Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Transparency: Does Your Company “Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk?”

"I am sorry, but we have already identified someone for that role." The next question was, "how could that be, the job was just posted on the Internet?"

What my friend had just found out is a little dirty secret in some organizations. Sometimes when jobs are posted, and even when they are not, hiring managers already have someone lined up for the opportunity.

What message does that send?

My friend was beside himself; what he found out was that this is the norm within this company. There is not much movement so there is a thirst for advancement, but unless you are in the clique, your thirst will not be quenched

I remember back when I worked for IBM that we always pushed internal advancement in an open and transparent process. We posted open positions internally on Thursday’s. It became such a great initiative that we had everyone checking their computer as soon as they hit their desk on Thursday.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

When You Ignore Culture, You Get Employees Resigning in the NY Times

“I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work.”

That is the defining statement from Greg Smith, the now famous departing employee who resigned from Goldman Sachs last week via an article on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times.

As I read the various commentaries about Smith’s article, it seemed like reading the movie reviews before you see the film. That is, the movie being the actual resignation letter.

I would never get into the cause of this breakup because I have always said, in any situation, there are three sides: My side, your side and the truth. What intrigued me after I read the resignation was his statement about corporate culture.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Everyone Wins When You Help Get Employees Into the Value Zone

One of the things I love about being in HR is that everyone always bring you these rich stories that sometimes causes you to have an “a-ha” moment.

A major retail chain this past week did something that, for a retail company, needs to be lauded. In retail, you have a workforce that is largely made up of hourly employees. They are the people that face the customers each and every day. Good mood or bad mood, they must keep the stiff upper lip and remember that the “customer is always right.”

One of the challenges all retail companies face is the weekly schedule. Trying to place people in slots, or work around challenges in their lives, is an enormous uphill battle both for the manager as well as the employee. I owned a 7-Eleven convenience store for 10 years, so I am very familiar with this weekly challenge. I had 11 people on the payroll, and trust me, it is a challenge.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What Great Leaders Know: It’s About Getting the Right People on the Bus

 I have been to the mountaintop.

This past week, I was in Austin, Texas for TLNT Transform, which was billed as a new type HR conference. While not a presenter, I served as conference chair. This allowed me to not only sit in on all the presentations, but it gave me insight into all the speakers since part of my role was to introduce each speaker and to get some insight into their presentation.

From the moment I entered the doors of HR, I always felt that more could be done within the role that could benefit the organization. I say that based on other roles within the company. Marketing, Finance and IT were all not only structurally defined but had a unique role in their organization’s strategy.