Category: Staff Management (page 2 of 3)

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.

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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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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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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

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.

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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

Free IT Security Training

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

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