What Does ‘Need for Care’ Mean Under FMLA Regulations?



As an HR Knowledge Advisor in SHRM’s HR Knowledge Center, I receive a lot of questions about the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Every situation is unique, and many can be complex. Administering FMLA leave can make even the most seasoned HR professionals want to pull their hair out. While some questions about the FMLA are straightforward, this one seems to stump many HR professionals: Can an employer deny FMLA leave if an employee is not directly caring for a parent, spouse or child with a serious health condition?...


Emotional and Diversity Intelligence are Inseparable

How are Emotional Intelligence and Diversity intertwined with each other as we work to create healthier, more equitable, and diverse workplaces?

Most of us are now aware that Emotional Intelligence matters A LOT in the workplace. People who don’t ‘play well’ with others and worse, are unaware of their impact, fail at alarming rates. This makes our hiring, retention, and firing jobs much more difficult and our workplaces much more toxic and unwelcoming. The EI considerations in hiring  - Self Awareness, Self Management, Social Awareness, and Relationship Management are the four essential quadrants where EI competencies matter and what...


How and Why Human Resource People Can and Should End Ageism


HR and DEI people have the opportunity and responsibility to end ageism.

It is hardly news to report that the American workplace is not friendly towards older people. For as long as it has existed, in fact, our corporate culture has been less than welcoming towards people of a certain age. Even in today’s litigious climate, where many lawyers are happy to take a case in which a company appears to have illegally discriminated against a person based on a physical attribute, blatant (although hardly ever mentioned or acknowledged) ageism is...


How to Retain Minimum-Wage Employees



As COVID-19 restrictions are lifting across the country, more stores and restaurants are hiring back employees. Most of these jobs will be paid at the minimum wage or at a low wage. Now more than ever, employers want to know how to retain minimum-wage employees.

Recently, a member asked me, “How do you retain minimum-wage employees and stop them from job hopping?” This question made me think about my first job. Although I was making minimum wage, I didn’t mind because I was excited to go to work every day....


6 Ways to Get the Job References You Need

There’s no better way for employers to get direct input about someone than from a reference.

While it might be easy for you to find people who will say nice things about you, you should focus more on those who can speak to your attributes and experiences that would make you right for the job. If it is a global position for instance, or at a company that just went through a merger, you will want to prepare your reference to talk about your experience in those areas.

Here are six more ways I recommend securing the most effective references:...


Do You Know Me?


We all make immediate assumptions about each other - it’s part of our basic survival instinct driven by our reptilian brain. In a nano-second we decide whether the person in front of us is likely to be more or less safe or dangerous, and then we act according to that instant answer, even as more clues to come into focus.

Yes, our instincts, not our assumptions, are mostly reliable, and what Oprah Winfrey calls, “the whisper” happens when our bodies communicate danger messages to our brain. Both are important, and potentially...


Another COVID Symptom: Silence

When recently visiting my Dad in his long-term care facility I noticed a new addition to his floor. A big cage with a lovely bird in it was sitting just outside his room. As I was looking at this, the head nurse wandered by and told me that the bird had a mate for many years and when she passed away the bird stopped making any noises. He was completely silent. If you will pardon the poetic license, we both knew why the caged bird didn’t sing. Grief.

Each of us have been experiencing a form of grief over the...


Experience Needed ??


It’s hard to believe that I’m entering the 35th year of my career. I can distinctly remember the challenge of finding my first job. You see, I was trying to land a role in the newly renamed field of “Human Resources” before the internet was anything to be reckoned with. In fact, I went to a library on the campus of Ohio University at the beginning of my senior year and found a book called The Million Dollar Directory. It was a list of companies and their profiles. I picked out a list...


Productivity, Wellbeing, and Mental Health


There is no shortage of advice about the “best” approach to productivity. Yet somehow, many of us feel that we are doing both too much and not enough. Productivity stress can even affect our sleep and our mental health.

The experts are very sure of themselves - but their advice is often contradictory. 

“The best place to work is the office.” “The best place to work is home.” “The best place to work is the coffee shop.”

“The best way to work is the “Pomodoro.” “The best way to work is...


The Looming Talent Pandemic


Is your Organization Prepared?

With vaccine penetration approaching herd immunity levels, businesses rebounding and re-opening, and more optimism around a “return to normal” there is yet another pandemic looming that threatens business: A talent pandemic.

The covid aftermath is impacting the enterprise’s most precious asset – its core talent. And top talent has an evolving, if not yet fully clear, framework of how they are defining their expectations for the new workplace. How companies recognize and address this will determine their ability to recover and move forward.

The Issues:

“Burnout” –...