recruitment is tough australia wide – this should be your priority right now

Hiring challenges are impacting businesses Australia wide, regardless of size or industry, finding suitably qualified employees is a tough gig. Seek released stats last month indicating that for the first time since they launched in 1997 they are seeing far more jobs being advertised than there are candidates.

Statistics from last quarter indicate that 50% of Australian businesses are employing right now. According to the PWC “What Workers Want” report Australian workers will soon be on the move in much larger numbers than we’ve seen in recent times: The Great Resignation.

Some commentators have said this intent has been created by a sense of restlessness, or looking to regain control, after a significant period in lockdown. Sociologists suggest that people have been particularly introspective as a result of the pandemic, which can often lead to job and career changes- and others believe it has been building up in the background for some time, as people have been reluctant to change employers in an unstable market.

It’s likely to be a combination of all those factors – but it doesn’t alter the reality that Australian organisations are about to see people walking out the door. And it’s adding to the impression that the balance of power is shifting from the employer to the employee. Because in the war for talent, it’s the worker who has the better bargaining position.

Whatever the cause, here we are and we need to put strategies in place to stop the flow of talent out the gate.

If you’ve approached recruitment with the “why should I employ you” mindset it’s time for that to change.

Attracting interest from job seekers requires you to shift your thinking from what you want from candidates (i.e. requirements of the role) to what you have to offer prospective candidates

It’s time to invest more in meeting employees expectations, when you do this it makes it much easier to attract employees. But more than that, they stick around, and the less you have to recruit, train and have staffing issues impact core business operations the more it makes this a no brainer right?

But if you don’t deliver on what you promise, or walk the walk then expect the flow to continue.

Culture is King

The latest data from the Gartner Talent Monitor Report reveals that ‘culture is king’ for employees who’ve emerged from lockdowns with a renewed sense of priorities. Aaron McEwan, VP Research & Advisory at Gartner, told HRD: “The data shows Australian employers face an ultimatum: prioritise quality leadership and a positive work culture in your organisation or risk losing staff to a highly competitive talent market.”

“What happens in the wake of a major worldwide existential event, like a global pandemic is that it leaves long-lasting changes,” he continued. “Even if everything returns to a balance of power in favour of the employer, I don’t think it will change the fundamental shift that we’ve seen in employees which is they are rethinking their relationship with work at a very fundamental level.

Get your offer and leadership right and employees will stick around. Not forever, because a job for life no longer exists, but you will manage a stable workforce. And in our current job market, this should be your key priority.

We can do this for you, experience a bit of our magic 🪄


Who we are

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.

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 us having coffee at our regular haunts and / or our dogs & cats disrupting our work day.

THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE IS A KALGOORLIE BASED HUMAN RESOURCES (HR) CONSULTING COMPANY THAT SPECIALISES IN DEVELOPING PARTNERSHIPS WITH SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES. WE CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH EMPLOYEE INITIATIVES. 

CONTACT US TO ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS WHAT SOLUTIONS WE CAN PUT IN PLACE TO DRIVE ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR STRATEGIC AND OPERATIONAL GOALS.

AT THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE YOU ONLY PAY FOR THE WORK WE UNDERTAKE FOR YOU;  NO ANNUAL OR MONTHLY FEES; NO CONTRACTS; JUST QUALITY, LOCAL, SERVICE.

What is psychological safety and how do you build it in your workplace?

people having a conversation

A guest blog bought to you by Kylie McLerie: Collective Culture Consultancy

The term psychological safety has gained traction over the last few years as we have traversed the changing landscape of the modern workplace. But really, this is the seed where all flourishing workplace cultures need to grow from. Psych safety is the single most important factors in high performance teams; a fact that is being recognised by more and more companies across the globe. 

If you are sitting there thinking, “Well what actually is this?” then let me explain: The term psychological safety was coined by Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson. She defines it as “a shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking.” Establishing a climate of psychological safety allows space for people to speak up and share their ideas. This means environments where staff are supported to contribute to the strategic and operational workings of the business, where collaboration is fostered, and strengths and expertise utilised and where people feel valued and part of the big picture. 

Timothy R Clark describes four stages of psychological safety that teams can move through. 

