Working with Other Generations

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone with whom you had absolutely nothing in common? The conversation was probably stumbling, awkward, filled with gaps. The fact is, it’s difficult to communicate with others when we don’t have any similar interests. However, when your coworkers are the people with whom you lack commonalities, more than simple conversations are impaired; it becomes increasingly difficult to achieve even the most basic of tasks.

This problem is especially prevalent with age diversity in the workplace. Oftentimes, those from different generations view the other as useless: either their knowledge is outdated or they are too lazy to achieve quality work. Such a view can lead to a seemingly unbridgeable chasm of disrespect and misunderstanding among generations.

Our most recent podcast episode of HR Insiders discussed exactly this issue with the help of Angie Mills, an HR professional at a quickly-growing company and author of the book Run For Your Life.

Angie outlined some general information about the four different age groups currently in the workforce:

“The silent generation, also known as builders, are people who were born between 1927 and 1945. Most of those people are retired now, but there is still a small percentage in the workforce. Some common traits with them are, they value hard work, they’re very company-loyal, they respect authority, they like formal recognition, and they prefer hierarchy at work.

The next generation below them would be the baby boomers, which were people born between 1946 and 1964. Many of these workers are retired now or will be retiring soon, but they do still make up a substantial percentage of the workforce. Some common traits with them are: a strong work ethic – they can be called workaholics. They value teamwork and achievement, they live to work rather than work to live, and are very company loyal, but also somewhat inflexible and resistant to change. And they think that millennials are on the side of lazy and entitled.

Generation X or Gen X-ers are people born between ’65 and ’82. They have quite a ways to go until retirement and make up a major chunk of the workforce. Some common traits: they aim for work-life balance, have a lack of company loyalty, like ongoing feedback, embrace change, and prefer informality, prefer working independently rather than in teams.

And millennials, also known as Generation Z or Gen Z, are people born between 1983 in 2001 and they make up a pretty big part of the workforce already. Some common traits with them would be that they are immersed in social media. They’re globally conscious, they prefer meaningful work. They like workplace flexibility. They’re connected basically 24/7 and they plan to change jobs every two to four years or so.”

Because each generation grew up in such a different era – largely with different values as well as technology – it’s difficult for them to relate to each other. Younger generations especially tend to think of older generations as obsolete, without offering anything new to bring to the table. As Angie puts it, “We all, when we were younger, thought that we knew everything and we didn’t need the older generation or the older adults in our lives…We felt like we didn’t really care what they had to say or what they thought about things because we knew it all.”

Regardless of a person’s current age, his experiences are valuable. As Angie so aptly explains, “You want people to respect you at your current age and place in life… but you need to also offer that same respect back to other people. You can’t just say, ‘My way of thinking or my way of doing it is the only way.’”

So many companies nowadays seem to have an ‘in with the new, out with the old’ mentality. They want the most recent college grads with the most up-to-date technological skills, and that often means not having the space for older workers. While it’s excellent to bring in young hires, there’s also more at stake. Legally, employees over the age of 40 are a protected class under the Age Discrimination and Employment Act (ADEA). As Angie explains, “Nobody’s really talking about making sure that we have age diversity in the workforce… [Discrimination against] age diversity is like a secret that exists that nobody wants to talk about.”

One of the best ways to increase inter-generational diversity is by offering a mentor program within the workplace. Angie elaborates: “It’s helpful if you can assign the more experienced workers as mentors to the newer workers. In every company, it’s going to be different depending on what you do, but almost always having a mentor from the more experienced generation coach and help along a newer member in the workforce can be really helpful.” Such a mentor program works to show both older and younger generations that the contributions of their counterparts are valuable, and regardless of their current base of knowledge, they still have a lot to learn from other generations.

To reach out to Angie with questions or ideas on the subject of inter-generational diversity in the workplace, feel free to shoot her an email at To learn more about this topic, check out our HR Insiders podcast, available on Soundcloud and iTunes.

