Blog & News

Month: November 2011

What Does Your Organisation Value?

It is sometimes said “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” but it might be best to break it.  Having lots of policies just to keep the employees in line – my question is why? If 90% of your team are working 55-70 hours a week and you are not taking notice of that, then why have a holiday policy?  Why not let them take as much time off as they feel they need and trust them. Why have a business expenses policy if you have a statement that says “if it was your money would you spend it” and just have trust. If you value trust and honesty in your business then demonstrated it through your behaviours to your employees, suppliers and clients.

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Happy Results from your HR Department.

Why not change the title of the HR Director or HR Manager to the Director or Manager of Happiness. Are they not responsible for the happiness of the people within an organisation? Do we not hear that they hold the role accountable for Human Resources? Where you worked do you know or have you even spoken with your HR Director? If you are the Director or Manager of HR do you sit in your office 90% of your working day? It is my opinion the Director of Happy Results should not be in an office but out where the people are going about their daily work. Does a farmer sit in his/her house when managing the farm or do they get out there where they need to be? Create and measure happiness in your organisation. If you want to change your behaviour change your point of view.

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Message from a Hostel – No Business like Snow Business

Canada is full of snow Alistair and where there is snow there is dough.  What do you say we get into snow business?  Snow business, what like selling snow to the Canadians Nora.  No Alistair clearing snow away from people’s houses.  Shovelling snow and making sure the paths are clear so people don’t slip. We can make lots of snowmen and just leave them on the footpaths Nora, we can place a collection box beside them.  Alistair I am serious about this, the Canadians are fed up shovelling snow and they have been doing it forever.  What would you call the business Nora?  Well Alistair I have been thinking of a catchy slogan we could put on the side of our van.  Just above Alistair & Nora’s Snow Removal Service.  What about some of these slogans? Snow way to go The only Snow in town It is Snow joke Snowfall we all fall Balls and Snowballs Slip sliding your way Snow me the way to get home

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East

EAST Frosty morning looking east In all its glorious light Blazing sun and silhouetted treetops O what a beautiful sight O many a time I’ve harshly spoken And fearful of the beast The danger chill and deathly will Of the sharp and cutting wind from east. Today it dawns on me your place Surely starting each day east Proclaiming wisdom to the rest Announcing without fails life’s daily feast. I sense the newness of each day Re-birthing, the restful night brings Today is a good day A good day to do great things Written in the early days of this New Year and finished on the 10th June in the shadow of Ben Bulben, County Sligo and in Dunderry Park, County Meath, Ireland on 19th June 2011. Provided with the kind permission of Andy Smith- Author.

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Message from a Hostel – Let’s just call it camping – Home Safe

To the helicopter, run everyone shouted the pilot, we need to get out of here before my chopper catches fire.  Harvey was the first to board.  Where are women and children first in your book Harvey, asked Nora?  Nora let me help you on board said Alistair, as he gently gave her a push from behind.  The engine started, up up and away with us all safely on board. That’s some fire down there, look at the burnout truck and that car in the lake, stated the pilot as we flew away. Nora who was sitting up front distracted the pilot by engaging him in conversation.  Changing the discussion away from the topic of the fire.  Is it difficult to fly one of these machines Captain pilot man, asked Nora?  Do you need to take a lot of flying lessons and are the lessons very expensive? she continued.  The pilot replied, well it does take time to learn and you need over 60 hours of flying before you can get your helicopter licence.  Are you a instructor Captain pilot man, said Nora firing more and more questions. Yes I am and I have trained well over a 1000 students, the pilot replied.  How much is it to take the lessons asked Alistair. Well said the pilot for the first ten lessons it is $180 each lesson and then for all the other lessons it is only $90 each.  OK said Nora when can I start my training.  If you are serious about learning Nora we have classes starting very month, replied the Pilot.  That will suit me fine said Nora and by the way Mr. instructor I will just start from lesson eleven onwards.

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Message from a Hostel – Let’s just call it camping –part 5

Yes Harvey, everyone listen I can also hear it said Nora, it is like a whirling sound.  Look over there up towards the sky it’s a helicopter and it is flying towards us, added Alistair.  We are over here, we are over here, shouted Harvey hysterically waving his arms.  Just then it flew right over our heads and the sound of the blades disappeared slowly into the distance. Hey where are you going? we are down here A, shouted Harvey. Harvey was thinking to himself that he was safe from any more accidents or fires.  Don’t worry Harvey, said Nora they saw us and they are just looking for a safe place to land away from the fire. Well I hope you and Alistair keep well away from it when it does land as it is very possible that it might catch fire, said Harvey. Suddenly the sound of the helicopter started to get closer again.  What did I tell you Harvey, I knew they would not leave us out here, said Nora.  As the helicopter hovered over head a voice on a loud speaker asked “is that Alistair and Nora down there?”  Yes Alistair shouted back, Harvey is also with us but is truck is all burned out. Again the voice on the megaphone shouted “stand clear as we are about to land”.  Within a minute the helicopter was on the ground and all blades stopped.  As soon as the rescue pilot got out of the helicopter Harvey was running towards him shouting “don’t stop your engine, before you know it your helicopter will have caught fire A, get me out of here. Hold on sir said the pilot it will be all right we will have you on board and safe in a few minutes.  The pilot approached Nora and Alistair who were gathering up their few belongings.  Well you two he said, there has nearly been an international crisis over your whereabouts.  He went on to explain that following a direct personal call from someone in Kelowna to President Higgins in Ireland.  The Diplomatic Service has been under the instruction to find you both.  It was only when we heard of these exceptional fires in this particular region that we investigated further with the local Fire Brigade and they mention you both by name with a request to come a immediately and remove you from the area. I think the fire is spreading very close to your nice big helicopter Mr. Caption pilot man, said Nora. To be continued.

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Message from a Hostel – Let’s just call it camping part 4

Harvey wake up your truck is almost burnt out, it is only smouldering now. I am sure some parts might work again, said Nora.  It must have burned all night Harvey, added Alistair.  I don’t think so Nora A, that truck has seen its day for sure A, said Harvey. Nobody will miss us but I think they will miss you by now Harvey so they might send a search party for you.  I am not sure A, I often go missing for days A, said Harvey.  Is it on the drink Harvey when you go missing, asked Nora?   I’ve had a think said Nora, the Fire Brigade asked you to come out to get us so they must know you are missing.  I don’t think so A, replied Harvey they asked Big Joe from Shamrock Towing Service first but he was heading off on holidays to “Lost Wages” A and Joe called me A.  Well I think we might be here for a while longer Harvey, said Nora.  We have enough food in the car for a few more days and sure we can try fishing in the lake here, its like that TV programme “Lost” except we didn’t fall out of a plane, Alistair said.  Hey Nora what are you doing shouted Alistair?  I am lighting another fire Alistair because the Fire Brigade will come out again and save us, explained Nora.  How the feck will we explain how the fires started, asked Alistair.  We can say Harvey started it with his truck, said Nora.  You two are not blaming me A, I did not do anything A, I just came to tow you back to town and ye set my truck on fire A, said Harvey.  Ah! Harvey don’t take it like that, said Nora sure the Insurance Company will buy you a nice new towing truck. Nora look at which way the wind is blowing the fire. Its right towards our car, come on Harvey help me push the car out of the way towards the lake, shouted Alistair.  Slow down, slow down Alistair, the car is heading straight for the water A, oh to late Alistair, yelled Harvey.  Well well Alistair we are rightly fecked now, no truck, no car and no food ,said Nora. Hush everyone A, I think I hear the sound of an engine in the distance, said Harvey. Lost or found who knows?

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Recruitment Panels – Is your Company Boring or Creative?

