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Challenges In Managing Change | Unusual Insight From A Retired Rock Star

Challenges In Managing Change | Unusual Insight From A Retired Rock Star

There are many challenges in managing change for supervisors and middle managers when it comes to managing staff.

There are well-known problems faced by frontline leaders and middle managers:

  • Dealing with difficult employees and workplace law issues.
  • Managing within constrained budgets
  • Excessive numbers of meetings
  • The need to constantly reduce costs
  • Balancing requirements of the role with managing each individual team member

There are many more such challenges in managing change.

However, there is another challenge facing supervisors and middle managers that doesn’t get much airplay . . .

An Under-Acknowledged Challenge When Managing Change

Consider the ‘under-acknowledged’ challenge: Line managers being required to communicate and support unpopular decisions into which they had no input.

We were reminded by this problem in an unusual way – by a retired rock and roll star. challenges in managing change

Peter Garrett was formerly the lead singer of the successful Australian rock band, Midnight Oil. He then went on to become a politician, being signed as a star recruit to ultimately become a minister in the Labor government.

Recently, with the switch back to Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister, Garrett announced his resignation from the ministry and from politics.

In a post-resignation interview with Alex Malley, Garrett was free to open up about a key challenge he faced during his time as a government minister.  

challenges in managing change |1Strangely enough, he described the under-acknowledged problem that faces supervisors and middle managers when it comes to communicating difficult news.

The interview article introduced the issue: “Politicians often argue in favour of policies they personally, secretly oppose. It’s an essential part of the political game. Just ask Peter Garrett.

[quote]”I always understood entirely what I think are the very necessary disciplines of being a team player in a political party,” Mr Garrett told TV series The Bottom Line…” I took the view, painful as it was, that if you are a cabinet minister in a government and you accept the fact that government policy won’t always reflect your specific personal viewpoint then you’ve got one of two choices.” “You can either leave or you can be a responsible member of the cabinet,” he said. “I chose the latter course of action. But it was by no means easy.”[/quote]

According to the interview, ‘Mr Garrett had told the interviewer Alex Malley that he had always compensated for that inability to speak his mind publicly by arguing passionately with his fellow ministers.’

[quote]”I do reflect my views very strongly where I need to with my colleagues,” he said. But when the argument in cabinet is over, it’s every minister’s duty to express support for the final policy in public.”[/quote]

Challenges In Managing Change – What Can We Learn From A Retired Rock Star?

When it comes to helping our supervisory staff and middle managers, what can businesses learn from a retired rock star?

Key Learning: When making business decisions that may be controversial or difficult to accept, business leaders must look beyond the usual communications plans that tend to only focus on the ‘end users’ of the decision.

Time must be taken to consider whether involvement and buy-in by supervisors and middle managers is possible.

If it is possible, leaders should maximise the chance of the proposed change succeeding by getting the crucial commitment of the people who will receive the most questions and feedback when the change is announced – line managers.

If the involvement of line managers is not possible, business leaders must plan for extra briefings and support for this key group before the message is widely communicated.

Feel free to share this article with your friends and colleagues.

HRwisdom

How To Measure HR And Display Business Metrics [Plus A Brain Teaser For You]

At HRwisdom, we talk a lot about how to measure HR and how to get the best out of your workforce using effective business targets and measures

In one of our many free employer briefings (’15 Ways To Manage Your Employees During Uncertain Times’) we suggest the following:

  1. Clearly identify the most important business measures (KPIs = Key Performance Indicators) that will keep your business afloat during challenging times. The critical measure of ‘Break-Even’ is a good start and you could then add other measures such as ‘Widgets Sold Per Month’ or ‘Cost Per Unit’ as appropriate. Publish these three or four measures everywhere in the form of very basic charts that any passerby can understand at a glance. These charts should, at a minimum, be above every water cooler or in every lunchroom and they should be updated daily to emphasise their importance. Discuss the results at every opportunity.
  2. Apply performance-based pay, incentives, or bonuses to every job. Note that these can be non-financial incentives. Ideally, all incentives should be results of pre-determined outcomes linked to the business’s key performance indicators. Celebrate small and big wins and use these celebrations to focus staff on doing the things that have the biggest impact on your key measures.

Other Posts You Might Be Interested In:

Good Advice On Workforce Productivity

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Bizarre – Why Did They Fire This Punctual, Top Performing Employee?

How To Manage Redundancies Without Destroying All Staff Goodwill [Audio Interview]

How To Measure HR Performance and Business Performance?

