Archive for the 'Positive Training Solutions' Category

How To Achieve Big Hairy Audacious Goals


The Positive Training sponsored Franchise Acceleration Bootcamp

Positive Training had the privilege of sponsoring the Franchise Acceleration Bootcamp on the 17th of October held at the Beau Monde International.  The event was hosted by Tom Schaff and Scott deMoulin with Janine Allis – the founder of the ever delicious and popular Boost Juice – as keynote speaker. The secrets to psychology, leadership and affecting change were just some of the gems that these highly-qualified guests imparted on the audience.

The speakers

janine allisJanine Allis – Founder of Boost Juice

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” Janine Allis says. And this bubbly, passionate lady knows a thing or two about company culture having started and grown one of Australia’s most successful and colourful franchises. With 250 stores in 14 countries – and counting – Janine knows that it’s people that can make or break a business and, if you have a bad culture, your customers will feel it and it will eventually affect your bottom line and your future success.

As the event’s keynote speaker, 2004 Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year Janine Allis was inspiring (she started the business whilst on maternity leave from her day job and is now raising 4 children), truthful (one of her marketing “P’s” in the beginning was “Petrified”) and knowledgeable (Janine says success is 10% strategy, 90% execution).

Boost Juice can credit a lot of its success to its clever marketing. With a tight marketing budget, Boost Juice is King – or is that Queen? – at cutting through the noise with fun and spirited campaigns that often spin into free publicity. Some of Boost’s campaigns have included the Whats Ya Name Game, Undie Monday and a $300,000 Boost Juice bar giveaway.

But Janine said it wasn’t all smooth sailing, with some seriously tough challenges along the way. However, she says, you learn more in the bad times than the good times and Boost Juice is better for it.

Janine imparted a ton of knowledge at the event – here are some of the highlights:

  • Remember to step away from your business every now and then, and see it as the customer would see it.
  • Take responsibility for your business – don’t blame other people, the environment or the economy for its failings. There are certain things that affect your business that you have no control over but you DO have control over how you adapt to what’s going on around you.
  • If you’re standing still, you’re going backwards.
  • Keep your franchisees fully informed and be transparent – knowledge is power. Their success is your success and vice versa.
  • Do ANYTHING to make your customers happy.
  • Don’t accept mediocrity.
  • Have a clear vision for your business and then hire people who share a similar vision – don’t just make a vision up as you go along.
  • Don’t hire yourself – find people that compliment you and have skills that you don’t.
  • Incentivise your staff. Ask them what they want – you may be surprised to learn it isn’t always just about the money. Education is also a form of recognition.

If there’s one thing we can take away from Janine Allis it’s that it’s never too late to become the person you always wanted to be.

Tom Schaff – Business Growth Expert

Tom Schaff, author and business growth expert, helped host this event together with Scott DeMoulin. Tom – who is full of energy, passion and wit – says that as a leader you need to raise your expectations when it comes to what you expect of those around you. “You make someone stronger by raising your standards of them.”

As a leader, it takes a lot of courage to stand up and make critical decisions, break a few hearts and hurt some feelings. Schaff says be firm, fair and easy. Align the skills and attributes of the job with the people for greater success, and be clear on job descriptions.

Schaff makes an important point about up-skilling your staff. “Make sure you up-skill your staff before giving promotions – don’t just assume that because your sales person is great at sales that you can promote them to a management role without training.” Often people ask “what if I invest in my staff and then they leave?” Schaff says a better question to ask is “What if I don’t invest in my staff and then they STAY?”

Scott deMoulin – Transformational Leadership Coach

Scott deMoulin is the founder of Destiny Training Systems and one of the top sales and performance trainers in America. To say he brings energy to a room is an understatement and with clients like Paramount Pictures, KPMG Consulting and the Ritz Carlton, Scott brought with him a wealth of experience, knowledge and passion.

Are you playing not to lose, or playing to win? There’s a massive difference in psychology and the difference can be seen in the success, or otherwise, of your business.

Scott had everyone look at some of their negative beliefs that may be holding them back from implementing the key distinctions learnt over the day, and in true DeMoulin style the audience was breaking wooden boards with their bare hands before you could say “own your own problems”. “Responsibility is the key to freedom,” Scott says.

Understanding your staff

There are four components that make up everyone’s behavioural style. These are:

  • Decisive – how you tend to approach problems and makes decisions.
  • Interactive – how you tend to interact with others.
  • Stabilising – how you tend to pace things in your environment.
  • Cautious – your preference for established protocol/standards.

Understanding the different styles of behaviour can not only help you appreciate why you do what you do, but it can also help you understand your staff both when hiring and managing them. Tom took us through the different components as well as helped us interpret the results.

How to be a great manager

Our speakers all made some fantastic points on how to be a great leader or manager. Here are 5 nuggets worth remembering:

  1. Make sure everyone knows their job and has the right tools to do their job effectively.
  2. People don’t work for companies, they work for managers. People work for people.
  3. Measure EVERYTHING. What gets measured, gets done.
  4. Managers and leaders need to say more often, “I believe there’s more in you than you’re giving”. It raises people’s standards and belief in themselves.
  5. Courage is vital for leadership. People with courage are driven by something bigger than themselves.

Big Hairy Audacious Goals

Janine Allis said it, Tom Schaff said it and Scott DeMoulin said it – goal setting is vital. Both in business and personally, setting Big Hairy Audacious Goals is the driving force behind WHY you do what you do – and your ‘why’ will always beat your ‘how’ any day of the week.

My BHAG is to build Positive Training to $1 billion in sales, and as a key advocate, donate all proceeds to raise funds for awareness and research that will find a cure for Cerebral Palsy. What’s your Big Hairy Audacious Goal that gets you out of bed in the morning?

Great leadership, understanding people and a smart business action plan are all keys to helping you accomplish your Big Hairy Audacious Goals.

And finally…

The beauty of a franchise is that the action plan is included. But these messages are transferable across all types of businesses as people’s basic behaviours don’t change and the theories remain the same.

Learning how to manage people and guide them through complex change within a business is fundamental to being a strong leader.

So after empowering ourselves by breaking wooden boards with our bare hands, eating copious amounts of lollies from the lolly cart, devouring superb catering and learning incredible business lessons from three of the most respected authorities, the event was at an end.

And when all is said and done, Tom said it superbly when he said “People do business with people”.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Ghandi

Herald Sun reports Federal Incentives to be Slashed

Herald Sun reports Federal Incentives to be Slashed

“EXCLUSIVE by Steve Lewis and Phil Jacob From: The Daily Telegraph October 19, 2012 12:00AM

THEY have provided hundreds of thousands of jobs to young Australians, offering an employment rite of passage that starts with a burger flip.

But fast-food giants McDonald’s and Hungry Jacks will be forced to employ fewer fresh-faced workers in the future after being stripped of millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded incentives to hire casual staff.

The move comes as part of a major overhaul of Australia’s apprenticeship and training system, with the Gillard government slashing training incentives from $4000 to $1500 for part-time employees. Skills Minister Senator Chris Evans has braced himself for a backlash from McDonald’s – Australia’s biggest employer – and other companies which rely on the $4000 incentive to hire thousands of young people…”


If you would like to discuss how the funding change may affect your business, please contact us

Leo Revla
State Manager
M: 0404 020 244

Marc Paxton
State Manager
M: 0418 577 598

Empowering The Positive Training Team with A Gift of Love!

On the 31st of May 2012, the Positive Training team had the pleasure of attending the ‘Twinflame; Gift of Love” Cocktail Grand event! Needless to say, being a part of a celebration of life, leadership, business and success was incredibly special and insightful.

Above: The Positive Training team having a blast with the OMG Photobooth!

“Increasing conscious awarness within oneself in the areas of love, life, leadership and personal evolution through education & celebration; also strengthens the economy, our communities and Humanity” To Life, The Twinflame Partners

Everyone who attended took something away from the night. Whether it be the understanding of their leadership style and acknowledging their strengths, letting go of personal barriers inhibiting growth or realizing the power of the mind for health and wellbeing, there was something for everyone!

Amazing key speakers who discussed a variety of topics included;

  • Dr. Swan Nicole; Divine inspiration and enlightenment through activation of higher soul connection.
  • Jonathan Movitz; How to become a great leader, so other people are inspired to lead themselves.
  • Mark Bunn; Achieving success without compromising on wellbeing.
  • Sophie Trpcevski;  Maximising quality of life through your relationships.

Below are a summary of points we found especially useful and applicable!


Being an Exceptional Leader, Jonathan Movitz

A true leader has the ability to inspire and gain respect while setting and achieving goals. The Positive Training Team shared with Jonathan terms to describe a true leader which included Self awareness, Integrity, Courage, Vision, Innovation, Passion, Enthusiasm, Humbleness, Adaptability and Respect.

Jonathan encouraged us to discover our natural leadership style and qualities. By completing a personality assessment, we were able to analyse our strengths and weaknesses hence realize what qualities can be developed into tangible skills to help us become exceptional leaders. Jonathan’s insightful talk got us thinking about what areas we could focus on to enhance our leadership abilities.


Importance of the Sun and Vitamin D, Mark Bunn

Mark provided amazing insight into a holistic view of skin cancer and importance of sunlight exposure for our general well being. People are often lead to believe the sun is out to ‘get us’ and exposing oneself to the sun without sunscreen will automatically lead to cancer. This myth is completely false. Healthy and safe sun exposure is one of the best methods of protecting ourselves from disease and cancers. Our bodies need Vitamin D as it plays a major role in our vital bodily functions. Direct sunlight exposure aids in fighting infections, stimulating brain chemistry to elevate the mood, regulating the internal body clock, weight management as well as aiding in calcium absorption, bone health, cell replication and gene expression. Today, due to our indoor lifestyles, we are not getting enough Vitamin D. Most of us work in an office with little to no sunlight exposure.

Not getting enough Vitamin D can lead to a number of serious diseases, including heart disease, depression, osteoporosis, cancers, auto immune diseases and more. Research is also showing that chemical based sunscreens can be toxic to our bodies and may even promote skin cancer.

In short, Mark recommends safe exposure to the sun for optimal health. Make sure you first understand the right amount of exposure for your body before getting your tan on! Your performance professionally is reflected through your general well being. Learn more here.


