management mistakes

Management Mistakes: Part 2

Our CEO, Barry Whelan, featured in this month’s issue of ShelfLife magazine discussing the final part of the top management mistakes series. Check out what he had to say below:

Continuing last month’s series on management mistakes, Excel Recruitment’s Barry Whelan outlines 11 more errors managers should avoid in the pursuit of keeping staff members happy, motivated and productive.

When candidates come to Excel Recruitment looking for a new role, we zone in on their ‘reason for leaving’. We want to understand completely why the candidate wants to move job, so that we can find the right new job for them. One of the reasons that comes up consistently in the top five is frustration with a manager or poor management. Here are the second set of the top bad management mistakes that can drive an employee out the door.

For all those managers out there interested in improving their ability to manage others, take heart in the fact that you’re only human. I know I for one have made every single one of these management mistakes at some point or another in my career. Let’s start with another personal favourite of mine!

1) Belittle their team over things, both significant and insignificant:

When a soft deadline is missed, this manager raises it at a staff meeting by throwing their hands up and remarking about how everyone’s incompetence will ensure the closure of the organisation! The dramatic manager who makes mountains out of molehills is a prime example of a bad manager. While a good manager should never ‘lose it’ with the team, they may be forgiven for doing so in a crisis, but not for something insignificant.

2) Passive aggressiveness, reminding the team of the power they hold over them:

This manager does things like often making “jokes” about firing people, then laughs it off, like they want to show their team that they have a great sense of humour, but, at its heart, this behaviour is bullying.

3) Active aggressiveness:

In a team huddle, this manager makes comments such as: “I know you have all performed really well and the business is performing, but we are only as good as last month and if anyone drops the ball, they will know about it.” Using direct threats and fear as motivation does not have a place in modern professional management.

4) Cross personal boundaries:

The risk of crossing personal boundaries arises easily in social occasions involving work. How many employees have woken up the morning after the dreaded office Christmas party with a completely different impression of their manager, who drank too much with the staff or became their pal at the party, before reverting to the previous relationship status come Monday morning as the boss.

5) Physically invade people’s spaces:

No physical contact is permissible anymore. If a member of staff is upset in front of their manager, while human nature might illicit a response like a hug, this is a no-no. A bad manager invades an employee’s space. The employee takes a step back and they take a step forward. An employee asks for personal space, and they don’t give it and stand too close when talking.

6) Delegate autonomy, without meaning it:

They tell you they want you to make the decision. They don’t want to be involved or indeed need to be, because you have the experience, and you are driving this project. They then take your decision, and go and change everything, without bothering to explain why. This is so deflating for staff.

7) Play favourites with team members, and make it obvious:

This manager takes the same team member out for lunch every week; they make a big deal of their birthday, but not others. They play favourites and do not operate in a fair and equitable manner. This causes resentment and a poor team environment.

8) Criticise team members in front of their team:

A critical tool of performance management is to criticise a team member away from their peers. This should be done outside of the process. Criticism should be given one-on-one and should always be constructive. Whilst public humiliation means everyone gets to learn, it is a sure way to make an employee have a browse through job boards.

9) Become defensive at the slightest constructive feedback:

The bad manager asks for feedback in meetings and then bullies and belittles everyone who opens their mouth. Then when people don’t contribute to meetings, they act passive aggressive about it: “I guess no-one has anything to add and we’ll just have to go with my plan.”

10) Multi-task while interacting with others:

This behaviour of a bad manager is very insulting to the team member. Clearing email while in an important conversation or taking calls mid meeting makes team members feel their input is not respected or indeed needed.

11) Take credit for employees’ ideas and work:

No decision is made, or action is taken, that isn’t the idea of the manager. A bad manager will only carry out an idea that they believe is their own. How many managers have you had whereby you had to make them believe an idea was theirs to get it implemented!

If you would like to read the full March 2022 issue of ShelfLife magazine you can do so by clicking here.

