Best of the HR blogs: 13 great HR blog posts from July 2012

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Donut deprivation, ‘semi’ vacation & Han Solo: The best of the HR blogs from July 2012!

Where else but in the world of HR blogs can read about what it’s like for an ex-cop to be deprived of donuts, the perils of ‘semi’ vacations, the HR lessons that we can derive from Captain Han Solo …and alleged parallels between lawyers and vampires? These are just a few of the topics covered in my latest monthly pick of the very best posts from the world of HR blogs, which presents the cream of the crop from July 2012.

If you like the posts linked to here, don’t forget that you can tap directly into the world of HR blogs and catch up on all the latest posts, simply by checking out the #hrblogs hashtag on Twitter.

I’m always on the lookout for great HR blogs, so if you feel there are any posts or authors that I might’ve overlooked here, please do get in touch! You can leave a comment via the box below, or contact me directly via Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.

I would also like to direct everybody reading this post to check out an inspired idea for a best HR blog post list currently being compiled by top US HR blogger Charlie Judy. Via his always excellent HR Fishbowl blog, Charlie invites you to nominate the Best Trench HR Blog Posts of 2012. In order to qualify for this list, the posts have to have been written by people in the “HR trenches” (click on the #TrenchHR hashtag to find out more about day-to-day life in the HR trenches. The list being compiled by Charlie is dynamic, meaning that the ranking of the top 25 posts changes as new votes are cast. Please do check out Charlie’s list, and cast your own vote.

My list of the best HR blog posts of July 2012 is of course merit-based and entirely subjective.

All posts selected here are presented in alphabetical order by the author’s surname.

Best of the HR blogs: 13 great HR blog posts from July 2012

  • Meghan M Biro: SHRM12: Think & Be Social A terrific post in which the estimable Meghan M Biro reflects on the “afterglow” of the recent SHRM 2012 conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Meghan expresses and celebrates her “excitement about what we as an HR community accomplished,” and shares with us her key learning point from SHRM 2012: “[T]hat HR today must be a social endeavor.” Pleasingly, as Meghan notes: “Certainly SHRM got the memo.” You can also check out XpertHR’s social media overview of SHRM 12. Follow Meghan on Twitter.
  • Ellison Bloomfield: It’s Not An Easy Road A brave, personal post from fantastic Australian HR blogger Ellison Bloomfield, reflecting on her recent completion of the Kokoda trek in Papua New Guineau for charity. Congratulations, Ellison. Your words about having set yourself this challenge and the extent to which you rose to the occasion are inspirational. Follow Ellison on Twitter.
  • China Gorman: Paycheck Pessimism I’m a huge fan of China Gorman’s weekly Data Point Tuesday series of posts. This particular post from that series is a double treat. Not only does China present a fascinating analysis of data on employee optimism as regards pay rises (or, rather, “paycheck pessimism”), she also offers up as good an argument as any I’ve seen as to why HR should engage with data: “This is what’s so great about data. They let you connect important dots. Also, they always raise more questions than answers – but if you’re interested and aware you’ll start asking more of the right questions and connecting critical dots. And who knows? That could lead to formulating more effective people management and business risk mitigation strategies. Isn’t that what HR is all about?” Follow China on Twitter.
  • William Gould: Burn Out: Don’t Judge “Fourteen months with no donuts (that’s hard for an ex-cop).” This is such a lovely piece of writing from William Gould, author of the HR Soot blog. In this post, William explores concepts relating to change management, focusing on the point when the sheer unrelenting pace of change pushes an individual past their “point of change tolerance.” He relates this to his own recent experience of coping with “time-limited, high-energy events,” which resulted in him briefly neglecting the dietary restrictions forced on him by his recent diabetes diagnosis (the reason for the aforementioned donut deprivation). I sincerely hope you’re feeling back to full health again now, William, and the job transition and move to Colorado work out for the best. And to everyone else reading this, please do yourself a favour and read William’s post in full, and follow William on Twitter.

  • Rob Jones: The One With A Sense Of Entitlement Those who choose to wield the roller suitcase as their weapon of choice in the urban battlefield, look away now! Rob Jones weighs in on the excessively high “degree of individual entitlement” that evidences itself all around him every day on his commutes to, through and from London. He sees all around him evidence of people “behaving with little or no consideration to others.” And what is most emblematic of this dismal syndrome? “[T]hose who wield the roller suitcase.” Rob tells it like it is: “[A] roller suitcase DOES NOT have human rights. It doesn’t invite the consideration that a small child would and ensuring it doesn’t cause absolute chaos IS the responsibility of the person dragging it. In the past fortnight alone I have been bashed, knee charged and had my feet run over on at least 4 separate occasions with no apology and no seeming embarrassment.” Sir: Too many of us share your pain. Thank you for speaking out. Follow Rob on Twitter.
  • Charlie Judy: There’s Nothing ‘Semi’ About Vacation I’ve said it before: You can always trust Charlie Judy to call it exactly as he sees it. With summer holiday season upon us, Charlie here presents some jolly good advice on treating our right to time off with the respect it so richly deserves. Charlie says: “I don’t know about you guys, but when I think of vacation I think of sand, sun, and adult beverages with umbrellas. There’s nothing ‘semi’ about it. And one thing is for sure, you’re not getting an Email from me.” He also offers some excellent advice to help you “break the cycle” of feeling the compulsion “to justify our time away from the office.” Follow Charlie on Twitter.
  • Jay Kuhns: Work, I’m Gonna Leave You How does Jay Kuhns do it? Without fail, every single day, Jay writes a clear-minded, blog post, very frequently inviting us to confront difficult questions about life and work, and to do our utmost each day. Here, Jay tackles a topic to which I’m sure everyone can relate: “If I expect every day to be filled with energy, creative new strategies and great results then I’m going to be bitterly disappointed.” So what do you do “when expectations and the reality of our jobs are not aligned”? How do you avoid the risk/temptation of “checking out”? Follow Jay on Twitter.
  • Sharlyn Lauby: The Zone Of Uncomfortable Debate Is your organisation comfortable with making the uncomfortable decision to enter the ZOUD (“the Zone of Uncomfortable Debate”)? I always like to see a cross-pollination of ideas across HR blogs, and this is a particularly fine example. Sharlyn Lauby picks up on a 2010 post from Rick’s Flip Chart Fairy Tales blog on the theory of the ZOUD.  Sharlyn expands on this idea in very interesting ways, raising key questions about when and how organisations should address “those ‘elephant in the room’ problems.” I’m in total agreement with Rick’s contention via Twitter that “ZOUD is a word which deserves wider use.” Follow Sharlyn on Twitter.
  • Dwane Lay: Everything I Know About HR, I Learned From Han Solo How could you possibly lose with a blog post title that great? I’m delighted to report that top US HR blogger Dwane Lay steps up to the challenge (clearly having acted on his own observation from this post: “And how did Han develop lightning quick reflexes? Practice.”). Dwane presents a very compelling argument here as to why “your HR team would be a whole lot better with more Han.” Dwane’s argument is impossible to refute. This post is also notable for kicking off a great series of guest blog posts on Buzz Rooney’s The Buzz On HR blog, each exploring HR lessons from long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away.” Follow Dwane on Twitter.

  • Neil Morrison: Act Your Age Quite possibly one of the most uplifting and inspiring posts from the world of HR blogs that I’ve ever had the privilege to read. It’d be rather giving the game away to tell you anything more about what Neil has to say here… so I urge you to head over to Neil’s Change-Effect blog to check it out! Follow Neil on Twitter.
  • Darren Newman: Lawyers are like vampires… An absolutely brilliant blog comment from Darren Newman, which he left on my post highlighting IoD Chairman Ian Dormer’s view that – in his words – (sensitive readers please avert your eyes now) employment law “is a pile of crap” in a recent Telegraph interview. As well as highlighting what he subsequently stressed via Twitter is of course lawyers’ only “resemblance with the bloodsucking undead,” Darren’s comment is also a brilliant and very funny assessment of the anecdotal nature of Dormer’s criticism of the UK employment law system. Follow Darren on Twitter.

  • Buzz Rooney: Is Social Media The NEW Smoke Break? Buzz Rooney draws some very interesting parallels between the potential risks of workplace social media overindulgence and “the battle employers face over smoke-break abuse.” Buzz comes up with an interesting proposal: “Just like Smokers are given a designated area and generally allowed extra breaks, Social Media users should also get consideration.” This reminds me of UK HR blogging gent Mervyn Dinnen’s recent observation on controlling social media access in the workplace: “Block their access on a work desktop or laptop if you want but you will only drive them under the desk and on to their phones.” What’s your take on Buzz’s these topics? Follow Buzz on Twitter.
  • Elizabeth Smithson: Observances from #SHRM12 with @akabruno @dwanelay and @robinschooling “I went to SHRM for the first time this year. I heard the warnings. I heard the rumors. But I paid no attention.” As the preceding quotation might rather imply, this is the second post in this month’s round-up to present reflections on SHRM 12. In this lovely little post, Lizzie Smithson presents a selection of gems of wisdom (or, if you will, some recently cracked “eggs of knowledge”) from some of the leading lights of the world of HR blogs. These include this terrific line from  the great Robin Schooling: “The HR community is built on common interest, good intentions and shared misery.” Follow Elizabeth on Twitter.

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