Tag: Workforce

Winning the war for talent is less about money, titles and job security and more about employee experience in the post-pandemic era, according to a major study commissioned by Microsoft.

And according to the resulting six-part report entitled The Definitive Guide: Employee Experience, produced by the Josh Bersin Company, organisational culture is the top driver for creating an excellent employee experience (EX).

Researchers conducted in-depth interviews with HR and business leaders from companies such as Deutsche Telekom, IBM, Kraft Heinz, Microsoft and Unilever, taking in views from more than 950 organisations for the report.

They said EX had emerged as one of the key factors to adapting to the business and workforce challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, with the area having evolved from niche engineering projects to strategic, enterprise-wide initiatives.

The researchers said there were six key findings that emerged from studying organisations with superior EX. These were: a focus on trust, transparency, inclusion and care; that a supportive culture plays a big role; that innovation and sustainable growth depend on equitable rewards and building communities at work; that consistent, mission-first people investments in any business climate improve business performance; that EX excellence directly leads to business outcomes; and that HR capabilities and the right technologies are vital.

The researchers devised an EX Maturity Model to help assess where organisations currently stood in terms of their EX. Organisations were given a ranking between one and four, with the former being least impactful and the latter most impactful. Overall, 55% of the companies represented were found to be at the lower two levels of the model.

The report said that technology played a vital role in feeding into employee experience and also in determining a company’s level of maturity.

Kathi Enderes, vice president of research at the Josh Bersin Company, said: “EX is multi-faceted, complex and multi-layered. No single project or technology solution will create EX excellence. Our research delves into the many different factors and dimensions involved in EX, as well as various strategies and programmes. While technologies and services alone don’t drive great EX, they absolutely are correlated to EX maturity.”

Strong leadership vital

However, Josh Bersin, CEO and global industry analyst, added: “Without the right leadership, capabilities and behaviours, any progress in EX will be short-lived and unsustainable. It’s a choice to make: are you prioritising business-centred leadership in which the business is first and people are second or emphasising human-centred leadership that prioritises your people? Above all, remember that the journey to a world-class employee experience is an ongoing process enabled by close listening to your people.”

A big part of what the most successful leaders do is drive company culture, according to a separate study from Heidrick and Struggles released last week.

It surveyed 500 CEOs across nine countries – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Spain, the UK and the US – and found that globally, 11% of CEOs were ‘culture accelerators’, leaders who were “significantly more intentional in the way that they focused on culture than others”.

It reported that companies led by such individuals showed double the compound annual growth rate of others surveyed for the same study.

Ian Johnston, co-author of the report and partner in Heidrick and Struggles’ London office, said: “The global pandemic caused turmoil within many organisations and it seems those who have maintained a focus on culture during the uncertainty will be better positioned for future success.”

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61% of people looking for a new job in 2017 say they’d have a negative perception of any company that enforced a dress code.

Meanwhile, the majority of UK workers say they would feel more productive and put more effort into their appearance if there wasn’t a dress code, according to a study by Stormline.

78% of respondents said that even without a dress code, they’d still make an effort to dress well and would make a clear distinction between ‘work clothes’ and ‘non-work clothes’.

Of those, 91% said they felt the quality and condition of what they wore was more important than whether it complied with a dress code and they would be more likely to spend more on clothes if they had more choice in what they wore.

68% said they were more likely to trust a well-dressed colleague to do a good job than someone in the same position who ‘didn’t make an effort’, but clothing style and formality didn’t have a significant influence on perceptions of competence. This suggests that we want to dress to impress, but resent being told what to wear.

Of those who are required to observe a dress code which is sometimes relaxed (for example on ‘dress down Friday’), 61% say they feel more productive when the dress code is relaxed.

