Lets get back to basics

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is where a skilled HR professional can assist 

The strategic plan is underpinned by your core values 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Simone Pickering | The People & Culture Office

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

Apprenticeships should support workforce planning

In 2013 when this most recent downturn hit I was made redundant from my job (the joys of working in a support service – you aren’t seen as an income generator so off you go).

I am passionate about youth employment and an opportunity arose for me to work in the apprenticeships & traineeships space.

What I become to learn (and alarmingly so) was that because of the down turn apprentice numbers took a sharp turn south. Companies that had in the previous years taken on a dozen or so new apprentices were only taking on 1 or 2 – or none.

These were for trades that once we come out the other side of the downturn (as past history would show we always do), would be in high demand. These were trades that up until the down turn businesses were recruiting from the eastern states and paying for existing employees to undertake trade upgrades.

Had companies maintained their apprenticeship program, by 2017 they would have had a bunch of tradies finishing their time and ready to work within their businesses, and most importantly, with a skill set tailored specifically to that business.

Apprentices & trainees should be seen by business as a way to bring fresh new talent into the business, to support their succession planning and growth aspirations and to minimise any negative impacts from current or future skills shortages.

And what a better way to have have a workforce trained to your specific business requirements than to grow your own talent. Apprenticeships and traineeships offer you the opportunity to train your up & coming employees in the areas that your business needs the most, providing your business with the skills it needs the most.

You want to know what else is great about employing youth into these roles? They bring a fresh approach & energy into a business which can have a knock on effect to other employees. A company that is willing to invest in people by supporting apprenticeships is showing a positive approach to corporate social responsibility, which is good for attracting both customers and future quality staff. It builds a positive employer brand which in turn will increase your profile as an employer that people want to work for.

And now to address the elephant in the room, I often hear business owners and older employees lament about the younger generation in the workplace; they are lazy, you have to hold their hand every step of the way, they are always on their phones.

Hands up who left school and started their first job and knew EXACTLY what to do? ……… anyone ……… anyone? Nobody can start a new job without some sort of training – ranging from “this is my first job ever and I don’t know how to conduct myself” through to “where do these documents get saved”. If you want your employees to not just exceed, but to excel, you need to spend time with them.

So if I hear “they are lazy” my response is did you asked them why they are sitting around not working; if you are telling me you have to hold their hand every step of the way I would suggest you try alternative ways to communicate, because your current method may not suit their learning style, and if I hear they are always on their phones I’m more interested in understanding why you haven’t told them to get off of it.

Depending on the industry & qualifications employers of apprentices and trainees can attract some great financial incentives with commencement, midpoint & completion payments available as well as well as additional incentives for priority areas and subsidised payroll tax for the bigger employers.

With the new financial year WA businesses can take advantage of the Jobs and Skills WA Employer Incentive. The great thing about this incentive is it is also available for school based trainees, which means you can gain a financial incentive to select and nurture your future employees from upper high school right through to the completion of their apprenticeship or traineeship. There’s a potential $8,500 in incentives on offer for a 4 year trade and $4,250 for a 2 year traineeship – woah!

Nicole Goldsworthy from Apprenticeship Support Australia is a valuable resource for employers within the Goldfields region and can answer your queries, sign your apprentices and trainees up and assist with sourcing reputable registered training organisations. You can email Nicole 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

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.

Rethinking social media at work

Employee Instragram | HR Consultant | The People & Culture Office Kalgoorlie

Posting inappropriate memes. Instagramming lunches. Facebooking a few office selfies. Browsing instead of working. Snapchatting Sharon trying to fix the printer.

These are the events companies imagine will takeover the work day if they let employees use social media on the job. Unfortunately, for businesses that ban the use of social media in the workplace, it is likely your employees are using it regardless of your policy (after all, thanks to smartphones we all have access to Facebook, Insta & Snapchat 24×7 without reliance on the work internet connection). Instead of wasting time and energy policing social media use at work, lets take a look at how business can leverage it to their advantage.

Social media use for marketing, communication or customer services purposes is no longer the new shiny thing, it’s been here for a while and it’s here to stay.

Recently Sonia from Scribe & Social wrote this post on Elevating your Social Media, click through to learn how to create an authentic voice for your business.

When I think about the case for social media in the workplace, there are many opportunities to leverage these tools as we become a more mobile and visual workforce that is literally always on the go. Social media is poised to become the office and workplace productivity tool of choice. I see 5 genuine categories where social media can be used at work helping to improve productivity, work flow and overall communication between teams, managers and business leaders who are tasked with reaching an audience of employees who are overwhelmed, disengaged and bombarded with tasks and responsibilities more than ever before.

  • Distribution and Communication. You want to reach your audience quickly and through multiple channels to ensure that the message and information is received and mostly absorbed by your employees.  Workplace by Facebook is a tool to connect employees via IM, video chat and groups to share work related information. I was lucky enough to take a look at it in practice at a local business in Kalgoorlie not long ago and was impressed by how they were using it as a communication tool. However, social media, just like any other comms tool, quite simply, will work for some businesses and not for others. It depends on the culture, the demographic and how much you can invest into it.
  • Recruitment and Hiring. Employers should look to their current workforce first to fill job openings. What better way that setting up social media or digital communication channels for employees to receive job openings to their mobile phones via instant message, direct message or by text. Social media is also a great source for engaging candidates externally. So while we are on the subject, take a look at your business Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram pages through the eyes of a potential employee, a potential employee who’s likely to be a Millennial. Do you like what you see? Is your content a good mix of sharing what you do and a touch of the personal? Does it speak in an authentic voice? Does it speak to your demographic?
  • Research and Personal Development. Social media such as Linkedin allows you access to peers, experts and individuals providing you networking opportunities, insights into experiences and most importantly personal development.
  • Employee Recognition and Engagement. Do you give out quarterly awards for employees who go above and beyond at work? Tell your social network about it! Not only are you giving a very public shoutout to the employees in question you are actively showing employees & visitors to your pages you value your employees & the work they do. Content sharing can be really powerful for spreading your message, your employees are likely to have connections that sit within your target demographic. If you can identify the active social employees within your business and recruit them to become social media champions, they can have a huge impact on sharing content to build your brand & following.
  • Employment Branding. Social media and recruiting has evolved into almost a science where candidates are reached through campaigns just like your business marketing, except this strategy is focused on the job seeker long before they apply for a job and become a candidate. Employment branding is complex like most marketing strategies and involves an understanding of the candidate you are trying to reach, your industry and geographic locations as well as experience working in HR and recruiting. I’ve written more about employment branding here and here

The most important thing to consider with social media, is that you will only get out of it what you put in. It’s really important to listen to the conversation taking place and find ways to engage your employees, by creating and sharing relevant content.

As use of mobile technology rises, it is important for businesses to give content human appeal and make the message sound genuine. Social media isn’t rocket science but you have to try things out until you find a way that works for you.

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 discus what solutions we can put in place to drive achievement of your strategic goals.

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

Simone Pickering | The People & Culture Office

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? 🙋🏻‍♀️ 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 ✌🏻 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.

giphy.gif

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.

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.

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. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE