The new Pay Ratio Reporting regulations will start in January 2020. The regulations apply to large UK incorporated companies (those with more than 250 employees) that are quoted on the UK Official List, the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAW or on a recognised stock exchange in the European Economic Area (EEA). Companies meeting these criteria need to report the ratio of their CEO’s latest salary to that of the median, 25th and 75th percentile of what the company’s UK employees earn. Companies must also submit a narrative that explains the reasons for these pay ratios.
The new regulation also obliges companies to include bonus payments and share-based incentives in their submissions, which could complicate calculations as a result of changing share values (in the case of share-based incentives) or the skewing effect of long-term incentives when they vest. To further compound the complexity, companies must also report on the FTE (full-time-equivalent) pay for their UK workforce, whether they are freelancers or outsourced.
Data from the CIPD and High Pay Centre suggests that the average FTSE 100 CEO is paid £1,020 per hour, and £3.92 million a year – 133 times more than the average UK worker. To put this in context, the CEO-to-median worker ratio of T-Mobile US in 2017 was 424, the highest ratio that year.
To see the Q&A published by the government, click here.
“The government urgently needs to bring back the separate £1.5 billion annual apprenticeship budget that it took away from non-levy employers,” chief executive of AELP (Association of Employment and Learning Providers) Mark Dawe has said.
The apprenticeship levy tax imposed in April 2017 got off to a promising start in its first year, with some companies trebling the number of their apprentices. However, in 2018/19 numbers fell considerably, which could be put down to the scheme’s rigidity and complexity. Also, the levy mandates only employers with an annual salary bill of more than £3 million to set aside 0.5 per cent of their payroll for training – the intention is for SMEs to finance their apprenticeship schemes with the funds that remain in the pool raised by big companies.
The levy runs on two-year cycles, so the first “moment of truth” was due this spring, and although a formidable £133 million of the funds remained untapped by contributing businesses, the amount is still not enough to support all the apprenticeship programmes of non-levy paying SMEs.
Having seen the figures, former education secretary Damien Hinds officially admitted that the target to create three million new apprenticeships by 2020 was already out of reach. The CIPD has suggested broadening the scope of the obligation to pay the levy – with every business with more than 50 employees paying 0.5 per cent – to plug some of the shortfall.
Google has been named the top UK employer for 2020. The ranking is based on reviews completed online for Glassdoor by current and former employees of companies employing more than 1,000 workers. (Meanwhile, Glassdoor’s Employees’ Choice Awards only considers reviews from former employees who have left the company in the preceding twelve months.)
In this year’s Top UK employer ranking, four out of the top five employers are big technology firms. Despite 20,000 employees walking out in protest late last year over the company’s handling of sexual harassment in the workplace, Google has remained the top-scorer.
Dynamically expanding software consultant Equal Experts, which specialises in agile delivery, came second (to see Equal Expert’s playbook designed to improve the distributed work experience, click here). American cloud-based software company Salesforce is the third most popular business with its UK employees. Facebook dropped to the twenty-third spot out of the top five, in the wake of the controversies the company has been embroiled in recently related to user data, misinformation campaigns and its controversial plans for its global cryptocurrency, Libra.
In a bid to expand globally, Glassdoor has this year expanded the competition to more territories worldwide: the awards now include the Best Places to Work in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Singapore. The full UK results for 2020 are:
London-based tech start-up Headstart has raised $7 million of seed investment in November 2019. Headstart was founded in 2015 with a mission to remove all types of bias (such as gender, ethnicity or age) from the recruitment process with the help of machine learning and advanced data technologies.
The round will enable the company to further develop its platform, hire new staff and crack new markets. Headstart’s software analyses job descriptions and CVs for bias and helps businesses eliminate any obstacles to recruiting and reap the benefits of a diverse workforce.
“The way corporates recruit is fundamentally broken,” explains Gareth Jones, CEO at Headstart and an influential voice in the HR tech and recruitment sector. “It is a method borne out of organisations chronically underinvesting in the process of hiring people.”
Time spent working as part of a team is increasing massively year on year, with virtual teams also more frequent in the multi-national or dispersed workforce which is becoming so common. And yet, according to Harvard Business Review, 75 per cent of teams are dysfunctional and 60 per cent of teams fail to deliver. Getting it right can be hard and requires a unique set of skills on the part of the leader.
