Gain a competitive advantage with your next Enterprise Agreement

Gain a competitive advantage by tailoring your Enterprise Agreement negotiations

“Innovate or Die” is a commonly quoted phrase when organisations are planning for the future. To have a positive impact, innovative thinking needs to be targeted towards areas that will deliver sustainable and measurable benefits to the organisation, it’s consumers and importantly its employees.

In many organisations, particularly aged care, social support services and hospitality staff costs can represent as much as 75% of revenue, therefore it is essential to develop innovative strategies targeted at creating a more efficient and productive workforce.

An Enterprise Agreement provides an organisation the opportunity to design a tool to support best-practice recruitment, staff development, human resources management and retain the best staff in their industry. A tailored enterprise agreement allows an organisation to include innovative clauses to address issues that are important to their staff such as flexible work arrangements, career paths that make sense in their organisation linked to training and working arrangements that make sense to both management and impotently staff.

Involving employees in the negotiating process is crucial in producing an innovative agreement.

Employers may think they know what issues are important to staff, but do they really?

The Interest Based Bargaining (IBB) approach to agreement negotiations allows employers and employees to discuss the issues that are important to each party and workshop mutually beneficial approaches to address them. This approach allows organisations to deliver better outcomes for both employees and employers by creating an open and transparent relationship.

Examples of employee interests being included in their enterprise agreement

• Fair pay – benchmarking industry standards, maintaining and improving income levels
• Career paths that encourage employees to enhance their skills and job satisfaction this in turn leads to higher rates of staff engagement and retention
• Older workforce transition to retirement – flexibility to balance family and other life needs
• Enhanced paternity provisions to encourage staff to recommence their careers after having a child
• Transparency of process and equal treatment in access to leave

The process of Interest Based Bargaining does not only favour the employees. In the same way staff have the ability to discuss important issues for them, employers can raise their interests, explain their vision and what content needs to be included in the agreement to ensure the organisation remains able to deliver its commitments to staff, residents and their families.

Examples of employer interests being included in agreements

• Maintain and improve competitiveness of the business and organisation growth
• Build a multi-skilled workforce to make jobs more interesting and open growth opportunities for employees
• Effective management of leave and rostering
• Ensure a safe work environment for all

Interest based bargaining provides an opportunity to get employees actively involved in the negotiation process. It increases engagement as these employees can have a voice and represent their peers in the negotiation.

Realise Performance was approached by the Fair Work Commission to help champion the Interest Based Bargaining approach to agreement negotiations in 2017 and since this time have worked with the commission to successfully run the process on several occasions. Over this period feedback on the IBB process has been provided to the Commission and which has further improved the way the process is now conducted.

The Realise Performance consultant team can provide you information on how the process can work for your organisation to achieve an Enterprise Agreement that will deliver a competitive advantage for the recruitment, retention and development of your workforce.

Call Chris Westacott on 0412 884 865 for a discussion on the benefits to your organisation from a tailored and well negotiated agreement.

Leadership – What is Motivation?

Leadership - What is Motivation?

One of the things that great leaders are able to do well is motivate others. The simple secret to building motivation is to make doing the desired performance more rewarding than doing the undesired performance.
So, let’s look at that. Whenever a person has the choice between two mutually exclusive endeavours, they will always choose to do whatever action appears to be of greater net reward for themselves (this is called the Law of Performance Choice). So, if the undesired performance holds the greater net reward, then this is what they will pursue.
How do we get employees to choose the desired performance? We increase the net reward of doing so. Again, what does this mean? Every performance has an upside (what the person likes about doing it) and a downside (what the person dislikes about doing it). For example, take grocery shopping. A person may dislike having to spend time and money selecting and buying food however they like having yummy things available at home to eat. These days there are a myriad of ways to shop so it is easier to enhance the likes (Upside) and remove the dislikes (Downside) a person may have about grocery shopping.
Going back to motivating your employees you can use a 2-step process. The first step requires you to find out what makes the experience more rewarding for the employee. You can do this by asking them directly or by guessing.
It’s not difficult to guess what to try as most people have the same basic desires and want the same things: to feel good about ourself as a person, to feel good about what we’re doing/achieving, to engage in enjoyable activity, to feel good about where we’re heading (our future) and the earn economic reward for effort (especially ‘extra effort’).
You would then provide them with the desired thing and observe the results. If the intensity or frequency of desired performance increased then you’ve found a motivator for desired performance.
The critical question is how can we make desired performance more rewarding than undesired performance?
Here are the top 10 motivators for great employee performance. The first nine involve expanding the net reward of desired performance:
  • 1. An important achievement
  • 2. A fun time
  • 3. A stress-free pursuit
  • 4. A Recognition – Acknowledgement – Praise (RAP) receiving experience
  • 5. A money-producing endeavour
  • 6. A career advancement opportunity
  • 7. A winning situation
  • 8. A noble cause
  • 9. A selfless act – The final motivator is about decreasing the benefit of undesired behaviour
  • 10. Reduce the net reward of undesired performance.

