Fishbowl Logic

Wold through a Fishbowl
#1) If an employee has to read more than 1 paragraph to get the message, the message is too long.
#2) Yes, HR’s job involves some administrative minutia…get over it.

#3) Technology is great, but don’t hide behind it.

fishbowl2#4) You’ll get more from a good conversation with an employee than you ever will from any employee survey.

#5) Retention is an outcome, not a program.

#6) Most other organizational functions take risks, HR needs to do so from time to time too.

fishbowl4#7) It shouldn’t be HR’s job to tell the organization what it can and can’t do; but  it should be to make sure everyone understands the consequences of doing it or not doing it.

#8) Maslow’s hierarchy applies in the workplace; HR should spend more time responding to the needs at the bottom of the pyramid.

#9) Don’t even think about “getting a seat at the table” if you can’t look at the administrative side of your HR practice and say “I got that house in order.”

fishbowl5#10) “Blaming HR is the universal way to change the subject when you are a poor leader.”    Laurie Ruettimann (PunkRockHR)

#11) Your HR practice is nothing more than a commodity unless you focus on creating an experience for your people.

#12) If your employees or managers have to fill out more than one page to get or give an evaluation, it’s too much.

fishbowl6#13) Giving heartfelt thanks to your people on a regular basis will build more employee engagement than any fancy (and expensive) reward and recognition program.

#14) If we’re going to keep referring to our employees as “Assets” or “Human Capital”, we better find a way to get Finance to report them on the Balance Sheet.

#15) Every HR professional should have a Personal Board of Directors – x-functional, x-industry, x-level – meet quarterly, and have them hold you accountable…because it’s likely no one else will.

fishbowl6#16) HR needs more of less.

#17) When in doubt, fire them.

#18) Your talent acquisition team should be more focused on hiring the people your company is going to need 1-3 years from now than it is on the people you need tomorrow.

#19) Finance/Accounting shares monthly financial statements with a company’s stakeholders; HR should have an equivalent…call it a dashboard, a scorecard, whatever.

#20) Most employees will never directly appreciate you for what you do in HR; if you can get over that, you’ll go much farther in your career.

#21) Did you walk the halls today and shoot the shit with random employees for no reason whatsoever?

#22) Don’t get stuck spending 80% of your time on the 20% who are just making a lot of noise.

#23) Workplaces are not designed for trustworthiness…trust me on this.

#24) The cemetaries of the world are filled with irreplacable employees…and HR professionals…and CEOs…and executives.

#25) The Human Race is hands-down the most adaptable species on this planet; employees are no different.  Stop worrying about what every one is going to think about it and change what needs changing.

#26) Executive Compensation Programs should not make you blush.

#27) Stop doing things just because that’s the way they’ve always been done…just stop it.

#28) If you’re not prepared to readily quantify the value of what you’re doing in HR, then what you’re doing has no value.

#29) Break Bread Together…Often.

#30) If you’re not comfortable sharing your opinion without being asked, go find another profession…please.

#31) Treat your employees like human beings and 90% of everything else will take care of itself.

#32) Uncertainty surrounding an outcome is always harder on people than the outcome itself…whatever it is.

#33) Let people be angry from time to time…it’s human and it’s ok.

#34) Pissed Off?  Step away from the keyboard.

#35) Less Email.  Pick up the phone or stop by an office.

#36) One’s stint with an employer is like investing in a bottle of fine wine. Make sure you don’t open the wine (leave the employer) too soon or you may miss something and don’t open the wine (leave the employer) too late or things may turn sour.  Find your employer’s vintage and act accordingly.

#37) Spend more time learning (and practicing) how to think critically – how to imaginatively frame questions and consider multiple perspectives.

#38) Selfishness insn’t necessarily a bad trait for an HR person…

#39) If you find yourself complaining about your job, just stop for a moment and think about how fortunate you really are to HAVE a job…seriously.

#40) We need more #TrenchHR perspective in the blogosphere.

#41) Maladjustment to the workplace order is something to be proud of.

#42) HR Professionals should gravitate toward conflict, not go out of their way to avoid it.

#43) “Why?” should be one of the most used words in your vocabulary.

#44) “Forget outside competition when your own worst enemy is the way you communicate with one another internally.” Jack Welch

#45) Do something nice for your people and make them leave their Blackberry with you when they go on vacation.

#46) HR can not fall prey to herd mentality when it comes to performance management.

#47) Sometimes HR needs HR too.

#48) We need to find a way to standardize a piece of the performance review process so the related data can follow employees from employer to employer…just like EMRs.

#49) You can’t include every one all the time.  But when in doubt, over-include.

#50) Getting fired sucks…doesn’t matter when, where, or why…it just sucks.

#51) Network Network Network…If you’re not out there, you’re nowhere.

#52) If you think your boss has your best interests in mind, think again.

#53) HR professionals take arrows in the back more often than any other professional in the workplace (See Also #10).

#54) You want all your managers to be “coach-like,” but don’t expect all your managers to be coaches.

#55) Find the right combination of x) economic currency (money), y) socio-emotional currency (people), and z) ideological currency (purpose) for each of your employees and you’ve uncovered the formula for lasting employee engagement.

