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What the winners are investing in: Their Employees

What the winners are investing in: Their Employees

Is your organisation investing in your greatest asset? As the global marketplace shifts, organisations are attempting to find new ways to remain competitive and innovative. Recent trends have seen Australian employers investing more in their human resources than ever before, despite the advancement of automation and robotics. By investing in their people, Australian companies are able to better manage change, encounter difficulties, and leverage new technologies.

The Future of Work: Harmony between Robots and Humans

As the current labor force generation retires, employers are going to see labor shortages. Populations are decreasing, work perspectives are changing and though work remains the same, there are fewer employees available to fill the open slots. At the same time, many industries are also moving towards an increase in automation and robotics — the future of work lies in automated services, artificial intelligence, and robotic controls. Yet these automated services are going to need to be controlled, fine-tuned, and optimised by someone.

While low-level work is likely to be automated, higher-level work is going to become more important than ever. Employers are going to need to court the best talent to be competitive, and they may find themselves selecting from a smaller pool of sought-after candidates.

Here are some ways in which successful companies are adjusting to this new market.

Atlassian

  • Named the third best ‘large workspace’ in the Asia-Pacific Region
  • Uses physical exercise to reinforce teamwork and company culture
  • Encourages innovation even when the innovation isn’t profitable

Employees at some offices of the Atlassian begin their day with a Pushups and Planks workout schedule: a physical testament to the company’s strong culture. Meanwhile, company ‘ShipIt’ days give employees the opportunity to innovate on any project they want. These initiatives are designed to encourage employees to work together, build camaraderie and teamwork, and improve each employee’s relationship with the business.

Canva

Food is where the heart is. Canva brought in its own executive chef to cook meals for its 80-staff members, at a cost of approximately $10 a day. With vegan and vegetarian options available, Canva hopes to fuel their employees’ energy and productivity through better tasting, more nutritious food. Many companies are paying more attention to employee health, with the idea that a healthy employee is more likely to be focused and effective.

Envato

  • Continually cited as one of the best places in which to work in Australia
  • Provides flexible working arrangements to its employees
  • Intentionally hires only those who fit into its company culture

Envato’s employment strategy is quite unique. Employees are allowed to work from anywhere they want for up to three months a year. This is apart from the many tech-friendly amenities Envato provides, such as milk bars, game tables, and consoles. By letting employees work from anywhere in the world, they get happier, more satisfied employees who are likewise willing to work harder.

Rackspace

  • Named the ninth best workplace in Asia
  • Builds on a foundation of six core values
  • Committed to diversity, inclusiveness, and charity

Rackspace focuses on what it calls a purpose-driven culture, encouraging employees to give their time through volunteering and going the extra mile for their customers. Rackspace employees have 24 hours of paid volunteer time that they can use to make a difference, which contributes to the company culture of meaningful change.

Rackspace itself also maintains Racker Resource Groups, which offers employees networking opportunities and support. An example is RackParents, a group in which new parents can connect. These efforts foster a relationship with employees that goes beyond a company, turning it into a community.

What Can We Learn from These Companies?

Organisations such as Atlassian, Canva, Envato, and Rackspace are investing in their employee health and satisfaction, improving their work-life balance, and creating strong company cultures. The above companies encourage camaraderie between team members and foster a strong relationship between the company and its employees. All of this combines to create an environment that is happier and more productive, with greater levels of employee retention and the ability to procure even greater talent.

Creating Stronger Businesses through Employees

With the modern workforce shifting, it will become imperative for companies to find the best talent. Organisations must engage the C-suite when creating a stronger workplace environment, with the understanding that the workforce is about to change. Prior generations will retire and companies need to consider that newer generation workforces prioritise a feeling of meaning and well-being in their environment. Though artificial intelligence and robotics will fill some gaps, it won’t be able to fill everything.

From digital transformation to the new workforce, modern business is changing and it can be difficult to keep up. If you want to learn more about supporting your business in this new landscape, you need to connect and network with others within your industry. To learn more, contact TEC.

Fraud in the Family Business

In the last week I have heard three stories of fraud in business. Each of them happened to occur in businesses owned and operated by families. I have also attended a KPMG presentation where, in their recent survey, they state the ‘value of fraud rose by 16% between April 2016 and September 2016, to a total of $442m’ in Australia alone.

