Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJune 19, 2019
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3min113

The need to praise staff for good work has been highlighted in a new study showing employees would turn down a pay increase in favour of a culture of support.

Global employee engagement firm Reward Gateway carried out a survey of UK employees, managers, and HR staff, and found that more than three-in-five would rather work for a firm that offered praise, than for a company offering none but paying 10 percent more.

While the survey provides overwhelming evidence that HR leaders believe recognition and reward programs make a positive impact on business outcomes, 45 percent of HR workers don’t agree that their current recognition and reward program is as effective as it could be.

The top frustrations HR leaders have with their recognition and reward programs are that employees aren’t motivated by the rewards; moments of recognition aren’t seen or celebrated by other people; and it doesn’t allow for continuous or immediate recognition. To overcome these challenges and improve their programmes, almost three quarters of HR employees surveyed said they would be likely to invest in recognition and reward within the next year.

Another barrier to successful recognition programmes is that managers are ill-equipped to give effective recognition. Only 16 percent of managers strongly agreed that their company provides them with the tools and understanding on how to recognise their colleagues effectively.

Meanwhile, many managers are failing to recognise their employees effectively, as just 20 percent of managers strongly agreed that their company praises or thanks employees for the good work they do based on their company’s values, and over a quarter agreed that they struggle to find the time to give out thanks and praise.

Doug Butler, CEO at Reward Gateway, said: “While it’s great to see so many HR leaders understanding the positive impact of employee engagement on business, traditional methods and manual processes to achieve current workforce employee engagement goals are no longer an option. What employees want is continuous, instant and impactful recognition which reflects the ‘always-on’ workplace culture and the ‘always connected’ personal life many now have.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJune 7, 2019
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2min441

A significant number of UK employees would refuse a job offer with a firm they felt was neglecting sustainability.

That is the findings of a survey of 1,000 office workers commissioned by TopLine Film. Conducted to mark the UN’s 46th World Environment Day, the poll found that 24 percent would turn down a job over a lack of green ideals in an organisation, while a majority – 73 percent – feel their current workplace could make sustainability improvements.

Almost a third (31 percent) don’t think their workplace is environmentally sustainable, while when asked whose responsibility it is for an eco-friendly workplace, the majority (72 percent) said it was incumbent on employees themselves to push for improvements. Twenty-four percent felt this responsibility fell to the CEO, and 17 percent cited HR as the appropriate department to take action.

When asked what their workplaces currently do to address sustainability, the most popular activity was recycling office waste (50 percent). Others cited policies to reduce paper usage (29 percent); reminding staff to reduce energy consumption (29 percent); using energy efficient fixtures (27 percent); hosting virtual meetings to reduce travel time (26 percent); and encouraging reusable kitchenware (24 percent).

Jamie Field, MD of TopLine Film said: “Establishing environmentally friendly practices in the workplace is simply good for business. Attracting and retaining employees is as good a motivation as any other to get your company thinking about sustainability. But a sustainable mindset starts from the top – it’s only fair that those in charge show their commitment to the cause, and implement policies that encourage sustainability at work.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJune 7, 2019
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4min354

Unhygienic workplaces are believed to be contributing to employee sickness levels in the UK, research has revealed.

A survey of 1,012 workers conducted by AppliancesDirect.co.uk found that almost half (46 percent) believe that an unhygienic working environment has contributed to making them sick.

When quizzed on the reasons they felt their workplace has made them sick in the past, the majority (68 percent) said that they believed this was due to lack of general hygiene in their workplace, while 62 percent said it was due to colleagues bringing sickness into the office.

With 46 percent of respondents claiming that they’ve had at least one day sick in the past year due to their unhygienic workplace, this would come at a cost of £1.56 billion to UK employers, according to Gov.uk stats.

When quizzed on the least hygienic parts of their working environment, a further 48 percent said it was due to their desk phone, while 45 percent cited their dirty office kitchen as being the reason for them getting sick. Thirty-four percent of workers said this was due to badly washed plates and mugs in the office kitchen, while 28 percent said it was due to unsanitary bathrooms.

Slightly under a quarter (24 percent) of those surveyed said they feel that their dirty desk was the least hygienic part of their workplace, whilst for 18 percent it was their keyboard. A further 14 percent felt that colleagues leaving out of date food in a communal fridge has contributed to illness, and 11 percent of those surveyed felt it was due to pets in the office.

