Managing people, making a difference

11 February 2014

Managing people within the South African labour-legislation framework can become a nightmare of us versus them, management against the unions, the boss cajoling employees. It may be any or all of these, but that is not where it starts or where it has to end. People management is key to running your business or organisation and…

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Unfair discrimination: the ghost of actions past

4 February 2014

The Employment Equity Amendment Act (2012), recently signed by the President, affects all of us. We cannot pretend that the workplace is representative of the population, particularly at senior levels. We have not done enough to bring black people, women and people with disabilities into meaningful, decision-making positions. We might ignore for a time the…

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Discipline and performance: seven questions for a manager

9 January 2014

When employees let you down, when they go against your explicit instructions or a known policy, when they fail to follow up with a customer or complete an urgent task, you are going to be angry. In a large organisation there are usually other managers to discuss the issues with, who may bring some perspective…

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Customer care and dieting: easy to do, difficult to sustain

2 January 2014

Good customer service is not difficult. Yes, there are big things that can make our efforts more effective: the vision/mission thing; the tracking systems; the social media programmes. But customer care happens in the ordinary, everyday interactions between staff and customer. If we don’t get those right, all the systems in the world will make…

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So, what do you do?

11 December 2013

Various people have asked me what I do. It is much easier to describe a position — I’m a Training manager; I’m an HR manager — than it is to describe one’s activities. And usually one only has 30 seconds (some say 60 or 90, but most agree it’s the length of an elevator ride).…

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Nelson Mandela: friend of the world

6 December 2013

We have lost an icon, a friend of the world, a statesman; Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela has died. We knew this day would come but it is hard to express our feelings. I am relieved that his suffering is over and he can rest in peace. No one would want him to linger on. But he…

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A celebration: and you’re invited

17 November 2013

This is an unusual post. I am copying below an appeal from a dear friend, Ana Houston, who is a medical doctor working in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. The appeal speaks for itself. Let me add that I have known Ana and her family most of her life and and I have great faith in her work…

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Hiring: wasting time and getting great results

21 October 2013

“It’s the time you have wasted on your rose that makes your rose so important.” The Little Prince It is true of most good things in life. It’s not the investment of vast amounts of money or formal processes, but often the ‘wasted time’: odd discussions here, an unplanned stop for a cup of coffee…

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Seminar: How to spot the right person in an interview

23 September 2013

I will be running the following half-day seminars on behalf of Seminar Warehouse in Westville, Durban, next month. (See flyers below.) The first is on interviewing skills and will be on Thursday, 10 October 2013. If you are interested, please register here. If you know anyone who might be interested, please pass this on.  The second is on running…

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They are changing the guard at Buckingham Palace

11 September 2013

The newspaper headlines tell us that zealous police officers from London’s Metropolitan Police accosted Prince Andrew while he was walking around his mother’s Buckingham Palace garden in broad daylight. If I were a member of the British Royal Family, I would object to the use of the word “zealous”. They were simply doing their job as…

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