Business Restructures And The Change Management Process

Let’s talk about business restructures and the changes they bring.

Change is one of those things that is inevitable in life. It’s so inevitable that it has generated many famous quotes all about how change is one of the only things we can be certain of!

Small changes happen daily for New Zealand businesses. Suppliers come and go, people move in and out of roles, and sometimes the boss might even spring for the good coffee in the break room!

But when the economy is not exactly booming, larger changes can start to loom.

Businesses are often forced to examine how they operate to understand if there is a better or more efficient way to do things. This can lead to potential business restructures.

If your business is currently in this position, you’ll want to ensure you handle the change management process correctly.

Let’s look into what that involves and how you can navigate things correctly at your workplace.

What Is Change?

Workplace change is any kind of change that might impact the roles of your team members. It doesn’t necessarily mean removing or disestablishing roles; it can also mean other forms of change. Often referred to as business restructuring, workplace change can involve modifications to an organisation’s structure, processes, technologies or workforce.

There are many ways that the need for change can come about. It can be anything from rapid growth and technological advancements to a downturn in the economy or a change in strategic focus. No matter the cause of the change, the end goal is to help a business be more efficient or to ensure operational continuity.

Whilst workplace change is an inevitable part of running a business, you can’t just make changes willy nilly! Following the correct change management process is crucial for ensuring a successful outcome for your organisation and the people within it.

Handling Change

As an employer, you are fully entitled to make changes to your business and structure it in a way that allows you to operate efficiently, serve your customers well and enact your business plan. However, you need to undertake change correctly.

If you are considering any form of change in your business, you need to make sure you have a good understanding of how it will impact your employees. You will need to be guided by their employment agreements as these ‘set out the basis for the employment relationship and the process for changing its terms’.

A business restructure must be done for genuine business reasons and in good faith. Restructuring cannot simply be an excuse to remove someone you consider to be a bad egg! According to the Employment NZ website, these are all legitimate reasons for change and what that change might entail:

  • improved technology
  • more productive business processes
  • product changes
  • loss of suppliers or markets
  • shifts in customer or market requirements
  • financial reasons.

Changes of this nature may result in a structural change such as:

  • adding new roles
  • merging two or more existing roles
  • refocusing aspects of a role
  • removing roles that are not needed
  • a combination of these things.

Following The Change Process

Now we know what genuine change looks like and how you might go about achieving it, you need to consider the specific process to make it happen. As a starting point, there is a general overview of the change process on the Employment NZ website.

However, because change can be major for your team, many businesses choose to work with a professional when undertaking a restructure. By engaging professional HR or legal expertise, you can ensure all the crucial elements are considered and you create the best chance of successful change for your organisation.

A key part of that successful change will be keeping empathy top of mind throughout. Announcing a restructure will make your team nervous, it’s just human nature. So, it’s vital to handle the situation with care and understanding to minimise the impact and to create better outcomes for everyone involved.

Navigating The Change Process

Getting through the change process successfully is all about preparation, communication and empathy. Here are some tips for how you can navigate this difficult situation with that in mind:

Communication and Tone

Communicating the proposed changes to your team is really important, and you want to use the right tone when making these communications.

Whilst it is necessary to be straightforward when providing key details, it is equally important to present this information with empathy and understanding. Remember that you are dealing with humans who have real feelings.  There may be negative consequences to the changes you are proposing. Recognise the challenges that may be ahead for these people without making excuses, being defensive, or overly sentimental.

Transparency

It’s also important to be transparent about the state of the business. Regularly keep your team informed about the company’s status. This is particularly important when things aren’t looking good or when job security might be in question, as this will be when people are the most worried. If you remain honest and transparent, the news of potential redundancies or change won’t come as a sudden shock.

Outline The Way Forward

When people know what to expect, they can personally process the change easier. So, clearly outline the way forward by positioning the proposed changes as part of a broader strategy for the company’s future. By communicating a clear vision, you can inspire confidence in your people and alleviate concerns they might have.

Allow Space For Questions

Change will always spark questions from people, so you’ll need to allow space to answer those questions. Be ready to explain the reasons behind your restructuring plans to give your employees the necessary information. As we mentioned earlier, it is helpful to have the expertise of HR and/or legal experts during this process to ensure compliance and correctness.

Be honest and helpful when answering questions. You obviously cannot give guarantees that further change or redundancies will not take place in the future as no one can predict what might happen. But you can express confidence in the new direction your business is taking and reassure your employees that there are no immediate plans for further cutbacks.

Need Some Help?

Workplace change is inevitable, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easy to handle. In fact, it can be downright stressful trying to tackle it alone!

That’s why it can be incredibly helpful to have the backing and support of a professional HR company. Intricately understanding the ins and outs of change management, the team here at Spice HR can help you navigate business restructures calmly and effectively.

Chat with us today to see how we can help you take the first steps towards positive change.

How Inclusion Is Playing A Leading Role In A Great Work Environment

Inclusivity is a buzzword in the HR field.

Of course, you want to create a space that is warm and welcoming for all team members regardless of age, gender, culture or background.

But inclusivity can be so much more than that.

Embracing the full potential of your team members and creating a positive working environment is incredibly valuable on a personal and professional level.

That’s why inclusion is playing a leading role in retention, innovation, and so many other key areas of business. Let’s investigate this further to see how you can create an inclusive environment at your workplace.

What Is An Inclusive Workplace?

Creating an inclusive workplace is not about investing thousands of dollars or overhauling the way you do things. It is simply about creating an environment where everyone feels valued, respected, heard and supported regardless of their background, identity, or differences.

