Emerging from a pandemic which saw a huge shift in mindset for the current workforce, the trend of ‘Quiet Quitting’ surfaced as a way for employees to set boundaries around the work they do and the timeframe they do it in.

Looked at objectively, this was employees taking responsibility for their own work-life balance and a blow to the culture of ‘presenteeism’ – both issues that employers have been trying to tackle for many years.

However, the problem with the term ‘Quiet Quitting’ is that it is inherently negative, suggesting an employee is giving up rather than taking control.

And now, we’re seeing another unhelpful misnomer popping up on social media – the ‘Lazy Girl Job’: a job that can be done remotely, and which offers workers autonomy by having a manager who measures their performance based on output rather than input.

The problem with describing these roles as “Lazy Girl Jobs” is that as the pace of organizational change continues to accelerate, many employers are starting to recognize that they need a more flexible and methodological approach to work. This is seeing companies increasingly adopting a skills-based approach to managing work and workers, and slowly moving away from the rigidity of a ‘job’.

In a report published by Deloitte, it was discovered that while 93% of organizations believed that moving away from the ‘job’ construct is very important to their success, only 20% of organizations felt very ready to actually address this movement. What the ‘lazy girl job’ actually represents is a step towards skills-based, flexible working, whereas the idea of it, and its implications, are seeing employers take two steps back.

So, we are seeing the same problem we saw with ‘Quiet Quitting’ – a ‘Lazy Girl Job’ implies that working remotely is lazy, whereas in reality half of employees feel more productive when working from home and are able to operate beyond the constraints of time and geographical differences.

These misnomers catch on because they are utilizing irony, but this irony may be doing more harm than good. Work-life balance, healthy boundaries around start and finishing times, and remote working are all positive tools that employers can use to improve the performance of their employees, but dressing them up as ‘quitting’ and ‘lazy’ fuels the ideology of presenteeism and stunts the transformational progress of this organizational change.  

Instead, employers need to focus on the fact that the way people want to work is continuing to change, expand, and evolve at an exponential rate, and this is only gaining velocity as a new generation flock into the workplace. While these buzzwords represent real call-to-actions for employers and highlight key areas of focus for attraction and retention, it is important that the meaning behind them isn’t misconstrued just because they have been labelled lazily.

If you would like to discuss how we can help support and guide you in your journey of organizational change, please get in touch with us.

Matt Phelan’s new book The Happiness Index – is released today … and we’ve been lucky enough to get a sneak preview of what we think is a ‘must read’ for HR practitioners and business leaders. 

As the co-founder of a unique platform which helps organisations measure key employee engagement and happiness drivers (also called The Happiness Index!), Matt is a global authority on how people think, feel, and behave in the workplace.

In his book, he sets out to explore how businesses can ensure that the people who fuel the success of their business – their employees – are fully committed to their organizational goals.

To do this he takes a deep dive into the data gathered by The Happiness Index platform from over 100 countries and 2 million employees to help the reader understand what really drives engagement and happiness at work – and how this can be harnessed to accelerate an organization’s performance.

Matt defines employee engagement as what our brains need to thrive at work, and employee happiness as what our hearts need to do the same. Both, he argues, are equally important and consist of 24 neuroscience-based sub-drivers:

Happiness Index Image

By taking this scientific, data-driven approach, the book provides a robust examination of the factors that determine employee engagement and happiness at work, including in-depth interviews with specialists in each of the 24 sub-drivers and compelling case studies from organizations around the world. In doing so, it shows how firms can weave happiness and engagement into the fabric of their people strategy.

In The Happiness Index, Matt expertly paints a picture of a world of work where people can truly thrive and grow – and organizations can truly prosper from that growth. It’s a transformational picture we know HR practitioners and business leaders will find inspiring.

If you would like to discuss engagement strategies in more detail, please get in touch with us on our contact page.

And to get in touch with Matt, head over to his LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthewphelan/

While huge strides continue to be made in regard to the treatment of HIV, in the US there are an estimated 1.3 million people who are HIV positive. In the UK, that figure is around 100,000.

Despite the fact that the disease is no longer steeped in the stigma it once was, taboos still pervade around being diagnosed and living with HIV. And the fact is, it has now become something that someone can live with without having any complications, meaning they can live and work just like anyone else.

