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Isn’t it time to have a think about yourself?

As we round the corner and the year-end comes into view, Senior Managers need to take some time to think about themselves and reflect on what they want for 2024. This applies equally to your world of work as well as personally.

Most leadership time is spent putting a lot of effort into strategising, planning, and managing people and projects. These become all consuming, and hours of intense and incredibly demanding work stretch into days, which become weeks and then all of a sudden the month is gone, and the next month’s work is starting to build pressure. Soon it is year-end.

Locked into an adrenalin rush of successful work, this pattern morphs into the new normal.

The one catch, though, is that it is unsustainable, and, in the end, something has to give. It may be poor decision making, it may be overly emotional responses, it may be lack of perspective, it may be impatience, it may be health, it may be domestic tension.

Healthy life patterns become compromised by the whirlpool of work. This type of never-ending cyclical work pattern can make you feel like a stranded whale, without any chance of getting back in the water.

As a leader, this can feel like a lonely place to be.

So, what to do?

Take stock of your own time management.

  • Are you as organised as you should be? Are you regularly – by that we mean throughout your day, week, month – prioritising tasks or is the river of demand catching you in its pull? And sending you into other people’s swirls that are difficult to get out of? Simple techniques to stay on top of work can be lost in the busyness of everyday. It needs constant self discipline to stay ahead of the game.
  • Are you delegating appropriately? Or do you just put your head down and keep on keeping on? Do you use the demands placed on you as an opportunity to delegate tasks and jobs to others? This gives them the opportunity to grow and develop, which most employees want. It is a little like pay now, fly later, but surprisingly you will fly sooner than you think and then will have someone relieving the pressure on you.
  • Are you constantly appraising the benefit of your own meetings and also then selecting the meetings that you will attend? Are these meetings the ones that really matter? Are these agenda driven and time bound? Or have a number of them become meandering talk fests, perhaps dominated by one or two personalities? Analyse the efficiency of meetings. It can free up a huge amount of time. Don’t allow meetings to sink into an unchallenged routine. Review them every 3 months so that a focus remains on the outcome and productivity of each one.
  • Find some inspiration so that each day seems bright. Are you feeling weighed down and flat? Seeking and riding aboard some new ideas and different ways can not only inspire you but can also lead to much better ways of doing things. It really is important to be constantly looking and searching for improvements in everything you are involved in and have control over. Don’t get complacent. There are always better ways! Part of this looking for inspiration also relates to making sure that your own attitude is positive and optimistic. Managing people demands this. So, take some time to feed yourself in what ever way gives this to you.
  • Focus on your own health. Set some personal health goals, be they physical or mental, and then develop an action plan to keep you on track and always heading in the right direction. Prioritise your health. It sets you up for success in all aspects of your life and has a positive impact on people around you.

Positive People have over 25 years helping leaders organise their time for best results. Call us now on 09 445 1077. We are here to help.




Chanel Finnigan No Comments


The months prior to an election are always full of uncertainty. Throw in the after effects of a global pandemic, heavy flooding, a cost-of-living crisis and a very long wet winter and the end of the year is proving to be tough for businesses and employees alike.

But whatever the results come election day, most people are looking for stability and to feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel. As more of your team start to feel the effects of negative impacts like increased mortgage rates and food prices, overwhelmingly they are looking for solutions to their current issues, and for the Government to just get on with fixing things.

This year we have seen changes in employment matters across all the industries we deal with:

  1. Unrealistic pay expectations – Remember when 3% was a good annual pay increase? Not anymore! Compared to CPI, inflation levels and the increase in market rates, 3% just isn’t cutting it for most employees anymore and you may get push back. We understand that last year you may have been generous, but costs are increasing for businesses as well, so this year matching the CPI is a lot tougher.
  2. Higher levels of absenteeism – It seems the increased level of absenteeism caused by Covid is sticking around. While most businesses anticipated absenteeism returning to normal levels, the increase to 10 days sick leave and the number of bugs around this year haven’t seen this happen. We know this places pressure on businesses and is a constant frustration.
  3. Increased number of Personal Grievances – Employees appear to be far more aware of their rights, and justified or not, the number of PG’s being raised has risen. Stress and financial pressure play a role in this, as tempers are shorter and patience levels are reduced.
  4. An increased number of performance issues – When people are stressed their ability to rationalise and think through the consequences of their actions suffer. The focus for many people is on personal and financial issues and this impacts work performance,

People are stressed, patience is thin and it is a tough environment for business.

