Managing Costs Whilst Retaining Top Performers

Close-up Of Businessman Placing Coin Over Stack Of Coins At Desk

It is understandable that employers are struggling to retain their stars when they are not in a financial position to provide the opportunities of promotions or monetary perks such as commissions and bonus’. The pressure is on for managers to ensure they can keep their best employees engaged and committed to their role, without a cost. Creating a culture where your employees feel valued enough to stay is key in retaining your top performers. We will be discussing some great ways to ensure commitment and loyalty in the workplace.

Praise your Staff

Celebrating your employees’ achievements and instilling confidence and encouragement is priceless, and often one of the most effective ways in retaining staff and sustaining employee satisfaction. It is often easy to assume that if your staff are performing to a high standard, that employee satisfaction rates are high, after all, there is a significant correlation between high performance and high satisfaction rates. However, this is dangerous assumption. Yes, there is likely to be a strong level of satisfaction amongst your team if their performance is high, however this does not mean that they do not need praise and encouragement to continue on with their efforts. If you become complacent and fail to maintain a strong level of commendation and instil confidence in your employees, you run the risk rapidly jeopardising camaraderie in the workplace. You ultimately chance losing some of your best staff. If you don’t praise them, another employer will.

Challenge your Staff

When your employees are performing to a high standard on a continual basis, do not assume that these employees do not need to be challenged. Ensure you are maintaining engagement and that that your employee’s roles do not become monotonous. Often employers become complacent and take the viewpoint of if the employee is achieving high results in their role, that they must continue doing what they do well. However, in this instance, your employees are likely to begin to find the job tedious and mundane. It is as this point you risk losing your best employees. Set your top performing employees projects that are new to them, or provide them with a higher level of responsibility. Incorporating an element of excitement and originality, is likely to enhance engagement and ultimately increase your chances retaining your top performance- at no cost. Ensure that you reiterate to your employees that providing them with new challenges not to try and overwhelm or overburden them, it is simply a way for them to build upon their experience and enhance their skill set while keeping their role fresh and exciting.

Free Perks

There are some great ways to reward your employees without having to provide monetary bonuses. Concentrate on rewarding your employees with perks that will benefit them in terms of their work life balance or autonomy. For example, for those employees who perform well during the week or hit targets, give them the option to finish work early on a Friday. Not only does this strategy reward your employees for their efforts, it also gives them an incentive to perform to a high standard. In order to determine what rewards employees would benefit from the most, find out what is important to your employees and what they would consider a ‘perk’ of the job, within reason. Once you have established an effective reward scheme, you will find a far greater level of satisfaction and engagement amongst your team.  

Tackle Concerns and Frustrations

Top performers may feel anxious or insecure about their future prospects with the company at the point where it is a necessity to cut monetary benefits or freeze salaries. Strongly emphasize the positive outlook for the company’s future and why you remain loyal to the company. Outline the reasons that you feel secure, and encourage your employees to review the benefits to them of remaining loyal to the company.

Four Trends Affecting Staffing Right Now

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Rising Pay
Reports are showing us that pay is on the up for the years ahead. Most likely down to skills shortages and a general economic confidence, there may be pressure on employers to increase salaries in order to gain and retain their desired employees. UK workers are already enjoying a 2% rise in earnings, as low inflation helped to boost income and spendable pay. However a disproportional amount of these wage rises are going to London (and South East) based employees, highlighting the north / south divide.

Focus on Equality
Earlier in the year the Government pledged to help close the workplace gender gap, requiring businesses to publish details of pay gaps and announcing steps to help women in the workplace. This of course is no new issue and we’ve reported before on the rise of women in technology roles, however the fact remains that women still earn less than men. Just this week, a study by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills was released that found women earn less then men in nine out of ten industries (mainly the financial and insurance industries) and that in 2014 women were earning, on average, 19.1% less than men. Despite the fact that girls consistently outperform boys at school a Glassdoor survey revealed that less than one third of females received any kind of bonus, as opposed to 44% of males.

Connecting with Passive Talent and Pipelining
In LinkedIn’s UK talent solutions report, they found that 68% of respondents thought passive candidates were an important differentiator for their business. Half of these candidates are apparently interested in speaking to recruiters. Building on-going relationships and really getting to know and understand these candidates is key to what any good recruiter should be doing anyway, but it seems firms are becoming more aware of the importance of pipelining the best and most suitable candidates. It’s increasingly difficult to grab candidate’s attention and a thoughtful, one-to-one approach is a trend that spells a positive experience for candidates but also allows recruiters to find the most genuine match, quickly.

Branding to Differentiate
Organisations are increasingly becoming aware of the effect their branding has on recruitment. A positive brand image across online platforms, collateral, offices and through communication can be a real differentiator to job seekers. Firms are developing strategies around this in order to remain competitive and are investing more in their brand image in direct relation to staffing.

Here at Langley James, we’re always keeping up to date with the latest developments and trends within staffing to ensure we can give the best and most relevant advice to our clients. If you’re thinking about recruiting or would like some advice, contact one of our consultants here.

Are Property Prices to Blame for London’s Skills Shortage?

house prices image

As London average house prices reach the dizzy heights of £500,000, according to the Land Registry, it seems that London (and to some degree the South East) continues to be a law unto itself.

Many young graduates and those looking to further their careers head to London for the best jobs and some CV enhancing. However, for these hopefuls, unless they are lucky enough to have family in London, the shocking reality of house prices and rental costs are often an obstacle, if not a complete barrier to the city. A London based CBI poll found that 57% of managers said they were struggling to recruit entry level employees due to the high cost and low availability of housing. Almost a third said that employees were having to leave their jobs because costs are too high. They even reported that it can be difficult to employ senior staff.

With these extortionate house prices, a buyer purchasing an ‘average’ priced London house with a 5% cent deposit will face monthly mortgage repayments of around £2,500. This has paved the way for ‘generation rent’ and the average cost of renting in the city currently stands at over £2,500 a month too, according to Countrywide.

The fact that many may feel the need to move to London to progress their career or to work in an organisation’s head office leaves little choice, other than moving further away from central London, with an increasing commute. Long commuting times eat into an employee’s personal time and can lead to less of a work-life balance than desired! It can also leave organisations with late or absent staff as they face more chance of travel delays and disruptions.

What happened to London’s less popular areas, in that they quickly saw trendy regenerations when everywhere else got too expensive to live, may be happening throughout the rest of the UK. The ‘northern powerhouse’ could really come into action as candidates seek opportunities outside of the M25.

The latest Tech Cities Job Watch suggested that Manchester, Leeds, Bristol and Glasgow are advertising more and more tech roles. There are also many start-ups based all across the country recruiting fresh talent, so perhaps a spread of skills would also contribute to the spread of prosperity outside of London?

As the Mayor of London introduces a £5 million digital skills programme for young Londoners, it is recognised that, in at least some sectors, there is a skills shortage in London, and the price of living there appears to be a key factor in this. However the number of digital technology companies in London is growing and that growth is set to continue, so perhaps the shortage is not as critical as some report.

If you’re a hiring manager in London and are experiencing these kind of issues, we’d like to hear from you. We’ve built relationships with a wide selection of skilled candidates over the years and if you’re looking to hire IT or HR professionals, we’re sure we can help.

Creating a Work-Life Balance

Reconciliation of family and work life: Attractive blond woman in business attire proudly carrying a small boy in her arm in office environment

It can be difficult to define what equates to a reasonable work life balance. If you find it a challenge to juggle the demands of your career, and your down time out of the workplace, you are not alone. According to the OECD Better Life Index Report, working parents find it particularly difficult to find a suitable work life balance. The Mental Health Foundation supported this, stating that 40% of employees neglect other aspects of life due to work commitments. This demanding work culture is having a prevalent impact on mental health in the UK.

Create a procedure

Encouraging a culture of balance in the work environment is a fundamental step in working life that is often overlooked. Although you want to maintain a high level of professionalism in the workplace, you must also ensure that your colleagues and employees feel comfortable in taking time out and re-prioritising tasks when they begin to feel pressure and tension. In this instance, a procedure or policy by which the employee can refer to or take advice from when they need some down time would be beneficial for both the employee and the employer. Not only will this set the guidelines and regulations for employees to follow when workload is causing them stress, but will also release an element of pressure from the employee if they know that there is a procedure in place when they are feeling the strain.

