Managing Underperformance Workshop
29th September 2020
This session is designed for leaders at all levels, focussing on building confidence and capability in creating workplace environments that prevent underperformance and how to proactively resolve underperformance concerns if/when they do arise. This session will give participants an understanding of:
- What managing underperformance is and what can impact on performance
- The legal framework that underpins how we manage underperformance
- A process for managing underperformance
- The importance of feedback and how to deliver it effectively
- How to have impactful underperformance conversations
- When and how to put in place a performance improvement plan
- The formal process to undertake if your efforts do not work
You will also take away practical tools to help you manage underperformance in your business.
Cost: $200 + GST per person
Dates: Thursday 29th October & Tuesday 17th November
Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm
Location: Smart Business Centre – 65 Chapel Street, Tauranga
To book, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, click here https://yourhrpartners.co.nz/news/
This workshop is registered with the Management Capability Development Voucher Fund. Find out more by visiting www.regionalbusinesspartners.co.nz
Q & A with the Chamber of Commerce
4th June 2020
Your HR Partners have been supporting businesses to navigate the many people challenges that have come about during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We got to know a bit about Chamber members Your HR Partners, and asked Morwenna and Megan a few questions on how they have been supporting business leaders during this time.
What do you specialise in and what is the work you love doing?
We partner with businesses to create awesome places to work through an agile and people-centred approach to HR, working with our clients to develop innovative and impactful people solutions.
We offer a full range of HR services including employment relations, outsourced generalist HR support, employee experience initiatives, HR project support, workshops, facilitation and coaching. Recently, we have been supporting businesses with COVID-19 related people challenges (which we talk to in more detail below).
We are focussed on creating genuine and long-lasting partnerships with our clients, and are energised by seeing the impact of the work we have supported them with come to fruition. A big part of our purpose is being able to share our knowledge with our clients to grow their confidence in the people space, unleash their people’s potential and achieve great business outcomes. We love learning and continually keep up to date with the latest research both in NZ and in other parts of the world to provide the most effective people solutions to our clients.
How did you meet and why did you start Your HR Partners?
We met briefly a few years back and recently reconnected at a HR leaders forum in Tauranga. We always had a connection; we now understand that was because our ‘why’ and our values are very much aligned. We met for half an hour over coffee about this time last year, shook hands and that was it – we were in business together! We share the same passion of bringing innovative and people-centred HR to small to medium sized businesses and supporting larger organisations with projects to deliver on their people plans.
What are you seeing as the main ‘people-related areas’ that businesses are requiring support with at the moment?
Obviously every business is experiencing different challenges depending on the impact that COVID-19 has had on their business, and what each of the levels has meant for them. The most common areas that we have been supporting our clients with are, the application of the wage subsidy, communicating with people and teams through the different alert levels and what that means for their roles, supporting people back to work safely, ensuring health, safety and wellbeing obligations including mental health are met, workplace change and restructuring, and supporting new, flexible ways of working.
We are very privileged to have been able to support Bay of Plenty and other NZ businesses at a time which for some, has been very challenging. It has been humbling to see the awesome workplaces we have here and how leaders are working with their people in such a kind, empathetic way during this time.
What are some tips you can share with our readers around some of these areas?
- Workplace Change/Restructuring
Workplace change, or restructuring, is where businesses need to make changes that may affect people’s roles. Some have already experienced a downturn due to COVID-19 and have had to reshape their workforce in order to survive. For others, it may be something they are currently assessing or may need to consider further down the track.
We have seen various strategies being applied at this time to keep as many people employed as possible, including applying the wage subsidy only, reducing hours, allowing paid or unpaid leave to be taken before looking at redundancy as a last resort.
For any workplace change that may affect people’s roles, there is a process that needs to be followed, and the principles of ‘good faith’ apply. This includes the requirement to provide employees with a robust and genuine business case for the proposed change with all of the relevant information, explaining what you are proposing and why, providing an opportunity for those impacted to comment and give feedback on the proposal, and genuinely considering this feedback before any decisions are made. It is also important to note that if you are reducing the number of similar roles, you would need to consult on an appropriate, fair and transparent selection process, before undertaking the confirmed selection process.
Workplace change needs to be handled with care, as it can have a significant financial and emotional impact on those employees impacted.
Due to the complexities and potential risks of this process, it is advisable that you seek advice before you undertake a workplace change or restructuring process.
- Flexible Working
As we head towards Alert Level 1, a focus for some businesses has been to take the learnings from how they operated during lockdown around flexible and at home working and embed this, while still delivering great business outcomes.
Certainly in some industries, the pandemic has changed where people can do work, the type of work they perform and how they perform it. For many, there have been mutually beneficial outcomes for both the business and their people through adopting a more flexible approach to the way they work.
If you are considering how you can implement greater flexibility, some things you could think about are:
- What worked well for your people and what did not work so well during and post lockdown?
- How do your people work best?
- What does flexibility look like to them?
- What would a flexible working framework look like for your business?
- How will you ensure you provide clarity about your expectations and required outcomes?
- How will you communicate where things are working well or not working well?
- How will you ensure the needs of your business, your customers, team and individual needs are all met?
- How will your team connect and collaborate?
- How will you ensure your health and safety requirements are met such as home office ergonomics and the correct equipment is used?