In the extracts above, we described some of the ways you can measure the performance of your human resources and of your business overall. How To Measure HR

However, we often get asked about how best to display this information?

After all, some business measures can be quite tricky to communicate to the workforce so how can we display this on paper so everyone can understand easier?

In today’s HRwisdom blog post on how to measure HR, we’re sharing some valuable information from an industry expert on how to display these business and HR metrics in the most effective and convincing manner.

This time, however, the resource is a little different and, hopefully, a little fun for you.

The resource comes courtesy of Stephen Few. Stephen consults to industry and teaches in the MBA program at the University of California, Berkeley.

How To Measure HR With Metric Displays

Stephen is a regular visitor to Australia to  run his leading-edge training and share his Graph Design IQ Test.

An HR Brain Teaser For You 

Think you know the best way to share performance results with your staff?

To test your HR metrics and business performance display knowledge, click here.

We’d love it if you shared this with your friends and colleagues (you can use the social media buttons below).

Enjoy!

HRwisdom

Training And Development Of Staff

Training and development of staff – this is one of the key issues addressed in the free HRwisdom Employee Attraction & Retention Guide available for download here now.

In HRwisdom Community Employee Attraction & Retention Guide, sixteen expert employee management practitioners from all areas of the human resources field offer their best employee attraction & retention advice.

Other Resources You Might Like:

Financial Awareness Staff Training Module (Free Use For 1 Week)

Good Advice On Workforce Productivity

Recommended HR Consulting Firms in Australia

Free Workplace Bullying Training

Training and Development of Staff

Much of the information in the comprehensive free guide goes towards answering questions around Training and development of staff.

In the wider context, the free guide has been developed to help business owners and Human Resources professionals who want to fast-track their staff management success.

Expert Advice On Training and Developing Employees

One such expert contributor is Alan Hargreaves.

Training and Development of Staff

Alan Hargreaves has spent 35 years in financial services and business consulting.

Alan’s approach to management is highly effective, yet inspiringly simple. It focuses on real issues rather than strategic principles. His innovative mix of personal and collaborative action brings immediate traction. He is author of the management book, Recharge, published by John Wiley and Sons.

Alan is a director and partner of Hargreaves Revis Wills, which provides bespoke mentoring services to senior executives. He is regularly engaged as a speaker, consultant and mentor.

In his article, Alan puts a unique service perspective on the issue of staff development. This perspective provides a powerful way to build trust and loyalty with your staff. By adopting some of Alan’s ideas, you may well be pleasantly surprised by the result.

Download The Free Employee Attraction & Retention Guide

For instant download of the comprehensive free “HRwisdom Community Employee Attraction & Retention Guide,” click on Employee Attraction & Retention Guide now.

Training and Development of Employees

HRwisdom

Good Advice On Workforce Productivity

Major new research and advice on workforce productivity by global consulting firm Ernst & Young has added weight to the seven step high performance process outlined in a recent HRwisdom workforce productivity presentation. Advice on Workforce Productivity

The free presentation (click here to see the: high performance team presentation) was conducted by the lead consultant from an award-winning human resources consulting firm in Brisbane.

The Ernst & Young data was recently published as the ‘Australian Productivity Pulse’ (we’ve put the link to the report in our Free Resources area – just log in now for free using the login form over on the right hand side).

Workforce Productivity Report

The Australian Productivity Pulse suggested that around $109 billion in wages is wasted every year due to poor productivity issues. 

The report found that, at an individual employee level, work done that adds ‘real value’ equals 58% of the working day whilst activities such as personal development & networking account for 24%.

Eighteen per cent of the average working day is spent doing work that ‘wastes time and effort’ – an astonishing figure.

Other Resources You Might Like:

Financial Awareness Staff Training Module (Free Use For 1 Week)

How To Manage Redundancies Without Destroying All Employee Goodwill

Recommended HR Consulting Firms in Australia

Areas Of Workplace Productivity To Improve

The Australian Productivity Pulse identifies four main areas to improve:

  • People management issues: developing and utilising the full talents and capabilities of human capital.
  • Organisation structure, design and operating model: removing all wasteful, bureaucratic, and non-value work and outputs.
  • Innovation: being deliberate and audacious with an innovation agenda.
  • Technology: being more ambitious and effective in process automation and technological change.

Of interest were also the Pulse’s findings that thirty-two percent of employees are planning to leave their organisation in the next 12 months.

