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

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

 

 

Roll on 2019

The People & Culture Office 2019

Who’s in holiday mode already? đŸ™‹đŸ»â€â™€ïžÂ We don’t tend to make a fuss over Christmas in terms of gifts and over consumption (except for when it comes to my Mum’s cheesecake) but I always look forward to actually having a legitimate excuse for nanna naps, eating leftover BBQ for 3 days & moving from the lounge to the pool & back again.

Anyway I’m sending a big peace out to 2018 âœŒđŸ»Â and I hope to see you all in 2019, remember one of the best ways to start the new year off is to consolidate your strategic goals, review your values and whether they are reflecting in your workplace culture, and most importantly, engage The People & Culture Office as your strategic partner to assist with HR solutions to implement cultural change and strengthen your workplace relations framework.

Work is hectic – getting help doesn’t have to be

I can still be contacted via email for appointments in the new year & urgent matters.

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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

The rise & rise of the office mean girl

Office Mean Girl | The People & Culture Office

To quote a line from an absolute movie masterpiece, “Hands up if you’ve ever been personally victimised by Regina George”. I’m sure we’ve all been personally victimised by our fair share of office mean girls in our time, in the past few years on social media I’ve noticed a significant increase in people talking about being bullied at work and if you type “office mean girl” into Google you get 946,000,000 results. In fact workplace bullying has got so out of hand in Australia that in 2013 Fair Work amended the Fair Work Act to be able to intervene in instances of bullying in Australian workplaces, the reality is though, many victims choose to leave the workplace which quite often ensures no action is taken against the bully or the workplace and so the cycle continues.

So let’s have a look at the classic signs of an office mean girl.

She struggles with envy

Bullies bully because they covet what you have & they need to destroy that aspect of you to make themselves feel better. Whether it’s your job, your salary, your abilities, your clothes, your car or all of the above the little green monster makes for a bitter little person. They are willing to go to any extreme to hurt the person that has what they want. For instance, an office mean girl might boycott another employee’s ideas, projects or social gatherings. She will even take steps to destroy her target’s reputation and work-related projects. And she is unable to acknowledge anything good about other people due to her struggle with envy.

She excludes others

Ostracising other women at work is a sure sign of an office mean girl. These women use relational aggression to socially isolate someone while attempting to increase their own status at work. Typically, they are driven by a number of factors including everything from jealousy and a need for attention, to a fear of competition. As a result, they will leave other women out of lunch dates, meetings and after-work gatherings. They may even discuss the details in front of those who are being isolated to demonstrate their power.

She lies, gossips & spreads rumours

Office mean girls are often obsessed with what other people think of them. They consider how everything looks to others. As a result, these bullies target others that threaten their status in some way. For instance, if they believe another woman is threatening their status or position at the office, they have no qualms about attacking her relationally in order to eliminate the perceived threat. These actions can include making up lies and spreading rumors about her work ethic, her office relationships and even her personal life.

She’s a serial bully

These bullies are toxic women who are systematic, controlled and calculated in their approach. On the outside, this office mean girl appears charming and charismatic, but on the inside they are cold and calculating. As a result, they tend to inflict emotional pain on their victims over long periods of time. They also are skilled manipulators. They appear sweet, outgoing and likeable, but this is just another way to manipulate situations to their liking. Girls like these twist facts and situations to make themselves look innocent or to avoid being reprimanded – the counter claim of bullying is a classic example of this type of behaviour.

She struggles with anger management issues

Sometimes office mean girls have poor impulse control. They are quick-tempered, tend to yell a lot and may even use profanity. These women also are prone to using direct insults and direct name-calling. They also may dominate meetings by arguing, criticising, using sarcasm and spewing insults. And they are not above rolling their eyes and coughing to undermine what other people are saying.

She is power hungry

These women want to be the ones in control and calling the shots. But instead of earning that right through respect and teamwork, they often speak disrespectfully to others, insist on having things their way and put other people and their opinions down. What’s more, they use the power and control they already have to their advantage. Sometimes, these women are bosses who are bullies. Other times, they have strong personalities, excellent verbal skills or a lot of influence and they use these things to walk over the needs of other people.

