Purposeful HR

Purposeful HR
Purposeful HR

Welcome to Purposeful HR

Welcome to Purposeful HR

Monday, November 17, 2014

Refreshed and Recharged - What Inspires You?

I had an amazing Saturday and I "worked" from 8 am until 7 pm. But how I participated this weekend has me so connected to our mission and inspired, I couldn't not pass up the opportunity to share it.
I'll start with end of the day - Cenikor graduation on Saturday night. This event always motivates me in such a profound way. We had 3 gentlemen and 1 lady graduate from our long-term treatment program in Deer Park, Texas. Ages ranged from 28 - 56, and the graduates were from Texas, Louisiana and New York. Most would think these people "gave up" almost 2 years of their lives in in-patient treatment. But as they spoke at graduation, each person was so grateful for the opportunity to make a change, re-connect with their family, to be working and to have rebuilt their work ethic and self-esteem..... I just felt my heart lift a few inches and it was full of pride and love for these extraordinary individuals who had prevailed and overcome so much adversity. My favorite quote of the night was "I'm now able to stop just surviving and have a life that is worth living." I was so proud to be one small part of an organization that can help make this possible. Graduation never fails to put the rest of my world in perspective!
Another group that inspired me Saturday was our board of directors and senior management team during our quarterly board meeting held that afternoon. We have a remarkable board of directors who all volunteer their time and serve, and each of them are influential leaders and experts in their industry or field of work. We also had 13 members of our senior management team in attendance, director level and above. At one point, there was a question of how many of the senior management team had participated in our Leadership Development Program during the last 3 years and 10 hands went up. Then the question of how many of those had received promotions since participating and all 10 hands stayed up. The hard work they put into our LEAD program was certainly evident! As I watched our senior managers present about their program or department, and then deftly answer multiple detailed questions from the board members, again, I felt my heart swell with pride at the expertise and professionalism exhibited by my fellow Cenikor family members.
And last but not least are the two applicants I had the opportunity to interview first thing when I arrived at Deer Park Saturday morning. They are candidates for nurse positions for our new detox program we are starting in Deer Park by 01/01/15. These two ladies were both mission driven, having such a heart for service to others, as well as solid experience in their field and remarkable stories of perseverance themselves. I look forward to their potential impact on clients when we open the doors on the new program. They will be some of the newest additions to the Cenikor family.
So people serve as my inspiration, a variety of people, and the common thread is they are all striving to be better for themselves and for others.
I came away from the weekend refreshed, recharged and most of all INSPIRED for this week!
Where do you get your inspiration?
I hope you have an opportunity to serve and make a difference today!

Kellee Webb, SPHR

Monday, November 10, 2014

HR - Friend or Foe?

I recently attended HRevolution, a small "conference" focused on driving the HR profession forward, covering innovative topics or concepts.  I put conference in quotes because while there are extremely informative sessions and some very healthy debate, it is an event that brings the thought leaders in the HR field together to share and to push each other, as well as to connect or reconnect in person instead of online.  The attendees are different from most conferences I've attended, I have to say!

One of the things that made a great first impression at the Friday night Tweet Up was the open arm welcome I received.  Literally.  I have never been hugged by so many complete strangers at a networking event! I'm a hugger too, so it was OK :)

I spent time the first night chatting with many people, but Trish McFarlane (@TrishMcFarlane), one of the event organizers, and Jennifer Scott (@HireEffect) were just so positive, genuine, enthusiastic and feisty (I recognize my own kind!), it was contagious.  It was the farthest thing from the HR stereotype of the cranky HR lady (or guy).

As an HR professional, you often walk a tightrope between employee advocacy and managing risk for your organization.  If you lean too far one way or the other, it's a problem either way.  What is needed for the organization or the team isn't always viewed favorably by the employee.  In my experience, no one ever enjoys receiving a disciplinary action.    

