Thursday, January 6, 2011

What Does 2011 Hold in Store for HR?

As the New Year dawns, and as always it’s a time for reflection. There were many things that made 2010 a great year in HR, but many more that will make 2011 especially exciting. Some areas will change slightly, while others will undergo a complete overhaul. You know what they say-out with the old, in with the new. So, with that said, let’s take a look at what’s coming down the pike in the New Year.

Welcome 2011!!!

Getting Down With The Tech Craze.

What once seemed to be the realm of generation Y, organizations are now seeing the need to integrate technology and social interaction tools into the way they do business. This could mean developing dedicated project/department related interactive networks to keep abreast of developments, or investing in smart phones for staff in the field. Smart companies are embracing technology to enhance their business and the productivity of employees.

The challenge for HR will be developing standards on who gets what, and keeping an eye out for possible abuses. But usually, staff members are so happy that you are investing in helping them do a good job, that you’ll only have the rare bad apple.

HR trends 2011

Increased Customer Engagement.

It is no longer enough for a business to have great products, nice customer service representatives and perhaps a discount every now and again. Nowadays customers want more. They want to be involved with the companies they do business with. Who runs the company, what is its mission? Do they care about me?

With the rise of social media into a mainstream staple, companies are flocking to Twitter and Facebook in an effort to engage their customers where THEY hang out. Posting company updates, service offerings, and just letting people get to know the individuals that make the company go ‘round. So in 2011, I think that many HR departments will be implementing some type of “social media outreach” in an attempt to humanize the company and engage customers.

Stepping Up to the Plate.

As companies tighten their belts and strive to get the most bang for their recruiting and training buck, HR will become more involved in the operational side of things and have more accountability for reducing hiring times and ensuring the effectiveness of training programs.

This year there is no room for “fluff” programs that don’t have a measurable return on investment, even if only employee satisfaction or company image-as long as it’s measurable. Be prepared to fully back up any initiatives you propose and establish a collaborative partnership with the operations folks. You need each other.

Staff Development and Succession Planning.

What if all of the senior leaders of your company were in a collective freak accident-would the business survive? Sometimes the top people in a company are afraid to groom subordinates, due to fear of a takeover. But little do they know, they’re actually shooting themselves in the foot.

The smart exec knows that having a few well trained go-to people actually increases his worth. One, it shows that he knows how to develop talent-an important asset. Also, he will have the ability to delegate more and focus his efforts on the big picture. Our role as HR Managers will be to help identify talent and nurture it to prominence. And, be careful about just focusing on the obvious “overachievers”, but take out the magnifying glass and search for that diamond in the rough, as well. You’d be surprised as the potential of some of your supposedly average employees.

How Light is Your Carbon Footprint?

As more companies jump on the “green” bandwagon, this measure will increasingly used to evaluate your company. Thinking of ways to become more efficient, waste less, kill less trees, etc, will become more important this year.

Things like evaluating your records retention and destruction policy, buying recycled toner cartridges, and sponsoring employee car sharing programs are all a step in the right direction. And as usual, HR will be tasked with the development and implementation of many of these programs.

Create A Sought After Work Environment.

With the economy starting to show improvement, there will soon be more jobs available than in the previous two years. This means more competition to keep top employees and recruit the best from the ranks of the unemployed. The clincher for a lot of job seekers and hoppers is not just cold hard cash, but also many other incentives.

Does the company value their employees and show this in the form of frequent rewards and recognition? Are there opportunities for advancement and specialized training? These are some of the deciding factors.

Another concern is “how human” is the company.

Do they offer solutions to foster a healthy work/life balance?

Is there a daycare on the premises?

How about the attendance and vacation policy?

Are they overly restrictive, or accommodating to life’s curve balls?

If an employee has to give you forty hours of their life per week, they are looking for something in return.

As the year is just dawning, I am sure that there will be many new HR Trends that evolve as the months pass by. These are just a few of the areas I think have been clamoring for attention and are ripe for change. I think that the next decade will bring about a whole new way of working.

Are you ready?

Share your thoughts.

What do you see as the possible trends for 2011?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Best HR Blogs 2010

As we sadly say farewell to 2010, many of you are thinking back over the last year and all of the many events that made twenty ten one for the books. Here at Young HR Manager, I wanted to take a moment to rewind the year and highlight some of my Favorite HR blogs and individual HR Posts of 2010.

