Why It’s Vital To Understand Your Team And How To Do It

Can a computer programme really help you understand your team? When it’s based on proven behavioural psychology concepts, utilises complex algorithms, and is successfully used by tens of thousands of organisations worldwide – yes, it can!

The key to building a successful team is understanding your people.

There are several ways you can do this, but Stay Interviews and Extended DISC© assessment tools help you do just that.

These assessments help leaders intentionally and intelligently understand employees while empowering workers to communicate with one another effectively.

Let’s take a closer look at what stay interviews and Extended DISC© are and and how they can help you understand your team.

Why It’s Vital To Understand Your Team And How To Do It

What Is A Stay Interview?

You’ve heard of an Exit Interview, right? Well, a Stay Interview can be even more valuable than the exit variety! At a Stay Interview, you sit down with each team member to gather information about what they value about their job and what can be improved.

By understanding what your team values, you can work to improve things in your workplace. This is going to raise employee retention rates in the long term. You may also discover some helpful tips from your team members that you can easily implement to improve culture, processes and more.

Not only that, but you are creating open lines of communication with your team, building their trust and engagement. Conducting a Stay Interview can be more effective than an employee survey as you are creating a two-way conversation situation where you can both bounce ideas and create opportunities for clarification or to answer follow up questions.

Stay Interviews are the in-person way to help you understand your team better. But, what about technology solutions?

What Is Extended DISC©?

Extended DISC© is a psychology-based assessment tool that helps organisations understand – and therefore better manage – their staff.

Based on the theory developed by psychologist Carl Jung, the Extended DISC© system is one of the most popular behavioural assessment tools in the corporate world. Extended DISC© provides insight into how individuals think, communicate, and interact using a series of questions and algorithms.

According to the science behind the Extended DISC© system, people can be divided into four central behavioural styles, indicated by the following letters:

  • D-style (Dominance)
  • I-Style (Influence)
  • S-Style (Steadiness)
  • C-style (Correctness)

The results of these assessments help shape an understanding of each individual’s strengths, challenges, and communication styles.

How Extended DISC© Assessments Can Help Your Team

Great teamwork doesn’t happen by accident. It takes patience, intention, insight, strong leadership, and the right mix of personalities to build a cohesive team.

In people management, everything boils down to personality and behaviour. Communication issues, conflict, poor performance and low productivity can often be traced back to personality clashes, misunderstandings, or incorrect role fit.

Extended DISC© offers a way for individuals not only to understand themselves better but also understand others more deeply. With these insights, leaders are better able to place employees in the right roles within their teams and manage them in the ways that mesh best with their Extended DISC© profiles.

Extended DISC© assessments help you to empower your team members to better understand their own conscious and sub-conscious behavioural styles. Discovering Extended DISC© as a team is even more valuable. Each staff member can identify and empathise with other behavioural styles, which improves communication and minimises the chance of conflicts.

Overall, job satisfaction increases, and increased performance and productivity comes with a more positive workplace culture.

Get The Best Out Of Your Team

One of the most valuable leadership qualities is the ability to get the best out of your team.

Everyone responds differently to different situations: some of your employees might do their best work under pressure, while others may perform poorly. One person may appreciate a heated debate with a colleague, while another individual could find the exchange stressful and negative. Some people are natural leaders who crave the opportunity to grow, yet others are happy to take a back seat and perform the job they’re comfortable with.

There is a place in your team for all these personality types, but you must be able to recognise each one to create a team environment that meets everyone’s needs.

Extended DISC© is a fantastic team-building tool as it can help you understand the dynamics of your team, identify where the key strengths lie and determine what gaps need to be filled.

A Valuable Workplace Asset

Alongside the in-depth Personal Analysis for each staff member, the Extended DISC© Team Analysis is invaluable.

Here’s how Extended DISC© describe it:

“The Team Analysis gives you an easy to use framework to understand complex issues quickly, solve problems and improve performance. It helps you align your business or team strategy with the behavioural characteristics of your team members.

The Team Analysis combines the results of the Personal Analysis results of your team into one report. It shows the team dynamics, the strengths and development areas of the team, and how the team members are adjusting their behaviours in the existing work environment.

Some popular applications of this tool include team development, strategic decision making, leadership development, organisational development, turnover reduction, conflict resolution and succession planning.”

 

What Does Team Building Look Like In 2022?

In the past, managers have made educated guesses while hiring and building teams and hoped that their people gelled well. But in 2022, team building doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Tools like Extended DISC© provide concrete, usable data to support leaders in building and managing highly effective teams.

DISC© provides a reliable framework to help make decisions and adjustments around people management while empowering staff to take responsibility for their interactions with each other.

Team building aims to create stronger bonds between team members and help them respect their differences while working towards common goals. There is no singular “right” way to achieve this – every team is different, and what works for one may cause havoc for another.

Post pandemic, managers face additional challenges when creating a strong team, such as hybrid work arrangements and remote workers. Team building may not happen as organically as it does in an office environment.

Today’s leaders need to be more intentional about providing opportunities for workers to interact – through structured exercises as well as more informal activities.

Want to know how to best manage the different personality types within your team?

