Tag: Leadership

  • 9 Books Every HR Pro Should Read in 2020

    September 14, 2020

    Tags: ,

    Quarantine leaves us with a healthy chunk of time to reassess and spend time with the ones we love. But as quarantine goes on, the work must go on as well and for HR professionals, that means developing professionally as much as everyone else within the organization.

    With all this time on your hands, a nice relaxing read is not only good for your development, but also your health. To help you develop a reading list that can fuel your own growth, we’ve provided a quarantine reading list of the best HR focused books to read in 2020.

    Enjoy.

    1. HR on Purpose: Developing Deliberate People Passion by Steve Brown

    A well-known thought leader in HR, Brown spends a great deal of time facilitating conversations about the possibilities in HR. In this book, he looks to challenge assumptions and preconceived notions about what HR should be and instead challenges the reader to think of the possibilities and tap into their passion for HR.

    1. HR from the Outside In: Six Competencies for the Future of Human Resources by Dave Ulrich, Jon Younger, Wayne Brockbank and Mike Ulrich

    A cast of HR veterans has put together a handbook of competencies that sets the modern HR professional up for a more strategic role within the business. The put forward the argument that one of the most important roles of an HR practitioner is to be a credible activist, both for the employee and for the business as a whole.

    1. Generation Z: A Century in the Making by Corey Seemiller and Megan Grace

    When Millennials (Gen Y) hit the workforce it created a shift in expectations of employers, workplace cultures and the way employers think about processes and employee relationships. Now, a new generation is entering the workforce and their lifestyles, expectations and world view are once again different.

    To manage the Gen Z demographic effectively, HR leaders need to look at how the way this generation manages money, pursues education, values their relationships and what they want for their careers. This book explores these topics in a way that will help HR teams manage the generational diversity of their teams.

    1. Unleashing the Power of Diversity: How to Open Minds for Good by Bjørn Z. Ekelund

    As cultures collide and the nature of work becomes more global, there are differences which could divide teams if we can’t develop a common language and a culture that highlights our common struggles. In this book, the author unveils a step-by-step program for communicating across cultural lines to develop a culture of trust that facilitates greater diversity within the organization and the construction of global teams.

    1. Talent Wins: The New Playbook for Putting People First by Ram Charan, Dominic Barton, and Dennis Carey

    Talent planning is changing and requires a new way of doing things. This book uses examples from some of the world’s largest companies all the way down to Silicon Valley startups to show how HR can become the partner the business needs to acquire, develop and manage talent that can meet the technological and analytical demands of the modern workplace.

    1. Feedback (and Other Dirty Words): Why We Fear It and How to Fix It by M. Tamra Chandler and Laura Dowling Grealish

    Good, honest feedback can be difficult to take, but as HR leaders, collecting feedback and being able to package it into constructive conversations that fuel employee growth is an art. In this book, the authors take a deeper look at where negative reactions to feedback come from and how to limit negative physical and emotional responses to it. It introduces the three F’s of feedback, (focused, fair and frequent) to help ease the tension that sometimes accompanies these discussions.

    1. Predictive HR Analytics: Mastering the HR Metric by Martin R. Edwards and Kirsten Edwards

    Advanced HR metrics can be difficult, but are becoming a necessary part of the modern HR professionals work as employee engagement and experience take center stage. Being able to predict turnover, analyze and forecast diversity and fine tune employee interventions are all key skills discussed in this book. The authors focus on statistical techniques and predictive analytics models that can help improve the HR practitioner’s ability to do those things in an ethical manner.

    1. Talent Keepers: How Top Leaders Engage and Retain Their Best Performers by Christopher Mulligan and Craig Taylor

    Through six case studies, the authors of this book reveal how organizations can develop and implement employee engagement plans that use tactics which have shown proven results. Starting from the time a new hire walks through the door to years into their development, this systemic approach will help HR leaders create a culture that retains and nurtures employees to grow within the organization.

    1. Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall

    Culture is everything, but there are misconceptions and lies that pervade the workplace and cause dysfunction. That is the central tenet behind this book which seeks to identify those lies and highlight freethinking leaders are able to see through the fog to see the unique nature of their teams and reveal truths about the workplace or what the authors call the real world of work.

