Best of the HR blogs, September 2012: Donuts, last cigars and the legacy of HR
Another month in 2012 down, and time for the latest monthly round-up of the cream of the crop from the world of HR blogs!
Donuts, last cigars and the legacy of HR are among the particularly diverse array of topics covered by the posts highlighted here.
The past month has also seen not one but two blogging anniversaries ("blogiversaries," if you will):
- Melissa Fairman's HR ReMix blog has notched up its first "blogiversary;" and
- Janine Truitt celebrates the first anniversary of her Aristocracy of HR blog.
Congratulations, ladies, and here's to many more years of superb blogging from you both!
Best of the HR blogs: 13 great HR blog posts from September 2012!
As always, my pick of the month's best HR blog posts is presented in alphabetical order by author surname.
- Ellison Bloomfield: The Day I Didn't Die
Powerful. Disturbing. I thought long and hard about whether to include this post in this month's round-up, due to its intensely personal nature. In the end, I thought it should be included. Ellison has been extremely brave to share these words with the world. If highlighting them here helps her or helps any person out there even a little, then it's worth it. I would also strongly recommend reading Ellison's amazing follow-up post: We Are More Similar Than Different. Be thankful that Ellison's still here. And be thankful that you're here. Follow Ellison on Twitter.
- Kevin Bruny: You Stink And We Suffer
"I'm confused. I'm hurt. Quite frankly, I'm miffed." In this guest post for Charlie Judy's brilliant HR Fishbowl blog, US HR professional Kevin Bruny throws up his hands in despair at the failure of so many in HR to engage via or even experiment with social media. Kevin says: "But we have to get over it...and fast. Not because it's not cool or because 'everybody's doing it' or because you can't do your jobs without it. No. You have to get on board because while you sit by and watch, the rest of us suffer. You're not sharing anything. You're not advancing the dialog. You're not helping us get any smarter, faster, stronger." Follow Kevin on Twitter.
- Ruth Cornish: Body Bags
"Body bags are something that many HR professionals joke about because we know that there will come a time when we have to support a process that takes someone out. I don't think anyone readIng this will be shocked or expect that an elaborate or fair process takes place because it doesn't." So begins the second post on UK HR professional Ruth Cornish's newly launched The Smiling Assassin blog. Ruth pulls absolutely no punches here in describing an area of the work of HR that I don't think I've ever seen addressed in the world of HR blogs. I'd love to know what XpertHR readers make of Ruth's post. To what extent does Ruth's post chime with your own experience from your career in HR? Follow Ruth on Twitter.
- Melissa Fairman: Everyone Should Get Laid Off Once
It's happened to me (twice). Has it happened to you? Here, Melissa Fairman presents some excellent guidance on how to cope with losing your job. As she points out, going through this can and will cause "paralysing" uncertainty. But it can also result in positive change, and "weathering the storm" will ultimately prove an "invaluable experience." I really like Melissa's concluding point: "I hope you never get laid off but if you do, learn all you can from it." Follow Melissa on Twitter.
- Kate Griffiths-Lambeth: Three Cheers For Small Things
HR blog posts don't always have to be about work. This post from HR Director Kate Griffiths-Lambeths's Leading Light blog is a lovely celebration of "the little details" that make up our "daily life." She writes about the daily practice of listing "Three Good Things" (inspired by a recent positive psychology event she attended), and generously shares a number of them here. One of these is an extremely pleasant-sounding cocktail that goes by the name of The Last Cigar... Follow Kate on Twitter.
- Justin Harris: Getting Oil Without Being The Squeaky Wheel
This was my first encounter with Justin's blog, but I'm very glad I discovered it! This post is a lovely piece of writing, sustaining an automotive metaphor while putting forward an interesting take on a managerial tendency "to focus time and resources on those that are disengaged and disruptive." Well worth a read! Justin as also has an extremely cool Twitter 'handle': @UnlikelyHRGuy.
- Charlie Judy: The Idea Zombie
Charlie Judy weighs in with a great little post on the benefits of the occasional "good slap upside [the] head" in the workplace (I'm sure Mr Judy means this figuratively rather than literally, before we all get too dismayed...). I do like the concept of the "Idea Zombie, too"...but I won't spoil it here - please do head over to Charlie's HR Fishbowl blog and find out for yourself what it's all about! Follow Charlie on Twitter.
