Author: HRwisdom (page 2 of 10)

The Importance Of Staff Training (Funny 40 Second Video Demonstration)

The Importance Of Staff Training (A Very Funny 40 Second Demonstration)

The first two steps to developing a high-performing work team are: Importance of Staff Training

  1. Hiring the right people for the right role, and
  2. Training and developing the people to help them succeed in their role.

In today’s HRwisdom Blog post, we are sharing a hilarious video demonstration of the need to hire the right people for the right role and on the importance of staff training.

Free Resources For HRwisdom Readers

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Now, over to the short video which demonstrates the importance of staff training.

We had to share that one.

Importance Of Staff Training – Free Resources

Again, don’t forget to see the current excellent free bonuses only available to HRwisdom readers.

Click on one below (or both) . . .

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Controversial – Countries With The Best And Worse Management Practices

The Controversial List – The Countries With The Best & Worst Management Practices

Today we are looking at a controversial study which claims to have identify which countries have good managers and which have countries aren’t looking so good. Best and Worst Management Practices

Don’t forget to click here to collect your free staff management goodies while they are still available.

But before we see whether your country has the best or worst management practices, let’s take a quick look at what David James had to say in the Business Review magazine about Australian management:

[quote] Some Important Definitions . . . Managers: Long suffering martyrs who have had absolutely nothing to do with Australia’s sharp drop in productivity. The sun was in their eyes. They weren’t ready. The other side cheated (by being better). Unions: A bunch of wicked vampires who destroy quality management in Australia, despite inhabiting less than 20 per cent of the workforce. True, managers run 100 per cent of the workforce, but it is still unions’ fault. Obviously.[/quote]

The Best And Worst Management Practices

So back to the controversial management study

The study comes up with ten conclusions on management practices in different countries:

  1. Firms with “better” management practices tend to have better performance on a wide range of dimensions: they are larger, more productive, grow faster, and have higher survival rates.
  2. Management practices vary tremendously across firms and countries. Most of the difference in the average management score of a country is due to the size of the “long tail” of very badly managed firms. For example, relatively few U.S. firms are very badly managed, while Brazil and India have many firms in that category.
  3. Countries and firms specialize in different styles of management. For example, American firms score much higher than Swedish firms in incentives but are worse than Swedish firms in monitoring.
  4. Strong product market competition appears to boost average management practices through a combination of eliminating the tail of badly managed firms and pushing incumbents to improve their practices.
  5. Multinationals are generally well managed in every country. They also transplant their management styles abroad. For example, U.S. multinationals located in the United Kingdom are better at incentives and worse at monitoring than Swedish multinationals in the United Kingdom.
  6. Firms that export (but do not produce) overseas are better-managed than domestic non-exporters, but are worse-managed than multinationals.
  7. Inherited family-owned firms who appoint a family member (especially the eldest son) as chief executive officer are very badly managed on average. Click to tweet this finding.
  8. Government-owned firms are typically managed extremely badly.
  9. Firms with publicly quoted share prices or owned by private-equity firms are typically well managed.
  10. Firms that more intensively use human capital, as measured by more educated workers, tend to have much better management practices.
  11. At the country level, a relatively light touch in labor market regulation is associated with better use of incentives by management.

Before we show you the list and before you get a little hot under the collar, we should point out that the study was conducted by British academics.

The List Of Countries With The Best and Worst Management Practices

Don’t forget to click here to collect your free staff management goodies while they are still available.

The countries in the report are listed from best (at the top) to worst:

  1. United States
  2. Germany
  3. Sweden
  4. Japan
  5. Canada
  6. France
  7. Italy
  8. Great Britain
  9. Australia
  10. Northern Ireland
  11. Poland
  12. Republic of Ireland
  13. Portugal
  14. Brazil
  15. India
  16. China
  17. Greece

How did your country fare?

Don’t forget to click here to collect your free staff management goodies while they are still available.

HRwisdom

Presentation – What Motivates Employees & What Demotivates Employees

Excellent Presentation On What Motivates Employees & What Demotivates Employees

Today we are sharing an excellent presentation which helps to answer the common management questions of what motivates employees and what demotivates employees. What Motivates Employees & What Demotivates Employees

The speaker, behavioral economist Dan Ariely, briefly outlines a number of experiments that relate to human motivation.

Dan then links them back to the workplace with excellent suggestions for all organisations to consider.

Karl Marx even appears briefly too (well, his philosophy anyway).

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out the current HRwisdom Bonuses only available to readers of the HRwisdom Blog.

Let’s watch . . .

