The Perspective

How to improve Employee Wellbeing: 5 simple tips

Workplace Wellbeing isn’t necessarily new, but it is certainly a growing phenomenon. Friday 31st March is National Workplace Wellbeing Day and according to research done in advance of the event, 6 out of 10 employees would be more likely to stay long term in an organisation that showed concern for their wellbeing. There can be an element of cynicism about wellbeing initiatives: that they are too ‘huggy’, and don’t take into consideration an organisation’s commercial pressures or contribute to the…

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The Open Plan office: Good on paper..

Some years back, I joined a company mid-way through their office refurbishment. It was quite interesting to see the contrast between the cramped, dark, red felt walled offices of old and the expansive, bright, open minimalist look of the new workspace. The cost of the refurbishment was substantial but the rationale was clear: the business was growing, as were real estate costs, and to stay in the same landmark building, the company needed to maximise its use of space. The other…

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Office dress codes: going out of fashion?

Nicola Thorp can’t have imagined her first day working as a receptionist at PwC would have been so eventful. Having arrived in a pair of flat shoes, she was told by Portico, the outsourcing agency that she needed to wear 2-4 inch heels, as outlined in the company’s ‘appearance guidelines’. Clearly unimpressed with her employer’s demands, she gathered over 150,000 signatures calling on the British government to ban employers enforcing a high heel dress code on their female staff. Thorp’s…

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International Women’s Day: Challenging gender inequality in the workplace

According to recent figures compiled by Eurostat, Ireland is one of the top performers in the EU when it comes to gender pay gaps. Its 16 per cent differential between men and lower-paid female colleagues of equal standing was the fifth-smallest in the EU. This position is slightly at odds with the recent PWC report which claims that the Irish gender pay gap has actually widened between 2012 and 2015. However one wishes to interpret this, and other gender focused…

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Performance Management: Why the ‘system’ doesn’t work

PWC’s 2017 HRD pulse survey made for interesting reading. One of the findings was that most organisations polled have changed, or are set to change their performance management, model. This is nothing new, in my 15 years working in Multinational organisations, changing the ‘model’ was a constant; generally underpinned by the rollout of a system that promised to be the panacea to managing performance. The thinking was that if you improve the system, you improve the process. And in theory,…

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Workplace inspections: The role of the WRC

Employers often ask me for guidance around their responsibilities towards their employees. What to put in a contract, holiday and leave entitlements etc. I am also frequently asked similar questions by (sometimes disgruntled) employees and furthermore, asked how and what happens when an Employer is in breach of legislation. The Workplace Relation Commission’s Inspection Services (formerly known as NERA: National Employment Rights Agency) are responsible for the monitoring of Employment rights in Ireland. They do this through their powers of inspection of all…

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The square peg of People Management

A reality of most companies with traditional organisational structures is that the more senior an employee becomes in the organisation, the more people they manage. In fact, the acquisition of a team is often considered a rite of passage, as a result of promotion through the business. However, we don’t always appreciate that People Management requires, as Liam Neeson would say, a particular set of skills that are not universal, in the same way we are not all good with…

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Earlier this year I reignited my love of reading (thanks in part to @rathfarnhambook who supply 'em on tap. Around August I realised that by coincedence everything I'd read so far was by women authors so decided to continue for the rest of the year.

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