Conducting successful 360-Degree Feedback

When used correctly multi source assessment, or 360-degree feedback, is a most useful personal development tool that can be used not just for personal development but also for talent and performance management in a positive sense.  If it is not undertaken independently and confidentially, the process can result in a destructive situation from which it can take some time to recover.

Multi source assessments, 360 degree feedback as the process is more often called, are where feedback is sought by an individual from themselves, his/her peers, customers, stakeholders, superiors and subordinates or any combination. The assessee must always be one of the respondents because their opinion of themselves is at the very heart of the assessment.

Multi-source assessment is a very sensitive activity that touches people to the very core of their personality. As such, it should be completed sensitively and empathically.

In our experience  of conducting multi source assessment for our clients, these are some of the factors that have resulted in a successful outcome.

CULTURE

Organisations that have used multi source assessment successfully have a positive culture, where openness and trust is a given and honest feedback is part of a constructive continuous improvement strategy, in terms of both the organisation and the individual.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Multi Source assessment is best undertaken in a situation where confidentiality can be guaranteed and maintained. The main reason that organisations have come to us to conduct their 360 feedback is that we can provide an external, impartial and anonymous service. This encourages candid responses from all participants.

QUESTIONNAIRE

The questionnaire itself is a major factor in the success of the multi source assessment process. It’s vital that the questions are written in a clear manor, with no element of ambiguity at all. It’s always helpful to include open ended comments, as these often provide excellent insight into the reason for the answers given as well as giving the participant a chance to add their own views. We would recommend that these are optional though, as having to make personal comments can make some people feel uncomfortable.

COMMUNICATION

Organisations should have a clear communication strategy for disseminating the purpose aims and intentions of the multi source assessment project. Crucially, when considering the process, organisations should make sure they have buy-in from all the participants involved before the process is started. We often conduct assessments from the top down, with the senior leadership team undergoing 360 reviews first then rolling out the process to middle managers. This shows everyone in the organisation that the leadership team are leading by example.

SUPPORT

Be supportive of individuals post assessment. Give the assesse time to digest and accept the feedback and ensure they have the opportunity to discuss it in confidence at a time and place to suit them. There may some difficult aspects, but focus on opportunities for the assessee to develop and improve their skills, behaviours and working relationships. Assessees should be able to agree a personal, needs led development plan as a result of the process.

Finally, here are a few ‘Don’ts’ which should go without saying every time…

  • Don’t conduct a 360 for anyone who isn’t fully on-board
  • Don’t link the outcome of the process to merit, pay or reward
  • Don’t use any negative feedback punitively towards the assesse
  • Don’t use the 360 process in isolation, without follow up actions or post-assessment support
  • Don’t compromise confidentiality
  • Don’t produce excessively long, wordy outcome reports that lack clarity

Find out more…

INSPIRING offers a huge range of options when it comes to feedback, from a full 360-degree assessment to a more focused approach. This enables you to choose the option that is best for your business needs, helping you to get the feedback you require. Call us on 0800 612 3098 or email info@inspiring.uk.com for more information.

Are Employee Engagement Surveys Really Needed?

Of course surveys should not be the start and finish of engagement within an organisation, but undertaking employee enagement surveys could be an important part of your employee engagement strategy.

Do you need engaged people?

Before asking the question of whether employee engagement surveys are really needed within an organisation, let’s ask instead: does an organisation need engaged people working within it?
Most organisations now accept that having engaged employees results in more efficient and productive teams, whilst decreasing staff turnover and attracting the best talent. Engaged people are also a great way differentiating an organisation, as they will provide a better level of customer service. What does create conflicting views however is the usefulness of surveys within your employee engagement strategy.

How do you deal with employee engagement?

The question on whether surveys are needed often comes down to how an organisation deals with engagement on a regular basis. Some have claimed that organisations should not need to conduct employee engagement surveys because there should be a constant and ongoing process of two-way communication with managers obtaining feedback as part of an open an honest culture. In reality, this method of feedback does not hold true, as in a face to face conversation employees often don’t feel able to speak openly about the problems they may have with their manager. It is a lot harder to obtain negative feedback about the manager when they are conducting the face to face feedback themselves. Even if it was a different manager conducting the meeting or one to one, the fear may be somehow, that confidentiality will be compromised, and their manager will be informed of their views. An anonymous survey helps to avoid this by allowing the employees to speak their mind without the fear of being singled out.

