Category Archives: LMA in the media

Employer of Choice | LMA

Employer of Choice – new challenges, new dimensions

New data suggests that the concept of Employer of Choice is taking on new dimensions in the minds of many as employment markets tighten and economic concerns remain front of mind for most organisations and their leaders.

‘Employer of choice’ is a term often used to describe organisations that are the preferred or most desired to work for in an industry or sector. Through the L.E.A.D. Survey, Leadership Management Australasia has looked at the concept on several occasions over the past five years to identify what organisations can and should do to present as an Employer of Choice in their industry or sector in order to attract and retain talent.

Latest results suggest that Business Leaders and Senior Managers have an expanding list of expectations when it comes to seeking an Employer of Choice. Family/life friendly workplace practices has rocketed into the top five factors along with the organisation actively seeking input and feedback from its staff, presumably including its leaders and senior managers.

Middle Managers and Supervisors are also placing increasing focus and attention on family/life friendly workplace practices suggesting that in tough economic times, it is the rest of a persons life outside of work that suffers most in the drive to sustain or survive.

From a Non-Managerial/Supervisory Employee perspective, little has changed in recent times with one key difference in their list of Employer of Choice factors showing up – is a place where your can have fun and enjoy working. In difficult times, being able to enjoy work and have fun is a coping strategy and enables the team to ‘soldier on’ even if things look somewhat bleak.

Recognition and reward, investment in learning and development of people and having passionate and engaging management also play a prominent role in employees seeking  organisation for which they would happily work and apply their discretionary effort. Interestingly, when asked whether they feel they have the right balance between work and  other aspects of their lives: 65 percent of Non-managerial employees, 60 percent of Middle managers and 59 percent of Business Leaders felt they had the right work/life balance.

The connection between Employer of Choice and perceptions of the right work/life balance is clear – even in a tough/patchy/soft employment market, people will only continue to work for organisations that are able to provide for their needs. Employers of Choice routinely and consistently deliver on their peoples needs and in return they enjoy a stable, productive, engaged and empowered workforce that is focused on achievement for the organisation as much as for themselves – great payoffs for focusing on becoming an Employer of Choice.

What should leaders and managers do to present as an Employer of Choice?

  • Understand what makes an Employer of Choice.

– Take the time to understand what the new shopping list looks like when it comes to employees hunting for an employer of choice.
– Identify what is possible for the organisation to provide and what it is prepared to do to attract and retain top talent.

  • Identify your company’s strengths.

– Pinpoint the extent to which the organisation can trade on its offer and performance in the most important employer of choice areas.
– Identify strengths and make these a focus in the presentation of the organisation to prospective employees.

  • Showcase your company’s strengths.

– Don’t be afraid to showcase other employer of choice factors than just individual or personally-focused factors – in a tight contest for talent where all else may be equal,  the more altruistic elements may just make the difference between getting and losing the talent.

Article from Management Magazine (NZ), November edition, 2014

Getting the Balance Right for your Organisation

Leadership Management Australia (LMA) has re-released its key findings from the recent Leadership, Employment and Direction (LEAD) Survey.

The report (now in its 18th year) presents leaders and managers with an important opportunity to review the way their organisations are currently operating and to set course for the future, bringing their people with them through effective communication.

The findings from LMA’s LEAD Survey remind modern leaders and managers of:

  • The critical impact that sharing the outlook for the organisation and the individual’s future with employees at all levels of the organisation can and does have. When employees know what the future looks like for the organisation and themselves, engagement and productivity levels rise. If reassurance cannot be provided, at the most basic level, look to provide a solid commitment to communicate and inform employees about their future once more detail is known.
  • Getting the balance right between other aspects of life is essential to create an environment in which people want to perform and want to stay to develop themselves and their careers. When the balance is right, individuals perform, teams perform and the organisation performs to fulfill potential. Taking an interest in your people and their lives is the first step in providing a high performance environment. Helping them to get the balance right and feel good about the hours they work is an important follow-up step.
  • The growing importance of job satisfaction as a means of attracting and retaining talented personnel. The findings indicate that employees want to work where they can develop, advance, have fun and enjoy their work AND work with managers and leaders who are passionate and engaging. Whilst overall levels of satisfaction are improving for employees, they are declining for middle managers/supervisors suggesting this group is not enjoying the pressure that comes from above and below. Work to skill and support middle managers as they tackle their challenges and be prepared to help them to enjoy their roles to enhance job satisfaction in this key group.
  • What defines an employer of choice and the profound impact of the employer of choice “shopping list’ used by prospective employees to determine where they will work. A prominent ‘look after number one” mentality creates a number of challenges for leaders and managers seeking to attract and retain talent at all levels. Despite growing unemployment and the appearance of a growing talent pool, the reality is that finding and retaining quality personnel remains one of the most demanding tasks for modem managers and leaders.

Creating a committed, focus and engaged workforce in uncertain or difficult conditions has become the battle cry for today’s leaders and managers. Getting the environment right, understanding the individual and providing the conditions under which they will work productively and consistently will enable organisations not just to survive but to flourish.

A genuine and honest approach to outlining the organisation’s future and a sincere commitment to making that outline a reality will provide employees at all levels of organisations with a solid foundation on which they can make decisions about their own future and work passionately towards achieving it.

“A prominent ‘look after number one’ mentality creates a number of challenges for leaders and managers seeking to attract and retain talent at all levels.”

Happy campers stay put

Employees are valuing a fun and engaging workplace more now than five years ago, while managers are seeking family friendly environments, the latest snapshot of what workers want from their employers reveals.

Leadership Management Australasia’s survey of what makes an employer of choice, or an organisation one of the most desired ones to work, has found employers need to stay on their toes to attract and retain the best workers.

LMA’s Leadership Employment and Direction Survey finds the desire among senior managers for family-friendly practices and an organisation that actively seeks input and feedback from staff is at its highest since 2010. Middle managers and non-managerial employees now want workplaces where managers are passionate and engaging to work with more than they did five years ago.

LMA Chief Executive Officer Andrew Henderson says the trend suggests that in tough economic times, when an organisation’s drive is to sustain or survive, the rest of a person’s life outside of work suffers most. “Workplace pressure is being felt in managerial ranks and is tending to ripple through to employee’s personal lives,” he says.

Henderson says in tough times, enjoying work and having fun is a coping strategy and helps the team “soldier on”.

The top two criteria were recognition/reward and investment in learning/ development, both important factors for workers since 2010.

MyBudget Client Relationship Officer Donna Marston says she enjoys the satisfaction she gets from helping clients and generally there is a positive, happy vibe around the office. “The company performs particularly well in providing positive reinforcement,” she says. “I find it is also very caring towards the people.”

Sue Newberry, MyBudget’s People and Culture Senior Manager, says with four children aged from 12 to 23, she appreciates its family friendly practices.
“We have many returning employees from parental leave and we encourage a staggered return to ensure our staff can ease back into work while juggling the complexities of family life,” she says. “I am afforded the flexibility to manage my work around my family commitments, so I can attend those important events in my children’s lives.”

Ranking in 2010 2012 2013
For employees
Recognises and rewards staff well 1 1 1
Invests in the learning and development of its people =4 3 2
Pays above average salaries and bonuses for excellence 7 2 3
Is a place where you can have fun and enjoy working 6 4 4
Management is passionate and engaging to work with 9 5 5
For senior managers
Invests in the learning and development of its people =2 1 =1
Recognises and rewards staff well =2 2 =1
Management is passionate and engaging to work with 4 3 3
Operates ethically and fairly at all times 1 =6 4
Has family/life friendly workplace practices 6 10 =5
Actively seeks input and feedback from staff 12 9 =5

Article taken from The Adelaide Advertiser newspaper, Saturday 20 September 2014

How HR can help reassure employees in uncertain times

Employees are suffering greater job uncertainty and anxiety in an already difficult period due to lack of reassurance from employers, new research has shown, and HR professionals need to find ways to engage them with management in planning for their futures.

Read the full report from hrdaily.com.au on August 27, 2014

Transforming News Corporation

On August 6, 7 and 8, LMA partnered with Think Perform and Amtil to host Transforming News Corporation.

The Australian icon, News Corporation Australia, along with newspapers the world over, has been faced with a rapidly changing dynamic – the emergence of highly competitive digital media and a generational shift. This is resulting in a fundamental shift in content consumption and a subsequent change in the revenue model.

News Corporation Australia accepted the challenge and responded with a committed program to transform their newspaper production in order to remain viable and relevant. A key leader in this major transformation process for over 1000 employees across nine sites nationally was the General Manager of National Operations for News Corporation Australia – Marcus Hooke.

Marcus Hooke presented at the breakfast seminars on  the strategies employed, his experiences, the highs, lows and the achievements of this major organisational transformation program with other senior executives.

HeraldSun_NewsFitterThanEverToPrint_07Aug14

From the Herald Sun newspaper, 7 August 2014

Speak up

The capacity of electronic communication to connect individuals with the rest of the world is coming at the expense of their fundamental ability to relate to people face to face.

The deterioration of the essential skill of speaking in public is stifling career progression and people’s ability to be better at their jobs.

Leadership Management Australasia executive chairman Grant Sexton says no matter what the job, improving their public speaking ability is one of the best ways individuals can improve their performance at work.

Read the full article from the Daily Telegraph on August 2, 2014 here.