CategorySocial Media

“I Un-Friend You” — That’s Not How Management Works!

I lost a few friends on Facebook in 2015. Apparently, folks didn’t like things I was posting so they un-friended me.

A few let me know they were un-friending me before they did it. I was called things like “feminazi” and “race-baiter” by people I’d known for years. People I liked. People I trusted. People I’d been there for …  And that really hurt.

Ultimately, I shook it off and moved forward. I have to be true to myself and my feelings and my point of view. I have a lot of friends who understanding, respect and appreciate that. So I’m glad those who couldn’t handle it made the choice to bow out. And if “taking me down a peg” on the way out made them feel better, that’s fine too.

While I was sorting through my feelings on this, it occurred to me that I’ve done the same thing to other people … People at work.

People who pointed out managers who were jerks. Who pointed out co-workers who were rude or taking advantage of their team. Who pointed out high premiums or limited coverage issues with our benefits. Who pointed our low or lagging wages. Who pointed out the lack of diversity. Who pointed out lack of opportunity for development.

I un-friended them.

I un-friended them because their views didn’t align with the company. I un-friended them because they had the audacity to be vocal about their unhappiness with the state of affairs. I un-friended them because they didn’t think what we wanted them to think.

I labeled these people as “complainers”, “troublemakers” and “problem children”. I avoided them in the hallways and break areas. I stopped taking their meetings and answering their calls and responding to their emails. Eventually, if they back-off or back down, I looked to remove them from the organization.

After my experiences being un-friended on Facebook last year, I realize my approach needs improvement.

Improvement by listening. Improvement by considering their point of view has some merit. Improvement by acknowledging they might be right.

Un-friending might work on Facebook. But in management? That’s not how any of this works!

Nothing Left To Ponder

I’ve been a contributor at the Performance I Create blog since 2012. And although my schedule has become way more hectic and I’ve had to slow down much of my “Buzz” work, I’ve continued to write monthly for PIC without lapse or fail.

I believe in the simple message that PIC promotes about creating successful organizations by focusing on creating performance excellence. The team of bloggers at PIC have become some of my closest HR friends and confidantes.

So it was incredibly bittersweet when I received the call from PIC founder Chris Ponder a few weeks ago, announcing that he was stepping away from leading the group and the HR blogging/social space altogether.

I totally understand the reasons. The grind of HR is not easy. It is hard to stay motivated to write positive, useful, original HR content after dealing with the hardcore challenges of the HR trenches every day. I struggle with it. It’s why I don’t post as often on this blog as I once did or would like to now … Add to that the stress and responsibility of constantly wrangling a dozen other uber busy, grinding HR professionals — and it’s enough to burn anyone out.

What sucks is that Chris Ponder is a talented writer and the HR blogosphere needs voices like his. Here are a few of my favorite posts that he’s written:

I will miss reading his thoughts and advice … However, I’m fortunate to still have my friend just a text, email or phone call away.

There’s nothing left to ponder. Chris Ponder has left the PIC building. We will carry on without him — but we won’t be the same.

For starting this site. For bringing this talented, awesome group together. For leading us for the last 4 years. For putting up with our shenanigans. For encouraging us. For being our biggest promoter and helper. For being my friend … Thank you, CP2!! We love you bunches and we will continue to make you proud.


5 Reasons I Love Victorio Milian — and You Should Too!

Three years ago, the folks over at the Starr Conspiracy launched a thing called Tim Sackett Day. Tim is a great HR blogger who just wasn’t getting the love he deserved from the folks out there who make the Top Lists … You know the lists — Top HR Bloggers, Best of the Best HR Bloggers, and (everyone’s favorite) My Friends Ranked in No Particular Order of Awesomeness.

I’m joking. But only a little.

Anyway, this year, the Starr Conspiracy is honoring my friend and awesome HR professional, Victorio Milian for #TimSacketDay. When I heard this, I decided to write something because I really admire Victorio and I think he’s awesome and totally deserving of this honor.

