HRNasty http://hrnasty.com Corporate ladder, meet elevator Thu, 19 Apr 2018 05:00:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Interview tardiness: It’s midnight, do you know how to get to your interview tomorrow? http://hrnasty.com/interview-tardiness/ http://hrnasty.com/interview-tardiness/#respond Thu, 19 Apr 2018 05:00:42 +0000 http://hrnasty.com/?p=10000 Interview tardiness

Running late for an interview is never a good thing.

Interview tardiness

I recently interviewed a number of candidates and a number of them committed the sin of interview sins. Interview tardiness. Obviously, the words late and interview should never be used in the same sentence. I can fix a broken watch. I can’t fix tardy.

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Interview tardiness

Running late for an interview is never a good thing.

Interview tardiness

I recently interviewed a number of candidates and a number of them committed the sin of interview sins. Interview tardiness. Obviously, the words late and interview should never be used in the same sentence. I can fix a broken watch. I can’t fix tardy. When it comes to a first impression, there isn’t a much more effective way to “blow it” in a corporate environment.

The flip side of this is being too early. So you can be Goldilocks, I blogged about how you can be jussssttt rightttt. Read this to find out when you SHOULD show up for an interview.

Showing up early is better than showing up late. But frankly, they are both veddy veddy bad ways to start an interview. (as explained in the above-linked post)

I work in Seattle and I get we have lousy traffic and a downtown that is notorious for one-way streets. To make matters worse, our one-way streets are closed during specific times a day and only open to public transportation. If you are new to the area, getting to a specific spot and finding a place to park is like finding a needle in a haystack, in a field of haystacks.  

So what is a candidate to do?

Show the frick up on time of course. Yes, I will provide a solution to “The party can start now, I have arrived” syndrome. First, let me explain why it is so important to show up on time and avoid interview tardiness.

Business reason being late to an interview “is a sign”

We are all being hired for consistent performance that is repeatable and scalable. Managers want dependability and when someone shows up late, it is the first sign that they are not going to be dependable. Tardiness is the lead indicator that performance is not going to be predictable.

Showing up late is a lead indicator that :

  • Work isn’t going to be completed on time
  • We don’t respect other people’s time and may show up late to meetings where there will be a number of paid salaries attending (lack of courtesy)
  • Leaves the person waiting AND wondering if they should move on with their day. (Not to mention frustrated)

If you are going to be late, text your recruiter or hiring manager 15 minutes before the meeting so they can adjust their schedule. Telling your hiring manager at 2:59 that you are running 15 minutes late for your 3:00 interview never sits well. We knew we were going to be late long before 2:59. Interview tardiness is a lack of common courtesy.

I completely accept a tardiness heads up 15-20 minutes ahead of the scheduled meeting

Requisite dating example

When we show up for a first date, we are hoping for a number of things. Great smile, sense of style, personality, etc. But most of all, we are hoping they show the frick up. If the date is supposed to show up at 9:00 and we don’t hear anything by 9:01, the spidey sense starts to tingle. By 9:05 we start to check our calendar invite and then we double-check the settings on our phone/wristwatch. At 9:07, we are checking email and texts to see if the date was moved or canceled.  By 9:10, we start to turn the corner from “I am sure he is stuck in traffic” to “WTF is going on, this shit is RUDE! Who does he think I am?”  By 9:20, flowers in hand isn’t going to salvage the evening. 

Don’t even think about showing up late with a Starbucks cup in hand

Oh no he didn’t! I might be old school, but the considerate thing to do is to text a few minutes prior and confirm all is good and we are on our way.

So, what can you do?

What is the number one thing we can do to avoid being late?  Review the route to the interview the day before. Yes, visit the office the day before and make sure you can find the office, find parking, there is a bus stop close by, etc.

There is nothing worse than running into the lobby sweaty and out of breath AND a single minute late

When we meet with the recruiter after arriving a few minutes late, they are nice enough and we think we “got away with it”. But let’s face it. A recruiter is not going to want to take a chance that their hiring manager will go through the above 3 min, 5 min, 7 min, 10 min late scenario. Personally, I don’t want a hiring manager calling me up and accusing, I mean talking to ME as if I am the one that is late. I just can’t defend “late”.

It happens when we are late to interview with the hiring manager as well. The hiring manager doesn’t want to take a chance a candidate will show up late to the interview with the VP.

A lesson from a favorite podcast 

I recently listened to one of my favorite podcasts, Planet Money. (This is not a paid endorsement) The episode I listened to is titled Speed Dating for Economists.  If you want consistent examples of big-picture thinking, I HIGHLY recommend this podcast. 

They followed a recent graduate with a Ph.D. in Economics as he interviewed for a job. He attended the annual “job fair for Economists” held in January in Chicago. This was a particularly fascinating episode for this HR nerd as it had a recruiting element. This particular candidate had a number of interviews lined up. Like, back to back interviews over a weekend, all weekend.

This is a young Jedi in training so of course, he Google mapped all the places he was interviewing AND he walked the routes. He calculated travel times to ensure he could make each interview in time the day before.

Thinking it through

As I was listening, I had to hand it to him. This guy was doing everything right. But even I account for all of the other 100’s of candidates jamming up the hotel lobbies and elevators. These other candidates affected the travel times to the hotel rooms where all of these interviews were taking place. 

Consequently, he was late and panicky to a number of the interviews. You could literally hear the frustration and panic in his voice.

He was walking into these interviews with three strikes against him before the interviews even started.  He was late, he was embarrassed and he had less time to convey his qualifications because the interviewers had schedules to keep.

Next time you have an in-person interview, don’t just send a confirmation email. Walk the route. 

See you at the after party,

HRNasty

nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone who is good at something. “He has a nasty forkball”.

If you want to ditch the corporate ladder, take the elevator and subscribe to the weekly updates here. Knowledge drops are free and I promise, no spam. “Like” us on Facebook here, I read all comments below. Thank you!

 

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Job application follow up http://hrnasty.com/job-application-follow-up/ http://hrnasty.com/job-application-follow-up/#respond Thu, 12 Apr 2018 04:15:11 +0000 http://hrnasty.com/?p=9980

Job application follow up?

Are you hearing from employers after you turn in your cover letter and resume? Or are you like many who never hear back from the hiring company and end up dismayed with the application system?

I only know what I hear about. My position is working within the recruiting system.

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Job application follow up?

Are you hearing from employers after you turn in your cover letter and resume? Or are you like many who never hear back from the hiring company and end up dismayed with the application system?

I only know what I hear about. My position is working within the recruiting system. The feedback I hear about leans towards what “isn’t working with HR”.

Fair enough, comes with the territory, bring it.

That being said, I do know how many times I experience a follow-up email or phone calls from candidates turning in a resume. Outside of professional sales roles and executives, I would say the number is about 99% of the time. When I say 99% of the time, I mean, 99% of the time I don’t receive a follow-up.

Lack of a job application follow up is the new black

Hell, I rarely receive a thank you for taking the time to talk with someone on the phone or in person. Maybe gone are the days of the thank you or follow up. But I digress. 

My point is that if I only hear about a follow up 1% of the time, then candidates can really stick out of a crowd when they DO follow up.

There is a reason professional salespeople follow up after they make a sales call, phone call or send an email. CRM’s have fields for follow-ups. Executives follow up. They all do it for the same reason. 

The shit works people

For those who don’t believe, I was reminded of the job application follow up move working the other night. I thought it would make a good post and give it to you, play by-play.

The real life example

I went to my local hang out. My Cheers Pub per say, where everyone knows my name. It’s not like my 9-5 where everyone thinks in their quiet voice “Oh, it’s HR, break time is over”. At this place, I do hear half a dozen shout-outs of “HRNASTYYYYyyyy” when I come through the door. Everyone welcomes me by name or at least gives me a head nod.

Follow up

I am probably Norm, but this is my Cheers

I had been helping a friend on and off with their job hunt. It has been a very informal relationship. She has a single question or two, I would try to provide some advice. We were not meeting on a regular basis and I wasn’t hearing updates on a job by job basis. When we ran into each other, she would ask a question or two and I would answer. Thankfully, all of my advice had been panning out and I still had credibility. 

Play by play

On this evening, she came by and mentioned that she had applied for a position but hadn’t heard back. It had been about a week and was genuinely excited about the opportunity. She hadn’t heard back after turning in her resume and didn’t know what to do.

I suggested she follow up with the hiring company. She wasn’t surprised but it wasn’t the answer she was expecting. She looked at me with a tilted head, narrowed eyes and an expression that said “Huh?”.

