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6 Things to Remember When Managing Your Remote Working Team

  • April 10, 2020

If this week marks the first of many of home working for you and your team, you might be concerned as to whether the change in situation will affect your business or the quality of your team’s work – if so, you’re not alone.

But the good news is that there is no reason a transition to home working will affect your team’s ability to perform.

Yes, it might seem unusual at first, but by being prepared, practising resilience and some forward planning, your team will be up and running from home in no time.

Here are some things you can do to help your team make the transition from office to home working as smooth as possible.

1. Change as Little as Possible

Despite working from home being a significant shift from the norm, the first way to ensure a smooth transition is to keep to your regular schedule as much as possible.

This means having your team at their desks and ready for a conference call or a video call (more in this below) at the start of the working day.

Make sure your team are aware of how important it is to wear their regular working clothes, have lunch and breaks at the same time, and liaise with whoever they would typically liaise with.

2. Daily Briefings

Remote working should not mean that your team are figuratively ‘apart’ from each other – if anything, it should bring you closer together.

Daily briefings might not be a normal part of your working day, but now is the time to start. Without physically being in your place of work, it is essential not to lose that connection and camaraderie that being in the workplace naturally provides.

Try having a briefing in the morning and at the end of the day, so that your team can share any issues and check-in. If twice a day isn’t possible, aim for once a day at the minimum.

3. Stay Connected Via Video

With Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, WhatsApp Video – there’s no excuse not to have a (virtual) face-to-face catch up with your team, and it is recommended that you do this as often as possible – aim for at least once a day.

People who regularly work from home report that seeing the faces of their manager and their colleagues helps them to feel connected. And if this is the first time that your team will be working from home – this will be especially important for them.

4. Weekly Wins

It’s a challenging time for many businesses at the moment. If you or your team are feeling under pressure, a great idea is to celebrate your wins of the week on a Friday. This can be a part of your conference or video call, or they can be shared in a messaging group or email.

Knowing that their colleagues are going through the same difficulties but also being able to share in each other’s wins is a great way to make the team feel at ease with their current situation. The ‘wins’ can be big or small, it could be ‘I got through my first morning without having to check something with remote IT support!’ and you should kick off the wins yourself to get the ball rolling.

5. Practice Adaptability

Of course, things will feel different at first, and we currently don’t know how long remote working is going to be in effect for.

As a manager, it is your responsibility to help your team navigate the likely unsettling weeks ahead.

Remember that this is a significant change, and not everything will always go to plan the first time. Some team members will find it easier to adapt than others, and there may be some obstacles along the way, so be supportive of your team at every step of the way.

6. Don’t Forget

There are millions of people across the UK in the same boat as you right now. Teams who weather the storm will come out stronger on the other side.

Many businesses have seen an increase in demand for their products and services since the coronavirus outbreak, and there has been a shift in recruitment needs across the UK.

If your business needs have changed in the last few weeks and like many, you have different recruitment needs – we can help.

As experts in recruiting commercial talent in the North West, we can put you in touch with the employees you need, right now. Contact us on 01772 259121 or using our contact form here.

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, Nursing, and Engineering appointments, on both a permanent and temporary basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

If you would like to download our latest interview checklist, you can do so here.

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What Benefits are Employees Looking for in 2020?

  • March 24, 2020

In an increasingly competitive employment market, employers must keep up-to-date with the compensation, perks and benefits that the best talent is looking for, or risk losing them to your competitors.

I speak to candidates daily, and I hear the same incentives that are driving candidates away from specific workplaces and into others.

In this blog, I will share what the most talented candidates are looking for in their new employers right now – are you offering these incentives?

Flexible Work Schedules

We have seen a decrease in the typical 9-5 working schedule for some years now, with flexi-time gaining popularity in the ‘90s through to the present day.

But increasingly, employees are looking for even more flexibility from their employers.

Employees today – and especially millennial employees who now make up the majority of workplaces – want schedules that are flexible to their personal needs.

This is different to flexitime, as instead of being able to come into work anytime between 7-10 am and leave between 3-7 pm, they might ask for flexibility at other times. For example, a half-day finish when they have an appointment and be able to make the time up somewhere else or to come in later on days when they have to take their child to playgroup when their partner is busy.

As well as a flexible working arrangement, another popular demand among employees is a compressed working week – let me explain how this works.

Compressed Work Week

A compressed working schedule allows employees to work full time, putting in more of their hours on the days they choose, and allowing them to take time off elsewhere. For example, an employee might want to work four 10 hour days and have Fridays off.

Employees love this perk, as it allows them to have a better work-life balance, and studies show that working non-regular office hours improves productivity. Employees are more focused on their tasks, they have fewer interruptions, and it reduces fatigue which causes productivity and quality of work to slip.

Pension Scheme

We’re all living longer, and with government pensions not as reliable as they once were, employees are looking to their employers to provide them with an excellent pension scheme.

Employees highly value an employer who invests in an excellent pension scheme for them – it shows that they are invested in their future.

Working with a workplace pension provider to ensure that your employees are given a good rate on their pensions and that they can have as much or as little input as they want in the matter is a highly desirable bonus to many employees.