At the end of the day, it is up to you, the HR professional, to develop your reputation in your organization.  It's up to you to build rapport and be more than just the policy enforcer or manager of the tactical parts of HR.  Do you want to be viewed as a trusted adviser, developer of people and strategic leader that has impact for your organization?  Or just the taskmaster or keeper of the rules?

As I was going to sleep the night of the Tweet Up, I was thinking back to an epiphany I had earlier in my HR career.  I was working one day on a critical item on my to-do list.  The phone rang..... I thought "UGH!  What now?"  While my tone was professional, I was short with the team member, answered the question and got off the phone quickly.  As I hung up, I was thinking I haven't talked to that person in a while and I should have at least asked how they were doing, how the person they hired last month is working out, etc.

It was at that moment I realized the phone call was not an interruption of my job, it was the BEST PART of my job.  Our team members are customers of the services I provide.  This was an opportunity!  If I can consistently add value and help them be successful, it helps the entire organization achieve success, one person at a time.  So every time the phone rings, it's a chance to continue to build rapport, to make an impact with whatever they are doing, and to support their success which ultimately supports achievement of our mission.

The to-do list will always be there.  Take your time and build or increase rapport whenever you can.  When the time comes to have the harder conversations, treat everyone with dignity.  If you've built the rapport along the way, they will already know you care.

One parting note - I know for non-profits, budgets can be tight, especially for items such as external training.  HRevolution (theHRevolution.org) is always reasonably priced and they always work to get great rates on hotel rooms.  Even if you have to spend your own money, get there next year, it's worth every penny and then some!

I hope you have the opportunity to serve and make a difference today!

Kellee Webb, SPHR

Friday, November 7, 2014

If Change is the Only Constant, Why is there not more Change Management?

We know the saying, change is the only constant.  Probably most of us are living it in our work lives, and we are no different at Cenikor!  We’ve been through quite a bit of change recently, with most of it positive, such as bringing up two new programs, finalizing our CARF accreditation renewal and implementing a system-wide Electronic Health Record.  Some of the changes have been a bit harder, such as members of our senior management team transitioning out of the organization.  But this led to finding some amazing individuals who are already making major contributions!

So regardless of whether or not the changes are viewed positive, all changes bring CHALLENGES.  

Even a positive change, such as growing and starting two new programs to provide more services, is going to have some bumps in the road.  As I’m on the other side of some of our changes, I’ve been thinking lately, why is the change management process not being used more frequently in the non-profit industry?  I figured a good place to start is by sharing what the process and not just assuming this is common knowledge. 

Step 1 – Create Urgency – You must have honest discussions about why the change is needed and have support from key individuals regarding the change.  Make sure looked at the opportunities and potential challenges regarding the change and be able to communicate effectively to create the urgency.

Step 2 – Create a Powerful Coalition – These are your key stakeholders for the change.  Get the commitment from this team of leaders, as they will help you get the buy-in for the change.  Be sure you have leaders at all levels that will be impacted by the change. Having a champion for the change on the executive team is also important.

Step 3 – Develop a Vision and Strategy – How does this impact your mission as a non-profit?  Create a clear vision for what is needed and the strategy to get there.  Work to distill down the major details into a brief overview.  This is your “spiel” that you and the Change Coalition will need to have down to persuade others, so practice!

Step 4 – Communicate the Vision – Talk the talk AND walk the walk.  People typically need to hear things 7 times before they retain it.  So don’t think one meeting with an overview or one training session is going to do it.  It takes REPETITION!!  If you think you sound like a “broken record” (for those of you old enough to remember records), then you probably are communicating appropriately! 

Step 5 – Empower Action – Put the structure in place for the change to occur and remove barriers (human or otherwise).  Reward people who are making the change happen.  You or one of your coalition team members work with those who are resistant to help them see the benefit of the change and what they may be losing if they do not change.  People tend to be risk adverse and more readily take action to protect against a potential loss.

