Is that really what you mean?

Is that really what you mean?

Latest News & Events

 

Is that really what you meant?

 Every time you do an employee survey, what is the #1 area for improvement that arises?

 Communication, of course!

 And when we are confronted with a problem relationship in a workplace, what do you think is more often than not the problem?

 You got it – communication as in the messages that people give each other and how they are interpreted or, perhaps put more accurately, how they are misinterpreted.

 In our consulting work, we use a methodology called “Respectful Relationship Agreements” to explore work relationships, what is working well and where there are opportunities for improvements.

 Where there are problems in relationships between people, we discover more often than not that the problems lie in the way that messages are given and received rather than in the messages themselves.

 By asking “what did you mean by that?”, we get understanding of what the true intention was and often that is different to what the recipient of the message thought it was or what the deliverer was really wanting to say (or would have said if they had their time again).

 We might also discover that there were other factors that arose that influenced the way the dialogue occurred and that understanding can provide context that makes a difference to perception.

 Then there might also be the reality that a person did act inappropriately and that can present a couple of scenarios:

  • If they did not realise how their behaviour impacted on the other person and they learn from that, an apology and a commitment to act differently in future might be all that is needed or
  • If they did it deliberately and are not considerate of how their behaviour impacted on the other person, they are unfortunately self selecting disciplinary action for themselves (and the process that you have worked through supports that action). 

 So next time you are confronted with a relationship issue of this sort, take the time to ask the question: “Is that really what you meant when you said that?”

 If you need a hand with the conversation, give us a call – this is just another way that we are “Helping PEOPLE in BUSINESS” with PEOPLE BUSINESS.

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
Abn : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

Peter Maguire : 0438 533 311

PARTNER LINKS

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH

Why was lockdown engaging?

Why was lockdown engaging?

Latest News & Events

 

Why was lockdown engaging?

 As we continue the progression back to the new normal (whatever that might look like), one of the interesting things that many businesses and studies are reporting is that employee engagement levels have actually increased during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Why would that be the case?

Are there lessons that we can take from this?

Let’s explore why that might have happened.

 The Lucky Ones

There are people who have continued to work pretty well in line with their contracted hours of work albeit perhaps in a different setting (eg at home) or with modifications within their workplace. They would be grateful that they have had the good fortune to get through this difficult period largely unscathed especially when they look at others who have been locked down for months.

 A taste of flexible working

Of course, there are people who have enjoyed the flexibilities that go with working from home and the saving of time on the commute to work. For many, time is the most precious of commodities and they would see significant silver linings in the clouds of COVID-19.

There are lots of stories about people getting better balance in life during the last year and a balance that they want to retain.

Doing things differently

We also know that there are those who haven’t enjoyed the physical isolation but have learned new ways to be connected eg with various virtual teleconferencing platforms.

Learning and experiencing new ways of doing things have their own rewards and have opened up new possibilities with work that people value.

So all of the above are things which have contributed to employees feeling more engaged with their workplaces/employers.

We think there is another that is really important to recognise.

Loss of the physical and visual comfort zone

When people are in the office, we can see them and have intended or incidental face to face interactions which give us a sense of comfort that we are in control and things are OK with them.

For many managers, this is very much a case of all is OK in the world as long as people have their heads down and bums up and unless someone puts their hand up to say otherwise.

So what happens when that comfort zone is stripped away ie people are working from home so we can’t see them and we can’t just walk over and talk to them?

For many managers, that means that “I have to have check-ins with people to keep on top of things and ensure that the work is getting done, our customers are being satisfied and I am meeting my responsibilities as a manager.” 

If you are in that space, you have probably had more conversations/1-on-1s with each of your people during lockdown and guess what? Because of that, people can feel more connected and more valued and more engaged.

Smart businesses will explore with their people what lessons you can take from the lockdown experience that will make a positive difference to your “new normal workplace”.

We know that regular, positive and constructive conversations with people make that difference regardless of the setting in which they work. 

If you would like to learn how to do that, we would love to help you.

 Give our Practice Leader, Peter Maguire a call on 0438 533 311 to book a free consultation!

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
Abn : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

Peter Maguire : 0438 533 311

PARTNER LINKS

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH

You can’t outsource TRUST!

You can’t outsource TRUST!

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You can’t outsource TRUST!

The recent report on the National Workplace Wellbeing Survey 2020 by The Wellbeing Lab in conjunction with the Australian Human Resources Institute asked a couple of questions that we want to explore. The first was : “Do your workers feel psychologically safe enough to talk honestly with each other about their wellbeing?” So what does “psychologically safe” mean? According to Wikipedia: “Psychological safety is being able to show and employ one’s self without fear of negative consequences of self-image, status or career (Kahn 1990, p. 708).[1] It is “a condition in which you feel (1) included, (2) safe to learn, (3) safe to contribute, and (4) safe to challenge the status quo- all without fear of being embarrassed, marginalized or punished in some way.”(Timothy R Clark, 2019)[2] It can also be defined as a shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking.[3] In psychologically safe teams, team members feel accepted and respected. It is also the most studied enabling condition in group dynamics and team learning research.” Given that definition, it should come as no surprise that, according to the survey results:

  • People who are prepared to talk about their wellbeing challenges first go to someone they trust who is most commonly a friend or family member outside work (ie the people they have the closest relationships with).
  • For those who would raise it with someone at work, it is most commonly a team member or their manager (ie the people they have the closest relationships with at work).
  • Conversely, outsourced support (EAP Programs) and institutional support (HR Departments) are the least likely places that people will go for wellbeing support (each of those was reported as the place people would go to in less than 3.5%  of respondents).

This just reinforces the fact that a key ingredient of psychological safety is trust and you can’t outsource that. When you think of it in those terms, it is easy to understand why the results are what they are. People are most likely to speak with people whom they know and trust. Perhaps that is also why so few people would go to HR or EAP – because they don’t know them well enough to trust them? That leads us to their second question: Do your workers feel psychologically safe enough to talk honestly with each other about their wellbeing?” The challenge for any organisation is to do two things:

  1. Enable a psychologically safe work culture and environment where people will open up about any challenges that they are having with confidence and feeling supported and
  2. Equip and empower line managers and people generally to provide caring and practical wellbeing support to individuals, with teams and across the organisation as a whole.

For larger organisations, the repositioning of HR Departments to be focused on building strong, trusted and valued relationships with people across the organisation should be a priority. For smaller businesses, look for an external HR consultant who brings that wellbeing capability and the trust factor along with the rest of the HR toolkit that you might need for process and compliance. All of this is consistent with another piece of advice from the report: “Caring for workers’ wellbeing requires diverse and sustained support at the levels of ‘me’ (workers), ‘we’ (teams) and ‘us’ (whole workplace) to create a thriving workplace environment.” Of course, all organisations need external specialist supports and networks that can assist in helping employees with their support needs in relation to wellbeing. Having access to professional and community supports with medical and allied services, counselling and psychological support services at a practical level for the organisation and its people is important. Our Better Workplace Projects and our EngageMentality Coaching Programs both have employee voice and trust/integrity as central pillars of the employment relationship. If you would like to explore how we can assist in building a psychologically safe culture based on trust and wellbeing, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
Abn : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

Peter Maguire : 0438 533 311

PARTNER LINKS

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH

Positive People Practices #1 – Positive PDs

Positive People Practices  This is the first in a series of blogs on various tools that you can use to assist in leading and managing people and practical ways in which you can use them. First cab off the rank is the Position Description. https://youtu.be/qWJdKzF6usg #1: Positive PDs with 6 purposes The Position Description (PD) has been around for decades and can be found in lots of different forms if you have a look around. Have you ever asked yourself: “Why do we have PDs? What is the point of them?” That is a very good question and it can elicit a lot of different answers. The reality (something that very few businesses understand, let alone appreciate) is that the PD is arguably the most powerful multi-functional tool in your people management toolkit if it is properly structured and used. So what can you do with PDs? Here are the 6 powerful purposes:

