HR From the Heart

Originally published on the SHRM blog February 28, 2019. 


I read "HR from the Heart" by Libby Sartain many years ago, before I really had any work experience in HR. I love how Libby talked about the different aspects of HR and the impact you could make on business and people as an HR professional. I recently decided to read the book again now that I’ve been working in the field. A lot of things make more sense to me, and some things I really needed to hear again as a...


7 Dos and Don’ts of Inclusion by Design



The idea of inclusive organizational design (see “Defeat Diversity Derailers: Inclusion by Design” for the introduction) was born out of trying to explain a startling paradox: an 85 percent unemployment rate among a subset of professionals with college degrees, high levels of self-motivation and often exceptionally analytical, systematic, and innovative thinking.   

That number is not a typo. By some reports, the unemployment of autistic professionals with college degrees might be as high as 90 percent. What leads to this loss of...


Defeat Diversity Derailers: Inclusion by Design


Your organization and you personally are committed to diversity, to hiring and retaining top talent of all backgrounds.

But you keep getting derailed.

You started a program to support women’s leadership, but in the same year, your most promising Black women left. You focused on race – before other companies, as you proudly note –  but then the pandemic came, and you lost half of your budget. Parents struggling with work-life life balance cried for help and received it – then came complaints that people with disabilities repeatedly asked for the...


Ask a Manager: 7 Things Employees Want To Ask Their Manager (But Don't)


All too often employees have questions that never get answered. 

To help managers be more proactive in seeking out employee questions, we asked employees and human resources professionals about the one question they want to ask their manager - but don't.

Here are seven things employees want to know from their managers.

  • What do I struggle with the most?

  • What can I be doing to get a performance bonus? 

  • ...

Lead a Performance Conversation without Losing Your Cool



Leaders play a vital role in employee development and that includes sharing developmental feedback. But an effective performance conversation requires an even temper. Keep these five principles in mind to help you keep your cool.

We’d just finished a live online leadership discussion about tough conversations when a private chat message appeared from one participant.

“How can I have these performance conversations without getting angry? I get so frustrated at people who I think should know better or say they will change, but don’t. Any suggestions?”

It’s a frequent question...


I'm Writing a Resignation Letter to an Employer Who Treated Me Poorly


Dear Dan,

I wonder how best to write a resignation letter. I’m in my late twenties and I’ve found a new position.

I’ve been woefully underpaid and unappreciated. I’m wondering about explaining the reasons for my departure. I’d like to give them some feedback on the way I’ve been treated.

Thankful to leave,

Out the Door

Dear Out,

Congratulations on finding a new position. I wish you well as you move forward. I have some questions you might consider as you compose your resignation letter.

  1. Will you have an ongoing
  2. ...

7 Superpowers of a Great Leader



If you could choose one superpower, what would it be? According to, a totally unscientific but incredibly interesting website for list ranking, the number one superpower we desire is teleportation. Forget the nuisance of flying with that ridiculous cape, teleportation allows you to simply vanish from point A and quickly materialize at point B, and you don’t even need a funky looking suit with a leotard.

In your role as a leader, do you have any idea the powers you possess? With the simple human powers you possess today,...


Need FMLA Leave? Ask at Your Peril!


That is how one court described the quandary an employee faced after asking for FMLA leave. Here’s the brief, back story.

An employee asks for FMLA leave. The reason for which she requests the leave is not FMLA-qualifying. So, the employer properly tells her she is not eligible for FMLA leave. The employer then fires her.  Of course, she sues. She alleges the employer retaliated against her for exercising her FMLA rights. But, the employer asks, how does one exercise their FMLA rights when they don’t have any?!

Therein lies...


Saying Goodbye Leads to Saying Hello

I miss my dog.

Holly, a fluffy white Bichon Frise, was my faithful companion for over 15 years. She followed me throughout the house, not too far behind. When I sat down, she jumped on my lap. When I went outside, she followed me. When I went to the bathroom, she scratched on the door, wanting to be let in.

Having been in good health most all her 15 years, she became very ill in April and we had to make an extremely difficult decision to euthanize her. As she quietly departed, my heart sank in despair.

Goodbyes are hard....


Introverts Can Thrive in HR



Occasionally I get a question from a reader, such as below. Today’s question is about how introverts can thrive in the world of HR. 

What is a good HR job for introverts? I am somewhat shy and am looking for a way to follow my passion for HR without totally stressing myself out. 


Hi Monique! Thanks for asking a question that so many of us have wondered about. Truth be told, I’m quite shy in person. When at events where I don’t know someone, I’m often more likely...