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]

Refreshing Ridgeline HR

Refreshing Ridgeline HR

We have been around for nearly 20 years now and, in that time, we have served hundreds of clients across a wide range of industry, cultural, size and geographical settings. As with any business, to stay relevant and of value to our clients, we need to continuously test and refresh our offerings – always looking to be able to help in new and better ways. Over the past couple of years, we have been undertaking a deeper analysis of our strengths and how we can best leverage them to benefit both our business and those of our clients. We have done this in the context of the people and culture challenges that organisations large and small need to address in the modern world and how we can leverage both modern thinking on employee engagement and high performance on the one hand and HRM technological platforms on the other to better effect. That has led to a number of exciting initiatives that we have begun to roll out and which will come fully online in 2020. Our Better Workplace Projects Using best practice methodologies from around the world, we have put together an organisational improvement model that really works – because it is centred on and is delivered through “your most important asset”, your people.Our Practice Leader, Peter Maguire, designed the Better Workplace Projects to meet the need for Australian businesses to find better ways to lead and manage their people. Peter believes that a focus on strengths rather than risks and enabling employee engagement and wellbeing are the keys to making better workplaces where people and businesses flourish. Here is what an early adopting client, Heidi Tucker, CEO of Anchor, has to say: “Peter has introduced the organisation to a range of tools, frameworks and theories underpinned by positive psychology. These allow us to support our staff to be the best version of themselves at work. Anchor has invested in developing a Better Workplace team, a group of staff members representing all areas of the business, who act as our “employee voice”. I have found this “voice” so important because it guides myself and my senior leadership team in the right direction- where our staff want to go!!”  Our EngageMentality Coaching Programs Complementing our Better Workplace Projects, we have flipped the traditional performance management model on its head because it simply does not work. There are 4 basic tenets that underpin this model, namely:

  1. We look at the whole person through the lenses of role, relationships, values, strengths and wellbeing.
  2. We develop performance and development plans that are tailored to the individual in all 5 of these contexts.
  3. We regularly check in to see how it is going, to give credit for achievements and to tweak as necessary for areas requiring attention or things that have changed.
  4. The person responsible for my plan and my performance and development is me – my manager’s role is to coach me to help me to succeed against that plan.

Our technology solution – Employment Hero After extensive research, we have chosen and entered into a partnership with Employment Hero, a cloud-based HRM system that fully integrates with leading financial management systems such as Xero and MYOB and others. This provides a lot of functionality and economy to manage basic HRM tasks (like many other online systems do) but it also provides value adds in employee engagement, wellbeing and technological support for our coaching programs that other systems don’t have. It also helps us to automate process functions so that we can leverage our expertise more effectively where it should be directed – to helping you to improve your business and lead and manage your people better. That automation also helps you to focus on what really drives your business – your people. Our investment in facilities We have become a member of Waterman Business Centres giving us access to state of the art working, meeting and training/presentation facilities in three locations – at Caribbean Gardens, Chadstone and Narre Warren. So we now have much better capability to provide the right space for the service that you need at any given time. Our continued offerings Of course, we are not “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”. We are still providing the same old every day services that have got us to where we are now. That is the hands on help with understanding and meeting compliance requirements, writing documentation such as employment contracts and HRM policies and procedures, developing enterprise agreements, giving you a hand with staff communications and helping to resolve disagreements and to manage performance, conduct and disciplinary matters. With the range of initiatives that are outlined above, we have new and better ways of doing those things too. Our business is about “Helping PEOPLE in BUSINESS”. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we might be able to do that for you and/or your people by calling me on 0438 533 311 or email me at peter@ridgelinehr.com.au. Peter Maguire Practice Leader Ridgeline HR In 2020, we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary and we will also be growing on the back of all of this refreshment of the Ridgeline HR brand and services. We are looking for people who can do that with us as independent contractors and consultants in both our employee engagement/better workplace services and in our Employment Hero/compliance services. Have a look at what we do and how we do it if this is of interest to you. Then, if you have something to offer us, please feel free to give me a call.  [/av_textblock]

Would a conversation work better?

Would a conversation work better?

I often hear talk in businesses about how people are sending too many emails instead of just going and talking to the other party.

Organisations everywhere seem to be struggling with managing this and the impact that it can have on work and personal relationships.

I learned the value of conversations a long time ago under two very different managers – the first one managed HR by getting around the place and having conversations with people. The second sat in his office and issued policies and memos.

People loved the first one, trusted him, listened to him and worked proactively with him. Of course he confirmed things in writing when necessary but relationships came first. He was great to work for.

