HR Blog

Contemporary Workplace Culture

The workplace has changed in recent decades, in more ways than one. Although ever generation faces its own set of challenges and strives to implement the latest ideas, the 21st century seems to have impacted workplace culture more dramatically than any generation that has come before. In many ways, this has changed working life for the better. Talentia’s HR software has been developed to address some of the side effects which have arisen from these improvements, helping to create a healthy and well-rounded working culture which is enjoyable and effective for both employers and employees.

Technology

The most obvious, and the most impactful, of the changes to have taken place is the role of technology in the workplace. This has escalated at a rapid pace from implementing early computers to speed-up the process of carrying out administrative tasks and has quickly evolved into the virtual world in which we now live and work. Technology has become the backbone not only of offices but the vast majority of workplaces across almost all industries. There now exists such a wide and extensive range of both hardware and software products that very few tasks are still carried out manually, bringing enormous benefits to productivity and morale at work. As our HR software demonstrates, the widespread use of technology in the workplace means significantly less paperwork and mundane administrative tasks, freeing up staff to focus on work which is engaging, interesting and challenging. In terms of human resources, department staff are able to dedicate time to individuals and to maintaining a healthy and thriving workplace culture which, in the long run, brings further growth to your business.

Corporate Values

For the first time ever, the majority of the current workforce no longer consider salary to be the most important factor when looking for a job. The younger generation which has been filtering into the world of work over the past decade or so have a whole list of criteria regarding what makes a good workplace. We want a comfortable space which plays host to a positive environment, nurturing the kind of healthy working culture which appears never to have been a priority for our predecessors. In the same vein, we interact with others in a more casual manner than has previously been the case, and so we look for workplaces which incorporates this tone in the way colleagues relate to one another, as well as in other ways such as a more relaxed dress code and a less formal office layout (notice the popularity of open plan). This doesn’t serve to reflect a lack of professionalism, on the contrary, the modern workforce desires this kind of environment in order to boost productivity.

On a less superficial level, the ‘millennials’ are more culturally aware and pro-diversity than previous generations, so we look for workplaces which promote this also. This comes alongside a long list of values we want organisations we work for to demonstrate, including supporting charities and good causes and battling social injustices.

Personal Priorities

In addition to the values regarding corporate values and responsibility, today’s workforce have some personal priorities we look for in a workplace too. We want to enjoy our work and generally have a desire to be challenged. Unlike our grandparents, we’re discontent to remain in the same role for our entire career and are always on the lookout for personal growth and development, as well as financial promotion. Feedback is one of the most important factors on this front, because workers like to know how well they are performing and what they can do to improve. An annual review will no longer suffice, there is now a demand for continuous feedback, and if it’s lacking there’s a severe danger than employees will feel overlooked and undervalued.

Another huge priority which has popped-up in workplace culture as if from nowhere is the demand for flexible working. Employees are increasingly looking to work ‘flexi time’, meaning they work a set number of hours but have some control over which hours they work, or else they wish to be able to negotiate more annual leave days and/or have the option to work remotely sometimes.

Catering for the wishes of this new workforce in a way which encourages a strong work ethic and results in business growth is a great challenge for business owners and human resources teams. Talentia’s HR software has been created to help keep track of individuals and teams in terms of performance as well as regarding issues to do with wellbeing, meaning that well-educated, talented staff will feel valued in your organisation and will in turn bring further value. For more information visit our HR Suite page, or contact us with any queries you may have.

The workplace has changed in recent decades, in more ways than one. Although ever generation faces its own set of challenges and strives to implement the latest ideas, the 21st century seems to have impacted workplace culture more dramatically than any generation that has come before. In many ways, this… Read More

3 Benefits of Using an Applicant Tracking System – Even When You’re Not Hiring

The current job market is moving much faster than it has done in previous generations. Long gone are the days of learning a trade upon leaving school and sticking at it for the duration of your working life. Today’s workforce are switching roles and workplaces faster than ever before and are constantly on the lookout for progression opportunities and promotions. This means that the average number of applicants for any advertised role is higher than the number an employer can realistically invite for interview. As with most things in our current digital climate, technology can help solve this problem. Using an applicant tracking system can increase the efficiency of the recruitment process by a long way and is also extremely useful to have in place even if you don’t have any openings right now.

Saves Time

For any given vacancy, an organisation might have the capacity to invite 5 candidates to interview. These 5 candidates will have to be narrowed down from the masses of applications received, which is likely to be in the hundreds. Sifting through such a large volume of applications is a lot of work for HR and recruitment personnel and is a waste of valuable time when many candidates don’t fit the necessary criteria. An applicant tracking system will automatically sort through CVs, only passing on those from candidates who meet the fundamental requirements to the recruitment team. This allows HR and recruitment staff to make better use of their time by focusing on higher quality applications and allowing them more time to engage with these candidates.

