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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?

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

Working remotely? How to nail it!

By BGL Update, Homepage, Industry, WellnessNo Comments

In a matter of weeks, we adapted our software to meet our clients’ changing needs and improve their experience; implemented innovative ways to keep our teams connected and productive; and sought out ways to help the community. Now, we want to share what we’ve learned so far in hopes that it might help you during this transition. Here are some tips from the BGL team to help you nail WFH:

Plan the day and week ahead – set goals and keep track of them

Everyone has their own way of planning their time, however, one great tip is to get into the habit of writing your to-do list for the day and week ahead. Also, consider your most difficult tasks and try to get them out of the way as early as possible to avoid procrastination. Using Project Management platforms such as Jira, Asana, Monday.com can be quite helpful.

Communicate with other team members – Implement regular meetings

Since you’re no longer close to your co-workers or manager, it’s good to schedule 1:1 check-in meetings with them on a weekly basis to chat about your goals, upcoming projects and daily tasks. Use this time to clarify any concerns or questions you might have, plus inform about achievements and future tasks. Using communication, video conferencing platforms such as Slack, Skype, Zoom or GoTo can be quite helpful.

Get dressed properly and set up a workstation

Your morning prep routine – People often joke that they would love to work in their pyjamas but, in reality, getting dressed as if you are heading to the office can help put you in ‘work mode’. It also ensures you look professional in all video meetings. The same mindset applies for a proper workstation set up, it can help you stay focused on activities while WFH, so make sure you have one!

Stay connected, lean on community

To feel supported and stay connected to the “real world”, become part of a remote community. We’ve found that being surrounded by others who are successfully working remotely inspires us to remain productive while embracing the flexibility. Plus, human interaction can make all the difference in your productivity as well as your mental and emotional well-being. Participate in Facebook Groups, Slack Channels, attend online events and other community initiatives 🙂

Make the most of your cloud-apps

Automate processes as much as you can. Take advantage of the perks of using cloud-based apps for greater collaboration when working remotely: Cloud computing has made it incredibly easy for workers in a company to collaborate and being able to keep providing the same service level to clients! At BGL, we use a number of cloud applications and that is allowing us to keep providing next level service to clients and collaboration between teams. Make sure you and your team have the right resources in place and are making the most out of it.

Plus, keep positive, enjoy a nice coffee, play with your pets, and celebrate your family!

Working from home can be a big transition. You might feel any combination of lonely, isolated, stressed, frustrated, anxious, unmotivated, or — on the other hand — relieved, relaxed, energised, or productive. It’s all OK and normal. Take it easy on yourself and make sure you remain positive!

If you want to find out more about BGL’s updates, click here.