The Happiness Project

Gretchen Rubin’s “ The Happiness Project,” which I read recently, explains what led her to consider a year’s worth of resolutions on building her level of happiness. Riding the bus home one day she asked herself, “What do I want from life anyway?” And like many of us, her response was “I want to be happy.” During her research, Gretchen writes that statistics show that happy people are more successful, they help others and people want to help them. Happiness isn’t about selfishness; it’s more about making the world a better place. Gretchen writes a daily blog, The Happiness Project. You can check it out for yourself and start your own happiness project or read the book, “The Happiness Project.” I bought my copy of the book at the Avid Reader at Tower bookstore on Broadway in Sacramento.

What’s New in HR?

Browsing the bookstore at a SHRM Conference, I was overwhelmed with so many tempting choices I couldn’t make up my mind which book to buy. So I bought all my favorites. The UPS box I shipped home weighed more than my luggage! It was like Christmas! By Saturday morning I could hardly wait to grab my coffee and my new books and start reading. I love highlighting the parts I want to share and tacking colored post-it strips on the ideas for new projects.

When the weekly SHRM update arrives in my in-box on Monday, it’s easy to get lost clicking on links to news stories about recent benefit updates or the latest employment trends. Even ads for consulting firms that guarantee instant salary information entice me down the path to the “next great solution.” What’s important to remember is that not every new idea is a good idea and data isn’t information until it’s used! Researching best practices is exciting and continuous learning and process improvement are critical to a successful organization. However, effective change begins by fully analyzing current processes to determine what is working and what actually needs to change. A thoughtful approach to process improvement has a better chance of being successful.

SHRM has been studying the data from the survey responses of businesses, educators and HR professionals across the globe and has identified nine competencies that make effective HR professionals standout. In the letter from the CEO in the latest HR Magazine, Henry Jackson writes, “it is a natural progression from testing knowledge to assessing skills and behaviors required to perform successfully” and SHRM has developed the competencies necessary to meet the challenges of today’s business environment. More details on the competencies can be found on the SHRM website.

A Passion for HR

This morning on LinkedIn one of the posts I saw included a photo of Steve Jobs with the quote “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Having a passion for your work makes it easy to extend work hours into your free time. Keeping up to date on your profession, reading resource material, or planning a training workshop can have appeal even on the weekend. Loving what you do adds an element of fun to work that you do after the “workday” is done.  I’ve discovered that HR is about having a passion for what I do and for my team. Why do you do HR?

Keep Calm and Knit On

I love knitting!  I love the gorgeous colors and texture of the yarn.  And I love the patience I’ve learned from knitting.  Knitting  reminds me that “do-overs”  are allowed, and persistence really does pay off.  The skills I’ve learned from knitting easily transfer to the work environment, too. Creative solutions are possible and reading the directions before you begin a project saves time in the long run!

The rewards of careful planning go beyond merely finishing the project!