News & Views

Key motivators in the workplace

Key motivators in the workplace

17 May 2022

In light of The Great Resignation, motivated employees are key to retaining talent. In fact, employee experience is everything these days.

Eisenhower knew that finding the right motivators in the workplace was essential to success and improving employee experience. As the former U.S President, once said, “Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.”

It’s important for companies, line managers and HR teams to recognise employee motivators to get the best work out of them and decrease costly staff turnover. Capitalising on key motivators will enable staff to be motivated, passionate and loyal to the organisation. But where to start? 

Understanding motivation

When Abraham Maslow created his Hierarchy of Needs in 1943, he argued that people are motivated by five essential needs that enable an individual to be fulfilled. In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs these needs are:

Physiological - Food, water, warmth and rest Safety – including financial security Belonging - Relationships, community family and friends Self-esteem - Prestige and a feeling of accomplishment Self-actualisation - Achieving full potential and extra-curricular activitiesMaslow in the workplace

The Hierarchy of needs is often applied to the workplace as a means to determine how to motivate employees and ensure their needs are met. To achieve this, line managers must make time to consider an employee as an individual for their input into the organisation and encourage and support them.

According to Maslow’s theory, an employee begins by focusing on the lower order needs. Those embarking on their career might be more concerned with physiological needs such as income and security. Once these basic needs are met, the employee will focus on social needs. Once the needs are met, an employee may want to meet higher-level needs (growth needs) such as self-esteem.

Although workplace motivation has moved on from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the theory forms the basis of motivation.

Motivational triggers do vary between employees. And the challenge can be for line managers to understand what the motivators are for their team members. However, there are common workplace motivators. 

Key motivators in the workplaceCommunication

Companies with poor employee communications suffer low levels of employee motivation and engagement. Employees who are not informed are difficult to motivate. One of the most important workplace motivators for employees is communication. The more a team interacts with each other, the better their performance will be. Good and regular communication reduces confusion and mistakes as well as improves performance. 

Meaningful & challenging work

The Harvard Business Review reported that more than nine in ten of employees would be willing to earn less money for the opportunity to do more meaningful work – showing how important a person’s purpose is to them. If you want your employees to be self-motivated, it’s a good idea to offer them more responsibility with meaningful work. 

Challenging and new tasks are important to keep staff engagement, productivity and motivation high. New projects and tasks alleviate the boredom and repetitiveness of job roles, while a challenging task can give the employee a sense of importance and feeling of ownership that will make them feel valued. 

Company Culture

A healthy company culture fuels motivation and creates a sense of belonging and joint goals. It is fundamental to making employees feel like they are part of a family. It is important to evaluate your company culture to ensure it promotes collaboration, teamwork and transparency. Excessive bureaucracy, micromanaging by managers and withholding of information can be demotivators for staff as well as have a detrimental impact on company culture. A high-performing company culture will have a competitive edge. 

Teamwork makes the dream work

Teamwork can empower the employees to have confidence in voicing their thoughts and opinions and come up with innovative ideas. Teams that work (and play) well together can also improve employee retention too as they enjoy the sense of belonging to the business they work for.

A well selected team that complements different personalities and skill sets enables workers to work together and become a group with a mission. A 2009 study by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) found that “employees rated opportunities to use their skills and abilities in their work as the fourth most important aspect of their job satisfaction.”

Workplace friendships are created through a shared experience. Maintaining healthy friendships at work can motivate people to remain employed with a company. In 2018, Gallup reported that 63% of women who had a work friend were over twice as likely to be engaged during work. 

Recognition

Rewards and recognition are vital to every organisation. Similar to self-esteem needs, a company should promote or give recognition to employees based on their performance. Make sure to reward your employees with something that they value. This will motivate the employee to progress or work towards a promotion. Reward and recognition is important for candidate attraction not only staff retention. 

Appreciation & praise

Often forgotten when deadlines are looming and the pressure is on, appreciation is fundamental to keeping employees motivated. A BCG survey asked employees from around the world their top ten factors for on-the-job happiness. Results show that people place appreciation for their work as the most important factor for on-the-job happiness.

It might seem obvious but praising your staff on their achievements can be one of the best motivators out there. There are many ways organisations can appreciate their employees. 

Salary & benefits

Many people feel that their salary is a validation of their status and qualifications together with any effort and work they have put into their previous roles. Personal motivations form a part of it too –it is human nature to want to be able to not only pay bills but afford luxuries in life. Glassdoor research shows that 79% of employees would prefer  additional benefits as opposed to a pay increase. 

Modern challenges

With hybrid and remote work now the norm due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some employees can feel isolated with reduced levels of motivation. Nowadays, there is an additional consideration for organisations: How to keep employees who are working away from the office motivated. 