Management Mistakes

Management Mistakes: Part 1

Our CEO, Barry Whelan, featured in this month’s edition of ShelfLife magazine talking about the mistakes managers make. See what he had to say below:

Securing great talent is harder than ever in today’s competitive market, so it is vital management don’t alienate staff by adopting the wrong attitude or techniques.

Here, Excel Recruitment’s Barry Whelan outlines 12 of the top mistakes to avoid:

When candidates come through Excel, looking for a new role, we zone in on their ‘reason for leaving’. We want to understand completely why the candidate wants to move job, so that we can find the right new job for them. One of the reasons that comes up consistently in the top five is frustration with a manager or poor management. Over this month and next, I will be outlining 30 of the top bad management mistakes that drive an employee out the door.

For all those managers out there interested in improving their ability to manage others, take heart in that you’re only human. I know I for one have made every single one of these management mistakes at some point or another in my career. Let’s start with my personal favourite!

1) Be inconsistent and unpredictable:

This manager likes to keep people on their toes by being totally inconsistent in terms of communication (both style and content), expectations, feedback and long-term vision for the organisation. All the employees’ nerves are shot from playing workplace Russian roulette!

2) Move the goalposts:

This manager changes their expectations every time you meet with them. They give out to employees for not meeting the new expectations they have just told them about and for instead wasting all their time trying to meet the expectations they set last month. They look for constant validation!

3) Involve themselves in every decision:

This manager does not let any decision be made without weighing in, no matter how small, and no matter how long it will be before they have time to review the matter. They are hands on…no problem is too small that needs their faultless problem solving!

4) Correct small mistakes to demonstrate how clever they are:

The classic insecure micro manager will review and approve emails or business correspondence, then change their mind over inane word choices. They will randomly ‘correct’ already correct grammar or spelling on documents given to you to sign in pen, ensuring that even once you understand it’s correct, it has to be re-printed!

5) Refuse to give any feedback:

The manager who won’t give any feedback, either positive or negative, ever, but will overreact completely when people fail to correctly understand what they want!

6) Make everyone run on their schedule:

They will be 20 minutes late to every meeting, leave early, and then get angry when a minor decision is made without having their input. They insist on being the final decision maker for every aspect of every project, but then don’t make decisions in a timely manner; instead waiting until the eleventh hour and making everyone scramble to get the work done.

7) Spend time on less important things so that they can ignore more important things:

The manager who insists on doing tasks someone else could do while unmade decisions pile up on their desk to the point of nearly halting anything getting done.

8) Refuse to let people do their jobs, then give out to them for it!

How many times have we met candidates who were hired for a job that they were not allowed to do! I met a graduate the other day who was hired as an accounts assistant but ended up selling products on the showroom floor.

9) Treat people the same, regardless of their experience:

A good manager must adjust to their audience, don’t treat 10+ years experienced employees the same as those with less than one year! This is a sign that the manager does not have the confidence (or experience) to manage experience.

10) Don’t learn new skills or improve existing ones:

This boss feels, why should they learn stuff when they have people to do stuff! They fail to learn even the most elementary technology like email attachments, making their staff do that in addition to their own work.

11) Only communicate the trivial:

This manager can’t deliver big news that is in any way negative. They communicate on small, insignificant things and don’t tell anyone about challenges in the business, changes in process or even positive news.

12) Build a sense of importance by talking about how busy they are all the time:

This manager constantly tells their team how busy they are, how they had to catch up by working all weekend. They have to remind everyone how they are busier and thus work harder than everybody else. Often these are the same people who talk excessively at work.

If you wish to read the full ShelfLife Magazine February 2022 Issue, you can do so by clicking here.

Salary Guide For 2022

Salary Guides & Recruiting Trends 2022

This year has been another challenging one across our client’s sectors, with most managing pent up to demand and growth through a COVID environment. As we enter 2022 with uncertainty, Our clients and candidates have been inspirational throughout 2021, deploying innovative solutions in product delivery, new ways of shopping and managing large teams working from home. A special mention must be given to the hospitality and entertainment industry, trading with ever-changing rules and fluctuations in consumer demand.

