The Snitch

Just a little of everything HR

Archive for March 2009

Negotiate like you mean it

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If hostage negotiators are able to persuade hostage-takers to surrender, give up their weapons and hostages with a success rate of 95%, why is it that business leaders are unable to negotiate business deals at unable to be that successful?

The trick is to develop a relationship and bond between you and the other party, says former hostage negotiator George Kohlrieser and  author of Hostage at the Table.

To learn how to negotiate better, watch the clip below:

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 Human Resources

March 31, 2009 at 3:10 pm

Do you dare to bare?

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Do you dare to come clean on your C&B secrets?

Do you dare to bare your company's C&B secrets?

Money money money! It’s something we all work for, yet it’s considered to be a taboo conversation topic. In our latest issue of Human Resources magazine, we focus on issues related to compensation & benefits. How do companies benchmark wages? When do you reward someone with a higher salary?

In this new issue, you will find:

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March 30, 2009 at 5:44 pm

Will blanket wage cuts hurt your company?

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In order to tighten their belts, some companies are adopting a blanket, across-the-board wage cuts for all employees. But this could end up chasing your top talent away, says CEO of coaching company Thought Perfect,  Pratap Nambiar.

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.

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March 25, 2009 at 4:44 pm

What do jobseekers want?

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Getting beaten in the war for talent?

Is your employer brand taking a beating from competitors?

Ah, it’s the $1,000,000 question: What is it that Singapore employees want?

In a survey conducted by B2B branding specialist StrategiCom and Singapore National Employers Federation, it sought to understand what key employer brand attributes drive employee attraction and retention. (See our original story here.)

Here’s the full breakdown of the survey answers.

5 most important attributes to attract employees

(Ranked in order of importance)

  • Allows a lot of freedom to work on one’s own initiative
  • Recognition and appreciation of employees work
  • Opportunity for long-term career progression
  • Attractive overall compensation and benefit package
  • Training and development

5 most important attributes to retain staff

(Ranked in order of importance)

  • Attractive overall compensation and benefit package
  • Recognition and appreciation of employees work
  • Job security
  • Opportunity for long-term career progression
  • Training and development

5 least important attributes to attract employees

(Ranked from least important)

  • Dressing
  • Conservative working environment
  • Internationally diverse mix of colleagues
  • Humanitarian organisation
  • Only recruiting the best

5 least important attributes to retain staff

(Ranked from least important)

  • Dressing
  • Accessible location
  • Employees with varying background
  • Internationally diverse mix of colleagues
  • Use your degree skills

It’s interesting how an attractive C&B package only ranks as number 4 to a potential employee, but later becomes the number 1 retention attribute. And from these results, it’s clear that recognition and saying ‘thank you’ is a simply but surefire way of both attracting and retaining employees.

I’m also surprised at how the survey respondents say a ‘accessible location’ do not matter much to employees — because I’ve definitely heard complaints about companies being located too far away from work before. And with ‘humanitarian organisation’  not attractive a trait for attracting employees – does this mean companies don’t really need to perform acts of corporate social responsibility to attract candidates?

What do you think? Do these results tally with your company’s employee value proposition?

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March 25, 2009 at 11:55 am

Why women mean business

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With women making up half the population, it makes good business sense for companies to tap into this large group of potential customers, talent and future leaders. Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, CEO of 20-First and author of Why Women Mean Business gives reasons as to why recognising changing gender trends can only help bolster your company’s financial bottomline.

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 Human Resources

March 24, 2009 at 9:28 am

Manage your emails.. now!

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Going nuts over the sheer volume of emails?

Going nuts over the sheer volume of emails?

While emails are now the de facto form of communication, many employees  (including myself) do not often know how to utilise this tool to communicate effectively. What are email headers supposed to say? How do we sign off? What goes into the bulk of content?

In the book The Personal Efficiency Program , Kerry Gleeson gives some rules of thumb for managing emails which I thought were helpful and dead-simply to implement immediately.

Some tips include:

  • When composing an email message, make sure the subject matter of the subject line is clearly stated. Note if it’s for action, information, reading or otherwise.
  • Limit yourself to one topic per email message.
  • Avoid the Reply All key.
  • Use paragraphs and proper grammar.
  • People often view an email more negatively than they would a telephone call or face-to-face meeting. To avoid misunderstanding, keep sarcasm out of your email.
  • Compose better messages. Use bullets for clarification. Underline those things you wish to stress.
  • Do not reply to an email when you are upset.
  • Avoid long emails. If a lot of text is required, create a separate document and attach it to the email.
  • Activate the automatic spell check function so that the email leaves your office without spelling errors.
  • If revising or adding to an existing email document, make revisions in colour so they are obvious to the recipient.
  • If the message in the email is bad news, don’t send it. Instead, set up a meeting and a call.

Related post:  Our video with Martin Severn, director of Productivity Managemen on three ways to better utilise your email and outlook.

Written by Human Resources

March 19, 2009 at 11:13 am

Blessing in disguise?

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Recently retrenched? Dont cry, it may be a blessing in disguise.

Recently retrenched? Don't cry, it may be a blessing in disguise.

Can getting retrenched be a blessing in disguise? Yes, says Andrew Taylor, a UK freelance journalist and author of the book Burning the Suit.

In an interview with JobsDB, Taylor talks about how getting the slip proved to be one of the best things for his career.

It was only a little later that I realised what an opportunity it might prove to be. I had been stuck for several years in a job which paid the bills all right, but which had long since ceased to enthuse me, and being eased out of it gave me the impetus I needed to go out and find something more rewarding.

Taylor goes on to cite other examples of people whose sought out to fulfilll their life-long dreams after being retrenched.

Other people looked at the skills they had picked up, and found new ways to use them – like the nurse who used her years of comforting people in the extremes of grief and loss to turn herself into one of very few female funeral directors in the UK, or the television journalist who used his experience of speaking in public to help him forge a new career as an actor.

Without the initial shock of being retrenched, none of these people would have achieved these goals, and their lives would have been less fulfilling because of it.

However, Taylor does admit that people will inevitably suffer from strong feelings such as anger, disbelief, panic and fear, he advices those recently retrenched to take some time in figuring our what the person wants to do next, and not just latch on to any “passing log because you think it will help you stay afloat”.

Another important thing is to sit down and write yourself a list of the things you’ve done. The three A’s – Assignment, Action and Achievement – are what potential employers will want to hear about, and putting them down on paper will not only give you a good start in any interviews that come up, it will help repair your battered confidence as well. What jobs have you been given to do, how have you carried them out, and what did you learn and achieve in doing them?

What do you think? Have you ever been retrenched and found that it helped kickstart your career? Can a retrenchment ever be a good thing?

Written by Human Resources

March 18, 2009 at 3:18 pm