65 - The Good/Bad and Always Ugly (Part 2 with @Peopleculturecollective

HR is full of conundrums. In this episode, the famous @peopleculturecollective is back to talk about the age-old ‘good boss, bad job’ scenario. They discuss how to handle a bad working environment and whether or not you should, like, stick it out or whatever. Alexa, Tyson, and Veronica chat it up in front of a live Los Angeles audience about WTF to do when your sitch is less than ideal.


Release Date: September 28, 2022

[background music]

[00:00:00] Speaker 1: Morning. This podcast is about the realities of working in people operations. This is not a stuck-up PC-compliance based or employment law podcast about stuffy, outdated HR practices. Shit will get real here and we assume no responsibility.

[00:00:16] Tyson Mackenzie: Just another day is the office.

[00:00:18] Alexa Baggio: There's nothing better than a bunch of good workmates getting around the table and sharing these stories. We have this out-of-body experience in HR where you're like, "I get you."

[00:00:26] Tyson: It's not that bad.

[00:00:26] Alexa: It's not that bad.

[00:00:28] Tyson: It's not.

[00:00:29] Alexa: Come hang out with Tyson and I on this podcast, we'll make you laugh.

[00:00:31] Speaker 1: This is the People Problems Podcast with Alexa Baggio and Tyson Mackenzie.

[00:00:39] Alexa: Hello, hello, hello. We are live in LA today. What is up, Tyson?

[00:00:43] Tyson: Oh, my gosh. Hey.

[00:00:45] Alexa: How are we doing? We are joined by a special guest today. Our guest today is all the way from Australia, Veronica, or better yet known as one of the biggest HR influencers in the game at People Culture Collective with over 70,000 TikTok followers and more now that we've done a dance today.

[00:00:58] Tyson: That's right.

[00:00:59] Alexa: Veronica is an HR leader of the FinTech business based in Sydney, Australia. She has flown all the way across the ocean to be here with us. She creates content for the People Culture Collective account on her TikTok and Instagram in her spare time. She is passionate about great leaders and helping create great places to work for everyone. Welcome.

[00:01:20] Tyson:

[00:01:20] Veronica: Thank you. Thank you for having me, I'm so happy to be in LA and to meet you guys in person. [crosstalk] We've already done one TikTok that's gone viral, and that's only an hour ago. [crosstalk]

[00:01:28] Alexa: Would you guys [crosstalk] TikTok?

[00:01:30] Tyson: The dancing is tragic.

[00:01:32] Veronica: [unintelligible 00:01:32]

[00:01:33] Tyson: It's tragic.

[00:01:34] Alexa: It's a little tragic. Sorry about that. All right, really quickly, today's episode is brought to you by our community, the The People Ops Society join our society of listeners and People Ops Professionals at POPS. You can use the forum for feedback, download awesome resources and templates shared by peers, and get access to free resources all included. Use the code peopleproblems@peopleopsociety.com to get 20% off your membership today. Again, use the code peopleproblems@peopleopsociety.com to join our community. Our famous shameless plug, "Please make sure to follow us on all things social at peopleproblemspod@hr.shook, and at [unintelligible 00:02:05], and follow our very special guest today, Veronica @peopleculturecollective.

[00:02:11] Veronica: Thank you.

[00:02:12] Alexa: Today we have a fun topic. This is part two of a discussion we actually had a few episodes ago. The first topic was; bad boss, good job. Today we are going to talk about the reverse of that. If you haven't listened to the first episode, I highly recommend go back and check that out, but today we're going to talk about when you have a bad boss and a good job. Let's start with explaining some very common situations--

[00:02:38] Tyson: Another way round, I think.

[00:02:39] Alexa: No, bad boss.

[00:02:40]?Veronica: Good boss.

[00:02:41] Alexa: Oh, I'm dyslexic. This is terrible. I'm actually [crosstalk]-- Bad boss--

[00:02:45] Tyson: No. Good boss-

[00:02:45] Alexa: Good boss, bad job. We're doing a bad job today.

[00:02:48] Tyson: - bad job.

[00:02:50] Alexa: I'm doing a bad job at explaining this episode.

[00:02:52] Tyson: Good boss, bad job.

[00:02:53] Alexa: Good boss, bad job. I wrote it backwards, that's why. That's really going to be very distracting, so I'll scroll down. Why don't you go ahead and set the stage for us? Tell us a couple examples, Veronica. Because we have some things to say on this topic about when you have a good boss but a bad job.

