Do You Write HR Jargon?

Earlier this month I received a totally unexpected and exciting email from a woman named Deb Silverberg.  Deb is part of the Social Communications team at AARP, dealing with financial security and work issues. She sent an email asking if I was  interested in becoming a regular guest blogger for AARP, addressing work and HR issues for the over 50 crowd.

The fact that I am over 50 and already blogging about work and HR issues is obviously an advantage for this kind of gig. 😉

In her email, Deb explained how she found me and that she had read some of my blog posts. She was particularly interested in me, she said, because ” your content was refreshingly void of HR-speak and jargon, which isn’t always easy to find in the HR world.”

HR jargon? No one really uses that, do they?

Sentences like

“The idea is to determine whether an innovation warrants further exploration, not to generate a business case or estimate ROI, as too little is known about the innovation to assess the business case effectively.”

or

. . .  strongest driver of improvement in performance within the strategy domain.”

or maybe

“With the apprenticeship scheme both parties are signing up to the idea of a structured training program, and you can really spend some time ensuring that the apprentice is building a full tool-box of techniques that will help them perform, whilst also not only developing best practice but also learning about how we do things here and fitting in with our approach rather than picking up bad habits or questionable ethics in desperation to bring in results.”

Yes, those are all examples from actual HR blogs. I could have added dozens, right?

There are other people in the HR blog world taking a stand against this type of writing. The people at the KnowHR blog are particularly great at speaking in plain English and speaking out against  the over-use of jargon. And The Cynical Girl Laurie Ruettimann recently wrote

We get it. You are smart. But blogs are meant to entertain.

HR jargon is not entertaining.

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CARNIVAL OF HR – Time Of the Season

Yesterday was the first day of summer, and what better way to start the season than with a carnival? So apply some bug spray, grab some cotton candy, and ENJOY!

LEGAL

“Strange voices are saying things I can’t understand” – from Cruel Summer, Bananarama

Summer does not mean an escape from employment and compliance for the HR pro. Eric Meyer  tells us what to know about providing employees with time off at The Employer Handbook and Jessica Miller Merrill cautions about Twitter related terminations at Blogging 4 Jobs.

Finally, in a post I wasn’t given permission to insert but am doing so anyway because I loved the title, we have the folks at I9/E-Verify discussing how the ICE has put a chill into summer.

CHANGE

“Seasons change and so did I, you need not wonder why” – from No Time, The Guess Who

Seasons are always about change of some kind: change of clothes, change of weather, change of attitude. Our bloggers that recognized and wrote about this include Robin Schooling of HR Schoolhouse, who discusses her worst HR job and the changes it brought.

Also discussing change are Laura Schroeder of Working Girl asking what attrition is good for, and Steve Roesler at All Things Workplace discussing the changes that come with a new boss.

Rounding out the change theme was Erik Samdahl at i4cp, who tells us about agility and the willingness to change as a best practice among best companies.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

“In the summertime when the weather is hot, you can stretch right up and touch the sky”

from In The Summertime, Mungo Jerry

Many of our carnival writers recognize that summertime is a good time for personal reflection and growth, like Sri Subramanian of the Talented Apps team, who tells us that performance reviews come around like the seasons, and to use that self-evaluation wisely.

Jennifer V. Miller at The People Equation suggests using the summer to create a “career bucket list.” Lyn Hoyt, guest blogging at Working Girl, discusses work-life balance and making time for everything.

Rob Lockard discusses a related, but slightly different season – graduation season. A commencement address became the inspiration for his post about The Lovejoy of the Season.

Finally, we have Naomi Bloom writing Harry’s and Naomi’s Rules To Live By. Hoe many of these rules do YOU live by – and how many will you embrace this summer?

TALENT MANAGEMENT

That Championship SeasonPulitzer Prize-winning play by Jason Miller

Lois Melbourne loves the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, and she uses her blog at Aquire, Inc. to analyze how their organizational talent management created their championship team. Also discussing talent mangement is Jay Kuhns of NoExcusesHR, who wants you to determine what that phrase means within the four walls of your own organization.

SUMMER

“Sweet days of summer, the jasmine’s in bloom” – from Summer Breeze, Seals and Crofts

Some contributors took the theme quite literally, and contributed posts specifically about the summer season or issues that are specific to the summer, like Evil Skippy, who hilariously discusses the summer vacation request, and what to do about employees who try to beat the system. Another humorous look at summer HR issues is Stan the HR Stand-up Man (Ian Welsh), who discusses all kinds of summer issues, like dress codes.

Interns are usually a specific-to-summer HR issue, and Susan Heathfield at About.com gives you pointers on how to make your summer intern program sing.

In her aptly named post, “Summertime”, Alive HR author Krista Francis compares the organizational lifestyle to the changing seasons, and Kevin Eikenberry wants you to learn six ways to work and lead differently this summer.

Camping is a huge summertime activity in my home state of Michigan, so I was pleased to read that the Brits enjoy this summer ritual, too, according to Doug Shaw at What Goes Around Limited in his post Windy, Wet and Wonderful.

To wrap everything up, why not watch and listen to Dwayne Lay of LeanHR give a weather report from his current professional travels in Europe. He’ll talk about change management, too. 😉

THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR PARTICIPATING IN THIS CARNIVAL – HAVE A GREAT SUMMER!

 


 

 

 

 

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We Have No Secrets – or do we?

I’ve spent the past 30 days trying to decide how to resume blogging after a long, unintended absence.  Being an open and straightforward person, I considered a highly personal “here’s what went wrong” post.  Since I am also an apologist, I was certainly going to include profuse offers of regret, and promise to never let it happen again.  Another consideration was to post as if I hadn’t been gone at all.  Or maybe just say “I’m back” and drop it.  What to do, what to do?

Finally, I consulted the best expert I know – my daughter Amy.  Being a professional writer and long-time blogger, she is highly qualified to advise me.  I know she has my back.

My daughter pointed me toward some resources, and advised me that there are a whole lot of blogs out there that are apologizing for not blogging. In fact, blogs that resume after extended absences generally follow one of the formats I’d already considered: explanation, apology, or acknowledgment only.  Good information, but not the kind of “do this” kick-in-the-butt that I was looking for.

Finally, while listening to one of my old albums, I made my decision.  I’ve been gone, and now I’m back.  I’m not going to explain, because Carly Simon told me not to. :-)

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Blog Like No One’s Reading

I usually hate “chain-letter” emails or Facebook posts.  You know the ones I mean: “Cut and paste/ forward this message to all of your friends because if you don’t you are a heartless b*tch/ you hate puppies/you will be hit by a bus”.  But I received one of those emails today, and here’s what it said, in part:

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly.  As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder to myself, and less critical of  myself. I’ve become my own friend.. I don’t chide myself for eating  that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn’t need, but  looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be  messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before  they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

It landed in my inbox at a perfect time, because I had already decided that I made a mistake 6 months ago when I started blogging with two different blogs.

When I started blogging, I was really fearful about  mixing personal and business, HR and handicap parking.  I was worried that no one would read what I wrote, because I was either not serious about cutting edge HR, or I was boring those people who don’t give a crap.  So I started two blogs, one for personal musings and one for HR/business.  I wasn’t happy with this format, though. Then I watched this video:

I’m not worried anymore.  Like the quote says, I am old enough not to care. So this is my “new” blog – which just combines what I liked best of both.  HR University is closed; now I’m Just Joan.

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