Set and Achieve Goals to Avoid Being Overworked, Sophie Trpcevski

Sophie’s talk was aimed at busy women who spend their days rushing from task to task without a set plan in place. She identified that this can lead to:

  • Feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated
  • Not enough time spent with loved ones
  • Feeling ‘stuck’
  • No time to focus on things they’re passionate about

Women who learn how to make plans and stick to them, become empowered, more efficient and able to create the life they have always dreamed of but never thought possible.

Sophie recommends doing a ‘life audit’ to discover which areas of your life need attention in order to create greater balance and success. Once you have identified which areas of your life need changing first, you can then set strategic goals. Read more about The Goal Spot for Women and plan your life today!

Been to an amazing event?

Share with us what events you have been to that have given you or your team new insight.

Make the training engaging for “better” employees

Why do some companies fail to prosper in their prospective sectors and some accomplish all their respective objectives and goals? Even with ample training included in the curriculum of the office, it has been found that most employees go back to their old habits. Every year organisations spend millions to provide the correct training for their employee development, but only a quarter were found implementing them on the job. The question which remained was how to enable the training to “stick” with the employee? For the employees to retain what they had learned, they needed the information to be encoded in their brains.

For an effective training, the trainer needs to assay the whole program in ways to enable the trainee grasp all the important information. Training is only successful when the trainees would imbibe, retain and apply the same in their work areas. How do we really make them remember the training? Research have shown that applying the below stated techniques would definitely help develop your employees and the training.

Make it more engaging by using visuals

The human brain has been found to have the ability to recall pictures and images more easily than just audios. Brain Rules by Dr. John Medina states that we are really great at remembering pictures. Pictures paired with words encode themselves better. The communication then is much more lively and much easier to process in the already over stressed brain. Inclusion of graphs, pictures, images, videos etc all these lift boredom and arouse interest of both the employees and the trainer.

Repeat, repeat, repeat all the time

The brain can only recollect seven pieces information and only for thirty seconds. This concludes that humans can remember only seven digits of a complete mobile number! To extend the time span means repeating and re-exposing yourself to the entire information repeatedly. It’s important the trainer repeats the valuable information every 90 to 120 minutes after the initial phase has been completed. Repeated exposure at regular intervals enables the brain to acknowledge and therefore think about the training session. Repetition lessens memory loss.

Demonstrations and quiz, open interaction and evaluation programs etc all these coach for the improvement of the memory and help the trainee to include the lessons in the work place setting.

Slow and steady always wins the race

Too much information in a concentrated span of time can completely shut down the brain. Space out the information at regular intervals of 10 minutes. Adopt a new activity, let the trainees refresh their mind and start again. Slow and the steady should be the strategy. The brain should be allowed to digest the entire training. Emotional activities like watching of videos, telling stories, group discussions which are related to the employee would permit the staff to find a connection.

Multisensory environments provide better training ambience

The training environment should not be “dead”. A bored employee would never pay any attention to the training. Training which would include participation of all the sensory instruments provides for better learning experience. Lots of audio and videos like including music, interactive discussion panels, etc all that would help enliven the senses of the employees would be the apt training ambience.

Interactive training ensures better learning

The workplace training should always include interactive elements. An open communication channel does not only clear doubts but also enables the employee to develop a sense of companionship. It thereby increases the likelihood of recalling the information.

Training which abide these techniques would definitely help the employees retain and apply.  Observe these in your training and see a definite change in the employees.

Positive Training – Major sponsor of the Variety Charity “Christmas Party for Special Children”

As part of our commitment to giving back to the community and our social responsibility plan Positive Training has just agreed to be the major sponsor of the 2011 Variety Charity “Christmas Party for Special Children”

We want to make a difference in our community and help to make their special day happen in 2011.

Having a child of my own with a disability (My son Matthew aged 9 has severe Cerebral Palsy) I’m no stranger to these types of special events both as a volunteer and also an attendee to such events. It is as an attendee with Matthew that I have seen the difference these events make to kids with special needs and their families lives, if only just for a day.


For the past 17 years thousands of children with special needs, whether they were victims of abuse, had a life threatening illness, suffered a disability or were disadvantaged through circumstance, have had the opportunity to attend the Variety Christmas Party for Special Children.

Sometimes, we as business people and members of our communities need to give our time, money and expertise. Sometimes we need to give till it hurts. So this Christmas we will join the likes of last years’ major sponsors in McDonalds, Village, The Coffee Club, Retravision and KIA in lending a financial hand to ensure 5000 very special kids have a wonderful day filled with lots of activities and entertainment to enjoy, and no doubt there will be an appearance by that jolly gentleman in the red suit.

Variety, the Children’s Charity is a national not-for-profit organisation empowering children who are sick, disadvantaged or who have special needs. All donor funds raised are directed back into the local communities of Australia.

Variety, the Children’s Charity, empowers children who are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs to live, laugh and learn.

With the help of dedicated volunteers and generous individual and corporate supporters, Variety, the Children’s Charity is able to offer three core programs: freedom, care and future.

