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During the past few weeks, I’ve happened to see a few mentions of the classic, 1980’s movie, Back to the Future — which got me to thinking, oddly enough, about human resources. In the movie, the hero — Michael J. Fox — had to go back to the past in order to help his family and community in the future. Putting the notion of time travel aside, I’ve been wondering if this might be an apt metaphor for what HR needs to do in many organizations — i.e., to go “back to basics” in order to help the organization move forward.
Being Cutting Edge or Going Back to Basics — Which Is Needed?
In so many HR departments, there is a constant worry about things like “are we being strategic enough?” and “how can we get a seat at the leadership table?” Continue reading
Posted in Excellence, Talent Management, Views of HR
Tagged Back to the Future, Business, company culture, Employment, Excellence, HR qualities, Human Resources, influencing, management, MartyMcfly, Michael J. Fox, Strategic management, vision
From the title, you might expect this to be a post about service to others (i.e., what nurses do), as an analogy for HR’s service to employees and managers. While there are any number of comparisons between nursing and HR (perhaps fodder for future posts), my focus today is on another aspect of HR, actually: hiring the right people (and letting go of the wrong ones).
Minor Surgery, Major Comfort
I had the occasion to have a short stay in a hospital recently for minor surgery (everything went very well; thank you kindly). As it was (fortunately) my first overnight spent in a hospital, I was keenly aware of the type of care I received. I was struck by the fact that, to a person, everyone I came into contact with seemed incredibly “at peace” with what they were doing — i.e., caring for patients, controlling pain, prepping for surgery, etc. I’m sure that each of the nurses, technicians, doctors, etc., had their own personal struggles and hardships that they carried into the hospital that day. Yet, once the “lights went on” and they were interacting with patients (in this case, me), all of those struggles vanished, as they made me feel like I was their only patient, and all of their efforts were going toward meeting my needs.
It was quite a humbling experience, to be candid — i.e., to see a team of people working together, in this case to prepare for, carry out, and help me recover from, surgery. They each seemed to go about their jobs with a certain Continue reading
Posted in Excellence, Happiness, Talent Management, Views of HR
Tagged Business, Careers, company culture, Compassion, Employment, Excellence, Good To Great, Happiness, Hospital, HR professionals, Human Resources, Nurse, Patient
A recent post on another blog contemplated “Qualities To Look For In Hiring an HR Professional.” This set me to pondering a few qualities that often are most difficult for new HR professionals to grasp as part of their role.
Two qualities that come to mind most immediately are:
1. Ability to balance the needs of the organization (management) and employees
2. Ability to influence without authority
Balancing the needs of the organization and employees
In a sense, HR’s toughest job may be finding ways to counter the wise admonition, “No man can serve two masters.” An effective HR person needs to walk a fine line, being a valued part of the management team — while at the same time, being a trusted “ear” for employees. Continue reading
Ok, well — maybe not “hate,” exactly (though in some offices, this is no exaggeration, I’m sure). Perhaps it’s something closer to this snippet of dialogue from Godfather III* (I know, I know — “it wasn’t as good as the first two,” something I still grieve over 20 years later):
- Michael Corleone (Al Pacino): “You hate me — you truly hate me.”
- Kay, ex-wife (Diane Keaton): “I don’t hate you, Michael. I dread you.”
Is dread any better? I don’t know.
* Apologies to my female readers. I know that The Godfather is a “guy” thing mostly (and probably a New York guy thing, more particularly).
Mentor, Good Listener
Here are 25 or so free images (downloaded from Microsoft’s web site) that may be helpful for “telling your story” or “making your point” in Power Point presentations (see prior post for the story).
Thanks for visiting my new blog. Trying to stay up-to-date in the world of “social media,” I hope that “HR Perspectives” can be a place, just as the name suggests, for sharing reflections on the HR profession, how we can best help our organizations succeed, and the employees and managers we support grow and develop — all the while avoiding burn-out or “learned pessimism” and taking a moment to take stock, reflect on progress, and move forward with hope and confidence. Let’s enjoy the ride!