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Flora’s HR Diary for June. HR technology: Waste of time or time saver?

Flora’s HR Diary for June. HR technology: Waste of time or time saver?

Everyone says technology is so fantastic but I think you have to use the right solutions for your business and for your employees. I think technology can save you time, but also waste time. So my question is – what should I be considering using and what should I stay away from? Ideas please!   Can you help Flora? Post your advice below and in the next edition of HumanResources magazine we’ll publish the best answers!  ...

posted on: Jun 5, 2013 | author: Flora

Flora’s Diary: HR Policies

Flora’s Diary: HR Policies

If you’ve read my diary in the April HumanResources magazine you’ll see that my big issue this month is about HR Policies. We’re about to introduce some changes to our HR policies and I’d like to get your ideas on what you can do to get people on board with these changes. I also would love to hear what people out there are doing to get their managers to read the policies. I can’t go stomping around each store and shove the policy manual in managers faces – that would just take too much time and they still probably wouldn’t read it. Arrrgh it’s driving me mad!   Post your advice as a comment below. In the June issue of the HumanResources magazine we’ll publish the best answers and see what Flora does....

posted on: Apr 3, 2013 | author: Editor

Key issue for HR

Key issue for HR

If you’ve read my diary in the HR magazine you’ll see that my big issue this month is a key one for HR and it’s about what HR delivers. When any manager in an organisation thinks that HR is a made up role, you need to make sure you are clear on what you deliver. There are lots of tasks that HR do, but what are we supposed to achieve? What do you think? How would you define what HR achieves in an organisation? What is our role? I’d love to hear your ideas on...

posted on: Dec 3, 2012 | author: Flora

Flora’s HR Diary

Flora’s HR Diary

Hi, thanks for coming and checking out the blog! I’m hoping you liked my poem about the Diversity at work conference. At Funky Town we’re trying to improve our diversity by measuring our diversity of ethnicities, genders and ages when we do our annual engagement survey and then doing the following: making sure we employ the best people and not discriminating on any of the factors in the Human Rights Act developing our female branch managers capabilities so that they can move into Regional Management roles (historically held by men) looking at our customer base and making sure we have branch staff that match our customer base providing flexible working for employees with parenting or study responsibilities So what I’d love to know is what else are companies doing out there to promote and grow diversity, not just the factors above but also diverse work and thinking? Please post your suggestions and examples below. The best answer will be published in the next HR Magazine and win a voucher to a course! Let’s learn from each other. Isn’t that what diversity is all...

posted on: Oct 3, 2012 | author: Flora

Health & Safety Chaos

Health & Safety Chaos

So you’ve read in my diary that we’ve got a problem with accidents and sick leave. This is mostly in our retail network but also in our distribution warehouse too. The accidents seem to be silly things that could easily be avoided. Over the course of 2 weeks we had 3 people burn themselves while steaming stock, 1 person strain their back lifting stock bags, 2 people get cut when picking trolleys rammed into them and 1 person had a mannequin fall on their head. With the sick leave we’ve had an increase of people calling in sick – just over twice as many in May and June than in March and April. Most of them still have 1 or 2 days paid sick leave left, but even once they’ve used it up and we’ve told them that any further sick leave will be unpaid, they still keep calling in sick. Mostly it’s just for 1 or 2 days then they come back to work. It’s not always on Mondays either – during the week too. It’s really hard for us to cover in the retail stores at short notice when people call in sick, and in the warehouse it can mean delays in getting stock out. Any ideas on how we stop people having accidents and also reduce our sick leave? Our managers are open to strange and unusual ideas so please feel free to share anything that you know of even if it’s unusual! Post your advice as a comment below. In the October issue of the HumanResources magazine we’ll publish the best answers and see what Flora...

posted on: Jul 24, 2012 | author: Flora

Too much turnover

Too much turnover

So you’ve read in my diary in the HumanResources magazine that we’ve got a problem with turnover. I’ve done some HR metrics and discovered that of the new employees we’ve hired in the last year within our Funky Town retail stores, 40% of them have left within 6 months. That’s 40 employees out of 100. Of the 40%, 5 of them had been hired into full time roles, 22 into part time roles and the rest into casual roles. Half the roles were in Auckland and the others were spread throughout NZ. And yes I know a casual is not supposed to have on going hours, but in our retail stores sometimes they do. We review all our casuals every 6 months to check whether they have actually become a part time role and then offer them the option. I’ve talked to a couple of Regional managers about this and they say that not everyone is suited to retail. But our recruitment process is supposed to assess that! How do we recruit? At the moment we advertise in the store window and on SEEK, or sometimes in the local paper in small towns. The applications come through to me so I can email or text the candidate and let them know we’re received their application. I then send a shortlist through to the Store Managers who does interviews with a set of standard interview questions. The Manager then sends back the preferred candidates to us and I do reference checks (as we don’t want our Store Managers off the shop floor for too long) and credit checks. This is costing us a lot of money for further recruitment and retraining. So what do I do? Post your advice as a comment below. In the June issue of the HumanResources...

