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The HR Hub

The HR Hub

By Andrea Adams

Welcome to the HR Hub!

This channel is for ambitious HR professionals! With the help of my expert HR guests, I aim to help you learn about all facets of Human Resource Management so when 'that' situation arises you have some knowledge and even skill to draw on. My guests provide tricks and tips you can apply immediately as well as insight into strategy to get you thinking about the future. What you learn, will help you advance your career.

I'd also love to connect on LinkedIn or check out my website
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Implementing HRIS - How To Prepare

The HR HubOct 11, 2022

AI In Hr: Don't Be A Cautionary Tale

AI In Hr: Don't Be A Cautionary Tale

How much have you thought about the ethical implications of AI in HR?

It’s not alarmist to think that AI will enable HR to discriminate more and in new ways! After all, Amazon had to scrap their recruitment and selection AI because it was biased against women.

This week I, again, spoke with Megan Marie Butler about AI in HR. She speaks plainly and is quite practical in her assessment of AI in HR. She is doing her PhD in the space, but is so frank and easy to understand!

Her insights:

🎉 Most AI is legal!

👮‍♀️ It is all legal because there is so little regulation.

😩 Since it is unregulated, we can unknowingly cause significant social harm if we are not careful. Causing social harm could land us in legal hot water.

🤦🏾‍♂️ Megan provided a few examples of how AI is creating new classes of people to discriminate against.

😬 Regulation is coming. Even so, we are going to learn the hard way. Don’t be the cautionary tale.

Find Megan on LinkedIn or at ⁠⁠ Find Andrea for consulting in Western Canada at

Dec 05, 202323:57
What Is HR Strategy Compared To Tactics?

What Is HR Strategy Compared To Tactics?

There's an intersection between tactics and strategy in HR. As we want our work to matter more and as we move through our careers, we need to understand the transition.

The guest for this episode was Brittany Eisenman, the founding principal of Stokefire. With her unique career path from social work to advising CEOs, Brittany brought a fresh perspective to this! Some of that perspective includes:

🥵 Being busy busy busy will not get you involved in the strategy. See the video.

🎯 She thinks strategy when someone says 'tactics'

🔎 Watch for being too deep in the weeds! Sometimes you need to poke your head above the surface and look around.

💡 Use whatever data you have even if its limited!

🔄 Think about alignment. Deep alignment.

SO SO good! Check it out at the links in the comments!

Find Britni and or on LinkedIn

Find Andrea for consulting in Western Canada at

Nov 28, 202325:10
HR Strategy: What should you focus on?

HR Strategy: What should you focus on?

Why is it so hard to find someone to talk about HR strategy? It's been something I've been trying to do for a long time now... and apparently it's complicated!

Len Nanjad, however, was up to the task! He thinks deeply about HR strategy including how to deliver an HR strategy that balances the complexity of people with business strategy. He is also the guest on one of my most popular episodes!

  • He says developing our strategy is similar to other parts of the business: First understand the business strategy.
  • He gives us some guidance about how to think the product-market fit of HR - see the video below.
  • We talk about how to consider all the things that employees think we should be doing and sometimes we want to do.
  • We're not doing HR to do HR well. Not usually anyhow.

If you read this far, I'm also looking for someone who's willing to teach HR about communications. It's not exactly our thing if we're in larger companies. But in smaller companies we are all they've got. If you know of someone willing to have this convo with me, let me know!

Nov 21, 202323:06
Skills HR Professionals Should Have: Avoiding A Leader's Work

Skills HR Professionals Should Have: Avoiding A Leader's Work

In HR we have to navigate the boundaries between us and leadership. We want to provide good service, but we can't enable leaders to avoid their responsibilities.

This week's guest was Pam Schmidt. Pam, a leadership and organization development consultant, shared her experiences and insights on a common challenge in HR and offered some practical advice (and a little bit of spine!)

Pam discussed:

2️⃣ Two ways leaders may approach HR that may be misguided: role clarity and team function.

🚩Why she sees these as 'red flags' and what could be going wrong underneath.

🫱 Her approach to supporting leaders

🤔 Why she thinks HR sometimes steps in anyhow.

Ultimately it works best if leaders take responsibility for their team's dynamics.

By tuning into this episode, you will learn about:

🔹The importance of leaders in handling challenging situations and setting clear expectations.

🔹The role of HR professionals in supporting leaders while maintaining their own boundaries.

🔹The significance of role clarity and team function in an organization.

🔹How to approach conflict and feedback in a leadership role.

Find Pam on LinkedIn. Find Andrea at

Nov 14, 202324:29
Mediation for HR: Everyday skills for conflict

Mediation for HR: Everyday skills for conflict

In the world of HR, conflict resolution is an everyday thing. Employees frequently seek us out to help them resolve their conflict. Incorporating mediation for HR can help.

Mediation skills are made of skills we already have. The thing that gets in our way is usually fear or discomfort around conflict. So you need to practice. Unfortunately.

I actually went looking for someone to talk to about alternative dispute resolution. Mediation is one element but I'll have to cover other aspects of ADR later. However I found Kate Otting in the process. She is CEO of Interaction Management Associates and has led mediation groups all over. Currently she is the Director of Mediation for the City of Phoenix. She says:

😆Mediation may one of the few fields where mediocrity is the goal. See the video.

♾️The more we engage with conflict (notice I didn't say 'in'), the more adept we become at managing it.

💸Conflict is expensive x 10. I can only imagine how much time I've spent on conflict nevermind the entire econonmy.

⁉️ When is the last time an employee came in your office to vent?

Here are some links Kate has offered: IMA courses: - save 30% on any course or bundle with promo code HRHUB
Free downloadable tools:
Listening skills checklist:
Checklist for becoming a mediator:
Open-ended questions workbook:
How to Respectfully Disagree Like a Pro - workbook: Find me at

Nov 07, 202324:04
AI For HR: The Basics, Potential, and Perils
Oct 31, 202322:33
HR Strategy vs Business Strategy

HR Strategy vs Business Strategy

Business strategy is not the strategic plan. And the business strategy has considerable implications for HR strategy.

In this episode with Len Nanjad, we talk about the impact of business strategy on HR. Len is a guy who thinks deeply about HR, is the guest in one of my most popular videos, and doesn't accept the easy explanations that many of us have come to accept as truth.