So, what can you do to navigate successfully through this period and support your team and your leaders?

  1. Stay close to your people – Even those employees who you think are financially secure may be facing financial or personal pressure right now, so don’t assume anything. Be aware of signs of stress, changes of behaviour and standards of performance. If you can understand the reasons behind this, you can support them through it and build long term engagement and commitment to your business.
  2. Reconsider your well-being offerings – There are many interventions that can go in your well-being plans, but are they right for what your team need now? Consider financial planning support or having financial support resources available. What about wellness days for when things become a bit much and they need a day to decompress? Do you have overtime you can offer, or can you allow flexibility to help cut childcare costs? Ask your team what would support them most. Then target that with your support.
  3. Communicate well – Part of your team’s stress could come from their fears on job security and their future in your business. Make sure you lead from the front, acknowledge their concerns, and communicate a strong message around your future. Through your communication you can build a united, supportive, and focused team, which is a workplace plus that everyone could benefit from right now.
  4. Be strategic with your salary increases – It may be tough to give the increases your team are asking for, so you may have to make some tough choices and try a different approach. Who can’t you afford to lose right now? Who is critical to your business success? Who do you need to retain for the future? Making sure your talent is well rewarded will reduce your business risk and help your business continuity.
  5. Take care of yourself – Leading a business has been a tough job over the past few years and will continue to be. It is normal to feel the pressure yourself. Caring for your team, making the right decisions and dealing with financial demands all contribute. Be purposeful in doing the things which reduce your stress levels, energise you and give you joy. Keeping yourself well will make you a better leader for your team.

Positive People have over 25 years’ experience helping businesses build high performing teams and navigate through business challenges. Call us now and we can help you make a plan that’s right for your business, and supports your business success.

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Wellness has become a hot topic in the last few years. In the workplace, the topic of Wellness needs to be seen not only against the commercial imperatives of having well and healthy team members and the compliance risks of transgressing relevant legislation, but also in the light of the expectations that employees increasingly have in working for an organization that truly values and cares for them.

The reality is that employees’ expectations go beyond just compliance with legislation. Doing the minimum may keep you out of trouble in the event of an accident, but misses the chance for you to show that you really care about your people and that your Health & Safety program is not about begrudgingly meeting minimum requirements imposed on your business, but is rather a pro-active internal initiative that beds Wellbeing into your culture.

It is about creating a culture of care where there is a strong Wellness value backed by robust policies and actions that resonate for all employees and demonstrate to them that their employer cares about them in a genuine way.

The backdrop to the Wellness and Wellbeing momentum is the huge challenge we are facing environmentally. We cannot ignore this elephant in the workplace any longer. The people within our organisations are feeling the environmental vibrations and as business leaders we need to listen to what is being said and be pro-active in creating operational programs that help alleviate these issues that are exerting pressure on our environment.

Are you in the basic Health & Safety space where you simply comply with what the legislation demands?

Are you in the Voluntary Health space, offering programs that include providing access to a broad range of fitness and healthy living programs like assisting workers improve their fitness, reduce/quit smoking, or alcohol intake, and generally improve their personal health?

Are you are in the Organisational Culture space which is about targeting workplace factors that directly impact on the psychological health of workers and may include initiatives related to the way work is organized, flexibility, work content, the quality and meaningfulness of work, the hours, access to training and improvements to a broad range of workplace factors?

