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

Are Employees Utilizing Those New Perks?

Organizations have been extra creative lately with new benefit offerings and retention strategies. Is it working? Are employees utilizing those new perks and sticking around? Yes and no. SHRM explored the issue nationally, and our team has some local insight from the 2021 and 2022 North Central Alabama Wage & Benefit Survey.  Aon reported in April that enrollment in voluntary benefits increased 41% from the previous year. Most of the increases were tied to medical benefits, as to be expected, but some may be surprising:  The fastest-growing voluntary benefits employees enrolled in amid the COVID-19 pandemic include supplemental health insurance

5 Reasons to Vote in the Alabama Primary May 24th

I met Katie Britt- Katie Boyd as we all knew her then- for the first time on a trip to visit The University of Alabama during my senior year of high school. Katie was serving in leadership roles with a couple of groups I was considering being a part of once I started at The University in the Fall, and she made me feel welcome. The two groups I was considering joining were groups that seemed to be worlds apart when it came to their purpose and approach on campus. One was intellectually based, the other social. Katie made me

1099’s – The Cost of Misclassification

In the last few weeks, I have come across multiple cases of employers hiring individuals as independent contractors in violation of the IRS guidelines. Some have done so because they aren’t aware of or don’t understand the IRS guidelines and/or state regulations and some have done so knowingly. Either way, none are aware of the potential risk of misclassifying workers as independent contractors and just how costly such a mistake can be to their organization.  The IRS has a 20-Factor Test to help organizations determine if a worker meets the requirements to be an independent contractor. You can read more

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

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work…Unless the Team is Dysfunctional

This week, I had the great pleasure of facilitating in-person training with a group of junior managers who are working diligently to improve team and unit dynamics among their direct reports. They quickly identified the teams they lead that are functional vs. dysfunctional, and we had some deep discussion about why some teams work and some don’t.  Patrick Lencioni is a subject matter expert on organizational health and team dynamics, and his model of the “5 Dysfunctions of a Team” is embedded in most training about how and why teams work or don’t. The foundation for the model is Trust,

Servant Leadership

I recently helped a top security government employee with developing a resume. His leadership philosophy centered around supporting his employees (as opposed to the other way around); he believes in empowering subordinates with authority, as opposed to responsibility. His view of leadership embodies serving which is what great leaders do.               Servant leaders are a revolutionary bunch—they take the traditional power leadership model and turn it completely upside down. This new hierarchy puts the people—or employees, in a business context—at the very top and the leader at the bottom, charged with serving the employees above

Design Thinking as a Leadership Practice

In an ever-changing world, it’s more important than ever for leaders to have the tools to be able to navigate change and innovate. It’s also important for leaders to have opportunities to spur creative thinking in a world that is cluttered with a lot of noise and distractions. Most importantly, though, leaders need support in connecting with people and building empathy.    When frameworks are provided to help spur innovation and build valuable people skills, we find that leaders are better equipped to move forward.  It seems counterintuitive to use a process to try to break away from routine thinking and/or