Do’s and Don’t Around Snake Safety

As the weather warms up, so do the snakes.  They will be seeking cool, dark and protected areas for shelter.  The abundance of rubble, building materials, pipes and metal sheeting on building sites make it an attractive resting place for snakes.  Especially if the site has been quite for a few days or weeks.  Also keep in mind that unattended vehicles, especially with open doors, are an appealing lair for a snake.

If your site is near a swampy area or long grass, be on the look out for red bellied black snakes as they eat the frogs that frequent such places. You are also likely to find brown snakes in these areas too – as they dine on red bellied black snakes.

Generally, snakes are not aggressive and will move away if given the chance, however the following do’s and don’ts can help you mitigate the risk of a snake bite on your worksite.

DO:

  • Be mindful that snakes may be in the area – move items with caution.
  • If you see a snake, stay completely still and allow the snake to move away.
  • Observe where the snake goes and alert the site manager and others.
  • Use snake gaiters and thick gloves when working in areas where snakes may be.
  • Have a snake bite kit on hand and make sure people know how to use it.
  • If a snake is spotted, call a reliable snake catcher to come and remove the snake safely.
  • Treat all snake bites as an emergency. Keep the bite victim calm and immobile and call 000 immediately for an ambulance.

DON’T

  • Do not approach or provoke a snake.
  • Do not try to catch or kill a snake – this is how most snake bites occur.
  • Do not try to remove a dead snake. 1) It may not be dead.  2) The biting reflexes in dead and decapitated snakes remain active for some hours after death – so they can still bite you.
  • If someone is bitten, do not wash the bite area as doctors may use the residual venom to identify the snake.
  • Do not try to suck out the venom or apply a tourniquet to the site – these methods have proven more harmful than beneficial.

The best protection against snake bites is heightened awareness. Being alert and practicing these tips will help keep you safe.

The Asquith Workforce Safety Team can conduct site visits to help you lift your workplace safety game.  Contact us today on 1300 737 751 for information.

Creating employee loyalty and longevity.

Most employers recognise the bottom-line and workplace culture benefits of retaining top talent.  Pay is often thought to be the key driver to retention, however a more complex mix of of factors is what motivates employees to stay and perform at their peak.

As expert recruiters, the Asquith team talks with thousands of employees and job seekers each year and this is what they tell us are critical factors to creating a workplace that attracts and retains top talent.

Values are aligned


The desire to work in an organisation that has the same vision is becoming more important than ever before.  From an employer’s perspective, it’s important that current and prospective employees know your vision, mission and values.  Discuss these at staff meetings, post it on your website and add it to your job ads. Not only will this attract like-minded candidates it can reinforce loyalty in current staff.

Relationship with manager


A manager who is supportive, listens, offers guidance and leads by example can drive exceptional performance in their people – and the contrary is true. Working with a manager who inspires is critical to keeping good staff onboard.

If a culture is toxic or suppressive, your high performers will move on to greener, happier pastures.

Career growth and development


People are motivated by learning and developing new skills and knowledge, especially millennials.  Expose employees to new challenges and give them opportunities to grow.  Recognise their progress and establish clear career paths so they know they’re valued and that their career will progress if they stay.

Fair pay


It’s reasonable for employees to expect a pay check, but money isn’t their only motivator.  Develop retention plans that take this into account.  For example, consider having an annual Consumer Index rise in pay, but also consider adding other things into the plan that they value.  What do they value?  Ask them!  Having this dialogue will not only give you insights but it shows them you care about making them happy and want them to stick around.

Work perks


Extra benefits can make a workplace very attractive to potential employees and make current ones slow to look elsewhere. Some of the favourite perks are:
  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Time off in lieu
  • Working from home
  • Access to gym or partially funded fitness programs
  • Upskilling
  • Additional leave around Christmas to New Year

Again, talk to your staff about what matters most to them.

Recognition and feedback


It’s natural for most of us to want our achievements recognised.  Organisations and managers who consistently and fairly recognise a job well done encourage top level performance.  Recognition can include a simple thank you at a team meeting, an early mark, a gift voucher or team gathering.

Equally, it’s easier for people to succeed if they know what the benchmarks are.  Knowing what is expected and knowing what success looks like allows people to meet, or exceed, expectations.  Feedback, both formal and informal, guides employee’s development and identifies where they want additional support or greater challenges.