Some of his insights about business strategy:

4️⃣ Business strategy has 4 pieces.

= HR strategy could also focus on the same 4 pieces. We need to think about them in context of HR and the business.

😫 We will often help the stressed out leader in the most simple way possible rather than think about the strategy and if our effort would be better spent in other ways.

↻ We often hold individuals accountable for poor performance. But it is quite possibly the system not them.

Find Len on LinkedIn at or Find me (Andrea) at I'm an HR consultant and provide a wide range of consulting support in Western Canada. Mostly.

Oct 24, 202324:08
Credibility Assessment - Who's Telling the Truth?

Credibility Assessment - Who's Telling the Truth?

People do dumb, mean, or even evil things at work and so we have to do investigations in HR. And the following is pretty common: "He did this terrible thing to me!" 😭

"I did no such thing. She's lying!" 😡 It's 'he said she said'. Who do you believe???? While it would be tempting to stop there, that's the wrong thing to do. You need to do a CREDIBILITY ASSESSMENT. Credibility assessments were the subject of my conversation with Bob Stenhouse in response to a question from someone who watched an earlier video. Bob leads Veritas Solutions and they do many investigations every year. Bob is an interesting guy (he used to be an undercover officer) and is an expert in doing credibility assessments. He talks about: 😩DARVO - Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim Offender (see the video below) 🤷🏻‍♀️When someone's truth is not the actual truth. 👀Body language. This is not an effective way of judging credibility. 🗣️Honesty and reliability. These are key pieces of credibility. This was very fascinating stuff and increases the integrity of how we do our work in HR.

Find Bob at Veritas Solutions or follow him on LinkedIn because he writes great posts! Find Andrea for generalist HR consulting in Western Canada at

Oct 17, 202324:41
Build a mentoring program at work

Build a mentoring program at work

It's a bit shocking how few workplaces have mentoring programs when we all know how powerful it is for ourselves personally. Look at the learning and development model that says 70% of learning is on the job, 20% is through relationships and 10% is in training. We work pretty hard at on the job opportunities and formal training... what happened the relationship piece??? Why not formalize mentoring? You CAN do it well. This is the expertise of my lovely guest this week Laura Lundsford. She's written a book on the topic (which is how I found her) and was super insightful. ❌We assume chemistry is required and that cannot be formalized. With thoughtful program development, those assumptions are wrong. ❓Start with a clear 'why'. See the video below. 🤔The mentors role is probably more about listening and asking questions. That sounds a little like coaching, but it isn't because the mentor has a particular expertise they will also have the opportunity to share. # If you want your program to persist, collect data to make your case later. 🛑 There are ethical considerations.

Dr. Lunsford's Book: The Mentor's Guide: Five Steps to Build a Successful Mentor Program I (Andrea) am available for HR consulting in Western Canada. Email me at

Oct 10, 202325:01
Mindset for Work

Mindset for Work

Success at work isn't solely determined by your skills or qualifications. Your mindset also plays a pivotal role in shaping your professional journey and achieving your career goals. Mindset has quite a few facets: growth mindset and attitude are a couple. It has an enormous impact on your resilience and mental health. It's the mental health connection that I focused on a bit more in this episode with Laura Terrell. Laura is a coach and was a former special advisor to the US President. She's also a lawyer. I figure she probably knows a thing or two about mindset. Like: 🤔 You can work on your mindset. It's not a static thing. And it's starts with being intentional about it. 😥 When something upsetting has happened... give yourself the space to be upset. Then: how to I move forward from here so this doesn't define your job? 🤬 When something bad happens, sometimes we feel justified in our anger and vent enthusiastically to friends... it may not be that helpful. What you should do is go for a walk or do something you like. THEN consider an appropriate reaction. A break may create objectivity. 😨 We self-limit too often. We don't ask questions because we fear the answer. Or we tell ourselves "I don't have all the qualifications." Find Laura at Find me (Andrea) at for HR support in Western Canada

Oct 03, 202323:05
HR Risk Management

HR Risk Management

There's a sexual harassment complaint and it ends up front page news. It's our worst nightmare, but it's absolutely avoidable by doing the right thing. By *managing risk*. We rarely think of HR situations in risk management terms i.e. probability and consequence, but that's the expertise of this week's guest. Bob Stenhouse of Veritas Solutions is a former undercover police officer who understands the consequences intimately. He's taken his investigative and risk management skill into HR. His insight is unique! 🤔While PR may be a part of an organization's risk mitigation that is not HR's role. Our role is to mitigate the probability and consequences. 🔋 That means speaking truth to power. Which can get someone fired. 🎯One way of taking the 'heat' out is to focus on risk rather than moralizing. 📈 You can predict where the HR risks are by following cultural trends. Find Bob at Veritas Solutions or follow him on LinkedIn. He writes great posts! Find Andrea for generalist HR consulting in Western Canada at

Sep 26, 202325:05
DEI - A Story About Belonging

DEI - A Story About Belonging

Instead of telling you how to do DEI better, this week's guest tells us how SHE learned to do DEI better and ended up adding the B (belonging)! I had a great conversation with Carla Yudhishthu . Carla is humble and sincere in the DEIB journey she has been on as the Chief People Officer with Mineral. While she tells her (their) story, she also share some great ideas! Like: 📈We may not see the evidence in the data that change is still necessary because often only the negative shows up. But we must persist! See the video below. 🤔We need to anchor ourselves in the 'why' of what we are doing. Otherwise we are likely to spin our wheels. ‼ Her purpose became 'belonging', but it took a while to realize it. 💡 Conversations for Understanding was one of the ideas that I loved most from this!

Find Carla through LinkedIn or her organization, Mineral: Find me for consulting in Western Canada at

Sep 19, 202330:57
Mentoring: An Intro For HRM

Mentoring: An Intro For HRM

Have you had a great mentor? It was really helpful right? And if it was helpful to you, wouldn't it be powerful for organizations? So, finally, I have covered mentoring - and with a global leader in mentoring! It's been on my list for quite a while and so I was delighted to talk to Dr. Laura Lunsford. She wrote the book "Handbook for Managing Mentoring Programs" and she was a pleasure to talk to! She knows it inside and out and some of what she shared includes: 🌱🤝 We think mentoring needs to be organic, but programs DO work. Even when you artificially link two people who might not have formalized a relationship otherwise, you can have great results. The caveat: you must be clear about the purpose! See the video below. 🗣️🤔 There's more debate around mentorship than you'd think. If you and I tried to define mentoring we would likely get different answers! ❌ Mentoring and coaching aren't the same thing. 🙏 Back to my first point: There is a reason young professionals want a mentor: it's because they know how powerful it can be for their career. Take note HR: helping a career will help the organization.

