team planning

HAVE YOU CONSIDERED HR NEEDS FOR THE NEXT FINANCIAL YEAR? Tips and Tricks on How to Prepare

When it comes to end of financial year (EOFY) many businesses get caught up in reporting and compliance requirements. However, EOFY is also an important time to plan and set workforce goals for the next financial year. Consider: What went well last year? What can we improve on? And where do we want our business and workforce to be by June 2024? These future planning considerations are even more important as we see new challenges and opportunities emerging in a post-pandemic world.

So, to make sure you’re considering all you need for a positive and productive 2024, here’s our checklist of what to focus on: 

Respect@Work - building a safe and strong workplace

A thriving workplace is a safe and cohesive workplace, where your employees feel protected. Following the recent Respect@work reforms in December 2022, all employers have a new positive duty to take proactive and meaningful action to prevent workplace sexual harassment, discrimination and victimisation. This includes training your staff on the acceptable standards of workplace behaviour.

It is important for employers to:  

1. Be across the changes & ensure you’ve got the correct policies and procedures in place to meet your new obligations.

It’s no longer enough just to show that you have a policy prohibiting sexual harassment in your workplace. Consider how will you show that everyone in your workplace knows how to identify, prevent, stop, and manage inappropriate behaviour. It’s also time to look again at your current workplace policies that deal with sexual harassment in connection to work, to see if you’re compliant and/or if there are any gaps that need to be filled and reinforced.

Culture, Engagement, and Investing in your People

Workplaces will continue to struggle to fill vacancies and they will also experience limited fresh talent in the short term, despite unemployment sitting at record lows within Australia. This means competition to attract and retain legal talent in Australia will remain high. Recruiting and retaining top talent will continue to be the strongest indicator of an organisation’s culture, benefits and success.

A key consideration in planning your business’ future is securing your talent. On top of this, since the pandemic, culture and collaboration were hit hard with many working remotely and continuing to do so. Therefore, employers are faced with the dual challenge of restoring team wellbeing post-pandemic and inspiring their workforce for the future.

Here are our two key retention and development considerations to secure your business into the future:

1. Focus on Culture & Engagement

Knowing what problems exist in your organisation can help avoid the mass exits that we’re seeing. As mentioned above, with employees re-evaluating their work life balance, work culture is even more important to ensure retention. Go beyond the ‘take time lieu’ approach if people are overworked. Prioritise health, readjust workloads and promote flexibility. Also take time to invest in a culture and engagement audit. Consult and get input from your employees on what can support their wellbeing.

This is also especially important in managing employee absenteeism. Ensuring employees have a supportive workplace means that they are more likely to firstly, communicate to you when they may be facing challenges but also, facilitate their return to work.

Wizards Tip: Culture & Engagement work as an excellent diagnostic tool to better understand the state of your current workplace culture and views & experiences of your employees. Workplace Wizards have run many successful and efficient culture & engagement surveys for our clients – for more information on our survey services, check out this page here

2. Empower Career Development

With lots of movement happening and record low unemployment rates, now is the time for employers to demonstrate to their staff the opportunities available if they stay. Think about those that may be getting too comfortable in their role or have been within their position for a long time with no clear promotion or growth pathway. Capitalise on investing in their future and show them that you want to support their development. Recognition and serious commitment to development can go a long way in making your employees feel valued at work!

Build your Leadership Team

Though delivering on all the above is the responsibility of the business as a whole, your managers will be at the centre of a lot of these initiatives. From having return to work conversations, facilitating performance improvement plans and checking in on staff wellbeing – there is a renewed need for your team leaders to be exactly that, leaders.

Sure, your team leaders might be great at what they do technically, but how good are they at being managers and leaders? It’s more important now than ever to ensure your team leaders are equipped for having productive and difficult conversations and supporting their direct reports.

Here are some key topics we recommend training your team leaders on:

1. Managing Interpersonal Conflicts

Team members have spent a long time out of the office, this means that there is an increased likelihood for interpersonal conflict upon return to work. Managers will have a key role to play to make sure these grievances aren’t unnecessarily escalated and can be resolved fairly and quickly.  

2. Preparing and delivering performance management plans  

Investing in your team also means having leaders who can guide and track members’ performance. It is important to make sure that your leaders can identify when performance management is needed and have constructive conversations to support the employee.

3. Strategic Thinking versus Managerial Functions

Empowering your staff through all of the above means that your team leaders can also shift their perspective to be strategic instead of bogged in everyday management. Support your managers to train up their staff, so that they can turn to being more innovative and come up with new ways to achieve business goals.

There’s a lot that goes into planning for the future – but it starts with knowing what your priorities are for the year and supporting your workforce to achieve these. As always, we’re here to support you in achieving exactly that. From facilitating team training sessions, conducting culture and engagement audits and performance improvement plans – we’re here no matter what planning stage you’re at.

So, while you budget for the FY23/24 year ahead, carefully think about your HR needs and priorities and let us be a part of the planning and implementation stage with you. Reach out to us on (03) 9087 6949 or email us at support@workplacewizards.com.au so that we can partner with you during this exciting year ahead!

Balancing Return to Work and Hybrid Models

Managing flexible work arrangements continues to be a struggle for many businesses. While recent law reforms have expanded and updated the flexible work request process, trying to find the best practice process to meet obligations, promote employee flexibility and protect business interests remains a challenge.

It is important for employers to:  

1. Make sure they understand the flexible work request process – including which employees are entitled under the Fair Work Act to request a flexible work arrangement.

Make sure both you and your staff are across the current laws when it comes to flexible work requests, including how they should be made, what details requests will need to include and what the processes are for accepting or denying a request. 

2. Create clear channels of communication!

Remember that a hybrid working model (if implemented) can be at your total discretion, and if it not working out (whether for the business or the employee), have a clear procedure in place to discuss this instead of sweeping the issue under the carpet. When working from home, it’s easier to delay having these difficult conversations, so make sure there are frequent and established check-ins for people to provide feedback on their working arrangements.

Wizards Tip: Take the load of with a hand from the Wizards team – get in quick to take up our EOFY discount on our ‘Flexible Work Strategy’ workshops. For more details on the training & the package check out this page here. 

Culture, Engagement, and Investing in your People

Workplaces will continue to struggle to fill vacancies and they will also experience limited fresh talent in the short term, despite unemployment sitting at record lows within Australia. This means competition to attract and retain legal talent in Australia will remain high. Recruiting and retaining top talent will continue to be the strongest indicator of an organisation’s culture, benefits and success.

A key consideration in planning your business’ future is securing your talent. On top of this, since the pandemic, culture and collaboration were hit hard with many working remotely and continuing to do so. Therefore, employers are faced with the dual challenge of restoring team wellbeing post-pandemic and inspiring their workforce for the future.

Here are our two key retention and development considerations to secure your business into the future:

1. Focus on Culture & Engagement

Knowing what problems exist in your organisation can help avoid the mass exits that we’re seeing. As mentioned above, with employees re-evaluating their work life balance, work culture is even more important to ensure retention. Go beyond the ‘take time lieu’ approach if people are overworked. Prioritise health, readjust workloads and promote flexibility. Also take time to invest in a culture and engagement audit. Consult and get input from your employees on what can support their wellbeing.

This is also especially important in managing employee absenteeism. Ensuring employees have a supportive workplace means that they are more likely to firstly, communicate to you when they may be facing challenges but also, facilitate their return to work.

Wizards Tip: Culture & Engagement work as an excellent diagnostic tool to better understand the state of your current workplace culture and views & experiences of your employees. Workplace Wizards have run many successful and efficient culture & engagement surveys for our clients – for more information on our survey services, check out this page here

2. Empower Career Development

With lots of movement happening and record low unemployment rates, now is the time for employers to demonstrate to their staff the opportunities available if they stay. Think about those that may be getting too comfortable in their role or have been within their position for a long time with no clear promotion or growth pathway. Capitalise on investing in their future and show them that you want to support their development. Recognition and serious commitment to development can go a long way in making your employees feel valued at work!

Build your Leadership Team

Though delivering on all the above is the responsibility of the business as a whole, your managers will be at the centre of a lot of these initiatives. From having return to work conversations, facilitating performance improvement plans and checking in on staff wellbeing – there is a renewed need for your team leaders to be exactly that, leaders.

Sure, your team leaders might be great at what they do technically, but how good are they at being managers and leaders? It’s more important now than ever to ensure your team leaders are equipped for having productive and difficult conversations and supporting their direct reports.

Here are some key topics we recommend training your team leaders on:

1. Managing Interpersonal Conflicts

Team members have spent a long time out of the office, this means that there is an increased likelihood for interpersonal conflict upon return to work. Managers will have a key role to play to make sure these grievances aren’t unnecessarily escalated and can be resolved fairly and quickly.  

2. Preparing and delivering performance management plans  

Investing in your team also means having leaders who can guide and track members’ performance. It is important to make sure that your leaders can identify when performance management is needed and have constructive conversations to support the employee.

3. Strategic Thinking versus Managerial Functions

Empowering your staff through all of the above means that your team leaders can also shift their perspective to be strategic instead of bogged in everyday management. Support your managers to train up their staff, so that they can turn to being more innovative and come up with new ways to achieve business goals.

There’s a lot that goes into planning for the future – but it starts with knowing what your priorities are for the year and supporting your workforce to achieve these. As always, we’re here to support you in achieving exactly that. From facilitating team training sessions, conducting culture and engagement audits and performance improvement plans – we’re here no matter what planning stage you’re at.

So, while you budget for the FY23/24 year ahead, carefully think about your HR needs and priorities and let us be a part of the planning and implementation stage with you. Reach out to us on (03) 9087 6949 or email us at support@workplacewizards.com.au so that we can partner with you during this exciting year ahead!

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