Welcome to the HR Pro Blog

From my newspaper column, with my own headline and links. Enjoy!

Employee With Delusions of Grandeur? How to Handle

Q:  I’m supposed to do a yearly evaluation of an employee I’ve supervised for only three months.  From what I’ve observed, she’s a so-so performer and needs improvement in most areas.   The problem:  She thinks she’s doing great.  I’ve overheard her being confident... read more

Getting Interrupted at Meetings? Try These Tips

Q:  Last week you talked about all the studies that show that women are interrupted more often than men, and that this originates from an unconscious bias both genders have about women.  Is there something women can do to lessen interruptions? or can you suggest  how... read more

Think of LinkedIn as Your Digital Business Card

Q:  I have a LinkedIn account that I haven’t touched in years, mainly because I have a stable job and thankfully I’m not looking for one.  I’m aware LinkedIn came out with a new version earlier this year, but I’m questioning whether I should bother updating my... read more

Who -Or What- Is Reading Your Resume?

When was the last time you were job hunting?  Last week we heard from an anxious reader who hasn’t had to look for a job in over ten years and – because so much has changed in the last decade- was asking for resume advice. This won’t be a surprise but,... read more

Employers: Compassion is Key

  Back in April, right here in this space, I advised small employers against making loans or “advances” for employees. Then Irma happened.  So now I’m re-thinking all that. I’m sure every single Floridian was affected by this storm: we either evacuated, lost power or... read more

After the Storm – Tips to Keep the Team Going

 After a storm, there is an opportunity to bring people together and create a stronger team.  Here are some tips about ways to do that while building camaraderie and teamwork. Check in with your employees – Preferably in a group setting, find out who was affected and... read more

When Off-the-clock Actions Jeopardize Your Job

Q:  Last week you discussed scenarios where people can get fired for behavior outside of working hours.  This left me feeling like we have to watch ourselves even when we’re not at work or we may lose our jobs. Those firings sound so subjective, am I right to feel... read more

Can Being a Nazi Get You Fired?

Q: I can’t believe I’m even asking this, but can you discuss the legalities of firing someone for being a Nazi outside of work?   The recent events in Charlottesville are making me curious about what implications this might have since I’ve read that a few... read more

Google’s Memo Brouhaha: My Take

So, did you hear about the Googler’s manifesto brouhaha? In case you haven’t, last week an engineer at Google distributed a 10-page memo in one of their internal platforms, in order to have an open discussion about Google’s diversity programs.  The manifesto made its... read more

Advice to Women Who Want to Earn Equal Pay

The gender pay gap was back in the news and the topic came up among some friends.  The discussion started with the generally agreed upon statistic that “women make 78 ¢ents on the dollar as men”, but I had to quickly explain my more nuanced take on that misleading... read more

Don’t Overlook These Basics in Your Job Search

Q:  I have been job hunting for about three months with little luck. I‘ve had a couple of interviews but afterwards,  I never heard anything back.  The most frustrating part is that I don’t know why.  I wish there was a way to find out what I’m doing wrong. A: You... read more

Layoff Decisions:  a Peek Behind the Curtain

In a recent column, I noted that layoffs were “a miserable experience all around:  for the employees affected, those who survived, and also for management who had to do the deed”. Well, I got some push-back on the last part; someone basically having little sympathy... read more

A Little “Ohm” Can Be Good for Business

Q:   I recently interviewed for a position at a high-tech company.  Afterwards, I was given a tour of their swanky new building.  I was impressed but not surprised when shown conference rooms with oversize monitors, motion-detector lighting and well-stocked break... read more

It’s OK to reach out to laid-off coworkers

Q:  Last week there was a big layoff where I work. About 10% of the staff was told their jobs were eliminated effective immediately and they had to leave right away.  Those of us who still have jobs feel shaken and conflicted. We realize our job load just increased by... read more

Cross-dressing for a Fundraiser. Should We?

Q:  Where I work we do a couple of fundraisers every year.  I think it helps morale when we work together for a good cause and we try to keep it fun. This year someone suggested that -as a gag- the male members of management could cross-dress as women.  I was... read more

Beware Gender Cliques at Work

Q: I manage a small business of about 15 employees, about half male and half female.   We all work closely in the same building  and everyone gets along pretty well. Lately, I’ve noticed a tendency for employees to group themselves by gender when socializing or having... read more

Can You Ask Applicants About Previous Injuries?

Q:  I recently started working as a manager at a small family-owned business.  We have a lot of turnover and I’ve noticed that of the 10 or so employees we’ve hired since I got here about a third have experienced some type of on-the-job-injury.  We’ve later found out... read more

Be Supportive of Employees, But Not Too Cozy

Q:  Last week you discussed what to do if an employee asks for an “advance” on their paycheck.  You noted it’s  easier for large impersonal companies to have a blanket policy stating “no advances”,  but for small employers it’s difficult to be indifferent to the needs... read more

Handling Paycheck ‘Advance’ Requests

Q:  I’m a small business owner, and every so often one of my employees will ask for an “advance” on their paycheck.  Usually it’s one or two hundred dollars.  On the next paycheck, we usually don’t take out the whole amount but spread it out over the next few pay... read more

Conflict Part 2 – How to Manage It

Last week we busted three myths about conflict   Myth 1. Conflict is avoidable – It’s not avoidable, it’s  normal and to be expected. Myth 2. Conflict produces bad negative stuff – Not necessarily.  Well-managed conflict can lead to innovation and new... read more



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