Tag Archives: relationships

Grateful

On Saturday I was in a car accident. I was rear ended on the highway. This has reinforced for me many things. In no particular order:

  • My car is a tank and I was very glad that I put safety as a main criteria when purchasing it.
  • My body is a delicate ecosystem. While my spirit and will power are strong, my body is not – despite doing lots of exercising/strength training.
  • Concussions are a big deal and really impact every aspect of your life.
  • I have a lot of fantastic people in my life. Starting with my boyfriend who has been fantastic with everything, but also including my family, friends, my Jewish community, and my workplace.
  • I am super grateful to have worked hard enough to be in a role where I could work from home as needed, but also that it isn’t a big deal to take the time I need to heal and not have it negatively impact my pay (and thus causing other areas of stress.)

I am sure there is more. I am making a point to tell people thank you as often as I can. I hope to remember these lessons, so that once I heal and the tables are turned that I can give back in service and kindness to those who need it.

Trusted relationships

Today was a bad day. I wanted to call in sick today but felt guilty due to an important meeting that afternoon. Nothing went according to plan. Nothing worked. And everything just heaped on.

Luckily, I just kept plugging. Even more luckily, I had a trusted person help me out.

A while ago I was given some advice from a coach that I should find people whom I can give permission to give honest feedback and continue to foster that. Hearing things, even if I may not want to, can be invaluable.

That was exactly one of the golden moments today. In a meeting that was 100% virtual someone was really sharp with me. Knowing I was off, I sent a side message to another person in the meeting asking if it was me or them? I was very grateful that they said I was a bit sharp first. I thanked them for their honesty and made an effort to improve.

Afterwards I asked them if my efforts showed. Unfortunately I had to log off before they could respond, but the fact that there were no further moments I think shows that there was a positive shift.

I remember from my studies long ago about the (probably now antiquated) purple tail parable. It boiled down to someone had a purple tail and people kept telling them about it, but it didn’t sink in until they had been told seven times. Something psychological about that 7th time is when we finally hear what we are being told. I think paying attention to what we’ve been told – hopefully sooner than 7 times! – will help us in our relationships and career.

Workplace sexism

In the past six months I’ve had three managers. The one I was hired by resigned, moving the entire team to his boss. After a while, that guy was told he couldn’t manage folk two-three levels below him, so we got redistributed to new-to-us managers.

Before my initial boss left, we did the annual review process (four months early.) The way he and his boss both handled my engagement, successes, and professional growth both externally and with internal products was underwhelming. To the point both discouraged me from seeking additional professional development outside of our company, asking me to focus on the product we support.

Ok, that is great. Except that I’ve been mentoring and training others on our internal product for over a year. I am constantly sending suggestions or writing up how to documents both for internal and external use, and acting as a support to peers on said product. I’ve clearly demonstrated an expertise on it.

I was sorely disappointed that with my 13 years experience in the field, 9 years experience in the industry of HCMs, having a degree and multiple certifications that I wasn’t even given the target merit increase this year. That I wasn’t brought up to market rate for someone with 1 year experience in the field. Never mind that I’ve spoken with my local peers and all the women are $10k+ underpaid compared to the men with often less experience and no certs or degrees in the field.

I had asked my former boss’s boss if the gender inequality was reviewed. He hadn’t even thought of it, let alone looked into it. He knows I know Compensation. Just the ease I displayed in using terms and concepts, never mind those wonderful three letters after my name.

My current manager is a breath of fresh air. SHE encourages me to seek out professional development both on our product and externally. She recognizes my expertise and all I have done to help others. She comes to me to double check others work or to help figure out very difficult things.

I was exceedingly thrilled when in one conversation I flat out asked her, “It sounds like you are grooming me for a promotion. Is this your intent?” She confirmed it was. Woohoo!

I find it very interesting how different the management styles and how they view me and what I have to offer are between the men and women in the business unit. I’m not prepared to say it is the whole company, because it is clear looking at the C suite that isn’t the case.

Pokemon Go and the future of busines

Pokemon Go has taken over everything it seems. Everyone is talking about it, many are playing it. I’ve seen a lot of stories – good and bad – as well as how this is impacting business. From developing new businesses (uber driver for Pokemon hunting, at slow speeds to simulate walking) to how to regulate it in the office.

What I haven’t heard from anyone yet is how this will change business in the future. We already have the ability to have targeted ads at bus stops and technology that was so far fetched that Star Trek predicted it decades ago. But how can augmented reality impact shopping and improve our lifestyles?

Pokemon Go is changing not just gaming, but our very lives. Those who think of how to use similar (or better) technology to improve business, lifestyle, and health of the world will be on the cutting edge. I’m willing to bet, as my dad says, dollars to donuts, that in two to three years we will see the beginnings of what entrepreneurs and visionaries are starting to work on right now. In five years this sort of thing will be common place. In ten years we will have evolved way past this and onto the next life changing thing.

How can you prepare your business to function better, faster, more efficiently, increase margins to position itself in that future? How will your workforce change? How will your policies and procedures change? Think about the myriad opportunities for team building, recognition, retention, even impacts on health insurance rates and employee wellness programs. How about recruiting? Compensation plans and strategies?

At the very least we know that battery life will improve exponentially in the next year or two. lol I look forward to when transporters aren’t just for Sci Fi media. šŸ˜‰

Our biggest asset

… is our people.

Image from Changeyourgamebealeader.com

I’m sure you’ve heard it from hundreds of employers, read it in handbooks, and rolled your eyes as hard as I do.

Sabrina hits a nail fairly square in her latest post about how important it is for a company to know it’s employees.

In my company I’ve noticed a very interesting pattern in the past year. It’s a pattern that isn’t unexpected. We are starting to have a large number of voluntary turnover, especially at higher levels. Why? I theorize that the economy has crossed the tipping point, because these people areĀ choosingĀ to leave rather than it being involuntary. Ā (I have other theories based on other patterns, but that is another post.)

Frankly, I don’t blame them. My current manager whom I’ve worked underĀ for Ā over a year doesn’t know I’m where I call home, nor have they communicated to me why I got an unexpected raise three months ago. They don’t know me, nor do they show that they care anything about me or understand the company’s actions/motivations.

To a recruiter, I am ripe for the plucking. And if I do say so, I’m quite the catch. šŸ˜‰

A very wise leaderĀ onceĀ told me that employees are the company’s clients. I believe it was hearing those words echo in my head while reading Sabrina’s post led to my nodding head and this earnest post. If your employees are your clients, just as important as those that purchase your goods and services, why aren’t you treating them better and getting to know them?

Another point Sabrina slyly snuck into her post is that I have to wonder, why so many benefits – like tuition reimbursement – are underutilized. A strong suspicion I have based on what I have seen in my own career and in working with thousands of clients, is that it isn’t communicated! Imagine if, in a chat between coworkers or manager/subordinate in getting to know one’s dream that they could match it with an existing program? An employee who loves to volunteer at their local polling location learns that the company gives you a paid day to do that! Imagine the good will built with five minutes and no money (because the program is already in place.)

Sure, everyone is replaceable. But with the costs of replacing employees, do you really want to focus your resources on attracting, rather than retaining? You work to retain your clients/customers, don’t you? Well, your employees are just as important to woo; they are your customers too.