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66 Powerful Strategies for Great HR

Great HR represents a competitive advantage for your company and career. It affects you whether you are in HR…or not. In the 66 POWERFUL STRATEGIES FOR GREAT HR e-book I discuss the reality that half of all HR managers are more effective than the other half. It’s also a fact the top 10% of HR managers get healthy six figure salaries and a seat at the strategic table.

Would you like me to show you how to break away from the pack and launch into the stratosphere of the top 10%?

Not only am I happy to share this e-book… but for the first 10 people who contact me, I will provide a free one hour coaching session. There is no cost for this and no obligation of any kind. You will love the experience.

I offer this free session because I’m excited about helping HR managers make a difference… and get paid well for it too! I know that if you find value in my help, you may also be interested in one of my programs.

Here’s what you do next. If you want to schedule a coaching session, all you have to do is email me at don@donphin.com and let me know your availability. Once I have your information, I’ll do some research on you and your company and we’ll set up the time for our meeting. I promise to get back to you within 2 business days.

Here’s to your success, Don

10 Ideas for Hiring Great Employees

We had such a good response to my post on 10 HR Ideas that I decided to shoot a quick video sharing 10 ideas for hiring great employees.

What would you add to the list? Which idea will you try?

Thanks for your patience. I appreciate those of you who let me know I needed to do some editing…and fast!

Here’s 10 Great HR Ideas You Can Use Today

I love creativity. Disruption. Differentiation. In fact, I’m going to be the MC for the next DisruptHR meeting in San Diego.

HR has a great opportunity to break past the status quo and to test new theories, strategies and tools. Here’s 10 ideas I came up with. What would you add to the list? Do tell!

1. Request every job application to submit a joke with their resume. I am serious about this. If they don’t do so they can’t follow instructions and you don’t hire them.  Then there are those who will provide jokes that put them on the do not hire pile immediately. For most everyone else, you at least have a laugh while going through that stack of resumes and you will learn a little bit more about the candidate.

2. Create an employee referral system that works. Most employee referral systems don’t work for two good reasons: there’s not enough “juice” in them and it comes with little support. You have to make it easy for employees to refer candidates with a one page document they can hand them or a link they can drive them to. Then put some financial “juice” in the system that gets them past the fear of referring someone. I would consider as much as 10% of that employers first year salary, which is far less than you would pay a recruiter or temp firm. Parcel the payments out quarterly over the year if the employee remains on board.

3. Do group interviews with final candidates. I like seeing how people work in a team dynamic.  Have three potential coworkers interview the final three candidates… all at once. Each employee will ask each candidate three questions. You are not just focusing on the answers but how the candidates treat each other while going through that process. Will they through somebody under the bus? Will they raise their voice and disagree? The best thing you can do is have fun sitting back and watching it unfold. It will tell you how they will treat future co-workers. As with any of these ideas just test it once. See how it works. Then improve it from there.

4. Ask my favorite interview question – what felt unfair to you at your last job? And then drill into the answers. How they respond will indicate how they will deal with something that feels unfair working for you. Which is guaranteed to happen. I will go through a candidate’s entire history with that question. Doing so has eliminated many a candidate. And… don’t forget to ask what they were most excited about in previous jobs.

5. Create a social media committee. Millennial’s will be great in this role. Provide them with some simple rules to follow and then let them do their thing. They can help your employer brand on Glassdoor, Indeed, your hiring page, Facebook page and more!

6. Ask your managers to take on a very simple challenge: for the next 20 workdays, beginning on a Monday, they are required to show at least one employee they manage that they care about them. You can discuss their family, upcoming vacation, or job concerns. Provide the manager a simple form where they can write down each day who they spoke to and what they did to show they care. Then he asked them to turn it in after 20 days and have a discussion with them about what they learned in the process. What great ideas can be shared with other managers? Make sure you commit to the exercise as well. Perhaps have fun prizes along the way.

7. Create an art wall. You can decorate it with pictures and paintings from local artists, your employees, and their kids. It will breathe creativity into the environment. Besides, you can’t be funked out very long looking at kids art.

8. Have a Red Nose Day. While the official date is May 25, the better one is any day you choose. Red noses are cheap on Amazon and it will generate many laughs. Give the employees a few to take home too. I find it’s very difficult to take yourself or anyone else seriously while wearing a red nose. Make sure to gets lots of selfies to post!

9. Create a quiet hour. Preferably early in the morning when people are at the sharpest so they can focus on the most important tasks. Prohibit “stopping by”, emailing or otherwise interrupting the quiet unless it is an urgent and important matter.

10. Make fun T-shirts for your employees. Let them get involved in the design. Have a contest. Employees will design a shirt they want to wear outside of the workplace. This is a low-cost way of engaging and branding your workforce.

Those are just 10 of my Great HR ideas. What are a few of yours? What have you done that is cool, disruptive or different?

Please share and I will accumulate the responses. Once I have received 100 combined I will send that document to all contributors. You want to be on that list.

PS this list is derived from the Great HR program. Plenty of more where they came from…and now we will generate even more.

When Suicide Hits Close to Home

I sense there is a lot of fear and depression going on. And…it can’t be ignored.

While I have never entertained the thought of suicide, that’s not been the case for so many others. And… it’s been hitting close to home the last few years.

A 13-year old boy, who was the younger brother of my son’s friend, committed suicide last month because he got himself in trouble and feared the judgement that would come with it. This was a sweet boy who had many a sleep over at our house.

Four years ago, my dear cousin committed suicide leaving his wife and two lovely daughters behind. Last year, two of my oldest son’s best friends committed suicide, one of whom also left two children behind.

Where I live in Coronado we have a bridge that is famous for its suicides. It is second in the country behind the Golden State Bridge for suicide attempts. You can’t be in Coronado and not be aware of the problem. 18 people have jumped since January. A few days ago my wife told me the mother of a 16-year-old award winning student we know jumped off the bridge.

I live in a military town and know many soldiers, including many SEALS. Their rate of suicide is well known but seldom publicized. Many of them are struggling with PTSD problems. My friend Dr. Bart Billings has been working with many of these young men and women, trying to get them off of killer medications.

Recently one company I know, under significant financial pressures,  had two employees commit suicide within a few months. You can’t ignore that.

I recently spoke to a group Chief Financial Officers for construction firms and they have a program going on to address the suicide problem in the construction industry. http://www.cfma.org/news/content.cfm?ItemNumber=4570

My son told me the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why which has caused a great deal of buzz on campus. It’s about a girl who commits suicide and gets back at other people by telling them how they contributed to her death. Based on the book
http://www.thirteenreasonswhy.com/

Recently the media focused on a 20 year old woman convicted for bullying her boyfriend to kill himself. The messages she sent him were chilling. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2017/06/16/shes-accused-of-pushing-him-to-suicide-now-a-judge-has-decided-her-fate/?utm_term=.5288fb6ec40c

What do we do with all of this? How do we make sense of it? I know I can’t ignore it when it strikes so close to home. I have to talk to my wife and son about how they are going this experience. HR and other executives may want to recognize its impact at work.

I did some digging. Starting with the data about suicide and then looking for resources for families and companies to help to deal with it.
According to DoSomething.org:

  • Nearly 30,000 Americans commit suicide every year.
  • Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15 to 24-year-olds and 2nd for 24 to 35-year-olds.
  • On average, 1 person commits suicide every 16.2 minutes.
  • Each suicide intimately affects at least 6 other people.
  • About 2/3 of people who complete suicide are depressed at the time of their deaths. Depression that is untreated, undiagnosed, or ineffectively treated is the number 1 cause of suicide.
  • There is 1 suicide for every 25 attempted suicides.
  • Males make up 79% of all suicides, while women are more prone to having suicidal thoughts.
  • Over 50% of all suicides are completed with a firearm.

Hundreds of people decide to commit suicide at work every year. An example from OSHA:

  • Employee Is Killed After Jumping From Roof
  • Worker Drives Off Bridge And Drowns
  • Commits Suicide Soon After Arriving At Work.
  • Employees Are Killed In A Murder Suicide
  • Dies From A Self-Inflicted Gun Shot.
  • Employee Commits Suicide In Hospital Restroom
  • Worker Commits Suicide Using Sodium Azide
  • Water Treatment Worker Commits Suicide
  • Employee Commits Suicide By Jumping Off Parking Structure
  • Employee Shoots And Kills Self In Shed
  • Jumps From Elevated Platform And Is Killed
  • Employee Commits Suicide At Work By Hanging

What I’ve learned is that while there are commonalities, the stories behind suicide are as unique as life itself. Sometimes it is a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain caused naturally or due to prescription medications or drug abuse. It could be due to a fatal diagnosis or intolerable pain. Other times it is a traumatic event and other times it’s fear, hopelessness and failed expectations.

