?
The one thing that I heard consistently was that a huge gap exists between HR technology providers and HR technology users (a.k.a. HR practitioners). I could not agree more with this. But… yes, there’s always a “but!”  But, I strongly believe that the reasons that were discussed for this disconnect missed the boat.

The Technology IS There!
There are so many phenomenal platforms that HR practitioners can strategically leverage to help them add more value to their clients. Off the top of my head, awesome platforms that come to mind that I have used include Rypple, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, ZuzuHire, SurgeHire, StickyHQ, Yammer, ClearFit, FreshTransition and BranchOut.

Now, I want to note that I bring a unique perspective to TalentCulture because I work in Canada, and the majority of my professional experience is with Canadian organizations. Here is the problem… the HR community in Canada does NOT possess the knowledge and understanding of HR technology, the necessary technological skills or the ability to evaluate the strategic impact of HR technologies. They inadvertently avoid the conversation about HR technology because they have not a clue where to begin.

So, it does not matter how good the technology is, the Canadian HR community as it currently exists will never get to the point where they will be on the same page with technology providers.

Change is Change… “We” Don’t Like Change!
Technology is a tool. It is not meant to replace the human element or the responsibility of performing the activities that impact “brand building”—e.g. talent attraction, employer branding, employee engagement and the overall employee experience. Integrating new technology into the workplace represents a change.  It could be a huge change, or it could be a small one. It doesn’t matter; people naturally are not very good at coping with change.  So let me ask you this question. If the majority of HR practitioners are unable to even begin the technology conversation, do you think HR technology providers are able to lead and manage change?  Hmmmm…. I don’t think so.

Case in Point…

A couple of years ago I was brought into a very entrepreneurial, yet small organization that possessed an extremely strong corporate brand. They sold really cool things, and employed some really neat product marketing and promotional tactics. This company was really just starting to build its HR infrastructure, and they were in the process of implementing a technology to help them with the full recruitment cycle, all the way to on-boarding.

They retained a PMP (Project Management Specialist) to lead and manage this project. He did an absolutely stellar job of identifying business needs, potential technology platforms, engaging most of the right internal players to select the platform, all the way to “flipping the go-live switch” on the new platform. Sounds great doesn’t it? Well… the execution failed miserably for one simple reason. He completely ignored the end-user. To add fuel to the fire, the technology providers were completely hands-off with the people change management components of the execution; they just focused on the technical aspect (of course, this is where their expertise lies). The failure basically boiled down to a couple of things:

  1. The end-users (HR practitioners) were technologically illiterate.
  2. The end-user was never engaged during the technology selection and implementing process.
  3. The end-user was never trained on the new technology.
  4. No platform testing was performed with the end-user group during the project phase.
  5. The end-user was simply directed to “just do it”.


Conclusion…
Technological innovation is NOT the problem right now. The problem is a severe lack of technological competence within the HR practitioner community and a complete disregard for change management being fully embedded in the technology integration process. If you can resolve these two fundamental problems, the perceptions of providers and users regarding technology innovation and work-related value will be pretty close, and the result will be favorable.

HR Innovation Should Keep us All In Business: #TChat Recap

“Gadgets be gone.”

Ah, no truer words have ever been spoken. That was one of my lighter “tweetable” sentiments from yesterday’s HRO Today Forum analyst panel where we discussed the process of innovation between HR technology suppliers and practitioner buyers, and more specifically the lack thereof. A recent HRO Today survey of over 100 buyers and providers of HR technology revealed quite a disparity, more so than I would’ve guessed.

The analyst panel was a great group that included Madeline Laurano, Talent Systems Analyst of The Newman Group; Mark McMillan, co-founder of Talent Function Group; Katherine Jones, Principal Analyst of Bersin & Associates; Jayson Saba, Senior Research Associate of Aberdeen Group; and myself. Look for collaborative content to come from this group and HRO Today about the state of innovation in HR technology.

The survey itself revealed that while providers for the most part feel they are highly innovative, the practitioners disagree. This is contradictory of where many vendors are with their customer service and user adoption, because time and again late vendors will tell you that besides customer advisory councils, focus groups and user group gatherings, some SaaS deployed products have created the “sandbox” approach.

This is where customers can play with features and enhancements before they’re live. They’ve also created online care/idea centers where customers can suggest, vent and collaborate. However, the democratization of customer product development hasn’t quite closed the gap yet.

My fellow analysts and I agreed that innovation must be something new, or a re-imagining, of how technology can drive efficiencies in HR/recruitment processes and activities as well as contribute to overall business growth. It must take into consideration the how and why of the workplace today — the best practices in acquiring, empowering and retaining talent. It can’t be a gadget for gadget’s sake just so the vendor can say, “Hey, you can log in to our system on your smart phones now.”

“To do what exactly?”

“To do…cool stuff. You know.”

“No, I don’t. Can I download your system information to a spreadsheet?”

“Why would you want to do that when you’ve got our perfectly good system to work within?”

“To do…cool stuff. You know.”

Maybe you’ve heard some of that kind of conversation. But, HR practitioners need to also better educate themselves on the use of technology in the workplace and even take business “tours of duty” in finance, operations, IT, customer service and more to understand what it means to run and grow a business, not just keep it in compliance and be risk-averse.

We posed similar survey questions to #TChat-land last night (questions below), and there was a resounding agreement on one thing:

Tech and innovation is great to a point, as long as it helps to humanize acquiring, empowering and retaining the workforce.

And keep us all in business.

Read Meghan’s great preview here as well as the questions from last night:

  • Q1: How important is technology innovation in acquiring, empowering and retaining a workforce today?
  • Q2: Are HR and recruitment technology providers truly “innovative” today? Why or why not?
  • Q3: Are HR and recruitment practitioners truly “innovative” today? Why or why not?
  • Q4: How have technology innovations impacted end users’ experiences? Using it or not?
  • Q5:How do you use technology to support business strategies and objectives?
  • Q6: Do HR and recruitment technology innovations support the work, or are they just gadgets? Why?
  • Q7: What can practitioners and providers do to facilitate and improve technology innovation?
  • Q8: In summary, what do you think it means to be innovative in the HR and recruiting business today?

Thank you all who participated last night! We’re taking an extended Memorial Day weekend break from #TChat next week, but we’ll resume on Tuesday, June 7

Fighting the Beast of Unemployment: An Economic Boost is Needed

Repeat after me: there are no magic job wands.

Whether you believe there’s a talent war or not, there are still too many of us out of work. There are shortages of skills, a growing global competitiveness and industries with jobs that will most likely never be heard from again.

But buying into the fairy tale that [insert politician and/or political party of choice here] can and should be the magical job creator that will save us from ourselves only lends us false hope. Unfortunately we’re going to hear a lot of that rhetoric in the next 18 months.

This is just brings false hope that will be defaulted on time and time again. And listen, I’m a Keynesian, one who believes that when the private sector fails miserably – think Great Depression and our very recent economic ice age we’re still thawing from – the public sector needs to take monetary action to try and stabilize the financial markets and get folks back to work in the short term.

I’m not an economist, but I am an econ hobbyist who cares about tempering the beast of business’s destructive nature. Whether you agreed with it or not, short-term public stimulus can help spark long-term job growth if channeled at improving the infrastructure that makes it easier to conduct business in the US and beyond (think trains, planes and automobiles).

