Dr. Laura Hamill is an organizational psychologist and business leader, focusing on the intersection of science and HR. Laura is an expert on creating great places to work. Her research is centered around employee well-being, employee engagement, and organizational culture.
Laura is the owner of Paris Phoenix Group, a consulting firm specializing in driving impactful research and outcomes. In her consulting business, Laura has had the opportunity to work with numerous organizations to assess and transform their cultures.
Laura was also a co-founder of Limeade, an employee experience software company, where she held the dual roles of Chief People Officer and Chief Science Officer. Before Limeade, Laura worked at Microsoft as the Director of People Research.
Laura S. Hamill, Ph.D.
She is a sought-after thought leader and speaker – having keynoted at major tech and HR conferences and featured in Fast Company, Forbes, HR Executive, Inc., NPR, SELF, US News & World Report, and other top HR publications. Laura is also a host on the Happy at Work podcast, where she interviews organizational leaders, Human Resources professionals, and positive psychology researchers to create more positive workplaces. Laura also is writing a book with The Economist about organizational culture to be published in 2024.
Laura earned her Ph.D. and M.S. in industrial/organizational psychology from Old Dominion University and a B.A. in psychology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She lives in Woodinville, Washington, with her husband, two children, and golden retriever.
Your Organization's Success.
At the Paris Phoenix Group, we start with understanding your strategy. We want you and your organization to succeed, and we facilitate alignment of your work to your company's strategy to enable you to be effective. Our services are built upon a highly disciplined and robust research approach and are aligned to professional standards. Different from other firms, we challenge clients to ensure that decisions made in each step are connected to broader strategic outcomes.
Our method is evidence-based, using data to guide decisions to improve the employee experience and organizational performance. Our consultants focus on understanding how the employee perspective fits into the organizational people system. Each of our customized solutions is founded on a rigorous research approach. This allows us to provide our clients with well-founded and effective solutions to meet their business needs.
Workshops for HR
Paris Phoenix Group is now offering a workshop for Human Resources Practitioners focused on Creating Psychologically Healthy Organizations.
HR practitioners are often faced with identifying and helping employees who are facing mental health struggles. Not only is it important for HR to effectively help these employees, it is also important for HR to be working to reduce the distress and burden that organizations can cause employees in the first place. In this workshop, participants will learn from a therapist, organizational psychologist, and HR leader on how to better understand and address these issues. In addition, we will focus on helping participants understand ways to handle their own stress and mental health struggles as well.GET IN TOUCH
I'm writing a book!
Last fall, I received a book deal from The Economist to write a book on organizational culture. I'm in the process of writing the book now. The working title is The Power of Culture, and I'm focusing on integrating the theory and practice of culture work.
I'm thrilled for this opportunity and am learning so much about myself and about culture as I write. I will finish writing the book in the fall of 2023, and it is scheduled to be published in 2024.
The approach that Paris Phoenix Group takes is a highly customized one, designed to address the unique issues and cultures of the organizations we work with. Most of our work involves a combination of the following focused strengths to truly understand the topic of interest. Paris Phoenix Group drives the whole process, including the development of the project's strategy, the development and validation of content, and specific steps in the plan which may include: online customized survey administration, statistical analysis, interpretation, feedback sessions, action planning and solution implementation.
Psychologically Healthy Workplaces
Audit your culture and people practices and help you become a more psychologically healthy place to work.
Assess and help to transform your culture.
Create rigorous methods for answering key questions in your organization, including statistical analysis and executive summaries.
Science-backed Product Advising
Analyze, summarize, and provide guidance on what the science tells about your HR-related topic.
Research-based Thought Leadership
Conduct custom presentations on topics related to well-being, culture, burnout, and creating psychologically healthy workplaces.
Develop rigorous approaches to ensure the voices of your employees are heard and acted upon.
Psychologically Healthy Organizations
In this research study, we spoke with therapists and surveyed employees to better understand how to create more psychologically healthy organizations. Read this summary to learn more.DOWNLOAD
Employee Focus Group Best Practices
Conducting focus groups is a common, qualitative research methodology employed by many organizations, practitioners, and researchers. However, depending on your research question, employee focus groups may not be the most appropriate or effective data gathering approach. Based on research and our collectiveexperience, this white paper presents best practices in focus group research and includes sections on theadvantages and disadvantages of focus groups, focus group administration, participation sampling strategies, asking questions, research and facilitation tips, and recommendations for summarizing results.DOWNLOAD
What is Employee Engagement?
