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Happy #TKDay!! Cuz We All Need a Tiffany

March 15th is Tiffany Keuhl‘s birthday … so the BlogFFs decided to embarrass celebrate her with posts across our collective social media.

I met Tiffany on Twitter about 4 years ago when she retweeted something I posted. Soon after, I followed her back on Twitter … then we connected on LinkedIn … then Facebook … then we exchanged phone numbers and began talking/texting.

And now I cannot imagine my world without her.

Tiffany is a great friend. When she rocks with you, she rocks with you. You don’t have to wonder how she feels about you because she tells you. You don’t have to worry if she’ll be there when you need her because when you look over your shoulder, she’s already there. Through every victory I’ve had and every loss I’ve suffered since we became friends, she has been a consistent source of encouragement and support.

Tiffany is an amazing HR professional. There a few people who know more about the world of HR and are willing to share without hesitation or expectation than my Tiffers. She “gets” that sharing information with others doesn’t diminish her value, worth or importance. She “gets” that helping others makes her and our profession better.

Tiffany is a networking savant. Tiffany knows everybody! And she knows somebody who knows somebody. She is intentional about being current and connected to other professionals. In every conference or seminar or meeting she attends, you will see her on the move, shaking hands and taking photos and exchanging information and making introductions and getting to know people. She soaks it all up like a sponge — then she squeezes it out by connecting those connections to the rest of us.

Tiffany is a loving family woman. She is married to another HR pro — and they have a beautiful son. She is a daughter and a sister and an aunt and a cousin. She loves her family and is as dedicated to them as she is to her friends and her career.

Tiffany is fun, funny and fun-loving. Our conversations (although mostly by text these days because our schedules are unnaturally hectic) are always hilarious. You will find her on Instagram out-and-about in great places with great people having a great time. Even when she’s down, she’s never out of encouraging words or positive perspective.

Turnup with us for #TKDay online … cuz we all need more people like her in our lives. And when we have them, we should absolutely celebrate them.

Happy Birthday, Tiffers!!

Bunches of love      ~ Buzzarooney

 

TKDay - Tiffany Kuehl

Your Development is NOT HR’s Problem

Recently, I was chatting with one of my HR friends about an issue she was having. She manages a small HR department of 4, including herself. Because the team is small, everyone on the team has to be a generalist of sorts. As the leader, she is often pulled into strategy meetings plus she does a lot of training and presenting as well. 2 of the team are fairly new HR practitioners and she often vents to me about feeling guilty that she isn’t able to spend more time with them, working on their learning and development.

We hadn’t talked about it in awhile. She’d stopped mentioning it so I thought the team had turned the corner. I was wrong! Things were worse than ever for her, as one of her team was not making the development strides expected or necessary …

She won’t do anything I suggest to help her development. She keeps saying how busy she is with her everyday duties. She says she doesn’t have time to do the extra things I’m suggesting. I don’t know what to do about it! Her work is fine; she’s not missing deadlines or anything. But I can’t rely on her to take on more; eventually, that’s going to limit her advancement and her earnings. She’s falling behind the rest of the group — and everyone can see it. It’s embarrassing to me. I don’t know what to do.

 

My advice? Let her fail.

I believe in the importance of development. Once a person is trained and operating optimally in the essential duties of their job, a good manager should be looking for ways to further develop that individual. The ability to cultivate the potential of others is what separates good managers from great ones. Development is what keeps people engaged and enthusiastic about the work and the organization. It is the win-win of the employer-employee relationship.

Yet, while I believe in creating enrichment opportunities, I believe just as firmly that management is not solely responsible for development. The initiative and ambition required for development are not something management can teach. Those are things the individual has to bring with them … Unfortunately, not everyone has those skills or desires. Some people just want to come to work, complete the tasks they’ve been trained for and go home. No more, no less. Some people simply cannot be developed because they are unwilling.

As managers, we have to accept that and adjust accordingly. Not everyone on our teams will want the sage wisdom we have to offer. Not everyone will take our advice on how to improve. Their development is not your problem. Let it go — and invest your time into the people and projects where your insight is welcomed.

This isn’t the same as an employee who isn’t following directives or who isn’t completing their work. Those kinds of issues should not be ignored. They must be addressed through the normal course of coaching and, if necessary, progressive discipline.

But if the person doesn’t want to learn more than the aspects of their current role, don’t push. If the needs of the role grows and changes but the person cannot change with it, eventually he/she will kick in and catch up — or they will have to move on, by their own choice or by yours.

Set the expectation and create the opportunities — but don’t take on the burden of someone else’s development. It’s not your problem.

Is It Your Business … Or Your Busy-Ness?

Matt was the new supervisor of the A/P department where Jenna had worked for the last 7 years. He was hired after the former supervisor retired. I always believed Jenna wanted the position — but she didn’t apply when it was posted so she was never considered.

