HR Lagniappe

Louisiana SHRM


Leave a comment

Resolve to Be Flexible in 2013!

convo(This post, written by Lisa Horn, co-leader of SHRM’s Workplace Flexibility Initiative, originally appeared on the SHRM blog.  You will be interested to see that Louisiana is one of the 15 states that will be heavily involved with the When Work Works initiative this year!  You can follow Lisa on twitter for regular updates)

************

It’s that time again when we make our resolutions for the New Year – resolutions that we may or may not keep, of course, but that we make nonetheless. As we turn the corner into 2013, here’s a resolution HR professionals should make (and keep!) for their organization: BE FLEXIBLE!

The 21st century workplace and workforce demand that organizations think about work differently.  Work, for example, is no longer someplace we go, but tasks we complete from home, the airport, or the Little League bleachers.  Work means delivering results for customers and clients, not sitting in a cubicle after the work is completed for no reason other than not wanting to be the first to leave.

The Building Construction Products Division of Caterpillar Inc., with 95 employees based in Cary, N.C., is a Sloan Award-winning worksite that focuses on results.  Here, the leadership realizes that flexibility is not only a necessity for employees to manage their personal and professional issues, but it also helps the company attract new talent, ensuring that the company remains competitive in its field.  Caterpillar Inc. focuses on results, rather than hours worked, so employees understand that as long as they get their work done, supervisors are able to support flexible work schedules without questions.

All 362 recipients of the 2012 Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility are excellent examples of organizations that have figured out how to make work “work” for both the employer and employees.  Whether they are well-known large firms, or medium or small organizations known primarily in their own communities, they embrace workplace flexibility as a business strategy.

So whether you are wondering how to make workflex a reality for your organization in the coming year or whether your company already utilizes innovative flex strategies, resolve in 2013 to get involved with When Work Works, a joint project of the Society for Human Resource Management and Families and Work Institute.

This national workplace flexibility initiative brings cutting-edge resources, research, and best practices uncovered through the Sloan Award to HR professionals and business leaders across the country via a network of community partners.  When Work Works will be rolling into 15 target states in 2013 –Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Dakota, Washington – and continuing in California. Keep an eye out for a program near you!

Applications for the 2013 Sloan Award open on Jan. 14, providing you an opportunity to either showcase your organization’s flexible work environment or learn how your worksite stacks up against other employers. Apply online at www.whenworkworks.org.

Don’t let this resolution end up like that gym membership – unused! Flexible work is the future of work.  Your organization’s ability to compete may just depend on it.


Leave a comment

Light Bulb Moments and Getting Ready for #lashrm13

Baton Rouge downtown bridgeAs we get ready for the 2013 Louisiana SHRM State Conference on HR (#lashrm13), we thought it might be fun to share a recap post from the 2012 conference.  Bill Boorman led a concurrent session last year in New Orleans and we are thrilled to have him return for the 2013 event where he will be our closing keynote speaker on Tuesday, April 9th talking about “The ‘Cult’ of Work.” You’ll also be able to catch him running a concurrent session on Monday April 8th with Robin Schooling entitled “HR’s Turning Point: Are You Staying in Place or Moving Forward?”

Enjoy the post below which was Bill’s recap of the 2012 conference; we like to call it ‘a view from the UK.’  And make plans to join us in 2013 as we bring the conference to Baton Rouge!

********** 

Light Bulb Moments from New Orleans #LASHRM

It’s been a few weeks now since I got back from #LASHRM in New Orleans. I have something I always do a few weeks after an event. I take some blank sheets of paper and I write down a few statements and words under 3 headings:

> What do I remember? What were the light bulb moments?

> Who do I remember?

> Out of 10, would I go back again?

Just for a change I thought it would share the first and last sections publicly, and for the record, in terms of who I remember, it was one of the longest lists from any event. This was a memorable event with a memorable crowd.

My light bulb moments:

> If you only connect with people like you, you will learn nothing and gain nothing.

> Diversity is as much about personality as colour, race etc

> Your network is your posse who are in your corner.

> If we all think the same some of us are irrelevant

> It’s not what you know it’s who you know, and that’s a good thing, despite negative connotations. Network intentionally.

> When you reward people for what you want them to do before you ask them to do it, they are much more likely to do what you want compared with rewarding them only if they do it.

> New Orleans is both one of the 5 most friendly cities in the world, and also the 5 most dangerous at the same time.

> Gumbo with everything is perfectly acceptable.

> It’s better to be the party than go to the party.

> People who earn $14.5 Mn a year essentially want the same things from work and colleagues as people on minimum wage. People are people whatever the status.

> Creating opportunities for accidental engagement is the best way to get people to ask what they really want to know. talking in places like car parks and water coolers beats meetings in offices because of informality. Executives need to create plenty of opportunities for this to happen.

> 5% of the people influence the behavior of the other 95%. The key is knowing who the 5% are, what motivates them and reaching them.

