Author Archives: Ben

hr spark

The One Thing You Must Know to Be Successful in an #HR Career

Last week at LinkedIn Talent Connect in Dallas, I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with one of the other speakers about his session. Peter Sursi is a talent acquisition/HR pro working in the FBI to modernize some of their approaches to finding and keeping talent. He’s not what you might expect from a government agency: he is energetic, passionate, and forward-thinking. Yes, this is HR/career advice from the FBI, of all places!

During our conversation, we talked about what makes the difference between teams that are successful long-term when it comes to HR and which ones continue to struggle for years with being strategic, creating value for the business, etc. The quote was a powerful one:

We can’t be emotionally invested in the process. We have to be emotionally invested in the people.

The Big Takeaway

hr sparkThis was a light bulb moment for me. So much of the time as HR practitioners we get wrapped up in our process, our way of doing things, and our perspective on the world.

The problem with that? The business doesn’t always see HR as a requirement to getting the job done. They often see it as a nuisance or a blocker of other necessary activities. The “no” police, in other words. This negative perception even discourages people from trying to get into HR in the first place!

In this quote we see that we should flip it: be invested in the people, care about their results, think about how to help them and eliminate barriers to their success.

Don’t get caught in caring more about your process than you do about the people.

Don’t Let the Light Go Out!

So many people I talk to got into HR because they want to help people. Because they enjoy working with people. And so on. But something often happens where you stop really caring about the people and instead become clingy with your processes, tools, and requirements.

I can still remember ~10 years ago when I was early in my HR career and someone told me that my passion for the profession and the people would eventually wane. I’d stop caring so much. I’d just settle for mediocre.

Maybe it’s because I have a little redneck in me (hello from Huntsville Alabama!) but I decided then and there that I wouldn’t easily let go of that spark that drove me. It’s kept me going all this time and I don’t see it going out any time soon. I want to leave a legacy with my HR career, and I want you to do the same.

What about your spark? Is it still going strong? Do you need to relight it and refocus on why you got started in this profession in the first place? Whether you chose it or you fell into it by accident, you’re here now and it’s up to each of us to make sure we don’t turn into the crusty old HR lady that cares more about process than people.

I’ll hold you accountable if you’ll do the same for me. Deal?

 

WOH 64: How to Engage Remote Teams and Virtual Workers

Today, almost every company has workers that are either remote, telecommuting, or virtual. There is incredible value in this for businesses and for workers, but the challenge comes in engaging these people that you rarely (if ever) see face to face. 

In today’s conversation, Ben interviews Beth Hearn, an HR leader with PeopleStrategy who has a variety of experience working at technology firms with remote staff. She shares a great set of ideas, from the simple ways to say you care (think templates and employee gifts) to the more challenging (and more valuable) methods like culture books that capture the key moments in time for your people. 

If you want to connect with Beth, check her out on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bethhearn/

This episode is sponsored by PeopleStrategy

hr department of one size

5 Things You’ll Never Hear an HR Department of One Say…

For those of you not in the know, an HR department of one is just what it sounds like: an HR department where one person covers all the bases from an HR, talent, and recruiting perspective.

I have a special place in my heart for the HR department of one, because that’s where I came from. When I worked in the HR profession, I had the opportunity to wear all (and I mean ALL) the hats, and while it was challenging it was also a lot of fun. I love building a function and growing from the ground up, and it was an amazing experience. That is one reason I’ve worked on podcasts and other free resources to help a department of one to survive and thrive.

An HR department of one (or DOO) is a special kind of person. They are doers and are the kinds of people employers need to hire. And while we assume these are all tiny companies, we found that these individuals work for companies of all sizes (as our new research shows) from 5 to 750 employees!

hr department of one size

5 Things a DOO Will Never Say

That said, there are some things that an HR DOO is simply unlikely to say. Read this and try not to smile!

  1. I’m done for the day so I’ll take off early.
  2. Sure I’d love to take on security and finance in addition to HR. Got anything else we can add to my plate?
  3. Since I don’t have any competing priorities I’ll go ahead and attend that “optional” meeting my coworker invited me to.
  4. I wonder if accounting needs help with anything?
  5. I love when I get to recruit for two new openings, investigate a harassment claim, run a training class, send a new baby congrats card, celebrate an employee service anniversary, review a payroll exception report, reconcile our benefits statement, onboard a new employee, and send out our engagement survey all on the same day.

At the end of the day, this is just a reminder that while you see so many companies in the news for their flashy benefits or their “cool” culture, the truth is many firms exist that are run by 1) no HR person 2) a department of one or 3) a department of one with a very small team.

Don’t get caught up in what the “cool” companies are doing. Make work great for your team. As the head of HR for the nation’s best midsize firm likes to say, you need to create the right environment for your specific workforce to perform and thrive, and that environment isn’t the same at every organization.

What else would you add to this list of things an HR department of one will never say? 

WOH 63: 5 Lessons from the Best Midsize Employer in the US

What does it take to be a best place to work? Or, perhaps a Best Place to Work, in official terms? 

In this episode, Ben recaps some of the key ideas and pointers shared by Juanita Philips, VP of Employee Experience at Intuitive Research in Huntsville, AL. Intuitive has won awards as the best midsize employer in the United States several times, and Juanita opens her team’s playbook so everyone can pick up ideas on how to craft amazing employee experiences.

