A Few Final Observations


As we slip ‘n slide into this glistening new year, I decided it was time for a few final observations on ‘what was UP and what was DOWN’ in 2013.


‘Say and Do’ employers increase in numbers.

‘Say and Do’ organisations, as in those who say they value their staff and act this way too, are growing in numbers. The annual Kenexa survey has seen the number of larger organisations participating in the survey increase by 45% since 2008, as companies recognise that high levels of employee engagement can positively impact the bottom line of their business.

One such organisation was positively over-the-moon about their success and took great delight in telling us their news which in itself was terrific, we thought.

Business confidence

Phew, about bloody time. What a rough old ride some have had in the last few years as indicated by the 200% growth in our Outplacement services in 2013.

With trends being difficult to peg down, it was goose-bumpy-good to witness the extraordinarily focussed rush to the end of the year. This was no ordinary cruise to Christmas; this was ‘foot on the pedal, right to the last minute’, type of action.

And more good news… the momentum has spilled over to 2014.

Pooches at work. 

small-lilyWhat a natural mood-high we experienced on the days we had pooches in the office.  Admittedly these were very well behaved dogs that were very proud to be at work with Mum or Dad.  And as furry-friend lovers, we are not alone.

In one of the weekly campaigns we ran in November, the most sought after ‘prize’ was the Revolution packs of flea control for cats and dogs! [Thank you again, Zoetis]

Oscar, Layla, Lottie, Lily and Louie; you are most welcome here any day! [Although possibly not all at once.]

2014 mantras:

  1. “I make sure I hire people who are better than my competitors.”
  2. “I deal with poor performance straight away.”


Not listening? Time to pin your ears back.

No, they are not just for displaying those diamond earrings; ears are for listening. So why was it so hard for people to hear last year? By hear, we mean actively taking an interest in what someone is saying and responding to them with insightful questions or suggestions.

First hand, we heard from hundreds of people across the employment spectrum, about the lack of interest shown to them by their managers.   Many reasons were cited for this but the most frequent comments as to why people felt unheard were:

  1. Distinct lack of training.
  2. Couldn’t care less.
  3. Always distracted.

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

It’s fascinating to think that by simply initiating conversations with team members, a multitude of negative impacts can be diverted e.g. resignations, absenteeism. Make 2014 the year you talk to your team. And Listen. DID YOU HEAR THAT?!

Contingent vacancy assignments.

This old-hat, out-dated approach; an overhang from days gone by, is on the way out; and about time too.  It goes back to the very first positive point raised in this blog… valuing your employees.  Prospective employees do not feel valued when they become part of a bun fight.  And when service is poor because no commitment is in place, it’s no wonder 30 or so unsolicited CV’s appear in your inbox. Then the industry gets a bad rap.  Candidates hate it. No one wins.

For brevity’s sake, rather than detailing the numerous reasons against this antiquated approach we will simply say, it’s all about partnership and trust.

Take the time to select your recruitment partner well. Let them get to know you. Let them work with you and the rest will follow.


Did you try one? Our sensible brain tells us we must not indulge in something that boasts 700 calories. Sadly in this case…sensible brain wins.

Dull PowerPoint Presentations

When a presenter has turned their notes into a wordy, boring, bland, eye-chart’ish, bullet pointed display that visually dulls the senses…Grrr. Make this a thing of the past. If you are struggling to ‘zoosh’ your slides help is at hand!


People getting angry at people on bikes. People on bikes getting angry at people walking. Grow up. Learn to share.


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