Tag Archives: HR

They Lay Off HR Too, Don’t They?


I’m sure you’ve heard at least one story of the hapless HR person who, after having plowed through a stack of lay-off packages and sending employees tearfully on their way, is told, “You have one more package to prepare.”  What’s worse?  The feeling of betrayal?  Or the self-recrimination that you should have seen it coming? Actually, does it really matter? Either way, it sucks.

As far as your HR career is concerned, there is little but downside to the lay-off process.  You know more than you want to know about your co-workers.  If the company is big enough, or your community small enough, you know more about the future of your entire region than you want to know.  You start to feel like the grim reaper just going to the supermarket to replenish your Tums. You can’t help the feeling … Continue Reading

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The Hope of HR: “People are fundamentally good.”


While I don’t focus exclusively on healthcare HR, in the last year that has been the world I’ve been living in — with much pleasure and a deep sense of honor.  If you went to the 2010 ASHHRA conference  (and hung around for my closing keynote), you already know that I spent two months driving around the country interviewing healthcare HR leaders who love their work. You can see a version of the resulting video that I showed as part of the speech here.

There’s so much great material that came out of these interviews, so inspiring, so refreshing, that I’ve decided to share it with you here.  Most of the conversations will be around my trademark question:  “Does your work relieve pain, restore hope, or bring beauty into the world?”  (I’ll tell you about the origins of … Continue Reading

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The Hope of HR: Prepare to Be Amazed…Every Day


When you’re in HR, it’s so easy to get bogged down by the hassles and headaches of dealing with people. How do you keep your own passion for HR energized? Be the keeper of a workplace culture that cherishes the passion of your people.

The more I get to know what healthcare HR faces every day, the more amazed I am. I don’t know how you do it, frankly. But I’m so glad you do. And I’m so impressed that even in the face of regulatory, legislative and other strategic challenges that threaten to get in the way of you doing your best work, you don’t lose sight of the fact that there are people in your organizations who really see the deep human meaning behind the work they do. And they draw inspiration from those small golden moments where … Continue Reading

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Doesn’t HR Deserve to be Engaged Too?


If you have been following my work for the last 20 years or so, you know that I’m probably the planet’s biggest HR groupie/geek out there. Maybe you’ve read my book HR From the Heart, which I co-authored with Libby Sartain. Or you saw my article, “Why I Love HR,” which I wrote in response to Fast Company’s nasty gram a few summers ago. Or I’ve interviewed you. Or you’ve attended one of my speeches celebrating HR.  I love HR. So, you’ll know that I say this with deep respect and abiding affection: HR deserves more respect than it gets!

I just have to ask: Don’t you deserve to be engaged too?

After all, engagement initiatives usually come out of your budget.  You work hard to measure and then improve your employees’ experience on the job  … Continue Reading

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Are You Too Shy to Network?


My friend Patricia is probably the only person I would call a natural networker. Her worldly possessions have been in storage for most of the last 10 years as she goes where her heart tells her to (always beautiful places: Hawaii; Aspen; Naples, FL;  San Diego; hey! Why not?). Jobs and projects fall into her lap no matter where she goes (and right now she’s in Austria after having spent a couple of weeks in Spain).  She always has friends to stay with or a house to borrow.  I would say she’s female version of Tim Ferris. But she’s her own self.  And she makes her way in the world through relationships she builds along the way.

You ever have one of those right-words-at-the-right-time moments that blasts all your illusions away?  Patricia gave me the right words at the … Continue Reading

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The Children Are Watching

Looking back on my own career of 30 some-odd years, I would say that the single most important event in my professional life didn’t even happen to me. It happened to my dad. He got laid off just five months before I graduated from college.

I’m not used to talking about this (for reasons that will become quickly obvious), but let me give you a little detail. Well, as much detail as I know myself, which isn’t much. See, he was a covert case officer for the CIA. In street lingo, that means he was a spy. But technically speaking he wasn’t. His job was to recruit spies. We were stationed in places, oh, like Miami, Berlin, Mexico City, Madrid, Munich, Vienna, and, of course, he was in Saigon for a while where he wore a flak jacket over … Continue Reading

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