Archive for category Human Resource Mngt

Bullying in a Warehouse Environment and How to Deal With It

Bullies are, sadly, part of life. Some people derive a great deal of pleasure from making others feel bad. This can be done physically, emotionally and with social media. Unfortunately, many of these individuals don’t get such behaviour out of their systems during childhood. Some even carry it into the professional world, and few people are equipped to deal with them in a meaningful way. Warehouse businesses need to understand not only how to identify bullying behaviour, but also how to instruct employees to deal with these individuals. The process is simple, at least on paper, yet can have a huge impact on the way a business is run and the morale of its employees.

Identify What it Means to Be a Bully

There’s much more to bullying than the typical schoolyard insults that you might remember from your youth. To combat bullying, it’s necessary to first identify how it presents in the workplace. While bullying can be physical, it can also consist of shunning people, gossip, and berating others for their ideas. Simply put, bullying is any activity undertaken to put another person at a disadvantage. It doesn’t have to benefit the person doing the bullying, necessarily – what is important is that another person is put down, and that the workplace environment becomes hostile.

Accepting the Realities of the Warehouse

When dealing with bullying, it’s also important to realise that a warehouse is also largely different than a white collar environment. While many of the same motivations and personalities might be at play, bullying can have dangerous consequences in an environment that is fully of heavy equipment. Bullying doesn’t just slow down the work day and make people upset – it can lead to distractions, which can in turn lead to accidents. Bullying is an issue that’s even more dangerous in a warehouse environment, and thus must be handled with extra care.

Dealing with Bullies in the Warehouse

Dealing with a bully can be difficult, but there are options available to anyone who feels like they are being targeted. There can often be a stigma against going to management to deal with such issues in a warehouse, and it’s often recommended that bullying victims ‘stand up for themselves’. Unfortunately, this simple statement is not only often difficult in reality, but can also cause further problems. Instead, the best way to deal with bullying is to document the issues as they occur and then go to the management with definitive proof. While it’s good to be firm, it’s even better to provide proof that the bullying has occurred.

Dealing with bullying isn’t an easy task, nor is it one that is always as effective as one might hope. Identifying the behaviours, realising the problems they can cause, and coming up with plans to deal with troublemakers should be a primary concern for any warehouse business. Workplace bullying can be eliminated, but only with the cooperation of workers and management. Without a solid plan, bullying will continue to cause workers distress and cost businesses hard-earned money for years to come.


Ways to engage staff

I saw a recent article on ways to engage staff and had a chuckle, this stuff was perfect for the corporate world of go getters and the eager beaver types, but they failed to mention the Desperados, those who have had to give up the chase and were more intent on the work, be paid and be thankful types and yes there are plenty of them.

Those who have watched their buddies and friends face redundancy, the sack etc and are fearful of their own situation. People with Mortgages, kids education bills, life costs in general and all the trappings that cause us to ‘hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go’.

To engage this type of employee, all you need to do is offer them a job, where the toxic manager types and nasty co workers are kept at bay, turfed out or made to redress their sins. where the sense of security is solid and the days are predictably neutral with a touch of happiness sprinkled in, and they will reward you with productive outcomes for a long time.

Oh the article mentioned

  • Goals linked to the bigger picture
  • A culture of ongoing feedback
  • Collaborate on their development
  • Simplify performance management
  • Develop leadership skills

and being flexible in your approach to doing all this is vital.

I agree with all those points of course, they are all good, however in the harsh reality of work and life, just having a job can enough engagement for some, going the extra mile to make it work for them is like a cherry on top.

Let’s keep a sense of reality here and make sure our perspective is not skewed by chasing our tail and thinking we need to go all out and spend up big to keep people on side, but let’s make sure the results we want are not fettered by our sense of reality rather than the reality of those we are trying to look after.

Assessing Employees

Performance reviews are not new, and at the end of a probation period employees are often given vague reasons as to why they are kept on by the company or ditched… Sometimes non management staff have been perplexed by these moves and the reasons given can be as vague as the decision itself.


Steve Gray's assessment tool


To ensure an effective decision is made effort needs to be put into assessing the person and their efforts in the role. So I scoured the web for ideas, and coupled that with my own thoughts and came up with this checklist to assist in making decisions as well s being able to pinpoint areas for development which might go under the radar.

A contemporary business might give the list to the employee early in the probation period (probably not on day one…) and let them know what sorts of things you are looking for at the end of the process. Of course  you would do your own research and fact gathering from their peers and supervisors to ensure an effective mix of facts can be utilised.


Check it out it’s three pages I feel sure  you will want to use often to ensure your staff are doing more of the right things by your organisation.



Steve Gray

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incredible people for your business

You know that people keep your business going, they do so much to bring together the products and services in a way that causes customers to say “oh yeah we want that.” However for many of us choosing the right people becomes a major challenge. In a competitive business world the last thing you want is the hassle of recruiting another person to make more mistakes and create a mess. But there are ways to select more of the right people to get more of the right results.

