Recently - before the kids went back to school, our wifi went down. It became the toughest challenge of lockdown so far. Forget not being able to go out for a meal, or meeting up with more than one friend at a time, or having family round for supper – when the broadband went down our family’s human rights had been seriously breached!
Why is it that so many organisations are talking about employee engagement right now? And just to clarify, I’m not talking about work colleagues getting hitched!
For people that work in the field of HR employee engagement is something we’ve known about for years. In the corporate HR world we typically carried out annual engagement surveys, produced reports and worked closely with department heads and line managers to identify key insights and provide interventions to maintain or increase overall engagement scores.
In the SME world it was previously very rare for engagement surveys to be conducted. But as it has done for so many other areas of life, Covid has flipped the traditional approach to employee engagement on its head – why is that?
Back in January I wrote an article about the job trends for 2020. It seems like a lifetime away now. Some of the job titles on the list felt like another language at the time but as we move inevitably towards the winter of 2020, those job titles have been playing on my mind...
Research from the professional body for HR professionals, the CIPD reveals the majority of employers now intend to offer flexible working on a regular basis. I think that’s good news all round and long overdue. It took a global pandemic but it really does feel like there has been a step change in our attitudes to work, both for employees and employers.
It may sound obvious but it’s worth stating the benefits of flexible working:
As more and more employers change their stance on flexile or remote working on a permanent basis I thought it would be useful to provide a quick guide on the best way to make these changes, for both employers and employees.
During the pandemic most employers have complied with government requirements for employees to work from home, where possible. Now that the lockdown has eased many employers find themselves with a dilemma – what do they do about remote or flexible working on a more permanent basis? Has their attitude to remote working changed? Can their business support it on a longer-term basis? What would be the most motivational approach for employees?
Before your business decides how it will move forward, here are a few considerations:
Another day, another big employer changes its stance - permanently - on remote working. Along with the likes of Unilever, Natwest, Google, RBS, Credit Suisse - and the list goes on... Siemens have given their employees the opportunity to work remotely for two or three days a week.
During the month of June I seemed to spend most of my time advising clients about restructures and redundancies. Lots of businesses were anxious about how to reduce their overheads safely and in line with employment law and they wanted help with managing the redundancy consultation processes. I know there are other companies that are waiting, hoping they can avoid redundancies and that business will have picked up by the time the furlough scheme ends in October.
At the same time, most organisations are also planning how, when and who they get back into the workplace. Employers are anxious to ensure the return to work is safe and they want to reassure employees who are often worried about coming out of the lockdown bubble. So, how should you approach a return to the workplace?
At time of writing it’s the end of week 11 of lockdown for my family. It feels like our world has changed forever but there are some signs of normality - my youngest returns to primary school next week and - even more exciting - my cleaner is coming back! Is it just me, or does everyone feel like they have been simultaneously running a café, cleaning, gardening and home-schooling – all whilst trying to work full-time too?!
For my clients, talk is now turning to right-sizing and restructuring. I’ve been pleased to hear that some businesses have continued to operate and have maintained revenues, indeed some of my clients have seen a huge increase in their online sales and are thriving. However, for some there are drastic decisions to be made against a backdrop of increasing uncertainty as to what the economy will look like post Coronavirus.
In these very uncertain times there are several important aspects to consider when contemplating right-sizing your business and potentially reducing your workforce. Here are my top tips:
As I write my article this month it’s the end of week six of lockdown for my family. I’m amazed to have survived this long! On a professional note, it seems the dialogue I’m having with clients is shifting. Companies are talking more and more about the eventual return to work so I’m sharing here my hints and tips on what you need to consider.
The 3 most common ways organisations have been operating are:
Unsurprisingly, my article this month is about the Corona Virus. I have summarised below some of the most common questions clients have asked me over the last few weeks: