This week on Let’s Fix Work, I am excited to introduce you to Rana Stanfill-Hobbs. She wears many hats, including Director of Insights at Ultimate Software (our sponsor), mom, step-mom, musician, and consummate learner. On today’s episode, Rana and I talk about enterprise software and technology, of course.  We also talk about her journey from someone who recognizes patterns to an individual who’s living a full and authentic life at work.

Rana is also the founder of Compass Credo, a website that helps people achieve their best lives and live according to their own set of values. I love it!  It’s not often that I speak to someone who’s an artist, singer, and songwriter, as well as the Director of Insights at a technology company. Rana’s background and expertise are really fascinating. If you love strong women, technology talk, and learning how to live an authentic life, then sit tight and listen to this episode of Let’s Fix Work.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  1. The influences of creativity and understanding how to create the best work environments
  2. Recognizing what you’re good at and how you excel
  3. The importance of having an open dialogue with customers to determine where they are in their journey, everyone is at different experience points
  4. Balancing the excitement of introducing a new technological platform in a company and why it’s important to slow the pace when onboarding
  5. Moving towards an honest conversation about imperfect solutions that can help move an organization forward
  6. How technology can help with positive conversations such as continuous performance management
  7. How to be your authentic self at work

“The more that you can be human, more authentic, and the more holistic you are thinking about life and the work that you’re doing, the better you can navigate all of this. And the more powerful the connections are that you have with your customers, your colleagues, and with people in general.” ~ Rana Stanfill-Hobbs

Resources from this episode:

Thank our sponsor:

Rana Stanfill-Hobbs on LinkedIn:

CompassCredo on LinkedIn:

CompassCredo on Facebook:

Compass Credo


We’re proud to be sponsored by Ultimate Software. They’re a leading cloud provider of people management solutions with a commitment to continuing education for HR, talent, and payroll professionals.

Ultimate Software is hosting dozens of free educational HR workshops around the country. Check out for more information on how to earn free HRCI, SHRM, and APA recertification credits.


Do you feel powerless or worthless to affect change in your organization? I mean, what can you do? How about just go and get a tall macchiato from Starbucks and drown your sorrows? That’ll feel great, right?  

Ah yes, that is a perfect example of someone who has hit rock bottom in the workplace. In fact, I was that person, not too long ago. In a recent podcast interview with Jeanette Bronée, I asked,  “How do we get people out of the “Starbucks, I can’t affect change” cycle before they hit rock bottom? And she offered some great advice, which I would like to share with you today.

Jeanette Bronée is a performance strategist, culture coach, wellness advocate, and founder of Path For Life, Inc.  Jeanette helps leaders and companies rethink performance by asking “The Right Why®” so they can lead themselves and their people better and achieve sustainable success. She is passionate about how we can create a culture of care by unlocking what truly drives performance, engagement, and motivation from the inside out.

Now back to the question at hand, how can we avoid hitting rock bottom at work?

Jeanette had this to say, “I’ve really gotten to see the insights of the human struggle in terms of not being appreciated at work and what it does to a person.” She believes that self-care is part of the answer and the ability to change within. Of course, that’s easier said than done.

She offers up this advice, “Have self-kindness or self-compassion for that moment and say, ‘What I really need right now is to take a walk so that I can just get away from this toxic environment and remind myself that I actually do matter.’”

Jeanette believes that self-care, self-connection, self-awareness, and self-expression are a big part of building the muscle that helps us see ourselves for what we’re really worth rather than what we believe we’re worth.

When she talks about self-care, she is not referring to being pampered, having massages, or doing yoga. Instead she means being very active and engaged by taking charge of our day and taking charge of our performance. “What I look at is, what do we need so that we can be at our best rather than hanging back and feeling all cozy at work.”

We go to work because we want to matter.

We want to create change or we want to be part of something.

The reason we get frustrated with work is because that doesn’t happen for us. And then we stumble down the mountain and hit rock bottom. So the next time you are teetering towards the edge and reaching for that frappuccino with double whipped cream, remember Jeanette’s advice, take a deep breath, go for a walk, and realize that you matter. You matter and your work matters. And, you guessed it, you fix work by fixing yourself. Self-care is one small step towards that goal.

To hear more of my conversation with Jeanette, where we talked about the intersection of wellness, well-being, culture, leadership, and performance, go here.


This week on Let’s Fix Work, I’m talking to Max Yoder, Co-Founder and CEO of Lessonly. Lessonly is an online service that provides bite-sized learning with a big impact on today’s trainers, managers, and subject-matter experts to help them create training content in minutes. Max is also the author of Do Better Work: Finding clarity, camaraderie, and progress in work and life.

In today’s episode, Max and I flex our Midwestern accents and talk about training in the workplace. We also talk about vulnerability, leadership, and nonviolent communication. Not bad for a kid from Goshen, Indiana, right? So if you like tech entrepreneurs who don’t pat themselves on the back for simply being CEOs, you’re going to love Max!

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  1. How Lessonly got started and how it addressed the need for training software in the workplace
  2. Max’s impression of Human Resources in the workplace today
  3. About Max’s book, Do Better Work, and what drove him to write it
  4. What is actually means to “do better work”
  5. Vulnerability: why Max doesn’t use the word and what he thinks it has to do with work. Plus, what to tell someone who has no space to be vulnerable in their job
  6. How Max got to a point in life where he actually gave a shit about work
  7. The Lessonly conference, some speakers that will be attending and what attendees can look forward to in 2019
  8. Max shares his thoughts on broken workplaces and what he thinks the first step is in fixing them

Resources from this episode:

Thank our sponsor:

Book: “Do Better Work: Finding clarity, camaraderie, and progress in work and life”

Megan Jarvis, PHR:

Max Yoder: Next Tech Star


We’re proud to be sponsored by Ultimate Software. They’re a leading cloud provider of people management solutions with a commitment to continuing education for HR, talent, and payroll professionals.

Ultimate Software is hosting dozens of free educational HR workshops around the country. Check out for more information on how to earn free HRCI, SHRM, and APA recertification credits.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ultimate Software, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I finished a book called “The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More, and Change the Way You Lead Forever” by Michael Bungay Stanier. The book teaches you how to form a habit, so you can adopt a coaching mindset, and then offers seven types of questions to have richer and more fulfilling discussions with your team:

    • The Kickstart Question
    • The Awe Question
    • The Focus Question
    • The Foundation Question
    • The Lazy Question
    • The Strategic Question
    • The Learning Question

Most of this is self-explanatory. In a world of continuous feedback and ongoing coaching, the kickstart question gets you involved in a conversation with your direct report or mentee right away so you talk about what matters most.

The awe question encourages you to dig a little deeper and try to help someone get to the heart of what’s going on mentally or emotionally at work. The focus question asks an individual to figure what’s happening, and the foundation question gets to the heart of what the person wants at work, in relationships, and from you.

I’m lazy, so I loved that there’s a lazy question. The author invites you to ask ‘how can I help?’ without being the first responder in someone else’s life. The strategic question is all about looking at the bigger picture and weighing what matters. Finally, the learning question is all about insight and what we’ve learned, and what we’ll take away, from our experiences.

It’s a good book for your organization to dig deeper and have better conversations with one another.


Those seven questions are helpful, but it’s not like you have hours in your day to sit around and ask all seven questions to every employee in your department. Also, not every employee needs you to ask each question. Some people are in the early stages of their journey while others are further ahead.

Human resources leaders are often scared of people data and believe analytics dashboards are for data scientists; however, people data and analytics can help you have the right coaching conversations with the correct people while understanding core needs and without making assumptions.

Think about it. If we use the framework of those seven questions and map it to the performance management process, some employees may go years without understanding the real challenges in their jobs while others are struggling with their time, attention and focus.

People data and analytics help our leaders have personalized discussions with employees by understanding behavior and trends to create more meaningful experiences. Technology like UltiPro’s Workforce Intelligence tool isn’t just a platform that collects data in a vacuum. The analytics and reporting functionality — combined with predictive, prescriptive, and sentiment analysis — helps leaders understand an employee’s story and have personalized solutions to meet whatever challenges a worker might face.


Create a coaching culture by marrying people data and analytics with a coaching framework of your choice. I enjoyed reading “The Coaching Habit” and think it offers a simple and effective way to craft a working relationship between leaders and employees in seven easy steps.

Whatever you choose, remember that data can enhance relationships by helping HR professionals and leaders get to the heart of an employee’s story and experience faster.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ultimate Software, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

The big buzz in the world of HR is the concept of a distributed workforce.

A distributed workforce is a workforce that reaches beyond the restrictions of the conventional office environment. These are FTEs, PT workers, temps, consultants, freelancers, flexible workers and task assistants who may or may not be paid by your payroll department. A distributed workforce can work remotely and still be local, national and international. You can learn more here.

The challenge with a distributed workforce is to make everybody feel like they’re having a fabulous time “working for you” and achieving your goals without making employment promises you can’t keep.

