What’s the Purpose?

I listened to HR Happy Hour last night, where the guests Ryan Estis and Don McPherson spoke about “Passion on Purpose”. It was an interesting show, but discussions about creating passionate employees always make me cringe.

I think about the 40 or so employees at United Meat & Deli and I think I know exactly what they would say if I asked them about their passion and/or purpose. They would bluntly tell me that the purpose of any job was to make a sufficient living to feed and clothe their family and take an occasional trip to Mexico. Or Mackinac Island. Maybe help out needy relatives, and buy a decent car. They don’t want to feed their ego and they know they are not saving the world.

Are all of these weighty discussions about passion and purpose really – I mean really – meaningful to the majority of American workers? Tell me in the comments.

On another note, I am guest blogging today for Women of HR. I am proud to be allowed to join them.

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Carnival of HR – Special Employment Edition

Maybe I should have called it the “Special Unemployed” Edition, because the purpose of this special Carnival is to highlight HR professionals who are unemployed, and these people are all pretty special!

Last week President Obama signed a jobs bill called the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act.  This bill allows companies to avoid paying the employee‘s Social Security payroll tax for the rest of the year, AND allows the company to get a tax credit for next year if they keep that person working a year.  It’s a good deal, so tell your employers to hire one of these people!

DON’T FORGET THAT YOU CAN SHARE THIS POST WITH GROUPS AND CONTACTS ON LINKEDIN and FACEBOOK.

SHAUNA MOERKE, PHR


Shauna is the ringmistress of the Carnival of HR, as well as the founder and co-host of the highly popular HR Happy Hour radio program.  She blogs as the HR Minion and can be found on Twitter using that name.  She is from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area of Minnesota.  You can read here, here,  and here why she is a valuable hire right now.

BENJAMIN McCALL


Ben hails from Cincinnatti, Ohio.  He has his MBA, and blogs at RethinkHR.  You can also find him on Twitter as @benjaminmcall.  If you want to see why he may be right for your organization, read his profile here.

ROBERT TARVER


Bob lives in Virginia, but he would like to relocate to the southwest (Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico) or northern California. He was profiled in the blog Do The Work by Franny Oxford, and you can read about Bob here as well.

KIMBERLY RODEN


Kim is brand new to the blogosphere (here), but she certainly isn’t new to the HR profession.  With 20 years of experience, she is now seeking work in the greater NYC area.  She has been profiled by Tammy Colson‘s Junkyard HR here, and you can find additional credentials on LinkedIn here.

JIM D’AMICO

Jim blogs and writes as HRPufNStuf, and goes by the name @jmdcomedy on Twitter.  He is a talented recruiting manager who lives in Minnesota, but is completely open to relocation.  Don’t hesitate!  Read more about him here and here.

SHENNEE RUTT

Shennee is from  the York, Pennsylvania area and needs to remain nearby.  She blogs at Deeply Rutted and is the co-host of Compassionate HR. Here’s her profile from her archives:

I come from a strong Recruiting/Staffing Industry background. I am passionate and compassionate about the “human” in the Human Resources. What I enjoy the most about human resources is that no day is ever the same, and the challenge of making it work.  Everyday, I strive to learn something new, network, and be inspired by others. Personal/Professional development is a priority to me. Making  a Difference in people’s livelihood is what get’s me going in the morning.  My Human Resources background includes large and small organizations.  I started a blog and I am connected through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  I really LOVE working , and really want to get back to it!

What I am looking for:

  • I am based in Manchester, PA South Central PA Area. I am looking for a local commute. Virtual employment would be fantastic. I am married to an IT pro.
  • Human Resources is my focus.  I enjoy Recruiting/Sourcing/Training/Social Media
  • I am looking to collaborate with others,continue to develop my blog, and step outside of my “comfort zone”.
  • I am available to discuss part-time or full-time employment opportunities.

If anyone wishes to discuss this with me. I am available at: www.twitter.com/shennee_rutt www.linkedin.com/shennee

Looking forward to connecting with you soon. Ready to hit the ground running!

