Alaant Influencers: 

Joanmarie M. Dowling, Esq., Dowling Law, PLLC

Alaant Influencer Joanmarie M Dowling Esq Law PLLC
+ About Alaant Influencers

Alaant Influencers feature regional influencers and local luminaries sharing their career advice and secrets to success—in their own words. These influencers are the people making a powerful impact for good across the community.

Her backstory:

Joanmarie is the founding member of Dowling Law, PLLC, a certified New York State woman-owned business. She advises for-profit companies and not-for-profit organizations, large and small, on a variety of labor and employment issues, including screening and hiring, discrimination and harassment, reasonable accommodations, unionization and labor relations, wage and hour, and discipline and discharge.  She is a frequent presenter and writer on employment issues. 

Joanmarie previously served as Vice President, President, and Immediate Past President of the Capital Region Human Resource Association and as a member of the New York State Society for Human Resource Management’s State Council.


What qualities do you think are needed to be successful in today's workplace?

To be successful in nearly any job, an individual needs to be able to solve problems. No matter your role, we all encounter problems that must be addressed if we (and our organizations) are going to be successful. Avoidance tends to lead to more serious problems.

As lawyers, our job is to help our clients find the solution that works best for their organization. When it comes to problem-solving, I have found keeping the following in mind to be helpful:

  1. Identify the problem as specifically as possible. If a kid can’t ride a bike, is it due to lack of practice or because the tire is flat?  If the tire is flat, then no amount of practice is going to help.

  2. Rely on as many diverse resources as you can. Our firm frequently leverages process and technology to ensure service quality and efficiency. We continually refine our responses and look for new resources to better anticipate client needs.

  3. Commit to a solution that addresses the problem’s cause.  If employees are being overpaid, you could train staff on how to correct overpayments or you can develop better oversight processes to stop overpayments from happening in the first place.  In the long run, the second option will save a lot of heartache.
  1. Look for a solution that prevents the problem from recurring, if possible.  Adequate screening, clear processes, and regular supervisory/employee training are three great strategies for solving problems proactively before they ever become issues.
  1. When a problem occurs, try not to fall into a pattern of “shame and blame.” More often than not, you’ll get a lot farther when you attack the problem, not people. If there are truly performance issues, get appropriate guidance from HR professionals and your employment lawyer on how best to address them with the individual through performance management improvement plans.


Connect with Joanmarie on LinkedIn.  

About the Author

Miriam Dushane

Miriam Dushane, Managing Partner, Alaant Workforce Solutions

Miriam is all in when it comes to doing whatever she can to help the area grow and thrive. She is passionate about the work she does helping talented professionals find the right job opportunity and her work in the community is focused on furthering this area as a center for economic growth and vitality. Miriam likes to garden and take care of her pets and animals. She is a member of an adult only skate group where she roller blades every week. She loves the Mets! And she is completely obsessed with vacuum cleaners; she really likes to vacuum and has 6 right now.

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