HR in Real Life!

For non HR people looking in, it may appear that all we do is paperwork, make processes and procedures, and hire and fire people.

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Honestly, I have had an HR person or two who lives up to this stereotype….HOWEVER, let me tell you first hand, as an HR professional for over 5 years, who has a very large network of HR people…….. Our day to day problems could run the BEST Soap Operas!

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Inter office conflict, training supervisors, interviewing strange characters, and doing our best day to day to prevent lawsuits…… our day to day experiences could make you stop in your tracks and say “NO WAY!!!!” And all I could respond with was……. “WAY.”

Soooo…..then the question is how do HR people make blogs, and tweets, and Social Media fun and exciting to read while also getting the point across on some pretty serious business?!?!?

HR: Getting and Keeping it Real!

1. Be Honest

When blogging it is important to put real life experiences into what you are sharing. It humanizes your story and gives the readers something great to remember. Obviously you want to remove names, and you would NEVER want to share anything protected under laws such as HIPPA, but most things that happen to us can be shared with other professionals.

2. Get to the point

Don’t ramble on and on about legal things, and lawsuits, regulations, and the Governments and what they are doing or not doing. Pick a topic an issue and discuss why it matters to your target audience. They rarely care about how something became the way it did. They always want to know how it will affect them and what they need to do to minimize the possible risk. If you think your reader may want to know more, than I would put links into the blog to read more.

3. Don’t be afraid to take a side

Many HR people are terrified to take sides, and make a stand on something, because heaven forbid….someone disagrees! It is okay to have an opinion, and to speak about it, as long as you do so respectfully and are open to differing opinions. Never shut someone down for not agreeing with you, but make a stand and create conversation. If you don’t stand for something it can be hard to create connection, because you may seem inhuman.

4. Don’t try to please everyone

So often HR people want to come up with a solution that is best for everyone. Don’t get me wrong this is a really nice goal…..but I have NEVER heard of someone who has EVER been able to achieve this! When you blog you will likely be discussing policies, legal issues, and new regulations which companies need to be aware of and will need to adjust to. People will be angry, people will be happy, people will be annoyed, people will be inconvenienced…… get over it! It happens. Share the important information, share where more information can be found, after that it’s to each their own.

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Blogging and Social Media are all about creating connections and conversation. In order to do that you have to want to drive conversation, and at times create change. By following some of the above tips you will likely draw a solid following of people who read your posts, tweets, and blogs for the content AND for your own personal twist of story telling!

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Risky Business!

What are the risks of taking your brand social?

So your company wants to take it’s brand social! This is an exciting time. Everyone can’t wait to like, follow, retweet, and share what your company has to say and offer!

People love where they work and they cannot wait to share their excitement with others…..SOCIALLY!!!!

So how could ANY of this be a bad thing you may ask?

Because social media is a whole new world…which no matter how much you try to convince yourself….you have almost NO CONTROL OVER!

As managers we all like to think our employees love to come to work. They think we have the best company and the best managers. Everyone believes they are being paid enough and their benefits can’t be beat…..but in reality people don’t feel like that.

Prior to your company joining social media, your employees may complain on their own personal pages, but in the end, there is no DIRECT link to you and your company as a whole. So once you join the forever sharing, changing, and evolving SM world you want to help reduce the risk of your company and its employees of getting into HOT WATER!

Rules of Engagement

  • Create a SM Policy for your organization, but do so carefully. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRD) has strict guidelines on what you allow your employees to say. For example you cannot prevent your employees from speaking on SM about working conditions (pay, environment, management, benefits, etc.). You can however, prevent them from sharing trade secrets and sharing client or patient’s private information.

NLRB Social Media Guidelines

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  • Train your staff on what is and what is no professional and appropriate when posting on the business page and monitor what is placed directly to the page.

Employees at times can help address issues with customers and clients if they are properly trained on how to handle customer complaints and issues.

Customer Service and Social Media

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  • Create notifications for your businesses name. You want to be alerted immedietly if there is new business, a review, a post or someone who has mentioned you on the internet. You want to be able to look into the post and make sure the information shared is not going to damage your companies brand. If you are alerted to the issue immedietly you are able to tackle it head on before it becomes a bigger issue.

Google Alerts

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HR can help reduce some of the risk a company might face when taking the brand public by training employees, monitoring their employment satisfaction, and ensuring that all company policies and procedures are being followed.

No matter what you do though, there will always be the risk of the unknown and the uncontrollable. Since social media is a form of the first amendment, people can post whatever they want, with little to no consequences. In a personal setting this is not such a problem, but in a business setting, this can harm your companies brand.

At the end of the day my suggestion is know what you can and cannot tell your employees to do, and say, and help them understand how social media can help build your companies brand.

I have seen social media work negatively for employees who have used it recklessly and with little to no concern about it’s employers. I have also seen employees engage with consumers and help build a brand that they are proud to be associated with. It is all about training and communication, if you do both well…..you will be successful in reducing risk!

What have been some of your social media work experiences?