Pulling at the arm of my jacket, my friends futilely attempted to drag me away. “C’mon Mark!“, they implored, frustration palpable as I placed yet another quarter on the rough wooden plank that served as both armrest and launching point for my arch rival, the ping pong ball. I was two dollars in and determined that this would be the one.
The money was mine, earned through a wide variety of enterprises my brother and I had launched as creative and unfettered children. We were raised with a strong work ethic in a growing subdivision. That meant construction, which meant construction workers, which meant thirsty and hungry people who just happened to have a soft spot for the neighborhood riffraff.
Of the eight balls thrown thus far, three were underhand, four were dead aimed and one was a high floater. My goldfish had died the week prior so I was not going to leave the carnival without his successor safely bagged and in hand. Rocking back, I decided that a backspun high floater was going to win the day. My fist opened, the ball rose and I waited for it to glide over three-dozen puckered orange faces. Landing on a bowl’s edge, it took a wild bounce, struck another, then a third, and landed quietly on the hay-covered ground below. I had lost, but smirked at knowing that I would try again and again as the day wore on.
Everyday we take this same journey. We throw ourselves into the air, hoping to land in the right destination but often tossed asunder by forces both within and outside of our control. That doesn’t mean we stop trying. That doesn’t mean we can’t have fun. This is the Carnival that we who work in HR experience more acutely than many of our peers. And as others try and pull you away, we want you to stay and give it as many chances as you can personally and professionally afford.
Welcome to the May 2016 Carnival of HR.
- Jennifer Miller of the The People Equation offers us 4 Tips for Avoiding Costly Hiring Mistakes: “Yes, we all want fabulous candidates with perfect track records, at a very affordable salary. That’s not realistic; you’ll need to decide which skills are the most important and look for those skills first.”
- Mick Collins of SAP SuccessFactors suggests Measuring Engagement via Social Collaboration: “Thankfully, through analytics, we can derive many insights on engagement that pave the way for interventions aimed at improving commitment.”
- Judy Lindenberger of The Lindenberger Group reminds us that Communication Matters: “As George Bernard Shaw is quoted as saying: ‘The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.'”
- Talent management strategist Dorothy Dalton identifies 7 Tells You’re On the Brink of Losing Your Team: “When there is barely a murmur about the bonus situation or summer party, you know you are in trouble. Your employees have opted out of even medium term thinking.”
- Stephanie Hammerwold of HR Hammer calls for the need for Finding Time to Play in the Work-Life Unbalance: “Life is more than a job. Whether it’s family obligations, time to read a good book or stepping outside for a nice hike, we need to celebrate time off.”
- Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership breaks down barriers with Don’t Worry About Being Humble, Just Do It: “There are many possible starting points when you begin trying to act humble. Anything that moves you in the right direction will work.”
- Leanne Morris of Carter Morris discusses Commerciality and the HR Professional: “I remember being one the first HR recruiter to request “commercial savvy” and basic financial knowledge as key criteria in my European job ads. Now, everyone is using this request in their advertising. And every HR practitioner claims to have both of these in spades.”
- John Hunter of Curious Cat suggests that Statistical Techniques Allow Management to do a Better Job: “Thinking that adopting a few tools is what is needed completely misses the point. The point is to change how management thinks and behaves and then have that way of thinking permeate the organization.”
- Shauna Moerke of the HR Minion shares lessons from an uncomfortable experience in Mansplain It To Me: “Any company can say it is committed to diversity and an harassment free workplace. You can put it in your values, write policies, and hold mandatory training. But it takes more than that. Your leadership has to model these values every day.”
- Steve Browne of Everyday People asks you to share Tall Tales: “This week lead with a story. Share an experience. Tell a tall tale. Watch what happens when you see someone start to pay attention when they were indifferent in the past.”
- Paula Kiger of Big Green Pen reminds us that Everybody Matters: “You are the message, in everything you say and do. And when it comes to messages, everybody’s extraordinary message does indeed matter.”
- Dwane Lay of Dovetail Software helps us with Planning for Long-Term HR System Success: “Every system or project should have a primary and secondary owner. We live in a fluid professional world, and the cost of not having someone ready to step into a leadership void is too high to ignore.”
- Chris Fields of Performance I Create asks When Did HR Become So Cautious: “When a manager feels they can come into your office and tell you how you should perform HR duties, yet they can’t even manage their own team – that’s a problem and we need to call that stuff out.”
- Jesse Lyn Stoner of Seapoint Center brings us home with The 4 Dimensions of Trust: “As important as trust is and as much as we talk about it, the problem is we are not always talking about the same thing. Trust is an all encompassing word that can mean many different things.”
Read. Discuss. Challenge. Be a part of the conversation and eventually you too can pick a prize.