Elevating Your Engine Room – The Strategic Roles Support Staff Can Play

Elevating Your Engine Room

Many business owners and leaders are pivoting in their roles at present whilst we navigate through a challenging and uncertain economy. This is absolutely what I myself and our Founder Martin Dineen have been doing of late in the MJD business, with the added layer of having our General Manager away on extended leave. And it’s got me thinking…

What would I do right now without my engine room? Our support staff.

We have 2 extraordinary right hand support staff in our business. Carli is our Project Administrator and assists me in handling our operations, facilities management, human resource function, sales processes, reporting, supplier relationships, budgeting, IT and continuous improvement planning. Lyndsay is our Executive Team Coordinator and helps me manage our Founder Martin which is a job in itself! 😉 But also assists with recruitment project management, our extensive marketing and social media practices and all internal and external events.

Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not surprised that their capacity and capabilities have elevated as we have had to swivel in our roles as leaders and ask them to step up in their responsibilities. But it has reminded me that I should be doing this more often, delegating and developing their capabilities and freeing up our time to be working more strategically on the business rather than in it.

As office support recruitment experts, we are advocates for the administration profession and promote to our clients often how these roles are ‘more than just administrative’ with their functions being capable of elevating to strategic and proactive if you let them. Particularly once you identify that a support professional has developed a good working knowledge of how their role supports and impacts your business. When they understand the why and the how, that’s when the magic can start to happen in terms of elevation. My advice is don’t wait another minute once you recognise this.   

I have spent time with both Carli and Lyndsay, elevating their understanding of the how and why. This has meant that whilst Martin and I shift in our roles, we have been able to call on them to  make educated decisions on our behalf in meetings, communicate and cascade important messages to our team, liaise with and represent us with important key stakeholders, conduct research and manage projects with confidence and implement effective improvement practices without direction.

I have had some timely and valuable reminders having recently encouraged the elevation of our own support team:

  • That your office support engine room will be more engaged and motivated to add value beyond their everyday roles the more appreciated, trusted and respected they feel
  • That showing confidence in one’s capabilities builds competence
  • Not just administrators, these individuals have access to so many different functions, people and areas of your business. If allowed, they can be elevated to key members of your leadership team and have strategic impact
  • Support staff are exceptionally resourceful and if they don’t know how to solve a problem at first they are more capable than you of finding a way to learn how to efficiently
  • Having engaged, elevated people around you is not only impactful it’s also incredibly rewarding and motivating for you as a leader
  • Often the fear of delegating and letting go of certain responsibilities can actually be holding you and your business back

So I encourage anybody reading this to take a moment and ask themselves 2 questions? The first one is; Am getting the right amount of value from my support staff roles? The second one is; Am I giving continuous consideration to how I can elevate my admin team to make them feel more valued and impactful? And to Carli and Lyndsay – thank you, I respect and value you immensely and couldn’t do it without you.


Author: Tanya Nanscawen, Executive Partner at MJD Recruitment

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What we have learnt about loud leaving

What we have learnt about loud leaving

What is ‘loud leaving?’

As office support recruitment specialists we have heard a lot about the concept of “quiet quitting,” where employees complete their minimum work requirements only, without going above and beyond or bringing work home after hours. This was quite the phenomenal with employees feeling the need to protest incredulous workloads and pressure to do more and more in the talent short market post pandemic.

Then there was “quiet firing’’ where managers were failing to provide adequate support, training, guidance and career opportunity to their employees (some knowingly and some unknowingly) leading to the employee exiting the business.

Capturing our attention more recently has been “loud leaving”, which is all about ensuring that those around you, seniors, peers and subordinates know that you have boundaries. And its managers that have been leading the charge with this concept, feeling the pressure to ensure that their employees have an adequate amount of work life balance, leading by example to ensure that it is achieved.

For years, in many organisations, you have been judged by how early you get into the office and how late you leave at night, but true flexibility now reigns supreme, and the goal is to get employees to focus on productivity rather than the appearance of working hard. This has been particularly impact with the younger generations, who have been pleading for organisations to offer genuine balance to individuals who prove their ability to be just as effect when it’s in place.

There’s more

Loud leaving is also being utilised to describe disgruntled employees who are voicing their concerns and frustrations well…more loudly these days. Employee empowerment is being blamed for this in some circles, with employees understanding how difficult it is to replace them in many cases and taking advantage of their newfound power.

