Posts Tagged ‘employee engagement’

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Brazil’s World Cup is exceeding its own heady expectations. There are big stories – the champions, Spain, have been humbled and are facing the abject misery of a summer back in Barcelona or Madrid. Everyone’s favourite pantomime villain, Luis Suarez, didn’t disappoint, getting his teeth into the action as well as uncompromising Italian defenders. The minnows are doing well, with the likes of Costa Rica sailing through the qualifying group. We’ve had last minute penalties, sending offs, vast attendances (with the US interestingly outdoing all other nations in terms of viewing figures) and some hugely entertaining football. Read the rest of this entry »

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Happiness Day

Today is the UN’s 2nd annual International Happiness Day. In a recent YouGov poll, 87% of UK adults said they prefer ‘the greatest overall happiness and wellbeing’ over wealth. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the founder of the day, said that happiness is a “fundamental human goal” and called for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes… happiness and well-being of all peoples”.

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Battle of the brands

14 Mar

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      Having spectacularly mis-timed my flight back from Amsterdam a few weeks ago, I found myself with an awful lot of time at Schipol Airport to consider the city and the airport’s impressive combination of a genuine, touching beauty and technology. And there are few examples of such a combination, more high profile, more impactful than Sir Jonathan Ive’s work over the past two decades for Apple. Although it will be fascinating to gauge the impact of Galaxy’s new and much vaunted S5, Ive has influenced the technological and cultural landscape with products that go beyond iconography, such as the iPod, iPhone and iPad. However, such products very nearly never saw the light of day according to a fascinating story that emerged earlier this month.

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      Happy new year! Is it too late to say that? Well, this is the time of the year that businesses start considering their objectives and goal setting for the coming 12 months, even if their year-end isn’t until April. It’s also a time of change, with January being the month of Blue Monday (officially the most depressing day of the year!) and when more employees resign than any other month of the year. Read the rest of this entry »

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      How can you create a workplace that ignites passion and purpose in your employees while encouraging creativity and innovation? Karen Bowes, HR director at Capital One, reveals to Katie Richard how their wellbeing programmes have helped them become a Great Place to Work award winner. Read the rest of this entry »

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      Leading in tough times

      28 Oct

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          LeadingToughTimes200x233When a team is up against it and defeat feels depressingly certain, it’s often the quality of leadership that dictates whether it sinks or swims.

          At some point, all leaders will be severely tested as they nurture a variety of personalities. To get the best out of your team when times are tough, it’s important to have strategies in place.

          I have these three suggestions to help you.

          1. Coach performance, not results

          When he managed Wigan Athletic, Roberto Martinez had a very limited budget at his disposal. Remarkably, they survived in the Premier League season after season and were finally relegated at the same time as being crowned FA Cup champions. Read the rest of this entry »

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          I’ve been thinking about thinking. Most of this thinking has been done while engaged in the solitary activity of painting, a hobby which I do every now and then. It takes me to a completely difference place; I put on some music and I’m absorbed in the task of trying to create something from nothing, often for hours. In this physically creative space, I often find my mind pondering different challenges and ideas. Sometimes, I have one of those moments when I think: ‘That’s it! That’s the answer to that thing I have been trying to solve’.

          While thinking today, I reflected on a few books I’ve read recently: Time to Think by Nancy Kline, Quiet by Susan Caitlin and Business Reimagined by Dave Coplin. Coplin’s book appeals to me because it captures the very essence of what I believe to be true: that despite all the technological advancements that makes a complete revolution possible, we are effectively working in the same way we always have. Coplin says our way of working bears a strong resemblance to Victorian working patterns, and the more I watch Mad Men, the more I realise work hasn’t changed much from the 1960s, let alone since I joined the workforce in the late 1980s.

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          The New Year has people across the country in a frenzy of self-improvement. The dawn of a new year traditionally triggers periods of self-reflection and a determination that the coming 12 months will be better than those that preceded it; a sense accompanied by a strong drive towards personal discipline and self-sacrifice that has the fitness industry laughing all the way to the bank, as we engage in the annual regime of punishing exercise, detoxes and pledges to be a better person by virtue of being thinner and fitter.

          In the midst of this renewal madness is often a desire to reinvent our careers. Despite the recession, the war for good talent continues with organisations often struggling to attract the very best talent. And as the competition for talent remains strong, organisations continue to rely on the power of their employer brand to draw good talent. Read the rest of this entry »

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          Back to school blues

          It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a child about to return to school in late August, must be in want of a protractor. Maybe a new ruler as well. Hell, why don’t you throw in a pencil sharpener too, just to be sure. For swathes of households across the country, the start of a new school year beckons. Indeed, these are the same households that have been bombarded with ‘Back to school’ campaigns from about two days after the start of the summer holidays.

          And for many of the UK workforce, that same feeling is raising its head. After bank holidays, weeks, even fortnights under a foreign sun, the next week or two signals their own ‘back to school’. And, like many of a school age, it’s a ‘back to school’ they are anticipating potentially without a huge amount of enthusiasm.

          Bleak outlook for engagement

          Engagement levels at many organisations are unlikely to be at stellar levels – exacerbated by news that many companies are currently hoarding employees, according to the CIPD, and may take drastic action over the next six months if the apparently mythical upturn does not start to gain traction. Read the rest of this entry »

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          Change is a constant in the life of every individual and organisation. It’s perhaps surprising, then, that many of us struggle to manage it correctly. Research suggests that the majority of change management initiatives derail and fail to deliver value.

          What is change? In simple terms, it is a transformation, a transition. It is what it takes to go from point A (current status) to point B (desired future status).

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