New research into workplace bullies

A current issue of the Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources includes a new paper from New Zealand researchers on workplace bullying. The researchers surveyed 1700 employees in 36 New Zealand companies. The employees identified a number of effective tactics to combat workplace bullying, including: encouraging open communication; resolving conflicts quickly; developing a complaints procedures; developing a bullying policy and encouraging appropriate interactions between people.

Whistleblowing – a therapeutic exercise or a risky business?

The Protected Disclosures Act 2000 – also known as the Whistleblowers Act, came into force on January 1, 2001. It seeks to afford protection to employees who make disclosures about serious wrongdoings. For a quick guide to the Act AND some issues to be aware of BEFORE you put the whistle in your mouth, check out:



Franchise systems approach highly transferable

Franchises have an edge over non-franchise businesses and organisations when it comes down to operating systems and processes. Before a franchise chain opens its doors for the first time, every process and system in their operation has been mapped, documented, flow-charted, tested, refined, tested and fine-tuned to perfection. The result is simple, effective, standardised, time efficient systems that anyone can follow. This makes for effective training of personnel and a fast uptake on how the organisation functions.

Can the same approach be said for other organisations? Oftentimes, organisational processes and systems aren't regularly reviewed in their entirety and new processes or systems get added on, as the need arises. The difficulty with this approach is often the add-ons don't marry with the core system, causing some duplication or process gaps or steps that don't match original flow charts or original documentation.

If you haven't done so recently, ask the current users of your current systems and processes how easy they are to follow and use; how logical the flow of information is and how user-friendly they actually are. If the feedback is all positive, that's a cause for celebration. If the findings suggest otherwise, review all systems and processes. Inefficient systems and processes cost time and money and tend to frustrate and turn off the people who use them. Who can afford that?

How immune are you to change?

Research has shown unconscious behaviours cause self-sabotaging behaviours, which is one reason why people resist change. The difficulty is when people try to use technical solutions to solve adaptive challenges. In essence, individuals need to learn to be more adaptive and the only way to do this is to make a mind shift. To read a more elegant summary, check out:


Over-regulated NZ or a benign place to do business?

Ashley Balls tackles this topic in New Zealand business magazine Dec 2011/January 2012 edition He found proof New Zealand isn't over-regulated or overtaxed. To see the latest research, go to and download the report entitled Doing Business in a More Transparent World (published by the World Bank). Ashley's article entitled ‘The Consequence-Free Society' is well worth reading.

How good are your credit management policies?

Bad debt costs businesses big time. Regardless of the size of your business, you need to have sound credit management policies. At the very least, ensure you have a formal credit policy and detailed credit terms that you share with all customers. Undertake credit checks on new customers and monitor existing customers to see if they can still pay their account. Take every action to trace customers who vanish with debts. Engage specialists to help you find them and don't just write off the debt. Also use specialists to check key customers' credit status as it may change repeatedly in these changing economic times.