Archive for January, 2010

Maria is licking her wounds

After having to reverse her decision to cancel lunch for part time staff (see previous post) Maria is defending herself to anyone that will listen and complaining about being made to “look stupid by the CEO”.

What is interesting is that the incident is viewed as being mildly amusing by most people, who attach no blame to herself, but as Maria continues to defend herself for the error she’s seen as alienating the CEO. The consequences of this are that those people who would normally support her are gravitating towards the CEO. Perhaps others are detecting that support for Maria from the CEO is beginning to fade?

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Maria askes her team for a quick win!

Maria called her team to a meeting and informed them that the CEO and FD have asked her to find a quick result that would provide a financial saving.

Her team went away and after some discussion between them have suggested that substantial savings could be made by withdrawing free canteen lunches from part-time staff. It was estimated that savings could amount to over £12,000 pa. This was considered an excellent idea and free meals for part time staff were withdrawn.

That night, last Thursday, the CEO returned home to find that his wife, who works part-time in the accounts department, and children were eating but that there was no meal for him. On enquiring why he was told by his wife, “you’re not feeding me at lunch so I’m not feeding you at night”.

Maria has been asked to replace the free meal allowance for all part-time staff. Naturally, she is a bit agrieved at this loss of face and is blaming her team for the suggestion.

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Maria makes more staff redundant

Maria, together with the Sales Director, has visited the sales team in Exeter to close the local office. The rationale is that the office is not profitable and this is true and from a strategic point of view a good strategy for the company.

She did spend some time with each member of the team in Exeter to explain their options and to offer outsourcing advice. She also provided a list of vacant positions in the company but as these were all based in Manchester (the other side of the country) it was not viewed as being entirely helpful, which in fairness was not entirely her fault!

It has been noticed by other people within the company that she is intent on pleasing the new Sales Director at the expense of other alliances such as the CEO and COO. Indeed the Sales Director is adept at playing office politics and is understood to see himself as having far more “business ability” than his other executive Directors. He has actually been heard to say that it is only a matter of time before the CEO will “have to go!”.

I wonder if Maria is pinning her colours to the Sales Director’s mast too early?

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Maria battles with snow and issues an edict

Maria has battled into work for the first time this week as a result of the inclement weather and has immediately sent an email to all staff stating that any time taken off as a result of the snow must be made up within a four week period.

As she had a difficult journey into work Maria has just left work to return home and has pointedly stated to those in her team that all this last week she has been “working from home”.

Her team have concluded that she meant that her email will not apply to her.

I am detecting that Maria’s reputation amongst her team and some other key influence centres (people) within the company is not entirely positive. Indeed Maria is considered by some to be somewhat opportunistic and self-serving. (One person has suggested that being self-serving in most departments is acceptable it’s unfortunate for someone in HR. An interesting observation!)

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Savings must be made says Maria

The first day back from the festive holidays brings a staff meeting between Maria and her team. Now that she has been in her new job for a couple of months Maria intends to implement her plans for cost savings within the HR department.

She has told the team that her intention is to exceed the Managing Director’s request that all departments make a saving on budget of 6% during 2010. To do this Maria intends to restructure the team slightly and reassign workloads so that specific people handle specific departments.

Maria has also told her team that she intends to review “search company and head-hunter contracts” when sourcing new staff and that she will renegotiate fees and payment terms. This means that “some search companies might be dropped” in favour of ones that Maria has worked with in the past and whom she trusts.

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