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In 2008, I was at a routine physical when a doctor gave me that look like you never want to see. Thankfully, it was treatable, more common than most people know, and was a great incentive to drink less, eat better and love life every minute.
Turns out eating cereal was killing me. Fortified iron had given me an iron level 6 times the normal. My doctor figured out I had hereditary hemachromotosis, or what some people call "the Irish flu". Untreated, could have had heart brain and liver issues later on in life. They don't usually catch it when you are young but thankfully OD'ing on "healthy" cereal with 100 percent daily allowance of iron brought out the diagnosis when I was 33.
I had to have a pint of blood removed every month for a year, and eat better. Each time, I noticed by energy levels and focus getting better and better than before. It was like having my body rebuilt from the inside out.
Today, I just get a pint of blood removed every three months and watch out for iron fortified foods. I have no high iron issues anymore and I feel even better than I ever did before being diagnosed (although I showed no health symptoms)
So today, be happy that you know that Tony Stark isn't the only Iron Man you know :0). Be sure to encourage your staff to get regular checkups. If that means working it into the work day, providing on site medical or wellness centers, or encouraging regular fitness routines, the health of your staff needs to be a top consideration for your HR strategies.
The adjunct professor plays a critical role at many universities. Business professionals with a variety of expertise are brought in to teach subjects that require subject matter expertise or to fill roles that cannot be filled by existing faculty.
Many businesses would do well to consider the "adjunct" role for management or key leadership or training roles in their organization.
While most companies may provide incentive for their existing workforce by providing short-term opportunities to advance in critical roles such as on a training team or for holiday management roles, having seasoned professionals that companies can turn to on a less than regular schedule can be extremely beneficial.
Without the need for paying benefits or the need for retraining, companies who lose valuable full-time staff members to new positions can have a trusted resource to turn to during staffing downturns or business upturns.
The next time you have an employee who leaves, give some consideration to keeping them on as an "adjunct".
When I was in college, I worked as an "adjunct" at a couple hotels and a gas station on weekends. Although I wasn't a regular member of the payroll, I'd call up a couple days before the schedule would be posted to see if they had any needs for the week, and depending on the weekend, I'd work either at a hotel or the gas station. It gave the businesses some needed bench strength and it gave me the flexibility to concentrate on my studies.
Now that I am full-time in my business, it would be a delight to return from time to time to some of my former places of work as an adjunct.
Wouldn't you like that opportunity as well?
Hire hire hire so you don't have to fire fire fire! When you have excess help, you can train, retrain, and retain others by avoiding burnout, poor customer service and improper planning.
The time is now to find people for the holiday season and to backfill talent. If you are unsure how to approach recruiting in a proactive way, its time to hunker down and call in an expert or just make the effort yourself to do some hiring BEFORE you need to do hiring!
Get into the hiring frenzy! Don't lose talented people to your competitors here in the Capital Region by waiting too long to find talent!
Since January 2011, Braathe Enterprises has mentored over 80 students through the Braathe Enterprises Virtual Internship Program. Working remotely with students for 5-7 hours per week, we have managed to produce some great improvements to resumes, engaged in incredible skills building and personality building activities, and helped students to gain experience with companies while they are still in college.
This fall, we are going on tour with our Virtual Internship concept. Tuesday October 2nd, we will be speaking at the University of Southern California to my current interns and future candidates. Sunday October 7th, we will be doing a free webinar covering how the program works as well for prospective interns and prospective for-profit and not-for-profit companies.
For more information, visit http://saratogacollege.eventbrite.com
It's a respectful practice to give your employer at least two weeks notice when asking to resign or moving on to a new position to give them time to find a replacement and prepare for your departure.
Wouldn't it be a nice practice for companies to put in place a practice to give you your work schedule so you knew when you'd be working for at least the next two weeks?
One of the common complaints I have heard in my career from co-workers, colleagues and friends has been the difficulty in planning far ahead because of variances in work schedule.
Many businesses may claim to not have the ability to schedule more than 2 weeks out, but think of the scenarios below. Which one would you prefer?
1. It's the 1st of the month, and the schedule for the week starting the 8th of the month doesn't get posted until the 5th.
2. It's the 1st of the month, and the schedule for the week starting the 8th of the month is posted on 25th of the prior month.