> Its more effective to manage the work rather than the hours.

> It’s easier to take the work to where the skills are than take try to bring the skills to the work.

> People have better technology in their houses than they have in their offices.

> Don’t be afraid to fly the freak flag.

> Best practice is not innovation.

> State conferences beat champagne headline events for content and community.

> Police horses fit in bars.

> You can tap dance by fitting tin can lids on the bottom of your shoes.

>If you are communicating the need for change, you need to deliver it as a benefit to the ones who are going to have to do the changing, not the benefit to you.

> When you give an order, people will follow but absolve themselves from responsibility for the outcome.

> American service can be as bad as UK service, they just wish you a “nice day” after.

> I’d like to work for Rose Hudson, the CEO of Louisiana State Lottery.

> The worst and most dangerous type of prejudice is delivered by people who would not consider themselves prejudiced.

> You don’t go to work, work comes to you.

> Robin Schooling is quite brilliant at getting everyone together. We all went to New Orleans because Robin asked. That’s the power of personal connections.

> Everyone in Louisiana talks about their life in 2 parts. Before the storm and after the storm.

> User adoption is more important than technical capability in HR Tech.

> Most people operate their current technology at 20%.

> New Orleans has gone through the rebuilding period and is now in the renaissance period. Town branding is important for its citizens.

> Jazz is quite cool but Blues is better.

> Big Al Carson should be a worldwide star.

That’s what I remembered from #LASHRM, and it’s a big list. I remembered a whole lot of new people. Thanks to you all, it was a lot of fun.

And the last bit, my score for if I would go back, it’s 11 out of 10! Brilliant conference. Brilliant time, and I’m already plotting #truNewOrleans for later in the year.

Bill


Leave a comment

Employee Development is Crucial to Employee Engagement

Today’s guest post is by Craig Juengling who will be presenting a session on Thursday April 26th at the Louisiana SHRM State Conference entitled “Becoming the Employer of Choice.” You can find Craig here

**********

The business outcomes achieved with a highly engaged workforce can propel your company to improved market share and profitability… and a significant reduction in absenteeism, turnover, product defects and accidents. Research from Towers Watson helps leaders focus on the five most important drivers of employee engagement. This post will focus on employee development.

There are four major elements to bring a focused and disciplined process to employee development at your company.  These elements are derived from employee engagement leaders of the industry like Gallup, Marcus Buckingham, Towers Watson, Dale Carnegie and others.

  • Understand and allow your employees to use their strengths. A workplace poll taken in 2001 revealed that only 17% of the surveyed employees felt they used their strengths at work “most of the time”. I would further argue most leaders, managers and supervisors have no clue about their direct reports’ strengths, much less how to use those strengths.  You can build a more effective team by hiring people with diverse strengths and then allow them to use them as a team. When you understand their strengths and how to use them, you create an engaged employee as well.
  • Encourage professional growth and development. Most people are genuinely curious and desirous of personal and professional growth. Through conferences, coaching, mentoring programs and just being more intentional about giving people the opportunity to take on new assignments and roles, you can demonstrate to your employees how important their personal growth is to you. And while they grow, they become an even more valuable “asset” for the company too.
  • Create achievable challenges. When you challenge your employees, you show them you have higher expectations for them and how they contribute. I think you also show them respect when you see their potential. Remember to make their higher expectations achievable. If you raise the bar too high, they will smack into it. I once worked for a guy who set budgets so unrealistically, the incentive plan tied to beating budgets became a disincentive plan. Achievable challenges create the opportunity for personal growth!
  • Have an ongoing dialogue about employee performance. Don’t wait until the end of the performance review year to let folks know how they performed; make the conversation continuous. Take every opportunity to recognize the job well done and take advantage of those teachable moments.  We all want feedback and some need it more than others. Find balance in your comments, but find the time for the conversation.

Employee development is one of the most important drivers of employee engagement and you have control over it every day. When you invest in your employees, you invest in their future and yours as well.


2 Comments

Why I’m Going to #LASHRM12 – Connections

While I have been an HR professional for over a decade now, I have only become committed to developing my professional network the last 2 years. After unsuccessfully persuading my employer to venture into social media, I started my own blog last year. Since then, I have been waiting for the right time to step from behind my cartoon avatar and start to meet in real life some of the great HR professionals I’ve met online. 

When I learned about the Louisiana SHRM conference through twitter, I knew it was the event for me!

–        The conference speakers list reads like Who’s Who of HR Power Players. Their voices and influence are undeniable and contagious! There is no doubt I will learn new things, refresh old skills and walk away inspired after listening to this group.

–        My social media peops will be there. At last count, there were half a dozen people that I regularly email, tweet, chat and “poke” through social media channels who will attend LASHRM12. It feels more like a reunion than a typical, stuffy conference! I am excited to spend time in session and out of session with folks like Robin Schooling, Chris Ponder, Dan Crosby, William Tincup, Dwane LayJoe Gerstandt, Jason Lauritsen and Shauna Moerke – and the peops these peops call their peops!

