HRNasty http://hrnasty.com Corporate life is a game. Stack the odds to win it! Thu, 15 Feb 2018 17:55:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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 0ur 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 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 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”.

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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”.

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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 felt this post was valuable, subscribe to weekly updates here, “like” us on Facebook, and leave your 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 felt this post was valuable, subscribe to weekly updates here, “like” us on Facebook, and leave your 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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Why you should interview your personal friends when they apply at your company http://hrnasty.com/interview/ http://hrnasty.com/interview/#respond Thu, 11 Jan 2018 05:24:05 +0000 http://hrnasty.com/?p=9432

I am not going to interview my friend!

You just referred a friend of yours to apply for a job at your company

  • Friend comes in for an interview and your manager likes your referral
  • Hiring manager asks you to personally interview your friend
  • You respond with “I can’t interview them,

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I am not going to interview my friend!

You just referred a friend of yours to apply for a job at your company

  • Friend comes in for an interview and your manager likes your referral
  • Hiring manager asks you to personally interview your friend
  • You respond with “I can’t interview them, I know them personally”

The job market is tough for employers here in Seattle and many other towns. Too many tech jobs and not enough technologists. At last count, Seattle as a city had over 60 cranes erecting office towers. This is the highest number of cranes per city in the United States. Consequently, employers are asking for employee referrals and increasing their referral bonuses. Over the last few months, I have heard or witnessed the above scenario several times both internally and externally.

An HRNasty vent sesh

Disclaimer: I am in a bit of a mood this evening so if you were looking for some Positive Mental Attitude, you may want to come back when you are ready for a dose of reality.

I totally understand that we want to work with our friends. I understand that the referral bonuses around the holiday season are not to be sneezed at. Who wouldn’t want a couple of extra hundies or a couple of $K’s to help with the holiday bills? Nicer holiday presents for my friends?  F*%# no! I am thinking about bottle service in Vegas behind the velvet rope! 

When we are asked to interview our friends, we need to step the frick up. Uhhhh, sorry. I mean, we should rethink how our actions are interpreted. 

Let me break this down HRNasty style

  • You want to help our friends by offering them an opportunity to work with us.
  • We want to help our company by referring a great candidate.
  • Who doesn’t want to work with friends?

But we don’t want to interview the person we referred? WTF people?

For those of you who are doubting that friends should interview friends, it happens and regardless of whether it is right or wrong, our reaction is what will be judged. Execs with extensive networks are asked to interview colleagues all the time. They don’t scream about it hysterically.

Career Limiting Move

Hmmm, I never understood this. I have witnessed near-violent reactions when employees are asked to interview a friend or casual acquaintance and it’s never pretty from this side of the fence. OK, maybe not violent, but definitely overly dramatic. Incredulous faces, jazz hands, and unbeknownst to the declining interviewer, a CLM. AKA, Career Limiting Move.

 

“I can’t interview this candidate, I referred them!”

HRNasty breaks it down

The above statement with the squeezed brow indicates:

This person isn’t mature enough to interview a friend or someone they know.

This translates to:

This person isn’t mature enough to be a manager because generally speaking when we are being promoted to manager, we are managing people we know. As managers, when we interview internal transfer candidates, we will probably know that fellow employee.

I realize that there is some, If A = B and B = C than A= C high school math going on here, but it is the logical conclusion.

My question is, why would interviewing a friend or a referred candidate be any different from interviewing someone we do not know?

What your manager hears

  • I AM going to have a bias = I can’t make a decision with less than perfectly neutral conditions
  • I wouldn’t know what to ask them = I have no imagination when it comes to solving problems
  • It will be uncomfortable for me, the candidate or both of us = I am not comfortable with myself enough to conduct an interview and don’t have the confidence to make the candidates comfortable.
  • It wouldn’t be fair to the candidate = because I am not able to give a FAIR interview.

