Building From the Ground Up: The ABC of People and Culture

Whether you are a mining junior or a tech start up; you are a small business with a constantly changing environment. In other words you are a small team with unlimited priorities, but limited funds.

How do you set up simple, flexible and compliant management infrastructure to meet your needs?

Here is the ‘ABC’ of what you need to be doing in your organisation:

Attain compliance

As an employer, you have a number of legal requirements and obligations to adhere to including awards, national and state legislation. Ultimately as a business you will want employment contracts and a comprehensive Employment Manual with detailed policy and procedures.

Staff employment contracts need to set out key terms of employment clearly, concisely and relevant to the position. They must cover the minimum entitlements for the relevant award which could include heat, dust and/or remote allowances. You may choose to pay above award rates or an all-encompassing rate but how do you know you are protected from paying penalties on that higher rate, and how can you ensure you have enough of a buffer without analysing the actual allowances and penalty entitlements?

In addition some policies are required for compliance, for example legislation relating to Anti Bulling or OHS. However, polices that pay lip service but are not demonstrated in the culture of an organisation may be more detrimental should a situation be tested legally. Setting up clear policies and procedures in the beginning will establish a professional culture and clear objectives for how things are done.

Build KPIs for each person

Designating responsibilities and key performance indicators (KPI’s) for each position establishes clarity and understanding for the manager and staff member, of what, how and when each task is required. A well written position description can formalise this process and should link the KPI’s for each person to overall organisational goals.

These KPI’s then form the performance management tool and enable managers to hold staff accountable, particularly staff working remotely.

Conduct efficient recruitment

As the business grows, recruiting will be high on your agenda. A bad hire can be costly not only financially but will hurt the company’s reputation and morale.

Utilising your networks will be the most affordable avenue to source potential candidates, but as you become busier good candidates will disappear quickly, even in this current market. You need to maintain contact with your key candidates and have a clear equitable selection process. This can be difficult to achieve if you are stretched and travelling.

Utilising defined selection criteria and interview question templates from the agreed position description, as well as conducting thorough reference checks and potentially psychometric tests, can eliminate the risk of a bad hire.

In summary…

Establishing the culture and approach from the outset, will clarify expectations and obligations for each and every employee.  Limiting your exposure to risk and avoiding disputes through well-drafted employment contracts, clear position descriptions and relevant policies and procedures are the initial ‘ABC’ elements to set your organisation up.  These simple elements can be completed inexpensively and in the background whilst you prepare for your next stage of development.

Contact WCA if you require assistance with Human Resources and Industrial Relations on (08) 9383 3293 or email