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How Do I Find Employees Using Word Of Mouth Recruiting?

Some business owners and HR professionals sometimes wonder: How do I find employees by using word-of-mouth recruiting?

How Do I Find EmployeesToday, we’re turning to HRwisdom contributor Dunya Carter for some advice.

Over to Dunya . . .

How Do I Find Employees Using Word Of Mouth Recruiting?

Transforming an Old Model: Word-of-Mouth Recruiting

The world may be immersed in social media, but the most satisfying interactions online are more about personal connections than they are about technology. People want to feel connected to other people. Why not use that need for connectedness to boost your recruiting strategy through word-of-mouth? 

Strategies for Word-of-Mouth Recruiting

Offer referral bonuses. Pay or otherwise reward your workers for referring qualified candidates. Gamification can make it competitive and fun. You can reward workers at the time of the referral and again when new hires have proven themselves. Engaging workers in the recruiting process increases morale and and employee loyalty. Good workers want to work with others who will do a good job, so they are likely to refer people who are a good match for your company.

Support professional networking. Encouraging employees’ memberships in professional organizations is a win-win in any organization. Employees refresh and revitalize their knowledge about your profession at professional meetings while making personal connections with possible recruits for your business.

Encourage using social media for recruitment and networking. People pay less attention to your business’s social media activities than they do to their friends’ social media postings. So reward your employees for posting job ads or company marketing on their social media pages. That might mean that information about your engineering firm is tucked between cute baby pictures and George Takei’s memes, but that might be the perfect spot to catch some interest. It’s just schmoozing in a digital age.

Transform the career fair. Don’t just send your recruiters to these events. Take your best and most positive employees along to talk to people face-to-face about what it’s really like to work in your company. Add a kiosk with employee testimonial videos and you will entice even more job-seekers to stop at your booth.

Support word-of-mouth recruiting. If you want your employees to help recruit for your company, you have to make sure that they have a positive message to spread. Your organization needs to have a positive feel, and you need to make sure that they know enough about the company–not just their own department–to talk about it knowledgeably. What people tell others about the company and the culture can’t really be controlled, so be sure that there are lots of positive things going on that you want to have spread to future recruits and give them resources like a career site to share. Your employees can post a link to the site or direct their friends to the site to help keep the message of your brand unified. 

Benefits and Drawbacks to Word-of-Mouth Recruiting

The most talented job-seekers will be comparing a variety of workplace options. People consult with their friends when learning about an organization, and word-of-mouth can make your company more attractive to highly skilled candidates. However, word-of-mouth recruiting can also backfire on you if your workplace is not a great one for employees. If your organizational culture is in a negative place right now, work on building morale before you start building a word-of-mouth recruiting program.

Relying too heavily on word-of-mouth recruiting will limit your applicant pool, which can be a problem. If you lack diversity in your company, you will find that referrals tend to merely add to the homogeneity. However, if you have some diversity in your company already, you can build on that strength through this recruiting strategy. 

Overall, building a corporate culture to support word-of-mouth recruiting is good for your company. A positive organizational culture makes employees more loyal and productive and gives them a persuasive message to share with the world. Employees that are active professionally stay up-to-date on innovations and activities outside your company, enhancing your core mission. In general, word-of-mouth recruiting is an excellent asset to add to a company’s recruiting toolbox.

Dunya Carter is a Brisbane-based marketing and HR consultant and blogger. She is currently working for Ochre Recruitment, a leading Australian medical recruitment agency. She contributed articles to many international HR industry websites and blogs including The Fordyce Letter, College Recruiter, Colleague and others. Get in touch with Dunya via Twitter.

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Bring Your Own Device To Work – Is It A Good Idea?

Today HRwisdom contributor Victor Daily looks at: Bring Your Own Device To Work and asks – is it a good idea?

Over to Victor . . .

Bring Your Own Device To Work (BYOD)

In the environment of IT services, change is the biggest constant. Along with the advent and growth of cloud computing, the concept of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is forcing all sizes of companies to deal with the many challenges and opportunities that this innovation presents.

With over 700 million smartphones and several hundred million tablets shipped in 2012, the world now has more smart devices in the market than employees.

