The Bounce Program: How we will get Australian’s working again

The Bounce Program: How we will get Australian’s working again

Australia’s employment services sector is overwhelmed and overrun with people looking for work.

In the wake of COVID-19, the unemployment rate is skyrocketing towards 10% with up to 2.3 million Australians looking for work, leaving employment providers scrambling to find ways to connect and engage with job seekers.

With the pause on mutual obligation requirements and some consultant caseloads reaching over five hundred people, job seekers are experiencing frustration in their quest to find work in an environment where opportunities are scarce.

“We’re about to experience a wave of unemployment like we haven’t seen since the great depression. The impact of this is hard to comprehend in 2020,” said Maria Smith, Founder and CEO of people-training company Bounce Australia.

“Some employment providers are experiencing a 50% increase in demand for services, and that’s only going to get worse in the months to come.”

“We know if a person is unable to find work within 12 months of becoming unemployed, they are more likely to experience long-term unemployment and this can lead to serious mental health impacts like anxiety and depression.”

“With unemployment rates forecast to remain high until at least 2024, it’s critical we re-think the way we help people find work. The old system of meeting regularly with your employment consultant and doing face-to-face training isn’t going to get Australian’s working again. We need to challenge the status quo and do things differently.” Ms Smith explained.

Bounce Australia has developed The Bounce Program – a unique wrap-around approach to workforce activation that helps people find employment faster and more effectively than any other work-readiness training available.

The Bounce Program is an evidence-based transformational soft skills program that has helped tens of thousands of people across Australia, New Zealand, and the USA find and keep a job.

 As a small business located in Maryborough, in central Victoria that delivers its programs both nationally and internationally, Bounce has been heavily impacted by COVID-19.

“Since 2006, we’ve been delivering job seeker programs through face-to-face training, but this stopped when COVID-19 restrictions commenced back in April. We’ve had to pivot our business model radically to keep ourselves operational.” Ms Smith said.

“Job seekers need to stay engaged in their employment journey, and right now, the most effective way to give people the work-readiness training they need is online. With the cancellation of face-to-face training, we’ve created a revolutionary digital version of our program that is delivered through a fully-customised online platform.”

 

The Bounce Program Online: An access-anywhere soft skills training program that will revolutionise the way job seekers undertake work-readiness training. 

The Virtual Job Coach

The Bounce Program Online is a ‘virtual job coach’, saving employment consultants and case managers hundreds of hours of contact and intel-gathering with their clients as they complete program from home instead of in a training room.

Job seekers work through learning modules designed to give them more confidence, develop their resilience and boost their employability skills.

At the completion of the program, case managers are provided with detailed reports that help them support their clients to achieve their employment goals.   

Bounce Australia’s National Business Manager Matthew Luttrell explains how job seekers have been actively engaging with their case managers and participating in training despite the COVID-19 restrictions through the Bounce Program Online.  

“We’ve been trialing the Bounce Program Online with clients from MAX Solutions in New South Wales, and the results have been incredible.” Mr Luttrell said.

MAX Solutions Program Case Manager Chantel Cleminson is excited to have her clients from the Opportunity Pathways Program undertaking the Bounce Program Online because it’s the perfect way to keep them connecting with her while they are looking for work.

“I put my clients into the Bounce Program because COVID-19 has had a real impact on them. Some lack confidence and others have a lack of clarity with regards to their career goals, and it’s hard for them to see a way forward.” Ms Cleminson said.  

“By participating in Bounce, they gain incredible insight into their strengths and capabilities. My clients are more confident, which is leading to better engagement.”

One of Ms Cleminsons’ clients Jenny, participated in the Bounce Program Online and said that it has helped her see her life entirely differently.

 “Before the Program, I was very negative about everything related to employment,” Jenny explained.

“I found job searching hard because of my low confidence, motivation and energy. I would see people going to work, and I wish I had a job to go to like everyone else.”

“The Bounce Program helped me to assess and understand my abilities in the career world, and I’ve developed more confidence, new skills and new technical abilities. I’m ready to find my dream career now.” Jenny said.

Preparing skills for human future

With huge numbers of the current workforce suddenly facing the need to re-train and up-skill, soft skills – the most transferable skills for any employee to have, are in high demand.

“We know that people who have a range of soft skills, such as emotional intelligence, communication skills, resilience, creativity and problem-solving skills are valuable employees and during an employment crisis this, soft skills are critical.” Mr Luttrell said.

