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The Changing Identities of Today’s Workforce: #TChat Preview

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

Last week’s #TChat asked the question, “Should I Stay Or Should I Go,” and the conversation underscored compelling data that suggests that a mass exodus of talent seems imminent, a trend that threatens to impact employers irrespective of company size or overall headcount.

Employees and job seekers with small business experience and their counterparts from large company backgrounds face a similar career conundrum: what kind of employer is right for me? For an increasingly large percentage of the workforce, that answer comes down to transforming their personal brand into, well, a personal brand.

But what, exactly, does this new class of independent workers call themselves? Terms like consultant, contractor and contingent worker are frequently used interchangeably on resumes and job descriptions alike, but what, exactly, is the difference?

For many of us, what we do forms, in large part, who we are; but what do non-traditional, non-employees, well, call themselves? Are they marketing a small business or a start-up? Are they an entrepreneur or a gun for hire? It even seems looking for a job has increasingly turned into a business development proposition.

Whether building a brand or a bottom line, identity matters. But it’s often lost in today’s increasingly complex world of work. Tonight’s #TChat: “Am I A Temp, A Consultant, An Entrepreneur or a Small Business?” will take a look at the changing identities of today’s workforce – and its repercussions for employers and job seekers alike.

Join the conversation at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT with hosts @meghanmbiro @TalentCulture @kevinwgrossman and @monster_works and let us know what you think about the seismically shifting employment mix – and where you fit in.

For the first time this week, we’re asking a question in advance. So if you can’t wait until 8, let us know, “How Do You Classify Yourself In Today’s Workforce?” You don’t have to vote in advance; will let you submit your answer and we’ll reveal the results live on #TChat!

The Changing Identities of Today’s Workforce: 4.12.11 #TChat Questions and Recommended Reading

Here are tonight’s #TChat questions, along with some recommended reading, to help prepare, and inform, your participation in tonight’s conversation about personal identity and career management in today’s workforce.

Q1 (Poll): How do you classify yourself in today’s workforce? Full-time, part-time, temp – what?

Take The Survey

Q2: Has the latest downturn created more independents and “entrepreneurs”? Why?

Read: The Great Recession’s Effect on Entrepreneurship by Scott Shane (Federal Reserve)

Q3: What challenges are there transitioning from employed to independent or vice versa?

Read: More Jobs Shifting from Full Time to Contract by Larry Buhl

Q4: What’s the difference between a contractor, a temp or a consultant, if any?

Read: 5 Tips for Engaging Contingent Workers by Kevin Sheridan

Q5: What’s behind the rise in companies use in contingent workers and contractors? Good thing? Bad?

Read: From One to Many by Alice Snell

Q6: Do companies have different hiring standards for contingent workers? Should they?

Read: Why Are Hiring Managers Scared of Entrepreneurs? by David Mesicek

Q7: How has technology changed the employment mix? Increased startups?

EMBED: 2011 IT Job Market Report

Q8: So, are job titles now obsolete? How should we rethink careers and the why of work?

Read: If You Think Job Titles Don’t Matter… by Dawn Hrdlica

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!

When Employers Aren't Our Biggest Fan: #TChat Recap

If you’re supposed to be my number 1 fan, then why do you treat me like a dirty bird?

Sometimes being on the job is just plain “Misery”. Maybe you’ve read the Stephen King novel or watched the movie starring Kathy Bates and James Caan, but if not the story is about a fan (fanatic) who holds captive the object of her obsession, the writer who keeps her entertained with his romantic novels — until he no longer does.

Back to being on the miserable job. Back in the mid 1990’s I worked at a university and had a boss who had a boss who made us both miserable. That combined with limited resources to do our jobs, and the fact that I managed a group of 50+ student employees in a condemned building on campus, and the fact that one of my colleagues who worked in the same building invaded and poked holes in my personal space daily, became unbearable.

My boss and I told each other that when the work day ended and the crying began, then it was time to leave. (Which is a lot less painful than being hobbled.)

It was time to leave. For both of us. First me and then him within the year.

Fast forward to today, two downturns into the 21st century with misery everywhere. According to Matt Charney‘s @Monster_WORKS pre-TChat write up:

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.

Now flip that on its head and read this from recent Accenture survey:

Only about two of five (43 percent) professionals are satisfied with their jobs; however, 70 percent plan to stay with their current employers, according toReinvent Opportunity: Looking Through a New Lens, a survey of 3,400 professionals in 29 countries by the New York-based global management consulting and technology services company.

And then there’s a recent study by Harris Interactive and Plateau Systems that finds:

…Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of workers would consider a new career opportunity if approached — but they aren’t actively looking for new jobs.

Both of these were from a recent HRE online article titled Staying Put that I recommend you read as well as Matt’s highlighted Monster Thinking reads.

But wait, does all this misery make for upwards of 90% of the current workforce passively active or actively passive?

Sure, I understand how fluid these numbers can be and of course what I’m feeling changes how the world appears. But employers obviously haven’t been making many of us feeling any better, although they’re not there to make us feel better. They’re there to make make stuff and sell stuff and hopefully keep their employees “engaged” as much as possible along the way so they stay to make stuff and sell stuff. Plus, engagement is just a buzzword for, “You like what you do? Let me make sure I take care of you for that.” Then there’s, “You don’t like what you do? Did I ever tell you I’m your number 1 fan?”

Employers should communicate with their employees much more regularly beyond the annual perform-dance review. They should talk to them about the business, where it’s at and where it’s going. Transparency and inclusivity lead to ownership, intrinsic rewards and a more productive and happy workday.

Unfortunately change is always painfully glacial for many of us. Even with exciting technological advances changing the landscape of how we work and how we manage the workforce — mobile, social, collaboration — we’re still way on the front end of mainstream with many of us kicking and screaming along the way doing way too much with way less support.

We don’t live in the 1950′s. The US isn’t the only superpower economy fueling booms (and busts) and creating fairly stable (yet volatile) middle class job markets. The fact that the contingent workforce does continue to increase in the wake of high unemployment and uncertain markets tells me that we’re never going back. The full-time job with benefits and a pension and a secure retirement has fast become a retro shadow.

This is the new age of individual as startup and business owner — our personal businesses. Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter said it best last night: “We’re just looking for fair compensation, fair personal treatment and respect, and not getting sick to our stomachs every morning.”

Oh, and a little work we enjoy. Being happy never hurts.