However, there is still a drought of information and awareness around the disease that can lead to many HIV-positive people feeling uncomfortable with disclosing their status at work and having access to necessary resources.

So, what can employers do to challenge the taboos surrounding HIV?

1. Educate and Raise Awareness

The first step is the most obvious: educate your workforce and raise awareness about the virus. Provide training sessions or workshops to help employees understand what HIV is, how it’s transmitted, and dispel common myths and misconceptions surrounding it. This will help reduce stigma around the topic and instead foster a sense of empathy which, at the same time, will strengthen your people’s power skills.  

2. Encourage Open Communication

Managers who can build trust with their team and present themselves as approachable will be able to find it easier to start a dialogue with staff. This will enable HIV-positive workers to feel more confident in disclosing their status, and they should then be reassured that this disclosure will remain confidential so that their privacy can be respected. This ensures that the employee is getting any necessary support and accommodations without any fear of judgement.

3. Flexible Working Arrangements

Recognize that employees with HIV may have medical appointments and treatments that require a level of flexibility in their work schedule. Offering remote working hours or adjusted working arrangements can help accommodate these needs without having to compromise their job performance.

4. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

EAPs should have tailored resources to support individuals with HIV. This can include access to specialized mental health services, or the appropriate charities and organizations who can better externally support these needs.

5. Regularly Review and Update Policies

Employers should be periodically reviewing their workplace policies in relation to long-term illnesses such as HIV to ensure they remain current and remain aligned with best practices and legal requirements. They can even communicate with HIV positive staff member(s) to help refresh these policies and ensure they are properly reflecting their needs.

Recognizing and understanding how best to support those who are HIV-positive in the workplace is a great way of reinforcing your values of inclusivity and support. This will help to create a culture at work that empowers employees from all walks of life, and ensures that they are their most productive, as well as being their most fulfilled and appreciated.

If you would like to discuss how we can help train your team around these issues, and help craft and implement inclusivity policies, please get in touch with us.

It is no secret that the public sector is struggling to attract and retain talent. Attrition is increasing and workers across the US, UK and beyond are engaging in strikes over better pay and better working conditions. The public sector is taking a huge hit when it comes to talent.

As an HR professional, these can be murky waters to navigate. Our role is integral when it comes to recruiting, onboarding, and embedding the best talent; the turbulence of current affairs can make this noticeably more difficult.

In the midst of this highly visible talent crisis, however, we see some significant underlying challenges that are further hindering public sector employers. One such factor is the significant risk of institutional brain drain.

Institutional brain drain occurs when a large group of employees retire or leave their roles, taking with them huge chunks of knowledge and expertise that have not been successfully captured in an accessible form for other workers. This creates knowledge deficits in these roles as more than 80% of a company’s information exists in individual hard drives and personal files. Pair this with the fact that employees get 50%-75% of their relevant information directly from other people, and it’s easy to see a resource gap in the public sector. The focus on acquiring new talent is important, but if institutions are not successfully capturing and storing the knowledge of their best talent before its gone, they find themselves in a downward spiralling cycle of attrition.

HR professionals working in the public domain can mitigate and manage this drain by integrating attraction strategies, retention strategies, and creation of a knowledge management culture.


A great place for employers to start is the factors of decent work[1]. Decent work is work that may not be someone’s life calling and passion, but it will fulfil their basic needs. These five factors include offering access to adequate healthcare, offering adequate compensation, offering the opportunity for work-life balance, having organizational values that align with a person’s personal values, and having a work environment that promotes interpersonal and physical safety. If employers focus on these five factors and create strategies to ensure that most, if not all of these, are being met, they will become a much more attractive place to work.


As an organization attracts talent, it must immediately dedicate time and energy to retain it. Once the standards for decent work can be provided, focus on creating strategies and policies that reflect the six most common reasons why workers stay in a job. These stay factors are 1) exciting, challenging or meaningful work, 2) supportive management/good boss, 3) being recognized, valued, and respected, 4) learning and development opportunities, 5) flexible working environment, and 6) fair pay[2]. What is worth noting is that when employers are successfully supplying the first five, employees are more likely to feel they are receiving fair pay.

