Monday, May 3, 2010

All Aboard!

Phew! You have FINALLY hired someone for that open position. Think about how long tha took. How many resumes you screened, how many interviews you had, and YES! Finally - a good candidate! Everyone is excited for the new person to start. People have been waiting months. Now don't blow it!

Onboarding is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing for a new employee. I can't stress this enough. Screw up a new employee's first few days, and they won't come back. Make sure your new colleague meets everyone. Make sure they have a working computer. At the very least, make sure someone takes them to lunch! You are all so thrilled to have this person, don't let the excitement fizzle out on the first day, your new teammate doesn't know that you are excited if you ignore them.

Here is a checklist and a guide to assure your effectiveness and a reminder of why it is so important to welcome someone with open arms.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Facebook Frenzy

OK - so I know I am about 3 years behind on posting this, but I think FaceBook gets a bad rap. So here is why I LOVE it!

I LOVE to reconnect with old friends, I love to get together with people I haven't seen in decades, as a matter of fact, I ran into my high school boyfriend at a park in Arlington (we did not grow up here, and I haven't seen him since I was 17) and the first thing my best friend said when I told her was "Let me know when he and his wife come over for dinner!"

FaceBook has given me the opportunity to re-connect with old friends (I went to elementary school in State College, PA - left after 4th grade) - what a hoot it has been to talk with these people, one of them lives in Africa - I never would have found her if not for FB! I went to an overnight camp most of my childhood, I was then a counselor there, my campers (then 13 year old girls) have turned into these magnificent women, again, thanks FB!

FaceBook gives us an opportunity to cheer each other on (who knew my friend Robin could run marathons?!?!?); Celebrate each other's accomplishments (babies, weddings, way to go on getting that new job Elissa!); Comfort each other in upsetting times (cancer, deaths, divorce); support each other's new job ventures (Plant It Water, Kit Order), the list goes on and on.

I have found FaceBook to make me MORE social as opposed to less (I hear you tsking mom!) It's been so amazing to catch up with people I thought I would never talk to again and plan get togethers with them, meet their spouses, their children and most importantly, fall right back into where we were when we left off decades ago. So, for those of you who say that social networking is taking the social out of being a person, I have to disagree!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I need a promotion!

A majority of companies are just wrapping up their year end performance reviews, I know - they should have been by the end of the year - but hey - the end of Q1 is progress! During the review process, the questions on everyone's minds are "How much of a raise will I get?" and "When will I be promoted?" News flash folks - you don't get a raise and a promotion just for showing up at work! In these trying economic times - there are at least 10 people out there who can do you job and they are probably more qualified then you, harder working then you, and want the job more then you. So, now that you know you have to actually do your job - well to get promoted, here are some tips to help get you on the right track!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's just a J O B

When I was a senior in college, I COULD NOT WAIT to get a job and walk to work in my suit and sneakers a la Melanie Griffith. Yeah - I soon got over that.

Fast forward 16 years.

This morning I took the metro to downtown DC during rush hour, I haven't done that in a long time, but I was overcome by how miserable everyone is on their way to work. This made me wonder why? Why does everyone get up early, drag themselves to the the metro with thousands of other miserable people, sit at their desks counting down until quitting time and then do it all again? I know, it's easy for me to say that you should just quit if work is making you so miserable, I happen to have a wonderful boss and amazing co-workers (the joy of working as a sole practitioner) but the truth is, it is just not that easy. So, try to make work a little more enjoyable. Conceivably, when you started this job, you thought it would be great. The people were nice, they offer good benefits, there is work life balance, the pay was right . . . but then the honeymoon phase was over.

Some of this is your fault, you let the toxic people influence you. Some of this is your horrible boss. But, since you have to spend more waking time here than anywhere else, try to understand the different types of people with whom we all work. For many, it is just a J O B. Go in, do work, get paid, go home. There are many of us who are passionate about what we do and get frustrated by the people who are not as passionate as we are. But here is my challenge for all the people I saw on the metro this morning: try to make work fun! Make your company the BEST place to work. Don't look back on your career with sadness and anger. Life is too short!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Life Is Good

I am not usually a person who goes around telling people they have to give back - that is a personal decision, but I spent Valentine's day not as a star struck lover, but rather a love struck friend.

