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The UKs great digital divide narrowed by pandemic


digital divideNew research by Rouge Media, highlights where in the UK has the most lapsed or internet non-users, following Ofcom’s announcement that the digital divide has been narrowed by pandemic, but around 1.5m homes remain without internet access.

Over recent years, there’s been a growing focus on so-called “internet non-users” as part of the debate about the UK’s digital divide and its impact on inclusion. And the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the digital divide like never before, as communication and many vital services moved online.

By analysing local and regional differences in internet non-use using the latest ONS data, Rouge Media also highlights where in the UK has the highest percentage of lapsed and internet non-users.


Key findings

At a local level, Luton, Bedfordshire has the largest number of internet non-users proportionate to its population. The number of residents who have never used the internet or haven’t used it in the past three months rose from 6.6 percent in 2019 to a staggering 22.2 percent in 2020. This means many local residents were left unable to access important online services or benefit from communication apps during the first national lockdown last year.

Given that the percentage of residents over the age of 60 in Luton is lower than the national average, the data points to other social or economic factors at play, with widening inequalities caused by the pandemic perhaps playing a role. The town’s economy has been hardest hit by the loss of revenue from Luton Airport during the pandemic, with the council’s finance chief estimating a £70m shortfall in real terms.

Ranked in second place is Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland with 20.9 percent of its population living offline in 2020 (up from 10.3 percent in 2019). Powys in Wales follows closely behind in third place – 20.3 percent of its population lived without the internet in 2020 compared to 14.4 percent the year before.

Looking at the data at a regional level, the digital divide is largest in Northern Ireland – with 11.8 percent of residents reporting they haven’t used the internet in the past three months or have never used it.

Although 174,000 people report living offline in Northern Ireland, its digital divide is closing at an encouraging rate, falling over 25 percent between 2017 and 2020. Openreach have announced plans to invest £100m into NI broadband, hopefully encouraging even more of the population to get online.

Ranked in second place is the North East, with 11 percent of residents living offline at the start of the pandemic – only 0.7 percent behind Northern Ireland. However, its hoped that this will drop further after the region’s superfast broadband upgrade in November 2020.

Since 2017, the North East’s digital divide has closed by 19 percent and just 0.1 percent compared to 2019.

Wales comes in third place for its digital divide, with 9.8 percent of its residents either lapsed or internet non-users in 2020 – down from 10.4 percent in 2019.

Unsurprisingly, Greater London has the smallest percent of the population living offline. One of the factors influencing London’s smaller digital divide is its population is comparatively young; the average age in London is 35.6, compared to 40.3 in the UK overall.

“It’s clear that while positive progress has been made, an enduring digital divide remains”

In Inner London, almost half the population is in their early twenties to early forties (46.7 percent), compared to 30.9 percent in the rest of England. Much of the city is made up of the ‘young professional’ demographic, however there are still 347,000 people living offline out of the 9 million residents. Since 2017, London’s digital divide has closed by an impressive 31 percent.

As the portion of the population who were born before the internet becomes smaller and the first generation of “digital natives” reach adulthood, the digital divide is expected to close further and at an accelerated rate across the whole of the UK

However, enduring social and economic issues will remain, preventing people from using or benefiting from the internet fully. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased inequalities between rich and poor households, squeezing budgets further.

According to the Resolution Foundation thinktank, British families took a bigger hit to their income during the pandemic than their European counterparts due to the structure of the UK economy and rising income inequality. This could impact the number of households who are able to afford internet access and IT equipment, with other vital goods and services being prioritised.

Andy Woods, Director of Rouge Media commented on the findings: “It’s been really interesting to study the UK’s digital divide and the progress being made in reducing the number of residents living offline, especially at a time when internet access has never been so important.

“It’s clear that while positive progress has been made, an enduring digital divide remains nationwide which appears to be impacting older residents and poorer households unequally.”

Read more about the study here.

Image by Antonios Ntoumas

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Boost Employee Engagement and Retention with These 5 Perks


Boost Employee Engagement

Boost Employee Engagement

You might think that offering more pay is the only way to really keep employees engaged with their work. And, yes, it’s true that everyone wants — and needs — to be fairly compensated for their work. But you only need so much money. At a certain point, perks and benefits become more important than salary.

And we’re not just talking about health insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans, here — you should be offering those things anyway, especially if you want to attract good candidates. To draw in more of the real talent and keep your existing employees loyal to the company, try offering some of these coveted perks.

1) Flex Time

Everyone’s busy, especially these days. Employees might have kids going back and forth from online to in-person school. They might be isolating after COVID exposure or recovering from a bout of the illness. They might be getting vaccinated. And, of course, there are all the usual things that have been disrupting workdays since time began — sick kids, flat tires, bad weather, and poor mental health, for example. Plus, these days, many of your employees may be moonlighting to make ends meet.

With the realities of modern life seeming to place more and more demands on our time each day, good candidates want to work for companies that offer flex scheduling. Offer your employees the option to come in later and work later, or work four ten-hour shifts a week instead of five eight-hour ones, or work through lunch in order to leave an hour early some days. If it doesn’t matter what time of day the work gets done, then you don’t have to hold your employees to a strict schedule.

2) Tuition Reimbursement

Employees want you to invest in their professional development, and there’s no better way to do that than to offer tuition reimbursement for employees attending qualifying master’s and bachelor’s degree programs. If you’re worried about employees flying the coop once they get a degree on your company’s dime, fear not — you can require employees to remain with the company for a few years after the degree is completed in order to capitalize on your investment and get a better-educated workforce. Those who may want to pursue further education to advance their careers will be attracted to your company for the opportunity to save money on tuition costs. 

3) Improvements to the Work Environment

No one wants to spend their working life staring at the gray walls of a cubicle. Today’s employees are demanding that the workplace be a welcoming and comfortable one. Collaborative workstations, sit/stand desks, live plants, natural light, and nice artwork are some of the trendiest ways to make the workplace more comfortable. You can attain employee retention at work by using these following strategies. Allowing employees to listen to headphones while doing their work, offering refreshments, and providing private break areas can also improve the work environment.

4) Employee Discounts

This perk won’t make sense for every organization, to be sure, but if you’re running a retail location or a restaurant, or some other business where employees may become customers after they clock out, then offering an employee discount is a good idea. You must know the working benefits for employees and perks that they actually want. Employees won’t think very highly of you if you fail to offer a discount to employees who want to buy your goods and services. 

5) Regular Remote Work

If there’s one thing that we’ve learned over the past couple of years, it’s the value of being able to work remotely when the situation calls for it. Employees who have worked from home for a year or more due to COVID may have gotten used to the convenience of a morning commute to the couch, and they know that more companies are open to telecommuting, now that they’ve seen it doesn’t harm productivity. If you don’t offer your employees the option to work remotely at least some of the time, they may very well jump ship for a company with a more accommodating remote work policy.

You don’t have to give out raises to keep your employees engaged with your company and their work. Assuming your employees are sufficiently compensated, the right perks might get them more excited about their work than another raise. Create the kind of workplace that fosters loyalty and dedication, and you’ll hang onto more of your employees longer and get more out of them, too.

Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

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Organisations are finally getting their heads around what the office is really good at


Modern office design by BDGAs 2020 came to a close, there was a palpable sense of hope that 2021 would bring with it a fresh slate with the horrors of COVID behind us. Alas, that has not happened and it seems we have more of the same, certainly for the next few months and with that the speculation about the ‘future of the office’ will no doubt continue.

If we rewind to March 2020 when there was a phenomenal amount of knee-jerking rhetoric from all quarters; was this really the great and unplanned working from home experiment? Death of the office? Perhaps the start of a new normal even? I think not and there are a number of factors why it isn’t; firstly, children aren’t at school, secondly the bars, restaurants and shops are closed and thirdly, even now, we are only as far as the autumn of a global pandemic.

Businesses struggled to get their heads around the concept of agile working at all

With so many unknowns, the urge to predict the definitive future of the office seems futile but that doesn’t seem to stop some commentators. Let us not forget that right up until the moment of lockdown, the majority of businesses struggled to get their heads around the concept of agile working at all – so to conceive that organisations suddenly developed the cultures, organisational structures, property strategies and wellbeing programmes to support employees for an entirely different approach to work in a matter of weeks is disingenuous.

What has happened, to the credit of many workers, is that they have coped and managed in the face of adversity – but it hasn’t been easy for the majority.

Two key positives to take at this point: reticent employers have learnt to trust their employees to work from home and for the majority, the tech works but these are hygiene factors. The long term and far more complex issues to deal with are centred around the multifaceted topics of human interaction and feelings of isolation, as well as generating creativity and spark.


A new hope

This is where the ‘office’ serves its primary purpose, it brings people together for a united goal, essentially it is where the magic happens – not in a regimented manner dictated to by diary invites from one Zoom meeting to another Teams but with true spontaneity.

