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Five ways to get your teams working more effectively

Teams are the building blocks of organisations. Teams are groups of people who work together to achieve things - but not all groups are teams. Teams are characterised by interdependencies, in other words team members have to work together to get things done. While this interdependency creates the potential for the whole to be more productive and creative than the sum of the parts, it can just as easily be a recipe for frustration and conflict.
 

Performance management – creating a meaningful process and dialogue

One of the main drivers around creating an effective performance management process is reaching that utopian point whereby quality conversations are once again occurring between managers and employees. However, are we now so concerned with wrapping the process in a ‘flashy coat’ that we have ultimately created a scary monster from which managers run screaming? 
 

Recognising great performance - without great rewards

During a catch up with an old colleague, he told me that he’d had a promotion at work. Knowing that money had been a bit tight recently, I said I hoped it would help ease things a little. ‘Oh no’, he said, ‘No pay increase. This was a recognition promotion’.
 

Harnessing diversity

With businesses facing some of the toughest market conditions we have seen for some years, the need to improve efficiency through achieving greater staff productivity has never been more important. Yet many firms are overlooking the one key asset that may just help them get ahead of the competition: the diversity within their staff.
 

Using mobile technology to recruit

Recruiters have been slow to adopt mobile recruitment and are in danger of losing candidates. With one in four of us accessing the web from a mobile, and this trend increasing as you move down the age range, it has stark implications for all organisations on the recruitment trail. The more mobile optimised your recruitment process is the better placed you will be to access the best breadth of talent. Yet many companies make some fundamental errors when trying to make their recruitment process mobile friendly. 
 

HR and disability – the business case

Over many years HR’s role in organisations has changed with many practitioners becoming ‘business partners’ and ‘advisers’ with more and more responsibilities being transferred down the line to managers. This in many ways may well be a good idea but some issues struggle to be addressed in this approach. Disability issues often suffer because addressing these seems to be challenging for many managers and perceptions play a big part in how they are addressed. Also it can mean that the wider issues about managing disability at a strategic level don’t really get resolved.
 

Employee engagement for control freaks

When asking a roomful of managers the question ‘Who would admit to being a control freak?’ what proportion would you say raise their hands? Well, a lot – and I should know since it’s a question I’ve asked many, many times.

 

The art of mediation

Unresolved workplace disputes are one of the biggest barriers to employee engagement. These conflicts and quarrels can drain resources, take up large volumes of time and cost an excessive amount of money. But introducing an effective mediation scheme can help put an end to a ‘grievance culture’, efficiently solve cases and save companies substantial sums of money says David Liddle, CEO of the TCM Group.
 

Childcare vouchers - a death greatly exaggerated?

George Osborne announced in his Budget that the government is soon to support childcare costs for working parents in an entirely new way. At present, tax-efficient childcare vouchers are only available to parents when their employer has chosen to offer this facility. From 2015 this changes, with most parents able to register directly with a new online system to receive similar levels of tax relief on their childcare costs. It is hoped that this approach will widen access, allowing more parents to benefit from state support in the funding of childcare.
 

Better disciplinaries with recordings?

When conducting confidential meetings with employees, one recent trend helping managers avoid some of the problems that can lead to tribunals is the use of sound recording and transcription.
 

Beware the ‘frenemy’ within

Understandably, most employees would be mortified to be labelled as stealing from their employer. But almost half of UK employees (40%) admit to taking private company information with them when they move to a new job and over half would readily dispute that they are stealing, claiming that they regard the information as rightly theirs. A further 62% of UK employees also believe that it’s acceptable to transfer work documents to personal devices or online file sharing applications and over half (56%) are more likely to attribute ownership of intellectual property (IP) to the person who created it.
 

Silly you, Yahoo – flexible working’s one of the biggest assets you’ve got

Yahoo’s decision to ban all ‘remote’ working drew its fair share of critics recently, who were quick to point out the benefits of a flexible workforce. But the reason Yahoo hit a raw nerve is because many employees want - and genuinely need - more control over how, where and when they work.
 

Establishing your core values

As we meander along our path in life we come across people that we get on well with and others that we don’t. We encounter organisations and groups with whom we resonate– and others with whom we don’t. Within the HR world, good relationships with company staff and leaders are essential in running a pro-active and successful HR function. Key to this is understanding your own core values before feeding through to colleagues and departments. 
 

The end of the affair?

The relationship between employee and employer can often be a long and fruitful one. Like all relationships there will be ups and downs, yet each will come to rely on the other party to a surprising degree. Yet at retirement age, the employee is often cast adrift by the employer with little practical assistance on offer.
 

How to control your online reputation

Reputation is everything. In today’s business world where clients have a seemingly limitless choice, their recommendation or condemnation can make or break your business. With over 1 billion Facebook users, 181 million blogs and 340 million daily tweets, there is huge potential for people to be discussing your brand and determining your reputation. Are you listening? Are you leveraging? Or are you lagging behind? In the words of self-made billionaire Warren Buffet ‘It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently’.
 

Sustained engagement - the biggest challenge yet

This investment goes much deeper than the usual engagement activity that HR is so often involved in - and where so much money is effectively wasted. Real engagement happens when leaders and managers create a culture where the relationship between employee and employer is more meaningful and purposeful.
 

The seven myths of performance management

Investments in performance measurement and management systems have been steadily increasing over the past two decades, and there is no sign that this trend will change in the future. Leaders and managers in both private and public organisations regard such systems as a key means to implement and communicate strategy, support decision making, align behaviours, and, ultimately, improve performance.
 

Telling stories – using scenarios to communicate ethical conduct

HR professionals have a central role in establishing an ethical culture for all organisations. Given high-profile misconduct cases involving companies which, in spite of having an ethics policy or code, experienced near disastrous reputation hits, it is clear that it is not enough to have a code of ethics and hope that employees read it, understand it, and apply it throughout their day-to-day working lives. 
 

What about the workers?

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne on October 8 canvassed the idea of increasing employees’ involvement in their companies when he announced a proposal for an ‘employee-owner contract’. This was to be backed by the incentive of capital gains tax exemption on profits on the sale of the shares which the employee-owners acquire in their employer company. However it would be subject to a quid pro quo that an employee-owner would lose certain employment rights. 
 

Broadening the CEO selection pool – where will our future leaders come from?

When we looked at broadening the CEO selection pool, we found that despite two-thirds of HR Directors harbouring ambitions to become chief executive, only a fraction of those interviewed work for companies where the HR Director has been awarded the top job. Having spent the last 20 years identifying the best HR leadership talent for UK and international organisations and knowing that most HR Directors want to test themselves in the role of CEO, we found ourselves asking the question: ‘Why don’t HR leaders typically make it to the top job in business?’. 
 
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