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.

What happens after R U Ok??

Polaroids of happy people with text caption of There has to be more after R U Ok?

Every September in Australia for 1 day our socials are flooded with posts about R U Ok day. Big corporates do the obligatory “Ask a mate if they are ok” post, emails are sent out from our employers encouraging us to ask for help, then …………… nothing.

And while R U Ok day is great place to start for raising awareness, there is still a lot more that needs to be done to support employees with mental health issues.

There has to be more after asking R U Ok?

We all know 2020 hasn’t been great for mental health, and I’m not going to spend time in this space because the reality is workers compensation mental health claims have been rising by an average of 22% year – on – year since 2017. However, The Wellbeing Lab in-conjunction with the Australian HR Institute conducted a State of Wellbeing in Australian Workplaces survey in December 2019 with updated 2020 questions to capture the post bushfires and COVID impact. You can read the report HERE. to see the latest data with a COVID element applied.

According to the Black Dog Institute, the key to employers addressing mental health in the workplace is putting effort into implementing proven programs to support their colleagues, instead of simply holding coffee mornings to raise awareness. “Australia does not need any more mental health awareness campaigns because we do not have a mental health awareness problem,” said Sam Harvey, chief psychiatrist at the Black Dog Institute. “GP surgeries up and down the country are full of people asking for help with their mental health.”

The Institute has gone as far as identifying 4 key signs your workplace isn’t taking mental health seriously –

  1. You have morning teas on awareness days

Morning teas are social – they fool us into thinking that workplaces are ’doing their bit’. But do they really have your back when it comes to mental health? New research shows that Australia does not have an awareness problem, and that it’s time to move on from these campaigns. Workplaces need to use the momentum generated by morning teas and channel this into something constructive.

  1. They don’t offer flexible work arrangements 

We’ve been hearing about work-life balance for over a decade, and for good reason. Offering flexibility is a sure way for workplaces to look after their employees and this has never been more significant in a remote working COVID environment.  

  1. You feel guilty taking a mental health day 

Mental health is just as much a reason to take personal leave as a physical illness. Research shows that mentally healthy workers are more productive and less likely to take sick leave, so it’s actually a win-win for both employee and employer. If you struggle to ask for, or are denied, a mental health day, something needs to change.

  1. There is no practical training offered 

It’s 2020 and mental health is now part of Australia’s national agenda. This means workplaces need to implement mental health training for you and your colleagues and put support systems in place. 

My son works for a big employer in our hometown, this year they won an award for their industry leading mental health program to support its employees. The first my son, who has worked for this organisation for the past 4 years, heard about this initiative was when I sent him a screenshot of a LinkedIn post made by his employer. A bit of a disconnect between what they say they are doing and what they are actually doing isn’t there?

A lot of people in senior positions don’t know how to have a conversation about wellbeing, for many leaders they are from a generation (particulary males) who were taught that talking about feelings was airy fairy and best left alone. It’s also these attitudes that are killing our fathers, brothers and sons.

If you are concerned about someone’s mental health & wellbeing, talking to them about it just involves a simple sentence: “I’ve noticed you have been more or less (followed by the behaviour)” For example, I’ve noticed you’ve been arriving late to work, I’m just wondering if everything ok?. You are just stating you’ve noticed a behavioural change, no assumptions, no diagnosing, its just the start of a conversation

Workers who reported that their managers often expressed care, compassion, gratitude, and appreciation towards them were statistically more likely to be able to manage their wellbeing, and reported higher levels of job satisfaction, performance, and commitment to their organisations. 

But as with everything in life being able to do this, and do it well, is a learned behaviour. Training and coaching needs to occur throughout the organisation. It isn’t enough to roll a program out at the corporate level and neglect training those on the ground. It needs to be a whole of organisation approach.

Workplace Wellbeing strategies should provide a systems-wide approach to caring for wellbeing by providing workers, leaders and their organisation with an evidence-based framework that is easy to understand and measure and encourage small daily actions that can be incorporated into the way people work. Kylie McLerie from Collective Culture Consultancy can support your organisation, big or small, to implement a framework. You can find Kylie HERE.

As we head to the close of 2020 I will leave you with this thought

Practice what you preach, your token words don’t make you a better person. Your behaviour does.

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.

What is it that you do?

I know you work in HR but what do you ACTUALLY do?

I don’t know a single HR person who hasn’t been asked this question at least once.

More than just policies and hiring & firing, HR is an integral component of any business looking to succeed. Human Resources is the function in an organisation that manages all employees and ensures maximum engagement & productivity, as well as making sure the company is protected from any issues that may arise from the workforce.

So what is it I can do for you?

A lot of businesses have been sold this idea that an outsourced HR function is a booklet of extremely (boring) generic policies, a template of an employment contract, a lock in contract and monthly fee’s whether you use the service or not.

Heck no! And I can’t stress this enough HECK NO!

Quality HR is a function that will add value to your business, policies are there to support the operations, but the role of HR in a business is a strategic one.

While a lot of senior managers view HR’s role as being there solely for the company, a good HR person will balance whats best for employees against a managers expectations. HR’s main objective is to minimise risk against an organisation, so understanding how managements expectations will impact the workforce, both in a positive and negative way, and being able to communicate that in a respectful and persuasive manner, is the role of HR. Theres no point in acquiescing to every request from management if it’s likely to bring the organisation before Fair Work and / or totally destroy the reputation of the organisation within the community and as a good employer.

Managing risk isn’t just about keeping Fair Work from your door, it’s managing the risk of not having the right people in the right place at the right time, the risk of developing a poor reputation as an employer, the risk of not being able to recruit in a proactive and cost effective manner, the risk of losing your top talent because you aren’t addressing performance issues and the risk of setting your pays way too high or way too low.

The People & Culture Office is Kalgoorlie owned and operated; with a background in mining & trades and considerable experience in undertaking high volume recruitment we are your local choice for quality HR services that will add value to your operations.

No lock in contracts, no ongoing fee’s and nothing but one on one quality service.

If you’re looking for less selling and more helping its time for us to chat.

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 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.

Talking Business with the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder

Register for your free ticket 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

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.

In the wake of a global pandemic, what changes will you make?

This morning I made my pilgrimage to the local coffee van in the park, my journey there is adjacent to a number of bike paths and walking trails. For the past 7 weeks my well trod journey has presented young & old out riding bikes, walking, Mum & Dad and the 2.5 kids out living their best lives in the sun & soaking up nature.

The global pandemic has seen the best and worst of humanity, amongst the stories of dust ups in the Woolies loo paper isle are stories of bike sales going through the roof as people step away from their smartphones and endless social commentary about the future of work.

Nationwide lockdowns and directives from all levels of Government to stay home has opened the door to many employees having a work from home conversation with their bosses.

If the past 7 weeks have taught us anything, for many employees having to continue to structure their work around traditional office hours, in a traditional office building, dealing with traditional office politics is an outdated, and unwanted mechanism.

See, the thing with employees is they have lives outside of work. They have children and elderly parents, friends and pets they’d prefer to spend a lot more time with. Big, big lives that don’t always fit into the neatly compartmentalised structure of the daily grind we have been conditioned to accept.

What happy, productive employees need is flexibility. The freedom to structure their workday around the other demands in their life.

COVID-19 gave parents the ability to work from home and spend a lot more time involved in their kids lives, lots of very confused (but happy) dogs were going for lots of walks and trips to the park as more and more people grabbed any opportunity to get outside and soak up the sun & fresh air. For many, our lives simplified and became a whole lot more free, quite literally overnight.

People found that with out the constant interruptions and frustrations of office politics they got so much more work done.

But, as with everything what works for some won’t resonate with everyone.

Recently Mark Bouris interviewed Georgia Vidler, Director of Product at Canva on his podcast The Mentor. Understandably their conversation quickly turned towards the changes Canva had implemented to continue being a productive organisation in the face of the lockdown & social distancing requirements in Sydney. Mark admitted that prior to this period he always thought people requesting the flexibility to work from home were having a lend of him, what he found was he had a much, much more productive workforce.

While employees were positive about the changes made, there was a good percentage who indicated they liked working from home but also craved the social interaction that working in the office gave. They didn’t want to be back in the office full time though, they wanted a blend of both. This lead to Mark looking at creating 2 teams and having them in the office a week about, of course this means going forward he needs less office space, giving up a whole floor in the Sydney CBD will offer considerable cost savings.

But more importantly to the sustainability of the business, Mark was able to see a different – a better way – of working and ran with it.

I’m not pollyanna, I am aware that not everyone working from home will do the right thing, but chances are if they are that way inclined they probably aren’t working to full capacity in the office either. A line manager who has an understanding of each job role and the expected outputs will pick up on this pretty quickly and effective performance management processes will address the shortfall in achieving the expectations of the organisation.

