Author: HRwisdom (page 6 of 10)

Light-Hearted HR Policy Development

Today’s HRwisdom blog post is a light-hearted one on HR policy development although it does come with a language warning.

HR Policy DevelopmentWe have made very rare exception and included a timeless post which does include some rude words (“timeless” meaning this HR tale has been around for many years and we could not find the original source although we are happy to give proper attribution if you know this).

The following is one possible description of how HR Policies are developed in large organisations.

Enjoy (and remember to share this with your colleagues and friends) . . .

 

HR Policy Development

In the beginning was the plan.

And then came the assumptions.

And the assumptions were without form.

And the plan was without substance.

And darkness was upon the face of the workers.

And they spoke among themselves saying,

“It is a crock of shit and it stinketh.”

And the workers went unto their supervisors and said,

“It is a pale of dung and none may abide the odor thereof.”

And the supervisor went unto their managers and said,

“It is a container of excrement and it is very strong, such that none may abide by it.”

And the managers went unto their directors, saying,

“It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength.”

And the directors spoke among themselves, saying to one another,

“It contains that which aids plant growth and it is very strong.”

And the directors went unto the vice presidents, saying unto them,

“It promotes growth and is very powerful.”

And the vice presidents went unto the president, saying unto him,

“The new plan will promote the growth and vigor of the company, with powerful effects.”

And the president looked upon the plan and saw that it was good.

And the plan became policy.

This is how shit happens.

HRwisdom

How To Really Freak Out Your Workforce

Employers everywhere are facing many different challenges and this makes staff motivation very difficult.

Some companies are struggling with the decline of the manufacturing sector and related job losses.

Organisations in the resources-rich states are facing rising labour costs and skills shortage issues.

Businesses in the retail sector are trying to protect tight profit margins and decreasing sales volumes against the flight to online shopping.

No matter what the economic environment or challenges, all organisations need to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of their workforce.

Maximising this efficiency and effectiveness can be done in all sorts of ways such as:

  • Employee Value Propositions (EVP)
  • Process improvement programmes
  • Training and development
  • Employee engagement initiatives
  • Employee retention systems
  • Performance improvement plans

There are all sorts of ways to successfully manage your workforce and many of these good ideas are discussed in the free HRwisdom Employee Attraction & Retention Guide.

 

Not Our Recommended Approach To Staff Motivation

One method of staff motivation that is NOT RECOMMENDED is to give employees $10 if they can successfully guess which of their colleagues is the next to be fired.

In a post a couple of years ago on the US ABC News website, details were reported of a court case in the United States in which an employer found himself in hot water for trying to motivate his staff by running a “firing contest.”

Apparently the employer sent a company-wide memo telling staff they could win if they successfully guessed which of their colleagues would be fired next.

Once the winner had been chosen, the contest started all over again.

Unfortunately for the business, a number of staff resigned after they realised the whole thing was not actually a joke as they first thought.

Some might call this an “interesting” approach to employee engagement and employee retention.

Staff MotivationThe judge called it “egregious and deplorable.”

Either way, this employer won’t be winning any Employer of Choice awards anytime soon.

And in case you’re wondering, yes there were penalties involved.

The employer was required to pay large fines for issues relating to what we in Australia might refer to as constructive dismissal and harassment.

So, if you are thinking about implementing this novel method of employee motivation, perhaps you may be better serviced sticking with the good ol’ Employee Of The Month award until something better comes along . . .

You can download the HRwisdom Employee Attraction & Retention Guide now.  

HRwisdom

Understanding The Reasons Why Employees Underperform

Employers often ask us for information on the reasons why employees underperform.

Reasons why employees underperformToday the HRwisdom Blog is sharing some useful information for you to use.

However, first we should remind you to always seek legal advice before you commence any performance management proceedings which might ultimately end in termination of employment.

Depending on your location, click the appropriate link to get our recommendations for specific workplace law advice:

Each of the sites above contain a link to a free downloadable performance management documents, HR templates including a written warning letter template for you to use in your organisation.

As for information and hints on how to handle employee underperformance, we recommend following the details below as advised by Fair Work Australia.

Underperformance or poor performance can be exhibited in the following ways:

  • Unsatisfactory work performance, that is, a failure to perform the duties of the position or to perform them to the standard required
  • Non-compliance with workplace policies,
  • Rules or procedures
  • Unacceptable behaviour in the workplace
  • Disruptive or negative behaviour that impacts on co-workers.

Underperformance is not the same as misconduct.

Misconduct is very serious behaviour such as theft or assault which may warrant instant dismissal.

In cases of misconduct employers should seek specific legal advice about how to proceed before taking any action.

What are the reasons why employees underperform? 

There are many reasons why an employee may perform poorly.

Some of the common reasons include:

  • An employee doesn’t know what is expected because goals and/or standards or workplace policies and consequences are not clear (or have not been set)
  • Interpersonal differences
  • There is a mismatch between an employee’s capabilities and the job they are required to undertake, or the employee does not have the knowledge or skills to do the job expected of them
  • An employee does not know whether they are doing a good job because there is no counselling or feedback on their performance
  • Lack of personal motivation, low morale in the workplace and/or poor work environment
  • Personal issues such as family stress, physical and/or mental health problems or problems with drugs or alcohol
  • Cultural misunderstandings
  • Workplace bullying.

Underperformance should be dealt with promptly and appropriately by an employer, as employees are often unaware they are not performing well and so are unlikely to change their performance.

Best practice employers understand that issues that are not addressed promptly also have the potential to become more serious over time. This can have a negative effect on the business as a whole as it can affect the productivity and performance of the entire workplace.

Helpful hints

Dealing with underperformance can be challenging and confronting for employees and employers alike, but it does need to be addressed.

Managers need clear procedures, organisational support and the courage and willingness to manage the issue.

Provide training to managers on how to handle underperformance issues. It may be helpful to include role play workshops in the training material so that managers can learn how to approach matters in real-life scenarios. Well trained managers are better able to identify and address issues of underperformance.

If performance problems arise, it is crucial that they be resolved early. The longer that poor performance is allowed to continue, the more difficult a satisfactory resolution becomes, and the more the overall credibility of the system may suffer.

Not every underperformance issue needs a structured process. Explore other options for improving performance, such as the use of continuous feedback.

Remember that for performance management to be successful, the culture of the business should be one which encourages ongoing feedback and discussion about performance issues in open and supportive environments.

Ultimately, of course, an employee may choose to submit a complaint or claim against you (e.g. unfair dismissal, discrimination) even if you follow a very clear and proper process.

This is why we recommend you seeking early expert advice from here:

HRwisdom

10 Simple Ideas To Improve Employee Morale

Thanks to Vlasta Eriksson for these quick and easy ideas to improve employee morale.

Ideas To Improve Employee Morale[dropcap]Y[/dropcap]our employees are the ones who help reach the collective goals of the organisation.

Hence it is very important to keep their morale up so they can work towards achieving better results.

Sometimes the plain and simple things in life are the most important ones.

It’s the same situation for the workplace.

Simple and well thought-out plans make all the difference to lightening-up staff morale.

Here are 10 steps that explain how any organisation can spend a few minutes and improve their staff morale at the workplace.

1. To reduce the stress level of employees, get rid of equipment that doesn’t work well such as computers, photocopier, fax machine etc and replace it. Make sure the supplies are always enough and the kitchen is stocked with provisions.

2. Allow them to work flexible hours. Employees also have personal commitments as well. Today, best practice workplaces are offering flexitime, part-time positions and work from home options more increasingly.

3. Give importance to the ideas and advice of your employees. Encourage them to speak up on different issues that relate to the organisation or themselves. Implement their ideas if practical and let people know of their contribution.

4. You can hold bake-offs and share morning tea or coffee because mornings are a great time to share ideas. Everybody can bring in some sort of baking confectionary. This can also raise some funds for charities that are widely supported by the employees.

5. A management expert believes that short messages should be delivered in person. Today, we live in an era where 40 percent of emails are not given any value. It means that rather than emailing the person who sits two floors down, just go and talk to him/her directly; it strengthens the relationship.

6. Offer your employees to sit with you for a day even if you are meeting someone. This will boost the morale of the employees up to a great extent and a give them lots of useful insight too.