Are you looking ahead and seeing that the space that employees and organisations alike are increasingly going to move into will be the Environmental Change space which acknowledges that the welfare of employees is inextricably linked to the health of the planet? Many of our employees are already here, and many more will inevitably get here soon. Initiatives may include educating your staff by bringing in speakers on the positive value of reducing, re-using and recycling plastics, producing Company logoed re-usable cloth bags for staff, customers and suppliers, and for distribution at company PR events, having a zero tolerance program towards littering in the workplace and having volunteer work teams at local beach clean-up events followed by a Company BBQ.  Hybrid and Electric Vehicles are also becoming increasingly commercial.

These practical examples illustrate to your people that you care about them, you care about the world that they live in and that as a Company you are going to work with them to do something about it.

Creating a culture of care starts with a stated Wellbeing value that shines through operational initiatives and spans across the Health & Safety, Voluntary, Organisational and also the Environmental touchpoints in your business.

It comes down to creating a culture that engages and resonates with your employees. A culture that meets their expectations in a fast changing world, and a culture which shows them that you really do care.

Positive People have over 25 years helping businesses create a culture that engages and resonates with your employees. Call us now on 09 445 1077. We are here to help.



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Managing the hostile employee

He is a workhorse who knows his stuff inside out. Customers and suppliers alike respect his commitment to their needs. He is knowledgeable and will go the extra mile to help them, always. He is respected for the work he does and for the value he passes on to customers.

Sound like an ideal employee?

Actually no, because he terrorises some of those within the organisation with his aggressive, righteous, threatening and intimidatory behaviour.

It goes something like this:

The office is quiet and everyone is busy at their work stations. Out the blue comes the barking “WHY are you doing that? If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a hundred times before, DON’T DO IT THAT WAY!”

A shake of the head and he’s gone.

The team sit in silence pretending this didn’t happen. The embarrassed victim looks down and tries to keep her composure but is obviously upset. She turns a bright red, shuffles her desk things nervously and then quickly scuttles out of the office. Her colleague quietly leaves and follows her. The regular routine of tears and angst follow.

As a responsible employer, what do you do?

This is a technically competent, committed employee who adds great value to the company. You don’t particularly want to upset him. Whilst you may have pretended to ignore the incident and glossed over this type of unacceptable behaviour, the whispers around the office were enough to appear on your radar and you know you should have done something. It was just too hard! And, it is true, the guy is very difficult to confront.

The first thing to know is that you cannot leave this situation to stand as it does. Health and Safety requirements dictate that this situation is addressed. Leaving it because it is too hard won’t do. There is a responsibility under the Health and Safety in Employment Act to ensure that you provide a safe work environment for all your team, and allowing this type of behaviour to exist is contrary to that. It also undermines the values and culture that you might be trying to create and maintain in your business.

It is an absolute non-negotiable that anyone in the business should not have to endure aggressive, threatening, abusive, intimidating, bullying or harassing behaviour from anyone in the organisation.

So, what are the solutions to this all to frequent problem?

Starting from the basics, within your foundation employment documents, there needs to be a Code of Conduct and a Health and Safety policy that clearly sets out the organisation’s behavioural expectations of employees. Bullying and Sexual Harassment policies also play their part in setting standards of acceptable behaviour. Having appropriate documents properly established at the outset of employment provides the correct reference and starting point for the behaviour that you expect from employees. Reinforced by your Values and Culture Statement, you have a solid foundation from which to manage behaviour within the business.

Having these fundamental building blocks in place allows you to reinforce your behavioural (and performance) expectations at Performance Reviews as appropriate. Additionally these can be re-stated, as required, at regular individual One-on-one meetings, Team Meetings and at State of Nation communication sessions. In this way you are regularly emphasising the importance of good behaviour at both an individual and group level, and keeping your Values top of mind.

For most, these communication channels are enough to set the boundaries of acceptable behaviour. However, it can often be that the hostile employee does not see their own behaviour as unacceptable and is simply blind in their righteousness, and views the achievement of the task as paramount, irrespective of the ructions that may result, if they even notice them.

If unacceptable behaviour does manifest itself, then the offending employee needs to be quickly brought into line. This usually only requires a quiet, but very firm early word outlining the specific instance of unacceptable behaviour, drawing attention to the Code of Conduct and set of Values, accompanied by a reminder that any further instances will not be tolerated and will most likely result in the application of the disciplinary procedure.

Simply, the hostile team member needs to know very clearly and very early that whatever they are doing will not be tolerated. Problems with a hostile employee often fester because the behaviour is left and because the behaviour comes and goes, everyone hopes that it will simply “go away”. Unfortunately this passive inaction just encourages more of the same, and it is often the more junior staff who take the brunt of the bullying, threats or discourtesy. To condone such behaviour not only kills the positive culture in the business but is against the law. It is also manifestly unfair on the victims.

Anger and other forms of intimidatory behaviour in the workplace have no place and the responsibility to manage the hostile employee rests fairly and squarely with the employee’s Manager who has daily contact and sees the unacceptable behaviour in operation. Sweeping it under the carpet or ignoring it is not an option. The Manager has to front up and deal with it.

Is your business condoning bad behaviour?

Positive People has over 25 years pf assisting businesses set up effective individual and group communication channels and policies to address this type of difficulty.  Call us now on 09 445 1077. We are here to help.

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Building a psychological contract with your employees

Do you remember your first job? Things were simple, weren’t they?  You work, your boss pays you. No need for flexible work, wellbeing strategies, recognition plans. Today the equation is far more complex, and we all have to shift our thinking.

While technically, employment is based on an employment agreement, it is also very much centred around a psychological contract.

psychological contract refers to the unwritten mutual expectations and obligations between an employer and an employee. It is based on the perceptions of what each party owes the other in terms of contributions, rewards, work commitment and delivery, as well as attitude and shared values. It is much more than what is in the job description.

The psychological contract is essentially the progeny of the organisational culture. It reflects the behavioural and attitudinal vibe that exists within the organisation. Whilst it is linked to the expectations established in the employment agreement, it operates at a much deeper level, is organisationally unique, is more nuanced and really aims to establish a hand in glove fit between employee and organisation.

To have a truly successful employment relationship, both parties need to understand, agree and be aligned on the expectations that arise from the psychological contract.  

The needs of employees and their expectations of work have evolved significantly in the past few years. We have seen the increase in flexibility, the need for meaningful work, and the increased importance and protection of personal time and space. Generation Z has also entered the workforce, and this generation has never known a time without a smartphone, social media or an airpod in their ear.

However, to be successful, and irrespective of the way the world of work changes, you and your employees still need to share common values.

You might need to shift your expectations as much as your employees need to shift theirs. If you are to get what you need from them, they also need to get what they want from you.

So how do you do this?

Starting at the beginning of the employment relationship is essential and will set things up for success from day 1.

  1. Ensure that your organisational culture is well articulated and outlines the organisational vibe and expectations beyond what the employment documentation does – A Company-wide commitment to the organisational culture gives it credibility, so be prepared to involve your team in fine-tuning what it is. It should reflect a win-win outcome. This will ensure the commitment endures and underpins everyone’s success.
  1. Build the psychological contract into the recruitment process – Most job ads have a list of what you require, and what your business will provide to the new employee. Does anyone read this? Are these just words for attraction’s sake? Make sure these are meaningful and relevant statements and discuss this at interview stage. Having a real two-way conversation about the Company culture at the recruitment stage will help establish fit and commitment. Ask what flexibility means to the candidate. Does this align with your organisation’s view on it? Discuss your organisational values and ask candidates what their values are and what they mean in real work related terms. Let them tell you. This will help you to work out whether a psychological contract could be formed with a candidate.
  1. Discuss again during the on-boarding phase – At the recruitment stage these discussions are theoretical. The on-boarding is where the practical elements of the psychological contract start. For example, if you have work from home options that also includes attendance at a Monday morning meeting every week, tell them and start this from day 1. This builds habits and reinforces the employee’s part of the bargain.
  1. Make sure you always meet your organisational promises – It is very easy to list what you expect from your team. But what about the promises you have made to them? If you don’t follow through with your own organisational commitments, you have broken the psychological contract. Why should they keep their promises if you don’t?
  1. Reinforce the psychological contract – Too often we let unacceptable behaviour occur multiple times before the issue is addressed. By this time it can have become a habit and through your acceptance of the behaviour it can become the norm. Early intervention and a reminder of the commitments they have made is the easiest way to correct things before they become a big problem and the relationship breaks down.
  1. Be consistent – As leaders, on some days we are well prepared to discuss matters with our team and on others we are not. Not addressing issues in a timely way creates uncertainty in the employment relationship and can muddy expectations of each other. To be successful consistency is key.

A successful employment relationship is interdependent, is built on trust, involves common understanding and requires good communication.

As leaders, recognising the shifting employment landscape, adapting to it and being clear with your team on your expectations will go a long way towards helping your business get the best from your people. Deliberately building a psychological contract is a critical element of this.

Positive People have over 25 years helping businesses establish positive and productive teams. Call us now on 09 445 1077. We are here to help.

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POWER Skills for Leaders

As we have thankfully advanced towards the Covid exit gate, it has become clear to perceptive leaders that things have changed in their relationships with employees. The hybrid working model has become almost the norm and working hours, working patterns and work locations are, in many organisations, up for negotiation. Some Companies have resolved these easily, some not so.

As a leader and manager, it requires you to stand back and take some time to assess how well are you managing the people in your organisation in the current employment climate. Have you just picked up where you left off and are you carrying on as before? Or have you done some deep thinking as to what your team now need from you to perform at top levels?

A quantum leap in thinking on leadership and management skills is required.

This entails re-evaluating what have traditionally been known as hard and soft skills. Hard skills have historically been the skills most valued as they are relatively easy to teach and are strongly focused on the job at hand. So-called soft skills have historically been grudgingly acknowledged as a requirement for managers to have, but really existing as a side show to supplement technical skills. If there was a choice to be made, hard skills won every time.

This is no longer the best paradigm to use to guide both the recruitment, and predict the success, of leaders and managers.

The reality of today’s working world is that the so-called soft skills have come out on top and emerged as the most critical for any manager to have. They are now rightfully referred to as Power Skills and are the essential skills that any manager needs to create a top performing team that can successfully drive an organisation forward.

In the past, the use of the word “soft” has in fact discredited their value and has been a real barrier to their adoption within organisations.

If creating the right working environment for employees to flourish and prosper in an organisation is seen as key, then ensuring that leaders and managers have Power Skills is essential.

Companies find their biggest challenges not so much in the technology space, but in the values, strategy, innovation, change, ethics, culture, diversity and growth arenas.

What are Power Skills?

Power skills are basically behavioural skills:

  • Communication style
  • Creating and promoting a Vision
  • Negotiation ability
  • Team building
  • Reading a room and responding appropriately
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Changing to accommodate different circumstances
  • Understanding non-verbal cues
  • Successful collaboration

Power skills are complex and are difficult to acquire.

They require emotional intelligence and the ability to be aware and mindful of what is right in front of you, rather than hinged to pre-conceived notions. They are closely linked to life skills but in a work environment also have a commercial slant. They require an element of wisdom to successfully apply. They also require a deeper understanding of what makes people behave the way they do.

Because they are behavioural, Power Skills require leaders to lead by example in both what they do and, importantly, how they do it.

Hard skills still, of course, have a critical role to play in determining success. Employees and customers alike expect a leader to have a wide and deep understanding of the technical details and workings of the products or services on offer. However, there is now a real acceptance that Power Skills are such a huge determinant of organisational success that they have been elevated to the front row.

So, how can Power skills be learned?

A commitment by the Senior Leadership Team to the central importance of Power Skills is the starting point. This will usually translate into Leadership Development programs that encourage collaborative learning. Collaborative apps can also have a part to play here.

Commit to elevating Power Skills in your organisation and reap the benefits.

Have the discussions around the benefits of having Power Skills elevated to be a non-negotiable and central management and leadership skill. Then fashion and deliver a leadership development program, one step at time, to train and grow your senior team.

We can guide and support you to have the important discussions and develop a customised Leadership Development program that moves your organisation’s thinking and implementation of Power Skills forward.

Call us on 09 445 1077 or email


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The Biggest Employee Recruitment & Retention Challenges!

Right now some of the biggest concerns facing the country are about the massive cost of living increases we are all experiencing, the mortgage rate rises and the pessimistic economic predictions, not to mention the crazy weather patterns.

A tough environment in which to successfully run a business!

This last year has shown us how difficult it is to find the right talent to drive your organisation forward. This has led to a close and careful scrutiny of what is motivating employees to join, to stay or to leave.

Standing at the centre of every business’s success are it’s people, and the need for management to attract and retain it’s top performers. Your people will not be immune from the winds of worry sweeping across the country.

These concerns, which are mainly about money, are parachuting into the employment field.

When Covid was at it’s peak and was pretty much all that anybody spoke about, the employment focus was very strongly on employee wellbeing, and on the flexibility that was needed to successfully run an organisation. As the intense concentration on Covid has eased, the flexibility that was required then has become embedded in most organisations as a primary employee requirement for happy employment. The Government’s tardy rejigging of the Immigration settings helped usher in and exacerbate a period of labour and skill shortages that is still with us today. It has meant that employees have been, and still are, in a strong position to dictate employment terms.

Wellbeing continues to stand as a work in progress in many organisations, and still demands attention. However, flexibility is now predominantly a given and was really more last year’s news.

Flexibility has mainstreamed.

Employees are being hard hit with a weekly grocery reality check and believe that a worrying picture of what their personal financial situation is likely to look like going forward is clearly emerging for them.

Flexibility has now been overtaken by PAY as a primary consideration challenging employers.

Pay is now becoming top of mind for employees.

So, what can you as an employer do to ensure that you can attract top performers, and also retain your best people?

  1. Review your remuneration policy to see that it realistically addresses the 2023 employment situation and talent shortage
  2. Review your organisation chart and identify the top/key people that you cannot afford to lose. Also identify key roles in your organisation.
  3. Conduct a market check to ensure that you are paying at the correct level for identified people/roles
  4. Make sure that you are having regular catch ups with your people, and ask them how they are going at these sessions. If you understand their thinking you may be in a position to accommodate their needs and prevent them leaving. There is nothing worse than a resignation surprise
  5. Look to see how you can stretch your salary/wage budget
  6. Do some innovative thinking to see how you can pro-actively retain these key people. This may require some different solutions fashioned for each key person
  7. Make sure that your flexibility offering really is up there to meet employee needs
  8. Keep working hard at developing an organisational culture that is attractive to be in

The overall message is that things have moved along quickly from Covid’s big days, and that pay has edged flexibility as the big front of mind issue for most employees – although flexibility is still right up there as a must have element. As employers, it is imperative to assess the situation within your own organisation. Give deep thought to what influence you believe the pay you offer will affect the recruitment and retention of the talent you need in the next year.

Positive People have over 25 year’s experience working with organisations to ensure that their pay offering hits the mark. Call us on 09 445 1077 or email


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Developing the right HR plan for 2023

If nothing else, the past few years have taught us all how important it is to have the right people, with the right skills and motivation in our businesses. Having staff that will cope with change, support each other and make the right decisions has been a critical part of organisations successfully weathering this extremely difficult period.

And 2023 is shaping up already to be another year full of curve balls and surprises that your business, and team, must cope with.

Being prepared, focusing on the right HR areas, and having a strong HR plan in place will take centre stage this year as we navigate the year ahead.

So, how do you get the right plan in place?

  1. Start with your business goals.

Key to having the right HR plan in place is being clear about your business goals for 2023, and understanding what you need from your people to achieve them.

