• Leveraging Generations for Organizational Change

    Today’s Post is a guest post from Ben Eubanks. Ben is a good friend of mine. I learn a lot from Ben. He is one year older than my oldest son. Translation Ben= Young Man <-> Dave = Old Guy!

    Note from Ben: I have come to appreciate Dave as a good friend since our first meeting at HRevolution Chicago in 2010. We often kid about the mismatch in our age and experience levels, but we both share common goals and hopes for our profession that bring us both together. I wrote this with him in mind.

    Image By Morguefile

    A few years ago, I wrote a post about men in HR and the differences of being a young guy in this profession. One of my friends, a young lady, sent me a message talking about how her company used her unique skills and point of view to lead change initiatives. I thought that was a unique use of talent and wanted to explore that more fully.

    See, when we talk about leveraging generations at work, the conversation tends to drift toward using the senior workers to mentor younger ones. I get that, support it, and think it’s worth the effort.

    However, it’s not a one-way street. The younger staff have something unique to offer as well, even if it’s nothing more than unbridled passion for the work they are doing.

    This young lady’s comment opened my eyes to yet another valuable way that young professionals can be utilized in the workplace. When change is necessary, those young professionals have a few advantages.

    1. They live in a world of constant change and have since birth
    2. They have not been around the organization long enough to catch “We’ve Always Done It That Way” syndrome
    3. They are looking for opportunities to lead others, even in small ways

    Next time you’re looking at a major change initiative, scout out the young talent you might be able to utilize in the process. They will appreciate the opportunity, and it will give them a chance to take on the role of leadership in a controlled environment.

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    Ben Eubanks is an HR pro, speaker, and writer. He works as a one-man HR team at Pinnacle Solutions during the day, and at night he writes at upstartHR-an HR blog with a little humor, humility, and how-to. Check it out to learn more about entry level HR jobs, talent management, and other “in the trenches” HR topics.

    Image by Morguefile
     
  • Guest Posting is Good Stuff

    Within the last few months I have had the opportunity to write several guest posts for various bloggers out her in the HR space. Some of the sites are a more high profile than others but they have all been a great experiences for me. I have written for Jessica at  www.bloggingforjobs.com ,  Dan at http://incblot.org/incblog/, for Chris Fields at http://costofwork.com/ and    Michael at Xpert HR  http://www.xperthr.co.uk/blogs/employment-intelligence/. I have also had the pleaure of sharing a bunch of content for my friend Ben at  www.upstarthr.com I am thankful for all of these opportunities.  

    While at the same time, I have had several folks guest post here on the HR Official.  I would like to thank. Chris Fields for his contribution of Don’t be a Lurker.,  Erin Palmer for You are in HR so you should kill them with Kindness., and Kyle Lagunus for Tools For Talent.

    A number of things have come out of this for me, and all of these other folks.  One of the best thing is that we trade groups of followers, readers and supporters.  With each guest post I have run I have had increased traffic on the site and brought new readership to the site. I have gained new friends and followers on twitter, as well.  Most of the those new those folks are part of the core supporters of my guests inner circle. 

    So guest-posting really is a great way to meet like-minded people via social networking. It is also a way for someone who is interested in blogging, but does not have their own site to test the waters and see if they wish to pursue this more..I myself, actually got into blogging with an invitation to guest post from Jessica Miller-Merrel at her site www.blogging4jobs.com.  Recently, I found out that my new friend Erin Palmer who recently guest posted on this site, has done a number of guest posts out here in the HR space.  I have encouraged her to think about starting her own site. 

    I have another opportunity coming up soon via an invitation from my friend Buzz Rooney and her site The Buzz on HR.  And I have also promised Jessica a post on how it was that she got me started in blogging. 

    So here is my point with all of this.  If you have a blog site, you should be actively seeking out others to guest post on your site.  If you are a blogger you should actively seek out other sites for guest posts.  Lastly, if you do not have a site and you read this stuff, give it a try.  Contact your favorite blogger, and ask them if they would entertain a guest post from you. If they won’t, contact me I will!