posted on: Apr 4, 2012 | author: Flora

Big bad bully

Big bad bully

So as you’ve read in my diary in the February HRINZ HumanResources magazine, Meena has come to see me about her manager Bruce possibly bullying her. I sat Meena down and asked her to explain exactly what had been happening. Meena told me that over the last five months Bruce had had a number of meetings with her, and sometimes also with Guy who manages the buying team. Often during these meetings Bruce will swear at Meena and ask her what the ‘f’ing type of department she’s running. Once they were discussing an issue where buying hadn’t brought enough of an item that marketing had run a campaign for. Meena had suggested that she had been told there was more stock than there was and Bruce started swearing at her that she needed to check these things and it was her fault. In these meetings he often stood up and stood over her shouting at her. He also came into her office and wrote abusive things on her whiteboard then rubbed them off. He would also call her to meetings without any warning and ask her to present on something, then half way through will leave the room for 30 minutes. Meena doesn’t know if he’s coming back or not. If she leaves to find him later he will come and shout where is she, and if she stays he asks her what she is doing wasting time. Meena feels she can’t win either way. She says that she gets upsets now about her job, dreads the meetings with Bruce and feels sick. She has lasted as long as she can because she knows Bruce is the MD’s golden boy. After I’d taken all this down I check with Meena whether I can present this to the MD and...

posted on: Jan 31, 2012 | author: Flora

Perfect Performance Reviews

Perfect Performance Reviews

As you’ll have read in my journal, I keep running into HR problems. However thankfully our stores are busy selling over Christmas and New Year so my manager Chris has suggested that a good project for me to take on over the December and January period is to redesign the performance review process. The fact we have lots of managers saying they have poor performers could mean our system isn’t working. What do we need the system to achieve? For our Funky Town retail stores the system needs to be really simple and quick to use. We do have mystery shopper reports and store standards in place, and 7 steps of selling that all need to tie in. Our incentive scheme is linked to sales only, but our performance review system should be capturing what people’s strengths and areas to develop are. For our Head Office we have a huge variety of roles – finance, marketing, the buyers, IT and of course HR. Some managers in Head Office have set some goals for employees but they are not SMART and not enforced. Then we also have our Distribution Warehouse that pick and send out stock to the stores. We haven’t had any performance system in there at all before. I’m not really sure where to start. What systems are out there I could use? Do I have different systems for different areas of the company? What goals should we use? We have some skills and experience listed in our PD’s but should be reviewing people on these? Arrgh I need help!! Post your advice as a comment below. In the February issue of the HumanResources magazine we’ll publish the best answers and see what Flora...

posted on: Nov 23, 2011 | author: Flora

Meena’s Marketing Mayhem

Meena’s Marketing Mayhem

Meena’s team design all the posters and brochures for Funky Town’s clothing stores. They are a bit of a creative bunch and when you walk down that end of the office and there are clothes strewn everywhere, posters stacked in corners and brochure lay outs pinned up. It looks like organised chaos! Meena came to see me and explained she was having issues with two of her team. The first is Ben who is very enthusiastic but seems to want to be the Head of Marketing instead of his actual role of Marketing Assistant. He is refusing or putting off work that he has called ‘boring’ even though Meena has asked him to complete these tasks and explained why they are important. Maggie is a different performance problem. She’s very quiet and methodical and works through all the graphic design and wording on our adverts but is taking forever to get things done. Meena just wants to shout at her to hurry up! So I said to Meena that she needs to have a performance discussion with Ben and Maggie (separately, not together!!). I emailed her our performance plan template and I thought it would all be sorted. Now I find that 6 weeks later Meena hasn’t done anything and things are worse. Plus my manager Chris has asked me to follow up all our retail managers who had employees who rated below target in the last round of performance reviews. So this morning I called three of them and find they all have employees with performance issues. They talked to me for what seemed like hours, complaining long and hard to me about how difficult these employees are being and why can’t they just get better. I still have 57 managers to ring and I can see this...

posted on: Sep 28, 2011 | author: Flora

How do you handle a manager like Doug?

How do you handle a manager like Doug?

I met with the Financial Controller Doug last week, who needs to employ a new Assistant Accountant. He breached about 20 grounds in the Human Rights Act as we talked, but instead of yelling at him I decided I could win him around with my great persuasion skills “First I want someone who has been doing the same type of role for at least two years,” Doug said. “Why would they want this job if they’ve already done it for two years in another company?” I asked sweetly. Doug shrugged. “Well their company might have downsized in the recession so they need to move or they just want a change.” “But wouldn’t it be a better opportunity for someone who wants to step up their responsibility?” Doug reached over and patted my hand, patronisingly. “I don’t want some young upstart who’s going to get pregnant at the drop of a hat. They need to be middle aged so that they’ll stick around for a while.” I gritted my teeth but then he went on. “And they need good English so I don’t want any strange ethnicities.” At that moment I wanted to stand up and yell at him: “You old sexist, racist dinosaur! Get with the programme!” But I figured that probably wouldn’t win him over. So keeping myself under control I said calmly, “Okay. Well we’re not allowed to discriminate on family status or ethnicity, but we can check they have good English……”. “By hiring a New Zealander. Easy.” Doug stood up. “I’ll look forward to seeing the CVs of the candidates you shortlist. Shall we meet to go through them next week?” And he turned and left. So I went and put an advert on SEEK and got a good number of applications through. I short-listed them...

posted on: Jul 25, 2011 | author: Flora