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Reflections on Health Benefits of (Good) Work – with Dame Carol Black

Reflections on Health Benefits of (Good) Work – with Dame Carol Black

HRINZ Chief Executive, Chris Till, shares inspiration and ideas from a recent seminar with Dame Carol Black. I was privileged to recently attend a presentation from Dame Carol Black from the UK, arranged by the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, on:- “The Health Benefits of (Good) Work – Implications for New Zealand.” The presentation was delivered in Wellington on 1st April. I was one of the few HR practitioners there (the event was free) and the attendees were mostly occupational and health care professionals, social services and related disciplines. One of my motivations in writing this blog is to try to offset the missed opportunity for HR practitioners to access, understand and promulgate the key, highly important messages that Dame Carol delivered. I know that the research she quoted is primarily UK based but I am also sure that it is highly appropriate and applicable for us here in New Zealand. Dame Carol is Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, UK. She is  Adviser on Work and Health at the Department of Health, England; Chair of the Nuffield Trust and Chair of the Governance Board, Centre for Workforce Intelligence. As an expert adviser to the UK Department of Health, Dame Carol plays a major ambassadorial role, building and promoting the public and policy position on the positive relationship between work and health in the UK. Previously she was the first National Director for Health and Work (2006–2011), a role created in the UK to provide independent leadership to a cross-Government health, work and well-being agenda. Dame Carol’s presentation was delivered in a low key, factual way but was also highly confronting, revelatory and revolutionary in its thinking. Here are some of the key messages that New Zealand HR practitioners need to be aware of and take action on:-...

posted on: Apr 9, 2015 | author: Chris Till

Enjoy the Ride – A crystal ball look into 2015 from a people angle

Enjoy the Ride – A crystal ball look into 2015 from a people angle

HRINZ Chief Executive, Chris Till, shares his thoughts on what’s in store for 2015… If 2014 is anything to go by 2015 will be at least as full of VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) as any business year any of us have known. Better “hang on to yourself” – it will be a hell of a ride! There is a world context brought about by increasing globalisation, inexorable demographics, rampant advances in technology, massive disruption and unrivalled knowledge, perception and opinion sharing through social media. This global context means that New Zealand, as small and remote as we are, will be increasingly buffeted by some very significant (and unavoidable) “mega trends”. Here are the top six:- Much more volatile and less predictable economies, nation states and movements A continued shift towards value in “intangibles” Work which is much more networked, collaborative and flexible Workplaces which are a complex mix of formal structures and informal social systems Diverse, aware and demanding workforces A marked shift in what defines a successful, contemporary leadership style. So, within this global context what will be the big emerging trends in the New Zealand people space against a local backdrop of increasing, critical focus on the need to improve NZ’s productivity, sub-optimal people leadership performance and highly questionable health and safety track record? Leadership renaissance We are already seeing the old, command and control styles of people leadership coming under increasing pressure as scarce, talented workers vote with their feet. And who can blame them when it is so clear that in our VUCA world the answer to frequent, dynamic and disruptive change is collaboration, innovation and thinking “on the fly”? Frankly – your talented 20/30/40 something knows that the control freak, count the paperclips and sweat the detail approach just doesn’t cut it any more...

posted on: Jan 9, 2015 | author: Chris Till

HRINZ Weekly Wrap-up: World HR Congress Special

HRINZ Weekly Wrap-up: World HR Congress Special

Today, in the place of the HRINZ Weekly Wrap-up, I bring you a recap from HRINZ CE, Chris, about his time in Chile attending the World HR Congress. I hope you enjoy this treat on All Hallows’ Eve! See you back here next week. It was a real privilege to attend, on behalf of HRINZ, the 15th World Congress of Human Resources in Santiago, Chile between October 15th and 17th 2014. There were three areas which stand out for me as highlights. Firstly, with the backing of the WFPMA (World Federation of Personnel Management Associations) and the South American focussed Inter-American Federation for Human Talent Management (FIDAGH) the in country Chilean association of CERH (“The Human Resources Executive Board”) organised a creditable conference bearing in mind they are really only seven years old and have around 200 members in a country of 17 million people. The conference had six really memorable speakers for me:- Jean Michel Caye Jean Michel works for the Boston Consulting Group as the Director General. He presented some great data on global HR and when the slides and data are publically available we’ll make sure HRINZ members are alerted and get a link to the slide share. Dr.Linda Gratton We were fortunate to witness the WFPMA granting the 2014 version of its very prestigious WFPMA Award ‘Georges Petitpas’ to Dr. Lynda Gratton, Ph.D., professor of Management Practice, Advanced Institute of Management Research, London Business School, for her excellent contribution as a global HR leader, assisting in the advancement of the people management profession. The Georges Petitpas Award was established by the WFPMA to recognize people who have made an outstanding contribution to the profession and the practice of human resources management around the world. The award is given to individuals whose expertise is recognized beyond their local and...

posted on: Oct 31, 2014 | author: Chris Till

Chris Till’s HRINZ Branch Tour Recap – 2014

Chris Till’s HRINZ Branch Tour Recap – 2014

HRINZ CE, Chris Till, recaps his time spent on the road… Throughout June to August 2014 I personally visited all 15 of HRINZ’s physical branches, from Fouveaux to Northland, from Hawkes Bay to Queenstown. I was often accompanied on my travels by Brenda Tweedy, HRINZ’s Operations Manager. The Tour was one of my first priorities in my new role. It fitted perfectly with my personal HR and leadership beliefs that the best form of communication is always face to face and that actually hearing and actively listening to the voices of your customers is crucial to any organisation. When HRINZ combines what I discovered on my travels with the feedback from our membership engagement survey we will be in a uniquely clear, balanced and privileged position to inform our Institute’s strategy, to the benefit of all of us, as we move forwards. Having met with our final group of members in New Plymouth I have concluded that, overall, our Branches and members are in extremely good heart, are very busy and are sometimes stretched for time and volunteer bandwidth in their Institute roles. There is strong good will towards HRINZ and the HRINZ Office Team (HOT). Members are very keen for their Institute to be even more successful and visible. They see the need for an effective and high profile national professional body that represents them all – regardless of seniority, role, specialisation, age or location. Members want us to be a “broad church” throughout New Zealand. Everyone is keen to see how we change and evolve as an Institute and are eager to know more about our future direction. As one erudite member said to me:- “Chris, we will be right on the Bandwagon with you once we know what the direction and vision is”. I really enjoyed...

posted on: Aug 27, 2014 | author: Chris Till

HRINZ Political Breakfast Recap

HRINZ Political Breakfast Recap

HRINZ Chief Executive, Chris Till, provides a summary of the HRINZ Political Breakfast. I have just finished attending and contributing to the HRINZ Political Breakfast 2104 as supported by the Wellington Branch. The Backbencher was a great venue and the breakfast was heartily appreciated! Over 70 people were there – an outstanding turn out and packed to the rafters. We heard from Jami-Lee Ross (National), Andrew Little (Labour), Denise Roche (Greens) and Barbara Stewart (NZ First). They all set out their positions in the employment and employment relations space (and some other stuff too!) and they represented well the contrast of approach across the political parties. Key themes and questions which emerged were:- The importance of HR professionals in the world of work and employment – how we in our profession are the “glue” that holds organisations together and how we are the creators and custodians of the value systems and cultures of organisations The importance of a neutral, level playing field in the employment law architecture that underpins working life for so many people in New Zealand The need to ensure productivity and growth in the economy to create the jobs and wealth that support the standard of living for so many of us The key importance of improving leadership standards in New Zealand to benefit our health and safety outcomes, productivity, international sales and customer service The vital role that HR professionals can play in helping to lift the standards of people leadership across New Zealand – especially bearing in mind the number of recent, authoritative studies that say NZ is punching below its weight in the area of people leadership. Andrew Little mentioned the apparently appalling case of a joinery firm getting staff to come into work on Saturday by just paying them in beer! All...

posted on: Jul 2, 2014 | author: Chris Till

HRINZ Weekly wrap up to April 17, 2014.

HRINZ Weekly wrap up to April 17, 2014.

  Hi All I’ve been out and about in New Zealand a lot over the last week or so. I attended the committee meeting and then spent a great evening with the Auckland HRINZ Committee and my thanks go to Rebecca Clarke and the Auckland Committee for very kindly hosting me. I was deeply impressed with their intern initiative and it was great to meet with their new and fabulous student ambassadors –  the future of our Institute. My journeys with Air NZ also took me to Tauranga/ Bay of Plenty where I enjoyed contributing to an expert panel in support of Craig Morris at Bay of Plenty Regional Council. This week saw me in Auckland again – this time meeting with the Auckland GM-HR Forum. It was a privilege to network with such senior, experienced and insightful people in our HR profession – all of whom are making a big, real and authentic difference on leadership, the impact of HR at that senior level and, ultimately, to the overall success of NZ Inc. Good on you! Our presenter was the Air NZ CEO, Christopher Luxon. I was very impressed with Christopher as a Kiwi, a business leader, a values driven person and as a CEO who is committed to the importance of people (both as customers and staff), leadership and the huge role that HR professionals can play in lifting organisations and New Zealand in this space. Christopher is quite clear that if you are serious about people (customers and staff) you must have a people person in that top team. A big thank you to Air NZ for their generous hosting. It was also a pleasure to meet with Lorraine Murphy, the Chief People Officer at Air NZ and her team. I’ve also been having a number...

posted on: Apr 22, 2014 | author: Chris Till

Those 11 Leadership Qualities…

Those 11 Leadership Qualities…

Due to popular demand Chris shares the 11 leadership qualities he discussed in his earlier blog My Experience with ‘Getting to Great’. Read on for his advice…  Hi all, Here are the 11 leadership qualities I talked about in my blog yesterday… I organise the team’s work, but leave them to get on with their jobs and make their own decisions I am enthusiastic, passionate and highly engaged I am approachable and have a genuine open-door policy (even when I’m busy) I see myself as being part of the team and will get in and help them with work when needed I am fun and positive even when it’s stressful or busy I take responsibility for team decisions and ensure my team feel supported I encourage an environment where new ideas and ways of doing things are expressed and tried out I make myself available for when my team needs me I give my team regular coaching and honest, immediate feedback I keep my team updated with relevant information to help them with their work I am proud of my team and what we achieve, and I tell them so. But:- “People need to remember that they need to create their own qualities that are right for them and, most importantly, their organisation and culture. This is at least an eight step process:- Get your Executive Leadership Team on board and 100% committed to a proper engagement survey and doing something with what the survey tells you:-  Ask, Listen, Act, Get feedback, Ask again…… virtuous circle Survey with a commitment to feedback to the workforce, with due confidentiality, the views that employees have so generously given their employer. Remember – their perception is their reality Get the results, share them and action plan on those results Identify both your highly and lowly engaged...

posted on: Mar 13, 2014 | author: Chris Till

My Experience with ‘Getting to Great’

My Experience with ‘Getting to Great’

Hi all, I’ve just finished reading “Getting to Great – your map to navigating the straits of internal leadership” – published in February this year by the State Services Commission, the Treasury and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. If you cannot read the whole 55 pages (45 for main body report) then catch pages 8 to 9 for the Executive Summary. Oh…and you simply must not miss my favourite Page 28…more of that later! I agreed with (and loved) the strong focus on leadership and associated commitment to lifting leadership and workforce capability and driving business progress  to grow the New Zealand economy. The report is strongly constructed and based on sound research. There is good senior leadership input with compelling evidence to support the findings. One of the first comments that really captured me at a visceral level is:- “Our core premise is that senior leaders need to find the confidence to connect with not just the heads, but also the hearts of their people”. Having spent many of my thirty years in Human Resources on a crusade to do exactly that this comes as music to my ears. So where does the Human Resources professional come into this picture? Let me quote Page 28:- “ Command, control and jobs for life are gone and a laissez faire approach to this won’t work. CEs and SLTs need to pull these issues up from their HR teams (who often languish at third or fourth tier) and place them squarely at the top table. HR needs to be treated as or more seriously than finance or information management. One of the things that Lead Reviewers find intriguing is that HR is often managed via a corporate director at tier two ( most of whom, at the time...

posted on: Mar 12, 2014 | author: Chris Till

Weekly Wrap-up 9 – 16 June

Weekly Wrap-up 9 – 16 June

From our desks to your screen, here is the week that was at HRINZ National Office. This week has been a real week of goodbyes. Goodbye to Michelle, goodbye to Mike and goodbye to Jane. We wish them all the best for their future endeavours. But while we lost three we also gained one, so a big welcome to Vanessa, our new accountant. With National Vice-President, Rachel Walker, posting two insightful blogs about the HRINZ Strategic Plan earlier today, I figure you’ll all have a lot of reading to do, so the wrap-up this week will be brief. Without further ado, here’s what our week at National Office looked like for the week ending 16 June… One of the most exciting things I have to report to you is that a site visit to the Trade Me offices in Wellington is now confirmed for 19 August. It will be in the afternoon just before the Conference commences. I recently visited the office myself, and I can tell you it’s a really unique work environment that encapsulates the culture and identity of Trade Me perfectly. It even comes complete with a slide to satisfy the inner child in all of us! All of you who are attending the Conference will be eligible to attend the site visit, but numbers are strictly limited so you’ll need to register to secure your spot. Speaking of securing your spot…registrations for the Conference are well ahead from this time in previous years, so I really suggest that you don’t delay and get in as soon as you can. As you will no doubt be aware, the HR Expo is running simultaneously with the Conference and is open to the general public, not just Conference delegates. The Expo brings a large selection of HR exhibitors...

posted on: Jun 14, 2013 | author: Beverley Main

HRINZ Weekly Wrap-up 3 June – 9 June

HRINZ Weekly Wrap-up 3 June – 9 June

From our desks to your screen, here is the week that was at HRINZ National Office. I hope you all enjoyed your Queen’s Birthday weekend. I was fortunate enough to start the week on Tuesday enjoying a lunch with some of NZ’s top HR executives to meet and welcome Lorraine Murphy, the incoming Chief People Officer at Air New Zealand. But have you noticed that a short week always makes for a busy week? However nice an extra day off is, it does mean that we’re all frantically trying to squeeze five days worth of work into four! On that note, without further ado, here’s what our week at National Office looked like for the week ending 9 June… Research and Education Manager, Brenda, is heavily involved in the accreditation process that members go through to become professional members of HRINZ. Becoming a professional member is an important step that members can take, that demonstrates their proficiency and shows that they are recognised as professionally competent by their peers. The Practitioner Grading Panel determines whether members have met the competency standards set by HRINZ to become Professional (Accredited) Members. This week Brenda has been busy undertaking reference validations for nine applicants from the Waikato Branch who have applied for Professional Membership Accreditation. Brenda is also our chief liaison for the Academic Branch, and has been following up on their committee meeting which was held last Friday, via teleconference of course as the branch members are spread out across the country. However, Brenda is not the only one who’s been busy, a number of staff around the office are also working hard preparing papers and reports for the upcoming Board meeting on 20 June. Remember to mark that date in your diary because it is also the date for the...

posted on: Jun 7, 2013 | author: Beverley Main

HRINZ Weekly Wrap-up 27 May – 2 June

HRINZ Weekly Wrap-up 27 May – 2 June

From our desks to your screen, here is the week that was at HRINZ National Office. Winter arrived with a bit of a jolt this week for us here in Wellington and there was a little flurry of excitement from Hutt dwelling staff members when snow was reported out that way! Of course the rest of the country has not escaped winter’s bone chilling grasp either, with HRINZ Board member and Southerner, Rachel Walker, tweeting that Dunedin had been basically closed by snow on Wednesday. Yet despite the chilly weather, continue we must. So without further ado, here’s what our week at National Office looked like for the week ending 2 June… Perhaps the most exciting news this week is that registrations for the HRINZ Conference 2013 are now open! You can register and view the full Conference programme on our website. We’ve received plenty of interest already and I hope you are all as excited about it as I am. We have some great things planned, so keep an eye out on our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages for ongoing updates, and make sure you get involved in the conversation using the #hrinzconf hashtag. We’d love to hear from you all. Events and Sponsorship Manager, Emily, ran a well-attended webinar on Wednesday on the topic of ‘difficult dismissals and handling difficult advocates’, and also organised an HR Foundations course at the Amora Hotel, Wellington.  The course was ably presented by Denise Hartley-Wilkins, and was also attended by our Research and Education Manager, Brenda, who is experiencing all of our programmes first-hand.  There are further HR Foundations courses taking place around the country later in the year, so please have a look on our website if you are interested in attending. Saasha has been kept busy as usual processing...

posted on: May 31, 2013 | author: Beverley Main

HRINZ Weekly Wrap-up 20 – 26 May

HRINZ Weekly Wrap-up 20 – 26 May

From our desks to your screen, here is the week that was at HRINZ National Office. Another week is coming to an end which means that it’s blog time again. Two blogs in two weeks, so far so good, it’s all going to plan! So without further ado, here’s what our week at National Office looked like for the week ending 26 May… The final Nine to 5 conference took place in Palmerston North on Tuesday and was a great success. Peter de Jager once again worked his magic on the crowd, and delegates enjoyed a range of interesting and engaging speakers whilst overlooking horses training on the track below at Awapuni Racecourse. It’s the first time we’ve held a Nine to 5 in the central region, and we really appreciate the support it received, with a number of participants even making their way from Wellington and Hawkes Bay for the day. Now the Nine to 5 conferences are done and dusted for the year, Events and Sponsorship Manager, Emily, is taking a deep breath and launching straight into preparations for the HRINZ Conference 2013 in August. This is keeping both Emily and I busy and there’s still plenty to be done. I’ve been working on the finishing touches of the Conference programme and the brochure is now at the printers.  It will be delivered to our members with the June/July issue of HumanResources Magazine, just after Queen’s Birthday weekend.  I’m really happy with the programme as the speakers are a great combination of world-leaders and local experts; CEOs and HR practitioners; and with lots of opportunity for the audience to be involved.  The Conference website will be live next week (we’ll email members when it happens), and registrations will be opening too. We’ve already received plenty of interest,...

posted on: May 24, 2013 | author: Beverley Main

HRINZ Weekly Wrap-up

HRINZ Weekly Wrap-up

From our desks to your screen, here is the week that was at HRINZ National Office. I haven’t written a blog for a very long time. With all that has been going on around here – conferences, awards and staff changes -writing a blog seems to always slip into the background however I have been reminded of how important it is to tell our membership about what we’re doing, as the end result alone isn’t always enough to show what we get up to here at HRINZ.  So I’ve made a deal with myself to see if I can’t remedy the situation by writing a blog every week and I’ll endeavour to do my best.  My apologies to anyone who I might let down if I don’t always manage this but I’ll certainly give my all! I’ll be telling you what’s happening at National Office on the operational front, and the HRINZ Board will tell you what they’re currently working on in their own blog. So here’s what our week at National office looked like for the week ending 19 May… Two of the three regional Nine to 5 conferences are being rolled out this week.  The Northern one was held in Auckland on Tuesday and the Southern one was held in Christchurch on Thursday (they were both really good), with the newest in the series, Central Region, being held in Palmerston North on 21 May.  I’m opening them all so will also get to experience first hand the marvellous programmes that HRINZ Event and Sponsorship Manager, Emily, has put together.  Emily has pretty much singlehandedly managed everything for these events, with some help from Lysa and National Office staff.  Emily’s also arranged for a half day workshop with Change Management expert, Peter de Jager, alongside each one.  The Nine to 5...

posted on: May 17, 2013 | author: Beverley Main

Notes from a long haul flight

Notes from a long haul flight

On long haul flights in cattle class why is it that… People go to sleep after lunch is served on daytime flights?  It’s 3pm and everyone around me are snoring their heads off.  Most of them can’t have been awake for more than nine hours.  I wonder if they nod off at their desks after lunch on a typical work day. Fellow passengers (usually male) wait until they get on the plane to strip off most of their clothes, empty their pockets or search through their carry-on bag for something they probably packed in their checked luggage. These passengers invariably sit near the front of the plane so they manage to hold everyone up as they block the aisles looking for stuff that they should have. The person sitting in the window seat next to you is usually one of the last to board and almost always has a weak bladder. The passenger who waits until the boarding queue is really long, manages to push their way in near the front and for some reason always has a problem with their boarding pass or passport which holds everyone else up. When you go to put your bag in the overhead locker the one allocated for your seat is full with other people’s excessive hand luggage. The rules about hand luggage size and number only apply to you and not to your fellow passengers. People wait until they’re the next to be screened by security before they empty their pockets (all fifteen of them), remember to remove their laptop from the case and still manage to set off the alert warnings when they eventually walk through.  Again it’s usually a male thing – sorry guys. I always get in the slowest immigration queue with the largest number of illegal aliens/asylum...

posted on: Dec 8, 2011 | author: Editor

Non HR-observations from a big HR conference on the other side of the world

Non HR-observations from a big HR conference on the other side of the world

I recently attended the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, or CIPD to its friends, conference and exhibition in Manchester, UK as part of my professional development – it also helps me to develop and maintain relationships with others from HR membership associations from around the world.  I try to get to this conference and expo as often as workload and finances permit, and I average about one visit every two years. This year HRINZ National President, Catherine Taylor, attended too – it’s important that the HRINZ President gets to attend at least one CIPD conference, and preferably at the beginning of their term as it can take a while to build all those relationships that are vital to an organisation as distant from the rest of the world as ours is. Manchester in November can be pretty bleak but this year we arrived to a late heat wave with temperatures hitting 16 degrees for a few minutes some days and some watery sunshine – on one day we even had a day of clear blue skies with not a cloud in sight.  Now you’re probably wondering how we managed to see the sky given that we were there to work, but we planned our trip to arrive on the weekend to recover from the inevitable jetlag that comes with 26 hours of flying and 10 hours of killing time in transit lounges at various airports. On Monday evening things got underway with a welcome reception for international delegates followed by a dinner for those from HR membership associations from around the world so that we could compare notes and talk in-depth about HR issues affecting each of our respective countries’ workplaces and memberships.  The conference started on Tuesday morning and ran for three days. Catherine will cover HR...

posted on: Dec 6, 2011 | author: Editor

History of HRINZ

History of HRINZ

HRINZ has been around in various forms since 1956 and recently members with more than 20 years service were identified and acknowledged for their contribution to both the Institute and to the profession. In doing this we thought it would be really good to collect up people’s memories of what the Institute was like in years gone by. If you have been a member of HRINZ for more than 20 years we’d love to hear from you. Please consider contributing to this blog. You could talk about what you remember from the old days, the biggest changes you’ve noticed, what you’ve gained from being a member – anything of relevance that you’d like to share would be great to receive. It will help us to preserve the history of our association for members in the future. Please help us with...

posted on: Dec 2, 2011 | author: Editor

HRINZ HR Awards – our own RWC for HR?

HRINZ HR Awards – our own RWC for HR?

Entries for the revamped HRINZ HR Awards have surprised and delighted us this year.  After an 18 month break while we reviewed the structure and timing of the Awards we’re really pleased to have received so many quality entries which are now being judged by our regional judging panels.  Results from the regions will be known in the second week of October and then national judging will commence to find the overall national winners. Unfortunately, and not unexpectedly, entries from the Canterbury region were non-existent this year however we’re really looking forward to seeing all the amazing initiatives and personal growth and development that has been undertaken in the region and entered in the 2012 Awards – the stories will be breath taking we’re sure.  There is always a silver lining to every cloud and we know that Christchurch will rise like the phoenix from the ashes, given time. Plans are well underway for the black-tie National Awards Presentation Dinner which this year will be hosted by Attorney General, the Honourable Christopher Finlayson, at the Banquet Hall of the Beehive in Parliament Buildings in Wellington on 24 November.  Sheridan’s got everything in hand and we’re all looking forward to a wonderful evening – rumour has it that some organisations are making the most of the opportunity to use it as a Christmas function for their key clients and valued staff members. There seems to be a lot of workplace Awards happening at the moment and quite a few are being celebrated around the same time as ours will be in November, so you’ll be spoiled for choice if you’re looking for a good night out during the ‘silly season’.  Which brings me to the point of this blog – what’s the real value of this sort of recognition? Recently...