She covers everything from the role of managers to hiring practices and more, but her warning is one that we all should take to heart. And her story about visiting a fellow “beset place to work” will make you laugh! Check out the show and let Ben know how much you enjoyed it: ben.eubanks@lhra.io

Learn more about We’re Only Human: http://lhra.io/podcast

Learn more about our sponsor for this episode, PeopleStrategy: https://www.peoplestrategy.com/

Learn more about Intuitive Research: https://www.irtc-hq.com/

case study hr

13+ HR Case Studies: Recruiting, Learning, Analytics, and More

Reposting a piece from the blog over at Lighthouse Research because I know not all of you subscribe over there!

case study hrAs someone who has worked in the HR profession, I know well the full value of stories, examples, and case studies. At the end of the day, practitioners like us wanted to know that we weren’t the only ones facing a problem and that, just maybe, some other organization had already surmounted the issue with some measure of success that we could learn from.

While much of the work we do at Lighthouse Research & Advisory focuses on quantitative research studies, we do a fair amount of qualitative research as well. We’ve collected case studies over time (and continue to) that highlight interesting approaches and examples of innovation within human capital management. The list below offers a wide variety of industries, examples, and flavors for you to learn from.

Want to see another topic or example not listed here? Comment below and and I will see what we can do to find that for you!

Wal-Mart, Automation, and Compassion Training

Walmart’s Fastest Growing Line of Business is Delivering Experiences

The Motley Fool: Blending Talent Management and Engagement

Motley Fool: The Coolest Talent Processes You’ve Never Heard Of

Chipotle: How Internal Mobility Reduced Turnover by 64%

Internal promotion-how Chipotle reduced turnover by 64%

Adtran: Using Hackathons for Employer Branding, Employee Development, and Retention

Using Hackathons for Branding and Retention

Stout Advisory: Performance Management, Peer Feedback, and Employee Engagement

How to Radically Change Your Performance Management Practice [Podcast]

H&R Block: Seasonal Hiring, Strategic Recruiting, and Hiring Manager Communications


How to Lead a Hiring Team

Patagonia: Measuring the ROI of HR Programs, HR Strategy, Employee Perks and Benefits

Measuring the ROI of HR Programs is Critical: Here’s How Patagonia Does It

Hot Chicken Takeover: Employee Benefits, Corporate Culture, Leadership, and Social Responsibility

Can a Business Grow Competitively While Doing Social Good? [Podcast]

AlliedUniversal: Talent Acquisition, Employee Referrals, and High-Volume Hiring

How Does AlliedUniversal Hire 90,000 Workers a Year? Referrals and PURPOSE [Podcast]

Duie Pyle: Remote Worker Engagement, Blue Collar Challenges, and Competitive Recruiting

Talent Lessons from the Transportation Industry [Podcast]

Ohio Living: Core Values, Company Culture, and Employee Recognition

We’re Only Human 39: Ohio Living Serves 70,000 Clients Annually with Core Values

Cox Enterprises: HR Analytics, Business Impact, and Strategy

We’re Only Human 53: How to Partner with Your Talent Analytics Team

McDonald’s: Learning Measurement, Business Impact, and ROI


Learning Measurement and Business Impact

Southwest Airlines: Corporate Culture, Employee Perks, and Employee Engagement

We’re Only Human 40: How Southwest Airlines Lives and Breathes Corporate Culture

HJF: HR Technology Selection and Implementation, HR Leadership, and Modernization

We’re Only Human 55:The HR Leader’s First Year on the Job

 

62: How to Repond to Negative Glassdoor Reviews with Chad Roudebush

It’s a candidate’s market out there. Ghosting, highly competitive hiring practices… It’s all over, and it seems like no company is shielded from the brunt of this disruption. 

In today’s conversation, Ben interviews Chad Roudebush, a recruitment marketer with Jobvite, to talk about how he approaches recruiting communications in a way that creates value for candidates and the company. Even if you have a small recruiting team, as Chad says, you’re always doing some degree of marketing. 

Check it out to learn how Chad responds to negative Glassdoor reviews, what his team’s data points tell us about the state of recruiting today, and more. 

Connect with Chad: 

Check out jobvite.com for resources
Chad on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/chad-roudebush-a869bb1b
@croudebush on Twitter

This episode sponsored by PeopleStrategy

From intuitive, hire-to-retire HR technology to comprehensive benefits consulting and HR services, PeopleStrategy offers employers a single source for the tools and services necessary to attract, manage and retain talent. A full-service broker, PeopleStrategy works with clients to identify competitive benefits packages to meet the needs of employees, their families and the company’s financial obligations. PeopleStrategy also provides clients with a technology suite that simplifies recruiting, hiring and onboarding; payroll and payroll taxes; open enrollment and benefits administration; time and attendance; compliance, reporting and more. One provider. One low price. Let PeopleStrategy help you develop your people strategy.

eubanks ibm photo

Yes, I Really Wanted to be in HR as a Child (and Why Now is THE Time for HR)

I sometimes forget that some of you have been reading the blog for a long time (maybe the entire 10+ years it’s been going!) while others have just found it. It’s easy to run across something I’ve written recently and think that I have it all together and always have, but that’s certainly not the case.

I started this blog when I was getting my first HR job because I wanted to share with others what I was learning and how to improve ourselves as HR pros. Fast forward all these years later, and while the content has changed somewhat my heart is still for the HR pros in the trenches, as my last post was pretty clear to demonstrate. My work today is different, but my mission is still the same: make HR better, one HR pro at a time. 

That said, some of you don’t know my story. I really did start out as a kid that wanted to be in HR (I just didn’t know what it was called at the time). IBM recently did an interview where I elaborated on that story a bit and at the same time talked about the future of HR and how to play a strategic role in the business. I’d love for you to check it out and let me know your thoughts?