Maybe the Problem With HR Has Nothing to Do With HR At All

You're probably familiar with Ram Charan's infamous article It's Time to Split HR and if you're not, you've heard of it. You may have also read one or more of the mounting number of articles declaring what's wrong with HR or that we should ditch HR all together. Guess what, this isn't one of those articles. In general, it seems like HR is adapting to the times just like every other department in every other organization. As the title suggests, we're here to talk about the "problem with HR," so we're going to come out and say it: maybe it's you. Perhaps the problem with HR is really that we choose protecting and maintaining over confidence.

The Problem With HR Isn't Unique

As we've mentioned before, HR is about protecting, whether it's protecting the company against legal and compliance issues, or employees' rights. Therefore, it's easy to default to maintaining the status quo, rather than asserting our views or leading initiatives to improve workplace culture. But this problem, while we're talking about HR isn't unique to HR. No, this can be evident in any department, and most likely is to some degree.

The Problem With HR Is Real

It would be naive to say that because the "problem with HR" isn't unique, we can sweep it under the rug. You probably have plenty else to do, but stop. This is important. As the gatekeepers of compliance and culture, where is it most important to tweak when we see a problem. So, ask yourself, "Am I confident in how and what I do?" Are you a "yes" person? Are you at the beck and call of the C-levels? Is every day just another nose to the grindstone kind of day? Stop. Now breathe. And start saying "no."

The Problem With HR Is Not Saying No

Fixing HR starts with you being confident in who you are in the company, knowing your best contributions, and then taking that and being willing to grow. You will have to say "no" because a potential candidate loved by the hiring manager may harm the culture. You will have to say "no" to initiatives that aren't in the best interest of the company. You will even have to say "no" to the executive's disrespectful swipes at HR *gasp*.

No, this little tip isn't meant to fix everything. However, it will go a long way for both the "problem with HR" as well as your own work life. There's nothing intrinsically broken about HR, however the transition toward a better department begins with you being confident and doing what you do best: look out for the company, no matter how unpopular it may be at the time.

Source: Fistful of Talent

Veterans and the 7 Qualities You're Looking for In a New Hire

A couple days ago, The Muse came out with a list of 7 qualities that struck CEOs as distinguishing characteristics in top-performing employees. After looking at the list, we would have to agree. While being broad characteristics, they seem to hold high value in any corporate setting. However, as we studied the list more closely, we noticed this combination of characteristics immediately drew to mind one specific demographic that HR professionals love to hire: veterans. As we list the top 7 desired employee attributes, sit back and see if you don't agree with us.

  • Flexibility: As an employer, you need to know that if a deadline is approaching, your team has the determination and flexibility to meet the deadline and produce top-quality work. As you know if you’ve hired veterans, flexibility is programmed by nature. A fast-paced environment is what they live by, and transitioning smoothly and quickly is their strong suit. Armed forces training has prepared these employees for any project and to overcome the unexpected barriers that accompany everyday tasks.
  • Creativity: As technology continues to evolve at supersonic speeds, you need employees seeking knowledge to produce innovation and creativity to leave you ahead of the competition. While many people still hold the stereotypical notion that veterans, while amazingly focused, are too conventional and one-track-minded, this is simply not the case. Feeding off of their flexibility, veterans have been trained to incorporate creative solutions to combat barriers. While not only very shrewd, their backgrounds allow them to easily create innovative solutions at the drop of a hat.
  • Hustle: Let's be honest, when you want a project done, you wanted it done yesterday. But, you don't want to sacrifice quality for speed. With veterans, many of you have seen first-hand the precision and attention to detail they produce within tight deadlines.
  • Happiness: Nothing drags down productivity of an entire team more than even one, single negative attitude. Creativity, productivity, and quality stem from positive mindsets. Nothing can be tackled with pessimism, but we're not saying look for an employee who never feels stress or tension because we all know in our line of work, that simply does not exist. Simply, veterans are trained for high-stress situations and finding solace in these times. They are go-getters and problem-solvers, easily the desired candidate to balance high-stress teams and projects.
  • Passion: The kind of work that we generally take pride in is on the projects that we are passionate about. Generally speaking, our armed forces include the most patriotic men and women of America; the people to live and die for their passion. How much more passionate of a person could you find than your veteran employees?
  • Confidence: Speed bumps are par for any project or task in the office, and you employers need an employee who won't be deterred from success due to these challenges. In all branches of the military, our soldiers have no other option than to be confident in their line of work. Otherwise, no task or mission can be completed, jeopardizing themselves, their team, and the mission. Confidence is everything to a veteran.

