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TIP TUESDAY: What is an HR Professional’s Greatest Skill?

Klein Aleard, who writes for the Namely blog, interviewed several HR professionals to get the answer to the above question, and others. To read the rest of the interview, click here to visit the blog.

What would you consider to be the greatest skill an HR professional can possess?

“Empathy. Human resources is in a unique position. They are employees and responsible for an ‘employee’ department. HR has the ability to create an employment experience based on the experience they would love as an employee. Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple and other things are involved, but it would be great if HR had the latitude to use empathy and create the ultimate employee experience.” – Sharlyn Lauby, @HRBartender

“The greatest skill an HR pro can have is being able to evaluate talent, then taking that evaluation to the level of development where they can work with hiring managers to better their teams. For me, that starts first with being able to self-evaluate. What is it that you’re really good at, and what is it that you really need to improve?  If you can’t answer that in yourself, I find you probably can’t answer that in other people.”  – Tim Sackett, @TimSackett

“The greatest characteristics for someone in HR are: (1) Be authentic and genuine—employees want someone they can trust and go to, (2) Consistency—model the behavior you expect in others and you’ll see that HR becomes a lot more fluid and less structured and (3) Be connected—HR people tend to work in isolation and they should do their best to be connected to the greater HR community through social media platforms and organizations like SHRM.” – Steve Browne, @Sbrownehr

TIP TUESDAY: How to Demonstrate Respect in the Workplace

{excerpted from the article by the same name at the balance online}

Ask anyone in your workplace what treatment they most want from their bosses and coworkers at work. They will likely top their list with the desire for their employer and coworkers to treat them as if they have dignity and with respect.

Respect is when you feel admiration and deep regard for an individual. You believe that the person is worthy of your regard and admiration because of the good qualities and capabilities that they bring to your workplace.

After feeling the respect and regard, you demonstrate them by acting in ways that show you are aware of your colleagues as people who deserve respect. As such, you recognize that they have rights, opinions, wishes, experience, and competence.

Tips for Demonstrating Respect

You can demonstrate respect with simple, yet powerful actions. These ideas will help you avoid needless, insensitive, unmeant disrespect, too.

  • Treat people with courtesy, politeness, and kindness.
  • Encourage coworkers to express opinions and ideas.
  • Listen to what others have to say before expressing your viewpoint. Never speak over, butt in, or cut off another person.
  • Use people’s ideas to change or improve work. Let employees know you used their idea, or, better yet, encourage the person with the idea to implement the idea.
  • Never insult people, name call, disparage or put down people or their ideas.
  • Do not nit-pick, constantly criticize over little things, belittle, judge, demean or patronize. A series of seemingly trivial actions, added up over time, constitutes bullying.
  • Be aware of your body language, the tone of voice, and your demeanor and expression in all of your interactions at work. People, who are radar machines, are hearing what you’re really saying in addition to listening to your words.
  • Treat people the same no matter their race, religion, gender, size, age, or country of origin. Implement policies and procedures consistently so people feel that they are treated fairly and equally. Treating people differently can constitute harassment or a hostile work environment.
  • Include all coworkers in meetings, discussions, training, and events. While not every person can participate in every activity, do not marginalize, exclude or leave any one person out. Provide an equal opportunity for employees to participate in committees, task forces, or continuous improvement teams. Solicit volunteers and try to involve every volunteer.
  • Praise much more frequently than you criticize. Encourage praise and recognition from employee to employee as well as from the supervisor.
  • The golden rule does apply at work, or, as professional speaker Leslie Charles, says, “Implement the platinum rule: treat others as they wish to be treated.”

WORKFACT WEDNESDAY: 9 Facts About Women in the Workplace

by Lisa Raphael

1. Mom is bringing home the bacon and gluten-free, sprouted bread. More than ever before, women are the breadwinners in their household. Over 40% of moms are now the sole or primary source of income in the household. Women are now the primary or co-money maker in nearly two-thirds of American families and working married women bring home 44% of their family’s income.

2. Stay-at-home dads are seriously trending right now. It makes sense (please see above) but to put it in easy to count context: one in five fathers are now the primary caregivers in their household. Over the last 25 years, the number of households that include a stay-at-home dad + a working mom have doubled.

3. Women make up nearly half of today’s labor force. Today, 47% of the workforce is comprised of women. Compare that to 38% in 1970.

4. Women will soon be the majority of college-educated workers. The number of women attending college has been steadily on the rise since the 1960s and now the number of them who attend and graduate trumps men. In 2013, women between the ages of 25 to 34 were more than 20% more likely than men to be college grads.

5. Women are breaking education’s glass ceiling. In 1968, women made up less than 10% of entering classes for historically male-dominated programs in medicine, business and law. Now, women make up almost 50% of students in MD, JD and MBA programs. Women also earn 59% of all higher education degrees.

6. More women working has meant more money in the economy. Almost all of the rise in family income since the 1970s has been due to the earnings of women. Thanks to the growth in the women’s labor force, the median family income is $13,000 more than it was in 1970.

7. Single dad families are also on the rise. Father-only families have more than tripled in the last 40 years. Currently 7% of families with children are father-only.

8. Employers need to keep up with families’ new needs. Men and women looking for new jobs are increasingly choosing career paths or specific employers who offer more flexibility when it comes to taking time off for their children or family.

9. Better workplace conditions = stronger economy. Studies show that increasing paid leave and flexibility comes with a whole slew of benefits for both the employer and the employee. Productivity gets a boost, random days off drop, more talented workers come knocking on employers’ doors. Including the economy: making it easier for everyone to work (by providing a higher minimum wage, a better work-life balance and assistance with child and eldercare) means more money flowing and greater economic gains for businesses, individuals and families. Think about this: today’s economy would be $2 TRILLION smaller without the strides women have made since 1970.

Get more info about the Working Families Summit here and read through the White House’s official doc for more facts.

WEDNESDAY WORKFACT: 2017 Retention, Engagement and Branding Survey

A new report, the 2017 Retention, Engagement and Branding Survey, explores the state of how this powerful combination is being used by HR organizations. Sponsored by SilkRoad and HR Daily Advisor, the report offers numerous insights from nearly 500 respondents, including:

  • 74% do not have an employment brand program
  • 80% ask for feedback to encourage a personal commitment
  • 51% characterize the experience at their organization as “somewhat positive”

The report is easy to read, made up largely of 10 infographics covering various aspects of employers’ retention, engagement and branding programs, along with comments from some of those employers. See all the results by downloading the report.

TIP TUESDAY: Building a Company Culture that Puts People First

by Matt Rizzetta, CEO of North 6th Agency, Inc. (N6A), a brand communications agency based in New York and Toronto; from Monster.com

As a business leader, it’s easy to confuse company culture with the trendy perks that make a work environment seem attractive from the outside.

As a CEO of a growing company, I’m just as guilty of this as anyone. Come to our office and you will see such things as roulette wheels lined with wellness and travel rewards, and catered lunches every Thursday.

Such perks make the office environment a cool place to work, but they don’t define the company culture. Ultimately, true culture comes down to people.

If you’re a business leader who’s looking to make an investment in people to build a meaningful culture, here are some people-first tips to keep in mind:

1.    Remember Your Survival Days
When you’re starting out in business you’re in survival mode, plain and simple. You’re simply doing everything you can to earn respect. This is when the ethos of your company’s true culture is born. As your company gets bigger, ask yourself, “What did our company do when we were in survival mode? What did we stand for when we first started that made us successful?”

In our company’s case, our survival mode days were all about an underdog journey, a tale of beating odds and being told that we were wrong. A tale of loyalty and giving back. The companies that tend to build culture the right way — and do it for a sustained period of time — are the ones that embrace their roots and make it a core part of their culture as they get bigger.

2.    Visuals Are Key
The saying that a picture is worth a thousand words rings especially true when reinforcing company culture.  It’s one thing for employees to hear about company culture, but it’s another thing for them to actually see it.

Every quarter we sit down with our entire company and host a checkpoint. We kick each one of these sessions off with a photo album of cultural events, highlights and bonding moments from the previous quarter, as if we were a family flipping through a photo book and reminiscing over the moments that brought us closer together.

Employees hear about the company’s culture all the time — in recruiting materials, company handbooks and on your website. Help them see it and feel it.

3. Align Business Values With Life Values
Don’t be afraid to get a little personal when it comes to creating culture.

Perhaps the best way to build genuineness and integrity in your culture is to take what you believe in in your life and apply it to your business.

I run our business with the same core values and the same approach that I apply to my life. What matters most to me in life is exactly the same as what our corporate culture represents — it’s a symbiotic relationship. Be loyal to those who got you there, give back, compete, care, and experiment.

Chances are you have your own set of values that are near and dear to your heart. Embrace those values, and don’t be afraid to let them spill over from your life into your business.

To read the rest, click here.