How-to guide: Scafit - people centric approach

How Scafit changed its business model and approach to a people centric one, focused on staff wellbeing and development with excellent results for the staff, the business, and the wider community.

Who is this guide for?

Business owners or organisations who are facing issues around staff retention, performance, absenteeism and/or poor management, or those wanting to improve their company culture and overall employee wellbeing.

Leadership development

Do a leadership skill and/or management course to upskill your senior leadership team. In Scafit's case, they employed a leadership expert to run a course for their management over the course of four years. However, there are a variety of courses available out there from a range of organisations, including free online options.

Allocate sufficient time towards enabling your management structure. Scafit invests about 20 hours per month on board, management and safety committee meetings.

Identify junior staff who have leadership potential and include them in leadership development opportunities, such as a management course.

Ask other business owners or organisations for advice on areas you are struggling with. However, do exercise caution and do your due diligence – even the most experienced professionals can exhibit poor judgement and hand out poor advice.

Adopt a business coach or mentor to provide guidance and help you develop your leadership and management skills.

If your current management structure is not working for your business or organisation, you may need to consider whether you have the right people in the right roles.

Personal development and skills training

  • Deliver personal development and skills training to your staff. Scafit worked with an external management expert to develop their own in-house training (personal and professional development) program.
  • Decide what sort of topics the training will cover. Scafit's programme covers topics like basic induction, goal setting, soft skills, technical skills, leadership skill and knowing your 'why'.
  • Cater your training to your staff's needs and capabilities. Scafit was cognisant of that fact that many of its staff had not previously done well in the education system.
  • Create incentives for staff to do the training. Scafit noted they worked to make the training fun and provide refreshments and food at their course.
  • Open the training to as many as your staff as possible, including by providing it at different locations.
  • Create broader personal development and skills training opportunities for your staff. For example, Scafit supported one employee to achieve their level five adult teaching qualification from a nearby polytechnic. That employee is now a key trainer at Scafit.
  • Create genuine career pathway opportunities from new starter to management.

Health and safety accreditation

Consider whether your business or organisation would benefit from getting a health and safety accreditation, and if so, which accreditation(s) would best suit you. Scafit estimates it costs them around $13,000 every year to keep accredited. That includes the payment for the ISO 45001 accreditation itself (around $10,000) and the time it takes Scafit to get accredited.

Employee wellbeing benefits

Consider what employee benefits or wellbeing policies you could introduce to your business or organisation. This should involve conversations with your employees about their needs and the kind of benefits or policy changes they would like to see. Scafit estimates their wellbeing programme, including daily breakfasts and access to health specialists, costs them an estimated $60,000 per annum (note that costs are dependant on number of staff).

You can introduce benefits and policy changes over time. If the changes improve your employee's wellbeing, you're likely to see better performance and a productivity as a result. Any resulting profit out of these changes can be reinvested back into expanding employee benefits.

Monitoring business performance

Have KPIs (key performance indicators) and measure your business or organisation's performance in the primary areas of financial and operational performance on an ongoing basis. In addition to this, Scafit decided to use an external assessor, B Corp, to evaluate and measure the impact across all areas of the business, which included the team, clients, governance, environment and community, as well as continual improvement in those areas.

Scafit(external link) -