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    Does Social Media influence your participation?

    I read an interesting article that theorized that many academic journals and paid subscription based publications are under increasing pressure due to their 'closed' nature.

    The basic premise was that since articles in many of these publications can't be linked to, blogged about, tweeted, and otherwise publicly shared that many authors will begin to seek alternate mediums for Flickr - Tochispublication.

    It makes sense; if you are really interested in building your personal brand, and enhancing your credentials to the widest possible audience, should you write for academic journals that only a very few choose to pay for, and whose content can't be widely distributed? Or would you choose to blog, conduct webinars, or produce e-books that can achieve much wider distribution.

    The same argument could be made for academic and professional conferences.  Would you be less willing to attend or speak at a conference or event if you thought no one would be live blogging, tweeting, streaming and otherwise promoting your appearance?  Is it enough just to reach the 50 or 100 folks in the room that day? Or does your session have to be streamed, tweeted, and blogged for maximum exposure?

    I am interested in knowing - how does social media coverage affect what events you attend and where you distribute your content?



    HR Happy Hour - Episode 7 - Tattooed HR Pros Unite!

    It is that time again, time for the next installment of the HR Happy Hour!

    We are up to Episode 7 - 'Funky Hair, Tattoos, and HR Diversity', starting at 6PM EDT, Friday August 14, 2009.

    Shauna Moerke, the HR Minion and I will welcome Kelly Mitton, Jen Wojcik, Lynne Ellsberry, and more in a fun discussion on a wide range of topics:

    Is HR is truly welcoming as a profession to those folks that look and act a bit 'different'?

    Are tattoos and purple hair welcome in HR? Does HR need to do more to embrace individuality and creativity in the workplace?

    Do visible tattoos give you a bad impression of a job candidate?

    This is shaping up to be the most free-wheeling and fun shows yet, and I hope you can listen in, or better still call in and share your 'Tattoo' stories.

    The logisitics:

    The show can be foung on Blog Talk Radio here, and you can also listen live using the widget below. The show can also be heard via the listener line, that number is 646-378-1086.  If you call in and want to come on the air and participate, be sure to press '1' on your handset when prompted, and I will get you on as quickly as I can.

    See you at Happy Hour!



    News from the HR Blogosphere

    Some great Human Resources Bloggers have recently moved their blogs, and some others have jumped into the HR blogosphere for the first time.

    There were a few of these this week, so I thought it good to summarize them here:

    Blogs that moved

    Human RaceHorses - Michael VanDervort's blog is now at www.thehumanracehorses.com, and in addition to a new web address, has a great new look.  Michael does a great job with the HR and Social Media space, and his blog is a must read.

    PsuedoHR - April Dowling's blog has a new look and a new home, at www.pseudohr.com and I love her tag line 'Because HR can fake it too'. April also was a great sport and hosted a post from one of my students, Downsizing Blues.

    New HR Blogs that you have to put in your Reader:

    Do the Work - the new blog from Franny Oxford has a great premise, '50 Memos to the Universe'.  Franny is off to a great start, and I bet the Universe will want more than the promised 50 memos before it is all over.

    HRWhisperer - The HR Whisperer is Heather Vogel, and her new blog can be found at www.hrwhisperer.com. Heather will be sharing her perspectives on the world of work and people with the vision of an experienced Organizational Development consultant.

    And one more thing...

    The fantastic Lisa Rosendahl is thinking of re-naming the HR Thoughts blog, pay her a visit and share some of your HR Thoughts with her. Also, it was her Birthday yesterday, so please give her a shout-out if you haven't already.

    Oh, and one more thing - Shauna and I have been working on a new home for the HR Happy Hour Show, once it is ready, I will be sure to post that information here.

    Did I miss any new additions or changes? If I did, let me know in the comments.

    Good luck to everyone with the new homes and blogs!


    Ultimate Team Rankings - HR Style

    Every year ESPN ranks the franchises in the four major United States professional sports leagues, (NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL) according to how much the franchises Gives back to the fans in exchange for all the time, money and emotion the fans invest in them.'

    You can see the results  here - ESPN Ultimate Team Rankings, (the Los Angeles Angels of MLB led the rankings).

    To me what is most interesting about these rankings is the criteria that are used: 

    Bang For The Buck : Wins during the past three years (regular season plus postseason) per revenues directly from fans, adjusted for league schedules.

    Fan Relations :  Openness and consideration toward fans by players, coaches and management.

    Ownership : Honesty and loyalty to core players and local community.

    Affordability : Price of tickets, parking and concessions.

    Stadium Experience : Quality of arena and game-day promotions as well as friendliness of environment.

    Players : Effort on the field and likability off it.

    Coaching : Strength of on-field leadership.

    Title Track : Championships already won or expected in the lifetime of current fans

    What if you, as a Human Resources professional, applied those same criteria to your organization? Instead 'fans' think about the categories as they relate to your employees and candidates.

    Bang For The Buck : Pretty simple, revenues per employee. A standard HR metric, but are you consistently measuring it?  And not just in total, but also in the context of initiatives like downsizing, merging, or expanding. In your recruiting efforts are you carefully evaluating the cost and return of your ATS, job board advertsing, specialty advertising, etc.  If have dived in to the world of 'social recruiting' do you have any idea how it is paying off?

    Fan Relations : Openness and consideration toward fans employees by executives and management.