Many perpetrators work from inside the business. Sometimes the culprits are family members. My story tellers all had their perpetrators working for them as trusted employees. Two out of the three found out by chance while the employee was still working for the business and the third business found out almost a year after the theft took place. The challenges faced are more than just monetary. The emotional pain can be huge. There is also the challenge to the values and culture always at play in family business, and any other business too.

Fraud comes in many shapes and sizes, and in general terms, it happens through gaps in systems, working around systems and breaking of systems. IT fraud is growing as well. In recent times, individuals have had their identities stolen and money withdrawn from their bank accounts almost immediately. One person, reported in the press, had to freeze her business and private bank accounts ….. and wages were due for over 100 employees.

Are you looking for fraud? Where are you looking for fraud? How do we prepare for fraud? And what do you need to pay attention to?

A few precautions to protect yourself from fraud and cyber crime are:

  • Do not give any personal information to organisations or people before verifying their credentials
  • Many frauds begin with a phishing email. Remember that banks and financial institutions will not send you an email asking you to click on a link and confirm your bank details. Do not trust these emails even if they look genuine – (UK Police)
  • Destroy and preferably shred receipts with your card details on them and mail with your name and address on. I density fraudsters don’t need much information in order to be able to clone your identity – (UK Police)
  • Make sure your computer has up-to-date anti-virus software and a firewall installed. Ensure your browser is set to the highest level of security notification and monitoring to prevent malware issues and computer crimes
  • Keep track of Purchase Order documents and Invoice documents. Have a check and balance system in operation.
  • Annual reviews of existing processes and systems to find gaps.

John BroonsBy TEC Chair John Broons – May 18, 2018

 

About the author: John Broons – Is a an accredited Specialist Family Business Advisor and Fellow of the Family Firm Institute (Boston, USA) CFBA, ACFBA. John works with decision makers in family businesses of all sizes to get clarity and focus around family relationships and business success. John also coaches and mentors business owners and executives in creating, challenging and focusing their business strategy.

Further resources on this topic:

http://www.apca.com.au/payment-statistics/fraud-statistics

https://www.allbusiness.com/fraud-in-family-business-2-5222374-1.html

Liberate the workforce using technology 

At a roundtable recently, The Executive Connection discussed how new and emerging technology will change, and already is changing the way people work; evolving to a point where capability is no longer just human.

The automation of a range of jobs and workplace functions is speeding up processes and driving efficiency by automating the predictable, most repetitive and dangerous jobs.

However, as technology replaces the repetitive it does not replace the need for human interaction, but rather it enables employees to work in new and different ways.

In fact, by allowing machines to complete mundane tasks, employers can liberate their staff from their desks, and the clock; providing them with the environment needed to take on new challenges and opportunities anytime, anywhere.

Helen Wiseman, The Executive Connection Chair says, ‘The role of technology means that many undesirable jobs will disappear; putting less pressure on employers to entice workers into jobs that much of the workforce doesn’t want to do. This offers organisations huge opportunities to transform their attraction and retention programs by putting skilled workers to better use.’

Understanding the benefits of technology and how to apply it will allow leaders to capitalise on human potential in new ways.

Download the whitepaper on ‘The Agile Workforce’ now 

 

The key to successful change management for CEOs

Throughout Fortune 1000 companies, change management has been estimated to only have a 50 percent success rate. Some estimates even place success rates at as low as 20 percent.  Acquisitions, mergers, down-sizing — all of these are critical events expected to happen throughout the organisation. With the fast-paced evolution of technology, employees will experience change constantly. Whether it’s the introduction of a new service offering or implementation of a sales tool, the success of change within an organisation often lies in the hands of its employees. Change is inevitable, but successful change can be evasive.

Transparency and consistency

More than anything else, employees value an open line of communication with upper management. When employees believe that they can easily reach out to the management team, they become 54 percent more likely to be engaged. On the other hand, when employees do not feel that their management is open and approachable, engagement is only 2 percent, while 65 percent are actively disengaged.

All of this underscores the importance of transparency and consistency. Employees are concerned about the ramifications of changes at work as it can impact their lives. Organisations may be concerned about expenses and income, but employees worry more about how it can impact their families, their health, and their personal time. As this change occurs, this type of uncertainty can translate into poor work performance.

Before, during, and after change, communication needs to remain active and transparent. Often, this will require a communication management plan.

Introducing employees to the change

The initial communication between you and your employees will set the stage for further interactions. Organisations must be able to communicate change clearly, honestly, and empathetically. They must explain why change is occurring and how it will be occurring.

