17 episodes

Welcome to True Stories at Work, hosted by Michelle Aronson, a recovering HR executive, certified coach, and business school professor who knows that the BEST stories happen at work.



True Stories at Work blends the interesting ways people end up working in HR with the best stories you’ve never heard. At the end, we share a workplace confessions… stories from people who didn’t get “caught”!



Stories are what we remember and how we connect, so please share yours with me at www.physicsatwork.com/podcast

True Stories at Work: fresh from HR Michelle Aronson

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 16 Ratings

Welcome to True Stories at Work, hosted by Michelle Aronson, a recovering HR executive, certified coach, and business school professor who knows that the BEST stories happen at work.



True Stories at Work blends the interesting ways people end up working in HR with the best stories you’ve never heard. At the end, we share a workplace confessions… stories from people who didn’t get “caught”!



Stories are what we remember and how we connect, so please share yours with me at www.physicsatwork.com/podcast

    Rules and HR: To Bend or Not To Bend: Nicole

    Rules and HR: To Bend or Not To Bend: Nicole

    Did you know that HR professionals are the true crime detectives of the corporate world? From solving the case of the mysterious naughty photographs to catching protesting poopers, this True Stories at Work episode features jaw-dropping stories from Nicole as she shares her most memorable investigations and leaves no case unsolved.



    Learn how Nicole landed her first HR job (as a director) without even applying. Gain insight into the unpredictable and often strange investigative work that HR conducts. Reflect on when it might be the right choice to bend or break the rules for the greater good.

    00:00 Introduction

    01:58 Stories at Work

    10:16 Nicole's Story

    16:02 More Stories at Work

    30:24 Haiku for Nicole



    Resources



    Curious about great HR leadership + Bending the Rules at work, here are some links to get started:



    What Separates Great HR Leaders from the Rest (hbr.org)



    HR Ethical Dilemmas (shrm.org)



    Bending The Rules | When it's Right to do the Wrong Thing | Rice Business Wisdom



    When to Break the Rules at Work – And How to Do It (linkedin.com)



    Stories are what we remember and how we connect, so please share yours with me



    Let's talk about your people strategy



    Tell a story!



    Make a Workplace Confession



    Host: Michelle Aronson



    Editor: Bella Hutchins



     



    Haiku for Nicole



    Nicole proudly solves,



    workplace mysteries with a



    bit of rule bending

    • 30 min
    Ahoy HR! Take a Journey into Human Resources on a Cruise Ship: Lauren

    Ahoy HR! Take a Journey into Human Resources on a Cruise Ship: Lauren

    Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live with your coworkers on the ocean for 8-months each year? In this True Stories at Work episode you get to meet Lauren. Who wanted to be a pirate, astronaut and is now an HR leader on a cruise ship.



    Michelle Aronson hosts Lauren, who aspired to be an astronaut, however ended up in HR after a health issue crashed her aerospace engineering dreams. Lauren talks about her practices in addressing HR issues and the unique challenges she faces living and working on a cruise ship, including dealing with staff from 30-40 different nationalities, overseeing personal issues that become HR matters, and handling romantic relationships on board. HR is personal, as Lauren recounts a heart-wrenching incident of an immigration scam involving one of her potential hires. The episode wraps up as Lauren shares how she changed her approach to HR after laying off an entire hotel staff at the beginning of the pandemic… and how she makes HR personal and connected to improve her workplace.

    00:00 Introduction

    02:09 Lauren's Story

    07:19 True Stories at Work

    36:25 Workplace Confession

    40:05 Haiku for Lauren

     



    Resources



    Curious about cross-culture challenges + how to connect more deeply with colleagues at work, here are some links to get started:



    How Cultural Differences Can Impact Global Teams



    Forming Stronger Bonds with People at Work



    Stories are what we remember and how we connect, so please share yours with me



    Tell a story!



    Make a Workplace Confession



     



    Host: Michelle Aronson



    Editor: Bella Hutchins



     



    Haiku for Lauren



    Lauren is not a pirate.



    But achieves her HR dreams...



    as she sees (seas(;)) the world.

    From HR Challenges to AI Opportunities: Karen

    From HR Challenges to AI Opportunities: Karen

    How does an HR professional build a connected, inclusive, and tech-forward culture? Find out in our latest podcast episode with Karen, who considers herself an accidental tourist in HR! #HRLeadership #InclusiveWorkplace #Podcast



    In this episode, Karen shares her experience crafting a culture to support high-growth companies. She discusses the importance of creating an inclusive culture and how to align the executive team and care for the HR team. We discuss how to keep culture (and humans) in focus as you implement technology for your HR practices. Karen shares that “employees want to know that tomorrow will be better than today and that they have a say in it.”



    00:00 Introduction



    01:55 Karen's Story



    05:45 Stories at Work



    32:02 Workplace Confession



    37:29 Haiku for Karen



    Resources



    Curious about culture and tech at work, here are some links to get started:



    4 Ways AI Will Disrupt the HR Function in 2024 (shrm.org)



    Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace (shrm.org)



    Talent Management in the Age of AI (hbr.org)



     



    Stories are what we remember and how we connect, so please share yours with me



    Let's talk about your people strategy



    Tell a story!



    Make a Workplace Confession



     



    Haiku for Karen



    Karen understands...