Bring Your Own Device To WorkWith an increasingly mobile and wired working force and population, many businesses realise that their employees are working from a multitude of devices, not just company-supplied appliances.

However, these businesses are grappling with a multitude of items related to this changing environment, including:

  • Device security
  • Data privacy and security
  • Compatibility
  • Software and hardware integration
  • Network access and service levels
  • Backup and disaster recovery
  • Human resources and retention compliance issue.

In fact, the Bring Your Own Device issue has moved out of the realm of being controlled by the MIS and IT departments. The complexities, with a range of pros and cons, are involving all levels of corporate staff and planning.

The Non-Technical Issues

For example, in just the area of human resources, the BYOD discussion now includes such thing as:

  • How free is a company to monitor such dual-use devices? With a personal ownership and use, there are limits on the ability to check all the applications and data transmitted on a device.
  • The possibility of claims for compensation for use of the device and off-the-clock work time claims.
  • Potential tax and related financial consequences of a benefit of employment.
  • Work place confidentiality is a major issue, particularly in the event of voluntary or involuntary separation of the employee. Policies for retaining work records, resetting passwords and the like are all hurdles being addressed by employers.

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The Dollar Issues

From an accounting perspective, new rules and regulations are necessary to deal with issues such as:

  • Shared cost of the device and usage fees
  • Billing issues and disputes
  • Dealing with multitudes of service providers
  • Sharing costs of convenience versus usage for business.
  • Responsibilities for maintenance and upgrades

Back to the IT Issues

In the end, however, the ultimate issue of BYOD comes down to the IT constraints. Regardless of all other benefits and advantages, any system that allows significant threats to data and the IT infrastructure requires extremely careful scrutiny and diligence.

The many opportunities for conflict with established IT protocols have many tech managers extremely concerned. It is not merely an issue of turf in this case. These individuals responsible to maintain system integrity and prevent breaches point out the near impossibility of doing so with such a variety of equipment and version, platform, configurations and incompatible features. The challenge of providing and monitoring access rights and protocols compounds the issues into a literal security nightmare.

At the heart of the issue is privacy and security. This applies to workers as well as the companies that employ them. It is a two-way street where the company may have access to personal data, and the employee opening the door to secured company applications and data.

As an example, the question becomes one of the proper actions if a personal device is lost or stolen. Will the company have the right to reach out and erase all data on the device? Will that mean automatic installation of such remote software for any personal BYOD item? What steps are to protect the individual’s private data in such a situation?

Another, more frightening situation for the individual is culpability for a major corporate security breach. With some recent security issues causing damages in the hundreds of millions of dollars, this is no small concern to any company or employee.

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The BYOD issue has already seen some companies stepping back from an early and full adoption of its advantages. There is no question, however, that the world of BYOD is here to stay in some form. The issues will absorb a lot of management attention and focus in the coming months.

About Victor Daily

Victor Daily is a business consultant and writer. He currently writes about the newest trends in business and human resources. He is also a consultant for Apply Direct in Australia.

Workplace Sexual Harassment [Powerful Video]

A major issue for any employer is how to prevent workplace bullying and sexual harassment.

Under Occupational Health and Safety and anti-discrimination law, employers have a legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace.

This short video explains:

  • What is workplace sexual harassment.
  • The social and economic effects
  • What employers should do.

Feel free to share the video with friends and colleagues using the sharing buttons below.

 

 

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Workplace Sexual Harassment Video

 

Remember, it is important to be proactive when it comes to this area.

The Australian Human Rights Commission explains:

[quote] Employers have a duty of care for employee health and well-being whilst at work. Any employer that allows bullying to occur in the workplace is not meeting this responsibility.  Workplace bullying is verbal, physical, social or psychological abuse by your employer (or manager), another person or group of people at work. Workplace bullying can happen in any type of workplace, from offices to shops, cafes, restaurants, workshops, community groups and government organisations. Workplace bullying can happen to volunteers, work experience students, interns, apprentices, casual and permanent employees. Some types of workplace bullying are criminal offences. [/quote]

For more information, click here to download a government resource for employers.

