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Coronavirus Is Questioning Companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility Resolve

As society struggles with the profound impact of coronavirus, corporations have a responsibility to step up and help support the government in taking action. As the department within companies which has direct relationships with non-profit organisations and the communities they are part of, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) professionals should be on the front lines helping with funding and solutions of any kind.

The way large companies are responding to this crisis represents a defining moment that will be remembered for years to come. For example, 38 years ago in Chicago, 7 people died from taking poisoned Tylenol pills. It was a rare and localised crisis, but Johnson & Johnson took the decision to pull all the Tylenol from every store, taking a huge loss in order to avoid even a single additional death. People still talk about that decision. People who weren’t even born at the time are still studying that case in business schools.

A great many corporations talk about having a social purpose and set of principles and values, or about how much they care for their employees and other stakeholders. Now is the time for them to make good on their commitments. Research suggests that people only truly believe that their company has a purpose and clear values when they see their leaders making a decision that sacrifices short-term profitability for the sake of complying to those values.

Another example of positive action is represented by the U.S.A. drugstore chain CVS which chose to go more deeply into health care and decided that it could no longer sell tobacco products and by doing so giving up $2 billion in revenue.

It is completely understandable that corporate leaders face pressure from investors and bankers to conserve cash and reduce losses, but neither of these categories are going hungry. Even retirees, who have seen their savings depleted, can expect to see stocks recover as long as they don’t sell during this initial panic time. Companies cover up the costs of restructuring, product failures, or acquisitions that go wrong all the time. It will be more than understandable if someone writes off their losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here are some things that companies can do to help their employees, small suppliers, health care providers, and communities.

Employees

What companies do to help their laid-off employees — above and beyond what is required or expected — will be remembered and repaid in increased loyalty, higher productivity, and a lasting reputational benefit for many years to come.

Continuing to pay wages, even at less than full pay, is one option. For this scenario we have Walmart, Microsoft, Apple and Lyft who have all made commitments to continue payments to hourly workers for at least the first two weeks of lockdown. This is essential not only as a matter of corporate responsibility; it will also substantially reduce the costs of rehiring employees when the economy returns to normal.

Lending money to employees is another option. Left on their own, many employees will turn to the exorbitant charges of credit card debt and payday lenders who will charge a 20%-plus interest rate at a time when corporations can borrow at 2% or 3%. That difference in interest rates can be the difference between bankruptcy and economic survival. Corporations should use their corporate credit and collateral to arrange low or no-interest loans to their employees. They should calculate employees’ take-home pay after payroll deductions, and ask their banks to make loans available equal to a month of net wages at 3% interest, guaranteed by the corporation. Employees could therefore pay the loans back over the next year out of their salaries when they return to work.

Medical Staff

Some parts of the world face severe shortages in basic medical supplies, but as a global company you have access to resources everywhere. The need for masks in China and South Korea has decreased considerably while it is on a upward trajectory in the United States and Europe. Companies should purchase and ship supplies from where they are available to where they are needed. They should look into their inventory of whatever they have that might help, send it where it will do the most good, and take the loss.

Encouraging mental wellness

Many companies, as well as state and local governments, recommend that those who can work from home do so. In addition, the Center for Disease Control in the United States recommends that all gatherings and events of more than 50 people be cancelled for the next eight weeks. This “social distancing” is vital to reducing the spread of the coronavirus but negatively impacts emotional well-being.

Thus, leading corporations are supporting mental as well as physical health. For example, Starbucks just announced it will expand mental health benefits to include up to 20 therapy sessions for all employees. Elsewhere, telecommunication companies have signed the ‘Keep Americans Connected’ pledge to make sure that individuals maintain access to connectivity.

Supporting small businesses

According to the Wall Street Journal, small businesses’ confidence has plummeted as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some large corporations are stepping in to support small and medium companies during this difficult time:

  • Amazon announced a $5 million relief fund for small businesses in the vicinity of its headquarters;
  • Google is offering $1 million to organisations in Mountain View, California, impacted by the pandemic;
  • Billionaire Mark Cuban has been reimbursing employees who purchase lunch and coffee from local restaurants.

Although the ramifications of the Covid-19 impact have yet to be determined, it will continue to disrupt our now old way of living for the next few weeks and months. The corporate sector can help during this crisis by implementing strategies and initiatives that benefit society – as well as their long-term success – by supporting their employees, customers and the economy at large.

No one expects or requires major companies to take extraordinary measures to help their many stakeholders, but if they choose to take bold and creative steps now in order to deliver immediate support then that will define their future legacy.

How can Great People Inside help you assess your ‘remote working’ workforce?

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://www.csomagazine.com/csr/coronavirus-crucial-csr-issue
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/coronavirus-and-corporate-social-innovation/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/afdhelaziz/2020/03/19/the-power-of-purpose-how-csr-should-be-acting-like-first-responders-to-tackle-coronavirus/#6c912c606dd3

Working from Home in the VUCA World

The Covid-19 virus has reached the pandemic level. This has brought up to everyone’s attention that we are experiencing the full-force of the VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) world.

