PositivePeople July 28, 2022 No Comments

Don’t miss an important talent option!

The war for talent is tough right now.

It seems to be a candidate market, salaries are being driven higher, the number of applicants per role is significantly down and roles can stay vacant for months.

But perhaps there is a trick missing? What about your internal talent?

Are you making the most of some fantastic people you already have? 

Sometimes in our haste to fill a gap that a resignation leaves, we miss taking the chance to reflect on our current team. We can miss the best talent that is already right under our noses.

Now is the time to do things differently, take some calculated risks and build stronger loyalty with our current team by giving them opportunities to develop and shine.

  • Could you take someone working in a different part of your business, who is proactive, knows your business and has loads of potential, and upskill them to fill the role?
  • Could an HR Advisor transition into a H & S leadership role with some development in this field?
  • Could someone who is ready for leadership in a sales team lead an operations team?
  • Could your new IT recruit be a really smart technical Customer Services Rep?

They may take a bit longer to get up to speed, but if you already know they have the capability to learn and the drive to make it happen, then seriously consider it.

Surely that is less of a risk than leaving the role vacant for months while you search for someone your think may be right. And perhaps end up compromising and settling for less than ideal anyway.

4 easy steps to make this happen

  1. Know your talent . Do you have a talent identification process in your business? If you don’t, now is the time to start. This helps you understand who has the capacity to grow in the future. It also allows you to make a plan to ensure you retain them.
  2. Review each vacancy afresh as it comes up for the skills you really need. We often draft up job ads with a wonderful long list of required skills. The current situation is an ideal time to look at this critically.

What can you train? What could be developed by an external course if a candidate is really motivated? Do you              really need extensive experience in a role?

Often if we have someone who is capable of learning and has the right behaviours, attitude and aptitude this                   will predict 90% of their success in a role.

  1. Take a calculated and bold step forward. Once you know what’s essential in a role, it is time to review your talent list. Instead of thinking who ticks “most of” the boxes, think about who has the potential to achieve in the role in the future.
  2. Create a thorough development plan. If you are moving someone into a new role where some development is required, taking responsibility for ensuring they receive this development is critical. You want to set them up for success and show you believe in them.

While the market is tough right now, it will pass.

However, if you have an open approach to your internal talent development, you may well be pleasantly surprised. You will also develop a culture of growth and opportunity that will help you emerge as an employer of choice, with a strong successful motivated team, primed for the future.

Positive People has over 25 years’ experience helping businesses develop talent. Call us today on 09-445 1077.

PositivePeople April 5, 2022 No Comments

Vaccine Mandates – Navigating the changing landscape

It’s not that long ago when we were confronted with the conundrum of how to manage COVID-19 vaccinations at work. At the time we did our best to deal with challenging scenarios, differing views, the impact on working relationships and team culture.

We had difficult conversations with people who had to change their roles and others who lost jobs. Now we’ve come full circle. As the COVID-19 landscape changes, employment vaccination policies are once again under scrutiny.

While each situation will need to be managed carefully to reflect the unique individual, role and circumstances, here are some general pointers to consider.

  • Avoid creating a perception that management are dealing with this behind closed doors. This could create a climate of mistrust and further exacerbate matters.
  • Don’t make hasty decisions. There may be unintended consequences that damage your reputation and create animosity.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Consult and communicate with your team about potential changes. Genuinely consider and respond to feedback. Some may have concerns about their own health or how clients may feel about changes. Others may believe that relationships were irreparably damaged and that resurrecting the subject will be destructive.
  2. Undertake another risk assessment. WorkSafe guidance indicates that a mandatory vaccination policy could be justified ‘where the nature of the work itself raises the risk of COVID-19 infection and transmission above the risk faced outside work’. Engage an expert who can support you through this process.
  3. Ensure you have a reasonable COVID19 policy in place, covering health and safety protocols e.g. hygiene measures, testing, sickness absence management. You could still encourage vaccination as one potential safeguard.
  4. If you change your organisation’s vaccination stance, establish how you want to manage vacancies for those who lost their jobs and could, in theory, come back on board. Do you want people to find out directly from you, or through the grapevine? Both approaches have pros and cons.
  5. Put in place a fair transparent selection process with clear criteria e.g. tenure, if you have more interest than roles available. You may need to make unpopular decisions so open communication with the team will be key, even if their desired outcome is not the result.
  6. Be certain about the uncertainty. None of us know what twists and turns the pandemic may take and it would be prudent to talk about potential future vaccination policies should the situation change.

In short, take your time to reflect on the situation, different viewpoints, potential implications and consider the needs of all your key stakeholders. Use the opportunity to re-establish trust and build a positive, consultative culture. Together, you will find the right approach.

PositivePeople March 24, 2022 No Comments

ACCREDITED EMPLOYER WORKING VISA (AEWV) – TIME TO PREPARE NOW

ENSURE YOU’RE IN A POSITION TO HIRE MIGRANTS WHEN YOU CAN 

ACCREDITED EMPLOYER WORKING VISA (AEWV)

TIME TO PREPARE NOW

Many employers have had difficulty recruiting staff during the pandemic and are delighted at the prospect of the borders opening and staffing issues being resolved. Most businesses are seeking to be in a position to be able to hire migrants as soon as they can. At the same time processes at Immigration NZ have been changing. Immigration NZ are introducing a new visa known as the Accredited Employer Working Visa (AEWV), and all employers will need to be accredited to either renew somebody’s visa or hire somebody on a work visa. It essentially replaces the Essential Skills visa and Talent Accredited employer visa.

What do you need to do to be ready?

23 May 2022 is the first date an employer can apply to become accredited and by 4 July 2022, you will need to have received your accreditation to have anyone in your employment on a work visa.

So, time is tight!

To be ready to apply by 23 May 2022, it is a good idea to determine what type of accreditation you will require and what information you will need to supply.

Types of Accreditations.

  • Standard volume – you will employ 5 or less on the new AEWV work visa per year
  • High volume – you will employ 6 or more on the new AEWV work visa per year per year

Note: This does not include employees on other visas eg: Student visas

There are two other categories; franchises or employers wanting to place migrants with controlling third parties. If you fall into either of these brackets, it will pay to search the requirements directly on the Immigration NZ website.

Employers who currently are accredited under the talent visa program will need to re-apply using the new process.

Accreditation Requirements

To gain either level of accreditation you must show that you:

  • Are a genuine business by providing financial information and company details
  • Have no recent history or regulatory non-compliance, complete a declaration to this effect and have background checks undertaken
  • Minimise the risk of exploitation by having your recruiting Managers complete an online employment rights module, providing evidence of a sound and fair recruitment process and providing work related settlement information to migrants.
  • Are paying at least the median wage for the job (which is $27.76 as of 4 July 2022)

The cost for  application is currently: standard $740 or high volume $1220.  You can upgrade to high volume at any point for $480. If you receive accreditation a job quota will apply which will register all your migrant workers and keep track of the number in your employment.

Job Check

Every time you want to hire a migrant, you will need to apply for a job check, and there will be a cost involved with this. The job check opens from 20 June 2022. You may use a job check for multiple positions if all the job details and conditions of employment are the same.

A job check will confirm:

  • The job pays at least the median wage
  • The terms and conditions of employment meet all the legislative requirements
  • The job has been advertised to New Zealander’s, including advertising the rate of pay and skills and experience required
  • The job is for at least 30 hours per week

For more information on the requirements for each level the Immigration NZ website provides further detail. 

It’s been a long time coming, and we know many businesses are struggling to recruit staff.

Being prepared and receiving your accreditation early will put you in a good position to make the most of borders opening and improve your chances of attracting amazing new employees.

Positive People can guide you through the employment related requirements and offer support to ensure you are ready for when the borders open.

 

Contact us now – we can help.

09-445 1077

info@positivepeople.co.nz

 

 

 

 

PositivePeople March 17, 2022 No Comments

Management Fatigue

Hands up… who is tired or a bit deflated right now?

Many of our clients are telling us that the ongoing uncertainty we are all living in, the changing work environment and heavy workload over the past two years is taking its toll. Leading people and driving business survival/success at this time can be exhausting. Humans are wired to cope with peaks of pressure very well, but don’t fare so well over extended periods of time.

So, what can you do?

Firstly, you need to look after yourself.

As a leader, you probably feel like you have no choice and must get on with it. That’s what good leaders do, right? But the reality is that you will not be able to support your team if you are fatigued and not in the right headspace.

Taking care of yourself may feel like the last thing you have time to do. But it is important to ensure that your business is tracking in the right direction and your team has the leader they need. You might set parameters around when/how often you check your emails, shorten meeting times by setting a clear agenda, delegate some responsibilities or empower your team to make some decisions. Focus on what you can control.

Once you are rejuvenated, share your story with the team – set the tone, lead the way. If the team see you making effective changes, they will feel that they too can take ownership of their own situation rather than feeling helpless.

Then, it’s time to take further action.

  • Sit down with your team to talk about where they are at, their pain/pressure points and figure out some sensible solutions together.
  • Assess if your methods of reward and recognition are effective. Do your team feel that their contribution is valued? Do you celebrate successes? Do you genuinely thank people regularly? Ask for feedback on what could be better. Trial some new approaches.
  • Regularly check in on progress – quick pulse surveys can be good to see if any changes you have made are hitting the mark.
  • Longer term, you might want to think about building resilience within your business by developing leadership capability around how to manage and deal with pressure, arming your people with helpful tools and techniques.

If you have had enough of the fatigue and you are ready to do something about it, talk with your Positive People consultant for ideas and recommendations. We are here to help.

PositivePeople November 18, 2021 No Comments

Christmas Party 2021- What To Do?

As the year-end approaches, we traditionally move into setting in motion our planning for the Christmas party, whatever guise that may take. We involve our employees, set a date, find a venue, let them know what we’ll be doing and then let our hair down a little and have some fun. Even last year, despite the challenges, we were able to do this. Not so this year.

If your intention is to thank your team for all their hard work and the difficulties they have endured this year, and to recognise their contributions by valuing their efforts, then it becomes a no brainer.

You have to somehow create a Christmas party plan that is workable and will reward your employees.

If you decide that you are going to hold a party this year, then time is tight and you’ll need to get organised quickly.

The introduction of the traffic light system, likely in early December, still provides huge challenges for employers to organise a social gathering.

Considerations

These include:

  • How many people there are in your organisation
  • The nature of your business
  • Are they geographically separated into smaller units, like branches?
  • Are there a number of natural work groups in your organisation?
  • The difficulties of inviting partners and/or children to any function because of vaccination and number issues
  • Are the vaccinated and the non-vaccinated employees separated at work?
  • Do you have a strong anti-vax voice in your workforce?
  • Do you have a strong pro-vax voice in your workforce?
  • Has the Government or have you independently mandated vaccinations in your workplace?
  • Have you the facilities to host a function on your premises?
  • What expectations do you think your employees have?

The first decision to make is whether to hold the function in November under the current system or to hold off until December when the traffic light system kicks in.

Holding it in November

It may well be better to grip the whole thing up, take control, and make a plan now that can be communicated, and your team can look forward to. In any event many Christmas functions are held in late November prior to silly season arriving, and this represents an opportunity to just get on with your planning.

Options for Auckland businesses

With a current limit of 25 people and restricted to outside socialising, potential options include:

  • A special take away lunch from a reputable restaurant hosted just for employees outside on site or at a scenic recreational park. This could work well if the employee numbers are less than 25.
  • The same arrangement but hosted and catered for by a senior manager at their residence
  • For larger organisations, holding separated Departmental lunches outside. This could have the feel of a larger gathering but would still meet distancing requirements
  • A small tea-time type party, held by Department, with special cakes and snacks provided
  • A virtual party with each employee Zooming in. Possibly with a specially delivered food/drink parcel to each employee. This could potentially work for a small organisation separated geographically
  • Deferring a party until the rules are clearly established and then holding it sometime in January to start the new year off on a good footing

Holding it in December

With the introduction of the traffic light system, larger gatherings will be permitted, but subject to a filter of vaccination certificates. If vaccination certificates are not used, then holding a Christmas function becomes difficult. If vaccination certificates are used, then up to 100 people can congregate with distancing, seating and separation.

Alongside any of the above options, you could also consider carefully choosing gifts for each member of staff. These could take the form of individual gifts or a choice of vouchers from different suppliers

So, the options are limited, but the important point that won’t be lost on your team is that you have put some thought into what can be done, recognised the importance to them and you have made a decision to acknowledge their sterling efforts this year.

We are here to support you, so if you would like to talk through your situation, please give us a call on 09-445 1077.

PositivePeople November 9, 2021 No Comments

Workplace Vaccinations – Have You Got It Right?

Vaccinations!

The hot topic of discussion right now, and the most important thing on many people’s minds as we wait with baited breath to see when Auckland will open up and as we try to understand what a new system will actually mean for us all.

But as well as the magic 90% mark giving us a date when we finally get to see family outside of Auckland, go to the gym, attend a gig, or have our next meal out, the vaccination topic also brings a lot of employment complexity and many questions for organisations to answer.

Some of the questions posed dive into unchartered employment and legal waters, and the considered answers need to be communicated with both balance and empathy. They also depend on the individual circumstances of each employee and each employer. Employers are also making decisions with a bigger picture in mind that also includes the need for talent retention.

Vaccination mandates

It is important to be clear that you cannot insist that employees be vaccinated. You can, however, mandate that certain roles may only be performed by vaccinated employees for safety reasons. The details on what roles and industries have been mandated by the Government, and will be in the future can be found here (Mandatory vaccinations for workers | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz)).

Even if your Industry isn’t covered by the Government mandate, it may well be that there is enough risk of your employees being exposed to Covid, that mandating roles to only be performed by vaccinated employees is still required to keep them safe. To determine this, Worksafe have published guidelines for performing a risk assessment. This information is currently being updated further, and this updated information is due to be published any day now. However, you can find the current information here (How to decide what work requires a vaccinated employee and WorkSafe’s enforcement approach | WorkSafe.)

Either way, if you decide to go down this path you still have to consider your responsibilities under the Employment Relations Act. You need to ensure you act as a fair and reasonable employer as you make your decisions and communicate with your team.

This would include:

  1. Developing a draft vaccination policy, which clearly outlines:
  • Your Company’s position on vaccinations
  • The processes you intend to follow to collect and store vaccination information
  • The process for vaccine exemptions
  • The application of the policy
  1. Consulting with your employees and any relevant Unions around your vaccination policy. This would include outlining the reasons for your position in writing and allowing them a period to consider this and respond
  2. Genuinely considering the feedback you receive in making your decisions, answering questions, and providing responses
  3. Providing your final decision in writing and allowing a reasonable time for this to take effect
  4. If you are mandating vaccination, considering redeployment options or alternative ways of working for unvaccinated workers, before making the decision to terminate their employment.
  5. The Government has also announced a 4-week compulsory notice period for anyone who’s employment is terminated due to their vaccination status, and while this isn’t legislated yet – it will be, so you will have to take this into account.

Vaccination Status

Some businesses may not be in the position to mandate vaccinations, yet there may be a need to understand the vaccination status of your team. This may impact the level of safety precautions you should be taking for Covid in the future or be something you need to consider for your normal BAU events.

What will happen if you want to visit a customer site where vaccination is mandated, yet you have an unvaccinated Sales Rep? Or you plan a staff event where the venue requires vaccinations passports to enter? Or your IT specialist can’t travel to another site, as they can’t board a plane?

These are all future possibilities we will have to consider, and that are just around the corner for us once the traffic light system comes into force.

Being armed with the knowledge of your team’s vaccination status helps you prepare for these events, can focus your vaccination campaigns in the right area, and helps you understand the impact any changes announced may have on your team.

The Privacy Act is a key consideration when asking for this information. You can make the request, but providing it should be voluntary. The information you gather must also be stored securely, and you should communicate clearly why the information is being sought, what is will be used for and  who will have access to it.

And there is more.

Other areas you will need to consider as a business will be:

  1. Your pre-employment process and how vaccination status fits in with this
  2. Your position on contractors or visitors who come onto your worksite

Each of these requires careful consideration, adherence to relevant legislation, and an employee centred approach which focuses on keeping your people safe.

While we have been in lockdown for some time and it may feel likes time is moving slowly, changes, updates, mandates and requirements in the vaccination space are evolving quickly, will continue to do so and will impact every workplace.

We recommend that every business takes the time to think this through carefully and acts now to keep your teams safe, be well set up for whatever comes next, and make sure you feel confident and ready for a happy Christmas break.

 

 

PositivePeople August 25, 2021 No Comments

Future focus is also a must right now!

$^&?!$^& Covid!

Isn’t this what most owners, managers and team members are feeling? It is extremely stressful for some, inconvenient for others, an irritant all round and just a complete drag for everyone.

As a nation it feels like we are all just well over it. Workplaces certainly are. And, without doubt, there will be a lot more patience required and a lot more sacrifices to be made as this Delta outbreak is contained, so that everyone can go about their business in a safe way.

This feels like the current reality and teams and individual team members in organisations are miffed. We understand that.

As a Leader and a Manager one of the key questions to answer at this time is:

What can I do right now to both look after and keep my team members motivated so that we are ready to take on the world both now and in the future?

The huge challenge is to steer your team through what is naturally a low point, to maintain morale with short-term customised solutions, and to prepare them both psychologically and practically to be ready to enthusiastically take on whatever is needed to be done.

You need a team firing on all cylinders to achieve that – they can’t be just dragging themselves around the park because that doesn’t help either now or going forward. It will take too long for them to get up into a go forward position, and having a workforce ready, willing and able to hit the ground running is what is required.,

Some pointers:

  • As a Manager stay positive and lead from the front at all times. Look after yourself and exercise, rest and reflect
  • Deal with and solve the everyday business practicalities of lock-down calmly and with focus
  • Claim the financial assistance you legitimately can
  • Pay special attention to your team, care for them and communicate frequently with them about both their own personal welfare and the opportunities that will arise going forward
  • Lay out your approach to both worst and best-case business scenarios and try and address any feelings of insecurity in your team. Open and honest communication helps.
  • Make plans beyond the immediate. Once you feel you have done all that you can to address the immediate issues, look forward and focus on some medium and longer-term goals, and involve your team in discussions around them. This lets them know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and also acts as a distraction from the current natural heaviness of a lock-down
  • Investigate Virtual seminars for your managers. Learning is a strong motivator and will help them be future focused.
  • Encourage daily catchups
  • Looking ahead, investigate and start the planning with your teams for:
    • Person to person management training & development
    • Succession Planning
    • Culture development/Values review
    • Performance Appraisal process review
    • An HR systems review
    • A comprehensive Wellness program introduction

The overall message is that within the constraints that lockdown brings, it’s critical for both your business’s health and the wellbeing of your team to still try and continue BAU, keeping an eye on the future as much as possible.

This approach normalises life for your team, keeps them moving and focused, and opens up a path forward. It gives them hope and reassurance that life will return to close to normal in the future. It  can bring the enthusiasm for the business and motivation back to life.

 

PositivePeople June 30, 2021 No Comments

Do you have a high performing leadership team?

No matter how skilled and talented your individual leaders are, in this challenging time of uncertainty and change, their ability to collaborate and communicate as a team will be key in your overall business success.

In the current environment, with supply chain shortages, a constrained and highly competitive labor market, and gloomy global outlook, all your business leaders will need to work together to be responsive, proactive and ensure they make the right decisions for your business’s future.

Coming together is a beginning,

Keeping together is progress,

Working together is success.

Henry Ford.

So how well does your leadership team work together? Now is a good time to reflect upon the overall success of your group and take the right steps to ensure you have a high performing team to see you through these tough times.

Is your team?

  1. Clear about their group goals, which are tied to your business priorities?

Making sure they are all clearly headed in the same direction is an important starting point. Try asking your leaders individually what they think the team’s goals are – if they’re in sync, you should get similar answers from the group.

  1. Clear about their individual defined responsibilities aligned to these goals? 

What does each individual contribute towards these goals? To get your team really firing every leader needs to be clear about their role, the impact it has and to be excited and motivated towards doing what they can to help the team.

  1. Able to communicate clearly and respectfully?

The best place to test this is to observe your team in difficult discussions. Is everyone’s voice heard? Do they respect each other’s opinions and really get to the heart of the matter? Too often leadership teams shy away from tough discussions or allow the loudest voice to dominate. Without everyone’s voice being heard you can’t be sure you have reached the best possible solution, so respect and effective communication is critical.

  1. Trusting of each other, appreciating individual differences?

No two leaders are the same and no two leadership teams are the same. This diversity can be what makes your team really hum, but only if harnessed properly. A high performing leadership team trusts each other enough to be themselves, take risks, share ideas and support each other in hard times

  1. Able to celebrate their success as a team?

A business win is a win for the whole leadership team, and this should be recognized, especially in these unstable Covid times. Wins are hard fought and may not come often and it is important your team feel proud of their efforts and inspired to keep going.

Putting the focus on your whole leadership team’s combined efforts, success and effectiveness rather than individuals will strengthen your culture, improve the leadership team’s engagement and help alleviate stress as they feel more supported within your business.

For over 25 years Positive People have been helping businesses grow their leadership teams through an understanding and appreciation of individual differences as well as improving relationships. Our MBTI assessments and leadership team building sessions enable your leaders to work through differences of opinion and conflict successfully and take the necessary steps to be a high performing team.

Contact us today to learn more or checkout our website for more details.

 

PositivePeople June 30, 2021 No Comments

Sick Leave Changes – are you prepared?

What’s changing?

Minimum paid statutory sick leave entitlements will increase from 5 to 10 days as of 24 July 2021, effective from an employee’s next sick leave anniversary date. The maximum roll-over amount of unused sick leave remains unchanged at 20 days.

What do I need to consider?

You will have already considered any implications from a payroll perspective and no doubt you will be updating your employment agreement templates accordingly (if not and you need help, please let your Positive People consultant know).

It is also a great opportunity to stop and reflect on the sick leave management framework you have in place and ensure that your people leaders are well equipped in dealing with sickness absence.

How can I help my leaders?

  1. Reporting: Make sure you have a good system in place so leaders can:
    • view accurate, timely information
    • consider absence trends (e.g. particular shifts/days of the week)
    • identify if an employee is getting close to their maximum paid entitlement
  1. Sick leave management: Be clear with your leaders about the steps they should take when addressing sickness absence issues and the thresholds (likely unique for each scenario to reflect all the circumstances) for moving into more formal discussions. Your framework could look something like this:
    • Absence reports (see item 1) are reviewed by leaders and their manager every quarter to identify any areas of concern and determine the best approach
    • Return to work ‘check in’ discussions (see item 3) occur after every period of absence
    • Leaders are provided with guidance/coaching on how to have the ‘check in’ discussions and how to manage the more challenging situations e.g. requesting medical certificates, employees taking unpaid leave when sick leave is exhausted, considering changes to work/hours in consultation with the employee
    • Communicate with employees how sickness absence will be managed via your house rules or procedure
  1. Regular discussions: It is good practice to have ‘check in’ discussions with employees consistently on their return to work to:
    • ensure that the individual has recovered and is fit to be back in the workplace
    • identify any work-related issues that might need attention e.g. workload / interpersonal issues
    • provide an update on anything that might have occurred at work in their absence
    • foster positive, two-way communication and
    • demonstrate that you genuinely care about employee wellbeing
    • flag if there is a possibility you will move into more formal discussions.

Next steps

The vast majority of employees will continue to use their paid sick leave entitlement in a fair and honest manner, and there is no reason to suggest that this will change. Just be sure that your leaders are competent and confident to manage sickness absence in a fair, reasonable and supportive manner.