The resource aims to assist small, medium and large employers to understand and meet their legal obligations under the Sex Discrimination Act. It also provides practical guidance on how employers can prevent sexual harassment and how to respond effectively when it occurs. In addition, the resource discusses recent legal developments concerning workplace sexual harassment and canvasses some of the new and innovative approaches to addressing sexual harassment.

Managing Work Stress Through Innovation – Part 1

The issue of managing work stress is an important one for employers.

Work StressApart from the financial costs to the business, there are obvious impacts on individuals and work teams.

Regular HRwisdom contributor Weng Chio Fan is taking a look at this issue.

Over to Weng . . .

Work Stress: Can You Afford To Overload Your Employees?

A recent news report showed that, job stress accounts for at least 10% of the compensation claim across the public service, with an average $251,000 payout.

Besides, demanding work can also lead to absenteeism, performance decline, increased turnover and burn-out. All of these cost organisations millions of dollars in poor productivity performance. In fact, research shows that even an average level of work demands negatively impact on organisations’ performance.

However, with increasing globalization, rapidly shifting technologies and the ever-changing economic environment, organisations are trapped in the dilemma where their employees have to cope with numerous job demands to keep them stay in the business, yet, they have to find ways to alleviate job demands so that their workers can performance at their peak.  

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The Way Out: Innovation

Recent research by leading organisational psychologists found that supporting innovation among employees is an effective strategy to alleviate the stress of  job demands.

Innovation can mean introducing new or improved products, services or business processes into the business.

It can be a single major breakthrough or it can be a series of small, incremental changes.

In a nut shell, it involves two components: creation of new ideas and their implementation.

The study found that organisations that encourage and support the production and implementation of creative ideas perform better than those that don’t.

To find out how innovation can help your employees to cope better with their job demands, click here to see the next article in this short review of managing work stress.

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Conducting An Interview To Avoid The Dud Hire

Today we’re looking at the art of conducting an interview to avoid hiring the wrong person.

Regular HRwisdom contributor Weng Chio Fan is sharing an extract from an interesting article on this issue.

Over to Weng . . .

Conducting An Interview To Avoid The Dud Hire

Hiring the right people is the first HR priority for all business.  

Not only is bringing in the wrong person costly, the negative energy that they can bring will probably spread across your team and can affect internal and external customers.

So, taking the wrong person on board is probably the last thing you want to do.

Conducting an Interview

Although we can never be error free, there are ways to avoid repeated hiring mistakes.

Here are some key hiring mistakes to avoid as seen by industry commentator Jeff Haden:

1. You ignore the total package.

Every employee has to follow company rules and guidelines, whether formal or unwritten. Still, some people can’t… or just won’t.

The skilled engineer with an incredible track record of designing new products while berating support and admin staff won’t immediately turn over a new interpersonal leaf just because you hired him.

Instead: Decide whether you’ll accept the total package. If you desperately need engineering skills you might decide to live with the proven engineering superstar’s diva behaviour.

Always assume that if compromises need to be made then you will need to be the one who makes them. If you aren’t willing to accommodate or compromise, pass.

2. You hire for skills and ignore attitude.

Skills and knowledge are worthless when they aren’t put to use. Experience, no matter how vast, is useless when it is not shared with others.

Think of it this way: The smaller your business the more likely you are to be an expert in your field; transferring those skills to others is relatively easy. But you can’t train enthusiasm, a solid work ethic, and great interpersonal skills–and those traits can matter a lot more than any skills a candidate brings.

Instead: When in doubt, hire for attitude. You can train almost any skill, but it’s nearly impossible to train attitude. See the candidate who lacks certain hard skills as a cause for concern, but see the candidate who lacks interpersonal skills and enthusiasm as a giant red flag.

3. You sell your business too hard.

You absolutely need employees who want to work for you. But never try too hard to sell a candidate on your company.

Good candidates have done their homework. They know whether your company is a good fit for them.

Plus, selling too hard skews the employee/employer relationship from the start. An employee grateful for an opportunity approaches her first days at work much differently than an employee who feels she is doing you a favour by joining your team.

