Posts Tagged ‘Avondale College’

Workers Getting “Even”

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Employee TheftWe know that change in the workplace causes stress for employees, which can manifest itself in destructive behaviours like ‘go slows’, long lunches, and stealing office supplies. All of these things cost the business in terms of both finances and productivity. Typically advice to managers is to weather the initial storm and things will then settle down.

It seems that advice is wrong. The latest research by Kevin Eschleman, Nathan Bowling and David LaHuis (read more here >>) have found these destructive behaviours can be felt weeks and months later than expected. It seems that people who appeared to have initial good coping mechanisms respond destructively later on. And surprisingly, those workers seen as being more “agreeable” to the change are at least – or more often more likely – to engage in destructive behaviours, just later on and not initially.

Businesses can limit the potential for these destructive behaviours by being aware of the potential and ensuring employees have multiple options available to them to cope with workplace stress. Different workers cope with stress differently. Also, management cannot assume that just because the initial storm associated with change appears to be over, that it is indeed all over, as this research proves that is not the case.

The Avondale Business School can advise your organisation on being effective in these areas – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.


P: 02 4980 2168

“The moderating effects of personality on the relationship between change in work stressors and change in counterproductive work behaviors” by Kevin J. Eschleman, Nathan A. Bowling and David LaHuis was published online Oct. 3 in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology and can be read at

Hide Your Nerves

Sunday, November 23, 2014

It is natural and even healthy to be a little nervous at times, but for some of us it can be debilitating. Sometimes people can smell our fear, and go “in for the kill”, exploiting your fear. Either way it is not pleasant.

If you need to buy yourself some time to bolster yourself, or even need to hide your nerves, then management guru Peter Economy has 8 tips to help. The full article can be found here, but as a teaser, the 8 points are:Nervous

  1. Breathe
  2. Don’t admit it
  3. Speak slowly
  4. Relax your body
  5. Maintain eye contact
  6. Ask a question
  7. Be yourself
  8. Fake it until you make it

Try these the next time you feel nervous, and put everyone at ease – especially yourself.

If you would further information on how Avondale Business School can help your organisation, contact Warrick Long


P: 02 4980 2168

The Rising Cost of Absenteeism

Monday, November 17, 2014

Employee absenteeism rose to 7% in 2014, the highest level it has been since 2010 according to a recent survey of Australian businesses. Australian employees took an average of almost 10 days of sick leave, costing businesses $33 billion in payroll costs and lost productivity. The survey, which stretched across 103 medium and large sized employers in Australia, found that the average cost of absenteeism had risen to over $3200 per employee each year. The research appeared to support the idea that the “sickie culture” was alive and well, with over 70 per cent of respondents indicating that absenteeism is caused by an ‘entitlement mentality’.

You can read the full article here

- Peter Williams

ABS Human Resources Specialist




5 Ways to Fail as a Leader

Friday, November 7, 2014

leadership2A recent article in Business News Daily (Read it here>>) looks at five major reasons that new leaders are unable to perform successfully, as well as four categories of skills leaders need to succeed.

While the article itself goes into more detail, and is recommended to read, the 5 ways to fail are:

  1. Over- or under-confidence
  2. Approaching leadership with the wrong expectations
  3. Lack of training in the right skill set
  4. Ignoring the need to build relationships
  5. Failure to listen

And the 4 categories to master are:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Communication skills
  3. Team skills
  4. Culture and systems

The Avondale Business School can help you and your team develop leadership skills – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.


P: 02 4980 2168

Marketing Internship Opportunity 2015

Thursday, November 6, 2014



If you are a committed and enthusiastic Marketing student eager to gain some experience applying your classroom lessons to real world scenarios then Avondale Business School has the opportunity you need.

We have an internship available for you in Semester 1, 2015 to come and get some experience in your field of study.

The successful applicant needs to have completed at least two years of their Marketing Major in their undergraduate degree.

To apply, send your application and Curriculum Vitae via email to or leave a hard copy with Elna Hale at the ABS foyer.

The closing date for applications is 17 November 2014.

AVC Logo

The Unsociable Team Member

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dysfunctional TeamCollaboration, Teams, Partnerships, Alliances. All buzzwords in business at the moment, which capture the concept of working in teams and highlight how important it is in business today. But what happens when one of the team members is technically brilliant but much less so socially? Often the team is disrupted and becomes disharmonious and less effective.

For leaders and managers this is a problem which needs to be fixed sooner rather than later or else risk slowing the entire organisation down. Usually the most expedient option is to change the team member. However this is not always feasible or warranted, especially if that team member has invaluable skills needed for the project. Unfortunately in a time-poor working environment leadership frequently sees these sorts of issues as hindrances that need a quick resolution. But maybe there is a better solution. One that may take a bigger investment of time up front, but one that yields a heftier reward in the long run.

In their recent blog, MindTools addresses this very issue (Managing Unsociable People) and propose some excellent ideas that can see the organisation bring out the best of these people and achieve way beyond initial expectations. The article is a great read and well worth the few minutes it takes to do so, but as a preview, here are some of the main points for working with that unsociable team member:

  • Understand why this person is unsociable – there is more to them than meets the eye, and no two people are alike.
  • Identify their strengths and weaknesses – focus on the strengths, work around the weaknesses, and whatever you do, don’t micromanage them.
  • Identify their motivation – and then reward them accordingly
  • Encourage communication – early, open and honest.

