Dear HR: Is it Really Safe to Talk about Our Mental Health?


A year ago, I would have said no to writing this. But last year, I was inspired to talk about my mental health with a stranger after they told me about their struggles, and it was the most liberating life-changing experience.

You see, if you talk openly about your story, you never know who you might inspire and, as a result, change their life. What if that means the difference between someone giving up or deciding to keep going? I’ve had the thought many times…what if that person didn’t share their story with me? Would I be brave enough to...


Dear Graduates . . .


I’m sure you’re seeing graduation “ceremonies” happening all over the country in a variety of new formats. The traditional gatherings which make each spring come to life had to be altered because of the current environment. I’m excited to see every type of ceremony occurring which have ranged from virtual Zoom commencements to semi in-person walkthroughs to meeting at drive-in theaters to a drive-by parade.

It’s important regardless of how graduation is occurring that the students get recognized for this milestone in their lives. There are students finishing up their time in high school, colleges and military academies. It...


Advantages of the Non-Traditional Hire



Being a communications consultant working with C-level executives has given me a courtside seat to view talent development from a different perspective. Both in running a boutique firm and while working as a managing director at a publicly-traded conglomerate, I’ve hired many hundreds of people and made my share of bad picks. One of my biggest challenges has been recruiting and retaining unconventional talent. 

These are the hires that some would call non-traditional: mavericks, disruptors and change agents. They are less compliant and more free-spirited than typical colleagues and offer...


How to Navigate the New Normal


A virus brought the world to its knees and as we begin to move forward, many people are curious to know what the New Normal will look like. I am curious too, and what I am most curious to know, is what are we learning?

The New Normal is knocking at the door and the door is already open. This may be a good time to pay attention because the guest at the door, although not invited, plans to stay a while. Before we go any further, let’s have a closer...


When “Open-Up Business” Activism Creates Tension at Work



Q:  I manage a division with 40 employees.  About half are happy working remotely, getting paid their usual, in no hurry to return. The other half however, are public-facing employees who can’t work remotely.  They’re being paid their base salary, but not their commissions.  In other words, they need us to open in order to make ends meet. 

Some of those employees have become outspoken advocates for the “open-up business”  movement and even pressure co-workers to call politicians and signing petitions. This “activism” is creating tension across the board among...


HR Storytellers At Home Edition: Sue Oswalt


Sue Oswalt, vice president of human resources for Insurance Program Managers Group, talks about how to efficiently transition your workforce to remote work and continue keeping your employees engaged.


See more HR Storytellers.

SHRM membership gives you access to resources and tools to safeguard your organization during this crisis, and to prepare for the new realities of the workplace. Learn more.



How to Conduct Virtual Onboarding #COVID-19



I recently got to experience virtual onboarding due to the Coronavirus pandemic and wanted to share my experience as well as best practices since many companies are onboarding virtually right now.

Beginning a new job is a stressful venture for the employee even under the best of circumstances. Onboarding a remote employee could feel daunting to a human resources professional, too, especially the first time through the process. By focusing on the virtual onboarding experience, you can ensure your new employee feels comfortable and has the tools they need to...


SHRM’s COVID-19 Business Index: Essential Data in Uncertain Times

In recent weeks, the unemployment rate has soared to 14.7 percent, the worst since the Depression era. More than 20 million people lost their jobs in April, with many experts fearing this economic damage is just beginning. Now, business leaders, workers and policymakers are scrambling to adapt to these unprecedented changes to the economy and workplaces.

SHRM has long studied and analyzed workplace trends through cutting edge research. However, the novelty and severity of the changes and challenges engendered by this pandemic demands a timely and tailored approach to reporting the latest...


Establishing Kindness and Trust in the Workplace



It’s a challenging time. Political divisiveness is rife. Economic gaps get wider. And now, the world is on edge over the health and economic impact of a new virus. It’s clear to me that employers must become the trusted entity in peoples’ lives, in addition to the source of earnings, career and job fulfillment. Any company that fails to do this will lose top people, lose top customers and fail to achieve its financial goals.

When employees feel a sense of trust and humanity at work, they translate this into...