Leading from the front

another HR ranty blog I’ve got respect for…

Up the Down Escalator

A fantastic post by Simon Heath on his Work Musing blog this week struck a real chord with me. It was about leaders who don’t know their arse from their elbow, and how there should be a focus on breaking down silos in organisations and building connections.

I make it a rule that I don’t blog about work I’m currently doing but I’m going to make a brief exception here. Over the last two weeks I have been involved in running leadership workshops for each of the managers and leaders in my region.

In line with Simon’s message, we kept it simple. We talked about the traits that the best employers and leaders demonstrate and how can we be better managers. We gave them real life examples of some of the little things good leaders do that make a difference.

There was no mention of team types, or personality types…

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Stating the Obvious

Wow – great blog. Engagement isn’t complicated, and it isn’t expensive – treating your employees how you would like to be treated.

People Stuff

The subject of engagement has been on my mind a lot of late, hence the plethora of blog posts I’ve written on the subject. It was certainly a hot topic at the HR Director’s Summit I recently attended. I’m going to say just one more thing, and then shut up about it for a while.

And it is this. Employee engagement is stating the bloody obvious.

Treating your people well so they want to come to work and form good connections with your company? Offering them good leadership? Listening to what they have to say? Recognising them, developing them, communicating with them? No shit Sherlock.

Haven’t we always known this?

HR professionals have. This is what we talk about, every day. Engagement might not be the word we have always used for it, but we are talking about it, have talked about it, all the same.

Because what is engagement…

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Conference Virginity

I attended the HR Advisor’s Conference in Auckland three weeks ago – it was my first.  I was a complete conference-virgin until then.  I went by myself, and was shy to order any room-service, use the hotel’s facilities (gymnasium/pool/etc.), it felt like I was awkward – a lot of people carried smart-phones and tablets to take notes and twitter-feed news… is this the way of the outside world from my office?  I must keep up.

And that was the theme of the conference – HR and the way forward and keeping up with the world… embracing social media for recruitment, learning, collaboration; technologies that are out there that could make our lives easier if we had the budget to implement (and some we could now if we wanted to); communication and how HR could do far better at it – it was inspiring, I was swallowed up in the HR women executives of large companies and how they managed to achieve their roles (and not all were from bottom-to-top).

Now, I’ve got to present this to my HR team – it’s going to be hard.  I want to send the message that there is inspiration, how it’s so easy to get caught-up in our day-to-day work bubble/trap that we forget to ‘look’ and work on ourselves.

I don’t want to let that spark that I got at the conference down – I want to let it shine; naive as it sounds – like a conference-virgin.


I’ve got a fire lit up my jacksie.

It’s one that I wished that I had this in the first place when I left high school… I would be in a different place now.  But, in the same instance, I wouldn’t want to trade my history.

Like a lot of people I have met on my journey – I ‘fell into HR’ by a happy accident.  But it wasn’t also so rainbows and sunshine – I had a loathing of human resources, being on the other side. I had spent 10 years as a generalist administrator – forever floating, not knowing what I wanted to pursue, as I already had a diploma in New Media Design (which would now be obsolete with the rate technology and internet development is changing).

Now – I’m hooked.  My Myers Briggs Indicator Type is ESTP – extroverted, sensory, thinking, perceiving.  In a nutshell: I work well with people rather alone, love randomness and variety, fun-loving, analytical, see rules as guidelines, and very much a ‘doer’, I get things done after observing all the facts – but that could also be from my Virgo-sun, Taurus-moon, Libra-rising sign.

My next paper for the upcoming semester is Employment Relations – awesome – getting into the nuts-and-bolts of HR, if Massey University ever gets my application approved in time so I can get my textbooks!

I have my daughter Breanna starting school next week, her first real school-year, and mine as well, being a parent – I’ve got a lot to learn about school/parent culture.  So no doubt this year, as this post goes live in the Chinese New Year of the Horse (which the Horse means success), will be of many learnings and wins.

Fingers Crossed.