In Summary

Motivation is a powerful energy that drives how employees work and the vigour with which they approach their roles. Motivation is, in short, the incentive we all need to wake up in the morning, get dressed and ready for work. Revisiting Maslow’s theory of motivation is important, as we continue to adapt and adjust workplaces in a post-pandemic world.

It’s normal for employees to face dips in motivation, but it becomes a problem when employees are consistently disengaged. Therefore, HR and SMTs need to take time to review areas such as:

Communication methods and frequency company culture reward and recognition schemes salary and benefits

While line managers need to get to understand their employees as individuals and consider how each staff member may have different ways to be motivated. People managers also need to:

ensure that employees have meaningful and challenging work look at team dynamics and how the team is working together consider how they show their appreciation and give praise ensure they communicate opening and regularly  We’re here to help

At Morgan Hunt our team are here to help. If you’re looking to recruit and need guidance or advice on areas such as salary, benefits, reward and recognition just get in touch. 

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How can the FE sector retain top teachers?

How can the FE sector retain top teachers?

10 May 2022

The Great Resignation is a phrase usually associated with office workers, but recent stats indicate that the next Great Resignation could be among teaching staff.  A survey conducted by the National Education Union (NEU)  found that a fifth of teachers (22%) said they would leave within two years. An estimated 44% of teachers in England are planning to quit by 2027. 

Why are teachers leaving the profession?

Statistics published by the DfE reveal that of teachers who qualified in 2014, just 67% were still in service after five years in 2019. 

Teacher Workload

The high drop-out rates suggest that attempts to tackle teacher workload - seen as a main obstacle to teacher retention - is failing.

Teachers’ mental health is being damaged by working excessive and long hours, causing stress and burnout. Research by the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union revealed that, nine out of ten teachers (91%) reported that their workload has increased in the last year, according to the Union’s Big Question Survey 2022. 

Flexible Working

In the private sector, The Great Resignation has come about partly due to employees wanting the flexibility of remote working and flexible hours. In the private sector, companies are trialling four-day weeks with no reduction in pay and are offering flexible hybrid-working.

And, while the world around us has changed considerably, the fundamentals of education have not shifted in the same way. Professionals, including teachers, are looking at flexible working as a key priority in their career decisions and job search. Teaching is generally a sector where these new types of working cannot be offered.  

Career Progression and Salaries

School teachers are currently paid over £9,000 more than college teachers on average, despite many college lecturers being more specialist and having industry experience. FE salaries are also often lower than those in industries.

Jade Blackburn, Director of Human Resources at Waltham Forest College, reveals:

"We know that teachers have concerns about an ever increasing workload and that salaries in the FE sector are being outstripped by salaries on offer back in ‘industry’ – this is a particular challenge in the construction trades and IT & Digital."

Staff that leave the profession often report that their college or school had limited career development and training options. And when it is there for the taking, a lack of time and a heavy workload can prevent FE tutors from taking-up continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities. 

The perception of teaching

Although teachers in the UK battled on as key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, there is an issue with perception, which is common in countries including the UK and US.

Teaching and marking are what most people think of when they think of a career in education, but there are a whole host of other parts of the role that many outside the sector do not appreciate, which can often be surprising and very challenging to new teachers coming into the profession. This includes admin, lesson preparation, assessments, record keeping, exams, and pastoral care. They also often don’t consider the more personal skill element of teaching, such as managing the emotional charge of a room of 30 (often young) minds or the emotional intelligence of what it takes to drive and motivate each member of a class.

In the 2018 Global Teacher Status Index, the countries that most respect their teachers are China, Taiwan and Malaysia. In these countries, the teaching profession is seen as on par with doctors. 

What is the sector doing about it?

When it comes to The Great Teacher Resignation, how we can attract and retain the next generation of FE staff is a key question. 

Improving salaries, benefits & career development

The Association of Colleges (AOC) is pushing for the government to work with the FE sector so that colleges can pay their staff better and support them with their development. Some colleges have introduced a salary overhaul in certain subject areas. 

Waltham Forest College, is one example of an FE institution looking at the issue of salary and career development. As Jade Blackburn explains:

“Our turnover of teaching staff is lower than the sector average, but we’re not complacent – we have introduced recruitment and retention payments for new joiners in hard to fill roles, we’re reviewing our overall benefits package and ensuring staff have access to good quality CPD so that our first and foremost succession planning tool is to grow and develop our own staff into future teachers, managers and leaders.”

Those working outside of the education sector are not aware of the generous annual leave entitlement that comes with FE. Although this is dependent on the type of role, most are entitled to around 38 days holiday per year, plus bank holidays. This is significantly higher than the basic 20-to-25-day standard allowance. FE providers could be more transparent about this benefit, as well as other benefits such as pensions. College staff have access to the Teacher Pension Scheme, which compares favourably to almost all private sector schemes. 

Reviewing teacher workload

Waltham Forest College is looking into the issue of workload. As Jade Blackburn explains,“We’ve heard the concerns about workload and are continuing to work together to create workable, long term solutions to reduce workload - particularly administrative burdens on teachers.”

Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of teachers is also key to retaining staff and is an area that is being developed.  

Mentoring

The use of mentoring and coaching for teachers is widespread. Mentors and coaches may offer support to new teachers as part of an induction process or to existing teachers to enhance the quality of teaching and learning. 

Promoting flexible opportunities

Although FE workloads are demanding, teachers and assessors can often choose between working full-time, part-time, compressed hours, evenings or even on a casual, hourly basis. This leaves significant scope for flexibility in working hours. Nowadays, there is an opportunity for FE colleges to promote flexible working and home working options where possible. 

Attracting new staff to the sector

There is an opportunity for FE institutions to adopt some of the tactics that the private sector uses in their candidate attraction and one such example is reviewing their employer brand.

FE colleges are diversifying where posts are advertised to reach a wider talent pool. They are also broadening their use of social media, working in partnership with industry to offer specialist delivery and engaging with specialist recruitment agencies to headhunt teachers and trainees. 

Other key areas for teacher attraction can include growing a pipeline by promoting vacancies to existing staff and students completing their studies and alumni, as well as promoting FE jobs to parents at student open evenings. 

Ongoing commitment

Finally, inconsistency in management styles between different schools and colleges is a real challenge. Good onboarding and ensuring a consistent and robust induction process for all staff can go some way to address this.

So, while there might be a Great Teacher Resignation about to happen, teaching remains an attractive and fulfilling profession. As schools and colleges continue to take action to improve teacher workload and staff wellbeing, real progress can be made.

If colleges work proactively with the sector to understand the drivers behind current issues and improve their policies and interventions, attracting teachers and retaining them will no longer be the issue they are today.

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How can organisations appreciate their employees?

How can organisations appreciate their employees?

03 Mar 2022

This year’s Employee Appreciation Day is on Friday 4th March. It will be the first since the onset of the Great Resignation.  There are many theories about what is driving post-pandemic resignations. But one thing is clear: UK workers often feel burned out and undervalued.

With scattered teams working from home (WFH) and hybrid working the ‘new normal' it is easy for employees to feel disconnected. And underappreciated. 

Companies know that their employees are their greatest asset. Employee Appreciation Day provides an opportunity for HR teams and managers to take stock. Employee appreciation is essential in fostering a motivated and happy workforce. An eachperson.com survey revealed that 86% of employees said recognition makes them happier at work. 

The difference between appreciation and recognition

The words “recognition” and “appreciation” are not interchangeable. Recognition is about giving positive feedback based on results or performance. Appreciation is about acknowledging a person’s value. This difference matters because recognition and appreciation take place for different reasons. Often businesses focus on praising positive outcomes (recognition). Companies should ensure they’re doing both. 

Appreciation and retention

A Glassdoor Employee Appreciation Survey shows that 53% of employees say more appreciation from their boss would help them stay longer at their company. Businesses that engage in employee appreciation see improved retention rates and lower staff turnover.

Companies conducting exit interviews may see that lack of appreciation is a culprit in driving employees to leave. Some may have stayed if their employers offered more rewards and recognition. 

A culture of celebration

The need to belong is part of the human condition. A culture that celebrates career milestones, life events, and group achievements increases a candidate's desire to join and grow within the business.

In a Harvard Business Review article, Michael O’Malley states: “The best places to work provide people with life satisfaction, as opposed to job satisfaction alone.” 

Appreciation, Happiness and Productivity

In the TED Talk: 'The Power of Appreciation' 43% of people who feel 'appreciated' are more effective and productive.

With WFH, hybrid working and the possibility of a four-day week, productivity is a hot topic. Appreciated employees are more engaged at work. Findings from BetterUp show that 56% of employees who felt belongingness have a higher level of job performance.

SurveyMonkey reports that 82% of workers consider appreciation an important part of their happiness. An Oxford University report shows that happier workers are 13% more productive at work. 