Application tracking systems also allow for greater time efficiency by automatically carrying out administrative tasks which would otherwise fall to HR and recruitment staff. When sorting through applications, your application tracking system can be programmed to send automatic replies to unsuccessful candidates, improving their candidate experience and giving a positive impression of your organisation, without taking precious time from your busy staff.

Facilitates Collaborative Hiring

Whilst HR and recruitment staff are responsible for sourcing top talent for your organisation, when new recruits join the company these are usually not the people they will primarily be working with, so it’s important to ensure that applicants will work well under their line manager and within their team. Senior members of staff within each department will also have a better knowledge of what exactly is required for a specific role and as such are fundamental in the recruitment process, but usually have limited time to do the work themselves. This is where collaborative hiring comes into play, allowing team leaders to have crucial input into the recruitment process whilst the majority of the legwork remains with the HR team. Applicant tracking systems facilitate this approach by making it simple for HR to share key candidate CVs and important notes with the relevant teams, streamlining applications before busy staff commit time to interviewing.

Ensures you Recruit the Best Candidates!

Of course, the main objective of using an applicant tracking system is that you hire the best candidates for your organisation, making sure no applicants are missed, no CVs overlooked, and no time is wasted considering unqualified candidates.

Sometimes, the reality of the matter is that the strongest applicants approach your organisation at a time when you’re not recruiting. At the opposite end of the scale, it may be that you need to fill a position very quickly and don’t seem to be receiving applications from any strong candidates. By monitoring and recording applications on a database, storing details, qualifications and particular strengths of any application, this problem is eliminated using an applicant tracking system, ensuring top talent is only ever a few clicks away.

To find out more about how Talentia’s applicant tracking system could benefit your organisation, visit our recruitment and onboarding page or contact us today.

The current job market is moving much faster than it has done in previous generations. Long gone are the days of learning a trade upon leaving school and sticking at it for the duration of your working life. Today’s workforce are switching roles and workplaces faster than ever before and… Read More

Is the talent you are searching for on your doorstep?

UK businesses are facing the pressing issue of a deepening skill shortage, as the working population continues to decline and employers are recruiting from an ever decreasing talent pool. Despite the shortage of talent, The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) reported that 74 per cent of businesses still attempt to recruit key talent from outside the organisation rather than looking to develop internal candidates to fill the gap1. This demonstrates that employers are focusing on rapid recruitment with minimal training time, and with the ever increasing talent deficit, are often finding this to be unsuccessful strategy.

It is clear that the challenge shows no sign of abating. Businesses should therefore consider that there may be an alternative to the ‘buy in’ option when it comes to talent investment. Organisations need to consider how they can align recruitment activity with an increased focus on internal talent development. Once employees are in a role, there is still a requirement for ongoing development to help achieve their full potential and meet ever-changing skill requirements, in turn helping to address talent shortages.

Utilising existing talent to tackle the skill shortage

To create a highly skilled workforce that will continue to drive productivity, business leaders should look within the organisation first. Ensuring existing employees are being taught the correct skills to develop them into high-level roles will not only boost employee performance but will demonstrate to other employees that opportunities are available in order to aid retention and future-proof the business. Under utilising people’s skills risks an uninterested and demotivated workforce, however with high-quality training businesses can make sure they have the talent required, along with promoting loyalty and motivation.

The right mix of technology and cultural mind-set can help to achieve this. Clearer longer term succession planning and better identification is required for employees that could fill vacancies with training, development and support. Businesses should adopt the attitude that new skills should not always equal new people, but that there is already an existing talent pool waiting to be explored within their organisation.

Keeping track of that talent pool can be explored with the right IT infrastructure in place that allows past and present information to be stored and shared ensuring employee data can be viewed strategically. Having all employee information in one place, on an accessible, single system will allow businesses to work in an agile way. As the business landscape is focused so much on growth, there has never been a better time to tackle the skills deficit with talent development.

UK businesses are facing the pressing issue of a deepening skill shortage, as the working population continues to decline and employers are recruiting from an ever decreasing talent pool. Despite the shortage of talent, The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) reported that 74 per cent of… Read More

Have you seen my team? A GLOCAL approach to talent management


For businesses operating on a global scale, a company-wide HR strategy is essential in order to align and engage the workforce. At the same time, localised teams must be provided with the flexibility to adapt to regional practices and cultural norms. For those that choose to implement HR technology to facilitate this approach, multiple currency and language options are a must to ensure that HR can be effectively managed locally, with no complications when adapting this information for the boardroom. Human capital management solutions, and its varied benefits, offer a range of different options to suit a range of business goals.

This strategy epitomises the rise of a glocal approach to HR management, one which forward-thinking businesses are beginning to adopt in order to maintain competitiveness in the global talent war and overcome industry challenges such as the skills shortage. As talent management becomes an increasingly hot boardroom topic, it is vital that C-suite executives have a complete overview of their workforce, with a clear breakdown of what this looks like at a local level.