Everyone absorbs information differently, as well as at different rates and this is something you need to consider. Although you can communicate the mechanics of the change in multiple ways, it is best done face-to-face as an announcement or in a meeting. You’ll need to highlight why this is necessary, how it impacts you, and more importantly, how it impacts them. Be transparent about the potential effects and address their concerns right away by outlining your contingency plans. At the end of the meeting, send out a wrap up email to solidify the discussion and highlight important points clearly.

At the beginning of the change management process, CEOs must not only clearly communicate the facts of the change to their employees, but also give employees information about how to further connect with their supervisors and discuss their potential concerns.

Communicating the benefits of change

At all levels of an organisation, concerned parties will be wondering why the change is occurring. It’s imperative that stakeholders understand the direction that the company is headed in, as well as upper level management. Don’t overstate or over promise. Instead, inspire, motivate, and be honest.

Benefits should always be emphasised that may directly or indirectly impact employees. Remember that information will trickle down from the top. Apart from company-wide communications, information will transfer from executives to managers and from managers to employees. Each time, some of that information may be lost to misinterpretation and only the major talking points will remain.

The organisation as a whole can transition more smoothly towards change if everyone views it as a positive experience. If individuals within the organisation feel that change is unnecessary or even potentially harmful, they will be less eager to participate.

The impact of change

In addition to the positives, you also need to be realistic about the negatives. Part of being a leader involves quickly and directly addressing issues that may arise before rumours circulate and they go out of hand. Don’t try to hide the negatives; if this is what will happen, it will come out eventually. Be honest and empathetic and let all employees know what they are in for. It is important to build an atmosphere of trust with your employees. They will be better prepared for the negatives to come and will most likely weather through it if they are properly advised ahead of time.

Employees understand that negative issues can arise. They simply need to know that they are under solid, confident, and honest leadership. By being honest, you can inspire your employees to work harder. Discuss the complexities of the change and what they will have to endure, and then tie it into the rewards and benefits that they can expect as soon as the change is complete.

Prepare your contingencies in advance

Not all negatives and drawbacks are certain. There are a number of complications that could arise that must be planned for. Communicate these potential complications as well as the contingencies in place to address them. All parties involved will rest easier knowing that their concerns are being addressed, and they will be better prepared should these possibilities become a reality.

Open lines of communication are important: if there are contingencies that you have not considered, employees and management must feel as though they can report them to someone higher up and have them addressed. This is critical to success, as it ensures that employees will feel comfortable addressing any potential blind spots.

Following up after success

Your job isn’t complete after the change has taken place. You must also make sure to celebrate the success. You owe it to the employees to reward them for their hard work and trust. The next time change arises throughout your organisation, your employees will remember this and be more willing to pitch in.

Organisations able to manage change successfully are 350 percent more effective than their peers. Managing organisational change is often a matter of knowledge, skill, and experience. With a tremendous number of moving parts, change management requires both logistics and social skills. If you want to improve upon these skills, you may need the help of peers and mentors. Contact TEC to find out how monthly meetings with a CEO peer group can help you deal with different types of organisational change.

The employee retention strategies used by Australian CEOs

 

Download the full report 

32 percent of CEOs now believe that talent is harder to retain. Businesses are now competing for the top talent, both acquiring it and retaining it. CEOs must focus not only on obtaining staff but also retaining them. Not only do talented employees add value to the organisation, but the costs of rehiring and retraining employees can be considerable. Replacing an employee costs, on average, six months of salary for the position in question. Investing in employee retention can be an excellent way to improve profitability.

To that end, CEOs are attempting to make their businesses more attractive to their employees. Their strategies include:

  • Improving training

Many employees find themselves leaving otherwise fulfilling positions because they feel that they don’t have any opportunities for growth. Improved training along with a transparent process for promotions can give an employee goals to consider. 33 percent of CEOs believe that improving training will lead them to the right path towards drawing the right talent.

  • Adding benefits

Benefits can be added as an employee gains seniority to reward them for their loyalty. Employees with the company for a long time could be rewarded with additional vacation days, health benefits, or flexible working hours. 32 percent of CEOs are adding benefits, compared to 17 percent who are increasing wages.

  • Increasing wages

A regular increase in wages is often necessary to keep the best employees, especially in industries where they may be considered by competitors or where salaries are advancing quite quickly. Salaries aren’t the only way to retain employees, but a lack of salary increase can make employees feel undervalued even if they otherwise enjoy their work.

