Page 1


HR at Atlassian P12 ISSUE 11.08


Female executives P16 ADAPT OR DIE

How to stay relevant P34 CELEBRATING 10 YEARS


Tips on: Team structure | Flexible work | Business partnering | Connectivity


editor’s letter

Express yourself! Got a burning issue to get off your chest? Check out the readers’ forums at

Rethinking accepted norms There was some thought-provoking research this month from a series of studies by the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, which found that women without children and men who take on caregiving roles are treated worse at work than individuals who conform to expectations in this area. From teasing that male workers were “not man enough” through to social exclusion, general putdowns and questioning of work competence and ability, men and women who challenged social expectations suffered at work. This was true even at female-led organisations. Women without children suffered the most mistreatment, followed by men who took on caregiving roles and women who played non-traditional roles in the home. It seems that while significant strides have been made in terms of being open to flexible work practices, there are still nagging gender stereotypes at play. In our feature on gender equity on page 16, Kerryn Fewster, co-director of Australian consultancy Change2020, said: “Our culture in the workplace needs to change from saying ‘Wow! That’s interesting – you’re taking 12 months off to be with your kids!’, which is what they might say to the male as opposed to the female. It’s a different conversation … but it needs to be as easy for the men to come back [to work] as it is for the females.” Yet even examples of fair and reasonable treatment of women with children are few and far between. Tracey Fellows, who was recruited by Microsoft from IBM when she was six or seven months’ pregnant, achieved a promotion while on maternity leave and was integrated into Microsoft’s executive ranks after maternity leave. She later became CEO of Microsoft Australia. That’s a rare, enlightened approach to how it can be handled. Fewster cited the old saying that one either lives to work or works to live. “Work is what we do – a lot of people enjoy it; a lot of others just do it to pay the bills,” she said. “Either way, ultimately there’s something more, and that might be around your family or caring for your parents, or whatever it might be,” she added. Wise words indeed. Iain Hopkins, editor, HC Magazine

HR at Atlassian p12 lonely at the toP

Female executives p16 adaPt or die

How to stay relevant p34 CELEbrATING 10 yEArs


Tips on: Team structure | Flexible work | Business partnering | Connectivity

Plus: FinalisTs revealed! ausTralian hr awards p48



CONTRIBUTORS The Next Step, Kenexa, EmployeeConnect, Solterbeck


CORPORATE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Mike Shipley CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER George Walmsley MANAGING DIRECTOR – BUSINESS MEDIA Justin Kennedy CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER Colin Chan HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER Julia Bookallil Editorial enquiries Iain Hopkins tel: +61 2 8437 4703 Advertising enquiries National commercial manager, HR products Sophie Knight tel: +61 2 8437 4733

Women without children suffered the most mistreatment, followed by men who took on caregiving roles and women who played non-traditional roles in the home Human Capital wants to hear from you. Email us:

Profile issue 11.08

Subscriptions tel: +61 2 8437 4731 • fax: +61 2 8437 4753 Key Media Key Media Pty Ltd, regional head office, Level 10, 1–9 Chandos St, St Leonards, NSW 2065, Australia tel: +61 2 8437 4700 fax: +61 2 9439 4599 Offices in Singapore, Auckland, Toronto, Denver Copyright is reserved throughout. No part of this publication can be reproduced in whole or part without the express permission of the editor. Contributions are invited, but copies of work should be kept as HC can accept no responsibility for loss. HCAMAG.COM





Cover story: Australia’s best HR teams

What makes for a phenomenal HR team in 2013? Human Capital asks four of last year’s shortlisted ‘best HR team’ leaders from the Australian HR Awards professions

34 | Adapt or die:

16 | Lonely at the top

Why do some organisations adapt and thrive while others fade away and disappear? Michael McQueen provides his tips for ensuring your employer brand – and your organisation as a whole – stays ahead of the wave of change

Despite increased awareness, it appears to be one step forward and two steps back for improving female representation in the top echelons of business. Iain Hopkins asks what’s still going wrong

How to stay relevant

34 2


Check out the HC archive online:

12 | Profile:

Shake it up

Award-winning enterprise software company Atlassian has won countless plaudits for its innovative HR practices. From recruitment to performance management, the company is shaking up the tired and staid. Iain Hopkins talks to VP of talent Joris Luijke


04 | In brief: news 06 | In brief: HR insight


08 | In Step – HR career experts 10 | HR consulting

44 | Bullying at work: Where do you stand? With new workplace bullying laws taking effect, Larissa Andelman outlines what it means for business

48 | Australian HR Awards Find out who has been nominated for the HR industry’s night of nights – the 2013 Australian HR Awards




news LEGAL




n Over the last month or so, a number of changes in workplace relations laws have impacted on Australian companies. To recap, here is a quick round-up of the changes that will be affecting you, your employees and your workplace: The Fair Work Commission will receive a $5m yearly increase for anti-bullying orders. The salary threshold for unfair dismissal has been increased to $129,300. Maximum compensation for unfair dismissal has increased to $64,650 (up from $61,650). There has been a 2.6% increase to the minimum wage, bringing it up from $606.40 to $622.20 per week. The Department of Immigration may now issue infringement notices of $15,300 to businesses employing workers in breach of work rights or visa conditions. Negligence, fault or intentions do not have to be proved. The Coalition announced its plans for the parental leave scheme, which involves increasing maternity leave to 26 weeks, and basing the wage on the mother’s actual wage.


n The salary and employment forecast for the 2013/14 financial year is in, and things are looking reasonably robust for HR professionals. The Michael Page 2013/14 Salary & Employment Forecast indicates the high demand for HR and L&D professionals is set to continue throughout this new financial year. Some 64% of companies expect to provide all employees with salary increases in the next 12 months, but it will vary according to performance. Sixteen per cent of companies will only reward high performers with salary increases, while 3% indicated that no employees would receive an increase.


Here are some of the key salary rates for the HR profession.* How do you measure up? HR graduate

$ $36,000–$55,000 pa

HR coordinator/admin

$ $50,000–$70,000 pa

HR director

$ $59,000–$100,000 pa $ $68,000–$150,000 pa $ $77,000–$175,000 pa $ $143,000–$200,000 pa

L&D manager

$ $90,000–$158,000 pa

R&B manager

$ $108,000–189,000 pa

ER/IR manager

$ $115,000–$200,000 pa

Internal recruitment manager

$ $80,000–$180,000 pa

*Source: Michael Page 2013/14 Salary & Employment Forecast. These rates are amalgamated from all Australian states, demonstrating the lowest and highest rates nationwide.




The percentage less that Andrew Mackenzie, CEO of BHP Billiton, will be earning than his predecessors. Despite this drop, he will still earn close to 200 times the average Australian wage*



HR advisor HR consultant/ business partner HR manager

The month in numbers

The number of Australian employers that offer ‘workplace giving’ programs. These programs include time off for charity work, amounts of employees’ pay packages distributed straight to a charity, and more^


Amount being lost by businesses per year due to absenteeism and productivity drops associated with drug and alcohol use by employees. The usage often takes place outside of work, which makes the cause hard to prove^^ Sources: *Sydney Morning Herald ^The Australian Charities Fund ^^Australian Drug Federation

n Retail workers across Australia between the ages of 18 and 20 may receive pay increases of close to $2 an hour if the campaign to increase their wages being heard by the Fair Work Commission is successful. The hearing, which began on 2 July in Melbourne, will run until the end of July. The campaign is backed by the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association (SDA), and calls for the General Retail Award to ensure 100% pay for 20-year-old retail workers. The SDA view this as a first step towards extending equal pay for adult teenagers as well. Currently, young retail workers are paid up to 30% less than the full rate. “Workers deserve to be paid on their contribution to the workplace, not their age. In retail, by the time a worker has reached adulthood they’ve often been in the industry for a number of years. They’re contributing 100%, just like their 21-year-old co-workers,” Joe de Bruyn, national secretary of the SDA, said. Bruyn highlighted that many retailers are already paying young adults the full wage, and hopes the legal requirements can move to reflect the changes in the industry. However, Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the Australian Retailers Association, stated the decision to increase junior wages could damage retailers. Zimmerman said that lower pay rates have enabled retail employers to train low-skilled staff and thereby reduce youth unemployment.


news analysis

BYOD: How to get it right With the continued improvements in and affordability of mobile technology, more and more organisations are adopting Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) allowances into their workplaces, giving freedom and flexibility to the employees, which feeds back into greater productivity for these companies. In the UK, law firm DLA Piper reported that 60% of employers adopted a BYOD approach, with 18% requiring their employees to bring their own devices. However, as BYOD becomes more mainstream, the control that organisations once had over the computer systems and files in their workplace is slipping. “When people use company-owned devices, they can make very strict policies about one specific type of device and the set-up and configuration,” Rajiv Shah, communications, data and security solutions director at BAE Systems Detica Australia, told HC. “[It] becomes very hard to control once an employee brings their own device to the workplace. You are going to have a much bigger variety of devices and you are not going to be able to control all aspects of it,” he added. The lack of control spills into both legal and security areas, ranging from confidential information to company policy. “It is very difficult to mandate the use of that device in a non-working capacity,” Pattie Walsh, head of employment at DLA Piper, said. Walsh explained that while organisations may be able to dictate what employees

can use their devices for at work, lawful activities outside of work that may be in contradiction to these terms are harder to control. Contracts can be put into place, but employees may not agree to them, and they are difficult to enforce. In addition, employers must become aware of possible legal liabilities that come with allowing employees to bring their own devices to work, such as the use of these devices for illegal activity. “Employers are vicariously liable for the activities of their employees,” Walsh said, “in just the same way as if an individual employee sexually or racially harasses another individual or does something unlawful.” Although the employer is not responsible for everything an employee does, a level of civil liability exists in regard to the measures taken to prevent such actions. “I think in that scenario you’d have the same potential responsibility of employers, and the question would be ‘Did they do enough to protect the interest of the third party?’” Walsh explained. The main concern, however, surrounds security breaches. A terminated employee may retain confidential data, and the loss of a phone or other device containing important information is also a likely occurrence. In the case of a security breach, both Walsh and Shah recommend the use of security systems to gain control of the data.

Shah explained to HC that portions of a device can be wiped remotely using mobile device management. Organisations also need to be aware of how commonplace cyberattacks and hacking can be. Instead of ignoring the problem or becoming secure in the strategies they have in place to prevent them, they must plan for when it all goes wrong. A more measured, risk-based approach which evaluates information on a case-bycase basis is a more effective way to tackle security concerns based around BYOD. “There are a lot of benefits that BYOD and work mobility in general bring to a business, and you’d be losing those benefits by going back to only allowing people to access information while they are sat at their desks,” Shah said.

Risky business? A survey by ISACA revealed that while nearly half (48%) of respondents in Oceania said that their enterprise allowed BYOD, almost precisely the same percentage (47%) thought that the risks still outweighed the benefits, compared to 22% who thought the opposite.

32% do not have a security policy in place for BYOD. High risks identified by IT professionals include:


Storing work passwords in a file on a personal device


Losing a work-supplied computer or smartphone


Using an online file-sharing service for work documents


Downloading personal files onto a worksupplied device HCAMAG.COM



HR insight / employee benefits When asked to prioritise six return-to-work scenarios, working mums overwhelmingly reported that flexible hours came in at number one. Just 5% of returning mothers said they would opt for longer maternity leave. Employers can have their working mothers back from leave sooner, but is HR willing to accommodate the post-baby flexibility?

Telecommuting privileges/ keep-in-touch scheme

PAID PARENTAL LEAVE AROUND THE WORLD The USA, Lesotho, Swaziland and Papua New Guinea are the only countries that do not mandate paid maternity leave. Most countries ensure at least three months of paid leave for new mothers, and many give fathers benefits too.

USA 0 days

Phase-back hours Paid maternity leave

key Tur2 daysy

Health insurance Childcare /On-site nursery

280 days 90% pay*

Austr a 126 d lia

Flat ra ays te**


12 az 10 0 da il 0% ys pa y


11 ai 100 2 day n %p s ay

1 5% 5

8 Sw 9 80%

Source: Compiled by and the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) list of the Top 50 Companies for Executive Women

South Korea


112 days 100% pay

working full-time had no children under 12

100% ys pay

Germ 98 d any a



ss Ru days 140 % pay 100

working part-time had no children under 12

Saudiia rab


A s 70 day y a 50% p

Ne th 1 e 10 12 d rla 0% ay nd pa s s y


The ABS has found that while the majority of working women are not caring for children, most employers continue to rely on family-friendly policies to address gender equity in their workplaces. Specifically, the ABS study revealed that most workplaces focus on ‘family-friendly’ policies to promote equity, yet these are very outdated. The research, commissioned by gender equity workplace experts Optimiss Consulting, focused on working women aged 25–54. Of that group:

90 days 100% pay


Mex 84 d ico

100 ays %p ay

Paid maternity leave *For six weeks, flat rate after


working full-time had no children under 18



na Chi ays 90 d pay % da 100 na ays Ca 19 d pay

1 a nd 167% p la s r e y itz da pay


8 nd 10 4 d ia 0% ay pa s y



98 days 60% pay


a 140 d ay 80% p

a esi on ays d In 84 d pay % 100

Paid maternity and paternity leave*** ** At the federal minimum wage

***Length of leave and rate of pay apply to maternity leave policies; paternity leave policies are paid but may differ Source: International Labour Organization


hr career management

Craig Mason is the Managing Director of The Next Step, a specialist consulting practice in the human resources market. For more information, call (02) 8256 2500 or email Website:

HR transitions – a crucial time to get it right Transitioning into a new role in HR is an exciting time. New challenges, new priorities and new achievements are all on the horizon. The trick is to get off on the right foot, and by paying attention to some key strategies this can be accomplished. This month we discuss the importance of getting HR career transitions right.