7. Offer them advice on how they strive harder to make the best of their careers. Reimburse them for continuing education courses, professional seminars and lectures.

8. You can run contests and awards schemes. You can set a prize for something as simple as the best customer feedback received during the month.

9. Maintain a specific budget for entertainment. Arrange a team to decide the fair allocation of the budget for each quarter.

10. Celebrate the birthdays of your employees. It will not cost you to email your wishes. Every employee has a birthday so eventually no one is left out.


HRwisdom

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

Because you’ve been working hard all week, here at HRwisdom we thought we’d congratulate you by reminding you of some of the fun things we’ve shared here recently.

However, something we read recently has us wondering if indeed you have actually been working hard all week?

Why the wild accusation?

Well, what would you think if, after a little digging, you discovered the following details about the daily routine of your top performing employee?

“9am, arrive and surf Reddit for a couple of hours, watch cat videos; 11.30am, take lunch; 1pm, eBay; 2pm-ish, Facebook updates, LinkedIn; 4.40pm-end of day, update email to management; 5pm, go home.”

Perhaps you’d consider issuing a written warning letter?

This is exactly what has happened at a US firm but it gets even better.

It turns out, that, unbeknownst to his employer, the top performer had outsourced his job to China.

Why did they fire this employee?

May we suggest that you check out the full story at the Irish Times newspaper where’ll you discover how this employee had not only “spent less than one-fifth of his six-figure salary for a Chinese firm to do his job for him,” had had also set up similar arrangements with other US employers in his home town.

We’re quite sure that this probably answers the question: why did they fire this employee?

Whilst we are impressed with the world-wide success of Tim Ferriss’s book, The Four Hour Workweek, we think it’s possible that this employee may have gone one step too far.

Back to our congratulating you on a week’s work well done, here are some of the fun HR things we’ve shared on HRwisdom recently . . .

The world’s first job interview (HRwisdom on Facebook)

How to welcome your new staff from overseas

The office Christmas party from hell (HRwisdom on Facebook)

Teamwork video

Dilbert – the new management book

Stay tuned next week as we have some powerful information coming to you on how to get the best out of your workforce.

HRwisdom

How To Train Staff (with a funny HR video thrown in)

How To Train Staff (with a funny HR video thrown in)

The issue of how to train staff is one of the key issues addressed in the free HR guide available for instant download at HRwisdom now.

In the 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.

How To Train Staff

How To Train StaffMuch of the information in the comprehensive free guide goes towards addressing staff development and motivation issues.

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.

One such expert contributor is Anthony Sork.

Anthony Sork is the creator of the Employment Attachment Inventory. The world first, internationally patented business instrument used by leading organisations to increase employee attachment, reduce attrition and increase performance of new employees.

Anthony describes how it is easy to preach about the importance of induction in an employee’s level of attachment. However the challenges of managing that induction in a way that works for the employee, the business and the HR team can be confronting. He then shares excellent advice on effective inductions and how to train staff.

For instant download of the comprehensive free “HRwisdom Community Employee Attraction & Retention Guide,” click on Employee Attraction & Retention Guide or visit www.hrwisdom.com.au/HR-Advice now.

Funny HR Video On Teamwork

To balance out the high powered ideas you’ll gain from reading the employee attraction & retention guide, we thought you’d might enjoy this short but funny HR video . . .

 

Remember, for instant download of the comprehensive free “HRwisdom Community Employee Attraction & Retention Guide,” click on Employee Attraction & Retention Guide or visit www.hrwisdom.com.au/HR-Advice now.

HRwisdom

How To Calculate Employee Turnover

The impact of understanding how to calculate employee turnover is one of the key issues addressed in a free guide available for instant download at HRwisdom.com.au now.

In the new “The 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.

How to calculate employee turnover rate is a question sometimes asked by members of the HRwisdom community.

How to calculate employee turnover?

The employee turnover rate or staff turnover rate is simply a percentage of employee leavers versus the standard headcount over a given period of time.

How To Calculate Employee TurnoverHow to calculate employee turnover: take the number of employees leaving, divide that by the average total number of employees, and then multiply the outcome by 100 (to give you a percentage).

