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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

If You’re Building Your Brand, You Can’t Escape Your Capabilities

“She said that she remembered me from my last job. I remembered her but did not think she even knew who I was since she was very senior to me.”

As I listened to this conversation the other day, it just confirmed what I always tell everyone. It’s this: someone is always watching your work. By watching, they are creating a vision for you and the brand of you — how you work, what you deliver, your attitude, and the list go on.

Regardless of how you feel about your work, even if you know you are no longer going to be there, always do top-notch work.

We all grow in different directions

As our career expands, you notice that people you worked with over the years have expanded their roles into other companies like tentacles.

Your cube mate today could someday become VP at another firm. Your prior manager could now be heading up a great project at another strong brand. The goofy guy down the hall could be heading a startup.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Top 75 HR Post


You know the blogs to look out for. Now, you need the posts to read. Below, we compiled the top five posts from each of our most popular sites. We ranked each post by Popularity Score, and included more information on each site, author and editor.

1.TLNT

Twitter: @TLNT_com
Site owner/editor: John Hollon (@JohnHollon)

About: TLNT covers news, insights and analysis related to human resources and talent management.
Rank
Article
Author
Popularity
1
10,326
2
4,085
3
2,795
4
2,500
5
1,394
Data wrangled with by Software Providers

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Building Business Relationships through meetings

“I heard you had a tough time getting back to the airport after the HR Leaders Conference in Lagos.”

That was followed by at least a half-hour of further discussion concerning our recent travels. There was no rush to get to the “meat” of the meeting or what it was about.

The next time we got together, the discussion centered around housing and where to live in Dubai, which was followed by a conversation about tuition payments and our past experience working together on an HR panel.

It took a half-hour to actually get to get to the crux of this meeting.

Relax — it’s just a meeting

Doing business in the Middle East is so much different — and relaxing. Meetings are designed for people to

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Would One of Your Former Employees Really Want to Come Back?

Would you want to go back?
I was just asked for references, so it looks good — right?” read the text message. This young lady was in the throes of interviewing, and yes, I told her this is a good sign.
However what happened next caused both of us to do some thinking. As she reached out to her old boss and another former team member, the trajectory changed. Sure they would give her a reference, but more importantly, would she consider coming back?
Wow-Wow-Wow” was her first text to me after that conversation. In essence, they told her they really saw how valuable she was after she left and wanted to know whether she would come back with a higher title and, of course, more money?
Would you go back?
We all have had jobs that we could not wait to get out of. We also may have had jobs that we were let go from through no fault of our own. The question is — would you go back to a prior job if you were asked?
When I was at Martha Stewart during its heyday, she had to go to jail and we laid off the entire TV division. Around 200 of our people lost their jobs the day after the verdict because CBS cancelled Martha’s show.
We kept in touch with everyone and tried to find them jobs as best we could. Because of that enduring contact, we stayed connected with everyone during the entire time that Martha was “away.”
The day after she was released, it was announced that Martha would be returning to TV. One email went out to get the status of everyone in the TV division who had left, and for the most part, everyone came back on board.
But that was then. It may be different now that the culture has changed, but the lesson learned was that all these good people that quit their jobs decided to come back.
The culture that you left
After the euphoria of the conversation with this young lady wore down, I gave her a call to find out her thoughts. She was flattered by the offer to return and just could not believe it. However, she would not go back she said, regardless of the title and offer.
Her decision was based on the work culture — 10-12 hour days, five days a week, being on call on weekends. Plus, having to constantly monitor emails throughout the night, last-minute business trips, and temper tantrums with yelling and screaming as a way of life.
Yes, it is good to be wanted but I do not want to ever get in that situation again,” was her reply. She added: “They could not offer me enough money to get back into that culture.”
Lots of companies today, especially in technology, gladly welcome back departing employees, and there are alumni groups all over LinkedIn and Facebook. That should be part of any organization’s talent management strategy, but the key is the corporate culture that employees remember from when they left.
That will always be the key. If the culture was toxic when they left, what is the value proposition for them if they return? If you are thinking money, forget about it. Even if they do come back, they will eventually get frustrated and leave again.
When reality about a return sets in
When I think about this, my first thought is that there is not a job in my past that I would want to return to. There’s no amount of money to get me to do it, because although at the time a job seemed ideal, it loses something as you grow and experience other challenges.
While the notion of going back to what once was may sound romantic (like riding back in on the white horse to save the day), for me, returning would simply be a bad imitation of the former job.
Organizations today should think through how they treat departing employees. This goes back to getting it right from Day 1.
Build your organization so that people will not want to leave. Set the bar so high that if they do leave your organization, it becomes the gold standard that all departing employees will gauge their future by.
If you are not the gold standard, everything else will look great.
An offer they can’t refuse?
Think for a second; if you were to go back to your departed employees and ask them to come back, would they do it?
If there answer is no, you may have a lot to do in polishing up your culture to make it inviting for re-entry.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hello Goodbye: It’s Critical to Connect and Build Trust With All You Meet

As I looked into his eyes, I could see them welling with tears. As he began to speak, his voice cracked, “Mr. Ron we’ll will miss you so much. It has been my honor to know you.”

As I listened, my eyes teared up in synch. These guys had no idea what they have meant to me over this past year.
As I walked from department to department, the reaction was mostly the same — we were saying our goodbyes. Having spent close to 15 months in a new environment with a workforce that could rival the United Nations — including multiple languages and customs — I was proud of myself for having connected with them.

Every unique experience must come to an end

As I walked out for the last time, the security guard who manned the front gate came out and gave me a big hug. Through broken English he said “picture,” and pointed at his cell phone. We embraced and took our photo. By this time, the gate was full with everyone wishing me congratulations, and one of my co-workers offering to give me a ride home as opposed to having to catch a taxi.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Lesson From the Microsoft Cuts: Don’t Mix the Message on Layoffs

This is not good. One of the guys on the marketing team I work with just got fired. OMG, they just fired another one. It is just crazy around here now.”

As I read the text messages, I could feel the tension that must have permeated this workplace.

The text was from someone who had been in the world of work for four years out of college. This situation with them went on for two days, and as I got the blow-by-blow, it felt like being in a war zone.

The question that probably popped in her mind was, “Am I next?” When I asked that question, her response was, “I honestly don’t know, but I do know that I am backing up all my work just in case.”

So when the dust settled, the leaders of this company called an all-hands-on-deck meeting to talk about the new corporate strategy. Oh, they also discussed the layoffs.

Who are these people?


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What I Learned From My Life as an Expat HR Leader in Saudi Arabia

I recently received a note from my good friend Sharlyn Lauby(aka, the HRBartender) in reference to a question that she
received from one of her readers:

How did you prepare for your new human resources role in Saudi Arabia? The country has different cultures, business traditions, and labor laws.

What I realized is that the story behind me making the move from New York City to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia could possibly fill a book [to be announced at a later date].

So, as I thought through my approach to this question, I wanted to capture some of what I learned and what to look for, not only for moving to Saudi Arabia, but with any expat opportunity that might come along.

Expat blogs

While you can find tons of information on any country, the best way forward is through expat blogs. Regardless of the country, somebody took it upon themselves to write about it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Leaders Get More Out of People When They Don’t Wear the Crown

“She said to me… ‘you might be president of PepsiCo, you might be on the Board of Directors, but when you enter this house you’re the wife, you’re the daughter, you’re the daughter-in-law, you’re the mother… so leave that damn crown in the garage.’ “

You have to admire the older generation. They will always speak their mind. When I read this, I thought of my parents and how their plain-spoken ability to cut through all the BS and hit the bullseye with their message.

The above statement was from Indra Nooyi’s mother in reaction to her daughter’s election to the Pepsi Board of Directors. The 58-year old Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo and mother of two daughters delivered some surprisingly frank and candid insights on work-life balance in an interview with David Bradley, owner of the Atlantic Media Company, at the Aspen Ideas Festival this week.

The anointment: You are now crowned

I have seen more careers than I can count ruined by the constant wearing and acknowledging of the “crown.” One VP, recently promoted, told me that he blocks one of his reports out since HE is the one that has the two initials at the back of his name. And from what I gathered, the direct report was just floating ideas to him. But because he had the “crown,” he was the determinant of all ideas.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Workplace Communications: Yes, Sometimes We Still Need to Talk

I’ve been picking up the phone and calling my most important clients,” he said. “You can’t stop because there’s no email.

This was a quote based on the outage of MS Outlook this past week. The Washington Post headline blared MS Outlook outage brings offices back to the 1980’s.

For the people who were working in corporate, this was an era when there was no email to speak of, and for that matter, no computers. I had an office on Sixth Avenue in New York at that time and all I had was a phone on my desk. That was it.

Afraid of being out of touch?

But I was in sales back then and that was all I needed. I broke every sales record at that time with just a phone. Even today, when I need to get it done and over with, I simply pick up the phone and dial.