Blog Posts

Doing More While Working Less

Is it conceivable to cram more work into the day without increasing your work hours? The short answer is: Yes. I spent the last month interviewing workplace experts and employees across myriad industries and disciplines about how they reach maximum productivity during their workdays. Specifically, the tricks, tools, and tips they use to heighten their productivity, as well as their organization’s profitability. If you'd like to read more, please click the title....

To Managers: Stop Distracting Your Employees.

The heightening of remote work and allowing more Work From Home (WFH) has made it increasingly more likely that organization leaders and managers are more paranoid, prompting them to think that they must monitor their employees’ every digital move in order to sustain productivity.   But while these managers often zero in on TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, Match.com, WhatsApp, or Instagram as potential sources of employee distraction, in truth, employees are more often distracted by the ways in which we work today.   If you'd like to read more, please click the title.   ...

Navigating Anger: How Emotions Impact Our Health and Well-Being

This year's numerous changes and challenges have made finding peace a struggle for many. The combination of public events and personal difficulties has heightened people's anger.   However, this isn't just ordinary frustration—scientists reveal that prolonged anger can worsen health issues and alter how we respond to various situations.   If you'd like to read more, please click the title....

The Three Or Four Suspected Origins Of The Term “Ladies First.”

Many people have often wondered about the origin of this phrase. Here are the most likely sources:         1. Chivalry.  In the ancient past: When cave dwellers used to hear sound from the outside, they would send the women out of the cave first so that the men could attack the bears and wild animals from behind.   During the middle ages, knights used to place their coat over a puddle of mud, in order to allow women to pass over to the other side safely and cleanly.           2. A love ...

How To Provide Benefits That Help Employees Combat Inflation

Employers can still leverage benefits if raising salaries is not an option this year. From the gas pump to the grocery store, Americans are feeling the hurt of inflation and looking for relief.  With that said, employees may not have to look too far, since their employers may have the means to offset this financial burden. Fully 55% of Americans are experiencing financial difficulties due to rising inflation.¹  Furthermore, 13% of these employees say the impact has been severe.¹  An earlier survey discovered that 24% of employees planned to reduce their spending and buy only essential items....

How To Eliminate Meetings That Go On And On And On

Many Managers Are Trying A Number Of Ways To Make Such Meetings More Efficient Or Scarce.  When I facilitated one of the last staff meetings at the last company I founded, HR Solutions, my Management Team and I tried something new:  we stood the entire time.  We did so deliberately since our staff meetings were simply running too long.  The great news:  standing the entire length of the meeting effectively worked to shorten the meeting.   We also had one team member who loved to hear himself talk.  Meetings with him were not efficient whatsoever. As with ...

The Biggest Complaints About Workplace Meetings And The Best Ways To Fix Them

Some meetings result in productive outcomes and solid decisions. Others are a complete waste of time.  Indeed, employees cite meetings as one of their biggest complaints about their workplace.  This fact is even more shocking, and ironic, given that other top workplace complaints are poor, and/or a lack of communication. In fact, here are the top five complaints about workplace meetings and meeting management¹:   Complaint #1:  One or two people do all the talking. The solution:  During a long workplace meeting, it is not realistic that all participants will have equal “air time.”  With that said, ...

Hat Tricks!

Well, I am thrilled to say that I pulled off my own personal “Hat Trick” last week: I secured a Keynote Speech at an upcoming Human Resources & Management Conference. I facilitated a large Podcast on Employee Engagement & How To Build A Magnetic Culture. I followed through on a successful consulting assignment on Managing Generational Differences for a large Fortune 100 company. Interestingly, although the phrase “Hat Trick” is used to describe a hockey player who scores three goals in the same game, did you know that the origin of the term has nothing to do with hockey at ...

