Why is applying for a job so painful?

By Michele Cameron, Michele Cameron 0246 2Manager, Business Development, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

 

It’s that time of the year where candidates are looking for a change.  Most recently I’ve personally helped three friends too!  For whatever reason, you’ll find yourself at a crossroad and think if I’m not going to stay here, then now comes the painful part, you ask “where do I belong next?”

 

Job hunting should be easy with technology, right?  WRONG!  Technology allows job opportunities to be advertised through multiple job platforms and social media sites.  It’s easy to click “Apply now” button and send your resume through but it has also created higher online competition for roles.  Some social sites will show you how many candidates have already applied and you might be already a number 30-50 after only a few hours of the job being posted!  I know it’s stressful especially knowing that these days you don’t get a phone call and sometimes not even an email rejection.

 

What goes wrong in our job hunting search:

  • Job hunting is reactive – you don’t actually know what you want.
  • Mass applications – you might apply for everything and roles not at the right level.
  • Frustration – letting emotions get the best of you
  • Impatience – finding the right opportunity takes time than jumping to the first offer

 

How to make job search less painful:

  1. Do some self-reflection – what do you want in your next role, what do you like in your previous jobs and target your search on this criteria
  2. Be proactive and do research – what companies or industries interest you. Apply direct with company websites as they may not externally advertise.
  3. Network – grow your professional circle of experts and seek advice. Go to industry events.  It’s a great way to uncover other opportunities that aren’t advertised, through recommendations.
  4. Find reputable recruitment agents with experience and contacts to leverage. You’ll have more eyes and ears in the market to think of suitable roles for you.
  5. Review and edit your resume – take time to think of your achievements/ projects and know the transferrable value/skills you can bring to the next role.
  6. Social media profile like LinkedIn/ job platforms are current so potential employers/ recruiters can find you and reach out also.

 

Job searching does take time and it’s full of rejection which no one wants to experience.   Do remember everyone has a place in the workforce. It’s an uncomfortable process but you might be pleasantly surprised about the different opportunities which may present themselves and the experience is truly valued by the next employer crying out for those skills.

 

Quote – “Don’t be afraid to take a risk.  You can’t lose whether you succeed or fail.  You’ll grow either way, but what you’ll regret is not trying.” By Helene Lemer

 

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter or call on +61 7 3230 0033.

 

 

 

The Pivotal Point of Career Change Decision Making

By Michele Cameron, Michele Cameron 0246 2Manager, Business Development, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

As a recruitment consultant reviewing resumes and seeing people’s LinkedIn profiles, I often wonder what are the drivers which make people change careers?  Also what makes a person stay in the one job for a number of years?

I recently read a book by Jim Winner – Split Second Choice, The Power of Attitude.   This book explains the cycles each of us go through when we make a major change in our careers. If you can learn to recognise these cycles, you may be able to work through them instead of repeating past mistakes. It helps you realise how important your own attitudes can lead to a situation.

When you start a new role or join a new company you are in the first phase of “excitement” living the dream and commitment.  After a few learning challenges you may then experience “frustration” and move through emotions of – shock, denial, fear, anger, justification and acceptance.  When we reach this point, we start “looking.”  This is when we end up repeating the cycle.

Or the other option is realising our emotions and instead of “looking”.  We can reassess and “recommit” to the original dream and goal.  It’s about re-dreaming the dream, having short terms goals and a mentor to give you support or perspective on your goals.

STAGES ARE:

  1. Excitement
  2. Frustration – shock, denial, fear, anger, justification and acceptance
  3. Looking ….. OR ….. Recommitment

These stages identify significant patterns that influence every aspect of our lives. These patterns eventually become habits for us and often are followed with no conscious thought.  However, by being aware of these patterns, you can take control of the behaviour they cause, and find connections to the solutions that make these patterns work for you, instead of against you.

This simple framework encourages us to learn how to identify the decision point, make the right choice, and be successful in all our endeavours.

As John Maxwell says: Motivation determines what we will do, and Attitude determines how well we will do it.  Commitment determines when we will do it, and Recommitment determines whether we keep on doing it.

Contact us on (07) 3230 0033 to arrange a time to come in and meet us and discuss how we can be of assistance.

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter or call on +61 7 3230 0033.

 

 

 

How to fit in with a close-knit team!

By Michele CameronMichele Cameron 0246 2

IT/ICT Senior Recruitment Consultant, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

It can feel like high school all over again when you step into a new job and you are part of a small team who knows each other very well on a personal level as well as operating like an efficient work machine bouncing ideas and working through processes quickly!  All you can do is smile and not feel insecure as you learn your role, procedures and find your place in the team.

As a manager, bringing in new faces and personalities into a team environment can be difficult when the group has an established dynamic. But don’t worry, there are things you can do to make sure all of your employees, new and old, feel at home when they come in to work.

Here are my top tips:

1.    Hire for fit – Bringing on someone new is easier by hiring for both skill and fit during the recruiting process. Keep your culture and the personalities of your team front of mind as you write job posts and ask questions during the interview process. Also consider panel interview sessions consisting of other leaders on your team. They can be big help when pinpointing candidates who are a great fit.

2.    Social side – As part of the final stage of selection invite the interviewee to meet a few members of the team for a coffee or after work drink. It’s an opportunity to meet in a less formal environment and hopefully you’ll see more of their personality in a relaxed environment.

3.    Make time for introductions – Make the new hired candidate welcomed by taking time at the start of the day to introduce new employees to each member of your staff individually. Give them enough time for people to match names with faces and possibly find a point of connection. This is a great gesture that can help set the tone when someone new comes on board.

4.    Assign a buddy – Paring new hires with more experienced employees can help a new hire navigate through the work environment. It can help a new employee feel valued, less isolated and to help them through the probation period.

Remember that it always takes time to integrate someone into the rhythms of a new workplace. But it never hurts to make the extra effort to help someone feel welcomed.

If you’re the new starter – here are a few self-care tips:

  • Be patient and kind to yourself, it takes time to develop relationships
  • Keep realistic expectations – remember you’re new, learning and you can’t know everything straight away
  • Work to add value to the team and show the right attributes that you’re a team player
  • Check in for constructive feedback from senior peers and your manager

I wish you all the best!

Contact us on (07) 3230 0033 to arrange a time to come in and meet us and discuss how we can be of assistance.

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter or call on +61 7 3230 0033.

 

 

 

Eden Ritchie Recruitment Directors attend World Business Forum Event in Sydney

By Justine Eden, Director, Eden Ritchie Recruitment 

Justine Eden
Justine Eden

Last week Kim and I attended the 2018 World Business Forum, held in Sydney. We have attended this event for the past few years to hear a variety of leading business, academic, entertainment and sporting leaders share their views.

Sir Ken Robinson, author of “The Element” (recommend you read this), spoke on creativity. Sir Ken has a focus on innovation and creativity and regularly challenges established structures such as those in business and education. In his words, “Committees are where great ideas go to die” (couldn’t agree more). Sir Ken does a large amount of work in the education sector and noted that traditional education structures such as conformity and corralling kids based on age kills creativity and innovation, apparently Finland has the right approach. As a parent, this was of great interest to me and particularly as my own learning experience both at school and university was (in my opinion) largely focused on rote learning and exam based assessments. Recommend you watch the upcoming documentary in which Sir Ken features “In Search of Greatness” which is out soon and features outstanding sporting talents – I will be watching it with my daughters.  [View the YouTube Video of Sir Ken Robinson at WOBI 2018]

Shara Evans a futurist spoke about technology. She described our New World as VUCA which stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous. Shara outlined a range of technological initiatives such as the Hyper Loop set to revolutionise passenger and freight transport (please can we have one between Sunshine Coast and Byron Bay?). An interesting concept was that in Shara’s opinion organisations need to be more comfortable with failure and that they need to learn Fast rather than fail fast. She states that Australia suffers from being too conservative and risk adverse. Shara listed some interesting jobs of the future that included Regenerative Medical Technician, Brain Interface Technologist and Genetic 3D Designer. Guess that’s great news for those with kids that are medically/scientifically aligned? [View the YouTube Video of Shara Evans at WOBI 2018]

Stew Friedman author of “Leading the life you want” spoke on leadership in an a highly practical session had us analysing the personal and professional intersections of our lives. The tools he took us through had us understanding the consequence of our choices and developing ideas to better align what is important with every day actions to improve personal satisfaction and performance. He noted that big change is an accumulation of small wins – personally this is something that resonated with me. Stew also encouraged us to think more about creating harmony than conflict, and also to be more curious and optimistic about creating change. [View the YouTube Video of Stew Friedman at WOBI 2018]

Mark Webber, F1 Aussie legend spoke about drive (no pun intended) and performance, his discussion was really interesting and he outlined life lessons learnt from his career, although retirement for him at 42 does not seem to be sitting well with him, being so naturally competitive and high achieving. It got a bit awkward when Mark was asked why so few women are in F1 and his observations of the differing inclination towards risk he believes exist between the sexes, proved there is still a long way to go to challenge the power structures and misbeliefs within some sports.

Chip Conley strategic advisor to Airbnb comes from a considerable background in hospitality in the US, he spoke about new management. He outlined the three forms of intelligence we all need – EQ/IQ/DQ (digital intelligence). He stated that the organisations that are at risk are those that have grown complacent, lost touch and didn’t imagine a new set of customers, didn’t take competitors seriously and didn’t understand the true essence of their offering.  He stated that at the most basic level, companies meet customers’ expectations (this is survival mode), the next level is where companies create commitment but by being able to read customers unrecognized needs is where you are in essence reading your customers minds to deliver services or products they were unaware they wanted or needed. He outlined that companies need to be able to read their customers unrecognised needs by finding a tool for deeply understanding customers’ needs and changing tastes, essentially this is the psychographics of your core customers’, as well as to create a feedback loop to help create constant improvement in your service. [View the YouTube Video of Chip Conley at WOBI 2018]

Lots to take away and consider, great to have time away to think and explore, looking forward to implementing some of this!!

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

WOBI 2018

Happy Birthday! ERR turns 22 years old …

By Justine EdenJustine Eden

This week Eden Ritchie Recruitment celebrates 22 years in operation. Reflecting back on the journey – we and the business have changed and experienced so much. It’s a great time to be in recruitment right now, we can’t keep up with demand, and that is business wide across all of our divisions.

