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…So back when I used to spend all day Sunday morning reading HR articles and 1. Super clever, I know. white papers, I did a weekly segment in this space called Sunday Reading. 1 The idea here was to share the most interesting things I read with my 2. All three of you >_>.audience 2, providing brief summaries to whet appetites. Eventually, I burned out on spending every Sunday reading/writing and stopped doing it… but it was honestly a good exercise.

^I say all of the above to say that I’m going to try using this Friday space to share the best HR/management articles I read over the balance of the week. Sometimes I might share 3 articles and sometimes I might share 10 – it will just depend on what I’ve come across. Let me know if you like what I’m sharing in the comments section. 🙂

To the point:

  1. Glenn Kelman at Redfin writes about the adverse impacts cosseting can have on entry level employees. He notes that getting too much too fast can often cause special talent to fail to ever reach their potential… or perhaps worse to lose the very attributes that made them special in the first place. This piece resonated with me because of my personal experience with the power of a sense of urgency. There is no substitute for a hunger to succeed – it’s what we all tap to become the best version of ourselves. This is because doing something really hard – and succeeding – causes us to see ourselves in a new light and establishes a new water level for performance. But to get there, at some point we need to face adversity. And I think the earlier we face it in our careers, the better equipped we are to tackle progressively harder challenges over the balance of our careers. HR pros, this is probably something worth thinking about as we develop our rewards strategies for early career talent. Are we putting in place incentives that help our clients reach their potential… or are we stifling the very hunger they need to keep pushing themselves? Check out the article here, and let me know what you think in the comments.
  1. Bruce Clark has a great piece up on the News and Observer examining compensation and benefits strategies at two employers that have been in the news a lot lately – Netflix and Gravity. The Gravity story is great cautionary tale highlighting why all employers should be mindful of salary compression when pushing for internal equity within their workforce (you can read more in the full article here), but of particular interests to me was Netflix’s approach to work hours and PTO; essentially, they have opted for a high flexibility, high accountability culture. The approach is “Get your work done however long it takes, and take time to recharge your batteries as needed”. Obviously, this approach isn’t applicable when dealing with a non-exempt workforce, but where salaried professionals are concerned it’s (in my view) a really reasonable way to manage a workforce of exempt professionals. Addressing performance issues as they come up but otherwise allowing one’s team to exercise discretion in how they get their work done seems intuitive to me… but I reserve the right to be wrong here. Micro-Managers and face-time folks… why is adopting a high accountability+high flexibility approach sometimes a losing proposition?
  1. Finally, Kris Dunn says that using ‘!’ more than twice a day in an email justifiably subjects one to cynical behind the scenes commentary from colleagues and clients that are skeptical of the sincerity behind your seemingly never-ending pep….As someone that (I) is extremely guilt of peppering my emails with ‘!’ and (II) means at least 85% of them… I am a little torn here. Should I lay off highlighting my perpetual happiness when responding to the bajillion employee relations/benefits/project management issues that comes across my desk each week for fear of turning myself into a caricature? Conversely, are you guilty of generously applying ‘!’ to your correspondences? If so, check out Kris Dunn’s blog post on the subject here, and do some soul-searching on if it might be time to tone down the pep.

3. I kid, I kid.Happy Friday! 3