Matt worked hard to try to understand innerworkings of the department and our organization’s culture. To gain more knowledge and understanding of who we were paying, when we were paying and how much we were paying, Matt required his approval on every invoice and every check before it was sent out. He also required auditing of the invoices and checks much more closely and regularly than what had been done by his predecessor.

Jenna didn’t like it. She felt like the approval and audit requirements were slowing everyone down. She brought her concerns to the attention of the Director of Finance, who told her that he would look into it. She said he never followed up with her and the requirements didn’t change, so Jenna brought her concerns to me.

I went to the Director to found out why he didn’t look into Jenna’s concerns. He said that he did. And he said he told Jenna that he’d looked into the issue but did not see the need to make changes. He said the new process slowed things down some but didn’t delay payments going out by more than a couple days. He also said the additional auditing was a good idea that he anticipated would save some money in the long-run. For due diligence, I asked him to walk me through these changes so I could be confident in what was happening and put Jenna’s concerns to rest.

Jenna didn’t feel at rest.

What’s the point in telling anyone about things when they aren’t going to fix it?? I am trying to be a concerned and conscientious employee! No one wants to listen to me! I guess I will just not care like everyone else around here.

Jenna made the classic mistake of confusing business with busy-ness. She thought she was being concerned and conscientious when she was really insolent and meddlesome. Jenna was on the path to becoming insubordinate … unmanageable … and eventually unemployed.

Nowadays, the line between conscientious and insubordination has become thin. The area between encouraging employees to speak candidly versus courting contemptousness has become very grey. I experienced this first hand not long ago (Read about it). It is hard sometimes to know when and how to address this.

  • If the action undermines someone’s authority or the integrity of a process for personal comfort/gain, it is NOT business — it’s busy-ness
  • If the action causes disruption to the flow of work for personal comfort/gain, it is NOT business — it’s busy-ness
  • If the action causes the discomfort of others for personal comfort/gain, it is NOT business — it’s busy-ness.

Work should be about the work. We all show up every day to complete tasks in order to advance the mission, vision, values, goals, strategies, etc of whatever business we serve. Anything that doesn’t seek to advance these things is NOT business — it’s busy-ness!

Busy-ness, gossip, insolence, meddling, negative talk and other kinds of passive-agressive behaviors are insubordinate. They may not be belligerent or flagrant, but they are still insubordinate. In fact, the subtlety makes these MORE dangerous than the blatant kinds of disobedience. We must identify and address these behaviors head on!

Which is exactly what I did with Jenna. I reminded her that addressing and looking into concerns does not equal changing things to be how she wanted. There is more than one way to manage a function — she didn’t need to like it or agree with it to comply. And I let her know that failure to comply or any further disruption could result in disciplinary action against her.

Last I heard, Jenna was still working there and Matt was still her manager. He was no longer approving every invoice and check — but the audits were still in place and had saved the company almost $100,000 total.

Now THAT’S what I call handling your business!

Don’t Be a Fast-hole

Today is Ash Wednesday, which starts the Lent season for Christians around the world. Although fasting during this time is typically associated with the Catholics, many other denominations give up on certain things as well. I am not Catholic but I’ve fasted during Lent for almost 10 years now. In the past, I’ve given up sweets, Pepsi, coffee — last year, I gave up Facebook. That was tough! It all depends on what I think will allow me to recenter my spiritual self.

I don’t advertise it though. I’m not looking for sympathy or accolades. I share it with friends to help keep me accountable. But I don’t walk around with a button for 40 days that says “Kiss me! I’m Fasting.” Especially at work because I choose to be sensitive to other people.

However, without fail, each year, somehow the subject comes up. I was chatting about this with a couple blogger friends the other day. And I was reminded of an incident a few years ago with a “Fast-hole.” All workplaces have at least one. That person who just has to ask and monitor and comment about what everyone is doing surrounding their religion’s fasting times.

I’d given up sweets for Lent that year. It was a struggle because I love all things sugar. But I was doing well! I was in the lunchroom one day, waiting for my food to heat up and sipping some iced tea when the Fast-hole walked in.

 

What are you drinking?

Iced tea

Sweet tea?

Yes

Aren’t you supposed to be off sweets?

This isn’t sweets

It’s sweet tea

It’s not sweets

It sounds to me like you are making excuses

It sounds to me like you should mind your business

Well, fine with me. You’re the one who has to explain that in the after life

Well, good thing you don’t hold the keys to the Kingdom

 

I was really annoyed. And offended. And uncomfortable. After I heard that similar encounters had happened with other people, I pulled her aside and told her that it was really inappropriate and she should stop. She was totally unapologetic about it but she didn’t make any other comments to anyone after that.

Many religions have periods of fasting during the year. Be respectful and considerate during these times. If you are a manager, make sure the employees in your influence and supervision are respectful and considerate as well. You may even need to make a religious accomodation if the person asks.

But please don’t be a Fast-hole! Keep your comments about people’s religious practices to yourself.

And if you guessed that I am giving up expletives this year, you might be right …

*wink*

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