Types of Employee Appreciation

Employee appreciation takes many forms:

Day-to-day appreciation is frequent, simple and ongoing. It could include sending emails or e-cards. Informal appreciation is when individuals or teams progress toward milestones. Or when they complete a complex project. These are often low-cost gestures such as lunchtime pizzas, after-work drinks or an earlier finish on Friday. Formal structure appreciation often involves a nomination, selection process, ceremony or special event. It could be part of a formal recognition scheme.  Getting Started

It’s a good idea to ask employees what they would like so you are rewarding staff with something they value. 

How to show appreciation

Nowadays, more companies value employee appreciation, rewards and recognition. It's something we see here at Morgan Hunt with our clients. They include: 

Wellbeing Days

There is a correlation between work-life balance and employee performance and job satisfaction. Work-life balance:

reduces stress prevents burnout reduces sick leave saves money promotes a caring company culture

Remote working throughout lockdowns undoubtedly affected employee wellbeing.  A company-wide day off to encourage employees to look after their well-being can help. 

Employee Recognition Programmes

Employee recognition refers to employees’ accomplishments. The most common programmes recognise one-time achievements.  Programmes can recognise team and individual work throughout the year. Consider asking current employees the type of recognition they desire most.

Over half (56%) of HR leaders believe recognition or appreciation schemes help with recruitment (SHRM). Candidates want to associate with employers that recognise and appreciate their employees.  These can include:

employee of the month club/award annual awards events financial incentives/vouchers lunch with the CEO earned time off  Celebrate anniversaries and birthdays

Do something special for employee birthdays and work anniversaries. A hbr.org study found that employees were likely to leave after a year of employment. Don’t let the anniversary of an employee’s hire go unnoticed.  Acknowledging the important dates across your team shows you value them as individuals. This could be:

a coffee/bottle of wine/chocolates greeting card birthday day off company-wide announcement decorated desk  Regular employee surveys

Enabling employees to give feedback shows you value their input. Anonymous feedback portals or surveys ensure honest, quality responses. Consider having a mix of questions, like "Does your manager make you feel valued?" and allow employees to provide feedback. Employees feel valued the more they feel heard and want to contribute to the success of a company. 

Appreciation portal

Giving and receiving appreciation increases morale, collaboration and job satisfaction. Some companies have online platforms where managers and peers can praise colleagues. 

Offer learning opportunities

Investing in professional development shows you value staff.  For effective and cost-efficient ways to let employees learn new skills consider:

courses conferences tuition reimbursement cross-training between departments mentorships budgets for learning materials e.g., books  Employee Appreciation Week (or Month)

Events throughout the week or month may include:

workshops coffee and cake mornings team lunches offsite group/company activity onsite massages/manicures celebrations of teams’ cultural diversity  Say Thank You

A study from Each Person found that 51% of UK employees say a ‘thank you’ would make them feel more appreciated. A heartfelt thank you is a simple way to show appreciation.  While not everyone needs a ‘thank you’ to do a good job, many do. It won’t hurt those who don’t need to hear it, but it will mean much to those who do.

 

Finally, employee appreciation shouldn’t take place on one day. It should be integral to your company culture and adopted by management. Your employees are your most precious asset, now it’s time to appreciate them.

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Can collaboration in recruitment enable an increase in BAME leadership?

Can collaboration in recruitment enable an increase in BAME leadership?

15 Feb 2022

Many people working within the Further Education sector speak about the decline in Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) college leaders. The number of black and ethnic minority principals leading FE colleges in England has dropped from 13% in 2017 to around 5% or 6% in 2020. On the flip side, the number of BAME students has increased to represent 30% of FE students.

With 239 FE colleges in England, it is estimated that between 12 and 14 are currently led by BAME principals, although the Association of Colleges has no official data. And, for those already working in FE, black staff in the sector are not only under-represented, but less likely to be promoted or get a permanent contract. 

#AntiRacismInAction

The Black Further Education Leadership Group (BFELG) is demanding urgent action to address racism in FE which is undermining “the sector’s ability to engage with all its constituent communities”. They have introduced a ‘10 Point Plan’ laying out possible solutions to the current situation. 

Anti-racist Board and Executive Search Recruitment Practices

The recent webinar ‘Anti-racist Board and Executive Search Recruitment Practices’ was a panel discussion focused on anti-racist board and executive search recruitment practices. The session was a solid starting point to address these challenges. 

Collaborative Learning

Anti-racist and diverse recruitment practices in the FE sector rely on collaboration. It’s about FE Institutions coming together with commercial companies, such as specialist recruitment businesses, to provide solutions and promote best practices. 

So much starts with recruitment and selection. And, recruitment agencies are in a position of influence. If we don’t address it with our clients we are adding to the problem.

The webinar featured three of the FE sector’s leading recruitment companies: AoC Services, Peridot Partners and Morgan Hunt, who along with FE Associates and Protocol have come together in this way for the first time, demonstrates the importance we all place on anti-racism, and our commitment to change.