Leading from the top, focusing on inclusivity is creating a place where diversity is not only acknowledged but celebrated. All individuals should have equal opportunities to contribute, grow, and succeed.

Everyone should feel a sense of belonging, no matter who they are. Age, gender, race, culture, religion, sexual orientation, disabilities, or economic background should not be factors – in fact, you should actively work against discrimination or unconscious bias in these areas.

Inclusion is the way, as it fosters a place where people want to be every day and encourages the desire to work towards the common goals of the business.

The Value Of Inclusion

Inclusion is a valuable thing to foster in any environment, but especially in the workplace. Here’s why:

Self Confidence

Knowing you belong and matter helps you to have greater self confidence. New Zealand is becoming an increasingly diverse place. So, it makes sense that our workplaces are becoming equally diverse. Sometimes, majority groups can make others feel excluded simply because they have a habit of emphasising what they have in common.

This isn’t always done intentionally, but it has the negative impact of making those in the minority feel like an outsider. This can negatively impact their self confidence and make them less likely to engage with their role, the business, and the rest of the team.

If everyone can be consciously aware of their behaviour and foster inclusivity, every team member can feel confident, happy and engaged in their work.

Innovation

Businesses that innovate can stay relevant and reach their full potential. That’s because they can adapt to the constantly changing environment that surrounds them and come up with creative solutions to challenges.

When inclusivity is a focus, all your team will feel empowered to speak up and offer their ideas. This is when the best solutions come to light as you can gain perspective from all areas of the business to create practical innovation that works.

Retention

When your team feel the sense of belonging, support and fulfilment that inclusivity brings, you can significantly increase your staff retention rate. If they feel valued and included within your company, then they are more likely to develop a strong sense of loyalty.

Creating a space full of equal access development opportunities, flexible work arrangements for all, fair and inclusive policies, along with a diverse leadership representation shows your team that anyone can succeed and advance within the business. This obviously sets the stage for good talent acquisition and retention.

Why Inclusion Is Playing A Leading Role

Because the world is such a diverse place, inclusivity is a big focus, and it should be. More and more people want to work in an inclusive workplace. They seek out businesses that offer this environment for two reasons. The first one is obvious, they want to feel like they fit in. The second reason is that they don’t want to be part of a company where their colleagues might feel excluded.

That’s why inclusion is taking a leading role in creating engaged and productive workspaces. When inclusion is a core business value you can get the best from your people as they all feel respected, heard and valued. Most importantly, your people will feel safe.

Creating An Inclusive Workspace

Core Values

Simply creating a diversity policy is not enough. Inclusivity needs to be embraced by everyone in the company, not simply seen as a policy to follow. When everyone embraces the concept of inclusivity, then they will all have an opportunity to thrive in an empowering environment.

This vibe should start from the top down with management leading the way. When your managers and leaders show sincerity and genuine interest in inclusivity it helps to intertwine these concepts into the daily behaviours of the business.

Seek Feedback

It can be difficult to know what your team want from a workspace unless you ask them! Collecting feedback is a powerful way to discover what your employees value. The way to produce the most fruitful results is to have them complete an anonymous employee survey so each team member can express their views without fear or judgment.

Collecting the feedback is only part of the process though. Once you have the results, it is important to make company wide changes in line with the needs of your team.

Review

Another important task is to review what is taking place in your business currently. What are some quick fixes you can enact to support a model of inclusivity? Getting some quick wins on the board will show your team you are committed to progress.

Then, it’s time to examine the more time-consuming aspects like policies, recruitment and remuneration. Employee policies should not have any barriers to inclusion. Review what policies you have in place and make changes accordingly. Clearly communicate to all your team what discrimination and harassment look like and the resulting consequences of this negative behaviour.

Your recruitment process should ensure any vacant role is equally accessible to all applicants and that no particular groups will be negatively impacted in the recruitment process.

Remuneration should be transparent and carefully structured. That way you can give guidance on starting salaries and any bonuses while ensuring pay equity is in place for all segments of the workforce.

Include Inclusion

Inclusion should be part of everything that you do. It should become part of your onboarding process so that new team members instantly feel welcome and connected to your business. It should also be part of the daily practices within your office, with meetings, activities and conversations that promote inclusion and understanding.

Don’t forget virtual inclusion either! Remote work is great for flexibility, but it can be isolating. Maintain human connection with those working remotely and ensure mental health resources are available for all.

Making Your Workspace Inclusive

No one wants people to feel excluded, but sometimes it can feel overwhelming to tackle inclusion in the workplace. Gaining the calm and practical advice of an expert HR team can take the stress out of the process and ensure nothing is missed.

The Spice Gals are the team to help you!

With extensive HR experience and a true focus on the human side of Human Resources, this is an area we are passionate about. We’d love to help ensure your workplace is a space where everyone feels relaxed, accepted and valued. Chat with our team today to see how we can help!

Is Your Business Equipped With Change Readiness?

Change.

In the current business climate, it seems to be the only constant for organisations.

So, when you don’t know what to expect in an ever-changing world, how can you manage your people and your business successfully?

The secret is not to manage the change.

Rather, your organisation should focus on increasing its change readiness to better navigate uncertain circumstances.

We’ve assembled our best tips for how you can do that. So, let’s explore the concept of change readiness in greater detail now.

What Is Change Readiness?

