Is training the solution? Performance Analysis Quadrant (PAQ) tool

Is training the solution? The performance analysis quadrant tool

When the performance of an individual or team is being questioned, often the first solution tried is training. But is this right? Does the approach of "train them to get better performance" hold up? Or has it been this approach which has caused the value of training to diminish in the eyes of many in business?One tool which can help us identify the appropriate solution is known as the Performance Analysis Quadrant. This should be a standard tool in the toolbox of every organizational … [Read more...]

Giving and Checking Job References

micro managers references

On one of the Human Resources (HR) groups I participate in online a recent question was asked: What are your views on giving job references? HR managers gave a number of comments around the difference between factual information:Job title Start & finish dates Hours worked Number or volume of sickness absenceProviding free text information on job references Many job reference requests ask for comments about attitude, performance etc. some ask referees to grade people on … [Read more...]

Best Practices are dead. Adopting Promising Practices

best practice

Think about it just for a moment - what is a best practice?Many best practices come as universal and standardized practices maybe within a specific industry as for example PRINCE2, MSP, PMBOK and in other fields TQM, JIT, BPR, CSR, 360, or all the best practices connected to the -ing words - as for example downsizing, outsourcing, insourcing, offshoring, benchmarking, partnering. Now think about a best practice that you are considering to adopt, one that you are adopting and implementing or … [Read more...]

Why front line customer service training fails to deliver

Front line customer service training

Cost effective customer service training Customer service training provision is often preceded by a lot of change in organizations. It’s a common situation. You have introduced a new IT system to streamline your operations. You have restructured to be as cost efficient as possible. You have implemented LEAN or other process based efficiency analysis strategies. Next step... customer service training. Many of us have seen the reduction of structured and strategic training decline … [Read more...]

Very good to excellent – or why most customer service training fails

Customer service training

When it comes to customer service training, or anyone else for that matter, many people in operations and HR make a fatal mistake. They believe people “need fixing”. Over the last 10 years many organisations have reduced the level of structured training they provide. This drop in activity coincided for the majority with the financial crisis of 2007–08. Businesses looked at their costs, and due to the way much customer service training was delivered at the time and justified, it was an easy … [Read more...]

Primacy and Recency Effects in Learning

primacy recency effects in learning

Recency Effect in Learning When we talk about the Primacy Effect and the Recency Effect, we are talking about the theory and application of the following: “. . . the Primacy Effect . . . you remember some things at the beginning of a list because it occurred first. There is the beginning, a long middle that blurs together, and now it is the end.” (8) The Primacy Effect is the beginning. You remember it because that is where you started. The Recency Effect is the finish. You remember the end the … [Read more...]

Freelance – Five Golden Rules to Consider as a Consultant

Freelance desk

Thinking of going freelance as a consultant? I spend a lot of my marketing time on the LinkedIn platform. I find the groups particularly valuable. Today I commented on a group discussion, and it led me to thinking about the golden rules for freelancing or consulting. As an experienced business adviser and a freelance consultant. I consider five key golden rules for freelance success to be: 1) - never more than 20% or your turnover from one client (its too dangerous & not sustainable) 2) … [Read more...]

Leadership – #oneword #HR #CIPD


In 2015 100s of HR professionals were asked a simple question in a survey… in one word describe…LEADERSHIPParticipants were invited from the CIPD Members LinkedIn group, the CIPD communities, and the CIPD Facebook group. 616 participated. Of those, over 70% have been in HR for more than 11 years.Not all questions were mandatory. The demographics for this were:Processing of one word data. During data analysis, spellings were corrected, and capitalisation resolved. No words were … [Read more...]

Management #oneword #HR #CIPD


One word 2015In 2015 100s of HR professionals were asked a simple question in a survey… in one word describe…ManagementParticipants were invited from the CIPD Members LinkedIn group, the CIPD communities, and the CIPD Facebook group. 616 participated. Of those, over 70% have been in HR for more than 11 years.Not all questions were mandatory. The response rate for this question was 616 out of the 616 participants. The demographics for this were:Processing of one word data During … [Read more...]

RapidBI Daily Business Cartoon #211

RapidBI Daily Business Cartoon #211

"You're right, I owe all my success to luck! I'm lucky that my alarm clock rings at 5:00 so I can get to work before everyone else. I'm lucky that my car has a CD player so I can listen to self-improvement programs while I commute. I'm lucky there are electric lights in my office I can stay late...." … [Read more...]

RapidBI Daily Business Cartoon #206

RapidBI Daily Business Cartoon #206

"I found the problem. We earn money 5 days a week, but we spend money 7 days a week." … [Read more...]

#cipd14 Curing business complacency

#cipd14 Curing business complacency

Creating hunger in paradise with Rasmus Ankersenstory - he went for dinner with 3 nokia employees - but each had iphones in their pockets...not nokia phoneshow could the same people that took nokia to success, be the same people that took the company to failureThe e-test - draw an E on your forehead tracking talent is hard - we think success is a direct line, it is not, it is messy and unpredictable.what is a winner... "a loser who has evaluated himself"when you … [Read more...]

#cipd14 Gaining greater impact by understanding behavioural science

#cipd14 Gaining greater impact by understanding behavioural science

A session led by Nick Chater, Warwick business schoolUnwritten rules - virtual bargaining, culture is hidden.Behavioural hiring -The psychology of incentives - Unwritten rules - almost everything we do, we do together. actions socially are collective, when someone is out of kilter it is easily noticeable.organisations work well when people coordinate and cooperate. the key to success is coordination, doing our specific roles thus supporting eachother. all … [Read more...]

Have you just wasted your entire learning or training budget on a learning Library?

Business School learning Library

One of the great ways to develop your staff is to have a learning portal, or learning academy site. A resource which contains lots of information and self-development activities for leaders, coaches and change agents in business. These learning libraries or virtual academies can be expensive to compile and maintain, so many organisations choose to buy these services for their employees. It can be a cost effective strategy for the provision of learning materials. Are Learning Library's all they … [Read more...]

Leaders cannot be nice all the time

Leaders cannot be nice all the time

Being a leader is not about being hard, aggressive or overly “macho”. It is about doing things through others, often for their reasons. The goal of the leader is to get things done on the journey to a set destination. Of course often the leader is setting the destination, other times it is set by another leader in the business and we need to deliver our elements in our own way.Individuals cannot have their own way all the time When one of the team is used to getting their view accepted all … [Read more...]

The best training should always be led by your manager

Managers time allocation

Being a manager is a journey, from our first days as team leader or supervisor through middle and senior roles to director level.  The more senior we become, the more of our time should be spend on developing our people. It is easy when we get promoted to keep doing the things we used to do, but as we can see from the graphic below, we should be spending time on our people not just “doing things”. As a team leader we start to take on people development activities, and as we progress, we do less … [Read more...]

The Ultimate Benchmarking Tool?

benchmarking compare balance

Benchmarking is talked about in many industries and for many it is seen as necessary but expensive. Last week I came across an open source concept for benchmarking which has a lot of opportunities for organizations of all sizes. The ultimate question a single measure for business growth? History In 2006 author Fried Reichheld published a book – The Ultimate Question (The Ultimate Question 2.0 (Revised and Expanded Edition): How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-Driven World) How … [Read more...]

Kurt Lewin three step change theory model – unfreeze, change, freeze

Kurt Lewin change model

Kurt Lewin three step model change theory Introduction to the change model The Kurt Lewin change theory model is based around a 3-step process (Unfreeze-Change-Freeze) that provides a high-level approach to change. It gives a manager or other change agent a framework to implement a change effort, which is always very sensitive and must be made as seamless as possible.The Kurt Lewin model can help a leader do the following three steps:Make a radical change Minimize the disruption of … [Read more...]

Social media in HR Infographic

Social media in HR Infographic - CIPD

The CIPD have recently published an infographic on the use of social media at work. The graphic is based on some research they have completed looking at our usage (or not) of these powerful collaboration tools.What is interesting to me is that 61% of employers that responded to the survey do not use any form of collaborative or social platform within the business.From experience I know that even the firms that have them are struggling to make them work, but when they are used, they … [Read more...]

Why not to trust an "independent" business adviser or mentor

multi purpose tool

Is a universal or multi tool as good at performing as individual specialist tools? Convenient yes, a long term solution... no It is true that no man is an island. When starting out in business as well as running and growing your business, quite simply you cannot do it on your own. You need trusted business advisers. But there is a problem. No one is truly "independent" no matter what their beliefs of education. Once a banker... always a banker Some years ago when I was working as a specialist … [Read more...]