Do you have a pulse on your people? Employee engagement is key to business success, yet many organizations fail to robustly understand and assess engagement relative to their specific context nor do they have a thorough grasp on the various approaches toward doing so. This paper provides a brief summary of the history of engagement, outlines popular frameworks and definitions, and addresses best practices in assessing employee engagement while also providing our unique perspective and approach to understanding employee engagement; helping organizations unlock the door to increased engagement, productivity, and positive business results.DOWNLOAD
What is an Employee Value Proposition and Why Does it Matter?
Is your organization clear about why employees want to work there? Does your organization offer employees the things they value most? A variety of workforce and business factors are challenging organizational approaches to attracting, engaging, and retaining key talent which translates into difficulties of differentiating, defining, articulating, and communicating an organizations' competitive advantage to recruit and retain top-performing talent. Organizations that understand their employee value proposition and are intentional about strengthening it will be more effective in not only attracting new talent, motivating and engaging current employees but in achieving other important business outcomes. Based on research and our experience, this white paper outlines what the employee value proposition is, why it matters, how to avoid common pitfalls and how be more strategic in measuring and leveraging your employee value proposition.DOWNLOAD
Why Does Organizational Culture Matter in Mergers and Acquisitions?
Research on the success/failure rates of mergers and acquisitions indicates that between 55-77% of all mergers and acquisitions fail. Organizational culture plays a key role in the success of mergers and acquisitions, thus approaching mergers and acquisitions from an organizational culture perspective provides a systems view on the interdependent components that need to work together to ensure success. This white paper outlines the important ways that organizational culture makes mergers and acquisitions more difficult, outlines our approach to culture assessment and comparison in the merger and acquisition process, and discusses the importance of redesigning processes, leadership, and communication in optimizing merger and acquisition success.DOWNLOAD
Voluntary vs. Involuntary Surveys
A common research question for conducting surveys and assessments is should we require participation? Research supports that voluntary participation is better, resulting in greater trust in those systems and more open and honest feedback. However, there are some cases where involuntary feedback may be warranted and necessary. This white paper offers a research-based answer plus practical applications and experience to explore the issue of voluntary versus involuntary participation.DOWNLOAD
Developing Competency Models
Competency modeling is becoming a popular methodology in organizations due to recent research and design improvements that have successfully linked competencies to performance. They are also useful tools on which to base employee measurement and inform organizational people systems. This white paper introduces the concept of competency modeling, the different approaches to competency modeling, and outlines our approach to competency development.DOWNLOAD
What is Organizational Culture and Why Does it Matter?
Organizational culture is a hot topic; intuitively people understand that culture matters yet few companies have spent the time to be intentional about culture. Culture is the root of all behavior in an organization and studying your organizational culture allows for a deeper understanding of the culture, more specificity in articulating cultural aspects are helping and hindering the organization, and a way to determine the specific aspects of the culture. This white paper takes an in depth look at organizational culture, why it's important, how it differs from organizational climate, and our approach to organizational culture assessment.DOWNLOAD
Reporting Statistically Significant Results (Statistics Series)
Whether or not statistically significant differences in employee survey results should be reported to managers is a frequent issue in survey reporting. The survey industry short answer is No. This white paper explores and illustrates the fundamental issues surrounding the question of reporting statistically significant differences, based on research and best practice. Practical guidance is offered in terms of at which levels statistically significant difference should be reported.DOWNLOAD
Performance Management System Effectiveness
This case example describes a program evaluation process, over several administrations, for a company's performance management system. Beginning with the business context and detailed background of the performance management systems evolution, steps to measuring effectiveness are described in detail. Several outcomes are discussed related to the program evaluation and research related to testing potential program changes.DOWNLOAD
Competency Model For Managers
This case study takes you through our approach to competency modeling, which we have used successfully in several organizations. Each of our competency models is created uniquely for the client to support their company's business strategy, set expectation for exemplary performance behaviors, and reinforce the organizational culture they desire. Organizational outcomes are also discussed.DOWNLOAD
