Search Results for: promotion

9 in 10 UK office workers stressed by meeting room technology

9 in 10 UK office workers stressed by meeting room technology 0

Video conferenceMeeting room technology which does not work seamlessly is a hindrance for productivity, with 86 percent experiencing serious “meeting stress” when grappling with it during meetings, according to research from Vanson Bourne and Barco. Among the biggest challenges for UK employees were sharing content and screens, and finding the right cables to connect to devices. In trying to deal with problems, staff are wasting significant amounts of their valuable time: 60 percent try to fix problems themselves, 49 percent call support, 30 percent end up giving up. 15 percent even postpone meetings until technology problems can be fixed. The vast majority (90 percent) actually pre-prepare for failures: preparing handouts as alternatives to tech, coordinating with IT in advance, and 44 percent even do a tech rehearsal. As a result of struggling with technology in meeting rooms, a quarter of UK office workers have missed important deadlines, and some have even missed out on personal opportunities like promotions (7 percent).

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Men paid more after having kids, as mothers’ pay and prospects diminish

Men paid more after having kids, as mothers’ pay and prospects diminish 0

Winners of Flexible-working-parentsWe’ve observed at Workplace Insight that the reason many women fall behind men in terms of pay and promotion may not be due to direct gender discrimination but becauses when women start having children, they’re penalised for needing a more flexible working arrangement. This theory has been borne out in a series of surveys and now the latest one shows how stacked the job market is against working mothers.  According to a new report by the TUC, fathers working full-time get paid a fifth more than men with similar jobs who don’t have children. The report shows that dads who work full-time experience, on average, a 21 percent ‘wage bonus’ and that working fathers with two children earn more (9 percent) than those with just one. The findings are in stark contrast to the experience of working mothers, says the report. Women who become mothers before 33 typically suffer a 15 percent pay penalty.

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Recognition as well as reward is key to employee engagement

Recognition as well as reward is key to employee engagement 0

Employee motivationRecognition and appreciation may play a major part in driving employee engagement, but money continues to be a driving force in people feeling appreciated at work; according to a new survey of more than 1,000 US-based employees conducted by BambooHR. However, money isn’t everything as 1 in 5 employees would prefer to receive a promotion to a higher title without a 3 percent raise in salary, instead of a 3 percent raise in salary without a promotion to a higher title. The research also found that employees who consistently contribute to successful teams and have the most responsibility are looked at as being more successful (in the eyes of their peers) than those who make the most money. Yet many employees never get that recognition, as just 40 percent only getting positive recognition a few times a year (or less). Unsurprisingly, one out of four of those employees are unsatisfied with their job.

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Four in ten UK workers don’t feel they’re good enough for their job

Four in ten UK workers don’t feel they’re good enough for their job 0

Impostor syndromeImpostor syndrome – a fear of not deserving your job, is said to haunt even the most successful people. But according to new research, a lack of effective training is leading more and more ordinary workers to fear they’re not up to their job. According to the new study from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), around four in ten UK workers don’t feel they measure up to the demands of their chosen profession. Sixty-seven percent admitted they were ‘out of their depth’ in their work situation, while 40 percent expressed fears they would be exposed at some point for not being that good at aspects of their job. Half of those who took part in the survey even went as far as to declare they felt they ‘chanced their luck’ on aspects of their job. A staggering 75 percent went as far as to admit they were ‘lucky’ to secure their job given the competitive nature of the current employment market and the quality of other candidates.

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Women who feel valued at work will help close the gender pay gap

Women who feel valued at work will help close the gender pay gap 0

Gender pay gapThere has been much debate around the gender pay gap but aside from any instances of obvious gender discrimination is the controversial fact that women appear to be more afraid of asking for a pay rise than men. According to a recent survey by Randstad 72 per cent of women are afraid even to ask for a raise for fear of jeopardising their existing position. This clearly shows there is work still to be done to encourage women to ‘lean in’. When people start questioning the value they bring to a company they are less likely to put themselves in the spotlight, or under scrutiny, by asking for a raise or a promotion, and the key to increasing confidence is by getting genuine feedback on work performance. If you know that your work is getting recognised by colleagues and you are being praised for it, then you are more likely to understand the value of the work you are doing, regardless of what industry you are in.

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Organisations and senior staff have contradictory ideas on motivation

Organisations and senior staff have contradictory ideas on motivation 0

Motivated senior staffOnly 40 percent of executives say their organisation helps them unlock their potential, according to a new global survey of senior executives. Pay and benefits are just one of many factors motivating these executives; with the most commonly cited motivation “making a difference,” chosen by 55 percent of respondents, followed by “personal growth and development,” “leading and organising others” and “monetary compensation,” each chosen by 45 percent of those surveyed. The wide range of motivations among leaders is underscored by the fact that no single factor was chosen by much more than half of the respondents. The survey by Egon Zehnder, “What Makes You Thrive?” discovered that many executives are leaving their potential at the office door, with 31 percent saying their organisation didn’t help unlock their potential and 27 percent not sure. 72 percent of those surveyed said they would welcome more help from their organisation to pinpoint and pursue personal motivations and goals.