What Motivates Employees & What Demotivates Employees

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How To Benefit From Team Building Events

How To Benefit From Team Building Events

At HRwisdom, we often look at how to motivate and engage staff. Today, we have a guest article which looks at  how to benefit from team building events.

How Businesses Can Benefit From Team Building Events

Team building is not a new phenomenon but an increasing number of businesses are only just discovering the benefits that team activities can bring. How To Benefit From Team Building Events

Team building’s effect is two-fold: it not only stimulates personal development in employees but the day can also have a lasting impact on the business in the form of improved productivity and motivation.

In fact, the benefits of team building are having such an impact that some businesses are incorporating team building as part of their standard curriculum, making it a regular outing every month or two months.

If you’re out of the loop, you may be wondering just what makes team building such an important part of business. Here’s a handful of reasons.

Leadership

Most team-building activities involve solving a problem; from creating a structure from scratch or eliminating an opposing team at paintball. From a business perspective, it is interesting to see which members of a team step up to the leadership plate in this type of environment.

Through observation, managers can also identify particular talents like delegation, planning and other individual skills that may emerge. By letting this expertise blossom on a team day and bringing them back to the workplace, businesses can benefit from the use of these skills in an office environment.

It’s not just businesses that can reap the benefits. Certain team-building activities can foster confidence, energy and creativity in a team as well as giving people the chance to learn personal information about each other. By establishing a rapport between team members that may not have bonded before, people could be willing to work in a more amicable way in the office.

Motivation

Further to building rapport, team members can have a tendency to help each other more when a problem needs to be solved. On a team-building day, an environment is specifically created, helping people to work together to achieve a certain goal or objective. This can be useful when brought back to the workplace as working together to reach a target is a key objective for many businesses.

Motivation to solve tasks not only helps achieve personal goals but also improves business performance. Think of your company as a machine with a lot of little cogs that need to turn for the business to move forward. Regular maintenance and calibration is needed for the machine to improve; it’s the same for your workers.

Team-building activities can also help foster innovation; a key trait for any business looking to grow. SmartBlogs suggests you might even be “surprised at the innovations and improvements that result from all that collaborative brainpower” let loose in an environment outside the office.

As we can see, there are more than a few reasons to embark on a regular team-building day. Throwing a spanner into the predictable pattern and routine of the workplace may return dividends at the end of the financial year in the form of trust, performance and the understanding of a team’s strengths.

HRwisdom

Written by Blue Hat (www.bluehatgroup.co.uk). Bluehat Group is a multi award winning team building organisation. They specialise in live events with particular emphasis on communication, motivation, learning and performance related outcomes. 

What Does ‘Reasonably Practicable’ Mean In Australia’s Workplace Health & Safety Act? [& Free WHS Guide]

What Does ‘Reasonably Practicable’ Mean In Australia’s Workplace Health & Safety Act? [& Free WHS Guide]

Many Australian business managers and HR professionals have struggled with the question of what is ‘reasonably practicable’ when it comes to the national model workplace health & safety obligations? What Does 'Reasonably Practicable' Mean

The Workplace Health & Safety Act requires that everyone is given the highest level of health and safety protection from hazards arising from work, as far as ‘reasonably practicable.’

There are a number of factors to consider when deciding what ‘reasonably practicable’ actually means.

NEED SOME HELP WITH YOUR DUE DILIGENCE OBLIGATIONS? 

Click here to get a free half-hour telephone consultation with a safety expert to analyse your due diligence obligations. You’ll be able to ask questions and leave with a customised due diligence action plan to use straight away to protect your business. Click Here To Get Your Free Due Diligence Action Plan.

Here’s what the Government has to say about what is ‘reasonably practicable’ when it comes to the employer’s workplace health & safety obligations:

  • „The likelihood of a hazard or risk occurring (in essence the probability of a person being exposed to harm).
  • „The degree of harm that might result if the hazard or risk occurred (in essence the potential seriousness of injury or harm).
  • „What the person concerned knows, or ought to reasonably know, about the hazard or risk and ways of eliminating or minimising it.
  • „The availability of suitable ways to eliminate or minimise the hazard or risk.
  • The cost of eliminating or minimising the hazard or risk. Costs may only be considered after assessing the extent of the risk and the available ways of eliminating or minimising the risk. Ordinarily cost will not be the key factor in determining what it is reasonably practicable for a duty holder to do unless it can be shown to be ‘grossly disproportionate’ to the risk. If the risk is particularly severe a PCBU will need to demonstrate that costly safety measures are not reasonably practicable due to their expense and that other less costly measures could also effectively eliminate or minimise the risk.

