Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging During COVID-19

Q: What can I do during this crisis that’s no cost in the area of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging? A in 3 A’s: Auscultate: Listen internally to aid in a cultural diagnosis Acknowledge: Recognize the viewpoints and experiences of underrepresented groups in your organization Audit: Methodically review your policies and processes Use this time to course-correct. Use this time to create a more equitable workplace. Use this time to become a more inclusive employer. #Pe

Writing a Book, Because What Else Can I Do?

I began working on a book over the weekend. Right now, it’s looking like a book of essays compiling personal experiences with work experiences. HR is typically seen as a third-party. Not quite on the frontlines. Not quite seated at the big table. All too often, we are seen as managers of problems versus problem solvers. We course-correct instead of predict outcomes. As a result, we begin fixing before we listen. We remove ourselves from the equation. We try to be unbiased, an

I miss...

I miss subway delays. I miss the lines at Whole Foods. I miss Sheep’s Meadow on a sunny day. I miss walking through Time Square to get to Hells Kitchen. I miss the baristas who know my order at La Colombe. I miss conversations with my hair dresser. This makes me miss everyday annoyances. This makes me miss crowds of people. This makes me miss small interactions. What random things do you miss? #People #HR #COVID19 #Coronavirus

The Productivity Rollercoaster Ride That is COVID-19

My productivity and morale have been all over the place lately. I’ve had moments where I’m in my element and in the zone, and moments where I don’t know where to begin and struggle with my self-worth. If my productivity and morale were a roller coaster — yesterday they were Space Mountain. I struggled to focus, I didn’t know where to start my day, and around 4pm, I completely crashed. This time isn’t easy for any of us. It has changed everything we were accustomed. For me: th

Social Distancing Requires Certain Privileges

Washing your hands is easy, if you have access to clean water. Killing germs is easy, if you have access to and can afford hand sanitizer. Getting a paycheck is easy, if you have a salaried position. Working from home is easy, if you don't have dependents who also demand your attention. Going on a walk outside is easy, if you have access to masks or other PPEs. Taking care of your basic needs is easy, if you have access to groceries and toiletries. Social distancing is easy,

Our Internal Response to COVID-19

At Knotch, we have not only had a corporate response to COVID-19, but we have had an internal response as well. From a benefit perspective, we offer: Our employees $15 a day for lunch (or $75 a week for groceries) Reimbursement for remote supplies (i.e. monitors, keyboards, etc.) Mental health stipend of $50/month (i.e. gym equipment, wellness apps, etc.) Teledoc support through OneMedical From a cultural perspective we offer: A mandatory break for one hour a day Additional l

"Future Of Work" is Now.

"Future of Work" is no longer some distant concept. It's here. COVID-19 has forced our hand. It has challenged the way businesses operate. It has challenged the way we view work and life (and attempt to balance the two.) It has challenged our very way of life. I believe this is ultimately a good thing. Countless studies have shown that remote work increases employee productivity. The problem was our comfortability with the status quo. While I don't believe every business shou

Knotch's New Career Site

After hours of work, Knotch has a new career site! Below quote from the new career page about what Knotch means to me: “From the moment I walked into Knotch, I knew I belonged. Now as Head of People, I make it my mission to recreate that feeling every day for our employees and our candidates. Anyone can belong and thrive here, and I am extremely proud of that. Our culture is viscerally felt by everyone that walks through our door. Our values of Transparency, Inclusiveness, an

The Art of Distraction

Last night, my therapist asked me how I have been coping these last few weeks. I struggled to find an answer. The truth is, I have been coping by distraction. Binging Netflix shows. Reading that book I have been meaning to read. Online shopping. Drinking wine. Bickering with my partner. Working on projects I know I'll never finish. Typically, I am a person that loves information. I'll watch the news every morning and every night. I'll read articles on my commute to and from w

Privilege Doesn't Go Away During a Crisis

We are all affected by this crisis, but it’s important to remember our privilege now more than ever. This effects us all differently, and we must acknowledge that and support those less privileged during this trying time. I am rather lucky. Though I am located in the epicenter, I am safely self-quarantined in my apartment. So far, my partner and I are in good health and have been able to successfully socially distance ourselves. I have a salaried position where I can work fro

