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Showing posts from July, 2014

Listening vs Hearing

Don't you just love the expression "I hear you"?

In my view, it's often used in conversations where the listener has already made up his/her mind, but knows that it will be easier if you think you have been given their full attention!

On the other side, though, there are people who believe that just because they express an opinion or an idea, not actioning it, means they have not been heard.

Another of those really difficult situations to manage.

People in leadership positions (including parents) need to listen and hear what is being said, and try to understand the motivation behind what they are being told.

How many times have you heard about children who, without appearing to study, get through school easily. Its often because they really listen in class and understand the material at source. 


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Active listening includes ensuring that the message is fully grasped.   Ian Mann, in his book Managing with Intent, writes that it is the communicator's responsibility to…

Do employees really leave the manager, not the company?

It has become a cliche, and, like most cliches, there is a mix of truth and fallacy.So what does the average employee look for at work?High pay?Constant access to social media?Extensive leave?Very flexible hours? Well, yes, but research and empirical evidence also shows:Fair treatment GrowthPleasant colleaguesPleasant working environment A manager who is demotivating can undo any positive effects that great corporate policies can have, while a great manager can mitigate the effects of a less people sensitive business strategy.

Some ideas that work some of the time

Discuss your reason for being thereSometimes we forget our business purpose or the difference we make to our clients, suppliers and various stakeholders.   Discuss it with your people, if you manufacture chocolate its easy to cover the "we make people feel good" side, but what if you do aluminium sidings?   Find the value in what you do, and share it with everybody.At +Accsys (Pty) Ltd we have discussed that there ar…

Interviews - Standing out from the crowd

You and your skill set have beaten the filters, and now you are in the interview room.   The interview starts, introductions are over and the door opens.

Introductions
The new person is introduced and you reach up from your chair, and shake the hand offered to you.  In many situations, you have now lost momentum.   Stand up, smile and shake firmly.  Staying in your chair immediately gives the wrong impression.   The same goes if anybody leaves the room and is not coming back.

Conversation

An interview is a "getting to know you" conversation for both sides.  If it is reduced to a Q & A by the interviewer, your personality will not come over.  In other words, you need to be ready to start a few topics yourself, without making the deadly mistake of taking control of the meeting.

And don't always answer with the apparent right answer, try to differentiate yourself, so that you will be remembered.   HR departments might be searching for multiple jobs, so you need to stand o…

National Payroll Week - Final Thoughts

I have been in Payroll a long time, as a developer, a supplier of software and a user, and this is only the second (as far as I know) National Payroll Week we have had in South Africa, so there are definitely thoughts arising:

Will holding a National  Payroll Week raise awareness?Should we do it again next year, and how should it be publicised? The discussions over the past week have shown some main areas of interest:Formal qualificationsSecurity of data in payroll departmentsData Analytics / Business IntelligenceEmployee Self Service and MobileFormal Qualifications
Not everybody I spoke to realised that Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL) is available for payroll administrators who have deep experience.
There were also concerns expressed by people who have never studied at a tertiary level whether they would cope with the material.   Years of adult training have shown that people undervalue the level of knowledge they have gained in the workplace, and formalising studies in an area o…

Retirement Reform in South Africa

Still in National Payroll Week, there is a lot happening in South Africa that affects Payroll Administrators.    Cathie Webb and I talked about the issues around Retirement Reform.
Both the Payroll Author’s Group (PAG) and South African Payroll Association (SAPA) have held information sessions on the topic, and Cathie has found that not everyone is aware that the 1st March 2015 heralds a change in the way in which our retirement funds are dealt with·by our employers while we are working,·by government (department of finance) once we retire.The change is said to be because of the South African culture of not saving for retirement adequately, which is creating increasing pressure on government to care for us post-retirement.

These changes were announced in 2013.
While the impact may not be great on all employers, it is worth determining the impact, if any, on your staff.
If there is an impact, a process of change management should be undertaken.
So what are the changes?  Simply put, they in…

Employment Tax Incentive Revisited in National Payroll Week

National Payroll Week has focused +Accsys (Pty) Ltd  on all things payroll.
I sat down to talk to Cathie Webb, our Chief Operations Officer, who is a director of South African Payroll Association (SAPA), as well as on the executive of the Payroll Author’s Group (PAG).
Having published articles and blogs on the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) bill last year, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss this with Cathie.
She confirms that, in late 2013 when the Minister of Finance approved the ETI Bill, it was designed to encourage business to employ youth, and to supplement the pool of employable and skilled workers available in South Africa.
Cathie says “The ETI allows business to reduce their PAYE burden according to a formula which incentivises employment of people earning under R6000 per month.  According to SARS, in the first month of implementation, 56 000 new jobs were created*”.
“As this number may include interns, who would have formed part of this group anyway, the exact amount of …

Payroll and Internships

In the past, careers in payroll were not planned.   We believe that is starting to change.

Formal education and training for payroll professionals has been a dream since I first managed a help desk back in the early 90s.   We were constantly dealing with operators and administrators who were perfectly proficient in the software they were using, but did not have a broader picture.

About 7 or 8 years, we started a Saturday morning Payroll Diploma class, but we quickly saw that our students were struggling to give up family time.

Cathie Webb (@CatiWeb), our Chief Operations Officer, decided to investigate eLearning.

We spent a very interesting day with a group of government education specialists hearing all about the potential and came away with a way forward.  Of course, Cathie and her team have spent long hours over the years developing, fine tuning, liaising with SETAs, SAQA, SARS and SGBs and generally ensuring that the course is aligned with both the law and educational requirements…