[00:03:08] Veronica: I think the context around that is that a lot of us, maybe in certain times in our career, we've worked with really good leaders. With that sometimes, we work in environments that perhaps they have very little control over the outcomes. Especially working in HR specifically, is that when you're trying to influence senior management to make really good decisions around benefits, and employee experience, it's a lot more difficult to actually do that when your HR leader or your leader is influencing that senior management executive level. That goes across every function.

If you have a good boss, that treats you well, but you're in an environment that doesn't perhaps have very good culture, they don't have very good ways in which they're treating their employees, what do you do in that situation? Because you have a leader that supports you, but it's not necessarily the right environment for you.

[00:03:59] Alexa: What would you guys do in that situation?

[00:04:02] Veronica: I'll continue. In that situation my-- I have three tips that I always think about when it comes to that, is, one, you focus on what you're getting out of that experience. Why are you working there? What are the things you actually want to get out of it? I want to get experience in this area of my field, I want to get experience in this particular industry because I want to get into my dream job, and it's working for this company.

If for example, you're getting into an industry that's the first time for you, say it's a tech industry, and you want to stay and give yourself a timeline-- that would be my first advice; focus on what you're going to learn out of that experience.

The second one would be really just to assess the pros and cons, really write them down. Really assess what makes you want to stay, and what makes you want to go. I think the last piece is, nothing is worth your mental health. If you feel like it's negatively impacting your mental health, I think you really need to assess that and address it as well.

I think those are probably the key points in that scenario. Because I've been in that scenario before and I actually gave myself a timeline and once I reached that timeline, it was really just reassessing again as to whether it was best time for me to go or to stay. Really writing it down and going, "Okay, what's the reason that I'm here?" Because I have a really supportive manager, and that's very rare.

[00:05:23] Alexa: It is.

[00:05:23] Veronica: Sometimes you just can't find someone that-

[00:05:24] Alexa: They always say people don't quit jobs, they quit bosses.

[00:05:26] Veronica: Yes, they quit bosses.

[00:05:27] Alexa: What do you do when you like your boss?

[00:05:28] Veronica: The environment is just so palpable in terms of the way they treat their employees that you think in HR specifically, how do I ever make a change? I think that's where you have to weigh it up.

[00:05:39] Tyson: I have a few thoughts. First thing I wanted to like double click on what you said. It's super important to understand what is making it a bad job. Like why is this a bad job? Because sometimes you just have to tough it out through the bad jobs until you can get to a better job. If you're just starting out in your career, if-- whatever that looks like. If you have a good boss to help you through that, then you want to be milking that situation for everything it's worth. Like you said, good bosses are rare, so you want to make sure that you're getting everything from that person, whether they're teaching a mentorship or they're well connected in the company.

[00:06:11] Alexa: Especially if you want to move up because you're going to have to learn how to do what they do.

[00:06:12] Tyson: Exactly. It can definitely be a huge stepping stone. You have to like tough it out so that you can step up or get promoted. Having a good boss is the key to that. Unfortunately, being well connected in a company is usually a key to a promotion.

[00:06:27] Veronica: Number one.

[00:06:28] Tyson: It's huge. I've been really-

[00:06:30] Alexa: Tyson always makes besties with her bosses.


We've talked about that.

[00:06:33] Tyson: Here we go. I'm going to double click on that again. I've been really, really lucky to have good, good bosses. Here's the situation, you've got a really good boss, you love your boss, excellent, blah, blah, whatever. Then one day your boss comes in and they quit. They're quitting or they're moving in the company. That type of situation has really taken me off guard where I'm like, "Oh shit, what am I going to do without them?" You don't want to be stuck in that situation either.

I think we talked about this a little bit and the first part of this conversation, but you don't want to have all of your eggs in one basket in a variety of senses. Whether it's a relationship with your mentor, your boss, that sort of thing, but then also, you always want to have a strategy with your job. Are you in a job for strategic reason?

Sometimes yes, like you said, you're getting good experience in the tech industry, or it's a really great name to have on your resume, or you're going to be connected to someone who's connected to somebody else, whatever that looks like. I will say, having a good boss that you have a good connection with who quits is actually a super strategic thing for you as well. Because they could go to a different company-

[00:07:40] Alexa: Take you with them.

