Most of the poor performance and poor behaviour occurs simply because it is tolerated. From my observations, the tolerance comes about for the core reason that there are no enforced standards. In the absence of formal enforced standards, people apply their own standards using their best efforts to complete a role. The standards used are formed from previous experience in the role or, a similar role, or if they are new to a role, from their personal values. These personal values are generated from their upbringing at home, their school, sporting teams and other social interactions. The values are also generated from interactions with opinions from the media. The realignment of standards can be accomplished in four steps. Write standards The first step, not surprisingly, is to write standards. Standards of performance should take the form of an action and an object of the action with accompanying measures that tell us whether the action has been completed satisfactorily. For example, answer the telephone in three rings. Or attend a minimum of ten board meetings. Or unload a truck, without incident, within one hour, 80% of the time and with ninety minutes 100% of the time. Note in the last example, a qualifier "without incident" was given. One might also add conditions to standards. For example, "When the front office is fully staffed, check in will be completed, without complaint, within three minutes on 90% of occasions and within five minutes on 100% of occasions." The condition is, "When the front office is fully staffed". Standards of behaviour are more likely to be written into policies or codes of behaviour. For example, "Directors will declare all pecuniary interests in the pecuniary interest register." Or "All employees will act in a safe manner at all times at work, travelling to and from work and when representing the company". Or "All employees will refrain from behaviour which causes offence to customers, suppliers, the general public and colleagues at all times". Communicate standardsThe likelihood of anyone adhering to standards if they have not been communicated well is zero. The standards can best be communicated, at first, by involving people in their construction. When the standards are completed, communicate them repeatedly in different formats. Do not fall into the trap of using text only means of communication. A large majority of any organisation's employees will require visual or auditory means of communication to "get it". Test people to make sure that the communication has got through and they understand the standards. Enforce standardsCreating standards without enforcing them is a waste of time and effort.As soon as one person is seen to be not behaving or performing within the standards with no action taken, the subjective norm will turn to standards not mattering. Integrate standards with your reward and recognition system, appraisal system and recruitment methods. Ensure that standards created for completing appraisals and managing performance are, in turn, enforced. Review and update standards Involve your people in reviewing the suitability of standards. Not all standards will withstand the scrutiny of application without modification and all standards will need to change over time as the environment in which the organisation operates changes. Demonstrating a willingness to adjust standards to make them work to execute the strategies of the organisation will generate buy-in from your people.
How do you get performance improvement from your most important asset - your people? It lies in the alignment of four things:Communication - is it absolutely clear what is being asked and why? Education - do your people have the requisite skills and competencies? Measurement - are there clear goals and evidence of progress towards them? Reward - how will success be recognised?CommunicationIf managers are responsible for directing resource and effort to achieve corporate aims, they should clearly and persuasively explain to individuals what is required and expected of them, and how their role fits into the 'big picture'. A common complaint made by staff is that they are neither told nor consulted enough, so this is an issue worth addressing - and being seen to do so. Another problem area is the way organisations communicate with their people. The use of media, the style of language and the tone of voice are so often simply not appropriate. You can't talk to your shop-floor staff on minimum wage in the same way you talk to your investors. And a wonderful new proposition or initiative can so easily be ruined by pages and pages of terms and conditions that threaten the recipients' will to live, rather than engender their excitement and interest. EducationModern-day positive psychology grew up in a sales environment, with performance measured against targets and rewarded accordingly. However, by the time the sales numbers actually came in, it was generally too late to do much about them. There was therefore increasing interest in the quality of the sales process - the means as well as the ends - so that management could intervene while work was still in progress if it saw constructive opportunities to do so.We hire people in with some skills and, if we are sensible, commit to a long-term plan for their development. Some may go elsewhere and use all that training you have given them with another organisation, but every sum spent on giving people more meaning and effectiveness to their work will result in better corporate performance. Not least because those that train well tend to hang on to their best people.MeasurementYou can't succeed if you don't know what you are being asked to achieve. And you can't celebrate (vital for motivation) unless you know when you've scored - which could be getting through the door, gaining commitment, taking the order, signing the contract, launching the product, completing the report etc. Reaching an important milestone should be measured, acknowledged and rewarded accordingly.RewardReward needs to be applied within a consistent framework, commensurate with the achievement, include an element of choice and be delivered with a little creative flair and imagination. However, it's not just the value of a reward that matters it is the way it is presented and the associated recognition. For example, all of our employees receive a handwritten card on their birthday from the chairman - a personal piece of recognition which is both motivating and says a lot about the culture of our business. It also reminds us that leadership behaviours are crucial to employee engagement. The pattern of communication, education, measurement and reward is very much down to how leaders, and subsequently their managers, go about their daily business.