Recruitment is one of the leading economic indicators – it rises and sinks and can turn with rapid momentum. At the moment we enjoy the up-swing; how long will that last? You would need a crystal ball to predict, but all the indicators are good for the moment. Personally, I can’t believe it’s been 22 years, and that I am still doing this. It is the variety of what I do that keeps me engaged.

I am extremely grateful for the support I have from my Eden Ritchie Family. We are blessed with a number of really talented individuals who care about what we do and totally get what we are trying to achieve as a business and service provider. I talk with many business owners and more often than not it is the staff aspects that undo you; that sometimes make you really question the fabric of what it is you or your business represents.

We have had our fair share – without doubt. But outweighing that are the bloody legends on our team who drag themselves in, even if not feeling the best, who always have a smile in the face of adversity and will never tell me that they aren’t able to do something for me or a client. I hope they know how proud I am to have them on our team, I know I probably don’t tell them enough.

It’s also an honour to work with the candidates and employers that we have the opportunity to assist. For me it is a chance to make a small difference, to guide a good decision, to challenge perceptions, to get some lateral thinking happening and help to build businesses and careers. Their trust, encouragement and continued support (we still have our foundation client that gave us our first order!) mean the world to me.

I am passionate about Queensland, I am passionate about maximising opportunities, and I am excited by the future – there is so much potential.

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

 

Make the best first impression with the right resume…

Alana Hunter 0023 2

Alana Hunter

As recruiters, we get all kinds of resumes sent to us – long ones, short ones, fancy ones and some not-so-good ones.

I’m sure most of us have tried to make our resume as slick and shiny as we can to show off our design layout capabilities and have them stand out from the rest. BUT unless you’re applying for a graphic design role then I would give any tricky designs the flick and stick to the good old fashion simple resume!

“Why?”, you ask…to tell you the truth no one is interested in looking at pretty tables and pictures on your resume. Your resume needs to tell your professional story – we just want to clearly see your experience and skillset, as this is what will determine whether or not your resume is selected over another potential candidate.

This doesn’t mean that your resume needs to be boring or unattractive – it is just more effective to make yourself stand out with your experience and achievements, rather than copious amounts of pictures and graphics! Remember, it’s a professional resume not a marketing flyer.

Keep in mind when you’re preparing your resume, try and adapt it to suit that particular role with appropriate phrasing like “managed” instead of “in charge of” etc. Also, advertise your well-rounded experience, like personal passions, work ethic etc.

Make every word count! Square footage is at an all time high, treat every word on your resume like it’s expensive Sydney real estate.

Our team at Eden Ritchie Recruitment is are able to assist you with career coaching, resume development, interview preparation and more.  If you are interested, please call us now to find out more about this service.

The Importance of Effective Recruitment & Selection

By Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Your employees are your most valuable asset, they’re also your greatest cost, so it’s important to hire the right people. So why then do employers have so many difficulties recruiting staff. Employing the wrong person for a role is not only time consuming but will affect morale and productivity and is a costly mistake to make.

Before determining who to attract and select for the role, it is essential that you have a clear idea about what the job requires and the attributes of the person needed. Some people look for the ‘best fit’, the individual who will aspire to the culture of that organisation and one who will understand the needs of the business. Traditionally, job descriptions have been devised to enable the organisation to effectively decide what skills are needed to fill the position. By doing this, the candidate has some knowledge of the type of role they will undertake and from this will enhance job performance as clear ground rules have been set from the beginning. Conversely, the lack of a competent job description will in effect, attract the wrong candidates.

Some tips to adhere to when recruiting include:

  • Develop and design a proper job description, listing the actual skills needed.
  • Design an advertisement that outlines what you are looking for and what the job will entail. You get much better results, if you advertise specific criteria that are relevant to the job. Include all necessary skills, and a list of desired skills that are not necessary but that would enhance the candidate’s chances of success. If you fail to do this, you might end up with a low-quality pool of candidates and limited choices to fill the position.
  • Select the interview panel carefully – make sure they understand the role, their responsibilities and are provided with the skills to participate fully. In my opinion further training should be provided to panel members to ensure this.
  • Fully prepare for the interview, as it provides a vital opportunity to focus on what candidates can offer your organisation. The interview process is an opportunity to express your vision, goals and needs and it is vital that the interview elicits responses from applicants that can be measured against your expectations for the position. If you don’t use the interview to effectively eliminate applicants who don’t fit into your culture, you might find yourself dealing with turnover, confusion and disgruntled employees.
  • When you choose, a candidate based upon the qualifications demonstrated in the resume, the interview, employment history and background check, you will land the best fit for the position. Base your decisions upon specific evidence rather than any gut instincts. If you hire people who can do the job instead of people you merely like, you will have higher productivity and quality in your products or services.

When you effectively recruit, and select the right employee, there is a domino effect. Your new hire will do their job well, employees will see that you make wise decisions. You will gain respect from your workforce, which in turn results in higher productivity.

Finding your happy place

Michele Cameron 0246 2By Michele Cameron

Have you ever reached that point in your career where you hit a wall and you’re unhappy? I knew I had come to a cross road and had to make a change. It has been a few weeks since I’ve started with Eden Ritchie Recruitment, and I know I made the right move. I’m very happy! It has taken a few months to find the right company and a great team that aligns to my expectations. Overall both parties want the “right team fit” match.

How do you find this?

Lots of research! Here are my tips when you’re looking at a new opportunity.

  1. Learn about the company – How are they performing and profitable? What do they offer? What are the values, and do you agree with them? This information you’ll find through their company website, news media links and their financial report.
  2. What is their reputation? Do you have connections who work there you could ask or someone who worked their previously? What does the current staff say? Ones who’ve left? What do the client’s say in the testimonials? This information you’ll find through LinkedIn or Glassdoor.
  3. Who are the Managers/ team you’re part of? You might find this on the company site, LinkedIn or social sites. How long have they been part of the business? Do they have years experience or are they new? How is the team structured? Will you be mentored and supported? What’s the average tenure in the business?
  4. Does the opportunity excite you? Will the new role give you challenges? Improve your skills and future employability? How will the company provide you training in your first few weeks? What will be their expectations for you to deliver in this role short term and long term.
  5. Does it align to what you truly want? Don’t forget what is most important to you which makes you happy at work.

 Trust your instincts

Armed with all of this information, it’s important to go through the interview process with an open mind.  Look, listen and ask. There will be clues you see and feel around you: What is the office vibe? Does the staff look happy? How does the Manager speak and engage you? Ask lots of questions in the interview. After all, an interview process is a two-way street! Candidates don’t forget this!

I wanted to find a company with a good brand, strong reputation and consultative, customer service approach. There’s a lot of recruitment agencies who promise great, customer service but actually don’t. Luckily, I saved myself from jumping from one frying pan to another.  

 Making the decision to accept?

 Maybe all of this information might overwhelm you in making a decision? At the end of the day, you need to weigh up the pros and cons, and sometimes take other’s opinions with a grain of salt. Ultimately, it’s your career path you are building for yourself.  In the first month you’ll know if you made the right choice. In any on-boarding process the first week is critical for a new starter. If you’ve made the wrong decision, you have the option to voice your concerns with your Manager or start the job process again. I hope you don’t wait too long being unhappy in a role.

 Happy work days

When you’ve made the right choice – work becomes the easy part! I found strong leadership, great clients who value our service, candidates who continue to return to us and a collaborative team with strong expertise. I feel energized knowing I belong.

The Importance of Managing Up

By Justine EdenJustine Eden, Director

Having been in the recruitment industry for a few years now (not specifying how many because it makes me feel old!) I have been able to sit back and watch many people progress up the leadership ladder. Some more successfully than others. There can be many factors impacting on success of course, but in many instances I have seen the inability to recognize the need to manage up, lead to failure.

Managing up can sometimes bring connotations of having to “kiss arse” – excuse the language, and I would argue that if this is what you interpret as managing up you are missing a key opportunity. Many leaders can be overly consumed with managing down and depending on the profile of your team sometimes this is necessary – but you need to ensure this isn’t a long-term strategy.

You need to focus attention on managing yourself – your career, your education, your professional portfolio to ensure you remain relevant and challenged. You of course will have an element of managing down through delegation and KPI’s to ensure deliverables are met.

But – how to manage up? Be clear on who above you this could include and then determine how often and how you will need to feedback to each person. In person communication is an effective way to build rapport and trust followed by putting things in writing to protect each other.

A good executive should adopt a no surprises approach in order to have the back of the people they report to and should also be able to determine what is communicated and what is not to prevent information overload. No Board wants hundreds of pages to read through, so your ability to grasp and communicate the key issues and expand if needed, is critical.

By managing up you increase your visibility and intel because you should be privy to strategic issues and be on the front foot to ask for the opportunity to work on key projects. You will better anticipate future challenges and therefore be able to better position your team to respond. Knowledge and networks are the power base of any ambitious executive but like anything require constant work and attention!

The Digital Workplace

By Ben Wright, Recruitment Consultant – Eden Ritchie Recruitment

Ben Wright

I’m hearing the words “Digital Workplace” thrown around more than ever, and the uncertainty of what it is, and what to expect.  Gone are the days where the workplace was a physical space, occupied during business hours with allocated seating and computers for staff. The Digital Workplace is an environment that is always connected, allowing employees to communicate and collaborate in new and effective ways across an organisation regardless of whether they are in the office or over the other side of the world.

 A Digital Workplace breaks down communication barriers, encouraging a more efficient work environment allowing organisations to scale up more rapidly and provide a more flexible environment for staff.

A recent study conducted by Deloitte points out the benefits to adopting a digital workforce when it comes to the following:

  • Recruitment: 64% of employees would choose a lower paying job if it offered more flexibility and the ability to work from home.
  • Communication: the majority of workers prefer newer communication tools specifically instant messaging as compared to “traditional” tools like e-mail or team workspaces.
  • Productivity: Organisations with strong online social networks are 7% more productive compared to organisations without.
  • Satisfaction: Organisations that rolled out and installed social media tools internally found that there was a 20% increase in employee satisfaction.
  • Retention: When employee engagement goes up, there is a corresponding increase in employee retention of up to 78%.

