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The Thinking Cap

Tips, tricks and solutions from the team at PSB Solutions. We offer solutions in regards to people, safety, and business.

Getting the Right Person for the Job

PSB Solutions - Monday, January 19, 2015

For many people, hiring staff can be a hit and miss affair. Maybe you interview your candidate, speak to their old managers and, more than you’d like to admit, you listen to your “gut feel”. This approach can lead to good hiring decisions; it can also lead to the employee from hell. Psychometric Assessments, however, offer an objective assessment device that allows you to assess potential candidates on a range of relevant abilities and personal characteristics, and compare them against a large pool of similar individuals.

Why use Psychometric Assessments?

In a fast-changing and increasingly competitive market place, selecting, developing and retaining the best talent is vital for long-term success. Likewise, avoiding the costs associated with hiring the wrong candidate is also important. To ensure the best available talent is being hired, more and more businesses are using psychometric assessments to guide their recruitment process. The reason for this is simple: psychology research consistently shows that abilities assessments are a strong predictor of future job success, when used in combination with interviews, reference checks, bio data and assessment centres (Schmidt and Hunter, 1998).

The Assessments

To assess candidates’ potential performance, and to identify the most talented individuals already working for you, PSB Solutions offer a series of assessments that can be utilised and customised to the specific job type and organisational culture. PSB Solutions assessment suite includes:

  • Personality assessments. These are used to identify desirable traits required for the job (such as team work, stress management etc.).
  • Aptitude and ability assessments (graduate and manager level). These are used to provide insight into how well the candidate can manage the intellectual demands of the job position.
  • Career preferences. These are used to support decision making in terms of career development.
  • Values and motives. These are used to provide insight into how a person's values and motivations may impact their success within a job role.

If you would like to know more about how psychometric assessments can improve your selection and recruitment process, do not hesitate to give one of our friendly staff members a call on (08) 6272 3900.


1. Schmidt, F.L. and Hunter, J.E. (1998). The validity and utility of selection methods in personnel psychology. Practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research findings. Psychological Bulletin, 142, 262-274.

Great Parents at a Great Distance - Staying Connected

PSB Solutions - Thursday, October 30, 2014

Here are some tips on ways that you can stay involved in your children’s life even though you are  working away.

Stay in Touch

A study of 32 long distance families stressed that frequent contact was important for maintaining relationships1. Your family is only a phone call away, so try to avoid saving things up for when you are reunited, and take the time to spend a few minutes on the phone each night.

Even something small like a text message saying: “I love you” or “How are you?” once you’re back at your accommodation shows your kids that, even though you’re away, you are still thinking of and supporting them.

Stay Interested

A parent’s level of interest is incredibly important for a child at any age. A parent who does not show interest in their child’s life is not going to have the same relationship as one who shows that they are thinking about their child, interested in what is happening in their day, their hobbies and friendships. It is important while you’re away that you make an extra effort to remember significant events and dates such as school activities and birthdays, and remember to ask your children about them. It may help if you write important dates down as your kids talk about them. This can help you remember what to ask them about the next time you speak.


Kids love surprises!

Leave a little something behind under your children’s pillows; it could be a little note or an inexpensive gift that can mean a lot. A great tip for a surprise is to look online for businesses where you live and order goodies to be delivered to your house such as pizza for dinner. This is a great idea and it’s easy and creative; you can pay over the phone and it lets the kids know mum or dad is thinking of them.

Being “there” for your kids on you Rest & Restoration (R&R) break

It’s also very important to look after yourself while you’re on site, make sure you eat well, and get enough exercise and sleep. You want to have the energy for your family when you get back for your R&R and not feel burnt out.

Get with It!

If you have internet access, it’s definitely worth ‘getting with the technology’. There are plenty of ways to keep in the loop with what’s happening back home. Impress your kids by using the latest technology, the most popular internet communication sites at the moment are Facebook, Skype, and Twitter, to name a few.

E-cards are great if you don’t get the chance to send a card in the post for a special occasion. Another cheap and effective idea is to email photos, mini-films or newsletters to show your family what life is like away from home.



  1. Gallegos, D (2006). Aero planes always come back: fly-in fly-out employment: managing the parenting transitions. Perth: Centre for Social and Community Research, Murdoch University.


Managing Error in High Risk Industries Through Human Performance Improvement

PSB Solutions - Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Human error is an inevitable aspect of being human. Therefore, a proactive approach to error management is through the development of error tolerant systems. As quoted by James Reason, "It is now widely held among human reliability specialists that the most productive strategy for dealing with active errors is to focus upon controlling their consequences rather than upon striving for their elimination” (Reason, p. 246). Download our presentation on 'Managing Error in High Risk Industries through Human Performance Improvement' here to find out more. 

The Work-life Balancing Act

PSB Solutions - Tuesday, May 27, 2014

There is a growing demand for more flexible working arrangements across Australia, as balancing work and life commitments has increasingly become an issue in our society.  More and more, employees are finding it difficult to find a satisfactory balance between work and family commitments, leading to job dissatisfaction and an increase in work-related psychological injury claims. Read more to find out how a flexible work environment results in the attraction and retention of skilled employees and the strategies that can help you achieve this goal.

When at work, be at work and give it your all.  When at home, be at home and spend time with your family – don’t worry about the things you didn’t get done at the office.  This could be a case of easier said than done.  There is growing awareness that work and other life commitments cannot be easily separated.  Increasing work demands, longer working hours and the consequent rise in work-related psychological injury claims are all indicators of a need for a more balanced approach.

Work-life balance (WLB) refers to the interaction of one’s life and work commitments and the ability to attain a satisfactory balance between the two.

Why is Work-life Balance Important?

A changing work environment, including an increase in the participation of women in the workforce, and the aging population, shows that the number of employees with responsibilities for the care of family members will continue to increase. Flexible work arrangements enable carers of young children or elderly relatives to attend to their responsibilities when required. Times of illness or school commitments are good examples.  There is a need for organisations to adopt strategies and policies that accommodate the work-life needs of an increasingly diverse workforce.

Additionally, there is strong evidence to show that good worker health and wellbeing boosts organisational health and business performance.  Psychological injury (such as stress and depression) brought on by increased work demands are influenced by the work environment and the way that work is organised.  These work factors are known as psychosocial hazards and when not effectively managed, have been shown to negatively impact both the employee and the organisation.

Responsibilities Under the Law

The Work Health and Safety Act (2011) states that employers must ensure the health and safety of its employees.  Health is defined under the Act to mean both physical and psychological health.  This has led to the awareness for the requirement to manage psychosocial risks. WLB is a key method of this management.

All Australian states adopting these laws will have to consider how they are managing psychological health under the legislation. Regardless, workplaces should and do have a moral obligation to manage psychological hazards in the workplace, including WLB.

Benefits of Work-life Balance

Balance between work and life commitments requires a flexible working environment.  Through providing greater flexibility in work arrangements, along with other factors, organisations can: 

  • improve employee retention;
  • reduce staff turnover;
  • improve performance;
  • reduce absenteeism;
  • improve physical/mental health;
  • attract broader talent pool;
  • attain positive employer branding; and
  • induce earlier return from maternity leave.

Strategies for Work-life Balance

Effective, flexible work arrangements are achieved when organisations develop a positive WLB thinking culture through the following initiatives:

  • managers and supervisors demonstrating commitment to creating a flexible workplace that supports WLB by considering employees’ needs and requests;
  • implementing flexible work practices to provide greater flexibility to all employees (including supervisors, managers and other senior staff);
  • ensuring flexible working hours and leave arrangements to accommodate family and personal responsibilities without detriment or penalty;
  • management training and accountability – managers to be responsible and accountable for implementing WLB strategies; and
  • increasing awareness of employees’ entitlements in accessing flexible working arrangements, assistance and services, such as:
    • part-time work;
    • study leave;
    • flexible starting/finishing times;
    • working from home;
    • job sharing;
    • subsidised/free fitness memberships;
    • life skills programs; and
    • time management programs.

How PSB Solutions Can Help

PSB Solutions can assist your organisation in supporting work-life balance initiatives through:

  • establishing leadership support and commitment through targeted training programs and coaching;
  • stress management seminars and workshops;
  • workshops on workforce psychological fitness for managers and supervisors; and
  • psychological fitness risk assessments.

Please contact PSB Solutions on (08) 6272 3900 or to discuss your needs and set up a complementary consultation session.

Further Reading

Work Health & Safety Act (2011).  Retrieved from

Bulger, C. A., Matthews, R. A., & Hoffman, M. E. (2007). Work and personal life boundary management: Boundary strength, work/personal life balance, and the segmentation-integration continuum. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 12, 365-375.

Hawksley, B. (2006). Work-related stress, work/life balance and personal life coaching. British Journal of Community Nursing,12, 34-36.

Murthy, V. & Guthrie, J. (2012). Management control of work-life balance: A narrative study of an Australian financial institution. Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, 15, 258-280.

Pocock, B. (2005). Work-life ‘balance’ in Australia: Limited progress, dim prospects. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 43, 198-208.


Outplacement: The Next Step

PSB Solutions - Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Outplacement: The Next Step

Market demand, mergers, acquisitions, reorganisations, changes in management, and the introduction of technical innovations inevitably bring about resource reviews, and the separation of employees from the organisation.

