DisruptHR Detroit 3.0 Speaker Applications Now Being Accepted!

For those who don’t know, I’m involved with DisruptHR Detroit with an amazing team of HR pros and leaders, and we are putting on our 3rd event on Thursday, September 19th at 6 pm.

Great DisruptHR events start with Great content and we are now Accepting Speaker Applications for DisruptHR Detroit 3.0!

Due Date is August 2nd!

Tickets for this event will go on sale on August 5th and we’ll announce the full slate of speakers and the agenda on August 9th.

The location of DisruptHR 3.0 will be downtown Detroit at The Madison. Click through to the DisruptHR Detroit site for more information.

Who makes a Great DisruptHR Speaker

Anyone with a passion for HR, Recruiting, People and pushing the envelope around what, why and how we do what we do every day in the world of work!

We especially love practitioners of all experience levels. You don’t know have to be a twenty-year vet to be great at DisruptHR! You can be an HR pro in your first year on the job. It’s all about passion and ideas!

So, what makes a great DisruptHR Talk?

  1. It’s 5 minutes – so you better be tight around what your topic and idea is!
  2. 20 slides that move every 15 seconds – you don’t control this, we do. So you better practice!
  3. No selling products or services – Yes to selling ideas and passions!
  4. Make us feel something – laugh, cry, anger – have a take and be proud of that take!
  5. We see and feel your passion.

We’ve built DisruptHR Detroit to be a supportive hub of HR and Recruiting. We want people to come and challenge us, but know you’ll be rewarded with an audience that will support you and cheer you on. These talks aren’t easy, and we get that! The audience gets that!

How can you speak at DisruptHR Detroit 3.0?

APPLY to Speak it’s easy! It’s a great development opportunity for those looking to get on stage and have some professional experience speaking. You actually get a professionally produced video of your talk that you can use as evidence of your ability. It’s also a great networking opportunity with the Detroit metro HR and Talent community!

Hot or Cold? Your Office Temp has Gender Performance Impact!

There’s a new study out that shows that men and women actually perform at different levels based on the temperature of the environment they are in. Can you guess which gender performs better in hot or cold temperatures?

So, the 27-year married man in me had a guess!

My wife loves to sleep with the bedroom ice-cold! There have been many nights, as the dog and I huddle close sharing body heat, that we didn’t think we would make it through the night. The headline the next day would be, “Woman finally has a peaceful night’s sleep as husband and dog freeze to death in the bed beside her!” I kid! Partially!

So, my initial guess was that women perform better in cold temps. I was completely wrong! From the study:

“The authors found that female students generally performed better on math and verbal tests when the room temperature was at the warmer end of the distribution, submitting more correct responses as well as more responses overall. Conversely, male students generally performed better on these tests at lower temperatures – at the warmer end of the temperature distribution, they submitted fewer responses, as well as fewer correct responses. The improved performance of women in response to higher temperature was larger and more precisely estimated than the corresponding decrease in male performance. Temperature did not appear to impact performance on the logic test for either gender.”

So, turns out women and men are different!

But it does beg the question of how do get to an optimal temperature for our office environment when we have both men and women working together?

I’ve worked in organizations where the facilities folks were a bit crazy when it came to temperature. They had one temp and no matter what that was going to be the temp. You weren’t allowed space heaters, or fans (the claim was energy usage), so you would see people wearing coats or have blankets at their desks. Or see people in tank tops because it was so hot!

The reality is we all have preferred temps that will help us perform better and when we think about the employee experience and the physical environment our employees work in, it’s up to us to figure out how to be help them optimize the temperature that’s right for them! This isn’t someone just being a diva, this is science! We want high performance and workers thriving, then the physical temp they are working in matters.

So, what temp do you perform in? Or have you even noticed? Hit me in the comments.

 

8 Types of Recognition that Suck!

I run a small business.  When I need to know something, I usually reach out to my employees and find out what they think.  It’s not some big fancy ‘research’ survey with thousands of responses, but it’s real.

Recently, I wanted to know what people might want in terms of a recognition award.  Ironically, what I found goes against some big fancy research done by recognition companies who are in the business of selling the crap on the list below, crazy how that works in the research game! Anywho, what I found wasn’t surprising to me.