Leaders and teams are also now working in increasingly ambiguous and complex environments, factors which can really get in the way of high performance. Organisations are continuously shifting and reorganising to stay lean and nimble and respond to changing customer needs, so teams feel the impact of that. It’s essential that they find ways to get to and, most importantly, maintain high performance within that context.
Over the next few decades, as we see an increase in the digitalisation of many jobs, quintessentially human skills such as collaboration and innovation, which a robot cannot do, will become even more important. It is essential that we get teamworking right – fast!
The business benefits of high-performing teams are significant and have been proven by research. More effective teams deliver better results (Guttman, 2015), achieve up to a 14 per cent increase in profit (Gallup) and higher productivity (Wiseman, 2017), have lower employee turnover – it can be halved (Blanchard) – and higher levels of wellbeing (Oxford University, 2009). It’s clearly worth the effort to invest in moving your teams from average to high-performing.
So what is it that creates high performance in teams? What’s that magic formula? From our research we have found that, when leaders get these five things right, they consistently create high performance and maintain it, even when things are changing around them:
We call these “The Five Dynamics of High-Performing Teams”, and have created a methodology, a set of tools and a series of diagnostics to help leaders focus on the right things in their team. It starts with a team diagnostic which asks all of the team members to assess the team (not the leader) on the five dynamics. This provides a baseline of where the team is. The team can then choose where to focus their efforts based on where the biggest gaps are, using the relevant tools from the leader’s toolkit over a period of time. It’s a highly practical, engaging process which sees quick results, which the team can assess through further diagnostics.
The energy industry is adapting itself for a more sustainable future. But how can it adapt for women to excel?
The energy industry is the heartbeat of our modern world, and as it continues to propel economies, infrastructure and transport, never has so much been so dependent on one industry. The fourth industrial revolution is not only about furthering the needs of our economies, but also about ensuring sustainability and resilience of our people and our planet. From smarter engines to the role that is played by artificial intelligence, the energy sector is seeking to adapt itself for the future.
But as it makes leaps in capturing carbon, there is still something that continues to evade its grasp: gender equality. The energy industry ranks eighth out of nine industries surveyed by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in relation to gender diversity, being ahead of just construction. With only 22 per cent of its workforce female, it has a long way to go compared with health and social work (60 per cent) and education (55%).
The challenge increases with seniority, as the number of women in the workforce gradually decrease from 25 per cent to 17 per cent between middle management and senior leadership. And when scrutinising these figures further, we find that field work has even more to contend with, as the industry average being as low as 10 per cent.
Why does the industry face such challenges? For some, the answer is simply that the energy industry has always been male dominated and it will take a lifetime to change that.
But there are other factors that seem to make the energy industry an unappealing career choice. Globally, the proportion of girls in STEM education is only around 20 to 30 per cent, compared with their overall participation in tertiary education, which is on average between 50 to 60 per cent. With fewer women in the talent pool at the start, there are fewer at the end and so fewer for the energy industry to target for technical roles.
Additionally, the perception of the industry by both men and women is that it is male dominated. Coupled with the lack of female role models, the result is that women do not feel encouraged to enter the field. An overall perception of lack of support, of diversity and family-friendly policies fuels the lack of interest among women to begin their careers in energy and pursue them to the top. Additionally, men perceive women as less flexible and therefore less suitable to certain roles. With an already low number of women at the top, there is less representation in the decision-making process on policies and promotions to counteract this view.
According to POWERful Women, a professional initiative to advance gender diversity within the UK energy sector, better balance is better for business. “The energy sector is facing an enormous transformation but there is a huge pool of female talent out there that isn’t being tapped,” says Ruth Cairnie, Chair of POWERful Women. “Achieving better balance throughout an organisation, all the way up the top, leads to innovation, improved financial performance, better customer relationships, and a stronger social licence to operate.”