 As employee demographics continue to shift, organisations are finding it challenging to support the needs of a multi-generational workforce. The businesses that will show the most growth in future will be those who break down the divide between people, technologies and the workplace, empowering employees to be productive regardless of their location.

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter, or call on +61 7 3230 0033.

Having quality performance conversations

Angela Anderson

Angela Anderson

Performance feedback is vital for employees as it provides information on what they are doing well and where they can improve. For new hires, it can assess their progress and ‘fit’ to the team and company culture, while for existing staff it can have a strong motivational effect and help to retain them in the organisation. Managers are responsible for providing feedback about an employee’s performance in accordance with organisational policy and frameworks, however often these conversations don’t go as planned or produce the desired results.

In some ways this is understandable, as these discussions might cover negative aspects, however feedback involving unfavourable information can be positive, if given tactfully and constructively. Its important that during these conversations feedback should also flow in the opposite direction – from employee to manager – so managers should be prepared for some surprises about themselves, whether it be in relation to workload, leadership style, or problems in the workplace.

A useful framework for having quality performance conversations is Perceptual Positions, a neuro-linguistic programming notion originally formulated by Grinder and DeLozier. These positions represent mental reference points from which you perceive things, collect and test information, and relate to what you experience. They can positively influence your ability to understand others and communicate effectively, particularly in feedback situations.

perceptual-positions

Whether manager or employee, you need to be able to act and use all three positions depending on the situation – which often means stepping beyond your comfort zone. Start with noticing the perceptual positions you’re already using and build your confidence to deliberately apply them further, as well as move between them in giving and receiving feedback. Recognise the importance of practice, and you’ll be well-placed to enhance your performance conversations and achieve the outcomes you’re seeking in the future.

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Jack Daly Says, “Do you have a culture by design or by default?”

AngelaNg

Angela Ng

Jack Daly is the real deal, a proven CEO and Entrepreneur, with 30 plus years of field proven experience from a starting base with CPA firm Arthur Andersen to the CEO level of several national companies, having built 6 companies into national firms, two of which he has subsequently sold to the Wall Street firms of Solomon Brothers and First Boston. I was privileged this week to have attended Jack Daly’s two-day workshop in Brisbane, on Building a World Class Sales Organisation and Winning Sales Strategies and one of the highlights I’d like to share is that to successfully grow a company is to have a solid and sustainable culture. Now, management is often told to build a great culture, but do they really understand what it means to do so? Firstly, ask yourself, do you have a culture by design or by default?”

Jack Daly clearly defines culture as the unique personality of your company – the people, the environment, the feel. Great companies build it with intention, because, as Jack Daly says: You can’t fake culture.” Culture does more to bring great people in, keep them there, keep them happy, and keep them working longer and more productively than any other factor. Jack Daly points out that to have a successful business you must create an environment where people WANT to go to work versus HAVE to go to work. One of the motto’s he shared at this workshop: Put the F word back in business. Make it FUN!”

Jack Daly rightly observes that many business leaders will design and articulate an ideal culture but never actually install the systems and processes needed to make sure it gets started and is upheld. He has put the keys to building an incredible culture into his book, Hyper Sale Growth: Street Proven Systems and Processes; How to Grow Quickly and Profitably, which I have purchased and read this week. An amazing book and would highly recommend it.

 Below are the four systems that Jack Daly says you will need to build a killer culture:

1. Systems for Recognition

Jack Daly explains that the people who work in your company should feel recognized and valued, from the very first day they start work. He suggests you should never start new people on a Monday, when things are unorganized and hectic. Instead, bring them in when things are humming and make their first day a day to remember. With your existing staff, small but regular gestures go a long way. Recognising milestones, achievements, and good efforts at any opportunity is sure to make someone feel valued and connected to the company. Recognition doesn’t need to be expensive, but it needs to be personal. Make sure you tie your rewards as best you can to desired actions. As Jack Daly says, You get the behavior you recognise and reward.” Imagine if today an outsider stood in front of your employees and asked, By a show of hands, how many of you are overly recognized? Put systems in place that ensure a full room of hands up. If you can only do one thing differently tomorrow, Jack Daly says: Recognize the people you work with directly and win their hearts.

2. Systems for Communication

Many companies get by, day after day, without building specific communication systems. But as companies grow, this approach results in people problems and systematic breakdowns. A top complaint employees make in HR surveys is I wish I knew more about what was going on.” Lack of consistent information breeds confusion, fear, and resentment. Jack Daly advocates establishment of some simple systems of communication between management and employees that will get everyone on the same page. Teams and departments should check in daily. There should be larger monthly, quarterly, and annual check-ins. Establish policy and practice where bad or difficult news is proactively brought to the table. Jack Daly preaches that the best policy is to shoot straight and don’t spin. Most importantly he points out that everyone must learn to listen: We’ve heard it often: two ears, one mouth, for a reason.” If you can only do one thing differently tomorrow, Jack Daly says: Shut down your inner voice and start being an active listener.”

3. Systems for Personal and Professional Development

Jack Daly says potential employees want to know why besides a paycheck they should come to work in your company and current employees need to know why should they stay. The best people see their careers as more than just salary and perks. They care about the overall experience they’re going to have while working each day. They want the opportunities for growth and development that can only be fostered in a growth-oriented work environment. Great employees want to become smarter and more productive in their careers. Their objectives are aligned with yours, so make the investment in them. Construct or pay for training that makes your employees better at their technical and people skills. Invest the time and money to cultivate your employees and you’ll end up with skilled and loyal management that will happily expand the company for decades. If you can only do one thing differently tomorrow, Jack Daly says: Discover the visions each of your employees have, and work to blaze a path for them.”

4.  Systems for Empowerment

Jack Daly explains how you can leverage the growth of your business by empowering your people. He stresses that a growing company needs active decision making by everyone, not just the CEO. But it’s not as simple as telling people to make decisions. If they don’t feel confident they have tools and authority, they will hold back and defer back up the ladder. Jack Daly says: To truly empower your employees, you must create an environment where people feel comfortable making decisions, as if they were the owner.” It’s hard to build this empowerment all at once. If your culture is clearly defined and aligned, your people will know what action to take. Every time you give over authority, your employees grow stronger. If they are rewarded for taking right action on their own, that behavior will expand. Put protective systems in place giving them the opportunity to fail safely so they can learn from error. If you can only do one thing differently tomorrow, Daly says: Give people power to succeed and fail on their own so they learn and grow.”

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

I’m Engaged!

Jade Mortlock

Hold the bubbles!

While I am sure my mum and dad can’t wait for this call I am not talking about a sparkly ring and white dress, I am talking about being an ‘engaged’ employee.

An “engaged employee” is one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organisation’s reputation and interests.[1]

How would your staff respond to the following 3 questions?

  1. Would you recommend this organisations service to your friends and family?
  2. Would you recommend this organisation as somewhere to work?
  3. Do you see yourself working here in a year’s time?

I attended the most recent Brisbane ACHSM Breakfast forum where guest speaker Ms Michelle Russell, Solution Manager, GE Healthcare Performance Solutions explored employee engagement as a key driver of organisational performance. She believes, and I agree, the above 3 questions will quickly tell you if you have engaged staff.

Regardless of your industry, research shows that organisations with engaged staff deliver better patient/consumer experience, fewer errors, stronger financial management, higher staff morale and motivation, less absenteeism and stress and specific to healthcare; lower infection and mortality rates.

10’s of thousands of articles and papers talk about ‘how to engage employees’. Although written specifically for the NHS ‘Staff engagement’ identifies six building blocks for harnessing the creativity and enthusiasm of staff, which can be applied to any organisation.

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  1. Develop a compelling, shared strategic direction – inspire your staff with a persuasive narrative about what your organisation is seeking to achieve and how staff can contribute.
  2. Build collective and distributed leadership – move away from top-down leadership and share authority, responsibility and accountability with staff.
  3. Adopt supportive and inclusive leadership styles – encourage leaders throughout your organisation to develop a broader range of styles, with less reliance on directive leadership and a greater focus on consensus-building, coaching and supporting staff.
  4. Give staff the tools to lead service transformation – give staff the training and support to improve their services for themselves, creating learning organisations, rather than parachuting in external experts.
  5. Establish a culture based on integrity and trust – develop a clear sense of your organisation’s values and live by them, including maintaining the highest standards of integrity and fairness, even when things go wrong.
  6. Place staff engagement firmly on the board agenda – start making time for regular board discussions of how to improve levels of engagement.What is your organisation doing to ensure the staff are engaged?

[1] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employee_engagement

5 types of people you’ll meet in every workplace

By Ben Wright

Ben Wright

I recently read an article that resonated, on the 5 types of personalities that you will find in every workplace and couldn’t resist sharing it with my networks. While each working environment can differ greatly according to its industry, scale and company culture, you are still bound to come across these personalities within the workplace.

Learning how to spot these people and work with them will help you build a stronger working relationship and support your own professional development.

  • The office gossip: Now this may be a stereotype, however there’s usually one lingering in the workplace – just waiting to pass on the latest gossip and titbits to colleagues. How do you get around this? Build a rapport by talking about the latest news and celeb gossip but avoid engaging in negative talk about other staff or even the company in general. Engaging with the office gossip can sometimes come back to bite you, so keep it upbeat, positive and about non-work related matters.
  • The noise-cancelling headphone wearer: Does your colleague insist on wearing their headphone or play rather loud music for the duration of the day? This personality can sometimes be tricky to work with, at first it may seem that they are disengaging from their co-workers, but don’t take it to heart. Studies show, depending on the individual, listening to music can increase a workers productivity. If you need to ask them a question, a simple wave or smile will get their attention- alternatively if they are ‘’in the zone’’ send them a quick email.
  • The team cheerleader: If your colleague’s energy level is through the roof before you’ve had your first coffee for the day and they seem to thrive on praising the good work of others – you’re working with a cheerleader. Don’t be suspicious of cheerleaders, appreciate that they have the best intentions, and play a vital role in boosting team morale. Embrace their positivity and make an effort to sing their praises once in a while in return.
  • The negative nancy: The polar opposite to cheerleaders, a negative nancy is generally the person in the workplace who rebuts the ideas of others, is reluctant to try new things and gravitates towards explaining why something won’t work. Don’t write these people off as being a downer, and understand that they are trying not to take the wind out of their co-workers’ sails. They often like to think of themselves as being pragmatic and realistic, so consider their opinions as much as anyone else’s to rally them, suggest you give that new thing a try and see how it goes – if it doesn’t work out they can always say they told you so.
  • The overachiever: You can spot overachievers a mile away!! They’re the busy bee that has a stack of projects on their desk, is always rushing off to the next meeting, insists on arriving early and staying late and always puts their hand up to volunteer for new work. While overachievers can sometimes seem to be exhausting to the uninitiated, these ambitious colleagues thrive on success. Look at them for guidance on managing your workload and bringing your A-Game.

