A Conversation That Matters #2: Proving giving back is good for us

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Giving back is good for us.  That’s why we say YES when given the opportunity to support charitable causes that matter to our employees, clients and suppliers. On Tuesday the team at BCG had the opportunity to use our influence for greater good.  We invited 10 influential women who share a common goal to transform the world around us, giving hope in a time of social, economic and political change.  We connected at the Odyssey House [OH] Business Womens Luncheon and had the privilege of listening to three of our most respected women business leaders speak about their inspirational personal journeys to leadership.

A call to ‘believe in ourselves’ and that everyone can achieve, that we can make a difference, was a powerful take home message.  A particularly moving account of a remarkable journey from hardship to good fortune by an OH graduate who found the courage to overcome life challenges was inspiring.   It was at her lowest point that she found the strength to ask for help.  The graduate is a true inspiration having worked through her hardships to create a better life for herself and her children, now working as a counsellor at Odyssey House, reminded us that through effort, skill or courage anything is possible.

It’s good for our business when we say YES when asked to GIVE because our voice contributes to the creation and sharing of inspiring stories. We are committed to being part of something bigger.  Every time we GIVE we increase our awareness of the lives of those less fortunate and feel thankful our success has allowed us to positively influence the lives of those less fortunate.

How has saying YES in support of your organisation’s charitable causes been good for your business?

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Libby Allaway is a corporate dressing stylist, personal shopper, author, designer and TV Presenter.

We sat down with Libby to find out what Libby could teach us about corporate dressing for success.

With over 25 years in the fashion industry, Libby has a passion for helping men and women increase self-esteem and reach their full potential.

Libby is highly is passionate about unlocking potential and confidence through the power of image.

Her company strives to help people to create a positive first impression. She has worked with clients from Westpac, Dress for Success, Commonwealth Bank, A Healthy View, CG Consultants, Vittoria Coffee and Citibank.

Why is it important to dress well at work?

What we wear speaks volumes about how we feel about ourselves and how others perceive us. Wearing the right colours for you and particular situations can alter how people react to you. I encourage my clients to think of themselves as a brand and thier clothes as their way of advertising that brand. Through our image we can portray to others our level of competency, our ability to work in a team, our level of friendliness and our willingness to get the job  done. 

What do you recommend for dressing corporate while still looking chic?

I always like to add some form of jacket. Gone are the days when we had to wear the formal suit. Thankfully, office attire has relaxed however it’s still very important to keep up your standard as far as your “self brand” is concerned. My other big tip is to have your clothes altered to actually fit your body. There is nothing worse than an ill fitting trouser and nothing better than a garment which has been tailored to fit your body.

What are 5 items that every corporate woman should own?

I usually suggest to my clients to collate a Capsule Wardrobe of 10 pieces which mix and match, however if I were to choose 5 they would be skirt, top, jacket, trousers and dress. Some of my favourite season trends are below.

chicclothes

What investment pieces would you recommend this season?

The best investment pieces you can never go wrong with are a beautifully tailored jacket and an amazing pair of shoes.

Who are some style icons in the corporate world?

Carla Zampatti and Julie Bishop

What are some dressing disasters to avoid?

 Not understanding your body shape and selecting the wrong styles for you 

Does dressing well need to be an expensive ordeal?

 Absolutely not. It’s about knowing which fabrics and styles suit your shape and which ones to look out for when you are shopping in the high street stores. Quality can definitely be found on a budget

What concepts are important to know for dressing well?

Understanding your body shape is crucial. It would be like trying to furnish a room without knowing the dimensions. Also, understanding the correct outfit to suit the situation

Does age impact what we should wear?

 To a certain extent. There definitely does come a time when hems need to be worn a little longer, neck lines a little higher however at a younger age it is important to reflect youth whilst still maintaining a corporate look.

Are there ways to look slimmer without all the diet and exercise?

 Aha! Yes. That’s one of my favourite topics – Illusion Dressing. Through wearing the right styles for your body shape, wearing the correct foundation pieces and knowing which styles will create the effect of looking slimmer and taller you can create the illusion of months in the gym.

