Sunday, January 29, 2012

Not my usual Sunday thoughts about work

At exactly 4:41 pm this afternoon it hit me.

Holy shit - I start a new job tomorrow. Let the nerves, hives, and gastric upset begin.

Sure I'm excited, but I'm nervous too.

You know what I'm most worried about - the on-boarding. I mean, will it be good or will I be left on my own.

Because you know what? HR deserves good service too.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Last dance people

The day is finally here. Friday.

But not just any Friday - my last Friday with my current employer.

I had a flash back to highschool dances when the opening chords of "Stairway to Heaven" started playing and teens scrambled to find their partner for that last dance. If you were fortunate enough to have gone with someone or had secured a partner earlier in the evening, you were calm and just shuffling it out. If you came alone, didn't do any propecting or were in the girls' bathroom putting on lip gloss and dashed out as soon as you knew it was last call only the arrive minutes after a perky little thing a year younger asked your "intended" to dance ...well then you might have been panicking or seriously pissed off (that bitch).

Regardless, when the song stopped...the dance was over.

So cue the Zepplin. I just fixed my lip gloss and I am ready to dance my way out of here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

'tis the season

In theory I understand the purpose and the benefits of a performance evaluation program.

In practice, it rarely lives up to both the purpose or benefits.

Managers hate doing them (those that actually participate).

Employees think it's all smoke and mirrors.

HR, well we push the hell out of it but we too realize the futility of the process.

You know who some of the worst offenders are when it comes to following through on performance evaluation best practices.

Human Resources.

Something about cobbler's children having no shoes...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Exit Strategy

The countdown is on and I'm in slightly manic mode because for some strange reason I have this feeling like I need to (and will be able) to complete everything that is on my plate before I leave.

As if I could.
As if I should try to.

Is it because I'm such a dedicated employe? Not really.

I believe it's similar to the complusion that makes me "do" my hair before I go to the hair stylists...I mean, I want a hair cut, but I don't want to look like I need a hair cut. It's also related to the same compulsion that makes me have a snack before going out for dinner - I want to eat, but I don't want to look like I need to eat.

So I suppose it's because I want to leave , but I don't want it to seem like I had to leave or that I couldn't do the work.

Talk about managing an exit strategy.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Stepping out

So, I few days back I made some changes - I had actually planned to go a bit further than I did, but hey...baby steps.

I dropped the Corporate Daycare in favour of something a bit more whimsical and reflective of how I'm feeling these days. Besides, after over 5 years as CD...it was time.

I had started to think about dropping the whole anonymous things, but really I do not have the stomach to handle the amount of discomfort that thought caused, but...at the same time I needed to feel more "real".

So, I made a switch both here and on Twitter; however, it just didn't feel like enough.

And then inspiration hit - in the form of new acquaintances and a re-connection of an old one. I am trying to establish some sort of connection, so seeing my silly "BBNB" among all the real people just felt flat.

I mean, BBNB? Seriously, who am I - an American rapper?

So, I went for it and put out my name. Really only my first name, but still...work with me here. I know, the odds of another person who works in HR having the same first name are slim to none, but I'm willing to take the chance.

I'm starting to call it the, "I don't give a fuck 40s" period of my life.

So, there. I have yet another thing in common with Madonna. In addition to putting out a coffee table sex book, we both go by our first names and have a connection with the UK.

I realize that this all sounds like I'm just jumping on a bandwagon, and I suppose I am, but really...what is the point of Twitter?

To follow.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I'll believe in you, or I'll be leaving you tonight..

Did you know that it's just as important to off-board your employees properly as it is to on-board them. Oh yes it is.

And I'm not just saying that because I'm currently in that position. Well, okay, I'm not just saying that because I'm currently in that position. Which I am.

There have been a lot of studies, blogs, and articles about the subject of on-boarding new employees into your company. There is a whack load of information. Google it. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Now, what about when your employee is leaving? I don't mean those that we are escorting out the door. Those we take care of - we draft up properly worded and legally sound releases and packages to ensure that these people will not be returning with either a gun or a lawyer.

I'm talking about those employees that willingly chose to leave your organization, for whatever reason. Sure, sure you do an exit interview and check off the administrative to-do list, but how do you treat an exiting employee.

Do you slowly withdraw from them, ignore them as you pass their desk, by-pass them in communications ('cause what's the point in including them).

Do you make snide comments about how they are "bailing" or are "traitors"...but in a joking voice? So it's all good.

Do you suddenly realize how much they take care of and try to squeeze years of knowledge and experience out of them onto the first available sponge?

Or do you simply congratulate them and wish them well?

I've experienced all these reactions before, as detailed here

And I'm going through it again. I'm a big girl and in HR, which pretty much means I'm invincible. I can take it, but I can also step outside myself and see the situation for what it is. It's a shitty way to end what was a good relationship.

I suppose I shouldn't ask for more...it's kind of like asking if we could still be friends, when I'm the one doing the breaking up. It's too raw, too soon. Give them time and they will come to remember all the good times we had.

However, you have to remember that these departing people, people like me, will talk about your organization when they leave and the impression you give them at the end will be the strongest and most recent one in their mind.

You need to show grace and tact to the end - no matter how irritated and frustrated you might be that you will have to pick up the slack. Ultimately you should want them to remember why they joined your organization in the first place and believe in your organization enough that they would be willing to recommend it to someone else.

