putting it all together

Eight Ways Goofing Off Can Make You More Productive – Forbes

A growing body of research suggests that the longer you keep your rear end in your chair and your eyes glued to your screen, the less productive you may be. Getting up from your desk and moving not only heightens your powers of concentration, it enhances your health.

via Eight Ways Goofing Off Can Make You More Productive – Forbes.

How To Deal With Negative People & Gossip in a Positive Way | Young and Raw

I got this post from one of my fav healthy eating sites — which you may want to check out sometime — another one of my interest, even though its something that I really struggle with. Anyhoo — as HR Pros, managers, and leaders gossip and positivity are a big part of what is going on within our companies, teams, and employees so I wanted to share and get some thoughts.

Do you have a “negative Nelly” on your team (or in your life) — or are you ever negative?

Its the new year — and for many people performance review time — and its a great time to think about change and re-enforcing the right behaviors!

How To Deal With Negative People & Gossip in a Positive Way | Young and Raw.

Is It Ever Really Ok to Talk About Your Salary?

Is It Ever Really Ok to Talk About Your Salary? LearnVest.

My two cents — no. And maybe I’m old school or weird secretive but even in organizations where this is 100% transparent it still seems to cause un-neccesary problems and friction between employees.

I think that under the right circumstances it could work however, but the company needs to have the right transparent structure in place and employees need to understand their pay, compensation strategy, and how rewards are managed in order for it to work — I haven’t seen an org that does that really well — even the ones where the salaries are posted for everyone to see. Managers needs to be equipped with the tools to have those tough conversations and the tools and methodology need to be easy and simple for employees to understand.  I offer an example  of a popular comp philosophy–  we all “know” what a meritocracy is, but do we all “know” what that means from a dollar and cents perspective when it comes to what you’re getting paid and what that means to the individual (me) vs my co worker who sits next to me and doing the same thing — or my co work who doesn’t sit next to me and doing the same thing — or my co worker who doesn’t sit next to me or do the same thing.


But back to me and my personal thoughts — I like transparency. I like honesty — I don’t, like talking about money — with ANYONE (well maybe my manager and my bank). My sig-o doesn’t even know exactly what I make and we share a home (I don’t think its any of his business –:) — I know I know — I’m going to get some disagrees on that one) — but if I don’t talk about those things with my family, I’m not going to be comfortable talking about it with co-workers. Does knowing what I make impact what you think of me or my quality of work?

This is always an interesting topic — what do you think!

5 Things to Know Before Taking Out a Student Loan – Real Time Economics – WSJ

11% of student-loan payments were 90 or more days past due last quarter – higher than the rate for credit cards.

If you think student loan debt is just young adults who have just finished college — think again — many people are paying back student loan debt WELL their graduation date — some up to 25 years — that’s right 25 years!

Its very real to the economy — and your workforce — which likely has people who are trying to figure out how to pay for their child’s college while they still may be trying to pay off their own student loan debt.

5 Things to Know Before Taking Out a Student Loan – Real Time Economics – WSJ.

The likeability factor

So… I don’t normally read this kind of stuff — but I stumbled on this article, “Kate Gosselin Fired from Coupon Cabin.”

An insider at the company tells RadarOnline.com that Kate was “difficult to work with, often making outrageous demands and just didn’t fit in with the company as a whole.”

That made me think about a simple question — “how important is the ‘likeability’ factor?” You know, how important is it that people LIKE you and WANT to work with you — are you easy to work with, a team player, and a culture fit?

If you think its just about Kate Gosselin and celebrities — you’re missing the bigger picture. Your likeability factor could impact the job you have, the job you might want in the future, or maybe even getting a job if you’re looking (IMHO).

I want to explore this more, but first — what do you think ? Is there something to the “likability factor” or is it all just fluff?

But what do you mean? Define what success looks like!

As an HR person or even as a manager — do you ever find yourself asking this question, “What do you mean?” Nor in a negative or condescending way, but just because you don’t know. I’d actually make the case that more people should be asking that question.

I was wrapping up some work on an engagement survey recently. Most managers and HR people are looking at the results and trying to figure out what their employees need — better communication, better direction, more resources, better tools — sound familiar? And you know the next step — meeting debriefs with employees to understand the areas you did well and and the areas where there are opportunities to grow or make improvements. Finally comes the sessions to create action plans — to address the areas of opportunities and make sure that you keep the things that are going well. Standard and best practice stuff right? And likely something that you’ve participated in as an employee, manager, or an HR pro (and sometimes all three).

Management (and sometimes HR) start to work on the action plan only to find that they aren’t moving the needle the way they want — its a conundrum (don’t you love that word?) You’ve involved your employees in getting feedback, you’re actively working on deliverables against the action plan, but still not seeing the desired results in helping to improve engagement or employee satisfaction.

What we have is a disconnect!

I don’t want to change the process — I think that its all great stuff and things that we don’t want to lose or skip — however, I’d recommend that you add a step — ask “what does success look like?” or if you prefer ” what do you mean?” If you get feedback that your people need more tools and resources — ask “what does that mean?” — is that people, computers, technology, office supplies?  Then ask “what does success look like” — if you need 10 new people resources is success getting 1, 5, or all 10 (and in what time frame).  Your employees ask for better communication — you ask “what do you mean?” Ask them to elaborate. Is that more email, less email, all hands, team meetings, status reports, cross functional team updates? — and then what does successful communication look like. Make your action plan align to what success looks like.

It might be tempting to jump into action planning and start delivering — but take some time to ask clarifying questions and set some realistic expectations in order to avoid one of a disconnect between you, your teams, and your employees. Give it a try and tell us about it! You don’t have to wait for a survey 🙂 — these questions work with all kinds of situations — and in your personal life too.

Making the HR Connection, yours truly,

Election Talk – Taboo or Necessary?

In a word… YES!

I always try to avoid the “taboo” topics — race, religion, politics — but its hard to ignore when there are so many connections to HR pros — and especially — our employees. So can I afford to take that stance now? I’m not entirely sure…

“Making the HR Connection” is all about understanding what is going on in the world and how it impacts your employees, your business, your bottom line — and even extending that to your customers and future employees.

What issues do you think are important — do you think that the candidates are giving those issues enough time and attention?

Jobs are on top of many people minds — even if you have one, you probably know someone who doesn’t or is looking (or given up and stopped looking)… but what else should they be talking about?

And what is the role of HR pros? Taboo Talk — stay out of it — or provide unbiased information and research?

Let me know what you think!

PS. Like my new signature — I’m still playing around with it 🙂