Knowledge Management

Creating a culture of knowledge management is a great way of ensuring that the experiences, knowledge, and skills developed while working for the company are shared amongst new hires. Today’s workers are accustomed to ‘squiggly careers’ (a non-linear career path), and this often results in five- to seven-year tenure rather than the traditional thirty-five year public service career. Building strategies for knowledge management and storage is extremely helpful in light of this trend, as the movement of employees has become much more fluid. Public sector agencies that can adapt to squiggly careers are more likely to succeed today and in the years ahead.

Placing intentional focus on these three approaches simultaneously makes public sector organizations better able to address talent shortages and institutional brain drain.

This is where we can help. With a team of experienced HR consultants specializing in private and public HR strategy, we can assist in building these strategies into your agency, strengthening its foundations for sustainability. If you would like to discuss the services we offer, please get in touch with me at amanda@orgshakers.com

[1] Douglass, R., et al. (2019) The psychology of working and workforce readiness: how to pursue decent work. Workforce readiness and the future of work. Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, New York.

[2] Ann, K., Hidi, S. (2019) Supporting the development of interest in the workplace. Workforce readiness and the future of work. Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, New York.

Companies who make a point to support and work with charities are not only contributing positively to the wider community, but are also making a smart business move.

It was discovered that those businesses that donate over 0.5% of turnover were twice as likely to report enhancements in company reputation, and were nearly 50% more likely to see it help recruit and retain staff. This is all without mentioning the interpersonal benefits that doing charity work offers employees; it promotes collaboration and cohesion, and helps to break down social barriers by offering employees something to talk about and bond over that isn’t work-related.

Adopting this corporate social responsibility mindset is a great way of enriching the Social element of your ESG agenda (and it can also touch into your Environmental strategies depending on the charities employers opt to support!). However, in order to reap these benefits, employers must understand the best ways to actually engage their teams with their chosen charitable cause.

How can employers do this?

Firstly, getting employees involved in actually choosing the charities that the company should support. If the cause that the employer wants to support aligns with the mission and values of said company, as well as aligning with the values of the team, then this will immediately foster excitement and engagement. This could take shape as potentially supporting a charity for a cause that has personally touched a member or multiple members of staff. Either way, figuring out the mission is the first step to deciding what direction to go in, and encouraging employees to get involved with that will really bolster their enthusiasm!

Equally, when recruiting and onboarding new team members, it is great to highlight that charity is a value that the employer holds dear. This can be demonstrated by having a set number of volunteer days in their benefit package, which carves out dedicated time for the employee to volunteer while still being compensated. As well as this, getting them involved in a charitable project in the first few weeks of onboarding can double-down as a great ice-breaking and assimilation tool.

And, importantly, find ways to make it fun! Collaborate with the charities that you choose to work with and find out by what means they typically raise funds. If they do charity runs like Race For Life or fun challenges like growing a mustache for Movember. Whatever they do, make an effort to sponsor some (or all!) of your team to take part so that they can be actively engaged and have a change of scenery from the workplace.

This can even be taken one step further and managers can organize fundraisers of their own that are more tailored towards their staff. As you’ll see below, I was once at the mercy of a dunking booth!

Brittany Dunking Booth

But there are so many innovative ways to make giving back enjoyable for staff (although, humiliation of managers seems to be a fan-favorite from my experience). Knowing how to successfully engage your teams with fundraising and volunteer work will give you access to all the business benefits that come with it – all while doing a little bit of good for the world.

If you would like to discuss how we can support you in engaging with charities and philanthropy, please get in touch with me at Brittany@orgshakers.com

One of HR’s key functions for employers is implementing strategies to optimize productivity in the workplace.

By now, most employers will know the basics on how to go about this – but there are a growing number of innovative productivity strategies that organizations may not have considered before. They may sound counter-intuitive, but hear us out!

1. Napping on the job

Yes, you heard that right. Napping at work can be a great way of boosting productivity. Humans were originally biphasic (we slept twice a day) but now we have become monophasic (we sleep once a day), but biologically our bodies have a dip in the middle of the day where body temperature decreases, and cognitive processes are not as strong. Having a nap during this time can help improve one’s mood, engagement levels and productivity!

2. Microbreaks

Having been proven to improve engagement and productivity levels, microbreaks are when an employee takes a five-minute break between tasks and actively takes a moment for themselves. Normalizing this idea and encouraging employees to do this can have a noticeable effect on their productivity levels, as their brains are being suitably rested to keep them working at their optimum.

