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Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Goodbyes can be hard – especially when they are unexpected. And when the person leaving has been a trusted ally and friend at work, the workplace dims a bit.

This week is her last at Kronos for Laura Souza. She’s been my partner in building the Workforce Institute for almost 6 years, and while the Institute will go on, it won’t be quite the same without her.

I’ve been lucky to have a lot of smart and helpful coworkers over the years. A few have remained friends long after the our coworker relationship ended. I hope Laura will be in that category.

What are the key ingredients that made our relationship at work so great?

Trust – it’s the basis of all great relationships, right? And even more so at work where your results and reputation are what you get paid for. Having a partner whose collaboration makes you smarter makes you want to work harder as well.

Shared Purpose – when you share a common purpose that you’re excited about, you make the extra effort. Working together to create something bigger and better than you could do independently is exciting. Publishing books and launching the Institute in China are the result of keeping our focus on what’s possible, not just what’s easy.


I’m going to miss you, girl!


Work Friends and World War Z

Film Review World War ZI’ve had a long and fun week.  At the end of last week I was in Seattle to host and keynote our  local user conference, KronosLive.  I hadn’t been to Seattle since the early 90’s, so this trip was a great opportunity to mix business with pleasure.  My husband came with me and we spent Saturday morning at the Pike Place Market,walked Alki beach, rode the giant Ferris Wheel and otherwise enjoyed Seattle.  Lunch with Tony,  Indian food at Sai’s house, fabulous Italian dinner with Tamara.  We moved on to Chicago for SHRM – lunch with Sharlyn, Gage with Marcia, dinner with Connor & his fiance Kim.  And yes, lots of work got accomplished during and in between social events.

I’m thinking about these work friendships this week in light of the new Gallup poll that indicates 52% of workers aren’t involved in, enthusiastic or committed to their work and 18% are actively disengaged.   Like a lot of previous data we’ve seen, this 2012 SHRM survey reveals relationships with coworkers as a leading driver of engagement.  And while there is scholarly evidence that good relationships with co-workers increase productivity,  our personal experiences on the job are probably sufficient to demonstrate that point.  Whether it’s your boss or a team member, a negative relationship at work can make all the difference in your commitment to the job.

And what does this all have to do with World War Z?  Brad Pitt hurtles around the world trying to save humanity from a zombie outbreak.  His survival – and that of his family – are dependent on his ability to rely on his old work friends while quickly forming productive relationships with new ones.  He survives due to the mutual trust, respect and commitment to a larger cause he shares with these people.  And whether you like zombie movies or not, that’s a lesson worth repeating.

What we’re reading this week:

Nothing Should Stop Payday – Friday Distraction via @HRBartender

My boss talking about Cloud: RT @SAPCloud: [Video] #SAP #Partners see Clear Future with #Cloud

Why Google Stopped Asking Job Applicants to Answer Impossible Brainteasers

Kronites are talking about:

New Time Well Spent Cartoon: #HR #ERP #Payroll

Great Opening Session at #SHRM13 in Chicago via @WF_Institute

RT @SmarterCafe: Use your “smart” phone for #Kronos support!

Check Out @WF_Institute’s New eBook – What’s Your Best Career Advice? #hrblogs

RT @SmarterCafe: Are you 1 of the >85% of Fortune 500 that will fail to exploit #bigdata through 2015? #Gartner

RT @SmarterCafe: The new #Kronos phonebook, er, newsletter – “Workforce Matters” is out!

‘Zero-Hours’ Contracts – What’s All The Fuss About? via @simonmacpherson @KronosUK

Don’t miss this 6/25 webinar: Boosting the Bottom Line through Demand-Based #Scheduling via @risnewsinsights #Retail

#SHRM13 has been a blast! Thanks to everyone who stopped by the #Kronos booth. Check out some of our pictures:

#Kronos Makes Workforce Management Easier Than Ever With Workforce Central 7 #SHRM13

Check Out Our eBook – What’s Your Best Career Advice?

I’m happy to announce the availability of the new Workforce Institute ebook.  In it, we’ve collected our board members’ points-of-view on the concept of Workforce Innovation That Works™; their thoughts on the most noteworthy human capital management trends; and the best career advice they have ever received.  This book complements our two previously published hardcover books, Elements of Successful Organizations and Creating the Workforce – and Results – You Seek.

In addition, the ebook also contains videos about trends in human capital management; a variety of blog posts by board members; podcasts on a variety of workforce management topics; and Time Well Spent™ cartoons, which illustrate the humorous aspects of workforce management.

The Workforce Institute’s board members are:

  • David Almeda, Ed.D., SPHR, chief people officer, Kronos
  • Ruth Bramson, CEO, Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts
  • Andy Brantley, president and CEO, the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR)
  • Bob Clements, senior principal, Axsium Group
  • David Creelman, CEO, Creelman Research
  • John Hollon, vice president for editorial, ERE Media
  • Sharlyn Lauby, the HR Bartender and president of ITM Group Inc.
  • Joyce Maroney, director, The Workforce Institute at Kronos
  • Susan Meisinger, SPHR, JD
  • John-Anthony C. Meza, human resources officer, Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP)
  • Dr. Tim Porter O’Grady, senior partner, Tim Porter O’Grady Associates, Inc.
  • William Tincup, CEO, Tincup & Co.

The ebook is  full of useful information for managers at every level. Our diverse board of experts has weighed in on innovative workplace practices they have observed in a variety of fields as well as the best career advice they have received. We hope readers will come away more knowledgeable and armed with ideas for how they might introduce new forms of innovation to their own organizations.

What would you like to share?  What workforce innovation has impressed you?  Or do you have career advice of your own to share?