Sarah Hardy-Box

Organisational Management Review Launch

Change is ongoing in all businesses today, on some level. As the world advances, organisations must do the same to keep ahead of the tide. For some companies this involves small adjustments, however many are faced with large scale organisational transition, and they simply aren’t equipped to handle it.

The consequences of failing to manage change effectively are severe and far reaching – and considering that the rate of failure for change initiatives is estimated to be around 50% this is of major concern to organisations across the world.

To successfully handle mergers, acquisitions or any large-scale change in your organisation, you need a solid strategy, and a firm grasp of everything that is going on within the organisation from the ground up. If you want to address company culture, you need to fully understand the current culture first. …

Influencing people at work

The power of persuasion: building influence in the workplace

Have you ever wondered how some people seem to be able to persuade others to do anything? It can be awe inspiring to see this particular skill at work, but there are simple techniques that you can apply that will help you to build influence quite easily. Certainly some seem to have innate ability in this area, but there are plenty of influencers out there who have had to work on their powers of persuasion.

Here are some quick tips on how to build influence in your workplace: …

3 Ways to Keep your Workforce Motivated in Times of Change and Uncertainty

3 ways to keep your workforce motivated in times of change and uncertainty

All business have to be flexible to survive the constant flux going on in and around them. We all know that change and uncertainty are inevitable on some level, but do we all know how to handle it?

Some people enjoy a constantly evolving work environment, however not all employees or even leaders share the same levels of enthusiasm.

Uncertainty for some can be a nightmare: Routine goes out of the window, jobs can look insecure, familiar faces might be replaced, and as a result of countless similar factors, some employees are left feeling lost at sea with no captain.

So, as a business owner, leader or manager, what do you need to do to help your crew get through turbulent times? …

The Link Between Employee Wellbeing, Engagement and Absence

n 2015, statistics from CIPD told us that employee absence had risen to 6.9 days per employee per year on average in the UK, and only 25% of organisations achieved their absence target for 2014.

Unsurprisingly, the working world is now desperately trying to find out how to address this because of the huge impact that absenteeism has on productivity.

The Labour Force Survey results show that approximately 10 million days were lost to stress, anxiety or depression in 2014/2015,
and statistics show that these figures are worsening year on year. Stress at work, leading to long-term absence, has more than doubled since the 1990s, yet only a third of employees receive any support to manage workplace stress.

This is bad news for business. Many organisations are now turning to wellbeing programs in an attempt to combat the ever worsening stress levels, but it has been suggested that for some companies, this is simply a move to tick a box as opposed to a reaction to genuine concern or understanding. The CIPD suggests that the majority of employers are more reactive than proactive in their approach to wellbeing (61 per cent), responding to
persistent problems rather than predicting what health and wellbeing factors might impact the workforce in future.

It would appear that employers now grasp the concept of engagement, but for some reason don’t fully comprehend the intrinsic link that exists between engagement and wellbeing.  Simply put, the healthier and happier an employee is, the more engaged they are: Paul Devoy, head of IiP, said: “Organisations need to see staff health and well-being as crucial to their business and staff retention.” He added: “Happier staff are less likely to take time off sick.”

It is saddening that in most cases, employee wellbeing only becomes an issue because it affects business. Let’s go back to the Labour Force Survey results, which show approximately 10 million days lost to stress, anxiety or depression in 2014/2015.

Over this period, there were 440, 000 cases of work related stress, depression or anxiety. What on earth are we doing to our employees?
Here’s a one-word glimpse into the reality of the current state of our workforce: Leaveism. The term has only recently been coined, but the phenomenon has existed for quite a while: ‘Leaveism is when employees use allocated time off – such as annual leave entitlements, banked
flexi-hours and re-rostered rest days – when they are in fact unwell.’

Research has found that 76 per cent of employees who have practised leaveism have done so to avoid being labelled as ‘poor performers’, or because they don’t want to be viewed as being unable to cope with their workload. This ultimately means that a large amount of sickness absence is going underreported, and is distorting both the incidence of sickness in the workplace and worryingly, the ability to fully get to grips with employee wellbeing.

