Human Capital Newsreel

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Are You Always Ready For When the Worst Finally Comes?

“Well, I lost my job today. To all my Tech friends, let me know of any Mac tech support jobs.”

That was the post that went up on Facebook! As I knew this individual, I immediately reached out to see how I could help. Since I had a lot of friends in tech, I was sure I could get his resume into the right hands.

What happened next kind of took me back.

Update needed

His response to me was this: “I will have to get back to you as I need to update (my resume).” Let’s see, you have been with this company for close to six years and you have not updated your resume?


Social Engagement: If It’s Good For Employees, It’s Good For Customers

It makes me proud to work for this company, because when I travel back to my home country on
holiday, I can see the school that my company (along with all the volunteers) built. I am so proud to work here.”

That was a statement from one of our clients that I spoke to as she told me about her company.
I thought of that statement the other day as I flew back home from a business trip. The Chairman/Founder of the airline Virgin Atlantic made a pitch about their charity and volunteer effort called “Change for Children.” Richard Branson delivers this message and shows the schools and others that his company and employees are all engaged.

His quest is to get his customers involved as well.

What is your customer experience?

Friday, May 1, 2015

Yes, Great Employee Engagement Can Turn Into Great Customer Service

“You know what I always enjoyed, that I still think of a lot? When we would all get together as a
family and how much laughter there was in the house. From our parents to all the kids and cousins, it was just pure laughter.”

When I took my first foreign assignment as a Chief HR Officer, I was told by one of the senior executives. “You know the change we all notice in HR? It is the sound of laughter.”

When you walk in now, everyone is smiling, laughing and joking with each other. At one time you hated to come down here; now it is a respite to walk into a friendly environment — especially all the smiles.

Laughter as nectar of the gods


A Key to Career Success: Mastering the Art of Public Speaking

“When I heard you speak I was shaking in my boots, because tomorrow, I am scheduled to speak after your presentation. Is there any way to put me on behind someone else?” he said jokingly.

I was asked about this change a few months back when I was the chair of the HR Summit in Bahrain. Just a few weeks ago, I made a presentation to The Human Resources Forum in Dubai (THRF), and as one of the attendees was leaving she said, “you make everything so clear and you are the best speaker that we have ever had here at the Forum.”

Since arriving here in the Middle East, I was fortunate to get on the HR speaker circuit. As of last week, I have spoken at about 25 events either as a keynote, conference chair, panel leader, or master class presenter. I have traveled from Africa to Turkey and all over the Middle East.

How I got over my fear of public speaking


Monday, April 20, 2015

What Managers Need to Remember: By Your Pupils You’ll Be Taught

“Can you believe it? Now because of realignment, he works for me.

We worked together for years and he was my boss. He was extremely mean and cruel during those years and would just nit-pick through all my assignments. I needed the job so I stayed and put up with it.

But you know I just could never ‘get even’ or stoop that low.”

Karma is described as the underlying principle that brings back the results of actions to the person performing them. In other words, what goes around comes around.
It could also be described as this: We harvest exactly what we sow; no less, no more.

What a weird scenario

As we move up the career ladder, we manage lots of people who cross our paths and move on, hopefully, to bigger and better things.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

When It Comes to Successfully Leading People, Soft Skills are the Key

We had two very distinct corporate headquarters and now we just have one. At our corporate office in
Boston, the doors were locked on the executive floor and you couldn’t get in with your badge unless you worked on that floor.

Now everyone’s badge works on the floor. I also moved the coffee machine outside my door so people had to walk by my office to get to it. Now I can tell people to stop in and say Hi.”

That statement was from CEO Linda K. Zecher of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She was recently profiled by Adam Bryant in his weekly interview series, Corner Office in The New York Times.

By the way, this weekly article allows you to peep through the crack of the C-Suite. It is a must read for HR professionals who are looking for insight from senior leadership and their thought processes.

A different scenario, indeed

However, as I read about this one with Linda Zecher I thought of my own experience and it was diametrically opposed to her version. In my version, the new CEO comes in and immediately re-launches what was a normal floor where everyone roamed into an “executive floor.”

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Building Ambassadors, or Why You Need to Offer More Than Just a Job

“I am so thankful that I got this new job. I now work for a non-profit and we are spearheading all these new initiatives, connecting children and health care. I am on a mission. Never been so excited about a job before from my past of working for profit companies.”

This email message came to me the other morning from one of my colleagues in the U.S. I am hearing more of this type talk from people over the last few years.

This brought me back to a time one of our rising executives quit a promising job and career because her dream job materialized — one that would allow her to work with animals. At the time, I was sitting there listening to this and in the back of my mind, I just did not get it.

Yes, I have changed

So, as I read this “thankful” message the other day, I got ready to respond and noticed that the tag line on my email reads:

We are dedicated to building a better society by helping companies to transform their workplace.”

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The 5 Words Leaders Use That Do More Damage Than Good

The most misunderstood phrase in corporate speak is “People are our greatest asset.”


Those five words do more damage than good.

That was the hook as I began my speech this week at theGreat Place to Work list announcement in Dubai .

I have gotten so that when I hear that phrase, to me it is a signal that whoever said it is not really connected about those assets. If you have to say it, you probably do not believe it yourself.

Does the talk reflect the reality?

But we all see it: The CEO’s talk it, the EVP mentions it, the website is full of the same statement. But I wonder sometimes if I stood outside their building and did a man on the street interview, I wonder what that “asset” would say?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Calm Down, Don’t Worry: A Lesson in Service From Government Workers

Mr. Ron, don’t stress yourself out. We will find it. We always do. You will get a call within 24 hours,
the policeman assured me.

I live and work in Dubai, and I had jumped in a taxi at the end of the day and headed to the mall to pick up an item. When I jumped out of the taxi, being consumed as we all are from time to time (talking on cell phone, writing a note, etc.), I was distracted. I paid the driver and jumped out.

Problem was, I left my wallet on the seat in the cab.

Multi-tasking? It should be banned

When I got to the bank and reached for my wallet, what I had done thought sunk in. I realized that because I had been multi-tasking with the phone to my ear, I had left my wallet in the cab.
In a panic, I found a security guard who “walked” me to Lost & Found. Once there I was asked a bunch of questions and they repeatedly said “Mr. Ron, we will find it; you need not worry.”