Page 1

PERKY PERKS

Out of the box benefits P.28 MORALE BOOSTERS ISSUE 9.10

Sustainable recognition P.34 WORKFORCE PLANNING

HR tools in the spotlight P.38 HUMAN CAPITAL MAGAZINE

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

what are you worth? Annual salary review P.14

PLUS: 2011 AUSTRALIAN HR AWARDS GUIDE


editor’s letter

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

Classroom experience not enough The most discussed article on www.hcamag.com over the past month was a news article that raised concerns about the skill level of HR professionals when dealing with IR issues. A summary of the article and the reader comments can be found on p 6. It was interesting to note the views of two HR professionals who claimed to have studied IR at university, only to find that classroom experience was not sufficient for the expertise demanded in the workplace. ‘Geoff’ commented: “I studied IR in the 1990s and quite frankly most of the course content I was exposed to was pretty much ancient history. My real learning took place through on-the-job exposure, being coached and mentored, and plain hard work.” Geoff also correctly pointed out the role of non-HR managers in handling workplace issues: “These skills are needed not just in HR, but by frontline managers as well.” ‘Shelley’ agreed, adding: “I also studied IR in 2002 and it did little to help with what I was about to step into. I have worked in a heavily unionised area for nine years since, and it has been hard work, good negotiation skills, mentoring and experience that have been my greatest education.”

COPY & FEATURES EDITOR Iain Hopkins JOURNALIST Stephanie Zillman EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Rebeccah Elley

ART & PRODUCTION DESIGN PRODUCTION MANAGER Angie Gillies CHIEF DESIGNER Paul Mansfield, Plump & Spry DESIGNER Rebecca Downing PRODUCTION EDITORS Sushil Suresh, Carolin Wun, Moira Daniels

CONTRIBUTORS Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers, The Next Step, Leadership Success, EmployeeConnect

SALES & MARKETING NATIONAL COMMERCIAL MANAGER Sophie Knight ONLINE COMMERCIAL MANAGER Sarah Wiseman SENIOR MARKETING EXECUTIVE Kerry Corben MARKETING EXECUTIVE Anna Keane COMMUNICATIONS EXECUTIVE Lisa Narroway TRAFFIC MANAGER Abby Cayanan

CORPORATE MANAGING DIRECTOR Mike Shipley CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER George Walmsley SALES DIRECTOR Justin Kennedy CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER Colin Chan HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER Julia Bookallil

Perhaps the best thing about hearing from these practitioners ‘in the frontline’ was the overwhelming feeling that solving people problems needs to start somewhere, and provided they have the skills to communicate and negotiate at an operational level, HR does have an important role to play. Interestingly, these words are echoed by this month’s profiled HR professional, Fiona Cole of Yahoo!7. Although not commenting directly on IR issues, Cole believes the best background for an HR professional is not to study HR at all; or if you do, aim to get broad business experience before joining an HR team: “If you don’t understand the commercials of the business, or know how the business is operating, you will struggle,” she says. Whichever path is taken to HR, it seems there’s no experience to top rolling up the sleeves and working directly in the business.

Editorial enquiries Iain Hopkins tel: +61 2 8437 4703 iain.hopkins@keymedia.com.au Advertising enquiries National commercial manager, HR products Sophie Knight tel: +61 2 8437 4733 sophie.knight@keymedia.com.au Subscriptions tel: +61 2 8437 4731 • fax: +61 2 8437 4753 subscriptions@keymedia.com.au Key Media www.keymedia.com.au Key Media Pty Ltd, regional head office, Level 10, 1 Chandos St, St Leonards, NSW 2065, Australia tel: +61 2 8437 4700 fax: +61 2 9439 4599 Offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Toronto www.hcamag.com 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.

Iain Hopkins, editor, HC Magazine Human Capital wants to hear from you. Email us:

editor@hcamag.com WWW.HCAMAG.COM

1


HC MAGAZINE 9.10

contents FEATURES

28 | Sleeping on the job… and other perks At Google, employees get one fifth of their time to work on projects of their own choosing. While that sort of extravagant perk might be easy for a multi-billion dollar organisation to pull off, what can others do? 34 | Praise from above (or a colleague) All too often busy managers forget some of the basic rules of people management, such as recognising their employees’ input. Yet the words ‘thank you’ can speak volumes – and don’t cost the earth

14

Cover story: What are you worth? As global markets continue to teeter on the edge of collapse, what impact is this having locally for remuneration of HR professionals?

2

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

38 | Eye on the horizon Working smarter rather than harder has long been a business mantra, so why do we seem to be working harder than ever? Human Capital looks at workforce planning and some of the latest analytic HR tools in the marketplace


Check out the HC archive online:

38

28

52 | My brilliant career From hamburger eating competitions to ‘hack days’, Yahoo!7 has a reputation as being a fun place to work. Human Capital profiles the career of Fiona Cole, HR director at Yahoo!7

REGULARS

56 | Australian HR Awards 2011 Your exclusive look at the industry’s biggest event of the year

08 | In Step: HR career experts 10 | Legal 12 | Leadership 45 | HR Technology

52

26

hcamag.com


IN BRIEF

news RECRUITMENT

REFERENCE CHECKING AN ESSENTIAL RECRUITMENT INGREDIENT

DIVERSITY

ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: THE DIVERSITY GAP n At the annual Think Women and WomenOnBoards seminar series hosted in various locations across Australia in August, a range of speakers addressed issues related to diversity in workplaces, the role of HR and strategies to bridge the gender gap. Dr Margaret Byrne, a member of the Oxford Business Alumni and honorary advisor on leadership and change at Wollongong University, said there is lots of talk about creating more diverse workplaces, but questioned whether organisations are really driving change. Dr Byrne likened the lack of diversity in workplaces to an ‘elephant in the room’, and said there is a responsibility on organisations, and indeed HR, to drive change and increase the quality and number of vacancies open to diverse societal groups. Cara Morton, managing director of Accenture Finance and Performance Management Consulting Asia-Pacific, said that with 55% of university graduates being female, there is the reasonable expectation that the statistic would be reflected up the career level – but it is not. Speakers at the event called on greater recognition of the inherent differences among groups in society. CORPORATE HEALTH

PRESENTEEISM DRAINS AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS n Research released by Medibank has revealed that presenteeism burdens the Australian economy with an annual cost of $34bn. The study showed that an average of 6.5 working days of annual productivity is lost per employee, and the overall cost for the economy equates to a decrease in gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.7%. Presenteeism refers to the productivity that is lost when employees come to work but are not working at full capacity due to illness. Researchers at Medibank said presenteeism is harder to identify 4

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

and quantify than absenteeism, but added that the cost of presenteeism to businesses and the economy is estimated to be greater. Following on from research conducted in 2006, the 2010/11 report considered 12 key medical conditions, including asthma, arthritis, cancer, depression, diabetes, heart disease, back, neck or spinal problems, and more. Importantly, the study examined the projected effects of presenteeism in 2050 after accounting for age specific prevalence rates and demographic change, and it was discovered that this long-term issue will cause the total cost of presenteeism to rise by more than $1.5bn.

POLL:

Do you feel confident handling IR issues in the workplace?

70% 16% 12%

I’d prefer to outsource to a specialist Poll Date: 9/08/20112/09/2011; Source: Human Capital Australia, www.hcamag.com

n Careful reference checking has slowly slipped away from the recruitment screening process, according to recruiter Kelly Services. “It’s crucial that employers verify the information presented on a candidate’s resume is factual and reference checking is a great way to assess a person’s work ethic, reliability and personality traits,” said Penny O’Reilly, general manager Kelly Services. Reference checking is a vital step in the recruitment process, but employers often do not consider it to be as important as other stages, she explained. O’Reilly believes that by conducting reference checks the company can avoid the pitfalls of recruiting an unsuitable candidate. “The challenge lies in getting the information you need without overstepping legal boundaries, such as violating right to privacy.” O’Reilly added that with the rise of social media sites, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, there is the temptation to check candidate profiles instead of making reference check calls. However, O’Reilly warned that a person’s online social identity may strongly differ from their professional personality, and “social media should not be used as a substitute to personal conversations with a candidate’s previous manager”.


WORKER’S RIGHTS

UNPAID WORK ON TRIAL

n Only 13% of people who do a period of unpaid trial work are actually offered a paid position, a survey has found. Consumer group JobWatch, an independent legal centre, found that unpaid trial work rarely leads to a paid job – and employers are capitalising on the legion of inexperienced youth looking for work in hospitality, retail and construction. The Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC) and JobWatch have joined to launch a campaign against unpaid trial work. JobWatch executive director Zana Bytheway said there was a need to change legislation to remove loopholes for unpaid work. While employers are within their rights to have probationary and paid trial periods, unpaid trial work, even of a few hours, is illegal in all states.

DID YOU KNOW?:

A CommSec report published in August revealed that annual male wages have outstripped female wages by a whopping $12,870, and the pay gap is now at its widest since the early 1980s

EXECUTIVE EDUCATION

POSTGRADUATE DEGREES RULE, BACHELORS OUT n Employment prospects for new postgraduates remain positive, with 86% finding full-time employment within four months of completing their studies in 2010. With employment prospects remaining optimistic, the postgraduate outcomes survey released by Graduate Careers Australia (GCA) also revealed that the median salary for new postgraduates increased by 2% since 2009, reaching an average of $70,000. “Employment figures of 86% for postgraduates are around 10% higher than the equivalent figure of 76% for bachelor degree programs,” said GCA senior research associate Graeme Bryant. The most recent figures are indeed slightly lower than in 2009 and 2008; however, Bryant said that when taken in context the results still display the positive outcomes from undertaking postgraduate studies. “While bachelor degree employment figures have fallen by around 9% over the past two years, employment figures for postgraduates have only fallen by 4% over the same period.”

WWW.HCAMAG.COM


IN BRIEF HC ONLINE

forum Readers’ comments BRETT 02 Aug 2011 01:14 PM “I think HR is a general term with so many different areas of knowledge required. I think the best way forward is to specialise; yes still have the general type people and managers but then break into specialised groups such as OHS, Workers Comp and IR/ER.” WENDY 02 Aug 2011 04:05 PM “I think I must have missed something or maybe I’m just old school. I’ve always found if the situation is treated in a fair and firm way a resolution presents or you may find a need to move into the ‘unpractised area of performance management’. I’m finding more and more managers are either not equipped to deal with this in their early career or too old to change their ways. Back to basics.”

Strike action back, HR not up to scratch A lack of industrial relations knowledge has compounded the number of industrial disputes currently underway, an HR expert from Macquarie University has said. In July alone Australia witnessed the messy fallout of unresolved industrial disputes, with work stoppage at Qantas, Veolia Transport and Rio Tinto. The result? IR disputes are set to remain firmly on the agenda. Speaking to HC, Dr Paul Gollan from Macquarie University, expert in HR management, employment and industrial relations, said that due to a lack of IR in HR courses throughout previous years, “many HR managers have had little experience when it comes to fundamental principles”. “In some ways that [lack of IR knowledge] has contributed to the disputes we are seeing today,” he said. Gollan said that in a lot of cases industrial lawyers have taken over the whole function of dealing with IR issues. Yet if HR were better equipped to handle industrial disputes, “a lot of these issues could be settled or addressed before getting more expensive and travelling up the legal echelons”, he explained.

He added that 90% of disputes can be resolved or at least managed, but during the Howard years of government, WorkChoices and management did not allow for the capacity to deal with these disputes at workplace level. During this time, many universities scrapped their IR courses from the list of core management studies. But as a result of the return to Labor leadership, and more open discussion with unions, “an interesting development is that we’re now seeing a huge take-up in the study of IR”, Gollan said. Gollan said some universities are bringing IR studies back, with many mature students returning for further studies in the field. “Quite obviously they’re in [HR] fields and have found they need to get those skills. “There will always be IR disputes. But for HR the trick is managing the negative impacts. Reaching compromises that are acceptable to both parties takes a lot of expertise and experience,” Gollan said. When it comes to strategies that HR managers can implement, Gollan suggests studying up on theoretical foundations of IR, such as why unions act in certain ways.

What do you think? Leave your comments on all HC news and opinion:

6

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

hcamag.com

CHARLIE BROWN 02 Aug 2011 05:34 PM “It was interesting to watch HR taking on in-house IR as experts in the field were moved on. The result was that IR was usually undertaken at arms-length and outsourced to legal firms when it became messy. For the most part the experiment has been an expensive failure. The workforce and shareholders deserve better than having this important area of expertise mishandled by amateurs.” MARK SHAW 04 Aug 2011 10:03 AM “After 30 years in HR, my view is HR should be about ‘Solving People Problems’. If you accept this, then there is indeed a range of skills required to be able to solve the right problem at the right time. Certainly having IR knowledge and skills in your professional kit bag is essential. And, in my view, sadly lacking in the profession.” KATE CONNELLAN 21 Aug 2011 06:33 PM “I am a rare breed of young HR people who have specialised in Employee Relations in unionised environments, thanks to a terrific mentor early in my career. I have worked as a contractor for the last few years and notice that many HR people are so keen to earn their stripes or be in the thick of the action, that they often jump in and provide advice which is simply wrong or lacking. I have had to learn the skills to influence them to consult the specialist contractor (me) they employed to fill the gap in the business!”


IN BRIEF THE BIG STORY

the big story

Top tips: Four HR directors give their thoughts on managing high performers

#1 UNDERSTAND...

DEAN SAPPEY HR director – Australia, Frucor We work closely to understand what the key motivators are for this group of people, and assess how we’re delivering as an organisation to try and find some gaps. So they’re not necessarily psychometric tools but some pretty straightforward motivational tools. We certainly will invest a significant amount in that group of individuals, ranging from business school programs, whether they be locally here – we’ve used Melbourne Business School for example – but also one director attended Colombia University in the US. We want to make sure that that not only brings an increased capability to our organisation but is also something that lights the fire of these individuals.

#2 IDENTIFY...

JOHN FRANCOIS HR director, Asia-Pacific, McAfee We ensure that we have a grasp on who our emerging talent are, and then from there we’ll do things like formal courses where we’ll pull this group together to develop their skills – and that may be from a leadership perspective but also from a perspective where we give them an issue or a challenge the organisation is facing and let them use their skills and creativity to resolve or solve those problems.

#3 GET FEEDBACK...

CINDY GRASS HR director, Millward Brown Australia We look to the high performers to give us feedback – we ask them all the time, what is it that’s driving you? It’s not always the rewards. They want to be heard, they want to be listened to, they want to be part of groups and projects that are going to get them exposure, so a lot of time it’s around learning and opportunity for them, which are two of our propositions.

See more on our TV clips:

#4 RETAIN...

EDWEENA STRATTON Senior director of HR, Oracle Oracle has a number of talent management programs that are designed specifically to retain our top talent. Recently we’ve also launched some emerging talent programs to ensure we’re retaining our next level down in the organisation. We do also have fast track programs for accelerated talent development. Every organisation needs good solid performers – you can’t have a team of superstars – there definitely is a place for them. We would tend to focus more on professional development for them, while recognising they do play a key role in the organisation.

hcamag.com WWW.HCAMAG.COM

7


FRONTLINE INTELLIGENCE

recruitment

Helen O’Keefe is a Consultant in our permanent recruitment team in our Melbourne office. For additional information call (03) 9664 0900 or email hokeefe@thenextstep.com.au www.thenextstep.com.au

A key strategy for HR practitioners in the top echelons of the profession is to develop and maintain their personal brands. STAND OUT

A key strategy for HR practitioners in the top echelons of the profession is to develop and maintain their personal brands. They have realised that this is a significant contributor to career advancement through either promotion or in new organisations. In this month’s Instep, we discuss personal branding and share tips on how HR professionals can develop, enhance and maintain their brand.

WHAT IS A PERSONAL BRAND?

There are many definitions for personal branding and they are quite subjective. One of these definitions in HR is that a personal brand is what an individual is known for by way of reputation and standing in their market. It’s also how they proactively differentiate themselves from other practitioners. Many less experienced HR professionals often wonder how to create a personal brand in their marketplace. The interesting thing is that one already exists! If not in the wider and broader external HR market, it exists within the organisations where individual HR practitioners have worked or within the Universities where they studied. It may be as simple as name recognition or as impressive as intimate knowledge of their career achievements and admiration from afar. In essence, HR professionals should take the time to think about what sets them apart from their peers and competitors in the market and how they can strengthen their personal brand and therefore their competitive advantage.

IT BEGINS WITH THE CV

If moving into the job market, the first step is obviously the CV which in itself can enhance a practitioner’s personal brand. Ensuring the CV is impactful is important given that it may be the first piece of branding material a prospective employer reviews. Taking great 8

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

care to ensure that role responsibilities and achievements are highlighted is absolutely correct, however these mean little if the reader knows nothing about the organisations where the individual has worked. HR professionals should include a descriptor of the organisation that includes employee numbers and operating profit. Ensuring responsibilities on a CV are a close match to the role that is being applied to and that achievements demonstrate business impacts from a commercial viewpoint will go a long way to enhancing a brand.

INTERACTIONS ARE OPPORTUNITIES

At a recent function held in Melbourne by The Next Step, personal branding was discussed. Both Janelle Leonard, GM of HR at Amcor and Jason Collins, HR Manager at Telstra Retail highlighted to the early career audience that every interaction with any individual is an opportunity to strengthen a personal brand. This sounds obvious, however for HR Professionals, actively conversing with those well connected visiting auditors or consultants may go a long way to ensuring that they leave as a ‘brand advocate’ . Much can also be said about keeping up with former colleagues and managers, after all, who knows where their careers will take them.

USE SOCIAL NETWORKING

Now that social media is all pervasive and connects people like never before, how are HR Professionals using it to promote their personal brands? What would people find if they googled or reviewed Facebook, Twitter or Linked In? Would it assist the HR professional get noticed for the right reasons? It’s no surprise that social media is utilised to source talent. However, many HR professionals are not using it well personally. Reinforcing personal brands on social media

with information that is current and authentic is a really smart idea. HR professionals should ask themselves, if a talent sourcing professional were viewing their profile, does their experience look compelling? Does it depict an individual who is contemporary and active in their market? Do they have connections that are business oriented and not just HR oriented? Are these connections just in their own backyard or further afield? Do the groups they belong to infer that they are continuing to learn and network with others? Talent sourcing specialists will make some conclusions on these types of questions before even meeting an individual by looking at their connections and activity.

IMPRESSIONS DO COUNT

First impressions do count, so one can never under-estimate the power that appearance and verbal communication holds with respect to a personal brand. For example, accepting a public speaking engagement for those that aren’t strong in this area is a great development opportunity but ensuring that skills are brushed up upon prior to an event is highly advisable. It is also highly tempting to attend (or conduct) an interview on casual Friday in relaxed dress, yet this may not be brand enhancing. Let us not forget telephone etiquette. Never assume the PA or receptionist’s voice doesn’t count.

THE FINAL WORD

It is difficult to cover personal branding in just one article. However, some of the simple and basic first steps covered can ensure that every interaction is an opportunity to enhance a personal brand.


MARKET MOVES

Radar

The movers and shakers. who they are where they are heading... Ross Hargreaves has joined top tier law firm Blake Dawson as National Head of People Development Operations. Ross previously held the roles of National HR Manager for Telstra Business and Head of HR for Linklaters (Asia), based in Hong Kong. UGL Services has appointed Diane Christensen as Head of HR ANZ. She brings a wealth of experience in HR management roles with the organisations IAG, EDS & Accenture across Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Rebecca Hammill has been appointed the HR Manager Australasia with Energizer. She previously held the role of Regional Head of HR ACPAC with Robert Half International and prior to this worked within the FMCG and banking sectors. GE has appointed David Arkell as their VP Human Resources ANZ. He was previously Head of HR for the BHP Billiton for BMA and prior to this held senior HR management roles with Linfox Logistics and Zurich Financial Services Cath Beckett has accepted the role of Employment Development Manager with Aesop. She previously specialised in the areas of resourcing and talent with AXA Australia. Melbourne Racing Club has appointed Michael Milburn to the role of General Manager HR. Michael previously spent a successful eight years with the Trading Post and prior to this with Sensis. Ruba El-Afifi has accepted the role of

Global General Manager HR with the project management software business Aconex. Ruba previously worked with business such as PPB Advisory and AAMI. Jetstar has appointed Carolyn Noumertzis as Head of HRM ANZ. Carolyn enjoyed a long career with Fosters and more recently with Coles Group. Gavin Baxter is now the National Head of Learning & Development at BDO Kendall. He brings extensive L&D experience from businesses such as Deloitte Touche Tomatsu, QBE and Promina. Lend Lease has appointed Nigel McGarrick as their Head of HR Shared Services. Nigel has extensive change and program management experience in London and

upon arriving in Sydney completed a contract with Westpac as a Change Director. Shivaune Cotter has been appointed Talent Consultant with Australia Post. Shivaune recently returned to Australia after spending a number of years in the UK. This role will consolidate Shivaune’s work she has done in the broader OD space at HSBC and nab. Startrack Express has appointed Robert Tanti as General Manager People. He previously held the role of Group GM HR with Elders Limited and prior to this was the Executive GM HR with United Group. Jo Degabrielle has been appointed the Group HR Manager at Waterco. He brings strong experience, having recently held the Operations Divisional HR Manager with Sydney Water.

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

9


FRONTLINE INTELLIGENCE

Legal

Janine Smith is Senior Associate, Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers, Employment & Industrial Relations Group (02) 8226 7311 www.codea.com.au

Dismissed for misconduct: facing the consequences of Facebook postings Two recent decisions highlight the differing outcomes for employees who criticise their employers on social media sites outside working hours. In O’Keefe v Williams Muir’s Pty Ltd T/A Troy Williams The Good Guys [2011] FWA 5311, a decision of Fair Work Australia delivered on 11 August 2011, a Townsville worker who was dismissed after making insulting and aggressive comments about his employer on Facebook lost his claim. The claim failed primarily due to the threatening nature of some of the comments, which he conceded were directed at a particular co-worker. Angry at the company’s delay in paying his commissions, Mr O’Keefe wrote on his Facebook page that he: “… wonders how the f... work can be so f…king useless and mess up my pay again. C...s are going down tomorrow.” The comments were posted outside of working hours but were visible to 70 of the worker’s Facebook friends including 11 co-workers: the female co-worker at whom the comments were directed soon became aware of them. The employer’s Staff Handbook stated ‘Employees will not use offensive language, resort to personal abuse or threaten or engage in physical contact’. The employer interpreted the worker’s comments as threatening the safety of the female staff member responsible for the worker’s pay, with whom the worker had been in email contact for some time before the posting. The manner in which the threat was made and the nature of the words used provided sufficient reason for the dismissal of Mr O’Keefe on the ground of serious misconduct. The worker did, however, receive three weeks’ pay in lieu of notice which is usually withheld where misconduct is alleged. Clearly, the worker was angry about the non-payment of his outstanding 10

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

commissions but he was criticised by Deputy President Swan for choosing to vent his anger on his Facebook page instead of raising the matter with the store manager, instigating a grievance resolution mechanism available to him and/or following up with the Fair Work Ombudsman whom he had previously contacted about the matter.

APPEAL DISMISSED

Contrast the outcome in the above case with the failure of the employer’s appeal in Smith T/A Escape Hair Design v Sally-Anne Fitzgerald [2011] FWAFB 1422. The Full Bench of Fair Work Australia dismissed the employer’s appeal against a previous finding that its dismissal of an employee for reasons including displaying ‘public dissatisfaction with the basis of her employment’ was unfair. After working hours, Ms Fitzgerald posted the following comment on her Facebook page: “Xmas ‘bonus’ along side a job warning, followed by no holiday pay!!! Whoooooo! The Hairdressing Industry rocks man!!! AWSOME!!! [sic]”. Ms Fitzgerald’s comments were sarcastic rather than aggressive and, importantly, her

comments had not been seen by her colleagues and did not identify her workplace, although her employer was later notified of the comments. While the employer failed on the issue of the fairness of the dismissal, it succeeded in having the matter remitted back to FWA to determine the compensation payable. The outcome in this case is obviously very different to the O’Keefe case but in practical terms, while Ms Fitzgerald won her unfair dismissal claim, she has incurred the considerable and unrecoverable costs of both proceedings in Fair Work Australia. The net outcome in financial terms is likely to be very modest for Ms Fitzgerald.

SOCIAL MEDIA DAMAGING

These cases illustrate how employees’ use of social media outside of working hours can irreparably damage their relationship with their employer. After hours activities are no longer immune from scrutiny and possible sanction. Even in the absence of a company policy covering social media usage and conduct outside the workplace, employees should be aware that posting comments on their Facebook page (or on other social media such as Twitter) or conducting themselves in a manner that is critical of their employer or offensive or threatening towards colleagues, may expose them to disciplinary action or dismissal. Language that is considered unacceptable if used face to face within the workplace does not become acceptable simply because it is published via social media out of working hours. Employers are advised to avoid uncertainty about the use their employees are entitled to make of social media both in and outside the workplace by implementing appropriate social media policies.


LEadership insight

high performance

leadership

success

Leonie Curtis-Kempnich Director Training and Course Development, Leadership Success (02) 80690370 www.lstraining.com.au

Performance vs. potential – Is this an issue in your organisation? Many employees are not using anywhere near their true potential at work. This issue was highlighted for me when, about 2 years ago, I had the pleasure of attending a key note address titled ‘Closing the Workforce Performance to Potential Gap’ delivered by Steve Vamos. Steve Vamos is the former CEO of ninemsn and the founding President of the Society for Knowledge Economics. One of the major takeaways from that presentation for me was the idea that while people say they work hard, when asked specifically about how much of their true potential they use at work, 70% is a very good score. Since that time, I have collected anecdotal evidence by asking that very question of individuals in every group I have trained. I have found that it is very rare to find someone using above 70% of their true potential - the majority sit somewhere between 50- 70%, with some as low as 30%. There are many ways to approach this issue and below are three suggestions: 1. Introduce a mentoring and/or coaching program To be successful, however, a mentoring or coaching program needs to be an initiative thoroughly supported by those in the executive leadership positions in the organisation and implemented throughout the whole organisation. To distinguish coaching from mentoring - coaching is a process that is used to improve and develop work related skills and knowledge, and works well when used by managers with their direct reports. It allows managers to focus on specific issues such as performance because it has clear outcomes. Where a manager is using a coaching program to assist their direct reports to identify their strengths and weaknesses, the 12

www.hcamag.com

manager will use a structured coaching process to give direction/support to assist in weak areas as well as encouragement/advice on how to better develop their strengths. During this process, the manager could work with their direct report to identify the performance to potential gap and take action with their direct report to close it. Alternatively, mentoring takes a broader view of the person by focusing on developing the mentees professional goals. A mentor is usually a more experienced and qualified person, such as those highly experienced executives in an organisation who would see it as a privilege to pass on knowledge and experience to others. The mentor can also assist to open doors or opportunities that may not have otherwise been available to the mentee. Both of these programs will help to build a culture where people development is seen as a priority. 2. Encourage employees to use social network tools such as Facebook Set up an organisational Facebook page and encourage employees within the organisation

to communicate with each other on work related issues. Encourage them to share ideas, put new and innovative ideas and suggestions forward and assist each other to solve specific work related problems. 3. Encourage employees to take part in projects both internal and external Organise a project with a charity that is looking for assistance. Allow talented employees to take part in a think tank project situation to assist the charity to solve a particular issue they are facing. Having employees whose true potential remains untapped is a huge cost to an organisation. In an interview I watched recently with Ken Blanchard, he stated ‘we don’t specifically set out to hire losers; we recruit to hire stars’. Therefore, the questions we need to be asking are: • How can we ensure they remain stars after starting their role in the organisation? And; • How can we tap into their true potential to ensure their performance matches their potential?


COVER STORY HR REMUNERATION

compare your salary

What are you worth? As global markets continue to teeter on the edge of collapse, what impact is this having locally for remuneration of HR professionals?

The overarching theme of last year’s remuneration review was the rebuilding taking place following the desolation of the GFC. In the HR sector, workforce reductions were seen most obviously in the areas of talent management and L&D. A large number of HR managers were made redundant, leaving many teams with only one member (usually at HR officer level) to deploy redundancies and ensure compliance with workplace legislation. One year on, what has changed? Commenting on the results of the 2011 Hays Salary Guide, Lisa Morris, regional director of Hays Human Resources, says the most striking element is the power shift back to candidates in response to positive hiring intentions and skills shortages. As a result, there is a widening gap between candidate and employer salary expectations; this gap exists because employers are yet to offer widespread salary increases. “Our survey data shows that 11% of employers didn’t increase salaries at all over the past 12 months. Thirty-seven per cent increased salaries by less than 3%, and 43% increased salaries by 3–6%,” she says. Furthermore, although the skills shortage is impacting on HR, it is yet to impact significantly on remuneration (with the exception of mining, oil & gas and engineering in Western Australia and Queensland). For example,

demand for internal recruiters has risen since many companies plan to increase staffing numbers significantly over the next 12 months. But despite demand, Morris has not seen any significant salary increases for internal recruiters, and employers are consequently struggling to fill vacancies. “Employers are, however, making sure their salaries stay in line with current market rates,” she says. “For example, we’ve seen a rise in the number of employers offering bi-annual remuneration reviews as part of their retention strategy.”

