What We've Learned in 2020



It's that time of year when reflection and planning meet to flip the calendar. This year, it seems more important than ever to put the past away. At this time last year I predicted that 2020 could be the best year ever. I had also written a blog preparing for work-from-home workforce transitions predicting a 12-week office shut down. 

Boy, Was I Wrong!

There has been so much wrong with 2020, how can we make it right again?


Many of us spent the better part of the year in our pajamas....


HR Strategy for Small Business - The Top 5 Focus Areas




Businesses require some kind of HR function as soon as they have one employee. However, it’s imperative to begin planning for a dedicated HR function early in development (SHRM recommends doing so once a company reaches 10 employees). However, to save money, research shows, 54 percent of small businesses handle employment matters themselves or have another staff member handle HR issues piecemeal. And these staff members who take on HR responsibilities typically are not prepared to do so.

5 Priorities for HR...


How to Radically Transform your HR Operating Model


“I think you can’t make the mistake of designing an optimal, or academically perfect HR operating model in a vacuum. It really must be aligned with your fundamental business strategy and the overall operating model.” Lauren Duprey, Takeda Pharmaceuticals

What does it take to change the fundamental model for how HR operates in a business? In the case of Takeda, it took considerable time to settle on an approach that balanced global governance and accountability with localized, agile decision-making. The rollout of this HR transformation began in February of 2020.



Computer Fraud and Abuse – Is it About Access or Use?


I must admit. This law was not on my radar: the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). But I recently read two articles published by SHRM about lawsuits filed by employers under the Act. One is being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. Ponder this.

You have a policy that prohibits employees from unauthorized access, use or disclosure of any of your electronic communications systems, including information or data contained therein. You fire an employee for violating your policy, or the employee violates your policy and then quits. It is what happens next...


Adaptable and Agile - A Box With No Sides


Now that we’re in December, expect to see a flurry of posts that will be overly hopeful for 2021 landing all over the internet. There will be countless “predictions” and a series of aspirations. I love seeing this optimism but feel most posts will just be calling for the end of 2020. It’s hard not to echo that sentiment because there are so many things we’d like to get past.

However, I think we’d be remiss if we didn’t reflect and see what we learned this past year. The entire landscape...


How To Track Performance Without Micromanaging Virtual Teams




We see that it’s quite hard to shift in a fully virtual environment because it requires a new skill-set for managers. But let’s not forget the purpose, as we are all working on building the best virtual workplace.

Now, let’s dig into the most complicated challenge at the core of the new virtual leadership skill set. How to get the most of the virtual workspace and hit collective goals while respecting individual freedom and work-life balance?

We hear a lot about the fact that individual productivity has never been so high since the broad adoption of...


6 Trends That Will Shape Workplace Practices in 2021


If you had asked leaders last year what they would be focusing their energies on in 2020, likely a pandemic, economic disruption, nationwide social unrest, and a mental health crisis were not at the top of their lists. Indeed, one of the many lessons learned in 2020 was that it can be very difficult to predict what the future holds. Although we don’t have a crystal ball to gaze into, here are six trends that we believe will shape workplace practices in 2021, as well as tips for what you can...


Covid-19 Mental Health Disruptions and How HR Professionals Can Best Provide Support



The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has led to a global mental health crisis. From an individualistic perspective, many people feeling pandemic-related stressors already live with mental health issues including anxiety, depression, and seasonal affective disorder.  A notable compounding issue has been the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the accessibility of ongoing treatment for these individuals.

In August 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) completed a survey spanning 130 countries aimed at assessing the impact to mental health.

Findings included:

It is...


Multi-Rater Reviews: Advantages and Disadvantages



Multi-rater (also known as 360 reviews) are tools designed to gather performance feedback from multiple sources. Those sources could include the employee, manager, co-workers, staff members, and sometimes even customers. The idea being that these individuals provide insights, and their collective comments will provide greater performance feedback for the recipient.

The reason that multi-rater reviews are so popular is because in a traditional annual performance review, the employee receives feedback from one person – their manager. That’s one person’s point of view. Sometimes an employee will reject the feedback because...