Bringing Creativity into the Hiring Process

Group Interview

On December’s episode of our HR Insider Podcast, we sat down with Alyssa Light, a keynote speaker who is revolutionizing the interviewing process.

She has boosted companies’ hiring success rate up to 90% by innovating the way they conduct interviews. As she explains, “I’ve hired over 100 people in the last three years. For most people, that would be absolutely cringe worthy. What makes it more difficult for people to believe is that they’re all millennials.”

Below, she shares several ways to flip the interview process to recruit the most creative individuals.

Conduct a group interview

Alyssa explains, “When I did these interviews, I had between 5 and 15 people in an interview. I would do it with myself, and generally speaking, with two other people I had previously hired for our leadership team. People would bring three copies of their resume and one copy of their references.”

However, Alyssa does more than throw interviewees into a room together. Part of the requirements for the interview include certain items to bring and show to the group.

Bring things along

For interviews Alyssa conducts, applicants must bring three items. With her outside-the-box thinking comes a surprising list of items: “They had to bring an item that represents who they are as a person, a dollar store item that starts with the second letter of their middle name, and an activity that was between five and ten minutes long to do with the whole group.”

Each of the three items tells a different story about who the applicant is and how they interact with others.

For the item that represents you, Alyssa explains that each person partners up with someone else in the room. They discuss with their partner why they brought their particular object. Instead of reiterating this to the group, each partner is responsible for explaining how the person is most like their object. For example, if a person brought a soccer jersey, his partner could say something like, “This is David. I have this soccer jersey that is like him. It’s really fun because he likes to play games. He likes to get involved, and be careful because the man can be loud.”

Alyssa points out that there’s a big difference between making a connection about the person and items rather than saying “he brought this because he likes it.”

This truly allows a person’s charisma and flexibility to shine through.

The second item is something a person found at the dollar store that begins with the second letter of their middle name. Again, this encourages a person to display their creativity. One of the most common letters is A; there are many routine things people bring, but despite this, there’s still room for them to branch out and grab something uncommon.

The perfect example: a woman came in where the second letter of her middle name was U. Alyssa points out, “the letter U is not something most things start with. You think about umbrellas. This woman said, ‘Oh, I didn’t want to just bring an umbrella.’ Instead, she walked up and down the aisles looking for things until she found some utensils. She thought, ‘these are so practical because afterwards, I can actually use these, and I got them in my favorite color. They actually only had pink, and white, and blue out, and I really love green. So I had to go find somebody to ask if they could get me some green ones off the shelf.’” This woman was able to show her personality in a way people who chose umbrellas weren’t able to.

Do an activity

The activity portion of the interview creates the most possibilities. Not only does it allow a person to showcase his or her leadership abilities, but it also shows how a group member responds to that leadership.

Alyssa recalls one in particular that made an impact. “I had a young man come in, and he was learning to play the guitar. He said, ‘I’m not very good at it. I only learned two songs, but I really want to try because I’d really love to play for the kids at camp.’ He wasn’t great. By all standards, I didn’t have a clue what song he was playing, and I was supposed to know it. But it was so nice to see the people in that interview who encouraged him, who said, ‘Hey, really good try.’ Or, ‘Hey, I could teach you something later.’ Or, ‘Hey, why the heck would you do that?’ That’s the people we wouldn’t hire. So we’re watching the people participate and react to him as a leader more than we’re watching him lead the group.”

Flip the interview

The standard interview involves people from the company asking questions to their potential new hire. However, as Alyssa points out, “you don’t have to be the ones interviewing. You don’t have to sit there and prepare a huge list with checkboxes and score sheets. Certainly sometimes those things matter, but is the interaction not what matters more? What we’ve done is prepare a standard email that we send out to people who we’re inviting in. It says, ‘Hey, by the way, you’re interviewing us, you tenacious, charismatic, dynamic person.”

Sure, such an email might throw the candidate off-guard, but it will certainly keep them more involved in the process. You can also learn a lot from them based on the questions they ask you.