Determine your balance

Getting to know the right balance between work and lifestyle that works for you is a personal judgement. There are no set guidelines to determining what you feel is a reasonable work life balance and each individual has varying degrees of what they would consider a ‘work-life balance’. The way to determine this balance is to acknowledge your needs and own well-being. Take into account your own personal circumstances, and acknowledge your needs and your own well-being. Often, by listening to your gut instinct and paying attention to your emotions and physical well-being, you can tell if the work life balance is wrong. When you start to feel like your balance is out of sync and your work load is outweighing your ‘down-time’ you may want to revaluate how you manage your approach to maintain a work life balance. Your work load should not cause you stress or anxiety.

Draw a line between home and work

You are feeling overloaded with projects and tasks to be completed and you are time short. An easy option is certainly to take your work load home with you and complete the jobs with a glass of wine in hand watching the Bake Off. This is great, in theory, however this can become force of habit, which ultimately sets your ‘work life balance’ off course. In situations where you feel you tempted to take your work home, note down in a diary what hasn’t been completed as a reminder to continue tomorrow when back at the office. Don’t take it home, leave it at work! This can seem easier said than done, but for instances where the task is not urgent and you are simply taking work home due to habit, it is perfectly reasonably to leave it in the office and take some time for yourself.

Go Offline

It is undeniable that the evolution of technology has improved the standards of organisational process and has advanced in many ways in recent years. However, for all the convenience this has created, it has caused a feeling of constant accessibility, discouraging down time from our phones and emails.

Each one of us at some point is guilty of checking our work mail outside working hours. At the point when you decide to remove your focus from the workplace, switch your phone off, or at very least switch off your notifications. Try avoiding your notifications when you are spending quality doing what you love.

Employee Retention: Creating a Culture of Engagement and Trust

Business people discussing a new project in the office

Creating Engagement- Part 1

The basis to any successful organization is a high level of engagement amongst employees. Improved performance and productivity is amongst many other fundamental attributes that employee engagement contributes to. Ultimately, employee engagement contributes significantly to retention. Here we discuss the main components that ultimately contribute to a high level of employee retention.

Vision:  The prospect of vision and progression largely contributes to engagement. When faced with this prospect, employee’s engagement levels are likely to increase significantly. Engagement naturally occurs when an employee feels they are working towards something that will benefit them. In circumstances where employees place a large importance on progression, a high engagement level is deemed as an important factor in achieving their progression. Open up this prospect to all your staff, no matter what level they are at on the career ladder.  

Interaction: There is a strong correlation between how well an employee performs and their relationship with their boss. Provide your employees with constructive and positive feedback on a regular basis and maintain a constant level of interaction with your team. Creating a good relationship is an imperative step to encouraging engagement and ultimately creating retention. If creating strong employee relations is not a priority to you, your staff are less likely to place importance on their performance in the workplace.

Creating Engagement Part- 2

Reward: It is imperative that employees achievements are praised and efforts are appreciated. You will find there is a significantly higher level of engagement if employees feel they are working towards something that they will benefit from. Provide your employees with rewards when they have accomplished a goal or task and celebrate their achievements. No matter how big or small this achievement may be, if it is important to the employee, it should be important to you. Rewarding your team’s accomplishments will create a sense of purpose and importance as well as contributing to creating a strong camaraderie in the workplace. According to findings by Globoforce “when companies spend 1% or more of payroll on recognition, 85% see a positive impact on engagement”.

Training and Development: This is a topic we have previously touched on, however it is such an important step to maximising the potential of your employees and your organisation. Provide your employees with training to contribute to their existing knowledge and skills in order to instil your employees with confidence and sense of authority over their role.

Creating Trust- Part 1

Trust is the basis for any successful team. The concept of trust goes hand in hand with loyalty, and loyalty equates to retention. Essentially, you will cease to maintain a strong level of retention if your employees have little trust in you or your organisation. Here are our top components to creating trust in the workplace in order maintain employee retention.

Shared Vision: Building up a workplace where each individual is working towards the same goal and acquires the same vision creates a strong sense of trust and openness. The team are far more likely to feel a sense of contribution and importance as opposed to working towards the employer’s personal goal. A shared vision creates a sense of certainty and loyalty, and will significantly enhance the employees trust in you and your organization.

Integrity: Remaining honest and sincere is of paramount in creating trust. Honouring promises and maintaining a level of consistency with your approach is key when it comes to earning trust. You may find that your judgement is needed in determining what to share and what not to share. Sometimes confidentiality is unavoidable but in those instances, be honest about what you can share and what you cannot. You will easily earn trust if you simply remain consistent and open.