Dr. Lunsford's Book: The Mentor's Guide: Five Steps to Build a Successful Mentor Program Other resources: The International Mentoring Association The European Mentoring & Coaching Council Brad Johnson: Athena Rising The Center for Mentoring Excellence I (Andrea) am available for HR consulting in Western Canada. Email me at

Sep 12, 202321:49
Presentation Skills For HR

Presentation Skills For HR

Hi HR. Are you tired of making presentations, only to feel like you did everything right but it still fell flat? And you don't know what you did! Ugh! This is part of what I went to find when I did this interview. In our discussion, we dive deep into the key pieces that truly elevate your presentation game. Brenden Kumarasamy was my partner in this discussion. He has his own youtube channel called MasterTalk on public speaking. He says: 🎙️ Practice the parts that matter. And you'll be surprised by what that is. 🎯 Focus on the presentation that matter - you don't need to practice all of them. 📊 Slide decks aren't in - or out! 🚀 Practice will a solid start which creates momentum in the moment! Whether you're a seasoned speaker or just starting out, these insights will transform your approach to presentations.

Sep 05, 202323:04
Getting A Promotion At Work

Getting A Promotion At Work

Ever wondered how to get promoted? 🤔 Don't wait for someone else to do something about it! You will have to put yourself 'out there' and advocate for yourself! This week's guest, Laura Terrell is a coach and advises her clients on how to make partner or get promoted. Before this her promotions include a trip as special advisor to the President in the White House so she knows a thing or two! 🌟 Her wisdom in this episode includes: 🔹 Question Everything: Want that promotion? You've got to ask the right questions of the right people. 🔹 Ladies, Listen Up: Apply for the job even if you don't check every box. Your potential is far greater than a checklist. 🔹 Be Your Biggest Advocate: Embrace a role as your own PR person. Familiarize yourself with your accomplishments. 🔹 Seize Your Moment: Waiting for someone to tap you on the shoulder? Don't. 🔹 Context Matters: Sometimes, it's not about you. It's about the environment, the team, or the situation. You might need to leave.

Find Laura at Find me (Andrea) at for HR support in Western Canada

Aug 29, 202323:05
How to Calculate the ROI of HR Projects

How to Calculate the ROI of HR Projects

I did an episode on ROI in HR!!! That's return on investment. I found someone who knows a lot about it and it was a good opportunity to understand how we might do this in HR! Even HR can leverage standard financial techniques to analyze our projects and make our case. This was the conversation I had with Evelyn McMullen from Nucleus research. She is NOT a finance, business or economics major and maybe this is why she is pretty good at explaining it! She says: 🔔 When you are thinking about the bells and whistles... remember there is no ROI on things we don't actually use. ∞ ROI is greatest when a task is repetitious and applies to a wide range of people. Think payroll. 🤩 Often, we tend to rely on intangible benefits like "increased employee happiness" when promoting our projects. While these are valid considerations, but ROI is better.

Find Evelyn at Nucleus Research She mentioned an ROI Tool (free!): She mentioned ROI University: Ian Campbell (her boss) published a book on called the Value Sale. Find it on Amazon. You can also reach out to me for HR consulting in Western Canada!

Aug 22, 202322:28
How To Conduct An HR Audit

How To Conduct An HR Audit

So don't do an HR audit if you think anything less than an A+ is failure. We don't assign grades, but an absence of suggestions leave no opportunity for growth. I suppose you might want an A+ for the purposes of a certification, but that's not what I explored this week with Elissa Lok. Elissa has one of the most diverse skillsets of any HR person I know. She is an HR Consultant with HR Wests, a facilitator of Spacemakers and a trainer. She also does audits. She says: 🤭 Don't be embarassed! We all have our own journeys including our HR functions... It's an opportunity to learn and get a sense of priorities. 🤷🏻‍♀️ You won't make decision in an HR audit. It's really just a summary of risks, opportunities and strengths. 🛞 You can structure it following the employee lifecycle. From recruitment to departures. ≠ A large sophisticated business will not get the same audit as a small business. We are all trying to improve, but obviously starting in different places.

Find Elissa at or at Spacemakers Canada Reach out to Andrea for HR consulting at

Aug 15, 202317:15
Handling Difficult Employees

Handling Difficult Employees

Let's talk about handling those "difficult" employees we encounter at work. You know, the ones who seem to make our lives a bit more 'interesting'? 😅 We're supposed to be giving advice in HR, but sometimes it's hard for us to know! I spoke with Emily Lord, Senior HR Consultant with HR West. She is a master of reframing (not spinning) and handling people with decency. She recognizes these are tough and says: 1️⃣ Oops! Mis's Happen: Miscommunications. Mistakes. Misunderstandings. Watch for them and don't be afraid to acknowledge them! 2️⃣ Shine a Light on Blind Spots: Ever had a team member genuinely miss a problem? This is when performance management is most likely to work well. 3️⃣ Reflecting on Leadership: Sometimes it's not the employee and we have to walk a fine line in HR. 4️⃣ Don't Wait, Take the Plunge: Procrastination won't solve anything, my friends. Don't let probation pass knowing there's a problem to solve!

Find Emily at for HR consulting!

Jul 25, 202324:13
Tips To Improve Public Speaking Skills

Tips To Improve Public Speaking Skills

The cliche (probably true) is that most of us are terrified of public speaking. This is likely true in HR too and yet the skill will increase our effectiveness, improve support for our work and help us advance. But how? And how can we avoid the same tired tips we were taught inhighschool? Enter Brenden Kumarasamy. He has a his own YT channel called MasterTalk and, at a relatively young age, is a public speaking coach! I see why (and need to take a lot of his suggestions to heart). 🗣️ He shares three impactful exercises that, with consistent practice, would significantly enhance your skills. They will definitely help me. 😈 I tested Brenden's skill and he totally delivered! 🌟 Talent is not a prerequisite for success. It helps, but practicewill help most of us far more. 🙏 He avoided all the tired public speaking cliches like "picture your audience naked" and "speak clearly" and "tell a story". Although we did talk about telling stories. Don't miss out on this opportunity to transform your public speaking skills and make an impact at your next presentation! Check this out!

Find Brenden at his youtube channel MasterTalk. He offers free workshops at Find Andrea at for HR consulting in Western Canada.

Jul 18, 202324:41
How to retain employees: Support managers

How to retain employees: Support managers

I am a bit tired of how HR uses retention to justify everything from benefits and employee relations to our budget and training. And... I might be somewhat out-of-line. :/

This is why I went looking for someone to talk to about turnover and retention and found Cara Silletto, Chief Retention Officer at Magnet Culture. She is a retention expert and speaker, and wrote a book on it. She says:

🥱"People join organizations and quit their bosses." The tired cliche (or at least it's 'tired' in my mind) is at least partly true. What might be more accurate, is that managers can do a whole lot to drive down turnover.

🧑🏽 Managers play the biggest role in retention so anything we can do to support their skills and capacity is likely to have retention benefits.

📈 What constitutes high turnover depends on the role. However, on average, tenure is decreasing regardless of the role.

🙏 Once again... recognition. It comes up again and again across so many of my interviews.

Find Cara at

Find Andrea for HR consulting in Western Canada at

Jul 11, 202323:23
Psychological safety at work

Psychological safety at work

Workplace culture is crucial for high performance and a big part of that is psychological safety: can your employees express themselves without fear of negative consequences? Stephan Weidner, coach and CEO of Zarango and Noomii, took me to task when I asked (on behalf of my husband) if this means we have to talk about feelings a lot more. The answer is yes. Yes: we need to talk about feelings, but we don't have to become therapists. Other tidbits from Stephan: 🟰 He sees psychological safety as a proxy for high performance because there is considerable evidence about the correlation. 1️⃣ Google conducted a significant study that found psychological safety to be the #1 predictor of the teams they rated as high performing. 🍁 Canadians beware! Politeness is not psychological safety! This was a great conversation - I definitely built on my previous knowledge and I'm sold! Thanks Stephan!

Jun 27, 202324:18
5 Steps To Improving Your Employee Experience

5 Steps To Improving Your Employee Experience

Improving the employee experience can be done in 5 steps. I didn't say easy - but it also isn't that hard considering that step 1 is simply to CARE. I interviewed Prem Bhatia from Cooleaf this week. He's the cofounder of a platform designed around improving the employee experience (EX) and they live and breathe it. He said: 1️⃣ Recognition has an outsized impact on employee engagement. So don't forget that piece - it can go a long way for relatively little cost. 2️⃣ As I said at the beginning of this, you need to truly care. It's not something that will work if you're half-hearted. 3️⃣ Tech can help. EX is ultimately a totally human thing, but tech can improve communication, integrate platforms, and just make it easier. 4️⃣ It's good business: Beyond the inherent value of caring for our employees, investing in the employee experience is also a smart business move. Research consistently shows that organizations with highly engaged employees outperform their competitors.

Find Prem at Cooleaf Find Andrea for HR consulting at

Jun 20, 202323:23
Why Good Employees Leave (And How to Keep Them)

Why Good Employees Leave (And How to Keep Them)

I have been to sooooo many presentations where the presenter says "and this will increase retention!!!" as a selling feature for their product or initiative. But will it? Actually, it might if it improves management quality. This was the main point of my conversation with Cara Silletto, Chief Retention Officer of Magnet Culture. She wrote a book called "Staying Power" and helps companies address retention. She said: 🤑 Too many leaders conveniently attribute employee departures to the character flaws of their employees: "They just want a buck more an hour!" Sorry. Not true. Their own behaviour has a much bigger impact than they want to believe. 👂 Leaders need to listen to their employees. Ask questions and don't defend. ✈️ Your new employees have the highest flight risk especially in low-pay positions. Retention efforts here may have a big impact! 🗑️ TRY not to give new employees the crap work and crap equipment.

Find Cara at Find Andrea for HR consulting in Western Canada at

Jun 13, 202324:02
Developing Executive Presence - It's Necessary For HR Too

Developing Executive Presence - It's Necessary For HR Too

In this video, I dive into a topic that is often discussed but not always fully understood: executive presence. You might want to get promoted! And As gatekeepers of talent and culture, HR plays a pivotal role in identifying and developing leaders who have this quality. We can also help others develop it because it's a competency (or a collection of competencies).

This was the focus of my conversation with Stephan Weidner, CEO of Noomi and Zarango. With his team, they have developed a way of measuring it and then helping leaders develop it. I discovered I have an image in mind when it comes to executive presence and it's someone who is tall, white, and male. So I appreciated having my horizons expanded:

3️⃣ Executive presence is based on three characteristics and anyone can possess them

🥼Most leaders rely on their expertise to lead but that is limiting

💪You need to flex your various 'muscles' that help you have executive presence depending on the situation.

💉We talk about attractiveness, but you don't need botox.

Find Stephan on LinkedIn or at Zarango Find Andrea for HR consulting at

Jun 06, 202323:07
Basics Of Agile HR

Basics Of Agile HR

No. Agile HR is not agile project management OR piloting by another name. But what exactly is it, and how can it help you? During my discussion with Elissa Lok, HR Consultant, she says that, at its core, Agile HR is all about flexibility, collaboration, and continuous improvement. Rather than relying on rigid, slow, top-down management, agile HR empowers employees to take ownership and collaborate with their colleagues to achieve common goals. Some of the key principles of Agile HR include: - Rapid iteration: Agile HR processes are flexible and adaptable, allowing teams to quickly test and refine new ideas. - Continuous feedback: Regular check-ins and feedback loops help employees and managers make changes as they go. - Collaborative decision-making: Agile HR encourages cross-functional collaboration when it brings together people from across an organization who have a say. It doesn't work for everything but I am curious to give it a shot!