Similar idea to GST which was introduced 10 years ago.Stop Tax evasion and Centrelink fraud
Other things they will look for if a complaint is made:Payslip, wages and record keeping requirementsFreedom from associationRight of entry by unionsUnderpayment of wages and entitlementsTermination of an employeeCoercion, undue influence, pressure, deceptive and misleading conduct in agreement makingTransfer of businessSham contractingDiscriminationUnprotected industrial action
Workplace inspectionsA Fair Work inspector may need to inspect your workplace in response to a complaint or as part of an audit campaign to ensure compliance. Generally this will be during working hours unless an inspector believes that any other time is necessary for compliance purposes.About Fair Work InspectorsFair Work Inspectors under the Fair Work Act 2009 are appointed by the Fair Work Ombudsman. Generally they are employed to work in the Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman but they could be a person who is employed by a State or Territory government.They are government officials responsible for investigating and enforcing compliance with national workplace relations laws.Inspectors are independent and impartial and have no bias toward one outcome over another.
Breaching the Standards - $6600 personal penalty, Business penalty $33,00010 National Employment StandardsEntitlements under NESMaximum weekly hours of work – 38 hours per weekRequests for flexible working arrangements – allows parents or carers of a child under school age or of a child under 18 with a disability, to request a change in working arrangements to assist with the child’s care.Parental leave and related entitlements – up to 12 months unpaid leave for every employee, plus a right to request an additional 12 months unpaid leave, plus other forms of maternity, paternity and adoption related leave. Annual leave – 4 weeks paid leave per year, plus an additional week for certain shift workers.Personal / carer’s leave and compassionate leave – 10 days paid personal / carer’s leave, two days unpaid carer’s leave as required, and two days compassionate leave (unpaid for casuals) as required.Community service leave – unpaid leave for voluntary emergency activities and leave for jury service, with an entitlement to be paid for up to 10 days for jury service. Long service leave – a transitional entitlement for certain employees who had certain LSL entitlements before 1/1/10 pending the development of a uniform national long service leave standard.Public holidays – a paid day off on a public holiday, except where reasonably requested to work.Notice of termination and redundancy pay – up to 4 weeks notice of termination (5 weeks if the employee is over 45 and has at least 2 years of continuous service) and up to 16 weeks redundancy pay, both based on length of service.Provision of a Fair Work Information Statement – employers must provide this statement to all new employees. It contains information about the NES, modern awards, agreement-making, the right to freedom of association, termination of employment, individual flexibility arrangements, rights of entry, transfer of business, and the respective roles of Fair Work Australia and the Fair Work Ombudsman.
What’s the difference between full-time, part-time and casual?Full-time: employees generally work 38 hours a week, and have a continuing contract of employment. Benefits such as paid sick leave, annual leave, holiday pay, long service leave and carers or other types of leave usually apply. Part-time: employees work regular hours each week, but fewer hours than full-time employees. They’re usually given the same basic entitlements as full-timers, based on the hours worked (this is called pro rata).If working full-time or part-time, any accrued entitlements such as annual leave should be paid when the employee leaves. If they’re dismissed or made redundant, they may be entitled to notice of termination or payment in lieu of notice (except in cases of serious misconduct) and redundancy pay.Casual: employees are usually employed on an hourly or daily basis and don’t usually get paid sick leave or annual leave. They generally get additional pay called a casual loading to make up for this. Casual workers are also less likely to have regular or guaranteed hours of work. Notice periods do not apply to casuals upon termination of employment.Apprentices & traineesApprentices and trainees do a combination of work and recognised training to get a trade licence, or other qualification.An employee is classed as an apprentice or trainee if their training is through a registered state or territory training authority or under a relevant law.An employee cannot be classed as a trainee just because they are new to the job.Independent contractorsAn independent contractor works under a contract for a specific job or length of time. For example, a plumber who is hired to fix a leak.Unlike an employee, an independent contractor doesn't work regularly for an employer and can choose whether or not to do a job they're offered.Outworkers
Pay under modern awardsFrom 1 January 2010, modern awards cover most workplaces. The commencement of modern awards means that there have been changes to minimum terms and conditions for many employees. The changes vary by state, industry and employer.Transitional arrangements in most modern awards mean that some new pay rates commence on the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2010. Important! This means that pay rates for many employees change on 1 July 2010.Transitional arrangements in most modern awards give employers and employees time to adjust to the changes by allowing new pay rates to be phased in over a period of four years until the full modern award rates apply on 1 July 2014.