  • Are you planning growth? Then you will need a strong employment brand and recruitment strategy to attract top quality candidates
  • Are you changing your product or service offering? This will mean you need a team which is comfortable with change, and ready to grow and develop their skills.
  • Do you expect it to be a tough year? Your team will need to be resilient and engaged, to help them cope with the challenges this brings.

Knowing what you need from your team for success will enable you to focus on the right areas and ensure your plan is meaningful.

  1. Conduct an environmental scan.

Legislation, economic conditions and immigration settings all impact on your people. In today’s world it is essential to understand what is going on around you and to plan how you can work around impediments by having strong HR initiatives which enable performance and deliver staff retention.

  • Do you expect a fair pay agreement to be initiated, or has one been already?
  • How will immigration impact your talent pipeline? Do you need to work hard to retain staff as it is difficult to recruit?
  • How will your people cope with the increased cost of living? Do they need help with financial planning and are your wage levels keeping up with the market to support them through this?
  1. Assess your current HR practices.

Most Companies have gaps or improvement areas in their HR practices. Having a real understanding of deficiencies by working through each HR topic thoroughly will give you a clear overview of potential focus areas. It is important to dig deeper and go beneath the surface when undertaking this assessment.

  • You may have a performance review process in place, but do the reviews actually happen? And does it result in improved performance or is it a tick box exercise?
  • If you do conduct engagement surveys, do you create a strong plan off the back of them? And does your plan improve engagement?

Be honest as a business on what you do well and what areas don’t work as intended. This will ensure you identify the right areas to work on.

  1. Prioritise and create your plan.

Once you have assessed your current practices and highlighted areas for improvement, it is time to link these back to your business goals and environmental scan.

  • What HR areas will have the most impact?
  • What improvement initiatives will support your business goals the most?
  • What areas will cause your plans to fail if you don’t get them right?

In every business there are always any number of people initiatives that you can introduce.

Identifying the key actions in your HR plan will ensure you take the right steps in 2023 to create a highly engaged and productive workforce.

Positive People has been helping businesses create fit-for-purpose HR plans for organisations for over 25 years. Contact us now or call 09 445 1077 to discuss your 2023 HR Plan.



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Hot HR topics for 2023!

Hasn’t it been some start to the year??!!

After a seemingly never ending 2022, and the slow but apparent disappearance of the nasty Covid experience, most of us were looking forward to a long, relaxing, sunny Christmas break. However, the challenges just keep coming!

Being well prepared for whatever the year might throw at us is of paramount importance in 2023, as we look to settle back into the work routine and set our goals for the year.

With 2023 being an election year, we predict more uncertainty in both the labour market and with employment legislation. There may be changes to immigration settings, Fair Pay agreements may be halted, and we still haven’t seen how much change our new Prime Minister will make to current policies.

Operating in an environment where the future is unpredictable can be a challenge. The key to successfully navigating through this will be knowing what is important to your team, focusing on what you can control and doing it well.

Our predictions for what will be important in 2023 in the HR space are:

  1. Wellbeing and resilience

A Wellbeing strategy is no longer a “nice to have”. With all the challenges and uncertainty in the environment, it is a critical focus area. The success of your business will rely heavily on your team’s ability to cope with change, external economic pressures, and the stress this can cause. Having a well-planned and executed Wellbeing plan will help your team navigate through this period personally and ensure it doesn’t impact their performance.

  1. The talent shortage will continue.

While the labour market has cooled slightly, and even with changes to the immigration settings in some sectors, the talent shortage looks set to continue. We anticipate that the massive pay offers we saw last year won’t be repeated, as businesses start to realise the long-term impact of these, but it will still be competitive. Your employer branding and offering must be enticing and unique if you want to ensure top quality people join you and stay.

  1. Culture as a priority

The ‘talent disaster’ sparked by the great resignation has highlighted how important it is for people to be aligned with the Company’s mission and values. A positive and strong Company culture is essential to attract and retain top talent. Toxic workplace behaviours have been exposed and are no longer tolerated by staff. Having a real understanding of your Company culture and what needs to change is essential.

