It’s a long way to the top…

…if you wanna rock and roll. I thought it was AC/DC who penned those words so I Googled it and yep, it was. I’m not a big fan of theirs but it popped into my head when considering my next experiment and for now it’s stuck there.

I’ve been running What Goes Around for just over 18 months now and in that time I’ve made some very useful blunders, and by learning from them, I think I’m getting a few things right too. One thing is for sure, I wish I knew then what I know now. And until I invent time travel a wish it shall remain. What I could do though is share some of these experiences and mistakes, and other information in the hope that other small and growing businesses may not trip into the same potholes that we did. So here’s the plan – such as it is.

  1. Write up some of the best goof ups and publish them. Some here and some over at the house of XpertHR.
  2. Develop a business summary to be shared every month. To include stuff like headline income, expenditure, enquiry numbers, what seems to be working and what ain’t. Maybe also include blog figures and what subjects are attracting attention, and a couple of other social tool numbers as well.

I asked about this on Twitter a little while ago and received enthusiastic responses (including one from a pot plant!). So in the spirit of growing the market I’m going to give it a try. And as this experiment continues and I share more information who knows – maybe others will chip in with their own ideas about what and how and why.

More news to follow very soon. In this planning stage I would simply like to ask you, what would be helpful for you to see and learn about, what would you like to see included?

Cover Up?

How’s the decision by the French government on banning veils in public places going? According to the BBC, a woman wearing a veil has today been detained by police in France who insist she was held not because of her veil but for taking part in an unauthorised protest against the ban. I’m not a big fan of banning stuff and I wonder how the French authorities are going to manage this?

I’m not a huge fan of dress codes at all mind you (no jokes about t-shirts or my forthcoming smart shorts project thank you), and I’m pleased that the customer I’m currently spending a lot of time with working on an internal comms plan, doesn’t have one. According to the recently published XpertHR 2011 dress codes survey, they’re in a minority. 72% of organisations which responded to the survey have “dress code regulations or guidelines, or operate a policy on dress or appearance at work.”

Yes or No?

Those employers without a code say they:

“Do not have one because employees dress appropriately without guidelines. Exactly half say that it is not necessary as the organisation has a culture that it describes as “relaxed” and not conducive to having a code telling employees what to wear.”

Those who do have one say they do for a number of reasons, including (in declining order of popularity):

  • to preserve the external image of the company
  • for health and safety reasons
  • to reinforce the internal culture
  • for practical reasons
  • to maintain hygiene
  • to distinguish or identify employees

I love the “reinforce the internal culture” point. I can’t help but read it as “we don’t trust you”.

Is it worth it?

Maybe this sounds harsh, but for me a dress code smacks of HR and head office (where 74% of these guidelines are set according to XpertHR) not having anything better to do. I hope that'[s not the case. And it’s notable that 53% of the employers surveyed said their code provokes complaints from employees and 33% say that too much energy is spent policing it. There’s an easy answer to that last point. Don’t have one.

What are you wearing today?

photo c/o Jacques Delarue

survey data c/o XpertHR