Managing a Change in the Public Sector


Within moments of lying face-down on the ground, King Alarm arrived, followed three hours later by the police. Why? My parents and I had just been held up and immobilised at home by three gunmen.

Little was taken and no-one was physically harmed, but I asked: “Why three hours? Why not three minutes?”

Earlier this year, as the host of CaribHR.Radio (an Internet radio show), I put a tough question to a minister of government from Trinidad and Tobago and also to the head of Antigua’s public sector transformation unit: “Why is it so hard to transform the public sector where so much is at stake?”

There are a myriad of reasons, but here’s one I discovered in these two episodes: Caribbean countries are stuck with a form of government that makes it hard to effect change.


You can find the rest of the article here – Managing a Change in the Public Sector.

How to Overcome Your Employees’ Minimal Efforts


Left to their own devices, employees who become accustomed to giving a minimal effort forget what it’s like to work hard. How can you, as a Jamaican manager, turn their performance around before it’s too late?

While the employee who leaves work everyday at 4:59 PM on the dot may be doing so to make an appointment, it’s more likely he has developed the habit of doing as little as possible. Here’s a tip: when staff members are only on time for one, single appointment each day – “Quitting Time” – you may have a problem.

It means that significant effort is being put toward doing the minimum. At this point, staff are doing just enough to keep their jobs, staying one half-step ahead of trouble. It’s probably not the mindset they came to the workplace with, but it’s one that with the encouragement of others, they have developed. The stampede out the door at the end of the day is sad: people who enjoy what they are doing don’t try to escape from it as fast as they can.

How do you, as a manager, break the deadlock?

As you may have noticed, preaching, scolding and cajoling won’t work. In fact, they push workers into passive resistance. Here are some of the approaches that do work based in part on recent research.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Is Your Company Engaging or Entertaining Employees?


Is Your Company Engaging or Entertaining Employees?

Employee engagement means more than just hiring comedians, handing out balloons and renting the island’s biggest Bounce-About for Family Day. Instead, it has to do with addressing staff’s key concerns in a way that builds a firm’s capacity for dealing with problems in the future.

Human Resource professionals are often seen as the “feel-good” squad of corporate life. When employees feel bad, as revealed by lunchroom complaints and internal surveys, HR’s job is to make them feel better. In these recessionary times, this job has become harder to do. Only longtime staff-members can recall famous Christmas Parties from the past: they have now been reduced to portion-controlled buffet luncheons held on Thursdays in late November… all to reduce costs.

Few are surprised when, a week later, the “intervention” has worn off and the complaints resume, revealing that the feel-good activity only offered a bit of entertainment. Even when it’s enhanced by the inclusion of families, expensive hotel rooms and fun add-ons like rafting, the effect is still the same. Authentic engagement takes more than titillation. Here’s why.

To read the rest of the article click here.

The 6 Modern Symptoms of Time Management


Are You Suffering from the 6 Modern Symptoms of Ineffective Time Management?

In the past, the signs of ‘poor time management’ were obvious, but in today’s age of the “always on” mobile Internet, you could be suffering from the modern symptoms afflicting Jamaican employees.

Many years ago, time management problems were easy to detect: arriving late and missing deadlines were clear red flags. In today’s world, however, things are different – the old symptoms remain, but a number of new ones have appeared, including the following six you may be experiencing today:

1. An Exploded Inbox
Perhaps the best indicator of a productivity problem is the state of your email Inbox. If you have 200 or more read and unread messages, you may believe that you simply get too much email. For you, the fault lies with your company and/or the people in your life; they are the reason you feel guilty and overwhelmed. The numbers don’t lie, however. If your Inbox is in trouble, it’s because your daily practices have made it so.

To read the rest of the article click here.


Are You Sure That Telling People to Think Positively Works?


“Positive Thinking” has been touted as the remedy for all sorts of ills, but as time changes, is this technique one that still works?

After an unproductive encounter with a positive thinker recently, I decided to dig in to the researcher and it appears that we have evolved, so that it no longer works the way it once did.

Here’s my Gleaner article on the subject, published yesterday. Positive Thinking Can Be Bad for Business.