Gael Baek wins Yooralla’s Emerging Leader Award 2021

2021 Excellence Awards Highlights

Gael Baek, Senior Employee Relations Advisor is one of two staff who have won Yooralla’s 2021 Emerging Leader Award. Gael has consistently ensured customers receive quality care and has provided coaching, development and mentoring to managers.

The Emerging Leader Award is for individual Yooralla employees, not currently in senior leadership roles, who have excelled as emerging leaders by demonstrating leadership potential. Yooralla’s annual awards recognise team and individual staff who go above and beyond the expectations of their roles.

Being acknowledged and recognised

Gael was nominated by Employee Relations Manager, Heather Cobham, who recognises his aptitude for assisting others with their own professional development. Heather has seen Gael grow in the two years since he joined Yooralla, building his skills and knowledge, sharing his expertise, representing Yooralla in Fair Work forums and easing the workload of others.

“Gael demonstrates the Yooralla values and behaviours in everything he does.”

His nomination was supported by senior managers including Puneet Gulati, Kristy McMurray, Vipin Malik, Mark Hulbert and Andrea Walters.

“To know that my peers acknowledge and celebrate my efforts is both validating and uplifting. I am proud of the work that I have done to empower employees to give their best effort and to support their teams and in turn, provide a high quality of support to Yooralla customers,” said Gael.

Recognition from peers is a testament to Gael’s ability to build collaborative work relationships. Community Hubs Service Manager, Puneet Gulati appreciates Gael’s approach to diversity.

“Gael has been very proactive and especially while managing cultural issues... He was very professional and detailed and approachable.”

Supporting others while learning

While supporting his colleagues to achieve their goals, Gael is also studying Employee Relations and Management at university, demonstrating a commitment to his own ongoing professional development.

Group Manager of the Outer East Residential and Respite Support Services, Andrea Walters has been impressed by Gael’s capacity to lead and support staff with a series of complicated employee relations matters that have included Union negotiations, staff mediations, roster consultations and performance related matters.

“Gael is an excellent example of a leader who lives and encourages others to practice the Yooralla values. He is a highly skilled professional and a natural leader who is reliable, available, consistent and supportive”

Something to be proud of

Understanding how his role impacts others, Gael is driven to do meaningful work.

“Although I am not in a direct customer-facing role, the work that we do in Employee Relations supports the broader organisation by providing both strategic and practical day-to-day advice. I am motivated by seeing the results of my coaching and mentoring employees to bring their authentic selves and Yooralla values to workplaces in a tangible, meaningful way.”

Gael has much to be proud of in his role at Yooralla, especially the way he has managed employee relations during COVID-19 restrictions.

“2021 brought many ER/IR challenges, many of which had no precedent and required quick thinking and acute problem-solving skills. I am proud of the efficiency and sensitivity that the Employee Relations team showed to handle these challenges in a timely manner. Navigating the uncertainty of COVID-19 continues to be a challenge, but I am proud to be a part of a team that is resilient and puts our people at the heart of everything we do.”

Demonstrating Yooralla’s values

Director of Specialist Services, Kristy McMurray values the support Gael has provided to her team during complex investigations.

“He is vigilant, kind, compassionate and prompt to follow up. He navigates the complexities of interpersonal relationships between staff and customers to ensure the alignment with Yooralla values is optimal.”

Congratulations to Gael on receiving the award. Yooralla is grateful for your positive contributions to the organisation’s workplace culture for the benefit of customers and staff.

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