Friday, October 16, 2009

Workplace Hugging

I believe this is the first guest blog post I have ever put on Recruiting Revolution. This was just too good to pass up. One of our recruiting team members (Shine Thomas) sent this to our team today:

What are the rules for workplace hugs? Here are some ideas I have been pondering on:

  • The guy / girl hug. A quick hug and 2-3 slaps on the back. Keeps movement going and ensures there is not an awkward too clingy stage. Someone will always get the wrong impression even if it is for a nano-second.

  • The two girls who work closely hug – This sort of hug usually starts with a squeal of “HIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEE!!!!!”; big arms, big smiles” maybe some swaying ; some more squealing. Special occasions (such as babies and engagements) can take this hug from 30 seconds to up to 5 minutes and multiple repetitions.

  • The sideways half hug - Also good for guy/ girl workplace hugs. Affection is being shown but not too much to give the wrong impression.

  • The First hug - When your relationship goes from being friendly hello to hugging it is a very instrumental point in your relationship. It can determine how the relationship will move ahead. If the hug is not equally reciprocated it could lead to bonding issues. However, if the first hug is a good quality hug, immediate life long workplace bonding is sure to follow.

  • The outside of work hug - You see someone you know from work and chat to occasionally at random spot out and about in your hometown. Maybe even another city. It’s far enough away from the workplace to warrant extra excitement. You will probably do a “HEEEEYYY (guys) or semi-squealing “HIIIIIIIEEE” (girls); lean in, reach out arms a bit and maybe do a quick hug. Risk takers will go straight into the hug.

  • Candidate interview hugs - I have been known to hug my close candidates in the reception area. I must admit I advise against this practice though. I would recommend sticking to a warm extra long handshake and big smile. Some of my candidates have close/ stalkerish relationships with me.

  • The new hire hug - There are some candidates you court for a long time. Lots of conversations. Lots of “one more question” phone calls. Lots of trips in for interviews, emails with smiley faces, the excitement of an offer, the acceptance of an offer, relocations and finally they are here at the village. It is really a special day almost like a wedding day. I know on Sunday nights, when I know a new hire is going to start on Monday, I do get nervous excitement! You meet them on day one or sometime during their first week. You walk up to them and say “HIIIIIIEEEEE!!! Welcome aboard!!!’. If you're a female recruiter who has just hired another female recruiter, a hug is critical at this point (unless they are a VP in which case personal discretion should be used). If you have a guy / girl situation a hug might not normally be a good idea. It all depends on if you have developed a good candidate brotherly / sisterly bond.
  • The performance review hug - Not much to be said there. If you get a pay rise or promotion a hug is warranted. Or at least a semi hug for two guys. If you didn’t get a good review, a simple “OK then, I have to go now, I have a crazy day working my butt off for you and you don’t even appreciate me and I could be your boss“ look could be OK.

  • The termination hug - avoid hugging in termination conversations at all times. It sends a confusing message to the terminated employee. Even if they are crying their eyes out maintain a neutral corporate stance but try and be sympathetic with your eyes so they know you are not an A**. Also, do offer tissues.

  • The manager hug - I would follow your manager’s lead and watch their body language. They will definitely be slow moving. If you feel like they are going in for a hug and are OK with this, then hug back immediately. It’s hard for boss people to take that risk so reward them with a lot of enthusiasm. If however, you are not wanting to receive the hug, take 2 steps backwards, cross your arms and smile. They will get the hint.

  • The client hug - I find this the most challenging because I really do love my clients and I want to hug them all the time and have to refrain!! (I know I am a freak but I am still in my honeymoon phase). I think when you get to the point of hugging your clients you have become a true trusted advisor. They will listen to anything you have to say because you are at Hugging level. You can get away with anything when you get to this level :Examples below

    I’m sorry I don’t have a single qualified candidate – but I can give you a hug!!!
    I’m sorry the candidate declined our offer – but let’s hug and cry about it together.
    I’m sorry you cannot replacement hire the 5 people who have left your 7 person team

    Your team hates your management style, you should really hug them more often

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dumbed Down World of Clichés and Pop-Psychology

Feedback is good as long as it’s constructive…

Really? So if I tell you that you are ugly but the good news is I have a great plastic surgeon I can recommend, that’s good, right? Just because you use the word constructive doesn’t make it so. Don’t hide your political posturing and sarcasm in “constructive” feedback. If you give it truly think about how you are affecting the person receiving it.

You can be anything you want when you grow up…

Really? So your kid wants to be an astronaut yet they suck at math but can draw a perfect flower. What the heck—encourage them to be an astronaut—I’m sure they’ll be great at it. Instead you may want to consider actually encouraging your kids to do what they are naturally very good at. And hey, who knows, maybe they will actually be able to get a job when they graduate because they are good at what they do.

You have all the time in the world to figure out what you wan to be when you grow up…

Really? Let your spouse pay the bills why you figure it out. Oh, and the kid in India that figured it out fifteen years before you did, guess what, they got the job. You don’t have all the time in the world! You don’t even live that long!

There are no bad questions…

Really? Have you ever sat in a meeting where someone asks the same question that the person right before them did because they were playing on their blackberry? But hey—still a great question right? Why not start a meeting and say please be thoughtful of your questions? Or please ask questions that will advance the discussion forward. We aren’t in kindergarten. We are paid money to think—not ask stupid questions.

It’s all about communication…

Really? So if someone sells you a crappy car but over communicates why it’s so great then the problem is solved, right? Communication doesn’t solve everything. Sometimes you have to actually do work to solve it. If you are being strategic you will ask yourself if it a communication problem or a true business problem. Don’t always assume communication is the answer to everything.

Work-Life Balance…

Really? I didn’t know we died when we got to work and came back to life afterwards. I must have missed the transition when this oxymoron was first coined…”from here on out work is no longer part of your life.” That really must suck for a farmer—they must never be alive. Stop thinking life and work are separate…got news for you-life is work and work is life and if you don’t like your job don’t try to solve it by spending the least amount of time there.

If you are communicating with a leader it needs to be high level…

Really? Because no problem (like the collapse of our economy) requires more of an in depth look at an issue. “Our analysis on risky lending practices indicates these three bullet points… Executive writes back from their blackberry, “Thanks for info” message sent via blackberry. We need to get real and stop thinking our executives can’t handle information. If we have a complex and important problem to solve give them the facts so they can make a solid decision.

Work Hard Play Hard…

Really? Because you work hard you have a free pass to do beer bongs on the table? Just because you work hard doesn’t make you exempt from looking like a complete idiot. How about work hard and be yourself. Not work hard and act like you are at a college frat party.

We are the largest…

Really? Who gives a rats ass how large your company is. Every time I go to a conference I hear speakers say “we are the largest heating company in New England”, “we are the largest beer distributor in Florida”, “we are the largest this, we are the largest that”. Who cares! What is with the largeness syndrome? Do you think someone hears that and is like, “wow, your company is large”? No—it’s totally forgettable. How about come out and say we are the SMALLEST company in the world at annoying the hell out of people by saying we are the largest. Now that is cool!

Gen Y/Millennial’s feel they are entitled…

Really? I see this written about every day from someone in the industry. Of course—it’s not written by the Millennial’s because like the WWII generation, Baby Boomers and X’ers—when their parents said the same things about them they viewed it as OLD and ARROGANT. Just like all of the other generations there are lazy, entitled people and hard workers. Please stop clumping them together in one category—it’s just truly an inaccurate way to view the world. The same inaccuracy that the WWII generation had of their kids listening to Elvis and the Beatles!!

When you hear one of these statements don't just take it as some form of wisdom someone is giving you. Think!