But that’s only part of the picture. You also have to have sustainable economic growth and incentives to invest in growing your talent base locally, virtually and globally. And if you have a sound business model, customers and sustainable growth, investors may come a-knockin’ to give you the capital you need to further grow, and maybe, just maybe, hire more talent.

On one of my recent trips across the US I caught up on one of my favorite podcast shows – NPR Planet Money. In one episode titled How do you create a job?, the hosts asked Princeton economist Orley Ashenfelter what he thinks when politicians say they created jobs:

I usually laugh. … When someone says that they are stating a fact: “While I was in office, employment increased by 150,000,” or whatever it increased by. Whether or not you can attribute that to what they did is another, much more difficult question…And by the way, you don’t often hear people say, “I destroyed 150 thousand jobs.”

The true bottom line here is that the government has to appeal to corporate greed. You have to incent business with lower taxes and/or improve the infrastructure in which we conduct business in order to stimulate job growth.

And even then there are no guarantees companies will start hiring. Many are sitting on mounds of cash, investing in stock buybacks, R&D or hiring outside of the US in emerging markets.

It’s called the marginal efficiency of investment – how much of a dollar you invest do you get to keep in profits. Businesses are not in the business of keeping people employed. They’re in the business of making money, and along the way they employ folks as a means to that end. But if you woo the beast, then maybe, just maybe they’ll start hiring, if the cost of paying someone to do a job is less than the output the job produces in revenue. Thankfully there is hiring happening in the US. Not enough to dramatically chip away at the unemployment rate, but it is happening.

I know this all sounds at odds from harmonizing workplace humanity I usually write about. It’s not, though. I’ve learned more about the economics of 21st century life in the past year to fill, well, a lifetime, and I’m a supporter of the Zero Unemployment movement (my recent rants with them were captured on video here and here).

There are no magic job wands. If there were, you know I’d be waving mine.

IMAGE VIA Nieve44/La Luz

GenY: Challenge of "Doing It All" and Technology Overload

Today’s post is by Katrina Kibben — Social Media Manager at Care.com, an innovative and resourceful social media marketing professional who enjoys helping companies of all sizes use traditional and nontraditional tactics to increase profitability and product awareness. She is working with Care.com’s annual event, Care@Work, which develops smarter ways to work by using new tools, technologies and strategies to find the balance between life at work and at home.

This is not your father’s workplace anymore – literally. This year, the oldest Baby Boomers are turning 65 years old, including President Bill Clinton. This means that the 79 million baby boomers, about 26 percent of this country’s population will be retiring in the next few years.

Another generation will make an important milestone this year – Generation Y, the Millennials – are turning 30 years old. The 30’s are known as the decade of “middle management” and parenthood.  But Generation Y feels differently about the “ladder” of success.

As the country comes out of the recession, the Millennals are looking for a sense of mission. They want a sense of ownership over their lives, either in the place that they work or in the lives they create for themselves outside of it. A workplace is relative and all preconceptions about job security are shattered. Their lives and desires aren’t dramatically different from generations before them, but the confluence of circumstances are – and more and more, this generation believes that they too can “do it all” but their definition of how and what that means is dramatically different.

Between these two generations, there has been a revolution in the office that has increased the influence of women and transformed the paradigm of the workplace. At the same time technology has revolutionized the way we work and our understanding of how we can work differently.

While current working parents, particularly working moms, have been told that they can “do it all,” modern working parents have found that having a Blackberry doesn’t necessarily help them to be flexible so much as feeling tethered, perpetuating a generation of working parents that find a blurred line between work and life that has inspired a generation of workers who are in a constant state of distraction, leading to the social acceptance of the furtive glances down and the feverish tapping everywhere – from office meetings to family dinners.

But as we innovate are we working more efficiently or are we simply working more?

Care.com’s Focus Forward conference is about designing the future of work where companies work for people, and people work for companies in ways that are smarter, faster, higher impact—and more sustainable, too. At a time when there have never been more distractions–and more pressure to deliver results–the event will examine how great companies command attention from customers by, first, holding the attention of their employees.

IMAGE VIA eirikso

HR + Leaders: Don't Overlook the Outlier Employees

Just having returned from HRevolution, I was filled with tons of ideas, approaches and philosophies. My head was swimming with where to go next. I was trying to land on what aspect of HR resonated with me coming out of this UnConference. Then I remembered . . .

I had a conversation with Dwane Lay and William Tincup about the state of HR and what we all thought, and one term kept coming up . . . outliers. Now, this isn’t the same as the recent Malcolm Gladwell book – Outliers. (I’m a huge Gladwell fan!!) What we were talking about was the tendency for HR to manage to the exception.

I agreed with this wholeheartedly! I know that it’s difficult to work with people, but that’s why we chose HR. There are so many amazing people who work in and around us every day. However, companies tend to focus on people who are exceptions, who underperform, degrade and possibly detract from moving the company forward. Instead of focusing on the mass of talent that rocks it everyday, we follow the outliers. If the entire company was made up of people like the outliers, there would be a lot of trouble. So why should HR mainly focus on a group that is not the driving force of the company? Yes, they are a portion of the company that is important and should be acknowledged, but to base everything around them is taking it too far.

You can look at policies, handbooks and procedures that are written by companies in HR every day that focus on such a small percentage of people. This hurts the majority of employees who are doing their jobs each and every day. While the outliers shouldn’t go unnoticed, the average employees are the ones who account for most of the population.

So, what can we do?

HR needs to understand and own that one thing we have to our advantage is the ability to be consistent.  This is different than being “fair.” It really is. If we are consistent in how we engage, deal with and lead people, we add incredible value!! If people in HR would take this approach and practice consistency, the outliers would take care of themselves. With a consistent HR, variability is decreased between their actions and the actions of the employees, making everything much more stable.

Take a look around, HR. Where is your focus? If your systems give employees the ability to thrive, contribute and develop – you’re doing well. If your systems look to constrict, deter and confine – you’re following outliers.

Now, some may say that the group that gathered at HRevolution are “outliers” to the norm of the HR community. I’d beg to differ. You see in Gladwell’s book he talks about outliers that are successful, move things forward and also lie outside the norm.

Outliers are not always a bad thing; although they should not be the basis of HR’s views on a company, often times they can produce something great. The group I was running with is pushing the boundaries of HR to open up new frontiers in order to set new norms.  Why don’t you join us?

IMAGE VIA CarbonNYC

Candidate Experience: Internship Applicants Are People Too

Written by Kevin Wang

As college students are finally starting to understand the long-term value of internships and actively pursuing them, it has subsequently become more difficult for them to successfully secure one. For example, in 2009, advertising agency Mullen received almost 600 summer internship applications from all over the United States for only 24 slots in their Boston office. The rise in internship applicants has kept Recruiting and Human Resource departments busy, burdening them with a flood of cover letters and resumes to review.

There are many great articles scattered across blogs on the Internet, focusing on what proper etiquette for internship applicants should be. Students are reminded to always send thank-you notes, maintain a professional tone in the cover letter, and research companies before interviews, along with many other bits of valuable and timeless career advice.

However, I’ve rarely seen anyone discuss what proper candidate experience etiquette should be when handling and communicating with internship applicants from the workplace perspective. With record numbers of applicants and applications, it’s very easy for hiring departments to forget that each individual application was painstakingly filled out by an actual human being, and carries the hopes and dreams of that individual. It’s also carelessly easy to view individual applicants as one of many and disregard them. By doing so, businesses are permanently damaging their relationships with their biggest fans and alienating their most enthusiastic advocates. Prospective interns, while at the bottom of the hierarchy at any organization, still deserve to be treated fairly.

