Tag Archives: management

BALANCE AT WORK BLOG

‘SMART’ Resumes and CVs

Killing the business you love

Most people in business are familiar with SMART goals.  This simple acronym can also be applied to resumes and CVs – both your own and those of job candidates.

SMART becomes an easy checklist that will save you a lot of time.  Ask yourself  if the resume is:

Specific – detailing achievements of the individual, not just their team or department and not too vague or generalised;

Measurable – there should be facts and figures to back up the achievements.  For example, ‘increased client base by 20% in 2 years’;

Accurate – provides information that can be substantiated.  For example, academic transcripts, references;

Relevant – the information supplied links directly to the role;

Timeframed – dates are given for different jobs, study, etc, and all time periods are taken into account.

For help with recruitment and careers, get in touch!

BALANCE AT WORK BLOG

BALANCE AT WORK BLOG

Download sample reports here:

Recruitment Package Reports

•   Job Success Analysis

Compares a person to the behavioral requirements of a job

•   How To Attract

Key points that will help convince a top candidate to accept a job offer

•   Interview Guide

Worksheet with behaviorally-based interviewing questions

Development Reports

•   Development For Position

A development plan for each of two traits that would most improve performance for a specific person related to a specified job

•   Manage, Develop, Retain

Key points to effectively manage, develop and retain selected employee

•   Job Success Analysis

Compares a person to the behavioral requirements of a job

•   Main Graph Report

Overview of trait relationships. Requires expert training to interpret (optionally highlights traits related to a job)

•   Paradox Report

Analysis of paradoxical behaviors (optionally highlights traits related to a job)

•   Summary Keywords

A summary and key word descriptions of the individual’s job-related behavior

•   Traits Definitions

An individual’s scores on all the primary traits listed in order of the highest score and optionally highlights the traits related to the job

Team Reports

•   Group Screening

Compares a group of people to the behavioral requirements of a job

•   Team Main Graph

A graphical overview of the relationship between traits for a group of people

•   Team Paradox Graph

A graph showing a group of people plotted against each of the twelve paradoxes

•   Trait Export

An export of all the scores from all the traits for a selected group of people (used for analyzing performance factors or organizational culture)

Career Reports

•   Career Comparison

Compares an individual to the specific requirements of a particular career

•   Career Development

Personalized guidance for an individual’s career development

•   Career Options

A list of careers that would provide the greatest job satisfaction for a specified individual

BALANCE AT WORK BLOG

Measuring a sufficient number traits in behavioural assessment

The following information is an excerpt from the whitepaper ‘Best Practices in Talent Assessment’ by Dan Harrison, PhD, of Harrison Assessments International ©2008 Harrison Assessments International.  For a copy of the full report, please email us.

It is not practical to develop a separate behavioural assessment for each job or even each job type. Therefore, nearly all job behaviour assessments assess people using one questionnaire and then try to evaluate the answers for different jobs. However, our research has shown that less than 25% of the traits measured in a behavioural questionnaire relate to job success for any one job. Therefore, to be effective, a job behaviour assessment needs to measure many different traits in order to have a sufficient number of traits that relate to job success for any one given job. Most behavioural assessments measure only 10 to 30 traits. They try to overcome this problem by measuring norms of different types of jobs. For example, they do research that identifies managers as having certain traits, like “energy” for example. This is merely a distraction from the real purpose, which is to identify the traits that relate to performance. 

There is no benefit to hiring people who fit the profile of an average manager, especially when more than 75% of the traits are completely irrelevant to job performance. I have helped thousands of companies assess employees and I have never had a single customer that aims to hire average employees. They would be very unhappy if they knew that an assessment at best would them to hire average managers and three quarters of what was being considered in the assessment was completely unrelated to job success.

In order to effectively measure job success, job behaviour assessments must measure at least 100 different traits and each job needs to have a formula or template of at least 20 traits that relate to performance. In addition, each trait must have its own formula regarding how different amounts of that trait impact performance. Finally, each trait must be weighted against the other traits according to its impact on performance. That is why the Harrison Assessments system measures 156 traits and is built on a body of research that relates to job performance.

