Friday, April 14, 2017

HR Leader

I had the privilege of closing a learning session for one of the biggest HR groups in the Philippines last April 8 and I took it as an opportunity  to talk about Leadership as an important HR skill. I had very little time to talk about it so I decided to write this article.
One of the speakers talked about HR people being in the same situation as a “bibingka” (rice cake) because we take the heat from the top and from below. This is because we receive complaints from top management and from the employees. People don’t seem to appreciate what we do. That’s probably why many say that HR is a thankless job.

During my speech I asked the participants if they wish not to be bibingka anymore.  They said yes.  I told them to ask me how and they did. Here’s what I said and the rest of what I want to say about the matter. If you want to stop being a bibingka, there’s a few things that you need to do:

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Leadership And Culture Building

I had the privilege to talk about and facilitate organizational alignment workshops in Manila and other parts of the Philippines  repeatedly these past few days and have two more sessions with two different companies in the coming days.  The experience helped me take another look at how much alignment work we are doing at ExeQServe for our own company.

One of ExeQserve’s long time traditions is our lunch and learn sessions.  In these brown bag events, we ask team members to deliver presentations talking about specific ExeQserve Core Values.  In these same events, team members nominate a teammate to be the month’s value awardee.  In the nomination form, they write the name of the employee and specific critical incidents when the employee demonstrated a behavior that is aligned with the value.  During the awarding, we read all the testimonials from team members for the winner and for the runners up.  At the time I felt that through the exercise, we were able to clarify what those values mean and that we are able to reinforce the kind of culture we want to build.  We took pride in our ability to align with our core values.

I have a young team and one of our core values is creativity and resourcefulness, so when they said they want to change things about our lunch and learn events, I let them.  I was wrong. They decided to replace Values Award with Employee of the Month Award. I was more concerned about encouraging them to experiment than to protect the culture and values I wanted to cultivate, so I allowed it to happen. Little by little, the monthly awards become less and less meaningful because we gave them to people who either through hard work or luck produced the numbers that make them “employee of the month” rather than decisions, actions and behaviors that are consistent with our core values.  After a while, we went on autopilot until such time that we felt, the lunch learn programs were forced and the rewards, meaningless. We stopped.  I felt that we lost our identity.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Are Your Employees Equipped for Teamwork?

Some people are natural team players. They are collaborative, they are easy to work with, they’re committed and helpful to their team mates.  When companies invest in team building events, it’s these people who get even better. The same cannot be said of others. It seems to have no effect on them. They continue to  be difficult to work with and this makes it frustrating for those who have natural preference for teamwork. 

Working successfully in a team requires skill. Some people developed these skills early in their lives because they are naturally wired for collaboration, coordination and cooperation. Some people are more comfortable with being self-sufficient and getting things done with as little interaction with others as possible. There are types of work where people with these skill-sets can do well. However, a lot of organizations and business processes require interdependence where not being a team-player is a definite show-stopper.  

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