Here’s the list of the Top 8 things my employees don’t want when it comes to Recognition Awards:

1. Anniversary Pins! If you give me one of these I will stick it back in your eye! “Hey, Tim, Thanks for 10 years! Buddy, here’s a pin!” A What!?!? I’ve given you ten great years and you’re giving me a pin. Is this 1955?

2. A Plaque. Or any other kind of trophy thing. If I wanted a trophy to show me that I’m a salesperson of the year, you hired the wrong person. JayZ said it best “we can talk, but money talks, so talk more bucks”.

3. Corporate logo wear. Giving out corporate logo wear as a form of recognition screams you have executives that haven’t actually spoken to an employee in the last twenty years!

4. A watch. Wait, if it’s a Rolex, I’ll take a watch. If it’s a Timex you better ‘watch’ out, I’m throwing it at someone! Nothing says we don’t really care about you like a $50 watch with it engraved on the back ‘You Matter! 2019!’

5. Luggage. The ‘experts’ would like you to believe that your employees would really ‘appreciate’ luggage because it’s an item they don’t normally like to spend their money on. The reason why people don’t like to spend their money on luggage is that it gets destroyed after one trip through O’Hare! That’s just what you want to see coming around the luggage carousel – “Hey, look, honey, it’s your employee of the year award all ripped up and stained”. Sign and symbols.

6. Fruit Baskets. First, most people don’t want to be healthy or we wouldn’t have the obesity problem we have in our society. Second, people like chocolate, candy, salty snacks, and diet soda. If you want to send food, send food they’ll actually eat!

7. A Parking Spot with Their Name On It. This goes bad two ways: 1. I drive a $100K Mercedes and you don’t, now you know I drive a better car than you and it’s awkward; 2. I drive a beater and I’m embarrassed to let everyone know I make so little I can even afford a 2014 Chevy Cobalt.

8. A Hug! Wait! I totally want a hug! Just not a creepy hug. You know what a creepy hug feels like when you’re about 13 seconds into it and the other person won’t let go! But nothing says “we recognize you” in the totally wrong way, like inappropriate hugs at work!

What do employees want?

Well, that’s an entire another post, but my 20 years of HR ‘research’/experience shows people want for their peers and leaders to appreciate their efforts. Nothing says ‘we truly care about you’ like having one of your peers tell you in some sort of way. When teams can do that, they become special! It might be a quick handwritten note, a face to face meeting in the hall, etc. It really doesn’t matter the avenue of how it comes, it just matters that you have the culture that it does come and it’s encouraged to keep coming.

Ford Layoffs – “Hey, stay a few days and say your goodbyes!”

A big announcement yesterday over at Ford where 7,000 or so white-collar workers will be getting laid off. For generations of automotive families, this is really anything new. You grow up knowing about once every ten years, the big autos will do some ‘right-sizing’ or reorganizations. The reality is, and other industries are much different, auto industries hire in good times like your drunk Uncle Lou buys drinks at the bar after he cashes his income tax return check!

In good times, there is nothing better than working in the automotive industry. Everyone gets hired for good wages, bonuses are good, and they throw money around like it’s monopoly money. In bad times, they ‘right-size’ and it’s not targeted, it’s pretty much we need to cut 10,000 people, make it happen!

Ford CEO Jim Hacket said this layoff is different, it’s not, but to prove the point he also said this:

He acknowledged saying goodbye to colleagues is “difficult and emotional.”

“We have moved away from past practices in some regions where team members who were separated had to leave immediately with their belongings, instead giving people the choice to stay for a few days to wrap up and say goodbye,” he wrote.

Wow, really!?! Thanks, Jim!

Honestly, though, it is a bit more humane, right? Basically what you say when you walk someone out immediately during a layoff is this:

  • Hey, you no longer have a job but thank you for all those years of your life and discretionary effort you gave!
  • Also, we don’t trust you, so get the hell out, NOW!
  • Also, if you know of any younger workers who can do what you do, but for 30% less, please refer them to us!

