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10 ways to develop managers with a ‘geek interface’

Are you an engaging manager?In many technical businesses, the biggest talent management challenge isn’t recruiting people with the right technical skills but having the managers with the right knowhow and who fit the culture of the organisation. Not just any managers, but managers with a ‘geek interface’ – people who understand our innovations and who can talk with both our technical experts and our commercial customers.

Sure, we could promote our current experts into management jobs. It’s trickier to recruit a manager who meets the criteria than promote someone we can mould and develop into management material. But, some of our people simply don’t make great people managers.

There are at least two key reasons for the difficulty in transitioning experts to managers. Read more ›

Posted in Employer brand and attraction Tagged with: , , , , ,

Workplace design and employee wellbeing

Workers doing tai chi during a break – great for stress, posture and relaxation

Don’t know if you’ve noticed it too but there seems to be a lot of chatter currently around desk design.  Denmark has just made it mandatory for employers to offer their staff sit-stand desks. In the UK, Grove House Primary School in Bradford has just introduced sit-stand desks for its students.   The trial is designed to assess the impact sitting for long periods of time has on health.  Early results suggest the students have more focus, energy and sense of freedom.

The introduction of these desks is a response to the increasing health concerns around sedentary lifestyles where people sitting at computers for long periods of time during the working day can increase risk of muscular-skeletal problems, diabetes and cardiovascular issues. It may be surprising to know that Britain takes twice as many sick days as the US (PWC research); some of this is due to these workplace strains. Read more ›

Posted in Wellbeing factors

It’s Depression Awareness Week

It’s Depression Awareness Week between 26th April to 3rd May 2014.  Depression alliance

One in five people will be affected by depression sometime during their life – that person could be you, someone you know or someone you work with.  A person suffering from depression can feel tired, lethargic and lacking motivation. They may be suffering from poor self esteem, become forgetful, late and be unable to concentrate. These symptoms can propel the depression further when what is needed is intervention and help.  Depression accounts for nearly 20% of all sickness absence in the workplace. Read more ›

Posted in Wellbeing factors Tagged with:

How are the Best Companies delivering a ‘Fair Deal’ to their employees?

 

Fair deal

Fair Deal is one of eight criteria for organisations to ‘get right’ to feature in the Sunday Times/Best Companies Top 100.  So what have those who have won a coveted award been up to to make sure their employees feel they have a fair deal?  Is it really about offering the best pay? What benefits are these organisations offering? Are they doing things that engage people and don’t cost anything?  What are they doing that makes the difference?

They are getting the right balance between motivators and hygiene factors in their reward strategy.
Read more ›

Posted in People performance and development

Is Cambridge a location of choice for employees?

West-CambridgeCambridge was recently identified by the Centre for Cities as the most innovative, skilled and equal city in the UK.  Their Cities Outlook 2014 report, the authoritative economic index of the 64 largest cities and towns in the UK, and predicts how cities will perform in the year ahead. The report highlights that cities like Cambridge, Reading and Bristol perform well on skills and employment.  They noted that Cambridge had more patents granted per 100,000 residents than the next five most innovative cities combined (Swindon, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Aldershot and Gloucester). It also had 3.5 times as many patents granted per 100,000 population as Swindon, the second city.

So how are individual employers rated in employee polls such as the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For 2014?  The Best Companies league tables are based on feedback from employees about their organisation… so it can be a bit like Tripadvisor but for workplaces. Read more ›

Posted in People performance and development Tagged with: ,

Legal firm standing out from the crowd

A number of legal firms continue to battle it out in the Best Companies League tables this year.  However, the front runner is Penninsula Business Services and is a new entrant into the league table – landing in 3rd place overall. And its doing something a little different. Read more ›

Posted in People performance and development Tagged with:

Tech clusters in Best Companies 2014 league tables

best companies logoA number of new Technology entrants have made it into this year’s Best Companies to Work For 2014 league tables.  These businesses are from across the technology industry including comparison website Skyscanner, mobile app developer Swiftkey, web design services such as Rockpool Digital and product developers such as Cambridge Consultants.

Many of the technology businesses are clustered around London and the M4 corridor with some smaller clusters in Scotland, Belfast, Cardiff, Manchester/Leeds and East Anglia.
Read more ›

Posted in People performance and development Tagged with:

New business faces amongst Best Small Companies to Work For 2014

Best UK small companies emerging from innovation in a range of industry sectors from hospitality & leisure to a range of specialist consultancies. AThere is a significant presence of resourcing agencies.  A range of new business faces are appearing in this year’s list.

Read more ›

Posted in People performance and development

Housing Associations dominate the Not-for-Profit Best Companies awards for 2014

Congratulations to South Liverpool Homes Group for topping the Best Not for Profits table for 2014.  They are topping a list heavy with housing associations.  Organisations from all over the UK are represented in the table. Read more ›

Posted in People performance and development

Are Gen Z the generation that have never had it so bad?

ZWhat is happening in our workplaces? Are the social differences between generations really creating haves and have-nots? BBC Radio 4 show last night about the #neverhadit generation – the group of under 25s who have entered the job market since the recession started in 2008. Read more ›

Posted in Employer brand and attraction, Generational diversity Tagged with: ,