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Winning tips and tricks to make your team and organisation shine

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Blog
May 20, 2024

How do Winningtemp assure great leadership and team success?

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How do Winningtemp assure great leadership and team success?
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Employee Engagement
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Effective leadership involves more than just managing teams - it’s about inspiring them, setting clear goals, and using insights to achieve measurable outcomes.  

At Winningtemp, we practise what we preach.

This means we invest in our leaders, helping them to lead their teams towards success. Because our report Fighting Turnover also showed that 81% who feel their management team doesn’t have good motives and intentions are more likely to leave.

So how do we do it?

1. Living our values

At Winningtemp, we want everyone to live our values and this all starts with our leaders embodying these values:   

Curiosity
Our curiosity and constant learning drives the entire organisation forward towards innovation and winning results.   

Results together
We believe teamwork makes the dream work and everyone – leaders and team members – get better results together.   

Responsibility
We take responsibility for our work and development - and together contribute to a workplace that everybody loves.

Passion
Our happy and driven teams work passionately to create sustainable and successful organisations all over the world.

These foundations are what our success is built on and, when we onboard a new leader, we go through each of these values so they can understand them and live them.

2. Continuous leader forums

Our leadership team gathers several times a year for upskilling and workshops. The aim of our Leaderforum is to empower our managers. The topics we cover range from motivation and engagement to how to lead effectively.  

Across two days we share highlights and challenges, discuss KPIs, and encourage managers throughout the organisation to seek help from peers, share knowledge, and build a support network among themselves. During these sessions, managers are expected to engage in reflective and interactive discussions on various leadership topics.

The last leader forum was hosted to address the specific needs of middle managers that we’ve identified through feedback from Winningtemp and interviews with them. During the workshops, we utilised materials based on our guide 5 Winning Ways for Effective Leadership (developed together with researcher, Leif Denti), we discussed how to keep our teams’ motivation up and how to engage them during a more challenging climate.  

3. Updated Learning Portal

We use a Learning Portal hosted on SharePoint, an essential tool in our leadership development strategy. This portal is rich with resources specifically designed to boost inspiration and leadership skills among managers and team leaders. These resources are carefully curated to address the multifaceted aspects of leadership, ranging from communication and team motivation to strategic decision-making and innovation. We also use Alva Labs to spread knowledge through online courses.  

By aligning educational content with our strategic objectives, we aim to ensure our investment in leadership development directly contributes to building better leaders and winning teams throughout our organisation

4. Analyse Winningtemp   

We, of course, also use our own product to enhance our leaders. By using Winningtemp, our leaders can monitor and improve the employee experience by understanding what drives engagement and satisfaction within their teams. This not only helps in retaining talent but also ensures that everyone is aligned and committed to the organisation’s success.

It’s a proactive approach and the regular temperature checks we conduct within teams and across our leadership ensures we always have our fingers on the pulse. It also means we’re giving our leaders the tools they need to be the best version of themselves and to get the best out of their teams.

We also encourage all teams to host Guided Temperature Meetings, so managers can easily track  and follow up on their team’s temperatures on a frequent basis… and most importantly, take action to create a winning difference.     

We know that, by integrating data and team insights into all aspects of leadership, we can create top leaders and unbeatable teams. This strategic use of data ensures that leadership is not just about guiding teams but empowering them with the insights they need to excel.

5. Constant collab with HR

Everyone in our HR team plays a pivotal role in our leadership development. They ensure that every initiative - from training modules and mentorship opportunities to intensive leadership workshops - is perfectly aligned with the specific needs and challenges we face. The aim here is to enhance critical skills such as decision-making, emotional intelligence, and strategic planning across all management levels.

Moreover, our approach to leadership development extends beyond traditional training methods. It involves a dynamic cycle of assessment, feedback, and iterative improvement, which fosters a culture of continuous growth within our team.    

This adaptive strategy not only focuses on imparting knowledge but also embeds a deep-seated culture of self-improvement and adaptability within our leaders. Through these efforts, our HR department not only elevates individual leaders but also fortifies the overall organisational framework through people analytics, making it more agile, responsive, and well-prepared to navigate future challenges.

Let’s sum it up

True leaders don't just manage; they inspire, innovate, and instigate success. They’re the architects of environments where team members feel safe to innovate, engaged to perform, and valued enough to stay. By harnessing the power of data, these leaders optimise their approach, tailoring their strategies to ensure not only the success of their projects but the growth and satisfaction of their people.

Download our Team Success Handbook to get more insights of how to create a high-performing team.  

Blog
May 7, 2024

How to solve conflicts in winning teams

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Look, let’s face it. If we all got along 100% of the time life would get pretty boring, pretty quickly.  

Luckily, we live in a world where we’re not always going to agree with everyone. In fact, conflicts are the number one reason behind poor teamwork. Despite our best intentions, sometimes it’s impossible to avoid conflict within teams (we’re all human after all).

According to HBR, “Conflict management is one of the biggest fears held by new managers, and for good reason. In the UK, around 38% of employees experience interpersonal conflict per year, and in the US, employees spend almost three hours involved in conflict every week. Plus, since the pandemic began, more people are working in remote and hybrid work environments that make it harder to spot and avoid conflict when it happens.”

Conflicts are a natural part of team dynamics, but it’s important to note that not all conflicts are bad.  

Thomas Jordan, author of Conflict Management in the Workplace, defines conflict as a situation where someone's unyielding need is blocked by another. This leads to frustration which people then take action on (because it’s easy to feel powerless when we’re frustrated). Looking at conflict through the lens of this definition, it’s clear conflicts are inevitable - and even necessary - for development and progress.    

In short, constructive conflicts, where issues are openly discussed and resolved, can lead to team growth and development. Destructive conflicts, on the other hand, can hinder group progress and cohesion.

But what happens when minor disagreements turn into full blown conflict? And how can we identify and resolve these conflicts in the workplace before they impact team success? Let’s look into it.  

Reasons behind conflicts in the workplace

Conflicts normally arise due to differences in values, goals, perceptions, or expectations among team members. Understanding the underlying reasons can help managers and team members navigate these challenges effectively.  

Here are several key reasons why conflicts typically arise in the workplace:

1. Unclear Roles and Responsibilities  

When team members are unsure about their specific roles or the scope of their responsibilities, it can lead to confusion and overlap. This lack of clarity often results in disputes as employees may either avoid necessary tasks - believing it falls outside their responsibilities  - or clash over who should undertake a particular job. This can very quickly lead to frustration and inefficiency.

2. Miscommunication

Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful team. Miscommunication can arise from poor information flow, misunderstandings, or a lack of transparency or trust. Poor communication is a major contributor to workplace conflict and frustration.  

3. Mismatched Expectations

Conflicts arise when there is a disconnect between what is expected and what is delivered. This can be related to job performance, project outcomes, or workplace behaviours.  

4. Differing Personal Values and Interests

Individuals bring their own set of values, backgrounds, and priorities to a team. When these personal interests clash, conflict can arise, especially if team members prioritise their personal goals over team or organisational objectives. Not everyone will naturally get along, and personal differences can lead to conflict. These personality clashes are often exacerbated in stressful situations or environments where collaboration is required but not naturally facilitated.

5. Leadership Styles

The way a team is managed can significantly impact the frequency and intensity of conflicts. A leadership style that is too authoritarian can suppress open dialogue, whereas a too laissez-faire approach can lead to a lack of direction and confusion. Leaders need to balance providing guidance with allowing autonomy.

Check out our guide 5 Winning Ways For Effective Leadership to level-up your leadership skills!

6. Lack of Psychological Safety

A workplace that lacks psychological safety—a sense of confidence that the team will not embarrass, reject, or punish someone for speaking up—can lead to conflicts. Team members may feel threatened or marginalised, and as a result, may either withdraw or act out in defensive ways.

Did you know?

One of the key features of Winningtemp is its ability to gather anonymous feedback from employees. This tool can be particularly useful in conflict situations where team members may feel uncomfortable expressing concerns openly. Anonymous feedback ensures that all voices are heard, creating a more inclusive environment for resolving issues.

By understanding these common causes of workplace conflicts, leaders and HR professionals can better prepare to address and resolve them constructively. This ensures that conflicts become opportunities for growth rather than obstacles to success. Which begs the question, how do you spot conflicts?

How to spot conflicts in the workplace  

Identifying conflicts early in the workplace is crucial for maintaining harmony and ensuring team efficiency. Here are key indicators that can help managers and team members recognise conflicts before they escalate:

1. Changes in Communication Patterns

If communication plummets or there’s a shift from open and collaborative discussions to closed and short exchanges, then this can be a sign of underlying conflict. Avoiding direct communication, such as choosing emails over face-to-face conversations to avoid interaction, also points to potential issues.

Did you know?  

Winningtemp's temperature-checks allow managers to detect early signs of dissatisfaction or disagreement within the team. By monitoring changes in sentiment and engagement levels, managers can identify potential conflicts before they escalate.

2. Increased Absenteeism

When employees start taking more sick days or seem to find reasons not to be at work, it might indicate that they are trying to avoid conflict situations. This can be particularly telling if the absenteeism is specific to certain team meetings or activities.

3. Decline in Productivity

Conflicts can drain energy and divert attention from work, leading to a noticeable drop in productivity. If a team or individual shows sudden lapses in performance, it could be due to unresolved conflicts that are affecting their focus and motivation.

4. Group Cliques and Isolation

The formation of cliques within a team can be a red flag for conflict. These groups may exclude others, leading to feelings of isolation among those not included. Such division often manifests as informal segregation in seating arrangements, lunch groups, or in choosing partners for assignments.  

5. Emotional Reactions and Mood Swings

An increase in emotional responses such as frustration, irritability, or anger during interactions at work can indicate that conflicts are brewing. Similarly, if an employee who is typically calm and collected begins to show erratic behaviour, it could be a response to conflict.

So how can you monitor it all?

Of course, trying to keep track of all of this while at the same time trying to do everything else that your job requires can be tricky. It’s here where tools like Winningtemp, that can provide data-driven insights into team dynamics and employee satisfaction, become invaluable.  

By staying vigilant and employing these strategies, you can spot potential conflicts early. This proactive approach means you can address issues before they escalate and maintain a productive and harmonious workplace.

But when fully-fledged conflicts arise, which they inevitably will, how do you solve them?

How to solve conflicts in the workplace

Quickly solving conflicts before they spiral out of control is essential. While every situation is different, here are some of the best ways of most effectively solving conflict in your team:

1. Acknowledge the Conflict

The first step in resolving any conflict is acknowledging that it exists. Ignoring the issue can lead to escalation and further complications. It’s important for management to recognise the conflict openly and commit to a resolution process that is transparent to all involved parties.  

2. Open Communication Channels

Encourage open and honest communication between the conflicting parties. Facilitate a safe environment where employees can express their concerns and feelings without fear of retaliation. This could be through mediated sessions or direct dialogues, depending on the severity and nature of the conflict. Promote psychological safety and encourage an atmosphere where team members feel safe to express their thoughts and concerns without fear of negative consequences. This involves leadership modelling the appropriate behaviour and actively supporting a culture where feedback is welcomed and valued.  

Did you know?

Winningtemp encourages regular communication through structured feedback loops and pulse surveys. This consistent engagement helps maintain open lines of communication, which is critical in preventing misunderstandings and clarifying expectations—common sources of conflict in high-performing teams.

3. Employ Active Listening

During conflict resolution meetings, practise active listening. Allow each party to speak their mind and ensure they feel heard and understood. This involves not only listening to their words but also acknowledging their emotions and perspectives.

4. Identify Underlying Causes

Go beyond the symptoms of the conflict and try to understand the root causes. This may involve discussing individual needs, expectations, and experiences to identify what triggered the conflict. Understanding the underlying issues is crucial for finding a long-lasting resolution. Once the problem is clearly defined and communicated, brainstorm together for multiple solutions. Involve all parties in this creative process to ensure buy-in and to generate a variety of options. This collaborative approach not only enhances the likelihood of finding a sustainable solution but also helps rebuild relationships damaged by the conflict.  

5. Define Agreements and Next Steps

Once the parties have come to an understanding, clearly define the agreements and next steps. This might involve setting specific behavioural expectations, timelines for review, or changes in procedures or roles. Documenting these agreements can help hold everyone accountable and provide a reference for future follow-ups.

6. Monitor Progress and Follow-Up

After resolving the conflict, continue to monitor the situation and follow up with the parties involved to ensure that the resolution is effective and that no new issues have arisen. This can also involve making adjustments to the agreed-upon solutions if they are not working as expected.

Did you know?

Winningtemp’s platform analyses your team's feedback and suggests recommended actions based on world-leading research. This gives leaders time to focus on conflict resolution - creating plans for improving the engagement and performance and setting them in action.

7. Foster a Positive Work Culture

Lastly, foster an organisational culture that values respect, diversity, and inclusivity. A positive work environment naturally reduces the likelihood of conflicts and encourages employees to resolve their differences amicably.

Let's sum it up

Even the best and most successful teams have to deal with conflict. The teams that win are the teams that look conflict in the eye and don’t shy away from it. They identify it, address it, and resolve as effectively as they can. This stems from having a great culture, from championing psychological safety, from listening and understanding, and from taking action.  

Tools like Winningtemp can not only help you spot when a storm is brewing (allowing you to take early action), they can also help you navigate your way through the storm with features like Guided Temperature Meetings.  

By integrating a tool like Winningtemp, teams can also build a more resilient and adaptive culture that supports development and high performance. This proactive approach is what distinguishes winning teams, allowing them to turn tension into triumph and conflicts into opportunities for growth.

Check out Winningtemp for yourself or download our Team Success Handbook here.

Blog
April 30, 2024

Why is anonymity important in employee surveys?

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Ever felt the itch to speak your mind at work but held back for fear of repercussions? We've all been there. Thankfully, this is where anonymity can swoop in to save the day.

Think about it: maybe your team has got some serious feedback to dish out, but they’re worried about ruffling feathers or getting side-eyed in the break room. Well, staying anonymous gives them power to speak up without the stress of being identified.

Today, being anonymous in employee surveys is seen as a matter of course, but despite that, we often hear from leaders that it increases the distance between management and employees. 

But is this really about the participants being anonymous, or is it about the lack of psychological safety in the workplace?

Do you ever feel like you need to tell a white lie or adjust the way you express yourself in order to not accidentally make someone uncomfortable? Your employees have felt it too. Often it happens in connection with someone in a position of power asking for an honest opinion about something. Do you choose the answer that comes from the heart, or what you think the boss wants to hear?

The consequence of the uncomfortable situation is that you either don't get such a high response rate to surveys, or that the answers you get don't represent the truth.

The solution = Anonymity

In the professional landscape, individuals often possess valuable insights and perspectives vital for organisational improvement. However, the fear of potential repercussions can hinder candid expression. Anonymity serves as a shield, offering employees a safe space to share their honest opinions without the burden of scrutiny or consequence.

In order for employees to feel safe and dare to give their honest opinions, the majority of workplaces choose to let the participants remain anonymous. It removes most of the obstacles, and suddenly the response rate can increase and the answers get higher quality. But we still ask ourselves why anonymity has become the norm in employee surveys. Why do employees want to be anonymous?

There can be many reasons why an employee wants to remain anonymous in surveys. Let's look at some of the most common ones.

Afraid of backlash

There are several examples of times where an employee has raised a problem in the workplace and then received negative consequences for bringing it up. Perhaps you have been ostracised by co-workers or found it more difficult to get promoted. Unfortunately, this is something that still happens. This type of consequence is obviously something that the person concerned wants to avoid when answering these surveys, and therefore thinks it is good to be able to remain anonymous.

Afraid of appearing stupid

Although there is a difference between asking a question in a meeting and in a survey, no one wants to appear stupid in either situation. As anonymous, you dare to ask questions to understand things in depth instead of pretending that you understand everything.

Don't want to take a seat

Many are simply shy and do not want to take their spot in the workplace. Even if you raise a positive question, there is a risk that a leader will want to follow up on the question if you are not anonymous. So many people can use anonymity to get their real opinions out, but then you can leave the subject behind.

The importance of psychological safety cannot be underestimated

As we mentioned earlier, something we often hear among managers is  "anonymous comments increase the distance between management and employees". Often because it isn’t possible to know who thinks what, and therefore a large part of the feedback takes place in a vacuum instead of face to face.

But is it the anonymous comments that increase the distance, or is it the degree of psychological safety? The fact is that many still want to remain anonymous in their answers. In a dream world, of course, no one would need to be anonymous, but on the road to higher psychological security, it is a must in order to obtain honest feedback and thus be able to develop the workplace.

Relying solely on anonymity could reinforce the idea that it's unsafe to speak up. Therefore good leadership and management teams should not only address potential power dynamics in the organisations, as well as biases and fears directly, which is something that Winningtemp can help you do.

After all, psychological safety is about creating a culture around empathy, clear communication, cooperation and respect. And for every piece of the puzzle that is added, more people will dare to give feedback without the anonymous protection.

How to facilitate honest feedback from your employees

In Winningtemp, your employees are always anonymous and receive smart follow-up questions thanks to the advanced AI. This way, you can collect honest feedback and your employees can feel confident that their voices are being heard.

Read more about our anonymity and why employees love Winningtemp here.

Blog
February 9, 2024

Finding the winning difference with milestones

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Milestones are a big deal! Just think of those big birthdays, graduating, getting married, buying a house, becoming a parent…they are all momentous occasions in our lives and times, we rightly, remember and reflect one.

Now they might not be as big, but we have milestones in our professional lives too. We want to invest our time and energy into becoming better versions of ourselves, we might want to learn a new skill, we might want to get that promotion at work…the list goes on.  

And (while we’re full of the best intentions) often we end up swiftly waving goodbye to our grand aspirations as they disappear in the rear-view mirror while we hurtle from one thing to the next. Once this happens, it’s oh so easy to fall into the trap of beating ourselves up because we feel like we haven’t achieved everything (!) we set out to do. We focus on what we haven’t done rather than celebrating what we have done - without pausing to consider if it was realistic or achievable to start with.

Teams are certainly the same. At Winningtemp we talk about Milestones (that are also a feature in our product) as a more structured conversation between a manager and an employee. Many other companies call these structured 1:1 meetings performance reviews or appraisals 😉  

We believe it’s important to stop for a moment and reflect. Because teams can both feel like they’re failing when they’re not hitting goals or reaching milestones - and no one wins when this happens. So why don’t we flip this around and help teams (and everyone in those teams) perform to the best of their potential… and feel good about it?

Here are several reasons why milestones and structured conversations are important:  

1. Set goals and measuring progress

Milestones allow individuals and teams to assess how far they have come and how much is left to achieve. Milestones also make it easy to set goals.

And setting goals brings clarity that is transformed into collective understanding for what a team need to do to reach their objectives. Like this, each team is aligned to their individual, team, and organisational goals.... resulting in a sense of unity and shared purpose.  

2. Increase communication and collaboration  

Milestones ease transparent communication within teams and organisations. Because you have a common understanding of progress, you ensure that everyone is on the same page, and are doing their part. This means that every team members know what to expect from each other and their collaboration, which helps to achieve specific objectives, and creating a fun, collaborative and cohesive work environment.

3. Dealing with unexpected challenges

When obstacles are encountered, milestones provide a framework for adapting plans. Teams can reassess and modify strategies to overcome challenges and continue progressing - which is much easier when everyone understands the milestone they’re working towards.

4. Celebration wins

Milestones offer moments for acknowledging and celebrating achievements. Recognising the completion of significant tasks or goals boosts morale, promotes a positive culture, and reinforces a sense of accomplishment. Celebrating milestones creates a positive feedback loop, encouraging individuals and teams to continue striving for excellence.  

5. Set performance development plans

Milestones serve as natural points for evaluating performance development. Regular assessments allow for reflection on what worked well, what could be improved, and how to enhance future efforts. By analysing performance development at each milestone, individuals and teams can implement continuous improvement strategies, optimising processes and outcomes.

Milestones are essential tools for progress tracking, motivation, goal alignment, and effective communication. They contribute to the overall success of individuals, teams, and organisations by providing a structured and manageable approach to achieving objectives.

Best practise for holding milestone meetings

In general, the meetings include talking about employee's personal development, work situation, and cooperation within the team, among other things. It’s a time for reflection, constructive feedback, and talking about the employee's job satisfaction and ambitions.  

In many companies, these structured conversations are held on an annual basis and tend to be very time consuming for both managers and employees.  

Research has shown, however, that it’s more motivating and engaging to have shorter but more regular conversations and check-ins between manager and employee. The relationship becomes stronger; it's easier to identify strengths within the individual and the team, as well as possible risks for stress or burnout.

At Winningtemp we want every employee to feel they have the possibility to develop and grow. We expect everyone to have regular 1:1 conversation with their manager regarding personal development, wellbeing and follow up on objectives. We can have different preferences regarding the frequency of formal milestone meetings, but we encourage everyone to have at least one dedicated structured face-to-face milestone conversation each quarter between manager and employee.

Want to find out more and take a step closer to finding your very own winning difference? We’d love to help you figure out the best way to make milestones work for your business.

Let’s talk!

Blog
March 4, 2024

Why do women feel worse at work?

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It’s 2024 and, while a degree of progress has been made in making work equal for men and women, our latest data shows that women have lower scores in all important wellbeing factors, such as job satisfaction, engagement, and meaningfulness at work. So why is this?

In 2023, the trend was clear: women report lower levels in all areas of wellbeing at work. Of course, it’s difficult to give a straight answer to why this is the case, but in this article, we’re going to try our best to find explanations. But first, let's look at how we arrive at these results.


Where does the data come from?

In the Winningtemp platform, we can look at data from 50 million responses collected from employees globally and draw interesting insights into workplace wellbeing. There are 9 categories + 11 supplementary categories where employees rank the workplace and themselves, therefore painting a vivid picture of the organisation's and the employees' wellbeing.  

The basic 9 categories are:

- Autonomous

- Personal development

- Leadership

- Meaningfulness

- Participation

- Work situation

- Job satisfaction

- Commitment

- Team spirit


How does it work?

Employees spend about 20 seconds a week anonymously filling out short, automated questions that are sent out regularly. The questions are based on a total of 60 research-based questions. Employees may also be asked follow-up questions to find and investigate deviations.  

The results show...  

When we look at the data from 2023, women report lower results in all categories. The big question here is “Why?” All people are different and so is their work situation, so it’s not possible to come up with a simple answer. As such, we’’ve looked at possible explanations, trends and theories that can provide a clearer picture of the results.



Thesis 1. Do women underestimate their abilities?  

The first question we need to ask ourselves is: do women feel worse, or do they feel about the same as men, but choose to use lower numbers to describe how they feel? To investigate this further, we’ll first look at what the research says about men's and women's perspectives on their own ability, and on their external situation.

Women underestimate themselves

Both women and men seem to have relatively poor self-awareness, but in different directions. Men tend to overestimate their abilities, while women tend to underestimate them. Research has shown this when comparing one's own assessments and those of outsiders and seeing clear patterns. This may explain why women rank lower in the areas that judge them.

Differences between men and women

Could it be that part of the reason has to do with biological differences between women and men? In the classic personality test "The Big 5", five different personality aspects were measured where the results were compared between men and women. Women showed high scores in nurturing and extrovert qualities, and openness to new experiences. At the same time, women also scored higher than men in neuroticism, which means experiencing more anxiety and negative thoughts.  

This could be one reason why men and women look at their workplace from different perspectives.  


Thesis 2. Do women simply feel worse at work?

Here we look more at the second thesis - that women actually feel worse and are less happy in their workplace. If so, what could be the reason for this?

Women have worse working conditions

The fact that there’s a difference in working conditions between male and female-dominated industries is nothing new. But the link between work environment and wellbeing is worth taking a closer look at.  

Swedish research, noted that women in female-dominated industries experience:

  • More shift work with short daily rest. This increases the risk of sleep disorders, type 2 diabetes, back pain, and stroke.
  • Higher psychological demands, such as work requiring too much concentration, or ending up in emotionally difficult situations.  
  • Tense work, which means high demands with low autonomy. It increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and neck discomfort.

Therefore it may not be the case that women perceive their workplace as worse than men - their workplaces ARE in many cases worse for wellbeing than men's workplaces.

Too much responsibility at home and at work

Several studies indicate that women are becoming increasingly ambitious in their careers, while at the same time continuing to take on a lot of responsibility at home. The pandemic seems to have slowed down gender equality efforts, and widened the gaps among men and women regarding who should take care of the home. The scattered responsibility can be a reason for the negative feeling towards one's work.

Lack of flexibility

An American survey in 2023 showed that job satisfaction is higher than it has been in 36 years in the United States, but there are several percent differences between women and men - with women drawing the short straw. According to Deloitte, this may be due to an important part of working life - flexibility. Lack of flexibility in their working hours is one of the main factors why women leave their employers. Still, 97% of respondents believe that asking for better conditions around flexibility in their workplace would hurt their career.

Harassment and injustice in the workplace

A new survey shows that 3 out of 5 women have experienced bullying, sexual harassment or verbal attacks in the workplace. Most people who have experienced any of this also don't report it because of fear that no one will believe them, or because they think it will hurt their careers. Therefore, they experience low psychological safety at a level that does not affect men to the same extent.


Solution? It starts with asking.

With reasons as complex and varied as the ones we’ve laid out, there’s no easy solution. But, if there’s one thing we know, it’s that we need to communicate more. The best way to find out how your employees are doing (and learning why they feel like that) is simply to ask. With short, frequent pulse surveys where you can be anonymous, it becomes easy and safe for employees to respond.

Winningtemp makes it easy for your business to collect honest feedback and get clear data and insights into how employees feel and feel about the workplace. From there, you'll get research-based suggestions on how to handle the situations and turn negative trends into positive ones.

Take the first step to get to know your employees.

Blog
January 17, 2024

Unlocking the secrets to a high performing team in 2024

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Everywhere you look right now there’s talk of goal setting, resolutions, positive mindsets and habits that’s all bundled up into the ways to achieve, thrive, and succeed in 2024.

It’s a lot to take in. So let’s cut through some of the noise and show you the easiest, simplest ways you can do to build team success.

But why is it important? Sure, when it comes to employee engagement and employee experience, there’s been some big positive shifts since the pandemic. But burnout, disengagement, and high employee turnover are still very real problems we know you’re facing.

Just look at the figures; according to a study referenced by Forbes, 57% of workers are experiencing “at least” moderate burnout, often made worse by stress in the workplace, less than half believe their employer cares about their mental health needs, and 60% say they are somewhat likely to look for a new job in 2024.

But, fear not, it’s not all doom and gloom. By working a little smarter, making some small changes, and fully committing to the wellbeing of your team, you’ll not only be laying the foundations for soaring employee satisfaction, you’ll be building the perfect platform for long term business success.

So, with that in mind, how do you create an awesome and high performing team? Here’s where to get started:

1. Embrace Meaningful Work

One of the cornerstones of a high-performing team is ensuring that each member finds their work meaningful. Do your team members feel a sense of purpose in what they do? Connecting individual tasks to the broader goals of the company is more than just a motivational tactic—it's a strategic move that brings a plethora of benefits. Learn how to make every task resonate with purpose and witness the positive impact on engagement and performance. 

You can discover more about how to make your work meaningful here.

2. Put Feedback First

Just as an athlete seeks guidance from a coach to enhance their performance or a restaurant owner values customer feedback to refine their offerings, teams thrive on constructive input.

Feedback serves as the compass guiding growth and acts as the cornerstone of improvement. However, the true magic lies not just in offering feedback but in following it up. Neglecting this crucial step can have dire consequences, leading to a decline in trust, a decrease in honesty, and the emergence of a toxic workplace culture. Organizations that embrace a culture of continuous feedback, follow-up, and improvement, on the other hand, witness increased engagement, higher retention rates, and a positive, innovative work environment. 

Check out the most effective ways to follow up on your team’s feedback.

3. Foster Trust and Belief

Trust is the glue that holds a high-performing team together. Whether you're a small startup, a multinational corporation, a government agency, or a non-profit organisation, the ability to build and regain organisational trust is paramount to your long-term success.

You need to make sure your employees feel other people are fair and keep their promises. Research clearly states that high trust leads to positive business results. Therefore, there’s a good chance employees work harder when they feel more trust in the organisation and its leaders, feel they are an important part of the organisation, and understand and appreciate the organisation's value.

Download our guide on how to regain organisational trust to find out more!

4. Be Real

Your team wants a manager they can relate to, who understands them, and who looks out for them. The best way to do this is by being real. Be your authentic self in the workplace. Be a person your employees trust, respect, and value.

If you do this, it makes culture and communication so much easier. It builds connections and integrity. People respond to people and an empathetic manager or team leader will win the hearts and minds of their team far easier than someone who is indifferent or doesn’t care.

And be interested in your team! By being open and curious you can find out about their team, what they like, what they dislike, what inspires them, what their vision is, what matters to them, and so much more. By caring about the person and taking an active interest in their lives, you lay the foundations for strong and successful relationships.

Read more how HR can help to develop better managers.

5. Don’t Forget The Fun

Bringing an element of fun into the workplace is a crucial ingredient for cultivating high-performing teams. When employees enjoy their work and find it engaging, it contributes significantly to job satisfaction and overall team morale. A fun work environment fosters a positive atmosphere where team members are motivated, collaborative, and more willing to go the extra mile. It not only reduces stress but also enhances creativity and innovation as employees feel encouraged to think outside the box. 

Furthermore, a workplace that values enjoyment and camaraderie builds strong interpersonal relationships among team members, creating a sense of belonging and loyalty. 

As individuals feel a genuine sense of joy in their tasks, they become more invested in the collective success of the team, ultimately boosting productivity, efficiency, and the overall performance of the team. In the competitive landscape of today, where collaboration and adaptability are paramount, making work enjoyable is not just a perk but a strategic necessity for achieving and sustaining high performance.

Check out our stress-busting tips for healthy, happier teams!

Let's sum it up

These points are just the start. We’d encourage you to build on them in the year ahead - this to bring positive energy into the workplace everyday to help your employees and your company thrive. For more tips and tricks of how to build true team success, download our handbook here.

And it also pays to find tools to help. Tools like Winningtemp are like your trusty co-pilot; they’ll steer you in the right direction, give you the information you need to make better decisions, and help you take your employee engagement to the next level. 

See it action and make 2024 the year your team success lifts off.

Book a demo

Blog
January 8, 2024

The most effective ways to follow up on your team's feedback

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Who doesn’t want to get better at what they do? It’s a no brainer, right? Most of us want to improve, work smarter, and be the best versions of ourselves. 

But, it’s impossible to do this if we close ourselves off from learning or feedback.

Picture this. If you want to get better at the sport you play, you’ll must listen to your coach and take their feedback on board. If you have a restaurant, you’ll listen to what your guests loved or didn’t like as much about your dinner - so you can tweak the experience for next time the guest come.

This same logic is true for teams. Feedback is the compass that guides growth and the cornerstone of improvement. Yet, offering feedback is just the beginning—the real magic happens in how we follow up on it. In the pursuit of nurturing better teams, mastering the art of constructive follow-up becomes pivotal. This journey isn't just about acknowledging feedback; it's about transforming insights into actionable steps that inspire positive change.

What happens when feedback fails

It’s easy to write feedback off as a ‘nice to have.’ The reality is way different. Failing to follow up on feedback in an organisation or team can have catastrophic effects.

1. Lack of trust

If a leader doesn’t act on feedback, employee trust in leadership decreases. According to our study, Fighting Turnover, the biggest reason why an employee tends to leave is low trust. The lower the trust in your organisation, the higher the turnover. The stats from our report show 75% of employees are more likely to leave a manager who isn’t open and honest and 87% are more likely to leave a manager who doesn't keep promises.

On the flipside, employees who trust their organisation are more likely to be loyal and committed, leading to higher retention rates. Trustworthy organisations are also more likely to attract and retain top talent, as employees seek to work in environments where they feel valued, respected and supported.

2. Decrease in honesty

Honest feedback is the best kind of feedback. But it takes courage to be honest and give honest feedback (alongside being in an environment where the employee feels safe enough to give honest feedback). If feedback isn’t followed up, honesty from employees will decrease because they don’t see leaders taking their feedback seriously.

3. A toxic culture

If leaders aren’t listening, employees are scared to voice their opinions, and guesswork takes the place of following and acting on evidence, then it sows the seeds for a toxic culture to develop. A toxic workplace culture doesn't just affect individuals; it weakens the entire foundation of an organisation, hindering its ability to thrive, innovate, and sustain success in the long run.

Overall, failing to follow up on feedback leads to poor results for the whole organisation, lower engagement, and higher turnover.

How to follow up on feedback

Fear not, however, because it’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, following up on feedback is easier than ever. Here are the best places to start…

1. Make sure everyone is always involved

The best teams fail together and succeed together. There’s no single person that sets an agenda or dictates the direction the team goes in. It’s always a collaborative approach where employees are involved in team decisions - including the actioning of feedback.

Feedback helps individuals understand how their behaviour affects the world around them, and the quality of their performance. Thanks to both negative and positive feedback, they can adjust and develop in a positive direction. 

You should regularly acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of team members. Recognize their efforts and the value they bring to the team. Celebrate individual achievements and milestones and share stories of how the team's work has made a positive difference. 

Furthermore, show appreciation and acknowledgement of your team's hard work. Recognize individuals, and create a culture where people are comfortable sharing feedback with one another. Research shows that employees who received recognition from their leaders are significantly more likely to trust them.

2. Be open and honest

Teams get more efficient and leaders lead better because there’s open and honest communication between everyone in the team. Collaboration increases and guesswork is removed.

For example, employees are more likely to respect a manager who can talk openly with them about difficult situations, answer questions, and give them the facts. In turn, this should encourage employees to be honest themselves and bring difficult topics to the table, be it with their manager or their peers. 

Great communication is the foundation for any successful team. When employees feel safe to speak their minds, they're more likely to share valuable insights and feedback. This leads to better decision-making, problem-solving, and innovation within the organisation.

3. Build trust

You should strive to create a workplace atmosphere where employees feel comfortable being themselves, sharing their opinions, and taking risks without fearing judgement or backlash. In such an environment - where there are high levels of psychological safety - team members trust one another and collaborate more effectively, ultimately leading to higher productivity and job satisfaction.

Trust is a foundation for employee engagement. When employees trust their leaders, colleagues, and the organisation as a whole, they are more likely to feel committed, motivated, and engaged in their work. Simply said, trust fosters a positive work environment where employees feel supported, respected, and valued, leading to increased innovation, engagement and productivity.

Let's summarise!

Feedback is never done. Listening to it and acting on it is something that should happen every single day. But that can be a lot for anyone to manage. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with our new feature Guided Temperature Meetings that provides an easy way to discuss temperature scores, commit to solutions and follow up on the progress - with zero preparation and 100% engagement!

The system suggests an agenda, and once the meeting has started, the framework based on the appreciative inquiry approach guides the participants through the meeting sparking meaningful discussions. The aim of the game is to set commitments the whole team wants to work against. 

The best thing? These meetings focus on the strengths of your team, make employees feel engaged and listened to while managers are empowered to be more proactive and hands-on (rather than guessing what your team wants). But don’t just take our word for it - see Temperature Meetings in action for yourself.

Tell me more! 

Blog
November 28, 2023

How to handle bullying in a team

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On the whole, companies are getting so much better at putting employees first by prioritising the employee experience and employee engagement.

Yet, there is still (and always will be) work to be done when it comes to mental health and wellbeing. Because sadly, we live in a world where bullying and harassment are part and parcel of some workplace cultures.

In fact, a report found 75% of employees have witnessed bullying in the workplace, 64% of employees who have been victims of workplace bullying are more likely to quit their jobs, and 51% of victims reported a lack of management action in addressing workplace bullying… 

That's just sad stats. In the following article we’re going to explain exactly what bullying is, how to spot it, and how to handle it.

What is bullying in the workplace?

Imagine constantly not being invited to meetings you feel you should be included in, or overhearing gossip about you on a regular basis in the workplace. You might feel hurt and angry, it might ruin your day, and it might be uncalled for but this act in itself isn’t bullying. If, however, the same team member criticises you every single day for a prolonged period of time then we start stepping into the realm of bullying.

In essence, bullying in the workplace is a pattern of unwelcome and aggressive behaviour that is directed at an employee or group of employees, creating a hostile and intimidating work environment.

This behaviour could be verbal, physical, or psychological (or a mixture of all three). It can be overt and visible or it can be subtle and unseen. Whatever form it takes, it has a devastating impact on emotional and psychological wellbeing, job satisfaction and performance. And, when a culture of bullying is accepted and not acted upon in an organisation, it can lead to:

●     Increased stress in the workplace

●     Increased absenteeism

●     Lower productivity

●     High staff turnover

●     Reputational risk and damage

●     Poor employee engagement  

If you want your employees and your business to thrive, recognising and addressing workplace bullying is essential for maintaining a healthy and productive work environment. 

How to spot bullying in the workplace and what to do about it 

According to HBR, “bullying is a behaviour of opportunity enabled by organisational environments that allow it to occur and continue. Organisations can’t eliminate egotism from human nature, but it is possible to create systems in which egotistical behaviour is discouraged rather than reinforced.” Here’s our advice when it comes to handling bullying in the workplace: 

1. Have a clear anti-bullying policy

A really good place to start that will help employees do the right thing and managers handle any situations that might arise is to have a very clear anti-bullying policy. In many countries this is regulated by law.

The policy should be full of guidance on how to handle bullying as well as making it super clear on who employees should speak to, what they should see, and the best way they can address any situation of bullying in the workplace.

2. Be crystal clear with your expectations

From inductions through to training, make it clear from the get go on what you expect from your employees and the kind of behaviours that won’t be tolerated. By getting this kind of collective buy-in and fostering a culture where employees support each other then you're also helping to create collective responsibility. When you have this in place, and your employees live and breathe your values, bullying is far less likely to happen and, if it ever does, other employees simply won’t sit by and let it happen.

3. Act quickly and decisively 

If there are rumours of bullying or bullying is brought to your attention then, as a manager, it’s vital you act quickly. This shows employees what kind of behaviour is acceptable and what won’t be tolerated. Failing to act go sow seeds of doubt and undermine your team's wellbeing.

4. Have your finger on the pulse 

First off, it’s going to be incredibly hard for you to spot a problem if you don’t have your finger on the pulse of how your employees are feeling. This means you have to listen to them, you have to ask them questions about how they are, you have to be interested in them, and you have to care about them in a way that goes beyond the workplace. Your employees want to feel safe at work and it’s part of your job to help them do so.

Doing this means having the right tools and communication channels in place alongside a workplace culture that champions employee wellbeing and makes feedback its super power. If you can see how your employees are feeling (as well as being notified when any huge red flags are raised), you can act quickly and address the problem before it grows out of control.

For example, Winningtemp can show you, at a glance, how your workforce are feeling as well as highlighting any urgent areas that need attention. The system and its Bullying and Discrimination alerts identify these situations and promptly alert managers so they can act quickly.

As Katja Odder Erikstrup, HR Director at Baker Tilly says: “Winningtemp gives us a real-time picture of the temperature of the company. This means that we always know what commitment and well-being are like. We can quickly take care of a team that is not feeling well and via the anonymous two-way chat, we can elaborate on the answers and be clear in our response.”
 

Summary

We can never fully eradicate the risk of bullying in the workplace. But with the right mindset, the right tools, and the preparation we can do everything we can to ensure that if instances of bullying arise we can deal with them quickly and effectively.

Handling workplace bullying effectively requires a combination of preventive measures, clear policies, prompt responses to reports, and a commitment to fostering a respectful and inclusive work environment. It's important to create a culture where employees feel safe, valued, and empowered to report any bullying incidents, knowing that their concerns will be taken seriously and addressed appropriately. 

If you do this, you'll manage to build true team success (we got a handbook for this here) that makes your employees and organisation shine.

Discover how Winningtemp can help

 

   

Blog
November 15, 2023

Stress-busting tips for healthier and happier teams

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Is your team stressed? The chances are the answer is going to be yes.

Stress is a part of life and, while some stress is not necessarily a bad thing, we all know what it feels like when stress overwhelms us. It can make us feel trapped, helpless, tense, anxious, frustrated, and everything else in between. It stops us from being the best versions of ourselves and create true team success.

And the current state is bad… because stress, depression, and anxiety account for the most days lost to work-related ill health.

From a manager’s perspective, stressed out teams (and stress in the workplace) don’t go hand in hand with getting the best results. Instead they cripple morale, productivity, and performance.

In this article we’re going to look at what stress is, how to spot signs of stress at work, and how to deal with it.

What is stress in the workplace?

Work-related stress is defined as: “The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work.” 

We typically see two types of stress in the workplace:

The first kind of stress is a very ‘normal’ kind of stress. It’s the stress that comes from high workload, tight deadlines, or things like working long hours. Every job comes with pressure. It’s important to recognise when this pressure becomes too much and starts to cause stress that can be avoided - that way it makes it much easier to prevent employee burnout.


The second type of stress is far more damaging. Psychological or emotional stress happens when there’s a toxic culture or we don’t feel safe or trusted at work (it’s why psychological safety at work is so important). This kind of stress can wreak havoc in a team and a workplace - which is why it’s super important to act on any signs of it as soon as possible.

How to spot and resolve stress in the workplace

So how do you know if your team is stressed? Sadly, there isn’t a magic spell for it, but here are some of the best places to start:

1. Be empathic

First and foremost, if you want to stop stress becoming a problem, be a good and empathetic person. It sounds simple but you’ll be amazed at the impact it can have if you practise being present for your team and being interested in them. 

The simple act of regularly checking in, of listening, of understanding what’s going on your employees’ lives, and of caring about them will go a huge way in helping you tackle stress. By being curious, honest, and open you’ll be creating a culture and an environment where stress can easily be identified and dealt with.

2. Pay attention to health and wellbeing

Stress manifests itself physically so keep on eye on how your team is feeling. Common symptoms include frequent headaches, tiredness, muscle tension, and increased irritability. 

It’s easier to spot these signs if you make physical health and wellbeing a priority. A healthy body and a healthy mind go hand in hand together. Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. This doesn’t mean everyone should spend hours on end at the gym, simply that staying active promotes wellbeing. If you have a culture that promotes this, it’s easier to see when people might not quite be themselves.

At Winningtemp we have an initiative called  “Health Days” where we promote well-being in different ways. For example, we introduce ‘Step Challenges’, we meditate and do yoga together, invite guest speakers to inspire us to be more healthy and so on. 

3. Be aware of changes in behaviour

If someone is having mood swings, withdrawing from colleagues or interacting in a team environment, taking more sick days, or even complaining more about their job and the work they do, then it’s a sure-fire sign they are stressed out. 

Again, emotional intelligence can be your best friend here. Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is the capacity for empathy, gratitude and intuition. From self-awareness through to being able to listen to others, every office culture should encourage understanding between the people who work there. Employees at all levels of an organisation should feel they are in an environment where they can share their concerns or experiences with confidence and without judgement. If there’s high emotional intelligence in your team, it’s much easier to see the warning signs of any changes in behaviour.

To learn more about how to solve conflicts in teams, click here.

4. Use a tool to help

Doing the above purely on gut-feel and intuition is a great place to start, but it will only get you so far. 

Luckily there are tools that can help everyone. By regularly gathering feedback from your team, an employee engagement platform like Winningtemp helps you to easily spot the earliest and most subtle signs of stress – and act to stop them from turning into bigger issues.

Here’s how our leaders at Winningtemp use our platform to pick up signs of stress:

Step 1: In Winningtemp, questions automated by AI are sent to employees to analyse their stress levels.

Step 2: The managers get team insights about the stress levels and several different temperatures, and can look into the trend features to see how long this has been a problem and if it previously have been dealt with.

Step 3: Both the employees who are stressed and the managers with stressed employees get actionable advice on how to solve the stress.

Step 4: Winningtemp is just a tool, human problem-solving is also needed between the manager and employee.

Summary

When a great manager can use a powerful tool to become even better, you have a situation where everyone wins - employees feel cared for, managers feel empowered to help, and the business benefits from the positive culture this creates - which we know goes a long way to boosting productivity and profitability. 

Sadly, we still have a way to go before we eliminate unnecessary stress from the workplace and it’s a part of the reason why we’re facing a global employee engagement crisis. So let’s do something about it. You can take steps to combat this today with our free guide on how to improve job satisfaction.

Get the guide here.

​​

Blog
October 13, 2023

How to improve psychological safety in your workplace

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Anyone, anywhere, at any given time, should feel safe in the workplace. This feeling of safety shouldn’t just be physical safety, it needs to extend to psychological safety too. But what do we mean by psychological safety and why is it important?

One of the leading experts in the field, Harvard professor Amy Edmondson, describes psychological safety as: “The belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes, and that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking.” 

In essence, psychological safety refers to the belief that one can voice their thoughts, ideas, concerns, and questions without fear of retribution, humiliation, or negative consequences. 

It's a workplace atmosphere where employees feel comfortable being themselves, sharing their opinions, and taking risks without fearing judgement or backlash. In such an environment, team members trust one another and collaborate more effectively, ultimately leading to higher productivity and job satisfaction.

In fact, according to landmark research by Google - called Project Aristotle - found psychological safety to be the number one element for a team to work and be successful.  

Why is psychological safety important?

In teams with high levels of psychological safety, you typically see:

Increased innovation

Because employees feel safe to come up with ideas and share them without fear of recriminations and reprisals, innovation is much greater. Employees are more likely to take risks because they aren’t afraid of failure.

Open communication

Great communication is the foundation for any successful team. When employees feel safe to speak their minds, they're more likely to share valuable insights and feedback. This leads to better decision-making, problem-solving, and innovation within the organisation.

Improved employee engagement

When employees know their voices are heard and respected, they become more engaged, leading to increased motivation and productivity.

Reduced employee turnover

A workplace with high psychological safety is less likely to experience high turnover rates. Employees are more likely to stay with a company that values their input and well-being.

Better physical and emotional wellbeing

Psychological safety contributes to employees' mental and emotional well-being. It reduces stress, anxiety, and burnout, making the workplace a healthier and happier space.

The data from our report Fighting Turnover backs this up and shows that.. 

  • 75% of employees are more likely to leave a manager who isn’t open and honest
  • 87% are more likely to leave a manager who doesn't keep promises
  • 79% more likely to leave if they perceive their managers treat them unfairly 
  • 84% who feel their management team makes poor decisions are more likely to leave

How can you improve psychological safety?

For managers, keeping tabs of your team’s psychological safety is super important… but it’s easier said than done. We understand that this can be very difficult, and this is why we have developed a dedicated question category in our product, focusing on psychological safety. By putting psychological safety in the spotlight, leaders and teams can reflect on the current situation, and get insights and support to take necessary actions to improve psychological safety on the team.  

A great starting point is to ask yourself questions like:

  • Is it safe to make mistakes and take risks in my team?
  • Do I listen to my team and ask for their input and involvement for improvements? ? Or do I always have to have the last word?
  • Are team members bringing up sensitive topics or tough issues with me and in the team? 
  • Is it easy to ask for help in our team? Do I ask my team for help if I don’t know how to do something?

The answers to these questions will give you a gauge of how good your psychological safety is. If you decide it needs improving - or simply want to make it even better - here’s our top tips on how to do it:

1. Open up and show curiosity

Being curious is one of the most undervalued skills in the workplace. By being open and curious you can find out about their team, what they like, what they dislike, what inspires them, what their vision is, what matters to them, and so much more. By caring about the person and taking an active interest in their lives, you lay the foundations for strong and successful relationships.

2. Make empathy your superpower

Empathy is everything. People respond to people and an empathetic manager or team leader will win the trust of their team far easier than someone who is indifferent or doesn’t care. Once you have high levels of trust, then your team is ready for greatness.

3. Set clear expectations and have your team’s back

Make sure to set clear expectations for the team and for each individual, and follow up on both performance and behaviour. Understanding how our different roles bring value, and how we can succeed together as a team will also increase the feeling of psychological safety. Be your team’s biggest fan, their number one cheerleader, and their protector all rolled into one. Fight their corner, stick up for them, and make sure they know that they are safe with you at the helm. Download our Team Success Handbook for more tips and tricks of how to build winning teams.

4. Be vulnerable   

Let your own humanity shine through; your team wants to see it. If you can be vulnerable with them then they’ll feel safe being so with you. You don’t have to always have all the answers and that’s ok. Make sure your team knows this. 

5. Lead by example

Of course, what all of this adds up to is leading by example. Be the kind of leader who inspires with kindness, encourages with curiosity, and sets a standard others aspire to.

Let's sum it up

At Winningtemp we encourage our teams to have regular dedicated team meetings where we discuss current “team temperature” related to our work environment. This is a meeting where we focus on our work relationships and how we together can create the best possible work situation in our team. 

The data in the Winningtemp platform guides the team and suggests what topics to discuss more in depth, and provides inspiration for further actions. The meetings are often run by members on the team, rather than by the manager, to increase involvement and build team commitment. These guided temperature meetings are also a good opportunity for the leader to open up and ask for feedback regarding his/her leadership, and show willingness and curiosity to understand the needs of the team.

To sum up, psychological safety is the foundation upon which a thriving workplace culture is built. It encourages open communication, boosts employee engagement, reduces turnover, fosters learning, and enhances well-being. 

By implementing the right strategies- and using the right tools - you can create an environment where every employee feels safe, valued, and empowered to contribute their best. Invest in psychological safety, and watch your organisation flourish.

Read more about our supplementary temperatures here or download out guide "How to regain organisational trust" to gain some more insights of how to solve your challenge.

Blog
September 15, 2023

Is your team disengaged? Then ask yourself these questions

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During uncertain times, employees turn to the people they trust the most to have their backs: their managers.

And that's not surprising, because managers have a key role to play in helping their teams navigate situations (and especially challenging ones). Acting as a confidante to your employees can therefore go a long way in increasing employee engagement, as well as preventing turnover at a time when companies NEED to hold onto high performers more than ever.

In our recent survey, we’ve looked at the signs of lost trust in business and how it affects turnover. It's clear - 75% are more likely to leave a manager who aren’t open and honest, and 84% who feel their management team makes poor decisions are more likely to leave.

So let's focus on the areas you can control to increase employee engagement when it is starting to degrade. To help you create true team success in challenging times, we’ve compiled a list of questions so you can play your part in tackling the issue of keeping your employees happy and preventing them from leaving (when you need them the most!):

1. Are you creating an environment of trust?

Our research shows that trust is essential to employee wellbeing and engagement. And trust in the workplace can be divided into two categories;

1. An employee’s belief that their manager has their best interests at heart.

2. The ability for an employee to be truly honest, safe in the knowledge any risk they take won’t be used as retribution if things go wrong.

From baby boomers to gen Z, every generation of workers wants to feel heard and be an active participant of their company’s success. And that requires taking risks. But employees will only take risks if they know it’s safe for them to do so.

This is where the manager’s role is critical. A manager who fosters an environment where all ideas can be discussed openly allows employees to share their views and suggestions. It creates an atmosphere of psychological safety, which increases the trust between employee and manager, and where innovation and creativity can flow naturally. Want to learn how to build a culture of fearless feedback? Then this webinar of for you.

2. Do you offer high job satisfaction?    

Employees with low job satisfaction are 88% more likely to leave their current place of work. This staggering number comes with another worrying sign: employees who feel they don’t have fun at work are 75% more likely to leave too. Over the past three years, workers have also reflected on the meaningfulness of their work and whether their current role aligns with their potential and interests.  

There's many factors that decides if employees are satisfied with their job or not. The managers have a challenge on their hands. If they manage to create a fun environment regardless of external circumstances there's a much higher chance of retaining employees. We've written a complete guide about how you can increase job satisfaction among each generation, but here's a few examples of what can be done:

- Create healthy competition among employees to keep them focused on a bigger goal

- Build a culture of recognition and celebrating wins in a public manner

- Invite employees to submit fun ideas to pursue

- Host unusual activities the team will appreciate

3. Do your employees find their work meaningful?

Meaningfulness at work varies from one person to another. While our research shows that there is a consensus among employees that being treated fairly and doing work that makes a difference is essential, there is also a huge disconnect between employees’ values and the impact they think they can have on their business. In fact,  less than 3 in 10 employees feel fully connected to their company’s purpose.

This is a serious issue, as lack of meaningfulness impacts all generations’ decision to leave a company. From Baby Boomers believing that the company is not making investments that will make the lives of future generations better, through to Gen Z feeling that the business does not take enough ethics and social responsibility, poor meaningfulness leads to turnover across all generations.

This shows a lack of alignment between employees and managers. As a manager, you can address it by:

- Including questions about meaningfulness and purpose during your 1:1s with each member of your team

- Articulating the company’s purpose to your team, ensuring you communicate it in a way that aligns with each person’s values

- Work with each team member to ensure they are given opportunities to work on meaningful work

Would you like to get practical advice on how to make make work more meaningful for your team, read this blog post.

Let's sum it up

Keeping employees during changing times is a challenging job. But keeping them engaged shouldn’t be.

To learn more about ways you can increase employee engagement and prevent turnover, download our Fighting Turnover report. You can also find more specific information by reading our guides - How to regain organisational trust or How to increase job satisfaction.

Blog
August 29, 2023

The effects of low trust in organisations

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Trust is a business’ primary currency. Let us explain why.

1. Investors need it to ensure they are spending their money on the right companies.

2. Clients need to know they are in safe hands to spend their budget.

3. Employees need to hear their leadership has their backs if they are to execute on their company’s vision.

Trust is, therefore, so much more than a nice-to-have; it's a non-negotiable necessity. Whether you're a small startup, a multinational corporation, a government agency, or a non-profit organisation, the ability to build and regain organisational trust is paramount to your long-term success.

Trust is what makes a entire organisation go round. So, what happens when an organisation fails to deliver on the promise? Here's the seven most common challenges organisation with low trust are experiencing.

1. Higher retention and loyalty

According to our study, Fighting Turnover, the biggest reason why an employee tends to leave is low trust. In other words, employees who trust their organisation are more likely to be loyal and committed, leading to higher retention rates. Trustworthy organisations are also more likely to attract and retain top talent, as employees seek to work in environments where they feel valued, respected and supported.

87% are more likely to leave a manager who doesn't keep promises.

2. Better employee engagement

Trust is a foundation for employee engagement. When employees trust their leaders, colleagues, and the organisation as a whole, they are more likely to feel committed, motivated, and engaged in their work. Simply said, trust fosters a positive work environment where employees feel supported, respected, and valued, leading to increased engagement and productivity.

3. Increased innovation and creativity

Trust creates an environment where innovation and creativity can flourish. When employees trust their ideas and suggestions will be valued and considered, they are more likely to share their innovative and creative insights without fear of judgement or repercussions. Trust fosters a culture of openness, experimentation, and learning, which can lead to increased innovation, collaboration and creativity in the organisation.

4. Better organisational reputation

Organisations known for their trustworthiness and integrity are more likely to be respected and admired by employees, customers, and other stakeholders. A positive reputation for trust can enhance an organisation's brand image, attract customers, investors, and partners, and contribute to long-term organisational success.

5. Reduced conflict and miscommunication

When employees trust each other, they are more likely to communicate openly, honestly, and transparently, which can help prevent misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and conflicts. Trust fosters a positive communication environment where issues and concerns can be addressed proactively and resolved more effectively.

6. Increased agility and autonomy

In a world that moves as quickly as ours forces us to act fast and be agile. In a trusting environment, employees feel empowered to take calculated risks, make decisions, and adapt to changing circumstances without fear of blame or reprisal. This promotes a culture of agility, where employees are more willing to embrace change, innovate, and adapt to new situations, leading to increased organisational agility and resilience.

7. Higher performance

All the factors we’ve mentioned above combine to send performance soaring. When your employees feel trusted they perform better, they’re more productive, they have more energy and better morale. It's a win win. Your employees feel happy and valued, and your organisation’s performance goes through the roof.

To help you learn more about the real impact each of these dimensions on organisational trust, and how you can address them as a manager or business leader, we have developed the guide How to regain organisational trust.

If you would like to learn more about ways you can address a drop in organisational trust early, contact us.

Blog
August 16, 2023

How to make your employees' work more meaningful

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As humans we are brilliantly complex and beautiful creatures. But underneath all our weird and wild quirks there’s one thing that ever single person on the planet craves - and that’s meaning.

We thirst for meaning and for purpose, in life and in the work we do. In fact so much that employees who lack a sense of meaningfulness at work are 87% more likely to leave than those who do. Our own study - Fighting Turnover - also backs that up ranking meaningfulness as the third most significant factor that impacts turnover.

So meaningfulness matters. But what do we mean by it?

Putting it simply, meaningfulness refers to a sense of purpose, including how connected your team feels to their work and how motivated they are. If your employees feel like their work has meaning they’re more engaged, happier, will take less sick days, and are far less likely to quit.

In fact, employees who find work meaningful improve their performance by 33% and they’re 75% more committed. The downside? Only half of employees say their work is meaningful.. 

A strong sense of meaningfulness makes perfect business sense. That’s why measuring meaningfulness is one of the factors our engagement platform tracks. With this in mind, how can you increase meaningfulness for your employees and boost its temperature when you track it? Let’s dive into it…

1. Be clear on your purpose

If you have a strong purpose, it gives employees a sense of meaning and significance in their roles. When employees understand how their work contributes to your organisation's larger mission and societal impact, they’re more likely to find their tasks meaningful and fulfilling.

Ask yourself if your employees know what they’re working for and if they understand your company’s purpose. It doesn’t have to be complicated but it should be aspirational. Aim high. This is your chance to inspire your employees by capturing their hearts and their imaginations. 

Take some of these examples of purpose and mission statements:

  • Patagonia: Build the best product, Cause no unnecessary harm, Use business to protect nature, Not bound by convention
  • Microsoft: To empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.
  • Disney: To entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling.

Don’t be scared of setting your sights high or daring to change the world. By having a clear purpose, and transparency to go with it, it makes it much easier for your employees to buy-in to what you’re doing, where you’re going and their own role in helping you get there.

Top Tips to clarify your purpose

  • Clarify the team's purpose:
    Clearly communicate the team's purpose and how it contributes to the organisation's broader goals. Help team members understand the impact and importance of their work, connecting it to a larger mission.
  • Connect work to personal values:
    Help team members identify how their work aligns with their personal values and passions. Explore how their individual strengths and interests can be utilised within their roles. When work feels personally meaningful, it increases engagement and motivation.
  • Create meaningful goals:
    Involve the team in setting meaningful goals that align with their purpose. Ensure that the goals are challenging yet attainable, and provide a sense of purpose and fulfilment when achieved. And don’t forget to regularly revisit and celebrate progress toward these goals!

2. Have a caring culture

If you double-down on caring about your employees, making an effort to understand them, asking them what they need, and taking their feedback on board then you will, by default, improve the meaningfulness of their work because they’ll be more invested in it. Want to find out more? Here's 8 principles that helps you to successfully build a culture of feedback. 

Take Montcalm London as an example. By using our AI-driven engagement platform, Montcalm were able to move away from asking their employees generic questions and, instead, ask relevant questions based on previous responses. 

By asking the right questions, at the right time, and personalising to their employees, Montcalm were able to promote the company’s culture and create a sustainable space for people to share openly and honestly, while also knowing they’ll be heard. The result? An increase in eNPS by 13%, from +16 to +29. Wow!

Top Tips to improve your culture

  • Cultivate a positive work culture:
    Develop a positive and supportive work culture where team members feel valued, respected, and connected. Encourage open communication, collaboration, and trust. When team members feel a sense of belonging and support, it enhances their overall sense of meaningfulness in their work.
  • Foster a sense of ownership
    Encourage team members to take ownership of their work and decisions. Empower them to contribute their ideas, creativity, and problem-solving skills. Give them autonomy and trust their judgement, allowing them to feel a deeper sense of meaning and responsibility.
  • Encourage collaboration and shared purpose
    Build a collaborative environment where team members work together toward a shared purpose. Create opportunities for cross-functional collaboration, teamwork, and knowledge sharing. Highlight the collective impact the team can make when working together.

3. Celebrate your wins

Positive reinforcement involves recognising and rewarding employees for their achievements, contributions, and efforts. When used effectively, it can significantly enhance their perception of meaningfulness in their roles.

And it ties back to purpose too. Positive reinforcement often highlights how employees' efforts align with your goals and mission. When employees receive feedback that explicitly ties their work to the bigger picture, they develop a clearer understanding of how their contributions contribute to your success, leading to a stronger sense of purpose.

With this in mind, you should strive to give feedback related to specific behaviours, since it helps employees join the dots between what they do every day and the positive impact it has on the larger organisation. Over time, it will nurture belief that the organisation cares about the employees and their work.

What’s more, regular positive reinforcement can help reduce feelings of burnout and stress. Employees who receive recognition for their hard work are less likely to feel overwhelmed and more likely to experience a sense of balance and well-being, making their work feel more meaningful. You can get even more tips on how to protect your employees from burnout here.

Top Tips to boost your winner streak

  • Provide opportunities for growth and development:
    Support the professional growth and development of team members. Offer training, mentorship, and opportunities to learn new skills. When team members see their personal and professional growth as a result of their work, it enhances their sense of meaningfulness.
  • Celebrate contributions:
    Regularly acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of team members. Recognize their efforts and the value they bring to the team. Celebrate individual achievements and milestones, reinforcing the meaningfulness of their work.
  • Share success stories:
    Share stories of how the team's work has made a positive difference. Highlight the impact and outcomes of their efforts to reinforce a sense of meaningfulness. Celebrate achievements and milestones, recognizing the team's contributions.

Fostering meaningfulness is way more than a ‘feel-good’ initiative; it makes perfect strategic and business sense, bringing with it a whole host of benefits that will be felt across every level of your organisation. Even your customers will sense it!

But we know it could be a bit hard to measure (if you don’t have the right tool), which is why we’ve added meaningfulness as one of our engagement metrics. By simply keeping track of the temperature, you can see how meaningful your employees find their work… and adjust your engagement strategy depending on how they feel.

For more insight and to find out what your employees really want, download our guide Fighting turnover: What matters the most to employees in 2023. Grab your copy here. Or do you rather discuss how to boost your employees' meaningfulness with one of our engagement experts? Then contact us here.

Blog
May 31, 2023

Organisational outcomes from using our supplemental categories

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In the spring of 2017 Winningtemp undertook the work to identify the factors that most strongly predict two outcome variables: employee turnover and sickness absence. With the help of P.h.D and researcher Leif Denti, an extensive search of the research literature was carried out to find studies that provide support for the predictive ability of certain factors. This laid the foundation for the 9 standard categories that have been and continue to be measured by thousands of our customers.  

Subsequently, we have continued to follow the same methodology of studying the science behind effective organisations and applied the research findings to develop our supplemental categories. Besides predicting employee turnover and sickness absence, we have also focused on the predictive abilities of certain factors on organisational outcomes such as higher performance, innovation, employee well-being, employer branding, to name a few.

The 8 outcomes from our supplemental categories are:

“Understand the organisational outcomes from using Winningtemp´s supplemental categories. Learn how to optimally use them to strategically measure, analyze and act on various factors that would help you progress towards your organisational goals.”

Organisational outcomes and what categories to activate to improve them

1.     Employer branding

Description: Employer branding is the process of creating and communicating a positive and distinctive image of an organisation as an employer of choice. It involves highlighting the unique value proposition and culture of the organisation, as well as its reputation, mission, vision, and goals.  

Relevance: Employer branding aims to attract, engage, and retain talented and motivated employees who share the organisation's values and vision.

  • Sustainability
  • Ambassadorship
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Innovation

2.     Ability to Innovate

Description: Being more innovative means finding new ways to create value for customers, stakeholders and society. It means developing novel products, services or processes that meet the needs and expectations of the market. Innovation requires a culture of creativity, experimentation and learning within the organisation.  

Relevance: Being more innovative means that a company is able to create new products, services, or processes that meet the needs and expectations of its customers and stakeholders. Innovation can give a company a competitive edge in the market, increase its profitability and growth, and enhance its reputation and brand image.  

  • Trust
  • Cross–Functional Collaboration
  • Psychological Safety
  • Transparency
  • Innovation

3.    Improved performance

Description: High performance is a desirable goal for any company that wants to achieve its objectives and sustain its competitive advantage. In order to achieve this goal, the focus needs to be on improving the performance of individual employees, of teams as well as the overall organisation.  

Relevance: High performance can benefit the organisation in many ways, such as achieving higher customer satisfaction, employee engagement, innovation, productivity, and profitability.  

  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Self leadership
  • Person-job fit
  • Trust
  • Psychological Safety

4.    Corporate Responsibility

Description: Corporate responsibility is a business practice that aims to balance the economic, social and environmental impacts of a company's operations. It means that a company is accountable to its stakeholders, such as customers, employees, shareholders and communities, and strives to operate in ways that enhance rather than harm society and the environment.  

Relevance: By doing this, a company can improve its reputation, brand image, customer loyalty, employee engagement, investor confidence and social license to operate. Corporate responsibility brings strategic advantage for a company by differentiating itself from its competitors, attracting new customers and partners, innovating new products or services, and achieving long-term growth and success.

  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Sustainability
  • Innovation

5.     Employee Well-being

Description: Employee well-being is the degree to which employees feel satisfied, engaged, and productive at work. It encompasses physical, mental, and social aspects of their work experience. A company that wants to improve the well-being of its employees is aiming to create a positive work environment that supports their health, happiness, and performance.  

Relevance: By doing this, the company can benefit from lower turnover, higher productivity, better customer satisfaction, and a stronger reputation.

  • Person – Job Fit
  • Subjective Well-being
  • Psychological Safety

6.    Higher employee engagement

Description: Employee engagement is the degree to which employees feel committed to their work and the organisation. It reflects how motivated, satisfied, and productive they are. Engaged employees care about their work and about the performance and success of the organization they work for. A company that wants to increase employee engagement aims to create a positive work environment where employees feel valued, respected, and empowered.  

Relevance: Employee engagement is important for an organisation because it can affect various aspects of its performance, such as productivity, profitability, customer satisfaction, employee retention, and innovation.  

  • Psychological Safety
  • Trust
  • Self leadership
  • Subjective Well-being
  • Transparency

7.    Build a strong Work Culture

Description: Organizational work culture is the set of shared values, beliefs, norms, and practices that shape the behavior and identity of an organization and its members. It influences how employees interact with each other and with external stakeholders, such as customers, partners, and suppliers. A company that wants to build a great work culture is one that values its employees, its customers, and its mission. A great work culture means that the company fosters a positive and productive environment where people are motivated, engaged, and respected.  

Relevance: A great work culture can impact the organization in many ways, such as improving organizational performance, employee engagement, innovation, retention, and customer satisfaction.  

  • Trust
  • Psychological Safety
  • Transparency
  • Self Leadership
  • Cross-functional Collaboration

8.    Increase Productivity

Description: Productivity is a measure of how efficiently an organization uses its resources to produce goods or services. Motivated and skilled workforce that receives regular feedback and recognition, as well as effective communication and collaboration among employees and managers are key determinants of productivity.  

Relevance: The benefits of increasing productivity are manifold: it can lead to higher profits, lower costs, better quality, more customer satisfaction, and more competitive advantage.

  • Cross-functional Collaboration
  • Transparency
  • Self Leadership
  • Person-job fit
  • Trust

Easy select the categories with the outcomes the organisation want to focus on.

Our 11 Supplemental categories

Ambassadorship

Ambassadorship in an organisation refers to employees who actively promote and represent their organisation in a positive manner, both internally and externally. These employees go beyond their job responsibilities and act as advocates for their organisation, upholding its values, culture, and reputation.

Sustainability

Sustainability refers to an organisation's commitment to conducting its activities in a manner that preserves and protects the environment, society, and economy for present and future generations.

Diversity, Equality and Inclusion

Diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) are critical aspects of creating a positive and inclusive work environment where all employees feel valued, respected, and empowered.

Self-Leadership

Self-leadership refers to the ability of employees to take ownership of their own actions, behaviors, and development within an organization. When employees practice self-leadership, they proactively manage their own performance, set goals, and take responsibility for their own growth and development.

Trust

Trust is a crucial element in any organisation and has a significant impact on various outcomes.

Innovation

Innovation can have various outcomes for an organisation, depending on how it is implemented and integrated into the organisation's culture, processes, and strategies.

Psychological Safety

Psychological safety in an organisation can have several positive outcomes, which contribute to a healthy and productive work environment.

Cross functional collaboration

Cross-functional collaboration, which involves employees from different departments or functional areas working together on a common goal or project, can lead to several positive outcomes in an organisation.

Person-job fit

Person-job fit refers to the alignment between an individual's skills, knowledge, abilities, and characteristics with the requirements and demands of a job.

Transparency

Transparency in an organisation refers to the practice of openly sharing information, communication, and decision-making processes with employees, stakeholders, and other relevant parties.

Subjective well-being

Subjective well-being, also known as happiness or life satisfaction, refers to an individual's subjective perception of their well-being and overall satisfaction with their life.

Read more about all our Supplemental categories here


Blog
May 26, 2023

How much does disengagement cost your business?

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You know disengagement is bad for your people, culture, and business – but do you know how bad? And can you explain this clearly to senior stakeholders so they understand the need to prioritise engagement? If you’re not 100% confident here, this is the article for you. Keep reading and we’ll run through the true costs of disengagement, and what you can do to solve it for your organisation. 

If you’re currently building a case for pitching an engagement tool, you can use this bullet-proof workbook that will land you a “YAY” instead of a “nay”.

  

Employee engagement – a global challenge

Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2023 Report finds that 23% of employees globally are engaged at work (and that's a record high!). And obviously there're differences across countries; South Asia has 33% and the highest engagement in the world, while most countries in Europe are ranked as low engagement countries with only 14%.

This isn’t even a post-pandemic issue. Global engagement has been terrible for years – this is the norm, not the exception. The harsh reality is the majority of workers worldwide are counting down days to Friday, only happy to see their pay check.

And this is probably the same for your employees. Even though you’ve got an amazing purpose, awesome employer brand, yoga classes and offer free lunches. These engagement stats have business leaders everywhere worried. But perhaps not worried enough. Let’s talk about what disengagement might be costing you.
  

Breaking down the costs

Overall low engagement costs the global economy $7.8 trillion, but let's break down the costs.

 
1. Increased absenteeism
 

There’s plenty of proof that high disengagement increases absenteeism dramatically (Gallup say by 81%). And that’s an expensive problem that can appear in the following costs:

·     Highover time costs

·     Expensive temps to cover

·     Admin costs to manage absence

·     Reduced team productivity

·     Safety and quality issues (inadequate training; overburdened staff; fatigue)

·     Declining team morale and engagement

Overall, estimates suggest unscheduled absenteeism costs $3600 annually for each hourly worker and $2660 annually for each salaried employee.

Let’s do some simple maths…
500 employees = $1.3M in wasted spend annually(!!).

 

2. Lower productivity

Disengagement affects both individual productivity and team productivity too. According to Gallup, the amount equals to your annual performance targets slashed by 18%. Imagine if it was the other way around - we bet you’d be super happy if it was +18%! 

Disengagement is also linked to managers and the impact on direct reports. If you’ve an engaged manager, you’re 59% more likely to be engaged yourself.  

A great manager creates happy, high-performing teams – and a disengaged manager can quickly ruin engagement and productivity. (That’s why developing managers to deliver is something we at Winningtemp offers.)

 

3. Increased turnover

Now, let’s talk about turnover. Gallup’s research shows that disengagement increases turnover by 18% for high-turnover organisations and 43% for low-turnover organisations. Even at the lower end, that’s a major cost.

In other words, this cost estimates turnover costs at 1.5x to 2x an employee’s annual salary, depending on seniority and length of tenure.  

But there’s hope. Winningtemp customers on average enjoy 30% decreased turnover after one year. Using the example figures above, that could represent a saving of $900,000 to $1.3M. And if you're curious to see why employees decide to leave in the first place, the report Fighting Turnover: What matters the most to employees in 2023 is for you. Without giving too much of a spoiler alert, trust is key.

 

4. Increased recruitment costs

Disengagement also spirals into long-term cultural issues, which damage your employer brand and could increase recruitment costs. In 2022, 3 in 4 employers struggled to find the talent they needed. These shortages mean it’s becoming more expensive and time-consuming to hire.

Let’s play with numbers.

LinkedIn research finds that companies with a poor employer brand have a 46% higher cost-per-hire than companies with a good employer brand, and the cost to hire an employee can be 3x to 4x the position’s salary.

Taking our average $40,000, that would mean you’re spending upwards of $120,000 for every hire. With a 46% uplift, that’s an additional $55,200 per hire. Know think of how many people you normally you hire a year.  

 

5. Declining customer lifetime value

But the consequences of disengagement don’t only affect your employees – it also affects your customers. Less productive, unorganised teams are normally serving delayed deliveries, including low quality and errors.

And what cost does that translate to? Well, poor customer service is expensive. And if you were to lose a customer, acquiring a new customer is 5x more expensive than retaining a current customer. Having an engaged, happy workforce of employees is better.

So what does disengagement cost YOU?

By now, you’ve hopefully got a good sense of the scale of the engagement issue and opportunity. But when you’re building your business case, it’s more compelling to translate benchmarks, estimates, and averages into hard numbers for your organisation.

Use our disengagement calculator now to get started. Then chat to us, when you realise what a no-brainer Winningtemp is 😉

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April 21, 2023

How HR can promote sustainability

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We believe that everyone can make a positive impact on the planet. So let’s talk about a topic close to our hearts - sustainability.

Working in HR, you have a long list of key dates to celebrate and promote – and perhaps sometimes sustainability can feel like a box-checking activity, far removed from pressing daily concerns of running your HR.

Unless you’re personally passionate and invested in environmental issues, it might also be difficult to connect sincerely with the sustainability initiatives you take on.

But we're here to help. In this blog, we explains why sustainability matters and how can you drive practical change across the organisation?

A strong stance improves hiring and retention

Deloitte’s Global Millennial Survey 2022 leaves little doubt as to the importance of environmental and sustainability issues to millennial and Gen Z workers. (Together, these two groups make up around half of today’s workforce – a proportion that’s growing constantly). Just look at these findings:

• 80% of Gen Zs and 77% of millennials say they feel a personal responsibility to create positive social and environmental impact

• 78% of Gen Zs and 74% of millennials say they are concerned about climate change and want to see more action from businesses to address it

• 70% of Gen Zs and 66% of millennials say they would be willing to take a pay cut to work for a company that aligns with their values

Our latest report Fighting Turnover also found that lack of trust or meaningfulness is a major reason to why employees decide to quit, and Gen Z stated that they want to work for businesses that values ethics and social responsibility.

So, irrespective of the moral imperative to act on environmental issues, stats like this show that organisations that prioritise sustainability are better placed to attract, engage, and retain talent.

SUSTAINABILITY EQUAL MORE business value

HR outcomes aren’t the only reason to care about environmental issues. Organisations that genuinely prioritise ESG are more likely to outperform their peers in the long-term. Even tough,  many are turning their backs on this value, by focussing purely on compliance:

“Companies that view environmental, social, and governance initiatives as an exercise in compliance rather than a source of competitive advantage, are leaving substantial value on the table.”

The you got the stats to back you up:

• 80% of investors believe that companies should prioritise environmental issues in their business strategies…but only 28% of executives believe their company's ESG strategy is adequately integrated into overall business strategy.

• 71% of executives believe companies that treat ESG (Environmental, social, and governance) as a strategic priority will outperform peers long-term…but 65% of executives believe their company's ESG strategy is primarily focused on compliance.

The upshot is, focussing on sustainability isn’t just a fluffy nice-to-have or a compliance-based chore. Environmental and sustainability issues are fundamental drivers for the business – and HR can add enormous value by supporting the C-suite on this.

ideas to make a positive impact

Here are some ideas you can copy with pride to foster a culture of ESG impact.

1. Work across other departments – and the C-suite – to set ESG goals that align to business strategy and create a regular comms program talking about ESG across the organisation, so employees know where you stand, what you’re doing, and how they can get involved.

2. Educate employees around ESG, encourage individual buy-in and create excitement around environment and sustainability issues by hosting guest speakers, workshops, webinars, or training sessions. You can also create resources (eg, a toolkit)to educate employees to make more environmentally-friendly choices at work and home.

3. Create a program of green initiatives including volunteer days, community challenges, company-wide sustainability competitions, and environmental pledges. Also, encourage employees to take ownership over ESG, by establishing employee groups that create community and offer a platform for environmental activity.

4. Integrate ESG activity into your reward and recognition programme.

5. Encourage hybrid or remote working to minimise employees’ travel impact.

6. Make environmentally-sound choices across your offices, like ensuring good recycling practices, investing into motion controlled lighting, and using eco-friendly supplies.

7. Reconsider the ‘swag’ you buy for events, onboarding, and office celebrations – less pens, more tree planting, perhaps? Less ‘stuff’, more experiences?

8. Choose suppliers who align with your ESG commitments. Demand better from everyone you work with.

9. Donate or run fundraisers for environmental causes – and consider matching employee donations too.

10. Invite employee feedback into ESG regularly, to prove this is an important priority for you. (For instance, if you’re using our employee engagement platform to collect real-time feedback, you can easily add regular questions around sustainability).

Did you know?

We all have to share a planet that’s increasingly in crisis. Earth Day on April 22nd, gives you the perfect opportunity to focus on your environmental movement and sustainable business as a whole. You won't be alone, because  EARTHDAY.ORG is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement. The organisation works with over 150,000 partners in 192 countries to diversify, educate and activate the global environmental movement.

MAKE SUSTAINABILITY DEFAULT

Making real progress means integrating sustainability properly and sincerely into how the organisation operates, not just paying lip service. That’s not just the right thing for the planet – it’s the right thing for your people and organisation too.

Winningtemp’s employee engagement platform helps you better understand and serve your people – to build a winning culture. Watch this two-minute video to see how it works.

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March 10, 2023

Three big threats to diversity and inclusion for 2023

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Diversity and inclusion have been topping the agenda for a while. Did you know that DE&I positions were among the most-hired People team roles last year? But despite years of promises, pledges, and pithy statements, progress has been slow. And worrying data suggests it's getting worse.

That’s not good. Or sensible!

In a difficult economic landscape, businesses need a competitive edge more than ever. And diversity and inclusion has been proven to deliver that edge:

• Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to financially outperform their industry median

• Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to financially outperform their industry median

So if your competitors are starting to regress on their DE&I pledges, it's time to move forward with yours. Here are the three biggest threats to diversity and inclusion for 2023.

1. Layoffs

Late 2022 and early 2023 have seen global mass layoffs across almost every industry. For example, more than 200,000 tech workers globally have been laid off in the past year. But layoffs’ promise of short-term cost reduction comes with the threat of long-term culture and brand damage. And the data shows many organisations aren’t doing a good job here – and diversity and inclusion is one of the biggest victims.

Recent research from workforce intelligence organisation Revelio Labs found that many organisations have seen sharp declines in their share of diverse new hires. And for example, TripAdvisor has suffered a 7% decrease in the share of diverse hires since July 2022.

This decline in diverse hiring could suggest improving representation is not a priority for many organisations. Moreover, the attrition rate at layoff companies was 57% higher for DE&I roles than non-DE&I roles in December 2022.

The problem isn't only losing talents loss. What message does it send, disproportionately laying off the people charged with furthering your DE& goals? What culture are you left with?

Hint: it’s not an inclusive one. McKinsey observed this connection between diversity and inclusion back in 2020, but it seems many organisations haven’t heeded the warning:

“The dynamics around inclusion are a critical differentiator for companies. An emphasis on representation is not enough. Employees need to feel and perceive equality and fairness of opportunity in their workplace. Companies that lead on diversity have taken bold steps to strengthen inclusion.”

If your organisation is forced into layoffs, ask: how are we ensuring those layoffs don’t disproportionately impact diverse employee demographics?

2. High turnover among women and women of colour

Turnover is a costly issue, no matter the employee demographic, and it's estimated to cost 1.5x to 2x the annual salary. And that’s before you consider how hard it is to recuit talents today. But turnover isn’t just expensive in the financial sense. It’s also a major lever for inequality, hurting your representation and damaging your culture of inclusivity and belonging.

McKinsey’s Women in the Workplace 2022 report says we’re experiencing a “Great Breakup”, as “women are demanding more from work, and they’re leaving their companies in unprecedented numbers to get it.” Their research shows female leaders are switching jobs at record-high rates.

High turnover is also pronounced among women of colour, with over 200,000 Black and Latina women disappearing from the US workforce altogether since the pandemic.

In other words, there’s a declining representation of gender- and ethnically-diverse talent that sends a clear message on inclusion and belonging.

If you have high turnover among diverse employee groups, ask: how do we recognise and accommodate unique challenges these employees might face? How do we build a workplace and culture that’s better for everyone?

3. The rising cost of living

All over the world, employees are struggling with rising costs. The rising cost of living is the most pressing worry for 93% of employees across Europe, and 67% of Americans are increasingly worried. That’s why poor financial well-being is one of the big three drivers of turnover right now.

In theory, rising costs impact everyone. But in practice, the cost of living crisis is far from equal. There’s evidence that the cost-of-living crisis disproportionately hurts ethnically diverse communities. Ethnically diverse people are a third more likely to struggle to afford their bills, rent, or mortgage each month than people from white backgrounds.

And women are also impacted, given they’re typically already earning less than their male counterparts. With less financial buffer, rising costs are harder to bear. And did you know that the gender pay gap sits at almost 15%? At the current rate, the gap won’t close until 2044.)

If your employees are facing rising costs (they are!), ask: how are we protecting our people? Do we understand the pressures different employee groups face financially? What are we doing to ensure the cost of living crisis doesn’t cause long-term inequality?

Are you backsliding on your diversity and inclusion pledges?

2023 could be catastrophic for DE&I, because all these trends play into one another. The result is a powerful negative force: if this situation is allowed to unfold unchecked, we could be looking at years of regression for DE&I. Leaders must act now, to protect culture and ensure big DE&I promises are more than hollow statements. And if you do, there’s a big opportunity to step ahead of your competitors.

To that end, the big questions are:
Do you understand the biggest threats to diversity and inclusion for your business?
Do you know at a granular level what’s really happening for different employee groups? And do you have a systematic way to improve experiences and build an inclusive workplace?

Winningtemp’s employee engagement platform gives accurate, detailed, and up-to-date insight into how your people experience work, so you can build an intentional culture. Read our step-by-step roadmap to using employee insights to improve DE&I.


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March 3, 2023

Five reasons to get better at data-driven HR

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Five reasons to get better at data-driven HR
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Employee Engagement
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Let's start with a fact: Organisations with a strong people analytics culture have stronger performance than competitors.

That's why growing your data skills should be a top priority for you and your HR team. We'll explain why.

1. It increases HR’s impact

“Picture this. A world where you can accurately and intelligently predict human behaviour within your workforce.

Just think about how valuable this unknown information would be. Can you envision the potential strategic business growth that would be enjoyed by transparently collecting, understanding, and using this data, to impact the organisation and its employees in a positive and meaningful way?”.

That's what Lee Watts, Head of People Operations at Kurtosys said. Collecting, analysing, and acting on insights from your people empowers you to solve your hardest challenges and drive true change. And that's something Lee and his team really have accomplished... within just 10 months. Thanks to the right data, they implemented the technology they needed and...

• Increased eNPS from 9 to 23

• Reduced attrition by 10%

• Increased net headcount growth by 6%

• Achieved consistent active employee engagement at 90%+

Now let's look at their results again, but compare it to the average results.

Employee engagement around the world is only 21%.

Attrition is increasing; 26% for small organizations and 53% for large organizations

Global talent shortages hit a 16-year high in 2022, with 3 in 4 employers struggling to find the talent they need to fulfil headcount targets.


In almost every organisation, engagement, stress and burnout, attrition, skills shortages, and rising recruitment costs are major problems. But Kurtosys managed to beat the trend.

2. It boosts HR’s credibility and influence

Strong HR leadership is what makes the most successful companies. Many organisations however still view HR as a reactive, back-office function. That's why building your data and analytics muscle really can help you to change your employees' perceptions, and create more trust.  

“If you analyse functions like finance, supply chain, CRM, IT, and marketing you will find common key drivers of success. They include data-driven analytical decision-making, having everything digital and connected, showing in dollars how their actions directly impact strategic business goals, continuous improvement measures and being forward-looking.”

That's what international HR thought-leader Dr. John Sullivan writes. And we couldn't agree more - because better people data empowers your team to make data-driven, evidence-based decisions based on what’s really happening in your organisation today and tomorrow. The right platform interprets all the data. You make credible, effective decisions based on the trends and challenges the system has found for you.

3. It develops better managers

Developing better managers is one of the most powerful actions an organisation can take to improve revenue, increase engagement, retention, productivity and workforce efficiency. That’s why a 1% increase in effective leadership drives a 53.6% increase in organisational performance. Wow! 

But manager performance often falls short, even though strengthening leadership is a major priority for HR leaders. In our latest report we've found that lack of trust is the main reason to shy employees decides to wave goodbye.

The trick is to let your managers use people data. Not only will they get a bigger understanding of their employees' well-being, they'll also find challenges and trends that really makes the big difference. The best part? You don’t need to be a data scientist to work with data. The best tools use simple visualisations to showcase for example your team's productivity and performance. Have a look for yourself!

4. It guides smarter resource decisions

Data-driven HR is like switching the lights on. You can suddenly see what’s really happening in your organisation, such as:

• Which teams and departments drive the most impact for the business?

• Which people problems are coming up and how best to solve them?

• Which managers might need more support?

Armed with these insights, you can make smarter decisions about your HR initiatives. A great example of this is The Montcalm London Hotels that quickly was able to make informed decisions and policy changes about their employee wellbeing and employee-first initiatives. The result? A new benefit programme and mental health workshops mainly requested by their Gen Z employees.

5. It empowers agility and innovation

People data helps you proactively build a culture that hire, engage, and retain the right people. In our recent webinar, Lee shares his team’s data-driven process for designing and building the optimum culture to deliver value as a business, hinging on better employee experience data.

“How do we quantify passion? How do we measure it? How do we check we’re hiring, engaging, and retaining people in service of that mission? Rich people data creates a single source of truth about something that’s traditionally really hard to measure, so you can attribute dollar values and create true behaviour change”.

People data is easier than you think

People analytics is often seen as a mystery. But working with data don't have to be so complicated. A good platform should make data-driven HR simple, by automatically collecting data about your people and visualising insights in clear, impactful dashboards so you can make positive changes.

Watch our two-minute demo video to learn more about Winningtemp.

Blog
February 17, 2023

Unlocking the power of people data

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Enabling our employees to be empowered and productive is on top of the agenda for any People leader. But how do we achieve that at scale? It all starts with people data. Together with Sana, we hosted a live session to explore the topic with investor, advisor, and Google Specialist Leader Johan Eriksson. 

Here’s the full recap. 

People Analytics is a secret HR superpower

People analytics is the practice of collecting and transforming HR data. Using it can help us understand trends in company culture, employee engagement rates, and how employees define a great place to work. And in the end, guide people and business decisions.

But starting a new people analytics function isn’t easy. In a busy HR team, finding the capacity to create something new is tough. And where do you start? For example, how do teams take eNPS scores, and use them to guide business strategy?

Uncover new HR insights

A sustainable business can’t rely on vacation-time to sustain the energy of its workforce. Companies need to know how best to look after its employees, all-year round. Constant customer satisfaction requires constant employee satisfaction and energetic teams. But what are the signals that can help companies to proactively support their employees? And how do we create products that customers love, while looking after our teams? 

This is where people analytics can help. People analytics can help HR teams to explore potential correlations between seemingly unrelated areas. Take social relationships and productivity. Maybe employees with busier social calendars are more energized and productive? Energized employees are vital for hyper-growth companies. Knowing that social activities generate positive energy might lead you to organizing more team events. The insight drives the tactic.

Test hypotheses that drive HR outcomes

Using data to drive decisions in this way is powerful. But only if the data is accurate and we read it correctly. Without a solid grounding, we risk falling for the traps of easy wins and false positives. It’s about the quality of your data, and the intention of your questions.

Asking questions of data is easier when you have the right tools and features. Let’s imagine you’re trying to understand what drives employee satisfaction. With the right platform integrations, you could understand the relationship between employee satisfaction and vacation time. Perhaps the  data shows that your most productive employees take all of their vacation allowance — and stay offline. That’s another interesting learning.. But how can you use that insight to make changes that help your employees and your company? Now you have a hypothesis that nudging more employees to take vacation will drive employee satisfaction.

So how do you validate that hypothesis? Again, it’s all about the integrations. An integrated HRIS, messaging platform, and LMS could automate a micro-learning that’s triggered to a percentage point. Say it’s half way through the year, and someone’s only taken 10% of their allowance. The employee receives a ping in Slack or Google, nudging them to book more vacation. Say two weeks go by, and your employee forgets to book their vacation. Your integrated LMS delivers a micro-learning that explains the benefits of vacation time to the individual, and the company. The learning could direct your employee to your vacation-booking portal.

Start from where you’re at

Getting started with people analytics can feel overwhelming. We say — start small and catch some quick wins. Use existing datasets, ask clearly defined questions. Once you’ve mastered the techniques, you can think bigger. Here's how:

Set the baseline

All super-insights start with a simple baseline. So start with the data that you have. Pull as many reports from your HR stack as you can and see what’s available. eNPS, vacation time, learning courses completed, benefits usage, attendance—it’s all potentially useful.

With your data in hand, ask yourself:

  • What can your people analytics tell you today?
  • Based on these data, what changes can you make today?
  • Look at these changes you could make - could a little more data create something more valuable?
  • What else do you need to learn from your people?
  • How will that help the business? Short-term to long-term - what changes do you see?
  • Are there additions to your HR tech stack that could help you to scale your insights?

With these insights in hand, it’s time to understand where you want to go next.

List your top 10 questions 

Now you know your strengths and gaps, create the top 10 questions that people data can answer. How do you find the questions? First off, trust yourself. You know where improvements will make the biggest difference. Ask:

  • What problems am I seeing? 
  • How can HR help employees before problems start? 
  • How could analytics scale the ambition for my strategy? 

Do involve broader management. But only after reviewing your own wants and needs. When you’re ready to bring in wider stakeholders, ask them: how could people data strengthen and empower the management teams? What problems could people data help them to solve?

Test rather than guess

Now you’re ready to go from having a question, to wanting some answers. The best way to make progress is to start testing ideas. 

Maybe you have a hypothesis that people who engage with learning more regularly are more likely to gain promotion. Here’s how you (in)validate it:

  • First, write down your hypothesis. Say, ‘I think that people who actively engage with learning are more likely to achieve promotions more quickly than people who are moderately engaged with learning’. 
  • Next, pick a unit of time to measure. You could use 6 months, as it’s long enough for patterns to emerge.
  • Export the relevant data from your LMS.
  • You should be able to see people's engagement rates, and calculate the mean average of employee engagement with learning.
  • Now, look for the outliers. Are there people who are significantly more engaged than their peers? How many people?
  • Look at their HR data. Are these people achieving a faster rate of promotion? If not, can you make guesses about why?

If experimentation is outside your comfort zone, reframe the challenge as an opportunity. You’ll learn new skills and find solutions that can make it easier for HR to deliver support efficiently, and at scale.

Embrace best practice

Don’t fall for the quick wins

Working with data means learning to interrogate it. We’re all victims of bias, which means we sometimes see what we want to see. In the sciences, that’s known as ‘fishing for data’ – looking for the one point that will prove your point. 

“Always look for the outliers in your data. That’s what’s truly interesting. That’s where there’s room for conversation and learning.” Johan Eriksson

Take the team X at Google. Recently, they noticed that Google’s User Satisfaction was showing about a 10%pts increase. That’s a big jump. And, even though it would have been nice to accept the win, the number was misleading. A closer look at the data showed a deviation of 13%, both higher and lower from the mean average. In addition to this there was a very likely sampling bias, making the year over year comparison irrelevant. So not only was the actual number incorrect, but also the implied increase.

If you’re going to work with people data, everyone needs to know their quantitative from their qualitative. Schedule data-literacy training, to help the relevant teams learn how to engage with your strategy. Educating employees helps teams to stay curious and creative when looking at data. And curiosity matters. That’s where the super-insights lie.

Build a data warehouse

Get data on your side. Make it usable. Integrating your data will increase your ability to search it, experiment with it, and find insightful connections. For example, integrating your HR tech stack with your LMS can allow you to see new patterns. 

Sana’s integration with Winningtemp can make this work simple. Winningtemp’s dashboard can give users a top-level view on employee engagement. With these insights in hand, HR and L&D teams can create learnings that are part of a people-first HR strategy. 

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People analytics offers HR teams the opportunity to look at existing problems in new ways. To help everyone as we continue to adapt. By learning more about our employees, we can improve their wellbeing, now, and into the future.

Many thanks again to Johan Eriksson and Jacob Österberg for their time and insights. 

Thanks also to Jenny Luo - Sana's marketing manager - for being a guest author.

Click here for more on Winningtemp and Sana’s powerful integration.


Blog
February 13, 2023

Better employee offboarding is your secret weapon for engagement

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Jack loves your organisation. He’s a vibrant contributor to your culture, ahelpful, friendly colleague, and an important part of your success story. But after several years, he’s ready for a change.

What now?

For many businesses, the unfortunate answer is that Jack suddenly becomes a persona non grata. His accesses and equipment are unceremoniously revoked; he’s transitioned away from critical projects and clients; perhaps he’s not even thanked for his contributions.   

So instead of leaving feeling grateful and positive about your organisation, Jack feels disappointed; let down. Like he meant nothing to you all along.

That’s a poor last impression for departing employees. And given the Big Resignation paved the way for lots of employees waving goodbye to their employer, it’s a problem worth getting a handle on. Here’s why better employee offboarding matters and how to fix it.

What is employee offboarding?

Employee offboarding is the process of supporting an employee to leave their role or company, aiming to make the transition as smooth as possible for all sides. Offboarding happens whenever any employee moves on (regardless of their exit reason) and involves:

• Recovering company equipment

• Closing log-ins and revoking digital access

• Finalising HR and employment paperwork

• Removing employee info from company materials

• Handing over projects and transferring knowledge

• Conducting exit interviews

• Issuing offboarding surveys

• Thanking employees for their service

• Leaving drinks 🍻

When most organisations think about offboarding, it’s the admin and compliance elements that typically get the most attention. Understandably, given the high costs of getting this stuff wrong.

But offboarding shouldn’t be purely an exercise in risk management. Employee engagement and wellbeing doesn’t stop mattering at this final stage of the employee lifecycle. These latter elements—exit interviews, offboarding surveys, leaving drinks, and so on—are just as important as protecting the business from data breach risks and taking back equipment. Let’s talk about why.

Why does employee engagement matter during offboarding?

You never forget a first impression. And you don’t forget a final impression either. No matter how great an employee’s experience has been throughout their stay, a negative offboarding experience can sour the relationship—and sends a strong message to your remaining employees. If you genuinely care about building a culture of feedback, offboarding must be a positive experience that...

Protects your employer brand: Former employees can be a major contributor to your reputation, both through reviews and word-of-mouth. Great offboarding turns your former employees into ambassadors, not detractors.  

Generates referrals: Happy former employees can become a great source for referrals – and a great referrals channel can protect the business from recruitment turbulence, becoming a robust and reliable source of hire.

Safeguards team morale: Exiting employees still have a big impact on the people around them, and a positive experience helps mitigate turnover’s potential impact on morale.

Smoothes project handovers: A positive offboarding experience can help to decrease one of the biggest costs of turnover - the cost of disruption to projects and lost intellectual capital.

Maintains productivity: When departing employees work notice on good terms, they’re more invested in completing projects successfully and there’s less disruption for everyone around them.

Protects client loyalty: In many businesses, client loyalty hinges more on a relationship with an individual employee than the business as a whole. When employees leave on good terms, they’re less likely to incite clients to follow them out the door.

Rehires great people: Most organisations today recognise the importance of culture fit for successful recruitment. Who’s a better fit than someone who was once a part of that culture? ‘Boomerang’ hiring has become increasingly common, seeing organisations rehiring former employees who’ve left on good terms, built their experience elsewhere, then returned to add more value.

Strengthens your people-first culture: Your people are watching how you treat their departing peers. How you treat employees when they’re not ‘useful’ to you anymore sends a clear message about the organisation’s ethos and priorities. One that can strengthen or undermine the culture you want to build.

Illuminates engagement blind spots: When an employee chooses to leave, they bring insights you can’t get from employees who are choosing to stay. Why are they leaving? What push and pull factors contributed? Gathering these insights can help you understand what your organisation can do to strengthen your employee value proposition and guard against future turnover.

Want to find out the main reasons to why star employees decide to quit, and get advice on how to retain them? Read our latest report, Fighting Turnover: What matters the most to employees in 2023.

Handling offboarding effectively might have been less important, back in a world where loyalty was a tacit condition of employment. But in today’s world, almost every organisation has a steady stream of outgoing employees. But turnover doesn’t need to be inevitably bad. Taking an intentional and positive approach to employee offboarding can turn your exits into opportunities.

What makes a great offboarding survey?

A great offboarding survey is a critical piece of the offboarding puzzle. It sets the tone of an employee’s final weeks with you, helping your departing people feel heard while collecting valuable insights you can’t get anywhere else. Done right, a good offboarding survey can even replace an exit interview.

Exit interviews add extra value and should ideally work hand-in-hand with offboarding surveys to gather deeper qualitative insights. But if your HR team are spread too thin an offboarding survey can be a worthy replacement -( provided it is completely anonymous and asks the right questions about culture, leadership, and engagement.

If those boxes are ticked, you got all the insights you need. But imaging if you also could get the valuable data translated into meaningful, actionable insight and graphs?

Easy automated offboarding surveys are a simple change that can make massive strides in improving your offboarding process. Learn what other functionality matters when choosing an employee experience platform.  Or discover how Winningtemp’s employee experience platform boosts engagement across the whole employee lifecycle, with this two minute demo.

Blog
January 31, 2023

Questions to discover why your employees are quitting

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The initial wave of resignations post-pandemic might have declined, but we’re not completely safe yet. Because 32% of European employees are actively looking for a new job. And by 2030 there will be a global talent shortage of more than 85 million people (that equals $8.5 trillion in unrealised annual revenue!).

So, employees are leaving in huge numbers, and hiring replacements is getting harder and more expensive. In this context, reducing turnover is a massive competitive advantage and your job is to understand what's causing the turnover. We've got a pretty good idea. We analysed our own data over the last months and noticed a few main reasons to why employees quit.

Even if you might have a good idea to why your employees quit, you need to know the exact factors that influence your people. Here's quiz you can use if you think the main reason is due to flexible working, financial wellbeing or poor diversity and inclusions. You can also download all questions straight here.

1. Flexible working

The movement towards flexible working had been on the agenda for a while but the pandemic poured petrol on the fire. Now, 37% of European workers say they’d decline a job unless flexible working was offered. And 69% said they’d take a pay cut to have flexible hours. In the US, recent data shows 72% of workers prefer a flexible work model over returning to office full-time.

Employers are racing to meet these needs, to develop a workplace that works for everyone. McKinsey report that 58% of workers in the US – equivalent to 92 million people – have the option to work from home at least sometimes, for instance.

On the whole, this is good news. But there’s no perfect roadmap and organisations often face unexpected challenges.

Getting flexible working right can be like walking a tightrope. Employees’ scores for autonomy and job satisfaction often increase when they’re free to work flexibly, for example, but team spirit and participation might suffer. (Discover the nine major factors contributing to employee engagement).

Could your approach to flexible working be causing turnover?  

If you answer ‘no’ or ‘not sure’ to 5 or more of the questions below, this could be an important area to explore.

1. Do you have a formal flexible working policy?

2. Is everyone familiar with your policy?

3. What do your people like and dislike about your policy?

4. Do your people know who to approach with flexible working concerns?

5. What challenges do your people face with flexible working?

6. Have you formally trained managers to manage remote or hybrid teams?

7. Are your social and networking opportunities inclusive for remote workers?

8. How does your onboarding accommodate hybrid or remote workers?

9. What challenges do remote workers versus office-based workers face?

10. Is hybrid working causing any tension within your culture?

2. Financial wellbeing  

Recession in Europe is getting increasingly probable, as inflation spirals and energy costs run out of control. The US might not be far off. Official recession or not, this financial insecurity is hitting employees hard. For example, PwC’s Employee Financial Wellness Survey 2022 reports that 56% of employees are stressed about their finances. Over a third (34%) say financial stress is hurting their mental health, while 18% and 15% say money worries impact their productivity and attendance respectively.

Not good.

Poor financial wellbeing is a major contributor to poor engagement – and ultimately, a major cause of turnover. In fact, 65% of employees looking for a new job cite money as their primary reason.

Could poor financial wellbeing be causing turnover?  

If you answer ‘no’ or ‘not sure’ to 5 or more of the questions below, this could be an important area to explore.

11. Are your people worried about money?

12. What are your people’s financial challenges?

13. Do your people have access to financial education and support?

14. Do your people feel well-compensated?

15. Do your people feel they can raise their financial concerns?

16. Is there pay equity between new hires and established hires?

17. Is there gender pay equity? (A new study shows probably not…)

18. Does your organisation have a recession/inflation strategy?

19. How do your people feel about your recession/inflation strategy?  

20. Do your people feel you have handled any layoffs as well as possible?  

3. Diversity and inclusion

DE&I advocate is one of the three most-hired roles in HR right now, showing that HR leaders do appreciate the importance of getting diversity and inclusion right.

But there’s still a long way to go. Your stance — and more important, your actions – to further diversity and inclusion goals are a major driver of turnover. As much, if not more, than they ever were. For example, employees feeling they can truly be themselves is extremely important when choosing a new role for 66% of employees. This was a major factor driving turnover: employees who do look for a new job over the next 12 months are 11% less likely to feel they can be themselves at work.

To guard against turnover, a big question HR leaders should be asking is this: does your organisation truly accommodate and celebrate difference? Our Head of HR Sara Holmberg joined the podcast SheCanCode to talk about just this - How HR Tech can be used to promote DE&I within organisations.

Could growing D&I concerns be causing turnover?  

If you answer ‘no’ or ‘not sure’ to 5 or more of the questions below, this could be an important area to explore.

21. Do you provide support for employees with long COVID?

22. Do employees feel safe at work, including those with clinical vulnerability?

23. How are different employees vulnerable in different ways?

24. How do you accommodate vulnerable employees at work and socially?

25. What challenges do different employee groups face?

26. Do you support different employee groups with the challenges they face?

27. Do your people trust they can raise concerns and be heard?  

28. Do your people trust you’re protecting their wellbeing?

29. Do all employees have equal career opportunities?

30. Do employees feel represented at senior leadership level?


Download the questions in a PDF here.

The right insights drive the right actions

A million factors can drive turnover, and your own situation can be vastly different from another organisation. The right workforce strategies hinge on the right workforce data.

"Ultimately there’s no substitute for knowing exactly which challenges your own people face, in your own organisation and culture, right now. Unless you ask. Real-time insights and feedback from your employees really empower meaningful change. Here’s 8 tips of how to build a culture of feedback in 2023."

Winningtemp’s employee engagement platform could really help. Our platform gives you real-time scores for the temperature of your workforce, so you can spot issues as they emerge (and before they turn into turnover…). And more than that, Winningtemp provides automated, science-backed, field-tested guidance to address issues.

Winningtemp customers have enjoyed huge success reducing turnover because our platform makes it easy to act on the stuff that’s driving your people away and create experiences employees love.

Watch this two-minute demo video to learn more.

Blog
January 17, 2023

What matters most when choosing an engagement platform?

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The right employee engagement platform helps you understand how your employees feel about work and take practical steps to make their experiences more positive. When you get this right, you enjoy much lower turnover, stress, and burnout, and much more job satisfaction, productivity and engagement. You create a culture that unlocks everyone’s best.  

But all this depends on you choosing the right employee engagement tool – and there are plenty of options. Keeping reading for the 14 priorities we think are most urgent.

1. Pulse format

Annual surveys have profound limitations. They take too long, both for employees to answer and for you to analyse. They’re so sporadic and infrequent that they don’t empower employees to talk about, or HR to understand, the day-to-day things that really matter. It becomes nearly impossible to identify true underlying issues.

The upshot is, annual surveys aren’t an effective way to drive change, from the perspective of both the business and your people. Pulse surveys are a much stronger alternative, sending short bursts of regular questions across the workforce all year long.

2. Quantitative and qualitative insights  

Most survey solutions deliver either quantitative or qualitative employee insights. The problem is, both methods have limitations that hurt effectiveness:

• The mainstay of traditional surveys, qualitative data offers depth. But this depth comes at a price: it demands impossible HR muscle to analyse.

• Quantitative data offers the opposite. It’s much easier and faster to analyse. But it lacks the depth to illuminate nuanced issues.  

The answer is an employee engagement platform that accommodates both. Winningtemp achieves this through our conversation portal, which encourages employees to give qualitative context to their quantitative survey feedback and chat directly with their manager. Anonymously.

3. Guaranteed anonymity  

Employee surveys are valuable when they uncover deep insights about your people’s experiences at work. But those insights hinge on employees being willing to share deep insights. Anonymity is the price of this honesty. Anonymity is crucial and in our product you can always trust that no one can see how you answered the temperature questions.

Did you know that Winningtemp also is ISO 27001 and ISO 27701 certified? This means that your data is safe, and that we comply with rigorous best practice standards (developed by the best and brightest information security experts) to protect your information and keep your data private 🎉

4. Strong scientific credentials  

Employee engagement has long had a reputation for being ‘fluffy’. That couldn’t (or shouldn’t!) be further from the truth. Success is a science – and performance can be reverse-engineered.

The employee engagement platform you choose should take this science as its foundation so you can trust its output. Or risk surveys becoming a vanity project. Winningtemp’s survey methodology, for instance, is based on more than 600 international research studies. Learn more in this guide.

5. AI-assisted questions

The engagement questions you ask should be validated by scientists – but they can’t be ‘set and forget’. Organisations are in a constant state of transition. If your question set is static, it’s as unagile as annual surveys.

Rather, a great employee engagement platform should use AI to optimise how questions rotate depending on employees’ responses. For example, to unearth more detail about a recent response and gather follow-up data to show trends over time. This means question sets are automated but personalised: employees get different questions at different times, to suit their situation.

6. Smart workforce segmentation

A great engagement platform should empower you to send custom surveys to different parts of your workforce – like millennials, for example, or new hires. Nuanced segmentation like this allows you to uncover trends and tackle issues within different demographics.

7. Real-time visual results

Better engagement data is still just data. To build engagement across the business, the right platform should pull data into compelling visual dashboards, in real-time. Dashboards should also be personalised to different stakeholders, so employees, managers and HR all see info that’s relevant and useful to them.

A great employee engagement platform should make deep, complex analysis feel simple.

Winningtemp, for example, analyses data constantly to show you real-time temperature scores against several categories (that according to science, matter the most for employee engagement). Our platform has a host of features to make data meaningful, like automatic temperature analysis, heatmaps, eNPS analysis, and trend analysis. Plus managers don’t just get data—they get easy-to-understand Insights, split into Strengths, Improvements, and Predictions.

8. Benchmarking

The platform you choose should facilitate easy benchmarking. Internally, you should be able to quickly compare results between different locations, departments, and subdivisions. That way, you can understand unique strengths and challenges, provide extra support, and scale bright spots by empowering teams to learn from one another.

Externally, you should be able to see at a glance how your temperature scores stack up to other industries. What does an Autonomy score of 5.5 really mean? The answer could be radically different depending on your peers’ scores.

9. Emphasis on action

Gathering data is only the first phase of effective employee experience management. By itself, gathering data doesn’t achieve anything. Rather, it’s all about what you do with your data.

That’s where the right employee engagement software really comes into its own. Using Winningtemp, for instance, managers can quickly create Actions (based on suggestions or adding their own) to address challenges in their team, and the system automates the workflow. A great platform makes it easy for managers and leaders to act on your engagement data, with intelligent suggestions and automated workflows.

10. Employee recognition

Peer-to-peer recognition is integral to strengthening workplace bonds, building team spirit, and creating a culture where everyone feels valued. (That's why why Deloitte finds that employee engagement, productivity, and performance are 14% higher in organisations with a culture of recognition — driving a 2% increase in margins.)

Look for a platform that makes peer-to-peer praise simple, so employees can instantly send positive messages to colleagues.  

11. User-centric design

Your platform has to be used to be useful. Low adoption is a major barrier to success – and your people won’t thank you for another tool that complicates their day. The right software must be intuitive and streamlined for employees.

Global pharmaceutical leader Bayer have a 90% employee participation rate with Winningtemp, for instance, thanks to our super engaging interface (including our popular emoji scale) and mobile app option.  

12. Employee empowerment

Investing into employee engagement software isn’t just about gathering feedback. If it were, a basic standalone survey tool would suffice. But it doesn’t – because “employee listening” isn’t the point. The point is empowerment.

As Harvard Business Review put it, “empowered employees are more likely to be powerful, confident individuals, who are committed to meaningful goals and demonstrate initiative and creativity to achieve them.”

Self-leadership is a crucial prong of empowerment, giving your people the autonomy to enact change. With Winningtemp, employees are much more involved than just sharing feedback. Each employee also has a dashboard with a constant stream of insights and science-backed guidance to encourage individual ownership for change.

13. Supports better one-to-ones

1:1s are a major mechanism underpinning the manager-report relationship. Great 1:1s foster great relationships, improve productivity and boost engagement.

But 1:1s often don’t fulfil their potential. They’re often seen as a time-consuming burden; more of a checklist activity than a true value driver. Look for employee engagement software that makes 1:1s better for both sides, to unleash the potential of this largely-untapped management tool.

For example, Winningtemp offers structured templates for both sides to prepare, full digital documentation with verification on both sides, and follow-ups to track effectiveness.

14. A fantastic customer list and proven ROI

This list so far adds up to one thing: an employee engagement platform that delivers true impact. The right provider will have a thriving list of happy customers enjoying fantastic results. Like ours.

On average, organisations who've been using Winningtemp for more than one year have:

• Lowered employee turnover

• Reduced negative workplace stress

• Boosted workplace satisfaction

• Increased job satisfaction

Are you currently building a business case for purchasing an employee engagement tool, this template could really help. Or if you'd like to learn how Winningtemp could boost your organisations' wellbeing and productivity: book a demo today.

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January 12, 2023

How HR can create magic in 2023

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It feels like we’ve said this every year but phew, 2022 was quite a year. Wasn’t it? The restrictions due to the pandemic are (hopefully) firmly behind us but the Covid effects on our workplaces certainly aren’t – and likely won’t ever be.

COVID brought changes that aren’t getting back in the box. Now the heart-pounding giraffe-on-ice stage is over, we have a chance to reflect. What’s working? What’s not? How have our working dynamics and workplaces really changed, underneath everything?

We’ve (of course) been watching closely over the year just gone, and we have some good ideas what HR leaders might be focussing on over the year ahead. Not least because we’re already seeing forward-thinking organisations making great strides, as they lean into their people and glean crucial insights to guide HR decision-making.

(Like Mary Stevens Hospice, who increased their eNPS by 131% in a year by, among other things, shifting their approach to learning and development based on employee feedback).

Based on the hundreds of HR leaders we interact with regularly, and our own experiences and data over the year, here’s what we expect the most successful HR teams to be focussed on over 2023.

5 focus areas for HR teams in 2023

1. Make a success of hybrid work

Employees overwhelmingly support hybrid working. ADP’s global study of more than 32,000 employees found that 64% of the workforce would consider looking for a new job if they had to return to the office full-time. More than half (52%) would even take a pay cut in exchange for a hybrid working arrangement.

In light of such strong preferences, employers would be risking a big misstep to force employees back to the office full-time.

Especially given the continued surge in global turnover: mid-way through 2022, the World Economic Forum reported that 40% of workers globally were considering leaving their jobs in the near future. And 71% of global employees told ADP they’d considered a major career move in 2022.

Likewise, skills shortages remain one of the biggest threats for organisations into 2023 – so working on keeping your great people in-house looks like a no-brainer. (And on the flipside, doing anything that risks mass exodus looks like poor decision-making).

These factors combined suggest one thing: hybrid work is very much here to stay. But as the word hybrid suggests, this set-up involves both office and remote work. To make this a success, businesses need to evaluate and be clear on when it can also be more beneficial to get together in person rather than to only meet online. Smart HR leaders will make 2023 the year you banish teething problems and make hybrid working a success story.

We expect to see many organisations taking a step back, reviewing their end-to-end people processes to ensure they fit this new world of work. We’ve got a decent chunk of learned experience under our collective belts by now. If 2021 forced our hands, and 2022 was about racing to catch up, 2023 brings some breathing space to review, evolve, and grow.

Questions to reflect on and work with:

• How do we facilitate true connection between remote teams?

• How do we protect and grow our culture?

• How can we make our processes fairer and more inclusive?

• How can we optimise collaboration and productivity?

• How do we maintain visibility over a less visible workforce?

• How do we protect retention in a hybrid workplace with new challenges?

• How do we ensure remote working doesn’t impact equality?

Given Gartner predict 25% of people will spend at least an hour in the metaverse daily by 2026, forward-looking businesses might even see 2023 as an opportunity to take hybrid work further by developing a metaverse presence.

SHRM describe the metaverse as “an immersive alternate reality” – advancing beyond current digital technologies like video interviewing or onboarding into full virtual reality worlds.

There’s potential to create a huge competitive edge here, as early adopters start to build a talent brand around exciting, innovative remote recruitment and careers experiences.

2. Retain your best people with great professional development

Spiralling attrition has been a major issue throughout 2022. Even a year on from the Great Resignation, IDC found that 32% of European employees are actively looking for a new job, for example. Experts predict that by 2030, there’ll be a global talent shortage of more than 85 million people.

Against this backdrop, retaining your best people is urgent – and empowering them to thrive and grow with your organisation.

We think training and development will prove a huge part of that in 2023. Some 94% of employees say they’d stay with a company longer if it invested in their career development: compelling numbers.

Improving your training offering is a win-win situation because it boosts engagement and retention while also building capability. You can then promote from within, instead of turning outwards to an expensive and challenging hiring market.

3. Stop burnout smouldering

One of 2022’s big challenges has been the rise of burnout. For example, Microsoft conducted a huge global study looking at 20,000 people in 11 countries and trillions of data points and found that 48% of employees claim they are already burnt out at work.

Burnout is a big deal. Ultimately, it makes your people less productive and less engaged. And, bringing us back to the turnover problem, less likely to stay with your organisation. Not good, on any count.

For 2023, HR leaders must urgently turn their attention onto this burnout problem. But we also expect a progression in how organisations attempt to move the needle here.

In 2022 we saw a massive emphasis on workplace wellness as an antidote to stress and burnout. Employee wellbeing is still super important – especially as a mechanism to keep remote teams connected – but it’s not a silver bullet.

In reality, HR leaders must empower managers to spot and address burnout in their teams before it escalates. If the early signs of burnout (like stress, distrust, and lack of purpose) are allowed to smoulder, they’ll turn into huge fires.

Prioritising burnout will almost certainly involve an uptick in investment into employee feedback software, to empower managers with these sorts of insights easily. Through the pandemic we saw how strategic investment into smart places protects future growth: technology that increases visibility into your people’s sentiment is one of those smart places. Especially as remote and hybrid working making visibility a bigger challenge.

4. Design your culture

2022 brought the start of a major shift in perspective, from seeing culture as something that just happens organically to seeing culture as something you design, build, measure, and refine. We were recently lucky enough to co-host a webinar with Principal Analyst with Forrester, Katy Tynan, where she talked about exactly this:

“A lot of senior leaders make the mistake of thinking culture just arises somehow, magically. Culture can be measured. Culture is about a series of decisions we make every day about how we interact together as people. It’s the way things get done around here. Intentionality is so important – and then the ability to measure those specific KPIs that matter for your organisation.”

In the webinar, Katy talks about how leaders are emphatically coming to realise the value of their people resource – and acting accordingly, to grow the value of that resource.

Through 2022 we saw how the most successful organisations are already way ahead of the curve on this stuff. But we expect this transformation to accelerate fast as stragglers start to lose talent to leaders in the culture wars.

Through 2023 we expect to see major HR and engagement investment, as organisations race to build workplaces that don’t just empower productivity but engage, inspire, and retain.

5. Provide fair compensation  

The latter part of 2022 has brought massive financial upheaval, practically everywhere.

• In the UK, recession could spiral into a “lost decade” with rocketing inflation, negative growth, falling productivity and business investment.

• In Europe, inflation is predicted to linger for years to come, with abundant underlying price pressures.

• In the US, recession hasn’t yet arrived but the biggest banks are bracing for a worsening economy into 2023, as inflation continues to rise.

This brings major challenges for businesses – and for your people.

Rising costs are already triggering mass layoffs, which bring huge challenges for HR. In the US tech sector, for example, more than 88,000 workers were laid off in 2022. The very public scenes unfolding with Twitter’s badly-handled workforce losses are most HR professionals’ worst nightmare.

And strike action is violent and unprecedented across much of the world: testament to unhappy employees who feel they’re being treated unfairly.

As 2023 starts to unfold, these are the challenges HR leaders must confront head-on. You’ll likely be kept busy with questions like:

• What financial education and support can we provide?

• How do our people feel about their compensation?

• Is there pay equity between new and established hires?

• How will we handle any layoffs kindly but compliantly?

You can’t do much about global financial markets, but you can support, educate, and protect your people as best you may. Or watch financial worries become a major driver of turnover.

This time next year, where will your workforce be?

There’s a reason the global employee engagement and feedback software market is predicted to grow at an astonishing 14.7% compound annual growth rate to 2030.

As workforces become increasingly spread out and face a heap of evolving challenges, truly understanding your people’s needs is essential. To develop smart HR strategies that move the needle on your important people metrics, you need better people data. Then you’ll be equipped to react fast, whatever 2023 throws up.

Winningtemp’s employee engagement platform is the easiest way to visualise, listen and act on employee feedback. Because culture only changes when people feel heard.

Watch the Forrester webinar to learn why true culture change is essential for 2023.

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January 3, 2023

Protecting your team from burnout

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"Burnout is a syndrome of exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy that’s the opposite to engagement."

That's what American social psychologist Christine Maslach, one of the world’s leading researchers on occupational burnout has to say. So if your team is burned out, it truly has negative impact of their health, as well as their engagement. Let's elaborate a little bit more... if employees are disengaged (that's a huge cost you can calculate here), they’re less productive, more absent, and more likely to quit. If you're curious to find out more reasons to why employees decide to wave goodbye, you should read the Fighting Turnover report.

Burnout clearly is a big problem. Unfortunately, a recent Microsoft study aiming to better understand burnout found that 48% of employees are already burned out at work and 53% of managers are burned out. Managers can and should have a huge positive impact on the team’s wellbeing and team spirit, so it's worrying to see that they sometimes sacrifice their own health.

Let’s talk about how you as a manager can protect your team from burnout, without adding to your own workload. Here’s a checklist of seven questions to ask your team right now.

1. Is your team stressed?

The concept of occupational burnout originated in the 70's but it was in 2019 that the World Health Organization classified it as a disease, describing it as ''a syndrome conceptualizsed as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed''. So stress is an obvious warning sign that your team is developing burnout.

But the thing about stress is, it is only obvious when it’s already really bad. When your team is super stressed, you might notice signs like irritability, arguments ormissed deadlines. Big problems that point to deep underlying issues. If those are the symptoms you’re noticing, burnout is probably not far away. And you’ve got a major job to fix things.  

But stress can be much more subtle. Delaying routine tasks. Headaches. Forgetfulness. Loss of concentration.

Symptoms like this aren’t easily visible – but that’s the whole point of an employee engagement platform like Winningtemp. By regularly gathering feedback from your team, Winningtemp helps you to easily spot the earliest and most subtle signs of stress – and act, to stop them from turning into bigger issues. Our platform suggests what to do next too, so it’s super simple to take control over your team’s well-being.

2. How does your team feel about their workload?

Wellbeing and workload are closely connected. The obvious issue is work overload – when an employee feels their workload is unmanageable, leading to pressure, stress, anxiety, and burnout. Research shows that over 80% of overloaded employees are also at risk of burnout.

Saying that, work underload can also be an issue. If someone on your team doesn’t have enough work, or work that’s far too easy, it can derail their sense of accomplishment – one of the major components of burnout according to the Maslach Burnout Inventory.

Chronic workload issues can point to the need for wider organisational change – for instance, redesigning roles – but managers also have a huge responsibility here. Workload isn’t purely objective: there’s no “perfect” workload.

Work overload or underload also refer to how your team feel about the work they’re assigned. You influence those feelings massively. The better you understand your team’s workload, personal situations, and pressures, the better you can accommodate and support them.

An employee engagement platform should make this super simple, so you can spot workload issues before they turn into burnout.  

3. Does your team feel recognised and rewarded?

Christine Maslach identifies insufficient reward for efforts as another major cause of burnout. And as Deloitte put it, “recognition is highly correlated with improving employee engagement, in turn improving job performance and capturing business value.”

In fact, Deloitte also say that employee engagement, productivity, and performance are 14% higher in organisations with a culture of recognition — driving a 2% increase in margins.

For managers, it’s crucial to understand whether your people feel appropriately recognised and rewarded for their contributions. Of course, there’s factors outside your control here like compensation. But financial rewards aren’t the only thing that matters here.

As a manager, you can create a team culture of recognition where your team members feel appreciated, heard, and valued for the work they do. Not just compensated. Read our guide for eight actionable tips to get there.

4. Does your team trust your organisation & do they feel trusted?

There’s alot of research to suggest organisational trust (or lack of) influences burnout. For example, a rigorous study of nearly 3000 participants across 18 sectors found that trust is a key factor both influencing burnout and turnover. In fact, lack of trust the the number one reason to why employees decide to quit, our latest report Fighting Turnover states.

In the study, both an employee’s trust in their organisation and their perception of the organisation’s trust in them correlated to burnout.

The authors suggest burnout arises from the mismatch of “job demands” with employees’ “resources” to complete those demands effectively – like tools, training, support, and emotional bandwidth. Trust, then, “acts as a resource”, helping employees feel they’re better equipped to handle their jobs.

And that’s where you come in, as a manager. Do your people feel trusted to do their jobs? Do they trust the organisation’s direction and leadership?  

These questions are especially relevant for many businesses right now, as trust-eroding employee surveillance tools become increasingly common. Likewise, crises always put leaders in the spotlight more than normal. One recent study found the cost-of-living crisis is eroding employee trust, for example.

5. Does your team have team spirit?

Team spirit is one of the core factors Winningtemp tracks, referring to the feelings of connection, pride, respect, and loyalty that exist within a team. When team spirit is high, it’s a marker that your team works well together, communicates well, and are ambitious to do well.

This strong sense of community is major ingredient of a high-performing team that supports one another and makes big targets feel small. Great protection from burnout, in other words.

You probably have an intuitive sense of team spirit but it’s helpful to quantify this. That way you can get ahead of emerging issues before they derail the team.

Imagine Sarah feels Jack spoke over her in a meeting, for example. Initially Sarah decides it’s not important and doesn’t raise the issue. But over time, those resentments grow into a bigger, more explosive issue that can damage team morale and make burnout more likely long-term.  

To keep your team on track, you need to understand and resolve the problem right at the start. Not once it’s already become a noticeable issue. But you’re not a mind reader! You need a platform that continuously measures your team’s well-being so you can spot issues instantly.  

6. Does your team feel they’re doing meaningful work?

Meaningfulness is another of the factors our engagement platform tracks. Meaningfulness refers to sense of purpose, including how connected your team feels to their work and motivated to do their best.

Like trust, this sense of purpose acts as another ‘resource’. That is, when someone feels connected and inspired by what they’re doing, they’re better able to cope with the demands of the work. AKA they’re less likely to burnout! And they're also less likely to quit. Our report, ranks lack of meaningfulness as the third most significant factor that impacts turnover - a trend largely driven by younger generations entering the workforce.

It’s the old ‘if you do what you love, work doesn’t feel like work’ saying.  

That’s why McKinsey find that when employees find work meaningful their performance improves by 33%, they’re 75% more committed, and 49% less likely to leave. But given that only 50% of employees say they find their work meaningful, this is an area you should definitely be tracking.

7. Does your team feel they’re treated fairly?

Lack of fairness is another major cause of burnout, according to Christine’s three decades of research. If your team feel you treat some members preferentially, or with bias, they’ll be much more susceptible to burnout and less engaged.

But there’s often a lot of fear around talking about diversity, equity, and inclusion. One study found that 55% of people are afraid to talk about DE&I because they might say the wrong thing, for instance. And fairness is such a sensitive topic – it can be hard to uncover employees’ true feelings.

An employee engagement platform like Winningtemp provides a safe, anonymous outlet to bring these topics into the light in a sensitive, non-accusatory way. To support better non-scary conversations and so you can trust you’re doing the right things to create a fair, inclusive team environment.  

Burnout is one of the biggest issues facing the workforce today. But it’s not only employees who are suffering. Managers are also under huge pressure and struggling with burnout: it’s the burned-out leading the burned-out. An employee engagement platform like Winningtemp makes it way easier to be a better manager. Watch our two-minute demo video here. Or…

Looking for more practical management tips? Download the guide now for eight actionable ways to build a culture of feedback and unlock a happier, higher-performing team.

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December 21, 2022

Activities to decrease stress levels in remote teams

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Remote work and hybrid work have lots of benefits! When Gallup asked 8000 employees what they loved about remote working, five major things stood out:

·      71% loved the improved work/life balance

·      67% thought used their time more efficiently

·      62% loved the freedom to choose when and where work happens

·      58% thought it led to less burnout

·      51% loved the higher productivity they got from working from home

That all sounds great! But with almost three-quarters of employees highlighting their newly-improved work-life balance, you might think remote working is all good. The same study, also highlighted negative concerns or challenges:

·      35% mentioned that it was harder to  access work resources and equipment

·      32% felt less connected to organisation's culture

·      30% believed it decreased team collaboration

·      24% thought the working relationship with co-workers got worse (according to our report - Fighting Turnover - weak relationships with managers, was one of the main reasons to why employees decide to quit)

·      23% thought that cross-functional communication and collaboration got worse


Other challenges were unclear expectations, fewer development opportunities, less recognition and fewer opportunities for feedback (looking to improve your team's 2-way feedback? Read this). So even if we're talking about lower percentages, employees raised more negatives than positives. And many of the challenges are major drivers for stress.

Better work-life balance might be a magical answer to workplace stress. But with it comes less visibility... and difficulties for managers to spot stressed colleagues. Just image, when managers spend around eight hours working alongside someone, they typically have an intuitive sense of how that person’s doing. With remote work, you lose that clear line of sight.

But we’re all about solutions here. So – how do you fix it? Here are some ideas to reduce stress in remote teams.

1. Exercise challenges

There is a mountain of research proving exercise is a stress-buster, so encouraging your team to build healthy fitness habits makes good sense long-term.

For example, during our initiative “Health Days” we introduced a ‘Step Challenge’ where we split everyone into teams and counted their collective steps. Adding an element of healthy competition made the challenge fun and it was an easy way to involve everyone, wherever they work.

Our employees also loved the Movement Hour – an hour where everyone, wherever they are, gets up and gets moving. If you needed to walk the dog, or wanted to do some yoga, this was your time!

2. Meditation sessions

Meditation is another well-proven tactic to reduce stress at work. Mindfulness experts Headspace found that meditation actually reduced stress by 14% over only ten days.

And meditation doesn’t just decrease stress while you’re doing it. Studies show meditation actually changes your brain over time, so you’re less susceptible to stress long-term.

We've offered guided online and in-person meditation sessions to our employees - something that encouraged everyone to proactively save space for their mental health. If you'd like to that it one step further, why not include a meditation app subscription in your employee rewards and recognition programme?

3. Health and wellbeing guest speakers

We’re probably all guilty of thinking that exercise and nutrition is “obvious” must haves to reduce stress. But actually, there’s a whole world of nuance that can be super valuable to dig into.

We can vouch for that, as we recently invited a workplace ergonomics specialist to educate us for an hour’s session. And let us tell you, it’s not just about ergonomic chairs!

We’ve also hosted various speakers we’ve all learned loads from, including an elite runner talking about training, a doctoral student in nutrition, and a specialist in positive psychology.  

Creating a programme of specialist guest speakers empowers your employees to learn about their own mental health. And it’s super inclusive for remote and hybrid teams because you can record or set-up virtual sessions.

Plus, the sky’s the limit on what you could include! Bonus points for getting your people even more involved by asking for their ideas for topics they’d love to learn about.

4. Host discussion groups

One appreciated thing we’ve done at Winningtemp was hosting discussion groups dedicated to employee wellbeing topics. For example, we ran a group called ‘Sleep is your superpower’. We watched a TED talk together and then had a lively discussion about our questions, learnings, and reflections. We also used Mentimeter – an interactive presentation software – to make sure everyone’s voice was heard, wherever they’re working from.

The feedback we got was that this discussion-based format was engaging and helped cement the lessons from the talk. Plus, constructive debate itself can help foster a sense of togetherness – studies have shown this strong sense of connection can be a major antidote to stress.

5. Listen and act on employee feedback!

Look: there are definitely activities to reduce stress among your teams, whether they’re remote, hybrid, or office-based. We’re big proponents of being proactive and building an employee wellbeing programme that sends a strong message about your culture.  

But, there’s a but. Stress is complicated. Mental health is complicated. Burnout is complicated. Engagement is (you guessed it) complicated.

Your remote workers might have a better work-life balance that’s improving their stress levels. But they might also feel less connected to their colleagues and unsure what’s expected of them, which increase stress. There are just too many factors to the wellbeing equation for you to accurately guess what your people need.

That’s why many organisations are moving towards using employee engagement software to demystify employee engagement and wellbeing. So you don’t think your people might be stressed. You know. And you know why. And you know what to do next, to drive meaningful change.

Download the guide now for eight practical tips to help managers build a culture of feedback that unlocks a happier, higher-performing team.

Make the invisible visible

One of the biggest challenges of managing hybrid and remote teams is the lack of visibility. Exactly at the time when employee wellbeing is under heaps of pressure (recession, anyone?) and your people need support more than ever.

Use these five ideas to take a handle on wellbeing, reduce stress in remote teams (or hybrid ones) and, most important, move towards a culture that gets the best from everyone.

And then watch our two-minute demo video to see how Winningtemp can help!


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December 6, 2022

How to support your employees during the holiday season

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Pre-holiday deadlines. A few too many late nights. Secret Santa stress. Hyperactive children. Gift guilt. Diet guilt. Debt guilt. Nosy relatives asking insensitive questions – or no relatives at all. Long drives to far-flung family. Pressure to be a good host. Pressure to be a good guest. Seasonal parties and embarrassing stories.

The list of holiday season woes is endless. At a time when everyone’s under pressure to feel joyful, thankful, and present, many people across the world struggle with feeling sad, lonely, and stressed:

- In the US, 38% of people feel their stress increases during the holidays. 68% of people said they felt fatigued often or sometimes during the holiday season; 52% irritable; 36% sad; 26% lonely.

- In the UK, a quarter of the British population say they find the Christmas period more challenging than any other time of year.

- In France, a third of people feel sad and anxious at the prospect of Christmas, and 47% fear falling into poverty.

- In Sweden, a psychiatric clinic has highlighted the problem of lower mental wellbeing during the holidays, stating that feelings of loneliness caused by a lack of social interactions are the main contributing factors.  

There’s good bet your own workforce will be struggling with holiday season stress over the next few weeks. You can’t fix their pressured festive feast, overbearing family, or hyperactive kids. But you can be empathetic and compassionate and help make their experience at work as stress-free as possible.

The truth is, the better you understand your people’s individual challenges, fears, and pressures, the better you can help. But knowing what’s going on for your people, especially if they don’t work right in front of you, can be challenging. The explosion of remote and hybrid working has been largely very positive but it makes keeping control over the employee experience difficult.

Here are the five dimensions you should be looking at, to track employee wellbeing during the holidays.

5 ways to measure employee wellbeing over the festive season

1. Meaningfulness

The holiday season is often a time that inspires reflection (good and bad). Where are we in life? What have or haven’t we achieved? Are we truly doing what we love? Do we feel we’re making a positive contribution to the world?

Many of these questions relate to our sense of meaningfulness. Meaningfulness refers to an employee’s sense of purpose, including how connected they feel to their work and motivated to do their best for your organisation.

Tracking the meaningfulness dimension using an employee engagement platform like Winningtemp can give you a heads-up if employees need support to reconnect to your (and their) why. Before the New Year’s resolution resignations begin…

 

2. Inclusion

We all know how important inclusion is for employee wellbeing. When employees feel included, job performance increases by 56% and they’re 50% less likely to leave. They’re also 167% more likely to recommend your organisation as a great place to work, helping with future recruitment.

But the holiday season can be divisive. Every organisation is a melting pot of perspectives, cultures, opinions. Emotions run high. A classic example is parents asking child-free workers to cover core holiday shifts, but there are plenty of moments for potential discord.

Not to mention that the holidays typically worsen existing inequalities. For example, women are 42% more likely to feel extra stress over the holidays than men. And lower-middle income earners are 33% more likely to feel holiday stress than workers with middle household incomes.

Then there’s the added pressure of making sure employees feel included socially, even if they work remotely. Seemingly small stuff like forgetting someone from Secret Santa can sow the seeds of division.

To know where to provide extra support, you need to understand how included your teams feel — and whether that differs between employee groups and whether it’s changed over the holidays.

 

3. Stress

For many, the holiday season is a period of thankfulness; a time for counting our blessings. But for others, it feels more like a time for counting chores with blessings few and far between.

Stress is one of the most obvious signs your people might be struggling. Winningtemp customers often report seeing a big uptick in stress over the holiday period, from a whole heap of factors you might not always expect.

Having the ability to track in real-time how your teams are feeling is critical. But beyond this, it’s invaluable when your employees can add qualitative comments to clarify or contextualise.

Assumptions could do more harm than good, because one person’s perfect Christmas is another’s total nightmare. You’ll struggle to provide meaningful support unless you know exactly what’s stressing your people out.

 

4. Workload

Theoretically, the festive period is a time to relax and unwind. But the reality is often very different, with employees racing to get projects finished before the holidays and team members picking up extra slack as colleagues break early. Plus the inevitable downtime for festive cheer and post-party hangovers…

But research shows overloaded employees are three times more likely to experience poor wellbeing. In total, 75% of employees feeling overburdened by their workload have low wellbeing scores. And worse, more than 60% are also at risk for turnover.

Knowing how your employees feel about their workloads is important, both to protect wellbeing and to predict problems that could derail deadlines. There’s nothing worse than discovering a week before the holidays that the team needs to work overtime to finish a key project.

An employee engagement platform makes it easy for managers to understand their team’s workload, in real-time. And take the right actions to help, where help is needed.  

 

5. Team spirit

We often think of the festive period as a time for coming together; for family. But this is far from universal, and many employees can feel lonelier than ever over the holidays. For instance, a recent loneliness study shows that 55% of respondents experience loneliness over the holidays –leaping to 65% of single adults and 75% of Gen-Z.

The holiday season has a way of bringing loneliness home, whether it’s absent friends or family or feelings of being lonely despite the crowd.

These feelings can result in employees becoming withdrawn and distracted, pulling back from colleagues and workplace friends. But close-knit teams with great energy can also be one of the biggest antidotes to seasonal loneliness, helping an employee feel supported and connected.

Tracking team spirit gives HR and managers a heads-up when something’s going on for their team – and helps get the team back on track, at a time when that really matters. (Bonus points if the engagement platform you choose can segment scores across different employee groups, so you can pinpoint trends.)

Less holiday fear; more holiday cheer

You can’t act to support your people unless you truly understand the challenges they face (during the holidays and all year long!)

Winningtemp helps you measure what really matters, and act on it. On average our customers enjoy higher workforce job satisfaction, lower turnover, and less stress.

Our platform focuses on empowering managers to empower their teams, making listening and acting on employee feedback easy.

 

Download the guide now for eight practical tips to help managers build a culture of feedback and unlock a happier, higher-performing team.

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November 29, 2022

5 focus areas for retaining your talents during a recession

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Over the past few years, HR has entered a new arena: Hunger Games style. Every business is competing for increasingly limited resources while the clock ticks down.

This is exactly the scenario we discuss in our recent webinar with Forrester, ‘How to drive employee engagement during an economic downturn’. In the webinar, Winningtemp’s Head of HR, Sara Holmberg, and Principal Analyst with Forrester, Katy Tynan, talk about how the world of work has fundamentally changed, and how organisations must get fast if they hope to get a handle on spiralling turnover.  

In this article, we recap Sara and Katy’s advice and explore five practical focus areas to retain your workforce in today’s landscape:

1.    Genuinely know and care about your people

2.    Focus on culture

3.    Give employees opportunities to learn and grow

4.    Nurture strong but vulnerable leadership

5.    Provide meaning and purpose

Let’s dig in.

 

1. Genuinely know and care about your people

Winningtemp data shows that over the past two years, motivation has dropped considerably. By mid-2021, we were seeing some 7-8% less motivation than 2020. That trend is reversing, but as of mid-2022, motivation was still lower than two years before.

For motivation to be long-lasting, employees must be intrinsically motivated by their work. That is, they do what they do because they enjoy it, not because of some carrot/stick rewards and punishment system.

That’s where knowing your people and caring about them as individuals is crucial. What are their values? Goals? Dreams? Strengths? Struggles? We talk more about how to get the root cause of the motivation dip in this blog post "How to motivated an unmotivated employee?".

Forrester’s Katy points out how this represents a major shift, away from the top-down, highly structured management that’s dominated in the past. Today, leading organisations are embracing a bottom-up model that starts with hiring people with the right skills, values, and strengths and then enabling them with the support and resources to do their best work.

But this model demands we provide more support to managers. As Katy says, “your managers, especially your frontline managers, need support to do this effectively. They don’t just hop into a management role knowing how to do these things.”

 

2. Focus on culture

The average job-switcher sees an inflation-adjusted salary increase of 10%, while the average worker who stays sees inflation-adjusted wages fall by 2%. As cost of living increases continue to bite, it’s fair to say even your most loyal employees are at risk of turnover.

Assuming you can’t afford huge salary hikes across the board (😆),the best way to build a recession-proof workforce is by focussing proactively on your culture. Organisations should start with a clear vision for their culture, driven by your strategy, needs and goals. Then proactively measure, adjust, and close misalignments.

Katy puts it perfectly: “A lot of senior leaders make the mistake of thinking culture just arises somehow, magically. Culture can be measured. Culture is about a series of decisions we make every day about how we interact together as people. It’s the way things get done around here. Intentionality is so important – and then the ability to measure those specific KPIs that matter for your organisation.”

There’s no right and wrong, although of course there are factors that always matter, like a culture of inclusion. But the point is, culture is something leaders should proactively design and progress. A strong culture becomes a north star, attracting better-fit employees who are less likely to leave.

 

3. Give employees opportunities to learn and grow

Employee development is an open goal for organisations, really. Helping your employees grow is critical to retention, first of all. Some 94% of employees say they’d stay longer with a company that invested in their career development.

And second, it’s a proven tactic to tackle growing skills shortages – and an especially valuable one when budgets are tightening. According to LinkedIn, 79%of L&D professionals think that reskilling an existing employee is less expensive than hiring a new one.

Winningtemp’s Head of HR, Sara, recommends organisations start by understanding and setting learning expectations with employees. It’s also important to give employees control and ownership over learning, through self-leadership tools. This connects to the central idea of autonomy, which is one of nine major factors that influence engagement.

4. Nurture inspiring leadership

There’s a deep connection between leadership and engagement. Data shows how the components of value for organisations have changed – from tangible assets like factories and equipment to intangible assets like intellectual property and people. Our latest report "Fighting Turnover" also highlights that lack of trust between the employee and manager is one of the main reasons to why employees decide to wave goodbye. Actually, 75% are more likely to leave a manager who aren’t open and honest.

This shift means the capabilities of a great leader have shifted too. Now great leaders aren’t only sound business thinkers and strategic decision-makers but also excellent people leaders that inspire and engage.

There’s now a need to proactively cultivate leadership like this, focussing on creating psychological safety by nurturing an open, transparent environment. Building a workplace where employees are empowered to share their voices and perspectives– without fear of guilt or blame – instils respect and trust. And ultimately engagement and loyalty.

 

5. Provide meaning and purpose

For many employees, the pandemic was an opportunity to reflect on what matters and a nudge to reconsider priorities and values. For example, two-thirds of employees told McKinsey that COVID-19 caused them to reflect on their purpose in life. And our data shows that lack of meaningfulness is the third most common reason to why employees quit a workplace. This has major implications for business leaders because work is typically a major factor contributing to an individual’s overall sense of purpose.

The upshot is that many employees care more today about meaningful work that aligns to their own values and personal purpose. And in a talent-short market employees have the power to look elsewhere if you can’t provide it.

Purpose and meaning are also especially important when recession looms. When the economy is booming, organisations can hide a poor employee experience behind inflated paycheques and massive bonuses. But when money is tight, there’s nowhere to hide. So, creating a sense of purpose ties back into the first point of this article, about genuinely knowing your people. When managers really understand what drives someone, they can help join the dots between individual and work purpose.

Less command-and-control. More curiosity-and-compassion.

As we all know, the world of work today is volatile. The pandemic accelerated some big changes that might otherwise have taken years. One of the biggest changes, as Katy describes in the webinar, is the shift towards prioritising human capital, people, as an organisations’ biggest value driver.

Leaders that embrace this shift move away from old command-and-control style leadership towards a more compassionate, curious approach that aims to truly give employees what they need to thrive.

Watch the webinar now to learn more, as you build your people strategy for 2023 and beyond.
Blog
November 22, 2022

How HR can develop better managers

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Most HR leaders care deeply about developing better managers who uplift, nurture, and coach their teams. But often managers are adrift in a sea of responsibility, with little support and less bandwidth to empower better leadership.

Poor management is a major driver for disengagement, poor performance, and turnover. Our latest report "Fighting Turnover" shows just that, 75% are more likely to leave a manager who aren’t open and honest.

Upskilling managers must therefore be a major priority—but unless it’s simple and fast for managers to do the right things, nothing will change. Let’s unpick that, and explore a simple, fast way to empower better managers.

 

Are your leaders a turnover machine or loyalty lever?

In ‘The science behind effective organisations’ we analysed more than 600 research studies to understand what makes great businesses tick. We learned that effective leadership at individual, team, and organisational level is one of the nine critical factors influencing employee engagement.

These findings won’t surprise you. It makes sense that managers have an enormous impact on employee engagement, because managers are the primary lens through which your people experience work. Great days rarely happen without great managers.

The upshot is, managers have long roots. And like roots, they can either strengthen and support your organisation’s growth, or they can creep outwards, creating stress and fractures.

Heaps of research backs this up. For example, one study finds that a 1% increase in effective leadership drives a 53.6% increase in organisational performance.

"A 1% increase in effective leadership drives a 53.6% increase in organisational performance."

Impact of Leadership on Organisational Performance.

But these ideas are hardly revolutionary. For years business and HR leaders have recognised the truth of this and worked hard to improve the standard of leadership across the organisation. The problem is, progress hasn’t followed suit.

 

Why does manager development fall short?

According to most studies building strong leadership is a major priority for HR leaders for 2023. The fact this is still an important focus area proves we haven’t nailed leadership development yet: but why?

At Winningtemp we work with many HR teams with oversight over hundreds of people leaders across their organisations. From what we’ve seen, it’s very often an issue of theory versus practice.

When organisations want to improve their managers, they often focus on training and upskilling. That’s great. But without also focussing on empowering managers to behave differently, training is only theoretical. It does little to change your people’s daily experiences with their manager.

Likewise, organisations often don’t initiate the right processes or accountability to incentivise different behaviour. If managers’ performance is measured in the same ways, why would they change? And if you can’t track how they’re performing, how will you know if this change happens?

We’ve talked before about how progress depends on engagement becoming your new cultural reality. Your managers are an essential part of that process—but change won’t happen just by enrolling them into training and forgetting about it. Rather, you must equip them with the right practical tools to turn learning into better daily leadership.

 

Do your managers have the right tools to lead effectively?

Let’s first define what we mean by effective leadership. Looking back to ‘The science behind effective organisations‘, a couple of ideas leapt out. First, we found that the leader-member exchange (LMX) model plays an essential role in determining leaders’ impact on performance and motivation. This LMX model is a relationship-based leadership approach that focusses on a two-way dynamic characterised by trust, loyalty, and respect.

Our analyses also found that supportive leaders who proactively coach employees have the greatest impact on reducing sick leave (did you know there's 7 questions that can prevent your team from burnout?). In summary: great manager relationships are trust-based, respectful, supportive, two-way and based on coaching. Relationships like this guard against absenteeism and build commitment, loyalty, engagement, and performance.

Now– how do you take that beyond theory into practice? It starts from understanding the practicalities of your managers’ day-to-day roles. In our experience, most managers want to manage well. But they’re also busy, stressed, and juggling a million plates. And often they don’t know how best to handle different situations in their team, especially given today’s endless disruption.

What managers need to be better managers, is a tool that makes it easy and fast to consistently do the right things for their team. That makes it easy and fast to build a two-way, trust-based, supportive relationship. That’s where the right employee experience platform comes in.

 

Empowering manager development

An AI-powered employee experience platform sends weekly personalised pulse surveys to your people, giving managers constant (and always anonymous) insights into what’s going on for their team. It goes way beyond telling managers what’s wrong, rather it helps them to proactively lead their team.

“Our goal was to provide managers with a tool to continuously measure and understand how their people are doing. This has helped management act more quickly", said Avega Group about Winningtemp.

Empowering more valuable 1:1s, making it easy for managers to record issues, goals, and progress is also key. With Winningtemp, managers and employees can invite each another to meetings so rather than being top-down, the whole process becomes two-way. It gives every employee a voice and makes it easy for managers to listen.

Winningtemp also creates accountability and visibility over your whole manager ecosystem, to encourage and track progress as your managers become better people leaders. Production Supervisor Christer Snäll agrees by saying By collecting questions and feedback from the group and talking about them, I’ve been able to grow as a leader”.

Sounds good? Watch our two-minute demo video to learn more about Winningtemp.

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November 15, 2022

How to use people analytics to navigate a recession

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Three lessons for HR leaders to navigate a recession

Business and HR leaders might have spent a few months breathing easier than at the height of the pandemic. But that relief has unfortunately been short-lived, as a new recession looms large.

Goldman Sachs predict the UK will slip into recession by the fourth quarter this year, with organisations facing a “cost of doing business” crisis. The same story is true across Europe, where “high inflation and sluggish growth” are predicted until 2024 onwards.

One lasting takeaway from the pandemic and associated recession was the business impact of great HR leadership. That is, HR leadership that truly understands your people and can act on what matters.

Let’s explore three of the biggest lessons HR leaders can take from the coronavirus recession, to better prepare the business for the recession that’s coming next.

 

1.   Uncertainty hurts employee engagement—but it’s also an opportunity.

It won’t be news to you that the pandemic triggered an enormous amount of stress, burnout, and anxiety.

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy reported in April 2021 that 48% of workers agree the pandemic has made their job more stressful, for example. Our own data reflects the same, showing stress levels increasing massively in 2021.

These trends will likely repeat themselves as we enter the next recession. 68% of UK employees already say the cost-of-living crisis is having a negative impact on their mental health and wellbeing, for instance.

And the current ‘quiet quitting’ phenomenon is a testament to many employees’ unease. In fact, our data shows 2021 sparked a sharp decline in employees who feel their workload is reasonable — and that’s still dipping. High workloads during times of uncertainty can drive major burnout.

But the impact of the pandemic on your company’s ‘temperature’ wasn’t all bad. Uncertainty also offers opportunity—and that too is a trend that could repeat.

For example, our COVID-19 data actually shows a significant spike in positive answers to the question “Would you put in a significant extra effort to ensure that [your company] succeeds?” at the outset of the pandemic. Josh Bersin explains:

“If you look at the data on engagement, it’s actually very, very high. People are actually kind of comforted by work because their daily home life and family life has been so difficult with the pandemic. If the company takes good care of them and they have clear responsibilities, work in some ways is a respite from the uncertainties of everyday life…” (Listen to the podcast)

Current data suggests the same pattern could hold true today: 83% of UK employees say they’d swap jobs for an employer who offered more financial support during the cost-of-living crisis.

If your organisation does the right things to support your people—to provide “respite from the uncertainties of everyday life”, as Josh puts it—uncertainty can be a springboard to higher engagement, higher discretionary effort, and stronger loyalty.

 

2.   Strategic investment protects future growth.

Tightening the purse strings is a natural reaction to turbulence. And HR—often seen more as a cost centre than value driver—has often been one of the first budgets cut. During the pandemic, Gartner’s 2021 HR Budget and Staffing Survey found that 34% of HR leaders expected budgets to decrease, for instance.

But COVID-19 also showed us that cutting HR spend can easily become a false economy. As Gartner point out:

“Although difficult times call for difficult actions, HR leaders must be careful not to run the risk of destructive cost-cutting that results in lost productivity and derails future growth opportunities.”

To protect organisational resilience long-term, business and HR leaders must take a strategic approach to cost optimisation, not a knee-jerk one. That doesn’t start with scrutinising your biggest line items but with protecting your biggest growth engines.

Direct booking solutions provider Bookassist is a great example. When the travel sector collapsed practically overnight, Bookassist didn’t close shutters on spending. Rather, they knew the only route through turbulence was to truly understand how their workforce were feeling, to step up support.  

Thanks to Winningtemp, Bookassist could protect engagement even with staff on furlough, improve manager conversations, and keep people motivated. Taking this strategic long-term perspective put Bookassist in a much stronger position for future growth once the travel industry opened backup.  

 

3. To better support your people, you need better data.  

To look after your people, you need to truly understand what matters to them. But the pandemic taught us that engagement is complex and changes fast. And the impact of getting it wrong can be long-reaching: entire industries have barely bounced back from the Great Resignation, like the UK hospitality sector.

Employee sentiment is a fluid, shape-shifting thing. Employees can be engaged but stressed; overworked but inspired; anxious but focussed. They can feel great one moment, underappreciated the next. Teams can work together today; against one another tomorrow.

And those problems can spiral fast. Solvable frustrations can turn into churn before you can say ‘exit interview’.

To provide better support to your people during times of turbulence, you need real-time data on how they’re feeling, to spot trends in satisfaction and turnover before they start. Armed with these insights, you can take preventative measures to protect engagement and guard against churn, early enough to have an impact.

This becomes especially important in the wake of the last pandemic, with turnover now at record highs: in the UK, a third of the workforce is considering quitting this year.

The pandemic brought a tsunami of change. The next recession seems likely to bring less radical overhaul but the need for agile responsiveness should be a lasting lesson.

For instance, do you know how your people are coping with the cost of living crisis? With real-time insights you can identify if increasing prices are a concern, decide to offer additional support, and track the effectiveness of this initiative back to engagement ROI.

COVID-19 taught us what showing up for your people looks like, and it hinges on better data.  

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Recessions widen the gap between the leaders and the losers—and that’s either a huge threat or a huge opportunity depending which way you view it. One thing that the pandemic absolutely proved is the importance of strong people leadership, to steer bravely through the headwinds of disruption. This demands better data, to help organisations better understand and serve your workforce—so your people can better serve you.

Winningtemp is an intelligent employee experience platform that uses AI and data-driven insights to reduce employee turnover, decrease negative stress, and improve job satisfaction. Watch our two-minute video to learn more.

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November 1, 2022

Using pulse surveys to improve diversity and inclusion

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Everyone knows the stats by now. The business case for diversity and inclusion couldn’t be clearer: the most diverse companies are more likely than ever to outperform non-diverse companies in profitability terms. So why the continuing lack of progress?  

For most organisations we chat to, the problem is poor workforce visibility, but we've also discussed 3 other big threats for 2023 here. As McKinsey point out, diversity hinges on a culture of inclusion:

“The dynamics around inclusion are a critical differentiator for companies. An emphasis on representation is not enough. Employees need to feel and perceive equality and fairness of opportunity in their workplace. Companies that lead on diversity have taken bold steps to strengthen inclusion.”

You can’t create this culture of inclusion without great top-to-toe visibility across the workforce, but traditionally that’s been a pipedream. The ‘Iceberg of Ignorance’ has been common, where seniority negatively correlates with workforce visibility.  

The result is a senior leadership team who don’t know what’s happening on the ground. So when they come to make decisions to improve or solve, they have no idea what needs improving or solving.

That’s starting to change, as pulse surveys are increasingly recognised as a major lever for improving workforce visibility and powering culture change. By surfacing and solving issues that impact your people’s day-to-day experiences, you can build a fairer, more inclusive culture — supporting employees from all backgrounds to thrive.  

Here's a step-by-step roadmap to using pulse surveys to drive progress on diversity and inclusion.

1. Understand what’s happening today

To build a more inclusive culture, you need to know where you’re starting from. Most organisations think they know what their culture’s like, but there are probably heaps of blind spots.  

Often when you’re staring down the barrel of a culture problem, the temptation is to focus on comprehensive over concise. That’s why some organisations wind up with endless annual surveys with 50+ questions that take hours.

It’s much better to choose a handful of targeted, relevant questions (ideally quantitative with space for qualitative input). This a) stops your people getting fatigued with surveys and b) is much faster, so you can ask lots of questions more often. That’s what the “pulse” in “pulse survey” refers to — a drumbeat of short, sweet questioning.  

To make sure you’re getting the right info in the least obtrusive way, choose a provider with strong scientific credentials. For example, Winningtemp’s questions are based on more than 600 scientific studies so you can trust you’re asking incisive questions that’ll generate valuable insights.

Looping back on anonymity

Anonimity is super important. Employees tend to be sceptical about feedback surveys and don’t tell the whole truth, especially for the sensitive feedback you might receive about DE&I. This hamstrings your ability to meaningfully improve.  

Ideally, your feedback mechanism should be entirely anonymous, so no individual responses can be identified (even by your provider).  

Where your survey platform allows qualitative input (great for getting richer insights), this data shouldn’t be visible for teams with less than five people, to avoid responses being de facto identifiable.  

2. Understand how you compare to other organisations

Your biggest competitor is yourself, yada, yada. Except, you don’t operate in a vacuum. Your employees talk to their friends at other companies. They’re exposed to job ad targeting and employer branding campaigns from other companies. They — gasp! — interview for other roles that sound interesting.  

The point is, your people have a good idea how your culture compares to other companies’ cultures. If your senior leaders don’t, you’re at a real disadvantage: you can’t address, counteract, or refute what you don’t know.  

That’s why we’re big believers in benchmarking. Winningtemp’s real-time data dashboards don’t only show how your organisation is performing against critical culture markers; they empower you to easily benchmark against your industry peers.  

3. Set diversity and inclusion goals

Now you’ve got a great idea how your organisation is doing and how you could be doing compared to competitors. Using these insights, now’s a great time to take a step back and set goals.  

The power of a platform like Winningtemp is the ability to dive into your culture from multiple perspectives — like team, age, employment interval, and gender identity.  

For example, you might see that Engineering employees register lower scores for equality than the workforce norm. The granularity here makes it much easier to set realistic and meaningful goals.  

You might set a team goal to attend inclusion training, for example, plus a goal to improve team equality scores by 30%. The right platform should make it easy to set goals, connect them to wider organisational goals, choose visibility across the workforce, and track progress.  

4. Act on feedback!

This sounds obvious and simple but it’s where many organisations fall down. Especially if you’ve previously been relying on annual surveys, action is often really hard. The mountains of qualitative data that annual surveys give you is usually as useless as no data, because it’s almost impossible to analyse.  

In contrast, within Winningtemp, HR, managers, and individuals all get personalised action plans that are automatically generated based on pulse survey responses. You can also supplement these AI-powered suggestions with your own recommendations based on your own policies and practices.

For example, let’s say your new hire, Ash, is experiencing problems with discrimination.

Ash will get recommendation of things they can do on their own to help, and if the problem persists there’ll be an escalation recommended, to speak to their manager directly. Ash’s manager will also get an alert that they have a problem of discrimination in their team or department, with suggested actions to tackle. And the HR manager will also see trends across the organisation, so if discrimination is happening at scale they can see there’s a bigger problem and take steps to resolve.

Sometimes, just knowing a problem exists isn’t enough: managers need more detail to truly understand a team member’s experiences. But as we mentioned earlier, anonymity is sacrosanct. That’s why Winningtemp offers an anonymous conversation platform, where managers can interact with employee feedback one-to-one, with complete anonymity.

Read more tips on how to build a culture of feedback here.

5. Gather follow-up data

Knowing the temperature of your organisation one week, or day, doesn’t mean that’s their temperature forever. A huge part of the value of pulse surveys is the ability to track temperature over time, so you can spot trends and track progress.

This is another real benefit of harnessing AI, because you can easily send follow-up questions to understand more about issues.

Say one team feels bullied, for instance. An AI-based survey platform will ask bullying related follow-up questions again over time, so you can see how these feelings evolve.  

6. Present compelling data to the right people  

To build a more inclusive culture, everyone needs to be involved. The right employee survey platform should make it easy to track your progress and showcase your value upwards.  

It’s ideal if you can generate instant reports and send them to the relevant stakeholders, with simple engaging graphics. For instance, you might want to send a one-page PDF summarising engagement and wellbeing trends for new hires over the past six months.

7. Monitor and improve participation

Effective culture change comes from high participation. When all your people engage with the feedback process, you know how everyone feels and so can make changes that work for everyone.  

That’s especially true for diversity and inclusion because different employee groups often have vastly different experiences. If these groups don’t give feedback, you can’t make the right changes.  

Choose a survey platform that makes it easy to monitor participation. We typically see participation start low, as many employees have had poor experiences with annual surveys that take forever and achieve nothing. Then participation starts to quickly build, as your people realise the process is simple, fast, and – crucially – valuable, because it drives real change.  

A sign you’re moving in the right direction is a participation rate of 80%+ (although there is often variety between different industries and work situations).

Better workforce visibility powers intentional inclusivity

A reminder from McKinsey: companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams are 25% more likely to experience above-average profitability. For ethnic and cultural diversity this leaps to 36%.  

The major barrier to progress for most organisations has been a lack of visibility, stopping organisations making the changes that matter.  

Pulse surveys are a proven mechanism to change that, collect and escalating your people’s voices upwards so you know what’s happening in real-time. So you can build an intentional, inclusive culture where everyone can grow, thrive, and progress.

Watch this two-minute demo video to see how Winningtemp makes DE&I progress easy.

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November 27, 2020

What are the top 3 predictions regarding the HR Strategy for 2021?

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"...you don’t go to the workplace, the workplace comes to you."

According to Josh Bersin, the well-known industry analyst, author and thought leader, the top three predictions for 2021 when it comes to HR strategy are:

  • The Safe and Empowering Workplace
  • Continue focus on mental health, wellbeing resilience, capability-building, and empathetic leadership
  • Prepare for and continue to transform jobs

Listen to the podcast where Josh shares his thoughts and findings with Winningtemp on how you can best support and guide your people to good mental health and wellbeing through the pandemic and beyond.

Listen now.

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November 9, 2022

The buck stops with everyone: how to empower employee ownership of engagement

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For lasting impact, employee engagement mustn’t be a top-down initiative but a cultural truth: engagement needs to become our new ‘the way things work around here’. This only happens when employees are engaged with and accountable for change.

Keep reading and we’ll unpick what that means, why it matters, and how the right employee engagement software can help you get there.

Don’t fall into the happiness trap

As talent shortages and high attrition continue to hurt, building an engaged workforce tops most HR leaders’ to-do. More than 70% of HR professionals in the UK say they’re prioritising improving employee engagement this year, for example.

But many organisations focus on short-term employee happiness over long-term employee engagement — so they invest into the wrong places to create change.

As Cirrus’ Head of Engagement Jenny Perkins says, “happiness at work is usually fleeting, whereas engagement tends to be more permanent.” She talks about the difference between being happy because the sun’s shining or there’s cake in the kitchen versus profound, ongoing engagement with work.

The first is great — who doesn’t want employees to feel happy? But the latter is pivotal to business success. It’s about the baseline an employee operates from.

When your people are fundamentally engaged, they’re likely to give more and perform better. They buy into what they’re doing, so they’re better to work alongside. And they’re more forgiving. More resilient. Because they’re engaged, they cope better with fleeting frustrations and roadblocks.

This distinction between engaged employees and happy employees is why tactical initiatives alone aren’t enough. Free breakfasts; four-day weeks; flexible working: there’s no simple tactical answer to the engagement equation. (And that’s also why no amount of investment into simple perk-based tools alone will truly move the needle on engagement).

What’s needed is true culture change.

True culture change demands employee ownership

Change is hard. That’s true at individual level (ever tried to cut down drinking, or stop smoking, or wake up earlier, or stretch more?!) and truer at organisational level.

Culture change demands broad behaviour change, which demands broad mindset change. Your workforce is an interrelated web of people whose actions and behaviours impact everyone around them. So, to truly cement a culture of engagement, everyone from the CEO to the new intern must think and act differently.

Harvard Business Review express it nicely:

“Culture change can’t be achieved through top-down mandate. It lives in the collective hearts and habits of people and their shared perception of “how things are done around here.” Someone with authority can demand compliance, but they can’t dictate optimism, trust, conviction, or creativity.”

A culture of employee engagement must be created by everyone: your ‘how things are done around here’ needs to change.

To get there, you don’t only need strong HR leadership. You also need employees to take ownership. The engagement technology you invest into should hold this principle dear.

How to put employees in the engagement driving seat

“Taking ownership is about taking initiative”, says Modern Manager’s Warren Tanner. “We take ownership when we believe that taking action is not someone else’s responsibility. You care about the outcome the same way you would care as an owner of the organization.”

To encourage your people to take ownership, you need an engagement solution that gives them responsibility, prioritises their participation, and encourages accountability for change.

Let’s talk about what that looks like.

1)    Pulse surveys

Many organisations are coming to recognise the limitations of annual surveys. Measuring and following up on employee well-being and engagement once a year just isn’t enough: pulse surveys are much faster and more engaging and create a much better opportunity to create change.

Where annual surveys typically take hours, pulse surveys take only a few seconds to answer. And increased frequency means pulse surveys allow your people to comment and take action on important day-to-day issues.

The pulse survey doesn’t take away the need for face-to-face conversations, mind. On the contrary ­– actively working with survey results on both an individual and team level means conversations with your people become higher quality, strengthening workplace relationships.

Pulse surveys are also much more manageable for HR, as they do not require heavy administration and lengthy action logs.

Read more: Annual employee engagement surveys vs. pulse surveys

The upshot is, pulse surveys empower employees to make real change happen. When your people start to see the impact they can have, participation in the process increases as well as overall engagement.

Participation is so important to us at Winningtemp it’s one of the nine core categories that underpin our temperature scores. Do employees feel confident expressing their opinion? Do they feel they can influence decision-making? We’ve found participation becomes a positive cycle, because as employees engage more with the Winningtemp engagement tool, their overall feelings of participation in your culture increase too. That’s what collaborative culture change looks like.

2)    AI-based questions

You could transition towards a pulse survey model by breaking your annual survey into chunks and sending questions more regularly. But that wouldn’t do much for employee ownership.

Relevance is absolutely central. Employees want to feel recognised and treated as an individual. Any process that feels generic won’t generate participation, let alone excitement (and that’s always been our bar).

Winningtemp uses AI to send relevant questions to relevant people at relevant times. That means employees don’t get random questions every week. Instead, our algorithm continuously analyses response patterns and asks tailored questions. For example, say Jenny feels unusually stressed. Next week, questions could dig deeper into her feelings of stress, to understand what’s changing over time. But her team-mate Jahid might get a completely different set of questions depending on his past responses.

3)    Intuitive user-centric design

Pulse surveys alone aren’t enough to galvanise employee ownership for engagement. The interface you use to deliver those surveys matters a lot too.

Busy employees won’t thank you for another tool that complicates their day. To encourage participation, the feedback process must be simple and streamlined.

Winningtemp is designed with your people’s experience front of mind. One great example is our emoji scale. Emojis are intuitive, inclusive, experience-led, and, the science proves, extremely psychometrically robust — making them the best way to drive participation.

Read more: Why does Winningtemp use an emoji scale? 

4)    Self-leadership

Asking your people for their input is only the start of improving engagement, but it’s where many engagement solutions end. To build a collaborative process, the platform you choose must empower employees not only to share feedback but to see and act on results themselves.

The right platform should cater to both leaders and employees, empowering executives, teams, and individuals to proactively work on the changes they want to see.

Winningtemp is built on the principle of giving employees the right tools to lead the charge on engagement. Winningtemp’s self-leadership empowers employees to understand engagement both personally and within teams, providing a constant stream of recommendations to help them take ownership over progress.

For example, Inars Kempelis, Head of Production in the Baltic region for Löfbergs talks about how Winningtemp empowered him to proactively reduce stress in his team:

“During the spring of 2021, we had a decline in produced volume due to a decrease in demand. I could see directly in Winningtemp that the stress level of the team considerably went up. And thanks to the data, I could act quickly and increase communication about our present situation and reduce stress and worry with my co-workers”.

A culture of engagement is always co-created

The right employee engagement software doesn’t just ask questions. It empowers your people to create a workplace they’re proud to belong to, to embed engagement into the fabric of your business.

Book a demo to see why that’s Winningtemp.  

Blog
September 1, 2022

Should you choose a qualitative or quantitative employee engagement survey?

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Digital employee engagement surveys are a powerful mechanism to address the global disengagement problem. (A problem that’s becoming increasingly obvious: Gallup recently found that 23% of the global workforce is engaged - and that's a record-high. In Europe however, only 13% (13%!!) are actively engaged.

Whether delivered through a standalone survey tool or an integrated employee engagement platform, digital surveys amplify HR’s reach beyond the scope of one-to-one interviews, gathering valuable workforce insights at scale.

Employee feedback can empower you to better understand the issues your people face, and identity areas to improve. A laudable goal, given the most engaged businesses outperform the least engaged by 22% on profitability and 10% on customer ratings.

But all surveys aren’t created equal. Qualitative versus quantitative is a debate as old as time. Irrespective of delivery engine — tool versus platform — the right methodology is critical to ensure your investment pays off.

Qualitative research is the process of collecting, analysing, and interpreting non-numerical data, such as language. Qualitative research can be used to understand how an individual subjectively perceives and gives meaning to their social reality.

Quantitative research
involves the process of objectively collecting and analysing numerical data to describe, predict, or control variables of interest. The goals of quantitative research are to test causal relationships between variables, make predictions, and generalise results to wider populations.

In this article, we’ll explore how qualitative surveys stack up against quantitative surveys, to help you decide which methodology will best help your people (to help your business)

Qualitative surveys have a depth problem

Employee engagement surveys have traditionally been qualitative, usually taking long-form annual form. And on the surface, this tradition makes sense. The beauty of qualitative insight is depth, and depth feels like a necessity for true understanding. If your friend, partner, or family member was unhappy you’d sit and talk to them about it. You’d ask questions, listen, empathise, and (hopefully) get to the heart of the issue fast.

It seems logical to treat the workforce in the same way, replicating this process in scalable digital format. But that’s where the problems with qualitative surveys stem from. First, the relationship between an organisation and its employees isn’t the same as these interpersonal relationships. The relationship between colleagues is, maybe. And perhaps the relationship between team members and their manager, if you’ve got great managers. But that’s not the dynamic at play with employee surveys.

