Understanding The Compliance And Ethics Involved With AI

Let’s talk AI.

One of the most impactful business innovations of the last few years, you are probably already enjoying some of its power in your workplace.

But, like Uncle Ben said to Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility!

Yep, it is your responsibility to ensure your business is utilising AI without breaking any rules, laws or regulations.

It’s time to consider whether you are using AI ethically and in compliance with privacy legislation.

Let’s look into these key aspects to see if you are playing by the rules.

What Is Considered AI?

What exactly is considered to be AI? In the workplace, artificial intelligence (AI) is the use of computer systems or software that perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. Because they are designed to mimic human behaviour and automate processes for efficiency, they improve accuracy and overall business performance.

These are some common examples of the kind of AI found in a standard workplace:

  • Chatbots or AI-powered Assistants: The components that handle routine customer or internal queries and admin tasks.
  • Automation: Software solutions that handle mundane or repetitive tasks like data entry, calendar management, triggered communication and more.
  • Machine Learning: Software that focuses on the use and analysis of data, along with algorithms to learn in the same way a human would, to improve its accuracy over time. Examples of machine learning can be as simple as product recommendations based on previous purchases, or as complex as talent acquisition and employee retention software.
  • Data Analysis: By using certain algorithms, AI can analyse large amounts of data quickly and accurately to identify patterns and trends that can be used for business improvement.
  • Predictions: The analysis of historical data can help to form predictions or forecasts for the future, allowing for insight into staff turnover, financial performance, or inventory management.

Your Responsibilities

By utilising AI in your business, it is your responsibility to ensure it is being used both ethically and legally. That means paying attention to these areas in particular:

Privacy

New Zealand has very strong privacy laws under the Privacy Act 2020. Among other things, the Act regulates how you collect, use and handle personal information. This applies to the data belonging to every individual who interacts with your business, including employees, team members, contractors, suppliers, clients, guests and inquiries.

The Privacy Act states that you need to gain consent from the people whose data you are using and only use the data for the purpose that it was collected. You also need to protect that data. So, you need to ensure that any AI tools comply with these principles.

Be mindful that simply uploading people’s private information into an AI data system may breach privacy laws. Before doing anything, check the security and privacy parameters for each individual AI tool to confirm it complies with NZ privacy standards. You might have to gain consent to use any personal data within AI technology systems.

Intellectual Property

One of the major things individuals use AI for in the workplace is content creation. Emails, marketing posts, images – all these things can be created by AI. But is it ethical to do so?

By the nature of what AI is, it draws information from many sources on the internet to form your content. That means, it harvests thoughts and ideas, even direct quotes, from content that has already been written and published. What takes seconds to pull together with AI took the original authors hours to craft. You are benefiting from their hard work before you.

Not only is this ethically questionable, it also puts you in danger of potentially breaching copyright. While New Zealand does not yet have specific laws relating to content created by AI tools, it’s important to recognise how the content is formed. Rather than copying and pasting the content that is generated by a tool like ChatGPT, it is best to use it for idea generation or a content starting point.

Business Assets

Speaking of intellectual property, it is vital that you take steps to protect your business’ own intellectual property when using AI. As many AI software solutions are new to the market, we don’t fully understand how they process the data that is input or who can access that information in the future. That’s why you and your team should be cautious about what you load into AI programs.

It’s best to avoid inputting extremely sensitive business information. Translation: don’t put your trade secrets into AI as you don’t know where they might end up! After all, we highly doubt the Colonel is going to be loading his secret ingredient blend of 11 herbs and spices into ChatGPT! That info is just too precious to risk getting into the public space.

Using AI Responsibly

How can you ensure you are using AI responsibly in your business? These are some of the ways:

Policies

Rather than blindly using AI in your business, you need to form policies around what tools you will utilise and how they will be used. Think consciously about which ones you intend to use and how they will impact the data you have an obligation to protect. Are there any risks that need mitigating or could a non-AI tool be used instead?

Then, choose tools that do not jeopardise privacy laws and be transparent about their use by documenting everything in an AI-specific policy. Once the policies are in place, the job is not done. Technology evolution always moves at a lightning fast pace, so you need to instigate human reviews regularly to ensure your AI tools are not retaining or disclosing data incorrectly.

Team Training

Your policies are only going to be effective if your people understand them! So, you will need to arrange training for your team members to ensure they are aware of their obligations when using AI tools. They need to be able to use the tools effectively and responsibly and understand their limitations.

Training should be practical, showing your people how to physically use the tool, such as inputting data and examining the results generated, along with the AI-generated decisions. But training should also delve deeper, highlighting that AI should still respect an individual’s privacy rights, their intellectual property and that it should avoid discrimination and harm.

If they feel that AI is creating any negative impact within your business, encourage your people to speak out so that it can be remedied.