The need to measure more than 100 traits creates a great challenge for job behaviour assessments. Measuring more than 100 traits would normally require more than a full day of testing. However, in this age of talent competition, few qualified applicants are willing to spend a full day for one job application. Harrison Assessments has overcome this problem by creating a high tech questionnaire in which there are 16 groups of 8 statements. In each group, the 8 statements are ranked against each other. In addition, each statement appears in 2 different groups, enabling the computer to cross-reference all of the answers against each other.

By comparing each statement to every other statement on the questionnaire, a total of 8103 comparisons are obtained. This is equivalent to 2,701 multiple choice questions and more than a full day of multiple choice testing!

BALANCE AT WORK BLOG

BALANCE AT WORK BLOG

Overcoming ‘interview infatuation’

When I met Matthew Farrell, Principal of Five Pillars Financial Planning, he was in the process of selecting a new financial planner to support the growth of his business.

business man closeupMatthew was impressed with a candidate but confided that one of the traps he’d fallen into in the past was loving someone at the interview, only to find they didn’t live up to expectations on the job.  This is a familiar scenario, especially when faced with a charming and enthusiastic interviewee.

To ensure he didn’t make the same mistake this time, Matthew decided to use Harrison Assessments to determine the candidate’s suitability for the role.

Matthew was keen to:

1.   Have a quick answer and
2.   Ensure the candidate had traits that met the specific requirements of the business.

Within 24 hours of our first conversation, Matthew had the result he needed and within 48 hours, the candidate had been offered and had accepted the role.  This is how we did it:

1.   After the first meeting, we sent the candidate a ‘questionnaire invitation’ so that he could complete the online assessment overnight.
2.   We sent Matthew a draft job template for him to consider.
3.   Next morning, Matthew and I discussed the template and I made adjustments to the template online.
4.   The candidate had completed the assessment so we were able to immediately run the  reports, comparing him to the customised template.
5.   Matthew and I discussed the reports and the candidate’s suitability straight away.

We asked Matthew to comment on his experience of using the Harrison Assessments:
“I was looking for an objective assessment tool that took away the temptation of me being swayed by the candidate’s pleasing personality and charm. I wanted to know if the candidate possessed the internal qualities required to perform in the position.

We had always tested for aptitude or the ability to perform the technical aspects of the position but we lacked a process to tackle the question of whether the prospective candidate had the disposition or personal qualities necessary to thrive in their new role.”

TIP:  Don’t let your heart rule your head!  Get some objective advice before you make decisions about the people in your business.

BALANCE AT WORK BLOG

Using interviews to assess job behaviour

The following information is an excerpt from the whitepaper ‘Best Practices in Talent Assessment’ by Dan Harrison, PhD, of Harrison Assessments International ©2008 Harrison Assessments International.  For a copy of the full report, please email us.

handshakeIn the past, interviews have been used as the primary means assess attitude, motivation, and job behaviour. However, even if interviewers are extremely intuitive, there are many reasons why accurately assessing job behaviour with a normal interview process is nearly impossible.

1. Interviewers do not have access to a real behavioural success formula. There are dozens of behavioural factors that either promote success or inhibit success for any one job. Interviewers rarely have access to a job formula that identifies the behavioural success factors, weights the success factors against each other. And formulates how different levels of these success factors impact job performance

2. Even if the interviewer has access to such a formula, the interviewer would need to accurately assess specific levels of each applicant’s behaviour for each of the job success factors.

3. Some people are skillful at being interviewed. However, being skillful at an interview usually does not relate to job success and therefore it often confuses them into thinking that such skillfulness will relate to job success.

4. The interviewee aims to tell the interviewer what he/she thinks will be viewed as the best response. The interviewer aims to determine how much of what the person is saying reflects genuine attitudes and behaviour and how much is related to just trying to get the job. This in itself is extremely difficult to resolve in the short period of the interview.

5. Interviewers are biased. Research clearly shows that interviewers routinely give favorable responses to people who are similar to themselves, and less favorable responses to people who are different from themselves. In the end, the result is very likely to come down to how well the interviewer likes the candidate rather than how well the candidate fits the behavioural requirements of the job.