Attitudes to company dress codes between the sexes

Women Men
A strict dress code would give me a negative perception of a business 60% 62%
A strict dress code would give me a positive perception of a business 22% 24%
A strict dress code would not change my perception of a business 18% 14%
I believe workplace dress codes are discriminatory to the opposite sex 63% 77%
I believe workplace dress codes are discriminatory to my sex 81% 61%
I am more productive and happier when I can dress how I like (only respondents who work somewhere with a dress code that is sometimes relaxed, for example on ‘dress down Friday’ answered this) 58% 64%
I don’t believe workplace dress codes are useful (only respondents who work somewhere with a dress code answered this) 78% 82%

When asked to select the dress code requirement – from a list of common requirements –  that gave the most negative impression of a business, people were most likely to select something that affected themselves due to their sex.

The most commonly selected dress code requirement among women (59%) was being asked to wear high heeled shoes. Among men, the most commonly selected item was being required to wear a tie (41%).

Other requirements that created a negative impression of a business were restrictions on piercings (men – 12%, women 19%) and requiring tattoos to be covered up (men 17%, women 10%).

Occupational health expert, Sir Cary Cooper CBE, professor of organisational psychology & health at the ALLIANCE Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, believes that formal dress codes have had their day. He said, “Uniforms and workwear that protect the wearer or help them be identified have obvious utility, but I don’t see the point in asking someone to wear a tie around their neck or to specify the colour of their shoes.

“Employers should trust their people enough to let them dress how they please. They may wish to advise on items they don’t want to see in the office, but to specify what they must wear is highly patronising.

“We must also consider the challenges of a formal dress code for people with disabilities, both hidden and visible, and chronic illnesses. Psoriasis sufferers, for example, may struggle wearing a buttoned up collar but may not feel confident in asking for exemption from the dress code.”

Regan McMillan, director of Stormline, thinks dress codes are useful to some industries and a hindrance in others and commented, “I think there’s a big difference between workwear, uniforms and dress codes. If you’re working in a dangerous environment, for example fishing, then the rules are about safety. If you’re public-facing, a uniform can help people identify you when they need you, but I can’t really think of a good reason why a web developer or a project manager would want – or need – to be told what to wear.

“Yet businesses in the UK still seem oddly keen on making their talent dress in specific, often very restrictive ways. Our research suggests that this sort of attitude could actually be harming businesses and their ability to attract the top talent, while creating some low level disgruntlement among their teams.”

Case Study

One respondent to the study, who didn’t want his name to be published, said that the dress code in place at his current place of work is the primary reason he is looking to move on.

He said, “I work in the I.T department of a financial services business, so on the one hand we’re a regulated company in a serious industry, but on the other hand, myself and my team spend a lot of our days in server rooms or under desks unplugging equipment, so wearing a suit just means we waste a lot of time taking our jackets off and putting them on again.

“The company policy here is strict, to the point that shoes must be black, men must be clean-shaven and shirts must be plain, not patterned. Ties are compulsory. I resent being told how to dress, especially when a lot of my friends who have similar jobs can dress how they like, doing the same work, but for more progressive companies.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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The UK construction sector is experiencing the highest levels of demand in years as it strives to recover from the delays and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, this is good news for economic recovery, but David McCormack, CEO of HIVE360, says he is concerned for the mental health and welfare of workers as the sector looks to meet the resourcing challenge.

Workers in high demand

The construction sector needs an extra 217,000 workers by 2025 to meet the post-pandemic bounce-back. *According to the CITB’s Construction Skills Network, most English regions will experience an increase in construction workers, with the East Midlands (1.7%) and West Midlands (1.4%) set to lead demand*.

Over half (53%) of the 2.8 million people working in UK construction are self-employed, on an agency or zero-hours contract, so companies throughout the construction sector supply chain will inevitably turn to recruiters for help with finding and supplying workers.

The creation of new job opportunities is positive, but employers in the sector must follow best practice guidelines and be legally compliant – including with the new IR35 rules – to ensure existing and new workers are treated fairly.

Worker welfare and wellbeing

Globally, the construction industry has one of the poorest records for employee mental health and suicide. The UK’s Office for National Statistics reports the suicide rate in construction is over three times more than the national average – about 400 workers in the UK’s construction and engineering sectors take their own live each year.

UK construction workers are also vulnerable to modern slavery, which covers forced labour and human trafficking.

