29 October 2021
29 October 2021
Roundtable – What’s Happening in the Workplace
On October 14th 2021, the Bespoke Careers Sydney and Melbourne offices teamed up to host ‘What’s Happening in the Workplace?’, a webinar in collaboration with Stephanie Moffitt, HR Specialist at Catalina Consultants. Stephanie shared her insights into what’s happening in practices in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the current situation in Australia.
The closed session brought together thought-leaders from various practices across the country as they considered questions such as – how are they approaching the new hybrid working models? Are flexible working approaches here to stay for the long term? How are practices responding to their employees’ views on vaccinations? And finally, looking ahead to 2022, what does the future of the workplace look like?
Key topics covered:
- The decision to become vaccinated has to be the employees choice – and this is reflective in most industries at this time. Employers should be careful to not provide medical advice to their employees.
- Is there a space for practices to offer incentives to employees who do get vaccinations? This would have to apply only to those who have had both shots, regardless of the brand.
- For the vaccine hesitant employees, the conversations need to be kept open. Fellow employees need to be understanding of their choice and employers just need to be consistent and have access to support and vaccinations should they ever want it.
- Policies relating to vaccinations need to be created with the future in mind. Employers need to ensure that the policy includes allowances for changes in the future and adhere to any public health orders that come into effect.
- The priority over everything needs to be the safety of employees and employers need to follow all public health advice and government orders.
- The employer has the responsibility as a business to maintain a safe workplace and duty of care to employees and this should also be reflected in company policies.
- But how can they effectively improve safety in the workplace? Employers can reduce face to face interactions, create work from home rosters (eg: alternating weeks), limit the amount of in-person meetings and ask that masks are worn in the office.
- Workplaces need to make sure that staff feel safe both mentally and physically – offering support and guidance where necessary.
HR & Management:
- If employees are not complying with Covid Safe plans, are they in breach of anything? Yes - they are breaching a health and safety policy put in place by their employer and this should be treated as you would treat a breach of policy under normal circumstances.
- Employees and candidates are increasingly expecting practices to have a flexible working arrangements policy, including remote work – this can include a flexible start and finish time, no need for a fixed lunch break and a work from home rota.
- It’s become clear that annual leave is going to be a big issue for 2022 for various reasons. This can be due to the large amount accrued due to lockdowns or the want to take longer breaks to visit overseas family. Practices need to plan ahead for this.
As 2021 draws to a close, we are still experiencing significant candidate shortages across the market with the demand for talent at an all-time high. Prospective candidates are also looking to review the market more broadly before committing to their next career move.
We’re seeing an increased demand from candidates to interview with several practices to explore future opportunities prior to committing to their practice of choice.
We’re encouraging all of our clients to put their effort into pitching when presenting themselves at interview stage to a potential employee. Be it how you describe your company culture, the scope for workplace flexibility, project opportunities or career progression for an employee. What make you stand out as an employer of choice?
Companies are now offering greater benefits to support both staff retention and attraction.
Finally, a company profile document can be a good way of sharing further insights into a business, what your brand represents and what makes the team tick in support of their interview. You can share this with a candidate following on from their interview which gives them an opportunity to reflect on your business with meaning and further clarity.
Author: Molly McCloy, Marketing Coordinator, Bespoke Careers