Amen.  As I’m sure you’ve gathered, last night’s theme was “Should I Stay Or Should I Go? Workplace Culture Factors to Consider Before Leaving Your Job.” You can see our reach from last night here and the questions are here:

  • Q1: Almost 90% of workers report being “open” to looking for new jobs. Why is this number so high?
  • Q2: How can employers take advantage of these trends to recruit and hire top talent?
  • Q3: What factors should employees consider when looking for a new job opportunity?
  • Q4: What can business leaders do to improve retention  rates and morale among top talent?
  • Q5: What’s the difference between an active and a passive candidate, if any?  Does it matter?
  • Q6: What are the most significant factors employees look at when deciding to stay or leave?
  • Q7: What are some ways employers and companies can help turn the tide?  Or is it too late?

Thank you again for participating in #TChat. Next week’s topic will be: “Am I A Temp, A Consultant, An Entrepreneur or a Small Business?  The Changing Identities of Today’s Workforce.” Yours truly will be moderating.

Until then, Happy Working from all of us here at TalentCulture.

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!

Being a Good Boss Means Not Being Afraid to Fire; #TChat Recap

Everybody likes to be liked. Most colleagues and bosses that I’ve worked with do. To a fault, which makes it very difficult when dealing with those who need dealing with.

Those who need to be written up and eventually fired.

For those who don’t care about being liked, in particular the bosses, most still don’t deal with confrontation very well and hence don’t fire. Well. Or at all. This of course is all anecdotal, but I bet most of you agree, and we’ve all seen the surveys and the research that validates.

The overall consensus last night during #TChat was that this “fear of firing” affects business performance detrimentally, because not only do poor performers topple the bottom line by falling flat on it, they also affect their co-workers and others in the business, which then creates a domino effect of further poor performance. And if they’re customer facing in any way, then there’s another affront to growth and revenue.

We didn’t really define “poor performance,” but that can include the inability to complete assigned tasks to being a toxic employee. Because which is more important when considering termination: cultural fit or performance? I say performance and lack thereof. I’ve hired great cultural fits who don’t perform (or can’t in that position).

There was a contingent last night who thought if the cultural fit was there, performance issues can be resolved. Maybe. Maybe not. Too many variables and if you cram a lazy square peg into a virtual round hole and then ask them to handle customer services calls from home…

Ultimately it’s the immediate supervisor’s responsibility to initiate the termination process, and why they must document performance and have 1-on-1’s beyond the annual review. I wrote a post last month titled Did you get that last part? Don’t be afraid to fire. Period. where I recommended the following:

  • Create formal and informal employee learning networks for mentoring and career development.
  • Empower, develop and train the average employees so as to develop a more productive workforce.
  • Allow employees in training to dial up and down their roles and responsibilities.
  • Recruit and hire those with high potential — FT, PT, contractor, etc.
  • Reward the high potentials and high producers.
  • Don’t be afraid to fire those who can’t be empowered, developed or trained.

By no means am I an expert in this area, but based on my experience recruiting, training and developing employees, these are activities that worked for me and my companies. Being a good boss means not being afraid to fire. Period.

Don’t forget to include human resources in the termination process, even the CEO and other leaders when applicable. Unfortunately this is because we live in such a litigious society and HR still need to help enforce compliance and proper procedure.

We had the pleasure of having Kevin Wheeler stop by #TChat last night. He’s a globally-known speaker, author, columnist, and consultant in human capital acquisition and development, and we were thrilled to have him join in our stream. When we got on the subject of hiring better performance fit to prevent eventual firing, better interviewing came up quite a bit. But Kevin reminded us that according to recruitment research, interviewing wasn’t much better than chance in predicting success in a position. Even those who are good at behavioral interviewing, which isn’t many, it’s still not much better than chance. References, however, can help evaluate cultural fit, and I agree with Kevin there. At least beyond the obligatory three five-minute reference check calls.

Thank you again Kevin!

You can see our TweetReach here and these were last night’s questions:
  • Q1: What impact does “fear of firing” have on leaders?  Biz performance?
  • Q2: What red flags should managers look for when recruiting now to avoid firing later?
  • Q3: Who should have ultimate responsibility for firing decisions?  HR, CEO, Supervisor?
  • Q4: Which is more important when considering termination: culture fit or performance?
  • Q5: What can job seekers do to explain being fired when looking for their next role?
  • Q6: Some say being fired can be the best thing that ever happens to someone.  T/F?

Thank you again everyone for joining us last night!  Next week’s topic will be “ “Should I Stay or Should I Go: Workplace Culture Factors to Consider Before Leaving Your Job”

Should Colleges Add Recruiting Major? #TChat Recap

I’m pretty sure the overall consensus was:  “Yes, we should offer college degrees in recruiting and talent acquisition.” And yes social media is driving the future of recruiting and many other industries.

But how to get there, well, that’s where the beauty of diverse opinion spread its colorful wings.  What was clear in my analysis of the smart and savvy Twitter steam last night was the fact that this kind of a degree should be graduate level and culminate in an MBA of sorts like HR programs that exist today — i.e., a six-year program with lots of educated bells and whistles taught by those with real-world recruiting and talent strategy experience twining reality with theory.

On the same educational track, there were those last night who had advanced degrees in human resources actually working in HR today (very exciting), and then there those of us who did the psych/anthro combo in college and who played HR/recruiting on various 1970’s cop TV shows (kind of exciting).

Don’t look at me that way.

Then there were those last night who just wrote something to the effect of, “Go to work in talent acquisition and recruiting and do it.  That’s the best educational experience you’re ever going to get.”

The best way to know and grow is to do; teachers, mentors and those training newbies should definitely d0-do.  I made a similar tongue-in-cheek remark last night, but I really meant it, the fact formal and informal knowledge sharing must originate from those who already do.  Experience doesn’t appear in a magical well we drink from.

Although I’ve been told about some ancient artesian well high up in the Sierra Nevada mountains…

An alternative to the college degree route would be industry certification, most of which HR owns in global organizations such as SHRM as well as others.  In recruiting, there really aren’t any certifications being offered.  There is AIRS and there’s also a new certification program called Black Belt Recruiter, but otherwise not as well known.

Would college degrees and certifications add validity and credibility to the recruiting and talent acquisition profession?  Does it in HR?  I guess that depends on who you’re talking with, but in the corporate world I’d say a qualified yes.

Again, either way, the best way to know is to d0-do.  And I truly mean that.

You can find last night’s transcript here and here.   We didn’t ask all the questions below, but only because a couple were answered within ones previous to them:

  • Q1: New territory. Let’s define what a recruiting/career/talent acquisition strategy college minor/major should be.
  • Q2: Are these separate majors/college degrees? Why or why not?
  • Q3: Compared to on the job experience, how would these college degrees improve the profession?
  • Q4: What would you consider to be the 3 most important pillars of this college curriculum and why?
  • Q5: Should it be a 2-year degree or 4-year, or options for both?  Why?
  • Q6: Who should teach these college classes and why?
  • Q7: You can get college degrees in HR/biz mgmnt, but should there be one for the recruiting/talent/business of careers?
  • Q8: And what about certification?  HR has them but should careers/recruiting/talent strategy as well?  Why?

