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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Policies

In Part 1 of my article on workforce planning, I discussed the importance of clearly identifying where your organisation is heading and what internal and external drivers are shaping your business direction.

In Part 2, I’d like to give you some tips for getting the balance of skills and experience right in your organisation. 

Once you have determined the optimum organisational structure and identified the skill sets you require for the future, focus on these two key questions:

  • What strategies are available to you to ensure your staffing mix meets your organisation’s requirements? 
  • How can you ensure you have the right capacity in terms of staff numbers, structure and skill set?

If it helps, take a snapshot of where you are currently. A comprehensive audit is often the best way to establish a baseline. However, I understand this can be time-consuming. If you work for a large organisation or government agency, explore the option that others in the organisation may be collection people management data as part of other reporting requirements to assist you.

Information that can be used to objectively review the current position of your organisation includes:

  • Staff demographics and staff turnover trends
  • Current roles, grades or classifications in the organisation
  • Staff numbers and employment mode (eg. full time, part time)
  • Employment status (eg. permanent, casual, contract)
  • Short term or temporary staff
  • Qualifications held
  • Skills and competencies currently held
  • Number of employees in training positions
  • Locations of staff
  • Salary rates and HR budget figures
  • Awards and agreements.

Analysing this information will help you identify those areas which need attention and action.

Once you have this data at your fingertips, consider some of the HR options available to align your staffing mix with your overall business goals.

HR options will typically include one or more of the following:

  • Development or improvement of retention strategies
  • Training and education
  • Restructuring
  • Succession planning
  • Targeted recruitment
  • Redeployment
  • Redundancy program
  • Retrenchment program.

Finally, it’s always important to review how effective the HR strategies you have used in the past have been in facilitating your overall business objectives. Monitoring, evaluating, and if necessary, modifying these strategies regularly will ensure you have a flexible, living plan and that you are using all the resources available to you to meet your organisation’s needs and goals.

If you would like to know more about human resource planning for your organisation, please contact us.

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The New Year is always a good time for organisations to plan, develop plans and develop practical strategies to achieve personal and organisational goals.  

Your HR plans should be linked to the broader strategic plan of the organisation and the business plans and the short, medium and long-term goals outlined.

HR Planning involves the key questions:

  • What are the skills and capabilities I need to support and lead the organisation in the short, medium and long term future?
  • What is the organisational structure that we need to meet our business goals in the short, medium and long term future?

Getting the right people into the right positions at the right time is far easier said than done!  

The best people managers understand this and know it doesn’t happen by accident. It is a deliberate strategy and requires careful thought and consideration.

Increasing competition among companies to recruit and retain the best ‘talent’, rapid technological growth (often outpacing the skill sets and training of existing workers), reduced operating budgets and constant pressures to increase efficiency are all factors that need to be addressed.

Additionally, Australia’s ageing population, and retiring baby boomers in particular, are depleting many organisations of some of their most experienced and knowledgeable employees, often before succession plans (if they are in place at all) are ripe for fruition.

Workforce planning represents a major challenge for HR so I have decided to devote my next two blogs to workforce planning.

In this article (Part 1), I’d like to outline some helpful points to consider when planning your HR requirements and in the next one (Part 2), I’ll discuss some strategies you can use to create the right staffing mix for your organisation.

I hope these suggestions will help you to respond more confidently to changes in your workplace operating environment throughout the year and stay on track to meet and exceed!  your professional goals for 2016.

Where are you headed?

Usually, the most constructive place to start is by conducting an ‘environmental scan’.

To do this, consider the following questions:

  • What external factors are occurring in your industry or sector that could potentially impact on your organisation and therefore your team? (eg new or emerging competitors entering the market, technological changes, economic growth/downturn, the age profile of your workforce, potential legislative changes that may impact on your business)
  • Where can you readily source the most credible data on industry or sector trends to make informed decisions about the staffing mix you need?
  • Are there any current legislative or political issues that may be relevant? (eg expected changes to funding models, training requirements for staff, new taxes likely to come into effect in 2016)
  • Do you need to adapt the types of services and products you provide to meet the changing needs of your customer base?
  • Are you intending to expand, reduce and/or restructure your workforce?
  • What organisational structure would work best?
  • What are the key skills your organisation needs? (including technical, operational management and people management skills)
  • Do you have enough people with those skills? What are the time frames to acquire those skills?
  • Can you grow those skills internally (ie through staff development, succession planning) or do you need to recruit them in? What are the timeframes involved?
  • What internal information do you need to source? ( eg demographics, retirements, predicted staff turnover, succession plans, planned absences, staff surveys)

Taking some time to consider your external and internal environments and taking stock of your internal resources will help you to embrace 2016 with the calm self-confidence of an experienced driver, well- prepared for all conditions and ready to enjoy the journey.

If you would like to know more about human resource planning for your organisation, please contact us.

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Posted by on in Performance Management

How productive are your workplace meetings? 

Are the outcomes worth the significant investment?  

Is attending unproductive meetings just adding to your already hectic work schedule? 

