Cricket Australia – Lets look at the issue from a Leadership and Human Resource perspective!

So with Australian cricket fans reeling from the current ‘ball tampering’ scandal involving the Australian Cricket team lets take a look at it from a HR & Leadership lens.

I, like many others are saddened and disillusioned with the current state of our national cricket team, I have a son who idolised the current players which has brought forward a whole lot of feelings around being let down, loss of innocence in how we view our heros and confusion as to ‘why’ this has happened.

I think this resonates so deeply for many because the Australian Cricket team has always been put on a pedestal and viewed as the pinnacle of success for those few that get to represent our nation.  I have heard many times that the role of the Australian Cricket Captain comes only second to our Prime Minister in the hearts and minds of Australian fans.  Playing hard but fair has always been a cornerstone to the team’s identity and to find out that those chartered with representing our country and upholding those values have fallen so badly through attempting to gain unfair advantage (cheating) creates a sense of shame, loss, disillusionment and an extreme loss of trust for all players, management, coaching staff and in a bigger sense Cricket Australia as a whole.

Never has it been more important for Cricket Australia to display open and transparent leadership in dealing with what has occurred not only for fans but also for past, current and future players and the world cricket community.  It will be a long road to gaining trust once again but what and how they do it now sets a tone for the future of Cricket Australia.

Firstly, looking at the unfolding of events, hindsight is always a good thing however I can’t help but be critical in how a large Organisation such as Cricket Australia is, could have made so many errors in how things were handled right from the outset.  I happened to be watching the game as it unfolded, it was difficult to watch……………..

As the vision of the ball tampering occurring became irrefutable, the action of the Coach in radioing the 12 man to go on field and advise the player caught on camera added to the embarrassment.  It was clear the Coach was trying to hide it when he was caught on camera, followed quickly by the 12th man realising he was also being watched.  When that player then went on the field and quickly went to the player to advise of the vision it confirmed everything further, the player then obviously in a panicked state but trying to act calm then tried to hide the evidence.  This further demonstrated guilt, then when approached by the umpires and the captain also raced in, showing his sunglasses case to them further added to the deceit and embarrassment.

It’s from this point that I become even more critical.  The next thing to happen was that it was the ‘Tea’ break shortly after which should have allowed some initial questioning of those on the field, preferably by the Coach and the Team Manager (this may have happened as we are not aware of what went down in that break) they then should have immediately contacted the Cricket Australia CEO to advise what has occurred and immediate planning on how this would be handled should have commenced.

What we next witnessed was what can only be described as a debacle of a press conference with the player involved and the captain.  The captain commenced by throwing over to the player to explain and then he advised that ‘The Leadership Team’ were aware and planned it, he was careful to note that the coaching team were unaware but unfortunately by their absence it was hard to believe.

My criticism is this – The press conference should have been attended by the Captain, Coach and Team Manager and not the player who tampered with the ball.  The Captain should have been fully briefed on how to declare what had occurred and the Coach and Team Manager should have reiterated that this was not acceptable and that a full investigation was immediately being implemented, they should have also advised that contact had been made with the Cricket Australia CEO and they were fully involved in and were directing the investigation.  The Team Manager should have advised that no details would be discussed until a full investigation and all information had been gathered.  (Due diligence needed to occur to ensure any and all involved (and those within the team reportedly not involved) were interviewed.  It needed to commence immediately to ensure no collusion occurred between team members.  When investigating, all parties need to be individually interviewed in order to gain the most accurate version of what occurred.  At that point a determination can be made based on all of the gathered evidence of what a ‘reasonable person’ would believe to be the most accurate recounting of the events both leading up to and at the point of the tampering occurring.  Cricket Australia then needed to review all of the information and determine what penalties would be implemented.  Meetings with those individuals needed to occur to advise of outcomes and at that point a press conference called.  The press conference should have been attended by the CEO, Team Manager and Coach unless either of those were found to be involved.