Modern slavery is the illegal exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain. It is estimated that there is a large number of people experiencing modern slavery within the UK construction industry**.  Labour employed via sub-contractors or agents are considered most at-risk.

Last year, the government published its long-awaited response to its consultation on transparency in supply chains. Among the measures is a commitment to ‘mandating the key topics that modern slavery statements must cover’, with civil penalties for non-compliance anticipated in ‘due course’. In March 2021, the government launched a new online registry for modern slavery statements, to enable more informed scrutiny of an organisation’s approach to supply chains, with the comparative quality of statements available for all to see.

The risks from modern slavery can occur anywhere in a construction company’s operations – whether this is through direct employment, contractors or subcontractors – and can include failure to pay workers the UK minimum wage, and child labour in extended supply chains.

All construction workers have the right to control their wages, have a written employment contract, be paid on time, keep their passport, choose where they want to stay, change their job, or join a union. As well as this, they should be treated with respect, paid fairly and protected by the law.

The Construction Protocol

The Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), is a Non-Departmental Public Body of the UK Government, and a national enforcement agency whose role is to protect workers from labour exploitation.

To tackle modern slavery in the construction sector, the GLAA has collaborated with leading construction companies to create the Construction Protocol, which brings in the same measures and guidelines seen in the fresh food sector that protect the health and wellbeing of workers.

All signatories have agreed to raise awareness within supply chains to help to prevent and protect construction workers from exploitation or abuse, and take necessary steps to ensure exploitation and abuse of workers is recognised and addressed with appropriate safeguards put in place to ensure that exploitative practice is not repeated.

As a GLAA license holder and signatory of the Construction Protocol, HIVE360 is committed to helping participating companies with payroll and worker wellbeing.

Added benefits

HIVE360 is an expert in recruitment agency PAYE outsourced payroll,  and our HMRC-compliant payroll solution guarantees a speedy and transparent service, with no nasty fees for workers. It also delivers efficiency gains from our payroll, digital payslips, pensions auto-enrolment and pay documentation support.

HIVE360 goes further with our unique customisable engagement app Engage.

Provided as a standard element of our outsourced payroll solution, Engage gives workers access to a range of health and wellbeing benefits and services: 24/7, confidential access to mental health support, counsellors and GPs, 1000s of high street and online discounts, huge mobile phone savings, online training resources, along with a secure digital payslips portal and a real-time workplace pension dashboard to support employees’ financial wellbeing. To ensure the safety of employees in the workplace, we have also introduced an incident reporting system which allows workers to raise serious issues or concerns with their employer directly through the app, anonymously if they choose to.

HIVE360 is an outsourced payroll and employee benefits expert that is championing a new model of employment administration and redefining employment and pension administration processing. Visit: www.hive360.com

References

*CITB: Construction Skills Network forecasts 2021-2025: UK

**GLAA: Construction Industry Protocol

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Ryan Bridgman, regional director, UK and Ireland at Jobrapido

Some of you may be familiar with a quote from the writer Dr Samuel Johnson ‘Change is not made without inconveniences, even from worse to better’. Certainly, throughout history, with the dawn of each Industrial Revolution, many workers and bosses alike will have nodded their head in agreement. After all change can be unsettling and there can be a resistance to any development which poses a threat to one’s job and livelihood. Yet, if you look back at all the Industrial Revolutions, it has always paved the way for more net jobs and more efficient working processes.

We’re now fully embedded in the Fourth Industrial Revolution – which is largely about the rise of smart technology and automation and connectivity – it’s a period where in some quarters there has been apocalyptic talk about the robots coming to get our jobs,  even though conversely such developments are creating an abundant stream of jobs and  ticketed with high salaries.

As technology developments gather pace, the workplace landscape looks set for further change.

Recently there’s been talk that we are actually leaving the Fourth and making way for the Fifth Industrial Revolution – which has been described as the rise of artificial intelligence.

The Fifth will be about the integration and the partnership (as this is how I think we should approach it) of AI and human intelligence. It’s about understanding and not fearing the unique attributes AI has such as non-bias, accuracy and data so that recruiters and employers can make even better and informed decisions for their organisations.

