Saturday, October 25, 2008

HR Manage:- Help! I've Been Buried in My Mail Avalanche

We've all felt that way from time to time, haven't we? We've all struggled with a way to dig ourselves out from under the piles that can come from a blizzard of mail.

You CAN weather the storm. With a few simple new habits, you can take control over your mail, rather than it taking control of you.

Most people tend to try and solve the problem of what to do with their mail AFTER their kitchen table or desk is piled so high that stuff is falling on the floor. Sound familiar? You just know that your overdue utility bill is hiding in that pile but you just can't find it, along with the invitation to the birthday this weekend that you haven't yet RSVP'd to.

Let's back up several steps and see if there's not a way to tame the beast before it even comes to your mailbox.

1) Catalogs
Take a look at your mail for a week or so when it comes in. What is it that you are receiving? Catalogs are one big problem area. Do you have a couple of catalogs that you order from? If so, you are probably also being bombarded with tons of mailings from partner stores.

The best way to stop the flow is to take each catalog that you don't wish to receive, sit down at your computer and type out a quick email to their customer service address requesting that they remove you from their mailing list effective immediately. It might take a few minutes of your time but you will end up the winner in the end.

If there are some catalogs that you enjoy receiving but that tend to pile up for you, consider this approach. Keep a hanging folder in your desk. In the folder, keep only the current issue of the catalogs. Once the new one comes in, toss the old one immediately.

2) Magazines
Next up? Magazines. Take a few moments to consider which magazines you are receiving and whether or not you are actually reading them. Many people tend to simply renew their subscriptions each year and let the magazines pile up with the intention of reading them--someday. If you receive 4 magazines a month but only truly read half of them, maybe it's time to choose which ones you really love and let the others lapse.

3) Junk Mail
We've dealt with a couple of fairly easy fixes--now we reach the heart of the matter. Junk mail versus your important stuff. With so much junk mail coming in on a day-to-day basis, it's easy to lose track of the mail that you really do need.

Some junk mail can be dealt with on an individual basis such as postcards from realtors, dry cleaners, or other local companies. It can take a few minutes, but if you contact these companies individually, you can request that they not send you any further mail. The other option is simply dumping the stuff the minute you bring it in the house. Have a recycling bin in an easily accessible spot where you sort the mail and toss all of the junk mail right away that doesn't have personal information on it.

4) Protect Your Identity
Some stuff will need to be shredded including anything that has more than just your name and address on it such as credit card applications and mortgage refinance offers. Rather than building up a large pile of stuff and shredding it on an occasional basis, keep your shredder in a spot that is easy to use each and every time you need to shred something.

5) Important Mail
This is our last and yet most important category. You've blocked the door on all of the other unneeded stuff and you now have only the truly necessary pieces. Bills, personal letters, cards, etc.

6) Bills
You can take one of a few different approaches to bills. You can avoid receiving paper bills altogether by visiting the company's website and signing up for an e- bill option. This allows you to check your bill online, print out a copy if you so choose for your records and pay your bill online as well. If you are the sole person in your household handling the finances, this is a great option. If there are others involved, you may choose to continue to receive paper bills to ensure that the bill is being taken care of.

Once a bill comes into your household, rather than tossing it on the pile, it's best to open it and either pay it right then and there or you can also jot yourself a note in your planner or PDA of when the bill needs to be paid. Then file the bill in a file folder marked BILLS. Toss the outer envelopes--they are simply adding to your paper clutter.

7) Personal Letter
Personal letters are wonderful as are cards of all types. The problem lies when there's the need or desire to retain each and every piece of correspondence. You might consider keeping some that are really special and meaningful. In the case of a letter, you can even scan it right into your computer, eliminating the need to keep the original.

Do It Daily
The very most important thing that you can do to manage your mail and keep it from taking over your life is to tend to it when it arrives. It may seem like a daunting task but you'd be amazed at how much you can get done in a small chunk of time--15, 10 or even just 5 minutes will make your life so much easier!

Thanks to Get Organized Now

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

HR PR/Media:- Marketing Without Money

Do you have a great idea for a story, but no clue how to get it in the news? Are you tired of pitching press releases the news media simply ignores?

After a quarter of a century beating the street as a TV reporter, I have a scoop for you: the media needs good stories. But most stories are pitched so poorly, they are lost in the blizzard of faxes that blanket every newsroom.

So, here are five steps to increase your chances of getting covered that even some PR pros don't know:

1) Be Unusual
The old adage about "Man bites dog" still holds true. The news doesn't cover what's normal. We cover the abnormal.

PR whiz Carolyn Alvey knew this when she was trying to raise money for a charity several years ago. Instead of holding a garage sale, she sent out a press release announcing a "Celebrity Garage Sale." Everything from Bob Hope's old golf clubs to Roger Staubach's long-neglected neckties were for sale. By making an ordinary garage sale extraordinary, the media was instantly sold on the story.

2) Be Visual
Reporters tell stories with pictures. If the pictures aren't there, chances are the reporters won't be either.

Even the most non-visual story can be made visual if you're creative. A dog biscuit business? Boring. A dog birthday party complete with doggie guests and party hats? Now you're barking up the right tree.

That's what Michelle Lamont did to boost her dog biscuit bakery. She began baking huge dog biscuit birthday cakes and inviting the media to cover the parties. She's had reporters hounding her for stories ever since.

3) Choose the Right Reporter
Perhaps the most common mistake even some PR pros make is trying to sell a good story to the wrong person. Most reporters have a specialty, like "crime" or "business."  So, seek out the reporter who will have the most to benefit from your story. Start studying the news. Before you call a TV station or try and pitch the paper, become familiar with a reporter's work. Don't try and sell an investigative story to a reporter who covers entertainment.

4) Write Like Reporter
If I were going to send a press release to a reporter, I'd write the kind of headline that a newspaper would run. And I'd make the rest of the release so conversational that a TV anchor could read it right on the air.

Why is this so important? A major market newsroom gets hundreds of press releases every day. Often the decision on whether to cover your story is made in a matter of seconds. Many times that well-crafted sentence in the third paragraph of your press release is never read.

5) Wait for A Slow News Day
The holidays are the slowest "news times" of the year. When government offices are closed, so are most of our sources. Take advantage of it.  In fact, take out your calendar and begin circling government holidays. If the government isn't making news, we reporters are scrambling to find something to cover. Pitch even an average story on a day when the media is starving for news, and you're much more likely to get coverage.

There you go. Now you're armed with knowledge that even some well-paid public relations professionals don't practice. If your idea is unique, visual, and pitched to the right person when the supply of news is running thin, you're in!
By Jeff Crilley

HR Grooming:- How Pure Is Pure Enough?

My good friend James Howard of Honinteg Consulting asked me this question: "If a hospital delivers 10,000 babies a year, what is an acceptable number of them to drop?"

Percentage-wise, dropping just one baby would be a very good success rate, unless you happen to be that baby (or its parent)! So, obviously, the goal is to drop none.