Changes such as these not only affect the separated individual; they can impact the organisation’s brand and the morale of remaining employees. Navigating these changes effectively is crucial.

Outplacement is a structured process designed to assist separated employees to find new opportunities, while helping to minimise the distress associated with being unemployed. Outplacement services have many benefits at both an organisational and individual level. These are described below.


Benefits of Outplacement Services


  • Enhance the company brand and reputation as one that looks after their people.
  • Increase the chances of retention of those employees you require to take the company forward.
  • Retain a level of productivity and help to minimise any negative impact on costs.


  • Provide support in dealing with all aspects of being separated from the organisation including managing anger and hurt and instilling confidence.
  • Change the focus to their personal career needs and future.
  • Provide the tools to carry out reflection of their career to date.
  • Provide an assessment of key personal strengths.
  • Assist in developing a clear action plan for the future.
  • Guide them in the latest knowledge and skills to carry out an effective job search in the current market.
  • Equip them with a CV and strategies for gaining employment.
  • Provide them with interviewing skills and knowledge of behavioural questions.
  • Give them confidence and reassurance in their chosen future be it employment, re-training, business or retirement.


How PSB Solutions Can Help?

As psychologists, we at PSB Solutions understand the psychological impact behind leaving a job, and the potential stressors of making a transition to a new life. Our background in psychology enables us to understand and help individuals to prepare for their next stage.

A key area of differentiation between PSB Solutions and other providers is our ability to utilise assessment tools to provide individuals with insight into their strengths, areas for development and personality characteristics when considering best career choices or person-organisation fit in future.

The following stages reflect our core outplacement service offerings:


Depending on the level of program chosen by the organisation, exiting employees are also provided with the following options:


Other Services:

In addition to the services outlined above, PSB Solutions specialise in:

  • Effective Communication Skills;
  • Essentials of Stress Management;
  • Essentials of Fatigue Management; and
  • Psychosocial Risk Awareness.

For additional information on these services and how they may be of benefit in supporting individuals to find the right career and life balance in future roles please contact PSB Solutions for details. PSB Solutions are able to tailor their packages to incorporate these services on an individual basis, as required.

Contact Us

If you would like to know more about our outplacement services, phone us at (08) 9489 3900 or email us at



Organisational Climate Surveys - Checking the Health Status of your Organisation

PSB Solutions - Friday, May 24, 2013

You might be a manager. Or maybe you’re an Organisational Development professional. You may even be the CEO. You know how you work, and you probably know how your team works. Do you know how your organisation works? How do you get people to tell you about your company in a non-defensive or confrontational way? Are people engaged? Are they happy? Do they know how their role fits into the larger organisational objectives?

In an ideal world, you could gather everyone together in a large meeting room for a day and ask for their opinions. However, this takes significant time out of everyone’s day, and you can’t guarantee that everyone will be provided with a chance to voice their opinions. You could round up your team leaders and department heads to provide you with a summary of how they think their teams are feeling about the business. However, all you are really getting here is second-hand information at best. How do you ensure that you’re not simply being provided with the good news?


Enter organisational climate surveys. Climate surveys such as the Workplace Climate Indicator™ target the perceptions of your workforce. These surveys provide everyone with a voice – from ground floor personnel to the executive suite. Quick and easy to use, these well-established tools allow you to target every individual in your organisation to provide honest, confidential and anonymous feedback regarding how they perceive the company for which they work.

In some instances, the voices of your personnel may not be an accurate reflection of what’s actually going on in your organisation. However, this is equally as important to pay attention to. If your employees hold a different perception of how the organisation is functioning compared to reality (or compared to management), this tells you that there is a breakdown in communication or alignment somewhere along the way.

What is working well? Are there areas for improvement?  Are people working in alignment with each other and the corporate goals? These are all questions that a high quality organisational climate survey should help to answer.

Organisational climate surveys investigate a range of factors impacting the workplace, such as:

  • Job satisfaction
  • Job involvement
  • Rate of change
  • Decision-making effectiveness
  • Teamwork
  • Interdepartmental relationships
  • Remuneration
  • Policies and practices
  • Product quality
  • Flexibility
  • Supervisor support

At PSB Solutions we have developed The Workplace Climate Indicator™, which measures a wide range of organisational factors. PSB Solutions have extensive experience in the areas of survey design, implementation and analysis. Our ethically-bound, confidential and rigorous methodologies ensure that the results are accurate and interpreted appropriately. We can also help if there are areas of interest that you would like to target specific to your industry or business.

If you would like to know more about our Workplace Climate Indicator™, give us a call on (08) 9489 3900 or email us at