The first stage is inclusion safety. We all want to feel included. We long to belong. We humans need to be accepted in a team before we can be heard, so essentially the first stage is simply being comfortable being present. This stage means all members but be included and welcomed – without discrimination regarding gender, age, social background, sexual orientation, neurodiversity or anything else.

The second stage is learner safety – and this means being able to ask questions, give and receive feedback, experiment, and make mistakes. Team members at this stage will provide feedback to each other, and ask for feedback themselves

The third stage is contributor safety. This means being able to participate as a member of the team, contribute ideas and suggestions, and raise threats and risks using members’ individual talents and abilities to contribute to the team without fear. At this stage, retrospectives and “post-mortems” become very powerful practices.

The fourth stage is challenger safety. This means being able to challenge the way the team works, come up with new ways of working, behaviours, and challenge the ideas of others – even the ideas of senior members. This is the most powerful “stage” of psychological safety, as it not only allows new ideas to surface and learning from mistakes to occur, but it can prevent potentially bad ideas from getting to the real world.

Timothy Clark also believes a leader’s roll is to increase intellectual friction and decrease social friction. Diversity in your workforce increases intellectual friction, this is great for that floury of ideas and thoughts required to solve problems, innovate and get the best outcomes.  Inclusion of each team member is key to this. Diversity is a fact (diff. ages, education, cultural backgrounds), inclusion is a choice, and we draw that out through the building of psychological safety. If your people feel safe and there’s no fear of ridicule or retribution, then the intellectual diversity comes to the surface.

women standing beside corkboard

When we don’t have psychological safety our self-sensory instincts kick in.  There is literally a neurological response, our amygdala kicks in with our fight or flight response sending blood away from our thinking part of the brain. This means that we shut down, go into self-preservation mode, our wellbeing suffers, we are less resilient and more stressed.

In contrast when your workplace feels challenging but not threatening, your brain’s oxytocin levels rise, eliciting trust and trust-making behavior. This is a huge factor in team success as it encourages speaking up because: 

  • Concern is alleviated about others’ reactions
  • Energy isn’t wasted on fear-based behaviours, so clarity of thought is improved
  • Productive conflict is supported
  • Mistakes are readily discussed enabling failures to be mitigated
  • More novel ideas are shared promoting innovation
  • Instead of focusing on self-protection people are focused on achieving motivating goals
  •  A climate is created that increases accountability.

High psychological safety is not necessarily about being polite and nice. Rather its recognising that true respect is about saying what you think, and giving each other permission to make mistakes, get it wrong and being able to self-correct.  And having psychological safety isn’t about eliminating all risk, but by taking away interpersonal risk you can better mitigate business risk.  It also doesn’t mean you need to lower your performance standards.

You can still have high standards, high accountability and high psychological safety in your team. 

people sitting on chair

So where do you start? 

  • Well, is all starts from a feeling of connection and belonging. It all starts with trust. Value time for employees to build working relationships. 
  • Lead with a curious mindset. Remind leaders that no one comes to work wanting to do a bad job.
  • Invite participation and value strengths. Leaders don’t and shouldn’t know it all. Use the strengths of the collective to build high performing teams. 
  • Be clear on the expectations for the work. Individuals need to know exactly what kind of input is expected from them as part of the team and as an employee of the company. 
  • Model fallibility and vulnerability from the top. No one wants a robotic boss. Authentic leadership that recognises their own strengths and downfalls and keeps it real sets the tone for the company culture. 
  • Make it clear that building psych safety is everyone’s business. Individual and team training around how to build psych safety is imperative for sustainability. 

At the end of the day, employee performance will improve as a result of creating a psychologically safe workplace. And employees who feel safe and engaged at work are less likely to quit. Really how can you afford not to consider really auditing the levels of psych safety at your workplace. 

For more information, or to speak about how we can support you to build awareness at your workplace please get in touch at kylie@collectivecultureconsultancy.com.au

About kylie

Collective Culture Consultancy is an educational and business consultancy firm that specialises in supporting the growth and maintenance of a productive culture. Building a collective responsibility for success breeds vision, well being and drive. Your culture is what drives your success. Ensuring that ‘same page’ ethos is our core business.