     
  • You are in HR So You Should Kill Them With Kindness

    This guest post is by Erin Palmer. Erin works with the online programs from Villanova University, such as their masters degree in human resources and human resources certificationprograms. Follow her on Twitter @Erin_E_Palmer.

    I once had a grocery store clerk accidently ring up some cereal that belonged to the person in line behind me. By the time I noticed it, I had already finished paying. I handed the cereal to the other customer and turned to leave. The customer, the cashier and the bagger all looked at me like I was crazy. They told me I could go to customer service and get a refund, but I said that it was no big deal. Apparently, it was. As I walked away, they were staring at me as if I had opened the cereal and dumped it all over the floor.  Was it really that odd that I paid for a stranger’s cereal?

    This experience made me realize how small acts of kindness aren’t seen as often as they should be. I think that kindness is a quality that can never be overused, particularly in human resources. HR sees people at their most vulnerable moments. When employees are expecting their first child, forced to take a medical leave of absence or dealing with a death in the family, they turn to HR. Sensitive times require sensitive people.

    HR also represents the company as a whole. Every interaction that an HR professional has at work is a reflection of the company and the brand. No one wants to support a company full of nasty people. It only takes one negative experience for a bad reputation to begin. Basic manners and friendliness can go a long way towards making a good impression.

    When I was interviewing for my current job, HR was the first department that I interacted with. Everyone was incredibly nice and went out of their way to be helpful. Before I even met with the hiring manager, I already felt really good about the company. The pleasantness of the HR department didn’t stop after I was hired. If I ever need anything, I know that HR will do whatever they can to help.

    It is not hard to be nice, in your personal or professional life. We are human, so there will be days when we are angry or tired or frustrated because our favorite sports team keeps losing. No one is happy every moment of every day, but it never hurts to smile through the bad moments. I know that if a stranger ever buys me a box of cereal, it will make my day. I will smile and say “thank you.” The next morning when I’m in a pre-coffee funk, that act of kindness will remind me to be a better person. I can’t imagine a sweeter start to the day!

     

     
  • Don’t be a Lurker – Just Ask

     

    This is a guest post from Chis Fields @new_resource . Chris holds a Master’s in HR from OSU, and has his own blog at http://costofwork.com/.

     

     

    It’s human nature to want to be well thought of and highly respected.  We can’t help but to try and impress people with our education, credentials and experience. How many times have you been listening to someone talk about something and you were lost, yet afraid to ask questions? Of course you use your deductive reasoning and problem solving skills but you still don’t get it. Instead of asking someone for help, you suffer along. The fear of embarrassment keeps us wondering in the dark. Hey, you’re smart! Just take it easy KemoSabe, you have nothing to prove, go ahead and ask away.

    I’m here to tell you that it’s alright to ask questions. I was invited to create this post simply because of asking questions. Here’s my story, this year Dave Ryan introduced me to the power of twitter. He has always encouraged me to get more involved. Recently, I was on the Twitter back channel for Steve Boese’s,  HRHappyHour  program, Bill Kutik was his guest. Bill was talking about this year’s HR Technology Conference. Well I’d never heard of it. That’s right it’s been under my nose the entire time and I haven’t heard of it or Bill.

    Stop looking down at me, there could be many reasons for this epic fail but during Twitter chat, I posted this “I know this is a rookie question but what is HR Tech Conference?” I have to say great folks like Robin Schooling, and Paul Smith came to my rescue and even provided a link. For the record Bill also reached out and gave me some additional information. But none of that would have happened; the information, the connection with Bill, had I not asked that question.

