2 Key Places Where You Need a Rule Breaker

I was a hardcore rule follower as a child. I didn’t question rules in any form or the adults or organizational or societal factors that put them in place. I was on time, didn’t question when or how things were done in school, on the sports field, in my home, and in my community.  I did all the things I was “supposed” to do.  In fact, I don’t think I thought much about the why and reason behind much of anything, I just did as I was told.  For example, if a school supply list told me I needed 48

Bring Me a Rock

My husband has a great analogy for ineffective communication that goes like this:  It’s like when they say, “Bring me a rock”. You go outside, grab the first rock you see, and take it to them. They say “No, we need a different rock.” You go back outside, grab a different rock, take it back, and they say “No, not that rock. It needs to be gray.” And so on and so forth until you eventually figure out that they wanted a big, round, gray rock from the bottom of the Mississippi River. How were you supposed to know that?

Today I Was Biased

This morning my 16-year-old informed me that tomorrow is “Senior Day” for Homecoming week and as part of the SGA leadership team, he has to dress up as a senior citizen. The immediate image in my head was that of an old man with a branded t-shirt, khaki pants held up by wide suspenders, and clunky white tennis shoes. So that’s what we went with. Why that’s the image that popped into my mind, I don’t know. My dad is 71, he’s a senior citizen, and he’s never dressed like that. My uncles don’t dress like that. In fact, no

5 Tips for Inclusive Recruiting

“Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At (company), we are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive and authentic workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyways. You might just be the right candidate for this or other roles.” This was recently included in an actual job posting. I found it posted in an HR group on Facebook and the

How to Develop Inclusive Training

When was the last time someone asked you how you prefer to learn? Has someone ever asked if you need assistive technology?  As a trainer and facilitator, I definitely miss the mark sometimes on inclusive training. It’s hard. There’s no way around it; it’s not easy to design or deliver training in a language, structure, platform, etc. that works well for every learner. It’s hard, but it’s so important to try.  There is robust research out there about learning styles, learner variability, and inclusive curriculum design. Let’s look at this excerpt from research about Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a

Crafting a Thoughtful Performance Management System

I recently asked a room full of managers representing dozens of organizations if they actually liked their own company’s performance management system. What do you think they said?  Some of us may think of Performance Management as a rubber stamp on an annual review. We often don’t think of it as a living, breathing, system. Others of us may think of Performance Management as monitoring what we’re doing wrong. We may not think of it as monitoring and developing what we’re doing right.  When an organization thoughtfully designs, implements, and continuously improves a performance management system, it should look like

Building the Bridge Between Survive and Thrive in the Workplace

Oftentimes getting from one place to another requires a bridge to cross. A connection point between two things that seem unconnected or so far apart they can’t be reached by conventional means is necessary. These “bridges” are often grounded in both sides of what they are trying to connect. They are meaningless and useless if they don’t have two sides for anchoring. So is true of meeting survival needs and getting to “thrive” needs in the workplace. Relational needs are the bridge. Relational needs have roots and support in both survive and thrive and they provide a way between the two.  Meeting relational needs is the

Career Development as Performance Management

Career Development is becoming even more relevant in the workforce arena these days. Career Development as Performance Management is a great tool to attract and retain employees.  Revisit this blog post from 2021 for ideas on how to use Career Development as a Performance Management (& retention!) tool.   I will be presenting at BSHRM on May 11 on this topic. We would love to see you there! Check out where else we will be in the coming weeks here.

3 Steps to Actually DO Succession Planning

With the great resignation still continuing and baby boomers, who many feel delayed retiring, now retired or retiring in large numbers due to the pandemic, succession planning has never been more important.  But as we’ve seen through many of our clients (and ourselves!), the need to get something done and getting it done are two different things.  When it comes to succession planning, I think the key challenge is not knowing where to start and the steps to take once started.  Overall, you need to: 1. Know your current talent state.  This involves several sub-steps of determining:  a. What’s your

Is Your Organization In the Learning Zone?

Over the past few years, I’ve spoken with a lot of organizations about the importance of psychological safety. A 2012 study by Google showed that psychological safety is far and away the most important factor of a team’s success, yet many organizations lack the psychological safety required to be successful.  A few years ago, I worked with a client that was going through some major changes and employee morale was at rock bottom. As I began speaking with employees one theme stood out, employees didn’t feel safe speaking up. There were a number of reasons for this, including the fact