Culture

I’ve been reading a lot about culture at work recently, and I have to say that I’m intrigued. Before my current job, I would never have thought that it made much of a difference, but now that I have seen the benefits of a solid, positive corporate culture, I am convinced of the value it brings to the organization.

If someone tells you that culture doesn’t matter, they probably don’t have a good one.

  • Instead of being treated like a child or a criminal where each movement is tracked and must be given a specific reason, I now have the freedom to come and go pretty much whenever I please (as long as I get the job done).
  • I have never laughed so much in my entire working life as I did in an HR department meeting a while back. Do you ever laugh in meetings? I hope so, because it’s a heck of a lot of fun.
  • At any time I can walk into my supervisor’s office, sit down, and tell her anything at all. While we have fun together most of the time, we also share some serious moments that impact my career and the business. I love the wild changes in tone. I’m definitely someone who needs to laugh at work, and she is happy to oblige!
  • I can talk about zombies whenever I want.

These are just a few examples (and looking back, most of them are about humor–interesting) of what my work life is like and how it is different from my previous jobs. But I absolutely love it, and there’s so much room for growth and improvement on my part. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

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Can you say "instant relief?" I can.

VHRG and Leadership

I don\’t know if you\’re a regular reader or not, but Venting HR Guy is a funny human resources blog that showcases some of the daily events we all face. The difference is that VHRG can be a little more forthcoming in detailing his workday, because his identity is a secret. It makes for an interesting blog, that\’s for sure.

Anyway, VHRG often has issues that he tries to deal with at work. However, the response from his boss, known by the clever name “The Boss,” is often to side with the employee for some reason. Have an employee getting payroll advances several times a month for more than a year? Instead of cutting the guy off, VHRG will probably be forced by The Boss to give into the demands of the financially moronic employee. And that’s just one example.

While you might not have that specific problem, I\’m pretty sure that plenty of you have seen this in your own workplace (and if not, count yourself lucky!). You want to handle a situation that is within your realm of influence, but someone upstream gets word of the issue and wants to handle it a different way. How in the world can HR be taken seriously if they\’re constantly hamstrung and second-guessed by senior leadership?

They can\’t.

That\’s why I think VHRG needs some leadership. He needs a change. He is already looking for a new job, and I know that many of us would love to help, but with the whole “cloak of anonymity” he has going on, it\’s a bit tough to do. If you have suggestions for how he can deal with his spineless leaders, please drop them in the comments below. I\’m going to collect and pass them along to him.

In contrast to VHRG’s leadership problems, I spoke to a friend recently who was looking for a new job. She was ready to move on from her current position, and she had her eye on several positions. Then a new leader was brought into the organization, and it’s been amazing to see the change. She’s more positive, excited about her work, and the “leaving” part has completely been pushed out of her mind. It’s amazing to see what positive leadership does, but it’s also sad to see what happens when that leadership is absent, which is what’s going on in VHRG’s situation.

I\’m not picking on my pal here; I just know that there are lots of other HR professionals who have the same issue, and they know that their “leaders” won\’t back them up when a tough issue comes along. And if you have any tips on how he can move into another job, please post them in the comments, too. Every little bit helps, and the HR community is well-known for its helpfulness!

Culture

I’ve been reading a lot about culture at work recently, and I have to say that I’m intrigued. Before my current job, I would never have thought that it made much of a difference, but now that I have seen the benefits of a solid, positive corporate culture, I am convinced of the value it brings to the organization.

If someone tells you that culture doesn’t matter, they probably don’t have a good one.

  • Instead of being treated like a child or a criminal where each movement is tracked and must be given a specific reason, I now have the freedom to come and go pretty much whenever I please (as long as I get the job done).
  • I have never laughed so much in my entire working life as I did in an HR department meeting a while back. Do you ever laugh in meetings? I hope so, because it’s a heck of a lot of fun.
  • At any time I can walk into my supervisor’s office, sit down, and tell her anything at all. While we have fun together most of the time, we also share some serious moments that impact my career and the business. I love the wild changes in tone. I’m definitely someone who needs to laugh at work, and she is happy to oblige!

These are just a few examples (and looking back, most of them are about humor–interesting) of what my work life is like and how it is different from my previous jobs. But I absolutely love it, and there’s so much room for growth and improvement on my part. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

I am on the cusp of my six month “anniversary” with my current employer, and I got to attend an orientation session earlier this week.

If I had to describe that experience with one word, it would be “amazing.”

Seeing our VPs of HR and Operations go out to meet the new employees, field questions, and provide some background on values and expectations was inspiring for me. As an in-between employee (both in HR and a new employee), they wanted to know my take on the experience. My response was something dripping praise, but it basically boiled down to “keep it up.”

Since I started, I have been tracking our turnover rates. There are some trends that I am interested in observing as this new element to the hiring process begins.

Take it from someone who will tell it to you straight. Do an orientation with new employees. If you want it to be more useful, wait until they\’ve been there for a few weeks (or do it in two parts). That way you can ask about problems/issues before the person begins to feel powerless, and hopefully you can rectify them in some way. It makes a big difference to people when they feel appreciated. I’m walking proof of that.

But whatever you do, just do something. As a semi-new employee, I left the meeting with the desire to do something amazing for my organization. Wouldn\’t you want your employees to want the same thing?

Photo by GIHE.

From VentureRepublic:

Brand champions are internal and external story tellers who spread the brand vision, brand values and cultivate the brand in an organisation. Every organisation needs committed and passionate brand champions. The more employees the organisation can turn into brand champions, the better will it be equipped to build and maintain strong brand equity. Singapore Airlines, L’Oreal, Harley Davidson, Nike, Google and LEGO are well-known examples of companies which benefit tremendously from their employees being strong and dedicated brand champions.

My company has more employees than it has customers. These employees leave work every day and have conversations and interactions with complete strangers in homes, bars, stores, restaurants, etc. Some of those people know our company exists, and some are getting their first glimpse of us.

employee brand championAre they saying good things? Are they telling the world how amazing it is to work for this company? Are they enhancing our reputation?

I hope so.

Some people recommend hiring great people and inspiring them to do amazing things. Sounds like a plan to me. Find a way to make brand champions out of your employees. You won\’t regret it.

Photo by pinksherbet