Our guide this year reflects on how much the world of work is changing and having to adapt due to the crisis in the shortage of staff brought on by the pandemic. The pandemic caused a shift in people’s priorities to create the ‘Great resignation’ or ‘Great re-evaluation’. While 65% of employers indicated pay rises are in play, income is no longer people’s only priority when it comes to their careers. Training & development opportunities, flexible working conditions, company culture and tangible benefits such as pension schemes, healthcare insurance and career progression are becoming just as important, along with, of course, agile working conditions.

There is no question that Covid has brought many challenges, but it has also widened the talent pool due to the flexibility around scheduling remote interviews and the increased ability to work from home. Employers say that attracting the right talent with the right skills will be the biggest challenge in 2022. With Economic growth forecast at 7% for 2022, the real question is… Will companies be able to source and recruit the talent that they need to fill these roles?

In this current climate, employers need to set their employer brand apart from the competition in the same way that they differentiate their products and services. It is expected that demand for recruitment services will be even more heated in. This won’t change any time soon.

Staffing will be the biggest challenge for our clients across all our sectors. 2021 brought soaring salary costs in transportation with our Driver hourly rate doubling. In healthcare One in Five Nurses want to leave front line services whilst the lack of experienced staff in hospitality will be catastrophic when the sector finally re-opens, the Chef crisis replaced by the Kitchen porter crisis. We look forward to supporting our clients through all these pressure points.

You can view the full salary guide by clicking Salary Guides 2022.

To discuss these findings or to chat to Excel Recruitment about how they can help you with your staffing requirements, please get in touch with us at info@excelrecruitment.com or call 01 814 8747.

How, and why, to think long-term when hiring during post lockdown uncertainty

As a country, we continue to balance the fight against COVID-19 with the fight to rebound against its effects on the economy. Businesses are also moving from focusing on operating safely to focusing on their longer-term goals; while still operating in an uncertain and constantly changing landscape. This leads many managers to question their strategies for hiring during post lockdown uncertainty.

What this means in recruitment terms, is that hiring someone new at any level is now a more important decision than ever. Even for business with bright long-term futures, the uncertainty that’s affecting the entire world has understandably hindered everyone’s ability to plan anything, from holidays to houses to new hires. Below are a few tips to ensure you maximise the effectiveness of your recruitment efforts for the long-term, even as things continue to change.

Take stock

Now more than ever it is crucial to be clear on the needs and goals of your business, and who you may need to hire to achieve these. Taking a step back and actively assessing your current team’s strengths and weaknesses can allow you to identify potential gaps in talent or assess whether it may be a simpler issue of retraining, motivating or even promoting your current team. By refocusing on the long-term vision for the business, as well as current needs rather than just making the quickest/ cheapest/ most convenient hire, you are less likely to make a potentially costly mistake.

Quality over quantity

An unfortunate fact of this pandemic is that more people from a wide range of industries are now looking for work. Many are looking for a change of sector, either temporarily until things return to normal or permanently. Open vacancies, including those that were headaches to fill just a few months ago, are now seeing a huge spike in applications. While this sounds great, shifting through unqualified or unsuitable candidates can be time-consuming, particularly if you’re not looking with a focused eye. While it is important to stay open-minded to transferable skills and experience, by building the profile of your ideal hire before you start recruiting, you’re less likely to waste on unsuitable CVs or make a snap decision on who to hire for the sake of speeding up the process.

Candidate experience

While we are no longer operating in the candidate’s market we were just a few short months ago, it is important to remember that to have high calibre staff, you must first attract a pool of high calibre candidates. While there are now more active jobseekers generally, grocery retail is still a competitive and thriving employment market and you want to ensure you’re attracting the best applicants possible.

