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!

Social Responsibility: Are You Adapting For And Attracting Gen Z?

Generally speaking, every new generation is passionate about something in the workplace.

The Boomers wanted career progression, Gen X wanted independence, Millennials wanted flexibility, and now as Gen Z start to enter the workforce in their droves, they are passionate about social responsibility.

So, is your workplace adapting to embrace this new focus?

In order to set your business up to attract and retain this new generation of workers you’ll need to show accountability in the areas that really matter to them.

Let’s look into this in a little more detail.

Gen Z And Social Responsibility

Gen Z workers are often more socially and environmentally conscious than those from previous generations. They tend to prioritise working for companies that share their values and contribute positively to society.

Because they are passionate about social responsibilities, they will often change their personal behaviours to minimise their own impact on the environment. They want their employers to do the same. So, if your company can show accountability on the environmental front and prove you are serious about your social responsibilities then you will not only attract a new generation of workers, but you will retain employees who share your company’s values and interests.

Globally, companies are starting to invest in climate adaptation. That means, instead of trying to prevent climate change, they are adjusting to the reality that it is going to happen and what we need to do in response.

Gen Z expect your business to be resilient and prepared for environmental change. So, there are some things you will need to consider in this space to ensure you are up to the challenge.

What Is Workplace Social Responsibility?

Workplace social responsibility refers to the ethical obligation your business has to act in a way that benefits society at large. It involves considering the impact of your actions and decisions on employees, customers, communities, and the environment.

Emphasising your social responsibility can be a powerful way to attract Gen Z workers to your business. They are really interested in:

Purpose-driven work

Gen Z workers are drawn to companies that have a clear sense of purpose beyond purely making a profit. By prioritising social responsibility, you can demonstrate that you are committed to making a positive impact on society. This can be highly appealing to Gen Z workers as they are often seeking what they see as meaningful employment.

Employee engagement

As an employer, you know how important it is to have an engaged workforce. Not only do you get more out of your team, but it creates a positive working environment along with personal and professional success for everyone. In today’s climate, workers are more likely to feel engaged and motivated when they believe in their company’s values and social mission.

By giving your team socially responsible values to connect with, you can create a more inclusive and fulfilling work environment with excellent employee retention rates.

Brand reputation

Prioritising social responsibility is not just talking about your environmental values, it is about your actions too. If you can positively contribute on both these fronts, it will create a strong reputation for your brand and company.

Gen Z workers value transparency and authenticity in the companies they choose to support and work for. Building a positive brand reputation as an ethical and socially conscious organisation can help you attract top talent as well as gain the trust of your customers.

Positive community impact

What does your company do to ensure you are positively impacting your local community and the environment? Because Gen Z workers are passionate about social and environmental issues, they want to work for companies that share their commitment to sustainability and social justice.

By prioritising social responsibility, you can make a meaningful difference in your community and reduce your environmental footprint. Plus, you can resonate with Gen Z workers who are looking to make a positive impact through their work.

The Big Issue: Climate Change

The Government recently passed legislation making climate-related disclosures mandatory for some companies. The requirement applies to large publicly listed companies, insurers, banks, non-bank deposit takers and investment managers.

The legislation came about because the majority of large NZ companies provide very little information about what climate change might mean for them. By having these big businesses make mandatory climate-related disclosures it ensures the effects of climate change are routinely considered, that responsibility is demonstrated in the consideration of climate issues, and it creates a more efficient allocation of funds to build a more sustainable, low emission economy.

The purpose is to ensure NZ stays on track to achieve its target of net zero carbon by 2050. While these mandatory reporting stipulations only apply to around 200 big NZ businesses currently, it is worth considering your own business’s impact, especially as this is a key issue for Gen Zers.

So, what is your business doing to be socially responsible on the climate change front? Are you adapting your business practices to invest in the future of our country and our planet? These are big considerations for Gen Z and as such they should be considerations for your business too.

Adapting And Attracting

Social responsibility is a huge topic right now. Not just because it is vitally important to Gen Z, but because we all need to adapt our attitudes and actions to protect our futures.