Sadly, what has occurred has generated distrust of not only all of the players but also the coaching staff and management of Cricket Australia.  I can confidently say that the majority of the cricketing public do not believe that only 3 players were involved and many believe the coaching staff were also involved.  Many past Australian players have voiced these thoughts also which further feeds into ‘Cricket Australia’ being untrustworthy and not believing anything they are saying.

Whilst thinking of anything like this occurring in a business is distasteful, not having plans, processes and procedures that are clear to deal with these issues can not only hurt those involved but also the business as a whole.  It can end up being detrimental to the business around reputation which can take a long time (and in some cases years) to recover from.  The importance of strong leadership and leading from the front is imperative in these situations which unfortunately seems to have failed on all levels for Cricket Australia.  We have heard and seen a fractured leadership with the Board seeming to meet without showing the CEO was involved, the Team Manager seemingly not managing anything, the Coach not leading and standing with his team taking the reigns and demonstrating leadership (should be with the team in good and bad)  and the Captain essentially throwing the player to ‘the wolves’ (media) unprepared and essentially alone.

Cricket Australia has a long way to go to rebuild trust of the Australian and wider cricketing community.  Don’t be the next Cricket Australia, look critically at your business and ask yourself, what would we do? Do we have processes and procedures in place? Do we know what we would need to do to Lead in difficult times?

Mary-Lou

MLG Consulting

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Everything is good – until it’s not!

I often, when speaking to business owners, tell them that everything is always good until it’s not.  I know this sounds pretty obvious but the problem is that people end up getting blindsided with the issues they face when things take a turn for the worse or issues start arising.  It is in those moments that you realise you haven’t considered ensuring staff understand expectations, what is acceptable and not acceptable in terms of behaviour and standard business rules around how things are done in the business.

The other thing that ends up happening is that there are no clear processes put in place in how issues are dealt with that protects the business as well as ensuring fairness and duty of care for all employees is followed.  These are extremely important to prevent further issues for all involved including potential industrial relations action for all parties.  The result of this occurring is varied, it is extremely time consuming, damaging to not only the business reputation but also individuals involved, costly as well as increases stress levels, mental health decline, productivity decline and ripples further out to affect families and communities of those involved.

The single piece of advice I can give business owners is to take the time to put in place employment contracts for all employees that documents all of the standard terms & conditions of employment and also points to policies and procedures of the business.  Take the time to implement standard policies and procedures that deal with  how the business does things, expectations, what is acceptable and not and how issues are handled where there are breaches of policy.

Where a businesses makes vehicles available to utilise in the course of completing work it is extremely important to ensure staff understand their responsibilities when using a work vehicle.  For example, traffic infringements being their responsibility, zero tolerance for alcohol/drugs, when they have to declare prescribed medication effects, that they must declare any alterations to their licence, if they are required to complete a log book as well as declaring any insurance issues.

Often when I am called in to assist I need to go through a process of educating employees, supervisors and managers around fair work australia requirements, what needs to be put into place and then start the process of dealing with poor behaviours. This often takes a bit longer than the business owner would prefer but because documentation of previous meetings has not occurred or there is no clear communication around business expectations, it is necessary to back track slightly to ensure the business is protected from Industrial Relation Action as well as ensuring fair processes have been followed.

Think about your business and examine if you have all of this in place, it’s not too late!  It doesn’t matter if your business has 1 or 50 employee’s, the time spent in ensuring you have this in place will pay off for you in the future.  Better employee relations because they are clear on policies, procedures and expectations.  Clear understanding of what will occur where there are breaches and clear processes of how these issues will be handled for all.  Obviously when there are issues emotions become heightened, ensuring these processes are in place helps minimise fallout for all involved whilst also demonstrating consistency of actions and fairness to all.

If you need help with any of these areas, call MLG Consulting today on 0422143543 for a free initial consult.

Have a great week!!!!

Employment Contracts – Crucial for setting out expectations for both Employer and Employee

One big issue I often come across when performing consulting services for small to medium sized businesses is that when taking on an employee they do not have a standard employment contract.  Often employment will be engaged by either a short offer of employment letter (with very little detail) or it is dealt with verbally.

Whilst 90% of the time there are no issues, usually when I am called in there are employee performance issues or a workplace culture issue.  What ends up happening is the employee advises the ‘weren’t aware’ of the employer’s expectations or processes. Whilst there is an onus on the employee to understand requirements particularly in relation to workplace bullying, harassment etc etc this is in relation to legislation and they should be advised where they are able to access this information (Fair Work Ombudsman etc).  However putting in place a standard employment contract for each new employee that the Organisation brings on board, many of these issues no longer exist.  As a standard, I would suggest a Employment Contract which includes the following:

Position
Reporting Relationship
Location
Remuneration
Method of Payment
Key Performance Indicators (if applicable)
Superannuation
Confidentiality
Date of Commencement of Contract
Hours of Work
Leave
Annual Leave
Sick Leave
Long Service Leave
Additional Leave
Termination
The Company’s right to terminate
Termination by either party
Confidentiality (Termination)
Information Security
Ethical Business Conduct
Ownership of Intellectual Property
Motor Vehicles (if applicable)
Mobile Telephones (if applicable)
Information Technology and Internet Usage
Severance of Contract Conditions
Personal Belongings
Policies and Procedures
Dress Standards
Health and Safety
Employment Aids
Change of Address
Alterations to Terms and Conditions
Anti-Discrimination & Equal Employment Opportunity
Accuracy of Information
APPENDIX 1 – POSITION DESCRIPTION
APPENDIX 2 – Conditions of Use of Organisation Name Motor Vehicle (if applicable)
APPENDIX 3 – Conditions of Use of Organisation Name Mobile Phones(if applicable)
APPENDIX 4 – Conditions of Use of Organisation Name Information Technology and Internet.

Whilst this may look quite overwhelming to start thinking about, once you have your template you are able to implement quite easily.  The benefits to both the Employer and the Employee are huge with the Employee having a clear understanding of Employer expectations, what policies, procedures are in place, rules around what is acceptable and what is not acceptable and what the process will be for any breaches or poor performance episodes.  The Employer benefits by having employees that are very clear about their role, Organisation norms and expectations.

Never underestimate the value of a clear and in-depth employment contract for both your business protection and the employee clarity of the role they are commencing.  Where employer’s do not have these in place a process can be undertaken of implementing them for current employee’s – this should be done as part of a education process for current employee’s – using it as a tool to explain their responsibilities.

If you have identified that your business does not utilise employment contracts or if your current employment contracts do not cover all areas, contact MLG Consulting today for a no obligation consult.  MLG Consulting has developed a range of employment contract templates which cover both full-time and casual employees as well as also catering where employees attract commission as part of their remuneration.  MLG Consulting has also developed a range of Policy/Procedure Templates that can also be easily implemented in your business.

Don’t delay or wait for a issue to occur – Start the process today, contact MLG Consulting on 0422143543.

Workplace Wellness – Senior Leaders cannot afford to ignore the effects on their bottom line if this area is not addressed!

This area is gathering more and more attention from senior leaders as there are direct correlations from poor workplace wellness to bottom line results. Contact MLG Consulting today to discuss what your organisation can do to start working on workplace wellness!

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/07/18/486093979/wellness-programs-take-aim-at-workplace-stress

Workplace bullying is on the rise! Time to deal with it….

I am sharing a article I found on workplace bullying, which points out what we all already know.  I find many business owners, managers, supervisors shy away from dealing with Workplace bullying and would rather just move the perpetrator sideways to avoid having to deal with the behaviour.  This in actual fact can be more harmful to the business as it sends messages to co-workers that the behaviour is acceptable and often results in a increasingly poor workplace culture and can even result in your best employees leaving the business.  Time to set behaviour expectations of all employees and enforce them, time to step up to the plate!!!  If you find you are unable to deal with it or are nervous about the process of managing poor behaviour get some help!!!  Once you set expectations, enforce them through performance management watch your workplace culture improve and your business thrive!!!

