How Inclusion Is Playing A Leading Role In A Great Work Environment

Inclusivity is a buzzword in the HR field.

Of course, you want to create a space that is warm and welcoming for all team members regardless of age, gender, culture or background.

But inclusivity can be so much more than that.

Embracing the full potential of your team members and creating a positive working environment is incredibly valuable on a personal and professional level.

That’s why inclusion is playing a leading role in retention, innovation, and so many other key areas of business. Let’s investigate this further to see how you can create an inclusive environment at your workplace.

What Is An Inclusive Workplace?

Creating an inclusive workplace is not about investing thousands of dollars or overhauling the way you do things. It is simply about creating an environment where everyone feels valued, respected, heard and supported regardless of their background, identity, or differences.

Leading from the top, focusing on inclusivity is creating a place where diversity is not only acknowledged but celebrated. All individuals should have equal opportunities to contribute, grow, and succeed.

Everyone should feel a sense of belonging, no matter who they are. Age, gender, race, culture, religion, sexual orientation, disabilities, or economic background should not be factors – in fact, you should actively work against discrimination or unconscious bias in these areas.

Inclusion is the way, as it fosters a place where people want to be every day and encourages the desire to work towards the common goals of the business.

The Value Of Inclusion

Inclusion is a valuable thing to foster in any environment, but especially in the workplace. Here’s why:

Self Confidence

Knowing you belong and matter helps you to have greater self confidence. New Zealand is becoming an increasingly diverse place. So, it makes sense that our workplaces are becoming equally diverse. Sometimes, majority groups can make others feel excluded simply because they have a habit of emphasising what they have in common.

This isn’t always done intentionally, but it has the negative impact of making those in the minority feel like an outsider. This can negatively impact their self confidence and make them less likely to engage with their role, the business, and the rest of the team.

If everyone can be consciously aware of their behaviour and foster inclusivity, every team member can feel confident, happy and engaged in their work.

Innovation

Businesses that innovate can stay relevant and reach their full potential. That’s because they can adapt to the constantly changing environment that surrounds them and come up with creative solutions to challenges.

When inclusivity is a focus, all your team will feel empowered to speak up and offer their ideas. This is when the best solutions come to light as you can gain perspective from all areas of the business to create practical innovation that works.

Retention

When your team feel the sense of belonging, support and fulfilment that inclusivity brings, you can significantly increase your staff retention rate. If they feel valued and included within your company, then they are more likely to develop a strong sense of loyalty.

Creating a space full of equal access development opportunities, flexible work arrangements for all, fair and inclusive policies, along with a diverse leadership representation shows your team that anyone can succeed and advance within the business. This obviously sets the stage for good talent acquisition and retention.

Why Inclusion Is Playing A Leading Role

Because the world is such a diverse place, inclusivity is a big focus, and it should be. More and more people want to work in an inclusive workplace. They seek out businesses that offer this environment for two reasons. The first one is obvious, they want to feel like they fit in. The second reason is that they don’t want to be part of a company where their colleagues might feel excluded.

That’s why inclusion is taking a leading role in creating engaged and productive workspaces. When inclusion is a core business value you can get the best from your people as they all feel respected, heard and valued. Most importantly, your people will feel safe.

Creating An Inclusive Workspace

Core Values

Simply creating a diversity policy is not enough. Inclusivity needs to be embraced by everyone in the company, not simply seen as a policy to follow. When everyone embraces the concept of inclusivity, then they will all have an opportunity to thrive in an empowering environment.

This vibe should start from the top down with management leading the way. When your managers and leaders show sincerity and genuine interest in inclusivity it helps to intertwine these concepts into the daily behaviours of the business.

Seek Feedback

It can be difficult to know what your team want from a workspace unless you ask them! Collecting feedback is a powerful way to discover what your employees value. The way to produce the most fruitful results is to have them complete an anonymous employee survey so each team member can express their views without fear or judgment.

Collecting the feedback is only part of the process though. Once you have the results, it is important to make company wide changes in line with the needs of your team.

Review

Another important task is to review what is taking place in your business currently. What are some quick fixes you can enact to support a model of inclusivity? Getting some quick wins on the board will show your team you are committed to progress.

Then, it’s time to examine the more time-consuming aspects like policies, recruitment and remuneration. Employee policies should not have any barriers to inclusion. Review what policies you have in place and make changes accordingly. Clearly communicate to all your team what discrimination and harassment look like and the resulting consequences of this negative behaviour.

Your recruitment process should ensure any vacant role is equally accessible to all applicants and that no particular groups will be negatively impacted in the recruitment process.