Recruiting Virtual Work Stars

Five Proven Tips For Making Smart Remote Hiring Choices An overwhelming number of employers worldwide (75%) have reported talent shortages and ongoing challenges to hire qualified workers.¹  More than ever, effective recruiting is a very tricky proposition, especially if you only want to hire the most qualified and best virtual workers.    Despite the recently announced layoffs in the technology sector and a potential recession, many people are looking to leave their office surroundings and instead work from home as remote workers. As such, when evaluating remote candidates, your hiring managers’ top priorities should be the candidates’ skills and ...

Stay Interviews: Why and How to Use Them Successfully

Defining Stay Interviews  I define a Stay Interview as “a structured conversation a manager has with an individual employee to learn specific actions the manager can take to strengthen the employee's engagement and retention with the organization.”    Why Do Stay Interviews?  Stay Interview questions help your most valuable team members understand that:  ∙ You recognize and appreciate their loyalty.  ∙ You care about more than just their performance.  ∙ You are open to making changes that would help them become more engaged and less likely to leave the organization.  Stay Interviews also help you ...

10 Questions Managers Should Ask In One-On-One Meetings With Their Employees.

Over the last year, I asked and surveyed several thousand managers what questions were most meaningful to ask in one-on-one meetings with their direct reports.  Here are the results . . .     1. Is there anything new we should start doing as a team? This question is a great way to open a dialogue on what your employees want to start doing, but also will lead to learning what you should stop and start doing as their manager.  Using “as a team” depersonalizes the question and makes it more likely that the employee will share their personal preferences.   ...

Everyone Has Gone Back To The Office. Except You.

What if you are one of the few employees who have chosen to stay remote?  How do you stay relevant, engaged, and productive?   As offices around the world reopen, myriad organizations are planning for a hybrid workplace.  Some employees will head back to the office, while others will work remotely, and still others will combine the two.   For those who are fortunate enough to choose, it could be a very sweet arrangement.  You get a work/life balance that compliments your personal life, rather than having work dominate your time and family life.  With that ...

Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

Team Members cannot be expected to excel in their roles and responsibilities without proper guidance and knowledge. It has been said the strongest relationships are built on a foundation of communication.  As such, it should come as no surprise that myriad Research Institutes, including one of the three companies I founded, have found a strong positive correlation between communication and employee engagement. When managers establish a culture of open and honest dialogue among their team members, the percentage of Actively Engaged individuals rises.  Since engagement is overwhelmingly linked to positive business outcomes, it is important to utilize the ...

What is “Quiet Quitting?” – Understanding The New Viral Term.

First, there was the “great resignation.”  But now, there is a new workplace trend rapidly spreading across the country:  quiet quitting.  In fact, the term is going viral on social media, particularly on Tik Tok, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Quiet quitting isn’t necessarily about resigning from your job altogether.  Instead, it is simply about just doing the bare minimum amount of work in your job.  Other related definitions of quiet quitting include: Just doing enough to get by and placing a pause on the idea of going above and beyond.  Managers are recognizing that employees are ...

The 12 Toughest Interview Questions (And How To Best Answer Them)

Acing a job interview often depends on great preparation for all types of questions, especially awkward or inappropriate ones about your family, personal lifestyle, current salary, and other off-color subjects.   Despite the great effort by most employers to promote Diversity & Inclusion (D&I), inclusiveness, and bias elimination, some inappropriate queries can arise during recruitment.  As such, I thought it would be helpful to you, your managers, and your team members to have an outline of some of the worst or toughest interview questions, as well as how best to answer them.   Question #1.  What is your ...

How To Attract & Keep Readers

The global pandemic changed how companies must function. Today, more than ever, the best companies are guided by leaders who promise and deliver an outstanding experience for their entire team. They put their employees first and understand that customers and revenue will follow. And so it is with the best books. The best books are those created by authors who focus on delivering a great reading experience trusting the revenues, word of mouth marketing, and the next book deal will follow. I've learned a great deal in my professional career, much of it during my time leading HR Solutions International, ...