Budgets are tighter and employers want to avoid having to offer candidates more and more money to entice them to move. But salary isn’t the be-all and end-all for candidates either. Factors such as commute, work/life balance, company culture and career progression are all still priorities to candidates regardless of COVID-19 and should be highlighted throughout the recruitment process.

Remember the soft skills

Although there is a lot to be positive about as the country returns to normal, there is still uncertainty around the economy with government guidelines being revised and reassessed as needed. As frontline workers during the entirety of lockdown, those working in the grocery industry know more than anyone how crucial it is to be able to react and pivot quickly, while simultaneously remaining welcoming and friendly to customers. Resilience, adaptability flexibility and positivity are qualities in your team and potential new staff that cannot be underestimated as we continue to learn how to operate in post lockdown life.

How to stay healthy when you can’t work from home

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ admin_label=”section” _builder_version=”3.22″][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”3.27.4″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]As all of us across the country continue to work against the spread of COVID-19, government instructions continue to be to stay home, stay healthy, and work from home if you can. At Excel Recruitment, we work directly with clients and candidates on the frontlines of this crisis dealing directly with the needs of the public. For all these fantastic workers (including our own temp team) in healthcare, retail, warehouses, supply chain and more, working from home isn’t an option. So for those on the frontlines right now: what can be done to mind both your physical health, mental health, and to stay healthy overall?

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HR MANAGEMENT, HR RECRUITMENT, HR JOBS

The importance of highlighting HR talent

Senior HR Recruitment Consultant Sean Thomas discusses how the recent CIPD awards served as a reminder of why businesses of all sizes need great HR talent and management.

A few weeks ago, the Excel Recruitment HR team enjoyed its first outing to the CIPD HR Awards in the iconic Mansion House, to recognise the success of great HR managers and teams across the country.

Attending these awards with some of the best HR teams and talent in Ireland, we saw first-hand the positive impact a HR team can have with the right people in place. Many great companies and organisation were recognised for excellent work in their fields, such as Gillian Collins of the Irish Defence Forces, who was highly commended for her work in Diversity & Inclusion. Other companies such as Applegreen and Musgrave were also very successful on the day.

It was a fascinating learning experience to see how modern HR departments are helping businesses and organisations face modern challenges and move forward successfully. One of the awards that particularly stuck with me, went to DPD Ireland for Excellence in HR leadership. The HR talent put a huge emphasis on recognising and thanking their employees for their extra contribution and hard work during the hectic Black Friday to Christmas period. The HR team led a creative & fun-filled 10 day initiative in the lead up to Christmas. They were able to show their appreciation to the team for their extra efforts and commitment while still ensuring the needs of the business were met. Having worked in retail for over 12 years, I know first-hand the extra demand on staff and management during the lead up to Christmas.

As many will be aware last year due to Excel’s expansion as well as a rise in demand from our clients, Excel’s CEO Barry Whelan and I consolidated all of Excel’s HR recruitment capabilities into a dedicated HR recruitment division. This has been a huge success, allowing us to further support our many clients in retail, hospitality and across other sectors. Throughout my career in retail and recruitment, I have seen the importance of a strong HR function in a business, across any sector. This sparked a fascination with the area and prompted me to complete my HRM qualification in order to learn more about the sector and better understand my client’s requirements.

Overall, the afternoon was a great reminder of the value of great HR team or person and the need to recognise them and to support them, within the wider industry, yes, but perhaps more crucial internally within their own organisation. The job of the HR Manager, Generalist and so on, is wide-ranging and far-reaching and the impact is felt across the business not only short term but for the long term organisations objectives.
A very well done to all finalist and organisations that are constantly evolving and always looking at ways to improve employee working experiences.