Creating Trust- Part 2

Open-mindedness: A “my way or the high way” approach to the processes of the organisation will fail in contributing towards any sense of trust in the workplace. Be open to new suggestions from your employees. Try not to instantly disregard new ideas. Be aware that building employees confidence in suggesting new ideas, and ensuring that each employee feels as valued and important as one another is imperative. If your employees feel that you trust their judgment and acknowledge their thoughts and ideas, they are far more likely to trust you.

Body Language: According to body language experts, over half our communication is derived from our body language. Direct eye contact is an attribute that contributes significantly to creating an openness in our body language. Maintain an openness in your body language. To stimulate good feeling, smile. When you are in conversation, mirror their body language as this creates a sense of agreement and acknowledgement. Crossing your arms and legs is deemed ‘shifty’ and closed. Use your hands when in discussion. This creates a sense of passion. These may seem like obvious points to remember; however, they really are important components in earning trust. Practice open body language and watch how quickly you begin to earn trust from your employees.

SMEs Are Responsible for 15.6million UK Jobs


With a collective turnover of £1,753,900 (that’s 47.2% of private sector turnover) SMEs have definitely been playing an important role in driving the country’s growth and creation of wealth over recent years, as well as helping people into work. The European Commission also reported that 85% of EU jobs between 2002 and 2012 were created by SMEs.

Small Business Appeal
SMEs are an appealing place to work for many professionals, as well as graduates looking for an organisation with great culture and the opportunity for swift progression. The chance to be part of an exciting, fast-paced business where input and skill are likely to be recognised draws enthusiastic and talented individuals to small or new businesses.

Super SMEs
It’s with this talent, that SMEs are able to grow and succeed. What we call HGSBs (high-growth small businesses) are adding significantly, or we could say disproportionately, to the number of SME employees. An Octopus Investments report found that these super SMEs accounted for only 1% of the business community, but generated 68% of new jobs in the UK between 2012 and 2013. Last year, 20% of economic growth is said to have been created by these HGSBs.

An Uneven Divide
There is a clear north south divide when it comes to successful and powerful SMEs. One in every 25 professionals working in London is employed by a HGSB, but in Wales it’s only one in 80. It could be down to the government to help businesses outside of London and the South East grow and employ. Improving digital infrastructure and working on skills gaps could help local businesses out in the long term and help them trade internationally.

Barriers to Employment
The ONS report also highlighted a concern with the high proportion of businesses that do not employ. Many of the UK’s VAT registered businesses, actually don’t employ at all, often reaching out to freelancers or collaborating with others who are also self employed. Raising the question from the country’s smallest businesses of whether it should be more simple to grow a small business and employ workers.

However, despite some inconsistency and challenges, we know that SMEs are playing an important role in the UK economy and job market. Creative, professional and digital sectors are among the most successful industries in terms of overall job growth, productivity and average wages (according to the think-tank’s Small Business Outlook 2015). Strong customer service, product innovation, local knowledge and of course talented employees are cited as some of the key factor of SME success. So, if you’re a business leader and you’re looking to grow your team further, perhaps we can help – to have a chat with us about your recruitment contact us here.

Are You Listening?


Why are innovative ideas being missed?

It generally comes down to a lack of process for collecting and developing these ideas. From the workers that were surveyed, 37% said shared ideas are lost or unacknowledged, 27% said there was a lack of interest in their ideas, and 27% said there was a lack of incentives to share ideas in the first place. 

 Is the question ‘how do we innovate?’
Guest lecturer at Cranfield University and innovation expert Cris Beswick describes innovation as being “like teenage sex; everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it.” And it seems that many happily reinforce the importance of innovation but struggle to address the ‘how to’.

Innovation is often associated with research and development or IT but it should be woven into every aspect of business at every level. Challenging any traditional ‘them and us’ roles is important as is trying to adopt an attitude that sees employees as potential solutions to any problems. Engagement is so important in enabling a culture of trust between management and workers, and an innovative workplace culture should include managers that are willing to experiment and open themselves up to failure.

Helping to find answers to problems and improving the organisation should be everyone’s business. Regular team meetings offer a time to reflect on what went well and what didn’t. Offering time and space to step back from day to day tasks and discuss ideas may allow employees to speak more openly about potential innovations.

Here at Langley James we’re recruitment experts and can help you with the structure and organisation of your team. If you’d like a chat, you can get in touch with us here.


