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