My Toughest Leave of Absence Situations: A Lesson In Generosity

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My following piece, originally posted on ALEX by JellyVision, is part one in a three part series titled:  My Toughest Leave Of Absence Situations.


There are some experiences that simply fall into your lap. Experiences you don’t see coming and many times aren’t quite prepared for. However, these situations usually teach us the biggest lessons: lessons about patience, empathy and grace. This certainly has been the case during my 17 years as an HR pro, especially when dealing with employee leaves of absence (LoA).

I’m happy to share with you one of my toughest LoA situations and the lesson I learned from it.

A Lesson In Generosity

Early in my HR career I dealt with what was the most trying of all my LoA experiences…

Hey Gang:  Read the rest of my post (and lots of other great stuff) at MEET Alex by Jellyvision


VIDEO: No Scrubs with John Nykolaiszyn : How to Help Your Employees Beat Burnout

Hello Gang – New Episode of No Scrubs VideoCast Up!  How to Help Your Employees Beat Burnout.

No Scrubs is brought to you by Jobvite and Fistful of Talent.

In this episode me and my guest, John Nykolaiszyn, from the College of Business Career Management Services Office at Florida International University, talk first about what sort of career preparation college students are getting prior to graduation, and then go in deep on the topic of burnout.

These days, most tasks workers are faced with, they can’t say no to—so how do we keep employees from falling over the edge with their workloads? Dawn and John dig in and give advice all managers need to hear on keeping your employees sane and safe from burnout.

Check out the video now!


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WEBINAR > Bigger Isn’t Better! 4 HR Tips To Succeed In Big and Small Biz



Hey Gang–

On July 25, 12pm Central time, join me and my friends at Clear Company for our webinar, Bigger Isn’t Better:  4 HR Tips To Succeed In Big and Small Business. 

As you know, HR in small business environments can be tough. As the modern worker demands a more engaging work environment, HR is required to think differently. Smaller HR teams wanting to add strategic practices to their tactical scope of work, look to “Big HR” for guidance.

Guess what? The trend in “Big HR” is to start thinking smaller.

In this Webinar, I’ll share current trends that will bring out the best in both small and big HR teams alike.

CLICK HERE to register for this FREE webinar — 

See you there…



Keep Your Culture From Becoming The Cult Of Personality

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This is likely a no brainer to most, but it can be tricky, so worth exploring.  I am a big, big advocate for the concept of culture in the workplace.  What does cultural advocacy mean?  It means I believe:

  • The way people work around a place is indeed a culture
  • Culture is the appropriate word to describe that phenomenon
  • Organizations (and their leaders) who understand their culture have a higher chance of achieving corporate goals

I have been fortunate enough to work in HR Leadership roles for companies who have embraced the notion that creating an employee-friendly culture has increased the likelihood of corporate success. I have been very lucky in that regard for any alternative culture probably would not have been a fit for me.

But cultural excellence (for lack of a better word) is hard to navigate.  Very quickly a culture can indeed tiptoe into a cult. So, what is the definition of a cult?

Cult:  a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing.

 Some examples:  Steve Jobs, Starbucks coffee, Apple products, Spanx, Micro-brews, Vinyl records, Ben Platt (look him up), organic vegetables, Scientology/Tom Cruise!

All agree the connotations of the word “cult” is bad.  HR Pros, here are some tips to help ensure your culture remains out of the cult category….


Hey Gang:  Read the rest of my post (and lots of other great stuff) at Fistful Of Talent


Job Transition > Enjoy Limbo While You Wait For Your “McRib”

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I am currently in a job transition.  However, this time, before I jump back into the fold, I’ve decided to take a breather from corporate HR.  It’s been a new and enlightening experience for me.  This is the first time since 1996 I’ve had the opportunity to take time between full-time jobs.  That’s a mighty, mighty long time.

Interestingly, although I’ve chosen to take some time, I typically don’t do “limbo” well.  I’m a creature of habit in many regards.  For example, I was at my last job for 7 years.  The job before that 10 years. Other examples? When a McDonald’s employee who served me coffee every day for 2 years was no longer there – it stunk!  Who else knew I was “small coffee, two Splendas”?  When my past company ran out of Coke Zero for a week…the horror.

My point is, even silly transitions can throw you into limbo.

My definition of limbo is

Read the rest of my post (and lots of other great stuff) at Fistful Of Talent


WEBINAR TODAY! How To Be FMLAwesome (you read that right!)


Taking leave from work usually stinks.  Most of the time when you need to take FMLA leave, even if it is for joyous occasions (hello new baby bundle-of-joy), it is stressful, confusing, even frightening.

The best way to solve any woe’s caused by FMLA leave confusion? A good communication plan that is easy to digest and can be absorbed by the “modern worker”. One that not only explains details of your leave of absence process, but also shows you actually care about the worker (go figure).

They expect and deserve no less.

JOIN me today with my friends at ALEX for a fun webinar titled, ” How To Be FMLAwesome:  7 Tips For Creating a More Clear, Effective and Empathetic Leave of Absence Process.

To Register click here.  

Hope to see you there!



#workhuman:  How Do Opposites Attract? Common Purpose.


So this picture of George W. Bush and Bono may be one of the greatest pictures I’ve seen.  Like me, I bet when most see it they are taken aback, do a double take and ask, “Is this photoshoped?”  Your fingers want to type out “caption this…” and see what craziness follows.  But then, when your brain re-orients itself and you pick your jaw up off the ground, you take a moment to read the post underneath written by “W” himself (it’s from his Instagram).

“Bono is the real deal.  He has a huge heart and a selfless soul, not to mention a decent voice.  @laurawbush and I are grateful he came to the ranch to talk about the work of @thebushcenter, @onecampaign, @PEPFAR, and our shared commitment to saving lives in Africa”

So how did an American, conservative (actually moderate in today’s political environment), ex-president and an Irish Rock Icon/Political Activist become partners, advocates and dare-I-say friends?  And get this, for the better part of 10 years? Common purpose.

I attended the U2 concert last week in Houston and was amazed Bono made a very gracious, inspired, and heartfelt thank you to #43 in front of the 72,000 person crowd.  Bono thanked him for his unyielding commitment to AIDS awareness and anti-poverty work over the last 10+ years. Even the most politically jaded concert-goers on both sides of the isle cheered.  Some of the loudest cheering of the night.  It seemed everyone was relieved to see positive common ground and a sense of collaboration from two unlikely partners.  It was like drinking a cold glass of lemonade after mowing an overgrown field of weeds.  Refreshing and rewarding.

In our work (and personal) lives common ground can be very difficult to find.  Time constraints, politics, and work overload put finding common purpose on the back-burner.  Why?  It takes time.  It takes conversation.  And it takes prioritization. Perhaps top prioritization needs to go to connecting with the people you assume you have the least in common with.

You may be very surprised.  And in looking for common ground underneath those “un-turned stones”, you may even change the world.