HOT AREAS

Kathryn Nesbitt, a consultant in the Robert Walters HR recruitment team, says the most noticeable trend has been that salaries attached to the more specialist roles continue to remain high (and in some instances continue to rise), whilst those attached to the roles which are more generalist in nature have remained steady. Specifically, Nesbitt has noticed skills shortages in the OH&S, remuneration & benefits and workforce planning areas. “There is a noticeable demand for candidates at all levels in the OH&S space, and a noticeable shortage of strong candidates available,” she says. “[And] with organisations looking to ‘work smarter’ and more

Average weekly working hours Source: Michael Page Salary & Employment Forecast 2011/12

14

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

2%: Less than 37.5 hours

54%: 37.5–40 hours

34%: 40–45 hours

9%: 45–50 hours

1%: 50 hours or more


ARE YOU ABOVE AVERAGE? According to the HR Partners Salary Survey, over the past 3.5 years the median salary across HR, recruitment and OHS roles was $77,500 plus super and benefits of $9,700

WWW.HCAMAG.COM 15


COVER STORY HR REMUNERATION

compare your salary Basis for bonuses over the next 12 months Individual performance 15%

strategically, they are increasingly looking to bring workforce planners on board to ensure that the requisite talent is in place to support their future plans.” However, while David Owens, managing director, HR Partners, notes that looming legislative changes to OHS in January 2012, as well as ongoing industrial relations unrest, may be having some minor impact on employment demand in those areas, many companies still prefer to outsource these functions to specialists. “There have been plenty of changes to policies and procedures in relation to Fair Work and the like, but I doubt that’s meant more demand for HR people with those skills. I think we’ve still got a commercial sector that likes to outsource a certain amount of regulatory advice,” he says. Instead, Owens has noticed an upswing in demand for leadership development expertise, which he says is a

positive sign for the HR profession in general. “The responsibility given to HR professionals in relation to leadership development is very exciting. You can’t ask to work at a more senior level than the competencies, expertise and emotional intelligence of the leadership team of a given business,” he says. Chris Grant, associate director, Michael Page Human Resources, says that some remnants of the GFC are still working their way out of the system, particularly at a senior level. During 2010, he says there was not a huge appetite to hire at senior level – it was still fairly operationally focused. “You had your HRBPs coming back into the business but you hoped they had some OD expertise as opposed to IR, which was the focus of 2008/09. Organisational management, training & development, change management – HRBPs with a focus in those areas have been in demand.”

Salary comparisons: for permanent roles Team performance 2%

Company performance 13%

Combination of above 70% Source: Michael Page Salary & Employment Forecast 2011/12

16

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

ROLE

HAYS

ROBERT WALTERS

MICHAEL PAGE

HR 2010 HC PARTNERS MEDIAN

2011 HC MEDIAN

HR director

$220,000

$240,000

$250,000+

-

$257,500

$236,600

HR manager

$120,000

$175,000

$135,000

$100,000

$136,330

$132,500

Senior HR advisor/consultant

$95,000

$120,000^

$110,000^^

-

$99,170

$108,300

HR consultant/advisor

$80,000

$85,000~~

$97,500^^^

$77,000

$80,640

$84,875

HR coordinator/administrator

$55,000

$60,000

$65,000

$65,000**

$54,650

$61,300

L&D manager

$120,000

$155,000

$152,500

$91,500

$124,070

$129,600

L&D consultant/advisor

$85,000

$107,500

$70,000

-

$79,250

$87,300

Trainer/facilitator

$65,000

-

$82,500

-

$72,500

$73,800

Rem & ben manager

$140,000

-

$155,000+

$110,000

$143,830

$135,000

Rem & ben analyst/consultant

$70,000

$147,500

$125,000

-

$105,830

$114,200

Organisational development manager

$140,000

$182,000

-

-

-

$161,000

IR/ER manager/advisor

$125,000

$157,000

$152,500

-

$121,750

$144,800

Recruitment manager

$120,000

$145,000

$185,000

$85,000

$116,750

$133,800

Recruitment specialist/officer

$95,000

$90,000

$95,000

-

$77,500

$93,300

OHS manager

$110,000

$182,500

$102,500

$114,000

$142,310

$127,300

OHS consultant

$85,000

$150,000--

$95,000

-

$106,420

$110,000

OHS coordinator

$60,000

$92,500--

-

-

$80,000

$76,300

OD manager

$140,000

$165,000

-

-

$134,050

$153,000

Change manager

$160,000

$165,000

-

-

$145,000

$162,500

HR graduate

-

$50,000

$52,500

-

-

$51,300

~

--

^^^

Notes Hays: Figures are the median from a lower and upper range (eg, $160,000–170,000); all figures are Sydney-based; all salaries exclude superannuation Robert Walters: Figures are for permanent roles, taken from the median of a lower and upper range; figures are basic salaries inclusive of superannuation, but exclusive of benefits/bonuses unless otherwise specified; ~taken from salary figure for ‘national HR manager’; otherwise ‘HR manager’ figure is $140,000; ^5+ years exp; ~~ 1-4 yrs’ exp; --Brisbane figures for permanent salary positions Michael Page: Salaries indicated are based on annual basic salary, excluding bonus/incentive schemes; figures are for NSW and apply for large organisations only (defined as having a turnover of more than $100m); figures are based on 3+ yrs’ experience unless otherwise noted; ^^3+ yrs experience; ^^^1-2 yrs experience HR Partners: ** HR Officer; Figures are taken from a national survey, based on median base salaries


Grant says the terminology is used interchangeably, but there is a distinct difference between OD and L&D. OD concentrates on high potentials programs, talent management programs, succession planning and formalised career development. He notes that companies are re-focusing on this area “to enable them to add value above and beyond the EVP marketing spiels”. Workforce planning is another ‘hot’ skills set, but Grant warns it is underdeveloped. He says this is an area often painted with the scheduling brush: how many people have we got coming off the bench after a project is finished. Grant says it’s far more sophisticated. “We’re talking labour modelling and cost benefit analysis. In three years’ time, as we ramp up, as we push out these programs, what type of skills will we need, what does the change management plan look like, what sort of budgets will we need, do we have skills sets in those locations in order to go offshore?” Grant notes that he is yet to see the huge push towards the creation of centres of excellence (as seen in 2007 and 2008), whereby a number of specialists in each area are taken on: head of IR, head of recruitment, head of OD, etc. However, it may be a future trend. “I’m starting to see a little more of that, whereas before I was tasked with

The position HR now has in its advisory and business partnering means that it will continue to participate and take a role at the most senior levels, and I think because of that there will be support for existing levels of remuneration – DAVID OWENS

WWW.HCAMAG.COM 17


COVER STORY HR REMUNERATION

What’s expected? compare your salary Salary increases over the next 12 months

11%

Say standard increases across the board

73%

Say increases will vary on performance

2%

Say no increase

Source: Michael Page Salary & Employment Forecast 2011/12

finding a really good HR generalist, a HR manager or HR director, with specific skills in certain areas,” he says.

THE POINTY END

One interesting observation to note from the remuneration overview is the sluggish salary activity at the top HRD level. In some instances the figures have fallen. Grant is not surprised. He notes that during the GFC, everything hitting the corporate agenda had an HR slant: executive pay, redundancies, IR. Interestingly though, once changes were made, the HRD wasn’t necessarily seen to be strategic so when that person left or was made redundant they were replaced with a competent HR manager who was operationally focused rather than strategically focused. Now, as companies re-enter the market for these senior roles, they are specifying lower than expected (10–15% less) salary. Alluding back to Morris’ comments, Grant says that unless employers are careful, good candidates will slip away: “As a recruiter, you must work within the mandate but at the same time you must almost play devil’s advocate and warn them they will miss out on the talent they want,” he says. He adds that prior to the GFC there had been massive gains in remuneration at the senior level. Although pay was often frozen, pay had increased significantly beforehand. “Client appetite at the start of 2010 didn’t match the appetite of candidates and if anything they’re still looking to keep salaries at the same level, if not being opportunistic for even less. I’d say pay rises for this sector are no more than CPI – no more than 3–4%.” Nesbitt adds that an increasing number of HR director level candidates have been working on a contract basis or have established their own HR consultancies whilst waiting for suitable opportunities to arise. She feels there is less movement among the larger financial services organisations at this level than in other sectors. “Organisations are increasingly leaning towards candidates joining them on a contract, rather than permanent, basis. This provides the company with an opportunity to ‘try before they buy’, and also to exercise caution in the face of any economic uncertainty,” she says.

18

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

GEOGRAPHIC DIFFERENCES

Not surprisingly, given the widely reported two-speed economy, there are also significant geographic differences for both job demand and remuneration, especially for candidates with experience in the heavy industries in WA and Queensland. In these states, candidates with experience in the mining, oil & gas or engineering fields find themselves in high demand and are negotiating higher salaries as a result. Morris comments: “In Perth, there is high demand for HR professionals at all levels, but particularly HR advisors as teams expand to support corporate headcount, as well as IR and ER specialists. Both FIFO and Perth-based candidates are needed due to increased resources projects and expanding teams.” Owens agrees: “We’ve got a demonstrated appetite for HR expertise, particularly in the resources segment, and I think employers are also very discerning in terms of quality, so demand is high and the benchmark is high, and therefore we shouldn’t be surprised if the remuneration for those professionals in that segment is correspondingly high.” Could HR professionals potentially benefit from this rush? In Nesbitt’s experience, employers are reluctant to look outside their own industry sector to fill HR roles. “Our experience is that in financial and professional – particularly legal – services there is less willingness, especially with regard to the more senior level vacancies, to look outside candidates whose experience lies in their sector. However, it does vary from organisation to organisation and hiring manager to hiring manager – and with the aforementioned skills shortages they may need to become more flexible.”

PERFORMANCE-RELATED PAY

Performance-based pay (STIs, LTIs, bonuses) disappeared during the GFC, but it is now starting to feature again. Bonuses are generally calculated on a possible per cent of base salary provided a combination of personal and company objectives are achieved. One

Our survey data shows that 11% of employers didn’t increase salaries at all over the past 12 months – LISA MORRIS


WWW.HCAMAG.COM 19


COVER STORY HR REMUNERATION

compare your salary recent example has been a senior HR manager role with a possible bonus of up to 20% of base salary, says Morris. Owens believes performance-related pay is back on the agenda for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s a peer group expectation. Senior managers from all disciplines are participating in performance-related pay and Owens says the proximity of HR to business these days allows professionals in that space to be considered part of the executive team, part of the management team – so it’s only fair and right that if the operations director, the logistics director and marketing director are allowed to participate, so should HR. The second reason is accountability. HR professionals are now more accountable for their actions, and have a deeper understanding of ROI of their initiatives. However, Owens warns this is not across the board: the more impact the role has, the more likely that person will be invited to participate in performance-related pay. “Where can you directly relate the performance of the business to the intervention of the HR professional? In the more specialised roles like comp & ben or L&D or the more senior roles like organisational development you’re seeing much higher participation rates, whereas in the more admin-focused roles – HR administrator or lower level HR roles – you’re much less likely to see performance-related pay.” According to data from HR Partners, just 18% of HR coordinators suggest they are entitled to bonuses and commissions, while 68% of recruitment managers suggest the same. The ‘measurability factor’ is crucial. “The metrics used to measure the performance of a recruitment manager are very clear – time to hire, the cost of hire, and so on. When you’ve got a recruitment manager who’s ticking those boxes and meeting the performance requirements it’s very easy to credit them. It’s also easy to measure how much money an internal recruitment manager is actually saving because the fees paid to consultants goes down,” Owens suggests.

RUNS ON THE BOARD

What matters most for HR professionals looking to get a pay increase? Is it size of company? Area of expertise? Perhaps experience? Owens believes there are two main factors. Firstly, a demonstrated track record of success. This might be around a particular work type: M&As or a change management project; or it might be a demonstrable track

salary increases: average percentage 1%

Less than 2% 20

18% 2–3%

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

49% 3–4%

23% 4–6%

7%

6–8%

2%

8–10%

Source: Michael Page Salary & Employment Forecast 2011/12

2010-2011: cost of enticement HR roles

Increase or fall in cost to entice

HR manager

Up 1.8%

HR consultant

Down 3.0%

HR coordinator

Down 4.6%

Specialist roles

Increase or fall in cost to entice

Remuneration & benefits specialist

Up 18.7%

Recruitment manager

Up 8.2%

Industrial relations specialist

Down 1.6%

Source: HR Partners

record of managing HR within a professional services environment, as an example. Secondly, scale and complexity. Owens says this dominates the thinking of the average CFO or CEO. “If they’ve got a small business they like to think it’s complex; if they’ve got a big business they’ll think it’s got scale, and it may also have complexity. But the ability of the HR professional to demonstrate expertise in scale or complexity and/or both will have a major part to play in their remuneration.” Grant urges HR professionals to be clear on their contribution. Did they take the coffee into the meeting? Or were they instrumental in leading that project? HR can struggle to qualify their achievements in commercial terms. But you can always talk about turnover rates, employee surveys and engagement scores. You can talk about recruitment spend, and you can talk in percentage terms about a number of things – whether it’s an M&A and how many people were successfully brought across, or how many left. “You must stick your hand up. Projects come around – stick your hand up, get involved. Be a floor walker. In any company you must be a floorwalker. It’s how you build a connection with the business. Without that, you won’t be influential,” Grant says.

2012 AND BEYOND

Looking ahead, Morris expects that improving market conditions will enable candidates to negotiate increases this financial year, although perhaps not to the level candidates are hoping. She has also seen several instances of employers increasing salaries part-way through the recruitment process in recognition that suitable candidates are not available at the original level. Owens believes the supply and demand dynamic, as well as the opportunity to participate, to influence, and


WWW.HCAMAG.COM 21


22

WWW.HCAMAG.COM


COVER STORY HR REMUNERATION

compare your salary

On the next two pages readers can get some practical tips on negotiating a pay rise

2010–11: salary & benefits movements RANK POSITION

MOVEMENTS SALARY

BENEFITS

PACKAGE

HR roles 1.

HR manager

Up 0.5%

Up 6.1%

Up 1.2%

2.

HR coordinator

Static

Up 11.0%

Up 0.9%

3.

HR consultant

Static

Up 3.0%

Up 0.3%

Specialist roles 1.

Remuneration & benefits

Up 11.6%

Up 51.6%

Up 17.2%

2.

Recruitment manager

Up 3.0%

Up 31.0%

Up 8.1%

3.

Industrial relations specialist

Up 2.7%

Down 0.5%

Up 2.4%

Source: HR Partners

take credit will ensure that HR professionals receive very positive places in the commercial life in Australia for some time to come, which will be reflected in the fixed and variable pay that HR professionals enjoy. “We have a supply and demand situation – there’s more demand generally speaking than supply. The position HR now has in its advisory and business partnering means that it will continue to participate and take a role at the most senior levels, and I think because

of that there will be support for existing levels of remuneration but also continued opportunities for HR professionals to drive that remuneration north to a more positive position,” he says. Grant is more cautious but concedes “if we continue to have a healthy economy and businesses remain in hiring mode, then there will be more of a push to get people into HR to help manage workforces, retain people, and pay people appropriately”. Furthermore, he believes HR will shift towards a centre of excellence model with highly specialised skills sets. “Up until now, the focus has been on keeping HR relatively light, so companies brought in a number of HR generalists who are quite adaptable. Now they’re realising if they continue to do that, they’ll just have very large HR departments but no real specialised skills. They will also be looking for more business nous from HR people. That’s been the case since the GFC. Senior business leaders will expect the director of HR to have just as much value in terms of overall business strategy as the people agenda – and for the two to be aligned.” For negotiation tips, visit:

hcamag.com

WWW.HCAMAG.COM 23


FEATURE SALARY NEGOTIATION

six figures quiz

This quiz and further information on salary negotiations can be found at www.sixfigures.com.au. For more information phone 1300 780 177

Ready to negotiate your next salary increase? Spend a few minutes to conduct the Six Figures (www.sixfigures.com.au) quiz to see how ready you are to negotiate your next salary increase. Answer each of the 15 questions by putting a circle around one of the responses that is most like you – ie, select A, B, C or D for each of the 15 questions.

