Unreasonable Objectives Are Dishonest Standards


Leviticus 19:35

35Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity.

It goes with out saying that, as Christian Business Leaders, we should always manage using Christian principles. The sometimes subtle shaving or rounding of numbers can get out of hand. We all immediately get defensive and say we would not be involved in it, but I am sure that, statistically speaking, we have all been involved in matters that we are not proud of. One overlooked area of potential dishonesty is having goals and objectives or production quotas that are just simply unreachable by employees. Having witnessed this firsthand, the following is a likely scenario.

A new manager comes on board. The new manager does not like a certain subordinate. The subordinate, although a long-term employee and well liked, is now under increased scrutiny of the new manager. The new manager shows a negative bias as to the employee’s personal activities, education, and even their personal life activities. The new manager not only demands unreasonable objectives from the employee, but they also eliminate any support positions or staff that support the subordinate’s function. The employee begins a spiral downturn of poor performance, crying out for assistance until the new manager gets his twisted objective met and fires the employee. The manager then hires someone at two-thirds the pay and rationalizes his decision on a warped sense of “lack of performance”.

This, dear reader, is dishonest, but practiced in some organizations.

The best solution to setting unrealistic goals and standards that lead to termination is simply to never get there at all. But, if your organization has, now is the time to correct it, ask for forgiveness and move on. If you are honoring God by managing an organization beyond reproach, you are building a “Kingdom Minded” Organization.

Help our community of readers

What dishonest practices have you met in your career? (Please do not include names of individuals, organizations or companies.) What God-honoring processes, as they relate to goals and objectives, have you witnessed?

Leave Sheaves Behind and Be Rewarded


Deuteronomy 24:19

19When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

When we live our lives in a compassionate and giving way, God has a way of replenishing our supply of resources. Oftentimes what you will find is that, the more you give away, the more you gain. Sounds absurd perhaps, but I have experienced it several times, not only in personal lives but in many careers as well.

This is very important in the workplace. The more you coach and mentor your employees, the greater the reward they will reap, and you as well. Don’t let yourself be selfish with your time. Having met many selfish leaders who have never connected with their direct reports has led me to understand the grave consequences that are felt within the organization at the employee level.

 Allow your employees to enjoy the company’s harvest.

Connect with your people daily, share objectives with them, and create excitement within your Team. Excited and passionate teams reap results. Most of all leave many sheaves behind for them. Let them enjoy the fruit of the company’s harvest. If you will do this, you are building a “Kingdom Minded” Company.

Help our community of readers

What does your organization do to make sure your employees are left some sheaves? How do you share in the success of the company? Do you know of a company that does this? What do they do that makes you smile?

Grow the Kingdom of God for Your Employees


Happy Employee – Happy Company!” company width=   1 Timothy 6–10

 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can   take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

In this passage we learn that, if we have food and clothing, we will be content.  But many of us are not content.  Christian Business Leaders must recognize this and take heed: we are to be the light to our employees, to be the beacon and the example.

Church should not be the only place you grow the kingdom for God.

How many times do we fail ourselves and our people when we don’t take the well being of all of our employees into consideration when making decisions? How often do we think only of growing the kingdom for God at our church, but not at our workplace? Where is our heart when it comes to making the hard decision in benefits design, and, rather than encouraging and developing healthy behaviors, we instead punish and increase premiums without appropriate consideration?

If you first love your brothers and sisters within your companies, if you truly care for them by engaging them in the decision making and future building of your company, if you partner with them for the good of themselves and their families, you are building a “Kingdom Minded” company.

Help our community of readers

How have you engaged your employees in the decision making and future building of your company?  What advice would you give to those who have never done so?  Thank you for your thoughts.  Your contribution helps others.

Be a Light unto Your Workplace


Workers are FewMatthew 9: 35–38

35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages,  teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and  healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he  had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest  is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the  harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

The Apostles spent their days in their workplaces.

So do we.

In today’s business world, the workers are few.  However, are you aware that you are a worker? As Christian Leaders, we are called to bring others to the Lord’s harvest.  Our fields, as leaders, are in fact the  workplace! We spend countless hours leading our people in the organizations we  manage.  During those hours, we should be an example of God’s love to our customers, coworkers, vendors and the people we  lead.  Do we take this responsibility seriously?  Do our actions reflect our hearts?  Do they reflect Christ? Do  you go out of your way to humbly lead your people to Christ? So, Christian Business Leaders, if you are a light to your workplace, if you can truly agree that you are a beacon to all, you are  then a reflection of Christ; you are part of building a “Kingdom Minded”  company.”