How socially responsible is your business right now?

If you aren’t sure of the answer to that question, now is the time to remedy that. And our team of HR experts can help you do it. We can help you develop social responsibility policies and procedures that will not only position your business as a thought leader in this area, but also attract amazing talent from all generations.

Chat with us today.

How To Finish The Year On A High And Relax!

You know it’s coming.

You can literally feel the change of season in the air.

Yet somehow, the end of the year always has a habit of sneaking up on us.

We get so caught up in doing all the things throughout the year, that suddenly it comes as a surprise that we are going to stop for a bit.

The good news is that it is almost time to relax and celebrate the end of another year.

Keep reading to see how you can do that in a positive way and appreciate your team for all the hard work they have put in.

Let’s get into it.

How To Finish The Year On A High

Show Appreciation

Every day your team members ideally show up and work their hardest. The end of the year is the perfect time to show your appreciation for their dedication. The great thing is, there are plenty of ways that you can express your gratitude.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Gifts: Probably the most traditional form of showing gratitude is giving a gift. Choose something thoughtful that is both practical and appropriate. Gift cards, personalised choices, or something that aligns with their hobbies will show that you appreciate and respect what they do.
  • Personalised Notes: You don’t have to spend up large to show your appreciation. A handwritten, personalised note can be a lovely way to highlight the individual achievements or qualities you respect about each of your team members.
  • Gratitude Day: You could offer each of your team members a bonus day of paid leave as a special gesture of appreciation for all of their hard work throughout the year.
  • Appreciation Meal: Hosting a special meal simply to show thanks will give you a special space to highlight and acknowledge the individual contributions your team has made.
  • Gratitude Wall: Share the love around your workplace by setting up a physical Gratitude Wall where your team members can leave messages of appreciation for each other. Not only does this show your thanks, but it also helps to promote a positive team culture.
  • Awards Ceremony: Host a fun Awards evening or afternoon where everyone gets to dress up and receive their very own certificates for performance, innovation, teamwork, or being the one in the office who empties the kitchen bin the most!

Celebrate Successes

Celebrating the achievements that your team have made during the year is an awesome way to maintain a positive work culture. While you will (hopefully) have acknowledged the successes at the time they occurred, it can be fun and rewarding for the team to recap the greatest hits of the year.

You can do this in any way you feel is appropriate. It can be done at an end of year celebration, during a team meeting, or individual personalised messages to each team member.

You should also encourage everyone to share their own success stories, and give recognition to their peers and colleagues where appropriate. Using a holistic approach where everyone shares will really make it a meaningful experience for all.

End Of Year Celebration

The term “Office Christmas Party” can be a loaded one! So, let’s scrap the traditional terminology and bring everyone together for an end of year celebration instead. That way, you don’t have to worry about the cheesy connotations or potential bad behaviour!

Instead, you can focus on the main purpose of the event – to celebrate a job well done together.

This is particularly important in the post-Covid work environment where people might not all be in the workplace together at one time. Remote working, flexible hours, and multi-location working are all wonderful additions for your team, but it might mean that they don’t get to spend the same amount of time in each other’s company that they did previously.

An end of year celebration can be the perfect time to reconnect, interact, and generally enjoy a fun experience together.

Planning Your Celebration

While in the workplace, your team will be very conscious of displaying their professional persona. But, the great thing about an end of year celebration is that they get to relax and be themselves. Your team might even get to learn a bit more about themselves and see some personalities shine through.

In order for that to happen, you need to build a fun and interactive environment. Holding your celebration away from the workspace is a great way to encourage this as you can literally leave the work behind!

Choose something that all of your team can participate in and enjoy. You can choose anything! Here are some fun ideas:

  • Beach BBQ
  • Family Day Out
  • Spa Day
  • Canvas Painting Session
  • Cocktail Mixing
  • Cooking Classes
  • Go Karting
  • Bowling
  • Mini Golf
  • Escape Room
  • Arcade Afternoon
  • Ropes Course
  • Rock Climbing
  • Comedy Club, Show or Concert
  • Team Lunch or Dinner

The whole idea is to create a positive vibe that they can carry into their holidays and the new year.