Given that you pay people to do a job, not sit in a chair, if the job isn’t 100% customer facing does it really matter where the employee works from? And if they are achieving their outputs does it really matter if they only work for 7 hours on the odd day here and there instead of sitting on Facebook for the last hour of the day because people can’t get past the concept that unless they are “at work” for 8 hours then they aren’t getting full value from their employees.

I know I’d rather an absolute star who applies themselves and gets their work done in a 4 day week than pay someone to fluff around for the majority of the day and be under the pump to meet deadlines.

Quality over quantity baby…….. Quality over Quantity.

What changes do you hope to come out of the global pandemic? Have you made any lifestyle changes that improves the quality of your life?

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 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.

Oh. My. God!

I don’t know about you but my head has just been in a spin the past 2 weeks; helping my clients make necessary changes to their business operations while simultaneously wondering if I will even have a business in 6 months.

Watching webinars to see what other businesses were implementing so I could *hopefully* keep my clients just that one step ahead. Trying to preempt what might happen next while assisting with contingency planning based on what we know now.

It’s been a ride that’s for sure. Pivot is everyones new favourite word but every time I hear it I’m like

Last week I shared some clips to Facebook & Instagram with the aim to disseminate the most pertinent information, I want to make use of this post to be able to expand on that.

Unless your employees have just awoken from a coma they know something pretty unprecedented is happening in Australia right now. Early survey data is showing overwhelmingly Australians are feeling anxiety and fear. These feelings can make employees feel unmotivated, detached and less obligated to their employers. If management isn’t communicating with employees then you can expect these feelings on steroids.

Don’t hold your cards close to your chest, communication needs to be clear and such that it provides clarity and instils confidence. Be specific, what’s in scope and what’s not, if your strategy is to buy time and preserve cash then communicate that. You need to be open with your employees so you can gain their buy in if you need to need to look at changing rosters and pay reductions. Don’t make assumptions as to what your employees will or won’t do, or that they’ll only look out for themselves.

But, you need to be a role model. And that can mean taking the hardest hit yourself. All trust and respect will be lost if you start making cuts but continue to pay bonus’ to management or treat yourself.

From a people perspective where to from here?

Well it depends on your financial situation; if you fall under the WA or Federal Industrial Relations system; your employment contracts and your relevant Award ** side note Fair Work and the Unions have rushed a few changes through to amend Awards in light of the current crisis. It always pays to check the Award for any amendments before making decisions **

If you can make it through the next 6 months relatively intact after some adjustments you should be looking at purchased leave agreement; amendments to work hours; pay reviews and voluntary leave without pay. These strategies are designed to minimise immediate expenditure with little disruption to your operations and workforce.

If the next 6 months is a bit so / so now is the time to be looking at annual and long service leave liability and if you should be looking at clearing some of that now, rather than at a possible closedown; standing down non essential positions and as a last resort redundancies. The strategy here is to tighten up financially while keeping your workforce “on hold” so you can revert to normal operations as quickly as possible once the lockdowns are over and the economy starts to recover. The Job Keeper payment is payable for employees stood down as a result of COVID-19.

And if you’ve consulted with your accountant and it is likely your business won’t survive this period? Your options are going to depend on your business size because redundancies are treated differently for businesses with less than 15 employees.

What I can tell you with certainty is no matter your size, turnover or industry you should be focussing your attention to the following functions:

Paying for experts; if it’s not your area expertise now is not the time to wing it. At all.

Show strong, ethical leadership; your employees are looking to you for guidance right now, back yourself and lead by example

Plan; look at your cashflow and get business continuity plans in place. Look at your workforce planning. Plan that sh*t out to within an inch of its life

Nail down those processes; If the past 2 weeks has shown you that you need to get some structure to your operations now is the time to do it. From a HR perspective this isn’t just about actually having documents to minimise risk and strategies to add value to your operations, it’s about perception. A business with well presented and accessible information for their employees (and potential employees) looks 100 times more professional than one that has very little in place. And if you think that’s neither here nor there then how about this – employment law is complex and ignorance of your obligations isn’t going to save you from being slapped with a Fair Work penalty.

Pivot! Diversify, Innovate; Has the virus disrupted the way you normally conduct your business operations? Find a work around, get online, change your product. At least you can say you gave it a red hot crack.