Surveys are a tool, not an employee engagement strategy

Surveys are not intended to replace the human element of employee engagement – far from it! Surveys should be used as a tool to measure what is going well and the areas that need improvement. The groundwork for engagement must still come from managers in a hands-on manner, as they are the ones that drive engagement within an organisation. The human touch is of great importance but collecting feedback individually from each member of staff has further problems. For example, in larger organisations, the sheer number of employees that would have to have a face to face meeting in which they give their feedback would be extremely time consuming. But furthermore, by not having a way to accurately record and collate the results it is very hard to turn them into actionable processes. This would result in a more disengaged workforce because they see that nothing is being changed, despite them giving their feedback.

When working with a professional and reputable employee engagement survey provider, your results will be collected and analysed, with the option of advice and recommendations as to how to act on development areas. The purpose of the surveys is not the survey itself; the survey on its own does not increase engagement. A survey is a tool to help measure the organisation to begin to raise engagement. It could also help an organisation benchmark itself internally or externally and enable organisations to see year on year if their efforts to improve are resulting in a more engaged workforce.

Common concerns about surveys

Some people who question the need for engagement surveys may do so due to concerns they have with the way the surveys are administered, for example, that the surveys cannot be truly anonymous and therefore employee can still be concerned with giving their true feelings. Most reputable employee engagement survey companies have a tight seal on anonymity with only one data administrator, one data analyst and the account manager ever seeing the data. Therefore, employees can be assured that details leading back to them can never been seen.  Of course, organisations do not want employees to feel threatened that their details will be given to managers as this view will prevent honest feedback, which is vital to the success of the survey.

Another concern often expressed is about the reporting of results. When all the data has been collated and then given to the managers, how will managers react to negative feedback about them? This can be managed with an effective post-survey action plan which includes constructive feedback and development support.

So are employee engagement surveys needed?

Based on everything mentioned above, in our opinion the answer to whether employee engagement surveys are needed would be ‘yes’ (no surprise there!).

Of course surveys should not be the start and finish of engagement within an organisation, but undertaking an employee survey could be a an important part of your employee engagement strategy.

By understanding what you are doing well and areas that need improvement, and utilising the expertise of a reputable employee engagement company, receiving and acting on feedback can be a huge benefit to your organisation. However, we will finish by reiterating the need for a continuous commitment to engagement throughout the year, and not just at the times when a survey is going to be undertaken. Only through a joined-up, holistic approach to engagement can an organisation reap the rewards it offers.

Want to increase productivity? An Employee Engagement Strategy is a good place to start.

Businesses with an effective employee engagement strategy will be rewarded with greater levels of innovation; increased commitment from employees and, ultimately, better productivity that will impact directly on business performance.

Examples of positive employee engagement practices include:

  • Shared decision-making
  • The opportunity for all people to influence the planning process
  • A robust approach to communicating
  • An open flow of information
  • The development of effective leaders and managers

For this article we thought we would focus a bit more on the people aspect and look at how workplace behaviours and relationships impact on employee engagement levels, which in turn affect the productivity of your team. Here are some of our thoughts on the fundamentals that lie behind a great employee engagement strategy.

Reciprocity

At the heart of the employment relationship is reciprocity. If employees believe that they are supported by their employer (and their line manager) in getting what they want out of work beyond just money, they will respond with positive behaviour.

The right person for the right job

Creating a fit between the needs of the role and the needs of the individual person will help to build a culture which is driven by supportive behaviours that are good for performance and productivity.

Competence & Capability

Make sure that managers have a good understanding of what their team members’ individual competencies and capabilities are. Giving individuals the opportunity to use their skills to the best of their ability will give them great satisfaction whilst the business will gain value by making the lost of them.

Encourage Self-determination

Enable your people to make decisions for themselves at a level appropriate to their role and responsibilities.  Allow individuals to initiate and regulate their own actions whilst ensuring line managers step up to their role of supporting their team members.  It’s about creating a good level of trust within your business, i.e. does the manager trust the team member to do the job?  Does the team member feel trusted?

Impact

Make sure that your people understand the impact they have on business performance as a whole.  At all levels they should be able to describe the contribution they make and the important part they play in the success of the organisation.

 

If you’ve recently started to develop your employee engagement strategy or are looking to revive your existing one the main thing to remember is that it doesn’t need to involve expensive investment or developing a whole new set of policies and procedures. It does however need wholehearted support from your Leadership Team through their leadership and strategic vision, and the active buy-in of effective line managers.

At INSPIRING, we’ve helped thousands of organisations with Employee Engagement issues over the last 15 years and we’d be happy to share our experience with you.

Call us on 0800 612 3098 to find out more or email info@inspiring.uk.com or get in touch using the form.

4 ways to encourage better teamwork in your business

In a teamwork culture, team members work collaboratively to further their team’s objectives, perhaps even placing these objectives ahead of their own individual goals. Organisations where employees work alone or in silos will arguably become less productive over time compared to organisations that encourage teamwork.

The message should come from the top, with your Senior leadership team communicating the clear expectation that teamwork and collaboration are expected. However, there are some key issues which should be dealt with as a team leader or line manager, in order to maintain a positive teamwork culture. We’ve highlighted 4 ways that you can encourage better teamwork, based on both our experience of working with organisations on their employee engagement and leadership development strategies and by looking at trends within the employee surveys that we’ve conducted for our clients.

Leaders are only as good as their teams (and vice versa!)

As a leader or manager, you are setting the tone for the rest of the employees in the workplace and your positive attitude and energy will help to motivate and inspire your team. There is lots of good advice out there on how to be a good team leader but I’ll highlight a couple of issues that often come up in our clients’ survey results.

  1. Try to adopt a coaching approach rather than a ‘do as I do’ attitude, allowing team members to demonstrate what they can do without constant interference. Giving clear instruction without micro-managing will prove to your team members that you believe in their abilities and efforts.
  2. Consistency is key when it comes to managing your team. It’s impossible to build trust amongst your team is there’s perceived favouritism. Make sure team members feel they are treated fairly and equally, and take care not to exclude anyone from group decisions or activities. It seems obvious, but conduct team meetings on a regular basis and allow your team members the opportunity to volunteer or get involved with special projects or tasks.

Encourage open communication

Encouraging a culture of open communication will help develop great teamwork and will undoubtedly have a positive on your team’s overall performance. Communication is often an area which scores poorly in the Employee Surveys we conduct. In our experience, many employees often feel that they aren’t being listened to, whether it’s by their immediate managers or the senior leadership team. Your team should be confident in sharing their ideas, points of view, and feelings and not be afraid of doing so.

Let employees know their contribution is valued by introducing rewards for feedback and suggestions. Encouraging contributions from teams rather than individuals will help get team members working together more closely so make sure you offer rewards for collaborative efforts as much as recognising individual contributions and achievements.

Define and share responsibilities

The more clearly you define your team members’ roles and responsibilities, the more effectively they can meet expectations. The team as a whole, as well as individual team members, must have clearly defined responsibilities and objectives in order to focus their efforts. Your team should be encouraged to recognise each other’s role on the team, helping one another when needed. No one completely owns a work area or process all by themselves. As a manager, make sure your team members have opportunities to cross-train others in the team so that the team’s contribution to the business and service to customers is reliable and consistent. This inspirational quote sums up the point perfectly: “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” (Phil Jackson)

Resolve Conflicts

You spend many hours of your life at work, so getting along with your colleagues is very important. Conflict and ‘politics’ amongst team members is a major cause of stress at work. For example, our clients surveys have revealed instances such as team members arguing in public, others giving each other the silent treatment and where one person was left to do all the work while their team members allegedly ‘slacked off’. As a manager or team leader you’ll need to make sure that any tension is resolved as quickly as possible to prevent long-term damage to your team dynamic. Put in place a clear process for employees to raise and resolve issues, so they know they are being listened to, taken seriously and that issues will be dealt with fairly. Teams which include people that do not get along with one another will quickly collapse, become inefficient and unproductive.