On-Site Amenities

Depending on the type of your workplace, there will be a range of amenities that you can provide for employees.

If your organisation is based somewhere away from shops and other conveniences, can you provide food for employees?

Some larger organisations can provide gyms, which is seen as one of the most sought-after perks; of course, this is not always possible and will depend on your size and budget. A good alternative is a chill-out zone, where employees can take time out to de-stress or have a quiet 5 minutes.

Even something as small as making your workspace bright, with plenty of natural light and indoor plants can make workplaces much more appealing to candidates.

Your goal should be to provide a workspace that your employees look forward to coming to, where they feel that they can thrive and work towards the shared goal of being healthy and happy.

Creating a positive place to work for your employees contributes to their overall wellbeing, which in turn increases productivity – it’s a win-win!

Finally, a great way to boost morale and give employees a little something that everyone enjoys – free social events!

Social Events

The solitary annual Christmas party doesn’t cut it anymore – many workplaces provide events for their employees throughout the year, and this is has become the mark of a great employer.

It doesn’t have to be monthly away-days at outdoor pursuit facilities; something as low-key as a shared team breakfast every few weeks, or making sure you celebrate birthdays in the office, makes team members feel valued.

Not only this, but research shows that employees who spend time together form stronger bonds which enables them to work better as a team when they are at work.

Your Benefits

How many of these benefits do you currently provide, in one form or another, to attract and retain the best employees?

The smartest organisations are always on the lookout for the most talented employees, and so attraction and retention should be something you are actively monitoring.

Hopefully, this article will have given you some inspiration on how you can make changes to transform your organisation into a talent magnet.

If you need further help or advice on how to recruit top employees, we can help. We work with organisations in the North West to help them find the talent they need to drive their business forwards – get in contact with us today to find out more.

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 both a permanent and temporary 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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5 Warning Signs Your Accountant is About to Leave

  • November 18, 2019

Your accountant has a central role within your business, so the notion that they might be about to leave can be an alarming one.

But the reality is that accountants rarely stay in the same place for a long time; they are often recruited onto bigger contracts and higher salaries elsewhere – you probably won’t even know if your accountant is planning on leaving.

However, there are some signs that you can look out for.

As a recruiter, I am used to hearing the reasons that top accountants give when leaving their jobs. Starting a family is a primary example – considering leaving for a higher salary in preparation for an addition to your family, and also planning on a reduction of hours to accommodate new parental responsibilities are both reasons candidates regularly give.

Perhaps they have simply been given a better salary and compensation with a firm they have been on the radar of for a while – this article contains the signs to look out for which might indicate your accountant is about to leave.

1. Their Performance Has Dropped

A drop in performance indicates that your accountant is either less engaged with their role, which often leads to the desire for a new role, or worse still, that they are actively looking for a new job and they have mentally checked-out of your business.

Have they started giving less detail in their financial statements, making careless mistakes or missing deadlines which is out of their normal character?

Keeping regular reviews and even informal chats every couple of weeks to discuss your accountant’s projects and how they are generally feeling at work can prevent negative emotions from harbouring, and solutions can be worked out for problems before they become serious.

2. They Have Closed Themselves Off

Any good leader will be able to recognise a change in their employee’s behaviour. An unfavourable change in behaviour might mean a few different things – your accountant might be going through personal issues, they might be finding their current work too stressful, or not challenging enough; or it might mean that they have disengaged from your company.

An informal chat with your accountant who appears to have shut down might reveal that they are struggling – and this is something you can help them with. Likewise, if they tell you that everything is fine, but continue to be secretive with phone calls and checking their phone, or missing work without any good reason – more on this next – it could signal that they are about to leave.

3. They Have Begun an Irregular Working Schedule

A sudden irregular working schedule might mean that your accountant has things going on outside of work – it is not up to your employees to tell you every detail of their personal lives, but a sudden or drastic change to their once steady routine could be a sign of imminent disruption.

Working late to reconcile the accounts and coming in late regularly over consecutive weeks are two different things – the latter might mean that your accountant has been attending interviews elsewhere.

4. They’ve Got a Big Life Change Going On

If you share a great relationship with your accountant, there’s a good chance that they will divulge their personal news with you. You will probably be aware of any significant life changes your employee has going on – a house move, planning a wedding, looking after a family a member, etc.

Sometimes the personal circumstances of an employee mean that they are forced to reassess their career. Your accountant might not necessarily want to hand their notice in, but a significant change in their personal life might make it the only option.

Have they been mentioning starting a family recently, have they been decreasing their hours to take care of an elderly parent? Life comes at us all fast, but being mindful of at what stage your accountant is at in their personal life should mean that you are better equipped to predict their career movements.

Unfortunately, however, sometimes when employees leave there have been warning signs, but their employer has failed to notice them.

5. They Have Demonstrated That They are Less Fulfilled

If only every employer listened to their employees! Many times, when a great employee like your star accountant leaves, they have been exhibiting visible warning signs that their employer has overlooked.

