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.


How To Perfect The Hybrid Working Experience

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

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

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

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

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

A New Way Of Working

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

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

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

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

Step 1: Review Current Arrangements

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

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

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

Step 2: Make A Plan

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

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

Step 3: Document It All

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

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

Other Considerations

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

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

Why Go To The Trouble?

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

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

Perfecting Hybrid Working

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

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

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

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

Hybrid Help Is Here

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

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

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

Future Proofing And Upskilling Your Team For The Year Ahead

The new year is always a great opportunity for a new start. 

It is a time when most businesses set goals. But this year, your goal setting might look a little different. 

2022 was a more challenging year than anyone anticipated. We were expecting it to be our return to normalcy and a time to find our feet again. 

Instead, it was something quite different. Many of us reached the end of the year tired and burned out. 2023 looks like it may hold a whole new set of challenges, so let’s explore how you can future proof your business and your team by having a people focused approach for the year ahead. 

Future Proofing And Upskilling Your Team For The Year Ahead 

Set Your Focus 

In previous years, your business goals were probably based on practical elements like growth and revenue targets. While you might still be setting these kinds of goals for 2023, it is also important to think about your key asset – the people element of your business. 

Everyone has experienced a rough couple of years. While Covid restrictions have been lifted, life has not returned to the way it was before. As a result, people are tired and they are looking for more in their lives than simply going to work to earn a living. So, you’ll need to keep this in mind when setting your focus for the year ahead. 

Your workplace should be a destination that people want to come to each day. Consider how you can make it a great, welcoming space and uphold a positive team morale. One way to do that is to build a focus on investing in your internal staff to retain the great talent you have. 

Here are some ways you can do that. 

Invest In Your Team 

If you have amazing people in your team, your 2023 focus should be retaining and developing that talent. Why? Well firstly, you want to keep that great team! 

Obviously, it is far easier to retain the amazing staff you have than it would be to hire new employees. Apart from the monetary cost to your business of advertising, hiring and training new staff, there is also an opportunity cost of losing great people. You may not be able to recruit others of the same caliber or those that work together as well as your current team do. 

Plus, investing in your team is greatly rewarding. Not only do the employees you know, like, and trust gain greater skills and further their professional knowledge, but they also become more productive, loyal and motivated. This can only mean good things for them and for your business. 

So, how do you do it? 

Upskilling For All 

In the last few years, it hasn’t felt as if there’s been much time for progression. The focus has been more about treading water and staying afloat to weather the current storm.  

With many businesses starting to look to the future, what do you want that to look like for your team?”

The answer should be a happy, healthy, empowered team who enjoy their work. Some of that comes down to creating a great team environment to work in. But, another element is the chance for progression. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean promotions for everyone. Progression of skills and opportunities is also really attractive. 

Types Of Upskilling 

This 2023, factor in how you can upskill your staff. This can include team-wide skills training via workshops, conferences and training days. But, it can also include encouraging your staff to pursue individual interests via short courses and study programmes. These could be both free and paid courses to support the progression and growth of your team. 

A vital area to include in your training programme is financial literacy. While this might not be pertinent to an employee’s professional role, it will certainly help them in a personal capacity.  

Current economic predictions are quite bleak, so helping your team navigate the impending situation is not only responsible, but helpful for maintaining a calm workplace that is free from as much stress as possible. 

Training The Trainers 

Much of the internal training within a company falls to leaders and management. So, don’t forget to factor in training for the trainers!  

Of course, that means the usual forms of professional development that you would usually have in place for your leaders. But, it also means exploring what it means to manage a team in a post-pandemic environment. 

Consider what new ways of working mean for your company. Things like handling hybrid working and leading a remote team might be new for some of your management team. They might have leadership skill gaps that need plugging.  

Implement training and development to address these areas and support them to confidently lead hybrid or remote teams and everything that comes along with working in 2023. 

Ready to tackle 2023 head on? As we mentioned above, this year is likely to be a lot more people-focused than in previous years. You may find you need to revisit your HR policies and procedures. 

If you need help with policies and procedures, upskilling, engagement or any other HR related questions the Spice Gals are here to help you

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.

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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.

