Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November, 2013

Workplace Bullying

Bullying remains a very emotive issue.  I have a few friends who openly admit that they were bullies at school, and that they didn't mean any real harm, and were "just teasing".   Comments that people overreact, and that the victims often bring it on themselves are also made.   It is a reality that the bullied person's reaction can lead to further bullying, or their lack of reaction can move the bullies to a new target.   These former self styled bullies have grown up into nice people who are really fun to be with.   Who would have thought?

But the people I know who were bullied have not grown up nearly as undamaged.  In fact, it is my unscientific opinion, that bullies grow up to be happier and more successful than the bullied, because their sense of self is more entitled.  (Other than in the entertainment industry, where almost all of them claim that they were misfits and excluded from everything.....)

Moving from the classroom to the boardroom, what is bullying at w…

Employment Tax Incentive Bill (ETI) - Q & A (3)

The last part of the article on ETI, and we are still waiting for some finalisation, which I will post when I receive it.
How does an employer deal with part pay periods?
The incentive must be pro-rated to match the calculation of remuneration.  For example, if an employee starts on the 15th of the month, and earns R2000 in the first month with the company: His remuneration must be grossed up to R4000 per month The ETI on this value calculated (R1000 in the first 12 qualifying months of employment) This results in a R500 ETI for the employer on this employee for this month Does it run for 24 Months from Date of Employment?
Confirmation of this is required, but it appears that the Employer may claim for each employee for up to 24 months, even if they are not consecutive (ETI qualifying months, not months of employment) What happens if an employee leaves the organisation? Assuming all other qualifying factors are in place The next employer can start counting ETI qualifying months from t…

Employment Tax Incentive Bill (ETI) - Q & A (2)

How is the tax incentive calculated? Assuming qualification: Year One : Employee remuneration of :R2 000 or less - 50% of monthly remunerationR2 001 to R4 000 - R1 000R4 001 to R6 000 is based on a formula


Year Two: The incentive is halved :

References and LinksSA Treasury - Employment Tax Incentive Bill Accsys - Full article

Employment Tax Incentive Bill (ETI) - Q & A (1)

The new Employment Tax Incentive Bill has raised a lot of questions.   While I put out an overview a few weeks ago, there are some queries that keep coming up.   Over the next week, this blog will cover some of them.
Large numbers of unemployed are a problem for any country, but when young people leave the education system with a very poor chance of getting a job, their motivation to achieve is impacted from day one.
Statistics indicate that 50% of 15 to 25s are unemployed, and 29% of 25 to 34 year olds.   The ETI Bill aims at the 18 to 29 year olds who are believed to be around 30% of the total unemployed which is sitting at approximately 25%.
The concept of introducing a subsidy for employers who take on young people is not a new one, but there has been significant resistance.   The draft bill was released in September, and the formal bill was published on November 4th, 2013.  
When is it happening? Treasury has set a “go live” date of 1st January, 2014.   The bill has a so calle…

Difficult Interview Questions - Some responses

No matter how confident you are, being interviewed can be daunting.   Today, interviewing has become more structured and many interviewers ask a set of standardised questions, so that they can get a more objective view of the candidate.   It is a really good idea to have thought this through and to be ready with good, truthful responses that put you in a good light.

Some favourites are:

Strengths and weaknesses, conflict situations, what question should I be asking you and a success story. The examples below should give you some ideas.

Strengths for a Reception PositionI have a strong, clear speaking voiceI sound friendly when talking on the phone (I practised talking and smiling in front of a mirror)I have a good memory for names, voices and facesWeaknesses for a Sales Management Position I find Admin is a bit of a challenge, but I have developed some personal models and strategies that enable me to be more effectiveWhen sales aren't coming through, I get a bit demotivated, but I b…

Employment Tax Incentive Bill

While there has not been agreement from all parties on the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) Bill, and the roll out, it was formally published on 4th November, 2013.  With the January go live date, there are still some issues that need to be finalised, but simply put, the concept is as follows:
The incentive runs from January 1st, 2014 to December 31st, 2016The employee must be between 18 and 29 years old on the last day of the relevant monthThe employee must earn a wage of less than R6 001 per monthThe incentive can only be claimed in the months when the remuneration is under R6 001 The employee must have been engaged after October 1st, 2013The employer must be eligible by being Registered for PAYEIn good standing with SARSNot local, provincial or national government
Limited to South African citizens and valid asylum seekers, the main driver is for youth employment, however, the incentive also applies to employment in Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and to industries that can be specified b…

Business eMails - Here to stay?

Writing business correspondence is an art.  And we are starting to forget how to do it effectively.  I hear a lot of conversations about the end of eMail, the end of print etc.   I have to believe that in the next ten years (or even less) we are going to undergo a sea change in how we communicate, both personally and in business.

But we are not there yet, and until then, we have to consider the implications of how we put together business correspondence.

Is it OK to start an eMail to a client "Hi Sue"?   Well, if you know her well, and she is informal in her manner, it might be, but it might not be for the next person you write to, and it is my view that it makes sense to keep that little bit of formality in the Dear Sue, so that you don't slip up with a more formal customer.

Some simple ideas about writing good eMails:
Use a Subject line, always, and try and create consistent ones for contextBuilding issue: Tile cracked in ReceptionBuilding issue: John Gray's air con…

Sales - why did they buy?

Following on from objective decision making, it is as important to find out why you won the sale, as to why you lost it.

Most salespeople believe the sales they bring in are due to their charm, product knowledge and strong relationship building, and prefer not to dig deeper.  The truth is that the buyer's decision making process is often less than transparent, and regularly far from objective.

Ask!   Once the deal is signed and sealed, go back to the main signatory and ask why you got the business.

Company reputation and brand equity?My service delivery?Good presentationProposal promptFollow up regular, but not invasiveRecommendation from a trusted colleague/business connectionPrice?Don't like the opposition?You created a strong connection and trust relationship with the decision maker?
The only way to repeat the right behaviour is to know what the right behaviour is.  Don't guess.   If you do this regularly enough, a consistent message should be coming through.  Once you u…

Women as Thought Leaders

The Daily Beast published a story last year with statistics that showed women being quoted 1 in 5 times on woman's issues.   The article continued with stats on news shows showing a very similar picture.    The Daily Beast

I haven't been able to find similar statistics for South Africa, but am not convinced it would be very different.

Are we just not being asked?  Or don't the media know who to ask?  Are the women with expertise not high profile enough or is it simply that with less than 20% of corporate top jobs in the hands of women, the statistics are aligned with the reality?

How does it change?   Social media has to be one of the ways forward.   With the ability to put opinions out into the ether, surely the media (and the world at large) will note that women have a point of view on matters beyond celebrities, beauty and fashion.   And may I add that enjoying the aforementioned does not drive business, economics and politics out of your head, there is space enough for…

Is it possible to make objective decisions?

Do you think you make objective decisions?   Most people are adamant that they do, but I am becoming more and more aware of the influences that move me in particular directions, and am working to be more structured in approaching final decisions.

It constantly amazes me how many people honestly believe that any decision is better than none, and that changing your mind is a sign of indecisiveness and weakness.   Frequently, decisions are made based on the current information at hand, and when more becomes available, people believe it is too late to change direction.   Sometimes it is, lets face it, once a rocket has launched, new information can't bring it back, but there are many, many times when a decision is manipulated by interested parties, and the final decision maker believes that he will look weak if he goes back on his word, in spite of knowing that an alternative might very well be a better option.

It is true, though, that slow decision making can hamper growth as well as…