Looking back and forward 2014/2015

In 2015 I’m going to investigate more about….

  1. Communication design principles. Colour, layout, design, writing style, advertising and connection through visual media – I have to know more! I think there is a real gap in the skill set of HR practitioners in this space. Knowing how to craft communications with excellence beyond a boring poster format and policy speak, I think is the most important skill I will continue to learn this year.
  2. Performance Review Cycle Success – that old chestnut. Generally the feel is that people hate completing them, managers hate running them, the administration is a headache and most models don’t scale well.. there has to be a better way.
  3. Photography. This connects with number 1, but I am going to become really good at taking my own photos to communicate my message and the message of projects I am working on.
  4. Mastering Personal Knowledge Management. I think I have a handle on these principles but I want to get really clear on what this means and looks like in practice, then see where I can take it at work and play.
  5. How to find where top performers come from and what (if any) similarities there are between them. I want to go beyond just identifying top recruitment strategies and training and development pipelines. I want to look at top performers and see what they are made off and what similarities there are between them. Maybe it will be a simple finding, maybe not. Either way I am excited for what knowing this information can bring .

In 2014 I learned…

  1. If you haven’t clearly articulated your Vision, Mission and Values the going will get tough. This applies to work and play, if you can’t articulate what you are about, getting stuff done right will be a challenge. I watched the VMV being crafted for multiple businesses this year as well as the articulation of my own. You can’t make the decisions you need to and it’s difficult to make a bold and courageous move without knowing what they are either.
  2. The power of Vision, Mission, Values and “Getting It”. This year I heard the statement “getting it” become part of how we describe performance. People getting it, not getting it for example “they are technically excellent but they just don’t get it”. Getting it is about someone’s ability to really hook into and feel the vision, mission and values of a business and design their ideas and the way they work to fit into that model. Those that Get It are your future leaders, the ones that you will inspire and will continue to inspire you.
  3. Being resilient ensures growth and success. Keeping your cool in tough situations, managing set backs, being told you can’t or that you are not good enough are constants in every part of your life. If you are able to keep going in the face of danger, uncertainty and “haters” it will make you a force to be reckoned with.
  4. The job you do and the boss you work for will be equally as important. My experiences and the stories of others have highlighted this fact this year. Some people can tough out the agony of a great position and a terrible manager or vice versa – but I think fundamentally you will leave or become vey unhappy… sooner or later
  5. Intellectual and creative pursuits will make you better at your job. This year I went on my first overseas holiday and had a raft of other experiences that changed my priorities and energised me to think differently. I read more widely, watched movies not found at your local cinema, played with design principles and made a bigger effort to explore the world around me. Indeed this (I think) has made me better at my job and better in life in general.

Happy New Year!

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Delete your LinkedIn contacts – they belong to us!

Ahhh LinkedIn, the great online world of professional networking. Would you agree to delete the contacts you may have made during your employment on departure if it was instructed by a workplace policy or your employment contract? Personally, I don’t know how I feel about this.  However we are starting to see cases where employers feel their departing employees are exploiting the connections they have made during their employment. This is especially true in times where employees leave consultancies to start their own competing businesses.

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Firstly from a learning perspective, LinkedIn provides me an amazing opportunity to follow and connect with people who share great articles and perspectives, some of these people I have met through my employment over the years. Reading posts and engaging with these connections makes me a better professional. I wouldn’t like to think that I would need to delete people out of my learning network just because I happened to meet them as part of my role.  On the flip side, if I was an employer and I knew for a fact that a departing employee was using the contacts they had made through me to poach work or employees I would be furious and I too might want to put my foot down and have some strongly worded contracts and policies drafted. Some of the policy recommendations to manage LinkedIn connections mentioned in HR Daily this week include:

  • Defining solicitation in contracts and policies to include “updating employment details on LinkedIn”;
  • Acquiring a list of a persons contacts on commencement; and
  • Requiring them to delete any contacts they made during their employment as part of the departure process and building in a clause to say they can’t add them again for say 6 months.

I think what we are seeing here is a struggle for business to keep up with a connected workforce and business landscape. People are moving in and out of organisations faster than before, people are making connections, building networks and really starting to recognise that this is where the value is, and this is the new world of work. Business owners naturally want to protect themselves from competition and damages however removing people from LinkedIn wont stop solicitation and poaching, It might make it easier but it wont stop it. Building in phrases such as “you are not to use LinkedIn or any social media outlet to solicit clients or employees that may cause damage to blah blah blah company”, might be all you need, but it isn’t guaranteed to work and the court isn’t automatically going to enforce it.

It’s such an evolving area and with very limited case law to go by it’s going to be interesting to watch the law and business come to terms with this new networked world.