    Are you truly an 'open' organization?  Your executives may claim they have an open door to employees but do the employees truly believe that is the case? What steps have you taken to demonstrate open communication and consideration towards employees, particularly if your organization has gone through reductions in force, or will be doing so soon?

    Ownership : Honesty and loyalty to core players employees and local community.

    Do the company owners make it a priority to give back to the community?  Do you have some kind of company sponsored volunteer day, giving employees time off in exchange for volunteer activities?  Does ownership do more than just claim to be community minded?

    Affordability : Price of tickets, parking and concessions total compensation awarded to employees.

    Let's spin this one to your overall compensation package.  I know these last two years have been brutal for comp budgets, but even still your organization's compensation package needs to be competitive to continue to engage and retain the best of your employees.  Even in a recession, these employees could jump.  If as in the case of many organizations, and the cash element of your total compensation is still under downward pressure, are you enhancing or emphasizing other elements of the total package that are of benefit to the staff?

    Stadium Experience : Quality of arena facilities and game work day promotions conditions as well as friendliness of environment.

    Take a honest look around your offices and facilities. Are they the best you can make them? When employees drive up to the facility what is the first thing they see?  Make sure the grounds are kept up, the parking lots well-lighted and please don't allow the clan of smokers to huddle around the main entrance.

    Inside, start with the simple, low-cost elements.  Are the bathrooms and kitchen or break areas super-clean? Make sure folks have easy access to a refrigerator and freezer, and keep the coffee high quality and as low cost to the staff as possible.

    Players : Effort on the field and likability off it.

    I will spin this one a bit, more toward the employment brand and the image that the company has in the local, national, or global community.  What are your employees saying about the company both in internal communications and forums, and externally on blogs and social networks. How about candidates and their experience and view of your organization?  All these elements play into the idea of 'likability', which is not usually thought about as an organizational feature.

    Coaching : Strength of on-field leadership.

    This certainly is a awkward one for HR, the frank assessment of the organization's leadership, but certainly a necessary component for a high functioning organization.  HR can take the lead in identifying gaps in leadership capabilities and implement strategies to address these issues. Doing right by employees often means ensuring company leadership is truly able to carry out the company's strategic objectives. Succession planning programs also play strongly into HR's ability to support and improve the ongoing leadership capabilities of the organization.

    Title Track : Championships already won or expected in the lifetime of current fans employees

    Are you a market leader in your industry/region/niche?  Have you been recognized as a 'great place to work' or a 'Top Employer' by any national or local organizations?  What do the employees think about the short and long term prospects for success?  Are the companies best days behind you, (like the Cleveland Browns, or New York Knicks).  This is critical in sports, as we often see many excellent and experienced players that have their pick of teams to play for choosing the ones that are perceived to be championship contenders.  Simply stated, the best want to play with the best, and position themselves for success. Do you have the kind of environment that attracts the best talent available? And if not, what can you do in HR to try and reverse the tide and get back on top?

    FYI - The team that came out on the bottom of the ESPN Ultimate Team Rankings was the Los Angeles  Clippers of the NBA.  Sort of amusing that the best and worst team in the ratings play in the same city.  Perhaps the HR department of the Clippers can try and initiate some executive exchange or cross-organizational meetings to try and learn a few things from the Angels.

    So what do you think? Is your organization is more like the top teams in the survey like the Angels, Pittsburgh Steelers or Detroit Red Wings?  Or sometimes do you feel more like the Clippers, Detroit Lions, or Cincinnati Bengals? The kind of teams the general public associates with losing, scandal, and inept management.

    If you liked this article (and you must have if you have hung this long), be sure to check out the August 28, 2009 HR Happy Hour Show - 'Sports and HR'. We will be taking sports, HR, and where the two worlds collide.



    T-Pain for President

    In early June, the President of Florida State University (FSU), T.K. Wetherell,  unexpectedly announced his intention to step down from his post. The FSU Board of Trustees sprung into action, by convening a blue ribbon Presidential Search Planning Committee.

    Great, a committee was needed to 'plan' the search.  I wonder what kind of august body FSU will need to actually conduct the search and hire a new President?

    But I digress.

    After all the planning and searching and committee meetings and open forums on campus I wonder if the next President will look a lot like this guy:

    FSU outgoing President T.K. Wetherell

    or this guy, (who is in charge of the search)?

    Jim Smith - FSU Board of Trustees Chairman

    Meanwhile, some FSU students have seized the opportunity to put forward their preferred candidate, the Rapper T-Pain.  They have set up a T-Pain for President Facebook Group where they lay out some key platform positions, among them are:From T-Pain for President Facebook group

    • Widespread collaboration among the faculty of different departments: Guest spots on each other's papers and projects. (Sounds like a good idea)
    • Annual Ice Cream Social to take place On A Boat (All right, way to go!)
    • Replacing the water in all campus fountains and water fountains with Cham-Pain (a little unorthodox, but I can support it)

    Ok, so I know that T-Pain is not going to become the next President of FSU.  But the students behind this campaign for T-Pain are customers of FSU. Their time, money, and in many cases continued support as alumni are largely what keep institutions like FSU going. They should have some input into the process.

    I look at the T-Pain campaign as more a statement of 'please don't install another gray-haired white dude'.

    What do you think?  Do students or customers have a right to have input to executive searches?

    Take us out of here T-Pain: