Archive for category Health and Safety Dept

Caring leads to loving… yes loving!

Caring for your staff can lead to respect, the word caring means showing positive and real interest towards each other. I am suggesting we take a caring approach to build the love we have so we can avoid, bullying in the workplace, foster greater connection with our customers and staff.

This article mixes well with “Your staff and service made easy” and should probably be seen as the next step on from it.

Of course there are various levels of love and I am sure you will appreciate and respect peoples personal boundaries and expectations in this regard, the aim is not to get into “hot water” but rather prevent hostilities!

In the beginning love needs to come from people who appreciate love and indeed have love for themselves (I’m not talking about egocentric over the top love here…) so on the list of “lovers” it would probably look like this.

1. They love themselves – then they know what its like and can lo ve others.

2. They love others, their close personal team – family then friends and workmates.

3. They love the customers – without them you are not in buisness so give them some love too!

4. Love being in business – no point in doing something you hate…

5. Love your offerings – are you selling great products and services or???

6. Love you business environment – take a look around, is it a gret place to work? really? get witht he progra and sort out some of the details so you can make thing humm!

7. Love the work teams – you may not be able to have much input into how they work together but if you love the team principles you can have a more productive and fun work place.

8. Love their communications – go on foster some great communications, break down some barriers and watch the teams flourish.

9. Develop a love for leadership skills – and instil these in everyone, make them all leaders (of their own projects.)

Okay so how would you do all of this?

1. Get great at coaching – mentoring – supporting and leading. Find out what you can do to be good at these and you will become a powerful support device to cause your business to fourish.

2. Create systems and methods to create closeness – then watch how the individuals and teams work to make the most of the situation.

Your aim in doing all of this is to create a work culture that supports, cares, holds people in high regard… in short it builds the love.

Bullying no thanks…

Of increasing annoyance is the challenge employers face in dealing with Bullying in the workplace. No longer is it just a blue collar “stir up the new apprentice with some pranks issue” but it’s a bigger issue involving all business types. It seems there are as many bullies as there are workplaces.

Finding out you have a bully is one thing, but dealing with them is entirely another… Often you find out you have one or three bullies far too late and their manipulative ways mean they may have already infected a range of people in your organisation. Poor productivity, lots of sick days taken, higher staff turnover may be just a few of the indicators a bully is in your midsts.

To combat this employers, managers and supervisors need to be vigilant that 1. they are not the bullies and that 2. they have a process of some kind in place for dealing with them. Finally 3. they have a way of discovering if they have any.

Attached is a document that can give you some insights into bullies and the ways they do things, use that as a starting point to pinpoint the behaviours bullies have and then work towards ways to over come these parasites feeding on your business.
Workplace Bully Information

What’s in your blind spot?

In a car you have a couple of blind spots that mean you have to turn your head to see out of a side window to see what is really happening, and I see the same in business, in retail it’s often called store blindness where the details become common place and things that need to be changed, cleaned up repaired etc are not seen. and I guess due to us being in our businesses so much many other things escape our attention.

Yet funnily enough the blindness disappears often when we go to someone elses business, we are able to turn on our radar and spot any number of minor things that irritate us.

So to be able to see the blindspots in your busness and then do something about them is vital. Here are some poitnsto consider.

  • Ask others – customers staff members, friends and family.
  • Use your professional support people – accountant – coach – bookkeeper.

Whoever it is get them involved in taking a look at what’s happening and give you real feedback. make a list of what needs work and do it or delegate it.

Tragic Business…

In our local paper today we read of a 30 yr old who had taken his life… Sad, and tragic, what made it worse my wife and I had taught this “lad” I remember his boisterousness, his propensity to get in to mischief, his moments of sheer happiness and the odd moment of withdrawl. In the main he was a good kid that went on to pursue a dream in hospitality and became  a head chef in one of our local restaurants after a number of years studying, and travelling overseas. At age 30 it seems too young, but then it happens at many ages.

My thoughts turn to those who had a longer connection with him, as their team leader, boss, mentor, and teacher. Then the company he worked for, how they would be effected by his departure.

What does a company do when someone decides to exit in this way… Were there indicators or signs this was happening? Could they have done anything? Possibly not. What comes next is the effects, the ongoing thoughts that he should be there, that he is not, that he did so much and will be missed, then on to the reality phase of acceptance and moving on.

Question. What would you do? At every phase of the process… What could you say to make things better, to lighten the load, to brighten the moment, to provide support to one and all…

There is no doubt it is a tricky situation and there are people qualified to advise and support better than you or I, however the process starts somewhere. I invite you to say, what if, but say it BEFORE the process kicks in.

What if I could steer people to the right sort of support? What if I could be perceptive to the subtleties of communication that I could see (at least some of) the writing on the wall? What if others had the ability to let me know as the leader of the organisation that things were not okay…? What if I could be strong enough to sit and chat about challenges my people might face personal and professionally? What if I could assist them to build solid foundations in their lives so they could function  effectively and elegantly at higher levels?

For some they lose the way in life through not goal setting enough, for others its about exploring a more open ended approach and being clear of the reestrictions goals might impose. What ever the reason for losing their way we all share some responsibility if we allow ourselves to not be able to act in effective and elegant ways on what is a tragic turn of events for all concerned, near or far.

She fainted, and I was shocked!

We have a new student from overseas in our house, we have two students we host from a local school and have done it for years, we love it. Each time one leaves or completes yr 12 to go to uni we get a new one. This year was no different and the new one is a little younger than we have had in a while. They are overseas students and the issues with language keeps us communicating very carefully most of the time.So last night we sat down to dinner, and the youngest one was not saying much (not uncommon) but then she got up from the table and collapsed (I was glad I didn’t cook!) really she just fainted, she had not eaten all day and had only had a little water, so the result was a teenager flat out on the floor!

After the initial panic my wife and I remembered some basic first aid skills, made a hurried call to the school coordinator. I get our long term students to fill out an info sheet so I can know about any allergies etc, so I knew she had none of those happening, it was a process of elimination and asking her questions etc to establish the situation better. It still caused a shock for me as its not every day a teenager faints in our house!
On evaluating the situation I was looking for any ways I could have done things differently and made a few pointers in my head, then it dawned on me, how about in the workplace.

Just like any workplace this was the scenario, zero incidents for 7 – 8 years, then voom, one that gets you thinking. So what would you do? A new employee starts and faints day one, perhaps its stress related, perhaps they did not eat beacuse of it (the stress that is!) perhaps they have a medical condition they did not want to let anyone know about due to any negative pre conceptions.

May I suggest you find ways of making them at ease and assist them to take care of themselves in those early moments in their new position. It could be a great time to evaluate any induction and orientation program you have in place or perhaps it’s time to start one.

Rubbish – Money

I recently came across this story and it reminded me of a few things I had seen in the past few years.

Quad/Graphics USA is one of the largest printing companies in the world. It is the brainchild of Harry Quadracci Jr. He constantly searches for cheaper, faster, more effective, exciting ways to do business always applying standards of the highest integrity.

John Imes, their ecology manager said they were producing a considerable amount of waste every day in every plant. John was brought in to see what he could do to lower the costs associated with this waste, and to bring the plants into compliance with Environmental Protection Agency standards and regulations.

John came to the conclusion that, “We live in this town.  If we spew anything into the air, we’ll all breathe it and so will our children.  If we pollute the streams, we’ll all be drinking it.”  So the decision was made that the company had to commit to cleaning it all up. However, in tune with Harry Quadracci’s policies, it was also necessary to still make a profit while doing it.

Eight years later, they actually made a profit from the cleanup efforts!  They were also in full compliance with the EPA.  The first thing John did was to call the EPA inspector and invite him into the plant. “I want you to be my partner in making this plant in full compliance.  How can we work together to make that happen?”  The inspector said that this kind of conversation had never happened before. John said to the inspector, “I want you here with me all the time.  I don’t want an adversarial relationship.  I want to make this plant, and all our plants, clean, efficient and effective. Let’s be partners in this process.”

In looking at the various sources of potential pollution, the ink used in printing was a big one.  They found that inks could be made from soy.  Up until that time, soy-based inks had various problems that made them impractical.  The company investigated this further.  A few years later, they were in the soy ink business, had perfected soy-based inks, and were now supplying them all over the world.