What about purity? Let's say you are making a giant five gallon pot of the world's best homemade chili. How much dog poop could you put in it before it impacted your desire for the chili?

What about your mind? How much profanity and negative garbage is okay to allow into your mind? And since you can't live life without being exposed to some negative input, shouldn't you have pretty good "filters" to make sure the negatives get cleaned away before they get to the vital parts?

If you run engines in a dirty and dusty environment you had better clean or change that air filter on a regular basis. If you watch a lot of TV, or surf the Internet haphazardly, you had better plan on spending extra time putting the good stuff into your mind.

The best way to keep an engine running smoothly is to make sure you give it pure fuel, run it in a clean environment, and change the filters on schedule. Our bodies and our minds work the same way. Our minds need pure and positive input, our bodies need pure food, and we must develop filters that trap and discard that impure stuff that we are exposed to.

Think about the miserable people you know – they let the bad stuff in, and they don't have any filters to keep the bad stuff from gumming up their engines.

By Tom Ziglar

HR Grooming:- Fixing Problems

Question: Can you remember a day when you did not have some "problem," irritation, disappointment, defeat or set-back of some kind? It might be having to make an unexpected stop at the service station because your mate drove your car and neglected to refill it. Or maybe your boss gave you incomplete information on an important project and now you have to start all over.

The big issue is not the problems; they're part of life. The issue is how to handle the problems. Do you let a simple problem dictate to you how you should behave the rest of the day, even to the way you deal with other people? Sometimes that's hard to do, but ask yourself the question, "What real difference does this make in my life tonight, or even in the morning?" In most cases you'll realize that it really doesn't matter. With that in mind, you'll be able to forget the problem of the moment and move on.

Conclusion: You can take control of your own thoughts, actions and emotions, which means you can take control of your life. The best way to deal with problems is to re-order your thinking and see them as opportunities to grow or mature. It also helps to remember that if there were no problems in your job, chances are good you would not be needed. Chances are also good that the greater the difficulties, the greater the need for you to be there to handle them. That's the reason you're on the payroll. Think about it, and I'll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!

By Zig Ziglar

HR Grooming:- Overcoming The Fear Of Rejection

To Conquer Your Fear of Rejection, you need to handle the word "no" in a constructive way. When people turn you down after a presentation, you have to interpret the "no" as "no this is not right for me now." We also can interpret "no" as meaning, "I need to know more about this opportunity or the products before I can say yes."

I look at the service I offer to others as a gift that almost everyone desires. It's like a nutritious dessert. What if waiters or waitresses in a restaurant said to customers at their tables: "Would you like our special strawberry parfait for dessert? It's the best in the world!" And they were told "no" by their patrons, three out of five times.

Would they go to their manager, throw up their hands and quit, lamenting, "They don't like me or my strawberry parfait"? Of course they wouldn't. They'd go on about their business, thinking the patrons had missed out on something delicious.

That's why I treat products as a gift, much more nutritious and beneficial than a fruit dessert. But what is being rejected is the presentation, not the presenter. When I can separate my self-esteem from offering the products or business opportunity, I can live with rejection and look for ways to get a positive response more often.

When You Are Experiencing Rejection,
that's the time to network with mentors and role models. It's also the time to listen to upbeat music and read articles like this, to attend meetings and conference calls, and to hang around with optimists and winners.

There are basically four things we do in selling our products and services, and only four. We use the products and services ourselves, we talk to people about the products and services, we talk to people about the financial benefits we offer, and we coach them to refer us to others who do the same thing. First, we are coachable and willing to learn something new every day. Then, we become coaches. All you really need to move up to the next level is have faith in yourself.

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool. To weep is to risk appearing sentimental. To reach out for another is to risk involvement. To expose your feelings is to risk revealing your true self. To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd, is to risk rejection. To love is to risk not being loved in return. To live is to risk dying. To hope is to risk despair. To try is to risk failure. But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing at all. People who will risk nothing --- do nothing, have nothing, and become nothing. They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love or live. Chained by their certitudes, they are slaves.

They have forfeited their freedom. Only a person who risks is truly free. And one last idea you can live and believe, is the more that you give ----- the more you'll receive.
By Dr. Denis Waitley

HR Workplace:- Politics and the Workplace

As you are reading this article, the issue of political discussions in the workplace is reaching its zenith and its fallout will continue for the next couple of months. So, what is an employer to do about it?

Politics and the Workplace: What is an Employer to Do?

According to a Senior Human Resource Specialist of a large company, Karen Codere, business owners should establish guidelines that allow employees to discuss the issues but also allow others to opt out. And it looks like the recently published American Management Association 2008 Political Discussions in the Workplace Survey, supports Codere's assertion. The results of this survey show that 39 percent of business people say they are comfortable with discussing political views in the workplace, while 35 percent of those surveyed said they are uncomfortable discussing their political views with colleagues.

Codere believes employees have a right to free expression, but she also knows, "The courts have said that you're allowed to have a workplace that's not political." Instead, says Codere, the key to overcoming this juxtaposition is to have a "clear well-crafted policy of what's permitted." The problem is, according to 57 percent of the senior executives who participated in the aforementioned survey, no written policy exists at their companies prohibiting the distribution or posting of material endorsing a political party or candidate.

What are the Potential Problems that Could Occur if Employers Allow Politics in the Workplace?

Without a policy addressing politics in the workplace, Codere says several potential problems like the following could occur:

·         Hurt feelings about a remark made against a favorite candidate – of both customers and employees

·         Loud and angry debates of ideology between employees and among employees and customers

·         Souring of a workplace's spirit of community

·         The filing of a serious complaint.

Codere also points out managers must stay out of political conversations in the workplace. She iterates, "Just like in the situation of a manager dating an employee in the workplace, an employee can use the company management's statement of political preference as a basis for a harassment or a 'retaliatory claim' like, 'they knew I was not voting for candidate X and that is why they fired me.'"

What Might a Policy Concerning Politics in the Workplace Contain?

In order to avoid the potential issues listed above, Codere advocates developing a policy detailing the company's guidelines on political activities and discussions in the workplace. Such a policy could include the following stipulations, suggested by Codere, but should be customized for your company:

·         Political discussions during non-work time, including break time or in the lunch room may be okay as long as the policy clearly defines where those events take place, but discussions on the production floor may not be. ("You're paying employees to work," says Codere.)

·      Campaign buttons and the like should be left at home, especially for employees who deal face-to-face with customers. (Codere gives the example here that a buyer who backs one candidate may not appreciate your salesperson's opposing candidate's button.)

·         Each employee should remember they have a right to say, "I don't want to talk about the election."

Codere concludes with this statement regarding employee election rules, "Most employees really get it. They respect each other's views." The policy simply serves as protection in case they don't, so consider writing your own.

By Cara Whedbee, Ph.D.

