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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

5 Year Plan?

Have you ever been asked, in an interview or otherwise, where you see yourself in 3-5 years?

It's easy to say something like, "In a role where I can utilize the skills for the betterment of the organization and myself."


Anyway, what is your real plan?

For those of you that took some Organizational Behaviour courses, you will remember the idea of a 'Gap Analysis'.

Essentially, you look at what you would like to have (or where you would like to be) and determine the appropriate steps to get there.

Why Should I?

There's a few reasons:

    1. So you're not stuck giving that generic BS of an answer mentioned at the start of the article.
    2. To create goals to which you can align yourself
    3. To give you motivation and reason behind the day-to-day choices you make

There are likely different goals of where you would like to be in a variety of areas in your life.  I have outlined a few categories and questions that may help you with this:

What level do you want to reach in your career? Why aren't you there now? What can you do to get there?


Is there any knowledge you want to acquire in particular? What information and skills will you need to achieve other goals?

Do you want to be a parent? If so, how many kids? How would you ensure you'd be a good parent?

Do you have a desired salary How much do you want to earn by what stage?

Any athletic ambitions? Do you want good health in your later years? What steps are you going to take to achieve this?

How do you want to enjoy yourself?  What will need to happen to ensure you have a balanced life?

Volunteering/Public Service:
Do you want to make the world/your community a better place? If so, how?

Do you have a plan for the next 3-5 years?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

double-double = fired-fired?

So as you may have heard, or not, a girl and her twin sister were recently fired from a Tim Horton's.

Want to know the reason? Apparently one was fired for having 'a bad attitude' and the other was then fired (according to the article) because her manager figured she would " too bitter” .

That's the reason? Why didn't the manager just say - 'your sister is fired, and since you're probably gonna bitch about it - you are too!'

I mean, this way the HR tribunal would at least have an easy case.  Of course, I believe there are always 3 sides to every story: yours, theirs, and the truth.

So I'm going to assume there is a little more context to this dismissal (based purely on hope); however, thinking back to my days in the fast food industry, I think it was probably just a case of poor management.

In a recent blog, I even asked if HR should have a role in the fast food industry because I know it is important to keep overhead down and that sort of thing.

Not to say there needs to be an HR rep at every store, but when someone is given the title (and authority) of manager, perhaps a little training needs to be had.

Perhaps you think that there is no such thing as bad press, and caffeine addictions being what they are, Tim Horton's won't likely lose sales as a result of this story.

But the question remains - does HR have a role in the fast food industry?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Work-life Balance: ahahahaha!

From the classroom to the C-suite, the term 'work-life' balance has become an increasingly popular concept over the past 5-6 years.

But what is it? does it actually happen?

In a world where a 9-5 existence doesn't really happen I would say that for the most part - no.

Personally, I would say that the the idea of having a work-life balance is a choice.  Like anything else in life, you have to set priorities and determine what you want out of each week.

I'm not saying you have to give yourself a boot-camp-esque like schedule outlining each breath you plan on taking and when, but a little structure never hurts.

The otherside of this is if your job is causing you to work well over 40 hours each week and you're not happy - why are you doing it?  and if you are happy... well really... if you're happy working 50+ hour work weeks for the majority of the year I think you might be lying or you're Hugh Hefner.

Do you feel you have a work-life balance? Does your organization support it in any way?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Worst Job Ever!

Thinking back on all the jobs you have ever had, which was the worst?

Most people, including myself, would say that it was in a place with uniforms and deep fryers...

But looking back, I worked in a kitchen for 5 years, if it was so terrible - why did I stay?

If you had asked me at the time, I probably would've said:

1. I'm in school
2. It's steady work
3. It's hard to find anything better part-time

So I kept working.  But what does this say about HR's role in the fast food industry? Sure turnover is high, pay is low, and there really isn't much room for advancement.

However, a new mall gets built, food court goes in, and people are available!

While I understand that there will always be students who have bills to pay, and people that don't have the skills/motivation/desire to leave a job where the only benefits are flexible shifts and free pop, what keeps people applying?

Most people when they leave the food service industry never want to go back. 

So does HR have a role in this territory? Would it be possible to make the jobs better?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Groupthink - the final frontier?

Where do you go when you have a question? Probably Google right?

What if it's a complex question - well maybe Wikipedia?

What if it's a question you want a hilarious answer to? How about Urban Dictionary?

Well here is what Urban Dictionary's most popular entry was for HR:

The department within a business responsible for the progression of the company through people management. Usually hated by employees at lower levels due to managers passing on their dirty work i.e disciplinaries, firing and redundancies.

Manager to employee:
Don't worry Jack, I'm the best manager in the world and I'll make sure you won't lose your job.

Manager to Human Resources Rep:
This Jack guy is a liabilaty. I need to get rid of him, will you dismiss him for me.

Jack to his friends:
My manager was great. He did everything he could to save my job but HR fired me. Fucking pricks!

Agree? Disagree?

What all of these resources have in common is the concept of 'groupthink'.

Increasingly, students are asked to work in teams on projects and assignments - this of course continues into the workplace.

Does no one want to be a decision-maker anymore? Are we becoming democratic?

Do you think this movement towards more teamwork and less individual decision-making is good or bad?