Mark Kelly, Marketing Manager at AppliancesDirect.co.uk said: “I was surprised from our findings just how much office sickness is costing UK businesses annually, with almost half of British workers blaming their workplace for at least one sick day in the past year.

“We carried out some research recently which found that the kitchen was the hub of the office, with 72 percent of UK workers saying this is the most used social space in the office, so it’s concerning to see that almost half of workers believe that this is a space that has made them ill in the past year due to lack of hygiene.

“It’s clear that it’s not just employers who need to keep communal spaces clean, but also that employees need to keep their personal workspaces hygienic to avoid illness from things like keyboards and desk phones.”

 

 


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4min418

Employers are risking alienating millennials by treating them as if they are a different ‘culture’, a hospitality industry forum has heard.

Hosted by industry thought-leader, EP Business in Hospitality, in partnership with online learning specialist Upskill People, the event in London highlighted that continually referring to millennials as though they are a different ‘culture’ or ‘nationality’ is both patronising and short-sighted and puts businesses that do not place compassion and people at the top of their agenda at risk of alienating future talent altogether.

In an industry clearly changing at speed, core messages emerging from the session included the need for a modernised learning culture that seeks to understand all perspectives while embracing shared knowledge across all genders, ages, and job titles.

Different goals: Millennials require a fresh approach when it comes to employee engagement

CEO at EP, Chris Sheppardson, explained:  “It’s becoming more apparent that the younger generations do have a different perspective and agenda on work and life. They are less focused on getting onto the housing ladder and being saddled with a lifetime mortgage, and are instead living more ‘in the moment’ with a genuine interest in environment and society – arguably to a higher degree that many business leaders. As businesses we must build a stronger connection with our people and change our approach to developing talent.”

The debate also reinforced the harsh reality that talent today doesn’t remain with one employer long-term and will move around more regularly, suggesting that employers need to embrace and even support this concept in the future. Leaders also agreed that to develop talent successfully today, there is a greater need for stronger coaching-led approaches.

Chris added: “Empowerment has almost become an old-fashioned concept and re-engagement is needed here. Too many companies try to control and limit any risk. Too many decisions on people are based on spread sheets and figures. Talent looks to embrace culture, compassion for people and communities in work. People are still the greatest asset of a business and young people today expect companies to play a meaningful role in society as well as in business.”


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13min250

Throughout our careers, we experience many different personality types that influence our behaviours and professional personas.

These encounters can often shape who we become as leaders, but have you taken the time to reflect on your management approach and considered how your team view your performance as a manager? Whether you consider your leadership style as autocratic, democratic, transformational, or laissez-faire, your ultimate aim is to keep your business running smoothly; which includes keeping your staff happy.

Love Energy Savings recently conducted a study on employee satisfaction, investigating how UK employees would rate the performance of their managers. The statistics were largely positive, with almost 50 percent of respondents rating performances as good or excellent.

However, 20 percent of respondents claimed that they work with an inadequate manager. This would indicate that some managers are struggling to build a rapport with their employees, which could have an impact on staff loyalty, retention, and ultimately affect their company’s bottom line.

The data collected in the survey revealed the following key findings:

  • 49.9 percent of respondents think positively about their manager’s performance
  • 33.5 percent of respondents think negatively about their manager’s performance
  • 16.5 percent of respondents feel their manager is satisfactory
  • Men aged 18-24 are most likely to rate their manager as inadequate
  • All other age brackets, for men and women, are most likely to rate their manager as good or excellent

Common mistakes managers can avoid

To better understand why so many workers are dissatisfied with their company’s management, we need to take a closer look at the root causes. There are many common issues that can be easily avoided, and if approached properly, can empower staff to perform to the best of their abilities.

1. Give your staff space to excel

When you have a lot of responsibilities as a manager, it’s only natural to want to get stuck in and make sure things are running smoothly. The danger here is that there’s a thin line between taking care and taking over.

Nobody likes to be micromanaged, and by doing so you’re advertising the fact that you don’t trust your team enough to let them do their jobs without supervision. By taking a step back and showing your employees that you trust them, they’ll feel empowered – after all, you hired them for a reason.