Thank you all for joining us last night!  Next week’s topic is “For fear of firing– reconciling being a good leader/boss with being a good person” and will be moderated by TalentCulture’s very own Meghan M. Biro.

Tweet you next time.  I’ll see some of you at the ERE Expo tonight in sunny rainy San Diego.

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?

 

 

Why Do We Have Workplace Culture Clashes? #TChat Recap

It’s the way we organize the universe.

We categorize and label everything; there’s just too much stuff out there and in our heads to manage otherwise.  We’d be blathering fools if we didn’t.

Sure, Mr. Steve Levy and I would agree that there are still too many blathering idiots in the world today, regardless of how organized they are, and they span generations.

Don’t look at us that way.

Generations — those categorizations we give to groups born over specific timeframes, like the Traditionalists (the silent generation), Baby Boomers, Gen X (the me generation, which is mine), Gen Y, Gen Z…

The over-arching question last night on #TChat was:  Do generations matter at work? The easy answer for most of those who participated was no, even though for many of us we know the answer is still unfortunately yes.

Kind of.

We expect the Traditionalists to be non-technical and Gen Y and Z to be, well, androids.  But that’s not the case — my 78-year-old dad is pretty darn good with computers, while I’ve met some young folk who couldn’t find their bottom from a hole in the ground (that’s my dad talking, not me).  No Justin Bieber fever here, and never in 3-D.

We expect our elders to be the more seasoned and smarter leaders and mentors in the workplace today, but there have been plenty of less experienced and younger, more emotionally intelligent leaders and mentors who’s impulse control trumps that of fallible old folks.

Don’t look at me that way.

Which is why mentoring shouldn’t be based on the supposed pro-rookie partnership; it should encompass bi-directional ages and experiences of all kinds.

Of course I’m speaking in generalities, but that’s the way I keep the universe organized.  The reality is we try to wrap macros around that which is unique to an individual, and when you try to wrap your head around that, you can get blathering-idiot syndrome.

But that’s now we’re supposed to recruiting and hire and develop — based on what is unique to the individual that helps to fill a specific role in a company.  I really liked the way Jillian Walker summed it up last night:

Recruit > hire on ability; Engage > determine wants; Manage > be flexible; Lead > push their limits, encourage best of the best.

Hey, the opacity in the world and the workplace is getting thinner, allowing for more of the now clichéd “transparency” to light our way.

The new transparency allows the light to shine where it never shone before.  Now, that’s not always a good thing, but more often than not, it keeps most of us honest when it comes to revealing our experience and knowledge and where the “skills” gaps are (LinkedIn profiles, blogs).  Although this is a stereotypical trend since most younger generations brought up online and in social media embrace transparency easier than older generations.  And there are still lots of folks who don’t play online, across generations.  Just check out the stats and demographics at Pew Internet.

Because we label is why we have workplace culture clashes, which is why I prefer Gen Zen, especially in our highly integrated work/life globally dispersed worlds.

I agree with Matt Charney and how he put it all together in his preview:  It  turns out that generations in the workplace share more in common than a workplace.

Indeed it does.

Mercy, it was a record turnout last night on #TChat — over 300 fine folk participated during the hour.  Thank you everyone!  Check out last night’s transcript and here were the questions we asked:

  • Q1)  What myths exist about workplace generational dynamics? Generational realities?
  • Q2)  Are there emerging personality traits, skill sets for hiring GenY, GenX, Baby Boomers, etc.?
  • Q3)  Who is currently the most “invisible” generation in the workplace and why? Most “visible”?
  • Q4) How do savvy workplace cultures recruit, engage, manage and lead all generations?
  • Q5) How does new media and global connectivity help/hinder generational gaps in the workplace?
  • Q6) How can inter-generational workforces spark innovation and evolve culture?
  • Q7) How does the term “reverse mentoring” help bridge generational divides in the workplace?

Thanks again everyone for joining us last night!  We’re taking next week off (March 8), so we’ll see you the week after on March 15.

Join 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 next time on March 15 at 8 PM ET for #TChat!

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!

Live from #TRULondon – Recruiting: Power of Global People Connectivity

I’m at the TruLondon unconference this week, meeting with people from all over the world – from companies and people discussing the social aspects of leadership, recruiting and HR, we’re learning and sharing stories about using the power of social media to make connections with job seekers and recruiting companies.

London is a creative and vibrant city and the TruLondon unconference, hosted by my friend Bill Boorman and their sponsor JobSite is an amazing venue – no powerpoints, lots of Tweeting and more like a long coffee/wine break with friends than a sit-down-take-notes conference. My kind of conference for certain. It is here where innovation has room to breathe and develop into new ideas.

As I listen to Bill and the other conference friends and attendees one fact remains: We’ve been on a career/workplace/media innovation roller coaster these past several months. Job satisfaction started 2010 at 45 percent negative and plunged to 80+ percent negative by December.

The job market tried to pull out of its dive but failed, despite the government’s recent attempts to redefine the meaning of ‘long-term unemployed’. Companies that weren’t hanging by a thread were socking away cash, holding off on hiring and waiting for signals that the nation was on more certain economic footing. All of us here are ready to say ‘done with that’ and are hoping – and talking about -how to make these times truly count for our recruiting clients and social communities.

What has changed that we can take into the next few months with lighter hearts? I looked back at our recent TalentCulture TChat– my new tea-leaves – for cues, and have distilled my thoughts from TRULondon so far as well. Here’s what stood out to me:

  • The influence of social media on the workplace, hiring trends and corporate brands is huge and will continue to grow. Smart employer brands realized they needed to use social media as both a recruitment and retention tool, as well as a way to take the temperature of the workplace and the larger market. Cheers to social media.
  • Innovation is en vogue again. You know I love hearing affirmation of this. It’s early days yet but I predict that workplaces that invested in developing an authentic culture brand and employee experience will start to see the payoff in innovation.
  • Risk is still significant that ‘stuck’ workplaces will lose their star team players, and maybe even the B team as well. By ‘stuck’ I mean the companies lead by the out-of-touch – the people who are afraid to clue into their emotional intelligence, afraid to change and ease up a bit on employees. The change here is that emotional intelligence is on the rise, and companies that invest in building it into the workplace will come out of the gate in better shape than competitors.
  • More companies will go virtual (and we will be recruiting for these skills) as a way to lighten the load on stressed employees, worn down from years of no raises or pay cuts or layoffs. Managing these highly-mobile, virtual workplaces takes a sure hand and a light touch. Finding ways to be successful with mobile, virtual workforces will be a key leadership/recruiting/HR skill. Note: Our next #TChat topic is Managing virtual teams and dispersed global organizations while maintaining workplace culture.  Is it possible?
  • It’s a new world of recruiting indeed, thanks to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook et al. Today’s recruiters work mainly in 140-character bursts, and resumes are distilled into keywords and links. I’m spending time reviewing innovation in this space and it’s really very cool and exciting. It’s safe to say that LinkedIn remains the most widely utilized sourcing tool for recruiters to date from this list.
  • The notion of leadership is re-emerging. Too many erstwhile leaders have been hunkered down behind closed doors. It’s time to re-invest in building a culture of leadership, one that is inclusive and broad.
  • Culture is the new workplace must-have. Go figure. Cultures of Talent loom large. Authenticity, brand, stickiness, innovation and inspiration must come through in your workplace culture. Connect and humanize your employees with your brand and watch culture bloom.

What say you? Are you expecting more of the same or actively engaged with companies and job seekers bubbling with innovation, workplace culture and passion for doing a great job now? Love to hear your thoughts.

Employment Triad Equates to Acknowledgement & Closure. #TChat Recap

The job transaction is a triad. There is applicant, candidate and employer.

During last night’s #TChat Employer Black Holes and the Candidate Experience, it was question #4 that differentiated and clarified things for me:

Q4: Should the candidate experience apply to applicants?  When does an applicant become a ‘candidate?’

The answer to that is when you’re qualified and you make the “short list.”  Because until that point you’re not qualified, and in today’s market, there’s a lot more of you out there looking for work who aren’t.

Even with the volume of career applicants today, there’s a lot that be done to “humanize” the process and at the very least auto-acknowledge folks thanking them for applying to your job openings.

So I’ll repeat some of what I shared in my post the other day – The Employer/Applicant Transaction: Acknowledgement and Closure.

There’s only one job per multiple applicants/candidates, so what has their experience been with American corporations and SMB and startups alike?

Overall, pretty poorly. I mean, it’s not news to know how poor the applicant/candidate experience is and has been for a long, long time.

Businesses do owe applicants and candidates at least two things regardless of the position level being applied for. That’s it. Two things that I’ve done as an employer over the years:

  1. Acknowledgement – simply that you’ve applied and we acknowledge that. Thank you.

  2. Closure – simply that you are or are not qualified for the position, that you are or are not getting the job, there are or are not other opportunities with us, and we acknowledge all these things in a consistent and timely manner. Thank you.

There were a lot of other nicer sentiments for how employers should treat their applicants/candidates, but it’s still simply these two things.  And you sure better do it with your short list of candidates regardless of industry or position. It’s best practice for your workplace culture brand.

You can read the transcript from last night here, and these were the questions posed to everyone:

  • Q1: Is the applicant ‘black hole’ experience real when applying for a job?  If so, why does it exist?
  • Q2: How does candidate/applicant experience impact employment brand or company culture?
  • Q3: At a minimum, what should job seekers expect from employers to which they apply?
  • Q4: Should the candidate experience apply to applicants?  When does an applicant become a ‘candidate?’
  • Q5: What are some creative ways job seekers can get through the black hole or recruiters can handle the applicant tsunami?
  • Q6: Job seekers: What has your candidate experience been like during your most recent job hunt?
  • Q7: Employers: what are you doing to improve candidate experience?
Thank you everyone for joining us last night!  A special thanks to Matt Charney for helping me steer the ship.
We’ll see you next week where our topic will be:
Managing virtual teams and dispersed global organizations while maintaining workplace culture.  Is it possible?

Employer Black Holes & the Candidate Experience: #TChat Preview

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

With the way employers and job seekers alike refer to the “black hole” of online job search, you’d think it’s some sort of industry wide conspiracy, given its endemic proportions.

The candidate experience, writes #TChat co-host Kevin Grossman, is almost always negative or non-existent, regardless of the job title, function or level:

There’s only one job per multiple candidates, so what has their experience been with American corporations and SMB and startups alike?

Overall, pretty crappy. I mean, it’s not news to know how poor the applicant experience is and has been for a long, long time.

Case in point — I recently went through a fairly high-level job search with a well-known firm in the HR marketplace. Considering that they should know better the best practices of recruiting and hiring, I was left with inconsistent acknowledgement and no closure. Still. Even thought I didn’t get the job, of which the other primary candidate definitely had the edge on me, I was led to believe that there were other opportunities.

And then nothing. Crickets chirping in the night.”

Grossman’s experience, and frustration, echoes the experience of countless others, but he points to two of the almost universal expectations candidates have when applying for a position: acknowledgment and closure.

These are pretty reasonable demands, and the fact that most employers aren’t meeting even this basic baseline defies reasonable explanation.  The truth is, employers have gotten pretty good about the acknowledgment part; most applicant tracking systems have been programmed to automatically e-mail a confirmation directly to the job seeker for their records, and it’s sent out the moment they apply to an open requisition.

It’s the closure part organizations seem to be having problems with, to the frustration of candidates and to the detriment of their employment and consumer brands alike.  But the thing is, it’s just as easy to notify applicants that they haven’t been selected via e-mail, instantaneously, as it is to notify them when their application is received.

But no one likes to be the bearer of bad news, least of all recruiters.  Most seem to feel that letting people know they’re no longer under consideration opens a door that they’re trying to close, and that, in effect, no news is good news.  But it’s not.

In fact, for employers and job seekers alike, it’s very bad news indeed.  At Monster, we’re committed to advancing the conversation, and searching for the solution, for an improved candidate experience and to help employers transform the “black hole” into a brand-building talent pipeline.

That’s why we’re excited to be participating in tonight’s #TChat, Workplace Culture Branding – Employer Black Holes and the Candidate Experience. Join @kevinwgrossman @meghanmbiro and @talentculture at 8 PM ET tonight as we tackle this very important issue.

We might not come up with all the answers, but we hope these questions, and these related articles, help inform, inspire and impact your perspective on improving the candidate experience:

#TChat Questions and Recommended Reading: 2.15.11

Q1. Is the applicant ‘black hole’ experience real when applying for a job?  If so, why does it exist?

Read: Candidate Experience Isn’t About Pleasing Everyone by Claudia Faust

Q2. How does candidate/applicant experience impact employment brand or company culture?

Read: When Potential New Hires Are Searching for YOU by Emily Bennington

Q3: At a minimum, what should job seekers expect from employers to which they apply?

