MoneyWatch, Jan. 4, 2013 — In today’s issue of CBS News’ MoneyWatch, our client Sharon Armstrong, an HR expert and co-author of The Essential HR Handbook, offers advice on the topic, “HR should know: 3 things to always share.”
Essential HR Handbook
About The Essential HR Handbook — A quick and handy resource for any manager or HR professional, this book by HR experts Sharon Armstrong and Barbara Mitchell is a useful 250-page reference guide. Published in the fall of 2008 by Career Press, it is a must-have for everyone who deals with employees on a daily basis, say the authors who wrote the book because — as human resource professionals with decades of experience — they wanted to shed light on the issues that keep managers up at night.
How Inkandescent PR Helped — Sharon and Barbara approached Hope Gibbs to get the word out about their new book. The Inkandescent team created an elegant website (design by Michael Gibbs, concept and writing by Hope Gibbs and programming by Max Kukoy) that not only featured the new book, but also highlighted Sharon’s 2003 book, “Stress Free Performance Appraisals,” and through a variety of articles and a speaking engagement / workshop calendar showed readers the expanse of experience and expertise these two veteran HR professionals have.
Success Story — Due to the posting of several press releases and an active reporter outreach campaign, the Essential HR Handbook sold hundreds of copies within months of its release, and Sharon and Barbara have been sought after speakers for companies looking to build their teams and improve their relationships with employees.
IN THE NEWS: Sharon Armstrong Tells Entrepreneur magazine: "How to Make a Poor Performance Review More Effective"
October 12, 2012, Entrepreneur magazine — Sharon Armstrong, author of “The Essential Performance Review Handbook,” shared her wisdom today with Entrepreneur.com reporter Gwen Moran on the topic, “How to Make a Poor Performance Review More Effective.”
Armstrong says: “Being consistent in giving performance reviews can be tough when you’re delivering a not-so-great review,” and offers four tips to make the process less painful.
IN THE NEWS: Sharon Armstrong featured in MoneyWatch Article, "How to tell what a company can afford to pay"
August 15, 2012, MoneyWatch — “Given the tight labor market, it’s tempting to immediately accept any job offer you might get,” writes CBS News reporter Amy Levin-Epstein. “But how can you tell if a prospective employer is making the best financial offer for the position in question?”
IN THE NEWS: Sharon Armstrong featured in AmericanExpress OPEN Forum article: "4 Tips to an Effective Employee Review"
August 15, 2012, American Express OPEN Forum — An article on “4 Tips to an Effective Employee Review,” in today’s edition of American Express OPEN featured Sharon Armstrong, author of The Essential HR Handbook.
Her advice: Schedule frequent discussions. “Reviews can be stressful when employees don’t know what to expect and employers aren’t sure how to break news,” Armstrong says. “Take the edge off by scheduling frequent performance chats with your employee.”
PRESS RELEASE: Be Inkandescent magazine features Barbara Mitchell on "The Challenge of Managing Multiple Generations At Work"
Arlington, VA, August 10, 2012 — While working with multiple generations in the workforce is challenging, it isn’t impossible, says HR and hiring expert Barbara Mitchell, author of “The Big Book of HR.” The key is to take time to look for the common ground, she says.
“It’s also critical to honor and respect differences instead of letting them drive wedges between co-workers” she adds, noting that the best strategy is to realize that not everyone who is part of a certain generation behaves the same way.
Note, too, that in the coming years Millennials (born 1982-2003) will make up the largest segment of the US population, and, therefore, the workforce.
“Those of us who have been working for decades often find it hard to be patient with the younger employees on staff,” she has observed. “That’s why it is critical to understand where these folks are coming from.”
Jan. 7, 2012, Money Watch — “Do you view HR as the enemy, doing recognizance for Corporate? Or do you see your HR rep as Michael Scott did Toby—someone who tries to suck the fun out of the office?” asks CBS’ Money Watch reporter Amy Levin-Epstein. “While human resources teams can often lubricate sticky work situations and help build strong office relationships, they’re often viewed less generously by staff.”