If you would further information on how Avondale Business School can help your organisation, contact Warrick Long


P: 02 4980 2168

Where do all the Good Ideas Come From?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Doing things because that is always what we have done is never a good business strategy. All organisations need to be constantly reevaluating what they are doing and why. If the business case indicates continuing with what we know is the best course, then by all means keep doing that. But how do you know?

innovationYou know by looking at alternatives. Some organisations are fortunate enough to have employees who seem to ooze good ideas, but that is not typically the case. So what do the leaders of an organisation do?

While some leaders think it is their job to come up with the good ideas, that only limits the organisation to the brilliance (or otherwise) of those leaders. Great leaders instead utilise the resources around them to draw on the ideas of so many others. According to a recent article by NAB (Easy Ways to Innovate for Success) there are three things an organisation can do to put themselves in the best possible position:

  1. Talk to customers – incredibly they know what they want and what they need from you. Ask, find out, and then develop.
  2. Talk to the people within your organisation – the people who have to deliver know what it takes. Listen to them and trust that they may know more about the nitty gritty than you do
  3. Create a culture of ideas – recognise and reward innovative ideas in your organisation. It may be as simple as publicly acknowledging where the genesis of the idea came from rather than taking credit for it. More good ideas flow when people know they won’t be ‘stolen’ or ignored.

A challenge for you – are you listening to and rewarding new and good ideas, or is your business limited only to what you can offer?

The Avondale Business School can advise your organisation on being effective in these areas – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.


P: 02 4980 2168

Position Vacant – Graduate Accounting in Sydney

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Seventh-day Adventist Schools (Greater Sydney) Ltd

Epping, NSW

Full Time Graduate Accounting Position

SDA Schools (GS) Ltd is seeking an experienced accounts clerk to join the busy Education team. This position will be responsible for data entry, reconciliations, accounts payables, school liaisons, supporting school bursars, and assisting the Education Accountant.


Essential Criteria:

- at least 2 years’ experience in a similar role (negotiable for graduates)

- able to work in a team environment

- good written & verbal communication skills

- a commitment to Adventist Education, its ethos and mission


Desirable Criteria:

- well developed interpersonal skills

- able to work with deadlines and under pressure

- possess initiative and self-motivation

- Maze database knowledge will be highly regarded

- Proficiency in MS office package


Other Information:

The successful candidate must be eligible to work in Australia.


Enquiries To:

Maxine Su

Phone: (02) 9868 6522



Application Procedure:

To apply, please send your CV including 3 work related referees and a covering letter to: Maxine Su


Applications Close: 31/10/2014

The Multitasking Myth

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Do Not Disturb

So to all the ‘Multitaskers’, ‘Open door’ advocates, and email ‘Immediate responders’, I have bad news. While you may be able to get more done than the person next to you, new research proves that you are probably not as effective or efficient as you could be.

Research published online in April of 2014, ‘Do Interruptions affect quality of work?’ (Foroughi, Werner, Nelson, & Boehm-Davis, 2014) (find it here>>) highlights that we already know interruptions increase the completion time of tasks, and that on average an office worker faces up to six interruptions per hour. We also know that interruptions reduce accuracy, but until now we had no idea about how interruptions affect quality.

The researchers ran a series of experiments on participants trying to write an essay. They faced interruptions during planning, during writing, and none at all. The results indicated very clearly that interruptions DID affect the quality of the output. We know this intuitively, but this research proves that getting going again after an interruption is more difficult, and that we rarely commence from exactly where we left off.

The message – multitasking comes at a price – it impacts on both the time taken to complete, and the quality of the individual tasks. It’s time to shut the door, turn off the phone, and ignore emails for awhile – and to respect those that do so. While you may still be able to get things done, are they being done as well, and as quickly as they could be?

The Avondale Business School can advise your organisation on being effective in these areas – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.


P: 02 4980 2168

Foroughi, C. K., Werner, N. E., Nelson, E. T., & Boehm-Davis, D. A. (2014). Do Interruptions Affect Quality of Work? Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 0018720814531786.

Ditch and Switch

Sunday, October 12, 2014

How many times have your heard the claim that a particular product is “the best on the market” or “leads all other brands”? If you are like me, the answer is “too often!”.

But if we are to be honest, how many times have we been guilty of those sorts of claim? Across the various industries and organisations I have been associated with I have heard claims like “we have THE truth”, “our lifestyle is the best there is”, “our schools provide the best education possible”, and “our standard of aged care is unsurpassed”.

Recent research is cautioning organisations from making these sorts of claims as it has a tendancy to chase consumers away. Many people today are in a ‘Maximising Mindset’, which means they are undertaking more research and exploring more options before making a decision. The most recent research by Jingjing Ma and Neal Roese has explored this phenomena, which can be found here, or for an abbreviated version, try here.

BrandsWhere an organisation has made such big claims the consumer has bigger regrets if the product or service does not live up to them, or they find something better. They will be unsatisfied unless it is the most amazing thing ever. Or in other words, they are very quick to ‘ditch and switch’. And this applies to services as much as products. Education, health care, aged care and even lifestyle choices all factor into the maximising mindset. The feelings of regret and dissatisfaction are amplified in the maximising mindset.

A close examination of the marketing approaches of many of the world’s leading brands today will show that rarely do they actually tout the taste, speed, function of the product or service. More likely, the advertising will be promoting an experience and connecting the product to that experience. The assumption being that by having that product or service, you as the consumer will share that experience.

So the advice for organisations that do have a great product or service – don’t make broken promises or create excessive expectations, instead, create memories and experiences for people. Essentially, the more experiential you can make the product, the happier people are.

If you would further information on how Avondale Business School can help your organisation, contact Warrick Long


P: 02 4980 2168