The November Newsletter

Welcome to our November newsletter. This month I’m taking it back to basics. I’m discussing the role of HR in your business, why buying a pack of generic policies probably isn’t adding much value to your business & how quality HR sits at the core of your business success.

I’m also looking at the challenges of attracting a residential workforce & how we can do a better job of selling Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

Click to read.

Like what you see? Click around and discover how partnering with us can give your business a competitive advantage by aligning strategy with people & culture, or, give us a like on Facebook for regular updates on industry trends, blog posts & photo’s of me having coffee at my regular haunts and / or my dog & cat disrupting my work day

It’s time for HR to move beyond policies, practices and processes, HR’s value proposition to business is to ensure HR professionals and their practices’ produce positive outcomes for key stakeholders, employees, line managers, customers and investors.

THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH PEOPLE & CULTURE INITIATIVES CONTACT US TO ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS WHAT SOLUTIONS WE CAN PUT IN PLACE TO DRIVE ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR STRATEGIC GOALS.

Living & working in Kalgoorlie – Boulder

I want to tell you about my love affair with my home town, like most regional area’s we are struggling to attract skilled professionals, trades people and families. If you’re reading this you’ve probably clicked through from Instagram, something about a new adventure, a new opportunity, the ability to accelerate your career made you click to find out more.

I want to share with you photo’s and information about living and working in Kalgoorlie-Boulder to pique your interest, to prompt you to do some research to seriously consider relocating here. If you’ve clicked because you are seeking FIFO opportunities this isn’t what this post is about – but stick around because I reckon I could change your mind by the time you get to the end of the post.

Cassidy St Kalgoorlie

So a bit of background; I’m a locally based independent HR Consultant. I work with locally owned small – medium businesses to assist with creating professional & contemporary workplaces, and part of this consists of assisting with recruitment. I have my finger on the pulse of the local community, and as a long term local and business owner I want to do everything I can to promote our community and to encourage individuals & families to relocate here to enjoy the many spoils of living & working in Kalgoorlie-Boulder (in the least touristy way possible.)

The primary industry of Kalgoorlie-Boulder is mining and you may know of Kalgoorlie as being the home of the Superpit, supporting the mining companies are hundreds of locally owned businesses such as mechanical workshops, industrial retail, earthmoving, plant hire, heavy fabrication, electrical contractors and then of course feeding into that are the industries and careers that keep the town ticking; government, childcare, hospitality, retail, education to name but a few.

Right now local industry is crying out for workers – Mechanics, boilermakers, machinists, heavy machinery operators, chefs, carpenters, mining professionals, child care workers you name it. If you are great at what you do, we want you living here!

Kalgoorlie is quite unique in that our town centre is quite cosmopolitan with numerous restaurants, cafe’s and high street retail, yet, a 20 minute drive from the CBD finds you out bush and amongst nature.

My pup Roxy (she’s the one on the right 🙂 )

If you are prepared to put yourself out there and make connections through workplaces, community and sporting groups Kalgoorlie is a very welcoming community.

From the streetscaping in the city centre to the multitude of suburban playgrounds you’d be forgiven for believing that you weren’t on the edge of the desert.

The Goldfields Oasis and adjoining playing fields are home to the majority of team based sports as well as an indoor pool complex & gym. The newly constructed Ray Finlayson complex is home to soccer, cricket and the 20/20 season.

Linked by a series of bike paths weekends can be spent on lazy bike rides, or jump in the 4WD and headout to one of the numerous dams & camp sites surrounding the town.

Near Ora Banda – 40 minute drive from Kalgoorlie

The family will love Hammond Park with its lush green lawns and gardens, BBQ’s, play equipment and animals such as birds, peacocks, emu’s and kangaroos

Serviced by the big nationals such as Target, Kmart, Woolworths & Coles and joined by IGA’s, high street stores, local independent retailers and award winning beauty & hair salons theres always the opportunity to indulge in a bit of retail therapy or luxe pamper sesh.

From the Hannans Boulevard situated in the northern suburbs to the Target, Woolies and Kmart complexs in the CBD, and arts centric shops in Burt St, there is a little bit of something for everyone.

Heartwalk Street Art initiative

In recent years Kalgoorlie has seen an explosion in the local makers & artists scene.