Here’s how leaders can improve their workplace culture branding experience and better handle the internship applicant communication:

  • Be clear up front about the details of the program. That includes properly communicating the expected hours, responsibilities, pay, and other elements. If students aren’t eligible, straight up tell them! Email the applicants if any significant changes occur to the program.
  • Send a decision, regardless of whether it’s positive or not. It may sting for them to be told that they didn’t make it, but they’ll respect you for it.
  • Complete the review process in a timely manner. Students don’t have all the time in the world to finalize their plans for the upcoming semester or summer. Let them know as early as possible so they can assess their options well before crunch time.
  • Leave the door open. Don’t kick your rejected applicants to the curb. Let them know that they’re just unfortunately part of of an extremely competitive pool, and encourage them to apply again in the future.
  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Stress to all your employees that internal referrals for an applicant does NOT guarantee them a position. Also, don’t mislead applicants or hint at anything with correspondence. It’s better to be tight-lipped about the whole affair until you’re ready to make announcements.

Finally, the Golden Rule: treat others the way you would want to be treated.

We may be interns, and maybe that’s not much, but remember, we’re people too.

IMAGE VIA Flickr

Consider Culture Before Leaving Your Job: #TChat

Originally posted by Matt Charneyone of #TChat’s moderators, on MonsterThinking Blog

A lot of companies, through recruiting advertising, corporate mission statements, employee communications or any other aphorism-friendly medium, proudly proclaim some variation on the theme, “Our people are our greatest assets.”

As the economy slowly rebounds, however, there’s a pretty good paper trail showing that, in fact, many of these assets were treated, essentially, like a cost center, at least when it comes to the old p&l.   Shedding the fixed costs of human capital might make sense on a balance sheet, and has, over the short term, created both shareholder value and historic levels of employee productivity.

For the overwhelming majority of workers, there’s nothing fixed about human capital.  And they’re about to prove it; with the expected mass exodus of talent  in the wake of the rebounding economy, many companies and talent organizations are about to discover, in fact, that “our people are our greatest assets” is more than a corporate catch-phrase.

Because a lot of those assets are about to walk out the door, taking with them, in many cases to competitors, a level of institutional and internal knowledge whose value on the balance sheet might be hard to calculate, but whose bottom  line effect will be felt by many organizations for years to come.

The upcoming seismic spike in employee turnover will look different than any we’ve seen in the past.   A recent Monster.com survey showed that fully 82% of fully employed workers have updated their resumes in the past 6 months, and a whopping 96% of employees with tenures of over 5 years are openly exploring opportunities.

Any recruiter can tell you, candidates with up-to-date resumes and job longevity are pretty much the Holy Grail of talent acquisition.  And the crusade for your organization’s employees is about to begin.

Join #TChat tonight as we discuss what employers and job seekers alike can do to take advantage of this historic confluence of trends that stand poised to redefine the status quo of workforce and talent management.

#TChat Questions and Recommended Reading (4.5.11)

Whether you’re a recruiter, job seeker, or employer, the ‘perfect storm’ of accelerated attrition and acquisition will change the way you work, and who you work with, and we want to hear from you tonight from  8-9 PM ET.

Here are the questions we’re going to be discussing tonight, along with some recommended reading to help inform, and  inspire, tonight’s #TChat conversation:

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?  Workplace Culture Factors to Consider Before Leaving Your Job

Q1: Almost 90% of workers report being “open” to looking for new jobs.  Why is this number so high?

Read: Another Workplace Survey Shows Workers Are Fed up And Ready to Bolt by John Hollon

Q2: How can employers take advantage of these trends to recruit and hire top talent?

Read: How To Capitalize on the Post-Recession Resume Turnover Tsunami by Jon Picoult

Q3: What factors should employees consider when looking for a new job opportunity?

Read: What To Know Before You Quit by Roberta Matuson

Q4: What can business leaders do to improve retention  rates and morale among top talent?

Read: Rules for Retention: The Big 6 Motivators by Dr. John L. Sullivan

Q5: What’s the difference between an active and a passive candidate, if any?  Does it matter?

Read: The Darwinian Evolution of the Recruiter by Mark McMillian

Q6: What are the most significant factors employees look at when deciding to stay or leave?

Read: The Grass is Not Always Greener by Dr. Caela Farren

Q7: What are some ways employers and companies can help turn the tide?  Or is it too late?

Read: Top 2011 Employee Engagement Trends by Kevin Sheridan

——————-

Visit www.talentculture.com for more great information on #TChat and resources on culture fatigue and how to overcome it!

Our Monster social media team supports the effort behind #TChat and its mission of sharing “ideas to help your business and your career accelerate – the right people, the right ideas, at the right time.”

We’ll be joining the conversation live every Tuesday night as co-hosts with Kevin Grossman and Meghan M. Biro from 8-9 PM E.T. via @monster_works and @MonsterWW.  Hope to see you tonight at 8 PM ET for #TChat!

Best Practices: HR/Recruiting Tech & Software: #TChat Recap

A funny thing happened on the way to the #TChat:  I found a new career and home at Ventana Research.

The irony is that on the night that we discuss best practices in evaluating, purchasing & implementing HR/Recruiting technology & software, I had a business dinner to attend.

(wink)

But hey, you had one of the sharpest HR/Recruiting technology & software analysts with you last night in Sarah White.  And since I can’t get to the transcript at the moment, from what I can see at least,  it looks like there was some great recruiter counterpoint from our friend Glen Cathey and several other key players. Thanks as always for sharing your time with us.

Three key pointers from last night’s #TChat:

  • Develop business rules, employee workflow processes, employee skill matrices, etc., before you automate your talent management
  • Build a business case of needs for HR tech that reach across other lines of business in your organization – work with the COO, CFO and IT to get it done
  • Get tons of customer references and call every one of them
  • Make sure the IT manager assists with the implementation process and becomes the vendor liaison

Sadly, according to Ventana benchmark research on workforce automation and analytics:

  • As for talent management technology, nearly 2/3 of organizations are less than satisfied with what they have
  • While only 9 percent of organizations are very satisfied
  • Spreadsheets are the technology most commonly used for workforce analytics in 62 percent of organizations
  • Nearly half of organizations (48%) are less than confident in the quality of information that is generated by their analytics

We hope our more intimate chat (Many of you have shared with us that you cannot get a word in on #TChat – last night was your chance- smiles) isn’t indicative of the state of HR/Recruiting technology per the above statistics, but with a little help from folks like Sarah, myself and the vendor community, and many other smart industry folks, we can make this HR/Recruiting technology thing work.

Next week’s topic: Developing a Recruiting/Talent Acquisition major at the college level. What would be in the curriculum, etc.? Should be interesting.

Join us every Tuesday night from 8-9 p.m. ET (5-6 p.m. PT) on Twitter via hashtag #TChat. Remember we welcome global input! Join in from wherever you might be. Our live chat is hosted by @KevinWGrossman @MeghanMBiro@TalentCulture, and @Monster_WORKS. Please Tweet or DM us for more scoop!

  • Q1: Where do you go first when researching HR/recruitment tech & software and why?
  • Q2: What types of info help your quest for HR/recruitment tech & software and why?
  • Q3: What does your HR tech business case entail and who do you include in the planning?
  • Q4: How do you narrow the field of vendors? What are your selection criteria and why?
  • Q5: How do you decide on whether to select a SaaS solution, on-premise or a combination?
  • Q6: How do you manage the implementation process?  IT, consultant, vendor or a combination?
  • Q7: What kinds of training and support should you receive with the HR/recruitment tech & software?
  • Q8: How do you measure return and total cost of ownership on HR/recruitment tech & software?

 

 

Delve Into Phil Simon's "The New Small"

I recently had the pleasure of chatting with TalentCulture’s good friend, Phil Simon about his new book “The New Small”. Phil has written two other books: Why New Systems Fail and The Next Wave of Technologies. A recognized technology expert, he consults with companies on how to optimize technology use. His contributions have been featured in The Globe and MailComputerWorld, ZDNet, New York Times, ReadWriteWeb, and many other sites. Phil is also a popular speaker about emerging trends and technologies.

Why did you write this book?

  • As I mention in the Preface of the book, I saw a need. Many small business owners are awash in a sea of technological choices. They are too busy to research all of these technologies themselves. While my book is certainly no reference manual, it lays out options and provides advice that would take a long time—and a great deal of money—to learn on their own. There are many opportunities out there; many small business owners simply aren’t aware of them.

What’s the difference between how small businesses approach technology (especially collaboration tools) and the traditional enterprise approach?

  • In a nutshell, small businesses (SBs) tend to experiment more. They’ll try out a tool like Yammer, for example, on an individual basis. If it catches on, it will be adopted throughout the company. It’s less “top-down” than the traditional enterprise approach. What’s more, if something else comes along that offers superior functionality, SBs will experiment with that tool as well, utilizing what’s best from each. There’s no corporate edict that “all people must use X” even though X doesn’t have key functionality.

How can managers start with their own teams on the cheap/free to handle their communication needs?

  • I interviewed a lot of business owners and managers for The New Small. It’s given me great insight into what managers do—and how they do it. These managers aren’t sure about what’s best, so they don’t pretend to have all of the answers. They encourage employees to find the right tools. Once something reaches critical mass, they’ll give it a shot.  Today, so many products are based on the “freemium” model; it’s rare now that you have to sign a traditional contract with a vendor before you can kick the tires on collaborative tools. These companies embrace IM tools such as Meebo, calling tools like Skypeand GoogleVoice, and simple hardware like webcams, Smartphones, and digital cameras.

It reads on your website that you’re an independent technology consultant. There are lots of people out there that would love to get into consulting, but aren’t sure about the first steps. What are some essentials for anyone who wants to get into consulting?

  • As I write in The New Small, many people begin contracting almost involuntarily. They’d like a full-time job but can’t find one in this economy. As for requirements, I can tell you about the essentials: a website, errors and omissions insurance, financial and accounting software, a healthy network of recruiters and friends keeping an eye out for you, potential incorporation, and the like. More than that, however, one needs to know appropriate rates. It’s hard to know what your worth and, admittedly, it’s more art than science. Sometimes you take less than you can get. Most important, you need to have a personality that accepts high highs and low lows. You won’t get a steady paycheck. Be prepared for the feast or famine world of independent life.

Historically, big technology had the advantage because it was safe and reliable. “Nobody ever got fired for hiring IBM” is the old saying. But now, it seems like small tech has the edge. How can that be? What changed?

  • Many things changed:
  • Broadband exploded.
  • Storage costs plummeted.
  • Freemium took off as a business model.
  • A massive wave of innovation occurred.
  • Other tech events and trends made the New Small possible.
  • Factor in a drop in job security and a desire for people to do their own thing and suddenly it’s hip to start your own company.

How realistic is it to want to start your own business in today’s world? What are some things to consider before starting your own business?
  • It’s very realistic. It happens every day. As I point out in the book, technology has drastically changed in the last five years. There are viable ways to minimize up-front costs, always a good idea when you’re hanging your own shingle. What’s more, social media allows companies to reduce often ineffective marketing expenditures.
Are there certain things in today’s world that make starting you own business a good idea?

  • Sure. The founders of the companies profiled in the book all were searching for something different—an alternative to traditional corporate life. There’s more flexibility being your own boss. You get a fundamental sense of satisfaction from working for yourself, and you can pursue ventures that you find worthwhile. There’s always been a sense in this country that you can succeed on your own terms. Technology today has made that easier, although the challenges of the current economy cannot be understated.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who have just started or planning to start their own business?

  • Don’t be afraid to experiment or fail. Einsten said something along the lines of, “If you want to increase your success rate, fail more often.” This couldn’t be more true today–particularly with respect to small businesses.  Also, get away from technologies that no longer meet your needs. Whether it’s ERP, CRM, a content management system (CMS), or whatever, see if there’s something better out there. Then try it out!
Do you have any tips for managing projects in the New Small?

  • Yes. Go agile. These companies do not use Waterfall-based methods. They can’t wait a year to see if something is conceptually sound. Throw something against the wall and see what you like and what you don’t.  Also, don’t reinvent the wheel. See what open source and off-the-shelf tools exist. Use existing APIs and modules to extend functionalty.
Could you please tell us, what businesses have inspired you? Also, what’s exactly this “new breed”?

  • In short, the owners of these companies inspired me a great deal. They weren’t afraid to break away from old tools and techniques that have worked for them and taken them to a certain point.  This new breed is open, experimental, and curious. They are constantly pushing the envelope and refuse to manage by routine. You’ll never hear “that’s not the way we do things here.” They’re a dynamic bunch of companies that, as you see in the book, is doing some amazing things.
In the first chapter of the book, which is available for free preview at your Web site, you call the present situation “the era of constant technological change.” In your opinion is there a difference between the way large enterprises and smaller companies respond to it? If so, what are the main challenges that small businesses face?
  • For political, legal, and financial reasons, big companies often cannot get away from technologies that no longer work for them. Small companies don’t have that problem. The world is their oyster. Yet, that very freedom can easily become chaos. Fortunately, the New Small is able to strike a balance, getting the benefits of amazing new technologies in the process.
Why do you think the emerging technologies, such as social media or cloud computing, are a perfect match for the needs of small businesses?

  • Many reasons. For one, they scale quite easily. No longer does a business need to predict “just how much” technology it will need. Second, success begets success. You can dip your toe in the pool before you jump in. Finally, with the Freemium model, you can test-drive technologies before making the jump.
What do you hope to impart on the world with The New Small?

  • In short, that it’s better to be small. Progressive small businesses are doing some amazing things. The book tells their stories; it’s not a theoretical or abstract text by any stretch. Once you see what these companies are doing, you’ll want to experiment with some of the same methods and technologies.

Managing Virtual Teams: #TChat Recap

You’d think that those of us who collaborate online have already mastered the virtual workplace. And for the most part, we have.  We communicate via a variety of tools and services:

  • E-mail
  • Phone
  • Instant Message
  • Video Chat
  • The Big Social 3 (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)
  • Other Online Networks
  • Webinar
  • Podcast
  • Blog
  • Wiki
  • Intranet

All being done via:

  • Landlines
  • Cell phones
  • Smart phones
  • The Internet
  • Tablet computers
  • Laptop computers
  • Desktop computers
  • Carrier pigeons
  • Two cups connected with string
  • Telepathic messages

Maybe not the last three, but if you do use any of those, do please let me know.

Beyond the tools and services, the true measure of working virtually is the fact you are autonomous, accountable, personally responsible, self-managed and productive — but not in the “time put in” sense, more the productivity in aligned business output over the course of the day and week.

Those of us who have worked virtually for years within organizations and/or with clients not in the backyard don’t think twice about what it means to work alone in a home office.

Maybe, although I think we need more live interaction throughout the year.  So whether than means formal company gatherings a few times a year, meeting at events a few times a year, leasing space in a coworking facility like I do, we all still need a little face time.

And that’s what helps to keep your company culture solidified — the face time — look me in the eyes, baby.

Last night during #TChat, where the topic was — Managing virtual teams and dispersed global organizations while maintaining workplace culture.  Is it possible? — Amy Ruberg mentioned: Trust is earned, fragile, and travels in both directions.

That really sums up the daily workplace transactions, together in a shared office or at home in a virtual one, and for me solidifies culture as well.

Unfortunately many companies don’t trust well and still have archaic policies that don’t jive with the realities of the mobile/virtual workforce.

Can you imagine conducting a virtual meeting across a variety of devices while still having a no-electronic-device policy during meetings?

Wouldn’t that make everyone vanish in thin air?

Another defining point from last night — if you can’t manage virtual teams should you be in a managerial position at all?

Probably not.

The good news is that according to a recent post by Sharlyn Lauby titled What the Best Places to Work Have in Common:

82 of Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work listed the fact that they offered telecommuting.  So, the key concept behind workshifting – being able to work productively from anywhere – are embraced by the companies considered to be the crème de la crème in Corporate America. This comes right after the Federal Government implemented the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, mandating Federal Agencies to implement telework policies.

Here is the transcript from last night’s #TChat and these were our questions:

  • Q1: How are virtual teams presenting challenges for leaders in a workplace culture?
  • Q2: Reality Check: Can leaders engage and handle workplace conflicts virtually?
  • Q3: What are ways we can improve communication for teams that are primarily virtual?
  • Q4: In person meetings will always be necessary for employee engagement – how much is enough for true team collaboration?
  • Q5: Is recruiting, hiring for “self-management” “innovation” skills a must for telecommuting roles? Globally?
  • Q6: What does employer trust have to do with virtual – both from the inside and outside of an employer’s brand?
  • Q7: Why are some innovative companies considering VTs to be their most important asset?

A special thank you to Meghan M. BiroMatt Charney and Eric Winegardner from Monster land, Ian Mondrow the team at Sodexoand all the other fantastic usual suspects and new folks who stopped by last night to share their wisdom.

Next week’s topic:  Workplace Culture Clash or Party? Multi-generational diversity and the innovation factor.

Join us every Tuesday night from 8-9 p.m. ET (5-6 p.m. PT) on Twitter via hashtag #TChat. Remember we welcome global input! Join in from wherever you might be. Our live chat is hosted by @KevinWGrossman @MeghanMBiro@TalentCulture, and @Monster_WORKS. Please Tweet or DM us for more scoop!

Workplace Violence & Security Risks: #TChat Preview

Originally posted by Matt Charney, one of #TChat’s moderators, on MonsterThinking Blog

“The Dark Side of Workplace Culture: Workplace Violence and Security Risks,the theme of this week’s #TChat, is one we don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about until we’re forced to by tragedy.

The reaction to workplace violence and security risk tends to be largely reactive, but the consequences demand organizations take proactive steps to preempt, and prevent, occurrences of what’s sadly become a reality in our new world of work.

According to the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1 million workers are assaulted and 1000 are murdered every year from workplace violence; in fact, homicide is the leading cause of death for women in the workplace.

“The problem is that when some sort of violent outbreak does occur at work, we always hear things like, ‘It was just a matter of time,’ or ‘We knew something like this was going to happen,’ says Gary Lalicki, VP of Clinical Operations at Health Management Systems of America, one of the nation’s leading providers of employee assistance programs (EAPs).  “Well, if that’s the case, the question that has to be answered is, ‘why didn’t you tell anyone about this?’”

As Kevin Grossman writes in “The dark side of Workplace Culture — workplace violence and security risks, the reason is often related to an attitude of, “Don’t ask, don’t tell … you don’t want your employer to know for fear of losing your job. Employers don’t want to know for fear of potential violence in the workplace.”

“Employers have a legal duty to seek to identify and prevent everyone in the workplace from becoming victims of violence,” says Lalicki.  “Employees also have a responsibility to assist in keeping their environments safe and secure by reporting any behavior in others that may lead to incidents of violence.”

According to Lalicki, these red flags include:

  • White collar males: 91.6% of shootings on the job are committed by men; 38% of all shootings in workplace happened in “white collar” situations, making up 30% of all fatal shootings at work.
  • Laid Off: 24% of workplace shooters were laid off or fired (although Lalicki says there’s been no increase in workplace violence during the recent recession)
  • Loner: A pathological blamer or complainer whose perpetual frustration has strained work relationships and reduced productivity
  • Sudden Changes: A previously dependable, punctual and productive employee whose tardiness and absences begin to increase substantially; sudden change in health or hygiene
  • Relationships: A coworker involved in a troubled, work-related romantic situation.  13% of shootings in the workplace involved a former or current intimate relationship.

The good news, Grossman writes, “today there are thankfully so many more resources available and more and more companies have workplace violence and/or intimate partner violence programs and/or EAPs (employee assistance programs).”

While most companies offer Employee Assistance Programs, these resources are often underutilized or misunderstood by employees.

“EAPs can help any employer group have a healthier workforce, but it’s up to HR and Senior Leadership to develop training and communications which promote the company’s employee assistance program,” Lalicki says.  “Companies need to stress that these resources are completely free, confidential, and most importantly, that these programs work.”

Join #TChat tonight at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT as we discuss workplace violence and the solutions available for HRs, senior leaders and employees alike to prevent it.  The good news is, just joining the conversation’s an important first step.

“The big problem with workplace violence,” says Lalicki, “Is that we’re too afraid to talk about it.  But the risks of not talking about it are a whole lot scarier.”

#TChat Questions and Recommended Reading: 1.31.11

Here are the questions we’ll be discussing, along with some background reading, to help prepare and inform the #TChat conversation.  While this isn’t mandatory to get in on tonight’s #TChat action, we suggest checking out these articles by top career advice and talent management thought leaders to better understand workplace violence, security risks and how to prevent them:

Q1:  How does everyday violence and security breaches affect workplace culture today?

Read: When Violence Strikes the Workplace by Sarah Needleman

Q2:  How does your org address workplace violence during onboarding – and at other times?

Read: Waking Up to the Risks of Workplace Violence by Tucker Miller

Q3:  What is HR’s role in workplace violence intervention and prevention? Who else should be involved?

Read: Keeping the Workplace Safe Amid Crisis by Kate Rogers

Q4:  If a colleague is threatened with violence at work from anyone, what should you do and why?

Read: Workplace Violence: The 5 Most Important Tips Women Need to Know To Protect Themselvesby Lisa Quast 

Q5:  If you have an EAP, how do they provide workplace/domestic violence assistance?

Read: Domestic Violence: Workplace Policies and Management Strategies by Kim Wells (Executive Director, Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence) and Stacey Pastel Dougan, Esq.

Research: Domestic Violence Awareness Handbook USDA Safety, Health & Employee Welfare Division

Q6:  What are the most effective ways to minimize workplace incivility, bullying and violence?

Read: Workplace Bullying: US Employers’ Progress on Epidemic Problem by Randi Barenholtz and Denise Kay, Esq., SPHR

Q7:  Under OSHA, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace. Discuss.