3. Listening to music…

The link between music and productivity continues to be investigated, but one thing that psychologists have confirmed is that music that someone likes can cause the brain to produce dopamine. This stimulates the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for planning, organizing, inhibition control, and attention. Therefore, a lot of people find that they are better able to focus and be more productive when listening to the right music (this being music that they enjoy on an individual level, so hand out some headphones!).

4. …or playing music!

What is an even more interesting way of boosting productivity is encouraging staff to actually play instruments. Neuroscientists have discovered that when a person plays an instrument, multiple areas of the brain light up and are simultaneously processing different information in intricate, interrelated, and fast sequences. This way of thinking can be translated into other areas, meaning that the individual will be able to engage more of their brain when working.

5. Pets at work

Studies have shown that when people interacted with dogs, their ability to think, plan, and concentrate was enhanced. And even more interesting to note was that this effect lasted up to six-weeks after contact. This is why many employers are now considering pet-friendly policies as a means of attracting talent and boosting productivity levels.

Crafting a working environment in creative and innovative ways can reap unexpected benefits. Even though taking your dog to work or taking a nap in the middle of day sounds like a productivity nightmare, these things – when done properly – can actually make all the difference to a team’s productivity levels. If you would like to discuss how we can help you find the best productivity strategies for your organization, please get in touch with us!

Many of us that work remotely or in a hybrid setting are accustomed to working in the same environment as our pets. In fact, more than 23 million American households adopted a pet during the pandemic, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

With in-office work having returned, some are now anxious about leaving their pets at home. This has seen many companies develop pet-friendly policies for their office spaces, including big names such as Amazon, Google, Airbnb, and Salesforce.

So, if your organization is currently a pet-free zone, should you consider welcoming our furry- (and possibly even our feathered- and scaly-) friends into the workplace?

On the plus side, a study by LiveCareer found that 94% of people were supportive of having pets in the workplace – and 52% of respondents cited pet-friendly benefits and policies as important when considering an employer.

In addition, studies have found that when people are engaged in petting either dogs or cats their stress levels are reduced. It has also been discovered that when people interacted with dogs, their ability to think, plan, and concentrate was enhanced. And what was even more interesting to note was that this effect lasted up to six-weeks after contact!

Pets also offer a sense of emotional support for employees; in research conducted by the University of York and the University of Lincoln, it was discovered that pets help reduce stress because they tend to be tuned into humans and so can successfully supply emotional support. There is also the added element of increased connectivity amongst staff, as having pets at the office means people are more likely to get to know each other with their pets acting as an icebreaker.

However, employers must take into account certain factors before introducing pet-friendly polices into their workplaces. For example, there may be one or multiple members of the team who have allergies to certain animals, and some may find certain animals frightening.

So, whilst it is clear that for the most part a pet-friendly workplace improves productivity and mental wellbeing, any shared spaces must still meet the needs of every employee.

If you would like to discuss how we can help you design pet-friendly policies in your workplace, please get in touch with us on our contact page!

For those who might not be familiar, something wonderful happened on Twitter this year (a sentence not heard all that often). After an ordeal where an HBO Max intern accidently sent out a test email to thousands of the streaming service’s subscribers, the company took to Twitter to explain the mistake and highlighted how they were supporting their intern through the mishap.

This subsequently sparked the #DearIntern trend to circulate, which saw thousands of users taking to the social media app and sharing their accounts of silly mistakes they had made in their careers. This show of unification brought a certain warmth to the world of Twitter, and highlights an important fact for HR: mistakes are always going to be made, especially when you’re just starting out, but it’s how we respond to them that truly matters.

In light of this, I asked my fellow OrgShakers some reflective advice that they would give their younger selves as they just started out in their careers, and here are their responses:

David Fairhurst: I’ve learned that done is better than perfect – find the balance of knowing when some things are just good enough and move on.

Anya Clitheroe: Don’t be afraid to ask questions! When you first start work, and someone sets you a task, it’s okay not to know how to do it. Ask, “What does good look like? Where will I find the information I need to do this? Who is the best person for me to turn to when I have a question or need support?”. We grow up thinking that we need to prove that we are the best and we are not used to allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. No one knows how to ride a bicycle without being shown, why would a work task be any different?

Ken Merritt: I would tell 21-year-old Ken: “Build your network and value that network as much as you value any other professional asset.”