High performing working environments don’t happen by accident, they are the result of experts who have spent years understanding and crafting what the optimum space for business and people should be. Importantly this isn’t just about the physical space, the impact on mental wellbeing is enormous, jumping from one call to the next doesn’t allow sufficient time to re-energise and reset, discuss and digest. Without the essential time for contemplation, employees and therefore businesses will ultimately suffer.

The issue of ‘productivity’ is also an interesting one. Prior to lockdown, measuring productivity has always been the ‘holy grail’ for workplace experts. Yet suddenly we are faced with reports that employees feel more productive at home – and of course they (genuinely I must add) do feel more productive at an individual level but this doesn’t necessarily translate into an overall increase of business productivity.


Beware productivity

Commentators need to be wary of expressing the ‘feel good factor’ as productivity, the risk is that we begin to measure workers purely on transactional tasks, of which the unintended consequence could be the deskilling of the workforce.

Senior and established members also need to be wary about losing touch with the company

Forward thinking leaders know how vital culture is to the success of a business. When a person is hired it is not only for the mechanics of their skills, it is also for all the wonderful immeasurable elements of their personality. You hire them not just for the immediate need but for their potential to be part of the future too. Which brings me neatly to my next point – the complexity of on boarding remotely; it is very difficult to get to know someone, what they are capable of and to create to chemistry within a team – it is especially hard on the naturally shy.

Senior and established members also need to be wary about losing touch with the company. Remote structures seem to be far more hierarchal, the ad-hoc chats with a new member of staff in the kitchen aren’t happening and that is a dangerous place to be for a leader. The division continues when we consider generations – there is huge difference between an established person working from a designated office at home, to the intern who may be stuck in the same small living space, often shared, all day. The gulf in quality of life is enormous.

Overall, there are undeniable benefits to a flexible work approach and it is imperative that these are retained as we move forward into hybrid solutions but we must do so with realism, understanding that it is still not perfect, needing careful consideration and management. The balance between office and home is crucial and must still favour the office as the beating heart of the operation.

What is emerging from this crisis is the hugely elevated consciousness and interest around employee wellbeing and social purpose. Successful businesses that survive and flourish beyond the pandemic will be those that continue to prioritise employee welfare, coupled with their wider contribution to society.

This piece first appeared in issue 6 of IN Magazine. Image: BDG architecture + design 

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Originally posted at Workplace Insight

Graduates alienated by remote working, with majority wanting social interaction


graduates and remote workingGen Z is the largest generation in human history, and over the next 10 years, 1.3 billion of its members will enter the global workforce. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that this new generation of graduates is entering one of the toughest job markets in decades.

This is according to Small Business Prices who have analysed the top industries and countries for a graduate career trajectory of the best places for Gen Z to work in a post-pandemic world.

Elementary trades such as selling goods, providing services, delivering or door keeping rank as the most popular profession for Gen Z to pursue a career in a post-pandemic world. A starting salary of £33,000 can grow to nearly double at £64,000 and the profession provides 17,000 jobs to the Gen Z demographic in the UK.

Sales occupations and health and social care professions are the next most popular option for Gen Z graduates and school leavers. Sales occupations account for 17.5 percent of the Gen Z working population, providing 124,000 jobs each year to Gen Z alone.


Top 10 companies that Gen Z want to secure an internship

Google ranks as the most desirable internship for Gen Z’s to secure after their studies. Google receives over 2 million applications every year, and 1 out of every 130 applicants receives an offer for a position, making it 10 times harder to get into Google than Harvard.

This is followed by Apple and Microsoft which highlights the large tech corporations as the dominator for hiring the bright minds of the future. Tesla is the fourth most popular choice for internships and also one of the newest companies on the list, highlighting the tech billionaire CEO, Elon Musk’s profound influence on the younger generation.


Top 10 countries and cities for Gen Z to start a career

For Gen Z looking at moving abroad to start a career, Bern in Switzerland ranks as the most popular choice. With 438 bars and pubs per 100,000 capita, it is the top choice for those wanting a vibrant social scene following the pandemic. While the rent borders on the expensive side at an average of £902.66, the above average salary of £4,174 more than compensates for this.

Bogota in Columbia and Budapest in Hungary rank as the next top cities for Gen Z. Both cities boast a large social scene and affordable living costs for the younger generation who have yet to accumulate enough savings to facilitate extensive spending.