HR Workplace:- Prevent Employee Gossip from Hurting Your Business

Employee Gossip is a Top Pet Peeve in the Workplace

According to a recent Randstad Survey, gossip is listed as one of the top three pet peeves found in the workplace. Gossip has probably been around since the beginning of the time. Gossiping at work is nothing new and it is as common as a paper clip. Â However, when employees feel betrayed by malicious or unfounded rumors and gossip, a thread can be torn that can unravel the fabric of an organization.

Understandably, most employers are focused on bigger picture things like increasing revenues and reducing costs. They may not be aware that employee gossip is reaching an annoying stage or that it is getting out of hand.

Can A Business Suffer Unnecessary Costs As A Result Of Employee Gossip? A Here are just a few obvious consequences, especially if the gossip is of a malicious or annoying nature:

  1. Employee Misunderstandings which can lead to conflict. A Conflict will affect productivity.
  2. Employee Mistrust of one another which can negatively impact team performance.
  3. Employee Turnover as some employees might feel powerless if they feel targeted by gossip. They simply resign and go to work somewhere else.
  4. Employee Morale is affected. A Once trust and credibility are lost; it is often difficult or impossible to restore those earned positions.
  5. Supervisory Burnout for someone trying to resolve the problem. It can become so overwhelming (who said what to whom, who was involved, etc.) that the supervisor wonders if the job is worth the emotional toll.

What Can Employers Do To Prevent Gossip From Getting Out Of Hand?

Here are some practical tips that may help prevent out-of-control situations caused by malicious or annoying gossip:

  1. Employee Communications: Consistently and regularly keep employees informed and in the loop. A Schedule regular meeting where employees can share information and voice concerns. Some companies provide a hotline number that employees can use to call in and express concerns.
  2. Employee Training: Â Training and development seminars and courses can help employees understand how malicious gossip is hurtful to others. A Training can also help employees understand how to tactfully reply to other employees who want to gossip. For instance, employees can learn appropriate responses such as; I hadn't heard that about Co-worker. Let's go ask her about that. Or, by simply saying, I'm not comfortable talking about Co-worker.
  3. Remind Employees Of An E-Mail Policy: Sometimes gossip is spread through e-mails as much as around the water cooler. Â Periodically inform employees that company e-mails are not private and that they are subject to employer review.
  4. Build A Supportive And Cooperative Culture: An environment built on trust starts out with a genuinely supportive culture, and it starts at the top. Show your managers and supervisors how much you respect and honor their contributions. Invite their feedback and show them how you respect and value their opinions. They are more likely, in turn, to model the same attitude and behaviors to employees.
  5. Take The High Road And Set An Example: A Never belittle or demean another employee in public. Â If you have an issue with someone's performance, speak directly with the employee and in private.

Take Charge and Remember the Golden Rule Approach
While it is unrealistic to think that gossip will be totally eradicated from the workplace, employers can take charge of the situation. Employee communications can include written and verbal expectations and reminders of acceptable conduct in the workplace. By setting an example and providing additional training, hopefully employers can prevent seriously damaging gossip from taking root. As the Golden Rule says, treat others as you want to be treated, which seem to be a timeless approach.

By Priscilla Kohl

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

HR Safety:- Selling Safety to the C-Suite

To run an effective safety program, you need to be an enthusiastic booster of safety. However, enthusiasm won't win over management—you need to make the business case for safety as well.

Management will readily agree that safety is important, and they know that they have a moral—and legal—obligation to maintain a safe workplace. But sometimes it's hard to get that concern translated into getting a budget for safety products, getting people released for safety training, and getting time allocated for safety committee meetings, inspections, and

Safety and the Bottom Line

In the C-Suite, bottom line impact is what counts, so enthusiasm and moral arguments aren't enough. You need to be able to justify safety program elements as cost-saving and productivity-enhancing.

Here are Some Specific Bottom Line Reasons for Safety Programs.

-- Injuries and Illnesses Drop Productivity Dramatically. Safety problems-accidents, injuries, illnesses—can shut down production lines for repairs or for investigations. Lost-time accidents mean the loss of skilled workers, and substitutes just can't keep productivity up.

-- Fines and Sanctions for Noncompliance With Safety Rules Can Be Stiff. OSHA's always on the prowl, and, in spite of workers' compensation laws, safety lawsuits are still possible, especially when there's even a hint of negligence. Don't think juries are going to side with you when an injured employee limps to the witness stand.

-- When Safety Suffers, Morale Suffers. And When Morale Suffers, Productivity Suffers. "I told them about the hazard, but they just don't care." That attitude isn't going to make for eager, productive workers.

-- When Morale Suffers, Retention Suffers. When employees don't feel secure where they work, and don't think that management cares about their safety, they are much more likely to look for other work. That means lost productivity while you hire and train new workers—if you can find them.

-- Safety Won't Happen by Itself. You can't "wish" safety into employees. They simply don't act safely—even though it's in their own best interest—unless the organization insists on it.

Thanks to BLR

HR Consultants:- Optimize Contract-Employee Performance

On-boarding is a crucial process that can make or break an employee's success. It's a big enough challenge when dealing with full-time company employees, but it looms even larger when dealing with consultants.

The temporary nature of these positions often motivates companies to pay less attention to the on-boarding process. But getting consultants acclimated to their new roles and the organization is as important for them as it is for direct hires.

In practice, there often is far less time available for on-boarding contingent workers. But what talent managers do or don't do in this area will have a measurable effect on performance. With proper planning and efficient execution, it is possible to optimize contingent workers' success within the first 90 days of employment.

One strategy to on-board this particular group is built on three action items, all of which should be implemented in conjunction with efforts from consultant talent providers.

Step 1: Develop a Game Plan

This lets both the talent manager and talent provider understand how consultants will be used, who they will work with and what resources they will need. Answer questions such as: How will consultants work with the existing team? How will consultants provide subject matter expertise? What is the knowledge transfer plan to the existing team to ensure the organization gets the greatest value from the consultant?

Use this information to develop the temporary employee's job expectations and goals. For example, create a list of specific responsibilities, deliverables and deadlines.

Identify any anticipated interactions with other departments or project areas, and reliance on other project milestones, to make sure everyone understands the goals and deliverables associated with the assignment.

Throughout their first days on the job, check in with consultants and ask follow-up questions such as: Is your role here clear? Do you have everything you need to meet these goals? What barriers do you see and how can we help?

Step 2: Build a Team Atmosphere

Creating a team environment among staff and consultants makes everyone feel valued, wanted and excited to be a part of the team. By fostering these emotions from day one, talent managers motivate employees to do their best and bring maximum value to the company.

Integrate contract employees with other staff as much as possible. For example, don't locate them in a little-used or remote corner. Situate them in close proximity to the people they'll be working with most to foster communication, collaboration and bonding.

Also, talent managers should continue to work with the consultant to elicit feedback on how the team is working together.

Step 3: Avoid Co-Employment Issues

Most relationships between companies and talent providers are based on the co-employment model.

Co-employment occurs when more than one company has legal rights and duties to a single employee. The problem is a company cannot retain consultants long term. As a result, they must keep rehiring and retraining new contingency workers for the role, limiting productivity and effectiveness over time.