1. When was the last time you negotiated the price of something you bought from a shop or market? A Never B Years ago C Within the last year D Last month 2. When was the last time you negotiated your salary with a new employer? A Never B Years ago C For my last job D My current job

3. When was the last time you negotiated a salary increase or a benefit (ie, study support, working from home, bonus) with your current employer? A Never B Years ago C For my last job D My current job 4. Do you normally prefer to keep the peace over having your personal needs met? A Always

B Frequently C Occasionally D Never

B Frequently C Occasionally D Never

5. Do you worry more about others than yourself? A Always B Frequently C Occasionally D Never

9. Are you confident in yourself and your abilities to perform the work you currently do? A Never B Occasionally C Frequently D Always

6. When it comes to making important decisions in your life do you require the consensus of those around you? A Always B Frequently C Occasionally D Never 7. Do you actively promote yourself and your achievements in the workplace? A Never B Occasionally C Frequently D Always 8. When asking a question do you share too much information with that other person (ie, it is like you are in a confessional)? A Always

10. Are you confident in your overall employability and that you would always be able to get a good job? A Never B Occasionally C Frequently D Always 11. Would you prefer to earn what you are currently earning rather than raise the topic of a salary increase with your boss? A Yes B Most likely C Potentially D No 12. Do you think it is the responsibility of your boss and that of

your employer to offer you a salary increase or bonus? A Yes B Most likely C Potentially D No 13. Do you want to develop your salary negotiation skills? A No B Potentially C Most likely D Yes 14. Are you someone who will do research before making a purchase or entering into a new contract or agreement? A Never B Occasionally C Frequently D Always 15. Are you of the mindset that everything is negotiable? A Never B Occasionally C Frequently D Always

TOTAL SCORE: ___________

For every response allocate the relevant points to tally up your total score: A = 1 point B = 2 points C = 3 points D = 4 points So now we come to the part where you can see how ready you are to negotiate your next salary increase. Select the score range you were in to see how ready you are to negotiate that next pay rise! 15–30 points

30–45 points

45–60 points

You are clearly not familiar with general negotiation, let alone salary negotiation. These are skills that you really need to work on developing if you are looking to advance your career and, accordingly, your salary. You may be lacking in confidence in areas of your work life. However, that is OK as this is something you can develop through research and practise. We don’t advise that you enter any salary negotiations just yet! You may consider engaging a coach to assist you along the way.

Though salary negotiation is not your key strength you have some sound skills in this area as well as confidence in yourself and your abilities. Sometimes you don’t promote yourself enough in the workplace and can be too accommodating. However, you also hold an appreciation and understanding of the need to be more assertive in these areas. With some time spent on developing your skills in this area you will quickly become a negotiator to be reckoned with and will achieve your career and salary goals.

There is not a lot to teach you. You are confident, assertive, ensuring your needs are met and have the rare skill of being able to control what you divulge to who and where. With sound confidence in yourself and your abilities you will always remain highly employable. Practise makes perfect and as you advance your career you will continue to utilise and fine tune these brilliant salary negotiation skills of yours. Make sure to teach others around you along the way about how they, too, can become as adept at negotiations as you.

24

WWW.HCAMAG.COM


Sleeping on the job‌

{and other perks} At Google, employees get one-fifth of their time to work on projects of their own choosing. While that sort of extravagant perk might be easy for a multi-billion dollar organisation to pull off, what can others do?

28

WWW.HCAMAG.COM


FEATURE EMPLOYEE PERKS & BENEFITS

rewarding staff

In the glut of ‘best employer’ lists published in May/June of this year (Randstad, Great Place To Work Institute, Aon Hewitt) there were two common themes to emerge. One was that IT firms continue to dominate these lists. In the case of the Great Place to Work survey, IT firms occupied 20 of the top 50 places, including the top five spots. Secondly, it’s the outstanding and innovative employee perks that these companies offer that are attracting the accolades. Of the Top 50 companies named, common factors between organisations included high levels of maternity and paternity leave, large referral bonuses and generous training allowances. Studies are showing that Australians work many more hours than they’re contracted to without compensation. To counterbalance the ‘free love’ employees give to their employers, new trends are popping up in the marketplace when it comes to employee benefits and perks. According to Member Advantage, the traditional trend of giving employees a tidy pay rise in return for extra effort just doesn’t cut it nowadays. These days, many employees value non-financial rewards over money; the challenge will be to find the right one for your people. In Member Advantage’s experience, there are generally four categories that an employee falls into, each with their own reward preferences. The table below lists the categories.

DESCRIPTION

BENEFIT VALUES

Do-ers

Usually people in management, extremely ambitious and controlling

• Give them a decent pay rise • Give them more holidays

Go-ers

The fun people who keep team morale high but like a challenge. Work well with the ‘Do-ers’

• Recognition and reward • Access to lifestyle benefits – dining, insurance, health

Flow-ers

Those who need direction from the ‘Go-ers’ or ‘Do-ers’ but also need to be patted and preened, which is why they don’t get along with the ‘Do-ers’

• Recognition and reward • Friendly, supportive, mentored environment

Blow-ers

Want to get in to work, do the job and go home. Don’t really get along with the ‘Go-ers’ because they’re too distracting

• Access to lifestyle benefits – groceries & petrol, health, mortgage • Opportunity to work from home

Should benefits budgets be increased to appeal to these more discerning employees? Yes and no. There are cost effective options available – but the question is, will the golden nugget to offer six weeks’ annual leave instead of four weeks to those employees that deserve it make a difference? Again, employers should not assume that one-size-fitsall employees, and so should provide a diversified range of benefits ranging from pay rises, to additional annual leave, recognition and reward systems, lifestyle benefits, mentoring programs, training and flexibility.

THE BUSINESS CASE FOR PERKS

Fruit boxes and barista coffee, sleep pods and ‘recharge’ leave days. These are just a couple of the perks offered by finance and insurance intermediary iSelect. According to Alla Keogh, HR director, iSelect, these perks and benefits have evolved over time but have at their foundation the belief that employee wellbeing must be a business priority. “We have a very diverse and dynamic workforce. We operate quite a significant call centre so we employ a lot of Gen Y employees and, as we all know, their expectations are different to other demographics. They’ve been an interesting segment to work with, but what we’ve tried to do is really listen to them and tap into what they value, and what they feel brings out the best in them,” Keogh says. The appeal of many of iSelect’s perks is their simplicity. The recharge leave days, for example, are three additional paid leave days a year in addition to annual leave. As the name suggests, the idea is literally for the employee to ‘recharge’ and perhaps catch up on personal admin tasks. “It’s a fairly small cost to us but what they’ve done is have an enormous impact on employee absenteeism,” says Keogh. “Our staff don’t feel the need to take sickies and lie about it. We make it OK for them to take extra personal time.” The company also offers full kitchen facilities, a coffee barista, massage chairs, and professional masseurs during busy periods. The office breakout areas have pool tables, table tennis and gaming consoles. In September, the company moves to new premises in Melbourne and the innovation will extend to the physical environment. An indoor running track will run around the core of the building, and an internal slide is being constructed with a ball pit at the bottom, as is an indoor playground with swings, a soccer court and cafeteria.

WWW.HCAMAG.COM 29


FEATURE EMPLOYEE PERKS & BENEFITS

article in a nutshell At the more extravagant end of the scale, iSelect also has a sleep pod, which allows people to switch off from a busy environment for 15–20 minutes. Although the notion of sleeping on the job may be anathema to many, Keogh has never had any hints that people are abusing this privilege. “None of our privileges have been abused in that way because fundamentally it’s a performance driven environment, a performance culture, so people come here to work, they don’t muck around. We just provide them with some opportunities to break out during the day.” The company also leverages many of its products and service partnerships, such as free life insurance and income protection. “It means we can extend what is a really significant and tangible benefit at a small cost to the company,” says Keogh. “For some of our staff, depending on their income and age, that benefit can be worth thousands of dollars.” Of course, iSelect’s employees then become the best advocates for those products because they themselves are users. For Keogh, these benefits are not going above and beyond the call of duty as an employer. She feels that for the relatively minor investment in facilities to make work feel a little more like home, the return is huge. “We’ve reduced attrition to a level that is just unheard of in the call centre industry, we’ve got incredibly low absenteeism, high engagement, and ultimately the return for us is huge. We believe in treating all our people with respect, giving them flexibility, empowering them – and for that we get an enormous amount in return,” she says.

Out of the box There are many free or low-cost benefits that can increase employee satisfaction and boost company morale – and none involve gym memberships! Consider the following options: • Provide direct deposit facilities, saving workers regular trips to the bank, with the banks often offering them favourable benefits • Offer interest-free computer loans, through which companies purchase the computer and set up a payment plan with the employee • Order in lunch for everyone once in a while, especially during crunch time for a project

30

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

• Give employees a free vacation day on their birthday or a floating holiday; alternatively, offer an extra paid annual leave day for each year served • Have regular movie nights, including refreshments • Give employees a chance to relax by treating them to tickets – try the theatre or a football game • Provide on-site pickup and return for clothing that needs to be laundered • Allow employees to use company vehicles for their daily commutes • Hire professional cleaners to tidy up employees’ homes every couple of weeks • Provide paid time off for employees to work at a non-profit organisation of their choice • Invite employees’ family members to participate in evening and weekend education classes

Top 3 Most popular benefits 1. Health insurance discounts 2. Fee-free credit cards 3. Gift cards Source: Member Advantage

Sarah Richardson of Member Advantage believes that business performance can be enhanced by prudent use of employee benefits. She looks at what didn’t work for one of Member Advantage’s clients: the Christmas party was cancelled; no one received a pay rise (which is actually a pay cut when CPI increases are considered); Employee of the Month was removed so Betty didn’t get the movie tickets she knew she deserved to win; and the boss didn’t renew access to a discounts provider so Johnny had to pay $500 more for all his insurance. “Our client now has a huge recruitment bill because of staff turnover,” she says. “Exit interviews show that the staff leaving don’t care that they’re going to another company on slightly less pay because they feel the perks in the new place equate to a better overall package.” Consider this: you have 500 staff earning around $55,000 a year. According to studies, staff turnover costs range from 50% to 150%. If we examine the conservative end of the scale, one person leaving costs a company $27,500. And if you apply a turnover rate per year of 18%, that’s 90 people leaving each year which costs your company nearly $2.5m. Richardson says that if an employee benefits program had been implemented that cost as little as $6,000 per annum, and the turnover rate was slightly reduced, the sums would reveal how small this investment is for improving business performance.

LOW-COST WAYS TO REWARD STAFF

Smile and say thank you… After that, Richardson suggests the best low-cost way to reward staff is by implementing a reward and recognition system. The system doesn’t need to have lights whirling, buzzers blazing and an around-the-world business class flight as the reward (although that would be nice). Movie tickets and vouchers go a long way to helping employees feel appreciated. However, the reward should not be diluted by making sure every employee gets a turn, nor providing the same reward for everyone (not everyone likes going to the movies).


WWW.HCAMAG.COM 31


FEATURE EMPLOYEE PERKS & BENEFITS

rewarding staff John Francois, HR director for McAfee in APAC (itself designated a Great Place to Work), says his company has adopted a recognition program called Random act of Recognition (RaR). “On top of the formal recognition program, the RaR is really a peer-to-peer recognitions award, so fellow employees can nominate others who have shown any of McAfee’s five core values. They can choose from either a gift voucher or two movie tickets to be sent along with the RaR card,” he explains. Richardson adds that simple point scoring systems can be implemented for employees who focus on the customer, drive innovation and help the company win. Besides that, a little bit of competition is healthy and you may see productivity levels shoot through the roof. iSelect launched a home loans business in March this year, so for that group a simple but effective recognition program has been launched. “What we’ve done in that group is install a gong that is struck every time someone has a win. When that gong sounds, every person on the floor stops and claps. You can’t write a policy around something like that, and you can’t force people to do it because it’s written in a policy; it’s just part of who we are. Every employee is empowered to recognise others, whether it’s through simple gestures – thank yous or gifts, or some sort of public recognition,” says Keogh. In McAfee’s case, its ‘Delight the Customer Awards Program’ is a support initiative designed to recognise positive customer feedback that employees receive for their work and award them with ‘Delight Dollars’. Employees collect these dollars and use them to bid on prizes such as electronic gadgets, dinner vouchers, tickets for sporting events and spa days during the quarterly awards auctions. McAfee also embraces ‘families’ as part of its culture by hosting family-friendly events such as Christmas parties, ‘Achiever Club’ trips and ‘bring your kids to work’ days. The company recognises innovation by rewarding employees who successfully submit patents and inventions with awards and bonuses. However, Richardson suggests an even better alternative is to implement a cost effective employee benefits program for everyone. “The programs cater for everyone’s lifestyle, including different demographics. From a resource perspective, take the hard work out of managing it by outsourcing to an experienced company that knows how to get people excited about working for you,” she says.

FINAL TIPS

Survey after survey reveals that managers are not listening to staff and don’t really know the things that they value. Member Advantage believes in advising employers what the situation really is through careful 32

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

To counterbalance the ‘free love’ employees give to their employers, new trends are popping up in the marketplace when it comes to employee benefits and perks analysis and insight about what their employees are most interested in. Ask your employees for their preferences, suggests Richardson. “If I was the boss of factory workers, I could reward great staff members with dining discounts, movie tickets, tickets to leisure attractions and groceries/petrol vouchers. If I was the boss of a medical practice, I could offer Qantas Club or Virgin Blue Lounge membership, corporate car rental, private health insurance rates and access to a car buying service,” she says. Reward people in real time. “If you don’t reward people in real time, you’ll forget,” says Richardson. “Tomorrow is another day and there will be voicemail messages to listen to, an email to support the voicemail message and a fax to ensure you received the voicemail messages and emails. We live in a society of ‘I want it all and I want it now’ so reward people now or the buzz will dissipate and/or you’ll forget.” Keogh says her company remains ever vigilant for new benefits to offer employees, scanning the market for “not even best practice, but leading edge stuff”. The program is relaunched every year just to keep it fresh and top of mind. “This year we’re celebrating the anniversary of our benefits program, with the addition of a fantastic health insurance offering. We’re also investigating some really out-there products coming out of the US in terms of keeping people socially active and connected in the workplace,” she concludes. Her final tip? Ensure the culture and leadership support whatever is put in place. “It’s really important to understand your workforce and find something that everyone can benefit from. But there’s no point putting in all these funky benefits if your culture doesn’t support them and if they don’t sit comfortably in the culture. Leadership and culture have to underpin whatever it is you’re trying to achieve with your benefits program.”

