Sunday, 1 April 2012


NARD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE 2012 10 to 14 September 2012 Uyo, Nigeria

The conference is on the development of human resources in Africa titles "Is education really the main avenue for the development? What are the other variables? What are the roles of international organisations?"

Keynote Speakers:
1. Prof. Sahr P.T.Gbamanja -
University of Sierra Leone;
2. Prof. Jeniffer Ward - ITT Technical
Institute, South Carolina, USA;
3. Dr. Frederick Gbegbe - Cuttington University,
Monrovia, Liberia; and
4. Emeka Maduewesi, Esq., Google,Inc, mountain
View, California, USA.

The deadline for abstracts/proposals is 20
August 2012.
For more information, please visit:

Web address:


Good evening every body.

Over the last few weeks, I have been thinking a lot about administrative duties in an office. Although the administrative department is a vital part of any organisation and is responsible for overseeing the companies documents and data (among other duties), we are finding out that more in more in Nigeria employees are responsible in part for documentation as it relates to their job. Documentation and database management is absolutely vital yet many lack the basic and intermediate skills this requires. For example, yes you may have a central storage unit for client and personnel files, but how do you handle your day to day documents and if you were asked to create a file management systems for yourself or your unit, would you be able to do this? What do you know about how and when to store legal documents? HR documents? Electronic Database management and its importance to business continuity?

I discovered last week an NGO called RIMA (Records and Information Management Awareness Foundation) They are a Non-profit, Non Governmental Organisation "...that seeks to promote access to information, raise public consciousness on the need for proper management and security of records/information, and encourage the overall development of the information management industry in Africa..." They offer paid and  free training, workshops, and courses on a variety of subject matters within information management including electronic record management, database management, and archiving. Their training timetable for the year can be found below:

I would like to encourage all managers, Team Leads, HR personnel, Administrators, and any one else who needs to build their competencies in records and information management to have a look at this calendar. HR personnel especially those of us who are new to HR should take note of the free training that will be taking place on Managing HR and Legal Records in June of this year.

Please, for those of us who need practical training and advice on database and information management, do not pass up this great opportunity.


Remember the topic where we discussed how to make things work if your job is becoming a nightmare? I asked a question, what do you do to build a strong team, even if you have been told point blank that there is no money or you get the feeling management no longer believes in you after all the opportunities you have had to make things work? By this point I hope you have implemented all the tips I told you about in your life? If you have and are ready to take ownership of your team and make them as happy as you know they can be, you don’t need a large sum of money or threats from the boss directly to them.
For the last ten years, whether it was in an ICT firm, consultancy, school, bar, or resturaunt and no matter which part of Nigeria the company existed in, the same tips consistently helped business owners and managers build the same team. I took out time earlier this year to write them down and I want to share them with you. Here are four fail proof tips to building a better team:
1. Invest in your people
I’ve always believed in promoting from within whenever possible and this doesn’t always have to involve huge fanfare and an official looking letter from human resources. Know who is(are) the leaders(s) within your team. Informally start mentoring them to take up bigger jobs and responsibilities. Start training them on more complicated aspects of the job and carry them with you to meet important clients and attend meetings. Send them in your place when you are not ready. Ensure you give good reviews and recommend them for promotion when they are due them. It sends a strong message that loyalty, performance and productivity are rewarded, not sidestepped in favor of new blood from outside and this will make people happier to work with and for you. However do not ever try to turn your team into a cult, ensure you teach them how to work well with others and appreciate other people in the office as well as customers. This will ensure that if and when you get new employees they will be warmly received rather than having the other employees gang up on them

2. Pay attention to what people are good at
What are each employee’s job duties? More importantly, which of those roles are they really good at? Look for ways to enhance those skills, develop the competencies, find little ways to reward them and then for a job well done publically and privately.
3. Assess what needs improvement
Know this. Nothing and no one is perfect. Your team and team members will always have their strengths, good points, and unique skills. But there will always be weaknesses, bad points, and even employees who need help with their job and or people skills. Pinpoint the areas that need working on to get your team in top condition. Do not use people's weaknesses and attack them in public. Do a thorough assesment of their weaknesses at work, come up with a plan to improve them, have a one on one meeting with them to agree on milestones and implement your plan. For example, if you notice that your lead sales person has never really understood the need to be more tactful with customers, make it your mission to teach this person empathy by pointing out how it can not only benefit them but practical ways to implement better customer service. Do not scream at them infront of every one, that will only work once or twice to change their behaviour (if you are lucky) and in the long wrong you could loose a great person. Instead let them know the problem, advice them on the possible consequences of not changing, and agree practical ways to change their approach with customers.
4. Train your team to fit your goals
If you can match your employees’ skills and interests with your company’s growth needs, you’re on your way to having a winning bench. Job shadowing, cross training, attending industry events and conferences, and online training are all smart ways to teach your employees new things without spending a bundle. Before you know it, you’ll have a well-rounded team working with you and not against you. For example there is no point having a administrative team that is attending courses on training on paper database management if your CEO has decided the office should go paperless within the next 6 months. Always align training and skill building in your team with what the company needs. It will ensure you remain a team of added value and you will be recognized for all the right reasons.

So remember, to build a great team: invest in your people and promote from within; build up your high performers; work on weaknesses; and align your strengths and training plans with the company needs and requirements. For a free practical assesment and work plan on how you implement the tips above  for your team or office's unique needs, please do not hesistate to contact me on


Q: My boss constantly asks me to use her brother to repair our office computers; the problem is that he's just not that good. What do I do?

A: "Most company ethics codes prohibit conflicts of interest, which this clearly is, but they don't always have private ways of reporting and even if they did, you may or may not find out. It's right to speak up, but it's also right to ask yourself whether this is the hill you want to die on. If it is, line up another job, and report the matter and if you want to ensure you keep your job, make sure you are stay out of it, do not join in and bring in people you know to do work. Always follow proper channels to get vendors. If you are not the type of person to document your work start now. Ensure you follow conversations up with emails and document your work. Also ensure you line up good computer repair vendors to use for the inevitable day she admits to herself his work is shoddy and comes to you to get someone new. If you follow these steps, you will learn a new skill, look efficient and offer help as and when needed. Good luck and let me know if you see a change soon."

Best practice recruitment exercises means you employ the best person for the job. Suprisingly the best person for the job can be close family friends and relatives who have passed recruitment tests and have shown themselves capable of excelling on the job while keeping sentiments aside to be employees of great value. Unfortunately this is not always the case as you can see from this question I posted above that I recieved from an old acquantaince. Sometimes, the boss will bring a friend or family member as a favor to someone. Sometimes, it goes smoothly and sometimes it doesn’t. My advice is when working with a friend or family member of the boss, remember, some relationships run deep and blood will almost always be thicker than water. However, it is amazing how many problems you can avoid just by being known as a hard working, high performing, and proactive employee. Being known for your good work will mean a good boss will not want to lose you and being proactive will make ANYONE who wants to play games weary of crossing your path. Avoid any situations that will make you come into conflict with someone who is related to or friends with the boss. Be friendly and diplomatic but do not feel the need to be overfriendly. The chances are if you follow these steps you will not have any problems in the event you are working with a friend or relative of the boss.

If you are currently working with a friend of family member of the boss and are experiencing difficulties or conflict with this employee or manager, please contact me on and I will give you advice that will work for your situation.