Recruitment News Round-Up – THE BRUTAL TRUTH #13

Recruitment News Round-Up – THE BRUTAL TRUTH #13.

by Howard Greenwood, 27th October 2023

Edition #13 is unlucky for some, but if luck was your business strategy, then you would be unlucky. Here at Jump Advisory Group, we shed light on the market and what will affect the supply and demand when it comes to recruitment. In this edition, we review the CBI review of the labour shortage in the UK. We look at the power of gratitude and how it can drive a business beyond expectation. Finally, we briefly look at the “Back to the Office” drive of companies and what potential issues businesses face.

UK Labour Shortage

A recent CBI survey revealed that labour shortages are plaguing the nation’s businesses, with 71% experiencing shortages in the past year. These shortages significantly impact companies’ ability to invest, respond to demand, and grow. Furthermore, 77% of businesses believe that access to skills significantly threatens the country’s labour market competitiveness.

To address the issue, 69% of UK firms are investing in training to upskill their current workforce, while 60% are adopting technology and automation to enhance productivity and reduce dependence on labour. However, despite these efforts, 38% of companies have been unable to capitalise on new opportunities due to labour shortages, 22% have delayed investments, and 12% have had to shrink.

The survey participants express concerns about the declining attractiveness of the UK for business, with 76% stating that the country has become less appealing in the past five years. Access to skills and access to labour are seen as the primary threats to labour market competitiveness and the cost of living.

Over the next five years, 82% believe that access to skills will continue to be a threat. Companies are investing in leadership and management capabilities, technology, automation, and base pay to mitigate labour shortages. They are also calling for government incentives for technology investment and reform of the Apprenticeship Levy.

As businesses aim to attract and retain talent, they plan to increase pay, invest in training, and promote company values and purpose. While the labour market remains strong, businesses are still struggling to match pay with inflation.

In conclusion, labour shortages significantly impact UK businesses, hindering investment and growth. The survey underscores the importance of addressing access to skills and labour as long-term issues and calls for government support through incentives and reforms to help businesses overcome these challenges.

The Power of Gratitude and Compliments: A Key to Employee Engagement.

In the fast-paced business world, it’s easy for leaders to get caught up in the constant pursuit of profits, growth, and efficiency. However, amidst all the strategies, metrics, and bottom-line considerations, one often underestimated and undervalued aspect of leadership is the power of gratitude and compliments. Acknowledging employees’ contributions is not just a feel-good gesture but a strategic move that can significantly impact employee engagement, morale, and overall organisational success. In this article, we will explore the importance of business leaders giving gratitude and compliments to their employees.

Fostering a Positive Work Culture

Gratitude and compliments are the building blocks of a positive work culture. When leaders express appreciation for their employees’ hard work and dedication, it sets a precedent for the entire organisation. A culture of appreciation encourages employees to go above and beyond their job descriptions because they know their efforts are recognised and valued. This positive reinforcement creates an environment where employees feel motivated and supported.

Boosting Employee Morale

Acknowledging employees’ efforts and achievements is a simple yet effective way to boost morale. When leaders express gratitude and give compliments, it validates employees’ hard work. This recognition leads to increased job satisfaction and a greater sense of purpose, which, in turn, can reduce turnover and absenteeism. High morale is contagious and has a ripple effect throughout the organisation, creating a more cohesive and productive workforce.

Strengthening Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is the cornerstone of a high-performing organisation. When leaders express gratitude and give compliments, it demonstrates that they care about their team members as individuals, not just as cogs in a machine. Engaged employees are more committed to their work, more innovative, and more likely to stay with the company. A simple thank-you or compliment can go a long way in strengthening the emotional connection between employees and their work.

Improving Performance and Productivity

Recognising and appreciating employee contributions can significantly impact their performance and productivity. When employees feel valued, they are more likely to put in extra effort to achieve their goals and exceed expectations. Compliments can serve as constructive feedback that helps employees understand their strengths and encourages them to continue improving.

Enhancing Team Collaboration

Gratitude and compliments not only apply to individual achievements but also extend to team accomplishments. When leaders publicly recognise and appreciate the collective efforts of teams, it fosters a sense of unity and collaboration. This recognition helps break down silos and encourages employees to work together more effectively, sharing their knowledge and skills.

Attracting and Retaining Talent

In a competitive job market, the ability to attract and retain top talent is a crucial business advantage. Potential employees are drawn to organisations where they know their contributions will be recognised and appreciated. Similarly, existing employees are more likely to stay in an environment where they feel valued. The simple act of giving gratitude and compliments can be a powerful tool in talent acquisition and retention strategies.

Business leaders who recognise the importance of giving gratitude and compliments to their employees are on the path to creating a thriving, high-performance workplace. Beyond the warm and fuzzy feelings these gestures create, they have a tangible impact on organisational success. From building a positive work culture to enhancing engagement, boosting morale, and improving productivity, the benefits of expressing appreciation cannot be overstated.

In a world where businesses constantly seek a competitive edge, leaders who understand the power of gratitude and compliments are better positioned to attract and retain the best talent, foster innovation, and achieve long-term success. So, next time you see a job well done, take a moment to acknowledge it. Your employees will appreciate it, and your business will be all the better for it.

Back to the Office > Is there Trouble a Head of Employers?

As major companies such as Google, Amazon, and Disney encourage their employees to return to the office, the number of employment tribunals related to remote working has reached record levels. An article in HR Magazine reviewed HR consultancy Hamilton Nash’s analysis revealed that in 2022, 42 tribunals were citing remote working, a 50% increase from the 27 cases in 2021. In the first half of 2023, 25 such cases have already been reported.

The surge in these cases can be attributed to many employees realising during the pandemic that they prefer remote work. Jane Bradshaw-Jones, an HR technical consultant at AdviserPlus, explained that employees are now aware that their roles can be performed flexibly and have the evidence to support their claims. Denying flexible working requests is becoming more challenging as the past few years have demonstrated that many jobs can be effectively and efficiently executed from home or with some flexibility.

One prominent case was that of Jayne Follows, a former employee of Nationwide Building Society, who successfully claimed indirect disability discrimination and unfair dismissal against the bank after being made redundant when she refused to give up her home working days. The bank was ordered to pay £350,000 in compensation.

Employers are advised to consider the difficulties preventing employees from returning to the office, such as those who have relocated away from urban centres for cost-of-living reasons. Instead of rigid mandates, organisations should adopt a work-life fluidity strategy that accommodates individual preferences, personal commitments, and ethics. This approach requires transparent communication between managers and staff to identify shared benefits between work-related and personal obligations.

A study by workplace consultancy AWA found that many back-to-office mandates could be more effective, with workers attending the office an average of 1.4 days a week, even in companies requiring office attendance twice a week. To promote successful returns to the office, employers must clearly communicate the reasons behind the in-office requirements and provide incentives rather than mandates. Offering autonomy is seen as beneficial for employee well-being, motivation, and engagement, while rigid policies can lead to resentment among the workforce.

If you have an eyes-up approach, there is a lot to look forward to. However, if you have an eye-down approach, prepare for a bumpy ride; if you want help smoothing that journey, please get in touch with Jump.

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