Discuss employee benefits:

hcamag.com


WWW.HCAMAG.COM 33


Praise from above! All too often busy managers forget some of the basic rules of people management. Yet the words ‘thank you’ can speak volumes – and don’t cost the earth

In a far corner of the office a gong sounds. People cheer and hi-five. Mindless office distraction? Not likely. This is recognition for a job well done in its purest form. iSelect does not have formal reward & recognition programs in place, but Alla Keogh, HR director, iSelect, says such formality is not necessary: rewarding great work is embedded in the culture. In this instance, the gong sounding is public recognition of a win within a newly launched business division. “Every single employee is empowered to recognise others, whether it’s through simple gestures – thank yous or gifts – or some sort of public recognition. When that gong sounds, every person on the floor stops and claps. You can’t write a policy around something like that, and you can’t force people to do it because it’s written in a policy; it’s just part of who we are,” says Keogh. “It’s fun. Sometimes you tune out and you don’t hear it, and other times you realise there are people celebrating every 25 minutes, which is fantastic.”

34

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

THE ULTIMATE PICK-ME-UP

How easy is a thank you? At Yahoo!7 it’s called the ‘Backslappers’ program. It’s simple and straightforward for anyone to use. Tied to the company’s core values, it’s a point-based recognition program. Once sufficient points are accumulated the employee gets a voucher and then chooses whatever they like from an online system – it might be an iTunes voucher or movie tickets. It’s hardly revolutionary, however. Fiona Cole, HR director at Yahoo!7, says its power comes from peer to peer recognition. “It needs to be employee driven. It shouldn’t be driven by the company – if it is then it isn’t working,” she says. “We also make the reward visible – people put little tokens up on their desk space. When you’re working in an online industry where nothing is tangible it’s good to actually have something you can hold.” It seems there is more to this than nice public relations around the office… According to an OfficeTeam survey of 540 Australian administrative professionals and hiring managers, nearly


FEATURE REWARD & RECOGNITION

back to basics half the office staff said they wanted their employers to publicly recognise and reward their achievements. Ninety-three per cent of office workers said that receiving recognition improved their performance at work. However, only 38% of employers said they plan to publicly recognise their top performers in 2011. More than half said they are planning to focus on employee morale this year, but many are unsure what strategy to take. “Boosting morale is a good tactic to hold on to valued employees. However, our survey shows that there is a big difference between what Australian employers are doing to boost staff morale, and what employees actually want,” says Stephen Langhammer, associate director of OfficeTeam. “Employees want supervisors to be aware and appreciative of their work. Receiving acknowledgement fosters greater job satisfaction; and when you reward good work, you get more of the same,” Langhammer adds.  

REWARD & RECOGNITION HAND-IN-HAND

While a simple thank you is the simplest and most accessible tool for letting employees know their efforts are appreciated, Ben Thompson, CEO, Power2Motivate warns that studies have shown the positive emotions brought about by recognition alone tend to wear off quicker over time – that is, the good feelings from getting a pat on the back don’t last long. As Yahoo!7 has discovered, the easiest way to combat this is through combining the thank you with rewards so the level of satisfaction felt by the employee lingers for a longer period of time. “The reward provides a strong reinforcing affect for the recognition. Another factor that can increase the lasting impact of recognition is through providing intangible rewards rather than cold-hard cash,” he says. Monetary reward strategies often include base salary increases, promotions or career development opportunities, but managers should not discount low-cost rewards. “Small, unexpected rewards such as vouchers or other thoughtful gifts, if given at the right time and at the manager’s discretion, act as a physical sign of appreciation, often with long-term effect,” says Trevor Warden, head of reward strategy practice lead, Hay Group Pacific. However, Warden warns not to ignore monetary reward. A total reward framework should also tackle monetary reward head-on, including base cash programs and variable pay programs. Managers also play a key role in not just making sure there is a proper differentiation in performance ratings

between employees, but also that differences in pay reflect employee performance. Rewards should therefore be linked to performance and HR needs to work with managers to help them understand the broad range of options open to them when it comes to rewarding employee performance.

MAKING IT WORK

“When you think about employee morale and reward & recognition there are several factors to consider,” suggests Mollie Kohn, principal, talent & rewards at Aon Hewitt. “First, how competitive are your rewards? Even if you don’t know where you stand against other employers, your employees do – or assume they do. Make sure you know where you stack up and have a specific philosophy and strategy about how to spend your reward dollars.” Kohn also asks employers to what degree they are differentiating rewards based on performance and potential. “Higher performers expect to be paid for their results and those with more potential can easily go elsewhere. Findings from Aon Hewitt’s Best Employer study, comprising 200 companies across Australia and New Zealand, shows that Best Employers are more likely to differentiate pay based on performance,” she says.

More than half the employers said they are planning to focus on employee morale this year, but many are unsure of what strategy to take Best employers also look beyond pay for R&R. Recognition and perceived opportunity for growth are consistently some of the top drivers of engagement across Aon Hewitt’s research from the last 10 years. “If you are not intentionally leveraging your other drivers of reward, beyond pay, you are missing out,” Kohn says. Research from Hay Group indicates that the best programs work because they have been well

WWW.HCAMAG.COM 35


FEATURE REWARD & RECOGNITION

Worth the you effort? say thank Aon Hewitt Best Employers are far better in sharing financial success with their employees compared to other organisations, with an average of 28% more employees responding positively to this question. Best Employers recognise outstanding performance by providing both financial and non-financial recognition. Their employees are clearer about how pay and rewards are determined, and the ‘what’s in it for me’ factor in striving beyond the usual expectations. PERCENTAGE OF AON HEWITT EMPLOYEES WHO AGREE OR BEST STRONGLY AGREE EMPLOYERS

OTHER ORGANISATIONS

Opportunity to share in the organisation’s financial success

62%

34%

Employees gain a clear benefit if they are a high performer

66%

39%

Performance has a significant and direct impact on pay

61%

38%

Performance management process differentiates employees based on their level of performance

63%

41%

Appropriate recognition (beyond pay) for contributions and accomplishments

63%

42%

Good understanding of how my pay and rewards are determined

68%

47%

implemented, rather than comprehensively designed. Warden says for too long the job of putting reward programs into action has fallen largely at the feet of HR. However, Hay research reveals that if a reward program is to work effectively, it needs to take advantage of the relationships and lines of communication that already exist between line managers and their employees. “Line managers are critical to the success of a company’s reward and recognition program just as they are critical to boosting employee engagement and morale within their respective teams. Line managers are generally seen not only as parental style figures, but also as the ‘doers’ – the ones who make things happen within the organisation so employees tend to trust the information they get from their line managers more than from senior leaders or HR.” Here are three essential tips for effective reward & recognition:

1. GIVE TIMELY PRAISE

Be quick to acknowledge employee accomplishments. Often a verbal thank you can go a long way towards

36

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

making a team member feel valued – but it must be timely. Create an annual strategy with monthly Values or Milestone awards to build more frequency into your program. “A major flaw in employee of the month and annual recognition programs is that the specific behaviour has long been forgotten by the time the reward is received,” says Thompson. It is also important to be specific about the actual behaviour being recognised and the individual or individuals being recognised. “When recognition is timely it has the dual benefit of recognising the employee and highlighting the targeted behaviour so that other employees can be guided and encouraged by the examples around them,” Thompson adds.

2. PRAISE IN PROPORTION

It’s nice to thank people for a job well done, but keep in mind that encouragement along the way works wonders in building motivation and productivity too. Is it dangerous to go over the top with praise? “It’s more dangerous to be inconsistent with recognition and reward than to be too generous,” suggests Thompson. “It’s even more damaging to under recognise. I would almost say that you cannot go over the top with rewarding as long as it is consistent and well-targeted. A rewards system that incorporates frequent, targeted, generous rewarding, peer recognition and visible recognition goes a long way to building a strong corporate culture that is based upon collaboration, shared corporate values and trust.” Thompson adds that factors that undermine reward and recognition programs are usually related to nepotism, inconsistencies, a lack of generosity or a lack of realistic ability to achieve the reward. These tend to undermine the sense of trust employees have in a rewards program, and hence turn the positive idea into a negative reality. “More reward programs fail due to these aspects than matters of budget,” he says.

3. MAKE PRAISE MEANINGFUL

There’s no substitute for thanking employees for their hard work and accomplishments on a regular basis, but be careful not to take it too far. Avoid praising team members for simply carrying out their basic job requirements and reserve accolades for truly standout performance. When possible, tie recognition to the achievement of specific business results; rewarding the right behaviours will lead to the right outcomes. “Clearly identifying target behaviour and performance, with specific examples, is an extremely important stage in designing an effective reward and recognition


Accor’s Gift Cards are warmly welcomed at more than 150 hotels and resorts throughout Australia, Fiji and New Zealand including Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery Grand Mercure, Novotel, Mercure, All Seasons and Ibis hotels. Excite, motivate and reward the key players that help drive your business with the gift of a holiday…in a card!

program,” says Thompson. Reward and recognition programs are frequently tied to a business’ core values. However, not all people are immediately aware of how the core values are demonstrated as behaviours.” Power2Motivate recommends conducting a brainstorming session to turn values into behaviours and build a solid list of practical examples that are widely communicated to all employees involved in the rewards program. “By engaging employees in the activity of establishing the program, it provides a strong sense of ownership and a higher sense of commitment to the program at all levels of the company,” Thompson says.

ADDITIONAL TIPS

It’s not unusual for incredible R&R programs to be launched, only to see them falter a short while later, disregarded and forgotten by managers and employees. How can ongoing buzz be created? Thompson suggests that first and foremost the program needs to be driven by a system – not an individual. The system needs to be easily accessible to all employees, which often means it needs to be available online and offline. All employees, managers and executives need to be well trained in how the system works and how it benefits them. Achieving all this relies on following an effective change management process. “To keep the program engaging after its launch the program needs to be boosted on a regular basis. Ways to boost engagement with the program are to re-brand the program in line with seasons, quarterly themes and other significant business events. You should also train managers on a frequent basis and really enforce the results that positive reinforcement generates.” A brilliant R&R program is also worth shouting about externally to candidates and others who may be interested in the business. Include mention of it on job advertising, website and anywhere else appropriate. Show the world and potential employees how much you care about your people and the activities available by sharing stories and photos of group experiences, celebrations, award ceremonies and anything else that brings your organisation to life. Finally, programs that are most successful show a strong return on investment, so this should be consistently measured and discussed at the senior corporate level to ensure ongoing senior management commitment as well. More features at:

hcamag.com

WWW.HCAMAG.COM 37


eye on the Working smarter rather than harder has long been a business mantra, so why do we seem to be working harder than ever? Human Capital looks at workforce planning and some of the latest analytic HR tools on the marketplace

38

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

Consider just for a moment the challenges facing HR directors across the nation right now. Not only are there unprecedented demographic challenges, but the patchwork economy is generating its own unique hurdles. In the high speed economy – mining, oil, gas – there are undoubtedly issues of attraction and retention and getting the remuneration strategy right. In the lower speed economies there are challenges around engagement and attraction. However, there is one pressing issue that Fiona Reed, principal in Mercer’s human capital business, says carries across all industry sectors: having the right people in the right job at the right time. It boils down to workforce planning. Unfortunately this is an Achilles heel for many organisations. “A fundamental issue here is the lack of sophisticated workforce planning in organisations,” says Reed. “In my observation, it’s only really come onto the table in the last 12 months.” Part of the problem, Reed believes, is that many organisations are driven by annual financial planning, so


FEATURE WORKFORCE PLANNING

long-term development

instead of looking at the sorts of people they want, the type of people they need, they’re only looking at the numbers that make up the budget in the coming year. However, because the economy is changing so rapidly and different parts of the economy are changing at different speeds, it’s crucial to be able to predict what your needs and capabilities are going to be down the line. “It’s not just the number of people you need to pay for in next year’s budget, but what sort of capabilities you need to deliver these strategies over the life of the strategy. At the very least you need to be thinking 3–5 years down the line.”

MAPPING THE FUTURE: WORKFORCE PLANNING FOR THE LONG TERM

While it may sound difficult to put this long-term horizon on the corporate agenda, HR consulting firms are finding many employers are receptive to this approach. “Organisations have been grappling with skills shortages for the past decade or more. Despite cyclical

movements, like the GFC freeing up talent for a brief period, they now recognise that talent is a major issue, where quick fixes are neither effective nor sustainable. So they are increasingly willing to take a longer-term approach,” says Mercer’s human capital leader, Rob Bebbington. It’s a sentiment echoed by Tim Roche, career management practice leader at Right Management, who says that at the organisational level systems will drive behaviours. “A large organisation – a Rio Tinto for example – will typically run their business model on an asset by asset basis; they’re not very integrated, nor do they take a more holistic approach around managing their access to capability or talent cross-asset. They pretty much still work in a siloed approach to managing some of these issues.” Successful workforce planning, Bebbington says, takes account of both the big picture and the small details. “Your organisation’s strategic vision needs to underpin the plan. Then you need to gain a sense of how other factors, such as technology and outsourcing, are changing

It’s not just the number of people you need to pay but what sort of capabilities you need to deliver

WWW.HCAMAG.COM 39


FEATURE WORKFORCE PLANNING

Forecasting ahead The Mercer Workforce Forecaster is a web-based planning tool, showing what the future holds by: Informing discussions on building a workforce to meet future business needs and performance objectives

Projecting workforce size and total fixed remuneration based on employee data

Comparing workforce projections to business forecasts, HR can partner more effectively with the organisation’s decisionmakers

Linking to labour market data Alerting organisations to potential talent gaps in the future workforce

Modelling ‘what if’ scenarios, showing the longer-term consequences of specific workforce changes in pay, hiring and turnover the way you work. Having the right data is the basis of it all, as well as the right tools to make sense of it,” Bebbington says.

INSIGHT, NOT JUST INFORMATION

Workforce planning is based on the fundamental human capital issues organisations face, as outlined on page 42. Being able to answer these questions relies on having the right data to hand, in a way that provides genuine insight. “HR needs to be very cognisant and have a clear understanding of the organisational strategy, whether that be three years out or six years out – horizon one, horizon two,” says Roche. “They need to have good understanding and insight into the local and global forces at play as it relates to the world of work trends. What are

the implications: for example, the attrition rate, or the retirement rate. What does that mean in terms of the skills sets and capabilities required? It’s big and sophisticated thinking.” Assisting with the task is a range of sophisticated HR tools provided by the likes of Mercer. The Mercer Workforce Forecaster, for example, is one of the tools Mercer would use to provide insights into future workforce requirements. The forecaster allows an organisation to project into the future around particular types of jobs and particular types of capability.