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Three workplace performance indicators that may make or break you 0

Want to find out how your business is performing? Setting and analysing performance indicators for your company is the best way to forecast and get on track with your business goals. Creating Key Performance Indicators will help you measure your company’s success. While choosing the right KPIs relies upon a good understanding of what is important to the organisation and its workplace , the question is what to focus on? Performance measurement is not just related to collecting data associated with a predefined performance objective or standard. It has to be considered as an overall management system involving prevention and detection in order to meet clients expectations of the service or product you’re offering. Many companies have different methods regarding performance measurement, so how you measure performance says a lot about your company’s objectives and will decide whether they make or break you.

There are two common types of performance indicators: financial and customer focused.

Financial indicators are the most commonly used metrics for performance including: revenue growth rate, net profit, return on investment, among others. In terms of employee performance these are often quantified using output related measurements. These can be useful for growing your company’s finances but companies that focus solely on profit related indicators often face an innovation problem.

A focus on financial goals can put pressure on managers to focus on short term profitability over creativity. Financial indicators also don’t provide a full picture of a company’s performance. Rather than taking risks on new ideas, these companies can become known for creating ‘one hit wonders’ that sell and repackaging past successes. Eventually, quality and customer satisfaction can become compromised and employee motivation drops.

Microsoft learned this lesson at the expense of its top spot in the tech world. Originally a leader in cutting edge technology, after 2000 it began slipping in the rankings against companies like Google and Apple with its inability to keep up with new trends. As these companies began producing paradigm shifting products like the iPhone and Google Maps, Microsoft continued to survive off of its updated versions of Windows Office. Financial indicators demonstrated the company’s shift in popularity but not the contributing factors.

Internally, Microsoft had taken a cut throat approach to performance management called stack ranking. In this system employees were ranked according to their performance, with the top being put in line for promotions and the bottom 5-10% being shown the door. Rather than boosting productivity, this system merely increased competition and discouraged teamwork. Ultimately, instead of being encouraged to collaborate on new ideas, employees had to focus on gaining favor to survive.

Customer success indicators are increasingly seen as the most important performance metric. Some of the main customer centred KPIs include: conversion rate, customer retention, Net Promoter Score (NPS), etc. Due to differing objectives, companies that focus on customer centred indicators focus more on gaining a loyal customer base by producing great quality products, utilizing different marketing techniques and emphasizing a strong customer support service.

CaptureAn example of this is Riot Games’ ‘Free To Play’ games which helped them to gain a loyal customer base by allowing gamers to play some of their best games for free online. Zappos’ customer service is famous for providing unsatisfied customers with gifts and free shoes to improve their customer experience. Creating a customer service culture is an essential part of their business strategy and the focus of CEO Tony Hsieh’s book Delivering Happiness.

However, for companies that don’t take off straight away, the money and time put into each product can lead to slower profit generation and financial instability. Furthermore, while customer satisfaction is an extremely important key to success, what customers ultimately want are state-of-the-art products. Though customer focused indicators can help you build a loyal client base, they do not necessarily solve a company’s innovation problems.

Companies should use a combination of both financial and customer focused indicators but there is a third key measurement which is essential to meeting your company’s goals.

Why employee centered indicators are so important

More and more companies are beginning to realize the importance of employee centered metrics. These types of indicators include: employee engagement, satisfaction and turnover.

Studies show that higher employee engagement is linked to higher customer satisfaction. When employees are happy at work and believe in their product/company this comes across to customers. Gallup revealed that companies with high employee engagement levels outperformed companies with lower levels of engagement in customer ratings by 10%.

Engaged employees take less sick days. A study by Workplace Research Foundation found that engaged employees take an average of 2.69 sick days annually compared to disengaged employees who take an average of 6.19 days. Most important, they’re motivated to achieve more. Gallup’s study also showed that engaged companies outperform others in productivity by 21% and profitability by 22%.

In fact, the treatment of employees is also an important factor for consumers. Deloitte’s 2015 study on millennials revealed that this generation considers the treatment of employees as the top characteristic of industry leaders, even over profit generation and impact on overall society. Furthermore, “While they believe the pursuit of profit is important, that pursuit needs to be accompanied by a sense of purpose, by efforts to create innovative products or services and, above all, by consideration of individuals as employees and members of society.”

Companies that have employee centered strategies are also more likely to foster innovative environments that promote autonomy and employee ownership. Atlassian became famous for its ‘Shipit’ days during which it actually encourages employees to drop their work and spend twenty-four hours on a creative project of their choice. Allowing employees the freedom to try out new ideas sounds like a great financial risk but it turned out to have great returns. The projects developed during these sessions have resulted in some of the company’s most profit generating products. Atlassian not only dominates Australia’s tech industry, it has also been named the best company to work for the past two years in a row.