Read the full report here.

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UK business leaders pave the way for a hybrid working future


workingNew research by Applaud, claims that UK business HR decision makers are paving the way for a new era of work post-pandemic, with organisations across the country looking to close or downsize their offices and focus instead on hybrid, remote working.

With many office workers having worked remotely or in a hybrid environment for over a year, business attitudes towards on premise locations and flexible working are changing. 26 percent of UK businesses are now set to close, downsize or consolidate their offices post pandemic as a result, while over half (53 percent) will now enable some form of flexible and remote working.

The findings form part of a piece of research conducted on behalf of Applaud by YouGov, which looked at workplace trends post-pandemic. Interviewing key business HR decision makers across the UK, the research suggests that the pandemic has made organisations re-evaluate the office, looking to shift investments towards remote working tech and their HR teams instead.



The research, which saw HR Decision Makers at 500 small, medium and large organisations interviewed, claims that 53 percent of organisations will no longer require employees to come into the office five days a week; allowing them to work from home or remotely. 14 percent went as far as to say they will not require employees to visit the office at all, while 30 percent expected them in between 1 to 3 days.

The shake up in the way we work is likely to have lasting impact on business employee relations. The pandemic, which forced millions of workers into remote working almost overnight has offered organisations plenty of time to reflect on their existing processes.

44 percent admitted that their HR department was not equipped to deal with remote working during the early stages of the pandemic, with 43 percent having invested over the past few months in their HR teams to improve the situation. 35 percent are planning to develop an employee engagement role distinct from traditional HR to support staff engagement and improve employee experience remotely.

“Organisations must continue to invest in the HR technologies that offer a consumer-grade worker experience”

Sitting alongside this HR investment, respondents also said that they want to spend significant resources rewarding employees as the damage of the pandemic looks to soften. 18 percent said they will look to give employees better pay and or promotions in the coming months while 46 percent will implement better remote working tools to ensure continued engagement and productivity in a remote working future.

Commenting on the research Duncan Casemore, Co-founder and CTO, Applaud said: “When it comes to the way we work, organisations are embarking on an era of unprecedented change. Driven by employee experience, business leaders are turning away from the traditional five days in the office format, instead moving to provide more productive flexible and remote working scenarios.

“While there has been great clamour from the workforce to implement more flexibility in the way we work, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the catalyst to initiate these changes. To ensure employees remain productive while remote working, organisations must continue to invest in the HR technologies that offer a consumer-grade worker experience, and which keep remote employees motivated and happy.”

Image by Darkmoon_Art

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13 Top Work Benefits And Perks That Employees Want


medical insurance

medical insurance

Employers often underestimate the impact that offering a comprehensive benefits package can have on attracting and retaining employees. According to a Glassdoor employment confidence survey, 4 in 5 employees would prefer benefits and perks to an increase in pay.

As a human resources (HR) manager, you have the often challenging responsibility of providing employees with a positive culture and valuable benefits at a cost that is reasonable for your employer to take on.

Here are 13 of the top work benefits and perks that employees want from their employers.

1. Medical Insurance

For many employees, medical insurance is the most important benefit an employer can offer. Of course, medical insurance is not a particularly rare benefit to be offered, but medical insurance packages vary greatly from one business to the next.

Ideally, employees want their employers to offer employer-sponsored group insurance plans. The better the coverage and the more money the employer is willing to pay towards the employee’s premium, the greater the perceived benefit is for employees.

2. Disability Insurance

An insurance package that is often overlooked by employers is short-term and long-term disability insurance.

Particularly if your company’s employees work in an environment that has a higher risk of accident or injury, they will likely want access to disability insurance plans that allow them to receive compensation while they are unable to perform their jobs.

3. Dental Insurance

Following medical insurance, employees regard dental insurance as the most important benefit that an employer can offer.

Unfortunately for employees, dental insurance for adults isn’t an essential health benefit that health insurance plans are required to include under the Affordable Care Act.

On the other hand, dental insurance doesn’t have to be particularly costly for your company, either. While it’s certainly an added expense, an employer-sponsored dental insurance plan might only cost an employer as little as a few dollars per month per employee.

4. Vision Insurance

Similar to dental coverage, only pediatric vision coverage is considered an essential benefit under the Affordable Care Act. Understandably, employees want their employers to offer vision insurance plans in order to help reduce the cost of eye screenings and exams.

