From Training

First Time Managers

Newly minted first-time managers and new leaders are usually part of the biggest population of leaders in any organization: frontline, first-line, and entry-level managers, supervisors, and directors. They directly manage more people than any other managerial level. The stats show first-time managers and new leaders rarely get the training they need to be effective in their new position.

For at least the past five years employee engagement has been has been a major topic for HR professionals and thought leaders around the world. You can find conferences, panel discussions, articles, blogs, tweets, etc. about employee engagement. With the dismal numbers of first-time managers and new leaders receiving inadequate training employee engagement will continue to be a major topic for HR professionals and thought leaders around the world.

In my blog post Managers Need Training Too I talked about the importance of managers receiving the proper training to be successful. If first-time managers and new leaders aren’t receiving the training necessary to be successful employee engagement will decrease. If employee engagement decreases the quality of the service being provided or the product being produced will also decrease.

Upper management needs to invest in training so first-time managers and new leaders can be successful. The success of the organization is directly or indirectly tied to the success of first-time managers and new leaders.

Management and Unions Can Get Along

Contrary to popular belief it is possible for management and unions to get along. The relationship between the two doesn’t always have to be contentious. The most important thing in this relationship is respect. If management and union leaders have respect for each other the rest is downhill, theoretically.

Management and unions don’t innately distrust each other. However there is always a level of distrust until one side earns the trust of the other. The only way the management-union relationship can be healthy is if everyone in leadership is willing to listen to what the other side has to say. Regardless of how important an issue may be if you’re not willing to listen then there’s no use in the other person talking.

This is where respect comes in. No one is going to take you seriously if they don’t respect you. In the workplace respect is the only collateral you have. Once you’ve lost the respect of someone it’s difficult to regain it. The management-union relationship is one of those relationships where a lack of respect can have long-lasting repercussions.

If management doesn’t respect union leadership the day-to-day issues of rank-and-file union members could be very difficult. Simple things like taking lunch, using leave, working overtime etc. can be problematic. On the other hand union leadership needs to be clear that obtaining the trust of management should be one of their top priorities. Many union members don’t understand or care that their actions can affect the management-union relationship.

Over the years I’ve watched management make decisions that were not favorable to unions. When union representatives clamored about the decision, management cited the actions of certain union members. I’ve talked to union representatives and they’ve said some of their members don’t care how management views them.

This attitude is fine if these employees weren’t affecting the lives of others. As with any group of people you always have those that only care about themselves. Likewise, management has to deal with some managers putting a strain on the management-union relationship. There are some managers that don’t care if the management-union is contentious or not.

Trying to obtain or maintain a good management-union relationship and keeping selfish employees in line is a balancing act. This balancing act can be accomplished when both sides respect each other and keep the lines of communication open.

If you have questions about this post and more please contact me at corjoejen@yahoo.com and www.linkedin.com/pub/cornell-jenkins/11/476/897/

Perfect Candidate

The HR field exists for a reason. Let us do our job. One of our specialties is recruiting. When you take HR duties and give them to someone else chaos or least inefficiency ensues.

Looking for perfection in an imperfect world sounds challenging if not impossible. I know someone that is experiencing not being perfect. Since there is no perfect person employers need to take advantage of the transferable skills applicants come with. I was sharing with this person that employers are lazy. They don’t want to take the time to study a resume. The laziness of employers leads to the frustration of job seekers.

ChristopherinHR

What price perfect?

A mark of the modern employment market is the seeming inability to find skilled, competent employees. Companies continually complain about the lack of fundamental skills in recent graduates while government clamors for increased STEM education.

But this mistates the situation.

Even as communities continue to recover from massive outsourcing and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression the truth about the job market is less complex and therefore even more shocking.

Companies are looking for perfect.

Somewhere along the way with the HR function fully complicit we lost sight of hiring people to do a job and started to think about hiring brand extensions. We started to look for people without any blemish professionally or interpersonally and turned hiring into a lottery as opposed to a competitive process.

The job market still functions at the extremes. For people with no absolute skill there are minimum…

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Change Management is a Paradigm Shift

Those of you that follow my blog know I’m all about Human Resources (HR) and Training and Development (T&D). However, this week I’m going to depart from the norm. I need to put some things in perspective.

My father passed away two months ago. He was the oldest of seven children. Those seven children produced more than 20 grandchildren. When someone passes away, the family goes through many changes. The challenge for me and my family is grieving (managing) the loss of my father. Our lives are changed forever. There’s a new paradigm we have to get used to.

Losing a loved one is one of the most traumatic experiences anyone can go through. And, as traumatic of an experience as this may be, my family and I have to adjust to a new way of living. Most people don’t like paradigm shifts especially when they’re negative.

In today’s rapidly changing workplace more people are experiencing paradigm shifts than not. Paradigm shifts can be good or bad depending on which side of the shift you’re on. Adjusting to something new and/or different isn’t easy. When you initially hear that a paradigm shift is on the horizon, your first response is to decide if you like it or not. Then you have to make the mental adjustments necessary to adapt to the shift(s) that are taking place. Adjusting to a paradigm shift is more mental than anything. If you’re not mentally on board with the shift, it’ll be difficult to live with the new paradigm.

The term change management is used so often that it’s being overused. I know the workplace is rapidly changing but gee wiz slow down with the overuse. People not in the HR and T&D industry, read and hear the term so often and in different contexts that the true meaning gets lost. Change management, in its simplest form means managing changes in the workplace.

Today’s workplace is changing so rapidly the term change management is not only a noun but it’s also a verb. It’s become a verb because it’s a skill-set that many employers are looking for. It’s a skill-set because of the technical expertise that is required to manage the change(s). The changes that are occurring are due to the economy, advancements in technology, and customer demands. The simple definition may be managing change but the execution requires a lot of skill.

Whether it’s in your personal life or the workplace, managing change is something we all have to do. We have to realize that a paradigm shift is upon us and try our best to make the necessary adjustments.