Archive for November, 2009

Maria holds her first disciplinary

An employee with a worsening attendance record has been seen by Maria. From what I have heard the investigation was professional and correctly done. Though the employee feels that Maria was unsympathetic to her particular transport problems and taking children to school.

Her team have noted, with some amusement, that she stands by her office window at lunchtime and as soon as she sees the MD or the Sales Director walking to the Canteen for lunch will quickly grab her coat and will rush to join them.

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Maria begins to make alliances

It’s been noticed that over the past few weeks Maria has been identifying those people with real influence in the organisation. A particularly important strategy for any new hire.

So far she seems to be making an effort to engage with the Sales Director, Project Manager and Company Secretary.

The Sales Director views having the Personnel Manager on his side as being a very useful alliance as he has some changes in mind for the structure of the sales teams and he will need help and advice to implement these correctly.

Developing a network seems to be going well for Maria. There is one fly in the ointment however. She was overheard running down some members of her team to the Sales Manager saying, “I’m not sure how Christine (her assistant manager) would be much help to you, I think she’s overrated. If you need some help, come directly to me”.

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It’s Friday and Maria’s off

Maria continues to develop her poor reputation for team management capability and leadership amongst her team.

Today, Friday she has given them all some work collating some statistics. The work will take hours to complete and will delay some people leaving the office to start the weekend. But Maria has indicated that delivery is urgent and required by the CEO for an early meeting on Monday.

Maria has told everyone that she has an important meeting during Friday afternoon, unfortunately her husband has phoned in soon after she left to say that “He may be a few minutes late meeting her for some early Christmas shopping”.

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Maria holds 1:1s with her team

Most of Maria’s team have chosen to ignore the unfortunate opening statement Maria said when she met them as a group. (See previous blog). Perhaps it was just how it was said.

Maria has been in the job a few days and starts to arrange 1:1 meetings with her team. Her objective is to forge a relationship with each individual and to discover some of their strengths and weaknesses.

She’s delighted with the way the meetings go. Lot’s of ideas come from the team but they seem short on being able to identify weaknesses in the HR system and company in general and this concerns her.

Her team, however, think her approach to their 1:1s strange. She began by saying, “I’ve looked at your file and I must say I’m most impressed at the work you have done and would value your opinion on a few things.”

Maria continued, “What improvements do you think we can make in HR and I’m interested in knowing your thoughts on the weaknesses in the rest of the HR team and management in general?”

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Maria holds her first team meeting

Maria has arrived for her first morning at her new job and has spent some time with the CEO to discuss with him the CEO’s plans for the HR Department.

She now decides decides that it’s time for her to meet with her new team and calls a team meeting. She begins by introducing herself, “Hello everyone, I’m Maria and I’m a fellow of the CIPD and a professional”. After meeting with her small team she arranges some one to one meetings and returns to her office satisfied that she’s started off well.

Could she have made her first error. Some of her team have interpreted her first statement of being a “fellow of the CIPD and a professional” that she thinks perhaps her team may not be! (qualified enough or unprofessional)

Time will tell

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Maria arrives

I came across a case study that I thought I could share with you as it develops. That is the adventures of Maria during her first six months in her new job.

Maria has volunteered herself to be featured in this blog and it will be interesting to see if she makes the typical mistakes of a new hire and a few “special mistakes” of her own.

Over the months of her job transition we can follow Maria and develop a case study around her.

The story begins:

Maria has landed a job as HR manager at an Insurance brokers employing about sixty people. Her team is made up of five people who are all qualified by examination with the CIPD (Chartered Institute for Personnel Development).

On her first morning she meets with the CEO and discusses the company’s main priorities with HR which is to reduce turnover and increase HR capability. She feels well briefed.

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