People First HR Services

Sideways move may be right way up

Colleen Coates

Staying in a job longer than your mind and body are able to manage can have dire consequences. People who were once content become antsy when work grows over time. But when there are no opportunities to be promoted, what’s a restless employee to do?

Making a lateral move by accepting an equivalent role elsewhere might be an option. Depending on the size of the organization, this move might even be made without leaving the organization.

Curt Vossen of Richardson International on speaking the same language

People First

Richardson International eases transition through communication

With its agreement to purchase Viterra assets — including grain handling, crop input and processing facilities — Winnipeg-based Richardson International has taken its rightful place on the international stage and will soon assume the title of Canada’s largest agribusiness. Richardson is a worldwide handler and merchandiser of Canadian-grown grains and oilseeds, and its wealth of expertise in agriculture, oilseed processing and food packaging has made it a global business leader and one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies.

Conflict intervention, resolution test of effective leadership

Colleen Coates

Being able to snuff out the lit fuse of a workplace conflict before it becomes an explosive situation is a true test of leadership.

Every workplace has its share of conflict. In any setting where people are engaged, committed and passionate about what they do, disagreements are inevitable. It means people care enough to disagree strongly. Change also brings conflict. Therefore, it’s fair to say that the best organizations aren’t those without conflict, but those that know how to deal with conflict in a healthy, constructive way. This is where effective leadership comes in.

Team motivation part of day-to-day business

Colleen Coates

In order to create and sustain team motivation, it needs to be a matter of constant focus.

Think of it like coaching your team for a marathon. This would require training on a daily basis in order to build stamina and reach optimum fitness levels. It’s simply not enough to offer short, infrequent spurts of intense training activity and hope it will take them the distance.

Many leaders make the mistake of thinking team motivation is separate from or somehow less important than conducting day-to-day-business. They may put it on the back burner, believing that there will be plenty of time to work on morale and team building after the bottom line is achieved.

Make most of job you have

Colleen Coates

Create new attitude and find work happiness

There’s never a better time like right now to make a change at work, not by looking for a new job, but by making the most of the one you have.

There’s no better place to begin than by assessing your personal attitude. Is what you do for a living just a job and what you’re working toward only the next payday and eventually, retirement? That certainly makes for a very long and tedious career. The alternative is coming to appreciate what you have and, even better, finding happiness at work.

Top challenges for businesses in 2013

Colleen Coates

As we ring in the new year, it is often a time to pause and reflect on past successes and maybe some transgressions with hopes of improving in the coming year. I asked three of our resident wise men and women what troubled our clients the most over the past year and how they planned to reduce their woes. Our industry experts provide uniquely valuable insight to help business leaders attract and reward the people who will ensure they continue to succeed by enabling their employees to do well at every stage of their career. Here are the top three common challenges our experts saw in 2012:

Help your firm avoid revolving-door reputation

Colleen Coates
No organization wants to have a revolving-door reputation, gaining notoriety as a place where employees tend to enter and leave quickly.

Having an alarming rate of traffic move through the office has a negative impact on all areas. Losing good people and then training replacements means productivity slows down. Without continuity, operational flow is interrupted.

Morale certainly suffers as seasoned staffers wonder who will be next to go and leave them to pick up the extra work or carry out unfinished projects, or else they avoid making meaningful connections with newcomers lest they too disappear by the end of the quarter. And once word gets out that the company has a retention issue, potential employees stay far away, deciding that the work environment must be toxic.

Treating customers kindly increases loyalty, business

Colleen Coates

Remember when a friendly greeting and a genuine smile used to be part of doing business? It may sound old-fashioned, but it wasn’t all that long ago that making a customer feel special — not the lowest price or fastest shipping — is what won their loyalty and kept them coming back.

In these fast-paced, technology-driven times we live in, when most business transactions occur online and not in person, we seem to have lost touch with the importance of being kind to one another. And yet, none of us have lost the desire to be treated kindly, nor has technology changed the value of kindness. Without costing a penny, it is still the most effective way to build greater brand awareness, boost customer loyalty and keep employees happy.

Don’t plan budget for salaries in isolation

Colleen Coates

Now is the time when many human resource practitioners and compensation professionals begin the annual review of their reward programs — with a particular focus on planning for 2013 salary increases.

Questions such as “How competitive are we?” and “How much do we need to spend next year?” are what keep my phone ringing this time of year as clients search for answers.

A hunting you will go …be sure to go quietly

Colleen Coates

You have decided it’s time to make a move from your current employer, but want to ensure your job search is kept a secret. Confidential job search is becoming even increasingly more difficult in the age of social media when privacy is scarce. If you don’t want your current employer to find out that you are looking for a new job, there are steps you can take to keep your search confidential. While you are better off to search for a job while you already have one, this can be a very stressful time. There are several questions that come to mind. Should you tell your boss? What about references? How much notice do I have to give? How you handle your departure from your current employer can be as important to your career as how you perform in the next one. Remember, it is not a crime to search for a new job, but how you conduct that search and the terms under which you leave will speak volumes about your professionalism and integrity. Here are some suggestions for stealth job hunting:

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