Quite often, candidates who we work with tell us that they are planning on leaving because they have been unhappy in their accountancy role and have tried to offer solutions to the company to no avail. A recent accountancy candidate who I placed in a great new role had been vocal about their previous company updating their recording systems for over a year, and nothing was ever implemented to help her out. In the end, she left to work for a more dynamic company and her old employer was surprised to receive her notice – he simply hadn’t been paying attention to the needs of his staff!

Finally

Actively listening to your key employees can prevent a surprising notice on your desk, but unfortunately, sometimes your accountant will leave for a career move, and there is little that can be done to avoid this.

If you need help in locating talented accountants or building your talent pipeline so that you have a great candidate in mind for the future of your business, get in touch with us to discuss our recruitment solutions.

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 both a permanent and temporary basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

If you would like to download our latest interview checklist, you can do so here.

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Why Every Company Needs A Development Plan

  • July 30, 2019

Every company, from the smallest start-up to a multinational organisation, needs an effective development plan.

The phrase ‘development plan’ can mean something different to each company, but in this article, we will set out what we believe are the most critical elements of a company development plan and how it can help drive your business.

What Is a Business Development Plan?

Scott Pollack for Forbes describes a business development plan as “Business development is the creation of long-term value for an organisation from customers, markets, and relationships.”

Does this sound like the kind of development plan you have in place in your organisation? Alternatively, is yours defined as something different?

We have used this definition as we believe it the most encompassing, as many businesses focus too much, or sometimes not at all, in certain areas. It is no good putting all of your efforts into increasing revenue and ignoring your customers or staff, and vice versa. More on this later.

As people often say, you have to know where you are going before you can start a journey, so let’s start here;

Define Your Goal

The lack of a clear goal is often associated with smaller and newer companies who might not know or be sure of their potential, but you might be shocked at the number of larger companies who either don’t have a clear goal or lose sight of their aims along the way.

A goal does not necessarily have to be a purely financial aim; it can be to sell a certain amount of units, have recruited and on-boarded a defined number of new employees, or have moved to new premises by a specific time next year.

Managers in companies, small and large, need to communicate the aims of the business as a whole to those working in their teams. Poor communication or a lack of communication is frequently one of the biggest problems organisations face.

When employees lack an understanding of where the business is heading and what they are looking to achieve, staff can become disengaged and demotivated. As a result, this can impact productivity. Disengaged staff can potentially mean that they decide to pursue their career elsewhere. Retaining staff is something every business should aim to achieve.

Use the 90-Day Action Plan

After deciding on your yearly goals, break these down into smaller segments – 90 days is the most effective amount. The 90-day plan is effective because it is the range in which aspiration and development meet each other perfectly.

Even a year can seem a long time frame to set attainable goals; it can all feel overwhelming. If you want a new product launched by this time next year, then where do you need to be in three months, six months etc.? Research demonstrates that having goals that are nearer to you makes them more achievable.

(Re) Evaluate Your Market

It can be easy for businesses who do well at first or are still sailing on the back of previous successes to become complacent.

Take Phillip Green’s Topshop empire Arcadia, for example. For years his brands were leaders of the high street fashion sector, but earlier this year the company had to be saved from administration by way of a deal with its creditors and landlords.

An industry insider said at the time that the reason the chain came so close to dissolving was that those at the top “sat back and milked the cow”.

The moral from the Arcadia story is that no matter how unsinkable a company can seem, failure to change and evolve with your market and assess what your customers want could be your unravelling.

Whether you have just celebrated your first anniversary, or you are in a managerial role in a company that has been going for 100 years, constant evaluation is needed to keep yourself relevant in your customers’ eyes.

Use KPI’s to Track Progress

You might be thinking, But ‘our organisation does track KPI’s’. The question is, how often do you crunch the numbers? On top of other daily tasks, it can often seem like an unwanted extra job if you don’t have practical software tools to let you analyse the data correctly.

There are many effective programmes you can use to track KPI’s, but if you aren’t monitoring them consistently, the data is essentially meaningless.

Are you monitoring the right KPI’s? How long ago did you last assess which KPI’s are essential to your business and at what level they need to be growing to meet your targets?

We recommend a monthly KPI meeting to re-evaluate these stats.

As mentioned at the start of this article, every good business development plan should aim to give long-term value to the company.

So many businesses think this means increasing revenue and nothing else. Many companies fail to include their staff in their business development plan and see them merely as a tool for their goals, rather than being intrinsically involved.

Find a Recruiter Who Understands Your Business

Staff shortages are affecting every sector in the UK as demand exceeds supply. Many businesses are short-sighted when it comes to recruitment and take the ‘cross that bridge when we come to it’ approach.

As recruiters, we know the value a great recruitment company can add to your business. They don’t merely find staff for you as and when but can work alongside your business on an on-going basis, looking for candidates who would be a good fit for your company and culture.

Including partnering with a recruitment company in your businesses development plan means, you will always have an impressive talent pipeline when you need to;

  • Recruit to fill a role as a result of a promotion
  • Expand a team

Next Steps

If you would value a conversation about how partnering can work for your company, call one of the Clayton Recruitment Team on 01772 259 121 and let’s have a chat to explore what’s possible.

About Clayton Recruitment

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

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

If you would like to download our latest interview checklist, you can do so here.

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