Understanding how each of these personalities operates is key to managing a productive team.

Which type are you?

Get On The Right Side Of History

By Justine Eden Director Eden Ritchie RecruitmentJustine Eden

A couple of weeks ago I was having a conversation with a couple of friends who work in the legal profession. Faced with huge competition, narrowing panel services arrangements and clients shrinking legal budgets these two professional leaders were under increasing pressure to lead high performing, profitable teams.

I put the issue of market disruption to them – questioning the way they operate, and highlighted just one aspect – the perception of extremely long hours, timesheets and the lack of flexibility that they generally offer to their teams.

I pointed to a new breed of emerging firm that offers just that and appear to be attracting the best and brightest and are highly profitable. I could see their eyes glaze over and that the idea of disrupting anything (apart from a court room) for what is such a traditional industry, was out of the question.

This morning I read a related article and saw this:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-24/richard-branson-marissa-mayer-s-yahoo-work-policy-is-on-the-wrong-side-of-history

It resonated with me – few are the leaders that recognize performance based on results. And it clarified something for me as a leader that I have struggled with for a long time. I spent all of yesterday in performance reviews with my team. I heard A LOT about their great efforts – and don’t get me wrong I am big on putting in your best effort.

But when that doesn’t equate to results or tangible outcomes there is a real problem. Imagine as a business owner going to the ATO and saying, “well I tried really hard, put in my best effort – but I wont be able to pay the BAS this month”. That’s not a result the ATO are going to accept.

So why are so many leaders still so hung up on their people being visible in the office?? Why are so many leaders not having honest and frank discussions with their teams about their tangible results – and letting themselves be sidetracked by conversations about how hard everyone is trying?

Giving people flexibility only works for some people and some roles – don’t get me wrong, we have tried and both succeeded and failed. In our business flexibility is offered to those (where it is applicable to their role) who have demonstrated strong results over a sustained period of time. There has to be trust and mutual respect, you have to all be on the same page and clear (VERY) about what is required.

Change Fatigue – What is it?

Change Fatigue – What is it?

By Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Is there such a thing as “change fatigue”? In my opinion, there most certainly is!!! It’s that sense of dread that comes when another change is just around the corner.

I understand change is an important part of organisational growth. But I don’t understand why it is continually managed so poorly, with such negative impacts on both staff and the business. The purpose of change is to ensure currency and competitiveness in the market, reduce costs, improve efficiencies and increase revenue, it is not to create stressed, burnt out and overwhelmed employees.

Leaders sometimes unfairly equate change fatigue to resistance to change. Not true. People like stability (we are human right… not robots), but we can quickly adapt to change, if it is introduced properly. Resistance is the push back often experienced because of the uncertainty the change may have, which can create unfounded fear. Successful change management and staff engagement can usually help, however unfortunately, many leaders fail to address this… jeopardizing organisational success. A stressed and unhappy workforce leads to lost productivity, lack of competiveness in the market, and ultimately a drop in the bottom line.

Change fatigue is the product of poor leadership. Leaders often fear they are missing some essential strategy, positioning or concept, often driving the implementation of change so that they don’t get left behind in the competitive world we operate in. While I understand the need for change, too much change can result in confusion, disorganisation and lack of competence. People become frustrated with the constant loss of productivity, the expense and effort of packing, moving, ordering new telephones or changing numbers, inducting and orientating new bosses, losing team members, gaining team members and living in a state of continual confusion.

I accept that change is constant, but I don’t accept that it cannot be managed better. This is the one of the key challenges for leaders, who must operate in a world of constant change. Our ability to respond to change, ultimately determines our success or otherwise, in a highly competitive market place. So it pays to take the time to get it right!!!

Are you feeling the change fatigue or want to know more about this space? Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

ACHSM Breakfast Forum “Health IT Reform in Queensland Health – New Beginnings”

Written by: Bridget Young

1D6A0741

I entered the function room at Royal on the Park with trepidation, as I always do when arriving at networking events or forums – will I fall flat on my face and cause the whole room to turn and stare; will this be a valuable investment my managers and directors have made for my benefit; will I get some real market intelligence to help me with better serving my clients?

In direct order the answers to the above were No (thank God!); Yes (more thanks to the heavens!); and YES (FINALLY!). A public introduction to Queensland Health’s Chief Health Information Officer quickly confirmed why Mal Thatcher has been selected as the person to captain the sometimes ‘leaky boat’ that the public has often perceived as the IT component of our public health offering in Queensland.

With an ironic and self-deprecating sense of humour, it became immediately apparent that in keeping with Government’s Contestability and Fit for Purpose drivers, Mr Thatcher wanted us to know what he had achieved so far and was transparent about where he hoped to steer this ship moving forward.

Alignment with Health’s “Blueprint for Better Health “ and the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011 will be forefront in the ‘devolution’ from centralised Corporate services, enabling adoption of an Agile approach to Policy, Governance and Architecture to facilitate innovation. With an intended reduction of red-tape and reallocation of responsibility and accountability to the regional Hospital and Health Services, we will ideally see Fit for Purpose solutions determined by those best informed to evaluate what will work for their unique requirements, whilst still maintaining integrity and future integration options.

A very strong focus on eHealth, innovation and waste reduction should further stimulate ICT job opportunities and find us on the cutting edge of Healthcare Technology. Some topics of note included Digital services such as open data, security/privacy and archiving; Information as a strategic asset; As A Service offerings; core system replacement and a paradigm shift from “IT Projects” to “Business Transformation Projects” with IT elements.

A Moment In Time Can Change All That You Hold True

Written by Justine Eden

JustineAn innocent moment at home, could have lead to me burning my house down. It was confronting and made me question a lot of what I had placed value on…

My life is busy – but as it is for most of us. I always seem to be chasing that elusive extra 10 minutes in the day, the extra time that would make a difference between being on time or being late – again.

I’m at my best when I’m flat out – yes I can be a stress head perfectionist, but put under pressure – I perform at my best. I’ve always rated my ability to multitask and smirked at those of the opposite sex who appear incapable of multitasking.

I remember talking with a good friend of mine – an executive coach who drives performance through self improvement – who stated point blank that multitasking was ineffective.

He went on to say that you were better off focusing on one thing at a time and doing it right before attempting to move onto what you have to do next. I smiled and nodded at the time and thought – “no wonder you say that – you are a man and therefore unable to multitask anyway”…

But the other night as I listened to my daughter practice her mandarin for an upcoming language contest, and started preparing dinner – at the same time a call came through from a client – which of course I accepted…. We spoke for around 10 minutes and when I turned around the house was full of smoke from the pan heating on the element filled with olive oil, which I had totally forgotten about.

It struck me at that point how I hadn’t really been fully focused on any one thing and probably had my attention spread across 4-5 different things at the same time.   How effective was I really? How effective is multitasking ? I had the mantra of do it once and do it right drilled into me from birth, but the pace of life had made multitasking seem like the only way of possibly getting everything done.

I don’t think this “old dog” will totally learn new tricks. The adrenalin rush of getting it all done keeps me on the edge, but I am focusing on being in the moment and present. Meditation is top of my list of things to start and keep doing. Making notes keeps me on track and means I stress less about forgetting something. Paying full attention to the person in front of me – rather than letting my mind wander across all of the things I need to do is something I am practicing hard at.

Old habits are hard to change – but the wake up call was an opportunity for me to reassess……..

The Dark Side of the “Struggle to Juggle”

By: Kate Broadley

1D6A0555Last week I wrote about the some of the benefits for employers and employees of using flexible work practices. But I thought to be fair, I should talk about the challenges, or the dark side as I call it.

In reality, flexibility does not work in all workplaces. Yes I work from home, but not everyone can do this. One must be willing to work independently and alone. Of course there are fewer distractions and I get to avoid those unnecessary interruptions, but there is no office vibe or excitement, and no one to exchange ideas with. While this works for me, there are times in a business environment when your expertise is required and missed in the workplace, if you are not there! The type of work I do requires at times a quiet place where I can analyse information and write reports, so the home office is the perfect place. On the other hand, a lot of work requires you to be in the very hub of activity in the workplace. I don’t get distracted at home, but others find it impossible to focus.

I work in a small business with two fantastic directors, who are comfortable communicating with me through various mediums other than face to face, and who support and trust me to deliver what I need for the business. It helps that my goals and outcomes are clearly measurable. This has not come about overnight and I think it is unfair for employees to expect this. It has been created over time and built through trust, delivery of quantifiable and measurable outcomes, and some ups and downs along the way. In my opinion, without mutual trust, support and measurable outcomes, this type of flexibility cannot work.

And finally, I am never off the grid, given all the wonderful technological gadgets we now have access to, which create the opportunity for greater flexibility to fit work in and around all of life’s other activities. But whether technology has enabled greater freedom from the workplace is debatable. It is easy for working “anywhere, anytime” to turn into working “everywhere, all the time”. I check my emails all the time, I hate to admit this, but often before breakfast and even when on holidays. I am not expected to do this, but it helps me manage my workload. I like to multi-task, but does this simply exacerbate the “struggle to juggle” and put us at risk of burnout, which is one of the very things, flexible work practices seek to avoid?

Queensland’s Economic Growth through Innovation and Technology

1D6A0741An encouraging sign for IT professionals in Queensland is indicated by the recent release of GoDigitalQld – the Queensland Government’s Digital Economy Strategy and Action Plan. This roadmap, developed in conjunction with an independent consultancy, outlines ways forward to creating economic growth for Queensland communities, businesses and individuals alike. Queensland Government aims to work closely with other levels of Government, Business and Industry peak bodies to leverage opportunities, deliver better digital services and share information that will benefit all, including candidates in the job market seeking their next project, and clients seeking candidates with developing experience in emerging IT specialisations.