By Jim Lanzalotto

HR Crisis:- Boost Engagement in a Financial Crisis: Tell the Truth

The recent turmoil on Wall Street appears to carry more than just financial implications: It may be lowering employee productivity and engagement, as well.

In a new survey by Workplace Options, a work-life consulting and training company, half of respondents said they are experiencing stress because of financial concerns, and nearly the same amount said that stress makes it hard to perform their jobs.

"It's a critical issue because the first reaction is to hunker down, play it safe and try to not stick out," said Jim Haudan, CEO of Root Learning and author of The Art of Engagement: Bridging the Gap Between People and Possibilities.

"When fear, uncertainty and doubt reign supreme, people begin to get on the [anxiety] train," Haudan explained. "They look at turf control, they begin to catastrophize what's going on, and they begin to worry if [they're] next. All of these emotions are very real, and all of these emotions are exactly what you don't need at a time when you want people to unify, align, change and be agile."

To help get employees back on track and to leverage workers' capabilities to the fullest, Haudan said talent managers should advise leaders to do the following:

Convey the Reality of the Situation. Above all, leaders must be frank with employees. "People are amazingly resilient and able to deal with the downside, but the unknown is paralyzing," Haudan said. "The leader's job is to bring the facts into focus and create a perspective."

To do that, leaders must engage in two specific behaviors: tell the truth and show the bigger picture. "[When leaders tell] the truth, people actually becoming more trusting," Haudan said. "It's when you're not thinking you're being told the truth that you become less trusting.

"There's a very emotional connection, too," he explained. "Telling the truth also conveys that we, leaders, understand the predicament our people are in in such an empathetic way it creates a connection [that allows us] to go forward rather than stay where we're at."

But leaders also should be sure to convey the bigger picture to employees. Haudan said employees often complain they only receive bits of information that can often give them a haphazard view of what's going on, like disparate jigsaw puzzle pieces.

"They said, 'Why don't [executives] just send the cover of the box across to the puzzle, so we can see how it all fits together and then realize that some of these parts that seem to be in conflict may have their appropriate places?' I think more than ever in these turbulent times, getting people to see the 'box top' of the business and the state of the business is absolutely essential to tap into their capability," Haudan said.

Communicate the "Score." When the financial crisis began to unravel, many employees were glued to their computers, constantly clicking for updates.

"I've never seen so many [people] check the market so many times in one day," Haudan said. "Human beings, in times of turmoil, want to know what the score is. There's never been greater curiosity about the score; use and leverage that curiosity to not only [get employees to] understand the business but to keep everybody in the game. The urgency can either tear us apart or be a catalyst to bring us together."

Prioritize. Employees are likely to feel overwhelmed in turbulent times, and when upper management unwittingly leads them to believe every initiative is urgent or important, they're more apt to just give up. Leaders should focus on keeping things simple and direct to improve engagement.

By Agatha Gilmore

HR Tardiness:- Tardy? Too Bad

Thinking of doing business in South America? If so, consider this piece of advice: If you'd like your workers there by 9 a.m., tell them to arrive at 8 a.m. A new study by Andrew Horowitz, economics professor at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, suggests national campaigns against tardiness in Peru and Ecuador won't work.

Horowitz developed a theoretical model of punctuality games to understand why people choose to be tardy, and how to change their behavior. He focused on the stage at which players, grouped in pairs, decide whether to arrive punctually based on factors such as meeting time, duration, participants, and agenda. Horowitz identified three categories of punctuality policies.
The First Category, titled "preference modification," uses non-monetary social sanctions and/or rewards to modify preferences for punctuality or tardiness.
The Second Category, "payoff manipulation," is the use of monetary penalties and/or rewards to modify behavior.
The Final Category is various mixtures of the first two. The model was set up so penalties could be levied two ways: on a tardy player if the other player is punctual, or on both players if both are tardy.
Horowitz found that fining someone for being late while his or her colleague is on time was ineffective. But large penalties on both parties of a tardy-tardy pair were potentially effective, and could even lead to punctuality. Monetary rewards were given only to the punctual person of a tardy-punctual pair, and to both parties of a punctual-punctual pair. Findings suggest monetary rewards given to the punctual player of a punctual-tardy pair are potentially effective, and monetary awards given to both players of a punctual-punctual pair are completely ineffective.

"The findings suggest that the current generation of policies hold little promise," says Horowitz, "and that resources expended in their implementation likely will have little or no tangible return."
By Margery Weinstein

HR Behavior:- Better Employee Behavior—By Decree

The vagaries of employee behavior—from chewing gum or potato chips while on the phone with customers to a penchant for showing up everyday at the office fashionably late—will gain consistency if you draw up the company's behavioral preferences in the form of a contract. That's the advice of Quint Studer, author of "Results That Last: Hardwiring Behaviors That Will Take Your Company to the Top." Studer offers tips for putting together your employee behavioral mandate:

Don't Assume You'll Meet Resistance. "Most [employees] are as irritated by the offenders as you and your customers are," says Studer. "Most people appreciate having official guidelines—it eliminates their own confusion, as well as that of their coworkers."

Common Courtesy Isn't Common. You might assume knocking before entering an office with a closed door is par for the course, Studer says. But for people who grew up in large families with few physical boundaries, knocking on doors might feel like a needless formality. "In other words, common sense is a subjective concept, depending in part on an individual's background," he says. "Still, it's very important that every employee display behavior consistent with company standards and aligned with desired outcomes."

Behavioral Rules Create a Happier Workplace. Consistent behavior in the office means a better work environment. "Employees who frequently behave in ways their coworkers deem inappropriate are not contributing to a happy, unified, productive team," says Studer. "And here's the real bottom line: If you don't spell out which behaviors are acceptable and which are not, you can't hold people accountable for them."

Draw Up Your Own Contract. Develop a "Standards of Behavior" contract, and have everyone, from CEO to receptionist, sign it, he advises. This document can address any work-related behavior, says Studer, "from interaction with clients to phone etiquette to 'good manners' (knocking on doors) to 'positive attitude' markers (smiling or saying thank you)." Then make all employees sign it.

Seek Input From All Employees In Creating the Document. Put together a "Standards Team" to spearhead the initiative and create the first draft. "Be sure everyone has a chance to review the document and provide input before it's finalized," he says. "Do not have human resources write it and impose it on everyone else. You want to create buy-in, and that requires companywide participation."

Align Desired Behaviors With Corporate Goals and Desired Outcomes. Take a look at your organization's long-term goals and areas that need improvement. "You must be able to measure the success of your standards by seeing an impact in many of the key metrics of your operation," says Studer, "whether those are increased customer satisfaction, reduced rejects, or other measures."

If You Do It Right, Your Contract Will Serve As An Ongoing Reminder Of Proper Behavior. "Just knowing a Standards of Behavior document exists—and that their signature is affixed to a pledge to uphold it—is enough to keep employees on their toes," he explains. "It creates an extra boost of awareness that really does affect day-to-day behavior. It creates the same behavior expectations for the entire team. Best of all, it functions as a tidal pull on problem employees, bringing them up to a higher level of performance."
Thanks to Inside Training Newsletter

HR Environment:- It All Started With A Piece Of Trash...