 

Team up with INSPIRING…

At INSPIRING, we’ve helped thousands of organisations with Employee Engagement issues over the last 15 years and we’d be happy to share our experience with you. We are also an approved CMI centre providing leadership and management training at different levels with the option of CMI qualifications.

Call us on 0800 612 3098 to find out more or email info@inspiring.uk.com or get in touch using the form.

Could 360 degree feedback help rejuvenate your workforce?

If you’re thinking about running a 360 degree feedback exercise, you may find our objective look at the pitfalls and advantages of 360 degree feedback useful in deciding if it could help rejuvenate your workforce.

Three Common Pitfalls of 360 Degree Feedback

1. 360 degree feedback is a very sensitive activity that touches people to the very core of their personality and it should be completed sensitively and empathically. If the purpose, methodology or understanding of multi-source assessment is misunderstood, it can result in a destructive situation from which it can take years to recover.

2. 360 degree feedback should never be linked to merit, pay or reward. Under ideal circumstances multi-source feedback is used as an assessment for personal development rather than evaluation. Certainly, the results should never be used as a way to punish the individual in any way.

3. Some would agree that 360 degree feedback can take people outside of their comfort zones and result in some difficult conversations. People may be afraid to give honest answers, perhaps in fear of lack of anonymity or they’ve been encouraged to collude with others respondents to give false opinions.

 

Three Advantages of 360 Degree Feedback 

1. In some cases, 360 degree feedback can be used to reduce tension, for example, if an employee is having difficulties with their manager or there is a perceived ‘personality clash’, the end results averaged and weighted by feedback from others could offset or diminish potential personal misjudgements.

2. The 360 degree feedback process is a good way of improving communication within your organisation and can be a useful tool in the run up to a company restructure and to help implement change. The process can help break down barriers between areas in the company and create a culture of openness and trust.

3. Different people often have vastly different views of who we are. To know what we look like in another’s eyes provides a strong enabler for personal development and growth. Being able to gather and analyse the perceptions of colleagues, not just those we report to, can be extremely powerful in helping us understand how our actions play out from many points of view, other than our own.

 

Tips for success

  • Have a clear communication strategy for disseminating the purpose aims and intentions of the assessment
  • Develop an unambiguous questionnaire which includes open ended comments
  • Have a properly constructed competency framework and link this to your organisational goals and values
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • View criticism positively and as an opportunity of personal development
  • Have a plan of support and development in place for candidates following the assessment.
  • Provide clear, consistent and easily understood results reports.

 

If you would like to speak to one of the team at Inspiring about 360 degree feedback, call us on 0800 612 3098 or email info@inspiring.uk.com or get in touch using the form. You can also visit our 360 Degree page for more information.

The Importance of Evaluation in Leadership Development (and how to do it effectively)

In most cases, evaluation is usually carried out towards the end of a process. We do this because want to examine if what we did or experienced went well, where it struggled and what could be done differently next time. But what if this is actually the wrong way to carry out Leadership Evaluation?

Leadership Evaluation should be a continuous process for it to become truly effective. The key here is to have more chances to reflect on the whole process, not just at the end. This allows you to adjust things as and when you need to and not wait until the end of the process to find out if you achieved everything you set out to.

Continuous Leadership Evaluation

When developing your leadership skills, it can be very easy to fall prey to not allowing enough time for effective evaluation. If you do not take stock of how close you are to progressing towards your objectives, you will not be able to identify what you have achieved and where further growth is required.

Whilst working towards improving your own leadership skills, it is imperative to evaluate and fine-tune. Continuous evaluation allows you to do this by looking at new skills you have learnt and assessing what needs additional work, enabling you to use this to lead future actions. By being honest with yourself about how your journey is advancing, you can accurately track your progression and use evaluation as a tool for improvement. Be objective and evaluate fairly both your successes and weaknesses and use your findings to build upon your areas of strength and target your weaknesses.

Methods of Evaluation

Journals and Logs

These are the most efficient methods of examining where you have moved forward against your objectives whilst also helping you reflect on what has already been accomplished. The main benefit of keeping a journal is that it is structured, so you can note down exactly what has happened as it happened. You may find it difficult to accurately note an activity you have put into your journal but there are ways in which you can stay on task. When struggling to document your feelings use the following for help:

  • How do I feel?
  • Has my attitude changed?
  • What was the reaction of my colleagues?

The way you decide to create your own journal will depend on whatever you find to be most effective for you. However, key things to note down are:

  • Feedback from colleagues or clients and your own thoughts about them
  • Specific incidents and examining how you reacted to them
  • How you were able to work within a specific team

Self-Reflection

As you will already know, the act of reflection is looking back on learning, events or even actions and from this trying to draw lessons. Self-reflection is an important strategy when it comes to evaluation as you can look back on your areas of weakness and identify what you would like to improve on yourself, without any outside influence. By reflecting, you can:

  • Examine where you have weakness and what you can do to improve before the next time that situation arises.
  • Examine what methods of learning have best suited you and build future learning around them.
  • Scrutinise where your strengths lie and how you can use this knowledge in future.

Feedback

Any worthwhile evaluation contains at least some elements of feedback. Feedback can be from almost any source that is clear, honest and specific, e.g. analytical tools, colleagues or appraisals. Asking an individual for feedback can seem daunting, but it is essential for you to stay emotionally detached and take everything they are saying positively and not personally. Asking for feedback from someone in an unstructured way could potentially mean important feedback could be wasted, therefore consider asking for the following information:

  • Specific strengths that you exhibit
  • Specific areas in which you can be more efficient or effective
  • Specific situations in which you could have acted differently

Whilst feedback can be given by anyone, it is important that you identify a suitable source, relevant to you or the situation. You should look to be selective about who you ask and consider whether their feedback has merits. Before deciding, ask yourself:

  • Is feedback being given by someone that has experience?
  • Is there evidence to support their feedback?
  • Is their feedback verifiable?

Evaluation Infographic

 

Why Diversity and Inclusion is Important for your SME

In recent years the news seems to be flooded with stories relating to inequalities in gender, race, disability, etc. Just recently the issue of the gender pay gap has reached a crescendo. With consistent media attention towards equality, diversity and inclusion, it’s certainly a good time to address this within your organisation.

Diversity and inclusion within the work place does not have to simply come from a place of benevolence but it can be used to gain a competitive advantage over your business rivals in several ways, a few of which we’ve explained below.

Innovation:

When an organisation is made up of different people from different backgrounds, the opportunity for new innovative and creative ideas can flourish. Every person working within an organisation brings with them a set of their own beliefs and views. It is in the organisation’s interest to have as many different perspectives as possible to enable innovation and creation of ideas and products that they could not have envisioned without them.

Understanding your Customers:

Understanding your market is one of the cornerstones of any worthwhile business plan. Having a diverse organisation enables it to be far more in tune with its customers’ needs by having voices within the organisation that have had the same experiences and beliefs as their target market. For example, in 2019 there were  14.1 million disabled people in Britain and the total spending power of families with at least 1 disabled person is estimated at £274 billion a year (Scope) However in 2020 there were only 4.4 million disabled people employed (Scope). It stands to reason that by employing a workforce that is more diverse, they will be better able to meet the needs and requirements of their audience, which will result in a product or service more suitable to their needs.

Employer Branding:

Being seen as an attractive place to work and attracting the right talent to your organisation is vital to ensure ongoing development and growth and by embracing diversity and inclusion, this can be achieved. Being an organisation that champions diversity and inclusion displays to potential employees that you are a dynamic place to work, with a culture that values and supports its people. As well as attracting the best talent, this positive image could help to attract other organisations that see your business as a valuable, ethical partner.

Employee Retention:

An organisation that is seen to be promoting inclusion within its own people practices demonstrates to its employees that they are valued and respected. When people feel like they are being listened to, they are more likely to buy into the ethos of the organisation. When this happens, it brings employee turnover down and pushes up their productivity.