  1. Employee Experience

The recent staff shortages have turned the tables and meant a strong focus needs to be placed on what you can offer your staff. Recognition, growth, career opportunities, rewards and flexibility have become “non- negotiables” for employees. More and more staff are looking for a Company that genuinely values them and offers them what they need at work.

  1. Learning and Development

Much of the personal and skill development of staff has been on hold over the past few years, and motivated team members will be keen to move forward, learn and progress their career. Continuous learning supports change readiness, and staff are more open to trying new things and moving forward. It also is a key motivator for most people. Reassessing your development programs to ensure they are hitting the mark, and that you have options across all your team will pay dividends for you as your business moves forward this year.

Now is the time to truly reflect on your HR practices, culture and employee experience.

  • Do you have it right for 2023?
  • Is what you offer enough?
  • What do your team think?

Create a strong HR Plan

Creating a strong HR plan, which develops these aspects of HR and ensures you and your team are ready for success in 2023 will have you well placed to weather any other storms which come our way this year.

We can help with the development of your HR Plan. Working with you, Positive People have over 25 years of HR knowledge and experience. 

Call us on 09 445 1077 or email


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Leading your team through change

Change is inevitable, and as businesses adapt to rapidly changing markets it is more certain and more frequent than ever before. But how do you effectively lead your team through a restructure, relocation or major system or process change? Almost as certain as the need for change itself is the likelihood that you will encounter some form of resistance.

We embrace many massive personal changes in life like moving homes, marriage and new jobs. But these are elective changes that we’ve chosen for ourselves. Imposed change can bring about quite a different reaction.

This might be due to:

  • Loss of control
  • Fear of losing our job, status or responsibilities
  • Having to deal with ambiguity and additional workload during the transition
  • Being pushed out of our comfort zone resulting in concerns about whether we have the right skills or experience to be successful in the new environment
  • Loss of things that are valued

These are some of the reasons that people even with relatively minor changes proposed to their job can strongly resist.

To successfully negotiate change as a leader you must seek to understand and address the different emotional impact on each person in your team.

Most of us will move through a cycle of denial, resistance, exploration of options and information and finally commitment or acceptance of the change. Recognising where each member of your team is at will help you to move them through the process.

  • Denial – allow people time and space to let things sink in, provide as much information as possible and clarify why you are making the change
  • Resistance – encourage involvement, provide channels for feedback, keep communicating and reinforcing your key messages
  • Exploration – share the progress that has been made and what needs to happen next
  • Commitment / Acceptance – measure and celebrate successes, set short and long-term goals and focus on embedding the change and continuing to make improvements

If you’re still facing negativity and resistance, encourage your team to focus their energy only on what they can change or influence and then take action. Set up a session to discuss their concerns and divide these concerns into three groups:

  • What they can change or control themselves
  • What they can influence
  • What is outside of their control or influence

Follow this up by brainstorming what actions they can take to change or influence the issues from these categories. You can also talk about strategies for letting go or moving on from what cannot be controlled or influenced.

Lastly – look after people impacted by change, and look after yourself!

In restructuring processes, it’s important to check in with your team regularly. Offer them support and encourage them to seek support from others in their network. This could include family, friends, a counselor, careers counselor or financial adviser. There are a number of government-funded organisations and resources available as well as services your company can access to assist and support your employees.

Remember to:

  • Acknowledge and celebrate the wins – big or small
  • Accept people’s actions and behaviours as their responses to change and don’t take them personally
  • Take care with your own responses
  • Vent when you need to – but to the right person
  • Take care of yourself by eating well, getting enough sleep and making time for exercise and relaxation


In any change or restructuring process, it is essential that you follow proper HR processes.


Here at Positive People we have a proven track record in managing successful change processes that meet legislative obligations and support you to help your team feel respected, supported, involved and informed throughout the process. If we can help you with a change process, please call us on 09 445-1077.