Best of the HR blogs: 12 great HR blog posts from March 2012

Batman cupcakes

Cupcakes, crucifixes and quitting: Where else but in HR blogs?

Cupcakes, crucifixes and quitting are among the extremely diverse range of topics to be addressed in the selection of 12 outstanding posts spotlighted in XpertHR’s latest monthly round-up of the best HR blog posts from March 2012.

The intersection of HR and social media (and the challenges this creates) has also been a particularly hot topic in the world of HR blogs during March 2012, giving rise to superb posts from Ellison Bloomfield, and Gareth Jones.

Elsewhere, UK HR bloggers Alison Chisnell and Katherine Connolly pose tough but vital questions on gender diversity.

The sheer range of topics, individual voices and excellence in writing spotlighted here is indicative of the extraordinary breadth of HR blogs out there. Indeed, there’s such an abundance of great HR blogs being published nowadays that I’m bound to have overlooked some sterling examples here. If there are any HR blog posts that you’ve particularly enjoyed during March 2012, I’d love to hear from you – please share your recommendations via the comments box below, or get in touch via Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.

As usual, this list of the best HR blog posts of the last month is presented in alphabetical order by author surname.

Best of the HR blogs: 12 great HR blog posts from March 2012

  • Ellison Bloomfield: Socialising Human Resources A beautifully simple and beautifully clear post from leading Australian HR blogger Ellison Bloomfield on why and how “HR can utilise the technologies that are available and reinvigorate the way they relate to employees and to future hires.” I think this post could almost consitute a manifesto for why HR needs to take social media seriously, and the steps it should take to pursue this. As Ellison says: “The risk of not adapting is that we become obsolete.”
  • Alison Chisnell: Women and Boards In an outstanding piece of data analysis entitled Women and Boards, UK HR Director Alison Chisnell looks behind the headlines around Cranfield’s recent research on the numbers of women in UK boardrooms. Seeking to look beyond the numbers, Alison says: “Diversity matters hugely, but it’s not just about making sure that there is a strong representation of women at senior levels, it is about enabling people who are from all types of background to thrive and succeed.”
  • Katherine Connolly: People Who Live In Glass Houses  Another hard-hitting post on gender diversity, this time focusing on gender diversity issues within the HR profession. HR consultant Katherine Connolly raises a number of potentially uncomfortable questions on this topic, including the following: “By refusing to address the gender imbalance in our profession, are we effectively cutting off our noses?”
  • Gareth Jones: People Are Really Not That Stupid… A very interesting consultant’s eye view of organisational reasons for opposing the workplace and/or organisational implementation of social media from HR consultant (and self-professed “early adopter” of social media) Gareth Jones. Here, Gareth pinpoints one personality type that he has encountered in his work evangelising for social media, a type which he believes fully grasps the concept of social media, but chooses to “weave a complex web of misunderstanding, process and procedure” in order to slow down its adoption within the organisation. Whether you agree with his conclusions or not, Gareth raises fascinating theories here about the motivation of some employers (and of some consultants!) when it comes to arguments on what social media can offer HR.
  • Jason Lauritsen: Cupcakes and Innovation – It’s all about Experimentation “The idea for a new cupcake rarely comes from another cupcake.” Long-term readers of this blog will know that cupcakes (and #hrcupcakes in particular) are a topic of particularly keen interest around these parts. So it was a delight to come across this post from US HR strategist and blogger Jason Lauritsen, looking at his how his wife (a pastry chef) moves through the stages of inspiration (which can come from the most unlikely of sources) followed by extensive experimentation when creating new cupcakes (and other baked comestibles) “that she is satisfied will wow her customers.” Jason then considers how this creative process can be applied to the drive for innovation in HR. A proud addition to the world of HR cupcakes-related blog posts.
  • Trish McFarlane: Feeling Overwhelmed? Strategies to Overcome Work and Personal Obstacles With overload seemingly being the default setting for the workloads of so many HR professionals in 2012, is there any way that HR people can regain control of their ever-mounting in trays? In this great post from her HR Ringleader blog Trish McFarlane offers invaluable guidance to help HR professionals take charge of their workload – no matter how many “hats” their work requires them to wear! And it all starts with “one small thing”…
  • Neil Morrison: Raw belief, raw talent A straightforward but very thought-provoking post from Neil Morrison’s consistently excellent Change-Effect blog, and one which is (I would hope) guaranteed to put a smile on your face! Neil highlights a simple truth here: “Most of the time, the raw talent is sat just in front of you.”
  • John Read: Who is George Osborne trying to protect? Chancellor George Osborne’s decision to launch a call for evidence on Compensated No-Fault Dismissals earlier this month sparked (or, rather reignited) a heated debate on the purpose of these proposals radically to reform the unfair dismissals system. In this brilliant post from XpertHR’s Tribunal Watch blog, John Read asks a key question: “[W]ho is Osborne trying to protect? Unreasonable employers? Osborne’s statement almost implies that employers can be sued out of existence regardless of how they treat their employees.” The conversation continues over on a superb related post from Rick on the Flip Chart Fairy Tales blog, inspired by John’s analysis.
  • Rick: Red Tape is OK for Christians, it seems A brilliant examination/demolition of the press outcry that greeted the story of Nadia Eweida and Shirley Chaplin’s campaign to be allowed to wear crosses at work. Rick argues that – as so often seems to be the case with national press coverage of employment law issues – much of the reporting of this story is “complete rubbish.” He says: “The same people who want to withdraw employment protection for most workers want to extend the workplace rights of the religious few. Even for those who claim to despise regulation, red tape, it seems, is fine when it protects the things they like.”
  • Tim Sackett: The First Lie You Hear in HR US HR blogger Tim Sackett puts his finger on the “one Giant lie – one we hear all the time in HR.” I won’t ‘spoiler’ the lie Tims’s got in his targets here…but once you’ve read the post, I’d love to know if it’s what you were expecting, and how many times you’ve heard this lie in your own career in HR!
  • Doug Shaw: Quitter “Try Googling ‘quotes about quitting’ and you get a torrent of crap,” says Doug Shaw. In this truly outstanding post, UK HR blogger and all-round good chap Doug Shaw explains how he learnt from painful personal experience that quitting can sometimes be the best strategy. But you have to know when it’s the right time to do so… Just an excellent, excellent post.
  • Paul Smith: Elements of Rock and Work The term “Rock Star” is increasingly widely used to denote top performers in HR and other professions. But just how apt a model does the traditional “Rock Star” really present for the modern workplace? Or indeed, what happens if you “don’t ‘rock’ all the time”? Paul Smith – author of the Welcome to the Occupation blog – answers these questions and more. Paul’s advice? “If you truly want to rock, think about your elemental state. Are you an element of composition like carbon? Are you an element of change like oxygen? Or are you element of value like gold?”

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