Escaping the Cubicle

cubicles.jpgI have this conversation frequently with HR professionals — it starts with them saying “I’d love to go out on my own.”

I tend to encourage the thought, and I also sometimes remember to refer them to an excellent blog that focuses on making the transition from cubicle-dweller to entrepreneur.

I made the transition 15 years ago and while it hasn’t been easy, it has been tremendously rewarding. This blog focuses best on the parts of the journey that I have found to be the most challenging.

Click here to be taken to the blog — “Escape from Cubicle Nation.”

CaribHRForum on Facebook

facebook.jpgWhile the Discussion List on CaribHRForum is the heart and soul of cross-regional communication in the HR community, it also serves a powerful social networking function.

 

Before it existed, all that existed were a handful of relationships, plus the occasional conference attendee from another island. The Discussion List has made it easy for people to get to know and trust each other, and even to do business together — without meeting in person.

 

Facebook is an application that has made a quantum leap in making it easy to do social networking. It’s only natural that a CaribHRForum group be formed on that social networking site also.

 

I recommend that regional professionals find themselves on Facebook as fast as they can as it makes the effort of networking so very, very easy it serves as a major time-saver. Given that it’s free, it also saves on telephone bills, plane fares and postage stamps.

 

While some (if not many) will resist it at first, those who adopt it are discovering an immediate boost in their ability to network.

 

So. if you are on Facebook, join us on the page for CaribHRForum.

Bringing in Expats

istock_000002337283small.jpgAs the influence of CSME expands, it’s more and more likely that HR professionals in the region will be involved in assisting an employee to transition from one country to another.

The skills they need to help the employee are not easy to obtain, unless the HR practitioner has some direct experience themselves in being transferred.

I tackled the question in my blog, and also in a recent issue of FirstCuts.

In my blog, I talked about the fact that the skill of transitioning expats is an emerging trend.

In FirstCuts, I tackled the question of Caribbean expats moving from one country to another, and the lack of preparation that is provided coming from an expectation that transition in the Caribbean “must be easy” because “we are all Caribbean people.”

It is an area of the profession that has not gotten a lot of attention, but perhaps this might change in the near future.

Students and CaribHRForum

students-res_yasa.jpgFellow HR Practitioners,

One of the initiatives of CaribHRForum, started last year, is to encourage students of HRM across the region to join the network and begin dialogue with potential employers, mentors and HR colleagues. We consider students and young HR professionals not only the future of the profession, but also the lifeblood of organisations, and need their input and ideas to ensure our profession does not grow stale.

We have already approached some tertiary educational institutes in Trinidad, including UWI, but need your help to increase awareness and participation amongst our HR students. Last year I began by emailing the regional HR Associations to ask for their support in promoting the efforts with student members as a start.

How do you think we can increase both the awareness and appeal of CaribHRForum to young practitioners ? I am open to suggestions and look forward to hearing from you.

Lara Quentrall-Thomas
CaribHRForum Student Coordinator

P.S. Hit the large orange Comment button at top right to leave me a public reply to this post.

[email_link]

Top 100 HR Blogs

When I first conceived this blog and the idea of inviting other writers to contribute, I thought that I should require that the writers focus on content that was specifically Caribbean in orientation.

A few bright souls suggested that that would cut us from the world… and asked “is that a good thing?”

I not only got rid of the requirement, but I also embraced the essence of the idea.

In keeping with that sentiment, here is a very useful list of the top HR bloggers in the world. Maybe one day someone from our region wil gain the prize!
P.S. My favorite blog is “Evil HR Lady” which also appears on CaribHRNews, and is rated as number 6 on the list.

“Tourist” Service

In a few articles I have written, I have talked about the 3 kinds of experience that customers have access to here in the Caribbean: Tourist Service, Friend Service and “Res a Dem Service.”

This video is funny — and it has a serious message at the same time about the Caribbean tourism product and what we do to create “Tourist Service.”

(Don’t skip over the visitor’s comment about the music at the end.)

On “Treating With” Jamaican Workers

george-phillip.jpgGeorge Philip was a quiet giant of Jamaican industry, and his recent passing away was a blow to most who knew him.

I had the chance to interview him for our recent study “The Trinidadian Executive in Jamaica” before he passed away, and he was generous and insightful — so much so that he was someone I wanted to do an audio interview with, until I heard the news. He was the most successful Trinidadian executive to work in Jamaica.

One unverified piece of advice he was known to give had to do with terminating Jamaicans. He said something to the effect that when one is terminating Jamaicans, one needs to go an extra mile.

“Johnson, as you know we are doing some downsizing and unfortunately your name has come up as someone to let go. As part of your separation, you are due to receive $X for each year of service. However, to help ease the transition we have decided to give you an extra $Z, just to acknowledge the work you have done in the company and to help make things easier.”

His point was that that little extra step is critical in leaving a Jamaican worker feeling respected.

George was right on the money — what we Jamaicans call brawta (a little extra) goes a long, long way.

During my interview with Douglas Orane at HRMAJ 2007, he mentioned a study that was done at the U.S. Embassy. It showed that the Americans complained that Jamaicans were too casual, always late, etc. The Jamaicans had one complaint — Americans were rude, never said hello or good morning and left them feeling disrespected.

Whether this is a true story or not is to be discovered, but I am sure George would agree with the finding.

For more information on the life of George Phillip, click here.

This article is taken from my blog, Chronicles from a Caribbean Cubicle.

A New Public Sector Regional HR Conference

istock_000002927766xsmall.jpgApparently, there is a new HR conference that is coming back to the Caribbean. Last year’s version was held in Barbados.

The following email was sent to the members of the CaribHRForum discussion list by a presenter at last year’s conference — Dr. Kwame Charles.

2008 Caribbean Region Public Sector HR Conference

June 24-26, 2008

Hyatt Regency Trinidad

Port of Spain, Trinidad

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