Research indicates that staff that feel connected to their workplace, valued by their colleagues and have opportunities to grow their skills and careers will be more committed to achieving organisational goals. Attracting the right staff is only the beginning, retaining them is where the investment should be.

Kylie McLerie, Director, has carved a long and diverse career in educational leadership through her roles as School Principal, Deputy Principal and Curriculum Manager, Teacher and Consultant. She is recognised throughout Western Australia for her dynamic leadership skills, ability to grow others and skills in creating workplaces that people want to belong to.


Who we are

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.

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 us having coffee at our regular haunts and / or our dogs & cats disrupting our work day.

THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE IS A KALGOORLIE BASED HUMAN RESOURCES (HR) CONSULTING COMPANY THAT SPECIALISES IN DEVELOPING PARTNERSHIPS WITH SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES. WE CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH EMPLOYEE INITIATIVES. 

CONTACT US TO ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS WHAT SOLUTIONS WE CAN PUT IN PLACE TO DRIVE ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR STRATEGIC AND OPERATIONAL GOALS.

AT THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE YOU ONLY PAY FOR THE WORK WE UNDERTAKE FOR YOU;  NO ANNUAL OR MONTHLY FEES; NO CONTRACTS; JUST QUALITY, LOCAL, SERVICE.

Are you ready for the new era of work – Employee value proposition

Employee Value Proposition - The People & Culture Office Kalgoorlie

This post is the fourth post in a series running throughout 2022 taking a deep dive into the new era work. This post is all about your employee value proposition and the employee experience. You can catch up on previous The People & Culture Office posts here here and here.

Hands up who is struggling to recruit quality talent in the current climate 🙋🏼

Attracting interest from job seekers requires you to shift your thinking from what you want from candidates (i.e. requirements of the role) to what you have to offer prospective candidates

Thats Employee Value Proposition (EVP) in a nutshell – what you can offer, but more than that, what you can offer thats over and above what your competitors have to offer.

Or as I like to refer to it, what’s your secret sauce

Let me explain –

If I say Big Mac where does your mind go? The Big Mac Special Sauce right? 🍔

Macca’s have built entire marketing campaigns around the special sauce, it’s what the Big Mac is known for.

As an employer what’s your special sauce? What are you known for? What do your current and prospective employees associate to your employer brand?

Think about Google and how they entice tech guru’s to join their ranks. They put a lot of effort into defining Google as a place that values employee wellbeing by having onsite wellness centres and rest pods, they encourage employees to take time away from work to volunteer in the community, they have games, breakout spaces, hybrid work models. The underlying theme is “we want to make you and your individual values, interests and wellbeing at the forefront of your employee experience with us.”

Imagine now that you’re just one of many in your industry operating a business in your geographical location

  • You offer the same rosters as everyone else
  • You offer the same earning potential
  • The same stock standard benefits

When someone comes to work for you they really could be working for any one of your competitors….

….. unless you can offer an employee experience that sets you apart

This is your special sauce

Your Employee Value Proposition is what encourages people to come and work for you. It should be broadcast throughout your recruitment advertising and campaigns.

Your EVP consists of appealing financial and non-financial benefits. For example in caring industries the intrinsic rewards that come from making a difference to someones life is a big driver. Having quality leadership & treating your employees as individuals is another (read how being good at your job doesn’t necessarily make you a good leader here), competitive remuneration that aligns to your values and how you see yourself as an employer.

The key is to articulate your brand and the values that drive your organisation as a consistent message across recruitment, compensation & benefits, policies & procedures, customer service and stakeholder engagement – every time you communicate with employees and the community you are building your brand and your EVP.

We can do this for you, experience a bit of our magic. 🪄


We will have a lot to unpack in the coming months, so if you don’t already, follow us on our socials here and here, navigate back to our blog roll and sign up for newsletters, or, follow me on Linkedin for regular education posts just like this.

Check back in with us at the end of April for a special guest post on psychological safety by Kylie McLerie of Collective Culture Consultancy.


Who we are

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.

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 us having coffee at our regular haunts and / or our dogs & cats disrupting our work day.

THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE IS A KALGOORLIE BASED HUMAN RESOURCES (HR) CONSULTING COMPANY THAT SPECIALISES IN DEVELOPING PARTNERSHIPS WITH SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES. WE CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH EMPLOYEE INITIATIVES. 

CONTACT US TO ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS WHAT SOLUTIONS WE CAN PUT IN PLACE TO DRIVE ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR STRATEGIC AND OPERATIONAL GOALS.

AT THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE YOU ONLY PAY FOR THE WORK WE UNDERTAKE FOR YOU;  NO ANNUAL OR MONTHLY FEES; NO CONTRACTS; JUST QUALITY, LOCAL, SERVICE.

Are you ready for the new era of work? – compensation & benefits

This post is the third post in a series running throughout 2022 taking a deep dive into the new era work. This post is all about compensation & benefits and how it links to employee satisfaction and productivity. You can catch up on the previous posts here and here.

Let’s dispel the biggest myth about compensation & benefits straight off the bat – providing highly sought after benefits does not have to be about high wages and expensive benefits such as private medical cover.

When it comes to looking at compensation & benefits you want to drive attraction & retention, and to ensure there is alignment with the vision your organisation has of itself as an employer.⁠

New generations armed with a social conscience, a need for connectivity and a demand for wellbeing, are well entrenched in the job market.  Old school ethos  are breaking down in favour of more collaborative models that prioritise recognition and team work. Outside the workplace, the cost of living is rising and a large chunk of our workforce are finding themselves financially vulnerable. 

Trends observed from the Australian Benefits Review (ABR) indicate that organisations are moving away from offering one-size-fits-all benefits; that is, offering all employees a suite of benefits whether they use them or not. In place of this, organisations are moving towards a collaborative-based model, where different benefits are offered, unique to the individual. These are tailored to the employee’s needs relating to wellbeing, lifestyle and career.


Employee Benefits

Wellbeing – Physical, Mental & Financial

People & Culture Departments can pump out some pretty amazing initiatives to inspire and engage employees. But if employees are not empowered to manage their health and wellbeing then only so much can be achieved

Wellbeing differs from person to person, and we know that what is happening away from work impacts work if the employee isn’t equipped with the tools and resources to address issues as they arise

So it makes sense to look at employees as whole beings doesn’t it? To make your employee benefits a human deal, not just a financial deal

Employee wellbeing impacts the resiliency of your workforce. Employees with higher wellbeing have lower levels of burnout, diagnosed anxiety and depression.

Of employees experiencing burnout at work:

– 63% more likely to take a sick day
– 2.6x as likely to be actively seeking a different job
– 13% less confident in their performance

Wellbeing programs that reduce the stigma of having open & honest conversations about mental wellbeing; coaching managers on providing support; and empowering employees to identifying wellbeing initiatives that matter the most to them, will increase engagement, productivity and your ability to attract and retain quality employees.

Flexibility

1 in 2 employees Australia wide say flexible work hours and arrangements would reduce stress (particularly around family responsibilities). Other big ticket items in this category are increased paid time off, increased superannuation contributions, work from home policy, access to wellbeing and mental health programs, income protection insurance

59% of organisations in Australia reported that they were reinventing flexibility as a core part of transforming the employee experience. The most common form of flexible work arrangements were flexible start / finish times, compressed work weeks and remote working (work from anywhere).

Flexibility is multi-dimensional and no longer simply means ‘working from home’. It’s about where work is done, as well as when and by whom.

It’s an understanding that one size doesn’t fit all, that the key to a happy, healthy workforce is about doing the right work, at the right amount, at the right pace and the right time, in the right location.

The most common forms of flexible work arrangements include ongoing flexitime (such as early start/finish or longer lunch breaks), offered by more than 80% of the market, as well as part-time arrangements. Over the past five years, increasing numbers of organisations are allowing employees access to compressed work weeks (such as working 38 hours a week over four days instead of five).

Recognition

Say thank you, celebrate win’s in the moment, call out good behaviour not just the bad, put on morning tea or lunch to show your appreciation.

The few moments you take from your day to do the above can mean so much to employees.


We will have a lot to unpack in the coming months, so if you don’t already, follow us on our socials here and here, navigate back to our blog roll and sign up for newsletters, or, follow me on Linkedin for regular education posts just like this.


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.

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.

THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE IS A KALGOORLIE BASED HUMAN RESOURCES (HR) CONSULTING COMPANY THAT SPECIALISES IN DEVELOPING PARTNERSHIPS WITH SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES. WE CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH EMPLOYEE INITIATIVES. 

CONTACT US TO ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS WHAT SOLUTIONS WE CAN PUT IN PLACE TO DRIVE ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR STRATEGIC AND OPERATIONAL GOALS.

AT THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE YOU ONLY PAY FOR THE WORK WE UNDERTAKE FOR YOU;  NO ANNUAL OR MONTHLY FEES; NO CONTRACTS; JUST QUALITY, LOCAL, SERVICE.

Are you ready for the new era of work? – job design

This post is the second post in a series running throughout 2022 taking a deep dive into the new era work. This post is all about job design and how it links to employee satisfaction and productivity.

There’s no denying the past few years have triggered a major shift in how people view work, life and the existential crises that has accompanied living through a pandemic. Even if, like me, you live in Western Australia and have largely been unaffected by lockdowns, poor health and loss of income, there is no doubt that at some point throughout 2020 and 2021 you were given cause to pause and reflect on whether you are truely living an authentic life or not.

Effective job design has an impactful relationship on the achievement of operational objectives and goals. It drives alignment of the HR function to the business structure, process and people goals to better mitigate risks.

The purpose of a job analysis is to provide an in-depth understanding of the competencies required for success in order to select appropriate candidates. The job analysis and design process looks at the current workforce situation and future workforce needs to future proof the organisation. It looks at continuous improvement / automation, grouping of logical tasks and job families, person specifications to best match the position profile, technical skills, capability, societal expectations and influence.

Societal Expectations and Influence

Thanks to a mixture of living through a pandemic and differing personal values of Millennials and Gen Z compared to Boomers and Gen X, the lens through which we view the social construct of work has been turned on its head.

Work from home mandates from 2020 continuing into 2022 has sped up the shift in flexible work arrangements, the connectivity of teams and how job tasks are completed in a remote environment.

The balance of power has shifted to employees, according to this recent ABC Australia article work from home arrangements have increased from 8% of Australians prior to the pandemic to 40% over the past 2 years and is expected to continue at high levels until the pandemic ends. This has opened the job market up to people who may have had barriers to employment in the past such as people with disabilities and primary carers.

There is greater understanding that an employee brings their whole self to work, personal obligations don’t go away when they clock on and return when they clock out. The employee offering is now being looked at as a human deal; inclusivity is all about offering employees choice and a level of control.

The ability to work from in an environment you are physically comfortable in and a structure to suit personal commitments such as child and elder care and home schooling has led to the desire to hyper personalise the work day. Think standing desks, plant lady obsessions, playing soft music and taking breaks when they suit you and your work style best.

What was a niche philosophy of allowing teams to design their own job roles and allocation of tasks to suit individual strengths and career aspirations has grown in popularity.

It’s an understanding that one size doesn’t fit all, that the key to a happy, healthy workforce is about doing the right work, at the right amount, at the right pace and the right time, in the right location.

We will explore this concept further when we look at compensation and benefits, in the meantime you can jump across to my Instagram here and here for a little sneaky peak.

Does the grouping of job tasks make sense? Are your employees dying of boredom?

When allocating tasks do they complement each other or are you building hybrid roles of very different beasts?

Let me explain, and I’m being very broad here, quite often in smaller organisations there will be an employee who undertakes finance, payroll, HR and marketing tasks.

When recruiting you split the role between what is required skills wise and what is required behavioural and capability wise. Building a person specification (info which guides organisations to determine which employees are best fit for specific jobs) based on the above brief is an exercise in contradictions.

Finance people tend to be black and white, numbers focussed, introverted, problem solving is viewed strategically and focussed on cost. Good HR and Marketing people are creative, empathic and can weigh up the shades of grey to determine a win win solution to problems. Problem solving is viewed both holistically and strategically with bent towards risk minimisation, even if that may be the most expensive option.

How easy is going to be to find an employee that fits a person profile ticking all those boxes?

Jobs need to be looked at realistically and critically, maybe the answer is to have two part time employees instead of just one?, or maybe outsource some tasks? It isn’t just about what needs to be done but who is around to do it.