Brittany Burton: Attend as many University career fairs and networking events as you can. At 21, I had no idea a career like Human Resources existed. I had a very black-and-white view of my career path and when I tried it and didn’t like it, I was lost at what other career paths were in the world. Luckily, I landed in this profession which aligns perfectly with my skillset and how I want to serve, but it wasn’t without a lot of time, energy, and effort exploring what was beyond my original career path when I decided it wasn’t a fit.

Victoria Sprenger: I received this advice in my early 20s from a mentor – Grow Where You’re Planted. Use your early career opportunities to learn and grow, even if the opportunity is not exactly what you set out to do.

Marty Belle: After graduating from university, the words of my Mom and Grandmother were reverberating in my ears, “Get a job, work hard, and you will make something out of yourself”. Those words shaped the path that I pursued, which involved joining one corporate organization after another and constantly trying to adapt my style to open the doors to success that I saw in front of me. Today, I would stress to my 21-year-old self, “be comfortable with who you have been created to be and pursue the dreams that may require you to make a new door.”

Stephanie Rodriguez: Hmm…some advice I’d give my former self would be to not hold on too tight to whatever plan you think you have career wise and enjoy the journey. Yes, having a plan and goals is great, but keeping an open mind and staying flexible can lead to some amazing opportunities you’d never have imagined. The journey might not play out the way you thought it would, and that’s perfectly okay!

Sayid Hussein: I would emphasize the importance of continuous learning and staying adaptable in the ever-evolving world of technology. Embrace challenges and take calculated risks to grow both personally and professionally. Don't shy away from seeking mentors or collaborating with others to expand your knowledge and skills. Also, remember to strike a healthy work-life balance to prevent burnout and maintain overall well-being. Finally, trust your instincts, stay true to your values, and always be open to new opportunities that align with your passion and goals.

Lauren Kincaid: “Show up to improve yourself, not prove yourself” – as someone who was very often the youngest person in the room, I felt the need to prove I deserved to be there. I wish I had had the confidence to spend less time fearing failure and overpreparing and more time saying, “I don’t know” and asking others, “what do you think?”.  

Michael Lawson: “Forget the mistake, remember the lesson it taught you” – When I was first starting out at my first company, I oversaw all of the HR Employee Files on the network. One day, I accidentally hit the “delete” key on my keyboard which deleted a whole folder’s worth of data (several files). I went into panic mode trying to get them back before going to my boss. Little did I know that I could call I.T. and with one click of a button, it could be restored. My boss looked at me and said, “everyone makes mistakes, and most can be corrected, the lesson here is being precise within your work to get things done correctly.” To this day, I can still hear those words.

Amanda Holland: As the only shy introvert in a family of extroverts, from a young age I struggled to meet the social expectations of my parents and siblings. This carried over to my first "real" job at the age of 14. It was so much easier to focus on technical excellence and book learning than to face the uncomfortable world of people. One time, I came home after a full day of school and work, irritated and unhappy because even though I'd done all my tasks correctly at work, my boss had told me I needed to lighten up. My mom listened to my frustration and then shared this pearl of wisdom, "It doesn't matter how smart or talented you are at a job if you can't get along with people." From that moment on, I have spent as much energy on learning how to communicate and interact effectively with people as I have on mastering the tools of my trade. Connecting with others can be a reward beyond measure.

Andy Parsley: “Don’t trust your memory!” At the start of every new job you will be at the receiving end of a tsunami of information, meetings, tasks, and deadlines. Equip yourself with a good, old-fashioned notebook and take notes in every meeting (including when it took place and who was there). Use the back of the same notebook to create a to-do list (what you need to do, and when it needs to be done by). There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night worrying that you’ve forgotten to do something – or failing to remember what was agreed at last week’s important meeting. By committing everything to paper, you’ll know just where to find everything you need to remember when you need to.

Move over Gen Z – Generation Alpha will soon be knocking on the workplace door!

Set to be the largest generation to date (it is predicted that there will be over 2 billion of them globally!), Gen Alpha are the children who will be born to predominantly Millennial parents between the years of 2010-2024.

This is also a time when we have seen continuous technological strides, the increasing adoption of AI, and the dawn of the metaverse, so it wouldn’t be surprising to assume that their expectations of the working world will be vastly different to the ones previous generations have grown up with.

Now, at the turn of the century, the author Douglas Adams offered a set of rules about these kinds of change which I would like to apply to this new generation of talent:

  1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
  2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
  3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.

