Me and My JobWeekend Employment - by Louise Allan-Johnson
CORPORATE culture specialist Genevieve Armson's job is to make people feel happy in their work and experience job satisfaction.
She believes that to get the best from employees they have to feel their job is worthwhile and that they make a difference to the company.
Her company, Realisations Consultancy, helps companies and employees realise their full potential, and in today's business environment of down sizing, outsourcing and restructuring, her talents are sought after in the corporate world.
"After investing time and money in training, employers want to know that it is really going to work", she said.
"This depends on the total commitment of the organisation and it is important the employees see that senior management are leading by example.
"One of the difficulties within the workplace is the different attitudes employees have towards training."
"One employee may think training is the way to fast-track and move up the career ladder and is enthusiastic and keen to commit the time needed to continue his or her education.
"Another employee might have the attitude you can't teach old dogs new tricks and consider training is a complete waste of time.
"And, of course, there will be employees with attitudes in between."
Realisations Consultancy has been in business since the end of 1992 and has assisted numerous companies to make the transition from a small to medium establishment, or to aid companies in changing direction for better profitability.
Of more significance than Ms Armson's Bachelor of Science (Hons) and MBA, is her "hands-on" experience in the business sector.
She calls upon her wealth of knowledge obtained when she was the state manager for CSR and Bradford Insulation.
"I came up through the ranks from project officer through sales to a senior management position in the space of only a few years.
"I was the first female and the youngest state manager for CSR and one of my functions was to oversee the factory operations in both Australia and Canada.
"I was also the first state manager to employee women in our factory despite the fact shift work was involved."
One of Ms Armson's functions is to change the culture of an organisation.
To do this, she looks at ways the culture can be an exciting environment in which to work, how it can be created and how to stimulate the company's staff.
"Adding value to employees flows right down the line to clients. Clients can feel when employees are happy in their workplace by the way they respond either on the telephone or in person.
"By adding value to employees a company usually finds their business is growing automatically.
Ms Armson's latest project is BYG, which stands for Bust Your Gut. The idea is that the environment within the organisation is so interesting, fulfilling and stimulating that people "bust their gut, to go to work because they want to, not just because they have to."
When she visits organisations the complaints she hears the most from employees are that they are not recognised, they are not appreciated and there is a lack of communication.
"Employees tell me if they do something wrong they are quickly told about it, but if they do something right it is not acknowledged. Employees, on all levels, find this hard to accept.
"I really believe people want more than just the dollars from their job. No-one is ever going to complain if the dollars are good, but people are really wanting more than that. Job satisfaction is the key to keeping employees happy.
"In this current economic climate and especially where companies have gone through a restructuring process, there is a greater demand on employees to do more.
"They are prepared to take on more responsibility and further education if they believe it will increase their job satisfaction and give them a greater opportunity to make a worthwhile contribution to the company and become more important members of the staff.
"People need to feel excited and happy to get out of bed and go to work.
"My job is to make sure changes in the workplace are beneficial to both the employers and the employees."
Ms Armson's job is sometimes a challenge, but is always extremely satisfying.
She works closely with her clients to develop individual training programs that are specific to a particular company's industry or circumstances.
Some programs may consist of weekend workshops, whilst other programs may last for several months.
"I heard an expression some time ago that captures exactly what changing a corporate culture really means - catch employees doing something right and appreciate them for it.
"Giving positive feedback and boosting employees' self esteem builds much happier and productive workplaces and we all benefit."
Realisations Consultancy Pty Ltd