What I am about to outline will give you the chance to make more informed staffing decisions for your business. At the very least you will get some understanding of the factors to give you starting points to hiring quality staff.

When you put the word out that you want people to join your business you want to make sure you have a good understanding of people and what makes them tick, here are a few of the factors, armed with these your people management path will soon get easier to follow.

Key people factors

  • Personality type
  • Motivator/driver type
  • Communication style
  • X factor/s
  • Leader/follower

Each of these key people factors, are vital components within the new recruit, who will sit right in front of you at the interview.

What about skills, ability and qualifications?

NOTE: No skills or abilities have been mentioned, this is all about the person. Often the resume and a preliminary phone chat will give you the details for those, so at the interview you can delve deeper to see if the person is going to be a good fit for your business and the team they are about to be part of.

The five factors that form the structure of the person will give us an insight into the person, often these will just be starting points to assist us to assess if the person will be of positive value or not. If your business needs to be more effective then hiring more effective people makes sense.

Personality type

  • Look into Emotional Intelligence, DISC inventory and the Platinum Rule to provide solid starting points to making evaluations based on this, the more you practice these skills the more you will find they will happen more automatically and you will be able to read people more effectively. The personality types can give you clues then to how they might perform as a leader, an influencer or sales person, a detail oriented person or a warm and fuzzy relator type.


  • Dr David McLelland is the Pioneer of this area of study, coming up with three main motivators, Achievement oriented, Power and control, or Affiliator. His research showed it was possible to ascertain what motivates people to do what they do, a bit of reading in this area can be incredibly useful. Imagine you want someone for a sales role and you want an achievement oriented person, only to choose someone who is power and control motivated, oops! that could be a disaster.

Communication style

  • Really what you want is a person who is flexible in their communication ability so they can relate to a wide range of people, in effect there are few that do this. Note there are main communication styles and sub groups, from Visual, to audio, kinaesthetic, audio digital and some other mixtures. Knowing about these can give you insights into selecting the right communication type for the role, and be able to address any issues when a visual communicator is trying to get a message to an audio digital person.

X Factor/s

  • If you have little knowledge or training in any of the above you probably dump your whole people selecting strategy into this basket! but over time there are things that you can’t put you finger on, but you can “feel the vibe” with people and know that your gut instinct is telling you they are a good fit.


  • If you want a bunch of followers don’t pick a leader, and vice versa. Of course there are times when you require both, so ask, if being a follower sometimes will cause a problem.

As you can see selecting the right person can be a craft worth your learning. If  you get more of the right people to assist you in your business, there are more chances of creating a business that can naturally grow. Developing your skills in these areas can be a very useful activity.



Steve Gray

People who get results

Two Business WomenYou run a business or a project and your HR or advisory people want to give you people you know will fail, something in your ‘gut’ says so… So what is that gut feeling and just how do you find people that will get results in the role you have to fill? Try these pointers;

Selecting people that get results

An Attitude of gratitude – They have it, they might not say it but you can see and feel it, if you include them on a project you know they are seriously pleased to be there and take part, if not you might want to ditch them fast.

Ability to visualise – They see the bigger picture, they see the smaller picture too, in fact they see the whole movie right through to standing ovation… Not only do they star in the picture they direct is as well

They work smart, not hard – Do it, delegate it or drop it. If someone else can do it smarter than they can let them do it

They take responsibility – They will own up to an issue if they caused it, ethics are high on their value list

Great at time management – Emails get dealt with after the first hour, meetings, only if they are of value and the agenda is clear and achievable 

Clear head, clear planning – To do list written at the end of the day for instance cal ears a results focused peoples heads, they sleep better and when they get to the office, they can then tackle what needs to be done.

Brilliant at customer service – They can elegantly handle ‘nay sayers’ and are kept grounded in reality by those who scam, spam and complain. With internal customers, they service them well, they manage by wandering around, ask questions, delve into the real issues facing the troops, in short they are on the ball finding all the little things that make the big things matter

They can focus – They can see what needs to be done and can do it or get someone to do it. They can focus on major goals

They can lead – They can plan, delegate and make people feel fantastic that they can serve the leader, because they feel like a leader themselves

They have a system for passion – Most people say they are passionate about something these guys have a system to get and keep the passion going

They know their strengths – We are all good at some things, these guys know specifically what that is and how to use it to their advantage, the rest they delegate to people with the right skills

They have the skills and abilities for the job – They know their subject inside and out, they know the latest trends for that subject. They are then able to use that knowledge too

Respect, it’s their middle name – It doesn’t take much effort most of the time to have respect for everyone they come in contact with. It goes a long way to having people onside and keeps them happy

These pointers could create some interesting questions for interview and or review… Go looking for the type of person you want and see what shows up in their Linked in profile or facebook posts.


Steve Gray Free Business Tips

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New recruit blues

Recruit circleThe good people on the twentieth floor in the HR Dept decided to place a new recruit in your department. Sweet! you need an extra hand, you know the person has been through the induction program on the fifth floor and is “ready to make a solid impression”.