So, what might this tell us about the expectations of Alphas as they enter the workplace – and what we should be building into our evolving People strategies?

  • They will learn digitally – this next generation of kids include the ‘Covid-kids’, and because the majority of them had to go through school during the pandemic, they have had early access to learning online. With some schools still continuing this hybrid learning, and nearly a third of university courses adopting it, this will see a digitally native generation like never before. While we’ve seen some growing pains as hybrid and remote working styles continue to gain popularity, these new workers will likely thrive working remotely, as they are already well accustomed to it. Therefore, they will most likely be attracted to jobs that offer this flexibility, as it will be entirely familiar to them.
  • They will specialise earlier – due to their access to technology, Gen Alpha will find themselves being able to specialise earlier and heading into more niche jobs – some of which don’t even exist yet. It’s likely companies will be seeing a rise in jobs like drone pilots, user experience managers, life simplifiers, and virtual reality engineers as this new generation herald in a new technological age. From this perspective, innovation will be at the heart of these young people, and so employers who can create opportunities to job craft are going to be very attractive to this new wave of workers. It is also thought that they will have a significant lack of engagement with deskless jobs, and these hands-on careers will likely be less attractive to a generation who have grown up with automation and assistance at their fingertips.
  • Digital networking – Growing up with social media means that Gen Alpha are the most interconnected generation to ever have existed. 65% of them aged 8-11 either own or have access to a mobile phone, as well have having designated messaging apps to communicate with each other, such as Roblox chat and Messenger Kids. Another survey found that 43% of them preferred to speak to their friends online over the weekend instead of see them in person, so it isn’t shocking to hear that this digital communication reliance will translate into the working world. They will want to network digitally and globally; the idea of working across time zones will be a desirable and normal one, as they are already very adapted to communication across the world. If companies can create the space for this globalised platform to take shape, the results could see different sectors of work combining to create new, innovative products not yet even thought of.
  • Virtual assistants – research has found that Generation Alpha started speaking with their smart devices at the age of six. It will come as no surprise then to discover that they will most likely expect to have a virtual assistant of some sort when they start working. Growing up with Alexa, Siri, and Cortana to answer their questions and conduct their ‘admin’ tasks will create an expectation to have access to this assistance in the workplace. The Work 2035 Report reflects this notion, as it found that by 2035, 83% of professionals believed that technology will automate repetitive low-value tasks, freeing up time for Alphas to focus on more meaningful and skilled work.
  • Recognition will retain – it is more than likely that validation and affirmation will be a driving force for Gen Alphas. After growing up with social media and having digital validation drilled into them, a company’s recognition and rewards strategies are going to play a huge part in retaining key Alpha talent.
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) and Sustainability – these are going to be the driving forces for attracting future talent. As we’ve already seen with Gen Z, those growing up now are going to be well versed in being socially conscious, moral, and understanding the long-term effects of climate change. This will mean that an organization’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda will be more important than ever, as Alphas will be looking at what organizations are doing to better the planet. And from a DEI standpoint, as companies continue to see increasingly diversified C-suites and people in positions of power, the idea of having a diverse workforce will almost be a given to these young people. If employers are ensuring that these factors are being optimized, they will gain access to the top talent that the Alpha generation has to offer.

The evolution of the workplace has accelerated exponentially over the past few years. The structure of work has become much more elastic in nature, and it continues to evolve in all sorts of unexpected directions as time goes on.

The next generation of workers are set to make a huge impact in the working world, so if we start to prepare for them now, their assimilation and onboarding will be a smooth and productive process.

If you would like to discuss how to start planning and preparing your workplace for the generation to come, please get in touch with me: andy@orgshakers.com

Over 1 in 4 of the population are struggling to access the services and products they need … that’s around 18 million people in the UK!

And although the term ‘accessibility’ is nothing new, it can be hard to pin down exactly what it means to your organisation or business. 

This is because when people hear ‘accessibility’ they tend to think ‘disability’.

It is, however, important for employers to get beyond this ambiguity and focus on creating inclusive experiences that can be accessed by everybody. 

So, the first step is to understand what accessibility really means: ‘Ensuring people can do what they need to do in (approximately) the same time as someone who does not have an accessibility need’.  