Ultimately, the interview is about having a conversation. Although, “At the end of your interview, you want to have about three standards questions that you ask that are asked to everybody. Remember that in some places, there are regulations or legal requirements for creating a fair and equitable interview. So make sure that you know what those are and you follow those.” It’s a great idea to make one of those three standard questions something about the worst part of the job they’re going to do just to see how they’ll react.


These innovative interview strategies are making a huge impact on the way companies conduct their business. And you don’t have to be a creative agency to utilize them; industries across the board can benefit from tenacious, free-thinking individuals.

If you’re interested in getting in contact with Alyssa Light, reach her at 519-362-3281 or with any questions.

An HR Perspective of Millennials in the Workplace

Millennials in the Workplace

On last week’s podcast, we had the chance to meet with Mike McGuiness. Mike is a consultant for the HR Policy Association and spends a good amount of his time working with the nonprofit, Jobipedia is a free website that provides career and internship advice to recent graduates and current college students. Anyone can submit a question that will then be answered by top professionals inside the HR departments of a variety of Fortune 500 Companies.

As much as anyone can be, Mike is practically an expert in the ways of millennials. He shared with us his views on how millennials positively impact today’s world of business.


Establishing Roots

A common idea about millennials is that they tend to job-hop, never staying in one place for more than about two years. Whether it’s for higher pay or to take on new challenges, this does seem to be the case. However, Mike didn’t think of this as a bad thing. Instead, he pointed out that the continual job-hopping pushes employers to rethink their policies. The question has shifted away from “how do I do what’s best for the company?” to “how do I hire the best people and retain them?” Mike explains that millennials are “forcing employers to look externally in terms of, ‘how can I attract the best talent?’ Does that mean offering a flexible schedule or a remote work environment? Or, maybe a more attractive work environment to make sure that people come in and enjoy where they work on a day-to-day basis — so that they can interact positively and efficiently with their peers.”

Because millennials are craving more from their jobs than just a way to get paid, the industry is having to make a change. In the process, every employee is benefitting from the crafted new environment.


Attitudinal Variations

Although many view millennials as lazy, Mike points out that “taking an entire generation and generalizing them in broad strokes” will never be true for everyone. Of course there will always be outliers, in both directions. But that doesn’t mean all millennials are lazy, nor should they be viewed as such.

In fact, one noticeable positive difference in the attitudes of millennials and older generations is the way they receive feedback. Mike notes that many older individuals fear negative feedback, especially on a performance review. Millennials, on the other hand, run towards that. They say things like, “Tell me what I’ve done wrong, I want constant information feedback.”

While a constant outsourcing of feedback might be difficult for an employer, the attitude it creates is beneficial for the company as a whole. It signifies the desire for growth, on a personal and professional level. Mike says, “Frankly, if somebody is approaching my workforce like that, I’d love to have them on board because I know that they’re trying to make our world better.”


Driving the Business Forward

Along with the rise of millennials entering the workforce comes a unique element previous generations haven’t dealt with: technology.

Technology is racing through business, and who better to install new versions than the very people who grew up with it? Especially in the field of HR, technology is making impacts on efficiency and progress. Mike points out that in the past two years, HR has begun to take “a more quantitative approach as opposed to a qualitative approach,” largely spurred on by technological advances. As more millennials come in, new strategies arise. “Let’s look at performance data, let’s look at some of this hiring data. Who’s truly successful and why? They’re now accessing that in a much more intelligent way and utilizing it to make better decisions.”

One of the key reasons for this shift is the millennials’ new way of approaching things. Raised in the generation of Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos, millennials don’t believe any idea is impossible. And perhaps that truly is the key to driving business into the future.

HR For Startups

Recently on HR Insider, we had the chance to speak with Emma Leeds. Emma is the Senior HR Director at Canvs, a startup tech firm in New York that specializes in emotional analysis. Through the years, Emma has worked in the HR department of several startup businesses, accumulating unique knowledge specific to this niche. Today, she shared with us some of the expertise she’s gained from these positions.


