Monday, November 2, 2009

Staffing issues

There's nothing like managing staff. It's a royal pain in the ... No matter what you do you can't please everyone.

There are two main methods I've seen.

a) By the book.
b) With a wink wink.

By the book is the way I always did it. Of course, since it was my book, it was easy. If I didn't like the way it was working I just changed it. Administrators tend to run organisations like this. The crux of it being successful is ensuring quid pro quo occurs and extra effort is acknowledged and rewarded in a way suitable and public for both parties. The less flexibility in the rules, the greater the opportunity for dissatisfaction by those going the extra yard as there is little opportunity/recognition for reward. Over flexibility lends itself to abuse (the situation around L3CT and L3 Admin promotion is typical of this situation).

With a wink wink, is a very popular method. It involves being pally with staff and telling people or groups they will be looked after.. nothing on paper, "just wait and see, it will be ok". This has never been my favourite but often can be used to defer a decision until a point that is more advantageous to the organisation than now and relies on favours/corruption/back scratching. To my mind this is an unprofessional option (I like to know where I stand) - it is usually coupled with "being part of a family" or with "unofficial" perks that are secret from other staff. Staff performance/ability/performance is often of little relation to staff hierarchy. Entrepreneurs tend to operate like this, wringing the last cent or skill out of staff through unfulfilled promises. It has no real appeal to me, but for staff that like the warm and fuzzies/charismatic leader it is quite effective. Many people on temporary contracts have felt the rough end of this recently, being laid off or transferred due to the half cohort despite varying assurances.

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