Grievances are being expressed more often, more openly and in a more confrontational manner, with many even turning to social media and Linked In to share their unhappy opinions. We are seeing a ripple effect occur here, as it draws attention to organisational issues, potentially leading to broader discussions about workplace culture, management practices, or employee well-being.

So how do you navigate loud leaving? This is what we have learnt as recruitment specialists from our clients…

Promote Open Communication

To prevent loud leaving scenarios from disgruntled employees, organisations must foster a culture of open communication, where employees get to express their concerns more often, without fear of retribution. Encouraging regular feedback sessions, increasing the regularity on 1:1 meetings, implementing anonymous surveys, and implementing a mentor programme are all examples that we have seen work incredibly well.

Measure productivity and find a way to make flexibility really work

When everyone can see that the work is being done, it’s a lot easier for Managers to feel more relaxed about creating stronger flexibility in most workplaces – and this ease trickles down to the employees too. They are less concerned that they will need to ‘’cover’ for a non-performer when they know that productivity is being measured.

Prioritise Employee Engagement

Loud leaving can be a symptom of disengagement or dissatisfaction among employees. To combat this, companies not should, but need to invest in employee engagement initiatives, like professional development opportunities, recognition programs and wellness initiatives. By actively demonstrating a commitment to employee well-being, organisations can mitigate the risk of loud leaving. It needs to be in the budget permanently.

Strengthening Leadership and Management

Effective leadership and management play a vital role in preventing loud leaving situations. Equipping managers with the necessary skills for employee support, conflict resolution, and emotional intelligence can help them adopt a positive work environment. By cultivating strong leadership at all levels, organisations can reduce the likelihood of employees resorting to loud leaving as their only means of addressing concerns.

Partnering with Recruitment Specialists

To ensure a smooth transition during times of turnover, organisations can benefit from partnering with a office support recruitment specialist like MJD Recruitment. Our expertise in office support recruitment enables us to identify candidates who possess the skills, mindset, and compatibility needed to thrive in specific corporate environments. By finding the right fit from the start, companies can alleviate the risk of future loud leaving incidents.

Loud leaving has emerged as a significant trend in the corporate landscape, drawing attention to employee dissatisfaction and organisational issues. By prioritising open communication, employee engagement, strong leadership, and partnering with specialised recruitment agencies, organisations can navigate the challenges associated with loud leaving.

Remember, a harmonious and supportive work environment promotes employee retention and cultivates a culture where quiet success prevails over loud departures.

What are the benefits of hiring temporary staff?

What are the benefits of hiring temporary staff?

Being flexible and adaptable in todays business world is essential!

Having swift access to an individual that can come into your business and fill a gap, help a team achieve a deadline or solve a headcount issue – name an organisation that doesn’t need this kind of support in today’s business world.

Salaries are a, if not the major cost for many organisations. Many companies are aggressively hiring, but showing more caution in terms of just who they are willing to take on in a permanent capacity and how quickly. This is where the support of a temporary staffing recruitment service can come in to play.  

Not having to commit to long term, ongoing salary costs immediately saves organisations a lot of time, money and stress. Those aligned with temporary staffing recruitment firms such as MJD Recruitment can rely upon external support to secure and promote quality people who can add value in an ‘as needs’ basis. A vast majority of temporary jobs in Australia are placed by agencies as it is extremely efficient and convenient and allows them to focus on ‘business as usual’ matters.

Hiring freezes cant affect productivity or culture when temp support is implemented

 A headcount freeze is when an organisation must maintain the current number of full time equivalent (FTE) employees. Employers consolidate current employees and potentially look at restructuring departments to ensure the right talent is allocated in the right place. This often leaves gaps around the organisation that need to be filled.

Then what about when the unexpected happens? What about when employees are stretched as far as they can be? What about when a new project or major client is won and additional support is required? Over the years we have watched many organisations in the constraint of hiring freezes survive with the assistance of temporary staff.  

Staff are unpredictable – and that is not going to change

Your workforce is human. It has personal issues, it changes its mind, it looses motivation, it lets you down, it gets sick, it changes direction – we could go on and on. Having a temporary staffing agency that recognises the type of individuals who fit your culture, knows your people and understands your needs is invaluable when the unexpected arises. As an office support employment agency assisting with temporary needs we often provide cover for  Receptionists, Executive Assistants, Personal Assistants, Admin Assistants, Team Assistants, Project Coordinators, HR Assistants, Legal Secretaries and Paralegals.  

