Getting Your Hands Dirty to Stay in the Game

Getting Your Hands Dirty to Stay in the Game

We’ve all been there, either as an employee, manager or business owner; where we think all our processes are perfect and our methods are unquestionable. I’m not saying this sense of satisfaction isn’t true, of course you should be proud of what you have achieved, however, it’s important not to lose focus and simply never re-assess.

What is there to lose by sitting back for a minute, taking a deep breath and looking at what is going on around you? You might be thinking “I don’t need to, business is great right now!” but this can lead to complacency and, if you’re not careful, your winning streak could quickly come to a halt. Your competitors are always looking for new ideas and new strategies on how to become number one, so to be competitive you must do the same!


Make time

As a manager it is quite easy to be “trapped” in the four walls of your office and you are not to blame for this. Time is an incredible resource and one that we wish we all had more of. However, isn’t it great to know that you have control over this, you are actually able to go into your calendar and block out a 2 hour time slot to get out of those 4 walls and see what is really happening on the front-line of your business. Blocking out these 2 hours might sound a little inconvenient, but isn’t impossible, especially if you consider what you might get in return. Getting your hands dirty to stay in the game will not only develop you as a person, it will establish you as a leader amongst your team. Your employees will have a great deal of respect for you if you are seen, heard and show appreciation for the work that is being performed, by being present.


Complacency is your enemy

I have personally experienced being “trapped in my four walls” and although my knowledge of policies and procedures were at a high level, how can I be positive that these were actually being carried out by the team I was working with? The figures and finances were looking steady from the back end, however the word “steady” does not sit well with me, as I knew that we had to always be one step ahead to be a leading business. By getting my hands dirty and working along side all staff, I had a true indication of what was really going on in the business – I had my finger on the pulse.


Taking the first step

I was a little nervous, to say the least, when I first adopted this strategy. was I actually going to have to perform tasks that I actually didn’t know how to do? However, was I going to get it right? I haven’t seen this button before, I wonder what it does? People will be looking at me and observing what I was doing – This was a perfect opportunity to step up and lead by example. I recall sitting on reception for 30 minutes, just to get a feel for how busy our administration team were and what our service delivery was like in the crucial stage of welcoming a customer. It was fantastic being able to speak with the customer face to face, taking phone calls and not only witnessing, but being a part of the multi-tasking that was required in this position. Not only was I seeing what was happening or what improvements were required, I was also gaining respect from the team as they witnessed me getting in touch with the clients and the staff as a team member, not as their manager. This was very important, removing the manager label and working as a team member. The minute you mention your title to clients you will be treated differently, I did not want this to happen – I would prefer the real experience of what was happening on the front-line of the business.



I am fortunate now where I am in a position where I can continue to get my hands dirty by visiting one of our programs or facilitating a corporate professional development day. When I am visiting a program, I try to arrive unannounced, not for the reason of surprise or micro management, rather to experience the “reality” of the present. To be truthful it actually helps develop me as a person and a leader by having the exposure and involvement in our programs. I know my place and know when to participate and when to sit back and enjoy the ride, that’s what makes it exciting for me. By being involved I am unconsciously aware of the environment I am in and always observing and thinking of ideas and strategies to improve. I will once again use the word “reality” as this is the most important aspect of getting your hands dirty. If you turn a blind eye or choose not to believe what is going on then you are doing more damage than you may realise.



We are living in a technological advanced world and everything is so quick these days. This means that the faster things move the quicker they change, hence we need to ensure we are aware of what is really happening around us and keeping our skills fresh and current. This also goes for those who are returning to work and haven’t used their skills for a while – be excited about the opportunity to learn. Things may not be the same as they were before but embrace it and recognise that this is a good thing.  Some of us might have qualifications from 10 or more years ago and the theory behind the learning is very relevant, however I believe the execution needs to be altered to complement our modern world. We need to place ourselves in our customers shoes to gain an understanding of how we are adding value and how we continue to deliver an excellent service. “Asking the question” or “having the conversation” is one of the best ways to gather intelligence. If you are aware of the expectations that are required then you can not only just meet them, you can devise strategies to exceed them.

By Matthew

Top Qualities Employers Look for When Hiring

Top Qualities Employers Look for When Hiring

Get the Low Down Here

Gone are the days when the only way to get hired was to present all of your qualifications and list every single one of your skill set down on a piece of paper; we are living in the year 2015 and there are higher priorities to organisations now.

To be highly considered for a role in any organisation you need to demonstrate your ability to adapt to the culture of that particular workplace and work within their values. To demonstrate all you need is a little time to reflect on situations that you have experienced in the past and then write these down on paper. A great example of this is if you were to go for a position in management but you have never had the title of a manager in the past; how do you sell your skills?

1. Demonstrate Transferable Skills

You can suggest that you are able to be molded into the management role within their business which can be more beneficial than bringing in old habits from those who have been in managerial positions before. Try reflecting on times where you have had to demonstrate managerial skills such as time management, multi-tasking, meeting deadlines, conflict resolution etc. and then explain how you managed these situations. How did you behave, how did you get the message across to others, how did you involve others in the process and what outcomes did you achieve? These are all behavioural based responses and employers are looking for that inner quality that allows you to follow their people and culture strategies. The fact that you have not had management experience and the fact that you have not performed some required skills is becoming less and less a priority, the organisation wants to ensure you have what it takes and they can train you in the duties and processes if required.

We recently conducted a survey and the results show that organisations are now looking for the FIT within their company as well as a mixture of basic skills to determine your competency to perform the role.

Employer Wants Stats smaller

2. Qualities vs Qualification

As you can see not only is INTEGRITY the most important quality, have a look at the next five top responses. Values and Cultural Fit, Teamwork, Reliability, Communication Skills and Emotional Intelligence ALL outweigh Previous Experience, Specific Skill Set and also Qualifications. We can safely assume that the level of your personal qualities is important to the employer and being aware of your own values and personal qualities is a step in the right direction in securing your next job. Contemplate how you can communicate these values to an employer in your application. Whether it is in an interview or cover letter it is essential to let your prospective employer know who you are and how you can fit into their company.

3. Believe in Yourself

This should give you, the candidate, an incredible amount of confidence when applying for the job that you really want based on your own personal values and how your values match the employer. When you are identifying vacancies in either external or internal positions you need to weigh up whether you are the right person for the job based on qualities, rather than skills. After you have identified this, believe in yourself, reflect and prove to yourself why you are the best person for the position and then (last but not least) – go get the job and follow your dreams!