Friday, August 31, 2012

What's It All About Al-Friday - Employing People Who Won't Screw Up Expensive Equipment (i.e. the first transatlantic telegraph cable)



You know - what's it all about Alfie?

Why do we do what we do? Why do we go to work? Why do we practice HR?

Lots of important questions to answer on Fridays, as a reminder at the end of the traditional work week of why we are working, and what our life is really all about, before entering the weekend.


This Friday, it's all about having the right people, in the right place, at the right time, with the right skills. That's what HR is about. That's why we do what we do. Strip away the crap - and get back to basics. We recruit, pay, incentivize, develop, reward, coach - you name it - so that the job gets done.

A lovely example of what happens when HR is non-existent, or goes horribly wrong, is embodied in one of the grandest staff fuck-ups of all time.

The Transatlantic Telegraph Cable laid in 1858 was an incredible feat of vision and hard yakka. So everyone was anxious for it to have the best chance possible as a successful business product.


The dude was a surgeon and ate a looooooot of FIG JAM (fuck I'm good, just ask me). His scientific curiosity somehow made him qualified to be an electrician, and responsible for running one side of the cable. Don't know how he got that position, but when he got there, he screwed it up big time. By putting too high a voltage through, the cable was shot, and the project was a failure when the cable no longer was able to send messages.

Today's recounts may not be entirely accurate, so of course there may have been many other factors to the failure. However a large part of the blame is laid upon the Wildman. He rode it hard, he rode it fast, he rode it to hell - cos he's a Wildman baby, ain't no one who can tell him what to do, or he gonna cut you with the skill of a surgeon!

Anywayyyyy... End of another week. Job well done. Nice to know HR is a very important part of making  sure incredibly expensive equipment isn't destroyed. Good on you - now enjoy that weekend!


Cheers,
Sarah

Btw, if you're wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR - here's my explanation.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Baby You're a Firework

Of Flu.

Yes, I am was a human firework of flu. Enjoy that visual while you can. Mmm, I am reeking of professionalism right now.

So please excuse the lack of updating round these traps. Back on it tomorrow, pinkie promise.


Cheers,
Sarah

Btw, if you're wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR - here's my explanation.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Movers, Shakers & Monday Game Changers - Bob Dylan Electrified


The day we look at movers, shakers and game changers, of things that look incredibly trivial now... 

Because scaremongers like to write a lot about the insane changes the next generation will bring. Here's some changes already brought, against all odds and discouragement, and they turned out alright. 


By 1965 Bob Dylan was the 'voice of a generation'.

I really like his song Like a Rolling Stone, and it was one of the first songs he would perform with an electronic, rather than an acoustic, sound.




So you would think that as a 'voice of a generation', he would have been supported and loved by his fellow aged fans.

But no, his new electric sound was so offensive (and perhaps poorly executed) that he was labelled 'Judas' by a vocal audience member.

It would be crazy to imagine the biggest stars of today being called Judas for using electronic instruments, hell most of the biggest pop stars are lip syncing at a concert where a ticket is 100 bucks a pop.

Bob was a true mover, shaker and game changer, for the music scene of yesterday's youth, that was just as scary as the possible change of today. Apparently in this case, it was equally as scary for all generations involved. And it all turned out alright. Electric instruments haven't killed folk music yet.


Cheers,
Sarah

Btw, if you're wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR - here's my explanation.

Friday, August 24, 2012

What's It All About Al-Friday - Work & Play


You know - what's it all about Alfie?

Why do we do what we do? Why do we go to work? Why do we practice HR?

Lots of important questions to answer on Fridays, as a reminder at the end of the traditional work week of why we are working, and what our life is really all about, before entering the weekend.

“When he worked, he really worked. But when he played, he really PLAYED.” 
-Dr Seuss 

Congrats my amigos, we made it to the end of the traditional work week! Have you worked hard? Of course! Do you have more hard worked planned for the weekend? Grocery shopping, laundry washing, cleaning and plenty of other tasks do to with living, I'm sure.

I really hope we all get time to really play during our time off too, and not just what us adults call play. I hope we have the discipline to make time to really play, laugh at silliness, and see the world through happy innocence. I hope we can be refreshed, and remember the wonder of great love, discovery and true care for others.

It's all about meeting the necessities, and play is one of them, right?


Cheers,
Sarah

Btw, if you're wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR - here's my explanation.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Channel The Serenity & Explain It Again: HR Terminology

Ahhh the serenity. Channel the serenity. Breathe the serenity. Be the serenity.