Many interviewers claim insights into the personality of applicants and certainly some interviewers are quite perceptive. However, predicting job success is an entirely different matter. It is not sufficient to perceive a particular quality of a person. Rather, the interviewer must be able to accurately assess the magnitude of each of dozens of qualities in relationship to a complex formula of behavioural requirements for a particular job. This is nearly an impossible task without the aid of significant research and tools.

Assessment research shows that interviewing has a moderate ability to predict job success. However, this doesn’t mean that interviewers can predict job behaviour. The moderate ability to predict job success comes as a result of exploring the candidate’s resume, previous experience, education, and job knowledge rather than the interviewer’s ability to predict job behaviour. If you doubt my assertion, I suggest you try the following experiment. Have your interviewers conduct the interview without ever seeing the resume and without discussing past experience, education or skills. Then have them write down their job success prediction. Later, you can compare this prediction to the actual job success. In fact, conducting interviews in this way would be so difficult that I doubt anyone would even attempt it.

Next in this series:  Job behaviour assessments compared to personality assessments

BALANCE AT WORK BLOG

Assessing suitability

The following information is an excerpt from the whitepaper ‘Best Practices in Talent Assessment’ by Dan Harrison, PhD, of Harrison Assessments International ©2008 Harrison Assessments International.  For a copy of the full report, please email us.

For most jobs, suitability factors are about 50% of the job success factors. Therefore, effectively measuring suitability is an essential part of assessment. However, suitability is much more difficult to measure than eligibility. The first challenge is to determine which suitability factors relate to job success for a particular job. However, even when that is determined, assessing job suitability accurately is unlikely unless you can determine how different levels of each suitability factor impacts job success.

For example, you may determine that self-motivation is an important factor for job success for a particular job. But you still need to determine how detrimental or how beneficial each level of self-motivation. In some cases, the more the person has the better. However, for other jobs, a moderate level is enough.

Each level of each factor needs to be scored according to its impact on performance. That is why HA contains significant previous research regarding suitability factors and their impact on performance for different job types and for different jobs. Without this, it is nearly impossible to assess behaviour effectively.

Suitability factors are behavioural and are much more difficult for people to change than eligibility factors. This makes it even more important to accurately assess behaviour during the recruitment process. Most organisations hire people for their eligibility and then try to develop their suitability. And in many cases fire them for their lack of suitability. Since behaviour is fundamentally more difficult to change than eligibility, it is better to hire people who already have the suitability for the job.

To illustrate different aspects of suitability, here are some examples of job behaviour factors that could be relevant to a specific job. These are just a small sample of more than one hundred important suitability factors that could relate to job success.

• What types of things will an applicant or employee accomplish or put off?

• What motivates them?

• How will they communicate, influence and lead?

    • How well they can handle autonomy, freedom and responsibility?

    • How much initiative will they take?

    • How much will they persist when faced with obstacles?

    • How innovative will they be?

    • How much will they accept and respond appropriately to feedback?

    • To what degree will they become autocratic, dogmatic, dictatorial or controlling?

    • How much will they resist change and/or be rigid?

    • What behaviours will they exhibit under stress?

    • How much will they be blunt or harsh in their communications?

    • How much will they tend to be blindly optimistic, impulsive, illogical or easily influenced?

    • To what degree will they avoid difficult decisions?

    • How well will they organise and handle details?

    • How much will they be scattered or chaotic in their approach to projects or planning?

    • How much will they seek to learn, grow and excel?

    • What kind of recognition do they need?

    • As a leader, how well will they provide direction?

    • How well will they enforce policy and standards?

    • How likely are they to steal?

    • How well do they handle conflicts?

    • How reasonable will they be when assessing the value of their contributions to the company?

    BALANCE AT WORK BLOG

    How will recent federal government changes affect you?