Spice HR are Extended DISC© Accredited Practitioners and can help you with personal growth, team building, leadership, and recruitment. We are also masters at helping you maintain an excellent team culture with tools like the Stay Interview.

Contact us today to find out more.

How To Tackle Hiring and Onboarding New Staff Remotely

Many things became redundant during a pandemic – travel, music festivals, alarm clock sales (yes, really!) and for many, the good old office work environment.

But businesses still need to keep moving forward. They still have to serve their customers, source their supplies, and recruit and train new staff – only, all these “business as usual” processes look a lot different now than they did pre-COVID.

At Spice HR HQ, we’ve experienced changes too: our dynamic duo has become a beautifully rounded team of five.

We personally experienced what it’s like recruiting, hiring, and onboarding new staff remotely – a process that may be daunting for those new to the world of managing remote employees.

In this blog, we’ll explore how recruiting and onboarding are done differently over lockdowns and post-COVID and offer some insight on how to approach it with your business.

But first, we’d love to introduce you to the newest Spice Gals on our team.

How To Tackle Hiring and Onboarding New Staff Remotely

Let’s Talk About Spice

2021 was a year of growth for Spice HR, which meant we were able to bring a few fresh faces onto our team.

Pre expansion, you would be communicating with the original Spicey duo, Nicole and Nichola – but now, your documents and emails may be crafted by Justine, Bianca or Nina.

Let’s do a brief intro so that you can put a face to each new name:

Justine

Justine has more than 20 years of management experience, bringing a wealth of knowledge to the team. She has a passion for helping others thrive and for encouraging equity and inclusion. She believes there are always opportunities for improvement, continued personal growth, and doing the right thing, even when no one is looking.

Nina

Nina has a new HR degree under her belt, along with a past life as a manager. She has a passion for all things HR and has come on board to help our clients with their HR projects. When she’s not neck-deep in HR, Nina is running around after her toddler or out and about exploring the best places to grab a bite to eat.

Bianca

Bianca is our Spicey queen of all things admin. With 20 years in the workforce to back her up, she’s the one taking care of all the details and making sure everything runs smoothly. Like any good Spice Gal, Bianca is always up for a challenge and will often dive into the world of HR to lend the rest of us a hand. Like most Aucklanders, Bianca is looking forward to jumping on a plane and travelling again when the opportunity arises.

There you have it – with five members, we’re now officially as big as the actual Spice Girls and well on our way to Spice Gal World Domination!

Our newest team members have been onboarded and enveloped in the warm glow of our spicey culture. If you’re wondering how that works in times of lockdown and remote work, keep reading for some insight.

Things To Consider When Hiring and Onboarding New Staff Remotely

While the fundamentals of recruiting and onboarding remain the same, the process may look a little different. Due to lockdowns or location, some managers may not meet their employees in person before hiring, but that doesn’t need to be an issue.

In fact, thanks to digital advances driven by the pandemic, it’s now easier than ever to take care of hiring and onboarding new staff remotely. Let’s take a closer look at each part of the process.

Recruiting Remotely

The right fit remains one of the most important aspects of recruitment. And getting the right fit means effectively marketing your employee value proposition. To attract an employee who embraces and enhances your culture, you must be able to describe and demonstrate that culture.

This goes further than just your job advertisement or position description. Put some thought into how your brand appears from the outside looking in, via social media, your website, and word of mouth from previous and current staff.

Share pictures and videos online of how your team collaborates, even in a remote work environment. Talk about your camaraderie in an authentic way, and work on building genuine connections between your existing employees to organically build a great culture that’s visible to all.

Virtual interviews are often more efficient than in-person interviews and can be less daunting for candidates. Zoom or Teams are usually the go-to methods here, and most people are more than familiar with how they work by now!

When it comes to paperwork, it’s now possible to do it all digitally. Even contracts can be signed virtually using a tool like DocuSign or HelloSign. That means a faster, more efficient hiring process. And if you’re lucky enough to have an HRIS, then it’s all automated for you!

Onboarding New Staff Remotely

How does onboarding new staff remotely work? You can’t give them an office tour and introduce them to your team during a morning coffee break, so what’s the procedure?

Well, setting expectations is still crucial, so it’s important for managers to communicate with a new hire before their first day on the job. This is an opportunity to provide any documents or materials that they need to understand how your business works.

Share your values and culture in ways that feel appropriate; written documents followed up with a Zoom call for a more in-depth chat is a good start.

You’ll also need to share copies of your code of conduct, employee handbook and any other documents that can help your new hire integrate into the business smoothly.

How Do You Onboard Remotely?

One on one and group video calls will be needed to introduce the team, and these should continue regularly to ensure that camaraderie and connection develops between your employees.

You may even want to set up a mentor or “buddy system” so your new hire has a closer relationship with a specific person (whether that’s their direct manager or a colleague) – someone who’s on-call to help them navigate their new role.

Bear in mind that it can take a little longer for someone to integrate into a new work environment remotely. They don’t have the opportunity to interact with managers and colleagues as organically as they would in an office environment.

Give them the time and resources they need, and don’t assume that if they’re quiet, they’re doing just fine. Managers must be proactive and check-in, ask for feedback, and be ready to provide more support if needed.

