Coffee Shop HR: Join the Discussion from the Beginning

Today will be a historic one in the United States as either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney is elected President. Since Barack Obama has been instrumental in changing so much in the US since the beginning of his Presidency in 2008, and since the Nation is such a powerful one, so much could change if Republican Mitt Romney is elected tonight.

What won’t change is that tomorrow you’ll have to go to work. And all day, you’ll encounter people who are already at work: bus drivers, sales clerks, teachers, and countless others.

Undoubtedly you’ll encounter unemployed people too. You likely have no idea whether the person standing beside you is employed, and really, I have no idea whether you’re employed yourself.

HR is something that most people only think about when they’re when they’re in trouble or looking for a change:

I’m scheduled to work 12 days in a row. Can they do that?

They laid off everyone but the four of us. The problem now is they’re giving us jobs that pay less than what we’re making now!

What do you mean, I have to apply for unemployment insurance for my Maternity Leave? Aren’t they going to keep paying me my full salary?

Human Resources policies and practices affect each working person’s life every day, and yet it’s only a point of discussion when major changes are forced upon us.

This is why I’ve built this blog: to encourage you to think about and question HR issues that may not even affect you today, but more likely will affect you in the future. When discussing employee issues at work, I hear time and again, ‘they don’t know what they don’t know.’ While this is certainly true, it’s no excuse for naiveté.

My goal for Coffee Shop HR is to bring thoughtful writers from around the world to discuss HR issues.  No matter what your profession or career aspirations, HR issues affect your work environment, well being, and your salary.
 
Currently Coffee Shop HR has three writers on board: Bonnie Milne, PhD in Dubai, Michelle Yao in Toronto, and myself in Vancouver.
 

Every 3rd Monday of the month, this site will host a Coffee Shop HR World Cafe.

A World Cafe involves gathering a group of people into a room with the purpose of discussing a shared issue.  Participants are broken into groups of tables, and each table discusses some aspect of the general issue.  As an online World Cafe, each writer will respond to the same topic each month, allowing readers to really compare the different perspectives which exist.

Our first Coffee Shop HR World Cafe will be held on Monday Nov 19, 2012.  The topic of discussion is ‘How can HR clearly communicate that bullying is unacceptable?

I’m happy to connect with anyone who is interested in contributing to Coffee Shop HR.  If you are interested in volunteering as a writer, contributing as a visual artist (including photographs or illustration) or submitting video posts, please feel free to contact me at coffeeshophr@yahoo.com.

Cheers!  And if you’re an American, please get out there and vote!

Geraldine Sangalang

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