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Ridgegate Blog

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A Practical Tailored Approach to

Human Resources

Providing Big Business Perks in your Small Business

Three things to keep in mind to get the biggest bang for your buck

Every business looks for ways to attract and keep great employees. The goal, of course, is to ensure your people are as productive as possible and providing great experiences for your customers.   Big employers and small employers alike know that it takes more than just a pay cheque.  Benefits and perks can help you stand out from other employers.  And they don’t have to break the bank. There are many organizations that provide health and Read the full article…

Written by Deanna Hunter

On December 12, 2016

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

Emotional Intelligence vs. IQ

Which gets better business results?

Recently, I was speaking to a client about the concept of Emotional Intelligence.  He is busy growing his team and developing leadership skills in his organization.   In fact, he is in the midst of hiring a critical role and is using EI concepts to assess his candidates. I have always been passionate about ensuring that organizations get the right talent on their team.   After all, its ultimately people who create success for a business.  So I often use EI concepts Read the full article…

Written by Deanna Hunter

On October 10, 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

Improve Productivity via Work-space Design

Four things employees need, to be productive.

The link between work-space design and business results has been made. Multiple times, by many experts. That’s why companies like Google or G Adventures spend so much time and money on their offices.  They know that their work environment impacts engagement, satisfaction and productivity. Gensler, a global design firm that conducts regular research and studies regarding work-space, says there are four simple things that employees want: 1. individual space that has a functional layout 2. adjustability Read the full article…

Written by Deanna Hunter

On February 8, 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

3 Ways to Find, Hire and Employ Top Talent for 3 Months

without paying a dime

My good friend and colleague, Shawn Baldwin, wrote the following post for my blog this month.  Shawn is an entrepreneur, business owner and super star recruiter.  Check out to find out what Shawn is up to. As a small business owner I recognize that cash flow is king. My business success or challenge in many ways is defined by economic climate and if I’m making an investment I am always focused on achieving the highest possible value Read the full article…

Written by Deanna Hunter

On September 16, 2016