Author Archives: daveaudley

Unusual Performance Evaluations

Employee evaluations are meant to be beneficial, but sometimes they can just just plain brutal. Here are some quotes, found on Recruiters Network, taken from actual performance evaluations that are sure to feel better about your upcoming review:

  • “Since my last report, this employee has reached rock bottom and has started to dig.”
  • “His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiosity.”
  • “I would not allow this employee to breed.”
  • “This associate is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definitely won’t be.”
  • “Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.”
  • “When she opens her mouth, it seems that this is only to change whichever foot was previously in there.”
  • “He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle.”
  • “This young lady has delusions of adequacy.”
  • “He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.”
  • “This employee should go far – and the sooner he starts, the better.”
  • “This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.”

Sha la la?

I loved the Sha la la story in People Management’s 27th August 2009, written originally on Lou Burrows blog. Experiences I have witnessed over my work history make me chuckle but that’s probably due to my “sense of humour”, watching people agreeing with the boss all the time.

Being a young HR professional working hard to gain a name and good reputation within HR I so glad to see that “backing singers” are everywhere, but I think the only thing worse, or funnier are the “backing singers” who are serial buck passers!

I do believe that many become unstuck in the end so we might as well enjoy laughing at them for now.

HR on the box…

People Management Magazine reported in their magazine a report on TV program “Can You Bank On Me? BBC1 24 August 2009” the program was about City high-flyers that were sent to work in struggling business to come up with ways of saving the real business. According to the write up the high-flyers managed to fail spectactually.

Unfortunately I was on holiday when the show was aired and have not managed to find the full show yet. It stagers me the amount of so called “business experts” there are who I believe don’t actually know or have that true business acumen. I spend a lot of time reading HR information and I find it so easy to work out in seconds if the report is getting written by either an acting HR professional working operationally or someone with pure business acumen and someone not operating in an operational role.  When I was studying at university we spent many hours analyzing a business’s cash flow and market position coming up with ideas of what could save the business and discussing pros and cons of each one.

It does highlight that to run a business it is impossible to have one skill but you need a range, a lot of high-flyers will be skilled in one area and not be able to look at the bigger picture.

Will employer policies be ‘fit’ to run alongside new sick not system…

The new sick note system has been heavily published recently but I have to chuckle and think is it needed? As an operational HR professional who deals with sick notes often I believe the current system does what it is needed to do. Within the industries I have experience in if the employer needs more information about an employee’s health they will either make a referral to an occupational health service, external health authority or request more information from the private doctor.

When dealing with someone’s sickness I don’t believe there is an easy one fix solution due to the range of sicknesses an employee could be suffering from and due to the sensitive nature. An employer has to tread carefully and treat all employees equal; not suggesting an illness may not be legitimate and seeks to gather all information before making a decision on the employee. If a doctor has to sign someone fit to work does that mean they will be requesting job information about the employee i.e. a job description and job specification? Doctors are good at identifying a medication issue but I don’t believe they can affectively link that to a business situation. It means nothing to a doctor to sign someone off work, if they have a person telling them that they are really ill a doctor might find it easier symphasing with the employee signing them off work rather than an occupational health department paid by the employer to truly judge the employee against the job requirements.

I personally laugh and think that this is another example of a none operational professional who has been given and pot of money to investigate an issue and is trying to come up with an easy blanket solution. I have seen it done time and time and again and believe it will not solve anything.

Who is responsible for getting a fair deal for migrant workers?

It’s not often I look at the front of a magazine and laugh, but when I looked at the cover of the 10th September 2009 People Management Magazine it had a male “migrant worker” doing manual labour and in the back ground two well dressed people with high visibility jackets on and the slogan “Bitter Harvest, Who is responsible for getting a fair deal for migrant workers?” 

My initial view is get rid of the people standing there watching and share out their wages! But when you think harder about it the whole things makes me smile, we have massive unemployment and also people who are willing to work for anything. I agree all employees need to be protected but if our businesses need to reduce costs to stay competitive and there are people willing to do the job, surely it’s unfair to demand stuff from businesses that might mean they can only operate for a couple of years rather that long term success. A lot of migrant workers earn more money doing these jobs here than jobs back home even though we deem the money to be insufficient.

It makes me smile how people try and split the argument easily down the middle, surely our main aim is that British companies succeed and we should not be protecting an individual who will make money and leave the country. Yes all employees need to be protected but where can you draw the line. We have increasing unemployment and people refusing to do manual jobs, yet migrant workers are willing to do the hard work without what we call the sufficient payment.


New Equality Bill – Sometimes you read things that make you smile…

I imagine I’m like many operational HR professionals who read things surrounding HR issues and smile at the article. I often chuckle and think, why do they really work in HR or are they just debating things for the sake of it!