Stock markets have taken a dive, supplies have slowly started to be stretched, events are being cancelled all over the world and travel bans are in-place in various countries. One thing is certain as of this moment, that our work patterns have changed, maybe even forever. For now, we are only talking about the short-term.

Many organisations and small businesses have instilled mandatory ‘work from home’ arrangements whilst others have banned any face-to-face client meetings and international travel. Given the fact that now everybody who can, works from home, it has taken some of the novelty around this subject. As with anything in this world, every unique situation has its pros and cons.

Job descriptions that still offer the old 9-to-5 model without any possibility of flexible working hours are rarely convincing anymore. It must also be taken into account that digitalisation has also changed the game by shifting old paradigms. Nowadays, employees strive for self-realisation and want to find a job that fulfils them. Their own personal demands put them under pressure, because if we are being honest, even the best job in the world will eventually fall into routine.

The ever-growing technological advancements also put a strain into today’s workers. Artificial Intelligence, robotics, machine learning are the ‘new kids on the block’ with large corporations giving them their full attention. They are posing a challenge to people’s intelligence, our talents and skills. The question that is on everyone’s lips is will humans be replaced by machines. Will that push people towards jobs with a more humanistic side to them?

Thousands of people are likely to be working from home for the first time this week due to the coronavirus outbreak. For others, it’s just like any other week. However, everyone will need their own customised solution to keep themselves productive during these trying times. As mentioned above, there are good news and bad news when it comes to working from home.

Firstly, we have the good news. People may end up being more productive when they don’t spend hours commuting or in meetings, taking long lunches or catching up with the latest gossip around the water cooler.

Secondly, there is bad news ahead of us as well. People will have to set office routines without the external pressure to turn up on time, to be productive and take regular meal breaks. Self-discipline is of the utmost importance when working from home and some sound advice is to actually get dressed for work, even though working whilst still in your pyjamas sounds like the perfect working scenario. But if you talk to colleagues or customers over video links, appearances must be kept, plus it gives you the feeling that you’re actually at work which increases productivity. Talking to your co-workers on subjects even unrelated to work may help you keep engaged.

What are Psychometric Tests?

If you haven’t had to complete a psychometric test up until now, stop worrying. You definitely will. Chances are that at your next job interview, you will go through this process. Generally, they consist of a series of timed questions, which revolve around numerical, verbal and logic skills. The tests are aimed to assess the abilities of candidates and their suitability for a particular role. Furthermore, it must be stated that these types of tests have evolved a lot since their inception. Now they are used in a wide array of organisational areas to find out whether someone has the necessary emotional intelligence to be a high-ranking manager, how good of a team player they are based given the fact that they are introverts or extroverts, if working from home has an impact on someone’s productivity and engagement level.

How can Great People Inside help you assess your ‘remote working’ workforce?

First of all, we are aware that the first step to improving the workforce is that of identifying the key aspects that define your workforce. Once we have accomplished this first step, we will know what the key performance indicators are, what to look for when assessing employees by developing a well-structured competence system.

Secondly, our platform is extremely easy to customise in order for it to meet your specific needs. We offer you the possibility of either choosing one of the available models we have in place or you can request the appropriate dimensions to match your specific needs, thus making your whole evaluation process a lot easier.

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

Request a free demo:

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How to Deliver Bad News to Your Team

It’s every leader’s or manager’s least favourite task: delivering bad news. Maybe your company is closing one of the offices, or letting some people go. Or you have an employee who isn’t getting the promotion he or she wants, or can’t take an expensive training course.

In any case, your first impulse may be to soften the blow. After all, you’re a caring person, and you’d like to make a difficult situation easier. Generally, you start the conversation by talking about something else. And when it’s time to deliver the news, you try to sugarcoat it.

Few people like to deliver bad news. But the ability to do so with grace and compassion is an essential skill for any leader or manager. 

That’s a key tool of a leader who knows how to lead well. When a leader creates and maintains momentum by their ideas, their ingenuity, and their actions, the rest of their team falls naturally into their rhythm. And that’s when the great work is accomplished.

We’ve all had that moment on an airplane where we experience turbulence. Maybe you are rudely awakened by a sudden jolt, or you get up to use the restroom and have to hold onto the back of someone’s seat. Within a few seconds, the pilot’s voice comes over the intercom. What are you listening for? You are listening for reassurance through the uncertainty of turbulence.  

With countless concerns over Covid-19 around the world, it’s not just the airline industry that is experiencing a sudden wobble on its normal journey. Many business leaders are asking how they can communicate uncertainty both internally to their teams and externally to their clients — whether it’s about participating in an upcoming conference or delivering on an already signed project. Communicating in the face of uncertainty is a constant leadership challenge.

But in any business, there are times when you are on cloud nine and times when you’re down in the dark. What does a leader have to do when bad news has to be shared?

1. Know his audience  

In public speaking, knowing your audience in advance is critical. In times of uncertainty, it’s quintessential, regardless through what channel of communication. Do a thorough strategic analysis of who you are communicating to. What are their concerns, questions, or interests? What do they need an immediate answer to? You might use language such as, “I know many of you may be thinking…” The quicker you can address what’s on their mind, the quicker you will be able to calm them down. If you are not addressing their most pressing interests, they might not even be listening to you.

2. Thorough Research

In times of hardship and stress, it is easier to fall prey to misinformation, which can be especially destructive. Seek out credible sources of information, and read the information fully before distilling it into clear, concise language. Share those links with others, so that they too have a credible resource.

3. Set up specific ‘next steps’

In times of uncertainty, it’s helpful to provide your team with tangible action items. Discussing your own next steps or recommending next steps to your audience gives them a sense of control so they feel like they are contributing to stabilisation. Use language such as, “Here are the steps we are taking” or “Here’s what you can do” to demonstrate action.

Communicating through uncertainty is an essential leadership skill, regardless of whether or not you have a formal leadership role. In fact, the ability to communicate through uncertainty is part of what demonstrates to others your leadership readiness. Use the aforementioned steps to first find your own sense of focus and then allow yourself to transmit that reassurance to others.

4. Speak honestly

You can speak with confidence even without 100% certainty. You can confidently express doubt or uncertainty, while still sounding like you are in control of the situation. You might say, “Reports are still coming in, but what we understand so far is this…” Communicate frequently with your audience, even without news to report, so that they know you are actively following the issue. A fantastic communication expert, Nancy Duarte, wrote an insightful article on this topic several years ago and stated: “People will be more willing to forgive your in-progress ideas if they feel like they’re part of the process.”

You can’t make bad news less painful, but you can deliver it in the most respectful way possible.

There is a real value in providing companies with the tools to carry out regular organisational assessments and this is where Great People Inside comes to your aid. Our online platform offers the best solutions and tools for your company to thrive in every type of industry and any possible situation your organisation may find itself. In terms of lowering your employee turnover rates, we recommend our GR8 Full Spectrum assessment for hiring and 360° Survey for retention. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and a keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamvanderbloemen/2016/11/17/how-to-effectively-break-bad-news-to-your-team/#3a6f1cb468b7
https://www.inc.com/alison-davis/need-to-deliver-bad-news-to-employees-science-says-do-this.html
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/adaptation/201803/how-deliver-bad-news-pro

Your Job Is at Risk – What Do you Do?

Your job can be on the line for several reasons that might or might not have to do with you directly. Instead of launching into a frenzy when you realise that you might not have a job in the near future, you should instead take stock of the situation and deal with it in the most dignified way possible. In addition to securing your future finances, you’ll also have to be emotionally strong to overcome this situation with grace. Preparing for it in advance won’t only soften the process, but it will also help you create a rough roadmap of how you plan to move past this and get your career on track once again. Here are three things you can proactively do if your job is at risk.

Take heed of your financial situation As soon as you find out that your job is on the line, assess your financial situation to make sure that you have at least six months of savings to get you by. If you don’t, make a note of the expenses that aren’t necessary and cut them down. This way you’ll be able to save more money than you otherwise would. Once you are certain that your flow of income will stop soon, you can also sell the useless items in your house on the internet. Doing this will not only give you some extra cash in hand, but it will also help you get rid of the unnecessary items in your house once and for all.

If you start to feel that your job is on the line, you should behave proactively and prepare in advance. Preparing can help you a lot for softening the process and let you plan how you are going to deal with this both emotionally and financially.  Below you can find steps which will help you overcome this situation.

1. Shorter Conversations with the manager

Subtle personality changes can be extremely informative. Everyone experiences off days now and then, but pay attention if you notice a string of off days coming from your boss where you’re concerned. If you once enjoyed a friendly relationship with your supervisor but have noticed them growing increasingly distant, this may be a red flag. 

2. You aren’t receiving new assignments

After working at place for a while, you become familiar with the ebb and flow of your workload. When you start to notice that times that were once busy for you are now stagnant, you should be on high alert. Your manager may be reallocating your duties to others in the wake of your impending absence.

3. Employees ask you to train them

Being asked to teach other people how to perform tasks that only you are responsible for is usually a clear sign that you should be weary. When you’ve been solely responsible for tasks for a while and now you’re being asked to share your knowledge, this may be a bad sign. Maybe you’ve noticed coworkers who once showed little interest in how you complete tasks asking questions about your processes or your boss has directly asked you to train someone.

4. No invitation to staff meetings

Finding yourself not invited to meetings after you’ve typically been asked to attend is a major signal. This may be especially significant if you notice people in your department or who share your grade are being invited while you’re excluded — especially if they typically weren’t invited in the past. Being shut out never feels good, and sometimes it can be extremely telling.

5. Start being proactive

Be around your boss more often and offer to help him with his/her tasks. If your boss doesn’t want your help, then, ask other managers if they need help. Don’t sit on your corner all day long. Be visible and show that you are willing to help and perform the given tasks. Maybe another department manager sees your value and takes you to his/her own team.

