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95% of UK employees say their company doesn’t offer wellbeing support

The Employee Mental Health and Remote Working report conducted by virtual events and in-person team building company Wildgoose has revealed that one in six UK employees feel worried that raising mental health concerns with their company could put them at risk of losing their job. The report on mental health and remote working surveyed employees from 129 different companies on whether their mental health at work had improved or become worse during the last year. It also asked if those surveyed felt comfortable raising any mental health concerns with their employers and what they believed would happen if they did.

Results showed that 86% believed that their workplace is not a safe space for employees to be open about mental health.

According to the report, over the last 12 months, two in three employees have experienced worse mental health at work, compared to the previous year. As remote and hybrid working environments continue to be adopted by more UK businesses, evidence suggested that companies have struggled to adapt their mental health support processes, with the report revealing that one in three employees feel less able to raise mental health concerns during remote meetings, which has caused issues to go unnoticed.

The results also showed that just over one in eight companies in the UK don’t have a process in place for remote workers to report mental health concerns with the highest prevalence in SMEs, where this figure nearly doubled to one in five not having a process in place.

What employees want from their employers

Worsening employee mental health continues to be a growing concern and the researched showed that the change most desired by employees is for companies to offer more regular in-person meetings (36%) and for managers to receive better training on identifying signs of poor mental health (36%).

Just under a third of respondents (32%) stated they would like to see a process policy of reporting mental health concerns, which is not currently broadly offered, followed by assurances of job security after reporting.

Wildgoose Managing Director Jonny Edser commented: “As remote and hybrid working practices become more widespread, companies need to start doing more to ensure that employees are still receiving the same levels of mental health support. It’s essential that employers communicate with their staff, finding out how they would like to be supported. Perhaps they’d appreciate more regular workload reviews, weekly face-to-face meetings, or even the creation of better mental health policies. The most important aspect is that employees feel comfortable and safe to discuss any concerns.

Kristen Keen, founder and owner of Cluer HR, also commented on the report: “Unfortunately, there is still a stigma that surrounds mental health issues and a lack of education on the subject. To help improve employee wellbeing at work, both managers and the entire workforce should receive training, so that everyone can recognise and understand mental health issues. Plus, having 1:1 meetings with employees is a great way to encourage people to safely discuss any problems they are having.”

Full report available here: https://www.wearewildgoose.com/uk/news/employee-mental-health-and-remote-working-report/

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The Social Media Recruiting Guide

According to talent attraction experts at Adway, they’ve cracked the code to simpler, smarter recruiting that gets you way more candidates and it’s a lot simpler than you think. In a talent-scarce market, isn’t that what recruiters are looking for?

It’s all about automated social recruitment marketing.

As the number of job vacancies in the U.K. continue to reach record highs each month (1.3 million) there’s never been a better time to test out recruitment strategies that truly work. 

Well-executed social media recruiting allows modern recruiters to dive into a talent pool of 4.6 billion+ candidates who are active users on social media. It elevates their employer brand so they can stand out against their competitors, it allows them to tell the story of what it’s like to work at their company! Recruiters can now reach their dream talent on any device.

Automated social recruiting marketing creates a candidate experience that draws from best-in-class e-commerce advertising tactics — with highly-intelligent, targeted ad campaigns that compel candidates to explore the employer’s potential, review job listings and apply on the spot.

Adway’s Ultimate Guide to Social Media Recruiting is a must-read tool for busy TA professionals who want to spend less time hunting for candidates and more time meeting them.

Get the tips and tricks to:

  • Pinpoint where you are in the social media recruiting process
  • Determine the right metrics to track your strategic success
  • Measure your efforts so you can reach your goals faster

If you’re ready to benefit from one of TA’s best-kept secrets — and you need actionable steps to get started — download the Ultimate Guide to Social Media Recruiting today.

https://lp.adway.ai/guide-social-media-recruiting-campaign

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Skills shortage remains a concern in the market

According to background screening and identity services firm, Sterling, candidate communication needs to move up the priority list as the war for talent rages on.

With the latest labour market data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS),revealing a continued increase in vacancy numbers across the UK and concerns around talent shortages rife, the expert Sterling called on employers and HR teams to prioritise high quality and regular candidate communication.