Matthew Emerzian, a successful music industry executive in Los Angeles, was walking back to his office with a co-worker one afternoon in 2004 when he stopped to pick up a plastic fountain drink cover from the sidewalk and put it in a nearby garbage bin.

"My co-worker quickly asked me what I was doing," Emerzian recalled. "I explained what I thought to be the obvious, but apparently I was wrong." To the co-worker, litter simple belonged to the litterer, not to the population as a whole.

"I explained to him that litter and pollution are everyone's problem not just the person who couldn't find the trash can for their cup lid. He profoundly responded with 'Dude, you're weird.'"

Emerzian, now 38, walked back to his office both angry and sad.

"I couldn't believe that someone could remove themselves so far from the greater good of our world."

Matt began to think, 'what if everyone in the country picked up one piece of litter on the same day.' Or 10 pieces! The math was easy, yet so powerful. He then began to think of a few other easy things that 300 million Americans could do to make a difference.

From this, a great idea was born. He called his friend, Kelly Bozza, and told her that he wanted to write a book about how all of us can make a difference with our lives. Within a week, they had over 100 items on their list and were ready to start writing.

Their book, titled Every Monday Matters...52 Ways to Make a Difference, has sold 120,000 copies. It is both powerful and thought-provoking. The ideas are simple - small acts that collectively add up to an enormous impact for the greater good. It's 144 pages with lots of illustrations - chocked full of big ideas.

Dr. Martin Luther King said, "Everyone has the power of greatness; not for fame, but greatness. Because greatness is determined by service."

By Mac Anderson / Simple Truths

HR Career:- Seven Deadly Roadblocks To Success

When traveling down the road it is always good to beware of roadblocks! You do not want to crash and burn do you? The same is true in our journey toward success. We need to beware of those things that will keep us from our destination!

What Are The Most Common? Here they are:

1. Fear: Fear is one of the worst enemies of success. When fear wraps its tentacles around you and keeps you in bondage, you will never be able to reach for your dreams. We must confront our fears, see them for what they are, toss them to the side, and pursue our dreams with relentless passion. Conquering fear and stepping forward to reach new lands and new ideas is what makes success possible. What are you afraid of today? What fear must you conquer to be able to achieve your dream? When you realize what it is, take an action that is diametrically opposed to that which you fear. This will confront and conquer the fear by giving you the first step in the right direction.

2. Lethargy: Quite frankly, what keeps most people from success is that they simply do not have the energy, or make the energy, to do what it takes to move to the next level. They get to a point that is comfortable and then they settle in for a nice, life-long nap! Do not get lethargic; get going! Force yourself to wake up from the slumber and move!

3. Lack of Perseverance: Often times the race is lost because the race is not finished. Success is often just around the sharpest corner or the steepest hill. Persevere. Keep going. One more hill. One more corner! In real estate, they say the three most important things are "location, location, location." In success the three most important things are "perseverance, perseverance, perseverance."

4. Pessimism: The saying is that you can achieve what you believe. Ask yourself what kinds of beliefs you hold. Are you an optimist or a pessimist? If you don't believe that you can achieve than you won't. Your pessimism will prove yourself right every time. You will find that you subconsciously undermine yourself. Develop your optimism. Look for ways to believe that you can achieve success.

5. Not Taking Responsibility: I am the chaplain for the local police department. The other day I went with an officer as he took two prisoners to court. Time after time the prisoners made excuses as to why they hadn't yet done what the judge had ordered (she didn't buy it, by the way). After dropping the prisoners off, I said to the officer that unsuccessful people and prisoners have the same bad habit - they won't accept responsibility for their lives. You are responsible. When you accept that, you are on the road to success.

6. Picking the Wrong People to Hang Out With: We can easily become products of our environment. This is why it is essential to hang around people who will spur you on not hold you back! What about the people you have surrounded yourself with? Are they quality people who will encourage you and strengthen you in your quest for success? If not, move on!

7. No Vision: Those who succeed always see their success months and years before they live it. They have the ability to look ahead, see the future, imagine the good that can and will come from their lives, families, and work. To not have vision is a tremendous roadblock. Sit down and work on seeing the future - and make it good!


By Chris Widener

Monday, October 20, 2008

HR Safety:- When Safety Lands On HR's Desk

Is safety part of your portfolio yet? In more and more organizations, HR is taking over safety management. Fortunately, HR managers make great safety managers! In fact (don't tell the safety people), they often do a better job than technical safety experts do.

Why are HR managers are so good at safety? Technical safety expertise is helpful for understanding and mitigating technical hazards. But safety management is mostly about training and motivating employees—and that's expertise that HR managers already have.

Safety is a big responsibility, but HR managers can leverage their HR knowledge to become very successful at it.

Special Challenges for HR Managers

It's always tricky to do a tough job like safety management as a part-time responsibility. You'll have to devote some attention to drawing boundaries and setting policies that help you to keep control of your time. 

-- Spread the Load. If you are doing safety part-time, you must guard against anyone thinking you are doing it full-time. Clarify responsibilities, and make sure that managers and department heads take their share of the safety responsibilities.

-- Rely On Your Safety Committee. Make sure it meets regularly and often. Involve other members in safety management. For example, have members take turns doing the monthly audits, delivering training, conducting accident investigations, and so on.

-- Bring Others Into Safety Business. For example, perhaps each manager will take a turn walking through another manager's department, or perhaps another manager will take on running the incentive program.

-- Develop Detailed Policies and Procedures. Create checklists, forms, schedules, and SOPs. Make sure that everyone knows what his or her responsibilities are.

-- Use Outside Resources. Purchase training videos, for example, or hire outside consultants for some safety tasks. Contact local fire, police, and emergency personnel to help with disaster preparations or emergency training.

What Is Your Role as an HR/Safety Manager?

Of course, every worksite is different, with different hazards and different challenges. But consider the following:

Be An Advocate for Safety
-- Get management backing and participation.
-- Develop general safety policies.
-- Clarify responsibilities.
-- Create a safety focus.

Identify and Control Hazards
-- Assess workplace hazards.
-- Take necessary steps to eliminate or control them.

Develop and Deliver Safety Training
-- Orient new employees.
-- Provide new and review training.
-- Train for new equipment and new processes.

Motivate Safe Behavior
-- Implement incentive programs.
-- Discipline when necessary.

Perform Special Safety Responsibilities
-- Chair the safety committee.
-- Perform accident reporting and investigation.
-- Manage workers' compensation.