If you would like more information about strengthening your team culture or are looking to join a great workplace, reach out to the Asquith team today.

 

Regardless if you work in an office or outside, as we move into warmer months we tend to spend more time outdoors.  

Most of us are quite conscious of the importance of slip, slop, slap before we spend time in the sun.

However, according to research conducted by the Cancer Council, nearly half of Australian’s aren’t applying sunscreen correctly.  Since 2 in 3 Australian’s will be diagnosed with skin cancer some time in their life, this is a very important skill to master.

Here are the key things to remember when applying sunscreen:

Use daily


Many people think it is unsafe to use sunscreen daily due to the chemical components or because it would limit the benefits of vitamin D absorption.  However, the following key points contradict this:
  • The peak bodies responsible for sun safety advice are now recommending that we apply sunscreen daily, rather than before outdoor activities, due to the high amount of incidental sun exposure we get in Australia.
  • Sunscreens are highly regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration who advise they are safe and effective if used daily.
  • Studies indicate sunscreen has little impact on vitamin D absorption, supporting the recommendation for daily use.

Apply thickly and thoroughly


You will need at least 7 teaspoons (35 mls) of sunscreen to cover your body adequately. This equates to 1 teaspoon per limb and 1 for the front and back of your body and head.

Also, take care to apply to less obvious areas such as ears, toes and in between, front and back of the knees, tops of the hands and feet and exposed scalps or parts.  Lips need special attention as they get quite a bit of incidental sun, so choose a lip balm with an SPF of 30 or more.

Rub sunscreen in until it disappears.  If using a spray-on product, apply until there is a consistent sheen across each exposed area.

Apply and reapply


Shake your sunscreen well before use to integrate the chemicals evenly.  It’s important to apply sunscreen at least half an hour before going into the sun to allow it to bond with the skin and provide maximum coverage.

It’s important to reapply every two hours and more frequently if swimming, sweating and towelling off.  Remember, the two-hour time between applications INCLUDES the half hour of application before going into the sun.

Beauty or protection


Many foundations include ingredients that make it SFP 15 or greater, which is adequate if you have limited incidental exposure during the day.  However, if you are working or planning an activity outdoors additional coverage is required and SPF 30 or higher is recommended.

Remember: 


Although the correct application of sunscreen is fundamental to sun protection, it is not enough on its own.  Go back to the slip, slop slap fundamentals – see the info graphic below:

Preparation is the key to putting nerves at bay and putting your best foot forward in an interview.  With most interviews now happening on video, there are a few additional elements to add to the list when preparing for an interview.   Here are a few tips from Danielle Muller, Asquith Workforce’s Recruitment Hub Manager, who has helped hundreds of candidates get ready for an interview.

First in best dressed

Dealing with technology hiccups directly before the interview will put you off your game.  I recommend candidates set the scene and have all the technology up and working 45 minutes to an hour before their interview.  Then, once everything is set, you can relax while reviewing questions or notes about the job.

Check your technology – ensure you have:

  • a stable internet connection
  • access to the software portal the interview is being held on
  • working webcam and audio
  • closed any unnecessary application and browsers

Set the scene

  • Check how you look on the screen and move it to create what you feel is most flattering
  • Consider what the interviewer can see and remove any objects that an interviewer might deem unfavourable
  • Make sure the room/space is quiet and free from interruptions (turn off your phone)
  • Have any pen, note paper, job description and your resume close at hand

Do your homework

As with a face to face interview, you need to do your homework. This means reviewing the job description and the questions you were asked to respond to in your application.  This is a good guide to what the employer is looking for in an ideal candidate.  Make a list of the skills and attributes you have that make you well qualified for this role and think of examples you could elaborate on if asked to demonstrate these.

Also consider why they have chosen to interview you.  If you can put your finger on this, you can showcase these to reinforce suitability for the role.

It’s also important to get to know the company by having a look through the employer’s website, particularly their Strategic Plan or Annual Report, and social media.  This will give you a deeper insight into their goals and culture. Also, getting a basic understanding of the products, services, customers and stakeholders will give you additional context you can weave into your examples.

Questions

It’s easy to find list of ‘common interview questions’ and it’s worth reading through these and preparing answers to the ones you think you’re most likely to be asked.  It’s also important to think of some questions to ask the interviewer. Not only does it show them you’re interested and invested in getting this job, it can give you additional information about the role and a better understanding of what they’re looking for once the new employee starts.

