Author Archives: Ben

WOH 85: Stop Apologizing for Being in HR

“We need to own what we do. We’ve been apologizing and apologetic for being in HR instead of owning what we do. Every other profession says, I’m a salesperson, I’m a finance person. I’m a marketer. We go, I’m sorry. I’m in HR.” Steve Browne

In this conversation, a replay from the most popular session at HR Summer School 2020, Ben talks with Steve Browne, the most connected person in HR, about how to be an intentional connector, how to add value to relationships, and why HR is an essentially human profession.

If you enjoy the talk with Steve, his new book HR Rising is now available!

HR Summer School Logo

#HRSummerSchool: Time for Extra Credit!

Two weeks ago we ran a live, virtual event that has already been seen by tens of thousands of HR professionals, talent leaders, students, and more. One of the sessions gave us technical issues, so we are running what we are lovingly calling an “extra credit” session and I would love to have you attend!

If you didn’t attend HR Summer School, you missed an epic experience. I haven’t published a formal update based on the event, but suffice to say it was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. We had thousands of comments, new connections, and interaction beyond any other HR webcast or webinar you have ever experienced.

FYI: many of our attendees were interested in the books written by the speakers. You can get those here on Amazon. If you want your #HRSummerSchool commemorative shirt or other gear, that’s found here.

Just check out the map below to see where attendees participated from around the world. It probably wouldn’t surprise you after seeing this map to hear that over ONE MILLION minutes of HR Summer School have been watched on LinkedIn already since the event. 😮

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Before I get to the extra credit session, let me share with you a few of the many comments from those that participated in HR Summer School live, in no particular order. Click through the images below to see some of the amazing feedback.

One participant told me that she was about to get out of HR because it wasn’t exciting anymore. After two days of participating in the event, she said her passion had been rekindled and that she was excited to look for a new employer that actually values the input from HR in the business. If she had been the only participant, I would have called this event worthwhile, but thankfully (as you can see below) we had so many more amazing participants.  Continue reading

WOH 83: Balancing Candidate Experience and Objective Hiring with AI

“The assessment traditionally has seemed a bit disconnected from the job role. This can come across as friction. You’ve worked hard to find a candidate and you want them to join–this can seem disjointed.”

Jora Gill, SHL

Hiring is a balancing act. We want to drive candidates into the funnel, create positive experiences, and bring the best candidates into the organization, but we also need data to help make the right choice. While AI has been challenged for its impact on hiring, new evidence shows that it can help to minimize erroneous decisions. In this conversation, Ben talks with Jora Gill from SHL about how assessments can be blended into the hiring process for better, more objective decision-making without sacrificing candidate experience. 

Learn more about SHL at http://shl.com 

WOH 82: Hiring for Neurodiversity – A Case Study

“We are wasting talent. We can’t afford as a nation, as a society, to waste talent.” 

 Brenda Weitzberg, Founder and Executive Director of Aspiritech

When we talk about diversity in the workplace, we often overlook the concept of neurodiversity, which encompasses the broad range of intellectual capabilities that individuals have. In today’s episode, Ben interviews Brenda Weitzberg about her company, Aspiritech, and how it is able to hire individuals on the autism spectrum for specific tasks that suit the unique strengths of individuals with autism.

The capabilities of each person, regardless of the color of their skin, their gender, or their mental clarity, are unique. As Brenda says in the interview, “When you’ve seen one person with autism, you’ve just seen one person. You haven’t seen them all.” Let’s learn more about how to open up opportunities for those that are neurodiverse.

Learn more at aspiritech.org

Bringing HR Together: Announcing HR Summer School #hrsummerschool

HR Summer School
In the middle of the strange state we are in right now, one thing is certain: HR conferences are out. Of the 10 speaking events at spring conferences, internal training events, and workshops I was scheduled to attend, four of them were canceled, four of them “postponed,” and the other two were moved to virtual. Our family is definitely feeling this challenging time along with the rest of you.

If you were planning on getting recertification credits or building your professional network at an event this month, you may be out of luck.

To compound that issue, I’ve seen posts from friends (and even a new Slack community sprouting up) that have been furloughed, laid off, or outright terminated because of the current economic standstill.

So I decided to reach out to some friends and colleagues in the industry to do something about it. I’d like to introduce you to HR Summer School. This is a free, virtual HR event designed to bring us closer together while improving our skills as talent leaders.

