How to Talk to an Employee About Mental Health

Talking to employees when you notice they may be struggling, or when others have reported observations or difficulties to you can be daunting. However, part of supporting mental health in the workplace is being aware and able to have conversations with those who may be struggling. While the initial appearance of symptoms related to mental health concerns can be sudden, … Read More

Reflections on Resilience

Although I’m physically fit and love mountain biking, I “retired” from my favorite hobby earlier this year For most of my adult life, mountain biking has been my favorite hobby. Unfortunately, it has not been without consequences – five years ago I hit my head on a tree while biking. This incident has had an impact on my life ever … Read More

How to Manage Organizational Change

Nothing is permanent except change.” Mr. Hawkins, my fourth-grade teacher, is the first person I remember using this phrase – and now I use it too. While this statement may be true, change is still difficult, sometimes confusing, and often frustrating for those experiencing it. For organizations, changes that are not implemented well frequently cause stress and increased conflict, which … Read More

Firing – Your Most Important Decision

Most of us are familiar with the collective sigh of relief that comes after a poor performing or toxic member of the team is fired or leaves. In these situations, remaining staff are usually more than happy to pick up the former employee’s tasks, and motivation and productivity often increase for the whole organization in spite of having one less … Read More

What is Your Philosophy of Leadership?

“What is your philosophy of leadership?” To many people this question can be daunting and difficult to answer. In fact, I was often met with a blank, deer-in-the-headlights stare when asking this during interviews for my first book, The Ordinary Leader. I found it surprising that so many people had not taken the time to fully develop their thoughts about … Read More

Lessons on Purpose From Patagonia

I love outdoor activities. Throughout the year I regularly canoe, mountain bike, and hike. In fact, I’m writing this a day after hiking up to a mountain peak. Connected to these activities is my fondness for quality outdoor clothing purchased from companies who are conscious of the environment. Over the last few years, I have narrowed my focus to one … Read More

Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace

Prior to founding ACHIEVE, I worked primarily as a Social Worker in the field of mental health – both in hospital settings and in the community, providing support to those living with mental health concerns. My role in supporting people’s recovery would regularly involve conversations with their employers about ways to best support their return to work. I was often … Read More

Better to Over-Communicate Than Under

[Excerpt from The Culture Question] Throughout the entire culture change process, it is imperative that you communicate what is happening! Risk over-communicating rather than under-communicating. A common theme in our survey responses was a lack of communication from leaders. One participant wrote about the impact of poor communication: “Management could do a better job of communicating with other levels. When … Read More

2 Keys When Giving Affirmations

My direct reports will rarely hear multiple “Yay for you!” declarations weekly, monthly, or even yearly. It’s not that I don’t think validation and affirmation are important – it just doesn’t come naturally to me. I lean towards the mindset that employees should assume everything is going well unless they hear otherwise. Of course, when I analyze this belief, I … Read More

Lessons Learned From Our Leadership Transition

I am no longer the CEO of the company I founded close to 15 years ago. Earlier this month, we announced that I would be stepping into my new role of Chief Vision Officer and our Managing Director, Eric Stutzman, would become our CEO. With this change, he will provide regular support to the rest of our leadership team and … Read More