AMANDA TARATUSKI, SPHR

Fluent in French, and conversant in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, this talented woman needs a job in the greater New York City/New Jersey area.  She also blogs at Life Analyzed and can be followed as @ataratus on Twitter.  In her own words:

I am a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources with ten years of progressive experience as a human resource generalist, primarily in the field of legal HR.  I started my career working mostly on international recruiting, but over time I was promoted and given additional responsibilities in talent management, succession/workforce planning and policy development.  I am skilled at evaluating current processes and developing innovative solutions to on-going problems.  I am always looking for ways to be more efficient and effective in my work and encourage others to do the same.  As a leader, I believe that it is important to value my employees’ input and that I can motivate them by helping them to see why their efforts are important in the big picture.  I am looking for a manager or director of HR position in NJ/NYC for a mid to large size organization, focusing on talent management and strategic workforce planning.  My ideal company is one that is invested in their staff, offering training, career advancement and performance compensation, and having a commitment to work/life balance.  For more information about my background and to contact me, see my LinkedIn profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/ataratuski.  I also maintain a blog at http://analyzedlife.blogspot.com.

JOAN GINSBERG, JD, SPHR

That’s me!  I’ll wrap this up by saying that I live in the Detroit area but I am open to relocation anywhere.  I have been profiled on Punk Rock HR (here) and Do the Work (here). Links to my LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles are on the right column of this page.

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HRevolution – The Future of HR

Saturday afternoon the gloves came off.

The last session of the HRevolution un-conference, introduced in my previous blog, was called “The Future of HR”.  It was facilitated by the incomparable Mark Stelzner, whose admitted purpose was “to be provocative and shake the room up a bit.”  His mission was well accomplished, and the passionate discussion was described by @KristaFrancis on Twitter: Great minds *don’t* think alike and that’s a good thing.  Mark summed up the discussion on his blog, but I want to focus on this particular statement:

There was a great discussion on how people need to quit their HR jobs if they are that miserable. In other words, stop complaining and lamenting your non-strategic role and instead find a company that values your contribution.

That “call to action” has been repeated since on blogs (here ), and the HR Happy Hour blog talk radio show.

Ouch.

Why does it pain me to hear and read that people who want to make a difference should just quit their jobs and go elsewhere? Because it’s a strategy that’s far too over-simplified, and the consequences of failure are too dangerous for that simplification.  I speak from personal experience.

My Personal History

I come from a small (less than 50 employees) food processing/manufacturing plant.  My husband and his partner own the business.  When I began working there, no one knew exactly what my role was going to be.  I fell into an HR function almost immediately, because there was NO HR function there at all.  I started learning, and I made myself a HR Manager/Generalist.  I had a seat at that strategic table, usually at the head.  I made those P&Ls sing.

So why did I leave in June 2008?  Because I had a nagging feeling that there was more evolving to be done, and I couldn’t do it where I was.  There is only so far you can go in a really small company before some of the work becomes redundant, and some becomes impossible. So I quit (read: no unemployment benefits) and went looking for a company that would “value my contributions”.

It’s now November 2009 and I have yet to find that company.  Telling a recruiter or a hiring manager that I left my job because “I needed new challenges” makes them hang up on me.  Layoffs and downsizings create sympathy, self-indulgence does not.

I’m lucky – my husband still owns the company and has a job, so I still have sufficient funds to go to un-conferences and listen to people tell me to do what I’ve already done.  But suppose I was a sole breadwinner with kids to support and a mortgage to meet?  That strategy would have placed a lot of other people in jeopardy.  Is Laurie Ruettiman’s philosophy is the better one? She says, ” You get a paycheck. Be happy.”

Going Forward

By sharing that with you, I want to emphasize a point that was touched on at HRevolution but not sufficiently embraced: the enlightened HR group that we are a part of is a very tiny minority of the entire HR population.  The solutions and suggestions we propose inside of our “HR echo chamber”  will not be embraced by them  and will often be actively resisted.  We need to help others examine themselves and their roles to see how they can evolve and revolutionize, even if circumstances and paychecks keep them in their positions.  A large majority of HR pros don’t even know that people and technology exist to help them make this journey.  In other words, they don’t read our blogs.  Until a very short time ago, I was one of those people.

When Alicia Arenas asked us in a video to leave HRevolution with a commitment to spread the message, she mentioned college students and local SHRM chapters as examples of avenues to spread our enlightenment. Let’s collectively think of more, and start an outreach program, because we will not succeed without  converting others. With that in mind, I am picking up the flag of  HRevolution and making this commitment:

I will use social media, personal connections, and any other soapbox that is available to me to encourage, aid, and advise HR Pros and other business professionals to embark on a course of personal development that will expand their knowledge and engage and enlighten others.

By doing this, I hope to move past the idea that HR people should just be happy to get a paycheck.  The people I will try to reach may not be able to leave their companies, but they may be able to avoid doing everything “The Company Way.”  Viva la revolution!

The Company Way