Remuneration should be transparent and carefully structured. That way you can give guidance on starting salaries and any bonuses while ensuring pay equity is in place for all segments of the workforce.

Include Inclusion

Inclusion should be part of everything that you do. It should become part of your onboarding process so that new team members instantly feel welcome and connected to your business. It should also be part of the daily practices within your office, with meetings, activities and conversations that promote inclusion and understanding.

Don’t forget virtual inclusion either! Remote work is great for flexibility, but it can be isolating. Maintain human connection with those working remotely and ensure mental health resources are available for all.

Making Your Workspace Inclusive

No one wants people to feel excluded, but sometimes it can feel overwhelming to tackle inclusion in the workplace. Gaining the calm and practical advice of an expert HR team can take the stress out of the process and ensure nothing is missed.

The Spice Gals are the team to help you!

With extensive HR experience and a true focus on the human side of Human Resources, this is an area we are passionate about. We’d love to help ensure your workplace is a space where everyone feels relaxed, accepted and valued. Chat with our team today to see how we can help!

Effective Onboarding: What It Is And How To Do It

Got a new person joining your team?

Then you’ll want to make sure you have an onboarding plan in place.

Onboarding is a vital aspect of making sure a hire is successful long term. Having a plan in place can help your new team member feel welcome and comfortable from day one.

Of course, that will mean great things for the relationship they have with your business long term and the impact they can have on the workplace as a whole.

So, how do you master onboarding?

Well, first you need to understand how important it is, then you need to know how to effectively create an onboarding plan. Luckily, we are covering both of those things in this blog. So, just keep reading!

Effective Onboarding: What It Is And How To Do It

The Importance Of Effective Employee Onboarding

Every successful hire starts with a good onboarding programme! Why? Well, not only is onboarding the way to introduce your new team member to the environment they will be working in, but it is a critical part of the settling-in stage and helps set both employee and business up for overall success.

Here are some of the ways onboarding can help:

Improved Engagement

A well-designed onboarding process helps your new team member feel valued and supported. In turn, this can increase their engagement and satisfaction with their role (and your company). Of course, this is all round good news for you and the new employee, as you will both be getting the most out of the working relationship.

Increased Performance

Effective onboarding can help your new team member to understand their role and responsibilities. But, more than that, it also helps to clarify what is expected of them and what they should expect from your organisation. Having this clear grounding can lead to higher levels of productivity and better job performance as your new team member will have a complete understanding of how things work.

Reduced Turnover

Once you go through all the trouble of hiring awesome talent, you want to make sure you keep them! Effective onboarding can help retain your new hire by providing them with a positive first impression of your business and setting clear expectations from the outset.

Better Cultural Fit

We all know that a successful hire does not rely on skills alone. Cultural fit is a huge factor also. Onboarding helps new team members understand and align with your company’s values, culture, and norms. Having a cause to champion and collective goals to work towards creates a more positive work environment for everyone.

Ticking the Legal Boxes

Depending on the industry you work within, there will be legal requirements to meet with each role. Onboarding can help to ensure that new hires are aware of and understand important policies and regulations. Once they have a good understanding of the legalities, it reduces the risk of non-compliance and potential legal issues.

How To Onboard A New Team Member

Now that we know how valuable onboarding can be, let’s explore how to effectively onboard a new employee so that they can hit the ground running and you can maximise their impact!

Here’s the steps to follow:

1: Be Prepared

While you can follow the same basic format for onboarding new team members, the actual onboarding plan should be tailored to each role and each successful candidate. That way, you can acknowledge the different experiences and strengths that each person brings. Plus, you can ensure the specifics of each role are covered.

2: Set Up

Before your new employee arrives, ensure their workstation is set up with any necessary, equipment or supplies – that includes a desk, chair, computer, stationery, phone, tools etc. They should also have logons and access to all the software systems they will use along with any specific resources or uniform items.

3: Welcome!

Starting a role with a new company can be overwhelming and nerve-wracking. So, make sure their first day is a good one. Start on the right foot by warmly welcoming them and introducing them to their team. You’ll also want to conduct Manager meet and greets and explain the chain of command.

4: Comprehensive Orientation

Your new employee might know a little about your organisation already, but they won’t necessarily know about the parts that matter – the culture and your key values. Providing a comprehensive orientation that includes an overview of the company, its culture, policies and procedures, as well as an introduction to their role and responsibilities will set them up for success.

5: Assign a Mentor or Buddy

Consider pairing your new employee with a mentor or buddy who can provide support and guidance as they settle into their new role. It doesn’t have to be a manager or direct colleague. It’s better to get the right personal fit so that everyone feels comfortable.

