Yesterday was the long-awaited #Chru day. The first dedicated HR Unconference in the UK.I got a few lightbulb moments during the day (which was handy because there was no lighting in the area I facilitated a session in). HR folk need a bit more structure and order than the rest of the social media population. I think #Chru reflected that. Different to how I would do things, but great none the less.
My Top 10 Lightbulbs:
- 1: The CIPD are quite cool. They just don’t quite know how to be yet. They remind me of a dad with a teenage daughter. They know that the inevitable is going to happen. They know they can’t control it but they want to anyway. They are trying to be cool about it but it will be a stormy road, with a few mishaps along the way. they clearly know that eventually they are just going to have to let go.
I think those in the HR community should applaud their efforts, give them a nudge in the right direction from time to time. like any organisation, they are going to get it wrong before they get it right. I’m sure they will get there in the end so lets encourage all their efforts.
- 2: If you can be sacked for not following a guideline, then it’s not a guideline, it’s a rule or policy. Label it correctly and be clear.
I believe that social Media should not be treated as a separate entity to communications. That means expanding existing policy, guidelines and practice rather than trying treating it as a special case, with special “permissions” needed. Your guidelines for social media should simply be: “Be a grown up!”
- 3: HR folk love to complain about control. Perhaps it is because they are the reluctant enforcers, that they can see what is wrong with many of the rules in the first place.
- 4: There’s not a lot of point talking about measuring outputs rather than inputs, when the reality is that most managers measure inputs. You can try to influence their thinking, but talk reality not utopia.
- 5: Organisations need to find a way to recognise and reward peer-to-peer learning and self-development. I loved the story about how TGI Fridays recognised bar staff by running a cocktail making competition with an honours board, and providing a network place for sharing recipes, tips etc. It was far more succesful than when they gave them a big cocktail book and said “learn this.” What a great way to encourage learning and knowledge sharing. i need to give some thought as to how this simple concept can be applied to all learning.
- 6: Academic qualifications are the currency of knowledge, particularly in the job market. As social learning for self-development is becoming the way in which people learn, how can we measure this. You need a measure of knowledge for employment selection and in some cases, promotions. is using academics as the measure fast becoming outdated? perhaps we need to be looking at school selection type knowledge tests as part of the selection process. These could be administered on-line pre interview to save time. Not totally secure, but a step in the right direction.
- 7: HR practitioners are largely not social. The majority of attendees were consultants and vendors. This is not dissimilar to most sectors. Perhaps the practitioners are too busy doing the job, while the consultants (like me) see the benefit of exposure. I hope #connectingHR can go some way to changing the balance over time and encourage more muggles over to the social media world.
- 8: As an earlier adopter (I’m not an early adopter. still finding my way around.) I need to remember to think and speak like someone who has first come to use social media. Once you’ve done something for a while, you just assume everyone knows the basics, and they don’t like to ask you for fear of looking stupid.
If #connectingHR is to achieve its commendable aim of converting more HR practitioners to experiment and adopt social media, then the language and content of the blog, website and conversations need to change to accommodate this. We think and speak as users, does that scare people off or discourage them from commenting and taking part? A social media mentoring programme similar to that being offered by #HREvolution in the US would be a good step forward, possibly supported by a series of webinars to help with the “How to”, and on-line instructional video produced by HR practitioners for HR practitioners. Whilst I understand gareth’s reluctance to bring in sponsors, the right partners might be able to provide the cash and expertise to make this happen.
- 9: If the target membership of #connectingHR are not active in social-media, then a different more traditional approach might be needed like a news letter distributed by mail and a traditional print media campaign. Just a thought.
- 10: I recognised the power of associating a person with a brand, however big that brand might be. I’ve started following and talking with Catherine Mayo. Catherine is the Recruitment Officer for the Talis Group. Among other things, the Talis group run the library management/IT system for Northamptonshire libraries. Every time I get an e-mail reminder that I need to get my books back or renew them, (this service saves me a fortune in fines.), and it comes from Talis, I think” Catherine has e-mailed me again. Thanks Catherine!”
This might seem a small example but think of the possibilities for big brands when they can personalise my perception of them. I call it personality branding! (Not to be confused with the over hyped and misused “personal branding.”
Thats my 10 take aways. A hat tip to Jon Ingham and Gareth Jones for all the hard work they put in to making it happen. I, more than anyone know that it’s not easy.
Add your own thoughts to comments, tell me i’m completely mad or let me know what you want more of my thinking.
If you attended #chru and enjoyed the unconference format, come and join us at #truNora on the 4th November. lots of very relevent content. Social is best done in person, and when you want somones attention, you really can poke them!
Keep being ambassadors for #ConnectingHR
Other #Chru Blogs
If I have missed any out, please nudge me and I will update the list.