Author Archives: Ben

Workplace Performance is 90 Percent Mental with Roger Kitchen on We’re Only Human

“So the nerdy neuroscience about the brain is that your brain can’t distinguish between a real-time event or if you visualized it.  But when you when you walk yourself mentally, emotionally, visually through those things, and you just see yourself doing them and being successful, that’s the really key piece.”

Roger Kitchen, Mental Skills Coach

We’re Only Human — Episode 115

High-performing individuals in music, athletics, and even business use coaches to help them accomplish their goals, but have you ever thought about the importance of mental skills at work?

For knowledge workers (and HR leaders), the vast majority of performance isn’t physical in nature, it’s mental. And yet we let ourselves continue doing what we’ve always done, missing opportunities to create better performance and work habits.

In this fun interview with Roger Kitchen, a mental skills coach, Ben and Roger dive into the key aspects of creating good work habits, focusing mental performance, and driving better satisfaction and resilience.

Connect with Roger on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rogerkitchenjr/

Learn more about We’re Only Human, see previous episodes, and subscribe: http://lhra.io/podcast

Human Benefits for a Human Workforce with Maribeth Bearfield on We’re Only Human

“What I see is that we’re no longer working from home. We’re living at work. And so how do we help employees work differently?”

Maribeth Bearfield, Chief Human Resources Officer, Bright Horizons

 

We’re Only Human — Episode 114

 

In the last year, employers have struggled with how to support workers in a rapidly changing environment. Even today as some things change, others stay the same. During this episode, Ben talks with Maribeth Bearfield about how she looks at the human side of benefits that her team offers the workforce. 

Learn about the new Horizons program that allows employees to earn a free education, creating new opportunities for the firm’s diverse workforce and an exciting legacy of impact on the communities in which it serves. 

Did you know that of the various assets on a balance sheet, people don’t show up? After all, they aren’t property, equipment, or materials. However, they do show up in the skills and innovation that they bring to the table. Maribeth also talks about the value of intangibles, which is where the value of your people really shine. 

 

Connect with Maribeth: 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/maribeth-nash-bearfield-9002822/ 

Connect with Bright Horizons: 

https://www.brighthorizons.com/ 

Stop Anonymizing Employee Feedback–Insights from Joyous on We’re Only Human

“If this week a leader acknowledges [employee feedback], next week, the person is eight times more likely to participate again than if the leader said nothing the week before.” 

Ruby Kolesky, Co-CEO and Head of Product, Joyous

We’re Only Human — Episode 113

 

What’s your stance on employee feedback and anonymity? In today’s conversation with Mike and Ruby from Joyous, they share a bold proposal: stop making employee feedback anonymous, because you’re telling them that it’s something to be worried about. Instead, they advocate for open feedback that can help to identify issues, engage support, and drive the best outcomes. 

In the discussion, the team talks about research they’ve done among employers asking for and acting upon feedback from their people, and they also talk about what it takes to create the environment where people can share their best ideas with the rest of the organization, making everyone’s work (and workplace) better. 

Connect with Mike and Ruby: 

https://joyoushq.com/ 

Ben’s favorite Joyous case study: https://joyoushq.com/blog/post/launching-lockdown-genesis 

 

See the We’re Only Human archives, subscribe, and learn more about the show: https://lhra.io/podcast 

Introversion-The HR Super Power with Tim Gardner on We’re Only Human

My preference in work was not towards optimizing machinery, but helping optimize work processes for people.

Tim Gardner, Former Organizational Development Consultant at Kimberly-Clark (retired)

 

We’re Only Human — Episode 112

 

If you’re an introvert in HR, you’re not alone. Recently I shared a piece on LinkedIn about introverts in HR and the value of introversion, and the piece received thousands of likes and comments. Apparently my own preference for introversion is in good company!

In today’s podcast discussion, Tim Gardner, an admitted introvert and experienced organizational development leader, talks about designing work around people instead of forcing people to bend around the work. His background as an engineer (yes, really!) gives him a unique and powerful perspective on HR, process design, and business operations. 

Towards the end of the discussion, I ask Tim to talk about legacy and impact, and it’s a great set of ideas for all of us as we think about the lasting impressions of our work and relationships on the world. 

 

Connect with Tim: https://www.linkedin.com/in/timjgardner/ 

Learn more about We’re Only Human and see show archives: https://lhra.io/were-only-human-podcast/ 

Hire Internal Employees to Drive Engagement and Career Ownership with Jerome Ternynck on We’re Only Human

“The platform was up and running literally weeks after the pandemic hit. And through this platform they saved 2,000 jobs, so it’s also about saving jobs by redeploying people effectively when the times are needed.”

Jerome Ternynck, Founder and CEO, SmartRecruiters

 

We’re Only Human — Episode 111

 

In some brand new research, we found that internal hiring and talent mobility is a key priority for employers in the coming year, and they measure success through increased diversity, lower cost to hire, and better performance and retention. These factors all feed into today’s conversation.

