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So is HR about what we think or what we feel? Most get it absolutely wrong!!

feelings-and-emotions-worksheet1I was listening to an NPR program this morning about ART and Beauty. The discussion was do we think we like the ART/ Beauty we see or do we feel the beauty? Our senses often give us a clearer picture then any formulae.

This is an interesting question.

Much of what we learn is about the facts and the figures “BIG DATA! we just need to look at the design of all of the SHRM and CIPD examinations and much of the leadership literature!!

And yet the most dramatic contributions both positive and negative on the performance of any organization are how people FEEL – Yes Emotions!

  1. Culture – explains the way people are treated and made to feel
  2. Diversity or Inclusion – the mere fact that we are in or out of the “clique” makes us feel part or apart of the organization
  3. Behavior – makes us feel great or persecuted depending on how that behavior was demonstrated and enacted on us
  4. The Golden and the Platinum rule – speaks about how people are being treated.
  6. Love what you do do what you love – wow all about emotions and feelings

When asked what do I do as an HR professional the answer is simple.

I change behavior so that I can develop the organization to be the most profitable it can be; AND the people within that business can reach the height of their creativity.

Oh I hear you say we need data, we have to have safe practices, and we need to work within all legal employment constraints. OFF COURSE WE DO.

But when we forget that it is through the 6 points above that the real work is done then all we are doing is fiddling while Rome burns!! And HR has little value!

HR is about artistry lets not forget humans are people with emotions and focusing on that is the whole purpose of what we do. (For some of us!)

So HR needs artists, for it is they who will differentiate the good from the great and the Ok from the outstanding.

Which kind of HR are you?

Picture courtesy of

Managing Employee Representation

peoplesvoiceReducing unnecessary deceptively attractive opposition to change 

 Some time ago I did a great deal of work on this subject with a colleague.

It is true though that the context never changes. So with that said here are some thoughts:

  1. Remember that some conflict is inevitable. Employee representatives are in the business to secure objectives, which are sometimes different from management.
  2. Consider that the priorities of many employees who are NOT managers are PRIMARILY to their families. The priorities of those who are managers are frequently their CAREERS.
  3. Don’t assume that every employee representative is an anarchist or internal terrorist.
  4. Remember that sometimes employees’ representatives simply “fire the bullets on behalf of someone else!”


  1. Be prepared to explain and consult fully not just the decisions but the rationale behind them.
  2. Ensure that YOU also TALK to the employees not just the employee representatives. NEVER forget they are your employees!
  3. Where the employee representative resists you talking to your employees RESIST they have no rights to this.
  4. INVEST time in your employees and explain how the business is going. They also have a stake in the success if for no other reason their paycheck.
  5. Remember that the business also affects the employee and their family whether in good times or bad.
  6. Communicate regularly with your employees. Even sending letters to the employees’ homes makes lots of sense. Remember families influence your employees sometimes more than you the employer.
  7. Ensure that you give the opportunity for employee representatives to talk to you on a regular basis not just when you want something from them.
  8. Make sure when you talk to them you give them the opportunity to discuss what is going on. It is a TWO WAY dialogue.
  9. Make sure you know the difference between:
    1. COMMUNICATING – informing
    2. CONSULTING – Asking
    3. NEGOTIATING – Bargaining

i.     And let them know which part of the process you and they are taking part!!

10. Let everyone know when the informing, asking and bargaining phases stop and then STOP

Original collaboration on this and thanks to Andy Sargent

Passion versus Paycheck!

I attended a business luncheon the other day, the speaker discussed passion versus paycheck.

These are two totally different definitions, why would you put them in the same sentence?

Definitions: Passion – powerful, intense emotion. Paycheck – payment to an employee for services rendered.

In business, these two words relate to your employees.  You can have passion for the job, (enjoy, love, find it rewarding, sense of responsibly, give your real self to the mission of the organization, really believe.) or are you there for the paycheck (TGIF, give me my money, I am out of here).

You can find all the excuses in the world to just want to collect the paycheck; you’re not the CEO, or the owner, why would you put so much of you (passion) into this job.

But, do you know you are the boss of your job, you can find the passion in what you’re doing.  You need to take charge and shine, and you will get noticed. (Remember you will get noticed anyhow!)

Your employees’ work in different ways, independent, different styles, some are colorful and others are not, that is ok but there is one thing that you do want and that is their hearts and minds and their passion.

AND it is their job, their responsibility to be that way AND it is your job to make it happen.

The passion comes from inside and can be attached to any job. Leadership from you comes from inside too.

A housekeeper in a hotel; should be proud to have the cleanest rooms. Don’t we want to stay in the room that has the housekeeper who goes around with passion about his or her job?  It will be the cleanest and it will have a different “feel.”  Her passion is important to me and to all who travel.

