Job Titles – Why do we need them

 

Why do we need job Titles

I have often wondered why we have Job Titles in the work place. Here is my understanding of why Job Titles are used, I may not be very accurate but here is a stab at it.

Job Title

A Job Tile is normally associated with the role or possible activity that an individual is expected to represent in the corporate world. Let's take a few examples:

CEO – Chief Executive Officer – as the Tile indicated that this individual is the Chief of the company. There are certain things that are expected of a person in this position like guiding the company and being the main representative of the company.

Business Analyst – As the title inicates, a person with this job title is normall expected to be able to do Business Analysis and everything that this skill set may require. Analysis of requirements as well as ensuring proposed solutions align with the strategy.

 

Now I can go on and on with these examples but I am sure you get the picture. There are occasions when the Job Title does not set any expectations of delivery or responsibility and then on the other side…..

There are Job Titles that set an expectation of delivery and responsibility but in the actual job description, the individual is expected to take responsibility and accountability of delivering things that do not quite fit into the expectation of the title.

 

Nowdays with the way the economy has affected most corporates, people are now expected to take on more responsibility due to the cut down on appointments. This could help some indiviuals careers and hurts others. Performance suffers as the stress levels increase.

Do you do what is expected of your Job Title or are you expected to do a whole lot more? Let me know what you do that is reflected in Job Title or not.

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Filed under Business, Employee, Productivity, Self Improvement

Team Work

 

Team Work

 

Why do we work in Teams? Has anybody actually sat back and wondered why we tend to work in teams.

Now remember a team can be any number of people added to ourselves (in an environment of colaboration). So think of it…..if we are in a relationship, we are a team (not always cohesive), when we are at work we tend to work in a team, even virtual teams count. We spend time in meetings, on the phone to either individuals or conference calls. We send emails to colleagues, bosses, clients etc. Why do we as people follow this behavior?

Here are my thoughts on this.The may no all be for the same reasons or understandings that you have, but my view all the same.

As humans we want to feel that we are worth something. We show our contributions by passing comments, stating our views or giving advice. All this has to be conveyed to some other sole for it to mean anything (talking to yourself does not always count as team work).

We like to feel that we have made the right decisions so we make sure that in a team environment we have confirmation and re-assurance that we are either saying or doing the right things (meetings, project environments etc.).

In relationships we discuss and share our decisions about what should happen to the house, the children, the garden and the animals (this does not include the children or each other when referring to he animals).

Sports is also a team activity, even if you play a sport where you are the only participant, like golf. Golf is actually also a team activity comprising coaches, managers as well as a caddie (if you are fortunate enough to have reached this level).

Now that I have given a few examples of where “TEAM WORK” seems to be the norm, lets try and understand why.

Yes, I have mentioned before, humans seem to need confirmation as to what they are doing or saying is correct (at least in their minds). this phenomenon seems to highlight something else, we are interdependent on others to survive with a content feeling in our minds and hearts that we are on the right track. Yes, we spend time on our own thinking, creating and generally just being alone but we always seem to return to that team.

See if you can think of any aspects of your life where you are not somehow involved in a “TEAM” and let me know.

(As you can see, even requesting a response to this blog is a team activity 😉 )

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Productivity systems – Do you have one.

What tools do you use daily to make your life a productive one?

Yes, I know that I am not really a person who Should be evaluating productivity tools, but It is something I have an interest in. Let me tell you why, have you ever stood back and thought to yourself, how does so and so manage to have so much free time or how does he get all those presentations so prefect in such a short time and so the list goes on.

Many people make use of the GTD or Franklin Covey systems, but do they really work for everybody and do they help for all situations. I have tried both systems and many others and am yet to find one to suite the way I work or even try to work.

Now let’s have a look at tools that make your life easier during you work day.

In my office, I have a laptop ( defenetly not the fastest productive tool around ). It has office loaded on it and a few applications pertinent to the industry I work in. Then there is a telephone and a draw with some stationary. Behind me I have a piling system, not much time to actually get to the filing part. Then I make use of a blackberry phone as well as an iPad and then my trusty Moleskin notepad. With all these basic tools I somehow make it through the day, week and even a working month.

How do you start your day? Do you plan for the week or just the next day? What is your ‘workflow’ system that you use? What are the tools that you make use of to make your life easier?

If you could let me know what you do and answer the above questions, I could possibly post a blog letting others know what combination of processes and tools I have tried and give feedback. If you have any suggestions regarding possible tools or systems, drop me a line and let me know.

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Filed under GTD, How to, iPad, Learning, Productivity, Self Improvement

Human Resources – Do we really need them?

We all know that there is a department somewhere in our organisation called Human Resources. This does not mean that this is the secret place that just produces people when required, not that type of human resources.

What is their role within an organisation?

Wikipedia info :

Human resource management (HRM, or simply HR) is the management of an organization‘s human resources, or workers. It is responsible for the attraction, selection, training, assessment, and rewarding of employees, while also overseeing organizational leadership and culture, and ensuring compliance with employment and labor laws. In circumstances where employees desire and are legally authorized to hold a collective bargaining agreement, HR will typically also serve as the company’s primary liaison with the employees’ representatives (usually a labor union).

My observations of an HR role within an organisation is that of a “facilitator

HR facilitates the employment of staff, the getting rid of staff and generally relay messages that have been conveyed from higher up the ladder to the staff.

My understanding of what a Human Resources department is suppose to do within an organisation is:

  • Employ the human capital
  • Sustain and grow the Human capital
  • Instill organisational behavior via policies etc.
  • Conflict management and resolution etc.