Here’s why …

  1. He was one of the first people to follow and engage me on Twitter. He still does that. Victorio makes the HR social space a welcome one for new people wanting to learn, do and be more through social networking. And it’s a great thing cuz tweeting ain’t easy and the HR social space can be intimidating to even the most confident soul.
  2. He led Project: Social HR for almost a year. It was a multi-contributor blog where everyone wrote about easy hacks to lead the social media charge for yourself and your organization. The site is gone now but the sentiments aren’t forgotten — I’ve shared a lot on that in these posts
  3. He’s a MVP. A few months ago, I wrote about the MVP Presenters Group started by Chris Fields. The goal is to increase opportunity and diversity in the HR speaker space. Victorio joined the group in December. And I’m super glad to have him as part of the team.
  4. He’s a super cool dude. Victorio is a New Yorker. He’s an artist and a photographer. He’s a husband and a dad. He loves the NY Giants and old skool hip-hop. He speaks several languages. He loves coffee. He’s ambitious and inventive. He’s authentic and sincere.
  5. He knows his brand. I remember hearing him on this episode of Drive Thru HR talking about his job search focus after a layoff. He knew exactly what he wanted and he clearly wasn’t going to settle for less. He created a web campaign called “Hire Victorio” that eventually led him right to the place he said he wanted to be. It inspired me and encouraged me to better define my own personal brand and take a tough look at the environments where I thrive best so I could seek opportunities accordingly

So if you don’t know Victorio, you should get to know him. Connect with him. Subscribe to his blog. You will be glad that you did.

Happy #TimSackettDay, everyone!!

Workforce Trends HR Cannot Ignore

In October, Spherion released highlights of their research and reporting on trends in the workforce. They have surveyed nearly 200,000 people on this topic since the survey started in 1997.

I found the Emerging Workforce Study (EWS) results absolutely fascinating — and I think HR really needs to pay attention. These stats give great insight on how to bridge the gap between employer and employee views.

Here are the stats this what jumped out at me:

  • By 2025, millenials will make up about 75% if the world’s workforce. They are also the most likely to leave as 40% admit they will look for another job in the first 12 months of work
  • 45% of all workers believe a company’s social media presence is influential when choosing a new employer — yet only 27% of companies believe social media influences how a candidate views the organization
  • 47% of workers agree that “when considering new employment, a company’s online reputation will be equally important as the offer I am given”
  • Only 46 percent of respondents say their company is effective at communicating their corporate mission. And only 51 percent of workers say their company follows-through on their mission well.

Coincidentally, last week, I participated on a panel discussing similar trends thru my local SHRM chapter. That’s really why I seized the opportunity to partner with Spherion on this topic and this post.

The generational diversity of our workforce is changing as more Baby Boomers head into retirement and more Millenials complete their education and enter the workforce. Combined with the phenomenon of social media and the impact of advances in technology, today’s workforce is looking for more than just a nice paycheck.

Today’s workforce is looking to be apart of something greater. They want to be apart of a message, a mission and a movement in their work.

Whether is it fast food or quick oil changes or packaging printer products, this workforce wants to know and see and hear that their work matters and makes a difference in their company, their community and in the world. They want immediate, constant and candid feedback — to be given and received. They demand to have voice and they demand that voice to matter.

When most HR execs are either actual Baby Boomers or were heavily influenced in their training/development by Boomers, it makes for interesting times in our workplaces. HR’s ability to embrace this generational shift and change with the times will be critical to successful recruiting and retention in our organizations. It will also be crucial to the survival and advancement of the HR function.

  • We must walk our talk. People want to work for organizations with clear vision and obvious integrity. Unclear or unspoken goals will lead to disengagement, loafing, gossip, negative talk, complaining and turnover. So will questionable practices. It’s time to tighten up and button up.
  • We must get social. If you’re not actively managing your organization’s online presence, you will be negatively impacted. People want to work for organizations who have appropriate online presence and encourage their employees to be ambassadors for the brand. If you are policing and restricting social sites and interactions, your organization will suffer in the long run.

I have to pat myself on the back a little and point out that I’ve pointed these trends out numerous times in past writings on my blog. So have dozens of my HR blogger friends! These trends keep coming like a freight train. It can’t be ignored.

What are you going to do to make sure you get on board (and not run over) by it? Stay tuned next week for more discussion on this — and you might just win stuff!!


Spherion partnered with bloggers like me for their 15th Anniversary Emerging Workforce Study program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. However, I was not told what to purchase or say in this post. Spherion’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.


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