Search Results for: people management

Money alone isn’t enough to attract and hold on to Gen Y employees

Gen YThe retention of Gen Y employees is key for all organisations. No organisation wants to invest in their next generation of management only to find that they leave, and someone new needs to be trained. But the 20-30 year old workers of Gen Y exhibit a new-found job mobility. Which makes for a ticking time-bomb of potential cost and disruption to their employers. The iOpener Institute has gathered and studied questionnaire responses from over 30,000 professionals across the world, gaining insights into how employers can retain their Gen Y talent. The research clearly shows that while pay and financial rewards are important to Gen Y (i.e. they are not prepared to be under-paid for their work), there is no significant correlation between increased levels of pay and greater talent retention.

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Goodbye 9-5: flexible working practices help retain and attract staff

flexible working connectors

Tech savvy connectors @ Oliver Preston

New ways of working are being fuelled by employees desire to take greater control of their lives. Over three-quarters (77%) of respondents in a survey by YouGov for Virgin Media Business said that remote working helps them address their work-life balance and almost four in five employees (78%) believe companies today need to offer it to attract and retain staff. As part of the research, psychologist Professor Cary Cooper reveals remote workers fall into four groups which range from ‘beginners’ to tech savvy ‘connectors.’ He stresses the need for employers to not only kit out their employees with the technology they need to work remotely, but also to educate them on flexible working best practice tips and guidelines because: “Ultimately this will help them ensure there is consistency across employees’ standard of work regardless of location, and will also ensure they remain as productive as possible.” More →

Homeworking has environmental benefits, says Carbon Trust

Environmental and cost benefits of homeworking

There have been some doubts cast recently on the environmental benefits of flexible working. At the recent ThinkFM conference, Lord Rupert Redesdale, the CEO Energy Managers Association said that keeping buildings open for longer to accommodate flexible workers could become unfeasible for many businesses. But what if you simply increase the numbers of home workers instead? Homeworking reduces employee commuting, resulting in carbon, money and time savings. If office space is properly rationalised to reflect this, homeworking can also significantly reduce office energy consumption and rental costs. This is according to new research from the Carbon Trust, which found that if adopted and encouraged by employers across the country, homeworking could result in annual savings of over 3 million tonnes of carbon and cut costs by £3 billion.

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Trust in ethical behaviour is linked to the size of the business, claims report

Ethical behaviourThe larger the firm the less likely it is to trust its employees to behave ethically according to a new report from the Association of Accounting Technicians. The research also found that UK’s most ethical businesses are small architectural practices. According to the research, conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of AAT, only 37 per cent of SMEs trust their staff to do the right thing compared to 66 per cent of microbusinesses. The report also found that firms in the architectural sector have more faith in the ethical decision making of their employees and are more concerned about the ethical behaviour of suppliers than in any other industry. Interestingly, the report highlights the fact that, as the number of employees increases, businesses are more likely to dedicate a member of staff dedicated to fostering ethical behaviour and have a formal code of conduct.

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Workplace design, Facebook likes and the need of companies to be your friend

Facebook_like_thumbCompanies put an awful lot of time and money into getting people to like them on social media these days. While it would be easy to see the like button on Facebook as the primary conduit for this corporate neediness, but it cuts across many aspects of the ways in which companies work, including their relationships with employees and the ways in which they develop new forms of workplace design and management. This is most evident in the tech palaces which are aimed at the same digital natives that firms habitually target with their online marketing, but the need to make customers and employees friends of the business cuts across a wide range of sectors. The workplace is yet another channel of communicating chumminess, and it offers many of the same challenges as social media.

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US employers hold very mixed views on flexible working, claims report

Glued to the desk

It’s not just companies in the UK who appear to have mixed and sometimes contradictory views on the principles of flexible working. A new study from the US based Families and Work Institute in partnership with the Society for Human Resource Management has found that while more and more firms are open to the idea of working from home for permanent employees, other forms of flexible working such as job sharing, career breaks or sabbaticals to deal with personal and family issues. The 2014 National Study of Employers found that two-thirds (67 percent) of US organisations now allow employees to work from home at least some of the time, up from 50 per cent in 2008. In addition, 41 per cent of firms let workers decide their own working hours, compared to 32 per cent in 2008. However there are falls in the proportion of employers willing to let staff work flexibly in other ways.

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Employers that fail to act on engagement findings ‘demotivate staff’

Employers that fail to act on engagement findings may demotivate staffWhen carrying out employee engagement surveys, employers are not asking the right questions that pinpoint exactly what actions need to be taken. This often results in a failure to act on their findings, which can then lead to higher levels of dissatisfaction amongst staff who have shared their thoughts without seeing any outcome. This is according to a review by software specialist Head Light, which has identified 12 factors which fundamentally impact on how people feel about their work and their employer. These are: wellbeing; motivation; reward and recognition; involvement; autonomy; teamwork and collaboration; purpose and meaning; relationships; trust; career/personal development; communication and performance management. It claims that engagement can be improved at each level of an organisation by asking employees about these 12 factors and then providing senior executives, line managers and individuals with a personalised list of manageable actions. More →

BIM adoption in UK rises as awareness of competitive advantage grows

BIM adoption in UK rises as awareness of competitive advantage grows70 per cent of those using Building Information Management believe it has given them a competitive advantage and (at 95%) awareness of BIM is now almost universal. According to the fourth annual NBS National BIM Survey, adoption rates are accelerating with more than half of respondents (54%) using it and 93 per cent predicting adoption by 2016, the Government’s deadline for BIM use on publicly funded projects. Improvements in productivity, increased efficiencies, better coordination of construction information and higher profitability are among the benefits cited by adopters of BIM, with a mere 4 per cent wishing they hadn’t begun the journey. The construction industry feels more confident in its own knowledge of BIM (up from 35% in 2012 to 46% in 2013), there is still scepticism regarding the wealth of information on the subject, with only 27 per cent of respondents saying they “trusted what they hear about BIM”. More →

Moderate stress levels can enhance performance, claims new research

StressA new research project conducted jointly by the University of Reading and Ashridge Business School claims that managers can perform better and make better decisions when they are exposure on a regular basis to stressful situations. The research applied principles from the science of neurobiology in measuring changes in the heart rates of 350 managers aged from 26-55 to analyse their performance under pressure. All of the participants in the research were current students on an Ashridge management course who took part in simulated high-pressure executive situation, such as conflict resolution, high-level decision-making and handling difficult employees and conversations. Their physical and psychological responses were continually monitored over two days, including sleep patterns, heart rate and psychometric tests.

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The Wall Street Journal (and others) are wrong about human resources

original_dustpan-and-brushEverybody ready? Great. Then it’s time for another round of HR bashing and a tipping point for more existential navel-gazing for everyone’s favourite corporate pantomime villain – the human resources department. Or is it? You can choose your own particular moment at which the crowd boos and hisses at the bad guys in HR, but hot on the heels of the Lucy Adams debacle at the Beeb and a report that finds human resources to be the profession with the most “can’t do” attitude comes an article from, of all places, the Wall Street Journal that looks at what it means to do away with your HR function altogether. The restrictions of the word count being what they are, coupled with the way sweeping generalisations provide the quickest way to guarantee a bump in readership, the WSJ takes the broadest of brushes to add another coat to the painting of HR as an ancillary function that, far from oiling the wheels of commerce, is often a distraction at best and, at worst, an active obstruction.

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Consultation opens on changes to construction project safety

Safety on construction sitesA consultation on changes to the way safety on building projects is managed has opened today. The ten week consultation is being carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on proposals to replace the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007). These currently apply to all construction work in the UK, and cover construction, alteration, fitting-out, commissioning, renovation, repair, upkeep, redecoration or other maintenance, decommissioning, demolition or dismantling. Key changes being proposed include the replacement of the CDM co-ordinator role with a principal designer role within the project team; introducing a duty on information, instruction, training and supervision to replace the duty to assess competence; removal of the domestic client exemption and transfer of these limited duties to the contractor/designer; and the replacement of the ACoP with tailored guidance. More →

Design of the Year shortlist contrasts what is practical with what is possible

MAKOKO FLOATING SCHOOL, NIGERIA crop

A great many of us pay architecture and design very little attention until it’s too late and we’re confronted with the workings of a mind that doesn’t consider whether just because we could really means we should. The kind of mind that designs a building that melts cars on the street or one with wind turbines that are so noisy they can’t be turned on. And so this week sees the announcement of nominees for the Design Museum Designs of The Year awards. It’s a studiedly eclectic list. In amongst the Lego calendars and texting fire alarms we also find a mobile gaming app designed to be used over many centuries (it is impossible to finish it in your lifetime, natch) that, it says here, “questions the inevitability of death, the meaning of legacy and the nature of progress”. I’ve searched for signs that this might be satire without success. However, we’ll focus our consideration on the nominations for designs for the built environment. More →

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