When I knew I wanted to write this post I put the call out on social media for people to share their stories, I knew I’d hear stories of people who’d put up with unacceptable behaviour for months hoping it would get better and I knew I’d hear stories where the organisation did nothing to address the issue, what I wasn’t expecting was for 100% of respondents to tell me they manager did nothing to help them.

I want to share my experiences with office means girls, not to throw shade, but because the psychological effects were pretty extreme and shows what can happen when people are enabled by organisations to behave badly without consequence.

My experience wasn’t just with one mean girl, it was with a posse of mean girls and started on my very first day and lasted for 2 years until I left the organisation. As a senior member of staff and the only subject matter expert in the organisation I was completely unprepared for how I was to be treated. It started with constantly questioning my advice or decisions, even though the employees in question had no relevant experience in HR, over time it progressed to continued gossip, attacks on my character, exclusion from social activities within the office, withholding of information relating to my job, leaving me out of meetings related to me, undermining me until the negative sentiment towards me had spread to a number of employees. And worse, I wasn’t the only employee this group targeted, I once walked in on them having a morning tea they’d organised to discuss a new starter and how she wasn’t really fitting in. It had never occurred to them that they weren’t a very likeable or welcoming bunch, anyone that commenced with the organisation was perceived as a threat to their status and was treated poorly.

Ultimately it got to the point where the affect on my health was too great and I had to leave. I worked with my GP to get healthy again because the anxiety caused by the actions of the women I worked with was overwhelming, in the first month or so I couldn’t leave the house without suffering severe anxiety, I would frequently cry in public because simple tasks weighed too heavily. My son hosted his first Christmas in his brand new house and I spent the day like a zombie, 2 weeks after my departure from the organisation my nephew passed away and the level of anxiety meant we were unable to travel for his funeral. I will never forgive them for what they did to me, what was just a game to them had far reaching implications for me & my family.

The stories sent into me on social media echo my experiences, women who were targeted for being good at their jobs that tried everything for months on end to have management recognise there was an issue to no avail. Every single respondent told of being quite severely impacted, in fact one story involving *Sasha took place over 20 years ago and involved a colleague constantly critiquing Sasha’s appearance, despite the amount of time passed, Sasha still feels self conscience about her appearance and feels as though she is being silently judged. *Janine told me about being singled out by a supervisor over a 9 month period “because she didn’t fit in” despite this particular person having previous form with this type of behaviour management turned a blind eye.

The implications for management as a result of not adequately addressing these issues are far reaching, first and foremost it’s a breach of Workers Compensation legislation, if the victim has voluntarily left after repeated attempts to have management address the bullying they may choose to lodge an unfair dismissal claim on the grounds on constructive dismissal, there is the damage to reputation as a result of constant turnover and the inability to retain quality employees.

People bully because they can get away with it, when you’re a manager or a bystander you have an obligation to speak up and call perpetrators out on their behaviour, businesses can ensure they have clear, concise policies in place to assist with proceeding with disciplinary action. Each of us can control our own behaviour and take ownership of our choices and allegiances. Even if we’re not managers, we can all do small things to support colleagues at work. So the next time you’re in a situation where you see another colleague talked over, not given their due credit, or critiqued unfairly, don’t just sit out on the sidelines. Your voice matters, so don’t underestimate your own power to make the office a better place.

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

 

Leader or a Boss?

Employee Working | HR Consultant | The People & Culture Office

When you look at the people in your organisation in managerial / supervisory roles do you think they are a boss or leader? All small – medium businesses can benefit by adopting strong leadership principles and knowing the difference between boss vs leader will help your organisation stand out from competitors.

I’ve heard it said that a boss is a subject matter expert and a leader is a people expert. Not long ago I wrote this blog post about what happens when your boss is highly competent technically, but terrible at leading the team. But I think it’s more than that, firstly because I’ve seen some terrible people placed into supervisory roles who are neither subject matter experts or people experts 😀, but, because with the right mentoring and training most employees can develop leadership skills.

In the picture above I’ve written “Being a leader doesn’t require a title, having a title doesn’t make you a leader”

When it comes to effectively managing your organisation there are 2 factors to consider – boss v’s leader and management styles.

Boss v’s Leader

You see, a boss’ main priority is to efficiently cross items off of the corporate to-do list, while a true leader both completes tasks and works to empower and motivate the people he or she interacts with on a daily basis.