  • Company culture

Employees often find it easier to work with a business if they identify with its culture. Businesses should establish their company culture quickly and make it a point to invest in employees that are a good fit.

  • Acknowledgement

In addition to salaries and benefits, there are many employees who simply want to be acknowledged for their contributions to the business and their hard work. Setting up employee reward systems and regularly acknowledging employee input will show employees that they are appreciated by the business and that their work is not going unnoticed.

A business that is able to retain its employees will have lower churn and a greater sense of stability. Not only will it reduce its hiring and training expenses, but it can build upon employee knowledge to develop more innovative and well-optimised business processes.

Download the full report 

Does paying the price lead to winning the war for talent?

 

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As companies look towards improving their profit pictures, many CEOs are considering the adoption of leading talent. Talent reduces the cost of business processes, improves customer satisfaction, and perhaps most importantly — drive innovation. But procuring the right talent isn’t always easy. CEOs in 2018 are considering:

  • Higher wages

Higher wages aid in employee retention, which reduces training costs. Higher wages may also lead to the hiring of better talent — and since 23% of CEOs are considering higher wages, it may become a way to remain in step with the competition. Nevertheless, higher wages can also be seen as throwing money at the problem, and ultimately, may not actually retain talent. Higher wages don’t necessarily lead to a better working environment, which is a critical aspect of employee acquisition and retention.

  • Social and online channels

Networking is one of the leading ways to find top talent, as many talented employees are not actively looking for new positions. Word-of-mouth, active social media channels, and industry-related groups can provide the business with excellent leads on talented professionals who may be interested in new opportunities.

  • Additional and non-traditional benefits

If companies cannot compete based on salaries alone, they can compete in terms of benefits. Traditional benefits such as retirement funds and medical plans can make a substantial difference when employees are comparing positions. Non-traditional benefits such as flexible time and work-from-home can attract those looking for work-life balance.

  • Advanced training

Modern employees are looking for ways to build upon their careers. Advanced training and seminar programs add to their value as employees, not only making them more useful to the business but also drawing in the most motivated and driven employees.

  • Employee referral programs

Employees can often identify talented individuals who would excel in a working environment. Many times, they have already established a network with others in their industry. An employee referral program can bring these talented individuals directly to the business with limited time invested.

38 percent of CEOs believe that hiring is getting harder. A formalised talent management process can make it easier for businesses to attract and secure the right talent. With increasing wages and benefits, CEOs must also consider their cost-benefit analysis, identifying each hire’s direct value to the organisation. Through a structured talent management process, CEOs will be able to identify and secure the employees most beneficial to their organisation’s bottom line.

Download the full report 

Creating a company culture: Lessons form Consolid8

Consolid8 is an accounting firm that was originally built on the experience Managing Director Tanya Titman developed providing management accounting solutions. From that basis, Tanya realised there was a significant need for greater financial literacy among business owners, a focus she believes is a great differentiator for the business. There’s also been a focus on cloud accounting solutions, a fact that has seen the company recognised by Xero for its contribution to the industry.

However, Consolid8 hasn’t just made a name for itself in the way it serves its clients. The company is in the unique position of offering subsidised onsite childcare for its staff – a model that other businesses have expressed their desire to replicate. The childcare facility has provided challenges to the firm over the years, but it is well-established as a key part of Consolid8’s culture. The ongoing benefits it provides Tanya and her team have been well worth the effort.

The challenge: Balancing business ownership with a young family

In the last practice Tanya worked in before starting Consolid8, trying to look after two children (there are now four in her family) meant she experienced challenges often associated with being a working parent.

‘[When] having a baby and running a business, you don’t get to take six months off or 12 months off and just enjoy motherhood. It’s like business, it never stops,’ Tanya began. ‘I went through the challenges of trying to look after a baby while balancing that with work, and it was really, really hard.’

‘At the end of it I thought ‘no woman should have to go through this’, so when I went out on my own from day one I set up the on-site childcare.’

Tanya approached the inclusion of the childcare facility with no real strategy, but a desire to make it happen so other women could avoid the stress of what she went through. This resolve was put to the test even before the facility’s doors opened. It was originally meant to be a joint venture, but the day the centre was to open was the day the GFC hit, so the other business pulled out.

