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.,
- 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.
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.
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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
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?
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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.
Right now, the quest to find and employ the best people in their field is very competitive. For you to secure the super star your business needs, business owners and managers need to be doing absolutely everything that they can to ensure that people out there want to come and work for your Company.
This means doing a lot of things well – having a great culture, an attractive employment brand, offering personal and professional training and development, and to be very, very, good at marketing your organization throughout your total recruitment process.
“Hiring the right people takes time, the right questions, and a healthy dose of curiosity.”
Many organisations develop what can be described as a good set of recruitment systems. However, over time and with staffing changes, these systems become watered down, corners are cut, ad hoc additions are made and the whole recruitment process becomes incrementally weakened. This can result in you only attracting average candidates, and then also missing selecting the best ones from that batch.
There is no need to spell out what the outcome will be and, repeated a number of times, what this does to your chances of lifting your organization into the top tier.
To employ the best a top recruitment process needs to be in place so that you are 100% sure you are getting talent.
Focusing on the essentials is a great starting point to review your process:
- Decide on a Company recruitment philosophy and incorporate it into your recruitment policy
Do all your employing managers know that you only employ the best every time there is a vacancy? Does everyone involved in recruitment understand the need to only aspire to employ the absolute best and have a clear picture of what “the best” looks like? Yes, sometimes compromises do have to be made. However, the point here is to ensure that those involved fully understand where you expect them to start from. This is about their mind set and setting high expectations at the outset
- Develop a Recruitment Policy
Having a formally issued recruitment policy signals the importance of this critical activity. The policy needs to be regularly reviewed and continuously communicated within the organisation. It should include points related to:
- Company recruitment philosophy
- Equal Employment Opportunity statement
- Channels of attraction/sourcing
- Merits of tests /personality profiling
- Recruitment process
- Job offers and employment agreements
- Induction & on-boarding
- Review or Write a Position Description
Often, we ask the questions of whether a Position Description exists for a role and most usually the answer is “Yes”. We also frequently establish that the description is out of date, badly written and is not outcome focused. Make 100% certain that the Position Description that is going to be used to drive the recruitment is current and solid, and properly describes the role for which you will be recruiting.
- Think through the Person Profile
In addition to the skills, knowledge and competencies identified to successfully fill a role, it is important to reflect a little deeper and think through the amount of inter-action the role will have with others. For any role that has a fair amount of contact with others, be it through meetings or individual inter-actions, it is imperative to give consideration to what sort of personality characteristics the ideal person is likely to possess. Also, to consider the dynamics of the current group and think about what sort of personality would complement the team (and also what type of personality would create problems or not add value in the team). Person profiles can end up very long with generic descriptions, which are impossible to recruit against. Make sure yours are clear, succinct and really contain the key skills and personal characteristics of someone who will be a success.
- Carefully consider and choose the channels of attraction/sourcing for each role
Make sure that the sourcing channels used to find a new employee are appropriate for the role. Each role is different and a standard approach trotted out for every role may not be appropriate and can be a big waste of money. Consider networking, social media, internal incentives, referrals, internal advertising, SEEK and Trade Me advertising, industry publications and external consultants.
- Deliberately use the Position Description and Person Profile to evaluate each application
Make sure that these two documents remain top of mind when assessing applicant suitability for the role. Its easy to get side tracked as a candidate may have some other great skills, but they aren’t exactly what you need.
- Screen applicants via both a CV review and telephone screening
Rather than inviting Possibles into an interview straight away, screening Possibles via a brief telephone call can save a lot of time and effort. Using a few standard questions, the telephone screen quickly allows you to get a feel for a candidate’s suitability as well seeing if remuneration expectations align.
- Prepare for interviews by drafting a set of suitable questions
Put the time into preparing a set of questions that will be both standard for all those interviewed as well as relevant to the role. Frequently questions asked are done on the hop and are not well thought out or particularly probing. The interview is your chance to really find out a candidate’s suitability, so make the best use of the time by preparing well.
9 . A second interview is essential
It is imperative to conduct a second interview for a favored candidate as the second meeting allows the interviewer to see if first impressions still hold and also to view the candidate inter-acting in a more relaxed way. Depending on the role, a second interview also allows for more in-depth questions that are directly job related to be asked and for practical examples of transferable achievement in previous similar roles to be assessed. The all-important fit with the team and organization can also be explored in more depth.