2. Show you value your staff
As a manager, your staff are your greatest asset. However, too many people take their employees for granted. Thinking of your business as a well-oiled machine may be a good way to visualise your day-to-day operations, but your team are more than just cogs.

Lucia Knight, a career satisfaction coach, explained: “Many of the individuals I work with feel that no one really cares about their career within their organisation, just what’s needed from them.”

She goes on to offer a simple solution to this: “A ten-minute real listening exercise can really nip some small problems in the bud before they become big problems in the future.”

By understanding what makes your team tick, you’ll be able to help them overcome any issues and excel in their careers.

3. Leave your ego at the door

When working in a position of authority, it’s crucial to make sure you’re not abusing your power. It can be all too easy to assume that you know best…after all, you are the boss.

Not only will staff morale plummet in the shadow of your ego, but you’ll lose your objectivity, which could lead to poor business decisions. Recognise that you have teams of intelligent and enthusiastic employees at your disposal, giving you a pool of expertise to put to good use.

Sue Andrews, Business and HR Consultant at KIS Finance, recognises the importance of listening to and understanding your team. She says: “Empathy is not always at the top of the list of characteristics that people see as essential in a good leader. But without the ability to place themselves in others’ shoes, and see the wider picture, leaders run the risk of taking an autocratic approach, which may eventually prove unpopular with those around them.”

What can managers do to inspire their staff?

Although managers can fall into bad habits, there are a number of ways to make sure you’re appropriately managing your employees. Here is some guidance on how you can ensure you’re enabling your employees to flourish.

1. Invest in your staff

Your employees are your strongest commodity, so it’s only right that you invest the time into helping them grow and develop their skills. Without proper attention, you’ll find your team will quickly stagnate if they’re not pushed to achieve their highest potential.

Let your staff get their hands on an exciting new task to flex their creative muscles and break the day-to-day monotony of their regular work. This will give them something new to try, as well as show them that you have faith in their abilities. It’s also crucial to make sure you put personal development plans into place – giving your employees the chance to have a say in how they want to progress and giving you the chance to say how you’ll help them achieve it. By investing in your staff, you’re helping to shape the future leaders of your organisation.

Mireille Harper, PR & Communications at Catalyst Collective, believes that a business’ success rests on how well it can adapt to new ideas. “In today’s rapidly changing and dynamic world, our companies need the value that diversity brings. Good leaders seek to find, promote, develop and champion those who’ve historically been excluded from leadership in the workplace,” she said.

“Strong leaders can handle the ambiguity and creative tensions that come with diversity, and still foster an environment of inclusion, value and respect, where each person can show up at their best.”

2. Be transparent

If you want your employees to respect you as a manager, you need to be open and honest with them. By creating a culture of communication, you’re empowering your staff to ask more questions and gain a better understanding of the direction of your business. Showing your team that you’re all in it together is the quickest way to create a real connection – rekindling their sense of purpose and reminding them why they’re there.

3. Be a leader who inspires their team

Actions speak louder than words. Think about your own performance and how you’ve managed situations in the past. Take the time to reflect on your experiences: could you have seen better results if you had reacted differently to the situation? Every failure and success story should be used as a learning experience to help your team reach new heights and avoid mistakes. Self-reflection helps you and your team develop and shows that you’re all working towards shared targets.

Bob Bradley, Managing Director and Founder of MD2MD, knows how inspiring your staff can help your business reap the benefits. He said: “Business leaders have three choices. They can try to command hierarchical power, expert power, or respect power. The latter is the most effective for an organisation.

“Leaders must have the ability to create willing followers. Naturally, in order to do this, they must create something tangible to follow: a shared vision, a common goal, a culture, and a way of working.”

Suzanne Haughton, Recruitment Consultant for Love Energy Savings, added: “Making sure people feel involved and listened too is something that filters from the top down in our organisation and is a responsibility that every manager takes seriously. Our CEO, Phil Foster, is a great example of this. He’s currently in the middle of a project called ‘Food with Phil’; hosting sessions and bringing together teams from different departments, breaking down silos, and learning about the organisation from the people on the front line and buying everyone lunch in return. Staff feel empowered, the business benefits, and everyone gets fed.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJune 3, 2019
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2min236

Driving meaningful working lives in a more automated workplace, motivating a multi-generational workforce and the future of skills and learning are just some of the topics being discussed at this month’s CIPD Festival of Work.