Find Elissa at or at Spacemakers Canada Reach out to Andrea for HR consulting at

May 30, 202320:46
Dealing With Difficult Leaders - When You're HR

Dealing With Difficult Leaders - When You're HR

As an HR person, you may find yourself in a difficult situation where you need to coach a leader who is not performing well in all parts of their role. Usually we, in HR, hear about the people parts. And we are often tempted to label them as a "problem," it would be better to provide help and support. I was asked to do this episode and I invited Heather Dranitsaris-Hilliard and her mother, Dr. Anne Dranitsaris, back to help me. Their company, Caliber Leadership Systems, specializes in organization dysfunction so it made sense to bring them back! And I enjoy talking to them! Some of their points: 🐦 We can't pigeon-hole leaders as problems. A label is easy, but it's the behaviour you're concerned about. If they are interested, it can change. 😬 If you feel intimidated, remember they are just a person - albeit one playing a key role who needs help. 💪 Muster up some courage, it's probably your job. ❌ While people can develop, there is a point where we need to terminate.

May 23, 202326:26
Decolonization For HRM: How To Start

Decolonization For HRM: How To Start

This episode on decolonizing HR and indigenous inclusion was by request! I was totally on board. I recently took the Indigenous Canada MOOC (massive open online course) and it was fascinating and inspiring.

So I reached out to Gillian Hynes who works for Rise, an indigenous-owned consulting group advancing reconciliation and indigenous inclusion. Here are a few highlights:

- Decolonization is about inclusion and truth through reconciliation and relationships.

- It starts with the individual.

- There are many colonial practices in HR. For example, many benefits are based on Western medicine, and our definition of "family" for bereavement leave is often narrow.

- A lot of the changes will benefit all employees - especially as we get more diverse overall.

- HR has the power to make a difference by helping decide what the problem is and what the solution might be.

It's fascinating and challenging stuff. But I didn't find it overwhelming - hopefully you don't either.

Find Gillian at Find Andrea at

May 16, 202326:13
How To Manage Crisis At Work

How To Manage Crisis At Work

This video explores the complex nature of managing a crisis at work. Maybe there's a catastrophe, but maybe it's a smaller event that has emotionally impacted many employees. Both are crises. I spoke with John Robertson who wrote Run Toward the Roar and advises on crisis preparation and response. The name of his book is derived from the behavior of lions where the older ones position themselves on one side of the prey and roar, while the younger ones wait on the other side for the prey once they have been spooked. We tend to behave similarly during a crisis - we tend to run from 'noise' creating greater chaos. Instead, John advises the following: 🌪️ A crisis is rarely the event itself like the flood or storm, but rather the impact it has on individuals and organizations. 💔Consider the impact of unexpected and less dramatic events like the loss of a beloved employee. 👂When facing a crisis, it's crucial to listen to the stories of those affected. We all love to hear stories of someone who has come through a crisis, but what about when they're still in the middle of it? 🙂 One of the first steps in managing a crisis is normalizing reactions. I had never thought about the small events as crisis before, but I won't forget now.

Find John at or Find Andrea at for HR consulting in Western Canada

May 09, 202320:21
Building Trust In The Workplace - An Intro

Building Trust In The Workplace - An Intro

Trust is KEY to how the organization perceives HR according to a recent presentation I went to by McLean and Company. Specifically they said "non- HR respondents with high trust in their HR Departments are 2.9x more likely to also rate them as highly effective." This made a strong impression on me so I went looking for someone to talk to. Who better than Ila Edgar, the co-host of a podcast called "Trust on Purpose"? Ila is a coach and, in a past life, was a recruiter too so she understands HR. She said: ✅ Trust is an emotion AND a competency. Since it's a competency we can get better at it! 4️⃣ There are four aspects to the competency: competence, sincerity, reliability and care. 🗣️ You can start to build trust by simply engaging someone in a conversation about trust. 🙏 Try: I want to build a strong trusting relationship with you. Here's the things I need to see from you. What do you need to see from me? Since trust is critical to HR (and maybe most relationships), you need to see this.

Find Ila at This is her podcast: Andrea is an HR consultant in Western Canada. Find her at

May 02, 202324:05
How to fire someone nicely

How to fire someone nicely

First of all, don't use the word 'fire'. That's the first key rule in terminating someone's employment in a kind and professional manner.

Terminating someone's employment is not easy. It's clearly not easy for the employee, but it's not easy for HR or the Manager either. (If it is, find a new job.) If you are like most people and it makes you anxious, this video shows you how to can accomplish this difficult task with empathy and respect.

This was the focus of this discussion with Kim Spurgeon. She has worked with LHH Knightsbridge in a variety of roles and, as a career transition specialist, has been present for many terminations. She shared her considerable insight:

3️⃣ In addition to the employee, there should be 2-3 people present during the termination meeting: the direct manager, the HR representative, and, possibly, the career transition specialist

3️⃣ It's the manager's role to advise the employee that their employment is being terminated. The manager's statement should be brief and to the point, taking no more than 2-3 minutes.

🗣️ The HR representative will go through the details of the termination, including any severance pay or benefits the employee may be entitled to.

🙏 Remember to thank the departing employee for their contributions!!

Check out the video if you have to do one to ensure that this often difficult meeting is as smooth and respectful as possible.

Find LHH Knightsbridge and Kim at I (Andrea) am an HR Consultant in Western Canada. Find me at

Apr 25, 202324:20
Workplace Inclusion - Moving Beyond Diversity

Workplace Inclusion - Moving Beyond Diversity

While diversity is almost a fad for some companies, we also know that having a diverse team adds bottom-line value. As long as diversity is accompanied by inclusivity.

The video with Dr. Helen Turnbull CSP highlights that diversity positively impacts the bottom line - but only when everyone feels included and valued. She's been working in the field a long time and did a TEDx in 2013. She says:

😬 It's not enough to simply hire a diverse group of people and pat yourself on the back. You need a culture where everyone feels included and can contribute their unique perspectives and ideas.

🙄 When diversity training elicits an eyeroll... you have an uphill battle. The leader is telegraphing their thoughts and unlikely to foster an inclusive environment.

🥱 But inclusivity does not mean that people should be allowed to monopolize meetings ad nauseum. If they're not adding value... why are they there?

Find Dr. Turnbull at (954) 553 2828

Find Andrea, HR Consultant, at

Apr 18, 202318:23
Building Trust In The Workplace - tips for HR

Building Trust In The Workplace - tips for HR

I read something recently saying that organizations who trust HR are 2.9x more likely to rate them as highly effective. This would make it so much easier to get ALL our work done so I knew I had to do some episodes on trust.