Employment Law Update: November 2015


Snowballs and open fires aside, winter isn’t all fun and games.  Dark mornings and dark afternoons pose their own mood-detracting challenges for workers and employers alike. And that’s not all.

Acas has a guide to dealing with winter’s workplace issues. It lists adverse weather, colds and flu, a flurry of holiday requests, and wellbeing in the workplace as seasonal issues that employers must carefully manage. Plan in advance, is the advice.

So, go on. Sort out your policies, get your systems in place, and grab winter by the horns.

The meaning of ‘public’- Underwood v Wincanton

In May this year we reported the case involving the estate agents, Chestertons. It was about whistleblowing; in particular, the requirement that a worker must reasonably believe that their disclosure is in the public interest in order to benefit from whistleblowing protection. The case decided that something that was of interest to 100 senior managers could be in the public interest.

Underwood v Wincanton builds on that. Mr Underwood was dismissed after he and colleagues made disclosures to their employer about the unfair distribution of overtime to drivers. He claimed that he had suffered detriment and had been automatically unfairly dismissed because he had made protected disclosures. But did the disclosures have the necessary ‘public interest’ element? The tribunal held not and struck out the claim at a preliminary stage.  The complaint was about a group of workers who had an identical grievance about an aspect of their employment contracts; this wasn’t in the public interest, the tribunal said.  

By the time the case arrived at the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), the Chestertons case had been decided. It was clear that ‘public’ could be a subgroup, even if made up only of people employed by the same employer on the same terms. So the EAT reached a similar conclusion in the Underwood case: it is at least possible for a matter to be in the public interest even if it’s only about a contractual dispute between a group of employees and their employer.

The upshot is that the claim will now proceed and it will be for the tribunal to decide the outcome. The EAT made reference to the fact that the Chestertons case is being appealed, and that until that hearing takes place in October 2016, its conclusions should be followed. So, for now at least, workers who disclose information in the right way about a breach of their (and their colleagues’) employment contracts could have whistleblowing protection. 

Zero hours guidance

Does your business rely to some extent on casual labour? If so, you may well be using zero hours contracts. They can be really useful, flexible ways of covering things like staff illness, seasonal work, projects and ‘on-call’ duties.

But you won’t have failed to notice that zero hours contracts have been in for some criticism recently. A huge bone of contention has been around exclusivity clauses; terms within these agreements that stopped workers topping up their (fluctuating) earnings by working elsewhere. Now that these clauses have been banned, zero hours contracts have clawed back some popularity. But are you comfortable about when and how to use them?

This guide from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills should help:

It has some really clear pointers about appropriate and inappropriate use. It’s also good on best practice and on alternative arrangements that you could put in place.

And, while we’re on the subject, the Government has published draft regulations (the ‘Exclusivity Terms in Zero Hours Contracts (Redress) Regulations 2015’) which could thwart employers who ignore the ban on exclusivity clauses. Yes, these clauses will be unenforceable and, yes, employees could choose to take no notice of them. But the regulations will offer certain specific protections for people working under zero hours contracts:

  • The dismissal of an employee (however long they have been employed) will be unfair if the reason, or main reason, is that they didn’t comply with an exclusivity clause; and
  • The right for workers to not suffer a detriment because of failure to comply with an exclusivity clause.


In a group to TUPE?- Inex Home Improvements Ltd v Hodgkins

Where an organisation is to take over the delivery of a service, workers who currently do that work sometimes transfer over to that new service provider. It’s a fundamental rule of TUPE. However, only workers who are assigned to an “organised grouping of employees” make the move. And that was the key point in this case.

Mr Hodgkins was employed by Inex. Work was subcontracted to Inex in tranches by a company called Thomas Vale. There was a pause in the work supplied and Inex laid Mr Hodgkins and some of his colleagues off under the terms of a construction industry national agreement. It was a temporary stoppage and Inex continued to employ them.  

When Thomas Vale issued its next batch of work (which was pretty much the same work as Inex had previously completed), it went to a different subcontractor. Had Mr Hodgkins and colleagues transferred to that new subcontractor?

The tribunal held not; they weren’t an organised grouping  working on Thomas Vale’s contract immediately before the service passed to the new subcontractor. The Employment Appeal Tribunal took a different view, however. Just because there has been a temporary absence from work, or work has stopped, that doesn’t mean that there can’t be an organised grouping of employees who had been involved in the relevant activities. They don’t have to have been engaged in those activities immediately before the transfer.

