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Inspire Success

Providing hints, tips and ideas that help you maintain high performing workplaces that are customer focussed and free of conflict

7 Steps to Prevent Bullying in Your Workplace

Rae Phillips - Thursday, June 25, 2015
What are the steps you can take to help prevent bullying in your workplace:

1. Develop a workplace bullying and harassment policy (if you haven't already). The policy should define exactly what bullying and harassment is, how you expect your employees to behave, what employees should do if they feel they are being bullied and what action you will take if an allegation of bullying is made. Ensure that all your employees have a copy of this policy and discuss it regularly.

2. Make sure you encourage respectful and courteous behaviour in the workplace. Take action against bullying and discrimination showing you do not support it and promote the principles of dignity and respect.

3. Make sure you understand what constitutes bullying - and make sure everyone else in your workplace does too. Your employees need to know exactly what is acceptable behaviour and what isn't.

4. Respond as soon as possible to any evidence of inappropriate bullying behaviour. You need to show your employees that you are serious about tackling bullying in the workplace.

5. Monitor your workplace for any bullying constantly. You need to keep an eye out for warning signs, like employees taking excess amounts of leave or becoming withdrawn or looking stressed.

6. Train your supervisors and managers about your workplace bullying policy. You should also encourage them to address any problem behaviour as soon as possible, regardless of whether or not a formal complaint has been filed.

7. Provide training, information about workplace policies and procedures on bullying prevention to all employees (including casual and labour hire workers) when you induct them. You could also consider introducing a buddy system for young and new workers


Is this something that could be an issue at your place? Inspire Success is all about making HR SIMPLE - no matter what size your business is. Contact Inspire Success for further information hr@inspire-success.com or 1300620 100.


10 Questions to ask yourself about your Workplace Policies

Rae Phillips - Friday, May 29, 2015
When developing or reviewing a workplace policy, ask yourself the following questions to ensure that your policy includes everything it needs to:


  1. What is the policy’s purpose?
  2. What is the scope of the policy, i.e. what activities does it cover and who does it apply to?
  3. Are there any related policies or procedures that exist or are being developed? (If so, reference them.)
  4. What behaviour is acceptable under the policy? What examples and definitions can you include?
  5. What behaviour is unacceptable under the policy?
  6. Is any behaviour relating to the policy against the law? (If so, reference the related legislation and make it clear that legal action could be taken against any employee who engages in that behaviour. Don’t forget to mention any employee behaviour that you, as the employer, could be vicariously liable for.)
  7. What disciplinary action or performance management procedures will an employee face if they breach the policy?
  8. Who should employees contact with enquiries or complaints relating to the policy?
  9. Who has authorised the development of the policy?
  10. Are there any circumstances in which it will not be possible to follow the policy – if so, how will you respond?



Is this something that could be an issue at your place? Inspire Success is all about making HR SIMPLE - no matter what size your business is. Contact Inspire Success for further information hr@inspire-success.com or 1300620 100.

How to be SuperStream Compliant

Rae Phillips - Thursday, May 28, 2015
Be sure to be SuperStream compliant. 

If you’re an employer that has 20 or more employees, you should have started making contributions using SuperStream from July 1, 2014. You have until June 30, 2015, to ensure you’ve changed over. 

For small business employers, with 19 or fewer employees, your SuperStream soft-start begins on July 1, 2015, with one year to make the complete change.

This Employer Checklist makes a great guide to begin changing your super process, while the ATO’s SuperStream website provides plenty of information.

And don't forget that you should pay off whatever super contributions you owe prior to EOFY!

Is this something that could be an issue at your place? Inspire Success is all about making HR SIMPLE - no matter what size your business is. Contact Inspire Success for further information hr@inspire-success.com or 1300620 100.

FWC rules on how leave must be accrued

Rae Phillips - Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Looking at the Fair Work Act’s rules and requirements on leave for too long could give you double vision! On the one hand, the law says that an employee’s entitlement to paid annual leave accrues progressively during a year of service, according to their ordinary hours of work.

On the other hand, the National Employment Standards, the absolute bottom line of your employer obligations, talks about annual and personal/carer’s leave in terms of weeks and days. So what happens if your employees work long or unusual shifts? If an employee takes leave on a day where they would have usually worked 10 hours, is that a day’s less leave – or is it 10 hours’ less leave

The decision, RACV Road Party Service Ltd v Australian Municipal, Administrative, Clerical and Services Union (2015), confirmed that for the purposes of paid leave entitlements under the National Employment Standards, any references to a ‘week’ or ‘day’ of paid leave are understood to be an entitlement to be absent for 7 days or 24 hours respectively.

How the case came about
RACV, Victoria’s largest roadside assistance organisation, was in dispute with the Australian Municipal, Administrative, Clerical and Services Union (ASU) about proposed alterations to its enterprise agreement with employees. Specifically, the ASU wanted to maintain the agreement’s current system of deducting 7.6 hours for a day’s leave, regardless of the actual length of the shift worked. RACV wanted to deduct the actual rostered ordinary hours from the employee’s entitlement. 

Due to the RACV’s roster system, the length of shifts on rostered working days varied but was always more than 7.6 hours. So, for example, if an employee took a day’s leave on a day when they would have otherwise worked 10 hours, RACV wanted 10 hours to be deducted from that employee’s accrued leave.

What did the FWC decide?

RACV argued that because the Fair Work Act says that annual and personal/carer’s leave accrue progressively according to the ordinary hours of work, leave should be deducted on the ordinary hours of work. The FWC rejected the employer’s argument. It held that the National Employment Standards (NES) statutory provisions of the Fair Work Act do not express the annual leave entitlement itself in terms of an employee’s hours of work, but instead refer to days and weeks.

Additionally, they do not provide that annual leave when taken is to be debited by reference to ordinary hours of work.

According to the FWC, a week is not the simple aggregation of ordinary hours which an employee would have otherwise been rostered to perform during a seven day period, and should instead be given its ordinary meaning. Likewise, a day off work for annual leave is to be treated as a single day for the purpose of the NES leave entitlement, regardless of the hours that the employee was rostered to work on that day.

So what does this mean in practice?

This means that if a shift worker (as the employees in this case were) works 38 hours in four days in a week over the course of a year, they are still entitled under the NES to take a five week holiday or access 10 days of carer’s leave.

The reduction in an employee’s accrued NES entitlement to annual leave or personal/carer’s leave when the employee takes a day off work does not change depending upon the number of ordinary hours that would have been worked that day.

Any accrued entitlement is simply reduced by the amount of leave taken. If a week of leave is taken, the accrual of leave is reduced by a week, and if a day is taken, the accrual is reduced by a day.

Similarly, if an employee is granted 4 weeks’ annual leave it does not matter that one or more of those weeks would have contained a rostered day off-duty had the employee been at work and not on leave. The employee should still be paid his ordinary pay in respect of those four weeks.

The situation was different under the Workplace Relations Act which applied until 1 July 2009. Under the WR Act the entitlement arose in hours accruing with each four week period of leave.

Is this something that could be an issue at your place? Inspire Success is all about making HR SIMPLE - no matter what size your business is. Contact Inspire Success for further information hr@inspire-success.com or 1300620 100.

Thanks to Portner Press and the Workplace Bulletin for this article

Managing Workplace Misconduct

Rae Phillips - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Workplace misconduct relates to deliberate or careless acts of unacceptable behaviour by an employee and Serious misconduct can disrupt productivity and cause lasting damage to your business.


We all know that you need to nip it in the bud swiftly but at the same time, you need to be careful not to jump the gun!


The first thing you can do to try and avoid acts of misconduct from occurring in your workplace is clearly outline the standard of behaviour and performance you expect from your employees.

This means implementing concise workplace policies as well as disciplinary guidelines to assist managers in dealing with difficult employees.

You also need to be prepared to investigate allegations of misconduct fairly as to minimise any legal risks.

Finally, you need to be 100% certain that misconduct is serious enough before you decide that it warrants disciplinary action or dismissal, if you don’t have sufficient evidence, you could have a fight on your hands!

Tips:

  • Clearly outline the standard of behaviour and performance in your workplace policies;
  • Make sure everyone knows about the policies;
  • Investigate if there is a complaint.

Is this something that could be an issue at your place? Inspire Success is all about making HR SIMPLE - no matter what size your business is. Contact Inspire Success for further information hr@inspire-success.com or 1300620 100.


Which incentives are best for boosting productivity

Rae Phillips - Monday, May 25, 2015
An academic has found which types of pay have the biggest positive effect on employee motivation and productivity.

Professor Andrew Pendleton, from Durham University Business School in the UK, recently co-authored a paper on employee incentives, which set out to find which rewards had the greatest impact on company performance.

Based on the UK's national workplace survey, the research found that individual performance pay, or payment by results, is "not very effective", but neither is group payment by results.

Rather, "if you combine schemes, and particularly combining individual performance pay with profit sharing, the effect on productivity is greater than the sum of the individual effects of the two schemes", Pendleton says.

"There's a kind of multiplier effect. The argument... is that individual payment by results, although it can have strong incentive effects, there's often also some negative effects as well."

This is because people can be incentivised to focus on only one part of the job, and that might be to the detriment of relationships with their colleagues, or teamwork, Pendleton told HR Daily.

"We argue that adding something like profit sharing, which encourages teamwork, softens the negative effects of the individual payment by results. The good points of one scheme cancel out the bad points of another payment scheme."

