Category: Strategic HR
A snapshot of what a recent group of CEO’s told me is most important to them:
Here’s my quick question: Do you think the HR folks at these companies know what the most important HR concerns are of their owners? Do you know what is most important to your owners?
I recently received a marketing email from SHRM (no surprise there) on the top 50 books for HR practitioners. Below is a quick description of those books. Let me discuss the main categories addressed and share my thoughts.
- Change management
- Performance management
- Dealing with poor performers
- Emotional intelligence
- Compliance auditing
- Compliance in general
- Employee handbook templates
- Managing new supervisors
- Motivation and team building
- Understanding the math of HR
Each of the above is a critical HR function at any sized company. Most of our Members have between 15-500 employees and don’t have the large HR departments many of these books are aimed at. All of these bases are covered on HR That Works. For example, there are webinars on change management, performance management, emotional intelligence, managing new supervisors, how to be strategic and know numbers (hint: take a look at the Cost Calculator). There is everything you will ever need for compliance, including the BNA State Law Summaries. Of course we have a great employee handbook template and a deal with the Worklaw® Network attorneys to help you go final for only $997.
Perhaps the single most important program on HR That Works is the Time Management one. It is the biggest thing stopping any executive from adding more value and growing in their career. Know this: You can’t add more value until you STOP doing low value work. This requires discipline, confidence, and the ability to delegate or say “no”.
My suggestion: If you wish to move beyond the ordinary, spend at least one hour each week reading a report, watching a webinar, implementing a strategic HR tool, etc. If you ever get stuck, give me a call. Here’s to your continued learning and growth.
Transformative HR: How Great Companies Use Evidence-Based Change for Sustainable Advantage
This book demonstrates how some of the world’s most admired and prominent organizations are redefining HR leadership by using evidence-based change to inform human capital
Nine Minutes on Monday: The Quick and Easy Way to Turn Managers into Leaders
The No. 1 reason why managers fail to increase productivity and get the best out of their people is they neglect to keep their leadership priorities in front of them.
The Crowdsourced Performance Review
With The Crowdsourced Performance Review, you’ll create a review system that gathers the feedback of many, so you can make better, more informed decisions.
Emotional Intelligence 2.0
This “other kind of smart” is the No.1 predictor of success, both personally and professionally. This book helps readers identify their emotional intelligence and turn their skills into strengths.
Auditing Your Human Resources Department, 2nd edition
Business units everywhere, and especially human resource departments, are under the gun to prove their effectiveness and strategic value. Now you can accurately gauge how well you’re doing with this new edition of Auditing Your Human Resources Department. The comprehensive guide walks readers through a rigorous, in-depth self-assessment process that is far less costly and intimidating than an outside audit.
Harassment: Sex, Religion and Beyond
This popular training series brings this message home, showing that bad behavior is not OK—whether it applies to sex, religion or anything beyond.
New Supervisor Training
New Supervisor Training will enable you to help up-and-coming supervisors make the transition from individual contributor to leader.
The HR Answer Book, 2nd edition
Written in question-and-answer format, this essential reference book addresses more than 200 areas of concern and provides insight into real HR situations. Includes ready-to-use tools!
Create Your Own Employee Handbook, 6th edition
This book and CD-ROM provide information and policies all managers, HR professionals and business owners need to create their own reader-friendly guide, no matter what state they are in.
How to Deal with Annoying People
The world is filled with annoying people, but there is hope and help! Churches, individuals, couples, employees and managers will benefit from this look at personality styles and close, sometimes conflicted, interaction.
The Essential Guide to Workplace Investigations, 3rd edition
The new edition of this best-selling book documents the 10 steps to legally and successfully investigate and resolve any type of workplace complaint or problem.
Creative Onboarding Programs
Fully updated with new case studies of best practices from successful companies, this book helps employees do their best work from the minute they first walk in the door.
101 Sample Write Ups for Documenting Employee Performance Problems, 2nd edition
This bestseller, with CD-ROM, covers dozens of problems likely to occur in the workplace, and the 101 samples help you generate a corrective action notice.
2600 Phrases for Effective Performance Reviews
This book puts the right words at your fingertips, with ready-to-use phrases, action items and descriptions you can use to evaluate performance, prepare development plans and more
The Definitive Guide to HR Communication: Engaging Employees in Benefits, Pay, and Performance
Two experienced HR communications consultants show how to dramatically improve the effectiveness of every HR message.