I reached out to ILa Edgar who is co-Host of a show called Trust on Purpose with Charles Feltman. She is also a coach and was a recruiter for years, so she has insight into HR:

1) The first thing is we need to care. About the client and the business.

🗣️ Trust building is a skill and one you can discuss directly with clients

👍 Even when there are limitations on us that our client might not appreciate, there are things we can do to maintain trust.

🗣️ When clients talk about HR instead of to HR, there's some mistrust. We can deal with that head on too.

Find Ila at This is her podcast: Andrea is an HR consultant in Western Canada. Find her at

Apr 12, 202322:43
The Duty To Accommodate - How Far Do You Have To Go?
Apr 04, 202322:04
Career Transition / Outplacement - Strategies For HR

Career Transition / Outplacement - Strategies For HR

Career transitions are an inevitable part of anyone's employment  journey. It can be a promotion but also termination. The termination  side is typically where career transition or outplacement comes in.  

This week's guest, Kim Spurgeon, is Sr VP Canada, Transition and  Mobility with LHH Knightsbridge.  LHH Knightsbridge is one of the  leaders in helping employers navigate career transitions.  She has been  in that business much of her career and has an impressive depth of  knowledge and experience.  She shares:  ☺️ Terminations can be done with empathy.  ⚡️ Elon Musk and Twitter are a master class on what NOT to do.  ⚖️ Career transitions can also help mitigate the risk of being sued by  employees - see the video below.  🏆 Career transition services can also help you manage your brand as an  employer.   `🪃Also, with the jobs market the way it is, career transition can keep the  door open for boomerangs.  These are the employees who leave you, but  come back again with valuable skills and knowledge!

Find LHH Knightsbridge and Kim at  

I (Andrea) am an HR  Consultant in Western Canada.  Find me at

Mar 28, 202318:57
Understanding Unconscious Bias

Understanding Unconscious Bias

We all have biases and you might not be aware of yours. It's part of our most primitive brains so we aren't going to get rid of it. The only thing we can do is be aware and manage it. In this video I speak with Dr. Helen Turnbull CSP. She has been digging into the topic for a long time - long before it (and DEI) became such a key HR issue. She did a TEDx on inclusion in 2013. So props to her! Here are some of the things she shared: 🏳️ If you've ever been rude to an overseas call centre representative because they aren't on your continent, check your bias. Are you REALLY that open-minded and unbiased? 2️⃣ Confirmation bias and pattern recognition bias are two of the most prevalent examples of unconscious bias in the workplace. Unchecked, either will lead to poor decision-making, missed opportunities and sub-par business performance. 😇 The only way to minimize the impact of unconscious bias is to bring it to our conscious awareness. She suggests saying "Let's not make that decision until we check our biases."

Find Helen at Andrea is an HR consultant in Western Canada and you can find her at

Mar 21, 202326:18
Employee Wellness Programs - Implementation
Mar 14, 202323:20
Productivity in the Workplace - And Feel Better Too!

Productivity in the Workplace - And Feel Better Too!

What environment do you need for creativity, focus, and deep thought?   

I think I am getting the hint.  Notifications, emails and messages  aren't making me more productive and they greatly reduce my ability to  be thoughtful.  This is true for many of the people in our organizations  too.     

Daniel Sih is an author and productivity guy.  I reached out because of  his Spacemakers book, but I was curious about productivity and he  delivered!    

🥃 He's a physiotherapist and accidentally became a productivity  consultant over a glass of whiskey.    ❌ Now he is going to TedX and his 'idea worth sharing' is that we need  to put down our phones to be more productive and have better  relationships.  📧 He used to think productivity was about getting better at email and  prioritization.  That is helpful, but, to truly be productive, you need  to think about who you are and what is important to you. Then be  productive at THOSE things.  🧑🏽‍🏫 Notwithstanding the importance of knowing our priorities, we can  teach employees to manage email, set priorities, and maintain good  habits.  Organizations have a better chance of getting a lot more of the  right work done.

Spacemakers: How to Unplug, Unwind, and Think Clearly in the Digital Age  

You can find more about Daniel and Spacemakers on   

You can find Elissa Lok for Spacemaker or Email Ninja training in North America at   

And finally, I am an HR consultant as well.  Reach out to me through my website

Mar 07, 202323:43
Dismissing A Disabled Employee - Best Practice (Canadian content)

Dismissing A Disabled Employee - Best Practice (Canadian content)

Person in Company: How do I let my disabled employee go?    

Employment Lawyer: How are you accommodating them?  

PiCo: Uhhhh, but they can't come to work.  

Employment Lawyer: 😐  

Most of us know the standard is high, but sometimes it can be hard to  explain it to a frustrated leader who is struggling to be effective.   So watch this video with Dylan Snowdon, Employment Lawyer and Instructor  in the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary. There's lots of  tipsI

 ❌You can't terminate someone just because they are on LTD with no  expected return-to-work date.  ⏱️Maintain periodic, reasonable, contact. Go for coffee or lunch with  the employee.  Be positive and supportive.  ☺️The leaders who 'get' it are those who have experience with disability  in some way.  💸Those that proceed with termination too soon and without full  exploration may lose *$$$*  

This is technical topic!  And a CANADIAN one  because it is based in Canadian law.  

Mar 01, 202323:31
Employee Wellness Programs - An Intro

Employee Wellness Programs - An Intro

Employee wellness programs are nearly a required feature of employer  value propositions.  However, designing a cost-effective, meaningful  program that provides value to employees AND the employer is  challenging.  

This was the focus of my chat with Reena Vokoun.  She's the owner of  Passion Fit which works with employers to build meaningful wellness  programs.  She also wrote The Wellness Empowered Woman.    

Some of her key points:  ⏱️ Timeless but Flexible: A wellness program should be designed to stand  the test of time, but still be flexible enough to accommodate the  changing needs and interests of employees. Broader societal changes will  impact the health of employees and what you might want to include.  🏹 Aligned with Corporate Values and Culture: A wellness program should  align with the company's values and culture so it reinforces your  direction.   🏹 Aligned with Employee Needs: You must have input from employees  themselves to ensure the program fits them. Involve employees in the  program's design, implementation, and maintenance.  📈 Measuring Success: Like many parts of HR, measuring success can be  challenging because it's people.  However there are several, relevant  metrics like participation rates, satisfaction, attendance, and health  plan usage.  It will take time to see the impact.

Reena can be found through her company, Passion Fit, at  

Andrea is an HR consultant and can be found through

Feb 21, 202317:15
Becoming An HR Professional (CPHR 2023)

Becoming An HR Professional (CPHR 2023)

Want to become a CPHR?  Listen up.  

I intended to talk to Erica Blain about the new CPHR competencies. We  talked about that and then everything else related to becoming a CPHR.    Erica is the Director of Professional Standards and Registrar at CPHRAB.  We reviewed the revised competencies that were published a year ago  AND: 

 - What's changed in the NKE  

- What it means to the experience validation assessment (EVA)  

- Maintaining your CPHR status once you have it  

- What qualifies as 'certified professional development'  

- CPD credits  - Getting your SHRM too!

Check out your provincial association for more information!  Find me at

Feb 14, 202318:55
Digital Wellness in the Workplace

Digital Wellness in the Workplace

Do you look at your phone when you are bored?  Tik Tok or a game?  Is it making you happy?   

Connecting with people is overwhelmingly shown to create happiness. That  doesn't really happen when we are spending more and more time online.  Digital wellness in the workplace is becoming an increasingly important  aspect of wellness. As we spend more and more time on our devices, it's  helping drive burn out, stress, and anxiety. Obviously this will have a  negative impact on the well-being and productivity of workplaces.  

The first of my guests, Daniel Sih and author of Spacemaker, has been  invited to speak at TedX and his 'idea worth sharing' is that we need to  manage our use of tech.  He laughs, a little amazed, because most of us  remember a life before this level of tech and yet we have become so  dependent so fast. And now it's an idea worth sharing.  Elissa Lok, my  second guest and HR Consultant, helped Daniel develop a Spacemaker  course and reflects on the impact in organizations.  

Some other ideas:  🥱Boredom is not bad even if we do anything to avoid it. In fact, a lot  of creativity happens when we are bored. When we give ourselves time to  be unplugged and disconnected from technology, we allow ourselves to  have new ideas, and think more critically.  It's hard to underestimate  how valuable that is.   💉Our tech is powerful and useful - and addictive.  Addiction can be  defined as the repeated use of something even though it causes  substantial harm. Of course the irony of this topic and how I am  delivering it is obvious.  📱Steve Jobs didn't let his kids use ipads or iphones.   ↘️ The relationship between tech and productivity is an inverted U  curve.  

If employers are interested in employee productivity and wellbeing, they  should investigate digital wellbeing. It's the right thing to do do,  but there is also tremendous benefit to the workplace, to ourselves and  our humanity.

Spacemakers: How to Unplug, Unwind, and Think Clearly in the Digital Age  You can find more about Daniel and Spacemakers on  

You can find Elissa Lok for Spacemaker or Email Ninja training in North America at   

And finally, I am an HR consultant as well.  Reach out to me through my website .

Feb 08, 202324:53
Instructional Design: Tips for Success

Instructional Design: Tips for Success

You don't have to be a subject matter expert to create an amazing  course. Instead, it's about being dedicated to the process of course  development.  Think about that - it's liberating!   

This was my second chat with Irina Ketkin and it was as good as the  last.  She's a prof on Udemy and has her own YouTube channel  @TheLnDAcademy.  She's truly a learning and development expert. She  discusses some of the following:  🚗 One acronym that can help you in your course development journey is  ADDIE: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation.  🥵 But it's important to note that course development takes time and  effort. On average, it takes about 12 hours of preparation to deliver 1  hour of content. This includes researching and organizing material,  designing interactive activities, and considering the best delivery  methods.  

So if you're planning on creating a course, don't underestimate the  amount of work that goes into it. Check out the video to get some tips  about the structured process and approach that will help you create an  amazing course that engages and educates your learners.

Find Andrea for HR Consulting support in Western Canada at

Jan 31, 202322:47
HR Reporting (And Focusing your Effort)

HR Reporting (And Focusing your Effort)

HR reporting and metrics are key tools for driving organizational  success, and it's up to us to use them effectively. It's good for the  organization, your career and our profession.    

I conducted this follow-up interview with David Simmonds for HCM Metrics  to discuss data, metrics and reporting.  He helped develop the ISO  standards for HR reporting an said the following:   🪑 It's essential that we become proficient in reporting and metrics if  we want to earn or maintain our seat at the table. But it's not just  about impressing higher-ups - effective HR reporting can benefit the  entire organization.  ⁉️One important aspect to consider is that our reporting should be  focused on answering organizational questions, rather than our own. This  means that  asking ourselves what the business needs to know, and how  we can use data to provide those answers.  🏥 One metric that is often overlooked but can be incredibly valuable is  leadership trust. Trust is a crucial component of a healthy and  productive work environment, and measuring it can provide valuable  insights into the effectiveness of our leadership team.

Find David at  

Find Andrea for HR Consulting in Western Canada at

Jan 24, 202319:27
Recognition In The Workplace - Programs That Work

Recognition In The Workplace - Programs That Work

Recognition is a cheap and powerful tool to drive a positive culture, the employee AND customer experience, and a true sense of connection between employees and with the organization. Yet we don't do it or we don't do  it well.    

Organizations create expensive rewards programs meant to recognize  employees. But, let's be clear, long service awards don't do a lot to  motivate great employee performance.    So how do we do it better?  

That was the subject of this week's  interview with Sarah McVanel - recognition expert!  Well, of course she  has thoughts:  😾 Everyone does something well.  Don't avoid recognizing someone  because there's an aspect of their personality you dislike.  😩 Along the same lines, you'll find something positive to recognize  even in persistent complainers.   🤩 When the same people do the recognition and the same people get  recognized all the time... your program is failing.   🟢 It's everyone's job to participate in recognition not just the  leader.

Find Sarah at  

Find Andrea just to connect or for HR Consulting support (Western  Canada) via LinkedIn

Jan 17, 202323:26
Tips For Negotiation In Business & HR

Tips For Negotiation In Business & HR

We all have different relationships with negotiation. It might make some  of us uncomfortable but it's a powerful everyday skill if we can  practice and apply the elements.  

And it's relevant to HR beyond contracts.  Have you ever seen the  necessity of an approach or project but your clients hadn't bought in?   We often have little formal power in HR to mandate projects so  negotiation skills can be very helpful! 