I lot of candidates ask me about why they are not hearing back from the hiring company. Well, let’s be real. They aren’t asking as much as they are bitching about the lack of process/response. I get it. It’s probably the number one complaint I hear about when it comes to the hiring process.

We sat down and we talked for just a few minutes. Here is the condensed blow-by-blow

Job application follow up, the blow-by-blow

Hottie: “Should I reapply for the position? Should I turn in my application and change-up my cover letter?”

HRN: “Have you followed up on your application?”

Hottie: “What do you mean follow-up? Call them?”

HRN: “I would start with an email and I would be very specific about it. Explain that you are:

  • Just following up on your application
  • Still very interested in the position
  • Provide some dates when you can meet”

Hottie: “What do you mean provide some dates? Isn’t that a little presumptuous?”

HRN:We could look at it as presumptuous. I like to look at it as being proactive and making it easier on the hiring manager. We are managing their process. We are providing a path to yes.”

Email them today and give them a few dates and time for next week when you are free. But not on Monday. Monday’s are busy for everyone and we want to give them availability far enough out that they will actually be free.” 

What do you have to lose at this point?

Hottie was seeing where this was going and was smelling blood in the water

HRN: “Yes, if you just email them and say I am following up, without providing available dates, the hiring manager has a number of mental calculations: 

  1. Email you BACK and respond with “Sorry, we were busy” and then provide research their calendar and email YOU with multiple dates that work.
  2. Hope you follow up. Let’s say you follow up and confirm a date.
  3. Then they send a final email date to confirm the date they proposed.”

That email exchange isn’t mentally exhausting by itself. When it comes to scheduling you and 3 other candidates OR candidates for an additional 3 positions. They can provide you with dates but they can just as easily be taken by other candidates and the process starts all over.

“Giving them a few dates and times allows them to just look at their schedule and confirm with you their availability. You are doing the scheduling for them. You are making their job easier. We cut the email back and forth from multiple back and forth’s. Much less emotional investment.”

It works after hours

Visibly getting it now she high fived me and went back to her party.

About an hour later and this was probably 8:00 PM, she came by very excited. I thought we were going to be serving cake or a vendor was coming by to hand out free cigars. She explained that she emailed them and they ALREADY got back to her. They apologized and said they were busy and confirmed the first meeting time proposed. Hottie is meeting with the CEO next week! Boom and HRN credibility remains intact!

She couldn’t believe it worked. Well, she believed it was going to work. She just wasn’t expecting it to work so quickly and after hours.

Next time you are applying for a job, set a follow-up. You have nothing to lose. 

See you at the after party,

HRNasty

nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone who is good at something. “He has a nasty forkball”.

If you want to ditch the corporate ladder, take the elevator and subscribe to the weekly updates here. Knowledge drops are free and I promise, no spam. “Like” us on Facebook here, I read all comments below. Thank you!

 

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HRNasty’s Zen and the Employee Experience http://hrnasty.com/employee-experience/ http://hrnasty.com/employee-experience/#respond Thu, 22 Mar 2018 07:06:44 +0000 http://hrnasty.com/?p=9943

The employee experience doesn’t happen by accident

HRNasty and the Zen of the Employee Experience

I am responsible for the employee experience and believe that I am the CEO of my personal brand. What I represent, who I am, and how I conduct myself is all part of my personal brand as an individual contributor.

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The employee experience doesn’t happen by accident

HRNasty and the Zen of the Employee Experience

I am responsible for the employee experience and believe that I am the CEO of my personal brand. What I represent, who I am, and how I conduct myself is all part of my personal brand as an individual contributor. Over the years, I have adopted the below philosophies within my professional HR career to provide a positive employee experience. 

Within my role in HR, I am asked the following questions on a regular basis and provide the same themes and answers to many more questions and situations. I thought it would make a good post.

  • What makes a good employee?
  • Requirements to makes a good leader?
  • What advice do you have for people who want to become managers?

What is your personal brand?

Below I share my HR philosophy with further explanations provided below the short list. I encourage everyone to articulate your personal brand. Most questions are answered with the below in mind. You already have a brand, you already believe and practice your craft in a purposeful way. Writing your tenants down will help you further define your brand, and can hold you to a higher standard.

With these ideas in mind, I am kept directed and purposeful about my craft. 

Employee Experience

  • Communicate the company message at least 3 times three different ways.
  • Make your manager look good. Protect the company brand.
  • Look out for the company first. When I look out for the company I am looking out for the employee
  • HR guidelines vs. the HR Manual/Rules
  • It’s our own personal career, not our managers. Take the initiative to manage your career and your manager.
  • Assume good intent. Employees don’t want to do the wrong thing.
  • Recognize we are all people. We don’t get to pick where we are born, the color of our skin or how we were brought up.
  • Coach employees to be better employees. Make it easy for managers to be better managers.
  • It’s not what we say, it’s how we say it.
  • Culture is not ping-pong tables and free catered meals.

 

Communicate the company message at least 3 times three different ways

As execs and managers, we have had days, weeks and sometimes months to finalize a company decision. We have thought through the decision, had discussions with senior leadership and thought of every scenario possible that could go wrong. Ultimately we try to make the decision with the least downside. Condensing the week or month-long decision-making process into a 2-minute announcement will confuse employees. A short paragraph long email can also result in employees that don’t understand. Burying the 2-minute announcement in a 60 minute all company meeting will dilute the message. Expecting the employees to grok the business logic within 2 minutes is unreasonable. 

My goal is two-fold:

  1. Explain the decision in such a way that even if the employee doesn’t care for the decision personally, they respect the company perspective and understand why the company made the decision.
  2. Give employees the time to digest decisions which took days, weeks or months to finalize.

Rigor when making announcements:

  1. Explain the ultimate goal of the decision and be prepared to discuss the alternatives that were considered
  2. Share the announcement with the execs and managers
  3. Share the announcement with all employees via company meeting. Include the business logic
  4. Follow up with an email announcement explaining business logic
  5. Offer personal clarification at department meetings or via office hours
  6. Avoid once and done announcements

Make your manager look good

The behavior within the company will be a reflection of the CEO, the leadership team and the credibility of the HR department. HR needs to be a diplomat, mentor, and confidant. Occasionally, HR is law enforcement, but this can be a positive outcome of the first three roles. Usually, HR plays the role of the moral conscience of the company. When a company operates with good behavior, no one takes notice and HR looks good. Everyone notices bad behavior. When I look good, my manager will look good.  

Look out for the company first, not the individual. When I look out for the company I am looking out for the individual

When I am recommending a company decision, I worry less about the 1% that is going to whine, see the negative, or be the squeaky wheel. There will always be a squeaky whiner that doesn’t see or want to see the big picture. I should not practice HR for this small percentage of the workforce. I am going to worry about the company and the 99% of the employee force.

Making decisions defensively because we are afraid of

what the squeaky wheel will say will set us up for heartache

EG: In traditional HR, when one person becomes drunk at a company party the normal result would be to cancel all drinking. I would prefer we have the professional courage to address the individual employee. The top 99% shouldn’t suffer because of the bottom 1%.

HR guidelines vs. the HR manual/rules

All people are different and all situations are fluid and changing. A single rule from a master manual is not written to address every single situation. Times are changing and we are working in disruptive environments. Our company guidelines need to adapt to these changing times, different cultures and diverse demographics.

It’s our own individual career, not our managers. Take the initiative to manage your career and your manager

As individuals, we need to manage our own careers. We should not rely on a manager to promote us, direct us, or make sure we are successful. As individual contributors, we can manage our careers by making it easy for our manager to manage us. We should work hard, explain what we want out of our careers and most importantly, show the initiative to accomplish those goals. When a manager has two employees that work hard, and one is specific in what they want out of their career, it is easy to help the employee who was articulate about long-term goals.  

We need to speak up. Managers are not mind readers. Managers do not know our wins or losses, professional or personal. We need to share these experiences directly with our manager and explain how these experiences are affecting our current performance.

Assume good intent

Most people in most circumstances want to do the right thing. Most people treat others the way they want to be treated. That is good intent. We need to recognize that not everyone wants to be treated the same way we want to be treated. Some cultures value speaking up to authority. Other cultures think it is insulting. Some cultures encourage you to clean your plate of food and eat everything. Other cultures encourage you to leave a little behind. Assume good intent.

We are all people. We don’t get to pick where we are born, the color of our skin or how we were brought up

Be sensitive to the fact that diversity is not a choice

We are men, women, over 55, under 21, and all of us come from different generations and different cultural backgrounds.  At the end of the day, we need to overcome our differences and is our individual responsibility. Reminder: The concept of “lean in” applies to all demographics.

