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We have an endemic of leadership in this country

By Culture, Industry, Tramma Time, WellnessNo Comments

We have an endemic of leadership in this country. The biggest threat to our nation and people is not the virus. It is in fact many of our leaders.

As a 1st generation migrant, I was so proud to call this country home. So proud when I traveled overseas to boast about the beauty of our landscape, freedoms and wonderful opportunities available to all. Friends and family would engage with me with a sense of envy of the beautiful country of Australia.

Today I am not so proud. Today I am disappointed that the fabric which once distinguished our very country from the rest of the world has been torn apart.

In my VIEW, the deterioration of our society across this nation is directly attributed to our leaders. Many of our leaders have forgotten that their purpose is to serve the people. To set the stage, creating a society that is united and overflowing with opportunity. A society that is inclusive, considerate and respectful. One where differing views are accommodated, respectfully discussed, and embraced. One where an individual is not mocked or shamed for communicating a deeply held belief.

Instead, many of our leaders have caused a deeply divided Australia. One where people’s choices have been eroded and mandates have been forced. Compliance has been heralded and bragged about as great leadership. I instead view it as an abuse of power and coercion to force outcomes. People forced to make a choice between putting food on the table and or going without, is not a choice. For some, it may be, but for many, it’s about dignity, provision and survival.

Consider the recent protests in Melbourne where those who attended branded extremists. A small % may well be, the majority however are not. They are normal everyday Victorians who are appealing to the tone-deafness of our leaders. What I can not believe is the government officials not presenting themselves before the people to hear their cries and address their needs. Instead, with arrogance and contempt, they press on because the preservation of their pride and the need to be right is far more important than doing the right thing for the people.

Countless decisions by many of our leaders and their behaviors leave much to be desired. For many in power, their experience and qualifications (huge lack of) to hold a position has me questioning the validity and competence of those elected to run a proper economy, education and health system. Let me ask a question, would you let an accountant perform a knee reconstruction? Absolutely not. The reality is, many of our leaders are elected on personality, popularity, spin and how big their budgets are to run good campaigns. Being friends with those in power also seems to be an important checkbox to be ticked when assessing the suitability of a candidate. Very obvious is the fact that qualifications and experience are not part of the recruitment equation.

We need an overhaul of leadership in this country.

We need people to step up who are competent, qualified and most importantly invested in this great country and its people.

People who will push aside the narrative, take a stance and truly represent the people that trust them to lead.

Tramma Time: The Great Mitigation.

By Culture, Industry, Tramma Time, WellnessNo Comments

The great mitigation.

There has been a lot of talk and publications across the world talking about the Great Resignation. For various reasons, it is estimated that a significant percentage of the workforce is looking to switch jobs when things go back to the new version of normal.

Let’s not sugar-coat this. This is a potential threat to business. Let’s face it, losing good people is hard at the best of times. Given the current shortage of labour right now and the difficulty with recruitment, losing good people will have an impact on us, our clients and the businesses that we run.

While there is a focus on the resignation, I want to turn this on its head and focus on The Great Mitigation.

What do I mean by this? Simple. I would like to explore how we as business owners and leaders can work to minimise resignations and keep the people who are key to our business.

We cannot control the external environment; we can control our internal one. This is the place of our greatest influence and control.

As I reflect on what we have done at BGL and from my personal observations, here are my top 10 tips to help you retain your people.

  1. Culture – great culture attracts and retains people. Define it. Be intentional about it. Dedicate time to it daily. Culture is not set and forget. It requires hard work, resources and intent.
  2. Training – all team members need a training plan. Clearly defined and documented. By investing in people, you will grow and retain them.
  3. Know your people – it’s all about relationships. Take the time to know your staff. Invest time in them and let them know you care. Ensure that you are accessible and present. Take the time to have conversations and reconnect with your people. Organisation company-wide and smaller team events is also a good way to connect with people and will ensure people are connected again.
  4. Flexibility – it is fair to say that going back to the office 5 days a week, is a thing of the past. Speak to your team. Involve your people and come up with a plan that supports a good balance and meets the needs of your business.
  5. Review salaries – undertake a review of all salaries. Make the necessary adjustments. Get on the front foot and don’t allow salary to be the determining factor why good people leave. Of course, there are limitations but engage in the conversations openly.
  6. Eliminate fear – communicate your commitment to employee well-being and safety. Make clear the resources and investment you are prepared to make to help them through and support them in the best way possible.
  7. Recognise and reward – you, your team and your clients have endured a lot over the past 18 months. Recognise and reward the efforts of those who deserve it. Take a moment to also recognise your clients in a small way.
  8. Measure engagement – I do not see many organisations do this. It is so important to know how invested your people are and to what extent they believe they are part of the journey. There are many great products out there that not only make it easy for you to measure engagement, but they also provide guides on how to improve it.
  9. Language – eliminate negative talk. Minimise the time spent living in and talking about the past. For many people, this will trigger responses that can be negative. Inspire hope and optimism by using words that bring life, hope and the aspiration for a better future.
  10. Define your why – make what people are coming back to exciting. Articulate a picture of the future that is exciting, inclusive, full of opportunities and at the same time challenging. Capture the hearts and minds of people by believing in them and allowing them to be the best version of themselves.

I just want to encourage you that the possibility before us really is limited to our thinking. Our actions, behaviours and belief in people will make all the difference as to the culture and ultimately the business we build.

Your investment in your people and culture makes a difference.

What are you going to change today?

BGL commits to supporting mental health and wellbeing

By BGL Update, CultureNo Comments

BGL is proud to announce 25 members of its leadership team are now accredited Mental Health First Aiders.

“I am incredibly proud of the team” said Ron Lesh, BGL’s Managing Director. “With the help of Joel Clapham, Founder and Chief Mental Health Champ at Hearten Up, all 25 members of the BGL leadership team are now accredited Mental Health First Aiders. This equates to 1 trained Mental Health First Aider for every 7 BGL team members.”

“Our team has worked tirelessly through 2020/21 to produce sensational, award-winning software for our clients. Supporting their mental health and wellbeing now and into the future has never been more important” continued Lesh. “Providing our leaders with the opportunity to become accredited Mental Health First Aiders is just one of the many initiatives we have implemented over the past 2 years to better support our team.” 

Since December 2019, BGL has provided all team members and their immediate families with a complimentary Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through Relationship Matters, a not-for-profit organisation with highly trained professional counsellors who are there to help our people deal with whatever issues are impacting on their lives.

“Supporting our people’s mental health and wellbeing isn’t just a nice thing to have in brochures and policies – it is essential for any business who truly cares about their people,” said Lesh. 

In recognition of the hard work and resilience of the team over the past months, BGL will be closed for a team Thank You Day on Monday 1 November 2021. No live services will be available on this day.

If you would like to join the BGL Team, check us out at www.bglcorp.com/careers.

BGL has been recognised on the 2021 AFR BOSS Best Places to Work List as the 6th best technology workplace in Australia & New Zealand!

Working from home: My observations. For your consideration.

By Culture, HomepageOne Comment

The last 14 months have changed the way we work. With many of us forced to work from home. We have had to adjust by force.

While many employees claim how amazing the arrangement is, cracks are appearing and we are to be concerned.

While in many cases yes productivity has increased, my view is that true engagement has decreased. The glue that keeps people together and helps organisations build great culture has taken a hit and it is a threat to our organisations and people.

On the people front, we have much to be concerned about. The risk of losing team members has never been higher. Firstly as a result of people shortage. Secondly, people are isolated, disconnected and more vulnerable to being poached. Thirdly, they have missed out on much training and development, which takes place professionally and in learning from and in working with their peers. Many are simply just doing their jobs, the same thing day in and day out. Bit by bit, as their skill set remains stagnant, they are becoming detached and concerned about their career advancement.

People’s mental health has taken a hit. In Melbourne, the latest lockdown, while not long, was the hardest. While finally stepping into a sense of normality our freedoms were once again taken from us. Many are suffering. Many in silence. Much of this has been heightened by isolation, fear, the erosion of a sense of belonging and comradery that keeps people engaged, interested and connected.

Human engagement is so important on many fronts. As leaders, our role is to set the vision for the team and to excite and inspire your team towards it. This cannot be done virtually. Social aspect aside, human engagement also allows us to get a better gauge of where people are truly at. Observation is such an important part of encouraging and building a culture of wellbeing.

I am all for a balanced working arrangement. One where there is flexibility that provides a healthy balance of working from home. One that includes enough touchpoints with their peers and the greater team to ensure they are connected and where culture can continue to be built. Human touch has never been more important and failure to encourage it will cost us both the short and long term.

Mental Health: No judgment. No shame. No bias. Just listen.

By Culture, In the Media, No Drama with Tramma, WellnessOne Comment

The last 14 months have been tough. The impact is widespread. The effect on people’s personal and emotional wellbeing has been enormous. It is not something you can just throw money at and hope it goes away.

Mental health is a topic that I am passionate about. Having the support of Ron Lesh to pursues this accreditation is something that I am very grateful for. When I undertook the MH First Aid course, one of the great takeaways was that my role is not to diagnose but to simply come alongside people and point them in the right direction. This was empowering and showed WE can ALL make a difference. People often ask me how we in Victoria are faring in lockdown. Personally, while frustrated and limited at times, overall, I am doing okay. I have an amazing role and blessed to be a part of an incredible business. For this I am grateful. I do however have my days and to counteract this I do my best to live my life with the greatest level of normality. I regularly touch base with those most important to me. I do my best to watch my self-talk, exercising, taking breaks, get fresh air, limit my time on the media, create tasks and projects to keep me occupied.

However, my mind is NEVER far from those that are not doing well. The reality is that millions of people and across this state are suffering emotionally, mentally and financially. Businesses and lives touched devastating ways. Let’s add to this loneliness, lack of access to health care, 3 previous lockdowns, fear-mongering media and language, separation, home-schooling and the list goes on and on and we are pretty much beyond the tipping point of a mental health tsunami.

To back my observations, I read an interesting article in The Age on Saturday 5 June titled – “‘I can’t be bothered’: Victorians battling ‘compounding fatigue’ of lockdowns” by Wendy Tuohy, where Rhonda Andrew’s CEO of Barrington Centre, a corporate and wellbeing service provider, provided some very interesting data.

From 27 May to 3 June:

  •  82% ⬆️ in demand for support
  • 40% ⬆️ family conflict
  •  55% ⬆️ workplace issues
  •  82% ⬆️ mental health requests

The sentiment in this state from many that I speak to is that the idea of “We have done this before, we will do it again” or “We have got this”, simply does not cut it.

Many are tired. Many have no more to give. Many just want to get on with our lives and live. This is the reality that we as business leaders, managers and people across this state MUST acknowledge, work with and help navigate people through.

Each of us is touched by what is going on. And if we personally are not, then someone we know is. These lockdowns hurt and it is more important to be on the lookout for each other than ever before.

Please, if you are struggling, please do reach out. It is okay to not be okay. There are times where you will be trapped in thoughts of negativity or feelings of hopelessness. The reality is that it is hard not to be. It is normal. However, do your best to not stay in that space too long. If you do however find these thoughts and feelings lingering, take action. Speak to someone. Call your doctor. Early intervention works.

Make sure to look out for others also. Look for signs that they may be struggling. Be on the lookout for things like withdrawing behaviour, social media activity contrary to their normal behaviour, slow to or no response to messages, negative language, letting go of their appearance or hygiene. Pretty much, any behaviour outside of their normal selves is a window for you to ask the question “R UO K?” or “I have noticed this, is all ok?” Believe, it can make all the difference.

Be informed and across the resources like R UO OK?, Beyond Blue, and Headspace, to name a few. There are many great tools available to not only better understand mental health but to come alongside, and help others along their journey.

Finally, I cannot help but emphasise that you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to put your hand up and say you need help. On the other hand, if you are doing okay, don’t be afraid to extend a hand and reach out to someone that you know is not and let them know you are there for them.

No judgment. No shame. No bias. Just listen.

Just genuinely care!

We can all make a difference.

 

 

Reference: Wendy Tuohy | The Age

BGL achieves industry leading results for Customer Support!

By BGL Update, Culture, In the Media, TechnologyNo Comments

BGL is 14.7 hours faster at first support replies and 54 hours faster at providing a full resolution!

BGL introduced Zendesk as its technology solution for client support in mid-2018. Since that time, the BGL Team has worked to implement Zendesk in all areas of the BGL business, replacing old help databases, telephone support systems and, giving BGL the ability to add chat support.

Zendesk recently provided BGL with performance comparisons. The data showed BGL was 14.7 hours faster at first support replies and 54 hours faster at providing a full resolution to client problems than those in similar industries. 

“These results are amazing and were achieved through the skills and expertise of our Support, Client Success, Account Management and Data Services Teams” said Ron Lesh, BGL’s Managing Director. “I am really proud of our teams and their commitment to providing clients with excellent customer service”.

“I am also really impressed with the work of our Documentation Team” added Lesh. “27.74% of our clients took a first look at our documentation to try to resolve their queries – this is 21.71% higher than the industry benchmark of just 6.03%”.

