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Pick Me…Ohh Ohh Pick Me!

March 3, 2010 4 comments

I was not one of those kids who was picked first on the playground nor was I the one who was picked last.  Average performer…story of my life.  I can distinctly recall, though, feeling a pit in my stomach watching those last two kids waiting to be picked – each hoping they wouldn’t be the last.  And then the look of disappointment, rejection, and confidence drain from that last kid.  Tough times on the playground.  But I suppose it’s a good lesson for later in life.  One can’t always be first, and sometimes you’ll be last. 

Opportunities to invite, include, or exclude abound in the workplace.  Whether it’s a conference call, a meeting, a business trip, a lunch, a dinner, or a boondoggle.  Someone is always going to feel left out.  Still happens to me – there’s a meeting going on right now with my executive peers in another city and I wasn’t invited.  That’s cool, though.  I understand why I’m not there and don’t expect someone to justify my absence.  Yes, I’m a big boy now.  None the less, I have some thoughts on inclusion in the workplace.

  • You can’t include every one all the time.  And it is nearly impossible to avoid bruised feelings.
  • Too many cooks in the kitchen can spoil the pot and the same applies to too many business people at the conference table.
  • HOWEVER…when in doubt, over-include.
  • If someone is excluded, take the time to debrief them off-line after it’s all over.  That way they won’t feel like the “secret society” continues.
  • If you’re the one excluded, let it go.  If it eventually becomes a habit, talk with your boss (not your peers.) If it continues, start looking for another job.
  • If you’re one of those included and you go out of your way to rub it someone else’s face and flaunt your attendance like you’re something special, get a grip…you’re nothing but an asshole. (My Mom taught me never to talk with other people about parties you were invited to unless those people tell you specifically that they were invited too).

The more I think about it, there are a lot of things we could learn from our days on the playground that would help us in the workplace.  As it relates to inclusion, just try to be a bit more thoughtful about it.

Happy New Year, HR Blogosphere!

January 1, 2010 2 comments

It has been my pleasure over the last year learning more about social media, Web 2.0, and how all of it impacts HR.  More than anything, though, it has been rewarding to have connected with so many bright, interesting, and spirited HR professionals over the last quarter of 2009 as I stumbled into the Twitter scene and delved into the blogosphere.  Thanks to all of you who have contributed and thanks for humoring me as I spout-off from time to time. 

Here’s to a happy, prosperous, intensely networked, and simplified HR practice in 2010!

Yours truly,

HRFishbowl (Charlie Judy)

The Power of Fine Dining

December 2, 2009 Leave a comment

I had dinner last night with my boss, our company’s CEO.  We do this from time to time.  Sometimes it’s with others, sometimes it’s one-on-one.  Last night two of my peers joined us.  I had a boss once who made it a point to not socialize with his colleagues outside of work (actually, I think it was at his wife’s insistence).  I didn’t like that boss.  Not that one has to socialize to be liked, but it says a lot about one’s style if they make socialization a part of their approach to leading, developing, and engaging their people.  Maybe it’s the wine (and the Manhattans), but I always leave the table feeling more valuable, less anxious about my shortcomings, and more optimistic about our future.  And my trust in my boss and peers escalates immediately.

Again, we’re not talking rocket science here.  And again, that’s the point.  This meal required a 3 hour investment of time and several hundred dollars…the return on that investment is far more lucrative than any performance management process, learning tool, or compensation scheme.  When’s the last time you took your greatest asset to dinner (lunch doesn’t count)?  If it’s longer than 60 days, I’d recommend a quick jaunt out to OpenTable.

Employers Need Love Too…

November 25, 2009 8 comments

I’m tired of hearing about what’s wrong with corporate America, getting a regular inventory of all the things employers should do better, and generally watching the workforce lament over getting beaten down again and again.  Do me a favor and get over it…even if just for this week of Thanksgiving.  Play along with me here.  I’m thankful:

  • That I have a paycheck directly deposited into my checking account every two weeks without fail
  • That my employer will provide for me (or at least partially) if I get sick and can’t work
  • That my employer allows me to take time away from the office to spend with my family and pays me to do so
  • For affordable healthcare coverage that gives my loved ones access to world-class medical expertise
  • For an air-conditioned office
  • For social security, state, federal, unemployment, and other miscellaneous taxes paid on my behalf by the company
  • For some reasonable chance of getting a severance package if I were ever separated from the organization
  • For access to free regular training
  • For exposure to people who know more than I about a lot of things and the ongoing learning that comes with it
  • For a daily commute that’s less than 20 minutes
  • That I have a boss who is patient with me, lets me make mistakes, and pretty much gets out-of-the-way
  • That I have a team that is patient with me, lets me make mistakes, and pretty much pushes me out-of-the-way
  • That I work for a company that does good things for its customers and genuinely tries to do what’s right for its employees
  • For enough travel to get away from time to time, but not so much that I miss out on what really matters at home
  • For an environment that has a 100:1 cool employee to asshole employee ratio
  • For a qualified retirement plan to which my employer makes matching contributions
  • That I have to work only a  few weekends here and there
  • For something to go to every day which keeps me off the streets and out of trouble…

There is something liberating about this exercise.  Count your blessings and show the love.  Give the benefit of the doubt, have some faith, and remember it’s not all about you.  Tell us (and your employer) what you’re thankful for and I’ll Share Your Thanks with Twitterland (#EmployerThx).