In a recent Sterling Live discussion, experts discussed how the war for talent can often be won through simply communicating to candidates consistently, from the first engagement right through their first days on the job.

Tom Stokes, Director at Sterling EMEA, explained: “The skills shortage has been a concern for some time now and while there is certainly a need to broaden talent pools, far too often, potential new recruits are exiting hiring processes, due to the process itself. When we consider how tough it is to recruit at the moment, once an offer has been accepted it’s understandable that some hiring teams or managers may breathe a sigh of relief. However, candidates are increasingly disappearing in that crucial timeframe between the offer and the first day, and this is quite often due to a lack of communication.

“Employers need to remember that for an individual, a career move is a life changing event and after the excitement of getting the job offer, they can face a lengthy notice period where they are juggling their current role alongside the administration that comes with a new job, including employment screening checks.

“Communication is key during this time. Candidates need to know what to expect after the job offer is made, otherwise, they can feel lost or alienated, which leaves them open to being lured away by other businesses. Starting a new job and going through an employment screening process can be daunting for anyone. Celebrate your new hire and maintain the excitement of the job offer. The more they are communicated with and the more engaged they feel, the lower the chances of them being enticed elsewhere.”

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19% of women have left a job because of the inability to balance work and caring duties

According to wide-ranging research by Ipsos and Business in the Community (BITC), nearly six out of ten women (58%) say caring responsibilities have stopped them applying for promotion or a new job, and one in five (19%) have left a job because it was too hard to balance work and care.

Whilst 35% of all adults, and 44% per cent of working adults, have caring responsibilities, this research found that they are not spread equally across genders with women accounting for 85% of sole carers for children and 65% of sole carers for older adults. More people from ethnic minority backgrounds (42%) have caring responsibilities than from white backgrounds.

The research was conducted across a sample of 5,444 people in the UK in the hopes of gaining a better understanding of the contemporary attitudes and experiences around combining paid work and care. Although 94% agreed that caring responsibilities should be spread equally, 52% of women who were joint carers say they do more than their fair share with a mere 30% of men admitting they do less.

Only 27% of people believe men and women are treated equally in the workplace with one in five men (20%) saying that caring duties had stopped them from applying for a promotion or a new job, compared to the much higher percentage for women.

The impact of caring responsibilities on workplace progression is greatest on women, who, according to the study, are twice as likely than men to work part-time, and are lower-paid workers and shift workers.

People from black, asian, mixed race or other ethnically diverse groups are disproportionately affected, with the researching revealing that one in two (50%) who have caring responsibilities saying they had been unable to pursue certain jobs or promotions because of this. One in three (32%) have left or considered leaving a job due to a lack of flexibility, compared with around one in five (21%) white people.

Is there a care divide?

According to the research, women make up over half of the lone carers for all groups, including 85% of lone carers for children, 54% of lone carers for working age adults, and 65% of lone carers for older adults. People who care for older adults (68%) are less likely to feel supported than those with childcare responsibilities (78%) or caring for working age adults (77%).

Eight percent of carers identify themselves as ‘sandwich carers’, looking after both children and older adults at the same time with almost half (46%) of current workers having had childcare responsibilities come up ‘during the working day’. Over 50% of women, compared to 42% of men, say their day job has been interrupted because of this. More than one in three women (37%) said other caring responsibilities come up, compared to 31% of men.

Charlotte Woodworth, Gender Equality Campaign Director at BITC, commented: “Employers and policy makers need to understand that caring, for children and others, is a routine part of many people’s lives, and adjust working cultures to better support this. Otherwise, we will continue to see working carers, particularly women and people from black, asian, mixed race and other ethnically diverse backgrounds, pushed down and in some cases out of the workforce.

“Flexibility is key, thinking not just about where work is done, but also when. We need to move past old fashioned ideas about five days a week, 9 – 5, in one location and support everyone to craft a better work life balance, that doesn’t see some people penalised because they can’t work in a certain way.

“But helping women do it all will only get us so far – we must also ensure men are given the opportunity to care. We need to overhaul out-of-date policies that presume only women want to take time out to look after the kids. The government should support employers to offer stand-alone, subsidised paternity leave, in keeping with most people’s beliefs that people of all genders should be supported to care”.

Kelly Beaver, Chief Executive of Ipsos UK, also commented: “A record number of women are in paid work in the UK, and they make up nearly 50% of the workforce, but our research shows that many feel they are held back in their careers by caring responsibilities which are not shared evenly. The majority of those we surveyed believe that more of this responsibility should be shared equally, irrespective of gender, and that employers have a key role in making flexibility at work the rule not the exception.

This research is invaluable in helping employers and policy makers to respond to the increasing demand for a more flexible approach to working and I am proud that at Ipsos we are leading the way, for example all our UK employees are offered equal paid maternity and paternity leave, because we firmly believe that the responsibility of raising a child should not be determined by your gender.”

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Confidence in the market at a three-year high

According to the Hays Emiratisation Salary Guide 2022, UAE nationals are feeling optimistic about their salary prospects this year with the majority expecting their pay to increase over the next 12 months.

In the survey, respondents were asked what they expected to happen to their salary this year with 50% of Emiratis saying they anticipated an increase – up from 43% who said the same last year while 48% anticipate their salary to remain the same as in 2021. A mere 2% said they expected a decrease.

Grace Eldridge, Business Manager of Hays Emiratisation division commented: “This is the first time since running our annual salary survey that we have seen expectations for salary increases outweigh those expecting their salary to remain the same year-on-year within the Emirati community.”

“While professionals’ expectations are always slightly inflated above actual market trends, we do think these expectations are relatively realistic. Confidence in the market is at a three-year high, with business activity generally above and beyond pre-pandemic levels in the UAE. As a result, we expect a higher number of salary increases to be awarded this year than the past two years,” adds Grace.

Results from the report found that 74% of employers in the UAE plan to increase salaries in 2022, compared to 36% who did in 2021.

How much are salaries likely to increase?

The report found that 32% of Emiratis received a pay increase last year, which was lower than the 44% of expats who were also given pay increases. However, the average uplift in pay was higher for the Emirati community, who were mostly awarded an increase of between 5 and 10%, compared with the expat community, where the most common was an uplift of less than 5%.

According to Hays, in 2022, of those UAE nationals who expect a pay rise, the majority will again anticipate an increase of between 5 and 10%, while the majority of employers are planning to increase salaries by less than 5%.

Grace added: “When we refer to pay rises and trends, it’s important to note that these are not typically awarded on a company-wide basis. Instead, as our report shows, pay rises are more commonly offered on an individual basis as a result of a professional either ‘starting a new job with a new company’ or an ‘individual performance related pay increase’ and we expect the same again this year.”

“Our advice to professionals who believe they are deserved of a pay rise, is to be prepared to ask for one. They must manage their negotiation formally and sensibly; in light of the value they bring to the organisation. Those who sit and wait from a pay rise may be disappointed,” concluded Grace.

 

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Emails are most monitored form of communication
A recent study by Instant Offices revealed that there are a number of different employee monitoring trends happening in the new hybrid workplace.

According to the study, new hybrid working models have led to an increased need for employee surveillance software, with demand for the software skyrocketing in 2020 by almost 60%.

Similarly, according to Google Trends, worldwide searches for ‘employee monitoring software’ increased by 35% in 2020 compared with the year before. Key findings from the survey revealed that 78% of companies have reported using employee monitoring software to track worker performance and online activity; 73% say they have stored the recording of calls, emails and messages and these have affected team members’ performance reviews. Frightening findings have revealed that over 50% of employers have implemented non-traditional monitoring techniques and 94% of employers track emails.

The business areas using surveillance tools include financial, legal, retail, technology, healthcare, manufacturing, energy and government sectors.

Common surveillance methods and practices include:

Keylogger software on company equipment (alerts supervisors when workers use devices for personal activities); webcams to track biometric data; screen monitoring and screenshots to gauge productivity and stress levels and employer-provided smartphones equipped with geolocation software to track employees’ whereabouts.

The only way to successfully implement these tools is through complete transparency. More than half of workers feel anxious about their companies surveillant communications. Still, when the employer explains the reasons for the monitoring, over 50% of employees say they are more at ease with it.

