It’s gonna take money, a whole lot of spending money

The People & Culture Office

Just incase I drew you in with my clever use of a George Harrison lyric, you can read the first 2 blog posts in this series here & here. This week we are going to look at Compensation & Benefits * queue a chorus of groans from all the bean counters out there *

According to a recent Employment Hero report 63% of employees say that remuneration is one of the top 3 considerations when selecting a new role. But it is not the make-or-break factor it once was, when it comes attraction and retention of employees additional benefits such as flexible work arrangements, training & development, salary sacrifice, reward programs & perks such as free snacks (đŸ·) go a long way to singling your business out as an employer of choice.

How an organisation pays and rewards its people has a big impact on its ability to attract the best talent, ensure that they are challenged and motivated and whether or not they will stay with your organisation. One of the first steps in making this happen is to develop a remuneration strategy.  The objective of a remuneration strategy is to support the overall organisation strategy, the HR strategy and the desired organisational culture. 

A successful compensation & benefits strategy will ensure that you are able to recruit the right people, with the right mix of skills, to ensure that your organisation can meet its business outcomes. To be effective, the strategy needs to consider the internal relativities between roles; the organisational needs & values and the external market.

Without an experienced HR professional in place to create a strategy SME’s can struggle with not only putting together a total compensation package, but, benchmarking a base salary that is competitive in the current market. The most fundamental stage in the overall management of remuneration is to ascertain what is an appropriate rate or amount to pay employees, and to ensure that this process is fair and objective whilst taking into account factors such as the industrial instrument, market availability of the relevant skill set, fairness & objectivity and whether the organisation links pay to performance.

The organisation’s structure, the market in which it operates, the culture, its position in the organisation’s life cycle and taxation to mention a few areas all impact on the strategy for the organisation. For example; a charity is unlikely to have a strategy with a high base salary, instead offering a base salary in the 25th – 50th percentile range in-conjunction with FBT free salary sacrifice arrangements or other benefits it can offer for free or at very low cost for the organisation.

Organisations also need to consider where they want to position themselves in the salary market – does your organisation want to be highly competitive? or rather, does your organisation want to be in the medium range of the market, but able to offer other non-monetary benefits such as working from home or flexible start / finish times? Where you position yourself can depend on both internal and external factors. For example:

  • capacity to pay high salaries
  • demand for, and scarcity of, skills now and in the future
  • competitors; and
  •  other pressures e.g. turnover, difficulty in attracting talent etc.

On that note, organisations are only as successful as their approach to hiring the right people, setting clear expectations, managing performance and recognising and rewarding employees for a job well done. If you would like a compensation & benefits strategy to tailored to your specific business needs contact Simone today.

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 😂

HR Strategies & Planning | The People & Culture Office

BASED IN KALGOORLIE, THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE IS AN INDEPENDENT HR CONSULTANT WHO CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO OFFER A ONE STOP HR SOLUTION, WE ONLY CHARGE YOU FOR THE WORK WE PERFORM; NO CONTRACTS, NO ANNUAL OR MONTHLY FEES, JUST QUALITY SERVICE. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

Stop ghosting your candidates – the vlog

HR Consultant | The People & Culture Office

I love recruitment, out of all the HR functions it’s my favourite, I tell people it’s because it’s mostly a positive experience, you know, up until you have to tell someone they were unsuccessful for a job.
A lot of companies and recruiters deal with this by just not getting back to candidates, whether by the old “only shortlisted candidates will be contacted” or just obvious ghosting, but what damage are they doing to their brand in doing so?
Want to learn more after watching the vlog? Read Stop Ghosting Your Candidates here.

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 😂

BASED IN KALGOORLIE, THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE IS AN INDEPENDENT HR CONSULTANT WHO CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO OFFER A ONE STOP HR SOLUTION, WE ONLY CHARGE YOU FOR THE WORK WE PERFORM; NO CONTRACTS, NO ANNUAL OR MONTHLY FEES, JUST QUALITY SERVICE. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

People | Process | Power

Workforce Planning | The People & Culture Office

Last week I wrote this post to give you an overview of strategic HR management and how each element adds value to your business, today we are going to take a closer look at one of those elements; Workforce Planning.

Put simply, workforce planning is “having the right people in the right place at the right time” The key principles to workforce planning are;

  • identifying future business directions and workforce needs
  • analysing and understanding the make-up of the current workforce
  • determining the necessary skills, capabilities and competencies required to achieve strategic and operational goals in the future
  • developing policies and strategies that will assist in achieving these goals

Workforce Planning provides management with a framework for making informed staffing decisions which are in line with the organisation’s strategic and operational goals. This is opposed to reactionary or “knee-jerk” staffing decisions that may seem right at the time, but eventually turn out to be ineffective in supporting the strategic directions of the organisation.

The planning process also provides a mechanism for integrating a range of human resource strategies that can assist with the attraction and retention of staff in a systematic, equitable and strategic way.

Sounds great Simone but how does this work within my business? Let’s say you are a mining contractor and you have just been awarded two separate contracts to develop and mine mid-sized open pit projects to commence in 4 – 6 months time. As part of the planning process HR would sit down with the operations manager and map out the project; what positions would be required & when needed throughout the project, what will the roster be, what will the manning of the crews look like and the duration of each contract. Armed with this information HR would go off and start to pull together workforce plan to ensure the organisations ability to meet the workforce need is approached in a systematic, proactive and cost effective way.

This may include looking at the current workforce skill set & capability to determine opportunities for promotion into Superintendent / Shift Supervisor positions, the number of new recruits required, remuneration structure, risks to attraction & retention of employees, whether there is a requirement for the creation of, or review of, HR policies & procedures and then the development of a recruitment schedule giving sufficient time for the recruitment process to occur, successful candidates to leave exisiting jobs and then mobilise to site. Systematic, Proactive and Cost Effective.

So obviously, and as with all business planning when approached with a measured and considered approach, workforce planning has numerous advantages – the ability to identify more effective and efficient use of people at work; enabling effective planning in relation to the “demographics” of the workforce to ensure business continuity; enabling proactive management as opposed to just-in-time management or management by crises; the development of a range of alternative courses of action to meet changing market environments; understanding issues associated with retention and turnover so increases or reductions in staff are managed appropriately and cost effectively with minimal impact on the workforce, individuals and to the business are just a few.

But say you’re a bit of a fly – by – the – seat – of – your – pants person? What are the risks associated with not having a planning mechanism in place? It would result in management resorting to make staffing decisions in an ad-hoc or reactionary way that does not support the longer-term goals of the organisation. This type of decision-making may lead to – a workforce that is inflexible and does not have the necessary capabilities to deliver future services necessary for an organisation to achieve its goals; an inability to attract and retain high quality staff, due to irrelevant or inconsistent human resource policies and practices; operational goals that are inconsistent with the organisation’s wider vision and strategic focus; staff development resources being funnelled to activities which do not support the strategic goals of the institution; under-utilisation of staff; increased staffing costs; a lack of leadership and succession planning and poor management decision-making. Eeeek!

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” ― Alan Lakein, author

The People & Culture Office can assist you to create overall capability and ensure that your organisation has the skilled, committed, engaged employees it requires to achieve sustained competitive advantage. We will analyse your strategic plan and goals to identify opportunities to develop people and culture initiatives that will integrate with, and support the overarching business strategy. 

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 dayÂ đŸ€Ł

Sounds like a plan, Stan

HR Meeting | The People & Culture Office Kalgoorlie

Business owners, who woke up one morning, decided to start a business, and plowed on ahead with no plan, no idea of where they were headed & no structure for finances, products, clients or employees? Anyone……. Anyone…… As I thought, no-one, because who would be so blasĂ© about their investment and reputation. Yet, going forward how many of you have employee centric plans in place? Such as, have you thought about skill requirements to ensure successful future growth? Have you thought about the documentation of your mission & values so you can ensure your employees, current and future, share them? Have you got a strategic or business plan in place and do you have employee related policies and performance management mechanisms in place to ensure they are met?