It is all about how we see things in our life. 

One man may be building a brick wall, (no big deal, brick after brick is laid) that is all he sees, the other recognizes that he is building something more worthwhile  he  is building a cathedral, a vision of his accomplishment.

So in your business, do you want an employee that is laying bricks, or someone who is building a cathedral? 

Seeing the passion in your employees’ accomplishments at the end of the day is amazing.  It all comes down to finding the right people for your business, give them the ownership of the position, and let them shine!

Remember how we go about what we gets notices by everyone around!

Guest Blogger:  Sister Mae I

The Bridge of Engagement- Translating Engagement into Meaningful Customer Experience!

Most of us in business are involved in conversations about “engagement” at some time or another!

This is what I found out!

  1. Engagement without direction or purpose is wasted effort and is unacceptable.
  2. Doing nothing about the “internal terrorists” the disengaged is simply not doing your job and will kill your business.
  3. A lack of understanding of what to do with those that are engaged means a lack of  management competence.
  4. Engagement starts in the hiring process. The computer adage of “garbage in garbage out” is appropriate.
  5. Engagement also reaches out to the community in which your business exists and your community is your business world.

This is what works!

  1. Link your engagement scores to your customer satisfaction scores.
  2. Make it a daily conversation in your team meetings.
  3. Identify who really is part of your team.
  4. Understand the thought that making customers want to come to you and recommend you to others is the goal and it gives focus to all what you do.
  5. Engagement means identifying how you motivate the hearts and minds.
  6. Involve your suppliers in the conversation; they are as much a part of your business success as your own employees.
  7. Include customers. They will help you with the key question of how you are translating engagement into their experience.
  8. Identify how the values and your mission are enhanced by higher engagement.
  9. Get those employees “ who have quit and stayed” off the bus.
  10. Remember that engagement starts with you.


Leaders don’t need job descriptions- Lets get down to Business!

How often do you hear? Not in my pay grade, not my job, not in my job description!!

Too much!! Get real do you want to make a difference or keep your job!!

Fire those guys who don’t. We do not want or need them!

In today’s world we simply don’t need those folks around us. Work life and business is hard enough. Dislocated people need to get off the bus now! We want energy!!How much time is wasted in creating, changing, aligning and then doing performance reviews against the words of job descriptions which in any event are part of the old business world of command and control!

They are out of date folks, business has moved on a long way since then. Who does not get that one?

Anyway for those who still wish to cling to job descriptions, they are out of date as soon as you write them. Do we not realize that business changes every day!

Lets get with it!!  Gen Y, Millenniums and Gen Z need to be inspired not put to sleep reading crafted words, which “do not compute” and are from a distant era. Heck we all want to be inspired says this Gen X’er.

So lets stop the stifling and start the energy of creativity and excitement!

Highly engaged people don’t need to be restricted they need to be refreshed and refueled!

What purpose do job descriptions serve? The get out of jail card? The protection against the disinterested the dislocated employee?? Well that’s ripe.

Anyway most managers don’t use them effectively because. You know those answers!

So I hear you say we need to know the essential duties of the job!!! – That’s simple “Get the job done within your abilities! – Safely, legally and respectfully!! How can I help?”

I don’t hear much discussion when we speak about the success of our leadership, I certainly don’t see a rush for a job description to find out whether our leaders have been successful.

So what do we need for a successful business and the ability to attract people who want to work for us?

  1. Relevancy and currency in what we do and how we practice our business.
  2. Produce Mission statements for people roles – which clearly identify  – context and accountability. – Your purpose here is to seek opportunities to improve…
  3. Promote self-managed teams who get the job done – people have brains and they want to use it- and by the way this method works! There are very businesses where people work alone.
  4. Make it a core recruitment requirement that the purpose of any new recruit is to come to work to build a business and as key contributors– we want their energy, hearts and minds, brain and personality, relationship skills and the “can do” mindset. Otherwise no bus rides for them!
  5. Figure out and fast how to get the dislocated of the bus and sort out crappy recruitment practices that let the wrong employees on the bus
  6. Define the opportunities not the constraints’ of what we want from people and what we expect of them. Then let them figure it out!
  7. Get rid of bureaucracy  – fastest way to dislocate people from what they do

As leaders lets develop the talent that develops the business

Focus on the mission of the job role and let the people and the team figure out what needs to be done with freedom, energy, connectivity and passion

As Leaders our job is to define the vision and mission and then

Create the environment that people can succeed

Communicate the real issues

Connect with everyone within the organization

Collaborate to inspire inclusion

Coach to develop yourself and others

Do all these things and let’s see how much we really need all that paperwork Lets talk about competency and free people from the boxes and the chains of job descriptions.

(Pic- Anton Tang)


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