Why outsource your HR function

HR | Kalgoorlie | The People & Culture Office

More than just 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 make sure the company is protected from any issues that may arise from the workforce.

There’s no denying that HR focus has dramatically changed in recent years. In the not so distant past, HR was primarily an admin function, the dreaded “fun police” when it came to workplace policies or it was a task lumped in with Payroll.

But today’s astute business leaders understand in order to succeed in today’s (and the futures) business environment they need to move their HR function away from focussing on personnel management and administrative tasks, and direct their focus towards managing employee engagement and strengthening workplace culture. Smart business owners see the benefits in ensuring their employees are happy and as a result will continue to stick around for the foreseeable future.

By outsourcing your human resource operations you can improve compliance, save money & attract the best talent. The People & Culture Office can offer your business long term support so you can focus on achieving business success. We are on hand to support all businesses, wherever you may be.   

No annual fee’s                  No contracts                  Just quality service

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

 

When you just don’t like your co-workers

HR Consultant | The People & Culture Office

You spend a large chunk of your life at work and usually it’s spent with people that normally, you wouldn’t willingly hang out with. Unless you want to be miserable at work, or get fired, you need to find away to work around it. You don’t need to like the people you work with, but you do need to be professional.

The most common reason cited by employees for not liking co-workers relates to the employee in question exhibiting, to some degree, challenging behaviours. I wrote about the impact challenging employees have on business here. Some of the most common challenging, or toxic behaviours found in the workplace are;

The Hot Mess

Incompetent, unreliable & erratic, The Hot Mess can kill productivity for the whole team.  Whether they just don’t know how to do their job, or just don’t want to, they bring everyone down with them. Fun fact – Studies have shown low performing employees to be the most happiest in the team & often rate their workplaces as a great place to work. Ahhh ignorance is bliss.

The Slacker

We’ve all worked with one, finding a way to get out of work is a full time job for The Slacker. Like The Hot Mess they are a major drain on everyones time and enthusiasm and don’t really seem to care what others think of them. If they can find away to get out of something they will.

The Martyr

The complete opposite of The Slacker but The Martyr comes with its own set of problems,  not just a hard worker, they generally insist on doing everything themselves and aren’t shy about letting everyone know either. The Martyr is a control freak that creates unrest in the workplace, undermines the confidence of team members and is “that person” who comes to work when sick and spreads there germs around. Life Pro Tip if you do this – no job & no employee is that important,  all you are doing is infecting your co-workers and reducing productivity even further, just stay home kids.

The Socialite

Funny, entertaining and everyone’s best friend, The Socialite treats everyday at work as though it’s their own private party or stage for the day. For The Socialite, gossip & chatting are always the core component of the day, and while having some fun at work is must, The Socialite has a hard time distinguishing between what’s appropriate and what isn’t. Perhaps in what can be a bit of a dark side to The Socialite, they can be very charming, often blinding & manipulating management and colleagues to their poor behaviour.

The Sociopath

An employee with sociopathic tendencies leave a trail of destruction where ever they go, they poison the atmosphere and create a hostile environment for everyone else. Just 1 destructive employee can wreck the morale for the entire team, if placed in a customer facing role they can cause serious damage to your reputation & bottom line.

Karen Gately, the author of The People Managers Toolkit gives the following strategies on how to deal with coworkers you just don’t like;

Choose your attitude

The key to getting along with anyone lies in your ability to choose your attitude.  Of course, their attitude matters also, but the reality is you can’t control other people.  Focus on what you can control; that is your own thoughts, emotions and behaviour.

So many of us waste energy thinking and talking about people we don’t like.  How often do you replay annoying events or conversations in your mind?  Do you ‘roleplay’ scenarios in your mind about the conversations you intend to have with some people? Do you imagine yourself winning an argument with your nemesis? Do you allow your emotions to build as you invest in the drama unfolding in your mind?

We all have the power to choose the thoughts and emotions we invest in.  The ability for anyone to offend us or drain our spirit entirely depends on our response.

Pick your battles

While of course it matters to stand up for ourselves when being mistreated, in many circumstance we can simply choose to ignore the things that otherwise upset us.  We have the choice to simply walk away and disengage rather than wade into an argument.  We can choose to let thoughtless comments or unintentionally offensive remarks ‘go through to the keeper’.  Choosing for example to see someone’s words as ill-considered is healthier for our relationship with them, than assuming their actions are malicious.

Judge carefully

Ask yourself if you are being unfairly judgmental.  Sometimes the actions we see as wrong are simply different to the way we would approach things. Reflect on why you don’t like the person and challenge any unfounded assumptions or unconscious biases you may have.   For example, the woman you perceive as being attention seeking, may be simply talkative and unaware that her enthusiast sharing of stories about her life is coming across as insufferable self-indulgence.

Build bridges

Look for ways in which you can build trust, respect and rapport. Common interests are a safe place to start.  Find out things about the person you find interesting or respect.  This can be particularly challenging with some people, but appreciate the good that can be found in most people and give credit where it is due.

Rapport can be built by finding common ground as well as by being empathetic.  However, it’s important to understand that most rapport-building happens without words and through non-verbal communication channels.  People build rapport subconsciously through non-verbal signals, including eye contact, facial expressions, body positioning and tone of voice.

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

 

Small & medium enterprises have the highest rate of employee resignations

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A recent survey from the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) finds that small & medium enterprises across Australia have the highest rates of resignation from employees. AIM surveyed more than 500 organisations across Australia covering 270 job roles and 25,000 employees.

The average rate of employee turnover in Australia is 15%, employee turnover is costly, with reports of increased stress, reduced staff morale and loss of corporate intelligence affecting the remaining workforce. Other effects include reduced customer service, satisfaction and productivity, in addition to the financial burden of recruiting and training new staff. It’s easy to discount how much losing an employee actually costs you in the long run. Conservative estimates place the cost at around 20% of the employee’s annual wage, but this can go up to 200% for highly skilled workers.

The AIM survey found that the top 3 reasons for employees choosing to leave an organisation were;

  • To seek a new challenge
  • There was limited scope for career progression
  • Insufficient financial reward

The survey also found that 4 in 5 employees are unhappy at work.

Most businesses would call in the experts if they were losing 15% of their clients per year right? So when it comes to employees why isn’t more being done to reverse trends?

To attract and retain quality employees business needs to implement strategies to engage and motivate employees, this includes being realistic about industry trends in compensation & benefits, job design and leadership. As a business owner you are an expert in your field, but you don’t sit down at the end of each week and work as an accountant, IT administrator or marketing expert, so why not outsource your employee matters to an experienced HR professional that understands contemporary practices designed to increase workplace culture & capacity within your business?

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

 

 

Why employee motivation is the key to business success

Employee Annual Leave | HR Consultant | The People & Culture Office Kalgoorlie

It’s Friday, it’s a long weekend, school holidays start next week, the weather outside is glorious and I can hear the sound of a thousand West Aussies heading to Bali. It seems like a good time to discuss motivation 😂 because it’s not like we are all hanging out for knock off.

23% of the Australian workforce are said to be engaged, meaning Australia has one of the highest engagement rates in the world. A workforce is said to be made up of three types of employees, those that are engaged, not engaged and actively disengaged.

– Engaged Employees
Those employees within an organisation who are committed to the organisation and driven to moving the organisation forward.

– Not Engaged / Disengaged Employees
Those employees, who are present at work and put in the hours, however are not passionate about their job and aren’t utilising their full potential.

– Actively disengaged Employees
Those employees that don’t have an emotional commitment to work and often distract co-workers while they try and complete tasks. This can be due to their job not being suitable or not aligning with their skill set. They are often looking for employment elsewhere.

Employee happiness or satisfaction in the workplace does not necessarily equate to employee engagement. Employees can be happy and satisfied in their role, but not productive. For example: an employee may be happy and satisfied in their role because they spend much of the day chatting & socialising with colleagues, but aren’t necessarily performing their role adequately.

Instead, an engaged employee is one who aligns their behaviours and actions in the workplace, to meet their role requirements, as well as wider team and business goals and strategy. An engaged employee wants the organisation, your organisation, to succeed.

employee quotes - Google Search

So what are some clear signs your workforce isn’t engaged & motivated? Organisations can utilise workforce analytics to establish positive or negative engagement by looking at areas such as;

  • employee absenteeism (e.g. low unscheduled or personal leave)
  • retention (e.g. low turnover rates, positive exit interview comments)
  • punctuality (e.g. employees arrive on time, working designated hours)
  • productivity (e.g. quality and quantity of output, staff meeting Key Performance Indicators)
  • safety (e.g. low accident/incident rates)

The difficulty with knowing how to engage and motivate employees is that often the strategies that will work for each employee, are as individual and unique as they are.

When organisations design and implement HR initiatives that acknowledge employee engagement and motivational factors, they are building the base for developing and supporting effective employees and teams. Consistent, clear and well-communicated HR practices can lead to employees trusting management and one-another, better communication, sharing of knowledge and ultimately achieving strategic business objectives.

Employees will be more committed and willing to work to their full potential…and less likely to leave.

HR FUNCTION RELATION TO EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT AND MOTIVATION
Compensation and benefits Although not a sole factor, an employee who feels adequately compensated is less likely to leave an organisation.
HR Policy Provides a consistent process to follow – inaccessible or policies that confuse can lead to disengagement and demotivation amongst employees.
Industrial Relations Local/State/Federal legislation outline minimum requires organisations must meet in regards to employment agreements/contracts, health and safety etc.
Job descriptions Provides a clear document that details responsibilities and parameters that both employees and managers can referred to and adjust as required.

Job descriptions which are linked to wider team and organisational goals also show employees how their role contributes to wider strategic business objectives.

Performance Management Offers an ongoing opportunity for employees and managers to plan, monitor and review employee’s work objectives and overall alignment and contribution to wider strategic business goals. Provides for open communication platform between employees and managers about what employee is expected to accomplish, while also enabling conversations around employee learning and development, and career progression.
Learning and Development Offers an opportunity for individual’s personal and professional developmental needs and wants to be met.
Diversity Provides for an environment where individual needs are acknowledged, and employees feel safe and free from harassment.
Work Health and Safety Employees who feel safe in their working environment are more likely to be motivated and engaged – a fear for personal safety will likely breed frustration and resentment, or a lack of caring which will likely lead to further health and safety issues.Organisations which takes a more holistic approach to health and safety (e.g. psychological wellness) will likely benefit – demonstrates an extra level of caring for employees.

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

 

HR myths about SME’s busted

HR Consultant | The People & Culture Office

For those of us that live and breathe HR, it can be frustrating to constantly defend the importance of what we do. I frequently hear “Oh, we don’t need HR, our Office Manager handles that.”

Then there are those that think HR is nothing more than maintaining files and making sure payroll gets submitted. The truth is HR is much more than paper pushing and file maintenance. It takes great dedication, commitment and knowledge to be a true HR professional. There are a lot of areas where SMEs get into trouble with their HR, such as:

  • Managing grievances e.g. bullying, sexual harassment
  • Unfair dismissals
  • Managing underperformance of employees
  • Parental leave and the requirements for the employee and the employer
  • Managing absenteeism
  • Keeping up to date with HR legislation and implementing HR frameworks
  • …and the list goes on.

So on that note I’d like to bust some common myths that SME business owners hold about hiring external human resource consultants.

Myth: “I’m not sure they’d have a place in my business.” Reality: Every business that hires and deals with employees most likely needs an HR consultant at some point. You may need your HR framework drawn up and implemented from scratch, a strategy for recruitment, help managing an employee’s performance, or a business restructure to best facilitate growth and change.

Myth: “Hiring an HR person would probably cost me an arm and a leg.” Reality: Not hiring an HR consultant might end up costing you much, much more. Let’s look at unfair dismissal. In recent times, unfair dismissal payouts cost businesses sums of five figures or more. In the financial year 2016/17 Fair Work awarded 7,194 monetary claims for unfair dismissal at a median rate of equivalent to 8 weeks pay, of these, 810 were for amounts of $10,000 up to the maximum amount payable (26 weeks of the employees earnings), these figures do not include fines imposed on businesses where applications were heard before a full hearing of the Commission,  a recent sexual harassment pay out was  $130,000. Evidence suggests that these high costs are usually incurred due to a lack of compliant HR policies, procedures or poor documentation. Hiring a HR consultant means you’ll be fully compliant in all these key areas.

Myth: “They’ll just give me cookie-cutter advice that won’t apply to my business.” Reality:  The People & Culture Office will come into your business tailoring a solution to your exact needs. For example, you may be managing the performance of your operations manager. How can you manage the risk? We provide commercially viable and relevant advice helping you deal with any and all HR issues.