Step 6 – Get Quick Wins – A great motivator is success!  Creating short-term goals that allow progress to the overall goal are critical.  Be sure to plan these with your team and follow through.

Step 7 – Leverage Wins to Drive Change – After each win, talk about it.  What is going right, where can we improve?  Build on the wins and know that true change takes time, and that each success continues to drive the change.

Step 8 – Embed in Culture – Keep the change going; build on momentum!  Keep the leaders engaged, keep telling the success stories, be sure to train new team members on the change.

Change is rarely easy and it takes careful planning and hard work to make organizational change successful.  But trust me when I say you can either take the time on the front end to plan and make the change successful, or you will be spending time on the back end in clean up.  We’ve had to do some of both in the last few months! 

I hope you have the opportunity to serve and make a difference today!

Kellee Webb, SPHR

Monday, August 4, 2014

Servant Leadership in an Unexpected Place

Last Thursday, I had the honor of participating in Cenikor’s Women Helping Women luncheon at our Houston long-term treatment facility.  We host this event for professional women to come out and show support for the female clients in treatment.  It is a “friend raiser” event.

I have attended this event each year since it started, and it is always so moving, but this year the guest speaker was absolutely inspirational.  Laura Schilling, Global Account Manager for Halliburton, spoke to the ladies on the topic of “Finding Your Voice as a Leader”.

Laura spoke about her career in one of the most male dominated fields there is, oil and gas.  This resonated with our female clients, as they make up only about 12-15% of total population in our long-term programs.

Laura shared her story about her progress within Halliburton, focusing on her career in the field, in coveralls, steel toed boots and a hard hat.  She is a tiny thing, about 5’2”, so it was fascinating to hear how she found her voice and was able to lead male dominated crews on rigs in the oilfield.  While in the field in Colorado, she successfully grew her team from ~350 employees to ~1100.  Laura has also spent time as the liaison for Halliburton with Wall Street analysts prior to her current position as Global Account Manager.  Laura got laughs and applause with her statement of “I prefer steel toes to stilettos”.

Here are a few points Laura shared on leadership that resonated with everyone:

1)    Think about and understand WHY you want to lead.  Character is non-negotiable as a leader and understanding your purpose as a leader will provide the foundation for how you lead.

2)    Determine what you are passionate about. Then figure out your key message and what actions your message can influence that can make a difference.  Be bold and consistent!
a.    Laura was passionate about safety and professionalism.  In the oilfield, professionalism was not the norm, but her passion for the safety of the men, getting them home alive to their families, came through in her consistent message and won over the crews.

3)    Lead with questions instead of thinking that as a leader you should have all the answers.  Asking questions promotes trust and better decision making.
a.   Not being the expert allowed Laura to explore more options and utilize the expertise of those around her.  Asking questions and using the knowledge of the team built strong working relationships.

4)    Listening is a lost art.  Most people do not listen to understand, they listen to respond. 
a.   This was key to Laura being able to manage so many crews successfully.  When you listen and show understanding as a leader, people know you care.

5)    Be authentic.  Find your voice so you can be genuine and an effective role model.
a.   While you may “adopt” some characteristics from other great leaders you have worked with, you have to develop your own leadership style that is consistent with your purpose for leading.

6)    Servant Leadership.  How can you help those around you be successful and thrive?
a.   Laura’s genuine commitment to ensuring the success of her team and her actions consistent with her message created an environment where team members had a voice and could thrive in their careers.

It was so refreshing to know that servant leadership is alive and well in a company as large as Halliburton and to hear about the success Laura has achieved because of her service and dedication to others.  

This was an empowering speech for our clients and inspirational for the female professionals in the room.  Laura Schilling is an amazing example of a successful servant leader and I’m so glad she shared her story with us.

I hope you have the opportunity to serve and make a difference today!

Kellee Webb, SPHR

Monday, July 21, 2014

TGIM, Seriously?! Yes, Seriously. Top 5 Reasons Why I Love Mondays!

I know you might be thinking... "What is this?  Just some sun-shiney social media BS?"  Don't get me wrong; I love Fridays too!  But indulge me while I share my top 5 reasons why I so appreciate Mondays:

1) Back into my routine -  I admit it, after I sweat through my extra-long Saturday morning workout or long run, I have earned my relaxation for the rest of the weekend.  I enjoy sitting on patios, having a cheat meal or two during the weekend.  We have the best Tex-Mex in Houston (www.lupetortilla.com - best beef fajitas EVER, dont miss!).  There are also multiple food parks with awesome food trucks, some even healthy (www.rawveganchefrenee.com - and she even delivers to your house!).  Most of all, I enjoy spending time with family and friends when in town and traveling when we have time.  But we humans are creatures of habit.  I enjoy getting back on my daily schedule for workouts, healthy eating and most of all, back to what challenges me and where I can make a difference.

2) The Cenikor mission and my Cenikor family - (www.cenikor.org) I know when I show up on Monday morning, I get the opportunity to contribute to something bigger than me.  I get to be of service to a wonderful group of people -  I get to be a resource, sustain our culture, help develop our leaders and ensure the entire family's needs are met - so they can serve our clients and help them overcome addictions and mental health issues.   I work with an amazing senior management team, all driving to be of service and make a difference.  Some days we are able to do that because of our commitment to healthy conflict and some days in spite of that! :)

3) Fresh start on goals for the week - At the beginning of each day, but especially at the beginning of each week, I feel like I have an opportunity to push myself to achieve more than I did yesterday or last week.  Same thing for our team - what can we do better or differently than we did before?  Before diving in, I re-evaluate where I am on annual strategic goals, where we are on current department goals/priorities and current HR needs from our facilities.

4) I love HR - So, I am no "pollyanna". I have good days and bad, just like everyone else (the workouts help ensure more good than bad!).  I am conscious of my strengths (see Strengths Based Leadership) and strive to lead with those and create flow for myself and others when I can. But mostly, I thrive when I am around people.... positive, productive, fun, competitive, genuine and passionate people!  So you can guess the type of culture we hire for, train for, measure and role model for as an executive team.  An organization so focused on our mission to our clients and equally committed to its employees (family), actually makes the daily transactions of HR easier and makes us laser focused on the strategic aspects of HR.  The lives of our Cenikor family and lives of Cenikor clients depend on it, without question.  Failure is not an option and it is the ultimate motivation.

5) I love the balance - Of course I say TGIF too!  As with everything, it's all about balance.  I wouldn't appreciate Mondays like I do if I didn't get a chance to relax, regroup, recharge over the weekends (see #1).  If I never had any days away from the rest of exec team, our conflict might not be so healthy. :)

But I can tell you, my passion for HR and people and Cenikor doesn't turn off at 5 pm on Friday.  I might be reading a new leadership book, following my favorite HR/leadership/legal pros on twitter, or thinking about ideas for my next blog post.  Because HR and service are my passion, it's not a chore or a task.  It's who I am, it's what I enjoy and I will not apologize for it.

So if you are not currently fired about Mondays, it's OK.  Obviously the first step is to pick a career where you love what you do and it builds on your strengths.  As Gardner says in Self-Renewal, "Abundant resources of energy seem available to those who enjoy what they are doing or find meaning in what they are doing.  Self-renewing people know that if they have no great conviction about what they are doing they had better find something they can have great conviction about."

Once you have found your passion, I recommend focusing on areas where you can effect change, whether it's helping to shape the culture of your organization, being aware of and leading from your strengths to find your best flow, or even changing certain personal habits (see Power of Habits by Charles Duhigg) to create the most productive environment for you and your team.


I hope you have the opportunity to serve and make a difference today!

Kellee Webb, SPHR

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Rewards Jar - Short Term and Long Term Goal Achievement

For today's post, I'm sharing a process that I use personally for both short-term and long-term goal achievement.

