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Latest Posts


6 Steps for Women Who Deserve a Raise

Pay raiseOne of the continuing inequities in the American workforce is the paygap between women and men.  Even though women, on average, tend to be better educated than men, those women who work full time only earn about 79 cents for every dollar a man makes. I suppose it's good news that the figure has gone up 2 cents since 2010.

FYI: To my amusement I've learned that a few women get frustrated by a man writing about this, but I have plenty of reasons, not least three daughters, who are professionals, as was my now deceased wife. At different times in their marriage all four made more than their husbands.  (Furthermore, it's important to take truth wherever you can get it.)  Although I've consulted to numerous female execs over the years, a dozen or so years ago, one client from among the top paid executives in America was especially instructive about the issue of male consultants working for female execs.  I asked her why she wanted to work with a man.  Her response?  "The image of me working with a male consultant has much more cachet than working with a woman."  Of course, she tossed me a bone: "Besides, you're more knowledgable than any women I know in the consulting business. ...


Ducks in a Row: the Whisper Ethos

I’m starting to appreciate the ethos of Whisper co-founder/CEO Michael Heyward a lot more these days.

What changed my attitude were his comments at the Fortune Brainstorm conference regarding threats, whether violent or suicidal, child abuse/porn and hurtful responses.

“You can’t use the service to hurt other people” (…) The company searches for words and terms that indicate threats, crimes or suicide. And it has human moderators that will pull down abusive, inappropriate material and take further action if it seems necessary. (…) “You’re talking about actual people’s lives. We take that very seriously.”


This Company Made Millions Because There Was Nothing Going On

Harvest is a multimillion-dollar, fantastically profitable, growing business that boasts thousands of customers from freelancers to Fortune 500 companies. The company has grown to over 30 employees and boasts one of the most beautiful tech offices in New York City.

But it’s how they did it that’s most impressive — over the course of 10 years, without a dime of outside investment, 100% bootstrapped, and in the city of New York.

In an age of tech celebrity, high-profile fundraises, and billion-dollar acquisitions, it’s how Harvest founders Shawn Liu and Danny Wen’s achieved success that you’ll find incredible. What Shawn told me was their secret ingredient is something you’ll never guess.



Preparing your workforce for tomorrow

I created a performance improvement toolbox when I started this blog in 2004, and have kept adding to it over the years. I often look at workplace performance first from the perspective of whether the situation we are trying to address is complicated or complex. Training works well for complicated problems, when you have clear and measurable objectives. Training looks backwards, at what worked in the past (good & best practices), and creates a controlled environment to develop knowledge and skills. Training can be good to develop ways to reduce errors, which is only one part of improving organizational performance.

Monday Motivation – Do what you can

Something to think about

Sometimes in the pursuit of perfection, we wish for more time, more resources, or a different situation. Instead of focusing on perfection (even through a change in constraint), embrace progress.

When I discussed this concept with a renowned sculptor, he simply pointed out that ours is to the do the best we can with the time we have. His life experience matched the sage words of Roosevelt.

Today, choose progress over perfection. Be present in the moment and embrace whatever opportunity arrives.

2014-07-21-mm-Do what you can


Performance Management or Employee Development? Is there a Way to Merge Both?

If you ask an employee on what a performance management is, he or she will mention that it is nothing but the annual appraisal of his or her performance followed by salary revisions. Employees also tend to view performance management process with a lot of skepticism, as generally they are not happy with the subjective appraisals and get dis-satisfied with their salary revisions.

An effective performance management system should not stop with just once a year performance appraisals and salary revisions. It should be much more comprehensive, and one of the key goals of such an effective performance management system should be to develop employees.


Leading through uncertain times

The announcement last week that Microsoft would be laying off 18,000 employees washed over me. Emotions emerged of a time several years ago when I was working in a company that had made several major mergers over the course of a decade while trying to survive in a marketplace that was relentless.

The final blow culminated in massive layoffs. Many employees who would lose their jobs had spent a lifetime working for “the only employer in a small town” known for good pay, benefits, and treating employees with respect and dignity.

While many employees certainly experienced the empathy and support from their managers needed to stay well-balanced throughout those uncertain times, some also experienced its opposite. Many managers were vying to be “named” into a new position or just trying to hang on – sometimes resulting in less-than-stellar behavior.


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Job Fair

At TribeHR, we do much of our recruiting through our own job board and LinkedIn. Most of the positions we’re currently hiring for are technical roles. Like many software development companies, we struggle to find the best candidates in a competitive environment.  And, while we strive to attract (and hire from), a diverse candidate pool, we also struggle to achieve even a semblance of gender balance among our software engineers. Fortunately, our development team has always included women, but we’ve found it challenging to bridge the distance between having a few women on the team and true gender balance.

5 Real-Life Examples of Creating Positive Workplace Morale

Think you can’t have fun, throw money at employees (literally!) and grow the company’s revenues by 25% all at the same time? It’s possible and the examples below prove it. Meet Bob Richards, a seasoned manufacturing executive who has tried what skeptics would call “outlandish” tactics to create a workplace environment in which employees are engaged and productive. This interview excerpt is bonus material from when I talked with Bob about workplace morale for an article on SmartBlog on Leadership. As we chatted, Bob shared with me some of his successful ideas for creating positive workplace morale. Bob implemented many of these progressive ideas during his tenure at Herman Miller’s “SQA” manufacturing facility. As a consultant, I used to walk the halls of Herman Miller SQA and experienced firsthand the outcomes of these efforts. The positive energy was palpable; it was an amazing place to work.

Here are five examples of things Bob and his management team did to create positive workplace morale and build employee engagement, in his own words:


Great Work Provocation

What has this inspired for you today?