It’s through these programs that Variety, the Children’s Charity can deliver a unique range of goods and services to assist with the specific needs of individual children, across a diverse spectrum of physical, emotional and financial conditions.

As Variety, the Children’s Charity purchases and grants the equipment or services directly – you can be sure every dollar gets through to where it is needed most.

Variety helps thousands of children each year gain mobility and communication and thereby, their freedom, independence and the chance to join in with other kids in the community.

Anyone wanting to contribute financially to Variety can do so by clicking this link: DONATE

Scrapping of Incentives for Retail Traineeships

The Australian Government has recently made two significant changes to the financial incentives offered to employers.
1. The first involves the $1,250 commencement incentive for Certificate II, it now no longer exists. Gone with the wind!
2. The second relates to the Victorian Completion Bonus of $1,300. This is in the final stages of being paid and will only be paid for trainees who have enrolled into their course prior to the 30th June, 2011.

Less of this is available to employers.

Less of this is available to employers.

The Australian Government provides financial assistance for retail traineeships. If you’re arranging your retail traineeships through Positive Training, we’ll take care of the paperwork for you. If you’re not, the assistance is available through the Australian Apprenticeships Centre (AAC) which will provide all the necessary application and claim forms, and any assistance you may need in regards to funding or traineeships in general.

There are various financial incentives for companies that offer retail traineeships and if you’re making your own application you would need to contact the AAC to see which ones you may be eligible for.

With regard to apprenticeships and traineeships (including retail traineeships) – Australian Government incentives include:

- Commencement incentive for Certificate II – $1,250 (Redundant from 16th May 2011)
- Commencement incentives for Certificate III – $1,500
- Re-commencement incentive for employers who recommence a trainee at the Certificate III level – $750.
- Completion incentives for Certificate III  - $2500
- Victorian Completion Bonus – $1300 (Ending 30th June, 2011)

Special incentives include:

- Innovation incentive for commencement of certain areas of innovation – $1,100.
- Additional recommencement incentive for an employer for Australia school-based Apprenticeship at Certificate level II, III and IV – $750.
- Rural and Regional Skill Shortage special commencement incentive – for Certificate III  (relating to skill-shortage area) – $1,000.
- Additional completion incentives – for Mature Aged Worker – $750.
- Additional commencement incentive – for women in non-traditional apprenticeships – $1,000.
- Additional commencement incentive – for current “Exceptional Circumstances Drought Declared Area” certificate – $1,500.

Other benefits pertaining to Apprenticeships, traineeships or retail traineeships may include:

- Wage support.
- Mentor, tutorial and interpreter services.
- Workplace modification assistance.

In addition, State and Territory Governments may offer further training related incentives. For information contact your State Training Authority (STA).

Waiting periods

There is a three-month waiting period to apply for incentives with the Australian Government, as the retail traineeship contract must be formally approved before the employer can apply for incentives. When applying, the trainee must still be employed by the same employer, and have commenced training in line with the approved retail traineeship training program. The employer may submit a claim at the end of the three-month waiting period and within any other required time limit. The AAC will advise of time limits for applying.

When you choose Positive Training to undertake your retail traineeship training on your organisation’s behalf, we’ll take care of the paperwork for you, so if you’d like further information, speak to us about your training requirements today. Call James Grima directly on 1300 767 484, that’s 1300 POSITIVE.

Find the right person for the job: Secret Tips 11 to 20

Part 2 – How to find the right person for the job first time, train them to be a customer service machine and retain them for as long as you want…Secret tips 11 to 20 that can shift the odds in your favour…

How do you keep the good ones??

How do you keep the good ones??

There are methods and tools available which can assist in recruiting and selecting the most qualified employees available and reduce the risks of you hiring the wrong person.
Recruitment, assessment and selection are the three key steps for hiring employees. Of these, recruitment and selection are typically the most challenging for employers. The keys to finding the right candidates at the right time and hiring them are being strategic in thinking about the organization’s future.

Here are some steps you can take;

11. You’ve chosen “the one” so now it’s time to offer the position

After you have decided on the person you want to offer to position to, it is important to act quickly. Imagine deciding on the person who is perfect for the position only to have them have already taken another offer.
You want to make sure the relationship with this person starts off on a positive note rather than a bumpy or unsure one. Make sure you have all the information you need in front of you when you are making the phone call. This is the time where you will confirm the start date, time, uniform details, wage details and anything else that is important to them starting the role.
On the day the person starts make sure you have a letter that outlines all of the above. You can find many templates on the web to copy from and each state has its own government website with downloadable examples for you to use.

12. The Fine Art of Rejection – Informing Applicants of a No

It is not hard to inform applicants that that didn’t get the job in a way the keeps their self esteem intact. Have a pre-written letter informing them that they were unsuccessful (at whatever stage of the application process they got to). Even when you are delivering bad news in a letter, making sure you do this will still help raise the applicants’ view of the company even though they didn’t get the job. It is important to use the applicants name and details in the letter and have the letter signed by a real person.

13. Trial Periods – Making Sure that its “right” for both of you.

Small businesses can have a written ‘trial period’ in the employment agreement for new employees. This gives you an opportunity to make sure that the person is right for the job and also that the person likes the job. When setting up a trial period you must have an agreement with the employee before the employment starts and have it written in their employment agreement. You can have a trial period for any period up to 90 days.
Make sure that you check your state government’s website for your correct laws relating to trial periods.

