The calendar has turned which is always exciting !! I’m really geeked about this year because it is also a Presidential election year. This post isn’t about one candidate or another because I think everyone should make their own choice for who they support. It’s unique this year because we have those vying for their party’s nomination and they are either polarizing or nominal. But it’s January. I’m sure many things will change before November comes !!
Steve Browne, SHRM-SCP is the Vice President Director of Human Resources for LaRosa's, Inc. - a regional Pizzeria restaurant chain in Southwest Ohio and Southwest Indiana with 13 locations and over 1,100 Team Members. Steve has been an HR professional for 30+ years and has worked in the Manufacturing, Consumer Products, and Professional Services industries in various Human Resources roles. He is on the SHRM Board of Directors and a former MAC member. Steve facilitates a monthly HR Roundtable in Cincinnati and runs an internet message board for HR professionals that reaches 12,000+ people globally on a weekly basis.
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Articles by Steve Browne
I know this may sound presumptuous, but I have one of the best HR jobs ever !! It has definitely been the best of my career. One of the highlights is that I meet weekly with my boss who is part of the C-Suite. Now, don’t start to shudder thinking this is going to be another one of those “seat at the . . . ” posts.
This past week I was fortunate to attend one of my favorite events – the SHRM Volunteer Leader Summit. It’s a great event for many reasons, but the main draw for me is being with other HR volunteers. We have a common bond. It doesn’t matter if you are attending for the first time or have been attending for several years. There is an instant recognition and affinity because we share some commonality in our experiences.
I’m a fairly tall HR pro. I’m 6’4″ tall and have always been one of the tallest folks in a crowd all the way back to Kindergarten. I mention this because I notice this more when I attend HR conferences. As I lurch down the hallways of the conference centers, I see the crowd mill around me and I wonder what they’re thinking and experiencing as they head from session to sessions.
The work week starts and I’ll bet you do things in a certain pattern that has little variation. It’s great to be organized and have methods of doing your work. It keeps you efficient and allows you to perform.
The problem that creeps up on all of us ever so silently is complacency. Most people don’t even recognize that they’re trapped. We continue to do things the same way and never think that stagnation occurs. How many training sessions state that people won’t make change happen because things have “always been done this way”?
. . . shouldn’t stay in Vegas !!
The SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition starts in one week in Las Vegas !! This venue seems to scream “extrovert” with all of it’s bright lights, shows and casinos. With over 15,000 people, expected the Conference can be overwhelming for everyone.
This past week I had a very cool experience !! I was one of the judges for the SHRM Student Case Study competition. I sat with two other great HR pros from the area as we heard graduate students from various schools give their take on an HR scenario. It was very cool to hear their approaches which ranged from a traditional HR viewpoint to some that were extremely creative.
Many people are trying to shake the winter doldrums in the hope that spring will renew them. This happens every year and is very predictable behavior. Instead of enjoying the season we’re in, we keep looking forward to a rebirth in the next season to come. Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying the thaw that is finally upon us and am glad to see the snow start to dissipate.
It’s a simple word that carries incredible power. When it occurs, you see people light up and respond in ways that they hadn’t mere moments from receiving it.
It’s something we’re hesitant to do – especially in HR. People tend to hesitate because we don’t know when you’re either doing it “enough” or “too much.”
This weekend I had to get my HR Nerd on and go see The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies. It was phenomenal and you should absolutely see it in the theater for the best experience. You may not be a Middle-Earth/Lord of the Rings fan, but I think the movies did a great job capturing the essence of the books that I have read multiple times.
I spent the last week at the SHRM Volunteer Leader Summit in Washington, DC. It is one of my favorite events because the attendees are some of the most active and engaged members that SHRM has. It’s also very cool in that people come from all fifty states and also US territories.
When I look at the vast field of HR, I have to say that I am swayed to the power of Culture more than other facets. I truly believe that people decide to either stay at a company or leave it because of its culture.
We’re getting closer and closer to another election season. Even though this is a “light” year for elections locally, that doesn’t stop the candidates who are running for office from filling the airwaves with commercials. And, true to form, there are few candidates who say what they’re going to do. Instead, they spend millions of dollars to smear their opponent. People must feel it works because it gets worse the closer you are to the actual election day.
There are countless numbers of blogs and articles regarding culture. I’m absolutely in that mix because I feel that culture is the most critical factor of today’s workplace. The challenge I see though is that people continue to offer models of what will absolutely work for you. I think this is an incredible presumption !! I can’t come close to understanding what your company culture is or isn’t.
There are a few assumptions I can make that will be accurate:
I am a dad. It has to be the greatest accomplishment I’ve ever had, or will ever have. My kids are on the verge of being adults now so they are doing more and more on their own. What I’m finding is how easy it is to take a small amount of information and blow it out of proportion if you are missing context. I’m seeing this both from them spreading their wings and having to make bigger life decisions as well as my wife and I letting them fly more. We don’t always have context around what their decisions are, and it’s hard not to want to step in and “fix” things.
Before you think this is a post about Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, it really takes a different twist (even though I’m a devout Python fan !!)
Sitting in an airport terminal gives you a chance to jot down your thoughts if you build in a bit of time. I’m trying to contain my excitement as I get ready to board my flight to SHRM14in Orlando !! The actual conference doesn’t kick-off until Sunday, but I’m fortunate to head down early as a SHRM volunteer and member of the Membership
Human Resources is often written about in vast layers and fantastic catch phrases !! When I see posts about “harnessing the synergy of human capital” I start to twitch. One of the shortcomings of what we do is that we try to make it harder than it needs to be. I think that HR has fallen into the trap that if we sound like we’re more intricate, then people will give us more credibility.
In a few weeks, I will be heading to Orlando, Florida for the SHRM Annual Conference. To say that I’m Geeked would be an undersatement !! It’s a chance to break away from the daily norms and be with 14,000+ of my HR peers. Some may find that overwhelming while I see it as welcoming.