Fishbowl Logic

Wold through a Fishbowl
#1) If an employee has to read more than 1 paragraph to get the message, the message is too long.

#2) Yes, HR’s job involves some administrative minutia…get over it.

#3) Technology is great, but don’t hide behind it.

fishbowl2#4) You’ll get more from a good conversation with an employee than you ever will from any employee survey.

#5) Retention is an outcome, not a program.

#6) Most other organizational functions take risks, HR needs to do so from time to time too.

fishbowl4#7) It shouldn’t be HR’s job to tell the organization what you can and can’t do, but  it should be to make sure everyone understands the consequences of doing it or not doing it. 

#8) Maslow’s hierarchy applies in the workplace; HR should spend more time responding to the needs at the bottom of the pyramid.

#9) Don’t even think about “getting a seat at the table” if you can’t look at the administrative side of your HR practice and say “I got that house in order.”

fishbowl5#10) “Blaming HR is the universal way to change the subject when you are a poor leader.”    Laurie Ruettimann (PunkRockHR)

#11) Your HR practice is nothing more than a commodity unless you focus on creating an experience for your people. 

#12) If your employees or managers have to fill out more than one page to get or give an evaluation, it’s too much.

fishbowl6#13) Saying “Thank You” to your people on a regular basis will build more employee engagement than any fancy (and expensive) reward and recognition program.

#14) If we’re going to keep referring to our employees as “Assests” or “Human Capital”, we better find a way to get finance to report them on the Balance Sheet.

#15) Every HR professional should have a Personal Board of Directors – x-functional, x-industry, x-level – meet quarterly, and have them hold you accountable…because it’s likely no one else will.


#16) HR needs more of less.

#17) When in doubt, fire them. 

#18) Your talent acquisition team should be more focused on hiring the people your company is going to need 1-3 years from now than it is on the people you need tomorrow. 

#19) Finance/Accounting shares monthly financial statements with a company’s stakeholders; HR should have an equivalent…call it a dashboard, a scorecard, whatever. 

#20) Most employees will never directly appreciate you for what you do in HR; if you can get over that, you’ll go much farther in your career.

#21) Did you walk the halls today and shoot the shit with random employees for no reason whatsoever?

#22) Don’t get stuck spending 80% of your time on the 20% who are just making a lot of noise.

#23) Workplaces are not designed for trustworthiness…trust me on this. 

#24) The cemetaries of the world are filled with irreplacable employees…and HR professionals…and CEOs…and executives.

#25) The Human Race is hands-down the most adaptable species on this planet; employees are no different.  Stop worrying about what every one is going to think about it and change what needs changing.

#26) Executive Compensation Programs should not make you blush. 

#27) Stop doing things just because that’s the way they’ve always been done…just stop it.

#28) If you’re not prepared to readily quantify the value of what you’re doing in HR, then what you’re doing has no value. 

#29) Break Bread Together…Often.

#30) If you’re not comfortable sharing your opinion without being asked, go find another profession…please. 

#31) Treat your employees like human beings and 90% of everything else will take care of itself. 

#32) Uncertainty surrounding an outcome is always harder on people than the outcome itself…whatever it is.

#33) Let people be angry from time to time…it’s human and it’s ok. 

#34) Pissed Off?  Step away from the keyboard.

#35) Less Email.  Pick up the phone or stop by an office. 

#36) One’s stint with an employer is like investing in a bottle of fine wine. Make sure you don’t open the wine (leave the employer) too soon or you may miss something and don’t open the wine (leave the employer) too late or things may turn sour.  Find your employer’s vintage and act accordingly.

#37) Spend more time learning (and practicing) how to think critically – how to imaginatively frame questions and consider multiple perspectives. 

#38) Selfishness insn’t necessarily a bad trait for an HR person… 

#39) If you find yourself complaining about your job, just stop for a moment and think about how fortunate you really are to HAVE a job…seriously.


#40) We need more #TrenchHR perspective in the blogosphere.

#41) Maladjustment to the workplace order is something to be proud of.

#42) HR Professionals should gravitate toward conflict, not go out of their way to avoid it.

#43) “Why” should be one of the most used words in your vocabulary.

#44) “Forget outside competition when your own worst enemy is the way you communicate with one another internally.” Jack Welch

#45) Do something nice for your people and have them leave their Blackberry with you when they go on vacation.

#46) HR can not fall prey to herd mentality when it comes to performance management.

#47) Sometimes HR needs HR too.

#48) We need to find a way to standardize a piece of the performance review process so the related data can follow employees from employer to employer…just like EMRs

#49) You can’t include every one all the time.  But when in doubt, over-include.

Photo Credits: AspettandoEllis, loupiote, JonnyRewind , Epoxy Upon You, lara604, orchidelique, mark jordan, tris, Wylie Maercklein, TangYauHoong, ZURBinc, raysto, AnnDeeScraps, Imapix, miriness, nicolemotta

  1. November 15, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Hi Charlie – I agree, great list. HR is more than the stereotype – its a practice full of accountability both operational and strategic. Thanks for posting!

  2. November 24, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Dude. This is awesome.

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