Secondly, leaders need to understand what their consumers and employee’s accessibility needs are so they can work out how best to accommodate for them. To do this we have identified 8 potential barriers to accessibility that need to be considered:  

  • Hearing12 million adults are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus, which is estimated to increase to 14.2 million by 2035.  
  • Speech – This includes those with speech impediments, those who are physically unable to speak and those who are non-verbal.   
  • Dexterity22% of working age adults in the UK have issues with dexterity.  
  • Vision - Over 2 million people in the UK have sight loss, and 1 in 5 will live with sight loss in their lifetime. 
  • Language – There are over 300 different languages spoken in schools across the UK, with many people not speaking English as their first language. Therefore, it is likely that for many people applying for jobs and using services, there may be a potential language barrier that is making these things inaccessible.  
  • Cognitive Processing – This includes those that suffer from memory disorders, or those who process information at different speeds due to many factors (such as proficiency or neurodivergence). 
  • Digital Competency – Technology designers work hard to ensure that the user experience is easy to grasp as possible – for example many of the icons we use every day have been inspired by their traditional ‘physical’ counterparts; folder, camera, mail, etc. However, some of the most basic elements of tech may not be as intuitive – for example, if you didn’t know the symbol for the On/Off button would you be able to guess?!
    As a result, more than 1 in 5 in the UK still lack the means or skills they need to effectively operate in today’s digital world.
  • Care and Commitments – There are as many as 10.6 million unpaid carers in the UK, and these people find themselves dealing with an array of accessibility barriers, especially from a cyber security perspective. For example, they are an acting representative for someone where often data security makes it hard to complete tasks.

Without doubt, accessible services are widely underdeveloped from a business perspective. But there is a huge opportunity to both impact the bottom line and positively impact brand image and consumer loyalty. 

Marketing experts will tell you that 95% of consumers say that customer service has an impact on brand loyalty and that 41% of consumers will abandon a brand after two bad digital interactions. To put a figure on this, it’s estimated that £17.1 billion a year is lost due to people abandoning online shopping because of accessibility barriers. 

Now apply this mindset to accessible consumers who will, more often than not, struggle on a day-to-day basis with life’s basics. When they are treated with care and consideration and are able to achieve what they set out to do with relative ease, they naturally form strong emotional bonds that go beyond logic and rationality. This phenomenon has been dubbed ‘loyalty beyond reason’.  

The truth is accessibility is a broad term that encompasses many more factors than many employers realise, and of course no one-size turnkey solution exists. But if you take time to look, you will see that all big software providers are now providing accessibility features on their platforms. Not only is this a sign that they have recognised both the issues (and the potential) surrounding accessibility, these changes also provide the rest of the business world an opportunity to utilise these tools to their advantage. 

The key is stepping back and taking time to understanding the context in which a consumer or employee with accessibility needs is operating. Once you have this and begin to apply it to your business context, then you can begin the journey of incremental steps steadily adapting your ways of working and service provision. 

If you would like to discuss the topic of accessibility in more detail and how it can make your business brand stronger, more profitable and sustainable, please get in touch with me at gavin.jones@orgshakers.com  

The effectiveness of an employer’s hiring process is often overlooked. And yet, this is the first real interaction a potential employee has with your company – in many ways, it echoes the setting for a first date.

Both parties are trying to present the best versions of themselves, in the hopes that there is enough of a connection for the relationship to progress further.  

Therefore, like dating, hiring someone is a two-way street – while the candidate will be doing everything they can to impress the employer, the employer needs to know the best way to present themselves to the candidate, honestly, in order to make them want to join the team.

And yet, candidates have recently been expressing their frustrations with elongated hiring processes, and shared how this has been a deterrent for pursuing opportunities. But these extended processes have emerged because employers want to be 100% certain that a person is the person for the job.

So how can employers create a hiring process that considers the interests of both parties?

The stages of a hiring process can differ depending on the role – a senior role will often involve multiple stakeholders and will naturally have a longer hiring process. But for entry-level and midmarket roles, employers should be looking at no more than three interviews.

Put it this way – after three dates, you can usually tell whether or not this could blossom into something more, but if you’re creeping towards date six and either of you are still unsure, oftentimes this is not a good sign.

The same can be said for interviews; having one after the other, with no clear end in sight for the candidate, will likely see their desire to work with you dwindle with every hoop they jump through. An unending process can lead to companies losing out on top talent due to another employer having a more efficient and effective process.

