8 Ways for Managers to Connect with Employees

The days when managers would hide away in their ivory towers are long gone, or should be. Managers play an essential role in boosting employee engagement, creating an environment where every individual in their team feels comfortable, valued and motivated. And great managers know that the key to success lies in communicating and connecting with their people. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Offer employees a welcoming and safe workplace, free from bullying, harassment and discrimination. By creating and maintaining a positive working environment, employees will be happy to come and work with you – and the business – every day.
  2. Be a good role model. Be responsible, positive and consistent in your decisions and actions. Make time for your employees, motivate them and inspire them to be the best they can be.
  3. Schedule regular team events where individuals can share ideas, work in progress, and voice any concerns. Rather than a weekly meeting in the office, have lunch together in the canteen or head out to a local café for a cappuccino and a chat. You’re not just connecting with your employees, you’re creating a team that everyone is happy to be part of.
  4. Act on employee suggestions. There is no point in individuals having a voice if their messages just vanish into thin air. By including employees’ feedback in decisions and processes, you are showing that you value their say. And the chances are they’ll engage more with you and the business going forward.
  5. Keep your people in the loop. If there’s something big on the horizon, let your employees know before it’s looming ominously large. Open communication is key to building trust and respect.
  6. Wander around randomly on a regular basis and check in on your team. Management by walking around (MBWA) was big back in the 1980s when it was pioneered by HP’s Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. It’s a great way to see what’s going on, listen to your employees, and provide on-the-spot assistance if necessary.
  7. Recognise and reward your employees for a job well done. Everyone likes to feel they’ve made a difference. Forget the fancy team competitions, score boards and expensive prizes; sometimes a simple ‘well done’ is all it takes.
  8. Invest in your people. Spend time with them, support them, encourage them and coach them as they work towards their personal and professional goals. Show them you are committed to a long-term working relationship by offering them training and development programs and opportunities for advancement.

Communicate, connect and create an environment where your employees, you, and the business will thrive!

At Optimal Recruitment, we would love to communicate and connect with you. Please contact us on 02 8416 4181 or info@optimalrecruitment.com.au

Last year, a recruitment video for the Australian Department of Finance Graduate Program went viral for all the wrong reasons. Designed to showcase the “the variety of work, cultural and social experience [graduates] can expect when joining the department”, the video came in for heavy criticism by marketing experts. Dee Madigan, creative director of agency Campaign Edge, who has worked on a number of marketing campaigns for the Labor party, rated it as “probably one of the worst recruitment videos I’ve ever seen.”

So how do you get it right?

There is no magic formula for making a successful recruitment video, but here are a few recommendations:

  • Keep it short: very few viewers want to watch a 30-minute mini-documentary
  • Present your company culture in an honest and attractive way to help prospective applicants self-select
  • Provide insights into the type of work employees do and the perks they benefit from
  • Show a diverse range of employees to appeal to a broad target audience
  • Include humour and fun for maximum entertainment value.

The following videos, we think, work particularly well.

Notching up a huge number of views on YouTube – for the right reasons – is this recruitment video for the New Zealand Police. Aimed at 18-24-year-olds, it features frequent bursts of action, snippets of speech, and a good dollop of Kiwi humour. Well scripted and sharply filmed and edited, it is a great way to attract prospective applicants to a role in the NZ Police force.


Produced in 2014, “Working at Dropbox” is still one of the best recruitment videos out there. Classic employee lines, such as “It’s not only a place that I come to work; it’s a place that I come to grow” are injected with humour by replacing the people who voiced them with puppets. In just under 2.5 minutes, viewers gain an idea of Dropbox’s values, people and perks – and are entertained all the way.


Unlike Dropbox, HubSpot used real people to front their brand in this upbeat 2012 recruitment video. Prospective applicants are given a clear introduction to the company’s mission and values, as well as a privileged peek into the working environment. The video showcases a diverse range of employees who add their individual experiences to the bigger picture.

Do you have a favourite recruitment video? If yes, do share it in the comments. We’d love to hear your suggestions.

Thank you for watching!




Good choice! Australia is facing a growing shortage of truck drivers as road freight increases in importance and current drivers reach retirement age.

But what does the job involve? What qualifications do you need? And where can you find work? Find out more in our handy FAQ.

What does the job involve?

There is more to truck driving than driving a truck! You will also be expected to:

  • Load goods onto your truck – manually or with a forklift – and ensure that they are correctly positioned and securely strapped/covered if necessary
  • Safely transport goods to their destination
  • Carry out basic truck inspections and maintenance
  • Check on the condition of goods
  • Use a GPS/navigation system with confidence
  • Unload goods at your destination
  • Complete the necessary paperwork

What type of industry can I work in?

There’s a huge choice of potential sectors: construction, waste services, agriculture and warehousing, to name a few. So many goods are transported on our roads! Exact roles vary according to the sector you work in and the type of goods you transport. Driving a cement mixer truck will obviously be very different to transporting livestock from A to B. Some specialist roles, such as the transport of dangerous goods, require additional qualifications and licences.

What sort of hours can I expect?

Working hours vary – you may start early and finish late. Truck drivers may drive interstate and into rural and remote areas, so you may spend many nights on the road away from home. Some trucks are kitted out with bunks, a fridge and television for this very reason.

What qualifications do I need?

To start: a clean driving record. You will also need to pass practical and knowledge tests and an eyesight test to gain your heavy vehicle licence.

There are five different categories of licence:

  • LR: Light rigid
  • MR: Medium rigid
  • HR: Heavy rigid
  • HC: Heavy combination
  • MC: Multi combination

You can’t go straight from a class C (car) licence to an MC licence! You need to have held a class C licence for at least one year before you can apply for an LR or MR licence, and for at least two years before you can apply for an HR licence.

To apply for an HC licence, you need to have held an MR or HR licence for least one year. And to apply for an MC licence, you need to have held an HR or HC licence for at least one year.

There are a number of qualification routes, but most people choose to complete a Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment (HVCBA) with a Registered Training Organisation to gain their licence.

To read more about the HVCBA route and to find a Registered Training Organisation in your area, click here.

For more information about the heavy vehicle licence types and requirements in NSW, click here

What is the pay like?

According to the government’s Job Outlook, full-time truck drivers currently earn around $1,300 per week, although pay may be lower than this for newly-qualified drivers, and higher for those with more experience.

Where can I find work?

  • Approach companies directly – some may take on newly-qualified drivers and train them on the job.
  • Check out online job ads.
  • Register with recruitment agencies.

It can be difficult for newly-qualified drivers to find work, as many roles require at least one year’s practical experience. Don’t give up! The future is bright for the truck driving profession.

Useful sites

Australian Government Job Outlook https://joboutlook.gov.au/occupation.aspx?code=7331

NSW Roads & Maritime Services http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/business-industry/heavy-vehicles/licence/index.html

Australian Trucking Association http://www.truck.net.au/


If you hold a heavy vehicle licence and are looking for truck driver opportunities, please call the Optimal Recruitment team on 02 8416 4181.