The Heartwalk street art project has bought a new look to the city’s buildings, art trails, the annual Art Prize, markets, theatre groups, Goldfields Art Centre and the WA Museum are just a few of the experiences on offer to enrich your soul

MS Models Showcase
City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder Art Prize

Take a stroll down Hannan Street stopping in St Barbara’s Square to sit & soak up the sun while enjoying a coffee from a nearby cafe.

Our cosmopolitan cafe & restaurant scene is well catered for to suit all tastes & budgets. Both Hannan & Burt Streets are dotted with pubs, restaurants and cafes sure to appeal to all age groups and demographics.

Whether seeking out a parmi & a pint, Melbourne style laneway cafes, multicultural cuisine or just a great meal in a modern setting, Kalgoorlie can cater to all tastes.

Shops are open 7 days per week all year round

Housing in Kalgoorlie is a wonderful mix of heritage and modern (& the decades in between).

From the traditional old Goldfielder’s of Lamington, miners cottages of Boulder to the modern brick homes in the newer suburbs of O’Connor, Hannans & Broadwood you are sure to find something to suit your needs & style.

The Goldfields has a rich sporting history, home to a multitude of sports and state of the art complexes. AFL, soccer, touch, squash, cricket, tennis, tri’s, cycling, swimming, t-ball, motorsport, moto x, park runs, golf, water polo, pony club, BMX, horse racing, netball & basketball are all well represented

Very much a family town, the city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder is home to a number of state & private schools.

Primary & Upper school students are well serviced by a number of state schools servicing each suburb with a separate senior campus for year 11 & 12. Both the state and private high schools are support by the Central Regional TAFE in it’s vocational courses for VET students.

Curtin University operates the WA School of Mines (WASM) in the city centre, a world class facility, WASM delivers mining based degrees as well as those in health science, commerce and education

With Perth a short 1 hour flight away and a direct flight to Melbourne once a week, catching up with family and friends (or going to the footy at the G) can fit easily into a weekend.

Missing the beach? Australia’s best beaches are located a 4 hour drive south in Esperance.

Esperance foreshore

Seeking a bit of history? At the turn of the century the Goldfields was home to a number of bustling mining towns. With most now nothing more than a cemetary and a few relics, they can be explored in a day trip, or, take the weekend and head north to the historic townsite of Kookynie and Lake Ballard, home to the famous art installation by Antony Gormley

But you can’t talk about Kalgoorlie without talking about how much we love a party

The famous Kalgoorlie Race Round

The days of Kalgoorlie being the wild west are long gone. Nowadays you’re more likely to find the average Kalgoorlie resident frocked up for the ultra glam Childrens Charity Ball & the iconic Race Round events.

A quiet drink listening to live music in Judds beer garden or downing a famous Broady Burger at the Broad Arrow Tavern.

The Kalgoorlie Hotel

From Sunset at the Soundshell, Coffee & Cars, the Community Fair, Kidsfest, the Multicultural Festival, the lighting of the Christmas tree to the St Barbaras Day parade there is always something happening.

So how did I go? Ready to find out more? If you would like more information on housing, schools, or employment you can contact me here, if you’re dead keen feel free to send me your resume & a bit of information about what opportunities you are seeking.

Like what you see? Click around and discover how partnering with us can give your business a competitive advantage by aligning strategy with people & culture, or, give us a like on Facebook for regular updates on industry trends, blog posts & photo’s of me having coffee at my regular haunts and / or my dog & cat disrupting my work day

It’s time for HR to move beyond policies, practices and processes, HR’s value proposition to business is to ensure HR professionals and their practices’ produce positive outcomes for key stakeholders, employees, line managers, customers and investors.

THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH PEOPLE & CULTURE INITIATIVES CONTACT US TO ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS WHAT SOLUTIONS WE CAN PUT IN PLACE TO DRIVE ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR STRATEGIC GOALS.

Lets break it down

An employee planning their week in a diary

The People & Culture Office – A different kind of HR Consultant

Lᴇᴛs ʙʀᴇᴀᴋ ɪᴛ ᴅᴏᴡɴ 

Who am I & what do I do?

I want to start with my mission statement – “To build capacity of small – medium enterprises through people & culture initiatives. We aim to be the leading provider of human resource solutions in the local Kalgoorlie-Boulder area, and the wider Australian business community, helping to create more successful, productive and high performance organisations.”

So in other words, I want to build your knowledge, and improve your tools and the resources you have at hand, to help you achieve business success through quality employees and employment practices. And I will do this by embedding HR solutions into your business framework 

Buying a set of cookie cutter policies from a HR provider that has whacked your logo on there to make it feel individualised is not a HR solution – that’s an insurance policy to lull you into a sense of security should Fair Work come knocking.

Having a set of policies in a folder means diddly if you don’t understand the content, don’t follow them or aren’t being provided the support from an experienced HR professional to use them effectively in your business – someone who’s willing to share their knowledge to help you develop your skills in managing employee relations issues.

Additionally, a solution by its very definition is a means of solving a problem or dealing with a difficult situation. Are your set of generic policies really a solution?

Having trouble attracting employees? Would having a Recruitment Policy in place solve that? No, because a policy doesn’t tell you how your going to get there, just what you’re going to do once you’ve arrived.

A recruitment strategy, on the other hand, will assist with attracting employees because it’s designed as a plan of action. A recruitment strategy can identify how & where you can source candidates and what initiatives you can put in place to build your employer profile to make you more attractive to employees.

This is a HR Solution, and this is the true value of HR in your business.

And this is why when you become my client I don’t lock you into a contract, because the value I can offer over my competitors speaks for itself, and that’s why I’m a different kind of HR Consultant 

Like what you see? Click around and discover how partnering with us can give your business a competitive advantage by aligning strategy with people & culture, or, give us a like on Facebook for regular updates on industry trends, blog posts & photo’s of me having coffee at my regular haunts and / or my dog & cat disrupting my work day

It’s time for HR to move beyond policies, practices and processes, HR’s value proposition to business is to ensure HR professionals and their practices’ produce positive outcomes for key stakeholders, employees, line managers, customers and investors.

THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH PEOPLE & CULTURE INITIATIVES CONTACT US TO ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS WHAT SOLUTIONS WE CAN PUT IN PLACE TO DRIVE ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR STRATEGIC GOALS.

Lets get back to basics

What is HR and what does it have to do with your business?

Let’s start with your strategic plan, these are the outcomes you want to achieve over the next 1 – 3 years. It’s your plan of where you want to take your business 

If you have employees then every aspect of your strategic plan involves them

One of your strategies might be to drive innovation and seek out improvements to every aspect of your business 

To do this you need skilled employees with the experience and capability to identify areas for improvement 

What skills & attributes have you identified that your employees will need for you to achieve this? How do you find them? Do you already have them? 

This is where a skilled HR professional can assist 

The strategic plan is underpinned by your core values 

Your core values are the behaviours that guide your decision making, your service, how you engage with clients and the community; they tell your stakeholders who you are and what you believe in

So it makes sense to employ people who share these values with you right?

How do you structure your interview process to ensure the answers to your questions identify the behaviours – negative or positive- as reactions to common scenarios in the workplace?

A HR professional experienced in behavioural or values based recruitment can develop processes to identify the quality employees from the, well, not so quality employees 

But what about your existing employees, how can they help you achieve your strategic goals? How do you guide their behaviours and identify development areas so that everyone is working at an ideal level?

HR can develop policies and processes such as performance management systems to ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them, what they are working towards and what their standard of work, attitude and behaviour needs to be

So this is a basic snapshot but you can see how quality HR processes are a necessity to elevate your business to where you want it to be, to achieve your goals, to have quality employees who stick around and have the buy in to want to see the business do well

HR isn’t a thing we do, it’s the thing that runs our business 

Like what you see? Click around and discover how partnering with us can give your business a competitive advantage by aligning strategy with people & culture, or, give us a like on Facebook for regular updates on industry trends, blog posts & photo’s of me having coffee at my regular haunts and / or my dog & cat disrupting my work day

It’s time for HR to move beyond policies, practices and processes, HR’s value proposition to business is to ensure HR professionals and their practices’ produce positive outcomes for key stakeholders, employees, line managers, customers and investors.

Simone Pickering | The People & Culture Office

 The People & Culture Office can partner with you to gain a competitive advantage through people & culture initiatives Contact Us to arrange an appointment to discuss what solutions we can put in place to drive achievement of your strategic goals.

Attracting regional employees is a hard sell

If you follow me on social media you would have seen these posts popping up over the past week

When I look at Seek advertising, local business websites and speak to jobseekers & business leaders based outside of Kalgoorlie-Boulder one thing becomes glaringly clear.

We just don’t do a very good job of selling ourselves

One thing I think we can all agree on is it is a lot more sustainable for our businesses & community if people who work here; live here, and, we need to bring residents back to the town. We need to grow the population to ensure essential services, a healthy retail environment and the type robust economic & community environment that encourages continued population growth.

Where to start?

If you don’t already have a recruitment strategy in place seriously consider it. It forces you to look at your current practices and external forces which may prevent you from attracting quality employees.

Know who your demographic is & tailor your advertising to suit. Millennials are those born 1981 – 1996, so at the top end someone aged 38 and at the low end someone aged 23. This generation makes up 50% of the workforce and are our emerging leaders.

We know that millennials consume digital content the most; they stream music over listening to the radio and stream TV over sitting down and watching live free to air tv.

Print, radio & tv advertising is largely wasted money when trying to grab this generations attention.

If you have digital content thats hard to consume ie: overly formal, unnecessary text or information, poor image quality, no emotional connection, then they will scroll straight past. Opportunity lost.

When writing your seek or social media employment advertising view it from the view point of the person reading it. Am I telling them What, am I telling them Who, am I telling them Why?

Have you considered embedding some video footage into the base of the ad?

This one is FREE from the KBCCI on You Tube

Or if you frequently recruit & are going through a period of growth why not create your own content?

Want to read more? I wrote this post 12 months ago about selling Kalgoorlie when you recruit.

When it comes to selling Kalgoorlie as a great place to live we all play a part. But if theres one message I want to reinforce, it’s that no-one is expecting you to do this all on your own. Don’t be shy about outsourcing components of your business if they are areas that aren’t your strength, I mean you outsource your finances & taxation to an Accountant don’t you? Why not outsource your HR too?

Like what you see? Click around and discover how partnering with us can give your business a competitive advantage by aligning strategy with people & culture, or, give us a like on Facebook for regular updates on industry trends, blog posts & photo’s of me having coffee at my regular haunts and / or my dog & cat disrupting my work day

Simone Pickering | The People & Culture Office

IT’S TIME FOR HR TO MOVE BEYOND POLICIES, PRACTICES AND PROCESSES. THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH PEOPLE & CULTURE INITIATIVES CONTACT US TO ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS WHAT SOLUTIONS WE CAN PUT IN PLACE TO DRIVE ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR STRATEGIC GOALS.

October newsletter

It’s all about branding! And creating a compelling brand to entice employees your way.

Click here to read

Like what you see? Click around and discover how partnering with us can give your business a competitive advantage by aligning strategy with people & culture, or, give us a like on Facebook for regular updates on industry trends, blog posts & photo’s of me having coffee at my regular haunts and / or my dog & cat disrupting my work day

Simone Pickering | The People & Culture Office

IT’S TIME FOR HR TO MOVE BEYOND POLICIES, PRACTICES AND PROCESSES. THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH PEOPLE & CULTURE INITIATIVES CONTACT US TO ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS WHAT SOLUTIONS WE CAN PUT IN PLACE TO DRIVE ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR STRATEGIC GOALS.

Same, but different (but really just the same)

The People & Culture Office | Tattoo | Woman

“There’s a saying, diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance. But that’s bull because usually the party is up a flight of stairs. People think if they are treating people the same, they’ve got it right. But that’s the essence of discrimination – as experienced by disabled people – is that when you treat them the same as a non-disabled person they can’t even get in the building” Susan Scott-Parker

Before you read on I would like you to pause for a moment and picture in your mind what a person with a disability looks like.

I’ll check back in with you at the end of my post.

Due to unconscious bias, many people with disabilities face barriers to gaining employment (not just meaningful employment, just any employment), which is why the unemployment rate for people with a disability is more than double that of the general population.