Register to receive notification of our next corporate workshop.   Available as an in house customised program for women at all stages of their career.

Email Jeromine to Register

The way you support and lead through change is a highly sought after skill amongst today’s senior executives.  A good leader in today’s rapidly changing world is defined by their ability to successfully navigate their people through change.

In response to disruption, changing market forces and rapid advancement in technology, restructure is a frequent feature of business adaptation. Done well, the organisation and its people can flourish.  Done poorly, a restructure can result in a suite of symptoms that, left unaddressed, can lead to rapid business downturn.

 

In partnership with a large healthcare institution, BCG developed a change management plan to support the CEO of their fundraising department through a significant restructure and culture change initiative.

BCG Senior Client Partner Nicole Hercus, facilitated a discussion amongst the team to agree on those behaviours that would enable them to deliver on their strategic objectives and those behaviours that would act as road blocks to their collective success.  With this team charter in place, there was a renewed commitment to realizing the vision for the business.

 

At the conclusion of the process, the feedback from the CEO was overwhelmingly positive,

‘Bureau CG’s support, advice and all the hands-on work you have done has been so amazing from the crafting of the position description’s, support with transition, help with the performance planning and of course the profile assessments and team workshop.

Nicole, your facilitation of the workshop was inspirational. You took what could have been a threatening discussion and transformed it into such a constructive experience for everyone. We are already discussing certain behaviour as potential “terrorist activity’ that could lead to “war an desperation”!! We cannot thank you enough for your patience, diligence and sense of humour.”

 

New to the role, the CEO was charged with responsibility of reshaping the fundraising function to deliver increased revenue for the healthcare institution.

To inform the discussion, BCG fed into the process some organizational psychology and change management theory.  This theory supported the group to understand how some of the dynamics and tensions that had emerged within the team more recently, were explained through an understanding of how groups respond in times organizational change.  A palpable sigh could be heard as the team began to see how their behaviours and dynamics were typical of a system undergoing change and that with consciousness, they could better support one another to build a high performance team.

Our first collaborative initiative was to bring all the fundraising capability from across each of the individual business silos into one cohesive team.  This initiative required a transfer of employment for all staff, new terms and conditions and revised position descriptions in line with the new org structure.

Leading up to the time of transition, we worked closely with the CEO to shape a series of face-to-face and written communications that walked the team through the upcoming changes, their purpose, timeframes and what to expect.  These communications were carefully crafted and personal, acknowledging that change brings with it upheaval and before people can embrace the excitement of what this new opportunity will bring, they must first farewell what has been before.  The CEO communicated an open door policy, inviting staff to make an appointment to met with her one on one should they have an concerns or questions about the organizational changes.

With a new organisational structure and reporting lines in place, the CEO led her people through a strategic planning exercise to develop a clear and compelling roadmap for moving forward as a collective.

With a strategic plan in place, we then worked closely with the CEO to develop a performance management framework to support each member of the team to work to their individual strengths, in partnership with their peers, to deliver their performance objectives.

We set high performance benchmarks for each role using the Profile’s International assessment tools.   Every member of the team then completed a performance assessment, which was calibrated against the benchmark for that role, enabling us to see where each needed specific development support to deliver a high performance in the role.

The CEO held one on one meetings with each member of the team to clarify their performance objectives in the role, share the assessment findings and agree a development plan that would support them to deliver a high performance in the role.

 Staff feedback from this initiative was overwhelmingly positive, many had never experienced an employer who invested in their development.  The assessments helped them better understand their strengths whilst raising their awareness to areas they would need to focus on to deliver within the high performance benchmarks established for their role.  They reported that the process was an empowering one and they all affirmed a refreshed commitment to working in this new way to deliver against the strategic plan. 

Following the one on one’s we then designed a half day team workshop, to share with the team all of the insights gained through the one on one’s and to renew the focus for working in collaboration to achieve the strategic goals.

 Staff shared with the team their individual feedback from the assessments, building a collective awareness about where the team could benefit form individual strengths and work together to support each other’s development.

 

 

 

 

Have you ever made a bad hire? Most of us have. I was speaking to a client of mine recently, and she was reminiscing about a time before we worked together, her coworkers, their strategy, and what she would have done differently.

One of the first things she said to me was that she wished she had spent more time and effort on her hiring process. She shares her 4 steps to avoid hiring a disaster, lets call him Sam.

1. Help you determine job fit

Wouldn’t it be great if you could predict if a prospective candidate could do a job well? Wouldn’t it be better if you could evaluate if they will love a job and succeed in that role? Employee assessments help you do this. Based on behavioral traits, interests, and aptitude, they help you keep a narrow focus on the responsibilities of the job. In a nutshell, you evaluate your top performing employees and create a benchmark/performance model to evaluate your prospective candidates against.

2.   Help you remain objective 

Sam was a friend of a friend of the owner’s. Networking is important in today’s workforce, but far too many people get jobs because they are a friend or relative of an employee. When candidates are given priority due to their connections, hiring managers tend to be more lenient about making sure the candidate has the aptitude and skills necessary to do the job. Taking a pre-hire employee assessment benefits the company by avoiding a potentially unsuitable hire. It also keeps the candidate from accepting a job where he or she may not be successful.

3.   Help you align talent and business needs

 Just as every employee is different, so is every business. Some place more importance on an innovative workforce, while others care more about particular hard skills. Hiring managers need to know what skills contribute most to the success of their companies. Assessments can help managers eliminate candidates that do not have the critical skills the company needs to move forward.

4.   Help you learn how to better manage your employee

One you have a pre-screening employee assessment in place, you should utilise a performance assessment. This will help you understand how to best motivate and manage employees with various personalities.

Assessments can help you move candidates along the employee selection process based on skills and job fit, the two most important factors to employee success.

Sam had all the right credentials: an impressive resume, a charismatic smile, and enthusiasm to boot. He was hired for a director’s position, and my client was excited to have such a promising candidate as part of her team.

Within two months, it was obvious that Sam wasn’t the right fit for the position. He was experienced in his field, but not suited to a leadership role. He was aggressive with employees, rude, and consistently slacked off around the office. He assumed that because of his new title, he didn’t have to do as much work as others. He inappropriately fired multiple employees without following disciplinary procedures, and was just an all-round nightmare in the office.

My client tried to work with him, help him be more effective, and train him on how to manage people… but alas, it was a waste of time. He wasn’t the right fit for the job. Needless to say, he was let go, caused a scene, and the company was stuck yet again severely needing a new director.

Poor hiring decisions have high costs. Despite the negative impact around the office- like the one Sam brought on- there are hiring and onboarding costs, and time wasted managing poor-performing employees. One of the most common reasons for bad hiring decisions is that managers fail to give proper attention to the employee selection process.

Assessments are a useful tool to ensure that you are giving the hiring process the time, objectivity, and analysis it needs. There are many different styles of assessments. When used in the right sequence, they can be extremely helpful in employee hiring. Here are four ways assessments can help you avoid bad hiring decisions. Employee assessments:

Don’t hire someone like Sam.

Learn more about how employee assessments can impact your business and your bottom-line. Call Nicole Hercus on 0410 324 656 or visit out website at www.bureacg.com.

 

Attract and Retain Top Performers
“How much revenue, profit and productivity is your team forgoing because your recruitment process has allowed poor performers to get through?”
mark purbrick, managing director peoplogica pty Ltd

Harvard Business Review Job Fit In one of the largest studies of its kind, the Harvard Business Review released findings by H & J Greenberg about the importance of establishing JobFit (JobFit is the ability to match people to roles based on the critical success attributes of the role, not on the individual’s experience, educational qualifications, age, gender or race). The findings were based on a 20 year study of 360,000 individuals in the United States, Canada and Western Europe from the following industries:

  • Automobiles
  • Banking & Finance
  • Chemical Manufacture
  • Data Processing
  • Life Insurance
  • Machinery
  • Manufacturing (Heavy)
  • Manufacturing (Light)
  • Media & Publishing
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Printing
  • Property & Casualty Insurance
  • Real Estate
  • Stock Brokerage & Mutual Funds

Read ‘Harvard Business Review challenges….’