If you would like to achieve a more highly motivated workforce call one our consultants on (02) 8624 3300 to help you establish a motivational framework to maximise the potential of your employees.

Seniors Care – Finding the Right Balance

Share with your teams.

Start a discussion.

We can work with you to find a solution.

There are many aspects that can make this process seem daunting. Budget, time and productivity pressures can make it difficult, however learning to manage an employee returning to work after any reason for being absent (death, relationship breakdown, maternity/paternity leave, mental health, extensive carers leave etc.) has many positive benefits.

While it might take up some extra time in the early stages, getting a valued employee back to work can save your business both time and money in the long run. Laying the foundations for strong relationships between an employer and a returning employee is likely to play a key role in successful return to work.

Employees with carer’s responsibilities; a balancing act!

Employees responsibilities are a growing theme for many employees. The need for emergency care and a sudden change to the living arrangements for the elderly parents of employees can occur unexpectedly. Examples can include the sudden deterioration of the health of a parent or mishaps such as falls and breaking bones. Sometimes, one parent is already taking care of the other parent and the main carer may no longer be able to take care of their partner.

Finding our elders/parent/s unable to care for themselves and needing the specialist care of medical staff, aged care facilities or the regular assistance of care workers in the home is a big change to say the least! These issues are even further exacerbated in the current pandemic situation. Employees needing to ‘drop everything’ and deal with their parent’s change of situation and health can be very stressful and time-consuming. For employers there is concern for their staff member and their family situation, as well as taking care of business.

While every situation will be unique with its own story and particular set of family complications, it is beneficial for organisations to be mindful that these situations can occur. Be aware that the assistance of the employer will be important to helping their employee to manage through their issues and this will help get their family situation on track and help the employee to return to work as stress-free as possible.

These tips could be helpful for you and your employees:

1. Information

Encourage your employee/s to get all the information they need about the current situation. Information can help people take control of the things that they can control including how they respond to a situation. When we lack information, we may imagine the worst or feel helpless and not make the ‘right’ decisions. Encourage your staff member to get the information they need for their situation such as medical information about their parent’s illness or accident and what to expect as a result of this, information about respite care and respite care rules, aged care facilities, costs, financial assistance and also care agencies that can provide in home help.

2. Flexible Working Hours

Time off by access to their Personal/ Carers Leave entitlements will be needed in the first instance of any emergency. In the following days and weeks, offering flexibility with working hours where possible will be helpful for employees and could help with a variety of things including:

– The need to visit parent/s on a daily basis, particularly in the early stages of a situation;

– Meetings/appointments with medical or care staff about their parent’s situation;

– Visiting aged care facilities for a respite care solution or long term aged care solution;

– Meeting with care providers and making arrangements for in house care on a regular basis;

– Dealing with urgent financial and legal matters that may arise as a result of the situation.

3. Employee Assistance Program

Remember to offer your Employee Assistance Program counselling service to your staff member. If you don’t have a program like this, you could encourage them to seek counselling or discuss this with their family doctor. It is very important for the employee to consider their own health during these times.

4. Checking in

During the initial stages of emergency and the following days and weeks it is good to just check in with your employee occasionally even when they are back to their normal working hours and ask your employee how things are going. Try to empathise and support them through their unique situation. Your reassurance can put your employee at ease and keeps them connected to their workplace.

5. Contingency plans for the Employer

Having a contingency plan for these scenarios does not need to be complicated. Take some time in a meeting with your leadership team to brainstorm a contingency plan for covering emergency absences for different levels of employees. Options can include scenarios for reorganising work, obtaining casual staff, using emergency succession planning options or giving employees development opportunities to step up (higher duties) temporarily. Should the time arise when you need to invoke your plan, regardless of the nature of the employee absence, you will be ready to support your employee and your clients.

6. Do you need help?

These are complex and often confronting issues for employees and employers alike, if you would like to discuss with one our consultants how you could either establish a policy or just deal with a specific issue please contact us (02) 8624 3300.