Tag: needs

I ran across a post that I wrote several years ago about the skills HR needs to remain relevant and valuable. On some level, I think HR still needs those skills. One of the skills I talked about is project management.
As a human resources professional, I honestly do not remember a time when I’ve had no projects on my plate. There’s always some project going on. It could be a large project, like implementing a new Human Resource Information System (HRIS) or a small project like updating the employee handbook. And everything in between.
Whatever the project, there are some basic rules that are helpful in project management. These rules help build the right foundation for the project as well as manage the actions taken.
Identify the work. This sounds so basic, but many projects start with some vague idea. Which is fine, but at some point, there needs to be a clear project goal. At the start of any project, the goal or purpose of the project should be defined. The last thing anyone should want is scope creep. If new issues arise, that’s fine too. But they do not all have to be addressed within the project.
Create a plan to get from the current state to the future state. A traditional gap analysis is great for answering the questions “Where are we today? And where do we want to be in the future?” The answers to these questions are going to create the roadmap for the project. This step can also serve as a place to get buy-in from key stakeholders. Make sure everyone agrees on the plan.
Establish metrics to measure success. Define what success looks like. Projects aren’t always huge endeavors, and this doesn’t need to be a huge outcome like “save $1M to the bottom-line”. A project is simply defined as an individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned and designed to achieve a particular aim. So, define what that “aim” is.
Ask for help. While individuals can do small projects on their own, large scale projects need teams. What’s key in this step is to A) choose the right number of people and B) select the individuals with the right skills. Often, project teams take an office politics approach when it comes to selecting the employees who will be on the team, which is fine if the right people get on the team.
Match people with work. Speaking of teams, let’s discuss part B in #4 above. There needs to be a reason that someone is on the team. And it’s possible that project team leaders will need to select their harshest critics for the team. That’s not a bad thing. Having diversity on teams is important, including diversity of thought. One more thing, when you put someone on a team, tell them why they’ve been chosen.
Monitor progress toward results. The business world operates too fast to simply work the plan and not take time to evaluate progress. Consider using an agile approach and establishing milestones in the project. At each milestone, the team can look at what’s been accomplished and if any adjustments need to be considered. It’s also a good time to evaluate resources to ensure that there’s enough to continue.
Change the plan as conditions change. Speaking of evaluation and resources, one of the worst things project teams can do is not make adjustments to their plan as conditions change. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with tweaking the scope, changing team members, and frankly, putting the project on hold if needed. Project management is about managing the project, not about plodding along blindly to what’s taking place around you.
Whether you’re the project leader or a member of the project team, good project management is essential – to the company and your career. I realize that sometimes being assigned to a project can seem like a huge PITA, but the reality is projects can give you the exposure you need for career advancement. So, learning how to manage projects should be a piece of your career development.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the streets of Gainesville, FL
The post Project Management: 7 Steps for Effectively Managing a Project appeared first on hr bartender.
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Author: hrbartender
Date/time: 20th June 2019, 18:03


I hope this is a post that no one ever needs. But realistically, I doubt that will be the case.
At some point in your professional career, you might need to attend a funeral for an employee. Or the funeral for an employee’s family member. We don’t think about this but there are lots of reasons. Maybe someone’s boss had a heart attack. Or a senior vice president’s son had a terminal illness. Or perish the thought, there was an accident at work.
Everyone processes grief differently. It wouldn’t be fair to assume that everyone knows exactly the right things to do when an employee dies or has a family member pass away. And I’m not talking about the company’s bereavement leave policy, although that is something to look at.
I heard a speaker earlier this year talk about losing her son to suicide. And the reaction of the company he worked at. They shared with her stories about his work and his contributions to the company. His manager and several of his co-workers came to his memorial service and funeral.
As the speaker was sharing her story, it occurred to me that it might be helpful to have a few resources available for managers and employees. If they are faced with this situation, they would know the right things to do.
The Grief Recovery Method provides resources to help individuals manage the grief process. Their site has books, blog articles, and a network of support counselors. If you want to get some sense of their offering, they do have a free eBook (registration required).
Everplans is a web resource focused on planning and organizing your life through a digital archive. They have resources related to aging, estate planning, and funeral planning. This article from their site is focused on “A Quick Overview of Proper Funeral Etiquette”.
These are just a couple of resources that might help should the need arise. We can’t make the assumption that every manager has experience dealing with death, funerals, and condolences. It’s not fair to expect them to attend funerals and memorial services without offering them some resources.
Let me add one last thing, because I’m sure some of you are thinking it. The way that companies handle these situations has a definite impact on culture and engagement. We all know it.
If you’ve been in this situation, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you have resources that you share with managers when they’re faced with attending a funeral? Leave us a comment with your resources.
The post Bookmark This! Workplace Funeral Etiquette Edition appeared first on hr bartender.
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Author: hrbartender
Date/time: 3rd May 2019, 18:03


Kurt Lewin Change Model

Everyone needs to deal with change. Doesn’t matter if it’s a change we’ve decided to make or one that’s forced on us. It also doesn’t matter if it’s small or big. In fact, sometimes it’s the small changes we decide to make ourselves that can be the most difficult. 

Regardless of the type of change you’re processing, it’s important to find a change management model that works for you. Personally, I’ve always like Lewin’s model. Kurt Lewin was a psychologist and major contributor in the areas of group dynamics and organizational development. His change model is very easy to remember, which is one of the reasons I like it.

The UNFREEZE stage is where we realize that change is necessary and how it will impact us. We start thinking about how to create change.  

During the CHANGE step, we begin to do things differently. We work through the discomfort and challenges of changing our routine.

Finally, in the REFREEZE phase, we acknowledge the new normal. This is also when we can celebrate the success of dealing with the change.

I recently learned another way of thinking about Lewin’s model that I thought was pretty creative. I was facilitating the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) seminar on “Organizational Development: Designing Successful Organizational Performance” and we were talking about change interventions. One of the participants said they talk about change in terms of “pencils, pens, and Sharpies”. So, I asked for permission to share their idea here.

PENCILS represent those current processes, policies, or habits that we have. They can also be considered tentative. Things written in pencil can be erased and changed. 

PENS are things that become more permanent. It might be an action we plan to have for quite some time, but still realize that at some point in the future it’s going to change. 

SHARPIES are for those actions that are going to be around for a very long time. We want everyone to know about this change. Think bold and ingrained in our culture!

I immediately liked this 3-step approach because I could see it being used as part of organizational decision making. For example, the group can agree that an idea is “ready to be PENNED” or we don’t have enough experience with this process to “document it in a SHARPIE”. It also makes for a good visual. 

Next time your organization is going through a change management process, think about where they are. Is the group still penciling? Or have they moved to pen? Maybe even Sharpie? It might help to guide the process change in a new and different way.  
The post Change Management: A 3 Step Model appeared first on hr bartender.
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Author: hrbartender
Date/time: 11th April 2019, 18:02

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