    There have been a number of recent changes at the federal government level in Australia that affect employers.  We recommend you take the time to find out more about them.parliament

    1.  Fair Work Bill

    Significant changes to industrial relations are on the way and they will affect your business.  The Fair Work Bill 2008 will come into operation on 1 July 2009, with full changes to be in place by 1 January 2010.  At the same time, an award modernisation process is underway.  You’ll find detailed fact sheets at workplace.gov.au

    New unfair dismissal laws (from 1 July) are likely to have the most immediate impact on our readers.  More information on fair dismissal can be found in the fact sheet provided on our website for your convenience.

    In preparation for the changes:

    • Check all your documentation (policies, procedures and contracts) is compliant with the National Employment Standards
    • Find out which new award(s) will apply to your employees, including award coverage where it may not have applied before
    • Review your recruitment process for non-award employees
    • Understand the new fair dismissal code and review your performance management and discipline policies for consistency with the code
    • Ensure you clearly communicate any policy changes to your staff

    2.  Fresh Ideas for Work and Family Program

    The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Julia Gillard, announced the launch of the Fresh Ideas for Work and Family program on 1 March 2009.

    This national initiative provides grants of $5000 to $15000 to successful small businesses to implement practices that help employees balance their work and family obligations and improve employee retention and productivity.  Information on how to use the grant is available from experts in workplace flexibility, Flexibility at Work.

    The program aims to assist small businesses across regional and metropolitan areas. It is designed to support projects that benefit both the employer and employees, demonstrate long-term sustainable outcomes for the business and have the potential for wider application to other businesses. Applications will be accepted from:

    • Small businesses in Australia with fewer than 15 employees.
    • Not-for-profit and non-government organisations.
    • Consortia of small businesses.
    • Sole traders and incorporated sole traders that employ between 1 and 14 employees.

    Further information on family friendly work arrangements, work-life balance and the program is available at http://www.deewr.gov.au/WorkplaceRelations/FreshIdeas/Pages/default.aspx or call  the Workplace Infoline from 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday on 1300 363 264 or email FIWF@deewr.gov.au.

    3.  Federal Budget 2009

    The Budget has a number of consequences for employers that you should discuss with your advisers:

    • Changes to employee superannuation contributions and salary sacrifice concessions
    • Employee share schemes
    • Paid parental leave
    • Increased deduction for capital expenditure (to 50%) before 30 June 2009

    It’s important that you’re aware of these issues in case you need to take action.  We can then point you in the right direction to get assistance to make any necessary changes.

    BALANCE AT WORK BLOG

    Are you confident you can deliver on your Client Value Proposition?

    When you make a promise to a client, are you confident your staff can – and will – keep it? Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and managing staff performance are popular management concepts. This article looks at their practical application and importance in providing a consistent quality service for your clients.

    In the Future Ready III whitepaper, the Business Health authors say: ‘The results for those businesses willing to invest in their people are quite astonishing – the firms that implemented an effective performance management system deliver (on average) almost three times more profit to the business owners than those who are not yet leveraging the full potential of their team.’ How well do you leverage that potential?

    Every effective performance management practice has the following:

    1.  Expectations

    Everyone likes to know what they are supposed to do and what outcomes they can expect for their efforts. Figures from the Business Health whitepaper show that those practices where more than half the staff had personal objectives were 76% more profitable than firms where fewer staff had individual KPIs. KPIs need to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, given a time frame and agreed with your staff. It’s important to write them down for future reference and review.

    Set expectations about consequences. What will you reward and how? For example, achieving KPIs may be worthy of one level of reward, and exceeding them will attract greater rewards. Also be clear about the consequences of poor performance.  

    2.  Review

    Monitor performance and adjust expectations if necessary. Consider, for example, if adequate resources and training have been provided to enable achievement of KPIs. Having a ‘no blame’ culture will encourage staff to learn from their mistakes, rather than try to hide them.

    3.  Feedback

    Giving feedback is a management skill that takes practice to perfect (which is why we sometimes avoid it until it’s too late!). Here are some tips that apply to both positive and negative feedback:

    • don’t avoid or delay
    • provide specific examples of the performance or behaviour the feedback relates to
    • be clear about consequences
    • agree on any changes that need to occur
    • take the opportunity to seek feedback yourself
    • set a date to review performance

    4.  Rewards

    If you are going to provide rewards and incentives, you need to be committed and consistent. How can you be sure staff will value the rewards you offer? Simply by asking what would be of value to them and ensuring you honour their individual preferences. For example, an afternoon tea celebration and public recognition might be relished by some people, while the attention would only embarrass others.

    You can use your imagination, and staff suggestions, to develop a reward program that will be motivating without breaking the bank. Whatever you do, remember that all the research indicates that the most important reward is your genuine appreciation. Saying ‘thank you’ and giving as much attention to your consistently strong performers as you do to managing poor performance can make the difference between keeping and losing your best employees.

    5.  Momentum

    For truly outstanding results, provide guidance and feedback on an ongoing basis. Studies have shown that feedback and rewards are quickly forgotten by employees, so they need to be applied continuously and consistently. Michael Gerber, of E-Myth fame, recommends weekly individual employee development meetings (EDMs) between staff and their managers. The EDM gives both you and your employees an opportunity to re-establish priorities and provide feedback.

    Industry data, again from Business Health, shows that practices where staff performance reviews were held within six months of the survey date had profit levels 35% higher than those where performance reviews had not been conducted for more than 12 months. Regular reviews enhance performance that can be tracked to your bottom line.

    One final comment on performance management: In ‘Good to Great’, Jim Collins says ‘If you need to constantly manage people and their performance, you know you’ve got the wrong people on the bus’. If you suspect this is the case, it might be time to review your recruitment and selection processes (see previous article in this series) and/or seek some external assistance.

    If you have any comments, or questions, about these articles, I’d love to hear from you. Please email me or call on 1300 785 150. For more information about Balance at Work’s range of people management services, visit our website or subscribe to our newsletter for more practical tips.

    BALANCE AT WORK BLOG

    People + Practice

    jim-aitken2Mayor of Penrith, Jim Aitken OAM, celebrates 50 years as an entrepreneur this year.

    Jim’s first enterprise was selling papers, magazines and cigarettes from a window at Penrith railway station.  Today his businesses include real estate, restaurants and gift shops and employ over 200 people.  We asked Jim to share some of his people management experiences and insights.

    Thought is the original source of all wealth, all success, all material gain, all great discoveries and inventions and of all achievements.
    Claude M. Bristol

    1.      What are the three most important things a manager needs to keep in mind when managing staff?
    Management is knowing your staff and knowing your business, the rest is logistics. Many businesses today are rapidly losing power to create a future. If the business is to project itself into the future and have meaning the managing director would do well to focus on three immutable truths:

    i. Give the personnel a sense of ownership
    Each person in the business at Jim Aitken & Partners has a sense of ownership. The acceptance of personal responsibility is what separates the superior person from the average person.

    Personal responsibility is the pre-eminent trait of leadership and the wellspring of high performance in every person and every situation. Accepting ownership of that part of the business in which personnel are engaged and accepting responsibility for the part of the business they “own” means that they take responsibility for their own results with absolutely no excuses.

    They are responsible partners in the business and the degree of responsibility accepted determines the degree of growth.

    ii. It’s not a sin to have a problem

    For some staff, problems are overwhelming. Most problems in businesses can be solved and the best way to solve a problem is to share it immediately with the manager and that manager must evaluate it and share it with the rest of the organisation. This sets up a risk framework which allows any problem to be dealt with. We do not escape responsibility by attempting to pass it off on someone else.

    Having a problem and making excuses, or blaming someone else, weakens the staff member and weakens their resolve by turning control over to other people. They become passive and resigned rather than powerful and proactive. Instead of feeling on top of the world, they work as though the world is on top of them. This is a dead-end road which this company refuses to travel.