And of course once you have a clear picture of the knowledge, skills and abilities of the job at hand it is much easier to determine an appropriate pay level that reflects the position requirements.


Another factor of job design that greatly impacts productivity and retention is the “sexiness factor” of the job.

Think about a receptionist / switchboard operator for a large corporate. If you’ve ever sat at a switchboard with 20 incoming phone lines you will know this to be true:

a) it’s very busy and talking all day is draining

b) people are rude

c) it can be soul destroying

To provide some variety to keep employees engaged, productive and employed, the organisation may choose to invest in automation to divert incoming calls to the relevant department greatly reducing calls at the front desk. This would free up the employee to undertake a greater range of duties, aiding to break up the day and maintaining focus and attention.

This is a simple but effective example of using technology to address factors contributing to turnover in the organisation. This reduces costs, increases efficiencies and retains corporate knowledge.


We will have a lot to unpack in the coming months, so if you don’t already, follow us on our socials here and here, navigate back to our blog roll and sign up for newsletters, or, follow me on Linkedin for regular education posts just like this.


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.

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.

THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE IS A KALGOORLIE BASED HUMAN RESOURCES (HR) CONSULTING COMPANY THAT SPECIALISES IN DEVELOPING PARTNERSHIPS WITH SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES. WE CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH EMPLOYEE INITIATIVES. 

CONTACT US TO ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS WHAT SOLUTIONS WE CAN PUT IN PLACE TO DRIVE ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR STRATEGIC AND OPERATIONAL GOALS.

AT THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE YOU ONLY PAY FOR THE WORK WE UNDERTAKE FOR YOU;  NO ANNUAL OR MONTHLY FEES; NO CONTRACTS; JUST QUALITY, LOCAL, SERVICE.

Are you ready for the new era of work?

There’s no denying the past few years have triggered a major shift in how people view work, life and the existential crises that has accompanied living through a pandemic. Even if, like me, you live in Western Australia and have largely been unaffected by lockdowns, poor health and loss of income, there is no doubt that at some point throughout 2020 and 2021 you were given cause to pause and reflect on whether you are truely living an authentic life or not.

“The Great Resignation” in the US has fuelled a so called anti-work movement that has given rise to mass resignations, labour shortages, an increase in minimum wages and conditions. In Australia & Europe where minimum employment standards and safety nets already exist, the likelihood of the great resignation on the scale being seen in the US is less likely, but what is undeniable is the power dynamic between the employer – employee relationship has been turned on its head.

Driven less by income, employees in Australia are now viewing work through a lens of “is my job / employer fulfilling me; aligning to my values; accommodating my wellbeing; giving me a sense of belonging.”

What this all really means is

Are you ready for the new era of work?

Is your employee value proposition agile enough to tap into workers desires to fuel your business success

Over the next few posts we are going to take a deep dive into these concepts and more.

We will be looking at employee wellbeing, benefits and structuring an appealing employee value proposition.

Whether the generational divide has any influence over successful compensation & benefits strategies.

Planning and job design and how it links to employee satisfaction and productivity.

The importance of employing the right person for the job and how this plays in to your workplace culture.

Factors contributing to turnover such as lack of trust (by both an employer and employees), work hours, employee autonomy and control, work life integration and whether your offer is a human offer or designed around maximum profit.

We will have a lot to unpack in the coming months, so if you don’t already, follow us on our socials here and here, navigate back to our blog roll and sign up for newsletters, or, follow me on Linkedin for regular education posts just like this.


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.

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.

THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE IS A KALGOORLIE BASED HUMAN RESOURCES (HR) CONSULTING COMPANY THAT SPECIALISES IN DEVELOPING PARTNERSHIPS WITH SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES. WE CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH EMPLOYEE INITIATIVES. 

CONTACT US TO ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS WHAT SOLUTIONS WE CAN PUT IN PLACE TO DRIVE ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR STRATEGIC AND OPERATIONAL GOALS.

AT THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE YOU ONLY PAY FOR THE WORK WE UNDERTAKE FOR YOU;  NO ANNUAL OR MONTHLY FEES; NO CONTRACTS; JUST QUALITY, LOCAL, SERVICE.

