Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cultural Compentency Important to Strategic HRM

A Guest Post by UIS Grad Student Demario Turner

Overview of the CIC-SHRM Diversity Event-October 24, 2012
As a student enrolled in a Strategic Human Resource Management class, I was extended the opportunity to attend a Diversity seminar hosted by Central Illinois Council Society of Human Resource Management (CIC-SHRM). Reluctant to take off work and make the drive to Springfield, IL from Champaign, IL, at the conclusion of the event my feelings were different. Beyond being greeted with breakfast, I found that this learning event was, informative in substance, provided a glimpse of CIC-SHRM’s opportunities, certifications, objectives, and an opportunity to network with other HR professionals.

The seminar, “Ensuring a Culturally Competent Workforce” was presented by Lorena Johnson, Director of the CPM Program at UIS, has an extensive background in Professional Development and Diversity Education. The learning objectives where to define cultural diversity; the changing demographics in the 21st century (race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, etc.); the new economic reality (doing more with less, working in teams, Hierarchical to flat organizational structures, singular job duties to multi-duties); and creating an innovative, dynamic and productive work environment (coordination and collaboration, cross-colonization, and multiple ideas approaches). She contends that a culturally competent workforce extends not only to employees but also to organizational leaders and managers which creates “mutual competency. She defines diversity in her own words and highlights that diversity is more than just race and ethnicity but where you live and organizational culture. Building from this foundation she defines cultural competency as it relates to organizational culture and climate:

The ability to obtain cultural knowledge and skills and then apply those knowledge skills to understand communication, interacts, and works respectively with people from other cultures.

There are three principles to cultural competency including, understanding the values and beliefs of other cultures; understanding the perceptions and experiences of those outside your culture; and understanding the values and beliefs of one’s own culture. Theses competencies cultivate observations, inquiry, experience and practice, and reflection and are enhance through a continued processes of growth and development. You must be strategic, systemic (knowing your organization), must be tied to the mission values and vision of the organization, identifying and understanding what your org climate is, and include inclusion and equity.

Building upon this discussion she talked at length about the layers of organizational culture; organizational approaches to diversity (affirmative action, value, and competency); surveying the climate of organizations and how culturally competent they are using a prescribed developmental model; the strategic approach to organizational cultural competency; and cultural maintenance.

Again, I think this seminar was very informative and tied directly to the substance of the SHRM class. The literature detailed the importance of being organizationally culturally competent and how it should be a part of the strategic HR planning. It further described the importance of maintenance and continued growth and development as part of the organizational standard. I really enjoyed the CIC- SHRM presentation and look forward to other opportunities in the future.

Monday, October 29, 2012

HRs Job is Finding a Way to Say YES

Saying yes to both the employee and the employer is the role in terms of HR when it comes to workplace flexibility. Understanding that flexibility is not just good for the employee is not only HRs job but managements job as well. These are the overall messages I heard over and over again in the sessions at the SHRM #Workplace12 conference in partnership with FWI (Family Work Institute. Which by the way, FWI has been doing this research and encouraging workplace flexibility for over thirty years and is documented in the book just produced (pictured to left) called Workflex The Essential Guide to Effective and Flexible Workplaces.The book is so popular that it is already temporarily sold out.  That to me is an impressive statement since it was just released.

The point is employers don't really have a choice to ignore something that has been an issue, concern, career threat for so long. I know personally have been dealing with this issue for over 20 years not only in my own life but also in the lives of the talented employees I have seen quit the traditional workforce just to maintain balance in their life. A couple of years ago I wrote a post on the women of hr blog site about the last 10 years of my career having been "the perfect 10" because I had balance. Unfortunately, like the employees I did exit interviews for I had to start my own business to do so.

