Latest Questions in Human Resources

Maini Homer answered a question

Do you manage your social media yourself or outsource?

If you do outsource, which task do you outsource and what's the cost? If you're not, why did you choose not to? Any help will be much appreciated.

Maini Homer

Maini Homer, Owner at Infinity NLP Coaching

I outsource the mundane jobs that I don't have time to do.  So, I have a girl who does four hours a day setting up all my posts, and responding as my P... read more

I outsource the mundane jobs that I don't have time to do.  So, I have a girl who does four hours a day setting up all my posts, and responding as my PA. 
 

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Brad Lyons answered a question

Brad Lyons

Brad Lyons, Consultant at SMS Fusion

Automation is generally the solution, also reviewing your workflow. Automating invoices is common practice in most companies. If you still want manual invoicing... read more

Automation is generally the solution, also reviewing your workflow. Automating invoices is common practice in most companies. If you still want manual invoicing you just need to change the workflow so checks are in place.

Staff will always make errors. This could be careless as you say, in that case training or reviewing their position in the business is required. Over worked is also a common cause. Either way, you need to review all the errors that are being made. Review the workflow you have in place and safety checks. Once you have an understanding of the issue, start looking for the appropriate solutions.

As companies grow, work load increases. It is common for staff who have been employed to do one thing are now taking on extra responsibilities without the correct training. Take this opportunity to review your entire companies process, your growth and look at your current systems and processes. It could be a very good turning point for your business.

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Yee Trinh

Yee Trinh, Cofounder at SavvySME

Hey Andrea! :DAgree with all 3 responses. 100% behind Louise's point on processes. With any business, we should focus on creating processes and systems... read more

Hey Andrea! :D

Agree with all 3 responses. 100% behind Louise's point on processes. With any business, we should focus on creating processes and systems because fact of the matter is that until such time that we have those in place, us as business owners are crossing our fingers and hoping that good people stay. So even if we improve the people and get them working well, once they leave, we're left in the same position. With processes, we can relieve that stress and anxiety. It might take a little longer to get them in place but is much easier to 'scale', whether you're replacing existing staff or growing the team. 

By the same token, don't take the human element out of it as per what Melissa discussed. To have the right processes in place, we need to know why things aren't working. Sometimes as managers, our expectations aren't aligned with reality of being in the role of a staff member. So is worth having a frank chat with your staff and really understanding what the issues are. Are they simply careless or is there something else we haven't considered because we're removed from the situation? 

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Felicity Law answered a question

Felicity Law

Felicity Law, Managing Director at Felicity Law

My suggestion is that you review your over-arching Marketing Plan as your SM strategies would be part of this. It will depend on your budget, product/service,... read more

My suggestion is that you review your over-arching Marketing Plan as your SM strategies would be part of this. It will depend on your budget, product/service, defining your customer (market) and what you're trying to achieve (awareness, sales etc). Consider how you will measure the RoI of your SM strategy (cost per lead).

I hope this helps.

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Neil Halls answered a question

How do you prefer to get feedback and/or recognition?

We are all different. But I'd like some different perspectives into what makes us all feel appreciated.

I personally prefer constructive and collaborative feedback. I enjoy private "thank yous" but enjoy my accomplishments recognized publicly as well (if for nothing else than to help people understand what I do).

So, lets hear about you!

Neil Halls

Neil Halls, Director at Clear Path Commercial Consulting

This is something every workplace must do, unfortunately in our experience most of them do it poorly!!The most important point I will make it that feedback must... read more

This is something every workplace must do, unfortunately in our experience most of them do it poorly!!

The most important point I will make it that feedback must be a continuous conversation, whether it is for positive or negative feedback. Too often people reserve giving feedback for annual or 6 monthly performance reviews. Why is this an issue? Because you top employees who are doing a good job will feel disengaged. You know they are doing great work but they don’t, so in many instances these people will end up leaving your workplace as they feel undervalued. This is not good for you! Alternatively bad performance does not get rectified in a timely manner. The longer bad performance goes on, the harder it is to rectify. Often one of the biggest issues is that people managers lack the skills or confidence to have the hard conversations.

In regards to recognition, yes things like recognition and presentation of awards and certificates in front of the team can be valued by employees. However our experience shows that often the little things have the biggest impact. Our work has show that things like a team lunch to celebrate a project milestone can go a long way to rewarding a job well done. Or for a smaller thankyou instead of just saying job well done, take them for a coffee and explain what it was you valued about their contribution. Trust me, as managers we see these things as small, but team members really value them.

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Greg Rogers

Greg Rogers, Founder and CEO at REthink HQ

Hi Jef,I see that your a regular contributor to the site, I would like to acknowledge that. Without regular contributors like you the whole concept kinda doesnt... read more

Hi Jef,

I see that your a regular contributor to the site, I would like to acknowledge that. Without regular contributors like you the whole concept kinda doesnt work as well!

Is that reinforcing for you?

If it is the likelihood of you increasing the behaviour that is being reinforced is higher.