How do you shine a light to your employees? How do you let your customers and vendors know your faith?  Sometimes the simplistic ways are the most impactful. Let us know. We love to learn best practices.

 

Finding Diamonds in the Rough


 Happy Interview This Post From Guest Blogger Buzz Rooney

I was blessed to spend the early part of my career as a staffing manager for light industrial jobs. One of the most valuable lessons I learned was not to judge people’s work ethic or abilities solely on their aptitude in filling out a job application or writing a resume. Some of the hardest working, most loyal and dedicated employees had the most difficult time writing an explanation of their previous job experience.

Resume writing and everything else that goes along with the job search is stressful. Most people are not taught how to track their performance and work product to build a comprehensive professional profile.  Admittedly, my own resume was a hot mess until I reached out to a professional friend to give it a much needed makeover! Struggle in this area is commonplace. One would think this would make recruiters and hiring managers less critical of applications and resumes.

However, when I made the switch to more traditional HR, I found the exact opposite to be the custom. Candidates were being discarded for minor errors and/or choosing unsophisticated descriptors.

John 7:24 (NLT) – “Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly”.
In screening and reviewing resumes to find suitable candidates for open positions, look for 3 things:

Experience. Does the person’s work history establish practice in the same or similar type of role? Has the person ever worked in the same or similar industry? Did the person perform the same or similar tasks in a past position? (Romans 2:6 [NLT] – “He will judge everyone according to what they have done”)

Education. Has the person taken courses that would prepare him/her for this position? What kind of coursework has he/she completed that would teach the problem-solving skills necessary for success at this job? (Proverbs 18:15 [NKJ] – “The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge”)

Enthusiasm. Does the tone of the resume display a positive attitude about work? Are there accomplishments which demonstrate excellence? Is there a pattern of progressive responsibility in the work that shows ambition? Do the projects outline the ability to both lead and provide support within a team? (Colossians 3:23 [NLT] – “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people”)

Do not be so concerned with superfluous things like formatting, stylized punctuation or accidentally typing “manger” instead of “manager.” Focusing heavily on unessential things will cause us to miss those diamonds in the rough.

We all make errors, both before and during our employment journeys. We have to use caution in judging others too harshly – especially knowing our own skills, abilities and practices are not necessarily at the best level they can be (Matthew 7).

Instead, by focusing on identifying the potential talent in the resumes we receive, we can rest assured we will yield good candidates and build a strong team of staff members to complete the work.

 

 Ms. Buzz Rooney- Blogger

Buzz Rooney is a practicing HR Professional with over a decade of experience in the production, manufacturing and retail industries. She has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with a focus on Organizational Communication and Leadership as well as a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management. Buzz is also a blogger and part-time HR consultant. Read more of her writings, connect and contact her at www.thebuzzonhr.com

From Fat to Fit! Healthy Mind, Healthy Spirit, Healthy Body!


From Fat to Fit!

During the 2009 Thanksgiving season, my son Adam and I were talking about the fun we had when he was younger, especially backpacking. He mentioned he would love to take a weeklong trip, but without hesitation he said I would never be able to make it, that I was too heavy and probably would have a heart attack! That hit me pretty hard. I also felt an obligation to lead a healthy lifestyle as a Vice President of Human Resources. It is somewhat hypocritical to promote health and wellness to reduce medical expenses, and at the same time be obese! Realizing I was embarrassingly out of shape for a 42 year old, I made a commitment to change my lifestyle.

I started exercising, changed my diet based on Eating for Life by Bill Phillips, and spent time reflecting on my relationship with Christ.

Read the full post on Cheryl Cope’s blog.

Workplace Grief: It’s More Common Than You Realize


Guest Blog post this week

I had the privilege being a guest contributor to Sylvia Hepler’s blog:

Launching Lives

Workplace Grief: It’s More Common Than You Realize

Read the full post on Silvia’s website: here

Or read below:

Tell us about your role at In HIS Name HR.

My company provides HR support services to organizations with fifty or more employees. Typically, the organizations we support do not need a VP or Director of HR full time, but greatly benefit from having access to HR expertise consistently, perhaps a few times a month. I use my 20-plus years in HR at both Fortune and smaller sized companies to help develop for them strong, positive-minded HR practices. I have clients throughout Central Pennsylvania and we are expanding into other parts of the U.S.