Article is at the below link , have a read and if you find your workplace is experiencing these behaviours, get active about it.  If you find you don’t know where to start or need assistance contact MLG Consulting and start taking control today!

https://finance.nine.com.au/2016/11/02/15/10/bullying-on-the-rise-in-australian-workplaces

 

 

 

The Changing Face of Change

I partnered with a colleague that I worked with whilst in the Health Industry to form a Company ‘Sana Vita Pty Ltd’ in late 2015.  My partner in the Company – Simone Conboy, has qualifications and a background in Nutrition and as a Physical Trainer.  We are both passionate and committed to deliver information and training in ‘Resilience for Life’ and as such have spent a large amount of time designing, trialling, reviewing, re-writing, trialling again a comprehensive ‘Resilience For Life’ Training Program which is available both on-line and for face to face delivery.  During this time I wrote a article called ‘The Changing Face of Change’ which gives some insight into why we are so passionate about this training.  I am publishing it on this blog to give you some insights into what we have observed and why we believe all businesses should be offering training in this area!  I hope you enjoy the read, please contact me to discuss how this may benefit your business as well as yourself!

You can also head over to our Sana Vita website to have a look at what we offer and to find out a bit more about the other Director – Simone Conboy

http://www.sanavita.net.au

 

The Changing Face of ‘Change’ in Today’s Workplace

By Mary-Lou Griffiths – Director Sana Vita Pty Ltd

I often hear from companies that they are struggling with getting staff on board with the changes that are necessary to keep their company relevant in today’s world.  I have heard the same issues and challenges raised by multimillion dollar blue chip companies to small to medium sized companies which has made me contemplate how we need to go about helping staff stay resilient and for companies to continuously look at quality improvements and changes to remain viable and prosper in the future.

 

As part of remaining current in my skill specialisation (business consultancy and in particular change management) I am always reading current up to date research which has been published through a range of avenues. (Majority are through my Uni SA Alumni) and whilst I intrinsically know that we need to change how we approach ‘change’ to remain current and useful for our ever changing world it hasn’t been until recently that I have been able to voice and explain my new approach adequately.

I recently read an article by: Dr Robert M Goldman MD, PhD, DO, FAASP, World Chairman-International Medical Commission, Titled – Future Predictions and published 31/5/2016.  Dr Goldman gave a number of really great examples of how business is changing, he classifies this time as the 4th Industrial Revolution calling it the Exponential Age.

The example of 3D printing was one of the highlighted areas where business is changing, stating that the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 years, making them affordable for most consumers to have in their home.  In the same time, it became 100 times faster.  He also advised that all major shoe companies started 3D printing shoes.  Spare airline parts are already being 3D printed in remote airports; the space station now has a printer that eliminates the need for the large number of spare parts they used to have in the past.  He goes on to advise that at the end of this year, new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities.  You will then be able to 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home.  In China, they already 3D printed a complete 6-storey office building.  Dr Goldman also states that by 2027, 10% of everything that’s being produced will be 3D printed.

The premise of reminding/advising everyone of this was how business is likely to change over the next few years.  I recall hearing in the news approximately 6 months ago that a University student required braces for his teeth however was unable to afford the approximate $2000 cost of traditional braces.  He scanned his mouth/teeth and went about making his own ‘braces’ utilising his 3D printer.  He re-scanned his teeth/mouth a further two times over the space of twelve months.  The end result is that he now has straight teeth and I believe it cost him approximately $12 for each set of home-made ‘braces’ which makes of total cost of $36  saving him a whopping $1964.00 to gain the same result as traditional methods.

I also recently listened to a world leading business consultant on the current moves of leading companies to scale back employees and instead utilise consultants thus reducing employee HR issues and the ever increasing staff absenteeism and WorkCover claims and allowing them to get on with the business of keeping their companies current and relevant.

It is feasible to think that in as little as 10 years, full time permanent employment roles will be extremely limited; employment growth will come from self-employed subject matter experts/consultants and how business is done will look very different from today.