Building a Solid Foundation

For any new and growing business, creating a solid foundation is crucial to its survival. That foundation begins by hiring competent members in the HR department. As Emma points out, “You need to be able to trust that [the person you’ve hired] is going to be able to handle the compliance, changing laws, the payroll, the benefits, all of the pieces that you really can’t mess up. When you mess that stuff up, then you have nothing, you have no foundation.”

Without trust that your HR department is running as it should, your employees will be more upset if any problem with payroll or benefits occurs. They will doubt that the department will be able to correct any errors. Additionally, if the foundation is laid incorrectly, future HR employees will have a much more difficult task in building employee trust.

Examining Turnover

It’s a natural part of any growing company for employees to come and go. However, there is a difference between healthy and unhealthy turnover. Not everyone will stay with a company as it ages — some people will outgrow the roles they occupied when they began, and that’s normal. The problem comes when multiple people begin to leave at the same time. As Emma puts it, “when you are a 30-person company and three people leave, that’s 10% of your organization!”

If several people begin to leave around the same point, there’s probably a reason for it. Many companies make the mistake of examining the recent past in search for an answer, when instead, they should be looking farther back. Emma explains that “turnover is a lagging indicator of how engaged people are . . . You can’t look at right now, you have to look six to twelve months ago because that’s when the seed is planted in someone’s head. That’s when they start to get disengaged.”

A tool that Emma has found particularly helpful in diagnosing engagement is Culture Amp. It utilizes an anonymous survey to target questions about employee happiness. It also looks at specific data of individual groups or teams and compares that to the company as a whole, creating a diagnosis as to what can be done to help improve team engagement — leading to less unhealthy turnover.


Managing Company Culture

Because of the quickly-changing nature of most startups, there is often room for employees to quickly climb the ladder into higher positions. While this is great for the individual, it can be a deterrent to the company. With so much escalation, it may happen that all leadership positions come to be filled by people who have never held those positions before. How can a startup compete with a much larger, established firm if all of its leaders are inexperienced?

If a startup finds itself in this situation, it’s probably time to consider hiring outsiders to fill important positions. Emma explains that while qualifications are important in a job candidate, so is fitting in within the established company culture. Moreover, current employees need to buy in to the idea that someone with outside knowledge is coming in, and it will benefit the team as a whole.

Salary requirements of an experienced outsider can be especially difficult to navigate. Emma suggests determining salary by “experience, external experience, and then experience potentially in the tenure of the company, by education level, by skills” so that there isn’t too large of a disparity between a new and incoming employee.

Using Additional Resources

Starting from scratch on anything is difficult, and as a business, it can be overwhelming. There are so many facets to a company that it becomes impossible for one or two people to run everything. For many, it’s helpful to use a professional employer organization (PEO) as a framework to shape the HR department. Especially if the company has 50 employees or less, a PEO can be a great way to not have to reinvent the wheel and start completely from the beginning on structuring a company. A PEO will provide access to a network of people as well as information necessary for running a business smoothly.

Additionally, hiring a benefits broker for compliance issues can significantly ease the burden of your HR Director. Because compliance laws are constantly changing, it is very difficult for a general HR Director to continually keep track of such revisions, but it is much easier for a person whose entire job consists of being informed about compliance. By hiring a separate employee other than the HR Director for this position, your company can streamline information and make sure that everything remains legal.

Sexual Harassment In The Digital Age

Recently, we sat down with Mallory Basore, a Human Resources Manager at Staff One, Inc. who specializes in sexual harassment training. During our conversation, she shared with us some of her best advice for HR managers dealing with sexual harassment prevention and training in their workplace.

Social Media

Of course, one of the most obvious features of the digital age is social media, and sites like Facebook and Instagram can mean a new channel for sexual harassment. Mallory explains, “I’m seeing a lot more complaints that stem from social media. Things are happening away from the workplace, after hours but between colleagues via Facebook Messenger or over Instagram, so a lot of employers’ and employees’ first assumption is that it’s not sexual harassment since they’re not at work and it’s their own personal social media. While that might be true, you still can’t harass your coworkers.” This can lead to difficult situations for both HR managers and employees alike; the best way to avoid them is to provide clear training to employees that stresses the fact that harassment can happen both during and after work.