To view our current live HR jobs, click here: https://www.excelrecruitment.com/jobs/human-resources

Barry Whelan, CEO Excel Recruitment

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS EVERY EMPLOYER SHOULD MAKE

January is flying by but it’s never too late (or too early!) for employers to reflect on how to make their workplace a better one. The beginning of the year, and of a new decade, is the perfect time for employers to implement tangible resolutions to help retain staff members who may be thinking ‘new year, new career?’ CEO of Excel Recruitment Barry Whelan explains how ….

Let employees be off when they are off

With modern technology, we are always connected to the workplace through our smartphones. This brings with it an expectation of an immediate response to issues and problems, which in turn leads to a trend of expecting employees to always be on and available. While some jobs do require this, most don’t. Employers need to get serious about limiting their intrusions into their employee’s time off. Employees want to leave their work in the office. Ideas for resolutions include recognising the importance of proper time off which attracts and retains great employees.

Give out the benefits and perks based on merit not request

As the old saying goes, ‘he who shouts the loudest gets heard’. Often management distributes the ‘extras’ such as better projects, professional development or indeed higher raises and better perks to the employees that ask the most as opposed to those who deserve it. The allocation of work, rewards and benefits should only be made on merit. Ask yourself ‘Do your most outspoken employees get a disproportionate share of resource?’ Make a point of examining how perks and benefits are distributed are resolutions for employers. Resist the easy path of giving more based on who speaks first or negotiates the best package.

Make feedback a habit

Articulating the areas in which you’d like to see an employee improve or describing what you’d like to see done differently can go a long way towards keeping employees motivated and engaged. Simple and positive feedback will generally keep people motivated and displaying the behaviours that were the reason for the praise in the first place. Resolutions employers should implement are to push managers to make feedback a regular part of their conversations with staff members. For example, they could set aside time for it in weekly check-ins. Many managers don’t give enough feedback to their staff members, even though feedback is one of the strongest tools managers have for getting better results from their teams.

Spend more on training and developing staff

The desire for training and development is incredibly high amongst employees at the moment and employers are beginning to listen, but often balk at actually devoting time and resources to training. Employees will get frustrated they’re expected to produce results and stay up to date on current trends without getting much training and professional development. Make this the year that you see your employees development as a long-term investment in your organisation.

Don’t procrastinate performance problems

Instead of taking credit for the high achievers in their teams, managers should measure their own performance by the lowest performers on their teams. This is the real measure of how they are performing, how they handle people who are struggling. Too often, managers shy away from the tough conversations, coaching work and accountability that’s crucial to a high-performing team. Procrastination needs to be done away with and issues tackled head-on.

Give thanks to great employees

If you want to retain your best people, ensure that their contributions are recognised – both through open praise and by compensation that reflects their worth to your organization and gives them a reason to stay. Employers often underestimate the impact of making sure that great employees hear that they are valued.

Work against racial, age, social and gender bias in your company

In our ever-changing work environment, it is important that we recruit, reward and recognise people for skills, experience and contribution as opposed to bias in either a positive or negative way. Educate managers to find ways to combat unconscious bias, such as evaluating candidates against a clear list of must-haves, not factors that don’t truly correlate with success on the job, factors such as rapport with the interviewer or their address. Train managers to use evidence-based methods to evaluate candidates, such as job-related exercises and simulations, and even remove identifying details from applications so that managers can assess candidates without knowing their race or gender.

Why Retail Needs Great HR Managers

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Excel Recruitment has established a dedicated HR recruitment department to further support our client’s needs. Head of HR Recruitment Sean Thomas breaks down just some of the reasons why great HR talent is a necessity not a bonus for retail businesses.

With
only 4 months left in 2019, we’re continuing to see excellent growth in the
economy and the market shift towards full-employment. We are seeing people
prosper, building sites all over with new homes being built, banks’ lending again
and young couples finally becoming homeowners. Excellent right? While retailers
across the country have reaped the benefits from all of this positive growth,
such a buoyant employment market is causing headaches for retailers of all
sizes when it comes to recruitment.  An
experienced HR Manager can support owners and organisations in all industries
but below are just a few reasons why retail in particular should make HR a priority.