As my husband Ron (@rwebb_apqc) and I were discussing our new year's resolutions earlier this year, he came up with an idea based on the concept of a curse word jar.  Instead putting in money as a punishment for doing something wrong, we would put money in when we achieved desired short-term goals. The money would be used to save for a longer term goal.  We love to travel, so we set the long-term goal as a vacation in December if we achieved and saved consistently throughout the year.  We named our revised version/method "The Rewards Jar". 

Now in order to make this effective from a budget perspective, we had to setup some of the short-term goals such that we saved money which would then be redirected to the longer-term goal of vacation.  Since we typically go out to dinner and/or lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we set a goal that if we ate in on Friday evening, or all day Saturday or Sunday, we put $50 in the jar for each day it was achieved.  I typically enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner in the evening, so if I did not, I put $5 in the jar.  Ron had his separate goals to redirect funds to the jar as well.

Then we both had self-improvement goals (i.e., the new year resolutions) that we wanted to put in place to help us set new habits and we set dollar amounts for those goals as well.  My goals included spending time doing my daily devotional ($5/day), logging all my food for the entire week ($25/wk) and working out all 7 days each week ($100/wk).  

So by redirecting some of our short-term desires/expenses (going out to eat, glass of wine with dinner), we were able to fund the achievement of both short-term and long-term goals.

I'm happy to say we are at the mid-year point and have already saved over $4000, paid for our airfare to NYC as well as our small apartment overlooking Central Park and some of our entertainment while we are there.  Not to mention the mental and physical benefits of achieving the short-term goals.

The success of this on a personal level has translated to an increased awareness of where I spend my time at work, managing the daily HR operational items with the longer term strategic initiatives of the Foundation.  There is only a finite amount of time, and I am more diligent about leveraging my resources to be successful for both short-term and long-term objectives for the Foundation and our clients.

And for next year, we're are definitely continuing this new process of goal achievement, setting our sights even higher: Queenstown, New Zealand, the "Adventure Capitol of the World"!

I hope you have the opportunity to serve and make a difference today!

Kellee Webb, SPHR

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The MoneyBall Leadership Retreat

I recently had the opportunity to do a podcast with one of my favorite HR pros and blogger, Kris Dunn, HR Capitalist.  Kris used a clip from the movie Moneyball in one of his blogs posts, and the idea was born to use the movie as part of our annual manager conference training and team building activities.

After two days of the conference, the team building portion included a trip to the Skeeters minor league baseball park, batting practice on the field, then dinner and watching Moneyball in the club house.  Click through to the HR Capitalist to hear the podcast and the details.  I've also included a picture of us at the field, right after batting practice.  It was a really fun event and great tie in with our training sessions!  Have no idea yet how we will top this for next year....


I hope you have the opportunity to serve and make a difference today!

Kellee Webb, SPHR

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Non-Profits – Hiring passionate candidates is most critical to your mission, right? Not so fast…

We all know hiring candidates who are passionate about your mission is important.  But from what I’ve observed, non-profit managers get so focused on that aspect of hiring, other critical items fall to the wayside.  This can include skills required for the position, lack of any experience and/or lack goal orientation. 

I’ve seen the gung-ho volunteer hired into a position with no previous experience, and now they hate their job and have turned into a disgruntled employee.  Too often, I’ve watched non-profits just “settle” for a candidate because they believe in the cause and think that will cure all.

From my perspective, there is a continuum with idealism at one end and accountability at the other. 
Idealism                                                                                   Accountability

Obviously, hiring people who are passionate about our mission is important for many reasons.  But to truly be successful in meeting our mission, being passionate and idealistic is not enough.  We must have high expectations for performance and goal achievement.  Hiring people who are intrinsically motivated and highly accountable is critical to success in our VUCA world. 

For Cenikor, the changes in healthcare are realigning our industry and our vision for the future.  For almost all non-profits, philanthropic giving has been on the decline for several years due to the US economy.  There are many items that influence how non-profits are always striving to do more with less.

So for Cenikor and our highly goal-driven culture, when we interview for any position, the questions to determine idealism or mission of service are certainly high on the list.  But we are truly just right of center on the continuum.  We spend more time during interviews digging into accountability and how the candidate took ownership in their previous positions.  Were they upwardly mobile in previous positions, striving to achieve?  What were the goals for their previous positions and how did they hit or miss?  Do they take ownership for both hits and misses?

Ask the right questions during the interview to make sure the candidate is bought into the mission; this is a foundation.  But if you want someone who is going to get into their position and make it happen, look for ownership, accountability and goal achievement.  In addition to the skills and experience for the position, those are key traits you will need to achieve your mission!

Feel free to drop me a line if you want more info about our interview process or questions.

I hope you have an opportunity to serve and make a difference today!

Kellee Webb, SPHR

Monday, June 9, 2014

HR Focus – Employee Development vs. Personal Fulfillment

As a non-profit organization, we understand many people desire to work where they can serve, and that's why they apply with us.  They want work to be fulfilling and rewarding, not just in their job duties, but by helping others. 
In order to develop our team members who typically have a high drive to serve, we do have several of the standard leadership and career development programs in place, but strongly feel we should be doing more than just development for work/career.
We know many companies that give employees opportunity to volunteer and give back to help their communities and thereby increase personal fulfillment, but when jobs within your organization are already about giving back, how do you assist with further personal fulfillment?
Last year, we started sending out information to team members about opportunities about once a quarter on how they can contribute through various methods, including donations of money, time or effort: 
·         Charity Miles is a phone app where  you log any time you walk, run or bike, and you can choose a charity to which the program donates based on the miles you walk/run/bike. A personal fav because it also supports our wellness initiative. 
·         Giving Tuesday, which follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday during the holiday shopping season, focuses on the importance thinking of those in need during the holidays and donating on that day. 
·         We also do a toy drive during the holidays, and the toys are collected for the children of our clients who are in treatment, and unable to purchase something themselves.  It is amazing to see both the child’s face as well as the parent’s faces light up during the family visits!
·         iCitizen is a phone app that was shared with all employees who wanted be more aware of our political system, to know who their representatives are, to understand upcoming legislation, or who has voted on past legislation, and just to get more involved.  We had great response to this app.
Also last year, we also adopted a title one elementary school in Houston.  Our corporate office organized clothing drives, school supply drives, participated in clean up days and volunteered as “surrogate” moms and dads on the days they have Muffins with Moms and Donuts with Dads, so the kids do not have to sit alone on those days.  We also had spouses of team members show up for these events.  The gratitude from the kids and the school is so very genuine and rewarding, and we’ve already had more people sign up for next year.
And the efforts don’t stop with our staff, our clients work and donate as well.  During the holidays, our clients adopt families who are in need.  They will hold car washes and have other fundraising activities to give back to the communities where they are receiving services.  All while they are in treatment working on their own personal issues; they are truly an inspiration.
Giving back, no matter how you do it, gives your team members a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment, and they know they have contributed to something greater than themselves.
I’ll close with one of my favorite quotes:  
"I slept & dreamt life was joy. I awoke & saw life was service. I acted & behold, service was joy.” Rabindranath Tagore 

I hope you can give your team members an opportunity to serve and make a difference today!

Kellee Webb, SPHR

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Why great in your niche might not be good enough! A few lessons from #TLNT Conference

So I am at the High Performance Workforce Summit in Atlanta this week, being hosted by TLNT.  Great content, meeting amazing HR pros (@broc.edwards, @kenHRInnovator, @Frannyo, just to name a few on twitter, but many more)!!  Presentations were awesome, and round table discussions were invaluable.  Great info in every session.

