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5 Tips to Improve Your Resume

Posted by | February 1, 2021 | blog

girl with a mobile phone looking up

A good resume can get your foot in the door, but a well-written one can put you on the top of the consideration list. Here are a couple of tips from two experienced recruiters to help you construct a resume that could give you an edge, Andro Kahn, Global Recruitment Manager, and Monique van Der Zanden, Graduate Recruiter, who offers a few tips worth taking note of.

1. Provide concrete evidence of your qualifications

“Most recruiters spend about 7 minutes scanning through profiles.” says Andro Kahn. In that time, an applicant’s resume should ideally communicate key competencies and achievements in a clear and concise manner.

For students and graduates without professional experience, this means providing evidence of your qualifications in detail. Monique explains:

“They should have a think about all the activities that they have been involved in that helped them develop as a person. This could be work experience, but it could also be voluntary activities.”

2. Quantify your contributions

Sometimes the difference between a good resume and a great one lies in the details. Monique says:

“If you have written on your resume that you were active in a study or a student’s association, on a great resume, you would also quantify your involvement. For example, whether you had any budget responsibilities, how big the association was etc. Quantifying the experience is important.”

three ladies with some work

When it comes to resumes, numbers speak louder than words.

When sharing your professional experiences, sharing details such as how many people were in your team, the size of your project, and the number of customers you dealt with are critical. When it comes to resumes, numbers speak louder than words. Where you are not permitted to share the exact details of delivery such as profit or technical information that is sensitive or confidential for your previous employer find creative ways to establish the quantifiable delivery. 

For example:

  • “Increased sales volumes by 10% above industry average” is more powerful than simply saying that you met your sales targets.
  • “Delivered a new software product that was purchased by 5,000 new customers” can be more revealing than saying that you “worked on new software that had a successful sales result”.
  • Saying that you were “responsible for changing an engineering process that reduced delivery time by 40%” helps to demonstrate the impact your activity had.

3. Be concise

“The resume should be written in a manner that’s clear and concise. I recommend adding a statement at the top stating your career objective and why you’re qualified for the particular position you’re applying for.” – Recruitment Manager, Andro Kahn

The best resumes are the ones that can communicate a candidate’s roles, achievements, and strengths from a quick glance.

Streamlining your resume in a way that highlights your competencies clearly is key. Only include details that will lend insights into your achievements. Avoid vague and generic statements, and most importantly, choose function over form. Andro recalls a recent resume that stood out to him:

“In one glance, I was able to understand what the person did, what their strengths were, what they were able to achieve, and the relationships they built.”

4. Use keywords and action verbs

The Cikal ethanol, #501, a ethanol UrbanConcept vehicle from team Cikal ethanol at the Institut Teknologi Bandung in Bandung, Indonesia, on the track during day three of the Shell Eco-marathon Asia, in Manila, Philippines, Saturday, March 5, 2016

Try identifying the unique set of keywords associated with your role.

Every recruiter has a checklist of skills required for a role. Knowing what skills to list on your resume can give you an edge, as Andro explains:

“Normally we have keywords per function or role – so I try to see if there’s a fit. If I’m looking for an Analytics person for example, I tend to look at the skills relating to the analytics projects that they did. Describe what you did, what was accomplished and what competencies you used for each experience.”

To stand out from other applicants, try identifying the unique set of keywords associated with your target role, often found in the job description, then tailor your resume to accommodate those words.

After adding your keywords, scan your current resume and identify words and phrases that can be substituted. As Andro puts it, “Use powerful words in terms of describing what you did. We’d like you to use action verbs, or task-based words.”

5. Ask a friend to review the resume for errors and clarity

two individuals discussing

Get a fresh perspective from a friend.

Sometimes a good way to gauge how easy it is to understand your resume and your qualifications is to get a fresh perspective from someone you know. Along with possible minor typos and grammar errors, there may be terms in there that a recruiter or hiring manager may not be familiar with or may not understand. For students and graduates, it is helpful to provide context where something is specific to your school or university. Monique explains:

“Bear in mind that the person or the recruiter reading the resume might not be knowledgeable for instance of a student association that you’ve been a part of so it’s important to provide some explanation.”

Contributed by Shell Recruiters, Andro Kahn, Global Recruitment Manager, and Monique van Der Zanden, Graduate Recruiter

Comments Off on How to Start an Online Shop

How to Start an Online Shop

Posted by | January 30, 2021 | blog

Online Shop pix

Nigeria is a beautiful country, but it has a high rate of unemployment. Many of its’ educated and able-bodied youths are employed or unemployable. So we have to find alternatives to this problem. One way to tackle this problem is to open an online shop.

Learn a skill

What do you plan to sell? If you plan to sell Snacks, Cakes or Food you can learn how to make some on the EliStatus website and try ensure you practice enough after watching. Buy the ingredients and make it at home. Once you have mastered making the items give the items to family and friends to test out. 

Buy and Resell

If you do not want to learn a skill, you can buy and resell items online. The concept is simple, buy an item people like and resell at a higher price. Where can you find products to buy at cheap and affordable prices? I would suggest going to the state of ABA located in the Eastern part of Nigeria or the local market to source for these items. You do not have to hold actual stock of the item.

Make a Shop

Creating a shop is not difficult. You can create an online shop on Instagram for free and advertise using Facebook ads.  You can also create an online shop on Jumia and pay them a commission on each sale. You could also create an online shop on Facebook. I will advise you create your own website (email: support@elistatus.com for assistance), the reason being that you do not want to compete against other shops on one platform. This will allow you to build a customer list as you continue to advertise and make sales.

Pictures and videos

You will need good pictures to get people to buy your Products for the same  price  as your online shop. When an item looks bad in pictures or videos no one will want to buy from you. Either buy a fantastic Camera or buy a very good smartphone that comes with a good camera. Think of it this way. The client cannot see it in person so they must rely on the image to buy your product.

The background of the picture matters. I suggest you get this mini studio to help you achieve professional pictures. It is pretty cheap for what you can get out of it.