Spicing Up Your Hiring and Onboarding

It can be tricky to navigate the process of hiring and onboarding new staff remotely in this world of post-pandemic business.

If your business needs some support to recruit and onboard new team members – remotely or otherwise – the Spice HR team are here to help.

Contact us to find out what we can do for you.

Let’s Talk Mental Wellness at Work

Mental wellness at work

How are you doing out there, Spicey people?

It’s been quite the ride in the last 18 months. Although it may feel like we are over the worst of the loop-de-loops, there’s still a way to go yet. We need to stay buckled in for a bit longer.

But it’s important to acknowledge that some of us are exhausted. The constant uncertainty, disruption and worry of the last year has taken its toll.

On top of that, the gloomy winter months are upon us, which can impact your mind set. You may feel like it is harder to be motivated and the dreary weather can even worsen feelings of depression or anxiety.

As employers and managers, it’s vital to have a handle on how your people are coping. Supporting your employees’ mental wellbeing is not just good for business; it’s part of your responsibility under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

This month, we are coming together to discuss mental wellbeing at work. We want to help empower you to take care of yourself and your people. So, let’s talk mental wellness at work.

Let’s Talk Mental Wellness at Work

Be Mindful of Change

Change is hard to navigate for most of us, and there has been a ton of it over the last year – most of it out of our control.

Bear this in mind when planning ahead in your business. Remember that people are worn out from adapting and adjusting to change. If you want to make changes in your business, try to introduce them gradually, not all at the same time.

Involve your employees in decisions where possible, and ensure you have a solid plan of how to communicate the changes to your team. Which brings us to the next point…

Prioritise Effective Communication

Stress often occurs when people don’t know what’s going to happen, and there’s been a lot of that going on lately! To help your staff fret less about the future, keep them well-informed about the present.

Be as transparent as possible, do your best to let people know what’s coming up and what they will need to do.

Make mental health a common talking point within your organisation. Discuss emotional wellbeing often and ensure all your employees are aware of the support and resources available to them.

Encourage Empathy Among Your Leaders

Empathy is a vital component of effective communication, particularly with regards to mental health. Empower your managers to be genuinely empathetic when communicating with employees. That means being a caring and effective listener while providing any support that the team needs.

Create Opportunities to Connect

Having a supportive, positive workplace culture can make all the difference for your employees. Encourage initiatives that nurture connection – something that may require more effort if some or all of your team members work remotely.

Organise real or virtual social events, set up group message boards, or use apps to keep your people connected. Check in regularly with them one-on-one to find out how they’re doing, too.

Create A Safe, Supportive Work Environment

Make your workplace a safe place for people to be, and encourage open and honest discussions around mental health.

This means zero tolerance of bullying or discrimination, creating a sense of value and purpose for employees, and actively working to improve work relationships at all levels.

Ensure there are mental health resources available for those who need them, such as employee assistance programs.

Build Awareness and Understanding

The more you learn about mental wellbeing, the better equipped you are to develop practises and techniques to keep yourself healthy and support your team.

Thankfully, the topic of mental health is being discussed more openly, and there are plenty of ways to broaden your understanding.

Jacqui Maguire is one of New Zealand’s most well-known mental health thought leaders. She’s a fantastic person to follow on social media for insight and practical tips. She also hosts a thought-provoking podcast called Mind Brew. Focused on mental health and wellbeing, this series is well worth tuning into.

Actively Support Positive Mental Wellness at Work

Make sure you walk the walk when it comes to mental wellbeing. There are loads of initiatives that you could implement to support mental health, such as:

  • Flexible work policies
  • Bring a pet to work days
  • Group exercise opportunities/classes
  • Mindfulness programs
  • Healthy food options at work or work functions
  • Standing desks
  • Workplace massage
  • Stress management education
  • Encourage staff to take mental health days when needed

Make Use of Your Resources

So many fantastic, experienced organisations have put a lot of work into mental wellness, producing tons of valuable resources to browse through online.

New Zealand’s own Mental Health Foundation has created one such resource. It outlines the Five Ways to Wellbeing – a collection of actions to support people in difficult times. Here’s a summary of their advice, which can be applied to individuals, families, communities, and organisations.

  1. Connect

Relationships and positive social interactions are vital for building a sense of connection and security.

  1. Give

Research has proven that kindness – to ourselves and others – can boost feelings of contentment and happiness. Sharing skills, resources, and our time with those around us can promote mental wellbeing.

  1. Take notice

Anxiety, stress and depression are often closely tied to our thoughts and worries about the future. Paying attention to the present moment and observing our thoughts and feelings can help.

  1. Keep learning

Having goals for the future, working towards something positive, and embracing new experiences are all essential for us to thrive.

  1. Be active

Physical activity is scientifically proven to reduce stress, depression and anxiety. Movement is a vital part of mental wellbeing.

We highly recommend downloading this comprehensive COVID-19 Workplaces Resources PDF from the Mental Health Foundation that discusses how to manage the challenges of COVID-19 in the workplace with a strong focus on mental wellbeing.

All Right is a website packed full of useful information, insights and tips that apply to the workplace.

Worksafe NZ is another excellent hub with a comprehensive list of resources related to stress, wellbeing, work, and the coronavirus.