Let’s Check In With Our Mental Health

As Mental Health Awareness Week approaches in New Zealand, the focus of many companies turns towards ensuring their teams are checking in with their mental health. 

This is now more important than ever! 

Sure, we are hopefully over the worst of the pandemic restrictions, but the ongoing repercussions are most definitely being felt. 

So, let’s explore what you can do to check in with your own mental health, as well as the mental health of your team. 

Let’s Check In With Our Mental Health 

Do You Have The Right Support? 

Many people have developed strong skills of resilience in the last few years. Resilience was a vital tool to help navigate the choppy waters of Covid and everything that the virus brought with it! 

Whilst resilience remains an essential skill, we cannot rely on this alone. There comes a time when everyone reaches their maximum point of resilience and it’s important to make sure the right additional resources are in place. 

Consider who you know that could provide key support. It could be a spouse, friend, family member or co-worker. If none of those are suitable, then there are plenty of other options for external support.  

Creating Healthy Habits 

A big part of maintaining good mental health is forming the right habits. Now, that doesn’t simply mean eating healthily and getting enough sleep. Whilst those things are certainly important, you also need to consider your mindset and working relationships.

Relationships in the Workplace

You have probably heard that you draw a lot of energy from the people that surround you. So, it is vital that the people you spend the most time with have a positive influence on you.

Of course, this is not always possible. You may find that you have someone in your team or workplace that you don’t see eye to eye with. Obviously, you can’t cut these people out – even though you might want to! Rather, mindfully manage the interactions you have with them using the following tips: 

  • Actively listen 
  • Stay calm 
  • Stick to the facts 
  • Keep the interactions positive
  • Show empathy – try and see things from their perspective
  • Don’t take things personally
  • Take a pause when you need to 
  • Focus on the result or end goal that you’re after

Mindset 

Mindset is another large component of good mental health. Having a positive state of mind can really help to improve wellbeing, productivity, and confidence. So, how do you create good mindset habits? Well, here are some of our favourite tips:  

  • Squash the negative self-talk and celebrate wins – no matter how big or small
  • Stop comparing yourself to others – accept yourself for who you are and recognise the value you add
  • Be mindful and appreciate the good things in life 
  • Recognise and accept your emotions to process them easily 
  • Only focus on what you can control
  • Learn from your mistakes 
  • Practice a ‘glass half full’ mentality

Building Workplace Mental Health Awareness 

Whilst it is great to recognise and celebrate good mental health during Mental Health Awareness Week, we really want to encourage workplace practices that last all year round. 

Here are some great ideas to consider: 

  • Introduce ME Days: everybody has days where they simply don’t have the energy to adult! A ME Day (or mental health day) is the perfect solution. It’s a day kept separate from annual leave, where your team members can take time off. A day to recharge the batteries, if you will! 
  • Wellbeing committee: show your team that you value wellbeing by setting up a committee dedicated towards it. This allows nominated staff and management to consult on wellbeing issues to create a positive environment for everyone in the workplace. 
  • Wellbeing programme: get serious about improving and maintaining good mental health at your workplace by establishing a formal wellbeing programme. The programme could include all the things your team value – flexible working hours and conditions, onsite fitness, healthy food options/education, assistance programmes… whatever works for your people. 
  • Five Ways to Wellbeing: The Mental Health Foundation of NZ has created plenty of useful 5 Ways to Wellbeing resources to download and implement within your workplace.
  • Workshops: The cool thing about professional development is that it doesn’t need to be role specific. There are plenty of types of training centred around resilience and psychological safety that can truly empower your team. 
  • Employee Assistance Programmes: Alongside traditional EAP Providers, if your budget doesn’t stretch that far check out the Xero Assistance Programme. This offers Kiwi small business owners, their employees and family members access to free and confidential counselling and support until the end of the year – regardless of whether you are a Xero customer, or not!  In addition Xero ,have a lot of useful free support resources for businesses – check them out!  

Supporting good mental health should be an essential focus for all NZ businesses. If you feel as though you need help developing or expanding your workplace wellbeing programme, then the Spice Gals are here to help. Get in touch with us today

 

How To Boost Workplace Wellness This Winter

Winter wellness – it’s all about rugging up warm, getting that flu jab and staying home from work if you’re unwell, right? Well, that’s part of it.

