Stress busting

Stress busting

I came across this fantastic info graphic (don’t you just love them) about managing stress in the workplace drafted by Unum UK.

Every organisation should have a policy on dealing with stress (Crosse HR can help with this). Dealing with stress is a fact of life and should be an integral part of every organisation’s Wellness and wellbeing programme. Show you care. Start with this.

This infographic was crafted by Unum UK. Unum UK helps manage stress at work as part of employee benefits.

Diversity and equality

Diversity and equality

Did you know, because I didn’t that the current administration agreed to make Section 78 of the Equality Act 2010 – which makes gender pay discrepancies transparent – compulsory.

Currently women earn .81p for every £1 a man earns (ONS).

This means that from early 2016 firms with over 250 + employees will have to publish any pay gaps between the genders!

That should make for some very embarrassing reading in early 2016. As any women will tell you, asking to be paid what you are worth, not to mention the same as your male counterparts doing the same job, is an excruciating, usually futile experience. Maybe this naming and shaming might result in a level playing field, who knows, I for one will be interested to see how all this plays out.

On a slightly different topic but relevant,

I attended a meeting this week at Green Park executive search and while I was waiting I started to read their rather brilliant booklet called DIVERSITY – A ten minute guide for the busy executive, part of their little green book series. It was a surprisingly illuminating read and I was particularly taken with their ‘Nine figures that will startle you’ piece on diversity in the UK workplace. To put it all in perspective according to the piece, in 2011 87% or 55 million people in the UK describe themselves as White. The remaining 13%, some 8.1 million belong to an ethnic group, representing 1 in 8 of the UK population. The article goes on to say,

1 – 65 companies in the FTSE 100 – in effect, two out of every three companies have an all White executive leadership (Green Park Diversity Analytics)

2 – Fewer than half of all Londoners now describe themselves as White British. The same is true of Leicester, Luton and Slough (ONS)

3 – The US is also reaching a demographic tipping point. Black, Hispanic, Asian and mixed race births comprised over half of new arrivals in 2011 – (US Census Bureau)

4- Nigeria is projected to become the worlds fourth most populous contrary by 2050 (Population Reference Bureau)

5 – 8% of Black students are at Russell Group universities, compared with just a quarter of White students. (Equality and Human Rights Commission)

6 – Only 17% of disabled people were born with disabilities. The majority acquire their disability in the course of their working lives. (Papworth Trut)

7 – Women represent a growth market more than twice as big as China and India combined (Harvard Business Review)

8 – Across the UK in 2012, the full time gender pay gap in annual earnings was just under 20%. The gap was widest in the financial and insurance sectors. Across all sectors, pay discrepancies were most pronounced among managers, directors and senior officials. (Equality and Human Rights Commission)

9 – Britons think that youth ends at the age of 35; for Greeks the age is 52 (European Social Survey)

So what this article says to me is, that most companies in the UK need to smarten up and dust off their Diversity policies and make a concerted effort to adequately reflect and mirror the current and future demographic, that is where their customer base and profits will lie. We should all be doing it now.

Talent is diverse and spans all spectrums, people should be rewarded and promoted according to their abilities regardless of any other factors, one no one group shut out from the upper echelons of corporate and business life.



When the past should remain just that!

When the past should remain just that!

I’m a bit baffled about this current palaver concerning the Queen when she was a 7 YR OLD CHILD larking about in her garden with her family giving what looks like a Nazi salute. My first reaction was who cares it was over 80 years ago and a lot has happened since, my second reaction was, are there not more pressing issues to be getting het up about such as ISIS, housing shortages and Greece, my third was a feeling that in no shape manner or form did the woman she became, support no more than the rest of us what went on in Europe during the second world war, my fourth reaction was, but she was only a child – a 7 year old child, we’ve all done many a thing as children and indeed as adults that you’d prefer you didn’t and if you had your time again you certainly wouldn’t, thats life.

It got me thinking about that fourth point. I have mentored quite a few young people over the years to help them get places on apprenticeship schemes, internships, jobs and places at college. A lot of these young people have records, some serious, others not so, but records they certainly have. Every single one of them occurred when they were under the age of 16, every single one. So, can you imagine, how they feel a few short years later when they are desperately trying to improve their lives and get a job, and a mobile phone contract they reneged on at 14 comes back to haunt them (btw you cannot get a contract of employment until you are 16, so it is beyond my comprehension why mobile phone companies allow 14 year olds to enter into mobile phone ones, and then are surprised when nothing gets paid but that is for another day), that lipstick they shoplifted from Boots where they got that caution, that parcel they delivered for a gang that did not contain an educational book, yup all on record, stuff they did (which they shouldn’t ) staring straight back at them telling the world not to give them a chance, all because when they were silly impressionable children with or without decent adult guidance they did something foolish. Thankfully, there are some amazing organisations out there more than willing to do the decent thing and give young people a chance.

All of us have done plenty of dodgy, and silly things (one friend of mine at 12 set fire to a field and to this day regrets it bitterly, another one crashed his Dad’s car into a fence at 13 and barely drives since), its called growing up. Some of us had the wits not to get caught and if we did, we had the parental support and funds to make sure it did not tarnish us for the rest of our lives. A quick dollop of punishment (in my case a good hiding), a humiliating apology (to the perceived victim), a loss of freedom or sweets, and it being brought up at every family event since usually did the trick and we moved on, but what about those kids who don’t have that. Should something you do as a child or young adult be allowed to taint your life as you try to move forward for the rest of it?

As employers I firmly believe we should do our best to look forward not backwards, get the facts and make a decent judgement call to give someone a chance, should you be faced with a similar situation. There is nothing finer and more noble than giving someone a decent start and chance when everything and everyone is telling you not to. It usually works out too and that cycle is broken, they will not have their kids behaving like that I’ll bet.

The Queen has dedicated her life to public service, I bet sometimes cutting a ribbon, being paraded out around Horseguards every year watching the same old marching bands or listening to yet another foreign dignatory drone on she wishes she hadn’t, what happened at 7, 11, 13, 15 or 16 should in no way diminish what fantastic adults and what great contributions most of us contribute to society, give or take the odd dodgy thing we might have done when we knew no better, and be grateful someone gave us all a chance.