Diversity and inclusion is not simply something that should be promoted because it is the right thing to do. It has real tangible benefits to every organisation that truly believes in it and implements practices that helps to utilise the diversity that everyone can bring. By embracing inclusion, an organisation is able to get the best out of their people, increasing staff retention and productivity. Therefore the question shouldn’t be why diversity and inclusion is important for your SME, but whether or not you can afford to ignore the benefits that diversity and inclusion brings.

Find out about the BS 76005 – Valuing People Through Diversity and Inclusion framework.

The Happy Employee: Transparency

When it comes to the workplace environment it can be difficult to ensure total transparency. The phrase ‘you are the face of the company’ is something that employees often hear, and whilst this is designed to encourage employees to represent the company as best as they can, it is also true.

As an employee, you are responsible for various company procedures, as well as client interactions – acting as a major part of the company. Which is why transparency in business is important; how can you represent your company without total understanding of how the business runs? By implementing transparency in the workplace, you can effectively increase overall employee productivity.

Information

Some companies limit the information that they provide to employees; both client related and internal. By including employees in communication about the company’s profits and achievements, a positive connection is forged – as employees can understand how their hard work contributes to the company’s success. The same can also be applied to losses and any setbacks, as employees will feel invested and increase their efforts to ensure the company gets back on track.

Authority

By providing authority to employees, you can motivate them to become empowered. Employees who are given authority become more inspired to be decisive and take responsibility for their actions, both of which are strong elements in great employee performance. This also reduces time wasted on waiting for approval from a higher authority, and allows employees to continue with the work that they are given at their own pace.

Communication

Giving your employees an opportunity to discuss ways for the company to move forward, improve operations or point out areas that require development, allows you to establish a connection with your team. Show them that management appreciates and values employee thoughts and suggestions. Consider implementing the changes and requests your employees offer, where applicable, as this further cements your relationship with your employees and demonstrates that they are an important part of the business.

Deliver on your promises

As management, it can be easy to offer incentives to your employees to encourage them to work harder and more productively. Whilst these incentives can be an effective tool, often we can forget what we have promised – or put it to the side so we can focus on more important things. However, by not delivering on your promises to your employees, they can become unhappy, resulting in a lower standard of employee performance. By ensuring incentives are given to employees, big or small, and providing everyone with the chance to receive these bonuses, you are ultimately encouraging employees to work harder to receive these benefits.

 

Ultimately, transparency provides your employees with a clear and happy path to success, allowing them to feel valued, supported and involved, whilst ensuring any grievances can be swiftly and effectively handled.

Help your employees beat the January blues

Most people agree January is a pretty miserable month. This year, Monday 20th January is Blue Monday – scientifically (or not as the case may be!) the most depressing day of 2020. But in all seriousness, business should recognise the risks associated with not managing employees health and well-being effectively. We’re sharing our thoughts about three subjects that contribute to stress in the workplace and have a negative impact on the well-being of your staff.

MINIMISE STRESS THROUGH A HEALTHY WORKPLACE CULTURE

It’s no surprise that stress is the number one cause of long-term absence. According to HSE statistics, in 2018/19 there were 0.6 million new or long-standing reported cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in the UK.  In 2018/19,  12.8 million working days lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety.

Pressures and stresses can come from both work and home. At work there are often heavy workloads and long working hours, while at home there can be financial stresses, lifestyle pressures and general family concerns, all of which have an impact on the way people feel and act at work.

Employers should consider the mental, as well as physical, wellbeing of their employees, focusing on prevention rather than reacting to some of the possible outcomes such as high staff turnover, high absenteeism rates and the associated business costs with both of these.

The introduction of flexible working or flexi-time can help employees deal with stress by allowing them to balance their work and personal lives more effectively and reducing the need to take time off. Businesses should also ensure managers at all levels of an organisation are supportive and empathic. Awareness, encouragement and recognition are important, as feeling valued and appreciated provides a key extrinsic motivator which can have a positive impact on a person’s well-being.

