Did you know that from November 14th, disabled workers stop getting paid for the work they are doing until the new year?
We were shocked too. A new analysis from the Trades Union Congress discovered that disabled people effectively work for free for the last 47 days of the year due to the sizable pay gap between disabled and non-disabled workers. And what’s even more alarming is that this pay gap has actuallygrown over the last decade from 13.2% to 14.6%.
Disabled people make up 17.8% of England’s population – equivalent to 10.4 million people – and so a sizable percentage of these people are going to be of working age and, with the right reasonable adjustments, very willing and capable of working part- and full-time jobs.
But the problem that is making workplaces unattractive to diverse talent is the pay disparity they experience – and sadly, this isn’t just limited to disabled workers.
Employers who are actively taking steps to bridge this gap are the ones who are going to be the most attractive workplaces for diverse talent. It is already a well-known fact that diverse talent is good for business, so this should be a strategy that all companies are integrating.
Not only will diversifying your hires lead to wider innovative opportunities, but tapping into diverse talent pools such as disabled workers will play a huge part in plugging talent shortages and bridging emerging skills gaps.
A recent survey from the BBC of nearly 5000 companies found that 73% of these companies came across hiring difficulties during the July to September quarter of this year. Aside from the pandemic, this is one of the highest figures it has ever been!
So, what are the best way of overcoming these difficulties? Employers need to be targeting these pools of underused talent and hammering down on the pay disparity that groups like disabled workers continue to face. This will see employers bring in the best of talent from all corners of the market, and help strengthen and sustain their business well into the future.
If you would like to discuss how we can help tailor your hiring strategies and work towards closing the disability pay gap, please get in touch with us!
Learning and development (L&D) opportunities are a driving force when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. Research by the IMC found that 92% of job candidates use L&D opportunities as a deciding factor when considering job offers – as well as 52% of employees having left a role due to a lack of personal or professional development opportunities.
So why are there less developmental opportunities for older workers?
The answer is ageism – whether it be direct or subtle, purposeful or unconscious, there are pre-existing notions about someone when they reach a certain age. These notions act as barriers to career growth that need to be challenged and erased in order to unlock all of the potential of such a large proportion of the workforce.
Almost one-third of workers (32%) are now aged 50 or over. And yet, despite there being such a large presence of midlife workers in the UK workforce, 34% of these employees are unsatisfied with the few developmental opportunities available to them. And almost half (48%) say that their age is stopping them from getting a better job.
But what is really stopping them are these unconscious biases rooted in ageism. Managers may assume midlife workers are overqualified for a role, or assume that they aren’t tech-savvy, or that they will be too expensive to hire…
These are just a handful of stereotypes that perpetuate the ideology that midlife workers no longer have an appetite to learn, develop, and grow in their career – when the reality is the opposite! Just under 30% of people who are 55 and over want to improve their skills but are daunted by the idea of asking their employer to help.
And this is just those that already want to improve. If all midlife workers knew that there were learning and development opportunities on offer to them, think about many more would be interested!
Employers who are recognizing these biases and actively working towards erasing them are the ones who are going to be able to reap all the business benefits that age inclusivity has to offer. This starts by weaving this inclusivity into their hiring strategy, as this will give them access to the best and most diverse talent available. And if that isn’t enough, intergenerational teams are proven to be happier, to foster two-way mentoring relationships, and to increase customer satisfaction.
From a business perspective, as well as a social one, shattering the glass ceiling on ageism in the workplace is the smartest move a company can make.
If you would like to discuss how we can help weave age inclusion into your hiring strategy and company culture, please get in touch with us.
According to research from Carers UK, it is estimated that 40% of carers gave up work to provide unpaid care, while 22% reduced their working hours.
Nearly half (49%) of these caregivers who had given up work or reduced their hours saw their monthly income reduce by over £1,000.
There are around 2 million employees who are delivering unpaid care according to the Office for National Statistics, and the workforce is losing them in their thousands due to a lack of flexible working policies and the unavailability of carers leave.
Read the full piece here: https://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/content/news/thousands-of-unpaid-carers-leaving-the-workplace/
Even if you haven’t come across the term ‘dry promotion’, it’s likely you have received one.