Hilary Clifford, Director, AoC Services and Drew Richardson-Walsh, Director, Education Practice, Peridot Partners, along with myself all agree that we want people who are working in, and applying for positions in the FE sector to have the confidence that they are being judged on their ability, competence and potential - not their ethnicity.

There is a real opportunity for FE recruitment companies to work with their clients to:

Ensure best practice is being followed Break down barriers Challenge each other Hold people accountable.

The Joint Commitment companies are an example of collaborative system leadership for change. This is a remarkable collaboration considering that under normal circumstances these companies operate as competitors in the FE market. 

Anti-racist recruitment in the FE sector

When it comes to recruitment for leadership roles, recruitment in the FE sector is a mixed bag, with institutions hiring directly and through recruitment agencies. Boards, HR departments and recruitment companies all have a part to play in increasing representation from black communities. They also have a major role in challenging and reversing the status quo. 

What can FE providers do to help?

When it comes to recruitment for institutions, FE colleges need to ensure that they can clearly articulate their value proposition, culture and beliefs. For the process to be successful, these establishments must ensure they are living and breathing these, and that what they promote is a reality when candidates join.

It takes more than just a diversity and inclusion policy. For it to be effective, each area needs to be addressed: anti racism, gender, sexual orientation, age and disability - and not address everything together as one. 

Recruitment matters

Morgan Hunt is the first private sector organisation to become an affiliate of the BFLEG and support their BFELG 10 Point process. We are pleased to support the objectives, and specifically item six of the plan: “College recruitment processes, including the deployment of recruitment companies, to proactively address imbalances in the diversity of leadership at all levels.”

As recruitment professionals, we recognise the need for a shift in approaches to the development, attraction and recruitment of leaders and governors. Here at Morgan Hunt, we are seeking to proactively address imbalances in the diversity of leadership at all levels, particularly through the development of anti-racist practices and approaches in recruitment.

For us it's about growing awareness, listening to colleagues and candidates talk about their own experiences and focussing on the key challenges and the work that needs to be done to improve the situation, and crucially taking action.

At Morgan Hunt, we have a big focus on diversity and inclusion.  Anti-racism has been a big part of that, as has our relationship with BFLEG and the training delivered by them. One of the positive actions agreed from it is to break down the standard recruitment process both internally and externally.

We’ve also:

Implemented an inclusive recruitment guide to support our clients Built a webinar series, with key speakers, for our clients around diversity with a focus on anti-racism Promoted the value of an anti-racist and inclusive recruitment approach at relevant networking events Promoted the value of inclusive recruitment within our digital marketing Worked with our FE client base to proactively support them develop anti-racist and inclusive recruitment practices in the appointment of senior leaders.  BFELG 10-point plan training programme 

We would encourage anyone who hasn't been through this training to do so. A number of our clients have gone through the same training and its been useful to share what stage of the journey we are at with them and collaborate. The course has been both challenging and eye opening. It’s not right to recommend appropriate solutions to our customers if we don’t go through this process ourselves. 

Still work to be done

We’ve still got a long way to go. It's not finished and it's not fixed and there is still a lot to do.  Despite having an ethnically diverse workforce our Senior Leadership team isn’t as diverse as we’d like it so we’re going through a process to improve that. 

Making progress #AntiRacismInAction

Anti-racism needs to be at the heart of selection and recruitment within FE. As a group of search and recruitment firms dedicated to supporting the leadership of the sector, we all agree that when recruitment is done well it should enable opportunities for a broad range of people.

Whatever your involvement within FE is, we all want to see a shift in data when it comes to the number of black leaders progressing through the management ranks and into senior leadership posts in the FE sector.

Without systematic monitoring, training or positive action to address the issue, it isn’t surprising that the FE sector has reversed in terms of BAME leadership. But, it all starts at the beginning. Recruitment.

By Luke O’Neill, Education Strategy Director at Morgan Hunt

 

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Developing an inclusive hiring strategy (Webinar)

Developing an inclusive hiring strategy (Webinar)

28 Sep 2021

On 23rd March 2021 Morgan Hunt hosted a webinar on developing an inclusive hiring strategy. We were joined by Amarjit Singh Basi from the Black FE Leadership Group, Ann Allcock from Marshall E-Learning, and Kira van Niekerk from Thomas International.The session covered both the importance of having an inclusive hiring strategy, as well as the practical steps to implementing one. Watch the full recording below.