Advice on Workforce Productivity

A further thirty-five per cent of staff are already pursuing external opportunities.

50% of the employees surveyed felt that a lack of career direction inside their organisation was forcing them to look elsewhere to achieve their career goals.

To read the report, just log in to the free HRwisdom resources area now (use the form over on the right hand side).

Get More Good Advice On Workforce Productivity Here

Don’t forget to watch the excellent free HRwisdom presentation: The 7 Things That Set High Performing Organisations Apart.

The free staff management presentation provides excellent advice on workforce productivity.

During this free on-demand webinar presentation, you’ll get:

  • Practical insights into the important things that set high performing organisations apart.
  • The seven things that make them high performers.
  • Five simple steps to take action on this powerful information.

You can see the presentation here: Good Advice on Workforce Productivity Presentation

HRwisdom

 

 

Recent Job Losses In Australia [Plus Free Interview On Managing Redundancies]

It’s been a rough few weeks for redundancies and job losses in the Australian labour market. Job Losses Image

Today we’re looking at the recent announcements.

We’re also sharing another helpful free HRwisdom resource on the right way to handle redundancies.

Before we get started, you may also be interested in these other HRwisdom articles (they will open in a new window):

Bizarre – Why Did They Fire This Punctual, Top Performing Employee?

Free Information Sessions On Workplace Law For Employers

How To Really Freak Out Your Workforce

Recent Job Losses

This week, it was announced that the national cleaning company Swan Services was going into administration with the loss of nearly 2500 jobs.

Nine hundred of those job losses were in NSW and 578 were in Victoria.

A further 583 people lost their jobs in Queensland, 184 in Western Australia, 156 in South Australia and 64 in the ACT.

Job Losses Australia

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the union was now involved:

[quote] The national president of the union United Voice, Michael Crosby, yesterday said Swan had been one of the five biggest cleaning businesses in the country, and its woes followed a string of collapses in the industry. “Swan Services could potentially owe cleaners hundreds of thousands of dollars in entitlements, including annual leave, sick leave, unpaid wages, superannuation and we want to ensure they are protected,” Mr Crosby said.[/quote]

To add to these woes, Ford Australia announced major job losses in its Victorian operations. 

The Age summarised the job losses in this media report

[quote]Ford Australia has announced it will slash jobs — and production — at its Broadmeadows and Geelong plants by almost a third as slow sales of its Falcon large family car bite hard. The company today announced up to 440 workers, mainly from its factories, would be offered voluntary redundancies as part of a massive restructure of its workforce taking place over the next three months.[/quote] 

The public sector isn’t safe either, it would seem according to the Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in his recent Budget reply speech (although he says it will happen through natural attrition):

[quote]”We’ve announced that we’ll reduce by at least 12,000, through natural attrition, the size of the Commonwealth public sector that’s now 20,000 bureaucrats bigger than in 2007.” [/quote]

Difficult times indeed.

The Right Way To Handle Redundancies

For any employer seeking advice on how to handle redundancies and job losses, we recommend you listen to our excellent redundancies information interview.

The interview is free and it provides you with thoughtful insights into how to manage redundancies without destroying all employee goodwill.

HRwisdom

Australian Government Gives $20 Million To Combat Workplace Bullying [So Here’s Your Free Workplace Bullying E-Learning Module]

Workplace Bullying is a major problem in all economies. Workplace Bullying E-Learning

The Australian Government estimates that workplace bullying costs the national economy over $36 million dollars per year in lost productivity.

As a result, the recent Federal Budget allocated over $20 million dollars to the Fair Work Commission so that it could do more in this troublesome area.

Free Workplace Bullying E-Learning Module

HRwisdom has a special limited-time bonus: One week of free E-learning for employers.

Please Note: This special bonus is only available within Australia.

HRwisdom has arranged for you to get one free week’s use of one of Savv-e’s popular compliance training modules, including the excellent module on workplace bullying.

Obviously, this bonus will only be available for a very limited time.

We suggest you grab the workplace bullying module right now.

Get Your Free Workplace Bullying E-Learning Now

Workplace Bullying E-Learning

If you would like one week’s free use of one of the online compliance modules we have chosen for HRwisdom, fill in the form below

This bonus will only be available for a very limited time so we suggest you grab it now.

Feel free to forward this message on to your friends and colleagues.

To request the free trial, please put your contact details and your preferred training module in the box below.

