10 Ways to Change Your Communication Culture

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Two kids playing with each other

In a world where we are swimming in different ways to communicate with each other, doesn’t it seem that we are sometimes lacking in this area?  In working with my clients, one of the items business owners and leaders always want to address is this:

How do we improve our internal communications?

The answer is normally much easier than people think.  Here are 10 ways you can completely change the communication culture within your office…for the better.  Continue reading “10 Ways to Change Your Communication Culture”

What Does At-Will Employment Really Mean?

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man carrying a box of office supplies

Throughout my HR career, I have advised managers and business owners on disciplinary matters for employees, as well as employee terminations.  One frustration that I’ve often seen from my clients is that I require a valid reason, as well as documentation, before I give the green light on any involuntary separation.

“But this is an at-will state!  That means I can fire any employee, at any time, and I don’t even need a reason!”  – A lot of managers

The above “quote” paraphrases an argument I hear frequently.

Continue reading “What Does At-Will Employment Really Mean?”

Invest in a “Great First Day” Experience for New Hires

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Dog Sitting on Welcome Mat
Image: Damedeeso

New employees are inundated with information on their first day at work.  Although they’re excited to learn about their new employer’s company and culture, as well as their job responsibilities, it easily can become information overload.  Typically, new team members must complete new hire paperwork, review an employee handbook, enroll in benefits, tour the office, and meet their teammates on their first day of work, as well as learning some basics of their new job.

When a company is growing quickly, or if a position has been open for an extended time, employees may be stretched thin, making it difficult to make time for and focus on welcoming a new team member. Continue reading “Invest in a “Great First Day” Experience for New Hires”

Handling Harassment Claims the Right Way

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Harassment is one issue that can make employers very uncomfortable.  Nonetheless, it’s important to take every complaint seriously, rather than minimizing an employee’s concerns, or overreacting to an accusation.

harassment in the office
Image: Lightwave Stock Media

Have a policy in place.

How can you handle harassment claims the right way?  You must have a policy in place and inform all employees what the policy is.  Make sure they understand the policy, as well as the importance of adhering to it. Continue reading “Handling Harassment Claims the Right Way”

Avoid These 6 Pitfalls to Make Better Decisions

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We all want to make good decisions. Sound decisions generally improve our outcomes in life and at work. Information from recent studies can help us fine-tune this process, since there are some real pitfalls to navigate. Here’s a short list.

Making better decisions

  1. Resulting – Former poker pro Annie Duke uses this term in her fantastic book, “Thinking In Bets,” to refer to the human tendency to blame a decision’s bad outcome instead of the soundness of its intention. For example, one football coach makes a decision in the final seconds of the Super Bowl to make a risky pass play, and loses the championship. A different year, another coach makes the same decision with the same constraints, and wins the Super Bowl. In both cases, the after the event, most armchair quarterbacks said the coach in each case got the result he deserved, even though the decision was the same. This backward-looking justification, “resulting,” only soothes what we cannot control: the luck involved. Lesson: make the best decision you can with the available information.

Continue reading “Avoid These 6 Pitfalls to Make Better Decisions”

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.

Download our HR Best Practices Guide

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”