Leading the race in the global war for talent

As today’s job market becomes ever more competitive, professional candidates – especially millennials – are more aware than ever of their market value. Sourcing and retaining top talent has therefore never been more important. That is why accurate and up-to-date personnel data, that allows managers to identify high performance hotspots and staff with potential while also locating problem areas, is a must have for the C-suite. In an increasingly interconnected world, managing these sizeable datasets and extracting useful insights for business advantage is a sizeable challenge.

According to Anthony Hesketh, Senior Lecturer at the Lancaster University Management School, the world of business is increasingly becoming glocal, “There is increased pressure to hire people across local geographies. The war for talent is absolutely dominating everything.” This means that managers today have to be prepared to deal with teams that have been formed based on individuals’ skills rather than their presence in a common location. This can create communication issues, explaining the growing adoption of glocal HR strategies by businesses to manage talent internationally.

Recognising talent across borders

If there is a skills shortage in a particular region of a business, a glocal strategy will help identify talent in other departments or locations within the company to help fill the gap. Not only has this approach been known to create a shared culture philosophy, but companies are beginning to take full advantage of advancements in communication technologies, allowing global teams to work together in real time. This has also eased the need for a physical personnel shift from location to location. With uptake of glocal HR strategies only expected to rise, the concept of a ‘team’ as we know it is rapidly changing, and will continue to do so moving forward.

Talentia HCM enables C-suite executives to look at data strategically to understand issues around talent management. Learn more about how this technology could help your business:

 

For businesses operating on a global scale, a company-wide HR strategy is essential in order to align and engage the workforce. At the same time, localised teams must be provided with the flexibility to adapt to regional practices and cultural norms. For those that choose to implement HR technology to facilitate this approach, multiple currency and language options are a must to ensure that HR can be effectively managed locally, with no complications when adapting this information for the boardroom. Human capital management solutions, and its varied benefits, offer a range of different options to suit a range of business goals. Read More

Why your workplace needs collaborative learning technologies

At Learning Technologies 2018 in London recently, a presenter showed a collage of the most used applications for learning and asked how many the audience had used in the last week in their personal lives. Hands shot up everywhere in the audience. ‘How many have you used in your workplace last week?’ Some hands stayed up, most came down. ‘Wouldn’t we want the tools we find helpful, maybe even love, in our personal lives to enable us in the workplace?’ he continued to a wave of nods in the auditorium.


We’ve picked 5 apps we’re using in the Talentia team and which have allowed us to learn, share and collaborate better.

Learn as part of your team culture

When we were moving offices recently, one member of the ‘task force’ suggested the team use ‘Wunderlist’ to plan, track and communicate as he was using the app in his personal life to get things organised. You may be using similar apps such as Trello or Asana? Most people in the team had never used Wunderlist, but they were open and interested, so they created to do lists to share with each other, assign dates, owners and make sure the right things happened at the right time. With the office move behind us, the team all agree that having a shared task list, which they could update on the go from their mobiles, made their lives easier and we’ll definitely use similar lists again.
#teamlearningcurvesrock

Learn from experts

YouTube is the curious person’s treasure trove.
300 hours of video uploaded every minute, almost 5 billion videos watched every single day, over 30 million visitors per day – in the this day of short attention span, the average mobile viewing session lasts more than 40 minutes and it’s increasing year on year. How could we not want to use this source in our professional lives to understand why Excel formula are missing or what GDPR will mean for my company?

At Talentia, we’re currently redesigning our product training for client-facing staff, clients and partners, and it’s one of the occasions where YouTube comes into its own as a valuable source not just of practical questions, but more importantly of inspiration.
#watchthisspace #itsnotallcutekittens

Engage, learn, inspire

Are you on Twitter? Facebook? Pinterest? LinkedIn? Who is inspiring you on the social network(s) of your preference? At Talentia, we encourage the team to follow our clients, key HR discussion drivers and share what they find with one another to learn and inspire.
#thewholeismorethanthesumofitsparts

Compete – playfully

About 275 days ago, a colleague at Talentia said she’d really like to brush up her Italian as quite a few of her key Talentia Software contacts are based in Italy. She had used an app called Duolingo before, but, you know, life happens and you stop. Another person had wanted to learn Greek for many years and teased her that they could do a ‘language off’, if the first person took Italian up again, the second would start Greek. Do I need to say more? They started the same day (after the Greek keyboard was installed on the mobile in question) and – much to the rest of the team’s amusement – they have been doing their bits of language learning every day since. Does the gamification on the app work? Yes, probably to some extent. Would it have kept them going for this long? Probably not – but feeling just that little bit accountable keeps them both on track.
#italiano #Ελληνικά #learningsupport

