Human Resources & Marketing: Not So Different After All?

It’s been about a month since the 2014 SHRM Annual Conference in Orlando.  By now, those of us who attended have settled back into the realities of our jobs and day to day life.  We’ve probably filed away our notes and stashed our swag, but have we thought about what we actually learned?  Have we spent any time at all considering how we can take some of the ideas we gathered and put them into practice?

One of the concepts that particularly rang true with me was the notion that Human Resources professionals need to start thinking more like marketers,...


#Nextchat: Creating Highly Accountable and Engaged Teams

Striking the right balance between accountability and engagement in the workplace can be a challenging task for leaders. One is directly manageable and the other is not. Accountability is something leaders can control, while engagement is something they can hopefully influence.

Many leaders claim that they want more accountability from their employees, but they’re also looking for greater levels of enthusiasm. The secret to balancing the two and achieving high levels of both is to recognize and capitalize on their interdependence. Leadership is about helping people to do their best work, and understanding the relationship between holding employees accountable and...


Can We DO That?! Smoke Free Workers?

Just this month I came across another article announcing an employer’s decision to hire only non-smokers. I remember a call I received several years ago asking if the company’s CEO could implement the same type of policy or practice. The CEO hated the smell of cigarette smoke and did not want to be around people who emanated the scent.  As employers, “Can we do that? “ Of course the answer is the infamous, “It depends.”  As of this writing at least 29 states plus the District of Columbia prohibit discrimination based on an individual’s off-duty use of tobacco....


Just Because You Can…Doesn’t Mean You Should

When contemplating a course of action or implementing a new procedure/policy HR practitioners stand at a metaphorical crossroads.

In general the process begins with the question “can we do X?” which is a perfectly acceptable, and appropriate, place to start.  After all, as much as we may take umbrage at the relentless HR stereotype that we’re rule-enforcing bureaucrats who take great delight in policing every action there’s no denying that ensuring compliance and mitigating potential risk is an important part of what we do.

Yet…once it’s determined that “yes we CAN do X” it’s quite rare that the follow up question “but SHOULD we do X” is ever...


How Do you Become An HR Influencer? #SHRM14

I was lucky enough to attend SHRM 2014.  I always look forward to the SHRM national conference because it is a great way to connect with other HR pros, while learning from some of the best and brightest HR thinkers in the world today.  As I have grown in my career, my focus at these conferences has shifted away from learning the day to day HR functions to how HR can influence and assist the company’s executive team in reaching company goals.

Two speakers addressed the HR Influence question.   Both speak to how HR can build its business case, or...


Your Turn

The debate has raged on....

Is cultivating Employee Engagement the duty of Executives or Middle Managers?

What if the answer is: neither!

If we are being honest with ourselves, we can genuinely determine our own level of engagement.

Your success each day is driven by your perception and your attitude. You determine what you pay attention to and how that shapes your day. Each day you find yourself in your current job is the result of the choices you have made. You have the power to ignore the insignificant, to focus...


The importance of communication during FMLA leave

How many times has an employee provided you with an incomplete Family and Medical Leave Act certification? Oh, I don't know, maybe a missing return date...

If the FMLA leave is foreseeable, then the employee must provide the employer with the anticipated timing and duration of the leave. However, where the FMLA leave is unforeseeable-- think, car crash -- then that information can wait if the employee herself doesn't know her return date.

But that doesn't mean you -- yeah, you employer -- should let it go.

[Nope, not cueing any music here, m-kay...]

Do I have a...


Executive Book Club: July 2014

When CEOs, senior managers, and HR professionals were asked by the authors of this new book, “What are the top three general business/organizational problems, issues, or concerns that keep you or your executives up at night?” their answers were strikingly similar and can be grouped into the following categories:

* Problems that result from an unclear or unrealistic organizational vision and from a lack of well-developed or well-implemented strategies. 
* Problems that stem from changes in domestic and international competition.
* Problems directly related to dealing with federal and...