The #BlackBlogsMatter Challenge Is Back!

In 2017, I launched the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge. It was a 28-day blogging challenge focused on Black culture and experiences. You can go back and read all the posts from last year HERE.

The goal with the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge was to push myself to blog consistently and to express thoughts I’d been suppressing surrounding race that were keeping me bound and blocked as a writer. I enlisted the help of my BlogFFs Keirsten Greggs and Janine Truitt to help me put together the lineup and keep me accountable on follow-through.

I had no idea how it would change me — and others.  It opened new doors for dialogue and shed light in spaces that had been kept in the dark for a long time. And when the challenge ended, I immediately began getting questions about whether it would keep going and how to increase its impact.

So I am proud to bring the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge back for 2018.

This year’s challenge will have 2 aspects:

  1. #BlackBlogsMatter weekly challenge. This 15-week challenge has a weekly blog theme surrounding both Black culture and experience as well as broader topics of diversity, inclusion, micro-aggression, intersectionality and equality.  In each week, you can write 1 blog post or several within your thoughts on the theme.  Below is the graphic with the topics. 
  2. #BlackBlogsMatter microblog challenge.  This 28-day challenges is designed for Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and features a different blogging genre each day.  You will post each day shoutout and highlight the work of a Black blogger who focuses on the genre listed. My hope is for everyone to meet new blog friends, add new content to their feeder, and amplify the voices of talented Black bloggers. Below is the graphic with the topics.

 

Whether for a few posts, for 28-days, or for the 15-week duration, I hope you will consider taking the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge.

And I hope you will follow the #BlackBlogsMatter hashtag so you can read and share the posts.

And if you’d like to wear your support for #BlackBlogsMatter, check out my TeeSpring boutique and buy a t-shirt or sweatshirt

The #BlackBlogsMatter challenge kicks off on  Thursday, February 1st … See you there!

4 Important Issues Missing from the Top 2018 HR Trends

Last week, I wrote about the Top 5 HR Trends for 2018. If you haven’t already, please check them out.

However, there are some important issues in our world-place that are impacting our workplace that were missing from that list. And I couldn’t get too much further into the year without speaking on them.

Here’s what’s missing from the Top 2018 HR Trends (once again, in no particular order):

  • Stopping Cultural Insensitivity. We witnessed epic fails by Pepsi and Dove soap and Papa John’s Pizza and several other brands at dog-whistle diversity attempts last year resulting in public embarrassment, online annihilation and loss of sales. In each case, Executives carefully chose imagery and words without regard for negative cultural references and flat-out appropriation. The same thing happens on smaller scale in our organizations in our conversations and communications. These are called micro-aggressions. HR must get educated about this and actively work toward addressing this in our workplaces, especially in our branding and engagement communications. Talk about this in your trainings on harassment and add this topic to your conversations about inclusion. If you want to have diversity in your organization and you want the diverse people to stay and feel respected and valued, being culturally sensitive is a must for your as an employer and in all the services your organization provides.
  • Addressing Gender Pay Inequity. 2017 ended with a bang following the rebirth of the #MeToo movement and 2018 has kicked off with a vengeance with the #TimesUp movement. However, both of these movements are focused on women not facing gender or sexual harassment in the workplace. I am excited by this and support it fully. It doesn’t address the fact that, harassed or not, White women are still only making $0.78 for every $1 paid to a man and Women of Color make even less. There’s just as large a pay gap for Men of Color as well. We cannot lose sight of this fight in our efforts to keep up with all the good anti-harassment work that’s going on. We have to do both. Equal pay for equal work for all. Period. HR must actively look at our compensation structures and pay ranges for similarly situated positions to make sure there are no unwarranted, inexplicable gaps. When we find them, we must do what is necessary to close the gap.
  • Support for Social Activism and Support. Employees and customers these days want to know what organizations and leaders stand for and support — so they can decide if they want to stand beside you. If you aren’t actively supporting anything, your employees and customers are watching and judging harshly. There were many horrific events that happened in our world in 2017 that should make you want to get involved. Many areas are still recovering following hurricanes, fires and terrorist attacks. Find a way to help. Whether you use that for a PR opportunity is up to you — but help with sincerity.
  • Denouncing White Supremacy. I get that we don’t know what we don’t know about people’s beliefs and ideologies. But once a person or organization shows you who they are, believe them. And if they show you that they are a supremacist, stop doing business with them. Be direct and specific when you end the business relationship so they know the reason is because of their supremacist views. Go public if you have to. But don’t keep giving your time and money to people and organizations who don’t value diversity, inclusion, sensitivity and fairness (unless you don’t value it either).

These issues should be trending and front of mind in our organizations and HR departments at such a time as this.

But they’re not.

Because the work associated with these issues is hard, heavy, thankless and uncomfortable. Most organizations aren’t ready for this work. Most HR people aren’t ready for this work.

