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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


(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at Kronos, a leading provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. Want to create an inspired workforce with more heart? Check out Kronos CEO Aron Ain’s new book “Work Inspired: How to Build an Organization Where Everyone Loves to Work”. Enjoy the article!) 

I’ve noticed some articles recently that talk about the idea of following your passion when it comes to your career as being passé advice. I get it. Not everyone has a passion. Not everyone wants the pressure of creating a passion.
But that doesn’t mean employees can’t have or shouldn’t have heart. While this Time Well Spent from our friends at Kronos was a play off from Valentine’s Day, it has a message that applies year-around. To me, having heart is about strength and perseverance. We want employees to enjoy their work, focus on customers, and be proud of the company. Even if they’re not following their passion, work doesn’t need to be drudgery.
This places some pressure on career development programs to back off the notion that everyone has a passion and they need to follow it. Here are a few things to consider:
Instead of saying passion, call it rewarding. I think it’s fair to say that people want rewarding work and to be productive. Regardless of their passion, employees don’t want to have their time wasted or unappreciated. Ask employees to spend some time thinking about what is rewarding about work. Maybe a follow-up question is to find out what makes them feel productive and/or unproductive.
Use one-on-one meetings to receive employee feedback. This ties into the first bullet point. Managers should ask employees to share the answers to the workplace questions during one-on-one meetings. Companies want to create work environments that allow employees to feel rewarded and be productive. This will lead to employee engagement and, ultimately, retention.
Support employee self-management training. If employees are struggling to find their most productive selves, consider giving employees the tools to discover the answers. Self-management training can provide employees with insights about themselves and the way they like to solve problems, resolve conflict, and make decisions. These answers can help employees identify their most productive selves as well as what makes them feel rewarded.
Employees want to have heart about their work. I believe they want to care about their responsibilities and the results. Organizations want the same. So, if individuals or organizations think that a little heart is missing, are they asking themselves why. And putting some activities in place to rekindle work that is rewarding and productive.
The post Do Your Employees Have Heart – Friday Distraction appeared first on hr bartender.
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Author: hrbartender
Date/time: 31st May 2019, 18:03


(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at Criteria Corp, a leading provider of pre-employment testing services. If you want to learn more about how pre-employment testing can benefit your recruiting strategy, check out Criteria Corp’s “Definitive Guide to Pre-Employment Testing”. I found this to be a comprehensive guide that I keep on the corner of my desk all the time. Enjoy the article!) 
I don’t have to remind anyone that recruiting is a challenge right now. The unemployment rate has fallen to 3.6%, the lowest it’s been since December 1969. I also don’t have to tell you that, at some point, all of the Boomers in your workforce are really going to retire. According to Pew Research Center, 10,000 people a day turn of retirement age. That number is expected to continue for the next decade. And while turning retirement age doesn’t mean that people will immediately retire, it does mean that at some point in the not too distant future, they will.
What is interesting to me is that, with all the conversation about low unemployment, skills gaps, phased retirement strategies, etc. that more organizations aren’t focused on career development. I mean the future workforce must come from somewhere. I don’t mean this is to be flip commentary, but an organization’s future workforce isn’t going to miraculous appear out of nowhere.
This means organizations need to step up their learning and development game. It doesn’t matter whether the organization decides to build an internal learning department or enter into a strategic partnership with a learning organization – like a college or university. What matters is that organizations have some sort of career development program in place.
5 Activities that Every Career Development Program Should Have
It’s easy to say, “Put in a career development program.” Reality is, it’s hard figuring out what activities to include and where to include them. Here are five things to consider when designing your career development program:
Goals. Think about this two-fold. First, all programs need goals. In the case of career development, the program needs organizational goals. Determine what the program goals will be and make sure everyone is onboard with those goals. Second, career development is often about setting goals. It could make sense to build a module that teaches employees how to set their career goals.
Assessments. There are many types of assessments on the market. Cognitive ability testing can provide the company and employees with a baseline for career development conversations. Organizations can administer cognitive ability assessments during the hiring process to understand the candidate’s trainability. Then use that information when the candidate is hired for their career development.
Training and Development. I like to draw a distinction between training and development. Training is for the jobs that employees hold today. Development is for the jobs that employees will have in the future. To me, career development is about both. Career development programs should include both the technical skills and soft skills employees need to be successful today as well as in the future.
Variety of Learning Methods. Today’s career development opportunities are awesome because organizations can provide them in a variety of formats: conferences, webinars, blogs, podcasts, microlearning, etc. You get the point. Each of these formats has pros and cons in terms of scalability, cost, development time, technology requirements, etc. Companies can put together development that works well for them and the employee.
Feedback Mechanisms. An employee’s thoughts about their career can change or shift. The company’s view on the employee’s career can also shift. It’s important that those “shifts” are discussed. Regular feedback conversations between the manager and employee about career development should take place. It doesn’t need to happen in every discussion, but a one-on-one meeting would be a common time to check-in and make sure that the company and employee are on the same page.
These five activities can take place during many phases of the employee life cycle. For example, we talked about cognitive ability assessments being used during recruiting and training. Technical training often takes place during onboarding. And many organizations are using video or webinars for refresher training. Goal-setting, feedback, and soft skills development could happen during performance management.
Use Career Development to Meet Today’s Staffing Needs
It’s time for companies to get creative with their staffing plans. I’m not saying to end traditional recruiting as we know it. But thinking about an employee’s career development can help organizations meet both their current and future staffing needs.
If you want to learn more about using career development as a part of your hiring strategy, join me and the Criteria Corp team on Tuesday, June 4 at 10a Pacific / 1p Eastern for the webinar “Future-proof Your Workforce by Hiring for Trainability”. And if you can’t make it for the live session, go ahead and sign up anyway to get the recording. I look forward to seeing you then.
The post Career Development: 5 Activities that Should Be in Every Program appeared first on hr bartender.
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Author: hrbartender
Date/time: 21st May 2019, 18:03

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