And now for the 100,000,000th time, explain the difference between permanent, full time, fixed term, casual, and part time.

These words describe the length of a contract:
Permanent - Usually means no end date on the contract, i.e. the employee is employed until they reach retirement age or the employment is terminated for some other reason.

Fixed term - The contract is only for a certain period, which is agreed to at the start. Perhaps the contract will be renewed, perhaps not. There is no guarantee of employment afterwards.

These words describe the type of contract:

Normal - Ok, so you wouldn't be talking about a 'normal' contract, or 'normal employee' per se, but this is what an employee is if they aren't casual. They are normal. They get all the benefits of being an employee at the organisation.

Casual - Usually a short term contract, but there are no benefits granted that a normal employee would receive (i.e. leave, medical insurance, public holidays, bonuses). You work, you get paid, you don't work, you don't get paid. Perhaps the wage includes some compensation for the benefits you don't receive.

These words describe the hours worked:
Full Time - A full work week. In Australia this usually means a 37.5 hour work week (5 x 7.5 hr days).

Part Time - A number of hours that don't tally up to the normal work week's total.



May the serenity be with you, when you are facilitating a round of recruitment, or new starter's contract, and yet another person can't quite tell you what they want or need. And I hope you're able to take the opportunity to use a really simple issue like HR terminology, to show your expertise and capability in your field, and gain their respect as you empower them to speak the lingo. Your patience and approachability with such a basic thing, will be really appreciated.


Cheers,
Sarah

Btw, if you're wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR - here's my explanation.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Some Free Advice From My HR Lecturer

"If you want a friend at work, get a dog."

It's great to be told by a university professor that your profession will be hated. It was one of the most honest things I was ever told as I prepared to enter this career.

And on particularly shitty days, the words still ring in my ears - "if you want a friend at work, get a dog."

After a couple of years, I truly believe that HR isn't the job to have if you need to be liked. And it's certainly not the job to have if you fulfill your social needs through work. HR is for people to arrive at work, do a job, leave and live their life.

For free advice, it was actually pretty accurate.

Cheers,
Sarah

Btw, if you're wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR - here's my explanation.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Social Media - I Just Wanted To Connect!

So here I am, wanting to create this dialogue and connect with HR professionals.

So why does it feel like joining social media is like consenting to water-boarding by advertisement?

There's just too much crap, and not enough real voices and connections.

This is meant to be my domain, and social media truly is my domain for personal use, but when it comes to social media about HR - well it's a dirty murky water out there... I'm a bit lost to tell the truth.

Any suggestions?


Cheers,
Sarah

Btw, if you're wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR - here's my explanation.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Movers, Shakers & Monday Game Changers - The Beach Boys Pet Sounds

The day we look at movers, shakers and game changers, of things that look incredibly trivial now... 

Because scaremongers like to write a lot about the insane changes the next generation will bring. Here's some changes already brought, against all odds and discouragement, and they turned out alright. 


The album Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys is seriously good. Number 2 in the Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" even.



So I love that this album wasn't met with enthusiasm by band members, or the record label. However, the visionary behind it, ensured a now legendary set of pop songs was released.

Here's what the Rolling Stone had to say about it here:

"Who's gonna hear this shit?" Beach Boys singer Mike Love asked the band's resident genius, Brian Wilson, in 1966, as Wilson played him the new songs he was working on. "The ears of a dog?" But Love's contempt proved oddly useful: "Ironically," Wilson observed, "Mike's barb inspired the album's title." Barking dogs – Wilson's dog Banana among them, in fact – are prominent among the found sounds on the album. The Beatles made a point of echoing them on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band – an acknowledgment that Pet Sounds was the inspiration for the Beatles' masterpiece. That gesture actually completed a circle of influence: Wilson initially conceived of Pet Sounds as an effort to top the Beatles' Rubber Soul
With its vivid orchestration, lyrical ambition, elegant pacing and thematic coherence, Pet Sounds invented – and in some sense perfected – the idea that an album could be more than the sum of its parts. When Wilson sang, "Wouldn't it be nice if we were older?" on the magnificent opener, he wasn't just imagining a love that could evolve past high school; he was suggesting a new grown-up identity for rock & roll music itself. 
Wilson essentially made Pet Sounds without the rest of the band, using them only to flesh out the vocal arrangements. (He even considered putting the album out as a solo project, and the first single, "Caroline, No," was released under his own name.) Its luxurious sound conveys a heartbreaking wistfulness, and the deeply personal songs, which Wilson co-wrote primarily with lyricist Tony Asher, bid farewell to the innocent world of the Beach Boys' fun-in-the-sun hits. 
Unfortunately, Capitol Records proved no more enamored of Pet Sounds than had Love; the label considered not releasing it at all. Not yet vindicated by history, Wilson withdrew further into his inner world. "At the last meeting I attended concerning Pet Sounds," Wilson wrote about his dealings with the label, "I showed up holding a tape player and eight prerecorded, looped responses, including 'No comment,' 'Can you repeat that?' 'No' and 'Yes.' Refusing to utter a word, I played the various tapes when appropriate."


