Author Archives: Ben

We’re Only Human 46: New Methods for Educating the Future Leaders of HR

Today, everyone is fascinated with talking about the “future of work.” But who is the future of work? That’s right–students. The kids (we’re old enough to call them kids, right?) that are coming up behind us are going to truly BE the future of the workplace.

In today’s episode of We’re Only Human, Ben takes the opportunity to sit down with a long-time friend, Matt Stollak, to talk about these ideas. Matt teaches HR courses at St. Norbert College, and he takes a very different approach to the classroom than most professors.

If you are hiring new HR professionals or if you’re looking for ways to train some that you’ve recently brought on staff, Matt has some great ideas for how to go beyond the academic approach and make it very practical and real. This is *real* learning. Get ready to take notes, because class is in session. 

Connect with Matt on Twitter: http://twitter.com/akabruno

 

Using Employee Feedback to Guide Decision Making

manager feedbackAlmost every conversation our team has with business leaders touches on today’s pace of change. That pace often prompts employers to make quick decisions, but the problem is those are not always made with the right data on hand.

For example, you’re looking for ways to educate your workforce and provide them with the information they need to excel. But you’re using last year’s employee feedback survey as the basis. How do you know those insights are even relevant today?

Additionally, we have inherent psychological biases that affect our decisions. These biases can influence us to make flawed decisions based on extraneous factors like when we heard about the issue versus the actual importance of it. To counter these issues appropriately, organizations need to be more intentional about listening for problems and acting on them.

THE POWER OF LISTENING + ACTION

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”

– Epictetus

The engagement problem in the workplace is one that HR and business leaders know all too well. A significant majority of workers are marginally engaged, if at all, and only a small minority are highly engaged in their work. It’s the workplace equivalent of trying to row a boat by yourself with most of the other rowers either sitting idly or actively paddling against you.

Check out the rest of this article to find out the Three C’s to better listening.

sick leave

Can We Dock an Employee for Using Company Paid Leave? [Reader Question]

sick leaveWe get all kinds of interesting questions about HR, talent, and the workplace, and today is no exception. Have your own question? Shoot it in to us and we’ll keep it anonymous!

Can an employee be docked on a yearly/scored performance evaluation for using their paid sick leave benefit for legitimate medical appointments?

The Purpose of Employer Paid Leave

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mark onisk skillsoft

We’re Only Human 45: How to Pursue a Culture of Learning Innovation

Ask almost any business leader, and they’ll tell you that they want their organization to have a culture of learning. However, in today’s discussion, Mark Onisk points out that firms often fail at that “squishy” dream because it’s not well-defined. Simply setting up a learning portal won’t lead to improved results, says Onisk.

In this episode, Ben talks with Mark about the development of learning as a discipline and how it has changed over time. Mark is the Chief Content Officer at Skillsoft, a company that recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. In the discussion, Ben and Mark look at how to create durable skills for workers, the biggest mistake to avoid when setting up a learning strategy, and how to get business leaders to prioritize skills development.

If your organization is looking for ways to build a more competitive workforce that is ready for a digital future, this is the episode for you.

Read Mark’s blog on how learning will change in the next five years: https://www.skillsoft.com/blog/2018/11/5-ways-corporate-learning-will-change-in-the-next-20-years/

Get the 2019 HCM Trends Report mentioned in the introduction: http://lhra.io/blog/2019-hcm-trends-market-size-investment-priorities/

2019 hcm trends report

What Are the 2019 Trends in HR?

2019 hcm trends report

In terms of writing and reading content, I have always been anti-trends. Every year people recycle the same information over and over, and it never really reflects reality.

However, this year I partnered with a team to create a list of real trends for 2019 based on where capital is being invested into HR technology, what the forward-thinking employers in the market are doing, and more. It’s a true look at the trends for the coming 12 months. I hope you enjoy the report below. If you’d like to download a copy just click here.

  • If you’re a practitioner facing one of these challenges, feel free to reach out to us for an advisory call to discuss.
  • If you’re a solution provider interested in learning more, feel free to contact our team to see how we can help.

Buy a Book, Get Free Stuff: Limited Time Only

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming for this important announcement!

Cover design for the new book

Cover design for the new book

This year I’ve written my first book. It’s coming out in North America on December 28th. Since the publisher decided to push it to the end of the month, it’s not a Christmas present–it’s a “let’s start 2019 off with some really cool insights on HR and how technology is enabling us to create more human workplaces” present.

As with all my writing, there’s a good blend of research, fun stories, and examples to make even a book on technology very interesting and actionable!

Free Bonus AND a Giveaway

To encourage you to grab a copy, I’ll be running a special promo. Anyone that buys a book in the presale period will receive a special shirt to commemorate our collective belief that HR is an essential part of the future of work. We’re working on the design right now but it will be sure to get great comments (and plenty of jealousy) from your HR friends if they don’t get in on the presale.

Additionally, for every copy you buy you will get entered into a drawing to win a Human Capital Institute virtual conference pass ($800 value). Buy two copies, double your chances of winning! :-)

Please note: Amazon and other sellers do not send me presale information as the author, so in order to enter the contest and get your shirt I need you to send a copy of your receipt and your preferred shirt size to ben@upstarthr.com no later than December 30th in order to participate. Shirt orders will be made on 12/30 so we may not be able to accommodate late requests.

Note: If you are ordering a batch of 10 or more books for your HR team, your students, your customers, or a local HR chapter or reading club, please let me know and I can try to help with a bulk order to save you some money through the publisher directly.

Questions? Drop a comment below! Thanks in advance for all of your support and I am looking forward to sharing the book with the world!

veterans day

Something Personal for Veteran’s Day

Note from Ben: my wonderful wife, Melanie, recently wrote this as a personal tribute and “thank you” to those veterans closest to our family. She’s taken to doing more writing of late to share personal stories with our kids both now and in the future, and I am always touched by the words she crafts to explain emotions, feelings, and more. Sharing here with her blessing. 

veterans dayFor 20 years, I selfishly thought as Veteran’s Day as just another day. Another day to miss school and/or work.

I remember the day I received the call. I was in Scottsboro cheering Ben on as his brothers and he competed in a triathlon. My phone rang and it was my mother telling me that my dad had received word that he would be sent to Iraq for a year, possibly longer. I broke down, went and hid in the restroom, and thought of nothing more than my father’s safety.

The time that led up to his deployment was hard. We tried to fit in a lot of family time, but we also kept dreading the day we would have to send him off.

Eventually, we all gathered at the airport, hugging him tightly. Then he boarded his plane and was gone.

We coped as best we could. We stopped watching the news, avoided newspapers, and continued to pray for his safety.

We received letters, emails, phone calls, and pictures. Technology has come so far. We didn’t have him home, but we heard from him often.

Thankfully he remained safe during the full term of his deployment, but things at home didn’t go as hoped. His mother was suffering from cancer, and we knew her days on earth were numbered. He received personal leave to come home, but when he arrived, she no longer was responding to us. She soon passed away.

Also during this time, my sister had to have an emergency c-section due to preeclampsia. My niece was born not breathing, but was revived. She was taken to a NICU at another hospital while my sister recovered in the ICU where she delivered. Things were very scary. We kept these details from him until we knew they were both going to be okay.

My point is that not only are our military men and women put in harm’s way, they miss so much family time when they are away. Instead of thinking of today as just another normal day, make it a point to thank a Veteran.

To those veterans both stateside and abroad, we thank you for your service from the bottom of our hearts.