All Archives


Ask HR Bartender: Handling the Pressures of Work

Not long ago, I got this really interesting question from a reader:

I’m currently working in sales and marketing but I’m not happy because the pressure is very bad in this field.  I’m thinking of taking a course in HR and making this my career. I already have a degree in hotel management. So I thought after completing an HR course I might be able to get a good opportunity in hotel human resources.  Please help me out.

The first time I read this post, my initial thought was to direct the reader toward some things I’ve written in the past about pressure, hr, human resources, stress, workplace, HR Bartendertransitioning into a human resources career.  And you can find those here, here, here, and here.

But after thinking about it, I wanted to take a moment to discuss “pressure.”  I understand there’s a lot of pressure being responsible for sales.  As a consultant, I’m responsible for my own sales.  Trust me, there’s pressure.  But please don’t misinterpret that to mean there’s no pressure in human resources.  Because that’s simply not true.

Every job has an element of pressure. Every. Single. One.

When I worked at the airline, I remember an employee telling me the only job worse than mine was the manager who handled missing luggage.  ...


Tribute to Steve Jobs on Taxi at 61st and Madison


Photographed from the corner of East 61st Street and Madison Avenue.

Link to original post

Project Social: Rise (Nothing to do with Zombies)

I admit it, blogging has taken a backseat to paid work since I returned from maternity leave but I still meet  regularly with my Project Social buddy Dave to talk about posts we would write if we (I) had more time. 

Having said that, this week we not only decided to write something but to do something completely new and cutting edge: A book review! Don't miss Dave's review over at HR Official or Lyn's at the HR Bacon Hut

And if anyone else would like to join the book review party train drop us a line and we'll link to you.  We're very social.

My book is Rise by Patty Azzarello, which is the best book of its kind I have read so far.  What kind of book is it, you ask?  It's book about setting and meeting professional goals and what you need to know to get ahead.

I don't actually read many books like this.  I mean, I would but then I'd have less time to read science fiction.  Plus it feels so just out of grad school.  But Patty's newsletter, which I subscribe to, is so well-written and useful that I decided to read her book as well. 

Why is the book so good?  It has a lot to do with Patty herself, such as her conversational tone, crisp prose and vast corporate ...

Google+ Introduces “Ripples,” Lets You Watch How Posts Spread

Via Scoop.itsocial musings

Ever since Google+ opened up for public use, had a huge traffic spike, and then dropped back off, the social network has continued to take a backseat to Facebook for most. Google+ does have its faithful users however, and Google is in no way throwing in the towel when it comes to updating the network and making it more and more appealing for the people who use it, and the people who might be interested in coming back to revive their idle account.

One of the newest and definitely the most interesting of these improvements is “Ripples.” By viewing a public post’s ripples, you get access to a whole bunch of information that all social networks collect, but generally keep close to their chests. Not only can you see who shared what with who, growing out in a series of concentric circles, but you can also go back and replay the sharing in scaled time, so you can actually watch how something blew up, even if you didn’t catch it until it was already big.

Show original

Related posts:

  1. PlusCrunch – the unofficial guide to Google+ Via – social musingsusCrunch – the unofficial guide...
  2. ...

Workplace Monsters and Talent Management Best Practices

October is a month filled with spooky imagery and themes, so it is a good time to review some of the “monsters” that can exist in the workplace. I’ll also put on my Van Helsing hat and provide some tips on how you can kill each monster with help from talent management best practices and technologies.


Vampire MonsterVampires
These folkloric undead beings feed off the life essence – usually blood – of their victims. Workplace vampires are employees who feed off their colleagues’ energy, good will, or accomplishments. They sap the strength and engagement levels of those around them. They aren’t merely disengaged in their own work – they actively sabotage their peers. Like the fictional vampire monster, they also can spread the disease quite easily, by causing morale problems through their actions or inactions.

How to kill a workplace vampire
As much as you might like to at times, wooden stakes through the heart are not allowed. What you need is the sunlight provided by easy-to-use performance management solutions that will increase the engagement levels of your employees and keep them on track in meeting their goals. Software with well-designed user interfaces, that people ...


Why Tombstones Fail as Recognition Rewards

By Ben Miele

Picture yourself in this scenario. You are a dedicated insurance agent, honestly concerned about the welfare of your clients. A major hurricane strikes. You log exceptional overtime responding to frantic calls from clients experiencing flooding and other damage from the hurricane.

After several back-to-back 14-16 hour days, the pace eases up and returns to normal. You don’t expect anything, per se, from management, but  a “thanks for your commitment and dedication” would be nice. Yet, you hear nothing. Months later while sitting at your desk, you’re handed an acrylic figurine  as a thanks for your efforts.