Those fantastic songs wouldn't be hitting our Gold-ClassicHits-BlastFromThePast-90.fm airwaves if the naysayers had their way, and what a loss it would be. And now touring the world on their 50th reunion, the Beach Boys made their impact a long time ago, but are still enjoyed by so many. They are not has-beens by a long shot!

A true mover, shaker and game changer, for the music scene of yesterday's youth, that was just as scary as the possible change of today. And it all turned out alright.


Cheers,
Sarah

Btw, if you're wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR - here's my explanation.

Friday, August 17, 2012

What's It All About Al-Friday?

You know - what's it all about Alfie?


Why do we do what we do? Why do we go to work? Why do we practice HR?

Lots of important questions that I'll answer on Fridays, as a reminder at the end of the traditional work week of why we are working, and what our life is really all about, before entering the weekend.

Firstly, how about starting with the author herself?

On Wednesday, I shared with you how I got into HR, but why do I work? Why don't I just stay a student and mooch off social welfare?

I work because I like alcohol and chocolate and spending on crap that it's just way too tiresome to wait around for man to buy me - and social welfare doesn't really provide for that kind of thing. So $$$ is why I started work, and maybe some feminism too. Well an accomplished girl of this day doesn't just become a stay at home wife, does she? Anyway, I worked in the family business since forever, but had my first real proper job at Subway when I was 14.

And there you have it Alfie, I do this all because I love the dollars, and I started as a Sandwich Artist. Yes, my career is the epitome of glamour.

And you friends? Not just why do you do what you do, but why do you work at all? What's it all about for you?


Cheers,
Sarah

Btw, if you're wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR - here's my explanation.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Drug testing - the Gen Y opinion...

In Australia, there has recently been a ruling against testing for employee's drug intake by urine sample, since this can show drugs taken over the previous few days. So drug testing for employment purposes will still be done by saliva swabs, which only shows the previous few hours.

Why? Because employees feel this impinges on their personal time and recreation preferences.


Gen Y, the generation produced by the biggest drug experimenters of all (*cough, cough, Baby Boomers*), what do you reckon about all of this? Baby Boomers have brought in some pretty hard line policies against recreational drug use, but let's not pretend there wasn't heavy usage back in their day.

Now days, recreational drug use is still pretty prevalent. Perhaps it's not quite the love-fest of the hippies, and hopefully not as hardcore as the rockers, but it's definitely part of the clubbing scene. And every body likes to have a night out now and then - so whether we like it or not, when we're out on the town, we're out with people who are probably on something.

How would you feel about the fact that the person two tables from you, minding their own business and having a lovely night, would lose their job on Monday because traces of a drug were found in a urine test for Work Health & Safety precautions?

Buzz kill? A necessary evil? Or a warranted action?

Personally, I'm gonna allocate this one to the other 95% of life - the grey area. So many variables, so many points to debate. For a generation weaned on advertising touting the horrors of drug use, but who still persist in recreational use, I have a feeling this is an issue that will be fiercely contested in the coming years.


Cheers,
Sarah

Btw, if you're wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR - here's my explanation.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

So, how did you get into this?

Me? I'm a bobo (bourgeois bohemian) and although I'm all free loving and open minded like, I need financial security.

You know the "I can afford expensive leather bohemian style bags" financial security type. Yeah...



So when picking university courses, of course I put some arts media course as number one, got into the course, freaked out because there were no apparent jobs for the qualification (this is before the blogging scene had really exploded in Australia), and immediately opted into the Human Resources Management course. Career sorted.

Well the nice thing is, it really has worked out so far. But I'm not kidding myself, I am one of the very lucky ones who cracked the junior HR market.

Over to you then... how did you get into this? (haha nahhhhh I'm not that stupid, it'll take at least a month to get a comment on this blog!)


Cheers,
Sarah

Btw, if you're wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR - here's my explanation.
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