Get Customers and keep them happy

Advertise your products well. I will advise you use Facebook and Instagram ads. You can reach your target audience here.  You have to learn to keep your customers happy. It is easier to get a customer who bought from you once to buy from you again. It is much more difficult to get new people to trust your brand and buy from you. This is why I said a website would be useful to you. When you have a website, you can have a private mailing list. You can send out newsletters every week to keep clients happy and updated on new products and services.

Online Fashion Shop

Delivery Company

You need a very good delivery/ logistics company to assist you with deliveries. A lot of times the customer would rather pay for shipping rather than pick it up themselves. You need people you can trust to help you with this. You cannot deliver everything yourself when your business grows so partner with a delivery company you trust.

Have more tips? Need some advice? Comment below and I will get back to you!

Please share with friends and family.

Contributed by Kofoworola George-Taylor of www.elistatus.com, created to help people learn new skills and be happy!

Comments Off on Book Review: Built to Last by Melanie A. Kulesz

Book Review: Built to Last by Melanie A. Kulesz

Posted by | August 12, 2020 | blog

Book Review: Built to Last by Melanie A. Kulesz

Introduction: Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras (1994) outlines the results of a six-year
research project investigating what makes a visionary company. Collins, a business consultant and lecturer, and Porras, a Stanford business professor and business and management analyst, elected to survey chief executive officers at leading corporations from a wide range of sizes, industries, types, and geographical locations and asked them to help create a list of visionary companies to study. The authors compared the selected companies and explored the trends and commonalities in how visionary companies differentiate.

The two primary arguments for the authors’ research are “to identify the underlying characteristics and dynamics common to highly visionary companies” and “to effectively communicate these findings and concepts so that they influence the practice of management and prove beneficial to people who want to help create, build, and maintain visionary companies” (p. 12). Through their widespread research and extensive selection process, the authors argue that visionary companies distinguish themselves through underlying characteristics and dynamics, which, in turn, enable them to have a lasting success. Their argument is supported with detailed evidence and complementary examples of the past and [then] present of the sample and comparison companies. However, in researching the sample companies in present-day 2016, many of these companies have fallen short of being visionary and premier players for lasting success.

Summary
Built to Last (Collins & Porras, 1994) is organized thematically to support the authors’ claims that visionary companies distinguish themselves through essential characteristics, beginning with the myth that all great companies start with a great idea and ending with the concept that all the elements of a company work within the context of the company’s core ideology. In between, the authors explore the concept that visionary companies do not focus on the or; they focus on maintaining the and between factors of success—that success is more than just profits, and preserving its core ideology that the company actually desires to be a visionary company. In addition, the authors also discover how highly visionary companies often use bold missions that are clear and compelling and attain their extraordinary position largely because of the simple fact that they are so demanding of themselves. Collins and Porras also present evidence that the environment of visionary companies tends to be that they are more demanding of their employees than other companies, both in terms of performance and congruence with the ideology. Lastly, in examining the history of the visionary companies, the authors discovered that the companies make some of their best moves not by detailed strategic
planning, but rather by experimentation, trial and error, opportunism, and accident.


Evaluation/Analysis
Collins and Porras (1994) did not seek to find what is common across a group of companies, but rather what is essentially different about the
compared companies. Knowing that they would need to compare companies against one another to conclude what characteristics set the visionary companies apart, it is important to note that the authors surveyed a carefully selected representative sample of seven hundred CEOs from Fortune 500 industrial and service companies and narrowed down the list to twenty organizations. This was a smart decision on the authors’ part
to avoid the fundamental flaw of simply looking for common characteristics among the visionary companies. The criteria for the comparison companies was that the organization must be of the same founding era, similar founding products and markets, fewer mentions in the CEO survey,
and not a dog company, meaning that the authors did not want to compare the visionary companies to total failures or poor performers. By including
comparison companies and foregoing an extensive selection process, the authors were able to discover the key differentiating trends that make a visionary company and assure that the information is valuable. This step is essential to the research project to assure the readers that the findings presented in this book are valuable and true to their results.

We are taught of the importance of starting first and foremost with a good idea and well-developed product/market strategy and then jumping through the window of opportunity before it closes. However, the authors discovered in their research that highly visionary companies differ
from this fallacy in that it is not about one product or idea, but rather it is about the company as a whole. Collins and Porras help the readers to
understand this concept through their research and explanation of the Walt Disney Company and the Wal-Mart Corporation. Walt Disney’s greatest
creation was not Fantasia, or Snow White, or even Disneyland; it was the Walt Disney Company and its uncanny ability to make people happy. Likewise, Sam Walton’s greatest creation wasn’t the Wall-Mart concept; it was the Wal-Mart Corporation—an organization that could implement
retailing concepts on a large scale better than any company in the world (Collins & Porras, 1994). These are just two examples of companies that defied the mythology that those who launch highly successful and visionary companies usually begin first and foremost with a brilliant idea and then ride the growth curve of an attractive product life cycle.

Similarly, the authors did not find maximizing shareholder wealth or profit maximization as the dominant driving force or primary objective
through the history of most of the visionary companies. They found that the visionary companies have generally been more ideologically driven
and less purely profit-driven than the comparison companies. Collins and Porras (1994) further display this notion by describing Johnson &
Johnson’s (J&J) enlightened self-interest, wherein “service to customers comes first, service to employees and management second, service to
community third, and service to stockholders last” (p. 58).

The authors also add the case of the 1982 Tylenol Crisis, where someone had laced J&J Tylenol with cyanide. The company took precaution and spent
$100 million to remove all Tylenol from the entire U.S. market, not just the Chicago market where it had happened. Through the 1982 Tylenol Crisis,
the authors clearly demonstrate how Johnson & Johnson is a company willing to do what is right, regardless of the cost, which therefore makes
them a truly visionary company.

The authors further use Johnson & Johnson to expand on their accidental move into consumer products by drawing on the conclusion that visionary companies also make some of the best moves by experimentation. In 1890, J&J was primarily a supplier of antiseptic gauze and medical plasters. After receiving a letter from a physician who complained about patient skin irritation from certain medicated plasters, J&J’s director of research quickly responded by sending a packet of soothing Italian talc to apply on the skin. He then convinced the company to include a small can of talc as part of the standard package with certain products and, to the company’s surprise, customers soon began asking to buy more of the talc directly. With further experimentation, the company took a tiny incremental step that eventually mushroomed into a significant strategic shift into consumer products—an “accident” which eventually grew to become 44% of J&J’s revenues (Collins & Porras, 1994, p. 141). The authors’ research into the history and business model of J&J is just one of the ways in which they discovered underlying characteristics and dynamics that make up a visionary company.

Built to Last not only explores vision as a result of experimentation, but also as a means of having “big hairy audacious goals” (Collins & Porras,
1994, p. 113), in other words, bold missions. All companies have goals, but the authors conclude that there is a difference between merely having a
goal and becoming committed to a huge, daunting challenge. The authors show the readers that this is a key characteristic among visionary companies by referencing the moon mission in the 1960s. Congress agreed to President Kennedy’s proclamation on May 25, 1961, “that this Nation
should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth” (p. 94). Given the odds, this was a bold and outrageous commitment, but the authors describe that that’s part of what made it such a powerful mechanism for getting the United States, still groggy from the 1950s and the Eisenhower era, moving vigorously forward. A big hairy audacious goal engages people; it reaches out and grabs them in the gut. It is tangible, energizing, highly focused. People “get it” right away; it takes little or no explanation. Collins and Porras (1994) also use General Electric’s (GE) core goal statement in the text to further illustrate the effectiveness of a bold mission: “Become #1 or #2 in every market we serve and revolutionize this company to have the speed and agility of a small enterprise” (p. 95). The
authors show that GE’s goal is clear, compelling, and more likely to stimulate progress, similar to the moon mission example.

Lastly, the authors effectively illustrate to the audience of a similar
pattern at Walt Disney Company, which has stimulated progress throughout its history by making bold, and often risky, commitments to audacious
projects. In 1934, Walt Disney aimed to do something never before done in the movie industry: create a successful full-length animated feature
film. Two decades after Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, and Bambi, he built a radically new kind of amusement park, Disneyland, repeated the process again in creating EPCOT center in Florida, and eventually went on to create the idea of Walt Disney World (for which his brother later carried
the torch). The moon mission, General Electric’s core goal, and Walt Disney’s bold commitments are all examples with which Collins and Porras
(1994) convince the readers to be commonalities among the researched visionary companies. Lastly, the authors conclude the book with the
importance of alignment in visionary companies: that all the elements of a company work together in concert within the context of the company’s
core ideology and the type of progress it aims to achieve. They illustrate the concept of alignment through their example of American pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. In the late 1920s, George W. Merck formulated the backbone of Merck’s vision. Building upon core values of
integrity, contribution to society, responsibility to customers and employees, and the unequivocal pursuit of quality and excellence, he envisioned
Merck as a world-class company that benefits humanity through innovative contributions to medicine—a company that makes superb profits not as the primary goal, but as a residual result of succeeding at that task. Collins and Porras (1994) go into great detail to show how consistently Merck has aligned itself with the core ideology and the type of progress envisioned by George Merck, and the company has therefore attained success as
a visionary company. For example, the company set the audacious goal to create a research capability so outstanding that it could “talk on equal
terms with the universities and research institutes” (p. 204). Merck also gave research scientists “the greatest possible latitude and scope in pursuing their investigations, the utmost freedom to follow
promising leads—no matter how unrelated to practical returns” (p. 205). Furthermore, unlike most American corporations, Merck prohibited
marketing input into the pure research process until products had clearly entered the development stage. Merck also has a long track record of
being well aligned with its ideology of corporate responsibility. Collins and Porras (1994) do a great job of helping the readers to understand how
Merck & Co. has been labeled a visionary company through their use of alignment.

Conclusion
In Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (1994), James Collins and Jerry Porras spent six years conducting research among
companies and presenting valid examples based on the stories and research data to identify key characteristics that make up a visionary company. They thematically present the underlying features throughout the book, split into themed chapters. Built to Last (1994) helps the reader, whether a business owner, business student, or simply the average individual, to assess the key
characteristics among a list of visionary companies in the hopes that they can understand what it takes to create a visionary company. The authors
demonstrate that visionary companies display a remarkable resiliency, an ability to bounce back from adversity, and therefore attain extraordinary
long-term performance. It is evident that the authors have done extensive research in coming up with key arguments to support their conclusions.
Every chapter displays a new finding and how it relates to the underlying characteristics of what makes a visionary company. However, published
in the nineties, the book is now a little dated. While the values and concepts still hold true, this presents an avenue for future research. There is a
fundamental flaw in that some of the companies from the authors’ research have fallen short of being visionary and premier players for lasting success. Ford, Motorola, Merck, Sony, Walt Disney, Boeing, and Nordstrom have all faltered in their performance, despite being described as lasting
visionary companies in Built to Last. It would be beneficial to repeat the experiment in present time to update the criteria and also compare against
past results.

References
Collins, J. C., & Porras, J. I. (1994). Built to Last:
Successful Habits of Visionary Companies.
New York, NY: Harper Business.

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Human Resource Audit: Issues & Benefits

Posted by | August 8, 2020 | blog

Human Resource of an Organisation

The first time I heard the word ‘Human Resource Audit’, I was confused because, before then, I had thought audit was only associated with the accounting profession. This is NOT totally true but they are related in the sense that they both try to investigate and detect what is MISSING or wrong and make recommendations.

Human Resource Audit is a process of accessing the quality and quantity (number) of staff within an organization and current practices with a view to detecting if it meets the requirements necessary for achieving its goals and objectives. It is “a comprehensive method of objective and systematic verification of current practices, documentation, policies and procedures prevalent in the HR system of the organization”.

It is a systematic analysis of the quantity and quality of the human resources of an organization aimed at determining if the organization has more or less staff than it requires to perform its services, or the skills required for effective and efficient realization of its organizational goals are or are not adequately sufficient presently in the organization.

In the process, if there are more staff than required by the organization, the organization may decide to retrench, redeploy or review and determine the appointment of excess staff. On the other hand, if the required skills for the optimal performance of the organization are absent, the organization may resort to redeployment of staff, redesignation of job titles or retraining of job holders.