Reem Al-Ghanim, Diversity & Inclusion, Saudi Aramco, shares some of the initiatives energy companies can adopt to encourage women in the industry. “First, focus on the pipeline,” she says, “and the importance of encouraging girls from as young as seven years old to study STEM and maintaining this encouragement throughout the career ladder.” With various programmes designed specifically for women, Aramco focuses on developmental opportunities at each stage of the career life-cycle, from entry-level roles to leadership positions. Experience is also important. “When women are offered experiences doing a job, especially those that were once restricted, we are able to develop their skills in on-job development programs and further their technical expertise,” says Al-Ghanim.
Gender diversity in work enhances innovation and decision making, whether because of a reflection and identification of a diverse stakeholder base (customers, employees) or – as women make up the majority of those enrolled in universities – because of previously untapped and highly educated talent coming into play.
Al-Ghanim also highlights the importance of challenging preconceived notions about “the roles of women in society, unconscious bias and how we define physical capabilities.” And with inclusion training aimed at leadership as well as technical and professional fields, Aramco is able to encourage a more inclusive culture. “[We must] create an enabling environment through policies and infrastructure,” continues Al-Ghanim. To work towards this, she contends, companies must look at things such as facilities in the field and policies for maternity and parental leave.
The value of gender diversity in the workplace has been documented – it not only allows us to have a more fair society, providing opportunities for all who seek it, but benefits businesses too. The World Economic Forum reports that women’s participation in the workforce is no longer a social issue, but can cost entire economies. Gender diversity in work enhances innovation and decision making, whether because of a reflection and identification of a diverse stakeholder base (customers, employees) or – as women make up the majority of those enrolled in universities – because of previously untapped and highly educated talent coming into play.
BCG also reports that increased gender diversity has been associated with improved problem-solving, greater creativity and lower-risk decision making, primarily thanks to the addition of so-called female traits such as collaboration and empathy.
An energy sector that is organically diverse currently does not exist. However, by focusing on the three areas of pipeline, perception and environment, we are able to engineer equality – maybe one day it will then become the norm. With the importance of diversity in teamwork and innovation, perhaps the key to the fourth industrial revolution lies in ensuring we have more favourable working environment for both women and men in the industry.
by Ruby Halabi, Corporate Citizenship Advisor, Aramco Overseas Company UK
For more information on Aramco, please visit www.aramco.com
Workplaces are evolving, not just in terms of the technology and digital platforms being used, but also in terms of what employees are growing to expect and demand from their employers. The reality of the “no job for life” mindset will have a significant effect on the traditional employer-employee contract. The benefits and rewards offered to employees which were once desired and sought after are now no longer the incentives they once were. This short article aims to outline some of these changes.
The career revolution is being driven by a number of factors: our rising life expectancy and the need to work for longer; the rise of the digital technology enabled by the fourth industrial revolution, and finally, the social norms that start to exist once change starts to gather pace and reach a tipping point. Humans, whether you want to debate it or not, are greatly influenced by social norms – in short, what everyone else is doing. It won’t be consultants or articles which change the mindset – it’s the rise of the industry disruptors who, with their game-changing technology, passion and innovation, are changing the expectations of employees and who are shifting the social norms of the new psychological contract.
Monzo Bank is a rising star in the banking world. With over a million customers, it is scaling rapidly. One of Monzo’s main employee benefits, on top of its 28 days holiday, is an additional 30 days off every year (unpaid) for employees to study or pursue whatever form of learning is felt would be most beneficial. They (sensibly) want to create a culture where people understand it is their responsibility to prepare and develop themselves for their next job.
At Airbnb, the culture of learning is flagged up as one of the main benefits, with the company offering supported and paid volunteer time, enhanced maternity/paternity benefits and the promise of “personal time off”. The message is clear: we’re flexible and we understand you need your own time and support to do what is important to you as your needs change.
Before you see any mention or money or pensions, Google is keen to point out its “generous parental leave policies”, the chance to take time off to volunteer (Google matches any donations made), and the encouragement to take “personal time off” (in addition to holiday allowances). But most importantly, Google encourages employees to learn for themselves. It will offer support – even with things which superficially appear unrelated to the work employees will be doing. The examples Google gives include learning to play the guitar or taking cookery classes. The message? You won’t be here forever, so we support your need to develop interests and skills outside of your current role.
If the main drivers 15 years ago were security and stability, the new drivers are flexibility, autonomy and trust, as you take time to explore what your future job might be beyond the one you are doing now. The main change we are witnessing now isn’t specific – it’s a sea change. Everything an organisation does needs to move away from being the adult to the child, and move towards being a trusted partner. Here are some examples of how we’ll see these changes have an impact:
We are at the tip of the iceberg – but the good news is, nothing in the table above calls for deep pockets. If anything, the burden of providing a long-term career path is lifted both psychologically and financially from organisations.
In an era where peoples’ working careers will more frequently last longer than (in many cases) the longevity of the companies they work for, it starts to become obvious that acknowledging and supporting this new reality isn’t just a good idea – it’s a moral obligation.
Lucy Standing is Vice Chair of the Association for Business Psychology, she runs a social enterprise (ViewVo), and is advisor to Capital Pilot. She is a chartered psychologist by background and has worked in the investment banking and strategy consulting sectors.
Lucy Standing is Vice Chair of The Association for Business Psychology
The State of Diversity white paper by Arctic Shores comprises three major chapters, the first one covering unconscious bias including the halo effect, a tendency to overlook undesirable characteristics in candidates in the wake of good first impressions, as well as strategies that can help eliminate these biases (at least in the long run), such as blind CVs, standardised questions, diverse interviewers and AI.
The chapter on diversity also covers types of discrimination less widely discussed, such as against the over 50s, the so-called class ceiling and the emerging field of neurodiversity. While diversity is a more tangible target to hit through headcount, the requirements for establishing an inclusive corporate culture are more nebulous. In this report, however, you can read the guidelines of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), which list the steps employers can take to build an inclusive working environment. To access the report, click here.
Teams working across greater distances are more likely to appreciate the benefits, according to a research paper from the Institute of Leadership and Management, Going Remote, Leading Disperse Teams. The ILM – an international professional membership body for leaders and managers based in Tamworth, Staffordshire – drew the findings from a survey of over 1,000 people and 41 in-depth interviews with members of dispersed teams across a range of sectors.
The report found that 57 per cent of those working internationally felt access to help and advice was a challenge, but this rose to 70 per cent for those working in closer proximity. Pain points mentioned by participants of the survey included lack of consistency of practice, the potential for misunderstanding instructions and directions, email overload and isolation. The report offers some tricks and tips as well regarding how to best manage these teams, suggesting that leaders should be more mindful of the wellbeing of their remote workers and monitor their workload levels more often. To download the report, click here.
Just more than half of employment websites have clear job descriptions, according to Talent experience, a 2020 Benchmark Report
by talent experience management platform Phenom People. The report provides an insight into how Fortune 500 companies rank when attracting, engaging, and converting candidates.
It seems that there is room for improvement even as far as the basics are concerned. Only 58 per cent of career sites has well-written job descriptions with at least three job responsibilities and three required qualifications, the report finds. Video content on career sites is becoming increasingly popular, and although some companies have fully replaced job descriptions with videos (featuring employees talking about responsibilities and requirements for a role), more than half of the Fortune 500 career sites surveyed have no, or very limited, video content.
There seems to be a lot of untapped potential, too, when it comes to implementing more advanced technology to personalise career sites. The majority of organisations don’t offer a social media log-in or apply option, which can make applications much easier. The lack of semantic capabilities in job search functions (intelligent enough to understand the intent and context of a candidate’s inquiry, as well as the relationship between words) was also pointed to by the report.
Chatbots, on the other hand, could be more extensively used for scheduling interviews and answering FAQs: at the moment 94 per cent of career sites don’t have them. To download the full report click here.
Source: Zita Goldman, Business Reporter
A useful mantra may be ‘Measure what matters and what can be measured’
“Organisational culture” is a popular term used to characterise the collective personality and norms of an organisation, encompassing shared values, habits, beliefs, behaviours, vision, mission, strategy, goals and more.
Other factors that are part of organisational culture are shared organisational history, equality and diversity, customer perceptions, location, products, market position and performance, technology, workforce, dress code, office design, management style, tools and countless others. There are a range of providers who offer services to measure culture, recruit to match your culture, or to support culture change, in what is currently a multi-million-dollar industry.
The power of the concept of culture is that it covers so many wide-ranging, important and disparate concepts that are part of the fabric of an organisation. The problem with this concept is (wait for it) that it covers so many wide-ranging, important and disparate concepts that are part of the fabric of an organisation.