Help And Support

In the greater scheme of business, AI is a relatively new technology that we are all learning to navigate. If you have concerns about the potential impact on your business, now is the time to take action. Reach out to our team if you would like assistance in forming the policies and training program surrounding AI in your workplace.

Extended DISC®: The Secret To A Better Workplace Environment

Wouldn’t it be great if you could have insight into who your team members really are?

To understand their behaviours and how you can make them gel as a harmonious team.

Well good news, Extended DISC® can provide you with this information and more.

A form of psychometric testing carried out through a simple self-survey process, you can learn everything you need to create a fantastic working environment as well as establish how new candidates might fit into that dynamic.

Nope, it’s not witchcraft. Such a tool does exist!

Read on to find out more about it.

Extended DISC®: The Secret To A Better Workplace Environment

What Is Extended DISC®?

Extended DISC® personality assessments can help you maximise the performance of your business by giving you a greater understanding of the personalities within your team and how they might work together. Sounds pretty fancy, right?

As Extended DISC® practitioners, we can help you delve into who your people are and how they approach their work. Using a short self-assessment tool, current or potential employees answer a number of questions. The answers to those questions will reveal helpful insight into their unconscious behaviours and the adjusted conscious traits they have in the workplace.

Knowing more about your team’s personalities can help you manage them better and maximise the key skills they possess. DISC profiling can also be helpful as a recruitment tool to give an indication of how someone might fit into your existing team dynamic.

What Does DISC Mean?

DISC is an acronym created by the four primary personality types that the psychometric testing reveals. It stands for:

D – Dominance

When individuals present with the Dominance characteristic, it means that they show assertiveness, competitiveness, and are direct in their communication and decision making. Many D type personalities are results oriented and like to be the ones in charge.

I – Influence

If Influence is the main characteristic of someone’s personality, then they are people oriented, sociable, enthusiastic and persuasive. They love to make social connections in the workplace and often relish collaborative opportunities where they can work with others.

S – Steadiness

Having Steadiness produces individuals who are patient and dependable, preferring stability in their working lives. They tend to be very loyal and trustworthy team players who can listen well and work autonomously. They have a good balance between being task oriented and people oriented.

C – Compliance

If Compliance is the main trait, then people tend to be analytical, logical, and conscientious. That means they like structure and rules! But they are also excellent problem solvers, able to think deeply about challenges and issues that arise.

While most people will have a dominant trait, they will also have signs of the other traits in their working behaviour too. That’s why DISC reports can be so insightful.

Where Can Extended DISC® help?

The Extended DISC® process is really helpful in two main areas of your business:

Recruitment

One of the biggest challenges of recruitment is establishing whether a candidate is going to be a good fit for your existing team. They might have the right skills and experience on paper, but paper doesn’t tell you about their personality. Well, unless that piece of paper is a printout of a DISC report!

By understanding the behaviours of candidates or internal applicants, you can ensure they are placed in the right roles within your company. Set them up to succeed in the role and you will enjoy greater staff retention and better productivity from your whole team.

Ongoing Business

When you understand your team better, you can achieve more. Communication, conflict resolution, development, and workplace culture can all be improved with greater insight into your team’s behaviours. You can even enhance sales and customer service strategies by adapting them to appropriately fit the behaviours of your sales and service teams.

The Benefits Of Using DISC

Better Recruitment

Truly establish who is the best fit for the role by having the Spice Gals link your Job Description to an Extended DISC® Recruitment Report. This can help you to shortlist the right candidates by measuring the values and competencies that are non-negotiable for your business during the recruitment phase.

Couple that with other assessments like skill and cognitive ability testing, along with matching their job-relevant competencies based on their personality traits, and you will position yourself to find the ideal candidate every time.

Better Team Culture

When everyone understands each other better, it helps to create a positive team culture. People feel more valued, so become more invested in their roles and in creating good outcomes for the business. This positivity reduces conflict and creates a better working environment. And when people are happy in their work, they are more productive and give a consistently better performance.

All of this adds up to increased staff retention, better engagement from individuals, and an overall positive team culture.

Better Development

Ongoing development is essential for good business performance. DISC can help you identify the areas of development that are going to be most beneficial for your individual team members.

Not only can you help your team develop better communication and increase their skill and knowledge base with ongoing learning, coaching and leadership development, but you can also boost team dynamics.

Finally, you can be consciously aware of the common stress triggers for each of your team, allowing better leadership development and people management.

Time To Be Better?

Extended DISC® can help your business be better in so many ways. And if you’d like access to this amazing tool, we can bring it to you.

As Extended DISC® Accredited Practitioners, we can use the Extended DISC® system to help with recruitment, personal growth, team building and leadership at your workplace.

We have a number of different DISC reports that can give you the insight we’ve just discussed. So, we’d love to get to know you and your business better so that we can recommend the best option for your organisation.

Chat with the Spice Gals today.

How To Make Sure Your Policies and Procedures Are Followed

Policies and procedures! Yep, we know they are two of the most boring words in business.

But, if you don’t get them right, it can cause a few headaches you won’t want to deal with.

So, let’s look at these super exciting documents in a little more detail.

Which policies and procedures does your business need, how can you make sure they are followed by your team, and what can you do if they aren’t?

How To Make Sure Your Policies and Procedures Are Followed

What Are Business Policies and Procedures?

Policies and procedures are essential components of your business operations. They provide a framework and guidelines for employees to follow while carrying out their duties. Your workplace’s specific policies and procedures ensure consistency, compliance with laws and regulations, and efficient business operations.

While the specifics and tone of your policies and procedures may vary depending on the nature of the business, here are the policies we feel every business should have:

Code of Conduct

A business code of conduct is a set of guidelines and principles that outline the expected behaviour and “conduct” for individuals working within an organisation. It helps to serve as a moral compass and establishes a framework for ethical decision-making and responsible business practices. It promotes integrity, transparency and compliance throughout all levels of the business.

Disciplinary Policy and Procedure

A disciplinary policy outlines the guidelines and procedures of how an organisation handles disciplinary matters like employee misconduct or performance issues. It provides a structured framework for addressing violations of company policies, rules, or standards of behaviour and defines the consequences that may result from any misconduct.

The reason it is documented into a policy ensures consistency and fair treatment of employees while maintaining a productive and respectful work environment.

Health and Safety Policy

Your Health and Safety policy outlines your organisation’s commitment to providing employees, visitors, and customers with a safe and healthy work environment. It includes procedures for identifying and managing hazards, reporting incidents, and implementing safety measures.

Drug and Alcohol Policy

A Drug and Alcohol policy is exactly as it sounds. A set of guidelines that demonstrate how to deal with issues related to drug and alcohol use in the workplace. It is meant to ensure a safe, healthy, and productive work environment for all while mitigating the risks associated with using these substances. It sets out the company’s stance on drugs and alcohol, names prohibited substances, explains testing and screening, and specifies consequences and disciplinary action.

Vehicle Policy

Your company vehicle policy sets out the rules for vehicles owned or provided by the company for business purposes. It should include the expectations, responsibilities, and procedures that relate to the use, maintenance, and safety of the company vehicles.

Why You Need These Policies and Procedures

The various policies and procedures we just mentioned are what you can use to put your company rules and expectations into practice. Here are just a few of the ways these documents and processes can help you do that:

  • Set clear expectations for your employees
  • Identify and manage risks within your organisation
  • Allow for easier management decisions
  • Reduced risk of misunderstandings when it comes to employment conditions
  • Become a reference point for legislation and other compliance matters
  • Maintain consistency throughout all company branches and locations
  • Support good training and onboarding
  • Act as a backup for your employment agreements
  • Aid with crisis management and business continuity

Creating and Maintaining Your Policies and Procedures

If you don’t have any of the ‘must have’ policies that we mentioned in the above list, then now is the time to create them. You can get assistance with this from trained HR professionals, like the team here at Spice HR.

It’s also important to seek the input of your team when putting these policies together. Often, they are the ones on the ground, keeping the business running, so their thoughts and feedback will be invaluable for creating appropriate policies and procedures.

If you do already have these documents created, think about when the last time was that you updated them. If it’s been a while, then it might be time to review them. This will help to ensure that your policies and procedures remain relevant to your business. Look to review these on an annual basis and when there are any major changes within your organisation.

Communicating Your Expectations

It is all well and good to have these policies in place, but it is important that the information contained within them is communicated to your team.

Here are a few ways that you can do that:

  • Onboarding: When a new team member joins your organisation, ensure that instruction on the relevant policies and procedures is given during the onboarding process.
  • Easy access: Ensure your policies and procedures are stored in an area that is easily accessible by all your team. An intranet or cloud-based shared folder is ideal.
  • Share updates: When you conduct your annual policy review, make sure to share any changes with your team so that they are aware of any new expectations.
  • Provide training: Ongoing professional development will be one of your companies KPI’s. So, relate your training and education back to your policies and procedures where appropriate to ensure the information stays current and relevant.
  • Role modelling: Leading from the front is a technique that all your managers and leaders should be adopting, and this is no different from role modelling the good behaviours set out in your various policies and procedures.

What Happens If a Policy Is Breached?

Inevitably, there will be times when policies are breached by members of your staff. Whether it is intentional or accidental, it is important that any such breaches are dealt with efficiently.

Of course, the first step is to look at your Investigation and Disciplinary process. This will set out how to deal with the issue and who should be involved in the process. Depending on the severity of the issue, you may choose to include your HR team (or an HR expert like Spice HR) to make sure everything is handled correctly.

Whether the consequence is simply a conversation, performance management or disciplinary action, you want to ensure that you use timely and open communication and feedback throughout the process. Also, document everything so you know what has taken place. Then, if you need to seek advice, you can show your HR expert what has taken place.

Get Those Policies Put Together

How are the policies and procedures looking at your workplace? If they need some attention, now is the time to do it, as you don’t want to be caught short without the necessary processes in place.

And if you need support, help or guidance on how to put them all together, reach out to the Spice Gals today. We can make sure you have all the I’s dotted and the T’s crossed when it comes to your policies and procedures. Book a time to chat with us now.

When Automation Meets Human Leadership

It’s no secret that we are living in a world of developing technology.

And one of the biggest advancements in recent times is automation.

Incredibly helpful for streamlining processes and creating capabilities, automation is a useful tool that can aid with HR functions in your business.

However, it is important to remember that ‘Human’ is right there in the name when you are talking HR!

So, let’s explore what happens when Automation meets human leadership and how you can strike the right balance in your workplace.

When Automation Meets Human Leadership

What Is HR Automation?

HR automation refers to the use of technology and software to streamline and automate various Human Resource processes. This can include tasks such as record management, employee onboarding, performance management, payroll, and other administrative tasks.

There are a variety of HR automation tools available, with the most popular being an HR Information System (HRIS). These tools can help businesses save time and reduce errors by automating routine HR tasks, enabling employees to self-serve certain HR functions, and providing managers with better insights into employee performance and engagement.

Some of the benefits of HR automation include improved efficiency, increased accuracy, reduced administrative burdens, and better compliance with employment laws and regulations. Additionally, by automating certain processes, businesses can free up their HR team to focus on more strategic initiatives, such as employee development and engagement.

How To Use HR Automation

HRIS can help enhance engagement and productivity when it comes to the HR functions in your organisation. An HRIS can offer transparency and real-time data to allow for better feedback and reward and recognition.

Here are some of the benefits of using an HRIS in your business:

Easier onboarding

An HRIS can help to streamline your onboarding process as many of the manual tasks (like paperwork, orientation scheduling and sending welcome emails) can be automated. This can save your HR team time and creates an efficient process where nothing is missed. Onboarding progress can also be tracked, ensuring new team members are always fully onboarded and ready to start work.

By having a central platform that employees, managers and new hires can communicate through, it reduces confusion and ensures everyone is on the same page. Generally an HRIS also integrates with your other HR systems, such as payroll and recruitment platforms, so it makes it easy to have your new team member accurately set up in all the necessary systems and onboarded effectively.

Better training experiences

Even though automation is a big part of an HRIS, you are still able to personalise training programmes within the system, allowing managers to create tailored learning plans for individual team members based on their roles, skills and development needs. This is especially helpful as it means each training module is then relevant and useful to the individual employee, creating a more effective learning experience.

Having an HRIS that your team can log into means training material is easily accessible in one location, and everyone’s progress can be monitored.

Performance reviews

The automation capabilities of an HRIS can streamline your performance review process. Automate the tasks of scheduling review meetings, sending reminders to employees and managers, and collecting feedback from the right people to create an efficient, consistent and standardised review process.

Your system can also help you deep dive into performance data to identify high performing employees and areas of improvement. This helps with remuneration and creating plans for additional training and support where needed. Helpfully, this can also integrate with your payroll system too!

Having the review process standardised allows for timely feedback to be provided.

Staff engagement

You can use an HRIS platform for sharing employee appreciation and recognition. You can also track and monitor employee engagement outside formal review times via pulse surveys.

A wealth of data

Over time, an HRIS becomes a repository of HR documentation and employee history. It means you will always be able to lay your hands on specific HR detail when you need it.

It also allows for quick and easy reporting on HR data, creating the opportunity for analysis and prediction of trends that might influence your people strategy.

This data portal is not only of benefit to HR, it also has self-service elements to ensure leave requests and employee information remain up to date.

Keeps people connected

Workplaces have evolved in the last few years. While we used to all sit side by side in the office, things are quite different now. So, your HRIS can be used as an internal communication hub. This provides a seamless connection for all team members, whether they are in the office, working remotely, or a hybrid of the two.

Considering Human Leadership

Technology is clearly a massive part of our daily functions. But, we can’t rely solely on robots yet! There are simply some things that AI and automation systems cannot do. We still require strong human leadership to complement technological advancements.

Employees still want to be able to connect with their leaders on a human level. They don’t want leaders who are emotionally distant. They need connected, empathetic leaders who value investing in relationships with their team members.

Part of that is creating an environment of positive role models. It’s also about creating a great team vibe and leaders who provide personal and timely feedback on employee performance. Finally, today’s team members don’t simply want to work for managers, they want to collaborate on projects together and work for common business goals.

Leaders may need further training in soft skills to facilitate all of this. This will help them to develop trust and share accountability with their team. Remember that “Human Leadership” prioritises employee wellbeing and corporate culture. There is no longer a cookie-cutter approach to managing humans.

Balancing Humans And Automation

Creating the perfect working environment is about balance. You want to incorporate the benefits of automation that an HRIS offers, but ensure that your team is still backed by strong human leadership.

Need some help striking that balance?

Then the Spice Gals are here to help you do it. Have a chat with our team today!

How To Create Inclusion With Cultural Diversity In The Workplace

The world is an amazing place. Packed full of rich cultures, there are people from every corner of the world who have something unique and beautiful to offer. 

Which is why celebrating the richness of the world’s cultures is the focus of World Cultural Diversity Day. Held every year on 21 May, its purpose is to generate social cohesion and promote intercultural dialogue to help achieve peace and sustainable development.  

So, with this important day looming, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to explore the importance of embracing cultural diversity in the workplace. 

Let’s look at what workplace cultural diversity is, why it is beneficial for your business and how you can create an inclusive workplace culture for all. 

How To Create Inclusion With Cultural Diversity In The Workplace 

Recognising Cultural Diversity In The Workplace 

New Zealand is an incredibly diverse place. We have a large range of cultures, ethnicities and religions living in our beautiful country. Recognising this cultural diversity in the workplace is not only essential, but it can also be very beneficial! 

Employees from different cultural backgrounds work alongside each other every day. So, it’s imperative to recognise the needs and values of the different cultures, ethnicities and nationalities amongst your team.  

Successful businesses are increasingly those that recognise the importance of promoting cultural diversity in the workplace and who take deliberate steps to create inclusive environments, allowing team members of all backgrounds to thrive. 

What Embracing Diversity Can Do For Business 

There are many reasons to embrace cultural diversity in your workplace. Firstly, as we’ve already mentioned, we live in a diverse society, so any number of cultures can be represented in a workplace. Recognising and embracing that allows people to be comfortable in their workplace and allows them to be at their best every day. 

When people are comfortable, they thrive. Being part of a diverse and inclusive environment creates increased creativity and innovation, improved problem-solving abilities, and a better understanding of different perspectives and ideas. Creating a welcoming workplace culture that values diversity promotes a place of respect for all team members. 

Aside from the team culture aspect, it is important to note that many younger employees (who make up a growing proportion of workers) hesitate to join organisations with poor ethics and diversity. So, it could actually be detrimental to your business to ignore the diversity that no doubt exists in your workplace! 

The Benefits Of Workplace Cultural Diversity 

Cultural diversity can bring many benefits for both employers and employees. Some of the key benefits are: 

  • Better understanding: Working with people from different cultural backgrounds brings the opportunity to learn from each other and gain a better understanding of different customs, beliefs, and values. This can lead to an overall greater cultural awareness and more sensitivity, which can improve communication and collaboration. 
  • Improved customer service: Having employees who understand and can relate to different cultural groups can be a real advantage in terms of customer service. Customers will feel more comfortable and valued when they encounter employees who share their cultural background or are sensitive to different cultural needs. 
  • Greater innovation: A diverse workplace brings together people with different backgrounds, skills, experiences, and perspectives. This can lead to greater creativity and innovation as employees are consistently exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking. 
  • Improved problem solving: As well as innovation, diverse teams are often better equipped to solve complex problems. That is because they bring different perspectives and approaches to the table. This can result in more effective problem-solving and decision-making company-wide, giving your business a competitive advantage. 
  • Employee retention: When employees feel valued and respected for their unique contributions and perspectives, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work. This can lead to higher levels of job satisfaction and lower turnover rates
  • Increased profits: Being known as a culturally diverse company earns you a great reputation, both as an employer and as a company of choice for customers. People who align with your company values will choose to shop with you, potentially leading to increased profits. 

How To Embrace Cultural Diversity In The Workplace 

Creating a harmonious, culturally diverse workplace doesn’t have to be hard. Here are some of our best tips to make it happen: 

Company Values 

Consider ways that you can tie your organisation’s core values to your employee’s personal principles. This will give them a strong connection with your business. Not only does this help to create cultural diversity in the workplace, but it can also increase engagement within your team and improve staff retention. 

Conscious Recruitment 

When you recruit consciously, you are aligning your hiring process with your organisation’s mission and long-term goals. It involves looking at each candidate in depth, not only to assess their skills, but also how they would fit into your organisation as a whole and whether they believe in your mission and align with your values.  

The great thing about recruiting in this way is that you can share your values around cultural diversity to avoid bias when hiring. 

Celebrate Different Cultures 

We can all learn a lot from each other whether it be skills, knowledge or cultural experience. By celebrating different cultures in your workplace, you can integrate and recognise other cultural values and points of view for greater understanding and communication. 

Encourage inclusion by hosting shared cultural lunches and recognising specific festivals or other significant dates. Not only are you promoting learning and acceptance, but you can all have a great time while doing it! 

Adopt Flexibility 

You may find that people from different cultures have different needs in the workplace. So, adopting flexibility will allow you to cater for everyone. Get to know your team members and ask them what their individual needs are. Then, come up with a way that each employee can maximise their opportunities while still adhering to their culture. Remember, one size does not have to fit all! 

Encourage Communication 

We may not all speak the same native language, but we can all still achieve excellent levels of communication. Ensure you have a workplace that creates spaces for open and honest conversations. Address conflict as soon as it arises and encourage awareness and respect amongst your team. 

Consider Cross-Cultural Awareness 

You may even choose to undertake a cross-cultural awareness programme within your organisation. This is a form of training that helps all your team understand and respect the cultural diversity that exists within their workplace. It helps address language barriers, and specific cultural communication styles while promoting being open to the differences in each culture without stereotyping or bias.  

Embracing Cultural Diversity 

Diversity is part of what makes the world a fascinating place and promoting inclusion in your workplace can have many benefits for employers and employees. 

So, if you are ready to embrace diversity in your workplace, we are ready to help you do it. Chat to the Spice Gals today about how to create an environment of inclusion. 

Staff Retention: Why It’s The Key To Your Business Success

As an employer, what should be your biggest goal this year?

Bigger profits? More sales? Adopting AI?

While these things might be important, we strongly believe you should be putting your focus on another area of your business … staff retention.

Staff retention will be crucial for your organisation’s success as it helps to build continuity, reduce costs, increase productivity, improve customer service and SO much more.

So, how do you achieve good staff retention?

Let’s look into that concept now.

Staff Retention: Why It’s The Key To Your Business Success

The Importance Of Staff Retention

Good staff retention is excellent for your business, especially during the trying times we are currently living in. Here are just a few reasons why that is:

  • Saves Money: Recruiting and training new team members costs a lot in time, physical spend, and potential downtime for your business. That spend does not need to happen if you retain your current skilled staff.
  • Boosted Productivity: Experienced team members are more productive than brand new ones as they have a better understanding of your business goals and objectives. They are also more familiar with your culture and processes, allowing them to get on with their work quickly and effectively.
  • Great Customer Service: Being with an organisation for an extended period of time lets you get insight into the needs of the customers. This insight helps your experienced staff to deliver top level customer service; in turn, building customer trust and loyalty.
  • Knowledge Retention: By retaining your experienced employees, you also retain the knowledge they have developed while working with you. This knowledge is difficult to replace and can be critical to the ongoing success of your business.
  • Team Cohesion: High staff turnover is not good for team morale. It creates disruption and a situation where a continually changing set of personalities needs to find a way to work together harmoniously. Staff retention builds a more stable and cohesive team allowing for powerful collaboration.

These elements will be vital to the long-term success of your business.

Encouraging Good Staff Retention

With a potential recession looming, the last thing you want to be doing is replacing good employees because they are not feeling heard or valued. If your key employees walk out the door, then it will cost you a lot of time and money to replace them.

Retaining your key talent should be top of your priority list!

Here are just some of the ways you can do that:

Stay Interview

The Stay Interview is here to stay! But what is it? Well, a Stay Interview is when employees sit down with their managers to discuss their job satisfaction, goals and motivations. The purpose of the interview is to gather information about what is keeping them in their job and what factors might cause them to leave in the future.

The interview can be conducted at any time that the team member is working with an organisation. Its aim is to address any issues or concerns your employees might have and to set actions that will remedy those issues.

By taking the time to gain feedback from each of your employees, you can identify any areas of the business that might be problematic. Then, you can take steps to improve those areas and retain your vital team members. Those steps could be anything from training opportunities and providing more support to a change in job responsibilities or work environment.

Progression Pathways

With less time spent in the office, some skills are becoming obsolete and other roles are evolving. Employees are returning to the office after working remotely for some time. You will want to ensure that the role they were employed for still exists in the same capacity and whether their skills are still right for that job.

It’s time to take a deep dive into your business and the people you have working with you to create the right structure for everyone. You want to make sure each role is best suited for the employee undertaking it! So, talk with your team about valid career pathways so that everyone is in the best-fit role.

A really helpful tool for this is Extended DISC assessment. DISC is a form of psychometric testing that establishes each employee’s personality type. You can use the results to aid personal growth and to improve self-awareness, communication and teamwork. Here at Spice HR, we are Extended DISC Accredited Practitioners, so can help you get a true understanding of what makes your team tick.

Let Them Be Heard

Sometimes in an organisation, it can feel like there’s a disconnect between the team on the ground and the management team. Communication is the key to fixing any perceived divides.

You want your employees to feel heard, so the first step is to listen. This can be done in a range of ways. It can be as simple as a 10-minute one-to-one meeting where you give individual employees your undivided attention, or as complex as a companywide engagement survey.

Don’t forget that you actually need to do something with the feedback you receive from your team. Take steps to action any practical requests and look for ways to address issues.

Bring The Benefits

There are plenty of ways that you can implement initiatives that don’t cost a whole lot but can increase productivity and engagement hugely. Some of these are:

  • Flexible start and finish times
  • Create a wellbeing space in the workplace with accessible resources
  • Wellness challenges
  • Recognise awesome work with a company shout out page, brag board, or ABCD (above the call of duty) card
  • Offer mentorships with complementary colleagues
  • Discussions about career pathways and leadership opportunities
  • Offer longer break times
  • Bring your Pet to Work Day
  • Regular virtual meetups with fun activities like games or quizzes
  • Increased autonomy
  • A feedback box for input and suggestions from team members
  • Lunch with the boss days
  • Offer a 4-day workweek if that’s a possibility for your business. While team members are in the office for fewer hours, research has shown that their productivity is usually higher with a whole day of downtime up their sleeves.

There are also further benefits you can offer, but these ones will carry a cost for your business:

  • Extra leave
  • Give them their birthdays off work
  • Subsidised childcare
  • Bonus schemes
  • Professional development and training plans
  • Health insurance
  • Increased superannuation contributions
  • Regular remuneration reviews
  • Regular team lunches or outings
  • Wellness initiatives like courses, vouchers or partner discounts
  • Tickets to shows or sports games
  • Personal house cleaning
  • Employee anniversary celebrations

Encouraging Staff Retention

As you can see, there’s a lot to like about staff retention. But there is an awful lot that goes into retaining your high performing staff members.

So, if you know you need to retain your team, but would like a little bit of help doing it, the Spice Gals are here to help! Experts in people management, DISC assessment and building successful team morale, we can help you introduce simple retention initiatives that work.

Get in touch with our team today.

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.


Christmas Is Coming: Let’s Wrap The Year Up Positively

 

Christmas is just around the corner. 

While you might not be ready for it yet, the silly season will stop for no one!

That means there is only so much time to get everything wrapped up before the end of the year. But there is also a silver lining to the situation. 

The good news is that Christmas creates a great opportunity to celebrate the successes of the year and signals an appropriate time for a well-deserved break.  

So, how do you make sure everything is wrapped up in time and you are ready for Christmas? 

We’ve got all the info you need right here. 

Celebrate the Year 

As the year draws to a close, it is the perfect time to celebrate all the great things that have happened in the last 12 months. These achievements don’t all have to be enormous ones, it is appropriate to celebrate all the small things as well. 

Thank your team for all that they have done this year. After all, it hasn’t been an easy one. With the pressures of Covid, rising inflation, and the ongoing navigation of a new normal after the last couple of years, they deserve a giant thank you! 

Don’t worry about it feeling cheesy. Sometimes a bit of cheese is worth it! Especially as it will remind your team that they are respected and valued by you.  

It is also vital that you create the right kind of feel moving into the new year. It’s time to look forward with a positive outlook. So, finishing this year on a positive and celebratory note will help set your team up for a great year ahead.  

A cool way to do this is to help your team members set goals to work on in the new year. They should be positive goals that focus on moving forward – perhaps career progression, training and development, or project work. 

Is it Time to Party? 

The annual Christmas party used to be a staple in everyone’s calendar. Then, 2020 rolled around, and the obligatory Christmas party took a backseat. You can revive it again this year or take a different approach to bring everyone together. 

We know budgets are tight, so it doesn’t have to be an expensive event. A casual team BBQ, a potluck dinner, a round of mini golf, or a trip to the bowling alley can all be fun. It’s simply about marking the end of the year and giving your team the chance to connect socially. If your team enjoy some time together in a relaxed and neutral setting, it will only help to build great morale and teamwork in the workplace. 

Don’t forget those team members who are working remotely. Round everyone up and regroup with an end of year get-together. And if it’s not possible to get everyone together in one location, what about an online Christmas party via video conference? Take your party connections to the next level by delivering little gift boxes of treats that can be opened and enjoyed while everyone is “partying”. 

Wellbeing Check 

After a draining year, it is timely to check in with all the members of your team to see how they are really doing. Christmas might not necessarily be a merry time for everyone. So, it is a great opportunity for a wellness check with your team. 

We spend such a large portion of our lives working, so it is important that your team feel mentally safe and valued at work so they can perform at their best. A wellness check can help you determine if that is the case for your people. 

This process is about honest and open conversations, as well as actively listening to what your team members are saying and what they might be reluctant to say. Remind your team of available support options – like speaking with HR, anonymous feedback, or any EAP avenues. 

Christmas Break 

Many businesses will choose to close for a period over Christmas. Will your business be one of them? If so, you will need to ensure you notify all your employees of the closure at least 14 days in advance. 

As part of that conversation, it is helpful to communicate what options your team have for leave. Obviously, they can take this as annual leave if they have enough available. But it is important to provide options for those without an adequate leave balance. You may choose to let them take leave in advance or require leave without pay. 

You can find more information about how to handle an annual closedown period here

The Christmas holidays also mean there are plenty of public holidays to observe. You’ll need to make sure you are following the correct public holiday guidelines for your staff in terms of wages and rostering. This applies regardless of whether you are having an annual closedown period or not. Make sure you are following the rules by checking out the public holiday guideline info here.  

Ready to close the book on 2022? You are not alone there! And if you need help tying up any loose ends or planning for a productive 2023, then the Spice Gals are here for you. 

We can help you navigate the guidelines around public holidays and annual closures or set up the ultimate wellness program for the new year ahead. For any and all HR queries, get in touch with our Spicey team! 

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.

Staff Recognition: Recognising Your Greatest Asset

What would your organisation be without your staff?

In business, your people are far and away your greatest asset. Ensuring they get recognition benefits not only them, but you. In fact, it literally pays to be good at employee recognition.

Businesses with a solid strategy to recognise team members enjoy stronger engagement, increased employee morale, better customer service, and lower turnover.

Acknowledging achievement can have a serious return on investment, resulting in higher productivity and better business outcomes.

So, what is employee recognition and how do you show it? Let’s explore the concept now.

Staff Recognition: Recognising Your Greatest Asset

What Is Employee Recognition?

Employee recognition is all about acknowledging the hard work and accomplishments of the individuals and teams in your business. It’s about creating an emotional connection between your employees and your business and supporting the work your people do.

Well-thought-out recognition can make your people feel valued, respected – even loved. Obviously, that is not only great for your team as a whole, but great for your business too.

Effective Recognition Can Benefit You Too

If you can manage to get your employee recognition right, it can contribute toward your business being seen as an employer of choice. This is great for a number of reasons as it puts you in the driver’s seat for recruiting, hiring, and retaining the best people.

While the job market is as competitive as it is, having potential employees seek you out is the ideal position to be in. But getting there requires a thoughtful and strategic approach that begins with understanding what people value most at work. Research (and evidence!) shows effective employee recognition is something employees truly value.

A New Way Of Working Needs A New Kind Of Recognition

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there’s been a greater sense of urgency around showing employees they’re valued. Many of us have moved work into our homes for at least some of our work week, creating a major lifestyle change.

Whilst working from home has introduced greater flexibility and autonomy for the employee, it also means juggling home life with their online work persona. This can lead to employees feeling like they’re living at work. It can be tricky to get a true definition between work and home, so it can be helpful for managers and team members to modify traditional working habits.

To make remote work function well, a shift in mindset from hours on the keyboard to an output focus can help. Boost that concept with recognition strategies that are effective at appreciating both those who are off-site and those who are in the office, and you’ll be onto a winner!

Employee Recognition, 2022-Style

Employee recognition in 2022, might look a little different to your usual strategies. This is especially true if you have some team members working from home for some of their work week. So, what can recognition and reward look like for those not based in the office?

You guessed it: it looks kind of screen-based! In addition to traditional means of recognition, rewards and gifts, here are some new trends to consider in the employee recognition space:

  • Digital recognition platforms like Bucketlist can make it easy and fun for fellow employees and managers to recognise and reward one another for milestones, achievements, and a job well done.
  • Gamification: make things competitive! Use point scoring, competitions, and leader boards to recognise your true stars.
  • Try ways to apply peer-to-peer recognition between your staff – instead of just managers handing out rewards.
  • Go old school by picking up the phone to chat and connect with your people to say a personal ‘thank you’ from time to time. Also, make sure you catch up with each team member face to face when they are actually in the office to recognise their contributions.

Balancing Digital And In-Person Recognition

For many of us, it feels like we’ve spent the last few years staring at various screens both in work and personal life. So, it is important to get a good balance between your digital and in-person employee recognition strategies.

As working environments continue to evolve, we need to make sure our strategies evolve with them. In-person recognition can be trickier with the popularity of remote working, but it isn’t impossible to achieve. When setting your recognition strategies, ensure you are mindful of this balance.

Rewarding your workforce creates a constructive company culture of engaged employees, which is the key to business success and profitability. If you’d like to know more about the many different ways to effectively recognise your well-deserving staff, talk to one of the Spice Gals today.