[00:07:41] Tyson: - and take you with them.

[00:07:42] Alexa: Happens all the time.

[00:07:44] Tyson: It happens all the time.

[00:07:44] Alexa: There's a term for this called 'coattails'.


[00:07:47] Tyson: Exactly. I love that.

[00:07:49] Alexa: Writing someone's coattails.

[00:07:50] Tyson: I love that. You have a lot of opportunity. Also, if you ever need a reference. It's always ideal to have someone who doesn't work at your current company because it's always awkward asking-

[00:07:59] Alexa: Fantastic point.

[00:08:00] Tyson: - always awkward asking your boss when you're applying for other jobs. I actually think that having a good boss and a bad job can be beneficial.

[00:08:09] Alexa: Yes, it can totally be an opportunity.

[00:08:11] Tyson: It can be a huge opportunity.

[00:08:12] Alexa: I always think about if I was in this situation-- I've actually had nothing but bad bosses, so I can't even really speak to this. Never. That's why I'm here. I've only ever had bad bosses.

[00:08:22] Tyson: You're like, "I know, I'll be my own boss." [laughs]

[00:08:24] Alexa: Quite literally that's what happened. [laughs] Here we are. My thinking is I've had many people who've had the opposite situation where they've had good bosses and those bosses have left, or they've been in a situation where they like the way that their lifestyle affords them because of the way that they work with their boss, and they're really attracted to-- and in a way handcuffed to like, "If I leave I won't get these things. I won't have this." It's really hard for them to leave.

It's almost like relationship handcuffs. It's like, "It's not you, it's me. I love you, but I stayed in this too long." For me, I always think, "What are the things that I would have to have to either stay or to leave in those situations?"

To your point, I think it comes down to, where are you trying to do strategically for your career? Is this preventing you from making more money for your family? Because if that's the case, then that might be the issue. Also I would argue, if you have a truly good boss, you can actually probably have this conversation.

[00:09:24] Tyson: Well, that's it.

[00:09:26] Alexa: They'll be able to say, "Okay, I have someone," and if you're a performer, "I have someone who's telling me they're basically unsatisfied, and I need to do something about that, or I'm going to lose this person." You should be able to, if you truly have a good manager, have that conversation and they should be able to be like, "How can I work with you to make sure that this isn't a bad job anymore."

[00:09:44] Tyson: Totally. Like I said, I've been in situations where I've had a really great manager, and I went to them and I'm like, "Look, the job isn't cutting it anymore for me and-

[00:09:53] Alexa: What was that thing in those situations?

[00:09:55] Tyson: For the job for me is, I reached a point where I felt as I could do no-- had no more influence. I had put my heart and soul into a situation and I just felt that it was never ever going to get better and I was like, "I can't do this Groundhog Day anymore. It's funny because my boss who stuck around and is still in that situation, is still dealing with the exact same issue.

[00:10:18] Alexa: Nothing changes, nothing changes.

[00:10:20] Tyson: I'm happy I got out of it. Anyway, so when I went and I submitted my resignation, I actually cried to her, I was so upset.

[00:10:27] Alexa: I felt you were all crying in HR, Tyson.

[00:10:28] Tyson: No, I felt so emotional leaving her because I did not want to leave her, and I held on for as long as I did because she was my boss, and when I told her that I was resigning, she said, if you don't take this job, I'll will push you out of here. I will fire you. [crosstalk] She's like, "You need to leave. You cannot give up this opportunity."

[00:10:49] Alexa: Wow. That's cool. It doesn't always happen.

[00:10:52] Veronica: Yes, exactly. In that case, Tyson, you had something to go to. The other thing I wanted to point out is that you need to assess if externally you're going to be able to get the same job in the same industry. Don't just throw the baby out with the bath water. You need to really understand, "Okay, well how does the external market see me and my experience? Are they going to see me as flighty because I've only been in the role six months? Are they going to see me as I didn't pass probation because it's under six months?" You really need to assess before you go, "I really hate this place. I have to go." [crosstalk]-

[00:11:26] Alexa: Do you hate the place so much more than working with the person, because you spend so much time working, like your experience is 80% working with that person.

[00:11:33] Veronica: You touched on the external factors. You have family, you have a life lifestyle--

[00:11:37] Tyson: You need to make that money.