Yes, it would be understandable that you would have a bias, but if we go into the interview with that understanding, we should be able to prove that despite the bias, we can make rational business decisions. 

The Excuses

“I wouldn’t know what to ask them.”

This is one of the dumbest answers that someone could come up with. It insinuates they just jumped to conclusions and haven’t thought this through.

If we were to think about interview questions for just 5 seconds, we would conclude that we should ask the same questions we ask the other candidates. EG:

  • “Why do you want to work at Acme Publishing?”
  • “When was the last time you demonstrated amazing customer service?” 
  • “What do you know about Acme Publishing?”

Pretty straightforward. Ask the question, write down the answer, compare other candidate answers and make an informed decision. 

The Spiel

Would you be uncomfortable? Hmmm, let’s think about this one. Maybe, but what if we were to say something like the following to our candidate:

“Hey Brother, I know we have known each other for 10 plus years, but this is an interview and we are asking these questions so that BOTH of us can make the best decision. We obviously want to ask you some specific business questions and we hope you have interview questions for us. We want to find the right fit. Just because I like it here, doesn’t mean that you are going to like it here and we want to give you the opportunity to be sure about your decision.

An extra 5 seconds and said with a straight face, your friend will realize you are lookin’ out. 

interview friends

Yeah, you might as well wave a flag and let everyone know where you stand

Executives refer friends and interview colleagues they know. They write up notes, they are diplomatic and they understand that they should be neutral. They don’t say yes to every candidate and that is OK. It is their maturity that gives them this ability. The lack of maturity is a huge flag and declining an interview is the equivalent of us waving our teams colors at a soccer/football match. Remember that theorem I ran by you earlier? If A = B and B= C, then A = C. Connecting the dots now?

The baller example

I have a colleague I work with who just referred a friend of his. My colleague is a rock. Not just scrappy, he is determined with a serious work ethic. He immigrated here from a war-torn country and is the quiet leader type. My boy doesn’t say much, but when he does, you know you can believe it. He is not a manager (yet), he is an individual contributor.  

I set up the interview loop and without a second thought scheduled him to interview his friend. When folks saw the interview scheduled, I received a few questions of doubt. None of the questions came from him.

I just asked the haters, uhhh, I mean doubters a few questions:

  • Is he going to give away the answers?
  • Is he going to go easy on the candidates?
  • Do you think he will give a thumbs up if he doesn’t believe the candidate will succeed?

Interview Reality

No one could even see this guy cutting corners. They had the utmost confidence in him.

Turned out, he was the hardest and the most serious of the interviewers. I think it was part work ethic and part “I am putting my reputation on the line for this guy so I want to make sure he doesn’t fuck it up”.  

Who is going to back you up when you are out of the office. If this person doesn’t perform, you and your team members are going to have to pick up the slack. Why wouldn’t we want to be part of this decision process?

Let’s say your department has an opening. You have interviewed 3 candidates and then you realize you “know a guy” that is qualified. Your manager looks at your referral’s resume and asks to have him brought in for an interview.

If we respond with “I can’t interview my buddy”, interviewing only 3 of the 4 candidates makes it very difficult for you to be part of the final decision-making process. We just took ourselves out of the loop and potentially upset the feedback process.

Next time you are asked to interview someone you know, take it seriously and look out for your team by being part of the solution to find the best candidate.  

 

Vent sesh over, peace!

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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ESPP explained in layman’s terms (employee stock purchase plan) http://hrnasty.com/employee-stock-purchase-plan-espp/ http://hrnasty.com/employee-stock-purchase-plan-espp/#comments Thu, 04 Jan 2018 06:54:30 +0000 http://hrnasty.com/?p=8368 Employee Stock Option Plan

Take responsibility for your career and your retirement

Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP)

I just read a stat that stated that the average American household has less than $5000.00 in savings for retirement. With the start of a brand new year, I thought it might be a good time to help folks with new years resolutions and think about increasing the nest egg.