14. Flexible Working Options

These include variable work arrangements such as reduced hours, variable start and finish time, parental leave options, work from home, paid time off for study or school holidays and more.

Issues to consider when reviewing a proposal or a request for flexible work options include:

• What is the need? Understand why the person needs the flexible arrangement so that the proposal can be examined with this need in mind. Knowing what the need is will help you and the team member come up with the best option for both parties.
• Come up with multiple options. Multiple options give you a way that way you can avoid an out of hand rejection. The pros and cons of all options can be considered to achieve the best outcome.
• Look at any aspects of the position which may be impacted by the change. Look at coming up with solutions to overcome these hurdles.
• Can new technology be introduced to facilitate the options?
• The employee should discuss the proposed flexible options with their direct manager to check feasibility before a final decision is made and trial period should be agreed to and implemented.

15. Employee Satisfaction Surveys – So, tell me what you “really” think…..

Employee Satisfaction Surveys are used so that owners and managers can identify areas within the business that the team feels satisfied and dissatisfied with. To ensure that staff treat the process seriously it is up to the managers and owners to communicate the results of the survey clearly back to employees. The team then needs to clearly see action being taken as a result of the survey. All actions taken need to be monitored and the end results again communicated to the team.

Any information collected should only be used for positive purposes.

Questions asked in the survey need to be carefully considered. Leading questions should not be used. It is often a good idea to consult with the team to get an idea of the topics that you are going to survey.

16. Maximising Performance
Finding good players is easy. Getting them to play as a team is another story. Casey Stengel
• Communicate expectation. Have a clear mission, goals, reporting structure and job descriptions. Make sure people know what they have to do, when they have to have it done by and what standard of work is required.
• Make sure people understand their role in the business and know how what they do impacts on others. Teams will usually work harder and better if they know how what they do impacts on others.
• Communicate. Nature hates a vacuum and if people aren’t receiving information they will make it up in gossip, rumor and imagination.
• No Kevin Rudd’s. Don’t micro-manage. Let people do their jobs under the direction they have been given.
• Value feedback. Allow the team to contribute to the whole process. Make sure they know they are being heard, listened to and that the feedback is acted upon.
• Empower decision making, action and ownership. You don’t want to be stuck having to be in the business 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Make sure the team functions without you even better than when you are there. That means the team must feel like they are a part of the business.
• Money is not always a motivator. Look for other ways and means of rewarding the team. Recognition of effort and performance and genuine appreciation of the team are invaluable.

17. Team Building
Team building is about learning how each person works, how each person thinks, gaining a greater appreciation of and a better understanding of each other. The end result being that the team functions and performs better in the workplace. So any activities you consider for the purposes of team building must keep that end in mind.
Team building is not a drinking session or an activity designed just for the purpose of having fun.
It is most effective if it is structured with opportunities to highlight how people think, make decisions and react. This gives people a greater insight and understanding of their fellow team members. This understanding should in turn result in better working relationships. Team building activities are also more effective when followed up by supportive activities in the workplace which allow team members to continue to develop the understanding that has resulted from the initial activity.

18. Reducing Staff Turnover

It is costly and time consuming when you lose staff and then have to rehire, so effort here is well worth the investment.

• So hire the right person in the first place.
• Make sure employees are being paid fairly and competitively.
• Appreciate and recognize employee efforts.
• Don’t over work or exploit. Make sure people get their meal breaks, rest breaks, weekends off and holidays.
• Provide opportunity for training, growth, development and promotion.
• Communicate and review performance regularly.
• Do exit interviews to define specific reasons for staff leaving and take action on these issues.

19. The Exit Interview

An exit interview is a process designed to gain feedback from employees before they leave the company for whatever reason.

The main reasons for conducting exit interviews are:
• You can get an better understanding of what all employees across the entire organisation feel about a variety of aspects in the business
• Allows you to retain key knowledge within the business.
• Helps improve the induction process for new staff,
• It can be fast and inexpensive to implement.
• Departing employees will feel better about your business because you have taken the time to get their final feedback

20. Above all, try to hire someone who is better than you!

We are only as good as our team or as strong as the weakest link in the chain. If you want your business to grow, try not to be intimidated by hiring someone who is great or has the potential to be better than you. Hire someone who has skills in an area of weakness for you. This is a great way to move your business onward and upward to the next level!

A free downloadable PDF of Part 1 and Part 2 can be found at Positive Training

Find the right person for the job: Secret Tips 1 to 10

How to find the right person for the job first time, train them to be a customer service machine and retain them for as long as you want…Secret tips 1 to 10 that can shift the odds in your favour…

Why is it so hard to find good staff??

Why is it so hard to find good staff??