The solution: Creating a family-friendly working environment

Tanya’s experience in an industry that wasn’t able to offer the flexibility working parents desired was a key catalyst for the on-site child care centre. Women across the accounting sector were being discouraged from coming back into the workforce after having children, leaving them to make the tough decision between their children and their career. At Consolid8, that’s not a choice they have to make.

‘Amongst my peers and people I’ve gone through uni with, there’s some amazing talent and I’ve seen them rise really quickly through various firms and do amazing things and then they’ve had a child and it’s all come to a grinding halt because they weren’t offered any sort of flexibility,’ Tanya explained.

‘If I can present these amazing women with an opportunity to bring their kids to work or have their baby with them and be able to be breastfeeding and not have any of the barriers to being in the workforce… no one has to make the choice between work or family’.

Unfortunately, the process of setting up a child care centre wasn’t as simple as it sounds, especially as Tanya was essentially a pioneer for this model of creating an on-site variant. One of the core decisions concerned whether the centre could be government-funded without incurring significant amounts of red tape.

‘If we were to become a fully licensed childcare facility, we could access government funding but to do that essentially we’re becoming a commercial childcare centre, and there’s a whole lot of regulation and a whole lot of requirements for that that made it cost-prohibitive,’ Tanya says.

The results: An engaged workforce and a defining culture

The effects of the on-site child care centre have been wide-reaching, and influence more than just the working parents that bring their children into Consolid8 each day.

‘A graduate can come on to our team and know they’ve got a lifelong career here if they want it, and they’ll never have to make that choice,’ Tanya says. ‘I’ve had some of my male team members come on board and be able to bring their children to work so that their wives can go back to work.’

Most importantly, the centre is shaping Consolid8’s culture and changing the way staff engage with each other, while also attracting the next generation of employees.

‘The parents that are on the team are very connected because their children are growing up together in child care.’

‘The talent we get is incredible and we have a lineup of people wanting to come on board,’ Tanya notes. ‘In an industry that is really quite competitive for great staff, it means that we have the edge over many of the larger firms because they can’t match what we can offer in terms of that work/life balance.’

Tanya’s desire to challenge herself while developing Consolid8 led her to TEC, where she finds she is able to be influenced by people from business outside the accounting industry. Importantly for Tanya, the group isn’t just there to congratulate her on what went well but rather exists to question and challenge her – and each other – for the purposes of improving the business and her role within it.

Making decisions with disagreements

When it comes to business strategies and problem-solving, not everyone shares the same perspective. Before a decision can be made, it’s not uncommon for a disagreement to occur. As a leader, it’s your role to manage these disagreements without letting them disrupt the flow of your organisation.

Sometimes, it’s not always important, or even possible, to make the best decision when you don’t have all the information regarding a certain issue. It’s more important that the decisions are made and that they are made with due consideration. You can achieve this by creating a decision-making strategy and by following these best practices:

Leave emotion out of it

A disagreement can easily become personal. After all, each professional is defending their own point of view, which stems from a combination of their own knowledge and experience. But everyone has their own perspective and no single individual can understand all aspects of a situation. It’s important to remain professional and to leave emotion out of the decision-making process.

Not only can introducing emotions ultimately confuse issues, but it can also reduce the impact of any points you are trying to make. Being clear on facts and clearly justifying your decisions is necessary not only for the best possible outcome, but also to ensure that employees understand your reasoning and do not feel ignored or pushed aside.

Appreciate all suggestions

It’s very easy to dismiss suggestions either as being outlandish or something that you’ve already considered. But rather than making a quick decision and potentially undermining your employee’s confidence, you should instead explore the idea and walk them through your own thought process. Be open to ideas that you might have otherwise dismissed; there may be some components that you haven’t considered.

By being a good listener, asking questions, and trying to see everyone’s point of view, you can create a positive and cooperative atmosphere. Employees will be more willing to share ideas, and ideas that are truly innovative and creative will be more likely heard. Being a primary decision maker is often like being an investigator; you need to explore all of the data before drawing a conclusion.

A failure to consider your employee’s ideas, even when they are truly unsuitable, can eventually lead to frustrated employees who feel unappreciated. When employees offer their ideas, they are trying to help. When that help is ignored, they often feel personally rejected. Moreover, it can make employees hesitate when they truly do have a good idea, as they may feel as though they won’t be heard.

Keep the consequences of your decision in mind

By necessity, each suggestion during a decision-making process needs to be explored to its conclusion. Once the brainstorming is over, each potential decision should be thoroughly outlined, and the consequences of that decision should be thoroughly investigated. The following questions should be asked:

  • What are the potential results of this decision?
  • What complications could arise due to this decision?
  • Who will this decision affect positively or adversely?
  • What will be the ultimate cost, in time and money, of each decision?

It’s possible that you may not know which decision will perform better. It may be something that is truly unknowable, such as a scenario that relies on too many factors, or it may be a decision that requires additional information before it can be made. Either way, if a decision must be made at this time, then the potential consequences not only need to be acknowledged but they also must be prepared for.

In business, it is possible that a decision may need to be made without all of the information present. Because of this, you may need to simply choose the best out of all possible solutions and plan contingencies in the event that there are negative consequences.

Compromising often doesn’t produce the best results

When we were children, we were often taught to compromise. It made sense because compromising is a fantastic way to build relationships with friends and family. But compromise is not a fantastic way to run a business. As a CEO, you need to make decisions that are optimal, not acceptable. Compromise ultimately results in both parties getting a little of what they want and a little of what they don’t need. Compromise leads to two dissatisfied parties and a weakened overall strategy.

CEOs may feel the compulsion to compromise when it comes to important business decisions, especially if tensions and emotions are running high. But when it comes to business, it’s almost always better to set a solid course rather than trying to split multiple strategies. A CEO needs to carefully study when compromise is and isn’t appropriate, and practice mediation in lieu of compromising their decision-making process.

Make better decisions through positive leadership

As CEO, you have already been selected to lead your company. Your company has put its faith in your decision-making abilities for a reason. Part of that reason is because you make well-considered, well-crafted decisions. As long as you are not making every decision in the company, it’s your prerogative to override others.

But it isn’t always that simple, especially when tensions run high or the right decision may not always be obvious. During those times, you may want to reach out for mentorship. TEC provides direct access to leaders and business owners who have experience moderating the decision-making process and ensuring that the right decisions are made day after day. Contact TEC today to find out more. 

The task of delegating tasks

Only 28% of businesses offer any training regarding delegation — even though half of them are concerned that delegation is not being handled effectively. For CEOs and managers, delegation skills are not optional. In fact, these are the only way to progress.

The process of delegation is the process of prioritisation — letting go of tasks that you can allow others to handle so that you can focus on the tasks that only you can handle.

Through appropriate delegation, CEOs and managers can free themselves up for the most important tasks while also giving their employees the benefit of additional experience and advanced skills.

Nevertheless, there are some definite psychological and practical barriers to delegation that can cause CEOs and managers to hesitate. It is these barriers that need to be cleared to achieve more effective business processes overall.

1. Identify the tasks that can be delegated

Delegation should always begin with the simplest tasks and work its way upwards to the more complex ones. In a well-run business, every task is important — but some tasks are less complex than others.

A good candidate for delegation will be a task that is routine, repetitive, consistent, and teachable. This is a task that is easy to explain to an employee and that they have the skills and the capabilities to complete. This is also a task that does not change often and does not require any special access or permission to complete.

It isn’t always easy to identify a ‘simple’ task. For instance, there may be interactions with vendors that appear to be simple mechanically but would require your personal social interaction to complete. So before delegating, ask yourself whether an employee may encounter any roadblocks during the task that you yourself may not, such as not having in-depth knowledge of a customer or a business process. This doesn’t mean that the task can’t be delegated; it merely means that additional work may be needed.

2. Match the task to the employee

It is important that you hand over tasks to employees who have some level of competency within the area. As a leader, it is likely that you are handling many different tasks that utilise different skills, ranging from business knowledge to interpersonal communications.

So knowing your employees is the first step towards understanding which tasks they are best suited for — though you also shouldn’t hesitate to give a capable employee a chance at something that may be a little outside of their skill set.

When delegating, it often becomes the case that a CEO or manager will discover that one employee is highly competent. These are the employees that often begin to take on more delegated tasks and processes, and it should often be the goal of the leader to find these employees. Once you have found your highly competent individuals, you can then begin mentoring them into more advanced roles within your organisation.

3. Introducing the task to the employee

When an employee has a task delegated to them, it’s easy for the task to be seen as ‘more work.’ Framing the delegation appropriately can be the difference between an excited employee and a hesitant one.