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Employee Stock Option Plan

Take responsibility for your career and your retirement

Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP)

I just read a stat that stated that the average American household has less than $5000.00 in savings for retirement. With the start of a brand new year, I thought it might be a good time to help folks with new years resolutions and think about increasing the nest egg. Today we are talking Employee Stock Purchase Plans.  

The Employee Stock Purchase Plan or ESPP for short can be confusing. This is different from an Employee Stock OPTIONS plan where a company grants stock OPTIONS to an employee.  With the new year approaching and most of us making new year resolutions, I thought today would be the perfect opportunity to discuss our saving plans for the future.

This post breaks down the mechanics of the program and WHY an employee should consider participating. I have worked in Fortune corporate companies and I have worked in tech companies. I have participated in the company ESPP plan and a Stock Option plan at prior companies, and I am a fan of both. Companies usually have one OR the other so as employees, we usually don’t have a choice in which plan is available. 

Guest Poster @barstonel

A great friend and a guy with serious intellectual horsepower was gracious enough to write a guest post on ESPP’s. He helped me with a blog post earlier in the year on 401K’s and I feel fortunate to have him present today. He has a similar attitude towards life and career as I do. We both believe that as individuals, we need to take control of our own destinies. We should not rely on a company to take care of our career or our finances in retirement. The company can provide career opportunity but they are not going to give it to us. Similarly, the company can provide tools so we can set ourselves up for financial success, but we need to take advantage of them. 

He has a blog which I am proud to share with you here. In close to 10 years of blogging, he is the first guest poster I have hosted and I hope he weighs in again in the future. You can check out his site here at https://barrettnelson.com/.  You will see very quickly, he is not your typical bean counter. 

Workplace Benefits: ESPP

One of the most under-appreciated workplace benefits is the Employee Stock Purchase Program (ESPP). The ESPP can be one of the most lucrative benefits offered, but according to Fidelity, only a third of employees participate. Consider yourself lucky if your company offers an ESPP! Details of each company’s ESPP can vary, but in this post, I’ll describe the benefits of the most common type.

How it works

Employees contribute up to 15% of their salary to the ESPP (they can pull their money out anytime). After six months, the savings are used to purchase company stock. Here is where it gets interesting…the sale price is set by the company: 15% discount off of either the stock price at the beginning of the period or the stock price at the end of the period, whichever is LOWER. Employees can then keep or sell their stock.

The math

Here is an example:

  • Employee contributes $1,000 over six months. The stock price at the beginning of the period was $10, and at the end of the period, it was $11. The stock purchase price is 15% off of the lower of the two prices ($10 – 15% = $8.50). At the end of the period the employee receives 117 shares of stock ($1,000 contribution / $8.50 share price = 117 shares) worth $1,287 (117 shares * market value of $11 = $1,287). The employee can sell the shares for a 29% return.

Hey, wait! What if the stock goes down over the period?

Here is the same example with a lower stock price at the end of the period:

  • Employee contributes $1,000 over six months. The stock price at the beginning of the period was $10, and at the end of the period, it was $9. The stock purchase price is 15% off of the lower of the two prices ($9 – 15% = $7.65). At the end of the period the employee receives 130 shares of stock ($1,000 contribution / $7.65 share price = 130 shares) worth $1,170 (130 shares * market value of $9 = $1,170). The employee can sell the shares for a 17% return.

The average return for ESPP programs is 31.3% according to Fidelity. For reference, the average savings account return is 0.06%.

Why do so few participate?

  1. Because this is not intuitive and optional, many don’t bother learning about this benefit.
  2. Saving is painful. Contributing to the ESPP means a lower paycheck, but participants receive their contributions plus gains back twice a year. Essentially like two extra bonuses each year.
  3. Underappreciated opportunity. There is no limit to the gains. If your company stock price doubles from $10 to $20 during this period, your contributions more than double ($1,000 contributed becomes $2,340).

