2018 in Review: What Would You Change?

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As you look back on 2018, what would you change?  Consider this question on both a personal and a professional level, and take a moment to write down at least three things for each.  We often say, “If I knew then what I know now…” – well, here’s your chance!  Do a mental review of the past year, and literally list the things you’d change if you could.

2018 Review


Would you have taken a class or pursued continuing education to help you perform your job more efficiently?  Perhaps you’d select a mentor at your company or in your industry, and meet with him or her on a regular basis to expand your knowledge, or simply brainstorm together.  If the thought of your commute or other downtime has you rolling your eyes, consider audiobooks or podcasts, to build some enjoyment and learning into each day.   There are even apps for your phone that will allow you to learn a language by investing a few minutes per day. Continue reading “2018 in Review: What Would You Change?”

Remember Your “Why”

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When I first started going to fitness boot camp in October 2016, the boot camp owner asked all of us new recruits to consider our “why” behind wanting to join the class.  Boot camp represents a sizable commitment of time, energy, and money, as well as a substantial physical and mental challenge.  It’s easy to start questioning your own judgment when leaving a warm bed in the early morning hours to go do such a difficult workout.

Tug of War

Most of us are motivated by our “why” in life.  My reason why – in going to the fitness boot camp — was of course to get healthier, but deep down, it also was to feel more confident and ultimately, to “rock that little black dress!”

Motivation and Your Why

Who doesn’t enjoy receiving compliments after losing weight?  You know that you look good, plus you have more energy and feel great!  In life, sometimes we have to pause and give thought to the motivation behind our “why.”  When we get off track in life, or even get stuck in a rut, it’s important to reflect on the driving force behind our why.  Continue reading “Remember Your “Why””

10 Great Ways to Start Your New Year With a Bang

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“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” – C.S. Lewis

You know what I love about the New Year?  I get yet another opportunity to do more, be more, live more, and love more.  I am blessed with an opportunity to do better and live differently.  Isn’t that awesome?  Some may scoff at that, but I live for the opportunity to look to the future!


With that being said, what are you going to do this year to be better?  How are you going to improve your business in 2019?  How can you use the coming new year to push forward, to be more, do more, and accomplish more? Continue reading “10 Great Ways to Start Your New Year With a Bang”

Culture Shock: Create a Results-Focused Culture and Change Your Business

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Creating a results-focused culture doesn’t mean you should begin by sourcing results-oriented candidates.  It should start with clearly defining the results you want, and then finding the right people to help you get there.

create-a-results-focused-culture-and-change-your-businessTo create a results-focused culture within your company, you will need buy-in and support from both managers and employees.  You may have to make a shift in the mindset at your company, and create a professional development plan that supports it.

We often see that inputs -> outputs ->  outcomes -> results, but let’s take a different approach and work backward.  That’s right…start by focusing on the difference a results-focused culture will make on your organization and work toward what your organization will do and/or invest to get those results.

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Continue reading “Culture Shock: Create a Results-Focused Culture and Change Your Business”

Navigate Change Through Emotional Intelligence

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navigate-change-with-emotional-intelligence“The only thing that is constant is change.” – Heraclitus 

Change is ever-present in our lives.  We are always growing and evolving, and our situations and circumstances change, sometimes in an instant.  Change can be frustrating, hard to understand, and difficult to embrace – especially at work.

When processes, systems, or team structures change, how do you react?  Do you openly support change the instant you learn of it, or do you resist in some way?  Most people are at least somewhat resistant to changes at work, at least initially.   Change often evokes an emotional response. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always serve us well, especially in the workplace.

Continue reading “Navigate Change Through Emotional Intelligence”

Fast Track Recruiting In 5 Easy Steps

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fast-track-recruiting-in-5-stepsAre your recruiting efforts falling a little flat lately? Is your employment application process resulting in less-than-stellar hires? It might be time to reevaluate your recruiting strategy. When it comes to finding talent, companies often stick to a specific routine to fill job vacancies. However, more than 30 percent of new employees quitting their jobs within the first six months, the routine steps in your recruiting and hiring process may need some fine tuning.

Employees leave companies for a variety of reasons, and recruiting isn’t an exact science, but there are several ways HR professionals can help improve your hiring success.  I recently attended The HR Southwest Conference, sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and a particular session on Recruitment really got my attention. I’d like to share these five important steps for revamping your recruitment process. Continue reading “Fast Track Recruiting In 5 Easy Steps”

I-9 Forms Complex But Essential

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I-9-forms-complex-but-essentialYou’ve just hired a great addition to your team, and you’re excited to take your new employee through onboarding and training!  First things first:  complete the new hire paperwork.  The most important piece of paperwork for a newly-hired employee, and the most daunting for a lot of hiring managers, is the Form I-9.  There are so many variables in correctly completing the I-9 that it can be overwhelming to know where to begin.

Failure to properly complete, update and store I-9 forms can result in serious violations, exposing the employer to civil penalties imposed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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Continue reading “I-9 Forms Complex But Essential”

Advance Planning Can Make Maternity Leave – and Return – Much Easier

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advance-planning-can-make-maternity-leave-easierWelcoming a new baby was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  We were fortunate in the fact that we had lots of time to plan for our new bundle of joy.  Here are a few recommendations that really made a difference for me:

Train your backup early. Even if you are part of a team, identify those tasks in which you specialize or the systems you utilize more than others do. “Shadow training” is priceless, as live calls allow your backup to not only hear how you answer requests, but also to understand the various ways customers may phrase a question.  Whoever is covering for you, whether a temporary employee or someone you’re cross-training, should shadow you, listen to live calls, and get a feel for how you interact with your clients and customers. Continue reading “Advance Planning Can Make Maternity Leave – and Return – Much Easier”

Social Media:  A Sticky Situation

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social-media-a-sticky-situationSocial media is pervasive in today’s online world, and it has created many “gray areas” for employers.  Just as you should have a social media policy for your company’s posts for consistency and tone, you also should have a social media policy included in your employee handbook, so your team understands expectations when representing your company.

We all have opinions and beliefs, and as Americans, are entitled to freedom of speech.  Social media promotes individualism, and people use various social media platforms, such as Facebook to LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and many more, to share their lives – both personal and professional – with their connections around the world. Continue reading “Social Media:  A Sticky Situation”

Leading by Example: What Managers Need to Know About Motivating Employees

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leading-by-example-motivation-ideasMotivation comes in all shapes and sizes. What motivates me might not appeal to someone sitting next to me.  Thus, the idea of “motivating a team” should be taken as a holistic approach.  Managers must understand that motivation doesn’t have to break the bank, and can be as simple as a thank you.  Kindness and thoughtfulness can go a very long way and while this mindset may take some mindfulness, it is free.  A simple “Thank you” or “Good job” can motivate employees and show your appreciation for a job well done.

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If you are a manager or supervisor and feel your team could use some additional motivation, here are a few basics to know: Continue reading “Leading by Example: What Managers Need to Know About Motivating Employees”