A delegated task is not a punishment; it is an opportunity for growth and development. If the employee does well at the task, they should be able to grow with the company and eventually enhance their own responsibilities. This is something that is very important to modern employees, who are found to have an eye for consistent career advancement.

Employees should be made aware of the task itself and why you chose them for the task — this is in addition to the skills and experience that make them an ideal candidate. Through this, the employee will be aware that you are looking at their performance and paying attention to their own career goals. They will have more motivation to not only complete the task in a timely fashion but also to do their best at it.

If the task relates to a vendor, customer, or other individual, introductions should be made at this time so that the delegation will flow smoothly.

4. Provide instructions

It’s easy to become an indispensable resource over time simply because others would not know exactly what you did or how it was done. The difference between a successful delegation and a failed delegation often comes down to documentation.

It can be easy to become frustrated about things that you believe ‘anyone should know’, and it can be easy for an employee to become frustrated that they are expected to ‘read your mind’. Giving clear instructions from the outset bypasses these potential issues.

More importantly, documentation is an investment; it can be used when these tasks are delegated in the future and ensures that you are not burdened by ‘hit by a truck’ scenarios.

In addition to providing clear instructions, it may be necessary to complete the job with an employee a few times. When the task is finally handed over, the employee must be clear regarding the desired results of the task and when it needs to be completed by.

Not only will this take a burden off you as the leader, it will also empower your employees to take ownership and initiative. This is further discussed in “How to create a culture of accountability“ by the established business leader and HR professional Trudy MacDonald.

Delegation is a skill, and it’s a skill that will serve a leader for some time to come. The best leaders are the ones that are most effective at delegating; they trust their employees can handle the day-to-day operations fully while they’re focusing on the bigger picture.

You can master your delegation skills through practice, experience, and mentorship. TEC gives you access to experienced, successful leaders, with which you can discuss the art of delegation and the process of integrating delegation effectively into your business culture. Contact TEC today to find out more.

CEOs struggle to find the right skills and talent

With confidence in economic growth and stability rising, many CEOs are looking towards expansion. A problem arising, however, is a difficulty in finding talent. 63% of the CEOs polled in the Confidence Index Report (CIR) cited talent as a major issue impacting growth. Both political issues and the changing employment markets are creating challenges.

As the economy improves, the job market becomes more competitive. 

Australia’s unemployment rate has dropped to 5.6% and is expected to continue dropping as the economy improves. Lower unemployment rates lead to a more competitive employment market, in which employers find it more difficult to attract the top talent. Employees become more expensive overall as they expect higher salaries and better benefits. And with the additional limitation of 457 visas, acquiring cost-effective and highly skilled staff is challenging.

CEOs must be creative when acquiring the top talent.

41% of CEOs believe that staff acquisition and retention is their number one concern. In order to continue growing, CEOs have to be creative when courting talent.

  • Offer perks in place of more traditional benefits. Innovative companies are offering perks such as pet-friendly offices, child care, and flex time. Today’s employees want work-life balance — and if employers are able to make their offices more attractive, their employees will be willing to spend more time there.
  • Listen to your employees and their suggestions. Employees want to feel that they are being listened to and valued. Most importantly, employees may have a better perspective on what would make the company more competitive to other talent.
  • Be open to broadening your employment search. Many employers are used to demanding specific requirements from their potential employees, but it can become necessary for employers to broaden their search for more non-traditional talent. Employers may want to consider which of their requirements are truly requirements or which may simply be desirable.

Employee retention may become its own challenge.

In addition to acquisition, retention becomes a challenge when there are more employers attempting to procure talent. Employees may find themselves being courted by other companies who may have more appealing offers; it is the employer’s responsibility to make sure that they can provide a more attractive working environment.

Employees want to have opportunities for advancement, and if they feel that they are stagnating in their career path, they are very likely to look for another position with another company. Employers can provide additional training, certifications, seminars, and personal development opportunities to make themselves more competitive.

Employers should also be aware that employees are more likely to leave managers than a company — if they are unhappy with their direct management, the company’s own benefits may not matter. Consequently, employers need to listen to their employees and take complaints and suggestions seriously.

Employers who are looking to hire employees are going to need to be creative and innovative. Networking is going to be key in procuring the best talent as the economy continues to improve and employees find themselves more in demand. TEC can provide connections and guidance for CEOs who are looking to improve their talent pool and retain their talent moving forward.

Read the full Confidence Index Report