Red Zebra Business Centre -Management Memos
June, 2007. Make Measurably More In Your Business!

Marking 22 Years of Service - Next Month - to Small and Medium Business!


My Red Zebra

The all-new Red Zebra website launched last week to a chorus of favourable comments and observations.

3 Key Service Areas

The three key activities - which can be summarised as managing the financial parts of the business, driving the marketing effort, and staff planning & recruiting - are now easily recognised and accessed.

3 Delivery Methods

Access the services three ways - one for small and medium businesses, one for enterprises that need on-line services, and one for larger organisations.

3 New Features

  • New graphic design capacity for advertising, signage, and visual merchandising
  • New book-keeping & systems capacity for simplifying and improving accounting systems, and
  • New customer relationship software capacity to maximise the vale of each and every customer.

Visit the new website now!!

Remember to
see the Library

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While workplace laws have been the focus of some attention lately, and it has been a year since the demise of the specific laws in Australia forbidding "unfair dismissal", the issue is still alive for all business managers and business owners.

Ask just about anyone, and you will find almost universal support for the view that business owners and managers should act fairly in dismissing staff. The concern has always been that the law, in prescribing what is "fair" was itself unfair to employers. With that law now history, some employers believe they no longer have to consider "fairness" in approaching the distressing task of dismissing an employee.

A recent decision of the Supreme Court in New South Wales made it clear that an employer does indeed have a responsibility to act fairly. This decision is not binding as a precedent outside New South Wales, but it does strongly indicate the climate of opinion in which such judgements are made.

The position is somewhat different in New Zealand, where the Employment Relations Act requires both a substantive reason for an employee to be dismissed at the employer’s initiative, and that the dismissal must have been carried out in a manner that is procedurally fair.  The fairness is determined by the court.

The Australian decision (February 2007, Russell v Roman Catholic Church for the Archdiocese of Sydney) created a new obligation of mutual trust and confidence between employer and employee. What this will mean in years to come is not yet clear, but it is clear that all employers need to be cool, calm, and collected when considering a dismissal. The nature of the relationship spelled out by the court in New South Wales is more inclusive and mutual than most employers imagine. Acting in haste may have serious, even dire, consequences!

Take Control

Angry!When an employee begins to act like the one shown here, there is clearly an underlying problem  Eventually, a "parting of the ways" comes into consideration.

If you do not have position descriptions and key performance indicators in place, it is almost impossible to resolve such a situation to everyone's satisfaction. You are at risk of acting unfairly.

Fortunately, it is easy to get these necessities of modern management.You can write them yourself, using any number aids, or use a template provided by a variety of suppliers. On the other hand, having them prepared for you by The Red Zebra Business Centre is simple, direct, and part of the normal service.

Have a Solid Basis

When dealing with an employee who is not performing as you require, regardless of what the issue is (apart from criminality, of course) the matter is more easily managed if the employment arrangements have a solid basis.  Ask yourself - 'Have I made my employees clearly aware of the conditions of their employment?'.

Amazed by the answer? The easy way is to use the default 'award' conditions, often with some special conditions discussed with the employee at start up. Beware - such a loose approach is fraught with danger. You may not want to register an Australian Workplace Agreement, but at least consider a Contract of Employment.  Model documents are available from The Red Zebra.

Resolve Disputes Pro-actively

Don't think you have workplace disputes? Every time you are dissatisfied with an employee's performance, there is a dispute! Often the employee is in dispute with you, but you don't even know about it.  Don't be fooled - disputes are all around us!

Disputes are solved more easily if they are recognised and dealt with early. Even if they are not easily handled, expert help is at hand.By the way, everyone who has ever done dispute resolution training has said they are already good at it, and don't need training.  Afterwards, they discovered they really had needed training in this specialised field.

Again help is at hand from a variety of providers of dispute resolution services - and one of them is The Red Zebra!

Reduce Cost - Improve Productivity

mediationIt takes a lot of time and money to recruit good people, and a lot longer to train them and equip them to be good company ambassadors.

When you do dismiss a person, all that goes. Taking the extra time to be sure you have an employment contract, a position description, and key performance indicators is time invested in long term success.  And isn't that what we all want?

 If you'd like to find out more, talk to us, or ask us a question here! Remember, there's no charge or obligation, and you get a whole hour's consultation free. This same offer also applies in New Zealand.