What would your reaction be?

In this true story, the recipients were confused (trying to remember what the “recognition” was for) or just dumbfounded and simply dropped the acrylic item in the trash.

Those acrylic desk items are called “tombstones” for a reason. Intended to be a reminder, tombstones in reality are a reminder of what was lost.

In this case, the acrylic tombstone is a reminder of the lost opportunity to do recognition right:

1) Thank your employees in the moment for their stellar behaviors and exceptional efforts.

2) Make the recognition ...


Talent Communities and Generation Z

One of the topics that has come to the forefront of our industry dialogue and conversation revolves around the emergence of talent communities, and the possibilities they present for employers, brands and job seekers.  But while we’ve discussed how talent communities fit into the future of talent, how will they service – and what will they mean – for the talent of the future?

Let’s think about what talent communities can do for  Generation Z.

There is some skepticism, understandably, when looking beyond the horizon at Generation Z, the majority of whom are still years away from entering the workforce.  After all, we still have to find jobs for displaced baby boomers, fulfillment for Gen X workers and, of course, help Generation Y, those seemingly ubiquitous  (and somewhat infamous) millennials.

While there’s much talk about the historical precedent we’re setting with four generations simultaneously in the workplace, there might well soon be five, given the dearth of jobs or nest eggs for recent retirees whose financial plans fizzled in the wake of the Great Recession.  Not everyone wants to be a store greeter, either – doesn’t the “Greatest Generation” deserve something, well, ...


Does HR Belong in Finance?

Recognize This! – HR must provide strategic value to claim a place on the executive team.

What’s the reporting structure for HR in your organization? Do you have a CHRO or similar that reports directly to the CEO? Or does HR report up through operations (the COO) or finance (the CFO)?

Workforce Management recently featured research showing a trend for HR to report up through the CFO more often.

“Nick Araco, president and CEO of the 2,000-member CFO Alliance, finds that taking on HR tasks ‘is becoming the norm’ for CFOs at midsize firms. … Araco sees an ongoing collaborative role for CFOs within HR. ‘They have a respect for those who specialize in the area of human resource management, and the goal collectively would be to continue to be involved, but in a truly collaborative way—to inform them with key financial metrics, tools and resources.’”

This corresponds to research (full white paper available for download) we conducted in 2008, finding:

  1. Human Resources must take a more strategic role in the business.
  2. Employee recognition improves employee engagement, which increases retention and productivity, thereby positively affecting company performance.
  3. ...

Cleaning House, Effective Communication, and Building Better Institutions

I had an a-ha moment as I was cleaning my house. Stop laughing at me; it's been another busy week and cleaning is as calming an activity as I get to do. It's nice to get things back in order, even if your kids destroy it again within a few minutes after getting home from school. 

Anyway, my moment of clarity is this-most organizations suck at communication. 

For some readers this might translate into "Duh, Victorio! Everybody knows this except you." I'm going to run with it anyway and feel free to call me out in the comments.

By communication I mean consistent, meaningful, two-way, conversations that drives decision making and actions. Communication that occurs across, up, down, and throughout the business. The CEO talking with the entry-level employee. The finance team talking with the HR team about how to improve the bottom line and not just how to fire that underperformer in Accounts Receivable.  Employees having conversations with non-employees, whether or not they're potential customers or employment candidates. Ongoing communication which allow for the idea that issues aren't going to get resolved over the course of a single meeting. Living with uncertainty and the ...


"How to Be Irresistible to Women" (and why you'd better be if you want to win the war for talent)

It's not coincidence. With Virginia Rometty as IBM's new CEO and Meg Whitman at Hewlett-Packard, my wife and daughters will be proud. So it's not surprising that the exceptionally knowledgeable Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Ripa Rashid have just published a book on why women are the solution to winning the war for talent.

In a blog published in strategy + businessSally Helgesen set the book's context and printed an excerpt from the new book. Helgesen points out that though the first efforts to increase the number of women in the workforce were spurred by a compliance mind-set and given little support.

By the 1990s, companies realized that the resulting attrition was a waste of valuable resources. Furthermore, the war for talent heated up and companies began to become more strategic in their recruiting and retaining of women in the workforce.

In a very cool excerpt from the new book, the authors relate the strategy created by Infosys, the Bangalore based information technology giant. Here's the situation: Like every other company in the burgeoning field, it [Infosys] was engaged in a fierce war for the best and brightest university graduates. Unlike many of them, Infosys ...