  1. Compliance satisfaction: every employer has statutory obligations under workplace health and safety legislation to provide employees with proper instruction, supervision and training in their duties. A properly constructed PD (supported by functional communication processes) provides documentary evidence of compliance.
  2. Recruitment effectiveness: when you are looking for a new employee, you want to get the optimal return on the investment in the recruitment and selection process. This starts with giving candidates a clear understanding of the role. Added to that, you want to have a clear understanding of the attributes that you are looking for so as to gear the campaign accordingly. A well-rounded PD does this and provides the foundation for designing the selection process to thoroughly explore the required and desired attributes for the role and make an informed and evidence-based selection decision.
  3. Targeted development: understanding the skills and attributes required to be successful in a role is key to targeting training and development activity starting with onboarding and progressing right through the employment lifecycle. This is an important component of a PD that helps in the making of effective learning and development plans and activities as well as in succession planning.
  4. Structured performance management: the starting point for any performance plan should be a review of the employee’s performance against the functions performed and the outcomes expected in a role. This is central to having a proper evidence-based performance management process that is both substantively and procedurally fair (legally and in practice). It also enables balanced feedback for positive conversations about strengths and achievements as well as improvement opportunities. The detail on functions and outcomes in PDs is an essential ingredient for achieving these outcomes.
  5. Relationship optimisation: in any role, there are relationships that are important to the success of the incumbent – people who this person relies on for certain things and others who rely on this person for specific things. These can be managers or peers or subordinates or others in process chains. The better that those relationships work, the more effective (and happier) people individually and collectively will be. PDs that identify key relationships and performance outcomes provide a great basis for managing those relationships through shared understanding of and commitment to the partnerships and interdependencies involved.
  6. Better employee engagement: study after study tells us that some of the key factors in employee engagement are that people have meaning and purpose in their work and that they have clarity about their role and performance expectations. PDs structured in the right way and actively used as the multi-functional tool that they can be (as per 1-5 above) clearly support those critical engagement factors

So there is the business case – now what? What should the PD include? Before we get to the contents, let’s talk about language. If you want to have positive conversations with people, use positive language that supports emotional connection of the employee with the organisation and its goals and engagement of the employee with the role that they are employed in. Next let’s consider strategic alignment and there is a very simple and proven formula for enabling this and that is Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle Approach.

  • Why?     State the purpose and the performance outcomes required of the role
  • How?     What are the enablers of good performance – qualifications required, skills and attributes needed, key relationships, etc
  • What?   A list of the duties that the incumbent performs

Tips for developing the PD  Step 1: Draw up a table or spreadsheet with 4 columns headed:

  1. Functions
  2. Attributes
  3. Relationships
  4. Outcomes

Step 2: Make a list of all of the functions that the role performs Step 3: For each function, consider what attributes (skiils/knowledge or other qualities) are required to perform the function well and list these attributes in the second column Step 4: For each function, consider what relationships are involved in performance of the tasks involved – list the interdependencies (what the incumbent relies on someone else for and what others rely on the incumbent for) Step 5: Again for each function and taking into account all of the information in the first 3 columns, identify what the required performance outcomes are and list these in the fourth column You now have a comprehensive PD which, used properly, gives you that multi-faceted tool with which all 6 of the purposes set out above can be satisfied. Need a hand? Give Peter Maguire a hoy on 0438 533 311 or at peter@ridgelinehr.com.au [/av_textblock]

National wellbeing survey delivers a wake up call for employers

National wellbeing survey delivers a wake up call for employers

 

The Wellbeing Lab 2020 Workplace Report, the third of its kind produced by the Wellbeing Lab in conjunction with The Australian Human Resources Institute, is out, this year with a follow up piece on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the key findings were not all that surprising for example:

  • That people who experience struggle and stress can be more resilient and better able to look after their own wellbeing
  • That struggle is a part of life and normalising struggle in workplace conversations is important for supporting people’s wellbeing
  • That one size does not fit all and workplaces need a diverse approach with different ways of supporting wellbeing and not just an EAP

On the other hand, some findings were a real wakeup call:

  • Over a third of workplaces are providing no support for people’s wellbeing.
  • The most popular form of support offered by workplaces is EAPs (Employee Assistance Programs) but, wait for it…….EAPS were also seen as the least effective. In fact, just 3.3% of people said that the EAP is who they would ask for help when struggling.
  • Workers are most likely to ask someone outside work for help. Within the workplace, it would likely be a team member or their boss but, wait for it again…….they were least likely to go to HR for help (just 3.2%) just marginally behind the EAP (3.3%). Notably both of these numbers halved from the previous year’s survey.