The Next Step’s Brisbane team recently hosted an HR executive briefing where over 80 HR professionals gathered to hear why the first 100 days matter in HR career transitions. The briefing was informed through a panel format. The panel was made up of three senior HR leaders. They were: • Nicholle Duce, general manager, human resources, Queensland Rail; • Bruce Highfield, executive general manager, Olam International; • Ryan Bright, general manager, human resources, technical functions, Rio Tinto. The focus of the morning was on transitioning into the lead HR role, and the panel shared their key learnings as each member had transitioned into their current role relatively recently. While focusing on the lead HR role, the majority of the panel’s insights and key messages were appropriate to transitions at all levels in HR. Not only were the key messages appropriate across all levels in HR but each member of the panel represented different styles of career transitions. Nicholle transitioned into her role from within her existing HR team, Ryan from within another part of his organisation, and Bruce moved into his role from the external market. This meant all the bases were covered.


The panel members were asked what methods they used to be successful in their 8


It’s crucial when moving into a new HR role to understand who are the influencers in the business new roles. With a high degree of agreement, some of the key conclusions were: FOLLOW THE CASH! There was an overwhelming level of agreement among panel members that an important key to success was to understand the organisation’s business model. Without this understanding, the key stakeholder discussions wouldn’t get past first base. LEARN THEIR LANGUAGE Closely following understanding the business model was a very clear message to get to grips with the jargon of the business and its meanings – really quickly! (This is a trick that experienced board members develop. Once they are appointed to a new board, in a new industry, they develop a ‘cheat sheet’ with all the acronyms and industry jargon clearly outlined.) WHO ARE THE INFLUENCERS? It’s a crucial piece of work when moving into a new HR role to understand who are the influencers in the business. These can be different groups. While the panel didn’t focus on one over another, three specific client groups were discussed: Boards – Nicholle said that one of the groups she tapped into was the organisation’s board and its collective wisdom. She indicated that it was very

important to build relationships and trust with the individuals on the board, which helped manage their expectations and get buy-in for the HR team strategy. Key executives – Ryan explained the importance of building relationships with business owners outside of HR and integrating the HR team’s delivery to ensure successful outcomes. HR community – Bruce described how important it was to understand the HR community. He indicated that getting to know the HR team was paramount. He thought that this informed well on influencing up and down the organisation and ensuring the right priorities were being achieved and HR wasn’t just order taking.


Some additional key common themes among the panel were: • Research, research, research – understand as much about the industry and the history of the business as possible; • Don’t overpromise and underdeliver – do a few things, and do them well; • Be agile – be prepared to change priorities as required; • Honour the past – we live in a connected community in the HR world, and it’s not a good look to trash previous HR initiatives.


As everyone knows in HR, the pace of change and the pressure to perform are constant, but during career transitions the spotlight is most definitely on from day one. The panel’s universal agreement was that it is critical to establish and bed down the key working relationships, to work in partnership with these stakeholders to establish what success looks like, and to be laser focused on delivering and executing against these expectations. If you aren’t on your game in the first 100 days, then it’s a battle from there on.



Recent HR Market Moves BP has recently appointed Scott McDaid to lead the Resourcing function across Australia and New Zealand. After five years with ANZ as Head of Resourcing, Scott is building and implementing a new corporate resourcing team and model across the diverse BP portfolio. Jenny O’Farrell has joined the team at DEXUS Property Group as Senior Manager, Organisational Development & Culture. Most recently, Jenny held the roles of Global L&D/OD Manager for Coffey International and L&D Manager ANZ for Johnson & Johnson. Among her achievements at Coffey, Jenny launched the Coffey Institute internationally, which involved the roll-out of a suite of programmes for employees, including leadership and management, and technical skills. Melbourne-based premium travel company APT has recently secured Ashleigh Smith as their new General Manager, HR. Boasting a diverse portfolio across the globe, APT will welcome the chance to tap into Ashleigh’s extensive experience in consulting and his previous experience as an HR leader across the sales and operations divisions of Ansett. The prestigious Melbourne Arts Centre is delighted with its appointment of Andrea Spencer to the position of HR Director, reporting to CFO Jodie Bennett. Moving across from a leading role on the Global Rewards team at Rio Tinto, Andrea steps into the lead HR role at one of Melbourne’s great cultural attractions. Still in Victoria, City Holdings (a Coles affiliate) has recently appointed Leanne Carson as the new HR Director. Leanne joins the City Holdings group from CitiPower/Powercor.

Liz Mitchell has joined Boral Plasterboard as National HR Manager. Liz has a strong technical HR toolkit, particularly around employee and industrial relations, and organisational development. Liz also brings with her a strong commercial and business focus, which stems originally from her early career, during which time she worked in an operations environment as a branch supervisor and manager. Water and wastewater infrastructure service provider Veolia Water has appointed Kurt Warren as its new Group OHSE&Q Manager for ANZ. Kurt has built his expertise in a range of safety leadership roles at ANSTO, Qantas, Australian Defence and Ausgrid, and is currently completing a thesis as part of a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) on organisational experiences in safety culture. Melissa Pollock has joined Amcor Paper & Recycling as OHSE Manager for their recently rebuilt, cutting-edge paper mill in Botany, having worked as a Senior HSE Business Partner for Origin Energy in her most recent role. Melissa is Deputy Chair of the SIA NSW Committee, and provides strategic input and support for NSW conferences and events to raise the profile of health and safety and provide development opportunities for the profession.

After seven years as Safety & Wellbeing Manager for Sinclair Knight Merz, Steve Wren has joined Wesfarmers Industrial and Safety as Central Region HSE Manager. His extensive experience includes OH&S, environmental and fire safety management across a range of industries, from pharmaceutical to engineering and distribution to mining.   Woolworths has appointed David Apps as Divisional Risk and Safety Manager (Property). David started his career in operational roles in rail, such as Regional Operations Manager, before undertaking safety roles at National Rail Corporation, Pacific National, Asciano and Transport for NSW.

By supplying Market Moves, The Next Step is not implying placement involvement in any way.




HR consulting

Dr Neal Knight-Turvey, Executive Consultant at Kenexa, an IBM Company 348 Edward St, Brisbane Phone 132 426 or email

Hiring for ENGAGEABILITY An enormous amount of time and money is spent by companies on employee engagement, under the premise that a more engaged workforce contributes to the bottom line. Much of the effort afforded to engagement is via employee surveys used to identify how the work environment can be optimised to engage people further. While there is no doubt considerable benefit to be gained from implementing change initiatives aimed at optimising engagement, we feel too many organisations concentrate their efforts on engaging people once they are in the organisation. Yet engagement is a two-way street – it depends on how you treat people as well as on who you hire.


Very few engagement studies (or consultancies for that matter) deal with the issue of engagement as a fundamental capacity of the individual that is not solely related to how the employee is treated or managed once they become an employee. No one is suggesting that corporate culture, leadership and management practices are not extremely important, but we must also recognise that there are clear differences in individuals’ capacity to respond to corporate engagement efforts. Just as each person has a physical or intellectual limit no matter what the motivation or reward, so too does everyone have limits on their engageability. What is important to recognise is you can assess for levels of engageability. Research by Kenexa, an IBM company, provides insights into what tends to differentiate engageable versus less engageable people. High engageability, captured via the Kenexa Engageability Index, tends to be grounded in high levels of positivity, optimism and conscientiousness – attributes that predict both employee engagement scores in later organisation surveys, as well as key business outcomes such as customer satisfaction. On the 10


It is critical to hire not only the most capable employees available but also to hire those with the highest probability of being or becoming engaged in their work less-engageable front, negativity and pessimism are key characteristics – both of which negatively impact customer satisfaction.


Our observation is that there is a bias toward believing that everybody has the same potential for passion and commitment in their job. If it is suggested otherwise, there can be a strong negative reaction that borders on political correctness: “Why would you question this core assumption about human potential?” The result of this assumption is that there is an increased burden on the company to provide a great place to work that taps this potential, more so than making sure that engageable employees are hired. We are not suggesting that companies should not do all they can to maximise employee motivation; however, all employees are not created equal in their ability to respond. Consequently, it is critical to hire not only the most capable employees available but also to hire those that have the highest probability of being or becoming engaged in their work. Balancing ‘engaging’ versus ‘engageability’ increases productivity and decreases the burden on management.


Hiring for engageability is one of those intangible ingredients that typically elude managers in the selection process. Job interviews generally place a priority on experience and skills, while assessments tend to favour ability. These all have a place in weeding out the worst or selecting the best, but to this battery should be added a systematic, effective selection process that quickly and inexpensively measures employee engageability. Unfortunately, while at Kenexa we have reviewed hundreds of competency models used during the selection process; we have never reviewed one that included engageability as a core competency for success. Yet making sure that as many employees as possible enter the company with the potential of becoming highly engaged employees has a much higher ROI than post-hire engagement initiatives alone. Of course, not hiring those candidates that have a negative, blaming and pessimistic view, which leads to disengagement, has many positive collateral benefits for the organisation as well, including fewer workers’ compensation claims, fewer absences and greater retention.


JORIS LUIJKE ROLL OF HONOUR Master’s degree in Human Resources, Tilburg University, the Netherlands




HR at Atlassian



Award-winning enterprise software company Atlassian has won countless plaudits for its innovative HR practices. From recruitment to performance management, the company is shaking up the tired and staid. Iain Hopkins talks to VP of talent Joris Luijke

In 2013 it’s cool to be a nerd. Who would have ever thought it? They now have popular culture reporting on their every move, marketers pandering to their every need, and, more critically, employers lusting after their refined services. Today it’s not the major players who burn the ‘most desirable’ employer flames; it’s the smaller tech start-ups that established themselves a decade ago with three or four employees and have since grown to hundreds. It’s those start-ups that invariably steal the ‘Best Employer’ citations and position themselves as, frankly, very attractive places to work. Readers of HC will be familiar with the Atlassian success story. Over the past 18 months the company has hit the headlines for all the right reasons, shaking up conventional thinking around HR stalwarts such as performance management and recruitment. Joris Luijke, VP of talent, Atlassian, concedes that what the company does incredibly well is create an environment in which innovation thrives. “If you look at our innovative practices you might think, ‘It’s just software engineering’. But we’ve created this culture that permeates to all the other departments as well. Maybe if I was in another organisation these ideas would have remained in my head. But within this environment HCAMAG.COM 13


HR at Atlassian where thinking differently is a given, it’s allowed me to be more of a freethinker,” he says.

Personal file: Joris Luijke

Family: Married to Xi Liu. Favourite sports: Soccer, hockey, rowing. Favourite TV show: Breaking Bad.


Luijke has spent over 12 years in HR. As the general manager of consulting at Chandler Macleod Technology, he led the team that helped organisations develop a high-performance culture, and assisted clients with the implementation and use of tailored psychometric assessment solutions for recruitment and career management. This broad experience has been fine-tuned in his time at Atlassian. He’s been with the company for four and a half years, and he says a top priority is making dreams concrete. “We put together a painted picture of things we want to accomplish. For example, I can say I want to create a great working environment. That in itself does not provide a lot to latch on to. But I can say the dream is to have such a great work environment that we get invited to speak at TED [a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design]; suddenly there’s a goal and we can rally behind that goal. We do that across the business and repeat that every three years. So every three years we come up with a new painted picture and set those goals.” Luijke says there’s often confusion about dreaming and executing and the order in which they should be done. “Execution will happen if you have a great idea or dream, but often people get into execution mode straight away, and if you look at yearly strategic plans it’s very executional-based – which is important, and we do that as well – but it’s often pretty tactical.” In the HR space, Luijke is keen to “rethink how people practices should be run in organisations”.

SOMETHING TO ASPIRE TO Best piece of advice you’ve received: Highlight bad news and risks early. Self-described: My ultimate goal – create the world’s best working environment. Hobbies: Painting.

First job and/or worst job: First job was washing dishes in a local restaurant. When I was young I did several hospitality jobs. If not in HR: Marketing.



It’s no surprise to learn that the culture of Atlassian is at the heart of just about everything the company does. Yet in Luijke’s time at Atlassian, the company has grown from 130 people to almost 700 globally. In the last two years it has doubled in size. Is this a problem? Will the core of what made the company special get lost in the mix? Luijke doesn’t believe so. He points to Google as a good example of how one company has escalated in size and influence far beyond what the creators ever dreamed was possible, yet has always succeeded in feeling manageable. “As you skill up, some of the processes may change, but you need to stay true to your culture. Google does this well. They’re massive now, something like 50,000 people, but what they do well is feel smaller than their actual size – so when they were a 1,000-person company it felt like a 500-person company. At Atlassian we feel small as well, and one thing we do well is we give people enough freedom to explore new ideas, give them the autonomy

Maybe if I was in another organisation these ideas would have remained in my head. But within this environment where thinking differently is a given, it’s allowed me to be more of a freethinker – JORIS LUIJKE to do things,” he says. On that front, the company’s ShipIt Days are a focused innovation project in which all employees drop what they’re doing and work on an innovative project of their choice. Then at 12 noon the next day they present to the rest of the organisation. The last competition was won by two graduates, out-innovating everyone else in the company. “We’ve had hundreds of projects being shipped as a direct result of these innovations. From an organisational perspective it’s important to innovate our business; but, secondly, staff love doing it as well. They get the freedom to not just work on the stuff assigned to them but also look beyond that. That’s how we train our organisation to stay innovative.”


Atlassian also operates with a ‘loose-tight fit’ – in other words, they try not to tie everything down with policies and procedures. It’s not overly policed. “You don’t need to make everything a rule,” says Luijke. “We’ve tried to provide guidelines where people can make their own decisions within those guidelines.”


Sometimes even Luijke himself is astounded at the results. The response to their ‘Recruitment Roadshow’, for example (see ‘Magical Mystery Tour’, box at right), was phenomenal. Over 1,000 applications were received in a timeframe of four weeks. Seventeen were eventually hired (the goal was 15). “I couldn’t have dreamt of anything better than that,” Luijke says. “It was because we came in at the right time and with the right messaging. Europe is in a slump, the economy is down, and here’s this mid-sized Australian business you probably haven’t heard of, but we roll out the red carpet, show off the beautiful beaches and weather, and we’re an awesome company with an awesome culture – come and join us. That message went viral. It featured in

the Wall Street Journal, and most of the European media, even Spanish national TV. It meant we could cherry-pick the best of the best, which is what we were trying to do.” The company will be investing $20m into new IT jobs in Sydney next year, equating to approximately 100 staff. To find those candidates Luijke says they’ll “need to get creative” as there simply aren’t 100 software engineers sitting waiting to work in Australia. A generous referral program will certainly help. If someone external refers a candidate to Atlassian and that person ends up being hired, as a referral bonus the referee is given free return flights to anywhere around the world that the company has an office (such as San Francisco or Amsterdam). If a referral is made by someone internally, that person is given a $10,000 referral bonus. “We’d rather give it to a staff member than a recruiter. We want our staff to be recruiters in their own way,” Luijke says simply. Despite the innovative HR framework and the funky office fitout, Luijke is certain of one thing: no one joins an organisation due to its perks alone. “It’s nice we have free food and a great working environment, but the real crux of building an engaged workforce is openness, transparency, providing freedom for people to work on new things, trusting people. They all have much bigger impact on engagement.” Pausing for a moment, Luijke continues, his passion clear: “If you get an opportunity to make a difference and make a workplace a better place to be – a place where I would love to come to work myself – how good a job is that?” More industry profiles at:

In March 2012 Atlassian undertook an audacious recruitment drive. The European Recruitment Roadshow was literally a bus tour with the intention of hiring 15 software developers in 15 days. Members of the engineering team went to London, Amsterdam, Berlin and Madrid with the aim of picking up senior software developers along the way. They also convinced them to relocate to Sydney. Participants were picked up and taken to a secret pub location for an evening of socialising with Atlassian’s engineering team over beers and informal talks. Formal interviews then took place in each city for two days. Atlassian took care of arranging work visas for those hired as well as their partners, and covered all relocation expenses. At the time, Joris Luijke said it was a trend that may soon be catching on elsewhere: “With European newspapers reporting a continued slump in its economy, I expect more Australian tech companies to recruit in Europe.” HCAMAG.COM 15


gender equity

ly e n o L AT THE TOP Despite increased awareness, it appears to be one step forward and two steps back for improving female representation in the top echelons of business. Iain Hopkins asks what’s still going wrong



When asked to name a great Australian leader – someone who is able to lead groups of people to collectively achieve great things – nine out of 10 respondents in a recent survey chose a man. The survey, commissioned by Australian business consultancy Change2020, posed the question to 610 professionals, a staggering 93% of whom chose male leaders. Julia Gillard was named by 7% of respondents. Interestingly, 70% of these were female. Another study of 60 leading companies by McKinsey indicated that although about the same proportion of mid-level female and male managers said they’d like to advance to higher levels in their companies (69% and 74%, respectively), only 18% of women said they’d become C-level leaders “if anything were possible”. That’s just half the proportion of men. Numerous women said they were put off by the corporate politics of the C-suite. While all surveys need to be taken with a pinch of salt, there are some interesting insights to be gleaned from both. Firstly, they shine the light on women themselves: their self-perception, their aspirations and goals; and, secondly, they highlight the broader societal gender boundaries in which we live. This poses an interesting question: what can the business world do to change things?


Nicholas S. Barnett, CEO of Insync Surveys and co-founder of Gender Worx, the specialist gender diversity division of Insync Surveys, says the dominant masculine culture in our workplaces has persisted for decades and is reinforced every night on our televisions and in other daily media. “Gender stereotypes are often exhibited in small and subtle ways that have significant cumulative effect over time,” he says. “By way of example, Gail Kelly is regularly referred to as a great female leader but rarely as a great leader. In contrast, her male counterparts are simply referred to as great leaders; it is very rare for a male to be referred to as a great male leader.” Further, very few organisations really understand the extent of the male domination of their cultures, the conscious and unconscious biases behind the formation of their cultures, and what they need to do to change their cultures, assuming that is what they want. Research has shown that the pervasiveness of unconscious gender bias means that decisions about

Competent, ambitious women need to have access to the same opportunities and assistance with those opportunities as competent, ambitious men. Period – LENORE LAMBERT legitimate leadership are also routinely biased against women and in favour of men. Surprisingly, the research shows that women are just as biased as men, and young women are just as biased as older women. What this means is that most men and women discriminate and tolerate gender discrimination in favour of men when it comes to leadership without even knowing it. Having some unconscious beliefs isn’t the problem, Barnett says. The problem is: having unconscious beliefs and not knowing that you do having unconscious beliefs and not acknowledging them knowing that you have unconscious beliefs and not seeking to challenge them “Significant and sustained change is only likely to be achieved across the community and in workplaces if a bright light is shone on this issue, together with a determined, systematic, well-planned and persistent long-term approach,” Barnett says. “Based on current political and organisational priorities it is unlikely that the persistent, systematic and long-term plans to bring about gender equity will be put in place and, accordingly, significant change is likely to take decades if not generations.”


Lenore Lambert, director of The Interview Group, says that too often the gender issue is discussed in emotive ways. To tackle it effectively she believes the “mind of a scientist” HCAMAG.COM 17


gender equity Gender stereotypes are often exhibited in small and subtle ways that have significant cumulative effect over time – NICHOLAS S. BARNETT needs to be adopted, to “gently lead the sacred cows out of the room for a while – both male and female”. Secondly, she believes that to really get to the bottom of this issue it’s necessary to ask some seemingly dumb questions. However, these questions need to be asked and answered in a way that isn’t railroaded by social desirability. “So we have proportionally fewer women in senior positions in business. Let’s ask the first dumb question: why is this a problem?” she says. Clearly, Lambert states, it’s a very real problem for organisations that want to perform well because there is now a mountain of evidence suggesting diversity of views in a problem-solving team leads to better outcomes if facilitated constructively (a very important ‘if’, Lambert adds). So, number one, organisations themselves are

missing out. From that point of view, one would hope there would be a desire to solve the problem. “I suspect the reason they’re not the most vocal parties is that they don’t really know what they’re missing yet,” says Lambert. “This ‘better performance’ and ‘better problem solving’ hasn’t been experienced by many, so it’s all academic at present. All male boards possibly believe nothing is broke as they don’t know anything different. There is probably also an element of cultural reluctance to change if an all-male board enjoys its all-male way of doing things – but that’s just conjecture, to be tested properly.” This is obviously also a problem for the ambitious women who want to be part of the C-suite but who encounter some kind of obstacle unrelated to their competence. “I think we all agree that to the extent that this is happening it needs to be addressed decisively. Competent, ambitious women need to have access to the same opportunities and assistance with those opportunities as competent, ambitious men. Period. Where this is not happening we need to understand what’s happening and fix it,” Lambert says.


It’s the ‘fixing’ part that throws up the most divisive viewpoints. The quota debate for women on boards and, to a lesser extent, on executive teams, continues to rage. Kerryn Fewster, co-director, Change2020, for one, does not support quotas. “Personally, I don’t think I could sit at

GENDER WAGE GAP According to average weekly earnings data, women’s full-time ordinary-time average weekly earnings are 82.5% of what men earn: a gap of 17.5%

18 17.5 17 16.5 16 15.5 15 14.5 14

Aug 2012

Aug 2011

Aug 2010

Aug 2009

Aug 2008

Aug 2007

Aug 2006

Aug 2005

Aug 2004

Aug 2003

Aug 2002

Aug 2001

Aug 2000

Aug 1999

Aug 1998

Aug 1997

Aug 1996

Aug 1995

Aug 1994


Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, November 2012: 6302.0. Difference of male full-time ordinary-time average weekly earnings and female full-time ordinary-time average weekly earnings



a board table knowing that I got there not just for merit but also due to my gender. However, I do deserve the opportunity to be there. We need to ensure any minority, whatever their backgrounds, are given similar opportunities for success. We can’t just have a private boys’ school sitting around the boardroom tables making decisions.” Barnett says the new ASX requirements for reporting the percentage of women on boards, in executive teams and in the organisation as a whole has helped shine a light on bias in favour of men. This, along with support from the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Business Council of Australia, has resulted in a small but measurable change in the number of women on boards in the ASX top 200. Similar shifts in the percentage of women on boards have been experienced in the UK, but the momentum for ongoing change in the UK is stalling. “History shows that substantial shifts of this nature have only ever been achieved through a mandated or legislated approach,” Barnett says, and reiterates his earlier statement: “As politicians and business leaders haven’t prioritised the development and persistent implementation of systematic long-term plans to bring about gender equity, significant change is likely to take decades if not generations without some form of mandated or legislated response.”

Women and leadership: facts & figures Gender bias in selection reduces women’s chances of success by 16% where they have comparable skills and capabilities Women tend to apply for senior roles if they consider that they meet 100% of selection criteria, whereas men apply if they think they meet 60% of requirements 66% of men and 33% of women believe women have an equal opportunity to be promoted to senior roles Overall, women in Australia earn 18% less than their male peers in similar positions; in middle management, 25% less; and among high performers at the most senior levels, women earn only 58% of what men earn Over a working lifetime it is estimated that a woman working the same job for the same length of time will earn $1m less than a man Deloitte calculated its flexibility program has saved an estimated $41.5m in global turnover costs in one year alone



gender equity Percentage of businesses employing women in senior HR and finance roles 22


20 18 16 14


13 12

12 10

9 8








2 0

Human resources director



Chief financial officer

Other finance director (eg Controller)

Chief operating officer

Chief executive officer

Head of sales

Chief marketing officer

Chief information officer

Office/ general manager


Source: Grant Thornton International Business Report 2012


While many organisations have established aspirational goals to increase the representation of women on their boards and in their executive ranks, very few have set hard targets. KPIs have been set for some CEOs and executive teams, but not many have tied those KPIs to CEO and executive remuneration. “For this reason and the reasons set out above it will be very hard and slow to change a sexist Australian culture,” suggests Barnett. Yet it’s a start. Fewster says having a target is quite useful because it creates opportunities to think differently. “If I know I have a target I need to achieve, I might look at different ways to achieve it. If it’s just a pure quota, it’s a fixed number so I go and find it and achieve it. But a KPI means there’s ways to look at encouraging females into leadership positions across organisations.” However, Fewster echoes Barnett when she adds that such KPIs need to be treated with the same rigour as other measures around productivity, operations, finance and people development. “It needs to be treated with the same rigour as the financial KPI, so it’s measurable, it adds value to the business, it makes sense, and if we achieve it the business is in a better place. I would hate to see it disguised as a quota,” she says.


What else can be done? Just like any high-potential employees, women with leadership potential need to be given a clear career path and development plan, including experience in the operational parts of the business. Barnett says young and less experienced women need to see women in senior executive ranks of an organisation to give them confidence that women can actually advance to the top. “Many female graduates are turned off by seeing photos of an all-male executive team,” he says. More troublesome is the so-called ‘leaky talent pipeline’, which is caused both by women self-selecting out of the corporate world and by women being pushed out as a result of the overly dominant masculine culture of their organisations. “The latter needs to be a focus of organisations if they don’t want their female employees to feel they are being pushed out,” Barnett says. Flexible work practices are now commonplace, but employers are advised to ‘normalise’ these so they are used equally by men and women, irrespective of whether family responsibilities are involved or not. “Our culture in the workplace needs to change from saying ‘Wow! That’s interesting – you’re taking 12 months off to be with your kids!’, which is what they might say to the male as opposed



gender equity REALITY CHECK?

Women hold 21% of senior management positions globally

19% 2004

24% 2007

24% 2009

20% 2011

21% 2012

Source: Grant Thornton International Business Report 2012

to the female. It’s a different conversation. I do think policy and organisations are doing a good job around encouraging equity for time off to rear kids, but it needs to be as easy for the men to come back as it is for the women,” says Fewster. But there’s a deeper issue at play. Barnett says flexible work arrangements in many organisations carry the stigma that the participant isn’t seriously interested in advancing their career. “Societal expectations are starting to change a little in this regard, but change is slow,” he says. He suggests organisations also need to take a more holistic and long-term view of the female career path and not simply see it as ending at the time a woman has her first child. A small number of organisations do this well by engaging with females on maternity leave and developing plans to integrate them back into executive ranks when they return. Barnett cites Tracey Fellows, who was recruited by Microsoft from IBM when she was six or seven months’ pregnant, achieved a promotion while on maternity leave, and was integrated into Microsoft’s executive ranks after maternity leave. She later became CEO of Microsoft Australia. “This very enlightened approach to the female career path isn’t taken by many organisations,” says Barnett. The old truism holds here: one either lives to work or works to live. “Work is what we do – a lot of people enjoy it; a lot of others just do it to pay the bills,” says Fewster. “Either way, ultimately there’s something more, and that might be around your family or caring for your parents, or whatever it might be. We need to recognise that to get the best out of people we need to provide as much flexibility as possible, but they need to demonstrate they’re delivering as well. At the end of the day this is a business.” 22


Lambert believes where the discussion “goes a bit fuzzy” is when we start generalising about the importance of rising to the top of the corporate ladder for women generally and expecting that their participation in the C-suite will be proportional to their numbers in the workforce. “I’ve long held the view that, in general – and remember we’re talking about half the human population here – fewer women want to live that kind of life. In the same way that fewer women want to be plumbers because being up to your elbows in muck every day is not appealing to them, my personal experience has led me to believe that fewer women want to live their lives in the top echelon of organisations where you have almost all of your bandwidth devoted to work.” Lambert is fully cognizant of the outcry from competent, ambitious women in the room when this view is put forward, but she notes that, like everyone, “they generalise their own experience to others”. “This is where I think we need to bring our ‘slow thinking’ brain and not make quick reactive judgments. I think this outcry often turns the less ambitious women off of speaking up. It’s almost like letting the sisterhood down if we admit we don’t want to be a C-suiter, as if being a CEO is as much a right as the right to vote. The opportunity to be a CEO should be as much a right for women, but that doesn’t mean as many women as men will take that opportunity,” Lambert says. The problem, Lambert adds, is the unquestioning acceptance of the C-suite as a desirable destination. “Occupying the C-suite means you need to devote almost all of your mental and emotional bandwidth to work. I think fewer women than men are willing to live their lives in such a mono-focal way. Maybe this is why Gail Kelly wasn’t named by many women as a ‘great Australian leader’?”