HR Summer School: The Details

This event is something I’ve been thinking about for some time, but the issues facing our various communities right now have pushed it urgently to the forefront. The goal is to not only drop a bunch of content on you, but recreate the opportunity to connect with and engage with both speakers and other attendees throughout the event.

Tickets are free! Anyone can come, whether it be an HR pro, a small business owner looking for HR help, or even students that need some practical understanding of HR in the real world.

This event will be livestreamed the week of June 1st daily from 10a-2:30p central time. That’s a lot of content, but if you register for the main event you can attend any session you want during the conference at your leisure. Simply come and go for the sessions that matter most to you. More details on sessions and speakers will be shared in the next few days.

We will have over 30 speakers sharing their insights around:

  • recruiting
  • training
  • inclusion and diversity
  • talent management
  • leadership development
  • managing teams
  • coaching and mentoring
  • wellness and wellbeing
  • resilience
  • and more!

In addition, we will be hosting daily trivia competitions to add to the “fun factor,” courtesy of our friends at Water Cooler Trivia.

We have several amazing supporters already lined up for the event, but we are accepting a few more sponsors and partners if anyone is interested in coming alongside our team for this community event.

Giving back: Can you help?

I have a request. We are doing this event for free, but our hope is that it will be the largest online HR summit ever. Now is the time to pull together and support each other.

The event link is HRSummerSchool.org

If you are an educator, share this with your students, but also share it with your peers so they can share with their students as well.

If you are an HR practitioner, share this with 2-3 friends you think could benefit from the latest thinking on the topics listed above. Or share it with all of them, we don’t mind.

If you are a SHRM chapter or association leader, share this with your members as a free resource or benefit.

Heck, even if you’re just married to someone in HR, make sure they register and share as well! :-)

At the time of this writing, we already have over 100 people registered to attend and the event hadn’t even been formally announced yet! There’s clearly a need for quality education and connection right now.

Questions? Please feel free to reach out to me at any time. I’m honored to support HR leaders like you in this time.

81: Rethinking Work, Productivity, and Engagement in the Modern Workplace

“People don’t want flexibility. they want complete control over their time.”

Today, we keep hearing that flexible work is the way to go. People want it. They crave it.

Yet in today’s episode of We’re Only Human, Ben talks with Jody Thompson, creator of the ROWE movement. ROWE stands for “results only work environment,” and it has been around for some time (the first book, Why Work Sucks, was published in 2008).

Today the workplace looks different than it did then, but according to Thompson, employers are still chasing the wrong things. We’re looking at when work gets done and where work gets done, but we’re not focusing enough on the what in terms of results.

That lack of focus on the right things sometimes forces our people to fight for control over their work. How? By looking for workarounds, playing the “I’m busy” game, arriving early or staying late, and more. Instead of looking at managers as controlling figures, we should look at them as performance coaches. Expect to explore all of this and more in today’s conversation. Enjoy!

Learn more about Jody and ROWE at: https://www.gorowe.com/resource-library

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What I Should Have Said

I lost a friend recently.

He was a great guy who was always willing to help those around him, regardless of his own needs. Selfless. Kind. Compassionate.

I had a phone conversation with him a few months back. We lived in different states and mostly stayed in touch online, but I gave him a call and we talked for over an hour about work, life, family, and more. In the conversation, he recommended a movie that he loved called Green Book.

When he passed, I realized that I hadn’t made time to watch the movie yet, so this weekend I carved out some time to enjoy it with my wife. It was a great movie, and every time I saw someone on screen standing up to do the right thing, I thought of my friend and the impact he had in his time on the earth.

When people make mistakes in life, you can either choose to vilify them and write them off or you can choose to believe in the goodness of people and that they still have value. He was in the latter camp, and I am so thankful that I had a chance to see him in person several times over the course of the last 10 years. He was quick to smile and always had a kind word or compliment to share with those around him.

We never know how much time we have with those we love, whether they be friends or family. In the midst of all this chaos swirling around us, I have implored each of us to be kind to those around us, but it’s easy to lose focus when things are out of what feels like their natural rhythm.

I’m resolving to say what I should have said this week. Not in a backbiting or angry way, but in a way that would honor the memory of my friend, Chris Fields. When I talk with someone, anyone, this week, I’m going to say what I should have said but held back, whether that is “I’m sorry,” “I love you,” or “thank you for who you are.”

Chris, we will miss you. Thank you for making us all better just by being here.