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End of Financial Year: A time to review and plan

As we approach the end of the financial year it presents a time to review our businesses operations and performance, reflect on what has worked in your business from a marketing and operational perspective, assess whether you have had a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ year and plan for the coming financial year.

Key to the above considerations is a clear definition of what defines a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ year: This question can only be addressed if an adequate KPI matrix or performance dashboard has been created to ensure this key information can be easily obtained.  The performance of these indicators will determine whether a positive or negative result has been generated.

Actions which can assist in undertaking this analysis and planning for the future may include:

  • Review of actual performance to budgeted performance and variance analysis;
  • Review of key drivers of the business and how they have varied from prior years;
  • Considering what measures can be implemented to drive performance improvement;
  • Preparation of forecast/budget for the coming financial year;
  • Consideration of whether there is a clear business plan and strategy in place or whether one should be prepared or updated;
  • Review of key staff performance compared to expectation; and
  • Consideration of whether the business is capable of growing and if so, how best to achieve and fund this growth.

No individual is capable of growth or improvement without some degree of self-reflection and businesses are much the same. Take the time now to reflect on your businesses performance with a view to identifying areas of improvement. It might just be the best time you invest all year!


7 Innovative Ways to Engage Your Millennial Team Members

Generation Y is taking over the workforce! Lead accordingly.

It’s no secret that the business world is being taken over by millennials; in a few short years, they’ll make up 75 percent of the workforce. Which means that, as an employer, you’ll need to spend some time thinking about how to engage this tech-savvy group. A highly studied generation that was practically born knowing how to navigate the internet.

While money is still a motivational factor for most, it’s not the only one and it doesn’t guarantee job satisfaction or engagement. If you want to get more productivity out of your workers and keep them motivated, you’re going to have to get innovative.

Give them flexibility and trust

With a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips, millennials are informed and knowledgeable about their options. That doesn’t mean they aren’t ambitious but it does mean that fairly simple gestures and actions can speak volumes to this group. So, try offering your millennial workers flexibility with their time. Instead of dictating when they can use their holidays, let them take a day off on their birthday, visit a friend in hospital, or recover properly from a cold.

The relationship between happiness and productivity is high. Happy workers take less sick days per year. Which means that simple policies like flex time can dramatically increase engagement. If your employees know you have their back, they’ll be more likely to go the extra mile for your company.

The same can be said with showing trust. Millennials have grown up watching success stories like Facebook, Instagram, and Uber explode out of almost nowhere. They don’t envision their futures being part of a large conglomerate, or feeling like a cog in the wheel. They want to be a part of a hungry startup that’s going somewhere and get a taste for real innovation and creativity. So, trust them with big projects and let them take the lead.

Cutting-edge training tools

Another way to encourage engagement at work is by offering relevant and valuable on-the-job training. Especially when it comes to skills that can be transported to another role, or help employees to improve both professionally and personally. But if you’re thinking of compiling a Word document, think again. Throw your training manual out the window!

The key to capturing the attention of Gen-Y is through cutting-edge emerging training methodologies. The kind that will appeal to and resonate with millennials. Millennials perform better outside of formal settings and using tools that they can apply to real-life situations, such as video, mobile, and gamification.

Videos

The millennial generation is often referred to as one of “digital natives.” This basically means that they grew up with access to WIFI and parents who knew how to handle a computer. They’re far more likely to get engaged with their job position if you present them ongoing training through audiovisual means.

recent study on millennial behavior showed that video clips were one of the most effective ways of teaching concepts and showing knowledge applied to real-life situations. Videos also engaging and fun. The kind of hands-on approach that keeps millennial employees entertained, while catering to their learning needs.

Social Learning

With the plethora of social media, SnapChat, Instagram, and Facebook, millennials love feeling connected and readily post about their lives online. They also look for jobs this way and find out about more information about your company through social learning. They’ll check out your reviews, what other employees have to say, and maybe even contact current employees on LinkedIn. They have a different way of trusting that places more credibility on peer reviews than highly regarding publications.

Think about how that applies to training. When a millennial has a problem with a computer program or needs help putting a piece of furniture together, they’ll look for a solution on a YouTube. They’ll find a short video explanation, rate it, and pass it on. This type of learning actually has a name and is known as collaborative learning. Shared among peers who provide feedback and advice.

Micro-learning

Forget about lengthy training sessions and lectures. Millennials are smart and digitally switched on, but they also have shorter attention spans than their predecessors. This has brought rise to a new kind of learning, called micro-learning, that aims to break down important points into bite-sized, easily digestible pieces.

Provide the information that they need, when they need it (just think about the YouTube videos) without them having to spend long periods studying or taking time out of work. Reduce your training sessions to informative whiteboards and short videos.

Gamification

Okay, so not all your millennial employees are going to jump at the chance of learning through videogames. But don’t disregard this new form of training. The competitive nature of video games makes them addictive and highly engaging, which can be a good fit for some millennials.

Mentoring

Mentoring is a key factor in keeping employees engaged. They want to perform better and do well, get regular feedback and suggestions. This can be done face-to-face or through videos. Feeback videos can be just as engaging as one-on-one meetings and help reduce time, giving your employees the chance to learn on the job when they have a free moment.

Innovating employee engagement doesn’t have to be restricted by your budget. It’s more about understanding your target audience and applying training methods and policies that resonate with their way of thinking. Create a supportive environment in which they can grow, take time out when needed and lead projects, with regular mentoring and feedback. And make use of tools to make learning as fun and accessible as possible.


Q&A with HR expert Lisa Thomsen

We would like to welcome Lisa Thomsen, Impact HR’s newest HR consultant.

With over 20years HR experience, Lisa is a commercially minded HR Generalist bringing 10years management & business partnering experience to Impact HR. Lisa has worked for a range of industries across Australia & NZ in FMCG, Retail, Technology, Education & Not for Profit.

Lisa has experience in employee engagement initiatives, reward & recognition programs and corporate functions to develop a healthy and engaged culture.

  • What’s your professional background?

20 years of HR experience with 10+ years of management and HR Business Partnering experience gained across a variety of industries for both global organisations and local businesses.

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

  • What brought you to join Impact HR?

The opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with a variety of smaller companies to improve and grow their business.

  • What’s your biggest career achievement?

Successfully relocating and guiding staff through a merger with minimal disruption to operations.

  • What makes you passionate about your job?

Being able to balance the commercial needs with the human aspects in a business by assisting staff and management to work towards the businesses goals in a positive and healthy culture.

  • In your opinion, what’s the most important thing when improving your client’s team performance?

That we have removed some or all of the factors causing the most stress for the client and becoming a trusted advisor they can rely on in the future.

To find out more about how Lisa and the team at Impact HR can help your business, phone us on 02 9907 6837 or email therese.ravell@impacthr.com.au


5 Reasons Companies Should Encourage Employees to Volunteer

For many organisations, volunteering is an afterthought, but instead, volunteering should be a priority because of the unique advantages. Volunteering looks differently for each business, and volunteer efforts range from a company-wide volunteer day to allowing employees a set number of paid hours to volunteer in lieu of work.

Here are five reasons your company should encourage employees to volunteer:

1. Defines Your Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has an important impact on your company both now and in the future, and consumers and stakeholders are concerned with the impact your business has on both the environment and society. CSR is specific to each company, and most organisations choose issues that hold value to them or their industry.

In addition to showing commitment, having a reputable CSR will allow your business to show passion for issues, and display company values to society.

Organisations should spend time developing a CSR because it allows their employees to engage in the community and build a stronger society by addressing social problems.

2. Redefines Your Company’s Image

In today’s society, image is everything, and giving back is a wonderful way to improve your company’s image for both consumers and employees. Consumers are driven to support companies with a strong CSR, and the more visible your volunteer efforts are, the more improvements your rankings will see.

Employees want to work for an organisation that is focused on more than the bottom line and increasing profit margins. As an employer, you need to perform compassionate acts so your employees will view you as human and considerate of others. This will help lower employee turnover and increase employee morale. If your employees see you trying to make a difference for others, they will be more driven to work harder.

3. Builds Teamwork Among Employees

Many companies use volunteering as team-building exercises, and these volunteer opportunities are remarkable because they allow employees to work together while they are performing their volunteer efforts. Not only does this make a difference in society, it builds camaraderie among fellow coworkers.

A volunteer event could be an excellent way for employees to meet each other and foster relationships. Employees will be able to bridge the gap between departments and teams to learn more about one another including strengths and weaknesses, and this will be beneficial for future group projects.

4. Develops Employee Character Traits

Compassionate. Empathetic. Humble. Gracious. Helpful. These are typical qualities of avid volunteers, and by allowing your employees to volunteer, you are fostering these character qualities in your employees. This will help your workforce build character traits that will be an asset to your corporation because they will be able to enhance their leadership and professional skills. Fellow employees will be more inclined to work with employees that have these qualities, and in turn, this will increase your work production.

Volunteering also gives employees an identifiable role within the business. Research has shown that volunteering has lowered stress levels and improved people’s overall health.

5. Gives Back at a Local, National, Global, and Industry Specific Level

One of the beauties about volunteering is that you are making a difference no matter what route you take. Whether it is having a company-wide day to stock a food pantry or allowing your employees to take several hours at a time to volunteer for a cause of their choosing, every effort matters.

If organisations want to designate specific charitable organizations for volunteer purposes, they can choose causes that impact their local community or have a national or global impact. Many businesses choose issues that are specific to their industry.

Volunteering offers so many benefits for everyone involved, whether it is the organisation, employees, or people directly impacted by the volunteer efforts. Every company should be involved in volunteer opportunities of some aspect because of the benefits offered to the company and society.


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