All Blog Posts (3,062)

Hazard reduction, backburning or putting out fires? How do you manage?

As we experience our first bushfires of the season in the Blue Mountains, I think there’s a good analogy between the practices above and how managers behave.

Hazard reduction is the practice of burning, clearing and other practices done in advance of the fire season with the aim of reducing the impact of any future fires.  Back burning is when a fire is…


Added by Susan Rochester on September 20, 2011 at 21:35 — No Comments

Don't be afraid of Individual Flexibility Agreements

With the recent media reports around the rapidly decreasing level of productivity in australian businesses, and employer associations focused on unproductive political lobbying to have the Fair Work Act changed, one question springs to mind. Why are employers so afraid of IFA's? 


The intent around the use of IFA's is to allow the employee in essence to not only request, but to have a meaningful discussion around changing certain conditions of employment to facilitate a better…


Added by Michael Cosgrove on September 19, 2011 at 12:42 — No Comments

Leadership and Life’s Little Luxuries: Are you rubbing your employees’ noses in it?

Last week I received a call from prospective client who was struggling with a high staff turnover. He pleaded with me to help him stem the outflow. He is a small manufacturer that sells his products largely through distributors. I arranged to visit his offices in the Eastern suburbs the next day.


As I pulled into his carpark it wasn’t hard to spot his Porsche parked next to the front door. Upon entering the building it looked as though the premises hadn’t been renovated since…


Added by Aaron Dodd on September 15, 2011 at 19:37 — 2 Comments

Learning from mistakes....7 tips to making amends

A few months ago, one of my staff members rang me in a panic.  She had stuffed up. Big time.  She had accidentally hit reply to an email instead of forward to an internal colleague.  The content of the message was…well let’s say, pretty direct and used a few “internal” jargons referring to the sender of the email and instead it went to…


Added by Nicole Underwood on September 15, 2011 at 12:26 — 1 Comment

How to beat workplace bullying.....

There are various definitions of workplace bullying, but for those who are uncertain, it can be described simply as “the repeated, less favourable treatment of a person by another or others in the workplace, which may be considered unreasonable and inappropriate workplace practice.”

Now that I’ve got the definition out of the way I’ll scare you a little more.

There would not be a business in Australia that at some stage has not had a workplace bullying incident.



Added by Michael Cosgrove on September 13, 2011 at 9:08 — 2 Comments

Employers must defend Productivity Gains....So where has the Good Faith gone?

One of the regularly highlighted weaknesses of the Fair Work Act 2009 is the trade unions ability to impose work bans for indefinite periods in pursuit of unsustainable improvements to wages and conditions, without the necessity for any productivity improvements being offered to the employer as an offset.

Unions bargaining around the country continue to reject acceptable wages increases averaging 3-4%. This has been an acceptable and sustainable percentage wage increase across a…


Added by Michael Cosgrove on September 12, 2011 at 14:35 — No Comments

How to Spot an Original Thinker

Original thinkers who drive innovation, adaptability and problem solving are highly valuable and sought-after, so if organisations were able to identify and encourage original thinkers they would have a huge advantage in the marketplace.


Can you spot an original thinker? Dr. Mark Batey, of Manchester University’s Manchester Business School, believes you can.


In a recently produced MBS…


Added by Lynette Jensen on September 12, 2011 at 8:30 — No Comments

Countering the counter offer - do they really work?

Ok, here at EnigmaHR we want to tell it like it is.


Can throwing a bucket full of money at a departing employee really keep them?  Intuitively we don’t think so. Our experience tells us the same thing. It takes a lot to leave a company, even if it’s one you dislike.


If an employee is genuine about moving on, and not just on a fishing expedition for more cash, a counter offer may well come too late. If you’re a manager and they are in your office with a letter,…


Added by Liza Garrido on September 9, 2011 at 18:22 — No Comments

Ric Willmot’s Friday Redux No.6: Ric’s Ticks for successful business

We talk of ‘leadership’ but seldom know what we mean since we don’t specify a process. Here is one process I’ve created for leaders to maintain focus called Ric’s Ticks:

  • Research your capabilities compared to market needs.
  • Invest in development of your business and your people.
  • Cultivate learning systems in your organisation.
  • Strategy…

Added by Ric Willmot on September 9, 2011 at 17:30 — No Comments

Your Feel Good Friday from Balance at Work

Hallelujah!  More…


Added by Susan Rochester on September 9, 2011 at 12:30 — No Comments

Ric Willmot's 7 Steps to 360 Degree Feedback Success

Feedback evaluations are nearly always done poorly because most are implemented by people who just buy an off-the-shelf product thinking that one size fits all.


You don’t begin with questions. You begin with what information you’re seeking to learn and validate. Then you back into the questions. The information that you seek has to be tangible and verifiable for it to be worthwhile…


Added by Ric Willmot on September 8, 2011 at 17:00 — 1 Comment

Performance Management isn't just about disciplining staff.....

All too often, both employers and employees, think that Performance Management is a disciplinary tool by which to rule over all. Well it isn’t. Yes in some instances Performance Management can, and must, be used to correct inappropriate behavior, or under-performance, but generally it should be seen and used as a way to energize employees, improve productivity, and improve the culture of the workplace.

Now exactly what is Performance Management? Simply put it is an…


Added by Michael Cosgrove on September 8, 2011 at 12:03 — No Comments

I hate social media

Why Australian Resource Sector employers don’t use social media as a recruitment tool......yet


Let me start by making a retraction.


I don’t hate social media.  I hate the term ‘social media’ particularly when it is used in the context of recruitment in the Australian resource sector.


The word ‘social’ in the Australian vernacular immediately conjures thoughts of “let’s have a beer” or “what are you doing on the weekend?” …


Added by Jody Elliott on September 8, 2011 at 10:52 — 1 Comment

Ric Willmot's Weekly Wisdom No.81: Strong leaders have strong people


The current turmoil in Australian federal politics is a lesson for us in corporate and institutional arenas. In my…


Added by Ric Willmot on September 8, 2011 at 8:26 — No Comments

Recruiters - are you confusing your poor applicants?

The advertisement below for a Customer Service Leader crossed my desk the other day. I felt compelled to comment on it. I’ve deleted identifying details to protect myself from the advertiser coming after me with a red hot poker after reading what I’ve written.


Stay with me and take a long hard look at the advertisement.


Customer Service Leader


Manage a customer service team in the provision of whole of business customer…


Added by Anthony Sork on September 7, 2011 at 12:55 — 2 Comments

Engaging Gen Y (and Z)

Generation Y currently comprises 21% of Australia’s workforce and this number will continue to grow. In 2020, Gen Z and Gen Y together will make up almost 50% of the workforce, so it’s not too soon for employers to get to know this group and understand what motivates them. 

Currently, more than one in four workers change jobs in any given year, and studies show that those aged 20-24 are three times more likely to change jobs in a year than those aged 45-54.  To maintain staff…


Added by Mandy Geddes on September 6, 2011 at 16:30 — No Comments

What use is an empty cup? Filling up on innovation

Part of emptying my cup over the past few weeks involved travelling to Port Douglas for a dual purpose – to enjoy a couple of R&R days for myself and to also attend the RCSA(Recruitment Consulting Services Association) international conference at the Sheraton…


Added by Nicole Underwood on September 6, 2011 at 15:12 — 2 Comments

The Values We Bring To Work: A Shoemaker's Tale

Caption: The author's grandfather at work in his shoe repair shop, circa 1986.


A chance encounter with a friendly shoemaker in New York City earlier this week got me to thinking about the…


Added by Michael Brisciana on September 1, 2011 at 21:31 — 2 Comments

Psychopaths at Work

For all our recruitment tests and practices in HR, the problem of psychopaths in the workplace remains a problem that’s hard to solve.

Everyone has worked with a psychopath. I’m a lay-person, so I use the term in it’s popular sense, but I’m on their case because they're so disruptive. Sometimes they are the obvious bullies in the office,…


Added by Lynette Jensen on August 30, 2011 at 11:00 — 8 Comments

Excuse me, your bias is showing!

Continuing the riff on the theme of unconscious bias, here's an article from my blog archive (Feb 2010) that's relevant.


Do you think you’re good at judging people?  You are, but probably not in the way you think…

We all live complicated lives and nature has given us neurological shortcuts so we don’t have to relearn everything as we go.  For example, when we encounter a…


Added by Susan Rochester on August 29, 2011 at 14:49 — No Comments

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