Category Archives: Leadership

Management in the modern world

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, […]

Five Must-Have Qualities for HR Professionals

Over the years, I’ve met some doozies, some HR people who should have chosen different careers. Though I’ve mostly been charmed to work with some of the best in the industry, those few bad eggs sour HR’s reputation as a whole.  Like law enforcement, our occupation has taken a nasty hit due to the mistakes […]

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. […]

Clarity Above All Else—Seven Tips to Clear Up Your Business Writing

Convoluted writing leads to convoluted thoughts.  Since we want strong ideas and directives that are executable, we need clear writing.  The six tips below should help you do this. 1. Use the best words and phrases, not the longest or fanciest The best word is likely the shorter word.  Rather than trying to sound as […]

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, […]