Is 2020 the year ethics will become cool?

Do you feel like change is in the air? So much happened in 2019, economically, politically, it seems like we’ve kicked off 2020 with a collective “the rot stops now” attitude.

First inclination it’s not just me was reading this article by Gary Martin the head of AIM WA. In the article Gary talks about unscrupulous big bosses like those engaged in the finance industry participating the Royal Commission or those at the helm of wages scandals.

But then he drops a truth bomb, the majority of immoral behaviour comes from regular, everyday bosses.

“Ironically, much of the immoral behaviour in our workplace is driven by everyday bosses who might be beacons of best practice when it comes to personal integrity but unwittingly create workplace environments that allow the unethical behaviour of others to flourish.

Many bosses, for example, make it unsafe for workers to speak up about unethical behaviour in their workplace despite proclaiming that they have an open-door policy. 

They fail to encourage workers to report questionable behaviours and, on the odd occasion a concern is raised, find themselves ill-equipped to take appropriate corrective measures or protect a well-intentioned whistleblower.

Others mistakenly believe ethical issues are suited to post-mortem discussions only after some form of catastrophe has occurred. 

Even worse, some bosses apply excessive pressure on team members to reach unrealistic targets.”

It’s not just bosses who encourage a bit a fudging of the rules to get ahead, there’s also the bosses who turn a blind eye to bullying or other inappropriate behaviour in the workplace – or are a perpetrator themselves.

Then yesterday this article published on Inside Small Business popped up in my Facebook newsfeed.

It’s a vibe, I tell ya!

It’s easy enough for small business owners to think this isn’t about them, those articles are just about big business right, got nothing to do with me.

In a time of low unemployment and skills shortages it becomes evident who the unethical employers are.

Struggling to hang onto to staff while your peers have little disruption to staffing levels at all?

Struggling to attract applicants for vacancies when the competition next door has skilled candidates approaching them?

High absenteeism & low morale?

Are you picking up what I’m putting down here?

Skills shortage, regional living, FIFO; your up against a lot as it is, don’t let poor management practices be added to the list.

Looking to get maximum value out of your Business Plan? We can assist with the development of people and culture strategies to give you a competitive edge over the competition. Drop me a line to learn more.

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.

The case for diversity & inclusion

Diversity – “the collective mixture of differences and similarities that include, for example, individual and organisational characteristics, values, beliefs, experiences, backgrounds, preferences, and behaviors.”

Inclusion – “the achievement of a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to the organisation’s success”

Feeling welcomed and included, a part of the team, has a substantial effect on whether we feel good when we’re at work, our ability to perform in our role, and our overall wellbeing.

Australia, and subsequently its workforce, is one of the most diverse countries in the world. We come from a wide range of cultural, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, gender identities, ages, sexual orientations, and differing family responsibilities.

Yet discrimination, bullying, and harassment in the workplace remain ongoing issues, particularly for people from different cultural backgrounds, people with disabilities, mothers returning to work, LGBTI people, and mature age employees.

Diversity is about our individual differences and acknowledging the unique blend of knowledge, skills and perspectives people bring to the workplace.

Diversity can include characteristics such as cultural background and ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, language and education. Diversity also includes characteristics such as professional skills, working style, location, and life experiences.

An inclusive culture is one where everyone feels valued and respected and is able to fully contribute. It is about removing barriers to make sure everyone can fully participate in the workplace and have equal access to opportunities. Inclusion is about empowering people to contribute their skills and perspectives for the benefit of organisational performance and business outcomes.

The moral argument is weighty enough, but the financial impact – as proven by multiple studies – makes this a no-brainer.

Diversity is central to innovation. It brings forth new and better ways of doing things, helps us to harness the benefits of technology and improve the efficiency and quality of our services. Inclusion is the key to unlocking this potential.

When we value workplace diversity and inclusion we see benefits such as higher employee engagement, improved performance, greater innovation, retention of talent, improved employee wellbeing and lower levels of unlawful behaviour such as harassment and discrimination.

The case for diversity & inclusion lies in valuing peoples abilities instead of their limitations

Whether business owners and managers like to admit it or not, people tend to recruit someone that reflects back themselves. Sometimes when a management team states they recruit on cultural fit what they really mean is they are looking for a while male aged between 25 – 45 that likes to sink a few beers at the end of the week and supports the West Coast Eagles. Sometimes it’s overt, such as my example, but sometimes you can look around your workplace and realised you’ve basically employed the same person 40 times, this is called unconscious bias.

2018 Diversity & Inclusion report conducted by Hay’s found that  63 per cent of respondents across all markets believe leaders hold a bias towards people who look, think or act like they do.

Research suggests that we instinctively categorize people and things using easily observed criteria such as age, weight, skin color, and gender. But we also classify people according to educational level, disability, sexuality, accent, social status, and job title, automatically assigning presumed traits to anyone we subconsciously put in those groups.

The “advantage” of this system is that it saves us time and effort processing information about people, allowing us to spend more of our mental resources on other tasks. The clear disadvantage is that it can lead us to make assumptions about them and take action based on those biases. This results in a tendency to rely on stereotypes, even if we don’t consciously believe in them.

Read more about this here

No matter how unbiased we think we are, we may have subconscious negative opinions about people who are outside our own group. But the more exposed we are to other groups of people, the less likely we are to feel prejudice against them. So the more diverse our workplaces, the more it will become the norm.

Millennials have a unique perspective on diversity. While older generations tend to view diversity through the lenses of race, demographics, equality and representation, millennials see diversity as a melding of varying experiences, different backgrounds and individual perspectives. They view the ideal workplace as a supportive environment that gives space to varying perspectives on a given issue.

Kicking goals in the area of diversity & inclusion isn’t easy, it’s a work in progress, something that requires continued work and maintenance. Empathetic leadership is key to this transformation. For real change to happen, every individual leader needs to buy into the value of belonging – both intellectually and emotionally.

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.

Building an “always learning” culture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

A bit of this & a bit of that

If you follow me on Insta or Facebook you may have seen this ⬇️ photo about how I spent my 1st business birthday getting papped by the lovely Rachel of Madison Studio Photography.

Oh hey! Thats me 😂

Rachel is one of the amazing local small businesses offering my clients a discount on services as part of our Employee Benefit Package 🙌 You can learn more about the Program here, here and here.

This week I wanted to make use of my post to cover off on a few HR related bits and pieces that small – medium businesses commonly have misconceptions about, or are common errors, but aren’t sufficient enough to warrant a stand alone post on the subject.

Terminating employees as a small business

As a small business you may have heard you are exempt from Fair Work action if you have less than 15 employees, a belief that has lead many an employer to just terminate the employment of people willy nilly without cause.

In actual fact Fair Work introduced a Small Business Code in 2009 to provide a framework in regards to the termination of employees. The Code provides a process that employers must demonstrate they have followed prior to termination. If the employee in question is eligible to lodge a claim through Fair Work, and the employer cannot demonstrate procedural fairness was shown through the following of the Code, then Fair Work will rule the dismissal as being unfair and the employer will be liable for compensation.

Requesting or forcing the resignation of an employee

The legal definition of Constructive Dismissal is conduct of the employer was so “harmful, adverse or unfriendly to” the contract of employment and the employment relationship that the employee could not be expected to put up with it. Some examples of Constructive Dismissal include;

  • an employer expressly suggesting that an employee resign (irrespective of whether the employee made the suggestion) so as to assist with preserving the employee’s future ability to obtain work;
  • an employer actively making it very difficult or impossible for an employee to fulfil their role;
  • an employer continuously failing to provide, to a serious degree, a safe and/or healthy working environment (this includes failing to act on bullying and / or harassment of an employee); or
  • an employer imposing unauthorised and detrimental variations to the employee’s contract, such as a pay-cut, demotion, change of working hours, relocation or unreasonably failing to prevent or punish a co-worker who may be harassing or discriminating against the employee.

The steps you take as an employer to terminate an employee must be well considered and consistent with your termination policy. No matter how well intentioned your actions may have been, there is rarely a low risk shortcut that can substitute the correct performance management or redundancy process. You can read more about Constructive Dismissal here.

Abandonment of employment

Lets say you have an employee that hasn’t turned up to work for the past couple of days and hasn’t called in sick, what do you do? At what point does their job no longer exist?

Abandonment of employment is defined as “circumstances where an employee is absent from the workplace without reasonable excuse, or has failed to communicate with the employer to provide an excuse for being absent.” Traditionally, modern awards have allowed an absence of more than 3 days as evidence a worker has abandoned their employment and an absence of 14 days without reasonable cause showing clearly that they have. Recently Fair Work removed the relevant clause from a number of awards, despite this procedural fairness is still required, therefore best practice for unauthorised absences should be;

After a 3 day period of unauthorised absence the employer should make an attempt to contact the employee firstly with a telephone call, and, if there is no response, to follow up with a written request sent by email or registered post requiring the employee to provide an explanation for their absence by a specified deadline.

It is very important that the employer is aware of what provisions govern that particular employee’s employment— whether that be a modern award, enterprise agreement or contract of employment — as that particular instrument may contain a specific clause stating how abandonment of employment must be handled. Also, an employer may have a workplace policy dealing with absences which should be considered.

Finally, once all avenues have been exhausted and there is no explanation for the absences provided, an employer should always issue a letter stating that the employee’s employment has been terminated without notice, effective immediately, on the basis of abandonment of employment.

What is NOT abandonment of employment

  • When an employee has provided a medical certificate for an absence (note the “temporary absence” provisions of the Fair Work Act).
  • When an employee has made a workers compensation claim and is unfit for work while being paid weekly payments under the claim.
  • When an employee has taken authorised leave.
  • Unnotified absence from work for up to 3 days.

Do you have a subject that you would like to know more about? Contact Me via email to let me know and I can write a blog or Facebook post about it.

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.

Employee Benefit Program – Salary Packaging Explained

HR Consultant | The People & Culture Office

As a business you want to be as successful, and as sustainable as possible, a large contributing factor to achieving this is ensuring you attract and retain quality employees. Salary Packaging is fast becoming one of the key components of an employees total remuneration package, giving participating employers an added advantage over their industry peers.

In the video below, I give a brief explanation of the core component of salary packaging, and the financial benefit it can provide.

Download the flyer here

Another cinematic masterpiece, bought to you by The People & Culture Office
Employee Benefits | The People & Culture Office

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.

Our Employee Benefits Program – what is it & how can you become a part of it?

I was asked this week by a client this week if I stand in the shower coming up with ideas……. yes, yes I do.

About 7 weeks ago after struggling to secure candidates for 2 clients for an ongoing period (and who in the Goldfields isn’t experiencing this right now) I wondered if I could put together an Employee Benefits Program like I had for previous employers – except on this occasion it would need to suit multiple employers, a diverse range of industries from not for profit to mining contractors, not have the “buying power” of a large employee base and I would have the unenviable task of trying to convince fellow small businesses in Kalgoorlie, most doing it tough in retail, why supplying a discount on purchases or services is actually a marketing business driver as opposed to a business negative.

And so the seed for pulling together an Employee Benefits Program to benefit my clients and their employees was sown 🌱

The Employee Benefit Program is absolutely FREE 😱 to my clients and is strategically designed to assist with attracting new employees, retaining existing ones and building a positive workplace culture & employee brand. The strategies can assist with not just saving money by reducing turnover but makes the business more sustainable, every time an employee walks out the door they’re taking their organisational knowledge with them. And in an era where everyone is a subject matter expert in something, that puts most businesses in a precarious position.

What I was hearing & seeing from clients was the lack of ability to compete against the bigger employers in town with their deep, deep pockets. And quite often the salary on offer was comparable, if not equal to the big companies, but the the lack of capacity, for whatever reason, to match the additional extras hit their efforts hard.

So I’ve taken the guess work, and hard work, out of getting a program in place, and taking a proven, proactive measure against the hiring difficulties for small – medium businesses in the Goldfields.

The program is essentially a win / win for local business, my clients & their employees gain access to the program and it’s benefits, while participating retailers can improve the spend & repeat business of residents through a proven marketing method, all the while supporting fellow small businesses in town.

So what does the program offer?

Salary Packaging – Eligible employees can salary package their housing costs as remote area employees and / or a novated lease. Not sure how it all works? As we are based in a remote area as classified by the ATO, employees are able to claim Remote Area Benefits on items such as Remote Area Mortgage Interest, Remote Area Rent, Remote Area Fuel (gas & electricity) and Remote Area Travel. Normally tax is taken from your salary before you spend it. You then pay all your expenses and are left with the remainder. With salary packaging, the employer pays the same salary – but instead of paying all your expenses after you’re taxed, you pay for selected expenses, such as your mortgage or rent before you’re taxed. You reduce the tax you pay and are left with more spending money in the kitty. Normally salary packaging providers will only conduct business with individual employers with > 40 employees, after an Australia wide hunt I managed to track down a provider able to service small business needs

Corporate Gym Membership – Snap Fitness Kalgoorlie have come on board to supply corporate membership to the program. Encouragement of a fit & healthy workforce by way of corporate gym memberships can assist with a reduction in absence due to illness and a reduction of injuries, both at work and away, due to poor functional capacity.

A host of discounts on products & services – Because I have such a diverse range of clients I need to have a diverse range of offers to make the program a success. As much as I can, I have tried to keep the program 100% local, but, and this is a very big but, I work for my clients first and foremost and this program needs to be as diverse as my client base for it to have a chance at success. For that reason I will continue to try and build on the initial dozen or so participants by engaging with national franchises to encourage them to get on board, a discount program without any businesses willing to supply a discount just isn’t going to work.

So whats in it for you Simone? Total honesty? I’d love for Goldfields businesses to have the chance to experience the full scope of what contemporary HR can do for their business. I honestly believe that some of the staffing issues felt by employers can by directly traced back to a lack of, or poor, processes involving employees and the leadership team (whoa! big call). Yep, we are definitely experiencing a skills shortage with trades & operator positions and yep Kalgoorlie is experiencing a liveability crisis that is being reflected in the high number of FIFO employees and a general reluctance of people to uproot their lives and give living in the Goldfields a chance. But, not everyone starting a new job here is a newbie to town, they are an existing resident who has left a local employer, and happy employees don’t leave great workplaces unless they really have to. So in summary, what that means is I’d love to be able to build my business by being able to share strategies that will also help you build yours.

I’ve put hours and hours of work into this and I receive absolutely no financial incentive off it, I don’t charge clients to participate, I don’t receive kick backs from program suppliers – ZILCH.

So how is this all sounding? Contact me on the link below if you’d like to set the wheels in motion to become a client, if you’d like more info click here to watch a vlog over on Facebook.

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.

Why employee benefits should be on your radar

Indulge me if you will

Let’s pretend you are looking for a new job, you’ve just been for 2 interviews for comparable jobs. Both jobs are great, the companies appear great, your potential new boss come across as great – everything was great. Great, great, great.

Employer A discussed salary and benefits; flexibility with hours – yep sure it’s 12 hour shifts and the work is dictated by the client but if you want a few extra days off here and there to go away it’s no drama, they understand you want a life. They also offer salary packaging, discounts on everyday items like gym membership and a monthly lunchtime BBQ if you’re in the workshop. HECK YEAH!

Employer B only offers a salary, don’t get me wrong it’s a very, very competitive salary so you ask a few questions to try and get an idea of how they stack up against Employer A. “You mentioned that quite often you work 14 shifts on 2 shifts off, can you request extra unpaid days off to have a better break” “Only if you book it as annual leave well in advance because we can’t really afford to not have people at work” hmmmmm, “Do you offer any extra benefits at all?” “No” End of conversation.

Which job would you choose?

The dynamic of the workforce is changing, the days are long gone when employees expected very little from their employers except for their wages at the end of the week. 

These days, increasing numbers of skilled employees expect a lot more from the companies that they work for. With many companies offering impressive perks and benefits for their workers, the pressure is on for businesses of all sizes to up their game and to offer something more to their staff than simply the satisfaction of a job well done.

In-fact, millennials, more so than any other group, prioritise access to additional benefits as a driving factor towards choice of employer, and before you chalk this up to yet another reason for you to (unjustifiably) hate on millennials consider this – millennials make up 50% of the workforce. You can no longer bury your head in the sand. The workforce is changing, you either change with it or ring the bell and get off the bus.

In Australia, employment opportunities remain strong and employers are grappling with a talent shortage, Australian workers enjoy a high degree of choice of employer. Quite often business owners & leaders can overestimate the loyalty of their employees, and their ability to source new ones if and when required, with a significant gap in perceptions of the employer – employee relationship. 

Numerous Australian studies reveal employees prioritise workplaces that offer benefits over higher salaries that trade off against additional perks. Big ticket items are a healthy balance to life; favourable working conditions & health & wellness benefits. Financial savings; discounts on everyday items, access to wealth creation strategies. And career development opportunities; access to relevant workshops / seminars / training and / or acting or promotional opportunities.

And now comes the sell, you may have received one of these babies in the past fortnight or saw it plastered it all over social media.

I am working on pulling together an Employee Benefit Program to assist my clients with the attraction and the retention of employees. What I was hearing & seeing from clients was the lack of ability to compete against the bigger employers in town with their deep, deep pockets. And quite often the salary on offer was comparable, if not equal to the big companies, but the the lack of capacity, for whatever reason, to match the additional extras hit their efforts hard.

So I’ve taken the guess work, and hard work, out of getting a program in place, and taking a proven, proactive measure against the hiring difficulties for small – medium businesses in the Goldfields.

I mean, after this who wouldn’t want to be my client!! 🤣 But seriously, the ability to participate in this program is reliant on you being an ongoing client of mine, so engaging me to implement your HR framework or implement a performance management program, a comparatively small cost for a potentially large return on investment.

If you are a retailer or service provider and you haven’t received the flyer as yet, and you love to join to have another avenue to drive sales to your business please contact me today! The more diversity & variety the program can offer the greater the chance of it being a success.

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