Be a role model

Aristotle already knew that “it is frequent repetition that produces a natural tendency”. We’ve all sat in a dinner conversation with friends and when a – generally somewhat random – question came up, somebody jumped to google it (or alternatively asked Wikipedia). Do you see the same pattern to find answers or solutions in your workplace? Sometimes, but it would be great to see more of it. Our in the words of our Professional Services Director: “I’d like the team to use it as naturally as they do in their personal lives, with an analytical component Saturday night dinners don’t tend to have: find materials related to your challenge, screen them and combine what is useful to you. And until they do, I’ll remind them when we discuss actions, and I’ll continue doing what I’m asking them to do.”
#learningthroughrepetition #performancesupport #rolemodels

At this point, most of us have a natural predisposition to use these technologies, but something often happens in the workplace that inhibits us to take advantage of them.
Social technologies and applications help establish a culture of learning and a culture of learning is critical for organisations because they are stronger when people are connected, share knowledge and learn from each other.

 

At Learning Technologies 2018 in London recently, a presenter showed a collage of the most used applications for learning and asked how many the audience had used in the last week in their personal lives. Hands shot up everywhere in the audience. ‘How many have you used in your workplace last week?’ Some hands stayed up, most came down. ‘Wouldn’t we want the tools we find helpful, maybe even love, in our personal lives to enable us in the workplace?’ he continued to a wave of nods in the auditorium. Read More

How to re-motivate your employees in the New Year

Coming back to work after a well-deserved break is the best time to re-motivate and energise your employees. No doubt some resolutions with new life and work goals would have been made for 2018, so let’s use this fresh attitude to the New Year and pave the way for a prosperous year ahead.

Here are some top tips to re-motivate in the New Year:

 

Re-Focus

The start of a New Year is a great way to remind your employees about your company’s vision and what the objectives and goals are for the coming year. This is a great way to motivate employees and for them to understand how they fit into the bigger picture and to achieve goals set.

 

Write out goals 

This is the perfect time to make self-improvement plans.  Start a list of achievable objectives to strive towards. Whether it’s only setting out small goals that are easily achievable or setting some big impact goals, creating the list will help prepare the year to come. For example, if you want to move positions within your organisation, find out what needs to be achieved for you to progress there. Whether you need to undertake specific learning and development activities to boost your knowledge or job rotation for experience.

Involve your teams with the planning process

Ask for your employees input from the beginning of your strategy or planning process. You’ll inadvertently increase their motivation when they get to have their say and voice their support and/or concerns right from the get-go. This way, when the time comes for the employees to action those plans, they’ll already be invested in what they need to do, rather than feel dictated to.

 

Lead in the New Year as a team 

A business’ success is down to its employees working well together. So a great way to ensure your teams are in sync is to have an all in staff meeting. This is a great opportunity to get the whole company together to discuss the roadmap for the coming months as well as the targets they need to hit. Whether you run it in your office, on a conference call, a video or web conference like go-to-meeting, having an all-company meeting will help your employees focus and know what the common goal is that they’ll be working towards.

 

Provide positive feedback

It’s important for leaders to encourage employees and give positive feedback about their work. Sharing constructive and productive feedback with your employees can make a measurable difference. It is important for employees to receive frequent feedback about their work and progress in order to grow. Peer to Peer feedback such as endorsements in specific skills, thanks for helping out on a project, can help motivate and encourage your employees. Being recognised for the achievements from a peer can have a very positive impact on their development.

 

Have fun!

Often employees find themselves in a fun-rut! Going to and from work becomes very routine. Help inject some fun back into the day by thinking of ways to change the atmosphere at work.  From kitchen birthday celebrations to happy hour parties even arranging pot luck lunch, make an effort to celebrate as often as possible. Employees no longer put up with poor company culture, so being proactive about keeping the culture fun and fresh will keep employees motivated and keep things interesting and entertaining.

 

Listen to your employees

As the workloads pile up, it’s easy to lose touch of how your employees are getting on in the company. And sometimes you find out when it is too late. That’s why it is important to discuss career goals, expectations and aspirations and understand the company climate. In doing this, you’ll be able to address any issues before a problem arises and prevent further dissatisfaction between other employees.

Use the opportunity to conduct stay interviews with employees. The aim is to understand the reasons why they choose to stay and a chance to understand the level of employee satisfaction and company climate. Their answers can help improve your strategy for retaining employees.

So if you’re looking to help engage your staff and motivate for the New Year, make a plan, set achievable goals and keep your employees involved. They’ll in turn help you drive your businesses success!

If you found this article useful, please share and help others.

   

Coming back to work after a well-deserved break is the best time to re-motivate and energise your employees. No doubt some resolutions with new life and work goals would have been made for 2018, so let’s use this fresh attitude to the New Year and pave the way for a prosperous year ahead. Here are some top tips to re-motivate in the New Year: Read More

7 Things your Company can do to Retain Top Talent

Recruiting the right employees is only the starting point for creating a capable workforce. Often employees take the job because they are initially attracted by a competitive annual salary or benefits, but these reasons alone are not enough to keep them for long time.

