April 06, 2017

Top HCM leaders write, and here’s why

Nick Venturella

Nick Venturella is Ceridian’s Customer Success Operations Manager. He manages content and strategies for Ceridian’s award-winning Customer Success XOXO program.

Writing isn’t just something for people in the publishing and marketing industries to benefit from.

Professionals across a wide variety of fields can – and should – take advantage of writing, including those in human capital management. We’re talking CPO’s, CHRO’s, HR/Talent Leadership, HR/Payroll Managers and more.

You don’t have to consider yourself a professional author to take advantage of this medium.

All professionals should be writing in some way shape or form, regardless of where they are in their careers – or where they want to go. Here’s why:

Own your story 

Writing helps you stand out and, when approached correctly, can be an effective strategy in positioning yourself as a thought leader.

“Writing matters more now, not less,” explained Ann Handley, the world’s first Chief Content Officer and Wall Street Journal best-selling author. “Our online words are our emissaries: They tell our customers who we are.” For HCM leaders, writing can also tell your people who you are, and what you care about. Writing can be especially powerful if your people aren’t seeing you on a daily basis – you can build a rapport with them via your writing from anywhere.

To add, being viewed as a thought leader by peers can have a profound influence on your career.

Build confidence on and off the page

The way you interact with people is important, as is the way you carry yourself. Writing helps make your ideas more solid and, in turn, improves your effectiveness in being able to articulate them on the fly. Once you put the effort in to sort through your thoughts on paper before you try to communicate them verbally, they tend to come out sounding a lot more put together and concrete.

Knowing what your point is and how to best deliver it ahead of time can be a confidence booster – and confident people get noticed and recognized! According to his book, Rework, Jason Fried, Founder and CEO of Basecamp, says, “Clear writing is a sign of clear thinking…Writing is today’s currency for good ideas.”

Shaping and solidifying your ideas will make you a thought leader – both on paper and in person.

Be an influencer

Two of our customer bloggers, Lainie Cooney and Angie Poulsen, recently won awards in the HCM industry. We couldn’t be happier! While writing wasn’t solely responsible for their big wins, it certainly contributed to the HCM industry viewing both Lainie and Angie as influencers.

Awards aside, influencers have the power to make changes they want to see. If your present HCM reality doesn’t include some key features that you want – as an influencer, you not only have the power to ask for it, you will most likely see that people and organizations will make it happen for you.

This was true for Rochelle Campbell of BH Media, who recently took the Ceridian stage at our annual #CeridianSKO meeting to discuss her experience choosing an HCM provider. She saw that the Dayforce product didn’t have a feature she thought would really help her day-to-day as a VP of Human Resources. She said the word and our technology team delivered (shout out to Ceridian CTO, Ozzie Goldschmied for leading an agile team of developers and stay tuned for Rochelle’s blog!)

How to get started, and some guidelines

Start by engaging with other posts, then go further and post articles that speak to you, commenting with your two-cents.

Of course, putting your ideas out there comes at a risk. Even Eratosthenes, the person who realized the world wasn’t flat, received push-back when he announced his findings. And while you should definitely take risks, you want to avoid being completely reckless. Here are some “do’s” we encourage:

  • Sharing industry news.
  • Highlighting your workplace culture: celebrate successes, with permission of course.
  • Using hashtags and images: a great idea when you’re attending industry events.
  • Posting on a regular basis.

On the other hand, steer clear from making false claims or statements. Social media is a powerful tool and if it’s used with good judgement, it can really work to your advantage as a writer and HCM leader.

Blogging

There are many ways to share your writing online. LinkedIn, Medium, to name a few, or you can reach out to blogs like this one and pitch your story. Often well-established blogs like Ceridian’s are looking for fresh new content and ideas to share. You could reach out to blogs you follow and pitch an idea!

If you don’t know how or where to start, but want to get into blogging, remember, it doesn’t take a writing expert to write. To quote Ann Handley one more time (we’re huge fans): “Everybody Writes!” Nothing quite compares to diving into a couple hundred pages of lessons in writing, but luckily many of Ann’s main points are summed up nicely in this infographic.

We dedicate this blog to each of our customer bloggers to date. Thank you for contributing your time and knowledge to our Human Capital Management blog. Click below to read their latest and feel free to get in touch to pitch an idea!

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