When I was in middle school, I asked my mom “What is White Trash?” And I remember her answer to this day. My mom was VERY angry with me. She said, “Don’t ever use that term. Every culture has people who didn’t grow up with the opportunity that you did. Our (home) country has the equivalent of folks who didn’t have an opportunity. We don’t get to choose our upbringing.”

Culture is not ping-pong tables and free catered meals

Culture is created by recruiting like-minded individuals who work on a common mission. It is created by setting expectations when an employee is hired and consistently living up to those expectations. I want to avoid setting expectations that I am not able to meet. Transparency builds trust. If we are not able to be transparent, then we may have the wrong people on the bus.

I have worked in companies that made the number 1 slot on Best Place to Work lists without ping-pong and catered meals. We had serious camaraderie. It can be done. Ping pong tables and catered meals are a benefit, but it is the mindshare of the people who make the culture.

No asshole rule revisited

I believe we can create a best place to work if u only hire assholes. This isn’t a place where I want to work but if you are an asshole you will feel at home in this environment. You will feel comfortable because you know what you are getting into, are surrounded by like-minded individuals, and can thrive in this environment. This is what makes a best place to work. Not all cultures are for everyone and not everyone is for all environments.  Be purposeful about determining your culture and more purposeful about putting people in it.    

Lately, I have been working in fast growth companies. This means the employees we are hiring today will be leaders tomorrow. So, I look for candidates that have a track record of continuous improvement and continuous progression. I am not looking for people who were stagnant in prior jobs because they will probably be stagnant in their future positions.  

Hire slow

Hire to win the war, not the battle

Coach up 

Don’t ever fuck up a paycheck. If we do, apologize and fall on the sword immediately, even when you are right.

Coach employees to be better employees. Make it easy for managers to be better managers

Most employees do NOT know how to be successful in the work environment. It wasn’t taught to them in school and it usually isn’t explained to them by the company. Goal setting, how to show initiative, collaboration can all be new concepts to an employee and can be different at various companies. As managers, we need to show patience with our teams.

Most managers have not been through management training courses. As direct reports, we need to show patience with our managers and help them manage us.

MJ has style

Showing professional courage is the best thing we can share with our direct reports and our managers. Having a potentially difficult conversation/coaching moment will do the most for the manager and the employee. It’s not what we say, it’s how we say it.

Oprah asked Michael Jordan, “What do you hate?”. His response was “Hate is a very strong word, I don’t hate anything, I just haven’t found out how to appreciate that thing yet”.

It’s not what we say, it’s how we say it.

Conclusion

Because most of my work is done behind closed doors, most employees don’t see how HR operates. I am sure that many employees have wondered “WTF! Is HR going to do anything about this messed up situation?” Trust me, even though progress may seem absent, work is being done and we only want to respect individual privacy. We are not going to announce over the company loudspeakers “Attention all employees, we just caught Johhny coked up in the bathroom and will deal with him via corporal punishment out back after work”  

I’d love to hear your philosophies regardless of your craft. Please share them below. 

See you at the after party,

HRNasty

nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone who is good at something. “He has a nasty forkball”.

If you want to ditch the corporate ladder, take the elevator and subscribe to the weekly updates here. Knowledge drops are free and I promise, no spam. “Like” us on Facebook here, I read all comments below. Thank you!

 

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Career management, HR says 99% of employees are not pro-active with their careers http://hrnasty.com/career-management-trust-me-you-are-not-practicing-this-game-changer/ http://hrnasty.com/career-management-trust-me-you-are-not-practicing-this-game-changer/#respond Thu, 08 Mar 2018 04:47:46 +0000 http://hrnasty.com/?p=9580 career management

Is your career moving as much as you are working? Hard work isn’t enough

Career Management

Are you practicing career management? Most of us think we are managing our career, but let me ask you the following questions:

  • Have you talked to your manager about your 3-year plan? (Yes, I said it,

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career management

Is your career moving as much as you are working? Hard work isn’t enough

Career Management

Are you practicing career management? Most of us think we are managing our career, but let me ask you the following questions:

  • Have you talked to your manager about your 3-year plan? (Yes, I said it, the dreaded three-year plan)
  • Have you talked to your manager about your next opportunity, position or title? Specifically what you are going to do to land the next big thing?
  • Have you talked to your manager about your next big project and specifically, what skills you will use or show off on this project that can help you attain your goals?

Hard work not paying off

Last week we talked about techniques to test if you are setting expectations with your manager on your week to week projects. Of course, we talked about HOW to set expectations as well. This week, the discussion is on career management. Are you a hard worker? Check. Do you show up on time? Check. Are you completing your projects on time? Check. Is your manager happy with your performance? Check. Is your career going up and to the right?

If you checked the above boxes, that doesn’t confirm that we are managing our careers. It means you are earning your paycheck twice a month, but career management? Meh!

Most employees THINK that their manager knows and understands what they want out of their individual careers. But if you ask employees the three questions listed above, the answer will usually be “no actually, I haven’t talked about goals”

If you haven’t talked to your manager about your long-term aspirations and specifically HOW you are going to attain these aspirations, don’t expect them to happen. Your manager is not a mind reader.

Exit interview evidence

When I conduct an exit interview with an employee that has turned in their 2-week notice, in about 50% of the cases, the employees didn’t manage their careers. The employees leave because they think the company failed them. They did the hard work, but no one knew what the employee really wanted to do long term. In reality, the employee failed themselves.

I understand when employees are leaving our company for a larger opportunity, for a shorter commute (Seattle makes the top lists for worst commute in the nation) and in some cases more money. I get it! I understand it! In most cases, I can respect it. I don’t like it, but often times, it was our experience that put the employee in a situation where they could “graduate” to the next opportunity. I am proud of them and our company.

I didn’t get this and I didn’t get that

But when I ask an employee why they are leaving and they flat-out tell me, I haven’t gotten a new opportunity, I haven’t gotten a promotion, I haven’t received a pay raise or I saw Incompetent Johnny get one of our largest clients, I always ask the following:

Does your manager know you wanted a specific title, specific project, or specific large account? Have you shared these expectations with your manager?

The usual answers which lack career management

  • Uhhh, I haven’t shared the specific title/project/large customer account aspiration with them.
  • They SHOULD know that is what I want. Doesn’t everyone want the next title, project or large customer?

HRAsshole response

Well Johnny, I wish I knew spoke up about your wishes because you are a strong performer and I am sure we could have put you on a plan to accomplish your goals. I gotta’ say, I don’t like to try to salvage an exiting employee with more money, more opportunity or more projects because the employee rarely lasts more than 6 months. Once an employee has started to think about leaving, it can be tough to retain that employee long-term. It’s a “Once we sleep around on our significant-other and get caught hard to restore the faith” tough to retain way. It can work, but it is a high maintenance relationship built on the premise of “trust and verify”.  

For your personal career moving forward, I would encourage you to speak up about what you are looking for in your career, whether it is specific project/more opportunity or the large account.

Mindreaders do exist

But they should know what I want.

HRAsshole:

Which one would you want?

Exiting employee:

Any of the prior mentioned opportunities of course!

The voice in my head says

OMG. You are going to leave because you didn’t get what you DID NOT ask for? You are going to give it all up and start all over because we assumed our manager is a mind reader and knows exactly what you want? If you didn’t speak up here, what makes you think the NEW manager at your new employer is going to be a mind reader?

HRNasty rational voice

I can appreciate your point of view. From a guy that is looking across the entire organization, I can say that if we assume everyone wants all of these opportunities, we will be considered arrogant and insensitive to our employees. For some employees, more opportunity means more work. For some employees, they don’t care about the title at all, they just want the prestige of the biggest clients. For other employees, they don’t care about how large or small their clients are, they just want the bigger title. 

At the end of the day, as individual contributors, it is our career and we need to play the manager role in our careers. We need to show initiative and drive towards our goals. More importantly, we need to speak up about what we want and share the plan to get there with our manager. When our manager knows what we want to do, THEN they can help us. Then they WILL help us.

Managers want initiative 

Too many employees assume that their manager is going to reach out and ask them what they want long-term. Many employees believe it is the manager’s responsibility to make sure their career takes off.  Unfortunately, fewer managers in the workforce mean more people on the team to manage. If we want our career to go somewhere, we need to speak up, put a plan in place and get our managers to buy into this plan. When they know what we want and know that we have put a plan in place to get there, they will probably step in and help. They just need to see some initiative.