Demonstrated by the delivery of more than 50 new services online and with aims to reach 100 by the end of this year, we are already enjoying the “One-Stop Shop” initiative as consumers, which has resulted in reduction of red tape and time-saving for many, while the Government Wireless Network will deliver vital updates to improve multiple agency coordination by connecting thousands of police, ambulance, fire and emergency officers to the one secure digital network for the first time. In Health, we have started seeing better access to medical services via video link and pilot hospital constructions dedicated to innovation of services with Digital support enhancements. Tourism has received specific benefit from these initiatives reaching some of our far and wide destinations with ways to reach more visitors and promote our state. And for businesses, the Government will open up it’s data for public use with more than 800 datasets available on the Open Data Portal, which will help people use government data to create business opportunities and mobile applications.

With these offerings and innovations, we hope that we will see opportunities and growth in Queensland job markets continue as these strategies are embraced and delivered in our communities and businesses.

5 Tips for Staying on Track!

By Kate BroadleyKateFINAL

Whilst many people dread the people management side of business life, I have to say I really love it.  Okay, I don’t always love those tough conversations! But over time I have improved considerably in how I do this and really relish the opportunity to have a hand in helping people stay on track!

So here are my top five tips for staying on track!!

1.  Evolve or dissolve! In order to take your life to the next level you need to reinvent yourself.  So as you increase your knowledge and your own personal awareness, you must continue to evolve… change is constant and inevitable. It is the one thing that will never go away in your life!

2.  Support your colleagues. Hold one another accountable. Continue your group meetings with those people that you resonate with most. They will inspire you and help you grow.

3.  The fortune is in the follow through.  Even if it is only a small improvement each day, the change over a year will be phenomenal.  Be consistent, show resilience and your fortune lies ahead.

 4.  Find your own leadership style and embrace that.   See yourself positivelyremember if you see yourself in a negative light, then you will follow that direction in your body language, your communication and in your life.  Be mindful of your negative self-talk.  Make the choice to think a different way, it’s amazing the difference it can make.

5.  Be Courageous! Put strategies in place to move forward. Find and use mentors.  Think carefully about what you want from them and what you can contribute back to them. Remember it is a two-way relationship!!!

It is easy to lose focus on what really counts, so I personally try and follow these five key messages to keep me focused at work, on what really matters.

Eden Ritchie’s 18th Birthday Celebration

Gallery

This gallery contains 15 photos.

On Wednesday night Eden Ritchie Recruitment celebrated a successful 18 years of business … we would like to take this opportunity to share some photos from the evening and say a very big thank you to everyone who took the time of their … Continue reading

What we need is new, different and better…….

By Justine Eden
Justine

In a recent article (AFR 20/3/14) Karen Stocks, Twitter’s Australian MD discussed how her male mentors made her think more aggressively about pushing herself and believing in herself.  They stated that if she aspired to be CEO she had to be more aggressive in pushing for it.  Appointed as CEO in September 2013, the article stated that Karen Stocks has an accounting background and is a mother to two teenage daughters.  I found it interesting that that aspect was subtly thrown in….

Another article in the same edition of AFR listed the statistics of women in leadership teams for the country’s top accounting, legal and investment banking firms.  At Goldman Sacs out of 54 MD’s only 4 are women, but yet 91% of support staff are women.  In the legal profession, women are equally represented at the special counsel/senior associate level but at Clayton Utz, women only represent 20% of partners.  The current debate at political level is that “gender reporting data is critical to driving change” (Helen Conway, Director Workplace Gender Equality Agency).  Maybe, but is that a simplistic approach to a systemic issue?

Maybe many women don’t buy into what it takes to get to the “top”?  Particularly at traditional “institutions” such as many of those firms dominating the legal, banking and accounting professions.  Often those firms are characterized by the level of male domination and many existing in them are determined this will continue through embedded cultures and inflexible working structures.  The subtle expectation is often that women will opt out or settle at a level because of reasons such as children.

New players challenging the status quo in these professions have the top tier firms taking note; emerging professional services firms are picking off some of their top talent.  Hive Legal, a virtual firm, was established to “challenge the status quo”  (Lawyers Weekly, 20/2/14), their team can work remotely and this “gives experienced lawyers the opportunity work more flexibly”.  Watch this space, as this firm has already picked up big name clients and talent to join their ranks.

Maybe many of us are just over the grind?  The lack of inflexibility in workplaces impacts both genders, and the politics and constant focus on revenue and cutting costs can be exhausting.  I believe it’s as multi-dimensional as we are.  Women often don’t see themselves as ready to contest the “top” job.  Workplaces and cultures need reform.  But bring on the new breed I say and do it faster!  Because what we need is a lift in engagement, productivity, flexibility and creativity….

Remind me again – Why am I doing this?

JustineWritten by: By Justine Eden

 

Ever found yourself doing something and wondering why you wanted to do this in the first place?  Or perhaps you agreed to do something as a favor to someone you respect, but ended up regretting getting involved?  I have.

Unfortunately my forays into doing “community” based endeavors have not always played out as I imagined.  I went in really excited – feeling it was an opportunity to contribute back to a community that I had lived in as well as get involved in a different sector that interested me.

While these ventures have been wonderful as far as meeting new people and building new friendships what’s surprised me is how often dysfunctional these organisations are.  Boards are usually made up of strong personalities use to being the “captain at the helm, calling the shots”.

I believe that when you are responsible for public funds the need for transparency and governance is absolute and that’s something I take very seriously.  From the way cash is collected and controlled through to the way funds are spent and what it is spent on – there has to be a clear objective that everyone is aware of and the majority agrees on.

Many community-based organisations are run by volunteers who may or may not have a business background, but still bring a myriad of skills that are valuable in every respect.  Discussions seem to take longer to reach a resolution and often you don’t get a consensus but I don’t think that is a bad thing, just sometimes frustrating.

There’s no doubt that most people have the best intentions, but too often hidden agendas and power plays seem to get in the way of appropriate “corporate citizen” behavior.  Many have been immersed in the organization for considerable periods of time and therefore struggle with the new and emerging landscape, where to remain viable you have to change.

There’s a lot of good being done, of course, but like anything, it has to resonate with you.  There needs to be a fit and a connection where you feel like you are making a contribution to the greater good.  For me, its early days and I’m not saying that I am totally giving up, but I have been left wondering if it just not for me……..

Success in 2014 …

Jane Harvey

By Jane Harvey

It sounds so basic but many a great motivator over the years has stated that the whole secret of personal success is to find out what your calling is, and then do it. Sound easy?? The great question for success has always been, how do successful people get there? Why is it that some people naturally think in a positive way, while others don’t? What determines your success or lack of it??

Many successful people I have interviewed and spoken to over the past (too many) years, have been asked the simple question, “What do you think about, most of the time? And where do you see yourself in 10 years” Their answers are so simple yet so profound. In short, they either choose to be positive… or they don’t.  They either think about what they want, and how to get it or they think about the obstacles in their path.

Successful people all think the same… and I think that if you look at people who seem to have come from nothing and succeeded. They are not super heros or even always academic. The common denominator is almost always the power of positive thinking and self belief. Your self-concept plays a prominent role in almost everything you think, feel and accomplish in life. By looking at and learning from the habits of successful people and by remaining positive in your thought patterns, you too are sure to become a successful person!

We have just come through a couple of years of uncertainty in Australia and it has certainly been an up and down year in QLD alone but 2014 is looking to be shining bright on so many fronts. As you would all be aware, the employment space is a key indicator to the overall economics of not only QLD but the whole of Australia. It impacts what people buy, the housing market, the tourism sector and even the not for profit space, basically it is the catalyst for so much of what happens in our life.

So I was so happy to come out of a hard year in 2013 and into the throws of what, by all accounts is destined to be a big year on the job front. Some of the most exceptional candidates I have met with in my career have just entered the job seeker market and some of the most interesting jobs we have worked on recently seem to be pouring through the doors. So I can only come to one conclusion. The future of 2014 is looking so bright! I feel optimistic after a turbulent few years and I am also feeling that optimism from clients and candidates alike!

Bring on 2014… Lets get started!

What do you think would be the 5 essential ingredients to doing what you love for a living?

Kylene ReynoldsWill these make you work harder to meet your goals?  Hard work, ultimately, has to meet with the right opportunities and that’s where entrepreneurial spirit can come in, allowing passion to meet real business sense.

  1. Treat goals like recipes.  Remember to take it one step at a time.
  It’s easy to get mired in the day-to-day running and though you may be doing something you love broadly speaking, that doesn’t mean you will love it all the time.  Keep your ultimate objectives in mind but try to appreciate and not look past where you are today.
  2. Get to know the people who came before you.
  Get a better understanding of the business successes and mistakes.  You will gain an understanding of what went into their level of achievement.
  3. Always have something to offer.
   Start small, observe and make suggestions.   Take a little bit of time to build trust and have something to offer that helps people open up more.
  4. Seek help from those who do it better than you can.
 Use your network and resources thoughtfully.   If you don’t have a skill, you likely know someone who does.
  5. Prepare to be uncomfortable, both physically and mentally.
  Some of the greatest lessons and most gratifying experiences have come from times when you possibly weren’t entirely comfortable with what you were doing.

It just goes to show:  When you’re pushed, you push back.  Rise to the occasion because success might be waiting around the corner for you.

The Art of Constructive Feedback

Linda ParkerEver had those days when you just really want to tell a staff member the brutal truth about their performance? If you are answering yes you are only human! Let’s face it, we’re not really supposed to tell people we work with that they are worthless and dim-witted!

We all give and receive feedback differently – some get defensive, offended and downright obstinate.  Others seem to listen, agree and take it in, and then promptly carry on doing things exactly the same way. Then there are those who are mortified, hanging their head in shame, and disappearing to a quiet corner to lick their wounds for a while.

Most of the time you aim for somewhere in the middle – for them to take note, demonstrate some accountability for their work and/or behaviour – good or bad, identify their own weaknesses and above all strive to improve.

I recently read an online article that provided some useful tips, and one point in particular resonated with me as a solid and effective approach, and one that I see used a lot in practice.