Qualitative surveys offer the possibility to gather deeper subjective truths — but this value hinges on honest, vulnerable input that stems from a close, trusting relationship. Can your organisation truly claim that? Few can.

Then there’s the problem of interpreting qualitative survey results. Imagine your annual survey delivers a goldmine of detailed, honest responses that hold the secret to solving all your people’s problems and transforming your culture. Great.

But how are you planning to interpret and use those insights? Most organisations don’t have anywhere near the HR resource to process this data, so ultimately survey responses do little more than gather dust. In practice, then, qualitative surveys often don’t achieve much apart from perpetuating survey fatigue and adding to your people’s busy plates.

Are quantitative surveys the answer?

It’s not so simple.

If qualitative surveys are struck off, are quantitative surveys an easy answer? In some ways. The biggie is that quantitative surveys actually provide useful insights for HR, because they generate consistent numerical data that’s easy to analyse.

The big plus of quantitative surveys is that they make it easier to turn data into insight. But insight alone doesn’t create change –action does. That’s the major reason to choose an integrated engagement platform over a standalone tool: because it helps you move one step further, from insight to action. With Winningtemp, HR and managers don’t only get a constant stream of real-time insights presented through an engaging, personalised dashboard. Our AI also translates those insights into recommendations for change, so managers can act fast to solve problems.

Quantitative surveys don’t solve the vulnerability problem though. Like qualitative surveys, the quality of input you’ll get depends on trust. And if you’ve already gone down the track of qualitative surveys that don’t add value, getting employee buy-in and building this trust might be an uphill struggle. True culture change ultimately comes from employee ownership.

Choosing a survey tool that supports anonymity can work wonders here. Qualitative surveys make true anonymity impossible to guarantee because text feedback contains more identifying features. Quantitative surveys don’t have this problem, so you can guarantee your people their answers aren’t traceable.

There’s still the problem of depth, though, this time from the opposite perspective. Quantitative surveys can illuminate surprising truths, allow comparison, and show trends — but they lack the richer context of qualitative surveys. If qualitative surveys give too much depth, quantitative surveys perhaps don’t offer enough.

The best of both worlds.

This knotty problem is exactly why Winningtemp’s engagement platform combines qualitative and quantitative insights. We use AI to send micro-surveys of 1-5 short quantitative questions each week tailored to individual employees, using our engaging four-point emoji scale.

But employees can also add anonymous comments to add depth and context to their answers, which opens an anonymous open conversation with the relevant manager.

The truth is, there’s no magic bullet for the engagement problem. The continuing debate about qualitative versus quantitative methodologies is testament to that. But in practice, an engagement platform that incorporates both — and critically, generates a constant stream of recommendations — is a powerful way to turn your employee data into concrete employee engagement improvement.

Watch our two-minute demo video to learn how Winningtemp helps you make your people data work for you.


Blog
September 8, 2022

How to build a culture of recognition at work

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The traditional definition of recognition focuses on the ways an organisation shows appreciation for employees’ efforts. Stuff like recognising milestones, acknowledging achievements, and giving rewards like bonuses, vouchers, or extra days off.

That’s true, but narrow. Recognition isn’t about splashing the cash with a top-down rewards programme. More broadly, recognition is about whether your people feel seen, heard, valued, and respected, both by the organisation and by one another. Recognition isn't a tactic; it’s a cultural truth.

When you get that right, the advantages are massive. In fact, employee engagement, productivity, and performance are 14% higher in organisations with a culture of recognition — driving a 2% increase in margins.

Here are four practical tactics to start to building an employee recognition culture.

1. Support constant feedback

For your people to feel seen and heard, you need a systematic approach for collecting feedback and acting on the results. Because when the they see that their input helps to drive change, they feel empowered as individuals… and voilá, you reached the essence of recognition!

What to consider:

  1. Feedback needs to be timely and relevant, centring on specific things that affect your employees day-to-day: Typical annual surveys tend towards broader overarching themes around engagement and satisfaction. That’s interesting but in practice, not amazingly useful at driving real-time change.
  2. Participation rates must be high: Building a culture of recognition means every employee’s voice is heard  — not just the handful who’re willing to take your survey. Length is a major consideration: there’s a 40% drop in response rate for surveys over 10 minutes. To create tre culture change, you need employees to own the     process.
  3. Employees must see you acting on feedback: If employees’ input is sucked into a black hole without meaningful follow-up, your people will stop trusting the process. Employees need to know their feedback matters.

When you tick those boxes, you create a culture where every individual has an impact. At heart, that’s what recognition is all about.

Creating a culture that hears and values every employee centres on eliminating the barriers to sharing feedback. Most employees have strong opinions – but often they won’t share, because it’s hard, complicated, or sensitive to do so.

 

2. Empower more valuable 1:1s

1:1s between managers and their employees can be one of the most powerful mechanisms to create recognition. They give employees space to share their detailed perspectives and challenges, reinforce strong relationships, and allow managers to recognise achievements in a personal way.

But 1:1s rarely fulfil their potential. Busy managers often see them as a burden and employees often see them as a punitive performance management tool. It’s therefore critical that 1:1s aren’t just an HR-mandated checkbox activity, and that both managers and employees take ownership. Do you need to educate managers and equipping them with the right tools and skills to steer meaningful conversations?

Winningtemp shakes up how 1:1s happen, empowering managers and employees to invite one another to meetings whenever’s relevant. Rather than being mandated from above, the process becomes personal and accountable. Employees and managers talk when it matters; when it’s valuable to both sides.


3. Encourage peer-to-peer recognition

Organisations are inherently interdependent, so strong workplace relationships are critical to collaboration, productivity, and engagement. Harvard Business Review points out how these strong bonds are reliant on peer recognition:

“Our desire to feel seen, heard, and recognised is fundamentally human. As a species, we’ve evolved to place enormous value on our relative roles and relationships to other group members. Not feeling valued for your contributions or sensing that your value isn’t acknowledged by others in your group activates the stress response and feels like a threat.”

Think back to your school days: most people wanted to be popular; few wanted to be the teacher’s pet. Workplaces aren’t much different. There’s a fundamental humandrive to feel recognised by our colleagues, not just our boss.

Without this peer-to-peer element, top-down recognition loses its impact. To build a culture of recognition, you need to focus both hierarchically and laterally.

 

4. Amplify praise company-wide

The number one issue making employees feel unrecognised is when moments of recognition aren’t seenor celebrated by other people. One-to-one peer recognition is wonderful but these moments should also be amplified upwards and outwards across the organisation. That’s why technology is such a fantastic lever for recognition, because it enables unlimited scale.

Suddenly it’s not only your direct colleague recognising your great input; it’s 100 people spread across the globe. Next-level feelings of pride, achievement, and motivation ✅

This also has the big advantage of helping dissolve global siloes and creating a stronger culture across borders. As many organisations become more dispersed —more global; often embracing more remote work —this ability to strengthen culture irrespective of location is a major boon. (If that’s you, you might find these helpful: 18 tips for managing remote employees to keep your culture alive).

Imagine if peer-to-peer praise across the company was put in a livestream, to empower company-wide recognition when someone’s done a great job? People across the business could then interact by liking praise or adding comments. These things mean recognition isn’t gatekept within teams or between individuals —when your people do something worth celebrating, everyone can celebrate with them.

 

Do your people feel heard, valued, and respected?

It’s too simple to equate a culture of recognition with rewards. Sure, rewards can play their part. A thoughtful, timely, personalised gift can certainly show employees how much you value them. But rewards are the capstone on the pyramid: a nice finishing touch, but nothing without the foundation of an inclusive culture that hears, values, and respects everyone’s input. A culture where everyone is empowered to have an impact.

Building this culture takes more effort and commitment than focusing on employee rewards — but the rewards for the organisation, and the people in it, are infinitely more impressive. Empowering managers to build stronger, more inclusive, more accountable teams is a major part of culture change.

Want to learn more? Read our guide to discover 8 practical tips to build a culture of feedback.

Blog
June 28, 2022

How to get employees to perform under pressure

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We all feel pressure from time to time and your employees are not an exception. Some people tend to thrive under pressure, but depending on the amount of pressure, most of us are affected negatively.

Trust, autonomy and engagement are key factors to help your employees reach high performance. But even if you have all the right components to achieve this, pressured situations will still arise. So, what happens when we get pressured, and how can we make sure that their performance doesn’t drop when it happens?

We talked to performance expert Martin Fairn to discuss how we can help our employees to perform under pressure (you can also watch the webinar here).

Start by asking the right questions

Increasing performance is all about taking the steps necessary to become better in certain areas. It can include productivity, working on skills, increased focus and so on. But in order to increase performance, you need to know how your employees are feeling and what’s on their mind.

When we ask people how they’re doing, we often hear people talk about being stuck and they can’t see their way out of their situation, Martin says. Or we see people saying they’re adapting. And we also have people talk about thriving and doing really well.

Many leaders don’t have a deep enough understanding on how their employees are feeling, and what’s on their mind. The best way to collect these insights, is to ask them and let them answer via anonymous comments. When you know the current status of your employees' attitudes in different areas, you want to improve their mindset and encourage growth, ambition and continuous development in those areas.

People tend to think about performance from a win or lose type perspective, or all or nothing, or achievements and targets. But we find it helpful to reflect on it from a perspective of zero to 100%. How are you doing against what you think is possible? This is where you can start moving in the right direction and build a growth mindset, both as an individual or as an organisation.

3 steps to high performance

As an employer, you have responsibility in making sure your employees have what they need to feel and perform at their best. According to Martin, for a person to create the mindset shift, and allow them to perform closer to 100%, even when under pressure, three things are needed:

  1. Structure: Some people call this routines or processes, but it is all the same. You need a structure that suits you, where you can get in the zone and make it easy for yourself to perform at your highest level.
  2. The right skills: A high skill level is especially important when working under pressure. When things around you are shaking and unclear, you need to trust your skills to come through.
  3. Mindset: Your mindset impacts your motivation and attitude, and it affects your reaction when under pressure. You should view mindset as a skill and work on it all the time. Where your attention goes, your energy will follow.

The red head and the blue head

At Gazing Performance, they teach mindset shifts through the Red2Blue model. This model represents two mindsets, or two heads, a blue and a red one. You switch between blue and red depending on where your attention lies.

"Basically, what we’re suggesting is that there is a difference between your attention being focused on the job at hand, or if your attention is diverted. When you’re in the focused, blue head, you are more able to act and get the job done. When you’re in the diverted, red head, you tend to be focused on the future or the past, and stuck in a loop."

The goal, as you can tell from the name of the model, is to get away from the red head and into the blue head. In the blue head you are calm, you understand why you’re doing what you’re doing and you can focus 100%. That’s our goal all the time. But it’s important to understand that most of us live in a state of purple. It’s not always either red or blue, we can be in between. But it’s important to use the blue head as a target to aim at.

Focus on what you can control

One huge shift you need to go through to be able to use the red2blue model, is to make sure you focus on the things you can control. The key is to let go of the things you can’t control, and shift your focus towards things within your control.

Our mind tends to hold on to stuff that we feel anxious about, and until we let it go, it's almost impossible to shift your attention onto the task.

Having this framework within your organisation will help you and your employees to prepare for tough situations. Situations with high pressure will always show up, and if your employees are not prepared for them, they might crumble and their performance takes a nosedive.

Most of the stress-factors are predictable, so one part of the work we do with teams in organisations is to spend time with their preparation. Working on the “what ifs”. Preparing for pressure will allow you to free your focus and zoom out to see the bigger picture. You need this step back before you zoom in and focus on getting to the blue head, and put your attention to the task at hand.

If you want to listen to the whole talk with Martin, you can watch the webinar here.

Blog
June 23, 2022

Why does Winningtemp use an emoji scale?

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One of the most common questions we’re asked is why we use an emoji scale to gather employee feedback. We get it. We know emojis might initially feel a little juvenile or lightweight. Perhaps like they’re prioritising style over substance.

But our use of emojis isn’t a style decision. It’s an important practical decision — and a big reason Winningtemp is so effective. Let’s unpack that.

Participation is the first hurdle for employee surveys

Employee surveys are extremely powerful. Gathering employee feedback in a systematic way empowers you to spot and solve issues that impact your people, to improve their experience at work. Done right, employee surveys increase engagement, productivity, retention, and profitability. (Also read "Why conduct employee surveys?")

But here’s the thing. Employee surveys aren’t magically effective just because you send them out.

For example, if you discover 61% of your workforce are frustrated with their managers but then do nothing, the whole exercise was pointless.

And likewise, if 61% are frustrated with their managers but only 7% of your workforce took the survey, you don’t have enough information to know what to do next. Investing in retraining managers, for example, could be the trifecta of bad: costly, time-consuming, and ineffective. And you don’t have any clue how the other 93% of your workforce feel, so you’re in the dark about which issues impact them.

The point is, participation is the first hurdle for a successful employee survey. It’s not the only hurdle but it’s the first. That means surveys must offer a great user experience—one that’s fast, seamless, and engaging. That’s why every decision Winningtemp has made about our employee experience platform puts the user experience first. Which brings us back to emojis...

Making the case for emojis

Our employee experience platform issues pulse surveys (micro-surveys with 1-5 questions, tailored around your key priorities right now) using a four-point emoji scale. Like this:

You might have seen smiley face kiosks in airports, department stores and so on, or hitting your inbox after practically any customer service interaction. Visual scales like emojis are fast becoming best practice for gathering short, immediate feedback.

Why? For five very good reasons.

1. Emojis are language independent

Emojis are language independent, so they’re more universally understood than text-based scales. This means they’re inclusive, irrespective of people’s first language or culture. Emojis also make your life easier when analysing results, because they allow global comparison without translation or introducing semantic nuance that might sway results.

2. Emojis are intuitive

Using a pictorial scale like emojis eliminates the need to translate feelings into words. This allows for faster completion times and reduces the potential for misunderstanding, making the process more accessible, more universal, more engaging, and more inclusive.

Non-verbal scales like emojis allow us to measure emotions more directly.

3. Emojis give a better experience

There’s loads of research showing visual scales are a better experience for respondents than text-based scales. Visual scales increase motivation, focus attention, create interest, and are overall less demanding and easier to understand.

Pulse surveys are so-called because they ‘pulse’ — short, sharp, little, often. If your people find them difficult, slow, frustrating, or boring, they’ll quickly stop engaging. And your effectiveness will flatline.

4. Emojis lead to higher future participation

Pulse surveys are effective precisely because of this ‘pulse’. They empower you to continuously administer the same questions to different groups, to track meaningful change over time. This only works if people are willing to participate over time. In other words, it’s not just participation in a single survey that’s important but participation over time in an ongoing pulse survey mechanism.

Emojis are great for this, because each incidence has such a low overall cost of participation and offers an excellent user experience.

For example, a long annual survey might get high participation because it’s the first survey you’ve done and there’s novelty factor. But will the same people take part next time? And moreover, when you only survey annually, can you guarantee that your employees will even be able to remember what has happened over the last 12 months?

5. Emojis are psychometrically robust

Emojis might feel simple — that’s the whole point — but simplicity can’t come at the cost of scientific rigour. Our decision to use emojis is based on science. Our scientists and data scientists continuously conduct rigorous research to ensure this is the right call from a psychometric perspective too.

The upshot is, emojis are as good or better than commonly used scales as a psychometric tool (🎉) proving you can collect complex, nuanced people data in a simple visual way.

Simple enough to solve your most complex people challenges

Our emoji scale captures the essence of Winningtemp: simple, engaging technology that your people love. But don’t be fooled. Our AI-based platform was built based on more than 600 scientific studies and is backed by an in-house team of data scientists, so it’s both comprehensive and rigorous too.

Book a short demo for a walkthrough of the Winningtemp platform, to see how we make it easy to deliver better employee surveys.

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July 8, 2022

Executive-level HR - a must for success

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Apple. Tesla. Comcast. Berkshire Hathaway. Alibaba. Johnson & Johnson. Visa. P&G.

That’s a handful of global leaders by market cap in different industries. And here’s the multi-million pound question: what’s the secret to their success?

Lots of things, for sure. But they all have one big truth in common: a strong leadership team consisting of the CEO (of course!), senior VPs and big Cs, as well as a strong executive-level HR presence.

Whether it’s a VP of People, a Head of Global HR, a Chief People Officer, or something similar, each of these successful companies positions HR at the pinnacle of the business. In the most cases, HR has had a seat at the table for years. So, let’s talk about why everyone else is scrabbling to catch up — and why you can’t afford not to pay attention.

People leaders are the guardian of organisational success

The pandemic made organisations more aware of their people. Or more accurately, more aware of how painful their people problems can become if they’re not managed effectively. With employee engagement hitting crisis mode on just 14% in Europe , absenteeism and burnout on the up, stress levels sky-rocketing plus all the impact of organisational change thrown into the mix, few organisations came out unscathed. And as many organisations are realising, this is only the start.

Whatever workplace model you’re exploring, people’s expectations and relationship with work have changed. The Great Resignation has left many organisations desperately spinning plates, scrabbling for talent while trying to keep the best people firmly in-house, while competitors’ salary budgets seem to get bigger and bigger.

The gap between the boardroom and the workforce has widened, and there’s a whole heap of dissatisfaction that’ll bear rotten fruit. Not prioritising to improve employee engagement will cost you (transform your unique disengagement cost here).

The truth is, organisations always have lots of priorities to juggle —but few companies aren’t battling people problems. And unfortunately, those without effective HR leadership at the top aren’t positioned to solve them.

How to elevate and empower your people leaders

Strengthening your HR leadership isn’t as simple as creating a Chief People Officer position. Unless you also empower that person with the right budget, processes, tools, and autonomy, you’re throwing them into the deep end without a snorkel.

Before the organisation decides to elevate HR to executive-level, you need to evaluate:

  • Current people team capabilities and shortfalls
  • People goals and how they relate to strategic goals
  • Your biggest people challenges and roadblocks to progress
  • Leadership team support for elevating HR
  • Operational challenges to elevating HR
  • The resources this elevated HR function will need to succeed
  • The processes needed to integrate HR into exec-level

Creating space for HR to take more responsibility, accountability, and authority within the business means empowering the people you already trust with your biggest asset — your workforce — to make the difference you hired them for.

When you speak to your current HR team, you’ll likely find they already have a good idea on how to solve but are disempowered to do so. But there's probably also a few challenges in the hiding, that only the right people data can put to light.

See how the right tool can transform your HR processes, help prioritising the true issues and boost employee engagement here.

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May 24, 2022

18 Tips for Managing Remote Employees to Keep the Work Culture Alive

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How do you manage remote employees and build a high-performing team?

All organisations have a different way of structuring the workflow, including their approach to managing a remote team.

Hybrid working models have already been predicted for a number of years. The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic only expedited the issue which left businesses with no choice but to accept it as the new norm. Not everyone has experienced the same success once these changes took place. That’s why we’ll be sharing our tips for you to:

  • Boost business growth 
  • Maintain high work performance  
  • Decrease staff turnover

Why the Current Competition for Talent is Fierce

The great resignation has had an impact on modern employee engagement. More job seekers are now evaluating their own happiness at work and whether or not their needs are being fulfilled. In our latest report "Fighting Turnover", we've analysed what really matters the most for employees, and it turns out that:

  • Employees want trust and job satisfaction more than anything else
  • Managers are currently happier in work than their employees
  • Each generation has different triggers for leaving an organisation

Expectations have changed and organisations need to adapt to meet the underlying demands (if they'd like to retain their stars).

The Challenges of Managing Remote Employees

It’s difficult to collaborate on a project when you’re working with a team scattered across the globe. If you’re not being careful in your approach, it can affect the trust and relationship with your employees.

Even though there are benefits to having a completely remote team, it also comes with its own set of challenges such as:

  • Maintaining effective communication
  • Working with minimal supervision
  • Understanding the well-being of employees 
  • Keeping the company culture alive

5 Strategies to Overcome the Challenges of Growing Competition and Remote Management

Emphasise Product Differentiation

Product differentiation refers to the things that make you different from your competitors. Companies that offer an innovative solutions are more likely to attract candidates into making an application. The demand for niche products is one reason why some companies are able to attract top talent.

Salary isn’t always the decisive factor for hiring long-term employees. In fact, job satisfaction and company culture are the key factors people invest in and what reduce staff turnover.

Employees want to be part of something more than just a paycheck. In fact, lack of meaningfulness at work is one of the main reasons to why people decides to look for another job. They want to feel involved in strategic decision-making and work for a company they’re genuinely interested in where their skills are being valued.

Build a Cross-Functional Team

It’s valuable to have a remote team built with professionals who have expertise across different functions. This helps with making up for the lack of face-to-face mentoring and interactions by enabling people to work together to achieve a target. As opposed to working alone, it promotes:

  • Employee productivity  
  • Workplace diversity and inclusion
  • Leadership
  • Smarter decision-making

Address Your Expectations

You can establish your expectations not just through the paperwork. But, through meetings and video calls. It also assists with setting healthy work boundaries and clarifying why your expectations are important. For example, meeting deadlines and aligning schedules. This is difficult when you’ve got people working from different locations.

Once you’ve addressed your expectations and the employee understands their role, get out of their way and let them do what they do best. From time to time, use performance reviews to see how to provide support so that they can perform to the best of their ability.

Promote an Empowering Culture

A culture of recognition means helping your team members reach their full potential by boosting their confidence. Identify their needs and cooperate with them to allow them to do their best work.

Focus on what they can do rather than what they can’t do. If they’re finding certain tasks challenging, see what training could be provided instead of pressuring them to meet deadlines or shoving more work into their schedule.

Improve the Employee Experience

In recruitment, quality means more than quantity. It’s more expensive to go out there and recruit new talent than it is to retain them. An effective solution is to focus on building loyalty by improving the employee experience. When they feel their identity aligns with your brand values, it’s what brings more happy and engaged professionals.

One way to improve the experience is to help them reach their own goals and objectives. For instance, they may want to continue to develop their skills. In this case, it’s worth thinking about offering them growth opportunities such as training and online programmes. Or, providing management support to give them feedback on their work performance.

18 Practical Tips for Managing Remote Employees

As hybrid work has become the new norm, there are tips included to do with being a better leader to sustain the digital transformation.

1. Optimise the Employee Lifecycle

There are insights to be gained each time a member of staff joins and goes their own way. This helps with mapping out the employee journey, which gives you a better understanding of how to meet their needs. You can use these insights to improve the following:

  • Employee retention
  • Employee engagement
  • Employee experience

Despite working remotely, there are ways to give them the support they need to boost well-being. When you’re taking action to provide a better work experience, it’s what leads to them becoming long-term team members that’s motivated to perform at a higher level.

The intel required to optimise the employee lifecycle can be found through all key moments in the onboarding and offboarding process.

2. Prioritise Feedback

Employees benefit from getting constructive criticism because it reinforces the following:

  • Self-leadership
  • Job satisfaction
  • Professional development

Identifying where they can grow as a professional is one thing. But evaluating your current workplace practices is another. In other words, respond appropriately to employee feedback.

Listen to their perspective to get a grasp of their behaviours and habits. You also learn about any arising conflict or potential situations that can be dealt with in its early stages before it gets serious. For more advice, read our guide "8 Principles to Build a Culture of Feedback".

3. Use a Live Temperature Dashboard

Take action based on where workers need support to minimise and prevent any arising conflict.

A live temperature dashboard enables you to see what’s impacting the employee experience the most based on 11 scientific factors. One of these factors for example includes stress. If this category reveals a negative score, cooperate with your managers to work on the next steps to improve their well-being and job satisfaction.

4. Create a Work Breakdown Structure

A work breakdown structure (WBS) simplifies a project by outlining the smaller tasks and required deliverables step-by-step. It’s more effective to reverse-engineer the macro into micro because it allows the scope of the project to be managed easier. This lets your team know what needs to be done in full transparency, including the importance of their role.

Make the work schedule and timetable clear. So, employees know what they should be doing at certain times or periods.

5. Invest In Your Employees

Investing in your employees means you’re valuing them since you’re supporting their growth and professional development.

For example, invest in training and learning programs where they have the opportunity to sharpen their skills. This is another element in recruitment that attracts your ideal talent to make a job application.

More importantly, you’re showing that you care about what they bring to the table, which improves the following:

  • Employee loyalty
  • Workplace reputation
  • Team morale and motivation

6. Have Anonymous Conversations

Anonymous conversations give your employees the opportunity to share their concerns related to both their job and the workforce. They’re more likely to be honest and say what’s on their mind since they don’t have to worry about being judged by other co-workers.

If they can’t open up or share their own thoughts truthfully, then it prevents them from reaching their full potential. However, it’s not just your employees who suffer. It’s the success of your organisation that’s being put at risk.

7.   Don’t Overload Employees

An overloaded employee would have stacks of work that’s simply too much for them to handle by themselves. They often go past the standard working hours and end up finishing a lot later than expected.

This has a negative effect on overall job satisfaction. Hence, it could lead to damaging the company’s reputation.

Avoid piling their to-do list because it’s only going to add more stress. Don’t hesitate to provide them with the extra resources or support to help them reduce the workload. Read more about how you can protect your team from burnout here.

8. Align With the Interests of Your Employees

Another way to improve staff engagement and turnover rates is to align with their interests.

When the employee aligns with the company’s goals and objectives, they’re prompted to deliver because there’s a common vision. It makes sense for them to perform at their best level, especially if they know how they’re making an impact and if there’s a reward at the end of it.

One example is helping them reach work-life balance. This means they’ll have more time to spend on their personal lives. Not only would you be aligning with their interests. But, you're reinforcing the following:

  • Efficiency: they’re more motivated to focus during their hours of work to get the job done sooner.
  • Flexibility: you’re giving them more freedom with their work as long as it’s produced to a good standard and they’re meeting deadlines.

Do you know what really matters to you employees? We've got answers based on analysis of Winningtemp data.

9. Encourage Employees to Speak Up

Encouraging whistleblowing in the first place is useful for dealing with misconduct and wrongdoings in the workplace. As a leader, it’s your duty to respond to each concern seriously.

If employees can feel that their voices are being heard because you’re taking the appropriate measures using their feedback, more of them would be encouraged to speak up. Otherwise, it’s harmful to both their happiness and productivity. That's why we've added the category "Psychological safety" in Winningtemp.

10. Praise Your Employees

More than 90% of recruiters and employers have admitted that employee recognition is important. A culture of recognition really matters. In fact, they believe it has a significant impact on their engagement and loyalty.  

The main point here is to praise your employees for their efforts and good work. Making them feel good about their contributions is what improves team morale. When their skills and presence are clearly valued, it also has a positive effect on job satisfaction.

11. Clarify the Job Responsibilities

Clarify every person’s role at work at an early stage of the recruitment process and endorse those expectations throughout the employee journey. However, avoid micromanagement. It does more harm than good as it can lead to adverse results such as:

  • Burnout
  • Codependency
  • Frustration

Aside from setting your own expectations, candidates will have their own expectations too.

That being said, new employees could complete a document that establishes their perspective so that you’re both on the same page. From the start of their employment, you’ll know how to manage each individual and how to meet their needs.

12. Hire for Soft Skills

Communication is essential in a remote work environment. Since each person will have minimal supervision, it’s important that they’re reliable to work with.

Part of being the ideal employee is having a positive attitude that aligns with the company values. Having someone that’s self-motivated with a strong willingness to learn and adapt is crucial for are mote working position. It also gives insight into their potential and how they would get on with your existing team members.

To put it simply, hire those with strong interpersonal skills who match your vision.

13. Focus On the Results

In some cases, an employee will finish their work earlier than expected. But rather than rewarding their hard work, they’re often “rewarded” with having more tasks added to their to-do list. This makes their efforts feel less meaningful. Therefore, it’s demotivating because their level of focus isn’t taken into account.

Productivity isn’t dictated by how many hours you work. What’s more important is what you’ve managed to accomplish within those hours. Ultimately, it’s the results that lead to the growth and success of your organisation.

Besides encouraging flexibility and work-life balance, you're incentivising them to repeat the good work. As a result, it impacts the workplace efficiency as well as how engaged your remote workers are.

14. Find Team Opportunities

Collaborations are fruitful for both professional development and problem-solving. One of the main disadvantages of a remote work environment is that people have less face-to-face interaction. While some individuals may prefer to work independently, others may prefer to work as a team.

With that in mind, see if there are any opportunities where people could be put together when assigned to a project. Another way is to measure Participation and Team Spirit.

15. Respect Different Cultures

Not everyone has the same upbringing. We all have a different perspectives on certain things as a result of our own experiences. Empathy goes a long way when it comes to helping your employees align with your company’s mission and values. Moreover, having cultural awareness helps with building trust. It’s another aspect that affects the diversity and inclusion of your workplace.

16. Treat Your Employees As Humans

Your employees are individuals, not robots. They have their own personal lives outside of their job. Showing genuine concern builds your relationship with them. They’re more likely to open up about their own emotions once they see that managers empathise with them and are aware of what they could be going through. If they’re not feeling valued, it has a negative impact on their work engagement and productivity.

A predominant element of your business growth comes from the contribution of your employees. Their best effort and performance comes through the most when they feel happy at work.

17. Trust Your Team

Did you know that are 75% are more likely to leave a manager who aren’t open and honest? Unless you haven’t laid down the groundwork and informed everyone what’s expected of them, you need to trust your team to do their job. They’ve been hired for a reason.

Micromanagement plays a massive role in negative staff turnover as well as employee well-being. Don’t try to constantly supervise and instruct them on how to complete their tasks as it can lead to the following consequences:

  • Damaged trust
  • Lower self-esteem
  • Minimal creativity

While employee engagement is necessary to cultivate a thriving company culture in a remote environment, this only happens when there’s enough trust in the workforce.

18. Use a Remote Work Tool kit

A remote work toolkit is a collective resource that’s used to help you collaborate more effectively. There are different types of tools such as:

  • Office suite software: a platform containing a range of accessible productivity apps, e.g. Microsoft Office.
  • Project management: dashboards that allow you to structure the workflow and establish deadlines, e.g. Asana.
  • Team communication apps: a collaboration platform where it’s easy for workers to communicate, e.g. Slack.

Video conferencing: used to hold online meetings and connect with other team members, e.g. Zoom.

Using a range of tools is common for automating and streamlining work.

More notably, it’s not just useful for managing a remote team and maximising job performance. But, it helps with improving employee satisfaction.

Prevent a Decaying Company Culture by Using AI-Assisted Surveys

Workplace flexibility is a strongly valued factor to retain the top talent. Despite organisations adapting to provide a hybrid workforce, many are still facing the challenge of minimising staff turnover. Keeping the company culture alive in a remote environment comes from having engaged workers, which results from a positive employee experience.  

Understanding the mentality of your team can preventing issues from arising. Winningtemp has designed an intuitive AI solution for hiring managers and recruiters. Sounds good? Don't hesitate to talk to one of our engagement experts here.

THE WINNINGTEMP DEMO VIDEO  See how Winningtemp's pulse survey works Watch the 2-min demo

Clients have noticed a 21% increase in workplace satisfaction!

Blog
May 23, 2022

Winningtemp is now ISO 27001 and ISO 27701 certified!

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Your information is protected according to leading international standards

Winningtemp is now ISO 27001 and ISO 27701 certified 🎉. We've always ensured that your data is safe, and now we have the certification to prove it! This means we comply with rigorous best practice standards to protect your information and keep your data private, developed by the best and brightest information security experts.  

As your tech environment grows more complex and your organisation more interconnected — the direction of travel for almost every business — your data gets spread over more systems. That’s great for heaps of reasons (like being able to use Winningtemp to transform your employee experience and drive engagement, productivity, and retention 😉…) but it also means you need to engage with partners who meet international standards like ISO 27001 and ISO 27701 that will keep you and your customers safe.

  • Manage data risks to protect against costs and damage
  • Establish secure data transfer between your systems  
  • Ensure your tech stack works better together
  • Comply with various data security legislation like GDPR
  • Promote a culture of data security
  • Protect your employees’ data – and maintain their trust
  • Easier, faster IT sign-off for our tech ;)

Let’s dig into the details.  

What is ISO?

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an independent, non-governmental organisation that sets international standards across almost every element of technology and manufacturing. Nearly 25000 international standards, plus 100 more each month, actually.  

ISO say, “an International Standard is a document containing practical information and best practice. It often describes an agreed way of doing something or a solution to a global problem.”  

ISO standards exist to:

  • Make products compatible
  • Identify safety issues
  • Share ideas, solutions, and best practices

For example, there’s a reason you can buy standard A4 size paper for your printer and trust it’ll work without faff: ISO 216. Or why your credit card always fits into the card machine effortlessly: ISO 7810.

With member bodies representing 167 countries and over 800 technical committees and sub-committees developing standards, ISO has truly global reach. The ISO certifications are expert-led and developed from a non-profit, neutral perspective with no vested interests apart from common good.

Which brings us onto our specific ISO certifications: ISO 27001 and its extension, ISO 27701.

What is ISO 27001?

If you’ve worked in the tech space this is probably familiar to you. It’s the ISO certification focussed on information security, and essentially provides a framework to help organizations protect their information properly. And in this case, not just ours but yours.

The bad news:
46% of businesses report experiencing cyber-attacks in the last 12 months. Of those, 19% have lost money or data and 39% were negatively impacted, for example, with wider business disruption.  

The good news:

Although the number of reported cyber-attacks has remained similar since 2017, the proportion of businesses experiencing impact has fallen by a fifth. ISO 27001 is a major part of this success story.  
Gov.UK

To comply with ISO 27001, organisations create an Information Security Management System (ISMS) – system in the sense of ‘systematically’. It’s a “set of rules” around how we manage risk and protect information security.  

What does protecting information mean?

ISO 27001 aims to protect information in three ways:  

  1. Confidentiality. Only authorised people can access the information.
  1. Integrity. Only authorised people can change the information.
  1. Availability. Authorised people can access the information whenever they need to.  

Those three things matter because they mean:

  • Nobody unauthorised can access your information – like rogue organisations scraping employee data for recruitment purposes.  
  • Nobody unauthorised can change your information – like ex-employees retrospectively deleting data because of a personal grudge.  
  • The people who need data can access it – so your teams won’t be stuck twiddling their thumbs waiting for permissions they should have.  

How did Winningtemp get ISO 27001 certification?

Gaining an ISO certification is a rigorous process, guided by an external accredited certification body – ours was LRQA. To achieve ISO 27001 certification, we worked with TransPrivacy to build a comprehensive risk management system to protect our and your information.  

That essentially involved scrutinising everything that could go wrong, implementing appropriate safeguards to protect against those scenarios, and continually measuring the performance of those safeguards to ensure they’re always improving.  

Next up, ISO 27701…

What is ISO 27701?

ISO 27701 is a data privacy extension to ISO 27001. It was specifically developed to support compliance with GDPR and other data privacy requirements in mind. Experts from among other the CNIL (the French data protection authority) actively contributed to this standard, with support from the European Data Protection Board.

Where ISO 27001 required us to create an ISMS, ISO 27701 requires a Privacy Information Management System – PIMS. ISO 27701 provides a framework for organisations to protect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and represents state of the art privacy protection.

What is PII/Personal data?

Personal data or PII is any information related to an identified or identifiable person – which could be as simple as name, driving license, or medical records but could also include stuff like IP address. It’s a broad term because it doesn’t only refer to direct identification – like someone’s name. It also means information can be classed as PII/personal data if in combination the information could identify an individual.  

Why does protecting PII/personal data matter?

Protecting your people’s personal information is important because loss can cause substantial harm, like identity theft or fraud. It’s also a major breach of trust, which can have long-standing implications for employee engagement – the exact opposite of what we want to achieve!  

How did Winningtemp get ISO 27701 certification?

Like ISO 27001, we worked with TransPrivacy to build a comprehensive system for keeping your personal information private.  

The process was very similar. We evaluated the risks to personal information, outlined appropriate controls and safeguards to manage that risk, and now we measure the performance of those safeguards to ensure they’re always up to scratch.  

Compliance with both ISO 27001 and ISO 27701 is an ongoing process, so it’s not something we set and forget. Rather, we’re continually involved and invested in keeping your information secure and data private.  

When we work together, we handle lots of your data – that’s how we can have such a transformative impact on the employee experience. You need to trust we’re protecting that data properly, so your people can trust you’re protecting theirs. Our ISO 27001 and ISO 27001 certifications mean you know we have world-leading privacy protection.

Winningtemp empowers you to intelligently check the temperature of engagement across your business, to transform your employee’s experiences. Watch the two-minute demo video here.

Blog
April 12, 2022

How to motivate unmotivated employees

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Building up employee engagement and motivation is crucial to any business to meet their targets.

Let's put this into context: When you have low motivation, you might witness that half of your team are giving 30%. This means, that you can’t expect the team output to hit 100%. In fact., disengagement is extremely expensive - calculate it yourself here.

Other research into employee engagement from Gallup has found that:

  • If an employee feels motivated, they'll work 20% better than when they’re unmotivated.
  • Engaged teams experience 81% lower levels of absenteeism compared to disengaged colleagues.
  • Businesses see a 64% fall in workplace accidents when higher levels of engagement are reported.
  • Companies with engaged teams, see an average of 18% more productivity through sales, and 23% in profitability.

However, many leaders fall into the trap of assuming more money is the key to improving morale and motivation. But, multiple studies and surveys have failed to link the quality of work in the long term and engagement with financial rewards. So, while being paid a decent wage will keep people in a role, it doesn’t necessarily encourage them to do their very best within that role – and engagement isn’t about retaining staff.

It's about bringing out the best in them and motivating them to perform to their best ability. Yet despite knowing this, motivating your unmotivated employees is a tricky balancing act. You have to understand why employees are disengaged, get under the skin of what motivates employees and then implement a plan.

And remember, everyone is different and will be motivated by different things. One-size-fits-all won't cut it. So, here's a game plan to figure out how you can remove the "un" from the unmotivated in your employees.

What motivates employees

Improving engagement means knowing what buttons to push for each member of staff. What motivates them? And personalised approach should you pick?

A sense of belonging: Plan social get-togethers to create opportunities for your team to bond and collaborate. Encourage disengaged workers to buddy up with colleagues to create a more innovative and fun environment.

A challenge: Target those employees who will get a kick out of stepping up to a challenge, by inspiring them to solve a problem, develop a new idea, or suggest new ways of working. Involving employees more, can also help to feel more invested in a company.

Doing something meaningful: This can be a tough one if a worker yearns to make a difference but the corporate job doesn’t allow much opportunity. Instead, offer targets, which if met, allow a worker to take a day’s paid leave to do some community work through a charity. In fact, lack of meaningfulness is the 3rd reason to why employees decide to quit according to our latest report Fighting Turnover.

Money: Rather than offering a pay rise, motivate staff by a series of goals. If certain targets are met they will receive a financial bonus. This helps to ensure that the motivation remains long after the paycheque is signed.

Possibility to develop into a new role: Offer them the opportunity to gain some authority by shadowing someone in a role they’d like to move up to. You could also offer them to participate in internal projects in their field of interest. This can be done alongside their current role, with clear expectations of potential career progression.

Showing recognition for your employees hard work is also key. Recognition is about whether your people feel seen, heard, valued, and respected, both by the organisation and by one another. When you get that right, the advantages are massive. Does 14% increase in employee engagement, productivity, and performance sound good?

How do promotions motivate employees?

Many employees will be motivated by a promotion. There are however few employees who don’t strive to move upwards in their careers and take on more authority or responsibility. Promotions can appeal on many levels, such as:

Job experience: Gaining a promotion may mean workers feel more secure in their roles, which can help them feel more connected and part of a team. It may also move them to a more managerial role which can appeal to many people, or help them switch to a new team that is more aligned to their own career goals.

Ambition: Whether it’s the ambition to move through the ranks of a firm or to grow as a person and develop skills, humans tend to be ambitious.

Compensation: A promotion usually means you can also motivate staff through financial rewards. It doesn’t just have to be about what they take home at the end of every month – enhanced benefits, company cars and bonuses can all help motivate staff to work harder.

Of course, the final word is that the promotion must be warranted. There’s little point in promoting disengaged staff in the hope it will motivate them if the promotion isn’t truly deserved.

How to motivate an overwhelmed employee

There will be times when you are faced with an overwhelmed team member, and boosting their motivation might seem like "mission: impossible". In these cases, it’s important to get to the bottom of their demotivation. Is it the workload? A colleague? A particular project? With this information, you can take steps to recover the employee and bring them back to motivation island.

If your team member has a low degree of autonomy – for example in their working hours or how they approach a task – help them to find a more comfortable working pattern. Or assign them a mentor who they can turn to for support or brainstorm new ideas.

Training can often be the answer. Increasing their knowledge, making them feel more confident in their role, might make it easier for them to cope.

"If in doubt, ask them." To successfully measure and collect feedback, you need the right employee feedback tool. Curious to see Winningtemp in action?

Blog
April 12, 2022

Why Conduct Employee Engagement Surveys?

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Why conduct employee engagement surveys?

We all know that employee engagement is key to a successful business – after all the businesses with the most engaged workforces are the ones who are producing better business outcomes, regardless of other factors such as industry, company size and current economic outlook.

So understanding how motivated your team is to do a good job will give you plenty of opportunities to look at ways to increase motivation. If you’re not aware that some staff may be disengaged, demotivated and generally not want to be at work, then the chances are your company is significantly under-performing.

But how do you go about measuring how engaged your staff are? The most common method of measuring engagement is through an engagement survey – which will help you gather the insight you need to better understand what is important to your employees, how engaged they are in their roles, and the key drivers that you could use to boost engagement.

Why conduct an employee engagement survey?

There are many reasons why employee engagement surveys are a crucial tool in any workplace – some of the most important are:

1. Give your employees a voice

There’s little point in implementing methods that you think will drive engagement if you’ve not asked the question to the people who really matter. Engagement surveys provide your team with a voice, to feedback on how they’re feeling, what motivates them and crucially actively involves them in the engagement process from the outset.