- Anita Lettink: Will HR Exist In Five Years?
"I hope that in five years HR doesn't exist anymore." How's that for an opening gambit? In this guest post for Melissa Fairman's HRreMix blog (part of the series of guest posts on the future of HR that Melissa hosted to celebrate her first "blogiversary"), Anita Lettink urges HR to ask tough questions of itself. She argues that HR performs the tasks it is assigned "because others are not capable or refuse to do them. And that is not a good enough reason to exist." She poses difficult questions for the profession, so that it can make a real assessment of its true worth in 2012. As Anita puts it: "[T]he only way to discover your true value is to ask yourself what would happen if tomorrow HR did not exist anymore." If you're interested in more of what Anita has to say, please do also take the time to read this post that she contributed to XpertHR earlier this year: Anita Lettink: What is the future of HR?. Follow Anita on Twitter.
- Neil Morrison: The Etiquette Of Resigning, Or How Not To Look Like A Twonk
"It's called personal dignity." Impeccable advice from Mr Morrison here on what to do and particularly what not to do when leaving your employer. I also love that Neil's post in some ways pre-empted this great post from Lorna Leeson on the art of "breaking up" with your employer. Lorna poses some great questions here: "Ex-employees are to your EVP what your customers are to your brand. Are yours advocates? What would they say about you?" Follow Neil on Twitter.
- Dean Royles: Unions Are Part Of The Solution
In this guest blog post for hsj.co.uk, NHS Employers Director Dean Royles presents a level-headed analysis of the current situation facing the UK's trade unions, one that cuts through both the pro-strike rhetoric emanating from this month's Trades Union Congress in Brighton and the predictable "winter of discontent" warnings printed by the papers in direct response. Dean puts forward a very interesting argument here, using data to help us understand the historical context of the unions' situatoin. He also shares some wisdom on leadership: "Finding out where people are going and walking in front of them is, in my view, the antithesis of leadership. Our job as leaders is to try and change and shape the context, not to simply respond to it by jumping on every band wagon." Follow Dean on Twitter.
- Robin Schooling: What The 'HR Community' Is REALLY Talking About...
"How do I handle reports of urine on the floor of the men's room?" This question is just one of the pressing concerns that Robin Schooling came across when dipping into SHRM's HR Talk forum. In this truly exceptional post, Robin asks just what future historians might make of HR, if the questions being asked and answered here were to be discovered as some kind of time capsule for the profession in the early 21st Century. As posters on this forum wrestle with the intricacies of how one defines the "flip flop" in a dress code poliicy, and whether a certain novel with the word 'Grey' in its title makes for seemly workplace reading, Robin says that "the same HR conversations [are] continuing on and on - seemingly for decades." She poses the key question for HR in 2012: "What will be made of what we did?" How would you answer this question? And do you agree with Robin's contention that it's time to change the conversation? Follow Robin on Twitter.
- Michael Scutt: Why Are Employers So Negative About Emplaw Reforms?
It won't have escaped the attention of any regular readers of this blog that the UK Coalition Government is engaged in an ongoing programme of radical employment law reform. In this post, Michael Scutt takes a look at the apparent dissatisfaction of many employers' groups with the nature and pace of employment law reform. He also presents a succinct and compelling overview of employment law reforms: "Employee rights are being wound back significantly and unless one takes the opinion that employees should not be afforded any legal protection at all from unfair dismissal, what is proposed will have a significant effect on the legal landscape." Follow Michael on Twitter.
- Tanja (aka @HRDiva_NY): Meetings Defined
Tanja (aka @HRDiva_NY) is from New York. She works in HR. She would very likely define herself as a "diva." And she is extremely funny on a daily basis, via Twitter. As far as I'm aware, Tanja doesn't (yet) have a blog, but as tweets are considered a form of microblogging, why not celebrate just one of her tweets here? In a very economical way, this tweet says an awful lot about how many people feel about that perennial favourite workplace activity, the meeting. Follow Tanja on Twitter.
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