And of course, we Spice Gals are ready to step in to provide any HR support that your organisation might require. So, reach out to us today if you have any queries regarding the all important topic of mental wellness at work.

Individual Employment Agreements: Are Yours What They Should Be?

Times they are a-changing – and quite rapidly, thanks to advances in technology and the impacts of COVID-19.

In spite of that, some things will always remain the same when it comes to people management. One of those is the legal need for individual employment agreements for each of your staff members.

But even these standard documents need to evolve with the times. With flexible work arrangements and lockdown restrictions becoming the norm, it’s essential to modify your individual employment agreements (IEAs) to reflect any changes to salary, hours, location or job description.

So, let’s look at why IEAs are so vital, what changes you may need to make to them due to the evolving workplace climate, and how to modify them.

Individual Employment Agreements: Are Yours What They Should Be?

The Value of Individual Employment Agreements

Employment agreements can be collective or individual, but the bottom line is that they are a legal requirement under the Employment Relations Act. If you employ someone without a signed agreement, you could face fines of up to $20,000.

Beyond legal compliance, employment agreements provide enormous value for both employer and employee. The same can be said about job descriptions (JDs) and employee handbooks. Although a handbook isn’t a legal requirement, all these documents help outline the expectations for both parties.

Clear communication is vital in any working relationship, and these documents set the scene for effective communication from the beginning. They outline exactly what is expected for the employer and the employee, including the rights, obligations and responsibilities of each.

New employees know exactly what’s expected of them, and there’s no confusion. This enables them to perform to expected standards, and simplifies the performance management process for managers.

The Benefits to Both Parties

The IEA and accompanying documents cover things like job performance and indicate what actions could result in a termination, guiding employees on how to act appropriately to align with your organisation’s workplace culture.

When these conditions are clearly stated, employers have recourse to take disciplinary actions if they are breached.

With salary, benefits, time off, work hours, and general expectations clearly outlined, everyone is on the same page, reducing the chance of conflict and miscommunication. These documents really do form the backbone of a positive work relationship and workplace culture.

Modifying Employment Agreements

In today’s working climate, it’s quite likely that an employee’s role or working conditions will change at some point during their time with your organisation.

More people are already working from home or considering flexible working arrangements thanks to COVID-19.

As such, it’s vital to modify individual employment agreements to reflect these changes. But as with the initial agreement you made when hiring, these changes can’t just be decided by the employer and forced upon an employee.

They must be mutually agreed upon, and there is a process to follow, even amidst the uncertainty of COVID-19.

Any modifications should be preceded by a consultation period, where managers clearly explain the changes and why they are being proposed. Employees must then be allowed time to consider the proposal and given an opportunity to provide feedback or offer alternative suggestions.

Any adjustments to the IEA must be made in good faith, agreed to in writing, and signed by both parties, regardless of whether it’s a temporary or permanent change to the agreement.

The key words here are “good faith”. We understand that everyone is under increased pressure during lockdowns, and many are facing hard times, but none of this removes the need to treat each other fairly and kindly.

Accommodating Different Ways of Working

Of course, it’s not just employers who can instigate a change to IEAs. Employees also have the right to ask for flexible work options, including changes to their hours, days, and place of work.

If employees are shifting to remote work or working from home, even temporarily, it’s still the employer’s responsibility to protect them from workplace health and safety risks – both physical and mental.

Due to restrictions around COVID-19, businesses may have to find different ways to operate to keep everyone safe and comply with regulations, such as staggering start times or offering work from home opportunities. These changes may be permanent or temporary, but the length of time should be outlined in the IEA.

Any change in hours – whether a reduction or a return to normal hours – must be stated in writing in the employment agreement or variation to agreement and signed by both parties, after the employee has had time to consider the changes.

In some cases, an employee might agree to a change in job description where necessary. As with any other modifications to the IEA, the employer has to follow the correct processes for these changes.

An individual employment agreement is a vital document that protects you and your employees, provides clarity, and ensures everybody is treated fairly. Right now, and perhaps for years to come, the workplace is rapidly evolving, so your employment agreements must evolve too.

If you need support or advice about how to handle your IEAs, contact Spice HR today.

What The “New Normal” Means For The Wellbeing Of Your Team

Wellbeing in New Normal

With everything that’s happened in the last year, it’s safe to say that wellbeing, life – and work – as we know it has changed. Every month that passes shows us how unlikely it is that things will return to exactly the way they were.

Business looks different, work-life looks different, and these changes aren’t so temporary anymore. That means it’s time to progress out of survival mode and into thrive mode.

Organisations need to look at workplace trends and think seriously about where they should be investing their time and energy. We need to think about staff wellbeing in the context of the “new normal”, how we can retain a cohesive team environment in these times of change and uncertainty, and how to prepare for the “next normal”, whatever that may be.

We know it can be overwhelming, but keep reading for some guidance on where and how you might want to start focusing your attention.

Workplace Trends Post-COVID-19

We know the pandemic is still here, but the immediate shock of it is passing. Businesses and individuals have begun to accept how things have changed, and we have all had some time to sit down, breathe, and take stock of how much has happened in the past year.

So, what’s next?

Time to review how well your team and organisation have adapted to physical distancing/remote working, and look at the trends for 2021 and beyond. Here’s an overview.