The moment you find out that there is nothing you can do to save your current job, start hunting for a new job. You can attend networking and corporate events, talk to people in your own industry, and update your resume to apply for jobs. There are several online and offline recruitment agencies who can help you in your job hunt. Apply early and go for as many interviews as you can. This way you’ll know how many companies are hiring and you’ll have a better understanding of the market conditions. The most important thing, however, is to not panic, and believe that this too shall pass. See where you went wrong in your current job and make sure to not repeat the same mistakes in the future.

Is your job security at risk? Remember: There’s no point in panicking. Instead, take a deep breath, tidy up your resume, and brush up on your interview skills. Keep your head up and your movement forward.

There is a real value in providing companies with the tools to carry out regular organisational assessments and this is where Great People Inside comes to your aid. Our online platform offers the best solutions and tools for your company to thrive in every type of industry and any possible situation your organisation may find itself. In terms of lowering your employee turnover rates, we recommend our GR8 Full Spectrum assessment for hiring and 360° Survey for retention. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and a keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:
https://www.businessinsider.com/signs-losing-job-security-at-risk-2019-10
https://yourstory.com/2017/05/job-at-risk

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/289672

The Disadvantages of Business Ethics Worldwide

Ethical compliance within an organisation is done for the benefit of the company and the employees. A well-crafted ethical compliance policy will help you and your employees make day-to-day decisions that advance your business goals without venturing over to the “dark side.” The use of ethical standards can both reduce the chances of a workplace lawsuit and help to create a positive work environment.

Reputation is one of the most valuable assets a firm can have. Leaders, managers, and employees care about their social reputation: They want to be seen as competent, generous, efficient, honest, and fair. However, an emerging body of research suggests that focusing too much on reputation can sometimes have a negative effect: Attempts to maintain the appearance of doing what’s morally right can lead decision makers to engage in various wrongs.

Take, for example, the Hallmark Channel’s stance on an advertisement it recently ran, featuring two brides kissing at the altar. After receiving public pressure from an advocacy group, Hallmark decided to stop running the ad because the brand did not wish to be “divisive” or “generate controversy.” However, this desire to appear impartial and stay out of the fray conflicted with the organisation’s stated value of “helping all people connect.” In an attempt to preserve its reputation for inclusivity, Hallmark ended up creating division.

Another example is represented by the events that led up to the great economic recession in 2008 and 2009 have placed a renewed emphasis on business ethics. Questionable financial reporting, inflated executive compensation and worthless public assurances undermined consumer and investor confidence and reignited the debate about whose interests a business should serve. While it seems that only good things should arise from business ethics, a business may be restricted in its freedom to maximise profit.

Companies increasingly recognise the need to commit to business ethics and measure their success by more than just profitability. This has led to the introduction of the triple bottom line, also known as “people, planet, profit.” Companies report on their financial, social and environmental performance. The Dow Jones Sustainability Index benchmarks companies who report their performance based on the triple bottom line. This type of performance reporting acknowledges that companies must make a profit to survive, but encourages ethical and sustainable business conduct.

Overall Management Strategy

One of the disadvantages of an ethical compliance program is that it requires the comprehensive support of management to be effective. If members of the management team decide to apply their own version of corporate ethics to the way they manage their departments, then this clash of principles can cause confusion in the workplace.

For example, a manager who tends to look the other way when his employees are committing sexual harassment sets a precedent that can start to undermine the entire corporate culture. As the ‘MeToo’ movement has made crystal clear, even with detailed policies in place, senior managers all too often act as if the rules do not apply to them.

Lack of Profit Maximisation

Developing, implementing and maintaining an ethics compliance program within your organization can be expensive and time-consuming. Ethics policies need to be continually updated to reflect changes in workplace laws and changes in your company culture as the organisation grows.

Proper administration of an ethics program often requires the hiring of an ethics officer and the commitment of company financial and personnel resources. Companies with international activities not only have to adhere to domestic laws in the United States, but have to monitor compliance with the laws and norms of behaviour in other legal systems and other cultures.

Another example in this category is, having factories in developing countries can reduce costs. This is because companies can have practices in place, such as child labour and low wages, which help to maximise profit. But although these practices are legal in those countries, they’re also incredibly unethical and will obviously never be tolerated by a company following ethical practices.

Improvements in working conditions, such as providing workers with living wage and having proper health and safety standards in place, are ethical but raises the amount it costs to run these factories. This, in turn, reduces profit which might not be an issue for large companies who can afford to allocate costs. But it can be an issue for small businesses, especially if they’re evolving.

Luckily, there are many different ways to operate ethically so companies can choose the ethical practices and approaches that best suit them. For example, advertising can considerably boost a company’s brand awareness. If you choose an outdoor print solution from a print specialist who can produce these products ethically, you can boost your reputation among your target audience even more.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:
https://blog.dominionprint.com/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-business-ethics-in-the-real-world
https://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-disadvantages-business-ethics-10414.html
https://hbr.org/2020/02/research-the-downsides-of-trying-to-appear-ethical

Organisations Have to Prioritise Young Workers’ Mental Health

Young workers aged between 18 and 30 are more likely to have mental health issues than their senior colleagues, with a whopping 48% reporting suicidal thoughts or feelings. This information has been made available from a survey of around 3,884 people conducted over two years by Accenture revealing this worrisome fact. In comparison, only 35% of older workers experience such dark emotions.

Even though they are more susceptible to experiencing such feelings, 45% of young workers admitted to ‘holding back’ from talking about their mental health in the workplace, compared with only 22% of older employees.

Younger people have also reported that they are experiencing more pressure in their lives than their older counterparts, with 4 out of 10 people between the ages of 18 and 30 revealing that the pressures from work are affecting them on a daily basis, 1 in 3 are worried about the mental health of someone close to them.

Barbara Harvey, managing director and mental health lead for Accenture UK, has said “It’s clear that many young people face challenges with their mental health before they enter the workforce and while working, and that they are affected more often than their senior peers. Therefore, mental health must be a priority issue for employers.”

The aforementioned study has also brought up to the attention of the general public about the advantages of working in a supportive and open culture, with 41% of those working in such environments experiencing mental health challenges, compared with 65% in less supportive environments.

Mental ill health has been estimated to cost the UK economy around £94 billion per year, according to figures released in 2018 by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), with 1 in 6 people across Europe struggling with their mental health.

The financial aspect alone offers a compelling and insightful reason for organisations to take action in addressing this problem. For example, in 2017, an independent review commissioned by the British prime minister put the annual cost to UK employers of poor mental health in workers between £33 billion and £42 billion.

Additional action needs to be taken. Here are 3 simple actions leading organisations have started taking to get things moving faster in the right direction.

1.   Onboarding is Essential

Young people often enter the workforce with little sense of what is about to hit them. It’s important to help them make the transition to a kind of pressure many have never faced before.

Boots, a UK health, beauty and pharmacy company, regularly reaches out to secondary schools, colleges, and local universities. It runs workshops and gives talks that help potential recruits better understand the workplace, and taps its own younger employees as leaders of these events to ensure that the messages resonate. Boots also helps young hires to build skills and confidence and better adjust to their new responsibilities through group discussions and workshops. Early-career tutors are trained to help these workers and are, in turn, helped by others; they know how to escalate any concerns to a colleague who has had specific training on mental health issues.

2.   Train Them How You Want Them

Once people have been onboarded, they need help understanding how to manage the stresses and strains of the job and how to deal with those particular situations. The key here is to design solutions.

The international law firm Allen & Overy has many trainees, most of whom join on a two-year contract. Working with and led by the younger cohort, senior managers created a programme that focuses on the human element of life as a lawyer. Trainers equip new lawyers with ‘practical resilience skills and advice’ to help them achieve a healthy work-life balance in a high-pressure environment. Among those lessons are included how to set and maintain boundaries between personal and work time. A message that is best delivered by people who have experienced that.

One recent pilot initiative coming out of this process involves ‘protected evenings.’  It allows trainees to flag nights that are important to them, giving them more control over their schedules. Trainees also publish a newsletter every two weeks that helps address key concerns on their agenda.

3.   The Role of Senior Leaders

They should be open about the challenges they have faced and they should show vulnerability. When they speak up, not only would they help their struggling younger workers realise that they’re not alone, they would also be giving them some language to use to describe their own experiences.

Paul Feeney – CEO of Quilter a wealth management company in London – has stated that making it personal is the best solution: “In our industry, we have a saying, ‘Don’t take it personal.’ We should make it personal. People need to know it is OK to not be OK. The best thing to do is open up and talk about it.”

The more we can do to reduce the stigma of this topic and bring it further out of shadows into the mainstream, the less will people need to be brave to talk about their experiences. And they will be happier, more confident, and more productive at work and beyond.

There is a real value in providing companies with the tools to carry out regular organisational assessments and this is where Great People Inside comes to your aid. Our online platform offers the best solutions and tools for your company to thrive in every type of industry and any possible situation your organisation may find itself. In terms of lowering your employee turnover rates, we recommend our GR8 Full Spectrum assessment for hiring and 360° Survey for retention. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and a keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://www.zenefits.com/workest/young-workers-demand-emphasis-on-mental-health-in-the-workplace/

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/young-workers-suicidal-thoughts-mental-health-talking-a9217911.html

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-most-anxious-generation-goes-to-work-11557418951

Why Soft Skills Matter in the Workplace

It’s no secret that interpersonal skills are the next big thing in HR. In layman terms, soft skills will most likely define the future. In a 2018 LinkedIn worldwide survey of over four thousand professionals the results have revealed that “training for soft skills is the number one priority.”