I’m dissecting Fair Work education posts so you don’t have to #2

Ok! Part 2 of our blog unpacking Fair Work education posts and what they mean for your business.

Miss the first post? That’s ok, you can catch up here

*this post applies to National System employers, WA based sole traders, partnerships and unincorporated organisations fall under the WA Industrial Relations SystemReferences to an “Employee Agreement” relates to a registered collective agreement.


I have an Individual Flexibility Agreement (IFA) built into my contracts, this allows me to pay a flat rate of pay, based on contracted hours of 38 hours per week, whilst establishing rostered work hours greater than that. I pay well above the Award so it’s all ok – Paying over the Award doesn’t absolve you from adhering to Award terms and conditions, the use of IFA’s to achieve flat rates of pay for new employees is unlawful.

So much to unpack with this common misconception. Let’s start with IFA’s, above Award payments and flat rates of pay.

Each Award will stipulate ordinary hours of work (38 hours per week), the span of ordinary work hours (ie: to be worked between 7am – 7pm), allowances payable, penalty rates, breaks and loadings such as annual leave loading. No matter how much above Award you pay your employees they are still entitled to these additional amounts over and above their base salary / hourly rate.

A carefully worded contract of employment is required if you wish to lawfully offset these items against the Award entitlements. Sometimes this is done in SME’s by embedding an IFA into the contract of employment – this practice is unlawful.

An IFA must be one that is genuinely made by the employer and the individual employee without coercion or duress (which means acceptance of the IFA can’t be a condition of employment).  An agreement may only be made after the individual employee has commenced employment with the employer.

Another rarely understood fact of putting IFA’s to use in this way is that either party can terminate the IFA, that means if your employee terminates the IFA your flat rate becomes a base hourly rate + penalty rates.

In addition, the way “ordinary hours” is viewed by Fair Work and accompanying legislation and Acts (such as Superannuation and Long Service Leave) is what is customary for the employee to work and whether there is a discernible difference between what the ordinary hours are and what quite clearly is additional hours. Having a contract of employment written as 38 hours per week (and accruing leave entitlements at this rate), but, handing the employee a roster of 14 shifts on 7 shifts off, 12 hour days with no separation between pay rates doesn’t pass the pub test.

Which brings me to……….

Fair Work defines “Ordinary Hours” as an employee’s normal and regular hours of work, which do not attract overtime rates.

In offsetting overtime rates to achieve a flat rate of pay you have traded off that safety net of only accruing leave entitlements on 38 hours per week. There is no separate rate of pay to distinguish additional, or overtime hours, therefore the normal hours of work are ordinary hours and entitlements such as leave needs to reflect this.

When it comes to Super If you can’t distinctly identify overtime amounts, all the hours actually worked are included in the employee’s ordinary hours of work. Overtime payments must be clearly identifiable, otherwise all hours worked are OTE.


My employees are paid a salary and the position comes with an expectation of overtime – this is ok as long as the salary more than accommodates the overtime worked, and the expectation of additional hours is reasonable

Common Awards now contain Annualised Salary clauses allowing an employer to satisfy Award entitlements within the base salary. In order to be compliant the employer is required to keep accurate records of the hours worked (ie: timesheets), and be able to demonstrate the salary sufficiently accommodates the actual hours worked if the employee were to be paid as per the Award (ie: penalty rates, allowances and leave loading)

Employers must take into consideration a number of factors when determining if overtime is reasonable. This extends to an individuals personal responsibilities away from work such as child or elder care, industry standards and health and safety matters such as fatigue or increased risk from working at night for example.


Industrial relations is complex, and our system is by no means easy to navigate. As a business owner / leader it is your responsibility to ensure that your business practices are lawful, but more importantly, that you fully understand what your contracts and policies contain and the implications of enforcing such business tools.

The buck stops with you, and you need to ask yourself:

  • Do I understand the advice I’ve been given
  • Do I understand and accept the risk of non-compliance
  • What are the wider implications to this business practice
  • Does it align to the values of the business (are you walking the walk)

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

You can find us on our socials, give us a like on Facebook and follow us on Instagram

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 IS A KALGOORLIE BASED HUMAN RESOURCES (HR) CONSULTING COMPANY THAT SPECIALISES IN DEVELOPING PARTNERSHIPS WITH SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES. WE CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH EMPLOYEE INITIATIVES. 

