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Recent Job Losses In Australia [Plus Free Interview On Managing Redundancies]

It’s been a rough few weeks for redundancies and job losses in the Australian labour market. Job Losses Image

Today we’re looking at the recent announcements.

We’re also sharing another helpful free HRwisdom resource on the right way to handle redundancies.

Before we get started, you may also be interested in these other HRwisdom articles (they will open in a new window):

Bizarre – Why Did They Fire This Punctual, Top Performing Employee?

Free Information Sessions On Workplace Law For Employers

How To Really Freak Out Your Workforce

Recent Job Losses

This week, it was announced that the national cleaning company Swan Services was going into administration with the loss of nearly 2500 jobs.

Nine hundred of those job losses were in NSW and 578 were in Victoria.

A further 583 people lost their jobs in Queensland, 184 in Western Australia, 156 in South Australia and 64 in the ACT.

Job Losses Australia

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the union was now involved:

[quote] The national president of the union United Voice, Michael Crosby, yesterday said Swan had been one of the five biggest cleaning businesses in the country, and its woes followed a string of collapses in the industry. “Swan Services could potentially owe cleaners hundreds of thousands of dollars in entitlements, including annual leave, sick leave, unpaid wages, superannuation and we want to ensure they are protected,” Mr Crosby said.[/quote]

To add to these woes, Ford Australia announced major job losses in its Victorian operations. 

The Age summarised the job losses in this media report

[quote]Ford Australia has announced it will slash jobs — and production — at its Broadmeadows and Geelong plants by almost a third as slow sales of its Falcon large family car bite hard. The company today announced up to 440 workers, mainly from its factories, would be offered voluntary redundancies as part of a massive restructure of its workforce taking place over the next three months.[/quote] 

The public sector isn’t safe either, it would seem according to the Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in his recent Budget reply speech (although he says it will happen through natural attrition):

[quote]”We’ve announced that we’ll reduce by at least 12,000, through natural attrition, the size of the Commonwealth public sector that’s now 20,000 bureaucrats bigger than in 2007.” [/quote]

Difficult times indeed.

The Right Way To Handle Redundancies

For any employer seeking advice on how to handle redundancies and job losses, we recommend you listen to our excellent redundancies information interview.

The interview is free and it provides you with thoughtful insights into how to manage redundancies without destroying all employee goodwill.

HRwisdom

Australian Government Gives $20 Million To Combat Workplace Bullying [So Here’s Your Free Workplace Bullying E-Learning Module]

Workplace Bullying is a major problem in all economies. Workplace Bullying E-Learning

The Australian Government estimates that workplace bullying costs the national economy over $36 million dollars per year in lost productivity.

As a result, the recent Federal Budget allocated over $20 million dollars to the Fair Work Commission so that it could do more in this troublesome area.

Free Workplace Bullying E-Learning Module

HRwisdom has a special limited-time bonus: One week of free E-learning for employers.

Please Note: This special bonus is only available within Australia.

HRwisdom has arranged for you to get one free week’s use of one of Savv-e’s popular compliance training modules, including the excellent module on workplace bullying.

Obviously, this bonus will only be available for a very limited time.

We suggest you grab the workplace bullying module right now.

Get Your Free Workplace Bullying E-Learning Now

Workplace Bullying E-Learning

If you would like one week’s free use of one of the online compliance modules we have chosen for HRwisdom, fill in the form below

This bonus will only be available for a very limited time so we suggest you grab it now.

Feel free to forward this message on to your friends and colleagues.

To request the free trial, please put your contact details and your preferred training module in the box below.

Request Your Special 1 Week Free E-Learning Module Now 


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How To Manage Redundancies Without Destroying All Staff Goodwill [Audio Interview]

HRwisdom asked one of its contributors, Jacqui Alder, what was her advice for businesses on how to manage redundancies without destroying all employ goodwill? 

How To Manage Redundancies

Jacqui Alder is a consultant with extensive and diverse experience across Human Resources, change management, organisational development and industrial relations.

Jacqui’s experience has been gained across a variety of industry sectors.

 The sectors include:

How To Manage Redundancies

  • Resources
  • Manufacturing
  • Transport
  • Government
  • Defence

Jacqui has had significant achievements across a range of areas, with projects including:

  • Organisational change
  • Culture change
  • Organisational redesign
  • Systems implementation
  • Workforce reform
  • Cost improvement

We asked Jacqui to share her expertise in different aspects of the difficult process of managing redundancies in the workplace.