If it's not then the likelihood is that the behaviour will decrease.

Fairly simplistic answers to an area of Science as complex as us, individuals and humans!

My answer is certainly not meant to be blase or condescending in anyway, the Science of Human Behaviour is a fascinating subject.

Your question is actually the best answer, you need to ask the individual cos it's different strokes for different folks.

The father of Human Behaviour, BK Skinner, will tell you that the biggest variables around the concept of human behaviour are actually the environment and timing.

Telling the wife/girlfriend/partner/mistress that she looks hot in that dress...the next morning...just aint as reinforcing as when she steps into the doorway! Guaranteed.

That's about the effectiveness of timing on behaviour. The more immediate the reinforcement, the greater influence on behaviour.

Telling the wife/girlfriend/partner/mistress that she looks hot in that dress....in front of her work colleagues....as opposed to the privacy of your own home...is going to elicit a completely different response. Guaranteed. That's about the effectiveness of the environment on behaviour. The environment alone can influence or change behaviour.

I enjoyed responding to this, I feel reinforced and rewarded.

Cheers

Greg

Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Thanks for your response. I wasn't actually asking as much for guidance as I wanted to hear how other people prefer to get recognition and why they prefer that ... read more
Thanks for your response. I wasn't actually asking as much for guidance as I wanted to hear how other people prefer to get recognition and why they prefer that specific type of recognition. Doing so helps me get an understanding of how to recognize people that may prefer different types of recognition than myself. So getting some feedback gives me insight into knowing or seeing the signs of a preferred recognition type.
Greg Rogers

Greg Rogers, Founder and CEO at REthink HQ

You are doing the right thing simply by asking Jef, to me that's the key. Find out and then put into place as appropriate. As I said the environment and timi... read more
You are doing the right thing simply by asking Jef, to me that's the key. Find out and then put into place as appropriate. As I said the environment and timing are big variables. Cheers
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Meal Five answered a question

What steps do I have to take to dismiss an employee?

I have an employee who is consistently tardy, talks negatively about my business to the other staff and seems to be stealing coffee pods and taking them home (suspicion, no hard evidence of this). I can not handle his behavior anymore. It will be very time consuming and stressful to go through the process of letting him go, but his behavior is affecting morale. Thoughts?

Meal Five

Meal Five, at Meal5

General rules of procedural fairnessGeneral rules of procedural fairnessAn employer is generally required to perform the following steps to ensure that a dismis... read more

General rules of procedural fairness

General rules of procedural fairness
An employer is generally required to perform the following steps to ensure that a dismissal is procedurally fair. These will apply whether it is a summary dismissal or a dismissal after warnings.

You must carry out a full investigation into the alleged behaviour.

The employee should be informed about the exact nature of the allegations and, where appropriate, that dismissal is a possible outcome of the disciplinary process.The employee should be given an opportunity to be heard.

The employee should be given the option of having a support person or lawyer present when the hearing takes place.

Unless the conduct in question justifies summary dismissal, the employee must be warned and asked to stop the misconduct or improve the poor performance. In appropriate cases, the employee should be given assistance in this.

An accepted procedure is to first given an oral warning, then a formal written warning, then a final written warning.

The employee should be given the reasons for the decision that you eventually reach. It is advisable that these be given before any dismissal.

However, the employee has the right, within 60 days after the dismissal or after becoming aware of it, to request you to provide a written statement of the reasons; you must then provide the statement within 14 days.A dismissal should be notified in writing.An employee can be suspended on full pay pending the outcome of the disciplinary process.

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Lisa Ormenyessy

Lisa Ormenyessy, Business Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group

We have used this company and recommended them to our small businesss clients where appropriate to make sure all your ducks line up and nothing comes back to bi... read more

We have used this company and recommended them to our small businesss clients where appropriate to make sure all your ducks line up and nothing comes back to bite you.

http://employsure.com.au/

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Jef Lippiatt answered a question

Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Kenyetta,I'm not exactly sure what you mean, however, I don't believe that "no buyer's remorse" even exists. But many companies please their customers, so why w... read more

Kenyetta,

I'm not exactly sure what you mean, however, I don't believe that "no buyer's remorse" even exists. But many companies please their customers, so why would I say this?

  1. Even if the customer is pleased at the time of purchase, they may not be as happy later on (and still might return whatever they bought).
  2. The customer may have been pleased during the purchase, but may have not been as happy later even if they keep the item.
  3. Many people impulse buy but never actually open and/or use the item they purchased
  4. Even if they are totally happy with the purchase they may have wished the item didn't cost as much as did (especially big ticket items)
  5. The customer may wish they would have spent the money on something else (other product, experience or just saved it) even though they are are happy with the product.
  6. The product may break right after the warranty, this could make the customer wish they never bought the product and they may avoid said company in the future
  7. The customer may have been happy at the time of the sale, but when needing help is less than thrilled by the existing or lack of customer service.
  8. If the item doesn't last as long as expected, this may negatively impact how the customer views the company (poor quality, poor exchange of value, etc.)
  9. If the company does something to damage their own reputation, customers may have buyer's remorse for being associated (even in a small way) that that company.
  10. The company may go out of business shortly after the customer's purchase, making the customer wish they would have avoided making the purchase entirely.

I'm sure there are more reasons that could be added to this list, however, I feel like the 10 reasons above cover the majority of cases.

You and your business can do things to minimize the above cases, but you can't completely eliminate the issue because the outcomes are based on a complex blend of customer expectations, personal baggage (issues) and human nature (psychology).

You set yourself else up for success by presenting customers with detailed, accurate and transparent information about your product and services prior to the purchase. You also help yourself by guiding the customer to the product and services best suited for their needs. Also by reinforcing the value they are getting for the price helps eliminate the feeling that they aren't getting a good (or the best deal). You can also do yourself a favor by having a clear return/exchange/refund policy, a detailed knowledge base or FAQ section and helpful and timely customer service.

The rest is really out of your control, but that's okay. Only focus on the aspects you can positively change.

Greg Miles

Greg Miles,

That is a very detailed and on point answer Jef, thank you for sharing!... read more
That is a very detailed and on point answer Jef, thank you for sharing!
Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

I'm glad you found it useful.... read more
I'm glad you found it useful.
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Marcus Tjen answered a question

Marcus Tjen

Marcus Tjen, Owner at Rugged Computing

1) contact2) contact3) contact... read more

1) contact

2) contact

3) contact

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Jef Lippiatt answered a question

Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

I think the main thing is have a written agreement for resolving disagreements. If there are 2 co-founders this can put you at a standstill since voting would b... read more

I think the main thing is have a written agreement for resolving disagreements. If there are 2 co-founders this can put you at a standstill since voting would be split. I highly recommend an outside 3rd party that has no equity in your company. This person should be agreed upon by all co-founders. In the case of a split vote this person fills the roll of tie-breaker. Their decision may not be popular but it will help keep moving forward.

Deborah Vella

Deborah Vella, Owner at Support Legal

There are three main factors to consider, your ongoing relationship, your legals and your financials. Part of generating your business plan should be to includ... read more
There are three main factors to consider, your ongoing relationship, your legals and your financials. Part of generating your business plan should be to include an agreement between you and your co-founder that deals with these scenarios. Surrounded by the positivity of your new startup, thinking that there may be disagreements down the track is the last thing on your mind. However disagreements do happen and it is important to have an agreement in place to manage those disagreements with minimal impact on your ongoing relationship, legals and financials. Without an agreement and in the heat of the moment, disagreements can become intense. I can assist you with what you need. www.supportlegal.com.au
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Jef Lippiatt answered a question

Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

In all honesty, I think the next big thing in the time span you've mentioned will be companies abandoning or tweaking their Robotic/Drone/Artificial Intelligenc... read more

In all honesty, I think the next big thing in the time span you've mentioned will be companies abandoning or tweaking their Robotic/Drone/Artificial Intelligence presence to a more human approach.

Just as currently we are seeing the most successful companies are the ones with not only the best user experience but the best customer experience. Building a "well-known" or "respected" brand amounts for very little if you dehumanize your customers.

Companies will have to be very intentional and careful with their implementations of chatbots, artificial intelligence algorithms and the like to succeed. Although we all crave efficiency and profits, when humanity becomes too disconnected, we risk much more.

Lisa Ormenyessy

Lisa Ormenyessy, Business Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group

Oh Jef I do hope so! Successful business is about relationship and if we lose the balance we are all doomed, business or not!... read more
Oh Jef I do hope so! Successful business is about relationship and if we lose the balance we are all doomed, business or not!
Deborah Vella

Deborah Vella, Owner at Support Legal

I believe the next big thing is already starting to emerge. A cultural shift away from employment towards starting a small business.... read more
I believe the next big thing is already starting to emerge. A cultural shift away from employment towards starting a small business.
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Jef Lippiatt answered a question

What are your top tips for a job interview?

I have a job interview later this week for a small start up business as a Community Manager (Social Media and Marketing).

I've only ever worked for large businesses or for myself so not sure if a start-up environment would be different.

As small business owners, what tips could you give to someone like me as I prepare for my interview?

Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Startups are vastly different than large enterprise business. They move very quickly and they typically try to squeeze as much as possible from a dollar (if the... read more

Startups are vastly different than large enterprise business. They move very quickly and they typically try to squeeze as much as possible from a dollar (if they are bootstrapping) if they have funding that may not be the case.

However, they may need shorter-horizon time lines for seeing measurable results. This may sound like quite a bit of pressure and it very well may be.

But the positive side of startups is that they are more open to innovation and experimentation to find what works quickly. You will likely have greater access to your customer (less bureaucracy) and there tends to be a lot of excitement. Your role at a startup may also bleed into other areas that would be covered by other people at a larger enterprise so be flexible and don't cling to past expectations of what your "role" is or will be. Always be open to learning and trying things out of your comfort zone.

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