Read: Candidate Experience and Common Sense by Tim Sackett

Q4: What do employers owe to applicants?

Read: Candidate Experience: A Question of Values by Howard Adamsky

Q5: Should the candidate experience apply to applicants?  When does an applicant become a ‘candidate?’

Read: Candidate vs. Customer Experience by Gerry Crispin

Q6: What are some creative ways job seekers can get through the black hole or recruiters can handle the applicant tsunami?

Read: How to Get An Employer’s Attention in 20 Seconds by Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

Q7: Job seekers: What has your candidate experience been like during your most recent job hunt?

The Employment/Applicant Transaction: Acknowledgment and Closure by Kevin W. Grossman

Q8: Employers: what are you doing to improve candidate experience?

Read: Eliminate the Black Hole by Colin Kingsbury

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 GrossmanMeghan M. Biro and Steve Levy from 8-9 PM E.T. via @monster_works and @MonsterWW.  Hope to see you tonight at 8 PM ET for #TChat!

Higher Ed? Degree of Experience Counts #TChat Recap

Remember in the 1970’s when the tech world was still in its infancy and engineers and developers walked in off the streets without college degrees?

And then again in the late 1990’s during the dot.com boom if you had any Web HTML experience and a pulse?


Ah, the good ol’ days when demand exceeded supply. Actually, the good ol’ anomalies, because for most of the recruiting and HR hiring pros of the world, a college degree tends to trump experience more often than not.

Not necessarily the name brand of the college, but the fact that you went to an accredited university and received the degree, in hand (not coming up 3 units short).

Of course that will vary from industry to company to position, but ask any recruiter today filling most if not all “technical” and “knowledge worker” reqs — you’ve got to have a college degree.

During last night’s #TChat, which was all about higher ed and what was more important — a degree or experience, veteran recruiter and co-founder of TruEvents Bill Boorman wrote, “The University of Life and the School of Hard Knocks has served me well.”

Many of us can attest to that. I know I do (and still do). But as I mentioned last night, I’m very proud of my college degree. I didn’t have the traditional college experience; I was working full-time already when I finally finished my undergrad and started (but haven’t finished, yet) grad school. I worked my butt off to complete my degree in psychology, owning every minute of every class and every world of every paper written until I walked proudly into the stadium in cap and gown on graduation day.

In a sense the University of Life started while I was still attending San Jose State University. Go Spartans!

So for me, when it comes to higher ed it’s the degree “of” experience, not the either “or”. Higher ed should inspire and light the inner fire. And the other way around. Employers should aspire to do the same when they recruit, hire and onboard because it’s good for business.

As for the ever-rising costs of higher ed, that’s a post for another time (although all the smart folks participating last night shared many insights).

A special thank you to Matt Charney for running the show and for his special guest Mark Kantrowitz.

Here were the questions from last night’s #TChat (you can read the transcript here):

  • Q1: Which matters more (and why) to Jobseekers/Recruiters: what your degree is in or which school it’s from? Answer J or R.
  • Q2: Should the goal of higher ed be to prepare students for the job market or to develop intellectual capabilities? Why?
  • Q3: What are some creative ways Employers can partner with Universities on talent identification and development?
  • Q4: Do student loans/debt impact employee productivity/performance? Can/should employers develop payback/performance incentives?
  • Q5: What are some ways, either direct or indirect, to offset the rising costs of college?
  • Q6: Are degrees from for-profit, online or foreign schools the same as traditional degrees as a hiring consideration?
  • Q7: Is going back to school for a professional degree a career booster or disruptor?

See you next week. Same time. Same place. #TChat every Tuesday evening 8-9 pm ET/5-6 pm PT

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Workplace Violence: Be Safe & Sound, But Be Prepared: #TChat Recap

Most victims of violence feel powerless and alone.  I’d argue most bystanders and witnesses feel the same.

Most of us want to believe that folks are basically decent, not monsters that erupt at work or at home or anywhere and take lives with them.

It can’t happen here.

Which is why many employers don’t plan for workplace violence until there’s violence, unfortunately. And even then…

In a Workforce Management article titled Waking Up to the Risks of Workplace Violence, the author writes:

In one recent training class, a senior HR leader told me he had no issues of workplace violence.

Yet, as we continued to talk, it emerged that a man had come into the company’s Midwest office looking for his girlfriend. He wanted to hurt her, and when he couldn’t find her, he pulled out a gun and shot five employees.
Stunned, I turned back to the senior leader and asked if he knew about it. “That was different; it was more of a domestic violence issue that took place at our plant.” The amazing part of this discussion was that we were in Oklahoma City, the site of one of the worst incidents of workplace violence in U.S. history.
The lesson is that violence that occurs in the workplace is workplace violence whether it takes place between spouses/domestic partners, between co-workers, by a third-party with a relationship to the organization (client, partner, etc.) or in conjunction with the commission of other crimes.

And that’s critical to understand — violence is violence is violence and companies need to be prepared.
That was what #TChat was all about last night — the dark side of workplace culture, violence and what to do and not do.  You can read the transcript here and here were last night’s questions:
  • Q1:  How does everyday violence & security breaches (like Wikileaks) impact workplace culture policies?
  • Q2:  How does your org address workplace violence during onboarding – and at other times?
  • Q3:  What is HR’s role in workplace violence intervention, prevention and post-incident?
  • Q4:  What is the CEO’s role in addressing workplace violence before it occurs, when it occurs and after?
  • Q5:  Under OSHA, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace. Discuss.
  • Q6:  How can EAPs be designed to provide maximal workplace/domestic violence assistance?
  • Q7:  How effective are your org’s workplace incivility, bullying and violence prevention programs
  • Q8:  If a colleague is threatened with violence at work from anyone, what should you do and why?

As per usual, we had a great group of HR and business professionals participating and sharing their knowledge.  It was refreshing to hear from some organizations that bake incivility, bullying and workplace violence awareness and prevention right into their hiring, onboarding and ongoing employee performance activities, whether they have an EAP or not.  A special thank you to Felix Nater for sharing his workplace violence expertise.

Along those lines, here are some ways to enlist your employees’ help in ensuring that your workplace is a violence-free zone (from the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence website):

  • Empower employees to take a stand—as caring co-workers and as your company’s ambassadors.
  • Let employees know they will not be penalized for seeking help—for themselves, their families, or co-workers in need.
  • In conjunction with your human resources department and EAP program (if available), offer counseling and referral for both victims of partner violence and abusers.
  • Help employees recognize the signs of a troublesome or abusive relationship and know where to turn for assistance, for themselves and for co-workers.
  • Invite local resource groups, such as local shelters, counseling groups and/or law enforcement representatives to make a presentation to your company. Most groups are happy to provide speakers and information to interested parties. (National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October is a great time to do this!)
  • Give each employee access to brochures and flyers to distribute to their schools, religious organizations, clubs, and other civic or social groups.
  • Invite interested employees to form a communications task force, working within the guidelines established by your cross-functional steering committee to implement your partner violence communications plan.

