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Deliver for your team and they will deliver for your business!

Recently one of our team was working with a newly appointed Supervisor, and he asked her advice on correcting some payroll mistakes. The back story was that his team had been working long hours for two weeks to get something urgent completed for a customer and through an administrative oversight hadn’t been paid their overtime. He was livid and sick of being told the office team were “too busy” to help right now. He and his team were on the verge of walking out.

While we managed to calm him down and work through the issue constructively, it did start us thinking about business priorities and reflecting on where your team sit on your priority list?

We act with urgency to deliver for our customers, and we expect our team to do the same…….

But how much urgency do we attach to delivering for our own team?

No doubt your customers don’t have to chase you to respond to emails, fix mistakes or answer questions. That in turn ensures that they trust you, want to work with you again and builds a true customer partnership.

Applying the same principals with your team can have the same results and is a solid foundation for engagement and high performance.

“If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.”

Richard Branson.

We all set high customer service standards and create excellent service philosophies, so we definitely should be doing the same for our own team. The simple things matter so start small, make clear promises and keep them.

We suggest:

  • Always pay them correctly and if there is a mistake fix it with urgency.
  • Reply to staff emails as soon as possible, in any event within within 24 hours, even if it is with a holding email to say you will provide more information tomorrow.
  • If you give them a time frame for an answer, keep it.
  • If someone in your team sets a meeting with you, prioritise it – turn up on time and only cancel in an emergency.
  • If someone in your team asks for help, say yes. You may not be able to help straight away (great if you can), but you can make it a priority and schedule a meeting as soon as possible.
  • If it is performance review or pay review time, do them when you say you will.
  • If you conduct a Staff Engagement Survey, provide feedback on the results and respond as soon a possible
  • If a re-imbursement is owed, pay it promptly

These basics, which actually only reflect common courtesy, are crucial!

You can have the most impressive HR systems and communication plans in the world, but if your daily actions don’t show your team they are important and your top priority, then the rest won’t matter.

Getting this right and having high internal service standards will help your team deliver exceptional results and get right behind your external customer service promise.

Positive People have 30 years’ experience helping organisations build strong teams.

Call us now on 09 445 1077 – We can help.

Chanel Finnigan No Comments

Are your team going to be disappointed this year?

Disappointment is the gap that exists between expectation and reality.

(John C Maxwell.)

Over the past few years, with high inflation rates and the cost-of-living crisis gnawing away at everyone’s pay packet, annual wage increases have been on the up. Many businesses did what they believed to be the decent thing and tried to match or exceed the inflation rate, resulting in increases of around or above 6-7%.

 While generous and appreciated at the time, what expectation does that set for this year? What is the reality? Is your team headed for disappointment?

This year’s economic outlook is very beige. The economy has slowed, many businesses are against the wall or have folded and costs are still increasing. Most businesses will have to consider any remuneration increase very carefully and, for some, consider if they give one at all.

But that is probably not what your team expects. Two years of good percentage increases will have set a different expectation for them. They will also be feeling the economic pressure, and may have got used to generous increases, perhaps now considering them the norm.

If you are considering a wage freeze or a small increase this year, remember that 3% may have felt like a good increase to your team five years ago, but it probably won’t today!

Before you approach review time, it is a good idea to think carefully about what you can offer, what your team will be expecting, and how you can manage the gap to avoid turnover and unhappy staff.

So, how can you approach this?

Start early

Often team members need time to understand the reasons behind decisions, process the information and adjust their expectations. Starting early with communication outlining the business environment, about the need to carefully manage business expenses and being vigilant to ensure a sustainable business will help to lay the groundwork for your remuneration decisions.

Good communication is key

Think hard around your communication plan for your remuneration review and include a range of methods. Alongside any company information, like letters that are provided, consider including Manager led meetings where a team member can ask questions and talk things through. This reinforces the reasons for remuneration decisions and enables better understanding.

Be clear around your framework

If you have 3% maximum to spend on increases, let your team know. If it is less or you have a range to work with dependent on performance, let them know. Transparency is key, as well as having a sound and clear rationale behind it. CPI is sitting at 4% for the March quarter so for many staff this will set a base, particularly if you have Union involvement. Be aware of this and make sure you factor this into your planning and communication.

Leave the door open for questions

Having a hard closed door for any decisions you make is never a good idea. You may not change the increase amounts you have decided on, but listening to feedback, concerns and questions will help you to be sure you have made the right decisions – and allow your team to feel heard on the matter.

Taking the time to carefully plan how you roll out your remuneration adjustments will be time well spent and could potentially save you the loss of valued team members.

 Positive People has almost 30 years’ experience helping businesses with remuneration reviews, frameworks and communication. We would be pleased to help you set this up for best outcomes. Contact us now on 09-445 1077 or


Chanel Finnigan No Comments

It’s about Succeeding Today AND Tomorrow.

Will you be ready when the tide turns?

Most people we talk to these days say that business is sluggish and the financial times are difficult to negotiate. We can also see this from the economic commentary in the press. Projects are being delayed, spending is down, and belts are tight.