Now, I am not saying Ford is laying off older workers and keeping younger workers. That would be slanderous, and I would never say such a thing! You can look at the data for yourself! It is a bit ironic though how white-collar layoffs tend to impact higher paid, more experienced workers. Turns out experience only matters to a certain salary point, then we are mostly the same in terms of productivity and knowledge.

No, Ford is in a very competitive industry and very fast-changing industry, and while all these ‘more experienced’ workers made us a lot of money, we now need to hire a different set of skills for our next generation of products. We no longer need all these mechanical engineers (true) and we need many more electrical and computer engineering skill sets (also true). Also, we probably need less more experienced finance, human resources, marketing, and operations folks as well, for these new more technical products we are creating.

So, back to the actual layoffs. Do you agree with Hackett (no relation, since my name, is “Sackett” with an “S”, and not an “H” but I see the confusion if you’re dumb) on his layoff approach of treating the Ford employees a bit differently and letting them close up shop and not walk them out immediately?

My take:

This should be an individual management decision. Your manager knows if you’re a terrorists or not. If she believes you can act like an adult and not sabotage anything on your way out, she should be able to make that call. If she believes you’re a problem, she should also be able to make that call on walking you out immediately.

I don’t believe this should be an all or nothing approach. I’ve seen people who have done some very bad things when given the chance to ‘pack up shop” on their way out. When you take the livelihood way from a person, you really don’t know how they’ll react. Some will become desperate and take anything they can get, staplers, information, etc.

Most, the vast majority, will be sad and grieve but also be able to handle this news in a respectful manner, knowing they’ll probably need that manager reference to land their next spot.

Layoffs suck, even when done for the best reasons to save the jobs of thousands of others. They just suck. I feel awful for those Ford employees having to go through this, just as I did for the GM employees who had to go through this at the end of last year. Organizations are living, breathing things, and as such, tend to make the same mistakes as well do in good times and bad.

 

Has Your Job Lost that New-Job Smell?

Was on the phone with a friend of mine last week talking about their new job.  He had all that passion you hear from folks who just start a job!  Everything is new, it’s cool, it’s fun, it’s engaging.  He said it’s like ‘that new car smell’, you want to be able to keep it as long as possible.

He’s right.  He’s a pro, he gets it.  He’s experienced enough to know the new job smell, like your car, doesn’t last forever. In fact, you probably have a one to a two-year window of enjoying that smell, until it becomes the grind.  That’s the challenge, right?  How do you keep that New Job Smell as long as possible?

It got me to thinking about how to extend the new job smell.  I to have been a victim of a job losing the great new car smell.  Here are some ideas for extending the great feeling of a new job:

1. Connect with people, frequently, from outside your company.  Why?  Because the grass isn’t greener, but you wouldn’t know that because you never talk with people who are on that grass!   When you’re out with people from other companies, what you realize quickly is it’s basically all the same.  We are all grinding.  It makes your job smell a little better when you return.

2. Connect to your industry.  I took a job once and immediately knew it was a wrong decision.  The culture suffocated me!  But, I had payments, I had kids, I had a career to protect, so I grinded it out.  How?  I threw myself into HR.  I started writing. I started volunteering in my profession. I connected more.  I got engaged more than ever, in a job I knew wasn’t the best fit.  I brought my new car smell can of air freshener with me to work each day!

3. Get involved with the business. HR job started losing its new smell?  Go out and get involved in the actual business of what you do.  If you make widgets, find out how those are made. Work with your operators.  When I worked for Applebees, 90% of what I did was HR related. The other 10%?  I washed dishes during lunch rush hours, I made Pico De Gallo, I learned how to mix drinks (okay, I already knew how to do that but it was fun!), I learned how to do training, I helped develop sales and marketing campaigns, etc. Operations have many pain points.  Uncover those and help fix them.

It doesn’t happen with every job, but most jobs come with that new job smell.  It’s completely natural for all of us to have an internal clock of when that job begins to smell old.  For some people it’s two years, some five, heck, for some it’s twenty-five!  The key is understanding that’s what it is.  It’s not the job, it’s you.  No, you don’t smell, it’s you believing the job now sucks when it’s probably just the same as the first day you stepped into your now junked up office.

Figure it out.  Clean it up.  Another new job isn’t going to solve this problem.

Career Confessions of Gen Z – Every Day Is the Weekend

Over the past couple of years, I’ve observed a number of situations where past generations viewed the working habits of current generations (Gen Y and Z) with a level of angst, dare I say spite, specifically when considering “hours spent in the office”. This isn’t new, in fact there is almost a comedic undertone to the inherent daily misunderstandings resulting from the coexistence of Baby Boomers, Gen X, Y, and Z all working together in the same place.

I feel this specific case boils down to a noticeable disconnect in how Gen Z and many millennial’s “work for the weekend” compared to the generations that have preceded them.

To Baby Boomers and Gen X (probably some of you in Gen Y too) — there was a time when 9am – 5pm mattered. Coming in early and working late certainly got you further ahead than punching a time clock piously, but a standardization of the work day mattered. There was a time when clocking out at 5pm meant that you were unplugged. Each day was one day closer to Friday night and a few days of mostly uninterrupted freedom.

Then email arrived and cell phones became more prominent… you can see where this is going.

It’s not that a standardized work day doesn’t matter now, it just matters less. It matters less because the weekend matters less. It matters less because time has changed. Information is processed and transmitted quicker, tasks get accomplished quicker, conversations are completed through different mediums, and being present can get you further.

Check this out:

I can wake up and have a quick discussion at 7am with a colleague via text, phone, slack, or a number of other platforms. Then, I can work out, take some spiritual time, eat breakfast, and be ready to go for my 9am (did I mention that I used a 7 minute workout app?).

I can be present in meetings and play catch up all morning while also quickly staying on top of my social feeds. I go out for lunch around noon simply because I have the time to do so. I jump back in around 1pm, catch up on more tasks and handle my meetings until around 4pm.

Feeling tired, I swing through a coffee shop. I decide to read a few books for the next hour or so.

I swing home to take care of my dog and while he’s eating I realize it’s probably a good time to eat my dinner too. I’m done with dinner around 7pm. For the next hour or so I catch up on a few outstanding work items, of which I’m not the least bit concerned on timeline because I forgot to mention, I was keeping tabs and taking care of “quick hit” items from my phone while reading at the coffee shop.

From 8pm – 10pm I exclusively work on my stuff. I’ve been getting into real estate investment on the side, so I need to plan out some next steps. I lazily watch TV until around 11pm and go to sleep. I wake up around 6:30am the next day to do something similar. I get 7 hours of sleep (variably), and I am getting just as much, arguably more, completed as the 9-5er.

This is a huge reality now.

Obviously not everyone’s day is like this. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that many of my current teammates, all of us which are in a rather progressive company, don’t necessarily have the freedom to be remote. It’s all in perspective, but adjustments can be made.

I feel that days like this are perpetuated by my generation’s ability to multitask and briskly cross back and forth on the line of personal and work time, not only as a result of technology, but an increased exposure and utilization of that technology.

I’m not damning the office environment and saying a total remote workforce is the future, but flexibility is, and it’s destroying 9am – 5pm.

It also isn’t completely accurate to say that the concept of the 9-5 work week and the weekend doesn’t matter at all. But now, there are so many ways to productively enjoy each day as much as professionals enjoy the weekend. Ultimately, we can plug in and answer a few emails on the weekend, but we can also take a few extra hours here and there during the 9-5 while also remaining plugged in.

Monday, Tuesday, Saturday… they’re all just another day.


Quintin Meek a talent consultant at Pillar Technology (part of Accenture Industry X.0). Also an active member of Detroit’s startup and tech community. Every day is something new and challenging, and I am learning more than ever before. I’m finding that I’ve become a lifelong student, and I’m excited to see how that continues to shape the road ahead.

 

 

 

Is work fun?

What do you think? Is work fun?

It’s really the question that keeps getting asked when we talk about the future of work, and employee experience, and employee engagement, etc. Do you believe that your work is “fun”?

Fun?

That’s the first problem, we really have to define what fun is. I mean if we are doing this all official HR-like, right!?! Let’s over-process and over-think this! What is fun? Is a scale for all of us. Is doing an employee file audit fun? Maybe not for you, but you know some of us like to get freaky, so no judgement on what you call fun!