And consider this final thought: most complainers are not anonymous bloggers.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fine. I'll go play where I'm wanted.

My week so far:
- Formally accept new job
- Resign from current job
- Manage to be stunned by my manager, once again

I am ego-centric enough to think that my boss would be somewhat disappointed that I announced that I’m leaving. And for the record, I don’t mean beg me to stay, or pull out her hair and sob “what will I do without you” kind of reactions. However, some kind of recognition that I had made a difference would have been appreciated.

What I certainly didn’t want is to have my manager cut me off during my opening sentence to tell me that she knows I’m handing in my resignation. She admitted that she had even bragged to people that she knew I was going to resign before our meeting. She almost seemed to delight in knowing that she had picked up on signs over the past week that this might be coming.

Yes she congratulated me on my new job. Yes she made it easy for me to tell her the news, but seriously – you are telling me that you knew I was quitting and the standout point was that you get to go around and say “I told you so” to your colleagues.

Is it me or is she missing something here?

Unless she wanted to me to leave (which very well may be the case), why would a manager admit that they knew an employee was planning on leaving and didn’t do or say anything?

For the record, I am leaving on good terms, with a good performance record, having successfully completed a number of projects recently. What became clear is that I was seen as a short-term employee who was never expected to stay, who was told repeatedly that there was no room for her to go, and that she was fully expected to move along...any day now.

All I can say is that that brief conversation only confirmed that I made the right decision.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ch..ch..ch..changes.

I took a deep breath a few weeks back and changed my blog name. And the world kept turning.

Monday morning I will hand in my resignation. This is something I have been day-dreaming about for a quite awhile, but truth be told, in my dreams there was a bit of drama, flair and involved me saying something like "fuck this, I'm out of here."

I'm going to go for low-key and humble. And while I will likely hold me breath for a brief second waiting the see the reaction, my prediction is that the world will continue to keep on spinning.

2012 is shaping up to be very interesting.

Hope to chat again soon.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Tolerance (or the lack thereof)

One of my favourite movie lines of all time is from Austin Powers:

“There's only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people's cultures and the Dutch.”

This cracks me up every time I hear it. Why? Because I have a stupid sense of humour and because it’s so typical of what people actually think.

Here is my version of this:

Two things that really frustrate me: organizations that aren’t more flexible and tolerant of their employees’ family obligations and organization’s that don’t say anything when employees bring their kids into work.

I’m a family woman. I have kids. I have responsibilities, challenges, and obligations both at work and at home. But damned if I want to work beside someone’s 4-year old who is amusing himself by eating a constant supply of candy and playing maracas with the staplers because you have no sitter/ there’s no school/ they are sick/ they are suspended.

If you are someone who does bring their kids to the office, let me share a few tidbits with you:

- You are not being productive, and in fact, you are distracting everyone else with your constant “shushes” and “mommy/daddy said not to touch that”

- This is a professional environment – a child slumped half off the chair, spinning it around and around while playing his DS is not professional

- You child is not as cute/ funny/ sweet/ precocious as you think they are

- Your child is not being as quiet as you think they are being

- Almost everyone around you, even though they are smiling and not saying anything, is pissed off that you brought your kid in to work. You know who is the most pissed off? Those that have kids.

I believe that companies need to help and support their employees so that they can deal with situations that require them to take care of their families, but should that extend to bringing your child in to hang out for the day? I don’t think so. That’s where family care days, personal leave days, or working from home can comes in.

Companies need to be flexible, not foolish.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Changes

I tend to think about making changes for quite some time before I actually do it.

I have changed my blog name after all of 30 seconds reflection.

Damn, that felt good.

I have come to realize that the Corporate Daycare moniker, while still true in some circles, is a bit condescending. I am sarcastic, but not condescending.

HR is an important strategic business unit that contributes to the overall operation and development of an organization.

So I'm told.

It's also a job. A sometimes interesting, often times frustrating job.

When people ask me what I do - I tell them I work in HR...I am not HR. I do not embody it, I do not lie awake thinking about it, I do not see myself dedicating my life to it.

So, the truth be told, I wanted to change the blog up to reflect that fact that I'm not all about HR. And that I don't want to diminish it's place in a company by implying it's a babysitting service. Although it sometimes is.

And so, I am facing challenges every day, in all aspects of my life, and yes I am bent, but not broken.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

2012

So it's a new year and to commemorate this, I am making a guest appearance on my own blog. How passé, I know.

Truth be told, I think about blogging a lot, but have become phenomenally good at justifying my laziness. Chalk that one up for my skills set.

This is going to be short and sweet, because I really don't know where I'm going with this. I have spent the last week and a half at home for the holidays, and while that is has been a good thing, it was also a bit disappointing.

- At some point everyone in my immediate family was sick
- I saw no one outside of my in-laws (and that was twice)
- I didn't go anywhere aside from the grocery store and a movie
- I didn't call anyone nor did anyone call me
- I ate more than I normally do
- I moved less that I normally do

...yeah, I've got come some serious First World problems.

No, I don't have problems - I'm not even going to pretend that I have problems. What I do have is this small fear that I'm wasting prime time.

I don't do resolutions, I don't do predictions, and I'm not looking to change my life or HR. I am hoping to get some perspective and enjoy the days. And I just don't want to be sitting here this time next year thinking, fuck - that was a big waste.

Cheers to 2012 and all that it has the potential to be.