10minuteHR

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The Power of Informal Networks behind the Orgchart – Part 2

Social network analysis – the management tool that helps you harness the power of social networks

Moreno_Sociogram_7th_GradeIn my previous post I wrote about the significance of managers understanding your own organisation’s informal network in order to make the right decisions.

But how can we draw the accurate map of the company’s social network?

Social network analysis is the method of collecting, visualising and analysing data about informal connections between employees of an organisation.

Managers can conduct a social network analysis by following these five steps. Read More

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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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How NOT to start a change process if you are new manager

hulk__the_angry_manThe New Manager’s Big Change Initiative is failing

Go-ahead manager Bob Newcomer begins his position in the well-established company, Slo-Gro products. He is full of ambition and eager to prove himself as the new head of the team.

After a few weeks, Bob can already clearly see that the processes, methods and traditions in the company are totally dysfunctional and in desperate need of change.

Therefore, after less than two months in office, Bob announces his Big Change Initiative. He introduces several radical transformations. He changes the organisational structure; he starts re-engineering processes; he demands new attitudes and new behaviours from his subordinates

Not surprisingly, Bob Newcomer faces huge resistance. Things are just not happening the way he planned. His orders are not being carried out. People don’t follow his new procedures.

He replaces several of his managers, but improvement is still not forthcoming.

He doesn’t understand what is wrong. Read More

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Your colleagues silently disagree with you. How can you make them speak up? (Part 2)

speak up_mouse with microphoneTips and tricks for leaders to reduce conformity in their team.

The old saying goes: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” True enough: on one level, conformity – people’s natural tendency to do as the others do – is a great thing. It helps us to be in harmony with our environment. It helps us to form cooperative groups by harmonising our behaviour with others.

On the other hand – as we saw in last week’s article – a high level of conformity can be a great burden in a workplace. It can cause team membersto stay quiet at meetings even when they disagree which can result in catastrophic decisions.

Conformity can also be the killer of innovation. People’s desire to stick to the mainstream opinion instead of challenging it will prevent innovative ideas from surfacing and being implemented.

Therefore leadership techniques that reduce conformity and make people speak up are worthy of any manager’s attention. Read More

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Your colleagues silently disagree with you. But why don’t they speak up? (Part 1)

Faras_Saint_Anne_silenceQuiet disagreeement at a team meeting

At the Monday morning meeting there is a loud, energetic discussion about the new plan. However, Sally, one of your most talented colleagues, is quietly sitting there. She has quite a few doubts about the feasibility of the plan itself. She doesn’t really believe in the whole thing. But she doesn’t say anything. “It’s just not worth speaking up,” Sally might say to herself.

Tom, in the other corner of the room, has very similar thoughts. Yet he doesn’t really feel like contradicting the others. Taking the role of the annoying person who slows down a discussion that seems to be going so smoothly – well, it is not very appealing to him. So Tom just sits there quietly, waiting for the meeting to finish.

Sally and Tom stayed quiet at the meeting. But it doesn’t mean they agreed. Far from it. 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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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