Step by Step to Safety

To get started—or to review what you are doing now—here's what we recommend:

1. Get a Good Reference Skim through it to get an idea of what safety management is all about.

2. Familiarize Yourself With Your Organization's Current Safety Status.
-- Review policies on safety, and also any other safety materials such as a safety handbook.
-- Get briefed on safety program activities (training, incentive programs, etc.).
-- Review the organization's safety history as found in accident reports, OSHA 300 logs, and workers' compensation claims.
-- Identify safety equipment used, such as fire protection, eyewash, and personal protective equipment.
-- Check schedules for training, audits, committees, etc.
-- Talk to key managers about safety issues in their departments.

3. Conduct a Hazard Identification Program. Identify what steps are being taken to eliminate or control each hazard.

4. Chart Out Your New Or Improved Safety Plan. Based on your assessment of the program and the hazards, which areas need attention, how badly do they need it, and when do they need it? Devise safety program elements as needed, and set goals for each.

5. Clarify Responsibilities. One problem that can easily sidetrack the best safety efforts is lack of clarity about responsibility. Lay out the safety responsibilities for the following groups:
--Top management
--Safety officer
--Safety committee members
--Managers and supervisors
--Employees with special responsibilities such as first aid, firefighting, or emergency shutdown
--All employees

In each case, try to be specific. Spell out who performs each major safety task and how and where they get the resources to accomplish it.

Thanks to BLR

HR Safety:- 10 Keys to Accident Prevention

You already know that to prevent accidents you have to identify and eliminate workplace hazards. But if the statistics are to be believed, that's something a lot of busy supervisors have apparently been failing to emphasize enough to protect their employees adequately.

Throughout the process you have to ask lots of questions. For example: Is it a physical hazard or a health hazard? How does it threaten my employees? How can this hazard be eliminated, or at least minimized? What specific steps do I need to take to prevent accidents and protect my workers?

Employee Involvement: Key Words

This kind of approach can certainly help identify the hazards that could cause accidents and hurt your workers. And it can help you take action to eliminate the risks. But you can't do accident prevention alone. You need to get your employees involved, too. Without their understanding and cooperation, nothing you do will really work in the long run to stop the accidents and injuries.

Stimulating employee involvement in accident prevention isn't always easy, but these are the 10 key words:

1. Ownership. Give employees responsibility for planning and conducting inspections, for analyzing their own data on work hazards, and for designing safety checklists.

2. Leadership. Set an example. Make sure you, personally, take necessary steps to prevent accidents. That means wearing proper PPE and taking the same precautions as your workers. Be on the lookout for potential hazards and point them out to your workers.

3. Understanding. Emphasize that hazards put employees' personal health and safety at risk. Understanding the "why" of safety is a strong motivator.

4. Commitment. Work to get commitment to the idea that safety is a number one priority from every one of your employees.

5. Goals. Set clear standards for workplace behavior—and enforce them.

6. Competence. Train employees well so that they have the information and develop the skills they need to work safely and avoid accidents.

7. Feedback. Praise employees who identify and correct hazards or who report problems they can't fix.

8. Involvement. Use every opportunity to encourage employees to play an active role in workplace safety and accident prevention. If you see a hazard, do more than just correct it. Use it as a learning experience to help workers become more alert and more sensitive to potential danger on the job.

9. Responsiveness. Make sure you respond promptly to identified hazards and take immediate steps to correct them.

10. Persistence. Remember that accident prevention is an ongoing challenge. It's something you have to focus on every day, always improving, always setting new safety objectives, and always making steady progress toward achieving them.

Thanks to BLR

HR Behavior Types:- Workplace Behavior Types

Work place behavior is one of the most critical parameters for determining staff motivation and morale. Organizations successful in identifying productive staff behaviors have enhanced their performance levels significantly. Thus, an understanding of the types of work place behaviors can help leaders frame effective strategies to motivate the staff. Every individual is different and hence his perspective and interpretation of work and his fellow workers would be different. This difference in interpretation would in turn determine the behavior of individuals towards others in the work place. And hence the difference in behaviors would have a bearing on the work output of people. A clear understanding of these behaviors would therefore help leaders establish effective communication strategies to help them in optimizing work place interactions ns.

What Behavior Do You Sport?

Every individual irrespective of his position and role in the organization demonstrates a certain behavioral pattern that is characteristic of his personality. It is this behavioral pattern that needs to be mapped and identified for developing customized motivation strategies. Research in the field of organizational behavior has identified eight different behavioral patterns. Understanding each of these behaviors would provide leaders with clues to their specific motivational needs, enabling them to devise specific communication and morale- building strategies.

Behavior Types


Commanders, as their title suggests are outright bossy. They love to be in control and speak crisply and may be perceived as arrogant and rude. They think from their head and do not indulge in emotional bonding with colleagues. Their strength lies in impeccable execution skills and ability to think fast and ahead of time. Bosses need to deal with care with a commander subordinate and not get upset unnecessarily about their authoritative style. Instead commander subordinates are a great boon .For, once they are assigned with a task the superior can rest assured without worrying about the outcome.
Drifters are relaxed, casual and disorganized. They are impulsive and fail to adhere to rules . They in fact enjoy flouting rules and live by their own rules. Hence, capturing them in a structure can damage their innovative and creative potential. As they seldom adhere to deadlines leaders should assign them tasks with deadlines well within the real timeline. In addition, Organizations should aim at tapping their innovation potential by shunting their creative skills to projects that need them.

Attackers are by far the most difficult category of employees to handle as they resent even the slightest disagreement with great acrimony. They are disrespectful to others' opinions and views and often take offence on issues that can be avoided. Such employees need to be tackled with great care . The nuisance value of attackers is high and hence they can be disposed of if their behavior becomes particularly troubling for other co-workers.
Pleasers are friendly, helpful and extremely accommodating. Their affable nature helps them in getting their work done with great ease. They make good bosses and even better subordinates. However, the problem comes when a commander boss has to deal with pleaser subordinates. The sweet and courteous nature of pleasers makes them extremely sensitive to criticism and hence they can get upset when they are subjected to unfavorable feedback from their bosses. This further puts emotional pressure on bosses as they hesitate to hurt their pleasing subordinates.
They are the most favorite personality type at work. They are entertaining and flamboyant and indulge in engaging conversations with people across the board. Being extremely focused on work they rarely get subjected to undue criticism. Hence, they are both leadership and subordinate favorites. They are highly driven by recognition. Leaders therefore should resort to spot recognition if they want their performers to sustain their performance levels.
As the title suggests, avoiders are typically quiet and reserved . They are harmless and do as they are told without adding any dimension of innovation or creativity. Their biggest strength lies in their ability to finish the task assigned to them without questioning it. Thus, leaders should provide detailed instructions to them while assigning tasks as they lack initiative and seldom come up with ideas on their own. Their need for security is high and hence serves as a significant motivator for them.
Analytical are extremely cautious by nature, they run over photocopied material even as they are thorough with the original. Their flair for details often paralyses their analytical abilities and leaves them panting for the deadlines. Their strength lies in their ability to see the devil in the details and bring out issues that may elude others. Their need for certainty is what motivates them and hence leaders should show patience with them as they take time to ascertain facts.

Achievers are experts by nature. They are happy and contented in what they are doing and do not believe in admonishing others or giving unsolicited advice. They are perfectionists and derive immense satisfaction from their own sense of discipline. They are extremely conscious of their own performance standards and work towards maintaining them. Their mere presence influences others and brings out the best in them. Work-related challenges motivate them and hence leaders should strive to present them with opportunities that test their skills and expertise.
The behavior descriptions mentioned above represent the major personality types existing in our work places. Identifying and understanding each of these personality types can help leaders create better and more meaningful work place interactions.


HR Book Review:- Overcoming the Five Barriers to Influence

Consider the obstacles that pose the greatest risks to a successful influence encounter. These are: negative or ambiguous relationships, poor credibility, communication mismatches, hostile belief systems, and conflicting interests. The first two of these barriers relate to how people see you personally. The final three make it harder for people to hear your idea clearly.

Each of the five barriers has the potential to become a valuable asset in your idea pitch if you do your homework well. But, at a minimum, your goal should always be to clear out of your path as many of these obstacles as possible in order to give the other person a chance to objectively evaluate the merits of your proposal.

Potential Barrier # 1: Relationships. The first potential barrier is often the one that colors all the rest: How will the other person view your relationship to him or her? Will he or she know you? Like you? Best of all, trust you?

Persuasion at work always takes place within a network of relationships. A relationship with someone, somewhere will be the starting point for putting your idea "in play," and relationships with and between people you may not even know will often be the end point for getting it adopted. You need a circle of influence, a network of people who know people who know people. And it may be too late to form such a circle when you are ready to make your sale. The relationships must already be in place. The biggest barriers, of course, arise when you face negative or hostile relationships in the pathway of your idea.

Potential Barrier # 2: Credibility. Next, you need to think about whether the other person will see you as a credible advocate for your idea. Will he or she view you as competent? Reliable? Someone with special expertise? This factor explains why trying to manipulate other people does not work when you are selling important ideas.

We have a friend who is the regional sales manager for a large franchise organization. He is fascinated by books that explore the "hidden psychology" of persuasion—the kind of books that promise to make you an expert in "instant influence" so you can close deals "in ninety seconds."

Our friend learned about the importance of credibility when he tried the "Door in the Face" technique on his boss at raise time. The gambit works (when it does) by making a request that the other party is sure to reject (he slams "the door in your face"). Then you immediately back down to a much more modest suggestion. Your second request looks so reasonable by comparison with the first one that people are more inclined to say "OK." Research on the "Door in the Face" technique has shown that people raising money for charities can get more ten-dollar donations if they start by asking for fifty dollars and shifting quickly down to ten dollars (after the target donor says "no") than they can by asking for ten dollars in the first place.

Our friend decided he would try this with his boss. He asked for a raise that was three times what anyone in his or her right mind would have requested. When the boss looked at him in shock, he backed down to the regular raise he had planned to ask for.

The boss was still in shock. "You are being completely unreasonable," he said. Our friend tried to recover by making a joke of it, but nobody was laughing. Our friend got no raise because he had, temporarily at least, lost his credibility.

An important part of credibility is character, a point emphasized by the ancients who studied rhetoric and persuasion. Aristotle, in particular, underlined character—one's ethos—as the antidote to becoming overly focused (as the Greek "sophists" eventually became) on pandering to particular audiences. He argued that character was the most important persuasion tool of them all.

So will we. If you want to be truly persuasive within your organization, you must develop your own ethos and endorse character as a value. This attitude was summed up well by the banking mogul J. P. Morgan in a short interchange he had with a congressional committee in the early 1900s. The committee was investigating possible financial manipulations in a deal Morgan was associated with (the committee eventually exonerated him). In the course of the hearings, the following exchange took place:

Committee Member
: Is not commercial credit based primarily on money or property?
J. P. Morgan
: No, sir. The first thing is character.
Committee Member
: Before money or property?
J. P. Morgan: Before money or anything else. Money cannot buy it.

Potential Barrier # 3: Communication Mismatches. With both the relationship and credibility issues addressed, you are ready to encounter the third barrier: your audience's preferred style or channel of communication. Your natural enthusiasm and humor may be effective for selling an idea to your marketing group. But the company's straitlaced executive committee may not appreciate that style. You may need to adjust.

For example, Jeffrey Katzenberg, the legendary media mogul who founded the studio DreamWorks and then took it public, once made this sort of mistake. Like many in Hollywood, he is a natural-born user of visionary influence, wooing audiences with enthusiasm, snap, and passion. But on this occasion, he got carried away with his own message and forgot to see it from his audience's point of view. It was a costly lesson.

One of the first movies DreamWorks launched after going public was a cartoon feature called Madagascar. Following his usual style, Katzenberg aggressively hyped the film in the media. When the production met DreamWorks' projections by pulling in $47 million at domestic theaters over its opening weekend, everyone inside the company was pleased. But DreamWorks' stock price took a dive. Why? Katzenberg had failed to recognize that, as CEO of a public company, he was now speaking to an audience of stock analysts. Addressing these number-crunchers required a prudent rather than a passionate approach. They read Katzenberg's prelaunch hype as a signal that the movie would hit a much higher number. As one analyst explained the stock-price dip, "Credibility has not been helped by 'talking up' Madagascar only to have the film [merely] meet expectations." Katzenberg's blunder was costly for his stockholders, and he quickly learned to adopt a more audience-sensitive persuasion style (in this case a data-driven, reason-and-logic mode) in public statements about future films.

Potential Barrier # 4: Belief Systems. If your organization is committed to diversity in hiring, a proposal to save money by focusing only on Ivy League universities during recruiting season will be a tough sale. Asking people to buy an idea that violates one of their basic values or beliefs—or the written standards and policies that sometimes give concrete expression to these beliefs—puts people in an uncomfortable position: either they buy your idea and give up the core value or reject your idea and keep their value.

They will usually find it easier to reject your idea. Effective idea selling, therefore, requires you to position your idea as consistent with (or better yet, furthering) your audience's important beliefs and values.

Potential Barrier # 5: Interests and Needs. Fifth and finally, effective idea sellers focus on the other party's interests. For example, when Napoleon was a young officer in the French army, he established an artillery battery at the siege of Toulon in such an exposed position that his superiors told him he would never get soldiers to man it. Had he ordered his men to take on this duty, his superiors would probably have been right. It was close to being a suicide mission. But Napoleon showed his skill as a persuader by finding and appealing to a fundamental interest—his soldiers' pride and their desire to be seen as men of courage.

He created a large placard to put on the battery. On it, the following words were printed in bold letters: THE BATTERY OF THE MEN WITHOUT FEAR. Instead of shying from a life-threatening assignment, Napoleon's men competed for the honor of being known as the members of this fearless band. The position was manned day and night.

As this story shows, understanding what is really motivating other people opens up a host of options for influencing them. It is also important to pay attention to interests because conflicts related to control over resources, credit for initiatives, and career advancement can be the source of political disputes. The more people who have interests that conflict with your idea, the more potential enemies you have.

