Defeating the Kobayashi Maru, the No-Win Situation

My 13-year-old came to me last week and said “Mom, we are living through history. In five to ten years, kids will learn about this pandemic in history class and I’ll be able to say ‘yeah, I was there’!” And he’s right.  Students will hear about how our world came together to fight COVID-19. They will be amazed by the fact that we quarantined, that so many businesses had to close their doors, but hopefully, they’ll be inspired by the way we innovated to overcome this pandemic and support those in the front lines.  I don’t know that we ever

Don’t Hoard Your Organization’s Wealth

“Knowledge is power. Knowledge shared is power multiplied.” – Robert Boyce Organizations contain a wealth of knowledge. Some organizations spread that wealth, and some hoard it. Those that share the wealth of knowledge maximize their potential success.  I’m currently reading The Starbucks Experience by Joseph Michelli and even though my brother and sister-in-law are both former partners (that’s what Starbucks calls their employees), I had no idea just how strong of an emphasis Starbucks places on knowledge at all levels of the organization. From formal training and incentives for completion, requiring partners to sample all core products twice per year,

The Confusion Over Cannabis

Written by: Lorrie Coffey, Horizon Point Consulting Ten states plus DC have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Thirty-four states have legalized it for medical use. And CBD oil is readily available in most states.  But marijuana is still classified by the Drug Enforcement Agency as a Schedule 1 drug, which means it is still illegal to grow, buy or sell, possess, or use under federal law.  Oh, and while CBD shops popped up on every street corner as soon as the Farm Bill was signed back in late 2018, the Farm Bill did not legalize the general production, sale, or

Killing the College Misconception

Did you know that Alabama has a “College Application Campaign”? A statewide initiative with the goal of having EVERY high school senior in the state apply to at least one college. I found this out last week thanks to the high school guidance counselor’s weekly email blast. I’ll be honest, as an HR professional, I had to hold myself back from sending her an email outlining the negative impact of such a campaign. I’m still tempted to.  I graduated high school many moons ago, in an era when high schools still had classes like shop, mechanics, and electrical design. I

Can I Get Your Attention?

I’m the mother of three boys. Two teenagers and one about to hit that “preteen” stage. Most days I want to bang my head against the wall. I feel like I need a support group for moms of teens. I miss when they were little and hung on my every word. Now I’m lucky if I can get them to take the earbuds out long enough to hear anything I say.  We recently went on vacation and I forced them to put their phones away and engage in conversation with me. That request got me dirty looks and eye rolls.

Why Counter Offers Upon Resignation Rarely Work

Your top employee or best manager just walked into your office holding that dreaded piece of paper. You know, the one with the words “thank you for this great opportunity, I respectfully resign my position” typed neatly on it.   As you read it, your mind starts brainstorming “what can I do to get them to stay?!” You can’t lose them, they’re the best of the best. You’ll never be able to find someone with their skill set and knowledge of the organization. You’ll spend months training their replacement just to get them up to speed. You’ve invested so much into

Taking the Guess Work Out of 1099s

In fifteen years as an HR practitioner, there’s one question I can probably pinpoint as the most asked question I have gotten over the years. “Why can’t I just classify them as an independent contractor?” It’s estimated that by 2020 40% of the US workforce will be freelancers or temp employees, up from 30% in 2006. With that number growing, it’s even more important for organizations to understand the independent contractor classification and when it can be used. The penalties for misclassifying employees as independent contractors can include back payment of taxes, interest owed to employees for wages not paid,