More and more companies have started focusing on an employee first strategy: In an interview with Inc. Virgin Atlantic CEO Richard Branson disclosed that the company puts staff first, customers second and stakeholders third. He explains, “If the person who works at your company is not appreciated, they are not going to do things with a smile.” Southwest Airlines, the company consistently reaching the top 10 in employee and customer satisfaction surveys, follows the same ideology. The company does this by motivating employees through its company values and creating an environment that regularly recognizes employees for going above and beyond.

Southwest Airlines follows the same strategy. Founder Herb Kelleher posited, “A motivated employee treats the customer well. A customer is happy so they’ll keep coming back, which pleases the shareholder. It’s just the way it works… They can buy all the physical things. The things you can’t buy are dedication, devotion, loyalty—the feeling that you are participating in a crusade.”

Office design & stress + Manchester office shortage + Global flexible working

Office design & stress + Manchester office shortage + Global flexible working 0

Insight_twitter_logo_2In this week’s Insight Newsletter; Mark Eltringham explains what Douglas Adams could teach us about workplace design and Sara Bean says there are fewer promotion prospects for part time working mums. Rise in worldwide take-up of flexible working; £1bn in savings if NHS made better use of its estate and Manchester may soon run out of Grade A office space.  2016 will see an exodus of Tech firm’s from cities, almost three quarters of small businesses believe co-working spaces are the ideal for start-ups and unpredictability and workplace environment are two most common factors influencing work related stress. Download the latest issue of Work&Place and access an Insight Briefing produced in partnership with Connection, which looks at agile working in the public sector. Visit our new events page, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

Unpredictability and office environment are key causes of workplace stress

Unpredictability and office environment are key causes of workplace stress 0

Stressful environmentThe two most common factors influencing work related stress levels are unpredictability (26 percent) and workplace environment (21 percent) according to a poll by US jobs site The results, based on 834 respondents found that most of the respondents (62 percent) rated their jobs as highly stressful, while just 11 percent felt the amount of stress on the job was low. Other key stressors were deadlines (20 percent) and safety of others (16 percent). Interestingly, few people felt that length of work day/week (7 percent), personal well-being in danger (5 percent), potential for promotion (3 percent) and travel (1 percent) were major job stressors. Any number of factors can contribute to an unpredictable workplace; either the flow of responsibility changes from day-to-day with new tasks added or changed at random intervals or expectations may change. Running a close second is the workplace environment and culture, which includes interactions with bosses, co-workers and clients/customers.

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Career progression stalled by lack of respect for mums who work part-time

Career progression stalled by lack of respect for mums who work part-time 0

flexible working womanA recent UKCES report suggested it is career and personal choices that explain the gender pay gap, because so many women work part time after children. Now a new report supports the view that the dearth of women in senior management roles is a result of a lack of access to promotion for those in a part time role. A survey conducted by Mothers Mean Business, claims that mothers returning to work are frustrated at the lack of  opportunities to further their careers. The survey canvassed the views of women from a wide range of sectors and varying levels of seniority and found that nearly three quarters (71 percent) returned to work part-time after having their children but 83 percent feel there has been a potential or definite limit to their career options, 71 percent haven’t received a promotion since working part-time and 42 percent said they had received negative comments from colleagues after switching to part-time hours.

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Worldwide PC sales fell steeply during last quarter of 2015, claims report

Worldwide PC sales fell steeply during last quarter of 2015, claims report 0

PC sales

Worldwide PC shipments totalled 75.7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015, an 8.3 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2014, according to preliminary results by tech market analysts Gartner. Over the year, PC shipments totalled 288.7 million units, an 8 percent decline from 2014. “The fourth quarter of 2015 marked the fifth consecutive quarter of worldwide PC shipment decline,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “Holiday sales did not boost the overall PC shipments, hinting at changes to consumers’ PC purchase behaviour. On the business side, Windows 10 generally received positive reviews, but as expected, Windows 10 migration was minor in the fourth quarter as many organizations were just starting their testing period. All regions registered a decrease in shipments. Collectively EMEA, Japan and Latin America saw their markets reduced by nearly 10 percent in 2015.”

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A cynic’s field guide to workplace terminology, part three

A cynic’s field guide to workplace terminology, part three 0

consultA New Year and a new chance for some people to heap more fresh corporate bullshit onto the already steaming pile. No matter how often writers like the ever excellent Lucy Kellaway mock and deride the propensity of people in organisations to apply cliches and nonsense in lieu of thought and imagination, we have to face an annual fresh tide of drivel and lazy thinking. So predictable is this yearly onslaught, that it appears to now be a subject for trendspotters, as a recent feature in The Telegraph highlighted. Of course, this is just general corporate speak and does not even begin to scratch the surface of what we have to endure in the more parochial world of workplace design and management. Which is why I have produced the latest update to my continually expanding lexicon of regrettable workplace terminology.  You can read parts one and two here and here.

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