The business of consulting is large. Careers in Business – Facts and Trends report ‘Last year, over 200,000 consultants sold over $100 billion of advice. Today, technology planning, strategic services and enterprise consulting represent 35 percent, 20 percent and 15 percent roughly of the worldwide consulting spending. The pursuit of specialized knowledge is rising rapidly. Firms are looking for consultants with very specific knowledge in areas like logistics management, knowledge management, data warehousing, multimedia, client-server development, sales force automation, electronic commerce, brand management and value management. Many large consulting firms also have practices targeted at particular industries–for example, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and electric power–which require specific technical qualifications.’

Leadership and continuous education on technologies and the changing face of consumerism will be the cornerstone for successful businesses going forward.

I will always recall in University the example of ‘Nokia’ who started out as a single paper mill in 1865, by the 1960’s they had become a conglomerate comprised of rubber, cable, forestry, electronics and power generation. Deregulation of the European telecommunications industries in the 1980s triggered new thinking and fresh business models.  In 1982, Nokia introduced both the first fully-digital local telephone exchange in Europe and the world’s first car phone for the Nordic Mobile Telephone analog standard.

Whilst theirs is a successful example of embracing changes during these periods there is also the example of ‘Kodak’, Who Dr Goldman also highlighted, who in 1998 had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide.  Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt, Dr Goldman states that what happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next 10 years.  Looking further into the Kodak example, digital cameras were invented back in 1975 and only had 10,000 pixels.  When executives were first alerted to the ‘new’ digitalisation available in camera’s they dismissed it instead of investing and innovating in changing their company to remain at the forefront for camera’s with new technology. By 2001/2002 digital cameras were mainstream (3 short years after holding 85% of photo paper sales) those executives didn’t believe the technology would take off and therefore were left chasing everyone else to capture some of the market share they previously held but in the digital space.  The point of talking about this is that change will not stop therefore as business and company leaders we need to remain up to date, not dismiss new ways of doing things whether by way of technology or alternate ways of doing things even if they seem farfetched in current times.  Those that dismiss them do so at their own and their company’s peril.

Having worked in the Health Industry for the past 5 years I have also seen the correlation of illness intersected with change and resilience and the impact on not only individuals and families but also on companies.  I am always hearing from individual’s ‘we are currently going through a large change’, ‘I’m not happy, I just want to keep doing things the way I know how’ and ‘why change it if it’s working’.  I am constantly hearing that we are ‘change fatigued’ by employees and ‘I’m frustrated’ by management.  Businesses are complaining of loss of productivity as well as an increase of staff absenteeism due to illness and a rising number of WorkCover claims due to ‘mental health’ claims.

I believe the time has come for traditional change management education to be re-written.  As change managers, agents, champions etc we need to look at change in a holistic sense as all parts of a person’s life are impacted by how well we can cope and handle change.  There seems to be an increasing number of people getting ‘stuck’ in what the Bridges Model calls the ‘ending zone’.  This is where you have to let go of the familiar before moving into the ‘neutral zone’ being the unknown and then into the ‘beginning zone’ where you start embracing the ‘new’ state.  When a person gets stuck in the ending zone they are continuously mourning the loss of the familiar, they fight to retain what they know, can be viewed as being sabotages’ and generally take on very negative behaviours.  The extension of this is that they start to become negative in life, always expecting the worse, they tend to have a problem for every solution, have tuned out of listening, are not appealing to be around which in turns can also lead to various forms of isolation.  This presents a flow on effect into personal life and resulting negative feelings in all aspects of their life.  Impacts to health are that they generally stop looking after their health nutritional needs, lessen their physical activity and therefore become more susceptible to general illness and chronic diseases.  From a company point of view this all impacts on productivity whilst at work and also an increase in absenteeism.  This then adds strain on managers and HR professionals to deal with performance issues which in turn impacts the individual’s resilience and ripples out to further impact their family and community.