Key takeaways Companies need to: Monitor proportion of females at all levels and determine what stops them from progressing Build the business case for gender diversity (it’s not difficult) Provide an essentially fair environment for talent management. For example, allow women (and men) to put their careers on hold for a few years and then re-accelerate Women themselves need to: Obtain a coach or mentor early to develop confidence, leadership skills and build networks Have a clear career plan, including how to manage each stage of life (all the way up to dealing with elderly parents, still largely a responsibility that falls to women)


gender equity

Stop talking,

start doing

Human Capital talks to Andrea O’Bryan, vice president of Diversity@Work, for some tips on improving gender inequalities in business Human Capital: Gender equity is now set as a KPI for many CEOs in top companies. Do you think we’ll start to see further improvements – and there have been some in recent years – or will it be tougher to ultimately shift a sexist Australian culture? Andrea O’Bryan: For CEOs, CFOs and HR, there is no time left for debate. Sound economics have driven the Australian Government to legislate for significant increases in the proportion of women in executive management roles across every organisation that employs at least 100 people. It has been proven that a better balance of gender on boards and in management equates to a higher GDP, and because of this the Government introduced the Workplace Gender Equality Act. This act is a real game changer and, whilst organisations have a transitional year in 2013 to get their businesses in order, from 2014 there are serious penalties for organisations that fail to comply. These range from ineligibility to bid for Commonwealth tenders, to being denied access to any Commonwealth subsidies. As a result, target setting for women in leadership and robust succession planning for women will become mandatory within medium to large organisations. Diversity@Work has consulted widely across our client base to drive this transformation, auditing organisational practices and developing career pathway structures. As for seeing a new maturity across the Australian culture and a reduction in the acceptance of sexism, I can only hope. Systemic shifts in social mores take time and often the transitioning of power to the next generation. HC: There is still the expectation in society that women will be the primary caregivers of children and even older people. Yet it seems that in doing so women lose their place in the corporate hierarchy. Is there anything businesses can do to make this viable both for themselves and for their employees? AO: It’s a challenging dilemma. I cannot understand why parents aren’t sharing the responsibility of childcare more equally and why elder care is often the duty of daughters,

Essentially, it’s about training managers not to make assumptions regarding what flexibility their employees need – ANDREA O’BRYAN not sons. I hope the Gen Y’s will change this societal expectation. Research has shown that ‘care givers’ make better managers, and best practice employers recognise that talent is often the only differentiator between themselves and their competitors. They advocate flexible work practices and use of technology to ensure they retain talent, especially during times when family care is critical. Essentially it’s about training managers not to make assumptions regarding what flexibility their employees need. Keep the dialogue open with their employees and ask them directly what assistance is required. HC: Are there examples of further ‘family friendly’ initiatives and benefits employers could invest in? AO: It’s extraordinary some of the innovation I’ve witnessed and heard about from organisations who are authentic about employee retention and engagement. Beyond flexible work practices and the ability to purchase more recreational leave, some offer benefits ranging from paid babysitting to unlimited sick leave and generous maternity leave conditions; and an organisation also actually paid a lump sum when an employee became a new parent. In the US, conditions can be even more generous, with heavily subsidised childcare, breastfeeding rooms and other much-welcomed incentives, such as access to cheap home cleaning and groceries. It’s heartening to see this maturity in the recognition of employee needs. HCAMAG.COM 23


top HR teams

What makes for a phenomenal HR team in 2013? Human Capital asks four of last year’s shortlisted ‘best HR team’ leaders from the Australian HR Awards

One thing guaranteed to get most senior HR practitioners fired up is talk about the merits or otherwise of HR team structures. Is there an ‘ideal’ structure for HR teams to adopt? Is the popular but increasingly criticised Ulrich business partner approach still servicing business needs? What should be outsourced? Ultimately the structure will depend on a number of factors, including size, scope, and maturity of the organisation. It will also be influenced by the current business and talent landscape within which an organisation operates. Mark Busine, general manager NSW, DDI, says the structure should be aligned to the organisation’s HR strategy (which should be aligned to the organisation’s business priorities). The structure at any point in time, however, may be influenced by the organisation’s current HR capability. While it may be desirable to dramatically reshape the structure in line with the strategy, this may require time. Force-fitting a structure into an existing capability set may be difficult. Furthermore, the organisation may not yet be ready for such a change. “This is why models such as the Ulrich model 24


recommend getting the foundation right before launching into more sophisticated HR models and approaches,” Busine says. As for outsourcing, again this will depend on the size, scope and maturity of the organisation. “Ultimately, the HR function must find the most appropriate way to effectively and efficiently deliver core HR services such as payroll, HRIS, and compliance,” Busine says. “This can be achieved internally or externally through outsourced services. Typically, more strategic functions such as staffing and talent management, organisational design and cultural change programs will be managed internally. The effective implementation of these activities can create significant competitive advantage in the marketplace.” The focus of HR now lies in trying to align individual goals and objectives with corporate goals and objectives. In terms of skill sets, Busine says one of the most important skills required by HR functions moving forward is internal consulting or, more specifically, performance consulting. Performance consulting is a process in which a consultant (often internal consultants), partner with their business stakeholders


Results of a survey of 765 executives in the UK undertaken by Korn/Ferry International between 19 April and 2 May, 2011

29% Slightly increased (219)

16% Not changed (121)

8% Slightly decreased (59) 5% Significantly decreased (37)

The next step in HR’s evolution is to move from being efficient to being more effective – and the key to that is analytics to accomplish the objective of optimising workplace performance in line with an organisation’s strategic and cultural priorities. “The ability to work in partnership with key internal stakeholders to address business needs and objectives is now fundamental to the success of an HR team, irrespective of structure. It is fundamental to building credibility and gaining buy-in,” Busine adds.

As each of the HR directors profiled in this feature testify, the key to their team’s success lies in how well they are integrated into the business and understand what’s required by the business. What is the best way to develop this expertise? “While we tend to focus a lot on developing the business acumen of HR, the answer lies in aligning HR systems and practices with the key priorities of the organisation,” Busine says. “Like any professional discipline, business acumen and credibility will come from adding value to the organisation.” Too often, Busine adds, when asked the question ‘What is your HR or talent strategy?’, HR functions describe their current or planned HR practices in areas such as recruitment, L&D or performance management. “While strong and robust HR practices are essential, too often these are considered in isolation rather than aligned with an organisation’s strategic and cultural priorities,” he concludes. Over the following pages, read how four of Australia’s best HR leaders have directed their teams towards understanding and executing on their organisations’ strategic and cultural priorities.

DID YOU KNOW? According to a survey of some 300 Fortune 500 companies, the number of managers reporting directly to the CEO has doubled, from an average of five direct reports in 1986 to an average of 10 today. These days, along with the CEO and the general managers, top offices are teeming with specific titles such as chief financial officer, chief marketing officer, chief technology officer, and chief human resources officer. HCAMAG.COM 25


top HR teams

The strategic players HR LEADER: Alec Bashinsky, national partner, people & performance, Deloitte (3rd from left) NUMBER OF HR EMPLOYEES: Approx. 100 NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN AUSTRALIA: 520 partners, with close to 6,000 people


t what point does the structure of a corporate team cease being an academic aspiration? Is there any place for the academic formats of the Ulrich model and its ilk in business? Alec Bashinsky says that most HR directors over the years have flirted with outsourcing and insourcing, and have dabbled with various structural fads, but a model like that espoused by Ulrich is just that: a model. “Things like the Ulrich model are robust from the research point of view, and I’m still a big fan of his, but 26


I’m a little bit concerned that whenever the fad suits he’ll change the research and sell another book. I’m losing perspective on that. I think there are lots of smart people who aren’t writing books. The business case studies around the Procter & Gambles, the Googles, specifically [Google global HR executive] Laszlo Bock – that’s what’s shaping the way we’ll work in the future.” To that end, Bashinsky is an advocate of building “super-efficient HR and talent systems” that allow for improved workflow, and automate the front end and back end. “HR now should be working on how do we provide insights to business leaders and how do we start to work on the predictive elements of talent data. Anyone can look at data with a past perspective, but how do we understand what’s going to happen in the future? So the ideal structure for me – I’ve been around and seen it – is automating front and back and then looking at what works in other parts of the business.” For Deloitte’s Australian operations, the HR team operates in three centres of excellence: a talent

acquisition and mobility team – they are specifically involved in attracting the right talent, and in graduate recruitment, building the value proposition, looking after social media and local and global mobility; the second is talent development and diversity; this looks after all the leadership development and talent identification, all soft skills and e-learning, along with looking after the diversity portfolio; the third group is classified as talent solutions and advisory, and this incorporates a shared services

group of 12 based in Hyderabad – they focus on everything from onboarding to remuneration, employee relations, and some of the transactional processes. The remainder of Bashinsky’s team works in the business units, across all states of Australia. What’s the key to holding a team together across vast geographical distances (the Deloitte team operates in 16 locations around Australia)? It’s all about communication. “I do a monthly comm call across Australia where I talk about the business, our strategies, what new things are happening, and enable a two-way conversation. We do regular updates, as in once every couple of months we bring every member of the team together in Sydney and Melbourne and elsewhere and we talk about business issues – not just me but other members of the leadership team.” Then there are open forums making use of the latest technology platforms: Yammer and YamJam. “Effective communication isn’t necessarily the old tools of email and voicemail – it’s the live interaction, be it through a link-up or in person. They’re the things the team gets good feedback from,” Bashinsky says. Observing the HR function over a number of years, Bashinsky is seeing the biggest strides being made in capability and focus. “The first issue is lots of simplification and automation of HR transactions – if organisations are not doing that now, their teams are being wasted. This has enabled my team to do more coaching, influencing, facilitating within the business,” he says. Bashinsky believes the entry point in any business, it doesn’t matter what role, is by showing credibility. “It doesn’t matter if you’re in marketing or finance or business development, you need to understand the business and understand it intimately. The very fact my teams are demonstrating that certainly brings them into the conversations, but then their input is valued and I think that is the distinguishing thing that makes my team special: their input is valued by all the businesses we work in.”

HR team insights The % of HR professionals in each country who… AUS/NZ



Work in the Ulrich model*




Have been in a restructure in the past 12 months




Have hard line matrix/dual reporting




Think constant restructures hurt HR’s image




*The take-up of the Ulrich structure is evidently impacted by the size of the organisation, with 80% of HR professionals in businesses with over 1,000 employees working within this model Source: The Next Step’s Global 2012 HR Viewpoint based on the responses from nearly 3,000 HR professionals of all levels



top HR teams


he days of everyone sitting in the office and there’s the manager and everyone sitting outside that office are gone,” says Robert Orth of IBM. It’s this new paradigm that has Orth excited. He’s ensured his HR team not only reflects what’s happening in the broader IBM workforce but also leads it. Hence, it’s embraced flexible work and technology connections wholeheartedly. His HR team falls into two groups: generalists (essentially HR business partners) and functionalists. The functionalists cover the typical areas – comp & ben, talent, OHS, diversity, etc. The functional area specialists at the high-value end are subject matter experts, with deep expertise, trying to look ahead, and designing or redesigning new programs and interventions. It’s up to the integrated services team to deliver these programs to managers. A service centre sits behind that structure, looking after transactional tasks. Regardless of the type of work undertaken, Orth is open to flexibility. “This is a big item to explore, which I think we’re leading on. It goes along the lines of: where and how do people get their work done? Work is what you do, not where you are, so this leads to an environment where you change your management practices to suit the flexibility, pursuing diversity and accessing a wider talent pool, and utilising technology to link everyone up,” Orth says. This flexibility takes many forms in Orth’s HR team. For example, his executive resources manager is actually two people, one in Wellington, the other in Sydney, both working three days each with an overlapping day in the middle. “It works perfectly. I deal with them almost as if they are one,” Orth says. Others work a compressed working week, and many work from home a couple of days a week. Orth concedes there is a balance to be conscious of. Those who desire to be close to the business – such as Orth and the other HR business partners – need to be around. It isn’t just about working from home three days a week and never coming into the office. “You’ve got to keep in touch,” Orth says. “The way we’d deal with flexibility – I would discuss what it means for the manager, that is, me, what does it mean to you, what does it mean for the team you’re working in, what does it mean for the client you support. You’ve got to take all those into account.” Orth says the fundamentals of being a good manager – things like communication, motivation, direction, vision – remain in place. But they do morph with flexibility. “I keep using this word ‘outcome’. We’ve changed performance management structures to accommodate this. We’ve agreed your outcome, so you produce it. Time becomes a different sort of matter – it’s not like I’ll see you outside my office 9 to 5.” 28


The flexible workers HR LEADER: Robert Orth, director, HR, IBM Australia & New Zealand (3rd from left) NUMBER OF HR EMPLOYEES: Approx. 100 NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN AUSTRALIA: Approx. 10,000

What is the biggest HR challenge you are facing, and how are you intending to meet that challenge? “From a general business point of view, it’s change. In our business things can change inside of six months. If markets are going to move, I need to help the business reorganise quickly, or maybe skill differently, and that will touch everything: critical roles, internal deployment of people, recruiting, whatever it happens to be. We get the business more nimble to those changes, maybe even trying to predict what will happen. As a different angle, we’re doing a lot on promoting flexibility and connection. Today’s world is very 24–7, so we’ve got the OHS team and the HR team in general looking at how people can look after themselves and build resilience.”

It’s all part of the evolution of business, Orth says, before outlining the next phase: “If you take a look at us now, we’re trying to connect people more closely, to unleash innovation, and to get the collective intelligence going. And we’ll use technology in a big way to put people together.” IBM uses multiple platforms, including Lotus Connections, to connect with team members based around the world. “Those old statistics: if you’re sitting in a building, 80% of the time you see people on your floor, 10% on the next floor, 5% in the building, and other areas hardly ever. This just opens it up,” he says. While large group meetings now occur less frequently, Orth does like them – with a twist. He notes that such

meetings should not be about imparting information – there are plenty of other avenues through which information can be disseminated – but instead it’s critical to get participants into “workshop thinking”: brainstorming, producing outcomes, interacting with each other. “I like meetings to have something for the mind but also something for the soul, if I’m going to have people coming together. You could have workshops where you start the day with yoga, others where you have a resilience session about managing your life and stress and how you approach this. Some valuable things for the person to take away.” HCAMAG.COM 29


top HR teams

The customer-centric team HR LEADER: John McDonnell, executive general manager, HR, Accor Australia (far right) NUMBER OF HR EMPLOYEES: 90 HR representatives NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN AUSTRALIA: 10,000 nationally




R’s influence on customer or client satisfaction has traditionally been viewed as tenuous at best. However, as sectors like retail and leisure and hospitality can attest, employers that place customer centricity at the heart of the employee value proposition can and do make an impact. This is what Accor has prioritised – John McDonnell and COO Simon McGrath have, since 2008, set an expectation of making sure the business has customers at the very heart of its culture. “In 2011 we recognised that our employees needed new tools and resources to deliver better customer service, but above all an opportunity to change the way they approached working with colleagues and customers,” McDonnell says. The executive team spent much time deliberating and eventually developing a new service culture for all employees. ‘Peopleology’ at Accor was born. It provides employees with tools to be the ‘Real Deal’ at Accor and take on a new approach to communicating with colleagues and customers.

“We want animation at all levels and not part of the everyday mundane service many customers have grown to accept,” McDonnell says. McDonnell says reshaping the culture of the HR network was essential to this strategy, and the task was to ensure that the divisional HRDs and corporate HR team clearly aligned themselves to the new way of thinking. This, McDonnell believes, is what sets his HR team apart. “We have a terrific HR leadership team that works in an open and transparent manner, continually driving new ideas to improve the way we work and delivering a service model to our internal partners that provides a working environment that offers our employees the best opportunity to either excel in their role or choose Accor for the long term,” he says. He notes that “it’s an old cliché” but the people are everything at Accor – as it is for any organisation with so many client-facing roles. “Being shortlisted for the HR Team of the Year is a testament to not only the 90 HR representatives but all leaders across the group; it’s an absolute honour to represent the organisation,” he says. The company operates a hybrid of traditional HR leadership and business partnering to suit the different brand models (including Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis, among many). The national team based in Sydney comprises L&D, talent management, group compensation, diversity and workplace health and safety. This team is responsible for overseeing strategy and policy, with customer service underpinning every decision.

“If we deliver activity that does not support customer service or operating effectiveness, it has no place in our business,” McDonnell says. In addition, the operational HR teams are supported by four divisional HRDs and a network of 80 HR practitioners, from business unit HR managers to assistant managers. McDonnell says HR structures or operating models are dependent on many aspects, with the CEO, the business model, and the economic business climate being just three factors to consider. The important feature of an HR structure is to ensure it responds to the business needs while supporting the performance of the organisation, McDonnell adds. “HR structures need to flex when the need arises. I’ve seen many examples in the past few years when businesses having financial or technological challenges move towards a partnering model or outsource model. Is it the best? Probably for that company, but when you have 200 hotels working 24/7, that’s a lot of customers who deserve the best from us.” ‘Peopleology’ is also helping to address future HR challenges. Given a competitive job market, and through a desire to be a more diverse employer, Accor is spending time creating a work environment that fits many different working groups, including mature-age workers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, and female talent — specifically implementing an ambitious plan to drive stronger awareness and career management for female talent within Accor.


Personnel department Payroll benefits

Business function Payroll systems

Strategic HR Recruiting L&D Organisational design Total compensation Communications

Business partner Recruiting, ATS, HR portals Compensation Learning management

Talent management Competency management Performance management Succession planning

Business integration Performance management Succession planning Competency management Systems integration Leadership development

Source: Workforce Talent Management Process – Bersin & Associates (



top HR teams

The award winners HR LEADER: Bob Hogarth, general manager, HR, Heritage Bank (4th from left) NUMBER OF HR EMPLOYEES: 32 NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: Approx. 800




he 2012 Australian HR Team of the Year award went to Heritage Bank. Evidently, Bob Hogarth knows a thing or two about marshalling his troops and getting the very best out of them. But what sets them apart from the countless HR teams scattered around Australia? “The HR team at Heritage has a very clear intention to make a meaningful contribution to the company and to the staff who work for Heritage Bank,” says Hogarth. “This is something that dominates and drives the things we do. The HR team itself is made up of people who genuinely love what they do and who are focused on building their skills and positioning Heritage for the future. If there is anything special about our HR team it is that driving intention to make a demonstrable difference in what we do.” Uniquely among top HR teams, the Heritage team outsources very little and has a significant investment in L&D due to being a registered training organisation

What is the biggest HR challenge you are facing and how are you intending to meet that challenge? “The biggest challenge facing any HR function in my view is to build credibility for the value it provides a business and to impact in a meaningful way on the direction and success of the organisation. This is particularly the case in times of economic uncertainty or challenge when many organisations look to cut costs or reduce their workforce in a way that can damage, perhaps irreparably, the culture of the organisation. At Heritage Bank, HR has looked to have clear connections to the organisational strategy; we have found innovative ways to generate income, which gives us a degree of credibility and we have added to that credibility by being fortunate to win a number of external HR awards.”

that offers qualifications for both existing staff and to organisations within financial services. The HR team at Heritage includes payroll, traditional HR functions, L&D, and specialist managers in employee relations and health and safety. What’s changed in Hogarth’s time in the job (some 16 years)? “As work has become more complex, fast paced and challenging, so have the roles in human resources,” he says. “To reflect the challenges they face in a diverse industry such as financial services, so too HR has had to evolve. What I’ve seen in my role is that HR people have to become both more skilled in HR but also have a clearer connection and understanding of the business they serve. At Heritage Bank I’ve seen the need to have expert specialists in certain roles such as L&D and employee relations while at the same time needing HR generalists with very broad skills to complement the HR strategy.” When it comes to the vexatious question of whether

there’s a ‘best’ structure for an HR team to hold, Hogarth mirrors the opinion of the other HR professionals profiled in this feature. He notes a common trap HR can fall into is assuming there’s one best approach to suit all organisations, cultures and circumstances. “While generally speaking I’m a supporter of the Ulrich business partner approach I recognise that various circumstances such as company structure, geographic spread or philosophy may define a different approach for a HR team structure that would be more effective in that context,” he says. He also believes the structure is an essential element in providing the capacity to deliver real value, but it’s just one component to consider. “Obviously connected to this is the clarity of purpose, the resources, skills and the intent of the HR leader and team to deliver these services,” he adds. Does Hogarth go in for the clichéd team-bonding exercises that should rightfully be relegated to the history pages of the 1980s? Not really – he takes a holistic view of team building and concedes that while it’s important to enjoy working together as a team (and like many HR teams Heritage does the occasional fun team-building activity), Hogarth’s view is this: the best way to build team spirit is to provide meaningful work, to provide meaningful development for the individuals in the team, and to ensure they have a real sense of purpose and see value in the work that they do. “I believe everyone wants to work in an environment where they are valued, where the work is meaningful, where day to day you can enjoy working with each other, and where they have some pride for the organisation they are working for. We try to have a laugh in the workplace, to not take ourselves too seriously but to take what we do very seriously. This approach, to me, has far more impact than any team-building exercise.” HCAMAG.COM 33


business relevance

Adapt or die:

How to stay relevant

Why do some organisations adapt and thrive while others fade away and disappear? Michael McQueen provides his tips for ensuring your employer brand – and your organisation as a whole – stays ahead of the wave of change



The last handful of years have seen something of an epidemic of extinction in the business community. Looking at business failures, ranging from Borders to Billabong, Kodak and music giant HMV, brands and industries are quickly realising that business-as-usual is no longer enough. Peter Drucker’s insight in the mid-1980s is truer today than ever before: we must now run faster and faster just to stand still. In the face of today’s unprecedented pace of change, every business and leader is engaged in a battle, whether they are aware of it or not. This battle is not one for profitability, prominence or market share but rather it is one far more fundamental – the battle for relevance. While I have dedicated much of the last eight years to tracking some of the dominant trends shaping business and industry, in recent times the focus of my research has shifted to be driven by two key questions:


Why is it that even the world’s most iconic and successful businesses are becoming irrelevant one after another – what can we learn from their experience?


What separates the enduring from the endangered – how do some brands and organisations stay powerfully relevant for years or decades while their competitors fall by the wayside? Naturally, these two questions and the answers to them have significant implications for HR and recruitment leaders in the coming years. How can organisations ensure that they stay relevant not just to their current employees and talent but also their future workforces? There are two shifts that leaders and organisations must be aware of if they are to stay relevant and ahead of the curve:


It seems that hardly a week goes by when we don’t hear in the media of a product or industry that is becoming

The reason changing the way we do things can be so challenging is that we do so much in business and in life unconsciously or on autopilot obsolete due to technology. Take the rapid disappearance of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Yellow Pages or your local video store as a case in point. From an HR or people leadership perspective, technological shifts are afoot. In the years to come employees will be working and interacting with the workplace in a very different way. Work will increasingly be something that people do and not merely a place to which they go each day. As jobs become less workplace-specific due to advances in communication technology and the advent of telecommuting, more and more work can be done in a location other than the office. What’s more, it’s a win/win for both employees and employers. Author of Microtrends Mark Penn cites research indicating that stay-at-home workers actually log more hours than their counterparts in offices yet still report far higher rates of job satisfaction. More often than not, however, it is organisational cultures, policies and processes rather than commercial factors that prevent employees and managers from taking advantage of these trends. If you are not keeping abreast of these changes but your competitors are, it’s highly likely your employer HCAMAG.COM 35


business relevance brand will come to be seen as less relevant in the marketplace.

these organisations do that their endangered counterparts do not:


1. RE-ENGINEER This strategy is about intelligently and systematically changing internal processes and systems as times and needs evolve. While this is easy to say, it is typically something quite different to do. The reason changing the way we do things can be so challenging is that we do so much in business and in life unconsciously or on autopilot. As such, when I am guiding my clients through re-engineering their systems and processes I use a simple four-step exercise: I. DECONSTRUCT – Go through methodically and itemise every single step involved in a particular process from beginning to end, especially the unconscious elements. Often once clients do this they realise how many of the things they are currently doing actually make very little sense but are perpetuating unthinkingly every single day. II. EVALUATE – Next, look at every process element and ask questions like ‘Is that the smartest way to do it, the fastest way to do it; are there areas of duplication; are things getting missed’? III. INNOVATE – Looking at the process elements you have just evaluated, consider different or new ways of doing things. IV. REASSEMBLE – Finally, put the process back together again, and if you have done this exercise well it will be faster, cheaper, more efficient but, more importantly, more relevant to the needs of those within and outside the organisation.

This second type of shift is the one I have spent the vast bulk of my time researching in recent years, particularly the impact of the younger generation in our society known as Gen Y. Having spent more than three years interviewing and speaking to over 80,000 young people around the world, there are a number of key shifts in the values set of this next generation. These include the fact that Gen Y: Crave external affirmation. As a function of having grown up in the era of self-esteem, Gen Y tend to crave external validation and affirmation for everything they do. Indicative of this, one recent study found that 60% of Gen Y office workers wanted feedback from their immediate superior at least once per day while 35% wanted to receive feedback two to three times per day. Place a high priority on balance. While many baby boomers wear their lack of work-life balance almost as a badge of honour, Gen Y have very different priorities. Far from having no work ethic, this young group tends to place personal priorities as highly as or even higher than professional responsibilities. In many cases, this is a result of the heart attacks, strokes and broken relationships they witnessed in their parents’ generation often due to a lack of balance. Don’t view the future in a linear way. Far from having a five-year plan, many young people don’t have a five-day plan. They see the future as a myriad of pathways and options rather than a singular linear path. This makes them far more reactionary than strategic and has a big impact on their approach to career planning and goal setting. While Gen Y can sometimes appear difficult to work with, the simple reality is that they are a group of employees that no organisation can afford to ignore. They may only be 15% of the labour force now but within just over a decade will make up almost half of Australia’s working population. Again, if you are not attracting and engaging the talented members of this enormous group, your competitors likely will. While it is valuable to look at some of the key threats that have caused fallen organisations and businesses to lose relevance over time, it is equally important to study success stories. What can we learn from organisations that have managed to stay relevant as times and needs have evolved? I would suggest that there are three enduring things 36


Of these four steps, the one I find clients struggle the most with is step three: innovating. This leads us nicely into the second key to staying relevant. 2. REFRAME This second strategy is about actively looking to see things from different perspectives or points of view. Albert Einstein once highlighted the importance of this, saying: “It is impossible to solve the significant problems of life by adopting the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”. I would suggest that the most valuable asset every organisation has in innovation and creativity is the set of freshest eyes on a team. Perhaps it is the young employee who has just joined the business, or someone who has come into the organisation from outside the industry. Naturally, the value of people with fresh eyes is that they don’t know how things have always been done; they have no trouble thinking outside the box because they don’t know what the box even looks like just yet! Sadly, when people with fresh eyes join an organisation, the implicit message they get is to sit in the corner, watch how things are done around here, and then once you know how things are done around here you can offer your suggestions. By this point, however, this new person no longer has fresh eyes and the opportunity has been wasted. 3. REPOSITION The final key to staying relevant as times change is to reposition your employer brand as times and needs evolve.

