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. […]

What Your Business Writing Says About You

When we write emails or memos, we might not understand that we are telling people who we really are.  Certain characteristics (good and bad) show clearly in our prose.  At the most basic level, consider those emails that come across as smug and demanding.  We don’t excuse these emails as stylistic writing errors.  Rather, we […]

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, […]

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, […]

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 […]