Australian changes good for employers

Pendleton, who was in Australia last week to address a conference on the topic of employee share schemes, says proposed legislative changes that make it easier for organisations to offer share options to employees will help improve productivity and retention.

He says Australia has "a way to go" to catch up with best practice in countries such as the USA and UK, and outlined two types of schemes that have proven successful in the UK.

The first, Sharesave, or Save As You Earn (SAYE), gives employees an option to buy shares at their current value at some point in the future, and they enter a savings scheme to generate the money to exercise the options at that time.

When they get to that point – usually after three-to-five years – they can either just take their money out of the savings scheme; they can exercise the options, acquire shares and immediately sell them (usually making a gain); or they can use their savings to exercise the options and hold the shares.

Under the second type of scheme – a share incentive plan – employees can be granted free shares by their employer, or they can elect to purchase shares out of their pre-tax salary.

Productivity benefits

There's "quite a lot of evidence now" from the UK and USA that companies with employee share schemes perform better than otherwise similar companies without them, Pendleton says.

These companies typically have higher productivity, for a number of reasons, he says.

"One is that the research evidence shows that companies with share schemes have lower employee turnover, so they save on hiring and separation costs. And there's also some emerging evidence that companies with share schemes are more likely to do more training of their employees, so they're generating better quality employees."

How to encourage participation

Pendleton says not everyone wants to participate in these types of schemes – generally only about 25–30 per cent of employees take part.

Participation is lowest among the youngest employees but increases as they get older, before plateauing when workers are about 55 years of age.

Similarly, salary level has a big influence on scheme participation, where "the more you earn, the more likely you are to join", Pendleton says.

But aside from the individual characteristics affecting participation, employers can influence involvement.

"The message that comes out pretty clearly is that the more communications a company does, the more likely people are to participate. That figures: the more information companies are pumping out to employees, the more employees come to trust the company and trust the scheme and feel they know what they're getting into," Pendleton says.

And using communication to raise participation among younger workers helps create more financially stable employees – Pendleton has found that for many young workers these schemes are their only form of savings, and about 50 per cent say that if the scheme wasn't there, "they would spend the money rather than saving it".

Is this something that could be an issue at your place? Inspire Success is all about making HR SIMPLE - no matter what size your business is. Contact Inspire Success for further information hr@inspire-success.com or 1300620 100.

Coalitions budget changes to the paid parental leave scheme

Rae Phillips - Monday, May 25, 2015
What the Coalition’s budget changes mean for your business’s paid parental leave scheme

There was a significant change to paid parental leave (PPL) announced in this month’s Federal Budget but it wont affect everyone.

The changes that Treasurer Joe Hockey announced will certainly affect employees – but for better or worse, they’re not actually changing your administrative obligations under paid parental leave.

The key issue is that access to the public PPL scheme is changing.

Currently, mothers earning up to $150,000 per annum receive $11,500 of taxpayer-funded paid parental leave. This is equivalent to 18 weeks at the national minimum wage rate.

Some businesses top this scheme up by paying an additional amount of paid parental leave to their employees. The government isn't happy with this 'double dipping' and has changed the entitlements accordingly. 

This means that entitlement to the public PPL scheme will be reduced, or cut off entirely, depending on what an employee already receives from her employer.

Here's how it works:

  • If you have no employee PPL scheme of your own, then nothing much changes. Your employees will go on parental leave, and receive their public PPL entitlement of 18 weeks’ leave as usual.
  • If you have an employee PPL scheme of your own that is less generous than the $11,500 the government provides, then the government will only ‘top up’ what the employee receives to a maximum of $11,500.
  • And if your employee PPL scheme matches or is more generous than the government’s scheme, then your employees will not be able to access the government entitlement at all.

It is estimated that some 80,000 female employees will lose some or all of their Commonwealth leave payments under the changes. It’s also estimated to save the government nearly $1 billion over the next four years, and changes would take affect from 1 July 2016.

Here at Inspire Success, we estimate that many employers will make changes to their PPL schemes, or not increase their schemes as they had intended. What will your business do?

Is this something that could be an issue at your place? Inspire Success is all about making HR SIMPLE - no matter what size your business is. Contact Inspire Success for further information hr@inspire-success.com or 1300620 100.

4 Ways To Innovate Your Hiring Process in 2015

Rae Phillips - Saturday, January 17, 2015
The rapid adoption of cloud computing, social media connectivity and always-on mobile access continue to fundamentally change how businesses and individuals interact. With the newer paradigms becoming more prevalent and mainstream, many industries are realizing that traditional hiring methods are quickly becoming irrelevant and ineffective. Employers must get creative and innovative with their recruitment activities. 
 