 Mark Turner, Chief Technology Officer at the Instant Group commented: “The rise in remote working and an influx of new technology means monitoring has ramped up. When used strategically, this tracking benefits all– businesses can identify resourcing issues, streamline processes and identify gaps, while employees can use the data to prioritize, manage workloads and track productivity. The key to using monitoring tools successfully is transparency and communication. If you can show your teams that using a piece of tracking technology not only benefits the business, but them too, then you’re on the right track.

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35% of employees leave for more money

Energy business Gazprom Marketing and Trading released the results of its recent survey which have enabled the company to create a profile of the average UK job hunter, discover the most common reasons for moving job, and determined how important company reputation really is.

Findings stated that 60% of respondents look for a new job because they want new challenges and better progression which a bigger motivator than more money (24%). Despite this, the biggest factor for workers accepting their current role was revealed to be an attractive salary (35%). With culture being the third reason employees seek out new roles.

Three quarters of candidates said a company’s reputation is important when looking for a job, which emphasises the importance of employer branding. A staggering 84% of job seekers find a new role within the first six months of beginning their search with almost half (49%) finding one in the first three months.

We’ve heard time and again that the onboarding process is key to retaining staff and the survey revealed that 95% of applicants attend fewer than five interviews during the selection process before securing a new role, while only 5% attend six or more. Employers need to ask themselves if five interviews are too many interviews because remember, while you’re interviewing a potential candidate, so are other employers.

Interestingly, more jobseekers use employer websites directly (57%) than job posting sites (54%), with only 12% working directly with recruiters. Professional networks (40%) and social media (26%) also play a role.

A Resourcing Partner at GM&T commented: “If a business effectively builds its reputation, their dream candidates will soon start knocking on their door. And while this takes time, it’s a worthwhile investment that will ensure relevant, high-quality candidates, while helping to lower an organisation’s recruitment overheads in the long-term too.”

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Workers’ health and wellbeing were last year’s biggest challenge
According to analysis conducted by HIVE360, a specialist in outsourced PAYE payroll, employee benefits and engagement, two thirds of UK workers actively sought help and support with their mental and physical health last year.

HIVE360 analysed 2021 data usage of its mobile employee pay and benefits app called Engage and it was revealed that 60% of requests for support via the app’s services were health related. User requests focussed on access to employee assistance services, counselling services, health and fitness advice, GP and doctor support services, and carer support and guidance for those workers also looking after an ill or elderly relative or friend at home.

David McCormack, CEO of HIVE360 commented: “Obviously, 2021 presented its own unique challenges thanks to the pandemic and the restrictions on people as a result of it. Analysis of the Engage user data confirms this, and that one of the knock-on effects on workers was a profound, negative impact on their mental and physical wellbeing throughout the last 12 months.

David continued: “Providing the tools and benefits that support employees’ happiness and wellbeing must be at the heart of a company’s culture, and not considered a token gesture,” says David. “The key is creating an employee benefits programme and portfolio that is in-tune with what they want, when they want it.”

 

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Is the four-day week the way to solve attrition?

MRL Consulting Group, a UK recruitment firm, has seen an incredible 95% retention rate and productivity levels increasing by 25% since introducing a four-day work week. Improvements in employee wellness also reportedly improved.

Almost 90% of employees in the company reported improvement in their mental health and a marked reduction in workplace stress while a further 95% reported that they feel more rested after having a three-day weekend. Short-term absence was reported to have reduced by almost 40%.

The six-month trial implemented for all employees is now a permanent fixture within the company due to the huge success.

David Stone, Chief Executive Officer at MRL, commented: “We are driven by results, rather than the amount of time people spend at their desks. I trusted my staff to have enough self-motivation and discipline to be able to manage their time in order to fit five days of work into four. The results generated during the six-month trial have led us to implement a four-day week working model on a permanent basis.”

Kelly Robertson, Operations Director at MRL also weighed in: “During the trial, and since implementing the four-day working week, everyone has really ramped up their activity, and people feel a lot more prepared for the week ahead after having three days to rest at the weekend.  Now, the team has more time to spend on themselves, on their mental and physical health and with their families and you can really see the difference in the mood in the office.