Request Your Special 1 Week Free E-Learning Module Now 


HRwisdom

 

How To Manage Redundancies Without Destroying All Staff Goodwill [Audio Interview]

HRwisdom asked one of its contributors, Jacqui Alder, what was her advice for businesses on how to manage redundancies without destroying all employ goodwill? 

How To Manage Redundancies

Jacqui Alder is a consultant with extensive and diverse experience across Human Resources, change management, organisational development and industrial relations.

Jacqui’s experience has been gained across a variety of industry sectors.

 The sectors include:

How To Manage Redundancies

  • Resources
  • Manufacturing
  • Transport
  • Government
  • Defence

Jacqui has had significant achievements across a range of areas, with projects including:

  • Organisational change
  • Culture change
  • Organisational redesign
  • Systems implementation
  • Workforce reform
  • Cost improvement

We asked Jacqui to share her expertise in different aspects of the difficult process of managing redundancies in the workplace.

How To Manage Redundancies

In the redundancies interview, we will take a look at:

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of offering voluntary redundancies versus conducting forced redundancies/involuntary redundancies?
  • What are the steps involved in the redundancy process?
  • How to select people for involuntary redundancy?
  • How to communicate throughout the redundancy process?
  • Should you march someone out immediately when making them redundant?
  • How can you implement redundancies without destroying all employee goodwill?
  • A case study.

Log In Here To Listen To The Interview [For Free]

To listen to HRwisdom’s excellent free audio interview series on how to manage redundancies, just log in in using the following free form. 

Email My Invitation To The Interview Series:

“How To Manage Redundancies Without Destroying All Employee Goodwill.”

 

HRwisdom

7 Things That Set High Performing Organisations Apart

HRwisdom invites you to another free short webinar to help you and your business:

The 7 Things That Set High Performing Organisations Apart.

The 7 Things That Set High Performing Organisations Apart

The influential research firm Insync recently put out the results of a survey into what makes high performing organisations, well, high performing. High Performing Organisations

It is a highly valid survey of more than 100,000 employees in over 200 organisations conducted over 5 years.

Anne Barclay of HR Advantage will be talking us through the survey results and the learnings for your business.

The key outcome that Anne and her colleagues noticed when they looked at the results was how consistent the survey results are with other highly respected research.

Other such research includes that conducted by Jim Collins (Good to Great and Built to Last) and work done by people like Stephen Covey (7 Habits of Highly Effective People).

The survey results were also highly consistent with the consulting experience of Anne’s team when working with successful (and not so successful) firms.

High Performing Organisations

Drawing on these powerful new survey findings, Anne will share:

  1. Practical insights into the important things that set high performing organisations apart.
  2. The seven things that make them high performers.
  3. Five simple steps to take action on this powerful information.

Attend The Free On-Demand Webinar Right Now

This lively information session will run for a quick 20 minutes and is free for you to attend.

You do not need any special software or a phone line.

The briefing will be streamed through your normal internet browser.

Sound will play through your computer.

You can ask Anne questions via your keyboard (even if watching a replay).

To attend right now, just click here: free employer webinar.

HRwisdom

Interesting Workplace Management Advice – Dealing With Poverty – Part 2

Today we are following-up on the first half of Paul Mooney’s very interesting workplace management advice on dealing with poverty. Paul Mooney

Yesterday, Paul shared his thoughts on a topic that is rarely discussed in business – managing people from a low socio-economic background.

To see the first half of this article, click here: workplace management advice.

Over to Paul . . .

Interesting Workplace Management Advice – Dealing With Poverty – Part 2

This week, I want to bring you on this journey that goes back a couple of years. Picture the scene. I was about to ‘pull the trigger’ on a guy that reported into me. He had been underperforming for quite a while and had recently stepped over the line. I was meeting the Full-Time Union Official  – simply as a courtesy – to tell him what was about to happen. After he’d heard the details, he made the point: “Why don’t you give him a break. That guy was born with a rusty spoon in his mouth. ”

Poverty Explained

It was a graphic description of poverty and a timely reminder that not all of us have equal privilege.  The question around why some people are poor is one of the perennial debates in sociology. A number of structural causes are normally put forward to explain why individuals find it difficult to escape the poverty trap. These include:

To see the causes in the previous article, click here: workplace management advice.

Moral Fibre

There is an alternative right wing view that sees poverty as an outcome of the absence of moral fibre (essentially, a lack of character).

This includes a fear of working hard, acceptance of state handouts, using money for immediate pleasure, substance abuse and so on.