Read: Employment Policies: Clean Up Your Compliance Act by Melanie Berkowitz, Esq.

Q8:  What is the role of leadership in addressing workplace violence when it occurs and before it occurs?

Read: Leadership and Workplace Violence by John Ikeda

————————————-

Our Monster social media team supports the effort behind #TChat and its mission of sharing “ideas to help your business and your career accelerate – the right people, the right ideas, at the right time.”

We’ll be joining the conversation live every Tuesday night as co-hosts with Kevin Grossman and Meghan M. Biro from 8-9 PM E.T. via @monster_works and @MonsterWW.  Hope to see you tonight at 8 PM ET for #TChat!

Taking Work-Life Balance By The Horns

(Editor’s Note: All of us in the TalentCulture community mourn the loss of our dear friend, brilliant colleague and mindful mentor, Judy Martin, who passed away unexpectedly on January 31, 2014. Her message and her life are a lesson for us all. We will forever fondly remember her humor, warmth and wisdom.)

A colleague recently told me she was suffering from anxiety about heading back to work, after a week off.  In gory detail, she described a nightmare in which her manager littered her office with big black hairy spiders. Pretty much how she feels at work, she effused.  “The creepy crawlies never seem to go away.”

That type of stress dominates her work life experience, and it’s not foreign to many of us. And sharing news and tips on how to reduce that work life stress is where my focus will be here at Talent Culture.

The American working pool has been thrust into what I refer to as “a work-related field of cognitive dissonance.” Stuck in a vacuum of perpetual information overload, courtesy technology and our human response to it, we’re also pressed to pay attention at work and excel or suffer potential consequences.  Survey please! The numbers tell the story:

An American Psychological Association survey on work-related stress found that sixty-two percent of Americans hold work as having a significant impact on stress levels.

A survey by Princeton Survey Research Associates found seventy-five percent of employees believing that on-the-job stress has increased compared to the previous generation.

We are under enormous pressure to perform. To deliver. To excel. We juggle our working and living experience, but often fall into a merry-go-round of stress in what I refer to at WorkLifeNation.com as the  “UPED U” Cycle which is described below.

In simple terms, “UPED U” is the chaotic cycle we enter when our work life merge gets out of control and  “ups” our stress level leading to emotional turmoil and potentially less productivity.

The solution – to find creative ways to throw a kink into that cycle.

Here’s what happens in that cycle, along with a few pointers on how to stop the insanity! I’ll be writing more about the antidotes to these cyclical monsters in future posts.

1.     Unlimited Incoming:

A barrage of information continually comes our way.

NEW RULE: Consciously limit your news intake. Aggregate your favorite news sources and blogs on line and choose one time a day to focus on them. Depending on your job, determine the best time of
day to check e-mails and stick to it. If you are addicted to web surfing –limit your time doing that.

2.    Perceived Availability:

We’re all wired to our families, work and communities and everyone else knows you’re tethered to technology so we’ve created the perception that we’re always available.

NEW RULE: Come to agreement with the most important people from work and in your family that you communicate with regularly. Speak with them and share your daily work life scenario. People will assume that you are available unless you tell them otherwise.

3.    Expectation of Instant Gratification:

That perceived availability leads to other people’s needs to be attended to. They want to be heard and answered in the moment.

NEW RULE: Unless your work requires it, do not respond to e-mails in the moment and limit your texting.  This takes a lot of discipline and you will break this rule a lot depending on the circumstances.

4.    Desire to Deliver and Excel:

Our nature is to not fall short. To nurture and want to please in what is a competitive working environment. To make our boss or clients happy, we desire to deliver and excel to keep up with the Jones’.

NEW RULE: Don’t be so caught up in how other people define success. Be confident in your work your deliverables. Only you know how productive you are andwhat might need to change to up your game. There will be times when you might have to enter into the extreme work zone, but be aware of your limitations to avoid burnout.

5. Unlimited Interruptions:

In order to please everyone at the same time, we are often taken out of the moment, are
lead astray from the initial task and surrender to multi-tasking.

NEW RULE: Stop the insanity. Find a place in the cycle to make that tiny aberration in the stream of chaos to offset the tumble effect. It’s really about you taking control a little more control. Being conscious that the choices you make can mean the difference between burnout and a productive work life merge.

The trick is to monitor your incoming, and make concrete choices somewhere in this cycle to stump the system. Where do you think is the best place to stop the cycle? Please share your solutions to avoid an “UPED U.”

Take a Stand: Welcome to TC, Steve Browne!

Hello all, Steve Browne here.  I am the newest contributor to TalentCulture and could not be more excited to be on board. Here is my latest post from my blog – I look forward to what’s ahead!

This past weekend I traveled to the heart of Amish country in Ohio to beautiful Berlin, Ohio for the Classic in the Country basketball tournament. It was a full weekend of great high school varsity girls basketball!

The “unique” aspect of this tournament vs. others is that when the girls come out to the court before the game begins something other than the National Anthem occurred. (Fear not, they play the Anthem at the beginning of each day.)  The announcer asked everyone to stand and then they played a quote from a Martin Luther King, Jr. speech.  It was incredibly moving – and relevant!!

You see, my daughter only knows of Dr. King from History class or a textbook. Now that we are recognizing the 25th anniversary of the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, it made me reflective as well because Dr. King did things that we in HR should be doing as well . . .

Recognize Injustice!

Too often HR sees things that happen in companies and seeks the middle ground vs. addressing things directly.  You see, if you ask Management, HR represents them. If you ask employees, they’d say HR represents . . . Management. The fact is that we represent all employees and we are obligated to look at all people practices that aren’t in the best interest of employees and get rid of them.

I’m not talking about obvious egregious or illegal behavior. That’s a no-brainer.  I’m talking about policies (that we often generate) that do no good to the company. Honestly, most of our polices are created to address a few people’s poor behavior that we should be addressing directly any way!

Take a stand!

Do you like being ambiguous and wishy-washy? I don’t and I hope that as HR practitioners, you don’t either. It’s tough to take stands on things but companies expect us to make decisions and not practice conflict avoidance. People are tough. There’s no doubt about that. However, if you learn how to frame your approach and deal intentionally with people, you’ll be amazed at how effective an HR professional you’ll be!

Be the one person!

Too often people are waiting for someone to act. When HR is passive bad things happen more often than not and you become the person who’s always “putting out fires.” We desparately want someone to take action.

That needs to be YOU!

Dr. King took action when it wasn’t popular, when it involved incredible risk, and it represented those who weren’t in power. I want to be that kind of HR person all the time.

How about you?

The New (Old) World of Job Hunting & Hiring: #TChat Recommended Reading

Originally posted by Matt Charney, one of #TChat’s moderators, on MonsterThinking Blog

recent Monster+HotJobs poll found that 98% of American workers are “primed and ready” to look for a new job in 2011, their optimism buoyed by a recovering employment and economic picture.

The war for talent is on — and the rules of engagement have changed. Job seekers are mobilizing, and employers are fighting to hire and retain the best employees, in a new and fast-changing landscape.

But what does it take to succeed in this new world of job hunting and hiring?  With the rise of emerging technologies such as mobile job search platforms, more powerful search engines, and the new ubiquity of social media in talent identification and acquisition, it’s clear the tools of the job hunt game have changed.  But have the rules changed?

It’s easier now than ever before for job seekers to position themselves, and their “personal brands,” so employers can find them. Employers can also target and connect with top talent at the speed of the Tweet.  However, the most important elements of the hiring process remain, for all intents and purposes, unchanged.