Gender equality

As part of moves to close the gender pay gap, the Government has announced that larger employers – those with more than 250 employees – will be forced to publish details of the bonus payments they make to male and female staff. This is expected take effect in the first half of 2016.

Other measures will include requiring the public, as well as the private and voluntary, sector to publish average pay details for male and female staff. The Government also wants to eliminate all-male boards in the FTSE 350.

Details of the rules on pay reporting will be published in new regulations. In the meantime, the provisions are being hailed by some as a start. The TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, said, Employers need to look at why women are still being paid less than men and do something meaningful about it.”

The sleepworking conundrum- Shannon v Rampersad (T/A Clifton House Residential Home)

Is a worker working when they’re on-call but not… working?

Mr Shannon was an on-call night care assistant. It meant that he had to be present in the care home (which, significantly, was also his home) throughout the night to help the designated night care assistant. In reality, help was rarely needed.

Did all those nighttime hours constitute working hours, even though he slept during them? The tribunal held that he was only working when he was called on to help the care worker. As he was already being paid the National Minimum Wage for those times, he lost this aspect of his claim. The Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld that decision.

It’s important to remember, then, that just because a worker is at their place of work, it doesn’t mean that they are ‘working’. The usual rule is that if someone is available at or near work to do salaried work and is required to be available for work, then those are working hours. But, as this case has highlighted, it’s different where the worker is spending time at home. Then they’ll only be working when they are “awake for the purpose of working”.

It can be a difficult legal area to navigate and, as it’s so fact-specific, there’s plenty of scope for argument.

Companies have feelings too- EAD Solicitors v Abrams

An interesting take on the concept of associative discrimination.

Mr Abrams was a member of a limited liability company and was due to retire at 62. He set up a limited company (he was the sole director) which then took his place in the LLP. The limited company was entitled to the profit share that Mr Abrams would have received directly, had he still been a member of the LLP. The company agreed to provide services of an appropriate fee-earner to the LLP.

The LLP didn’t want Mr Abrams to do the work after the time at which he’d normally have retired. On its face, age discrimination. But could the limited company claim discrimination on the basis of detrimental treatment because of its association with someone who had a protected characteristic?

Yes, said the Employment Appeal Tribunal. It’s not just individuals that are protected under the Equality Act. The law is about discrimination by one person against another person – and ‘person’ includes a limited company. As associative discrimination is well established when it comes to individuals’ claims, companies may also be protected.

 And finally…..

Telecoms company TalkTalk has been the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons lately. But when it comes to protecting data, it’s not just hackers that businesses should fear. The problem can come from within, as supermarket chain Morrisons discovered. It’s being sued by 2,000 members of staff after its former company auditor uploaded the personal and financial details of nearly 100,000 Morrisons workers to a file-sharing site.

The auditor was jailed, but that didn’t put the business’ problems to bed. Far from it. Staff are claiming that Morrisons didn’t do enough to protect their data. The supermarket is reported to be denying liability for the actions of a rogue individual.   

As every business knows, the stakes are high where personal information is concerned. Serious breaches of the Data Protection Act can attract fines of up to £500,000. And then there are claims and reputational damage to factor in – which, in some cases, hit hardest. We’ll have to wait and see how this one pans out.

Creating Camaraderie at the Office


Office Activities

Incorporating activities into your working day is a great way of freshening up the office and revitalizing employees. Scheduling in time to implement activities and games can be far more beneficial than you would thing. A change in routine not only contributes to energizing employees and keeping them engaged, but encourages communication. This is an ideal way of staff to getting to know one another, and perfect for new starters in the company. It’s also a great way to assess the team’s problem solving skills and team building ability. Understandably you want to maintain some level of professionalism. Therefore, implement games and activities that encourage employees to utilise and demonstrate their skills and knowledge and ensure that any activities you implement maintains some level of relatability to your organization.

Implement a wellness plan

Camaraderie is established naturally when there is a mutual satisfaction amongst employees. Implementing a wellness plan accessible to your employees is the key to combating fatigue and stress in the workplace will also boost morale. There are varying methods by which you can implement some form wellness plan. Providing free fitness classes during lunch hour is a phenomenon that is proving favourable in a growing number of organisations. This being said, implementing a fitness plan is not exclusive to physical activity. You need to factor in a realistic budget to implement some form of health plan. Little touches such as providing staff with bottles of water or proving a fruit bowl in the centre of the office is a great way of administering a wellness plan, and it fairly cost friendly. (Keep an eye on the fruit- we do not want a smelly office full of perished produce!)