Change can be a nerve-wracking thing. Whether it is planned or forced upon you, it has the capacity to unsettle even the most stoic team members. That’s why change readiness is a powerful tool. It refers to your organisation’s ability to effectively anticipate, plan for and respond to change.

Change can encompass many areas. It can be as large as global or nationwide change, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, or smaller scale change within your business, like operations, strategies, technologies or structures.

Common areas of change that can trigger the need for change readiness include leadership capabilities, team culture, staff rotation, and external forces like market trends, regulation changes or technology advancements.

Being ready to navigate change is a skill that every organisation needs to develop as change is the only constant in business!

What Does Being Change Ready Mean?

Is your business change ready? Do you possess the necessary capabilities to adapt to both internal and external change? Being change ready entails several key elements and they are:

Understanding Change

Humans can be creatures of habit which means that any kind of change can be hard. As a business, it is vital that you understand this and how any change might impact your team culture, morale, productivity and behaviour. Having this knowledge can help you to make appropriate decisions that empower leadership and team members to embrace and navigate change effectively.

Leadership

Like everything, the ability to react to change needs to come from the top. Your leadership team should demonstrate a clear vision for handling specific changes, provide effective communication to the entire business, and be committed to guiding the organisation through change. They also help to drive a culture that fosters resilience, innovation, and continuous learning.

Agility

Change can sometimes be fast paced, so it is important that your business and team can be agile in your approach. Yes, that means being adaptive, but it creates a real forum for innovation too. When you empower your team members to contribute ideas and adapt to evolving circumstances, you encourage readiness and evolution – two key components in handling change.

Flexibility

Successful change and flexibility go hand in hand. If your business is stuck in its ways, you can’t possibly react to change in a positive manner. If you can design your structures, systems and processes to be somewhat flexible, then it will be easier to be responsive to change. Key areas for flexibility include team and project management, decision-making processes, and organisational structures.

Engagement

When your team members are actively engaged with your business, values, and the results you are trying to generate then they will feel empowered to contribute positively. They will also feel more comfortable with change, knowing that they will have the support, training and resources to navigate whatever is thrown at them. Change may even become a good thing if they have the opportunity to develop new skills and competencies.

Resilience

Resilience is all about having the ability to absorb stress and thrive in unexpected situations. Preparing you for absolutely anything, resilience can help your business to anticipate, identify and mitigate possible challenges while also positioning you to capitalise on opportunities as they arise. Instead of seeing challenges when change occurs, resilience helps you to see the potential for learning and growth.

Awareness

It can be easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day aspects of business. This can be dangerous as it doesn’t prepare you for the potential of change. Having an element of awareness allows you to look beyond those daily tasks and see the bigger picture. This can help you to see potential change before it becomes an issue. It can also help you identify opportunities for growth or collaboration.

How To Create Change Readiness

Ready to be ready for change? If so, the following steps will help:

1: Assess Where You Are At

Knowing what your organisation needs and how you can navigate specific changes will depend on the current state of your business. So, the first step is understanding where your business is right now. That way you can have clarity about what you really need. Examine your culture, processes, structures, capabilities and readiness for change. This will give you a clear starting point.

2: Know Your Mission

When you are clear on your mission and company values, you can make sure you are acting in line with them when change does occur. Aligning with your mission will allow you to develop a clear vision for change and be able to communicate it effectively to your team.

3: Develop Your Leadership

As we just mentioned, your leadership teams should be leading from the front and understanding the impact change can have on the business and the individuals within it. Invest in programmes to develop your leaders so that they are equipped with the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need to positively drive any change that might arise.

4: Cement Your Team Culture

Having a great culture and team morale will help your team feel supported while they navigate change. This can be fostered through developing a culture that encourages collaboration, innovation and open communication. Create opportunities for your team to share ideas and learn from each other’s perspectives so these concepts are not foreign when change arises.

5: Promote Flexibility

Foster a mindset of flexibility and adaptability among your team by encouraging them to embrace change as an opportunity for growth and learning. Create a supportive environment where employees feel empowered to innovate and learn from any mistakes. In return, let your team know where they can access support and resources to allow them to continue succeeding in their role throughout periods of change.

6: Consult The Experts

Sometimes it can be hard to know what areas you need to focus on when developing change readiness procedures. For times like these, you can call the Spice Gals! As professional HR experts, we understand the impact change can have on a business and the individuals within it. That’s why we want to help you develop effective change readiness. Get in touch with us now to discuss how we can help you prepare for inevitable change.

Ideas to Help You Create an Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

Being an employer of choice  can help you attract the best kind of candidates and turn them into loyal team members, and in the current market that’s got to be a business goal!

But, it isn’t something that happens by accident and there is one key strategy that will help you drive your approach – a rock solid, values focused Employee Value Proposition (EVP).

So, firstly what is an employer of choice, why is it important to be one and how can a well-crafted and thought through EVP help you achieve it? That’s what we are going to discuss right now.

What Is An Employer Of Choice?

When it comes to employment, there are many choices that a candidate can make. The most important choice is probably which company they will work for. Lots of things can drive that decision, but one thing will put your organisation at the front of the list before any others.

That is, being recognised as an Employer of Choice via your EVP.

An employer of choice is a business that has a reputation for being a preferred place to work. Basically, it means people want to work for your organisation as they perceive it to be a highly desirable employment opportunity.

A business can earn this title for many reasons, but the main ones that stand out in an EVP are having a positive workplace culture, offering attractive compensation and benefits, providing opportunities for career development, and displaying values of diversity, inclusion and a focus on employee wellbeing.

Why Is It Important?

Why is it important to be an employer of choice and have an enticing EVP? Well, put quite simply,  it will make it easier for you to attract and retain top talent, helping your business thrive in any market.

Because your employees are fully focused on your business and not looking for other opportunities, they will be motivated and productive in their work. They will have your business’s best interests at heart, and because they also usually share your company values, they will work in alignment with your company mission.

Being an employer of choice does not only serve you on an employment front. A positive employer reputation will set you apart from your competitors. It can also be a key differentiator when potential clients, partners or investors are considering working with you.

Key Strategies To Creating a Rockstar EVP to Become An Employer Of Choice

Becoming an employer of choice should be your ultimate goal but the roadmap to get you there will be defined by your EVP.  Here are some key strategies you can use in your EVP to position yourself in this space:

Work/Life Balance

This is the elusive balance that every worker is looking for! Achieving it is not simply about correctly splitting your time between home and the office. True balance is about far more than that.

Flexibility is a really important  aspect of your EVP. Allowing your team to work from home is definitely part of it, but you’ll also want to consider flexibility in working hours and working location. Then, there could be the option for job sharing and flexitime.

Basically, it is about allowing your employees to have job control. That is, providing the autonomy to recognise an agreed output and empowering your people to focus on that, rather than clock watching the specific hours worked in a set location. And because you have this fantastic reputation as an employer of choice, your employees are not likely to abuse this privilege.

Defined Business Values

Values can help to shape your organisational culture and are an important inclusion in your EVP. When your employees understand, embrace and most importantly share your set of values, it fosters a sense of belonging and unity. A strong, shared culture can improve teamwork, morale, and overall job satisfaction.

Those values also serve as a compass for decision making, helping leaders and team members to make choices that align with the company’s core principles. A consistency in decision making can lead to better business practices – another reason that people will consider you to be an employer of choice. And you’ll attract customers who share the same values.

Valuable Employee Benefits

It makes sense that you need to offer competitive remuneration to be considered an employer of choice. But you don’t want to stop there when it comes to your EVP. Attractive employee benefits can help to support your company values and enhance your overall workplace culture and EVP.

Yes, you can offer traditional benefits like insurance, enhanced KiwiSaver contributions and performance bonuses, however, to really enhance your EVP it doesn’t need to cost the earth.  Why not embrace and take advantage of new and relatively inexpensive trends like:

  • Digital recognition platforms where your team can interact with each other, you can celebrate key milestones and identify top performers.
  • Gamification which allows fun activities or training modules where employees can score points, participate in competitions and top leader boards.
  • Peer-to-peer recognition where colleagues and teammates can recognise each other, rather than managers simply handing out rewards.

Defined Career Pathways

Part of being happy in your work is knowing that there is a chance for progression or new challenges. Seeing potential for growth within a business from the outset via an EVP could also be extremely important to a potential team member when they’re making their employer decision . Clearly defining the career pathways within your organisation helps people recognise where they could move to next.

Offering internal advancement opportunities can only help the reputation of your business. It demonstrates that you value your existing team members because you are willing to promote from within.

As part of the pathway definition, you should also include the training and development opportunities for your employees to obtain the necessary skills or knowledge to progress along the pathway.

Support The Important Things

Your people are the lifeblood of your business and clearly showing this within your EVP will pay dividends in attracting high calibre team members. You can demonstrate that you acknowledge and understand their value by supporting the things that are important to them:

  • Wellbeing programmes show that you value good mental health and help your team members maintain a positive mindset.
  • Advocating for diversity and inclusive workplace practices demonstrates that every team member is valued equally.
  • Your local community will support your business, so show your social responsibility by supporting your community through involvement, participation and support.
  • We only have one planet, so adopting sustainable business practices where possible will help to show you care.

Become An Employer Of Choice

Is it time to give your business brand a boost and really become an employer of choice? Then, you’ll want to make sure you are backed by a skilled and knowledgeable HR team.

That means you need the Spice Gals on your side. If you wannabe an employer of choice with a strong and attractive EVP, then we can definitely help you make that happen. Chat with us to find out how we can help you create a team culture that attracts and retains THE best talent around.

Contact us now.

How To Become An Employer Of Choice (And Why You Should)

Do people want to work at your organisation?

Or probably the bigger question, rather than just wanting to work there, do they want to stay long term as it’s just a fantastic environment that can’t be beaten elsewhere?

If you can answer yes to both of those questions, then you have conquered an immense challenge and become an employer of choice.

If you think you might have some work to do or simply want to delight your staff, then this is the article for you.

We are going to discuss how to become an employer of choice and how to stay one so that your business can reap all the benefits that come along with this. Let’s dive in!

How To Become An Employer Of Choice (And Why You Should)

What Is An Employer Of Choice?

Being an employer of choice means being a company that is highly regarded by job seekers and employees. It is a place that stands out from other businesses as a preferred place to work due to the positive work culture, opportunities available and strong employer brand.

If you have managed to be recognised as an employer of choice, it means you have successfully created an environment where your team are engaged, motivated and satisfied with their work.

Ultimately, as an employer of choice, you will be able to attract and retain top talent, have low employee turnover rates, and have a great reputation in the job market. As well as that, you’ll typically enjoy greater productivity and loyalty from your team. You will be seen as a desirable employer and people will actively seek you out, aspiring to work for you.

Sounds pretty good, right? So, here are some of the ways you can foster this feeling at your workplace.