From 1 January 2010, modern awards cover most workplaces. Modern awards establish one set of minimum conditions for employers and employees across Australia who work in the same industries and occupations.The commencement of modern awards means that there have been changes to minimum terms and conditions for many employees. The changes vary by state, industry and employer.Transitional arrangements in most modern awards mean that some pay rates do not commence until 1 July 2010. These arrangements give employers and employees time to adjust to the changes in pay rates.Important! This means that pay rates for many employees change on 1 July 2010. To calculate pay rates, you will need to refer to the pre-modern award that used to cover you before 1 January 2010 as well as the relevant modern award.
Records of all leave to be kept in employees fileNote: Annual leave and paid personal/carer’s leave accumulates over time. Minimum entitlements to parental leave under the NES apply to all employees employed in Australia (including those covered by state industrial laws). However, if state laws are more beneficial to employees than the NES, then these will apply. Part-time employees also generally receive these minimum entitlements on a pro rata basis.On public holidays, employees who would usually work on that day are entitled to a day off with pay (subject to reasonable requests to work).
Provide the Fair Work information statement as part of an induction. Keep a record of the induction in the employee’s fileWhat’s in the Statement?The Statement contains information about:the National Employment Standards (NES) the effect on an employee’s NES entitlements when there is a transfer of businessmodern awardsagreement making under the Fair Work Act 2009individual flexibility arrangementsthe right to freedom of association termination of employment right of entry (including the protection of personal information by privacy laws)the role of the Fair Work Ombudsman and Fair Work Australia. How can the employer give the Statement to the employee? The Statement may be given to an employee by:giving it personally to the employeesending it by pre-paid post to the employee’s residential address or a postal address nominated by the employeesending it to the employee’s email address at work or to another email address nominated by the employeesending by email to the employee’s email address at work or to another email address nominated by the employee an electronic link to the page on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website where the Statement is located or an electronic link that takes the employee directly to a copy of the Statement on the employer’s intranetfaxing it to the employee’s fax number at work, fax number at home or another fax number nominated by the employeeanother method (an employer will need to ensure this meets the requirement to give the Statement to the employee, eg. by courier where there is a signed acceptance by the employee of receipt of the Statement). Whatever method is used to give the Statement to an employee, it is recommended that the employer retain details of how the Statement was given.Employment of the same employee more than once in 12 monthsIf the employer employs the same employee more than once in any 12 months and gave the Statement to the employee commencing employment the first time, then there is no requirement to give the Statement more than once in any 12 months.
Unfair dismissalThe new legislation proposes some major changes to unfair dismissal laws, always an interesting and contentious topic. Under the Howard Government’s Work Choices legislation, small businesses were exempt from unfair dismissal claims, but employees can make a claim under the new laws, under some circumstances.Employees who have worked for a small company (with fewer than 15 employees) for more than 12 months can make an unfair dismissal claim. The same goes for people who have worked for a larger company for more than six months. However, workers who earn more than $100,000 a year won’t be able to make unfair dismissal claims unless they are covered by an industrial award or enterprise agreement.Small Business Fair Dismissal Code of Practice. As long as small business owners comply with the code when they dismiss a staff member, the dismissal will be deemed to be fair. The Code is atwww.workplace.gov.au/workplace/publications – see fact sheet number nine.If you need to make a position redundant for a genuine reason, the employee can’t make a successful unfair dismissal claim.“You should have a paper trail with regards to retrenching that explains the business case, including the organisational charts before and afterwards,” says Ierodiaconou.
What's a notice period?A notice period is the amount of notice an employer must give an employee if they plan to terminate the employee’s employment.Under the National Employment Standards if an employer terminates the employment of a permanent employee they must provide at least the following notice:Period of continuous service Notice period Not more than 1 year 1 week More than 1 year, but not more than 3 years 2 weeks More than 3 years, but not more than 5 years 3 weeks More than 5 years 4 weeks The relevant notice period increases by 1 week if the employee is over 45 years old and has completed at least 2 years’ continuous service with the employer.Top of pageWho doesn’t get notice of termination?The notice periods above don’t apply to:a casual employeean employee engaged for a specific period or taska seasonal employee engaged for a specific seasonan employee whose employment is terminated because of serious misconduct (for example, an employee, in the course of their employment, engaging in theft, fraud or assault)an employee (other than an apprentice) to whom a training arrangement applies and whose employment is for a specific period or limited to the duration of the training agreementa daily-hire employee working in the building and construction industry (including working in connection with the erection, repair, renovation, maintenance, ornamentation or demolition of buildings or structures)a daily hire employee working in the meat industry in connection with the slaughter of livestocka weekly hire employee working in connection with the meat industry and whose termination is determined solely by seasonal factors.