If you don’t know where you are headed, how can you expect your employees to join you for the ride?

When an organisation has made its business decisions in relation to its strategic goals, it has to determine how to make that vision a reality & to carry out its mission by executing each strategy. Each and every strategy that a business pursues will have specific HR needs and implications, an experienced HR professional will work with management to ensure there is a plan for the human resources needed to deliver on its strategic goals. This is known as strategic HR management.

There are a number of variables to be considered when managing business outcomes, these can include;

  • Organisational Structure
  • Job Design
  • Recruitment & Selection Processes
  • Recognition & Reward Programs
  • Training & Career Development
  • Performance Management Strategies
  • Employee Relations Strategies
  • Succession Planning

Organisations need to ensure that they have the skills, knowledge, abilities, motivation and commitment in its employees to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage over its competitors. Underpinning this is the contribution HR can make, from the identification of opportunities and constraints of the existing workforce through to the development of policies and practices to develop the core capabilities of the workforce, and to ensure this produces the behaviours, values and attitudes that will result in desired organisational performance.

The primary goal of strategic HR management is to implement strategic change.

The People & Culture Office can assist you to create overall capability and ensure that your organisation has the skilled, committed, engaged employees it requires to achieve sustained competitive advantage.

We will analyse your strategic plan and goals to identify opportunities to develop people and culture initiatives that will integrate with, and support the overarching business strategy. 

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 😂

Invest in HR| The People & Culture Office
Business success through people

BASED IN KALGOORLIE, THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE IS AN INDEPENDENT HR CONSULTANT WHO CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO OFFER A ONE STOP HR SOLUTION, WE ONLY CHARGE YOU FOR THE WORK WE PERFORM; NO CONTRACTS, NO ANNUAL OR MONTHLY FEES, JUST QUALITY SERVICE. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

Constructive dismissal; what is it and have you been guilty of it?

Employee Working Contract| HR Consultant | The People & Culture Office

“It would be a good idea for you to leave before we have fire you” “Times are tough and everyone needs to take a pay cut of $20,000 per year” “Tamara keeps complaining that Karen is bullying her, I mean that’s just Karen, we all know that, Tamara should just leave if she can’t handle it” “We need to change your work days & hours, I know you’ve said before you can’t work these days because you can’t get childcare but we need to make the change regardless”

Constructive dismissal, or forced resignation, is when an employee has no choice but to resign because of the conduct of the employer. The employer may expressly ask the employee to resign, or the employer’s conduct may leave the employee feeling that he or she has no other choice but to leave their employment.

This conduct generally involves an employer engaging in a serious breach of the employment contract or indicating that it no longer wishes to perform its side of the employment contract. This can include taking actions to make unauthorised variations to the employment contract such as extreme pay-cuts, demoting the employee, dramatically changing their working hours or relocating the employee. It is irrelevant that the employer’s insistence on the employee’s resignation was based on good intentions, for example to save the employee from embarrassment, or, to make it easier for him or her to find future employment; or whether the employer intended or anticipated that the employee would quit their job.

It is not always evident that an employee has resigned involuntarily. It is therefore essential for you, as an employer, to review the events leading up to an employee’s resignation. For example, if an employee resigns in the ‘heat of the moment’, they may argue that they felt they had no other option but to resign. Where a resignation is given in the heat of the moment or under extreme pressure, special circumstances may arise. An employer may be required to allow a reasonable period of time to pass and / or the employer may have a duty to confirm the intention to resign if, during that time, they were advised that the resignation was not intended.

Whether a principal contributing factor in the termination of the employment relationship was an act, or failure to act, on the part of the employer always depends on the individual circumstances of the case. Some examples of constructive dismissal can include:

  • where an employee resigns because he or she is told to resign or he or she will be sacked;
  • where an employee is subjected to ongoing sexual harassment or discrimination;
  • where an employee is subjected to systematic humiliation, verbal abuse or put-downs and adequate proof of this treatment is available;
  • where there is a serious and ongoing failure to provide a safe and healthy workplace, the employee has notified the employer of the problem and there is no improvement;
  • where an employer actively campaigns to force an employee out of work by acting in such a way as to make it impossible for the employee to continue to do his or her job and adequate proof of this treatment is available; and
  • where an employee has been demoted and the demotion involves a significant reduction of the remuneration or duties of the employee.

