How do I improve the atmosphere at a branch in my new role as regional manager?

How do I improve the atmosphere at a branch in my new role as regional manager?Q: About two months ago I took a new job as a regional manager at a bookmaking chain. However, it’s clear that previous management has left a sour taste with one branch in particular. The atmosphere seems a bit hostile as a result, and I am struggling to come up with ideas as to how to fix this. Have you any advice on what I should do to make a happier workplace without neglecting my other branches? A: As we move towards zero unemployment, employers need to continuously look at what they are doing to attract and retain staff. It is widely agreed that the success of a business is not solely due to the capabilities of its leader, but the strength of the overall team and their ability to work towards a common goal. It appears that in one of your branches, the team members have lost direction and – in turn – focus. These two factors can lead to a hostile environment and it is extremely important to sort this as soon as possible. As you are new to the role, your understanding of the organisation and historical management may be limited, so it is important to get feedback from the people on the ground. How you do this is key as if approached incorrectly you could end up with staff just paying lip service and not actually telling you the truth. Some of the key steps you can take to develop engagement in your hostile branch as well as across the other branches are: 1 Root and branch: Do not focus solely on the branch with the issues, but do a root-and-branch review of your regional offices. The key is not to enter into this process focusing on what is wrong, but to also look at what is right. It is important to do this across the office network as you will be able to assess issues and positives from all other offices and ensure that you do not single out one office. 2 Office meetings: It might not be an option to get all the team members into one room for a ‘town hall’ meeting, so a visit to each of the offices with a focus on review may suit your current business structure. 3 Peer discussion group: Take a defined leader from the group and give them the responsibility of organising a group meeting to discuss in confidence the issues that have arisen in the organisation.One of the benefits of the peer discussion is that they may feel they can be more open and honest and can feed the information back confidentially from the team as a group, preventing any one member from being singled out. 4 Compile and take records: No matter what your opinion on an issue is, if a person who raises an issue feels strongly enough to highlight it, then it is important to recognise their input. Recognition may be one of the reasons for the hostile environment. 5 Feedback: You will be unable to give feedback on each and every suggestion, but it is important to make sure you highlight what you feel were the best suggestions across the offices and present back to the teams in each branch. 6 Implement: A plan without implementation will always just be a plan. Failing to implement some of the key suggestions from the plan itself can be as detrimental as doing nothing at all.    Team members will look negatively and deem the exercise as a waste of time and could further compound the negative feeling. 7 Repeat: Things change, and some ideas just do not work. It is important to ensure that the team sees an open door in relation to suggestions and ideas, but having an annual root-and-branch review can ensure you continue to hear the voice of the employee and can prevent a negative sentiment from setting in. The key to success is removing perception on both sides. You may have a perception of what the issue is and what is causing it and the team may have a perception of management.             David Fitzgibbon Mid-West Regional Manager Collins McNicholas Recruitment and HR Services Group This article was originally published in the business section of The Sunday Independent on Sunday, May 13th, 2018, and can be viewed...

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How can I boost retention rates and stop staff leaving my company after three years?

Q: I’ve been running my own business for the last 10 years and several staff have been here since the beginning. However, we are having trouble retaining new hires. Anytime someone new joins, it starts off extremely well – but then they leave after two to three years. How can I grow my business when I can’t retain new people?   A: While turnover in an organisation is normal and healthy, it appears that you are struggling to retain employees at a particular stage in their career. This may be due to internal factors or to external ‘pulls’ from competitors. The modern career is often characterised by three- to five-year cycles. Ensuring employees are engaged and developing through these cycles should ensure the longevity of your workforce. You must gather information on why it is happening from as many sources as possible. Here are a few pointers:   1 Focus Group: In order to solve this issue, it is vital to first understand the underlying causes. Insights can be gained by conducting focus groups with employees regarding their levels of engagement, any differences between their initial expectations of the role and the reality of their day-to-day work lives. Care should be taken in preparing for these sessions. All communications shared must be phrased positively, the confidentiality of information guaranteed and a safe space for discussion established. While encouraging useful discussion is a priority, avoid negative confrontations or irrelevant chat. To this end, it may be useful to engage an expert to assist you. Following the discussion, it is vital that an action plan is developed so that your efforts...

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I know I am being managed out of my HR job by firm’s new owners – what should I do?