Your Brand, Their Choice

When it comes to being an employer of choice, reputation is everything. So, you want to develop a strong brand highlighting your company ethics, employee growth opportunities, a great culture, and stable finances.

How can you do all of that? Try some of these tactics:

Core Values

What makes your organisation different from other companies? It is your value proposition. So, part of building a strong employer brand is articulating what is unique about your business and why people will want to work with you.

Identify your core values, mission and vision and weave them into everything you do. Develop strong communication channels and ways to recognise your team’s achievements when they demonstrate these core values and help your business work towards your collective goals.

Purpose

A strong HR team can help to shape a company’s purpose. A purpose is about more than generating productivity and the work that your team will output. A purpose is about building a strong employer brand, displaying your ethics and giving your team something to connect with.

When the company and the team align behind strong values and a purpose you all become invested in something you believe in.

Connecting your company’s purpose to environmental, social and business goals and making those goals a part of your employer brand gives your company a powerful way to make an impact on the world and attract better talent along the way.

Growth Opportunities

Becoming an employer of choice will help you to retain quality team members. But, in order to retain those people long term, you will need to provide opportunities for growth and development. That can mean the chance to enhance their skills in certain areas, work on projects in their field of interest, and even ways to advance their careers.

Make sure your business offers training programs, mentorship and clear paths for progression.

Remuneration And Reward

It is important to back up your strong company culture and values with attractive remuneration. Obviously, you want to offer competitive salaries that align with (or better) industry standards. But it’s not all about money. There are other ways you can give your employees great benefits, such as flexible working conditions, rewards programs, and tailored incentives.

Being A Modern Employer Of Choice

In your quest to become an employer of choice, it’s vital to take stock of the current market conditions and what people are looking for in 2023. As we mentioned above, one of the fundamental changes we’ve seen is the importance of purpose in today’s organisations.

There are several driving forces behind this:

Demographic Changes

Both Millennial and Gen Z employees prioritise values and purpose more than the previous generations have. It’s not simply about the work they are doing, it is about the impact the business can have.

Meaning is becoming a key differentiator for company’s to retain and attract talent. A clear purpose not only helps to attract the right kind of talent, but it helps to engage your existing talented employees and boosts productivity.

Automation

We’re sure every one of you could list a boring or mundane task that you have had to complete in your working career that drove you up the wall. Thankfully, with the advancement of technology and the rising popularity of automation, those tasks might just be off your plate now.

Automation allows for repetitive, manual tasks to be handled by technology, rather than team members. And as these tasks are generally the first to be automated, they leave behind the more meaningful and rewarding tasks. Again, this gives your team the opportunity to work for a stronger purpose than data entry!

COVID

Yep, we mentioned the C word. While Covid provided a rather tumultuous season in our working careers, it actually helped a lot of people to realign their priorities when it came to their personal lives and career. As a result, the dramatic shift in feeling is that a company should have a purpose to make working life more meaningful.

Globalisation

Geography is no longer the barrier it once was. In days gone by, you had to live locally to the company you worked for or be willing to travel there. Now, it is easier than ever for companies to recruit staff or to have staff work from anywhere in the world. And there are compelling reasons to do so.

Globalisation means greater international collaboration and being able to work for an even wider purpose. So, this should be incorporated into your communication, onboarding, engagement and management strategies if you can make this happen.

Becoming An Employer Of Choice

As you have probably gathered, a strong HR presence is going to be key to becoming an employer of choice. The people are your company’s’s most important asset. And creating a strong purpose for them to unite under is the first step to becoming an employer of choice.

It can seem like an imposing task if you aren’t sure where to start. Luckily, the Spice Gals are here to help you. As experienced HR professionals and business owners ourselves, we understand the importance of uniting your team under a collective purpose.

Let us help you define and implement that purpose so that you can become an employer of choice. Book a time to chat with our team and take the first step towards purpose now.

When Automation Meets Human Leadership

It’s no secret that we are living in a world of developing technology.

And one of the biggest advancements in recent times is automation.

Incredibly helpful for streamlining processes and creating capabilities, automation is a useful tool that can aid with HR functions in your business.

However, it is important to remember that ‘Human’ is right there in the name when you are talking HR!

So, let’s explore what happens when Automation meets human leadership and how you can strike the right balance in your workplace.

When Automation Meets Human Leadership

What Is HR Automation?

HR automation refers to the use of technology and software to streamline and automate various Human Resource processes. This can include tasks such as record management, employee onboarding, performance management, payroll, and other administrative tasks.

There are a variety of HR automation tools available, with the most popular being an HR Information System (HRIS). These tools can help businesses save time and reduce errors by automating routine HR tasks, enabling employees to self-serve certain HR functions, and providing managers with better insights into employee performance and engagement.

Some of the benefits of HR automation include improved efficiency, increased accuracy, reduced administrative burdens, and better compliance with employment laws and regulations. Additionally, by automating certain processes, businesses can free up their HR team to focus on more strategic initiatives, such as employee development and engagement.

How To Use HR Automation

HRIS can help enhance engagement and productivity when it comes to the HR functions in your organisation. An HRIS can offer transparency and real-time data to allow for better feedback and reward and recognition.

Here are some of the benefits of using an HRIS in your business:

Easier onboarding

An HRIS can help to streamline your onboarding process as many of the manual tasks (like paperwork, orientation scheduling and sending welcome emails) can be automated. This can save your HR team time and creates an efficient process where nothing is missed. Onboarding progress can also be tracked, ensuring new team members are always fully onboarded and ready to start work.