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The UK's unexpected job crisis

The UK's unexpected job crisis

14 Sep 2021

During the pandemic the market was such that redundancies and furloughing were high, resulting in fewer jobs and more people unemployed. As the grasps of the pandemic slowly lifted, expectations were that market conditions would return to normal. But to the suprise of many, the situation flipped and we are now experiencing a skills shortage in the UK. 

Job vacancies in Britain are roughly 20 percent higher than before the pandemic. Employers are on the search for people to fill their open positions, and there are still many seeking work, but the jobs don't align with what people are prepared for or want to do. 

The current market conditions were explored further in an article by the New York Times, in which Morgan Hunt's Managing Director, Dan Taylor, provided comment on the situation. When asked about the company's experience as a recruitment agency, he said "This has been a very quick bounce. In six months we went from struggling to find jobs for candidates who are registered with us to a situation where we just can’t find the specific skilled and experienced staff we need". 

Image from The New York Times. Photographed by Tom Jamieson for The New York Times. 

One example of the difficulties faced by employers is when Morgan Hunt was helping a public housing association hire a senior fire officer. Two people were ready to accept the job, until a department store offered higher pay, causing the candidates to pull out from the senior fire officer position. 

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Building inclusive teams for growth (Webinar)

Building inclusive teams for growth (Webinar)

11 Mar 2021

On 24th February 2021  Morgan Hunt hosted a webinar on the power of  team coaching titled ‘Building inclusive teams for growth’. We were joined by team coaching experts Lucy Widdowson and Paul J Barbour, who shared how team coaching can be used to develop inclusive teams which benefit from increased performance.. Read the summary of the webinar below or watch the full recording at the bottom of this page:

Following the events of 2020, the importance of diversity and inclusion for organisations is being recognised more and more. Organisations are becoming actively engaged in building diverse and inclusive workplaces as a result of demands from staff for greater representation, but also due to the proven benefits for organisations. Benefits include:

Winning the battle for talent Improving employee satisfaction Improving the quality of decision making Increasing innovation and customer insight Improving the company’s brand image 33% higher profitability (McKinsey, 2018)

It is clear that, for organisations, there is a lot to be gained, but how can improved diversity and inclusion be achieved? There are several factors that influence the diversity and inclusion of a workplace, but Lucy Widdowson and Paul J Barbour suggest developing more inclusive teams through team coaching is a good place to start.

When we talk about the diversity and inclusivity of teams, what do we mean? Diversity describes how team members are different from each other, improving the range of ideas and perspective brought to the table. Inclusivity, however, describes the style of interaction (the actions and strategies) that help people feel included, which is essential for effective teams and organisations. Diversity improves the variance of ideas, but inclusivity is what enables these thoughts to be shared.

The diversity of teams can be improved through recruitment, whereas inclusivity can only be built through a focus on the interpersonal relationships of teams. In order for team members to feel included, psychological safety and trust must exist within the group. Individuals must believe that the group is a safe place for interpersonal risk taking. Only then can members feel truly comfortable to contribute and share their ideas.

So how can inclusivity be improved? In the team coaching sessions that Lucy and Paul run with organisations throughout the world, they work with teams to develop empathy and to determine the shared purpose, values and beliefs of the group. Empathy leads to understanding and having shared goals ensures the group moves together in the same direction. One exercise they encourage people to use to build empathy is to watch the news, then try to understand a person who has an opposing view to you and think about what you would say to them. 

What is team coaching?

“Coaching that helps teams work together, with others and within their wider environment, to create lasting change by developing safe trusting relationships, better ways of working and new thinking, so that they maximise their collective potential, purpose and performance goals”

Building psychological safety and trust can be achieved through a number of team coaching methods and exercises. Through their work, Lucy and Paul have defined 7 characteristics of high performing teams. These are:

Purpose – (Why do we do what we do/ who do we serve) Identity – (How do we want to be known) Values & Beliefs – (What do we need to value and believe in to achieve our purpose?) Awareness – (How aware the team is of how they interact with the rest of the business and what the areas of development within the team are) Relatedness – (Psychological safety, building relationships, trust, enabling open and honest conversations) Ways of working – (The processes and rhythm of the team e.g. decision-making effectiveness)  Transformation – (How the team continues to learn, grow and innovate)

For improving inclusivity, Lucy and Paul recommend focussing on the awareness and relatedness. Here are some exercises you can use to maximise these characteristics:

Have everyone say something at the beginning of a meeting Practice ‘non-violent communication’ (This means listening beyond what people say to understand people’s needs) Practice conversational turn taking, which increases collective intelligence and team performance Encourage more positive conversations by replacing “but” with “yes, and” to build on people’s ideas rather than shutting them down People are naturally averse to feedback so before challenging someone’s point make sure they feel supported

Paul and Lucy also suggest using scenarios to open honest conversations about how people would respond. Through this people can feel safe to share without judgement, as well as be corrected if their response could be improved. Here are some scenarios for you to use and discuss with your teams:

Scenario 1

Amy in a team meeting uses an incorrect terminology for a colleague in another team saying ‘Jo the blind person’. What do you do?