The number of employees leaving and the total number of employees are usually measured over a year or sometimes month by month.

So, if on average your business or department had 190 employees last month and 43 employees left last month, you’re left trying to sort out an employee turnover rate of around 23%.

This is one of the issues addressed in the new free guide available for instant download on the HRwisdom free employee retention guide page now.

In the new “The 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.

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

HRwisdom

Just For Laughs – The Dilbert Management Book

To get us over the ‘hump day’ HRwisdom is sharing a few laughs with a 30 second Dilbert video on a new management book.

Management BookWe all know how successful and lucrative books by the management gurus can be – we’re not so sure that this one will have quite the same pulling power.

As always, feel free to share this HR video with friends and colleagues via Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other such social media methods. The sharing links are below.

Also, don’t forget to register your interest in the free HRwisdom workplace law briefings for employers.

To see the workplace law topics, click here.

HRwisdom

The Attributes of the Best Employees

What are the attributes of the best employees within organisations?

The attributes of the best employeesToday’s HRwisdom posting comes from HRwisdom expert contributor, Drew Davies.

For over sixteen years Drew has been involved in business training, coaching and mentoring programs to leaders at all levels across all industry sectors.

HRwisdom asked Drew about his thoughts on what attributes should be considered when promoting employees within the organisation.

Over to Drew to explain the attributes of the best employees . . .

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] number of years ago I was working with a large timber company on a Quality Assurance project. I found myself having a meal with the Human Resources Manager and the Production Manager and over a fine bottle of red wine we had a discussion about what criteria we use when looking to promote people within an organisation.

Management over the years have looked to the old tried (but not necessarily true) indicators when promoting people from within and organisation, ie:

  • Length of service
  • Can they do the job
  • Level of expertise.

While these may be important, I would like to argue that they are not necessarily particularly accurate indicators of a person’s suitability to take on a supervisory, team leader or management role.

This article is the first in a series that will explore the myths and realities of this exercise which can at times be both frustrating and rewarding…

I believe that the first attribute that should be considered when looking at promoting a person in any organisation is their ATTITUDE.

It was Tom Blandi a French literary theorist and author who in 1907 wrote “Our attitudes control our lives. Attitudes are a secret power working twenty-four hours a day, for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force”.

A person’s attitude to work, life, family, friends, the world and others gives those around them an insight into why they do the things they do, and ultimately their character. How they treat their workmates, how they treat you (if you are their boss), and how they respond to their customers and clients. What do they say about your organisation? What sort of words do they use when describing the business?…is it “I”, “they” and “them” or “we” and “us”.

I am not saying that what we should look for is the “Yes” woman or man… someone who agrees out of fear, or some misguided “warm and fuzzy” response. Rather there is a respect and genuineness that sets them apart from their colleagues. They think through the issues and offer balanced and well thought out responses. What I am saying is that by watching a persons attitude will give you a rare insight into what is really important to this individual…and as we all know…attitude rubs off. If this person is going to lead a team, then they need to be someone whose attitude is not changed and blown around by the circumstances they find themselves in. Rather they exhibit one that in spite of what is going on around them they continue moving forward. Their attitude acts as a stabilizer in the “cut and thrust” of modern business practice.

Zig Ziglar well known author and motivational speaker writes “Of all the attitudes we can acquire, surely the attitude of gratitude is the most important and by far the most life-changing.” Interesting and thought provoking words.

If the candidate has the right attitude, then a lot of the other qualities we will be talking about over the next issues will fall into place. The wrong attitude will block them.

Words like humility, self control, gratitude, stickability come to mind. Perhaps a useful exercise for you would be to write down what sort of attitudes would you look for in person who will take a supervisory, team leader or management role… Once you have done that think about what that person would look like if they did not exhibit those qualities. What does the opposite behaviour look like? Could you work with someone who exhibited that opposite behaviour?

To close let me leave with you this quote from Harry F Banks (I cannot find anything about him, but the quote makes sense) “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.”

Drew Davies

Drew’s passion is to encourage and challenge people to discover and reach for their potential, not just in business but in their whole lives.

For over sixteen years Drew has been involved in business training, coaching and mentoring programs to leaders at all levels across all industry sectors.

