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Ridgegate Blog

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A Practical Tailored Approach to

Human Resources

Why you should have an HR Expert on speed dial

I can think of a ton of reasons why every small business should have an HR expert on speed dial.  One reason is that your people are  are a key business differentiator for you.  Another is that it is critical to ensure your employees, the “face” of your company, are the best and most engaged around.  And I know that people can be a strategic priority for impacting your bottom line. I get it.  Those Read the full article…

Written by Deanna Hunter

On November 16, 2016

Getting Better at Giving Feedback

Practice Makes Perfect

Giving feedback is something that many people struggle with.  We usually fear it because we assume it will create conflict, make someone feel bad, and it is just uncomfortable in general.    At work, not providing feedback can have lots of different effects – pretty much all negative.  Check out my post on this topic at for a quick reminder of some of those negative impacts. The thing is, giving feedback is a skill you Read the full article…

Written by Deanna Hunter

On September 21, 2015

Delegate in order to Scale your Business – Part II

Tips for ensuring a successful handover.

Your start-up is a success. You are now facing an exciting challenge. Scaling up. In the first post of the ‘Delegate in order to Scale your Business’ series, I reminded you that the bottleneck is always at the top. To scale up you will need to delegate tasks, or functions, or perhaps both to unclog the bottle. So, what should you be thinking about as you prepare to make the handover?  Start with yourself. You Read the full article…

Written by Deanna Hunter

On July 5, 2018

Delegate in order to Scale Your Business – Part I

  Its often the case that entrepreneurs like to operate on their own. Understandable for sure. And it’s a pretty big step, and a bit scary, to bring someone else into the inner sanctum. Delegating can be tough but it is a ‘must have’ if you want to scale your business. When its just you and perhaps a few others, you are doing it all. You are the head of marketing, sales, IT, finance, accounting, Read the full article…

Written by Deanna Hunter

On June 16, 2018

Reducing Turnover in your Small Business

A Multi-pronged Approach

The Alberta HR Trends Report put out by the Human Resources Institute of Alberta in March indicates that the cost of turnover has gone up significantly over the past year, from $16,790 to $22,600.   Not surprising given the amount of lay-offs and the inevitable severance pay that employers provide.   But the costs include more than just severance.  Things like legislated notice requirements, the time required to manage the departure, the time and money to recruit Read the full article…

Written by Deanna Hunter

On April 7, 2017

Retain Top Talent as the Economy Recovers

Get ready...

There are hints everywhere that the economy is beginning its slow recovery.  I’ve been seeing some business activity that makes me think its true, particularly in the number of recruiting conversations I’ve been having recently.  From an HR perspective getting prepared for a recovery is very smart.  And certainly, thinking about recruiting is exciting.  But thinking about how you are going to retain top talent is perhaps even more important. Over the past year or Read the full article…

Written by Deanna Hunter

On March 6, 2017

Attracting Talent Away From Big Business

Can it be done?

As small business owners we often worry that we can’t offer enough salary or fabulous health and dental benefits to attract talent away from big business.  But remember, not everyone is in it for the money.  And I would argue that there are lots of people working in big companies that would be happy to trade their large salaries and “cog in the wheel” jobs for something better. What you really need to do is get Read the full article…

Written by Deanna Hunter

On January 7, 2017

4 Common HR Myths Debunked

  THERE ARE HR MYTHS – misunderstandings, inaccuracies, whatever you want to call them – that exist in the business world.  Myths that wreak havoc and fear in the hearts of small business owners.  I’m going to attempt to address just a few of them here to provide clarity, insight and hopefully ease some of the stress! HR Myth 1: I should not contact an employee when they are on sick leave It is common for Read the full article…

Written by Deanna Hunter

On July 18, 2016

Question: Hire a Contractor or Employee?

Answer: It Depends.

I was asked recently for my advice about whether to hire a contractor or an employee to fill a role required at a small business.  I know the business owners were hoping I’d have a pat answer for them.  I didn’t.  I gave them an “it depends” answer instead.  Several items should be considered before getting to an answer. First things first.  You have to be clear on the difference between a contractor and an employee.  Alberta Employment Read the full article…

Written by Deanna Hunter

On July 15, 2016

Is it Time to Purchase HR Software?

Signs that your small business needs HR automation

I’ve been asked by small business owners about the right time to purchase an HR software system.  In general, HR software systems help to centralize & automate work flows and manage employee information & history.  Every small business needs to do this – whether with paper, spreadsheets and filing cabinets, or with software. In my mind there are two big signs that indicate it might be time to invest in an HR software system. The Read the full article…

Written by Deanna Hunter

On May 7, 2016

Revisiting Feedback…Give ‘Feedforward’ a Try.

Nobody likes feedback.  It is almost always associated with judgement, its usually negative and in many cases it creates a feeling of conflict.  It has become a dirty word, not just at work but in many aspects of our lives.  In most cases giving feedback is really code for “I don’t like something you are doing and want you to stop”. So why not take a new approach?  Why not try ‘feedforward’? To improve performance, try Read the full article…

Written by Deanna Hunter

On April 4, 2016