Workplace Relationships

Office romances certainly aren’t new to the digital age, but with the advent of dating apps and social media, it can become even more complicated for HR managers. Mallory offers her advice for handling these situations, saying, “It is natural for employees to develop friendships and relationships with people that they work with. You spend a lot of time with the people that you work with and sometimes that can turn into something romantic. In that case, it’s not going to meet the definition of harassment since it is welcomed, so I encourage people that find themselves in that situation to come forward and let somebody in management know. That way, it doesn’t come back to bite them later if there’s a breakup and somebody comes forward saying, ‘Look at all these messages I’ve received. They were harassing me that whole time.’ ” Teaching your employees how to protect themselves in these situations can save all parties involved any stress or headache later on.

Update Your Policies

With all the changes that accompany technology, as well as the increased attention on sexual harassment in the workplace as a result of the #metoo movement, an HR manager would be remiss not to update the company policies regarding sexual harassment. Mallory says, “I would recommend that companies update their handbook to ensure that they have a policy related to harassment. I write handbooks all the time, and to be totally honest, I’m aware that no one wants to read those. But having a meeting to go over those really key policies, things like harassment and workplace violence can ensure everybody knows that you take it very seriously.” Mallory also suggests implementing a zero-tolerance policy when updating handbooks, so that if a sexual harassment claim can be substantiated, that employee can be terminated. This will show all employees just how seriously your company takes this issue.

While sexual harassment is certainly not a topic anyone, especially an HR manager, likes to discuss, it is increasingly important as companies step into the digital age. By combining well-written policies with strong and clear communication with all employees, you can do your best to ensure it doesn’t happen in your office.

3 Hottest Topics Within Employee Compensation

On a recent episode of HR Insider, we had the chance to sit down with Kimer Moore, owner of Capriccio HR. Capriccio is a human resources consulting firm that specializes in strategic HR and Total Rewards services and solutions for small and medium-sized organizations. Having spent much of her 19-year career in compensation, Kimer shared with us some of the hottest topics in compensation that she is seeing today.


Topic #1: Keeping Up With Legal Changes

There’s a lot going on in our country related to employee compensation, and helping companies stay on top of everything is more important than ever. One trending topic, of course, is the shifting legal landscape of benefits as dictated by the Affordable Care Act. Laws are changing, and companies must ensure they remain compliant.

In addition to the ACA, Kimer explains, “FLSA, which is your Fair Labor Standards Act, also has some legal changes that we’re trying to kind of keep on top of, making sure that people are compliant. But everything is bouncing back and forth. Do we do it? Do we not do it? So a big trend in compensation and benefits right now is just keeping an eye on what’s going on in the legal universe and making sure that the company is compliant with that.”

Topic #2: Equal Pay

The topic of equal treatment in the workplace has garnered more attention in the mainstream than ever before; this means that companies must ensure they aren’t in violation of any laws. Kimer says, “There is a lot going on around equal pay and equal rights. That’s another thing we’re trying to keep an eye on, making sure companies are paying people for the work that they do and not based on any other factor like gender. Some states have even started to implement rules stating that you cannot ask a candidate what their prior salary was at a company. You can only ask what they’re looking for.” Ultimately, companies need to take a step back and make sure they are paying every employee consistently with the market.

Topic #3: Total Compensation Packages

The last hot topic Kimer shared with us is the importance of the total compensation packages, beyond base salary. While potential and current employees alike often get caught up in the salary alone, it is important for employers to communicate the total value of the entire package. Kimer adds, “I think somewhere a company could get a little bit more bang for its buck, if you will, is offering good benefits packages to the employees in order to attract and retain people. When you give employees good benefits at your company, those are things that make it harder to leave because they’ve become used to the comfort of those benefits, and other companies may not necessarily have it as good. So benefits are another option for companies to attract talent and add value.”