“Employees with these skills will be highly sort-after as the workforce starts to open up again. Any person that goes through the Bounce Program will have developed and expanded these skills, and it will make them attractive to employers.” Mr Luttrell added.

Employment Providers that put their clients into The Bounce Program will see a dramatic shift in their behaviour, confidence and self-belief. During these uncertain times, this level of engagement is invaluable and will be a game-changer for the industry. 

Taking on the Strengths Based Approach

Taking on the Strengths Based Approach

Society has this funny little habit of trying to cram square pegs into a round hole, but what if I told you that there is a way to match the square peg to the round hole without having to grind off the edges?

Let me explain what I mean.

Say you have a team of 4 people; each person has their strengths and weaknesses. Person one likes lists and data, person two is great with people, person three loves variety, and person four is a great leader.

Now, what would happen if you matched the tasks that needed to be done to the person who would most enjoy it? Person one does report writing and data assessment, person two calls clients, person three goes on the road, and person four keeps everyone accountable for their tasks.

I’m not saying only give your team jobs that they like, however, if you can assess the tasks that need to be done and balance them out in categories that your team members excel at, your overall productivity will go through the roof.

It’s such a simple change, but so effective!

According to the Langley Group website (www.langleygroup.com.au):

The 2016 Gallup State of the Global Workforce report showed some amazing results from using strengths-based interventions on workgroup performance. The survey covered 1.2 million employees in 22 organisations in seven industries and across 45 countries. Ninety % of the workgroups studied had performance increases such as:

  • 9% increase in sales
  • 15% increase in profits
  • 4% increase in customer engagement
  • 10% lower turnover in low-turnover organisations
  • 46% lower turnover in high-turnover organisations
  • 6% increase in engaged employees
  • 37% fewer safety incidents

Ultimately, the strengths-based management approach is shown to improve employee well-being and boost productivity in all areas.

Interested in a complete Strengths Profile Report?

Built from a decade of research in positive psychology and used by leading organisations including Schneider Electric, Avery Dennison, Aviva, Oracle and Ernst & Young, the Strength Based Profile is worlds apart from traditional strengths assessments.
Assessing 60 strengths across three scopes (energy, performance and use), the profile pinpoints people’s results in four areas:

Realised Strengths

Learned Behaviours

Weaknesses

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Unrealised Strengths

This model provides a positive platform for development and growth, enabling people to design strategies, minimise weaknesses and optimise performance and well-being.

Sound like something you or your team could use?

Lets start a conversation

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Are you cultivating a culture of Emotional Intelligence in your organisation?

Are you cultivating a culture of Emotional Intelligence in your organisation?

It seems like everywhere you turn someone is talking about Emotional Intelligence and leadership skills, these things actually aren’t a new idea and, in business, we’re only just catching up. There’s such a massive body of work out there and a tonne of books to devour, that it seems crazy not to take advantage of it! (There’s a handy list at the end of this blog if you’re interested in learning more!)

One study of manufacturing supervisors, following Emotional Intelligence training, revealed significant improvements. Most impressively a 20% drop in formal grievances and an increase of $250,000 in productivity revenue.

Looking at the statistics, it’s safe to say that if this was sold in stores, we’d all be lining up for it like the newest iPhone! But, unlike technology now days, it costs nothing more than your attention and understanding – that’s a pretty good deal I’d say. But what is it exactly?

Put simply, Emotional Intelligence is a measure of a person’s capability in self-awareness and social awareness. Put slightly more complicatedly, it’s a true skill that can take years to master and can raise you to the highest heights of professional excellence. All you need to do is dip your toe in the water – here are some tips to help:

1. Own your feelings.

Relate your feelings back to yourself rather than a person or situation. For example instead of saying “You’re really annoying” say “I am feeling annoyed”. Your feelings are your own and it’s important to understand that.

2. Discover your why.

Instead of reacting outwardly to a feeling, ask yourself why you are experiencing it. Just keep asking why – you’ll move past the emotion and skip straight to a solution.

3. Use your feelings.

Before making a decision or taking action, ask yourself how you will feel if you do it and how you will feel if you don’t. Your emotions are a useful guide to put you on the right path.