“This is one of the reasons BGL won the 2020 National Australian Achiever for Excellence in Customer Service” noted Lesh. “We understand it does not matter how good a software is if customer service is bad. At BGL, our focus has always been on providing the best software and remarkable client experiences.

Zendesk Support is integrated with BGL’s software platforms CAS 360, Simple Fund 360, and Simple Invest 360, giving users access to Live Chat with a member of our team and the ability to log a  telephone support call without leaving our applications helps to provide our clients with a seamless support experience.

Find out more about BGL’s omnichannel customer support: bglcorp.com/hub/support/

BGL recognised as the 6th best technology workplace in Australia & New Zealand

By BGL Update, Culture, In the Media, Industry, NewsNo Comments

BGL Corporate Solutions, developer of Australia’s leading SMSF administration and ASIC Company Compliance software solutions, is proud to announce it has been recognised on 2021 AFR BOSS Best Places to Work List as the 6th best technology workplace in Australia & New Zealand.

“We are honoured to rank #6 on the technology list from nearly 700 nominated organisations across Australia and New Zealand” says Ron Lesh, BGL’s Managing Director. “The assessment, conducted by Inventium, requires a written submission from BGL and a Team survey, with questions relating to policies, practices, and programs at BGL. The methodology is underpinned by Inventium’s Workplaces of the Future framework, which identifies ten key factors critical to employees feeling motivated and engaged at work”.

“This is an absolutely fabulous achievement by the BGL Team and especially our People and Culture Team”, added Lesh. “Over the past 30 years BGL has grown to become the leading provider of SMSF administration and ASIC company compliance software solutions in Australia and we would not be here without our amazing team of 170+ committed professionals. We believe great goals can only be achieved with inspired and passionate people! This award recognises our efforts and practices to provide our staff with a safe, flexible, inclusive, and friendly work environment, where they feel inspired, motivated and produce amazing results for our clients”. 

“Inventium is proud to announce the 2021 Best Places to Work list in conjunction with the Australian Financial Review. We have undertaken extensive research into what truly makes a brilliant workplace and we are thrilled to recognise many organisations who are leading the way with innovative practices that drive key elements such as flexibility, wellbeing, and equality”, Inventium said.

ABOUT THE AFR BOSS BEST PLACES TO WORK LIST 

The AFR BOSS Best Places to Work list recognises and ranks the best places to work in Australia and New Zealand, by industry, and is the premier list of its kind. The list is judged and compiled by Inventium – Australia’s leading behavioural science consultancy, using unique research-based methodology. In 2020, the list comprised ten industry lists, compiled from nearly 700 nominations. More info

ABOUT THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW 

For more than 50 years The Australian Financial Review has been the authority on business, finance and investment news in Australia. It has a reputation for independent, award-winning journalism and is essential reading for Australia’s business and investor community. The Australian Financial Review is owned by Fairfax Media Limited [ASX:FXJ], a leading multi-platform media company in Australasia. More info

ABOUT INVENTIUM 

Inventium is Australia’s leading behavioural science and innovation consultancy. Inventium applies the latest findings from science to help organisations unlock growth through innovation and to create brilliant workplaces that get the very best out of their people. Inventium is the official methodology partner of the AFR Boss Best Places to Work List and the AFR Boss Most Innovative Companies list. More info

BGL welcomes Matt Green to the BGL Leadership Team

By BGL Update, Culture, HomepageOne Comment

BGL is delighted to welcome Matt Green to the BGL Leadership Team. Matt is currently a director of MXL Consulting and former Team Lead at myprosperity.

Having worked with multinational corporates, SMEs and start-ups with angel or venture capital backing, Matt brings to the BGL Team many experiences and learnings from both the product and sales perspectives. Matt will join the BGL Team as the Head of Sales and Account Management with a focus on building strong relationships with existing clients and prospects to drive sustainable growth in BGL cloud products.

“I’m thrilled to be joining BGL!” said Matt Green. “BGL has a wonderful team. They’ve worked hard to build a solid business with innovative products and enjoy very loyal customers. I look forward to helping the BGL Team build upon their successes to date”.

“Matt is a great addition to the BGL Leadership Team” says Ron Lesh, BGL’s Managing Director. “Matt has a wealth of experience in the accounting and financial services industry and with SaaS businesses. We are excited Matt has decided to join us”.

BGL has a team of over 150 people across Australia, China, Hong Kong, Philippines and Singapore.