“Old school” job hunting and hiring hallmarks such as a well formatted traditional resume, a firmly established (offline) professional network and the ability to sell skills and experience in an interviewremain the most important considerations in the job hunt process, and the most powerful tools in the job seekers’ arsenal.

Join #TChat tonight, brought to you by @TalentCulture, @MeghanMBiro, @KevinWGrossman, @monster_works, and @MonsterWW – They will be joining the #TChat conversation live every Tuesday night with from 8-9 PM ET, 7-8 PM CT, 6-7 PM MT, and 5-6 PM PT as we explore what’s changed, what’s stayed the same and how job hunters, and the companies looking to hire them, can not only survive, but thrive, in the new (old) world of job search.

#TChat Recommended Reading: 1.11.11

This background reading isn’t mandatory to get in on tonight’s #TChat action, but we suggest checking out these articles by top career advice and talent management thought leaders and explore the possibilities (and pitfalls) of the evolving world of the job hunt and hiring:

5. How Technology is Changing the Recruiting Landscape by John Rossheim

4. The Rules of the Game Have Changed: Insights into Today’s Jobseekers by Nicole Williams

3. 11 Smart Career Tips for 2011 by Kathryn Ullrich

2. Recruit from the Inside Out: Establish A Relationship with a Talent Acquisition Partnerby Meghan M. Biro

1. Job Searching in a Coffee Shop by Peter Gibbons

Our Monster social media team supports the effort behind #TChat and its mission of sharing “ideas to help your business and your career accelerate – the right people, the right ideas, at the right time.”

Hope to see you tonight @ #TChat!

To read more, please visit www.monsterthinking.com/

2010, We Hardly Knew Ye. My Culture of Talent Musings

It’s tempting, in an end-of-year post, to mourn and dwell what didn’t happen in the year past, to give cheery career tips for the new year, or to speculate on emerging innovation trends. I thought about it briefly and then simply decided not to. It’s likely already been done.

I’d like to take a different tack to talk about how 2010 taught us that workplace culture brands need to ‘personalize’, and how truly exciting is has been to watch corporate brands become more authentic and dynamic. It’s a complex work world now and this makes me very happy. There are still many mountains to climb when it comes to workplace, leadership and talent innovation. Thank goodness – right? The real work is still really just beginning.

Down markets are not always times of smart leadership, innovation and inspiration, but 2010 saw these themes emerge powerfully, driven by social media – connecting employees and brands – as well as a return to the realization that emotional intelligence is a critical component in today’s geographically dispersed yet deeply interconnected workplace.

At the TalentCulture social community, I examined the notion of intent and what it means for companies. People seek community. As I said then, “…people come to communities with a purpose, an intent. They are looking for a place to be, a place to learn, a place to grow and interact in a meaningful way. The trick then, for companies, is to behave as social communities. It’s a powerful and new metaphor for the workplace.”

In a company that operates as a social community, there is more room to create a workplace that celebrates and accommodates differences – in backgrounds, personal brands, skill sets and personality temperaments. A healthy workplace “…focuses on ensuring personality/culture fit between employees and the organization, people of diverse skill sets and temperaments can collaborate and succeed – because they have the intent to succeed, and the social context – the community – in which to realize their intent.” Smart and true collaboration holds so many valuable keys for all of us. Bring diversity and enthusiasm into the mix and you really have something special.

Companies that recognize ‘intent to belong’ in their employees know how to build culture by fostering different modes of interaction among the company and its employees. They go beyond transactional interactions with employees to transformational interactions, and then to tacit interactions, where trust is built to create a shared and sustainable competitive advantage. They will be the winners as they recruit and retain the very best talent.

Strong workplace brands that reflect a healthy corporate culture bring an advantage in hiring and creating memorable products, services and missions. We’ll see even more hiring growth in 2011, so companies and people (personal brands) must think about maintaining their brands. As I wrote earlier this year, “Link corporate culture and brand with your people and the magic really starts…Remember that your brand and culture are your biggest attractions…. Your best defense, as an employer, is to have culture and brand in place. Be irresistible to your employees. Be desirable to candidates. Be your brand, revel in your culture, and never abandon either.”

As social media permeates the workplace more deeply in 2011, be prepared to support it, plan for it, even celebrate your social media ‘rock stars’, who are your front-and-center culture brand ambassadors. How cool and fabulous are they? Very.

I, for one, am not mourning the end of 2010. It has been a challenging year for so many people and organizations, to ignore this fact would be completely ludicrous. It’s also been a time of profound changes and advances in workplace leadership and on the community building front. A reason to celebrate = growth and connectivity. Don’t let up – in 2011 the pace will be faster, people will be smarter and more connected, and workplace brand will be critical to retain valued employees. Workplace brands will be a collection of employees with strong personal brands, which will make the workplace a stronger place. So 2010, so long, farewell.

We’re on to 2011 already. Bring it. We are global and we are one. Thank you for listening and sharing. My very best to you and yours from all of us here at the Culture of Talent.

Taking Over the World With Social, Mobile & Video Rock Stars

Yes, we want to take over the world.  Our monster end-of-year #TChat show about how social, mobile and video as rock stars impact workplace culture and predictions for 2011 was a rousing success.

Over 1,500 smarty pants tweets in the hour alone.  A hat tip and a thank you to all of you who did.

Top Contributors included:

  1. @talentculture – 315
  2. @meghanmbiro – 147
  3. @KevinWGrossman – 120
  4. @LevyRecruits – 73
  5. @dawnrasmussen – 67
  6. @jillianwalker – 64
  7. @tedcoine – 57
  8. @DrJanice – 53
  9. @IanMondrow – 50
  10. @EmilieMeck – 47

We referenced social, mobile and video as “rock stars” — even though we meant they are figurative rock stars and wanted to discuss their impact on workplace culture.

But some of the discussion morphed to literal social media rock stars in organizations today, and that’s okay.  In fact, much of the conversation was about how companies could better perform by allowing social to permeate.

And video and mobile are the two dots they’re connected to with dotted lines to us all…

Companies that don’t allow social media are killing their brand ambassadors.

Amen to that.

Here were some of everyone’s 2011 Predictions:

  • Mobile/virtual workforce on the rise. Video conferencing and coworking are where it’s at in 2011.
  • Companies will wake up and develop more inclusive SM policies at work.
  • HR will have to ROCK in 2011 if it wants to remain relevant. It will and the gap between SM and practitioner will shrink.
  • I am expecting that Role-Based Assessment will rock and roll in 2011.
  • Google to buy FB. FB to be Google. Googling your employees now unravels their whole life & danger zone commences.
  • Closer joining up of social networks. less engagment in channels. More use of 3rd party apps.
  • Lines moving between trad. old school ‘work’ continue to get erased as more people stay connected.
  • Companies are going to go to their legal dpt to define ‘privacy’ as lines between work / play get blurred.
  • Increased buy-in & participation from corp. leaders to join the conversation (social media).
  • Traditional workplaces will continue to un-teether and ppl will have to find new creative ways to connect via SM. Hello cloud!
  • More tools will become available to consolidate our SM.
  • Global concerns about privacy will slow personal SMV growth as companies trip over themselves to push out more “relevant” content.
  • Companies incorporate multimedia interviews in their hiring strategy!
  • In 2011 LinkedIn will reveal more strategies that require people to purchase premium memberships.
  • SM for the team – coming soon, because first you have to measure networking quality!