    The only sin about having a problem is the sin of not sharing it. Sharing and resolving are growth factors in any company.

    iii. Ensure the company becomes a learning company

    It has been thought for some time that the future belongs to the competent. In my view the future belongs to the omnicompetent. The future belongs to the people that are very good at what they do and who are getting better every single day.
    To earn more you must learn more. You must add more value. Staff must be developed to become better, to be developed to their highest competency and to make better and more important contributions.
    This is not a one sided view of management. When a business competes with like businesses, the consumer sees similar products and similar services. Why should a consumer choose my business? The answer must be because we have better people. We want people who can move from a selling mode to a management mode and the consumer to see the obvious difference in management skills. To give the consumer confidence that their affairs are in professional hands. In the hands of people with superior knowledge and skills.
    This is not only good for business but character developing for staff. When we become excellent at what we do, our lives change completely. Self-esteem, self respect and personal pride all increase dramatically. Staff feel good about themselves. They will be respected and admired by their clients.
    A key factor in management is to nurture this type of growth and personal development in staff. The rewards will be a growth in business.

    2.      What advice would you give someone about to employ their first staff member?
    It is a fact of life that the personality and characteristic of a person defines what work they will give themselves to with all their energy. Why are some people more successful and effective than others doing the same work?
    The most important point for any employer is to understand the future employee and determine from them at the interview what it is that they really want to achieve in their lives.

    Many employment programs have been heavily competency based. What is of the most benefit to an employer is the pleasant smile and the can-do frame of mind.

    Any job may be accomplished adequately but the negative waves and passive resistance brought about by poor attitudes can create a great threat to productivity
    Success in life is not just about ability or knowledge but about attitude. When looking at a prospective employee it should be remembered we can only study the past but we can design the future. If we are going to design the future of the company we may as well do it with attitude.

    3.      What do you know now that you wished you’d known earlier about people management?
    Management was always about corporate planning, strategic planning, implementation and feed-back. Today psychologists have discovered that the very act of observing behaviour tends to change that behaviour for the better. This is a breakthrough in understanding personal performance. This critical discovery contains the key to dramatically improving the quality of life and I wish I had realised this long before I did.
    Much earlier I would have closely monitored every action of staff and set specific measures and goals. We have Key Performance Indicators which point the way business is moving, but these KPIs are not called in for review at regular enough time frames. The upgrading of staff knowledge and skills must not be ad hoc. Monitoring results, goals and performances must be on a daily basis. In other words, appraisals are a daily fact of life. This, in effect, is monitoring areas of excellence.
    Without such monitoring it is easy for staff to fall into the trap of spending more time on the 80% in areas which are not productive to themselves or the company. By daily appraisals we focus of the 10 or 20% of the activities that account for 80 to 90% of successful results. We examine the tasks that that yield the highest returns and rewards relative to the cost and effort of performing those activities.
    Daily accountability and monitoring results is organising work life so that more and more higher value tasks are pursued.

    4.      What do you find most rewarding about your business achievements?
    The most rewarding aspect of my business is to know that it is achieving its purpose. The purpose creates the context for everything the business does. Everything it does should relate or contribute to the fulfilment of that purpose.
    To be most useful, a company’s purpose should describe the benefits that are delivered to the client when they use our product or service, rather than simply describe what the products and services are. My business does provide a quality of life for over 200 people and brings a return on investment.
    I believe value is based solely on our clients’ opinions and only our clients can tell us whether or not we have been successful.
    In the light of this the most rewarding part about business achievement is simply my mantra;
    Profits are not the end in themselves. Instead they become a a measure of how successfully the company is fulfilling its ultimate purpose.
    It is a customer-focused company guided by a “What more can we do for them?” philosophy. The company develops a deep understanding of the daily experiences of the clients which in turn leads to new thinking which may better serve the client’s needs.

    5.      What other insights would you like to share with our readers?

    Commit to Excellence. Successful people are very good at what they do. Commit to excellence in your work and resolve to be part of the top 10% in your field.
    Have a very strong culture of people-building in the business. Build up your leaders from inside the company. People aspire to grow their businesses so rather than be title driven (seeking positions in the company) be business driven.
    Encourage staff to see themselves as self-employed. When staff accept responsibility for their business lives, they see begin to see themselves as self-employed. No matter who signs the pay cheque, they are in charge of their own business. They will see themselves as an entrepreneur even though it may be a company of one. They will see themselves as responsible for every element of their work, control, training, development, communication, productivity improvement and finances.
    Such staff will not make excuses.  Instead, they will make progress.
    Would you like to share your business experience to help others?  Please comment!