By having a central platform that employees, managers and new hires can communicate through, it reduces confusion and ensures everyone is on the same page. Generally an HRIS also integrates with your other HR systems, such as payroll and recruitment platforms, so it makes it easy to have your new team member accurately set up in all the necessary systems and onboarded effectively.

Better training experiences

Even though automation is a big part of an HRIS, you are still able to personalise training programmes within the system, allowing managers to create tailored learning plans for individual team members based on their roles, skills and development needs. This is especially helpful as it means each training module is then relevant and useful to the individual employee, creating a more effective learning experience.

Having an HRIS that your team can log into means training material is easily accessible in one location, and everyone’s progress can be monitored.

Performance reviews

The automation capabilities of an HRIS can streamline your performance review process. Automate the tasks of scheduling review meetings, sending reminders to employees and managers, and collecting feedback from the right people to create an efficient, consistent and standardised review process.

Your system can also help you deep dive into performance data to identify high performing employees and areas of improvement. This helps with remuneration and creating plans for additional training and support where needed. Helpfully, this can also integrate with your payroll system too!

Having the review process standardised allows for timely feedback to be provided.

Staff engagement

You can use an HRIS platform for sharing employee appreciation and recognition. You can also track and monitor employee engagement outside formal review times via pulse surveys.

A wealth of data

Over time, an HRIS becomes a repository of HR documentation and employee history. It means you will always be able to lay your hands on specific HR detail when you need it.

It also allows for quick and easy reporting on HR data, creating the opportunity for analysis and prediction of trends that might influence your people strategy.

This data portal is not only of benefit to HR, it also has self-service elements to ensure leave requests and employee information remain up to date.

Keeps people connected

Workplaces have evolved in the last few years. While we used to all sit side by side in the office, things are quite different now. So, your HRIS can be used as an internal communication hub. This provides a seamless connection for all team members, whether they are in the office, working remotely, or a hybrid of the two.

Considering Human Leadership

Technology is clearly a massive part of our daily functions. But, we can’t rely solely on robots yet! There are simply some things that AI and automation systems cannot do. We still require strong human leadership to complement technological advancements.

Employees still want to be able to connect with their leaders on a human level. They don’t want leaders who are emotionally distant. They need connected, empathetic leaders who value investing in relationships with their team members.

Part of that is creating an environment of positive role models. It’s also about creating a great team vibe and leaders who provide personal and timely feedback on employee performance. Finally, today’s team members don’t simply want to work for managers, they want to collaborate on projects together and work for common business goals.

Leaders may need further training in soft skills to facilitate all of this. This will help them to develop trust and share accountability with their team. Remember that “Human Leadership” prioritises employee wellbeing and corporate culture. There is no longer a cookie-cutter approach to managing humans.

Balancing Humans And Automation

Creating the perfect working environment is about balance. You want to incorporate the benefits of automation that an HRIS offers, but ensure that your team is still backed by strong human leadership.

Need some help striking that balance?

Then the Spice Gals are here to help you do it. Have a chat with our team today!

How To Create Inclusion With Cultural Diversity In The Workplace

The world is an amazing place. Packed full of rich cultures, there are people from every corner of the world who have something unique and beautiful to offer. 

Which is why celebrating the richness of the world’s cultures is the focus of World Cultural Diversity Day. Held every year on 21 May, its purpose is to generate social cohesion and promote intercultural dialogue to help achieve peace and sustainable development.  

So, with this important day looming, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to explore the importance of embracing cultural diversity in the workplace. 

Let’s look at what workplace cultural diversity is, why it is beneficial for your business and how you can create an inclusive workplace culture for all. 

How To Create Inclusion With Cultural Diversity In The Workplace 

Recognising Cultural Diversity In The Workplace 

New Zealand is an incredibly diverse place. We have a large range of cultures, ethnicities and religions living in our beautiful country. Recognising this cultural diversity in the workplace is not only essential, but it can also be very beneficial! 

Employees from different cultural backgrounds work alongside each other every day. So, it’s imperative to recognise the needs and values of the different cultures, ethnicities and nationalities amongst your team.  

Successful businesses are increasingly those that recognise the importance of promoting cultural diversity in the workplace and who take deliberate steps to create inclusive environments, allowing team members of all backgrounds to thrive. 

What Embracing Diversity Can Do For Business 

There are many reasons to embrace cultural diversity in your workplace. Firstly, as we’ve already mentioned, we live in a diverse society, so any number of cultures can be represented in a workplace. Recognising and embracing that allows people to be comfortable in their workplace and allows them to be at their best every day. 

When people are comfortable, they thrive. Being part of a diverse and inclusive environment creates increased creativity and innovation, improved problem-solving abilities, and a better understanding of different perspectives and ideas. Creating a welcoming workplace culture that values diversity promotes a place of respect for all team members. 

Aside from the team culture aspect, it is important to note that many younger employees (who make up a growing proportion of workers) hesitate to join organisations with poor ethics and diversity. So, it could actually be detrimental to your business to ignore the diversity that no doubt exists in your workplace! 

