The Snitch

Just a little of everything HR

Archive for January 2009

Gossip: Which company committed a retrenchment boo-boo recently?

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Blind item: Which company recently made a big boo-boo by conducting its mass retrenchment exercise auditorium-style?

Now we all know retrenchment exercises are never pleasant for the people involved. But if companies have to lay people off in a bid to keep itself afloat during this economic downturn, the least they can do is show some compassion to their soon-to-be former employees.

Yes, The Snitch understands giving pink slips to over 200 people might take a while. But telling these employees to report straight to the auditorium the minute they reach the company’s guardhouse in the morning just so you can save time? Shame on you.

Heard of any other retrenchment horrors lately? Have a rant in the comments below.

Written by Lee Xieli

January 15, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Posted in Retrenchments

Save money and jobs with lateral moves

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Most companies are tightening their belts during the downturn but local childcare chain Cherie Hearts remains on course in its recruitment plans for expansion. Co-founder Gurchran Singh reveals his secret to keep costs low and employee motivation high.

Watch on to find out.

Have trouble loading the video?  Why not check your company or computer’s firewall settings to make sure that Youtube videos can be streamed on your computer.

Written by Lee Xieli

January 15, 2009 at 10:18 am

Google goes Ommm

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Apparently Google wants to do more than just help employees develop their career and skill sets as they are interested in employees’ spirituality.  At a recently held a spirituality seminar called “Happiness and Its Causes”,  one of Google’s top employees talked about a new school on Google University – the School of Personal Growth.

Chade-Meng Tan, a panelist at the conference and one of Google’s early engineers suggested that Google’s School of Personal Growth is a futuristic model for every workplace. “Google wants to help Googlers grow as human beings on all levels,” Tan said in his presentation.  Employees can take classes that deal with mental development, emotional development, holistic health and well-being, and a Buddhist notion of “beyond the self”. Classes are aptly named “The Neuroscience of Empathy” and “Search Inside Yourself.”

The company’s strategy is to boost the brainstorming powers of Google’s  crème de la crème and their powers of self- examination. Monika Broecker, a former leadership coach and therapist with Google, who was an architect of the program, said, “It’s very effective because studies have proven that if people are relaxed and open, they won’t repeat the same ideas and mistakes. They become more creative.”

Have you heard of any other companies engaging in such less conventional programs? It does sound useful to me, because when everything else seems to be falling apart or stressing you out, it would definitely be useful to locate the inner strength to help tide you over.

Google has made no public announcement about their educational endeavor but to read more, click here.

Written by nasirah

January 14, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Nice ones lose out

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Have you ever worked for a complete tyrant of a boss? According to one report, 60 to 75% of employees, regardless of the organisation, say the worst aspect of their job is their boss. It’s not difficult to believe, as one office expert concludes, that “every employed adult will have to work for a bad boss for some significant period.”

This brings us to the question – why are there more evil bosses than there are pleasant ones? Is it an unstated requirement that one needs to be an asshole to get on top?

The answer is “yes”. There is growing evidence to prove that personality traits, such as narcissism can and does propel people up the career ladder. Research has shown that that people who are more talkative, social and more dominant than his peers climb the corporate ladder more quickly. According to one management consultant, “Such people answer only to themselves”. They are also self-referential and have the highest regard for their own opinions. These people are narcissists – they have this strong assurance in their capabilities and put themselves up on the pedestal simply because they feel that they are the best.

“Leadership research shows that subtle nasty moves like glaring and condescending comments, explicit moves like insults or put-downs, and even physical intimidation can be effective paths to power,” reports Robert Sutton, a Stanford professor and author of The No Asshole Rule.

Tell me what you think. Research may have shown that assholes seem to get rewarded for, well… being assholes but surely such an awful character trait can’t be all that great in the long-run.

Via NY Mag

Written by nasirah

January 12, 2009 at 10:40 am

Measure your productivity at work

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Technology is forever coming up with new ways to help us along our daily lives, especially with issues pertaining to the office. From the basic but extremely helpful Microsoft Office series to e-mail and website trackers, the possibilities are endless!

So here’s an interesting new software:  The Productivity Meter

“Productivity Meter tracks the active versus idle time, how your active time is split among applications, which applications were used the most, and which websites you browsed and for how long. You can review the stats for the last day, week, month or a user defined block of time.”

Now that’s a pretty useful way to measure how much work you’re getting done each day (or not). Better still, if you want to prove to your boss that you truly deserve a raise, print out the stats and let your workload speak for itself !

Written by nasirah

January 9, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Posted in Personal career

Ties that Bind

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Underneath superficial workplace stereotypes that we are very well aware off like “the gossip”, “the bitch” and “the joker”, lies a deeper character influence. Your boss, for instance can be a stand-in for a disapproving and distant father. Colleagues competing for the boss’s attention — or raises and bonuses — are like siblings in rivalry!

According to a report by The New York Times, childhood experiences and even more so, a person’s birth order play a rather influential role on workplace dynamics. This is a fact certified by psychologists.

Firstborns…tend to be fearful of losing their position and rank, so they may be extremely anxious at a time of layoffs and downsizing. Second-born children tend to be most adventurous and open to change, he said. In fact, Dr. Dattner (psychologist) said that companies he had worked with found that when sending employees overseas, second-born children tended to fare better than older ones. As the older of two daughters, Ms. Frankel said she sometimes feels competitive with Ms. Delio, which reminds her of competing with her sister for their parents’ attention.

Funny isn’t it? Some of us escape to work, thinking that we’re getting away from our much loved (but still tiresome) family and the politics that come with them behind at home. Well, now you know that you’re walking right into another family unit; only, with much bigger and possibly more urgent corporate problems.

Try identifying who’s who at work – hey, you might as well get some fun out of your workplace family members!

Written by nasirah

January 7, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Is the party over for HR practitioners?

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Written by Human Resources

January 5, 2009 at 6:06 pm