You can also review all the information we shared in the pre-TChat posts:

Be safe and sound, but be prepared.



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

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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!

Workplace Culture Fatigue: #TChat Preview

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

Fortune recently released their annual 100 Best Companies to Work For list, which takes into account such factors as internal mobility, inclusion/diversity, employee training and satisfaction, among a litany of seemingly disparate criteria that, together, comprise what’s often referred to as “Corporate Culture.

It’s no surprise that the companies on Fortune’s list are widely recognized, in best practices publications and in recruitment literature, for having developed distinct and unique corporate cultures designed to attract, develop and retain top talent.  After all, it’s culture that defines the best (and the worst) places to work.

For HR professionals, Recruiters and Executive Leadership, culture is often a top down directive, but its employees on the front lines who truly define a corporate culture and create its impact.  Culture’s a lot like meetings and memos: it’s an inescapable, and inevitable, part of the employee (and candidate) experience.

That’s why “fit” is so important to talent acquisition and development; but what does it take for new employees, their managers, executive leadership and customers to fit in, and thrive, in a unique corporate/workplace culture?

Join 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 enjoy hearing from our global community and hope you can join from wherever you might be. Let’s explore what companies can do to create, implement and evolve the kind of corporate culture which drives employee satisfaction, engagement and ultimately, bottom line results.

#TChat Questions and Recommended Reading: 1.25.11

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 explore the possibilities (and pitfalls) of workplace culture:

Q1) In 3 words, describe the culture of your current/recent employer; was it the culture that lured you there or that drove you away?

Read: Personality and Corporate Culture: Where’s A Person To Fit?

Q2) In “Employment Rage”, Howard Adamsky wrote, “Corporate America is not human.” If this is so, does culture really matter?

Read: The New Rules of Engagement (Excerpt from “Employment Rage”)

Q3) What is your definition of “office politics” and how does it impact hiring and retention?

Read: Office Politics: How Well Do You Play the Game?

Q4)  What tools does your company use to assess “fit” during recruiting; how do these “track” to your culture?

Read: Culture Brand: Create Magical Distinction to Attract the Very Best Talent

Q5) What should CEOs be doing to create and lead a culture that generates shareholder value and what is this “value”?

Read: The Cornerstone of An Engaged Workforce Culture

Q6) What should all employees be doing to develop a culture that generates shareholder value?

Read: It’s Not the Stupid Culture; It’s the Culture, Stupid!

Q7) How would you conduct a workplace culture audit? How often should this be repeated?

Read: Practical Ways To Address Employee Engagement

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.”

#TChat is 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 Hope to see you tonight at 8 PM ET for #TChat!

Social Media Meets Lightning Workplace Learning: #TChat Recap

Two camps.

One that digs social media as THE engine driving recruiting, learning and organizational development.

And the other that does not.

That was pretty clear during last night’s #TChat about social media in the workplace.  Some of you may have tired of the social conversation, but many of us have not.

Remember the resistance to e-mail and the Internet?  Good Gosh — what business value do those time-wasters and secret sharers have?

So much fantastic input last night — like workplace laser word tag.  Zap.  Zap.

Zap.

For me, “social” has always been about networking and learning outside and in the organization and taking the conversation offline to “live” to further discuss:

  • That job opportunity
  • That sweet hire opportunity
  • That business opportunity
  • That learning opportunity
  • That sharing knowledge opportunity
  • That mentoring opportunity
  • That business birth opportunity
  • That consulting opportunity
  • That collaborative R&D opportunity
  • That partnership opportunity
  • You know, these opportunities and more

Again, the key is taking these conversations offline to “live.” The anecdotal statistics are there for me and many others; I’ve generated many of those opportunities above as I’m sure many of you have as well.

But, the business metrics are still all over the place and underreported and overestimated.  Such is the life of a business metric, right?  I wrote a little about that yesterday in my post I say recruit how we do business, and do business how we recruit.

With the rise of the mobile/virtual workforce, I can’t imagine the world without organic and holistic social connectivity.

The “does not dig” camp is choking on the words organic and holistic right now.  We are here to share different views. Like a real workplace. Like a real social community.

Here were the questions we asked last night:

  • Q1: How has #SM specifically impacted the way you conduct a job search and manage your career?
  • Q2: Within your org, how have #SM platforms/tools been used to enhance HR/recruiting initiatives?
  • Q3: Within your org, how have #SM platforms/tools been used to enhance learning initiatives?
  • Q4: How have #SM platforms/tools been effective – or not – at any or all levels within your org?
  • Q5: What business metrics have you established to measure how effective your #SM efforts are?
  • Q6: What specific barriers do you see within your org that impede top to bottom acceptance of platforms/tools?
  • Q7: Be honest – how do you see yourself improving your efficacy in utilizing #SM platforms/tools within your org?

Thank you to all who participated.  It’s good folk like you who make every #TChat a lightning learning round of workplace laser word tag.

Zap.

Social is about us, not the technology.

Here were the top contributors from last night:

  1. @talentculture – 172
  2. @meghanmbiro – 129
  3. @KevinWGrossman – 105
  4. @IanMondrow – 89
  5. @JeffWaldmanHR – 79
  6. @gregoryfarley – 77
  7. @LevyRecruits – 77
  8. @CyndyTrivella – 64
  9. @dawnrasmussen – 53
  10. @Kimberly_Roden – 52

See you next week, January 25, 2011, 8-9 pm ET (5-6 pm PT).

Intentional Collaboration: The Mechanics of Learning to Learn Together

Originally posted by Chris Jones, a TalentCulture contributing writer. He is an IT Strategy & Change Management consultant, with a passion for driving new levels of engagement and learning in the modern organization. His research areas include the dynamics of organization culture, and more recently, the importance and implications of critical thinking. Check out his blog, Driving Innovation in a Complex World, for more.

In our increasingly complex world, the compelling need for strong leadership and resilience to “clear the path” for change is evident.  It’s a core message from Chip and Dan Heath’s “Switch” that resonates with pretty much everyone in the corporate world.  Clarity of vision is paramount. Conviction to achieve it, just as critical for any dynamic workplace or social community.

These ideas are not new.

It’s just getting harder and harder to survive without a strong, hardened competitive edge, an edge sharpened by effective collaboration.

