I have a Masters degree in Education from the University of Florida and worked in corporate HR over 20 years; I’m accredited as a Senior Human Resources Professional (SPHR) and I write a column for the Sunday business section of The Gainesville Sun. I’m also an instructor and an expert resource for Santa Fe College’s business incubator, the Center for Innovation and Economic Development (CIED).
I’ve lived, worked and played in North Central Florida for the last 20+ years, have strong roots in this community and I understand the unique economic factors that affect our businesses and workforce. I bring that perspective and experience when advising my clients.
I help small businesses and start-ups use best HR practices and common-sense advice to succeed…. just like big businesses do.
If you’re like me, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is the most inspiring time to set goals for the coming year. Perhaps it’s the lull in activity, or that it’s cold outside, or that I see January 1st as a endued with special powers to turn me from chronic procrastinator to achiever; when I’ll magically have enough willpower to go for a brisk morning walk and then sit down to write for an hour every day.
Q: Some of my employees have requested that we allow them to bring their dogs to work, citing Google and Ben & Jerry’s as examples of companies with a pet-friendly policy. Although I’m a dog lover myself and I like the idea, I’ve resisted because I worry about the liability. What else should I consider?
You‘re excited about a new employee you hired who came highly recommended. They start, you introduce them to co-workers, clients, upper management, board members.
Do you get the Sunday night blues because the reality of Monday morning is approaching?
Do you find yourself pushing the snooze button a third time because you don’t want to go to work?
Do you have to fight the urge every morning to call in sick?
Are you in survival mode by 8:30am and by 5pm feel drained dry?
Q: I’m so excited. I just got a job offer and in addition to the agreed upon salary they’re also offering me $3,000 for moving expenses. But there is a catch. They’re referring to this as a no-interest “forgivable loan”, a third of which would be forgiven for each year worked. So, as long as I stay with the company for three years, I don’t owe them anything. I’ve never heard of this. Is it legit?
Q: I started a small company and I’m ready to hire great people to help me grow it, but I don’t have a lot of money or benefits to offer. How can I compete for talent with companies that are able to pay so much more?
Q: I was taken by surprise when one of my top performing employees –who’d been with us over two years- resigned out of nowhere. I later learned they went to one of our competitors, which makes the loss even more regrettable. Is there anything that I can do to prevent employees from leaving? Especially to the competition?
Q: Every year around this time, I sit down to write goals for the following year. Because the economy is improving and more companies are hiring, for the first time in a while I’m considering leaving my job. It’s not a bad job -good benefits, pays the bills- but it’s something I’ve held onto because there were few choices. How do I know if it’s the right time to leave?
Q: I found out that one of my employees is looking for another job. I’m disappointed and feel like I’ve lost trust in him. Can I fire him because he is looking?
Q: We’re considering installing security cameras in our shared work areas and were wondering if there are any legalities we should consider before we proceed.
A: These days, security cameras are ubiquitous in public places. We expect them inside malls, in stores and restaurants, and outside in recreational areas, parking lots and at most traffic lights.
Q: My wife interviewed for a job recently and I was amazed that one of the questions she was asked by the interviewer was “Do you have any children?” We do, but what does that have to do with her qualifications for the job? Plus, I thought it was illegal to ask those questions.
Q: I’m at a loss on how to deal with a recent hire. He’s very eager to prove himself and do well, but instead of learning his job –which involves very specific functions, procedures and deadlines– he spends time trying to find efficiencies in other areas and coming up with improvement ideas unrelated to the job. Consequently, he’s not up to speed.
Q: My daughter is pursuing a career as a programmer and hopes to work for a company such as Google. I’m proud of her talent and aspirations. However, I have some concerns about the technical industry’s record regarding women. First, they’re under-represented and then women seem to leave the industry after only working an average of 10 years. What advice would you give her?
Q: I read somewhere that the majority of identity theft originates from a source in the workplace. If this is true, what steps should my employer be taking to protect my personal information, and what can I do if they are being lax about it?