#56) If the speaker list at an HR conference you’re interested in attending is heavily weighted toward vendors, sponsors, and consultants, make sure you understand what you’re getting yourself into.

#57) If you have to be smarter than a 5th grader to understand an HR product or service you’re delivering to your people, then you should probably blow it up and start over.

#58) If the grass were in fact always greener, there wouldn’t be any fences.

#59) Conformity may amount to relinquishment of self, but realize it may also amount to a career survival tactic.

#60) HR helps write the script for the workplace; use that role to give your people the occasional cliffhanger – keeping them glued to what’s coming up next.

#61) Take time to understand and show an interest in your opponent’s perspective not so you can challenge him/her, but so you can challenge yourself.

#62) Sometimes it is more important to help our people get good at receiving feedback than it is to help our managers get good at giving it.

#63) If your ATS/RMS gives your candidates pause, then your ATS/RMS sucks.

#64) “Hubris, both personal and organizational, is hard to hide and candidates always see it. No matter how hard you try to stifle/contain it.” ~ John Nykolaiszyn (aka @CigarSPHR)

#65) “If you don’t know your organization’s people – like really know them – then your organization doesn’t need you.” ~ Steve Browne (aka @sbrownehr).

#66) Guess what, your employees aren’t reading your Employee Handbook.  Part of the problem?  It’s too damn big! Trim it down…seriously!

#67) Attending the SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition is a requirement for those serious about a career in HR.

#68) When it comes to communications – to, with, and from your team – live by one simple principle: No Surprises!

#69) Time kills all deals in the game of talent acquisition.

#70) Read Read Read

#71) Know as much, if not more, about what the world’s economic pundits are saying to “look out for.”

#72) We Know Next!

#73) If you’re an HR leader, you should have an HRCI certification. Don’t tell me it’s a waste of time or it wont help your career. Who cares? The profession does.

#74) Stop spending so much time trying to fix your employees’ weaknesses and start figuring out how to simply work around them by leveraging their strengths.

#75) Managers generally suck at team building and motivation and employees generally find that stuff more important than pretty much anything else. HR plays a really important role in bridging that gap.

#76) “Make your weaknesses irrelevant.” ~ Marcus Buckingham

#77) “Getting a seat at the table” is passé. If you haven’t already been there for a while now, you’re screwed.

#78) Your CFO most likely never really wants to be your friend. Get over it and move on.

#79) Want a bestselling leadership book for your team? Try To Kill a Mockingbird.

#80) Inaction is neither success nor failure; rather, it is ‘nothingness’. Nothingness ain’t good for you or for our profession. Have no fear of failure…just act!

#81) Pick up a pen and write a nice note to one of your employees…on paper.

#82) Encourage your employees to take personal time off in bigger chunks than just one week. Otherwise, it’s wasted time.

#83) The one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t really fly in the talent management world. Take time to tailor your programs to your distinct and unique constituents.

#84) Stop talking so much. Listen. Listen. Then listen some more.

#85) Be careful of the unintended consequences of your hiring policies.

#86) The most important member of your HR Team might just be an Administrative Assistant.

#87) There is no real place for false advertising during new hire orientation. Share the good, the bad, and the ugly.

#88) “Duty of Care” is taken to another level when applied to international travel. Can you account for and attest to your employees’ safety at any given time – day or night?

#89) Why waste your time trying to train your people to deal with difficult employees? Just get rid of those employees.

#90) Labor day is about us and the people we take care of. What do you do to acknowledge, recognize, appreciate, and honor labor during this holiday?

#91) HR doesn’t get to decide how much entitlement an organization will endure…especially when in comes to big shots. Law, policy, and safety aside, entitlement can be earned in the workplace.

#92) It doesn’t matter how good your company is at engaging employees. If an employee was wrong for the job, the organization, or the environment to begin with, they are as good as gone.

#93) HR can be a huge time suck on your people. Be crisp and clean in all of your transactions and realize the person on the receiving end of your services has a finite number of seconds in their lifetime. Take only what you need.

#94) Want to change HR? Get rid of the dead wood on your team and upgrade – stop hiring mediocre HR talent!

#95) When it comes to HR communications, use an effective and respected mouthpiece. Guess what, you are most likely not that mouthpiece.

#96) We preserve our role as the organization’s agent by not (fully) engaging in its games. We fail to see ourselves as an active (and vital) participant so we end up playing with no one. And who the hell wants someone like that on their playground?

#97) Successful and influential business leaders squander opportunities to positively impact our community time and again and in doing so perpetuate so much that’s wrong with it.

#98) When it comes to conferences, 800 collective thought leaders is much better than 1.

#99) Want to create a high performing organization? Get your people to spend most of their time on things that they 1) are really good at and 2) love to do.

#100) It’s hard making things easy…

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2 Responses to Fishbowl Logic
  1. Tony Deblauwe
    November 15, 2009 | 5:01 pm

    Hi Charlie – I agree, great list. HR is more than the stereotype – its a practice full of accountability both operational and strategic. Thanks for posting!

  2. Kerry
    November 24, 2009 | 9:31 pm

    Dude. This is awesome.

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