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Showing posts from April, 2014

Is sick leave a target at your company?

Managers joke about sick leave being a target, and it is not for most of us, but people who think sick leave is an annual entitlement are a problem.

Why?   It is built into company overheads, isn't it?   Well, no, not really.   Its more of an actuarial risk calculation taking into account that most people will not take their 30 day allocation every 3 years.

The individuals who ensure that they get their full entitlement are often quite indignant if they are questioned, but it does have a downside for them.

When something really serious occurs, there is bound to be less flexibility from management, who are now more likely to "work to rule", too.

In addition, a growing number of companies are ring fencing the perks that go over the BCOE rules ie additional leave days for long service are aligned with attendance over the period.

Extra days for paternity leave are following a similar pattern.

You should be able to take guilt free sick leave when you are ill but "throw…

Guilty pleasures

For many people, Easter is about chocolate.   And there are very few people who do not have a level of guilt around the amount of chocolate they eat, or would eat if it was considered a healthy snack.

This made me think about my guilty pleasures (chocolate is not one, believe it or not)

So here are a few of mine:

Reading fantasy books - Not too many baby boomer women (I think bb sounds better than middle aged, older, old or mature) seem to enjoy them, too.  If you are out there, please let me know.  Although, the whole world is now addicted to Game of Thrones...FroYo - most particularly Salted Caramel and Black Sesame, I could have one every day, but the Black Sesame is in Australia, so I limit myself to Salted Caramel once a week.Freezocinos - just so deliciousStaying at home for a whole weekend, eating, reading and watching tv (no make up).Standing right next to the buffet at cocktail parties, because what is better than cocktail food (and one at at a time seems less fattening than …

Do rewards and incentives work?

How do you get the balance right?   Economic times are tough, people are feeling it out there, and we need to ensure that there is financial stability in companies while employees are worried about simply paying the bills every month, without going further into debt.

The question we ask ourselves at +Accsys (Pty) Ltd is "Do commission models and incentive schemes drive the right behaviour?"

The issue is across the board from junior roles who might be waiting for a bonus, to senior management who are on profit share schemes - does the opportunity to up your personal income encourage long term commitment to growth?

 Constant focus on quarterly, half yearly and annual results may also create a short term view.   So how do you keep current results in mind, without neglecting the future?

Both reading and experience have shown me that incentives and rewards will be effective if they are part of an overall approach where the incentivees (is there such a word?) buy into the compan…

Setting Budgets and Targets

Does too much of a stretch impact motivation?    Over many years of setting (and trying to achieve) targets and budgets, getting the balance right between stretch and motivation remains a challenge.

I love Jim Collins and Jerry Porras and their BHAGs in their great book, Built to Last, but if the goals are seen as unachievable too early in the business year, what then?

Is there a way for businesses to achieve success without budgets and targets in place?

Two old favourites " You can only manage what you can measure" and "People do what managers measure" suggest that they can't.  I am sure there must be successful businesses with different methodologies, but most of us need to work towards something.

With that in mind, I think there needs to be stretch, and there needs to be a sense of achievability.

Why would you race against Usain Bolt unless you think you could win?

The same goes for budgets and targets, people need to believe they are possible.

So how do you…

Being the right hire

"A successful marriage isn't about finding the right person, its about being the right person".

Does this apply to work as well?   I think it does, so to paraphrase the above:

 "A successful career isn't about finding the right company or position, its about being the right hire".

What is being the right hire?

It certainly isn't being the martyr who does all the work nobody else wants to do.   Its more around embracing the role, and looking at where you can add value to the company by doing it better.   In addition, its taking pride in what you do, and enjoying it.  The enjoyment is infectious, in the best possible way.

It is also key to understand the bigger picture of your job, and where it touches others, and ensuring that you have a positive influence at every level.

So many people work well, but limit themselves to what is immediately relevant to them, not realising that a 10 minute delay on their side might mean that somebody else is set back 20 …