Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Blog Post

Over the course of the past months HRMAJ has sought to send daily messages of motivation to our supporters on our Facebook page. As the year comes to an end, this week’s Friday Blog Post will count down the Top 10 quotes of the year based on the response of you our followers and supporters.

10. "Virtually every company will be going out and empowering their workers with a certain set of tools, and the big difference in how much value is received from that will be how much the company steps back and really thinks through their business processes, thinking through how their business can change, how their project management, their customer feedback, their planning cycles can be quite different than they ever were before."-Bill Gates

9.  "Not many of us will be leaders; and even those who are leaders must also be followers much of the time. This is the crucial role. Followers judge leaders. Only if the leaders pass that test do they have any impact. The potential followers, if their judgment is poor, have judged themselves. If the leader takes his or her followers to the goal, to great achievements, it is because the followers were capable of that kind of response."-Garry Wills in Certain Trumpets: The Nature of Leadership

8. ‎"The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense."-Thomas Edison

7. "Thought for lunch: “How many of you have received an honest, straight-between-the-eyes feedback session in the past year, where you came out knowing exactly what you have to do to improve and where you stand in the organization?"-Jack Welch

6. "Executives owe it to the organization and to their fellow workers not to tolerate nonperforming individuals in important jobs."-Peter Drucker

5. ‎"The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it." --Theodore Roosevelt

4. ‎"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm."-Winston Churchill

3.  "Leaders who win the respect of others are the ones who deliver more than they promise, not the ones who promise more than they can deliver."-Mark A. Clement

2. "Companies cannot promise their people lifetime employment. Global competition is too fierce and economic cycles too frequent for any such guarantees. But they can promise their people every chance for employability – skills that will make them more attractive if they are forced to part ways."-Jack Welch

1. "You can’t expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don’t exceed the employees’ expectations of management." - Howard Schultz

 Feel free to vote and name which quote you think deserves to be placed in the number one spot.

Join in the discussion and tell us where you stand. It begins with us, it begins right here.

The Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica
“Enhancing the Value of Human Capital for Growth and Development”

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Blog Post: Importance of Ethics Engagement

Today's Blog Post will centre on the Importance of Ethics Engagement and will take a new format. To encourage discussion this week's blog post will be in the form of video.Take a look at this video courtesy of Human Resources Magazine HRTV and post below your comments and questions.

What is your opinion on the importance of ethics management?
Is ethics management pursued and encouraged in your organization?

Join in the discussion and tell us where you stand. It begins with us, it begins right here.

The Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica
“Enhancing the Value of Human Capital for Growth and Development”

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Blog Post

Today's Blog Post takes a look at an article by Liz Weber for focusing on one of today's relevant topics: Layoffs and how to manage them. These tips are concise and helpful not only for organizations who may be faced with the difficult situation of laying off staff, but also for staff who stand in the converse situation.

Can you identify with the steps taken in this article? Did you find the results positive or negative? Leave a comment below this post to let us know what you think.

Join in the discussion and tell us where you stand. It begins with us, it begins right here.

The Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica
“Enhancing the Value of Human Capital for Growth and Development”

Managing Lay Offs With Dignity

With the potential for layoffs facing more and more companies, the realities of laying off great workers is confronting many business owners and managers: owners and managers who have never before faced this hard act. To help ease the pain for the employees being laid off, the owners and managers making the hard decisions, as well as those employees staying behind, I thought I'd share a 5 Step approach that may help you, your employees, and your business. It will not work for many of your businesses given union contracts, etc. but if it helps some others - use it.

Everyone knows the economy is uncertain and most employees are rightfully concerned about job stability. When people become nervous, the rumor mill kicks into high gear. We all know the rumor mill can destroy individuals quicker than many things. So if you haven't yet, start communicating now. Lay out clearly how your company is and will address future business slow-downs.

Step 1 - Hold a "State of the Business" meeting with all employees and let them know the current state of your business. Let your employees know what your plan is for lay-offs and how you'll handle lay offs if your company needs to resort to them. Share with your employees the following - or your own plan - for dealing with a slow down. The important thing is to communicate clearly the state of your business now and what will cause you to move to the next step.

Step 2 - Reduce management salaries. Should business start to slow down and you need to more proactively preserve cash and control costs, don't immediately lay-off the lowest paid, front-line workers. They're the people who do what your business is known for. Do what you can to retain them. Instead, consider doing what a few of my clients are doing:

Cut management salaries. Tell your employees this during your State of the Business Meeting. Let them know, you're working to protect the front-line workers' jobs, so the first wave of cost reductions will be borne by the management team. (One client cut all executive salaries by 15%; all mid-level managers by 10%.)

If you, like one of my clients, has a manager who "jokingly" asks, "But I'll still get my bonus won't I?" consider my response. "Absolutely. But first I want to sit in the meeting you're going to have with the employee(s) who will need to be laid off in order to pay you your bonus. I want to hear how you explain to them that you will still get your bonus while they lose their jobs. Once they give you the O.K., you'll get your bonus." (Yeah I know it's mean, but - duh. No bonuses.) 

Step 3 - Reduce or completely eliminate any overtime (within the law.) Again, this needs to be clarified during your initial Meeting, but let all employees know the ability for your company to pay - and their ability to continue to earn and live on - overtime rates is gone. Give your employees time to mentally shift and realize they may need to dramatically cut their living expenses and not count on overtime pay or consider it their "normal" income any more.

Step 4 - Reduce worker hours and cross-train. Again, where possible, instead of completely eliminating positions, reduce worker hours to preserve cash while allowing employees to maintain an income stream. If you haven't yet, this is also a critical time to cross-train and to provide additional training for staff. When things turn around, they'll have solid skills. During slow times, they'll continue to provide value for your business by working -- maybe on things they've never done before -- but they'll be working and continuing to broaden their skills.

Step 5 - When you can't hold off a lay-off any further. Lay off staff. Hold conversations with them to further clarify what they're next steps may be. Provide them with information on continuing benefits, unemployment, etc. Don't treat them as if they've committed a crime by standing guard next to them as they pack up their personal items and then escorting them out of the building.
Allow them to say good-bye to colleagues and leave with dignity.

The above steps may not work for your business. But at least have a strategy in place for how your company will face business downturns and then clearly and regularly communicate that plan to your staff. Most importantly, keep your employees informed of your business' progression to the next Step. Let them plan with you how to deal with the change in business and their employment situation. It'll help you and them face a difficult time together with mutual respect and dignity.

Copyright 2009 - Liz Weber, CMC - Weber Business Services, LLC.
WBS is a team of Strategic Planning and Leadership DevelopmentConsultants, Trainers, and Speakers. Liz can be reached atliz@wbsllc.comor (717)597-8890. Additional articles on strategic & succession planning and leadership can be found at or

Permission to reprint this article is granted as long as you use the complete attribution above - including live website link and e-mail address - and you send me an email at to let me know where the article will be published.