Thursday, September 27, 2012

All I Need is A Miracle

(Re-post - Recovering from #shrm13 - great time!)

So, it's early morning.  You are groggy from working late the night before.  As you make your way from the bedroom to the bathroom, you stub your toe.  After you share your thoughts aloud on that incident, you stumble to the shower.  The water is cold and it is staying that way.  Great, the pilot light went out on the water heater.  So, you text your boss to say you'll be a few minutes late.  Just after the send button is hit, you bobble the phone and into the toilet it goes.  Um, okay.  This day has to get better, right?

I feel like screaming even just reading back what I just wrote.  What a frustrating start to the day!  Unfortunately, while the circumstances may be different (I hope!) each day, many experience that desperate frustration, but not at home.  It's usually the place of employment that causes angst for us.  As you walk in the door, those "oh no" issues hit you like Chase Utley up to bat.  Haven't you had those days where after 20 minutes of being at work, you reach for your keys and debate making a break for it?

If you find that you are not alone in your workplace in having this perspective more often than should be, then there is a problem.  So, what do you do?  Simple, take action.

Seek out your manager and ask him/her to lunch.  Let's face it, if you want a willing ear, a meal is a great way to do it.  If your manager is the problem, then ask for the superior above that person to grab coffee with you.  Try to do it outside of the office.  Find neutral territory.

Make a decision not to complain but to be constructive.  The fact that you want to make work better shows that you care.  Embrace that perspective, but choose your words carefully.  Share your heart with your supervisor, which means both negative and positive.  You are addressing with your boss how you are feeling; this is different than saying, "everyone feels that work stinks."  Don't raise barriers but work to build a bridge.

These words are not meant to be trite.  There is a great benefit to being humble in presentation.  You want things to be different.  Processes and procedures need help, so share what you see.  You are doing it to make things better; don't just wait for change to happen somehow.

A miracle doesn't happen everyday.  Haven't you closed your eyes after another issue passes your desk in the hopes that when you re-open them, there would be a difference in what you see?  Man, that disappointment is real, isn't it?  So, you be the miracle.  Make a difference in the growth of your company today.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Call Me Maybe

So, the usage of a cell phone has changed dramatically over the past five years.  It's really unbelievable to consider what a smart phone is capable of.  I remember watching "Hart to Hart" on ABC in the late 70's (no comments, please...I loved Stephanie Powers) and they would talk to each other from a car phone.  I thought that technology was amazing!  And then came the bag phones...

With smart phones being the most popularly used cell phone type today, it's important for companies to make a plan to utilize the apps that these devices have.  For example, the new millennial generation thrives on technology.  Many of those folks use their smart phones and even tablets to apply for jobs.  When companies don't have mobile-ready sites or applications, direct recruiting will be hindered.  CareerBuilder and Monster have those apps in place already, but that may not help an organization with its recruitment strategy if those partners aren't included.

There is no denying the daily reliance on cell phones today.  Grabbing your keys and wallet/purse before you head out the door now means grabbing your phone, too.  My parents and in-laws, who are in their 60's, are texting and updating their status on Facebook using their smart phone app (I mean, it's important to know that Bingo is happening in 10 minutes).  If that generation is attacking the technology this way, imagine what it's like for the up and coming generation.  There is no room for companies to ignore the interfacing that has to be done and done well with the tablet and smart phone app users.

Remember when the phone was used to make calls...that's so 2004.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Ah, school days.  Such a great time of renewal, especially for learning.  A time of new relationships and new authority.  As a parent, freedom...hallelujah.

What I see from a business flow is also a time of new relationships and new authority.  Companies begin to get back into the swing after the last couple of months of vacation-covering and vacation-experiencing.  Growth of the employee base that is purposeful for the corporate mission will lead to long-term health.  Whereas my children are only going to be in the new grade from September to June (I hope!), new employees should be in the role for longer than that.

Companies struggle with knowing HOW to find those employees who are excited to enter into a great time of learning.  Sourcing, selection and recruitment are skills developed.  It is not automatic that every manager or director will be competent in finding great talent.  Who is teaching that management level to interview well?  I walk into many companies that do not offer any type of training or coaching in the recruitment process to their management.  How would we expect success?  What about the liability of EEOC violations in interviewing?  A shot in the dark cannot be the way.

Yes, this season is about getting back to life, but it's time to, also, get back to reality.  A realistic approach to finding qualified, compatible candidates has to be defined.  When were the last job analyses done?  When has the desire to be diligent about understanding the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for a particular job be encouraged?  Do you understand the long-term benefits of such a commitment?

Maybe by the time the leaves begin to fall, some of those great new hires will be sitting right next to you because of the changes your company has made to the hiring process.  A new classmate at the office.  You could trade that bologna's been in your desk for two weeks.