[00:11:38] Veronica: You need to understand it's not just about how unsatisfied you are in terms of the culture and the environment. It's understanding what's the impact to your life if you make a rash decision because you really dislike working at that place. If you have a good manager, it's almost like it lets you have the space, because you are not the main person that's impacted, but it does mean though that sometimes those good managers may not have the same influence, so you do need to assess what you got to do after that.

[00:12:06] Alexa: You could take a better job with a shitty manager [crosstalk] and then wind up boomeranging in six months. I think that's the thing that I think people often forget with these more simplified conversations, is, there's risk involved either way. There's risk to your career or there's risk to your career if you leave for the wrong people.

I think we talked about this in our episode-- at one point we were talking about people who switch careers for comp-- like they're comp hopping, which has been very trendy over the last year, and I think that's about to stop, or is stopping because of the economy, but if you do that, the risk is that you wind up in a situation where you're maybe overpaid or in this instance, like in a place where you've got a bigger job, you've got more responsibility and it's not for as good or even an okay manager and your lifestyle that you loved is now ruined.


You wanted more and more and more and you wound up with nothing or you wound up in a worse off position. That's okay, just always-- I would say always assess the risks of what's the worst case scenario on both sides.

[00:13:08] Veronica: Do your background checks, because they do background checks on us, and I think you need to really do your due diligence when you're jumping into another-- especially as higher you get the level that changes. You can't just be making these decisions because you need to have a longer stretch every time you increase your level, I feel.

[00:13:26] Alexa: Yes, that's-

[00:13:26] Tyson: The other thing I think that you need to consider is, why do you think that this individual's a good boss, is it because they let you leave early on Fridays and that's super fun, or is it because they're actually an individual that's helping you get to the next level in your career?

This is maybe the one thing I took out of my master's degree, but I learned that women who have women mentors feel more connected. They feel like they have a compassionate-- is that the word I'm looking for? Compassionate?

[00:13:57] Veronica: Yes.

[00:13:58] Tyson: They have more personal connections, they feel safe with that person, blah, blah, blah but women who have male mentors get promoted faster and they get higher salaries.

[00:14:08] Veronica: Oh, interesting.

[00:14:10] Alexa: Fascinating. What?

[00:14:11] Tyson: Yes. You get different-

[00:14:12] Alexa: Wouldn't never have thought that, I have to fact check this episode. Really?

[00:14:17] Tyson: It's a statistic.

[00:14:18] Alexa: Why do you think that is?

[00:14:19] Tyson: I guess because when you have a female mentor, they are like looking out-- I get this seems like really-- [crosstalk] I don't know, I'm making like a lot of assumptions, but this is what the research says. Women, it's more comfortable to go to them if you have problems or you want to talk something out, but with men it's more, this is what you need to get the job, which actually makes a lot of sense, and it's interesting that the research actually backs that up.

[00:14:44] Alexa: That is interesting. Fascinating. I only ever had male bosses.

[00:14:49] Tyson: I've only ever had women boss.

[00:14:51] Veronica: Surprisingly I found that not currently, but my previous roles, female bosses I've found are some of the best and the worst ones that I've had. The best one I've had was a male manager. I did find that-

[00:15:07] Alexa: What made them so good?

[00:15:08] Veronica: I think because they were just expecting a lot more from me. I think I was quite junior and they were expecting-- and it was a lot of pressure. I've had nervous breakdowns all through it and I had a relationship breakdown and it was a lot harder.

[00:15:19] Alexa: Sounds like a great manager. I've had multiple breakdowns while I work for you, but you were my best boss ever.

[00:15:24] Veronica: You know, what I didn't realize was it came through my whole career whether I had a good boss or not. That's what I think I love about the HR community is that for some reason or another HR just puts you in that space, because of the work that we do.

That's another topic around the mental load. We talk about mothers at work. The mental load that's put in the HR function, I feel that that came through, but I think with that particular manager, he was putting me through conferences, sending me the things to learn because he was-

[00:15:52] Alexa: Oh, he was investing in you.

[00:15:54] Veronica: The development plan was very solid, because he was expecting me to be the best, and he wanted to support me to be the best.

[00:16:00] Alexa: That's incredible.

[00:16:01] Veronica: That's what the difference was, I guess. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but the experience I had, it doubled my salary in my next job, and it doubled my title and my experience.

[00:16:11] Alexa: Yes. That's incredible.