    If you would like to be interviewed for this series, or you would like to suggest someone we should talk to, please let us know.

    BALANCE AT WORK BLOG

    More profit from your practice

    How profitable are your people management practices?

    You already understand the importance of excellent practice management in helping you deliver on your client value proposition. When you look at businesses that really shine, regardless of their size, age, market or niche, their success can always be traced back to having exceptional employees. Attracting and retaining exceptional employees – the best talent – is only sustainable with exceptional employment practices.

    Data linking people management practices to financial returns was published in the Future Ready III whitepaper by Business Health in April 2007. In their data analysis of over 1000 advisory practices in Australia, they found that those with effective people management practices (majority of staff have job descriptions, individual objectives, regular reviews and awareness of the high level business goals) had profits 159% higher than those with ineffective people management practices.

    The simple practice of having job descriptions for your staff can have a dramatic effect on profits. Practices with job descriptions for more than half of their employees were found to have profit levels at 125% above those with fewer staff with job descriptions. This is equivalent to an extra $101,096 profit per principal.

    A detailed organisational structure with clear roles, responsibilities and reporting lines will form the basis of job descriptions. The time invested will be repaid many times over when everyone knows what they’re doing and why. If you already have job descriptions in place, ensure you keep them up to date and relevant by consulting the current incumbents.

    What should you include in a job description? At a minimum, a job description includes:

    • An accurate job title
    • The purpose of the role
    • The location of the role
    • Key relationships, both external and internal, including reporting lines
    • Essential qualifications, skills and experience required for the role
    • Key responsibility areas

    When you build on the job description with personal objectives (KPIs) and a structured performance management process, you are developing systems that have been shown to have a positive impact on business financial performance, according to the Business Health whitepaper.

    The next article in this series will look at the when, where and how of finding and selecting the best talent for your practice. For more information on people management for your practice, contact Susan Rochester on 1300 785 150 or susanr@balanceatwork.com.au

    "The last couple of years at batyr has seen incredible growth and the Balance at Work team has supported us along the way. They have helped us improve leadership skills across the team by helping us source and manage mentors, and even engaging as mentors themselves. As a young and fresh CEO Susan has also supported me personally with genuine feedback and fearless advice to achieve great things. "
    By Sam Refshauge, CEO, batyr
    "We used the Harrison Assessment tools followed by a debrief with Susan, for career development with staff, which then allowed us to work with Susan to create a customised 360 degree review process. Susan has a wealth of knowledge and is able to offer suggestions and solutions for our company. She is always ready to get involved and takes the time to show her clients the capability of Harrison Assessments. "
    By Jessica Hill, Head of People and Culture, Choice
    "Balance at Work are the ideal external partners for us as they completely get what we are trying achieve in the People and Culture space. Their flexibility and responsiveness to our needs has seen the entire 360 approach being a complete success. The online tool and the follow up coaching sessions have been game changers for our business. The buzz in the organisation is outstanding. Love it! Thanks again for being such a great support crew on this key project."
    By Chris Bulmer, National GM Learning and Development, ISS Australia
    "We use Harrison Assessments with our clients to support their recruitment processes. We especially value the comprehensive customisable features that allow us to ensure the best possible fit within a company, team and position. Balance at Work is always one phone call away. We appreciate their valuable input and their coaching solutions have also given great support to our clients."
    By Benoit Ribe, HR Solutions Manager, Polyglot Group
    "The leadership team at Insurance Advisernet engaged Susan from Balance at Work to run our leadership development survey and learning sessions. Susan was very professional in delivering the team and individual strengths and opportunities for growth. Susan's approach was very "non corporate" in style which was refreshing to see. I can't recommend Balance at Work more highly to lead, employee and team development sessions."
    By Shaun Stanfield, Managing Director, Insurance Advisernet

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