    Originally posted on hrexchangenetwork.com

  • Making the Workplace a Safe Place to Speak Up

    August 18, 2020

    Tags: ,

    Right now, organizations across the country are asking themselves what they can do to make their workplaces more inclusive, diverse, and equitable, particularly for Black employees. They’re hosting conversations, acknowledging areas where they’ve fallen short, and identifying opportunities for improvement.

    For these efforts to be successful, employees need to be able to speak freely, offering critical and candid feedback about individual behaviors, workplace practices, and organizational policies. None of this can happen, however, if people believe it isn’t safe for them to speak up.

    It often isn’t.

    Employees who report harassment and discrimination, speak candidly to their supervisors, or challenge the status quo often find themselves excluded from projects, denied a promotion, or out of a job. According to a study by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), 75% of employees who spoke out against workplace mistreatment faced some form of retaliation. Given this reality, it falls on employers to show their employees that they can report incidents of discrimination, identify institutional failures, and recommend solutions all without fear of retaliation. Preventing retaliation is part of that. Here are a few other ways to establish a firm foundation of trust, openness, and respect:

    Admit mistakes and make amends
    Employees will be reluctant to hold their leaders accountable if their leaders never admit fault or acknowledge areas for growth. If, however, leaders show a willingness to be vulnerable and a desire to learn and be better, they can help put their employees’ minds at ease and more effectively solicit their feedback. For example, an employer might acknowledge that they hadn’t previously made diversity a priority for the company, but that going forward, they will strategically place job ads where underrepresented job applicants are more likely to see them, and they’ll identify ways to make the workplace welcoming and inclusive. Statements like this, when followed by action, open the door to honest communication between employees and their employer. They build trust.

    Reward instead of retaliate
    Creating a real sense of safety takes more than preventing retaliation. Employees need to see that providing candid and critical feedback is met with appreciation, gratitude, and action from leadership. In other words, it has to be rewarded. Employees who identify problems in the workplace or propose solutions shouldn’t fear being ostracized or having their career derailed by a vengeful peer or supervisor. On the contrary, they should be recognized as leaders in the organization (informal or otherwise), given opportunities to make a further impact, and empowered to help make decisions that elevate the workplace, its culture, and its practices. Consider shout-outs from the CEO, company awards, strategic bonuses, promotions, and career development opportunities. These show sincerity.

    Tolerate no retaliation
    For some employers, the hardest part of building trust will be appropriately disciplining anyone who violates it, especially if the one being disciplined is a star performer or high up in the chain of command. One instance of retaliation, if not immediately addressed, can undermine months or years of work and ruin even a stellar reputation for diversity, inclusion, and equity. Any retaliation, for any reason, no matter who does it, must not be tolerated. Fortunately, swift action to discipline the offender and prevent future instances can help repair the damage and restore trust. It shows you’re serious.

    Psychological safety takes time to establish, even in companies without a history of overt retaliation. Implementing the three strategies above, however, will lay the groundwork for a culture in which employees feel safe speaking up for diversity, inclusion, and equity.

    By Kyle Cupp

    Originally posted on thinkhr.com

  • How Leaders Can Set an Example For Remote Employees

    July 12, 2020

    Tags: ,

    For many of us, the experience of working entirely from home is a new one. It has required us to rethink the way we work and function as a team. Many of the routines, patterns, practices, and processes we have created over time are no longer effective, and we’ve had to institute new means of collaborating, getting our work done, and elevating the people around us.

    With all these changes, there’s bound to be confusion and concern among employees about what’s expected of them. Fortunately, leaders can do a lot to sooth these fears and provide clarity. Below are a few practices I recommend.

    Deliberately model what you expect to see
    For many employees, working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic has meant navigating a new work environment with new demands, distractions, and interruptions – each of which brings additional stress and frustration. In these circumstances, employees need guidance on where the company can be flexible (e.g., work hours or pace) and where they need to toe the line (e.g., company values).