Flexibility means different things for different people. Some considerations for flexible work could include place of work, days and or hours of work, moving to a nine-day fortnight, four-day working weeks or having school holidays off.
Remember, any employee can request a flexible arrangement and you do have obligations under employment law to genuinely consider these.
What should business leaders and managers keep top of mind heading into Level 1 and beyond?
How you lead and support your people is critical at any time, particularly in the current environment.
Keeping people informed, whether it is good news or otherwise, is important. Be as open and transparent as you can in everything you do – this will provide the information your people need to make informed decisions and provides them with some level of clarity during these uncertain times. Most importantly, communication builds trust. Take some time to think about what you need to communicate and take the time to do this regularly.
Everyone has experienced this time differently, so empathy is key. A way to do this is to show people that you care about how they feel. Listen, and allow people to really be heard. Once you understand how they are feeling, you can work through what you can do to support them.
Communicating well and being empathetic helps build connection, trust and ensures people feel psychologically safe at work. This will go a long way to helping people through this time, while creating an awesome place to work.
Moving out of Lockdown – Planning and Preparation
8th April 2020
We are now two weeks into the lockdown and it is heartening to see the numbers of people recovering from Covid-19 are overtaking the confirmed new and/or probable cases, bringing hope that NZ will be in a position to move out of Alert Level 4 by the end of the four week period. As mums juggling kids and working from home reflecting at the half way point, it’s certainly been a case of “the days are long but the weeks are fast” for us, but we understand everyone will be experiencing this time very differently.
We are directly seeing the impact of Alert Level 4 on our clients, their business and their people. We are currently working alongside our clients, supporting their scenario planning and preparation for when we move out of Alert Level 4, and what this means for their business and their people.
We wanted to share some of our thoughts about what you could be considering from a people planning perspective over the next couple of weeks and beyond.
Firstly, a note on the wage subsidy. More than 1 million Kiwis have received the Covid-19 wage subsidy so far, with $6.6 billion paid out already. If you haven’t already done so, and are eligible, you should apply now. The Government wage subsidy is designed to support employers impacted by COVID-19 so you can continue to pay your people, and supports your employees so they can continue to receive an income and stay connected with you, even if they are unable to work. As an employer, you are required to agree that for the duration of the subsidy you will make your best efforts to retain your people and to pay at least 80% of their wages, and if you are unable to do so, pay at least the rate of the subsidy to your employees. For further information and the link to apply for the Covid-19 wage subsidy visit https://workandincome.govt.nz/products/a-z-benefits/covid-19-support.
For now, most businesses will be able to utilise the 12 week Covid-19 wage subsidy to pay their people and keep them employed for at least this period of time while they ‘weather the storm’ and work out what the world may look like for them coming out of this. In an ideal world, businesses would be back to work after the 4 week lockdown period, with their business picking up over a short period of time, keeping all their people employed. Sadly, some businesses may not survive. This has been particularly evident by those significantly impacted such as travel, tourism and hospitality for example, who have already needed to consider or move to reducing costs through restructuring and/or redundancies. However, it is likely that most businesses will be facing scenarios that fall somewhere in between.
It is therefore critical that you take some time to assess where you are at, gathering as much information as you can to plan and prepare. The situation is likely to change day by day as it continues to unfold, and the Government releases more information. Bearing this in mind, some initial questions you could consider are:
- Is the current situation likely to be short or long term?
- What are the chances of business recovery?
- If recovery is possible, when might this be?
- What might the business look like? Will it be the same or different?
- What options has your bank and/or accountant provided you?
- How are other similar types or size businesses coping and adapting?
- What can you do to cope and adapt?
Having thought through these overarching questions, you will need to start thinking about what your workforce might look like in line with the differing alert levels, described in detail at https://covid19.govt.nz/alert-system/covid-19-alert-system/. It is likely that we will be living within the levels of the alert system for some time, so familiarity of these levels and planning around each of these are key. At the time of writing, the Government has said that businesses need to start preparing for how they will operate at Level 3, and that guidance on what businesses could trade will be provided. In the meantime, some potential scenarios you could start planning for are as follows:
- What happens if we stay in Level 4 for the short, medium or long term?
- How can you prepare for a move to Level 3, in say 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 12 weeks or longer?
- If we are able to open under Level 3, how will you contact trace everyone who comes through the door? How will you enforce social distancing?
- How can you prepare for a move to Level 2, in say 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks or longer?
- What would happen if we needed to move back up a level, ie from Level 3 back to Level 4?
- What are the critical roles/people you need in your business at Level 4, Level 3, Level 2, Level 1 and what are the key areas of focus for these roles?
- Who will you need to come back to work and when/why?
- Who might not need to work and at what level does this change and why?
- How will the wage subsidy apply in each of these scenarios?
- What will you communicate and when?
- What is your Health, Safety and Wellbeing obligations at each of the Levels?
- What might your business look like in 10-12 weeks from now?
As a last resort, you may need to consider the possibility of restructuring, reducing hours and/or redundancies, dependant on how your business is impacted further down the track. We will write about this in the coming weeks.
Remember, any people related changes you make need careful consideration. We advise that you ALWAYS check your Employment Agreements before undertaking any changes and seek professional advice to make sure you are meeting your contractual and legal obligations.