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 […]

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 […]

Appreciate Your Appreciation

Good news for home sellers in many parts of the US. It’s time to “appreciate your appreciation,” if you are thinking of selling your home. Being a homeowner, these days just might make you feel like a terribly savvy investor, especially in the western US. Home sellers are realizing a sizable return on their investment according to ATTOM Data Solutions. Those who sold their homes in the first quarter of 2019 made a 31.5% return, pocketing an average gain of $57,500. “While home seller gains are down from Q4 2018’s $60,000, they are still up year over year, when price […]

What Kind of Manager Are You?

I’ve had occasion to watch managers in action over my career. I think we can all agree that managers display many different styles, from completely hands-off to overly involved, and somewhere in between. What is most interesting for me as an HR practitioner is to monitor the impact the varying styles have on employees. When I say “management style,” I’m referring to the way a manager makes decisions relating to their subordinates. The wrong management style demotivates employees, kills productivity, and causes employees to disengage and leave. One successful management style is known as the “democratic” manager. These managers are […]

Proactive HR

There is a big difference between good HR and proactive HR – the difference between HR being important versus worth its weight in gold. We tend to think of HR as practical and reactive to standard issues. Recruitment, retention, employee relations issues (discipline, grievances), pay and benefits, all spring to mind. Certainly, getting these fundamentals right is always critical. But proactive HR requires a deeper level of understanding and a more collaborative approach to these issues. The positive impact it can have on your business is significant. HR policies and procedures often times seem fairly black-and-white, while business certainly is […]

The Equality Act Comes Closer to Reality

The Equality Act is an important topic for our readers. Over the course of the last four years, there has been a significant increase of Congressional support, jumping from 178 members to 239. In addition to this support, some large corporations have publically come on board as well. When first introduced in 2015, only Apple, Levi-Strauss, and Dow Chemical had supported the Equality Act. Joining this group are Google, Facebook, General Mills, and American Airlines. As of now, there are over 150 companies that support this bill. The Human Rights Campaign organized this corporate push with its Business Coalition for […]

Workplace Safety

Preparing for workplace safety has been top of mind for many employers. While in the past the focus had been on Occupational Health & Safety (OSHA) i.e., providing a work environment free from safety and health hazards that could cause physical harm, nowadays there is increased emphasis on workplace violence. How do we define workplace violence? This definition will be organization-specific, but for the sake of this article, I will define it as deliberately causing physical injury to another person, such as shooting, hitting, and other forms of physical abuse, as well as threats of violence (including emails, texts, social […]

Drug Testing in the Workplace

Now that some states have legalized marijuana use, it is a good idea to take a look at where things stand legally when it comes to it’s use in the workplace. Company leaders have had discretion when deciding whether to subject employees to drug testing, either pre-hire or during employment. Recently, a federal court affirmed this when it found that a New Jersey company did not have to waive a post-accident test for a worker who was a registered medical marijuana user. This decision means in the state of New Jersey, businesses can still dictate the terms of employment to […]

It’s a New Year: Reflect and Resolve Ten golden rules

The end of the year is a good time to reflect on your business’s progress over the past 12 months and a good time to plan business goals for the New Year. It’s a great time to ask and answer questions, such as, do you want increased success in the coming year, or more chances to enjoy success you may have achieved? These top New Year’s resolutions are designed to help you do both: strike a better work-life balance and increase business success in the New Year. 1) Learn to delegate, and do more of it. There are so many […]

Planning for the End of Year Party

As we embark on December’s festive season, many of us in Human Resources prepare for traditional year-end holiday parties. Given the multi-cultural mix of employees in most organizations, for some, these holiday celebrations can leave some folks feeling negative, left out and unhappy. Given the backdrop of our political climate, tension and emotions are high, and the opportunity for misunderstandings increase tenfold. Some employees will embrace the idea of a more inclusive approach to the holiday party, and some will not appreciate this approach at all. Although the US population continues to grow more diverse, Christians still make up about […]