What is workplace grief and how common is it?

It is more common than most may realize. Many employees are already bearing the staggering burden of navigating the pressures of a weak global economy, political turmoil and personal financial hardships. Add to that the fact that our population is aging. Many organizations have employees whose loved ones are elderly. So, when faced with a death in the family, it is often the last straw, completely breaking the employee down emotionally.

How would you advise a grieving employee?

This is an excellent question because employers should approach this from two perspectives, and prepare by having both a preventative and reactionary standpoint.

First, take a preventive approach by not waiting for it to happen before deciding how to deal with it. If you are a manager or a leader in an organization, take the initiative now to talk with HR and develop a strategy on how to handle such a situation. Not every department manager is comfortable with or capable of assisting an employee who’s dealing with grief. Identify two or three key people in your organization who will step in to help (and whom you will subsequently arrange to have trained to cope with the various situations and cultures in order to be prepared to react). Another alternative would be to retain the services of a chaplain to assist in these types of situations. Several of my clients use chaplain and have found this to be successful.

From the reactionary perspective, these same two or three people that you’ve chosen within your organization will have been trained and should be prepared as to how they will relate to the person suffering grief. In the Jewish culture, for example, it is common for people to visit a friend’s home when they lose a loved one and just sit with them, saying nothing. Sometimes just being there with someone shows you care. It is important to know that just being there for your employees, rather than avoiding the uncomfortable situation, can prove helpful.

How would you advise supervisors and colleagues to interact with a grieving co-worker?

The best advice is to not change anything and keep the routine as normal as possible. I would suggest that the manager calls all the employees together and asks that anyone who has a relationship with the grieving employee feel free to offer condolences. Those who don’t should not feel obligated, it can look phony and superficial to the grieving employee.

How can grieving and loss affect job performance?

Oftentimes, employees may have attendance issues or slight decreases in performance after the death of a loved one. It is important to keep the communication consistent and constant with the employees. Letting them know you care about their personal situation, but also giving them continued feedback, can go a long way. Offering assistance is a great way to show you care — offer a solution but also set the bar. Use language like, “I realize it is hard getting back into the swing of things, but we need your performance for the Team’s objectives. Can I get you some help from a co-worker?

Any closing comments?

Yes. Thank you for the opportunity to share my perspective with your readers. Death is an inevitable part of living; we must always be prepared for it. The best preparation is making sure you have staff that is prepared to offer empathy in a time of loss. Let’s hope your readers will not need to employ this advice in 2012!

Mark Griffin, of In His Name HR. In His Name HR provides human resource consulting for small- and medium-sized organizations. Mark has served in the US Air Force, has extensive educational credentials, including a BA in HR, an MBA, and several Executive Education certifications from the University of Michigan. In addition to serving as VP of Human Resources for an international agricultural equipment manufacturer, Mark has also worked in a variety of HR leadership roles for Fortune companies, such as Merck, Kodak and Quaker Oats, as well as privately held and employee-owned companies, such as Woolrich and Townsends.

Find Mark at InHisNameHR.comTwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook.

Because Outlook Told Me So


 To Do List! This Post From Guest Blogger Buzz Rooney

I have always worked in small HR departments where I am one of 2-3 staff members, wearing multiple hats and juggling competing priorities all day, every day. I am generally orderly and mindful in my work and in my record-keeping. That is an essential skill in this profession where historical data can be called upon at any time for analytics or legal scrutiny. When my staff asks me how I keep it all together and remember to start, track and finish all these tasks, I jokingly say “I don’t remember anything. I just do what the Outlook reminders tell me to do.”

Still, there are times when I sit at my desk and look at the piles, issues and emails that all need to be addressed and I have no idea where to start or how to get it all done! When that happens, I take a deep breath, pull out a piece of paper and make a list.