After a short while you find things ending up in the wrong place, time is lost searching for those ‘things’ and training the ‘newbie’ in the job specific details they need to get going, is taking its toll on the work you need to get done.

You knew it might happen, the new person has to find their feet,and in time you get the impression they will be a solid contributor to your team. So what to do to make their start positive, get to a productive point fast and not lose the ‘things’ that everyone needs?

Firstly, know as much about the person as possible in advance… Hopefully you don’t find out about the new person at 5pm Friday with them starting at 9am Monday! If you have been part of the hiring process you might know them very well, if not chat with HR about what’s in their resume, how they handled the interview etc, then check out social media for more details on likes and dislikes.

Secondly, be nice… If  you are a grumpy pain the the butt type of person and are not willing to change long term, see what you can do in the short term. Make the person feel at home, be polite, show them around, introduce them to the other team members. Show them their workspace and where the important things are… toilets, lunch room etc.

Thirdly, give them a buddy… A person who can relate to the ‘newbie’ pass on all sorts of vital information, how things work and has a good grasp of “who’s who in the zoo” this person can do most of the training part with you as a go to sidekick.

Finally, meet chat and listen… The new person can settle in fast, so find time to sit with them and have a chat about how things are going, any specific challenges they might face and ways they might overcome them.

Oh sure there are about a hundred other things you can do to add to this list, like checking their productivity at relevant stages every so oftem against Key Performance Criteria, and even asking them for suggestions on ways to improve things (remember to listen…) and the list goes on.

Make the person feel part of the team fast, then you can sense the notion of having set someone on the right path with the right support.


Steve Gray Free Business Tips

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I was shocked, and then I realised…

Image courtesy of jscreationzs from

Image courtesy of jscreationzs from

I watched in horror at first, then they simply continued!

On reflection they did the best possible thing, so simple yet it worked a treat! I was witnessing what I had come to see, a team that had a rock solid induction program for new employees. Their drop out rate was low, their success rate post induction very high.

The secret was very simple, although I was told it took them a long while to figure out what needed to be done. The aim was good, to make sure the induction program gave new employees the best chance of success going into their role in a new company.

One of the best things they did was the early research, those that didn’t do so well were solidly interviewed to find out why. The answers ranged from, the recruitment process right through to the induction program. Some of it was a clash with the approach the Trainers used, for others it was the lack of depth in the training.

Identifying and consistently working on the program gave them a best practice approach to work with.

Here are just some of the big changes they made.

  • Make the new people feel fantastic – They made sure that the arrival of the new people was as stress free and openly welcoming as possible, hand shaking, warm smile, a top notch training room, equipment and facilities. The start time was purposely 1/2 an hour later than normal, parking had been paid for and made seemless, lunch provided and any details not quite right were adjusted post haste
  • No nasties – The training program had been worked on to ensure it was direct and punchy, the speakers were coached and stayed within their time frames and followed the outline of what they had to say
  • Repetition works – When the program got underway the details of company wide tasks such as answering the phone were clearly outlined, then practiced over and over in ways that defied the old ‘rote learning’ miserable repetition. The training team had developed a simple video, worked out a series of small team coaching approaches and worked with each person to ensure they got the basic message and clarified the details. Each new employee was then given a link to an in house video to follow up with and practice in their own time
  • Real people with real feedback – At various times team memebers from various parts of the organisation came in and gave a few minutes of their view of the organisation and why they were believed they were part of a fantastic winning team. They spoke in glowing terms about the organisation as well as giving real world examples of challenges they faced and how their supervisors coached and mentored them through the challenges
  • Day two begins… – A review of the previous days highlights soon got the room energised and up to speed and ready to tackle new material. The training crew had also checked out how many views the online in house training video had, they were pleased to report the view number was high. Discussion took place about details of the video which lead into more hot topics on ways things were done company wide
  • Interactive – The new recruits were given ample opportunity to interact with each other and discuss what they had learnt, reviewing the material presented. They then had the chance to discuss any challenges with the trainers and speakers
  • Practical points and conecpts too – While the practicalities of the organisation and the role were discussed, so too were the underlying concepts and notions that caused the organisation to be what it is. The mission and vision with a full values list were put forward. The group then explored the values in action, with examples given from current employees and training staff alike. Another link was provided to a slide show with narration on how the values could be worked on, develop and explored
  • Catch up time – The whole group was given a time to get together again in a few weeks to discuss how things were going and ways to make the next induction process even more effective. Of courrse they were also given details of their “support buddy” in their area and a HR contact to chat to as well.

You can imagine how thrilled I was to witness all of this, clearly a first class organisation that cares about it’s team members and the vital role they play in the organisations success. Shocked, yes because this level of care they were willing to show, and clearly how they wanted their external paying customers to feel as well.. I smiled widely!

It was about then the alarm went off and I woke up.

Hope you enjoyed my outline, I can only hope that one day most mid to large organsiations actually do this as a matter of course.


Steve Gray

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