4. Use the feelings of others.

Just like the last tip, the emotions of others also need to be considered. Before making a decision or taking action, ask yourself how others will feel if you do it and how others will feel if you don’t. Emotional intelligence is just as much about others as it is about yourself.

5. Convert your emotions.

Emotions like anger can be used in really positive ways. Use it to energise yourself and get things done, the energy is already there you just need to direct it.

6. Know that there isn’t always a solution.

Sometimes people just need someone to listen. You don’t always need to offer a solution or opinion. By just spending time with the person, you are telling them that they are valued.

7. Check in with yourself.

Taking a minute every day to ask yourself “How do I feel?” and “What will make me feel better?” is incredibly important. Sometimes we can get worked up over time and not notice how it is impacting us. Connect back in with your emotions and address them.

8. Check in with others.

At any given point in the day, one person can be experiencing a whole range of emotions. Be aware of the people around you, if you notice something is not right, ask. “How do you feel?” and “What will make you feel better?”

9. Validate others.

Do your best to understand other people’s point of view. Everyone sees and experiences the world differently and one way is no more right or wrong than another. Show understanding, empathy, and try to accept people’s feelings.

10. Step out of judgement.

Judgement comes from assumptions, opinions of others, and generalisations – and all of these hold people back. When meeting someone new, try to wipe the slate clean and walk into the room opinion free. You’ll have a much clearer head and be ready to listen.

If an emotionally intelligent leader means greater leadership and productivity, wouldn’t this also translate to employees? Creating a more emotionally intelligent culture, greater engagement and bigger, better outcomes?

So, here’s the question – Are you developing this with staff?

It’s time to consider every companies greatest asset – the team at the front line. Get nurturing, get developing, and get the Emotional Intelligence boost that will change the way we see business, forever.

References:

  • https://hbr.org/2015/04/measuring-the-return-on-character
  • http://onlinemba.umd.edu/resources/infographic/emotional-iq-and-you/
Tips to Succeed in Learning

Tips to Succeed in Learning

Discover your learning style.

It’s important to work out how you learn and retain information best. If you’re someone who learns by doing (kinaesthetic) then choose study options that have strong practical tasks or on the job training. If you are a visual learner, create cue cards to retain information. You can use a varied approach if you find you learn best by hearing (auditory) instructions and having a go. Create habits utilising your best learning methods so that you play to your strengths and make studying a little easier.

Set learning goals.

Having goals can help you stay on track and reach your full potential. Chunk your goals down by starting at your end goal and working your way back, breaking the steps down into smaller, more manageable steps. It’s important to set an achievement date for each step to keep you on track. If you are a visual person, create a vision board focused on your learning goals, what you will achieve at the end, and the impact it will have on your life. You will make decisions and steps toward your goals more easily.

Plan your time or set a routine.

Schedule in time for study, research or project work. Block out time in your calendar to work towards your learning goals and set timelines before projects are due to give you time if the project takes longer than expected. This also reduces stress.

Ask for help.

If you find that things are becoming overwhelming or you need extra help with understanding your learning, reach out to family, friends, teachers, doctors and other resources for help. It’s important to ask for help to get you through tough times. Everyone needs a helping hand at times, and it’s an opportunity to learn and put strategies in place for next time, so stressful situations don’t repeat themselves. Identifying the need for help early can be a way to stop things from really getting out of control.

Find a way to stay motivated.

There will be times when you feel unmotivated; this could be due to a lack of interest in a subject, stress, being pushed outside your comfort zone, or not connecting to what you are being taught. It is vital to find a way to push through these de-motivators, stay the course and motivate yourself. This can be done by making a to-do list and crossing off your list as you go to give you a sense of achievement and sticking to your plan or routine regardless of your mood. You can set reward points, where you take breaks to re-energise or refresh yourself. Find a way to “fill your cup”, do something that makes you feel good so that you can continue on your learning journey.

Prioritise your health.

Staying healthy is essential to succeeding in learning, so look after yourself. Value your health; eat well, and drink lots of water, and exercise. When planning, remember to include exercise into your schedule. It doesn’t have to be a strenuous workout, just put time aside for at least a 30 minute walk each day. The endorphins you get from exercise will help you think clearly and work quickly towards your learning goals.
Reward yourself.

Be kind to yourself!

When you reach milestones, remember to reward yourself. This allows you to enjoy the journey particularly when the learning goals are stretched out over a long period of time. Celebrating the wins, particularly when you have worked hard at meeting a deadline, can create positive anchors for success and set you up to really enjoy learning. Choose something that you love. It could be hanging out with your friends, having a nice dinner, buying yourself a pair of shoes, or just simply having a bubble bath if that floats your boat. Whatever it is, make sure you value yourself and your achievements so you can continue to see your self-worth.

Top 10 Emotional Intelligence Tips

Top 10 Emotional Intelligence Tips

EQ stands for Emotional Quotient, otherwise known as Emotional Intelligence, and is a measure of a person’s adequacy in areas such as self-awareness, empathy, and dealing sensitively with other people. In business, EQ is vital to build strong working relationships and develop connections with other people.

Whether you’re a manager, staff member or job seeker, emotional intelligence is something you should always strive to develop if you want to have good personal and professional relationships.

So, to help you out, here are 10 emotional intelligence tips to get you through your day!

Tip 1:

Become Emotionally Literate. Label your feelings, rather than labelling people or situations. “I feel impatient.” vs. “This is ridiculous.” I feel hurt and bitter.” vs “You are an insensitive jerk.” “I feel afraid.” vs “You are driving like an idiot.”

Tip 2:

Distinguish between thoughts and feelings. Thoughts: I feel like… & I feel as if… & I feel that feeling… vs Feelings: I feel (feeling word).

Tip 3:

Take responsibility for your feelings. “I feel jealous.” vs “You are making me jealous.”

Tip 4:

Use your feelings to help make decisions. “How will I feel if I do this?” “How will I feel if I don’t?”

Tip 5:

Show respect for other people’s feelings. Ask: “How will you feel if I do this?” “How will you feel if I don’t?”

Tip 6:

Feel energised, not angry. Use what others call “anger” to help feel energised to take productive action.

Tip 7:

Validate other people’s feelings. Show empathy, understanding, and acceptance of other people’s feelings.

Tip 8:

Practice getting a positive value from emotions. Ask yourself: “How do I feel?” and “What would help me feel better?” Ask others “How do you feel?” and “What would help you feel better?”

Tip 9:

Don’t advise, command, control, criticise, judge or lecture others. Instead, try to listen with empathy and non-judgment.

Tip 10:

Avoid people who put you down. While this is not always possible, at least try to spend less time with them, or try not to let them have psychological power over you.

Where’s your integrity?

Where’s your integrity?

Integrity. It’s a word that’s thrown around a lot, employers want it, employees need it and training companies talk it up, but no one ever actually discusses what it is. In short, integrity is being your word, doing the things that you said or implied that you would do. Whether that’s completing a huge project or helping a friend move house.

This is why it’s so important to organisations, big and small; they want to know that if they hire someone, the person is going to do exactly what they say they will.

Low or no integrity in the workplace can cause a number of issues, a drop in productivity, bad communication, a decline in team work, just to name a few. So, it’s often a good idea to re-assess the position you’re in to make sure you’re keeping your word.

The problem is that when we do the same thing every day we can lose sight of the overall bigger picture. This doesn’t mean you’re a bad employee or that your employer doesn’t like you, it’s just an opportunity to take a step back so you can gain perspective and adjust your own integrity.

Step One: Ask yourself “Who am I to my employer?”

Without taking your own personal opinions into account, put yourself in your employer’s shoes and try to understand what they expect from you. From small everyday tasks to large project outcomes, who does your employer expect you to be?

Step Two: Ask yourself “Who am I to my client?”

Using the same process, try to understand what your client expects of you. Is it a certain level of professionalism? A fast turn-around time? Or simply a sympathetic ear? Just as you expect certain things from a plumber, your clients expect certain things from you.

Step Three: Ask yourself “Who am I to myself in this role?”

This one is very important. Ignore any day to day issues that take control of your mind when you’re working and think about when you first started the job. What did you want to be, how did you want to be seen and what did you want to achieve? What standards have you set yourself? Are you making yourself proud?

Step Four: Are you meeting these expectations?

Look back on all of these things, are you meeting all these expectations? The expectations of your boss, your clients and yourself? If you are, high five! You’re nailing your work! If not, welcome to being a regular person. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about constant improvement and growing as a person. If you’re not meeting certain areas as best you’d like, then look at strategies to improve this and take action.

Being your word and building your integrity is one of the best ways to develop your career. Just taking time to assess where you are now and where you want to be can make all the difference.