Leading change with integrity

By Andrea Collett

Being a leader can be lonely, particularly in times of rapid change. Our greatest fears are centred on issues of losing trust, respect and integrity with our followers, our board members, our clients and ourselves. It is a complicated dance with no set moves, arena, audience or reliable outcomes. The few constants include knowing that all eyes are on us and knowing that our carefully laid plans will not likely be useful or even relevant once the dance begins. So how do we develop and manage this leadership quality called integrity in the midst of chaos? Continue reading…


Under the spotlight: Referee questions

By Andrea Collett, Former Senior HR Consultant

You’ve advertised, shortlisted, planned and worked through the interview stage, and you have finally identified your preferred candidate(s). You now turn your attention to completing the referee checks and eagerly pick up the phone to ask your questions. This is where we need to take a breath, put the phone back down and go back into planning mode. When planning your referee questions, it’s essential to consider the following: Continue reading…


Why NFP employees quit their jobs

By Andrea Collett, Former Senior HR Consultant

Interesting research was recently published (26 July 2016) in the USA highlighting the reasons why not for profit employees quit their jobs. The research, undertaken by Unemployment Services Trust (UST), indicates that whilst we may be a hemisphere apart, the commonality in the conclusions was very close to our shores. Whilst our two nations may be culturally different, when it comes to the world of working in the not for profit sector and the reasons why we quit, one could say that we are like two peas in a pod…

The following is an excerpt of the White Paper conclusions on why employees quit, and most importantly, what can be done to counteract these: Continue reading…


On-boarding new recruits: beyond induction activities

By Andrea Collett

How robust are your on-boarding practices? Do you have a systematic and logical series of events that help to socialise your new recruit? Is this balanced with clearly defined role and performance expectations? Does the process extend to the first 18–24 months? How do you integrate your performance review processes?

No matter how aligned your selection practices are, your decisions will be tested in the first 12 months. The tables are now turned and your new star employee is actually trying the organisation on for size and interviewing you ‘on-the-job’.  This is the most vulnerable period of the employee life cycle. Like it or not, the recruit is actually in control of the rudder at this point and their decisions are a direct reflection of your on-boarding and business practices. Their choices usually tack around the following: Continue reading…


Standing out from the crowd: recruiting for cultural fit

By Andrea Collett, former Senior HR Consultant

I am often asked for advice from job seekers about which questions to ask their prospective employers. The one question I always recommend is asking the interview panel how it would describe the culture of the organisation. The panel’s responses usually provide the candidates with an insight into how well they are able to explicitly describe these prevailing behaviours.

Attracting top talent in our sector can be challenging. There is also general consensus that recruiting for cultural fit is a must-have. So it can be tricky to hit both these targets using conventional recruitment practices. Being prepared to answer the ‘culture’ question is often overlooked – and the outcome can be less than inspiring from the candidate’s point of view. To avoid this pitfall, here are some questions to help bring together the common themes and behaviours that make up organisational culture. How would you (honestly) answer the following? Continue reading…


Workforce plans – who owns yours?

By Andrea Collett, former Senior HR Consultant

As each organisation is different, so too are the people that your organisation attracts. If you want to develop your current workforce and attract the right people for the right jobs, you need to know who you are looking for and what skills are required, not only for today, but for tomorrow as well. Continue reading…


How to get your team singing from the same songbook

I was having an interesting conversation this morning with a colleague about why some teams just seem to work, while other teams simply become a collection of individuals that occupy the same physical space. It’s the age old question with no simple answer. However, this morning we came to an interesting conclusion. The issue may not lay with the team members or the team itself – the issue may be with the way the team is led. So okay – let’s all sit back and blame our managers and leaders – after all they are an easy target right? Continue reading…


Leading from the front – how good leaders challenge their organisations

“Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.” – John Maxwell

So…you have walked into an organisation. It looks like it is working okay, but something is not quite right. The systems are great, staff are dedicated, clients engaged, outcomes are being achieved BUT vibrancy is lacking, direction is wavering, a discontent is apparent, there is no sparkle! What is the cause? Continue reading…


Numbers aren’t just for accountants: do your HR stats stack up?

HR metrics provide a picture of the strengths and weaknesses that exist within your organisation. Having this information allows you to gain a deeper insight into the mechanics of business growth, which in turn helps you to make appropriate strategic and operational decisions.

The only issue is deciding what to measure, how to measure, and how much to measure. Collecting data for the sake of it is one of the most common pitfalls. Just because we can collect data on something, doesn’t mean that we should!

The first question we need to ask is Continue reading…


Managing change – the sustainable long-term approach

“If the rate of change outside the organisation exceeds the rate of change inside the organisation, then the end is near.” – Jack Welch

Whilst we intrinsically know this to be true, we often fail to take the first steps in leading our teams into the unknown. We understand the logical need to leave the familiar behind, however, we are unsure how to approach the psychological and practical needs of the employees we lead. What do we focus on first, what is urgent, what is important, etc.? Continue reading…