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Thursday, 27 August 2009

Seig Heil, you undisciplined worms! Advice for budding Hitlers

I keep getting messages from people inviting me to various seminars. I think some are drafted by retired members of the Gestapo Inhuman Resources Kommando.

One a week ago read:

"Managing Employees from Hell: Discipline That Gets Results"

Discipline Do's and Don'ts
** Why probationary periods don't work - and what does
** Dealing with difficult issues - absenteeism, gossip, disloyalty
** Documenting employee discipline sessions: What you need to know

Specific Examples of What to Say - and When to Say it
** What to say when an employee blames the problem on you
** How to respond to "You're not being fair"
** Words you should never use in a verbal warning

Stopping Bad Behavior - Today!
** Keys to separating "performance" from "attitude"
** Why employees don't respond to discipline - & how to change that
** Following up: When to do it - and how

And the latest read: "E-mail, Facebook,& Blogging: Employee Internet Policies You Need Now"

Is your employee internet use policy out of date? E-mail, Facebook, Blogs & Twitter have become the biggest workplace distraction and also a discipline danger zone for managers. Should you limit employee access to Facebook? When can and should you discipline an employee for off-duty online conduct? Join us for this 60-minute audio conference where you will discover:

** Keys to an drafting effective online & social networking policy
** What employers must do to address employees’ off-duty online conduct?
** Monitoring employee use of the internet: what's legal & what's not
** Implementing effective e-mail policies: What you need to know
** Discipline do's and don'ts for employee online behavior

You know what? I've never had these problems.

I've been hiring people for 44 years now, ever since I got my first job as a creative director. Some didn't work out. There were a couple of alcoholics**, one or two creeps, a few loonies and a very, very few useless sods, but they mostly were pretty good.

I joked with them, drank with them, screamed at them, made friends, inadvertently ended up in bed with a few and helped one or two out every now and then.

One I helped out proceeded to wreck my business - but through stupidity on my part for letting him and on his for getting it wrong.

But they weren't employees from hell. Just ordinary people who if carefully chosen and treated reasonably do their best - and better than you expected. I always thought - and still do - that the biggest element in success is your colleagues. Not your clients. Not your product. Not your customers. Your colleagues.

I am proud that - among other minor successes - at one point the chief executives of JWT and O & M in this country were former colleagues of mine.

If your people are pissing about downloading videos of people doing strange things with random mammals when they should be working, you're not managing them properly.

Either they don't have enough to do - your fault - or you haven't explained that success comes through hard work - and they'll be rewarded for it: also your fault.. Some probably hate you, and you deserve it.

Maybe you made the awful mistake of hiring through a "human resources" department. People are too important to be left to functionaries who think they are "resources".

Or maybe you work for (name any ministry, quango or local government office here).

Work should be fun, not duty.

One day David Ogilvy came into my office and asked me, "What do you actually do, Drayton?" "I'm in charge of entertainment," I replied. "My job is to make sure people come in early, leave late - and enjoy every minute of it."

By the way, there was a big joke here yesterday about a young kid called Gordon Brown passing his Maths exam. Hilarious. Let's face it, that other great twat has proved beyond any doubt that he can't add up to save his life - and we'll be paying for it for decades.

** Alcoholic: someone you don't like who drinks as much as you do

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