How To Manage Redundancies

In the redundancies interview, we will take a look at:

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of offering voluntary redundancies versus conducting forced redundancies/involuntary redundancies?
  • What are the steps involved in the redundancy process?
  • How to select people for involuntary redundancy?
  • How to communicate throughout the redundancy process?
  • Should you march someone out immediately when making them redundant?
  • How can you implement redundancies without destroying all employee goodwill?
  • A case study.

Log In Here To Listen To The Interview [For Free]

To listen to HRwisdom’s excellent free audio interview series on how to manage redundancies, just log in in using the following free form. 

Email My Invitation To The Interview Series:

“How To Manage Redundancies Without Destroying All Employee Goodwill.”

 

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Interesting Workplace Management Advice – Dealing With Poverty – Part 2

Today we are following-up on the first half of Paul Mooney’s very interesting workplace management advice on dealing with poverty. Paul Mooney

Yesterday, Paul shared his thoughts on a topic that is rarely discussed in business – managing people from a low socio-economic background.

To see the first half of this article, click here: workplace management advice.

Over to Paul . . .

Interesting Workplace Management Advice – Dealing With Poverty – Part 2

This week, I want to bring you on this journey that goes back a couple of years. Picture the scene. I was about to ‘pull the trigger’ on a guy that reported into me. He had been underperforming for quite a while and had recently stepped over the line. I was meeting the Full-Time Union Official  – simply as a courtesy – to tell him what was about to happen. After he’d heard the details, he made the point: “Why don’t you give him a break. That guy was born with a rusty spoon in his mouth. ”

Poverty Explained

It was a graphic description of poverty and a timely reminder that not all of us have equal privilege.  The question around why some people are poor is one of the perennial debates in sociology. A number of structural causes are normally put forward to explain why individuals find it difficult to escape the poverty trap. These include:

To see the causes in the previous article, click here: workplace management advice.

Moral Fibre

There is an alternative right wing view that sees poverty as an outcome of the absence of moral fibre (essentially, a lack of character).

This includes a fear of working hard, acceptance of state handouts, using money for immediate pleasure, substance abuse and so on.

Evidence for this is often grounded around stories of individuals who started out in poor circumstances, but managed to scramble up the mountain and become successful. 

Those individuals sometimes love telling their own ‘rags to riches’ story a la Bill Cullen.

Indeed, this view of the world has some universal appeal.

It makes the rest of us feel ‘We’ve earned our success’ (better than admitting we were just lucky to be born into a particular family and social strata). 

Overall, the ‘lack of moral fibre’ argument is a minority view as an explanation for poverty.

The general consensus in the literature is that (a) there will always be exceptional individuals who can overcome adversity (b) for every career that poverty ‘supports’, it blights 100 others.

To summarize, while there are elements of truth in both perspectives, poverty can be better understood by a range of structural factors rather than being the outcome of individual underperformance.

John Lonergan was the former Governer of Mountjoy Prison in Dublin. He regularly said: “It’s not just a coincidence, that most of the inmates come from 4 or 5 postal districts”.

Tackling Underperformance

In organizations, a similar debate sometimes takes place when underperformance occurs.

When an organization  (entire business or a particular section) underperforms, the question ‘why’ is raised.  

In broad terms, underperformance occurs for one of two reasons.  A range of ‘structural reasons’ can negatively impact performance or it can be down to a lack of individual effort or talent. 

The structural elements can include changing market conditions, new regulations, key competitor moves, lack of talent in the organization (a failure of previous leadership) and so on.

Professor Charles McCarthy (RIP) in Trinity College, in his book The Decade of Upheaval declared: “Very often, the events were too great for the men”. McCarthy understood that the wave is sometimes bigger than the swimmer and people cannot always cope with this.   At other times, it’s absolutely correct to take someone off a project or take them out of the organization entirely.

Central Point:  ‘Underperformance’ is typically diagnosed as a lack of individual talent.  

However, just like the poverty example cited, there are often hidden structural elements which help to explain how performance gets derailed.

In the end, we decided not to fire the guy. It’s a couple of years ago now and he never became a star performer, but he did knuckle down. In this instance the union official was right and I was wrong.  

As a Leader, your role is to separate truth from fiction.

And, just like a surgeon in Beaumont Hospital, you have to be careful that you don’t remove the wrong organ.

Paul Mooney

Paul Mooney leads Tandem Consulting.

