strategic hr

HR Strategy: How to Work ON Your Department, Not Just IN Your Department

One of the challenges with HR strategy and strategic HR is that it’s often talked about in vague terms, which means it isn’t always easy to understand for some individuals. There’s a great metaphor for this concept in the world of entrepreneurship put forth decades ago in The E-Myth by Michael Gerber. Here’s the core of it:

When someone starts a small business (even if it’s a sideline HR consulting business), they do so because they want to do a certain task: writing, painting, consulting, and so on. The problem comes when that person realizes they are actually doing two jobs: the product/service they are selling AND running a business. Many small businesses fail because they are great at working IN the business but not working ON the business.

Hopefully you can see the application of this in the world of HR as well. Many of us are really great at doing the core components of HR:

  • Recruiting great candidates
  • Delivering high quality training
  • Supporting leaders with coaching and development

But we often struggle when it comes to this strategic stuff. It’s not because it’s hard. Most of us are smart enough to lay out a game plan for the year with objectives and then work towards it. No, the problem is that we’re so darn busy doing the day to day work of HR that we can’t find ways to get to the strategy. We never really arrive.

If you’re not sure if this applies to you, here’s a simple test:

If you’re spending your days, weeks, and months churning through tasks and never really working on improving your function, team, or department, then you’re probably missing out. 

This actually played out last week in a conversation during the Alabama SHRM state conference. The audience was talking at their tables about obstacles for HR, and the group at my table talked about HR’s bad reputation for being the “no” police, for caring only about compliance, and for never leaving the office to do anything more meaningful.

I know, I know. A lot of this connects to the HR to Employee ratio at your company, as I’ve written about before. If you have a thousand people for every HR professional, it’s going to be very transactional. There’s no way around it other than picking up technology to help automate what you can and personalize to the highest degree possible.

I actually spoke with an HR executive recently that offers some incredible insights into this problem. If you don’t listen to the podcast regularly, you are missing out. In the upcoming episode I speak with Michael Stambaugh, Chief Human Resources Officer for HJF, about how to seize the opportunity for strategic leadership in HR. He tells a compelling story and it’s one I highly encourage you to listen to.

What are your thoughts? Does this problem of overwhelming tasks IN your HR role prevent you from working ON your HR function? How have you tried to overcome it?

An Open Letter to HR on Policies, Regulating, and Training (10 years later)

Ten years ago I started this blog. One of my earliest posts was about the critical importance of treating people like adults and training for the attitudes and behaviors we want, not just those we don’t want. Is it still true today? You decide. 

AKA An open letter to HR professionals who think it’s a good idea to regulate the snot out of everything

Dear fellow HR professionals,

Hey! So, I’m not sure if you know much about me, but I’m a different kind of HR guy. I like being open and honest and treating people like… Well, people. Our employees aren’t children (and if they are, that’s a whole other issue!), so why do we treat them that way?

This ain’t my first rodeo

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first hr hire

How to Hire Your First HR Staff Member (and who NOT to hire)

first hr hireLast week I had a great conversation with a $10M startup company about how to make their first HR hire, and I thought those ideas would be worth sharing here. Many of you are already HR leaders at your own firms, but you probably haven’t given much thought to this idea of starting up an HR function from scratch, and it’s a good discussion to have. Plus, I’d love to hear from you!

  • What skills are most important?
  • What would you look for if you were hiring your first HR person?
  • If you’ve started up an HR function, what are your best tips?

Where to Look for your First HR Hire

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We’re Only Human 54: Forecasting The Future Jobs of HR and Recruiting

If you could look out into the future and predict how HR and talent acquisition jobs might change in the next few years, what would you expect? Robots? AI? Something else? 

In today’s short monologue, Ben talks about some of the jobs he expects to see as more automation hits the HR function, from candidate experience designers to human-machine integrators. It’s about finding the best that humans AND machines have to offer to create the best results for our candidates, employees, and businesses. 

Jump into the conversation and share your own thoughts on Twitter: @beneubanks or LinkedIn.

Recruitment Best Staff for the Entertainment Show

technology-2608867_1920Finding good employees is a very important and nerve-wracking step in your life notwithstanding what your free position is and what kind of company you have. Of course, we all want our staff to be the best, very talented and responsive. If you’re hiring people for the entertainment show, though, it’s even more important to have perfect faces that audience would want to see, those who will make them crack a smile after a busy working day or on weekend concert when they’re trying to have fun.

So, how do you find staff for entertainment shows? We’re here to share the best tips and unique recruiting strategies for you to find best people that will light your show up.

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Best ways to review your literature in college

Writing a literature review is an important aspect of your college life as it teaches you a new skill set. Though every student possesses basic writing skills, yet not all college students can compose good work as it requires advanced skills and a deeper understanding of the piece that is about to be acknowledged. There are several literature review examples that will give you an idea of how scholarly your approach should be while writing a literature review and how current it should be compared to the other studies in the similar field.

However, a literature review is not necessarily an analysis or critique of a drama, novel, or poetry it could be a summarization of significant information of sources but in a certain pattern giving it a completely new meaning and relevance to modern studies. It may also be an attempt to track down the intellectual journey of a specific field of study that may have stirred heavy debates in time. Most graduate students get confused by the apparent meaning and think that writing a review of some literature is explaining a text. However, there are sites that exhibit good explanatory literature review examples for you to have a clear idea of how to write a literature review.

Moreover, graduate students should familiarize with the idea, as they will be required to know this genre in order to display a scholarly approach in their dissertation. Do not worry – this article will mention all the ways and support you need in learning how to write a literature review.

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Office Workplace Health Risks: Computers, Screens, Sitting, and More

 

In the digital world we live in, we spend a TON of time work on computers and mobile devices. Screens aren’t just part of our work life–they are how we interact with most people during the course of the workday. This isn’t a natural experience for us and it’s now how we were designed to operate, which means we must take care or we’ll inevitably run into issues with our health.

computer useI can tell those days that have been more “screen heavy” because my head is a little fuzzy and my eyes are sore. At times, my back and shoulders are even tensed up. I’ve been experimenting with other desk setups to minimize some of these issues, but I’ll have to wait until travel/conference season is over before I get any meaningful results.

Research shows that computers and how we use them pose a variety of risks to our health, especially around posture and vision. The University of Pittsburgh says that sitting in awkward positions, staying in one position for too long and performing repetitive motions can lead to unnatural stress on the wrists, shoulders and back. Over time, fatigue and overuse can strain muscles and joints and lead to more costly health issues.

I can still remember an employee I had years ago that ended up with a nasty looking “hump” on his wrist because of his desk setup. He ended up straining the actual bone in his arm because of repetitive, incorrect posture and needed surgery to “reset” himself. It was very intense and surprising, because you wouldn’t think that simply sitting the wrong away would lead to that kind of problem.

From a visual perspective, we can see light on a variety of wavelengths, including blue light, which is similar to the light we get from the sun. If you’ve ever used a computer for a long period of time and had tired eyes afterward, blue light is most likely to blame, according to the American Academy of Opthalmology. And if you spend too much time looking at a screen that emits blue light just before you go to bed, it can interfere with your rest by tricking your brain into staying awake.

5 Suggestions for Solving the Computer Ergonomics Problem

Sitting at a computer for extended periods of time is incredibly taxing on the body and can lead to obesity and even heart issues. Solutions for computer ergonomics problems range from very simple to complex, but the bottom line is that they must be counteracted. The solutions below can help solve for various factors in the equation, such as vision strain or more physical components, but the best computer ergonomics strategy involves a variety of approaches.

  1. Set alarms: Instead of staring at a screen without breaks for long periods of time, set alarms every 20 or 30 minutes to remind you to look away, blink and rest your eyes briefly before returning to work.

To read the last four recommendations, check out this post on the Flexispot website.

Have you ever had eye, back, or neck issues because of computer use? What was the experience like?