The 7 Benefits Of Practicing Optimism

There is insurmountable evidence that being optimistic about life has many benefits, not just for your mental health, but also for your physical well-being.  Countless research studies have demonstrated that if one becomes more optimistic, one’s life will improve in myriad ways.  These same studies have shown that you are even more likely to live longer if you are more hopeful and positive. Among these benefits of being optimistic are:   1. Optimists Are Happier. It may seem painfully obvious that an optimist would be happier than a pessimist, but it is still worth mentioning.  Optimists are ...

A Guide For Coaching First-Time Managers

Managing a first-time manager requires a different approach than leading experienced managers.  Their management role is entirely new to them, and naturally, they are excited but also a little nervous.  After all, managing a team is a great opportunity, but one that comes with considerable responsibilities.   First off, if you are managing first-time managers, it is imperative that you realize the impact their role has on the employees they manage, as well as other non-direct report employees.  Fully 76% of employees believe their manager is the one that impacts the culture most at work.1  At ...

Promoting Connection

Promoting connection is likely not part of your organization’s mission statement, but much research has proven that your organization would benefit if connection was an integral part of your culture.  According to a recent study by Blueboard, 95% of HR Leaders agreed that human connection in the workplace is critical for talent attraction and talent retention.  Furthermore, employees wholeheartedly agreed, with 77% stating that they want to work for an organization where they feel connected to both the organization’s purpose and people. Fundamentally, humans are social creatures, and as such, are fulfilled by connection with others.  And ...

11 Common Stereotypes About Human Resources Versus Reality.

There are many stereotypes about Human Resources that give HR departments a bad rap within their organizations.  These unfair allegations often prevent people from wanting to build a career in Human Resources.   Here are some of the most common myths about Human Resources, where they might originate, and the ultimate reality or truth:   1. HR Lacks Business And Data Knowledge    The stereotype:  Numerous people claim that HR does not understand how their organization makes money, let alone know how to make data-driven decisions.  This gross misconception originates from people having a limited understanding of what ...

How To Give A Great Speech

Are you nervous before you speak in public? Sweating, shaking, panic-stricken, and fervently wishing you were anywhere else in the world but here? You are not alone.  Countless people all over the world share this same fear.  I even know extremely talented people who avoid public speaking opportunities simply because they do not want to experience the sheer anxiety leading up to the event. The official name of this fear is glossophobia.  I call it “throw-up nervous,” because so many people do just that because of that aforementioned fear, misery, and anxiety.  In fact, 77% of ...

Need A Little Motivation? 10 Great Career Quotes To Inspire You.

Sometimes you reach a point in your career where you need a little extra motivation.  You might feel stuck in a rut, nervous about completing new job tasks, concerned about your job security, or just feeling a little lost. To provide inspiration for when you need it most, here are 10 quotes from entrepreneurs, athletes, intellectuals, artists, and visionaries to motivate you – no matter where you are in your career.   1. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you have not found it yet, keep looking.  Don’t settle....

11 Japanese Idioms And Proverbs That Illuminate Truths.

Every culture has its own unique idioms and proverbs and many can be taken to heart about that culture’s customs, beliefs, and ways of being.  An idiom is a turn of a phrase that utilizes a figure of speech to make an exact point (e.g.  “They really rubbed me the wrong way”), while a proverb is a brief and pithy saying that points to a rudimentary piece of advice (e.g.  “Don’t cry over spilled milk”). The Japanese culture contains some very colorful idioms thought to be conveyed by deities through oracles.  It also has ...

Here is a Celtic blessing to wish you and your loved ones a great day.

May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.   Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!   Sláinte!!! ...

The Ultimate Irony: Putin’s Grand Underestimation Of Ukraine And Its People.

Putin had the arrogant feeling that he could snuff out the character of Ukraine and its people.  The palpable irony is that Putin’s cowardly invasion of Ukraine has had the opposite effect, illuminating the resilience, strength, and pride of the Ukrainian people.  Moreover, Putin assumed his massive army would quickly roll over the Ukrainian forces.  Again, Putin was grossly mistaken and now finds himself and his military stuck, facing a fierce and wonderfully stubborn Ukrainian defense. I’ve always believed that, in the end, bullies eventually get what they deserve.  Putin has and will. The great ...