Time & wages recordsEmployers must keep a number of written records of their employees for 7 years. This includes records about time and wages. They must be legible and in English, and be readily accessible to an inspector. It's best practice that these records are written in plain and simple English.What MUST appear in employee records?Who & when1. The name of the employer and the name of the employee.2. From 1 January 2010 - the Australian Business Number (ABN) (if any) of the employer.3. Date the employee started employment.Type of employment, hours & rates of pay4. If the employee is full-time, part-time.5. If the employee is permanent, temporary or casual.6. The employee's pay rate, including gross and net amounts paid and any deductions from the gross amount.7. Any loadings, monetary allowances, bonuses, incentive-based payments, penalty rates or other entitlements paid that can be singled out.8. If a penalty rate or loading must be paid for overtime hours actually worked, the number of hours of overtime worked, or when the employee started and finished working overtime.9. Hours worked if the employee works casual or irregular part-time hours and is guaranteed a pay rate set by reference to a period of time worked.10. A copy of the written agreement if you and your employee have agreed to average the employee's work hours.11. If you and your employee have agreed to an individual flexibility arrangement, a copy of that agreement, and, if the agreement is terminated, a copy of the termination.
Electronic pay slipsElectronic pay slips must list the same information as hard copy pay slips. Employers must:give electronic pay slips to each worker via email or into an electronic personal account, etc., rather than simply storing them on a database issue pay slips in an easily printable format. Employers should: issue pay slips in an easily printable format.issue pay slips to workers securely and confidentiallyensure that workers can access and print their pay slips in private (eg. it would be inappropriate to issue an electronic pay slip to a factory worker who doesn't have access to a computer terminal to privately read and print their pay slip).Templates for employersThe Fair Work Ombudsman’s record-keeping and pay slip templates are designed to help employers with record-keeping and pay slips.
AgreementsWhat's an agreement?Agreements set out the conditions of employment between:an employee or group of employeestheir employer. From 1 January 2010, only enterprise agreements can be made between employees and employers.Other types of agreements made previously under the Workplace Relations Act 2006 cover the conditions of individual employees, or a group of employees. These include:collective agreementsAWAs (Australian Workplace Agreements)ITEAs (Individual Transitional Employment Agreements) Those agreements made prior to 1 January will continue on until they are terminated or replaced.Enterprise agreementsEnterprise agreements can be made by an employer with a group of employees, or by more than 1 employer with groups of employees.Enterprise agreements can also be made by 1 or more employers and 1 or more unions for a genuine new enterprise before any employees that would be covered by the agreement are employed (these are called greenfields agreements). Agreements made prior to 1 January 2010
About the approval processOnce bargaining is complete and a draft agreement has been made certain steps must be taken to ensure the agreement is valid.Pre-approval steps to be taken by employersThe employer must ensure that:the terms of the agreement, and the effect of those terms, are explained to the employeesthe explanation is provided in an appropriate manner (e.g. appropriate for young employees or employees from culturally diverse backgrounds).Employees must endorse the agreement by voting for it. A vote must not occur until at least 21 days after the day on which employees were given notice of their representational rights (see Bargaining section).During the 7 day period before voting for the agreement, the employer must ensure employees are given a copy of:the agreementany other material incorporated by reference in the agreement.The employer must also notify employees of:the time and place at which the vote will occurthe voting method that will be used.
Employers & unionsEmployers can negotiate with a union or unions representing employees about an agreement.Employers must let a union official enter their workplace if the official has a valid permit and has given the required notice, and the official: is investigating an alleged breach of federal workplace relations laws for a union-member employee or textile, clothing or footwear (TCF) outworker, oris holding discussions with employees who are entitled to be represented by the union and who want to participate in discussions.Employers must not take adverse action against an employee for joining / not joining a union or for getting involved in union activities (eg. a secret ballot or lawful industrial action).Freedom of associationAll employees have the right to join or not join a union. They must not be pressured by an employer, union official, or any other person to make a decision about joining, not joining or leaving a union.Important! An employer cannot dismiss an employee based on whether or not they're a union member.In this section:
About industrial actionIndustrial action can take a number of forms - including strikes, work bans and lock-outs.Employees and employers can take protected industrial action when they're trying to create a new enterprise agreement.If an existing agreement covers the employees who'll be covered by the new agreement, industrial action will only be protected if the nominal expiry date of the existing agreement has passed.Employers can only take protected industrial action in response to employee industrial action.Examples of industrial action include:when employees don't come to work, or put a ban on or limit the amount of work they performwhen employers lock employees out of a workplace.