Common misconceptions about HR

Believe it or not we don’t sit in our offices all day dreaming up ways to give you more work or ruin your life.

HR is one of those business functions that people just “don’t get”. They either have this really narrow view of what HR is to business, or they think we are evil b*tches.

The latter is usually because they’ve had some dodgy manager that has allowed them to believe that some decision has been made because of HR.

“I don’t want to do this but HR is making me”

Then, there’s nothing like a manager who doesn’t want to have the tough conversations and puts it back on HR, setting them up as the bad guy.

So, are we all evil b*tches? Well, misconceptions come from somewhere, and absolutely there are some HR people out there doing our sector dirty. Sometime the function itself is outdated and there is no desire to move forward into the new era (or decade) of work, it can have too much red tape and it can all just be a bit too stuffy.

This isn’t how HR should look and feel⁠. And it’s not how we operate.

Let’s unpack some common misconceptions about HR

HR is about protecting the company⁠ – HR has a responsibility to minimise risk, sometimes protecting employees is the best way to minimise risk and sometimes it’s protecting the interests of the company. HR’s job is to be a neutral voice of reason, we are there to help leaders and employees navigate doing the right thing⁠.

Yep, a lot of HR people are anti-employee, but this isn’t what HR is, or should be. Sometimes this sentiment is driven by the leaders – if the company you are working for is anti-employee you should probably go find another job⁠

All HR does is hire & fire⁠ – Unless you are a dedicated recruiter this is about 10% of what HR is. HR is involved in the hiring and firing process to ensure it is a good process (and a legal process), but we don’t initiate it and it is nowhere near how we spend our days⁠.

HR is easy and anyone can do it⁠ – Ok, so we don’t just organise Christmas parties and answer employees questions. A large part of HR is strategising things that may or may not happen in the future, we look at organisational design and ensure you will have the right people to take the organisation forward. We develop initiatives to drive the right culture and build the capacity of your people⁠

We manage ego & politics and we need to be able to manage our own emotions when we need to flip from ending someones employment to celebrating someone else’s promotion.⁠ HR is full of “big feelings” and you need to be a skilled enough operator to juggle all of that in amongst the day to day & technical aspects of the work⁠.

They are always on our back – If you’re a manager and you aren’t completing a component of your job such as effectively leading your team, then yeah, we are going to be on your back. You know the stakes, if something is part of your job you need to do it. You can’t blame HR for the repercussions of you not doing your job.


Want to learn more about what quality HR is? Click HERE


The People & Culture Office supports HR teams and SMEs Australia-wide to take a fresh approach towards their people and culture function. 

With 20-plus years in the HR game behind them, Tiahanna & Simone build capacity and culture in the workplace to drive the achievement of your operational goals and give you an edge in a talent-led economy.

Who we are

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Societal Expectations and Influence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

b) people are rude

c) it can be soul destroying

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

Are you ready for the new era of work?

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

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

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

What this all really means is

Are you ready for the new era of work?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s a vibe

Have you ever walked into a business and it’s evident that it isn’t everyones ideal work environment?

They just don’t suit the vibe of the business………… there’s something that’s just off.

I’m not talking about appearance. Hiring for cultural fit isn’t about how someone dresses, how attractive they are, the presence of tattoo’s, piercings and everything else that falls under the umbrella of employment prejudice.

This is about defining your strategic direction and values and then developing a set of strategic people processes that will assist you with achieving your business goals.

People processes that are developed around a balanced scorecard.

Businesses who place too heavy of a focus on skills risk having a dysfunctional workplace culture. At the extreme end of this concept are organisations that recruit based on skill based selection criteria’s, and score each candidate based on their ability to meet each criteria, at the lower end, and most common use of this practice, is to look at a resume and base the hiring decision around a degree, trade or years of experience in a particular industry.

The problem with this approach is that yes, technically they can do the job, but is that person actually someone that you would want to represent your business?

Do they have personal attributes that align to your values? Do they understand where your business is headed and have the right attitude to help you get there?

Skill & Competency versus Behaviours & Capability. The approach should be balanced, a nice little blend of both.

Drilling down, this is about finding employees that fulfil your expectations in regards to personal attributes, relationships, delivering results and the functional aspects of their jobs.

This is why we’ve developed our Key Behavioural & Capability Framework, to provide a toolkit towards achieving a competitive advantage through your people.

This balanced approach to your people management feeds into everything you do, it permeates through each and every initiative involving your employees. It starts with your organisational strategic direction, the framework takes your operational goals & values, develops a set of behaviours and capabilities and cascades them through assessing the capability of your organisation, how you recruitment, how you manage performance, how you develop your employees and how you plan for the future.

An all encompassing HR strategy to meet your business needs.

Employment Law & people management is a complex beast, if you need assistance navigating your way around we are on hand to provide support & add value to your business

I‘d love to meet with you to discuss how I can create a HR Strategy that adds value to your business, Contact Me for an obligation free chat.

This post is the 4th in a series of how quality HR solutions can add value to your business. Catch up here, here & here

HR is so much more than a set of policies and procedures. Strategic HR Management is about developing value adding strategies surrounding compensation & benefits, workforce planning, recruitment, performance management and career development. The policies and procedures aspect of HR is about compliance and risk management; they work within the wider business environment but their core purpose is to provide a risk management framework to manage the industrial relations and employee relations aspect of the 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.

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

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

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

What does good HR look like?

Whether your organisation has an in-house HR team or you’ve engaged an external HR consultant you need to be getting a lot more value than employment contracts and legislative policies.

Your HR function needs to be business driven and have a strategic approach that aligns the people and culture initiatives to the organisations’ strategic priorities and its values.

To be an effective function within the business your HR team (internal or external) needs to be able to competently perform the critical elements of the people function, but more than that, the executive or leadership team needs to allow them to do their job.

Presumably they have been engaged because management has recognised the need for HR support, as with any professional or expert within their individual field they are there to provide expert guidance and solutions for the business. Their professional knowledge, analysis and reports should be utilised to make evidence based business decisions.

If an Engineer were to advise on a particular course of action to avoid catastrophic failure management wouldn’t disregard their recommendations. High turnover, poor leadership, poor culture, lack of strategic direction, undervalued employees, poor reputation, inability to attract & retain employees are all a sign of catastrophic failure on HRs behalf.

Sometimes these outcomes are a result of the leadership teams failure to act on the recommendations of HR, too heavy of a focus towards business outcomes and a lack of balance with the people aspect of running a successful organisation. It’s the role of an experienced HR practitioner to present an effective business case to influence and educate management, to make a convincing argument as to why an investment in your strategy will result in a greater opportunity to meet the organisational goals.

The Australian HR Institute has developed a Model of Excellence; the competencies to which HR specialists should be measured against. The model reflects the “business and people” approach that is widely regarded as best practice and aims to:

  • contribute to a profitable and sustainable workforce
  • increase workforce competency and engagement
  • develop excellence in people management
  • create a dynamic and productive work environment

The Model of Excellence

Business Driven – HR adds value to the organisation through understanding the organisational context and objectives. They fully understand your business operations and the priorities of the business; drive a competitive advantage for the organisation through HR initiatives & projects; are proactive in managing the impacts of of economic, political and legislative influences

Strategic Architect – HR develops goals and plans which contribute to the strategic management of the organisation. They develop and implement HR strategies that add value, are valued by the organisation and ensure organisation strategies are achieved; apply analysis to the organisational outcomes and how they might be achieved from a people perspective; take action to ensure HR activities improve the organisations performance and design and deliver solutions to workforce issues, challenges and opportunities

Ethical & Credible Activist – Influences through the provision of valued insights. They have a track record of achieving positive people outcomes; exercise sound judgement and courage when influencing decision making; display a high level of personal values and leadership, they embody ethical behaviour and accountability.

Stakeholder Mentor & Coach – Builds quality relationships and partnerships with key stakeholders to ensure organisational capability. Engages with industry and internal & external stakeholders to develop effective HR solutions; coaches managers to develop their competence and confidence to perform their people management responsibilities effectively; engages in solutions focussed conversations

Expert Practitioner – Builds, maintains and applies expert HR knowledge to deliver HR benefits to the organisation. Continually develops knowledge; challenges the status quo and develops insights on how decisions affect organisational design, culture and performance; understands metrics and makes informed business decisions after analysis

Culture and Change Leader – Foster a sustainable organisational culture in response to the internal & external environment. Has an understanding on the creation of a positive workplace culture; designs HR solutions to foster an optimal organisational culture; translates culture & values into workforce and workplace practices; champions a values based culture

Workforce and Workplace Designer – Designs a workplace that sustains a capable workforce. Aligns the workforce profile with the needs of the organisation; designs a productive, sustainable and engaging workplace that integrates work and life; constructs and designs jobs which match the needs of the organisation and employee capabilities; establish frameworks and systems that ensure a productive and engaged workforce; builds frameworks that enable the development of workforce capacity and capability to meet the future needs of the organisation

Where does your HR team sit within the HR Competency Model? Do they require additional support to provide a HR service that is consistent with the organisational strategic direction and best practice?

If you have engaged an external HR consultant are they meeting this need for you? Are you getting 100% bang for your buck or are you literally getting employment contracts and a booklet of legislative policies?

Employment Law & people management is a complex beast, if you need assistance navigating your way around we are on hand to provide support & add value to your business

I‘d love to meet with you to discuss how I can create a HR Strategy that adds value to your business, Contact Me for an obligation free chat.

This post is the 3rd in a series of how quality HR solutions can add value to your business. Catch up here & here

HR is so much more than a set of policies and procedures. Strategic HR Management is about developing value adding strategies surrounding compensation & benefits, workforce planning, recruitment, performance management and career development. The policies and procedures aspect of HR is about compliance and risk management; they work within the wider business environment but their core purpose is to provide a risk management framework to manage the industrial relations and employee relations aspect of the 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.

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

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

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

Can’t find it? Then create it

There’s nothing quite like seeing your business or department thrive because of the hard work & skill of employees that you have nurtured and developed.

There’s nothing quite like a leader who recognises if you want dedicated, engaged, on brand specialist or senior employees you need to start that process in house.

About a decade ago I worked on a new mine start-up for an up and coming miner. It was at the tail end of the GFC, mines had closed, contractors were hit hard and Kalgoorlie was definitely in a downturn of sorts.

Wider, iron ore was still paying good money and some of the more savvy operations were picking up Grads whether they needed them or not because they knew in less than 12 months, when nit all turned around, they would.

Evidently as a HR department we found ourselves in an interesting position, senior level engineers and geologists we easy to source, junior level not so much. Locally based operators and maintenance positions were easy to fill initially but as the operations grew it was a hard task.

Plans were quickly put into place early in the piece to train and develop our own operators, apprentices were signed up, as were WASM vacation students and new supervisors were put through leadership training.

In the recent 10 year celebration photos the company posted to Instagram I counted a handful of senior management that were those vacation students, graduates and green supervisors.

If you’re complaining about the skills shortage or lack of quality employees my question to you is;

“How many apprentices have you taken on in the past decade?”

“Can’t find skilled operators? What internal training pipelines do you have in place?”

“How are you engaging with WASM, CRTafe and the local high schools to create some brand awareness around you and the career paths you can offer”

In short, you don’t get to complain about the problem if you aren’t actively involved in the solution.

In 2019 I wrote this post about why apprentices and trainees should be a part of your workforce planning.

Let’s just hit the pause button on the skills shortage element of this conversation and focus on why it’s just good business practice to develop your own talent.

Businesses and leaders who see development of their employees as a priority routinely see more engaged, innovative employees with a solid connection to the company.

If your first thought when I talk about investing in employee development is “What so I can invest all that time time and energy for them to just take all that knowledge elsewhere” then you need to reconsider your assumptions.

If an employee is fulfilled by their work they are less likely to leave. According to the 2018 Linkedin Workforce Learning Report a (not so surprising) 93% of employees stated they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career.

That being said the “job for life” concept belongs in another time, so it’s inevitable that at some point in their career they will bid you farewell. So I guess what I’m saying is if you put effort into developing your employees at least you will get value, loyalty and connectedness from them during their tenure over those employees who are afforded very little training and concentrated career development.

So how can this look in the average business? Varied and diverse based on the business and industry but here are some common elements.

A structured onboarding program into the business that steps out the general “this is us, this is who were are and how we operate” introduction through to on the job training. From where documents are saved, to the document management and naming conventions for files, to branding and language to the business right through to the nitty gritty of learning what’s required to absolutely succeed at a role.

Allowing autonomy and ownership over their role and projects. Don’t micromanage, pull them up if you can see a disaster looming but quite often there more than one way to achieve the end goal and their perception of problem / solution might just create some innovation and efficiency for the company.

Create a safe space for learning and development. Start giving your team exposure to the inner machinations of the business by bringing them along to operational meetings or have them involved in creating the strategy for your department. I have had some amazing Managers and CEO’s that really taught me the “back end” of the business that ultimately allowed me the confidence to move into management positions and then to specialise in people and culture strategies. There was no withholding of knowledge and information to protect their role. They took me along for the ride and I’m the first to acknowledge I would not be here today without them. If past and present employees were asked to comment on your input in their careers what do you think they will say?

Employment Law & people management is a complex beast, if you need assistance navigating your way around we are on hand to provide support & add value to your business

I‘d love to meet with you to discuss how I can create a HR Strategy that adds value to your business, Contact Me for an obligation free chat.

This post is part in a series of how quality HR solutions can add value to your business. HR is so much more than a set of policies and procedures. Strategic HR Management is about developing value adding strategies surrounding compensation & benefits, workforce planning, recruitment, performance management and career development. The policies and procedures aspect of HR is about compliance and risk management; they work within the wider business environment but their core purpose is to provide a risk management framework to manage the industrial relations and employee relations aspect of the business.

Read the previous post here.

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

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

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

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

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

Oh. My. God!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From a people perspective where to from here?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and finally…………

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

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

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

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

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

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