Working Through COVID-19

I don’t think I really understood what it would be like to work in a hospital when COVID-19 hit us. No, I am not on the front line caring for patients, but I am right in the thick of things none the less. Prior to COVID-19, my role in Human Resources found me focusing on retention, engagement, compliance, and reinvigorating our Diversity Council. It seemed as if overnight, things changed. I was now educating myself on National Incident Command training and became part of our hospital’s Incident Command Center; my new jobs became Support Branch Director, and Personnel Manager. In […]

White Space at Work

On a road trip back from Virginia, I listened to an interview with Juliete Funt, CEO of White Space at Work. I had listened to her about a year ago, but listening to her a second time reminded me of the importance of White Space, at work, and at home. What is White Space? It can be defined as a strategic pause between activities. It can be as short as a few seconds, to as long as a few hours. “These thoughtful pauses laced throughout the busyness of the workday are the oxygen that allows everything to catch fire,” says […]

Employee Wellness

Working in the healthcare arena has opened my eyes to the increased focus on mental health, and the importance of employee wellness. In years past, employers had the mindset that stress inducers were primarily emanating from personal or home-life situations. This thinking has evolved to acknowledge stress is also emerging from the workplace. In response to rising levels of stress, employers are rising to the challenge. According to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) 90% of US employers are offering some component of mental health coverage in the form of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), mental-health coverage, substance […]

Look What I Just Read!

In reading through the latest edition of Human Resources Executive magazine, I came across an article close to my heart, “How D&I Can Drive Business Success.” The article does a wonderful job laying out the many reasons why diversity in the workplace is still not where it needs to be, and balances that with a deeper understanding of inclusion. In the US, workers filed over 76,000 complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2018, with charges of retaliation accounting for just over 50% of complaints, followed by discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation, disability, and race. This isn’t […]

The Right to Disconnect

In reading through the fall issue of HR magazine, I came across an interesting article that would seem odd to an American audience. The article focuses on France and Spain’s increased effort to decrease workplace stress by allowing employees the right to disconnect from electronic devices while not on duty. In our society, where exempt employees seem to be on the clock sometimes 24/7, this approach may be something to consider as we look at our own work-life balance. Specifically, the article cites that the blurring of the line between work and personal time, and the accompanying stress and intrusion […]

Coping With Death at Work

Certainly not an uplifting topic, but something that does happen on occasion is the death of a coworker. Whether this coworker was diagnosed with an illness months prior, or the death is sudden, the loss of a coworker is one of those things that can impact everyone. It is in these times where managers and staff will reach out to Human Resources to ask, “What can we do, or what should we do for our team?” The answer to these questions may vary depending on situations, but the subsequent paragraphs will provide some guidance. What I usually tell these managers […]

Fostering an Inclusive Climate

Employees often see themselves as passive recipients of a work climate, as if it is something that is created by the organization for which they work. But the reality is that employees co-create the climate, along with the manager/leader of the department. This is a fascinating topic to explore, and a continuous challenge. I recently discussed this topic with another HR professional as we delved into three different departments within the same organization. In all three departments, employees have complained about low morale, gossiping, lack of respect for one another, and low trust. This has been an ongoing theme for […]

Meet Our Pride Festival Host, Ashley ‘Bam-Bam’ Harris

Born and raised in the inner city of Baltimore, Bam has enjoyed an official reign as “Crazy Girl on the Mic,” shutting down every night club in the city of Baltimore. In an entertainment world of superficiality and inflated egos, Bam has a youthful, energetic, and ambitious aura radiating in her hometown of Baltimore, of course, and extending to Atlanta, DC, New York, and other East Coast locations where she performs. Her intro into radio came in college at University of Maryland, Eastern Shore’s Hawk Radio. She quickly advanced and soon was hosting Shay Star radio. Bam was influenced by […]

Getting to Know Our 2019 Pride Grand Marshals

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Senator Mary Washington at a Maryland LGBT Chamber of Commerce Champions event. Mary was gracious, taking time to snap pictures with our table group. I am now pleased to inform the readers that Mary is one of our Grand Marshals. More about Senator Mary Washington: She is an advocate for Maryland’s 43rd District as a legislator, professor, ally, public policy leader, and trail-blazer. In 2010, she made history becoming the first openly LGBT African-American elected official in Maryland – and only the second such state legislator in the country. As a current state […]

In the Heat of the Moment

Let’s face it, the workplace can often times prove challenging. It’s not always easy to put your best foot forward. And when caught in the act, we are often confronted with feedback, whether we ask for it or not. In the heat of the moment, sometimes the feedback comes across as criticism rather than helpful; as a personal dig rather than a valuable piece of advice. As you can likely imagine, working in healthcare provides many “feedback” opportunities. Working in an industry where customer service is measured constantly, the pressure of financial loss hangs in the background if we don’t […]