This is not right … but it’s OK. Most of the world isn’t ready for this work, either.

My advice to HR in the meanwhile? Study. Get ready. Have a plan for when the reckoning comes.

Because it’s coming — and it won’t be much longer.

Top 5 HR Trends for 2018

2018 is upon us and it is time for predictions of what this new year will bring.

Here’s my Top 5 Trends in HR for 2018 (in no particular order) …

  1.  Artificial Intelligence (AI) … For years, HR has been behind the curve in the world of AI and the associated predictive analytics that come with it. AI is going to show up and show out in HR for 2018.  HR tech vendors are finally hip to the AI game — and they are fiercely working to get us caught up and leading the way. Learn more about it and start making plans for AI usage in your organization to make your HR department even stronger.
  2. Sexual Harassment Reckoning … It is open season in these streets for men harassing women in the workplace. HR has got to be prepared to train their employees on what to do when harassment occurs and HR has got to be ready to address the increase of complaints that are surely coming. HR also has to be on the lookout for backlash by nervous, stupid male managers who think excluding women is easier or better than controlling men’s mouths and treating women as humans. HR has to address all these issues swiftly and surely.
  3. Brand Congruence and Integrity … Along with companies and people being called out for harassment in the workplace, companies and their leaders are also being publicly dragged for hypocrisy.  With social media continuing to rise and blur the lines between professional and personal, there is an expectation the companies will pay and treat employees fairly. There is also an expectation that leaders will ensure this happens in their organization and that they will conduct their personal lives in an ethical manner. When a brand is found to lack congruence and/or integrity in these areas, and the public gets wind of it, social media will pounce. The results can be devastating to your employer brand. HR must lookout for issues with the employer brand congruence and integrity. HR has to make recommendations on how to address problems before they go viral — and HR must know how to settle down and resolve the issues when they arise.
  4. Work Flex … Mobile technology makes people more accessible to work during non-traditional hours. Employers have used this for a long time to increase company productivity and profitability by getting more work out employees at odd hours. Employees are now demanding to work non-traditional hours in a way best suits them and the needs of their personal life. HR has to be prepared to address this and to lead organizations in finding the balance necessary for everyone to have superior quality of life and work.
  5. Total Wellness … The state of healthcare is a hot mess of instability. Costs keep going up, care keeps going down — but people keep getting sicker and for longer periods. There’s not much employers can do to change this. HR has to find new ways to provide comprehensive benefits for employees. HR has to redefine what “comprehensive benefits” means. Help employees learn how to manage, save and invest their money. Help employees eat healthier and get more exercise. Help them rest and relax. Help them pursue their dreams beyond the job. Just caring for physical health isn’t enough anymore. At total wellness approach is what is going to separate the best employers from the rest of the pack.

 

HR is uniquely positioned to lead in this season because the main issues plaguing the people of our businesses are the issues we’re trained and equipped to resolve. We just have to step up and be ready to lead.

Get ready, be ready and stay ready, HR.

Our time is now.

The Best of the Buzz 2017

2017 was a good year for The Buzz on HR, both online and off. The best part was finding my voice again as a writer and speaker. And feeling supported and encouraged by my readers to express myself fully and freely.

As someone who writes about management, leadership and human resources as my primary focus, it is hard to know sometimes how accepting people when you start pushing the boundaries and speaking up or out about controversial topics. There’s a fear that your audience won’t make the shift with you — and that you won’t find another one.  That fear kept me inconsistent with my writing for a few years.

In one of my earliest posts of the year, I declared 2017 The Year of the Savage. I committed myself to being bold and being honest. I’m proud of that.

2017 taught me that my audience will grow with me and that a new audience will find me when I am brave enough to be fully myself. Because truth always resonates and real always recognizes real.

So I’m excited as this new year begins — and I declare 2018 will be Savage AF as I push myself to be even more bold and honest and to stretch in new directions.

Before I get started, I want to take a quick look back at The Best of The Buzz on HR in 2017.

#5 – Addressing Gender Bias Complaints

Before the #MeToo movement reignited and took the nation by storm, this post gave practical advice on how address complaints in the workplace

#4 – Prioritizing Your Priorities

When your busy and everything needs to get done, use these methods to decide what to do first.

 

#3 – Your Employees Are In Pain

Following the events in Charlottesville, this post provided advice on how employers can acknowledge and heal the hurts caused by racial tensions and explosions.

 

#2 – Dear Pepsi, Your Apology Sucks

Following backlash from their new Kendall Jenner ad, Pepsi issued a weak apology. This post breaks down why it was so horrible — and how organizations can do better.

#1 – The #BlackBlogsMatter Challenge

February 2017 contained 28 posts addressing some of the most controversial topics in racism, diversity and inclusion. I couldn’t choose just one because they were all important, meaningful and widely read.

 

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