Remote working has increased

Well, duh! Yes, clearly, any organisation with the capability to implement remote work has done so.

But what’s interesting to note is that many will continue to explore and experiment with hybrid work/remote work even once the pandemic is under control. The “office” as we knew it will probably never be quite the same again.

Increased data collection

More employers are making use of technology to monitor their employees. Everything from productivity and engagement to wellbeing and employee experience is being tracked and analysed to create safe, productive, and innovative workplaces.

Increase of contingent workers

Many organisations are reducing the number of full-time employees and hiring contingent (freelance/gig) workers instead. This allows them flexibility and helps save costs but may lead to confusion around performance management as well as a loss of team cohesion.

Emphasis on the employer’s role in wellbeing

The pandemic has seen employers playing a vital role in the health and wellbeing of their employees. The emphasis has been on the ability of businesses to provide sick leave, financial assistance, flexible hours, and support for the wider community.

A move from efficiency to resilience

Pre-pandemic, the big focus was on efficiency. Now, the emphasis is more on building resilience in processes and organisations. Systems must be responsive and flexible to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. Employees must be adaptable and have diverse, cross-functional roles that can navigate change.

What Thinking Do We Need To Alter?

The trends reflect the changes that most organisations have experienced. That is a move away from traditional workspaces and systems, and an increasing emphasis on strong, resilient, flexible teams and processes.

This is a defining time for all of us: how we respond to the trials of the last year will impact the future. And while things have been challenging, this moment in time presents a range of opportunities for businesses.

  • Choose to be innovative. Strive for more resilient teams instead of trying to recreate what no longer works.
  • Embrace the possibilities provided by hybrid and remote work.
  • Introduce initiatives that bolster the wellbeing of your people.
  • Find new ways to create and control your corporate identity and employer brand post COVID-19.

 What Does Team Building Look Like Now?

When it comes to HR, one of your biggest challenges will be rethinking team building. With social distancing and hybrid work now par for the course, team bonding and culture development won’t happen quite so organically.

So, how can you provide spaces and opportunities for your team to bond away from the lunchroom and water cooler?

By behaving with intention and thinking outside the traditional office box.

Here are a few examples:

Host team huddles

Connect your entire team by having a regular online “huddle”. This could be for 15 minutes every morning to check-in and connect, or twice a week – whatever works for your organisation. This is not a formal meeting, but a time to chat, catch-up and check-in with one another.

Schedule virtual meet-ups

People need one-on-one time as well as group-bonding. One to one personal meetings are perfect for that. Facilitate online meet-ups for two people to chat and get to know each other better, or build on an existing established relationship.

Keep the game time going!

When our levels dictate that laser-tag or mini golf are a no-go, there are still plenty of games that can be played virtually by your team. Schedule some fun virtual activities that everyone can attend during a lockdown. Things like quizzes or online escape rooms are perfect.

Learn together

Successful teams learn new things together. Set up virtual workshops and webinars to promote professional development and facilitate online group learning.

Using Extended DISC To Get A More Informed Plan

A remote or hybrid team isn’t doomed when it comes to bonding or performance. In fact, research shows that remote teams can perform better than in-house teams if they are managed in the right way.

Extended DISC profiles can help managers understand the work style and personal preferences of their team members. They provide you with valuable insights into the best ways to manage individuals and bring them together.

You will learn how much support and contact each team member requires from you and what kind of work they respond well to.

If we have learned one thing from COVID-19, it’s the importance of a bonded, resilient team in navigating change. Challenges can bring people together or push them apart. The stronger your team is, the stronger your business is.

Regardless of what comes next, Spice HR is here to help you and your team navigate the new normal and prepare for what’s next. If you’d like advice or support about how to move forward, contact us for a chat today.

Let’s Talk! Who Is Spice HR?

Who Is Spice HR?

Let’s Talk! Who Is Spice HR?

In the vast, wonderful, and limitless world of the internet, it’s easy to forget that there are living, breathing, real people behind the blogs you read, the photos you double-tap, and the posts you like – and yes, even the dreaded comment section! As much as technology seems to dominate the world, humans are still the ones behind it all, and connecting human to human is the core of what Spice HR is all about.

So, what better way to start connecting than by having a chat and giving you a behind the veil glimpse of who we are and what we do!

So come on in, put your feet up, and get to know us – the Spice Gals.

Meet The Spice Gals

No, not the Spice Girls – we are the kiwi-based, business-focused HR version of the famous girl band. And while we might not be able to sing or dance quite as well as the famous five, we do know our stuff when it comes to managing people.

Our duo (featuring Nicole Griffiths and Nichola Gold) started with a power walk, believe it or not! On that fateful day, we talked about our talents and values and realised we both had very complementary skills in the HR world. We ducked into a coffee shop, and by the end of our first latte, we had crafted a plan for Spice HR.

A Facebook page was born, bookings began to come in, and our business began!

The Spice Philosophy

HR has a reputation for being dull and dreary – a tick the boxes, soulless kind of activity.

However, we are pretty much the opposite of what you think you know about HR! Yes, we are HR professionals with vast skillsets, but we are also authentic, spicy, and full of energy and enthusiasm for what we do.