Instead: Describe the position, describe your company, answer questions, be factual and forthright, let your natural enthusiasm show through, and let the candidate make an informed decision. Never sell too hard, even if you’re desperate. Trust that the right candidate will recognize the right opportunity.

Conclusion

By avoiding these mistakes, you can definitely increase your chances of hiring the right person for your organisation. To see more hiring mistakes, click to see the full article by Jeff.

HRwisdom

Legal Responsibilities of Employers [Checklist]

The Australian Government regularly makes changes to the legal responsibilities of employers, particularly in the area of wage rates.

Today we are sharing a government checklist of the legal responsibilities of employers.

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Legal Responsibilities of Employers – A Checklist

1. Are you providing the National Employment Standards (NES) that are relevant to your employees?

  • 38 hour standard week Legal Responsibilities of Employers
  • Unpaid parental leave 
  • 10 days paid personal/carer’s leave 
  • Notice of termination and redundancy 
  • Long service leave 
  • Flexible working arrangements 
  • 4 weeks paid annual leave 
  • Community service leave 
  • Public holidays 
  • Fair Work Information Statement

2. Do you know the award(s) or agreement (if any) that covers your business?

3. Do you know how to find the rates of pay from your award or agreement?

4. Do you know the correct:

  • penalty rates? 
  • casual loadings (if any)? 
  • overtime payments? 
  • meal breaks? 
  • allowances (e.g. uniform, travel)?

5. Are you providing accurate time and wage records for you employees?

Do you:

  • record start and finish times? 
  • keep time and wage records for seven (7) years?
  • provide pay slips within one (1) 
  • working day of employees being paid? 
  • know what to include on a pay slip? 
  • maintain a record of leave entitlements?

6. Do you know about your responsibilities when dismissing staff including:

  • unfair dismissal laws? 
  • what to do if a position becomes redundant? 
  • minimum notice periods? 
  • final payment requirements?

7. Do you know what an Individual Flexibility Arrangement is?

8. Are you aware of your options for making an enterprise agreement with employees?

9. Are you aware that the Fair Work Act 2009 provides General Protections including the right to be free from unlawful discrimination, undue influence, coercion and misrepresentation?

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How To Get Help?

If you have questions you need answering, you have two main options:

Remember, be proactive to minimise the risks.

HRwisdom

Conflict and Resolution At Work – Some Government Advice

Today we are looking at the issue of conflict and resolution at work and we are sharing some handy government advice.

Thanks to regular HRwisdom contributor Wendy Takasch for sharing this very useful information.

Over to Wendy . . .

Conflict and Resolution At Work

The challenge of running a business successfully can be very intense for anyone, no matter the person.

Conflict and Resolution at WorkThere is a substantial amount of work that goes into running a business and it can take its toll. In some cases it can all become a bit much, especially when it comes to areas such as employment and staff management.

So how do we manage our employees? Is there a correct way?

We can talk all day long about all the ‘right’ way to manage employees but in reality there is no one definite answer to offer.

The reason being is that every business is different and what works for you may not necessarily work for another company.

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There are of course certain jurisdictional and industry guidelines and obligations that each and every employer must abide by in respect to employees and their entitlements (if you don’t know them, maybe you should go check them out). These obligations are vast and it is important to not cut corners when it comes to employees or you may find yourself with more disputes then you can poke a stick at! Excuses won’t cut it, so we encourage you to do the right thing by your business and your employees.

The following tips, presented by Nicholas Wilson of the Australian Fairwork Ombudsman (and a little help from us) are excellent starting points to managing employees and keeping a positive and conflict free workplace;

  • Always abide by state and federal legislation and obligations
  • Keep all records regarding every employee 
  • Make sure there is open communication in the workplace (make sure nobody feels discouraged or that they are talking to a brick wall!)
  • Lead. Have a good leadership program in place that motivates and engages employees and keeps them happy and productive.
  • Encourage expressions of opinions. Other people hold opinions that might not match your own. 
  • Focus on the interests of people rather than personalities and job positions 
  • Make all instructions and procedures, such as grievance and harassment, clear and easily accessible
  • Look out for people’s emotions. It doesn’t mean you have to be their counsellor, or best friend, but make a conscious effort to try and understand someone else’s point of view and feelings

As always, be proactive when it comes to conflict and resolution at work and managing your workforce will always be just that little bit easier.