- Consider a test or assessment of a favored candidate
For some roles, an on-site test can be very revealing and qualifies/disqualifies candidates simply. Personality assessments can be useful for more senior roles. Both tests and assessments provide more information for you to make a good recruitment decision.
- Reference checking provides external validation (or otherwise) of your impressions
Using a standard set of questions, with some role specific customization, allows for you to hear what others think of the suitability of your favored candidate for the role. Listen for subtle warning signs in their language as most referees will not want to directly provide negative feedback on ex-employees. This ability to read between the lines is an important part of the listening process in reference checking.
- Carefully consider your offer
Before making an offer, make sure that you are confident that the remuneration and conditions offered will be close to what the candidate expects. Whilst some negotiation is normal, ideally you would want your offer to be close to what the candidate would expect. This allows the new employee to join with a positive frame of mind, feeling valued before they start. If they have had to fight to get what they want (which you may have been happy to offer in the first place), it can create some dissonance before the employment relationship has even begun. Make sure that your Recruitment Policy spells out what the Company’s stance on pay rates is and ensure that offers reflect the intention of the policy.
- Issue the Employment Agreement quickly
Once you have made the decision to offer a job to an applicant, and have had the preliminary discussions/negotiations and have settled on the remuneration and conditions, move quickly to confirm the appointment by email, followed almost immediately by issuing the actual Employment Agreement. It often happens that tardy administration in this regard results in the favored candidate slipping away and accepting another offer. Then it can be all the way back to the drawing board. And often this second go at filling a role is hurried and conducted with less enthusiasm. Make certain that the Employment Agreement is signed and sealed prior to the start date.
- Induction and On-boarding really matter
Once the Employment Agreement has been signed, induction has pretty much started because in the new employee’s mind they project themselves forward and are already feeling associated with their new organisation. This means that any inter-action you might have with them from then on needs to be positive and reflective of your Company values. From there to the first few day’s introductions and orientation, and through the longer process of on-boarding, every step of the way needs to be professionally handled. This initial period in an organisation is critical and needs to be well organized.
If you need help with any aspect of your recruitment, we can help. Working with you, Positive People have over 25 years of recruitment success.
Call us on 09 445 1077 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Your people determine your success. And HR exists to ensure that your people are best able to achieve your business goals.
In these times, just letting the people connected aspects in your business unfold as they do can have a negative impact on your business. All HR matters need to be thought about, positively steered and well managed to get the optimum out of your people and also to prevent and reduce all associated employment risks.
This is where having a clear and communicable HR Plan is essential.
An HR Plan gives direction, assures your staff that you value them, and allows for all the different aspects of HR that impact on your business to be effectively managed for best return. And, importantly, it sets up a great employee experience which is key to retaining your good people.
An HR Plan will usually include:
- Key business goals
- Identification of the key HR areas in your business that will support the achievement of your business goals. For example – HR Strategy, Recruitment, Communication, Engagement, Training and Leadership Development, Performance Management, Culture, HR policies, Resource planning, Remuneration
- An objective associated with each of the identified areas
- Prioritised actions to take
- Assigned responsibilities
- HR Plan communication
- Monthly review process
With a solid HR Plan in place supporting your business objectives, you will be well set up to meet all HR challenges that arise head-on and ensure your business success.
Positive People is has over 25 years experience in developing and implementing HR Plans. Speak to us today. Call us on 09 445 1077 or email email@example.com
Covid-19 hit us with a bang early in the year. Health, business and social effects are still a problem and a worry to all organisations.
This has lead us to reflect on this very unusual year and consider what we have learned and, critically, to work out what actions organisations need to take to ensure that they can survive and thrive in 2021.
What have we learned?
- The health effects of Covid-19 have to be taken seriously
- Government actions have a profound effect on the running of the economy
- Every person is affected in some way
- The Government aid packages have been of great assistance to many businesses
- Many businesses have not survived
- Many business owners and managers have had to absorb significant responsibilities and stresses of the year
- Businesses have had to be resilient and prepared to do things differently
- Flexibility, agility and innovation have leapt to the forefront of business survival
- Remote working has become something for all organisations to get to grips with
- Mental health and wellbeing has emerged as a “must have” focus
- HR is not just about HR administration software and employment law compliance – it is much deeper and more relational
- Regular communication and contact channels with your employees are non-negotiables
- The importance and value of engaged and committed employees to organisations has never been higher
As an HR Consultancy servicing mainly medium-size businesses, over the last few months we have noticed a surge of enquiries from organisations wanting to develop and grow both individuals and teams, and to team-build. The importance of high performing dedicated and committed employees has never been more in focus.