As an employer-sponsored vision insurance plan might only cost a few dollars per month per employee, your company should strongly consider adding it to its benefits package.

5. Student Loan Assistance

Today, the majority of graduates leave their universities with thousands of dollars in student loan debt.

Especially for recent graduates who are staring down the barrel of the next few decades of student loan payments, one of the most attractive benefits that companies can offer to entice and retain young talent is student loan assistance.

6. Tuition Assistance

Throughout their professional careers, many employees choose to further their education. If your company is able to provide tuition assistance, you can increase your ability to retain an employee for at least the duration of his or her degree program.

The business can also benefit from providing tuition assistance, as employees who add to their knowledge and develop new skills often find opportunities to apply these elements in the workplace—particularly if their field of study is related to their current career path.

7. Flexible Office Hours

As employees juggle all sorts of responsibilities, activities, and hobbies outside of the workplace, flexible office hours are a benefit that the average worker appreciates.

Not only does it indicate a sense of trust between employer and employee but it may also help relieve an employee’s stress—making him or her more productive at work as a result.

8. Work-From-Home Options

While the COVID-19 pandemic left employers with virtually no choice but to provide more work-from-home opportunities for employees, it also taught them that working from a home environment has its merits.

Work-from-home opportunities eliminate lengthy commutes, and employees who are also parents are able to watch over young children while on the clock.

Besides keeping employees happy, remote work opportunities also allow employers to expand their available talent pool and hire workers from all over the globe.

9. Shortened Workweeks

While many employers will be hesitant to offer shortened workweeks if they are accustomed to a traditional workweek, there are a few ways in which shortening the workweek might pay dividends to your company.

In fact, Microsoft Japan reported that a four-day workweek experiment resulted in shorter meetings, higher productivity, and lower energy and resource consumption.

10. Paid Parental Leave

Particularly if your company has a younger employee demographic, paid parental leave is a benefit you should consider offering.

Today, it’s estimated that roughly one-third of companies offer maternity leave to women. While paternal leave isn’t offered nearly as frequently to fathers of newborn children (nor do many fathers ever take it), it can be a desirable benefit to some.

11. Day Care Services

Similarly, day care is one of the most costly expenses that employees with young children have to worry about. By paying a portion of an employee’s day care costs, your company can reduce this financial burden.

Depending on the size and location of your business, offering on-site day care services to your employees might also be an option. This will give them an even greater peace of mind, knowing that their young children are relatively nearby at all times.

12. Free Food

Free food might seem like a relatively insignificant perk compared to more critical benefits, such as health insurance and paid parental leave. However, offering complimentary food and drink can contribute to positive morale in the workplace.

According to a survey from Peapod, 56% of people are either “extremely happy” or “very happy” at their current jobs. That figure jumps to 67% for people who are given free food at work.

13. Free Gym Memberships

Promoting good health can have a positive effect on both employee and employer. Consider providing free gym memberships to your employees as an incentive to not only improve their personal fitness but also stay at your company.

Depending on the size of your business and the number of memberships you will need, your local gym or yoga studio may even agree to offer your company a discounted group rate.

Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash

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How to give feedback: 5 best practices for managers


how to give feedback

Managers know that giving clear, consistent feedback is key to improving employee engagement, and helping them to continuously develop and improve. Learning how to give meaningful and constructive feedback is one of the most important tasks of being a manager.

Whether you’re giving positive feedback that helps your employees know they’re doing well, or delivering more constructive and negative feedback that helps them spot things they might have missed, doing so effectively makes all the difference. Despite how much we know about the importance of giving employee feedback

19% of employees don’t feel that the feedback they get is valuable.

— Officevibe’s Pulse Survey data

If you’re not focused on giving frequent and clear employee feedback, you might be missing out on the chance to develop and challenge your team. Learn how to give feedback that resonates with the framework outlined below.

SBI model: a framework for better feedback

Imagine in your next one-on-one, you tell your employee: “You’re doing great with your customer calls, but your reports need some improvement.”

You may think you’ve just had a high quality conversation with your employee. But your employee might leave the conversation thinking: “What about my customer calls is going well, and what about my reports needs improvement?”

This is where the Situation-Behavior-Impact (SBI) model can help you give clear, actionable feedback.

The SBI framework:

  • Give context to the situation
  • Identify the behavior to be discussed, and
  • Share the impact this behavior had

In the feedback example above, you could reframe both the positive and negative feedback using the S-B-I model like this:

How to give positive feedback

In the client call I shadowed you on this morning (situation) you did an excellent job describing the features and benefits of our products (behavior). As a result, the client was able to make their purchase with confidence (impact).

How to give negative feedback:

When you completed your inventory report on Friday (situation) you forget to include important details on certain products (behavior). This created inventory discrepancies for our team which lead to extra work being done (impact).

In both the above scenarios, your employee will know exactly what you’re referring to and why it’s important. To take constructive feedback one step further, you can then focus on a request for improvement.

For example: “Next Friday, please re-read your report or have your colleague check it over before you submit.”

Remember that feedback shouldn’t be arbitrary. For it to be useful and impactful, it has to be focused on what a person did (as opposed to who they are as a person) and on the outcome of their actions. Employee feedback must be applicable in the future for it to be worth sharing. The goal of feedback should always be to help the other person improve.

Master your feedback skills with our simple 10-step feedback framework.

hand holding an ebook on feedback

Feedback sessions: before, during, and after

Do you have a feedback session or a performance review coming up? Setting up a trusting and open environment to give a person effective feedback can be just as important as the content of what you say when it comes to delivering feedback that lands.

Before: check in with your employees

Make sure your employees are in a good headspace to hear feedback. Don’t have these delicate conversations on the fly or when either of you are distracted. You could use your weekly 1-on-1 to ensure that your employee is coming into the conversation with the right mindset. You should also check in with yourself, and make sure your headspace is cleared too. Consider doing a short mindfulness meditation before entering the conversation.

During: give them your full attention

During the conversation, make sure to give your employee your complete attention so they know that you’re invested in the dialogue. When you’re giving feedback, use open body language, like having your arms to the side rather than crossed and making direct eye contact, to make sure they feel comfortable and safe.

Don’t forget: mute your email notifications and turn your phone on silent!

After: check for clarity

Once the conversation ends, thank your employee for taking the time to hear you out. Ask them if they understand exactly what it is you’ve said, and if your suggestions for the future behaviors are clear.

You can try saying: “Do you feel you have everything you need to get started on the next steps? If not, what’s missing?”

Ask them how they feel about the feedback and to share their perspective on your impressions. Feedback from one person to another is just that, an impression, so let employees share their perspective on the matter too.

5 Best practices for giving feedback that lands

Beyond what we’ve already covered, here are some quick tips to help you successfully handle feedback conversations.

1. Don’t wait until it hurts

Make sure you’re giving feedback often, and don’t wait until a situation implodes to share feedback. If you consistently make feedback (both positive and negative) part of the general conversations you’re having with employees, it won’t feel like a big deal when you have something specific to share.

2. Avoid any criticism

When giving feedback, imagine that you’re sharing an observation from a movie clip that you watched. You’re thinking back to the scene which you witnessed, and you’re simply sharing the observation of what you saw. This means, no statements or judgement about your employees character or personality. Focus on behavior and performance.

3. Be open-minded

The feedback you give is your perspective, and it’s important to remember that it’s not the only one. Your employee might see things differently, just as someone outside of the situation may see things differently, too. Always be open to your feedback turning into a discussion that may lead to a conclusion you hadn’t considered.

4. Ask for feedback, too

Find out how your employees are feeling about the feedback you’re currently giving them by asking for their feedback. Officevibe’s employee feedback tool lets team members share their thoughts with you anytime, with an option for anonymity. Send your response in-app, turning feedback into a two-way chat — while employees stay anonymous (or not).

5. Shift your practice for virtual

As we continue to work virtually, remember the nuances involved with virtual communication. If you have something important to say, consider the tone that comes across over Slack. Your message may be perceived in the wrong way if you don’t take the time to connect face to face. Make sure that important pieces of feedback are delivered over video chat and that you’re still maintaining your presence, even when remote.

If you want to keep your employees engaged, give them effective feedback that resonates!

Originally posted at Office Vibe

Live webinar: How does Process Mining support your Intelligent Automation Journey?


Live webinar: How does Process Mining support your Intelligent Automation Journey?

Thursday, May 27th at 10:00-10:50 EET

Companies use process mining to automatically visualize process flows based on data from their information systems. By using process mining during an RPA implementation, businesses can increase the business value by 40 % while reducing the implementation time by 50% and decreasing the RPA project risk by 60%.

According to Forrester, 83% of business decision-makers plan to increase process optimization in customer journey mapping, and 57% of them are planning to expand it significantly. Process mining is one of the main tools in the process optimization toolkit.

Join our webinar on May 27th with Matti Erkheikki, Senior Vice President Process Mining and Strategy at QPR Software Plc, to learn more about Process Mining and how it can take your RPA program to the next level. Find new ways to boost your operational efficiency: identify and eliminate operational waste, make sure automation bots are working as they should, and ensure you’re adhering to rules and regulations.

Throughout the live webinar, we invite participants to send in questions. Submit your questions during the webinar to Matti and the webinar host, Tarja Pitkänen, via a live chat per topic. Or ask a question in advance as part of filling the registration form. We will answer questions from the audience during the live discussion.


Key takeaways from this session include:

  • What is Process Mining?
  • What are the newest features in Process Mining tools?
  • What are the benefits of Process Mining?
  • How Process Mining is supporting Process Automation?
  • How Process Mining has supported customers from several industries?




Matti Erkheikki

Senior Vice President Process Mining and Strategy at QPR Software Plc

Matti Erkheikki is responsible for Process Mining business at QPR Software
. He has been working in the business process management field for the last 20 years. During the last 10 years, he has specialized in process mining and participated in dozens of large process mining projects across verticals and supporting versatile different use cases like process automation

Tarja Pitkänen
Head of Banking and Insurance at Digital Workforce

Tarja is heading the Banking and Insurance sector at Digital Workforce
and has 30 years of senior-level experience in financial services.

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Originally posted at AnalyticsWeek

The workplace industry needs to think outside its ever-shrinking boxes


People are outgrowing the boxes the workplace industry offersIs the workplace industry stuck in the past, in a 20th century model of how and where work is done? The separation of work and the rest of life during the Industrial Age has shaped the structures of modern life: the houses we live in, the offices, factories and shops we work in, and the transport networks that shuffle us from one location to another for different activities. It has also shaped the planning system, the institutional and financial structures of how places are designed and built, and perhaps most of all the mindsets of just about everyone involved in creating places to work and live.

Yet we have known for more than three decades that work is bursting out from its 20th century boundaries. New technology tools, networks and aspirations for more choice reverse the assumptions around where is best to work.

Once there were genuine benefits in concentrating the resources needed for work. Now it’s often more advantageous to decentralise. Work can increasingly go to where people are, rather than shifting people to where the work is.

Unfortunately, we don’t see a great deal of new thinking from the workplace industry – or from planners– that addresses the issues and opportunities around the extended workplace.

Instead we find visions of “yesterday, tweaked a bit”. The focus is still primarily on the collective workplace. It will be smaller, for sure. Activity-based work settings may finally put the nail in the coffin of desk-dominated office design. But the collective workplace is still envisaged as the dominant place to work.

What we need now is a new conversation about the extended social infrastructure of work

At the same time, there are endless discussions here in the UK about building as many as 3 million homes in 10 years to address the housing shortage. The numbers, where to put them, how to finance them and make them more environmentally sustainable dominate the debates.

No one seems to be asking “What are homes for in the 21st century?” This is the critical counterpart to the question, “What is the workplace for?”

Home-based working has been growing over the past three decades, now vastly accelerated by experiences during the pandemic. Millions have discovered, “This is doable, and actually I like it!”

So what we need now is a new conversation about the extended social infrastructure of work. Since the 1970s, homes on average have got significantly smaller, just as we discover that homes need to accommodate significant levels of employment and enterprise. And we need to move beyond banal generalisations about homes being for best for focus work, offices for social interaction. The world is moving much faster than that.

So the workplace industry needs to shift its focus away from a preoccupation with its ever-shrinking boxes. We need to think innovatively about the design of 21st century homes that double as workplaces, and about the shape of new settlements that support a wide range of work activities in homes, shared workspaces and public areas.

Making great places to work is now a much wider topic – and should provide exciting opportunities for the workplace industry to address.

The piece first appeared in issue 7 of IN Magazine. The author expands on these ideas in a longer feature and podcast at our sister journal Work and Place.

Illustration. From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. John Tenniel. Public Domain. 

The post The workplace industry needs to think outside its ever-shrinking boxes appeared first on Workplace Insight.

Originally posted at Workplace Insight

What practices can HR leaders implement to ensure benefits to the company through attrition?


Employee attrition

Employee attrition

Employee attrition is a natural process in which a company loses its employees due to certain life events such as resignation, retirement, elimination of a particular position, or other such reasons. In case of attrition, employers do not fill up the vacancy left by the former employees who leave their job voluntarily. 

