This edition of our newsletter, more so than any previous publication, reminds me of the importance of considering each employee as an individual. This might seem like an obvious statement, but  so often Organisational Leaders, myself included, forget the importance of individual relationships with our staff. We spend our leadership team meetings focussed on group-wide initiatives. Of course we’re always cautious of not seeking unrealistic silver bullet solutions to major issues. However, we are still hopeful of “killing two birds with one stone”, wherever possible. However, what if some of the biggest challenges that organisations face can simply not be solved using such a paradigm?!nnOver the last five to ten years, a great deal of interest has been placed in research on generational differences. The idea has been that such research might guide the different practices and systems that should be adopted in order to improve retention for groups of employees. At the risk of spoiling your enjoyment of our generational differences article on page 6, our most recent research project challenges this assumption. In fact, research into the factors that drive job satisfaction and turnover decisions increasingly point towards such emotions and workplace choices being particularly personal. Two such areas of research are summarised in this edition’s articles about mental health and turnover triggers.nnBeing an Organisational Psychologist, I always recommend that leaders adopt an evidence-based approach to organisational strategy. This often results in group-wide, normative interventions that are proven to help organisations achieve bottom-line results. However, there are many instances where the evidence suggests that group-wide intervention simply will not solve an organisation’s problem. There are some problems that can only be solved by each individual leader taking the time to get to know their staff, developing close relationships with them and demonstrating that they care and are listening.nnSuch an approach is not only a ticket to increased organisational commitment and improved employee retention, but it’s also a much more enjoyable and fulfilling way to be a manager. A unique responsibility has been vested in those of us who have been given the privilege of leading a team. Employee satisfaction, close workplace relationships and organisational productivity are not mutually exclusive constructs. The more research I conduct and the more experience I gain personally as a leader, the more confidence I develop in this statement.nn nn nn

Matt is the Director of HC. He is an Organisational Psychologist with 10 years experience working in HR or related fields. Matt has consulted with many of Australia’s largest and most successful businesses across a broad range of industries.

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