So what can we do about this ‘epidemic’ that is growing?  We cannot educate/inform or manage one thing in isolation from the other.  CEO’s and Managers need to understand the impacts of each contributing factor, how they intersect and the resulting loss of resilience in staff to productivity levels and increasing HR costs. Often when an individual is ‘stuck’ in the ending zone of a change it is because their expectations are not being met.  We need to work on ensuring employees/individuals expectations are consistent with company/family/community vision, we also need to ensure individuals expectations of change stopping is altered.

The reality is change never stops, sometimes there are large changes and other times there are small changes but there are changes every single day in our lives.  We only need to look back from the introduction of Microwaves, to bankcards, to Discman’s, to iPod’s to Mobile Phones to Smart Phones and most recently swipe technology for payments.  All of these have been significant changes to people’s everyday lives since their introduction; many scoffed at these and resisted the changes initially however 90% of people now own and operate these devices daily.

Employees need to be educated on their own wellbeing and health through reminders and education on nutrition (in particular the impacts nutrition has on brain functionality), the importance of some form of physical activity which also assists with the raising of endorphins to help maintain resilience, their responsibilities to themselves, their families, communities and their Company which in turn assists them in their quest to remain resilient and healthy in this ever-changing world.   When an individual says ‘I hate change or I’m not good with change’ they also need to be reminded of the significant changes they have adapted to and accepted in their daily lives over the past 20-30 years. They need to be given the tools on how to practice positivity and how they can accept and move forward with those things outside of their own control. They also need to learn how they can focus on their behaviours as part of their own sphere of control.

If you would like to hear more about how we can help address your Organisations overall ‘Health’ and move forward with ‘Change’, call Mary-Lou (0422143543) or Simone (0405054721) for a one to one chat on how you can deal with change in a holistic way.

 

 

Poor Workplace Culture = Poor Results

I often hear from Business Owners and Managers ‘Our results are not what we projected’ or ‘ We have recently seen a downturn in our Business Results’ or ” I don’t understand why we are not achieving what we projected’.

When we start discussing what is happening within the business in 90% of the cases, we have identified that the workplace culture of the employees is rated as poor or at best average.  On further investigation with the Business Owner or Manager we find that the culture they are experiencing is being demonstrated right throughout the business from the very top down without them even realising they are doing it!!!

All business owners/managers need to understand that they model the behaviours that they ultimately will see across the business.  If you want a positive, fair,results orientated and enthusiastic workplace culture, you must first consistently demonstrate these traits to enable you to demand them from your employees.

If employees observe you either through actions or words demonstrating negativity, inconsistent actions or inappropriate workplace behaviours you are setting the example of what is acceptable for your workplace.

Another issue that regularly occurs is where employees observe you not addressing either poor work performance or poor behaviour of other employees.  I get it, sometimes it’s difficult to address these actions of a employee and sometimes it’s easier to move that person sideways rather than address the poor behaviour or performance.  This is a huge mistake!!! in doing this it can build resentment in your high performing valued employees, it can be viewed as rewarding poor behaviour or performance and it can set the expectations of other employees to perform in the same or similar ways.

Yes Staff or employee management is difficult and most of the time it is extremely uncomfortable for all involved, however it is crucial that it is addressed in a fair and consistent manner not only for the good of the business but also to demonstrate the consistency and values of the business to all employees.

If you are not sure how to investigate issues, address issues, implement warnings, follow up on agreed actions contact MLG Consulting today to gain tools, training and assistance.

Banner Blindness – Term used for someone who on Websites and Social Media have learnt to ignore Ads

Elite Marketing Pro have shared a great article on what Banner Blindness is, why putting Ads in a banner on the left or right hand side will not get results and how to advertise in the middle of the page so it doesn’t look like you are advertising!

If you need help setting up your digital marketing that actually gets you the results you want contact us today!

Article for your information – hope you enjoy the read!

http://elitemarketingpro.com/blog/a-caveman-simple-way-to-run-insanely-profitable-ads-on-social-media-without-advertising/