Requisite dating example

If you are going to the senior prom, you don’t go to your mom the day before the prom and ask her for 400.00 to take your significant-other to prom. Giving your mom one day notice will probably result in a “WTF do you need 400.00 for? When I went to prom, it was 100.00”

To which you respond, Mom, I need:

  • 100.00 for the limo
  • 150.00 for the dinner
  • 50.00 for the flowers
  • 100.00 for the after party

You are going to get a big fat no. You might get a single hundy, but you are not getting four bills.

Set expectations a few months early and put a plan in place

Mom, It is March 8. I am a senior this year and I want to take Shorty to the prom in June. I am going to need 400.00 to do this right and you know how much Shorty means to me. I want to propose that I mow the lawn, watch little Bobby Brother on the weekends and get a part-time job, but that is only going to get me to 200.00. Can you help me out?

Our mom might say: 200.00? When I went to prom it was 100.00. Tell you what I am going to do. You mow the lawn once a week and wash my car once a month and I will make sure you can make it to prom.

Sound familiar? We put a plan in place and showed some initiative. We didn’t show up last-minute or just assume that our mother could read our mind and come up with the 4 bills.

If you are putting in the hard work and showing up on time, make sure your manager understands your long-term aspirations and goals. With their help and advice, we can probably cut the time to achievement down significantly. Otherwise, we are just reinventing the wheel and struggling with no direction. 

See you at the after party,

HRNasty

nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone who is good at something. “He has a nasty forkball”.

If you want to ditch the corporate ladder, take the elevator and subscribe to the weekly updates here. Knowledge drops are free and I promise, no spam. “Like” us on Facebook here, I read all comments below. Thank you!

 

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Setting expectations with your manager at work. Have you talked to your manager recently? http://hrnasty.com/setting-expecations/ http://hrnasty.com/setting-expecations/#respond Thu, 01 Mar 2018 15:26:42 +0000 http://hrnasty.com/?p=9458 Setting expecations

I used to exceed expectations at work. I am working harder now. What happened?

Are you setting the right expectations with your manager?

If you have never said “no” to your manager, you are probably NOT setting expectations. This post is for you. If one of your direct reports has not pushed back on the amount of work you have given them,

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Setting expecations

I used to exceed expectations at work. I am working harder now. What happened?

Are you setting the right expectations with your manager?

If you have never said “no” to your manager, you are probably NOT setting expectations. This post is for you. If one of your direct reports has not pushed back on the amount of work you have given them, this post is for them (and yourself). 

This week is part 1 of a 2 part series. This week, we discuss the setting of expectations with your manager as it relates to your work. Most employees do NOT set expectations with their manager. Some employees don’t realize they can or should set expectations. Others think it is a sign of weakness when they extend a deadline on a project or re-prioritize a list of projects.

Next week, we discuss the topic of setting expectations of setting expectations with your manager as it relates to your career. You have heard me kick the dead horse on this topic many times. If you are just working your ass off and expecting an opportunity to come your way, you can expect to keep on waiting. If your manager doesn’t know ahead of time what your career aspirations are, they won’t be able to help you achieve them or move towards them.

Most common career pitfall with overachievers

One common career pitfall that most ambitious employees fall into is one that most of us aren’t even aware of. I see this over and over with both employees early and late in their careers. The great thing about this is that our reputations can turn on a dime when we climb out of this career sucking hole. Most of us just take this mistake for granted, don’t think twice about it and don’t know to fix it. Most employees don’t have an idea they can improve their situation with just a few simple steps.  

If you have never thought to explain any one of the below statements to your manager, you are guilty of this career limiting move. Have you ever:

  • Told your manager “I’m too busy to take on this project.”  
  • Said to your manager “I have a full plate right now, VP Sally in Marketing asked me to work on another initiative so I won’t be able to take on your new initiative.”
  • Explained to your manager that you have too many direct reports and won’t be able to take on another new direct report.

If you have just sucked up additional work or taken on additional responsibilities when you already had a full plate, this post is for you.

I see it time and time again

Alex the ambitious employee is assigned a couple of tasks and finishes the projects in a well-done fashion. If we were to score his work on a scale of 1-10, 10 being high, he would be 10. With a track record of success, Alex’s manager assigns him more responsibility. Eric does great work on the additional projects and receives even more responsibility. Alex thinks his career is finally going somewhere because he is receiving more and more responsibility. Alex has a reputation for quality work. He is a 10. 

But with additional responsibility, Alex the employee becomes overwhelmed and although he is able to finish the additional projects, he isn’t knocking it out of the park anymore. He is getting the work done but the finished product is only “OK”. On our above scale, the quality of his work is now at a 7. He is just average. The current schedule of deadlines just doesn’t allow enough time to knock the project out of the park. Alex the ambitious could be working 60 hours a week at this point, but the work is only “OK”. Alex’s reputation went from excellent to just average. Yes, he is doing more work than the average employee, but the quality just isn’t there.

No person can serve two masters

This phenomenon can also happen when other managers recognize Eric’s work ethic and results and start to take advantage of their newly discovered workhorse. Alex’s manager is giving Alex the usual amount of work. In addition to this, and other managers are also giving Alex projects. None of the managers are talking to each other so they are unaware that Alex already has a pile of shit to do. 

Alex has never thought about speaking up to his manager. He received additional responsibility because he has been able to handle all the prior requests and said “Yes, I can do it” to every request. He is a stellar employee and he thinks he is managing his manager because he is making it easy for his manager give him more opportunity.  

Eric the ambitious doesn’t think to reset expectations. He just figures out how to accomplish the work. Never mind the pace is killing him, his family life or both because he is now working 65 hours a week. His managers see him working more hours and appreciate the effort, but the QUALITY of his work is slipping. His mental state is also slipping.  

Managing expectations doesn’t equal failure

It doesn’t occur to him to reset expectations with his manager. He thinks that resetting expectations is the equivalent of any of the following:

  • Alex will be compared to other weak performers
  • Assumes he is not going to get any new responsibility
  • Alex will lose the confidence of his manager

Alex was receiving more responsibility/opportunity because he had a track record of success. He isn’t going to push back on his manager and tell him or her “no, I am not going to take on any additional projects, I am busy. 

Setting expectations: Quantity vs. Quality

Soon, Alex’s performance starts to fall.  He may be working longer hours, but his results are falling. Alex is a victim of quantity vs. quality. This employee is doing a lot of work, but none of it is outstanding.

There is a balance here. Alex obviously enjoys his work OR has a sadistic work ethic. He wouldn’t be turning out stellar effort if he didn’t care about his job or his manager. I am NOT saying that you manage to a 40 hour work week. There will be weeks where we need to work more than 40 hours a week and this is what it means to be a salaried employee. 

We need to find our own balance. It may be 45, 55, or 60 hours a week. But if you find yourself getting burnt out or overwhelmed, talk with your manager. No manager wants to burn out their top employees or their workhorses who are consistently putting out great work. They want to keep them, nurture, and promote them. No manager wants to face the music with their VP when they lose a stellar employee. 

Are you overwhelmed?

Take a moment and breath. If you find yourself with too many projects and are feeling overwhelmed, list out all of your projects and prioritize them. If you have 10 projects, figure out which projects are the most important for your department or your company. Sit down with your manager and explain that you are working too many hours and share with them all the projects you are working on. Explain that all of these projects had deadlines and that with the current workload, some of the deadlines are going to slip. 

There was a time early in my career where I was working 60+ hours a week and loving life. Yes, loving the job. The key was to meet with my manager every other week so we could set expectations. I would literally explain the following:

  • What I was working on
  • What I was NOT working on 
  • What I was going to do 110% and do very well because it was important that this project was perfect.
  • What I was going to put 90% effort into because just getting it done was “good enough”
  • Where I was related to deadlines on all of the above

I wasn’t stressed because my CEO knew what he could and should not expect out of me. Sometimes he made adjustments to the schedule,

but we both agreed on what I would focus on in the following sprint. 

Your manager doesn’t want to lose a top performer

Trust me, your manager wants to know as early as possible if a project deadline is going to slip or you are burnt out. They are going to look at you with dismay if you come to them too late because we didn’t manage our workload. There are two cardinal sins over achievers consistently commit when it comes to managing their career.  

  1. Coming to your manager with a 2-week notice because you are going to burn out you. They would prefer to hear about your burn out BEFORE it is too late.
  2. Coming to your manager on the day before a project deadline explaining that the project completion date is going to slip. They want to hear about delays weeks if not months prior so they can reset expectations with their boss and reallocate resources to your project to get it back on track.