The second one was not a bad guy but, because he dealt through memo rather than conversations, people did not get to know him. He was all risk management process and really didn’t have good relationships with anyone. So they didn’t trust him and they resisted him. I looked for and found another job.

I saw this image on linkedin and thought it captured the message really well.

Acknowledgement: @SteeleThoughts

Perhaps before sending an email, we should think about whether a conversation would be better.

Not a bad exercise for a team to have a conversation about – when you should have a conversation and when an email is best.

 

Supporting World Mental Health Day

Supporting World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day is on Thursday 10 October 2019. This presents a great opportunity for all of us to do something positive to make a difference to people who we are connected with. You can start by making a public commitment – make your promise at https://1010.org.au/make-a-promise/ and share it around. Here is mine. Why would you want to do this? Because the statistics tell us that:

  • Globally, one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 – 29 year olds
  • One in five Australians has suffered from mental health issues in the past year
  • We all know people who have lost family or friends to suicide

And we can all make a difference – here are some ideas from the World Health organisation who just asks that we each spend 40 seconds on World Mental Health Day to make a difference. WHO – flyer-40seconds-web If you are an employer, did you know that WorkSafe in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services, has created a toolkit to help businesses make mentally healthy workplaces. It is called Workwell and you can access it at: https://www.workwell.vic.gov.au/toolkit. Perhaps you would like to explore other ways in which you can create a practical, caring and supportive environment in your business where people feel psychologically safe and engaged. It is a proven fact that, if you help your  people to flourish, your business will too. Give me a call on 0438 533 311 if you would like to learn more about what you can do as an employer – we’ll be happy to help. Peter Maguire Practice Leader [/av_textblock]

Leverage relationships for results

Leverage relationships for results

If people are your greatest asset (as is so often said to be the case), why is it that so few organisations actually put people at the centre of their business strategy and activity?

Why? Because for the past thirty years, Australian businesses have generally been focused on risk management and process control and more recently metrics as the drivers for managing people.

The philosophy has been about efficient process,  delegation of responsibility, compliance and consequences for non-compliance.

But that is hardly engaging, is it? And, while you certainly need to have efficient processes and appropriate policies in any business, it won’t really deliver a high performance culture, will it?

So what can you do differently?

Use the relationships between people in your business as the driver for improvements.

You do this by understanding and getting buy in to the inter-dependencies between people and here are a few examples:

  • When you have someone new start, identify the key people that this new starter will interact with in their role and introduce them to what these relationships look like by getting them to ask three questions of each of these people: What is your role? What do you rely on me for? What do I rely on you for? That will help the new person to settle in so much faster and effectively because they understand where they fit in the relationship sense.
  • When you set up a project, map the inter-dependencies between project team members and other stakeholders by answering those same 3 questions. That is a great aid to project planning and execution.
  • When you are resolving conflict between people, explore the inter-dependencies (ie what do I rely on you for and what do you rely on me for).  Then determine what is working well and celebrate it and identify what can be improved and commit to a plan together to deliver those improvements. By focusing on the professional inter-dependencies and partnering in the improvement plan, you move beyond the blame game to effective shared solutions.    

These are just a few of the ways that we leverage the power of positive relationships in Helping PEOPLE in BUSINESS.

Fresh thinking for old challenges

Fresh thinking for old challenges

We recently launched our new Better Workplace Projects and we are getting terrific feedback on the impact like:

“The session was excellent – great buy in from everyone and really positive feedback afterwards.”

“The team and I loved the session and felt very positive and inspired”.

Why are they having this impact?

It’s fresh thinking for old challenges!

We look at what drives people engagement and high performance through a positive psychology lens where the focus is on how we use our strengths to improve rather than just how we fix the problems.

We also reinvent the performance management process to provide a positive and continuous development experience that gets people engaged, aligned and accountable.

In our interactive Better Workplace Project Introductory Workshops, we introduce you to the best practice models that underpin the methodology and have an open conversation with you about how these might be used to address the people and culture challenges and opportunities and deliver high performance in your organisation.

For a small investment of $800 plus GST and a couple of hours of your time, we can help you to get started or step up on that journey to a Better Workplace.

Our Better Workplace Project Introductory Workshops are delivered by our Practice Leader, Peter Maguire, who has consulted to hundreds of organisations on people and culture strategy and practice. Peter has an extraordinary breadth of experience with clients in public, private and NFP sectors and in a wide range of industry and people culture settings. He is also a former Investors in People Assessor and has presented internationally on HRM best practices.