[00:16:12] Tyson: Very good. You're backing up the research. An anecdote to back up the research.

[00:16:14] Alexa: I think it's really interesting to think about hindsight is always 2020, as they say; sometimes when people leave jobs, they look back and they have a minute to breathe, or they leave toxic relationships, or they leave any bad situation or situation they perceived at the time to be bad enough to leave, and then you look back and a year later, it's like much worse. They're like, "Well, I put up with a lot."

I actually put up with a lot of emotional abuse at one point and verbal abuse that I didn't really realize at the time was so toxic. Then I stepped away from it and I was like, "Well, I'm not okay." Extra not okay, now that I've had time to think about it, but I also think it's interesting for someone to look back and say, "That was really hard." Because we talk about work being so hard right now.

Everyone is talking about, like, "Oh, I work too much," and quiet quitting and quiet firing, which we'll talk about in a second, and all these things. It's like, "Well, wait a minute, are you just uncomfortable?" Because that's different. That's where growth is if you're looking for growth. It's interesting to think of good managers are also the people that make you uncomfortable, possibly.

[00:17:10] Tyson: I think what's so funny, I was just having this conversation the other day about this next generation that's like, "We don't want to work." Millennials that are like, "Hustle, hustle, hustle."

[00:17:18] Alexa: The end of civilization.

[00:17:19] Tyson: We are going to be the leaders as millennials, we're leading these Gen Z's that are like, I don't want to work." We are like, "Wait, don't you have 17 jobs like we do." We literally invented the side hustle.

[00:17:29] Alexa: What is your side hustle? [crosstalk] side hustle.


[00:17:32] Tyson: Yes. It's so interesting, that dynamic, and that dynamic always exists. There's always going to be generational differences between leader and employee, typically, maybe not, but a little bit. I don't know, I find that that's going to be a very interesting predicament that the HR field will be dealing with in the near future.

[00:17:50] Veronica: You know what? I did a TikTok live, and we were talking about how the new generation of HR people as well that is asking more from employees in terms of culture are going to be the most burnt out, because they're in between the generation where they're saying, "Well, I don't want to be spoken to in that way. I don't want to be treated in that way." Then you have management that hasn't progressed yet and they're like, "Well, you must tolerate it." In between that, you have the HR function-

[00:18:16] Alexa: The boomers are going to be here a while.

[00:18:18] Veronica: - in between going, "Well, how do we navigate through this generational gap of leadership versus what the employees are expecting?"

[00:18:26] Alexa: The expectations are different.

[00:18:27] Veronica: I'm not necessarily talking about age, I'm just talking about the differences in terms of people in their roles. I know there are younger leaders that also are traditional in the way they view flexibility, the way they view benefits. You should be happy to have a job, like literally, you should be happy just that you're getting paid to do a job. Whereas Gen Z is like, "What's in it for me?" "Well, your paycheck?" "Well, no."


[00:18:50] Alexa: "I literally pay you for your time. I literally give you dollars. You give me time, I give you dollars, that's how this works."

[00:18:54] Veronica: "No, but I expect more from you." Oh, my God.

[00:18:56] Tyson: I think they're in for a rude awakening now. I think that that generation is going to be in for a rude awakening, like you mentioned, when the economy switches from what they've been so used to, and things are going to change, and they're going to understand the value of that. I don't know if Millennials, a lot of us were getting jobs in 2008, just like every generation goes through a time of hardship. They haven't really seen that yet but they will.

[00:19:20] Alexa: We've been through all. Millennials have been through all the things; Millennials [crosstalk] 9/11 to all the things.

[00:19:24] Veronica: That doesn't solve the problem of the HR is trying to navigate in between. Yes, you're right, they would be like, "Okay. Maybe I'm not in a position to be this hostile about what I want." At the same time, they still want it, there's still turnover, there's still people going, "Well, I want to look for another job." [crosstalk]-

[00:19:39] Alexa: That is interesting advantage to millennial managers, now that you say that, because they are about to be the new level of management, and they're going to be the only one that can probably see both sides of that coin.

[00:19:51] Tyson: It's so interesting. It's like how you say you're never going to be like your parents and then you like turn into them. There was a time where Millennials were like, "Oh they're so entitled and blah, blah, blah and they expect so much." Now it's like, "Hold on, millennials are like the hardest working generation that's ever existed. They work hard and they expect a lot, but it's because they're hustling. It's so interesting. That's how things have played out.

[00:20:15] Veronica: [crosstalk] great at setting boundaries [crosstalk] teaches us that.

[00:20:21] Alexa: What are boundaries?

[00:20:22] Tyson: We have no boundaries.

[00:20:23] Alexa: What are those? How do I get some? That's awesome. All right. Well, I think maybe you want to comment just on it really quickly because it's a bit of a trend right now. It is pertinent to this conversation, which is this concept around quiet firing. Tell us a little bit about what that is, and why that's relevant.

[00:20:38] Veronica: Look, I feel like similar to quiet quitting, it's open to interpretation, but I think quiet firing is around that if you have people in the business that's not willing to give above and beyond-- again, above and beyond got different definitions that they don't get the promotions, the development opportunities, the special projects, and it forces them to make a decision to say, "I'm not growing here, so I'm going to go." You're not being fired necessarily, but you're resigning.

[00:21:03] Alexa: You're basically being shoot out.

[00:21:05] Veronica: Someone actually on TikTok pointed out that that's also constructive-

[00:21:09] Alexa: [unintelligible 00:21:09] Dismissal.

[00:21:11] Veronica: As employers you need to be careful.

[00:21:12] Alexa: Survival of the fittest, yoh. [laughs]

[00:21:13] Veronica: Not pushing people out, that's unethical, or you need to be really careful in terms of how employers manage that.

[00:21:19] Alexa: Also, if you're not going to promotions and moving up, I think maybe we've forgotten this and all this quiet quitting talk is; for the best of the best. It is not just because you exist here for six months or because I paid you for a year, I owe you a promotion. No, it's, you are the best, I need someone to move up into this position. You can handle the responsibility, and you are the best based on what you understand to be the business's objectives.

[00:21:45] Tyson: [crosstalk] time and role.

[00:21:46] Alexa: That's why you got the promotion. No one else is owed a promotion that is part of the same pack. It's not of entitlement in a lot of these conversations, it's like, you still have to be the best of the best.

I'm sorry, we can talk about roles and posting jobs, and all the things on paper, which we talk about in HR all the time, but more importantly, it's like you just have to stand out amongst your peers. What do they say when you get chased by a bear? You don't have to be the fastest, you just can't be the slowest. You don't have to be the fastest runner, you just can't be the slowest. There's some truth to that if you flip it around, which is you just have to be the one that's primed for the promotion if that's what you want. If there's only one promotion, and there's six of you, you're not up against what's written on the paper as the responsibilities, you're up against the other five people, full stop. If they're hustling and you're quiet quitting, there's your fucking answer.

[00:22:36] Tyson: I just feel like so many people are just so avoidant of valuable conversations. I think that's my biggest challenge in HR, is I'm just so sick of people avoiding conversations. Whether it's the manager who's quiet firing and not giving the proper coaching performance, et cetera, or the person who's quiet quitting and just like, "Well, I'm just going to do my job." It's like, why don't people speak the fuck up for once? Like, let's start talking and have conversations so that we're not doing any of this quiet quitting or quiet managing. I don't know why--

[00:23:11] Alexa: It's all very passive aggressive. [crosstalk] Tiktok generation, like, "I don't want to talk about it. I want to TikTok about it."

[00:23:17] Tyson: I'm just going to post it on TikTok.

[00:23:19] Alexa: I won't say it to your face.

[00:23:20] Veronica: That's my point though, is around leadership. That's why I think for me, my main focus is that we need to have good leadership to allow these conversations, because it's not that easy. You have not a great manager, you can't just raise things. You'd be worried that you're not going to get demoted or you're going to get fired.

[00:23:34] Alexa: It's hard.

[00:23:34] Alexa: You need to be able to pick and choose as to what moments you manage up with and what things that you don't and you just take it. I think it's around leadership, it all comes down to it.

[00:23:44] Alexa: Expectation setting and boundaries. You don't know what's expected of you ask. If you don't have certain boundaries, you need to ask them for them or set them.

[00:23:52] Veronica: It's just not a right formula.

[00:23:54] Tyson: I think the quiet promotion is probably the most common thing that happens as well. Is when they're just like, "Oh, you're good at your job, here's more responsibilities." Oh no, you're not actually getting a promotion, you're not getting more money. It's just, you're good. I'm just going to burn you the [unintelligible 00:24:08]

[00:24:08] Alexa: This might be my biggest pet peeve in this industry is when someone gets quiet promoted.

[00:24:13] Veronica: Quiet promoted, that's a new thing.


[00:24:15] Alexa: Quite promoted, yes. It's not that new. It's this idea that -- it might have been HR manifesto that came up with that one. I don't know. Someone in this sphere did. It's the idea that basically you get all the responsibility and maybe even the title, but you don't get a pay bump.

[00:24:28] Tyson: You don't get a pay bump, not even a new title.

[00:24:30] Alexa: They don't give you the title, they give you all the responsibilities but none of the benefits that's called a quiet promotion.

[00:24:33] Tyson: They're like, "Oh, you're doing a great job. Here's more work." Like, "What?"

[00:24:37] Alexa: "We expect you to do more. It's a really big opportunity. It's an opportunity for you."

[00:24:40] Tyson: [unintelligible 00:24:40] stretch roll.

[00:24:41] Alexa: Stretch roll.

[00:24:42] Veronica: Then it goes full circle to someone to say, "No, thank you." [unintelligible 00:24:45]


There has to be a better way. No one's come up with a perfect solution. I think everyone's just making analysis on what research has happened and what the thing is, but I think there has to be some way where someone's going to think about the best way to connect the dots. I bet you HR will be the core in terms of, "Solve this problem." [unintelligible 00:25:08] solve your problem. Want permission? Solve the problem." How are we the people?

[00:25:14] Alexa: Just keep throwing it back down the road. I love it. All right, I'm going to move us to our people problem for the day, which is a listener audience question.


The question for today is, how do I stop being a referee for petty disputes so I can focus on other HR duties? How do you stop being the referee for petty shit?

[00:25:43] Veronica: Oh, God, I wish if I knew this, I would definitely be more effective in my role.

[00:25:48] Tyson: I think if we knew this that we-

[00:25:49] Alexa: Someone didn't wash their hands in the bathroom, should I tell HR? No, don't fucking tell HR.

[00:25:54] Tyson: That actually happens.

[00:25:55] Alexa: That happens. I'm sure.

[00:25:57] Tyson: "So and so missed the urinal. Can you address it?" "Wait, what?"

[00:26:01] Alexa: If you could PSA to the person that came up to you and was like, "Tyson, I really want you to know that so and so is peeing outside of the urinal." Deadpan, what would be your PSA to that person?

[00:26:13] Tyson: Did you tell them? Did you let them know? Did you talk to them about it?

[00:26:18] Alexa: Yes. Like, "I'm not here to do your dirty work. Don't be passive-aggressive. Just tell that person to wash their fucking hands if you feel so strongly about it, or don't pee on the floor." You weren't even there. You can't even go in the urinals.

[00:26:30] Tyson: Again, it's just these people are so afraid to have conversations and to address things. I don't know. I guess it's embarrassing. How would you approach someone to be like, "Hey, buddy, there you missed? Can you just make sure you hit the toilet next time?"

[00:26:43] Alexa: Yes, sometimes humor helps. That's a good way to approach things.

[00:26:46] Tyson: It's a little embarrassing. Would just wash your own hands and stay away from that person. I don't know. I don't know what urinals look like, how close together they are.

[00:26:51] Veronica: Remember how you touched on being a parent, in terms of like parenting. I feel like we in those situations where there's petty situation that happens, it's almost coaching them to be like, "What would you do in this situation?" Maybe you could have a conversation with them and empowering them to have those difficult conversations. I feel like we do that at every point in our career to be like, "Oh, you're having problem with another employee in your team? Have you had the conversation?" It's like coaching them through how to have the conversation, and it's constant.

[00:27:22] Tyson: That's key. I think if we can do anything based on this conversation, in HR, it's coaching people how to have these conversations. It's the manager, how to have performance discussions. It's the employee, how to tell your manager that you're not getting what you need, that sort of thing I think that that's where we can really lean in, it's just coaching in communication.

[00:27:40] Alexa: I think it's also a really good litmus test for like, if you're not willing to say something to that person, then it's not a big enough problem for you to get it solved. If you were on the New York City subway, and something happened and you weren't willing to talk to that person in that situation, why would you be expecting someone else to do it on your behalf? If you're not willing to address the issue, why do you expect the issue to be fixed? You don't deserve for that issue to be fixed if you're not willing to contribute.