The sessions last week provided employers ideas on how to make flexibility possible in light of the tremendous constraints the antiquated employment laws put upon on us. Previously, I never would have advised an employer to try flexibility outside the office with nonexempt employees but after hearing a story at lunch about how one company ran a call center from employees homes successfully and within the constraints of the current laws, I have changed my paradigm. I also agreed previously that it would be difficult to implement flexibility on a manufacturing setting or in the medical field, but after hearing Lisa Horn moderate a panel with two Sloan Award winners, I have again changed my thinking. If you see the pattern here, it's all about awareness. Learning from others what can be done and what has not worked tends to help others think outside the box.

The books and toolkit now available which were released at this conference will help a whole new shift and interest increase awareness and make the move towards a more flexible workplace. The benefits will help increase productivity, engagement, retention in organizations because employees will be less worried about what they are not doing at home.

Management and HR now have tools available to make this happen but it really can't happen unless it become part of the culture of the organization. Workflex like diversity is not an event it is a way of life. Competence comes with education.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stop the Frickin' Bullying Already!

The highlight of my day (besides the train pick up line on my way to Chicago) was hearing the enthusiastic, the entertaining, the straightforward gay Jew (her words not mine) from Facebook talk about Diversity & Inclusion at her company.  Sarah Sperling, lead, Diversity & Inclusion programs, Facebook, San Francisco, California knocked her session out of the ballpark today at the annual Society of Human Resources Management Diversity & Inclusion Conference at the Chicago Marriott Downtown on the Miracle Mile.

The ideas were flowing and the energy in the room was outstanding primarily because of her unique and energizing style.  Her bio started with a trip down her Facebook timeline (fitting).  She then shared her experience in this role which is only a bit over a year mind you with not prior D&I experience.  The honor was in the fact that Facebook picked her!  During her inaugural year the employees started not one (which was her intent) but seven different Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).  She did say she needs her own ERG to take naps because there are so many young millennials there.  It would be the "over 40 group" of course. 

Some of us over 40 experienced our children being bullied for the first time via social media in the early days of My Space and Xanga but Facebook really does not like their platform being used for negative purposes.  Sarah said she loves to go to schools and talk to teenagers and say "Stop the Frickin' Bullying Already!" I wish she came to my daughters high school about 10 years ago.  It's good to hear that the goal of Facebook is to be for "good" so they start pages like a family safety center available for parents on the platform to help fight bullying on social networks. Another awesome site very relevant to the topic is Go LIKE this page now! The goal of the page is as follows:

At Facebook, we value diversity on an individual level and the impact that every person can have. We are dedicated to creating an environment where people can be their authentic selves and share their own diverse backgrounds, experiences, perspectives and ideas.

With the gorgeous Shirley Davis moderating this session it was widely worthwhile for anyone in this space.  I think Sarah did an excellent job of sharing how Facebook encourages their 4k employees to be their authentic self on a daily basis!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Illinois State Council of SHRM: Social Media ROI

I think the following blog post is worth sharing here. Enjoy, understand, and embrace social media. It is here to stay!

Illinois State Council of SHRM: Social Media ROI: What value is there in Social Media for Illinois SHRM?  Are we getting return on investment?  Why should our organization spend money to sup...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

HRCI Approved Provider Training Coming This Fall

Cheaper, faster, and more succinct is the goal again this year as the second year to offer webcasts for the Human Resources community.  The courses are designed to sit at your desk with your lunch and learn in November through mid-December. As an HRCI pre-approved provider I have submitted all of these programs for 2-2.75 hours of recertification credit. The programs are co-sponsored by Rogers HR Consulting and University of Illinois at Springfield. 

 Sign up for #HRCI Approved Provider Rogers HR Consulting emails to get notified about upcoming webcasts #HR #PHR #SPHR #Recertify

Click the links below to go to a full description, time, date and costs which are between $69-$79.

Administering ADA/FMLA in the Workplace

Affirmative Action Plan: Where do I start?

Conducting a Salary Comparability Study

Conducting Employee Disciplinary Investigations

Conducting Employee Opinion Surveys

Conducting Your Own HR Audit

Developing or Revising Your Company Handbook

Hire and Develop Top Employees

Ready or Not!!! Good Employee Relations is Here to Stay