CategoryHR Wisdom

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.

 

2015 Best of the Buzz

I didn’t write much on this site in 2015. I let the stuff of life zap my time and creativity so much that I missed the mark on many of my goals. That’s a bummer for me … But 2015 is over now. There’s nothing to be gained from continuing to beat myself up. So I move forward and commit to do better in 2016.

Unfortunately, not writing much didn’t leave me with many posts to choose from for the Best of Buzz 2015 countdown. Another bummer.

However, I continued to write monthly with the Performance I Create team even when I wasn’t posting here … If you don’t know, PIC is a multi-contributor blog where professionals share knowledge and information about improving performance and productivity through human performance improvement, training/learning and development, process improvement, instructional design, human resources, communication, social media, leadership, or productivity. Our contributors are an awesome group of HR professionals, managers, professors, researchers and entrepreneurs.

In addition to writing at PIC, I worked with the team to create, launch and host a monthly Podcast. Each episode features a roundtable discussion with the PIC team and other professionals in the social HR space discussing headlines and hot topics from a human resource management perspective. Check out our first 4 episodes on BlogTalkRadio and iTunes!

As for writing, here are my Top 15 Posts combined from The Buzz on HR and from PIC in 2015:

 

15. Don’t Get It Twisted — Busyness Does NOT Equal Productivity

 

14. You Know It’s Time to Make a Job Change If …

 

13. How to Ensure Mediocre Performance

 

12. Stop Whining and Start Winning at Work

 

11. Finding the Flow at Work

 

10. Nothing Left to Ponder

 

9. HR is Headed for Self Destruction

 

8. The 5 Phrases that are Hurting Your Reputation

 

7. You Know It’s Time To Contact HR If …

 

6. 2016 HR Trends to Watch

 

5. The NFL Got It Wrong — and Leaders Should Pay Attention (Deflate-Gate)

 

4. How I Would #MakeHRBetter

 

3. No, You Cannot Define Culture

 

2. The Art of Conflict Maintenance

 

1. HR and Sorority Sisters

 

Thank you for your support of me and this blog. Happy New Year!

 

 

 

What HR Is To Me … Now

Each year, on the Anniversary of the launch of my The Buzz on HR, I look back at my very first post and reflect on how my views on the profession have changed.

This is my very first post ever.

Here’s the post for my 1st bloggiversary.

Here’s the post for my 2nd bloggiversary.

Sadly, I missed my 3rd bloggiversary because I was in a bad head space and y’all really didn’t want to know what I was thinking then. It was nothing nice!

Instead, I’m going to take this day to reflect. Because it is my actual birthday — and there’s no better time to think about where you’ve been and where you’re going than on the day you’re born.

So here goes … What HR is to Me – the 2014 Edition

I still believe the function of Human Resources is to balance the rights of the employee with the needs of the employer in order to ensure the protection and productivity of the employer. As hard as many have tried to tell me otherwise, I just don’t think that will ever change for me. The reason any job exists is first and foremost to enthusiastically excel the goals of the company. If you can’t deal with that, find a way to become self-employed. You’ll be much happier — and so will your boss.

I still believe in sharing knowledge, caring about our companies and the people in them, actively practicing, proper timing in our planning as well as professional development/networking. These are crucial things for any professional who wants to stay positive and progressive in their career. Nothing and no one benefits when you don’t put forth effort to get better and help others.

