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Posted by on in News Release

Confused  Want to feel like an idiot?  It's easy...so let me tell you how I did it today.  

Nothing to it actually...I just dutifily checked my calendar and noted that I have a seminar to attend to get CEU credits and do some networking through the local SHRM chapter, HR Houston.  I get cleaned up, put on some nice professional clothes (working from home, this is not my usual routine), check Google for directions, and head up the road to the site.  When I check in with the receptionist at the nice professional firm hosting the event, she looks confused.  She makes a few calls...and still looks confused.  I pull out my smart phone and check the confirmation email I received from HR Houston this morning to get a contact name.  Upon actually READING the email, it clearly is reminding me about TOMORROW'S seminar.  Now who's confused?  Well, clearly it's me.  After making my apologies to the receptionist, and being very glad there was only one person in the lobby who I didn't know, hustled out of the building.

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Posted by on in News Release

My recent rant about 'The Death of Me Time', and a comment from a reader, got me thinking about a new reality.  At an intellectual level, I know that complaining about the challenges of finding downtime under the constant demands of employers and clients for your time is not going to make those demands go away.  We'll never get that genie back in the bottle.  So, how do we make sure that we take time for ourselves, our families, and our sanity?  A few tips:

  1. Commit to Creating 'Me' Time.  If you do not recognize the need for downtime, no one is going to do it for you.  Your employer will happily let you work 70 hours a week, ad infinitum.  At least they'll be fine with it unitl you routinely get grouchy with co-workers and your performance starts to drop off.  Then they'll ding you on your next performance review.  Commit to setting aside time for yourself, your family, your friends, and your community.
  2. Delegate.  If you have a competent staff, use them by giving them meaningful assignments that you otherwise would do yourself.  It build confidence and competence.  If you have colleagues, get them involved.  Ask your boss to help find additional resources when you're stretched too thin, or to help prioritize what's on your plate.  Don't make the mistake of thinking no one can do what you do.  You, and your boss, have to be confident the work will get done right when you're away from the job.  Also, I subscribe to the theory that indispensable people should be the first to be fired because they represent a threat to the organization.  So, don't be indispensable.
  3. Manage Expectations.  Demonstrate that you are not afraid to put in long hours during crunch time.  But do not substitute long hours for working smart.  When a project or assignment hits your desk, find out when it is really needed.  Not everything has to be delivered tomorrow, but you won't know that if you don't ask.  And, if a high priority item comes in, let colleagues know that you may be delayed on their work due to new higher priority items.  And, don't be afraid to let colleagues and your boss know when you have important commitments outside work that may impact your available time.  That won't be a problem if you demonstrate you'll still hit your deadlines.
  4. Results - Your Way.  Ultimately, most organization just want results.  When you consistently get results, and things get done even when you take a vacation or leave a little early to attend your child's game or recital, no one will begrudge you some 'Me' time.
  5. Think Long Term.  A career is a journey, not a race.  Take the time to enjoy the journey, with enough 'Me' time built in to ensure you are balance in your commitments ot family, friends, career, and self.  You can balance work/family/friends, and find success in all facets of your life.  By working smarter and committing to 'Me' time, everyone benefits.
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Posted by on in News Release

'Me' time is so last decade...so pre-smart phone.  Now, don't get me wrong, I love my smart phone.  On those rare occasions when I am indavertently out and about without it, I'm just sure I am going to miss out on somethink wonderful or horrible because of my carelessness.  And, to think, just a handful of years ago we were walking around without fully connected, globally-positioned, social media-connected computers in our pockets that could instantly tell us what great savings are available at the store across the street from the deli where we're having lunch.  Drop the pastrami...there are deals to be consummated!  It's a mystery that we functioned at all!

On the work front, do you remember those primitive days when evenings and weekends were available for 'me' time?  When we weren't expected to be checking work emails every few minutes or whenever the chime rings on our company-provided iPhone, day or night, seven days a week?  Mind-numbingly boring global conference call at 10:00 PM or 5:00 AM?  Doesn't get any more fun than that.  And, how quaint that people would actually think they could go on vacation, guilt-free, to re-charge their batteries and spend quality time with those strangers who live in our home and share our last name.

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Steve Boese recently wrote a blog that really resonated with me.  Check it out: http://steveboese.squarespace.com/journal/2014/11/4:artisanal-hr.thml.  

 

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Posted by on in News Release

This is a cautionary tale of what can happen when a senior leader plows ahead with a bad compensation idea, and other leaders, including the HR Business Partner do not push back.

Earlier in my career, I worked for a large regional convenience store chain.  In addition to my duties as a division HR manager responsible for supporting several hundred stores, I wore the additional hat of corporate compensation lead.  In that compensatin role, I administered the organization's quarterly bonus program applicable to the entire store management and sales management teams.

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Posted by on in News Release

Organizations large and small are frequently faced with problems they lack the resources or expertise to effectively address. When considering whether to engage a consultant to support an organization following are some of the reasons it will make sense.

Five reasons why working with a consultant makes sense:

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Posted by on in News Release

Organizations are often faced with challenges they are struggling to overcome due to the lack of resources or expertise. Management may be inclined to bring in a consultant to help overcome these challenges. But, under what circumstances might that be a bad idea?

When considering whether to engage a consultant, following are five reasons it might not make sense:

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