By definition, “culture” is a dense and complex concept informed by many factors. So the question is, can it actually be measured in any meaningful sense? And if so, what business value does this have?
Qualitative or consultant-led culture change programmes can be valuable. There are also a number of academic or industry models designed to classify different organisational cultures. Research shows that such approaches can be useful for broadly categorising organisations, addressing issues, and predicting organisational performance.
Criteria from different models include levels of flexibility, discretion, stability, control, internal or external focus, hierarchy, individualism/collectivism, approach to uncertainty, and even “masculinity” and “femininity”. This usually results in broad organisational types, with different implications and recommendations for action or change.
However, in order to create models of culture in this way, significant compromises must be made. The possible elements of culture are represented in very simple terms, based on a number of discrete pre-selected concepts. Organisations must be viewed in collective terms, where average scores are derived for cultural elements within the organisation or unit.
The problem with this is highlighted by the large (yet incomplete) list of cultural factors outlined above. Existing models don’t account for these, nor the myriad forms of expression in each. Culture is so complex that measuring it using fixed types can only be accurate in the grossest of terms. Such models therefore represent a small slice of culture, which may or may not include factors important to your unique organisation.
Many organisations find benefit in culture surveys, audits, or culture based-recruitment exercises, and if these are seen as worthwhile there is no need to discontinue them.
However, such metrics are not only limited, they are taken from the perspective of the organisation rather than the employee, who may find such concepts as abstract or personally irrelevant. Instead there has been a move towards more tangible employee-centric measurement, such as employee experience surveys, which focus on perceptions of and emotional connections to jobs, conditions, colleagues and environment.
Indeed, such experiences are likely to be tangible manifestations of an underlying culture. However, these are much more visible and practical to try to change, and are a more realistic route to underpin an overall cultural-change programme.
So rather than thinking about measuring your entire culture – complex, organic, and ephemeral that it is – a useful mantra could be “measure what matters and what can be measured.”
At 10x Psychology this is what we do. We design measures based on the strongest scientific foundations, in ways that are robust, reliable and, most importantly, tangible and visible to employees and organisations.
Namely, rather than abstract cultural states, we look at performance, potential, talent, personality, ability, diversity, organisational values, employee experience, resilience, and employee wellbeing, but all the while using the latest machine learning techniques to treat individuals, teams, divisions, and organisations as unique.
So, measure your culture in more tangible ways that are relevant, and don’t hire for cultural fit. Hire for ability, ethics, values, personality, potential, and diversity, including things that do not currently fit in your current culture. If you do that, along with understanding and investing in organisational wellbeing, your culture should take care of itself.
by Dr George Margrove, Principal Psychologist, 10x Psychology
It has been estimated by McKinsey that about half of the activities people are paid to do today have the potential to be automated by adapting currently demonstrated technology.
Opening his talk to the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management Conference (IWFM) earlier this year, tech strategist Antony Slumbers suggested it was inevitable that anything structured, repeatable or predictable will eventually be automated. Slumbers was speaking barely a year after the IWFM published a report, Embracing Technology to Move FM Forward, where we asked facilities practitioners to assess what impact emerging technologies will have on their profession in the coming decade.
In the world according to McKinsey and Slumbers, the results were a bit of a worry. Only when it came to the most familiar tech tools, or those already in their operating sphere, could our respondents foresee their playing a significant part in the future. Technologies such as building management systems, building information modelling, computer aided facilities management and integrated workplace management systems were ranked highest by over half of respondents, with a nod to people analytics and cloud computing.
Outside that list were big data, machine learning, automated vehicles, and even robotics. Less than a year before we published our report, Harvard researchers had described AI, specifically machine learning, as the most important general-purpose technology of our time.
We also asked facilities professionals to rank four possible tech futures in order of their likeliness to occur. Most favoured an incremental digital upgrade (broadly the same as now but with more technology), with some suggesting more radical change through a digital reinvention (a move to data science and analytics). In third place was an incremental digital downgrade (marginalisation and deskilling) and the least likely of all was the radically negative digital displacement (facilities management ceasing to exist).
