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Is your employee having a bad day? That’s ok, let them.

Last week I had a friend tell me she was feeling really low, feeling like it was all a lot to deal with in these last twelve months. When I suggested she take the day off for self care, she said she couldn’t, a presentation was due. Work waits for no humans…but if we are working when we’re down, how effective or successful will our results really be?

There are many studies showing that happiness produces more and facilitates more ideation then sadness, but we can’t be happy all the time, life doesn’t work this way. …

Sometimes we need to veer from the path — Arela Simerson

How asking hard questions brought necessary change

2020 has been a year of profound instability and change. I experienced, like many others, powerful feelings of sadness, stress and fear. Now as the year has progressed, I’m exhilarated with feelings of clarity and hope.

During the lockdown I got stuck in California, and many of my clients — in order to conserve costs — paused our projects. It hurt. With so much uncertainty over the future, I was totally freaked out. Then after processing the shock, a beautiful gift emerged; space to reflect on my practice, while tucked into the wild mountains of Northern California.

The lush green…

Let’s be bold and progressive and move beyond the fixation of HR best practices! This is becoming my mantra as I repeat it often these days in my effort to influence and implement sustainable and great places to work. In all my excitement, I forgot that many people don’t understand what HR best practices are, just that we should use them. Let’s create some alignment before moving onto more complex topics.

HR best practices are so well covered by others, I’ll leave it up to you to search for the contemporary guides on this. …

The future of work means being bold and creative

In our contemporary work places, we have the skills, resources and insights to make work an engaging and meaningful place where employees are solely focused on being awesome at their jobs. So then, why don’t we use them? Do we really think we have it all figured out?

Even organizations who are doing ‘disruptive’ products and services are sticking to decades old norms. Example: we know that employees need vacation, yet American companies still debate how much or even if to give time off to employees while their European counterparts have clearly established legal minimums.

As we roll into 2020…

Do we misuse the sense of urgency at work? For many startup employees, we are pushed to work fast, respond as quickly as possible, to work with a sense of urgency. This is perpetuated in endless ways by our culture with our love of instant gratification and the digital tools which support this.

Startups often have energetic environments and a very visceral sense that what you are doing at that very moment is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER. We quickly run from meeting to meeting, wrapped up in our digital communication tools, all with urgency. …

Balancing between empathy and self protection at work

There was a funny article in the Guardian this morning about Post-it wars. Someone’s cheese was being eaten from the office fridge and then the offended party used a Post-it to call the thief out, which then began a full Post-it war. We laugh at these classic office dramas but what about the more complicated or serious violations that happen at work?

Like that person who is always late to meetings, or that one that is constantly dominating the conversation with their personal agenda, those times when your manager takes credit for…

EMPLOYEES feel that their managers are in the way of their work, development and success, vs the MANAGERS who feel that their employees are not engaged enough in their work and are “difficult”.

We all have heard about or have first hand experience with “bad managers” or toxic cultures. There is an entire genre of media dedicated to this. In our increasingly globalized world and different generational expectations, unresolved conflict and toxic cultures seem to be the norm.

I talked about upwards feedback in my last article, and the lack of room for it. As HR, people come to me…

We all want to do our best work yet the critical tool of upwards feedback is under used and under appreciated.

Lately the idea of constructive dialogue has really be on my mind, feedback in particular. Feedback is a basic human interaction that parents and societies innately use to correct behaviour. Throughout our lives, starting as a newborn, we have actions and try new behaviours and then get feedback from those around us, which increases as we grow into adulthood. Often the feedback has consequences which take the form of guilt and shame.

We also become more timid as we…

Tech Leading a New Way of Working

Baby boomers are retiring and millennials are dominating the workplace. In just two years (2020) more than 1/3 of workers will be millennials. This huge segment of the workplace is driving an interest for a different work culture than previous generations. For both men and women, four out of five top places to work are tech companies.

In addition to this shift to a millennial workforce, tech continues to be one of the top ten sectors for job growth, with Software Developers projected to increase 30% over the next ten years. With these…

As I was writing about last week, early in my career I had a hiring team that tried to fit me into their company culture, ignoring the facts and their needs. It ended in a terrible result. The hiring managers set us all up for failure by ignoring the culture of the company and by setting expectations that they couldn’t meet. Years later, having worked with a wide diversity of people and companies who have similar stories, I find that while the company carries most of the responsibility when deciding on a cultural fit, the potential employee must also be…

Arela Simerson

Inspiring and Elevating Leaders

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