2. Understand what drives them

An employee engagement survey will allow you not only to understand how engaged or otherwise workers are but also what drives them to do a good job. This information is invaluable in helping you shape how you motivate staff.

3. Benchmark the engagement

If you can understand the state of your team’s engagement today, then you have the benchmark to then measure the outcomes of any changes you make. Making changes without fully being aware of how to measure their impact means you’ll never be able to determine what’s effective in motivating staff and what’s not.

4. Gain valuable people data

An employee survey will give you the opportunity to gain employee-focused data – for example, which teams are under the most pressure, what employees are looking for a new challenge, and how committed individuals are. This can help you to redirect resources, provide additional training or support or spot opportunities for employees who will benefit from stepping up or having a mentor.

If you’re still wondering why do an employee satisfaction survey then consider this: if you don’t know what’s wrong with your team, how can you fix it. Knowledge is, after all, power.

How to conduct an employee engagement survey?

The first step in planning an employee engagement survey is to drill down into the specifics: what are you measuring and how are you measuring it.

The what:

It’s unlikely you’re going to be able to measure every aspect of employee engagement so start by determining what is most important – is it how happy employees are? Is it what they feel could be improved? Is it their motivation to turn up every day? Employee surveys will also typically touch on physical and emotional wellbeing, psychological security and the level of their daily, weekly and monthly performance. Don’t feel that you have to tackle all of these at once: focus on the most pressing issue to start, or do a general survey that will help you focus on key areas for future surveys.

The how:

Once you know what you’re measuring, you can determine how you’re measuring it. If you’re looking at engagement as a whole, then open-ended questions work well and they give the employee the opportunity to open up. Multiple choice questions will help define the parameters you’re measuring and will be more specific.

The general consensus is that the surveys should be regularly administered – many companies opt for pulse surveys, which allows them to regularly monitor the workforce and keep their finger on the pulse of what’s happening. Annual surveys are being phased out, as they’re considered too irregular to help improve business outcomes.

You may meet some resistance from staff who ask ‘are employee surveys really confidential?’ You’ll need to reassure your team that surveys are confidential, and data anonymised in order to get the most useful feedback.

Act on the results

So now you know why to conduct an employee engagement survey and how to conduct an employee engagement survey. But the final step is to act on the results from the survey.

If you’ve taken the time to carry out the survey, and convinced your staff to do it, you now need to show them that their voice matters. Are there recurring themes that need your attention? Are more than half of your staff claiming they’re unhappy? The survey should have hopefully presented some opportunities for you to power up engagement. So spend some time creating your next steps based on the issues being reported.

Blog
March 30, 2022

These 3 HR roles are trending right now. Here’s why.

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In the employee-led market we’re seeing now, the quality of company culture is becoming ever more important. In LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2022, it was reported that 40% of candidates “consider company culture a top priority when picking a job.” Which points us to the stewards of a healthy company culture: HR professionals. As the global economy rebounds, so has the expansion of this crucial department and the diversity of the roles within it.  

In a recent Lunch & Learn, we were joined by guest Stuart Elliott of Elliott Scott HR — a firm that helps companies across the globe recruit top-tier talent into their HR departments. In this session (which you can watch here), Stuart shed light on some of the most compelling trends in HR right now, one of which was the rise of 3 specialist HR roles he’s seeing.  

What are they and why are they trending?  

#1 The Analyst  

“The first role we're seeing a lot more of right now is definitely on the HR analytics and reporting analytics side of things.” - Stuart Elliot

A lot of companies have been investing in HR technology over the past two years and particularly in the types that provide HR teams with data about employee wellbeing, satisfaction, and performance. While this was on the rise before the pandemic, this technology became a crucial tool to gain visibility in the quality of the employee experience in remote workforces.  

As this data collection continues to ramp up, so does the need to systematically take action on the insights. As Stuart remarks, “I'm seeing that now in a lot of the bigger organisations, where they now need someone to take that data away and bring it to the table in terms of what it means to the business.”

Companies are finding that — at a certain scale — processing the insights, finding the priorities, rolling data findings into implementation plans, and following up the results is best accomplished by adding analytical-focused HR professionals to their team.  

#2 Wellness & Wellbeing Manager  

“The second role we’re seeing a lot more of, not necessarily in terms of abundance of the roles, but rather in terms of the buzz, is the wellness and wellbeing piece.” - Stuart Elliot

While wellness initiatives may have seemed more optional pre-pandemic, and perhaps over-associated with perks like in-office yoga, supporting the wellbeing of staff emerged as a full-blown corporate priority during the pandemic in the face where, as Stuart put it, “people were struggling a lot of the time with their own mental health, wellbeing, and how they look after themselves.”

Large companies are beginning to look for wellness and wellbeing managers. Where wellness is an integral priority for the company, this role could be titled Chief Wellness Officer.

Even in companies that are not large enough to employ someone with 100% focus on this topic, its importance is being underlined throughout the job descriptions for other HR roles. As Stuart says: “The companies that are not big enough to have that — that have more HR generalists in their make-up —  the terms ‘wellness’ and ‘wellbeing’ are becoming far more prevalent in the job descriptions and the competencies that we are seeing."

#3 The DE&I Advocate  

"Diversity and Inclusion is a big part of the new opportunities we're seeing.” - Stuart Elliot

The prevalence of the DE&I Advocate role has seen a roller coaster ride over the past few years. Before the pandemic, as global conversation about equity and anti-racism continued to escalate, the corporate world responded by opening DE&I-related positions. Data from Glassdoor shows that these vacancies these vacancies fell by 60% at the outset of the pandemic, but began to recover after the protests following the killing of George Floyd in May of 2020 — rising by 55%.  

Valerie Frederickson, founder of a Silicon Valley recruitment firm, summarised it well when she said:  

"With CEOs making public statements pledging to increase diversity at their companies came an uptick to find and hire DE&I leaders as quickly as possible."  

Hiring this role is one of the most pronounced ways companies can express their commitment to DE&I is to hire someone responsible for initiating real action and change. As focus on the pandemic starts to recede, this critical topic is again back on the agenda, along with an increasing number of vacancies for this role.  

***

A little bit about Lunch & Learn...

Winningtemp’s Community Leader, Cecilia Holmblad, began the Lunch & Learn concept in the early days of the pandemic when the need for inspiration, connection and community was at an all-time high. Now this community consists of 6,000 people and Cecilia continues to welcome inspiring guests who are experts in fields like HR tech, psychology, and organisational performance for high-tempo, 45-minute discussions.  

Blog
March 14, 2022

Reduce anxiety and become clear about your future with the WONDER model

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How do we know what we want in life, and how do we shut out negative distractions to gain clarity? Suhail Mirza is a renowned Life Coach, Senior Advisor and author who joined Cecilia Holmblad from Winningtemp on a recent Lunch & Learn. He shared his research-based view on how we can reduce negative feelings and gain clarity in an ever changing world. 

I believe that the quality of our lives largely is the quality of the feelings and emotions we experience on a daily basis. We all have values, we all have beliefs. Unfortunately, we don’t spend much time evaluating our values or beliefs. But we do feel emotions every day. What we want is to experience more of the feelings that empower us and less of the feelings that disempower us.

 Suhail Mirza

What do we want?

For over a decade, Suhail has been working as an advisor, inner wellness coach and speaker globally , guiding a lot of leaders and others in the search for inner wellbeing. Based on their stories, he have seen that most people want one or more of the following:

  • Feel certain that they know where they’re going
  • A sense of meaning
  • Connection to others
  • Self love
  • Peace of mind

The first step to gain more of these positive outcomes, is to gain clarity.

“You need to know exactly where you are with searing self honesty and confront the real situation in the real you. Only then can you move forward.”

You can’t gain clarity from a position of fear or anxiety. Unfortunately, anxiety has become more common these past few years, but there are tools to reduce negative feelings and gain clarity. 

Suhail has created a model which he calls the WISDOM model which comprises 6 elements; and these are based on his work globally and his book Many Mansions.

The first element within the WISDOM model is entitled WONDER. You can use this 6 step module to reduce anxiety, gain clarity and increase your inner wellness 

Follow the 6 steps of the WONDER module to gain clarity and set yourself up for inner success.

The WONDER model

1. Where are you?

You need to be absolutely honest about where you are right now and how you feel about your current situation. Without being honest about your current emotions, your current circumstances, you will not know how to progress. 

2. Organisation

You need to look at what resources you have. And most importantly look at the positives in your life. Whether you are facing a rough economic situation or trouble in a relationship, there are always positive things in your life. Also acknowledge the resources you have that can help you move forward.

 Once you have taken your personal inventory, you’ll know what you have, and you will also know what you lack. This information will help you when you make a plan going forward.

3. Negation

The three most common negative feelings that ruin our wellbeing are anxiety, worry and fear. These emotions drain us and make us less abundant. 

There are many exercises you can use to negate these feelings, but here two simple practices that Suhail teaches in his programs:

Gratitude. The more gratitude you express, the more abundant you’ll become. You can express gratitude in writing, and all it takes is 3 minutes a day. First, express gratitude for the big stuff. Your family, your health or your work. But also make sure to think about the smaller things like writing down the best things that happened during the past 24 hours.

Visualisation. Visualise how you want your life to look in one year and in five years. Go deep into areas like relationships, business, health etc. The idea is to step outside of today and paint a picture for your mind. 

4. Decision

You need to make a decision about three things. What is your self-value, your self-worth and your self-love?

These are really tough questions to answer, and they are not always positive. But there are ways to enhance your thoughts about yourself and paint a more positive picture. Here are two simple exercises you can do:

Forgiveness. You need to forgive the former you for mistakes you’ve made, decisions you’ve made and times you’ve let yourself down. Otherwise, you are carrying  around a heavy bag of regrets on your back. You need to lighten, and empty your bag. Visualise all the times you’ve let yourself down, forgive your old self and move on. It can take a lot of time, but eventually, your bag will be lightened and you’ll feel much better about yourself.

Contemplation. This is a form of meditation. The way Suhail does it is to sit quietly for 3 minutes and just observe. Observe your thoughts and your breath and stay in the present. You’ll notice two things. First, your inner voice is 90% negative. Second, you’ll realise that you are not your voice. Your voice is just an amalgamation of all your past experiences. 

5. Execution

It is time to execute. Now you have several exercises which will help you reduce your negative emotions and gain clarity, and all that is left is to execute on them.

6. Ritual

The best way to guarantee your execution is to turn these exercises into a ritual. Suhail takes 45 minutes every morning to do them, but all you need is 15 minutes and it doesn’t need to be in the morning. Remember, 15 minutes every day might change your life.

  1. Contemplate via meditation or other practice
  2. Practice gratitude for the big things
  3. Visualise your future
  4. Practice gratitude for the small things that happened today
  5. Connect with your emotions

This last point of connecting with your emotions is important. Do something that helps you transcend and connect with your heart. Read something spiritual-related that opens up your heart, listen to a sad song or watch a clip that helps you connect to your emotions. Over time, you’ll become better at replacing your negative thoughts with positive feelings.

These are the 6 steps to gain clarity in an ever changing world. If you want to learn more about Suhail Mirza and his model for gaining inner wellness, you can read about it here.

If you want to listen to the entire Lunch & Learn with Suhail Mirza, you can click here.

Blog
March 10, 2023

3 best practices for setting up your employee engagement pulse survey

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If you’re on the road to swapping out or supplementing lengthy annual employee engagement surveys for snappy and regular pulse surveys, you’re in great company! Opening feedback channels that enable year-round communication between employees and leadership is increasingly expected by a modern workforce.  

And the business benefits of feeling continuously heard at work are, unsurprisingly, huge. In a global study by The Workforce Institute it was found that:

“Highly engaged employees are three times more likely to say they feel heard at their workplace (92%) than highly disengaged employees (just 30%).”  

Now the task is to set up an employee engagement pulse survey that your employees love to engage with! Here are a few of the best practices recommended by our internal experts at Winningtemp.

1. Be selective about the number of questions you ask (keep it brief!)

For an employee engagement pulse survey, which is sent out on a regular basis as opposed to quarterly or yearly, it’s important to think about what provides the best experience for employees — paired with the need to collect the best and most relevant data (at the right points in time as well).

You need to aim to keep your response rate high across the year, while collecting as much data as you can.  

Miroslavan Valan, PhD, our AI/Machine Learning expert in our data science team at Winningtemp, says: “When we look at our data and consider quality, quantity, and timing, we see the sweet spot is to ask 4-7 questions, weekly."

When the threshold of 7 questions passed, we can see the effects of survey fatigue start to set in — in the form of response rates going down several percentage points.

Johan Weilenmann, Customer Success Manager (CSM) at Winningtemp, recommends using 6 questions or less in each survey, as it makes for a better experience for the user — it’s more comfortable and easier. You should be able to complete it from your phone, on-the-go.”  

Should you want to test to see what works for you organisation, start with 6. It’s easier to go down from 6 than to start with 4 and go up. 

2. Have the survey sent out on a regular, recurring basis  

It’s important to help your organisation get into a rhythm answering these pulse surveys. Here you might be wondering what the frequency should be — whether to send once a week, every other week, or once per month? It’s a valid question because you don’t want to overburden neither employees providing the feedback — nor your HR teams and managers who need to act on the data.

Here it’s important to consider what type of platform you’re using to send out the surveys, and how the data is then presented to you. If it’s an automated send-out and automated analysis, then you don't need to factor this in to nearly the same extent. Instead, you can focus on choosing the frequency that will give you the most amount of relevant data while keeping users engaged. As Miroslav mentioned, sending out a smaller number of questions on a weekly basis can be a good formula for achieving this.  

There are other benefits associated with sending your (shorter) employee engagement pulse survey weekly, too. As Louise Ekelund, CSM, points out, receiving the pulse survey each week helps make it more of a routine. It becomes a natural part of your week to answer these kinds of questions about your wellbeing at work and within your team. This way as an employee, these topics stay top of mind, and you feel included in the discussions around them.

Weekly feedback also allows you to notice the micro-triggers of engagement or disengagement. Louise says: “A lot can happen in two weeks. From the employee perspective, it can be comforting to know they will have an opportunity each week where they can anonymously ask for help or give feedback.”  

For some organisations, monthly will be preferable. In this case, it’s recommended to increase the number of questions you ask to gather more data points at one time.

THE WINNINGTEMP DEMO VIDEO  See how Winningtemp's pulse survey works Watch the 2-min demo

3. Choose the number of response options relative to the data you would like to collect  

Employee engagement pulse surveys tend to take the form of a “Likert” scale, which look something like this:

1 = strongly agree
2 = agree
3 = neither agree nor disagree
4 = disagree
5 = strongly disagree

What is the ideal number of response options to provide? Drawing from the findings of a study by Simms et al. (2019), the advice is to stay above 3 options. Question scales that performed poorly were those with 2 and 3 options; stabilise occurred at four increments. 4 or above is more likely to help you capture a given phenomenon. There was no significant difference, however, when comparing 7+ response options to fewer. More options did not make the data more accurate.  

So, we are left with the difference between 4- and 5-point scales. Which is considered best practice for an employee engagement pulse survey?  

The science is subtle on this point, having found pros and cons for each. From an engagement perspective, the sticking point of the 5-point scale is the “neutral” middle option. In a study by Kulas and Stachowski (2013), it was seen that reasons for choosing the middle option were:  

(a) the answer reflects a moderate or neutral attitude to the phenomenon being measured (which is the ideal)
(b) the respondent has difficulty deciding how he or she regards the question
(c) the respondent is confused about the meaning of the question
(d) the respondent feels that his or her answer is context dependent (“neither”)

If you are going to provide a middle option, which would be yellow on a red to green scale, you will likely see a lot of yellow because of what’s called a “central tendency bias(Nadler et al., 2015) or “survey satisficing” (Krosnick, 1991). Want to read more about our emoji scale, here you go.

Here it’s helpful to think about what it will be like to interpret the survey results. Here Johan observes: “When you aggregate the data, it gives you a better picture, rather than if you see a lot of yellow and you don’t know what to do. You will start asking yourself, ‘do we have to work on this or not?”  

The survey questions measuring employee engagement are inherent to every employee’s experience of work and are designed to solicit their unique perspectives. By choosing between “disagree” or “agree,” Johan says: “You are being asked to articulate an opinion one way or another. Are you dissatisfied with the way things are and want to see a change — or are you feeling okay to continue with the current conditions?

The opinions and perspectives of your employees are highly valuable. By structuring your employee engagement pulse survey according to some of these best practices, you can help your employees be heard in a way they appreciate and in a way that easily tips into measurable actions and improvements.  

Watch how Winningtemp’s science-based survey engine does all the heavy lifting for you.

Blog
February 23, 2022

Engage like it’s 2022 — employee engagement ideas for hybrid, remote, and on-site teams  

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The pandemic re-shuffled workplaces across the globe. Which camp does your organisation now fall in — fully remote, always on-site, or hybrid?  

The question now becomes: how can you evolve your engagement strategy to make the very most out of your current set-up? Where do you need to place extra focus to help people work effectively?

Here is a list of employee engagement ideas you can implement to help your whole workforce do their very best work, together.

Fully remote — everyone connects online to do their work

Place extra focus on: information-sharing (both tactical and random)  

Engagement idea #1: (Re)organise your digital office

You have made sure everyone’s physical home office is ergonomically up to scratch and appropriately equipped. Great! Now... how about your company’s digital office that they visit every day? Does everyone know where all the filing “cabinets” are and how to use them? How about new hires?  

It may seem simple, but file storage is often byzantine and this very fact can lead to feelings of isolation and frustration. And it’s an incredibly common problem. According to a study by CSO Insights, 83 percent of respondents stated they had problems accessing the data they needed to do their jobs.  

If you haven’t put focus on this already, it is of high tactical importance to create standardised systems for how your company and each department creates, stores, and shares files.  

Bonus task: In your beautifully reorganised digital office, upload a continually updated organisation chart, which explains the roles and responsibilities of every member of the organisation. In a physical office, it used to be easier to figure this out by wandering around the floor. In a remote setting, documentation is needed.

Why is all this important? Because employees want to engage with their work and engage with their colleagues. Eliminate the hurdles that get in the way of both!  

“Until recently, work happened in the office. We’ve always had some people remote, but they used the internet as a bridge to the office. This will reverse now. The future of the office is to act as an on-ramp to the same digital workplace that you can access from your #WFH setup.” - CEO and Founder Tobi Lutke, Shopify    

Engagement idea #2: Open up conversations on your digital messaging platform

A 100% silent office would be a disturbing encounter, wouldn’t it?  

The same goes for a digital office.  

You want to make sure that there’s a good amount of information constantly flowing through (outside of meetings), plus side tributaries of random information.  

For new hires brought into a fully remote setting, this is critical. How do people speak with one another? What are people outside their team working on? Your culture is taking place online. To create an inclusive atmosphere, it’s a wise idea to have forums for conversations where all can listen in and to provide a map to where these conversations are happening.  

If you’re using Slack at your organisation, here are some suggestions:  

  • Streamline your channels. Archive old ones and make sure existing channels have good descriptions. If you do this, you might avoid the need to create a map of what conversations are happening where. If it continues to be a jungle, then yes, write up a map! A starter kit, if you will, for new hires to understand where conversations are happening.  
  • Encourage open channels over closed ones/direct messages. Not only does this create greater inclusivity, it helps on a tactical level when departments need to collaborate.  

Engagement idea #3: Institute “Welcome” videos for new hires  

Let people show you what they love! Encourage new hires to share a video when they come into the company where they share all about their hobbies, passions, family, pets, etc.  

We do this at Winningtemp and it is AWESOME. We see time and time again that it creates a jumping off point into more organic discussions with new colleagues. Rather than asking banal questions, you can ask them about their pet rabbit, compliment them on their DJ skills, and so on and so forth.  

Welcome videos also create that big company-wide “Welcome!” effect that is otherwise missing in a remote context.  

Why does this matter? Feeling a sense of belonging in a company from Day 1 does wonders for the onboarding process, which translates directly into greater engagement. A study by BambooHR found that employees who experienced effective onboarding are 18 times more likely to feel highly committed to their organisation.

Engagement idea #4: Play more games together

You’ve probably heard this one a thousand times now, but we’ll say it again here — play games together! Bonus points if you can find games where people break out into random groups where individuals then need to work together. A virtual escape room challenge is a good example.  

Why are games effective? It creates a “liminal space” that in office terms would be the equivalent of the water cooler or the space you hang your coats in the hallway.  

In these liminal spaces, hierarchies are flattened and we can have casual exchanges that can sometimes lead to big ideas. Roles are stripped, and that’s when unexpected connections can emerge.  

Explore HR trends  The Transformation of Employee Engagement — The Future is Now Download the eBook

Hybrid — a flexible combination of remote and on-site work  

Place extra focus on: creating equal opportunity  

Engagement idea #1: Embrace the on-site screens

Until holograms become standard, we will be having meetings with our colleagues over video calls. In a hybrid context, meetings are often hybrid in nature. For example, two people in the office would connect with a third working remotely. In the case of company-wide meetings, their hybrid nature creates extra complexities.  

How do you ensure everyone feels equally heard — and is literally heard through the computer speakers and in person?  

Think through the office environment taking regular video calls into account.  

Make it easy to connect laptops to screens (a standard A/V nightmare) and in-room speakers. Get all the right toggles or all the right Bluetooth set-ups in place. Have documentation about how to make the connection work in each meeting room. Keep working on this until it’s foolproof for everyone.  

Engagement idea #2: Respect the raised hand

It’s critical in large meetings to follow a hand-raising system. If you don’t, only the loudest and most confident voices have a chance of being heard.  

If multiple people in the same physical meeting room are joining an online call, think of a clever solution (something that a person can hold up, for instance) that signals they would like to speak.  

This is particularly important from a gender equality perspective. A survey by the non-profit group Catalyst found that “45% of women business leaders say it’s difficult for women to speak up in virtual meetings.” And furthermore, that “1 in 5 women has recently felt ignored and overlooked by coworkers during video calls.”

Engagement idea #3: Create equal access to power through equal access to conversations

A lot of social capital is built when we meet face-to-face, and especially in “liminal spaces” like around the office coffee machine. Particularly when it comes to having face time with senior management, the opportunities can be next to zero for employees 1) working at an operational level and 2) working remotely.  

How do you ensure that everyone, regardless of where they are physically, has an equal opportunity to influence decisions, build trust, and voice their perspectives? Make no mistake, the power imbalances that can result from hybrid working are very real. Here are some effective counter-measures to what is known as “proximity bias”:  

  • Establish standardised times and opportunities for feedback, praise, and career conversations that apply to everyone. This way, things like promotions are not influenced by face-time with managers or senior leadership, but rather by set appraisal processes.  

  • When organising more casual in-person gatherings, make an effort to send an invite in advance so those working remotely both know what is happening and can make arrangements to come if they’d like.  

  • All-company events and games need to be participated in by everyone — which includes the entire C-suite — to create liminal spaces that everyone has equal access to.  

  • Enable employees to speak up about proximity bias or exclusion they’re feeling. Constantly collect feedback using an anonymous platform where everyone can share their unfiltered opinions with the right people, anonymously. This constant stream of feedback can help managers and HR pick up any power imbalances amongst hybrid teams and make moves to course-correct.  

 

Always on-site — everyone convenes at the physical place of work on a daily basis  

Place extra focus on: comfort and safety

Engagement idea #1: Bump up the comfort level in the office.

As a result of the pandemic, it was proven that computer-based work can be done at home. And surprisingly, many found it was preferable. This means that in a number of industries, if you’re running a 100% on-site operation, you’re competing with places of work that offer people the comfort of their own homes.  

The solution? Make the office a bit more comfortable and homey! While a full renovation might not be feasible, consider smaller measures instead. Upgrade the couches in the breakroom. Hang a corkboard and let everyone put up silly photos from the last office party. Buy higher-quality hand soap for the bathrooms and stock sanitary items for the ladies. And so on and so forth — the little touches can make a big difference.  

Tip: ask for feedback about what everyone would like in the way of comfort. You’ll be surprised at how concrete and do-able many of the asks will be.  

Engagement idea #2: Show you care about health & hygiene.

What used to be commonplace — a seasonal bug going around an office — isn’t tolerated to nearly the same extent.  

Everyone has new tools and new strategies for avoiding illness, which includes sanitiser, mask-wearing, and working from home. To help your fully on-site crew feel safe, keep as many of the pandemic policies in place as make sense for your organisation, such as hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes placed around the office.  

The CIPD recommends considering three questions to help guide workplace safety:
  1. Is your workplace sufficiently safe and supportive?
  2. Are you being flexible in your approach?
  3. What is best for people’s wellbeing and performance?

Engagement idea #3: Create very clear policies around sick days.

Sniffly? As a global culture, we are not very attuned to even minor symptoms. As a fully on-site operation, this means you need to get very specific about when your employees should stay at home. And if they are expected to work from home if their role allows.  

This policy should also clarify what your employees should do if someone they care for, such as their child or a parent, is sick.  

Clarity will create a lot of comfort and safety here.  

***

While there is plenty of science behind how to drive employee engagement, it's also an art in its own right. Keep experimenting with creative ideas and collecting employee feedback as you go. For more guidance and inspiration on this front, read our free eBook The transformation of employee engagement — The future is now.

Blog
January 19, 2022

Whistle while you work — how internal whistleblowing strengthens company culture  

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The term “whistleblowing” is a charged and spooky one in global media today. It’s associated with high-profile and politically charged public cases. But upon closer inspection, these cases more accurately describe a breaking point that is reached when proper whistleblowing channels do not exist.  

After all, it’s not a wailing siren signalling end-of-days — it’s a sharp whistle blow, intended to direct attention to a specific place or issue. By opening up an internal whistleblowing channel, companies can tap into a free resource that helps them operate with more integrity and efficiency.  

It’s a key part of hearing the voices of employees, which is why we recently developed an optional whistleblowing portal for the Winningtemp platform. Read more about this new feature here.  

The whistleblowing—engagement connection

One way to look at employee engagement is the extent to which employees regard the company they work for as their own.

By blowing the whistle when they witness misconduct, employees are giving their company the benefit of the doubt and the chance to make necessary corrections before any damage to the brand or investor confidence might occur.

Rather than a threat, whistleblowing reports should be seen as employees actively protecting the interests of the company they work for.  

How their goodwill is handled by leadership is a make-or-break moment for company culture. Whistleblowing matters are highly sensitive — they can involve sexual harassment, incidences of discrimination, or reporting the misconduct of someone who could jeopardise their employment. Trust is built when employees are empowered to come forward (anonymously) and they see swift follow-up and concrete actions in response. Greater trust translates directly into greater engagement.  

Why building a “speak up” culture is good for your employer brand

The presence or absence of whistleblowing channels makes a real impact on an employee’s perception of their employer.  

Social media and sites like Glassdoor have enabled more transparency into how issues within companies are managed, from the employee perspective. If issues are intentionally not handled, this becomes public knowledge in short order. The processes set up for addressing concerns show employees their voices are valued and this will be reflected in how they speak about their company.

Introducing a whistleblowing channel is one of the most meaningful actions an organisation can take to enhance their employer branding. It signals to employees that when threats to their personal safety or integrity arise, they are empowered to speak up.  

What’s more, they are empowered to step outside of the line manager hierarchy and raise their issue to a senior member of staff dedicated to handling these reports. If the dynamics on an individual’s team are strained, this channel signals to employees that leadership cares for them and their wellbeing.  

Instil a culture of ethics

Perhaps this is one is overly obvious, but the presence of an internal whistleblowing system creates an expectation that employees should report misconduct when they see it. By extension, this also signals that wrongdoing is wrong and is not tolerated. Over the longer term, the employees attracted to your company and the ones that will stay will have the ethical standards that match your culture.  

Whistleblowing has financial upsides, too

Perhaps surprisingly, research has found that companies with internal whistleblowing systems are more profitable.  

In the 2020 research report “Evidence on the Use and Efficacy of Internal Whistleblowing Systems,” it was seen that companies with whistleblowing systems earn a greater return on assets than firms with absent or underdeveloped ones.

Whistleblowing is connected to higher financial returns in the following ways:  

  1. Brand protection. By catching misconduct and illegal activity early & often, companies protect themselves from public scandals that damage investor confidence. Not to mention customer confidence. The damage that a scandal incurs on a brand is long-lasting and far-reaching. Recent research from Harvard Business School found that share price drops an average 0.7% when news of unethical activity hits the stands, and 1.1% when the issue impacts customers.    
  1. Lower legal fees per year. Companies don’t need to enter as many legal battles. Resources that would need to go into defensive legal action can instead be directed to profit-generating activities.
  1. Avoidance of theft. With whistleblowing systems in place, incidences of workplace theft and embezzlement are more likely to be caught and reported. It’s a common occurrence, unfortunately. A 2015 study found that organisations in the US with less than 500 employees saw a median loss of $280,000 per year to embezzlement.  

Put another way, whistleblowing mitigates a number of different financial risks.

Not only is whistleblowing positive, it’s fast becoming a legal requirement  

On an international scale, whistleblowing is one of the most powerful anti-corruption tools out there today. The EU released a directive in 2019 that directs member states to protect whistleblowers from retaliation, as well as expand the availability of whistleblowing channels by mandating that companies set up internal systems.  

Outside the EU, the new directive is prompting renewed conversation about local whistleblowing legislation. The UK’s Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 is under scrutiny, especially in the light of systemic whistleblowing failures during the pandemic. The UK non-profit Protect, which runs a Whistleblower advice hotline, reported that employers ignored 41% of all whistleblowers raising Covid-19 concerns.  

The NHS (the UK’s National Health Service) is in the process of implementing a whistleblower policy that encourages staff to raise concerns around patient care quality or safety. The recommended policy, titled Freedom to Speak Up, begins by confirming “...Our senior leaders and entire board are committed to an open and honest culture. We will look into what you say and you will always have access to the support you need.”

The executive’s best asset

The management theory called the Iceberg of Ignorance posits that, in companies without employee feedback systems, frontline workers are aware of 100% of the floor problems faced by an organisation, supervisors were aware of only 74%, middle managers were aware of only 9%, and senior executives were aware of only 4% of the problems.

With serious whistleblowing issues, you want to make sure you’re catching as close to 100% as you possibly can. Confidential, trusted employee feedback channels for whistleblowing will get you there.  

Book a demo with us and we can tell you more about how our integrated employee feedback system works.

If you're already a customer, reach out to your Customer Success Manager! 

Blog
January 13, 2022

5 shocking HR statistics you need to take care of now

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Suhail Mirza is a life coach, senior advisor, and an expert in workforce wellness. In a recent Lunch & Learn with Cecilia Holmblad at Winningtemp, Suhail highlighted concerning new statistics about the pandemic's impact on our wellbeing and what we could do to reverse this negative trend.

How are your people feeling and how are they managing the effects of the pandemic? Find out which statistics you need to be aware of and what you can do to turn these negative trends around.

Depression rates have increased by 28% during the pandemic

 According to a Meta-study by The Lancet where 204 countries answered, depression has increased by 28% during the past 18 months. The pandemic took a huge toll on our wellbeing.

So how can you shape wellbeing within your organisation? One solution is to openly talk about mental health. The only way to really know how your co-workers are feeling is to ask them and let them know that they are free to honestly express their feelings. Their workplace should be a safe place, where they can be open about their mental health.

In addition, consider your company policies. What impact do they have on your people? Are they positive and employee-centric? HR teams need to be aware of company policies, including any changes made to them, and incorporate them into strategies for bolstering employee wellbeing. 

60% of 18–34-year-olds have been negatively affected by the pandemic

60% of the millennial workforce has been negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Reasons might include loneliness, low engagement when working from home, or burnout from working too much.

There’s no simple solution to turn this trend around. But if you allow them to have a voice, and act on their feedback, you have a solid grounding to start from. Conduct pulse surveys and one-on-ones more often. Act fast on the feedback that they are giving you. By doing this, you not only demonstrate that you’re listening, but you also show that their opinions are important and valid. This way your young employees will feel more valued, which translates directly into greater engagement and productivity.

16 million people are considering leaving their jobs in the next 6 months in UK

What can you do to make sure your top talents stay at your company? You need to focus a little less on attracting talent and put more effort into retention. It doesn’t matter if you recruit top-tier talent if they want to leave soon after they arrive. If they are met with a toxic culture, they will leave your company eventually. 

The solution lies within how you’re shaping your company culture. It’s key to create a culture of trust and wellbeing, where people feel seen, heard and part of something larger than themselves. Above salary and benefits, it’s culture that separates companies when it comes to staff retention. It’s worth it to put in the effort to make your culture great, as this will motivate everyone not just to stay, but to be engaged too. 

£48 billion pounds — the shocking cost for employers who stand to lose staff 

If you don’t take care of your employees, the consequences will show up in your company’s bottom line. Not only is there a huge cost for each incident of staff turnover, but unhappy employees are unproductive, and negativity can spread throughout your teams.

The cost of the above statistic is staggering: if as many employees leave as say they plan to, the cost to UK employers would be around £48 billion pounds. Take care of your employees, and they will take care of your company.

54% of employees are on the brink of burnout 

Since the pandemic began, the line between work and free time has become blurred. We work more than ever. Most people do it because they feel under pressure to do so. It is this kind of negative stress that tends to grow within us enabling burnout to creep even closer.

The solution? Let your employees know that your company understands the importance of rest and recovery. Research shows that employees who take regular breaks during the workday become more productive and are at lower risk from negative stress. As a leader, you need to set an example. Talk about your weekend activities. Be the first one to take a lunch break. Only then will your employees understand that it is okay to hit the pause button, increasing their productivity so they can perform at their best.

 

Do you want to know more about how you can strengthen wellbeing in your company?

Get insights and advice on how to best serve your employees, read more about Winningtemp’s expert recommendations here.
Watch the full Lunch & Learn webinar with Suhail here.

Blog
December 17, 2021

The top 5 challenges HR teams are looking to tackle in 2022  

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There is one department that shouldered much of the pandemic's stressors. You guessed it — it was Human Resources. The role these teams play is finally being acknowledged as so much more than just labor law compliance, conflict management, and ‘soft’ nice-to-haves.  

Not only are HR teams hiring new talent to craft high-functioning teams, they are responsible for the whole of employee experience.

Alongside customer experience, EX is now a fully-fledged corporate priority — a constantly running project closely mapped to business strategy, which is constantly measured, analysed, and optimised.  

What is top of mind for these teams now? We surveyed HR experts both in-house here at Winningtemp as well as within our network to hear what their top challenges and priorities are. Iterations of the following 5 challenges appeared at the top of their lists.

“How do we….

1. Give employees a greater sense of purpose in their working lives? 

There is no doubt about it, millennials — who now make up 50% of the global workforce — are reshaping the workplace. Things that were once “put up” with (long hours, low pay) simply aren’t acceptable any longer. Even pre-pandemic, millennials were vocal about greater work-life balance and more respect for ethics in the workplace.

But it’s not about putting a ball pit and some bean bags in the office and calling it a day. It’s about respecting that work is only a part of what makes a person whole and understanding that the other areas of someone’s life need equal nourishment. 

As said by Rahat Joshi Rishi, senior HR professional turned People Scientist at Winningtemp,

Younger talents are looking for things that are new for most organisations — they are looking for purpose, for meaningfulness in their lives. Millennials do not want to work in companies that are not sustainable, for example. So the challenge is to create an environment and work with principles that allow talents to thrive.

According to the 2021 Fortune Best Workplaces for Millennials survey, the alignment of pay with a sense of purpose and meaning at work was the most sought after offering millennials look for in an employer. 

Elin Hartelius, Founder of Impact Arena, confirms that,

Employees today are becoming increasingly purpose-driven and want to feel that what they do matters and contributes to a better world.

Winning-tip: Give employees a voice and a vote in how your organisation develops and responds to demands in the market. In this way, a more authentic sense of purpose can emerge and be co-created. 

2. Support employees in keeping their energy and team spirit up while working remotely? 

While for the most part, engagement levels have dipped far less dramatically than expected during the pandemic, Forbes report that emerging data is beginning to show that remote workers are less engaged than those who spend time in the office. Without the physical presence of people, it can be difficult to keep the momentum of a positive, energised, and inclusive atmosphere. 

Sara Holmberg, Head of HR at Winningtemp, observed that,

Culture-wise, it has been challenging for some leaders to keep up the energy and the sense of team spirit when everyone is consistently working remotely. 

By now, most companies have seized the obvious low-hanging fruits of replacing in-person coffee chats with digital ones and holding team-building exercises as creatively as an internet connection will allow. 

While this is important, the positive energy can be short-lived. Everyone is together for the purpose of working after all — why not share in an activity together that significantly impacts how well everyone can work together? 

Create the space to talk openly about how work is feeling, as an individual and as a whole team. What roadblocks are being faced? What conditions would make for more effective collaboration? Talking about the elephants in the room is energising. Afterwards, everyone moves forward together as a stronger team. 

Winning-tip: Use employee engagement data as the waterhole everyone gathers around. This provides a neutral yet honest starting point for these kinds of more vulnerable discussions. 

3. Create the space for (regular) reflection on the personal, team, and organisational level?

Oftentimes in a business, productivity is considered the most important measure of success. In our haste to always be creating, we can leave little time to reflect on how successful our productivity really was. 

As said by Elin,

Reflection is a hugely underestimated tool for development and culture building.

Certainly, for decades now, leaders have assumed the annual survey was reflection enough. Indeed, it ticks several boxes. Group reflection? Tick. Individual reflection? Tick. 

And yet, HR teams everywhere continually come with the same concern that conducting these large annual surveys are too big a burden — both for employees and managers to complete, and for their own teams to gather and analyse. And by the time their careful analysis is complete, the findings are outdated and rendered irrelevant. Thankfully, this form of reflection is being let go. Sayonara. 

How are HR teams going to meet the challenge of making reflection more regular and more insight-rich in 2022? It's hard to reflect on a blank page. Which is why HR teams are starting to automate the collection of employee feedback and weave this in to everyone's weekly work life.

Instead of once a year, light-touch surveys are prompting employees to reflect on their work situation all throughout the year. The analysis of this feedback and active reflection can then happen in parallel. Put another way: HR is migrating to a more agile, more manageable approach to reflection and taking action.

THE WINNINGTEMP DEMO VIDEO  Learn how Winningtemp's light-touch surveys and automated insights shprten the  time to action Watch the 2-min demo

4. Get managers onboard in co-creating an excellent employee experience?

Sandra Strindeborn, Onboarding & Learning Design Specialist at Induction says,

The most important thing now is to include all managers in EX strategy, to help them understand that it is important, and then work even more with the managers to achieve results from HR's activities. If HR does not have a good relationship with the organisation's managers, all activities that are done or implemented by HR will not be as successful. 

Like any other corporate priority, all managers need to be well informed about the purpose and strategy behind their company’s goals for employee experience. And they will likely need a little help in what that actually means when it comes to execution. 

In 2022, we will likely be seeing a closer relationship between HR departments and managers, and goals for EX elaborated on department and team levels. This work will pay dividends: it helps ensure that your company is really living its values. 

Winning-tip: Include managers as you are crafting or refining your employee experience strategy, and give them the tools to measure how they are doing. By arming them with real-time data about what’s improving within their team and what might be going off the rails, you empower them to succeed against the goals set at a company-wide level. 


5. Craft and sustain an attractive company culture in a hybrid context? 

A paradox has been introduced that every organisation will need to tackle in 2022: the need to provide employees the flexibility in how and where they work, while simultaneously building a strong community and culture. 

Our HR experts know that fostering a strong sense of belonging is the key to solving this paradox. Each and every employee needs to be able to speak and to be heard, by their colleagues, their managers, and the senior leadership in their company. Having their voice respected is what cultivates this sense of belonging and trust that simultaneously enables flexibility and builds culture. 

As Elin Hartelius reflects,

Our learning from last year was that communication is not about info — it’s about listening, being close to people, being empathetic and attentive leaders. This is a game-changer for companies who are ready to take that leap.

It’s up to HR to structure feedback channels to avoid bottlenecks or voices going unheard. Again, HR teams are increasingly looking to employee experience platforms to help them ensure that the doors to employee feedback always stand open. 

To sum up, it’s a nuanced, exciting, and challenging time to be in HR. With 2020 at time of crisis, 2021 a time of new thinking, 2022 will be — we believe — a time of building. A time of building out the real-time feedback channels that keep HR constantly in the loop on how employees are really feeling. Of setting numerical targets and KPIs that demonstrate HR’s value to the business. Of expanding their role as a drivers of innovation and profitability.

Are you in HR? We here at Winningtemp are here to support as you go about building. Our platform provides the technological foundations underneath successful employee engagement strategies. Our Customer Success team will provide support and ideas at every turn. Book a demo with us and we’ll do some exploring together.

Do you supercharge the effectiveness of HR teams as a consultant or technology provider? Let's chat partnerships! Reach out to me at matilda@winningtemp.com.

Blog
November 15, 2021

Better sleep - Better work performance

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People & Culture
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People in 2021 are sleeping longer, but with lower quality. We all know that sleep is essential for our wellbeing, but how can you get a good night's sleep in a world where sleep is regarded as a necessary evil? Sleep expert Frida Rångtell shares the best methods for getting a well-deserved rest at night so you can perform at a high level during the day.

To feel good and be productive at work, you need to prioritise recovery. And there is no better way to recharge your batteries than a good night's sleep. Getting enough sleep is sadly not prioritised in our time, where waking up early comes with a badge of honor. But in the long term, how will this affect us? And how can we instead use sleep as a tool for wellbeing and high performance?

Frida Rångtell, scientific advisor at Sleepcycle joined us for our Lunch & Learn. She discussed how sleep influences our work, and how we can sleep and feel better in our everyday life.

What is sleep?

Compared to wakefulness, sleep is essentially another state of mind. Sleep helps us recover both psychologically and physically, but we also use it to plan for the future. During sleep, you might reflect on what you’ve learned and experienced during the day. Even when you are unconscious, you consider how you can use that knowledge to prepare for tomorrow. 