When I discovered that Susie  Tomenchok had written a book about it, of course I had to talk to her  about it.   And I learned a lot.  Some of it made me a bit uncomfortable and will  challenge me.  Other parts come easier.  It'll be the same from you.  Susie says: don't avoid it until you need it!   

Did you know:  🌤 Any emotion will cloud your thinking, but you can make emotions  contingency plans!    🤔 Most of your effort in negotiation will be spent trying to see the  issue from their perspective.  🚫 No is a starting point.  🙊 We need to get comfortable with silence.

Intrapreneurial Leadership and a link to the course:  

Susie's Book:  The Art of Everyday Negotiation without Manipulation  

Andrea provides consulting support. Find her at at

Jan 10, 202316:40
Learning and Development Basics

Learning and Development Basics

Learning and development is, obviously, not all about training.  But you might think they do a lot more than they do.  This is a overview of all of  L&D with many useful tips for seasoned HR professionals in addition  to those with a specific interest.  

Irina Ketkin is an L&D professional who teaches Udemy courses on the  subject and has a YouTube channel as well - the L&D Academy.    This video covers a more accurate view of L&D with some tips you ,  the keys to L&D success and, my favourite, some of the adult  learning principles.  I will be applying her tips in the the future and  some are sure to resonate with you:  

- Only 10% of learning occurs in training (this is not an adult learning  principle, but still useful!)  

- Adults are focused on achieving goals when they attend training  

- Adults use their life experiences to help them learn and remember  

- Adults are more self-directed in their learning  

- Adults like to have choice in how they learn  These few tips will help me improve future training.  They'll probably  help you too!

Jan 03, 202324:31
Why Measure Human Resources

Why Measure Human Resources

Will it make a difference if you can say "time-to-hire has improved 2.5%  compared to this time last year"?  Of course we can create more complex  or creative metrics like  'retention rate per manager' or 'HR cost per  employee'.  Still... are they really helpful?  

The thing is, metrics measure the past. We track these things to make  sure we are efficient and accountable.  They rarely tell us about the  strategic things we should be doing.    

This is what I spoke with David Simmonds about.  He is the Chairman of  HCM Metrics and an early supporter of the HR ISO standard.  I didn't  even know there was an ISO standard for HR!    

∞ With a decent HRIS you could measure a million things.  How do you  pick?   🤔 The ISO standards will provide insight on what you should measure.    🥱 While I am a bit tired of the expression 'a seat at the table', it  still had meaning and HR data plays a big role in getting and staying  there.  We have a wealth of data.  Are we using it to track the past or  provide useful insight into business problems and solutions?   🗣 We need to speak their language. See it from the perspective of  business problems.  

Find David on LinkedIn or at  

Find Andrea for consulting support in Canada at

Dec 20, 202219:55
Employee Wellness In The Workplace - This Isn't What You Expect

Employee Wellness In The Workplace - This Isn't What You Expect

Telling your employees to get well through nutrition, sleep and exercise  and demanding they work extra every day is like telling them to eat cake  and only giving them celery. You aren't serious.   

The work environment has a huge impact on wellbeing - particularly  asking too much of people.  

Linda Duxbury is Canada's leading expert on employee wellbeing. She's  done national studies involving tens of thousands of people. She has a  lot to say on the subject and it does not include telling employees to  get more sleep.  As the video below says, she refuses employers who want  her to talk to employees.  She wants to talk to the EMPLOYER.    

And she cleared up some things for me:  ❌ Unequivocally, time at work or in front of a computer is a terrible  measure of productivity.  ⤵ Productivity rises, plateaus and falls.  The point at which it starts  to fall depends on the person and the demands on their time.    🧐 To truly improve wellbeing, employers need to consider the demand  they put on their employees.  📣 We need to stop paying so much attention remote workers who want to  stay remote or hybrid.  We need to pay attention to all the the people  who have to show up in person.  Their morale post pandemic is terrible.     This should be required content.  The amount of insight... 😯

As she said during the interview, Linda doesn't really do social media but you can find her by googling!    

Find Andrea for HR consulting or just a connection at

Dec 13, 202225:53
HR Membership Benefits - For Students

HR Membership Benefits - For Students

This episode is for students!  Membership in your HR association has  benefits and, if you can capitalize on them, it can be very helpful in  landing your first HR job after university.    

I spoke with Ioana Giurca who is the CEO of CPHR Alberta.  Even if you  don't live in Alberta... check out what your own association has to  offer students!  After all, you are the future of the profession and  we've all been in your shoes trying to get that first job.  Chances are  that support is offered - look for some of the following:  

🙋‍♀️ Mentorship.  Is there a professional who would guide you and act  as a sounding board?   

☕️ One-on-on meetings.  If mentorship is too much or you can't find one,  someone would be willing to have coffee with you.   

✍️ Resume writing.  There is no where better than your HR Association to  get help writing resumes.  After all, we are the experts.   

👋 Networking opportunities.  The thought of networking always  intimidated me, but if you can be brave enough  and hone your own  approach, it WILL pay dividends.    

👏 Volunteer.  It's also a clue to an employer about your intentions and  commitment.    

Not all associations will offer free memberships (although Alberta  does).  Whatever your association offers, makes use of it!    

CPHR Alberta:  

Student Links:    

Find Andrea at

Dec 06, 202219:30
Soft Skills For Business: Or are they POWER Skills?

Soft Skills For Business: Or are they POWER Skills?

Soft skills is a misnomer.  These skills are so critical to your success  that 'power skills' is far more appropriate.    

The concept adds a lot of value to our careers in HR as well as the work  we do! Focusing on the right power skills can help us create more  effective organizations through skills development, identify the right  high potential employees and create meaningful training programs.   

Susie Tomenchok teaches a course on power skills with the  Intrapreneurship Academy. I have seen other iterations of 'power skills'  but I think Susie is onto something with the ones she includes in her  course.  They are:   

1. Lead with your strengths. 

2. Take the time to clarify your purpose, vision, and values. 

3. Take control of how you are perceived. 

4. Corporate politics isn’t about manipulation. 

5. Don’t be afraid of feedback, both giving and receiving. 

6. Self-advocacy is essential to achieving goals. 

7. Building a strong network makes you a valuable resource.  

Few of us are good at most or all of these... imagine what would happen  if you were!

Nov 29, 202222:23