Employee Relations

Weathering the storm: A guide for Employers during adverse weather conditions

For the second time in six months, employers are faced with the possibility of weather related absenteeism of their staff. Even though October’s Storm Ophelia posed many questions about weather related absence, and whether employees should be paid, we’re entering another grey area this week as the ‘Beast from the East’ (or the much less cheesy Storm Emma) takes hold. One thing we have learned though, is that communication is key, and so the sooner employers can establish a plan…

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Why you need a holiday.

I am back at work after my summer holidays. 12 fabulous days of glorious sunshine, lazy lunches, rest and relaxation. There were a few meltdowns over dropped ice cream cones and collapsing sandcastles, but my husband soon got over those… In any case, it is great to be back at work and I really feel the benefit of the time away. As a self-employed consultant, taking leave can be a challenge as one wants to be available for one’s clients…

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Why we can’t all be people leaders

The 2017 Deloitte report on Human Capital Trends illustrates the rapidly changing landscape for many organisations in relation to their leadership structures. The current reality of most companies with traditional organisational structures is that People Leadership comes through a combination of tenure, experience, and business performance. In fact, the acquisition of a team is often considered a rite of passage, because of promotion through the business. However, what is becoming increasingly apparent is that People Leadership requires, as Liam Neeson…

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When bad jobs happen to good people

Being a recruiter is great. We get to make lofty assumptions and judgements on a person’s whole career based on their lovingly crafted 2-page summary. Those with a standard career trajectory and long tenure in organisations generally fare well during this corporate equivalent of The Hunger Games, but anybody with a slightly unorthodox career path risks being discarded in favour of a safer option. We’ve come a long way towards accepting our differences, but we need to be more grown…

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Pepsi, Kendall, and how to overcome Organisational Groupthink

Oscar Wilde said that the only thing worse than being talked about, was not being talked about. That may be true, but there are still some red faces at Pepsi this week following their decision to pull their multimillion dollar, high profile advertisement featuring Kendall Jenner offering a refreshing beverage to a Policeman to the delight and rapturous applause of hundreds of protesters. This post isn’t about how Pepsi made a cheesy ad (they did) or how the tone of…

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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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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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