Yall may remember that my little brother graduated High School this year (and my little sister is graduating next year). With back to back graduations and my husbands siblings graduating a couple of years behind mine there has been a lot of chit-chat about grade point average lately. I also do a good amount of college recruiting for a technical company and we basically only consider students with a 3.5 or above, so we are always talking about GPA at work as well.
Ten years ago when I went to college no one told us to have a good GPA, they just told us to get our degree (I guess I didn’t even listen to those instructions). You may think that sounds silly and having a great GPA should be a given, but I think it should be emphasized to students that it’s expected. I cannot begin to count the students I’ve had to talk to at career fairs with less than a 3.0 GPA that seem totally shocked that it is a dis-qualifier (after all you don’t have any work experience, how else am I supposed to gauge what you are capable of?). Some of our kids must be getting the wrong message for this to still be an issue!
At annual conference (#SHRM14) we were so graced with the presence of Tom Friedman (my least favorite general session speaker) and he harped on the idea that average is disappearing. Hopefully he cleared this up during the details, but I kept losing focus. First, it’s mathematically impossible for average to disappear. Average will always exist. Second, we will always be redefining average. Getting a degree (or some technical certification, etc.) used to be encouraged, now it’s required. It’s a tool to prepare you to do a job/enter a career. It is not a tool to set you apart from other applicants anymore, they have a degree too. This doesn’t mean average is disappearing it means expectations are changing. Now to set yourself apart you must have a great GPA along with some other accomplishments. I actually interviewed a candidate this week that is looking for at least 14k more than what he makes now because he believes “his degree should be worth that.” No. It’s not just the degree, it’s the grades, it’s the previous experience and so on. It really irked me that he thought his degree alone was a sufficient explanation.
Maybe I’m too hard on folks.
A week ago I was listening to Robin Roberts inspire 10,000+ HR professionals with her journey, wisdom and strength. I continue to be impressed with the speakers that SHRM pulls for events, but Robin Roberts probably takes the cake! She was so humble and I love her sense of humor. A week later I’m still sitting her amazed at the honor of sharing a room with her. She was just amazing, but we also heard from one of our own, Heather Abbott. Heather, if you do not know, is an HR professional (and certified I might add) that was injured at the Boston marathon bombing. Heather lost part of her left leg and has had to overcome a life changing injury. She decided to be an advocate for others who have experiences similar to hers. It was inspiring to hear from Heather and she was a great choice to pair with Robin Roberts message.
Going back through my tweets (which is basically my way of taking notes) I only had three tweets during Robin’s session. That honestly happened because I was paying attention to her the entire time! So what did I learn from Robin?
- Things will not always go as planned, and that’s just life-you can go on. We already know that we have to be ready to switch gears when a plan doesn’t pan out as beautifully as we’ve imagined, but a reminder doesn’t hurt.
- Proximity is power! The notion that proximity is power is… well… powerful! I can think of several examples throughout my career thus far that panned out the way they did because of proximity.
- When you strut, you stumble (everyone needs a reminder to not let yourself get cocky).
- Transparency will have a huge impact. When Robin told the story of almost crying on air when asked if she found her family after Katrina hit she walked us through her thoughts that focused heavily on the fact that she was going to get fired because she was showing emotion on air. Her real emotions had a positive impact on ratings and people felt connected to the heartache that Katrina caused. Transparency is not always a bad thing. If Robin Roberts can be transparent on air, what is holding you back in the office? I’ve said it a million times, but I believe if you treat people like adults, they will behave like adults. I think that means being transparent. Can’t you tell when someone is hiding something from you? What makes you think your employees can’t tell?
- A good team to cheer you on can get you through anything. We heard about her co-workers, family and friends being there for her in difficult times. They were even there for her when she didn’t expect them to be and they made it very clear to her that it was not just her fight but their fight too during her most recent battle with her health. How awesome is that? How would our workforce feel if they knew we were in their battle too? How would they feel if they could see behind the policies. procedures, etc. and see that we will make sure they have everything they need to face their battles and struggles? Whoooo, I can’t even imagine, can you?
These are simple takeaways that we can use every day in HR routines. The only question is, will you?
What did you love about Robin Roberts session?
#SHRM14 is buzzing with fun topics, great vendors and 13,000 attendees, but I may have witnessed the best session that this conference had to offer! This morning Steve Browne gave an energizing presentation that was very much-needed, considering it was 7am. Steve has an amazing outlook on the HR profession and how we can be change agents for our organization. The theme is to not be what we think HR is supposed to be and start being what our people need us to be. How do we get there? We have to start with being ourselves at work. We all know HR has stereotypes and to save face I won’t run through a list of them, but the best way to break those stereotypes is to be ourselves at work because after all, HR is human too!
