Work isn't Supposed to be Fun?

Posted by Cathy Reilly

iStock-690855708FunAtWork Jan. 18, 2018.jpg

 

Let’s question that


How often have you heard that statement in the past?  What about “That’s why they call it work”? Thankfully, that view’s been changing over recent years across organizations. In fact, I found fun working in the Navy, my first real job. Saying this was the land of rules and regimentation is putting it mildly. So how on earth was there any fun on that job?

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Topics: Management, Human Resources, Training, Corporate Culture

7 HR Trends for 2018 to Watch

Posted by Cathy Reilly

2018 HR Trends - office workers at computer.jpg

You’ve just gotten through the human resources year-end marathon, a milestone event unto itself. With barely a moment to kick back and exhale, you’re now faced with looking ahead at the New Year and what’s coming your HR way.

As I offer my virtual high-five’s for crossing the finish line in December, here are 7 HR trends you’ll want to keep an eye on this year.

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Topics: Management, Human Resources, Training

How to Ensure New Hires Stand on Their Own

Posted by Cathy Reilly

Boy Standing on his Own w.wings.iStock-471920301.jpgAs children, learning to walk, talk or eat on our own for the first time, were happy milestones for us and for our parents who taught us these skills. It meant we were becoming less reliant on others and were moving towards self-sufficiency and independence. We were learning to stand on your own. Literally, baby steps in the beginning, they were still critical personal successes that would help define our growing sense of self.

But, one person who seems to have foregone the baby steps (thanks to his mom) and rocketed to standing on his own, is Richard Branson. To rid him of shyness, his mother stopped the car a few miles from their house and made him find his own way home across the fields. To get home, he would have to talk with people to find his way. It worked in turning around his shyness.

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Topics: Human Resources

Make Way for More Coaching in Your Culture

Posted by Cathy Reilly

iStock_Coach wcredit.jpgDuring one of my job transitions, I went from a 30-person local firm to a 5,000+ employee-sized global company. It was an adjustment to say the least. I was hired by Debbie S., my new manager. Although we had an immediate rapport during the interview process, little did I know how lucky I was to have landed with Debbie as my manager. It turned out that Debbie spoke to me a lot on a regular basis, she was accessible, she provided guidance and readily shared valuable insights and knowledge with me. It’s one of the best work experiences I’ve ever had in my career. At the time, I didn’t term it as such, but she was my coach.

One of the predictions this year is that coaching inside companies will spread. Human Resources can help make way to creating a coaching culture by helping managers become better coaches. What’s propelling this trend?

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Topics: Management, Human Resources, Coaching

Why You Need to Add “No” to Your Work Vocabulary

Posted by Cathy Reilly

iStock-Yes.No signs wcredit.jpg The word “No” is one of the most powerful of words, yet one of the hardest to say. That’s because no one wants to hear it. People would rather say and hear “Yes”. The pressure to say “Yes” starts early. Children are expected to say “Yes” to people in authority. Children want to say “Yes” to parents, coaches and teachers. We are instinctively eager to please.

The Stress of Yes

Saying “Yes” can be easier in the short term, simply because it is the response of least resistance. But in the long run, it can make things harder. All of us have experienced the stress of “Yes”. Too many “Yes’s” and the tasks pile up, frustration mounts, resentment builds, and relationships suffer. Lauren Mackler, life, relationship and career coach, and author of Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life, notes that while we often say “Yes” to preserve a relationship with a boss, spouse, or friend, an unwilling “Yes” actually has the opposite effect. “Not communicating your needs weakens the relationship.”

The Power of NO

One develops muscular strength by pushing against something – resistance. In the same way, a person develops a strong sense of self by exercising resistance when it’s needed. Saying “No” is one way to do that. “No” is a word of resistance. We can become stronger just by saying it and getting good at it. In this way “No” becomes a more familiar and less negative word to us. “No” can be a positive word because it helps us set boundaries, and stick to our convictions, values and beliefs. “Don’t think of [saying “No”] as being selfish but about taking care of you,” says Mackler.

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Topics: Human Resources

4 Simple Questions to Help You Conquer Work Interruptions

Posted by Cathy Reilly

iStock-stress free interruptions blog 510231582.jpgPaying attention is essential to getting anything done, but it’s tough when your attention is constantly interrupted. Quoting Susan Cain from her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking “Another study, of 38,000 knowledge workers across different sectors, found that the simple act of being interrupted is one of the biggest barriers to productivity.”

