Category Archives: Employee Relations

Employee issues & solutions

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 […]

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” […]

The Truth About Progressive Discipline

Progressive Discipline is a common cornerstone of performance management.  Certainly, many HR departments and business managers still cling to its validity and so-called ability to boost performance as well as grant the employee due process.  Make a mistake, and you’ll be issued a written verbal (note the juxtaposition).  Make another, you get a written.  Finally, […]

How and Why to Write Recommendation Letters that Get Results

Anyone in a leadership position needs to master the art of writing a superb letter of recognition.  After all, we are in positions to develop others.  I’ve seen over and over that the best and most successful leaders are committed to the success of those they’ve mentored, taught or worked with side-by-side. I’ll first say, […]

How to Take a Real Vacation and Mean It!

In a couple of weeks, I’m taking a vacation.  And this year, for the first time in a decade, I plan on taking a real one.  For those business leaders out there whose vacations are only defined as not being physically on site, you’ll understand what I’m saying. Given this, it’s ironic that I am […]

Five Ways to Become More Likable

Whether you’ll admit it or not, most of you care about whether you are liked by your co-workers.  It just makes life easier if you get along with the people you spend time with.  Plus, work gets done faster.  Though there will always be people who see the world differently than you, becoming more likable […]