Talk with your manager. No manager wants to lose their stellar employee and no manager wants to tell their VP they lost a top employee. They will be motivated to work with you.

 

See you at the after party,

HRNasty

nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone who is good at something. “He has a nasty forkball”.

If you want to ditch the corporate ladder, take the elevator and subscribe to the weekly updates here. Knowledge drops are free and I promise, no spam. “Like” us on Facebook here, I read all comments below. Thank you!

 

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Disneyland shows an HR veteran how employee engagement increases customer loyalty http://hrnasty.com/disneyland-employee-engagement/ http://hrnasty.com/disneyland-employee-engagement/#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 06:15:29 +0000 http://hrnasty.com/?p=9496 What every company, manager, and employee can learn from Disney. Lessons on employee engagement, corporate culture, and attention to detail which have stood the test of time and live up to being the Happiest Place on Earth.

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Disneyland

Best friends from work take me to a meet and greet with Mickey

Last week, I blogged about my very first visit to Disneyland

Yes, you read that right. I have never been to Disneyland or any Disney theme park. As an HR guy, I felt flattered that co-workers put together a trip for me to meet Mickey. This experience reinforced to me that having best friends at work can make a difference in how we all feel about our work and our employer. 

This weeks post is part two of the series. Today, I explore a number of HR concepts that I feel Disneyland does really well. I had heard the Disneyland hype as an employer of choice, the exceptional customer experience and have worked with colleagues who worked at Disneyland. As much as I was looking forward to spending a day with great friends, there was a second aspect to the day trip.

The HR geek in me was looking forward to experiencing the culture of Disneyland as felt through its very visible employees and grounds. My experience would be a direct correlation to how Disneyland employees feel about its culture and values.

Even newbs like me who have NOT been to Disneyland have heard the hype

  • The place is impeccably clean
  • The employees are incredibly engaged with the customers
  • The landscaping will be Mr. Miyagi level

Disneyland lived up to all the hype, pomp and circumstance.

What does Disneyland have to do with HR?

Being involved with recruiting, there are a few accomplishments on a resume that will catch any recruiter’s eye. Second languages, leadership positions in a sorority/fraternity and work experience at Disney are at the top of the list. Disney makes the list because they have such a strong customer experience culture. Candidates with this experience understand what customer service is all about and every company wants a piece of this. Our HR Specialist held a leadership position with a sorority and worked at Disney so of course, she was in on this trip. She brings the benefit of both past experiences to her HR role.   

As an HR guy, I believe that the culture of the company is not just good for employees, but the company’s customers. Engaged employees can make a big difference in the customer’s perception of the company and Disney employees delivered. They call it the Happiest Place on Earth because the employees are purposeful about this company value. I get it now. 

A few examples of the customer experience translated from Walt to the Disneyland “guests”

  • The place was “IMMACULATELY, white glove” clean. There are more bits of garbage in our 10,000 sq foot office than there were noticed in all of Disneylands 85 acres. With trees everywhere, I rarely saw any dead leaves on the grounds. Disneyland rocked a Mr. Miyage level landscape.
  • I wore white pants and white shoes and was a little worried about the outdoor seating getting my shit dirty. I shouldn’t have and didn’t. 
  • When our pictures were taken, they didn’t just take a single picture of us. All the photographers made our session a photo shoot. The photographer had us in multiple poses and if one of our group wanted her OWN picture by herself, they accommodated. The photographers didn’t emit any heavy sighs or look at the long lines with impatience. Just big smiles and the click of the camera. CRA CRA! Our first photo shoot was in a Teacup. In my he-man mind, I wasn’t super excited about hopping in a pink Teacup but my crew acted as if this was SOP so I went with the flow. The photographer made this particular experience one of the best and set the tone for the rest of the day.
Disney

I had doubts, but our photographer made the Teacup photo session a great experience. 

Those that have been to Disneyland understand this is commonplace, but for this neophyte, “MIND BLOWN!. When was the last time you experienced this level of service across such a large organization? Below are just a few of the HR lessons learned.

Disneyland proves managers can be friends with individual contributors?

I believe that managers and individual contributors can hang out together after hours and blogged about it here. I am suspicious of managers who say: “I don’t hang out with people on my team, I can’t be their friend”. Trust comes hard with anyone that won’t break bread with me. The No Friend Zone is a short-sighted approach. I would like to believe that as friends, we will work harder and look out for each other at a deeper level.

As most readers know, Mrs. HRNasty passed away a few years ago, and this crew looks out for me. They treat as a friend and not a victim. These are great friends and Mrs. HRNasty would be happy for me.   

Disneyland

Breaking bread together. OK, it’s a Mickey Mouse Beignet, but you get the idea. Outdoor seating: Immaculate.

Disneyland proves Corporate Culture extends to and enhances the customer/guests experience

I am constantly thinking about building employee engagement and building a culture of support. As an employer, I don’t want the teams to just get shit done. I want to have fun and believe in each other. HR can be a catalyst that builds teams of employees who will not only get along but go the extra mile for each other. I blogged about a team I worked with here in 2010 and we were able to get shit done in the most stressful of times.  I can picture this happening at Disneyland. 

Based on my experience, I believe that Disneyland employees get along. I find it hard to believe that everyone can be so nice without liking each other or their employer. Yes, I realize that if you are caught arguing with a guest, there will be dire results, but the customer experience was more than that. The employees delivered a sincere experience.  

Conscious of Employee Costs

I am always counting how many employees are working in a place, especially when the establishment is empty. I always wonder how the owner makes payroll when they have what looks like TOO many employees and very few customers. In 2012 I blogged about how Jimmy Johns had 17 visible employees making sandwiches and why it was obviously working.

At Disneyland, I saw a marching band perform. I couldn’t help but wonder “How much does this crew cost Disneyland?” This was unbelievable to my HR mind. The marching band consisted of 20 musicians and 2 handlers to make sure guests gave them room. But that isn’t it. These guys are wearing what I have to imagine are some of the more expensive costumes in the park. Did we mention the instruments? Instruments are a HUGE EXPENSE! Rides weren’t enough for Walt. This MoFo said I am going to give them the full experience and it will include a marching band.

Walt has big balls

Let’s face it. No one is saying “I WOUUUULD go to Disneyland but they don’t have a marching band so we are going to go to Seaworld!”. No one is saying, “Disneyland used to be fun, but it isn’t the same without the Marching band.” Walt has big balls and I applaud him. Yes, I saw guests engaged with the band’s performance.

 

Disneyland

Walt giving us the full experience with 1076 instruments on opening day. WTF Mr. Disney? I am glad I wasn’t the HR guy recruiting 1000 marching band members!

I also read about an early Mickey Mouse movie with sound and sure enough, there was a brass band. My bad Walt, I see the connection now. 

Trying to get by with the fewest employees possible is not always the best way.  Think outside the box!

A member of the our  #MouseClub gave me this hat for Christmas and that is our club pin. They know my style.  

Thank you

Mr. Disney, my hat is off to you for creating a great customer experience at Disneyland via your employees. I have an idea of what it takes to for employees to embrace company values. You blew my mind.

MouseClub, thank you for sharing a personal experience and inspiring my HR world. Taking the HR guy on an adventure of this scale was the ultimate compliment and I will remember your gesture of kindness for the rest of my life. 

See you at the after party,

HRNasty

nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone who is good at something. “He has a nasty forkball”.

If you want to ditch the corporate ladder, take the elevator and subscribe to the weekly updates here. Knowledge drops are free and I promise, no spam. “Like” us on Facebook here, I read all comments below. Thank you!

 

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How Disney reinforces why best friends at work are important http://hrnasty.com/disney-best-friend/ http://hrnasty.com/disney-best-friend/#respond Thu, 08 Feb 2018 07:31:31 +0000 http://hrnasty.com/?p=9526 Disney

HRNasty, first-time visit to Disneyland with work colleagues on a PTO day.

Disney, best friends, and engaged employees

A recent trip to Disney inspired the next two posts

Part 1: Do you have a best friend at work

Part 2: How Disney customers benefit when employees are engaged at work.

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Disney

HRNasty, first-time visit to Disneyland with work colleagues on a PTO day.

Disney, best friends, and engaged employees

A recent trip to Disney inspired the next two posts

Part 1: Do you have a best friend at work

Part 2: How Disney customers benefit when employees are engaged at work.

Last week, a few co-workers took me on my very first trip to Disney. I didn’t know what to expect, but I wasn’t expecting the amazing experience I had. Not only did Disneyland live up to all the hype, my colleagues were gracious hosts showing me a place that was sacred to them individually.