    It’s important to communicate your expectations, whether verbally or in writing, but the most effective strategy is simply to show employees what you expect. Images are powerful, and right now they have the power to clarify and reassure. It’s one thing, for example, for an employee to hear from their manager that it’s okay for them to take a moment here and there to tend to a child’s needs; it’s quite another for an employee to witness their manager tending to their own child’s needs. The former instructs; the latter makes the lesson real. In my own practice, I put 2-3 breaks with my family each day on my public calendar, so employees understand that taking a few minutes out of the day to care for your family is not only accepted but encouraged. Showing rather than simply telling also emphasizes the shared experience: We’re all in this together.

    Share your own challenges and creative solutions
    Employees won’t see most work-from-home challenges that their leaders face on a day-to-day basis, but knowing their leaders are in the same boat can be both comforting and confidence-building. Share with your team the challenges or emotions you’re working through, and any personal learnings you’ve had about ways to manage this crisis. Your employees don’t necessarily have to do things the same way you do — you’ll get better engagement, focus, and commitment by trusting them to find their own strategies. The more important thing is to communicate that they can be open with their challenges, and that those challenges are legitimate and there’s hope for the future.

    Reach out socially and encourage employees to do the same
    I’ve encouraged the teams here at ThinkHR and Mammoth to schedule regular, optional social time together. Midmorning coffee hours and late afternoon happy hours have been popular. We also recently celebrated our families with a virtual “Bring Your Kids to Work Day” bingo game. I hosted, and we were thrilled to see 50 kids join the call.

    Employees may be hesitant to start or participate in virtual social events, especially during work hours, if they don’t feel the activities have their leader’s support. You can set an example here not only by giving the green light to occasional fun occasions, but also by participating in them. I try to join one virtual team happy hour each week, and I’m confident I get as much or more out of it as our employees.

    I also recommend regularly asking your team members on an individual, unplanned basis how they’re doing and what they may need. Encourage them to do the same with their colleagues. We don’t have the benefit of spontaneous office encounters to strike up conversations and check in with each other. We all have to be more deliberate about personal interactions. As elsewhere, you can set an example here.

    By Nathan Christensen

    Originally posted on thinkhr.com

  • 9 Books Every HR Pro Should Read in 2020

    September 14, 2020

    Tags: ,

    Quarantine leaves us with a healthy chunk of time to reassess and spend time with the ones we love. But as quarantine goes on, the work must go on as well and for HR professionals, that means developing professionally as much as everyone else within the organization.

    With all this time on your hands, a nice relaxing read is not only good for your development, but also your health. To help you develop a reading list that can fuel your own growth, we’ve provided a quarantine reading list of the best HR focused books to read in 2020.

    Enjoy.

    1. HR on Purpose: Developing Deliberate People Passion by Steve Brown

    A well-known thought leader in HR, Brown spends a great deal of time facilitating conversations about the possibilities in HR. In this book, he looks to challenge assumptions and preconceived notions about what HR should be and instead challenges the reader to think of the possibilities and tap into their passion for HR.

    1. HR from the Outside In: Six Competencies for the Future of Human Resources by Dave Ulrich, Jon Younger, Wayne Brockbank and Mike Ulrich

    A cast of HR veterans has put together a handbook of competencies that sets the modern HR professional up for a more strategic role within the business. The put forward the argument that one of the most important roles of an HR practitioner is to be a credible activist, both for the employee and for the business as a whole.

    1. Generation Z: A Century in the Making by Corey Seemiller and Megan Grace

    When Millennials (Gen Y) hit the workforce it created a shift in expectations of employers, workplace cultures and the way employers think about processes and employee relationships. Now, a new generation is entering the workforce and their lifestyles, expectations and world view are once again different.

    To manage the Gen Z demographic effectively, HR leaders need to look at how the way this generation manages money, pursues education, values their relationships and what they want for their careers. This book explores these topics in a way that will help HR teams manage the generational diversity of their teams.

    1. Unleashing the Power of Diversity: How to Open Minds for Good by Bjørn Z. Ekelund

    As cultures collide and the nature of work becomes more global, there are differences which could divide teams if we can’t develop a common language and a culture that highlights our common struggles. In this book, the author unveils a step-by-step program for communicating across cultural lines to develop a culture of trust that facilitates greater diversity within the organization and the construction of global teams.

    1. Talent Wins: The New Playbook for Putting People First by Ram Charan, Dominic Barton, and Dennis Carey

    Talent planning is changing and requires a new way of doing things. This book uses examples from some of the world’s largest companies all the way down to Silicon Valley startups to show how HR can become the partner the business needs to acquire, develop and manage talent that can meet the technological and analytical demands of the modern workplace.

    1. Feedback (and Other Dirty Words): Why We Fear It and How to Fix It by M. Tamra Chandler and Laura Dowling Grealish

    Good, honest feedback can be difficult to take, but as HR leaders, collecting feedback and being able to package it into constructive conversations that fuel employee growth is an art. In this book, the authors take a deeper look at where negative reactions to feedback come from and how to limit negative physical and emotional responses to it. It introduces the three F’s of feedback, (focused, fair and frequent) to help ease the tension that sometimes accompanies these discussions.

    1. Predictive HR Analytics: Mastering the HR Metric by Martin R. Edwards and Kirsten Edwards

    Advanced HR metrics can be difficult, but are becoming a necessary part of the modern HR professionals work as employee engagement and experience take center stage. Being able to predict turnover, analyze and forecast diversity and fine tune employee interventions are all key skills discussed in this book. The authors focus on statistical techniques and predictive analytics models that can help improve the HR practitioner’s ability to do those things in an ethical manner.

    1. Talent Keepers: How Top Leaders Engage and Retain Their Best Performers by Christopher Mulligan and Craig Taylor

    Through six case studies, the authors of this book reveal how organizations can develop and implement employee engagement plans that use tactics which have shown proven results. Starting from the time a new hire walks through the door to years into their development, this systemic approach will help HR leaders create a culture that retains and nurtures employees to grow within the organization.

    1. Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall

    Culture is everything, but there are misconceptions and lies that pervade the workplace and cause dysfunction. That is the central tenet behind this book which seeks to identify those lies and highlight freethinking leaders are able to see through the fog to see the unique nature of their teams and reveal truths about the workplace or what the authors call the real world of work.

    Originally posted on hrexchangenetwork.com

  • Making the Workplace a Safe Place to Speak Up

    August 18, 2020

    Tags: ,

    Right now, organizations across the country are asking themselves what they can do to make their workplaces more inclusive, diverse, and equitable, particularly for Black employees. They’re hosting conversations, acknowledging areas where they’ve fallen short, and identifying opportunities for improvement.

    For these efforts to be successful, employees need to be able to speak freely, offering critical and candid feedback about individual behaviors, workplace practices, and organizational policies. None of this can happen, however, if people believe it isn’t safe for them to speak up.

    It often isn’t.

    Employees who report harassment and discrimination, speak candidly to their supervisors, or challenge the status quo often find themselves excluded from projects, denied a promotion, or out of a job. According to a study by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), 75% of employees who spoke out against workplace mistreatment faced some form of retaliation. Given this reality, it falls on employers to show their employees that they can report incidents of discrimination, identify institutional failures, and recommend solutions all without fear of retaliation. Preventing retaliation is part of that. Here are a few other ways to establish a firm foundation of trust, openness, and respect:

    Admit mistakes and make amends
    Employees will be reluctant to hold their leaders accountable if their leaders never admit fault or acknowledge areas for growth. If, however, leaders show a willingness to be vulnerable and a desire to learn and be better, they can help put their employees’ minds at ease and more effectively solicit their feedback. For example, an employer might acknowledge that they hadn’t previously made diversity a priority for the company, but that going forward, they will strategically place job ads where underrepresented job applicants are more likely to see them, and they’ll identify ways to make the workplace welcoming and inclusive. Statements like this, when followed by action, open the door to honest communication between employees and their employer. They build trust.

    Reward instead of retaliate
    Creating a real sense of safety takes more than preventing retaliation. Employees need to see that providing candid and critical feedback is met with appreciation, gratitude, and action from leadership. In other words, it has to be rewarded. Employees who identify problems in the workplace or propose solutions shouldn’t fear being ostracized or having their career derailed by a vengeful peer or supervisor. On the contrary, they should be recognized as leaders in the organization (informal or otherwise), given opportunities to make a further impact, and empowered to help make decisions that elevate the workplace, its culture, and its practices. Consider shout-outs from the CEO, company awards, strategic bonuses, promotions, and career development opportunities. These show sincerity.

    Tolerate no retaliation
    For some employers, the hardest part of building trust will be appropriately disciplining anyone who violates it, especially if the one being disciplined is a star performer or high up in the chain of command. One instance of retaliation, if not immediately addressed, can undermine months or years of work and ruin even a stellar reputation for diversity, inclusion, and equity. Any retaliation, for any reason, no matter who does it, must not be tolerated. Fortunately, swift action to discipline the offender and prevent future instances can help repair the damage and restore trust. It shows you’re serious.

    Psychological safety takes time to establish, even in companies without a history of overt retaliation. Implementing the three strategies above, however, will lay the groundwork for a culture in which employees feel safe speaking up for diversity, inclusion, and equity.

    By Kyle Cupp

    Originally posted on thinkhr.com

  • How Leaders Can Set an Example For Remote Employees

    July 12, 2020

    Tags: ,

    For many of us, the experience of working entirely from home is a new one. It has required us to rethink the way we work and function as a team. Many of the routines, patterns, practices, and processes we have created over time are no longer effective, and we’ve had to institute new means of collaborating, getting our work done, and elevating the people around us.

    With all these changes, there’s bound to be confusion and concern among employees about what’s expected of them. Fortunately, leaders can do a lot to sooth these fears and provide clarity. Below are a few practices I recommend.

    Deliberately model what you expect to see
    For many employees, working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic has meant navigating a new work environment with new demands, distractions, and interruptions – each of which brings additional stress and frustration. In these circumstances, employees need guidance on where the company can be flexible (e.g., work hours or pace) and where they need to toe the line (e.g., company values).

    It’s important to communicate your expectations, whether verbally or in writing, but the most effective strategy is simply to show employees what you expect. Images are powerful, and right now they have the power to clarify and reassure. It’s one thing, for example, for an employee to hear from their manager that it’s okay for them to take a moment here and there to tend to a child’s needs; it’s quite another for an employee to witness their manager tending to their own child’s needs. The former instructs; the latter makes the lesson real. In my own practice, I put 2-3 breaks with my family each day on my public calendar, so employees understand that taking a few minutes out of the day to care for your family is not only accepted but encouraged. Showing rather than simply telling also emphasizes the shared experience: We’re all in this together.

    Share your own challenges and creative solutions
    Employees won’t see most work-from-home challenges that their leaders face on a day-to-day basis, but knowing their leaders are in the same boat can be both comforting and confidence-building. Share with your team the challenges or emotions you’re working through, and any personal learnings you’ve had about ways to manage this crisis. Your employees don’t necessarily have to do things the same way you do — you’ll get better engagement, focus, and commitment by trusting them to find their own strategies. The more important thing is to communicate that they can be open with their challenges, and that those challenges are legitimate and there’s hope for the future.

    Reach out socially and encourage employees to do the same
    I’ve encouraged the teams here at ThinkHR and Mammoth to schedule regular, optional social time together. Midmorning coffee hours and late afternoon happy hours have been popular. We also recently celebrated our families with a virtual “Bring Your Kids to Work Day” bingo game. I hosted, and we were thrilled to see 50 kids join the call.

    Employees may be hesitant to start or participate in virtual social events, especially during work hours, if they don’t feel the activities have their leader’s support. You can set an example here not only by giving the green light to occasional fun occasions, but also by participating in them. I try to join one virtual team happy hour each week, and I’m confident I get as much or more out of it as our employees.

    I also recommend regularly asking your team members on an individual, unplanned basis how they’re doing and what they may need. Encourage them to do the same with their colleagues. We don’t have the benefit of spontaneous office encounters to strike up conversations and check in with each other. We all have to be more deliberate about personal interactions. As elsewhere, you can set an example here.

    By Nathan Christensen

    Originally posted on thinkhr.com

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