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Culture Can’t Be Cookie-Cutter


When people ask us about our culture at Zappos, they’re typically looking for ways to bring a piece of what we’ve learned back to their own company. Founders, CEOs, and HR professionals alike are all trying to figure out a way to bring order to the sometimes-chaotic work of shaping their company’s culture. We try to answer these questions the best we can by speaking from experience but the truth is, authentic culture can’t be taught. Culture has to...


Why Integrity is More Valuable than Reputation


John Wooden-if you are a basketball fan, this name speaks volumes.  For those of us over the age of 50 (for me almost 60) Coach Wooden is synonymous with success with class.  I often talk with others now about how many leaders seek success without class or without integrity, but short-term success without integrity is like sugar, the short term impact may help you get through a quick issue, but the long term impact of sugar is fleeting.

I recently listened to the audiobook "Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success: ...


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Welcome to the Age of the Hyper Hopper: 3 Tips and Tricks for Recruiting Gen Z


Welcome to the age of the “hyper hopper” where employees are changing companies every few years.  The days of tenure, pensions, and retiring from the company you started are more fairy-tale than reality.       

Gen Z are changing jobs every 2.1 years.   That’s a stunning statistic when you think of the amount of time it takes to hire, onboard, and ramp a new employee only to get a year of production out of them before they are setting sail for the next great opportunity.  With the Gen Z demographic set to make up...


Culture is What Motivates and Retains Talented Employees


Culture is what motivates and retains talented employees. Every decision your organization makes strengthens or weakens your culture, and a healthy workplace culture—one that is fair, inclusive, high-functioning and free from harassment—is a critical business asset and force multiplier. 

At Booz Allen, we take pride in cultivating an environment that empowers people to change the world and makes them proud to be part of our team. Our shared purpose and values form the foundation for everything we do at Booz Allen, including our service to clients, our...


#Nextchat: Building an HR Technology Strategy



As trends in technology continue to impact how organizations manage talent, learning and knowledge, HR must be in front of the trends to ensure the creation of smart HR technology strategies that will accomplish organizational goals. 

In her book Digital HR: A Guide to Technology-Enabled Human Resources (SHRM, 2018), leadership and HR technology expert Deborah D. Waddill, Ed.D., explains that having an “HR technology strategy is extremely important: it is both the blueprint and roadmap for HR technology selection and implementation.” There must be a strategy that aligns with...


Severance Agreements: Make them easy to understand and don’t pressure an employee to sign



When one of your former employees signs a severance agreement with a release of all claims, the last thing you want is for that employee to sign and then sue you.

Do over?

Earlier this year, a Pennsylvania federal court issued an opinion (here), in which a plaintiff-employee claimed that she was so stressed when she signed a severance agreement, that her signature on the document didn’t reflect a “knowing and voluntary” waiver of claims against the defendant-employer.

The law basically says that an employee can release all of his...


What to Do When You Can't Financially Reward Young Employees



I’ve spoken with business leaders over the last few months about their ambitious (and yes, young) employees who tend to expect a promotion after a year (or earlier)! Or more money for simply doing a good job.

I LOVE (truly love), these young, ambitious employees. So, here’s the conundrum: How can you keep young employees engaged while also setting expectations on the realities of running a business and budgets? While I don’t think employers should reward employees for fulfilling basic job expectations, I do think it’s important to pay attention...


Strict Dress Codes May Lead to Discrimination Claims



Company dress codes run the gamut from requiring workers to wear formal business attire to allowing them to sport jeans and T-shirts. Employers can usually set guidelines for business-appropriate attire, but they may face lawsuits if they get too particular about how women or men should dress.

For instance, a woman in Long Island, N.Y., is suing her employer for discrimination because she was allegedly fired for dressing too much like a man, according to The New York Post. The timeshare saleswoman, who is a lesbian, wore a pantsuit...


How Faith in People Built a Restaurant Empire: Q&A With Cameron Mitchell

Free airline flights for an employee to spend time with her terminally ill sister. A manager who turns away a customer for mistreating a front-line worker. These are real-life stories from a company that has built a wildly successful business in the restaurant industry, which is known for high turnover and low morale. In Yes Is the Answer. What Is the Question? (Ideapress, 2018), Cameron Mitchell, CEO of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants (CMR) and chairman emeritus of the Culinary Institute of America, shares lessons he learned from building a successful business that employs 5,000...