The co-workers:

The crew of veteran Disney ninjas consisted of myself and 3 colleagues. An HR Specialist that worked at Disney and two sr. technology leaders with MIS degrees who had been there many, many, many, times. There was a predetermined schedule of rides synced up with the app updating us on wait times. This schedule combined with the Fastpass/Maxpass kept us on track to hit a maximum number of premium rides, the least amount of walking, and walk on status to every ride. I didn’t realize it was going to be so organized. When I offered to buy lunch for the group and the response was, “Oh, there isn’t going to be any time to eat!”. HRNasty experienced the group’s look and voice of disbelief insinuating my rookie status. Yes, I was in over my head. 

Part 1: Friends at work

There is a misunderstood question which has a bad reputation in the world of HR. The question is:

Do you have a best friend at work?

This question is straight out of the 12-question Gallup poll used to measure the health of a workplace.

In the best workplaces, employers recognize that people want to forge quality relationships with their coworkers, and that company allegiance can be built from such relationships.

Misunderstood

The Gallup question, “Do you have a best friend at work?” question has been misunderstood and with good reason. The term “best friend” can mean a lot of things and isn’t usually associated with work. There was so much controversy over the term “best”, it was softened to “close” and “good”. Unfortunately, the softer terms made it difficult to differentiate between highly productive workgroups and mediocre workgroups. The wording is currently back to “best friend”.

This question is also important because this question is asked in many Best Place to Work surveys. If your company is in the running to make this list, explaining this concept to your workforce can eliminate confusion.  

Do you have friends at work?

Not just coworkers you eat lunch with, but friends that you will hang out with after work? Friends that you would take a PTO day to hang out with? Yes, I am sure some readers are just rolling their eyes.

I feel fortunate that I do have great friends at work. I hang out with these colleagues after hours and it culminated with us taking a PTO for a day trip to Disneyland. This was not a company event. This was a friend’s event and we don’t live in California so a commercial flight was involved.   

Why is this trip to meet Mickey relevant to this HR blog? For me, just about everything comes back to HR and I want to use the trip to Disneyland to reinforce a few HR/career lessons. Before we drop the HRNasty word, I should provide some background.

Why this trip is a milestone for me

I have never been to Disneyland or any theme park for that matter. A lot of people look at me cock-eyed when I say this. Disney fans look at me in disbelief. I like to fish. Since I was a little child, I don’t remember a non-fishing vacation. I have taken a year off from work to go fishing and a few years ago took a month off to fish. I didn’t land anything for 25 days straight. Eight hours a day, 25 days straight, all in a rainforest in February. (I never said I was any good) I live on a river so I can practice fly casting, am an officer of a Steelhead Club and raise birds so I have a supply of exotic feathers to tie flies with. Yeah, I like to fish. (But not as much as I like HR. I blog about HR) 

Disney

Typical PTO day for HRNasty

So for me to take a PTO day off with no fishing or cigars involved is an eff’in big deal.

The gracious gesture

A few months back, my work colleagues heard that I had never been to Disneyland. Shocked, they decided as a group they were going to introduce me to Mickey. I came back to my desk to 3 Cheshire grins. When I asked them what was up, they told me we were all going to Disneyland. Without missing a beat, I said yes. I thought it was super gracious of them to make this gesture.

To put this into perspective, when was the last time you thought about taking your HR guy out to lunch, let alone to Disneyland?

Frankly, I was more excited to be included than I was about Disneyland. After all, you don’t miss what you have never experienced.

But wait there’s more

Over the next few months, the crew realized that I hadn’t seen any Disney movies and didn’t know who the characters were. If the movie doesn’t have machine guns or half-naked women in fast cars, I am not going to lay down $15.00 and an afternoon in a movie theater. I am going to be on the water or tying flies.

So, the gang reserved a few Saturday mornings for me. They introduced me to 4 Disney movies so I would understand the significance of the rides. They don’t do anything halfway. Breakfast potlucks with Mickey Mouse pancakes.  Who knew?!

A member of the Mouseclub gave me this hat for Christmas and that is a club pin

They also realized I couldn’t go to Disney without the proper swag. They presented me a gift pack with two shirts, a custom MouseClub pin and flat brim hat. I had no idea it was bad form to show up without flying the Mickey colors. Yes, this is a great crew.    

Who benefits when we have friends at work?

Companies benefit when employees have friends at work. Employees benefit when they have friends at work. It is natural to have a more meaningful connection with our “best friends”. We will work harder and sacrifice more for them. Best friends encourage each other and help each other succeed. We will challenge our friends to accomplish more for their own success and are genuinely happy for them when they are promoted. And yes, this is also good for the company. 

Compare and contrast our best friends with the company asshole. We don’t want to do anything for, with, or related to this guy. I don’t want to break bread with the company asshole. We don’t want to work on a project with the company asshole and we don’t like it when they are promoted. Not good for the company. 

Disney

Breaking bread together. OK, it’s a Mickey Mouse Beignet, but you get the idea.

My interpretation of a best friend at work

As the term “best friend” relates to the Gallup poll, I do have friends at work who I can confide in, who I want to hang out with and who I trust. If we have a hard day at work, our significant-other isn’t REALLY going to understand what we are going through. A best friend at work can understand the personalities and the politics of the office. These friends can provide advice, counsel, and the occasional vent sesh. Sometimes, we don’t want advice, we just want someone to listen and not judge.

A best friend knows when to tell you when you look fat in a pair of jeans and when to let you know you look fly. When they sound brutally honest, you know it comes from a good place.  

I think that any company would want a group of employees from multiple disciplines forming a tight group. We have MouseClub pins, and MouseClub groups in social channels so we can keep connected. And yes, we know what is going on outside of our respective departments. I like to think we have a positive effect on the company because of our diverse backgrounds and friendships. 

Thank you MouseClub for looking out for me these past few months and sharing something that is special to you and now special to me. Looking forward to California Adventures!

Next week, HRNasty reviews the positive effects of employee engagement on the Disney customer/guests

See you at the after party,

HRNasty

nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone who is good at something. “He has a nasty forkball”.

If you want to ditch the corporate ladder, take the elevator and subscribe to the weekly updates here. Knowledge drops are free and I promise, no spam. “Like” us on Facebook here, I read all comments below. Thank you!

 

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Your first job interview part 2 http://hrnasty.com/first-job-interview-experience/ http://hrnasty.com/first-job-interview-experience/#respond Thu, 01 Feb 2018 03:58:54 +0000 http://hrnasty.com/?p=9469 first job interview

How to ace your first job interview

Getting ready for your first job interview experience?

Your first job interview experience is coming up. Don’t worry, HRN here to spit some knowledge so you know what to expect. More importantly, I am here to explain how to act so you can elevate your interview game.

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first job interview

How to ace your first job interview

Getting ready for your first job interview experience?

Your first job interview experience is coming up. Don’t worry, HRN here to spit some knowledge so you know what to expect. More importantly, I am here to explain how to act so you can elevate your interview game. Last week, we started part 1 of this 2 part series. In that post, we walked through what to expect as you cross the threshold into the lobby of your new employer for your first job interview experience. Click on the link to find out why the reception person can change the outcome of your interview. Yes, interviews can be won and lost in the lobby before a single question is asked. 

Interviewer and candidate are equals

So you have been invited by Suzy Recruiter to the interview room.Walk side by side your escort. Do not follow 2 steps behind the recruiter. This is your opportunity to create some rapport with the recruiter before the interview. You are showing confidence; you are showing that you are comfortable in the situation and the two of you are equals. Just because you are a candidate you are NOT subservient. The company does NOT hold all the power. Do you ask your date to walk 2 steps behind you on your first date in silence? I hope not. When walking with friends we chit-chat as equals. Talk about the weather, the great vibe, how nice the reception person/younger sibling was. Just make sure you get a conversation going. Have a few topics ready if you need to. It is ALWAYS nice to hear how nice and helpful the reception person was, or how happy everyone looks in the office space. That may sound HRSappy, but the shit works.

SMILE, AND REPEAT AFTER ME

“Jane at the front desk was so gracious. She offered me a cup of coffee. Please thank her for making me feel so welcome. It is a great sign that she enjoys her job. If she didn’t she wouldn’t have gone the extra mile for me”.

