People Management

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

Diversity and personality in the workplace

Diversity + Personality: The Formula for High Performing Teams?

We live in a global and multifaceted society. A fact that is not only mirrored, but often actively encouraged in a business environment. Undoubtedly, your teams will be made up of people from different racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Managers generally strive to gain a team with individual thinking, innovative spirit, high productivity and more open-mindedness from this approach. This is based on the recognition that every person is unique. Our points of reference are shaped by external factors such as our demographics, experienced parenting styles and educational opportunities. These in turn influence the way we think and feel; they present the variables in our make-up.

Researchers generally agree that a team pooling a broad scope of perspectives, experiences and attitudes is better equipped to tackle complex problems and successfully meet challenges. In his book The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies, the social scientist Scott E. Page argues that

People Management Lessons From The Ski Slope

Whilst recovering from my own first nerve-wrecking ski lesson, I was watching a ski instructor expertly guide his nervous new charges to the bottom of the short gentle slope. This scene made me ponder the question whether there are any similarities with leading – and being part of – a team in a business environment. Are there any people management lessons that we can take away from the ski slope?

Competency and Responsibility

Ski instructors have to be assessed on their own ability and undergo extensive training before they are allowed to start teaching. Huge responsibility rests on their shoulders. Once in charge of a group of skiers, their role is one of patient nurture and control. They must keep their group safe at all times. This can be a daunting task. Skiers who are out of control can be a danger to themselves and others. Sheer drops, rocks and other skiers are never far away and the trusting group has to rely on their instructors

Talent Pipeline

Does Your Talent Pipeline Have a Leak that Needs Fixing?

Like an increasing number of managers or HR professionals, you might be discovering the growing importance of developing a truly watertight talent pipeline, and how this can positively impact on the long-term future of your company and your workforce.

Developing a talent pipeline involves a company creating a flow (usually involving a database and extremely good relationship-building skills) of interesting, relevant and qualified candidates who could be of benefit to the future hiring needs of a firm.

It also means creating a process for attracting, identifying and developing employees and teams, as well as having an effective leadership succession plan in place.

By having a database of potential employees, you

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

Finding positives amidst redundancies

Can you find any positives when managing after layoffs & redundancies?

As some sectors of the global economy are recovering from the financial crises that erupted in 2007, others continue to struggle. Recently the British steel industry issued a hard-hitting reminder and announced that more than one in six workers will lose their jobs. Companies of all sizes continue to be faced with tough decisions, often resulting in cutting jobs to reduce overheads. However, redundancies often bring a new set of difficulties for senior managers and CEOs.

In this situation, your main task is to keep your remaining employees motivated and ensure that they receive the necessary support to do their jobs well.

While often seen as a negative, reducing staff also offers organisations opportunity for change. If managed effectively, redundancies can result in more efficient processes, stronger leadership and happier employees.

Managing Redundancies

Too often redundancies result in nothing more than reducing the workforce and saving the related costs. If the existing workload continues without restructuring, this will result in your remaining employees being over-worked and stressed.

Your corporate strategy and goals will need to be adapted to manage and truly take advantage of the reduction in your workforce. The reorganisation can only be successful, if you have a strategy in place before the process is started. This involves evaluating the essential processes, workload and manpower before laying people off.

The strategy cannot be reactive, it must be visionary.