Managing Staff

  • Why Santa was sued for a personal grievance when he changed the Elf roster
    Even Santa wasn’t immune from the recession. The global credit crunch had affected his long term investments in reindeer stock and commodities, which meant that the income from those investments had taken a tumble. Santa knew that he could not cut back on Christmas presents for the kids, so something had to give. He felt the only option was to cut some hours out of the Elf roster. - read more
  • Are your employees spending too much time on Twitter and Facebook?
    When the internet was introduced to offices over a decade ago, employers were worried that employees would spend more time surfing the internet than they did working. The expression "cyber slacking" was born. In 2009, social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook have taken the internet to a whole new level. No longer is the internet just used for reading content, now people can interact with their friends in real time whilst sitting at their desks. To further promote interaction, developers have come up with a vast array of applications where users can play games, send virtual gifts or compare themselves to a celebrity. Hey, you can even run your own virtual farm from the comfort of your office cubicle. Therefore, it is not surprising that employers are worried that no work will get done. - read more
  • How to stop social networking sites killing your restraint of trade clauses
    Dave knew that he had a problem when he came into the office one morning to see a LinkedIn update saying that one of his former employee’s had taken a senior position with his major competitor. But it wasn’t the fact that Mandy had moved to his competitor that started the alarm bells ringing, but that he had received a notification of the move in his inbox – he knew that 70% of his client base would have received the same email and may flock towards her. - read more
  • How to get rid of the employee that doesn't fit
    He was tall, dark and handsome and a great lover. From the outside, he appeared to be the ideal date and partner. But after 3 months of living together, Jenny realised that her ideal mate was less than ideal. Whilst he could turn on a charming personality, he liked drinking with the boys each night while she preferred walks in the country. She liked a tidy house and he preferred to live in a mess. - read more
  • Why Bullying could be costing you sales and eroding your profit
    A report released by Massey University in late 2009 revealed that 18% of persons surveyed in four industries reported that they had been the victims of bullying in the workplace. Yet anecdotal evidence tends to suggest that employers turn a blind eye, either because they are in denial that it is actually occurring (preferring instead to believe that the bully is a firm manager) or they lack the training to respond adequately to the problem. - read more
  • Do you have a toxic employee in your workplace?
    Does your business (or a department within your business) suffer from any of the following symptoms: (a) High absenteeism; (b) High staff turnover rates; (c) Complaints about management? If so, then these symptoms are a sign of low levels of engagement. However, contrary to common belief, the problem may not lie with your disengaged employee. It could lie with an even bigger problem. - read more
  • Boundaries and standards: why you need both in your business and how to set them
    Why is it that some teenagers are good academically and never get into trouble whereas others are the opposite? Similarly, why is it that some employees go the extra mile and are worth their weight in gold, whereas others turn up late and perform poorly? It's no coincidence that work performance goes hand in hand with conduct and I'll explain why. - read more
  • How to search an employee’s computer and email (legally)
    You begin to notice that your employee has more meetings outside the office than normal. You don’t know who these meetings are with. Are you suspicious? You then notice that the same employee always leaves the office to take calls on his mobile phone. Does this make you more suspicious? And then, whenever you approach this employee’s desk, you notice that he switches screen from his web browser to word before you get close. Now are you suspicious? Whilst we would all like to have explicit trust in all our employees, there are some behaviours that just arouse suspicions and the answers to these questions will often lie somewhere in your employee’s hard drive. - read more
  • When is a fixed term a genuine fixed term?
    Subscriber Only Most people get engaged with the intention of getting married within the near future. So you can imagine the frustration of the party to the relationship whose request to set a date falls on deaf ears and consequently has to endure “the long engagement”. - read more
  • How to avoid a Personal Grievance when you suspend an employee
    Subscriber Only If an employee has done something which could amount to misconduct, then the last thing you want is for that employee to attempt to wriggle off the hook because you have made a procedural mistake by suspending the employee from work. A mistake like that could put the employee on the front foot and could even end up with you having to fight a personal grievance when it is the employee at fault. Strange as this may seem, this is a common occurrence in misconduct situations. Therefore, make sure you know when you can and when you cannot suspend, and then go through the process correctly. - read more
  • Is slash and burn the right strategy for your business?
    Subscriber Only When the economic downturn first started to impact John’s business he was quick to act. First signs that turnover was dropping caused John to focus on his biggest overhead – the wage bill. A swift round of redundancies gave immediate relief and he was able to sustain profit levels on an even keel. Six months later, however, turnover had dropped even further and he was facing a personal grievance claim from one of his employee’s with a possible payout of $1000s. - read more
  • How to act with good faith towards your employees
    Good faith is not about going to Church every Sunday. No, it is about how you treat your employees and here is the bad news: what amounts to good faith changed in December 2004 when the Employment Relations (Amendment) Act 2004 became law. Prior to that good faith was some airy fairy concept dreamt up by Parliamentary legislators to even up the playing field between employers and employees and by employment lawyers to give weight to otherwise tenuous personal grievance claims (or is that just me being cynical?!). - read more
  • How to require your employees to go on holiday and avoid a huge wage bill
    Subscriber Only Bill was a conscientious employee of MNO Investments but over the last 3-6 months he had started making stupid mistakes which were costing the company money. Those who worked with him were becoming concerned that he wasn’t looking well and wasn’t his usual happy, cheery self. There was speculation that there may be problems at home contributing to his present state. However, the main problem was at work and was one MNO could have avoided and at the same time saved them a lot of money. - read more
  • How to protect your IP being stolen by your employees
    Subscriber Only How would you feel if someone broke into your house and stole your TV, stereo, DVD player, furniture, CD collection and some very personal items of jewellery? Initially you would feel shock…then once that had passed, rage and an immense desire to bring the perpetrators to justice... and then regret that you didn’t install a burglar alarm.You get exactly the same feelings when an employee steals your intellectual property and sets up in competition down the road. - read more