The above is a guaranteed way to start a conversation about the culture, the people, why she was hired, etc. In the least, it should be enough conversation to get you to Johnny Recruiters office. There is nothing like the awkward “silent (dead man walking) trip” to the interview room. (I realize that a lot of folks are thinking, “Gracious Jane? Got me coffee? Enjoys her job” lines and thinking – WTF, is HRNasty serious? Absofrickenlutely. If you don’t like it then figure something else out to say. Silence is NOT golden here. A silent walk is usually a no go, decline, go directly to jail card. A silent walk with me is an indication that you will have a silent walk with the other interviewers that I may be introducing you to including senior leaders in the department.

My reputation as your recruiter

I don’t want to put my reputation on your introverted ass and hear about a walk of silence with the hiring manager. More importantly, I don’t want to hear about a potential lack of social skills. AWKWAAARRRD. As a recruiter, I can’t defend it. I can’t make up an excuse for your silence. Literally, I got nothing!. . . You know I do not believe in humanity and am as cynical as the next guy, but the above lines work on me and I eat it up. I don’t want dead fish in this office. I want folks who will ADD to the culture. You don’t need to be a cheerleader, just don’t suck the life out of me with your silence.

If the recruiter asks you if you want anything to drink, ask for a glass of water. Declining their offer is a sign of submission. It says, “I don’t want to bother you with anything.” Remember, you and the interviewers are equals. This is not 1950 circa MadMen where you bow down and cower to authority. If you get nervous or need to stall before answering a question, you can take a sip from that glass of water. If you get nervous, SMILE.

When you sit down, notice the family pictures or art in the office. Make a comment. Keep the chitchat going for just a couple of minutes. This is a critical few minutes. This can help set the tone for the rest of the meeting. Is there chemistry or not? We have more to lose and gain in creating chemistry than the recruiter.

Opening line

This is how you can take control and I give you your opening line here. 

If the recruiter is playing the good host, they will seamlessly guide you through the process:

  • Introduce themselves, their position, and how long they worked for Acme Publishing.
  • Talk a little bit about what they like about the company and they may talk about the benefits.
  • Explain the interview process
    • They have questions for you
    • There will be time to answer your questions
    • The recruiter will be taking notes 

Then they will launch into their interview questions:

Acceptable questions to ask

Towards the end of the hour, you will be asked if you have any questions. Your answer is YES, I have questions.” Feel free to ask a few questions that do NOT revolve around pay, vacation days or benefits. To clarify, DO NOT ASK ABOUT PAY, VACATION OR BENEFITS! This isn’t about you “just yet”. At this stage in the game, this is still about “What you can do for the company?” Just like our first date with our shortie, we are not going to ask if their daddy is rich or if they have a timeshare in Hawaii. Here are a few questions you can ask

After you have asked your questions, if the recruiter doesn’t explain what the next steps are, you should take the initiative to ask about next steps. This is totally acceptable and an indication of how you will treat potential customers/will close the sale.

Lean in for the kiss

At the end of the date, before we lean in for the kiss, we tell our date “I had a great time and I want to see you again” or “ I really enjoyed our time together. When can I see you again?” We are letting our date know that we had a great time AND we want to continue the process. We don’t just walk away and hope they are reading our minds.

SMILE and repeat after me: “I am really excited about this opportunity, it sounds like a great company and I especially like that Acme Publishing does so much volunteering for the community. If I don’t hear from you within the next week, I’d love to follow-up via email.”

It will be a pretty cold recruiter that says “Don’t call us, we will call you”. If you experience this, don’t be offended. Just take it as a sign that you probably don’t want to work here and count yourself lucky. 

A smile can show grace and confidence

On your way out the door, SMILE and thank the reception person again for everything.

Just like anything done for the first time, there can be a lot of tension with your first interview experience, but remember; every recruiter wants the candidate to work out as much as you want the job. 

 

Good luck!

HRNasty

nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone who is good at something. “He has a nasty forkball”.

If you want to ditch the corporate ladder, take the elevator and subscribe to the weekly updates here. Knowledge drops are free and I promise, no spam. “Like” us on Facebook here, I read all comments below. Thank you!

 

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Ace your first job interview part 1 http://hrnasty.com/first-job-interview-1/ http://hrnasty.com/first-job-interview-1/#respond Thu, 25 Jan 2018 04:01:50 +0000 http://hrnasty.com/?p=7275 First Interview

Do you know what to expect with your first job interview?

The dreaded first job interview

Your first job interview is like any other experience when meeting another person. First encounters range from “Get me the f*&$ out of here” to “I nailed it.” We have all had interviews and first dates where we felt the above or somewhere in between.

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First Interview

Do you know what to expect with your first job interview?

The dreaded first job interview

Your first job interview is like any other experience when meeting another person. First encounters range from “Get me the f*&$ out of here” to “I nailed it.” We have all had interviews and first dates where we felt the above or somewhere in between. When I coach clients, I often compare and contrast the first job interview experience with a first date. Most people can relate to this analogy because everyone has had a “first date”. When you think about it, both the interview process and the dating process have a lot in common.

We can have a string of bad first dates and not lose hope. Afterall, there is always the monastery as a consolation prize. When it comes to finding a job, a string of bad interviews won’t lead us to a monastery. Not knowing where we are making mistakes in the interview process will lead us to the unemployment line as a consolation prize. We need to get the interview thing right and HRNasty is here to spit at you.

My goal with the next two posts is to set expectations for your first job interview so you will be less nervous, can create a great experience, and make it to round 2.

The first rule of the first job interview

In the same way, we don’t expect to get a marriage proposal on the first date, we shouldn’t expect a job offer in the first job interview.

The goal of the first interview is to get the second interview

If you try to get laid on the first date, a.) You come off as a creep or b.) The relationship doesn’t last. It’s just a one night stand and our careers should be thought of as LTR. Try to land the job on the first interview and you come off as desperate. No one wants to date or hires desperate.

Not a mind reader

The second rule of your first job interview: Show initiative. Don’t rely on the person conducting the interview to ask you the questions that YOU WANT to answer. Make a move. Feel empowered to tell the recruiter about yourself. If you have specific skills or experiences that are relevant to the job, make sure we get those on the table.

If you are on a first date with a hottie who is a foodie, you make sure you tell them you know how to make pasta from scratch and share your foodie blog. We don’t want to say goodbye at the end of the night with regret and wonder “Why didn’t she ask me about my foodie blog?” I’ll tell you why dumbass as I flick your forehead with my thumb and middle finger like a booger.

Your date isn’t a mind reader and neither is the person interviewing you. Take control of the situation; don’t let the situation control you. No one wants to hire a sheep. Today’s economy wants people with initiative. Be the hammer, not the nail.   

Think of the receptionist as the younger sibling of your hot date

When we meet the younger sibling of our hottie date for the first time, we don’t big-time them. We create engagement and build rapport. If this relationship is going to go anywhere, we are going to be interacting with this family so we need to play the long game.

When you enter the front lobby, we will be greeted by the receptionist. Smile, introduce yourself, (SMILE again) and take control: “Hi, my name is HRNasty, and I had an interview with Suzy Smith.” The way to make a great first impression is by making it easy on the folks you are talking to feel at ease. I blogged about this here. This reception person may not be potential family but will be a potential colleague. Play the long game.

Grab the opportunity

If you have the opportunity to talk to the receptionist, TAKE IT. SMILE and just say:

  • “I am really excited about this interview, from everything that I have read, it sounds like a great place to work”.
  • “Can I ask what you like about this company?”
  • “I really like that watch, necklace, haircut.”
  • “This is a really great office space. It must be a fun place to work.”

Folks at the front desk have more input in the hiring decision than most candidates think. Often, if you ask the question, “Do you have any advice for me” you will be surprised at what help you will receive. This is especially true when you have created some rapport.

As you can see, our first job interview hasn’t technically started and there is a lot we can do. The folks we are interacting with may not be grading us, but by gawd, they are judging us, have influence and with a heavy hand no less.

How to greet the recruiter

You will probably be asked to sit in a lobby and wait for Suzy Recruiter. While you are waiting for Suzy Recruiter, check out your surroundings. Read the company literature. Reading email on your phone is a no-no. 

Suzy Recruiter will come out to meet you in the lobby. Be on the lookout for him or her. As they approach, stand up, take the initiative, and make a move towards her. SMILE, extend your hand and introduce yourself. Don’t wait to be sitting in their shadow before you look up. That is a weak move and proves you got NO game. Who wants to work with someone who lacks the confidence to say hello? You may be the guest, but making your host feel welcome towards you will help set a very different tone. If you greet the wrong person, that is OK. Common courtesy will never go out of style.