Habakkuk 2:2-3 (NKJV) – “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time”

  • Written plans set priorities and give focus. Once you have dumped your brain and written down everything, you can organize the list according to what is most urgent and important. You may be able to get help or delegate tasks. You may find that there are items that can be postponed or removed altogether. You may find tasks that can be merged together. However, when thoughts are just rolling around in your mind and piles of work are all around, you have no idea of any of these things! Deadlines get missed and important items get forgotten. This is not what God would have for us. God wants us to be productive and meet needs through our work (Titus 3:14). Being deliberate and logical in our work can help us achieve this.
  • Written plans make it easier to measure effectiveness. When you maintain a list of to-do items or another type of action plan, it is easy to see not only what needs doing but also what has been done. There is a great feeling that comes from conquering tasks on your list (Proverbs 13:9). It gives us a sense of accomplishment that can help keep us motivated to continue working hard in pursuit of our goals (Galatians 6:9).

There are two clear pitfalls to avoid in when preparing the lists and plans for our work.

  • Complicated, confusing objectives. The Scripture calls for us to make things “plain” so our plan is easy to follow. Keep things clear and concise.
  • Lengthy, lofty outline. The Scripture calls for us to create plans for “an appointed time.” This is why long lists without clear time limits are ineffective. Keep things specific and finite.
      Whether it is a strategic plan for the organization, a meeting agenda or to-do reminders for the day – the ability to create and follow a written plan is critical to consistent performance and long-term achievement. God wants us to be effective in our work. He also wants us to be organized and methodical. And when we look to Him for strength and guidance through prayer and meditation, we can rest assured that He will direct and keep us on a path to success (Proverbs 3:1-8).

 Ms. Buzz Rooney- Blogger

Buzz Rooney is a practicing HR Professional with over a decade of experience in the production, manufacturing and retail industries. She has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with a focus on Organizational Communication and Leadership as well as a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management. Buzz is also a blogger and part-time HR consultant. Read more of her writings, connect and contact her at www.thebuzzonhr.com

Rules Weren’t Made To Be Broken


 We need to get along! This Post From Guest Blogger Buzz Rooney

As a manager and HR professional, I encounter a lot of foolishness and hatefulness in the workplace. Passive-aggressive behavior, back-stabbing, finger-pointing, laziness, discrimination, bullying and flagrant insubordination are all too real! This is part of the reason I enjoy working in HR. I get to help find justice for wronged individuals; I get to help train and develop other managers to overcome these same issues and prevent them for the future.

There are times, however, when the responsibility to protect the employer I work for and mitigate potential liability feels like it clashes with my faith. There are times where I feel like a hitman sent to take out a pesky adversary like something out of mobster film. Terminating employees doesn’t feel good. Negotiating ‘no-fault’ separation agreements doesn’t feel good. Denying employee requests doesn’t feel good.

So what do I do about it? Why do I keep going to work and doing this stuff every day?! How have I managed to stay in this career for almost 15 years?!?

I adhere to the rules and the spirit in which they were intended.

NLT Romans 15:4 – “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning

In the workplace, this verse of Scripture applies to the policies, procedures, training documents, handbooks and manuals. These governing documents are the ideal way for the business of the workplaces to be conducted. The documents are typically not written with the intention of causing hurt, harm, danger or confusion. On the contrary, they are written to be consistent, effective, efficient and fair in our workplace dealings. They are written for our learning.

Therefore, I choose to believe the processes and practices that derive from them are also intended for the good of the people in our workplaces. I see God in the order which comes from enforcing and upholding the standards set forth in policies, procedures, training documents, handbooks and manuals. So I focus on that as I handle the challenges which come my way (Philippians 4:8).

When someone violates regulations that are intended for good, that person is out of order and should be corrected. When someone is violated by someone who misused regulations to cause harm, there is a responsibility to correct that also. But that may not necessarily mean the wronged individual can keep working. And it may mean more than just a warning for the person who broke the rules. It may mean letting people go. And, no matter how often you do it, that never gets easier – especially in these times where our economy is suffering and unemployment is so high!

In those moments, I focus on the fact that God is able. He provides for me and He protects me. And I know He does the same for others! I remember that all things work together for good to those who love God (Romans 8:28) and what may seem like a terrible outcome could be part of God’s plan to bring about good things in the future (Genesis 50:20). And I pray before, during and after major decisions for His will to be done, even when it doesn’t feel good to me and/or when I don’t understand.

My hope is that this is enough. Amen.

 Ms. Buzz Rooney- Blogger Buzz Rooney is a practicing HR Professional with over a decade of experience in the production, manufacturing and retail industries. She has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with a focus on Organizational Communication and Leadership as well as a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management. Buzz is also a blogger and part-time HR consultant. Read more of her writings, connect and contact her at www.thebuzzonhr.com