The natural inclination during periods like this is to hunker down, retain the status quo and just keep things ticking over – BUT …. could you also be using this time better to prepare for when the tide turns?

The economy moves through cycles, light will appear at the end of the dark tunnel and things will pick up. When this happens, will your team be prepared and well equipped to take advantage of the opportunities that will inevitably be there? Will your team be motivated? Will they know what’s important? Will they still be with you? Will you be able to hire the talent you need?

Using this time wisely will set you up for future success!

Now is a great time to get pro-active with your HR.

Being in a re-active space with your HR means waiting for problems to arise before you take action. This eventually causes more pain, wastes your valuable time when you can least afford it, causes low productivity, ushers in poor morale and is quite often very costly. Moving yourself into a pro-active space will help you retain good staff, keep your team motivated and happy, and performing to a high level.

In short, it is about being professional and forward looking to set you and your organisation up for a successful future.

What to do?

1. Ensure your business is correctly structured – Is the organisation structure solid and well set up? Are the right people in the right jobs? Does this line up with your future business projections?

2. Create an HR Plan – HR is like any other business function. If you aren’t moving forward, you are going backwards. Taking the time to analyse the performance of your HR function and make improvements in the right areas will help to retain your best people and ensure that when you are ready to grow, your business will be attractive to top candidates.

3. Take the time to ask your team what they need from you – You know what you need from your team but are you crystal clear about what they want from you as an employer? Now is a good time to have those conversations, do some listening, and make positive changes to motivate and engage your team.

4. Make sure you have your basics right – We often write policies and processes, put them in a drawer and only pull them out when there is a problem. But if they aren’t up to date –more often than not they make the problem worse! Having accurate, up to date, legally compliant and well communicated employment documentation sets a strong platform for top performance from everyone in your business.

5. Focus on team development – When you and your team are busy and struggling to keep going, development often slips right down the priority list. Take the time to think about how you can enhance your team’s knowledge and skill set and take action now to develop and grow identified people. If your sales team had better relationship building skills, would it help grow your business? If your management team improved their leadership skills, would you see better results? There are some very cost-effective ways to ensure team development.

6. Ensure your team have their priorities right – When you’re busy, you do what’s right in front of you and whatever task is most urgent. But are these the most important actions that will drive results? Having these discussions with your team will make sure they clearly understand the right priorities and make the right decisions on what to work on.

Positive People can help you create a pro-active HR Plan which best fits your business and sets up for where you want to go.

Contact us on 09-445 1077 to find out more.

Chanel Finnigan No Comments

Lead for Results!

One thing we are hearing frequently from our clients these days is “I just want my team to get on with it!”

The past few years have been focused on wellbeing, empathy and have been very employee centric. And that has been appropriate. We have all learnt a lot and are better leaders because of it. But right now, with the economic challenges businesses face many of us just need our team to get things done – bring in the sales numbers, get products out on time, and contribute effectively to the organisation.

But it is easier said than done.

Our teams may also be doing it tough. They may be stressed about the cost of living. They may be tired and still coming down from the adrenaline rushes the last few years of panic have caused. It could be a myriad of things, but the upshot is that they may just not be that motivated to perform well.

The good news is that you can change this without banging your fist on the table or resorting to disciplinary processes.

Adapting your leadership style to what you team needs right now will bring positive results for both your team and your business.

It is time to Lead for Results!



  1. Be mindful of self – How are you feeling right now? Are you motivated? Are you action oriented? You might be feeling the same as your team, which you may be projecting on to them. Be mindful of your own well-being and energy so you are role modelling the behaviour you want to see.
  2. Manage for the now – In a period of low motivation, thinking about long term goals can be challenging. Everything seems so far away, and you can always start tomorrow. Keep your focus short term and immediate. Focus on actions and outcomes you want right now so your team have the impetus to get cracking today.  Small regular successes will also provide them with positive reinforcement to enhance motivation as they see and feel progress being made.
  3. Keep outcome focused – There is a lot to do, with many people doing different things. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Pick and choose what you focus on and make sure you know what is important. This will keep your team focused, on track and clear on what needs to be achieved.
  4. Give more control – Times are tough for some people, with external factors like the economy, food prices and mortgage increases being out of their sphere of control. When there is change or the creation of stress that seems beyond our control, many people move into a stage of inaction. You may be seeing the results of this with your team. So, give them more control like allowing them to choose their hours, their working pattern or have them lead team meetings if appropriate. The more you put into their circle of control the more positive action they can take and the more motivated they will become.
  5. Communicate, communicate, communicate – Don’t assume you can set your team goals and send them merrily off to achieve them. Keep the communication frequent and on point. Constant feedback, discussion and reminders of what is important and what you need from them will be critical to getting them action oriented.

In some instances, this won’t work, and you will have to have more formal discussions. However, this doesn’t have to be your starting point. If you adapt, so will your team – and everyone becomes a winner when that happens.

Positive People have over 25 years’ experience helping businesses create high performing teams.

Call us today on 09-455 1077 to find out how we can help you.