While tutoring a programme yesterday to group of business professional it reminded me of a post I published early in 2010 about being creative in your selection process. Organisations when they need to recruit employees often select the wrong individuals or panels to conduct the interviews.  If your organisation really values its people it would involve more of them in the selection process for new recruits.  I am sure you have heard the sayings around organisations “who recruit him/her” or “how did they ever get this job” Whatever you do don’t leave it in the hands of the Human Resources Department, sure seek their advice but don’t make them responsible. For example let us look at two positions that become available in your Organisation.  The first one is for a new Managing Director (MD) and the second position is for a new canteen person.  What will the boring organisation do to recruit the new MD?  Possibly any or all of the following :- Seek the help of a HR Recruitment/Head Hunting Company Nominate a Board member(s) to oversee the process Set up a panel of Senior Directors/Chairperson to make the selection What will the creative organisation do to recruit the new MD? Discuss with as many current employees as possible from different levels within the Company to seek their advice on the type of person and attributes they would like to see in the right individual. Select several employees at different levels (Managers, Canteen staff, Receptionist) within the organisation to carry out the interviews Ask one or two clients, customers and suppliers to participate at particular stages. What will the boring organisation do to recruit the new Canteen Person?  Possibly any or all of the following:- Allocate a Junior Member of the HR team to carry out the recruitment with the support of the Canteen Manager Use a recruitment agency to select individuals for interview The Canteen Manager does the recruitment on their own. What will the creative organisation do to recruit the new Canteen Person? Discuss with as many current employees as possible from different levels within the Company to seek their advice on the type of person and attributes they would like to see in the right individual. Select several employees at different levels (Board Member, Senior Managers General staff) within the organisation to carry out the interviews Ask one or two employees family members to participate at particular stages. Why do organisations stay boring because they get push back to being creative from the HR Department and Senior Management, the normal excuse we don’t have time.  My response is, think of all the time you waste selecting the wrong person for the job.  You don’t have to look too far within your own Company to find a wrong person in a job. Creative organisations take the time and select the right candidates, plus both the candidates who attend an interview and your own people actually see how you value them. Is your Company Boring or Creative?

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Doctor, Doctor What do you Prescribe

Doctor, Doctor what do you prescribe All these pills we must put inside These pills at night we are ordered to take Again in the morning when we wake Some are for our pain and some for our good sight These pills Doctor will have me as high as kite Doctor, Doctor what did you prescribed My tummy is rumbling all inside Doctor oh what will I do These pills you gave me just make me poo Doctor, Doctor when you said these pills would keep me right I did not think all I could was shit These pills you gave me large and small Have my bathroom destroyed even the wall I came to see you for a little chat and tell you of a pain in my toe But Doctor just said this blue pill will help you to go Doctor, Doctor you have me confined to my toilet, day and night These dam blue pills keeping making shite Doctor, Doctor I glad I did not come to see you about my heart For with these pills you have me too frightened to fart These pills you have prescribed, Doctor have you any idea The pain of this terrible diarrhoea But Doctor when I am better and off this loo I will call and see you again and guess what I’ll do In good health I find you that’s what I hope Doctor, Doctor guess where I am going to shove your stethoscope  Copyright – Mel Clifford

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Message from a Hostel – Let’s just call it camping part 3

Alistair I think I hear something, oh!  Yes Nora I can see a truck through the trees.  Over here Mr. Breakdown truck, shouted Nora.  You must be the couple the Fire Officer sent me out to pick up A, Harvey’s Breakdown Service at your service, A.  I am Alistair and this is Nora, we are ready and waiting to get a tow back to civilisation Harvey. Let’s see what I can do A, said Harvey, I guess I will just back my truck up a little and this will let me lift your car onto my truck A.  She is all yours Harvey we will just pack our stuff into the back seat of our car, said Nora.  Hey Mr. Breakdown fellow look out for that large stump of tree, too late yelled Nora. What’s that black stuff leaking from underneath your truck, asked Nora?  Oh! A that’s my bloody oil pump busted A, oh!  bugger that A, cried Harvey. Everything rosy in the garden then Harvey, asked Alistair.  I’m afraid not A, said Harvey my truck is broken down, she is leaking oil all over the place A.  Can’t you call your garage and get another truck to come out for us, asked Nora.  No Mam, the cell phone will not work A, we are too far from town, said Harvey.  Guess we are all stuck out here for a while, will I get a fire going to keep us warm, asked Alistair.  I’ll just gather up some wood and set it over here away from everything so we can keep warm until more assistance arrives.  I am sure Harvey someone in town will know you are out here and come looking for you, said Nora.  I am not so sure of that mam, you see I did not leave a note in my garage as to where I was going A, it could be morning before I am missed A, said Harvey.  No worries Mr. Breakdown man, said Nora, Alistair will get a nice fire going to keep us warm. Nora will you keep a good watch on the fire this time till I get our stuff back out of the car, asked Alistair.  Oh! feck Alistair, come quick the fire is spreading along the grass towards Harvey’s truck.  It must be the leaking oil Nora that’s caught fire, said Alistair.  My bloody truck is on fire A, what have you pair done to my truck, shouted Harvey.  Harvey look on the bright side, said Nora at least we will all be warm for the night, A. Will they ever be rescued?  Watch out for more news on the still LOST couple!

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