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Employment Restraint of Trade – Advice From A Lawyer

Writing an employment contract? In this special article, a guest expert takes a look at the concept of employment restraint of trade.

George Haros is a highly experienced workplace lawyer and today he is answering some tricky employment contract questions:

  • What is a restraint of trade clause?
  • What should we make of the Emeco v O’Shea case?
  • Will your restraint of trade clause be enforced?
  • What you can do to get it right?

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Over to George . . .

What is an employment restraint of trade clause?

An employment restraint of trade clause is commonly found in an employment agreement and used by employers in an attempt to protect the employer’s business interests.

Employment Restraint of TradeWhy is a restraint of trade clause important?

A restraint of trade clause attempts to regulate an employee’s conduct while still engaged in the employment relationship or a former employee’s conduct once the employment relationship has ended.

However, employers must also take extreme care when considering the inclusion of such restraint clauses.

Where the clauses are ambiguous or too broad, a court may find the restraint unenforceable.

The main principle is that the restraint can only be upheld if it protects the legitimate interests of the employer, and the clause is not wider than is reasonably necessary to protect those interests.

Although there is no precise rule as to what restraint terms are considered reasonable; what is required in each case is an evaluative judgement taking into account the specific circumstances of each party and their relationship.

The Emeco v O’Shea Case

The recent case of Emeco v O’Shea [2012] WASC 348 demonstrates how the Courts of Western Australia have considered restraint clauses.

Emeco v O’Shea [2012] WASC 348 Facts: Emeco operated in the highly competitive industry of dry hiring mobile mining equipment in Australia and internationally.

Mr O’Shea was employed by Emeco as a business development manager for 21 months.

As a senior employee, he built up close relationships with important clients of Emeco and was entrusted with confidential information.

After Mr O’Shea resigned from Emeco, he immediately took up employment with one of Emeco’s major competitors, National Plant and Equipment (NPE). Emeco sought an injunction to enforce the restraints in Mr O’Shea’s employment contract, amongst which he would be prevented from working for Emeco’s competitors, soliciting any of its clients, or providing services to any of its clients within Western Australia, for a period of 6 months after the termination of employment.

The Decision: Endelman J accepted that Emeco’s legitimate interests included its customer connections and confidential information, and Emeco was entitled to restrain its employees to the extent necessary to protect its legitimate interests.

The Court found that in Mr O’Shea’s role as a business development manager at Emeco, he retained confidential information about the business and its individual clients, which could be used to the detriment of Emeco.  

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On that basis, the Court held that it was reasonable for Emeco to restrain Mr O’Shea from undertaking employment with any competitor, including NPE, for a period of 6 months. However, the non-solicitation and client restraints were found to be unenforceable due mainly to the broad definition of “client”, which covered both actual and potential customers of Emeco, and were not limited to those with whom Mr O’Shea had personal contact.

The Court was therefore of the opinion that these restraints could go further than was reasonable to protect the legitimate interests of Emeco in protecting those customer connections developed by the employee. As a part of its judgment, the Court also considered the fact that the restraint clauses were subject to the express qualification that Mr O’Shea will not engage in the restrained activities “without the prior written consent of Emeco”.

This qualification implies that Emeco would not unreasonably withhold consent, and was a factor that played some part in the Court’s determination that the competitor restraint was reasonable. However, the Court also noted that such qualification could not operate to make a very wide restraint clause enforceable.

Will your restraint of trade clause be enforced?

Based on the case law in this area it is clear that whether or not your clause will be enforceable will depend on the construction of the restraint clause and of course, the circumstances.

The onus is on the employer to prove that the restraint clause is valid and enforceable where a business can demonstrate that it has a legitimate interest to protect and that the clause is reasonable.

What you can do to get it right?

