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Q&A With HR Expert Kerry Downes

We’re excited to announce that the Impact HR team is expanding. We welcome Kerry Downes — she’s a Senior HR Expert who has over 20 years’ experience in Human Resources working for a variety of companies in hospitality, entertainment, manufacturing retailing and distribution.

In this Q&A, she tells us about her career highlights and what she thinks is the most important thing when it comes to achieving a great team performance.

Q: What’s your professional background?
I have worked in Senior Human Resources roles for a variety of companies including International Game Technology (IGT), Brightpoint where I oversaw the HR Function in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Dubai and India, Global Food Equipment where we relocated manufacturing, call centre, finance and spare parts to the Philippines and most recently National Human Resources for Radio Rentals – which counts 90 stores across Australia, 550 team members and an HR Team of 8.

Q: What brought you to join Impact HR?
I have a passion for wanting people to succeed – no business can operate without people. I strongly believe that people who feel valued will always achieve more than expected.

Q: What’s your biggest career achievement?
I have had many achievements throughout my career including winning awards like Hewitt’s Best Employer and AHRI Award for Excellence in People Management, however, my career highlight is taking a dysfunctional HR Team and transforming them into a high performing team

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Q: What makes you passionate about your job?
It’s always the people! I believe everyone comes to work to do the very best they can – it is our job as leaders to ensure we create an environment for them to be able to excel.


Q: In your opinion, what’s the most important thing when improving your client’s team performance? 
Always my first question is when we are talking teams… Do you know what motivates them?  You would be surprised at how many times I hear “No”.

Interested in talking to Kerry about your team? Leave her a message on our Contact Us page and she will get back to you.


The Art of Giving

As a small business owner, budgeting for Christmas gifts can be challenging. There’s the Christmas party, potentially slow cash flow during January to think about and (in some industries) the burden of leave loading to get your head and budget around. However, after working hard during the year, the team deserves some recognition. How do you reward your employees without getting an overdraft from the Bank?  Read our tips below for simple yet useful gifts.

OUR TIPS TO MAKE GIFT GIVING EASY

1. Step Away From the Marketing Cupboard
As tempting as it might be to kill two birds with one gift, don’t give your team your unwanted and unused marketing collateral. Yes, you may start the year with a clean marketing cupboard but will the lack of team engagement be worth it? They know that it is unwanted and that’s the last emotion you want them to feel as they start making New Year’s resolutions.

2. Ask Them
Let’s face it. They work with you and know your budget. They are not going to be asking for the newest Ipad or an all-expense holiday to their dream location. So why not talk to your team and learn what they would really appreciate receiving this year? It’s not about the surprise, it’s about a gift your employees really want. An authentic gift will be appreciated regardless of how much you spend on it.

3. The Gift of Time
In the month leading up to Christmas, count the times your team tell you “I’m so busy, I don’t know when I’m going to fit it all in!”. Have you lost count yet? I always do. Examine your clients’ needs and your budget and consider gifting an hour or even a half or full day off work for your team. They will appreciate it more than a $5 scratchie ticket that they know they’ll never win anything on. The gift of time will give your team a chance to get some of the Christmas chaos under control and you will have a more relaxed and happy team back at the office. Expensive maybe, but priceless when it comes to employee loyalty and focus during the push to get things done before the silly deadlines.

4. Coffee Anyone?
Most of us have a regular coffee (or in my case hot chocolate) addiction to feed, so why not get them a reusable coffee cup and fill it? Talk to your local cafe about a bulk deal and buy some gift certificates to support a week of coffee runs. They’ll appreciate you when they are getting their fix and you are promoting sustainability.

5. A Night at the Cinema
Treat your staff to a voucher for a local cinema. Bulk purchasing tickets can make a huge difference to the price.
There are so many movies that come out at this time of year and they get to relax and enjoy! It may even be possible to find something that they all agree on and turn it into a team building activity as well. Bonus!

6. Living Gifts
Small and beautiful pot plants are often something that keeps on living for years. Talk to your local florist or nursery about the best options. There are so many easy-care plants to chose from that you are bound to find something within budget and that will be appreciated by the team. Often you will see the plants strategically positioned throughout the office for months or years to come.

7. Festive Goodies
Chocolates, wine and speciality foods will always go down well. It is almost impossible for you not to find something in this line that your team will appreciate.

8. But most important of all, make it personal.

Don’t forget…Even Santa has elves! Have to squeeze in hours into your busy schedule to think about Christmas presents?
Before you tear up the to-do list and throw your hands in the air, remember that help is at hand. Wrapped and beautifully presented gifts can be delivered to your door with little more than an online order or call. But remember to make it personal! Write that card or do something else to let your team know you care.

If you need an extra help, talk to us and we’ll be happy to support you through this Christmas season while you focus on business. Call us on 02 9907 6837 or send us an email at therese.ravell@impacthr.com.au today.


Want The All-Stars Playing For Your Team?

Life is so much more rewarding and fun when you are working as part of a team that is successful and achieving the desired outcomes. Let’s face it; no one wants to be a failure. We all want to do well and be a part of something successful – that’s just human nature.

So why is it such a challenge to create high performing team at work?

When we are so busy doing all the things that need to be done, it can be hard to take the time to actually think about what it is you need from your team and then help them understand it.

There are five steps to create a high performing team:

1. Tell them why
Share your vision for your company, your clients, your dreams, your values. If the team doesn’t understand why they are working so hard they won’t share your passion or your commitment.

2. Tell them what
Be specific about what you need them to do and by when. Set the standards early and be consistent with the entire team and you will win their respect and the results will flow.

3. Tell them how they will know when they’ve done a good job
We all need to know what we are striving for, so set goals and targets. If possible break it into milestones that are achievable in reasonable timeframes.

4. Reward them when they do well
Celebrate successes. Small wins. Big wins. Let them know that you appreciate their efforts and find ways to thank them for it. It may be simply taking the time to say thank you personally those involved, or it may be something much more.

5. Be prepared to act if they don’t
And the most difficult point of all – be prepared to tell them if they are not meeting your expectations. If you don’t tell them, they may never know that you are disappointed and then they will never strive to improve.

Take some time out from running the business and work on the performance of the team. You’ll be amazed how much the team will reward you for it in return.

If you would like some tools to support your business and make your team performance easier, feel free to call us on 02 9907 6837 for an obligation free chat. Sometimes the simplest of suggestions from one of our experienced Consultants can have a huge impact.


When Cloning Is Not An Option?

Busy? No Crazy Busy

As you scan the to-do list, you realise that one of you is just not enough. Sometimes, when business is booming, rather than being able to kick back and relax, the trusted systems you’ve built start letting you down and the team start to grumble. You’re so busy that the idea of more business is as close to madness as you want to get.

For some business owners, there comes a time when you need to decide whether you want to grow your business or maintain it at its current size. It is potentially a huge decision that could change your business and your life forever.

How do you know when your business and you are really ready to grow?

How do you understand when your business and you are ready to grow?

7 Signs Your Business Is Ready To Grow

1. Growing to do list
That wonderful sense of satisfaction as you tick things off your to-do list is overshadowed by the pending sense of doom as you notice that it is growing longer each day. Making matters worse, when you prioritise the to-do list they are all coming up as High!

2. More opportunities than you can handle
Existing clients want more of you. New clients are seeking you out. Time to celebrate, right? But instead, their requests are added to the to-do list as a high priority and have to wait until you can get to them. Sometimes by the time you make it to them, they have already moved onto other suppliers. Instead of feeling upset, you feel relief.

3. Growing, Growing, GROWN
Yes, there are the normal busy periods in the year. But this is something altogether different. It doesn’t look like waning. The opportunities are there for the taking, if only you had the time.

Can’t take any more new clients on board? We can help with that.

4. Dropping the ball
Over time you’ve built systems and processes to make sure things run smoothly, however, there are cracks appearing in those systems now and it is taking longer than expected or those little errors are making it even more difficult.

5. Somebody has the grumps
Whether your team is just you or bigger, the team is complaining. There is too much to do and not enough time. Add to that your previously extremely happy customers are starting to make comments. Technology is not the silver bullet you

6. Technology is not the silver bullet you hoped
You are switched onto technology and use it to make things happen efficiently, but there are some things that apps and software just can’t do. You need another real human being on the team.

7. Revenue is looking good
There is enough cash to support the first few weeks of paying for someone until the increased revenue from their efforts hits your bank account.

Increased revenue is a clear sign that your business is ready to grow.

Growing

The idea of taking your business to the next level doesn’t have to feel so daunting and surprisingly it doesn’t always mean that you have to employ people in your own business.

Outsourcing
If there is a part of your business that you do not enjoy doing, procrastinate about or just don’t have the skills to do, consider outsourcing it. Most of us won’t think twice about seeking advice from a lawyer, but struggle on with doing our own book-keeping or marketing whether we are good at it or not. Nowadays, even soloist or micro businesses can take advantage of great outsourcing options.

Hiring a new team doesn’t mean commit to employing someone on a full-time basis straight away.

Hiring your own team
If when you sit down and do the planning, you decide that the best way to move forward is to hire into your own team, then keep your options open. You don’t have to employ someone on a full-time or part-time basis straight away. For those that suffer from a fear of commitment and want more flexibility, think about hiring a casual team.

We know there are a lot of choices to be made and it can be scary. We’ve done it ourselves and we’ll be happy to support you on the next stage of your exciting journey. Call us on 02 9907 6837 or drop us an email at info@impacthr.com.au for an initial consultation. 


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