Create loyalty; focus on your existing customers and cliental, create a sense of “stickiness” to keep them engaged with your business. Get out there and talk to them, see where they are at, ask how you can modify your operations to service their needs more effectively

Communicate, communicate, communicate; You might be doing something really great behind the scenes, but behind the scenes is just that – hidden from view. If you want people to know what you are up to you need to tell them. Pump those good news stories out. With social distancing and lockdowns people have only social media to keep in touch and this is where your voice needs to be. Still create content but save the hard sells for another time. Right now people just want support, a laugh and to know they aren’t alone.

and finally…………

Be a good corporate citizen; Please? Is it really that hard? Trust your employees to work from home, employ strategies to help with minimising the spread of infection, think about your employees financial and emotional wellbeing; not just profit, got something that would benefit someone worse off? How can you allow them to access it. I wrote this post a couple of months back, I honestly believe attitudes are changing and people are less willing to allow unconscionable behaviour slip on by. Don’t be on the wrong side of history (mic drop 🎤 rant over)

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 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.

Building an “always learning” culture

“No matter how much you’ve done, or how successful you’ve been, there’s always more to do, more to learn, more to achieve” Barack Obama

One of my favourite questions to ask of potential new employees is “what is something in your area expertise would you’d like to learn more about”

When looking to future employees I’m looking for not only someone who can, and, is willing to learn something new, but someone with enough self awareness to understand there is ALWAYS something to learn.

I’m about to bang on now about how the workforce is changing and how entrenching a culture of continuous learning is a must for attracting and retaining not just younger employees (16 – 37 year old demographic), but any employee who values their position within an organisation and wants to bring as much value as they can to their role. In other words, the type of employee you’d be lucky to score.

So lets start with my favourite subject – the changing landscape of the workplace

Learning is no longer just for students or apprentices & trainees. Technological advances, such as AI and automation, are creating an environment of almost constant change – not just at work, in every aspect of our lives. Businesses that don’t encourage and enable their employees to adapt to the changes will lose their competitive edge.

Traditional employee learning and development strategies are based on a stable and predictable environment. That, for better or worse, no longer exists.

On a small scale we are talking about minor changes to internal processes; ie: the requirement for handover notes or incident reports to be completed online meaning all employees need some level of computer competency, for a big picture example, thanks to technology a multitude of businesses can now operate in a digital & global space that just wasn’t conceivable for them 20 years ago.

It’s also no longer enough to employ someone and expect them to remain stagnant in their nominated field of work. Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends’ report found 42 per cent of millennials are likely to leave their organisations because they’re not learning fast enough. That number is astounding, especially when 75 per cent of the workforce will be made up of millennials by 2025.

What’s needed for organisations to survive and thrive in this new world is education; creating a culture of continuous learning that helps older staff shift into this new, fast changing era, and to satisfy the younger workforce’s desire to learn.

It requires a change in mindset, but the rewards are positive. Leaders who embrace the concept of a learning culture understand that learning is a natural process, that people yearn to grow. These organisations cultivate employee potential through learning opportunities and experiences.

And now onto my next point – thanks to technology workplace learning is now easier than ever.

Thanks to applications such as Zoom & Skype workplaces can access coaching, webinars and structured training right from their desks.

TAFE’s around Australia have been delivering course content 100% online for some years now.

Depending on your industry, there may be an industry specific LMS system available for you to join in order to access learning modules for your employees.

And finally the *most* important factor in building a culture of continuous learning within your organisation – senior employees & leaders who possess the skills to coach employees.

Most people within a leadership position was probably bought up through the ranks by what’s known as a “Command & Control” leader, defined by traits such as; I’m the manager, so I make the rules; Your job is to do what I say; If you mess up, I’ll let you know about it; If you don’t hear from me, that means you’re doing fine; You’d better be careful not to make a mistake, or cross me!; I make the policies, and you follow them.

If this was your boss how willing do you think you’d be to try something new? Not very; you’d be terrified of getting in trouble.

Growth and innovation comes from trying new things; stepping outside of your comfort zone; not being afraid to fail. It requires a collaborative and innovative leader.

When people think of coaching employees to learn something new, they think in terms of just showing them what to do. “First we do this” “If this happens you need to do that”

Coaching is about providing your employees the tools and capacity to discover the solutions for themselves as opposed to the how and when to complete a task. The leader still makes decisions but the conversation in getting there is two way.

It’s about developing your employees by providing regular support & feedback to allow their careers to progress to where they aspire to be. The ongoing dialogue of coaching communication guarantees that employees know what is expected of them and how their work fits into a larger vision or strategy of the organisation. 

The unfortunate reality is most people in leadership roles do not coach or develop their employees — ever.

Organisations with neglected learning cultures experience high talent turnover, struggle to keep customers, and ultimately fall behind competitors. These organisations may be profitable in the short term, but they ultimately fail.

On a scale of thriving to failure, where would you rather be?

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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.