Tag: work/life balance

Thirteen industries represented on the list

A new report by Glassdoor has revealed the UK’s top 25 companies for senior leadership and red flags for toxic management.

Based on anonymous voluntary feedback from tens of thousands of employees, the list highlights the companies whose senior leaders have stood out in navigating the last year’s challenges and support of their workforce.

The UK’s top 10 companies for senior leadership are:

  • VetPartners Limited (4.7 rating out of 5)
  • GTB (4.6)
  • ServiceNow (4.6)
  • Awin (4.5)
  • Taboola (4.5)
  • Robert Walters (4.5)
  • MongoDB (4.5)
  • Randstad Sourceright (4.5)
  • Softcat (4.5)
  • Octopus Energy (4.5)

Great leadership can be found across the board. The complete list includes employers across 13 different industries, with tech being the most represented industry on the list. Other sectors on the list include utilities, construction, and hospitality.

Among the 2.2 million employers reviewed on Glassdoor, the average rating for Senior Leadership is 3.4.

According to the Glassdoor Economics Research team, good senior leadership ranks above salary, work-life balance, and career opportunities as a driver of employee satisfaction. However, the research also showed that employees are twice as likely to speak negatively about the failings of management than be complimentary.

The research showed that 44% of employee reviews with low ratings for senior leadership mention ‘management’. On the other hand, only 15% of employee reviews with high ratings for senior leadership mention ‘management’ in their reviews.

Looking at the reviews of nearly 370,000 employees, the research revealed that workers describe strong senior leadership as being:

  • Supportive
  • Friendly
  • Approachable
  • Flexible

Employees revealed the following traits of weak leadership:

  • Bullying
  • Micro-management
  • Rudeness
  • Neglectful
  • Unappreciative
  • Directionless
  • Disconnection

Lauren Thomas, Glassdoor EMEA Economist, commented: “COVID-19 tore up the traditional rules of management, and it is the companies that embraced the changes this offered and focused on employee experience that are recognised on Glassdoor’s Top UK Companies for Senior Leadership list.”

“Inspirational senior leadership is a sign of a united company with an engaged, motivated and satisfied workforce. The companies on our list share a transparent approach to management and offer strong culture and values.”

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Two-thirds of workers think work-life balance is more valuable than pay

Despite increasing inflation and the UK’s cost-of-living crisis, a new survey suggests that employees value work-life balance more than pay.

The survey by HR and payroll software provider CIPHR polled over 1,000 UK workers about the most important job aspects. The results revealed that 70% of women and 65% of men consider work-life balance more important than pay and employee benefits combined.

According to the research, the top 20 most important aspects of a job, ranked by popularity, are:

  • Work-life balance (67%)
  • Pay and benefits – total rewards package (59%)
  • Job security (57%)
  • Job satisfaction (53%)
  • Healthy work environment (42%)
  • Recognition: feeling valued and appreciated (37%)
  • Feeling safe at work (36%)
  • Feeling included / belonging at work (33%)
  • Right to disconnect from work outside of usual working hours (26%)
  • Promotion opportunities / career progression (25%)
  • Job autonomy – trusted to do a job without being micromanaged (24%)
  • Clear goals and targets (23%)
  • Correct tools for the job (20%)
  • Job purpose and variety (20%)
  • Learning and development initiatives (18%)
  • Social connection (18%)
  • Team-oriented culture (17%)
  • Transparent leadership (15%)
  • Fewer meetings (9%)
  • Regular coaching and feedback (9%)

Interestingly, flexibility in where employees were allowed to work affected the results, with work-life balance being the most-valued job aspect for 79% of remote workers compared to 66% of workers who are either partly remote or who never work from home.

Similarly, the right to disconnect from work – and not feel obliged to do any unpaid work-related tasks outside of contracted hours was also a priority for employees who work remotely, compared to those who don’t (36% vs. 25%).

The results indicated that office- or workplace-based staff see greater value in their physical workspace and working among others. Top priorities among these employees include:

  • Healthy work environment (47%)
  • Feeling safe at work (40%)
  • Feeling included and belonging at work (38%)

Employees with hybrid working arrangements generally seem to place equal importance on how pay and benefits (56%), job security (55%), and job satisfaction (55%) interrelate.

Two-fifths of these workers agree that recognition and feeling valued and appreciated by their employers rank more highly than a healthy work environment (41% vs. 39%).