Chanel Finnigan No Comments

Is your organisation “right sized”?

Cash flow projections can get you thinking and force you to look for cost savings.

No-one wants to look at their staffing efficiencies, but with wages and salaries often the biggest cost for a business, it is unfortunately imperative to do this to ensure this is money well spent.    

It can be that you look around your workplace and think “Why is that person always so flat-out busy?” or alternatively “How does that person fill their day?”

Work has changed over the past few years, and with it the demands and tasks for your teams may have changed too. It is important that you have balanced roles and workloads.

Organisational structures of today demand too much from a few, and not much at all from anyone else.”

(Gary Hamel)

Being right sized doesn’t necessarily mean reducing the size of your team.

It is about making sure you are well organised and have the right resources focused on the right priorities to successfully achieve your business goals.

If you want to make sure you have a “right sized” team, here are a few key pointers:

  • Your overall organisational structure – Is this aligned with your vision and goals? Is it best designed to make sure you have the teams working together and achieving what they need to achieve? Should teams be working closer together or could your structure be arranged differently to get better results?
  • Role size – Workloads have changed considerably over the past few years with the challenges we have faced, and this may have caused some of your roles to be unbalanced. Has the workload increased in any areas, or decreased in others? Does anyone seem overworked? Or underutilised? Are some departments struggling to complete everything they need to? This may mean some tasks should be reallocated, some roles re-scoped, others could be merged, or a more significant change may need to take place.
  • Clear accountabilities – Is every single person in your organisation crystal clear and focused on their key accountabilities and outcomes? Do they know how these relate to your overall business performance? If you cannot articulate what these are for each role, chances are your team can’t either. This may mean they are spending time on the wrong things, rowing in a different direction to the rest of the crew – or on a different boat altogether!
  • System efficiency – What can you automate, and what processes can be improved to save time? Imagine how much impact some of your team could have if they were working on business improvements rather than completing administrative tasks? Or how many $$ you could save over the next few years if you could reduce paperwork and inefficiencies? It is worth reviewing and investing in as you get set for the future.
  • Options for true workforce flexibility – Many jobs and tasks don’t need to be performed for 40 hours a week every week. You will have peaks and troughs and changes to requirements will shape these hours. Are you flexibly set up to take advantage of this or are you paying a salary even when there is no work to be done? Consider outsourcing, contracting and casual resourcing. These options can be far more cost effective and give you “right sized” flexible coverage when you need it.

Positive People have over 25 years’ experience helping businesses set up the right structures to align with your business goals. We can help you “right size” your organisation, then guide you successfully through any processes required to put the changes in place and offer you flexible resourcing in the HR space. Call us now to discuss your requirements.




Chanel Finnigan No Comments

Are your team on board?

New year – new you! It’s that time of year, isn’t it?

With the sun shining and a proper summer under our belts, it’s time to settle back into routine and get back to business. Many of us come back from the break with an added vigour for reaching our goals, moving forward, and setting ourselves and our businesses up for success.

But are your team on the same path as you?

You might be enthusiastic and have a clear path ahead of you, but no employer can achieve their goals without the commitment and efforts of the people around them. Just as important as your business planning is taking the time to think about what your people need and how you can inspire them to take the journey with you.

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”

Henry Ford.

Easier said than done right?

Here are some ideas to consider, to make sure your team are fully on board and with you every step of the way:
1. Communicate your vision and plans – A key starting point for having your team on board is to make sure they know where you are going, why it’s important and to help them feel excited by the possibilities.

Often Companies approach their vision like a “one and done” exercise – one presentation and everyone will know it, be brought in and working towards it. Not so.

Now is a great time to re-energise your team by taking about your vision, helping them to understand the difference your business can make and feel excited for the year ahead.

2. Develop your WIFM – You care about your plans, your Board will care, your management
team will care – but do your people? And why should they? Think carefully around how your
business success will benefit them. It may for the greater good, for financial success or job
security. Whatever the reason is, be clear and communicate this. Your team also need a
reason to care.

3. Create an HR plan – Having a strong HR foundation which creates a great workplace will help
to foster motivation and encourage your team to support you. Reviewing your current HR
practices, identifying improvement areas, communicating your plan and following through
on it is key. It will help your team to see that they are important as well, make them feel
valued and encourage commitment to the business.

4. Check your engagement levels – The start of the year is different for everyone. Some feel
energised, some feel ready for change – and some just want to go back to the beach! A pulse
survey helps you check the mood and put some “quick wins” or initiatives in place which can
refocus and energise your team.

5. Communicate, communicate, and communicate some more – Once again, “one and done”
won’t get you the best results and commitment you need for success. Review your
communication methods and make sure they line up with where you want to go this year.
Do you include regular business updates, town hall events, celebrations of success and
milestones? Once you have your team committed to your goals, you will need to have a plan
to keep them with you throughout the year.

“The bigger the dream, the more important the team. “

Positive People have over 25 years’ experience helping businesses motivate and engage their teams.
We partner with you to create HR plans which support business success. Contact us now to find out more.

Chanel Finnigan No Comments


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.