Rex Huppke of the Chicago Tribune writes a great column entitled “I Just Work Here’, where he humorously reflects, shares stories and information about the intersection of work, careers and corporate life. His latest column (April 29 Chicago Tribune – http://shar.es/l9QCH) posed the question of returning to work for a company that had previously let you go. Hmmm. Good question. Later Rex gives us more to think about when he points out that much our work life is similar to dating. And, as dating has changed over the past several years so has our relationship with our employers. From this, I recommend that you “move in” with your employer but think very seriously before deciding to marry them.
Posts Tagged ‘Human Resources’
Posted in Engagement, Human Resources Insights, Leadership, Videos, Articles and Books, Your Career, tagged Corporate Life, Engagement, Human Resources, Leadership, work/family on April 1, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
One of the more annoying aspects of life in America is our short attention span. One day, an issue is screaming in the headlines and bantered across all media channels. The next day it disappears, replaced by the next big issue or Lindsay Lohan’s latest indiscretion.
Given this, I was surprised to hear an opinion piece on the radio yesterday, revisiting the Yahoo CEO’s decision to end all remote working arrangements in their company. While I didn’t agree with the opinion (a snarky toned commentary by an older white male who clearly doesn’t see organizations, leadership and career’s the same way I do), I was happy that this issue was still on the front burner.
That brings us to this guest post from Kevin Sheridan, author of the NY Times best seller “Building A Magnetic Culture”. Kevin is also the former CEO of HR Solutions, an employee survey firm. He has a very interesting take on this topic, with stats to back it up. I hope you take a minute to give it a read. (more…)
Posted in Engagement, Human Resources Insights, Job Searching, Your Favorite Boss, tagged Engagement, Great Boss, Human Resources, Leadership, Trust and Leadership on March 10, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
In this morning’s Chicago Tribune there was an article (written by Dan Pompei) about the new coach of the Chicago Bears, Mark Trestman. I almost skipped it because I find football coaches tend to be all cut out of the same cloth. That’s not good or bad. I just don’t find them to be very interesting.
I am glad I decided to read the article. It turns out that Mark Trestman isn’t your typical football coach. At least, not the current edition of the man. But he was. And it is his personal and professional transformation that I found compelling. (more…)
Posted in Engagement, Human Resources Insights, Leadership, Your Favorite Boss, tagged Corporate Life, Engagement, Favorite Boss, Great Boss, Human Resources, Leadership on October 14, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
As regular readers of this blog know, I love to ask people about their best boss experiences. Here is blog post from HBR (http://bit.ly/OKR2QU) that shares experiences from a woman who was lucky enough to have three great bosses during her career. Her insights easily fit into my definition of a great people leader. That is, that great leaders inspire, teach and get out-of-the-way.
My favorite quote from the post would make my friend Aneil Mishra smile:
“Trust trumps everything. And everything flows from trust — learning, credibility, accountability, a sense of purpose and a mission that makes “work” bigger than oneself”
I had a doctor’s appointment last week and on the way home I was feeling frustrated. Not about the long time spent in the waiting room (okay, I wasn’t too happy about that) or about meeting with a health professional with less than adequate interpersonal skills. Actually my doctor is a pretty nice guy. The frustration was because we rushed. As always he was too busy with many patients to see and it felt like the time I spent with him was rushed. And because of this the quality of my care was probably diminished.
I think people in leadership roles face the same problem. Leaders are too rushed, have too many priorities and simply don’t have enough time to spend with the people who work for them. And because of this the quality of their relationship with their boss, and really their overall connection with their company, is diminished.
Perhaps the most important theme I hear from people about their “best bosses” is that these leaders would always find time to spend with them. In this crazy, fast paced, technologically driven world, is it unrealistic to expect leaders to make this a top priority?
What do you think?
Just heard from a friend of mine who started a new job four months ago with a firm owned by Private Equity. Here is what he had to say:
Things have gone well for me….already 4 months into the role…how time flies by! However, since we are PE backed, a liquidity event is probably out there over the next 18-24 months, so I may be back on the market at some point.
I know that the whole Private Equity thing is center stage in our current presidential politics, that’s not the purpose of this post. (Although many would say that introduction of PE / VC into organizational dynamics has been a ‘Bain’ to our existence …) My friend’s comment is a reminder that you are obligated to stay proactive with your career because the winds of change can blow suddenly. And working for a Private Equity based firm is the poster child for why this is true.
I just personally experienced the same thing with my job change. My former company was recently acquired by a Parisian based PE firm. It was not the only reason I left but it was an important sign that it was time to move on. While I don’t agree with this approach to business (in my experience, employees at PE firms have a tendency to be overworked and are often reminded that their jobs are at risk if certain financial targets are not met), the PE firm that bought my company was not evil. I met two of the owners and actually thought they were decent people. But it was clear that they weren’t owners, they were investors. That meant things were going to change dramatically and ultimately it would not be a good fit for me. Or worse.
So, it was time to get proactive or else find myself reacting to the changes. And, that’s never a good place to be. Is it?
Posted in Engagement, Human Resources Insights, Leadership, Videos, Articles and Books, Your Career, tagged Career Management, Corporate Life, Engagement, Human Resources, Leadership, Retention on July 11, 2012 | 1 Comment »
A few months ago I showed up for a customer meeting and was directed to the 10th floor of a large downtown Chicago office building. As I left the elevator and headed to the meeting conference room I went by rows and rows of empty cubicles. Just beyond this space were cubes populated with employees, diligently doing their job. Imagine going to work every day and passing this scorched earth image of the corporate wars.
I was reminded of this picture recently after reading an online article at Truth Out (truthout.org) entitled “Job Security: It’s The Disease Of The 21st Century and It’s Killing us” (http://bit.ly/PvGetM). I invite you to read the article. On the surface it is a sobering account of corporate life in the 21st century, as evidenced by this quote:
Job insecurity is nothing new for those on the lower rungs of the economic ladder. Since the ’70s and ’80s, a shifting labor market and anti-worker policies have been fraying the ties between employers and employees, fueling the perception that a job is a temporary affair. Globalization, outsourcing, contracting, downsizing, and recession have conspired to make confidence in a stable, long-term job a privilege that few can enjoy. But the global recession has blown the numbers experiencing persistent job insecurity through the roof. In the U.S., the stress of three years of unemployment over 8 percent – the longest stretch at that level since the Great Depression – has rocketed our anxieties to new heights, even among traditionally secure workers. In Europe, where employees have enjoyed more protections, workers are feeling increasingly stressed, often trapped in low-wage and temporary employment with few benefits. Even in Germany, this trend of part-time “mini-jobs” is wiping away the old image of Europe as a worker-friendly land of happy, full-time employment.
After I reflected on the article, I actually fount it inspirational:
It’s a wakeup call to organizations that need to rebuild their relationship with employees.
It’s a reminder to leaders to lead with compassion, courage and respect.
Most importantly it’s a push to all of us to proactively build a job and career that no one can take away from you.
Please let me know your reactions and thoughts.
Posted in Engagement, Human Resources Insights, Job Searching, Videos, Articles and Books, Your Career, tagged Career Management, Corporate Life, downsizing, Engagement, Human Resources, job loss, Terminated on June 17, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Over the past few years I have helped several people through the job search process, many of these interactions have followed an involuntary “push” by their organization. One of the surprising things I have learned is how little anger people feel about losing their job. Mostly people are tired, relieved and downright happy to move on.
I read a guest column by Steve Doppelt in the Chicago Tribune this morning (http://trib.in/KLvl0k) that focused on this very topic. While the center of the story is about how a son struggles to tell his parents about his job loss that he is actually happy about, the background story is about how a job loss can be a positive. It also reminds us that others can see how unhappy we are in our jobs, even if we think they don’t. Here’s a quote from the article:
Father – ”You left your job, didn’t you?”
Son – “Yeah, I did, how did you know?”
Mother – “Well, you have been so unhappy. And, lately you’ve seemed so much happier. Maybe it’s for the best, I would cry every night I got off the phone with you. You sounded so miserable.”
So, are you unhappy in your job? Would you be relieved if someone would end it for you? And, do you think others in your life don’t notice and aren’t impacted by your unhappiness? Think again.
What are you waiting for?
I heard it again last week.
VP: ” I am ready to move on, will you take a look at my resume?”
Me: “Sure, but I thought you liked your job.”
VP: “I do and the company is splendid. However working for my boss has become intolerable and it’s just not worth it”.
Another tale where a leader is the disconnecting point between a talented individual and the organization. The VP is not disengaged but disconnected and now everyone loses.
The employee-employer contract is dead … Loyalty is a thing of the past … Younger workers no longer expect or want a long-term relationship with one company…
Just when you thought the rules for the new world of work and career had been clearly established, along comes this study from Towers Watson on Employee Retention and Attraction (http://bit.ly/Jjd79d).
Here is a sample of some of the surprising findings:
- 63 % of employees younger than 40 felt that the company’s retirement plan was an important part of their employment decision. This is up 35 percentage points from 2009
- 72 % of respondents younger than 40 said the company’s retirement plan was an important reason for staying with their current employer. This is also up 35 percentage points from 2009.
- 74% of respondents younger than 40 said that they would like to retire from their current company. This is an increase of 30% from 2009.
Wow. These findings shocked me. Were these findings simply a result of our economic crisis? Or are there other factors at play? What do you think?
I want to scream at people to wake up and realize that the old world is gone. And, if you don’t realize it, you will get burned. Again.
I read an article a week ago in the Chicago Tribune about ‘Workaholism’ ( http://lat.ms/Ih7yVJ). We always think that workaholism is a bad thing, that working too much endangers health, psyche and personal life by being too wedded to work. But, is there such a thing as an ‘engaged’ workaholic?
Turns out you can be, at least according Dr Wilmar Schaufeli, a professor in the Netherlands. He theorizes that engaged workaholics actually like their work, that they are “pushed” to their work rather while classic workaholics are “pulled”.
One of the key ingredients for engaged workaholics turns out to be how you are treated at work and how much control you have over what you do. This ties directly to the type of leader you work for, don’t you think?
To find out what kind of workaholic you are , take the following quiz. (more…)
Culture wins, every time. How many exquisite corporate strategies have you seen that have been unsuccessful because they failed to build a cultural foundation for success? And at the center of that cultural foundation are connected employees and great leadership. THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!!!
Read some of the stories I have provided throughout my blog that share real life examples of great leadership along with some not so great leadership stories (you can find these posts in the Category drop down boxes – Leadership, Your Favorite Boss and C’Mon Man Moments – on the right side of the blog) - it will be easy to figure out which ones have successfully executed their strategy.
Also check out this great post from Fast Company entitled “Culture Eats Strategy For Lunch” http://www.fastcompany.com/1810674/culture-eats-strategy-for-lunch.
And, as always, feel free to share your personal stories from great and not so great cultures that you have worked in.
I was just browsing through a special Chicago Tribune magazine that focused on Chicago’s top 2011 workplaces (http://bit.ly/vM8Qj6) and the individual article headlines really say all you need to know:
- “Keep up the good work – recognition, respect viewed as vital to workplace satisfaction”
- “ Engagement is the key – retailer puts money behind keeping employees motivated“
- ” A passionate pack that combines a fast pace with supportive leaders“
- ” It’s all in the spirit of fun“
Recognition, respect, motivation, passion, supportive leaders, fun … sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
My favorite quote was freom the Co-President of the top company on the list, Abt Electronics. “With a more than 1,000 employees, that’s a big family. But a policy of trust and respect has the served the company well. In 75 years it has never had a layoff!
This quote highlights the common denominator for all of these top workplace companies … they are all successful.
Great culture and financial success … conincidence?? I think not.
Do you work in a great place? If so, please comment on why it’s so great.
If not, what are you still doing there??
The year was 1998 and I was in my HR leadeship position with Amoco Corporation. I was invited to attend a presentation by McKinsey Consulting on ‘The War For Talent’. Fast forward 13 years to an article in the December 2011 edition of Forbes entitled “Top Ten Reasons Why Large Companies Fail to Keep Their Top Talent” (http://onforb.es/sCzkZO) . Basically the Forbes article was a rehash of the of the McKinsey presentatin I attended. Thirteen years later and the song remains the same. Why can’t organizations figure this stuff out?
Here are a few commonalities between the Forbes article and the McKinsey presentation:
- Failure to find projects that ignite the passion of their talent
- Poor annual performance reviews
- No discussions around careers
- Allowing whims to change strategic priorities
- Lack of accountability
- The missing ‘vision’ thing
These are more symptoms of lousy leadership, especially at the top of the house. And this extends beyond large companies. It’s pervasive across Corprate Amercia. As the job market heats up, the demographics continue their shifts and the global business world continues on it’s frantic pace, the companies that don’t figure this out are going to be in trouble. And they don’t have another 13 years to act.
What are your thoughts?
During my daily travels I interact with many, many HR leaders around Chicago and beyond. I learn alot from these interactions and, and mixed with my own personal observations and insights as a HR professional and leader, I will be sharing this info in a 3 Connections Blog Category entitled “HR insights”. (FYI, the 3 connections categories are in a drop down box on the right side of my blog)