While we are obviously not saying that only veterans possess these highly desired characteristics, but they are a relatively untapped resource that generally possess key features desired in any corporate setting. Not only do the new VEVRAA regulations require federal contractors to strive towards a 7.2% veteran hiring benchmark, but in support of all our veterans have done for us and their unparalleled work experiences should thrust their resumes into the top of your priority hires.

Disruption: Your Uncomfortable Ally

Let's face it, unless you're in the tech world, disruption nearly always carries with it a negative connotation. It sounds violent, abrupt, and honestly, with constantly reacting to issues within our respective organizations, who has the time for much else? When the secondary objective is planning, which gets shelved more often than not, where do you find the time for luxuries such as personal development?

Disruption and the Difficulty of Vigilance

It's difficult to think about disruption in light of the fact that HR is about staying vigilant in protecting against potential compliance and legal issues. However, in that light, don't you think it's most important for this ever-valuable protector of the company to be challenging what they know to be good and right? Isn't it important for HR to be constantly challenging their own understanding of how they, how you can best do your job?

Disruption of Priorities

Disruption is about not just finding time, but making time by reorienting your priorities. Disruption by definition necessitates discomfort. But if we aren't making disrupting ourselves and the growth that comes with that a priority, how can we expect that of the workplaces we are trying to push forward? If we are not willing to think differently, then how can we hope to affect the culture changes we seek?

It's easy to accept that personal development is a mere closet dream for when the rest of our duties are taken care of, but we are only doing a disservice to our companies and, of course, ourselves. Maybe it's time we prioritized self-disruption using this lens. Maybe it's time each of us allowed ourselves to become a little uncomfortable, enabled us and our organizations to grow a little. Would it really be so bad?

Source: Brandon Hall Group

2 Tips On Helping Multi-Generational Teams Succeed

"How do I make my multi-generational teams mesh and become brilliantly productive?"

While there are certain steps you can take and books you can read divulging the seemingly all-powerful truth to this question, we find it harder now, more than ever, with vastly different generational mindsets. That being said, no, there isn't a simple one-size–fits-all solution to multi-generational teams. Rather, what if we dissect each generation's mentality and strategize about how to communicate with each group, allowing them to communicate internally with one another? If you can lasso the strengths of each generation and enable effective communication between these groups, your multi-generational teams will be unstoppable.

Multi-Generational Teams Broken Down

Essentially, the workforce consists of four different generational groups: Traditionalists, Boomers, Gen X, and the infamous Millennials.

Traditionalists value hard work on top of everything. While seemingly inflexible, Traditionalists base decision on vast experience, often confused with inflexibility. The value of respect for authority is another high priority item.

Boomers feel a deep sense of desired value and need that Boomers derive from work. They are loyal but disengage with the lack of recognition or acknowledgement. Respect is still highly valued in the eyes of Boomers.

Gen X is quite pragmatic and skeptical of authority. Often referred to as the silent generation, they are easily disengaged, pessimistic, and quick to toss in the towel if their contributions are unvalued or they feel gipped. This group desires space and their own terms to trust authority.

Millennials demand immediate gratification. Immediate ladder climbing is almost a birthright. They questions everything and feel a sense of right to be included, looked up to, and heard, regardless of the topic of conversation. Work ethic is often some term not fully comprehended by this generation.

With such radical differences, as employers, how do you reach each group simultaneously?

There is Hope for Multi-Generational Teams

Here are a couple of solutions:

  • Acknowledge the commonalities that we all share. We all desire to be needed, to learn, to grow and move forward, and to receive feedback. We desire these things frequently, so often addressing these needs will go far with each generation.
  • Use each group's strength to bond the team. Use Boomers optimism to rally the support. Use a healthy dose of skepticism from Gen X to question ideas and new products, and so on. Each group has valuable mentalities that should be brought to the table in any brainstorming, strategizing, or planning sessions. In doing this, there is value that each generation feels and appreciates.

We are all different, but as an employer, it's important to recognize the similarities and strengths of each generation in order to fulfill their needs and provide a place where each generation is valued and can work together. This may require time, energy, and a few tries, but the rewards of functioning multi-generational teams is well worth the organizational changes you may have to make. So, will you risk change to achieve optimal performance? I think we know what the answer is…

Source: Forbes Leadership