While compensation is certainly not a new topic, it is an ever-evolving one. There are always new laws and policies being put in place and it is important for companies to be aware of these.

5 Myths About Millennials in the Workplace

On a recent episode of HR Insider, we had the chance to talk with Mary Larocca, Vice President of Global Business Development at Cornerstone Relocation Group. She debunked five common myths about millennials and shared insight into how best to approach this generation from an HR and Relocation perspective.

Myth #1: All Millennials Are Alike

A big mistake companies make is overlooking the individual needs of millennial employees because they assume certain likes and dislikes about their generation. “Everyone is unique and everybody has different things that contribute to who they are,” says Mary. “So try to find what’s individual about the person and what’s going to make things important for them. I think that’s a big thing that can be done even from the recruiting stage over to the HR stage.”

A great way to avoid the pitfall of generalizing the wants of a generation is to acknowledge people’s different needs by offering choices to your employees. It is unrealistic to individualize each policy, but your company can offer a set of options that employees can choose from. This is especially important when it comes to relocation. Mary suggests, “Give someone three or four choices that your company is okay with providing, then whoever is making the choice will feel like they’re invested in [what they have chosen] … Remember that somebody might want to just pack themselves up and move and one might want to have an option to use that money towards pet sitting or some other thing.” Millennials are not a “one size fits all” generation. Acknowledge the individual needs of your employees by offering options.


Myth #2: Millennials Have Social Interaction Issues

A big stereotype about millennials is that they are more comfortable with sitting behind a computer and chatting online than they are with talking on the phone or face-to-face. While it is true that the former is a more common way for millennials to communicate, it doesn’t mean they are anti-social. The fact that this generation communicates and shares their interests online can be a real asset to HR professionals because it can give them insight into what their employees like and need.

Mary recommends using the internet to HR’s advantage with a little online research to help form connections between employees. Identify some of your employees’ interests by searching online and find a way to bridge those interests with team building activities. She says, “When you’re having a relocation program, maybe think about things like shared housing or doing social outings that have a purpose. We recently, here in Arizona, went out to a food bank and handled giving out food to people who needed it in the Phoenix community. Things like that help people feel connected and make our world feel a little smaller.” Though it may seem like millennials prefer to stay behind their computer screen, they still need connection and purpose. Motivate them with meaningful causes and opportunities to spend time with their team.

Myth #3: Millennials Have No Loyalty

The millennial generation has gained a reputation of having no loyalty because it is much more common for them to work at multiple companies throughout their career compared to previous generations. While it is true that changing employers is much more common for millennials, this doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a lack of loyalty. Mary points out that millennials have loyalty to themselves. “Being loyal to yourself, to the process, and making yourself happy is much different than loyalty to a big company or a manager,” she explains. This commonality among millennials is beneficial for companies to know. Mary says, “From an HR perspective, think about what’s important to the person that you are managing or the person that you’re bringing on.” By listening to what your employee wants, you will know how to keep them at your company.

Therefore, it is more about companies adapting to a generation that has different desires and wants to be loyal to themselves. In knowing this, companies can retain millennials by allowing them opportunities to do something that they love. Mary points out how critical it is for the HR community to ask each person on their team or each person that they are moving what’s important to them. She says, “Sometimes [managers] just don’t want to ask the question and I think they’re missing out on an opportunity to really make someone feel loyal and connected, and [millenials] do that by being passionate about things.”


Myth 4: Millennials Can’t Take Ownership

A common trait in millennials is that they are about a shared economy. Mary points out that “[Millennials] want to have things, but only when it makes sense. [They] don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a purse, for example, when [they] can rent one and just use it for the season or an afternoon.” There is a shift in the mindset of ownership in which millennials want to use objects when needed and let others enjoy their use when they are not needed, rather than just sitting unused.

