Making the Change

I haven’t written in a while due to the virus, a long, difficult job and some mental health struggles.

This has been a most challenging 15 months for me and many of you as well. I have made the decision to migrate. I’m moving closer to where I feel my life will be in alignment and my mental health will flourish.

A warm environment. A new job. A new home. As I travel down the highways of the states, I see many cars and trucks with all their belongings packed in trailers, and storage units on top of their vehicles. I am not the only one.

If this experience has taught us anything, it has shown us to be true to ourselves, be closer to family, to find companies that are worthy of our time, and not to let that work/life balance line blur just because we are working from home.

Working 14 hours a day and weekends is not healthy when you can’t do anything else. Now we are getting vaccinated. Now shops and other businesses are opening back up so we can start to resume life again. I just don’t want us to do this too soon to start another wave. I want this to go away!

Well, I am headed for a new place, just me and my bird. I’m excited to be on this journey and start blogging again. I hope you can join me.

Let me know if you are making a big “COVID” move, or know someone who has. I would love to hear their story!

Is Your Workplace Fabulous or a Flop?

How to Fab up Your Workplace

We want to take a look today at a workplace makeover. Where are some small things you can do to switch things up a bit?

We’re going to take a lesson from these amazing guys on TV that consistently change people’s lives for the better. Secretly, I am in love with all of them!

We’ll go through five distinct areas to see if we can zhoosh up the work environment for your team members. it doesn’t have to be huge, it doesn’t have to be expensive, but should be selfless. Something you do just for them.


Some businesses were decorated years before your current employees came on board. Are you still rockin’ the Beige walls? Is your carpet stained? Is the art reminiscent of 70’s landscapes? Please say it ain’t so!

If you can paint all the walls, do it. bright it up! There are ideas on the internet for chic work spaces for days!

A chic office space can make your employees feel like they work in an important place. Not that is wasn’t important before, but this shows the team that you are invested in the company appearance and a safe, fun place for the team.

If not all the wall, how about the employee lounge to start? Slap that colorful paint on the walls, purchase a nice throw rug, some plants (fake or real) and comfortable seating for rest and break periods.


Depending on the type of business you have, you might require uniforms. What about a bright new color or style of shirt? A new uniform that is crisp and sharp or what about a fun t-shirt given at a company barbecue. A free gift for working so hard for the organization.


Instead of a quarterly all-staff meeting, turn one of them into an employee appreciation event and require all of the executives and directors attend (without their cell phones). Their job is to mingle with all levels of the staff.

Work with your HR team to make sure that your total rewards package and benefits are in check and reflect the needs of the team. Ask your team what they would like to have and see if it fits within your budget. Including the team’s ideas shows them that you call about their needs which in turn, will make them more productive.


This can be added in the total rewards package by making their space comfortable and brightening up the decor.

It also can be that you provide:

* A meal or healthy snacks at work in the break room;

* Gym use (if you have one) or a gym membership in your total rewards package;

* Hairspray, mouthwash, or hand lotion in the lavatories

These are only a few things that you could provide at a minimal cost.


Back to the healthy snack conversation. Instead of donuts every Friday, put out apples, oranges, and mixed nuts (be careful for those with nut allergies). Have potlucks with themes, minding different people’s food styles such as vegan, Vegetarian, Keto, and Gluten free. Veggies and dip is always a hit!

Respecting cultural food styles is also important. Ask your employees what foods are culturally appropriate and those that are not.

These “fabulous” five things can make a world of difference in your organization. Show your team how much they mean to you.

Total Rewards in a Nut Shell

Are Your Total Rewards in Check?

Imagine a candidate has multiple offers on the table. Why should they choose your company to work for? The short-term reason is the monetary aspect but that only gets you so far.

The long-term reasons include a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic values that you want to be sure your organization has and be competitive with.