Meghan added at the end:

“My 2010 prediction held true. Workplace Brands = An intricate collection of Personal Brands :-) So much more to talk about!”

So let’s do that next time on Tuesday, January 4, 2011, from 8-9 p.m. ET.  We’re going to continue workplace culture predictions for 2011 and talk more about what they mean!

#TChat wouldn’t be what it was without all of you, so thank you again!  Happiest of Holidays to you all!

Magnetic Cultures and Twitter Chats — The Latest #TChat Recap

Talk about a magnetic culture.

At least in the context of online Twitter Chats in 140 characters or less of reciprocal conversation and idea exchange — we’ve got a winner.

My fearless culture cohort in crime, TalentCulture founder Meghan M. Biro, and I started #TChat back on November 16, 2010, and have now hosted four forums.

The latest titled The Workplace Culture Audit:  Building a Magnetic Company Culture and Recruiting the Best Talent was our biggest yet.

Check out the stats here — over 250 contributors last night alone sharing over 2,000 tweets.

Our good friend Eric Leist, an Emerging Technology Strategist with Allen & Gerristen, wrote about Twitter chat madness this week.

Let’s get back to last night’s topic, though.  Meghan’s forte is company culture and here are some of her thoughts on the subject:

Companies faced with retaining their most important asset – employees = people – should focus on creating a workplace culture that accommodates not only the organization’s need to meet business objectives, but also what resonates with an employees’ need to see themselves as a key partner in the organization’s success. Let’s ensure people feel valued and respected in this equation at all levels in the organization.

 

Workplace culture is so much more than a mission statement or having a cool ping pong table for breaks or sharing free sodas in the refrigerator (these perks matter of course). It’s a powerful metaphor for the workplace that allows employees to compellingly describe where they work, what the business does, and what its value is to customers. Companies successful in creating a unique and compelling workplace culture will have much more success attracting and retaining talented people who experience ‘culture fit’ with the company.  It’s so important and often overlooked.

Right on the money.  If you don’t have a workplace culture that attracts and retains quality talent, that gets most of them excited about the why of do and not just the what, then your days in business may be numbered.

I say “may be” because cultural wasteland firms can still produce a product and/or service the market wants and be awash in huge profits.  You know, like banking, investment and financial services firms.  (Did I just write that?  Please, no e-mails or phone calls.)  Magnetic culture and business can be mutually exclusive but are oh so much better together.

Magnetic culture is organic, and although leaders help to spark it, fanning the flames comes from inside.

You can read more from Meghan on culture at Culture Brand: Create Magical Distinction to Attract the Very Best Talent.

Here were the questions from last night’s #TChat:

  • Q1: How do you define company culture and what makes it magnetic?
  • Q2: Why aren’t happy hour Fridays, flex time and nap couches enough for a magnetic company culture?
  • Q3: Why is culture a key determinant in attracting and retaining talent?
  • Q4: What constitutes fair compensation including benefits and how does that affect culture?
  • Q5: Do your talent objectives align with the business objectives?  Vice-versa?
  • Q6: How can employers make employee training/career development a priority and give culture more meaning?
  • Q7: Does “open” communication exist in your company? What does this term mean to you?
  • Q8: Why or why not is it important to have an emotionally intelligent company?
  • Q9: How are you challenging your employees (good or bad)? How is your employer challenging you?
  • Q10: How important is it for your personal values to match those of the company?  Vice-versa?

The caliber of attendees and their answers was outstanding.  Smart and savvy folk.  You can see a sampling below or search hashtag #TChat stream to read more.

A very special thanks to Monster Thinking for their support and partnership.  @monster_works and @MonsterWW will be joining the #TChat conversation live every Tuesday night with from 8-9 PM ET, 7-8 PM CT, 6-7 PM MT, and 5-6 PM PT.

We also welcome global input and hope you can join from wherever you might be. We certainly want to hear from you. We are committed to creating educational content and social community here at the Culture of Talent. Learning is continuous here and we are nothing without people. People (AKA: human capital) are the most valuable asset to any organization or community.

Thank you all again for joining us!  More #TChat next Tuesday, December 21, 2010 — The Very, Merry Cheddar edition.  I have no idea what that means, but be there.

Monster is Thinking + Join our #TChat Community

Could this be any cooler or what?

What I mean is having MonsterThinking as a #TChat co-host and brand ambassador. That’s very cool. The Monster social media team supports the effort behind #TChat and our TalentCulture mission of sharing “ideas to help your business and your career accelerate – the right people, the right ideas, at the right time.”

The MonsterThinking blog explores the complex world of work and is more than just their tagline; it’s their mission. I always enjoy spending time with their talented team members at social media and career/workplace events and have personally known this company for many years and phases of their workplace culture.

I’m honored to have them on board with us. And of course, finding innovative ways to connect job seekers with the employers looking for them is what Monster’s all about. How can we not love this community of people?

@monster_works and @MonsterWW will be joining the #TChat conversation live every Tuesday night with from 8-9 PM ET, 7-8 PM CT, 6-7 PM MT, and 5-6 PM PT. We also welcome global input and hope you can join from wherever you might be. We certainly want to hear from you. We are committed to creating educational content and social community here at the Culture of Talent. Learning is continuous here and we are nothing without people. People (AKA: human capital) are the most valuable asset to any organization or community.

Read more from MonsterThinking on tonight’s #TChat topic. The Workplace Culture Audit: Steps To Building a Magnetic Company Culture and Recruiting the Best Talent.

We will see you tonight and look forward to a new 2011 jam packed with opportunity to learn and grow! Thank you for engaging with us on this channel.

VIP Treatment for Hiring Managers and Recruiters: College Campuses

Today’s guest post is by our talented colleague and friend  Karla Porter.  Karla is the Director of Work Force Development and Human Resources for a chamber of business, industry and economic develop­ment agency in Pennsylvania and blogs about Human Capital & New Media at karlaporter.com You can follow her on Twitter @karla_porter for “all things human capital, career, recruiting and new media… maybe more.”

In 2008, college students and their parents were wearing out their worry beads thinking there would be little hope for a long time for graduates and no way to pay students loans for many years to come. Post graduate enrollment increased with students thinking they might as well stay in college rather than face unemployment or have to deal with underemployment. At least that way they could stave off student loans a while longer.

At the same time, in one of life’s ha ha I fooled you moments, employers coming out of recessionary shock realized the economic woes were going to be a chronic case of global acid reflux not a mere blip on the radar, but they couldn’t necessarily hold out on hiring any longer. What to do?

In many companies the answer has been to help manage budget cuts by hiring recent college graduates with the aptitude to do the job at entry level salaries, rather than seasoned professionals with track records that command heavyweight salaries.  At the very least, hiring managers are much more willing to interview and seriously consider recent graduates than perhaps they have ever been. Whether it will prove to be a wise business decision in the long run or not, it’s the hand many hiring managers and recruiters have been dealt.

So, why not enjoy the VIP treatment college and university career services centers are delighted to bestow upon you in order to help place their grads, especially in these times of a tight job market? Get to know the players, build rapport with them and they’ll turn into a team of willing assistants for you. It might even help ease the pain of a “light” placement fee for third party recruiters or a smaller bonus for in-house recruiters.

Here are some tips to tap into talent – even if you don’t have a budget to get out to on-site campus recruitment events. I’ll use computer science/engineering majors as an example.

Do you have any tips you would like to share for tapping into fresh college graduate talent? Interested to hear your stories and examples.