‘Try giving them a feedback sandwich’…

Basically this means breaking down the feedback process into layers.  Start with praising and complimenting their strong points, thus providing the ‘bread’. Then start to fill it with some areas that need work and improvement – careful not to overfill it and make it difficult to swallow! Then top it off nicely with some encouragement and positivity for better future outcomes.

Leading by example is more often than not the most successful way of driving performance in the right direction.  It doesn’t matter what position we hold, we are always looking for someone to inspire us.

I have two very strong, successful and dynamic leaders who have inspired me for the past 9 years, and who have also allowed me to see their more vulnerable side, which I think keeps it very real and honest, and builds a greater level of trust and respect …

What type of leader has inspired you?

High Performers – How do you pick them? By Justine Eden

JustineIn a perfect world we would all have a high performing team, made up of experts in their field who constantly exceed expectations, all get on, never have sickies and constantly innovate.  This ideal and synergistic team delivers outstanding bottom line returns to shareholders, drives change while maintaining the status quo and are essentially self managing, allowing you, the leader to work strategically to drive the business forward.

But this is not a perfect world – as roller coaster stock markets and company collapses remind us daily.  And sometimes our “best people” resign.  And recruiting, as we have all experienced is not an exact science, it is challenging and fraught with danger.  How do you know whether you have recruited a corporate terrorist or a talented performer?

The fall out of a bad hire is well researched, the costs and the flow on effects run down to the bottom line, and across the corporate community more attention is being paid to it.  Read many of the business publications and the flavour is there, the link between strategic plans and the HR plan, the growing importance of the role of the HR Manager and the value of intellectual capital.

Being able to select for performance is often seen as a luxury by busy managers faced with replacing technical experts in candidate short markets.  As a business owner for 17 years and as a recruiter for many years, I have seen first hand the impact of this type of short term vision on candidate attraction, retention and overall company performance.  As a recruiter I commenced in accounting recruitment, a traditional, often risk adverse demographic, historically focused on matching a candidate’s technical ability to the job requirements.

So – What is performance?  And how do you pick it?

How do you characterise a high performer?

High performance varies from occupation to occupation.  But common qualities include drive, energy, integrity and creativity.

Generally high performers…

  • have a can do attitude,
  • failure is unthinkable,
  • they don’t accept excuses,
  • like to outperform the competition,
  • want to be the best in the business,
  • are quality focused,
  • consistently get the job done,
  • proactively suggest improvements,
  • normally a self starter who energises others,
  • acts as a role model/mentor for others,
  • a problem solver
  • and need minimal supervision.

They are not always high profile or always the high earners, but they usually have a big impact on revenues or profits.   It is a given that a high performer is technically competent, but it is their ongoing focus on building their base of technical expertise and a thirst learning that sets them apart.

They have a passion for renewal, taking an active approach to acquiring new skills, often completely replacing old ones over a 5-7 year time frame.  Often because they have mastered their “art” they have more time for creativity, innovation and quality – this is what gives high performers a competitive advantage.

They embrace change and technology and are not thrown by ambiguity; high performers are adept at multi-tasking.  High performers often have an established and nurtured network and they value what peers think of their work.

Selecting for performance is an initiative that needs to be driven from the top.  Organisations are continually pushed to find new growth opportunities, improve the quality of products/services, enhance employee/customer satisfaction, reduce costs, increase productivity.  Combine this with a greater reliance on intellectual capital, customers increasing expectations and the rapid pace of change.

I would encourage all leaders to factor in performance when recruiting and believe that those that do so will reap the benefits of increased productivity, engagement and retention.

Time Wasters

Does technology mean more productivity or more opportunity to waste time?

With the increased number of people now using smart phones and/or tablets to monitor social media sites or access on line shopping, I often wonder if this is creating more opportunity for people to get distracted and waste time during work time?

smartphone2I recently caught up with a client who heads up a successful construction company, and after talking about staff productivity and performance, the discussion led to what employers can do to put some parameters or rules around people using their personal technology during work hours.

Admittedly a lot of professions rely on this technology to actually do their work and achieve success through prompt action, particularly in client service focused industries, making it difficult for employers to monitor this.

Does your organisation have a policy for staff using their personal devices during work hours and if so does it drive better productivity? I personally think it would be a difficult policy to monitor and keep consistent for all staff, and if people are still meeting their KPI’s and producing outcomes whilst having access to their personal devices then what harm is it really doing?

Do you yourself waste time during work hours using these devices for accessing non-work related sites?

It got me thinking about how many hours per week are actually wasted with non work related issues and tasks, and how many other distractions there are in the workplace to take us away from the job at hand.

This article “How you waste time when you’re at work” questions how much time we do waste at work, and whether distractions such as websites or social media are just an avenue to give ourselves a quick break before tackling the next task. It also has some interesting survey results highlighting the most common days and times for wasting time at work!

I’m going to sign off here and let you get back to work now… hopefully I haven’t wasted too much of your time!!Linda Parker

The Healthy, Happy Workplace

After coming back from a client visit to Toowoomba this week, where it is always noticeably cooler than Brisbane, it dawned on me that summer was truly over and that winter is just around the corner. Now for me, and probably most people who work in an office, this tends to mean more hours inside, less exercise and a greater consumption of the bad things that aren’t good for me! SueT

Add in the fact that we also spend most of our waking hours at work and travelling to and from work (not to mention the amount of time we spend thinking about it), our workplace health and wellbeing should be our number one concern.

For me the above is oh so true and even though I have worked in the health industry for over 10 years and ‘know better’, I have to honestly say that work/life balance has not always come first.

As I mentioned before, I am fairly sure most of us are in the same mindset. We want to be successful at work, we want to do what’s right for our team, yet what I think plagues most businesses and industries, is that the average person is stressed and doesn’t make the time to exercise or eat right. This inevitably reflects on the performance and attitudes of people at work.

When speaking with my colleagues and friends about this topic, I found that we all try different ways to keep ourselves healthy and happy in our personal lives. However when asked the additional question of “what do we do about our professional lives to keep us happy and healthy?” the point of view was very different.

I have seen many articles stating that wellbeing contributes to a healthy, happy, motivated and engaged workforce. In turn this positive wellbeing in the workplace has been shown to lower employee absence, keeps stress levels down and arguably helps to retain employees.

In the current financial climate, there are many low-cost and innovative ways to help your workforce in staying and getting healthy and happy. It could be as simple as having fresh fruit available, providing the opportunity to have an extra hour for lunch to go to the gym, contributing towards a gym membership, flexible working hours so that you can exercise in the mornings before work or leave early to exercise after work, group fitness sessions (group walks or activities) and access to information on how to keep healthy and happy.

There is literally an endless range of unique and low cost ideas you could offer your team to inspire them to being healthy and happy. So what does your organisation do, to encourage and support you in being healthy and happy at work?

Don’t forget to check out our homepage and follow us on LinkedIn from here – http://www.edenritchie.com.au/

The long long weekend.

So here we are 3 months or even scarier a ¼ of the way through 2013, and it is that time of the year when the Easter break is well and truly needed. Now I am not saying this in a bad way, I love my job, I do work with an awesome team and I am lucky enough to help people make positive change to their lives and careers. SueT

However, after reading an article on “What successful people do on the weekend” I was somewhat surprised to read how executives embrace their weekends to ensure they can stay successful during the week. I imagined they would be ‘plugged in’ at set times over the weekend, did strategic planning and cleaned out their inbox – which is pretty much what I do!

The reality it appears is very different and it has inspired me to do the same. I am not quite bringing back the ‘work hard play hard’ theme but I am playing around with something more like ‘work is work and life is mine’ (I am still working on a better slogan!).

Now getting back to how successful people make the most of their weekends to ensure they are firing during the week. Knowing when to switch off from work and having outlets of meaning to you were the dominant themes that I read and honestly now thinking about it I cannot agree more.

Having that drive and focus to say when I am at work I am 100% committed and here to take on the challenges so that when I get to my downtime I can properly switch off and recharge that part of my brain, is the message I have taken away.

So with Easter about to kick in, I am going to make some positive changes and am determined to take what these successful leaders of industry are doing and apply my new mantra ‘work is work and life is mine’ mindset by downing tools on this and every other weekend.

It has been a learning year for me and this article has reminded me that time is not a renewable resource and that we all have the same 24 hours in the day. Working is part of everyone’s life, be it paid or unpaid, however we need to learn to turn off and do what is important and not urgent to give us back balance.

This week’s blog is short and sweet, like the up coming Easter break, however our team would love to hear your thoughts on our blog and what you do to ensure you are successful at work.

CAN FACE TO FACE BE REPLACED?

Are we in the commercial world paying heed and learning any lessons from what is occurring in the retail space? The digital age has certainly had an impact on how we communicate, but we cannot afford to let this affect how we relate to our clients. The fundamentals of good customer service remain constant.MBFinal

I, like many of you, am an avid online shopper and it’s true, I confess I have aided and abetted the downfall of the retail industry. With the rise of the digital age, online shopping became a very attractive, “from the comfort of my own home”, service.  This is a strange thing because I used to LOVE the whole sensory experience of physical shopping, now the thought of it sends shivers down my spine.

So why did my love affair wane? Was it the appeal of all hours shopping? The convenience of shopping in pyjamas or on the bus? Or was it the possibility of new products from afar? It actually wasn’t any of these things, it was the distinct and utter lack of care and service I felt as the customer in the retail environment.

Now, I am certainly not the first to feel this way or comment on the decline of customer service. Poor attitudes of retail staff, lack of product knowledge, a decline in product quality and often a short supply of on hand staff have all been identified as key factors in the disgruntlement of shoppers.

Are we in the commercial world doing the same and losing our customer/client base?  What are some of the key principles that you feel are imperative to great customer service?  Do any of the below resonate with you?

Listen. Understand. Care.

Listen not just hear, really open your ears and your mind to what your customer is saying. Take time to understand them as a person, their organisation and their goals, this will help you to better understand what they truly need and how you can help them. Care about your client; take a sincere interest in their role, their project and their outcomes.

Provide the type of service you would want to receive

Think about the last time you experienced bad service in a restaurant/store. You probably came away and told many people about this experience. Now, what do your customers say about you and your service?  Are you personable, approachable and responsive and trying to anticipate their needs?  Good customer service never goes out of style!