Soft skills are often referred to as transferable skills. As this term implies, these are skills which are less specialised on one specific vocation and which are more aligned with the personality of a candidate. Soft skills usually relate to a person’s various attitudes and intuitions. Given the fact that soft skills are linked with personality, it is important for each candidate to assess and understand what their soft skills are and how they can showcase them during an interview.

Unlike hard skills, which can be measured, soft skills are intangible and difficult to quantify. Among the examples of soft skills may include analytical thinking, verbal and written communication, and leadership.

Nowadays, employers actually care more about soft skills than they do technical abilities like reading comprehension and mathematics.

Among soft skills one of the more important ones is emotional intelligence (EQ). From a 2015 LinkedIn survey it has been discovered that people with high EQ earn on average $29,000 more.

Why do Soft Skills Matter?

A constructive example of the difference between people with or without soft skills are medical doctors. A doctor is obligated by his work field to have an extensive array of hard skills. But a doctor who does not have emotional intelligence, trustworthiness and approachability (i.e. soft skills) is not likely to be very well perceived by their patients.

Employers value soft skills because they enable people to function and thrive in various teams and in numerous types of organisations as a whole. Here are a few of the most important soft skills:

 1. Communication

Written and verbal communication skills are of utmost importance in the workplace because they set the tone for how people perceive you. They also improve your chances of building relationships with co-workers. Communication skills boost your performance because they help you to extract clear expectations from your manager so that you can deliver excellent work. Workers are more productive when they know how to communicate with their peers, says Robinson. If you can clearly express the who, what, when, where, why, and how of a project, you’ll be seen as a top talent.

2. Teamwork

An organisation’s success is rarely dependent on one person doing something all by themselves. Success is the result of many people working toward a shared goal. When employees can synthesise and use their varied talents, everyone wins. If you work alongside friends, then productivity simply sores through the roof. Employers look to team players to build a friendly office culture, which helps retain employees and, most importantly, top talent. Furthermore, being able to collaborate well with co-workers enhances the quality of their work.

3. Adaptability

Obviously, things don’t always go as planned, and instead of digging in your heels, you need to be able to swivel and find appropriate solutions. Consequently, employers need workers who can adapt to industry shifts and keep the company current. Push yourself to be an early adopter of change. Explore the possibility of joining training sessions and offer to teach your co-workers what you have learned.

4. Problem-solving

When something goes wrong, the difference between people is that some complain and others simply take action. Undoubtedly, the latter will get you noticed. People who know how to think on their feet can make employees indispensable to an employer. Nothing is a given. Companies rely on problem-solvers—top performers—to manage unexpected arisen challenges. It is best to approach the manager with a solution, not a problem. So when an issue springs up, think about an alternative solution and how you are going to present it to your boss.

5. Conflict resolution

Being able to resolve issues with co-workers will help people maintain relationships with their peers and work more effectively and efficiently. Being able to work through office politics and disagreements with people is a clear sign of maturity, as well as leadership. Someone like this helps promote a collaborative workplace. The best way to resolve disagreements between co-workers is to address issues directly but in a delicate, humane manner. Therefore, if someone is stepping in as a mediator, he or she should let both parties air their grievances in a judgment-free zone and then work together to find a compromising solution.

There is a real value in providing companies with the tools to carry out regular organisational assessments and this is where Great People Inside comes to your aid. Our online platform offers the best solutions and tools for your company to thrive in every type of industry and any possible situation your organisation may find itself. In terms of lowering your employee turnover rates, we recommend our GR8 Full Spectrum assessment for hiring and 360° Survey for retention. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and a keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://www.wikijob.co.uk/content/interview-advice/competencies/soft-skills

https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/soft-skills-you-need

https://www.fastcompany.com/90430423/5-soft-skills-you-need-to-succeed-at-work

Betrayal in the Workplace and How to Deal with It

Betrayal comes in many ways and forms and the one that happens in the workplace is no different. There may be times when you be undermined by a co-worker during a presentation, ignored by your manager or blindsided by a fellow colleague. This almost always leads to professional and personal deception, which, more often than not, leads to unwarranted stress and disappointment. The next logical step in this situation would be to take some affirmative action, but caution is key here. It is imperative that you have a clear understanding of the situation and circumstances of the betrayal in order to fully understand what and how you have to act next.

Of course, in a perfect world scenario, team members, managers and leaders work towards the same goal. But, unfortunately, there are moments when you’re doing your job at peak performance and, out of the blue, your manager throws you under the bus. It is never good when it happens and as an ‘added bonus’ it can damage your reputation with others.

You can count on the fingers of one hand things that are more hurtful than betrayal, especially when it is done by a person of trust. When the betrayal is done by your boss, the pain can be exacerbated given the fact that it’s the person who impacts your career and, more or less, livelihood. Betrayal by your boss can come in numerous ways: public shaming for a colleague’s mistake, taking credit for a project you solely did and oversaw and giving the promotion they have promised you to someone else.  