We work closely with businesses to help them do the right thing for staff and improve staff performance. Of course, every organisation – and every individual – is unique, so we tailor our approach to partner with you on your specifics.

We go into a business, get to know the culture and the people, and make decisions around the things that work for them. We are there to back you up, to partner with you, and add the right blend of spice to your business.

Every successful business should be clear on their values, and Spice HR is no different. Our philosophy is literally in our name:

Service – tailored to your business needs.

People – the essential business ingredient

Ideas – we don’t do bland

Culture – no two spices are the same

Engagement – spice it up!

 

Our Passions

Human resources is a fascinating area to work in. It’s not just about forms, handbooks, and employment agreements (although paperwork is certainly a large part of what we do).

It’s about people.

How they work, how they think, and what they value. Nobody starts a new job with a bad attitude and zero engagement. Most of us are excited, eager to learn, and fully engaged. It’s what happens later that changes things!

Our passions revolve around the following areas:

Engagement And Retention

Staff engagement is one of the most undervalued areas of managing people. Engaged staff allow you to work on your business, not in your business. If your staff are ambivalent – or worse, disengaged – you are too busy putting out fires and doing the work they are not. It’s a huge time waster and not good for anyone!

There are so many ways to increase engagement, and they don’t have to cost money. Nothing is ever broken, and often, only a simple fix is needed. Nine times out of ten, it’s about communication, and ten times out of ten, we can help!

Training And Development

People love to feel as if they are progressing, upskilling, and growing in their jobs. Training and development is an enormous part of that, and an area that we love to explore.

For training to be effective, it must involve a behavioural change. We use professional tools and platforms that can transform your team.

Wellbeing

Remember, people want to go to work and be happy! If they are not, their wellbeing suffers, right along with your workplace culture and business overall. The health and wellbeing of your team is vital, and we have loads of ways for you to improve workplace wellbeing effectively and simply.

Providing Feedback

Giving timely, relevant and useful feedback is the key to all the above areas, but it doesn’t come easily for many managers. We can help you figure out the right way to provide feedback for your business and integrate it into your workplace culture.

Once you’ve got that part down, the engagement, development and wellbeing of your people will flow.

How Are You Doing?

So, that’s us, but no conversation is complete unless both parties have had a chance to speak.

So how are you doing?

How have you and your business navigated the COVID climate? Have you evolved and adapted and learned new skills, or are you still struggling to find your way through? Are your people engaged – are you engaged? What’s missing in your business?

As always, we’d love to hear how you are doing out there, and always welcome the chance for a chat to see if we can help you fine-tune, problem solve, or brainstorm a solution for what ails you.

Thanks for the talk, let’s do it again soon,

Nicole and Nichola – the Spice Gals.

What Do New Year Resolutions Look Like This Year?

What Do New Year Resolutions Look Like This Year?

At times it felt like 2020 was never ending. Finally, the time has come to farewell that crazy year. But just because the calendar has flipped to a new number, that doesn’t mean everything is going to magically return to the old normal! For many people, life and work look very different from this time last year. So how should we approach this year? What new year resolutions should we make, if any, and how do you approach leadership when things are still so changeable?

Don’t fret; Spice HR have your back and are here to help guide you into the months ahead. So let’s dive in boots and all.

Grand New Year Resolutions

For many people, the New Year becomes the opportunity to assess their lives and set new goals. Perhaps they will think about a new job, going for a promotion, or reassessing their current career path.

This may still be high on some of your employees’ list of resolutions, but other factors may have more sway than in previous years. With so many working remotely, changing their working habits, or experiencing higher amounts of stress than usual, employees may be prioritising things like work-life balance, flexible work hours, health and wellness.

For organisations, now is a great time to reflect on what worked well and what didn’t. It’s a great time to revisit goals and values and decide what should be carried through and what should be laid to rest in 2020.

Why not set a few New Year’s Resolutions for your team? These resolutions can help shape your HR priorities for the coming year and provide focus to the organisation. Think about things like:

  • Ensuring diversity and inclusion in the workplace
  • Attracting and retaining valued employees
  • Encouraging and supporting health and wellness
  • Supporting learning and development
  • Changing your approach to performance management

Communicating Missions, Vision and Values in Uncertain Times

Okay, we know a lot has changed in the space of a year, but some things remain the same. Effective communication is still a top priority, regardless of whether times are calm or rocky. And communicating well comes back to the basics of trust, transparency, candour and empathy.

Leaders have had a crash course in crisis communication this past year and will need to continue honing and developing those skills for the months ahead.

One way to unify people in uncertain times is to reconnect them with the organisation’s missions, visions and values. Hard times can create chaos in teams, but with the right leadership, they can also build stronger team bonds and enhance culture.

Whilst we need to acknowledge that there may well be more unknowns to come, reminding employees of the bigger picture is key. If your organisation is connected to a strong mission and purpose, this is reflected in resilient, hopeful individuals who are capable of looking past the short-term confusion and focusing on the long term mission as a whole.

Motivate Your Team for a Positive New Year

As at any time of year, managers must lead by example. Positivity is vital, but try and strike a balance – over the top rose-tinted glasses aren’t called for: be upbeat but keep it real.