3. It's the 1st of the month, and the schedule for the week starting the 14th of the month has been posted, giving you the schedule for the 14th through 27th of the month.
In scenario 3, employees know when they will be working from the 1st of the month until the 28th of the month.
Give some thought to your scheduling practices. What can you do to create more consistency in your staffing and morale?
Roger Goodell has been a proponent of moving to an 18 game regular season, and I must agree with him. There are several advantages from an HR perspective of moving to an 18 game regular season schedule. To make it work best, here is what I suggest to Roger and the NFL
1. Move from a 17 week, 16 game schedule to a 20 week, 18 game schedule
2. Have each team play their divisional opponents 4 times, not 2
3. Move the Pro Bowl to the same weekend as the Super Bowl
For suggestion 1, moving the league to an 18 game schedule but spreading it over 20 weeks gives players more rest during the season. Beginning with week 3, each team would have a bye week in either week 3, 4, 5, or 6, and then again in week 11, 12, 13 or 14. This would give players additional rest during the season, especially after long travel days. As well, with the move to Thursday night games, it will give teams who play on Thursday extra rest with the extra bye weeks if the schedule makers work out the schedule well.
For suggestion 2, allowing teams to play more games against their divisional opponents, there will be less cross-country travel and more meaning to the division title. By playing more games closer to home, this will allow more opportunity for players to spend time with their families as well.
For suggestion 3, playing the Pro Bowl the same weekend as the Super Bowl on Saturday will give players who didn't make the Super Bowl a chance to participate in Super Bowl festivities, and give fans who forked down a boatload of money the chance to see two games on the same weekend.
So ESPN, Roger Goodell, FOX, take my ideas and run with them. Your ratings will increase, the players will be happier, and there will be more intense divisional rivalry. Most importantly, from an HR perspective, their will be more meaningful work, more work schedule flexibility and better travel schedules.
I have begun using Basecamp, a project management tool online that allows for collaboration and information sharing for teams working on projects. I was introduced to Basecamp a few years ago by Ray Patterson of Capital Consulting Group, who spoke at my Project Management class about tools for collaboration.
Recently, with the growth of my company, I have been looking for tools to better utilize my human resources and team and this seems to be a great fit for my company.
For just $20 a month, you can have 10 projects on your account, and unlimited users to collaborate with. I've set up 3 project areas for collaboration and communication.
Check it out today; it's better to get systems in place before you need them than after the fact.
Why you want Lebron James on your team, not Michael Jordan
There's been a lot of flack given to Lebron James about him being in opportunist who abandoned Cleveland. I disagree with the heat he has received and find that there was another NBA star who really deserved the heat that James got - Michael Jordan.
Jordan's 2nd retirement happened during the lockout in 1999 when the bulls traded away Pippen and Rodman and coach Phil Jackson left. Jordan left the bulls without any of their starting three although he could have stayed and played with a new supporting team. Instead he chose to walk away when he still had gas in the tank.
I'd much rather have on my team people who are hungry for winning and a new opportunity than someone who walks away because their is a new boss or his friends were transferred or traded.
If you want to hate someone, hate Jordan, not Lebron.
Robert Braathe, MBA
Consultant and Professor
Our new Tech Lab is open regularly in Saratoga and Latham offering people a chance to ask questions about anything that could help their business. (Think Apple Genius Bar with a business and marketing focus).
The Tech Lab is a joint effort by Deb Vincent Evans (Princess Geek) and Robert Braathe (Professor RJB) who deliver 45 minute group workshops to answer your questions regarding business, education and technology.
Join us at an upcoming Tech Lab and bring your HR questions for Professor RJB!
What is broken about retail? Whether you work in it, shop retail, or just follow it in the news, the retail system as it exists needs to change. Whether it is electronics, grocery, apparel, or department stores, change is inevitable.
In the coming weeks, we plan on featuring several posts about Revolutionizing Retail. Based off of my experiences working retail for Gap, Apple, CVS and some family businesses, I will share perspectives on my learnings while working with these companies and best practices employed as a result of what I learned.
We will also explore ways that companies can look to change, especially from an HR perspective.
Tune in soon for our first Revolutionizing Retail post.
In addition, we are working on a series that we will be taking on the road and in webinars on hot topics in retail.