 

Interesting Workplace Management Advice – Dealing With Poverty

Today we are sharing some interesting workplace management advice from an HRwisdom contributor based in Ireland, Paul MooneyPaul Mooney

Paul leads the Tandem Consulting group and is a former President of the National College of Ireland.

Paul is sharing his workplace management advice on a topic that is rarely discussed in business – managing people from a low socio-economic background.

Over to Paul . . .

Workplace Management Advice – Dealing With Poverty

This week, I want to bring you on this journey that goes back a couple of years.

Picture the scene. I was about to ‘pull the trigger’ on a guy that reported into me.

He had been underperforming for quite a while and had recently stepped over the line.

I was meeting the Full-Time Union Official  – simply as a courtesy – to tell him what was about to happen. After he’d heard the details, he made the point: “Why don’t you give him a break. That guy was born with a rusty spoon in his mouth. ”

Poverty Explained

It was a graphic description of poverty and a timely reminder that not all of us have equal privilege.  Workplace Management Advice

The question around why some people are poor is one of the perennial debates in sociology.

A number of structural causes are normally put forward to explain why individuals find it difficult to escape the poverty trap.

These include:

  • Low Income: You’re one of a large number of children whose parents never finished second level school.
  • Family Support: Your parent’s work in minimum wage jobs. Your father does not support you in any way (€ or emotionally).
  • Educational Difficulties: You are gifted with average intelligence. People rarely show interest in your school work.
  • Social Capital: You don’t know anyone well who’s been to college. You’ve no real idea what you’d do in college since you don’t have any exposure to the professions.
  • Role Models: The only people around you that have money are criminals. Everyone else is poor and a lot of them manage on welfare. No one expects you to be any different.
  • Reduced Opportunities: The job you secure is 20 hours a week, pays minimum wage, has few benefits and barely pays for the petrol used to drive there.
  • Low Expectations: The goal that everyone seems to have for you is to stay off drugs and stay out of Prison.

Part 2

In the second half of this article, Paul examines the view of ‘moral fibre’ and its perceived impact on poverty.

Paul then shares his advice on how to tackle underperformance.

To find out what happened to the employee in this story, click here: workplace management advice article.

HRwisdom

How Involving Your Staff In Your Company’s Online Marketing Can Increase Sales, Decrease Costs, and Increase Staff Motivation

HRwisdom has published a special new report for HR professionals and business managers keen to make a financial difference to their company.

Download this report

The report reveals a unique opportunity for HR professionals and staff managers to be recognised as a real business partner by decreasing costs and actively growing the business.

The report is called:

How Involving Your Staff In Your Company’s Online Marketing Can Increase Sales, Decrease Costs, and Increase Staff Motivation

In the report you’ll learn: 

  • You will discover why businesses shouldn’t be distracted by social media horror stories in the workplace.
  • You will discover just how powerful online marketing can be in helping you to decrease costs and increase sales.
  • You will discover how involving your staff in your online marketing can improve business results through increased employee engagement levels.

To download the report (no registration required) click here:

How To Increase Sales, Decrease Costs, and Increase Staff Motivation

HRwisdom

Managing Work Stress – Part 2

The issue of managing work stress is an important one for employers.

Work StressApart from the financial costs to the business, there are obvious impacts on individuals and work teams.

Following on from his previous article on managing work stress, regular HRwisdom contributor Weng Chio Fan explains how innovation can help your employees to cope better with work stress.

Over to Weng . . .

Managing Work Stress. How does innovation help?

One way to think about job stress is to see it as an outcome between job demands and job resources.

Stress results when the demands exceed available resources.

Therefore, the negative consequences of demanding work conditions can be offset by increasing available resources.

In this regards, organisational support for innovation can be a resource.

This is because an innovative culture gives individuals the latitude they need to develop novel methods, processes or schedules that increase their efficiency.

These innovative working methods allow employees to better cope with the demands of their jobs and hence counteract the negative consequences of work demands.

Not only does an innovative culture increase employee efficiency, organisations are also more likely to develop new products and services. 

This helps the organisations to be more efficient, productive and flexible to the changing needs and contexts of customers and clients, helping organisations to stay in the lead of the market competition.  

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Think again

Organisations that demand a great deal from their employees often hesitate to support innovation because they have low tolerance on deviations or changes from the work processes and procedures.

Yet, it does not come cheap.

On the other hand, those that support innovation will reap the fruit of having less stressful employees. 

HRwisdom

Feel Free To Share This Article With Your Colleagues

How Do I Find Employees Using Word Of Mouth Recruiting?

Some business owners and HR professionals sometimes wonder: How do I find employees by using word-of-mouth recruiting?

How Do I Find EmployeesToday, we’re turning to HRwisdom contributor Dunya Carter for some advice.

Over to Dunya . . .

How Do I Find Employees Using Word Of Mouth Recruiting?

Transforming an Old Model: Word-of-Mouth Recruiting

The world may be immersed in social media, but the most satisfying interactions online are more about personal connections than they are about technology. People want to feel connected to other people. Why not use that need for connectedness to boost your recruiting strategy through word-of-mouth? 

Strategies for Word-of-Mouth Recruiting

Offer referral bonuses. Pay or otherwise reward your workers for referring qualified candidates. Gamification can make it competitive and fun. You can reward workers at the time of the referral and again when new hires have proven themselves. Engaging workers in the recruiting process increases morale and and employee loyalty. Good workers want to work with others who will do a good job, so they are likely to refer people who are a good match for your company.

Support professional networking. Encouraging employees’ memberships in professional organizations is a win-win in any organization. Employees refresh and revitalize their knowledge about your profession at professional meetings while making personal connections with possible recruits for your business.

Encourage using social media for recruitment and networking. People pay less attention to your business’s social media activities than they do to their friends’ social media postings. So reward your employees for posting job ads or company marketing on their social media pages. That might mean that information about your engineering firm is tucked between cute baby pictures and George Takei’s memes, but that might be the perfect spot to catch some interest. It’s just schmoozing in a digital age.

Transform the career fair. Don’t just send your recruiters to these events. Take your best and most positive employees along to talk to people face-to-face about what it’s really like to work in your company. Add a kiosk with employee testimonial videos and you will entice even more job-seekers to stop at your booth.

Support word-of-mouth recruiting. If you want your employees to help recruit for your company, you have to make sure that they have a positive message to spread. Your organization needs to have a positive feel, and you need to make sure that they know enough about the company–not just their own department–to talk about it knowledgeably. What people tell others about the company and the culture can’t really be controlled, so be sure that there are lots of positive things going on that you want to have spread to future recruits and give them resources like a career site to share. Your employees can post a link to the site or direct their friends to the site to help keep the message of your brand unified. 

Benefits and Drawbacks to Word-of-Mouth Recruiting

The most talented job-seekers will be comparing a variety of workplace options. People consult with their friends when learning about an organization, and word-of-mouth can make your company more attractive to highly skilled candidates. However, word-of-mouth recruiting can also backfire on you if your workplace is not a great one for employees. If your organizational culture is in a negative place right now, work on building morale before you start building a word-of-mouth recruiting program.

Relying too heavily on word-of-mouth recruiting will limit your applicant pool, which can be a problem. If you lack diversity in your company, you will find that referrals tend to merely add to the homogeneity. However, if you have some diversity in your company already, you can build on that strength through this recruiting strategy. 

Overall, building a corporate culture to support word-of-mouth recruiting is good for your company. A positive organizational culture makes employees more loyal and productive and gives them a persuasive message to share with the world. Employees that are active professionally stay up-to-date on innovations and activities outside your company, enhancing your core mission. In general, word-of-mouth recruiting is an excellent asset to add to a company’s recruiting toolbox.

Dunya Carter is a Brisbane-based marketing and HR consultant and blogger. She is currently working for Ochre Recruitment, a leading Australian medical recruitment agency. She contributed articles to many international HR industry websites and blogs including The Fordyce Letter, College Recruiter, Colleague and others. Get in touch with Dunya via Twitter.

HRwisdom

Bring Your Own Device To Work – Is It A Good Idea?

Today HRwisdom contributor Victor Daily looks at: Bring Your Own Device To Work and asks – is it a good idea?

Over to Victor . . .

Bring Your Own Device To Work (BYOD)

In the environment of IT services, change is the biggest constant. Along with the advent and growth of cloud computing, the concept of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is forcing all sizes of companies to deal with the many challenges and opportunities that this innovation presents.

With over 700 million smartphones and several hundred million tablets shipped in 2012, the world now has more smart devices in the market than employees.

Bring Your Own Device To WorkWith an increasingly mobile and wired working force and population, many businesses realise that their employees are working from a multitude of devices, not just company-supplied appliances.

However, these businesses are grappling with a multitude of items related to this changing environment, including:

  • Device security
  • Data privacy and security
  • Compatibility
  • Software and hardware integration
  • Network access and service levels
  • Backup and disaster recovery
  • Human resources and retention compliance issue.

In fact, the Bring Your Own Device issue has moved out of the realm of being controlled by the MIS and IT departments. The complexities, with a range of pros and cons, are involving all levels of corporate staff and planning.

The Non-Technical Issues

For example, in just the area of human resources, the BYOD discussion now includes such thing as:

  • How free is a company to monitor such dual-use devices? With a personal ownership and use, there are limits on the ability to check all the applications and data transmitted on a device.
  • The possibility of claims for compensation for use of the device and off-the-clock work time claims.
  • Potential tax and related financial consequences of a benefit of employment.
  • Work place confidentiality is a major issue, particularly in the event of voluntary or involuntary separation of the employee. Policies for retaining work records, resetting passwords and the like are all hurdles being addressed by employers.

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FREE WORKPLACE LAW BRIEFINGS: See available session times here: Free Workplace Law Briefings For Employers [/box]

The Dollar Issues

From an accounting perspective, new rules and regulations are necessary to deal with issues such as:

  • Shared cost of the device and usage fees
  • Billing issues and disputes
  • Dealing with multitudes of service providers
  • Sharing costs of convenience versus usage for business.
  • Responsibilities for maintenance and upgrades

Back to the IT Issues

In the end, however, the ultimate issue of BYOD comes down to the IT constraints. Regardless of all other benefits and advantages, any system that allows significant threats to data and the IT infrastructure requires extremely careful scrutiny and diligence.

The many opportunities for conflict with established IT protocols have many tech managers extremely concerned. It is not merely an issue of turf in this case. These individuals responsible to maintain system integrity and prevent breaches point out the near impossibility of doing so with such a variety of equipment and version, platform, configurations and incompatible features. The challenge of providing and monitoring access rights and protocols compounds the issues into a literal security nightmare.

At the heart of the issue is privacy and security. This applies to workers as well as the companies that employ them. It is a two-way street where the company may have access to personal data, and the employee opening the door to secured company applications and data.

As an example, the question becomes one of the proper actions if a personal device is lost or stolen. Will the company have the right to reach out and erase all data on the device? Will that mean automatic installation of such remote software for any personal BYOD item? What steps are to protect the individual’s private data in such a situation?

Another, more frightening situation for the individual is culpability for a major corporate security breach. With some recent security issues causing damages in the hundreds of millions of dollars, this is no small concern to any company or employee.

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FREE WORKPLACE LAW BRIEFINGS: See available session times here: Free Workplace Law Briefings For Employers [/box]

The BYOD issue has already seen some companies stepping back from an early and full adoption of its advantages. There is no question, however, that the world of BYOD is here to stay in some form. The issues will absorb a lot of management attention and focus in the coming months.

About Victor Daily

Victor Daily is a business consultant and writer. He currently writes about the newest trends in business and human resources. He is also a consultant for Apply Direct in Australia.

Workplace Sexual Harassment [Powerful Video]

A major issue for any employer is how to prevent workplace bullying and sexual harassment.

Under Occupational Health and Safety and anti-discrimination law, employers have a legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace.

This short video explains:

  • What is workplace sexual harassment.
  • The social and economic effects
  • What employers should do.

Feel free to share the video with friends and colleagues using the sharing buttons below.

 

 

Get $30 and a free transfer when you use CurrencyFair to send money overseas via this special HRwisdom offer code: https://www.currencyfair.com/?channel=RCFL11

Get $30 and a free transfer when you use CurrencyFair to send money overseas via this special HRwisdom offer link.

 

Workplace Sexual Harassment Video

 

Remember, it is important to be proactive when it comes to this area.

The Australian Human Rights Commission explains:

[quote] Employers have a duty of care for employee health and well-being whilst at work. Any employer that allows bullying to occur in the workplace is not meeting this responsibility.  Workplace bullying is verbal, physical, social or psychological abuse by your employer (or manager), another person or group of people at work. Workplace bullying can happen in any type of workplace, from offices to shops, cafes, restaurants, workshops, community groups and government organisations. Workplace bullying can happen to volunteers, work experience students, interns, apprentices, casual and permanent employees. Some types of workplace bullying are criminal offences. [/quote]

For more information, click here to download a government resource for employers.

The resource aims to assist small, medium and large employers to understand and meet their legal obligations under the Sex Discrimination Act. It also provides practical guidance on how employers can prevent sexual harassment and how to respond effectively when it occurs. In addition, the resource discusses recent legal developments concerning workplace sexual harassment and canvasses some of the new and innovative approaches to addressing sexual harassment.

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