Finally, if you are looking for more information on the national model workplace health & safety legislation, download the government guide here.

Remember To Get Your Free Due Diligence Action Plan

Click here to get a free half-hour telephone consultation with a safety expert to analyse your due diligence obligations. You’ll be able to ask questions and leave with a customised due diligence action plan to use straight away to protect your business. Click Here To Get Your Free Due Diligence Action Plan.

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Value Chain Analysis For Business Growth

Value Chain Analysis For Business Growth

At HRwisdom we examine different management theories from time to time. Today, HRwisdom contributor Francis Santos is looking at value chain analysis for business growth.

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Over to Francis . . .

How to Enjoy a Competitive Business Edge With Value Chain Analysis 

The business decisions of small and medium-sized companies have a tremendous impact on their competitive standing, profitability, and sustainability. The Porter Value Chain, or value chain analysis, enables these organizations to formulate strategies that help them make more effective decisions. This post will explain what the concept means and how it comes together with the right tools.

What is Value Chain Analysis?

A value chain is essentially an abstract link comprised of all the value-creating activities an organization may engage in. Value Chain Analysis For Business Growth

Depending on the organization, these activities may range from the procurement of raw materials to marketing and delivering the end product or service to customer relations and providing after-sales support. The objective of these activities is not merely to deliver a product or a service to the customer, but create and enhance the value to the point where it will ultimately translate into greater revenue for the company.

Carving Out the Competitive Edge

There are distinct inter-relationships between the wide array of activities in this so-called value chain, including the research and development efforts, procurement of supplies, production line components, marketing, sales, and all the different IT systems that record data about these activities. The challenge for the organization in the center of this madness is maintaining these links and integrating all the activities they support in a single strategy. This is an immensely complex task, but it is also the key to gaining that competitive advantage we mentioned.

The Porter Value Chain concept aims to simplify the grueling aforementioned process by helping the company break down their core activities to better understand the intricacies and the inter-relationships between the distribution channels, the pricing policies, product differentiation approaches, selling propositions, and various other segments within the chain. This in-depth knowledge helps them evaluate how each activity can be improved via cost reduction and/or product differentiation to increase revenue prospects and enhance the user experience.

The Importance of Analysis

A growing number of businesses are feeling the burden that comes with keeping their supply chain in check. According to the findings of a study conducted by Deloitte and published by The Wall Street Journal, executives in companies across multiple industries agree that it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage their extended value chains —  the networks of external vendors, distributors, and customers they depend on to thrive. The most critical problems center on the collaboration between the various links in the supply chain and the absence of end-to-end visibility in the entire product life cycle, the survey found.

There is room for improvement in businesses of all size, from virtually all industries. Unfortunately, this simple aspect is often lost on of some of the most influential figures in the organization. Value chain analysis essentially acts as both a blueprint and a checklist to help companies discover and overcome strategic limitations of activities like those mentioned above and thus be able to devise more focused competitive strategies and implement them more effectively. It gets the attention of key stakeholders and helps them see the value in this added visibility.

Tying It Together with the Right Solutions

Despite its growing importance, the market for value chain analysis tools is thinner than some organizations would like. However, there are a few options. Carrying out  an effective and comprehensive analysis exercise requires real-time access to information and the ability to process these humongous chunks of data within extremely short periods of time. For this reason, some of the best solutions for value chain analysis are the big data systems companies are using to handle the influx of structured and unstructured information. Vendors such as Quantum, Microsoft, and even hardware maker Intel are carving out systems that helps firms conduct proper analysis and clinch that oh-so-important competitive edge you keep hearing about.

Value chain analysis is a powerful tool. Give it the respect it deserves, and it can be highly effective at helping you uncover ways to create and maximize value for both the customer and company alike. By taking an integrated approach to business, it supports improvement from the marketing and delivery of goods to superb customer service after the fact. It can be a challenging endeavor, but with the right tools and sound planning, it’s one that will pay off for some time to come.

Where does your business stand on value chain analysis? Are you pursuing it, or still in the dark?

Sources:

http://deloitte.wsj.com/cfo/2013/02/27/executives-see-growing-supply-chain-risks-costlier-disruptions/

HRwisdom

Francis Santos is the Marketing Manager for Benchmark Events. He graduated from Cal State Long Beach and holds a degree in Journalism. In addition, he is also the executive editor for separate popular news blogs. Follow him on Twitter.

Don’t forget to access all your free resources and bonuses here now.

Pros And Cons Of Zero Hour Contracts

Pros And Cons Of Zero Hour Contracts

HRwisdom looks at workforce-related issues around the world.

Today, HRwisdom contributor Joe Errington looks at the pros and cons of zero hour contracts in the UK.

Don’t forget to access all the latest free HRwisdom resources and special gifts – just click here.

Over to Joe . . .

Zero Hour Contracts Examined

New research claims that one million British workers are employed on zero hours contracts. Under these, they are not guaranteed hours and are only paid for the work they put in. Is this a fair system though? What are the benefits and drawbacks? Is there a better solution for businesses?

A zero hour contract is essentially a formal agreement of casual employment. As the name suggests, employees are given a proper contract but with no set hours. In difficult times, it is useful for employers to have this kind of flexibility, but it can be open to abuse.

Retailer Sports Direct has found itself thrown into the stoplight again following the revelations that 90% of its staff are employed this way. With many workers at Sports Direct’s beck and call, not knowing from one day to the next whether they will be working, many have been quick to point the finger and accuse them of exploitation.

So are workers being exploited, or is this an essential means of fighting unemployment? Here are the main arguments for and against the zero hour contract.

Flexibility

Zero hours contracts allow small and mediums sized companies to cope with varying demand. In consumer facing industries, you cannot know for sure how busy you will be tomorrow, and zero hour contracts are a way of reducing overheads and minimising risk.

It is this kind of flexibility that kept many people in jobs during the worst of the recession. Where full time contracts would have required redundancies, zero hours allows employers to shave a little time off everyone’s workload, reducing the wage bill without any drastic measures.

Motivation

Both employers and employees will relay their frustrations at lazy or unmotivated colleagues. In the same way that a zero hour is open to abuse from employers, full-time contracts can be abused by employees.

Unproductive workers cost companies thousands, and heap more pressure on their colleagues. As a result, many employers are reluctant to offer staff a full-time contract unless they are 100% sure they are right for the job. Another way which zero hour contracts help to minimise risk.

Better Than Casual

Most UK companies will need to employ casual labour at some point; whilst technically illegal, this is necessary and should be tolerated to a point.

The casual labour market costs the government millions in unpaid tax though. Zero hour contracts are a way of bringing this back above ground, recouping money for the government and helping to protect worker’s rights.

Exploitative

In times of economic hardship, more people are willing to take any job available to them. Many unscrupulous employers know this and use zero hours contracts as a way of reducing costs at the expense of their employees.

By employing people this way, they can get around many employee’s benefits which we now take for granted. Sick pay, holidays and pensions are all avoided, affecting the financial security of many workers.

Damages Economy

Workers who do not feel financially secure are less likely to spend money. The decision to buy a home for example, will be put back for a few more years, hindering our economic growth.

With the lack of quality, secure jobs available, there is little incentive for people to get back to work. Although living off benefits is not ideal, it is much more stable than a job with no guaranteed hours.

The Solution

Employers, unions and the government need to come together to reach an agreement that is in everyone’s best interests. There are ways in which a company can stay flexible, without compromising job security.

Flexible hours contracts allow employers tailor their rotas to meet varying demand, while at the same time offering their staff a guaranteed income. For smaller businesses, or those affected by seasonal changes, this can be an ideal way of reducing risk for both their employees and themselves.

For larger organisations, outsourcing peripheral parts of their business may be the answer. Specialist facilities management services can take care of tasks such as cleaning, catering and security, allowing companies to offload the risk and focus on their core functions.

HRwisdom

Joe Errington is a marketing executive for MITIE, a strategic outsourcing company who specialise in facilities management.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Voluntary Redundancy vs Forced Redundancy

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Voluntary Redundancy vs Forced Redundancy

With the world economy struggling and companies continuing to layoff staff, questions arise over the respective advantages and disadvantages of voluntary redundancy vs forced redundancy.

It is an emotionally-charged topic for all involved, including for the people making the decisions about who goes and who stays.

 

 

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Get $30 and a free transfer when you use CurrencyFair to send money overseas via this special HRwisdom offer link.

 

Voluntary Redundancy vs Forced Redundancy

You may have already read the HRwisdom Blog post on how to fire someone.

You may have read about how to build a resilient workforce.

You may have seen our recommended employment document software programs to create customised termination letters and other HR documents.

Now is probably a good time to listen to our very popular interview which looks at the different aspects of the difficult process of managing redundancies in the workplace. voluntary redundancy vs forced redundancy

The interview on how to manage redundancies is divided into small, bite-sized pieces.

In the first part of the interview, we take a look at:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of offering voluntary redundancies vs conducting forced redundancies/involuntary redundancies?