The Benefits Of Workplace Cultural Diversity 

Cultural diversity can bring many benefits for both employers and employees. Some of the key benefits are: 

  • Better understanding: Working with people from different cultural backgrounds brings the opportunity to learn from each other and gain a better understanding of different customs, beliefs, and values. This can lead to an overall greater cultural awareness and more sensitivity, which can improve communication and collaboration. 
  • Improved customer service: Having employees who understand and can relate to different cultural groups can be a real advantage in terms of customer service. Customers will feel more comfortable and valued when they encounter employees who share their cultural background or are sensitive to different cultural needs. 
  • Greater innovation: A diverse workplace brings together people with different backgrounds, skills, experiences, and perspectives. This can lead to greater creativity and innovation as employees are consistently exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking. 
  • Improved problem solving: As well as innovation, diverse teams are often better equipped to solve complex problems. That is because they bring different perspectives and approaches to the table. This can result in more effective problem-solving and decision-making company-wide, giving your business a competitive advantage. 
  • Employee retention: When employees feel valued and respected for their unique contributions and perspectives, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work. This can lead to higher levels of job satisfaction and lower turnover rates
  • Increased profits: Being known as a culturally diverse company earns you a great reputation, both as an employer and as a company of choice for customers. People who align with your company values will choose to shop with you, potentially leading to increased profits. 

How To Embrace Cultural Diversity In The Workplace 

Creating a harmonious, culturally diverse workplace doesn’t have to be hard. Here are some of our best tips to make it happen: 

Company Values 

Consider ways that you can tie your organisation’s core values to your employee’s personal principles. This will give them a strong connection with your business. Not only does this help to create cultural diversity in the workplace, but it can also increase engagement within your team and improve staff retention. 

Conscious Recruitment 

When you recruit consciously, you are aligning your hiring process with your organisation’s mission and long-term goals. It involves looking at each candidate in depth, not only to assess their skills, but also how they would fit into your organisation as a whole and whether they believe in your mission and align with your values.  

The great thing about recruiting in this way is that you can share your values around cultural diversity to avoid bias when hiring. 

Celebrate Different Cultures 

We can all learn a lot from each other whether it be skills, knowledge or cultural experience. By celebrating different cultures in your workplace, you can integrate and recognise other cultural values and points of view for greater understanding and communication. 

Encourage inclusion by hosting shared cultural lunches and recognising specific festivals or other significant dates. Not only are you promoting learning and acceptance, but you can all have a great time while doing it! 

Adopt Flexibility 

You may find that people from different cultures have different needs in the workplace. So, adopting flexibility will allow you to cater for everyone. Get to know your team members and ask them what their individual needs are. Then, come up with a way that each employee can maximise their opportunities while still adhering to their culture. Remember, one size does not have to fit all! 

Encourage Communication 

We may not all speak the same native language, but we can all still achieve excellent levels of communication. Ensure you have a workplace that creates spaces for open and honest conversations. Address conflict as soon as it arises and encourage awareness and respect amongst your team. 

Consider Cross-Cultural Awareness 

You may even choose to undertake a cross-cultural awareness programme within your organisation. This is a form of training that helps all your team understand and respect the cultural diversity that exists within their workplace. It helps address language barriers, and specific cultural communication styles while promoting being open to the differences in each culture without stereotyping or bias.  

Embracing Cultural Diversity 

Diversity is part of what makes the world a fascinating place and promoting inclusion in your workplace can have many benefits for employers and employees. 

So, if you are ready to embrace diversity in your workplace, we are ready to help you do it. Chat to the Spice Gals today about how to create an environment of inclusion. 

How To Boost Workplace Wellness This Winter

Winter wellness – it’s all about rugging up warm, getting that flu jab and staying home from work if you’re unwell, right? Well, that’s part of it.

But have you thought about how you’ll care for the mental wellness of your team this winter – particularly at work?

Deadlines, demanding customers, COVID-19 worries, long hours, remote working – the list of things that can knock our wellbeing at work is endless. And the long, grey winter months can make it all feel so much worse. But improving our mental wellbeing is priceless.

So, how can you ensure you are being an ethical leader and creating an environment of winter workplace wellness? Read on to find out.

How To Boost Workplace Wellness This Winter

Why Workplace Wellness?

Good mental health at work and good management go hand in hand. There’s evidence that workplaces with high levels of mental wellbeing are more productive. According to WorkSafe NZ, focusing on mental health in the workplace is essential because:

  1. It’s good for business. When people are happy in their environment, they are more productive, take less sick leave, and are more likely to remain in their jobs for longer.
  2. It’s a legal obligation under the Health and Safety at Work Act (which is as much about mental health as physical health!)
  3. It’s a moral and ethical obligation for all of us to do the right thing by one another.

Workplace wellness creates a better working environment for everyone, so it becomes a pleasure to be at work despite the dreary weather outside!

Navigating The Winter Blues

The winter blues are a well-known phenomenon. They are most heavily felt throughout the workplace. As the temperature drops and the weather worsens, it is harder to get those sunlight hours that our bodies desperately crave.

As a manager, it is your responsibility to acknowledge that your team may be feeling those winter blues and have a plan to combat their impact as much as possible. One of the easiest ways to do that is to regularly check in with your team – individually and in a group setting.

Encourage open lines of communication so that your team can discuss issues or problems they are facing, have constructive conversations so that they can build resilience, and develop perseverance.

A Guide To Improving Mental Wellbeing In The Workplace

Here at Spice HR, we believe that good mental wellbeing at work is crucial, which is why we support the Five Ways to Wellbeing developed by New Zealand’s Mental Health Foundation.

Whilst these are general principles, they can be practically applied in the workplace. Here are the five areas your team should focus on for great workplace wellness this winter:

  1. Connect

Listen and talk, be present, feel connected. Speak up when you need to, and listen to others. Keep the communication lines open by encouraging discussion

2. Give

Give your time, knowledge, and presence – an essential part of connecting!