The other challenge is ensuring that all workers treat one another respectfully — and follow all safety guidelines — by following your company’s training and adhering to your organization’s policies and practices.


You probably have a distributed workforce; however, you may not interact with it. HR only deals with FTEs, fully benefited remote workers, part-time employees who work over thirty hours and receive company benefits and administrative temps/receptionists.

Why is that? Why is HR’s role so small when many people come together and “work” for your company?

Well, your legal department is afraid of establishing a joint employer relationship where you and a consulting firm are both liable for the employee experience. Your company decided HR should deal with the “real employees” while everybody else has a “contractor email address,” a different color badge, and parks in a different parking lot when they come to the office.

So, we can blame the lawyers. Contractors and temps have sued companies when employment statuses haven’t been clear; then corporate lawyers overreacted and made you stop inviting contractors to the holiday party.


When people work at your company, they should have one set of goals: achieving your organization’s mission while following its vision and aligning with the values.

Unfortunately, eager workers are showing up at your company on the first day and having varied and inconsistent experiences. FTEs feel welcome while everyone else is made to feel like their output — and not their humanity — is the only thing that matters.

Nobody wants that!

A second-class experience anywhere within the distributed workforce can impede your organization’s ability to do great work. While you don’t want a temp worker suing you for benefits, you also don’t want talented people opting-out


Success in a distributed workplace is measured by a worker’s ability to find what they need to achieve your organization’s goals. That’s why it’s critical for HR to be involved and have a handle on where people work and for whom. Your in-depth knowledge of the distributed workforce means lower training costs, less administrative overhead, and less risk for your entire organization.

Orientation — on the first day of work and beyond — is the biggest opportunity where you can send consistent but clear messages to your distributed workforce. HR could be involved from the onset and help the “talent” understand that nobody is a second-class citizen and all experiences matter.

But I think HR draws such a sharp distinction between employee and contractor because they don’t have a handle on who works for the organization.

    • •The company’s HRIS is old,
    • • managers fill requisitions without telling anybody,
    • • and employee data sits on an unsecured spreadsheet on somebody’s laptop.

If you work in human resources, get your FTE house in order. UltiPro and its Workforce Intelligence product bring together HR, payroll, and talent management data to help you build better leaders, empower employees, and improve the overall work experience.


You can’t achieve revenue goals if everybody isn’t on board with your purpose and organizational values whether somebody works for your full-time in the office or is a remote worker paid by a consulting firm, attitudes and beliefs matter. From day one, all workers affect the tone, climate, and productivity of your company.

Begin with your full-time and part-time employees. Lay the foundation for a great workforce experience by gaining visibility and gleaning insights into your employee base. Build the right foundation and apply the lessons you’ve learned to your distributed workforce.

You’ve got to start somewhere. The distributed workforce is here, and it is time to clean up the existing employee experience before you tackle the buzzwords of the day.


When people try to force food on you, be suspicious. And there’s no more suspicious food item than yogurt.

Yogurt can go fuck itself.

First of all, my cats love to eat yogurt, which should tell you everything you need to know. Roxy will fight you for the spoon, and she also licks her butt. Yogurt goes well with toxoplasmosis.

Also, yogurt isn’t as healthy as you think. Nobody has ever been like — “I went from couch to London Marathon, and I did it all thanks to yoghurt.”

Yeah, that’s right. British people spell yogurt with an H, which is another reason why yoghurt sucks.

And did you know yogurt is full of sugar? I’m not saying sugar is the enemy, but I am saying that I’d rather eat a Kit Kat bar or Gummy Bears because some varieties of yogurt have as much sugar as a candy bar.

Wait, please don’t tell me about sugar-free yogurt. And check yourself before you go down the road of being a plain yogurt advocate. Is it low in sugar and full of protein? Goddammit, it’s not full of taste. This is America, I shouldn’t have to choose.

And speaking of America, this is a land of abundance. If you study history, you know that we’ve always been great without the help of Individual Number One and his MAGA cohort. When I was a kid, we watched the news and saw how Russian families stood in breadlines and suffered the impact of KGB oppression.

In the Soviet Union, they eat yogurt. In America, we eat freedom.

However, now that it’s okay for both Russians and corporations to steal elections, the Putin-Greek Yogurt conglomerate will be everywhere.

Get ready to be hungry.

So, in summary, there is no place for yogurt. It’s a bullshit food and should be banned from the supermarket.

Want to fight me on this? Feel passionate about your breakfast blueberry Chobani? Email me at, and I’ll feature your pro-yog(h)ut position statements in future blog posts.

But you’ll still be wrong.