If the right number of employees with the right age, qualifications and experiences are given the right placement, the organization is said to have adequately performed an ideal human resource planning and it is not likely to request for a human resource audit.

What determines the right job specifications, job descriptions and personnel is an effective human resource policy, systems, plan and procedures.

In effect, HR audit is devised to detect a defective human resource plan and HR audit will be incomplete without establishing an ideal and tailor-made HR plan for the organization.

HR auditors can be internal or external to the organization. Generally, HR consulting firms render the services of external HR auditors.

HR audit is to recognize strengths and identify any needs for improvement in the human resources function.

HR audit may be segmented into several phases: pre-audit information, on-site review, records review, and audit report.

HR audit seeks to review the HR system components: HR Planning, Corporate Structure, Quantitative and Qualitative manning levels, Documentation, Job descriptions, Personnel policies, Legal policies, Hiring and onboarding, Training and Development, Compensation and Employee Benefit System, Career Management, Employee Relations, Performance Measurement and Evaluation Processes, Termination Processes and Exit interviews, Key Performance Indicators (KPI), Personnel Forms, and HR Information Systems (HRIS), Comparative Analysis of other organisations within its niche.

Benefits:

An effective HR audit helps:

– identify the need for improvement and enhancement of the HR function.

– Maintain or enhance the organization and the department’s reputation

– guide the organization in maintaining compliance with ever-changing rules and regulations.

– ensure effective utilization of the organization’s HRs

– assist analyze the gap between the current HR function and what should be the best possible HR function in the organization.

– contribute towards the best possible use of internal resources and maximizing the effectiveness of HR in the organization.

– streamlines the HR processes and practices with the industry best practices and standards.

– review compliance in relation to administration of the organization

–  determines if the human resources programmes and practices serve or do not serve their intended purposes.

– investigates the company’s level of compliance with laws and procedures, and identifies areas requiring improvement

– identify ghost workers

instill sense of confidence in management and HR function

– Save organisational costs

– determine the quantity of human resource accessible to the company

– generate data for other organizational functions and decision making

– perform “due diligence” review for shareholders or potential investors/ owners

– establish a baseline for future improvement of the organisation

For a successful HR audit, it is advisable for the top management to establish the terms and scope of the audit clearly before engaging an external consulting firm for the exercise.

Contributed by Agolo Uzorka Eugene, CEO/ Lead Consultant, Eugene + George Consulting Limited

Comments Off on Book Review: Talent Is Never Enough – By John B. Maxwell

Book Review: Talent Is Never Enough – By John B. Maxwell

Posted by | July 25, 2020 | blog

John Maxwell is one of my favourite authors. I love the practical application, unique perspective and depth of thought that characterise his books. I also enjoy how he uses real life stories to illustrate his message and drive home his point in all his works – at least the ones that I have read or listened to – including Talent is Never Enough.

The main message of the book is that while talent often plays an indispensable role in facilitating success, true success is rarely a result of talent alone. Rather, it is a product of many other factors. Talent is Never Enough calls on readers to enhance and maximise their talents by making 13 major choices which will move them from being talented people to becoming “talent-plus” people.

The chapter headings give a good overview of what the book is all about:

1. Belief lifts your talents

2. Passion energises your talents

3. Initiative activates your talent

4. Focus directs your talents

5. Preparation positions your talent

6. Practice sharpens your talent

7. Perseverance sustains your talent

8. Courage tests your talent

9. Teachability expands your talent

10. Character protects your talent

11. Relationships influence your talent

12. Responsibility strengthens your talent

13. Teamwork multiplies your talent

Here are some words from the book that are worth mulling over:

“Lack of belief can act as a ceiling on talent… Your potential is a picture of what you can become. Belief helps you see the picture and reach for it.”

“When a man has put a limit on what he will do, he has put a limit on what he can do.” – Charles Schwab

“What we accomplish in life is based less on what we want and more on how much we want it. The secret to willpower is what someone once called wantpower.”

“Talent-plus people don’t wait for everything to be perfect to move forward. They don’t wait for all the problems or obstacles to disappear. They don’t wait until their fear subsides. They take initiative.”

“If you desire to achieve something, you first need to know what your target is… Attempting everything, like attempting nothing, will suck the life out of you.”

Packed with examples, quotes and practical insights, Talent is Never Enough carries a message that is sorely needed by anyone who believes that his/her talent entitles him/her to success. If you’re such a person, this book will show you that you can be a talented person and still fall short of your potentials. To stand out you need to be a talent-plus person. It is not talent, but what you add to it, that makes the greatest difference. Talent in itself will not help you attain your full potential.

John C. Maxwell

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Posted by | June 28, 2020 | blog

Sexual harassment at Workplace

Whenever the discussion on sexual harassment in the workplace erupts, the first thoughts that come to minds of many are: men are the perpetrators, men are the culprits etc. But this may not be totally correct. Sexual harassment is a non-gender violence because a male employee can sexually harass a female employee and a female employee can sexually harass a male employee. Also a male employee can sexually harass a male co-worker and a female employee can sexually harass a female co-worker.

To properly grasp the topic, let us first understand what sexual harassment is. Sexual harassment is an “unwelcome physical, verbal or unverbal conduct of sexual nature”. It is described as when an employee continuously make unwelcome sexual advances, requesting for sexual favours, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature to another employee against his or her wishes.

Sexual harassment “occurs when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individuals’ work performances or creates an intimidating, hostile, offensive and toxic work environment”.

Note that harassers could be Supervisors, Managers or co-workers.

What constitutes Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

  • Demand or request for sexual favours by either gender
  • Remarks designed to cause offence
  • Intrusive questions or speculations about your sex-life
  • Sexually explicit jokes (e.g you look sexy)
  • When a Superior implies an employee must sleep with him/ her to keep his/ her job;
  • SMS, email etc to a co-worker containing sexually explicit language and jokes
  • Demeaning comments about a male or female staff
  • Belittling and referring to staff sexist or demeaning terms
  • Posting sexually explicit jokes on an office internet bulletin board
  • Behaviours capable of creating an intimidating, hostile or humiliating work environment

You must know that incidences involving pinches, fondling, touching or more extreme physical threats of a co-worker, against his/ her wish are criminal offences and should be reported to the appropriate authority.

Many cases of sexual harassment abound. The most recent one at hand is that of Abiola Oke, CEO/ Publisher of Indie Music website, OkayPlayer and OkayAfrica, an online hip-hop and alternative music website community founded in New York, USA in 1987 – a website that focuses on African culture, politics and music. Recently women went online to narrate their ordeals, accusing him of inapproriate behavior, serially exploiting Black women, and creating a toxic work environment. He has had to resign his appointment and the Management of the Company has come out in strong terms condemning the actions with a promise to investigate the matter.

Again on June 3, 2020, Kelechi Udoagwu, writer and tech entrepreneur in her reaction to one of the trending hashtags, #JusticeForUwa, mentioned her experience. She claims she was sexually harassed by Kendall Ananyi, CEO, Tizeti Network Limited.

In the tweet, Udoagwu gave sketchy details of Ananyi’s alleged abuse against her a few years ago in a mentorship session during her time at MEST, an African-focused entrepreneurship training and incubator program.

Her statement has since ignited different reactions from various quarters of the online community and the African tech space, most of which either empathised with her, condemned the act, or demanded a comment from the accused.

On the same day, MEST made a comment condemning the act and expressed its intention to investigate the matter.

A lot of women are enmeshed in sexual harassment cases but have found it extremely difficult to speak-out because of what they term “the dire consequences”.

Another is the case of former Senator Don Meredith (Canada) who resigned in May 2017 over series of controversies resulting from the revelation that he had sexually harassed his female employees and had had sexual relationship with a teenager while in officer.

Hear Senator Sabi Marwar’s statement on Thursday June 25, 2020:

“Workplace harassment of any kind is unacceptable. It has no place in the Senate of Canada. We have heard the experiences in the office of former Senator Don Meredith, and most importantly we believe””

The Canadian Senate has promised to hire an independent evaluator who will determine “a financial award for the employees impacted by the misconduct of Mr Meredith”.

Susan Faludi in her book, “Backlass: The Undeclared War Against American Women” posits that male hostility towards their female counterpart in the workplace is a function of male attitude or perception about the proper role of men in the society and concludes that women’s pursuit for economic equality with men was being felt as a serious threat to their (men) traditional roles.

In view of the foregoing, it is believed that men invent means to exploit the presence of women in the workplace, making sexual advances and favours, using threats as an instrument, arm-twisting them (females) to submission, to keep their jobs and avoid demotions or such.

There is no gainsaying it, in our world today, women are more prone to be victims of sexual harassment in the workplace. This is partly because most times they are at disadvantaged positions having no powers, vulnerable and insecure.

Research indicates that one out of every ten (10) women are raped or sexually abused in their life times and, half of women living with men have also experienced battery or similar indecent incidence of domestic violence.

Causes of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

  • Women delving into male dominated professions
  • Indecent dressing in the workplace
  • Influx of women into the labour market
  • Dwindling purchasing powers occasioned by poor performing economies globally as many families cannot make ends meet
  • Single-parenting forcing women to be head of families
  • Men seeing the presence of women in the workplace as an opportunity for exploit

How to Prevent Sexual Harassment in the Workplace:

  • Effect appropriate dress culture in the workplace
  • Keep close watch and monitor employees
  • Train all employees  (top to bottom)
  • Adopt clear sexual harassment policies
  • Take all complaints seriously
  • Good legal system to prosecute offenders

In its continued efforts, Nigeria Chapter of the International Lawyers Assisting Workers (ILAW) has urged the Federal Government to urgently ratify the International Labour Convention No. 190 on Violence and Harassment as it provides a “framework to prevent, remedy and eliminate violence and harassment in workplaces including gender-based violence and harassment”.

Sexual harassment claim can only be instituted or made if the incidence(s) occurred in the course of employment or in a work-related environment.

Sexual harassment in the workplace is highly condemable because of its multiple and attendant effects on the life of the Company – breeds disrespect and lawlessness within the system, causes low productivity, low morale, dwindles the corporate image etc.

This write-up was contributed by Agolo Uzorka Eugene, CEO/ Lead Consultant, Eugene + George Consulting Limited (www.eugenegeorgeconsulting.com)

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Agolo Uzorka Eugene
Termination of Employment

Termination of Employment contract is one of the most difficult aspects of Human Resource Management, depending on the side of the divide you are. It is one assignment many HR Managers or whoever that manages the assigned role of workforce management deplores because it is a negative role, but a difficult aspect of the job that must be executed. This was one of my albatross as a Human Resource Manager, when I worked in one organisation because the Managing Director always used it wrongly as a threat to employees which should not be – it could be very demotivating!

According to Wikipedia, “termination of employment is an employee’s departure from a job and the end of an employee’s duration with an employer. Termination may be voluntary on the employee’s part, or it may be at the hands of the employer, often in the form of dismissal (firing) or a layoff”.

“Termination of employment refers to the end of an employee’s work with a company. Termination may be voluntary, as when a worker leaves of their own accord, or involuntary, in the case of a company downsize or layoff, or if an employee is fired” – Investopedia.

Termination of employment according to Oladosu O. in his book, The Nigerian Labour and Employment Law, “is the bringing to an end the employment relationship”. It is the severance of relationship between the employer and employee.

Termination of employment could occur from either the employer or employee but should meet the written terms of the contract. The employer nor the employee is neither under any obligation to give reasons for the termination of employment contract.

You should know that Section 11 of the Labour Act in terms of contract of employment, provides for a compulsory issuance of notice or payment in lieu of notice by either party. Section 11(6) of the same act provides that “the right”to notice may be waived by ether party to the contract of employment by a payment in lieu of notice“.

Be reminded that contract of employment may not always be a written document; all that is required is that parties involved should reach an agreement and abide by the terms of engagement.

The termination of employment and dismissal brings the contract of employment to an end. The law on termination and dismissal in Nigeria is built around Common Law.

Factors leading to termination of Contract of Employment:

i). Expiry of Contract of Employment: at the expiry of fixed term contract for which the employee services may no longer be required, termination may be the next option;

ii) Mutual consent/ agreement: this could be occasioned by retirement or may be a “constructive dismissal”, a situation where employee is advised / forced to resign by the employer due to some irreconcilable differences.

iii). By notice e.g.

  • Resignation
  • Dismissal
  • Redundancy (when an employer ceases to carry on the business)

iv). Breach of contract, necessitating the employer to dismiss the employee without notice.

Examples:

a). willful disobedience of lawful order, evidencing total disregard for the terms of contract and utter disrespect for constituted authority;

b). dereliction, abandonment or desertion of duty;

c). serious negligence or prolonged incompetence;

e). misrepresentation or falsification of information supplied in any official document;

f). on the receipt of unsatisfactory report(s) from the previous employer of the employee on probation;

g) giving out or divulging confidential information about the company’s trade secrets to a third party or person not entitled to know;

h). conviction for felony or any other criminal offence by a competent court of law;

i). dishonesty, misconduct or any act likely to bring the company’s name into disrepute or ridicule;

j). frustration emanating from the death, illness or imprisonment of employer or employee.

Dismissal:

The Webstar’s Dictionary and Thesaurus defines dismissal as the act of removing a person from office. Nigeria Law refers to dismissal as the determination of a contract of employment due to the employee’s misconduct and it is carried out summarily without advanced notice nor payment in lieu of notice. Employers adopt this to erring employees in cases of gross misconduct. In most situations, it takes immediate effect and it is the sole right enjoyed by the employer. The principle of fair hearing and natural justice must apply in such situation.

Dismissal does not only include the termination of an employee’s contract by his employer; it is also ending a fixed term contract without a renewal on the same terms.

Secondly, it is the termination of employment by the employee where the employers conduct forces him/ her to do so. This is referred to as “constructive dismissal” significantly precipitated by employer’s breach of contract, signifying that the employer no longer wants to be bound by one or more terms and conditions of the contract. The employee may decide to leave immediately depending on the gravity of the breach and ability to meet up with such conditions and responsibilities that appertains thereto (if any) to such actions.

Dismissals vary as follows:

Summary dismissal: This is when the employer dismisses the employee without the required notice period and as such, the employee may also not be entitled to payment(s) – entitlement(s). This occurs and can only be justified if the employee has committed a serious breach of contract otherwise he or she could seek redress in a competent court of law.

Unfair dismissal: An employee may approach the National Industrial Court to bring claim if he/she believes that he/she has been unfairly dismissed. The onus will lie on the employee first to prove that he/ she has been dismissed; and the employer’s responsibility at this point will be to prove that the dismissal was fair.

Wrongful dismissal: The employee can lay claim for wrongful dismissal if he/ she can prove with evidence that the dismissal was without justification as he/ she has not breached any part of the contract. The employee will also have to prove that it was not with appropriate notice and that that was ignored by the employer, thereby suffering losses as a result. The employer will be liable to wrongful termination in the Court of Law.

If wrongful dismissal can be proved, the employee may be able to claim some damages resulting from loss of earnings payable during the notice period or balance of wages due under fixed term contract.

In dismissing an employee, the employer is not justified except there were some serious offenses.

Resignation:

Resignation is a form of termination of contract by notice. Contracts are expected to specify notice periods. Be that as it may, termination of employment during probationary period carries minimal notice period or none, depending on several variables – position, company policy, reasons for resignation etc. Notice may be waived, or payment made in lieu of notice.

Employees may resign appointment for any number of reasons, personal or occupational which could be a reflection on the management style, company’s culture, harassment, increased work hours, new work location etc.

When an employee announces his/ her resignation, verbally or by letter, it is pertinent for Management to find out reasons why he/ she is leaving through the exit interview so as to make possible adjustments, where necessary.

Conclusion:

In managing termination of employment, the Human Resource Manager and Management generally should consider how the factors above apply in a given situation, depending largely on the individual concerned, the responsibilities of the incumbent job holder, cost of replacement in terms of time and finance, public perception and corporate image, company’s policy etc.

Contributed by Agolo Uzorka Eugene, CEO/ Lead Consultant, Eugene + George Consulting Limited, a front-line Human Resource Company, providing world-class services to a wide-range of clients (www.eugenegeorgeconsulting.com)

Termination of Employment
Agolo Uzorka Eugene

Handling Being Unemployed

Posted by | June 19, 2020 | blog

Youth Unemployment

I decided to look into the issue of handling being unemployed more especially in this period we are in, COVID-19 era, as I receive calls, visits and mails every second on how I could assist with jobs/ employment – visit www.job247sure.com for jobs. Many other issues have resulted in job loss in recent times ranging from poor performing economy, corruption, rural urban migration, poor quality of education, poor infrastructure (e.g power supply) to unstable polity etc.

Moreso, I decided to visit this issue because I once suffered this same fate as so many others have taken different illicit options in a bid to addressing this – armed robbery, banditry, suicide etc.

What is Unemployment?

According to Wikipedia, “unemployment or jobless is the situation of actively looking for employment but not currently employed’’. The Bureau of Labour Statistics defines unemployment as “ people who do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the past four weeks, and are currently available for work. Also, people who were temporarily laid off and were waiting to be called back to that job ….”

I will simply define unemployment as a state of willingness/ availability of person(s) to be engaged in work with work not being available.

A place of work is considered a place to meet people, ease internal tensions, get engaged, meet friends/ colleagues and have fun; a place where we spend most of our days at – spending an average of forty (40) hours per week. Being unemployed, invariably erodes these. But being unemployed is a stage in life and should be seen as a reformatory phase – it is never permanent. It is neither time to cry all day, blaming everybody for your situation and woes nor complaining to everyone that cared to listen. I think it is a period for self-audit to really understand who you are and where your passion lies so as to streamline your plans and objectives – do a SWOT Analysis (look at your Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat), knowing too that people have passed through the phase successfully and yours wouldn’t be an exception if well managed.