 

In this interview with Jerome Ternynck, Founder and CEO of SmartRecruiters (and one of the  most passionate people about hiring on the planet), we dive into what virtual recruiting looked like in 2020, how employers are adopting internal talent marketplaces to support internal hiring and employee mobility, and what it takes to lead the business as a talent acquisition leader. We also look at SmartRecruiters’ intense commitment to equitable hiring and share the playbook SmartRecruiters uses to support these practices internally. 

 

Resources:

See the DEI hiring playbook: hiringsuccess.com

Check out new research on priorities for 2021/2022 in talent acquisition: https://lhra.io/blog/new-research-virtual-hiring-recruiter-skills-and-internal-mobility/ 

Man Receives Pay in Unusual Way: Here’s the Lesson for Employers

Last week one of the biggest stories in the news was about a Georgia man who received his last paycheck in the form of oil-soaked pennies dumped on his driveway. This has a really, really valuable lesson for HR and business leaders. Here’s a snippet from the story:

Credit: CNN

An auto repair shop in Georgia has been accused of delivering a final wage package to a departing employee by dumping a pile of oil-covered pennies on his driveway – 91,500 of them.

The pennies amounted to the $915 that Andreas Flaten said he was owed by A OK Walker Autoworks.

The owner, Miles Walker, told a reporter from CBS46 he did not remember dumping the coins on Mr Flaten’s drive but added: “He got paid – that’s all that matters.”

Mr Flaten said he was a manager at the auto repair firm, which is based in Peachtree City, south of Atlanta, until he quit last November in a disagreement over when he could leave work to pick up his child from day care.

When his outstanding pay failed to arrive, Mr Flaten filed a claim with the US Department of Labor, which confirmed to US media it had contacted the repair shop three times over the issue.

The money did eventually materialise, as a pile of coins at the end of Mr Flaten’s drive. On top of the pile was an envelope, with an expletive written on the front, and a pay stub inside – which was filmed by his girlfriend Olivia Oxley and posted to her Instagram account.

Mr Flaten said he had tried bathing the coins in a big tub of water, soap and vinegar, without success, and the only way to get the grease off was to wipe each one individually.

He added it had taken him around two hours to clean up about $5 worth.

“I think that’s going to be a lot of work for money I’ve already worked for,” he told Fox 5 Atlanta.

And it appears that paying your staff this way – while not practical, moral or fair – might also not be illegal.

“There is nothing in the regulations that dictates in what currency the employee must be paid,” Eric R Lucero of the US Department of Labor was quoted by the New York Times as saying.

The Lesson Here

With every story, there are two sides. Everyone that works in HR knows that we have to try to find some measure of truth between a manager’s perspective and an employee’s perspective on a regular basis.

However, when an employer does something this egregious and unpleasant, it really paints them in an poor light. Regardless of what this person did or didn’t do as an employee, this kind of very public response drives sympathy for the former employee and a sort of righteous anger towards the company and its leadership.

[Read more: Does HR care more about caring for employees or protecting the company?]

I actually discussed this with my kids this weekend because I was curious about their take on it, and they told me they would not use this car repair operation based on this story, even if the former employee “deserved” what he got.

Bottom line: it may feel good in the moment to “get back” at someone. It really might.

But as with this story, it makes you look like a jerk to everyone outside the company, and it can not only harm your image but your long-term success as a business. It’s better to take the high road and move that person out of your organization without fanfare than to land in the news for a stunt that makes you feel good for a few minutes and regret it thereafter.

Anything else that you took away from this story that you think is worth sharing? 

Is your organization ready for this $3M cost due to human error?

According to new research, US-based organizations face an average cost of $3.86 million for a cybersecurity breach. 

Do I have your attention?

Now for the piece that most of us don’t realize: these types of breaches are most often due to human error, not to some sophisticated spy techniques or sneakiness. That’s where cybersecurity crosses paths with HR. This not only has a safety and security element (both squarely in our wheelhouse as HR leaders), but also a training and engagement piece as well.

Erika and I talk about examples in the episode linked below (some of them quite scary), but how about a very fresh example of why this matters?

Just yesterday I got an email from one of my employees that said:

I just changed my bank. Can I change my direct deposit information before the next payday? This is an emergency.

I started to respond, but when I looked at the email address it came from, I saw that it was NOT from my employee! This was someone trying to scam the company into paying money into another account.

This kind of thing is going to get more prevalent, not less. All of us need to get smarter on how to handle this critical issue, especially as more companies are either going virtual or adding remote team members.

Check out the episode

“I think as HR leaders, one of the biggest things that we have to do is never lose sight of the people.”

Erika Lance, SVP of People Operations at KnowBe4

We’re Only Human — Episode 110

In today’s episode, Ben talks with Erika Lance of KnowBe4 about the importance of cybersecurity and how HR can play an active role in supporting this critical business issue. At the end of the day, cybersecurity is primarily a people issue more than anything else, and Erika will share tips and strategies for how to make this a priority in your organization. She will also share tips on building better stakeholder relationships with IT and information security teams, which strengthens HR’s credibility with the business.

Learn more:

knowbe4.com

Connect with Erika on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/erikalance/

See our archives and subscribe: http://lhra.io/podcast