The two-day conference at Olympia London, which runs from Wednesday 12 to Thursday 13 June, will explore the biggest issues in the world of work, with a strong focus on technology. A mix of masterclasses, skills sessions, and panel discussions make up the programme, which aims to spark debate as well as offer inspiration and practical solutions.

130 speakers with a range of expertise and perspectives have been lined up to take part, including Garry Kasparov, former world chess champion, who will talk about his shifting views around artificial intelligence, and the role human creativity has to play in the future of work. The closing address will come from the world’s first cyborg artist, Neil Harbisson, on the integration between humans and machines.

Matthew Taylor, CEO of the Royal Society of Art; Sir Anthony Seldon, best-selling author; and Caroline Fairbairn, Director General of the CBI, will also be speaking, as will representatives from some of the most well-known and successful businesses including Google, McDonalds, British Land, L’Oreal, Siemens plc, and PepsiCo.

Peter Cheese, CIPD Chief Executive, said: “With technology rapidly changing the world of work, it’s more important than ever that we share and understand the many changes and implications on our organisations and people. At the very heart of a successful business is how to attract, motivate, develop and retain people; the Festival of Work will explore how we can do this in an uncertain world and with emerging technologies.”

Meanwhile, for details on some of the UK’s best places to work, meet the winners of the 2019 UK Employee Experience Awards.

 


Joe WedgwoodJoe WedgwoodMay 31, 2019
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7min311

This article is written by Joe Wedgwood, Chief Storyteller at The Happiness Index, one of the winners at the 2019 UK Employee Experience Awards

 

This May we had the pleasure of attending the UK Employee Experience Awards at the Park Plaza London Riverbank Hotel.

It was one of the better award ceremonies I’ve attended, and they made huge efforts to distance themselves from the normal, more corporate and stuffy ceremonies many are used to. We wrote entries for three awards – Use of Innovative Employee Engagement Technologies, Use of Digital Technologies, and Employee Centric Company – and were shortlisted as finalists for all of them, so naturally we were very excited!

How the day went

The day was split into three parts: presenting, lunch and entertainment, and the award ceremony itself.

Firstly, we had the nerve-wracking job of presenting. The written entries accounted for 50 percent of the scores, so the presentations were key – we’ve told them all about what we do and now we need to show them. It was so important to us that we got across how we put employees at the heart of our services and ensure our tech helps employees to be more engaged and have better lives, both in and out of the workplace.

We had 15 minutes to present and then 15 minutes of questions from the judging panel. All the presentations seemed to go well and the judges nodded along with smiley faces and seemed to really buy into what we were saying, which helped to ease my nerves! We had finished all of our presentations by late morning and it was officially out of our hands. Time to have some fun!

We were then treated to a three-course meal with a side serving of keynote speakers and some first-class entertainment.

The Happiness Index at Awards. Employee Engagement

And the winner is…

After everyone was well fed and watered, the awards ceremony began.

The first category we entered, Employee Centric Company, was announced and we all cheered when we heard our name. But it was to no avail, as sadly we didn’t get a podium finish.

I had only just stopped licking my wounds when the second was announced, Use of Innovative Employee Engagement Tech. Third and second place were given their trophies and we clapped along with all our peers.

“And the winner is…The Happiness Index!”

We were delighted! It really was a culmination of all the hard work we have put in this year and we were thrilled to get recognition for it!

The Happiness Index team at UK Employee Experience Awards

We were still celebrating our win and being interviewed off-stage when our third award was announced, Use of Digital Tech. We were awarded bronze, which really capped off an amazing day.

The Happiness Index awards for Best Innovative Employee Engagement and Use of Digital Tech.

Looking to the future

This has been such a great year for The Happiness Index. We have gone from strength to strength in terms of growth, numbers of employees, and innovation in our offerings. Now we have the trophies to prove it.

We can’t wait to continue our journey and see where we end up!


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMay 31, 2019
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2min263

The team behind the Holly Private Hospital has been praised for its success at the 2019 UK Employee Experience Awards.

An incredible three Gold category awards were taken home by Holly staff at the ceremony in London’s Park Plaza Riverbank venue this month, which is one Gold award short of the haul they collected at the 2018 awards 12 months before.

However, they more than compensated when at the end of the event they were crowned Overall Winner.