I have an amazing friend, Ellen, she and her husband Evan have a beautiful 4 year old daughter. Ellen was on bed rest while she was pregnant and had complications during delivery. Bottom line, Ellen & Evan were told not to have another baby. OK. They decided to adopt. After MANY almost adoptions (birth mothers reneging at the last minute) they FINALLY adopted a beautiful little girl. 3 months after the adoption, this sweet little baby girl was diagnosed with cancer. This is where I would put my head under my pillow and stay there . . .forever.
Not Ellen & Evan! Nope they truly believe that Life Is Good - that they were dealt this hand because they can handle it.

Their sweet little baby has been through 2 rounds of chemo - 2 more to go - and on Valentine's day, people from their church and community pulled together and planned a blood drive since she needs blood. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of the community. There were hundreds of people gathered at the blood drive to donate and show support, and right in the midst of it all were 4 laughing jovial people. Yep. Ellen, Evan and their 2 amazing kids. I left there feeling like it took me all of an hour to help out this family that goes with the flow. I came home and immediately looked up our president's call to service I want to see what else I can do, maybe I can be more like Ellen & Evan.

I am not telling you this to make you sad about this little baby, but rather to reiterate President Obama and ask you all to get out and serve. I am so thankful for everything I have, and I often forget how lucky I am. Valentine's day reminded me that Life Is Good and we should all take a minute to remember that!

Monday, February 8, 2010

No One Likes a Bully

We have all had amazing bosses and lousy bosses, lord knows I have had quite a few bosses in my career. Some I have loved, some I have had no feeling on either way, but one in particular was a bully. I wish this on NO ONE.
Now, I am not going to use this as a place to rant about a bad boss, but rather as a learning opportunity for all of us, managers and non-mangers alike. My bully boss led me to do a little research on the bully boss and thought I would compile it all here in one place. The bottom line is, there really isn't much you can do, there are no laws against a bully boss, so I just encourage all of us to think twice before acting. Below is what I found. Both for the bully and the recipient. May you never have to do more than read this!

For Both:
For the recipient of bullying:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Can you refer me . . .on LinkedIn?

I like to think that the internet has opened up amazing new doors for recruiting. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn gives the people doing the hiring an opportunity to get a glimpse into our candidates' lives before we hire them. The good, the bad, the ugly. I personally would never use information on any of these social media sites as reasons to not hire someone, but I like to use them to learn more about a candidate, get to know their personality. One thing I love in particular is the reference section on LinkedIn. This is a chance for me to read references I may not typically get. It also serves as a great referral tool. Typically when you write a reference for someone on LinkedIn, it is customary to return the favor. Should companies have policies about writing references for current and past employees on LinkedIn? I say no.

Hypothetical situation:
I write a reference for a former employee on LinkedIn - I see that he is job hunting and I want to write something for him since he was a stellar member of my team. He thanks me for the reference, and seeing that I have recently started my own business, surprises me and writes a nice reference about my skills as an HR professional (very sweet of him and unnecessary). Someone high ranking (and his manager) at the company where we worked together, decided to tell other folks that this is unacceptable - you MAY NOT serve as a reference for someone, that this is against policy.

Hmmmm . . .first of all, there is no policy at the company regarding referrals on LinkedIn: a free-speech, 3rd party, web based, social networking application. Second of all, he wasn't serving as a reference for anything in particular, but rather as a general reference of our time working together. BUT, most disturbing, he got fired 2 days later, for apparently "not fitting in." Ummm . . .he has worked there for 2 years, now you think he doesn't fit it? A little too coincidental for me.

Am I the only one who finds this disturbing? Should there be a policy about referring people on LinkedIn?