Steve's Articles Published in:
This is the informal part of the web site.
- A Mammoth Task (Nov/04)
Law: So much for the employee bias (Jun/04)
As we lean into the front end of 2003, some of us having over-fed, over-drank and over-stressed ourselves during the so-called ‘festive’ season, I find myself writing on a topic I wrote about nearly ten years ago. Customer Service – or should I say – the appalling lack of it in general terms. Nothing seems to have changed in that time. I think the hour has come for us all to get tough. The Customer pays for service, but all too often doesn’t get it. The employer pays wages so that staff will provide service. All too often they don’t, but still accept their wages. The employment Agreement is a two-way document, providing rewards in return for performance. This article is a ‘Call to Action’.
“May you live in interesting times” - apparently, an ancient Chinese curse. Well, I’m all for a good curse here and there, but surely we can come up with something a bit more blood-curdling like, ‘May your funding be forever stopped’, or ‘May a Moratorium on all PTE’s darken your future’ or perhaps ‘We’ll send your kids home from school’. Employers are co-customers of the education system. Are they being short-changed?
won’t labour you with ‘Best Practice’ in terms of the
maximisation of training interventions - for those that don’t know
it, I apologise – but how does ‘Best Practice’ occur in small
businesses where there is no ‘Training Manager’ on site? Simple
answer – in 99% of cases, it doesn’t. While I know most of you are
not in ‘small businesses’, nevertheless in this article I’m
addressing my professional colleagues to see what improvements can be
suggested, and offer a couple of my own for comment
Intelligent Kiwis living in volatile foreign
countries know when to leave the host country. It’s about the same time, or
preferably before, the local Government chucks out the diplomats. I don’t mean
the odd one or two, as a symbolic gesture. I mean when they send the whole lot
packing and close their Embassy down. Then we can’t see what they’re doing,
as they prepare for war. The Talking has stopped.
We all know that the theoretical approach to
‘life planning’ says to plot your specific course to reach those specific
goals with measurable waypoints and a timed outcome. Ever played a pinball
machine? If the pinball was a sentient being, how do you think It might feel?
There’s nothing surer than that the Sun will
rise, the cycle of life will continue unabated, the lawnmower will need 10 pulls
to start it, and the market survey person will ring just as you sit down to
dinner. But what if that were suddenly not the case?
to in 02 (Dec/01)
Steve offers five New Year suggestions to
Steve offers five New Year suggestions to
For many people, Academic learning stopped on
the last day of their 5th Form year, and has not occurred since,
unless demanded (and paid for) by an employer. With the arrival of the evil and
destructive Student Debt, young people are often thinking like a shareholder –
what will be the return on investment? What will I be able to DO with this
qualification? With money short, employers are thinking the same thing before
signing off on training budgets.
Can you motivate a Team? If I said ‘no’,
would you still respect me in the morning? But Seriously – teams are made up
of individuals. A group of well-motivated individuals might choose to act
cooperatively – the Team in action. Let’s look at the effect of training on
Leader behaviour, and the effect of Leader behaviour on the motivation of
individuals within a team.
States of Competence (SEP/01)
Ambience - a certain 'je ne sais quois'? (JUN/01)
or Exploitee - Nature at Work? (APR/01)
By Tradition - Organisational Communication (MAR/01)
It’s been a hot debate for a long time. Can you change people? We know we can change someone’s behaviour either through negative threat or positive motivation. Is a ‘bad’ person who chooses to be ‘good’ still a bad person deep down inside? Under stress, will that person ‘revert to type’? Is this why criminals re-offend? How does Training work, if we can’t change people? What should we hook the ROI to?
An attempt to view the Employment Relations Act 2000 in a positive light. Well, sort of. There are parts of it that are long overdue fixes.
Statements hang around in reception areas, Conference rooms and elevator foyers,
and often lurk in Company Profiles and Annual Reports. Sometimes they mean
something to the people who also traverse these areas or read the publications,
but often as not they blend in to their surroundings in spite of the concealed
down-lighting and gold frame, forgotten and forlorn. For such a powerful tool to
languish unused and unremarked seems criminal. Why does it happen? How can we
Selling the Review Process, and a bit about Numerical Scoring Systems - What do you do, as an HR Manager, when despite all the training, the provision of systems, and the exhortations – Line Management still haven’t ‘embraced’ the process. You could try electro-convulsive therapy but it might have an effect on management turnover. What about if (horrors) we actually tried to ‘sell’ the concept? And while we’re on the subject, how about a short dissertation on the merits of numerical scoring systems. That should provoke a comment or two.
Dealing with the review meeting process itself via a bit of 'fiction-based-on-truth' black humour. Has this ever happened to you? For some managers, the Review meeting is a fate worse than death...
our friend Nick, who hated doing Performance Reviews, and his CEO who was trying
to convert him? She reminded him that he got his results through his team, and
that regular Performance Review – both informal and formal – was an
essential part of the management of his teams’ performance, and therefore an
essential part of his job. It became clear that he hated them because he
didn’t know how to do them, had not been trained, and his own personal
experience had been negative. She gave him five questions (Sept issue) to give
to his team a week before the Reviews were scheduled, then in Part II (October
issue) she laid out all the issues to do with preparation for the Review Meeting
itself. We pick up the story again with Nick having another 'training session'
with his CEO.
A Giant Leap Backwards with a Smile on your Faith (DEC/99)
About the Labour/Alliance change of government, stated intention to repeal Employment Contract Act and 'undo' privatisation of Accident Insurance, acceptance of Change, Change Management model.
The Dreaded Review - Part II (OCT/99)
Continuation of previous month - planning for the Performance Review process
The Dreaded Review - Part I (SEP/99)
First part of five parts: Performance Review, need for/importance of/purpose, preparing self & employee, thought-starter questions to ask employees, philosophy.
Picture of Ignorance - Er, or is that Innocence? (MAY/99)
Disciplinary & Termination process, ignorance of by Line Managers as a cause of Personal Grievances, ignorance no defence, unintentional attraction to file PG's caused by Unemployment Benefit payable 14 days after PG filed instead of usual 13-week wait before entitlement kicks in, rise of the Professional Personal Grievant, value of 'cool-off' period prior to taking precipitate action.
It's Part of your Package, isn't it? (MAR/99)
About whether training & general career development is undervalued as part of a remuneration package.
A Fit of aTAXia (FEB/99)
A bit of fun that demonstrates how the disorganised among us can get into trouble.
Out with the old... Er, Hang on... (OCT/98)
Old Charlie's not performing but you've been waiting for him to retire? Ooops. The abolishment of age-based compulsory retirement in Feb99 adds a new dimension to the existence and equitable enactment of a regular formal performance review process.
Exorcising Team Spirit (FEB/97)
Can team spirit really exist? Maybe if you start from scratch. What effect has 'organisational memory' on the ability to generate Team Spirit in mature teams with long histories - and grudges.
Sometimes we can get mixed up about what the client sees as really important. It may cost you a job...
100,000 years of Stress (JUL95)
One of the reasons we suffer stress, is that the method our ancestors used to deal with it (i.e. grab a club and deal to the person annoying you) is no longer appropriate. Yet our bodies react to challenges the same way as Neanderthal Man (and Wo-Man). How should we deal with it?
Steve Punter ANZIM,
Dip Bus (PMER), NCAET, FHRINZ, GNZATD
Page updated 1st August 2004