We have prepared an introductory presentation about Harrison Assessments. Simply click to open the page and view the video.
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In this post-GFC era of distrust of corporations, we are relying more and more on the individual relationships we build to grow our businesses. This is more important than ever before for financial services.
Yesterday I spoke with Dr Jim Taggart of Taggart Group about his recent doctoral thesis. Jim chose to research the role of business networks and in particular the importance of trust, commitment and reciprocity to effective networking.
This started me thinking about how you would select, or coach, employees who have a role that includes the important task of networking to bring in new business.
Here are just five of the 155 traits measured by Harrison Assessments that I believe would enhance your team’s networking success:
Other traits that could have a positive impact on networking include self-motivation, assertiveness, diplomacy, influencing, flexibility and tolerance of bluntness. On the other hand, care should be taken to avoid employing someone to this type of role if their profile shows they are blunt, dogmatic or self-sacrificing.
Every one of these traits can be measured as part of our online assessment that takes less than half an hour. You can try it for yourself here.
It is possible to assess these traits in your selection process. Employees can also improve their performance through coaching, once you know their strengths.
Imagine how your business could benefit from knowing your employees better.
Grants to make your business family friendly
The “Fresh Ideas for Work and Family” Grants Program helps small businesses set up family friendly work practices.
If you have a small business with between 1 and 14 employees then funding of up to $15,000 is available to help you with your work/life balance initiatives. These initiatives may include home-based work programs, flexible work practices such as job sharing and part-time work, flexible workplace policies and guidelines, family rooms and more. The focus of the program is to help employees better balance their work and family obligations by making the workplace more flexible.
The funding round opens on 25 February and closes on 31 March 2010. Eligible small businesses must have a least one employee and can include companies, partnerships, not-for-profit, non-government, sole traders and a consortium of up to three small businesses.
With the workplace flexibility requirements under the new National Employment Standards and the grant being provided by DEEWR to set up flexible work practices, it is important that small businesses take advantage of this opportunity now! Flexible work arrangements also benefit both employees and the business bottom-line.
For more information and help with applying for the grant contact Kerry Fallon Horgan at Flexibility At Work on (02) 9402 4741 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Further details are also available at www.flexibility.com.au
Do you think you’re good at judging people? You are, but probably not in the way you think…
We all live complicated lives and nature has given us neurological shortcuts so we don’t have to relearn everything as we go. For example, when we encounter a closed door, we don’t need to consciously think: What is this? What is it for? Why is it here? or How does it work? Instead, we grab the handle and walk through (perhaps with a little push/pull confusion on the way!)
Similar shortcuts are in operations when we interact with other people. We are able to quickly assess a person based on our past experiences and conditioning. This usually goes on beyond our awareness. Efficient but not always accurate!
For more than a decade Project Implicit, based at Harvard University, has been tracking a whole range of our hidden prejudicial associations. Curious about my own, I decided to try one of their Implicit Association Tests (IATs). Being a feminist, mother of two girls, business woman and teacher, I thought I’d be pretty safe trying a test called ‘Gender-Career’. Imagine my surprise (horror!) when I found my results showed that I strongly associated men with careers and women with family life.
Implicit biases are shown in the majority of the population. At least I’m not alone. And most of us don’t even know we are biased against certain groups.
How is this significant in business?
Our hidden prejudices predict how we respond to others. They may impact on:
Tip: Job interviews are a notoriously inaccurate way to predict workplace behaviour, even when conducted by experts. Project Implicit shows that without using objective measures of job fit, we are often relying on judgements we aren’t aware of and can’t control.
Curious about your own biases? You can visit Project Implicit online and take a test of your choice.
It’s that time of year again! Here is our quick guide to your responsibilities as a manager organising a staff Christmas party.
Just because you’re not at work, it doesn’t mean you’re not at work!
Any function organised by you and attended by your employees is work related and the same rules that apply in the workplace apply to your party. There are certain steps you can take to ensure risks are minimised and everyone has a good time.
Before the event
Make sure you have implemented policies covering occupational health and safety, harassment, bullying and discrimination. Remind staff that these policies also apply to work social functions. Let them know that unacceptable behaviour could result in disciplinary action.
You can be liable for sexual harassment, bullying and unsafe behaviour engaged in by employees or agents at the Christmas party unless you can show that you took all reasonable steps to prevent the unlawful behaviour.
Plan the event to take into account the age range of your staff and their access to transport. For example, you may have employees who are under 18. Serving them alcohol is against the law.
If you have staff with food allergies or preferences, these need to be considered in planning your catering. Also, be aware of the food poisoning risks with buffet-style food service and take steps to avoid them.
Employees who are injured at the Christmas party or on their journey home may lodge workers compensation claims or common law claims for personal injury.
During the event
Provide the option of low alcohol and plenty of alcohol free drinks, accompanied by substantial food. Don’t rely on venue staff for responsible service of alcohol. Managers also need to keep an eye on drinkers and take action if needed. This may include sending an intoxicated employee home in a taxi.
As a manager, you can model appropriate behaviour. A work Christmas party that you have organised is probably not the best situation for you to really let your hair down!
After the event
Ensure staff have appropriate travel arrangements in place to get home safely. Consider arranging a mini-bus or cabcharge vouchers for your staff, particularly those who have been drinking.
In the event that a staff member has had too much to drink, or too late a night, and needs to drive or operate machinery the next day, give them time off or alternative work until they are fit to resume their normal tasks.