Kimberly Roden

Kimberly Roden is the founder of Unconventional HR. An HR pro turned consultant, she has 25 years of progressive experience as a strategic HR and business leader in a variety of industries. Her hands-on and innovative approach allows her to create and deliver HR solutions to meet business challenges and needs by managing human capital, talent acquisition and technology. Connect with her on Twitter at , or at .

Articles by Kimberly Roden

Benefits, HR Management

Health Risk Assessments: CVS Takes a Smart Step on the Road to Wellness


By now you’ve probably heard about CVS pharmacy asking its employees to have their doctor complete a voluntary health screening (Health Risk Assessment) by May 2014 or they’ll be required to pay an additional $50 a month for their group health insurance.

Of course, many sources have blown this up by saying that CVS wants to get their hot little hands on employees’ health information so they can start firing unhealthy people.

This is an excellent example of how much the media doesn’t know about group health care by portraying CVS like the big, bad wolf. I’ve already written about this topic, and if you speak with any insurance broker, they’ll tell you that the process of adding a voluntary Health Risk Assessment to a group health plan isn’t new. Nor is this an evil plot by CVS to ransack employee health records so they can fire sick people. Read more…

HR Insights, HR Management

Getting Out of the Comfort Zone: Why New Job Experiences Make Sense


Ten years in your current role? You’re stale. And stagnant. Your resume probably reads like a job description.

When recruiters and hiring managers stop being human, they’ll stop having biases. Biases are all over the place, legal and illegal — we just don’t know about them.

My biases are centered on wanting to see candidates who have gotten bored in their roles and made the choice to move on. Not because they were laid off and had to move on. I’m looking for the folks who are hungry to do more — striving to be that rock-star with an organization. (I broke my own rule there — I hate the word “rock-star.” Sorry ’bout that.) Read more…

Talent Management

The Three Dimensions of Employee Engagement


While the term “Employee Engagement” has a formal definition, it can be broken down into three (3) fundamental areas.

 No. 1 – Engaged with work

Engagement is defined as an employee who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about their work, and will act in a way that furthers their organization’s interests relative to their own productivity. Employees who are happy with the work they’re doing and understand how their work ties in with the organization will usually give it their all and stick around. Happy employees + retention = :-) . Read more…

Culture, HR Management

What Would You Do If You Were the CEO For a Day?


If I had the opportunity to be the CEO for a day, I’d tell the entire organization to forget everything they know, have experienced or have been told about Human Resources.

We’re going to focus on one thing — making work better! Making the employment experience what it’s supposed to be: mutually beneficial.

We spend more time at work than we do anywhere else. I have to believe that all organizations aspire to have people who want to come to work and to have their leadership embrace the effort it takes to make that happen. Read more…

HR Basics, HR Management

A Little Advice For New Managers: It’s About Handling the Gray Areas

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Congratulations — you’ve been promoted!

You now have a new title that includes the word “manager.” Or, maybe you’re fancy and have a Director or VP title. It’s gratifying that your hard work is being recognized so you can fast-track the climb up the proverbial corporate ladder.

Regardless of your title, when you step into a role with the responsibility of managing others, your job now splits into TWO jobs.

You have your own position’s deadlines and accountabilities, and, you’re now responsible for supporting a team. Supporting a team means mentoring, assisting, disciplining and basically being a work-parent to folks who will be looking to you for guidance. Read more…

HR Management, Leadership

Keeping Employees Happy? Hey CEOs, This Isn’t Rocket Science

123RF Stock Photo

Are you tired of hearing about all of the ways you can make your company a “win-win?”

Yeah, I know the jargon gets old — but the goal shouldn’t.

As much as I don’t like jargon, business leaders can achieve a win-win in their organizations. It’s not difficult but does require effort and accountability from the rest of management. A splash of empathy always helps, too. Read more…

HR Insights, HR Management

When Leading and Managing, Don’t be Like Hatfields & McCoys


The History Channel just aired a mini-series called Hatfields & McCoys; did you happen to catch it?

This lengthy and notorious family feud was a way of life for those involved — it was all they knew. One of the lines in the movie from a McCoy gal was, “From a little girl all I knew was revenge against the Hatfields — I was taught to grow up and kill Hatfields.

While I was watching the movie, I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone questioned why they continued to fight and why no one stepped up and said, “this is crazy — howza ’bout we stop murdering each other and be pals?” Read more…

HR News & Trends, Talent Management

Why Employers Need to Respect the Personal Lives of Employees


Have you heard the story about the gal who was fired from her full-time job as a reporter because she didn’t disclose to her employer that she was a part-time exotic dancer, er, stripper?

Sarah Tressler filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and is suing her former employer (the Houston Chronicle, where she worked as a society reporter) for gender discrimination.

When I first heard it on the news, my first thought was, “Good for her, I hope she kicks their ass and wins!” After all, she’s a reporter, not a nun. She’s earned a Master’s in Journalism and was paying off her debt for her education — that ultimately benefits her employer. Read more…

HR Management, Talent Management

Why We Need to Burn the Annual Performance Review: Being Objective

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Editor’s Note: This is Part 3 of a series (you can find Part 1 and Part 2 here) on why the annual performance review process needs to go away and what should be done instead. 

I’ve written about why annual performance reviews are destructive and how to do them right when we start doing them more frequently. Do you know the sure fire way for performance reviews to be objective?

Well, it’s not the traditional form that managers complete. Being objective on traditional performance review forms is not possible, period.

Think about some of the categories on your performance review form? You’ll see categories like “initiative” and “adaptability.” Just exactly how do we speak about these topics objectively? Read more…

HR Management, Talent Management

Why We Need to Burn the Annual Performance Review: How to Fix It

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Editor’s Note: This is Part 2 of a three-part series (you can find Part 1 here) on why the annual performance review process needs to go away and what should be done instead. 

My first post highlighted why the annual performance review process is broken and why feedback should be given often — monthly or every two weeks — whatever works for the organization. It shouldn’t be overcomplicated with a bunch of forms and boxes to check off.

The discussion about performance should not take place at the same time we talk about pay raises either — unlink those conversations pronto! Business leaders, managers and HR needs to recondition their thinking and simplify this process.

The process is easy but can get screwed up if it’s not done right. I’m going to share a valuable tool that managers can use immediately to make this successful. Read more…