In the other sections, there is good advice on how to manage the redundancy process. This includes:

  • What are the steps involved in the staff redundancy process?
  • How to select employees for involuntary redundancy?
  • How to communicate during the redundancy process?
  • Should you walk someone out immediately when making them redundant?
  • How can you manage redundancies without destroying all employee goodwill?
  • A case study.

To access this excellent interview (it’s free, of course), just log-in using the form over on the right hand side.

Then click on the link called:

How To Manage Redundancies Without Destroying All Employee Goodwill

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Australian 457 Temporary Work Visa Controversy [Watch The 30 Second Video]

Australian 457 Temporary Work Visa Controversy [Watch The 30 Second Video]

Skilled migration to Australia and employer-sponsored work visas is an area that can become a political battleground when politics gets involved.

With the federal election campaign in full swing, the Australian 457 temporary work visa debate continues to rage. Australian 457 Temporary Work Visa

The powerful construction union, the CFMEU, is continuing its million dollar anti-457 employer-sponsored work visa campaign.

HRwisdom previously shared an entertaining video produced by the union movement for a previous election campaign.

This CFMEU campaign features the anti-457 work visa video shown below.

Need answers to any of your questions about individual or employment-related Australian visas?

You can get them for free from a migration expert thanks to HRwisdom.

For free migration visa advice, click here: Australian visa advice.

Australian 457 Temporary Work Visa Video

The CFMEU’s anti-temporary work visa video in Australia:

Remember, to get free migration visa advice for individuals and employers, click here: Australian visa advice.

The Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) allows skilled workers to come to Australia and work for an approved business for up to four years. The employee must be sponsored by an approved business. A business can sponsor someone for this visa if they cannot find an Australian citizen or permanent resident to do the skilled work. The person can be in or outside Australia when the application gets lodged.

According to the Australian Government, the person must meet several criteria:

  • Be nominated  to work in an approved occupation on the Skilled Occupation Lists (Formerly Known as Form 1121i)
  • Meet the skill requirements for the nominated occupation
  • Meet registration and licensing obligations
  • Speak vocational English
  • Have been nominated by an approved business.

 

Free Australian 457 Temporary Work Visa Advice

Have your questions answered regarding all Australian visa types.

For free workplace visa advice, click here: Australian visa advice.

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Employee Involvement In Quality Control

Employee Involvement In Quality Control

It is a fairly safe assumption that employee involvement in quality control is important factor in a business’ success.

Click for handy employer resources here.

However, every day we see examples of poor quality service and products and it makes us wonder what level of employee involvement was in place.

In a slightly surreal sequence recently here at HRwisdom, a water cooler conversation about large scale vehicle recalls due to part defects somehow led to a discussion about the lack of quality control processes that allowed the creation of an outstandingly awful movie called: Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus. 

Now, full disclosure, we’re haven’t seen the film, we’ve only seen the trailer. Employee Involvement In Quality Control

However, in case you are secretly harbouring any doubts that a film called Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus could really be all that bad, consider the plot: an enormous shark leaps 30,000 feet into the air and attacks a passing jetplane. 

If you really want to see it (why, oh why?) you can watch a brief clip on YouTube here (it contains a swear word).

So yes, it is that bad and it got us wondering – what were they thinking? Was there any employee involvement in quality control? And if so, would it have saved the film?

Which leads us to the point (yes, there is one).

Employee Involvement In Quality Control

Is it time that all organisations (especially B Grade movie producers) revisited the 14 famous quality improvement principles developed by management guru, W. Edwards Deming?

We’ve listed them here:

Deming’s 14 Key Principles

  • 1. Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive, stay in business and to provide jobs.
  • 2. Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change.
  • 3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for massive inspection by building quality into the product in the first place.
  • 4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of a price tag. Instead, minimize total cost. Move towards a single supplier for any one item, on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust.
  • 5. Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs.
  • 6. Institute training on the job.
  • 7. Institute leadership. The aim of supervision should be to help people and machines and gadgets do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of overhaul, as well as supervision of production workers.
  • 8. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company. 
  • 9. Break down barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team, in order to foresee problems of production and usage that may be encountered with the product or service.
  • 10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the work force.
  • 11a. Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor. Substitute with leadership.
  • 11b. Eliminate management by objective. Eliminate management by numbers and numerical goals. Instead substitute with leadership.
  • 12a. Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality.
  • 12b. Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride of workmanship. This means, inter alia, abolishment of the annual or merit rating and of management by objectives.
  • 13 Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.
  • 14 Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody’s job.

Perhaps if every organisation considered Deming’s wisdom, there would be fewer films about airplane-chomping mega sharks.

HRwisdom

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