Why being consistent is so important when it comes to people management

You know the importance of having a leadership team that is able to encourage and engage employees. But with different leaders having different strengths, weaknesses, behaviours and personalities, how do you achieve consistency across your organisation and help maintain a positive perception of ‘The Management’ amongst staff?

From the employee surveys that we conduct for our clients, the text questions always make for an interesting read. So many comments are made about management, in terms of how some managers are either good or bad in different ways. For example, managers who allegedly don’t delegate properly; make seemingly harsh decisions as opposed to those in other teams; or who never give praise, when other people are being given recognition for their efforts on a regular basis.

Of course, not all comments stem from management problems – it can be that some individuals have a more negative perception than others. However, from our experience, having different management styles and inconsistency with how people are managed is often the cause of problems relating to people feeling that they’re being treated unfairly in some way.

Here are a few of our thoughts, based on our experience of working with many different organisations, on how you might go about creating consistency across teams in your workplace.

Communication is key

Honesty and openness from managers will help renew common purpose across your organisation. Managers should communicate with their teams regularly regarding plans and progress; operational activities and milestones. Staff should be invited to ask, comment and suggest on a regular basis. Make sure all managers are arranging regular, documented team meetings or one to ones to ensure that everyone is being given this opportunity.

Create opportunities for new and shared experiences

Giving employees the opportunity to shadow a colleague in a different department, or to participate in a cross-departmental team of some kind, can give them new perspectives whilst helping them to contribute more to the company. Managers can use the exercise to expand their own thinking as well as that of the individuals involved. All in all, it’s a simple cost effective way of sharing experience and creating cross-team understanding. It may also lead to new opportunities for employees, helping to spot and unlock potential.

Show your appreciation

Showing appreciation to your team by simply saying Thank You goes a long way. By saying those two small words, your managers are demonstrating that they understand what is happening in their teams. Thanking staff and giving honest recognition for their work achievements can help them to feel appreciated and enhance their job satisfaction. As Bart Cleveland wrote for Ad Age, “Sure, it is an employee’s job to do their best. But ask yourself, would you give even more if you knew you were appreciated?”

Establish Accountability

When accountability goes out the window, so does an effective workforce. General people management practices should be implemented company-wide, ensuring each employee will be held to the same standards of conduct. Inconsistency in how your managers deal with everyday situations sends mixed signals to employees. For example, if one employee constantly arrives late and their manager turns a blind eye, but another shows up late and is given a warning, your people will see the injustice and determine that there is no structure of accountability within your organisation. This is a sure-fire way of sparking resentment between teams and individuals and fuelling peoples’ perception of unfair treatment.

Team up with Inspiring

INSPIRING Business Performance provides practical advice, business information tools and training programmes for organisations who want to improve employee engagement, develop their leaders and managers or gain accreditation against standards such as BSI’s BS 76000 standard for Valuing People.

If you would like to speak to us about how to go about improving your organisation from a people aspect, call us on 0800 612 3098 or get in touch using the enquiry form on the left. We would be happy arrange for one of our consultants to meet up with you for an informal chat.

  • How INSPIRING can help

  • Get in touch

    Call us on 0800 612 3098 or email info@inspiring.uk.com.

  • Five ways in which organisations can increase their chances of attracting and recruiting candidates

    Finding the right approach to attracting and recruiting candidates will increase your chances of filling key positions and gaps in your workforce.

    It has become more problematic over the past few years to recruit new employees across all levels. The UK has been experiencing a shortage of talent and skills in the labour market, as well as feeling the effects of a reduction in workers due to Brexit and the pandemic, meaning attracting and recruiting candidates is becoming increasingly difficult.

    The challenges in finding low-skilled workers to take up roles in industries such as hospitality and agriculture have been well publicised, however this is also affecting the recruitment of high-level roles, skilled candidates and professionals, where employers are finding it hard to fill more senior positions.

    As a result, employers now need to adopt a different, more open approach to recruitment and finding the right people to fill the gaps in their workforce. We’ve suggested five ways in which organisations can increase their chances of attracting candidates with the skills and talent they need.

    Broaden your horizons

    Change and broaden your outreach efforts and the channels you use to attract people. Internal advertisements, online networking social media channels such as LinkedIn (see our related article), recruitment agencies and search consultants, plus of course your own organisation’s website are all highly effective for publicising available positions. Other methods to consider include:

    • Apprenticeships
    • Links with schools and education establishments
    • Specialist/trade publications
    • Local and national press
    • Commercial/industry-specific job boards
    • Job fairs and online events
    • Collaborations and partnerships with other organisations
    • Word of mouth

    Engage and interact

    Be sure to engage with potential candidates throughout the recruitment process and get rid of any obstacles that might hold people back from applying. Consider how using technology can improve candidate selection process, such as developing online tests and assessments and utilising tracking systems for applicants. This could speed up the selection process and compliment the human interaction aspect, without intending to replace it.

    Be inclusive

    Employing inclusive recruitment methods can make a huge difference. Research undertaken by the CIPD in 2022 found that only 35% of organisations were actively recruiting talent across all age groups, while just 24% were advertising positions in different sources to increase the chances of a better response from under-represented groups. Think about how jobs can be designed, particularly for hard-to-fill roles. Advertising roles as open to flexible working is reported to be many organisations’ most effective method of attracting and recruiting candidates, according to the CIPD’s Resourcing and talent planning report 2022, with 69% of organisation advertising at least some jobs as open to flexible working.

    Promote your brand

    It is important to establish a strong and reputable image as an employer. The CIPD’s Resourcing and talent planning report 2022 found that 75% of organisations responding to the survey of over 1000 HR professionals reported their organisation has taken action to improve its employer brand over the last year. Actions taken include:

    • Increasing flexible working opportunities.
    • Improving pay and benefits to make the organisation more competitive.
    • Revamping and promoting organisational values.
    • Making improvements to their workplace environment.
    • Offering development, coaching and career opportunities
    • Promoting reward and recognition schemes and initiatives

    Be transparent

    Be transparent regarding salary and benefits, as more organisations are now offering improved pay and benefits to address cost of living rises as well as providing flexible working arrangements. Make sure you shout from the rooftops about what you can offer potential candidates and don’t be afraid to share the details when advertising positions. Consider pay transparency when advertising roles, whilst being realistic in your approach to listing benefits, and make sure you include pension schemes and other core benefits in the details.

    Why people choose to leave your business

    Understanding why people leave your business and having the strategies in place to deal with issues effectively is crucial if you want to retain your best employees. We're looking at the most common reasons why people choose to move on and how you can ensure your organisation is a place where people can see themselves working long term.

    The culture within your organisation impacts on the happiness and satisfaction of your employees. It also strengthens, or weakens, employee retention and affects how your business attracts new talent. We’ve given three factors that have a huge impact on employee retention rates and suggested how practices in these areas can be improved.

    LACK OF MANAGER SUPPORT

    Unsupportive managers are a key reason for people leaving. It’s a common saying that people leave their manager, not their job.

    The skills and behaviours required for leaders and managers are different. An inspiring leader has a clear and compelling vision for the organisation, engaging their team and encouraging increased productivity. An Inspiring Manager will be able to set objectives and communicate effectively to their team, helping them to work together and achieve their goals.

    John Telfer, Managing Director of Inspiring says “Many businesses experience the problem of Accidental Managers: people who are promoted to management positions due to their technical skills, but who don’t have the people skills to manage a team effectively.”

    Honesty and openness from managers is key to effective people management. Managers should communicate with their teams regularly regarding action plans and progress against them; operational activities and milestones. Make sure all managers are arranging regular, documented team meetings or one to ones to ensure that everyone is being given the opportunity to give and receive feedback or express any concerns.

    NOT FEELING VALUED

    Employees will leave if they are disengaged and don’t feel appreciated. Reward and recognition isn’t always about money. Of course, everyone would like to get paid more for what they do, but other important factors for job satisfaction include opportunities to:

    • grow and learn new skills;
    • to progress their career;
    • to work on challenging and stimulating projects;
    • to feel that they are an important a part of the overall business; and
    • to be acknowledged and praised for their efforts.

    People can change the culture of an organisation by recognising each other’s contribution.  Employees who take the time to acknowledge and praise other employees for their good work will often find their praise is returned.  Why not ask for suggestions from your team for new ways to celebrate success?

    LIMITED CAREER PROSPECTS

    You will have a better chance of holding on to your employees if you have plans in place for talent management, succession planning and learning and development. Spotting employees with leadership potential and helping them to develop their skills and behaviours will reap big rewards for both the individual and your organisation. Have a look at our article ‘How to identify future leaders in your organisation’ for more about this.

    Taking the time to talk to people and find out the areas that they want and need to develop will not only assist you in planning effective training development programs, but also shows that you value your people by making an effort to create the best learning environment for them.

    It may be that opportunities are limited for climbing the promotional ladder, in which case you could implement a mentoring programme to help retain your best people and demonstrate that your organisation is investing in their career.

     

    Team up with INSPIRING…

    The best way to find out why people choose to leave your organisation is to ask them! Conducting Exit Surveys will help you understand why employees leave, enabling you to identify any problem areas. INSPIRING’s bespoke exit surveys, with reports tailored to your business, will help you to understand and reduce staff turnover.

    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. 

    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 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?