If humans are hardwired for optimism, this pattern is typical: every entity prefers to imagine a positive future for itself, rather than entertain the idea of extinction, right?
However, Slumbers believes this will have a massive impact, and not necessarily in the way we expect. Artificial intelligence has vast capabilities – of perception, communication, knowledge, reasoning, planning, predicting – and great segments of the work which workplace and facilities professionals do in their roles are perfect for it. But what is absent from all this, he says, and the reason work is changing, is because of one thing: creation. Computers are rubbish at creation and humans are very good at it.
So, the change we will see, he argues, is between old work (structured, repeatable, predictable) and new work (design, imagination, inspiration, empathy, social intelligence).
The future-proof workplace must be designed for this new work: one which fosters skills for collaboration, interaction, learning and engaging – human work, in other words.
The trick to riding the technology wave, rather than reacting to it, will be changing the workplace mindset from one which sees technology as helping to do a job (such as managing a building) to redefining the job as one which helps everyone else do theirs (such as enabling communities). The move towards a more service-focused mentality is not new, but it presents a new opportunity for this relatively young profession, allowing it to begin to show, in real terms, how it can contribute to organisational performance. Technology can be a key driver of that – it’s already profoundly changing our private lives and has begun to shape our ways of working.
Technology presents amazing opportunities, but the very best can only come from those opportunities if, instead of focusing on what we do, we pay more attention to the why.
If facilities professionals could begin to reimagine their roles in terms of what technology could do to enhance the workplace experience, they would not only consider tools that support the built environment, but also those that might radically alter the workplace experience beyond the next decade.
Our new collaboration with Microsoft, connecting workplaces, will explore a shared vision of the role of technology in high-performing workplaces. Building on the challenges identified in our initial research, we aim to help organisations create connected and successful workplaces.
Discover more about our research: Embracing Technology to Move FM Forward
Chris Moriarty is Director of Insight and Engagement, IWFM
Professional networks that keep a company in contact with their former employees. Alumni are regarded as sources of dormant talent and intellectual property that may benefit the organisation in the long run. Whether an employer has an extensive alumni network is becoming an increasingly important criteria for jobseekers, as they see the existence of such a network as proof of the company’s intention to have a long-term relationship with their employees even after they leave.
This is generally calculated by dividing the CEO’s compensation by the pay of the median employee. The Companies Regulations 2018, which came into force in January 2019, requires companies with more than 250 employees to publish the ratio of their CEO’s remuneration to the median, 25th and 75th quartile pay remuneration of their UK employees, including non-cash financial rewards. The disclosure of the ratio may have reputational implications that marketing departments will need to address. The executive pay ratio must be included within the directors’ remuneration report in a tabular format.
An academically endorsed tool designed by Stephen and Mara Klemich to manage the complex nature of people’s characters when developing personalised schemes to enhance their personal growth. The tool is built on the premise that “character isn’t set in stone but shifts over time”. It doesn’t label people or box them into personality types, but simply takes a snapshot of their behaviours, scoring them in 16 key areas, which will inform the steps they need take to realise their goal. The tool scores individuals on their effectiveness and whether they have a “personal” or “others” focus. An effective, others-focused person, for example, comes under the category of LOVE, while an ineffective one with a personal focus under PRIDE. Having a profile of your employees along these matrices can be key to learning about what makes them tick, as well as dealing with the people aspect of organisational changes.
A global workplace effectiveness benchmark developed by consultancy firm Leesman to gain reliable and standardised data on how workplaces affect employee and organisational performance. The index captures employee feedback by asking them questions on how effectively the workplace supports them and their work. To read more about the Leesman index, see our Future of Work issue (January 2020).
A tendency for people to favour individuals who are similar to themselves. A typical example from HR would be a case when recruiters unconsciously selected candidates of their own sex, or with similar backgrounds, which may thwart attempts to create a diverse workplace.
A way in which an employee can be rewarded for their work by gaining company shares over time. Typically, shares are vested over a four-year period (a 400-share reward, for example, distributed at 100 shares per year). Performance vesting, where an employee is given shares based on hitting certain targets, is a less common form of this. The classic share-vesting success story is that of mural painter David Choe, who accepted several thousand dollars’ worth of a start-up called Facebook. When Facebook went public in 2012, Choe’s shares were valued at about $200 million.
As media interest has grown, mental health has risen up the social agenda. And now here we are, finally at a place where the public is more aware of mental health. Campaigns such as Time to Change and Heads Together, led by the young royals, have played a crucial part in creating a focus and support.
A huge part of this shift is more people feeling able to share their stories and experiences. People are often described as brave for telling their stories, but most people don’t feel brave. They just want to be more open and discuss their experiences, so that others don’t have to go through the stigma, the shame and the struggles they have faced, and to help improve the day-to-day lives for those of us with mental health problems.
However, the latest ONS figures on the disability pay gap highlight the uphill struggle many people still face in the workplace and wider society. We know how much of a problem stigma is, with employees feeling unable to talk about issues such as stress, anxiety or depression, for fear they will be overlooked for promotion or face other discrimination.
People with mental health problems can and do make a valuable contribution to the workplace, but despite this some 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems fall out of work every year. A lack of support and understanding means these people are not able to reach their potential and progress.
The Equality Act gives disabled employees, including people with mental health problems, the right to not be discriminated against in work, and to access reasonable adjustments if they need them.
The move towards a more service-focused mentality is not new, but it presents a new opportunity for this relatively young profession, allowing it to begin to show, in real terms, how it can contribute to organisational performance.
However, a lack of clarity around the act’s definition of disability means people are often unsure about whether they are covered. Without knowledge of the Equality Act, employees are left unable to challenge their workplace if and when they face discrimination on the grounds of a health condition. This means that many people are missing out on crucial workplace protections.
The next government must commit to changing the legislation and make sure all disabled people are properly protected so they can thrive at work.
It’s all of our business to try to understand the factors which are leaving increasing numbers of people without support, including in their places of work.
And we must get better at understanding that for some people being in work is not the best thing to help recovery or manage our mental health problems. The benefits system should be a safety net to help us, but it’s not fit for purpose. None of us should be put at risk of falling into poverty because we’re too unwell to make it to the job centre. But that’s a fear that thousands of people live with every week.
Because mental health affects so many different areas of life, whoever gets the keys to Downing Street must implement a cross-governmental strategy that puts mental health at the heart of every department’s agenda. It is the only way we will see a joined-up approach across all services – from employment to social care, education to housing, welfare to policing and health.
There is no room for mere lip service when the need for real change is this great.
by Vicki Nash, Head of Policy and Campaigns, Mind
The workplace is undergoing a huge transformation, with today’s workforce the most distributed, diverse and multigenerational our society has ever seen. To adapt to a rapidly changing business landscape and meet rising growth challenges, companies large and small need the right skills in their business and to be agile in their approach to recruiting, developing and retaining talent.
Despite the rise of artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation, the emerging business model for the digital age puts people at the centre. Skills shortages prevail and to thrive in the digital age, managers and leaders must find innovative ways to unlock talent and maximise the potential and productivity of their people.
The availability of skills has become the top business concern for 79 per cent of UK business leaders, according to PWC’s latest global CEO survey. Meanwhile, Gartner’s 2019 CEO and senior executive study shows priorities are shifting to meet rising growth challenges, with talent management now the number one organisational competency that companies need to develop.
How to bring on board the best talent when it’s needed, recognise and reward high performance and support employees in acquiring new knowledge and skills have become top of the agenda for CEOs, business owners, HR professionals and managers alike. But companies often struggle to achieve these goals and are stuck with outdated practices that don’t match the needs of today’s workplace and impact employee engagement, productivity and business success.
The good news is that technology is driving a revolution in people development and businesses are reaping the benefits of replacing spreadsheets and cumbersome systems with intuitive solutions, such as Kallidus’s suite of effective, engaging and easy-to-use people development systems. Kallidus software has been designed to give people a consumer-like experience at work and has won awards for its industry-leading user-experience which ensures uptake and guarantees results. From recruiting top talent to creating a culture of continuous learning and performance feedback, every stage of employee development is covered, from initial hire to high-flier.
With availability of key skills a major threat to most businesses, this modern technology-driven approach enables better decision making on when and where to invest and how to get the most out of people, whether they are new recruits taking the first step on their career ladder or seasoned performers. It helps companies build their businesses by fuelling employee growth and retention while ensuring business goals and business outcomes are aligned. Most importantly, it delivers significant value to the business through a more capable, more productive and skilled workforce.
Are you getting the most out of your people?
Discover how Kallidus can help you grow by transforming your people development here.
Harry Chapman-Walker, Sales Director, Kallidus
Twenty-first century society tells us to be brave, to be anything we want to be – but can you truly be yourself at work?
Roche is a pioneer in healthcare, focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. With 42 different nationalities, a 56 per cent female leadership and four generations in the workforce, we have in the UK a range of top talent that drives innovation and creativity. People are any organisation’s greatest asset and it is through our people that we maintain and enhance our contribution to society. But we can only do this if everyone in the company feels able to bring something different to the table. Diseases do not discriminate, and neither do we.
Through mandated measures such as the gender pay gap and increased demands from their people and customers, many companies are now more aware of and more active in the discussion of diversity. Translating this discussion into tangible outputs, feasible actions and real change is key.
Diversity and inclusion are entirely interlinked and integral to one another. To make them work and to see the invaluable benefit to society that they bring, we require a shift in mindset. Ask yourself: are you truly diverse and inclusive and if not, how has the lack of it affected you and your business?
Having a culture of interconnectivity between diversity and inclusion is not a box-ticking activity and requires change driven by all parties. For any organisation to evolve and encompass true inclusivity, it must help embed these values in its people. Is this true for your organisation?
The conversation is far from over. With society now placing an increasing spotlight on all organisations to improve their sustainability, ensuring people remain at the forefront of the agenda will dictate the future of how we work in the UK. The question is, will you share your voice at the table to drive this change?
by Adria Harris, UK Human Resources Director, Roche
This workshop will provide innovative and tested ideas for improving the effectiveness of finding the talented staff you need in your organisation. Includes guidance on designing and carrying out more effective resourcing, ensuring good talent management takes place for all ages of applicants and staff. Click here for more details.
Hear about how workplace cultures, value systems, leadership behaviours impact talent acquisition and retention and how wealth management has addressed some of the challenges linked to I&D. Click here for more details.
Aiming to raise awareness of the changing face of the workforce and workplace, this conference draws on the experience of some of the best-known names who will share their insights on how to prepare for challenges and opportunities such as AI, aging populations, Brexit and the gig economy. Click here for more details.
The EE Summit is the premier event of its kind in Europe, with the best of the best in the industry sharing their stories as to how they’ve successfully led their organisation through disruptive times. Click here for more details.
Journalist and broadcaster (not to mention three-times winner of the men’s singles championship at the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships) Matthew Syed is a fervent advocate of what he calls cognitive diversity, but his main interest lies in the performance of human groups rather than demographic diversity and social justice.
In his new book, The Power of Diverse Thinking, he points out the dangers of homophily, the human tendency to favour individuals similar to themselves, in areas such as recruitment. He demonstrates how a lack of diversity can result in smart individuals acting unwisely as a group. His examples are taken from fields as varied as intelligence agencies, marketing teams and sports teams. For a short but inspiring interview with Matthew, click here (from 22:30-21:00)
Micromanagement can be a reductive and damaging way to manage people – it can lead to low productivity, staff attrition and even health issues. This article can serve as a self-diagnostic tool for both those who prefer watching over their employees’ shoulders rather than delegating tasks, and those who are at the receiving end. If you either request approval for each task, no matter how mundane it is, or demand constant updates or to be copied into every single email – or you are expected to do all the above – the chances are that you are in a micromanaged relationship that undermines and eventually kills trust.
Professor Isaac Getz, Professor of Leadership and Innovation at ESCP Europe, inventor of the liberated company approach espoused by companies such as Airbus and Decathlon (which gives employees complete freedom and responsibility for their own decisions) argues that the term well-being should be replaced by “good life”.
Wellbeing is often just used as a catch-all term for “nice-to-have” office perks such as free food or yoga classes. Professor Getz, however, maintains that even though all-expenses-paid trips and hefty bonuses can attract talent to the business, to retain talented employees it’s also essential that their working relationships are based on trust and self-direction.
Source: Zita Goldman, Business Reporter