Got a Minute? The 9 Lessons Every HR Professional Must Learn to Be Successful
Designed to help HR professionals deal with challenging employees in the workplace, this best-selling book presents several real-life stories of employee behavior within a broad range of circumstances
Tweet This! Twitter for Business
This handy guide offers basic instruction as well as advanced networking and marketing strategies for consultants, entrepreneurs and small-business owners.
Human Resource Essentials: Your Guide to Starting and Running the HR Function, 2nd edition
From staffing, training, and performance management to compensation and benefits and policy creation and review, this best-seller offers the information needed to design, run and manage the HR function
Reality-Based Leadership: Ditch the Drama, Restore Sanity to the Workplace and Turn Excuses Into Results
Expert Fast Company blogger Cy Wakeman reveals how to be the kind of leader who changes the way people think about and perceive their circumstances without drama or defensiveness.
You’re Not That Great: A Motivational Book
Psychologist and leadership coach Dr. Daniel Crosby offers You’re Not that Great as an anecdote to the saccharine self-help books that promote happiness and self-esteem at the expense of personal integrity. Arguing against complacency, Crosby encourages his readers to consider rules for successful living that are based on the pursuit of excellence rather than the assumption of it.
Leadership Training shows you how to integrate 10 key leadership competencies to create leadership training programs that get results. Companion CD-ROM included.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Leaders and teams alike turn to The Five Dysfunctions of a Team for additional tools and materials to bring the dysfunctions to life on their own teams and organizations.
High-Impact Interview Questions
This book shows you how to use competency-based behavioral interviewing methods that will uncover truly relevant and useful information.
The Essential Guide to Family & Medical Leave, 3rd edition
This book provides information and forms you need to comply with the FMLA and answers vital questions such as “Who qualifies for leave?” and “How much leave can employees take?”
HR Transformation: Building Human Resources from the Outside In
Named as BusinessWeek’s No. 1 Management Educator, expert Dave Ulrich and his team of authors bring human resources a whole new way of thinking and practicing — moving the focus from internal issues to actively helping to set business strategies. Businesses of the future need “all hands on deck” when implementing new ways to stimulate growth and cost-efficiency, and this includes human resources.
New Employee Orientation Training
A flexible, icon-driven format and dozens of worksheets, exercises, handouts and assessments allow you to develop customized new employee training. Includes companion CD-ROM
Business-Focused HR: 11 Processes to Drive Results
Business-Focused HR provides the tools for HR leaders and people managers across the organization to become more business-focused with the processes that they execute.
From Hello to Goodbye: Proactive Tips for Maintaining Positive Employee Relations
The lessons provided in this best-selling book will make you more proactive and prepared, and will reinforce the fact that a successful last day of work begins on that very first day of work.
Aligning Human Resources and Business Strategy, 2nd edition
Approved for Strategic Credit
Learn how to strengthen the relationship between people strategy and business success through your approach to performance and development, and impress at the highest levels.
Lean HR: Introducing Process Excellence to Your Practice
Lean principles have been used for years in the manufacturing world, and have started to make an impact in the office as well. These tools can provide the foundation to building a systematic approach to improving your HR practice and lowering costs.
Supervisor’s Guide to Labor Relations
This booklet outlines in practical language the do’s and don’ts of avoiding unfair labor practices during an organizing campaign.
Becoming the Evidence-Based Manager: Making the Science of Management Work for You
This book covers a wide range of critical people management skills, such as hiring, inspiring, training, developing, motivating and coaching. Readers gain a thorough understanding of how to put the science of management to work for themselves and their organizations.
180 Ways to Spread Contagious Enthusiasm
This handbook gives you 180 morale-boosting ideas to help you bring more caring, communication, respect, and appreciation to the place where you work.
Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Employees Want
Studies confirm that career development is the most powerful tool managers have for driving retention, engagement, productivity and results. This book identifies the tools you need.
The Essential Guide to Federal Employment Laws, 4th edition
The new edition of this best-selling guide covers 20 of the most important federal employment laws, including the FLSA, the FMLA and the ADA, and provides plain-language explanations of what each law allows and prohibits; which businesses must comply; record-keeping, posting and reporting requirements; penalties for violating the law; and more.
301 Ways to Have Fun at Work
301 Ways to Have Fun at Work offers a complete resource anyone can use to create a dynamic workplace that encourages and inspires fun-and-games camaraderie among employees.
Dealing with Problem Employees, 6th edition
Filled with proven techniques and effective solutions for managing problem employees, this book covers a broad range of topics — from avoiding bad hires to legally firing workers who won’t improve.