But have you thought about how you’ll care for the mental wellness of your team this winter – particularly at work?

Deadlines, demanding customers, COVID-19 worries, long hours, remote working – the list of things that can knock our wellbeing at work is endless. And the long, grey winter months can make it all feel so much worse. But improving our mental wellbeing is priceless.

So, how can you ensure you are being an ethical leader and creating an environment of winter workplace wellness? Read on to find out.

How To Boost Workplace Wellness This Winter

Why Workplace Wellness?

Good mental health at work and good management go hand in hand. There’s evidence that workplaces with high levels of mental wellbeing are more productive. According to WorkSafe NZ, focusing on mental health in the workplace is essential because:

  1. It’s good for business. When people are happy in their environment, they are more productive, take less sick leave, and are more likely to remain in their jobs for longer.
  2. It’s a legal obligation under the Health and Safety at Work Act (which is as much about mental health as physical health!)
  3. It’s a moral and ethical obligation for all of us to do the right thing by one another.

Workplace wellness creates a better working environment for everyone, so it becomes a pleasure to be at work despite the dreary weather outside!

Navigating The Winter Blues

The winter blues are a well-known phenomenon. They are most heavily felt throughout the workplace. As the temperature drops and the weather worsens, it is harder to get those sunlight hours that our bodies desperately crave.

As a manager, it is your responsibility to acknowledge that your team may be feeling those winter blues and have a plan to combat their impact as much as possible. One of the easiest ways to do that is to regularly check in with your team – individually and in a group setting.

Encourage open lines of communication so that your team can discuss issues or problems they are facing, have constructive conversations so that they can build resilience, and develop perseverance.

A Guide To Improving Mental Wellbeing In The Workplace

Here at Spice HR, we believe that good mental wellbeing at work is crucial, which is why we support the Five Ways to Wellbeing developed by New Zealand’s Mental Health Foundation.

Whilst these are general principles, they can be practically applied in the workplace. Here are the five areas your team should focus on for great workplace wellness this winter:

  1. Connect

Listen and talk, be present, feel connected. Speak up when you need to, and listen to others. Keep the communication lines open by encouraging discussion

2. Give

Give your time, knowledge, and presence – an essential part of connecting!

3. Take notice

Recognise the good things that your team are doing and the things that spark their creativity and joy. Even the little things count. Appreciate them!

4. Keep Learning

Embrace new experiences, see development opportunities, and provide ongoing learning experiences for your team members.

5. Be Active

Encourage your team to keep active throughout the day even if their role requires them to be at a desk. Do what you can, help them enjoy what they do, and don’t forget to move your mood and your body! Just move – no matter how you do it!

Here at Spice HR, we think that number 1 is particularly crucial: Connect. Many struggling with mental wellbeing try to hide their feelings, afraid of other people’s responses. If you create workplace cultures where people can be themselves, they will speak more freely about mental health concerns and reach out for help when needed. It all comes down to open lines of communication.

Are You An Ethical Leader?

Part of supporting good mental health in the winter workplace is ensuring you behave like an ethical leader. That means taking the time to build a healthy workplace environment for all of your team members.

Ethical leaders tend to choose people over financial reward. While economic growth is essential for many businesses, you will struggle to achieve your goals if you don’t have the buy-in of your people. That means balancing your decision-making to ensure you are doing the right thing by your employees and doing what is best for the business.

There are plenty of ways you can do this. But ultimately, it comes down to creating an environment in which people want to work. An environment that embraces excellent communication. One where people’s opinions and ideas are respected, management show transparency and shares information, and staff feel heard.

Ensuring your team leaders and management have a sense of empathy is vital to supporting their staff appropriately.

Ready To Spice Up Your Workplace Wellness?

Achieving great workplace wellness can be challenging at any time of the year, yet that challenge increases significantly during the winter months.

Need more guidance to improve mental wellbeing in your workplace? Reach out to the Spice Gals!

Spice HR support small and medium businesses who need help getting HR frameworks in place – and we love helping businesses boost staff wellbeing.

So: stop right now, thank you very much – and drop us a line!