In my former life I was a HR Manager for a disability support organisation, while there I noticed that millennials and Gen Z had a really inclusive view towards people with disabilities due to the prevalence of Education Support annexes in the school system. In my school days (I’m 46) children with disabilities were very much separated from the general school population and as a result Gen X and Baby Boomers can find relating to people with disabilities on a human level quite confronting. (Those damn millennials hey)

People will often direct the conversation towards a family member or a carer rather than converse with the person directly, they may stare, ask inappropriate questions, or, in an attempt to act as though they aren’t feeling uncomfortable, will fail to acknowledge their presence all together.

In fact we (as in society, the media et el) are so unused to seeing someone with a disability featured so prominently that sometimes famous people with disabilities are confused for each other. Those that follow the tennis or are a regular viewer of The Project would be familiar with Dylan Alcott, Dylan and fellow paralympian Kurt Fearnley have a running joke on Instagram that they are often mistaken for each other.

Think about applying for work or attending a job interview knowing there is quite a good chance you’ll be discounted as soon as you enter the room (if you’re even lucky enough to get that far).

1 in 5 Australians are classed as having a disability, a lot of people develop a disability throughout their life as the result of an accident such as a motor vehicle accident or falling off a ladder; through suffering a stroke; developing an illness such as MS, parkinson’s or one of the many autoimmune illnesses or through the presence of a psychiatric illness such as anxiety, depression or PTSD.

Picture an Accountant who has had a stroke, and as a result has reduced mobility. There’s no reason why they can’t perform an office based role without any added safety risk at all is there?

Now picture that same person applying for a job with a company who’s pre-employment medical process eliminates all people without excellent functional capacity. When assessing someones fitness for work the inherent requirements of the job are meant to be considered hand in hand with the individuals functional capacity. But quite often it doesn’t, for whatever reason many industries and organisations baulk at the thought of making “allowances” or reasonable adjustments for people that don’t automatically fit the perfect physical criteria.

Maybe it goes back to the idea that they are treating everyone “equally” 🤷🏻‍♀️

Dylan Alcott has established Remove the Barrier to encourage the employment of people with disabilities. Other organisations such as Forest Personnel can assist with the recruitment of people with disabilities. Follow the links through to their websites where you can find some great info on employing people with disabilities.

Something I really want to stress is that a person with a disability isn’t necessarily a person on a disability support pension, or someone with an obvious physical disability such as being in a wheelchair. Disabilities vary between what type they are and the level of functional impairment such as:

  • Physical – affects a person’s mobility or dexterity
  • Intellectual – affects a person’s abilities to learn
  • Mental Illness – affects a person’s thinking processes
  • Sensory – affects a person’s ability to hear or see
  • Neurological – affects the person’s brain and central nervous system,
  • Learning disability
  • Physical disfigurement or
  • Immunological – the presence of organisms causing disease in the body

So right at the start of the post I asked you to picture what a person with a disability looks like, well they look like this

Me – not Rachel from Madison Studio Photography 😀

5 years ago I was diagnosed with Lupus which is an autoimmune illness that attacks healthy organs and tissue in your body resulting in extreme fatigue, joint pain and organ damage.

The People & Culture Office came to being because I found it increasingly difficult over the years to find a workplace and colleagues willing to accommodate (and be inclusive of) my illness & it’s limitations. I knew that with appropriate wellbeing measures in place I could continue being a valued member of society, contributing taxes to the healthcare system that I lean heavily on and continuing to share my skillset with a range of organisations.

And I would have a guess that 99.9% of my clients, business connections and acquaintances wouldn’t even know that I have a chronic illness. Because with the appropriate adjustments in place I can function in a work environment, I can still add value, and the thought that, that part of my life could have been taken away from me would have been devastating.

Like what you see? Click around and discover how partnering with us can give your business a competitive advantage by aligning strategy with people & culture, or, give us a like on Facebook for regular updates on industry trends, blog posts & photo’s of me having coffee at my regular haunts and / or my dog & cat disrupting my work day

Simone Pickering | The People & Culture Office

IT’S TIME FOR HR TO MOVE BEYOND POLICIES, PRACTICES AND PROCESSES. THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH PEOPLE & CULTURE INITIATIVES CONTACT US TO ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS WHAT SOLUTIONS WE CAN PUT IN PLACE TO DRIVE ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR STRATEGIC GOALS.