One of a company’s biggest assets is, by far, its employees. As any employer can tell you, however, locating, selecting and retaining quality employees can be an almost insurmountable challenge. Depending on your demographics and industry, the difficulty level of such a task can increase exponentially.
Hire the wrong person and it could cost you. There are varying opinions on what the actual costs are for hiring the wrong person but as a rule of thumb an employee will cost you 3 to 5 times their wages. Hiring the wrong person for the job, not only costs you in wages and lost time it can also cost you in damage to customer relations, moral with the team and damage the culture of your business.
Fortunately, there are methods and tools available which can assist in recruiting and selecting the most qualified employees available and reduce the risks of you hiring the wrong person.
Recruitment, assessment and selection are the three key steps for hiring employees. Of these, recruitment and selection are typically the most challenging for employers. The keys to finding the right candidates at the right time and hiring them are being strategic in thinking about the organization’s future.

Here are some steps you can take;

1. Understand what you really Need and Want,

As the old saying goes “You get what you ask for”

Before you even consider advertising for your new team member it is important to know exactly what your business needs in a new employee. Take a look at what resources and people you currently have, what their strengths and weaknesses are and identify any gaps in your team.

There are many personality profiling tools available on the internet for free. Personality profiles are a great tool you can use that will reduce your own subjectivity. It is a normal human trait to want to hire people that we “get on with” rather than someone who is the best person for the job. Myer Briggs and DISC are two such tools that may help.

It is not wrong to “want” a certain type of person for the job, just knowing what you want before you start looking will give you a great head start.

Some areas to consider are;

• The Culture of your organisation, what sort of personality would be a good fit?
• What sort of values and morals do you want in your team members?
• Communication, what works and what doesn’t work in communication styles with other team members, suppliers and customers?
• The degree of flexibility team members need to have to “fit” with how you do things.

There are many other areas you could consider, you need to work out what is important to you and write out your own list.

2. Write a Job Description

If you don’t know what the position requires how will your new team member know?

After looking at what you really want in a person and what the business needs you will probably have a good idea of what the role entails. Write out your answers to the following questions, this will give you a good basis of your selection criteria. Take your time to write out your answers in detail. Every answer will give you more clarity and go a long way to weeding out inappropriate applications saving you time and ultimately money.

What are the tasks, responsibilities and key accountabilities involved in the role?
What competencies and knowledge are necessary for the role?
What are some of the challenges of the role?
Are there any opportunities available for the person taking on this role?

3. Writing a Job Ad that stands out to potential employees for all the right reasons

Writing a job ad that attracts the right people is no different to writing ads that attract customers who want to buy!
AIDA is an acronym used in marketing that describes a common list of events needed to occur when a person is selling a product or service:
• A – Attention (Awareness): attract the attention of the customer, in this case a new employee.
• I – Interest: raise interest by focusing on and demonstrating advantages and benefits (what’s in it for them)
• D – Desire: convince them that they want and desire the product or service (Job) and that it will satisfy their needs.
• A – Action: lead customers (applicants) towards taking action and/or purchasing (applying for the job).
You have already determined the perfect candidate for the position. You have already worked out the personality type, skills, education and experience you are looking for in a person and have it all clearly defined. When you are writing your ad make sure you are writing to this clearly defined person in a language that matches.

Use a Headline to catch the attention of your audience. Use sub headings to assist your structure and to highlight key areas. If you are stuck for a great headline, search Google for some inspiration.

Include the benefits you provide, make it clear why the best candidates should apply. What’s in it for them?

Filter out unsuitable candidates by including the non-negotiables. For example if candidates must have a specific education level or be able to work every Saturday night, include it in the ad and save yourself time speaking with people who are never going to be available for that Saturday night shift.

Include a powerful call to action to encourage the best candidates to apply and apply now. In your call to action give some instructions on what you would like them to do. You could have them email their cover letter and resume to you and anyone who doesn’t attach a cover letter is automatically disqualified. This is a good way to see if your candidates are able to follow instructions.

4. Where to Advertise. Putting your Ad where potential employees are…

Depending on the nature of the position you are trying to fill, your options are virtually limitless. This is especially true if you are in the market for employees who do not need special skills or training. Often, employers in the service, hospitality or customer service industries can find perfectly adequate employees simply by posting ads on the bulletin boards frequently seen by the general population or even specialized demographics like students or retirees.

Some of your main options are:

Using a recruitment agency can get your positioned filled with a quality candidate fast and won’t take much effort on your behalf but it will cost you money.

Put an Ad in the local paper. This will targets local candidates and will be cheaper than using an agency, but can still be expensive and will take time as often ads only appear once per week.

Metropolitan or national papers provide a much wider distribution so very good in attracting for a hard to fill position. If you are a small business owner this can be a very expensive option that could be targeting someone who lives too far from your catchment area.

Online, such as can be quick as the ads are up immediately and are visible 24/7. Can be cost effective but you are left to do all the admin and follow up.

Social networking, such as Facebook is free but can take time to be effective and you must have good networks in place.

Traditional networking is free, more personal and can be done while multi-tasking (ie looking for clients and suppliers). It can however be slow to produce results.

Company website is free but you need to have a good site in place and high volume of traffic and even then it may be slow to produce results.

Job networks can be cost effective and may even put money back in your pocket due to government incentives.

5. Let the Games begin…. Short listing your applicants

There is no right number of candidates to put into a shortlist. The final number will be determined by the nature of the position and the number and quality of the applicants.

