HR And Training | Collins McNicholas

Dealing With The Difficult Task of Making a Close Friend Redundant

Dealing With The Difficult Task of Making a Close Friend RedundantQuestion: Last year, a promotion came up at the IT firm where I work. A colleague and close friend pushed me to put myself forward. When I got the job she was the first to celebrate with me. Now, due to budget restraints, the company is downsizing and I have been tasked with letting a number of staff go. I was gutted to see my friend’s name on the list and have no idea how to break the news to her. Can you advise me on how I can approach this situation without losing her friendship? Answer: This is no doubt a very challenging time for you both personally and professionally. Supervising a friend can have its benefits if they are a loyal follower of yours and ensure that at no time they let the side down. But it can have its challenges when tough discussions must take place such as terminations. You have to consider how to have this uncomfortable discussion with the hope of minimal damage to the personal relationship. Planning the conversation and the following pointers will help you to approach it in a more professional light. Be prepared for an emotional response. How you handle this will determine the future status of your friendship. 1. Make the conversation brief: Be brief when having the ‘manager’ conversation and offer yourself for the ‘friend’ conversation after work. Keep the actual conversation brief and isolate your friendship until this is delivered – this is important for both your own state of mind and for the way your friend perceives the action. 2. Don’t procrastinate: Be direct about the decision. Beating around the bush or using humour will not soften the blow and can give the false impression that things can be turned around. 3. Plan your points: Consider writing down some pointers. Lay out the course of action succinctly and honestly – the same as you would for any employee. Present the reasons for the redundancy and offer your sympathy. “It’s not our call to make, as the business needs have changed. I wish there was another way, but my hands are tied.” 4. Anticipate the reaction: Any employee will feel hurt and shocked after losing their job and may say things out of anger. The fact that a perceived friend is delivering the news will obviously complicate the matter. You need to understand that your friend might try blaming you as a member of the management team, so prepare to deal with that response. 5. Reiterate the value of your friendship: Make it clear that the friendship is a separate issue and that the company is also losing out here at a time of uncertainty. The redundancy situation is a purely economic issue. Soften this reality by explaining that as far as you’re concerned, your work situation will not interfere with your social relationship and reassure them that your friendship will remain on the same footing as always. 6. Use the opportunity to comfort: Approach the process as an unfortunate opportunity but use your knowledge of your friend to make the delivery of the redundancy news as smooth and as painless as possible. 7. Be there, but don’t be pushy: Your friend may be hurt and upset, so continuous texts or calls might make things worse. Let them know you are there for them and are available to meet but let it be their decision. This is not the time to be overly pushy about meeting up. 8. Offer your ongoing support: Explain the severance package, help them plan finding their next job, offer an excellent reference and to work through cover letters, CV updating, and interview preparation. Perhaps use your network to see what is going on in the market and make some introductions for them. Tough business decisions can be hard to deliver. If you clearly point out the reasons behind the business change, and back this up with data to highlight to your friend that all avenues were explored before the decision was made, then hopefully – with your support and guidance – it will make the initial impact a little easier.           Michelle Murphy Director Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group This article was first published in the business section of The Sunday Independent on the 15th of October 2017, and the original article can be found...

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I have to fire an employee – how do I approach this situation with confidence?

Question: I have been a manager of a software company for a number of years. I have successfully dealt with a number of issues, such as confronting people on their performance, etc. However, a more serious issue has arisen with one employee. We have gone through all the internal steps (including a series of warnings, etc) with this individual and the final conclusion is that we need to terminate their employment. I have never done this and the idea of having the conversation is making me feel uncomfortable. How do I approach this situation with confidence? Answer: This is a difficult situation for any manager. It’s never easy and can be stressful for all involved. It can be difficult to draw a line in the sand as emotions can run high. Some employees may have convinced themselves that they will never get terminated as they believe they have been trying to improve and that you may accept this extra effort. However, if performance has not improved dramatically or a situation has disimproved you have to deal with it. My feeling is that many companies wait too long to deliver the bad news, as managers feel they want to give the benefit of the doubt to the person. But often a false hope sets in on the part of the employee, so do not procrastinate. There are a number of steps I’d recommend: Gather all facts: Always document any problems and the company’s responses, such as discussions, verbal warnings, etc. Keep a log that includes dates, times and relevant details – it is not a crime to be specific and factual....