Being unemployed comes with lots of challenges which includes:

– Isolation and disconnect from society- friends, former colleagues, family members, neighbours etc

– Unavailability of source of income

– Ostracisation – Makes you dependent

– Societal disrespect

– Erodes self-confidence etc

This advice will assist you handle being unemployed:

  • See getting a job as your job: You must take getting a job as your job; strategise your plans and make your job search a 9.00am – 5.00pm thing. Distribute your times, assign when and where to be at different periods – time to be online, time to submit your CVs to organisations etc. Get to organisations, introduce yourself and ask for someone you can talk to;
  • Take up voluntary jobs: Accept voluntary jobs from whence you can learn and over a time your output should be able to justify why you should be given an employment.
  • Reconnect with friends: Reconnect with friends who would lift your spirit up and not with friends who would add to your woes – complainers, negative persons who never believe it could get better; share your views with them and seek for opinions where necessary;
  • Read more: This is a period to read those books you never had the time to read; research more so as to be a better person – more informed and reformed;
  • Exercise yourself: Make sure you exercise yourself at least thrice weekly because it assists you to free your mind and burn the unnecessary fats;
  • Meditate more: Try to meditate and communicate with your creator;
  • Keep Believing: Keep working hard to change your situation and continue to believe in yourself. Never think that you would never get a job
  • Don’t Compare Yourself to others: Do not compare yourself to others because you are unique.

You must work hard as good things don’t come that easy and you surely will smile sooner than expected.

Contributed by Agolo Uzorka Eugene, CEO/ Lead Consultant, Eugene + George Consulting Limited (www.eugenegeorgeconsulting.com)

Handling Being Unemployed
Agolo Uzorka Eugene

Since its debut in 1997, Robert T. Kiyosaki’s Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad has been a landmark among personal finance books, a best-seller that has sold nearly 40 million copies worldwide.

I first read the book back in 2000, when I was still a budding entrepreneur. I figured I would re-read it now that I have more experience under my belt. I also wanted to see if it’s held up to the test of time, and if I would like it as much as I did when I first read Rich Dad, Poor Dad. A lot has happened financially in the past 20 years, and I’m curious if some of Kyosaki’s predictions came true.

While Robert Kiyosaki’s bestseller is recommended reading for starting entrepreneurs, this book does have some flaws. You should read this book just to start thinking differently than the average employee, if not to get motivated. However, take Kiyosaki’s advice with a grain of salt.

READ RICH DAD, POOR DAD

When I first read the book, I primarily liked how Kiyosaki viewed the world from a different perspective. It got me to think differently about my business and investing than I had previously.

Kiyosaki seems to be a polarizing figure: You either love or hate his work. The Simple Dollar review of Kiyosaki’s work, for example, adds a lot of personal bias, and I don’t think that’s fair.

I try to take a more neutral viewpoint and will review the book based upon my experience in the business world.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad should be viewed as a general starting point — a investment/startup summary, rather than a list of specific items to do as an entrepreneur.

Robert Kiyosaki emphasizes six key points through out the book. These points — which differentiate between his “poor” dad (his real dad) and the “rich” dad that helped him understand business and become wealthy — are:

  1. The rich don’t work for money
  2. The importance of financial literacy
  3. Minding your own business
  4. Taxes and corporations
  5. The rich invent money
  6. The need to work to learn and not to work for money

Good Points in the Book

Flawed Educational System

As Robert mentions many times in the book, our traditional educational system is flawed. Our education system is designed primarily to create employees and could be a negative influence for an entrepreneur. As Kiyosaki mentions, he’s not suggesting that people skip higher education; he’s suggesting higher education does not assist with “street smarts.” Financial literacy is something that is rarely discussed in school, and if it is discussed, it is only at basic levels. Based upon my personal background, I’ve made this a personal focus and will make sure my children are well educated in this subject.

The cost of education continues to increase much faster than the rate of inflation. It’s becoming more clear our education system is broken. Robert’s statements about this topic are accurate.

Being an Entrepreneur Is Less Risky

The popular belief is that owning a business is riskier than working for someone else. In my opinion, owning a business gives you all sorts of self-reliance skills you would not get when working for someone else. If anything, with today’s “cradle to grave” mentality, we are creating more dependent individuals.

Owning a business has given me much more independence and many more invaluable skills I could still use if I were to work for someone else. On a weekly basis, I now do things I used to consider risky or could never imagine doing before owning a business.

Your Primary Residence Is NOT an Asset

Over the years it generally has been accepted that your primary residence is an asset. Robert flat-out states (I believe correctly) that your home is not an asset, since it does not generate positive cash flow. The housing bubble and collapse proved this correct.

“Rich people acquire assets. The poor and middle class acquire liabilities, but they think they are assets.”

While rental properties have also gone down in value, if you focus on positive cash flow, you still are bringing in money every month. Robert even states in his book that home values do not always go up.

Pretty much all consumable goods are liabilities — something even I got tripped up with. Kiyosaki states you should buy investments that generate cash flow to help pay for your “doodads.” I think this is a great way to look at how to purchase your toys.

What Is an Asset or Liability?

“An asset is something that puts money in my pocket. A liability is something that takes money out of my pocket.”

A load of Kiyosaki’s critics point out that this statement doesn’t follow general accounting standards. This is true, and Robert acknowledges this. The point, which many miss, is that you should be focusing on cash flow to get wealthy.

“Wealth is a person’s ability to survive so many number of days forward… or if I stopped working today, how long could I survive?”

I still refer back to this statement today and have devoted a few posts to this topic:

  • How Wealthy Are You?
  • Does Net Worth Matter?
  • How to become wealthy

Complaints About the Book

There are many reports that Robert’s “Rich Dad” does not exist and was made up. This is more than likely true, but there have been many personal finance books that are works of fiction. (The book Wealthy Barber comes to mind.)

The issue some people have with Robert is that he presents his book as a work of non-fiction when it’s not, and I agree with this complaint. I find it interesting that John Reed’s website puts down Robert’s work, but at the same time also sells Reed’s own work.

Robert does downplay the role of risk in the investment suggestions. This is somewhat accurate, but he suggests that you should fully understand your investments before diving in. Robert states that investing is risky only if you don’t fully understand what you are investing in.