Know your Product

Your customer wants to feel confident in you and your product. Demonstrating that you understand your product and how it will work for your client is one of the simplest ways to gain their trust. Ensure that you yourself know how your product will benefit your client before you try to convince them.

At the end of the day we all exist because our customers choose to do business with us.  With a simple aim to make every interaction a positive experience and to thank them for their business, you can begin to build that great customer service experience.

So all in all, there are many similar principles between what makes a good customer service experience and the management of a good client relationship.  So what works for you in building and maintaining a good client relationship?  Share your experiences with us; we are always interested in learning.

2013 in Queensland – a positive outlook or more of the same?

Dan2012 was a tough year for many Queenslander’s with the employment market suffering from a lack of Government spending on projects and infrastructure. The large number of redundancies across the Government sector as well as the reduced confidence of the large mining and resources companies all contributed to a significant reduction in the hiring of both contract and permanent staff across most industries in Queensland throughout 2012.

With 2013 now in full swing, what is the outlook for the remainder of the year? We have seen a steady increase in the number of contract and permanent opportunities throughout the first couple of months of year which is certainly a welcome change from the last quarter of 2012. After a strict spending freeze since the election in March last year, the State Government appears to slowly be ramping up its spending on new projects which has created the increased need for contractors with specialist skills to help deliver key initiatives.

The lowering of interest rates by the RBA over the past six months has increased confidence in the Australian economy and has seen many commercial sector organisations increase their recruitment to help meet deadlines and drive growth. We have seen a significant increase in the number of permanent roles in Queensland compared to the past 6 months.

Overall, the increase in Government spending combined with the increase in confidence in the Australian economy certainly bodes well for the year ahead. With the Government’s need to deliver critical services across the state, we should see a substantial increase in the amount spent on projects for the remainder of the year. For anyone looking for a new role, this should have a positive impact as the number of both permanent and contract opportunities rapidly increases to meet the demand of employers.

MOBILE WORKFORCE – IS THE ERA OF THE 9 TO 5 JOB OVER?

Image

Kim Ritchie

With the ever-changing technology in the market and the easy access to laptops, tablets and smartphones the face of the traditional workforce has changed dramatically in the last few years.

With traffic and parking becoming an ever increasing problem in most cities, the expectation to commute to the office and back home again only to repeat the journey again the next day and then the idea of sitting at your desk day in and day out is not only unappealing to many in the workforce but also becoming a thing of the past for many progressive organisations.

If like me, you work in a services based organisation you are often dealing with CEO’s, Directors and Managers who themselves work part time or remotely and are working from their home office whilst juggling kids and other business interests.  With the wide availability of wireless and internet enabled products, you are able to conduct client meetings, present pitches and proposals and take phone calls in any location, basically your office can be where you want it to be.

Kims Photo blog

Whilst this is giving organisations and staff unlimited flexibility – a recent Mobile Workforce Report conducted by iPass Inc., found that 60 percent of “mobile employees” are reported to work 50 plus hours per week also including weekend days (which is the most popular time to work remotely).  This report also demonstrates the resourcefulness of these employees in doing whatever it takes to get connected and get the job done often working late into the night.  The downside is longer hours can potentially lead to a different kind of stress.

Does giving staff flexibility and mobility work?  At Eden Ritchie we have put this to the test several times in the last few years with excellent results.  We have a core group of staff who work from home providing services to our client base with minimal fuss, this is mixed with a couple of days in the office to work with the rest of the team and keep a handle on what is going on in the rest of the business.  This way of thinking and the changes to our traditional business model have given us access to a broader range of skills and potential staff when we are in the market recruiting.  As this has proven so successful for us, we are often advising organisations to think about this approach in their own business – but as most things that are regarded as “radical” or “out of the box” it is viewed with skepticism and negativity – with the same old comments “that wouldn’t work in our business”.

With the ongoing battle to attract and retain A1 staff to organsiations, we often hear from employers that they offer flexibility and work/life balance – but do they offer what the employees really want?  It is time for the broader business community to WALK THE WALK not just TALK THE TALK when it comes to developing a mobile workforce.

“The Power of Mentoring”

KateSo what is mentoring? Mentoring uses the resources your company already has to improve employee satisfaction, develop leadership, and teach new skills.

Does your company have a mentoring program? If yes, is it working? If not, why not?

Here are some ideas about how to start your own program. Starting a mentoring program might be the closest you’ll ever get to making a business decision that has a positive impact for everyone involved. Research has shown that mentoring can improve employee satisfaction and retention, enrich new-employee initiation, make your company more appealing to new recruits, and train your leaders. And the best part is, it’s “free”, unlike similar learning incentives, training programs or offering to pay for courses, mentoring uses the resources that your company already has.

A mentoring program can help develop both mid-level employees for possible promotion and entry-level employees for self-improvement to help them grow with the company. Mentors are employees already in management positions, employees highly skilled or trained in a specific area, or employees at any level who can provide encouragement and guidance to other employees just starting or ready to take their next career move.

Mentoring can do a lot of good, but only if people know what they are supposed to do. Training of the mentors is important, and I recommend that the mentees receive some training as well. There are plenty of websites available with tips on what to do and at Eden Ritchie we have skilled and experienced staff available to assist organisation’s in the development of their mentoring program.

When you have implemented a mentor program, remember it will require “nurturing and caring”.
 So now you are ready to unleash the “power of mentoring” to ensure you talented workforce grows with you.

If you have a mentor program already in your organisation, share your ideas and thoughts to assist others.

Australia Day Sickies

Brigitte‘Whaddya mean? I am entitled to 4 weeks paid holidays and 8 days paid sick leave and 3 paid ‘personal days’ and when that runs out, I am entitled to compo!’ – Is this the mentality of your workforce? (this is from an article published by Engleman Etcetera Pty Ltd – the full article is available here.)

With Australia Day coming up this Saturday and a public holiday on Monday, it’s been estimated by the NSW Business Chamber of Commerce that there will be 173,000 ‘sickies’ taken today for holiday goers to extend their long weekend – in that state alone.

It is expected the cost to employers will be more than $36 million, not including the cost of replacement workers and lost productivity.

Really, who wouldn’t enjoy an extra day off, but when does our moral compass pipe up and say ‘we shouldn’t do this’.  It’s like wagging school for adults.

Whilst it might seem like a good idea at the time, you need to consider the impact your ‘sick’ behaviour will have on your reputation at work. Absenteeism ultimately costs your organisation and can also be damaging to people’s perception of you in the workforce.  If you want to take a long week end, stand up and be honest and take an annual leave day at least then your employer and colleagues can plan to cover your workload.

On the flip side of the coin, employers need to ensure employees know procedures around sick days and if you aren’t wanting to create a culture of absenteeism, then get strict about the matter because if it’s not addressed you can be sure that when the next public holiday and long weekend rolls around, you’ll continue to have employees suddenly falling ill.

If you would like to share your thoughts or feedback on how your organisation manages this ongoing problem in your workplace we would be interested in hearing from you.

Merry Career-Mas!

JustineI love this time of year, late December, just before Christmas, end of year exhaustion and running on adrenalin. The new year is just around the corner, and despite your fatigue from a busy year, the new year heralds promise and opportunity. You tell yourself all those things you didn’t quite achieve or get to this year – will be nailed next year. And – maybe they will – I am after all an eternal optimist.

For many people I talk with, it has been a particularly tough year – personally and more so professionally.  A change of government, a dip in the resources sector, international economic uncertainty, redundancies, restructures, rationalisations…

It seems to me that when we are under constant pressure to perform or deliver we can sometimes lose perspective. We switch to our emotional rather than rational behaviour, say things we regret, react quickly without consideration. It gets worse towards the end of the year, when we are tired, stressed and in need of a break. It doesn’t help either, when every time you walk into a public space, bad Christmas carols are playing.

I believe it is important to take time out, particularly when you feel you are getting to this point. And if you notice your change in behavior, pat yourself on the back for your high level of emotional intelligence and self-reflection.

I recently booked myself into a top end health spa. I systematically worked my way through the spa treatment menu, the staff there thought I had become a permanent fixture. I left feeling balanced, cleansed and happy and better placed to take on the world.

When I got back, I remember someone saying to me how lucky I was to have been able to go. At the time I thought, it was more due to better planning than luck, but I guess having the means and time at my disposal has a bit to do with luck.

If we are to cope and perform at a high level, we have to take time out, whether just to sit outside and listen to the birds, walk on the beach, swim in the ocean or hang out with loved ones eating great food…

Work, career, business… These are just aspects of our lives, not the entirety. Sometimes they tend to blow out of proportion and cloud our vision. We are multidimensional and need many facets in life to make us happy and fulfilled.

So – take some time out, spoil yourself in whatever way works for you.  Get perspective, take control and seek out the opportunities you deserve.  The new year is the perfect time to put in place the building blocks to your happiness…

Culture Fit or Bigotry?

As discussed in the blog ‘Technical Skills VS. Cultural Fitthree weeks ago by Tom from our office, Culture Fit is an important part of the selection criteria when searching for an employee. However, the lines between culture fit and bigotry can tend to become blurred, often despite the best efforts of the employer.

The term ‘culture’ when used in this context does not refer to a person’s race, sex or religion – it is used to describe the overall mentality and atmosphere of a particular workplace. If you are rejected for a role because of culture fit concerns, it has nothing to do with your country of origin, your gender or your beliefs and everything to do with your demonstrated attitude and it’s incongruity with the potential workplace.

Are you tearing at your hair in frustration and crying out:

What does it all mean, Basil?!

Then look at it this way – you apply for a role, which, on paper, is you all over. You’ve got the right skills, the money looks good and you’d be comfortable performing the duties. You interview briefly but excellently, dazzling the panel with your technical skills, rich experience and musky odours, and succeed in obtaining the role.  Then, several weeks into your new role, you find yourself at odds with your colleagues and disagreeing with the company ethos. You continue to do your work superbly, but there’s a growing dissatisfaction in you and suddenly, you want out. Why work for someone or something you don’t agree with?

It’s not okay because if they take my
stapler then I’ll set the building on fire…

You resign, leaving your employer with an empty role and the prospect of another lengthy recruitment process, and you with a worrying blip on your resume that you have to explain to the next company you apply to.