Tyler Cowen has a new book coming out titled “Big Business” and in one section he asks this question: Is work fun? Here’s part of that section from the book:

To oversimplify by only a bit, they have to pay you to do it. And that suggests work is not in every way fun. Furthermore, for most people work is the main way that they interact with business on a daily basis, which means that business is associated with the activities that take some of the fun out of our lives. Bits of fun are drained on a very regular basis, often five days a week, but the paychecks arrive less frequently in most cases and often by the less visible means of direct deposit. So the stresses and tedium of the work are for many people more vivid than the wages they earn. And that in sum is one reason business is not entirely popular with the American public—or, indeed, with the public elsewhere in the world. Business is like the parent who tells you that you can’t have everything you want all the time.

Some recent studies and surveys illustrate the potential burden of work. Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman and economist Alan Krueger measure our “daily affective experiences” by having people wear beepers that go off at irregular intervals, at which time the people record what they are doing and their feelings. You can think of this as a technique for measuring moods. But the researchers ask about more than just the subjects’ feelings at a given point in time; they also ask how happy people are with various aspects of their lives. The study thus considers both momentary pleasure and the overall feeling of satisfaction from a life well spent, because happiness isn’t just a single thing with a unidimensional scale. For this study, the researchers recruited 909 employed women with an average age of thirty-eight and an average household income of $54,700.

And what did the researchers find? The highest-rated activities, from most favored to less favored, were intimate relations, socializing, relaxing, and prayer/worship/meditation. In the middle of the list were watching TV, preparing food, and talking on the phone, among other mundane activities. The bottom five were childcare, computer/email/ internet, housework, working, and—dead last—commuting.

So working is next to last in terms of producing a positive mood, and that is sad news. But that doesn’t mean we don’t like work; it only means we like other things better. And in fact, when you drill down, the ratio of people who have positive feelings about work to those who have negative feelings is just over 3.5 to 1. (That’s not as good as the 5.10 to 0.36 positive-to-negative ratio for intimate relations, but sex always was going to beat out work anyway.)

I love the concept of because we get ‘paid’ to work, that in of itself tells you that work isn’t fun, because in almost all cases people don’t get paid to do things that are ‘fun’. No one is getting paid to take vacations to Disney World. No one is getting paid to sit on the beach and sip frozen cocktails with zero responsibilities.

Now, I know a lot of people who get paid to do some fun stuff as part of their job, but that’s a small portion of their job, not their complete job.

I think for most of us, there are some aspects of our jobs that are fun. It’s a balance between some truly fun stuff and some stuff we are just getting paid to do, which if given a choice we would not choose to do if we weren’t being paid.

Does this then lead us down a path as leaders and HR pros to how do we add little bits of fun into work?

I think it’s something to test in our workplaces. Not forced fun. That’s the opposite of fun. But true, in the moments bits of fun. That’s the hard part, right? How do we free our leaders, or teach them, to have fun with their teams in the moment? If we figure that out, that probably unlocks a ton of positive outcomes for our employees and our organizations!

If Your Company has a Chief Happiness Officer you Should Rethink Your Career Path!

In the past three weeks, I’ve been pitched by some well-meaning PR person about a story on how Google, Salesforce, Zappos, Airbnb, etc., have “Chief Happiness Officers” and how important they are to corporate success. Or at least, how “Happiness” as a measure is important to corporate success.

I’ve been pitched this idea four times, primarily so I would talk about their client, Snappy, which apparently is a chatbot of some kind that asks your employee questions to probably gauge their happiness or something, and in turn, you can then turn to your Chief Happiness Officer to fix the happy that is broken. (BTW – look for my new book in 2020 – “Fix the Happy!”)

Snappy might be some awesome tech, but I don’t like the pitch. I think that pitch is broken, for the real world. The real world is not Google and Zappos. Those are unicorns. Real companies have real issues and making their entitled employees happy is not one of those real issues.

I want to punch every Chief Happiness Officer in the smiling face!

Seriously, how completely warped do you have to be to think you actually bring happiness to another human being, let alone an entire company of human beings!?!