Given the fact that we have a wide and complex range of emotions, our brains process betrayal as trauma and, just like every other trauma, we expect it to repeat itself. Reactions to boss betrayal can range from losing the ability to trust other co-workers, hindering your optimism and resilience during strenuous times and even lacking the capacity to deal with complex situations. When this happens, our own behaviour should start concerning us, not our boss’s.

Recent research has discovered that 85% of workplace betrayal is unintentional. Although your boss’s betrayal wasn’t intentional, it still raises serious questions regarding his personality and seriousness. Furthermore, the research has stated that after your manager behaves badly, you are more inclined to do the exact same thing. It is of the utmost importance that you are clear on the values you wish your professional relationship to be based upon.

Even though it is as clear as the light of day that you won’t be able to change your boss’s behaviour and attitude, you can still manage to keep their bad conduct from changing you. Here are a few ways how.

Focus and Get Your Facts Straight

Before you act on your emotions and anger you must be sure that the information you have is correct, especially if you have received it second-hand in the first place. It is recommended that we discuss and assess the situation with the people we trust the most and which witnessed the exact circumstances. Even if you discover that your boss actually betrayed you, emotions must be kept in check. If you give in to those emotions and react unprofessional, you will unwantedly pass along the negative news that is out there about you.

 Patterns of betrayal

People who, unfortunately, tolerate abusive behaviour all their lives believe they deserve it and this can happen with an abusive boss. In some strange manner, a sort of Stockholm syndrome sets in and you start to accept betrayal as something normal. This type of action can be counter measured by interrupting them as soon and as much as possible. If they fail to keep their promises, keep their commitments to you well-documented. If they take credit for your work, make sure there are other managers who know that you have worked on that project. These actions may not change the behaviour, but they may just keep your mental health in order.

Reach out to HR

If the workplace treatment you are receiving is becoming more and more unfair and abusive and you cannot handle it any longer it may be time to involve the human resources (HR) department. By reporting the issue to HR, you are not just helping yourself, but the company as a whole. Problem managers can be easily identified and removed from an organisation if HR is involved. Worst case scenario, HR can help you find other opportunities within the company if a ‘cease fire’ cannot be agreed upon with the problematic manager.

It is quintessential to remember that not everybody is out to betray you. It is understandable that if you are constantly betrayed by your boss, you can easily become paranoid and stop trusting people altogether. It is imperative that you pay attention to your emotions and behaviours. You do not want to damage your professional relationships with other authoritative figures within the business. Are you constantly questioning the actions and motives of the people you rely on doing for your job? Are you over-analysing the decisions people are making in the office? As mentioned earlier, betrayal is an incredibly powerful and toxic force which can easily spread in to all other aspects of your life. Keep reminding yourself that not everyone is out to get you.

In conclusion, it is safe to say that when you are working for a ‘betrayal boss’ you should get out of there as quickly as can be. Until you can make your professional move elsewhere, do anything in your powers to protect yourself and not become a shadow of your former self. The choice to allow their betrayal to negatively impact you and who you are is and will always be yours.

There is a real value in providing companies with the tools to carry out regular organisational assessments and this is where Great People Inside comes to your aid. Our online platform offers the best solutions and tools for your company to thrive in every type of industry and any possible situation your organisation may find itself. In terms of lowering your employee turnover rates, we recommend our GR8 Full Spectrum assessment for hiring and 360° Survey for retention. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and a keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://work.chron.com/survive-workplace-betrayal-18986.html

https://hbr.org/2019/07/what-to-do-when-your-boss-betrays-you

https://www.fastcompany.com/40437356/what-to-do-when-your-boss-throws-you-under-the-bus

Anatomy of a Future HR Leader

Extract from an article published in HR Magazine:

“What should the HR leader of tomorrow look like? A seemingly simple question… The answer though is a much more complex – or perhaps alarmingly short and unilluminating – ‘we just don’t know’. And it’s safe to say that tomorrow’s world will be even more difficult to forecast moment to moment. Which means predicting the exact technical skills HR professionals will need – in a future characterised by continual reskilling and ‘agile learning’ for all parts of the workforce – will become an increasingly fraught endeavour.

The one thing we do know, however, is that to survive and thrive in the future world of work – particularly when it comes to leadership positions – professionals will need to be able to stay resilient, positive, open-minded and strategically-savvy in the face of sudden dramatic changes of direction. This was the conclusion a panel of top current and former HRDs (representing the public, private and third sectors) came to when they met towards the end of last year to discuss the topic with HR magazine; and to help compile an assessment, in partnership with psychometrics firm Great People Inside (GPI), to see whether those on track to be HR leaders have what it takes.

Our panel chose nine dimensions (see box below), selecting for each where HR business partners (HRBPs) should sit along a sliding scale of one to 10 to have HR leadership potential. Stress and resilience, engagement, curiosity and self-awareness, and a VUCA approach were qualities our panel decided the HR leader of the future should possess in particularly strong amounts  (i.e. the more resilient, engaged, curious and VUCA-ready the better).”

To read the full article, please access this link.

