Catherine Gillespie's Blog (103)

Cultural load – Is it time to evaluate the load and who is bearing it?

The term ‘Cultural Load’ was brought to my attention by an article in HRM (July 2021) in reference to the “extra pressure” employers are (often unknowingly) placing “on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees by asking them to educate their colleagues”.

 Associate Professor Richard Frankland, Head of the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development at the University of Melbourne, defines ‘Cultural Load’ asthe invisible…


Added by Catherine Gillespie on October 12, 2021 at 14:00 — No Comments

Investigations and procedural fairness

Understanding how to separate past investigated misconduct matters from a current situation is crucial in ensuring natural justice is applied.

The FWC upheld an unfair dismissal claim when a childcare organisation dismissed two employees following an investigation (in 2019) into misconduct. The…


Added by Catherine Gillespie on May 12, 2021 at 13:00 — No Comments

Managing employee relations in a remote working environment

Even though lockdown conditions are beginning to ease, it’s clear that many organisations won’t be returning to ‘business as usual’ any time soon and will be continuing with some aspects of remote work. There are many upsides to this but one area that organisations need to focus on is employee relations, and ensuring that they continue to meet their obligation to provide a safe workplace.

I discussed this with Martin Reid, Managing Principal, Workplace Relations at…


Added by Catherine Gillespie on April 14, 2021 at 8:00 — No Comments

Women in the workplace: Improve your diversity, improve your business results

Would you consider yourself a responsible CEO, Executive or Board Member? Then you will be across this latest piece of research AND you won’t ignore it.

Research[1] carried out by the federal Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) based on a six year study of Australian companies found that increasing the number of women in key leadership roles by as little as 10% increased an ASX200 company’s  market value by an average of $105 million. Appointing a female CEO is…


Added by Catherine Gillespie on April 7, 2021 at 16:00 — No Comments

Are your employees fine? How to properly manage conflict in the workplace

Are Your Employees Fine

“I’m fine.” You may be fine but how you're delivering that answer might give away more information than you think.

Have you asked an employee how they are and you receive a blunt response? Have they responded, "Fine" (in a deeper tone with slight, downward intonation)? …


Added by Catherine Gillespie on February 22, 2021 at 12:00 — No Comments

The necessary conversation

In the past, workplaces were heavily hierarchical and it was expected and accepted that managers were direct and overt in giving instructions and critical feedback.

As we have moved to 'flatter' structures and a more empathetic and collaborative leadership style managers are now very hesitant to have these discussions. 

'In the past' workplace roles were very clearly defined. A manager was respected because they were a manager. An employee followed their manager's instructions…


Added by Catherine Gillespie on January 27, 2021 at 12:30 — 1 Comment

The Importance Of Managing Change For Each Individual Team Member

We all have a bias towards certainty, some more than others. For many, certainty means security and comfort. It means not having to acknowledge the fear we find in the prospect of change. It might mean we have to let go of how hard we’ve worked to reach this point of comfort and to keep the status quo. It might appear too complex and taxing to plan for and adapt to the change. Or, we may enjoy what we are doing at work and the way we are doing it.

Managing change…


Added by Catherine Gillespie on December 3, 2020 at 12:55 — No Comments

Taking Responsibility For Your Workplace Culture

A comment from a workplace manager: "I can say for sure that quite often my day starts fine, but I am regularly pushed below that line because of other people's behaviour, and it's fine to say don't engage in it, but it's what most of my job is; dealing with people!"

Heard this before?

Then it's time for your workplace to engage Workplace Harmony…


Added by Catherine Gillespie on October 23, 2020 at 8:27 — No Comments

Conflict In The Workplace And The Key To Setting It Right

A mediator is a ‘Conflict Engagement Practitioner’, a skilled, experienced and accredited mediator. They are external to the organisation and independent to the issues and understand how to constructively engage with conflict in any business.

Their role is ‘not about making nice – it is about coming to grips with what is wrong and ‘setting it right.’[1]…


Added by Catherine Gillespie on September 22, 2020 at 12:38 — No Comments

The Role Of Generosity In Mediation

At some point in a mediation, one person will ‘shift’ from presenting and defending their perspective to genuinely acknowledging the hurt, frustration, loss or other feeling of pain being expressed by the other.

To ‘move’ from a place of focusing only on one’s own opinions and perspectives, a place that has been a type of sanctuary for certainty and therefore comfort, requires one to lower their defenses and to step outside of their view of the past, which they may…


Added by Catherine Gillespie on August 21, 2020 at 11:03 — No Comments

Roche Martin - Emotional Intelligence At Work

When good intentions don’t always deliver good outcomes

In mediation, I often hear one or both parties saying at some point, ‘I thought I was doing the right thing’ or ‘I thought you would prefer I did…’ or ‘I was just trying to do this in a way you might appreciate’.

What I am hearing is that each party believes they understand the other (or has been trying very keenly to) and adjusting their behaviour or approach accordingly. They show a sense of frustration. Despite their…


Added by Catherine Gillespie on July 17, 2020 at 9:30 — No Comments

Adverse action claims – are we likely to see a spike?

With many businesses having considered reducing the size of their workforce, it seemed one of the most talked about topics was unfair dismissal claims. Businesses were keen to ensure that in response to the downturn in revenue their corresponding economic situation was justification alone for any dismissal being fair.

For what percentage of businesses did the Covid-19 lockdown…


Added by Catherine Gillespie on June 17, 2020 at 6:00 — No Comments

How Often Have You Heard, ‘Post Covid-19 Lockdown We Need To Work Together’?

By the time employees return to the same worksite, this may be not just a ‘well worn’ cliché but a disregarded one. Catch phrases are memorable and repeatable but do they evoke the intended action?

When people are fearful, feeling even slightly threatened, uncertain or in any way unsafe, what is considered ‘good’ for the community is considered ‘not good enough’ for the individual.

We need to work together respectfully. All employees will say this expectation is a…


Added by Catherine Gillespie on June 12, 2020 at 12:00 — No Comments

Strategic Planning & The Future of Work and Workplaces

In a recent Forbes article Tracey Brower made ‘5 Predictions About How Coronavirus Will Change The Future Of Work’.

One prediction is that ‘Your…


Added by Catherine Gillespie on May 21, 2020 at 11:30 — No Comments

Difficult Conversations Part 4

This is the fourth blog on the subject of difficult conversations. You can read the first article here, the second article here and…


Added by Catherine Gillespie on April 17, 2020 at 11:17 — No Comments

Difficult Conversations Part 3

This is the third blog on the subject of difficult conversations. You can read the first article here and the second article…


Added by Catherine Gillespie on March 13, 2020 at 8:00 — No Comments

Difficult Conversations Part 2

In the first part of this blog series the setting for the discomfort felt by both the manager (speaker) and the staff member (listener) was explored. Often the discomfort felt by the manager is momentarily acknowledged then put aside as though it shouldn’t happen and it is weak or poor management to feel this…


Added by Catherine Gillespie on February 14, 2020 at 8:30 — No Comments

Difficult Conversations Part 1

Holding a conversation for which you believe the content will upset the listener evokes the concept of a difficult conversation. Difficult because the speaker often assumes the news will be difficult for the receiver to hear. And so the conversation also becomes labelled as difficult for the speaker to know how best to frame what they need to say to cause the least discomfort for the listener. 

In such situations,…


Added by Catherine Gillespie on January 17, 2020 at 9:26 — No Comments

Emotional Agility

Susan David, psychologist and author of the book ‘Emotional Agility’ states that organisations need to get comfortable with uncomfortable emotions in order to provide a psychologically safe workplace in which staff feel safe to bare their emotional truth. She believes that when leaders are comfortable with uncomfortable emotions, they are better equipped to listen to staff and explore the real drivers of the…


Added by Catherine Gillespie on December 13, 2019 at 10:00 — No Comments

Investing In The Right Relationships

A Harvard Business Review ‘Management tip of the day’ recommended the prioritisation of working and spending time with colleagues that help one to feel fulfilled  and to minimise interactions with colleagues one finds depleting. Essentially the article was a call to action to invest in the ‘right relationships’.

I fully agree with the focus on investing in the ‘right relationships’ but perhaps this term firstly needs…


Added by Catherine Gillespie on November 8, 2019 at 9:26 — No Comments

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