You can contact Drew via HRwisdom or by visiting: www.drewdavies.com.au.

HRwisdom

Managing Generation Y In The Workplace

Managing Generation Y In The Workplace

Today’s HRwisdom Blog looks at managing Gen Y staff and comes thanks to HRwisdom expert contributor, Robert Watson.

Over to Robert . . .

Weekend papers regularly feature stories about “Generation Y” – the group of people born between about 1979 and 1999.

Managing Generation Y In The WorkplaceOnce a group attains a label, it follows that writers compile the quirkiest features of that group and turn it into literary entertainment.

However, being a business manager you have probably seen some of these people applying for jobs and perhaps you have even employed some and noticed that they are somehow “different” to your regular workers.

So, it will help employers if they can have an understanding of the characteristics of Gen Y.

Gen Y are commonly described as:

  • Very confident of themselves
  • Impatient
  • Quick to learn
  • Positive about the future, and
  • Spending significant amounts of time socialising using computers and mobile phones (and you thought they were wasting time!).

What if you are recruiting Gen Y people?

Unlike their parents, Gen Y don’t look in the newspaper waiting for job vacancies to appear each Saturday. No, they actively use search engines on the internet to spot advertisements and have them automatically sent by RSS feed to their mobile phones. Gen Y can literally send in their CV one minute after the job ad has been posted.

As an employer, you should be using the internet as your primary method of advertising vacancies.

Having said that, it can be smart to use a two-pronged approach.

First, place a small newspaper ad which shows your company name (brand), the job title, a reference to the more comprehensive internet ad and just enough words to excite Mum and Dad into telling their son or daughter.

Second, your internet ad (or website) should contain details to excite the potential Gen Y applicant:

  • Use fresh and bright colour so that your vacancy looks different from the bland text-only ads
  • Show photos or a video of your existing employees smiling at work (an informal but free method of recognising your best employees!)
  • Talk about growth and exciting future developments because Gen Ys want to see that your business is not stagnant
  • Mention technology where appropriate, and
  • You still need a basic description of what the work entails, remembering, however, Gen Y will be wanting to see if your workplace looks like an interesting and fun place to be. As an example, do school kids join fast food outlets because they want to cook 1000 burger patties in a shift? No! They join because they want to be part of a fun-loving team of young people.

What if your business already has Gen Ys?

With Gen Y, be aware that their loyalty to anything is often fragile. If they don’t like your workplace, they will leave and then start looking for other work (although we’ll wait and see what impact the global financial downturn has upon this characteristic). In contrast, the older generations would hang on in a lousy job until they had secured another job.

To a large extent, you need to entertain the Gen Ys, and there is a way to do this which will tap into their impatience and their need for fast-paced learning.

Consider setting up a Learning Log which is a plan of all the topics needed to be mastered before a person can be considered for the next position. Although the topics might be broad, the individual sub-topics will be small and very quick to learn. Training policies help plan for such learning.

An Example: A Supermarket Business

Level 1 Check-Out Operation

  • Opening the register
  • Greeting the customer
  • Operating the conveyor, scanning and packing bags
  • Transactions – Cash, Credit cards, EFT, Cheque
  • Failed scans and Sale items
  • Shutdown and Balancing the till

Level 2 Front End Supervision

  • All aspects of Check-Out Operation, plus
  • Accessing the safe
  • Handling returns
  • Responsible sale of cigarettes
  • Dealing with abusive customers
  • Confronting suspected shoplifters
  • Emergency evacuation drill coordination
  • Rostering of staff.

In the past, a business might train all of these things in a single four hour session of mostly theory.

However, with Gen Y you would use a staged approach, with separate lessons over a period of time. Each mini-lesson would have a small amount of theory, then a walk-through of the appropriate Standard Operating Procedure and, finally, an appropriate number of hours doing the activity under the watchful eye of your most experienced supervisor.

Short, sharp lessons building up towards the end point makes for a program which engages the Gen Y employee.

The Bottom Line:

Rather than shaking your head in frustration at Gen Ys, your challenge is to tap into their many strengths so that your business can ride the fast wave into the future.

HRwisdom

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