Now that you are being yourself lets simplify HR. Quit using policies to punish people. Stop automating your leaders. Stop and listen to your people. I know, that’s crazy talk to some of you, but put some thought into it. We don’t get it because we want people to be like us and not like themselves. When did that happen? Why do we want people to stop being themselves at work? Why do you stop being yourself at work? Doesn’t that make for a more taxing day? Doesn’t that make for a tense work environment? Isn’t that way less enjoyable? I digress..
Steve had a lot of great takeaways and for the sake of keeping your attention I’m going to keep it short (AND HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT WHEN YOUR LOCAL CHAPTER OF HR PROS ARE IN NEED OF A RECHARGE YOU GET THIS GUY TO COME DOWN AND SPEAK AT AN EVENT), but a huge one that really set with me is “Do not let anyone demean what you do.” Not even your friends. We can’t expect our people to respect what we do, if we don’t respect what we do. Are you listening HR? Are you listening my fellow snarks? Nothing has ever been improved using negativity. Negativity is not a problem solver, if anything it’s a problem creator. Steve challenged us to not use this approach so I’m passing the challenge on to you. We wouldn’t want our people to try to implement change through negativity, right?
This year our #SHRM14 blogger crew is looking to “Strike Out Hunger” and we need your help! You may recall that last year we had a super fun game of kickball for our fundraiser (no doubt I’m still bitter that the green team got shafted), but this year we are taking to the lanes for a fundraiser Big Lebowski style. You may be asking what that means to you? Two things- 1) you can join us and 2)you can donate from wherever you’re reading this. There is limited space and the event is this Sunday (I know, I’m sooo last-minute), but consider helping out this worthy cause!
Why No Kid Hungry?
This year, more than 16 million children in America will face hunger. That’s one in five. Share our Strength is working to connect hungry kids with the food they need to grow and thrive. We’re doing our part to connect kids to the healthy food they need every day. Every dollar we raise will make a huge impact for kids. In fact, just $1 can help connect a child with 10 meals.
That’s huge! Please be a part of this with us. I cannot even begin to tell you the impact you will have on these children!
Who sponsors this event?
The event is sponsored by Dovetail Software and Dice.com. They have not only helped with providing the event but are also kicking in some sweet items for our silent auction. We are honored and appreciative to have them on our side once again! Last year we topped $11,000 in donations. We’d like to see that number go up!
We can only top that number if you get involved and donate! Invite your friends to donate, we know you have a lot of friends! This event is going to be a lot of fun, and you have some control over how fun it can get. Dwane has promised this to anyone who wants to accept:
And since our love for sport and helping others is nearly matched by our love for playing dress up, we are taking the inspiration for the theme from one of the greatest bowling movies ever, The Big Lebowski. And since it is a costume party, and we have little to no shame when it comes to NKH, for any donations over $500 we will re-enact a scene of your choosing from the film, and post it online for the world to see.
There you have it folks, now are you going to get involved? Click here to donate to our team!
You can see the original post (without my snarky remarks) at Dwanes blog!
#SHRM14 is just a few days away and I’m packing up for a week away with my HR buddies. I’m pretty excited for the opportunity to attend annual conference again. For me it’s like a place to recharge and get excited for the profession again. You’ll hear inspiring stuff from the keynote speakers, something you can bring back to the workplace in concurrent sessions and you’ll grow your network while you are there. You’ll have everything you need to be a great HR pro under one roof from an I “heart” HR jacket to the latest and greatest HR books to vendors for every possible thing you can think of. A quick Google of #SHRM14 will point you to some sound advice from veteran conference goers, groups from all over the country trying to connect with people in their industry, and of course party guides for making the most of your week out of the office.
I just have a few notes to put you at ease before you head to Orlando this year. 1) Stop worrying about silly things like dress code. You are a grown up, wear whatever you want. 2) We are all busy, your office will survive without you. Do not be that guy that sighs and huffs and puffs between each session while you proclaim how busy you are and that you don’t understand why your managers and so on can’t make decisions without you (we can only assume it’s because you won’t let them make decisions without you when you are in the office). 3) Have a plan. You can check out all of the sessions before you get to Orlando so do it. Download the app and plan your day out, it’s not that hard-pick a session!
Get out there and learn something new. Have fun in Orlando. Make new connections. Go back to the office and share what you’ve learned and follow-up with those new connections. They will prove to be useful throughout the year. Don’t be shy. Don’t waste your trip to Orlando. If you are going to #SHRM14 email me or hit me up on twitter and lets hang out! But, if you can’t find me it’s because I’m at Disney trying to pick up a gig as Belle while we are there, but one that doesn’t sing. I don’t have a good singing voice. Maybe they have a Belle job for someone that can rap? A girl can dream…