Evidence for this is often grounded around stories of individuals who started out in poor circumstances, but managed to scramble up the mountain and become successful. 

Those individuals sometimes love telling their own ‘rags to riches’ story a la Bill Cullen.

Indeed, this view of the world has some universal appeal.

It makes the rest of us feel ‘We’ve earned our success’ (better than admitting we were just lucky to be born into a particular family and social strata). 

Overall, the ‘lack of moral fibre’ argument is a minority view as an explanation for poverty.

The general consensus in the literature is that (a) there will always be exceptional individuals who can overcome adversity (b) for every career that poverty ‘supports’, it blights 100 others.

To summarize, while there are elements of truth in both perspectives, poverty can be better understood by a range of structural factors rather than being the outcome of individual underperformance.

John Lonergan was the former Governer of Mountjoy Prison in Dublin. He regularly said: “It’s not just a coincidence, that most of the inmates come from 4 or 5 postal districts”.

Tackling Underperformance

In organizations, a similar debate sometimes takes place when underperformance occurs.

When an organization  (entire business or a particular section) underperforms, the question ‘why’ is raised.  

In broad terms, underperformance occurs for one of two reasons.  A range of ‘structural reasons’ can negatively impact performance or it can be down to a lack of individual effort or talent. 

The structural elements can include changing market conditions, new regulations, key competitor moves, lack of talent in the organization (a failure of previous leadership) and so on.

Professor Charles McCarthy (RIP) in Trinity College, in his book The Decade of Upheaval declared: “Very often, the events were too great for the men”. McCarthy understood that the wave is sometimes bigger than the swimmer and people cannot always cope with this.   At other times, it’s absolutely correct to take someone off a project or take them out of the organization entirely.

Central Point:  ‘Underperformance’ is typically diagnosed as a lack of individual talent.  

However, just like the poverty example cited, there are often hidden structural elements which help to explain how performance gets derailed.

In the end, we decided not to fire the guy. It’s a couple of years ago now and he never became a star performer, but he did knuckle down. In this instance the union official was right and I was wrong.  

As a Leader, your role is to separate truth from fiction.

And, just like a surgeon in Beaumont Hospital, you have to be careful that you don’t remove the wrong organ.

Paul Mooney

Paul Mooney leads Tandem Consulting.

 

Interesting Workplace Management Advice – Dealing With Poverty

Today we are sharing some interesting workplace management advice from an HRwisdom contributor based in Ireland, Paul MooneyPaul Mooney

Paul leads the Tandem Consulting group and is a former President of the National College of Ireland.

Paul is sharing his workplace management advice on a topic that is rarely discussed in business – managing people from a low socio-economic background.

Over to Paul . . .

Workplace Management Advice – Dealing With Poverty

This week, I want to bring you on this journey that goes back a couple of years.

Picture the scene. I was about to ‘pull the trigger’ on a guy that reported into me.

He had been underperforming for quite a while and had recently stepped over the line.

I was meeting the Full-Time Union Official  – simply as a courtesy – to tell him what was about to happen. After he’d heard the details, he made the point: “Why don’t you give him a break. That guy was born with a rusty spoon in his mouth. ”

Poverty Explained

It was a graphic description of poverty and a timely reminder that not all of us have equal privilege.  Workplace Management Advice

The question around why some people are poor is one of the perennial debates in sociology.

A number of structural causes are normally put forward to explain why individuals find it difficult to escape the poverty trap.

These include:

  • Low Income: You’re one of a large number of children whose parents never finished second level school.
  • Family Support: Your parent’s work in minimum wage jobs. Your father does not support you in any way (€ or emotionally).
  • Educational Difficulties: You are gifted with average intelligence. People rarely show interest in your school work.
  • Social Capital: You don’t know anyone well who’s been to college. You’ve no real idea what you’d do in college since you don’t have any exposure to the professions.
  • Role Models: The only people around you that have money are criminals. Everyone else is poor and a lot of them manage on welfare. No one expects you to be any different.
  • Reduced Opportunities: The job you secure is 20 hours a week, pays minimum wage, has few benefits and barely pays for the petrol used to drive there.
  • Low Expectations: The goal that everyone seems to have for you is to stay off drugs and stay out of Prison.

Part 2

In the second half of this article, Paul examines the view of ‘moral fibre’ and its perceived impact on poverty.

Paul then shares his advice on how to tackle underperformance.

To find out what happened to the employee in this story, click here: workplace management advice article.

HRwisdom

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