Friday, 28 January 2011

Strangest places.......

I've had a bit of a break from the social media scene, I know I only just started...but have had to face quite a difficult situation really and it's been quite draining.

This isn't the right forum to discuss it....but rearrange the following phrase and you'll get it.....

raise I've had to grievance a my line manager against

This has left me questioning my future in not only my current role, but my career in HR in general. I've also had a slight issue with the fact that I'm not an 'academic' HR person, I'm a 'doer', I love getting stuck in and just getting on with it. This has been constantly bought up in my venture to progress and makes me I ever going to get to the top as I want to?

I'm not a big sharer, but I had the pleasure of going to my sister's wedding last weekend, and the topic of bad management came up when someone within the friendship group asked for my advice. I then confessed to some of own worries and had an immediate outpouring of support, and affirmation of my HR ability via their own accounts of how my advice had helped them all over the years we have known each other.

I also ventured back onto Twitter and immediately I had people asking how I was. These are people who have never met me....but who as humans have taken an interest, and therefore notice when a fellow HR Twitter-er is missing.

These two separate occasions, and the love and support of my family will sustain me through, probably, the toughest period of my career so far. But its an opportunity to learn and develop, and come through the other side with knowledge and skills I did not have when I started.

And that is what HR is all about, it's sucks when you come across bad HR......but we do it because we love people, and we love development. HR Professionals come in all shapes and sizes....and I need to just realise there is a place for an Operationally Focused, Heart of Fluff, Giggler when most inappropriate, Lover of all things development related HR Lady like me.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

You should know better!!!!

Is it really to much to ask for someone to call when they said they were going to call???? Especially when that individual is in HR, and is looking to potentially engage you in future employment!!!!!

I get labelled as a HR Generalist with a specialism in Recruitment. I think I'm good at recruitment because I love it so much. I love nothing more than designing a process, planning assessment centres, living my life by spreadsheet! And, on the other side, I love meeting new people and hearing about their wonderful and varied experiences. I don't believe in the one size fits all theory, so I have been known to bring some pretty random candidates forward.....but....the one thing I pride myself on.....more than I will get back to you when I say I will!

If I say you will get feedback within 24 hours you will do; because I firmly believe that the candidate journey (positive or negative outcomes included) should involve nothing but positivity around the company involved. If you have a negative experience, you tell people.....and the same goes for recruitment.

So....back to my personal experience......I went to an interview last week and the message I was given, was that feedback would be received by end of business on Monday. Tuesday afternoon came so I rang the interviewer at 4pm, and was assured I would receive a phone call at 1pm on Wednesday. It is now 6.40PM on Wednesday evening and yet no feedback.

I'm not naive enough to think I'm being called back for a 2nd interview, but the fact that no feedback has been offered up, and the HR Director has failed to follow up as promised has left a sour taste in my mouth.

What does that say about their communication style? Do I really want to work there when our values are so different?


Monday, 17 January 2011

Everyone's ladder is different......

I'm working on a project at the moment to review our company's performance review process, ready to launch in April. I hosted a consultation stage with our team leaders to discuss formats, measurement options, timelines etc.....

The majority of individuals totally got the process, and recognised the importance of a valuable conversation held on a regular basis to discuss development opportunities, and areas for improvement. Then someone made a comment which will stay with me for ages.......

Team Leader - "I don't know what to say to the employees with no career aspirations, so we just tick their target boxes (I work in a call centre environment so heavy focus on KPIs) and then I let them go."
Me - "What about the added value they can offer, do you discuss how they could perhaps expand their role or take on new responsibilities, or what about behaviours?"
Team Leader - "That's not development opportunities though is it?."
Me - "Uhhhh...ok...perhaps that's something we can work on with the new forms and guidance." Cue internal screaming of "ARE YOU KIDDING ME????"

Am I crazy in thinking that everyone is different and therefore the opportunities we offer them should be unique to them??? The whole point of a one-to-one is to ascertain what that person wants from the company, and therefore what they need to do to achieve it. But....that doesn't mean promotion, progression, salary increase or even movement from their current role. There are 101 ways a person can add value to a business......take on added responsibilities, become a mentor, train others, be a 'go to' person.

And what about behaviours? Communication style, time management, solution providing, decision making, team work.....I could go on!!!! Everyone has areas they can improve on, and everyone will benefit from clear, concise, measurable targets.

So, never, ever say that the conversation on development has run dry......just reconsider the ladder.

And as for my ladder.....well....its domination of course!!!

N.B - the world in world domination being HRHopeful world.....all visitors welcome if they provide cake

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Jim'll fix it for you......or will he????

Having had training in career development, coaching, talent management....etc, sometimes you can't help but blur the lines between work and play. The hubbie and I had our bi-yearly 'Where are we going chat?' chat today (life wise...not relationship!!), and it got me thinking about how easily we (as humans) can go into 'tell' mode when someone is confused by the direction life is taking them or what to do next.

I am always being asked to provide a solution to someones problem; and often have to coach managers and aid them in coaching others. Again, and again I come across the same comments "I don't know what to say", "I've run out of options", "I don't understand what they want from me". The problem being the use of the word "I"......we, as HR or as line managers are not there to provide all the answers, but sometimes its about allowing the individual concerned to find their own way.

They may not make the decision you would, and sometimes their decision making might be's their problem to solve, not yours.

Asking the right questions, and watching someone find their own path, and owning it can be so much more fulfilling than telling someone what to do, then managing the consequences when it doesn't work.

Jim used to offer to fix it for everyone....but that style of management has hopefully disappeared along with the shiny tracksuits and gold medallions!!!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Let's get it started.......

All of my life I have been fascinated by human behaviour. I was always the lone child sitting and watching everyone else. This behaviour worried my parents and I remember instead of being threatened with 'being grounded' for bad behaviour I was told I would have to 'go out and play' if I was naughty!!!! Just the thought of enforced socialising meant that I never rebelled or acted up.

I thankfully got better at the talking part, and now feel one of my greatest strengths is engaging with people.....but not because I am naturally outgoing (I have one of the highest 'I' scores in the MBTI system I have ever seen), but because I have learnt via observation what makes people tick.

This led to my career in HR, which is a daily dose of love and hate....... And somedays I feel I want to jack it all in and go and find something less stressful, or demanding of my brain and emotions.

But...thanks to my Army Dad....I am all about finding the solution. I never talk about problem solving, I always call it solution providing. This makes me keep coming back for more because there's nothing more I love than coming up with the solution that brings joy, development, or greater profit to the individual concerned. the end of the day.....they're only human!!!!!!