[00:28:04] Veronica: Then it opens up a can of worms in terms of what's HR's responsibility, and what are the things that we're supposed to be? It's so blurry that I think there needs to be some more clarity about our function, because you wouldn't ask anybody else in finance, or your manager or in marketing to do that. Whereas our core function is not to do that, our core function is so much more than just telling somebody-

[00:28:24] Alexa: I just feel like if you wouldn't do it in normal decency with normal people, like you're at a friend's party and somebody dribbles on the floor, why would you expect HR to do that for you? I don't understand.

[00:28:34] Tyson: If we go back to the question, though, petty disputes is what they're asking about. Oftentimes, there are investigation situations where you do have to go deep, and it is HR's job. My suggestion to this individual is, if they don't want to be involved with that, that they should have an employee relations team that's specific to doing that. If you have the ability to hire someone and contract that work out, then that leaves that team, which is usually a lot less biased than you are as an HR manager or HR generalist, get other people to do that work.

It's the same if you're always getting questions about payroll. Well, then stop doing the payroll. If you're the HR person and you don't want to answer payroll questions, hire a payroll team. Then that just leaves you more space to be strategic, if possible. Again, to answer this person's question, if they want to focus more on HR manager duties, which, let's say are more strategic, they need to make sure that they have a solid team that's doing some of the other work for them that they don't want to be bogged down with.

[00:29:28] Alexa: Agreed. I think it's on leadership to establish like, "This is not their role. Don't bring the shit to HR."

[00:29:33] Veronica: I think though the resourcing, one of the issues that HR faces is that from A to Z, we are one person. I think that's whether [unintelligible 00:29:43]

[00:29:42] Alexa: Most HR teams are sub five people. It's crazy.

[00:29:44] Veronica: We are underresourced. The point is that we're the most, I feel, one of the key roles to reduce some really important problems in terms of turnover costs money, recruitment costs money, all of that costs money, and yet we don't get the same focus in terms of headcount, resourcing, development. How many times a hardworking--

[00:30:03] Alexa: Of course, I'm a call center. When you're paying to hire people and I'm dealing with their poop stories. [chuckles]

[00:30:08] Veronica: If you need HR to be the problem for everything, you need to make sure you have the best HR person. Make sure you invest in that.

[00:30:14] Alexa: Right, and don't let them get bogged down with that shit.

[00:30:15] Veronica: You're like, "That's not happening."

[00:30:16] Alexa: Yes, but you do with managers. Right?

[00:30:17] Veronica: Yes.

[00:30:17] Alexa: You're like, "I don't want you to focus on that because this is a priority, so let me get that off your plate." Like why aren't we doing that with HR?

[00:30:22] Veronica: We need to treat HR people as the consultants of the business.

[00:30:25] Alexa: Agreed, 1,000%.

[00:30:25] Veronica: You're like, "What's the problem and how do we solve them and [crosstalk]."

[00:30:27] Alexa: Amen.

Veronica: Yes. [chuckles]

Veronica: [unintelligible 00:30:29] sorry.

[00:30:30] Alexa: Then we're going to wrap this episode because that's a fantastic point, Veronica. Thank you so much for being here.

[00:30:33] Tyson: Thank you.

[00:30:34] Veronica: Thank you-

[00:30:34] Alexa: The famous People, Culture Collective.

[00:30:35] Veronica: - for having me.

[00:30:36] Alexa: Make sure you follow her on TikTok, and thanks for being here live in LA, we'll see you on the next one.

[00:30:40] Veronica: Thanks. Thank you, guys.

[00:30:41] Alexa: You're welcome.

[00:30:44] Speaker 1: Wait a minute before you leave, take some time to leave us a five-star rating. We'd really love to feedback. Also, if you'd like to see [unintelligible 00:30:49] episodes, check us out on our new YouTube channel. Thanks.

[00:30:55] Alexa: This episode was executive produced by me Alexa Baggio with audio production by Ellie Brigida of Clear Harmonies. Our show music was also done by the wonderful Ellie Brigida of Clear Harmonies. You can find more information about us and future episodes at peopleproblemspod.com or follow us @peopleproblemspod on all--

[00:31:10] [END OF AUDIO]

#HRtok #humorousresources #hrtiktok #careertok #hr #humanresources #employeecheckin #hrlife #peopleoperations #peopleops #peopleoperations #work #worklife #remotework #notHR

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