Tag Archives: employee relations

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 […]

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. […]

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, […]

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 […]

Three Simple Ways to Maintain Composure at Work

Unless you work in some back room without anyone else around you or expecting much from you, you’ve undoubtedly had situations in which your composure was tested.  When I say “composure,” I’m talking about your ability to stay chill (I am writing this from an office in California) inside a hot box of stress and […]

How to Develop Grace Under Pressure

Think of a stressful situation you’ve had at work and try to remember the actual feelings you endured.  That’s right, feelings.  Here are a few examples:  panic, anger, fear, anxiety, resentment, shame, helplessness, hopelessness and frustration.  The list goes on, but these are the standard.  And we don’t enjoy feeling any of them.  What’s more, […]

How to Work with Tricky Personalities Without Losing Your Mind (or Your Job)

They’re everywhere, and you can’t change them.  You can complain to your supervisor or HR, but tricky personalities can only change themselves, just as you can only change yourself. So what are your options, then, besides losing your mind or finding a new job?  Here are a few tips on how to handle difficult co-workers. […]

Who’s Who in Difficult Personalities

Maybe you think you’re a breeze, a real picnic to work with.  Who?  Me?  Have a difficult personality?  Never.  It’s all those other folks who have the problem!  Or maybe you don difficult traits to protect yourself. Perhaps you think being difficult is necessary in your position of power.  You’re wrong on that.  Very wrong. […]

Why Co-Workers Clash

Everyone has a different way of seeing the world.  In fact, after a crime, when witnesses are asked to identify the perpetrator, their descriptions can be wildly different.  This is called the Rashomon effect—an expression describing at-odds memories of the same event by different people.   Some may say the criminal was a 6’4” white male […]