The above scenario is not ideal for either party, and could have been avoided, had culture fit been taken into account during the recruitment process. Despite this, there is a belief floating around that ‘culture fit’ is just a convenient way for employers to disguise rampant discrimination in their hiring policies. This could very easily be true, and in some cases, sadly is. But if a company chooses to discriminate against candidates because of race, gender or religion, they are doing damage solely to themselves. Bigotry and bias in a recruitment process can make employers miss out on the perfect candidate for the role, leaving a person who has the ‘right’ skin colour but second rate skills to perform the work. And if a company is found to be actively discriminating against persons, then all hell will certainly break loose.

However, if a company does not discriminate and also chooses to recognize culture fit as a key selection criterion, then they will wind up with a technically ideal employee who also enjoys their work environment and co-exists happily with their colleagues. These combined factors lead to increased employee satisfaction, higher staff retention rates and open collaboration between staff members.

Adapt or Perish

The ageing population, generational incongruities in the workplace and the redefinition of
work life are all topics that have been the source of much coverage and heated debate over the Internet and in boardroom meetings across the world lately. Different strategies to deal with ‘problem’ generations Y and Z, theories on how and why conflicts arise between different age groups and large quantities of statistics and research abound in an effort to understand and manage these issues. There is a surfeit of information out there that’s being gobbled up by workers desperate to put things into perspective and understand and control what’s going on around them. This is a response to a sudden, behemoth dawning of change.

Despite the fact that these things have been brewing for some time, it appears that they have caught a lot of organisations and workers off-guard. So how do you deal with these seemingly monolithic changes?

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin

With a beard that impressive, this guy obviously knows what he’s talking about.

Key to success is fluidity of mindset and a desire to understand, especially when it comes to the human side of business. While rapidly evolving technology has been the catalyst for many dramatic changes in business, the most profound come from the force behind these advances – people. To simplify things, think of the beloved slogan of the NRA “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. While this may be a logical fallacy when it comes to vitriolic gun-law debates, it holds a tiny grain of truth underneath its oversimplification. Business and technology are human creations, and are only as good as the people behind them, which is why it is critical to endeavour to understand and adapt to our changing sociology.  

The Numbers
Ageing Population
The median age of an Australian in 1976 was 28.3, whereas it is 37.9 years today[1] and in 2016, it will be 40.1[2].

In 2002, people aged 65 and over made up 13% of the population, and that figure is projected to increase to around 25% by 2042 and the proportion of the population aged between 15-64 years (labour force age) will decline from 67% (2004) to roughly 59% by 2051.[3]

Population composition by Generation
Builders (born before 1946) comprise 17% of the population
Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) represent 26%
Generation X  (1965-1979) represent 21.5%
Generation Y (1980-1994) represent 20.5%
Generation Z (1995-2009) represent 15%[4]

The above numbers are just a quick snapshot – for more detailed information, visit the ABS website.

As the older generations are, for the most part, already in roles, it is important to focus on retention strategies. If you have valuable staff that are edging towards retirement age, keeping them on board will be reliant upon the development of alternative work arrangements (part time work, ‘grandparent leave’, leave buy back), the ability to provide work satisfaction through innovative channels (such as mentoring arrangements with younger workers, creating opportunities for staff contribution, training on new technologies) and a genuine interest in the retirement process and what it means for employees. However if you’re seeking rather than trying to retain, how would you go about it? Every company has a different strategy that is suited specifically to them, because every organisation has different things to offer workers. Incorporate knowledge and understanding of mature workers, including their wants, needs and professional outlooks, into your recruitment strategies to ensure effectiveness. For instance, some skills are concentrated to a particular age group, so do your research when recruiting for a role and target that demographic – don’t get caught up in trying to win over a younger audience with a high powered dynamic show of culture that sets Gen Y’s salivating, because you’ll end up missing out on attracting the older candidates with the right experience.

I often hear grumblings (whether it be on the street or in the office) like “Those bloody Gen Y’s, they’ve got a terrible work ethic and an awful attitude” or “Those grumpy old Boomers are stuck in their ways and they’re taking me down with them”. It doesn’t matter who I hear this coming from – young, old, short, tall – I always have to swallow my rage before I go and say something silly. Yes – there are differences between people born in different cohorts, we’ve all experienced dramatically different things in our formative years, so there’s bound to be variances. But instead of just writing them off as generational attitudes that are set in stone, make the effort to understand them and respond to them in a way the ensures the best outcome for both parties. Think your Gen Y staff have commitment issues? Offer incentives to retain them – find out what it is that would keep them around and work out a way for them to get what they want, while giving you what you need. It can be as simple as allowing a younger staff member to reach outside the parameters of their role and attempt something new – different people want different things from their job.

Maybe you’re asking, “Why should I have to do these things? It’s my business and I’ll run it how I see fit”. If you are asking that –

SHAME, SHAME, SHAME.

For shame indeed. The workplace is rapidly changing, things are evolving and the world isn’t going to stop turning, no matter how hard you try or how loud you grumble. Adapt and survive.

Does Size Matter?

Linda ParkerWorking for a large organisation is widely perceived as a vehicle for providing you with career progression as well as learning and development opportunities that smaller companies simply could not provide.

That is not always the case.

Sure, a large corporation will have a different hierarchy and structure to the team that could allow for future opportunities. On the flip side, it can also depend on whether the workforce plan and strategy of the organisation is to promote from within or whether they continually recruit from outside i.e. their competitors. Consider this… how long would it take you to actually get that promotion?!

Working for a recognised brand certainly has it’s benefits, your family friends and former colleagues will be impressed, and you may get opportunities for travel, which is all very exciting in the beginning.

In a smaller company you are not just a number, as can be the case for many large corporates.

In a smaller organisation the work you do is valued, and your achievements are very visible to management and the rest of the team and your hard work is appreciated. This can be both a positive and negative, as you can quickly become relied upon to do more work than others! The rewards can be more forthcoming in a smaller company, where there is less red tape to push through in order to show appreciation to staff for their hard work. On the negative side, there may not be the opportunities for travel or other benefits that a larger company can offer.

At the end of the day, whether you work in a large corporate or for a small business, you still have a job to do, and you may still have to work within a team, and report to a superior. The figures may be significantly different if you are an accountant managing the balance sheet, but the principles are the same.

You have to decide whether you are the sort of person that enjoys the prestige of working for a well known corporation with national or global operations, but where you may be considered a small fish in a big pond… or whether you prefer working in a smaller environment where you create a family like atmosphere and where there is less hierarchy and red tape, and you can be truly valued.

Looking for a change – Ever considered overseas job opportunities?

Ever dreamt about securing a role with an overseas company and combining work with your love of adventure and travel? With the global job boards and the use of Skype it has never been easier if you are thinking about an international move.  With South East Asia still going through aggressive growth – the Aussie and Kiwi  “right of passage” no longer necessarily means going to the UK for a 2-year stint.

Australian experience is highly regarded in the Asian business market and opportunities closer to home in Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam have become increasingly accessible in recent times, with most organisations doing business in English, the request for Australian/NZ qualifications is more prevalent than ever.

But before you think about such a life-changing move you need to consider the pros and cons and what it will mean to your career.  Questions to ask and things to consider; what is the financial reward/tax regime in the country you are considering, is the organsiation and role going to add value to your resume and future job prospects, what are the conditions of your employment contract.

Do your research, understand the cost of living in a foreign country and if all the stars align why wouldn’t you take the chance and immerse yourself in a different culture for a few years, you might be surprised what you learn and what it will do for your career.

Life adventures and considered risks are never a bad thing in my opinion.

So what does it take to be a great Project Manager?

Managing projects can be a complex and difficult task. So what is it that allows great Project Managers to build reputations people that will deliver results on time and within budget?

After discussions with a number of successful and senior Project Managers recently, there is a general agreement on the key attributes that successful project managers possess.

1) They understand the business! They have the patience and communication skills to listen to the key stakeholders and understand what the business is trying to achieve from the project. There is no point in delivering a product or service that will not fit the requirements of the organisation.

2) They are Problem solvers! Projects can vary in size and complexity and it is important that project managers are able to think outside the box to come up with solutions to overcome obstacles.

3) Flexibility! Some projects can change on almost a daily basis and thus, project managers need to be flexible when approaching a project. Project management methodologies are a great way to set the direction for the project but they are not strict procedures. Project Managers must have the flexibility to alter their approach to overcome any obstacles that arise.

4) They are delivery focussed! The reputations of project managers are made or broken on their ability to successfully deliver outcomes to the business. It is imperative that project managers liaise with key stakeholders to set the desired outcomes and do everything they can to achieve them!

5) Outstanding communication and leadership skills! Project managers must be able to engage with key stakeholders to get support from senior management. They also must be able to bring out the best in their teams. This means supporting and delegating to team members to make the most of project resources.

6) Ownership!! Project managers have to take complete ownership of their projects and have the drive and passion to do everything they can to ensure that the outcomes are achieved within time, budget and resource constraints. This is where project managers build their reputations as someone who will get the job done!

Do you have what it takes to be a great Project Manager? With so many large projects kicking off, the industry is booming in South East Queensland. It is certainly an exciting time to be involved in project management!!

How’s Your Morale?

It’s easy to stand out in the current climate as a smart employer.  Ok the GFC has ripped the market around from candidate short to being job short, and businesses are cost cutting and shedding staff, but there is an opportunity to critically look at how happy (or not!) your team are.

Know who your best performers are, mentor, train and develop them, communicate and keep them informed of broader business strategies, get their feedback and input.  None of this costs a lot, but the pay back is guaranteed.

Employees are nervous about job security, they need to know how the business is tracking, they value hearing about the future plans and how that impacts on them.  If you want to keep your best people when the market turns, you need to invest in them NOW.

How you approach the market when you recruit new people is also a key aspect to building favourable impressions with employees.  With social networks booming, the world is getting better connected and information flows abundantly.  People readily share their impressions and gripes, with poor recruitment processes at the top of their list of complaints.

When you take a job to market – be READY.  This sounds silly, but we are seeing so many poor approaches to the current market.  Yes it’s an employers market, but your reputation is still important in any market!  Have the go ahead to actually recruit, update the PD, be able to put time aside to interview, be prepared to make a selection – don’t stall.  And induct!

All simple stuff, we know, but you’d be surprised at how many employers aren’t doing this!