Have you ever pondered this question, “What is the role and responsibility of today’s leaders?” Well, I have. In fact, I asked Dr. Dan Crosby a similar question on a recent episode of my podcast, Let’s Fix Work. Dan is an author, psychologist, and Chief Behavioral Officer at Brinker Capital. His primary focus is on behavioral economics and understanding how we make decisions around money.

When it comes to behavioral economics, it’s important to remember the human brain isn’t as evolved as it needs to be. I asked Dan whether or not we should be designing better employment experiences for our organizations and our people. Or more to the point, where can HR and our leaders be doing better?

Dan had this to say, “I really am a believer in the power of HR, organizational development, and leadership development in all sorts of HR adjacent functions. And I really do believe there is a big business benefit to these functions.”

Dan brought up an interesting point about HR and science too. He said, “HR needs to rise to the occasion and become increasingly scientific.”

What does he mean, exactly? Well, if HR and its adjacent functions can get more into behavioral analytics, form a deeper understanding of people, and speak the language of business; increasingly they’ll gain more credibility. With credibility, they’ll be more apt to be in a position of great leadership (because great leaders are always learning and growing) and bring their organization together.

The role and responsibility of today’s leaders is to keep learning, keep striving to fix themselves, and thus fix workplaces they manage.

If you are interested in the role behavioral economics plays in the market, the workplace, and how it affects our decisions, tune into this episode of Let’s Fix Work.


This week’s episode features Jeanette Bronée, performance strategist, culture coach, wellness advocate, and founder of Path For Life, Inc.  Jeanette helps leaders and companies rethink performance by asking “The Right Why®” so they can lead themselves and their people better and achieve sustainable success. She is passionate about how we can create a culture of care by unlocking what truly drives performance, engagement, and motivation from the inside out.

In this episode, we talk about the intersection of wellness, well-being, culture, leadership, and performance. In addition, Jeanette shares a poignant story about her mother. She also sweetly talks about her father who was also an executive headhunter.

If mental illness has touched your life, or you simply want to know how to take better care of yourself, and also want to know what well-being has to do with leadership and performance, I promise you don’t want to miss this episode. Sit back and listen to a special and very human episode of Let’s Fix Work.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  1. Jeannette’s idea of changing the nature of work and the importance of self-care
  2. Her unique approach to fixing work
  3. Applying the methodology of thinking as your employee’s clients when a conflict arises, how it can help clear the fog and makes relationships a little bit different
  4. What is making us sick at work and how we can overcome it
  5. The connection between nutrition and work and what Jeannette is doing to advocate for better nutrition
  6. Advocacy of mindfulness, what it is, and the applicability for the workforce
  7. Jeannette’s thoughts on creating a company culture of pausing, and what could change
  8. The role of leadership in fixing work, creating a less toxic and more engaging culture, climate, and work environment

Resources from this episode:

Thank you to our sponsor:







We’re proud to be sponsored by Ultimate Software. They’re a leading cloud provider of people management solutions with a commitment to continuing education for HR, talent, and payroll professionals.

Ultimate Software is hosting dozens of free educational HR workshops around the country. Check out for more information on how to earn free HRCI, SHRM, and APA recertification credits.


I spoke at my first American human resources conference in 2008.

George W. Bush was still president. Foreclosures were in the news and layoffs were rampant. We didn’t have universal access to healthcare and people were going bankrupt due to medical bills and prescription drug prices. The mortgage crisis was imminent, and the economic growth in our country had stalled. Just as things couldn’t get much worse, elder Millennials entered the workforce.

The world looked bleak, and HR leaders and leadership experts would come together at these stale events and say things like, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.

An event planner asked me to come to her conference and be on a panel to discuss multiple generations in the workforce. How do we deal with different attitudes and expectations? How do we talk to the youth of today? What policies will stay the same, and what policies will change? With emerging technology and a push towards greater productivity, will there be enough jobs to go around?

When you have a blog called Punk Rock HR, everybody in your industry reads it, but nobody takes you seriously. It was important for me to get on stages and talk about my ideas in the public arena. So, I donned a black sweater dress and tall boots and told the audience three things:

1. Be political. HR sits at the intersection of work, power, politics, and money. Everything you do — from headcount to policy — is connected to budget, and budget is power. Think bigger than “being cultural stewards” and mitigating risk. Learn the political game your CEO is playing, and gain his favor. Then, exercise your power of influence and be the change you wish to see in the world for the greater good of humanity.

2. Pay attention to the headlines. The news is a lagging indicator of the hot-button issues in our society. If foreclosures or unemployment or student debt or childhood obesity are a part of every headline, it means you don’t have to do an employee survey and ask your workforce about their lives. You already know that financial problems and wellbeing issues are plaguing your workforce. Stop wasting time. Fix that.

3. Nobody likes to be stereotyped. Long before we knew the word “personalization,” I told HR professionals that employees are consumers of work and expect programs and policies to be tailored to their experiences. Instead of talking about generations, let’s discuss life stages and try to dig deeper at the individual level.

Finally, I wrapped up my time on stage by encouraging HR leaders to use emerging social platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn to recruit and hire talented workers. If they’re on those platforms in 2008, they are relatively early adopters and primed to say yes when someone of substance reaches out to connect. Be that person who can change lives and help someone find a dream job on Twitter.

I was nearly laughed off stage.

I received very hostile audience questions about the risks of being political in a primary season in 2008. Also, people told me the news was biased. Why, with their limited schedules, would they prioritize reading the national or local news when they wanted to spend time learning more about HR.

And people in the audience wanted to talk about Millennials and dress codes and work output. No joke, would the quality of work suffer if we went to a more casual policy and they could wear hoodies and jeans?

The whole first experience did not go well, and I remember thinking, “Am I the asshole? Is it possible that I’m wrong? Are my speaking skills that bad?”

I got off stage and went to the bathroom where I proceeded to hear a group of women make fun of me and my ideas while I was peeing. They even laughed at my outfit on stage. The audacity of a woman to wear tall boots with heels was too much!

It was so fucking mean.

Other than Kris Dunn and a few other people in the industry, I didn’t have a peer group who had my back. I wanted to die.

But, eventually, the world turned and HR professionals like me decided to start speaking. Now, Trump is president, our healthcare system is still a mess, foreclosures are up, labor force participation is down, no net-new FTE jobs have been created since the Great Recession, LinkedIn has its colossal conference, Twitter’s HR team speaks at HR conferences, and we’re starting to talk about the challenges of Gen Z workers.

Everything old is new again.

It was lonely being early to these events, but it was worth it. While you still get those hesitant HR audiences and bullshit leadership speakers who have a ten-stage plan to empowering and engaging the workforce — and who tell you to use data to be more strategic — you also have thoughtful and dedicated speakers and thinkers who understand the intersection of social justice and workplace challenges and have good ideas on how to fix this mess.

And for those speakers and bloggers out there who wonder if what they’re doing has an impact beyond that immediate audience, it does. To this day, I’m approached by young men and women who read my Punk Rock HR blog back in college — or saw me when they were just entering the workforce, and I was working for free at smaller events — and challenged themselves to ask good questions, be a little braver, and learn the political game at work.

So, when I see smart people with provocative ideas step on stage to an audience that may or may not be on board, it warms my heart. Please have faith and courage in your message. Don’t worry about getting booed off the stage. It’s HR, and even the boldest and most courageous ideas about work are already mainstream. If anything, take heart. History has your back. I know this because it had mine.


It’s important to celebrate milestones. I recently aired my 50th episode of Let’s Fix Work.

It’s hard to believe almost a year has passed since I launched this little podcast. Over the past eleven months, I’ve met some inspiring thinkers and tackled topics from asshole bosses to sexual harassment to universal basic income.⠀

One thing I know more than ever: We fix work by deprioritizing corporate interests and focusing on our whole lives. If we do the inner work needed to be healthy adults with good relationships, our efforts carry over to our jobs.⠀

Let’s face it, even when we love our jobs and we feel secure, we are still a little worried about our future. That’s being human.

But what is the difference between being a successful human versus being a complacent human? Well, I’ll tell ya.

Successful humans don’t just sit back and complain about work. Even when life is tough and challenging, they dream, they think, they do, and they kick butt too. Of course, even successful people are prone to failure. But when they do fail, it’s not that big of a deal because they are resilient. They are successful at work and life.

What’s their secret? It’s neither dumb luck nor is it their connections. Those that find success do so because of their healthy mindsets and winning rituals.

A mindset is an attitude and a belief.

Rituals are what you do to set yourself up for success when nobody’s looking.

The good news is that even in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world, you can always improve your outcome and move towards success  by adopting a healthy mindset and winning rituals. Doing so will carry over to your personal and professional lives. I promise.

In the milestone episode of Let’s Fix Work, I shared three mindset tips I’ve learned from friends, colleagues, and guests. My tips will help you reflect where you spend your time, rethink who gets your attention, and encourage you to be of service to those around you. Click here to give it a listen.

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