A ‘dry promotion’ is essentially when an employee is given extra duties and responsibilities without a raise – hence making it a ‘dry’ promotion as there is no compensation being offered to grease their wheels. This phenomenon is quite a popular one; one survey found that 78% of employees had experienced a dry promotion.
There are many reasons why employees are dry promoted, but the most common ones tend to be that someone is absorbing the responsibilities of an employee that has just left, or they are being given the chance to see if they would be capable of a promotion and this ‘dry promotion’ is a trial run. The problem is, in both of these scenarios it is rarely communicated how long – if ever – this change will be reflected in their compensation.
Dry promotions can be frustrating for employees, and can lead to lower engagement levels, higher levels of dissatisfaction, and increase the likelihood of staff falling into a ‘grumpy staying’ mindset.
From an employer perspective, a dry promotion can be tempting to offer; if you want to potentially promote someone but want to see how they will fare in this position, then offering this interim, unpaid position can seem like a legitimate solution. If you are going to take this course of action, then clear communication is key – ensure that the employee knows exactly how long their interim position is for and at what point the decision will be made to further their promotion or not. At least in this case, the employee has all the information they need to make an informed decision about whether they want to accept this promotional trial.
In cases of delegating responsibilities from a departed employee, the idea is that these additional responsibilities will only be absorbed until a replacement is found. Whilst an entire compensation change may not be a viable option, this doesn’t mean that employers can’t reward these employees in other ways, whether that be through a bonus or through more creative means (for instance, offering them some additional paid leave).
If you have to offer a dry promotion, it can’t be bone dry, otherwise an employer will find itself with employees looking to quench their thirst in other places. Promoting someone can be daunting for an employer, as it is a risky investment, and whilst dry promotions may seem like an insurance tactic, they may end up doing more harm than good.
Instead of dry promoting, there is no harm in breaking down the promotion process so that the employee is still being recognized and rewarded and the employer can ease them in to get a feel if they are ready for the role.
If you would like to discuss how we can help bolster your people strategies and optimize your promotion process, please get in touch with us.
The taboos around health and wellbeing in the workplace are slowly beginning to shed their stigma; menopause policies are being discussed, mental health is being prioritized, and employers continue to look for innovate ways of boosting productivity through creating happier employees.
However, there are still some topics that are failing to be considered by a majority of employers – and one of these is a miscarriage leave policy.
Around 10-20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriages, and this loss can have detrimental effects on the parents’ physical (if birthing) and mental health. Currently, in the US, there is no federal law that entitles parents to paid leave following the miscarriage of their unborn child; there is also no federal law which entitles parents, or workers in general, to paid bereavement leave. The only entitlement to leave that the mother or birthing person may have is Family and Medical Leave – which is only granted if there were medical complications during the miscarriage. This leave is also unpaid, the employee has to have been with their company for a year, and it does not extend to smaller employers (those with under 50 employees).
In the UK, if a child is stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy the birth mother is entitled to up to 52 weeks of statutory maternity leave or pay, and the birth father, partner of the birth mother, or adopter can have up to 2 weeks. If a miscarriage occurs in the first 24 weeks, there is no legal entitlement to statutory maternity, paternity, or parental bereavement leave.
Despite this, some companies are beginning to create specific policies surrounding miscarriage leave. In the US, mom-founded baby formula company Bobbie offer 3 weeks of paid leave to those who experience the loss of a child. Similarly in the UK, tech retailer Curry’s have introduced a 2-week paid leave policy for employees affected by pregnancy loss. Both employers extend this to both parents, and to same sex couples who have experienced a miscarriage through surrogacy.
These policies are something that employers on a global scale should be considering. Not only does it highlight your philosophy as an organization, but it demonstrates how much you value the physical and mental wellbeing of your employees. This alone is a great way of making your business a very attractive one to work for – especially in an age where many employees will choose where they work based on if their values are reflected there.
When it comes to formulating this policy, this is where OrgShakers can really help. A miscarriage policy may seem cut and paste, but there are many factors that need to be considered when constructing your own policy. For example, is someone entitled to more leave or less leave depending on how far into the pregnancy they were? Does the policy apply equally to mother and father? Does it account for same sex couples where neither is birthing? Will it be a subcategory of your existing bereavement or parental policy?
