All posts by Michele

About Michele

Knowledgeable and savvy human resources professional with experience in a broad range of competencies. A strategic and creative problem solving generalist, an advocate for staff and leadership, experienced with developing staff aligned with business goals.

Consumer – Driven HR

A recent issue of Work Span magazine included an article on the impact to the organization of a consumer – driven Human Resources program.  The consumers are the employees who bring value to the organization.

With the slowing expanding economy, employees have more choices today than ever. There is a wider array of career options, more employers from which to choose, and more flexible options from each employer. Employees are becoming increasingly savvy consumers.

In order to connect with current and potential talent, employers need to understand how employees value current rewards and what potential employees value in a desirable employer.  For example, research shows that multiple health care options are preferred by 73 percent of Gen Y employees. Increasing flexibility in working arrangements including off site work, flexible schedules is highly attractive. Understanding the value of flexible options benefits not only the employee but the employer as well, reducing costs and providing a more engaged work force.

Researching and analyzing how employees value various aspects of the compensation and rewards can help HR departments market effectively to employees and potential employees.

Emotional Intelligence – The Key to Success

The latest issue of workspan magazine explores the relationship of emotional intelligence to leadership success. In Dan Goleman’s book, “Working with Emotional Intelligence,” Goleman writes about the research that describes emotional intelligence as twice the indicator of leadership success as IQ and technical skills combined! Being self–aware is a component of emotional intelligence. Goleman has shown that the most successful leaders have a combination of business knowledge and emotional intelligence competencies like self-awareness and empathy.

I’ve learned that if I want to increase my ability to effectively  manage crisis and stress I need to change my response to both.  Being aware of my emotions and having the ability to understand the emotions and motives of others, and  being able to direct my thinking to possible solutions rather than focusing on the panic,  results in better outcomes.  During recent conversations I’ve focused  on cognitive solutions, not the “fear-factor,” and have been able to successfully move the conversation forward to a solution.

I’m curious how others have developed self-awareness to successfully interact with people in stressful situations.  What observations did you make that helped resolve the issue or change the tone of the conversation?  I hope you’ll share your experience!

Time to Finish!

Elizabeth Zimmerman sweater pattern photoSummer hasn’t been a very productive knitting season for me and I was excited to see some inspirational tips on finishing techniques on the Knitting to Stay Sane blog. Now I feel motivated to finish the sweater that’s been languishing in the knitting bag.

Like so many things in life, the last 5%  is the effort that makes a project successful and satisfying rather than almost great! Besides fulfilling a creative need, knitting has taught me the value of persevering and holding out for the best results. Knitting has been a life coach and teacher. Other’s have recognized the teaching aspect of knitting for fun. “Things I Learned from Knitting…..whether I wanted to or not” by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee  is a pocket sized book that will almost certainly make you laugh if you are a knitter and if you’re not, you might have a new appreciation for the benefits of knitting.  Stephanie’s take on lessons learned is worth the few dollars to own the book.

Information Overload!

Does it ever seem to you as if there is too much information in the world to absorb? Over the last few years, I’ve joined a number of LinkedIn groups that had interesting discussion topics that related to work. The discussions are dynamic, thought provoking and often insightful. I have gleaned some useful nuggets of information that provided a bit of oomph to my day. However, I’ve discovered that it is important to set some boundaries to the amount of time devoted to reading more and more and more articles. How much information can a person absorb and integrate into their life? “Keep it simple” is a good way to avoid clutter, whether it’s in my closet or in my mind. However, it is so enticing to continue the search to discover the perfect answer or know every aspect of HR. I am continually being reminded that outstanding HR professionals use analytics, are strategic, are business savvy, understand emotional intelligence, are technically literate, are adept at social media, and are able to create beautiful PowerPoint presentations and deliver compelling training programs, and equally able to communicate, collaborate, negotiate, and persuade anyone that crosses their path. It is exhausting trying to be everything to everyone yet we continue to try. There is an unending fountain of information inside my MacBook. I wonder when I am going to know it all?! And, where is that illusive boundary between the appropriate amount of research and an excessive focus on “knowing it all?”