Compensation Strategy

This is the jumping off point. Be sure you have a set but flexible compensation plan that allows for brand new and seasoned employees while maintaining pay equity. I know that’s a mouthful. However, if you have pay grades and you put specific positions into each grade, then you have the flexibility I’m speaking of for all your employees.

Make sure if you offer incentives, such as bonuses or commissions they are specific to a position or level of management and keep them consistent across the board.

Sales and Marketing typically receive commissions based of of monthly or quarterly sales. Directors or Department Heads usually receive an annual incentive bonus for reaching preset goals.

Professional Development and Training

Employees want to feel like they matter in an organization. One way to do this is to invest in development and training so they grow in their roles. If they feel your are investing in their education at the workplace, their reasons for jumping ship to another organization will diminish.

There are several types of training and development.

  • Seminars and Conferences: These are usually specific to their position i n the company like HR, Marketing, Executive Leadership, and Sales.
  • Tuition Reimbursement Programs: You can either assist in their further education by paying for it or you can offer to pay for certificate or license testing fees. You may even do both.
  • Annual Required Training: If you have this type of training because of a license or state required mandate, be sure that your professional development for this group of people is in addition to this already mandatory training.

By being fair and consistent to all of your employees, you will benefit from their newly acquired education that ultimately give the organization the push it needs to reach the yearly goals set by leadership.

Retirement Plans and Benefit

401(k)’s or 403(b)’s

Today’s retirement plans are easy to administer if you have the partners. Your financial adviser and record keeper. These two entities are there to assist you and your team members.

Financial advisers should be knowledgeable and have the ability to communicate with the employees to educate and guide them through to retirement.

The record keeper should have an employee portal or website that is easily navigated and gives the employee a snapshot on their front page of how much money they have saved to date, the percentage or dollar rate of deferral they are currently using, the funds they are investing in, and a retirement calculator to see how they are doing and what they need to change in order to reach their retirement goals.

The website should also be user friendly for making changes online, requesting loans, or taking distributions. The investing funds should be listed including a Pre-tax and Roth option. Make sure you don’t have too many options. Employers have a fiduciary responsibility to make it the best plan it can be at a reasonable cost to the employee.


To compete in the market you need to have the standard benefits such as Medical, Dental, Vision, Life, and Accidental Dismemberment. Some organizations offer short-term and long-term disability as a paid benefit where others have it as a voluntary program.

What other benefits are available that you can add to your total rewards package to give you an edge?

  • Pet Insurance
  • Voluntary Life Insurance
  • Voluntary Accident Plans
  • Voluntary Cancer Plans
  • Bus passes – either payroll deduct or employer funded
  • Wellness Plans – giving a cost break to employees for reaching certain health goals.
  • On-site Child care
  • Additional Holidays
  • Discount Service Memberships
  • Gym Memberships – either on-site or employer funded

These are just a few of the options you can add to your total compensation package.

Work-Life Balance

This provides employees flexibility in their schedules including non-traditional work hours like a 4-10 or 3-12 work week.

Opportunity during the year to take a paid volunteer day so that the employee can use their time to volunteer for causes that are important to them or their families.

Employers should make sure, no matter how busy they are to give the mandatory break and lunch periods to their team members. People need “brain breaks” to re-focus, decrease stress, and refresh. Encouraging your employees to use their vacation or PTO time gives them the rest and relaxation they need. I don’t have to remind you (too late), that you don’t want your employees working while on vacation either. That’s not really resting now, is it?

This may not seem like a work-life balance suggestion but purchasing the technology that will make the work portion of your employees days much easier and efficient will help to keep stress at a manageable level.

Organizational Culture

Without diving down the rabbit hole of company culture which is an entire topic on it’s own, let me just state that is is a powerful recruiting tool. A great company culture attracts people who want that type of environment in the organization they are potentially spending forty-plus hours a week at. Culture can inspire employees to be more productive and can decrease turnover. That in itself should be enough reason to make it a priority. I will restate here that organizational culture does not just lie within human resources. It is a company-wide initiative and must have buy-in at all levels starting with the CEO.