The Fairness Test appears to have mitigated some of the harsher changes commonly associated with WorkChoices, according to a recent report from Sydney University’s Workplace Research Centre. It found that collective agreements lodged after the fairness test were far less likely to exclude or modify protected award conditions, especially when it came to hours of work. It found there were fewer agreements with longer working weeks and a longer daily span of hours and less agreements averaging hours over a long period of time (such as 52 weeks). “The first round of agreements released after the Fairness Test appear to have moderated but not halted changes to enforceable rights at work,” said Workplace Research Centre director John Buchanan.
The heads of Australia’s leading businesses need to tighten their belts and lead by example before asking ordinary workers to bear the brunt of a slowing economy,according to Martin Conboy, general manager of Drake Executive. The multi-million dollar pay packets of top-ranked business executives are due some increased scrutiny, said Conboy, who said the mark of a true leader is one that inspires front-line workers to persevere through tough times. “True leadership is not about the size of a salary or the scale of a bonus. It’s about whether you can inspire people in your organisation to greatness, even when the chips are down,”he said. He said executives could alleviate some of the pressure by accepting a reduced salary, or a cut in their annual bonus.
Australian workplaces rife with bullying
Australian workplaces are rife with bullying, with almost one in three (30 per cent) employees claiming they have been bullied at work; one in four (24 per cent) citing discrimination, and 44 per cent witnessing their colleagues experience either of these, a national survey of 2000 employees has found. The survey, conducted by online learning and information management provider,WorkPro, found that 27 per cent of respondents claimed to be the victim of bullying or discrimination within the past two years. “Managing the risks is about empowering your people to fully understand their rights and responsibilities at work, and to feel like they can speak up on inappropriate behaviour without experiencing recrimination as a result,” said Tania Evans,business manager of WorkPro.
Finance professionals stressed and in high demand
Even amidst the current decline in consumer and business confidence and global economic slowdown, the high demand and low supply of accounting and finance professionals is having a negative impact on organisations in Australia, as high retirement and low graduate numbers place long-term strain on the profession. A recent Vedior Asia Pacific survey found that the shortage of accounting and finance talent is having a negative effect on 64 per cent of the profession, with increased workload and stress the biggest impact on employees. Accounting, banking and finance recruitment firm Select Accountancy warned that the industry faces a long-term plight, with the numbers of accounting and finance graduates in Australia failing to match those leaving for overseas, another profession; or retiring.
After a promotion or pay rise? Talk it up
Employees must “toot their own horn” if they want a promotion or pay rise,according to leading US behavioural scientist Shannon Goodson. The fear of self-promotion is limiting competent and deserving workers from being recognised for their contributions, prohibiting them from earning what they’re worth, she said. “Getting to the top of any organisation requires a two-part approach: competent performance and assertive self-promotion. If you don’t take credit for who you are and the contributions you have made, someone else in the organisation –probably less deserving – will,” she said. “As an employee, you are responsible for yourself. If you don’t talk it up, don’t count on someone doing it for you.”
Chandler Macleod Group launches Luminary Search
Chandler Macleod Group recently launched an executive search practice called Luminary Search. Through the amalgamation of Chandler Macleod Executive,JML Australia and several national and international search practices, Luminary Search has structured its services into specialist vertical markets, including: resources and infrastructure; industrial and electronic manufacturing; banking; professional services; market research; information communication and technology; not-for-profit; energy and utilities; government; health and medical. Jon Leighton, Luminary Search’s managing partner, said the firm intended to challenge the 30-year old practices of traditional executive search firms, which were failing to meet the demands of today’s market.