Don’t leave compensation on the table!

If your company offers an ESPP, take part! It is part of your compensation package, so do not leave money on the table. If it is difficult to start contributing, you can start small and increase your contribution percentage over time. You will not regret it!

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 felt this post was valuable, subscribe to weekly updates here, (I promise, no spam)  “like” us on Facebook, and leave your comments below. Thank you!

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How parents can turn the Christmas experience into interview training http://hrnasty.com/christmas-interview-training/ http://hrnasty.com/christmas-interview-training/#respond Thu, 21 Dec 2017 03:37:15 +0000 http://hrnasty.com/?p=9423 Interview Skills

Kids that were not prepared for the big interview with the CEO of Christmas

Season of Birth Control

As we move into the Holiday season, I find I really enjoy this time of year. I am able to break out my heavy sweaters and overcoats that I only have the opportunity to sport in the coldest of weather. 

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Interview Skills

Kids that were not prepared for the big interview with the CEO of Christmas

Season of Birth Control

As we move into the Holiday season, I find I really enjoy this time of year. I am able to break out my heavy sweaters and overcoats that I only have the opportunity to sport in the coldest of weather.  The chilly weather sets the mood for some of my favorite foods including Ox Tail Stew and Beef Bourguignon with homemade pasta. But my favorite part of the Holiday season is I am reminded exactly why I chose very early on not to have any children.

I think if there were a time of year that would be called the season of Birth Control, the holiday season would be it. This is especially true for someone who makes his living managing expectations in the corporate environment. I really can’t complain, its job security afterall.

Kids hopped up on holiday candy and screaming like spoiled brats after seeing TV commercials for this seasons toys is too much greed for me. The fighting that results from the perceived value of gifts unfairly gifted to siblings makes me want to bring the Grinch who stole Christmas back from Whooville.  All of this is enough to make me ask two questions:

  1. How do parents do this for 25 years till the kids move out of the home?
  2. Why would I even think about going to Target between now and January 1?

If you haven’t figured it out by now, HRNasty doesn’t care for the wee ones. 

  • The Crumb Snatchers think crying and screaming is the new form of barter. (I will stop crying and screaming when you give me what I want). 
  • The PeeWees have no sense of reality. “You want WHAT????”

In an era where a kid will (not can, WILL) receive a trophy for just showing up, I would be setting the family dynamic up for failure. As much as I think it would be good to have a junior HRNasty to take fishing, a kid running around screaming “You’re fired!” in copycat fashion of the parent, doesn’t look good in public. My form of love harkens back to “This hurts me a lot more than it hurts you” days.  

Observational Research

I have a couple close friends with little monsters and watching them go through another holiday season forces me to question the future of America. There are plenty who feel I am insensitive, and that I do not believe in humanity. They would be absolutely correct, but I lay before you my hypothesis based on simple observation. I see young minds trying to enter the workforce every day. Graduates are failing because they lack the interview skills they should have learned from parents during this holiday season. 

I used to think it was the Universities that failed to teach interview and resume building skills. After going through a couple of holiday seasons, I am beginning to think that it is not just the schools, but the parents that are failing when it comes to teaching resume and job interview skills.

We aren’t surprised when we see infants working iPads and cell phones become good at video games and computers. Should we be surprised when we see interview failures at a young age turn into the same candidates failing interviews when they graduate college?

Case Study 1:  The Cover letter

I just saw one runny nosed munchkin write a wish list letter to Santa. This wish list looked a lot like a cover letter and resume to me. In my opinion, the letter wasn’t going to get our candidate a meeting with the CEO of the Holidays, AKA Santa. If that letter were coming to me, it would have gone straight to the recycle bin. There were misspelled words and the thing was written in Mr. Sketch scented markers. Why didn’t the parents help little Boo with the formatting of this simplest of business letters?  At least she had the wits about her to address the letter to “Santa” vs. “To whom this may concern”.  