Scenario 2

Every time Amin makes a suggestion, another team member Tom ignores them and speaks over them. What do you do?

Scenario 3

You have a culture of all going to lunch together when in the office or spending time chatting informally when working virtually at the end of the day on a Friday. Ray doesn’t join in. What do you do?

By applying some of the techniques, you can begin to create more trust within your teams which will improve communication and performance. If you would like to learn more about team coaching and how it can be used to develop high performing teams, Lucy and Paul recently published their first book titled “Building top performing teams”. You can purchase a copy via the links below.

Kogan PageAmazonPurchase through local US & UK book stores

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Celebrating different perspectives - Why diversity matters (Webinar)

Celebrating different perspectives - Why diversity matters (Webinar)

28 Jan 2021

On 27th January 2021 Morgan Hunt delivered a webinar on diversity and inclusion titled 'Celebrating different perspectives - Why diversity matters'. We were joined by diversity and inclusion experts Carmen Morris, Amarjit Singh Basi and Hannah Manyewu to outline the benefits of diverse and inclusive workplaces, the challenges facing the implementation of D&I and how these challenges can be overcome. See a summary of the webinar below or watch the full recording at the bottom of this page:

Diversity and inclusion have been at the forefront of many people's and organisation's minds since the events of 2020. The Black Lives Matter movement shone a light on the importance of equality for all people in all areas of life. The need to be treated equally is vital within the workplace, as it's a place where people spend most of their days and lives.

In our webinar, our speakers outlined that there are many benefits to be gained from creating diverse and inclusive workplaces. Fostering these kinds of professional environments helps people feel more comfortable. As a result, they are more engaged in their work and with the people around them. Collaboration improves, as does their productivity and effectiveness. As a whole, job satisfaction increases, barriers that in the past made work difficult are reduced and the performance of all employees is boosted.

It's hard to argue against improving the wellbeing of your employees, but there are many benefits to organisations too. Improved employee effectiveness and productivity improves the overall performance of the business. Many studies have shown there is a strong positive correlation between diversity and inclusion and business success. Beyond this, D&I practices foster strong and supportive cultures that people want to work in. It makes retaining talent and attracting skilled people to your organisation much easier.

But how do you begin improving diversity and inclusion? It has to start with senior leadership and management. Boards must authentically buy into the need to improve and understand the challenges that the least privileged people in their organisations face. This requires leaders and managers in an organisation to speak to the people affected and take the time to hear about their lived experiences, the barriers they face and any areas of improvement they have identified.

But the role of leadership doesn't stop there. Next, they must put what they have learnt to action. Improving diversity and inclusion is about creating a change in culture which must be driven from the top down to be authentic. Representing marginalised groups within management is an important step that ensures all perspectives are heard and considered.

Leaders and management aren't alone though. Setting the culture requires buy in and support from all functions of the business. Management must take ownership of this process and invest in the development of staff at all levels. Through this, employees throughout the organisation will gain the knowledge and understanding to make this change in culture effective and, most importantly, permanent.

In the past year we have seen an increase in the number of diversity and inclusion job roles. The creation of positions with this specific focus signals a promising commitment to improvement, however it is important that these appointments are not just tokenistic. These job roles must be thought out and organisations should at least have some understanding of their areas of improvement or what they want to achieve. Otherwise, businesses risk destroying any credibility they have in wanting to promote diversity and inclusion.

For people in these roles, there are a number of factors that will determine their success. Most importantly you should have a direct line of communication to the board or senior leadership team. If this doesn't exist, it is unlikely your role will have the impact that is needed to create change within the organisation. D&I advocate Hannah Manyewu suggests that your definition of success should be based on achieving results through others. Your aim should be to mobilise internal groups across all functions, build momentum and interest in improving D&I and ultimately hold leadership accountable.

Recruitment is also critical in creating diverse and inclusive workplaces. Hiring people from different backgrounds shows a commitment to improving the diversity of the workforce and brings in new perspectives and ideas which can help an organisation thrive. To practice inclusive recruitment, businesses should understand their employer brand and how it is perceived by potential applicants. Through this you gain insight into how you may have to improve how you communicate your employer value proposition to appeal to a diverse range of applicants. Fair and unbiased recruitment methods such as psychometric testing and blind application reviews are also useful tools to make the hiring process as inclusive as possible.

