Inside a panel of promising Pickles employees and their career journeys so far
Each year, Pickles hosts an end of financial year conference to bring together leadership from each division across the business. During these annual meetings, Pickles’ leadership debrief on the year gone by and set goals for the year ahead. For this year’s conference, Pickles decided to switch things up. While each year, part of the conference features a panel made primarily of Pickles leaders, in 2023 the guest speakers were some of Pickles’ freshest young talent.
While businesses usually reserve conference highlights to their most senior employees, the business really wanted to see things from a new perspective - from the bottom looking up.
The best and brightest Pickles talent from across the business joined Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer, Gavin Smith, in a panel event to speak about their experiences progressing within Pickles, their thoughts on business changes and their feedback for senior executives.
‘It was a privilege to host this panel of fantastic talented people at Pickles. I am proud to work in a company with a culture that encourages talented people to work at our organisation.’
Gavin Smith, Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer
The panel featured Lucinda Pagett, Pauline Tan, Chris Mora and Matt Lucas. Spread across a range of divisions, this group of innovators brought a fresh perspective to Pickles’ FY 22/23 conference. Met with great anticipation, the panel only went for 10 minutes but had a long lasting impact on the inspired leaders who listened. Check out the topics discussed below!
Career in the age of COVID-19
Starting a career in the height of COVID-19 is something that impacted a great number of Pickles’ emerging workforce. While WFH impacted all Pickles employees, the panel explored how it felt to emerge into a career and experience work and networking for the first time, from home.
For workers like those on our panel, beginning their career in the height of COVID-19 meant they never experienced a traditional working experience. It meant that today’s young workers often excel at digital communication and rely on online forms of networking in order to progress in their roles. It also means that up and coming employees have expectations of flexible working arrangements, something that previously was uncommon to come across. This trend is unsurprising, given data from Employment Hero suggests close to 50% of Australian workers would consider quitting their job if their employer forced them to return to the office working full time.
‘It was a great opportunity to be able to share my thoughts, traditionally conferences can be top-down heavy. Also fun to put a face to a name considering that most people have only interacted with me over email.’
Pauline Tan, Product Manager, Digital Acquisition
Panel interviewee, Pauline Tan, dove into career progression experience and also her feedback on how to retain Millennial and Gen Z employees. In an era where young employees have short retention rates and follow the trend of jumping from business to business in order to increase opportunities, it can be difficult for businesses to entice employees into long tenure. By giving upward feedback about how to keep her generation in their roles, Pickles’ senior leaders received clear and honest insight into tactics that help retain talented emerging staff.
‘It was great to be up on stage to share my thoughts and my journey through Pickles in front of such a knowledgeable crowd. I think it’s great to have the opportunity to voice our opinions and share our visions and ideas.’
Chris Mora, National Manager, Sales Process
Recruiting young talent
Well reported in the media, most of today’s up and coming workers are mostly interested in the hard benefits offered by employers. Gone are the days of long tenure without career advancement, and sticking around for the promise of better things on the horizon. To lure in the most talented employees, businesses have to be the most attractive employers. Some of the tools the panel discussed included -
- Flexible and remote working options
- Online and in-person team events
- Individualised training
- Regular development
- Meaningful opportunities
- Five days of extra leave per year after a qualifying period
‘Being on the panel and sharing my ideas was a great way to expand my professional network and drive positive change within the organisation.’
Matthew Lucas, Commercial Manager
A sentiment shared across the board by the panel was the immense wealth of knowledge and opportunities available for all Pickles employees. As a business, Pickles believe there should be no barriers to learning and this creates a culture of openness and accessibility to young, new employees. Given Pickles’ long tenure amongst senior executives, there is a vast number of field experts who are all more than happy to share their knowledge with anyone willing to ask.
Pickles’ promotes a casual environment, wherein nobody is unapproachable. This makes it easy for up and comers to capitalise on the knowledge and mentorship of some of the Pickles longest reigning leaders. This environment also creates a safe space for young employees, wherein they feel safe to take shots, some of which will fail. By creating an environment of supportive leadership that trusts their juniors and supports them when things don’t go to plan, Pickles is fostering creativity and innovation at every level of the business.
‘It was such an honour to be invited to share my thoughts on working for Pickles. It was really great to be approached and complemented by so many senior leaders after the panel.’
Lucinda Pagett, Product Owner – Inspections & Change Manager
Pickles employees enjoy extreme flexibility and boast the ability to work from anywhere in Australia, something that is very attractive to the up and coming workforce. However, WFH is a relatively new concept and moving to remote operations created a new task for division managers - how to create a good company culture for employees spread across Australia?
Some of the ways Pickles promotes company culture:
- Online hangouts
- Scheduled in-person hangouts
- Offices/seats available by appointment
- Hosted events
- Sending vouchers
- Sending care packages
After such a successful 2023 panel, it can be assumed that the event will become a staple of future conferences.
Want to find out more about the great working environment available at Pickles? Check out some of the career and cadetship opportunities available today!