Myth: “These HR types will try and lock me into some kind of pricy ongoing agreement.” Reality: The People & Culture Offices’ business model works on a once-off or project basis. Depending on your business needs I don’t need to stick around for months or years on end. The People & Culture Office can provide a framework for your HR needs with ongoing HR support as and when required. It’s your business, you control the level of involvement, not me.

Myth: “HR is just about recruitment.” Reality: Recruitment is just one of the activities an HR professional does. Human Resource function is as vast as any other technical function can be and is segregated into multiple areas. While HR is the first and last point of contact for any employee in the hiring and exit process, it surely isn’t the only thing HR professionals are there for. There are several other areas any successful HR department caters to like employee engagement, training and development, performance management, resource management and many more.

Myth: “Anyone can do HR.” Reality: HR activities are based on theory, research and most importantly, practical experience to understand how to apply HR principals into the workplace. I decided to launch my own consultancy service after hearing many stories from Goldfields business that employees were being directed by the “HR Person” to take annual leave on a gazetted public holidays, to book annual leave just to get day’s off from continual rostered shifts, leaving them with no leave to actually take a holiday, telling employees on parental leave their job has been given to someone else and employees being given written warnings for time off sick when a Doctors Certificate is present. There is a shortage of skilled HR people in the region which unfortunately has seen the rise of admin personnel being promoted into positions that require a great deal of technical skill & knowledge, this practice isn’t good for business and exposes the organisation to a great deal of risk.

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

 

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Retaining top talent

Employee HR Consultant | The People & Culture Office
The People & Culture Office – HR Consultant

Employee turnover is costly, it affects the performance of an organisation, and it becomes increasingly difficult to manage as the availability of skilled employees continues to decrease. There is even greater pressure on small businesses which have to compete at times for talent against larger organisations. 

At times it is not only difficult for business to find the right employees but it can be harder to retain them in the long term. The average rate of employee turnover in Australia is 15%, but my local (Kalgoorlie-Boulder) experience is that a percentage rate of mid – high 20’s is more realistic. A lot of businesses don’t actively keep track of their turnover or reasons that employees leave, but how can you change what isn’t measured?

According to a recent survey conducted by the Australian Human Resource Institute (AHRI) the top 4 reasons employees leave are;

  • New career opportunity (56%)
  • Lack of career progression / opportunities (48%)
  • Better pay elsewhere (34%)
  • Poor relationship with manager / supervisor (26%)

Today the immerging workforce is developing different attitudes about work and how it is designed to fit into their lives. Today’s employees may place a priority on; 

  • Family time
  • Sense of community
  • Autonomy in their roles
  • Flexibility in their work

In fact in the same AHRI survey, employees nominated their top reasons to stay with an organisation as;

  • Good relationship with colleagues (44%)
  • Job satisfaction (35%)
  • Good work/life balance (32%)
  • Flexible work options (27%)
  • Competitive pay & benefits (25%)

Successful organisations make it a strategic initiative to understand what their employees want and require in their workplace so that they can retain and engage their employees more effectively. Being aware of the different factors that affect employee retention makes it easier for businesses to focus on the areas that they can influence and change. 

So how do you know if your employees are happy? Ask them! Annual employee feedback surveys are an extremely valuable tool to gauge the mood of the workforce. Analysis of the data can show trends of issues or positives with leadership, working hours, pay & benefits, the effectiveness of training programs, communication and culture just to name a few. There is no point in only obtaining data from departing employees, or worse no data at all, and then sitting back wondering why your business is experiencing employee churn.

“People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise and rewards.”

Before you get started on implementing employee retention measures ensure that retention of employees is fully tracked and reported. It’s critical to have this measurement mechanism in place before you embark on any program to retain employees. Some effective examples of retention programs can include;

  • Competitions and incentives such as feedback reward programs and recognition.
  • Flexible working hours / RDO’s, allowing employees to flex their work and life around each other
  • Training and development. Ranging from job-specific training, to soft skills and professional qualifications.
  • Appraisal and reward systems. Appraisal processes are almost universally disliked because of the perception of extra work required, but run well they can be motivational and contribute to retention.
  • Clear management and employee communication policies and plans so that employees understand the bigger picture about how they fit and why they are important.
  • Bonuses and/or shares options. Additional financial compensation can take a number of forms and is a popular retention program component.