“I can’t think of any reason why other businesses wouldn’t want to invest in its employees’ wellbeing, as there are so many positive outcomes. If you’re an output-based organisation and you are realistic about what you want your team to achieve in the given timeframe, there’s no reason you can’t have a four-day week.”

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Pandemic has exacerbated gender inequality

A detailed report, produced by Sharon Peake, founder and CEO at Shape Talent, has exposed why women in the workplace across Britain and Europe have been so severely impacted by COVID-19.

Sharon Peake, founder and CEO at Shape Talent, said: “The fact is: pre-existing gender inequalities have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and many of the hard-earned gains in women’s equality in the workplace, particularly at leadership levels, have been eroded. Women, the world over, are exhausted by the impact of gender bias.”

Predictions by The World Economic Forum expect that the gender pay gap is not going to close for another 136 years, as a direct impact of the pandemic. This is an increase of 36 years on the previous Global Gender Gap Report, which predicted 99.5 years.

Peake explained: “Since time began, gender equality has been viewed as a women’s issue and the focus has been on how to ‘fix’ women. This report does not exist to tell us how unacceptable this is – it is here to provide business leaders with the insight that can focus their strategies on sustainable change and ultimately accelerate gender equality.”

The paper outlines the three barriers that are summarised below:

  • Societal barriers: Subtle and often unspoken cultural cues and messages that reinforce the ways that men and women ‘ought’ to think, behave and feel
  • Organisational barriers: The hurdles experienced in the workplace and a combination of systemic obstacles, cultures and norms which disadvantage women
  • Personal barriers: A diverse range of hindrances, including how women present in the workplace and how they manage the work-family interface.

The paper lists eight guiding principles companies can adopt to counteract the barriers; these are:

  1. Link inclusion and diversity to business strategy
  2. Set the tone from the top
  3. Make inclusion part of cultural change programme
  4. Take an evidence-based approach
  5. Engage men
  6. Build and accelerate the pipeline
  7. Enable a level playing field
  8. Narrow the focus
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Despite efforts there is still massive room for improvement in UK management and reporting

In research released today, findings reveal a lack of focus on progressing diversity in the workplace. In the study conducted by SD Worx, it was found that while 68% of UK companies are committed to removing unconscious bias in the recruitment process, many have failed to implement a reporting system to track progress on meeting ED&I objectives.

The survey revealed that only 26% of UK companies evaluate managerial commitment to achieving ED&I-related objectives. A further 32% admitted having no systems allowing employees to report discrimination.

The UK ranked third in its commitment to removing unconscious bias at 68% when it comes to ranking. Ireland ranked first at 74%, with Belgium coming in second, at 69%.

As far as rankings for equal access to training, the UK is slightly lower than other countries, with 64% of companies investing in equal access to training and development. Ireland (72%), Belgium (71%), and Poland (69%) topped the list.

While 64% of UK companies include transparency about ED&I goals and actions to attract a diverse workforce in their mission statement and corporate values, only 60% of the UK companies surveyed said that they promote ED&I in job advertisements, social media, and their websites.

The survey also revealed that countries vary in their level of focus concerning educating and involving managers in their ED&I policies. For example, in the UK, 60% of companies stated that they actively involve their managers in ED&I policies, and 60% provide internal training on the topic.

Colette Philp, UK HR Country Lead at SD Worx commented: “It’s no longer enough for businesses to say they prioritise diversity and inclusion. Instead, they must prove their commitment to achieving a more diverse workforce, both internally within their business and externally to attract talent.”

“There is more awareness than ever before regarding diversity in the workplace and it’s a deciding factor for many when it comes to searching for a role or staying with a business. A diverse workforce brings new experiences and perspectives and an inclusive environment allows individuals to thrive. If businesses aren’t already putting ED&I as a top priority, it’s essential they act now to do so.”

Jurgen Dejonghe, Portfolio Manager SD Worx Insights, added: “It’s important that companies start investing in an active reporting system about their actions concerning diversity, equality and inclusion. On the one hand, that data offers a strong basis for optimising the diversity policy with concrete and consciously controlled actions. On the other hand, such a system also provides clear evidence whether companies are effectively putting their money where their mouth is and not making false promises to (future) employees.”