While reading an article in the Metro on April 28th 2009 I came across an article discussing the potential “New Equality Bill” asking the question, is it ‘unfair’ to male workers? The majority of the article makes sense apart from phases like “will be fair to discriminate against men applying…” Have we done a complete U turn from the days of saying this about female workers? It was only a few years ago when there was lots of noise and talk about getting rid of the possibility of these issues being raised. All the HR professionals I know would never appoint someone on the basis of gender or disability. What’s important is can they do the job, what skills have they got and at worse will they fit into the dynamics of the team.

The main quote that made me chuckle was straight to the point: “If they’ve got two equally qualified candidates, a man and a woman, they should be able to say… that we’re actually going to appoint the woman, said equalities minister Harriett Harman.” How is this different from a company paying a man more money for doing the same job as a woman. Surely they are both discriminating and if one is allowed why not the other? I don’t think Harriett Harman has worked in an operational role for a while because she would realise that you would never end up with the same candidate. Every person brings different views and skills to a business. If we are going to go down this route in HR then lets get rid of all the rules as no one will try to follow them due to no clear differences and guidance.

She claims it will “help businesses recover from the recession by tapping into new talent.” Is she saying that for the country to recover from the recession we need women in business or saying that women were neglected before the recession? As Harriett said, ‘New Talent’ but surely this comes from the person’s experiences, exposure to business markets and their personality and nothing to do with gender!

One of the final paragraphs was the best when she was summing up her article: “On top of this, there are risks that colleagues may think someone got their job due to their race, sex or disability which could cause significant friction at work…”. Well yes, they would have done and I can understand why colleagues would feel hard done by. So after years of changing how women work in businesses it looks like if this new law is past we will be back to the start.

Being a young male working in HR I’m often in the minority of the group gender, which makes up a HR team. Does it bother me, does it bother my colleagues? No, not due to gender issues. I have felt that members of a team don’t enjoy a young enthusiastic person coming in to make changes but this is nothing to do with gender. There are a lot more important issues surrounding employing a person, their skills, drive and passion are a few to list, so why are non-operational HR professionals so hung up on the issue of gender in the work place! Give it up and discuss something that really matters in a real business environment.

Friday afternoon fun!

Try this on a Friday afternoon for a bit of fun….

Phone up someone in your business that is in a different office (or out of hearsay). Ask for Mr Walls, when you get the response no one called Mr Walls work here ask for Mrs Walls. When they reply that Mrs Walls doesn’t work there ask if they have any Walls. Once the person on the other end of the phone says we have no Walls in the office, quickly scream with a panicked voice, “quick get out the roof will collapse!”

Putting on a different accent and making sure no one called Walls works at your business helps the joke to work!


This made me smile, because I identified with it so much! I wonder if you will too? Not that I’m suggesting that any of you are loosing the plot……!!!
Recently, I was diagnosed with A. A. A. D. D. – Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder!

This is how it manifests:
I decide to water my lawn. As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide my car needs washing. As I walked towards the garage, I notice that there was mail on the porch table that I had brought up from the mail box earlier and I decided to go through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail in the rubbish bin under the table, and notice that the bin is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the rubbish first. But then I think, since I’m going to be near the mailbox when I take out the rubbish, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my cheque book off the table, and see that there is only one cheque left. My extra cheques are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Coke that I had been drinking earlier. I’m going to look for my cheques, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I didn’t accidentally knock it over. I noticed that the Coke was getting warm,
and I decided I should put it in the refrigerator to keep cold.

As I head towards the kitchen with the Coke a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye – they need to be watered. I set the Coke down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses that I’ve been searching for all morning. I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I’m going to water the flowers.

I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly I spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table. I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I will be looking for the remote, but I won’t remember that it’s on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the living room where it belongs, but first I’ll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I set the remote back down on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill. Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:

the lawn isn’t watered, the car isn’t washed, the bills aren’t paid, there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter, the flowers don’t have enough water, there is still only one cheque in my cheque book, I can’t find the remote, I can’t find my glasses, I don’t remember what I did with the car keys,and my neighbor called to tell me he turned off the hose that was flooding the driveway.

Then when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I’m really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I’m really tired. I realize this is a serious problem, and I’ll try to get some help for it, but first I’ll check my e-mail.

Don’t laugh — if this isn’t you yet, your day is coming!




When breaking the rules for fun?

I’m sure many of you have experienced or read about an employee’s being disciplined for carrying out a funny act or stupid act that breaks the rules of the work place, but when do their actions deem a disciplinary?

What about common sense? If the employee is breaking a technicality but no injury will be caused, can’t you just all have a laugh and use it to increase employee’s motivation and productivity?

Clocking Gone Mad!

Over the last few years’ technology has flooded into businesses, yet at a place I was employed on an interim basis they operated with an old fashioned clocking in system. What amused me the most was that the old fashioned clocking in system used three different sized clocking in cards! All prepared by hand each week!

Have you or are you employed by a company that uses three or more different sized clocking in cards?