10minuteHR

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The Power of Informal Networks behind the Orgchart – Part 1

informal networksEverybody who has ever worked in an organisation knows that behind the formal orgchart and the official roles and responsibilities there is an informal network of personal connections.

Who chats with whom during coffee break? Who does someone shares their personal concerns with? Who do people turn to with their professional dilemmas?

These are questions you can’t answer by looking at the orgchart. And yet these informal social links strongly influence how a company operates, how information flows, and how quickly and flexibly an organisation reacts to any changes in the business environment.

Do managers really understand what is going on in the informal network? Read More

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5 Useful Tips before you Launch your New Mentoring Programme

mentoringImagine an organisation…

…where best-practice sharing is part of everyday life.

…where senior professionals freely and openly share their knowledge with junior colleagues.

…where young talents are highly motivated because their skills develop quickly thanks to the guidance of their more experienced colleagues.

Okay, this might the idealistic picture of an organisation with a highly successful mentoring programme, but would it not be great for it to be the case in your own company? Read More

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4 key lessons to learn from recruiting Mary Poppins

Mary PoppinsAfter six consecutive nannies had tried and failed to cope with their wayward children, the Banks family finally found the right person for the job: Mary Poppins. What lessons can we learn from their rather unusual recruitment process?

1. Create an accurate profile

Do you know exactly what kind of character you are looking for? What skills are critical for success in the given position?

You should pinpoint those critical skills before you start your search.

In the case of the nanny for the Banks’ children those unique skills included “cheery disposition, rosy cheeks, no warts, play games of all sorts.” Read More

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4 simple ideas to bring family and work closer together

worklife balanceWork-life balance.

It’s is a strange expression, isn’t it? It sounds as if your work and your life were two completely separate arenas. The moment you start working, you also stop living your life.

I know, I know… of course what we really mean by this expression is the balance between somebody’s work and private life, where balance traditionally means that you should be able to have enough time for your non-work-related things (such as your family, friends, hobbies, etc.).

Sure enough, more and more companies have embraced the notions of flexible working hours, job sharing and other “unorthodox” practices, so that their employees have enough time for their private life.

This approach, however, still fails to acknowledge the fact that all of us have got ONE LIFE that can’t be artificially split into two distinct areas: work and life. Read More

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How to recruit top professionals – 6 top tips from HR managers

6 tips to recruit top professionalsLet’s face it, there is always fierce competition for the best talent on the job market. It is increasingly difficult to find senior professionals who are established experts in their field, professionals that don’t require several months if not years of training and on-the-job experience before they start creating value for your company. This scarcity of top talent is especially true for certain professions such as IT and engineering. But no matter which industry you are in, there are always positions which are difficult to fill because there may be anything from only a handful to, at best, a few hundred suitable candidates on the job market.

What approaches should you take for the successful recruitment of these top professionals?

In our Best of HR project we interviewed over fifty HR managers. Many of them have faced this challenge in the past – and continue to face this challenge today – and they were happy to share their experiences. Read More

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Why you shouldn’t ever start an organisational development process without conducting a proper diagnosis

 

Brain surgery or aspirin? Treating a patient without a diagnosis

Medical scenario 1:

Diagnosis first, treatment second

Diagnosis first, treatment second

You have been suffering from severe headaches for the last two months. You are worried, so you go to see a doctor and tell him your symptoms.

The doctor listens carefully to your woes and then announces: “What you need is brain surgery.”

What do you think of this suggested course of treatment?

Apart from being rightfully shocked, you would probably be a bit sceptical. How can a doctor possibly know what the cure is without conducting a diagnosis first? How does he know what is causing the problem? What is the justification for this drastic action? Read More

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How to sell your HR concept to your stakeholders by first “getting your foot in the door”

Can’t sell your ideas to the management?

Foot in the door - by novishari

Foot in the door – by novishari

You have been with your company for quite a few years. You believe you can see the issues clearly. And you – being an experienced HR professional – have a pretty good idea how to overcome these issues. So you develop a concept, a great one at that. If the company were to implement your new system in the way you propose, it would have a huge positive impact on the company.

You present your proposal to the management. You tell them all your arguments and…

They just don’t get it. In spite of all the evidence in front of them, they still say no.

This is so frustrating. You do everything in your power to get things moving in this company, but the management is so unsupportive of any new HR initiatives.

Does this story strike a chord with you?

How to make people say yes – the story of the ugly billboard Read More

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Boosting employee motivation on a small budget – “show them that you care”

apple pickingHow can I increase employee engagement when budgets are getting tighter? How can I maintain staff motivation with minimal resources? These are questions many leaders and HR professionals ask themselves.

One of the HR directors participating in the Best of HR Project shared with us what methods they use to keep employees spirits high in a period of budget cuts. This is what she said:

“Motivate with small but meaningful gestures”

We are a big multicultural company. We employ 80,000 people worldwide and 170 people in our Eastern European subsidiary. Ours is not a small organisation, but it is very important to us that employees feel “at home” in our company. We are always on the lookout for creative solutions to reinforce the family-like atmosphere, which is a key element of our organisational culture.