 

Employee Loneliness and its Impact on Organisations

Loneliness is a painful and complex emotion. Loneliness has more to do with a person’s quality of social relationships rather than their quantity.

Loneliness has been studied for decades in psychological literature when it comes to social or personal lives. But how much research is there on being lonely in the workplace? Not a lot, which comes as no surprise.  As awareness about loneliness increases — British Prime Minister Teresa May appointed a minister for loneliness earlier this year, it’s important to understand exactly how people experience loneliness in their jobs. How does it affect their work? How does it shape their relationships with their colleagues? And what can employers or HR departments do to help a lonely employee?

In general, it was discovered that lonely employees tend to isolate themselves, they begin to feel less connected to their organisation’s values, and can be seen by colleagues as more distant and less inclined in discussing both work-related and personal matters.  These findings add to the voluminous research literature showing that the behaviour of lonely people has the effect of increasing their own loneliness. Even though the person may desperately wish to connect or re-connect with others, they see their environment has become threatening. Thus perpetuating a vicious cycle where loneliness leads to greater social vigilance. As a result, lonelier people are more likely to pull away.

In a research study conducted by California State University and the Wharton School of Business which has surveyed 672 employees and their 114 supervisors from 143 work team units have found that “an employee’s work loneliness triggers emotional withdrawal from their organization, as reflected their increased surface acting and reduced affective commitment.” and “The results also show that co-workers can recognize this loneliness and see it hindering team member effectiveness.”  Researchers have concluded that”…management should not treat work loneliness as a private problem that needs to be individually resolved by employees who experience this emotion; but rather should consider it as an organizational problem that needs to be addressed both for the employees’ sake and that of the organization.”

The company’s culture plays a crucial role in expressing the values and norms about the emotions that are allowed to be expressed at work. In our study, we found that a stronger versus a weaker emotional culture of sharing love (e.g. expressions of affection and compassion among employees) diminishes the negative relationship between workplace loneliness and affective commitment to the organisation.

Look for reasons to show your appreciation

Global research shows that people who feel appreciated are most likely to produce the best work. Let people know their value to the organisation, the culture, the team, and to you, as a manager or employer.

If you think workplace loneliness isn’t an issue you need to be concerned about then think again. Healthy workplace relationships are beneficial for employees in many ways. They help people to deal with work-related frustrations and stress, whilst simultaneously encouraging bonding through sharing successes and positive experiences.

However, it seems that employees are getting lonelier and lonelier. Despite the rise in popularity of open-plan offices specially designed to foster interaction and good communication, a recent UK-based study done by Totaljobs found that more than one-third of employees report having no strong relationships at work. As people spend close to a quarter of their lives at work, job isolation can have serious and very complex implications.

The case of cultural fit

If most people in an organisation or team share similar attitudes and personality traits, a person who differs in these respects may start to feel isolated and will struggle to bond with colleagues or even have a sense of belonging.

Another aspect of organisational culture that can prevent employees from forming relationships is represented by the lack of ‘psychological safety’; a quintessential element for effective teamwork. In companies or teams that do not meet the necessary psychological safe requirements, team members do not feel swayed to take social risks, such as revealing emotions, for fear of disapproval by colleagues.

In teams or organisations where a ‘openness’  isn’t promoted or associated with psychological safety, the potential for building relationships tends to be limited; employees are likely to keep to themselves, restricting how much they reveal about themselves to their colleagues.

What can be done to prevent workplace loneliness?

So, knowing what we do about workplace loneliness, what can be done to prevent and reduce it? There are numerous steps that can be taken by employers and employees.

A key approach is for employers to focus on hiring for culture fit. By assessing the fit between candidates’ personality characteristics and the organisational culture, employers can minimise the risk of hiring those who are going to struggle to fit within the company.

Finally, employers can also help to promote workplace relationships through various teambuilding exercises or adopting a transformational leadership style that is based on interpersonal trust. Of course, employees themselves can have a huge impact on loneliness through day-to-day interactions with one another. Unfortunately, is often difficult for employees to open up to colleagues about loneliness, for fear of the admission being met with ridicule and isolation. It is therefore important for employees to help identify any colleagues that may be struggling at building lasting relationships with other members of the team.

Finally, employees should contact their employers or managers if they have any suggestions for improving relationship-building, which in turn will lead to a tremendous increase in employee well-being and productivity.

There is a real value in providing companies with the tools to carry out regular organisational assessments and this is where Great People Inside comes to your aid. Our online platform offers the best solutions and tools for your company to thrive in every type of industry and any possible situation your organisation may find itself. In terms of lowering your employee turnover rates, we recommend our GR8 Full Spectrum assessment for hiring and 360° Survey for retention. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and a keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://good.co/understanding-workplace-loneliness/

https://www.inc.com/todd-nordstrom/feeling-lonely-at-work-it-could-be-destroying-your-potential-heres-what-to-do-about-it.html

https://hbr.org/2018/04/the-painful-cycle-of-employee-loneliness-and-how-it-hurts-companies/