A Necessary Evil: Managing Employee Activity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn … and the Hundreds of Other Social Media Sites
This first-of-its-kind people management book will help managers guide employees in their use of social media sites while balancing productivity, and it will help HR professionals set policies that do both.
The Employer’s Legal Handbook: Manage Your Employees and Workplace Effectively
This guide shows you how to comply with the most recent workplace laws and regulations, run a safe and fair workplace, and avoid lawsuits.
Employment Law: The Essential HR Desk Reference
As a human resources professional, it’s important to have quick access to the information you need to do your job. Employment Law: The Essential HR Desk Reference is an all-in-one, easy-to-read guide every HR pro should have handy.
The Job Description Handbook, 3rd edition
This all-in-one resource can help you create HR documents that provide the details of every job’s duties, requirements, qualifications and much more. Includes a CD-ROM.
Social Media Strategies for Professionals and Their Firms
Social Media Strategies for Professionals and Their Firms shows professionals and marketers a new approach to familiar marketing tactics, and it offers step-by-step instructions on how to put social media to work for your professional practice.
Perfect Phrases Series
Packed with hundreds of handy phrases, these quick-reference guides can be real lifesavers — on the job, at school, anywhere.
The Power of Stay Interviews for Engagement and Retention
“In today’s world, employees are such an important asset to the success of any business. Every employee who voluntarily leaves their company is a financial and cultural loss to the organization. Retention has become such a burning issue for so many companies. The author reminds us that it’s not rocket science, there is no silver bullet, it simply comes down to knowing what makes an employee want to stay one person at a time, and holding managers accountable for doing so.” — Lisa Doyle, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, St. David’s HealthCare
How to Measure Human Resource Management
The basic methodology in this book enable you to objectively evaluate all your HR activities including staff planning, pay and benefits systems, employee and labor relations, HRIS services, and more!
Up, Down and Sideways: High-Impact Verbal Communication for HR Professionals
This book was written to help HR practitioners — at all levels — become better verbal communicators, thereby making them better at their jobs and more valuable to their companies.
The Performance Appraisal Handbook
The Performance Appraisal Handbook is a must-read for every manager, whether you’re writing a performance review for the first time or the hundredth.
The HR Scorecard
HR’s strategic role begins with designing an HR architecture — the HR function, the HR system, and strategic employee behaviors — that emphasizes and reinforces the implementation of the firm’s strategy.
Handbook of Compensation and Benefits Formulas
In the past three decades, the world of compensation and benefits has experienced a revolution. And, while the role of today’s total rewards professionals has become more strategic and business oriented, some fundamentals of the job will always hold true. One such fundamental is math. In this “Handbook of Compensation and Benefits Formulas,” World at Work Press has combined two of its most popular math-oriented resources: “Calculate This!” and “Excel Tips,” a collection of nearly 100 columns.
I recently received this email from a competitor of ours, BLR. While I believe they have excellent compliance resources I also believe they are dead wrong in what is most important.
You see, the #1 goal of HR should be to help grow the company. That’s the biggest risk ownership will ever face. That’s what they tell us in our surveys and in my workshops with them. That means you help hire well, drive performance and retain your winners. Guess what?…do that and chances are you don’t get sued. And, any exposure to an EPLI claim should be capped with the purchase of an EPLI policy.
Unfortunately, the lawyers and compliance publishers want to you live in fear, not abundance. My advice…don’t listen to that nonsense! Get your compliance blocking and tackling in place and then look to be a strategic partner. There are a ton of tools on HR That Works to help you do just that!
We are excited to be able to present this unique and dynamic full-day workshop for Business Owners and HR Executives in the Phoenix/Tempe area on May 22. Learn how you can cut benefits costs by thousands of dollars…per employee! Learn how inspired HR practices can grow the bottom line and your career! Qualifies for 7 strategic HR recertification credits.
I recently attended a great HR meeting presented by the San Diego HR Forum. (www.sdhrforum.com) As the title suggests the goal was to understand how HR can help grow the bottom line.
It was moderated by one of the sharpest people I have ever met, Claudia Schwartz, from HR Results. Here are some of the notes I took at that wonderful session. Note there may be some overlap in the question/answer area:
What made you successful as an HR executive?
- The ability to get along with someone is more important than particular skillsets.
- Educating and selling the HR value.
- Ask how you can help the CEO or managers to be successful.
- A ton of passion and energy.
- Think of other managers as your clients.
- Be prepared to make hard decisions.
- Understand why people make the decisions they do.
- Hire to fill the gap in your own skills and abilities.
- Be highly adaptable.
- Celebrate your HR wins!
- Understand internal and external metrics.