Leaders that project confidence and resilience can help their teams navigate uncertainty. Draw on what you and your team learned last year. Take time to celebrate the wins, acknowledge the challenges, and be transparent about the strategy for this year.

Get Ahead of the Game

If you spent most of 2020 feeling like you were on the back foot, you are not alone. But 2021 doesn’t have to be quite so confronting! With psychometric testing using extended DISC, you can get ahead of the game and start 2021 with a positive communication plan, along with a leadership and development pathway for every employee in your team.

This system helps you manage the different personality types in your team, effectively improving self-awareness, communication and teamwork.

If this sounds like a great way to kick off the New Year, contact us at Spice HR to find out more!

Spread The Christmas Cheer With An Office Christmas Party

Spread The Christmas Cheer With An Office Christmas Party

Spread The Christmas Cheer With An Office Christmas Party

The good old office Christmas party has somehow earned a bad reputation over the years. They are often portrayed as painfully awkward events that people only attend for the promise of free food and drinks.

In reality, the workplace Christmas shindig is a priceless opportunity for businesses.

When done right, an end of year party can play a vital role in building team spirit and developing your workplace culture. And let’s face it, we all could use a little more fun and frivolity after the year we have had!

Read on to find out why it’s more important than ever to spread the Christmas cheer with an office party this year.

Is An Office Christmas Party Really That Important?

The answer to that question is yes, yes, a thousand times, yes!

But only when it’s done well! Most of your employees devote a third of their lives each year to helping your business succeed. While you should be acknowledging, thanking, and celebrating them year-round, a Christmas party in their honour is the icing on the cake.

It’s a powerful way to publicly recognise their hard work over the past 12 months and show how much you value them.

Teams that play well together tend to work well together. What better time and place to relax and bond as a team than the office Christmas party? Events like these bring everyone from all management levels and departments together, encouraging positive communication and camaraderie that can flow through into the next year.

Your Christmas festivities also reflect your workplace culture. Which company do you think becomes a coveted employer of choice – one that offers a fun-filled Christmas bash showcasing teamwork, support, and positivity, or one that skips the party and sends a formal thank you email from management on the last day of the year?

Christmas Parties In The Time Of COVID

You certainly don’t need to be reminded of the craziness that was (and still is!) 2020. Businesses have been heavily impacted. Many workplaces were transformed as people worked remotely, and the budgets took quite the knock.

Understandably, you might be wondering if it’s appropriate to celebrate 2020 at all or just write it off and move on.

Truthfully, your office Christmas party is more important than ever this year. Sure, you may have to do things a little differently due to restrictions, social distancing, and budget issues, but if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we can be really adaptable when we need to!

Reconnecting As A Team

More than likely, your team have become disconnected via remote work and social distancing this year. The Christmas party is a way to bring them back together, rebuild those bonds, and let off some steam after a gruelling 12 months.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be an extravagant, high-budget affair if times are tough. You can create a fantastic environment on a smaller budget by adding personal touches and working within your company culture. If you are struggling for ideas, ask your staff what they would like to do, and see if they have any cost-saving suggestions to help make it happen.

Many people are sliding into the end of the year feeling exhausted, anxious, and unsure about the future. Help your team relax, smile, and go out on a high note by creating Christmas cheer that will last well into the New Year.

Staff morale probably took a huge knock in 2020. You might be feeling like your team are a little more disconnected than they used to be.

This is something that you can work towards improving in 2021. A positive team environment can mean all sorts of good things for your business. So, if you want to make sure 2021 starts on the right foot, get in touch with us here at Spice HR.

We have some effective tactics that you can implement to pull your team together and get ready for a great 2021 ahead. Reach out to us today for a chat about what that could look like in your business.

How To Become An Employer Of Choice And Showcase Your Business

How To Become An Employer Of Choice And Showcase Your Business

How To Become An Employer Of Choice And Showcase Your Business

A stellar employee (or two or three) can propel your business from average to outstanding. So naturally, you need to entice, intrigue, and retain high performers. But dangling a few carrots and hoping for the best isn’t going to cut it. These days, you must tailor your benefits and perks to the top talent and find ways to communicate why you are an employer of choice.

Not only will this help you attract high calibre employees to your business, it will also ensure you retain them long term.

Read on to find out what will give you the edge for today’s best candidates, and how to dazzle them during the interview stage.

Become An Employer Of Choice And Showcase Your Business

What’s On The Wishlist?

Most skilled professionals are looking beyond a fat salary. So don’t assume that as a smaller business with a lower budget, you can’t compete with larger organisations. Conversely, businesses with higher wages shouldn’t sit on their laurels and rely on numbers alone to attract the talent.

Here are the benefits and perks that today’s workforce value most:

  • Flexible work schedules
  • Remote work opportunities
  • Generous paid time off
  • Family leave
  • Student loan assistance
  • Education and development
  • Wellness initiatives/work-life balance
  • Health insurance

Supporting Work-Life Balance

Even before 2020 hit us with work from home rules, flexible work hours and remote work opportunities were some of the top priorities for experienced candidates. And they continue to dominate.

With that in mind, how can your business support employees to find that work-life balance? A few of the options from the list above are a great place to start, including leave and paid time off, remote working, and flexible schedules.