Read More

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A company health program that marries business interest and employees’ interest

Employee health and well-beingShould employees’ general health be the concern of the company, or is it a private matter altogether? How can a big organisation help its employees look after their own health, and make them more conscious of their lifestyle?

One of the participants in the Best of HR project shared with us his story of introducing an All-Employee Health Program into his organisation. This is what the manager responsible for the program said:

“Well-being – one of the three major factors in job performance”

There are three main factors that determine an individual’s job performance:

  • their professional competences and skills
  • their motivation
  • the employee’s general health and well-being

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What does the CEO really want from the HR function in his or her company?

amcham dreamday panel discussionThis question is one that concerns HR managers around the world (and if it doesn’t, then it should do!). So, it was no surprise that the CEO Panel Discussion was among the most popular events of last week’s American Chamber of Commerce’s HR Dream Day in Budapest.

Five country CEOs from five multinational companies took part in the discussion. Even though panel discussions are often a hit-or-miss affair – it is sometimes very difficult to facilitate a meaningful conversation between five people on a stage in just 40 minutes – this discussion did bring up some thought-provoking issues, especially about what CEOs find important and what they expect of HR.

Below are some of the key messages addressed to HR practitioners by the five CEOs, and added to them are some of my own thoughts.

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From the bottom to the top – radical increase in HR team’s engagement in just a year

mountain climbing team 2What is the first step on the journey to becoming an outstandingly supportive and valued internal HR service provider?

You need a high-performing, motivated HR team.

A HR director participating in our Best of HR Project faced a big challenge two years ago: employee engagement within the HR team was one of the lowest within all the teams in the whole company.

However, through some radical changes – both within the HR team and in his own leadership style – he managed to improve things so dramatically that, just one year later, HR had become the most engaged team in the organisation.

In the interview with him he shared with us the key elements of their success. Read More

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CSR – a tool to increase employee engagement?

CharityFor some companies their CSR commitment simply involves giving money to a couple of non-profit organisations a few times a year. Others regard CSR as a great marketing opportunity: let’s show the world and our customers that we care, that we give back to society.

But I rarely come across a company that regards CSR as a way to boost employee engagement, to motivate staff and to increase loyalty.

One of the HR directors participating in our Best of HR Project shared with us how CSR and employee motivation are strongly linked in their organisation. She also gave us some hints as to how a system like this can be built up until the CSR buzz spreads among employees like a virus.

Let me share some of the things she said.

CSR is a joint effort between individuals and the company

“We are very proud of our CSR programme. Whenever the company gives to charity we always make sure that our employees are part of it. Read More

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Three new technologies to make the most of human capital

  • How do you tap into employees’ creativity and quickly turn innovative ideas into product development projects?
  • How do you save and share the kind of tacit knowledge which can’t be explained, only shown?
  • How do you collect employees’ experiences in the form of ready to use cases and apply them to actual problem solving situations?

A1_Houston_Office_Oil_Traders_on_MondayLast week I was invited to an event that promised to answer these three questions, by introducing participants to the latest technological innovations that might be ways of solving these commonly met dilemmas.

I have to admit that I have never been a tech guy. And I have always been a bit suspicious when it comes to technology in the HR field. When we try to replace human relationships with technology, I think we are on the wrong track.

However, the presentations showed that technology in HR can work the other way round: it can actually be the facilitator of more sharing and more open discussion, and help create more inspiration between colleagues.

I am happy to share what I learned about these three very interesting technological solutions.

Read More

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How to build a successful regional HR team

regional HR teamAs part of the Best of HR Project I recently had a very inspiring conversation with the regional HR manager (CEE) of a big international company, who told me about his experience of building a highly effective regional HR team. I am happy to share his story with you here.

 

When I received the regional HR manager’s position…

I was promoted into the regional HR manager’s position almost two years ago. These two years have been hard, but we have managed to build a regional HR team which is not only performing outstandingly, but is also fun to work in. I am sure it is possible to push a team to exceptional performance by putting a lot of pressure on them, but in the long run that isn’t sustainable. Instead, I wanted to create a culture of trust and openness. Read More

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Make the most of chain reactions in career management

SONY DSC“We have been trying to fill this senior position for over half a year with no success.” This is a common complaint of many senior HR professionals and managers.  The higher the position is, the more difficult it becomes to find the right candidate for the job. So they keep searching on the job market, but often they forget to look around within the company itself.

“If I have a vacancy to fill, I’ll promote someone into it, then fill that newly vacated post from below, and so on,” said a HR manager, “until, finally, there is left a vacancy further down the organisation which is easy to fill from outside. So when there is a vacancy, we typically fill it from inside the company, and create a chain reaction of people moving upwards. This is all planned as much as possible. We know where to look for a replacement when a vacancy arises, so it is easy to prepare to move the system. As many as three promotions can be effected in a single round. It is great from the motivational point of view – you can communicate it, for example, we express our congratulations in a newsletter to those who have been promoted. This gives motivation and provides perspective to those who work here.”

So what are the key elements in starting a career chain reaction? Read More