Tuesday April 15, 2014
I'm not a big fan of employer-provided recommendation letters for employees. As a prospective employer, I would much rather talk with the applicant's manager than read a letter. Maybe it's just me, but a recommendation letter is always my second choice.
However, at times, circumstances require a recommendation letter: companies close, supervisors retire, employees relocate across the country, and companies merge. Having a recommendation letter, in unusual circumstances, beats having nothing at all.
Specific contents in a recommendation letter will serve your employees and former employees the best. My guidelines for the contents of a recommendation letter will showcase the employee's talents and potential contribution while making a case for your qualifications to write the recommendation letter.
Although many use the reference letter interchangeably with the recommendation letter, it has always helped me to differentiate them slightly. You can, however use either term.
Image Copyright Catherine Yeulet
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Monday April 14, 2014
Readers ask frequently whether employees need job descriptions or if they have become such a legal mine field that we are best off forgetting about them. I am a firm believer in the necessity of providing clear direction to employees.
So I do recommend job descriptions, but one of the readers of this site sent me a unique idea that I liked. I tried it this year in my own company. Although the implementation team modified my original idea, it still removes the onus for the job description from HR and gives it to the employee who owns it.
In conjunction with his or her manager, the employee updates the job plan twice a year. Find out more about how you can make job descriptions easier for the employer.
Image © Tom McNemar
More About Job Descriptions
Monday April 14, 2014
In a client company, we talked about maintaining the best aspects of the company culture as the company continues to grow. It's a good conversation to have - no matter where you are in your life cycle.
The former business and money channel editor here at About.com commented to me once upon a time that in her experience, many small businesses struggle with the concept of culture. She's been a business and finance writer for a number of years and has spoken with many different small businesses.
Her experience echoes my own. Your organization will form a culture even if you give it no conscious thought. But, what a lost opportunity to actually meld and shape an organizational culture that will truly support your business goals.
No matter the age of your company, it is never too late to consciously choose your culture. Admittedly, your existing culture formed for a reason, so the further along you are, the more likely you will have to deal with resistance to change. But, you can consciously choose your culture by starting here.
How Do You Stay in Touch With the Environment Your Employees Experience at Work? (Check all that apply in the poll.)
Sunday April 13, 2014
As an HR professional, building your HR career should be a priority. You'll never know when you'll need to rely on your professional reputation to obtain your next job, your desired promotion, or the recognition of your professional association.
A roadmap exists that can help you build and brand your professional authority. Here's how I look at it. You're going to work for 30 or 40 years anyway, so why not have the most fun, the most recognition, and the most impact while you're putting in the time? When you build your HR authority, another plus is the number of people you can reach to share your philosophy and points of view.
This impact turns into making a difference in lives and workplaces internationally. So, I encourage you to pursue becoming an HR authority figure in your own right. It will magnify your experience of your career and relationships.
Written by guest author, Erin Palmer (pictured), who writes for a number of HR publications, it's a thoughtful look at several of the ways in which you can build your brand.
More About Your HR Brand
Image Copyright Erin Palmer