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The Wellbeing of Your Business May Need Attention

It’s generally accepted that over the last two years since the pandemic, there have been many sectors and regions that have felt the strain of workload increases and it’s just been accepted as the norm.

Yet the past few years have seen an explosion in the hours worked by many employees as numerous sectors navigated the ups and downs of the pandemic and its concerned client and customer bases.

And it is taking its toll.

The Current Mental Health Challenges Employees Are Experiencing

In a recent C.I.P.D. survey, the evidence suggests that the coronavirus pandemic heavily influences employee health and wellbeing.

The virus has and continues to disrupt due to staff absence, and in some cases, employees are suffering the after-effects of contracting the virus from long COVID. Although organisations are still committed to supporting their people, evidence suggests that activity in this area is starting to slip. A more holistic approach – based on the health risks and needs of the workforce – is much needed.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, “1 in 6.8 people are experiencing mental health problems in the workplace”, that’s an astounding 14.7% with women being nearly twice as likely to experience problems vs. men. Studies show that better mental health care and support in the workplace will save UK businesses up to £8 billion per year and promoting wellbeing within your business can reduce sickness absence days of which 12.7% are currently used for mental health conditions.

Assess The Situation in Your Business

Some of the larger businesses we work with conduct a regular employee survey, though historically, asking your team about their wellbeing hasn’t been included.

Consider the nature of the questions you ask employees, and take proactive measures to ensure that respondents are safe from identification. Attempting to measure mental health and stigma in highly challenging environments like an overworked business may also skew results so that they are not representative of true employee sentiments.

This is stage one, as it is critical to know what you are dealing with first before you can implement a process to make a difference across your business.

Have Mental Health on Your Agenda

As in all areas of business, if you want an area to change, you must give it focus. I am sure your business has a growth plan and ideas on succession planning, and you may be working with someone like ourselves on building your talent pipeline.

Your leadership team will have a strategic plan on how to take the business forward, and in today’s landscape, part of that needs to include looking after the wellbeing of your team.

As a first start, you can find some excellent resources on the Mental Health Foundation website here. In addition, assign a partner to the role of mental health lead in your business. Consider engaging the help of external suppliers to help you implement an Employee Assistance Programme (E.A.P.) which is one part of a well-being solution.

E.A.P.s are intended to help employees deal with personal problems that might adversely impact their work performance, health and wellbeing. E.A.P.s generally include assessment, short-term counselling and referral services for employees and their immediate family – wherever they are in the world.

Support Managers To Coach and Lead Their Team

An easy start to improving well-being is to instil a coaching culture in your business aligned with external training on mental health and well-being. As a manager trained in well-being, you can make a huge difference to your team.

Honest and open communication during regular catch-ups with your team members can help identify struggling people.

We know one business uses a traffic light system during conversations with green when everything is ok, amber when a few cracks appear that require help, and naturally, red for an extreme case and that individual needs support. The well-being plan has created multiple resources we can all now access to improve our mental health, so finally, I want to share a few examples.

Provide Support Resources For Your Team

The way we think and listen to our thoughts can cause us to spiral out of control. It is no wonder that working with a coach proves to be a valuable support mechanism for many.

One business we know utilises the help of an external coach, with team members having the ability to book sessions to help them navigate any stress they are experiencing.

Many of us accept that we lead busy lives, and the ability to handle overwhelm and calm can be facilitated in many ways.

Though it sounds counter-intuitive, there are several online apps that many individuals use with great success. The aptly named Headspace and Calm apps have over a hundred million users and provide access to multiple resources.

Develop Your Action Plan

Finally, improving the well-being of your team is about taking action. We have shared several ideas and resources here.

In addition, the way many people worked remotely during the pandemic helped their work-life balance and well-being. We have written posts about the value of hybrid working here and, most recently, the move to a four-day working week here.

All of these ideas can be used to help your team improve their well-being – although obviously need to be carefully considered alongside business strategy and key objectives.

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Posted By

Lynn Sedgwick

Managing Director

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How to Handle The Employee Who Isn’t a Team Player

  • October 5, 2020

In the corporate world, as everywhere, teams come in all shapes and sizes. Getting the right people into your  team can be challenging. When you onboard, you are looking for a good team ‘fit’ – attitude as well as aptitude to do the job.

For the most part, if you have followed due process when onboarding, your team should ‘gel’ well and work collaboratively.

But what happens when one of your employees isn’t a team player?

For example, you have a new, big client. You want your top team to work together on a case this client has given you. It will involve much collaboration, sharing out the tasks, visiting the client, days in court, etc. Everyone is excited to be part of this.

Your Managers and Senior Managers will handle the main workload and ensure duties are carried out; including documentation and attending meetings; even the graduate trainee is looking forward to experiencing being part of an exciting case.

But your new Manager who is in a pivotal role, is not engaging with the project at all. In fact, they are looking distinctly as though they wish they were somewhere else.

Are they just not team players, or is it something else?

The Pitfalls of Not Engaging Your Team

It’s a fact that people grow your business. If one or more of your team are disengaged, it will affect productivity and performance across the whole team.

Collaborative working may not be top of the priority list for everyone, but the job of a team is to move the business forward to success. The bottom line is that it is part of everyone’s job description – and that means working together.

TEAM – the rather cheesy acronym of Together Everyone Achieves More, does ring true. Handling a member of your team who doesn’t believe that collaboration and communication are the way forward can be a major challenge and one that you need to address – quickly.

So, what are the best ways to deal with your employee who just won’t join in?

Look for Hidden Reasons

As Stephen Covey advised, “Seek first to understand”.

It’s easy to leap to conclusions about other people who aren’t playing the way you want. You could dismiss your new solicitor as just lazy or being deliberately awkward in their unwillingness to work with the team.

But maybe there’s something else?

It could be that they don’t believe they have the necessary skills for the project in hand, or that they have a personal problem at home that no one at work is aware of.

They are only human – and problems can manifest in many ways.

So, check-in with them and give them the opportunity to explain if there’s a problem that’s stopping them from getting involved.

Check Your Communication is Clear

Make sure you are clear with your instructions and communications.

Is it possible that the individual has misinterpreted your intentions? Have you been clear?

Especially if you have more than one disengaged member of the team, it could be that you need to communicate your intentions more clearly.

So, make sure your expectations are transparent so that each individual knows exactly what their role is and what is expected of them.

Listen

It can often be the case that an employee feels disengaged because they don’t believe they are being listened to. So, consider talking less, and allowing them to voice their opinions, concerns and ideas.

By practising active listening, you will gain valuable insight into what makes them tick, and where the root cause of their disengagement lies.

You will also empower them, and they will be much more likely to see themselves as part of the bigger picture with a role to play. By engaging them in this way, you can also encourage feedback and offer support.

Acknowledge Their Work

Do you remember the last time a senior member of staff said ‘thank you’ to you for a job well done?

Receiving praise and acknowledgement is a sure-fire way to instil a sense of passion and willingness to do more in an individual employee.

The ‘win’ doesn’t have to be major; it could simply be a thank you for staying late to help finish a case or write up a report. But it indicates your appreciation of the employee and the part they play in your company.

Offer Development Opportunities

Whatever job role you have, sometimes the daily grind can seem just that. Let’s be honest, we all have moments where we feel bored at work; stuck in the same routine every day.

Mixing it up, where possible, will reignite enthusiasm in your team. So, send your Paralegal out to visit clients with a Solicitor, or allow your Legal Secretary to work on an extra project where they have autonomy.

Coaching or mentoring is a great way to get individuals involved and build up their confidence and skills.

By offering opportunities, either official training and development or just something a bit different in the daily workload will help re-engage disinterested employees.

Embrace Inclusivity

Inclusivity into a team and the business as a whole will ensure that each individual can see how they fit into the overall aspirations of the business and make them feel that they are contributing to its success.

As part of that inclusivity, it’s crucial to ensure that all staff are kept in the loop with the business’s news – whether that’s good or bad.

Good news will, of course, help engage and inspire, but not so good news is also important. Delivering bad news is never easy. But sweeping it under the carpet is a source of frustration for many employees – it can lead to a feeling of being kept in the dark by employers (and consequently a feeling of not being important) as well as leading to the rumour mills springing into action.

So, deal with news, whatever kind it is, by engaging your team, so you can all move forward together.

Be Aware of Social Styles

Finally, remember not everyone absorbs information in the same way.

The way individuals interact is known as their preferred ‘social style’, a phrase coined by David Merrill and Roger Reid in the early 1960s. It explores how people behave in social (or work) situations to ascertain how to predict managerial, leadership and sales performance and therefore how managers can get the best out of their team.

Spending time with your team will enable you to understand how each member prefers to interact and contribute. You can then use that information to moderate your behaviour towards them, making them feel more comfortable to make their contribution.

So, bear in mind that a disengaged employee isn’t a lost cause.

By utilising one of two of the suggestions in this article, you can help foster a culture of inclusivity where individuals are inspired, encouraged and motivated because they feel part of a bigger team and can see the role they play in contributing to growing your business’s success.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.

With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, Industrial, and Engineering appointments, on a permanent basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

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The 9 Ways a Diverse Workplace Will Enable Your Team to Thrive

  • October 1, 2020

Before we look at ways to build a diverse workplace for your team, it’s worth thinking about what exactly we mean by a ‘diverse workplace’. There are so many buzz words around at the moment that it’s hard to know what they all mean – and if they communicate the same thing to everyone.

The ‘company culture’ that diversity and inclusion bring have gained momentum as de rigour in the world of work for candidates looking for employment. A recent workplace study found that 56% of employees valued a good company culture fit over salary.

Workplace diversity means employing people with a wide range of diverse characteristics. These could include age, gender, race, religion, cultural background, language, sexual orientation, education, ability, etc…the list goes on.

But it’s not just a fad – there are tangible benefits from offering a diverse workplace in the form of achieving higher productivity and profits for those who embrace workplace diversity in their business. And workplace diversity was one of the key trends last year – with no signs of stopping as we head towards 2020.

So, how will building a diverse workplace for your team encourage them to flourish? Here are 9 ways diversity can help your business achieve success:

1. Increases Creativity

Diversity is one of the critical ingredients for creativity. Diverse solutions come from having multiple options that are provided when you have a group of individuals with different thought patterns, world views and ideas.

In your team, having employees who are all very similar in terms of mindset and life experience inevitably leads to a smaller viewpoint overall.

Conversely, harnessing the personal creativity-diversity techniques of a group of people who recognise that everything can be viewed in multiple ways can lead to the generation of more creative ideas. If your Fee Earners and Solicitors come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, they will inevitably have a wider pot of knowledge from which to draw fresh ideas and solutions.

2. Allows Different Perspectives

Different perspectives are beneficial when it comes to strategic planning.

The ability to see things from alternative points of view will allow your business to better judge which direction it should take in goal planning. Having varied options, and a clear idea of results from those options will enable your business to decide which is the best route to take to achieve the required overall result.

3. Makes Problem-Solving Easier

Again, the scope provided by a diverse team makes it quicker to problem-solve. Because different individuals think in different ways, it’s possible to quickly come up with various potential solutions to a problem, from which a final decision can be made.

This Harvard Business Review report confirms that diverse teams solve problems faster than cognitively similar groups.

4. Encourages Innovation

A melting pot of novel world views can open doors to innovation. It can be inspiring to be part of a group that sees things in a different way and can come up with creative innovation that otherwise may not have been considered. The ability to think outside the box and from a different angle can enable diversity of ideas to come to light.

Additionally, in an environment where diversity and inclusion are nurtured, it’s likely that individuals are more inclined to voice their ideas without fear of reprisal or ridicule. For example, junior members are more enabled to come forward with ideas if they believe they will be listened to and encouraged to contribute.

In a forward-thinking workplace, you are more likely to achieve innovation through group participation – you never know what ideas your team may hit upon!

5. Engages Employees

The link between diversity and engagement is an obvious one. Where employees experience inclusivity they automatically feel engaged and loyal to their business.

Businesses that has engaged employees will benefit from a strong team with shared values. Along with diverse and inclusive traits comes a nimble and agile team who can turn things around quickly, achieving more in less time and with access to multiple possible solutions – driving your business forwards.

6. Improves Company Reputation

Your Employer Brand is how you are perceived by the outside world. To ensure your business is seen in a positive light as knowledgeable, reliable and at the top of your game, it’s essential to ensure that your employer brand is truly reflecting your worth and achievements.

Having happy and motivated employees helps your business retain its status and reputation. In addition to the better service they will inevitably provide your clients, their online chat and information – formal and informal – alongside word of mouth and personal recommendation to friends and family, will help position you as the go-to business.

7. Achieves Better Retention

A business who offer a diverse and inclusive workplace is going to make their employees feel valued and appreciated as individuals. Happiness in work leads to better retention levels, with staff showing loyalty to a fair employer and staying with them to build their career. Employee turnover can be costly, so investing in your diverse team is pivotal in achieving better retention rates.

8. Attracts New Talent

Ultimately, a business with a great reputation for diversity and inclusion, who has engaged employees, good profit margins, innovative ideas, a superb reputation and high retention levels is bound to attract new talent to want to work there.

And if that isn’t enough to convince you…

9. Increases Profits

McKinsey & Co found that where companies had more diverse teams, they also performed better financially.

Diverse teams are better able to win new talent to the business. This, in turn, helps to improve client service, employee satisfaction and make decision-making faster.

All this gives a forward-thinking, diverse business an advantage over competitors and enables them to achieve more profit as a result: a cycle of increasing returns.

Conclusion

Bringing a mix of skills and experiences to the workplace is good for business, providing an admirable company culture for your business. It’s worth noting that this starts at the top, too. Diversity at senior level is more likely to introduce new product innovations than are those with homogeneous “top teams.”

In the millennial age, offering diversity and a great company culture means harbouring an environment where all employees are respected and valued, where there is a vision shared and worked towards by everyone, and where communication, transparency and teamwork are paramount.

While I’m not suggesting that achieving excellent diversity across your business will be easy, it’s something to consider working towards. The benefits are multiple, and your employees will thank you for it – as will your Senior Partners when they see the benefits reflected in the business’s reputation and profit margins.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across thecountry since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability. With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, and Engineering appointments, on a permanent basis.

If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121.

If you would like to access our free guides, view them all here.

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