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Allegations of discrimination, harassment, and misconduct are inevitable in the workplace.

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Employee allegations of discrimination, harassment, or general misconduct are inevitable in the workplace. At the same time, being asked to conduct an employee investigation yourself can be incredibly stressful. Why? Because the stakes are high, and the ramifications can be significant. Further, most of us don’t conduct investigations often enough to feel entirely confident or comfortable with the process.

The Society for HR Management (SHRM) has defined nine steps for completing a successful workplace investigation. I’ve used these nine steps, along with my own personal experience conducting workplace investigations, to structure this complete step-by-step guide.

But, in the spirit of…

When you brand your all-white talent as the “best and the brightest,” it implies that the best talent is white talent.

There is not a day that goes by where I don’t come across a company sharing a photo of their “rockstar” team made up of the “the best and the brightest talent” in their industry. Perhaps you’ve seen them, too.

Have you noticed what those posts often have in common? Irrespective of company and industry, so often, the only faces represented are white ones.

Perhaps these homogenous groups of people really are the best in the business. …

4 words that changed the trajectory of my career.

Photo by Siavash Ghanbari on Unsplash

Let’s get one thing out of the way — I am a millennial. And, like most millennials, I’m not a fan of most of the stereotypes that have been given to us.

While I do enjoy a good avocado toast, I’m also a homeowner. I’m not afraid of working hard to get where I want to go in my career, and I gladly take 5am texts and 9pm phone calls from clients. …

A cautionary tale from a current employee’s point-of-view

the downside of new hire sign-on bonuses
the downside of new hire sign-on bonuses
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

The war for talent rages on, and frankly, I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

A client recently inquired about sign-on bonuses for new hires as a way to increase their talent pool in an already shallow labor market. They’re not alone in this. Today the TSA announced that they would offer new hires $1,000 sign-on bonuses, and Amazon is tripling that number at a whopping $3,000 for new hires.

But as much as I’d like to throw money at the problem and increase the number of applicants my clients receive for job postings, my role as an HR consultant

The case for hiring a Chief of Staff for your startup or small business

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

Before getting into consulting, I spent more than a decade leading HR teams in the corporate world. I worked for companies that had anywhere from 500 employees to 25,000 employees, and these organizations operated in industries that ran the gambit from retail to manufacturing.

I’ve helped executives build organizational structures and subsequently tear them down depending on the needs of the business and how they evolved over time. I thought I had seen it all, but I’ve never worked for an organization with a Chief of Staff (COS) before. …

To measure self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

Emerging research in talent management tells us that one of the most important functions of today’s team leaders is to cultivate our team’s collective sense of oneness, and this begins by selecting emotionally intelligent team members.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is defined as “the ability to understand your emotions and those of other people and to behave appropriately in different situations.” Daniel Goleman, the best-selling author and science journalist, popularized the concept of emotional intelligence (EI) with his first book on the topic. Since then, there has been an ongoing debate about whether or not EI is a real thing.


Because careers are long and not necessarily linear.

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As an HR and talent management professional, I’ve helped hundreds of people make career moves up, down, and across the corporate ladder. When driven by the right motivations, these moves can be revitalizing and challenging, and exponentially increase our overall quality of life.

But it’s important to recognize that the grass is not always greener at a different company or in another job. And if you’re currently in a job you hate, the risk of making a rash emotional decision and finding yourself stuck in yet another role you don’t enjoy is real.

Over the years, I have coached plenty…

Job security is a myth that companies want you to believe in.

Photo by Joshua Sortino on Unsplash

Flexibility, job security, and transparent communication are all things that employees have said matter more to them than compensation over the years. But, as someone who’s seen both sides of the coin, having been both a full-time employee and fully self-employed, something’s been weighing on me.

I see friends and family who think about chasing a dream, only to fall back on full-time employment. Why? Because they’re scared of losing the precious ‘job security’ their companies provide them.

I get it — Stability, especially this past year, has been hard to come by. …

Where have all of the minimum wage workers gone?

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

“We used to post a job and get 50 applicants in a day or two,” a client recently shared with me. Ah, yes — the good old days. Those days are long gone. In today’s labor market, I’m lucky to get even a handful of job applicants in a week’s time. I have never seen anything quite like it in all my years of hiring.

Businesses that have fought tooth and nail to survive the pandemic have come out facing yet another unexpected challenge. Now that they’re ready to fully reopen, they can’t hire enough talent to staff their operations.

We’re better off nurturing existing employees than hiring new ones.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

As an HR consultant who works with startups and small businesses, there are certain client interactions that make me beam with pride because I can tell they get it. It’s one of the reasons I’ve chosen to build my business around the ‘little guy.’ They get the importance of the people side of business because they started their companies to escape big corporations who did not.

“Let me be clear, I don’t want any new employee hired with an hourly rate that starts with ‘$7’ from this point forward,” a small business owner and client said to his leadership team…

Jessica Donahue, PHR

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