You might be asking yourself ‘Why would anyone do that?’…If you’re asking that question, you have probably not worked in an organisation that has a ‘quota of sickness’ which if exceeded supposedly reflects poor performance. Speaking from experience (happily a good few companies ago), taking annual leave rather than sickness leave makes a lot of sense when you are worried about being hauled into an office and grilled about your performance and commitment.

It seems that some companies fail to realise that by creating extra stress around health issues in the workplace, they are only going to create a vicious cycle of illness and absenteeism. “Organisations which fail to implement health and wellbeing policies – despite being aware of their importance – are putting employee and business health at risk” the CIPD has warned.

This is a clear message. While the business impact should of course be taken into account, we need to recognise that this is about a deep-rooted wellbeing problem. As with most issues, one way to address the situation surrounding employee wellbeing is to start with communication. Go to the root of the problem.

We need to find out what individuals in the workforce really need from their roles and employers in order to stay
healthy and motivated, rather than throwing systems at them and asking them why they aren’t happy yet. Unfortunately, there is probably no one-size-fits-all resolution at this point, but understanding individual needs and issues is surely a starting point. Let’s not
forget that our workforces are built from complex human beings.

In Memory of Mike Wood

734561_553052868057961_1683825995_nIt is with great sadness that we share the news that Mike Wood, the Vice-President of Predictive Advantage, has passed away on Wednesday, 30 March 2016, after a long battle with cancer.

 

Mike joined the business in 2004 when the office in Harrogate opened and was key in establishing this. He was instrumental in building the administrative team and in driving the growth of the business throughout Europe.

Mike fought his illness with an amazing spirit, continuing to be involved in the business and remaining strong and positive throughout his treatment. He was a warm, caring and supportive leader and will be truly missed by everybody.

The office will be closed on Friday 8th April 2016 so the team can attend Mike

Positive and Negative: The Power of Mindset in the Workplace

Have you ever considered the incredible effects of mindsets on the ways in which our brains operate? Recent research is quite fascinating; in short, we can apparently change the way our brains work on a physical level, simply by altering the things that we think and talk about! On one level, this is amazing, because simply by practicing gratitude, we can rewire our brains for positivity.

On another, it is quite alarming: We all know how easy it is to slip into a cycle of negative thinking, and according to some researchers complaining could actually be killing you through the stress you generate. Worrying, right?

Even if you think that this sounds a little far-fetched, there are some important things that we can take away from the research. One particular aspect that struck me, and one that psychologists agree on, is that negativity breeds negativity, both in yourself and others. If this is the case, how does it translate to the workplace?

Morale and Engagement

Whilst a whingeing session with colleagues may feel cathartic, it

Unhappy employees - it could be you

Unhappy Employees? 3 Questions To Ask Yourself

Are you wondering what you can do about disengaged and unhappy employees? Good news! You’re not alone: 87 percent of organisations across the world cite company culture and employee engagement as their top challenges. The bad news is, with more than 71% of employees across the world not fully engaged, it can feel like something of an uphill battle when you’re trying to make a difference.

Fortunately, one of the first things that you can do is very simple (if a little uncomfortable): Start by looking at yourself as a leader, and ask a few probing questions…

So here goes:

1. Do you think you’re a good listener?

A lot of us believe ourselves to be GREAT listeners, when in fact we are just good at hearing what people are saying to us, then responding in a vaguely appropriate manner whilst simultaneously splitting our attention between five other things.

‘But that means I’m good at multi-tasking!’ I hear you say. Not quite. It means that your employees are trying to communicate with you, and you are not giving them the response or thought that they really need. Next time someone comes to talk to you, try to focus on what they are saying, and think before you respond; they will feel more valued, and you will have a better idea of what is going on around you!

2. Are you in control, or just controlling?

Delegation. Everyone shouts about this, time and time again, but have you ever truly taken it in? Try to remember that you have employed your people for their various talents, and these are more than likely going to be talents that you do not possess yourself; at least not to the same degree that they have trained for.

Micromanaging your employees will only irritate them and cause you more hassle. Let your teams do their jobs, and have a little faith. With more autonomy, you will be astounded at what they can do.

3. How often do you say thank you?

Gratitude costs nothing – A clich