Since last year we have seen a lot of progress, but it is just the beginning. It is important to acknowledge that change doesn't happen overnight, but organisations must begin taking the steps to create more diverse and inclusive environments. Our speakers Carmen, Amarjit and Hannah hope that in the next year we will continue to see more leadership and executive roles filled by people with diverse characteristics, increased publicly visible commitment to the cause and real accountability to change through evidence and case studies.

Find out how you can improve internal diversity and create inclusive workplaces. Contact Clare Keniry, Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Morgan Hunt – [email protected]

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How to onboard a remote employee successfully

How to onboard a remote employee successfully

26 Aug 2020

Remote working and hyrbid working is here to stay. Covid-19 has changed the nature of work forever and people now want, and expect, more flexibility from their job to manage the other elements of their life better. So if you want to attract and hire the best talent, excluding remote workers isn't an option. 

With this change comes increased expectations of employers. Remote employees starting at your organisation expect to get an onboarding that is equally as good as one done in person. Why should they miss out on this just because they work from home?

The positive news is that they don't have to accept an inferior onboarding process. Providing a meaningful onboarding that prepares them to their job and integrates the new starter into the organisation can be done remotely. Here's how. 

Paperwork

Use online electronic signature software such as DocuSign, allowing new employees to sign and return key documents securely with an encrypted audit trail. Work with your HR team to adapt your standard compliance process for onboarding.

Support your new hire

Be aware of the worries your new member of staff may have handing in their notice in such a challenging and uncertain market. It is critical to support them and keep in regular contact during this period. These are uncertain times so it is critical that you engage with and keep in regular contact with your new hire over the course of their notice period – we are seeing candidates accept counter offers from their current employer at the last moment. So, it is crucial to keep this in mind and ensure that you start involving them in team calls even during their notice period. Really utilise any opportunity to interact and encourage them to engage with the team culture during this period.

Keep them engaged

Encourage as much face time as possible with their new team, any opportunity for interaction is important, for example including them into a group chat on WhatsApp, Skype etc. This will introduce them and engage them in the team culture. Your key goal before and during onboarding is to over communicate.

Get equipment and logins out swiftly

Ensure that they have all they need to carry out their duties on day one including any computer equipment and the necessary logins. If there is any means of providing them with organisation/ corporate literature remotely, all the better. Ensure they have remote access to all relevant company documents and files. Think about sending a small ‘care package’ as a welcome gift.

Do regular one to ones

One to one meetings are important so that new members of staff have an opportunity to communicate with you and other key team members privately, as well as in a group/ team setting. Remember to encourage social get togethers as well, such as using video platforms for a team coffee or drink in order to encourage social interaction.

Record a ‘welcome video’

It allows you and/ or another team member to enthusiastically welcome the new employee to the organisation, discuss the team and how they will be able to carry out their role remotely. Include members of the senior management in this welcome video.  

Review your standard induction process

Pretty much every part of the standard induction process in week one can be moved to a virtual process. All training can be delivered online and it is likely that you already have training modules around compliance or health & safety etc. that are delivered via online training. Work with your internal training team or training providers to enhance your virtual offering for new starters.

Organise a team wide meet & greet session

Organise a team wide meet and greet session as a group call and then arrange individual one on ones with key team members so that the new hire is both introduced again to the team but also has an opportunity to start building key internal relationships.

Think about all the key stakeholders that your new hire needs to meet and arrange these as video calls. The more structured you can make this in the first few weeks the better – this will assist your new hire to understand their role and duties more quickly.

Task them with keeping a list of key questions

Ask your new starter to keep a list of key questions they might have and then ensure that they have a platform to start to work though these queries, for example a daily video call with their line manager.

Clearly, working day to day in an office allows these questions would be answered naturally, so it is key that they start with the habit of noting questions as they work so these can be addressed on a regular/ daily basis.

Check in regularly

Check in regularly but don’t keep checking up. By setting clear daily expectations and then following up, you or the line manager will be able to naturally track progress and development. Ask for help and perhaps a HR colleague can support you by organising a monthly catch up call with the new hire.

This will give an extra insight and assist you in keeping an eye on their overall wellbeing.

This is a stressful period for everyone, and a new hire will perhaps be feeling extra pressure to prove themselves in a new organisation.

Be open & adapt

Remote onboarding is a relatively new process for most organisations, so naturally there will be a few issues and perhaps challenges early on. So, it is important that all parties involved are understanding and willing to learn from mistakes. Have this conversation with your new hire early on – ask them to be forging but also ensure that you gather feedback and work to learn from any early mistakes.

 

If you would like more information about any aspects of remote recruitment or remote onboarding, please get in touch.

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