Reduce your risk of a rushed permanent hire because you need someone now

When that unexpected resignation comes in from one of your key people it can set of a panic that results in a rushed process for a permanent hire. When somebody leaves a role, time should be taken to fully review the position, its function in the business, why the last person has left the role and what will be beneficial in a future hire. None of this can be done if the feeling that a ‘bum on the seat’ is more important than the time to review.

But you can achieve both if the ‘bum on the seat’ is a quality temp that can keep the status quo going whilst an assessment is made on the future requirement. We often work on permanent recruitment assignments and place a temp in the role in the meantime, it can be an extremely successful process as we learn even more about the role and who would be the perfect fit from our temp.  

Gain a fresh perspective from people outside of your business

Many companies utilise temporary employees to bring a fresh perspective in to their organisation. For example, a corporate firm might have their Marketing Coordinator go on extended annual leave and bring in someone on a temporary basis that is from a different industry to share some new concepts. Or a Project Coordinator might be taken on in a temporary capacity who can train internal employees on new systems. When you have an existing relationship with a temp recruitment service we can assist with minimal notice.

Look after your existing people with adequate support

Particularly during the most challenging times, looking after your existing people with adequate support is going to be paramount. Temporary staff recruitment agencies can be there on hand to help out with short or long term needs – we are used to working to short deadlines and being creative to deliver efficient results. Showing your staff that you are willing to reach out and obtain additional support for them will make all the difference to their loyalty and your culture going forward.  Particularly now as burnout is rife and staff are really feeling the effects of shortages.

When it comes to office support, MJD Recruitment are trusted by many high value organisations for temporary staffing recruitment services. Contact us on 02 8042 1840 or at [email protected] to learn more about how we could assist.

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Do you ‘recognise’ but not ‘appreciate’ your employees?


Do you ‘recognise’ but not ‘appreciate’ your employees?

In the workplace, the terms ‘recognition’ and ‘appreciation’ are sometimes used interchangeably. However, they’re actually two very different things and you would be surprised which one is most widely requested by the office support employees we speak with on a regular basis.

Recognising employees is about rewarding them for their exceptional performance, such as hitting and exceeding sales targets or KPI’s. It is a super important part of motivating people, however it is conditional and based on achievement.

Appreciation, on the other hand, is about showing consistent and ongoing gratitude for who they are as individuals and contributors in your business. In the dictionary appreciation is classified as recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.

Why making sure there is a distinction between the 2 matters

This clear distinction between recognising and appreciating your employees matters because recognition and appreciation are given for 2 very different reasons.

Recognition entails giving positive feedback or rewards based on an outcome. It may be expressed in a formal way with an award, certificate, bonus, promotion or pay raise. It may also be given informally in the form of a verbal ‘thank you’ or a handwritten note. All of these methods are significant, meaningful, motivating and exciting for many and most employees.

However, while some people or teams succeed in achieving set goals or objectives, there will also be times when failures or challenges happen along the way. This is where appreciation comes in, as it’s not focused or dependent on an outcome or achievement.

Appreciation is powerful yet underrated in our opinion – and in the opinion of many of the candidates that we speak with on a daily basis, particularly in the office support profession. Through appreciation, you acknowledge the inherent value of a staff member, peer or colleague as a human being, not just as an employee.

Recognition may help people thrive, but we think it’s appreciation that often keeps them happy, loyal and stable. Particularly for those working in a support capacity, who often have great impact with the ‘little things’ that they do on a daily basis.

When you express your appreciation for others, you’re also building trust and goodwill.

Showing appreciation for the people you work and interact with several hours a day need not be a time-consuming and expensive exercise. Consider the following:

These little acts of appreciation show how much you care for your staff’s wellbeing. They’re easy to do and don’t require a huge expense or a lot of effort.

A little appreciation goes a long way

Giving deserving employees recognition and rewarding them is important. But it’s often the everyday and occasional things showing appreciation in a simple manner, that go a long way. 

It’s these things that help foster goodwill, trust and loyalty in employees and will motivate them to take ownership of their role as individuals and members of your team. 

Our Founder and Managing Director Martin Dineen is one of those special leaders who shows appreciation ‘in spades’ and has done this since inception of our business. This has not only fostered loyalty and longevity within our team, it has spilled over in to our temporary workforce and network of exceptional candidates looking for permanent opportunities. 

Try it, it works! 

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