Visit the HSE website for more information about dealing with workplace stress: http://www.hse.gov.uk/stress/

LIMIT OUT OF HOURS COMMUNICATIONS

Just about everyone is contactable all of the time these days. Often it’s hard to ignore those emails and messages when they come in, even if it can wait until Monday morning. As an employer or manager, it might be worth taking a moment to think about how sending emails out of hours might affect the recipient and put them under unnecessary pressure. If you don’t require an immediate response but just want to tick it off your ‘things to do’ list, consider setting up a time delay or create a draft to send early the next working day instead.

DISCOURAGE PRESENTEEISM

Presenteeism, where employees continue to come into work when they are unwell, can be a big issue for employers. A member of staff who is not fully fit enough to engage at work may be physically present but will not be making a proper contribution to the business, impacting not only the quality and quantity of the work they produce but affecting the overall working atmosphere, including for the people around them.

‘Presenteeism’, or people coming into work when they are ill, has more than tripled since 2010, according to the latest CIPD/Simplyhealth Health and Wellbeing Survey. The survey reports that 86% of over 1,000 respondents said they had observed presenteeism in their organisation over the preceeding 12 months, compared with 72% in 2016 and just 26% in 2010. Having unhealthy people at work could create a vicious cycle, with more employees falling ill after catching a cold or illness from sick colleagues.

Presenteeism is more likely to occur there is a culture of working long hours and where the demands of the business take priority over employee wellbeing. Employers should take action to make sure that the culture of the business supports employees as recognising the importance of healthy, happy staff will lead to business performance improvement across the board.

Do something about the wellbeing of employees in your organisation…

INSPIRING provide a range of support for organisations looking to improve their Health and Wellbeing culture, including Employee Surveys, Leadership and Management Development and consultancy services to help implement BS 76000 – Valuing People standard.

4 key ways to increase personal productivity

In both your professional and personal life, productivity has its place. But why is productivity important?

From a business perspective, productivity is the efficiency in which a company runs. However, while productivity is imperative from a company’s standpoint, personal productivity is just as crucial. By maximising your own productivity you are reprogramming your mentality towards tasks, which can then be applied to your professional work life.

Decide how long to work for

It can be very easy to begin a task, or even a work day, with the notion that you will work for as long as you can force yourself to concentrate, or for as long as you can. But by resigning yourself to work in this state of mind, you’ll find yourself often looking at the clock and willing the time to go faster. Once you decide how long to work for, commit to it. As a result of this you’ll find that the first few hours of the day go by much faster – and you’re spending much less time clock watching.

For example, if your work day is 8 hours long – commit to producing a worthwhile work output for 8 hours. Not only will time go a lot faster because you’re focusing on your work but you’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment. Once you know how much time you’ve assigned yourself to complete tasks in, plan what tasks you’re going to focus on and provide time allocation for each piece of work. Assigning one hour for a task to be completed in a high standard means that you can complete 8 similar tasks by the end of the day.

If you need help, ask

Asking for help is often seen as a sign of weakness; this is why typically we avoid asking for assistance when we are struggling with a task. Rather than putting yourself under pressure to try and complete a task that you don’t understand, finding someone to help you is much more effective. It presents you as willing to visit various options in order to produce worthwhile results. Asking for advice or assistance can save you time and resources. Plus, it reduces the chances of having to begin the work again.

Know when to take a break

Breaks are important for your brain, as well as your wellbeing. Productivity is about working to your best capability to produce a high-quality work output. However, by not giving your body and mind the rest that they deserve, you ultimately end up reducing your productivity. Working continuously for hours at maximum productivity is a fail-safe way to exhaust yourself. Alternatively, try working in shorter bursts to ensure that you are not tiring yourself out, and to help you achieve maximum amounts of efficiency. Giving yourself a ten minute break every few hours is sure to help clear your mind, making you ready to work productively once more.

Prepare for the next day

At the end of your work day, or after completing your tasks, try to spend half an hour planning the next day. Be realistic about what you want to achieve, and do any research or organising that you may need to do. By preparing yourself in advance for the next day, you ensure that the time you spend working is entirely on the tasks you have set yourself, rather than on unnecessary efforts. By providing yourself with an agenda you also leave your brain free to think about more important things that need your attention.

 

How do you make yourself more productive?