Category Archives: Corporate Culture

The Best Reason to Ditch Your Employee-of-the-Month Program

Decades before now, some HR gal (that’s what we were called back then) came up with a plan: Here’s a thought! We’ll pick one employee every month and crown that person Employee of the Month! We’ll put his picture on a wall and give him a gift certificate to Sizzler!  And then another middle-manager, Frank, […]

How HR Can Stop Playing the Game of Whack-a-Mole

Let’s say you have a department with an increasing turnover and ongoing complaints. Assuming the complaints are not about egregious acts in violation of labor law, you might find yourself having multiple time-zapping conversations.  You might then be speaking with the manager in an attempt to fix issues and problems.  And in this conversation, the […]

Innovation and The Lego Movie

I’d been putting off seeing this film but finally watched it with my family on Thanksgiving.  By mid-film, most my family had drifted out of the room, which left me and my 26-year-old son, who just happens to be a filmmaker. Despite the movie being a full-on visual assault and conceived for those with snapshot attention […]

The R in HR Doesn’t Stand for Rah-Rah

Every year—right around the holidays, actually—some HR buzzword starts to irritate me.  The rock in my loafer this year is the word “engagement.”  This is because so many seem to confuse it with the word “appreciation.”  And when you confuse the two, the result is wasted time and money. Engaging employees is on everyone’s mind […]

Why Sexual Harassment Continues to Plague the Workplace

With all the laws and lawsuits, why is sexual harassment still an issue at work?  Everyone has sat through ongoing training.  Everyone understands the rules.  Yet here I am in HR still dealing with this misconduct.  I could dwell on the sorry state of humanity; rather, I aim to pinpoint why this remains a problem. […]

Seven Ways to Prevent Passive-Aggressive Behavior in the Workplace

These days, outright aggression in the workplace is rare.  However, passive-aggressive behavior—in the form of scapegoating, blaming and denying—can be common.  We HR folks know this to be true.  We also know passive-aggressive behavior slows productivity and is responsible for many workplace ills.  So how do we prevent it? Insist upon open lines of positive communication. […]

Are We Using “Bad Fit” as an Excuse?

I think we might be tossing the phrase “bad fit” around too much.  Lately, I’ve been hearing it used as crutch for all sorts of issue.  And it’s time we step back and question whether or not we’re using “bad fit” as an excuse to avoid managing performance. Let’s first explore what a “bad fit” […]

Please Mind the Gap: The Five Biggest Differences between Working in the U.S. and England

First, let me be clear that I’ve never actually worked in the U.K.  I’m an American Citizen—more specifically, I’m a native Californian.  And that’s where I’ve worked.  And worked.  And worked. However, I have learned much from my British husband and my visits across the “pond.”  Whereas most probably dote on visiting castles and historical […]

Welcome Back: How to Build a Service-Centric Workplace Culture

For those of you who’ve been asking, my ebook, Welcome Back:  How to Consistently Provide Extraordinary Service to Guests & Customers by Building a Service-Centric Workplace Culture, is on the Kindle shelves now  If you’ve struggled to improve service at your company or business or are in charge of service training, this is a […]

Don’t Skimp on Training if You Want a Service Culture

Once you’ve developed your service standards based on your values, mission and brand as well as reformed your hiring practices, you will need to invest in results-driven and culture-shaping service training.  Ongoing training with refreshers, accountability and follow-through is essential and cannot be skipped.  But what is the best way to go about this? I […]