This year saw the Holly team take the Gold titles for Employee Engagement – Reward & RecognitionEmployee-Centric Company – Employees at the Heart of the Company, and Innovative Employee Engagement.

The Holly Private Hospital team collect their award for Innovative Employee Engagement.

 

The success follows huge victories at the 2018 UK Customer Experience Awards, and the inaugural International Customer Experience Awards in Amsterdam last year, where it was named Overall Winner thanks to two Gold category wins there.

With 2019 looking to be an even more succesful year for Holly Private Hospital, Director David Henderson said: “We are absolutely thrilled to once again be recognised in the UK Employee Experience Awards. Over the past few years we’ve really been focussing on how we can create exceptional employee experiences for our staff so they in turn can deliver exceptional healthcare experiences for our patients, and this work has been recognised today. A huge well done and thank you to all our Holly team who work hard every day to deliver exceptional healthcare to our patients.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMay 31, 2019
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3min252

The recent 2019 UK Employee Experience Awards in London saw one of the country’s most innovative training schemes for medical writers celebrated in a Gold category victory.

Ashfield Healthcare Communications took home the top award in the Employee Engagement – Learning & Development (programme) category, which team members have described as an “incredible achievement”.

Their allegro programme is a 12-month, fast-track training initiative for life sciences graduates, providing a foundation for a long-term career in medical writing. Comprising an eight-week training phase and two five-month agency rotations, at the end of the programme employees join one of Ashfield’s agency teams in the UK as a medical writer.

Ashfield’s Programme Director, Neil Marmont, said: “This is an incredible achievement and shines a spotlight on our bespoke accelerated learning programme for aspiring medical writers. As well as the obvious benefits of allegro in meeting the needs of our business from a resource perspective, the influx of talented individuals into the organisation is encouraging internal networking and the growth of really supportive, dynamic teams, which is impacting positively on the quality of the work we are delivering to our clients.”

The Ashfield Healthcare Communications team at the 2019 UK Employee Experience Awards.

At the awards, Ashfield’s team (Neil Marmont, Andrew Davidson, Sarah Jackson, Katie Buxton, and Danny Hawker) delivered a 15-minute presentation, covering the objectives, design, planning, implementation and business impact of the allegro programme, which has been running since January 2018. The presentation was followed by a question and answer session with the judges.

“The judges were particularly impressed with the individual stories of allegro alumni Katie and Danny, and with the collaborative learning environment that allegro has created,” Neil added.

“They were also impressed with the scale of the programme and opportunities it provides for current staff to be involved in training, mentoring, line management and coaching.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMay 30, 2019
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3min337

The firm named Best Company to Work For at the 2019 UK Employee Experience Awards, Octopus Energy, has announced a new partnership to bring ultra-fast charging technology to British consumers.

Octopus Energy is teaming up with EV charging firm IONITY to supply their 350kW, high power charging (HPC) stations with 100 percent renewable electricity.

The move follows the launch of OE’s Electric Juice service, designed to offer EV charging networks with guaranteed renewable power.

The first ‘Electric Juice station’ is to be installed in Maidstone on the M20, and more sites are planned to open in the coming weeks. More than 40 stations are planned to be installed across the UK by 2020.

Squids in: The Octopus Energy team pictured at the 2019 UK Employee Experience Awards.

Zoisa Walton, director at Octopus Energy for Business, said that the company was committed to bringing a “fundamental change” to the country’s electric vehicle landscape.

She said: “By improving the affordability, practicality, convenience, and green credentials of e-mobility options, IONITY and Octopus Energy are making EV ownership more accessible. Both companies are intent on providing for the future, with forward-thinking plans and technology – pushing boundaries to deliver the fastest, cleanest, most affordable charging power on the market.”

Michael Hajesch, chief executive at IONITY, said the company was driven by the belief that charging an EV should soon be as easy as filling up a conventional vehicle at a petrol station.

“Our partnership with Octopus Energy means that not only will consumers be able to benefit from High Power charging, but they will have the peace of mind that renewable energy provides,” he said.

“The launch of the first of 40 IONITY high power charging stations at Maidstone on the M20 underlines the fact that the UK is a key market for us and we are delighted that we are able to partner with Octopus Energy to deliver renewable energy to consumers at ultra-fast speeds.”




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