It is important for employers to remember that they are most likely not the only company the candidate is talking to. Just as people date different people in search of a connection, looking for a new job is no different. That’s why it’s always good to keep in mind that as much as a candidate would like to be hired, an interviewer needs to be clearly demonstrating why their organization is the best one to consider.

Lastly, being candid and clear about what your hiring process is going to look like with the candidate from the offset is going to calibrate their expectations right from the start. This means having a fully-formulated process that is understood by your hiring managers so that it can be shared with potential new hires and keep them in the loop for what this process will look like for them. Doing this will already lend to your attractiveness as a company, as it demonstrates that you are organized, and that you value the time of the candidate and hold their interests at heart while also fulfilling your own.

Perfecting this process is a crucial tool when seeking out the best new talent; recent research found that two thirds (65%) of employers globally had lost their preferred candidate to a protracted hiring process. Understanding how to optimize the candidate experience means that a company can reduce its convolution whilst still feeling assured that they have gained meaningful insight to make an informed decision.

Some top tips for hiring managers to remember:

  • Values matter!
  • Ghosting is for Halloween.
  • Respect is a two-way street.
  • Make them feel special.

At OrgShakers, we understand and can help you find that balance between employer and employee needs. By training hiring managers to optimize the current process, we can help you solidify this so that it can be communicated to each new candidate to avoid any misleading feelings.

If you would like to discuss how we can help your company, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at lauren@orgshakers.com                        

When I first started my job, I wasn’t exactly fluent in workplace jargon. I had just graduated from university and hadn’t ever been in a corporate environment, and straight off the bat there were acronyms being thrown around that I would surreptitiously google so not to seem out of the loop.

For example, a term that we use a lot is ‘BD’ – which I now know stands for business development. However, when I first joined, I’d never heard the phrase, and told myself I would ask what it stood for. I subsequently forgot, and then when the next meeting rolled around a fortnight later it was already too late.

Now, it obviously wasn’t too late – but in my dramatic, Gen Z, new worker brain, the idea of admitting I didn’t know something that I had been pretending to know the whole time was mortifying.

Interestingly, a recent study has found that workplace jargon makes 48% of Gen Z and Millennial workers feel less included in the workplace, and 46% of them cited how this barrier to understanding had led them to make a mistake at work.

This can lead to communication barriers, productivity stunting, and a general lack of cohesion in the workplace. But is the solution as simple as teaching new, younger employees this jargon so that they can begin to speak the language?

The short answer is no – and this is because younger people now have an entire language of their own.

We have dubbed this non-verbal online language as ‘Cybernese’. It is essentially online etiquette, but to those who find themselves in Gen X or above, there are a lot of meanings hidden in things that may seem completely harmless. For example, emojis may seem straight forward, but they are a minefield of double-entendres that could be HR horror stories waiting to happen if someone isn’t well-versed in this digital tongue. The language even spans to things such as Zoom backgrounds or punctuating sentences (if you text a Gen Z worker with full stops at the end of your messages, it’s more than likely they will assume you are being passive aggressive, even though this is just grammar!).

What we’re seeing is two older generations using old-fashioned lingo that younger workers don’t understand, and two younger generations who have got their own online language that more midlife workers have not come to grips with yet. So, what can employers do to create an inclusive environment for all?

The best approach would be to know a bit of both. Workplace jargon is not a necessity, but much like a habit, it would be hard to suddenly quit using it cold turkey. And besides, it has euphemistic tendencies which make communicating tasks easier, so it can be a positive thing. But if you’re going to use it, be considerate to your audience. If you’re talking to an employee who you know is familiar with these terms, then go right ahead. If you’re talking to a new or younger employee, then it might be best to avoid them to mitigate the risk of things getting lost in translation.

When it comes to Cybernese however, it may be worth employers making the extra effort to ensure that all their staff members are up to speed with this emerging language. This is because as remote and hybrid work settles into normalcy, a lot of communication and interaction between colleagues will be happening virtually. Here, it will be important to become well-versed in Cybernese so that communication is clear and appropriate (you can check out our video for how to avoid emoji-geddon for some examples of this).

If employers are able to recognise and understand the best ways of communicating with members of staff, they will be able to give them the clarity that is so important to ensuring productivity and high-quality output. To discuss how we can help you ensure your culture has inclusion at its core, please get in touch with us.

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