So, how can you increase your employee retention rate?

In two words job satisfaction.

Managers should focus on creating a dialog with their employees, trying to understand their career goals and aspirations, but also setting up assignments and deliverables. Neglecting to know your employees’ professional ambitions, will impact your ability to tailor opportunities to meet their needs, and eventually you may lose them.

High employee turnover is costly but not just in terms of money, but less tangible terms such as knowledge lost with employee, the time to train, recruiting time and the overall productivity of your existing employees. It has been proven that to train a new employee to a base level takes an average 6.2 months – but that’s not a written guarantee.

So what can your company do to retain its talent?

  • Lack of clarity about expectations.

    Engaged and satisfied employees need a clear idea of what their jobs entails and what their companies expect from them. It does not mean that responsibilities and duties cannot change, but when changes are made they should be communicate directly and clearly and come together with a specific framework which explains what is expected/needed from employees in term of tasks and responsibilities. Your great employees want to satisfy your expectations, but they need to know what they have to do to make that happen.

  • Respect, recognise and reward.

    Monetary compensation and benefits are always a great incentive, but employees can look past that. Your employees will remember the way you made them feel more than things they receive. In order to retain talent, they need to feel valued, appreciated and respected for their good work. And feel that they are a good contribution to the company.

  • Performance reviews.

    Thoughtful performance reviews help send the message that the company cares about the employee’s career. So it is important to discuss career goals, expectations and aspirations to ensure they know there is room to progress and grow. This is also a good occasion for conducting stay interviews with long-standing employees. The aim is understand the reasons why they choose to stay and a chance to understand the level of employee satisfaction and company climate. Their answers can help improve your strategy for retaining employees. It could be also helpful to define performance metrics for evaluating how much employees have contributed to achieving business goals.

  • Support employee development.

    Help your talent exceed by providing necessary resources, specific tools or training for gaining a new job skills. Flexible learning options such as on-demand and mobile learning will help make sure that development resources are easily accessible for your people.

  • Create a comfortable and honest work environment.

    Let employees speak honestly and openly within your company and listen to their ideas, suggestions and concerns about their job. Equally, treat your employees with the same transparency. Keep them updated on what is happening in the company, even if you need to communicate hitches or problems.

  • Trust your employees.

    Encourage them to take more responsibilities and try to assist them with their tasks rather than manage them. Find a balance between giving your employees the control and the independence they need to complete their job.

  • Hire from within.

    Organisations that have a policy to promote internally first, tend to generate more motivated staff and avoid disengagement. When new positions become available, let employees know that the company will initially consider promoting from within for the position, so they can apply if interested. Internal hiring presents positive aspects for both employees and employers: it creates growth opportunities and new challenges for your employees and as employers, you can save recruiting costs. An internal recruit will not need the same induction / orientation process, and far less training as they are already familiar with the company processes, goals, vision and ‘way of doing things’.

Recruiting the right employees is only the starting point for creating a capable workforce. Often employees take the job because they are initially attracted by a competitive annual salary or benefits, but these reasons alone are not enough to keep them for long time. So, how can you increase your employee retention rate? Read More

Hi, I’m Tanya!

Tanya had her family early.  She found herself a single parent with young children at school, but she decided to put herself through college and qualify for a better job.  It took a while as she couldn’t be a full time student, but she juggled childcare and college and worked her way through an arts and graphic design course, and then got her MBA.  She needed her Mum and her Gran to help with childcare but they all pulled together.  Gran got ill and Mum had to split her time between looking after Gran and the grandchildren, but they still muddled through.  Tanya’s children were at school so they couldn’t go in the college crèche, but she juggled courses, journeys and childcare.  Her Mum let her down sometimes and she found herself cutting a class so she could pick up the children from school or even missing a residential when her Mum had to work.  She almost got expelled but she managed to hang on and the proudest day of her life was when she got her MBA.

She works for a web design and social media agency now.  She doesn’t have a job – they have insisted she is self-employed so she invoices them every month. She hadn’t been paid for three months. Accounts are giving her the run around and she is having to borrow money to put food on the table and to get to work.  The family isn’t rich but they all chip in as best they can.  Her boss just tells her – “the client hasn’t paid and you get paid when they pay us”.

HR

Tanya is highly regarded for the work she does.  Not only is she visually gifted, but she has the secret advantage of really understanding how the online web site needs to integrate with the customer- facing and back office functions.  She has spent hours listening to her Mum talking about how daft the computer system at work is and how it makes life difficult.  Tanya is working on something very similar.  She is slowly introducing ideas and suggestions that make the site easier to use.  Only her immediate boss knows that she is the source of this information.

She is about to accept an offer from another agency.  She is sick of not being paid.

Woman housework sadness pop art retro style. International womens day. Wife and housewifeTanya confronted the agency after four months and said she had to be paid. They paid up reluctantly but replaced her with another college leaver who was desperate for work. They spend a lot of time recruiting and training and have a high labour turnover. No-one knows if the end client really doesn’t pay on time or whether the agency is using this as an excuse. The family don’t care. They heard that ‘x big brand’ wouldn’t pay and that is what they talk about. I often wonder if the client knows how much damage is being done to their reputation. Tanya decided that this ‘self-employment’ was not as bad as it looked – provided you had more than one client and provided you got paid. She has set up her own design agency and it is slowly turning into a good little business. She took a couple of clients from the design agency with her. There wasn’t much they could do about that as they had never paid her in accordance with her contract. She is working with a number of her former colleagues – and they collaborate on bigger projects. She is learning a lot about how to make her business work and which clients are good to work for (and which are not). She is taking it slow and steady as she doesn’t want to be in the position of not being able to pay the people who work for her. And she has a really big personal design project on the go – she and her Mum are planning her wedding to Stevie.[/otw_shortcode_content_toggle]


Meet Stevie

Human hand greeting hi pop art retro style. Friendship meeting acquaintance. A gesture of peace. Good intentions

Stevie met Tanya at college and helped out with the babysitting emergencies. Over time they have got close – they are now a lot more than friends. Without Stevie’s help Tanya and her little family would not have survived financially when Tanya’s end-client didn’t pay their bills on time. Stevie has just proposed and Tanya has accepted. Stevie went straight from college to a high powered job and after a year of intensive training and development is that rare creature – the technical expert with people and managerial skills. Stevie ticks all the boxes for attitude, experience and skills. There are three organisations speaking to Stevie at the moment. Stevie has interviewed very well and has three job offers on the table. Stevie wants a challenging and developmental job but Stevie also wants a life worth living. Stevie also needs to feel proud of the organisation and work that is taking so much time and energy.

The first job offer is from Anita’s former employer.

The second job offer is from Tanya’s agency’s client.

The third job offer is from an organisation with a great ‘employer brand’. Stevie is cautiously asking around the family and our extended network – does anyone know what it is really like to work for this organisation. All things being equal, which job do you think Stevie will take? But it’s not just about the ‘talent’ that Stevie represents. Let’s have a little look at what happened to Anita and Tanya.

Wedding female male gold betrothal wedding ring pop art retro style. The bride and groom, husband and wife. The ceremony of marriage.The wedding date has been set. Stevie made it a condition of accepting the job offer that the wedding and honeymoon dates would be honoured. Anita is in a regular job now and Tanya is the boss. So we know at least three people can go to the wedding. As to the rest – well we are hoping their bosses learn to plan more than 24 hours in advance. It is impossible to tell you what effect it has on family life if no-one can ever plan a family get together, or to babysit, or to visit a relative in hospital. There have been too many empty seats at weddings and too many family lunches and picnics where someone had to turn around at the last minute. Please give the family (and every family) a present. Have a look at how you manage your ‘contingent workforce’ – the temps, the zero hours, the agency workers – and see if you can improve your employer brand by improving how you affect the people who work for you. Not just the ‘people who matter’ because the truth is even if some people matter and some people don’t (which I am not sure I agree with) you don’t know which is which. Put yourself in the position where you retain Anita, pay Tanya and recruit Stevie. The next time you put a date in your diary for a family occasion think about this.


annabelcruise

We heard Annabel Kaye speak at London HR Vision in 2016 and invited her to do a series of guest blogs for us. She is an experienced employment law and HR specialists whose speciality is “Creating Flexibility that doesn’t hurt”.

Annabel Kaye is an employment law and HR specialist who co-founded Irenicon in 1980. Her fascination is the space where relationships and law combine. She works with teams who want to create an engaging and flexible work space that takes on board the real legal situation but it not confined by a compliance mind set. Through these stories she is inviting you to look deeper and dig deeper into the parts of your organisation you don’t always see. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter (AnnabelKaye). Irenicon can be found at http://www.irenicon.co.uk/.

To organise a free review of your freelance contracts click this link or to have a confidential chat about how your ‘contingent’ workforce is managed – call 08452 303050 (local rate number).

This blog is copyright to Irenicon Ltd and is reproduced here with permission. All rights reserved.

Tanya had her family early.  She found herself a single parent with young children at school, but she decided to put herself through college and qualify for a better job.  It took a while as she couldn’t be a full time student, but she juggled childcare and college and worked her way through an arts and graphic design course, and then got her MBA.  She needed her Mum and her Gran to help with childcare but they all pulled together.  Gran got ill and Mum had to split her time between looking after Gran and the grandchildren, but they still muddled through.  Tanya’s children were at school so they couldn’t go in the college crèche, but she juggled courses, journeys and childcare.  Her Mum let her down sometimes and she found herself cutting a class so she could pick up the children from school or even missing a residential when her Mum had to work.  She almost got expelled but she managed to hang on and the proudest day of her life was when she got her MBA. Read More

Meet Anita

After her kids were grown, Anita took on the job of looking after her elderly Mum. A bit of zero hours working kept the family finances going.   Anita is resourceful and she managed to learn all about the new computer system fairly quickly.  She very quickly became the person her colleagues asked when they had any problems with the system.   Her manager seemed to be a real short term planner.  He often rang round at 11pm telling Anita to be at work for the 5am shift.  Anita often needed hours to organise cover for elderly Mum – but she managed.   She rarely refused a shift.  She knew of other workers who had said ‘no’ once too often and were never called again.   So she kept her mobile on all the time just in case the boss called – even if it was way after bedtime.

She loved babysitting her grandchildren.   Her daughter was a mature student at college and Anita did what she could to help out with after school runs and childcare.   It was difficult though because she couldn’t plan.   Sometimes she had to let her daughter down.  She’d be half way to her daughter’s house when the boss would call.  “Come in on this evening’s shift”.   Once or twice she said she couldn’t, but was firmly told – “If you want this job you’ll turn the car round and come in now”.  Her daughter got into trouble at college for erratic attendance.  Somehow they all muddled through.

HR

Anita had trouble getting to pre-book holiday.   Sometimes she tried, but getting paid was a nightmare and no-one seemed to be able to work out how she should be paid.   She kept her head down and battled on.

One day she pre-booked a few days leave.   She was hoping her boss wouldn’t muck her around.  As luck would have it, she was half way down the high street when her boss called her mobile.  “I’m on leave” she said,  “I’ve booked the day off”.   Her boss was adamant – “Come in now or I won’t be booking you any more shifts”.   Anita explained why she couldn’t come in and refused.

Her boss was as good as his word.  No more shifts for her.   A few days later she got her P45 from payroll.

How does Anita’s story affect your talent management?  Well it wasn’t a big deal to get another zero-hours worker to replace her.  You’d be right about that.  But there’s more to this story than that.

Granny old woman gesture we can do it. The power of confidence pop art retro styleAnita’s time off was to arrange and attend her mother’s funeral. The call she took was when she was half way up the high street on the way to do the final shopping before going home to follow the hearse to the cemetery. When the P45 arrived she took a few months to look after her grandchildren and make sure her daughter Tanya graduated college. Then she took a few agency jobs. After that she got a zero hours contract working in an organisation whose old computer system was very like the one her old boss had replaced. They were replacing it too. HR spent a lot of time and money on trainers to show the team how the new system worked but the team got in the habit of going to Anita and asking her for help. Some things never change. Her new boss saw something in Anita and when a vacancy for a team leader came up encouraged her to apply. She got the job. She is no longer a zero-hours worker but has a part time contract with fairly regular extra hours. A year down the road she is happy as a team leader and she has recruited many of her old colleagues to the new company. Everyone is happy – she knows they know how the systems work and they are happy to join. She has recruited 12 so far and three of them are team leaders too. The new employer is happy to have an expanding team who are happy and know the work. Anita has been asked to go on training courses and is thinking about being promoted to section head. She is taking it slowly and steadily – she and Tanya have a wedding to plan.


annabelcruise

We heard Annabel Kaye speak at London HR Vision in 2016 and invited her to do a series of guest blogs for us. She is an experienced employment law and HR specialists whose speciality is “Creating Flexibility that doesn’t hurt”.

Annabel Kaye is an employment law and HR specialist who co-founded Irenicon in 1980. Her fascination is the space where relationships and law combine. She works with teams who want to create an engaging and flexible work space that takes on board the real legal situation but it not confined by a compliance mind set. Through these stories she is inviting you to look deeper and dig deeper into the parts of your organisation you don’t always see. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter (AnnabelKaye). Irenicon can be found at http://www.irenicon.co.uk/.

To organise a free review of your freelance contracts click this link or to have a confidential chat about how your ‘contingent’ workforce is managed – call 08452 303050 (local rate number).

This blog is copyright to Irenicon Ltd and is reproduced here with permission. All rights reserved.

After her kids were grown, Anita took on the job of looking after her elderly Mum. A bit of zero hours working kept the family finances going.   Anita is resourceful and she managed to learn all about the new computer system fairly quickly.  She very quickly became the person her colleagues asked when they had any problems with the system.   Her manager seemed to be a real short term planner.  He often rang round at 11pm telling Anita to be at work for the 5am shift.  Anita often needed hours to organise cover for elderly Mum – but she managed.   She rarely refused a shift.  She knew of other workers who had said ‘no’ once too often and were never called again.   So she kept her mobile on all the time just in case the boss called – even if it was way after bedtime. Read More

Meet the Family

Welcome to the family

We had a family party not so long ago. It was to celebrate an engagement and we were all really keen to be there. It was really difficult to organise because about half the people invited couldn’t say a month ahead whether they could come. So we had 20 out of 40 who didn’t know.  We had another 20 who said yes, but 10 of them got rostered to work at the last minute and couldn’t come.

Our family are used to working weekends and holidays. My husband worked 35 straight Christmas days in a row.  His cousins work for the NHS and other vital services – they know what it is to be on call and to work varying shifts. But this is different. The family used to know in advance who was on which shift and it was possible sometimes to move shifts around so they could attend engagement parties, weddings, funerals and other important dates.

Things have changed now. It’s not just the emergency services who can call on people at no notice – the lowliest shop assistant or warehouse worker cannot know even 24 hours in advance when they will be required to work.  Van and delivery drivers – the new ‘self-employed’ of the flexible age – have to sit by a phone in case work comes in.  And there’s a feeling – and not just a feeling – that refusing a booking even at the last moment will mean no more work coming in.

Zero hours workers have some limited rights. But several pregnant nieces working for global companies have found themselves rostered with no work.  Their qualifying earnings for statutory maternity pay are nil. No-one complains for fear of not being booked again.  Maternity returners find themselves replaced by younger models with less distracting family commitments.  Anyone older, particularly with disabled or elderly relatives to take care of is always on a knife edge, never knowing if they will be able to juggle their infinitely flexible working with their family needs.  And whatever happens they must not get ill as statutory sick pay is not enough to pay the rent.

HR

Meanwhile, the war for talent rages.  We compete for the ‘talent’ leaving the contingent workers (the zero hours, the temps, the agency workers) to fend for themselves. They are not part of ‘the talent’.   We are not fighting a war for them.  Employee engagement surveys come and go.  I ask family members when I know one is going round and they say – “I don’t have access to a computer – they send a lot of stuff round by email and online but I never get to see it”.  They also say “If I am on a computer at work as it’s not part of my job, they count that as break time and I don’t get paid”.  If you’re on minimum wage or the living wage it’s a big deal how much you get paid for 15 minutes.  They are the non-responders – showing up in your ‘big data’ sets only as deletions from your payroll. Sometimes they don’t even show up as that as they work for agencies or sub-contractors and you never even know their names.

They don’t figure very largely in exit interviews either.  I ask them “Why did you leave that job?” and they tell me.  Sometimes they are being difficult or unrealistic but other times they tell me troubling stories of mismanagement, poor communication, underuse of talent and knowledge – even bullying.

I ask “Why didn’t you tell HR or the company – at least when you left if not before?”.  They say – “There’s no point, is there….?”

But they talk to each other, to their friends, to their family –  their stories are out there.  They are not to be found on social media – one or two got sacked for saying what they thought of their boss on social media – so now it is all done in the pub and in person.  They are just staying out of trouble.

This conversation can have a surprising effect on your talent acquisition and retention.  We have so much great data available now in HR, but I’d like to share some of these stories with you so you can look not only at the ‘big data’ of your organisation –  which is obviously important, but also at where some of the ‘little data’ might be.

These stories are drawn from those conversations.  The family names and organisation names are changed but the essence of the stories is true.  The stories have been merged a little to avoid identifying individuals or organisations but this is how it is being told to me.


 

annabelcruiseWe heard Annabel Kaye speak at London HR Vision in 2016 and invited her to do a series of guest blogs for us. She is an experienced employment law and HR specialists whose speciality is “Creating Flexibility that doesn’t hurt”.

Annabel Kaye is an employment law and HR specialist who co-founded Irenicon in 1980. Her fascination is the space where relationships and law combine. She works with teams who want to create an engaging and flexible work space that takes on board the real legal situation but it not confined by a compliance mind set. Through these stories she is inviting you to look deeper and dig deeper into the parts of your organisation you don’t always see. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter (AnnabelKaye). Irenicon can be found at http://www.irenicon.co.uk/.

To organise a free review of your freelance contracts click this link or to have a confidential chat about how your ‘contingent’ workforce is managed – call 08452 303050 (local rate number).

This blog is copyright to Irenicon Ltd and is reproduced here with permission. All rights reserved.

Welcome to the family We had a family party not so long ago. It was to celebrate an engagement and we were all really keen to be there. It was really difficult to organise because about half the people invited couldn’t say a month ahead whether they could come. So we had 20 out of 40 who didn’t know.  We had another 20 who said yes, but 10 of them got rostered to work at the last minute and couldn’t come. Our family are used to working weekends and holidays. My husband worked 35 straight Christmas days in a row.  His cousins work for the NHS and other vital services – they know what it is to be on call and to work varying shifts. But this is different. The family used to know in advance who was on which shift and it was possible sometimes to move shifts around so they could attend engagement parties, weddings, funerals and other important dates. Read More