For ED&I initiatives to be successful, change needs to come from the top, with proper rollouts and reporting system to track their progress.

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TALiNT Partners has announced the finalists for the 2022 TIARA Talent Solutions Awards with 22 of the United States’ best Talent Solutions, MSP & RPO firms shortlisted across eight award categories.

The finalists for the 2022 Talent Solutions Awards US, which spotlight MSP, RPO and Talent Solutions providers delivering excellence in recruitment and talent acquisition across the US, are the top of the crop and represent the very best in providers in the industry.

Ken Brotherston, Chief Executive of TALiNT Partners made comment: “Following the inaugural TIARA Talent Solutions Awards US last year, I am delighted to see many of our 2021 finalists return to celebrate their achievements, as well as a number of new entrants this year. The 2022 Awards are a true celebration across the market, from the large global players to newer entrants and niche RPO organizations, all demonstrating excellence in their impact for employers and their own employees.”

“The TIARAs are distinguished by the rigor of its judging process and the quality of its judging panel,” he added. “Entries will be assessed by our esteemed judges through six key metrics: excellence in delivery; innovation; DE&I impact; sustainable value; business growth; and purpose.”

What sets the TIARAs apart from other awards programs is their independent panel of expert judges and individual feedback given back to each finalist.

The judges for this year’s TIARA Talent Solutions Awards are drawn from the HR and Talent Acquisition community are:

  • Sachin Jain, Senior Director – Global Talent Management, PepsiCo
  • Andrew Brown, Director RPO and Recruiting, Cornerstone
  • Russell Griffiths, General Manager, Coleman Research
  • Rich Genovese, Global Head – Talent Identification & Discovery, Jazz Pharmaceuticals
  • Gregg Schneider, Senior Manager – Procurement Plus, Global Talent Marketplace and Innovation Lead, Accenture
  • Justin Brown, Talent Acquisition Project Manager, Gallagher
  • Chris Farmer, Global Program Owner, Salesforce
  • Kerri Arman, Former VP Global Head of Talent, American Express Global Business Travel
  • Saleem Khaja, COO and Co-Founder, WorkLLama
  • Fitzgerald Ventura, CEO, 1099Policy
  • Mike Wilczak, Chief Product Officer, iCIMS

Judges will convene in May to debate and decide the winner of each category Award as well as an overall Talent Solutions Provider of the Year. All winners will be announced at an exclusive virtual awards ceremony on Thursday June 9th, 18:00 EDT.

Winners will also be profiled in a special TIARA Awards supplement published with TALiNT International.

The TIARA 2022 campaign is supported by our headline partner Cornerstone, and sponsored by WorkLLama, 1099Policy, and iCIMS.

The full list of TIARA 2022 Talent Solutions Finalists can be viewed here.

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Trials indicate increased productivity and employee wellbeing
Approximately 30 British companies will be taking part in a four-day work week trial has been launched in the UK as part of a global pilot organised by governments, think tanks, and the organisation ‘4 Day Week Global’. During the pilot, it’s said that employees will be offered 100% of their usual pay, for 80% of their time, yet maintaining 100% productivity. Studies have shown that the four-day week can boost productivity and employee wellbeing.
Harriet Calver, Senior Associate at Winckworth Sherwood, says that the four-day work week is not a new phenomenon. Many employees in the UK already work a four-day week, however, this is typically agreed on a case-by-case basis between employee and employer following a flexible working request. It tends to be accompanied by a corresponding reduction in pay, except in the case of “compressed hours” in which case the employee is simply squeezing the same number of hours into a shorter week.

BENEFITS FOR BUSINESS 

Gill Tanner, Senior Behavioural Scientist at CoachHub, believes that one of the key advantages is that employees would benefit from a better work/life balance and an extra day on the weekend would mean staff would have the opportunity to realise other ambitions outside of work and spend more meaningful time with family and friends, engage in more exercise or find a new hobby – all of which result in improved mental and physical health and higher levels of happiness. And this will result in less burnout and reduced levels of stress.

