The Snitch

Just a little of everything HR

Archive for June 2009

Becoming a great leader through storytelling

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Take note: Can your life experiences be used as a motivational tool?

Take note: Can your life experiences be used as a motivational tool?

Can storytelling lead to great leadership?  Yes, says Peter Guber. With an wealth of experience of leadership in the Hollywood film and media industry under his belt, Guber says, “Your ability to narrate your offering — not just the facts, data, PowerPoints, but emotionally move them — that is the secret sauce for getting them to do something.”

Guber suggests leaders can help employees thrive in a complicated business environment through narration. “Narrative bonds information to an emotional experience,” he says. Rather than conjuring random anecdotes, the objective is to form narration out of a situation at hand, and make others feel like characters in a drama.

Guber uses MAGIC as an anagrammatic device, which stands for Motivating your Audience to a Goal Interactively with great Content.

Motivating: Guber feels the key to motivating someone is to be authentic. “You’ve got to have your feet, your heart, your wallet and your tongue going in the same direction. As soon as they see those things going in different directions, you don’t seem authentic.”

Audience: Think of your listeners as an audience, says Guber. When you speak like you’re speaking to an audience, they will naturally do the “emotional dance” with you, find resonance in your presentation, creating an unforgettable emotional experience.

Goal: Guber stresses that goals are very important, and it is okay to be very up front with them.

Interactivity: Make your audience part of the story and give them stories to remember. By doing so, the stories will live on and they will tell their own experiences, not just yours.

Guber feels the material for stories can come from anywhere, from your own experiences, observations, history, metaphors to analogies. He advises collecting the stories and making them part of your business leadership life.


Written by KT

June 30, 2009 at 11:04 am

You want a pay raise in the downturn?

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The economy may be in the doldrums but if you’ve been doing more than your usual job scope, you’re likely itching for a better pay to commensurate the effort you’ve been putting in. The question is how?

If your company is still mindful of the fragile economic conditions or has gone through budget cuts, you do have to play your cards right without getting backslash from your manager.

Speaking from a boss’ perspective, Roy Magee, regional vice president for AchieveGlobal Greater China & Singapore, gives Human Resources an insight into when’s the best time to approach bosses for the money talk.

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

June 25, 2009 at 4:09 pm

New issue!

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Written by Human Resources

June 25, 2009 at 10:22 am

Sorry seems to be the hardest word

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Apologies need to be sincere. That means no backstabbing!

I don’t want to be a wet blanket. But let’s face facts, we get into endless situations at work where an apology is needed to rectify things. Although we have been taught from young how to apologise, the sad thing is some of us tend to do it the wrong way and make things worse.

When expressed the right way, an apology does not just lead to forgiveness, but it may also repair the relationship and lead to a new and stronger footing. John Kador, author of Effective Apology guides you with ten dos and don’ts for making the right apology.

Don’t include ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’

Adding the word “if”, or any other conditioner modifier to an apology, makes it a non-apology. It always reduces the effectiveness by making the offense conditional. The word “but” is a way for us to deflect some of the responsibility from ourselves.

Don’t be passive, be active

The passive voice is another way of avoiding responsibility. You can tell if an apology is in the passive voice by looking for the verb in the apology. If the verb does not come out, it is likely you are in the passive voice as hiding the action is usually what the passive voice is designed to do.

Passive: I’m sorry you were hit.

Active: I’m sorry I hit you.

Don’t joke

Apology is always serious, and the more you treat it that way, the more effective it will be. While humour can help refuse a tense situation, it is better to let the apology itself do the defusing.

Don’t assume

Adding “I know how you feel” into an apology gives the victim the impression that you take him or her for granted. It is much better to go into dialogue with an open, eager-to-learn attitude. Instead of pretending to know, plead arrogance, and instead of assuming, ask.

Don’t ask “What can I do to make this right?”

Apologies will be more effective if it is accompanied by a concrete offer of restitution, where the victim needs to hear what you consider to be an appropriate offer. Making an apology is not a negotiation, and in an apology you need to be fair and even generous without being asked.

Take turns

In any kind of conversation, many of us stop listening because we are busy formulating our response. Hence, it is beneficial before the conversation to inform the victim that you are about to apologise, and after which he or she can feel free to speak.

I need to apologise to you. This is not easy for me, so can I ask that you hear me out and then I’ll listen to what you have to say?

Begin the apology with “I”

Starting an apology with “I” means an individual is taking personal responsibility. Starting it with “you” tends to make people defensive, especially if they are nervous.

Use the recipient’s name

Using the person’s name reinforces the entire mission of the apology, which is to repair the relationship.

Don’t ramble

We often do a good job apologising, but we keep talking and end up diluting the apology with excuses. It is best to say you’re sorry, stop, and listen.

Don’t argue

The person you’re apologising to may not see things your way, but it is crucial to listen and not argue. An apology is not a place for argument or for attempting to change someone’s point of view

Written by KT

June 23, 2009 at 10:32 am

Labour risk and your business

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Even after the recession is over, issues such as pension funds, taxation and unemployment rates will continue to affect your business. In this video, Peter Wiedemann, vice-president Asia Pacific of Kelly Outsourcing and Consulting Group and Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group talk about how labour risks can have a bigger impact on your business than you know.

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

June 17, 2009 at 10:01 am

Key communication steps to take before restructuring

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A poorly managed restructuring exercise can result in a loss of top performers and sharp decline in morale but here’s what HR can do to avoid this scenario.

In the video below, Dr Ric Roi, senior vice president and Asia Pacific practice leader of Right Management,  shares details on how to carry out an effective step-by-step internal communication plan six months before a restructuring exercise.

For more guidelines on effective communication before any restructuring exercise, click here: Human Resources website

Written by Lee Xieli

June 11, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Can a math formula help retain employees?

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Is relying on a fomula a smart HR strategy?

Employee retention: Is a math formula the next big idea?

We all know Google for their great work-place benefits – the stock options, free food cooked by chefs. What we didn’t know is  that the company is struggling to retain its staff.

And in typical Google fashion, the company is now developing an algorithm which will be able to identify the employees who are likely to quit from its 20,000 workforce headcount.

Scary? Or even a little incredulous? Perhaps. While the Google officials are reluctant to divulge more information, it has confirmed that there is such an algorithm and that the formula is still being tested. Collecting input through information from surveys and peer reviews, the Google algorithm has already identified employees who felt underused – i.e. the people most likely to quit.

Edward Lawler, director of the Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California, says Google is one of the few companies that are early in taking a more quantitative approach to personnel decisions.

“They are clearly ahead of the curve, but a lot of companies are waking up to the fact that there is a lot of modeling that can provide you with critical data on human capital,” says Lawler.

Google’s algorithm may help the company get inside people’s heads even before they have the intention to leave, but is it too late? Concerns of a talent exodus has revived amid the departures of top executives, while mid-level employees have been decamping to hotter start-ups like Facebook and Twitter.

Current and former Googlers attribute the company’s loss of talent to impersonal HR programmes. Some said the employees feel they can’t make the same impact the company does, while others said Google provides little formal career planning.

“They need to come up with ways to keep people engaged,” says Valerie Frederickson, a Silicon Valley personnel consultant who has worked with former Google employees. “If Google was doing this enough, they wouldn’t be losing all these people.”

While HR has often been referred to as a combination of art and science, can a math formula really deduce who is going to leave? And if it is effective, would you use it in your company? Or do you think relying on a math formula is hogwash and that it should just boil down to treating your employees right?

(Via WSJ)

Written by KT

June 11, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Posted in Retention