Further data analysis indicates that survey respondents in leadership and senior management team (SMT) roles are likelier to work remotely than those in non-SMT positions (70% vs. 50%). These workers also have different job priorities than the rest of the workforce, with pay and benefits being the fourth most important aspect of a job, at 46%. Work-life balance (60%), job satisfaction (52%), and job security (51%) were at the top of the list.

Regarding age and career longevity, 72% of 24-to-44-year-olds favoured work-life balance over 51% of 18-to-24-year-olds. People kicking off or ending their careers were more likely to place job satisfaction ahead of job security, with 45% of 18-to-24-year-olds and 65% of over 55s preferring to have a job that they enjoy, even if it’s not completely secure.

For respondents aged 45 to 54, 56% said job security was more important than pay and rewards packages (52%).

Across industries, the results vary. People in the finance and insurance sectors are more likely to prize pay and benefits over work-life balance (60% compared to 58%, respectively). In the IT and software industry, job security beats pay and benefits and work-life balance (58% compared to 54% and 54%). Manufacturing workers rate work-life balance and pay and benefits equally (63%).

Claire Williams, Chief People Officer at CIPHR, commented: “CIPHR’s latest findings highlight that salary often isn’t the key driver that many people think it is. People rarely have just one single aspect of a job that matters most to them: there are always a variety of factors that govern whether an individual will join, stay, or leave an organisation, and these will vary depending on where they are with their career at the time.

“Everyone has their own idea of what work-life balance looks like to them. For some, it means looking for more flexibility at work – such as flexible hours, a four-day week, or remote working – while for others it’s an aspiration that helps shape their career choices, the type of roles they want, and the employers they want to work for. It’s certainly not a new concept, but there’s no doubt that the pandemic has spurred many people to re-evaluate their work-life priorities and change how they want to spend their time at work.

“While employers are still navigating what this means in the long term, they do need to recognise that if they are not meeting their staff’s current needs and priorities – particularly around any core job aspects that they want and value – it’s likely that another organisation will.

“Take the time to actively listen to your workforce – perhaps by running a survey similar to this one – to find out what’s important to them, and map these results against employee demographics, life stages, locations and department. An integrated HR tech stack, with a sophisticated HR system, such as CIPHR HR, at its centre, will help you gain this holistic view of your people data.

“It won’t always be possible to tick every box but if you can act on the feedback where possible, it will help improve employee experience and engagement at all levels. Do nothing, and you’re likely to lose staff in the long run.”

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Over one third of office workers skipping breaks

New data from a survey by Digital Detox, conducted by Just Eat for Business, has revealed that over a third (36%) of UK workers are now skipping more breaks than last year.

The survey uncovered workers’ habits towards breaks and computer use, as well as focus on screen time. The study included expert comments on the mental impact of skipping breaks and went on to offer advice on how to combat it.

It also included responses from over 200 UK workers that were segmented by job role (business owners/C-suite, management team and executive).

The responses revealed that over a third (36%) of office workers are now skipping more lunch breaks compared to last year.

Business owners and those in C-suite positions proved to be the most likely (44%) to skip more breaks, while 1 in 10 at the same level report not taking any lunch breaks at all.

The survey also asked workers how often they put in overtime, with 25% of workers admitting that they put in overtime hours every single day.

When asked how often they feel burnt out at work, the survey found that 43% of workers report feeling sometimes burnt out at work, with 13% of office workers feeling in a constant state of burnout.

The results of the survey suggested that there is a correlation between those who skip breaks and those who feel burnt out, with 73% of workers reporting feeling burnout also admitting they don’t take a break until lunch, while 46% don’t stop looking at their screen until the end of the working day.

Dr Anneli Gascoyne, Associate Professor in Occupational Psychology at Goldsmiths University, commented on the impact of skipping breaks: “Trying to maintain focus for long periods of time is also counterproductive: over time, we’re depleting our mental energy and often don’t notice that happening. By skipping lunch we’re potentially making that situation worse – we need food (preferably the fresh and healthy kind!) to help restore our energy.”

Rosie Hyam, People Partner at Just Eat for Business, added: “Regardless of how teams are working – whether it’s in the office, at home, or a hybrid solution – it’s essential to take regular breaks. Without these, it’s not surprising that so many workers are feeling more burnt out than before.

“Given the emphasis currently being placed on health and wellbeing, it’s important that employers and employees prioritise sustainable and healthy working habits – including taking more regular screen breaks, and setting time aside to socialise with colleagues.

“Organisations may want to consider organising regular events that encourage time away from screens, and offer opportunities for team bonding – such as weekly catered in-office lunches, or food deliveries for at-home workers.”

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