Category: HR Advice (page 6 of 10)

Building A Resilient Workforce

In today’s HRwisdom post we are delving into building a resilient workforce.

Building A Resilient WorkforceIt is important to do this because many business managers and human resources professionals focus on finding the right type of people to bring in to the organisation but then run out of time to find ways and keeping these great people.

We are bringing this issue to your attention by sourcing an excellent article on team building which we feel will be of great use to you . . .

Building a Resilient Workforce

By David Athony Lee

The more resilient your workforce, the greater your ability to:

  • Adapt nimbly to marketplace changes.
  • Provide friendly, alert, loyalty-generating customer service.
  • Implement change rapidly, with minimal resistance.
  • Get maximum productivity from your employees without burning them out.
  • Enjoy organizational effectiveness because teams and departments work well together, rather than have an “us” versus “them” mentality that festers in a stressed out environment.
  • Foster a “can do” spirit or what Southwest Airlines calls a “Warrior Spirit.”

So How Do You Do Create A Stress Resistant, Resilient Workforce?

1. Remove Unnecessary Sources of Stress – Smart employers ask employees “What do we do that drives you crazy?” “What do we do that gets in the way of your doing your job?” Employee energy squandered dealing with bureaucratic hassles and other obstacles to performance is employee energy not available for innovation and productivity. It’s also energy that could make the difference between employees facing challenge with a “Bring it on!” attitude rather than an “I can’t handle another thing on my plate!” attitude. Find out which rules, red tape, need to go. Ferret out and remove any and all unnecessary obstacles. Doing so will recover a massive amount of employee energy that can be channeled to productive use.

2. Remove as Much Ambiguity As Possible – While everyone knows it is important to keep employees in the loop, few employers do a good job at this. If you’re serious about keeping employee morale high and building organizational resilience, you need to shift this idea from “know it” to “act on it.” The more employees know what’s going on, the less time and energy they spend wondering-and worrying-about what they don’t know. Research on stress and control shows that when we know what is going to happen-even if it’s bad-we feel less stressed than when we are faced with the unknown. Find out from employees where they feel left in the dark and how best to keep them in the know.

3. Keep the Dream Alive – Having employees who are inspired and engaged is even more important-and difficult to accomplish-during challenging times. When employees are animated by a compelling vision of a better future or how they can make a difference in the world, they bring their Higher Selves to work, rather than their Lower, It’s-All-About-Me Selves.

Keep the dream alive by sharing stories of the great things you’re doing, stories of employees making a difference, and customer letters of appreciation. Make this a regular part of meetings, company newsletters, and any communication.

4. Make Sure You Set Your People Up For the Thrill of Victory and Not the Agony of Defeat – If employees’ daily experience is one of frustration and failure, they will bring that mindset and emotional state to everything they do-including their response to major changes you ask them to make. By making sure employees have the tools, training, and resources to excel at their jobs, you not only get greater productivity and work quality, you also get employees who feel like-and act like-“Can do” winners.

5. Celebrate Wins – Celebrating both company and individual victories doesn’t just create a positive “vibe”. It also helps workers see themselves as part of a winning team and themselves as effective. This mindset obviously fosters a more “Can do” attitude and courageous response to challenges than if employees see themselves as “losers” and part of a hapless, beleaguered team.

Furthermore, when difficult times brings a steady stream of negative news, it’s easy to see oneself as a victim of circumstances. By consciously calling attention to accomplishments and successes, you offset the doom and gloom with genuine positivity. By sharing stories of employees doing great things, you also strengthen the belief that you are a team of winners who can accomplish great things. Because emotions affect perception, shifting the ambient emotional state of your workforce to a more upbeat, hopeful state, means employees are more apt to look at challenges as something they can overcome, rather than insurmountable obstacles.

6. Balance “We need to move on” with “I feel your pain.” – When people don’t feel their distress is heard or respected, they stay stuck in “broadcast mode.” They can’t hear-nor do they care about-what you have to say. Make sure you verbally acknowledge your employees’ distress over major changes and difficulties. Don’t just launch into an “It is what it is. Get over it” speech and expect that to work. Great leaders acknowledge the emotions and perceptions of their followers during difficult times, and then shift into their vision of the future and how each person has a role in making that vision a reality. Doing so not only inspires your employees-because they know what they can do to make a difference-it also builds stronger relationships between employees and management.

David Lee is the founder of HumanNatureAtWork.com and the author of over 60 articles and book chapters on optimizing employee performance. To download more of his articles, along with “61 Questions That Can Transform Your Workforce”, go to: http://www.HumanNatureAtWork.com]HumanNatureAtWork.com.