Other simple yet valuable options might include day care, health and wellness programs, pet-friendly offices, and firm guidelines on no-after hours emails or phone calls. This is particularly essential for employees working from home, who may find it harder to separate work and home life.

Don’t forget that you still have H&S responsibilities even when your employees work from home. Ensure you develop policies to help them manage their health and safety effectively.

Flip Your Interview Strategy

Interviews of old have traditionally been rather one-sided. It’s all about what the candidate can offer you, rather than what your business has to offer them. But, things have shifted now. Remember, you are not the only business looking to hire the most qualified and experienced applicant. You may be facing stiff competition, so take the opportunity to showcase your employee value proposition during the interview.

What sets you apart and makes you a fantastic employer over and above anyone else? Once you know this, communicate it by giving each applicant a unique and engaging candidate experience – from your first job post to the final hiring process.

Instead of whipping out the old behavioural-based questions, think of how you can show your organisation’s personality. Focus on having a conversation with each candidate, and think about culture fit as well as skillsets.

When coming up with questions, frame them around the values and culture of your business, and attach your purpose and why. This will help candidates understand your culture and help both parties figure out if the fit is right.

Welcoming the ideal candidate into your business is only possible when you position yourself as an employer of choice. Think beyond dollars to carve out your unique employee value proposition, craft a compelling candidate experience, and you will find it much easier to be united with qualified and experienced applicants who are the perfect fit for you.

If you need help with crafting the employee value proposition then get in touch with the team here at Spice HR. We can help you nail all the aspects to become an employer of choice! Reach out to us today.

Managing A Workforce of Different Generations

different generations

Managing A Workforce of Different Generations

Variety is the spice of life, right?  Well, today’s workforce is certainly full of variety!  It is a diverse makeup full of different generations. You have Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Z, Millennials (also known as Gen Y), and maybe a few from the “silent generation.”

So, what does that all mean when it comes to a combined workforce?

People from each generation tend to have different values and expectations in the workplace, so it’s essential to customise your management style and benefits to meet each one.

Here’s an overview of how to approach a multi-generational workforce.

Talkin’ ’bout My Generation

We’re not big fans of labels, but just so we’re on the same page, let’s clarify the generations you might see in your organisation.

  • The Silent Generation (aka Traditionalists) – born between the late 1920s and 1945

This generation was formed well before the computer age hit. However, many are still very capable of using digital tools, but may prefer personal interactions. They value fair pay, recognition and the chance to share their expertise.

  • Baby Boomers – 1946 – 1964

The Boomers are a very goal-focused generation and hold a reputation for working hard. They value job security and a more structured environment.

  • Generation X – 1965 – 1979

A generation that is completely up to date with tech, but are not shy about face-to-face communication. They value autonomy and a good work/life balance.

  • Generation Y (Millennials) – 1980 – 1996

The consummate internet babies who are all over every technological gadget to hit the shelves. They value skills development and a deeper purpose.

  • Generation Z – Born in 1997 or later

Known as the tech native, social media generation, they have lived in a technology based world since their birth. They value flexibility and social responsibility.

So, now that we know about the different generations, what does this mean for your workforce and management styles?

Use Reverse Mentoring

Cross-generational mentoring is a great way to quickly stamp out any age biases and maximise various experience levels in your team. Both young and old can learn a lot from each other! Avoid always placing similar age groups together.

Instead, pair up people from different generations and get the knowledge flowing both ways. You will be amazed by the diverse solutions that appear when combining the thinking of multiple generations. 

Get Everyone Engaged

While every generation is known by different characteristics, they are not always out of sync in every instance. What every generation has in common is their need to feel involved in their work. Ensure you find a way to motivate all employees (outside of the pay cheque) by finding common ground for them to buy into. 

Work on Your Flexibility

No, we are not talking about yoga – though if that fits your workplace, it’s not a bad idea to bring people together!

You shouldn’t expect every team member to be satisfied with the same hours of work, the same work environment, or the same tasks. Experiment with the different strengths to find the ideal balance for your organisation.

Recognition and Benefits

Not everyone wants ten-year job security and a retirement plan, although some might. Gen Zers might be looking for support with further training or help to pay back student loans, while Millennials could prefer daycare services or parental leave.

Again, each individual is different: the point is to offer a range of benefits and perks to suit different lifestyles and needs. 

Avoid Stereotypes!

Now that we’ve gone and put everyone in their box, it’s time to say – don’t judge people by the boxes you put them in! It goes without saying that every individual is different. Regardless of their age and background, they have essential skills, needs, goals, and dreams that may be vastly different from their peers.

However, it can also be useful and enlightening to acknowledge and learn from age-based differences in the workplace.

Understanding Your Team Dynamic

Getting to know each employee individually is your most important task as an effective leader. So use your newfound knowledge of generations alongside your insight into each employee, and you will be on the right track.

Another way to gain a greater understanding of your workforce is to use DISC Profiling. This is a psychometric assessment tool that can help with the personal growth, team building and leadership potential of your employees.

Here at Spice HR, we are certified practitioners of the Extended DISC Profiling system and can help you gain greater insight into the different personalities present in your team. Get in touch with us today to find out more about how this useful tool can help your business.