The Fifth Industrial Revolution will actually place MORE weight on the importance of human intelligence than ever before and how these unique human traits, when harnessed in tandem with the accuracy of AI lead to greater outcomes.

We are already seeing the advantages of this partnership – AI allows recruiters the ability to capture far better profile matches when they are seeking the right candidate. The war on talent isn’t going away and AI supports the challenges the industry has been facing for a while. Plus, it means recruiters will have more time freed up from the manual aspects of their job.

One of the core advantages is that AI provides and acts upon rich data insights. This can only be a huge benefit for recruiters in terms of getting across the right messages which will resonate with candidates and create better engagement between them, in an age where the industry needs to provide a compelling candidate experience and, as far as possible, a personalised ‘journey’ for their job search and ongoing career. That is a big focus for us, at Jobrapido, where we put the jobseeker at the centre of what we do.

To give you an idea of how this is working in practice, we recently partnered with a national recruiter of healthcare workers – where there are significant skills shortages in the UK.  By using Smart Intuition Technology to identify skilled Healthcare Workers within both its internal communities and the wider internet as a whole with the result being that a much higher range of qualified healthcare workers have been made aware of the recruiters’ opportunities and have consequently applied for the roles. This has enabled the recruiter to significantly increase its volume of hires and gain a competitive edge.

With all the talk about AI, it might seem slightly ironic to stress the increasing importance of human intelligence in the industry. Recruiter and human resources teams have a fundamentally important role to fulfil and a pivotal role in how organisations can perform: released from the bulk of daily administration, they will finally be able to fine-tune and meet the talent requirements to ensure their organisations can meet the own goals in terms of growth and productivity.

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Aidan Cramer, co-founder and CEO of JobLab

It won’t surprise you to learn that a bad hire can be expensive. Traditional recruitment agencies can take up to 30% of the final salary of any incoming employee. If that employee is paid the national average, that’s more than £5,000, and it climbs quickly if the person in question is taking a senior role.

But even this fails to tell the whole story. A report from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) found that although more than a third of companies believe hiring mistakes cost their business nothing, a poor hire at mid-manager level with a salary of £42,000 can cost a business more than £132,000 due to the accumulation of costs relating to training, lost productivity and more.

Low morale

What’s talked about far less is the cost of a bad hire in non-monetary terms, and this is especially relevant in small teams with flat hierarchies, such as those found in the start-up space. Bringing someone into your company who isn’t the right fit — due to their temperament, attitude to the job or skill set, for example — can have a devastating effect on the day-to-day functioning of the business.

The ‘wrong’ people sap the collective morale of the entire team, and naturally this has an impact on their productivity: as WIRED has reported, happy people are about 12% more productive.

Staff turnover

The logical end to falling morale is turnover. The threshold of unhappiness at work will vary from person to person, but everyone has a critical point at which they feel they have no choice but to leave. Successive departures begin to give off the impression that a business is poorly run or — much worse — a sinking ship, from which other employees may suddenly want to flee. It’s one of the most remarked-upon qualities of working millennials that they ‘job-hop’, or abandon companies which fail to fulfil certain professional needs, from money to purpose. You can rest assured that young people today will not feel a sudden rush of loyalty if their colleagues (and friends) start to get itchy feet.

Spread too thin

And then there’s the damage to the functioning of a business which, if it’s a start-up or a small company, relies upon the ability of its team members to work autonomously and responsibly, and to take care reliably of whatever tasks it is their role to perform. The ‘borderlessness’ of start-ups can mean that there will be someone who can take on the responsibilities of a bad hire, but this is hardly a long- or even medium-term solution: the quality of that someone’s own work will naturally diminish if she or he is spread too thin, and their morale will suffer, too.

Those responsible for hiring — often the founder herself in a start-up — will have to take themselves away from valuable activities to find a replacement for the bad hire. Soon you can find that there isn’t enough labour to go around.

