28 October 2015


Top five lessons for employers from the Rugby World Cup

The final of the Rugby World Cup is set and it could not be a more perfect matchup. While businesses in either Australia or New Zealand may have an influx of disappointed employees on Monday, organisations can use the opportunity to take a step back and learn a few things from the match.

1.  Stay out of the sin bin

Even the most minor infraction, if intentional, can put you a player down for ten minutes. Recently, the Fair Work Commission penalised an HR Manager for doing just that. Although the infraction only caused the aggrieved ex-employee about $180 in economic damage, the deliberate breach of the Fair Work Act ended up costing the individual HR Manager (player) $1,020 and the company (team) about $20,400. Just like in rugby, individual decisions can impact everyone on the team. Keep your head in the game and focus on the win.

2.  Strong leaders come in many different forms

Looking at the final of the World Cup, we have two distinct players leading their team into battle. Stephen Moore and Richie McCaw both do an excellent job getting the most out of their teammates but do so in their own unique style. There is not one trait or set of traits that makes a good leader. Knowing yourself and being the best you can be is the only way to be confident enough to inspire others to get the same out of themselves.

3.  Culture creates cohesion. Cohesion is hard to beat.

Look no further than the last minutes before kickoff in any All Blacks game. The Haka brings the team together in a way that is nearly impossible for others to rival. It amps up the players; it focuses their minds on the upcoming test; and finally, it sends a ripple through the opponents’ bodies (whether they are willing to acknowledge it or not) that shouldn’t be underestimated. Find your Haka at work to bring your workplace together and stand out from the competition.

4.  There’s no getting around the blood bin

Just like work, heath and safety obligations, you can’t get around the referee sending you off for an open wound. It’s not safe for the injured player and it’s not safe for the rest of the players on the field. Know your WHS obligations back to front and hold your employees accountable (while also reminding them of their personal obligations under the legislation) for any missteps. When people do need to be sent off, just like a world class medical trainer, fix the problem and do your best to put them in a position where they can safely get back in the action as soon as possible.

5.  Get your signals straight

During the Bledisloe Cup this year the All Blacks exposed some serious issues in the Wallabies’ lineouts, something that can’t happen this weekend if Australia hopes to beat their arch rivals. The need for clear signals and execution is the same in the workplace. Employees need to know the direction of the company if you want them to engage in the play. Having everyone on the same page is best practice and the key to a high performance culture.

At PCS we don’t like to pick favourites, but… Go Wallabies!!!

Posted in Legal Advice & Consulting.
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