But there is something else, in this time of a skills shortage, we must understand the perspective of the talent. The talented employees, the ones we all want, understand and fully utilize these fast paced times. They know there is a talent shortage. They are willing to accept a new challenging job offer quickly. They look for opportunities to learn and grow. They understand their value to a prospective employer.

Here are our 4 Tops Tips to innovate your recruitment activities in 2015.


1. Get involved with Mobile and Social Recruiting

We exist in a world of constant social connectivity. With the multiple popular social media platforms available and constant access to mobile devices, people are always in close contact. Tapping into this medium is necessary to maximize the effectiveness of your hiring process and implementing recruiting software that uses a social recruiting component is an effective way to use this tool to your advantage. Creating an employee hiring process compatible with mobile recruiting opens up access to a global talent pool. Increase your exposure to quality hires and ensure that your business is considering the best people for the job.

2. Introduce an Employee Referral Reward Program

Our existing employees are valuable resources when it comes to prospective new hires. Existing staff members have already bought into the company’s values and goals, making it likely that they will only refer people that also fit. Implementing an employee referral reward program will provide an incentive for actively connecting with talent that can contribute to the overall aspirations of your business and its brand.

3. Get serious with your employee marketing and develop your Brand as an Employer

We know there is a talent shortage. The market is competitive, making it imperative that we to sell ourselves as a company. Competing for the best candidates revolves around creating an employer brand and this includes considering what it means to work at your place. Talented candidates want to hear about the mission of the job vacancy in the organization.
In order for employer branding to be effective, the hiring process needs to be a coordinated effort. Recruitment efforts should not be performed merely to fill or replace a position, but rather, should involve seeking the newest valuable member of your team.

4. Review outdated Recruiting Methods

The innovation of the recruitment process has to focus on 4 key success areas: mission of the job vacancy, key opportunities and tasks, simplicity of the process (including quick decision making) and human interaction during the hiring procedure. The old fashioned job description is useful; however, in its current form it is not the best tool for the recruitment of the talent. The talent wants to change the organization, bring a new product to the market. The talent understands that there are mission critical tasks, but they don’t want to be bored by a long list of duties and responsibilities. The innovative job description should show that there is freedom in how the work is done.

The key responsibilities should include the key tasks, which will lead to success. The talent doesn’t have to read and hear details. A talented candidate can speak about the high level plan during the interview and develop the detail when they come on board. The recruitment process has to be quick and uncomplicated. We introduce many additional steps to make sure that we hire the best talent, however when change is happening so fast, we must move quickly! At the moment we usually hire the most patient candidate.

Don’t involve so many people in the decision making process. The recruiter and the hiring manager should be responsible. The hiring manager has to bring challenging tasks as part of the process which justify their decision.

Finally, the automated recruitment process was introduced to make the process quicker. But talent doesn’t want to receive automated emails about the progress of their application! Recruiters should become human beings again. In these changing times, an innovative recruitment process is about a human touch.

Is this something that could be an issue at your place? Inspire Success is all about making HR SIMPLE - no matter what size your business is. Contact Inspire Success for further information hr@inspire-success.com or 1300620 100.

Australian Public Holidays - Christmas 2014

Rae Phillips - Saturday, December 06, 2014

Upcoming National Public Holidays


Holiday Date
Christmas Day Thursday 25 December 2014
Boxing Day Friday 26 December 2014
New Year's Day Thursday 1 January 2015
Australia Day  Monday 26 January 2015

Preparing for a New Year

Rae Phillips - Friday, December 05, 2014
Given that a new year is just around the corner, what better time is there to make some business resolutions?

Here's a good one to start you off - a new year the perfect time for you to review your workplace practices and make sure they're legally correct and up-to-date.

Here are some aspects of your business practices you must review at the beginning of each year:

1. Your Workplace Policies.
Remember, having clear and legally correct workplace policies (such as workplace bullying policies, drug and alcohol policies and e-mail and internet usage policies) can help you guide the behaviour of your employees and help you avoid being held liable under various types of legislation. It is essential that you review and update your policies on a regular basis.

2. Your Awards, Agreements and Employment Contracts.
Are you sure that all of your employment agreements and contracts are 100% up-to-date? Remember, amendments may still need to be made as a result of the new Fair Work Act. To avoid liability, it is imperative that your awards, agreements and employment contracts are legally correct.

Need a hand with updating your policies, contracts and agreements? Contact us for more information.

3. Your WHS Procedures.
Make it a priority to review all your WHS procedures at the beginning of each year and check they are running smoothly. You could even consider conducting a few drill tests to make sure your employees are completely clear about what to do in an emergency situation.

Need help ensuring your business's WHS practices are up-to-date? Contact us for more information.

Call Inspire Success on 1300 620 100 for more information.

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