Recent research has found that the average officer worker spends 62 hours a month in meetings and that 31 of those hours – or exactly half! – are considered unproductive or a waste of time. The estimated salary cost to businesses from this lost productivity is a whopping US$37 billion dollars each year.

The ability to hold a successful and productive meeting is a dying art. Even with the wealth of technological aids for modern organisations, many meetings still lack focus, fail to deliver outcomes, fail to engage staff and often become a source of great frustration.  

The ability to chair a successful meeting, even at an informal level, is a direct reflection on our professionalism. If our meetings are not achieving anything, this perception can become an extension of how others perceive us. The reality is many people are not confident in setting agendas, navigating procedural motions, understanding meeting rules and etiquette, recording action items and taking minutes to make the most of the forum.

In order to get the most from resource-intensive meetings, organisations should regularly review the way they organise, conduct and follow-up on them. 

Here are the top ten tips from PSW HR Solutions on how to have more successful meetings:

1. Define

Define your purpose – why do you need to have a meeting?  Is there another communication channel possible that will achieve the same or an even better result in a shorter time-frame?

2. Plan

If you must have a meeting, plan it carefully. Who needs to be there? Do you need the entire team or just the key decision-makers?  Invite everyone who needs to be there and no-one else.

3. Agenda  

Develop your agenda collaboratively to ensure relevance of discussion topics and ‘buy in’ from intended participants. Set time limits for each item. Rank agenda items in order of priority and allow more time for complex or controversial items.

4. Roles & Responsibilities  

Assign clear meeting roles and responsibilities. For formal or structured meetings, make sure the role of minute taker is assigned to someone appropriately skilled for that task. The same goes for the chairperson and/or facilitator. These two roles are crucial, particularly for large meetings.

5. Venue  

Is the meeting venue fit-for-purpose? Room size, accessibility, ventilation, lighting, equipment and technology all matter, especially for long and/or important meetings.

6. Preparation

Send out any background reading materials well in advance of the meeting. This is not only a courteous and professional practice but it will help to foster more thoughtful and considered discussion at the meeting itself.

7. Procedures & Protocols

Follow agreed meeting procedures and protocols. Anticipate any contentious or controversial issues that may be raised and/or potentially difficult personalities who may be attending. Make sure you have strategies up your sleeve to deal with them. For example, seat potentially difficult participants close to the chairperson or facilitator, on their right hand side, if possible. Brief the chairperson or facilitator thoroughly in advance about the meeting’s purpose and any issues or invitees that may be of concern.

8. Participation

Encourage active participation and questions for more meaningful and honest discussions.

9. Evaluation

Don’t wait till the end of the meeting to evaluate it!  Then it’s too late to do anything about it. Ask participants during the meeting for their feedback on how the objectives are being met and take their feedback on board without taking it personally.

10. Actions & Outcomes

Follow-up on any agreed action items and outcomes from the meeting as soon as possible. Be sure to send out the minutes promptly, otherwise the momentum for change/progress may be lost, and key participants will be less likely to attend your next meeting.

 

It makes good business sense to take meeting management seriously. Improvements can be simple and inexpensive to implement and the potential for positive results can be enormous.

For more information and help on how to develop better meeting skills, including useful strategies for engaging and energising participants, troubleshooting tips and essential competencies for your  21st century meetings toolbox, please get in touch.

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Generating and maintaining high performance of our teams is a critical characteristic of successful organisations. 

Teams that are performing at optimum levels drive competitive advantage, create positive work cultures and differentiate ‘great’ from ‘good’ in achieving the organisational outcomes.

It is crucial for businesses to have effective systems in place which:

  • determines performance parameters,
  • acknowledges and recognizes positive performance
  • provides a framework to monitor performance
  • builds accountability of all stakeholders
  • proactively and positively manages performance issues in a timely manner

Many organisations and managers find developing and implementing an engaging and productive performance management system very elusive.

Sometimes even when we have all the components of a constructive performance management framework in place something gets lost in translation. Performance management can become synonymous with an expensive and disengaging waste of time for managers and team members. Rather than turn people on to perform better, the process turns them off!

So, we know it makes sense to have a strong and meaningful performance management framework, but how do we create it? How can you build in accountability and also motivate the team in an integrated and streamlined process?

It is critical to identify the key components of the performance management framework for all organisations;

HR Policies

There are a range of HR policies that can directly impact on managing performance in an organisation. For example,

  • remuneration policies may outline bonus or incentive schemes,
  • employee performance policies may list a process of how regularly performance will be reviewed, the method and the basis of any scoring system,
  • the Code of Conduct and Disciplinary policies will discuss the consequences of unsatisfactory performance or conduct.

All policies should be reviewed to ensure they are working in synergy. For example, the incentive scheme cannot encourage behaviours that could possibly breach organisational Code of Conduct provisions. This sends mixed messages around performance expectations to the teams and undermines the framework.