This realization of the need to take positive steps to enhance individual performance and also creates a collaborative high-performance culture sets the scene for a successful 2021 HR strategy.
Amongst the top issues for a successful 2021 will be the quality of
HR in your business.
What HR things can you do to make sure your business survives and thrives in 2021?
- Develop an HR strategy that has individual and group development, and collaborative teamwork at its core
- Develop an annual HR plan that drives a disciplined approach to implementing the important People goals that you set
- Review your communication channels with your employees. Are they properly set up and do they really work?
- Ensure that you have groups set up for innovation and continuous improvement initiatives
- Ask your team to let you know what you did well and what you could improve on in your 2020 Covid-19 response
- Review the associations and partnerships that you have that potentially could help you out if further crises develop
- Review/introduce Remote Work, Flexible Work and Wellness policies
- Review your HR plan monthly to stay on top of these critical HR matters
2021 is just around the corner and the better prepared you are for what it may bring, the better you will both survive and be successful in your business.
Positive People have over 25 years’ experience guiding employers put in place HR initiatives that serve the business well. Call us today on 09-445 01277 to ensure you are well set up for a successful 2021.
Start now to think through the employment changes and challenges that will certainly confront you in the coming months.
The election was an historic one – Labour won 49% of the vote with a slam-dunk victory. This means Labour can choose to govern alone – the first time this has happened since New Zealand introduced a mixed member proportional (MMP) electoral system in 1993.
There are no doubt going to be many workplace challenges ahead – not least being able to afford the terms and conditions enhancements, as well as the ability to work constructively with Unions because it is a certainty that Unions will increasingly come to the fore in the next little while.
What does this mean for you? And what does it mean for workplace relations?
The Labour Party’s Workplace Relations and Safety policy is based on a principle that businesses and the economy will be boosted by supporting workers and valuing their contribution.
Specifically, Labour’s Workplace Relations policy commits to:
- Increasing SICK LEAVE – from 5 days to 10 days; Labour plans to do this within the first 100 days.
- Increasing WAGES and continuing to improve PAY EQUITY –the minimum wage will increase from $18.90 to $20 in 2021 and legislation will be introduced around pay transparency.
- Legislate and implement FAIR PAY AGREEMENTS- fair pay agreements are industry-wide agreements set by Unions and employers that establish minimum terms and conditions for workers.
- Strengthen key EMPLOYMENT LEGISLATION – changes to the HOLIDAYS ACT are planned to simplify leave calculations, and to allow sick leave and annual leave to be taken as it is accrued.
- A MATARIKI PUBLIC HOLIDAY will also be introduced from 2022.
- PROTECT VULNERABLE WORKERS – increasing protections for dependent contractors (dependent contractors are workers who are under the control of an employer but who do not receive the legal protections that are currently provided to regular employees); and, raising the age for workers to be allowed to perform hazardous work (from 15 to 16 years).
If you’re a business owner, it is important to start getting prepared now for these workplace changes.
- Think through the quality of the relationships that you have with your employees. The closer you are to them the better. The more engaged they are with you and the organisation the better.
- Consider what changes need to be made to your employment documents and processes (e.g. employee handbooks and employment agreements) to implement the changes to sick leave, the minimum wage, and the new public holiday. Think about the cost implications of these and start to factor this into your future wage budget.
- The implementation of fair pay agreements may mean an increase in Union presence in your operating environment. Consider how to work constructively with Unions. Get prepared for this by learning about your industry’s Union now, ensure you have a good understanding of the number of Union members in your business, and gain a good understanding of what Fair Pay Agreements actually are.
There are many workplace changes and challenges on the horizon for businesses. The impact on your organisation, however, can be minimised by planning ahead, bring prepared, and putting in place actions now that will make for a smooth transition when these changes take effect.
With all the employment complexities surrounding Covid-19, it is fair to say that organisations are now operating in a very different commercial environment from 7 months ago.
Whilst your Vision, Values and Purpose may not have changed, your Goals may well have to be amended or tweaked to reflect the scrambled environment in which you are now operating. In one way or another your operating environment will definitely be different.
Have you re-assessed your goals?