In all circumstances… they saw no way out. They saw no path to peace other than to end their lives.

There are a ton of emotions triggered by a suicide including shock, anger, grief, despair, confusion, rejection, the need to understand “why”, physical collapse or even the thought of suicide itself.

Acknowledge these feelings, don’t pretend they don’t exist. It is OK to question them, examine them and discuss them. And it is OK to ask for help. You are not alone.

Here are some excellent resources:

Getting the Blockages Out of the Way of Great HR

For years I have been preaching the opportunity in Great HR. When I do my CEO workshops, I show the financial logic behind the opportunity. I have business owners understand that every HR problem becomes a sales problem. And yet HR still has difficulty getting traction.

In this article, I will talk about where the real opportunity lies… and that is getting the blockages out of the way. I have heard executive after executive tell me how to have a difficulty finding talent, and then I go to their website, and there’s not a word about finding talent. When we talk about performance management many business owners will agree with me that the one to five rating approach doesn’t seem to improve performance and, yet they are unwilling to experiment to find a way that does. So, let’s talk about some blockages and slay those beasts so we can actualize the HR opportunity.

Overwhelm

It seems as if most every executive I speak to is on overwhelm. From the CEO on down. And that includes HR. This overwhelm is a symptom of poor time management. It’s a symptom of not defining and focusing on what is truly important. Here are a few ideas to battle the time/overwhelm obstacle:

  • Stop spending any time doing low-value work. This is true whether you are the CEO or the HR executive. Outsource it, delegate it or eliminate it.
  • Know where your time goes. Peter Drucker advised us in The Effective Executive to track your time and not assume where it goes. I find that once executives do they are amazed by how much of their time is spent on lower value work.
  • Draw a line for total hours worked and don’t work past it. As Parkinson’s Rule states “People get things done in a time allotted for it.” . Give yourself less time to get things done. You’ll work with greater urgency and focus as a result.
  • Stick it on a calendar. You must calendar working on strategic objectives. It is just as important to work on the business, as it is in the business.
  • Understand that overwhelm is neither healthy, productive, nor job security.

Money, money, money

Having spoken to more than 400 CEO groups, I have a good sense of how business owners think about money. Plus, I too ran a business. And the bottom line is this: CEO’s are up for spending money anytime it produces a return on investment. Here’s a link to my HR Cost Calculator. It helps to find the financial opportunity in Great HR. For example, if the company bemoans its ability to find talent and therefore rushes to hire,  how much did the last bad hire cost you? When we act out of desperation instead of out of a process, we produce very expensive variances. These variances are a negative ROI on our activities.

The fight between saving money and making money is very emotional. I encourage HR to connect the dots and help executives understand that all poor HR decisions eventually become a sales problem. That poor hire that might have cost $50,000 out of pocket is the equivalent of at least $250,000 in replacement revenue. I find that when executives connect the dots between costs and their revenue equivalents, they will spend time… and money trying to eliminate that waste.

Top Level Executives Who Could Care Less About HR

Vistage, the CEO organization that I speak for, has some 900 speakers in its system. The vast majority focus on marketing and sales- the number one concern of most CEOs. Every year or two they’ll have a speaker like me to come in and talk about HR practices. If you are at a company where leadership could care less about HR (and there are plenty of those companies out there), then find a company where leadership is open to the GreatHR opportunity….and get that blockage out of the way!

Bad HR

Last, it’s a fact that half of all HR executives are more motivated to make a difference at their companies than the other half. Unmotivated HR is Bad HR and has disastrous impacts on the bottom line. Bad HR focuses on excuses as opposed to execution.

  • Great HR takes the time to understand the company’s strategic initiatives. Bad HR does not.
  • Great HR has a strategic plan. Bad HR does not.
  • Great HR understands the math and data of their operations. Bad HR does not.
  • Great HR coordinates with their fellow executives to understand how they better support their needs. Bad HR does not.
  • Great HR stays on top of their game. They watch webinars, go to workshops and they network with other Great HR executives. Bad HR does not.
  • Bottom-line is Bad HR is disastrous for any organization.

Bad HR is a blockage to the Great HR opportunity. If your HR person doesn’t want to kick ass in HR…find someone who does!

Conclusion

HR continues to get a bad rap, although it professes a desire to be “strategic.” Yes, there are real blockages…and there are also far too many excuses which allow those blockages to hinder doing Great HR.

 

PS if you are in HR and have not watched my video The Truth About HR….and You, now would be a good time to do so!