Article Source: Building a Resilient Workforce

We hope you have enjoyed this thought-provoking article from David Lee.

As mentioned earlier, at HRwisdom we feel this discussion on team building is an important part of our overall focus on employee attraction and retention. This is because one of our guiding principals in staff management is: “Nothing operates in isolation.”

There is no point in inventing weird or wonderful ways of finding more job candidates and bringing them on board only to destroy shareholder value by pushing staff through a broken system.

As always in managing your workforce, there is a balanced approach. Efficient and effective team development goes a long way to maintaining the right balance.

HRwisdom

Workplace Law Employer Briefings

Workplace Law Employer Briefings

HRwisdom recently undertook a survey of Australian employers to find out what were the key issues in the area of workplace law.

The following issues were the clear leaders:

  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Adverse Action
  • Managing Redundancies
  • Managing Underperformers

We have now begun a series of free online employer briefings to help you with these topics.

Update On Workplace Law For Employers

UPDATE: The webinars are now here: Free Employment Law Webinars

 

Leading Thinkers Predict Demographic & HR Problems

Two books released in recent times trigger interesting questions for business owners and Human Resources professionals across Australia.

These questions can lead to major HR problems for employers.

HR problemsThe first, a book released by Australian entrepreneur and eco-billionaire, Dick Smith argues strongly for a sustainable population level for Australia. The book, called ‘Dick Smith’s Population Crisis,’ is described in its own summary as follows:

“In 2011 the world’s population exceeded 7 billion. Each year we add nearly 80 million people and by mid-century we will require twice as much food and double the energy we use today. Australia will be deeply affected by these trends – we have the fastest growing population of any developed nation.

These are the staggering facts that confronted Dick Smith. They set him on his crusade to alert us to the dangers of unsustainable growth. They are the facts that have convinced him that if we are to ensure the survival of our civilisation and the health of the planet then we must put a stop to population growth, now.

As our cities continue their unrestrained growth, as we battle daily on crowded public transport and clogged freeways, and as we confront the reality of water and power shortages, Dick challenges the long-held myth that growth is good for us. But more importantly he offers ways for us to re-invent our economy, to reassess the way we live and to at least slow down that ticking clock. This is a provocative, powerful and urgent call to arms.”

Smith’s call for a sustainable population is made all the more interesting for HR strategy when considered in the context of the other major book released in recent times by the eminent and very entertaining sociologist and KPMG partner, Bernard Salt.

Salt’s new book called ‘The Big Tilt’ outlines the challenges faced by Australia (and probably also by many other developed economies) due to the imminent mass exodus from the workforce of the Baby Boomer generation.

Salt scopes the big questions of where Australian society might be headed in the decade ahead.

One of the most pressing social and demographic issues will be the baby bust according to Salt.

In 2011 baby boomers born in 1946 turn 65 and are eligible for an age pension. This sets up an invisible faultline (or tilt point) where boomers exit the workforce at a faster rate than Gen Y enters the workforce.

This faultline or Big Tilt as Salt calls it will change consumer spending (greater emphasis on ‘value’ through, say, internet retailing), create new social behaviours (downshifting where boomers extract equity from big city property) and present challenges to the skills and tax base of the nation since there are not enough workers to replace the boomers and not enough tax to fund the retirement that boomers have come to expect.

These two fascinating characters within the Australian business environment have highlighted some major challenges for any organisation planning to operate within Australia over the coming decade.

Many questions will abound about the management of skills shortages, labour supply, the sources and logistics of recruitment and more.

Smart organisations are keeping abreast of these developments and noting the very real challenges as they apply to staff management.

HRwisdom

The Employment Contract Process Explained (HR Infographic)

In today’s HRwisdom Blog post, we are sharing our HR infographic on the employment contract process.

Whilst we share many document templates to use in your organisation, it is important to remember the process that supports the use of the employment documents.

Getting the hiring process correct means fewer problems down the track should things take a turn for the worse.

A proper hiring contract process also enhances your standing as an efficient, effective and professional employer.

Employment Contract ProcessThe diagram called ‘The Right Way To Create Employment Contracts’ explains:

  • What to cover
  • When to get legal advice
  • How to discuss the contract with the prospective employee.
  • The review and general administration process.

To view a large version of the management infographic, just click on the picture on the left.

As always, feel free to share this with colleagues and friends.

Employment Contract Assistance Video

HRwisdom

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

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