Broken recruitment

It’s worth remembering that a bad hire can simply be the wrong fit even if they have the necessary skills for the job. An incoming employee may fail to assimilate into the company culture or have an approach to work that jars with those of everyone else.

The traditional recruitment model doesn’t help matters at all by relying heavily on a tired system of paper CVs and cover letters which benefits the privileged and contributes to the UK’s ultra-low productivity, by directing people to jobs for which they’re poorly suited. It’s also painfully slow, which exacerbates the problem of urgency that comes about when a company realises it has made a bad hire and tries to rectify the wrong.

Anyone who has braved the world of traditional recruitment will have experienced the frustration of having infrequent, impersonal communication or being put forward for the wrong jobs.

Hiring mistakes cost UK businesses billions each year, and recruitment fraud continues to be a problem. Both the candidates, who are denied meaningful work, and businesses, who are denied the people they need, lose out. In times of economic uncertainty, it’s especially important that businesses can find the people they need quickly and in such a way that the chance of making a mistake is dramatically reduced. If they fail to do that, the impact can be devastating.

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With the UK facing an almost unprecedented skills shortage, employers are bracing themselves for higher staff turnover, as their employees are given the bargaining power to move on more quickly to their next role. Yet new research from BPS World suggests employees are far more loyal than businesses expect.

The survey of 1000+ employees, working both part time and full time, found that staff usually stay with one employer for an average of 4.5 years, and a third say they usually stay in one role for more than six years.

BPS World also asked respondents about the longest time they’ve spent with one employer to date, and found that almost half (45%) have worked for one company for ten years or more at a certain point in their career. 43% also said they’d consider staying with their ‘dream’ employer for life.

Simon Conington (pictured), MD of BPS World, said,Employers will be reassured to see that for the most part, employees are not jumping from job to job in a matter of months as some headlines would suggest. Whilst this is encouraging, it’s important that businesses don’t become complacent; employers that consider employee engagement to be low priority will without doubt lose talented staff.”

When asked why they stayed put in their longest serving role, employees ranked enjoyment of their job as the number one reason (47%), followed by being treated well and respected by their employer (38%) and being well paid (30%). Employers were asked why they believed their longest standing team members stayed with them, and whilst they were aligned in believing that enjoyment of the job is the biggest driver for staying put, they believed that that progression prospects rank highly; with almost a third (31%) ranking this as a top retention driver. In contrast, just 13% of employees surveyed said progression prospects were the reason why they stayed in their longest serving role. There were other disparities between employers and their staff, with 20% of employers believing that pride in working for the company is the top reason for their employees staying in role, whereas just 11% of the employees themselves rated that as the biggest driver for them remaining in post.

Conington concluded, “A certain amount of staff turnover is of course healthy for a business, but losing a highly skilled team member presents obvious challenges.  Employers are rightly appreciating that their staff need to enjoy what they do if they’re going to hang onto them, but there is a slight mismatch in what else they believe is important to their teams, versus what actually retains a talented staff member. It’s vital that they don’t rely on assumptions, and encourage transparency and open conversations with their employees to foster a culture of loyalty and engagement within their business.”

BPS also asked employees how long they intend to stay with their current employer; over a quarter said more than five years, with the average being 3.2 years.

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Almost 80% of graduate recruiters consider work experience one of the most important factors on a graduate CV, ahead of degree level, the relevancy of the course, or the standard of university.

According to recent research by Pareto, 77% of graduate recruiters place work experience as one of the most important factors on graduate job applications, with just two in five considering the level of the degree into recruitment decisions and only 7% factoring in the standard of university.

Only a demonstrable skill set (87%) was more sought-after than work experience, with evidence of communication, problem-solving and leadership being the most desired by recruiters.

Aspects recruiters would be happy to compromise on included any evidence of travelling or information on sports club memberships and societies, despite their potential to demonstrate desirable skills such as initiative (sought by 38% of recruiters) or leadership (41%) respectively.

The research also revealed that 47% of recruiters will skip straight to the work experience section of a candidate’s CV or application. Only a quarter (27%) would first look at the education section, and despite looking for applicants to demonstrate a certain set of skills, only one in ten recruiters would look there first.

Suzie Berry, head of candidate experience at Pareto, said, “While the emphasis placed on work experience clearly outweighs that of any other aspect of a graduate job application, the opportunity to develop skills that translate to the workplace through education, training and other extra-curricular endeavours should not be dismissed.”

When asked to give candidates one piece of advice when applying for graduate jobs, 80% mentioned the word ‘experience’. The opportunities for students, however, are not necessarily available. In 2016, the top 100 biggest recruiters of graduates offered over 14,000 work experience places among them, which equates to less than one place for every 30 students in UK.

Berry added, “Work experience is clearly a ‘must-have’ for most graduate recruiters, as it shows a familiarity with the workplace and a drive to seek experience outside of a candidate’s university studies. But when work placements and opportunities are at such a premium, there has to be an allowance that some candidates have lesser access to the experience employers are seeking.”

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

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By Advance Systems

 

Diversity in the workplace is something that should be celebrated and not feared. There’s a tendency for some old fashioned businesses to hire people that are all similar. White, middle-class, males are typically the most hired people in the country. However, a business can benefit from having a diverse workforce.

 

By having diverse employees, a company can see an increase in workplace productivity. And, they can see their employees becoming more active at work too. Listed below are a few reasons that back up this point and prove diversity is brilliant:

 

More Lines Of Thought
If you have a company full of similar people, then they’ll think in similar ways. Everyone will have shared the same experiences and come from the same backgrounds. With a diverse workforce, you have a group of people from different backgrounds. As a result, you end up with a variety of brains that think in different ways. They can provide thoughts that you wouldn’t get with a workforce full of similar people. With more lines of thought comes new ways of doing things. New suggestions can be made to help improve workplace productivity. All in all, your office becomes more productive because there are so many new ideas flying about all the time.
Higher Staff Morale
When people come from different backgrounds, they tend to relate to one another quite well. They share a common goal; trying to make it in a world where they’re often overlooked. So, if a diverse workforce works together, then staff morale is very high. In turn, this leads to a happy workplace, which results in increased productivity. And, when everyone is happy and getting along with one another, it means they’ll stay in the business. Furthermore, they’re less likely to take time off and will come into work every day. Take a look at your workforce management software if you have a diverse workforce. I bet you’ll find that very few of your employees have had time off. Also, look at their time and attendance, I’m willing to bet they’ll be in work on time, every day of the week. High staff morale encourages people to work hard for a company and come to work on time.
Diverse Set Of Skills
Another great thing a diverse workforce can boast is an increased skill set. When you hire lots of different people, you get lots of different skills. It’s far better than hiring a bunch of people that can all do the same thing. What’s the point in that? You’re just taking up space on your payroll with a load of employees that are all providing the same skillset. Diversity means people will be good at certain things. You can have one person that’s an expert in one business area, like marketing. Then, you have another person that’s exceptional at closing sales and speaking to customers. What you end up with is an entire team of people that have their own unique strengths and skills. This results in high productivity levels and a more active workplace.
Greater Customer Understanding
Diverse workers provide you with greater customer understanding. When you have a range of people working for you, then you’ve got people that can relate to your target market. The more diverse your workforce is, the more they’re likely to understand your customers. By having a better understanding, it means they can get more work done and keep the customers flowing in. This leads to a productive business that retains customers all the time. If you don’t have diverse employees, then you don’t have a big chance of empathizing with the customer.
As you can see, having a diverse workforce will benefit every business. Not only do they lead to an increase in productivity, but they also make a company much better. It can improve your brand image if you’re seen to be hiring a diverse array of staff. People will start to look at your business as very forward thinking and modern. As a result, you find that consumers are more attracted to your brand and like what you’re doing.
So, it’s important that you try and hire a diverse team of workers. Take a look at your HR software and see your employee database. Companies like Advance Systems provide HR software that lets you see all of your employee’s details. This can let you see what type of people you employ. You may find that you don’t have a diverse workforce, so can work on hiring different people. Then, you’ll see a more productive and active business.

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