Consider:

  1. Is there a genuine and legitimate interest that needs protecting?
  2. Is your restraint clause for a time period that is longer than necessary to protect that interest?
  3. Does the restraint clause cover a geographical area that is larger than necessary to protect that interest?
  4. Take particular care to ensure that the restraint is not so broad as to prevent the employee from working at all; and For Employers, seek advice on the construction of your clause.

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Thanks to George for this excellent information.

HRwisdom

How To Motivate Staff [Excellent Video Presentation]

This excellent video presentation will help you answer the question:

How To Motivate Staff?

How To Motivate StaffDan Pink gave this insightful talk on TED on the topic of work motivation.

By the way, in case you don’t know, TED is an inspiring ongoing conference which allows the world’s top thinkers and doers of all stripes such as Bill Gates, Bill Clinton and Jamie Oliver to share their ideas and experiences with the rest of the world.

This one TED video clip has reached more than 5 million views. It provides a very refreshing perspective on how to understand the role of incentives in work motivation.

Have you accessed your free employer resources yet? Use the form over to the right-hand side now.

Here’s the official introduction to the talk:

Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don’t: Traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories – and maybe, a way forward. Bidding adieu to his last “real job” as Al Gore’s speechwriter, Dan Pink went freelance to spark a right-brain revolution in the career marketplace.’

How To Motivate Staff

Take a look at the presentation now.

If you think there are some interesting ideas raised in the talk, Like It or share it with friends and colleagues by using the social media sharing buttons below.

Feel free to Like or share this presentation with friends and colleagues (just use the social media sharing buttons below).

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Human Resource Strategy For Greater Business Influence

In today’s HRwisdom Blog post, we look at an issue that faces many HR professionals: How to have a bigger impact on the business?

In order to come up with a Human Resources strategy for greater business influence, we have turned to an expert HR practicioner, Deb Graham (more about Deb at the end of this article).

Human Resource Strategy For Greater Business Influence

Let’s hand it over to Deb . . .

Want To Be More Influential?

Ever felt like no one cares what you think? Human Resource Strategy

We all do from time to time.

Over the years, I’ve worked with all kinds of HR leaders. Those who are influential have this in common: they understand the business, speak the language of business leaders and are skilled at sharing their opinions and insights. This makes them credible and business leaders seek their opinions.

So how do they do it?

1. They know the business. And because they understand how the business works, they can talk about the things that matter to business leaders. Business leaders don’t get excited because it’s ‘time to do our succession plan’. They are interested when ‘succession planning’ means they have the people they need to lead the latest strategic change.

Do you know your business?

Ask yourself:

  • How does my business make money?
  • What metrics does my organization use to determine success and what do these metrics and acronyms mean?
  • What challenges does my organization face in the short-term and long-term?
  • What do customers love about us?
  • And of course, Who are the people we can not afford to lose?

2. They build strong relationships with the business leaders they support. As a true partner and not a ‘rule enforcer’, these HR leaders discuss how business problems can be solved. But neither does the HR leader simply do what the business leader requests. The business leader might insist that a new hire be paid more than others already doing the job. The HR leader’s role is to help him or her understand how this will be viewed when it is discovered by current employees (and of course, it always is). In the zeal to get the job done, the business leader may forget to consider the future implications of his or her decisions.

Are you a strong business partner? Ask yourself:

  • Do the leaders I support believe that I desire and am actively working to make them successful?
  • Do I go along with the opinions of the crowd or do I speak up when my opinion differs?
  • Do I provide feedback and coaching so that the leader can understand how s/he is viewed and thus is able to increase his or her effectiveness?
  • Do I help leaders to understand the implications of their actions?

You may be wondering how to build these skills.

I’ve had good results by simply asking questions.

For example, I worked in an organization where EBITDA was the most watched metric. Uncertain what it meant, I asked the CFO, who walked me through the steps to calculate it. Turns out it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I expected.

Books can also be useful. Two I highly recommend are:

  • What the CEO Wants You to Know by Ram Charan
  • Flawless Consulting by Peter Block

Learn the business, build relationships, add insight and value and you’ll find yourself included in important business discussions.

Deb Graham is the founder of ACTstrategic.com, a place where HR leaders from across the globe can connect, ask questions and find practical solutions to manage business change.

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