–        It’s a big conference but feels small. As much as I love social media, I am not the most social butterfly. Brand new people and brand new places make me a little nervous. LASHRM12 offers some of the best of balance in this area. I’ve heard over 400 professionals attend but the setup of the center and sessions still feel intimate and familiar. 

And I also hear there will be beignets and beads. Lots of them. Yum and yay! Laissez les bons temps rouler! See y’all in N’Awlins!

************************** 

Today’s guest post is from Buzz Rooney – a practicing HR Professional with over 10 years experience in the production, manufacturing and retail industries. She currently works for a large retail franchise handling employee relations, health benefits, COBRA, wellness, leave of absence and compliance.

Buzz has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with a focus on Organizational Communication and Leadership as well as a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management. She is also a part-time HR consultant offering resume writing, basic management coaching, process improvement and compliance assistance services.

When not working or writing or researching, Buzz is a single mom with 2 young children living in North Carolina. She enjoys mindlessly watching television, spending time with friends and family, reading, eating and sleeping.

Read more of her writings, connect and contact her through her blog’s website: The Buzz on HR (www.thebuzzonhr.com)


Leave a comment

Meet the #LASHRM12 Speakers – Jennifer Ledet

I was chatting with a client recently, and she said, “Well, you know, we’re really in the relationship business.” As I noodled that concept, my first thought was, “Well show me an organization that’s not in the relationship business.”

The client happened to be an international non-profit organization and one could clearly make the connection that relationships play a vital role in their “business”. The next day, as I spoke to a group of bankers, I thought, “well these guys and gals are surely in the relationship business!” My clients in the healthcare, insurance, engineering, manufacturing, and technology industries are all in the relationship business.

Let’s face it. We’re all in the relationship business, regardless of the industry or product or service we provide. We all know that people do business with people they:

  • Know
  • Like, and
  • Trust

Team members are loyal, committed and engaged when their leader is someone they know, like, and trust.

Relationships — building, nurturing, and maintaining them — are at the core of your business. Without customers, you would have no reason for being. Without employees you would likely not be able to provide the goods or services to your customers – or at least not in a timely fashion.

How’s Ya Mama ‘n’ ‘Em? No, I haven’t taken leave of my grammatical senses. This is a very common expression here in South Louisiana.

It is our way of asking how a person is doing, how their family is doing, and what’s going on in their lives outside of work. And it’s a huge part of our culture. I think it’s a practice that, if you implement it in your interactions with others, could just possibly change your work culture too.

Taking a few minutes to engage someone in a conversation about themselves is a great way to invest in the relationship. Most people like to talk about themselves and are flattered that you’re interested enough to ask. The key, though, is that your interest must be sincere and genuine — not like your interactions with your “pseudo friends” on Facebook, (or as my friend James calls it, “Spacebook”).

Theodore Roosevelt said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” This holds true for your team members as well as your customers. In fact, in many ways, you should treat your employees as you would a valued customer. And yes, it does take some effort and a little bit of time. But, consider it a deposit in your relationship account, and always strive to make more deposits than you do withdrawals in that account.

This ability to take an interest in others may not come naturally for everyone. And that’s okay, because it’s a skill you can learn. I had a client once who was an introvert and who needed coaching in this area. He was so analytical, that he wanted a specific formula for creating great relationships. I remember he even asked me how many minutes he would need to engage in conversation with team members. (I could picture him setting an egg timer on the desk to time the conversation precisely!)

There is no magic formula for creating great relationships. Here are just a few quick tips:

  • Ask questions about his family. (You can start with “How’s Ya Mama ‘n’ ‘Em?”)
  • Notice what she talks about — hobbies, interests, etc. and ask about them. (Ex: “How long have you been competing in underwater basket weaving?”)
  • Make a mental note of, say, his weekend plans so that on Monday you can ask how it went. (Ex: “How was the fishing trip? Did ya’ll catch? I must’ve missed your call inviting me to supper.”)
  • It’s also okay to engage in brief group conversations after a big weekend or event. (Ex: “How ’bout dem Saints?”)

Your ability to influence team members to perform and produce will hinge directly on the relationship that you have created with them. Taking an interest in them, their family, and life outside of work is a small investment to make with potentially huge returns.

What? You say you can’t afford to take the time to engage in conversation with your employees or customers? I say you can’t afford not to. Your business success depends on it.

By the way, “How’s ya Mama ‘n’ em?”

**********

Today’s guest post comes from Jennifer Ledet, SPHR, who is the owner of Ledet Management Consulting in Thibodaux.  Check out Jennifer here, follow her on Twitter, and join her at the Friday  session Leadership… Cajun Style! The GUMBO Recipe for Success.