So, based on these findings, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to say that the primary investments that most organisations are making in wellbeing (HR & EAP) are delivering the least return in wellbeing impact, would it? Interestingly and, from our perspective, not surprisingly, the survey found that wellbeing coaching (offered in less than 10% of workplaces) was seen as the most effective form of wellbeing support. There is a shift happening with organisations rebranding HR as “People and Culture” to provide at least an appearance of being more human-centred. However, the change from the corporate norm of a culture based on shareholder return, risk management, data analysis and process control to one which is truly centred on people is massive. At the core of that is enlightened and vulnerable leadership from the very top of the organisation, building quality relationships based on trust at all levels and across the whole of the organisation (business/teams/people) all underpinned by a common purpose and value set that is a lived experience every day. That includes how organisations, managers, teams and people manage wellbeing as a key element of managing the performance and development of the organisation and its people. So, the challenges are for the whole of the organisation and not just HR. They require a fundamentally different way of thinking and behaving and different skillsets and mindsets across the board, starting from the Board and including those working in the field of HR. How can we help? The report talks about there being 3 levels at which wellbeing needs to be worked on:

  • “Me” – our EngageMentality Performance Development process deals specifically with wellbeing
  • “We” – our EngageMentality Team Coaching process fosters team support for each other with an emphasis on positive relationships
  • “Us” – our Better Workplace Projects use a positive psychology approach to transform workplace culture and worker experience

So, the report is in – what are you going to do about it? You can access the Wellbeing Lab 2020 Workplace Report here

Getting started for a great 2020

Getting started for a great 2020

Over the past year, we have developed some new positive psychology based approaches to personal development, engagement coaching and cultural change with some excellent results in our work with clients. So now it is time for us to look in the mirror – to lead by example and do it ourselves. Would you like to join us? Here is how. Under our EngageMentality coaching model, we have identified 5 prisms through which we look at and design peoples’ development. They are:

  1. Role(s): the functions that I perform and the technical skills and knowledge that I need to be successful in the role(s)
  2. Relationships: who are the key people with whom I relate, the people who rely on me and those whom I rely on to get good outcomes
  3. Values: what does good behaviour look like for me and for the people whom I work with
  4. Strengths: what am I innately good at and how do I utilise those strengths to good effect – if you haven’t done so, undertake the free VIA Character Strengths Survey
  5. Wellbeing: what I need to lead a balanced life which provides the nourishment that I need to flourish physically, mentally and socially

With each of those, we apply the Appreciative Inquiry methodology to define:

  1. Where we are at now in terms of our strengths (what’s working well) and opportunities (what can get better) – AI Discovery Phase
  2. Where we want to be in 12 months time – AI Dream Phase
  3. What actions will we take to leverage the strengths and take advantage of the opportunities – AI Design Phase
  4. Committing to and implementing my plan to deliver my Dream – AI Destiny Phase.

Put it all in a simple action plan with the following columns:

  1. The development objective
  2. The development actions
  3. The people responsible for the actions (you or you and someone)
  4. The timelines for the actions
  5. The status (tracking progress, celebrating achievements and recalibrating as needed)

The challenge then of course is to do it. Here are a few tips on that:

  1. Plan time in your calendar to undertake the actions you have committed to.
  2. Review your progress against your plan regularly – at least monthly and preferably weekly.
  3. Don’t stand still – stuff happens and things change so stay on top of that, be agile and adjust the plan as you need to – without compromising the Dream of course.
  4. Engage with a trusted someone whom you can talk to, get feedback from, celebrate the successes and learn from the things that haven’t quite gone to plan – this can be really valuable and a great emotional support.
  5. Keep a positive mindset, practise gratitude (be thankful for the good things and let people know) and be kind to yourself.

We are also factoring in daily practice of happiness in our plans through the free Action for Happiness resources available at https://www.actionforhappiness.org/calendars Here is the January 2020 calendar to get you started if you want to take this up too. Have a great 2020! If we can help to make your workplace a better place for people to flourish (our purpose), we would love to hear from you. [/av_textblock]