Remember… you can’t stop employees leaving unless you have a plan for them to stay!

For more information on employee retention watch our presentation below (warning * groovy music to follow, may induce killer dance moves* )

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

 

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Why are workplace HR policies so important?

2mU47LLARySxWAhqwEKDiAThere’s no denying that HR focus has dramatically changed in recent years. In the not so distant past, HR was primarily an admin function, the dreaded “fun police” when it came to workplace policies or it was a task lumped in with Payroll.

But today’s astute business leaders understand in order to succeed in today’s (and the futures) business environment they need to move their HR function away from focussing on personnel management and administrative tasks, and direct their focus towards managing employee engagement and strengthening workplace culture. Smart business owners see the benefits in ensuring their employees are happy and as a result will continue to stick around for the foreseeable future.

Human Resources Policies and Procedures are important as they provide structure, control, consistency, fairness and reasonableness in the business. They also ensure compliance with employment legislation and inform employees of their responsibilities and the organisations expectations. In addition, they also provide transparency in how processes will be managed, and should be easily accessible by all managers, supervisors and employees alike.

Let’s imagine a workplace without any HR policies and procedures that employs managers who have very little knowledge of what to do in terms of process or best practice, and have received no training. How would this look? Like a disaster waiting to happen, thats what- workplace policies are useful documents to rely on when a legal dispute arises between an employer and an employee. In many cases, where the employer can point to a policy to show that the employee ought to have known what his or her responsibilities were in relation to the disputed matter, the employer is likely to be in a much stronger position before a court or tribunal. Some employment related laws include a requirement that a policy be in place and that the policy fulfil certain specifications. For example, occupational health and safety laws require employers to put in place a rehabilitation policy outlining the responsibilities of the employer. Where no policy is in place this will constitute an offence under the legislation. In other areas of the law, such as equal opportunity, there is no specific requirement in the legislation that policies be put in place. However, where an employer can point to a policy, that will go some way towards substantiating the employer’s compliance with the law should the matter arise before a court or tribunal. To this end many organisations have policies on EEO, workplace harassment and grievance handling procedures

You may think that as ‘sensible adults’ your employees know how to behave – but unfortunately it’s not always the case. The mix of backgrounds, cultures, upbringings, education and experiences see all of us develop different ideas of what is and isn’t acceptable, and how to conduct ourselves at work  Policies should provide all the information that new & established employees need to know.  They are a great tool in the induction process to ensure new starters are on the same page as you from day one.

There are plenty of places to obtain workplace policies on the internet, generally they are relatively cheap, you insert your business name and you’re off and running, but generic policies don’t always work from business to business. Your policies need to be reflective of your workplace & peculiarities of your industry. In addition most of these policies only contain basic information and will then include a “insert procedure here” paragraph, without the appropriate HR knowledge how can you ensure your content isn’t just best practice but legal?

The key to getting policies right isn’t just understanding industry and the workplace, but understanding the law. It’s the difference between knowing legally what steps must be taken during employee discipline & termination or managing drug & alcohol testing to ensure you don’t end up on the wrong side of a Fair Work decision & just copying another companies policies off the internet.

70% of SME’s utilise the resources of adhoc HR (an employee holding another position in the business that has taken on the duties of HR), and it comes at a risk: If your business is leveraging adhoc HR for your HR needs, you’re dealing with a fairly costly business issue. According to recent data on SME’s, 82% of employees undertaking adhoc HR duties have no relevant training which exposes the business to not only significant legal risk but the lack of capacity to implement strategies to help save money or improve employee retention and culture.

The People & Culture Office policies reflect contemporary human resource practice, offer step by step procedures and are fully compliant to Australian workplace law and legislation. They have been written with the average employee in mind; that is anyone in the business can pick up the policy and understand exactly what is expected of them and what procedure should be followed to achieve the desired outcome.

Policies should add value to your business, whether it’s a Recruitment & Selection Policy to guide you to recruit employees of the highest standard or an EEO, Bullying & Harassment Policy that covers off the relevant legislation, if your policies are too vague, don’t provide guidance and protect you from legal action then you aren’t getting the value from them that you should. Click here to view how we can partner with you to provide contemporary workplace solutions for your business.

Outsourced HR solutions can help manage your risk, keep you compliant, and give you peace of mind. And in doing so, you’ll be placing your company in a strong position to grow and prosper. 

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

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