What is a Management Consultant?

So after a very busy week of very enjoyable networking; I found myself consistently trying to explain what is a "Management Consultant" and what services I offer my clients .

So I decided to do a little research (one of my skills) and came across this very good description:

Being a management consultant is all about having a "Swiss Army knife of solutions you can use to work with a client".

Others included:

  • Fulfilling business needs that cannot be undertaken successfully by the client due to lack of time or other resources
  • Using their independence to manage difficult or political situations on behalf of their client, often using change management expertise and human resource knowledge
  • Gaining an independent and innovative overview of businesses in order to identify areas of improvement or development, stimulating the client to change or adopt desired practices.

So, if you are a busy manager or business owner who does not have time to keep up with changes to Irish Legislation or have staffing issues please give me a call. I work across sectors and can offer simple solutions that can give employers confidence and reassurance.

Maighréad Kelly is a management consultant and offers a range of supports to employers in the area of HR and Operations. Maighréad is an experienced interviewer and is available to sit on interview panels as an external and impartial interviewer and advisor. She also works as an external investigator and is available to carry out investigations into complaints which can arise within an organisation from time to time. For more information on the services that Maighréad provides go to www.maighreadkelly.com or check out Maighréad’s experience on https://www.linkedin.com/in/maighreadkelly/ 


How to reduce the risks associated with workplace investigation practices?

When faced with a complaint in an organisation, employers will often try and resolve the complaint themselves or will delegate the task to a junior manager. Resolving the matter can take many forms but if not handled correctly it can have significant financial, legal and reputational implications. Some of the most common mistakes that employers often make during the course of an internal workplace investigation can include:

  1. The forgoing of the pre-investigation planning stage and moving straight into investigation.
  2. The investigator chooses to morph the investigation and disciplinary steps into the same process.
  3. The investigator chooses to rely on "untested" information and therefore unduly favours one version of events and ignores discrepancies.
  4. Due to the fact that this is an internal investigation they are unable to establish a process that is perceived as independent and free of bias.
  5. Internal investigations can often be delayed, due to a number of reasons however, this "delay" can often fuel speculation and gossip therefore jeopardising appropriate disciplinary action.

Mistakes in investigations can end up being very costly for the employer and employee. The employer needs to consider what is the best approach and always take into account the needs of the business. One of the most significant considerations for employers is whether to engage an external investigator.

It may not always be appropriate or beneficial for the employer to engage an external investigator however a good investigator will induce confidence for both parties as the findings will be unbiased and independent.

Maighréad Kelly Management Consultant offers a range of supports for employers in the area of HR and Workplace Investigations. Maighréad is an experienced external investigator and is available to carry out investigations into complaints which can arise within an organisation from time to time. For more information on the services that Maighréad offers provide go to www.maighreadkelly.com or check out Maighréad’s experience on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/maighreadkelly/


Calling all Charities - 2019 is the year to get your house in order.......

The Charities Regulator intends that 2019 will be a “year of learning and preparation for charities” in relation to their new Governance code. All charities are expected to comply with the code by 2020 and, from 2021, all charities will be required to report on their compliance with the code on an annual basis, by filling out a (50 page) compliance record form.

So what does this mean? Well regardless of the size of your organisation all charities need to be firstly registered with the regulator, secondly they need to ensure that their board is fully aware of their responsibilities and thirdly they need to fill in and submit their compliance form. This Code replaces the previous voluntary code which was launched a number of years ago by a collective group of charities and is thankfully much more streamlined and easier to navigate. The code consists of six principles of governance. These are:

  1. Advancing charitable purpose;
  2. Behaving with integrity;
  3. Leading people;
  4. Exercising control;
  5. Working effectively;
  6. Being accountable and transparent.

Many small organisations have concerns that the code will add to their workload and is nothing more than a paper exercise. In the beginning, yes organisations will need to spend some time on completing the necessary paperwork and ensuring their organisation operates within the Charities Act 2009. But like everything in life, it is the thoughts of doing something which is more stressful than the actual task itself. Also it is important to remember that Governance is not a new concept, it is a core aspect of every company and organisation across the world. According to PwC corporate governance is “a performance issue,” because it provides a framework for how your company operates.

It is also important to remember that simply implementing the governance code isn’t the same as achieving success. Most examples of good governance have something in common, too: they’re built on a foundation of transparency, accountability and trust. When meeting with my clients I advise that they start the process now with their board otherwise they will only be adding to the stress by leaving it any longer. Also it is important to remember that boards are made up of voluntary members who might only meet 8 times in the year therefore that does not leave much time to get through the necessary paperwork.