Having some clarity on these is useful as a driver for the whole business, and especially important to provide focus for your employees.
If you want your employees on board, then they need to know where they are going.
- Take an hour or two to reflect and decide on what your realistic short-term, medium-term and long-term goals now are
- Decide on the priorities
- Communicate these very clearly to everyone in the organisation
- Involve at least your senior team in working out and planning how to achieve these new goals
- Set short term actions that can be easily reset due to disruption
- Cascade these plans down so that everyone feels they are individually playing an important part in keeping your business alive and successful
These new goals are a great opportunity to provide your team with a fresh challenge and to inject some much needed new enthusiasm and energy into your workplace!
A couple of hours on your goals will be well-spent and will pay big dividends by providing a simple and clear focus for all.
Positive People has over 25 years’ experience supporting businesses to develop business plans that get you the right results. Contact us now to learn more.
It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it!
Every single person in New Zealand has had to deal with unprecedented and unexpected change. This will continue for the foreseeable future.
While we have been working together as a team of 5 million, every individual’s experience has been unique. Some have coped well in this ever-changing environment and become masters of sourdough bread – however this is not the reality for most.
Almost everyone we deal with has suffered some difficulty, whether it be the challenges of home-schooling, stress from the loss of routine, job losses or relationship difficulties. This will be the same within your team.
As employers, the challenges will continue, as we seek to manage through a global recession and pivot or improve to ensure your business survives. Now, more than ever before, it is critical you have high performing, connected and engaged teams who can operate productively in a changing environment.
Because of this it is essential to relook at your engagement strategies and ensure that you are implementing the right things for these times. This is a unique period, and we must use unique and well thought out techniques, which recognise the difficulties our teams face.
What your people need now is a deep focus on their personal wellbeing, to be heard and cared for, and to feel connected to you and your business.
Easier said than done we know. However its often the simple things which will matter most right now:
- Regular one on one’s – Traditionally one on one discussions have been focused on performance and held infrequently. To make sure you know and understand the ups and downs your team may be facing we recommend scheduling in short, frequent individual discussions. Changing the focus of this will also be key – try starting with asking “how are you going?” and then move onto work topics.
- Listening deeply – Now is the time to focus strongly on understanding your team, encouraging openness, and actively recognising when someone needs help. Listening deeply will not only help you connect with your team, it’s often all someone needs to feel better, to feel heard and to feel valued. How much do you talk in one on ones? It is time to assess that ratio and make sure you as a Manager are listening more than talking.
- Let your team know it’s OK to have “down” days – Every single person I know has had at least one day of Covid fatigue. They may be tired, have had something cancelled, or just feel worried. If your team understand that this is normal, and it’s OK to talk about it, then they will feel well supported and more likely to bounce back quickly. Developing a fun support framework for your team is also a good idea – and encourage teamwork and collaboration.
- Look out for signs of more serious mental health concerns – While it is normal to have “down” days from time to time, for some people it will become more serious than that. Watching for signs that any of your team members might need additional, professional support will be a great help to them and their family.
- Ensure you have 2-way communication channels in place – During the initial lockdown we all had to move at pace – getting safety measures in place, confirming pay arrangements etc. This meant a lot of business communication. Now that we have moved through this period it is time to assess your communication channels and double check that your team not only receive the information, but that the way you have communicated has resulted in them understanding your message. Can they ask questions? How do they give you feedback on what is happening? Implementing some two-way channels will ensure your future communication is more effective and allow it to be tailored more accurately for your team’s needs.
- Implement small regular Pulse Surveys – Your team’s priorities and motivators will have changed during this period, and they will continue to change as we face further Covid challenges. Moving from engagement surveys to quick regular check ins via a Pulse Survey will help you keep pace with where your team is at and make sure you have your support and priorities right for your team
- Take time to have a laugh – They say laughter is the best medicine, and often this is all people need to have their mood lightened and feel better about their day. Encourage a bit of fun amongst your team and join in! Your team will feel a far greater connection to you and your business if they see you right alongside them sharing in their experiences.
Most of all, at the moment, your team probably just need your time and patience. Now is a time where you can strengthen your culture, gain long term commitment to your brand, and build solid team connections.
Make the most of the opportunity. A strong team connection will mean strong business results!
Positive People have over 25 years’ experience helping businesses implement the right people solutions for their teams. Contact us now to discuss a Pulse Survey, or for any HR support you need.