But in what ways could the reduced working week benefit employers? Improving employee happiness and well-being has many potential commercial benefits for employers such as increased performance and productivity, reduced absenteeism, recruitment and retention; and it could have a positive effect DE&I.

POTENTIAL DRAWBACKS

Gill Tanner believes that completing five days’ worth of work in just four days could be more stressful for some. Employees will need more focus and have much less time for lower productivity activities.  Additionally, some employers and businesses may find the four-day week detrimental to operations. For example, a decline in levels of customer support on days staff aren’t in the office. So, careful thought needs to be given to how this might be executed.

According to Harriet Calver, if an organisation is asking for 100% productivity from employees in consideration for a reduction in working hours, it is going to be critical to have the right support, technology and workplace culture in place to enable this.

Although the success of the four-day working week model relies on employees doing fewer hours, there is a danger that there may not be enough hours in those four days to complete the work. Therefore, working hours could creep up to previous levels if the workload is the same, resulting in longer and more stressful days for these employees.

In customer facing businesses, a potential pitfall of the four-day working week is not being able to properly service customers leading to poor customer satisfaction. For example, if an organisation shuts its office on the fifth day, when it was previously open, customers may complain they cannot access services when they want to, or previously could. Whilst this could be a potential issue for some organisations, it should be overcome fairly easily by most simply by keeping the business open for five days a week but staggering the days which employees do their four days so the entire week is still covered.

According to Gill Tanner, employers should consider the following before implementing a four-day week:

  1. What are your reasons for implementing a four-day week?
  2. Consult with employees and other stakeholders regarding a four-day week. What are their thoughts? How might it work?
  3. Provide clarity regarding what is expected in terms working hours, performance levels, days off, remuneration, ways of working etc.
  4. Ensure there is sufficient coverage to run the business as is required and to have continuity.
  5. Think about the situation from the customer/client perspective (and other stakeholders) and how they might be affected
  6. Consider the communication plan: who needs to be communicated to and by when?
  7. Reflect on your current company culture.  Is it one of trust and ownership, values that are key to this kind of working? If not, is it the right time to implement such a big transition?  Are there other steps you need to take first?
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At the beginning of every new year, everyone wants to give their two-pennies worth when it comes to what to expect in the months ahead. Ken Brotherston, TALiNT Partners’ CEO has given us his.

I love reading new year predictions; they typically have a common theme of how this year will be the most important year ever for [enter your profession]…

For talent acquisition leaders this isn’t true – at least I hope it isn’t because 2021 was your most important year. It was where chronic and acute collided, creating demands on talent acquisition and resourcing teams like never before and the importance of what they were doing had an immediate impact on the economy and society. Hiring to get jabs into arms, bread into supermarkets and petrol into garages are just three examples that spring to mind.

However, whilst 2022 may not be as mission critical as the last eighteen months, it will still be hugely important. This will be the year where employers’ responses to the disruption of the recent past will become evident: policies on unvaccinated workers, flexible and remote working strategies, and the pivot to a focus on skills rather than experience and the how these impact attrition and attraction will all become evident. For those employers who have got it right (or at least not as wrong as many others), there will be a dividend in the form of a more stable employee base with a resultant increase in productivity and competitiveness.

The biggest question for many talent acquisition leaders will be: “How long is the current market going to last?” In the UK the Institute of Employment is already saying the labour market has stalled, despite low headline unemployment figures. Now, whilst there isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, it does seem prudent to try and look beyond the current (quite possibly terrifying) number of open requisitions most organisations have and at least think about the implications for a slowing employment market.

My own guess is that we will run hot until the summer and then start to notice certain industry or job-family roles slow down more rapidly in Q3/4. Certain industries will have much longer to run – the green economy is only justgetting going and tourism and travel clearly have a long way to go to get back to pre-pandemic levels.

But nevertheless, the speed with which demand increased in late 2020 can easily go in the opposite direction if, for example, inflation really does take hold.

So, whilst we will hopefully avoid 2021’s relentless pressure to deliver, there is still important work to be done. Talent acquisition and resourcing functions more than proved their worth last year and will have another opportunity to do the same again this year, but perhaps with a more strategic approach. But whatever lies ahead I confidently predict it won’t be dull!

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