Posts: Culture

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Commission orders parties to stop yelling in the workplace

Quiet, please

The Fair Work Commission recently issued interim orders in an application for orders to stop bullying, which required the parties to, amongst other things, treat each other with respect and dignity, and to not yell in an unreasonable manner.


FWC upholds dismissals from workplace with “robust environment”

A break from banter

It is becoming increasingly challenging for employers and employees to understand where the line is between a relaxed, open and friendly workplace culture


Workplace culture gone wrong and how to make it right

Culture club

What does “workplace culture” really mean and what happens when workplace culture becomes damaged or toxic?


Employees, their relatives and social media – where is the line?

Brand -new day

The 76ers are in the spotlight again following recent posts on the Twitter account of Bob Muscala, the father of one of its players.


Managing emojis in the workplace

A New World Language

It started out as the humble smiley emoticon “:-)” in 1982 created by a computer scientist who wanted a “joke marker” to help people decipher his jokes in emails.


How to level-up your induction process to increase buy-in

Induction Construction

Conducting a comprehensive induction for new employees is critical for compliance reasons but should also be viewed as an opportunity to connect new employees to the values and culture.


What the Australian cricket saga can teach us about leadership

Pulling up stumps

Australian sports fans were shocked when three Australian cricketers were caught up in a ball tampering scandal, leading to the downfall of the Australian cricket captain and his deputy.


Dishonesty in the workplace and the potential ramifications

Big Little Lies

If dishonesty does find its way into the workplace, employers must act swiftly and hold employees accountable where necessary, so that it does not become a part of the workplace culture.


Facebook and Google’s new workplace dating policy

One strike and you’re out

In a proactive attempt to combat the issue of workplace sexual harassment, Facebook and Google have implemented new policies on dating in the workplace. This new approach adopts a “one strike and you’re out” rule, which states that employees only have one opportunity to ask a co-worker out on a date.


Understanding and preventing employee financial misconduct

The need for checks and balances on cheques and bank balances

Financial misconduct committed by employees is unfortunately all too common in Australian businesses. It can range from invoice forgery to stealing from the register to abusing expense reimbursement entitlements or corporate credit cards.


Redeployment not appropriate for employee who did not trust manager

Living together in (im)perfect harmony

Most employers have a clear understanding of the importance of cultural “fit” to having a happy and productive workforce. Questions about “fit” usually arise during the recruitment process, but are rarely addressed in circumstances involving redundancy and redeployment.


What can we say in our appearance policies and dress codes about beards?

Close shave

The rate of men growing their beards is increasing all thanks to the current hipster trend. Beards may be non-controversial in some working environment and not permitted in others. When confronted with a growing trend towards facial hair, employers requiring a clean shaven look may be challenged as to the reasonableness (or otherwise) of their appearance requirements for employees.


How “sickies” and presenteeism hurt employers

Baby it's cold outside

Cold and flu season is upon us again, which means employers should be planning for the inevitable round of absences. This time of the year presents many challenges for employers, so here are our practical tips for managing the winter months.


Organising social events for employees

You’re invited! (but BYO party)

It is almost undisputed that the majority of Australian workers are spending more of their time at the workplace. It is therefore unsurprising that employees and employers are becoming more concerned with the quality of the time that employees spend at work and the relationships they have with their co-workers.


Workplace lotto syndicates and bullying

We’ve hit the jackpot!

Recently it was reported that a Sydney factory employee applied to the NSW Supreme Court in an attempt to claim a share of the $40 million jackpot, won by 14 employees of a cable manufacturer in Liverpool.


Is your business ready for sudden senior leadership departures?

Bye, Bye, Bye

Consider the scenario of a CEO who has been with a company for over ten years. The CEO advises shortly before the end of the financial year that they will be leaving to join another company… How does a business respond to this scenario?


Part 3: Older workers and discrimination on termination of employment

End of the line

At the end of the employee lifecycle, older employees often face ageism where they are perceived to be coming to the “end of the line” and are “ready for retirement” or forced to retire in order to bring in “young blood.”