posted on: Sep 21, 2011 | author: Beverley Main

NINE TO 9 – HR’s best kept secret

NINE TO 9 – HR’s best kept secret

A few weeks ago I spent the day at the third annual Nine to 9 conference in Auckland.  I had attended the previous two events and was interested to see if a pattern was emerging.  The difference for me this time was that I was the MC and so as well as having put the programme together some months earlier I had at least two reasons for wanting it to go well. The theme, ‘HR to the Rescue’, was interesting in that when the programme was created back in December we’d chosen to focus on the recent demands placed on HR by several natural disasters that had struck New Zealand, but by the time we got to the conference in May we’d been beset by even more disasters, both here and in other parts of the Pacific Rim, with tragic consequences, so everything had changed quite dramatically.  It was still on the same theme but it just became much bigger. Opening key note speaker, Hamish Wilson, did a great job of reminding the audience that for HR to achieve anything it had to be ready with systems and capabilities in place before called upon.  He took us through a large restructuring project he’d undertaken for Dutch Shell, and whilst the scale was completely mind boggling to our tiny work force, the point was made that the problems and issues are the same pretty much everywhere. In scheduling the session order earlier in the year I had wondered if the audience would pick up on the link about identifying the need to be ready in order to help others – a bit like being told to put your own oxygen mask on first when going through the safety drill on a plane.  For those that might have missed it initially...

posted on: Jun 10, 2011 | author: Beverley Main

Paying bills – a training issue for HR?

Paying bills – a training issue for HR?

The staff at HRINZ are really busy at the moment processing the zillions of annual membership fees payments that are coming through after the invoices went out on 1 April.  It’s actually a great problem to have when times are tough and most organisations are struggling to be paid, and normally I’d just keep my mouth shut and be eternally grateful that members are paying so quickly, but we have a wee problem.  Well actually it’s quite a sizeable one. As you know we have quite a lot of new staff at HRINZ and they’re a great bunch – all very dedicated and excited to be getting on top of their new roles – but some of them are spending a huge amount of time phoning and emailing accounts departments of members’ organisations to get reference numbers for the payments we’re receiving because for some reason this vital information is being left off remittance advices.  With 4,000 members paying their annual fees along with a very large percentage of them also attending SIGs and other events on a regular basis, our accounts function is pretty big, especially at this time of the year. HRINZ has individual membership but often there are multiple members working in an organisation where the employer is paying for the members to belong and/or attend HRINZ events.  We frequently receive payments from these organisations which cover many invoices but unless we’re told what invoices they relate to it is almost impossible for us to accurately reconcile the payments against the correct member’s ledger.  This results in some members being chased for payments that they’ve authorised and thought were paid.  If we can’t receipt the payments against the correct invoices the money paid gets put into a holding or suspense account until we can track down...

posted on: May 5, 2011 | author: Beverley Main

When work feels like play…

When work feels like play…

I spent a couple of days last week in Hamilton, and no I’m not a V8 fan.  I was in Hamilton to work.  Honest. On the first day I attended a Graduate Careers Expo at University of Waikato that HRINZ was exhibiting at.  I hadn’t planned to go to Hamilton but at short notice one of the National Office staff couldn’t make it so I went in their place and I spent the day with Kelsi, our membership manager, and Jayne, our Auckland Branch events co-ordinator.  The plan was for the three of us to talk to aspiring HR practitioners and give them info on what being in HR involved, as well as how HRINZ, as their membership association, could help them along the way.  It went really well and our time at the expo just flew by, though I found myself doing other business for HRINZ and missed some of the action (Jayne became guest judge of talent for an adjacent exhibitor and Kelsi found herself moonlighting on the IT stand – all part of the expo experience apparently!).  One thing that was apparent was that there are some great HR grads who are really keen to get into HR roles but who are finding it a bit tricky as there are few opportunities being offered at the moment. The expo was held in the Academy of Performing Arts building and the environment is beautiful – it took some self control not to just sit beside the lake in the sun and snooze like a lizard, especially after having to get up at the crack of dawn to catch a ‘red-eye’ flight. That evening our trio attended a HRINZ Waikato Branch new members event with the local committee which was kindly hosted at a local business, The Effect. ...

posted on: Apr 20, 2011 | author: Beverley Main

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