The customer is key

To
state the obvious, exceptional customer service is at the centre of any
successful retail business. The key to this is the front-line employees, the
people who are in direct contact with customers both instore and online. They
are the public face of the company and often, what customers remember most
about their experience of a brand. They are essentially ambassadors of the
brand and key to achieving customer service goals. This means making sure that
the workforce is properly trained in the appropriate skills and happy and
motivated to deliver exemplary service. This is where a solid HR team can
shine, not only in devising, co-ordinating and implementing complete 360
training for in-store teams but also in terms of ensuring employee engagement
and motivation, devising incentives for rewarding and recognising key staff or
planning team bonding exercises.

Turnover

Retail
can have a high rate of employee turnover due to seasonal demand, employing
high numbers of students who work part-time and then move on or people working
their way up the business quickly. High staff turnover can be time consuming
and expensive for businesses and can impact customer loyalty if customers keep
seeing a new face every time they enter your store. A solid HR management team
can keep turnover to a minimum by managing the interviewing process, asking the
right questions to ascertain how a potential hire will fit in with the existing
team and communicating the role and its responsibilities and requirements fully
to candidates being interviewed.  This way, there’s no surprises when the
candidate starts a job, for either them or the employer.

Seasonal Demand

Retailers
often experience fluctuations in staff numbers, such as needing to add
temporary staff in the run up to Christmas or summer to cope with increased
footfall. This can be stressful for businesses without sufficient HR support
trying to recruit large volumes of people quickly and for full-time workers who
may have to assist new colleagues thrown into the thick of it. Again, a
specialist and dedicated HR manager is the best person to manage this process,
highlighting to permanent staff what’s expected of them and onboarding
temporary workers successfully.

For
both head office roles and on the floor in the stores, we are seeing exactly
how important it is having a strong HR manager with expertise in reward,
L&D and recruitment.

A strong
L&D leader can develop talented members of the team, giving them the
confidence to take the reins in the business or take up specific support roles
in other areas of the business. They can also assist a business in motivating
and retaining their top performers, leading to internal promotions and
increasing harmony within the store.

If you have any HR recruitment requirements or are an HR
professional on the lookout for a new move, get in touch with Sean today
at 
sean@excelrecruitment.com or call 01-8148747

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Excel Recruitment launch specialist HR recruitment division

Excel Recruitment are delighted to announce the opening of our new specialised HR recruitment division.

With the ‘war for talent’ in full swing in Ireland, our new HR recruitment division has come in direct response to our client’s requirements, as the market sees an increasing focus on building a strong HR function and the positive impact HR has on businesses’ success.

The view of HR has changed drastically in recent years, shifting dramatically from the traditional compliance/ service provider to a much broader responsibility of both company and employee champion; designing, driving and continuously improving the entire employee and candidate experience. More and more, we are seeing companies carve out roles such as “Chief Culture Officer’ or ‘Head of People and Culture’ to reflect HR’s new mandate, of driving quality candidate experience and employee engagement, well-being and retention.

Excel Recruitment has successfully recruited HR roles of all levels for our clients since 2002 and has successfully filled HR roles for some of the biggest retail and hospitality brands in Ireland. CEO Barry Whelan says “The move to a defined specialist division will allow our HR team to concentrate specifically on HR roles across any industry with greater focus and improved search and selection capabilities, recruit permanent roles along with providing contract and even temporary personnel solutions.”

Heading up the division is Sean Thomas, Senior Consultant. Sean began his career with Excel Recruitment first as a candidate before joining our successful retail recruitment team over 5 years ago. In 2018, Sean was promoted to Senior Consultant and wanting to understand more about his client’s needs and explore his passion for HR, completed his CIPD HR qualification.

If you have any HR recruitment requirements or are an HR professional on the lookout for a new move, get in touch with Sean today at sean@excelrecruitment.com or call 01-8148747