Part 2: Age discrimination and technology in the workplace

Just Google it

In the modern day workplace, employers are becoming increasingly reliant on computer systems and introducing new forms of technology and equipment to increase productivity and output. It is often therefore a requirement that employees be proficient in certain computer programs or, at least, that they undergo training to become proficient.


FWC says unacceptable comment in the workplace didn’t warrant dismissal

Crime and Punishment

Managing workplace behaviour is a balancing act for employers and HR. Some workplace policies provide examples of unacceptable behaviour and how to deal with it, but these policies cannot hope to address all types of behaviour or prescribe every appropriate redress. Employers need to exercise some judgment when they become aware of inappropriate behaviour and consider carefully whether an employee’s conduct will warrant disciplinary action and, if so, what type.


Bad and threatening language in the workplace

Wash your mouth out!

There has been a spate of decisions delivered by the Fair Work Commission recently dealing with terminations of employment arising from the way employees have spoken to their managers. We all know that bad language in the workplace is unacceptable, but employers seeking to dismiss employees as the result of outbursts of profanity must still take the time to properly execute the termination process or risk adverse findings from the Commission.


“Oh Behave! : What is a workplace Code of Conduct?”

Does something like promoting equality have its place in a Code of Conduct?

Google’s much-publicised decision to dismiss an employee in America who wrote an internal memo to all staff criticising the tech company’s diversity policies has highlighted the necessity of a workplace Code of Conduct.


The changing nature of appearance and dress code policies

No shoes, no shirt and I still get service

Most workplaces have an appearance and dress code policy which commonly requires employees to wear a particular uniform or have a certain standard of appearance. Increasingly, workplaces have dropped or relaxed dress code policies which previously required that professional business attire would be worn at all times in the office.


5 Social Media Behaviours for employers to watch out for

"I'm free to do what I want any old time"

Last week, Fairfax reported that a Norfolk Island public servant had her pay docked after she “committed a breach of discipline” by posting comments on Facebook referring to the island’s administrator as “an a***hole”. This story is a good reminder for both employers and employees about the pitfalls of social media and the blurred line between personal and professional lives.


Uber eX-employee sparks reform of company culture

The importance of up-to-date policies and regular training

Uber Technologies now appears to be undergoing a major remodel of its workplace environment, including the dismissal of 20 employees and the departure of CEO, Travis Kalanick, following a self-imposed investigation into the culture of the eight-year old company.


Gift giving in the workplace

Let’s talk a-boat gift giving in the workplace

Workplace gift giving can be a blessing and a curse for employers. On the one hand it brings out the generous, team-oriented qualities in employees but equally, it can cause animosity between employees not to mention embarrassment and even anger.


The importance of WHS training during employee induction

While induction programs are a way for employers to introduce new employees to their organisation, a WHS induction program is an equally essential step in the new starter process

The implementation and delivery of a work health and safety (WHS) induction program is an important part of the development of a positive workplace health and safety culture for an organisation.


Workplace conversations & resilience – Don't be afraid

“We need to talk...”

Modern day employers are increasingly required to adapt to the sensitivities of their employees – particularly when needing to raise performance issues.


We Don’t Talk Anymore: The “Human” in HR – Part 3

Great HR starts with a simple question: “How’s everything going?”

Human resources management is experiencing a digital revolution as online platforms and data collection solutions flood the market. If the make-up of a workforce can be understood and managed through data alone, will future HR departments be the domain of data analysts?


I, Robot: The “Human” in HR – Part 2

To what extent should HR rely on data and tech when it comes to managing today’s workforce?

Today it seems like every HR magazine or e-newsletter contains an advertisement or article on “HR tech” that promises to provide all manner & quantity of data on a workforce. There is also a running conversation about how HR will become more automated in the future with computers supervising robots!


Human Nature: The “Human” in HR – Part 1

Is the shift to technology and use of big data in HR taking the “human” out of Human Resources?

In recent years we have observed the increased use of technology and big data in Human Resources. The question is whether this shift is taking the “human” out of Human Resources by devaluing genuine personal interactions and conversations when it comes to matters such as employee wellbeing and performance.