Of course, Mrs. HRNasty gave me a dirty look when Uncle HRNasty tried to step in and help these future unemployables. Yes, Uncle Nasty knew better and held his tongue.       

There were no qualifications in this cover letter. There was nothing about how well-behaved she was the past year or what she did to deserve anything.  The cover letter got straight to her selfish little point in typical Gen (whatever letter we are on this year) fashion and started out with “Dear Santa, I want X and I want Y and I really need Z. . . .”  Oy Veyyyyy!

Interview Skills

In an interview situation, always treat the executive assistants with respect!

Case Study #2:  Face to Face Interview Skills

I watch in horror as the parents allow their little Precious to believe that the smelly pen, failure of a cover letter worked and actually landed the Wee One with a face to face interview with Santa. The CEO of the Holidays happens to be the big man himself, sitting in his big executive chair with his sexy little tart of an assistant in the colored hose and a short green skirt down at the local department store. Helicopter mom and dad may see a simple visit with Santa, and treat the Santa Elf assistants with impatience, but I see a face to face with the CEO of Christmas and an Executive Assistant that has the CEO’s ear. There is no excuse to go in unprepared and never dis on the EA! As we waited in line, I saw failure after failure as the applicants were hoisted into Santa’s lap and then broke under pressure unable to answer the simplest of interview questions. Practice people practice!    

Why not just have the kid show up late smelling like cigarette smoke and lacking an Altoids application while being interviewed on Santa’s lap? You are never too young to practice your interview skills! When our little candidate starts crying, of course, the helicopter parent comes to the rescue and hands their balling babe a trophy in the form of a candy cane for trying soooo hard. They then have the audacity of giving the CEO the evil eye as they scurry away with their sobbing little brat. Don’t coddle that kid. That was a FAIL Biatches!  This is where a “woodshed whupping” or two would have toughened up a kid.  In the least, a “Get back in the saddle” life lesson could be dished out. I could already picture this same parent showing up to the job interview with their proud college graduate and then calling me directly to say the job offer was inadequate. (yes, this really happens) Next time I have an opening for BusyBody Helicopter parent, you will find me at the mall during the holidays trolling with my business cards.  

Practice people, PRACTICE!

Obviously, there was no mock interview or research done for this interview with CEO Santa. If it were my kid (and I am an expert on child raising) I would have asked my friend who is a Sumo wrestler to don a white beard and have that kid jump in his lap so he could go through his pitch a couple of times. In the least, the kid should have had answers to the CEO’s expected questions.  We know what the top interview questions are and there is no excuse.  

  • How old are you little Johnny?  AKA: Tell me about yourself.
  • Have you been naughty or nice?  AKA: Are you qualified?
  • What do you want Santa to bring you?  AKA What are you looking for financially? 

3 questions in a row that had lousy answers and we wonder why kids these days don’t have any interview skills.

Case Study #3:  Thank you Letter

Did I see a thank you letter after this in-person interview? NOOOOOOO, . . . All I heard was “When is Santa going to show up?” and “How come it’s taking so long?” 

No wonder candidates get so mad when they don’t hear back from the recruiter after 2 days. Parents reinforce unrealistic expectations telling their special snowflakes they are a winner and will receive a prize.  

It obviously hasn’t arrived yet but I know the coup d’état came will come on Christmas morning.

The house will be filled with a lot of running around, stress/tension and of course, I am only talking about the parents. The screamers will be strung out on hot cocoa and candy canes, running around with dangerous new toys and complaining about the lack of batteries for their new Fidget spinner or finger monkey doll.

Gift wrap will be thrown everywhere. The short attention spans are too simple-minded to keep presents and gift tags together, so forget about any thank you letters being sent out. Maybe it is better off. I don’t want to receive the same cut and pasted thank you email or text that will be forwarded to every gift giver. I have finally connected the dots because if I am lucky, I might receive a generic text/email after I interview a candidate. The hiring managers that receive these emails are ecstatic with these meager scraps of a thank you until they compare notes and find out the other 4 interviewers on the panel received the exact same copy.