Will Smith is my Chief Happiness Officer:

Turns out CHO’s don’t make employees happy. Employees make themselves happy. No amount of money, or time off, or Taco Tuesdays, or standup desks or seven flavors of Kombucha in the employee cafe, will make a person happy. Happiness is an emotion controlled by the individual, no matter the environment they’re in.

There are great stories of prisoners at Auschwitz that chose love and happiness in the darkest hours and circumstances that anyone could imagine. There are people who win $500M lotteries that blow their head off because of how depressed they are. A CHO can’t change that.

Chief Happiness Officers are what happens to organizations when leadership gets out of control. When we stop actually leading and managing the business, and we ‘become’ leaders. When we start believing our own bullsh*t to a level where we think we actually control the emotions of our employees.

Look, I get it. I also want to drink the Kool-aid and believe in Santa Claus. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful, fantasy-filled life?! But that is life. 99.99% of us have to work to pay bills. Within that, we can choose to be happy, or miserable, or somewhere in between and that actually might have many times in the same day. No one person is going to make me happy or miserable unless I make that choice to allow that to happen.

There you go. That’s my take. Chief Life Officer, out.

Career Confessions of Gen Z | The Power of Seeing – B-roll!

Hello everyone!

Thank you for joining me on this Gen Z journey. In the last episode, I talked about what verbal and spoken content can do for your recruiting methods, but I think it’s just one side of things to simply hear what a job is like. It takes it to a whole other level when you can visually capture what the processes of a job are like. So follow me into the world of b-roll!

(Don’t worry, I’ll explain it all in the video) 😉


Skyler Baty is a Videographer and Video Editor for SkillScout and lives in the Detroit Metro Area in Michigan. Skyler loves doing video work and helping organizations with their video projects. Connect with him, he’s a genius with this stuff!

 

 

 

 

Are you ‘Manager Shaming’? #WorkHuman

Do you know what’s wrong with companies and organizations?

I know the answer because I go to a lot of conferences and listen to a lot of speakers. All of them will tell you exactly what’s wrong with your organization and every other organization. Turns out we all have the exact same thing wrong! Which is comforting in a way.

Our Managers Suck!!! 

Yay!! We figured it out!! We all agree!! Good for us!!

Can I tell you something? I hate Manager Shaming!! HATE IT!

Almost every speaker, at every conference, who speaks about the employee experience or employee engagement, or just about anything to deal with people blame managers. It’s lazy analysis for the most part. Let’s find someone or something everyone loves to hate and then we’ll blame them for everything, and then I’ll give them some great plan that you can’t possibly pull off, filled with funny little stories about my kids.

Look, I get that we have managers that are struggling, but the reality is we put them in a position to fail and now we just want to shame them and blame them for every single ill we have in an organization.

We have to be better than this. We were the idiots who put these folks in charge, didn’t teach them to properly lead people, or hold them accountable to properly lead people, or actually select them based on who had the right DNA to lead people, and not who is the best individual contributor but truly has no ability to lead people. It’s so stupid.

I want us all to start calling out Manager Shaming at conferences.

Cool tell me all my problems are my terrible managers, but you better be super quick to help figure out how to solve this or we get to throat punch you right on stage! If I hear about one more ‘study’ on how they found out managers suck and this is the ‘real’ problem with helping our organizations be successful I’m going to vomit.

So, how do we stop “Manager Shaming”:

1. Understand we are all part of this problem. It’s not ‘managers’, it’s all of us. We all suck because we all allowed this to happen. Also, most of us are managers.

2. Stop picking people to be managers based on they were the best at something, that has nothing to do with actually managing or leading people!

3. Build a leadership program that not only teaches and mentors employees on how to be effective leaders, but then hold them accountable to be that person.

4. Stop blaming and start fixing. It’s not a ‘manager’ issue. If it’s broke. If you are not successful. That’s an organizational issue. We all own that.

5. Move people out of management roles who are unable to lead people. You know who they are, just make the move.

6. Celebrate, publicly your great managers, and be very specific about the behaviors you are celebrating.

Select, educate, measure, reward, repeat. We aren’t trying to launch the space shuttle. We are trying to do something way, way harder. We are trying to lead people!

Stop Manager Shaming!