A leader is someone who works to improve things instead of focusing on the negatives. People acknowledge the authority of a boss, but people cherish a true leader.

boss-vs-leader-infographic.jpg

Management Styles

Management styles are born out of an individuals beliefs, values, assumptions, abilities and experience. Beyond decision making, successful management becomes learned and instinctual over a period of time. Successful managers have learned the mastery of anticipating business patterns, finding opportunities in pressure situations, serving the people they lead and overcoming hardships.

A strong manager may switch between different styles based on the desired outcome, and the method that works best for the relevant employee or team. Commonly management styles can fit into 5 types;

Autocratic

A manager who utilises the autocratic approach makes decision with little input from others, this style is a very top down approach where employees wait for an order or directives from the leader and then carry them out.

This style of management often results in passive resistance and discontent from employees as they begin to feel marginalised or under-appreciated, making this approach to management undesirable. However, in situations requiring urgent action where the approach is unlikely to affect productivity or motivation it can provide the ability to get the task done quickly and efficiently.

Laissez-faire

A laissez-faire approach is when the manager exerts little control over the group, and leaves the team to self manage their work. This style of management is a hands off approach and the manager is rarely involved in the work process.

This approach is only appropriate when the team is highly motivated, skilled and can confidently complete the work on their own. When this is the case team members can often complete goals faster and more effectively without interference and can have a stronger sense of personal accomplishment in doing so. When this is not the case, well, it’s recipe for an unmotivated and lazy workforce with negative implications for the business.

Democratic

A democratic manager makes decisions with consultation coming from within their team, while still maintaining control and remaining a central figure in the group.

A good democratic manager will encourage participation and empower their employees, but will never lose sight of the end goal. They understand that at the end of the day the buck stops with them so the right decision needs to be made, and this doesn’t always align with the majority.

A weak manager will lose direction and will be crippled by too many opinions to be able to make a firm call.

Transactional

Transactional management believes employees support their manager as a result of the managers ability to reward them. This management style assumes the primary motivator is the promise of reward, or, an aversion to punishment.

There are pro’s & con’s associated with this style, it can work well where the primary objective is to have employees complete allocated tasks regardless of the obstacles or the restrictions they may face (ie: time constraints or lack of resources) where management give clear & concise instructions and clearly state what the potential rewards are.

Transformational

A Transformational manager derives their power from their inspiring and charismatic qualities, evoking emotional connections with employees by building a vision and arousing passion. Transformational managers lead by injecting enthusiasm and energy and encourage engagement amongst the team.

You’ve probably just read the definition of a transformational manager and thought of current or ex-colleagues that fits the description, but wasn’t in a supervisory role right?

They would have exhibited leadership traits such as showing empathy & compassion for others; earning the respect of their colleagues; were flexible in their approach; they listened when people spoke; they were modest about their abilities; they adapted their approach to suit the cultural or societal requirements of the people they interacted with, and, they were a great communicator.

People would willingly go the extra mile for them because they liked the way they made them feel; they felt important, they felt the work was important, and they wanted in on the action.

Being leader isn’t confined to having a job title to match, just as having the job title doesn’t automatically make you a leader.

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Changes to flexible work arrangements commence 1 December 2018

Employee Working | HR Consultant | The People & Culture Office
The People & Culture Office – your first choice for HR solutions

As of tomorrow the new changes to requesting flexible work arrangements come into effect for all businesses under the national workplace relations system. If you are a Sole Trader eg: Jane Smith T/as Janes Cafe, an unincorporated partnership eg: Jane & Bob Smith T/as Janes Cafe or an unincorporated trust eg: Jane and Bob Smith as trustee for Janes Cafe you fall under the WA Industrial Relations Commission, so these changes do not effect you. The majority of employees in Australia fall under the Federal system which covers all constitutional corporations or in layman’s terms it is any business with “Ltd” or “Pty Ltd” after its name. All other states in Australia have referred their industrial relations powers to the Federal system but Western Australia being Western Australia has chosen to keep the State based system.

So what are the changes and how do they effect your business.

Come December 1 2018 there will be a right for certain employees to request flexible working arrangements from their employer. An employer can only refuse such a request on “reasonable business grounds”.

More specifically, the requests may be made by:

  • permanent employees who have completed 12 months of service
  • casual employees who have been employed on a regular & systematic basis for a sequence of periods of employment of at least 12 months, and have a reasonable expectation of the arrangement to continue

Eligible employees are entitled to request a change in their working arrangements if they:

  • are the parent, or have responsibility for the care, of a child who is school aged or younger
  • are a carer (under the Carer Recognition Act 2010)
  • have a disability
  • are 55 or older
  • are experiencing family or domestic violence, or
  • provide care or support to a member of their household or immediate family who requires care and support because of family or domestic violence.

Examples of changes in working arrangements may include:

  • hours of work (eg. changes to start and finish times)
  • patterns of work (eg. split shifts or job sharing)
  • locations of work (eg. working from home).

Employers must give employees a written response to the request within 21 days, stating whether they grant or refuse the request and may refuse the request only on reasonable business grounds. If the employer refuses the request, the written response must include the reasons for the refusal.

Further, it is unlawful under:

  1. The Fair Work Act to take adverse action against employees including termination of employment
  2. State & Federal legislation to discriminate against employees either directly or indirectly through their employment because of their family or carers responsibilities

Employers must accommodate their employees’ family and carer responsibilities where it is reasonable to do so. Whether a refusal to accommodate such requests is unreasonable will depend on the facts and circumstances of the particular situation. A defence is available to employers on the basis that an adjustment is not reasonable if it would cause an unjustifiable hardship on the employer taking all circumstances into account, including consideration of:

  • the requested arrangements are too costly
  • other employees’ working arrangements can’t be changed to accommodate the request
  • it’s impractical to change other employees’ working arrangements or hire new employees to accommodate the request
  • the request would result in a significant loss of productivity or have a significant negative impact on customer service.

Reasonable grounds for refusal for a small employer may differ vastly to those that are reasonable for a large, well resourced employer.

For example if the employee is in a customer facing role or manning a busy switchboard, and you are a small – medium employer with a minimal number of similar employees to provide coverage for the absence, and recruiting may be impractical given the hours of engagement, then you may be able to justify that you have reasonable business grounds. The same situation with a large employer with 20 + admin staff would struggle to provide such a justification.

Similarly a non customer facing role who can complete the bulk of their tasks online, and with minimal interaction, such as an accountant or engineer would have quite a good case to suggest their absence from the office to work from home would create minimal disruptions to the operations.

The future is now

The reality is flexible working arrangements will soon become the new normal, and not just for the legislated requirements we have now. In a recent white paper released by Employment Hero on what Australian employees want from their workplace, flexible work arrangements rated in the top 3 wants with 45% of respondents indicating it was important to them when choosing a prospective employer. The same group, when asked what benefits they would like their existing employer to introduce, overwhelmingly stated flexible work arrangements with 59% of respondents giving it priority over other benefits such as career development, financial incentives and “feel good” benefits such free massages.

The next generation crave flexibility. The Deloitte 2017 Millennial Survey reveals that “flexible working continues to be a feature of most millennials’ working lives and is linked to improved organisational performance, personal benefit, and loyalty”. Overall, 84% of millennials reported that some degree of flexible working ranging from flexible start and finish times, flexible roles and flexible locations including work from home were highly desirable.

These arrangements are not identified as “simply a nice to have” but as being strongly linked to improved performance, employee retention and loyalty. Further, the report notes that organisations that have adopted flexible work indicated any earlier misgivings that opportunities would be abused appeared to be unfounded with 78% of respondents feeling trusted by their line managers. If you would like to read more about the changing millennial workforce Click Here. I also shared my thoughts on whether the changing face of the workplace was a contributing factor to the skills shortage in residential mining and trades positions here.

The inclusion of flexible work policies into your HR framework isn’t just about millennials or working mums, as we hurtle towards a large ageing population it provides the flexibility for the ageing workforce to continue working well beyond 65, something that will become more and more a necessity with superannuation unlikely to accommodate most retirees needs into their 80’s & 90’s.

Flexibility as a workplace norm builds diverse and inclusive workplaces, it allows those who would otherwise be somewhat excluded or restricted within the workplace to be able to contribute to the organisations success, it allows organisations the ability to attract & retain talent as we see a societal shift in personal priorities. Creating a flexible and agile workplace goes beyond creating “an accommodation for working parents”, rather it’s a strategy that enables a competitive business edge in the ever changing world of work.

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