Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Progressive HR: It’s All About Policies That Truly Engage Today’s Workforce

“[Cough, cough] I can’t come in today, I am very sick,” she said.

I told her no problem; see you when you feel better. However, when she came in the next day, I pulled her aside to talk. Drop the cough, and the sick voice —  if you need to be out just let me know, we can always work it out.

That was the end of the fake calls and everybody lived happily ever after. This employee was not an early riser but I would always leave her at the office when I departed. She normally worked to 8 pm every night.

I thought of that call this week when one of my colleagues told me of a manager  who was upset because his employee called in sick and HR demanded a doctor’s note or the employee would be docked for the day. So, the employee is sick, but, the only way they can REALLY be considered sick is to go to the doctor?

Meanwhile, this employee and his team normally work 10 hour days. Over the past month perhaps, this employee has given more gratis hours than those eight paid hours of sick time.

Policies of the past

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

It Usually Pays Off to Help Employees Follow Their Dream

I became an accountant because accountants are the career choice of my family. We are a family of accountants. But when I spent my first week for one of the Big 4 firms, I knew that I could not do this for my entire life.”

“I became a lawyer because my mother and father were both lawyers. I never gave it much thought, only that I knew I would become a lawyer. I enjoyed law school and it was only when I got my first real job as a lawyer that I knew that this was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I just could not fathom doing this for 30 plus years.”

Both of these conversations with friends over the years came back to me this week when I read an article in Arab News concerning Saudi Arabian youth and their career choice. The title of the article was Young Saudis pursue career dreams despite the odds.

There were two profiles in this article; one was a filmmaker and the other a chef. Both faced difficulty within their families because “their” career choices were for them to become an engineer and a medical doctor.

If you are asked give it, but if not, shut up

As parents, we all want the best for our kids, and in some ways, we do more harm than good getting involved in someone’s career choice. If our opinion is asked, we give it. If not, do everyone a favor and just shut up.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Giving Up Control: It’s Key to Unleashing Your Workforce’s Power

And the walls came tumbling down.

Last week I read the article about Zappos doing away with all job titles and replacing them with what is called Holacracy.

Developed by entrepreneur Brian Robertson, Holacracy is a system of governance that takes things like managers, job titles and bureaucratic red tape out of the equation, distributing leadership and power evenly across an organization.

Instead of a standard hierarchy, companies in a Holacracy are comprised of different “circles” and employees can have any range of roles and responsibilities within those circles.

Coming to an organization near you

There was also the article about the company that instituted a policy that no one is to be contacted while on vacation. The thinking behind this concepts makes sense. We have become tethered to technology that we feel that we have to have in order to be on 24/7.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The 2014 Agenda: Cracking the Culture Code and Embracing Change

I had no idea that they took my candidacy seriously since I did not have a background in TV or Film. However, I was told by the board president that they wanted talent and that it was hard to find.

That was music to my ears as the story was relayed to me at a New Year’s Eve party. My friend had gotten a job as the Senior Vice President at a major non-profit organization.  An attorney by training, a lecturer at an Ivy League school, and a philanthropist with no background in TV or film — yet he was the chosen one.

An opportunity for HR

The year 2014 will present organizations with unrelenting challenges. A few items that will (or should) drive the leadership agenda are culture and innovation with talent behind the wheel. This is a huge opportunity for HR.