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Get Your People Back In The Office

Why Getting Your People Back In The Office Could Be The Best Decision You Make

When was the last time you surveyed your whole team about an important strategic decision you had to make? My gut feel is never. No CEO, Managing Director or business leader has ever done that. Yes, you might ask for advice or people’s views. But fundamentally, you make the decision.

So why are so many businesses doing this over the decision to come back to work? You know what the answers are going to be. More than half of your staff will say they don’t want to pay the tax that’s the daily commute. And that’s because your office, culture and purpose that you’re leading with aren’t compelling enough. It’s on you. It’s time to show some leadership and get everyone back in the office.

When I suggest this to clients, it’s seen as unfashionable. Almost like they see me as an exploitative capitalist! Everyone’s proved you can work from home, so why would you make people commute again? Fundamentally, I believe humans are social animals. We thrive when we’re around other people. We’re just not designed to be apart. And remote working can lead to mental lethargy, dipping engagement and falling productivity. Not to mention deepening levels of unhappiness and frustration.

I guess it all boils down to the purpose of employment. Ultimately, companies employ staff to solve their customers’ problems profitably. My feeling has always been that the best way to do this is through a happy, engaged workforce. And they’re more likely to be happy and engaged if they’re working collaboratively together – in the same space.

The Importance Of Employee Experience with Ben Whitter

What is your employee experience like? Would your employees write rave reviews about their experience working at your organisation?

Today’s guest, Ben Whitter, is an employee experience expert and a bestselling author. He works with a number of global companies helping the CEOs fix their employee experience so that it’s in keeping with their preferred customer experience and their brand. 

“We look at everything that’s connected to people, society, culture, the organisation, leadership, technology, and we say, how is this driving people forward and helping them fulfil their potential?”

Today, Ben talks about his mission, how he wants to see HR own the commercial metrics inside an organisation and step away from the typical HR metrics of recruitment and sickness absence. He wants HR to instead be responsible for innovation, profitability, customer satisfaction and productivity.

“If you’re developing and investing in your customer experience, you would expect to see some return with new business coming in, retaining clients or customers, new customers, new referrals. And it’s the same for employee experience.”

From where his research has taken him, to the best place for an organisation to start, to sharing a few tactical examples from the organisations he’s worked with, to his views on hybrid work and how that’ll affect employee experience when we start to return to the office, this is a fantastic conversation with Ben. 

We hope you learn as much as we did.

7, 17, 70 – How I Grew My Brand

A series of one-on-one podcast interviews with dynamic, high-profile entrepreneurs. From Pitcher & Piano to Monica Vinader, Piper has been helping to build and support brands for more than 30 years. ‘7, 17, 70’ refers to the three critical stages it believes businesses will encounter where a step change is required to fuel sustainable growth. The figures relate most often to sales levels and site numbers, where Piper has frequently witnessed the requirement for a change in management approach.

Why You Should Invest in Unconventional Talent

What do an administrative assistant, exercise physiologist, and music composition major have in common? They are all among our top hires for software developer roles. Many stellar engineers have no formal certifications or degrees; some didn’t go to college. We believe that there’s no single “best” route to a role. Often, less-traveled roads can provide invaluable experience and unexpected perspectives.

The “You Like, I Like” Fifty-two

His eminence, Peter Drucker, once said, “Strategy is a commodity, execution is an art.” As for me, my Ph.D. dissertation was labeled by my committee as the “first [Stanford business school] dissertation on the topic of implementation.” My subsequent research at McKinsey & Co., which led to In Search of Excellence, was an out and out exaltation of execution/ implementation/people and culture first, and thence a frontal attack on McKinsey’s Holy Grail, developing scintillating strategies for clients—and letting the doing take care of itself, which, of course, rarely occurs.

How To Make Better Decisions As A Team

Making decisions is a critical skill of any high performing team. Effective decisions help move people into action, shifting from consideration to implementation. But what happens when your team can’t reach a satisfactory conclusion?

Just Work by Kim Scott

From Kim Scott, author of the revolutionary New York Times bestseller Radical Candor, comes Just Work: Get Sh*t Done, Fast & Fair – how we can recognize, attack, and eliminate workplace injustice – and transform our careers and organizations in the process. We – all of us – consistently exclude, underestimate, and underutilize huge numbers of people in the workforce even as we include, overestimate, and promote others, often beyond their level of competence. Not only is this immoral and unjust, it’s bad for business. Just Work is the solution. Just Work is Kim Scott’s new book, revealing a practical framework for both respecting everyone’s individuality and collaborating effectively. This is the essential guide leaders and their employees need to create more just workplaces and establish new norms of collaboration and respect.Do you want to make life better for yourself and the people you work with? Are you held back by the thought that putting people first could harm your bottom line? Superengaged is an honest, in-depth and upbeat look at the value of having values and the power of creating a people-focused workplace culture, packed with tips and guidance for increasing your profits and improving your outcomes. It’s for CEOs and COOs, HR directors and finance directors, entrepreneurs, business owners and anyone who’s on their way up. Whatever your company’s size, shape or sector, this book will help people in leadership roles feel more confident about what employee engagement means and how to improve it. 

No Hard Feelings by Liz Fosslien & Mollie West Duffy

We all know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed with emotions at work – everything from jealousy to insecurity, anxiety to straight up panic – and there’s no field guide to coping with them well. But we also know that ignoring or suppressing what you feel hurts your health, happiness and productivity. This book will help you figure out how to express your emotions productively in order to be both happier and more effective at work. Drawing on behavioural economics and psychology, No Hard Feelings will show you how to bring your best self to work every day.


Look after your A-Players

I read the other day that lots of companies have paused their appraisal process in the last 12 months.  That’s dangerous. We’ve got CEO clients that are already finding recruitment a challenge. And they’re thinking there’s a delayed time-bomb of staff exit that’s about to hit when restrictions lift in June.  

When was the last time you told your A-Players that they’re A-Players?  Have you given them a pay rise recently or checked that they’re being paid market rate?  Apparently, fewer people have changed jobs in the last 12 months compared to normal.  So there’s pent-up movement that’s about to happen.  Get ahead of this.  Increasing salaries now will cost you less than if you suddenly have to find five or six good people in one go. Whatever mechanism you use for performance, make sure everyone’s up to date and has been recognised for their efforts.  Above all, make sure they’re not vulnerable to being poached.

Upcoming Events

Scaling Up Business Growth Workshop – 6th July

Restrictions are easing and the race is on! Don’t let COVID-19 beat you into the ground and take your business. Treat this pandemic as an accelerator. The “one thing” you’ve been looking for to pivot, re-evaluate and get ahead of the competition. Join us on our farm in Wiltshire to walk through our Scaling Up growth programme.

Quote of the week

“Small groups have to meet often, otherwise they lose their glue.”

Robin Dunbar

Dominic Monkhouse

Dominic offers business coaching and management development, strategy planning and organisational change, using tried and tested methods to launch your organisation onto an unparalleled growth trajectory. His programme is a function of his broad experience, his deep expertise and a proven process used by over 2,700 firms worldwide.

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