Tag: new tricks

5 reasons why HR is the New Cool Kid

HR-The New Cool Kids

Recently, I came across an article from Fast Company written in 2007 entitled “Why We Hate HR” stating many reasons why Human Resources functions are ineffective at driving ethics, business strategy and the culture of an organization. Some points raised that were proof of this: HR people, at a Las Vegas HR conference, held education in communication at a higher value then Law, Business and Strategy. Even stating that the function did what was organizationally expedient rather then what actions were more valuable to the business. While there were many statements that were listed, one quote summarized many of the points in the article best by saying, most HR organizations have ghettoized themselves literally to the brink of obsolescence… ouch. A Big Lebowski ouch.

So here we are almost three years later and what has changed about the function or the people within it. I think a lot. At least from what I am seeing. While this article and those within other areas of business may find HR obsolete. I believe that this is a time where HR, HRD, OD and all the other acronyms you can list has started to see a rise in the times. In my personal opinion, I feel that HR has never been given it’s just do. But you have to get over that and suck it up because; as Tom Hanks would say there’s no crying in baseball.

Even while many of us within are doing what is needed to provide value and access, I believe that in the past, the business world has never allowed or given permission for us to be effective. It may be as if it has subconsciously set HR up for failure. Even with this past, I feel that we have the potential to be needed now more than ever. Here are some of the reasons why:

  1. Building the Company Brand – An employee experiences all of HR. They are often interviewed, on-boarded; take part in performance reviews and disciplinary hearings with us present. There is no doubt that with as many people that are unemployed there will be damage to a company’s brand during the off-boarding process as well. You see this person being let go is not just an employee but may have been customer and referrer of your products and services. The negative feelings at departure could turn into negativity towards the company and a severely bad attitude toward its reputation as well. When I hear negative comments about a company, I most often times hear it in context or in direct connection to HR. While HR may not have been the cause of that employee’s unemployment, they are definitely a part of that employees experience at departure. We can be the next big game-changer of the perception of that employee and all in the future. If anything, there is a possibility that we can help turn around that person’s idea and perception of the company.
  2. Re-Acquisition and Retention of Talent – “Gatekeeper” is often a word closely associated with HR. Within the recruiting cycle we source, attract and can even grant entrance to key positions within the company. With the unemployment rate reaching 9.5% as of October 2009 there are more people, talented and educated, that have been downsized. Many of these individuals are not only looking for security, but also the opportunity to help create value to the bottom line within the company. Regardless of industry, we are positioned to help the business and its managers understand who is out there and how to attract them. We, as HR, also have the potential to help management understand what it takes to develop and retain this talent so they can become a dedicated force that helps to build commitment to the company and marketers of its products and services.
  3. Strategy, New Ideas and Approaches – Just under the surface, a new crop of HR professionals are molding and changing the landscape as we know it. All across the landscape in articles, un-conferences, on internet radio, blogs, tweets and in the marketing of HR, professionals are speaking up, being open and honest about the direction of the field and where we need to be as it relates to the effectiveness of the employees.
  4. Law and Benefits – Let’s face it, who knows better about how new employment law, benefits and legislation changes affect the employee and business. They need us in order to assess and evaluate what options are best available. Well maybe they don’t but maybe they do!
  5. Good HR can improve performance – Read the article!

350px Krypto the Superdog 5 reasons why HR is the New Cool Kid


With the economics of today, more candidates understand the importance of contributing to a company. Yet at the same time more and more individuals are not only wanting a great career with growth opportunities, but also a work life balance with the knowledge that a company will not only let them be a functioning employee but also a fully functioning individual. When it comes down to it, good HR is good business. These are just a few of the many reasons why I know Human Resource people are the new cool kids in town. Let’s not just show everyone how cool we are; let’s make them all see just how cool of an asset have been and will be in the future.

The Benefit of “Laid Off”

Andre The Benefit of Laid Off

So about the title… umm you just got laid off, through no fault of your own. It can be difficult to sit on the other end of a desk. The supervisor or person who you feel might as well be holding a gun to your head to keep you from reaching over and slapping them for saying, “this is nothing personal.” Well guess what, they are wrong. While dissolving of a position or reduction of workforce may be a business decision, it is very personal, for the people giving the news and the individual receiving it. It is easy to list a few of the many disadvantages; the packing of personal or company items (for you thieves) with or without security, the walk to the car, the oh so long drive on the way home to think about what has just happened, the breaking of news to the family and then the subtle but daunting task of searching for a new position.

So what could possibly be the benefit that comes from losing, for what many of us is, our only source of income? What great things could be hidden in this process for the HR person delivering the news? Few would agree that there are any benefits, yet believe it or not there are. There are even more benefits now then there were even a few years ago. Having a good breakfast and calling other unemployed friends are not among the reasons I am discussing, although pretty damn good and funny!

For HR:

  • It’s a chance for HR to make the company look Humane. Being in the room for a lay-off with the manager and employee is not something any of us wants to be apart of often but it is one task that can come with the job. You have a chance to show what gratitude there may be for the employees service and help in retaining the brand of your company. The last thing you want is for the person to have a bad experience, echo it out to the world through twitter and the blogosphere and set you up as a bad guy, ultimately leaving a bad impression on any future candidate that you want to hire for that same position after the righteous company comeback (did I just say “that same position” oops). We, HR, can be perceived as the good people for a change!
  • Performance issues. Have to be careful here but, let’s face it, not all supervisors do a good job in effectively giving performance reviews. The good and bad  is not always outlined. But regardless of who is at fault, if there were issues with the employee/employer relationship, reduction in workforce is an easier argument to have and a much quicker conversation. Especially in this economy.
  • More quiet time. Fewer employees mean fewer grievances, reduced visits to your office and request for the “private talk” about ones supervisor and/or boss. OK, this is not really a good argument, but you have all thought about it haven’t you? Why be afraid, admit it.

For the Unemployed:

  • Family Time. The maximum benefit would be the time you spend with your family and friends. You can become even closer with the extra time you are spending together. Let’s face it, your kids, significant other and people who are most important to you will never say, “Dang you should have spent more time at work.”
  • Regenerate/Reflection. If you are like me, there is never enough time in the day. If you are currently not working, you often feel like you have more work to do then you did when you were working. In this time away, you can now take the time to get to know another side of yourself that you have not experienced in awhile. You take the time to discover what that side is.
  • Reevaluate life and career goals. Why Not Re-Evaluate Your Career Path Choices? Nuff said.
  • Unemployment Benefits. No longer are there long lines at the unemployment office. The unemployed can now handle everything online (that is if they can still afford internet access). Don’t quote me but the max you can receive on an unemployment claim is around $452, given you make more than $900, give or take. There has been talk of an added benefit under the new administration prolonging benefits for an added 13 months as well as an increase in benefits for up to $25 to those who qualify. You scoff, “Ooh a whole $25 extra.” Yeah you are laughing now but an extra $25 can go a long way in tough times.
  • Retraining. Yes, if you need an upgrade in certifications, knowledge or skills; there is potential to receive added funds. Only to those who quality and ask.
  • Other possible benefits: Refinance or Modification of a Mortgage Loan (check with your bank), Return the school, etc.
  • Excuses to be cheap. When people ask for change, asking to cover the tab, or donations; you actually have a good excuse to be cheap!

This is a simple and brief list. Some of these were meant to help you laugh to keep from crying but there are real ways to deal and even recover from reduction in force. While difficult, a lay-off can end up being the bridge between the move from a potentially bad situation to better one, for both the employee and/or the employer.

46221.strip.sunday The Benefit of Laid Off

Archive - Learning - Old Man, New Tricks

Originally Posted on 10/26/09. One of my very first post.

My son is 17 months old and simply amazing. Within these past months, he has come far. From being completely dependent on his parents; getting his food and diaper changed (sorry to be so grotesque) to his transport and changing of clothes; to now being more independent. Walking on his own. Pulling his hand away when I try to guide him in a different direction, wanting to do things on his own. He is gaining a sense of his surroundings. While he is not a fully functional individual, he is well on his way.

Like many of us, he is still trying to run before he walks. Wanting to swallow his entire meal whole, versus taking the time to chew with the limited number of teeth he has. From climbing on top of things, to being a stair step climber and exploring what hidden treasures each room in the house has to offer. He is learning. Every day it is something new and while there are times when he does things that he has no business doing at his age, I do not scold him. Because unlike my years of experience - knowing the right from the wrong, the good from the bad - I have to check myself and realize that he is new to all this.

Many times, we can forget that when we assign task to a team, have a first time review with an employee, or deliver a presentation to a group of individuals, that they are on our page. That what we, as the leader state, will be understood by everyone involved.  We begin to set our agenda and present from our own perspective. However, many times it is just the opposite. People have their own perspective and translate what we say and do in a completely different manner then what we intend. Since this is the case, we must take our time and realize that people are learning, just like my son. They are learning how to deal with you as an individual and in different situations. Communication can often be an issue. Although we cannot guarantee that everyone will be on the same page, we can commit ourselves to improving our own awareness and making improvements little by little. Remember to take the time to set expectations and come to an agreement on what is expected.

IMG 2175 300x225 Archive   Learning   Old Man, New TricksI am learning too. Through my son’s eyes, I see so many things in a different way. He helps me to remember that while I may have all the experience, I also have all the pre-conceived notions and prejudices of that experience. He has time to change my perspective!


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