Forgive Yourself

I’ve been trying to be more forgiving with myself this week. I have spouts of intense focus, where I get more work than I could ever imagine. And, then, moments where I struggle to focus and get anything accomplished. I require more mental breaks. I require more coffee. I require more rest. I thrive in an always-on, fast-paced environment, but my home does not foster that. Though I know I am still doing my job effectively, I beat myself up for not doing more. I am not one who

Reflecting: One Year at Knotch

A year ago today, I started working at Knotch, and what a year it has been! I have often joked that start up years are like dog years - one year feels like seven! That could not be more true for my experience at Knotch, but not so much because of how Knotch has changed, but how I have changed because of Knotch (and I am not just talking about my hair color!) I have grown so much over the past year, under the leadership of Anda Gansca, CEO, and Aron Tzimas, CCO. I have had th

Coping with COVID

We all cope differently in this crisis. At first, I’ll admit, I doubted the severity. Early on, most news seemed to point to just another flu-like virus. So, I did what I do best to cope — I talked myself off a ledge and said everything would be fine. I challenged myself to think rationally. Weeks went by, and we began discussing closing our office. Part of me still thought it was premature, but I also understood the growing need for employees to stay at home. I rationalized

Stigma Breaking During This Crisis

Now, more than ever, it’s important for People leaders to break stigmas. The stigma around this virus. The stigma around mental health. The stigma around working parents. The stigma around work-life balance. The future of work is no longer a concept. It came overnight, and it’s here to stay. Work and life are no longer separated, and for now and the foreseeable future, they are bonded. People are having to come to work from where they are — mentally, physically, emotionally.

Stir Crazy

If you are like me, you are going a little bit stir crazy. Little actual face time with others. Limited time outside. Lower energy from working from home. I have tried to keep to a morning routine to encourage myself to stay motivated and energized during this trying time. For me, making my bed, showering, getting dressed, making coffee, stretching, and beginning to work at a designated work station (NOT the couch or bed - they are TRAPS) have helped. What routines or ritua

Productivity for Extroverts During the COVID-19 Epidemic

I’m an extrovert. I didn’t realize the extent to which social interaction effects my day to day until this outbreak. Struggling with anxiety and depression, I’ve always known that I don’t do well in isolation, as I tend to spiral with extended lengths of alone time. Being in an encouraged self-isolation has been challenging on my mental state and my productivity. At the same time, as an HR professional, I know it’s important for me to be an example for my company — to boost m

Me Too: My Harassment Story

When I was 16, I applied to work at a local pizza place that my best friend worked. I didn’t get the job, despite her putting in a good word for me. She never would tell me why when I asked her. When I came out to her two years later, she revealed that it was because the manager thought I was gay, and he didn’t want to hire a gay guy. Fast forward to my first job after college, and I’m working in a “relaxed” corporate environment. Everyone jokes around and hangs out after wo

My Mental Health Journey

I see a therapist and psychiatrist. I have experienced suicide in my family, and I, too, have considered suicide at the lowest points of my life. I have experienced drug addiction and alcoholism in my family, and I, too, struggle from time to time with the side effects of my addictive personality. I have a family history of depression and anxiety, and I, too, suffer from depression and anxiety. I share all this because I believe more than anything that visibility is the only

Standing Up For Yourself In Interviews

I once was interviewing for a job, and they asked me what I make. I said, “In New York that question is technically illegal, but my desired range is X.” I didn’t get the job. I once was asked for my emergency contact in an early interview stage for a job. I said, “His name is Jay.” They asked me the relation with a puzzled look on their face. I said, “He is my boyfriend.” I didn’t get the job. I once was asked if I was comfortable covering my tattoos while at work. I said,

"You Are Just Going To Have To Pick Something"

I was working with a recruiter before I landed my current job. My former company had just been acquired, and I had a few months on contract to look for my next move. With time on my side, I was being thorough in my search. I wanted to be excited for my next move. I wanted to learn and grow in my next role. I wanted to continue working for impactful companies. With a month left of my contract, I still hadn’t found the perfect job. The recruiter was growing restless. After mu