Monday, November 29, 2010

A Thanksgiving Thought: Listen to Your Employees, They Have Answers

Like a lot of you, Thanksgiving is a time for both thanks and family.

My family runs the gamut from senior citizens to Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y. My wife and I have two children, a son who is Gen X and a Gen Y daughter, a daughter-in-law, and a new granddaughter. My niece who is a regular at our home along with her boyfriend, are both Gen X. Her mother — my sister — just retired. At the top of the food chain is my mother-in-law, who also recently retired from the school system.

Being in the Boomer generation myself, I love the interaction with both these groups. Our routine is always stimulating conversations which always turns into a spirited discussion. These discussions run the gamut of topics from politics to current events.

One of the topics that stirred the pot this year centered around careers, engagement, and overall talk of jobs. I drove this conversation when I mentioned a recently published post on TLNT that talked about the level of engagement within companies today. I listened intently, probed, and probed some more to try and get better insight into their thinking and the culture of their respective employers. I did not offer any opinion, but just tried to keep the thread of the conversation on track.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

And the Winner is .............

My uncle had a love for the “ponies.” During the summer break from college, he would take me and all my brothers and we would head to the race track. It was always a fun family event on Saturdays. We would all sit in the clubhouse, which was a lot more elegant than the grandstand, and there we would begin the process of choosing winners for each race.

If you have never been to a race track, the list of characters who frequent them would give a screenwriter a treasure trove of material.

All the real fans would do their “workout,” which appeared to consist of looking at the horses’ past record and the times that they finished. I assumed they would extrapolate from this information for a fool-proof method of winning. Overall, it seemed to me about as successful as throwing a dart to choose the winner. My method was just to guess the top three winners of the race. My metric for a good day was to leave with more money than I came in with.
I thought of all of this the other day, when I saw the ad for the new movie Secretariat; the horse race, the expected and unexpected outcome, the drama as to who was going to finish in the money.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Are You Ready – Finally! – for HR 3.0?

A funny thing happened on the way to a tweet.

Last week I tweeted an article appropriately titled “Making the Case for Corporate Social Human Resources: Are You Prepared for HR 3.0?” The article reviewed a recently published book “CSR for HR: A Necessary Partnership for Advancing Responsible Business Practices,” and it makes the argument for connecting CSR (corporate social responsibility) with a company’s human resource function. I was intrigued with the 3.0 statement.

As with tweets, I always follow whether someone else votes for the article by re-tweeting it. Well on this one, I did receive a direct message from @TLColson. Her message was to the point: “most are still mastering 1.0, who are we kidding?” I had to smile, and chuckled as I read that.

This kind of stayed in my mind as I thought over the 1.0 to 3.0 analogy. What is HR 3.0 and how does it look?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Learning from AMEX: How Initiatives Can Drive Employee Engagement

Social media has been a godsend to a lot of us who love great content — although being told by someone what they had for breakfast does NOT count.

The amount of fruitful information you have access to is like nothing that you could have dreamed of years ago. Twitter, Facebook, and Google are just great tools. One of my mainstays is “Google alert.” To the uninitiated, it allows you to create a search “alert,” and then you will get the information when something is posted within the realm of your alert.

At times, the amount of articles you get sent from an “alert” can be overwhelming, but every so often, you read one that resonates. Last week, there was one that really stood out for me: American Express commits $25 million to Leadership Development.” Because I have a background in training and development, I was awed by the amount of funds being committed. My thoughts ran to the kind of  leadership development program that could be designed when money is not an object.

So much for reading the headlines.

Philanthropy and employee engagement 

Monday, November 1, 2010

What ‘Expert’ Advice Won’t Tell You: There’s no Shortcut to Anywhere Worth Going

Yes, the Yankees lost and believe me,  New York was in a twit.

How could we lose? We can’t lose. We always win. These were some of the comments on the subway and from conversations on the street. Every man and woman out there knew why the Yankees lost, and they also knew what they needed to do to win next year.

On Sunday morning, I turn on NFL Network and listen to the “analysts.” Each one has a plan as to why a team will win or won’t win. The majority of these analyst were former players, and it seems they have all the answers.

Sometimes I think maybe they should just become the coach and win each and every Super Bowl. They have it all figured out; just follow these 1-5 steps and you will get it done.

Online analysts make every answer sound simple