    As Human Resource Professional and Business Leaders,we encourage questions and comments because we understand asking questions lead to knowledge and growth. I had no idea the amount of support and opportunities (like this guest post) would follow from just asking a question.  This post is not about me, Bill, Robin, Dave, Steve or HR Tech; it’s about the wonderful things that can happen if you only ask questions. There are no stupid questions and you never know what can happen if you only ask.

     
  • Tools for Talent

    Kyle Lagunas

    Today’s post is a guest post from Kyle Lagunas.  He is the HR Analyst at Software Advice. He blogs about technology and trends in human resources by day, and flexes his culinary muscles by night.

     

    What essential items do you take with you when leaving the office? If you’re like me, you’re sure to grap your mobile phone, your briefcase, and maybe some business cards. What about a mobile diversity training module? Why not? With today’s anytime-anywhere mobile access, the game for HR is changing. Developers are working hard to put mobile solutions for hiring, managing and tracking HR at your disposal. Though many are focused on recruiting and hiring,  a new crop of applications have come to market that allow users to dive into highly valuable data on the go. Here are a few of the mobile HR applications that we liked best.

    Acquiring Talent

    Kenexa 2xMobile allows users to manage hiring processes on the go. The application focuses on key hiring tasks so hiring managers can execute the most basic actions needed to move the hiring process along.  This free app syncs with Kenexa’s SaaS-based applicant tracking system, but users must have a Kenexa license.

    Jobvite is an innovative candidate sourcing solution that has a lot of people talking. This application enables users to send job invitations (or Jobvites) to members of their networks on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook from just about anywhere. To plug in to this tool, you’ll need a Jobvite subscription.

    AquireInSight is a SaaS-based analytics suite that utilizes existing data to analyze trends within your organizational hierarchy. Users can create charts and reports that make it easier for managers to visualize workforce trends and take action on them. With its mobile site, users have the full power of this system at their disposal anytime, anywhere–but access is limited to users with Aquire InSight subscriptions.

    Managing Talent

    Vortex’sMobileManagerConnect is a web-based workforce management tool that allows users to manage operational needs on the go. You can review, edit and approve time cards, violations and time off requests, and syncs with existing HR management and payroll systems. The app is free, but users need users Vortex Connect license to use it.

    diversityDNA is a mobile diversity training app that offers insights into the impact cultural differences have on workplace conduct. Covering the basics of cultural diversity, this mini course illustrates best practices for communicating in the workplace. This simple, straightforward tool is a great start for HR professionals who are interested in enlightening their workforce. The best part? The app is free!

    RyppleFeedback is a web-based application that turns performance reviews into a far more engaging experience. Leveraging social networking concepts, Rypple makes it easy for leaders to recognize achievements and offer regular feedback to employees. This program is user-friendly at every level, and setting goals, documenting performance, and scheduling reviews (or “loops,” as they call them) are a snap. Rypple currently offers various subscription options from free to $9 per user per month.

    Additional Resources

    HRatYourFingertips is an HR terms and concepts reference tool. Valuable for newcomers and veterans alike, this application is divided into three sections. The glossary covers 270+ key terms and concepts. The HR Laws section contains information on federal laws, including eligibility and compliance standards. The app also contains a beginner’s guide for writing an employee handbook. This mobile app is currently available only for the iPhone or iPad.

    AcceroWorkforceIntelligence is a reporting and analytics tool with 200+ predefined HR metrics, scorecards, charts and graphs built in. Also offering traditional reporting capability, it fully integrates with the Accero Cyborg solution. Clearly illustrating actionable HR information, this app allows HR professionals to keep tabs on their organization wherever they go. It’s currently offered only to Accero Cyborg subscribers, though its availability will expand down the line.

    HRConceptsMobileBenefits gives users the ability to tap into health benefit account information on their smart phones. Review claims and account balances, and submit new receipts by taking a picture with their mobile devices. Transmissions are encrypted and secure, and sensitive information is never stored on your mobile device. This straightforward tool takes employee self-service one step further.

    What are some applications that are helping make your life easier?