- Provide support and mentoring to help employees conquer that “one thing” that gets in the way of their career success.
What makes for great HR?
- If you’re not generating the change, they will be doing the change to you.
- Importance of establishing credibility your first 3-4 weeks on the job.
- Stay out of the office at first.
- Understand that HR is very much a risk management role.
- Know the business.
- “Ask what’s closest to the dollars.”
- Recruit the best—understand the needs, competitor vulnerability, and appropriate compensation.
- Have business acumen, strategic thinking, influence, and candor.
- Stay away from being the HR police.
- Make sure any HR executives you hire are results-oriented, flexible, and adaptable.
- Look for commitment, drive, energy, and passion.
- Know where you own gaps are. Often it’s a lack of business acumen, which will be boosted by getting an MBA.
- Engage in effective listening, fluent speaking, and curiosity about the work you do and world you live in.
- Be very responsive. Try to get back to everyone within 24 hours.
- One of the greatest challenges is managing the first-time supervisor (we did a webinar on that which is available on HR That Works).
- What benchmarks, metrics, surveys, conversations, scorecards, can you generate?
- Are you attending the right meetings?
- Look to see what talent, infrastructure, and resources are available to you.
- “Listen to what your organization is asking for.”
- “Where is the pain in the organization?”
- “Make sure your strength is in the field.” In other words, don’t get stuck in a corporate headquarter and be disconnected from field operations. If you have a large HR organization, make sure you have HR people reporting to field presidents to create buy-in.
How do you involve all of your business partners
- HR has a sales job to do. Try to make it their idea.
- Agreement is not buy-in.
- Tie in a new idea to an existing successful idea.
- Find out if the manager or supervisor is a trailblazer versus a traditionalist.
- Have a high tolerance for ambiguity.
- Focus on your blocking and tackling before you focus on strategic thinking.
- Keep communicating, keep communicating, keep communicating, keep communicating.
- Most CEOs don’t know HR well, they just want you to get it right.
- Adopt HR as a business partner concept.
- Does HR find out about things after-the-fact or beforehand?
- Think of HR support as a call center. Allow employees to contact you by phone or email and make sure there is responsiveness.
- “What are the people implications of the key initiatives going around the organization?”
While the above notes may seem a bit disjointed, the overall theme of the presentation was not. If I could summarize it in three bullet points it would be:
- The HR opportunity is what you make of it.
- Strategic thinking is great, but blocking and tackling comes first.
- You have to communicate the HR opportunity as most owners and managers don’t fully appreciate it. HR has to be an influencer and has a sales job to do.
The meeting was highly satisfying for me not just because of my excitement about the San Diego Human Resource Forum having access to HR That Works, but because everything that was discussed in that meeting is embedded into the HR That Works program! I encourage you to watch the stored webinars and view the materials for becoming a strategic HR executive.
Reagan Consulting works with insurance agencies nationwide, primarily helping them with financial strategies. While they do not offer HR services they did an excellent study of the HR needs of insurance agencies. Bobby Reagan allowed me to share this report with you because it drives home so much of what I have been saying about the challenges and opportunities in good HR practices for both my agency partners and their clients. The report addresses these core HR functions:
- Recruiting staff positions
- Policies & procedures
- Benefits administration
- Conflict resolution
- Performance reviews
- Payroll administration
The challenges you have as an agency are the same challenges your clients have. When you are ready to take full advantage of HR That Works for your internal operations, as well as that for your clients, we’ll be here to help you do just that!
“Only mediocrity is sure of itself.” –Paulo Coelho
Last month I did a Workshop at the PIHRA convention in Anaheim with the above title. Here are some of the points I made in that workshop:
- Do you believe in HR? If you claim that you do, what risks are you willing to take on behalf of that belief? Asked another way, what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? If you have a deep faith in yourself and what you are capable of, are you demanding that you get the opportunity to make a difference? Or does that belief wallow in silence?
- This is the “story” of HR. But it doesn’t have to be your story! I’ve gone so far as to suggest HR executives call themselves anything other than HR! Queen for the Day is better. Or Chief People Officer, Chief Relationship Officer, etc. Fact is, no matter what you get paid or what you can accomplish, the very term “HR” makes an emotional connection which says: administrative.
- Because it has been so under-valued HR is a real opportunity! Most of the competition leaves this opportunity on the table very day. In large part because HR executives don’t know how to make a case for strategic HR. When I speak to CEO groups I go over the math and ROI of HR so they get the investment opportunity. Fact is, in most companies the opportunity is worth at least 10% of annual payroll. So in a $2,000,000 total payroll company that means the opportunity is worth at least $200,000!
