This week’s guru
Easy tiger! It’s time to pet your colleagues
This year’s floating Human Resources Forum on board the Oriana reminded Guru
of an episode of the Love Boat – but not for the usual conference shenanigans.
Jonas Ridderstrale, aka Mr Funky Business, held aloft Prozac and Viagra
pills during his keynote speech, warning that, unless employers and staff
foster some mutual passion about their work, their companies will be unable to
rise to the challenges of the new business environment.
"If you can love your pet, why not your employer," argued Jonas.
He also advised delegates that the People’s Republic of Britney Spears holds
the key to developing employer brand. Guru made a mental note to visit next
Professor at the University of Lausanne, Stephane Garelli, picked up on the
pet theme. Apparently, staff start as tigers, mellow into cats, before turning
into grouchy bears – only interested in life-life balance let alone work-life
balance. Passion is needed once again.
The only person lacking compassion was Celador International’s Ellis Watson.
He warned HR has to be influential to survive. Poor performers are "a
cancer, a disease, they are AIDS". Such a small step from workplace love
to sexually transmitted disease, thought Guru.
Language of love not in his lexicon
If any Oriana delegates did misinterpret the theme of love in the workplace
after an evening of ‘networking’, they should have read last month’s Elle
magazine, which revealed that it is all too easy for passion between workmates
to get out of control at social events – 60 per cent of employees have had a
fling with a colleague.
Guru is thankful he was able to meet Mrs Guru’s probing eye with a clear
conscience on his return from the Oriana.
The ladies obviously sensed he was happily married and were more interested
in management speak, than the language of love.
Tardy tea rounds destroy the mystique
Guru might favour a double espresso
latte with extra froth, but Britain remains a nation of tea drinkers.
Apparently six out of 10 employees drink tea regularly and over
half prefer it to coffee – at least according to research by Pertemps.
While Guru doubts all the ‘heats you up, cools you down’
mumbo-jumbo, it does appear to have mystical powers. Most workers say they rely
on tea to get them through the day – we get through 126,000 tons every year –
and 53 per cent claim it makes them work harder.
But beware, the tea run can be a flashpoint. A third of
respondents felt resentful that colleagues do not take their turn in getting
Guru suggests they sit down and discuss it over a cup of double
espresso latte with extra froth.
Thatcher or Cat? it’s a tough call
Guru recently went on a management refresher, just in case he was taking his
esteemed position in the office for granted. And research by NetG shows that he
was right to do so. Its survey shows that while more than half of employees
polled compare their manager to Mrs Thatcher, nearly 60 per cent report that
their ideal team leader would be Cat Deeley.
Apparently the findings were not based on appearance alone. "Though Cat
Deeley’s looks may have played a part in this result, it’s not the only
factor," explained a spokesman for NetG. "As a TV presenter she has
good communication skills." Yeah, right!