6: Go on Tour

Now it’s time to go on a comprehensive tour of the workplace. This should include facilities like the bathroom and lunchroom, along with key areas within the company. Don’t forget, there will be a lot for your new hire to remember, so refreshers on where everything is, can be invaluable. If you work remotely or have a hybrid dynamic to your work environment, then your tour should be focused around the communication tools, channels and processes you as a business use to ensure success. In person is best so jump online and share your screen to ensure an interactive experience!

7: Training Material

Explain how their training programme will take place and make sure you include information about where the training material, Standard Operating Procedures, Health and Safety information and other resources can be found. Have an onboarding checklist ready to work through so that nothing gets missed.

8: Set Clear Expectations

Clearly communicate expectations for performance, working hours, and any other important details related to the role. This is also the opportunity to discuss flexible working conditions and locations, potential paths for advancement, and what the plan is for ongoing development.

9: 30, 60, 90 Day Touchpoints

Onboarding does not end once your new employee has been trained for the job. Schedule regular check-ins to ensure the new hire is settling in well and provide opportunities for feedback and support. Scheduling 30, 60 and 90 day check ins helps to provide a comms point during the ‘cone of silence’ gap when people are working out their trial period.

10: Encourage Feedback

Encourage your new employee to ask questions, provide feedback, and communicate any concerns they may have. This will help them to feel more involved in the business and can also help to point out any gaps you might have in your onboarding process.

Remember that plans are living documents and should be continually updated based on employee experience and feedback.

Want to ensure your new employees feel supported and valued when they start their new role? Then, chat with the Spice Gals about devising an effective and comprehensive onboarding programme now.


How To Perfect The Hybrid Working Experience

There aren’t too many good things that came out of the pandemic. But, there is one thing in particular that was positive – and that is an evolution of thinking about the way we work.

By being forced to stay in our homes throughout the lockdown period, we proved that we didn’t necessarily have to be in an office space to work effectively.

And as the restrictions eased, hybrid working became a thing.

Now, more than a year on from lockdown, people are still embracing hybrid working to achieve better balance and to better utilise company resources.

With a new way of working on the table, you have probably had to examine your traditional processes. Hybrid working is here to stay, so it’s time to perfect the experience for your team and your organisation. Here’s how you can do it.

A New Way Of Working

What is hybrid working? Well, you’re probably already doing it with your teams without using the fancy term!

Hybrid working is a flexible working arrangement where your staff work some of the time in a traditional office space and some of the time at a remote location, usually their home. The degree of flexibility should be based on the needs of the organisation and the individual workers.

It is this varying level of flexibility that makes hybrid working so amazing … and also quite hard to manage – especially if everyone is operating on different hours and days!

That’s why it is vital that you master and perfect the hybrid working experience so that it operates well for your business and for your employees. Here’s the steps to follow to do that:

Step 1: Review Current Arrangements

If you are like most New Zealand businesses, you probably threw together some basic hybrid working parameters back in 2020 and have been weathering the storm ever since. Chances are, those hastily set up working arrangements could do with some updating by now.

The first step is to review what you already have in place and assess how it has been functioning. Is it serving your business well and are your employees benefitting from the flexibility? What’s working really well and what could do with some refining?

Have a chat with key management and some of the employees who are using the flexibility of hybrid working to get their input. That way, you’ll have information from both sides of the working arrangement – business and individuals.

Step 2: Make A Plan

Now that you have your feedback, it’s time to create some clear guidelines about how hybrid working will function going forward. While the specifics might be slightly different for the individual depending on their role and level of responsibility, having some guidelines lets everyone know what the expectations are.

Remember that you want to create an arrangement that works for both the business and your employees. You want your employees to still feel like they have autonomy over their workload, but at the same time, working hours need to be productive and produce the right results for the business.

Step 3: Document It All

Once you have created your plan, it is important to document the hybrid working parameters so that they are widely understood and can be enforced.

Things that should be discussed and documented are start and finish times/working hours, the locations used for working (and if team members have all the resources they need at each location), and expectations around how working from home should be – dress standards for meetings, digital security etc.

Other Considerations

Another thing you might want to offer your team is ‘Flexications’. Working from home is one thing, but could your team work from a different country? A Flexication is the opportunity to work from anywhere in the world, mixing holidaying with work. It allows location-independent work conditions so that your employees can work from literally anywhere, completing their work obligations while adventuring in their downtime.

In terms of remote working, a Flexication doesn’t have to be much different to working from home from a business perspective. You just need to be clear on employee expectations like time zones and how this will be managed, ensure they are covered by Health and Safety procedures, that reliable WiFi and server access is available, and that privacy policies are met.

Why Go To The Trouble?

Setting up hybrid working parameters may feel like a lot of work. And you might wonder if it is worth all the trouble. We can assure you, it is if you do it right.

Offering hybrid working can help your staff to feel valued and respected. This often means that they are more engaged in their work and ultimately, more productive. It also helps you to be recognised as an employer of choice and encourages great staff retention. All of these things help to create great results for your business.

Perfecting Hybrid Working

To harness all of the positive aspects of hybrid working, you need to make sure you address the potential negative aspects. With people in the office at different times throughout the week, it can have a negative impact on company culture and how your team interact with each other.

It’s important to keep your employees engaged despite the distance. You can do this by planning deliberate social connections such as regular virtual or on-site team meetings and regular one-to-one check ins. Encourage collaboration with cloud based communication and document sharing tools to actively keep teams connected.

Make mental health a priority as it is easy to feel isolated when you are predominantly working remotely.

Also, ensure the current workspace is an enticing place to return to so that your staff actually want to be in the office as opposed to the comfort of their own homes.

Hybrid Help Is Here

Here at Spice HR HQ, we embrace hybrid working for our team. So, we’ve personally been through the process of setting hybrid working parameters that suit everyone, but still generate great company results.

So, if it’s time to review your current hybrid working arrangements, you can count on the Spice Gals to help you create parameters that are good for your business as well as your team.

Reach out to us today to chat about perfecting hybrid working at your place.

It’s All About Job Descriptions

Let’s talk about Job Descriptions…

They are vital documents within your business, not just for your team members.

They are obviously key for employees as they detail the tasks involved within a job and help to set expectations about what is involved with a role.

But they are equally important for employers.

Integral to the recruitment and onboarding process, these documents perform an essential settling role. And by keeping your job descriptions regularly updated, you can maximise the talent in your team and even boost employee engagement.

Want to find out how to do all of that with one little document? Then, keep reading to discover the power of a great JD.

The Importance of Good Job Descriptions

A good job description is more than simply a list of tasks for an employee to perform. It is an opportunity to create a valuable resource that will further the success of your business.

We know, it sounds like a lot of responsibility for one document. But we promise you, a JD is up to the task if crafted correctly!

Job Descriptions should have plenty of thought put into them to ensure they are accurate and that they align with your company values.  By compiling all the information about the role, your expectations and the skills required, into one place, you have a centralised resource that your employees can engage with and follow.

Having this resource on hand can mitigate risk as your employees will always know what is expected of them. This, in turn, can boost productivity and support greater employee accountability. It’s a win for everyone!

Not Just for Recruitment

A job description is obviously a key resource when recruiting. It helps a potential team member gauge whether the position is a good fit for them and produces quality candidate options for employers to choose from.

But, while a job description is a great resource for attracting the right talent to your business, it is so much more than that too.

It can also form an integral part of your onboarding process. By having this resource on hand, your new team member can become familiar with and engaged with their new role quickly as they know exactly what is expected of them.

It also gives you, as the employer, an opportunity to review the job role through a fresh set of eyes to ensure you are maximising the skills of your people and that the role remains effective within your business structure. 

3 Key Ways A JD Can Boost Business

Extended DISC ® Recruitment

When recruiting for a role, you don’t only hunt for the right skills and experience. You also want to ensure the candidate that you choose is the right fit for your team, personality wise.

A great way of doing that is by using Extended DISC®profiling. What is it? Well, Extended DISC®profiling begins with a short personality assessment that determines an individual’s personality type. Each person will show a different dominant trait – dominance, influence, steadiness, or conscientiousness. Obviously, some of these traits are better suited for certain roles than others.

You can use the information gathered from the Extended DISC®profile to see how suited a person will be to the particular role you are recruiting for. You can make the profiling process more powerful by linking the job description, ensuring you get the right fit for your team and the role. This is something our Spicey team specialises in, so reach out to us for help with this process.

Updating and engaging

Job descriptions only remain effective if they are updated regularly. They should be updated annually to capture any changes that have occurred in the last year. This is a process that should be done in consultation with your employees to ensure the details of the actual role (not what you think the role might be) are captured accurately.

By involving your team in this process, you are putting in the groundwork to retain good people and keep them engaged with your business. When your employees are involved in decisions like job design, they often feel more committed to the role and its success. It can also assist in shaping the position to their personal strengths.

Expectations and performance

It is hard to excel at something if you aren’t sure what is expected of you. Accurate job descriptions fix this problem as they help people understand exactly what your expectations are surrounding their role. This allows them to take greater accountability. When people know the specific demands of their role, they are also able to be more productive.

On the flipside, if your employees are not motivated and not meeting expectations, a detailed job description can help you to manage their performance. It can form the basis of the documentation for performance reviews, open conversations and, if needed, resulting disciplinary actions.

So, how are the job descriptions looking in your business? Are they detailed and effective? Are they relevant? Are you combining them with Extended DISC®profiling to find the most ideal candidates?

If you are feeling a bit sheepish about the answers to some of these questions, then reach out to our Spicey team now. We are experts on all things job descriptions and can help you get yours nailed today.

Why It’s Vital To Understand Your Team And How To Do It

Can a computer programme really help you understand your team? When it’s based on proven behavioural psychology concepts, utilises complex algorithms, and is successfully used by tens of thousands of organisations worldwide – yes, it can!

The key to building a successful team is understanding your people.

There are several ways you can do this, but Stay Interviews and Extended DISC© assessment tools help you do just that.

These assessments help leaders intentionally and intelligently understand employees while empowering workers to communicate with one another effectively.

Let’s take a closer look at what stay interviews and Extended DISC© are and and how they can help you understand your team.

Why It’s Vital To Understand Your Team And How To Do It

What Is A Stay Interview?

You’ve heard of an Exit Interview, right? Well, a Stay Interview can be even more valuable than the exit variety! At a Stay Interview, you sit down with each team member to gather information about what they value about their job and what can be improved.

By understanding what your team values, you can work to improve things in your workplace. This is going to raise employee retention rates in the long term. You may also discover some helpful tips from your team members that you can easily implement to improve culture, processes and more.

Not only that, but you are creating open lines of communication with your team, building their trust and engagement. Conducting a Stay Interview can be more effective than an employee survey as you are creating a two-way conversation situation where you can both bounce ideas and create opportunities for clarification or to answer follow up questions.

Stay Interviews are the in-person way to help you understand your team better. But, what about technology solutions?

What Is Extended DISC©?

Extended DISC© is a psychology-based assessment tool that helps organisations understand – and therefore better manage – their staff.

Based on the theory developed by psychologist Carl Jung, the Extended DISC© system is one of the most popular behavioural assessment tools in the corporate world. Extended DISC© provides insight into how individuals think, communicate, and interact using a series of questions and algorithms.

According to the science behind the Extended DISC© system, people can be divided into four central behavioural styles, indicated by the following letters:

  • D-style (Dominance)
  • I-Style (Influence)
  • S-Style (Steadiness)
  • C-style (Correctness)

The results of these assessments help shape an understanding of each individual’s strengths, challenges, and communication styles.

How Extended DISC© Assessments Can Help Your Team

Great teamwork doesn’t happen by accident. It takes patience, intention, insight, strong leadership, and the right mix of personalities to build a cohesive team.

In people management, everything boils down to personality and behaviour. Communication issues, conflict, poor performance and low productivity can often be traced back to personality clashes, misunderstandings, or incorrect role fit.

Extended DISC© offers a way for individuals not only to understand themselves better but also understand others more deeply. With these insights, leaders are better able to place employees in the right roles within their teams and manage them in the ways that mesh best with their Extended DISC© profiles.

Extended DISC© assessments help you to empower your team members to better understand their own conscious and sub-conscious behavioural styles. Discovering Extended DISC© as a team is even more valuable. Each staff member can identify and empathise with other behavioural styles, which improves communication and minimises the chance of conflicts.

Overall, job satisfaction increases, and increased performance and productivity comes with a more positive workplace culture.

Get The Best Out Of Your Team

One of the most valuable leadership qualities is the ability to get the best out of your team.

Everyone responds differently to different situations: some of your employees might do their best work under pressure, while others may perform poorly. One person may appreciate a heated debate with a colleague, while another individual could find the exchange stressful and negative. Some people are natural leaders who crave the opportunity to grow, yet others are happy to take a back seat and perform the job they’re comfortable with.

There is a place in your team for all these personality types, but you must be able to recognise each one to create a team environment that meets everyone’s needs.

Extended DISC© is a fantastic team-building tool as it can help you understand the dynamics of your team, identify where the key strengths lie and determine what gaps need to be filled.

A Valuable Workplace Asset

Alongside the in-depth Personal Analysis for each staff member, the Extended DISC© Team Analysis is invaluable.

Here’s how Extended DISC© describe it:

“The Team Analysis gives you an easy to use framework to understand complex issues quickly, solve problems and improve performance. It helps you align your business or team strategy with the behavioural characteristics of your team members.

The Team Analysis combines the results of the Personal Analysis results of your team into one report. It shows the team dynamics, the strengths and development areas of the team, and how the team members are adjusting their behaviours in the existing work environment.

Some popular applications of this tool include team development, strategic decision making, leadership development, organisational development, turnover reduction, conflict resolution and succession planning.”

 

What Does Team Building Look Like In 2022?

In the past, managers have made educated guesses while hiring and building teams and hoped that their people gelled well. But in 2022, team building doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Tools like Extended DISC© provide concrete, usable data to support leaders in building and managing highly effective teams.

DISC© provides a reliable framework to help make decisions and adjustments around people management while empowering staff to take responsibility for their interactions with each other.

Team building aims to create stronger bonds between team members and help them respect their differences while working towards common goals. There is no singular “right” way to achieve this – every team is different, and what works for one may cause havoc for another.

Post pandemic, managers face additional challenges when creating a strong team, such as hybrid work arrangements and remote workers. Team building may not happen as organically as it does in an office environment.

Today’s leaders need to be more intentional about providing opportunities for workers to interact – through structured exercises as well as more informal activities.

Want to know how to best manage the different personality types within your team?

Spice HR are Extended DISC© Accredited Practitioners and can help you with personal growth, team building, leadership, and recruitment. We are also masters at helping you maintain an excellent team culture with tools like the Stay Interview.

Contact us today to find out more.

How To Tackle Hiring and Onboarding New Staff Remotely

Many things became redundant during a pandemic – travel, music festivals, alarm clock sales (yes, really!) and for many, the good old office work environment.

But businesses still need to keep moving forward. They still have to serve their customers, source their supplies, and recruit and train new staff – only, all these “business as usual” processes look a lot different now than they did pre-COVID.

At Spice HR HQ, we’ve experienced changes too: our dynamic duo has become a beautifully rounded team of five.

We personally experienced what it’s like recruiting, hiring, and onboarding new staff remotely – a process that may be daunting for those new to the world of managing remote employees.

In this blog, we’ll explore how recruiting and onboarding are done differently over lockdowns and post-COVID and offer some insight on how to approach it with your business.

But first, we’d love to introduce you to the newest Spice Gals on our team.

How To Tackle Hiring and Onboarding New Staff Remotely

Let’s Talk About Spice

2021 was a year of growth for Spice HR, which meant we were able to bring a few fresh faces onto our team.

Pre expansion, you would be communicating with the original Spicey duo, Nicole and Nichola – but now, your documents and emails may be crafted by Justine, Bianca or Nina.

Let’s do a brief intro so that you can put a face to each new name:

Justine

Justine has more than 20 years of management experience, bringing a wealth of knowledge to the team. She has a passion for helping others thrive and for encouraging equity and inclusion. She believes there are always opportunities for improvement, continued personal growth, and doing the right thing, even when no one is looking.

Nina

Nina has a new HR degree under her belt, along with a past life as a manager. She has a passion for all things HR and has come on board to help our clients with their HR projects. When she’s not neck-deep in HR, Nina is running around after her toddler or out and about exploring the best places to grab a bite to eat.

Bianca

Bianca is our Spicey queen of all things admin. With 20 years in the workforce to back her up, she’s the one taking care of all the details and making sure everything runs smoothly. Like any good Spice Gal, Bianca is always up for a challenge and will often dive into the world of HR to lend the rest of us a hand. Like most Aucklanders, Bianca is looking forward to jumping on a plane and travelling again when the opportunity arises.

There you have it – with five members, we’re now officially as big as the actual Spice Girls and well on our way to Spice Gal World Domination!

Our newest team members have been onboarded and enveloped in the warm glow of our spicey culture. If you’re wondering how that works in times of lockdown and remote work, keep reading for some insight.

Things To Consider When Hiring and Onboarding New Staff Remotely

While the fundamentals of recruiting and onboarding remain the same, the process may look a little different. Due to lockdowns or location, some managers may not meet their employees in person before hiring, but that doesn’t need to be an issue.

In fact, thanks to digital advances driven by the pandemic, it’s now easier than ever to take care of hiring and onboarding new staff remotely. Let’s take a closer look at each part of the process.

Recruiting Remotely

The right fit remains one of the most important aspects of recruitment. And getting the right fit means effectively marketing your employee value proposition. To attract an employee who embraces and enhances your culture, you must be able to describe and demonstrate that culture.

This goes further than just your job advertisement or position description. Put some thought into how your brand appears from the outside looking in, via social media, your website, and word of mouth from previous and current staff.

Share pictures and videos online of how your team collaborates, even in a remote work environment. Talk about your camaraderie in an authentic way, and work on building genuine connections between your existing employees to organically build a great culture that’s visible to all.

Virtual interviews are often more efficient than in-person interviews and can be less daunting for candidates. Zoom or Teams are usually the go-to methods here, and most people are more than familiar with how they work by now!

When it comes to paperwork, it’s now possible to do it all digitally. Even contracts can be signed virtually using a tool like DocuSign or HelloSign. That means a faster, more efficient hiring process. And if you’re lucky enough to have an HRIS, then it’s all automated for you!

Onboarding New Staff Remotely

How does onboarding new staff remotely work? You can’t give them an office tour and introduce them to your team during a morning coffee break, so what’s the procedure?

Well, setting expectations is still crucial, so it’s important for managers to communicate with a new hire before their first day on the job. This is an opportunity to provide any documents or materials that they need to understand how your business works.

Share your values and culture in ways that feel appropriate; written documents followed up with a Zoom call for a more in-depth chat is a good start.

You’ll also need to share copies of your code of conduct, employee handbook and any other documents that can help your new hire integrate into the business smoothly.

How Do You Onboard Remotely?

One on one and group video calls will be needed to introduce the team, and these should continue regularly to ensure that camaraderie and connection develops between your employees.

You may even want to set up a mentor or “buddy system” so your new hire has a closer relationship with a specific person (whether that’s their direct manager or a colleague) – someone who’s on-call to help them navigate their new role.

Bear in mind that it can take a little longer for someone to integrate into a new work environment remotely. They don’t have the opportunity to interact with managers and colleagues as organically as they would in an office environment.

Give them the time and resources they need, and don’t assume that if they’re quiet, they’re doing just fine. Managers must be proactive and check-in, ask for feedback, and be ready to provide more support if needed.

Spicing Up Your Hiring and Onboarding

It can be tricky to navigate the process of hiring and onboarding new staff remotely in this world of post-pandemic business.

If your business needs some support to recruit and onboard new team members – remotely or otherwise – the Spice HR team are here to help.

Contact us to find out what we can do for you.

The Importance of Job Descriptions for Staff Retention and Performance

The Importance of Job Descriptions for Staff Retention and Performance

When was the last time you reviewed the job descriptions for your team? If it’s been a while, then you’re probably underestimating the importance of these often overlooked documents.

Every New Zealand business uses job descriptions (we hope!), as it’s a legal requirement to provide one for each employee. But many businesses fail to leverage them to their full potential.

Often, they end up tucked away in a virtual file, only to be dusted off and reviewed next time a position needs to be filled.

If this sounds familiar, it’s time to change the way you approach your job descriptions.

By keeping them up to date and using them as a management tool beyond the recruitment process, you can help shape your company culture, increase staff retention and performance, and future proof your business.

Here are some of the ways the not-so-humble job description can help level up your business.

Effective Recruitment

Job descriptions are most often put under the spotlight when it’s time to recruit for a role. So, this is the ideal time to ensure they are accurate and up to date.

This is your opportunity to attract someone who not only has the right skills for the job but is also the right fit for your company culture.

The more accurate the job description is, the better it will be at attracting high-quality candidates. This streamlines the entire recruitment process and makes it easier to select someone who will add value to your business.

Remember, cultural fit is just as important (if not more so) than skills fit. Skills can be taught or improved, but personal attributes are way less pliable!

Job descriptions are also important from a legal perspective. They can be used to demonstrate that there are legitimate, non-discriminatory considerations used in the hiring process.

 

Improved Staff Performance and Productivity

The recruitment process may be over, but the position description’s job is far from done! In fact, this is where the real spicy work begins.

We know that effective communication is vital to the success of any organisation. Well, your job descriptions are excellent communication tools. They clarify the expectations for employer and employee, leaving no room for ambiguity or confusion – if they’re honest and up to date!

Job descriptions help your team understand exactly what they should be doing, providing direction and meaning to their roles which help promote job satisfaction and increase engagement and productivity.

Beyond the day-to-day tasks, well-written job descriptions communicate how each team member contributes to the success of the organisation and outlines how they can continue to grow within their role.

They establish a set of expectations that assist with performance development and help prevent or resolve any grievances that arise.

Increased Retention

What happens when employees are confused about their responsibilities, mismanaged, or faced with tasks that lie outside of their skillset?

Frustration, decreased productivity, lack of engagement, conflict, and potentially, lost employees.

All this can result from outdated, inaccurate, or poorly written job descriptions.

However, nailing the job description ensures you attract candidates who are an excellent fit for the role. When your team are aligned with the culture and values of your business, they’re far more likely to enjoy and value their work and stick around for longer.

That means increased retention and reduced costs associated with recruitment.

Future-Proofing Your Business

Do your job descriptions reflect what is actually happening in your business as well as address the future needs of the business?

Is there a skill shortage now, or will there likely be one in the future? Are your employees already stretching beyond their job descriptions? Is there a mismatch between the needs of your business and the abilities of your team?

Job description reviews are a great way to answer the big questions that help you future-proof your business. They allow you to effectively structure and align roles within the business and pinpoint gaps that need attention, whether via training and development or specialist recruitment.

Is It Time to Review Your Job Descriptions?

If your job descriptions have been a little starved for attention of late, now is the perfect time to assess your team and identify any gaps. This leaves you plenty of time to come up with a plan of action for the new year.

Great job performance starts with recruiting the right talent. Alongside a well-defined job description, an Extended DISC report on potential candidates can help you identify new hires that are going to be a great fit for your role and culture.

Spice HR offer DISC Recruitment Reports that can assess how well candidates align with the role.

Contact us today to find out more.

Individual Employment Agreements: Are Yours What They Should Be?

Times they are a-changing – and quite rapidly, thanks to advances in technology and the impacts of COVID-19.

In spite of that, some things will always remain the same when it comes to people management. One of those is the legal need for individual employment agreements for each of your staff members.

But even these standard documents need to evolve with the times. With flexible work arrangements and lockdown restrictions becoming the norm, it’s essential to modify your individual employment agreements (IEAs) to reflect any changes to salary, hours, location or job description.

So, let’s look at why IEAs are so vital, what changes you may need to make to them due to the evolving workplace climate, and how to modify them.

Individual Employment Agreements: Are Yours What They Should Be?

The Value of Individual Employment Agreements

Employment agreements can be collective or individual, but the bottom line is that they are a legal requirement under the Employment Relations Act. If you employ someone without a signed agreement, you could face fines of up to $20,000.

Beyond legal compliance, employment agreements provide enormous value for both employer and employee. The same can be said about job descriptions (JDs) and employee handbooks. Although a handbook isn’t a legal requirement, all these documents help outline the expectations for both parties.

Clear communication is vital in any working relationship, and these documents set the scene for effective communication from the beginning. They outline exactly what is expected for the employer and the employee, including the rights, obligations and responsibilities of each.

New employees know exactly what’s expected of them, and there’s no confusion. This enables them to perform to expected standards, and simplifies the performance management process for managers.

The Benefits to Both Parties

The IEA and accompanying documents cover things like job performance and indicate what actions could result in a termination, guiding employees on how to act appropriately to align with your organisation’s workplace culture.

When these conditions are clearly stated, employers have recourse to take disciplinary actions if they are breached.

With salary, benefits, time off, work hours, and general expectations clearly outlined, everyone is on the same page, reducing the chance of conflict and miscommunication. These documents really do form the backbone of a positive work relationship and workplace culture.

Modifying Employment Agreements

In today’s working climate, it’s quite likely that an employee’s role or working conditions will change at some point during their time with your organisation.

More people are already working from home or considering flexible working arrangements thanks to COVID-19.

As such, it’s vital to modify individual employment agreements to reflect these changes. But as with the initial agreement you made when hiring, these changes can’t just be decided by the employer and forced upon an employee.

They must be mutually agreed upon, and there is a process to follow, even amidst the uncertainty of COVID-19.

Any modifications should be preceded by a consultation period, where managers clearly explain the changes and why they are being proposed. Employees must then be allowed time to consider the proposal and given an opportunity to provide feedback or offer alternative suggestions.

Any adjustments to the IEA must be made in good faith, agreed to in writing, and signed by both parties, regardless of whether it’s a temporary or permanent change to the agreement.

The key words here are “good faith”. We understand that everyone is under increased pressure during lockdowns, and many are facing hard times, but none of this removes the need to treat each other fairly and kindly.

Accommodating Different Ways of Working

Of course, it’s not just employers who can instigate a change to IEAs. Employees also have the right to ask for flexible work options, including changes to their hours, days, and place of work.

If employees are shifting to remote work or working from home, even temporarily, it’s still the employer’s responsibility to protect them from workplace health and safety risks – both physical and mental.

Due to restrictions around COVID-19, businesses may have to find different ways to operate to keep everyone safe and comply with regulations, such as staggering start times or offering work from home opportunities. These changes may be permanent or temporary, but the length of time should be outlined in the IEA.

Any change in hours – whether a reduction or a return to normal hours – must be stated in writing in the employment agreement or variation to agreement and signed by both parties, after the employee has had time to consider the changes.

In some cases, an employee might agree to a change in job description where necessary. As with any other modifications to the IEA, the employer has to follow the correct processes for these changes.

An individual employment agreement is a vital document that protects you and your employees, provides clarity, and ensures everybody is treated fairly. Right now, and perhaps for years to come, the workplace is rapidly evolving, so your employment agreements must evolve too.

If you need support or advice about how to handle your IEAs, contact Spice HR today.