Maighréad has been a Company Director since 2014 and is both experienced and knowledgeable in the area of governance and assessing governance compliance within organisations. She will work with your charity, organisation or social enterprise to help your CEO and board of directors to identify the areas of priority in order to be compliant with the Charity Regulators Governance Code. She will then provide you with support, assistance and guidance in order to address those priorities. For more information on the services that Maighréad provides go to www.maighreadkelly.com or check out Maighréad’s experience on https://www.linkedin.com/in/maighreadkelly/[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


Common pitfalls that employers experience when undertaking interviews…..

One of the biggest challenges facing employers in today’s employment market is the ability to be able to hire and retain good and loyal workers who are willing to take on the responsibilities of the role. Most Senior Managers within the health and caring sector state that a significant amount of their time involves sitting on interview boards trying to hire employees for the same positions over and over again. It must be acknowledged that demand for services within the health and care sector is growing year on year therefore a high level of turnover is to be expected. But the first thing I like to ask is: What information did you give the prospective employee at interview and how skilled was the person who carried out the interview?

A good interview is essential and it cannot be a one-sided. Every interviewer likes it when they interview people who are clear about their experience, can answer every question effectively and demonstrates the competence to undertake the role. Great job done, person leaves the room and everyone is happy. Twelve months later the employee resigns or the employer observes that the answers that they gave at interview does not match their work performance. What went wrong?

Well in my experience it can often be at the interview stage where it went wrong. The interview is the most important step towards hiring good employees as this is where both the employer and prospective employee establish their future working relationship. In the past I have been accused of being too direct in interviews and some of my fellow interviewers have expressed concerns that “I might put the person off…” In some cases it did but in most cases it did not. It is always important to remember that both the employee and the employer sign the contract therefore it is important that both sides on clear from day one what they are agreeing to. Good and Loyal employees know their role, their responsibilities and who they are accountable to.

Here are some tips for employers when carrying out interviews:

  1. Members of the Interview Panel are not skilled in effective interviewing: There is a common assumption that interviews are easy and once you use the correct paperwork and ask the questions on the form you will be fine. Some managers within the health and care sector are very skilled in their area but will often only have received cursory interview training and don’t know the pitfalls that can lead to bad interviewing and hiring results. Also there is an assumption that the more interviews you do the better you will get at them. However a bit like learning to drive, if you pick up bad habits in the beginning it is very hard to change them later down the line. Also it is very difficult for HR managers to know who is effective and who requires more support as they are often not on the interview panels and therefore have no way of knowing what might be happening during an individual manager’s interviews.
  2. Contrasting Candidates when interviewing large numbers in a row: Due to time constraints it is often necessary for managers to schedule one to two days of interviews in a row. Whilst this is often unavoidable the interviewer needs to be careful not to contrast one candidate over another. If an interviewer has several bad interviews in a row, the next person who performs much better may be inaccurately rated as outstanding, simply because they are so much better than the recent poor performers. Interviewers will often notice this at the end of the day when it comes to the scoring. The first couple of candidates might score lower in the morning for certain competencies compared to the candidate who comes in after two or three candidates who performed badly or who comes in straight after lunch. The reverse effect is also possible.
  3. Don’t get fooled by the enthusiasm of the Candidate: If the interviewers have had a long run of candidates who don’t perform well they can often get smitten with candidates who demonstrate enthusiasm and passion. This can result in the interviewer failing to accurately assess other important competencies and job requirements.
  4. One-way conversation: Something I have been guilty of in the past as an interviewer – is spending more time talking during the interview rather than listening. Most interviewers don’t leave equal time for the candidate to ask questions and to present information that they want to present, which can frustrate them, and then limited information is used to make the decision.
  5. Focusing too much on past experience: Interviews are mostly based on the past but whoever you hire will be working in the present and future. Most interviewers fail to ask candidates to forecast the future and to provide an outline of the plans that they will use to identify and solve upcoming problems.

Maighréad Kelly is a management consultant and offers a range of supports to employers in the area of HR and Operations. Maighréad is an experienced interviewer and is available to sit on interview panels as an external and impartial interviewer and advisor. She also works as an external investigator and is available to carry out investigations into complaints which can arise within an organisation from time to time. For more information on the services that Maighréad provides go to www.maighreadkelly.com or check out Maighréad’s experience on https://www.linkedin.com/in/maighreadkelly/