It was TLNT's first year with this conference, so it is a smaller crowd than typical conferences I've attended.  But I have to say I am getting SO much out of this intimate setting, speakers are upper echelon of HR pros with great insight, and just better, deeper networking opportunities. 

But I have also come to an eye-opening realization today!  While Cenikor Foundation is “cutting-edge” for the non-profit world, and several of our programs are well beyond most non-profits (even some orgs much bigger than us), it is NOT ENOUGH!!

I have an elevated vision of HR since our sessions today.  A few quotes impacting me:

1) The CHRO/VP of HR is in the best position to drive strategy.  Talent is the driver of performance, and performance is the only way to drive growth and profitability (or more services for non-profits). @kenHRinnovator had great information, they are doing great things at his org!

2) Defining engagement - there are two parts, psychological and behavioral.  Traditional engagement definitions focus on the behavioral part - not only is the work done, but they go above and beyond.  That's great, but why?  Psychological engagement is when you have won their hearts, when they have pride in working for your organization, and give selflessly to meet the mission.  Much harder to measure, because it's what they feel, not what they produce.  

3) We live in a VUCA world (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous).  How do we engage in a VUCA world to engage and retain high performers?  We've got our culture principles and our culture survey we do every six months.  But that's what we want to measure and improve.  I'm going to do deeper work to determine what our employees value, what keeps them engaged, thanks to Tina Vos, Director of HR at Air Wisconsin.

4) Panel discussion at end of day was so intriguing with some subject matter on automation/robotics in the overall topic of TOTAL TALENT workforce.  But one statement from Ron Mester, CEO of ERE Media, parent company of TLNT really stood out.  It gave me "permission" for my current perspective as an HR pro.  Ron’s quote: "HR is becoming a department of getting work done effectively, not a department just to take care of employees."  I will always be fair with employees, but you must ALWAYS be executing on our mission.  

So, it boils down to I am not going to be satisfied with being a great in our niche, a great non-profit. There were so many bigger, for-profit organizations with many more resources I was able to tap into today. I will be prioritizing the information and tools I have learned in this first day of conference to step up my HR game! 

Being a great non-profit is not good enough - I want to position us to successfully compare to any company with top-notch HR initiatives.

I hope you have an opportunity to serve and make a difference today!

Kellee Webb, SPHR

Monday, May 19, 2014

Maintaining Your Company Culture - Money Talks and BS Walks!

There is plenty of information out there on how to determine or define your culture; obviously that is the first step.  The hard part is implementing and maintaining it, and it not just being a blurb on your website or maybe on a nice shiny plaque in your reception area.

At Cenikor, the core principles of our culture are so important to us that we created an anonymous survey by which we score every manager and above (including our CEO) with the following questions:

Does this person consistently add value to meet our mission of service for Cenikor clients?
 Does this person demonstrate a consistent positive, respectful attitude with staff and clients?
Does this person work effectively as an active participant of your team?
Does this person consistently role model appropriate, professional behaviors? 
Does this person consistently act with integrity (i.e., honest communication, keeping commitments, openly addressing issues)?

The scoring is:

5 points - Consistently demonstrates (~85-100% of time - no one is perfect)
3 points - Somewhat consistent (~65-84% of time)
1 point - Not consistently

MOST IMPORTANT POINT:  Comments are REQUIRED for each question and this is part of the instructions.  Positive feedback on what you would like the person to keep doing and the impact, or constructive feedback on areas for improvement and how it impacts you as a team member.  The feedback is the "meat" of this survey; it is from this information we learn the most.

It's conducted every 6 months, and completed by 8-12 participants for each person, a combination of direct reports, peers and supervisor.  It is anonymous in the fact that each person being surveyed does not see individual surveys.  HR combines scores and all comments into one report to maintain anonymity, unless someone self-identifies with a comment.  

Here's where the money talks:  the scores are tied back to annual variable pay.  The combined scores from the 2 surveys each year make up 20% of the annual variable pay potential.  There is a stair-step down from 100% of bonus to 0%, depending on your combined scores.  Scoring is setup to pay out fairly generously.  Again, the most critical component of this is to get honest feedback for our managers on how they are consistently upholding our culture, not to "ding" them on their bonus.

Most of our employees who did not have a positive survey the first time around were open to coaching and training, and their scores have improved, many drastically.  Interestingly enough, a few of those that did not show improvement after multiple surveys and had a lack of response to follow up coaching have self-selected out of employment with Cenikor (BS walks).

For those non-profits who do not have funds for annual variable pay or perhaps your funding streams do not allow staff bonuses, you can still implement a similar program just not tied specifically to money.  If you have multiple locations, perhaps the location with the highest scores after each round of surveys gets to celebrate with management bringing in lunch.  You can get creative on how you reward, but remember this should never be punitive or you may have team mates manipulating scores/comments to help keep each other out of trouble.

It will not be without some bumps in the road, we've had to do training with some of our newer managers on how to give constructive feedback, instead of criticizing or labeling.

As a non-profit, we need to be focused on our mission and hitting our goals, and just as focused on the culture we want to uphold, and how we interact and serve each other as team mates.  We spend way too much time at work for it not to be enjoyable to work together.

I hope you have an opportunity to serve and make a difference today!

Kellee Webb, SPHR

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Purposeful HR - So why another HR blog?

So here we go with my first blog post, and I had to ask myself why?  There are many knowledgeable HR pros putting out usable information every day.  Some of my favorites include HRCapitalist.com, HRBartender.com, HRNasty.com, UpstartHR.com, as well as those sites with multiple contributors like FistfulofTalent.com and TLNT.com.  But I've yet to come across the HR blog for non-profits, and there are some unique challenges faced by non-profits.

Me personally, I've worked for both for-profits and non-profits, but my passion is to work for a non-profit; it's where I am most fulfilled.  However, I have found there is a continuum with idealism on one end and accountability on the other.  Too many non-profits are so far to the idealistic side, and all too often accountability and the ability to set goals and make good business decisions just goes by the wayside, or funding doesn't allow for necessary improvements, and the non-profit does not achieve their mission. While I am passionate about working for a non-profit, I am DEFINITELY on the accountability side of the continuum and was struggling to find an organization who had the right mix.

In July 2009, problem solved!  An opportunity became available, and I finally found the perfect "home".  I was hired by Cenikor Foundation, a non-profit with a mission of serving those in need of behavioral health and/or substance abuse treatment.  I am part of an executive team and report to a CEO who believes as strongly as I do about running a non-profit as professionally as a for-profit, with a laser focus on our goals for our mission, finances and culture.  Over the past several years, we have put tools and processes in place that have been hugely successful, and we've been invited to speak at national conferences for our industry about our culture, our leadership development program and our outcomes. The participants were eager for the information and we were happy to share.  The industry interest in our success, along with some prompting from Kris Dunn, HR Capitalist, got me to thinking I may have something to contribute to the blogosphere.

And then most recently our executive team worked with Lane Sloan, author of Develop a Leadership Plan, Become a Great Leader. I know you might be thinking, OK, another leadership book, so what?  For me, the session with Lane helped specifically define my personal purpose not only to be a servant leader, but to inspire an army of servant leaders who want to make a difference in the lives of others, both in Cenikor and in other non-profits.  Therefore, the creation of PurposefulHR.

So now you know a bit about me and the purpose of this blog.  I look forward to sharing information on both the successes and the misses as I strive to be a servant leader and nurture this culture at Cenikor Foundation and beyond.  Whether you are the HR pro, a manager, or executive for your organization, hopefully you will find this perspective useful for how you lead and serve to achieve your mission.

I hope you have an opportunity to serve and make a difference today!

Kellee Webb, SPHR