When short-listing make sure all the information concerning each candidate is considered.
Other than the candidate meeting the key selection criteria there are a number of other factors which should be considered.

The first is spelling, grammar, presentation and general attention to detail. This will give you a quick indication of the calibre of the applicant. If there is not a cover letter with the application then it shows no effort and is likely from an unqualified resume spammer hoping to get lucky.

Always request a cover letter and reject applications without one.

Look for an effort from the applicant to have customised their resume and application to meet the advertised position. No effort shows no desire to obtain the position, laziness and therefore is probably not the type of person you want in your team. Also look for any employment gaps in their resume, decreasing levels of responsibility, multiple employers in a short time period and a lack of recent referees. This could indicate a person who doesn’t stay in a role long enough for you to get a return on your investment in recruiting and training them.

Telephone interviews can be used on the short list to set up appointments for an interview. Questions can be asked during the telephone interview to confirm, experience, education, referees, desired income. If the candidate’s answers don’t meet your requirements they don’t pass through to the next stage.

6. The Pre-Interview (Saving you a stack of time)

A pre-interview questionnaire can be used to gather more information about the candidate and supplement the three main forms of information gathering (resume, referees and the interview).

It is an opportunity to find out more about the candidate, ask them specific questions and have all the information documented.

It saves you time because the candidate completes the activity without you. It can help you reduce the number of interviews to be done by eliminating further unsuitable matches. It allows you to get customised, thought-out and planned responses to specific questions relating exactly to the position being offered.

The downside is that it takes time firstly to develop the questionnaire and secondly to read the responses. People can also embellish their answers so the responses need to be checked in the interview.

7. Interview Styles & Techniques

Have a panel of interviewers. One person cannot pick up the candidates answers, read body language and provide objectivity. Have a set structure and ask the same questions to all candidates. Assess the answers given against a set of predetermined criteria. Have a predetermined standard to judge each answer given (for example rate a response from 1 to 10 or rate it as below average, average, good or excellent).

Ask behavioural questions to find out how they would respond in a common situation in the proposed role.

Ask for examples of how they have responded to situations in the past. For example; “Give me an example of a time when you have had to deal with a difficult customer”.

Test essential skills in the interview. For example if you are hiring a cook get them to demonstrate their skills in the kitchen.

8. 5 MUST ask questions when you are interviewing

1. Ask a rapport builder to ease the candidate’s nerves for example “Wasn’t the weather great on the weekend or what did you get up to last weekend?”
2. Find out about their past performance “Tell me about a time when you have overcome hurdles in your work life or school life if they are younger interviewees”.
3. Get a sense of why they want to join your organisation and if their values match those of the organisation “Why did you apply for this position?” or “what did you notice in our advertisement that made you want to apply for a job with us?”
4. See how they handle the unexpected and find out how they think “How many aeroplanes are flying over Australia right now and explain how you came up with your answer?”
5. Ask a behavioural question that tests judgment and decision making “How would you deal with a team member whose work is OK but you think has the potential to do a lot better?” or “what would you do if you knew that a team member who you had a great relationship with was stealing from the business?”

9. Points on how to check on references and speak with referees effectively

• Always introduce yourself.
• Make sure you talk to the correct person. Did they supervise the candidate and if so for how long and when?
• Ask if it is convenient for the person to speak candidly with you.
• Emphasise confidentiality.
• Check information provided in the resume, letter of application and during the interview, with the referee.
• Ask them to describe the role the applicant performed in their organisation.
• Ask them why the person left.
• Ask specific questions about their management style, experience, judgement and skills.
• Follow up on any concerns you might have had from the interview.
• Ask them if they would re-employ the person if they were given the opportunity

10. Do a second interview

A second interview can be used to make sure both parties know for sure whether the fit is correct or not. The applicant can be a little more relaxed having met you previously and gives them the opportunity to show you more of themselves without the nerves taking over.

This interview may be conducted by 2-4 people and will usually include one of the interviewers from the first round. Although do remember that the more people there are interviewing the more intimidating it can be for the applicants. The interview should remain friendly, professional and informal.

Issues such as wages, future opportunities, training requirements, restraints, travel, work hours, bonus schemes and potential start dates should be discussed at this point. If there are any particular issues that need to be raised by the applicant, such as an impending wedding soon after a likely start date, this is the time they should be raised.

A free downloadable PDF of Part 1 and Part 2 can be found at Positive Training

Photo by John McKay.

What would make you run the St George Melbourne Marathon?

Please forward this email to anyone in your network who is keen to help a great cause.

Positive Training Solutions is serious about helping the community and in particular The Cerebral Palsy Education Centre an official charity of the 2010 St.George Melbourne Marathon

Walking and/or running in this event will help to raise money to assist children with Cerebral Palsy to walk for the first time.

Join the CPEC Team and help with our $500,000 Fundraising Target. Get a refund on your Registration fee. Receive discounts ($75) on ASICS footwear & Active Feet ($25) and The Coffee Club Rewards Card plus fantastic prizes …

$500,000 will ensure that many more babies with cerebral palsy (brain injury) could come off the three year waiting list to attend the unique CPEC learning programs and become more physically independent (e.g. to stand, to step and to walk) and possibly participate in the ASICS 4km Walk. To communicate, even though they may be unable to speak, “I completed my mini marathon in the ASICS 4km event.”

