Prevention is better than cure: 3 areas to get proactive & save a headache down the track

We’ve all heard the classic saying that ‘prevention is better than cure’. And although we know it to be true, we so often let the easier road, a love of instant gratification, or classic avoidance get in the way of being proactive in our businesses, and lives in general.

We know we should eat our 5 serves of veg and exercise for 30 minutes a day to prevent a myriad of health issues down the track, but what about your people and culture health? To keep the HR doctors away, we’ve put together the keys areas to get proactive in your people management:

Managing Performance

Prevention Strategy: Set expectations and manage to them

It is easier to manage staff than it is to get them back on track. Setting expectations early, providing appropriate training, coaching and support to reach those expectations and then checking in regularly to make sure things are on track is crucial in ensuring your people are achieving at the level you need. While some upfront investment, and regular one-on-ones, might seem like a struggle to fit into your schedule at the beginning, spending this time will mean you don’t have the heartache and frustration of having to drag someone back on track who has been unclear on what’s expected of them from day 1!

If you skipped the first strategy, you still might have a chance to save things.

Back up Prevention Strategy: Follow the process to give you a solid case

It’s easier to follow a process from the start, than salvage the situation in a courtroom. So you didn’t quite get onto clearly communicating the performance levels you needed from the start, and now things have got to the point it can no longer be ignored (even though you’ve tried to keep your blinkers on as long as possible!). While it might be tempting to just rip off the Bandaid and fire their a$$ on the spot, taking the time to investigate the correct disciplinary and termination processes before you jump in could be the difference between a hefty Fair Work claim, and a carefully managed exit. We’re not just saying this because it’s what we do but reach out to a pro to find out what would be the next best steps for your situation. An external party will be less wrapped up in the emotion and can take you through the ‘where to from here’ with clarity and calm.

Workplace Culture

Prevention Strategy: Be clear on the culture and continuously realign

It’s easier to maintain a positive culture than it is to rebuild it. Decide on the key cultural elements that are important to you, whether that is intrinsic or more specifically through a vision, purpose and values for your team. Live that culture as a leader in the business, talk about why these cultural elements are important to you and the success of the company, and repeat! While your vision, purpose and values might be very much front of mind and easy to decipher for you, they don’t always have as much meaning for our teams. Continue to reinforce the culture through rewarding and recognising when individuals within the team live the values, regularly revisiting the stories that contributed to the vision and the purpose for the business, creating activities to engage with the values and challenge the team to look for new ways to bring them to life for your customers. Your culture is never ‘done’, but small, consistent efforts to keep the ideal culture front of mind will certainly pay off.

Employee Entitlements and Employer Obligations

Prevention Strategy: Understand and action your relevant Award and employee entitlements

It’s easier to pay the allowances, the loadings and the superannuation contributions as they are required, than it is to catch up. It might seem straightforward, or even crazy not to, but it can be easier said than done to keep on top of all the moving parts of employment legislation, ATO regulated contributions and Award entitlements. Being clear from the get-go on what it means to employ staff in your industry, means you can be ahead of the game and forecast for the associated expense from day 1.