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April 17 Easter Monday News Wrap Up

Reenergising Employees And Yourself

This was written on Easter Monday after a 4 day weekend and when many people (including some reading this) may not want to go back to work.

It’s appropriate ot start with two items – one a link to some TED talks about Working Smater
I particularly like the Walking Meeting tip – as it’s one that I’ve seen put to good use. A walking meeting is usually shorter than a typical meeting, it gets in a little exercise and it also allows for people to be seen moving about the office or the plant. This last point can be crucial to senior managers.

The other resource comes from HC Online and is their 5 tips for boosting employee energy

They tips are goo din their own right although my top three on this topic are:
1. Encourage purposeful movement – a walking meeting once an hour is better for business and the brain than a casual wander

2. Making an appointment with yourself for thinking and planning is important. Some of us do this best outside at the beginning of the day, while at other times a qalk around when mentally stuck works wonders.

3. Monotasking must be a new buzzword! What it means is that humans lose effort and time mentally switching from one task to another that focusing deciated periods of time on one thing is more effective. Be aware of your major tasks and the longer ones may need to be tackled in blocks of 15-20 minutes (personally I am always impressed at how much I can get done in a solid 20 minutes on one task – when this is done for 3 tasks it’s incredible how much can be done in an hour)

Smoother Is Better Than Faster

An article on Aberdeen Essentials caught my eye and it’s all about lean – not the post Easter weight loss lean! It’s all about the supply chain and eliminating waster, but more importantly establishing and maintaining a system of interconnected and interdependent partners.

That title is what caught my eye as it seems to relate well to employees. Companies hire adults whom are expected to function independently and yet also to be working on a common goal. Mutual gains are available when both employer and employee work well together – that is a definition of interdependent.

And so the tips about eliminating waster and being smooth struck a HR chord.

Many of the 9 tips are directly relateable to the employer/employee relationship (with the exception of tip 7)

From a HR perspective, the subject of this section is smoother not faster and the three key points would be
1. Making sure that a workplace is one of collaboration drawing on the strengths of individuals and of the processes seems to create the best outcomes

2. Smooth workplaces lack disruptive conflict and waste and are as a result more productive

3. A focus on value to all parties involved, including the customer, benefits everyone

A side note – employment and hiring practices by Gina Rinehart at Roy Hill is an example of this. Instead of hiringhow they always have, they have begun hiring for character and skill – being willing to train up and provide the expertise. A great approach.

Fair Work in the news again – vulgarity and dismissal

Two articles and two different perspectives
– HC online story
– Smart company article from business owner

The summary is that an employee made a vulgar facebook post during work time and was sacked as a result. The company (a small business) had clear policy about not using facebook during work time and also about the code of conduct and respecting others.
Fair Work overturned the dismissal saying that the employer needed to make it’s policies clearer to staff through training.
While it is not stated in the HC online article, I would expect that Fair Work also would have questioned the process of sacking the employee which seemed harsh.
Interestingly the article from Smart Company presents the business owners view. Two quite different takes on the same subject.

This is of HR news for me because:
1. Both parties in a termination or disciplinary situation will have very different views – that’s why an independent person is essential in the process, especially if you are going to take action.

2. Employers need to have policies and also to have evidence that they have made employees aware of the content, meaning and application of those policies.

3. The process that is followed when taking disciplinary action is very important.