Yes, the Holiday season is a season to be thankful. Job application anyone?

Have a Buddah-mas Holiday and 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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The company Christmas tree AKA Ornament Hanger http://hrnasty.com/christmas-tree/ http://hrnasty.com/christmas-tree/#respond Thu, 30 Nov 2017 04:05:37 +0000 http://hrnasty.com/?p=8685

They don’t make em’ like this anymore

Company Christmas tree breaks the rules

Just because I work in HR doesn’t mean I have to follow all the rules. I prefer guidelines and today’s post is a glimpse into how Johnny Law, the HR deputy tries to keep a light attitude in the office and still keep order.

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They don’t make em’ like this anymore

Company Christmas tree breaks the rules

Just because I work in HR doesn’t mean I have to follow all the rules. I prefer guidelines and today’s post is a glimpse into how Johnny Law, the HR deputy tries to keep a light attitude in the office and still keep order.

Holidays should be fun, merry and filled with a lot of great memories. Unfortunately, sometimes the holidays can create stress in the workplace and it is easy to show symptoms of “hangry”. One way that I try to keep the place light in stressful times is to address the “potential” before it becomes stressful.

Take the basic seasonal gesture of putting up a Company Christmas tree. I mean holiday, sorry, I mean Evergreen, actually I am pretty sure it is fake, so metal and plastic tree in the lobby of most businesses. It needs to be plastic so no one is offended we cut down a living tree. There is always an internal debate/hoopla about the political correctness of hosting or not hosting an Ornament Hanger. What it really comes down to is how far across the religious/spiritual spectrum the company is either willing to go. Or, how much political red tape it wants to avoid. In an age where most are losing their faith in humanity, it can be easy to see the glass half full and take the well-intentioned company communication offensively.   

Traditional company communication on the Christmas Tree

When it comes to holiday decorations, the courtesy email would read something like:

All employees,

As the holidays approach, just a friendly reminder that we would like to be sensitive to all religions, and beliefs, and non-believers. With this in mind, please refrain from decorating your cube, desk or department. As much as the company appreciates the gesture, please do not volunteer to bring in a Christmas Tree to decorate the front lobby. Being a diverse company, we have customers and employees from all backgrounds and want to be sensitive to their beliefs. 

We know that our vendors like to show their appreciation during this time, so we will be sending an email to all of our vendors stating that employees are not allowed to receive gifts of value in excess of $5.00. If you do receive a gift in excess of $5.00, please notify HR.

Thank you,

mgmnt

I came, I fought, I conquered

Please don’t think I am making this up. I am not. Yes, I have received a company email stating the paltry amount of $5.01 as too excessive at a prior company. (I worked in the regulated finance industry) After 10 years of corporate brainwashing, I left the Fortune 100 employer. I met a potential commercial real estate broker who gave me 4 box seats to a Mariners game. I felt SO guilty about it, I literally asked him “Can I take these?”. He looked at me a little funny. I realized why I quit corporate and:

  • Snatched em’ up
  • Attended with glove in hand
  • Had a great time

We later did a 90K sq foot real estate deal and to this day, that broker and I are great personal friends. I conquered the brainwashing and yes, that bribe shit works people.

Basket of Sex

At a past tech company, we had a porn vendor and the gift basket wasn’t filled with cookies. It was filled with sex toys. Those aren’t visions of sugar plums running through your head, are they? We probably should have, but no, we didn’t send it back. (that would have been rude)

I work in Tech now, so here is what that email looks like in our office. Anything in parenthesis represents my personal thoughts and not included in the actual email to the employees. 

Team Members,

Thank you, everyone, for the contributions over the year which allowed us to donate $XX,000.00 to the Named Charity. This is a REALLY impressive effort for a company of ANY size, but especially our tribe of 75. We should be proud of the assistance that we were able to provide and the differences we are making in the local community.