To expand upon this myth, Mary highlights how experiences are more valuable to millennials than accumulating material goods. From an HR perspective, she suggests, “Think about the experience you can give an employee… Is there an experience that you can give that employee that might make them be able to stay with the company longer? Is there an assignment overseas that they could go for three months because they don’t have all the things that can tie them back home in the U.S.?” Use the new perspective on ownership to help motivate your millennial employees by providing them with the option to collect new experiences through your company.

Myth #5: Millenials Can’t Make Decisions

The myth that millennials are indecisive has evolved from the ability to research and comparison shop. Millennials make decisions, but they tend to research ahead of time online before making those decisions. The common practice of online research is an important factor for businesses to consider when recruiting millennials. Mary suggests, “Research yourself and see what impression you are giving…  If you’re trying to portray something, make sure that’s really what’s coming across from a technology standpoint because that’s where everyone’s going to go first to look.” Having the insight that millennials do make decisions, but they shop around first, will help ensure that your online presence is properly representing your business and attracting your desired candidates.

When it comes to stereotypes about generations, it’s helpful to have an idea of what to expect and how to handle interactions; yet, in the end, we are talking about individual human beings, and no one person is the same. Mary sums it up perfectly when she says, “You really can find real connections and real loyalty when you find out what’s important to a person and what makes them an individual.”


The Importance of Staff Culture


When discussing the best places to work, employee compensation and benefits and the reputability of the organization are often central themes. Recently,  a third consideration has been added to the mix: company culture. Creating a positive work environment has become vital to retaining top talent as more and more job seekers try to assess the culture of an office before accepting a position.


Gone are the days of coming into the office, drudging through the day, and going home to spend time with friends and family. Employees want to enjoy their job and the people they work with. Coworkers are now expected to be people that they may actually like, not a necessary evil to escape from at 5:00 pm each day. A negative or toxic work environment will not only drive away talent but inhibit productivity as well, and that is exactly why a positive staff culture is so important. An inability for management and employees to relate to one another can be detrimental to the organization as a whole and could lead to a decrease in creativity and ownership of projects.


It may go against the traditional school of thought, but incentives and appraisals are not always the best motivation for employees. It turns out, a sense of loyalty and ownership towards an organization in employees can drive better work. Additionally, these feelings can keep an employee in an organization even with offers from competing organizations. While money and benefits can be offered by anyone, a feeling of belonging is much harder to come by. That is why a strong staff culture is such an important element for a company. After all, people spend about a third of their life at work, so it stands to reason they prefer to work somewhere that they enjoy.



A somewhat forgotten benefit of company culture is the effect it has on your organization’s brand. In an era of social media and the internet, information spreads like wildfire and your customers will likely have an idea of the culture in which your employees work. If your staff culture is fun-loving and generous, your brand image will adopt those qualities. Ideally, your brand image and company culture should seamlessly intertwine. It would make no sense to try to present yourself as a fun, easy-going brand and then allow a stressful, toxic culture to grow in your offices.


As more and more companies shift their attention to cultivating a healthy company culture, it is only going to become more necessary for you to focus on in order for your organization to stay competitive and continue to attract top talent. If you aren’t keeping pace with your competition, you are going to fall behind. While every company is different and there’s not one right way to develop and preserve a staff culture, think about your organization’s strongest values and how you can remain consistent in those through everything you do. Doing so will lay the groundwork for a happier and more productive staff that is as devoted to the organization as you are.

How To Create And Honor Diversity In The Workplace

On a recent episode of HR Insider, we got the chance to sit down and talk with Dan, an HR representative for a Fortune 500 company who recently took on a new role within diversity inclusion. He shared with us his insight on improving inclusion in the workplace and supporting diverse communities and customers.

At the most basic level, inclusivity is about starting the discussion and forcing people to think about why they do things the way they do. Dan focused a lot on getting people to open their minds, which involves everyone at a company from the C-suite to the entry-level employees.

“It comes down to collaborating as a team, not only with the Diversity & Inclusion team, but the corporate side as well, and trying to get people from different areas and trying to work together to make an inclusive community. Additionally, to bring up awareness and the power of asking why. Asking, “Okay, why is it this way? Why is it that way?” It’s about opening that line of communication so everybody can feel included, everybody can be heard, and everybody can learn, educate, and grow from it.”