Unfortunately, it seems like interruptions are multiplying exponentially in our hyper-connected world. Phone calls, voicemails, emails, text messages, unexpected visitors, impromptu meetings and minor emergencies disrupt our focus. Our attention spans are short enough, 8.25 seconds in fact, per the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. That’s less than a goldfish, who averages 9 seconds!

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Topics: Management, Human Resources

Why you Need to Become a Better Storyteller in HR (or Risk Becoming a Talking Head)

Posted by Cathy Reilly

Storytelling.iStock-with credit.jpg

Each of us grew up with treasured stories, especially attached to this time of year. As children, stories helped us feel joy and wonderment about the world around us. They also importantly helped us believe and understand through enchantment. But at any age, stories can also take real things or situations and make them more relatable in order to explain a point or teach a lesson.

Stories heighten reality and stir emotions. They can be disarming, facilitate open mindedness and serve as one of the most powerful learning tools, all which can be extremely helpful in the workplace. This is especially so for those working in the “human” space on the job (aka HR). Oftentimes, HR professionals can be unfairly viewed at work as messengers of bad news, cold and unfeeling, or what I term: “The Fun Police”. The ability for HR to relate effectively to employees is therefore imperative. Using stories at work as appropriate, not only helps HR connect with others, it can help them move employees forward. It is a great way to show HR is much more than a talking head. 


Here’s what skilled storytelling in the workplace can do:

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Topics: Human Resources

See What Happens When You Clean Up Your Work Desk

Posted by Cathy Reilly

Clean Desk image w credit.jpg

Workplace disorder has its roots in a very familiar place. Your desk. Now a messy desk all on its own does not create chaos, nor is a messy desk a sure sign someone isn’t productive or successful. But, desktop clutter has a way of desensitizing your sense of organization. It reinforces the bad habit of having to search for what you need, and a “digging through the weeds” type routine. And desk disarray can lead to a bigger problem: clutter creep.

Clutter is a sneaky creature. It has a way of creeping and spreading into other areas. Before you know it, if you’re not careful, clutter has crawled into your projects, communications, processes and relationships at work to prevent you from getting work done in simple, effective and organized ways.

Want to bring order to your workplace? Start with merely cleaning up your desk. You might not be able to change things as you like at work, but you are in control of your desk. After all, that messy desk could be holding you back, generating clutter that spreads further than you realize, and slowing your progress. Decluttering it can become a metaphor for clearing your brain and your life. It can indicate a new start and readiness to change. It's a shot of empowerment and motivation right at your fingertips.

Here are 8 places where you can create order instead of spreading clutter:

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Topics: Management

The Magic of “Thank You” in the Workplace

Posted by Cathy Reilly

iStock thank you bubble.jpgThe American tradition of Thanksgiving has its roots in the first simple meal that 50 English men and women and 90 Native Americans shared together in the fall of 1621 in New Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Pilgrims were not celebrating their abundance. They were simply grateful that they had barely survived their first crucial year in the Americas.  Since then Thanksgiving has become deeply embedded in the American psyche.  It reminds all Americans that we are a grateful people. It also shows the value that we attribute to a simple expression of gratitude.

While we readily give thanks to friends and family we rarely express it in the one place it can be most helpful. The workplace.

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Topics: Management

AGILE HR: FIVE REASONS SMALLER HR TEAMS   ARE BETTER (Part 3 of 3)

Posted by Cathy Reilly

NEW NEW NEWiStock_11811829 Agile HR handstand 300x356 copy.jpgIn Part 3 of our series on Agile HR, I’m looking at the advantages working in smaller
HR teams can bring. I want to mention right up front that I am not suggesting that HR departments eliminate jobs or cut anyone! This is about effectiveness and working in a new “smaller” way with what you already have in order to innovate and accomplish more.

The great thing about teams, especially smaller ones, is that they can be easily formed for whatever purpose is needed. A special project, a new initiative, problem solving, research, a distinct event, an annual process, or a beta-test might be some of the reasons in HR that you’d form a team. Teams can either be ongoing or short-term. They offer great agility with regard to how you form them, run them and size them. Next time there’s a department challenge or a need and you find yourself calling for a team, try going smaller.

Here are my 5 reasons why smaller HR teams are better:

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Topics: Human Resources

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