THE HERE AND NOW: SOLVING TODAY’S PROBLEMS

While future-proofing is essential for human capital leaders, today’s challenges are equally important – and more pressing. A recent survey revealed that 54% of employers in Australia are having difficulty filling critical positions. This is well above the global average of 34%; in fact, Australia is ranked fourth out of 39 countries for talent shortages.1 While this data reflects the scale of the problem, it certainly won’t come as a surprise to HR professionals. But if attracting and retaining talent has been a problem for some years now, why are employers still struggling to solve it? Perhaps it’s a lack of reliable HR metrics. To understand exactly what’s going on within the organisation, right now, Mercer provides an Internal Labor Market Analysis™. This looks at the movement of people in and out of the organisation, at what levels, and then it looks at the causal factors that are generating those moves. For example, on the gender issue, it will reveal where men and women are coming into and leaving the organisation, how quickly they’re being promoted – and as a consequence, HR will be able to determine trends. Marianne Roux, leader of Mercer’s human capital talent management segment in Australia, says HR strategies often lack a single-minded focus.

Bridging the gap: Analysing and doing An Internal Labor Market Analysis™ helps bridge the gap between what an organisation should be doing, and what it actually does. ILM analysis provides critical insights into an organisation’s management system, reflecting actual versus perceived practices and their consequences. By focusing on causal links

40

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

between critical workforce events and behaviours over time, ILM can answer questions such as: • How is talent developed? • What actually gets rewarded? • Are we attracting, selecting and retaining top performers? • What is the value of internal job movement?

• How do employee attributes such as education or tenure impact performance for each job? • How can I use HR tools such as compensation, benefits, selection, career development programs and training to build the workforce I need?


“We see organisations focusing on lots of little things. So, while there are admirable initiatives across the business, a lack of cohesion means their impact is limited. “Organisations also double up on programs. For example, a leadership development project in one area is duplicated by a similar scheme in another department. Ultimately, the organisation isn’t getting ‘bang for buck’ on its human capital budget.” Roche reports that typically HR will have a whole host of people systems – some will relate to performance, some relate to leadership, some to building culture, others to broader talent management. There is little thought given to the overall business strategy, or how much alignment there is between these people systems, whether they intersect, and if there is an understanding of the issues or inhibitors in the existing systems that are preventing the desired outcomes. “Who’s taking the big picture view of this? You’ve got the shareholder return piece – everyone is driven by the quarterly results, so the focus is on 90 days and how much of a balance there is between the 90 days and that horizon one or horizon two focus.” The solution, Roux echoes, is to take a more holistic view.

Despite the GFC freeing up talent for a brief period, organisations now recognise that talent that can’t be solved with quick-fixes “If HR is going to be a genuinely strategic function, its agenda must be in complete alignment with the business and its goals.”

CAREER DEVELOPMENT: THE LINK TO RETENTION

For Roche, the key is to change the mindset: to start thinking systemically in relation to careers. “Currently organisations don’t think of careers as another people system; it’s just something you do as an

WWW.HCAMAG.COM 41


FEATURE WORKFORCE PLANNING

employee in an organisation. It’s completely driven by the employee. But it’s really up to the organisation to have a clearly defined value proposition: this is what we can offer you, what can you offer us in return, and at what point do we intersect? That’s the value equation right there.” However, it goes deeper. Roche says that most organisations will take great pride in their insider understanding of their talent pool, which might be organisation-wide or the top 10–15% of performers. They are solid at assessing and measuring an individual’s ability. However, a definition of performance from authors Boxall and Purcell suggests that performance must be understood in the context of ability plus motivation plus job fit and opportunity – the career architecture. “I might be very clever but if I’m not in a role aligned with my interests I’m not going to have the motivation and performance aspects,” says Roche. “Then if I’m not given the opportunity to do that because of narrow roles I’m never ever going to reach my potential and won’t perform to my max.” In short, organisations can have as many competency frameworks for grading employees as they want, but the reality is, if people don’t have motivation in a particular area they’ll never achieve a level of competency as related to some of those identified competencies at any level. “How about we start challenging that thinking, and how about we understand not just ability and capability but what actually motivates people,” says Roche. “If we can get that alignment right it will link to much better performance. Then if we get the career architecture right it will allow talent to move more freely across some of the large institutions we have that is otherwise wasted in the role that they do.”

HUMAN CAPITAL CHALLENGES Ageing workforce: How much is my workforce ageing and what are the implications for compensation costs? Where is ageing most significant? Workforce planning: Am I bringing in and/or building the talent I need to grow my business? Total remuneration cost management: Are my remuneration costs in line with my business performance expectations? Pay for performance: Am I really differentiating pay based on “performance”?

Business HR alignment

Mercer’s Human Capital Scan helps HR achieve business plan/HR strategy alignment by providing a detailed understanding of the organisation’s key people and business challenges. Comprising both structured executive interviews and an online survey of senior leaders, the Human Capital Scan provides:

42

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

• A summary of business objectives and challenges, current workforce realities, and future workforce requirements • A profile of human capital strategy and its key elements • Critical skills/competencies for your employees now and in the future • Approach to acquiring/developing employee capabilities • Organisational structure and work processes • Reward structure • What accounts for individual success now and what might need to be different in the future • A summary of potential misalignments between business design and HC strategy

HR need to be very cognisant and have a clear understanding of the organisational strategy, whether that be three years or six years The problem with most individual talent profiles, which is essentially the DNA of employee information, is that they only capture half the equation. “I’ll bet my bottom dollar it doesn’t capture the other half – that being an individual’s motivation, what gets them out of bed each morning,” Roche says. So how can organisations get smarter about career development and thus improve retention? “At a macro level, organisations need to ensure that career opportunities are clearly determined for each role. But it’s not simply about having a career development plan sitting in a top drawer – line managers need the skills and knowledge to bring these career paths to life for each one of their team members,” Roux says. A sophisticated understanding of the organisation’s learning and development needs is also essential. “Employers must understand the capabilities they need to be competitive and sustainable, yet many are working with outdated or redundant models. The skills needed for success change over time, so a program shouldn’t last forever. “Learning and development needs to move beyond a ‘set and forget’ approach, and respond to business needs in a dynamic way,” Roux says. A picture of the organisation’s skills gaps and future needs will emerge as part of a workforce planning process, and should guide the company’s planning. “Employers need to be canny about which skills and people they develop. Investing equally in all talent is akin to investing the same amount in every company on the stockmarket. “However, once you understand which roles are specialist, strategic and core roles, you can allocate resources to the ones that deliver the best return on investment,” Roux says.

THE NUMBERS GAME

Data is important for workforce planning and management, but the numbers alone are not enough.


WWW.HCAMAG.COM 43


FEATURE WORKFORCE PLANNING

Again, technology plays a role. Reed says that modern HR tools are user friendly and sophisticated enough to capture the data, easily report on what’s happening with the people in the organisation, and use that to drive changes. “The commitment to the more sophisticated technologies has only taken off in the last couple of years. Even the biggest organisations in this country up until a couple of years ago were still using spreadsheets – and that doesn’t help you when you want to look at the data, draw conclusions from it and report on it in a real timeframe,” she says. As such, Mercer’s Human Capital Dashboard and others like it provide information, but it’s the way data is used that makes the difference. “A dashboard is essentially a visual tool for seeing progress in the particular items you’re interested in. It does two things: firstly it visualises that, so it’s easy to see at a glance where progress is being made; secondly, it forces you to think carefully about which metrics you want to focus on. Rather than having large reports written in words where it’s difficult to extract the actual data, you see information quite easily, and you can only,

44

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

in a one-page dashboard, have a certain number of metrics. It forces you to think about which of the key metrics are important,” Reed says.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE WORKFORCE?

All the experts HC spoke to agreed on one factor: all eyes will be on HR to provide solutions for these talent challenges. Are they up to the task? Reed believes they are; but it’s time to stop talking and start doing. “The HR profession is up to the task but I think we just need to get on with it. There are methods and tools available, and I think it’s incumbent on the senior HR people to make sure their staff have the capability so they can handle this.” Roche suggests the problem is bigger than HR. “Many companies consider it an HR problem as opposed to a business problem, but it’s far wider than that. It’s starting to hit the bottom line.” 1 ManpowerGroup Talent Shortage Survey, May 2011

Planning tools online:

hcamag.com


EXPERT INSIGHT Ari Kopoulos is the national sales & marketing manager at EmployeeConnect. For further information visit www.employeeconnect.com.au

technology This means they can clearly map out future strategies, expectations and rewards for each employee. In doing so, they are creating a transparent pay for performance culture that can dramatically improve productivity.

MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE

Easing performance review pain Ari Kopoulos reports that automated performance reviews can go a long way towards easing some of the pain of reviews – and can help foster open dialogue between employee and employer Raise the subject of performance reviews with any manager or employee and you will quickly get that love/hate response generally associated with pain. Although important, the once a year, manual performance reviews are often regarded as tedious, time consuming necessities, where value is often questioned. This supports the general view that most employees are unaware of specific business objectives and what they can do to meet them. Having said that, armed with the right strategy and tools, a forward thinking business will discover that automating performance reviews not only takes the pain out of the process, but actually drives employee productivity and engagement. Automated performance reviews provide a consistent framework for managing and measuring performance metrics of strategic

goals. These goals cascade all the way down the organisation chart and align with business strategy. More importantly, employees and managers understand how their individual goals match up with the company’s overall business objectives.

WORKFLOW PROCESS

From an HR manager’s perspective, a workflow driven process means the end of the paper chase. It brings valuable information to life and into the business where it can be actioned. Managers stay up-to-date on employees’ progress, allowing them to provide immediate response and keep performance on track. Executives are armed with real time access to centralised and historical performance analytics, while also providing powerful insights both vertically and horizontally.

Some of the features to look for in a system include a centralised, browser-based portal with workflow driven review and approval process; a configurable system of notification and reminders facilitating an exception based process; a component setting engine to define your specific goals, targets, KPIs, KRAs with weighting, scoring and detailed note taking for employees and managers; analytics layers to track and report on progress against targets and identify strengths, weaknesses, needs and trends of employees and teams. Perhaps the most important feature is the competency engine. This defines your central framework of a measurable and meaningful set of competencies, behaviours, and skills. These can then be linked to a unit of demand, such as a person, position, job, project or training. This is the currency between capabilities and needs, facilitating the exchange of talent supply with business demand. If configured correctly, it integrates all the HR processes, mapping the journey between recruitment, measurement, development, succession and reward. For the employee it means a clearer, more actionable understanding of what they need to do to be successful.

PERFORMANCE CULTURE

Finally, like all software, it’s a tool. To be truly effective it needs to be a richer user experience, in the right hands and integrated within your corporate culture that supports performance. Embracing an automated solution removes the effort and pain associated with manual performance reviews. It cascades your business strategy throughout the organisation, making it visible and actionable. But more importantly, by making assessment an ongoing process, it fosters an environment of dialogue, where the individual can contribute to their own and ultimately, the company’s success. WWW.HCAMAG.COM 45


FEATURE LEADERSHIP

from the top

There are as many views on leadership development best practice as there are HR managers and external providers. Geoff B Lorigan weighs the options – and attests that true leadership starts at the top

Rewiring your leaders

46

WWW.HCAMAG.COM


Most chief executives have already twigged that in a world of knowledge workers, hyper competition and global transparency, companies only have one form of competitive advantage left – leadership. The big questions are: how best to develop our leaders? Should we design and deliver our own internal leadership courses or should we outsource? How can we use leadership development to create a performance and values-based culture? If we outsource, should we send them to one particular provider or a provider of their choice? How can we be sure that external courses are not just ‘sheep dips’ that rub off in no time at all?

IN OR OUT?

Creating your own internal leadership training has a number of benefits. First, you can tailor the courses to align with the culture, values and strategy of your company. Second, you can do it at lower cost by employing your own learning and capability staff (fixed costs) to design and oversee the program delivery and supplement/leverage them with part-time or casual contractors (variable costs) to facilitate the courses. Overall, you can reduce the costs of attending external open courses significantly. And, oh yes, it is very fashionable to be a knowledge and learning-driven organisation with your own internal ‘business school’. For the top level executives you can of course make an exception and recognise their desire to attend an Ivy League Business School in Europe or the US. Let’s face it, having Harvard or INSEAD on the CV is something we all aspire to, and it gives an impression of being a super-hero leader. True, it may cost $60,000 to complete a twomonth Advanced Management Program, but that’s not much when you compare it to the salaries and bonuses of some of the top managers in large organisations. And if budgets are tight and we are really sharp, we can even use executive coaches to be the personal trainers of our high potentials and senior leaders. It’s very cost effective and a number of leaders can be coached for the same amount it would cost to send someone on an external open program.

PROBLEMS

But as compelling as these apparent benefits might appear, there are some major hitches in this logic. First, leadership is about seeing yourself through the lens of others, and who would want to attend an in-house leadership course and rely on colleagues competing for the next step-up opportunity to reflect a true and clear picture of yours truly? And what about those HR people sitting down the back; are they marking my card? Will the chief executive read my grades or hear that ‘my

colleague’ is more emotionally intelligent than me? And what about our CEO; will he or she be comfortable showing ‘shadow side’ to direct reports and putting ‘leadership reputation’ at risk? Attending an Ivy League Business School overseas is certainly an option for the senior executives. These courses typically focus on case studies (rather than oneself ) and being offshore provides a high level of anonymity. But when we get back to the office, the fade factor is usually quite high. Ask someone you know who went to one of these Ivy League Business school courses, three months later, “what changes have you made in your leadership style?” The most likely response is “not a lot”. Executive coaches certainly provide a mirror, but leaders are different people when observed in complex and ambiguous group situations than when they are behaving at their best in a room with a coach.

SOLUTIONS

So what is the best solution? There are as many views on leadership development best practice as there are HR managers and external providers. But one thing is for sure, there are some important principles that need to be understood and applied. Our view at ISL, after 10 years in the leadership development sector and observing the 1,500 top leaders who have attended our open programs, is that leadership starts at the top. The chief executive is the leadership role model for all other leaders in the organisation. He or she is watched closely everyday like a gold fish in a bowl – every move is magnified. It’s not what leaders say but what they do and how they do it. Chief executives embody the culture, live the values, monitor the attitudes and behaviours, set the energy levels and articulate the vision and goals. They are either battery chargers or energy vampires. They are

To transform our organisation, first we must transform our leaders, and this requires a topdown systematic and integrated approach using safe learning places and advanced executive development processes WWW.HCAMAG.COM 47


FEATURE LEADERSHIP

Flourish or perish? The chief executive is the leadership role model for all other leaders in the organisation. He or she is watched closely everyday like a gold fish in a bowl – every move is magnified

CEO

Strategy Role models Change agents Vision Values Attitudes & behaviours Culture

GM

 Team development Performance Integrating with other teams

TEAM LEADER

creators or cost cutters. They are lifted on the shoulders of their followers, or they get so far out in front of their followers that they are perceived as the enemy. It follows that investment in the chief executive’s leadership development is the number one priority; then the EGMs and GMs; then the high potentials – in that order. Leadership development should cascade down from the top. Management training (eg, project management, business case preparation and strategic planning) and certain aspects of leadership (such as recruitment, performance management, team building, vision & values) might be best done in-house (from a cost-saving perspective) if the organisation is large enough. But we need to consider whether we are missing out on the opportunity for our executives to learn from those in other sectors and their top leaders.