Another point that Dan really drove home was the importance of looking for talent in places companies don’t traditionally look. Whether that is looking at schools that you don’t typically recruit from or considering someone from a background that is different than your usual hires, he stressed that this diversity can add invaluable perspective to teams and improve the organization overall. He doesn’t necessarily ask people to change their hiring process, only to take a critical eye to it and see if there is room for increased diversity.

“People from different backgrounds and different lifestyles, they all have talents that they can showcase, and I think companies should see that, learn from it, grow from it, and even improve from it. Research even shows that corporations with a diverse network and diverse groups or teams do better financially in the long run. If everybody is coming from the same place, the same school, the same everything, then you’re not going to grow. You’re not going to develop. You’re just going to get the same old, same old, and that’s not how companies grow or even stay above water. They fail.”

At the end of our chat, Dan emphasized the value that HR departments can bring to individuals. While the human element of human resources may get lost sometimes, at the end of the day, their job is to be there for each and every employee.

“There’s more to HR than just people handling benefits or recruiting. It’s breaking down barriers and opening people’s mindset to find out what lies beneath.”

Diversity and inclusion are becoming increasingly important issues for companies to address, and it will always be better to be proactive instead of reactive. By constantly seeking ways to include different perspectives and people of all backgrounds, an organization can ensure it thrives for years to come.

Four Ways to Motivate and Inspire Your Employees

Companies are continually looking for innovative ways to motivate employees, and gone are the days where financial compensation alone is enough to satisfy your workforce. There are an infinite amount of ways to create a passionate, hard-working atmosphere in your office and encourage your employees to perform their best. Depending on how much time you are willing to put into it, there are plenty of free or low-cost ways you can inspire your staff even more so than simply signing a bonus check at the end of the year.

Offer Flexibility

The traditional nine-to-five schedule may work great for some employees, but not everyone will thrive under it. If possible, offer employees flexibility in the hours that they work, and focus more on what is accomplished than the hours clocked in. Assigning a daily to-do list and letting employees work on their own schedule can give a sense of accomplishment and boost morale. This can also mean providing time off for employees to do something they love. Whether it be a creative passion or giving back to the community, your staff will appreciate the ability to pursue their other interests and come back to the office recharged and ready to give you their all.

Give Recognition

Recognizing employees’ accomplishments doesn’t have to be a time-consuming or elaborate process. Simply giving praise on a regular basis will show employees that you notice their hard work and appreciate it. Incorporating recognition into your company’s culture will increase everyone’s satisfaction with their job. You can also offer small rewards to your hardworking staff, whether it be a monthly staff happy hour or casual Friday. These rewards don’t need to break the bank; they just need to show your employees that you appreciate them.

Make the Workplace Enjoyable

Your employees spend a large portion of their life at work, so why not make it somewhere they want to be? Staring at an ugly gray wall for eight hours a day is certainly not going to motivate anybody to work their best, so try to create an attractive, well-lit, and fun space that is also functional. People work better when they are happy, so providing perks to employees is also a great way to motivate them. If you are able, this could mean offering gym or yoga memberships or stocking the kitchen with snacks. Small comforts can go a long way in increasing the overall productivity of your organization.  

Ask Your Staff

What is the absolute easiest way to find out what your staff wants? Ask them. They are the only people who can tell you what would actually motivate them best. Even with the best intentions, it is easy to give people something they don’t want, because, at the end of the day, everyone is different. Some people may love free food in the office while another employee may not care because they bring snacks from home. You won’t really know until you ask, so take a poll in your office, see what people say they want, and determine if it is possible for you to provide it.

Motivating your employees may be easier than you think. You don’t need flashy, over-the-top displays of recognition; oftentimes, something simple that shows you truly care about all they do for the company is enough. Even so, it can have serious effects on your business. Employees are more likely to stay with a company where they feel motivated and appreciated, so it is essential to inspire your employees.