Tag Archives: staff management

Christmas/Holiday Party Humour

Company Memo

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All Employees

DATE: November 18

RE: Gala Christmas Party

I’m happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23rd, starting at noon in the private function room at Calhoun’s. There will be a cash bar and plenty of drinks! We’ll have a small band playing traditional carols… feel free to sing along. And don’t be surprised if our CEO shows up dressed as Santa Claus! A Christmas tree will be lit at 1:00 PM. Exchanges of gifts among employees can be done at that time; however, no gift should be over $10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone’s pockets. This gathering is only for employees!

Our CEO will make a special announcement at that time!

Merry Christmas to you and your family,


Company Memo

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All Employees

DATE: November 19

RE: Gala Holiday Party

In no way was yesterday’s memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. We recognize that Hanukkah is an important holiday, which often coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year. However, from now on, we’re calling it our “Holiday Party.” The same policy applies to any other employees who are not Christians and to those still celebrating Reconciliation Day. There will be no Christmas tree and no Christmas carols will be sung. We will have other types of music for your enjoyment.

Happy now?

Happy Holidays to you and your family,


Company Memo

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All Employees

DATE: November 20

RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table, you didn’t sign your name. I’m happy to accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads, “AA Only”, you wouldn’t be anonymous anymore. How am I supposed to handle this?


And sorry, but forget about the gift exchange, no gifts are allowed since the union members feel that $10.00 is too much money and the executives believe $10.00 is a little chintzy.


Company Memo

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

To: All Employees

DATE: November 21

RE: Generic Holiday Party

What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20th begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon at this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees’ beliefs. Perhaps the Grill House can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party or else package everything for you to take it home in little foil doggy baggy. Will that work?

Meanwhile, I’ve arranged for members of Weight Watchers to sit farthest from the dessert buffet, and pregnant women will get the table closest to the restrooms.

Gays are allowed to sit with each other. Lesbians do not have to sit with gay men. Each group will have their own table.

Yes, there will be a flower arrangement for the gay men’s table.

To the person asking permission to cross dress, the Grill House asks that no cross-dressing be allowed, apparently because of concerns about confusion in the restrooms. Sorry.

We will have booster seats for short people.

Low-fat food will be available for those on a diet.

I am sorry to report that we cannot control the amount of salt used in the food. The Grill House suggests that people with high blood pressure taste a bite first.

There will be fresh “low sugar” fruits as dessert for diabetics, but the restaurant cannot supply “no sugar” desserts. Sorry!

Did I miss anything?!?!?


Company Memo

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All F*%^ing Employees

DATE: November 22

RE: The F*%^ing Holiday Party

I’ve had it with you vegetarian pricks!!! We’re going to keep this party at the Grill House whether you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the “grill of death,” as you so quaintly put it, and you’ll get your f*%^ing salad bar, including organic tomatoes. But you know, tomatoes have feelings, too. They scream when you slice them. I’ve heard them scream. I’m hearing them scream right NOW!

The rest of you f*%^ing weirdos can kiss my *ss. I hope you all have a rotten holiday!

Drive drunk and die,

The B*tch from H*ll!!!

Company Memo

FROM: Joan Bishop, Acting Human Resources Director

DATE: November 23

RE: Patty Lewis and Holiday Party

I’m sure I speak for all of us in wishing Patty Lewis a speedy recovery and I’ll continue to forward your cards to her.

In the meantime, management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and give everyone the afternoon of the 23rd off with full pay.

Happy Holidays!


12 Solutions for Being a Better Leader

Hello all,

I am participating in a “Blog Tour” and have the privilege to introduce this article by Mark Tewart. Enjoy – be a better leader!

12 Solutions for Being a Better Leader
By Mark Tewart

1. Manage things and lead people.
Processes should be defined and managed daily. People should be led by example daily. Management by strict control inhibits star performers and eliminates creativity of intelligent people. Feelings of manipulation are caused by strict control. Control, manipulation, and disrespect keep many dealerships from moving to another level of performance.

2. Speed of the boss = speed of the team.
If the boss has a sense of urgency, the team will, too. The leader sets the tone. Great leaders create an attitude and atmosphere of winning. The leader sets the stage for the proper belief systems necessary to succeed.

3. Coach people more than you manage deals.
If you spend your time coaching people through training, one-on-ones and positive feedback, your people will become less addicted to you. Spend 80% of your day with your team and your customers. The rest can wait.

4. Create a Stop Doing List.
To find out what to do, you must also define what not to do. What are you doing everyday that you should either, stop doing, delegate, or do less of, or at a different time?

5. Practice the 4 D’s of action management.
Dump it, Defer it, Delegate it, or Do it. With proper action management, you will spend less time in crisis and emergency mode.

6. Recruiting is an ongoing process.
Determine an ongoing action plan for recruiting. What channels will you use to recruit and how much time each week to do it. What automated systems can you set up through web sites, job boards, college placement centers, military posts, etc. can you set up to increase potential candidates? Don’t wait until you need people to dig through the drawer to find the help wanted ad that everyone else uses.

7. Set clear expectations.
People need and desire clear expectations of their job functions, behavior, and performance. The days of hiring people and showing them the inventory, their desk, and telling them to get busy are over. For a greater chance of success, people cannot succeed without written and communicated expectations.