Question: I’ve enjoyed my role as Head of Human Resources with a large tech company for five years. A year ago, the company was taken over and the new owners brought in their own executives. Since then I’ve been moved to a smaller office and excluded from important meetings. I’ve been in the industry long enough to know that I am being ‘managed out’. Should I stay and fight or accept the inevitable payout? Answer: The turbulent times brought about by a company takeover can be challenging and unsettling in the immediate aftermath and the initial transition phase. Adapting to new approaches, while struggling to establish yourself in a changed environment, can become a negative cycle if not managed carefully. I suggest these steps: 1.Investigate the situation objectively It seems that the transition period has been particularly difficult for you and has left you feeling unappreciated and disengaged. It is important, however, to take time to assess the situation objectively before making any firm decisions. Coaching sessions can provide a safe space to consider the reality of the situation and assist you in separating your emotional response to the changes from the business reality. Work with a coach who is appropriately trained, experienced and understands your needs. Questions you may consider include: How has your role changed? How has the organisation changed? How have my feelings towards the organisation changed? Is the situation short-term or long-term? 2.Explore your options Having established a strong relationship with a coach, you can now explore all options in a safe space. This will help you to plan potential conversations with management, discuss your...

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Why do I feel like my role hasn’t changed since my promotion to a management position?

Question: I was recently promoted to marketing manager within my organisation. During my interview, I was told that I would have more responsibility over certain project duties. But six months on I am still doing the same work. While my pay has increased, I feel like I’m not being challenged. I would like to take on more responsibility and progress my career. How can I address this situation with my boss? Answer: Firstly, congratulations on your promotion. In many cases, internal promotions do not get the same level of credence as moving to another business does. Selling your capabilities to your existing organisation can be more difficult, as they are acutely aware of you before the interview even happens. There isn’t always a job spec with internal promotions, so if you do not have one, your first step is to request one from your manager. A suggestion would be to create a draft job spec, based on your knowledge and expectations of the role, and send this to your manager to review and confirm. Your manager may not be fully aware of what you do on a day-to-day basis, and this is an ideal opportunity to further highlight your value to the organisation. It is important that you structure your approach to ensure that all parties are on the same wavelength. Start by setting up a meeting between you and your manager. While you have been promoted, it appears that you have only received a pay rise – and no extra responsibilities. This may be enough for some, but you want to progress your career so it is important...

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Collins McNicholas named one of Ireland’s Best Managed Companies

Collins McNicholas, Recruitment & HR Services Group, has been named as one of Ireland’s best-managed companies under the Gold category in the Deloitte Best Managed Companies Awards Programme. This is the company’s 5th time to be named one of Ireland’s top companies for demonstrating superior business performance. The award comes a month after the company was named as one of the Best Workplaces in Ireland in 2018. “We are delighted to be recognised for this award for the fifth year in a row. It is a testament to the commitment and dedication of our team, and the exceptional level of service they deliver, that has helped us to grow this business over the last 28 years,” said Niall Murray, Managing Director of Collins McNicholas. “We pride ourselves on the long-standing relationships we build with our customers and we would like to extend our thanks to all our customers for their loyalty over the years. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners.” The company was recognised  on Thursday, 15 March, at an awards gala dinner in Dublin’s Convention Centre which was attended by over 1,000 people from the Irish business community. The Deloitte Best Managed Companies awards programme, in association with the Bank of Ireland, promotes and recognises excellence in Irish-owned and managed companies. Now in its tenth year, it is the only awards scheme in the country that considers a company’s performance from every perspective. Deloitte Partner, Anya Cummins said: “2018 marks the 10th year of the Deloitte Best Managed Companies Awards programme, which has grown from 25 companies in year 1 to 137 in year 10. The programme...

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My manager is being cold with me since I got my promotion. What should I do?

Question: I was offered a promotion recently and I am now working equally alongside a manager who trained me when I moved to the company five years ago. Since I was promoted, she has become cold and distant towards me. I’ve always respected this manager and I was looking forward to working with her on a team. How can I address her attitude without undermining her?   Answer: Congratulations on getting your promotion to manager. It’s always a wonderful feeling to be recognised for your contribution to the company. However, it can be tarnished if you are not feeling the shared excitement from your co-workers or members of the management team. So, it can be a testing time to ensure you get all relationships back on track. I’ve got bad news and good news – the bad news is that you can’t control how others are going to react to your promotion. You may be surprised as to how some of the team react, but you need to be ready for this. The good news is that you can reach out to them to see what concerns they have regarding your promotion in order to build a better working relationship together. Resentment can creep in from other employees, almost unavoidably, be they direct reports or even current managers whom you may be working alongside. If they were already a manager based within the company, they may feel you did not deserve the promotion and perhaps that someone else should have got it over you. Walking in their shoes is a good place to start as they probably have mixed emotions right...