In going through my list of favs, these are the cast of characters that I can regularly turn to for great HR insight, a dose of wisdom, and even a bit of sarcastic humor at times. These blogs are great for keeping a finger on the pulse of the HR community and the issues that our employees face just trying to make a living in the old 9-5. So without further ado, I present Best of HR 2010

Best HR Blogs

I have to say that one of my all time favorite blogs to follow is The Evil HR Lady. Suzanne Lucas- the self proclaimed Evil HR Lady, has a style all her own. Her blog is fresh and engaging and she often tackles sensitive subjects other bloggers may shy away from. This HR Lady is definitely no shrinking violet and her frank candor has won her a huge following.

One of my favorite aspects of Suzanne’s blog is that she keeps it very interactive and takes a ton of HR questions from readers, which she answers in her posts. Very detail oriented and direct, “Evil” is never afraid to call a spade a spade. Her sometimes hard to swallow, but practical advice is always beneficial.

One of my favorite posts was written by the friend of a college student who wondered if a recent DUI would affect his chances at a government job. Suzanne answered in rare form. Her opening line was “Yes, it will affect him. Your friend is an idiot.” Gotta love her.

Here’s the post:

Another DUI Questions

Another blogger I like, but for an entirely different reason, is Nick Corcodilos, of “Ask the Headhunter”. Nick is a very intelligent guy and great at what he does, even if he often takes pot shots at us HR folks.

Nick is known for challenging the organizational structure and being an advocate for the job seeker. He may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I like to read his work for a few reasons.

1- I like someone who is not afraid to rock the boat. Sometimes you learn the most about flaws in a system and how to improve from someone who is in the process of tearing you a new one. If I put my ego in my pocket, I usually tend to learn a thing or two from his posts.

2- Nick has a cause. He is adamant that the current way of people finding jobs is seriously flawed and puts it all on the table to bridge the barrier between his readers and their dream job. Hey, you gotta love a man with conviction.

One of Nick’s recent posts that really made me think was a riff on HR for doling out raises to people who just show up to work and do the bare minimum, instead of awarding based on performance. Delivered in his classic style, Nick expressed his belief that HR doesn’t know a hat from a hole in the ground, but it was definitely an interesting read. Obviously, his readers thought so as well, based on the spirited discussion that followed.

We Pay Bonuses For Showing Up

Another blogger that challenges the status quo is Laurie Ruettimann, aka The Cynical girl. Laurie is all over the place at times (cats?), but she often poses some thought provoking questions. Not afraid to ruffle a feather or two, Laurie often challenges ideas and perceptions, including those “gurus” with a huge following.

Take Seth Godin for example. He is as close to “a made man” in his sphere as you can get. However, The Cynical girl is not afraid to throw a few darts at his balloon. I always love a writer that goes against the grain because it makes me expand my thinking and examine my convictions. Laurie does just that.

This piece from November takes Seth to task regarding his idealistic stance that everyone is brandable and the need to find emotional and physical well being at work. If you love what you do- great. But if not, suck it up and go home to the missus.

Reasons To Work

On the flip side of the coin, we have Ryan Estis of Passion on Purpose. The good guy of HR, Ryan is definitely a pro in his area of expertise. Ryan advocates creating a “passion” based company culture, in which the employees and customers are fiercely engaged and supported towards excellence.

Ryan is a great read whenever you need an upper on a Monday morning and is big on recognizing people and drawing poignant lessons from life and applying them to business.

According to Ryan, it doesn’t take a high powered exec to positively influence the company brand-any dedicated employee will do. Ryan recently ran into a Starbucks employee while on a layover who rekindled his belief in customer service excellence.

Giving the Gift of Happiness in Terminal

Last, but certainly not least, we have Shauna Moerke from HR Minion. Open, witty, and insightful, Shauna is the HR person you want to sit across from at lunch. Shuana has a wicked sense of humor and has done a great job as ringleader of the Carnival of HR.

A self proclaimed “HR Minion”, Shauna provides great posts on taking charge of your career, making sure you follow through, and humorous posts on how to really ROCK HR in your organization.

A recent fav looked at the fact that all fingers point to HR when there is an issue, but what about all the things we do right?!

When You Are In HR Nobody Cares

These are just a few of the great blogs I check out in the regular. I would love to list a lot more, but then you’d be yelling at me for a totally too long post. So, to make it short and sweet, here goes:


You know who you are. See you next year!

P.S. Share your favorite blogs or posts of 2010