CONTACT US TO ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS WHAT SOLUTIONS WE CAN PUT IN PLACE TO DRIVE ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR STRATEGIC AND OPERATIONAL GOALS.

AT THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE YOU ONLY PAY FOR THE WORK WE UNDERTAKE FOR YOU;  NO ANNUAL OR MONTHLY FEES; NO CONTRACTS; JUST QUALITY, LOCAL, SERVICE.

I’m dissecting Fair Work education posts so you don’t have to #1

Grab a cuppa and strap in! I’ve trawled Linkedin and screenshot a number of education posts around common employment, and contract of employment issues that I commonly see when meeting with prospective clients.

*this post applies to National System employers, WA based sole traders, partnerships and unincorporated organisations fall under the WA Industrial Relations System. References to an “Employee Agreement” relates to a registered collective agreement.


If it’s in a contract, it’s lawful – In short, No

Just because a clause is contained within a contract, and an employee has signed it, it doesn’t mean you can lawfully undertake that action.

The Fair Work Act underpins the industrial relations system in Australia, it is the legal framework that sets the minimum standards and conditions for the employer – employee relationship. From the Act we get the National Standards of Employment (NES) which are the 11 minimum terms & conditions for all employees, and then the Award is a full set of standards and conditions broken down by occupation.

An employment contract can’t provide for less, or deviate from in a detrimental way, than any of these industrial instruments.

I commonly see unlawful clauses contained within employment contracts related to ordinary hours of work and the entitlement of leave and superannuation, overpayments and payroll deductions, withholding of pay and use of individual flexibility agreements.


I’ve overpaid my employee, I’m entitled to take money back next pay – only if you’ve received a signed deduction authority from the employee

Again, a common clause I see written into employment contracts. Fair Work is pretty explicit about how and when payroll deductions can occur, if you are attempting to recoup funds without a signed authority you are quite simply playing with fire.


Medicals, uniforms, training courses, damage to equipment; it all costs money. I make sure I’m reimbursed for this from the employees pay – Again, Fair Work has explicit guidelines around how and when this can occur, having it written into a contract does not give you free rein

“and it’s unreasonable in the circumstances” and no, having a new employee sign a blank payroll deduction authority to be used to deduct monies from their final pay without obtaining consent for the amount first is not reasonable. Best practice will always come back to consulting with employees.


My departing employee hasn’t returned their work keys so I’m withholding their pay – most Awards dictate that an employee must receive their final pay within 7 days of their employment ending

Employment contracts can extend this period, for example if you are on a monthly pay cycle you can include a clause to state the final pay will be received in accordance with the pay cycle. Withholding a final pay (or any pay for that matter) is unlawful.


Industrial relations is complex, and our system is by no means easy to navigate. As a business owner / leader it is your responsibility to ensure that your business practices are lawful, but more importantly, that you fully understand what your contracts and policies contain and the implications of enforcing such business tools.

The buck stops with you, and you need to ask yourself:

  • Do I understand the advice I’ve been given
  • Do I understand and accept the risk of non-compliance
  • What are the wider implications to this business practice
  • Does it align to the values of the business (are you walking the walk)

This is part 1 of this series, stay tuned for part 2 where I dissect ordinary hours of work, flat rates of pay and leave accruals.

You can read more about employment contracts HERE and what quality HR is HERE and 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

You can find us on our socials, give us a like on Facebook and follow us on Instagram

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 IS A KALGOORLIE BASED HUMAN RESOURCES (HR) CONSULTING COMPANY THAT SPECIALISES IN DEVELOPING PARTNERSHIPS WITH SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES. WE CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH EMPLOYEE INITIATIVES. 

CONTACT US TO ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS WHAT SOLUTIONS WE CAN PUT IN PLACE TO DRIVE ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR STRATEGIC AND OPERATIONAL GOALS.

AT THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE YOU ONLY PAY FOR THE WORK WE UNDERTAKE FOR YOU;  NO ANNUAL OR MONTHLY FEES; NO CONTRACTS; JUST QUALITY, LOCAL, SERVICE.