Creating A Holiday Vibe

While it is exciting to close off for the end of the year, there is still the last of your year’s tasks to finish before that can happen. December can be an exceptionally stressful time as there are plenty of deadlines to meet, lots of jobs to tidy up before the holiday break not to mention the end of year family commitments to fit in!

Here are some ways you can keep the stress levels down and the productivity flowing:

  • Prioritise: help your team manage their workload by prioritising their tasks, setting realistic goals about what can be achieved and ditching the things that can wait for the new year.
  • Communication: open and clear communication about expectations, deadlines and priorities is essential in the busy season. Quickly advise of any changes in schedules or tasks too.
  • Flexibility: if possible, offer flexible working times and locations so that your team can balance their work and personal commitments.
  • Support Wellbeing: the end of the year is the prime time for burnout, so encourage self-care practices amongst your team. Help them with stress management, mindfulness and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
  • Encourage Collaboration: emphasise the power of teamwork, collaboration and sharing responsibilities to get things done. Have your team support each other so that no one has to feel stressed and isolated.
  • Embrace Holiday Spirit: create a festive atmosphere and get people in the mood for the holidays by decorating for Christmas, playing holiday themed music, and organising a Secret Santa. These fun things can keep morale high and build a positive vibe.

Call For Help

If there is anything your team cannot manage, then make sure you call in the experts to help. Here at Spice HR, we want you to roll into the end of the year feeling accomplished, relaxed and productive. So, we are on hand to help with any of your HR related inquiries both now and into the new year.

Get in touch with the Spice Gals now if we can help with anything related to your people-focused solutions.

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!

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.


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.

The Importance Of End Of Year Workplace Celebrations (Even This Year!)

Release the virtual balloons, pop the champagne (or cider), and get the chips and dip ready to roll. The year is rapidly coming to an end, and believe it or not, there are many reasons to celebrate!

Workplace celebrations are important at any time, but after surviving another year of uncertainty and stress, it’s even more important to recognise the wins for your business – big and small.

We know you probably just want to get this year over with and move on to brighter times, but before you write 2021 off completely, take a moment to recognise your fantastic team.

Let’s chat about why workplace celebrations are so valuable to you and your team at the end of the year.

The Importance Of End Of Year Workplace Celebrations (Even This Year!)

The Value Of Workplace Celebrations

Teams that celebrate together thrive together – truly! While it’s important to celebrate success throughout the year, the end of the year is the perfect time to bring everyone together and look at what you and your team have achieved over the last 12 months.

Here’s how workplace celebrations benefit your business:

  • They motivate – recognition is an organic motivator that inspires people to continue being successful.
  • They unify and reinforce company culture and values – celebrations have a way of bringing people together, particularly if they follow times of challenge.
  • They build momentum – recognising the small goals provides momentum to carry on and achieve the bigger goals.
  • They boost positivity – it’s easy to get caught up in everything that’s going wrong and forget about what’s going right. Workplace celebrations shift the focus back onto the good things.
  • They reward – recognition and reward are essential to keep your team engaged and motivated. The end of year celebrations are a lovely reward for hard work after a year of trials and tribulations.
  • They encourage team bonding – it’s been a year of distancing, which can be hard when working in a team. Coming back together (even virtually) helps rebuild those bonds.
  • They provide a timeout – after a tough year, your team need space to breathe and step back from work mode so they can start the new year fresh. A workplace celebration is a great way to farewell the old and welcome the new.

What Should You Celebrate?

Feel like this year didn’t bring much worth celebrating? Think again! Even if your business has faced challenges in the last 12 months and couldn’t thrive as well as you’d like, there are plenty of things to celebrate.

Success doesn’t always have to be about reaching a goal. It can be about the process, too.

Love the way your team supported one another during turbulent times? Celebrate that!

Proud of how people pivoted to different work conditions? Celebrate their adaptability!

Did someone come up with a great way to bring in revenue even during lockdown or connect with customers even when your doors were closed? Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate!

 

Safely Celebrating With Your Team

Just like many things this year, Christmas workplace celebrations may look a little different for your team. But that doesn’t mean they can’t still be happen!

Even as we enter the Traffic Light system, it’s crucial to plan your holiday festivities to be safe, and have a backup plan in place just in case things escalate before your team party rolls around!

Depending on where you are, you may be able to meet outdoors for a meal, or you might have to take the happy hour drinks online.

Whatever you do, make sure your entire team are considered, and make it casual and simple, because we’ve all had enough stress this year to last the next decade!

Think virtual happy hour, a socially distanced scavenger hunt, a game night, or virtual escape rooms. Most importantly, allow people time to connect, laugh, and reflect on the year’s successes because that’s what it’s all about.

 

Spare A Thought For The Coming Months

Nobody likes a Debbie downer, but as much as we need to let loose and celebrate, it’s also important to look ahead to what’s coming next.

As we prepare to wind down for the holidays, we also enter the next COVID framework Traffic Light phase , so it’s vital to be prepared to hit the ground running in January 2022.

The government recently announced new support for businesses transitioning into the new framework. This includes some fantastic packages around business advice and mental health support.

For many businesses, this is the light at the end of a very long tunnel. We now have a pathway out of lockdown; things are looking up, and that’s definitely worth celebrating.

Of course, new pathways bring changes. If you need help exploring what those changes look like for your people, then get in touch with us here at Spice HR. People are our speciality and we would love to help your business make easy transitions that don’t interrupt your team culture.

How To Find The Elusive Work Life Balance

How To Find The Elusive Work Life Balance

 Rollercoasters can be a lot of fun, but imagine if you were forced to ride one when you weren’t really in the mood for excitement.

You’d probably be more stressed than excited, but you’d tolerate it, dust yourself off and move on.

But what if someone forced you onto that rollercoaster again and again, never giving you time to prepare and never telling you how many times you’d have to go around the loop-de-loop before you were allowed to disembark.

Even a resilient lover of thrill rides would tire of that vicious cycle, becoming worn out, anxious, and just plain over it.

That’s where we’re at, folks. We’ve been riding the COVID rollercoaster for nearly two years. And even though New Zealand had a pretty decent break, we find ourselves thrust back onto the ride, whether we like it or not.

So, what can we do?

How To Find The Elusive Work Life Balance

Prioritising What’s Important

Uncertainty takes a toll on our ability to work, parent or even just do what needs to be done around the home. That’s why mental wellbeing is more essential now than ever – and finding work life balance plays a significant role in our mental health.

Let’s talk about why it’s so important to switch off from work and how to separate home and work life.

We’ll also share some valuable mental wellbeing resources to help you and your team survive the COVID rollercoaster together.

Climb aboard and buckle up!

Why Finding The Work Life Balance Is More Important Than Ever

If your resilience and tolerance are wearing thin (or long gone), it’s understandable. The uncertainty of being in and out of lockdown, working from home, parenting from home, and living under social restrictions is stressful for everyone.

Work life balance has been a hot topic for years, but in the current pandemic climate, it’s a lot more complicated than it once was.

The lines between work and home are becoming increasingly blurred. While that’s particularly true for those working from home, it’s still relevant for essential workers who need to leave the house.

Partners or flatmates may be working from home, changing the home environment completely, and if you have kids, the juggle struggle is real, regardless of whether you work from home or not.

On top of all this, we’re trying to cope with worries and fears about illness, sick friends and family, and an uncertain future – both personally and professionally.

That’s an awful lot to deal with.

The Mental Wellness Discussion

With everything that is currently going on, mental wellness has become a crucial conversation.

If we don’t prioritise work life balance and take care of our mental health, we’ll find it hard to cope with any aspect of life.

The ongoing stress can result in unproductivity, loss of motivation, depression, and anxiety. And if we don’t find ways to mitigate the demands of work and home, we’re likely to experience that stress physically, too, with fatigue, headaches, digestive issues, and long-term health issues.

Not only do we need to take responsibility for our own mental health, but we need to support those around us too – our friends, family, colleagues and employees.

It may have been said so much that it’s become something of a cheesy cliché, but we are all in this together!

How To Separate Home And Work When Working From Home

How’s the productivity going now that you’ve been working from home for a while? Should be a piece of cake, right? Do you have your routine sorted? Do you knock off on time every day? Are you more productive than ever?

If the answer is yes, then virtual high five for you – you’ve nailed the demands of WFH.

But for so many workers, the struggle continues. Working from home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and it can be hard to separate home and work.

If that’s you, here are some tips to help you regain that work life balance.

Stick to a morning routine

Resist the temptation to get straight on the laptop to start work the minute you wake up. Try to stick to the same kind of routine you had before COVID. Maybe you’re a morning person and used to exercise and shower before heading to work. Or perhaps you grabbed a coffee at the gas station and sat in traffic every day.

Either way, create some kind of routine to separate your home life from your work life. Get up, get ready, walk around the block, then arrive in the “office” and get to work.

Create a dedicated workspace

If possible, devote an area of your home to your workspace. Resist working from the bed or couch – it’s too distracting (and horrendous for your back!). If you have a separate room to work in, fantastic! Set that area aside and only use it for work.

If not, make do with what you have, but make it your designated work area. You may have to work at the dining room table, but choose a special chair or cushion, and only use that for work and nothing else.

Leave the Office at the End of the Day

Create an end of work routine to separate your workday from home. Don’t sit and browse your laptop once you are finished. Instead, get up and leave – even if it’s just to walk around the garden!

Establish boundaries – and stick to them

Make sure you, your manager, your colleagues (or clients) are clear on your work hours. Agree that work emails or phone calls only happen between those times, and resist the temptation to fire off a “quick” email outside of those hours.

Don’t forget to set boundaries with your family or housemates too. Let them know that when you’re working, that’s work time, and you’re not available for chores or chats. The best way to get the time you need is to communicate that you need it.

Take breaks

Schedule a lunch break and stick to it. Don’t spend that lunch break on your computer – step away! Go outside and take some deep breaths, grab a book to read while you eat, or chat with the family. Take regular breaks away from your workspace during the day, too.

Ask your employer for support

If you’re struggling to cope, be open with your employer. The best organisations will have strategies to address health and wellness. Ask for resources to help you manage overwhelm.

Go easy on yourself

You know those people you see on social media who are nailing their careers, baking delicious meals, home schooling their kids and doing yoga every day? Forget about them.

Even if their posts accurately reflect their lives (and chances are, they don’t), you are not them. You don’t have to do everything perfectly. It’s ok just to cope. It’s ok if you’re not coping. Give yourself a break and focus on what you are achieving instead of what you’re not.

Take care of your physical health

Your physical health directly impacts your mental health, and vice versa. It’s important to prioritise habits and activities that improve both. That means finding time to exercise (even if it’s dancing around the house) and eat well.

Oh, and don’t forget to laugh! Find things that make you smile and forget about the rollercoaster for a while.

Health And Wellbeing Resources

Rather than you having to trawl the internet for resources that might be helpful, we have compiled a handy list:

Mentemia

App and Website – Tried and tested tools to help promote and manage well being. Free for general use, but with tailored options available to businesses.

Mental Health Foundation

Practical wellbeing tips and advice based on the Five Ways to Wellbeing.

Working Well Guide

Resources for workplace wellbeing.

Getting Through Together

A pool of resources, tips and inspirational stories focused on health and wellbeing during COVID-19.

Working Well

A guide to mental health in the workplace.

Staying on Track

A free e-therapy course teaching you practical coping strategies for the COVID rollercoaster.

Small Steps

Digitally-based tools to help you maintain mental wellness.

Whakatui Mai – The Wellbeing Sessions

Free virtual community events aimed at supporting well being in real-time.

A Mental Health Guide for New Zealand Leaders

Comprehensive document aimed at leaders and managers to help them support the mental wellbeing of their teams.

And, of course, if you are feeling stuck, overwhelmed or unsure of how you can support your team with creating a good work life balance, then get in touch with the Spice Gals today. We can help you create a plan that supports your team remotely or in-person.

What The “New Normal” Means For The Wellbeing Of Your Team

Wellbeing in New Normal

With everything that’s happened in the last year, it’s safe to say that wellbeing, life – and work – as we know it has changed. Every month that passes shows us how unlikely it is that things will return to exactly the way they were.

Business looks different, work-life looks different, and these changes aren’t so temporary anymore. That means it’s time to progress out of survival mode and into thrive mode.

Organisations need to look at workplace trends and think seriously about where they should be investing their time and energy. We need to think about staff wellbeing in the context of the “new normal”, how we can retain a cohesive team environment in these times of change and uncertainty, and how to prepare for the “next normal”, whatever that may be.

We know it can be overwhelming, but keep reading for some guidance on where and how you might want to start focusing your attention.

Workplace Trends Post-COVID-19

We know the pandemic is still here, but the immediate shock of it is passing. Businesses and individuals have begun to accept how things have changed, and we have all had some time to sit down, breathe, and take stock of how much has happened in the past year.

So, what’s next?

Time to review how well your team and organisation have adapted to physical distancing/remote working, and look at the trends for 2021 and beyond. Here’s an overview.

Remote working has increased

Well, duh! Yes, clearly, any organisation with the capability to implement remote work has done so.

But what’s interesting to note is that many will continue to explore and experiment with hybrid work/remote work even once the pandemic is under control. The “office” as we knew it will probably never be quite the same again.

Increased data collection

More employers are making use of technology to monitor their employees. Everything from productivity and engagement to wellbeing and employee experience is being tracked and analysed to create safe, productive, and innovative workplaces.

Increase of contingent workers

Many organisations are reducing the number of full-time employees and hiring contingent (freelance/gig) workers instead. This allows them flexibility and helps save costs but may lead to confusion around performance management as well as a loss of team cohesion.

Emphasis on the employer’s role in wellbeing

The pandemic has seen employers playing a vital role in the health and wellbeing of their employees. The emphasis has been on the ability of businesses to provide sick leave, financial assistance, flexible hours, and support for the wider community.

A move from efficiency to resilience

Pre-pandemic, the big focus was on efficiency. Now, the emphasis is more on building resilience in processes and organisations. Systems must be responsive and flexible to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. Employees must be adaptable and have diverse, cross-functional roles that can navigate change.

What Thinking Do We Need To Alter?

The trends reflect the changes that most organisations have experienced. That is a move away from traditional workspaces and systems, and an increasing emphasis on strong, resilient, flexible teams and processes.

This is a defining time for all of us: how we respond to the trials of the last year will impact the future. And while things have been challenging, this moment in time presents a range of opportunities for businesses.

  • Choose to be innovative. Strive for more resilient teams instead of trying to recreate what no longer works.
  • Embrace the possibilities provided by hybrid and remote work.
  • Introduce initiatives that bolster the wellbeing of your people.
  • Find new ways to create and control your corporate identity and employer brand post COVID-19.

 What Does Team Building Look Like Now?

When it comes to HR, one of your biggest challenges will be rethinking team building. With social distancing and hybrid work now par for the course, team bonding and culture development won’t happen quite so organically.

So, how can you provide spaces and opportunities for your team to bond away from the lunchroom and water cooler?

By behaving with intention and thinking outside the traditional office box.

Here are a few examples:

Host team huddles

Connect your entire team by having a regular online “huddle”. This could be for 15 minutes every morning to check-in and connect, or twice a week – whatever works for your organisation. This is not a formal meeting, but a time to chat, catch-up and check-in with one another.

Schedule virtual meet-ups

People need one-on-one time as well as group-bonding. One to one personal meetings are perfect for that. Facilitate online meet-ups for two people to chat and get to know each other better, or build on an existing established relationship.

Keep the game time going!

When our levels dictate that laser-tag or mini golf are a no-go, there are still plenty of games that can be played virtually by your team. Schedule some fun virtual activities that everyone can attend during a lockdown. Things like quizzes or online escape rooms are perfect.

Learn together

Successful teams learn new things together. Set up virtual workshops and webinars to promote professional development and facilitate online group learning.

Using Extended DISC To Get A More Informed Plan

A remote or hybrid team isn’t doomed when it comes to bonding or performance. In fact, research shows that remote teams can perform better than in-house teams if they are managed in the right way.

Extended DISC profiles can help managers understand the work style and personal preferences of their team members. They provide you with valuable insights into the best ways to manage individuals and bring them together.

You will learn how much support and contact each team member requires from you and what kind of work they respond well to.

If we have learned one thing from COVID-19, it’s the importance of a bonded, resilient team in navigating change. Challenges can bring people together or push them apart. The stronger your team is, the stronger your business is.

Regardless of what comes next, Spice HR is here to help you and your team navigate the new normal and prepare for what’s next. If you’d like advice or support about how to move forward, contact us for a chat today.

How To Become An Employer Of Choice And Showcase Your Business

How To Become An Employer Of Choice And Showcase Your Business

How To Become An Employer Of Choice And Showcase Your Business

A stellar employee (or two or three) can propel your business from average to outstanding. So naturally, you need to entice, intrigue, and retain high performers. But dangling a few carrots and hoping for the best isn’t going to cut it. These days, you must tailor your benefits and perks to the top talent and find ways to communicate why you are an employer of choice.

Not only will this help you attract high calibre employees to your business, it will also ensure you retain them long term.

Read on to find out what will give you the edge for today’s best candidates, and how to dazzle them during the interview stage.

Become An Employer Of Choice And Showcase Your Business

What’s On The Wishlist?

Most skilled professionals are looking beyond a fat salary. So don’t assume that as a smaller business with a lower budget, you can’t compete with larger organisations. Conversely, businesses with higher wages shouldn’t sit on their laurels and rely on numbers alone to attract the talent.

Here are the benefits and perks that today’s workforce value most:

  • Flexible work schedules
  • Remote work opportunities
  • Generous paid time off
  • Family leave
  • Student loan assistance
  • Education and development
  • Wellness initiatives/work-life balance
  • Health insurance

Supporting Work-Life Balance

Even before 2020 hit us with work from home rules, flexible work hours and remote work opportunities were some of the top priorities for experienced candidates. And they continue to dominate.

With that in mind, how can your business support employees to find that work-life balance? A few of the options from the list above are a great place to start, including leave and paid time off, remote working, and flexible schedules.

Other simple yet valuable options might include day care, health and wellness programs, pet-friendly offices, and firm guidelines on no-after hours emails or phone calls. This is particularly essential for employees working from home, who may find it harder to separate work and home life.

Don’t forget that you still have H&S responsibilities even when your employees work from home. Ensure you develop policies to help them manage their health and safety effectively.

Flip Your Interview Strategy

Interviews of old have traditionally been rather one-sided. It’s all about what the candidate can offer you, rather than what your business has to offer them. But, things have shifted now. Remember, you are not the only business looking to hire the most qualified and experienced applicant. You may be facing stiff competition, so take the opportunity to showcase your employee value proposition during the interview.

What sets you apart and makes you a fantastic employer over and above anyone else? Once you know this, communicate it by giving each applicant a unique and engaging candidate experience – from your first job post to the final hiring process.

Instead of whipping out the old behavioural-based questions, think of how you can show your organisation’s personality. Focus on having a conversation with each candidate, and think about culture fit as well as skillsets.

When coming up with questions, frame them around the values and culture of your business, and attach your purpose and why. This will help candidates understand your culture and help both parties figure out if the fit is right.

Welcoming the ideal candidate into your business is only possible when you position yourself as an employer of choice. Think beyond dollars to carve out your unique employee value proposition, craft a compelling candidate experience, and you will find it much easier to be united with qualified and experienced applicants who are the perfect fit for you.

If you need help with crafting the employee value proposition then get in touch with the team here at Spice HR. We can help you nail all the aspects to become an employer of choice! Reach out to us today.