3. Take notice

Recognise the good things that your team are doing and the things that spark their creativity and joy. Even the little things count. Appreciate them!

4. Keep Learning

Embrace new experiences, see development opportunities, and provide ongoing learning experiences for your team members.

5. Be Active

Encourage your team to keep active throughout the day even if their role requires them to be at a desk. Do what you can, help them enjoy what they do, and don’t forget to move your mood and your body! Just move – no matter how you do it!

Here at Spice HR, we think that number 1 is particularly crucial: Connect. Many struggling with mental wellbeing try to hide their feelings, afraid of other people’s responses. If you create workplace cultures where people can be themselves, they will speak more freely about mental health concerns and reach out for help when needed. It all comes down to open lines of communication.

Are You An Ethical Leader?

Part of supporting good mental health in the winter workplace is ensuring you behave like an ethical leader. That means taking the time to build a healthy workplace environment for all of your team members.

Ethical leaders tend to choose people over financial reward. While economic growth is essential for many businesses, you will struggle to achieve your goals if you don’t have the buy-in of your people. That means balancing your decision-making to ensure you are doing the right thing by your employees and doing what is best for the business.

There are plenty of ways you can do this. But ultimately, it comes down to creating an environment in which people want to work. An environment that embraces excellent communication. One where people’s opinions and ideas are respected, management show transparency and shares information, and staff feel heard.

Ensuring your team leaders and management have a sense of empathy is vital to supporting their staff appropriately.

Ready To Spice Up Your Workplace Wellness?

Achieving great workplace wellness can be challenging at any time of the year, yet that challenge increases significantly during the winter months.

Need more guidance to improve mental wellbeing in your workplace? Reach out to the Spice Gals!

Spice HR support small and medium businesses who need help getting HR frameworks in place – and we love helping businesses boost staff wellbeing.

So: stop right now, thank you very much – and drop us a line!

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 Keep On Top Of Health and Safety at Work

 

With a recent move back to Red, and confirmation that the dreaded Omicron has arrived in NZ, it’s time to revisit your Health and Safety guidelines to make sure you’ve dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s.

Health and safety at work has sure got more complicated over the last few years. But as we try to settle into the new normal  it could be time to get back to basics.

If some of your health and safety tasks disappeared off your radar as you dealt with a million other things, you’re forgiven. We’ve all been rather busy just trying to stay afloat. But health and safety at work isn’t something that should be neglected, especially now.

Health and safety at work can feel like an overwhelming task, but really, it’s not so daunting if you take it one step at a time.

Let’s help you get back on track by going through some of the basic checks you need to do to get health and safety sorted at your workplace.

How To Keep On Top Of Health and Safety at Work

Stay On Top Of The Rule Changes

So much has changed over the last few years, and it may feel like the rules evolve every couple of weeks, but one thing has not changed – and that’s your obligation to provide a safe work environment for your employees.

Granted, that may be more complicated than it used to be, but the law is still the law, and there’s no excuse for failing to comply with it.

As such, it’s vital for employers to know the latest rules around COVID-19 for their specific industry and business.

Make sure you get clear on PPE guidelines and regulations at different traffic light levels, and be proactive about reaching out for advice if you’re confused.

There are plenty of great websites out there packed full of information. Here are some excellent resources to get stuck into if you need a little extra insight:

Addressing health and safety concerns

Employment New Zealand’s guide for workers at different COVID-10 alert levels

Vaccinations and work – Unite against COVID-19

Managing health and safety – Worksafe

Health and safety during COVID-19

Get Your Docs Up To Date

We know that paperwork is not everyone’s favourite thing, but it is an essential part of effectively managing health and safety at work.

While the law doesn’t specifically say you must have H&S documents, the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 does require you to take all reasonable steps to provide a safe working environment for your staff – and your documentation is a key part to being able to show that’s just what you’re doing.

This also means communicating effectively and keeping everyone informed, and if your docs aren’t up to date, they’re not going to do the job. So now’s the time to review your policies, info sheets, signs, flowcharts, and procedures to ensure they are updated, clear, relevant and accessible to your entire team.

For guidance on writing H&S documents, check out this great resource from Worksafe NZ:

Writing for Health and Safety 

Train Your Staff

Staff training is an essential factor in taking care of your employees’ health and safety at work. This is stated in the H&S in Employment Act, which states that you must ensure your workers have the appropriate knowledge and experience to do their job.

Training your staff in health and safety isn’t just about ticking the boxes, though. Equipping your team with the skills and knowledge they need to do their jobs safely and effectively reduces workplace accidents and injuries, enhances productivity, boosts morale, and saves your business money in the long run.

If your H&S training has fallen through the cracks, this is the perfect time to get to it!

Be Mindful Of Mental Health

Health and safety at work isn’t just about eliminating or minimising the risk of physical harm. Employers must also take steps to support and manage their employees’ mental health.

Many people are experiencing increased anxiety over returning to on-site work, so it’s crucial that organisations prioritise psychological safety alongside physical safety in the workplace.

As you welcome your employees back to on-site work, find ways to help build resilience, create wellbeing, add flexibility into their routines, and provide resources to those who need extra support.

Our blog Let’s Talk Mental Wellness at Work has lots of spicey info and valuable resources if you’d like to know more about supporting mental wellness in the workplace.

 

Feeling a tad overwhelmed about health and safety in covid times?

Never fear; the Spice HR team is here. We can help you get your head around workplace H&S and find your new normal. Get in touch today to find out more.