Summary

While I still recommend this book, especially for beginning entrepreneurs, the book has some flaws. In my opinion, many topics he discusses hold the test of time. But take some of what Robert Kiyosaki says with a grain of salt. It should be read, if not for the motivation, just to get you to think differently than a salaried employee. I don’t love or hate it, hence the reason why I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

If you do decide to read Robert’s books, I recommend reading only Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant. Most of the other books are simply a rehash of these two books. I DO NOT recommend attending any local seminars.

I will keep his book on my list of best personal finance books for the primary reason to get you to think outside the box.

Contributed by Larry Ludwig

Book Review: Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Larry Ludwig
10 Questions Employers Should Never Ask During an Interview
Preparing for a Job Interview Session

Conducting job interviews is a hard task. Most people don’t conduct interviews all that often and so they don’t get a lot of practice. Of course, if you’re a recruiter, you should have refined skills, but for the hiring managers, most don’t hire more than once or twice a year. So their skills are rusty—at best.

While many articles focus on the interview questions you should ask. There are also questions that you should never ask. You don’t ask some questions because of legal reasons and others because they aren’t helpful in selecting an employee.

Here are ten questions that you should never ask. Some of them might surprise you.

10 Questions Employers Should Never Ask During an Interview

Oh! I Went to South High School, Too. What Year Did You Graduate?: 

High school graduation is a sticky question because it indicates your candidate’s age—give or take a year. Age discrimination for people over 40 is illegal, and the only age that you need to know is if they are over 18 or 21, depending on the job.
Most interviewers would never ask a candidate how old he or she is, but questions like this slip out, especially when the topic comes up in a normal conversation. When you find out that your candidate has something in common with you, it’s natural to try to build connections.
Hold off on this connection, though, until after you have made a job offer. If you hire the person, you will have plenty of time to laugh about running laps in Mrs. Jones’ PE class.

  • I Love Your Accent. Where Are You From?: First of all, have you looked at the person’s resume? That will give you an idea of where your candidate has lived, but otherwise, national origin is a protected class. Lots of people love cool accents. You mean nothing discriminatory by the question. But, if you don’t hire the person, they could look back on that question as national origin discrimination.
    Likewise, the same goes for an individual who looks like they aren’t from the United States. If their resume says their address is Pittsburgh, then as far as you’re concerned, they come from Pittsburgh.
  • How Many Kids Do You Have?: This question often comes up in the small talk portion of the job interview or if you take your candidate out to lunch. The children subject is often brought up by the interviewee. She’ll see a picture of your kids on your desk and comment, and the polite thing to do is to ask her the same question back.
    Except, in a job interview, you want to let that question go. The proper questions are related to the ability of your candidate to do the job. You can say, “This job doesn’t have good flexibility. We’re pretty rigid about our hours. Will that work for you?” You especially don’t want to get into plans for future children, as pregnancy discrimination violates the law.
  • Are You a US Citizen?: The question you can ask regarding this issue is, “Are you authorized to work in the United States?” And the hiring manager shouldn’t need to ask this question at all. Your job application should ask this question, and the recruiter was responsible for weeding out candidates who can’t legally work here.
  • What Language Do You Speak at Home?: This question also puts you into national origin discrimination territory. If you’re hiring an employee for a position that requires multi-lingual capabilities, the question to ask is, “What languages do you speak?” And, for further clarification, “How well do you speak that language?” Ideally, you should have a current employee who speaks the language you are looking for to interview the candidate and assess their language skills.
  • Do You Have Any Disabilities?: Some disabilities are obvious. If the person is in a wheelchair, you’ll know it. But, many disabilities that are protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act aren’t obvious during a job interview. Don’t ask. Again, even though you would never intentionally discriminate against someone with a disability, once you know, you have set yourself up for the accusation that you did.
    You can ask the candidate if they are capable of doing the job. If a candidate does have a disability that needs accommodation, the candidate should bring it up to you after you’ve made a job offer.
  • What Would You Do if a Penguin With a Sombrero Walked in the Front Door?: Some hiring managers like to ask these fun and creative questions they found on the internet. Please don’t. Unless you’re in the business of zoo animal fiestas, there is no answer to this question that will help you evaluate the candidate.
    Keep your questions relevant to the job. Don’t try to pry into personality. Unless you’re a trained psychologist, you won’t even know how to interpret the candidate’s answers. Ask about knowledge, skills, and abilities instead.
  • Do You Need Health Insurance?: Yes, everyone needs health insurance. If you’re asking because the job doesn’t offer health insurance, and you want to make them aware, just say it flat out during the phone screen. “This job doesn’t offer health insurance. Are you still interested in interviewing?”
    By waiting until the interview and asking your candidate if he needs health insurance, what you’re doing is prying into their marital status, the employment status of their spouse, their health status, and their financial independence. Don’t ask.
  • What Did You Hate About Your Last Job?: It can seem like a good question, as you can use it as a set up a situation in which you are extolling the virtues of the position you’re offering. But, the question opens up the opportunity for your candidate to become very negative.
    Candidates dislike something about their current job, or they wouldn’t be job searching. But, they are generally trying hard to stay positive. Instead, ask questions about what they are looking for in their new job. “What are you looking for in your new job?” is a better, more positive question.

  • What Church Do You Attend?: Unless you’re hiring for a faith-based organization, this question is a no-go. Again, it often comes up in small talk and seems harmless, but you cannot discriminate on the basis of religion unless it’s pertinent to the job. (So, yes, you can require that the minister for your Lutheran church is Lutheran, but you can’t require that your grocery store cashier has the same beliefs as you.)
  • The only time religion is relevant in a secular interview is if the person needs an accommodation, in which case it is their responsibility to bring it up after you’ve made an offer. Then, you can decide together if an accommodation is possible.

When you’re conducting job interviews, keep your focus on the actual job, and the skills you need the new employee to possess and you won’t go wrong or off-track with your interview questions. These are ten examples of questions you don’t want to ask and why you don’t want to ask them.

Suzanne Lucas is a freelance journalist specializing in Human Resources. Suzanne’s work has been featured on notes publications including Forbes, CBS, Business Insideand Yahoo.