Bookideas.com

Site Search
 

Rapid review. Your book professionally reviewed within 15 days.


Amazon.com Associate site since 1998 Since 1998

 

Purchase Halo-Orangees Employer-Employee One Accord: Volume 1: One Mind; One Body; One Team from Amazon.com

Halo-Orangees Employer-Employee One Accord: Volume 1: One Mind; One Body; One Team
by B L Brown
Search Amazon for other books by or about B L Brown.

Rating:
Reviewed by: John Walsh

Halo-Orangees is an acronym standing for Helping Advocate Longevity of Organizations by Obtaining Objectives through Redefining Above-Board New Generational Guidelines for Employer Employee Standards. It is intended, it seems, as a combination of self-help book for employees and a recommended means of action for employers. A variety of human resource management areas are considered, ranging from interviewing procedures, training and orientation, workplace relations and resolution of interpersonal issues. The basic messages are, for employers, that there are numerous occurrences of dysfunctional personal relationships often caused by poor managerial practice and which can be remedied by following the procedures to be outlined in the forthcoming handbook and, on the other hand, that employees should be able to stand up for themselves and to resist any form of containment or confinement by others in the workplace. For example, on p.XIV, as part of a longer paragraph along the same lines, author B.L. Brown writes:

"Don't ever allow anyone to attack your self-esteem, kill your passion, or tell you that someone else is more worthy than you. Don't ever allow anyone to disrespect you or make you feel ashamed of your rate of pay. Don't ever allow anyone to isolate you into workforce confinement or knock you down and claim defeat over you."
There are many people who are motivated or inspired by this kind of language and, for them, this might prove to be a helpful piece of self-help or self-empowerment.

Overall, the text is well-organized, streamlined and easy to follow. Those who enjoy the messages contained are likely to find the text inspirational, informative and compelling. The chapters are short enough to read within a short break and the lessons can percolate in the reader's brain until the resemblance between the situation described and the reader's own circumstances becomes evident. I will skate over the issue of split infinitives, about which no one else seems to care.

This book acts as an introduction to the full and rather ambitious concept, which (according to the author's and publisher's websites) is not yet available. However, an additional website (http://www.halo-orangeesjobs.com/) is active and is providing job board services to the Halo-Orangee community. In general,it is aimed not just at encouraging employees to develop their own capacity to be effective and self-reliant office workers (the book only covers white-collar office work in what would be defined in international terms as medium or large enterprises) but also at employers prepared to act in the light of enlightened self-interest to learn how to improve their workplace relations. The book has a third purpose, which is to act as a promotional item for the remaining works to be produced under the Halo-Orangees brand (as may be found on the website halo-orangeesllc.com and that of the publisher at http://www.outskirtspress.com). Three purposes such as these are quite a lot for the book and it might be better if this introduction might in due course be integrated into the main product or products. Alternatively, it might be helpful to divide the book into those sections aimed at instructing employers and those instructing employees. There are some genuine contradictions in the way that management and employees should be advised to address certain situations and it would sharpen the focus if a single text addressed a single side of the divide.

The chapters each address different aspects of workplace relations and contain advice on how to avoid problems and increase harmony and productivity. These tend to revolve around the importance of all parties showing respect for each other, to perform their role properly and behave with respect to organizational protocol, which should itself be properly developed, spelled out and implemented and policed. In many cases, disguised real life examples are used to indicate the kinds of problems that might have arisen. There is one example involving the cleaning of a coffee pot that seems to have been influential in determining the thrust of the book and of Halo-Orangees as a whole. Another example of the author being placed in an embarrassing situation by a careless or thoughtless superior has also been elevated to a high level of importance. Clearly, there are some cultural differences between author and present reviewer in this respect which should be addressed since they have an impact on the type of advice given to people. The author describes herself (on p.X) as "a proud, strong, African-American, divorced mother of five when I rise in the morning and when I lie down at night. I am fortunate to parent five amazing children who are unique in every way." By contrast, when I am called upon to give business advice (as part of a School of Management), I am generally addressing comparatively recent entrants into a labour market in which bonds of long-term loyalty between employer and employee have largely dissolved and in which roles and responsibilities are made clear in a highly vertically-stratified society - I am talking about Thailand but the same is true of much of East Asia. To some extent, I could use the lessons about self-esteem and self-confidence, although this is best internalized in most workplaces as, in general, managers do not yet value the full and frank exchange of views or, indeed, anything that might be used to question their status or authority.

The ideas about interviews, training and probation are interesting but I am not aware of very many companies willing to go to such lengths to orientate new employees - in part this is because America is very unusual in having an economy dominated by large companies: in most countries, as here, the majority of young people will find themselves joining much smaller companies, many of whom are family-owned and, consequently, not generally ruled by entirely rational means. On the other hand, most of the advice to employees would be genuinely helpful, even if it would need to be introduced in a slightly different means. I would also be cautious about the imprecation that leaders should always lead by example (there are many types of leaders) and be willing to do whatever they ask employees to do - that would not work in more overtly status or class-based societies.

I have reserved my comment on the elephant in the room to this last paragraph: the principal reason why so many employees are forced to struggle within often unhelpful workplace situations without support or solidarity is because of the reduction of union membership in the American economy in particular. For generations, brave union members risked their life and liberty to gain rights for people who work for a living: the right to have collective bargaining, the right to have workplace security, the right to an eight-hour working day and so forth. Those rights have been gradually eliminated since the Reagan administration and the neoliberal agenda it heralded. Since then, as has become increasingly obvious, the situation in the workplace has become increasingly difficult: health care and pensions are slashed, the right to have representatives curtailed, the income gap between executives and workers multiplied to an extraordinary extent and with disastrous results for social cohesion and the mental and physical health of those facing the wrong end of mountainous inequalities. While author B.L. Brown is much to be applauded for trying to help inspire people to become more empowered through promotion of self-esteem, she might also have taken a step back to look at the big picture to determine why it is so many of the features of modern corporate life are taking place: "In today's workforce, the lack of confidence is rampant (p.80)' and "Most of today's leaders are self-centered, demeaning, and cutthroat (p.116)." It is not, in my opinion, simply a coincidence that these features are evident to the author and neither is it a sign that people are for some reason behaving more badly now than they did in the past.


Purchase Halo-Orangees Employer-Employee One Accord: Volume 1: One Mind; One Body; One Team from Amazon.com



All Content Copyright © 1998-2014 Douglas J. Malcolm. All Rights Reserved. AMAZON.COM is the registered trademark of Amazon.com, Inc.

Privacy Policy: This site is read-only at the user level, and thus collects no information on it's users. If we had any information, which we do not, we would not sell or share it with any other entitiy. We hate spam and such just as much as you do. Nothing collected, nothing shared.