To continue the theme and Acme Publishing’s yearly tradition of philanthropy, we are going to have a Christmas tree/Ornament Hanger/Giving Tree in the front lobby. This Ornament Hanger will be of no particular religion, age, gender, spirituality or sexual orientation. It will be of the Evergreen variety so we apologize for not representing the deciduous varietals. We are asking those that are inclined to bring in a single ornament of your choice to help us decorate the Ornament Hanger (which we will return to you after January 1).  EG. I will probably bring in an ornament that is fly fishing related as I have never been to Disneyland like so many of us.Not a competition

On this Ornament Hanger of no particular religion, gender, age, spirituality, or sexual orientation, we will have the tags that the Named Charity dropped off. Each of these tags will present itself to you with the opportunity to make a young person’s End of December a little more memorable. This is a strictly voluntary and we are not collecting employee names or comparing results (seriously). THIS IS NOT A COMPETITION and the two Friend-0’s know who I am talking to. We have a total of 30 tags so work in teams, singles or departments to make a young person’s (OR MORE) wish come true.  

If you have extra lights, strings of popcorn, King Kong or GI Joe with Kung Fu Grip figurine as a tree topper, that would be appreciated. Of course, Barbie, Minnie Mouse or Seven of Nine (in the Star Trek vs. Star Wars debate, per this post, Star Trek rules) figurines are welcome as well. If not, a star, angel, or a deer with a red nose would probably work in a pinch. We only have a few requests:

  • Per building management, we hold off on candles to avoid the liability of burning the place down.
  • At the request of the cleaning service, we hold off on flock (of any color) because it is messy and hard to vacuum out of the carpets
  • Per HR, do not feel pressured to participate. We are turning off the surveillance cameras in the front lobby so your participation or lack of will not be recorded.
  • Per the Charity that will remain nameless, please do not wrap the gifts. This ensures the children’s safety.
  • On my request, no food items. The food drive was last month.

Forgiving

If you see any opportunities for improvement and have suggestions, I will be on vacation through the end of the month avoiding the stressed drivers commuting to work and screaming kids who want, want, want. Remember that this is the season of giving and that includes “for-giving”. We live in the tech hub of the world and any problems we are encountering (outside of our families health) are First World Problems. In other words, we should be grateful. 

On behalf of the Named Charity, we thank you.

Human Resources

 

Evil HR

If you want to avoid the debate in your company, call it a Giving Tree, ask the employees to share in the decorations, bring in a local charity and provide business reasons for any “do not do this…” statements. Not even The Evil HR, we lost faith in humanity, police will stop employees from giving presents to those who have fallen on hard times. 

See you at the after party and Stay Merry Bitches!

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 felt this post was valuable, subscribe to weekly updates here, (I promise, no spam) “like” us on Facebook, and leave your comments below. Thank you!

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Thank you, site re-design and audio downloads http://hrnasty.com/thank-you/ http://hrnasty.com/thank-you/#comments Thu, 23 Nov 2017 03:57:17 +0000 http://hrnasty.com/?p=8669 HRNasty wants to say “Thank You”

Thank you for your support. If you are a long time reader, you have noticed a new site design. It has been about 8 years since this blog first started and it’s about time for an update. When I first started this blog, I wanted a very underground look. A gritty, Banksy-esque,

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HRNasty wants to say “Thank You”

Thank you for your support. If you are a long time reader, you have noticed a new site design. It has been about 8 years since this blog first started and it’s about time for an update. When I first started this blog, I wanted a very underground look. A gritty, Banksy-esque, HR is for the people and not just the folks in the Ivory Tower, look. This is HR for the everyday Joe and Jane. My goal was to tell the entire truth so employees could take back their careers. Whether it be a lack of professional courage, communications skills or fear of a lawsuit, HR and your manager won’t always tell you the truth. 

