Party on, HR

party onDoes it strike you as odd that the July/August HR Magazine features a seven-page article titled “25 Fun & Easy Ways to Boost Morale?” On first glance, this looks pretty neat. The writer crowd-sourced ideas on social media and shared them in the article. The ideas range from movie tickets to time off to an ugly sweater contest. Each story exclaimed how excited the employees were with the activity.

Call me a spoil sport but the article hit me the wrong way. My first thought was….our profession has been trying for decades to get out of the role of party planner, so now our professional magazine is touting party planning?

And then I thought to myself, “You really are a grouch, aren’t you?Continue reading

For you, Uncle Bill

bill bob collae[My apologies for straying somewhat from the business theme of my blog, but part of success in business is understanding and tolerance.]

When I was a little girl in the 50s, my uncle Bill was my favorite uncle. He always remembered my birthday, and he had this Thunderbird convertible that was way-cool, and his friend Bob was a special person. He was my “Uncle Bob.”

As I got older, I’d hear my parents talking about Uncle Bill “having” to move again. That seemed to happen more and more frequently. His friend, Bob, always moved with him. When I asked about why they kept moving, I’d get these vague answers, like there was something more to the story, but I was too young to hear it.

My mom and I would travel to visit my uncles, but my dad would never go with us. My mom loved her brother, and worried for him but I never understood why. Our visits to their homes were fun; they’d show us everything in the different towns in Texas. We’d take the train from Illinois which was a treat. Continue reading

Should We Get Employee Relations Issues out of the Closet?

risk_management_03I saw an article titled “If you’re being investigated by HR.” The title gave me pause, but I had to spend a bit of time figuring out why.

Here’s what I concluded. I’m bothered by the reputation that inevitably will follow HR if they are known as “investigators.” Yes, I realize that HR is tasked with investigating employee relations issues; often a substantial percentage of HR’s work. The article offered good advice from a labor attorney about handling the delicate issues of confidentiality and responsibility in employment-related investigations.

Is that, however, how HR wants to be known within their organization? I equate investigations with policing, and surely that’s not the role we want?

I suggest that HR would be much better served were their reputation one of helping the organization improve performance and deliver programs that drive organizational value. Am I missing something?

Perhaps it is worth looking at alternatives to becoming the investigators in the organization. I see some options. Continue reading