A clear example of constructive dismissal is found in the case of Hobbes v Achilleus Taxation Pty Ltd ATF (the Achilleus Taxation Trust). Here, an employee resigned after he was paid under half of what he was owed over a period of 4 months. It was decided that it was clearly a situation of forced resignation due to the conduct of the employer, and therefore instead amounted to a dismissal by the employer.

A situation where constructive dismissal was found not to exist was in the case of Bruce v Fingal Glen Pty Ltd (in liq). This concerned an employee who resigned after the employer repeatedly paid wages late, and failed to make any superannuation contributions. The payment of wages were usually 1 to 2 days late, but on occasion were paid even later. The Commission found that while the employer’s conduct was improper, the employee was not in a situation where they were left with no other option that to resign. Therefore, the employee could not argue constructive dismissal.

A leading Australian case on constructive dismissal is that of Mohazab v Dick Smith Electronics. Mohazab was an employee of Dick Smith Electronics. During questioning about the disappearance of stock in the store the employee was told that he was to either resign or face a police investigation. A letter of resignation was prepared by the employer and given to Mohazab to sign. After this occurred, Mohazab brought an unlawful termination claim, and Dick Smith argued that Mohazab had voluntarily resigned because of his concerns regarding the police. The court decided that the decision to resign or face police investigation amounted to termination at the initiative of the employer. This was because Mohazab had no effective or real choice but to resign, and it was only because of his employer’s action that termination had occurred.

In a case published by the Australian Government’s Comcare agency, an employee developed a psychiatric condition following persistent bullying as a result of her being promoted to a management position in a restructuring move by her employer. The worker did not receive any management training prior to her appointment as team leader, and there was widespread bitterness in the team about the removal of the previous team leader. Several team members reportedly engaged in increasingly hostile behaviour towards the new team leader, including spreading rumours, disobeying requests, making offensive comments, being rude, and failing to help to the team leader when she was very busy and clearly required assistance. The team members then convened a meeting (too which the bullied employee was not invited), where a document listing complaints about the new team leader was drafted and given to the team leader’s manager. The manager accepted the document, and refused to intervene in any meaningful way when requested to do so by the bullied employee. The bullied employee sought assistance from other managers, who did not intervene, until finally she was forced to leave her position due to the development of a psychiatric condition. The bullied employee took legal action, where a judge found that the employer was negligent in its duties to create a safe working environment. It was found that the managers involved had the capacity to take action that would have prevented the damage caused to the bullied employee, but failed to do so.

The bullied worker received compensation of $339,722 at the expense of her employer as a result of psychological injury acquired in the workplace. This case demonstrates the clear need for employers to be responsive to bullying complaints so that these sorts of cases do not occur. Bullying is an issue that gets worse the longer it is left unaddressed.

All constructive dismissal cases make it clear that employers need to carefully consider their actions and their legal obligations when they decide they wish to be rid of an employee. There is rarely a low-risk shortcut that can substitute proper redundancy discussions or performance management.

BASED IN KALGOORLIE, THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE IS AN INDEPENDENT HR CONSULTANT WHO CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO OFFER A ONE STOP HR SOLUTION, WE ONLY CHARGE YOU FOR THE WORK WE PERFORM; NO CONTRACTS, NO ANNUAL OR MONTHLY FEES, JUST QUALITY SERVICE. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

 

 

 

Employment Contracts – what to put in and what to leave out

Employee Working Contract| HR Consultant | The People & Culture Office

The importance of having effective, well-drafted, and compliant employment contracts in place cannot be understated. If you don’t scrutinise your contracts to make sure they’re legally correct, or if you have not given much thought to this important business document, you may be very disappointed about the degree to which you can protect your commercial interests or defend your position in the case of a workplace dispute.

An employment contract is an agreement between an employer and an employee that sets out the rights and obligations of each party.  As with any contract, the law requires certain conditions to be met before it will recognise an employment contract.  Employment relationships can take on several different forms and each form will create certain rights and obligations on the parties involved. The terms of employment contracts will also vary depending on the nature of the relationship between the parties and what rights and responsibilities are sought to be created.

Let’s start off with things that shouldn’t be included in an employment contract – basically anything policy related, and, anything you may want to the flexibility to alter in the future as your operational needs change. For example the inclusion of access to a motor vehicle in the employment contract makes it a contractual inclusion to which both parties are now bound too. If the job role no longer requires access to the vehicle, or if vehicle usage & allocation needs to be reviewed for financial reasons, negotiation with the employee is required and there would be very few employees who would be happy to give a contractual benefit up without being compensated in some other way. Similarly, commitment to training or recognition & reward programmes, these are best left to policies where the contents can be modified, or made obsolete as operational needs and budgetary requirements dictate.

The inclusion of policies is risky. Incorporating policies within a contract should be avoided as it may give rise to mutually enforceable duties and potentially create a breach if the employer fails to abide by its own policies. Instead, policies should be separate and acknowledged under the employment contract as a clause containing reference to the organisational policies and the employees’ obligations.

Let’s look at a hypothetical employment contract where the employer has stated the content of their Drug & Alcohol Policy within the terms and conditions of the employment contract. The policy states that it is a 3 strikes and you’re out policy, but, the employer has just obtained a major contract which a large percent of existing employees will be mobilised to. The client has a zero tolerance policy and the employer now faces a disconnect with their contractual obligations to it’s employees, and their constraints of having sufficient ongoing work for their employees should they test positive whilst on their main clients site. Well written policies will always contain a clause that if at anytime the legislative, policy or business operational requirements is so altered that the policy is no longer appropriate in its current form, the policy shall be reviewed immediately and amended accordingly, on the other hand renegotiating contracts with employees, particularly to conditions that the employee considers unfavourable, is messy and unpleasant.

So what should an employment contract contain?;

  • The position they are being appointed to, it goes without saying that this should be consistent with the position they applied for, unless consultation and discussion has taken place.
  • Employment status ie: Full Time, Part Time, Fixed Term or Casual. If the position is being offered on a fixed term basis for the duration of a prescribed project or coverage on a long term absence such as Parental Leave, the factor to determine the termination of the term must be explicit ie: when the project ceases or by XX date. ** Failure to monitor cessation terms on Fixed Term Contracts can result in a permanent and ongoing employment relationship with said employee, for this reason you should always ensure you have stringent processes in place.
  • The position they will report to (not the person currently holding that position).
  • Remuneration expressed either as a salary or hourly rate.
  • Hours of duty
  • Date of commencement
  • Location of workplace
  • Is the offer of employment is subject to any conditions? ie: Police Clearance
  • The industrial instrument they are being paid under ie: the applicable Award or Collective Agreement

The Terms and Conditions of Employment should contain information that relates to the probationary period, notice periods to terminate employment, how and the frequency of pays, superannuation, leave entitlements, the requirement to comply with the organisations policies & procedures, confidentiality, restraint of trade, other employment  a dispute resolution process – PHEW!

So the key take away’s are; 

  • An employment contract is a legally binding document, that when put together with little legal or strategic consideration can have significant detrimental impact to business.
  • By understanding the reasons for certain clauses in employment contracts, employers can help ensure that their employment contracts accurately reflect the terms and conditions of the employment relationship and sufficiently protect their interests.
  • Employment contracts should be reviewed and amended whenever there are material changes to an employee’s role, particularly when an employee is moved into a new position.
  • If in doubt as to the effectiveness of a clause, or how a particular clause works, an employer should obtain proper advice, and should certainly do so before making amendments.

    BASED IN KALGOORLIE, THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE IS AN INDEPENDENT HR CONSULTANT WHO CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO OFFER A ONE STOP HR SOLUTION, WE ONLY CHARGE YOU FOR THE WORK WE PERFORM; NO CONTRACTS, NO ANNUAL OR MONTHLY FEES, JUST QUALITY SERVICE. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE