Employers’ lack of media savvy is stifling innovation

social media

A resistance to change and a lack of social media savvy amongst senior leaders is holding organisations back from fostering cultures of openness, collaboration and innovation in their organisations. Social media is driving us headlong into an age of mass collaboration and mass transparency, and if employers don’t embrace this with open arms they will find themselves on the back foot argues the CIPD. Jonny Gifford, research adviser at the Chartered HR and development professional body, comments: “For organisations to thrive, employees must be given the opportunity to discuss how their organisations can innovate and feed their views upwards, as well as having the freedom to blow the whistle about genuine issues at work.

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UK employers failing to measure effectiveness of workplace wellness

MeasureFurther data from Buck Consultant’s Global Wellness Strategies Report reveals that UK employers know what they want from their workplace wellness strategy, but less than one in 10 (9 per cent) actively measures specific outcomes, and three quarters (74 per cent) of those that don’t say it is due to limited resources. According to the study, increasing employee morale and engagement (73 per cent), improving staff productivity and reducing presenteeism (69 per cent), and reducing absenteeism (66 per cent) are the three top goals for UK businesses; with the top four health risks identified as stress, workplace safety and work-life balance issues and depression.

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Tax breaks for work health schemes welcomed

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The inclusion in the 2013 Budget of plans to include tax breaks for employers to run health initiatives that help encourage those on sick leave back to work has been welcomed by health and wellbeing experts. The Chancellor has announced that the Government would introduce a targeted tax relief, so amounts up to £500 paid by employers on recommended schemes are not treated as a taxable benefit in kind. The Government’s decision follows recommendations made in its report, ‘Health at work – an independent review of sickness absence’, released in January.

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Rise in jobless figures puts pressure on Chancellor

The Treasury

There is more pressure on Chancellor George Osborne ahead of today’s budget with the news that uemployment rose by 7,000 to 2.52 million between November and January. However the overall unemployment rate for November 2012 to January 2013 remained at 7.8 per cent, unchanged from August to October 2012. The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) also show that while pay rose by 1.2 per cent during the same period, with inflation measuring 2.7 per cent between January 2012 and January 2013, there continues to be a cut in the real value of pay. More →

Survey: Work and poor management biggest cause of stress

Stress-300x193Work is the most stressful factor in people’s lives with one in three people (34 per cent) saying their work life was either very or quite stressful – and the top cause (32 per cent) is frustration with poor management. Research commissioned by Mind found work more stressful than debt or financial problems (30 per cent) or health (17 per cent).  However, employees don’t believe that managers are actively tackling causes of stress in the workplace, with only one in five people saying they felt their line manager took active steps to help staff manage stress (22%) or mental health conditions (19%).

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Two thirds of workers sit at desk over six hours a day

Sitting_at_DeskTwo-thirds of office workers sit at their desk for over six hours a day – putting themselves at risk of back complaints. A survey by Office Angels found that 63 per cent of workers spend six hours or more sitting at their desk, over half (51 per cent) slouch in their chair and nearly half (48 per cent) admit to not leaving the office all day. A fifth (21 per cent) of people also admitted to taking their work home with them and a third (32 per cent) work late on a regular basis. The study ‘Work happy, Work well”, which looks at the nation’s wellbeing and bad habits in the workplace reveals that sales, media and marketing (60 per cent) and finance (54 per cent) are the sectors with the highest number of desk bound workers.

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London’s Fit Cities event explores architecture and wellness

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London is host this week to an event that brings together architects, planners, designers, developers, and public health professionals to explore how building design and policy decisions can make communities healthier, helping prevent diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. The Greater London Authority is holding the event in the wake of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to explore how active design principles were applied to the events and their legacy and to hear how plans are developing around major events coming up in Sochi, Glasgow and Rio de Janeiro.

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Half of workers feel pressured to come to work when ill

 

Staff ill health

You’ve nearly made it through the week and feel like rewarding yourself with a duvet day? Think again, the more realistic picture is you’ve a horrible virus but have staggered into work regardless, rather than risk the wrath of a disbelieving boss. New research this week found that nearly half of all workers feel pressurised to come into work by their line manager when they are ill. “Under Pressure” from Adecco Retail also found that far from “shirking from  home”, a third of the 1,000 people interviewed (31 per cent) feel expected to carry on working from home even when sick.

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Where flexible working employees really want to work? Starbucks.

Starbucks CafeLeaving aside the fact that most surveys are designed to further the commercial interests of the firms that commission them, most offer a deal of insight into what drives people and organisations, some of it unwitting. Most telling are often the specific details that lift the veil on the motivations and attitudes of individuals. So it was with a recent survey from Overbury that headlined on the idea that poorly designed offices hamper creativity, but also contained a question that was answered in a way which suggested that the place most staff would like to work would be something akin to their local Starbucks.

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Ageing population is the greatest demographic challenge

Image credit: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/photo_2475828_old-hands-on-clean-table.html'>logoboom / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Forget Gen Y, a new report published today by the House of Lords Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change warns that it’s our rapidly ageing population that will have a huge impact on society, work and public services. Predicting a 50 per cent rise in the number of those aged 65+ and a 100 per cent increase in those aged 85+ between 2010 and 2030, the report advocates enabling people to work for longer, many of whom are legally entitled to do, since the removal of a statutory retirement age in 2011. According to the report, “Ready for Aging?” working for longer would increase income from work, potentially increase savings, and reduce the time of dependence on those savings.

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Third of global employers have formal wellness plans

Bosses favouritesLess than half of organizations worldwide actively apply the basic elements of a health management programme, with just a third having a formal strategic plan for health and wellness. This is according to Mercer’s Talent Barometer research which explores key accelerators of talent effectiveness – education, health and wellness, and career experience – and their impact on successful workforce practices. While employers are investing in talent, with 60 per cent of organizations increasing spending in this area in recent years, only 24 per cent say their current plans are highly effective in meeting immediate and long-term human capital needs.

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US wellness programmes failing to impact the bottom line

The-Bottom-LineA new study from researchers in the United States has indicated for the first time that the benefits of workplace wellness programmes may not be reaching the bottom line of organisations as much as is commonly claimed. The results of the research were published this week in the peer reviewed Health Affairs journal. The researchers followed a wellness programme at a hospital in St Louis and found that, while the numbers of hospitalisations for employees and their family members fell by over 40 per cent on a specific set of conditions, the savings were more than offset by the increased costs of the scheme.

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