Trips outside the office

This does not necessarily mean scheduling in full day team-building trips (although this is advisable every once in a while). Taking short trips out the office is a great way of insuring that employees feel connected with one another. A change of scenery is a great way of boosting employee engagement.

Here are a few ways to incorporate a change of scenery into your working day:

  • Allow your employees to spend a few hours discussing ideas and projects in your local coffee shop.
  • Treat your employees to lunch every once in a while. If you are managing a large team, split your employees into divisions and take a selection of employees out at a time.
  • Lead spontaneous, unscheduled activities. Encourage employees to go outside one afternoon and play a game of football, for example. 

You will find that your employees respond well to this approach.

Resolve issues and conflicts quickly and efficiently

Unfortunately, there are circumstances whereby conflict presents itself amongst employees, and you must not fear it. Often, we try and avoid conflict but ultimately, it is unavoidable. Recognizing when there are issues presenting themselves in the workplace is your duty, and tackling these issues head on is the only way to disburse animosity amongst your staff. Effective conflict resolution reduces the likelihood of distress and withdrawal amongst your team members. You want to create an atmosphere of openness and contentment in order to maintain camaraderie in the workplace, there is no room for animosity or rivalry in the workplace.

Related ReadingManaging Stress at the Workplace

Managing Workplace Stress


In a time when ambition and career progression is becoming ever more prevalent amongst the working population, a demanding work culture is the new norm. Long working hours and a constant pressure to perform to a high standard is beginning to have adverse effects on many professionals in the UK. Stress inducing factors are unavoidable in the work place, but managing these stressors in the most effective way possible is an imperative step to creating a healthy working environment.

Here we consider the most effective ways in creating a healthy work environment for you and your employees. 

Work smarter

Reducing work load is difficult, however managing the work load doesn’t need to be a burden. The ‘work smart, not long’ method refers to the idea of prioritizing tasks, and implementing a time management plan.

This increasingly utilized method amongst working Brits, is the idea of tackling each project in short, sharp time bursts. If you switch your focus to another task when you start to lose concentration, you will find that when you return to that task, your level of productivity will have largely increased. Establishing a time management and applying it in the work place will contribute to reducing pressure and will aid in constructing a level of organization to your work load.  

This applies to the work load to be tackled out the office outside working hours. Where possible, prioritize and limit the amount of work to be undertaken outside the office. Focus on what is most urgent and what can wait, and give yourself a time limit to finish the task. Although this may seem easier said than done, your productivity levels will certainly increase and stress levels are likely to decrease. It is important to remember that long hours don’t necessarily equate to quality production.

Take care of yourself

When you’re faced with a plethora of projects and responsibilities, it is easy to forget about number one. Ensure that you give yourself a substantial break. Skipping lunch hour seems like preferred choice when you have deadlines to meet and projects to juggle. But this is the opportunity to take time out, refresh your mind and prepare for the afternoon ahead, and where possible, remove yourself from the office. Don’t skip food. Ensure you eat a substantial lunch. Nibbling on a packet of crisps whilst sitting at your desk wont suffice in this instance unfortunately.

Don’t be afraid to say no.

Often in the workplace, feeling the pressure to agree to whatever project comes your way feels like the only option. However, agreeing to undertake projects that you know you cannot deliver to the full of your potential due to a heavy work load is unproductive. Maintaining an awareness of your limit and your workload is crucial in determining what projects you can agree to, and when to stop and say no. In most cases, it is more valuable to work on tasks to the best of your ability, then spread yourself thin and juggle copious amounts of projects that you know you cannot complete to the best of your ability. Don’t put pressure on yourself to take on more tasks than you know you can complete. It is ok to say no sometimes.


Discuss the issues you are facing with someone who can help. We all remember the cheesy line “a problem shared is a problem halved”. Yes, it is cheesy, but it’s true.  There is always someone who can help. When you bring awareness to your employers of the issues you are facing, you will find you feel less guilt or pressure for taking time out and saying no to tasks you cannot complete. Don’t forget, your employers want the best for you and will more than likely do all they can to help take some pressure off you reduce your stress levels.