The ability of an organization to solve its hardest problems lies deep in its inner workings.  Can team members from multiple backgrounds and disciplines work together to develop new insights and solutions?  Do they have the tools and skills, or can they acquire them?

Surely there’s an application for this?

It sounds straightforward in principle, but culture often works against us, fueled by the western industrial model forged on hierarchy and silo-thinking.  In these environments, specialization and experts rule the roost, and collaboration will typically struggle.  I conducted deep dives on culture barriers in 2010 and I’m increasingly convinced cultures can, over time, be intentionally redirected.  But it takes focus and rigor, and a long-term investment of energy.  More recently I looked at some insights from Peter Senge that seem to resonate even more now than they did 20 years ago, when he first wrote about team-based learning.

I’m starting to talk more about intentional collaboration to refer to the strategic, rigorous approach to group interaction and problem solving.  This helps distinguish it from the more casual references and idle claims.  Everything today is “collaborative.”  So how do we drive meaning into the words, and more rigor into the desired behaviors?

Here are some ideas for a more serious approach to collaboration:

  • Give collaboration a broad, compelling mandate
  • Find ways to open communication channels to get people not just talking together, but thinking together
  • Empower contributors with direction, training, and feedback
  • People are more comfortable if they know who they’re talking to; make sure they’re introduced to each other or have a published profile, to help people connect and break the ice
  • Encourage interplay of ideas across all specialties and levels, to foster diversity of thinking
  • Invest in tools that make it easy to find, share, tag and reflect on people and their ideas, key steps toward becoming a social enterprise
  • Respect everyone’s thought space by not cluttering channels with noise or trivia
  • Visibly acknowledge and reward the hard work of critical thinking and cross functional solutions; openly celebrate wins
  • Embrace and leverage the latest drivers in organizational change management, including “Switch” (linked above) and Drive by Daniel Pink, which contains additional clarity on change motivators.
  • Refuse to turn back

Organizations, leaders, and teams need to learn by doing. Trial and error need time to happen.  Soon there will be some wins.  Emerging from that, fueled by small successes, I believe organizations will find themselves increasingly motivated to take on harder problems, building a repeatable capacity for learning.

What are the other challenges that lie ahead?

Organizational silos do not dissolve by decree.  Silos and silo thinking are fueled by the organization’s culture, and can only be dismantled by a concerted, coordinated effort – from both the top and the bottom – to redefine the way things work in the middle.

The hard work of introducing collaboration also requires people to interact in profoundly new ways. It requires new kinds of relationships, placing new kinds of demands on the organization, with focus on trust, respect, open dialog, empathy, and even basic listening.  All too often, the approaches themselves fall on deaf ears.

No doubt, there’s much work ahead, but it is work worth pursuing.

Can you see a path to collaboration in your own organization? Share what you’ve seen working.  I would love to bring focus to some bright spots in this important space.

Image Credit: Pixabay

The New Old World is the Power of Network: #TChat Recap

This is personal.

As it is for anyone right now looking for work.

A 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.  (Read the entire pre-TChat post from @MattCharney at Monster Thinking here. Kudos to Matt and his moderation last night!)

And anecdotally speaking, one of my old background screening clients told me yesterday that business has spiked dramatically the past 3-4 months.  It’s across the board of industry and positions, but it’s primarily churn hiring — a musical chairs if you will — which validates the exodus chanting of late.

Combine that with the folks who have been out of work looking for work and you’ve got one heck of a job hunting mob.

Torches lit, walking arm in arm, resumes spellchecked (well, some spellchecked), outfits dry cleaned and pressed, breath mints in mouths, smart phones in hand ready to taser their respective employees and references alike…

This is the new old world of job hunting and hiring, and its landscape is familiar yet radically stranger than it’s ever been.

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

  • Q1 – Jobseekers: What do you think of when you hear about “old world” job hunting?
  • Q2 – Jobseekers: What is the freshest new idea that you’ve used in your job search and has it worked for you?
  • Q3 – Jobseekers: From your experiences, how would you describe how companies are hiring today?
  • Q4 – Recruiters: What are some of the most egregious “mistakes” jobseekers are making?
  • Q5 – Talent Managers: What can jobseekers and employees do to better manage their careers?
  • Q6 – All – Which matters more to candidates and recruiters: the job or the possibilities of what the job might lead to?

You can read the transcript here from the many fine folk who participated last night.  Lots of great recommendations, many tried and true, and many more that were kind of new.

But for me, new old world is all about the power of “network” — and not just the online connections either.  You have to get on the phone, on the Webcam, and meet in person as much as possible.  This goes for both job seekers and employers.

You must maximize your network investment. Meaning, invest in building one out first. Then pay it forward and pay it back.  We are all informal mentors to each other.

Great question from last night:  Doesn’t anyone do informational interviews anymore?  That’s a great way to network as well.

Here are the top contributors from last night:

  1. @talentculture – 263
  2. @HRMargo – 92
  3. @dawnrasmussen – 91
  4. @meghanmbiro – 86
  5. @jillianwalker – 84
  6. @JeffWaldmanHR – 80
  7. @IanMondrow – 77
  8. @KevinWGrossman – 76
  9. @juliaerickson – 52
  10. @levyrecruits – 46

The greatest single predictor of one’s success and happiness during a time of challenge, every single time, is one’s social support network.

Torches lit, walking arm in arm.  It’s time to light up the business world, kids.



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/

A Good Detective Knows Emotional Intelligence Trumps IQ– Just Ask My Dad

In the fields I have studied, emotional intelligence is much more powerful than IQ in determining who emerges as a leader. IQ is a threshold competence. You need it, but it doesn’t make you a star. Emotional Intelligence can.”
–Warren Bennis, leadership pioneer, author and researcher


My dad was in the business of chasing bad guys across paper.

And he was really good at it; he had found his true passion in work and life — his groovy do-be-do.

As a detective in charge of forgery and fraud in the California Central Valley town I grew up in, chasing bad guys (and gals) across paper was how he always described it to my sister and me.

Dad’s passion as a young man was justice, maybe a little on the side of the professional wild west side of justice, but full of “to protect and serve” just the same.

After the Air Force and years of being a patrolman he found what we was really good at: finding the folks involved in check scams and credit card scams and embezzlement scams and identity scams and the like.

My dad was (is) smart — book smart and street smart — but he had an edge, the uncanny ability to empathically connect with anyone, anywhere at anytime. As the kids would say, he had the “soft skills” goin’ on.

He had organically developed the ability to lead “self” with lots of emotional intelligence, before emotional intelligence was truly defined and developed as it is today in the workplace.

Good guys, bad guys, in the middle guys (and gals) — it didn’t matter. He could immediately connect with them. Rapport and trust soon followed. His emotional self-awareness and awareness of others’ emotions and actions knew no limits. Some can counterfeit this behavior, but it can’t be sustained with any authenticity.

No wonder those he arrested couldn’t help but like him; he called them his “clients”.

That was all well and good, but from a police “business” perspective, he had a very high case-closed ratio and his arrests usually stuck and were prosecuted.

Of course, he had return customers, but he just kept doing what he did until he retired in early 1994.

During his career he had the opportunity for multiple leadership roles and was recruited by other city police departments and even the secret service, but he never wanted to leave where has was and the position he was in.

Thank goodness for that, because otherwise my mom and him maybe never would’ve met.

There are those who just naturally develop their emotional intelligence (EQ), who live a synchronous melody appropriate action and reaction, but most of us need assistance in the form of assessments, development programs and coaching in order to be better empathic leaders of self and others.  The good news is that we can develop it and sustain it.

Here are a couple of business examples of what developing high emotional intelligence (EQ) can do:

1) Fortune Brands saw 100% of leaders who developed their EQ skills through classroom training, coaching, and online learning exceed the performance targets set for them in the company’s metric-based performance management system. Just 28% of leaders who failed to develop their EQ skills exceeded their performance targets (Bradberry, 2005).

2) Emotionally intelligent leaders are indeed more successful than their less emotionally intelligent peers. So are their companies. At PepsiCo, for example, executives identified as emotionally intelligent generated 10% more productivity and added nearly $4 million in economic value; for Sheraton, an emotional intelligence initiative helped increase the company’s market share by 24% (Freedman & Everett, 2008).

And the 2011 New Year episode 81 of HR Happy Hour featured author and consultant Adele Lynn of the Lynn Leadership Group who talked all about the value of emotional intelligence in the workplace.

There’s a lot more research out there to substantiate the value of assessing and developing emotional intelligence.

Groovy do-be-do intersects at Emotional Intelligence HQ. That’s hip Em-Tel worth having.

2011 Workplace Culture Predictions and Commentary: #TChat Recap

It was almost like science fiction.

Almost.

The fact that last night’s #TChat was about 2011 workplace culture predictions and commentary, and we as pseudo-soothsayers and part-time prophets were locked in a post-economic-apocalyptic vault painting the walls with phosphorescent Twiffiti.

Some of which was right on the bottom line, and some of which was, well, not.  Smart, but not.

Here were the questions:

  • Q1: Given what you believe to be true – and factual – will 2011 bring more or less net hiring – and why?
  • Q2: In 2011 will there be a change in rate of A-player exodus? Why or why not? If yes, initiatives can be taken to improve retention?
  • Q3: Will innovation and R&D be taken off life support this year? If yes, what leadership initiatives can be taken to drive it?
  • Q4: Leadership development always on the lips of executives, analysts but will this be the year organizations invest? Why or not?
  • Q5: Managing greater mobile/contingent workforce appears significant business initiative; what are orgs doing to ensure its success?
  • Q6: Social networking will continue to be a critical marketing and recruiting tool, but will the ROI be there?

Some things that struck me were:

  • Hiring will pick up (and is), but there just won’t be enough jobs for all those unemployed, and more of the jobs are in emerging economies outside the U.S.  Read this and that.
  • The contingent workforce will be on the rise.
  • Virtual mobility will be on the rise.
  • Although no one likes to work for jerks, A-players will only jump if they have viable opportunities to jump to, or they get the entrepreneurial bug.
  • Barriers of entry into many markets are so few these days that the companies that want to stay in business never stopped innovating, and investing in R&D, and collaborative partnerships, and marketing, and business development…

I’m telling you — the vault was aglow with prime Twiffiti. You should view the transcript if you have a moment.  Over 300 contributors this week, the top 10 of which were:

  • @talentculture – 249
  • @meghanmbiro – 151
  • @KevinWGrossman – 73
  • @HRMargo – 67
  • @LevyRecruits – 60
  • @JeffWaldmanHR – 58
  • @IanMondrow – 58
  • @dawnrasmussen – 56
  • @CyndyTrivella – 55
  • @ValueIntoWords – 46

Next Tuesday, January 11, from 5-6 p.m. PT/8-9 p.m. ET, we’re tackling The New Old World of Job Hunting and Hiring.

Now, how do I get this glowing paint off my hands?


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!

The Impact of Social, Mobile & Video on Workplace Culture: #TChat Recommended Reading

I thought it would be useful to our readers to include weekly recommended readings in preparation for #TChat.

We will give this format a whirl from now into 2011. Wow, did I just say that? 2010 has been such an interesting year for workplace culture innovation. As you may know, I’m in love with ideas. It’s no big secret after all. Technologies like Skype and trendy cool mobile applications are revolutionizing the ways we connect at the office and virtual environments. So much fun.

Our “greatest hits” reading list for tonight’s #TChat is brought to you by our collaborators at @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.

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 (originally posted by Matt Charney) on tonight’s #TChat topic. The Impact of Social, Mobile and Video on Workplace Culture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will see you tonight and look forward! Thank you for engaging with us on this channel.

Happy Holidays from our Community! Cheers.

Impact of Social, Mobile and Video on Workplace Culture: #TChat Preview

I remember way back in the fall of 2009 (yes, it feels that way), both at the HR Technology Conference and Onrec, that the three technology workplace culture rock stars of 2010 were going to be:

  • Social
  • Mobile
  • Video

And for the most part, they were.  Not in a mass adoption sense — it’s still too early even today for that.  But we definitely saw a lot of cool new applications and lots of talk about all three — from business leaders, HR and recruiting icons, HR technology suppliers and individual contributors.

But how did those rock stars affect everyday workplace culture in 2010?  For better or for worse?  Did they make us feel more interconnected and interdependent, or did they just continue to disrupt and destroy any semblance of productivity and growth we convinced ourselves we had?  Did they help better recruit and retain?  Grow the business?  Or not?

Last week on #TChat we talked about workplace culture and what makes them magnetic.  This week on Tuesday, 12/21, from 8-9 p.m. ET (5-6 p.m. PT) we’re going to talk about how social, mobile and video impacted culture in 2010.

And then we’re going to talk about what’s in store for workplace culture in 2011.  More of the same?  Or how about more c0working as well as dispersed virtual teams?

Learn more about what #TChat is here.  We hope to see you this Tuesday, December 21, from 8-9 p.m. ET (5-6 p.m. PT).  (Please note, we’ll be taking a #TChat holiday on 12/28, but will be back live on Tuesday, January 4, 2011.)

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.