- The number one excuse of those in attendance as the reason why they don’t engage in more strategic activity is TIME. Yet few of them have ever taken a time management course (P.S. there’s one on HR That Works I designed). When I coach HR and other executives the first thing I do is have them get crystal clear as to where their time is going and then get them to STOP doing 5 hours of low value work per week. That frees up 20 hours of opportunity time per month. Do you know where your time goes? What will you stop doing for 5 hours per week?
- If we want to get paid we have to understand business and money. One of the great Catch-22’s is the fact that many people in HR are terrible with numbers! Especially if they did not migrate into the role from accounting, etc. In addition, we have to learn how to talk to business owners in a way that gets their attention. Meaning we have to understand revenue and activity equivalents of HR costs. By attending the webinar listed at the end of this article, I’ll show you how to have that conversation the right way.
- When you think of HR do the words creativity, innovation, and fun come to mind? Or do you agree that 99.9% of HR is boring? Which implies…you may be boring?? (I dread the thought.) Again, it doesn’t have to be that way. Where’s your creative edge? What tests and experiments are you running? How robust is your suggestion system? How out of the box are ya? If you haven’t already done so, do yourself a super-big favor and read Gordon MacKenzie’s Orbiting the Giant Hairball. (P.S. Hairball means the policies and procedures people like HR create that can stifle organizations.)
- Do you have an HR plan? Unfortunately most small and mid-sized companies don’t. Do you have a plan for your HR career? As the beautiful May Kay so accurately stated, “Most people plan their vacations better than their careers.” There is no substitute for good planning. Try building a house without one. Or an HR department or career. I am a big fan of rolling 90-day game plans that focus on one strategic objective a month. I also coach my clients to have daily game plans so that they make their day as opposed to everyone else doing it for them.
- Get fired up! What are you waiting for…a next lifetime? It is important to rediscover your BIG WHY’S and make a commitment to attaining them. Whether it be for the company, yourself, your family, your dream adventure, or anyone else you can make a difference with. Being fired up is an inside-out job. Don’t expect others to do it for you.
- Lastly, be prepared to ask for a raise. Not because you want one or need one but because you’ve added so much value that you deserve one. I know that many HR executives are intimidated by money and intimidated by asking for more of it. If you believe in yourself and know you can and make a difference then get paid what are worth or work someplace where you can be fully and financially actualized.
So, if you are one of those people who is not stuck on ordinary, I encourage you to view the HR That Works webinar recording on Getting Paid to Grow the Bottom Line.
Congratulations goes out to four outstanding women who completed the year-long HR That Works Black Belt training program!
From left to right Leslie Thomas, Lisa Hecker, Tootie Norton, and Brenda Boyer.
We are witnessing a great deal of M&A activity once again. While tough times produce many wonderful buying opportunities, all come with inherent risks. There are numerous risks you want to audit for from a human resource perspective including:
- How do the cultures of the two organizations different? Peter Drucker claimed that 2 out of 3 M&A’s fail due to cultural reasons. As Dr. Deming taught us, you have to drive the fear out of the situation. Fear that the acquired executives and employees will not respect your ways of doing business and fear on the part of the newcomers that you won’t be considerate of their insights. Great leaders take these fears head-on so that the M&A doesn’t get destroyed by unnecessary dramas.
- You want to look at the best HR practices from each organization. Does one company hire employees better than the other? How do they manage performance or motivate employees? What standards do they set for promotions? How do they manage compliance concerns? What sorts of training programs do they operate? Who has the “best practices”?
- The M&A process implies there will be a culling of the herd. How will you identify who is left off the bus in a way that doesn’t let go of the wrong employee and prevents you from getting sued in the process? Have your criteria for the inevitable layoffs and terminations been reviewed by employment counsel?
- Compensation and benefits is another very important consideration during the M&A process. Inevitably, executives and employees will be paid differently for doing the same or similar work. This will be an excellent time to revisit your compensation and benefit plans and strategies in general. Are you paying competitive salaries and wages? You have to look to the marketplace for that answer. What would you have to hire one of these employees for today? Are you using competitive benefits? As mentioned in previous posts, a dollar spent on benefits versus a dollar spent on compensation has a greater perceived value to employees. Consider this fact at a time when many companies are looking to shed benefits. Lastly, what can you learn from each other’s incentive programs? What boosts sales or productivity?
HR should be instrumental in making sure the “soft stuff” is addressed during the M&A process. HR That Works Members have access to an entire M&A audit that they should consider using during such a process.