When I am working with clients, helping them reposition their brand, there are a series of five questions I ask: 1. How are we currently perceived? This is such an important question from an employer-branding perspective. Before you look at how you’d like to be perceived by your future workforce, you must first know how you are currently perceived. 2. What motivates or impresses our employees? What do they really want, not what you’d assume or hope they want! 3. What confuses, frustrates and disappoints them? 4. How are we a category of one? What do you do so differently that no other organisation can truly say they operate the way you do? 5. What are your employees’ unknown future needs? Put simply, what will your workforce want in five to 10 years – things they may not even know they want yet! Setting a brand or organisation up for enduring relevance involves a principle that every experienced surfer understands well. In order to catch the perfect wave, a good surfer knows the importance of keeping their eyes firmly on the horizon. While a wave is still forming a long way off in the distance, surfers know that this is the time to move – to paddle out and get in position. Move too late or not at all and you’ll simply get washed up as the wave crashes over you. In much the same way, winning the battle for relevance is about anticipating, preparing for and embracing change, no matter how uncomfortable or confronting it may be.

Shaky times: 10 endangered brands Every year, 24/7 Wall St, which provides critical online analysis and commentary for US equity investors, identifies 10 brands sold in the US that it predicts will disappear within a year’s time. Among the selection criteria are: declining sales and losses; disclosures by the parent of the brand that it might go out of business; rising costs that are unlikely to be recouped through higher prices; companies that have lost the great majority of their customers.

For 2014 this list includes:

About the author Michael McQueen is a social commentator and author of the newly launched book, ‘Winning the Battle for Relevance’, available in bookstores across Australia and at



social HR

Uncharted territory:

HR IN THE SOCIAL ERA Jim Lefever outlines why the shift away from Industrial Age thinking cannot be ignored – and why the new ‘Social Era’ means HR must tap into the power of community By any measure, on a global, regional and local basis, the world of business is in a state of flux. We are rapidly moving away from the Industrial Age with its rigid structures, stable business models, formal processes and functionally siloed organisations into a fluid and flexible environment that fundamentally changes the way value is created, the meaning of work, and the structures of our institutions.1 This has huge implications not only for how HR fulfils its purpose but indeed whether HR will survive as a function without undergoing an appropriate transformation to meet these new realities.


Nilofer Merchant first coined the term ‘Social Era’ in her book 11 Rules to Create Value in the Social Era as a way to 38


capture the key shifts in how the world is changing. In her own words, the term ‘Social Media’ was limited by its connection with marketing and communications. ‘Enterprise 2.0’ was too technological. And ‘Social Business’ simply added an overlay to the existing framework rather than challenging the premise of an organisation. Instead, ‘Social Era’ captures two distinct power shifts:  1. ORGANISATIONAL. Connected individuals can now do what once only large centralised organisations could. This fundamentally alters the structural core and role of ‘the firm’, and of working people. As more and more freelancers and ‘solopreneurs’ enter the market, work is increasingly freed from jobs. The shift is from ‘value chain’ to ‘value flows’.  2. INDIVIDUAL. Anyone can be a game changer by using the power of their ideas. They need not first be vetted or chosen to be powerful. These previously unheard voices are essential for solving new problems, as well as for finding new solutions to old problems. Without celebrating what anyone — quite possibly everyone — can offer, people are simply cogs in a machine: dispensable and undervalued. By celebrating each person and the value only they can create, economic power is unlocked. And it’s not that everyone will, but that anyone can.1

Welcome to the Social Revolution, where everything is changing, where there are seismic shifts in how and, more importantly why, people work, and where businesses with both a clear social purpose and a community aligned to that purpose are outperforming those without one.


It all begins with Purpose – that simple reason for being that can inspire employees, excite customers, and create vibrant communities. With it, everyone understands what they need to do and why they need to do it. Without it, we are unlikely to experience consistently innovative thinking, high employee engagement, true market differentiation or great customer loyalty. Deloitte’s chairman of the board, Punit Renjen, recently wrote that “corporate culture is increasingly becoming a critical anchor that underscores the importance of maintaining core beliefs and values … [yet] the majority of employees and executives believe businesses are not doing enough to create a sense of purpose and deliver meaningful impact”.2 Think about it. Which is the more inspiring: a multinational company that says we are “a diversified technology company serving customers and communities with innovative products and services. Each of our six businesses has earned leading global market positions”3; or one, equally large, that says our “people worldwide are dedicated to turning imaginative ideas into leading products and services that help solve some of the world’s toughest problems”4? Or how about the one you will probably be most familiar with: to “organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”5? The most successful businesses will have a Social Purpose that ties into something bigger than them, that is focused on creating something for the good of the entire community that surrounds them, not just increasing the earnings per share for shareholders. How much better is that than having a mission statement that gets stuck above the photocopier and forgotten until the Annual Report is published or gets dragged out again for the performance management cycle?

IT’S NOT WHAT YOU KNOW, OR EVEN WHO YOU KNOW, IT’S WHO THEY KNOW If industrialisation, as Karl Marx put it, “rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life”, then the Social Era has connected the intelligence of the individual with the power of community. Connected individuals can now do what once only large centralised organisations could do, which changes organisational structures and individual power.1 Key to business success in the Social Era will be the ability to proactively create deep social capital through the development of, and interaction with, a strong and diverse Community of Interest that leverages both the strong and weak ties of its members’

The most successful businesses will have a Social Purpose that ties into something bigger than them, that is focused on creating something for the good of the entire community that surrounds them, not just increasing the earnings per share for shareholders networks for the success of the community as a whole. While we could equally call them Communities of Purpose, I define a Community of Interest Network (COIN) as the product of shared interests that may either converge within a shared geographical region or be independent of spatial boundaries, and where individuals are linked through a social network by one or more activities or factors covering a range of business, environmental and cultural elements; and where all members and actions are aligned with a common purpose and shared identity. We shouldn’t misinterpret community as a nostalgic metaphor for some rural idyll where everybody knows your name. It should instead be welcomed as a concept that embraces diversity, creativity, engagement, conflict and dynamism. And for that concept to be realised, information must flow through the networks that connect individuals both inside and outside those communities. According to David Putnam, a strong community contains high levels of coordination and cooperation for reciprocal and mutual benefit.6 So by adopting a formal focus on community and the networks and ties between members of that community, businesses and HR in the Social Era can take advantage of both the ‘hidden wealth’, namely the non-financial resources comprising local skills, trust and know-how, useful contacts and care-based exchange,7 as well as leveraging the positive effects of ‘social contagion’,8 the spreading of behaviours and values, to create success.


A COIN is the broadest form of community and, at a macro level, encompasses the whole eco-system that facilitates the art of business in the Social Era. That system is made up of Communities of Practice (COPs), Communities of HCAMAG.COM 39


social HR Action (COANs), and Individual Personal Networks, covering a wide-ranging, far-reaching and often global population of current employees, employee alumni, customers, customer alumni, suppliers and their value chains, vendors and their sales chains, as well as, at every level, each individual’s personal network of family and friends. Etienne Wenger defined COPs as groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.9 A COP has an identity defined by a shared domain of interest where members engage in joint activities, help each other, share information, and, critically, where members of the community are practitioners developing a shared repertoire of resources, experiences, stories, tools and solutions. Project management and change management are quite clearly COPs, while HR is itself a COIN with multiple COPs inside, such as generalist business partner, Compensation & Benefits, Learning & Development, IR, M&A, Recruitment, etc. A COAN (pronounced ‘Cone’) is a group of individuals from multiple COPs who are brought together, or voluntarily come together, to effect change under a common purpose, independent of geographical or organisational boundaries and defined by outcomes, time, budget and other constraints. A project team is a COAN, but so too are design, product or HR teams. For example, an organisational change will be managed by an HR COAN consisting of individuals from different COPs, eg HR business partners, OD, IR, Compensation & Benefits, Recruitment, Payroll, business leaders and other stakeholders. In any Social Era business, there will be multiple COANs, forming and reforming, linking different COPs and COINs, targeting self-determined projects of work defined by their alignment to, and understanding of, the Social Purpose of the business. As more and more individuals see the benefits of leveraging the power of their communities and the portability of their skills, knowledge and experience, we will see a rise in the number of Portfolio Workers, using their individual networks to work across a variety of communities at the same time, employing their skills, knowledge and experience in the way that interests them most. Just as a screwdriver (physical capital) or a university education (human capital) can increase productivity (both individual and collective), so does the quality of social contacts (social capital) affect the productivity of



individuals and groups.6 So it is not the fact of creating COINs, COPs, COANs or even individual networks that matters but how they are all enabled to interact and generate social capital for the business. The solution, as Aristotle said, is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.10


So where does all this leave HR? For HR to be successful in the Social Era and meet these challenges, it needs to unite behind a purpose, that core reason for being with which all actions can be aligned. While there are numerous examples along the lines of “to maximise the contribution of people (in) delivery of the organisation’s goals”,11 they don’t really inspire or excite the reader. I therefore propose that HR’s Purpose in the Social Era is to build a better world through creating, linking and managing relationships and engagement across all communities in a business. If we accept that purpose, then the responsibilities of the HR community must align with it and evolve to include the following: The Community Curator acting as a ‘superconnector’ to bring together disparate networks to enhance the flow of information, both internal and external, to benefit the core business while leveraging the bonding, bridging and linking capital existing within those networks to manage the flow of people in the communities; from resources in through attraction and recruitment, to COANs and COPs delivering solutions to develop and enhance efficiency and effectiveness, and, finally, resources out through separation and alumni management. The Co-creator influencing the development of the corporate strategy through their knowledge of, exposure to, and experience with the commercial operations of the business, then developing HR solutions aligned with the agreed strategy and purpose to develop and transform the people, process, tools and technology to achieve success. The Expert Guide providing a flexible framework of policies and procedures related to employment and engagement of all types of staff, and implementing the tools to do this effectively, providing guidance, support and advice as required. The framework must be crafted in such a way that it allows for global consistency and alignment with the Social Purpose, but for local autonomy in application by multiple and diverse community groups.

The Communicator connecting people by creating and maintaining relationships of trust and value through open, honest, transparent and timely communication focused at targeting the creation of bonding, bridging and linking social capital. The Guardian of the Social Purpose using community visioning to articulate ‘why we do what we do’ and embodying the concept through the development and implementation of the employee value proposition. The skills currently valued and promoted by HR practitioners will also undergo a change in emphasis, with additional skills coming to the fore to support these new responsibilities in the Social Era. They will include:


Community curation – The ability to design and implement a community management strategy that enhances connectivity, reflexivity and redundancy across the networks.

Network weaving – The intentional practice of helping people to build and connect to more relationships of trust and value, by virtue of being genuinely interested in building and connecting oneself to more relationships of trust and value.12



Solution design and integration – The ability to design and integrate holistic HR solutions based on input from all communities as well as through insight fed by ‘big data’ analysis.


Transformation management – The ability to effect transformation through a synthesis of project management, change management, business consulting and data analysis skills.


Strategic thinking – The ability to perceive issues at micro and meso levels and create solutions at the macro level to address.

Business acumen – The ability to define and deal with a business situation by employing a thorough understanding of what drives profitability and cash flow, a market-focused approach to the business, and an overall big-picture understanding of the business and its interrelationships.



Data analysis/Interpretation – The ability to use disparate data sets to generate insights about the business and provide data-based inputs for refining HR and corporate strategies.

Treating itself as a Community of Interest with an agreed Social Purpose, and evolved responsibilities and skills, HR will eventually find that it no longer needs to sustain a large and permanent organisational structure. Using a fluid community model, it will maintain a small core team with two main groups: generalist business partners for strategic co-creation with business leaders and management of HR COANs, and individual subject matter experts acting as relationship managers with the various HR COPs. Surrounding the core, interacting and engaging with each other, will be outsourced HR COPs and COANs, populated by Portfolio Workers providing subject matter expertise, forming and dissolving as required. HR can finally become the business enabler it has aspired to be for so long. However, if we don’t adapt to the new realities of the Social Era, we may see the extinction of HR as we know it, perhaps through the merging of corporate strategy, marketing communications and HR generalists into one function that will have the necessary capabilities to deliver the required services by leveraging current skill sets and supported by outsourced HR COPs. In the Social Era, the power of community coupled with the intelligence of the individual fundamentally changes the way value is created, the meaning of work, and the structures of our institutions.1 It is an exciting time to be in business, and HR has a great opportunity to be the agent of change to a new way of working across all industries, but to do that we need to seize the moment and choose to transform. We can be the Phoenix or we can be the Dodo. We can’t be both. Which will you be?

References 1. Nilofer Merchant. What we talk about when we talk about “Social”. html 2. “Culture of purpose: A business imperative” (2013), Deloitte 3. 4. 5. 6. Putnam, R. “Bowling Alone: the Collapse and Revival of American Community” (2000), New York: Simon and Schuster 7. Halpern, D. “The Hidden Wealth of Nations” (2010), Polity Press 8. Christakis, N.A. and Fowler, J.H. “Social Contagion Theory: Examining Dynamic Social Networks and Human Behavior”. Statistics in Medicine 32(4): 556-577 (February 2013); doi:10.1002/sim.5408. 9. Wenger, E. “Communities of Practice; A brief introduction”, June 2006 10. Aristotle, “Metaphysics”, Book H 1045a 8-10: “... the totality is not, as it were, a mere heap, but the whole is something besides the parts ...” 11. 12. Traynor, B. “The Essence of Weaving” (2010), http://valueofplace.

About the author Jim Lefever is the managing director of HR consultancy HR2BE. Visit



reward & recognition

On trend: Social recognition Social recognition is starting to gain traction in many organisations. HC talks to Dave Jackson, executive director, Solterbeck, about his views on how to capitalise on this trend

Human Capital: Technology should always be a tool, a facilitator or enabler, but have you noticed a change in the way companies are handling R&R since the advent of social media? How? Dave Jackson: I’ve seen three significant changes in R&R practices post-social media. The first change is just a generally growing expectation from employees for more, and faster, acknowledgement, and then organisations responding to this demand. The second change is the integration of recognition into corporate social platforms – Yammer, etc. Posting a ‘thanks’ to a helpful colleague or a ‘congrats’ on a project delivery is ideally suited to these social platforms. And the third change is the integration of social-style functions into sole-purpose recognition technologies. Software applications such as Achievers, Kudos, and RecognitionCentre, which have long allowed colleagues and managers to nominate employees for awards, now additionally offer social functions – walls to display nominations and thanks, ability to ‘like’ nominations, to comment or vote, and so on.

Dave Jackson is executive director, Solterbeck. For more information, visit or phone (03) 9949 5900

HC: What aspects of social media can corporate R&R tap into? DJ: I think this is the key to social: it’s not so much about social platforms per se as about utilising social characteristics in all aspects of online and even offline recognition strategy: immediacy, frequency, transparency, greater visibility, less privacy and secrecy. All these are significant differences from the old secret-ballot, top-down approach to recognition. But I think it’s also interesting that some social aspects of R&R predate social media, especially gamification: badges, leaderboards, and the like have been integral elements of reward programs for decades. HC: Many companies do use peer-to-peer recognition today. Do you see any problems with this approach? DJ: The big risk with peer-peer is to see it as the whole



solution. We are complex creatures, and narrow or simplistic definitions of recognition will fail to meet our needs. There are intrinsic restrictions of peer-peer, which can be mitigated when delivered within a broad-base recognition framework that utilises multiple sources (peer, supervisor, organisation, customer) and multiple metrics (personal, behavioural, and outcomes, for example). HC: On the plus side, does peer-to-peer help to even out some of the inconsistencies that managers, as individuals, often have when it comes to recognising the efforts of others? DJ: Peer-peer has certainly ‘improved’ recognition beyond the old management-appointed ‘employee of the month’ model. As well as the obvious, such as reaching more people more often, I think what is really interesting is the richness of information we are gathering. Our colleagues are often much closer to the detail and nuance of our working day than our managers, and good recognition strategies capture this nuance. I see real opportunities for better utilising this information, across a variety of areas such as training and development, performance management, employee communications, and change management. HC: Social platforms can help tell the stories behind the recognition. Why is that important? DJ: It’s always been important that a recipient of recognition understands why she has been recognised. But the real power is to share this more broadly; it’s not too ambitious to say we can shape our organisational culture by ensuring everyone understands why we recognise and reward the people we do. A really simple but effective example of this is a ‘trending words’ map on our social dashboard – a big-data approach to identifying and reporting the exact words and phrases our people are using to describe great performance.



Ari Kopoulos is National Sales & Marketing Manager, EmployeeConnect. For further information, phone 02 82888028 or visit

The neuroscience of engagement In Part 2 of a two-part series, Ari Kopoulos looks at how neuroscience can be used to gain greater insight into employee engagement In Part 1 we looked at the role neurochemical pathways play in reinforcing how we feel and respond to everyday situations. It’s a game of threat and reward, with dopamine and serotonin playing chemical currency. But it’s not always that simple; our individual disposition can also play a key role in how we embrace engagement, especially when we factor goals into the equation.


Goals give us an end point. By setting a goal, we immediately focus our attention and redirect random neural firing patterns to pathways committed to the challenge. Furthermore, reinforcement sensitivity theory differentiates between reward and punishment sensitivity, which ultimately influences the emotions linked to our motivation to pursue a goal. Individuals with a reward disposition experience positive emotions such as hope and elation when pursuing a goal. Those with a punishment disposition are more likely to view goals from a fear-of-failure perspective. Research suggests we gain more satisfaction from reviewing completed goals; however, we are more motivated by what still needs to be done. In effect, achieving a goal is fulfilling, but focusing on a goal to pursue is engaging. This suggests that a state of change or arousal ensures more engagement than a state of balance. But again, things are not that simple when it comes to the brain. It turns out there is a relationship between arousal and engagement. Studies suggest that both insufficient and extreme levels of arousal yield the same result: poor performance. The trick is to hit that sweet spot between anxiety (too much arousal), and apathy (not enough arousal).


Once we hit that sweet spot and identify a clear goal with immediate feedback, we

When done correctly, gamification can inspire, motivate and help team members collaborate more effectively and more organically over time find that we are totally lost in the activity; time appears to stand still and all our actions, our thoughts, our movements appear to flow effortlessly into another. There are no distractions; we feel deeply energised, we are in control, we are in the zone. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls this flow, and it’s in this deeply engaged flow state that we are more creative, more productive and more satisfied. So it makes sense to pursue activities that promote flow states. This presents an interesting, if not often ignored, challenge to technology vendors; that is, designing systems that offer immersion, heightened focus and engagement. This means developing solutions designed for the user, rather than the task. But it takes more than user interfaces. To successfully engage, workflows and processes need to offer unique goals and objectives to individuals and provide feedback to increase the effectiveness.


Technology needs to connect employees to an end goal, creating a clear path to success. Equally important is an attention strategy that is capable of engaging and sustaining participation throughout the process. Increasingly, vendors are turning to game mechanics to achieve this. Although reward & recognition is central to the HR

space, ‘gamification’ is a relatively new concept. Effectively, it’s the principles and mechanisms that control behaviour through a system of incentives, feedback and rewards with a reasonably predictable outcome. Just like a game gets progressively harder, the process evolves over time to make it more engaging and enjoyable. In short, it’s about maximising the release of dopamine. From a technology perspective, it’s the addition of peer recognition, reward and feedback systems that keeps people involved for extended periods of time. Organisations of all sizes can benefit by using gamified systems to improve engagement, learning, flow performance, and facilitate change across the enterprise. When done correctly, gamification can inspire, motivate and help team members collaborate more effectively and more organically over time. The mysteries of the brain are just unfolding. The last 20 years has uncovered fundamental insights into how our brain affects perception, emotion and conscious thought. These insights offer an opportunity for systems and processes to evolve into a new framework of engagement and ultimately performance. But to ensure success, technology vendors will have to change the way they think about HR delivery; they need to focus on the user and their experience. The good news is it’s happening! HCAMAG.COM 43


workplace bullying

Bullying at work: Where do you stand?



With new workplace bullying laws taking effect, Larissa Andelman outlines what it means for business The ‘workers bullied at work’ provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) will come into effect on 1 January 2014. Bullying at work is defined in the FW Act as repeated unreasonable behaviour towards the worker at work, with the behaviour creating a risk to health and safety. Bullying at work excludes reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner. The new provisions require the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to deal with the application within 14 days of its receipt. In dealing with the application, the FWC may either conduct a conference or hold a hearing. The FWC may make a broad range of orders to prevent ongoing bullying. However, there is no power to make an order for payment of money.


The definition of bullying in the FW Act is based on definitions of bullying used by state and territory Occupational Health and Safety authorities as it makes explicit reference to the risk to health and safety. Work Cover NSW defines bullying as “repeated unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety”.1 Work Safe Victoria defines bullying as “characterised by persistent and repeated negative behaviour directed at an employee that creates a risk to health and safety”.2 The Australian Human Rights Commission has a broader definition of bullying at work as “verbal, physical, social or psychological abuse by your employer (or manager), another person or group of people at work”.3 Unpacking the definition in the FW Act requires a focus on the terms “a risk to health and safety” and “unreasonable behaviour”. HCAMAG.COM 45


workplace bullying

DID YOU KNOW? Statistics show that bullying claims are rising steadily. In NSW alone, workplace workers’ compensation claims have increased by 10% since 2011

“Risk” is not defined in the FW Act or the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) (WHS Act). However, there is a duty on the employer to minimise risks to health and safety so far as is “reasonably practicable”. “Reasonably practicable” is defined in Section 18 of the WHS Act as including putting in place risk control measures such as training, monitoring, planning, consulting, reviewing and implementing processes, changes and systems. The duties created by the WHS Act are directed at obviating ‘risks’ to the health and safety of persons in the workplace. A risk to the worker’s health and safety arises from the employer’s requirement for the worker to work in an environment where the worker is at risk of suffering a particular harm. Risk is not about whether the employer has control of the environment, including the involvement of third parties,4 but about the measures that are put in place to reduce risk. The impact on the worker, such as stress, anxiety, distress, humiliation, etc., is the relevant evidence of the existence of the risk to the health and safety, and the seriousness of that risk, but it is not in itself an element of a risk to health and safety.5 Whether or not behaviour is reasonable is a matter to be determined by the FWC. Assistance with its meaning may be provided by the Preventing and Responding to Bullying at Work publication, which refers to unreasonable behaviour as excessive scrutiny at work; setting timelines that are very difficult to achieve; deliberately changing work arrangements; setting tasks that are unreasonably above or below the worker’s ability; withholding important information; deliberate exclusion or unjustified criticism. The publication refers to the following reasonable management actions as not constituting bullying: setting performance goals, standards and deadlines; allocating work to a worker; rostering and allocating work hours; transferring a worker; deciding not to select a worker for promotion; informing a worker about unsatisfactory work performance; informing a worker about inappropriate behaviour; implementing organisational changes; performance management processes or constructive feedback, and downsizing. Pursuant to Part 3.1 of the Workplace Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (NSW), an employer is required to identify, assess and control risks to the health and safety of workers. Therefore, it stands to reason that assessing whether or not such management actions are reasonable will depend, in part, on the risk control measures in place at the workplace.


Reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner in connection with the employee’s employment is specifically excluded from these 46


provisions. The focus on reasonableness generally considers whether an employee had been afforded procedural fairness. In regard to any disciplinary or misconduct management action, what the tribunal will have to decide is whether the manager had reasonable grounds to sustain a belief of misconduct, and carried out an investigation into the matter as was reasonable in all the circumstances of the case.6 Moreover, an employee has a right to know the nature of the allegations made and to have an opportunity to defend themselves. 7 A duty lies with the employee in general terms to give information to their employer such as is within the scope of their employment and which relates to the mutual interest of the employer and employee.8 Natural justice is generally considered to include the rights to: • be fully informed of the complaint • be fully informed about the complaint process • reply in full to the complaint • be considered innocent until proven guilty • representation by a person of one’s choice • maintenance of confidentiality • be informed of any rights of appeal


The FWC has the discretion to either proceed to an immediate hearing of the complaint or, more likely, to conduct a conference that is in the nature of conciliation. The FWC has the power to require a person to attend before it.9 During a conference, the FWC may adopt a number of alternative dispute resolution processes, ranging from facilitative to advisory, from conciliation to making a recommendation. FWC members have the specific power to appraise the dispute and provide advice as to the law and possible or desirable outcomes and how they may be achieved. However, the FWC cannot determine the dispute through arbitration during a conference. The matter may be resolved by arbitration at a hearing. During a hearing the FWC is not bound by any technical rules of evidence. It may inform itself in relation to any matter before it as it thinks fit. It must perform its functions quickly, informally and without unnecessary technicalities.10 In dealing with the complaint, the FWC will need to satisfy itself that the complaint is a “bullying at work” complaint pursuant to Section 789FD of the FW Act. The jurisdictional requirements are that there is a worker (an individual who performs work in any capacity, including as an employee, a contractor, a subcontractor, an outworker, an apprentice, a trainee, a student gaining work experience or

a volunteer) and a constitutionally covered business. The FWC may make an order to stop bullying. In considering whether an order is appropriate, the FWC must take into account the following factors: • Any final or interim outcomes arising from an investigation into the matter by another person or body • Any internal grievance or dispute resolution procedure; and • Any final or interim outcomes arising from the internal grievance or dispute resolution procedure It is unlikely that the dispute resolution clause in the modern award or an enterprise agreement will extend to complaints of bullying, because the dispute resolution clauses are generally confined to resolving disputes about the terms of the instrument and the National Employment Standards and do not apply to all disputes between an employer and a worker. If the FWC does make an order on a person, a contravention of the order is a civil remedy provision, and breach of the order may be enforced by a federal court. The maximum penalty is $51,000 against a corporation and $10,200 against an individual.


The FWC is intended to operate without the parties being legally represented. Leave is required before a legal representative or paid agent is given permission to represent a party at a conference or a hearing. The leave application should address the specific criteria listed in Section 596 of the FW Act. The FWC does have power to dismiss the bullying complaint if it has no reasonable prospects of success, is vexatious or frivolous, or is not made in accordance with the FW Act. While it is a no-costs jurisdiction, costs can be awarded in limited circumstances. 11


The scope of these provisions is significantly limited by the requirement that the worker continues to be engaged at work and the bullying is ongoing. Despite these constraints, it is likely that the FWC will receive a large number of bullying complaints because it is a process that is cheap and fast and, on its face, is likely to be effective. The Australian Human Rights Commission has no jurisdiction to deal with ‘bullying at work’ complaints unless they relate to discrimination, and making a complaint to a state or territory health and safety authority is a lengthy and uncertain process as the authority may choose not to investigate. Dealing with bullying complaints takes significant time and effort because often the complaints have long histories and involve numerous individuals. The

FWC will be required to afford the parties natural justice in bringing and defending the complaint, which is time consuming and resource intensive. These new provisions will improve access to justice for people complaining of bullying at work, but whether or not FWC has the resources or capacity to deal with these complaints remains to be seen. At some stage the FWC will be required to determine whether there is a proper bullying complaint. Whether that determination will be through the traditional arbitration model or whether the FWC will adopt more of an investigative approach remains to be seen.

Key HR takeaways While we all agree that bullying is never acceptable, using bullying as a generic term for interpersonal disputes is unhelpful and distressing for all parties concerned. Helping employees find more accurate terms for the conflict situations they encounter can alleviate the epidemic faced by HR. Here’s what else HR can do: Every organisational workflow has friction points. Identify where there are predictable points for potential workplace conflict in the operation cycle, such as performance management, promotions and team restructures Create protocols and clear pathway for employees. The appropriate process should be determined and engaged in locally. Employees also have to be aware of consistent pathways to handle workplace conflict. Not all matters require formal investigation or claim. Mediation may be best for interpersonal conflict resolution Improve communication skills for difficult conversations. When issues are not discussed from the outset, it often escalates further in the minds of the aggrieved parties. Clear and mature channels of communication can de-escalate a delicate situation Enhance leadership capabilities. With increasing devolvement of HR functions, these are excellent opportunities to train line managers, supervisors and employees on how to manage potential conflict through early identification and intervention References 1. Documents/bullying_at_work_2054.pdf 2. health-and-safety-topics/workplace-bullying 3. html 4. WorkCover Authority of New South Wales (Insp Keelty) v Crown in Right of the State of NSW (Police Services of NSW) (No 2) [2001] 104 IR 268 at 293 per Hungerford J 5. Ibid at 288-9 6. C v Quality Pacific Management Pty Ltd (1993) 73 WAIG 988 at 997 7. Wadey v YMCA Canberra [1996] IRCA 568 8. Murray Irrigation Limited v Balsdon [2006] NSWCA 253 9. Section 590(2)(a) of FW Act 10. Sections 577, 578 and 591 of the FW Act 11. R v Moore; Ex parte Federated Miscellaneous Workers Union of Australia [1978] HCA 51; (1978) 140 CLR 470 at 473 per Gibbs J

About the author Larissa Andelman is a barrister at 15 Wardell Chambers, based in Sydney. For further information, email larissa.andelman or visit


Finalists R’s night of nights is almost here! Following on from a hugely successful sold-out event in 2012, the 2013 Australian HR Awards promises to be another blockbuster event. The Australian HR Awards recognise outstanding achievements by individuals, teams and organisations across the people management spectrum. The finalists for the 2013 awards have been determined by following an in-depth research process to verify nominations and identify the most deserving in the industry.

Over the following pages you will discover who has made the grade as finalists this year. The awards will be held as a black-tie event on Friday 6 September, with fine dining and first-rate entertainment at the Westin Hotel Sydney. The host for the evening will be Australia’s number one entertainment personality, Richard Wilkins. For more information about this event and to book your table, visit





Finalists revealed for HR accolades EMPLOYEECONNECT Best Use of Technology •• •• •• •• •• ••

Atlassian City of Greater Geelong Defence Bank Rio Tinto Staging Connections Woolworths Limited

EmployeeConnect is a recognised leader in the HRMS market in the Asia Pacific region. Our focus is to provide you with the ‘best of breed’ web-based HR solution that can integrate with any payroll engines. Together with our experience and extensive research, we thoroughly understand all areas of HR and know how to help you transform paper-based HR processes into an integrated, enterprisewide, human capital program delivering strategic, financial and competitive benefits. Our solutions are known for their flexibility and scalability that are easy to use and cost effective to implement. CONTACT: Ari Kopoulos, national sales and marketing manager P: 02 8228 8000 E: W:

FUTURE KNOWLEDGE Best Change Management Strategy •• Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers •• City of Sydney •• Club Assist •• Foxtel •• Merck Sharp & Dohme (Australia) Pty Ltd •• Optus •• PepsiCo ANZ

Future Knowledge is a specialist management consultancy which partners with companies undertaking technology-led business transformation programs in Australia and New Zealand. Our expertise lies in helping clients more quickly achieve their future state of 'business as usual', following adoption of technologies including Cloud-based Business Software, Mobile Technologies, ERP and HR Systems. CONTACT: Paulus Briels, director HR technology & business transformation P: 02 9965 7261 E: W:

HEMISPHERE Best Recruitment Strategy •• Aegis •• Atlassian •• Coleman Brands Pty Ltd •• Compass Group •• Hamilton Island •• Jeanswest •• Medibank Health Solutions

Our aim is to offer senior HR professionals a targeted search and selection service that values both the short term benefit of a successful placement as well as the longer term value of maintaining all relationships developed over the recruitment process. Our proposition is supported by four basic principles: • Open and reliable communication • Honest and constructive feedback • Robust and transparent methodologies • Access to relevant HR industry specific information CONTACT: James McConochie, director P: 02 9267 5030 E: W:

SOLTERBECK Best Reward and Recognition Strategy •• British American Tobacco Australia •• Credit Union Australia •• Faiveley Transport Australia Ltd •• Greater Building Society •• Jeanswest •• Peoplebank Australia Limited •• Telstra

Solterbeck specialises in engaging and motivating employees and channel partners. Whether you’re looking to develop a new program or re-invigorate your current one, we’ll work with you to achieve best practice in sales and channel incentives, employee recognition and referral programs, internal communication, incentive travel, conferences and events. If you'd like to increase the engagement and discretionary performance of your team, we'd love to help. CONTACT: Dave Jackson, executive director P: 0419 358 188 E: W:


POWER2MOTIVATE Best Employee Value Proposition •• AMP Horizons •• Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu •• Heritage Bank •• Lexis Nexis •• Medibank Health Solutions •• Merck Sharp & Dohme (Australia) Pty Ltd •• Perpetual

Power2Motivate delivers the world’s best employee reward & recognition, sales incentive, customer loyalty and training solutions. We offer our clients easy and cost-effective ways to improve employee performance, inspire employee, customer and channel partner loyalty and assist in building brands and driving profits. We allow you to create, deploy and manage multiple recognition, incentive and training programs on any scale, delivered to a single department, the whole organisation or around the world to other corporate locations. We are a truly global solution, available in 14 languages and in over 125 countries, which gives us a global buying power and are the only company in the world to offer merchandise across all countries. CONTACT: Mark Robinson, general manager – Asia Pacific P: 1300 853 542 E: W:

FRONTIER SOFTWARE Employer of Choice (<1000) •• Atlassian •• Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers •• Ecetera •• McAfee •• Merck Sharp & Dohme (Australia) Pty Ltd •• MRWED Training & Assessment •• Trilby Misso Lawyers

Founded in Melbourne, Australia in 1983, Frontier Software is a global leader in Human Resource, Talent Management and Payroll solutions. Their flagship solution, chris21 sets the benchmark functionality and useability. With support offices in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide and Perth and key global locations, Frontier Software is well placed to service their 1600 clients. CONTACT: Nick Southcombe, general manager P: 03 9639 0777 E: W:

ACCUMULATE Employer of Choice (>1000) •• Alexander Mann Solutions •• Coca-Cola Amatil •• GHD •• Jeanswest •• PepsiCo ANZ

As leading specialists in corporate recognition, reward and incentive programmes, Accumulate has helped many top Australian organisations improve their workplace performance. We design, build and manage original solutions that engage and motivate staff, change their behaviour and ultimately help create a more successful culture. CONTACT: Alan Heyward, sales and client service director P: 1300 733 725 E: W:

HR3 Australian HR Manager of the Year •• Paula La Rocca, Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club •• Hayley Hubbard, FK Gardner •• Samantha Clark, Luxottica •• Maree Morgan-Monk, Peoplecare Health Insurance •• Lorraine Smith, Raytheon Australia •• Cheryl Rae, Woolworths Limited



Since 1984, HR3 has implemented its employee management software & solutions in over 4,000 Australian organisations ranging in size from 5 to 5,000 employees. HR3 is Australian owned and develops all of its solutions in Australia specifically for Australia’s ever changing employment conditions, HR and OH&S requirements. HR3 software/services are available Australia-wide. CONTACT: Suresh L. Bopitiya, Southern Region – business development manager P. 1800 817 191 E. W.


Employee Management Solutions


6 September 2013

LifetimeIN THEAchievement HR INDUSTRY

The highest honour and most coveted award at the Australian HR Awards, the winner of the Lifetime Achievement award will be announced on the night. This award recognises an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the industry as a whole through visionary people management strategies and leadership.

AWARD SPONSOR Remesys is an Australian remuneration and talent management software provider that was founded in 2001. We develop and deliver intuitive online software solutions that are configured to meet an organisation’s specific remuneration, performance and talent management requirements. Our award winning software has been implemented in organisations across the Asia-Pacific region.

CONTACT: Lara Kirschner, director P: 0411 380 370 E: W:

HR PARTNERS Australian HR Champion (CEO) •• Chris Beer, Luxottica •• Scott Charlton, Transurban •• Simon Gipson, St Michael's Grammar School •• Jon Linehan, Defence Bank Limited •• Gary Mitchell, DePuy Synthes •• Rosemary Vilgan, QSuper

HR Partners specialise in the recruitment and placement of HR professionals at all levels of seniority and in generalist as well as specialist roles. With offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, HR Partners is well placed to assist with the recruitment of HR Professionals in Permanent, Fixed Term and Interim HR roles. CONTACT: David Owens, managing director P: 02 9019 1600 E: W:

EXPERIS Australian HR Director of the Year •• Neil Baker, Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers •• Simone Carroll, REA Group •• Susan Henry, Starlight Foundation •• Emma Hogan, Foxtel •• Bob Hogarth, Heritage Bank •• Vijay Kashyap, Campari Australia •• Helen O'Reilly, Teachers Mutual Bank •• Mel Tunbridge, SBS

Experis is the global leader in professional talent recruitment and project-based workforce solutions. We accelerate organisations’ growth by intensely attracting, assessing and placing specialised talent in IT, Finance, Engineering and Healthcare. Whether it be interim placement, permanent placement, or borderless talent needs, our global reach and local expertise allow us to offer solutions to accelerate your business. CONTACT: Doug Spahn, Experis general manager P: 02 9263 8660 E: W:

INSURING YOU Australian HR Team of the Year •• •• •• •• •• •• ••

BASF Australia Ltd Credit Union Australia Heritage Bank Lexis Nexis NSW Ambulance QBE QSuper

InsuringYou is a risk specialist firm providing our clients with peace of mind for over 12 years. Definitions of insurance companies are the make or break of a successful claim - the devil is in the detail. InsuringYou provides a proactive service eliminating the hassle and stress at a time it matters most. Insurance is also an effective way to stand out as an Employer of Choice; motivating and retaining employees by providing real tangible benefits. CONTACT: Shane Jones, managing director P: 1800 677 516 E: W:


Best CSR Strategy •• •• •• ••

Aegis ING DIRECT Luxottica Singtel Opus

Best Health and Wellbeing strategy •• •• •• •• •• •• ••

Bupa ConnectEast Glen Eira City Council Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies QT Mutual Bank St Michael's Grammar School Trilby Misso Lawyers

Best Learning and Development Strategy •• •• •• •• •• •• •• ••

All Purpose Transport AMP Horizons Aurecon Clayton Utz Peoplebank Australia Limited The Coffee Club Group TNT Express Woolworths Limited

Best Workplace Diversity Strategy •• •• •• •• •• •• •• ••


Aon Arup Big W Curtin University Dreamtime PR Kellogg (Aust.) Pty Ltd PepsiCo ANZ Suncorp Group


Best Employer Branding •• •• •• •• •• ••

Aurecon Cover-More Inchcape Medibank Health Solutions Sodexo Unilever

Best HR Strategic Plan •• •• •• •• •• •• ••

Aegis Coca-Cola Amatil Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers CSIRO GenesisCare QBE QSuper

Employer of Choice (public sector & NFP) •• •• •• •• ••

Australia Post Epworth HealthCare Family Planning Victoria Glen Eira City Council Port Stephens Council

Australian HR Rising Star of the Year •• •• •• ••

Elizabeth Hales, Rio Tinto Nikki McBride, Raytheon Australia Alice Moginie, Merck Sharp & Dohme (Australia) Pty Ltd Alexandra Vargas Reyes, DB Schenker Australia Pty Ltd


Announcing Australia's number one entertainment personality RICHARD WILKINS AS MC

Join your industry colleagues for a night to remember at the 2013 Austr alian HR Awards

Book Your table now HR3

Employee Management Solutions

Friday 6th September, 2013 Westin Hotel Sydney






Kirsten Booker, a former HR executive, has posted on about her crazier experiences in the industry, and why she won’t be returning any time soon. Some of HC’s favourite situations Booker found herself dealing with were: Answering a complaint about execs ‘snorting blow’ off an intern’s stomach in the office Watching over an executive on a remote project because of his affairs. Booker was told, “If you even hear a zipper go down, your career is going down with it” Having an admin assistant who wore underwear outside her clothes come in on casual Friday with teased hair, a merry widow and the Purple Rain soundtrack on repeat. When terminated, she did an interpretive dance Having a candidate follow her home and hand her his resume in her driveway, wanting the job on the spot. He waited for her to “change her mind” – she called the police Being threatened into covering for a co-worker while she went out to have sex with her husband


Andrew Mason, former CEO of Groupon, released his debut album on 2 July. The album, entitled Hardly Workin’, contains seven tracks from the former keyboardist turned CEO and is touted by Mason as a guide to working in the corporate world. “Executives, mid-level management, and front-line employees are all sure to find valuable takeaways … with each spin I feel like I learn something,” Mason wrote on his blog. He encourages managers and executives to integrate not only the messages of the album but the soundtrack itself into their business – ending meetings with tunes like ‘It’s Up To Us’, or popping ‘My Door Is Always Open’ on a thumb drive and leaving it at a low-performing employee’s desk. Groupon’s stock price has almost doubled since his termination, The Australian reported.

While some face workplace bullying and unreasonable hours, Facebook employees are doing it tough, too. Current and former employees have aired their qualms online about working for the online juggernaut. With a liberal pinch of salt, here are some of HC’s favourite ‘gripes’ as taken from • Trying to be trendy. Facebook’s insistence on acting like a young company despite its size makes it seem like an “Adam Sandler movie where he’s old but wants to act like a teenager”. • Having fun. One employee really doesn’t appreciate the expectation that they should be social and have a drink with their co-workers. The ‘unofficial sport’ of the company being beer-pong doesn’t sit well with them either. • Being Facebook. One poster simply said the problem with Facebook was “It’s not Google”. • Too much food. The cream of the crop came from one poster who said their main complaint was that they “have but one stomach for all the food”.

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) asked online job seekers to solve a complex maths problem to be able to apply for an engineering position, Business Insider reported. The eight-line equation – which contained trigonometry, imaginary numbers, infinite sums and more – bore the instruction “If you have what it takes to be an engineer in the Air Force call the number below” above it. Unfortunately, what would have been a clever way to give applicants a direct line resulted in some mathematical blunders, as the equation was wrong, which made getting the desired number from it impossible. Defence Force recruiters enlisted a professor from the University of Melbourne to devise the equation, which Business Insider stated was intended for engagement, not direct recruitment. Applicants to the RAAF endure two-day recruiting processes that include a plethora of interviewers, from psychologists to nurses.






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The magazine for people who manage people.

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