True Faith #HR Rewind: The MBTI of Easter

by Matthew Stollak on Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Originally posted March 27, 2016

While some believe there are 16 distinct personality types based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), I've long held there are 16 distinct personality types based on Easter candy preference...the ECTI.  The breakdown is as follows:

Chocolate Rabbit - Hollow (H) or Solid (S)

While some prefer their chocolate rabbits hollow, I've always felt it was ripoff when you bite into it, and it crumbles.  Solid rabbit all the way.

Reese's Peanut Butter Egg - Pro (E) or Con (N)

Though I prefer the miniatures or the regular cups, a Peanut Butter Egg is always a solid Easter option.
Marshmallow Peeps - Pro (P) or Con (Z)

Some prefer these marshmallow confections, while I think they are awful

Cadbury Creme Egg - Pro (B) or Con (C)

While the shell is fantastic, the stuff inside is disgusting.

That makes me a SEZC.  What does the ECTI say about you?

Happy Easter everyone!

Speaker Evaluations and #SHRM18

by Matthew Stollak on Friday, March 23, 2018

Last year on the SHRM blog, I bemoaned the sorry state of affairs of speaker evaluations by those HR professionals who are supposedly experienced in the art of giving feedback.  Too often, the comments given to speakers are rarely helpful, or, frankly, downright rude.  

Once again, I served as the Programming Co-Chair for the 2017 Wisconsin State SHRM Conference, and had the opportunity to review the evaluations and comments given to speakers.  All responses (in italics below) are from real HR professionals who took the time to actually make these statements.

"Ok." Fine." "Disappointed." - One word answers are the bane of performance evaluations.  Does anyone want to hear any of these words? Is there any context or explanation as to why or how the audience member reached that conclusion?  Even "fine" has turned into a negative. Give the speaker more constructive information to help him or her understand how the session or material could be improved.

"Pretty basic information." "Basic knowledge, no new information." - As above, does this help the speaker become better?  What does the speaker do with this feedback? Further, what's basic to you, might not be basic to someone else.  

"Had a horrible coughing fit and had to leave"

"Overslept" (for an early bird session)
"Wrong room." 

"Room was way too hot"
"Room was freezing"
"Was not aware of the room change for the session I planned on attending."
- Imagine being a speaker;  You've spent hours preparing for your session, and traveled a significant distance to serve the HR community. You open up the results, and these are the kind of comments left as feedback.  Surely, there are other places on the evaluation sheet to provide this kind of lucid commentary.

"EXACT same session and material as the year prior." - so why did you attend?  There are a number of sessions being offered simultaneously that you could've attended instead.  With over 1,200 attendees in WI (and over 12,000 at SHRM Annual), offering repeat speakers and sessions provides an opportunity for others who might have missed a quality speaker the first time around.

"Not what I thought it would be." "The session was not what I was expecting." - This is my new favorite evaluation phrase.  Once again, there is no context for the speaker to react to and adjust. What exactly were you expecting?

"The presenter did a good job, but it wasn't what I was expecting and was not at all applicable to my organization.  In other words, it was more my fault." - an improvement, and actual acknowledgement of blame.

So, as your get ready to attend the SHRM Annual Conference, keep the following guidelines in mind:
1.  Not all sessions are going to be winners.  SHRM did its best to select the speakers, and those speakers are certainly not there to make you feel bad.
2. If you are not enjoying the session you are in, leave.  The speaker will not be insulted. 

3.  Be cognizant of what you are saying about someone else.  If you felt the session missed the mark, provide constructive information that would be useful in making it better. 

The Shape of #WorkHuman

by Matthew Stollak on Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Copyright Fox Searchlight

Two weeks ago, "The Shape of Water" earned the Best Picture win at the Academy Awards.  Set in a high security government lab in the 1960s, this literal fish out of water tale tells the unique story of a mute woman who falls in love with an amphibian creature.

So, what does it have to do with the WorkHuman conference taking place in April? 

First, the protagonists are essentially outsiders.  Elisa, a cleaning woman is mute. Her next door neighbor, Giles, is a struggling advertising illustrator who is gay. Her best friend at work, Zelda, is black.  And, of course, there is the amphibian man.  In the 1960s, let alone today, all were living outside the "norm."

Yet, many of when welcomed into the workplace, can still feel like outsiders as well.  Companies love to espouse the notion of inclusion.  But, ask 10 people at your organization what inclusion means at that place of work, and you, more than likely, will get 10 different answers.  As Joe Gerstandt says, when you talk about about inclusion, what are you including people in? 

WorkHuman aims to improve the workplace experience. Through sessions such as Donna Kimmel's "Leveraging the Power of Human Differences," and Kim Christfort's "Embracing Cognitive Diversity," diversity and inclusion will not be just an empty gesture.

Second, "The Shape of Water" is also a story of workplace harassment.  While one would think of the amphibian man has the monster, the true villain is the Director of the facility, Michael Strickland.  The first time Elisa and Zelda meet Strickland, it is in the men's bathroom, where they are cleaning.  He doesn't ask them to leave, and begins to urinate in front of them. He continues to assert his dominance by beating the amphibian man with a rod, and the sexual undertones continue to grow in his relationship with Zelda, including locking the office door with her and him inside.  This is all the more pronounced as she literally has no voice.

This makes the WorkHuman #MeToo panel discussion with Ashley Judd, Tarana Burke, and Ronan Farrow, as well as the keynote session with Salma Hayek Pinault, all that more critical.

In addition, with track sessions on crowdsourcing, humanizing the employer brand, the business case for social recognition, and your whole self, Workhuman is the can't miss HR event of 2018. 

It's not too late to sign up. Get $100 off the registration fee by using the code WH18INF-MST.

Hope to see you in Austin.