HR Advocacy: Help Shape the Workplace

Numerous employment, labor and employee benefit laws regulate the American workplace.  Human resource professionals conduct business daily within this framework. But what if HR professionals helped shape these very laws and regulations?  
Given HR’s unique knowledge and experience of implementing these laws within their organizations, wouldn’t their influence make for better HR public policy?  The answer is unequivocally YES, which is why the role of an HR Advocate is so important.
But what does being an HR ADVOCATE entail?  Consider these key elements of the job:
  • Activism

Why Do Companies Go Green?

What’s more important? Looking good or doing good?

An increasing number of businesses are responding: Why not do both?

Recent articles, including a McKinsey & Co. global survey report and a column in The Economist, have laid out the advantages that many organizations seek, and some organizations find, when they commit to environmentally friendly and sustainable practices. There are a variety of approaches to sustainability, and some of them depend upon the industry in which the company competes. For example, companies in the energy, transportation and extractive (or mining) industries have a greater incentive to be environmentally...


Washington Wrap: SHRM's 'Top 8' List for 2011

Between now and New Year’s Eve, just about everyone — from late-night comedy show hosts and newspaper editorial boards, to individual families — will be compiling their Top 10 lists for 2011. SHRM’s Government Affairs Team has taken a slightly different approach and compiled its Top 8 list of HR public policy accomplishments for this past year.

As Thomas Jefferson once said, “America is not governed by the majority, but by the majority of those who participate.” 2011 saw a huge uptick in the level of advocacy engagement...

Jobs Blog: A Silver Lining Behind the Dark Clouds?

2011 will not be remembered as a hallmark of post-recession job creation, but there’s some hope hidden beneath the gloomy headlines kicking off 2012.
It’s easy to forget that job growth is a lagging economic indicator. This is what lends to the frustration so many of us have when we keep hearing that consumers are spending more, that corporations are raking in record-level profits and that there’s little fear that the economy will slide back into a recession.
We want a good jobs report, and...

HR Professionals Target for Workplace Bullying

A side effect of HR professionals taking on more leading, visible roles in business could be becoming the target of workplace bullies.

More than 30 percent of HR professionals responding to a survey in the summer of 2011 said they had been bullied at work—about the same rate as other employees responding to recent surveys. But over half of the bullied HR professionals said they felt that the abuse was related to their role as an HR practitioner. (See Study Probes Bullying of HR Professionals, SHRM Online.)

“Because the role of HR has increasingly become less...


How Mentoring Can Save Even the Most Downtrodden Managers

Mentoring Saved Best Buy’s Future President

Brian Dunn started with Best Buy in 1985 selling VCRs, but his first day was so bad that he wanted to quit. He confessed to his store manager that it had been a “lousy experience.” At that the manager invited Brian to come in on Saturday morning and he would personally teach Brian how he operated on the sales floor when he was in Brian’s position. The manager mentored Brian. In doing so, he cleared the way for Brian to not only be good at his job, but to love it....


SHRM: January LINE Report

The Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Leading Indicators of National Employment (LINE) Report found that January 2012 will mark the third consecutive month that hiring activity will decrease, while job cuts increase on an annual basis.

Comparing January 2012 to January 2011, service sector hiring will drop by a net of 15.4 points while manufacturing sector hiring will fall by a net of 4.4 points. Taking a closer look at the service sector, 6.1 percent of employers plan to add jobs in January 2011, compared with 21.5...


The Practice of Retirement May Become Extinct

Is it possible the practice of retirement for hard-working employees could be disappearing from America’s social landscape? The concept of retirement has been the ability to relax and enter a phase of life where you pick and choose your activities, vacation with your spouse, volunteer at a local non-profit agency, go fishing, play golf and talk about old times without much worry of your financial future. 
Poof! Your future retirement may have left the building.
Attention Workers, Your Retirement Has Been Cancelled
The freedom to choose your post-career activities is...

A Manifesto's Unbridled Power

Manifestos ignite people into action. The best manifestos are so emotionally charged that their catalytic influence can endure for centuries. The Ten Commandments and the Declaration of Independence are good examples. As recently as fifty years ago, an emotional speech delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial established a clear and compelling purpose for American Civil Rights. Today, MLK's I Have a Dream is arguably the most inspiring manifesto of the 20th Century. 
Though manifestos are best known for political movements, the ideals and intent of such potent texts can also move people to excel...

Bold Predictions for 2012

HR is in a boring field. We are in business of mitigating risk and keeping our executives out of trouble. There are very few bold predictions for 2012.

Here is my attempt to gaze into a crystal ball and tell you about the upcoming year.

  • This is the year where your CEO says, “This is the year of mobile.” Feel free to roll your eyes. You know that the sale of mobile devices is on the rise. And you know that your employees use their personal mobile devices at work, too. Suddenly your CEO will
  • ...