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7 Key Points for Payroll in 2017

I had the pleasure of attending the annual Irish Payroll Association (IPASS) conference on 11th May 2017 in Croke Park Dublin. IPASS is Ireland’s premier provider of Payroll and VAT training and certification. The conference included presentations from IPASS, the Revenue Commissioners and PWC. Here are some helpful key points that were discussed/highlighted on the day: 1. GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation – This issue is highly topical at the moment. The regulation will come into effect on the 25th May 2018. If you are a registered Data Processor or Data Controller you need to be ready to conform to the policy by this date. Please click this link for further information. This regulation will impact any information we hold on payroll, accounts, and any information on our database relating to clients, suppliers and candidates/temps. 2. New Revenue Website – During the first week in June 2017, the Revenue Commissioners will be launching a brand new website. Revenue have done research into how websites are generally used to ensure that their new look web pages are user friendly and easy to navigate. They have spent time removing jargon and converting technical speak into straight forward narrative. This should make registering employment, resolving tax queries etc. more simplistic. Revenue have acknowledged however that not everyone is IT literate and they will still need to be prepared to answer phone calls and postal correspondence. 3. Illness Benefit – There was a lot of discussion around the processing of illness benefit. The consensus is that the processing of this on behalf of Welfare and Revenue is problematic at employer and payroll processing level. Revenue...

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Becoming Better Leaders by taking a “Whole-person” Approach

Guest Blog: the following article was written by Michelle Hammond, Ph.D., University of Limerick. When did you first learn about leadership? Chances are you knew something about leadership long before entering the workplace by observing parents or teachers, taking on leadership experiences in school and sport, and even through planning activities with siblings or friends.  Leadership happens everywhere and so we should not limit our opportunities to develop leadership to experiences and training programs at work. Although definitions vary, I consider leadership to be a relational process geared towards bringing people to achieve a common goal.  Anytime you are relating to people and trying to work together to achieve something shared you’re engaged in leadership. Taking a whole-person approach involves considering connections across all areas, or domains, of our lives. There are at least three major benefits to considering a whole-person approach to leader development.  First, we gain synergies by examining transferable skills across the connections we identify.  I recently heard a great story of a leader who had been given feedback that she should work on being less emotionally reactive and defensive when her employees approach her with issues or setbacks.  She noticed a connection in her “over-reaction” to her teenage sons and took the opportunity to practice being more composed both at work and at home. This practice both sped up her development and created improvements in her relationships at work and at home (i.e. it was both more efficient and effective). In addition to transferable skills, taking a multi-domain approach helps us to grow from the ways in which areas of our lives are different. These disconnections...

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And the President of the United States 2017 – 2021 is Donald Trump!

Although there was no clear favorite throughout the campaign, America has made its decision for this presidential term! This time of year always brings about great discussion, be it at home in the sitting room or out having a coffee, about what the ideal president would look like. Alongside the president needing to have the skills, capabilities and knowledge to operate effectively within the role, there are also key personality traits which we would hope the president would possess. As the list could be endless, I decided to choose the top four traits i.e. jigsaw pieces I think are critical to operate effectively in this position……IF we could build an Ideal Presidential Personality Profile. Before we get into the nitty gritty of what these traits look like, let’s start of by defining what a personality trait is. They are defined as distinguishing qualities or characteristics that are the embodiment of an individual and would determine one’s patterns of behaviour, temperament and emotion. On the other hand, skills are the learned capacity to carry out specific tasks. The Four Qualities are: Charisma Charisma can be defined in many ways, however, it is frequently referred to as a rare quality of leaders to command a room and inspire individual’s enthusiasm and devotion with their sheer magnetism. This friendly and pleasant demeanor can soften even the toughest critic. Even if you’re not described as a ‘people person,’ flashing a friendly smile during discussions can have great benefits, especially if you are president. Persuasiveness In order to successfully do any leadership role, never mind lead a country, people have to believe in the individual...

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Overeducated Staff & Matching Skills to Job Needs

There was an interesting article published by the Irish Times last Friday on problems surrounding an overeducated workforce. Collins McNicholas’ HR Services Consultant, Caroline Ward, was quoted in the article, emphasizing the importance of factors beyond education level when recruiting staff, such as motivation, attitude, and culture fit. Check out the article here:...

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