Bobby Kerr’s Clever Business Tips

Business Agony Uncle, Bobby Kerr returns with some more great advice for SME employers and employees. This week Bobby deals with a wide range of queries ranging from how to handle disappointment when overlooked for a promotion, company dress codes and contract renewals.
Was it Something I Said? Dealing with Disappointment
First up this week for Bobby is a query from MC, who is quite concerned over recent events at their workplace. MC was passed over by a colleague for a new position in the company. MC feels quite disappointed about the outcome, however to make matters worse, MC has had to point out multiple errors to the person in the new role. MC has stated that he/she has not acted unprofessionally, however feels extremely hurt and sucker punched by what has happened. MC is looking for some advice from Bobby on how to put the best foot forward and deal with the situation professionally.
Bobby’s Advice
This must be a very upsetting and hurtful situation for MC and unfortunately is common among workplaces, all over the world. The situation is far from ideal, however there are a number of things that MC can do:
  1. In terms of pointing out faults, MC shouldn’t have to stoop to that level. He/she needs to maintain their dignity and act professionally at all times.
  2. Give it time – MC can wait and watch what happens. Things usually right themselves over time, and in this case another opportunity may arise in time. MC just needs to hang in there.
  3. Stay positive – Keeping optimistic may be difficult in a situation like this, particularly since MC feels that they were overlooked by the company for a less capable person. However, things happen for a reason and this case is no different.
  4. Look elsewhere – MC should give it time and if the situation does not improve over a number of weeks, then they might want to start looking elsewhere. If MC still feels underappreciated and undervalued by the company then perhaps MC should take their value to another company. This should not be a hasty decision and MC needs to weigh up everything before making any big decisions.
Company Dress Code
Next up this week is a quick one and is a query from Jenny who has just started working in a fast food restaurant. While Jenny loves the work and finds it quite fulfilling, she absolutely hates the uniform and hairnet and hat that management say must be worn at all times. Jenny is looking for advice from Bobby on how to deal with the situation.
Bobby’s Advice
The short and quick answer is that if Jenny is working in a food area, there is health and safety requirements that must be adhered to. Perhaps if Jenny is working front of house, and not in a food prep area then maybe there is something worth speaking to management about, however it is more than likely company policy.
Customers appreciate clean and well-presented staff handling and preparing their food, which is extremely important.
Jenny needs to accept that the uniform is part of the job requirement, and move on. Staff uniforms are usually standard practice across the service industry, and hairnets are mandatory when dealing with fresh food.
The Big “C” - Getting the best from a Contract Renewal
Finally this week, Emma in Carlow is self-employed and is working on a contract basis, two days per week for the past three years. Her contract is due to expire in the next couple of weeks however has not heard anything regarding contract renewal from the company. Emma is reticent to highlight the issue, however is looking for advice on the best way to proceed as she does not want to rock the boat.
Bobby’s Advice
The first thing that Emma should do is record in writing everything that she has done for the company in terms of value and what she has brought to the company over the past three years. Emma needs to essentially put a value on her work and approach company management with this in mind.
Emma does not need to approach them directly on the contract. An all-round approach is advised whereby Emma sits down with the company to discuss plans for the future, and how her role and services feature within this. It’s important for Emma not to undervalue her role with the company and infuse the contract talks into the general discussion with management.
If you have a business or SME related query you would like answered - you can get in touch with Bobby each week by simply sending a short mail to [email protected]

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