But what is the most challenging part of the job? Epstein asked Inkandescent PR’s client Sharon Armstrong, co-author of The Essential HR Handbook.
Nowhere is this more clear than in the comments section of a story I posted a few months ago, 4 Things Never To Share With HR. But is such distrust really warranted? How do HR folks themselves view their position on the corporate ladder, and the criticism they might face? I asked four career experts — all former HR professionals — about their past professions (the good, the bad, and, at times, ugly). Here are their candid responses.
August 19, 2011, Inc. Magazine — “An old joke among human resources professionals is that employee reviews are like fruitcakes. They come once a year whether you want them to or not,” writes Inc. Magazine reporter Elizabeth Sile in her article, It’s August. Time for Employee Reviews?
Because these reviews remain necessary evils, Shile turned to Sharon Armstrong, author of The Essential Performance Review Handbook, for advice.
Armstrong said, “It is crucial to gather as many specific examples of good and bad behavior as possible and collect objective information on employee performance. This shouldn’t be done right before a performance appraisal meeting; rather, achievements and slip-ups must be tracked throughout the year.”
IN THE NEWS: Sharon Armstrong Answers the Question, "Can bad spelling ruin your chances of landing a job?"
March 10, 2011, CareerBuilder.com — “Can bad spelling ruin your chances of landing a job?,” asks CareerBuilder.com reporter Rachel Farrell. “Almost every time you hear about mistakes to avoid in your résumé or cover letter, you see the same things: lying about your experience, providing too much information or using the same generic résumé for every application. We also preach about spelling,” she writes.
“Excellent communication skills can pave the way to promotions for employees,” says Sharon Armstrong, president, Sharon Armstrong and Associates. “If you are a life-long learner, you’ll continue to work on the skills that will help you grow and develop. Any company that cares about their ‘brand’ will be put off by bad spelling. A company that cares about the details will want to always show a professional image.”
“Read the entire article here.:http://msn.careerbuilder.com/Article/MSN-2568-Job-Search-Can-bad-spelling-ruin-your-chances-of-landing-a-job/
SHARON ARMSTRONG IS IN THE NEWS: Author of "The Essential Performance Review Handbook," is quoted in The Wall Street Journal
July 18, 2010, The Wall Street Journal — “If you’ve been marking time at work and hoping to get a new job, you’re not alone,” writes reporter Dennis Nishi in today’s issue of The Wall Street Journal. “But employment experts caution restless job seekers from jumping ship too soon. If you move too quickly you might end up in a new job that you dislike even more. Still, you can improve your odds of finding something worthwhile by planning ahead and doing some research.”
“When you land an interview, use the opportunity to learn about the company. You should get as much from them as they will try to get from you, says Sharon Armstrong, a human-resources consultant in Washington. Salary and benefits are important, but you also want to make sure you’re compatible. It’s difficult to tell what the workplace culture is like from casual visits. Don’t be shy about calling for more information and contact current and former employees, if possible, to get a feel for the company and opportunities.”
“If you get an offer, before you accept, consider doing more in-depth financial research on the company; try the Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR Public Dissemination Service (www.edgarcompany.sec.gov).”
June 25, 2010, Tip Jar at the Washington Business Journal — “Vacations can be blessing or bane, depending on whether you’re in the midst of one yet,” writes Tip Jar at the Washington Business Journal in an article entitled, Vacation skeds no day at beach.
“The curse comes at both ends of the time off — hurriedly finishing tasks so you’re not still pounding on your BlackBerry during the painfully long drive to the beach or tiredly returning to a messy desk, logjammed inbox, full voice mail, overworked colleagues and cross-examining boss.”
HR expert Sharon Armstrong, author of “The Essential Performance Review Handbook,” and co-author of “The Essential HR Handbook,” says the key to sanity amid a landscape of empty offices is lassoing more short-term help — calling all temp agencies! — or doing more with the lucky folks left in the office.
“Just make sure there’s enough cross-training that’s happened so it isn’t so desperate when someone wants to take off,” says Sharon Armstrong, who founded a D.C. human resources consulting and training business. “There should be some coverage.”