    Connection is essential



    in work and in life.



     



    Host: Michelle Aronson



    Editor: Bella Hutchins

    • 37 min
    Navigating Growth, Fear, and Humility in HR: Adam

    Navigating Growth, Fear, and Humility in HR: Adam

    What happens when you choose to face your fears and be vulnerable at the work? This episode of True Stories at Work shares how well these tactics worked for Adam, as he moved from a $10/hr contractor to running global programs in the London headquarters of a multinational insurance company within 8 years! Adam shares the importance of honest communication, sharing your half-baked ideas, and taking risks at work.



    We discuss vulnerability, mentorship, radical candor and managing your fear at work. Adam shares his journey of falling-out of a PhD program and into human resources. You'll hear great stories of humility, risk-taking, continuous learning, and the importance of open communication. The Workplace Confession is from a coworker of Michelle's who used his knowledge from a sexual harassment training to avoid her investigation!



    #CareerGrowth #AuthenticLeadership #Vulnerability



    Timeline:



    00:01 Introduction



    01:22 Adam's Story



    16:05 Stories at Work



    33:09 Workplace Confession



    38:50 Haiku for Adam



    Curious about vulnerability at work or writing better job descriptions, here are some links to get started:



    Want To Write A Better, More Effective Job Description? Follow These 14 Tips (forbes.com)



    How to be vulnerable at work without spilling everything, from Brené Brown | (ted.com)



    HBR: How to Build Confidence About Showing Vulnerability



     



    Stories are what we remember and how we connect, so please share yours with me



    Let's talk about your people strategy



    Tell a story!



    Make a Workplace Confession



    Ask a question+ make a suggestion



     



    Haiku for Adam



    Adam knows that growth…



    Comes with fear, risk and sharing...



    Uncomfortable truths.



     



    Host: Michelle Aronson



    Editor: Bella Hutchins

    • 37 min
    HR is Not Your Junk Drawer: Lauren Part 2

    HR is Not Your Junk Drawer: Lauren Part 2

    This True Stories at Work episode begins where my last podcast episode dropped off, with Lauren on the brink of her first leadership role and her first sexual harassment investigation (at the same time!).



    Lauren shares a few of the ‘insane moments’ she has experienced during her career and how reveals how these experiences have shaped her into a better HR professional.



    We discuss the many challenges that HR faces, the shifting expectations of employers, and how HR is often the junk drawer for everyone else’s people problems.



    The episode wraps up with a workplace confession (and debate) from a former colleague of Michelle’s that increased his empathy toward Michelle and pets left in cars.



    Timeline





    00:00 Introduction



    01:40 Lauren's Journey to HR Leadership



    02:31 Lauren's First Sexual Harassment Investigation



    03:33 The Aftermath of the Investigation



    05:49 Lauren's Reflections on Her HR Career



    06:11 Lauren's Most Insane HR Moment



    15:43 Lauren's Workplace Pet Peeve



    18:31 The Changing Landscape of HR in a Post-COVID World



    22:41 Workplace Confession



    29:44 Thanks for Listening





    Resources



    Curious about the topics discussed on the show, here are some links to learn more:




    Company Culture Is Everyone’s Responsibility (hbr.org)



    3 Myths About Hiring People with Criminal Records (hbr.org)



    Guns in the Workplace: What Has Changed, and What Can Employers Expect? (shrm.org)



    Stories are what we remember and how we connect, so please share yours with me



    Let's talk about your culture and strategy



    Tell a story!



    Make a Workplace Confession



    Ask a question+ make a suggestion

    • 30 min
    HR is Artistic

    HR is Artistic

    Have you ever had to handle a rift in your department?



    In this True Stories at Work episode you get to meet Lauren, who hit “all the desks” in HR to grow her expertise… but nothing prepared her for the mistake of rehiring a former employee, creating a “scorched earth” moment and a lot of leadership growth. We also talk about boundaries, and how you we keep them with our teams and employees.



    Lauren shared so many stories that I had to split her stories across 2 episodes. In this episode, you’ll learn about Lauren’s background and how her career aspirations to be creative are fulfilled by working in HR.  ”HR is artistic because you have to literally be able to handle things at the drop of a hat unique situations.”



    For the Workplace Confession, you will hear a story from a former coworker, who wants to share some stories that still make him laugh and cringe from working with me. This one is from a leadership coaching conversation where he gets distracted by a squirrel… and I pulled the coaching recording to find out how that squirrel entered our coaching session.



    Additional research on topics discussed in this episode:



    Should You Rehire an Employee Who Left Your Company? (hbr.org)



    How to Be Friends with Someone Who Works For You (hbr.org)



    I need your workplace confession, so if you have every done anything wrong at work, please share your story with me by going to physicsatwork.com/podcast and leave me a voice message (anonymously and easily) from your phone or computer.



    Make a Workplace Confession



    Stories are what we remember and how we connect, so please share yours with me!



    Let's talk about your people strategy



    Tell a story!



     

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

Everyday I Write the Book ,

insightful and interesting

Really enjoy listening to this podcast.

Mr B World ,

Interesting, Entertaining and Educational

Michelle is a very easy going and thoughtful interviewer. She does a nice job of balancing questions and comments with allowing the person being interviewed to share just the right amount of content.

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