8. People don’t change that much, so stop trying.
Do not try to put in what God left out. When a person has reached adulthood, they primarily tend to repeat the patterns either they have created or that are based upon their nature. Grow a person’s strengths, and stop trying to fix their weaknesses.

9. Educate and motivate daily.
Good people want continuing education. Educate and motivate every day. Educating daily creates results; periodical training never does. If you have people rejecting education, then you must reject them. Would a great coach allow certain players to not practice because they didn’t want to?

10. Listen, listen, listen.
Nothing inspires people more than when they feel a manager will actually listen. People need to be respected and heard. A manager’s best customers are the people they coach.

11. Get out from behind the desk.
Lead the team. People want to know that their leader is one of them. Desks can become huge barriers to communicating.

12. Don’t forget emotions.
Behind all goals, dreams, achievements, and failures are emotions. Learn to tap into each team member’s pleasure and pain motivators to better guide them. Coach each team member with this in mind – thoughts become words, words become actions, actions create habits, habits create results, and they are all seeking emotions.

Great leadership is essential in creating great teams. Expect more of yourself and your team will follow. The leader is the final reason for success or failure.

Mark Tewart’s websites include: www.marktewartlive.com, www.marktewart.com and www.howtobeasalessuperstar.info

To read the first chapter of How to be a Sales Superstar and to receive several FREE bonuses from Mark Tewart, visit www.marktewartlive.com.

Full tour details are posted at http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2008/10/how-to-be-sales-superstar-by-mark.html

How Are Your People-Management Skills?

How would your employees rate your people-management skills?

Here is an interesting find from a recent Hackett Group survey of 200 global organizations (source: HR Professional, Aug/Sept. 2008) when asked to discuss talent management practices:

More that 75% of participants rated people-management skills as very important.

I bet that you are not surprised. Me either. The fact is almost everyone, whether employee, employer, entrepreneur or customer can see the benefits of good people-management.

So here is the next part of the survey results:

Only 19% of senior managers, 10% of mid-level managers and 8% of supervisors were rated highly effective at managing people!


Why is there such a discrepancy between what we know we want and the actual results of managers in the workplace? This leads to many questions that you can ask yourself when self-evaluating.

1 – Am I as a manager trained in people-management skills, or advanced communication skills? What is available to continuously improve?

2 – Do I have a way to find out what my employees really think of my management skills or the other manager’s skills? Can an anonymous survey be done?

3 – What do my employees really want? How do they define people-management?

4 – Do my employees feel comfortable coming to me to discuss their needs without feeling intimidated or out of line?

The topic of people-management deals with issues like communication, interpersonal skills, leadership, assertiveness, conflict and many others. If you know of a highly effective manager maybe you can find an opportunity to sit down and pick their brains on how they developed their style. Ask them what books or courses they would recommend, or to tell stories of managers that influenced them. No matter what position we are in at work, we are all in pursuit of excellent management skills.

Communicating Loyalty to Staff

I recently attended a seminar where the presenter talked about the value of good or even great customer service in all types of industries. He actually has a background in the restaurant and hospitality industries, so as you can imagine there was a lot of discussion about good and bad service at restaurants, and how to handle complaining customers, even if you are sure they are ‘scamming’ you for ‘free-bees’. His solution was across-the-board give in and put out. Give in to their complaints and give them complimentary food, coupons, etc. I have to admit my stomach was unsettled.

Many of us have heard the mantra “The customer is always right.” But my question is, what type of message are we, as a worker, a manager, a company or a society giving when we give in 100% to fraudsters? Does that very act not devalue our company? Does it not encourage people to continue to shout loudly for free stuff? And how do you think your company waitresses, clerks, phone operators etc. feel when they are told they must accept the abuse?

Years ago when I worked for a global financial company I had the dubious honour of working both customer service AND collections! So my phone calls were often dealing with angry or complaining clients. I developed some pretty cool conflict management techniques, which I can share with you another time. But for today I want to tell you about the time a client called and was complaining loudly, swearing, and not listening to my calm appeals to slow down, and to dignify her language.

I advised her to stop swearing, and when she didn’t stop, and wouldn’t listen to a word I was saying, I simply hung up on her! Yes, you heard me, I disconnected the call.

She called my manager and obviously complained about that action, to which my manager asked me to tell her the reason. I explained that the client would not calm down and refused to heed my warning about her foul language, so I disconnected.

My manager thanked me, returned to her desk, took the client off hold, and said “yes the reason why Ric hung up on you is that we do not tolerate aggressive or abusive language here.”

The client was shocked for 5 seconds, and then immediately began apologizing for her previous behaviour, and then my manager went on to help her get the problem sorted out peacefully, which any one of us could have done had the client been calmer in the first place. I was very proud of my manager that day.

We often want our clients and customers to be loyal to our company right? Well we cannot forget to be loyal to our front-line workers, staff and managers. Loyalty seems to be a two-way street, and many of us are sick and tired of taking abuse because of an old mantra. So take care of your workers and they will take care of your customers. Loyalty must be communicated in the company first, and then it will be communicated outside as well, with little problem. Set some ground rules for your staff on how to handle complaints, and let them know you will support them, and not leave them dealing with angry people all by themselves. Build a strong team for a successful business! 

This story is always included in my customer service training, because it’s important for both staff and management to come to an understanding of the policies during a conflict resolution that gets out of hand.  Often this article is a starting point for that conversation.  🙂