Attrition can be beneficial to the company in certain situations. This article serves as a guideline and describes all the practices that human resource leaders and managers can implement in the company to benefit from attrition. 

What are the reasons for employee attrition?

Following are the main reasons leading to employee attrition in firms. 

  1. After reaching a certain age, employees may choose to retire from their jobs.
  2. If the employee decides to switch careers, he may leave the current job position. 
  3. Employees may also resign due to personal reasons or certain life events, owing to which they may not be able to continue their current jobs. 
  4. If the employees face challenges or unfavorable situations at the workplace, they may tend to resign.
  5. After working for some months, the employee might realize that the job is not fit to his expertise or skills, and he may not want to continue further. 
  6. An excessive amount of work and unrealistic deadlines make an employee stressed that force him to search for some low stressful jobs somewhere else.

Employee attrition vs. employee turnover

Attrition is the natural process of employee reduction in a company where the employer does not fill the vacancy left by the former employee. Attrition can be considered both positive and negative. 

Whereas staff turnover is voluntary (employee leaves based upon free will) or involuntary (the company fires employee) loss of an employee, where the employers have to fill up the vacancy left by the former employee through new recruitments. Moreover, turnover is usually viewed negatively, and it can be a burden for the company’s management. 

Benefits of employee attrition to the company

When the employees leave an organization voluntarily, this situation can be beneficial for the company in the following ways:

  • When employers do not fill up the vacant position, departmental workflows can be changed. The company can assign new duties to the rest of the employees and shift resources allocated for that position within the organization.
  • When employees leave the company voluntarily, labor costs on the company reduce that can be allocated in other areas. Labor costs refer to the wages of those employees, along with appraisals and bonuses. 
  • Organizational culture improves if the employees that are troublesome and negatively impact the company culture leave through attrition.
  • When some employees retire or resign, this can be considered a fresh start for the company, and the current employees can be offered new opportunities or new positions can be created that would add to the productivity of the company. 
  • If underperforming employees leave the company, this can pose a positive impact on the company’s productivity. Underperforming employees often hinder their work efficiency and influence other employees if they are hired at important positions. Through attrition, the company becomes able to solve this problem without turnover or layoffs. 

Suitable practices that HR leaders can implement to ensure benefits to the company through attrition

As an HR leader, you would be responsible for managing the workforce of the company. HR leaders can create and shape a dedicated, productive, and engaged workforce through proper awareness and understanding. In the case of employee attrition, you can implement the following practices to ensure benefits for the company. 

  • When employees resign or retire, HR leaders can focus on the remaining employees and implement practices to retain valuable talent. After identifying the essential employees for the business, HR leaders can engage them by offering a healthy work environment and providing handsome salary packages. This can be done by allocating the finances reserved for salaries of former employees in this regard. 
  • HR leaders can research the current trends in the market and create new job positions that enhance the company’s productivity. According to the company’s needs, HR leaders can either hire new employees or promote existing employees to the newly created positions. Each departmental activity can be carried out smoothly that can enhance the productivity of the company. 
  • With lesser employees in the company, HR leaders can better maintain the workplace environment by implementing conflict management practices. This can make the workforce more manageable and easier to handle and work with. 
  • When the employees leave the company, HR leaders can initiate strong offboarding programs to avoid common pitfalls in the employee exit process. Through a warm offboarding program, the employee can leave the organization on good terms and a positive note. HR can handle all the paperwork and make sure that employees have no hassle in clearing their finances. Through these practices, the company can mitigate security risks, prevent legal issues such as contract disputes, get valuable feedback, and part ways on the best possible terms. Moreover, former employees can also serve as positive ambassadors that can improve the company’s image and attract valuable talent. 
  • If due to some reasons, the former employees want to return to the company, HR leaders should develop such policies with the top management that can welcome those employees. If those former employees who are highly talented and experienced and who left the company for some personal reasons or career choices want to return, the company should welcome them. HR leaders should implement this practice as former employees are more likely to work efficiently and passionately for the company upon their return. 
  • HR leaders should re-evaluate their hiring practices with company goals and objectives. This can create opportunities for the company to hire the top talent that better fits those specific positions. 
  • By embracing employee attrition and acting upon it positively, HR leaders can coordinate with managers, executives, and other employees to create a workplace culture that enhances the workforce’s productivity, personal growth and carves the path towards success. 

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

The post What practices can HR leaders implement to ensure benefits to the company through attrition? appeared first on Hppy.

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