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Edwards Lifesciences to open operations in the Mid-West of Ireland

The attractiveness of the Midwest as a region to set up a world class manufacturing operation and source top talent across a range of roles was further endorsed this week with the announcement from Edwards Lifesciences to set up a European manufacturing site in Shannon with the creation of 60 jobs initially and further ramping up to 600 employees by 2020. Director of Collins McNicholas, Michelle Murphy, commented, “This is indeed a truly exciting announcement for the region and for the country overall as it puts Ireland firmly on the world stage in attracting foreign direct investment so when a global leader in patient-focused innovations announces such an investment in the country, and in particular in the Midwestern region, we have a lot to be proud about. This comes just weeks after the announcement by Jaguar Land Rover that they too are investing in the region to create a development centre to be based in Shannon and construction is very much underway at present.” Collins McNicholas’ team in Limerick are delighted to partner with Edwards Lifesciences on this exciting new development and are looking forward to working closely with them as they grow their presence in Ireland. For information on opportunities and vacancies please contact one of our specialist recruitment consultants on 061 512278 or follow the link below. Apply Now   March 5, 2018 – Edwards Lifesciences Corporation, the global leader in patient-focused innovations for structural heart disease and critical care monitoring, today announced that the company, headquartered in Irvine, California, USA, has chosen the Mid-West of Ireland for the location of a new plant to manufacture delivery components for...

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How do I encourage a quiet staff member to speak up and take credit for their work?

Question: I am responsible for managing two junior staff members at an advertising firm. They work on projects together but have their own specific tasks to carry out. When it comes to presenting their work to myself and my superiors, one of the members has a habit of hogging the limelight and claiming credit for all the ideas. How can I encourage the other team member to speak up more in meetings and inspire some confidence in them? Answer: This is a very common issue in almost every organisation. It is not always noticed or addressed so you have already taken the first positive step in acknowledging the need to address it. It is very important that an employee is getting the full credit for the hard work that they are putting into these projects and it can lead to issues down the road if they don’t feel as if they are getting the credit. If this continues to happen, the individual may feel they are not being valued. This can lead to a drop in their engagement, which will inevitably have a significant impact on their productivity. It is also important that the employee is getting the exposure to management that can be critical to their future career progression opportunities within an organisation. From an organisation’s point of view, it is crucial to know who is responsible for these ideas to ensure they manage and nurture this talent going forward. There are a number of ways in which you can address this issue in a structured way, which will benefit both the individual and the organisation: Investigate: You...

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Great Places to Work Event 2018

  What a night at the Great Places to Work Event! Over 900 attendees this year which is a record and The Clayton Hotel Burlington Road deserve great credit for running a smooth operation ensuring everyone was well looked after as always. The brilliant Camembert Quartet, house band of the Late Late Show, entertained us for the night and kept the proceedings moving along while John Ryan, CEO of GPTW, was excellent once again as the MC for the evening. There were guest appearances from An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar whose speech was very entertaining – perhaps we will see The Dáil entering GPTW next year! And Mark McCabe had everyone on their feet singing and dancing along to Maniac 2000! We are absolutely delighted to be recognised as a Great Place to Work for the fourth year in a row. Achieving fourth Best Small Workplace in Ireland – up from ninth the previous year – is something we are very proud of. We had a great night of celebrations with colleagues from each of our six offices nationwide  – all of whom are members of our Culture Team. The Culture team have been instrumental in planning and rolling out various health and wellbeing initiatives throughout the year and 2018 has already seen our culture team develop our calendar of events and initiatives for the year and choosing our new charity partner ‘Jigsaw’. Well done to all the companies who achieved the status of Great Place to Work in 2018 in particular to Abbvie on the fantastic achievement of number one Best Large Company in Ireland.        ...

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CIPD HR Awards 2018

Collins McNicholas were honoured to attend the CIPD HR Awards in the Intercontinental Hotel, Ballsbridge on Friday 16th February last as these awards celebrate and reward outstanding achievements in people management and development, honouring the valuable contribution that HR and L&D make to the success of every organisation.  What a wonderful lunch event it was too giving us an opportunity to meet industry leaders, network with other finalists and the judging panel, meet the lovely Kathryn Thomas who was MC for the event and enjoy a tasty lunch and musical entertainment in a top class setting.  The overall event was kindly sponsored by Sanderson and Irish Times Executive Jobs.   It was evident from the submissions and coverage on the day that all finalists are demonstrating the highest standards of HR and L&D across Ireland.  Collins McNicholas were a finalist in the ‘Embedding a Culture of Workplace Wellbeing’ category which was sponsored by Health Ireland, Department of Health.  This award recognises organisations which place employee well-being centre stage and have embedded a strong culture of workplace well-being ensuring that leadership, culture and people management capability and practices are supportive of employees’ physical and mental well-being at work.  Many organisations have seen such benefit from improved practices including an overall positive impact in the areas of engagement, motivation, team work and performance.  We were delighted to be listed as a finalist in this category along with the other category finalists including Central Bank of Ireland, Lidl Ireland/Lidl Northern Ireland, Musgrave operating Partners Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, Ulster Bank and WALK – congratulations to WALK on being the overall category winner....

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