Make it EASY

We want to make it as EASY as possible for this person to get along with you. Having me wait for you to finish up email on your phone is a lousy way to start off this relationship and the quickest way to end it. (All I can assume is that this is how you will treat our customers. Yes, this shit happens.) Anytime someone approaches you, stand up. This is Emily Post manners 101.

Handshake should be firm

You have heard the handshake speech a million times. There is a reason you keep hearing it. BECAUSE SO MANY CANDIDATES GIVE A WEAK HANDSHAKE which is the equivalent of NO HANDSHAKE. You might as well just give them “The hand”, turn around and walk out because we just blew it. No one complains about a firm handshake.

First job interview

The equivalent of a weak handshake. Just turn around and go home

SMILE and repeat after me. “Thanks for taking the time to meet with me; I’ve been looking forward to talking to you about this opportunity”. Anything less is the equivalent of a dead fish so show some enthusiasm and excitement.

Next week what to expect from the actual interview.

See you at the after party,

HRNasty

nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone who is good at something. “He has a nasty forkball”.

If you want to ditch the corporate ladder, take the elevator and subscribe to the weekly updates here. Knowledge drops are free and I promise, no spam. “Like” us on Facebook here, I read all comments below. Thank you!

 

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How your manager is setting you up for failure. How to encourage them to tell us what we NEED to hear. http://hrnasty.com/critical-manager-feedback/ http://hrnasty.com/critical-manager-feedback/#respond Thu, 18 Jan 2018 03:22:21 +0000 http://hrnasty.com/?p=9444 manager feedback

Is your manager telling you want to hear or what you need to hear?

Is your manager doing you any favors? 

Manager feedback is critical to our careers. If you have heard any of the following in the last month from your manager, don’t assume you are knocking it out of the park and up for a raise.

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manager feedback

Is your manager telling you want to hear or what you need to hear?

Is your manager doing you any favors? 

Manager feedback is critical to our careers. If you have heard any of the following in the last month from your manager, don’t assume you are knocking it out of the park and up for a raise.

  • You are doing great!
  • That was a great job!
  • You are brilliant!

This week’s blog is the result of a recent, three event perfect storm. I want to drive home the point that positive feedback isn’t helping you. The feedback that we want to hear is the criticism of our performance.

Event 1

I and my HR colleague just on-boarded two new employees. Both hires are early in their career. Part of our on boarding process is that HR meets with these new hires once a week for the first 4 weeks to “check in”. After 4 weeks we adjust the tempo. We do this for a number of reasons:

  • Make sure the new hire is comfortable with the culture and they are experiencing what they signed up for.
  • See if they making new friends and getting along with the team. If they aren’t, we can reach out to a team member and ask them to take them to coffee or lunch.
  • Are they feeling comfortable with their manager and getting the feedback necessary for success? It is important that new hires create a relationship where the manager feels comfortable enough to provide constructive feedback. Especially in the learning phase/

Of course, we provide some Nasty career advice, AKA manager feedback.

Event 2

My very close friend Tiana, a Social Media Maven just texted me an excerpt from an article referencing the Gallup State of the American Workplace Report

“T” texts me workplace and career articles on a regular basis and I really appreciate the sharing and discussions that follow. Tiana is a real go-getter and me pitties da foo that tells her something can’t be done. She has the perfect balance of Alpha corporate seriousness and an intellectual hipster style which restores my faith in the Millennial generation and the future of the world. Thanks for sharing T!

The article referenced a few well-known observations/facts within the HR community.

  • “Some 70% of managers say they are uncomfortable “communicating in general” with staff. 
  • Workers are more likely to perceive negative feedback as a psychological threat and try to avoid the person offering criticism Research from Harvard.

HRNasty’s riff on the above

Manager love to give positive feedback. ALL managers THINK they give feedback for improvement. In reality, specific feedback and coaching for improvement are rarely provided. I think the percentage is much higher with less experienced managers and all managers think they are experienced. Comfort delivering critical manager feedback comes with experience. 

Event 3

I talked with an employee who explained to me that they feel they are doing great at their job. The manager feedback at their last review which was 5 months ago was very positive.

My immediate inside voice reaction was “Yikes, a LOT can change in 5 months”. As it relates to manager feedback, those are dog months. Those 5 months are the equivalent of 35 months or close to 3 years!!! I suggested the employee request a mini review at least monthly to make sure both manager and employee are on the same page.

So, where does are perfect storm lead us?

I wanted to give more detail on what we suggested our early in their career new hires try to increase the chances of success in their careers.

We encouraged them to participate in the company events and meet colleagues OUTSIDE Of their departments. Of course, we will play their wingman and wing-woman and get them introduced and hooked up.

One of my questions was: Are you guys receiving constructive feedback?

We have strong managers and BOTH new hires had specific examples of where their managers diplomatically called them out in areas where they could improve. I gotta say, I was proud. Mainly because I recommended that we PUSH one of the managers into a management position even though he was adamant that he didn’t want the position and I recruited the second. BOOM! But I digress.

The Rub

If we as employees are NOT receiving constructive manager feedback, we are not going to know what is pissing our managers off. We are NOT going to know where we need to improve. We end up dying a silent death. The death of 1000 cuts. Our managers are miserable and of course, as employees, we are miserable.

This isn’t a case where our managers don’t like us. Very few of us like to give criticism to friends or family. This is just human nature. It is hard. It is emotional and it takes a lot of professional courage. Are we really motivated to give feedback to our colleagues who we pay a salary with the assumption that the Benjamins should buy us performance? 

We all have had co-workers that:

  • Wear too much perfume/scent. More is less people!
  • Talk too much during meetings about non-relevant issues
  • Leave dirty dishes in the kitchen sink
  • Correct us in front of clients and vendors

The reason they continue to do this? NO ONE HAS THE BALLS TO GIVE THEM REAL MANAGER FEEDBACK or coaching to cut that shit out.

“Atta boy is an easy conversation”

It’s easy to say “Atta boy”, “Good job” or “That’s brilliant!”. The reward from the recipient is a smile which generates a hit of dopamine in the manager’s cerebral cortex. (My employees like meeeee!) If the monkey presses the lever and receives a pellet of food, guess what? The monkey is going to press the button again and again. 

It’s much tougher to deliver the news of poor performance because we don’t want to see anyone’s reactions when their feelings are hurt. Especially people that we have to spend 8 – 10 hours a day with. If the monkey presses the lever and the monkey gets shocked with electricity, guess what? The monkey isn’t going to press the lever. 

Professional courage = critical manager feedback

When I have a manager that is giving me feedback for improvement, I know they are invested in my performance. I know they are looking out for me. Their intent may or may not be well-intentioned, and their delivery may need improvement, but at least I know what I need to change in the eyes of the person writing my review!

So, what can we do to encourage our managers to chop up our performance? What can we say and how can we act to increase the odds of getting feedback from the person that is writing our review and signing our checks?

Ask for feedback. But don’t just say, “How’d I do?” because you are going to get an “Atta boy” or worse, “Fine.”

How to encourage feedback

“Hey Sally manager, I just finished this last project and if I were to do it differently, I would have done X and Y. Do you have any thoughts on what I could TRY differently next time?”

  • We gave examples of what we would try differently next time. We demonstrated that we are going to improve and set the stage for further feedback.
  • When we use the word “TRY”, it makes it easier for Sally manager to give feedback critical manager feedback. Most managers (unless they are straight up ass holes) are hesitant to say “You did this wrong, you should do it this way.” When we queue them to suggest we “try it this way”, the barrier to feedback is lower.

“Hey Johnny Director, I am going to give a presentation at the end of the week. Can I do a trial run in front of you before the live performance? I want to work on two specific things. I want to make sure that I am keeping the attention of the audience and I am speaking clearly. And if you had any advice for me, I would really appreciate it.”

  • The key here is to ask for SPECIFIC advice. We gave them permission to hurt our feelings and greased the tracks to further general advice.

Your reaction will be the pellet of food or the shock that determines future behavior

When you do receive feedback, regardless of its value or how it is delivered, smile, say thank you and explain that you are going to try it.

The goal isn’t to have your manager generate well-delivered feedback. The goal is to uncover what is bugging your manager. Feedback delivered is better than no feedback.

So, don’t take the “atta boy” for granted. Don’t take it as a sign you are being successful, up for a raise or a promotion.

If you want the bigger and shinier opportunity, make it easy for your manager to give you constructive feedback to improve. If they know they can coach you on important projects, you will jump to the head of the line. Don’t just ask for it. Insist on it!

See you at the after party,

HRNasty
nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone who is good at something. “He has a nasty forkball”.

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