4 Ways to Nurture a High-Trust Culture



High-trust organizations generally perform better over time than their low-trust counterparts. They’re innovative. These organizations tend to have more pleasant workplaces than low-trust organizations. In fact, low-trust organizations tend to damage the lives and health of those condemned to labor in what often becomes politically dense zones of recrimination, second-guessing and vague, sometimes passive-aggressive, communications. 

The good news is that there are ways leaders can nurture a high-trust culture. One of the most important is simply by sharing information clearly, persuasively, and thoroughly. This means telling the truth during good...


Better Managers Can Remedy the Workplace Culture Crisis




One in four Americans say they dread going to work each morning, and almost half of American workers have thought about leaving their current jobs. Those statistics point to a grim reality for today’s employers: We have a culture crisis at work. And it’s costly.

SHRM’s new report, The High Cost of a Toxic Workplace Culture, released today, reveals what many employers are seeing every day: the strong correlation between workplace culture, satisfied and engaged employees, and business productivity. When it’s toxic, everyone loses.

Nearly 1 in 5...


#Nextchat: Taming a Toxic Workplace Culture  



We live in an era in which civility is on the decline. Examples of bad behavior can be found just about everywhere—in our government, in our schools, at sporting events and during the rush-hour commute. It’s pervasive on social media.

Perhaps the most debilitating incivility is found in our workplaces. To spend an entire workday immersed in a dysfunctional, stressful environment destroys employees’ physical and mental well-being and kills productivity. 

In July 2019, SHRM commissioned a survey of the U.S. workforce...


Conversations with the Boss



Growing up, we always had the radio playing in the background—an old wireless in the kitchen that was stuck on one station. My favorites were the dramas that would play just before bedtime. I loved listening to the stories that would go on for weeks until the series would come to an end.

Radio made me love listening to people talk. It also helped me develop my listening skills and possibly also helped me with some areas of the English language. So, I have this thing for listening with my...


It Doesn’t Take A Law Degree to Know That an Employer May Have Really Screwed Something Up




I can often draw upon my years of experience as an employment lawyer to predict from reading the first paragraph of a federal court opinion how the court is going to decide the discrimination claim before it.

Let’s see what you think. 

Here’s the first paragraph from a recent opinion from a Michigan federal court in which the plaintiff alleged race discrimination.

[The plaintiff]—formerly a nurse at [the defendant’s] Dearborn hospital—reported to her supervisor…that she overheard her patient tell someone on the phone, “I do not want


#Nextchat: Allies in the Workplace




Some of the most well-intentioned workplace conversations don’t always turn out as planned. Statements made in an effort to be supportive or complimentary can end up being insulting and hurtful.  

A microaggression is a statement or action regarded as an occurrence of indirect, subtle or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group, including groups formed around gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, age and ability.

Microaggressions contribute to feelings of exclusion in and from...


Learning to be a Better Ally




I like to think about myself as being a good ally. But I still have a lot to learn. I have relied on my own reality and experiences and made assumptions that other people's experience is similar. It's not. Not even a little.

As someone who was adopted, I have some insight into what it feels like to be 'other' and not belong. As a woman attorney, I have plenty of experience with gender bias and sexual...