When I first started, I kept my identity hidden behind a mask. This way I didn’t have to worry about repercussions in my company or local community. I live in one of the tech giant towns but it is a very small community. 

Times have changed

Subscribers have given me the confidence to not worry about hiding my identity. When I am talking with a CEO or recruiter about a new opportunity, one of the first disclaimers is that I have this blog. Recently, the response has been, “The blog is the reason we reached out to you”.

HRNasty V.1

When I first started this blog, I had no expectations. I was nervous about the number of readers. More specifically, I was worried about the lack of readers. I was also nervous about sharing my ideas around:

  • Taking responsibility for your career
  • Controlling the interview and creating a conversation vs. a question and answer dialogue (as the person being interviewed)
  • My personal philosophy when it comes to managing your manager (you should)
  • What managers and HR really think but will never admit to because companies are fearful of a lawsuit. 

This was a personal social experiment and a way to learn more about social media, Google Analytics, and hopefully, help readers land jobs and accelerate their careers.

Thanks to you, I am really proud of this blog

I am proud to say that I have learned a lot about all of the above and based on the feedback, this experiment has been a success. I am very comfortable with social media and helped 100’s and 100’s of readers with their careers. Frankly, I and am proud of the number of readers. The support has been overwhelming. To count, there are a little over 60,000 email subscribers through the various channels. I would have never thought this number was attainable. There was a time when I was hoping for 10, hit the goal and saw the number go down to 8. Demoralizing I tell you. My spirit was crushed by people I didn’t even know!

Thank you VERY MUCH! Your support means more than you know. Your subscription to the weekly posts is a show of trust in myself and in HR. 

But it’s working and I have you the reader to thank. For this, “Thank you” very much for all of your support. I wouldn’t have had the enthusiasm to continue with this if it wasn’t for all the subscribers. (Trust me, I get more than my share of HR hater mail). It means a lot that you would trust me enough to continue with your subscription and continue to listen to the rants, tirades, advice, and dating advice. 

You should start a blog

This blog has helped my career, introduced me to new friends and gotten me behind the velvet rope on a number of occasions. If anyone is thinking about starting a blog, I couldn’t recommend it more highly. Just start. Don’t worry about grammar, UX, or UI. Just start writing. In the beginning, there won’t be enough readers to worry about. I don’t say this to be a dick, it is just a fact. Who will know about our first couple of posts? My wife and two dogs were the only readers when I first launched. 

Starting a blog doesn’t have to cost anything

Just start posting. You can literally start for free. You can get a custom URL for $12.99. If I can do it, anyone can. Trust me, technical I am not. I was able to do all of this without the running of ads on the site. 

So, over the next couple of weeks, you are going to see a few changes as it relates to site design. We are still working out the bugs, it is work in progress. My hope is that the blog looks a little more modern, is easier to navigate and provides a better user experience. 

HRNasty V.2

Recently, I have also started version 2 of this journey. I am in the process of creating audio downloads that will be available for purchase. Yes, I am available for one on one coaching, but I know this is expensive and not feasible for everyone. In an effort to help more readers, I am creating audio downloads that focus on a single topic. The first one will be on the topic of mastering the phone interview and will be close to 90 minutes in length. In these downloads, I am able to go into detail that I haven’t been able to in a 1200 word blog post. You can hear exactly how to answer an interview question instead of reading it a flat page. I get into the weeds of the phone interview so you know exactly what to expect and more importantly WHY the company is conducting interviews in a pathological manner. EG, I explain the two different goals of the interviewers who are conducting the phone interview and an in-person interview. When you know these two different goals, you can adjust your approach. These will be less than the price of a paperback book and address what I am not able to cover in a blog post. I know this information will make a difference. 

So, “Thank you” for all of your support. It really is appreciated and as an HR professional (in some circles anyway) I feel I am able to give back to the community. 

See you at the Thanksgiving after party,

HRNasty 

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