Magazine article New Zealand Management

TEN TOP TIPS : How to Match Australia

Magazine article New Zealand Management

TEN TOP TIPS : How to Match Australia

Article excerpt

Byline: Grant Amos

Much has been made of AustraliaCOs superior economic performance and the ways New Zealand can catch up. In workplaces around New Zealand, managers can also do their bit. So, based on years of advising managers on both sides of the Tasman about achieving the perfect team performance, here are my 10 tips for improving your organisationCOs productivity Co and helping your country.

1. Focus on investment, not cost

Like many Kiwis, I grew up thinking I could buy something only if ICOd saved up for it. This attitude encourages thrift, but it also leads to a focus on cost rather than return on investment. Many Kiwi managers focus on what salary job candidates want, rather than on the value they bring to the business. But itCOs the return on salary investment that matters, a philosophy that Australian managers are more likely to embrace.

2. DonCOt hire a bunch of clones

Too often, managers hire people just like them. But people just like you have your weaknesses, and you want staff who can cover those weaknesses. When hiring, identify the strengths you are missing and then set out specifically to hire people who can fill them. Organisations should always reflect on what is working and what can be improved on. For example, if the team is extroverted, you may look at getting some more quieter staff just to tone down the atmosphere. Conversely, if your team is subdued, one live wire might pick up the tone, and spark othersCO ideas.

3. Realise the number-eight wire mentality only goes so far

Another common mistake is to hire anyone with the basic skills, assuming theyCOll learn on the job, just because thatCOs what Kiwis do. Instead, typically larger Australian businesses are much more likely to have formal training and development plans, setting out what this person can do now, how weCOre going to train them and what theyCOll be able to achieve in three or six months. The number-eight-wire mentality is great for dealing with crises that must be solved now, but not for building high-performance teams.

4. Choose the right people for your environment

Sixty percent of what makes people successful is the environment around them. So while the tasks might be the same, people will behave differently in different environments. For example, you may have a group bonus scheme while your competitor, from whom you just poached a C[pounds sterling]star performerC[yen], based bonuses on individual behaviour. Understand what shapes your business and hire people who will thrive in your environment.

5. DonCOt expect everyone to learn the same way

Some people donCOt learn through written or verbal instruction Co they have to learn by doing it on the job. …

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