First Impressions Count

Dress the part.  Although you only need to spruce up the top half in a video interview, it’s important that they see you fit in to their culture.  If you’re working with a recruiter, ask them what the appropriate attire would be.  If not, do a bit of research into what the dress norm is for that industry and aim for that.  Also, it is better to err on the side of overdressing rather than under dressing.

Start strong!  If you can, start the interview by thanking them for taking the time to meet you and let them know you’re excited by the opportunity to get to know more about the role, the company and the culture.  Also be prepared to engage in a bit of small talk as this it a great way to settle in and gives them an insight into your personality.

Take your time

Listen closely to the question and then take time to consider your answer.  It is fine if there are a few moments of silence while you think about what you want to say and how you want to say it.  Doing this allows you to deliver a more concise and focused response and it demonstrates that you have a considered approach.  Also don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat all or part of the question and, if you’re unsure it is also fine to ask them if you’ve answered that question sufficiently.

Face Time

One of the hard parts about interviewing with video is that sometimes you can’t see who your talking too if technology is mucking up or if they choose to shut their screen off.  While this can be quite off-putting, if this does happen try to keep your focus on the monitor like you are speaking directly to someone.

Close strong!

If you get the opportunity, thank the interviewers again for their time and reiterate why your interested and suited for the role.  You may not get a lot of time but even a brief reminder will close the session with a good impression.

Preparing for interviews is important and it helps to have professional support in getting your resume and application ready and, when you get an interview, practice so you ace it.  The team at Asquith Workforce provides career coaching services with accredited career advisors.  For more information visit: Asquith Career Coaching.

As the threat of the Covid-19 virus increases and the cooler winter months approach, Asquith Workforce would like to remind everyone to be vigilant so as to reduce the risk of spreading infectious diseases.

The Australian Department of Health is the preeminent source of information about the virus and is regularly updated with health and travel alerts and Fact Sheets covering topics including symptoms, prevention, how the virus spreads and more. This information can be used to help keep you safe as well as to guide your policies and procedures to ensure the health and safety of your team and organisation

Basic Protective Measures

  • Wash your hands frequently
    • Before, during and after preparing and eating food
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
    • Hands pick up the virus. By reducing touch points on other areas on the body you can eliminate the risk of contracting the virus
  • Respiratory Hygiene
    • Cover your mouth/nose when sneezing and dispose of the tissue immediately
  • If you have fever, cough or difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
  • Stay informed as to the latest news and developments about COVID-19

Asquith Workforce was honoured to assist CPB Contractors by providing Aboriginal employment services for their RAAF Base Stage 2 project at Williamtown NSW.  We also thank CPB Contractors for acknowledging Asquith Workforce’s assistance in their CPB Contractors National (RAP) Reconciliation Action Plan.

For some local Aboriginal people being employed on the RAAF Base Stage 2 Project is a foundation step towards a career path in construction.  As a 100% owned and operated Aboriginal recruitment and labour hire business, supporting the development and economic growth of Aboriginal communities is near and dear to our hearts.

Full article below.

https://cimicdigital-cdn.azureedge.net/-/media/projects/cimic/cpb/pdfs/reconciliation/cpb-contractors-reconciliation-action-plan-2019.pdf?la=en&modified=20190822040127

Asquith Workforce has partnered with APositive – Workforce Finance to improve funding and accessibility of recruitment.

APositive has created a ‘Recruit Now, Pay Later’ model called APay.

APay is for any of our clients that would like to take advantage of spreading our recruitment fees over monthly instalments, rather than paying in one upfront payment.

To celebrate the introduction of APay, Asquith is offering a 30% discount on all permanent placements made through APay before Friday 18 October 2019.

To find out more, give the team a call on 1300 737 751

The Asquith team are incredibly excited to be finalist’s in the Excellence in Small Business category at the upcoming Hunter Business Awards. Watch this space for updates

Whether you’re the CEO, intern, or new manager, knowing how to work with others is a key part of being successful at every job. Knowing how to manage people and their quirks and ambitions is crucial to the success of both managers and the business. Here are a few tips for effective team management.

Communication is key

Communication between staff at all levels is important for the overall performance of your business.

Employees want to be kept in the loop and informed about ongoing projects, goals and deadlines. Open communication with your team allows for increased awareness and understanding of matters and performance of staff. Being in the know allows staff to be more proactive, taking initiative on tasks rather than waiting for instructions.

Positive environments form happy employees

A positive working environment is a key part of keeping employees happy and ensuring that they feel comfortable in their workplace.

It is important to get to know the members of your team, not only in a professional sense, but on a personal level. Making this effort and getting to know your employees forms a rapport. It is this rapport that not only builds a positive atmosphere but encourages employee loyalty.

Positive feedback is another way to create a positive atmosphere and acknowledge hard work. Don’t be the boss who only gives feedback when there is something to criticise. Providing staff with positive feedback builds confidence and encourages employees to thrive in their position.

Conflicts arise in the best of workplaces. When a conflict arises, it should never be ignored. Issues should be addressed immediately in an honest and open manner to prevent building tensions and keep working relationships positive.

Set a good example

Your staff look to you as a leader for direction and inspirations. If you expect your team to act professionally and commit to their work, you must lead by example. It’s important to remember to let your human side show in the process. If you’re feeling pressure, need help or make a mistake, speak up. This will allow your team to feel relaxed and more comfortable approaching you.

Employment is more than just recruitment

Asquith Workforce is a recruitment firm with a difference.

In 2015, Jillian Asquith, a proud Awabakal woman, opened the consultancy with the aim of it becoming the state’s leading culturally diverse employment provider for recruitment solutions.

After running the business from her bedroom in its early days as a sole trader, it’s safe to say Jillian’s come a long way. Not only does Asquith Workforce now employ seven staff members, it operates out of two offices, one based in the Hunter, the other in Redfern.

And in a promising sign of growth, not only has Asquith Workforce placed thousands of people in positions of employment, it currently has close to 8000 candidates on the books.

The company offers professional assistance in permanent and temporary staffing solutions and labour hire. But little do many know, it also provides expert advice through its safety arm.

These services extend far beyond compliance within recruiting. Asquith Workforce provides safety training (WHS, bullying and harassment), onsite workplace audits, remote systems audits, IMS systems design and management, return to work coordination and management plus much more.

“We have integrated safety into all levels of management and into the Recruitment Consultant roles. By doing this, we have increased our safety reach” Jillian said.

“Our safety manager acts as a conduit between all levels of the organisation, integrating themselves into practical workplace audits and keeping abreast of workplace standards and best practice.”

It’s this approach that’s led to Asquith Workforce thriving in just its third year of operation.

The company has secured a number of labour hire contracts with top tier organisations across Newcastle, Sydney and Regional New South Wales. Currently, 582 businesses are seeking its advice.

“Never did I expect the business to grow so rapidly,” Jill said.

“But when you combine demand with the versatile range of services we provide, it’s wonderfully fulfilling to see things progress.”

At Asquith Workforce, safety is a value that’s never taken for granted. It has a fundamental belief that all workers and management should return home to their loved ones in the same condition as they came to work.

“We believe in management visibility and imparting information to not only our candidates but all associated workers onsite.”

Asquith Workforce does this though regular site visits to all of its clients.

“Asquith Workforce’s employees, candidates and contract partners are our best assets and it’s our mantra to support them, not only through the recruitment process, but through the career journey with regards to providing ongoing support and safety management,” Jillian said.

“Site visits are essential to see where things could potentially go wrong,” Jillian said.

“Examples of hazards we see most regularly include less than adequate First Aid provision onsite and fire extinguishers being past their inspection date. On some occassions, there’s been no extinguishers at all!”

Asquith Workforce’s system audits underpin its workplace inspections and safety management, allowing it to provide the whole package.

“Not only are audits essential for compliance with ISO standards, they allow Asquth Workforce to review its system from a continuous improvement point of view,” Jillian said.

“Our clients get quite excited when they learn we can offer this service and are eager to find out more on how we can help them improve their own workplaces and systems,” Jillian said.

When it comes to how you can improve your business, Jillian says there are four typical mistakes most companies make.

“The first is incomplete induction processes. This is vitally important so new employees start off on the right foot and know the company’s expectations when it comes to safety.”

“The second is gaps around internal auditing of systems and processes. This is followed by policies not being made available to interested parties or simply not existing or being signed by workers,” Jillian said.