There is a lot to consider, but it is important to note that every miscarriage situation will be different and effect the people involved differently. Having a policy that offers a guideline around this can be extremely helpful, but it also needs to incorporate an element of flexibility based on individual circumstances to ensure that employees are getting the support they need.
If you would like to discuss how we can help design a miscarriage leave policy for your organization, please get in touch with me at Brittany@orgshakers.com
New York, 26th September 2023 – Odgers Berndtson and SurePeople are reinventing Executive Onboarding with the launch of a ground-breaking new program leveraging SurePeople’s award-winning platform, powered by the Prism® psychometric algorithm and Harvard Business Publishing content. This revolutionary program accelerates the onboarding process, improves team alignment, and accelerates cultural assimilation, thereby enhancing an executive’s effectiveness during the pivotal transition period into a new leadership role.
“Our Executive Onboarding program complements the Executive Search process by blending the experience of our Human Capital Practice with robust psychometric data to generate actionable insights that help new leaders, and their teams, during the first 120 days,” says Jon Barney, Industrial Sector Practice Leader at Odgers Berndtson. “Powered by SurePeople’s patented technology and Harvard Business Publishing’s world-class content, this innovative program leaps beyond conventional offerings.”
The Corporate Executive Board reports that 50% to 70% of executives fail within 18-months of taking on a new role, regardless of whether they were an external hire or promoted from within, with Harvard Business Review estimating that the cost of this failure equates to 400% of the executive’s salary.
“The key to successful onboarding is that critical moment of truth – the early alignment of the executive with their new team and their effective assimilation into the organizational culture,” says Niko Drakoulis, Founder and CEO of SurePeople. “This innovative new Executive Onboarding program helps to deliver a frictionless transition for executive leaders and their teams by optimizing relationships, accelerating team alignment, and speeding the cycle-time from orientation to productivity.”
The program achieves this by blending SurePeople’s AI-driven technology and integrated premier learning content from Harvard Business Publishing, with the skills and experience of the accredited coaching professionals and business psychologists in Odgers Berndtson’s Human Capital Consulting practice to support new executives and their teams.
“This Executive Onboarding program aligns perfectly with our objective to be a progressive, technology-enabled leader in the global executive search landscape,” says Kennon Kincaid, CEO of Odgers Berndtson. “Effective onboarding is crucial for the success and growth of organizations. By combining powerful insights from SurePeople’s Prism with Harvard Business Publishing’s academic excellence, we are reshaping the onboarding landscape, making it evidence-based, purposeful, and tailored to the needs of individuals and teams. Our new Executive Onboarding program allows executives and their teams to embark on their journey with a shared vision and reinforces Odgers Berndtson’s commitment to being the change-drivers in our industry.“
“Our team at Harvard Business Publishing is excited to integrate our world-class content and thought leadership, leveraging the remarkable depth and breadth of Harvard Business School, Harvard Business Review, and an unrivalled network of industry experts into SurePeople’s patented platform,” says Douglas Beimler, VP Global Sales at Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning. “This synergy enhances executive and leader onboarding by accelerating speed-to-relationships and enriching cultural assimilation. It amplifies leader effectiveness and fosters a cohesive, engaged, and agile team environment. Together, we’re enabling executives to enhance their people skills and perform at their best during critical onboarding and leader transition processes.”
About Odgers Berndtson
Odgers Berndtson delivers executive search and human capital consultancy to businesses and organizations of all sizes and maturity. We work across 50 sectors, whether commercial, public, or not-for-profit and draw on the experience of partners and their teams in 33 countries. odgersberndtson.com
SurePeople empowers organizations to build and sustain a people-centric culture. Our patented software platform integrates people science, powered by the Prism® psychometric algorithm, with the latest advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). SurePeople’s solutions include executive onboarding, team alignment and optimization, people skills development, and change management. Our platform has been recognized for innovation and impact by leading research and analyst firms such as Brandon Hall Group, Deloitte Consulting, and Training Industry. Learn more at surepeople.com.
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. 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. 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.
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 email@example.com
 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.
 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!
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!
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!
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.
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!).
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.
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!
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:
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?
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
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 email@example.com