Leadership Team Offsite
This leadership team offsite example was specifically tailored to address a particular issue in the client organization. The approach highlighted by this case is representative of our work with leadership teams going off-site to tackle a problem using pre-work research as a basis for conversation. Other examples of off-sites are included as well as a brief description of outcomes.DOWNLOAD
Online 360 Process for Leaders
This example highlights one of many 360 processes for leaders we have created for client organizations. Each 360 process we develop is tailored to the size of the leadership team we work with. These processes are often the starting point for developing other organizational systems and solutions (e.g., competency models for leaders, and input for selection processes). Outcomes of the program are also discussed.DOWNLOAD
Employee Engagement and Culture Survey Program
The employee engagement and culture survey program described outlines our typical approach to full-scale organizational survey administration. Starting with the business context we describe the development of customized content, reports and feedback materials. Some cases also demand the need for managerial training to understand results and action plan. Organizational outcomes are also highlighted.DOWNLOAD
Merger and Acquisition Effectiveness and Culture Fit Assessment
The program outlined in this example has successfully been used with a large local company who experiences growth through mergers and acquisitions. It highlights our approach toward measuring organizational culture, assessing culture integration, and creating reports and implementation materials as necessary. Organizational outcomes are also highlighted.DOWNLOAD
Start-Up Competency Model, Toolkit for HR, Employee Self-Assessment, and Hiring Practices
This case delineates a process used with a large local company who supports internal 'start-up' groups. The development process for the competency model, self-assessment, and toolkits are detailed as well as the immediate outcomes of the program. These processes can easily be adapted and implemented in smaller start-ups to mid-size businesses supporting internal start-up groups.DOWNLOAD
Employee Value Proposition Program
This is a specific example of a customized approach to measuring the employee value proposition in a company. Similar to other survey administrations, the case describes the development of content, reports, and feedback materials to this particular context. Some cases also demand the need for managerial training to understand results and action plan. The outcomes of the program are also highlighted.DOWNLOAD
Organizational Culture Assessment & Change Process
This is one example of an organizational culture assessment and change process over a three year period. The change process is ongoing, as discussed in the outcomes of the program. Our approach to organizational culture assessment and the subsequent change process is highlighted here - it is unique to the organization's internal culture and business strategy.DOWNLOAD
What Clients Say About Us!
We worked with Paris Phoenix Group on a formal research project to identify and describe our prevailing organizational culture. We particularly respected and appreciated their scientific rigor and disciplined (but flexible) approach. Throughout the effort, we felt that Laura and team established and nurtured a truly consultative, collaborative partnership. Finally, the PPG team brought a sense of creativity, perspective, and enthusiasm, which made this project both productive and enjoyable.
I look forward to an opportunity to work with them again, and am always pleased to serve as a reference for their work.
Pete Hudson, Global Talent
Paris Phoenix Group has, at every juncture, driven home the importance of evidence-based approaches. There is real science in what they do, and they always tell the truth with their data and analysis. This requires an integrity, courage and long-range view that great CEOs and HR Executives value highly.
Equally important, they understand that the evidence is only half the story. They get that people and organizations are complex, living things. They build recommendations that incorporate human factors in a more holistic way. I feel that working with them is creating more value for our organization than our competitors can possibly imagine. They have provided a real, lasting competitive advantage. And they are an absolute joy to work with.
Henry Alabrecht, CEO
We have worked with Paris Phoenix Group for over three years. The staff from Paris Phoenix Group have successfully assisted us in measuring and understanding our employee engagement level and the culture at our organization. They worked in a collaborative fashion to help us create a highly customized set of manager competencies that are fully integrated with our values and goals and mission.
Their insights are spot on and they have been a joy to work with. Their assistance has been key to our moving our organization forward towards our goal of becoming a true continually improving, high performance nonprofit providing best practice services to our clients and community.
Alice Ferrier and Marilyn Mason-Plunkett
Working with Paris Phoenix Group was energizing and fun, as well as it resulting in valuable
outcomes that impacted our company greatly.