CPEC has 94 young children who attend day and after school programs. CPEC also provides Education & Training Courses across Australia for teachers and therapists who work with children who have cerebral palsy.

I have a personal connection to The Cerebral Palsy Education Centre (CPEC) located at Beacon Street, Glen Waverley, Victoria, Australia, 3150. My son Matthew Grima attended CPEC for several years and we as a family are forever in debt to CPEC for the opportunity to be able to communicate with Matthew through the extensive efforts and knowledge of the staff. Without CPEC, we would not know how to communicate with Matt and therefore would not be able to experience the truly wonderful personality he has. Thank you CPEC.

As a company, Positive Training Solutions is serious about providing ongoing support and has pledge financial and non-financial support which leads ultimately to more family’s being able to participate in the programs. We urge you to consider to personally or corporately supporting CPEC too.

The Cerebral Palsy Education Centre is acknowledged as a unique and successful specialist education service for children with cerebral palsy and their families which began over 20 years ago and continues to develop and evolve.

In 1998, the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre (CPEC) was established as a separate entity in response to financial constraints in the Spastic Society of Victoria which, at the time, effectively closed the service. This was a challenging time for the families and their perceptions of the service were reflected in a paper presented at the Australian Cerebral Palsy Conference (Cotter 1998). A group of families, staff and community supporters of the programs at the Knox Centre re-established the services under the auspice of an eastern suburbs disability organization.

In July 2001, CPEC commenced operating as an independent service provider with a service agreement with the Department of Human Services which was transferred to the Department of Education and Early Childhood Education (DEECD) in 2007. The funding which CPEC receives leaves a substantial shortfall which must be fundraised.

CPEC senior staff have co-authored two publications (Withall and Cotter, 1996; and Porter and Kirkland 1995) as well as contributed to the development and content of a multi-media training package developed by the Queensland Department of Education: Students with Physical Impairments. (Education Queensland, 2001)

In 2007, CPEC signed a service agreement with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to provide a professional development series to those personnel in mainstream schools responsible for the education of students with cerebral palsy and, in particular, with complex communication needs.

From a service for 22 families in 1998, in 2009 CPEC will provides services for 53 families in early childhood intervention and 38 students in the extended education sessions ( after school for students with cerebral palsy who attend their local schools.) The demand for CPEC services is increasing with a substantial waiting list with limited vacancies until 2011.

The staff at the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre (CPEC) are recognized as global leaders in their specialist field of education and teaching for children with cerebral palsy or like disabilities. The Centre is internationally respected for its practical development and application of education and learning programs which are now sought by therapists and teachers from around the world.

Profiles of Senior Therapy Personnel

The staff at the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre are acknowledged as leading the world in the delivery of the education and learning programs for children with cerebral palsy and like disabilities. The delivery of the programs is provided in a “trandisciplinary team” structure which includes physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists; with consultative input from a Hungarian trained conductor (teacher/therapist) and a psychologist. A program aide assists within the learning groups with setting up and preparation of equipment and materials as required within the curriculum by the therapy team.

One of the other core aspects of the programs is that the child’s mother (and occasionally the father) directly participate in the programs full time so that they learn the principles of the education & learning programs which they become familiar and confident to apply in the child’s everyday life away beyond the Centre; hence the theme “Learning For Life”. So dedicated are the parents of older CPEC children who have seen the amazing successes for their own grown child, that many of these parents return as volunteers to assist and support the new mothers and babies starting out on their journey of providing the best life opportunities for their child.

For more information visit

Your Customers are Gold

Your Customers Are Made of Money

Your Customers Are Made of Money

I HAVE to break this to you, businesses cannot survive without customers. A business without customers is like a well without out water. Good customer service is the ground water that fills up your well. You’re high and dry without a reputation for taking care of your customers. Plus, the longer you keep customers, the wetter your well, because long term customers are more profitable. A 5% increase in customer retention can boost profit by 25% to 125%

Not digging the well analogy? Here is another way to think about it; your customers are money, gold to be exact, because they appreciate in value as time goes on. You may not think of customers as goods that can be bought or traded, but they’re assets to your company, just like stock investments or an office computer. They are them most vital part of your business’s economic machinery.

You pay hard-earned business capital to market to your customers, you essentially buy their patronage, one person at a time. Once bought, a customer will continue to generate your income, without much further advertising effort. On the flip side, customers who leave take with them every cent that you invested in marketing to them.

Customer retention is FREE MONEY! If you go the extra mile to keep customers, your marketing budget will go down, and your profits will go through the roof. You’ll have to ‘buy’ less new customers, and loyal customers generate some powerful word-of-mouth patronage.

Losing customers has the opposite effect, and can be truly devastating. And, you have no excuse for customers walking away from your business because of poor service, it’s the most controllable factor of your business. Technology can fail, accounts can pay late, but there is no reason to be rude or inattentive to a customer.

One way to gear up for fantastic customer service it to train employees to see each customer for how much they’re really worth. They may treat customers a bit differently if they imagined them as giant stacks of money or piles of gold. Each retained customer is (literally) money in the bank.