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Articles by Sabrina Baker
Below is an actual conversation held with a business leader. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Me (answering phone): Hi Dave,
Dave: Hey I was wondering if you knew what Jerry (another leader) had decided to do about Tom (matrix employee who is having disciplinary issues).
I’ve been using this tag line of “small business who think big” for just under a year now. I took some time last year to really understand my target audience and focus my work and thought that best defines the clients I want to work with. It seems to be resonating because when potential clients reach out, they often mention how they really like that line and thought it fit them well.
And then they ask me what it means.
Since officially starting my business in 2011, I set out to be a voice for small business HR. When I say small business HR, I’m not necessarily talking about HR Departments of One. I do include them in this group; but, primarily, I’m focusing even smaller, as in 125 employees or less. Often these businesses do not have one dedicated HR person. They have an Office Manager or CFO handling their HR along with many other tasks.
I’m doing something I never do. Seriously. In nearly 10 years of attending the annual SHRM conference pretty regularly, I have never done this before.
As of the writing of this post, I have actually taken a little time to review the session descriptions for SHRM16 and have earmarked a few I want to attend.
I’m planning ahead.
In January, I participated in the first DisruptHR Orange County event. If you aren’t familiar with DisruptHR, it is a Ted-esque style event with speakers in the HR/Recruiting world speaking for five minutes with 20 slides that automatically advance every 15 seconds. For even the most seasoned of speakers it’s a bit nerve-racking. After much shuffling of speakers, I was asked to close out the night.
If you think about things that are easier said than done, accepting failure has to be towards the top of that list. We all do it. In our hearts and minds we know it isn’t the end of the world. We know that some of the best things have been born out of repeated failures.
When it happens to us we want to crawl in bed, hide under the covers and never come out again.
Failure can be so defeating.
Many years ago when I was the Director of HR for a global company, I inherited a Human Resource Manager who was, to put it mildly, the oddest person I had ever met. I’m not sure I can even describe her. She would say strange things, write even stranger emails and literally made every person she ever encountered scratch their heads as they walked away.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the ABC’s of selling. Always. Be. Closing. Well I think there should be a similar mantra in leadership. Always. Be. Developing. The ABD’s.
The title of this post is kind of a no-brainer right? You would think. Yet, companies all over the world put up a smoke and mirrors show through the interview process only for an excited candidate to take the job and find a very different reality.
So here’s my plea. Stop lying about your company culture.
I am always fascinated by the way we communicate with one another. We have an abundance of words available to us that we could weave into beautiful sentences. Yet we choose to be lazy with our words or not use them at all. Even more fascinating than the words we use might be the way in which we choose to communicate.
So much information comes from a conference of this size. It is clearly impossible to attend every session and soak up all of the great content shared. That’s why Twitter is amazing. I spent much of yesterday and last evening scrolling through the tweets from day 3 of the conference. I am listing what I think are the best below. Obviously I couldn’t have read through every tweet so this isn’t to slight anyone else’s brilliance, but these are the best of what I read through.
One of my clients is the CEO of a small business that was doing very well. The business had been around for 20 years and had grown to a modest level in that time. At one point she felt the growth had become too stagnant and she felt she needed to make some changes in order to take the business to the next level. The problem was that those changes were bound to anger some of her staff.
And she was a people pleaser.
Changing Employee Perspective can Change How They Work
Both job seeking and recruiting can be frustrating endeavors. Both can require a ton of work that seemingly gets little results. Both can leave an individual overwhelmed, stressed and irritated.