From "The Art of Woo" By G. Richard Shell and Mario Moussa

HR Productivity:- Proactive Productivity

Can you believe that it is nearing the end of January already? The New Year is ticking away and good intentions have melted into customary reality. Two different people in the last week have recommended the book, "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. So, in the spirit of helping you while I remind myself, here are six tips to keep you on track and productive.


1. Write a Task List Every Day. Instead of keeping a running list of tasks or sticky notes all around your work area, make a new list each day. Only put tasks on your list that need to be done that day and are important to your job. Prioritize the list by the tasks that are most important to your success. Work the list according to the priority, not the things that can be done quicker and easier. If you don't get all the tasks done, decide when you can get them done, whether it is the next day or another day in the future.


2. Break Projects Into Smaller Chunks to Put On Your Task List. Resist the temptation to put a whole project title on your task list. Break any task that will take longer than one day into segments and put only the segment or segments that you can get done in that day on your list. You will find that you will accomplish more each day and make steady progress toward your goals.


3. Make Your Task List No More Than 60% Of Your Discretionary Time. Discretionary time is time that is not committed by others such as time in meetings. You will always have things arise that you hadn't anticipated which will take up a portion of your day. Therefore, if you only put on your task list the most important items that will take 60% of your discretionary time, you will spend your time more wisely and be prepared to handle the unexpected occurrences.


4. Make A Long-Term Task List And Consult It Monthly. If you have tasks or projects that need to be done, but don't have a specific deadline or near-term deadline, put them on a long term task list. At the beginning of each month, review the list and decide if you want to move any of the items to the task list of a day that month.


5. Set Follow-Up Reminders for Emails And Tasks. If you receive an email for which you need to follow up with a response or find out information, set a reminder flag, give a date, and time to remind you. If you are using Outlook, you can also drag the email to the date on the calendar and create a reminder. If you simply want to remember to do something at a point in the future, create a task with a reminder for that future date. This can also be helpful when you are expecting information from others by setting a reminder to expect a response from them on a certain date.


6. Keep Something Handy To Jot Down Thoughts So You Won't Forget Them. How often have you thought of something or had someone stop you in the hall to ask you to do something, but you forget it by the time you get back to your work area? Carry a small pad of paper, a mini spiral notebook, or 3x5 cards and a pen in your pocket to write things down at the moment. You can sort through these cards/papers when you get back to your workstation to follow up or take action as you promised. Another idea is to use the voice recorder on your cell phone or use one of those mini digital voice recorders you can put on a key chain.


In The End, pay attention to the things in your job and your life over which you have control and which will pay you the most dividends. Spend your time systematically on those things and you will not only get more done, but you will have higher satisfaction in your productivity. Best wishes for a successful 2008.


Thanks to Ms. Vicki Anderson

HR Solutions:- Problem Vs Solutions


One of the most memorable case studies on Japanese management was the case of the empty soapbox, which happened in one of Japan's biggest cosmetics companies. The company received a complaint that a consumer had bought a soapbox that was empty. Immediately the authorities isolated the problem to the assembly line, which transported all the packaged boxes of soap to the delivery department. For some reason, one soapbox went through the assembly line empty. Management asked its engineers to solve the problem. Post-haste,


Solution A

The engineers worked hard to devise an X-ray machine with high-resolution monitors manned by two people to watch all the soap boxes that passed through the line to make sure they were not empty. No doubt, they worked hard and they worked fast but they spent whoopee amount to do so


Solution B

But when a rank-and-file employee in a small company was posed with the same problem, he did not get into complications of X-rays, etc but instead came out with another solution. He bought a strong industrial electric fan and pointed it at the assembly line. He switched the fan on, and as each soapbox passed the fan, it simply blew the empty boxes out of the line.


Moral Of The Story: "Keep It Short & Simple"!! i.e. always, look for simple solutions. Devise the simplest possible solution that solves the problem. So, learn to focus on solutions not on problems


Thanks to: Yousuf Maccawala

HR Leadership:- 'Our Senior Leaders Just Don't Get It!'

"Our senior leaders just don't get it!" This refrain is heard all too frequently, especially during discussions regarding an organization's leadership development efforts, says Brian Jones, today's guest columnist.

We all want our senior leaders to "get it"—to support, participate, and buy in to the organization's leadership development initiatives. We know for sure what it looks like when senior leadership is not bought in—fragmented communication, unclear direction, and few breakthrough results. But what does it look like when senior leadership "gets it"?

A Senior Leadership that "Gets It" Incorporates the Leadership Development Needs Of the Organization Into Its Strategic Planning Process.

What leaders are learning and the ways in which they are being developed should be a reflection of the organization's strategic goals. For instance, if a major strategic initiative is to dramatically grow the business, leaders should be trained on how to lead during times of growth and how to deal with capacity issues.

Development planners should actively seek senior leadership's input on what the most pressing business needs of the organization are and how the leadership development efforts can work to meet these needs.

At the same time, senior leaders should ensure there is an active linkage between the organization's strategic plan and the leadership development curriculum.

A recent Baptist Leadership Institute Web poll showed that about 65 percent of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that senior leaders in their organization are taking active steps to make sure the strategic plan and the leadership development efforts are aligned.

A Senior Leadership That "Gets It" Is Visibly Engaged In Leadership Development, Including Teaching and Actively Participating In Course Work.

At Baptist Health Care, one of our leadership development mantras is that "Baptist leaders should teach Baptist leaders how to be Baptist leaders."

If senior leaders are not actively engaged in teaching, then they are not truly committed to leadership development. Taking the time to teach and develop other leaders is the price of leadership. A healthy culture will allow no compromise on this point.

Slightly more than half (53 percent) of poll respondents agreed or strongly agreed that senior leaders are visibly engaged in leadership development.

A Senior Leadership That "Gets It" Holds Leaders Accountable For Implementing Skills Learned In the Organization's Leadership Development Journey.

On this item, we saw less optimism reflected by our web poll respondents. Only 41 percent agreed or strongly agreed that their senior leadership applies accountability to leadership development.

Leadership development without accountability is just "putting butts in seats" and expecting our cultures to change as a result. That doesn't bring breakthrough results.

Esteemed executive coach Marshall Goldsmith says, "A lot of what passes for leadership development in companies can be a waste of time." See if you recognize this process, he says. At a convention, you're entertained by a parade of speakers, and afterward you're required to critique the speakers and rate how effective they were. And you may be asked to critique the hotel and the food. But nobody is critiquing you. Nobody is following up to see what you learned or if you have actually become a more effective leader.

So who's learning (and changing) the most? The speakers, the hotel staff members, and the cooks.

Do the Senior Leaders In Your Organization "Get It"?

I hope so. In my experience working with organizations and helping them create healthy cultures, I have seen that a strong commitment from senior leadership is absolutely necessary to create anything more than casual, cosmetic change.

The good news is that with senior leadership's involvement and commitment, nothing can stop the organization's pursuit of excellence!

By Brian Jones / BLR