In short, Humans are the backbone in any organisation and HR is there to make sure that the Human capital is stable and happy. 

HR is a “people” business all on it’s own. They need to deal with the psychology and sociology of people within organisations.

Does your Human Resources department look anything like the ideal that has been portrayed or does it look different in your organisation.

Please do let me know what role you think HR should play in an organisation as well as what role do they currently play in your organisation.

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Filed under Business, Change Management, Employee, Human Resources, Restructuring

Will you have a job tomorrow.

 

Restructuring – Why do companies go through it.

  • Many companies try to turn things around financially by cutting jobs, selling off or closing unprofitable divisions
  • Failing share prices.
  • Good performing companies also go through restructuring just to stay ahead of the game.

These are just some of the reason why companies go through a restructuring exercise. Companies know what they have to do to become profitable and stay ahead of the competition, that doesn’t mean that they always know how to.

  1. Planning and Design: What type of restructuring is required to address what type of challenges or expected outcomes.
  2. Execution: How should the restructuring process take place and how will it be communicated.
  3. Presentation: how should the strategy of the restructure be presented and explained to the employee’s, investors as well as the board to show a possible positive financial return.

Without the steps above being executed correctly, there will always be a negative connotation to restructuring.

Employee’s know when something big is about to happen in a company prior to any formal communication having been sent out. If at all possible, be honest with the employee’s as to what the strategy and execution plans will be. Get the employee’s involved with the execution.

If you have not been honest with your employee’s and only tell them what you think they may want to hear, there will be gaps. These gaps will then be filled with rumor and speculation causing low moral as well as low production. Employees’s do not expect the executive body to have all the answers but they do expect honesty.

Communication, really good communication and planning with employee involvement are the cornerstones of a successful corporate restructure.

Do companies that go through a restructure ever achieve that profitability that the sought, or address that burning issue that prompted the restructure in the first place?

In my experience and humble opinion, not many companies have done this successfully in the past. Do you think we could learn from that and improve this in the future?

Please let me know if you have gone through a corporate restructure – how did it impact you or how did you participate in the restructuring exercise.

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Filed under Business, Change Management, Employee, How to, Jobs, Restructuring

How to…..should I tell you?

 

Have you ever wanted to achieve something but didn’t know how to? or have to just wanted to know if the way you were doing something was correct? Now take these questions and put it into a corporate environment and you may see that it is a lot more difficult than one thinks.

There are many “How to….” books available in book stores or online, but they never quite seem to cover the topics required when you have just started at a new company or even when you are entrenched in the corporate culture of your current company. I wonder if this is a possible gap in the “How to…” strategy or a short comings in the corporate environments. Lets spend a little time investigating this topic and see if this is truly is a gap.

When you want to improve something in yourself, say like understanding why you do certain things or why you feel so glum at times, you seek out assistance. This assistance is normally in the form of a “Self Help” book. Once you have found the book relating to the help you are seeking, you normally read it cover to cover or just the chapters that seem to interest you and then you put the findings into practice. Sounds pretty normal to me.

Now you are in a corporate environment, sitting at your desk wondering if what you are doing is the correct way to do something or you are wondering …. I want to suggest a change to the company strategy or at least have some input. How do you go about this or how can you check that you are doing something correctly? I can go to my peers and ask their advice or even my boss, but who is to say the advice I receive is correct. The advice may be given with all good intentions and from an individuals perspective or it could just be the way they learnt how to do something. In many cases it is the old adage of “it has always been done like this”.

Yes, companies do have policies and procedures on how to do specific things. These normally only address compliance or governance aspects of the company and they culture of how they work. Why don’t the so called specialists in a company invest a little time finding out what the most asked questions by employees work is and create a library or “How to…” books. I know that I have spent many a day trying to figure out how to do something or even if I was doing it right, and my only reference points were my colleagues. Let me tell you that their answers were not always what I was looking for or landed me in hot water.

Do you think companies should invest in closing this gap of “How to….” or do you think that there is an opportunity for others to create such books for the corporate world?

Please let me know what you think about this or if you can relate any of your experiences regarding this topic.

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Filed under Books, Business, How to, Learning, Skills, Team

What Role do I play?

What do you think should be the role you play in a Change Environment?

Lets take a look at the Wikipedia description for some of the Roles involved in a Change Team.

  • Sponsor: – To sponsor something is to support an event, activity, person, or organization financially or through the provision of products or services. A sponsor is the individual or group that provides the support.
  • Project Manager: – A project manager is a professional in the field of project management. Project managers can have the responsibility of the planning, execution and closing of any project, typically relating to construction industry, architecture, Aerospace and Defence, computer networking, telecommunications or software development.
  • Business Analyst: – A Business Analyst (BA) is a professional who analyzes the organization and design of businesses, government departments, and non-profit organizations; BA’s also assess business models and their integration with technology.
  • Process Engineer: – Process engineering (also called process systems engineering) focuses on the design, operation, control, and optimization of chemical, physical, and biological processes through the aid of systematic computer-based methods. Process engineering encompasses a vast range of industries, such as petrochemical, mineral processing, advanced material, food, pharmaceutical, and biotechnological industries.
  • Change Manager: – Business change managers are responsible for bridging the gap between the projects and business operations.

These are just some of the roles within a Change Team. What Role do you play?

As you would have noticed, each role has specific skills related to what is expected of them. There are some skills that are overlapped but most are unique.

Not only are the skills unique but the required unique skill may also be different in certain industries. 

Where do you fit in?

What do you think are the industry trends for these skills going forward? Please do give me your thoughts and comments.

 

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