Position Descriptions

Ensure the position descriptions are accurate and reflective of current duties. Use the performance management process as a regular opportunity to discuss the current roles to identify any changes to the duties involved.

The accountability in the framework is platformed on accurate position descriptions and performance indicators that provide a consistent and clear description of the responsibilities involved. 

Setting indicators and goals

Define the indicators and goals in clear and concise language. Ensure these goals align with the overall business goals and objectives and create a ‘clear line of sight’ through the organisation. This linkage is very important in building understanding of the business direction and priorities and how each individual is contributing to those goals.

The other area where I see organisations struggle relates to effective goal setting. This can often be an area that disengages people rather than motivates teams.

Take some time to get this part right. Engage your teams in setting the goals to build engagement. The SMART goals formula works very well in creating goals that are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound.

 

The above components of the performance management structure create a shared understanding of the expectations of performance and how it will be measured.

The next blog relates to the two final components of successful performance management:  that is, the actual process used and also the importance of developing skills in our managers to maximise this important opportunity to drive continuous improvement in the workplace.

In the meantime if you would like to know more about creating and implementing an effective organisational performance management process, please contact us.

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The start of the year is always a great opportunity to take stock of your organisation. As outlined in the previous article the first step in working out what your staffing requirements will be in the short, medium and long term is clearly identifying where the organisation is heading and what internal and external drivers are shaping your business direction.

Some questions to ask include:

  • What strategies can you use to ensure your staffing mix meets your requirements? 
  • How can you ensure you have the right capacity in terms of staff numbers, structure and skill set?

Where are you now?

After determining where you are heading, you need to establish where you are currently. A comprehensive audit is the best way to establish a baseline. 

Some of the information that can be used to objectively review the current position includes:

  • Staff demographics and staff turnover trends
  • Current roles, grades or classifications in the organisation
  • Staff numbers and employment mode (eg. full time, part time)
  • Employment status (eg. permanent, casual, contract)
  • Short term or temporary staff
  • Qualifications held
  • Skills and competencies currently held
  • Number of employees in training positions
  • Locations of staff
  • Salary rates and HR budget figures
  • Awards and agreements

Gathering this information will help identify the areas on which to concentrate your strategies.

Some of the HR options available to align your staff with your overall business goals include;  

  • Development or improvement of a retention strategies
  • Training and education
  • Restructuring
  • Succession planning
  • Targeted recruitment
  • Redeployment
  • Redundancy program
  • Retrenchment program

Remember, it is always important to review how effective the HR strategies have been in facilitating your overall business objectives.  Evaluating and modifying regularly will ensure you are using all the resources available to you to meet your organisational goals.

If you would like to know more about human resource planning for your organisation contact us.

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No matter what size organisation you may be working within, or whether you are in the Government or private sector, the beginning of the year is always a great time to consider where a business is heading in the short, medium and long term. 

This is a critical part of managing human resources so I have dedicated the next two blogs to workforce planning. This one specifically focuses on what is helpful to consider when planning your HR requirements and the next blog discusses strategies you can employ to create the right staffing mix.

Over the last two years, I have worked with organisations in the private and public sector analysing how their human resource planning links in with their business goals. I know it can be a bit overwhelming, but in my experience it does help to break the process down into manageable pieces and work through from there.

Where are you headed?            

Reflecting on the direction of the business unit and what your key goals and objectives are will then lead to a contemplation of what the human resource requirements will be to support those goals in the short, medium and long term. 

Successful organisations understand that planning is critical to ensure they have the right people, with the right skills in the right place and the right time to maximise every opportunity, respond to changes in the operating environment and stay on track to meet, and even exceed, their goals.

The fundamentals of workforce planning involves considering the following questions as a starting point:

  • What external factors are occurring in your industry or sector that could potentially impact on your organisation and therefore your team? (eg. technology, unemployment levels, economic growth/downturn, changing skill sets,  ageing workforce)
  • Where can you readily source the most credible data on industry or sector trends to make informed decisions about the staffing mix?
  • Are there any legislative or political issues that may be relevant?
  • Do you need to adapt the types of services and products you provide?
  • Are you intending to expand/reduce and/or restructure?
  • What are the skills your organisation needs? (including technical, operational management and people management skills)
  • Do you have enough people with those skills?
  • Can you grow those skills internally or do you need to recruit them in? What are the timeframes involved?
  • What internal information do you need to source? ( eg. demographics, retirements, predicted staff turnover, succession plans, planned absences)

 If you would like to know more about human resource planning for your organisation contact us.

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A workplace Code of Conduct is a documented set of standards that describe the behaviours that are expected of those in the organisation. 

It provides a ‘roadmap’ for your employees and should be designed to be a seamless part of your overall business practice. It is critical that the standards described in the document apply to every level in the organisation.

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Well-written position descriptions are a foundation in building  positive organisational culture and are an invaluable tool in managing people.

Position descriptions offer clarity to your team by outlining a position/role in terms of why a job exists, the position objectives, the responsibilities and outcomes, the capabilities and behaviours required and under what conditions the job is performed.

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