4 Things to Push Right Now
Economic indicators show pay has increased above inflation in the last year; but only fractionally and all appears stagnant in reality. With low productivity remaining as the elephant in the room, how do you get the sort of incentives for employees to work harder, more efficiently and effectively? With continuing austerity, especially in the public sector, you need spurs to drive people to perform better but those which are affordable.
The answers, of course, are not new but perhaps the time has come to act on them with gusto.
Work/life balance, Flexible working. We’ve been discussing this perennially it seems. A recent survey by POWWOWNOW shows 2/3rds wish they were offered flexible working and 30% say they would choose it over a pay rise! The common barrier seems to be that line managers are cool on the management of schemes in practice; and still prefer performance assessment through visual inputs, (e.g. attendance), rather than measuring output / outcomes. With the tools and technology is this really a step too far?
Career prospects, development opportunities. The concept of deferred gratification was always the mantra of professions – a good job with prospects was the ideal for many entering work. There is a need for some investment here, and the apprenticeship initiatives are a valuable step.
Engagement. Let’s avoid empowerment, (it’s so noughties!), but essentially people need to feel valued, listened to, treated like adults. It’s human nature – think about how you want to be treated yourself in every day life, then apply it to the workplace in general. Think of all the things President Trump is doing which annoy you and behave in a different way. Co-operation and collaboration achieve better results which are more long-lasting and sustainable; albeit there is more effort up front, there is less effort in delivering when everyone is on board.
Health and wellbeing. It’s an old adage that a healthy and happy workforce is a productive workforce; but it is quintessential to how we live our lives – if we feel good, we act positively and get better outcomes. Employers can do many little things in this direction – promoting exercise and healthy eating, providing support for health checks, promoting advice and counselling services, encouraging and facilitating support groups within the workforce.
So in a time where the cash may not be flowing, think bang rather than bucks.
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