Then, another breakthrough. They discovered various ways of using recycled papers.  Eventually, they discovered that there was a use – a profitable use – for almost everything that had been thrown out previously. Where each plant had been producing many barrels of waste each day, they cut it down to less than one barrel per day. For John Imes, every day has become an opportunity to do something of value – not only for his company, but for his community as well.

For many of us, this kind of ˜thinking outside of the square” to solve a challenge goes by the way side too quickly, we find it easier to creatively avoid these types of tasks as we may see them as being too difficult.

In time businesses and team members will have to think more outside the square like John Imes and Harry Quadracci Jr, to not only implement change, but to make certain it’s profitable as well.

Consider what things happen around your business and workplace, how can you extend yourself to make it a better place to be, not just for the business profitability but for the community as a whole.

12 Ways People Make Business GREAT!

I love working with businesses as they are made up of people as the main part of the mechanism to make the organisation work, but all too often companies run into negative people issues and that can mean things may not go quite as planned some times. I developed this list in response to a cry for help from David, a client of mine. He was feeling under pressure having 25 staff that were ‘all over the shop’ to use his term. Some of the issues were to do with his style of leadership and some to do with the people.

In the end the result was great, absenteeism fell, and before long profitability and productivity was on the rise. Occasionally it does not take much, but when you need to take stock, check the list and see how you might pick up the game.

Points to creating a great workplace

  1. Don’t change people – You picked them, you wanted, you got, now work with what you have to get a great result, if you want something to alter make it you, not them.
  2. Play by their rules (sometimes) – Work with them, if they have rules, they have them for a reason, is it that your rules are not filling the gap/s? Or perhaps they think their rules are better. Be flexible in your approach and check out what they have before running it down, try it you just might like it.
  3. Check list you – Check out what you do, what you can change to better fit the situations you may find yourself in with the workplace. Check your attitude, your communication style, your presentation, your expectations and probably a whole raft of other things.
  4. Look after you – Change can happen at any time, the control of that is up to you, no one else. If you are in control of you and your needs chances are your esteem will allow you to be more, do more, and have more.
  5. Discuss the good and the not so good! – Have open and frank discussions and ensure they stay free form personal attack. Create an environment where people can say how they feel, see how things are going, hear from others and keep in touch with the team and each other.
  6. Listen and do – Talk less about things and go for more actions, doing can make a world of difference to the organisation you are a part of. Remember two ears for listening, and one mouth for talking. So use them in that order. But to add to that cliché, you have two hands, two feet as well, so your capacity to do is greater than the capacity to talk and listen! I won’t even touch how many brain cells you have and how they could come into the equation.
  7. People are different – Neither right nor wrong, just different. Males and females, religious beliefs and ideals, vales and general beliefs. So go with the flow a occasionally, know there are the ‘bad bits’ but learn to be flexible enough in your approach to work with these differences, remember great leaders love people.
  8. Go into battle carefully – Jumping in without too much information from two sides of an argument can be costly, VERY COSTLY! So be careful and choose your battles wisely. Every business has bad bits, they may alter over time, they might get better but love them for what they are at the time. It might also be bothering your staff and they are just waiting for the right time to do something about them.
  9. Develop choices – It’s easy to blame others for things going wrong, but how many choices were there at the time? By developing choices you may just make a powerful difference to the way thing turn out.
  10. Don’t play psych – Psych is for psychs, use your understanding to advantage, but you don-t have to tell them the research and methodology behind what you say and or do. E.g. a plumber does not tell the customer how a pipe is made, the customer just wants it to do its job.
  11. Accuse and lose – Point the finger of blame and you had better watch out, it might just get bitten. People will dodge, lie and leave in no time flat over the smallest issues, why? Because we all want to do good things, and to have the finger of blame leveled at us is not a good feeling.
  12. Let them know you love what they do – Sometimes this might happen very discretely, and others as an over the top display of a job done brilliantly. It might be a few words, a gift, a badge of recognition, but be fair about it and make sure they know they are special people working on a very special task.
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