Now I’m ready to add these items to the list:

  • Metrics … It still baffles me to see HR professionals fighting against providing detailed reports and data to back up their recommendations and requests surrounding trends and department needs. It befuddles me when we get shocked and disappointed when we don’t get the approvals and support because of this. It’s past time for HR to show and prove our stuff through tangible, irrefutable data.
  • Money … This one is two-fold. First, HR needs to pay attention to how much money is being spent. The initiatives and projects we propose, create and maintain cost thousands and thousands of dollars. We should know these costs and whether this is a good or poor investment of resources. We should be as involved and enthusiastic about budget decisions as any other in our function… Second, HR needs to look out for compensation. Both the people in the organization — as well as their own. Far too often, HR fails to fight to the battle for fair, appropriate wages across the board. Money talks; HR needs to holla back!
  • Mindfulness … HR has a responsibility to speak up and out when appropriate. We must be direct and candid. We should be guard our reputation and impressions we make without losing our authenticity. We should not hide our criticism and disappointment in sarcasm. We should share our truth while still being considerate of others, the environment and the situation. The day of the uptight, handbook toting, policy quoting, condescending, aloof HR person is dead. Rest in peace.

As I start a new journey, I am excited to put these things into practice and see success. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. I will learn, I will grow and I’ll be better because of it. And I will share the wisdom nuggets every step of the way.

It’s True! She’s Really Retiring!

After over 40 years as a Human Resources professional, my mother is retiring on September 30th.

For real this time.

My mom has always been my secret HR weapon. One of my very first and most popular posts ever was a summary of her advice (Read that HERE). Having mentors and colleagues is great — but there’s nothing like being able to pick up the phone and call your momma for workplace advice. Because she not only knows the HR struggle is real, but she also knows me and my history and motivation like no one else in the world. It has been invaluable to me and makes our relationship even more awesome.

More recently, she’s actually called me for advice a few times. She’s used my tips and recommendations — then come back later to tell me they worked. That was even more awesome. I valued and looked forward to our conversations. It’s meant more to me than she’ll ever know. I’ll miss it.

But I am so happy for her! If anyone deserves to rest and do everything or nothing that she wants to do, it’s my mom … So please join me in wishing her all the best as she closes this chapter and begins the next. And take a moment to re-read her guest post “HR After 40 Years Along the Way”

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I am officially a senior citizen.  I have an AARP membership.  I should be basking in the sun on the beach in Aruba or playing the slots in Las Vegas.

Instead, I am in charge of one of the largest Social Services agencies in the nation, overseeing Employee Services (our new, fancy name for HR) and many other things for 1200 employees and social services benefits for close to 150,000 active clients, after 40+ years as a career public servant.  Along the way, I have been the “first” this, “first” that, “only” this, and “only” that … Still am sometimes.

It has been, as Paul McCartney said, “a long and winding road”.

Why am I still working?  Because I believe I make a difference in people’s lives.  I believe that if I bless you, I have blessed myself.  If I help you, I have helped myself.  The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”.  I believe I can help the world, one person at a time.

I am a linguist.  I fell in love with all things Hispanic at the age of 13.  My degree is in Spanish.  I also speak French … a little German … and a lot of profanity.  I love people and their diversity.  I’ve been “different” all my life and I celebrate the individuality of people and their life stories.  I know words can bring us together or tear us apart, start wars or bring world peace, harm or heal.  What better place to communicate than in HR — where people’s lives and livelihoods are within your oversight … where secrets are shared and kept … where you can coach and teach and learn something new every day about yourself and people…

Along the way, I’ve become a resident expert in Disciplinary Action, Performance Appraisal, Equal Opportunity, Staff Development, and Labor Relations.  I’ve learned that discipline is a last, painful resort.  That most people have no self-awareness regarding their performance.  That we should use every opportunity to create a teaching moment, and that there is usually one alternative to every circumstance.

In 40 years, I’ve welcomed new babies — and in later years, I’ve hired them.  I’ve made lifelong friends — and said farewell far too many times.  I have let people go who didn’t fit — and have mentored those with potential.  Along the way, I’ve met three people I truly disliked.  I blessed them, too.

I will retire.  Moses took 40 years and only glimpsed the Promised Land.  He showed his people they could have more, be more, parted the Red Sea, and left!  I have worn out my ears listening, enriched my soul with empathy, led with wisdom and compassion, and hopefully, blazed a path which others can follow.

I can leave confident that I have helped many people, along the way.

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