48

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

Geoff B Lorigan is director of New Zealand based Institute for Strategic Leadership. Visit www.leadership.ac.nz for more information

When it comes to building self awareness, leadership of self, interpersonal leadership, and understanding the group dynamics of followers, a safe learning place, where anonymity is assured and reputations are not put at risk, is required. Learning about ourself and reviewing our leadership style in the company of other top leaders from other sectors (private and public) provides a unique opportunity to benchmark and develop valuable networks. And using the same provider and processes creates a shared experience and common vocabulary which builds confidence and encourages high-trust learning conversations among the executive team and level three and four leaders. Once leaders have gained a view of themselves through the lens of independent peers – that is the time to undertake ongoing executive coaching, and to connect the dots and create a high performing leadership team. This will involve in-house facilitation of vision, values, culture, and team-building workshops. For top people, attendance on an Ivy League course four or five years later is a great idea if the budget allows. Rubbing shoulders and bench-marking with international peer groups helps build one’s confidence. “I might not be so great, but look at them!” And confidence in oneself and one’s knowledge is essential, especially for chief executives and their successors. Attending Ivy League Business Schools is also seen as a rite of passage by many directors and search consultants who expect the leaders of larger organisations to have been exposed to international best practice. But to transform our organisation, first we must transform our leaders, and this requires a top-down systematic and integrated approach using safe learning places and advanced executive development processes. There is no short cut or low cost way of building a world class leadership team, and given that leadership creates competitive advantage in all key performance metrics (including ROI, engagement and retention scores), it is wise to invest in best practice top-down leadership development – even more so during tough economic conditions where only the best-led organisations excel and prosper. And remember – low cost leadership development solutions are akin to low cost jet engines; cheaper in the short run but potentially fatal when environmental conditions are turbulent. Remember that Boeing and Airbus outsource their jet turbines despite the savings they could obtain designing and building their own.

More leadership tips at:

hcamag.com


CASE STUDY

leadership

All about

balance

In the job for only four months, Christopher Luxford, president and country head of Aegis Australia, has taken a fresh approach to the people aspects of his organisation

Thilo Pulch, www.pulchphotography.com

Human Capital: In terms of leadership development, how are you firstly identifying your next generation of leaders? Do you look at high performers or high potentials? Christopher Luxford: Both high potential and high performance are important but they’re not actually my primary driver. My primary driver is for genuine leadership around innovation and change. The key for any organisation is growth – and growth will not come by doing the same things we’ve always done. The people who are willing to – in a proper way – challenge the status quo, by being innovative in their thinking, who are willing to take risks and try new things, are genuine leaders. It’s not about telling people that we’re going to do this, it’s about including them. The most important behaviour is their ability to help people through that change journey – because most people don’t want to change. So it’s helping them see what that future might look like, helping them find their path forward to what that future looks like. HC: Can you explain your approach to ‘balanced leadership’? CL: Most managers are taught to manage to performance metrics. While performance metrics are important, usually it’s purely a shareholder/customer focus, or it’s a partner/supplier or employee focus. I prefer a balanced approach. It’s like drawing a triangle: up the top, customers; WWW.HCAMAG.COM 49


CASE STUDY

leadership demonstrate what your contribution to those outcomes have been. Everybody wins. A great example: one of my operations managers was told to stop spending the money on a small investment made every week to try to drive down attrition. He said it was a miniscule amount when compared to the overall revenue stream. So why was he asked to stop? He said he wasn’t sure. So I asked him if it does drive down attrition. He said, “of course it does”. I asked if there was data to show that attrition had come down as a result of this activity. He said there isn’t. So from a shareholder’s perspective, he’s asking to spend money which is making employees happy – giving them muffins or whatever it is – but he’s not able to measure a return. So the triangle is heavily weighted to the employee but with no measured contribution to either customers or the investor. I said if you can show me tangible impact on the outcomes to both those groups, knock yourself out. It’s getting people to think differently, getting that balanced view, and I don’t think that happens in many organisations.

If you’re constantly looking at lagging metrics, you’re constantly looking in the rear vision mirror – and you can’t change the past – CHRISTOPHER LUXFORD to the right, shareholders; to the left, employees. What we’re really trying to achieve is leaders who are balanced in all three areas. The activities that they engage in should show value to all three parties. If they’re only showing value to one party, that’s managing, not leading. HC: Do you believe HR can achieve this balance? CL: The key thing for me here is that no one group within a business is balanced in my view. Everyone says they’re balanced but 50

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

when you really look at their behaviours, at the metrics they measure themselves on, at the activities they engage in, they are generally engaged in two but primarily in one. Sales teams are very focused on the customer; finance is very focused on the shareholder; HR’s primary focus is on the employee, and employees think they’re typically focused on the shareholder. For me, this balance isn’t about knowledge of those other areas; it’s knowledge of the outcomes. If you know what the outcomes are, you can measurably

HC: How do you differentiate manager from leader? CL: It’s all about behaviours. Vision is important but it’s not important for every role. I consider even operational managers, who are about mid-way up our organisational chart, as leaders. But it’s not going to be about four- or five-year visions; it will be more about how they instil passion and energy in their teams, and how they create a dynamic in their group. Driving those behaviours is important whether your focus is short term, medium term or long term.

HC: What are you doing for leadership development of your senior leaders? CL: It comes back to how most people find themselves in leadership roles; they are very good at what they do, and they’re very good at managing – it might be that they come from a finance, sales or operations background. They have particular skills in those areas. But to really become genuine leaders – in the truest sense of the word, not just exceptional managers – we really have to elevate ourselves to some of the


world’s leading thinkers. Just about every day I’m sending out a different white paper on different thinking that might be published by a well known author, having them read that and then debate it as a group. I’m not expecting everyone to agree with it. We shouldn’t all agree with one particular author’s views. It’s about taking the ideas from all these thinkers and mashing them together and asking, what’s right for Aegis? What’s the leadership style, attitude and culture we need to have as an organisation to get to our five-year goals? HC: Are you a fan of 360s? CL: I am and I’m not. To a certain extent I like the peer review, but I think if you’re constantly looking at lagging metrics, you’re constantly looking in the rear vision mirror – and you can’t change the past. I’m a believer in the leading indicators: are we doing the right things to get the right outcome, rather than measuring whether

we got the outcome. The outcomes will still need to be measured but now they should be a consequence of doing the right things. HC: Are you a mentor to other leaders in your organisation? CL: To a certain extent yes, I love coaching and mentoring – that’s one of my favourite roles as a leader. But I have to say some of my leaders have greater expertise in certain areas than I do, which you’d expect. In those areas I look for them to mentor me, to develop me. I also look to get outside mentors, because you’ve got to bring in lots of diverse, different perspectives and ways of thinking. HC: What’s the key to a successful HR relationship with a CEO? CL: There are a number of roles that need to span everything from the very tactical to the extraordinarily strategic, and I think HR is one of those roles. It’s easy for HR

leaders to get caught in the tactical, because that is the volume piece of their business: it’s very day-to-day, it’s very operational and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by that. What I really look for is how I help the HR leader to find more time to invest in the strategic aspects. I’m blessed to have a wonderful HR leader, and she’s very proactive on these strategic matters. Things like leadership development – which is probably the number one topic – where we’re teaching people to be leaders in the 21st century. The good news is, half of the time when I’ve got an idea and say, ‘how about this’, they’ve already thought about it and are already doing it. The key for any successful HR leader is trying to be that one step ahead, to continually invest in the future and not get too caught up in the day-to-day. It’s important but it’s not going to help evolve – and evolution and change are the most important aspects of success.

WWW.HCAMAG.COM 51


PROFILE FIONA COLE

my brilliant career

Yay for Yahoo!7 From hamburger eating competitions to ‘hack days’, Yahoo!7 has a reputation for being a fun place to work. Human Capital profiles the career of Fiona Cole, HR director at Yahoo!7

Human Capital: What is your professional background? Fiona Cole: I’m a bit unconventional in my background. I did some different things before I moved to HR. I spent five years in TV, working with SBS and moving around various production departments there, but not in HR. I then moved into HR and spent some time at Vodafone setting up their greenfields site in Tasmania – a 600-seat call centre. I was very lucky here at Yahoo!7. I’ve been here for almost five years. It’s been quite a fortunate fit because of what we do here – the media mixes we have – and my background. HC: What drew you to an HR role? FC: It’s been an interesting journey because of what I’ve gone through, my background has fitted in well with what I’ve achieved here. For example, with the greenfields site with Vodafone, that was a massive recruitment activity. It was when telcos had taken off through the 1990s. We’re experiencing very much the same growth here at Yahoo!7. When I started we were 200 people; now we’re 400 people. We’ve had two acquisitions – Total Travel and Spreets. The growth has been extraordinary. It’s very exciting for people here, but also I’m quite used to that fast pace. It’s a very vibrant organisation and industry we’re in, and it’s important we change and adapt with that.

52

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

HC: What qualifications do you hold? FC: I’ve done a couple of HR diplomas, a project management diploma and a Masters of Management with UTS – so a bit of a mix. I’m a huge advocate of education and life learning. HC: How do you build a learning culture at Yahoo!7? FC: I’ve had many different roles in my previous jobs; I moved around a lot. I saw the benefit of that, and we do a lot of that here. We actively move people around roles in the organisation, and that not only keeps people engaged and stimulated, it also retains them. We’re very strong on identifying key talent. For example, one person in my team was brought in as an HR person but his background is in product, and he has an environmental degree. It was perfect for what I needed in my team. He did a short HR course and he’s got the maturity to handle what we give him. It builds a lovely diversity into that mix. Yes, it’s a big learning curve but the value of that has been fantastic. HR is very visible so other people see that, and think, ‘that’s great, I wonder what else I could do?’ HC: What have you done to encourage collaboration and innovation in the culture? FC: To me, the diversity aspect is what makes us what we are and that’s important to the way in which Yahoo!7 operates. We have different people from different backgrounds and views – and that helps us with


We actively move people around in the organisation, and that not only keeps them engaged and stimulated, it also retains them – FIONA COLE

FIONA COLE ROLL OF HONOUR Master of Management (Distinction average), University of Technology, Sydney (2005) Diploma of Project Management University of New England (2001) Professional Diploma in Human Resource Management Deakin University (1999) Advanced Certificate in Human Resource Management TAFE (1997)

WWW.HCAMAG.COM 53


typical Yahoo!7 benefits Annual leave! The longer an employee stays with the company, the more days they are entitled to get off. Capped to a limit of 25 extra days, based on length of service. Bad hair day! All employees are given an extra leave day per year, to do their admin stuff or because they’re having a ‘bad hair’ day. Maternity leave! This is available for all new mums… take up to 12 weeks of paid leave, based on length of service. Paternity leave! Dads are entitled to take up to four weeks of paid leave, based on service.

Health & fitness! Employee health and wellbeing is a priority, so they are given $400 per year to spend on any gym membership, exercise program or private health cover. Service Awards! Employees are rewarded after their first year of service and again on their third, fifth and 10th year! Backslappers! These are given when someone stops and says ‘thank you’. The more backslaps an employee gets, the more prizes they can receive!

creativity, innovation and how we approach things. As an example of how we use this diversity, we have what we call ‘hack days’. It’s a competition pitching team against team. Teams are given 24 hours to create whatever they want, to do whatever they want, to create something practical at the end of it. People will hack together, so we have teams of engineers, product people, marketing people, sales people. We have a judging panel – usually the exec team. The hack can go on to be something we implement in the company. For our last hack day – because we’ve got a lot of new people and they get confused about which meeting room is which, and where they are in the building – one group created a hack which showed, in an interactive format, where each room was and what was in each room so it could be integrated into our intranet. HC: Can you talk a bit about some of Yahoo!7’s more ‘out of the box’ employee perks? FC: One of the more unusual is ‘bad hair day’. One day a year is given to everyone where if you have a bad hair day or have something else to do, you can take the day off. People love it. We have fun things like hamburger eating competitions – just because we can. Our CEO believed he could eat a McDonald’s hamburger the fastest. He really enjoys eating those burgers. So we decided to put him to the test. He’s quick – his best time was eight seconds. One person did actually beat him at seven seconds and they won the purple cape – it’s an honorary position to be in. A bit of fun! We have a speaker series, so we organise a professional speaker to come in. We’ve had some fairly big names, including: Anh Do, comedian; Steven Bradbury, the first Australian to win a Winter Olympic gold medal; Li Cunxin, who inspired the film Mao’s Last Dancer; and Bernard Salt, the demographer. They present to the company, it’s filmed and we make it an event. We want people to experience something new, take a couple of hours out of the day, hear these

Career timeline: Fiona Cole 1989–1994

Early career Programming/ operations, SBS Television Main role was in subtitling with secondments to video tapes, operations, studio, editing, etc.

54

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

1994–1996

First job in HR Training coordinator, Alcatel First job in HR in Alcatel’s training area in the days of bundy cards and before mobile phones – the focus was on circuit boards.

1996–1998

Project coordinator, Westpac I worked in the selection team for high potentials and graduates, running assessment and development centres. Team was then outsourced.

1998–2001

HR manager, Vodafone Talent acquisition for their Tasmanian 600seat greenfields call centre site, then moved to their IT operations area during a growth phase (first attempt at 3G in the late 1990s)


PROFILE FIONA COLE

If you don’t understand the commercials of the business, or know how the business is operating, you will struggle – FIONA COLE amazing stories. It gets people completely out of their zone, gets them thinking about something new. HC: What do you think it takes to succeed in HR? FC: Generally, I think what it takes to succeed is to not be an HR person. It’s controversial but you need the business understanding, to have experienced that before getting into that space, or at least throughout that career, in order to really understand how to be an HR person and to add value. If you can’t add value as an HR person, if you don’t understand the commercials of the business, if you don’t know how the business is operating, you will struggle. I see that with people we employ – we try to employ people with a bit of diversity of background, because that brings with it knowledge that is outside of the online industry. HC: What advice would you give to graduates considering a career in HR? FC: Don’t study HR! Do something else and then come into it. Or study psych or pure HR but make sure you also get some sort of business experience – whatever that might be – because I don’t think HR will add enough value if you haven’t experienced the real world. That’s a criticism of the role – HR doesn’t understand the

2001–2002

HR/OD Consultant, ACP/AMP/Vertel ACP – helped build new HR team; AMP – event managed their first ‘Harmony Day’; Vertel – advisory capacity as they grew to over 100 people.

2002–2005

business and they don’t have that commercial nous, which in many cases is probably true. So what I say is, go get it. HC: Do you have any role models professionally or personally? FC: I know people do have role models and I respect that, but for me there’s no one person I would call a role model. I like to take snippets out of people, rather than ‘there’s a person, I’ll copy them’. That’s too narrow. I admire lots of different people for lots of different reasons, and there are aspects of those people that are intriguing to me, but there’s no one I can say, ‘I want to be like them’. HC: What’s the biggest HR challenge the company faces and how do you plan to overcome that? FC: As with lots of companies the talent shortage is always an issue. It will only become more of an issue. For us, as different organisations in the world catch onto the online environment, they are taking a lot of our great talent, but they are also growing that talent. Online has only been around for 10–12 years so it’s an undeveloped, very young industry. There are only a small number of people who have any experience. How long can you say someone has had experience? You can’t say 20 years. You could say 10 years, max; so you’re a veteran at 10 years. As companies develop more online, the number of people with that experience will grow, so that will make it easier. But, for the moment, there is a talent shortage. HC: Where is the future of HR as a profession heading? FC: I think HR is going to stay on the executive team. That will only become more important as we do have a talent shortage. The management and actual organisation of that talent, and getting that talent onboard, will only become harder and harder. That is a critical path for HR, to make sure they are at the forefront of managing that and driving it through the business. More industry profiles at:

HR director, Ticketek A live entertainment, PBL company. I left after outsourcing all call centre/box office staff – reducing headcount significantly (was 600 now ~100).

2005–2006

Group HR manager, Volante Soon after I started, Volante (a leading ICT infrastructure company) was bought via hostile takeover by Commander in April 2006. I stayed on for another six months to assist with the merge

hcamag.com

before leaving for Yahoo!7.

2007–now

HR director, Yahoo!7 Focus is on culture/EVP and M&A

WWW.HCAMAG.COM 55


The Australian HR Awards will bring together industry leaders to celebrate excellence in the HR profession. Over the following pages, Human Capital reveals the finalists in the 19 award categories

he Australian HR Awards is the latest addition to Key Media’s portfolio of HR products that already comprises Human Capital and HRM magazines, and events including the HRM Awards Singapore, the AsiaPacific HR Summit series and various HR conferences held each year in Singapore and Australia. The Australian HR Awards will recognise outstanding achievements by individuals and organisations across the people management spectrum. The finalists for the 2011

Australian HR Awards have been determined following an in-depth research process to verify nominations and identify the most deserving in the industry. The Awards will be held as a black-tie event on Friday 28 October, with fine dining and first-rate entertainment at the Hilton Sydney hotel and will be hosted by popular television personality Shelley Craft. For more information about this event and to book your table, visit www.hrawards.com.au

EVENT PARTNER

28 October 2011, Hilton Sydney www.hrawards.com.au 56

WWW.HCAMAG.COM


INDUSTRY EVENT AUSTRALIAN HR AWARDS 2011

Finalists revealed for HR accolades 2DISCOVER Australian HR Director of the Year The Australian HR Director of the Year award recognises the individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership at the executive level. • Joanne Allen, Citi • Alec Bashinsky, Deloitte • Gareth Bennett, Freehills • Petrina Coventry, Santos • Simon Cowl, GlaxoSmithKline • Kerrie Field, St Vincents & Mater Health Sydney • Robert Orth, IBM Australia/New Zealand

2discover specialises in the discovery of talent in the areas of senior executive, middle management and office support levels for permanent, contracting and temporary assignments across all areas of business. Whatever your needs, take a look at our divisions and services more closely. We are well positioned to provide recruitment services in the following specialisations: Human Resources, Business Support, Technology, Sales & Marketing, Finance & Accounting, Contact Centres 2discover’s ambition is to be more than a supplier. We want to stand out as the preferred service partner for business and commerce. Above all, we want to be your partner of choice. Partnership, for 2discover, is more than a wellmeaning selling point. It’s our entire business model. We don’t just promise more than our competitors, we deliver it, day in, day out. Contact: John Leith, managing director P: 02 9299 4000 E: johnl@2discover.com.au W: www.2discover.com.au

DELOITTE Australian HR Champion (CEO) This award recognises the CEO who has driven successful HR strategies from the top by putting people first and championing innovative HR values. • Karin Adcock, Pandora • Brian Bissaker, Colonial First State • Menno Henneveld, Main Roads WA • Paul Hitchcock, Corporate Express • Jonathan Moss, Frucor Beverages (Australia) • Stephen Rubic, St Vincents & Mater Health Sydney • Chris Whitehead, CUA

The Deloitte Leadership Academy – It’s your leadership journey. Travel with someone you can trust. The Leadership Academy is Deloitte’s leadership program for the world’s next generation of senior executives. Whether from the public sector or the commercial world, stepping up to lead an organisation takes personal commitment, energy and the right knowledge. The 12-month blended program can be tailored to your needs and focuses on long-term leadership sustainability in an ever-changing environment. Twelve core leadership competencies form the foundation of our program – developing these skills will see your leaders thrive and grow. Contact: Tom Richardson, partner P: 08 8407 7695 E: trichardson@deloitte.com.au W: www.leadershipacademy.com.au

HR3 Australian HR Manager of the Year The Australian HR Manager of the Year recognises the individual who has displayed excellence at the management level. • Rob Berville, Sumitomo Australia • Donnalee Cooper, Auspost • Katherine Purcell, Jobfind Centres Australia • Sharon Tan, ANZ

HR3 has been providing quality software solutions for Australian companies since 1984. HR3 specialises in Employee Management Solutions for Human Resources, Payroll and Workplace Health & Safety. HR3 is a privately owned Australian company. HR3 solutions are functionally rich, cost effective and fully integrated. HR3’s development and support services are Australian-based.

HR3

Employee Management Solutions

Contact: Rick Verloop, managing director P: 1800 817 191 E: info@hr3.com.au W: www.hr3.com.au

ACCUMULATE Employer of Choice (>1,000) This award recognises the best large organisation to work for in Australia. • FedEx Express Australia • Hilti • Optus • Sanofi

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: alan.heyward@accumulate.com.au W: www.accumulate.com.au

WWW.HCAMAG.COM 57


FRONTIER SOFTWARE Employer of Choice (<1,000) This award recognises the best small to mid-sized organisation to work for in Australia. • Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers • Diageo Australia • Frucor Beverages (Australia) • Pandora • Teachers Credit Union Limited

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 in 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 1,600 clients. Contact: Nick Southcombe, general manager P: 03 9639 0777 E: sales@frontiersoftware.com.au W: www.frontiersoftware.com

POWER2MOTIVATE Best Employee Value Proposition This award recognises the HR team that has delivered the most unique, compelling and relevant employee value proposition. • Cochlear Ltd • GlaxoSmithKline • Johnson & Johnson Medical Pty Ltd • Millward Brown • Seek Ltd

Power2Motivate is Australia’s leading solution for employee reward & recognition, benefits and incentive programs. Top companies around the globe have discovered how easy it is to launch highly effective and motivating programs for their employees, channel partners and customers with P2M. Our breakthrough On-Demand technology, based on a unique “Software as a Service” design, delivers one universal solution with infinite flexibility to drive results. For ease of use, unsurpassed technical leadership and value, and a simple pricing structure, nothing is more powerful than Power2Motivate. Contact: Mark Robinson, general manager – Asia Pacific P: 1300 853 542 E: mark@power2motivate.com.au W: www.theeigroup.com.au/power2motivate

SABA Best Learning and Development Strategy This award recognises and celebrates the HR team that has delivered the most outstanding organisational benefits by directly linking the training needs of their people to the business needs of their organisation. • Adecco • Cochlear Ltd • Crown Casino Melbourne • EATON • McAfee Australia

Saba is the premier provider of people systems that enable today’s people-driven enterprises. Combining learning, people management and collaboration technologies, Saba delivers solutions that help mobilise and engage people to drive new strategies, align and connect people to accelerate the flow of business, and cultivate individual and collective know-how to achieve exceptional results. Contact: Fiona Smith, APAC marketing & alliance manager P: 03 9017 0507 E: fsmith@saba.com W: www.saba.com

PEAK HEALTH MANAGEMENT Best Health and Wellbeing Strategy This award recognises excellence in the area of corporate health and wellbeing. • Bupa Australia • Clayton Utz • Monash University • Ramsay Health Care • Sensis Pty Ltd

PEAK Health Management is one of Australia’s leading and most successful corporate wellness companies. A dynamic organisation, we are energetic, innovative and forward thinking in our approach to corporate wellness. We are committed to being at the forefront of the industry. PEAK was established in 1995 and we believe that we are the first choice for corporate wellness in the country. We boast some of Australia’s leading business entities as long-standing clients. Contact: Chris Rabba, general manager P: 03 9647 6317 E: chris@peakhealth.com.au W: www.peakhealth.com.au

58

WWW.HCAMAG.COM


INDUSTRY EVENT AUSTRALIAN HR AWARDS 2011

EMPLOYEE CONNECT Best Use of Technology This award recognises excellence in the area of human capital technology use by an in-house HR team. • Atlassian • Bendigo and Adelaide Bank • Brookfield Multiplex • Logan City Council (Solution provided by Kelly Services) • Santos

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, enterprise-wide, 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: info@employeeconnect.com W: www.employeeconnect.com

HUMAN GROUP Best CSR Strategy This award celebrates Australia’s most outstanding corporate social responsibility program, from a peopleperspective. • Firstfolio Ltd • FlexiGroup • Johnson & Johnson Medical Pty Ltd • QBE Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance • Westpac

Human Group Pty Limited is a leading Australian Human Capital Management Company, based in North Sydney. Recognised as an industry leader for corporate procurement, the group specialise in managed services for Learning, Performance & Talent and Project Event/Venue Management for large-scale change initiatives worldwide for blue chip clients. Contact: Geoff Rosamond, group managing director P: 02 8998 4900 E: geoff.rosamond@humangroup.com.au W: www.humangroup.com.au

WWW.HCAMAG.COM 59


MASTERTEK Best HR Strategic Plan This award recognises the HR team that has driven and implemented the most innovative and successful strategic plan. • BNP Paribas • Firstfolio Ltd • Foxtel • RailCorp • The Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne

60

WWW.HCAMAG.COM

As experts in the field of performance, remuneration and rewards, our consultants are actively working on projects with some of Australia’s biggest brands. We partner with our clients to develop innovative ways of bringing their business strategies to life, making us the small firm that achieves big results. Contact: Jamie Anderson, CEO P: 02 8224 8477 E: jamie.anderson@mastertek.com.au W: www.mastertek.com.au

Australian HR Rising Star of the Year

Employer of Choice (public sector and not-for-profit)

The HR Rising Star of the Year recognises the practitioner who has achieved impressive results with less than five years of experience.

This award recognises the best public sector employer to work for in Australia.

• Maria Aptekar, QBE Australia • Annika Johns, Newcrest Mining Limited • Felicity Poe, Hamilton Island Enterprises • Zoe Tanner, AstraZeneca Pty Ltd

• Break Thru People Solutions • City of Melbourne • Glen Eira City Council • Main Roads WA • RailCorp • Translink Transit Authority

Most Innovative Recruitment Campaign

Most Innovative New Media Recruitment Campaign

This award recognises excellence and creativity in the area of recruitment advertising.

This award recognises inventiveness and creativity in the field of new media recruitment.

• ANZ • Atlassian • E-Web Marketing

• Accenture Australia Limited • Crown Melbourne • LinkedIn • Reckitt Benckiser • S2M Digital

Best Change Management Strategy

Best Workplace Diversity Strategy

This award recognises excellence in the area of shaping, managing and influencing organisational change, including mergers, acquisitions, restructuring, strategic and cultural change.

This award recognises excellence in the area of best diversity and inclusion initiatives.

• Auscript Australasia Pty Ltd • Bupa Care Services • Peoplebank Australia Ltd • PMP

• Accenture Australia Limited • IBM • Mercy Health • NAB Group • Royal Flying Doctor Service • Telstra

Best Employer Branding

Australian HR Team of the Year

This award recognises excellence in the delivery of employer branding campaigns.

This award celebrates the most outstanding HR team in Australia.

• Bunnings • Ernst & Young • Reckitt Benckiser • Virgin Australia group of airlines

• Accor Australia • ANZ • Foxtel • Heritage Building Society • Luxottica • Suncorp Group


INDUSTRY EVENT AUSTRALIAN HR AWARDS 2011

On the night Book your table now for the year’s ultimate teambuilding experience! Join us and celebrate the year’s achievements with the larger HR community of professionals. Each guest will enjoy our pre-gala drinks reception, 3-course gourmet dinner, unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks, live entertainment, live band, and dancing until midnight.

28 October 2011

MC - Shelley Craft

Shelley Craft is one of Australia’s most popular television presenters. Shelley is the host of Channel Nine’s Australia’s Funniest Home Videos as well as hosting the challenges in the ratings-smashing Channel Nine series The Block. Shelley also co-hosted the hit renovation series, Domestic Blitz, with Scott Cam. In addition to her television work, Shelley is a much sought-after MC and host.

Have you booked your table yet? Make sure you book now to ensure you and your team have a place at the HR industry’s night of nights. To book visit: www.hrawards.com.au

WWW.HCAMAG.COM 61


SIGN OFF

Last word

Compiled by Suzanne Mercier

You what?! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?

5 MINUTES WITH... KIRSTY DUNCAN

Group general manager and HR director, Trivett What is the greatest HR lesson you’ve learned so far? My father always said “manage your business by walking around” and I’m a true believer in this philosophy. It’s important to be hands on: get to know the people who work with you, meet and be involved with your customers, observe the processes in the business, look at your facilities. It’s important to be seen and it’s the best way to truly understand your business. What is your view on diversity, and specifically the current focus on gender diversity? Diversity is key to success, particularly at senior management level. The Automotive Industry is very male dominated, yet over 80% of all car purchasing decisions are made by women. For us, it’s particularly important for women to be well represented at senior level to ensure we can understand and

empathise with our female customers and employees. What are your favourite peoplemanagement tips? I have two very simple tips. Turn up every day with a plan, and say it when you see it. Whether it’s positive or negative, take the time to comment or have the discussion promptly. Everyone wants to be appreciated and feel valued so give praise when it’s due. On the other hand, don’t shy away from the difficult conversations – they’re a necessary part of the job. What is the main challenge currently facing the HR industry right now? Attracting and retaining talent is certainly a challenge. How can it be overcome? Businesses need to be both highly competitive and in tune with what’s important to their people. Trivett is a seven-day-a-week business which puts pressure on people’s family and personal time. We’ve put in place measures to help work-life balance.

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

Jonathan Littman and Marc Hershman, who wrote I Hate People, talk of a unique interview style. They propose that an interviewer can assess a candidate’s suitability, capability and their most appropriate role by the way they cross a street in heavy traffic. Both amusing and intriguing. Here’s the article: http://tinyurl.com/ yhnxzaf

FAST FACTS

70%

of engaged employees indicate they have a good understanding of how to meet customer needs; only 17% of non-engaged employees say the same. (Wright Management)

50%

Less than 50% of CFOs appear to understand the return on their investments in human capital. (Accenture)

4%

of private sector employees believe change is well managed in their organisations (15% in the public sector). (Ipsos MORI)

“Six essential qualities are the key to success: sincerity, personal integrity, humility, courtesy, wisdom, charity” – WILLIAM MENNINGER

64

WWW.HCAMAG.COM


WWW.HCAMAG.COM 65

Human Capital magazine issue 9.10  

The magazine for people who manage people

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you