Sleep serves many functions, Frida says. You become more productive, creative and learn more effectively. But it’s also essential for your brain health. As we interact with our surroundings during the day, toxins are produced in our brain. It's almost as if we're "cleaning" our brains as we sleep.

How does sleep affect our work performance?

Getting enough sleep is critical to being able to perform, be productive and to procrastinate less. If you ever feel like you can’t focus or you don’t seem to get anything done, it’s possible that you’re not getting enough good sleep.

There are many ways in which sleep affects our work. It can even have an impact on how we treat our coworkers. A person who has not been sleeping well may be less able to handle discussions and feel more stressed than a person who has been sleeping well.

What can we do to create better sleep habits?

If you feel tired, less alert or have a difficult time dealing with stress, this might indicate that your sleep hasn't been optimal. What you need to do is invest in your sleeping habits. Here are some things you can do to improve your sleep:

  • Visualise your ideal night’s sleep. In the long term, how do you want your sleep to be? Then take small steps that lead towards that goal.
  • Consider limiting your use of technology. Wind down during the evening by avoiding social media and e-mail. And also be cautious of uv-light from cell phones and computers, since our brain is sensitive to it and tends to make us more alert.
  • Get enough sunlight. This helps us strengthen our internal clock. Also, dim the lights during the evening to prepare for sleep.
  • Determine how many hours of sleep you need. Adults usually need about 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
  • Go to bed and wake up at the same hour every day. Regularity is a crucial factor in getting a good night’s sleep.
Many aspects of sleep are out of our control, Frida says. We can’t force ourselves to sleep, and expect to never wake up in the middle of the night. Therefore, better sleep occurs when you create the habits and conditions you need to sleep better.
Lunch and Learn  How to improve wellness - with knowledge about sleep Watch now

How can leaders inspire colleagues to sleep better?

When we are stressed at work, our sleep suffers. A leader's top responsibility is to make sure their coworkers feel good, and can focus on being productive. Here are some things a manager can do to unload their colleagues' minds and create a culture based on well-being and productivity.

  • Allow for breaks during the work day. Small breaks allow the brain to rest for a few minutes. It will make you feel refreshed as you continue your work.
  • Create a culture where you don’t have to be available 24/7. We need to be able to shut out work. This will make us sleep better and be more creative in the long run.
  • Clear expectations. Explain to your colleagues what you expect of them, and they won’t have to worry about what’s required of them.
We need to change how we talk about sleep, Frida says. Nowadays, people like to highlight the fact that they don’t need much sleep and work hard. We need to normalise discussing our mid day naps and how we prioritise sleep for our wellbeing. Leaders set the tone and should be the ones to change the conversation, which will in turn change the behaviours that control our sleep quality.

If you want to hear this interesting conversation and improve your sleeping habits to perform and feel better, you can watch the Lunch & Learn here.

Blog
November 12, 2021

Employee experience - Why do you need it and how do you improve it?

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It’s not enough to have great employee engagement - you need the entire employee experience to be top notch. This underrated area can not only be the way to increase wellbeing among your employees, it can also have a direct impact on your company's profitability.

Josh Ash is Head of Partnerships at the Saas company Humaans. Humaans is a HR tech tool, which helps HR employees become heroes through organised documenting and important insights. On a recent Lunch & Learn, we talked to Josh about the current trends within employee experience, and what you can do to get ahead of your competitors.

What is employee experience?

It might seem self-explanatory, but as Josh explains, the term “employee experience'' is rather more complex than it first appears, and can be described in several different ways:

  • It can be used to describe the way someone feels from the onboarding process, to the day they leave the company.
  • How your colleagues talk and behave when a leader isn’t around.
  • How your colleagues talk about the company to their friends and family.
  • How someone experiences the brand during an interaction with your company.

In the past, we talked more about employee engagement, which focused more on the experience at the company. But nowadays, we know that employer branding and social media makes a huge impact on the way a company is perceived, and the focus has now widened into a more holistic approach.

Employee experience spans over several different areas, Josh says. It’s not only about employee engagement anymore, it’s about the whole experience. And also how you market your company to new recruits.

Why is the employee experience important? 

Nowadays, you can’t run a successful company without prioritising a healthy employee experience. In a world where money is no longer the driving factor for employees, the experience of being at a company has become an increasingly important area for organisations to focus on. Especially within recruiting, where it’s a great tool for standing out amongst your competitors.

Research also shows that businesses that invest heavily in their employee experience are four times more profitable than those that don’t.

The worse the employee experience is, the harder it is to keep people happy, Josh says. It gets more difficult to keep the best talent. Also, several studies show that the employee experience is the most important determining factor for things like the quality and output of your colleagues’ work.
Lunch and Learn  Three ways to succeed with Employee Experience Watch now

How can your organisation create an environment for a great employee experience?

Josh mentions that there are 3 areas to focus on.

  1. The tech environment. Make sure employees have what they need to succeed in their work. It might seem like a high upfront cost, but the return on investment includes higher productivity and enhanced wellbeing.
  1. The physical environment. Create an environment that enhances your ability to produce at a high level. We all have different preferences on what we need around us to be productive.
  1. The culture. Have a culture where you listen to your employees and execute on the feedback to show that you take them seriously. 

To start your journey, you need to know where you are today. And you can do this by collecting data. There are several tech tools today, like Winningtemp, that can measure different stages of the employee experience. When you can measure the onboarding experience, the turnover and the overall wellbeing for example, you create benchmarks and you'll know what to focus on. 

“One thing we’ve done is we’ve started doing pulse surveys instead of yearly surveys. It has worked great and our employees feel more listened to. People are not tired of answering questions, they are tired of not feeling heard.”


If you want to listen to the whole interview, you can watch or listen to the Lunch & Learn with Josh Ash here.

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October 27, 2021

What’s driving The Great Resignation — and what can you do about it?

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One of the greatest impacts of the pandemic was the space it cleared for reflection around what’s important. We were all reminded of the non-negotiables for happiness: our health and time spent with family and friends. 

The deck was also cleared to reflect around what we do for work (and how, and where). It became clear that the way we work could be re-evaluated and re-negotiated — there’s no such thing as a set system. Everything is a discussion; all can change.

Despite this shift in what we now know is possible, it can be tempting to side-step this time of reflection and re-negotiation and hop back into work “as normal.” When Winningtemp founder Pierre Lindmark was interviewed by the BBC in September, he observed that “I see a lot of companies forcing it right now. They start saying, ‘OK, now, you took the second vaccine, you need to be at the office’.” 

Employees aren’t having it. “The Great Resignation” is in our midst, with record numbers of employees leaving their organisations as we proceed deeper into winter.

Even as global economies have begun stabilising, this heightened state of job mobility is still here. And the competition for talent is intense. What is driving these resignations? As an employer, what can you do to motivate your people to keep choosing your organisation? 

Resignation driver #1: Inflexible working conditions

Having a blanket policy for how, where, and when all employees work used to be standard. Now it’s necessary to rethink these policies entirely. After experiencing a different reality, the daily commute is now seen as entirely optional for workers across many industries.  

Everyone is doing the math about what they’ll gain from going to the office relative to the sacrifices involved. The calculations are favouring an employee-centric, flexible set-up. 

Our own Cecilia Holmblad, Head of KOL at Winningtemp, did the math in a recent LinkedIn post. At the top of her list for loving her home office: “I get 2 additional hours with my kids — everyday = 10 hours/week = 40 hours/month.” 

In the UK, the right to work from home and request flexible hours could soon be enshrined by law. A bill was introduced in September that would guarantee an employee’s right to request flexible working conditions — regardless of how long they’ve worked for their employer. A business case presented on gov.uk pointed to a number of compelling statistics, among them that:

“9 in 10 employees consider flexible working to be a key motivator to their productivity at work – ranking it as more important than financial incentives.”

Resignation driver #2: Chronic stress 

For some industries, the pandemic was the busiest it had ever been. The Harvard Business Journal noted two industries in particular saw incredibly high stress levels and a large number of resignations as a result.

“3.6% more health care employees quit their jobs than in the previous year, and in tech, resignations increased by 4.5%. In general, we found that resignation rates were higher among employees who worked in fields that had experienced extreme increases in demand due to the pandemic.”

And now? We are continuing to see an increase in stress across all industries. Here is what Winningtemp’s Swedish customer data shows us, compared to last year (2020): 

When asked “Do you feel that you are free from stress negatively affecting your work” in Winningtemp pulse surveys, respondents are responding that — indeed — stress levels are high. Markedly higher than last autumn. 


Time-limited stress is a facet of nearly every form of employment. But chronic, unrelenting stress should not be a part of any employee’s working life. Where it is, there will be burnout — and resignations. 

All over the world people came to understand that health and work-life balance is just too important, even if it means leaving the career field of their choice. 

Resignation driver #3: Not enough support for wellbeing and purpose

Our time is precious and we’re spending the majority of our waking hours at work. With the space to reflect, employees are pondering: what is it that I do with my days, and is it making me happy? As Winningtemp’s Head of HR, Sara Holmberg, notes:

“Instead of chasing higher salaries, we’re witnessing that a lot of the talent pool — especially young talent — is migrating to companies that offer a sense of purpose and a community-oriented company culture.” 

Support for wellbeing is also becoming a critical factor for employer branding and retention rates. In a report by the American Psychological Association, 89% of workers at companies that supported wellbeing initiatives are more likely to recommend their company as a good place to work. For those working at companies with little-to-no support for wellbeing, 51% said they intend to leave their job in the next year 

Fulfilment, work-life balance, physical & mental wellness — all of these have been moved up on the priority list of employees today.

The ONE factor that effectively combats all three drivers

Luckily, there is one thing you can focus on that effectively addresses both the immediate and long-term drivers of resignations. That factor is: autonomy

As detailed in our e-book The science behind effective organisations: 9 factors that matter most, autonomy is all about trusting the will of employees to do good work and giving them the latitude to accomplish that work in the way they see fit. 

This category speaks to how employees can control aspects of their work, such as their use of time and how they perform tasks.
The research shows that absenteeism is strongly influenced by the extent to which employees can decide how they work with their tasks and use their skills. Moreover, autonomy helps employees opt out of or postpone tasks, which reduces the risk of burnout.
A lack of autonomy has also been linked to chronic fatigue syndrome. Meanwhile, higher levels of autonomy have been linked to innovative behaviour. The research also shows positive links to job satisfaction, work performance, dedication, and motivation.

Start looking through the lens of autonomy and a lot will change. HR thought leader, Josh Bersin, said it well in our podcast with him back in the early days of the pandemic: “I believe that one of the ways to simplify HR and leadership is to assume that people come to work, to work.” 

Embrace the fact that your people want to give their best and will find the ways to do that themselves when given the empowerment and support. This trust is the gateway to more fulfilling relationships at work, greater levels of innovation, and a thriving company culture overall. 

Start with asking some questions. How can you give your people greater autonomy in where and when they choose to work? How about greater autonomy about which work tasks they take on and how to best complete them? How about autonomy in sculpting the job role that makes them happiest? 

Not only will autonomy help employees themselves navigate around burnout-inducing stress, it will also give them the freedom to grow and experiment, which expands their career horizons and cultivates a sense of purpose — all while staying within your organisation. 

Blog
October 20, 2021

From insight to action — Introducing our new self-leadership module

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If you’re familiar with Winningtemp, then you know that we’re passionate about giving leaders a better way to understand how their workforce is feeling and take the right actions to support them.  

We’re excited to announce the next step of this journey, which is enabling all users of Winningtemp (which is to say, all employees) to engage in the work of understanding how they themselves are feeling and taking the right actions to support their wellbeing at work. In other words, to meaningfully engage in self-leadership.

As Winningtemp’s People Scientist, Rahat Joshi, puts it:

Any sort of change starts from within. A manager can only have so much impact in bringing change, but if each one of us engages in the work, these tiny little bits of change go such a long way in bringing overall change in our wellbeing, in our overall experience at work. Being responsible for ourselves is the first step in being able to effectively lead others.”

We have built out an entirely new part of our platform that is dedicated to supporting each user’s capacity to self-lead and bring about changes in themselves and their teams.  

Move the needle on engagement

Each temperature category in Winningtemp now opens up into a dashboard, where active efforts to understand and influence temperature can take place.  

Every user of Winningtemp can access these dashboards, where they will see the most important developments within each category and be able to access their own Insights.  

Our People Science team, in-house HR experts, and external advisors have collaborated to create an extensive set of field-tested recommendations for each Insight. The recommendations are designed to build a bridge between knowledge and action, speeding up the process of positive change. They can serve as a playbook or simply inspiration for the right next step.  

Each Winningtemp category is now equipped with a dashboard that helps you close the gap between insights and actions.

The foundation of self-leadership — Insights!  

Insights distill the most important developments and trends to be aware of from all the pulse survey data streaming in. Before, it was leaders who would receive these Insights so they could stay on top of the significant sentiment shifts happening within their team. With this update, personalised insights are now available each and every team member!

What this means is that, as a user of Winningtemp, you can see the larger picture of how you’re feeling at work and understand what is worthy of your focus. These private insights can only be viewed by you and are generated from the answers you submit in your regular Winningtemp surveys.  

Some examples of Insights for individuals:  

  • You are experiencing a positive trend during the past month with Leadership
  • You don't feel good about your Work Situation  
  • You feel good about the level of Autonomy that you experience at work  

This is the foundation of self-leadership: being able to see yourself clearly, understand your moods and patterns, own your strengths, and understand the areas you would like to improve.

Explore Winningtemp  How do you want to work with self-leadership? Book a chat with us

Upvote the change you wish to see

In gathering feedback from our customers, we learned that there was a widely shared interest in hearing from employees themselves what they would want HR and leadership teams to focus on.  

This became the Focus Area section on the new category dashboards, which enables all users to upvote the areas they would like addressed the most. This can then be seen by the rest of one’s team, manager, and leaders in the organisation. Of course, each user’s vote is anonymous.  

Hear the voices of employees clearly. See what focus areas they care about the most with the upvote feature.


Translate ideas into reality — Actions!

Self-knowledge forms the foundation of self-leadership. The next step is taking action on that knowledge.

This is where Winningtemp Actions comes in (available to Pro customers). The Actions feature has been expanded and democratised, so now all users of Winningtemp are empowered to create action plans, for themselves or their team.  

The goal is to help your organisation take engagement and transparency to new heights. When an Action is set to “public,” all members of a team and the wider organisation can check in on the status of an action and understand who’s involved, what the goal is, and what the timeline looks like.

Move temperature in the right direction together with the help of Actions.


Small changes, transformational impact

With the combination of insights and actions, each person and each team has been given the keys to make small, frequent, meaningful steps towards the work environment they wish to see.  

In his book Atomic Habits, author James Clear articulates this concept perfectly:

“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity. This is one reason why meaningful change does not require radical change. Small habits can make a meaningful difference by providing evidence of a new identity. And if a change is meaningful, it is actually big. That's the paradox of making small improvements.”

When we talk about our mission statement Forever changing the way people succeed together, this is how we know change is made. In small, meaningful increments — as small as the 10 seconds in your team’s week spent answering the Winningtemp survey. As small as the second it takes for them to upvote the focus area that they find most important to address.  


Get rolling!  

The category dashboards and associated updates will soon be live for all customers. Contact your CS manager if you need any guidance, or if you are looking to upgrade to Pro!

Blog
January 1, 2024

How to use data to inform your hr people strategy

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A recent survey of our customers’ most pressing problems revealed some interesting yet unsurprising insights — most HR professionals believe that gathering better data around their employees’ wellbeing should be the top priority. 

That doesn’t mean human emotions, needs, and fears are reduced to mere data points; on the contrary, it means that organisations are willing to listen. They want to know how their people are faring, what their concerns are, and make data-driven business decisions to support the growth and wellbeing of their workforce.

Employee expectations are changing, and we will need to define productivity much more broadly — inclusive of collaboration, learning, and wellbeing to drive career advancement for every worker, including frontline and knowledge workers, as well as for new graduates and those who are in the workforce today. All this needs to be done with flexibility in when, where, and how people work.”
Satya Nadella, CEO at Microsoft.
Extracted from The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work—Are We Ready?

Regardless of size or function, organisations worldwide are trying to bring back a sense of normalcy after a year and a half of uncertainty and disruptions. It's high time to start collecting real-time data to understand how your employees are coping with the big transition and how it affects their outlook when it comes to work situations, the company’s purpose, vision, and values. 

And, not just any data. Data that reflects your own organisation; that will help you shape, fortify, and continually optimise your HR people strategy. Data that helps you cut through the smokescreen of what you think employees need and focus on what they actually see as necessary.

And to not only measure and assess but to bring about real change. To show your employees that you listen and care.

For greater visibility and impact

Job characteristics (81%) and work environment (53%) are the biggest reasons for voluntary turnover.

Source

HR must be the eyes and ears of the business — you are assigned the monumental task of inspiring and activating the workforce, ensuring the culture and processes meet their emotional and psychosocial requirements, and at the same time, demonstrating the correlation between engaged employees and profitability.

You are in a unique position to drive business transformation with management buy-in if you can show hard data to support your strategy. Not only will it help you promote cross-organisational transparency, but it will also help spell out how HR initiatives connect to the overall financial business objectives.

Quantifying the qualitative values

76% of company value is attributed to employees.

Source

There’s a shift in the wind. The soft values that were previously deemed too soft to measure or tie to revenue are now being quantified, thanks to the digitalisation and advancement in HR tech. The qualitative values that were good to have before are a must-have now, with companies altering their entire people and HR strategy to focus on the needs and concerns of the workforce and to guide them instead of managing their time and output.

It’s not only managing the human resources that matters; it’s also how humane your employee experience is.

As the torchbearer of company culture and values, you need a systematic process for executing, scaling, and measuring the impact of your HR people strategy.

Data gives you direction

A long term HR people strategy gives everyone a collective vision and the steps to reach that vision, one milestone at a time. But it's still important to pay attention to what's directly in front of your feet. You need the power of real-time data to identify the issues that need immediate attention to ensure red flags don't become a part of your culture.

For instance, let’s take a look at the following long term goals:

1. Goal: To reduce employee turnover.

Break down that goal into doable, actionable pieces by taking a data-driven approach to figure out how many people are quitting, where the highest turnover risk is, why they are leaving, and how to prevent it. Typically, leaders need to work with HR to determine the triggers, which can be several factors including career growth, compensation, lack of personal development, tenure, disengagement, unclear communication, or a sense of futility.

Timely data can shine a light on hidden grievances or an elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge. Tools that use cognitive technologies such as machine learning can analyse millions of data points to even identify at-risk employee groups and suggest immediate measures. Winningtemp’s Smart Prediction is one such example. Armed with relevant data, you can adapt your short term strategy to focus efforts on the right things, which ultimately helps you shape the long term strategy.


2. Goal: Boost employee wellbeing.

Wellbeing is usually (and rightfully so) on the top of the agenda when it comes to HR initiatives. However, it’s a subjective topic, as what constitutes wellbeing for a particular group or individuals isn’t necessarily the same for the others. So how do you know for sure what wellbeing means to your people? The answer is simple - gather data.

As an actionable short term goal, start by providing your employees with a safe, anonymous way to voice their concerns, thoughts, and ideas. Actively listen and follow up with them without jeopardising their anonymity, especially after organisation-wide policy changes. Their feedback and the overall sentiment data should inform your long term strategy and values.

Finding the focus of your HR people strategy

People strategy translates the organisation’s business objectives, vision, and mission into actionable HR initiatives and programs to set the plan in motion.

As Sara Holmberg, Head of HR at Winningtemp explains, “Start by asking yourself: Where are we as a company? Where are we going? Your HR people strategy must be in sync with the company vision, mission, values, desired behaviour, and the overall business strategy."

This clarity of vision will help you cut through the noise and concentrate on the right things.

One of the key factors that help set the direction for your strategy is the phase of the company — the maturity of the company determines the organisational structure, budget, business objectives, and with that, the HR focus.

A few example scenarios about how HR focus areas can differ according to overarching business objectives:

How HR helps business

As the organisation evolves, so does your HR people strategy. However, there’s one factor that remains constant throughout the evolution nurturing a positive and inclusive employee experience.

As Rahat Joshi, People Scientist at Winningtemp describes it so aptly,

“Employee experience is the heart of the HR people strategy.”

“To me, literally every aspect of one’s work life adds up to their employee experience starting from their day-to-day interactions with the leaders to a sense of pride they feel while talking about their employer”.

The lion’s share of the responsibility falls on HR to engineer the process and ensure that the core of people strategy remains constant - to build a purpose-driven employee experience.

Adding AI and people analytics to the mix

57% of those using AI in HR are looking to improve their employee experience.

Source

According to Gartner, “AI-based solutions can drive faster, easy-to-use HR services and help HR functions develop new personalization strategies to engage the technology-enabled workforce and improve employee performance”.

However, in an episode of the McKinsey Podcast, McKinsey partner Bryan Hancock points out that the vast majority of organisations are still doing “basic reporting-type analytics” instead of really digging into the available data:

The question is, how many companies are going beyond that basic reporting, basic analytics, to using some of the bigger data sets, to using advanced computing power, and combining those data sets with well-proven academic theory on what really drives performance in an organization? How many organizations are using that at the next frontier? Very, very few.”

Are there tools that can help you access these data sets? Sure, but how do you know what to measure? And even if you’ve collected the required data, how do you utilise it to actually make a difference?

You need to measure what matters. And that’s exactly what people analytics helps you do.

People analytics is a combination of quantitative data and qualitative insights that allows you to not only collect but also use the data.

A wide variety of HR tools provide you with GDPR complaint employee data that requires a certain level of experience and analytical skills to understand, act, and create a sustainable framework to measure the KPIs continuously.

However, you need the qualitative insights to answer the ‘why’ why your employees feel the way they do. This data helps you dress the KPIs with substance, identify the engagement drivers, and utilise the employee feedback to optimise your strategy and make informed decisions.

People analytics helps you stay ahead of the curve when it comes to attracting the right people, taking inventory of and managing skills gaps, determining culture fit, and working with issues that impact employees’ engagement. It gives you access to a treasure trove of crucial insights to explore untapped opportunities, to find out why your people leave, and, more importantly, why they decide to stay.

According to CIPD, a people analytics strategy should have three aims:

  • Connect people data with business data to inform business leaders and help them make decisions.
  • Enable HR leaders to use insights from analytics to design and implement appropriate HR activities.
  • Measure HR’s effectiveness in delivering against its objectives.

Experienced People teams scan the entire employee lifecycle to gather and study relevant metrics to find opportunities, identify champions, and work actively towards providing a positive employee experience. There are multiple KPIs to measure and optimise your HR people strategy - starting from garden-variety HR performance metrics to calculating ROI against each employee.

However, if you’re in the initial stage of developing and testing your HR people strategy, you might want to start with measuring the following people analytics metrics to analyse and improve your employee experience:

Wrapping it up

If the recent employee exodus has taught us something, it’s that employees are asking for a drastic change a change from dated policies and rigid conventions that hold them back instead of allowing them to thrive. And you need to be armed with the right gear to listen and bring about the long-awaited change.

Gathering enough employee data shouldn’t be the end goal; you must work with the available data to understand where your employee sentiment is heading, and how you can help them reach their full potential. That’s where people analytics play a huge role in elevating your HR people strategy to prepare for the future of work and to build a culture that strives for excellence but also encourages empathy and understanding.

Blog
September 22, 2021

Annual employee engagement surveys vs pulse surveys: Is it time to make the switch?

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Listening to the voices of employees is crucial. Organisations that don’t bother are taking a shortcut to the very long delay of replacing talent. Even more importantly, what employees have to say is incredibly valuable. You have a whole lot of brainpower available that’s eager to innovate more readily and clear roadblocks to productivity.

The question is not whether to survey employees, but how. What is the best way to collect employee insights and feedback? 

Let’s start by comparing and contrasting the two most common types of employee engagement surveys: annual surveys and pulse surveys. 

Annual surveys

As the name suggests, annual surveys are sent out once per year (sometimes twice) to gather employees’ thoughts around a long list of topics, from onboarding, growth, and development to leadership and job satisfaction. Because they only happen once, they tend to be quite thorough. 

Pulse surveys

Pulse surveys are micro surveys mainly consisting of one to five questions. Like a heartbeat, they are sent out on a routine, repeating basis. The questions tend to revolve around a few key topics that the organisation wants to stay in tune with, but they can also be used more reactively to gather intel around problem areas that demand attention.

Dig into the details: annual surveys vs pulse surveys

Measuring up 

With annual surveys, it can be wonderful to receive such a thorough and detailed understanding of each employee’s view of the organisation and their role. The problem lies in being able to interpret this data at scale and turning it into action that makes a difference. 

Employee sentiment has a shelf life. Problems that are raised in the annual survey may be irrelevant by the time the solution is proposed. Or worse — exacerbated, to the point where someone has already left. There again, the solution will be irrelevant. 

With pulse surveys, you can get detailed information about what’s happening right now that may be interfering with employees’ ability to perform or collaborate effectively with their colleagues. The response can be immediate, and the solution mapped precisely to the problem. What’s more, thanks to continuous measurements, you can monitor if the solution is indeed working. 

Co-founder and CTO of Winningtemp, Mathias Hansson Fredlund, weighs in on the importance of continuous listening: 

Be proactive and identify early warnings and trends. This is more important than ever when a majority of people are working remotely and when we are not spending time with each other. Continuous learning and improvement is key to success in the long run.
Get instant feedback on the things you do in the organisation. Learn if you do the right thing. And give everyone in the organisation a “continuous” voice in the daily work. 
With real-time data, you always know what’s going on in the organisation and you shorten the distance from signal to action.

If pulse surveys are better — why do annual surveys still exist? 

A lot has to do with the rapid development of technology in the employee engagement space. Annual surveys can be answered in a Word document, which is why they’ve been around for such a long time. But pulse survey engines that automatically collect real-time data and display the results in a visual format — that’s relatively new. 

There has also been a cross-pollination between HR and the tech world that has occurred in recent years. The mentality around sprints, testing, and continuous learning that served the tech world so well in developing innovative products has been adopted across a number of fields.  

Thanks to the development of AI-assisted HR technology like Winningtemp, the following question becomes ever more valid: why reflect on a problem when you can prevent one? 

Michael Öhman, Senior Product Manager at Winningtemp, weighs in on how pulse surveys can better equip leaders in supporting the wellbeing and productivity of their people: 

With pulse surveys, leaders will get deep insights into their organisation's wellbeing at any given time. They will know what their employees’ biggest pain points are, what they would like to do about it, and the likelihood of employees taking sickness absence or leaving the organisation.
This way, leaders can act on early indicators to prevent problems before they emerge instead of waiting until there is a bigger problem that requires much more work to manage.
THE WINNINGTEMP DEMO VIDEO  See how Winningtemp's pulse survey works Watch the 2-min demo

How do I choose the right pulse survey platform?

Here are 8 of the most important factors to consider. 

1. Question variability.

Pulse surveys are sent out frequently, which makes it important for the questions to vary each week in order to keep up a high response rate. Look into platforms that have research-based question banks you can rely on, in addition to the ability of adding your own questions. It also helps to be able to modify these question banks if needed. 

2. Email-based or app-based.

A given — you don’t want anyone to have to log into a platform to answer their surveys. They should arrive directly to their email or app and be answered within a matter of seconds. 

3. Smiley emojis and the option to respond with comments.

The classic smiley emojis that correspond to the Strongly disagree - Strongly agree scale prompt high engagement rates. But you don’t want to leave it at that. Give employees the option of explaining their thoughts (anonymously, of course). 

4. Ability to respond.

Managers will want to be able to respond to comments, and employees will also want to see that their comments have been read and understood. Ensure that it’s possible to respond to pulse survey comments. 

5. Visual dashboard.

This isn’t an annual survey, after all. The idea is to SKIP combing through all the data yourself. Make sure that the pulse survey answers are visualised in a way that makes it clear where strengths and weaknesses lie, as well as what directions employee sentiment is heading. 

6. Follow-up capabilities.

Look for the ability to connect the insights you’re receiving to the actions you’ll take in response. Not only will this help you keep things organised and track impact, but it will also raise survey response rates when employees see that their feedback inspires swift action. 

7. Indexing.

What’s normal? It can be helpful to see index values to compare and contrast how your pulse survey data measures up against other actors in your industry. 

8. Plug-and-play.

Think simple & quick implementation, minimal to no training required, no software downloads. Get all the technical capabilities you need, but look for a well designed, web-based solution. You’ll thank yourself later!


How do we know these are the 8 most important factors? Winningtemp came to incorporate all of these ease-of-use features thanks to years of constant research, innovation, and assessment about how to best hear the voices of employees. 

And — plot twist! — our pulse survey-based platform actually gives you the best of the annual engagement survey world. Our questions are based on scientific research about the definitive drivers of positive employee experience. Winningtemp’s AI then chooses the most relevant questions for each employee. 

The result? Our platform gives you the most extensive and up-to-date picture possible of engagement at your organisation, with all the ease and speed of the pulse survey format.  

Watch a demo of our platform and see if this is the pulse survey solution you’re looking for!

Blog
July 12, 2021

The (Partial) Return to Work

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An insight into how returning to work post-pandemic might look far different to that which we first imagined...

In March 2020, the UK went into full lockdown. It was, as we now know, only the beginning of what has now seen a seismic shift in the way we live and work, and the precarious balance between the two which all at once became even more complex and entwined.

Fortunately, businesses are now opening their doors again and office spaces will, albeit gradually, be shared between colleagues once more. But what might the mid-to-long term future of the office and work situation look like? And importantly, how do your people feel about it? It’s currently a topic of much discussion within HR departments and should be a high priority to you too.

The general consensus

While some organisations may still be hoping for a full return to the traditional 5 days a week model, a select few may instead be considering the new found benefits of operating a permanent work from home situation for their employees. Twitter, for example, ahead of the curve, announced as far back as May 2020 that their staff could work from home forever, if they so wish.

However, the likelihood is that most will sit somewhere in the middle with a hybrid working pattern. Indeed, many businesses expect hybrid working to become their norm. According to a BBC poll, 43 of the biggest 50 employers in the UK said they would be embracing a mix of home and office working.

According to a recent study by Voxeu, the most favoured approach - by around 40% of office workers - appears to be in line with 2-3 days a week in the office and the rest of the days at home, or similar variations of a certain number of days permonth in the office.

Indeed, auditing firm Deloitte have recently announced that they intend to embrace flexible working permanently. With 20,000 employees, this is a significant move and indicates how the pandemic has accelerated a shift in how, when and where we work.

Nevertheless, even if the number of days in or out of the office have been clearly defined, there will still be numerous other areas that will require clarifying. For example, will this hybrid option be available to all staff or only certain roles? What is the precise definition of hybrid for your company? Does it mean employees must be at home when not in the office, or do they have the freedom to work from wherever they choose? Will people be maintaining a 9-5 work pattern, or will ‘flexible’ offer the freedom to carry out their hours in a way that suits them and their lifestyle best? Without clear policies and definite answers, you risk not only confusion, but also unrest.

Why is this important?

Unrest within your teams and between your people is something you should actively avoid under normal circumstances of course, but during a period of global instability such as that which the pandemic has brought, it is particularly important to provide safe and secure working conditions.

Studies throughout the course of the pandemic continue to highlight that the risks to people’s health from this pandemic are not only psychological but physical too.The wellbeing and mental health of your employees has been compromised by not only the Covid outbreak itself, but also from its consequences.

Multiple, lengthy lockdowns, social isolation, social distancing, furlough, and a fear of illness for loved ones for example. In addition, some people may have experienced the virus first-hand and suffered from the loss of loved ones.

Even as we begin to ease ourselves into a new form of normality, the individual fear and anxiety that people are presently struggling with won’t simply go away. Returning to an office situation may see some employees anxious about daily tasks such as the commute and using public transport, as well as sharing an office space again. Others will have more general but heightened anxieties as an effect of the past year.

The CIPD report that 44% of employees are feeling anxious about returning to work while 31% said they were concerned about the commute to work (this figure rose significantly for workers in London, up to 54%). It is with some certainty that for the months, if not years following the pandemic, these challenges will continue to manifest.

What you can do

At present, the Government is considering making it a default right for flexible working. This could be ground-breaking and as an organisation, you have the unique opportunity to be at the forefront of a historical moment in time, shining a light on how to ‘do it right and do it well’. What your people need now, more than at any time in living memory is compassion, understanding and patience. They need to know you hear them.

The Winningtemp platform is a safe area in which employees can express their feelings anonymously without fear of judgement or repercussion. It enables managers to learn the concerns of their people without having to second-guess how they are feeling and react accordingly in real-time, instead of recognising something is wrong when it has become too late to resolve. Below is a set of measures that you can put into place right now, to help your people during this time.

5 actions you can put into place right now

1) Gather the input. Take the pulse of how employees are feeling week to week. Allow them to share how they are feeling, anonymously or in person.

2) Have someone who is dedicated to employee wellbeing and can provide psychological support and coaching — in-house or external. For example, buy hours from a counsellor/coach/psychologist. Your budget may be limited here, but it will be worth it.

3) Prepare your managers. They will be getting a lot of questions. They will need transparency and a healthy flow of information starting now. Also: encouragement!

4) Revisit company policies and packages if you haven’t already. Much has changed and employees will expect updates to reflect the new circumstances.

5) Focus in on strengths and positives. Praise team members for their hard work, dedication, and exemplary input during the pandemic. There will always be problems to solve, shining attention on the good areas will give you the energy to propel your company into the next chapter.

Watch how Acorns Hospice have used Winningtemp throughout the pandemic to bring together their workforce during the most challenging of times.

CLIENT INSIGHT  Returning to Work post pandemic Watch the video now

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June 11, 2021

Return to office: creating a great employee experience for remote, hybrid, and in-office workers

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As vaccines increase and COVID-19 cases decline, the “return to office” question is top of mind for many office workers and employers in the UK and Europe. Whether you’ve been working fully remotely or in-office, employers play a vital role in ensuring workers feel safe and valued in the “new normal.”

After more than a year of living with the COVID-19 virus, some employers are now beginning to ask questions about returning to the office.

Articles about employee resistance to in-office work are going viral, as are opinions from CEOs about the importance of in-office culture. How can company leaders navigate this big, and heated, decision while still providing a great employee experience?

Here are 5 steps business leaders can take to begin the shift to the “new normal” of the modern workplace.

1. Survey employees about remote work

Employers have to consider many different factors when deciding to take their company fully remote. 

Local office capacity limits, fears over workers’ personal safety, and government guidelines meant that many office workers have been working from home for more than a year.

Take the pulse of your workforce with an online employee survey about the future of remote work at your company.

Surveying your workforce will help you identify:

  • Which workers still live close to your office or worksite
  • Who wants to come into the office
  • How often your employees want to come into the office (if at all)

Surveys can be attributed to employees names, just to teams, or completely anonymous. 

Anonymous surveys protect your employees’ privacy, particularly around sensitive information such as vaccine status. However, anonymous surveys make it difficult to segment responses by team and level at your company. 

You can decide whether to make your survey anonymous based on your company culture and established expectations. You can even include questions about remote work as part of regularly scheduled employee feedback. 

Running a survey about remote work will also show employees you care about their feelings and feedback before making a big decision about the future of remote work at your company.

2. Review employee feedback and business needs

Once the survey results are in, review your employees’ feedback and assess your business needs before making a decision.

Consider which stakeholders should be involved in reviewing the results and making the strategic decision. When assembling your team, here are a few questions to ask:

  • Does your company have a human resources team? 
  • Is your company small enough that all senior managers can be included in the decision-making process? 
  • Does your company have a board of directors that needs to be involved in the decision? 

Gathering a team of stakeholders from across the company will offer a diverse range of perspectives on the decision to stay remote, take on hybrid work, or come back fully in-person.

Different company leaders can also shed light on different areas of the business and help you understand your company needs. Your human resources lead, for example, can tell you how much longer you have on your office lease and the number of people you would need space for.

Framing your employee survey through the lens of business needs like office space and budget can make the path to a “new normal” clearer for you and your employees.

3. Communicate remote, hybrid, or in-person work rollouts

Once you’ve decided on fully remote, hybrid, or in-person work, it’s time to communicate that decision with your employees.

Remember, how you communicate a tough decision can be just as important as the decision itself. As a company leader it’s hard to make everyone happy, but empathetic internal communication builds trust within your company regardless of the decision made.

Start by making an internal communication plan with your marketing team, ideally one that launches well before the “official” rollout of the work policy.

You can send an official company-wide email, or even a video where you briefly explain the new work policy, why the policy was chosen, and when workers can expect their workday to change.

4. Create guidelines for internal communication

Whether you’re going back fully in-person or embracing hybrid work, your team’s internal communication will probably look different from how it looked before.

Setting a company-wide standard for internal communication, such as instant messaging, phone calls, and emails, will help your team adjust to the “new normal” of office work.Take stock of how and where your team communicates the most. Are you an email-first company? Or do your teammates communicate on Slack or Microsoft teams? When is it important to talk about something over the phone or on Zoom? These are all questions your managers and leaders can answer.

At GetAccept, we implemented internal communication guidelines to align teams across different countries. Setting boundaries on communication outlets like Slack helps our team get the right messages to the right channels. Internal communication guidelines also improve the employee experience and work-life balance. Something as simple as saying “employees are not expected to respond to messages outside of working hours or while on vacation” can go a long way for a global team working together across time zones.

5. Create opportunities for informal events, in-person and virtual

After more than a year of isolation, teams and team leaders are ready to meet old and new teammates in person. Informal events, both in-person and virtual, help business leaders to keep the company connected through your new working style.

National lockdowns easing mean more opportunities for in-office workers to gather outside of the office. GetAccept’s Norway office, for example, recently took advantage of Oslo's reopening and planned an after-work outing. 

In places where restaurants and bars are limited, you can plan virtual events that connect people safely. Some fun virtual activities include:

  • Virtual step or mileage competitions
  • Zoom talent shows
  • Online trivia or other games

Offering a healthy mix of online and in-person events will be especially important for companies pursuing a hybrid remote and in-office working style, and for companies with offices in different parts of the world.

Create a great employee experience as you return to an in-person or virtual office

This past year has been unquestionably tough for workers, but that doesn’t mean the next year has to be. Creating a great employee experience in the “new normal” is possible, whether you’re going back fully in-person, or embracing remote or hybrid work.

Start by asking what your employees want and taking their feelings about remote and in-person work into consideration. Then, work with your team to evaluate employee feedback in the context of business needs.

Once you make your decision about remote or in-person work, communicate it to your team and introduce guidelines for internal communication that will make the transition easier. Finally, be sure to dedicate some time to fun outside of work with virtual and in-person events. 

Wonder what a hybrid remote work environment looks like at a global company? Learn more about GetAccept, a global SaaS company leading the charge on virtual and in-person employee experiences.

This is a guest post by Kelsey McKeon, US Content Marketing Manager at GetAccept.

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May 12, 2021

Understanding HR challenges within the private acute healthcare sector

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Working within the private healthcare sector has not been without its challenges this past year. A contentious subject at times, any disputes between the NHS and private hospitals were set aside in early 2020 as the Government pledged to secure extra bed space for patients affected by the pandemic. As such, NHS England signed a deal ensuring access to most of the private sector’s hospital beds and staff.

The original agreement has since been revised, but the need for the NHS to utilise private facilities remains and as such, continues to affect those working within the sector. For most workers, this is made more complex by already having one foot in both camps.

A report by The Kings Fund, ‘Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care in England’ details how the NHS and the private sector share the consultant and specialist workforce. Additionally, the British Medical Association’s (BMA) private practice committee estimates that 28,000 consultants undertake some private practice in the United Kingdom. In fact, relatively few consultants (an estimated 3,000), work solely in the private sector.

Overall, few sectors have seen the shocking consequences that Coronavirus can have to human life as those working within healthcare. Fatigued and displaying signs of distress, the BMJ (British Medical Journal) warn that healthcare workers are at increased risk of moral injury and mental health problems due to working at the forefront of the pandemic.

Sadly, the BMJ’s stark warning isn’t simply conjecture. Doctors and nurses have confessed to harbouring dark feelings since the outbreak began. A distressing combination of overwhelming compassion for patients dying from the virus, high levels of anxiety worrying about infecting their own families with the disease, coupled with sheer exhaustion from long shifts could potentially provide the perfect storm. As such, the wellbeing of all employees must be prioritised.

Away from Covid-19 issues, continued staffing shortages, an ageing workforce in private practice, and disparities in gender diversity only serve to add further complexities to an already testing HR conundrum. It is therefore vital that people feel they are genuinely being listened to in a safe and confidential environment.

In the following industry overview, we discuss each of the 9 factors that science has shown to determine success through people and explore these in the context of the unique challenges currently being faced by employers in the private acute healthcare sector.

Industry Overview Winning Through People: Exploring HR challenges in the private acute healthcare sector Download the industry overview
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May 11, 2021

Exploring the employee experience in the pharmaceutical sector

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The pharmaceutical industry is a vital sector in the UK, a fact that – if ever it were needed – has been visibly demonstrated this past year. Covid-19 was officially declared a pandemic by the WHO (World Health Organization) in March 2020. At the time, Richard Torbett, Chief Executive of the ABPI (Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry), said: “As part of the health community, pharmaceutical companies want to play as big a role as possible in the response to Covid–19.”

More than one year on, the pharmaceutical industry continues to play an essential role in the response against the virus. Alongside developing tests and vaccines against the coronavirus, the industry has also had to consider and respond to other areas affected by the pandemic. For instance, ensuring medical supplies and treatments unrelated to Coronavirus continue to reach patients has been of the upmost importance.

Covid consequences

But pharmacists, as extraordinary as they are, are not super-human and for many, the pandemic has taken its toll. A study by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and the charity, Pharmacist Support, found that the pandemic has had a significant and detrimental impact on the wellbeing of the pharmaceutical workforce.

Burnout and mental health concerns are becoming significantly more prevalent with 72% of people admitting that their work is having a negative impact on their mental wellbeing. Additionally, more than one-third (34%) said they had considered leaving the pharmacy profession because of the stress caused by the pandemic, with 89% stating they were close to burnout.

Pre-pandemic problems intensified

To say the pharma industry has been busy since the outbreak of Covid-19 is an understatement. However, pre-pandemic surveys reveal that many HR issues already existed and as such, the outbreak has simply served as the straw to break the proverbial camel’s back.

According to the ABPI, the UK pharmaceutical industry directly employs around 67,000 people. As with many specialised sectors, there is a limited pool of qualified talent. Pharmaceutical companies therefore often find themselves vying for the attention of the same candidates. With the inevitability of roles remaining unfilled, understaffed departments become fatigued and overstretched.

Additionally, once appointed, maintaining an engaged workforce is often cited as pharma’s other significant HR concern. Lengthy projects often yield little by way of results in the short term and risk becoming monotonous. Developing methods that engage your people during the more uneventful times is essential to the long-term prospects of the organisation.

Pharma’s future

Given the crucial role that the pharmaceutical industry plays in keeping the world’s population safe, it is paramount that the same care is given to the remarkable people working tirelessly on our behalf. Pre- and post-pandemic HR issues are strikingly similar. However, there are practices that you can put in place to safeguard your exceptional talent.

In the following industry overview, we discuss each of the 9 factors that science has shown to determine success through people and explore these in the context of the unique challenges currently being faced by employers in the pharmaceutical sector.

Industry Overview Winning Through People: Exploring HR Challenges in the Pharmaceutical Sector Download the industry overview

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May 4, 2021

Enhancing employee experience within the domiciliary healthcare sector

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Unquestionably, healthcare has been one of the most severely affected industries during the Covid-19 pandemic. Overstretched, understaffed and with a myriad of safety concerns, workers have remained dedicated to the care of others, in the face of unimaginable adversity.

Domiciliary care has arguably been the forgotten poor relative within healthcare. Faced with high staff turnover, low wages, and continual recruitment difficulties, prior to the global pandemic there were already many barriers for leaders to overcome.

For the first time, a spotlight has been shone upon the sector, highlighting these obstacles, and the challenging conditions people continue to work under. Covid-19 and the combined ill-timing of Brexit, has meant this already severely strained sector, is now at breaking point.

The Health Foundation report that 24% of workers in domiciliary care are on zero-hour contracts. While this may suit some people well, others find it very difficult in terms of budgeting, job stability and career progression.

Additionally, the sector has traditionally relied upon migrant workers to fill many roles – a not insignificant 17%. Brexit now makes this a considerable issue. Coupled with low and often stagnant rates of pay, domiciliary care can often be seen as a less-than-attractive career plan.

And while talent and retention are serious issues, leaders must also prioritise the health and wellbeing of their people already working within the sector. Workers have witnessed more than 4,500 Covid related deaths in the past 12 months and are at risk of acute long-term effects. PTSD, depression, burnout, and anxiety for example are of high concern according to Kings College London.

HR must take steps now to not only become an appealing place of work for new recruits but to retain the valuable workforce they already have. This means understanding current concerns while anticipating and addressing anything that might still be around the corner or further ahead.

In the following industry overview, we discuss each of the 9 factors that science has shown to determine success through people and explore these in the context of the unique challenges currently being faced by employers in domiciliary healthcare.


Industry Overview Winning Through People: Exploring HR Challenges in the Healthcare Sector Download the industry overview
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April 29, 2021

Ownership culture: How to let employees drive engagement

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While it may be true that C-suite leaders and HR managers are pivotal in getting the ball rolling on employee engagement — but how would it look for engagement to be owned by everyone at your company, at every level? Pretty thrilling, not to mention a more authentic and sustainable way to go about things.

The question that follows is: how do you hand the reins of engagement over to employees, and, well, what exactly are the reins again?

Let us step back for a second and revisit what the word engagement means. It’s been quite a handy term over the centuries, used in a few different ways beginning with the French engager, to press into military service. It later came to describe a promise to wed. Then engagement became a noun for an event that when one agrees to go, and by goodness they will go, it’s an engagement.

The common thread? It’s all about an exchange of words, followed closely by action.

You can think of employee engagement in the exact same way. Conversation that leads to action. Distinct from chit chat, this kind of conversation is about being able to openly and honestly share ideas and have those ideas listened to, relayed, built upon.

Okay, now we are ready to revisit the question of how to hand the reins of engagement to employees. And the answer is to make inclusive, safe, honest conversations amongst teams a regular occurrence. Amongst Winningtemp customers, these team powwows have many different names. We like to call it: the Temperature Meeting.

Here we go over how to have a Temperature Meeting, which is as it sounds, a dedicated time to assess the temperature in your team. We recommend that these meetings first be facilitated by managers, and then if the managers choose, they can hand facilitation over to different team members.

A template for successful temperature meetings

The key to it all is to start with data — the objective truth of where things stand for everybody. In this case: your team’s temperature in Winningtemp. This way the conversation is not being let by any one person’s perspective, but rather with the facts about how everyone is feeling. Choose two questions or two trends to discuss in the meeting.

First, pick a strength. Perhaps the question “Do you and your colleagues build on each other’s ideas?” has been hovering around a 9 for a long time. Talk about this. How does this happen in your team and how does it benefit your work together? Take notes. There will likely be ideas for sustaining and building further on this strength.

Next, pick an area where you could make some improvement. For example, perhaps you see the question: “Do you feel that it is fun to go to work?” has been declining over the past 6 months.

Ask your team members to share their thoughts around the question. What their personal experience has been and what they see might be happening within the team. Have someone take notes. And ask for solutions. What kinds of things would make it more fun to come to work? As a team, settle on the measures that everybody agrees would make a big impact. And assign some responsible people to make sure this gets carried out. Words, followed closely by action.

Then, make sure to close the loop. Make plans for how you intend to revisit what you promised for the whole team to assess. Have a look at the temperature too, to see if it has improved.

These kinds of open, vulnerable, action-oriented team conversations are truly magic. Their end product is simply engagement and an effective antidote to the forces that can cause disengagement.

The magic lies in that they:

1. Generate native solutions

While there are some things that can only be done on an organisation-wide level, oftentimes it is teams that can and need to optimise operations amongst themselves. Or come to exactly what it is they need in order to execute better, whether that’s from leadership or another department. Rather than forever being frustrated by a bottleneck, teams know what to ask for — specifically, concretely.

2. Foster participation and create accountability

Everyone is encouraged to participate, everyone shares. With regular Temperature Meetings as an outlet, no feeling can fester in the darkness. And while one is free to complain, the structure of the meeting also forces solutions. Each team member is made accountable for coming up with the solutions that would help make them happier, and — the kicker — probably carrying them out too.

3. Lift an impossible burden from HR’s shoulders

Rather than doing the fraught work of investigating why a department is underperforming or unhappy, departments are doing that investigative work themselves continually. And an aside: should a problem lie with leadership, that will be reflected clearly in Temperature for HR to see.

4. Improve employee retention

We actually have a statistic here: after just one year of using Winningtemp, our customers experience an average 30% decrease in employee turnover. And we think this has everything to do with how our customers use data to engage in the right conversations and unearth the reasons behind dissatisfaction before it’s too late. Rather than gathering crucial insight in an exit interview, address the important stuff head on in temperature meetings!

As Oscar Wilde put it “ultimately the bond of all companionship… is conversation.” And it’s bonds you’re looking for — bonds that an employee forges with their colleagues, with the mission of your organisation, with the goals they’ve set. The quality of these bonds is the quality of employee engagement at your organisation, so make sure it’s prioritised, measured, and tended to as any other business metric would be.

Let Winningtemp help unleash the ownership culture within! Book a demo of our platform here.

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April 28, 2021

Enhancing the employee experience in online retail

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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound and lasting effect on the retail sector. As many stores were forced to close during several lengthy lockdowns, those with no previous online presence sought to quickly become e-commerce-savvy.

As retailers were shifting to online platforms, so too were their customers. Many of whom had never shopped online before, now found themselves shielding. Unable to safely venture out of their own front doors, they too began navigating an entirely different landscape to that in which they were used to.

At the height of pandemic restrictions in April 2020, retail sales fell by a quarter compared with pre-COVID levels. Data from IMRG shows that online sales grew by 36% in 2020, the highest growth in 13 years. In contrast, overall retail sales fell by 0.13%, the lowest annual growth figure for 25 years. While physical shops have now reopened, a far higher proportion of purchasing remains online than before the crisis.

The increased amount of people shopping online has put significant strain on retailers and e-commerce platforms. Throughout 2020 there were multiple occasions when supermarket apps simply could not cope with the demands of the population vying for scant deliveries slots.

This has led to a seismic shift in roles within the industry as a whole. Whether employers be fully immersed online retailers, or hybrid versions with online and shop premises, the range of highly technical systems that employees need to be proficient in using is rapidly increasing. As such, tech talent has never been so in demand. Conversely, potential employees now have the pick of who to work for and come with a long list of what they want from future employers.

According to recent research, retention and turnover were named as the top challenge by HR professionals in the online retail sector. To retain key talent HR functions must be agile and innovative when designing retention, reward, and recognition programmes. Learning and development is a high priority as is the culture of the company. If employers are to attract and retain top talent, they must truly be listening to what their people are saying.

Employers who want to retain their talent need to keep their finger on the pulse regarding what staff are thinking and feeling. Those who do so will be best placed to address any issues proactively and swiftly before they result in their best people leaving. But in the face of all the challenges besetting the sector, how can we make this cultural shift business as usual?

In the following industry overview, we discuss each of the 9 factors that science has shown to determine success through people and explore these in the context of the unique challenges currently being faced by employers in the online retail sector.

Industry Overview Winning Through People: Exploring HR Challenges in the Online Retail Sector Download the industry overview
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April 21, 2021

Evaluating and enhancing employee experience in the Transport & Logistics industry

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The transport and logistics industry continues to play an integral role in supplying the country with essential goods and services during a worldwide pandemic. As many industries were forced to close indefinitely, logistics companies have conversely been working harder than ever before to meet the increased demands placed upon them.

From the vast number of deliveries in PPE equipment to sky-rocketing amounts of online deliveries, to the relentless pressure of keeping up with supermarket supplies, employees in this profession have been relentlessly travelling the length and breadth of the country.

Output has been vast, to say the least. Heightening the pressure on workers has been the high levels of sickness and absences due to Covid-19 that have impacted all sectors since the pandemic began. However, burnout and stress-related sickness is rapidly increasing throughout the UK’s workforce and the rate in which workers in transport and logistics have pushed through for more than a year is unsustainable and unadvisable; especially when talent shortages are already high.

As a leader in this profession, the need to attract and retain talent is essential. The UK currently faces a troubling driver shortage, not least now compounded by the fallout following Brexit. According to an ITN report in 2020, there is a shortage of 76,000 HGV drivers in the UK – an increase from 59,000 in 2019. Current forecasts predict that the driver shortage could in fact grow to a deficit of 257,000 drivers by 2022.

With nearly 80,000 EU nationals leaving the sector in 2020 and an annual fall of 6.7% in the number of HGV drivers year on year, recruitment is set to be an ongoing challenge. A report from the Freight Transport Association (FTA) said, “64% of transport and storage businesses now face severe skills shortages.

A sector that traditionally struggles with attracting a diverse workforce, the Chartered Institute for Logistics and Transport reported in 2019 that fewer than one in four of employees in the sector were female. Thus, highlighting the pressing need going forward to re-evaluate recruitment campaigns and take greater advantage of the diverse talent potentially available.

There are evidently significant factors currently hindering the employee experience within Transport and Logistics. Yet, there are simple processes your organisation can put in place to safeguard your current workforce and retain your exceptional talent.

In this industry overview, we discuss the 9 factors that science has shown to determine success through people and explore these in the context of the unique challenges currently being faced by employers in the transportation and logistics sector.

Industry Overview Winning Through People: Exploring HR Challenges in the Transport and Logistics Sector Download the industry overview
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April 13, 2021

Enhancing employee experience within the food manufacturing and processing sector

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The food manufacturing and processing sector is undoubtedly experiencing some of the biggest repercussions from the Covid-19 pandemic. As the UK prepares to return to some form of ‘normal’ life, Deloitte report that an overwhelming number of employees are planning to spend only 2 days a week in the office confines.

However, how can you as a leader compete, in a sector in which working from home and flexible working is vastly more limited? If the year of 2020 taught us anything, it is that our people are our most important asset. Looking after them is therefore paramount and comes down to what are arguably the 3 most important c’s in the HR toolkit - compassion, consideration, and communication.

A year in review

In March 2020, the UK was told to Stay at Home. In an instant, there was an enormous increase in demand for food. What followed was an unprecedented upsurge in online orders that caused a nationwide system failure, not to mention panic buying and empty shelves. As such the pressure of fulfilling orders and hitting deadlines increased as retailers had to respond to dramatic fluctuations in consumer demands.

From an HR perspective, the challenges didn’t stop there. With many workers having to self-isolate, absenteeism and productivity became serious areas of concern. The ever-increasing demands in production rates also meant burnout was a very real possibility.

Employee safety had never been more paramount. However, there were also other areas of concern. Including health and wellbeing from the stress and anxiety that working in such conditions entailed.

Keeping morale and engagement high was becoming ever more challenging. Whilst all the time, playing out in the background was the ever-looming issue of Brexit and the worrying lack of talent that would once have come from the EU.

The way forward

Understandably, talent retention has become of critical concern and enhancing the employee experience is becoming increasingly difficult as the wider working landscape rapidly changes before us. For the food manufacturing industry, this is set to become one of the most problematic areas of HR.

As the world begins to open its doors again, will people who once worked in other industries, forced shut by Covid, go back to their former roles? Or will they be given reason enough to stay in this thriving sector?

In the following industry overview, we discuss each of the 9 factors that science has shown to determine success through people. Join us as we explore these in the context of the unique challenges currently being faced by employers in the food manufacturing and processing sector.

Industry Overview Winning Through People: Exploring HR Challenges in the Food Manufacturing and Processing sector Download the industry overview
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March 3, 2021

Leaders must now lead with the heart

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Sunny Raval discusses with M.Suhail Mirza

“Using Winningtemp’s real-time engagement platform can dramatically change the wellbeing of workers in adult social care”

M.Suhail Mirza has been involved in the healthcare sector for more than 20 years. He was co-owner of a family adult social care business employing 250 people, which was successfully sold in 2014 and has written on both health and social care markets for the likes of Health Investor, Caring Times, and Healthcare Market News.

Here Suhail details why he believes Winningtemp is a vital component to addressing the critical issues surrounding the adult social care workforce right now.

What attracted you to Winningtemp?

What I found really appealing about the platform was that it allows employers on a real time basis to connect and engage with their workforce. Monitoring mental health, and pre-empting in a productive manner, with interventions and support, which is really going to be very important.

A lot of engagement with employees, particularly in the care sector, is often reactive. Surveys which are incredibly useful and very revealing, are sometimes only done annually or quarterly.

But real-time questions that allow for engagement and for managers to proactively support their staff, I found to be a revolutionary concept that could potentially make a dramatic difference to the wellbeing of the adult social care workforce."

That’s why I was really motivated to learn more about the business and having done so to be able to partner with them and support their goals and visions within adult social care.

What are the key challenges within adult social care that Winningtemp can help with?

Within adult social care it is fundamentally well known that it is under tremendous pressure due to inadequate funding. This then plays down into the ability to deliver care and most crucially to be able to have the resources to retain and attract people.

The workforce typically accounts for at least 70-75% of the budget. If they are unable to attract and retain the right people, social care providers will simply be unable to deliver the care that they are required, obligated, and committed to do. And they certainly may not be able to deliver the care to the standard that they would normally be aspiring to.

So, for adult social care home providers Winningtemp allows for engagement and support while anticipating workforce requirements that will help longevity, which is the crucial issue. Because the turnover of staff in the adult social care sector is proportionally very high.

What are your thoughts on how Covid has impacted the adult social care sector?

The pandemic has had a pernicious effect at all levels within the care sector. From the basic human level of care home residents passing away from Covid, to the care workers that look after these individuals.

Care workers who are dedicated to continuity of care, building tremendous relationships with these individuals. The trauma of dealing with and witnessing people battling and sometimes failing in that battle with Covid. Then having to communicate that to relatives of the care residents. It is a cycle of profound emotional and mental health trauma.

The sheer worry around their own self-care. Particularly in the early stages of the Covid battle there were well documented irregularities in the supply of PPe to the sector and the availability of guidance on how to deliver care in these times. Many papers are being written around burnout and the Covid impact continues to - and will continue to - affect the wellbeing of care staff, even once it has been hopefully vanquished by the vaccines.

For care home managers they have tremendous worry from Covid. With high levels of sickness amongst staff they still must ensure that rotas are filled. Will they have enough staff in the right places, in the right areas to deliver the care that they are required to?

What can leaders do for their people right now regarding the mental health of their workers?

The paramount imperative is to realise that care, as the name would suggest, is a quintessentially human endeavour. And it doesn’t come from a rational place, it comes from the heart. So, taking that principal which, all care providers live by, what leaders now need to do, for themselves as well as their teams, is to lead with the heart. Communicate, listen, and understand the anxieties without judgement.

To give safe spaces for the people of the organisation to share their feelings, anxieties, and fears, and to reassure and communicate. Leaders in the home care sector are doing wonderfully well. So, continue to listen and communicate, but also, anticipate."

I think that’s where Winningtemp’s real-time ability to understand how people are feeling can play a huge role, allowing leaders to anticipate and intervene before things become much more challenging or difficult.

Final thoughts

The adult social care sector has been quite rightly applauded and recognised during the Covid crisis for the unbelievable work that the workers do. Individuals who are often working at relatively low rates of pay, potentially putting their lives at risk to help vulnerable people.

However, the sector has traditionally been the poor cousin of the NHS. The government has produced an NHS People Plan to support the workforce of the NHS, which I fully support. But there is no such plan for social care.

Social care employs over one million individuals. Without an adequately and wonderfully working adult social care sector, the NHS would simply not be able to function. We must therefore bear in mind that the adult social care sector plays a fundamental role and deserves parity of esteem, in terms of funding, in terms of its recognition by politicians, and its workforce needs parity of esteem in terms of the recognition of the work they do.

It is highly skilled, and it is extremely demanding. It is intimate and hard work to help people in those settings. Therefore, any ability to support the wellbeing, the flourishing, the career development of that workforce must be applauded.

And any business that can provide a tool that can help in that, I think, has the chance to play a pivotal role over the transformation that’s been envisioned by policy makers for the sector over the next few years.

More about Suhail…

The author of the forthcoming LaingBuisson UK Healthcare Recruitment and Flexible Workforce UK Market Report 2021, he is also Chairman at Retinue Health, which partners with NHS Trusts and private healthcare business across the UK. In addition, Suhail is an inner wellness coach working with NHS Trusts and advising and supporting Diversity and Inclusion and Wellness Strategy. His coaching also helps listed and private staffing businesses.

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February 23, 2021

The mental health and wellbeing effects of Covid-19 on employees in adult social care

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M. Suhail Mirza discusses

As a nation, we’ve shown true British grit against the coronavirus pandemic. But while the country clapped in unity with humble gratitude for key workers and those in the NHS, the true effects and impact of what people on the frontline were facing every day, were barely known. Not least for those working within social care.

Care homes have been a major focus in the press throughout the pandemic and many residents have tragically been impacted by Covid. However, less thought and media coverage has been given to the people who are caring for residents. Nor for the domiciliary workers who enter the homes of vulnerable clients every day. Workers who are notably low paid and with little career progression yet carryout arduous tasks for long stretches of time.

Pandemic problems

In 2020, The Kings Fund reported thatThe toll of the first months of the pandemic on staff’s mental and emotional wellbeing has been significant.” Given that we are almost one year into this pandemic, the question must be asked, to what extent has that toll now taken?

A serious issue at the beginning of the pandemic was the extreme shortage of PPE equipment available to staff. The situation was so alarming, that health leaders said frontline workers were being forced to 'risk their lives', with reports that staff were facing disciplinary action for raising concern.

Seven organisations including UNISON, the Royal College of Midwives, GMB, Unite and TUC, jointly called on the government to urgently increase the supply of PPE to staff in the NHS and social care.

It is now clear that the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers has become a crisis within a crisis. Workers are being exposed to unreasonable and unnecessary risk by the ongoing failure to provide key workers with adequate PPE...They are risking their own health and safety for us.”

“We must be clear what that means. Those who are subject to prolonged and direct exposure to the virus – such as health and social care professionals – are risking their lives.”

Global research suggests the need to support people to cope with wellbeing may last for many years following a pandemic. The Health Foundation states that “health and social care workers have an increased risk of adverse mental health outcomes, including post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.”

Why we should care

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines good mental health as ‘a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.’

Supporting staff to achieve optimum mental health makes good business sense. But more than that, as an employer who cares, it’s the right thing to do. Good health boosts productivity, increases engagement and significantly reduces the costs related to taking no action, such as sick days and hiring costs. ‘Closing the Gap’, a 2019 report by The Kings Fund, The Health Foundation and Nuffield Trust states that, within the social care sector “workforce problems have a direct impact on people’s care.” The effects of which could be fatal.

Burn out pre-pandemic

In January 2020, CV Library reported that two-thirds of social care professionals are on the brink of burn out. Tellingly, within the first few months of the pandemic the levels of sickness absences in social care had tripled according to Skills for Care.

To further add to the stress put upon workers, there were already major staff shortages, alongside high staff turnover. In 2019, the Skills for Care report, State of the Adult Social Care Sector in England, highlighted that 7.8% of roles in the sector were unfilled, equating to 122,000 FTE vacancies. While staff turnover levels were more than 30%.

This forgotten sector was already at breaking point and at high risk of a staffing crisis. Now, the issue is so critical that in the summer of 2020 the DHSC select committee launched an inquiry into burnout in the health and social care workforce.

So, what next?

The pandemic has had a severe and detrimental impact to the health and wellbeing of large proportions of the workforce. However, staff within social care have been asked to provide increasingly high-intensity care for people with complex needs in extremely dangerous conditions. These same workers were already fatigued and at risk of burn-out long before Coronavirus hit our shores.

This is a critical yet precarious time for leaders within social care situations. While the difficulties surrounding PPE equipment has been well documented, there is also the omnipresent issue of escalating staff shortages. Encouraging people to join a workforce that has been presented as unsafe for the past year is no easy task.

In February 2020, UKHCA's CEO Dr Jane Townson spoke of some of the challenges already facing adult social care in the UK, noting inadequate funding and staff shortages as major issues. However, she says the dedication and devotion workers in this sector have is exceptional.

Staff turnover is around 40% which is very high, and much of that occurs in the first 6 months. But there is unbelievable commitment if you can get people over that first few months.”

At the time of writing many of those working in this sector will have received their first dose of the vaccine against Covid-19. Yet there is still much to be done to ensure adult social care is a safe space that attracts and retains people.

Thought leader and HR expert Josh Bersin has been studying the impact of Coronavirus within the workplace. He believes it is vital for organisations to communicate and reinforce the changes they are making to create a resilient, safe, and sustainable workplace. A shift in focus to the health and wellbeing of the individuals caring for the vulnerable is crucial. To care for your people, is to care for clients.

Listen here as Bersin shares his thoughts and findings with Winningtemp on how you can best support and guide your people to good mental health and wellbeing through the pandemic and beyond.

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January 29, 2021

How to rid your organisation of 'The Iceberg of Ignorance'

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Most people will be familiar with the Iceberg of Ignorance in some capacity. It highlights an organisation that potentially has either poor leadership or poor information flow.

From speaking to the thousands of HR professionals I have had the privilege of exchanging calls and conversations with, it is more evident that most organisations experience the "S*** rolls downhill" experience of information, without the feedback "rolling back up the hill again".

It is not too surprising. If you think of the game Chinese Whispers, what starts off as the original message is very rarely the message you get at the end. Feedback loops go up one level at a time, until it either just stops, or becomes so diluted or distorted that it doesn't even resemble the original message/problem or feedback. No wonder top management and senior executives don't hear about all the problems. They are rarely ever presented to them.

Credit: https://corporate-rebels.com/

Most organisations have tried to implement some form of feedback loop - whether it is feedback sessions with line managers, or implementing a solution that collects information in the way of survey questions. However, the issue with these forms of feedback is they are not truly anonymous.

I know for certain we have all probably worked in organisations where feedback is said to be "anonymous" and yet it is very easy to determine who it is that is replying. I know for certain I have not answered some feedback questions honestly as I knew for certain it was easy to identify who it was that was giving feedback (in one company I had to give my job title as part of the survey, and yet I was the only person with that job title. Am I truly going to be honest if it's that easy to work out it is me? NO!)

Especially if you don't understand the reason for giving feedback. Most organisations do surveys because they think that it is a normal thing to do. However, they don't necessarily understand what to do with all the feedback once it is collected. And even if they do, then once it is collected and analysed, it is normally reviewed 4-8 weeks after the original survey. Therefore, is the feedback even accurate any more?

So, how can you create a better feedback loop in order to break the Iceberg of Ignorance in your organisation?

Well, it needs to be structured in a certain way in order to allow for more visibility and better results. Here are some top tips that can help:

1) Ensure the feedback is truly anonymous!

This one seems easy. And yet it truly isn't. Most employees are sceptical when it comes to feedback surveys and don't tell the whole truth, because they do not trust the process. So, when the time comes to implement the surveys, explain the process you are implementing and that responses cannot be viewed to granular data by one individual. The ideal solution is to have it that no team is less than 5 people, and therefore you cannot view results of less than 5 responses, so it cannot be narrowed down.

2) Ask questions more frequently

Most organisations do an annual survey. Imagine doing an annual survey in 2020. Especially in January 2020. By the time you have summarised the survey and gotten ready to act on some of the feedback, the global pandemic hits and most of your employees are probably working remotely, or put on Furlough. That means you wasted time, money, and resources. Of course, you couldn't see the pandemic coming. However, the point still stands that you are analysing out of date information.

What was true in January might not be true in March.

A top performing employee unhappy in January might have left by March for example. Therefore, it is imperative to so smaller, more frequent surveys. I would recommend weekly to start and asking no more than 4 or 5 questions. However, at least monthly is a start. But really, if you want real time feedback to be shared upwards, weekly or bi-monthly should be the minimum to start.

3) Ask different questions to different teams every week

Employees get survey fatigue. They answer the same questions every period to the same survey and nothing ever changes. I am sure everybody reading this has experienced that. Therefore, having fewer questions, that take one minute to respond to, on a more frequent basis, will yield better results. On top of that, ask different questions to different teams. It feels more personalised, caring, and it really looks likes you care.

One week you might answer questions on the organisation as a whole, and another week you might answer questions about your manager, or how you feel about your role. Also, take this opportunity to look at diversity, inclusion, and mental health. Asking questions around these aspects could really uncover problems on a very micro level, that will allow you to get ahead of an obstacle instead of being reactive to a severe problem.

4) If you uncover a problem, ask more questions to that team/department to uncover more

Again, this seems obvious. However, it is rarely done. If you have somebody answering in a negative way about their line manager, maybe ask questions to the rest of the team to see how they feel. Is it a one person issue? Or is it the team as a whole who feel like this? Imagine you, as an HR Manager, having access to that level of insight? It would be a gamechanger and highlight issues that would allow you to drill down and find the source of wider problems. This could be true for Mental Health, Diversity, Inclusion, Poor Communication etc...

5) Share the results with the Senior Executives

This goes all the way back to the beginning. Senior Executives want to know what is going on. Having a robust feedback loop with data insights allows you to share the real problems in the organisation with these Senior Executives and is giving them anecdotal evidence from every team and every department. This means the CEO doesn't have to go on "Undercover Boss" to get the insights by disguising as an employee. They can just have you report the finding, understand the challenges and problems, and implement plans to fix them.

6) Share the results with Managers and the whole organisation

There should be a constant process of sharing the insights back through the organisation. That includes sharing results, insights, trends and also the action plan to counteract the problems. By sharing these results, people will buy into the feedback process. Imagine an employee raising they were not happy, that they didn't have the right equipment to do their job, a point raised by several employees, and then they end up being heard and getting the right equipment.

How would those employees feel? Motivated? More productive? Absolutely!

Sharing the results with the Managers and allowing them to be the conduit of information, both upwards and downwards is extremely important. It gives them a sense of responsibility as well as a sense of reward when they implement a change for the better of the team.

By doing this properly, you will not only have a happier workforce but a more productive workforce.

To quote the Confederation of Business Industry (CBI) "There is a huge prize from improving how businesses lead, engage and develop their people"

"It makes business sense. Firms that lift their people management performance up from the lowest levels to the UK average can secure a massive 19% productivity uplift."

"It makes reputational sense. More than two-thirds of the public say that treating your staff well makes the single biggest difference in improving trust in business."

"And it makes economic sense. If the UK improved its performance on people management by 7%, £110bn could be added to the country’s income. That’s like adding the value of the UK’s construction sector all over again.

"Therefore, to implement this feedback loop, and being successful, doesn't just make your employees happier. It also makes the business more productive! Therefore, by implementing the right feedback loop, you are able to have a positive impact on the bottom line of the business, whilst also having a positive impact on the wellbeing and engagement of the people in the business. That is a win win.

At the end of the day, let's all work hard to get rid of the Iceberg of Ignorance in our organisations, especially as 2020 has been a challenge enough for organisations. So get yourself the ultimate ice pick, and implement a better, more frequent, more inclusive feedback loop today.

| Originally published as a LinkedIn article

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January 11, 2021

Why compassion is your biggest Covid ally

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As the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve, 2019, millions of people sang Auld Lang Syne together and made resolutions to lose weight, travel more, and no doubt, stop smoking. What is almost guaranteed however, is that no one assumed their biggest achievement that coming year would be to make it through a global pandemic.

A pandemic that almost one year on still has a stronghold over the political and economical landscape of not only the United Kingdom, but the rest of the world too. Rich or poor, black, or white, naughty, or nice, Covid-19 cares not at all about your personal circumstances. And while there is now, finally, light at the end of a very long tunnel thanks to the rapid development of a vaccine, we can be sure of one thing, the way we live and how we work has forevermore been changed.

The spring of 2020 should have brought with it a flourish of optimism. The reality of course was very different.  Coronavirus had officially hit our shores and with it, lockdown life began. Remarkably, the data on employee engagement during this time and the proceeding months was exceptionally high. It seems that as people struggled with the day-to-day challenges that Covid-19 brought about, they took comfort in their work. They weren’t necessarily happy – that is an altogether different metric, but their work did give them a focus and opportunity to carry out some aspect of their lives in a normalised manner. For a time, it could be a distraction from the mounting anxiety and collective stress of a nation.

Unsurprisingly, mental health issues have seen an exponential rise during the pandemic. Redundancies, home-schooling, the breakdown of relationships and the caring for elderly relatives, alongside the worry of the unknown, have all had an impact on employee wellbeing. As the pandemic continues, employers must now concern themselves with the resilience and care of their people. Those who showed strength 10 months ago, may now feel weary and disheartened.

The mental health charity Mind found that more than half of adults (60%) and over two thirds of young people (68%) said their mental health worsened during lockdown. Those with pre-existing mental health conditions were particularly affected and employees who had been furloughed also reported a decline in their wellbeing compared to their peers.High levels of engagement aren’t necessarily a sign that everything is good, and organisations must support their people throughout long periods of uncertainty and stress. HR expert Josh Bersin agrees, imploring companies to put their workforce first, now.

Companies must invest in various programs and solutions that help people maintain themselves, get rest, and learn how to deal with this uncertainty.”

“It goes to the real issues of public health and collaboration. People helping each other and people supporting each other, checking in and listening. A lot of the human skills that are needed in any kind of a crisis, that is what companies are going to have to do. Because people aren’t going to stay on high alert for two years, they just can’t, it’s impossible.”

Podcast The top 3 predictions for HR Strategy for 2021, with Josh Bersin Listen to the podcast now

Compassion is key. Understanding your people and being able to display empathy over judgement, and kindness over frustration will be critical to your business. How your workers view you in times of crisis will undoubtedly have a direct impact on how your business is perceived in the good times.

Tellingly, research by Maxis Global Benefits Network (Maxis GBN) found that just under half (46%) of employees say the Covid-19 pandemic has compelled them to re-evaluate the importance of the benefits their employer offers. The survey also revealed that 33% of workers want their employer to prioritise health over lifestyle benefits, with almost one-fifth (21%) requiring greater access to wellness support.These stats chime with how Josh views the current situation.

If you're providing substandard care to your employees this year, I'm sure they know about it. It's time to put as much money into that as you can. If you expect your company to grow through the pandemic you better be taking care of your people and those benefits better be competitive.”

As things stand, we don’t know how long the pandemic will last. As vaccinations roll out, there is hope of a new dawn. Yet, it would be remiss to think that things will go back to ‘normal’ any time soon. If in fact, they ever can, or should. Now is the time to change the narrative and shift the mindset that has seen presenteeism and fear create burnout and employee checkout. Instead of resolutions that we fail to keep for more than a few weeks, let’s make flexibility, sensitivity, and support the new ‘normal’.

Learn more insights from Josh Bersin on employee relations, benefits and much more here.

Blog
December 17, 2020

Work-life balance in the age of Covid-19

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The term work-life balance may have first been coined by Brits in the 1980s, but it is a term that is still relevant and much debated today. Evolving over the decades, the phrase was originally used by the Women’s Liberation Movement, advocating for flexible hours and maternity leave. Today, and with the dawn of the digital revolution that generated an ‘always on’ culture, the work-life balance has become a complex, genderless conundrum.

With the forced closure of offices nationwide in March 2020, it became more important than ever for business leaders to safeguard the work-life equilibrium. HR expert Josh Bersin agrees and says that one thing is now certain; the working landscape has changed, forever:

You don’t go to the workplace; the workplace comes to you.
Podcast The top 3 predictions for HR Strategy for 2021, with Josh Bersin Listen to the podcast now

Prior to Covid-19, working from home was still somewhat the work-life balance unicorn, available only for the privileged few. Now, with working from home happening ‘en masse’, we see for the first time that it could in fact have a negative effect if not managed appropriately.Since the first lockdown in March, 73% of workers believe that they are more efficient when working remotely according to Statista Research Department, while 68% say they also work more hours at home. However, working more hours doesn’t necessarily equal higher productivity, at least not in the long-term.

A study commissioned by LinkedIn in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation supports these findings and say that throughout the pandemic, people who have been working from home have often been exerting themselves beyond their capacity, leading to high levels of fatigue. The research found that on average, office workers were increasing their workload by an extra 28 hours each month by working from home.

In addition, the ONS report that a disproportionate amount of childcare is falling upon women who have been working from home while home-schooling or providing the main childcare for children under school age. Parents have been fitting their work around their childcare responsibilities with data suggesting that they’ve been working in the morning and at night – an unsustainable juggling act.

In 2021 it is likely that at some point, workers will begin returning to the office again, and we are yet to understand what that return will look like. However, the accelerated shift to working from home that 2020 brought seems set to become a permanent feature to our working week.

Whether an omnipresent workplace is a positive experience or not, rests on the shoulders of employers. With workload intrinsically linked to a person’s mental and physical health, it is imperative that employers take a keen eye on how much they are expecting of their people.Below are some useful suggestions from the CIPD as to how you can help keep your peoples work-life balance in check. You can also listen to more of Josh Bersin’s insights and perspectives on the HR challenges and changes that have arisen from the pandemic here.

Tips for a healthy work-life balance while remote working

  • Be clear about when your working day begins and ends and take breaks to refresh.
  • When work is over, be sure you switch off to avoid burnout. Cultivate healthy habits such as taking exercise and fresh air every day.
  • Minimise stress. Managers should set clear expectations about the way employees should deliver and receive communications throughout the working day. This will help alleviate pressure and anxiety.
  • Have a daily virtual huddle. This is essential for keeping connected and a means for line managers to check in on their team’s physical and mental well-being and discuss any additional support they need to fulfil their roles from home.
  • Discourage presenteeism. If you’re unwell, take leave and do your best to give an update or handover on urgent work. As a manager or team leader, encourage people to take time off if unwell.
  • Offer support on well-being. Remind staff of their existing health and well-being benefits and how to access them when working remotely.
Blog
December 11, 2020

Effective leadership in times of crisis

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Sunny Raval discusses

Leadership. An emotive subject that often ignites the critic in us. The delicate balance of keeping calm under pressure, offering guidance but allowing for autonomy. Keeping control whilst encouraging innovation. From the side-lines, leadership is akin to watching a game show on television. We know all the answers from the comfort of our armchairs. Stood in front of a live audience under the blinding glare of the studio lights on the other hand, proves an altogether different experience.

2020 however, has been no game. Leaders have faced unprecedented pressures, having to make unimaginable decisions. Household names such as Debenhams, Edinburgh Woollen, Peacocks and Arcadia Group have fallen prey to financial collapse and are facing administration and liquidation. Additionally, Clarks, Café Nero and Wasabi are just some of the many organisations that have required financial rescuing this year.

Virgin Atlantic announcing cuts of more than a thousand jobs due to restrictions placed on the travel industry from the Covid-19 outbreak demonstrates further still the difficulties that business leaders have encountered. It is perhaps unsurprising then that admissions to one of the UK’s most expensive mental health clinics has reportedly doubled due to the strain CEOs have experienced throughout the course of the pandemic.

For those that have made it through the year, the coronavirus has forced many leaders to dig deep – literally and figuratively - in a bid to keep business going. Many CEOs for example have discreetly sacrificed significant amounts of their salary in order to stay afloat. Data from Impact International found that no less than 41% of those that had relinquished their salary, did so by 100%.

It isn’t only the financials of the business that a leader must be concerned with, however. In times of crisis, the culture of the company can often be overlooked for more ‘pressing’ matters. But it would be remiss to dismiss the impact that a positive company culture can have throughout the entire organisation during those tougher times. Motivation and morale are intrinsically linked to a positive employee experience. And it starts from the top down.

Covid-19 has normalised remote working but creating a strong company culture virtually has been a challenge for many leaders.  Recent research by Microsoft found that 63% of business leaders think it is hard to effectively lead teams digitally. Additionally, 69% are unsure how to create a strong team spirit in a virtual workspace. HR expert Josh Bersin suggests that it is far less complex than it might seem. “It’s mostly about making people feel good about their jobs, their work, about their team.”

Podcast The top 3 predictions for HR Strategy for 2021, with Josh Bersin Listen to the podcast now

Making your people feel good is not location bound. Positive reinforcements can be given and received anywhere, at any time. One-to-ones over video calls and each conversation, whether verbally or electronically offers the opportunity to build trust and demonstrate that you are listening.

Following years of resistance from many organisations, the remote working genie is well and truly out of its box. And, it would seem, most workers are keen to embrace the changes permanently. In the UK, Rightmove report that city dwellers are on the move. Cramped into small abodes, with little to no garden, the pandemic lockdowns heightened awareness of what country life might offer, if a long commute ceased to be an issue.

Supporting the findings from Rightmove, Slack’s Future Forum research found that out of 4700 workers, most did not want to return to their previous work life. A massive 72% said they wanted a “hybrid remote-office model moving forward”.

The changes for people will be significant and it is a golden opportunity for leaders to be at the forefront of the phenomenon. Not everything that Covid-19 has touched has to leave a negative footprint. Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “A leader is a dealer in hope.” In times of crisis, people look for reassurance and confidence from those guiding them. It would be all but foolish to waste this moment through fear of the unknown.

While it may not be possible to have all the answers, compassion and clear communication are fundamental to building a trusting relationship between management and workers. Listen to Josh Bersin as he explains further the areas that leaders should be focussing on right now.

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November 27, 2020

The mental health and wellbeing effects of Covid-19 on your people

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Tim Conroy discusses

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” Victor Hugo’s sanguine line from his literary masterpiece, Les Misérables was first published in 1862. More than 150 years later, in what’s been the most challenging year that the world has collectively faced in living memory, those words feel particularly pertinent.

As a nation, we’ve shown true British grit against the coronavirus pandemic. From clapping together-but apart on our doorsteps in recognition of our NHS heroes, risking their lives. To our children painting the windows of our streets with hopeful rainbows, all the while adapting to their parents assuming the role of their teacher. To standing in endless lines for a pint of milk and some toilet roll.

At what cost?

Those very parents that were wearing their newly appointed educator badge, were often grappling with their own professional struggles. Working from home was no longer a ‘nice to have’ option. It was the only option.  Where grandparents and childminders once stepped in to ease the working parent challenges, parents now stood alone. Teacher, worker, homemaker.

Those without children were often faced with isolation and loneliness. Many moved back in with parents, some became their parent’s carer. And for those on the frontline, there was no option to Stay at Home. They continued to face the public in essential areas including shops, hospitals, and schools.

The furlough effect

In addition to those navigating new working environments, there were also many individuals who were put on the government's newly formed Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), more commonly known as furlough.

Recent numbers from HMRC show that from March to November, no less than 9.6million people were furloughed. With a 20% reduction in salary that many households could already ill-afford. Figures from the Guardian state that two thirds of employees that have been placed on the scheme also continue in their role. While this goes against regulations, the fear of losing their job seems too great.

For those that have remained working, many have reported unhappiness following the furlough or redundancy of their peers, increasing workloads a major concern.

Unsurprisingly, the state of the nation’s mental health is now at critical levels. Mental health charity Mind found that more than half of adults (60%) and over two thirds of young people (68%) said their mental health had worsened during the first lockdown. As the country grapples with lockdown 3.0 during the shorter, darker days of winter, those figures look set to soar.

Why we should care

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines good mental health as ‘a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.’

Supporting a workforce to achieve optimum mental health makes good business sense. But more than that, as an employer who cares, it’s the right thing to do. Good health boosts productivity, increases engagement and significantly reduces the costs related to taking no action, such as sick days and hiring costs.

A study from Mitrefinch analysed Google search data during the period of March to June and found that the term ‘Back to work anxiety’ had increased by 567%. While ‘Fear of returning to work’ had increased by 200%. Recognising and supporting mental health concerns has never been more important.

Podcast The top 3 predictions for HR Strategy for 2021, with Josh Bersin Listen to the podcast now

What does poor mental health look like?

The CIPD suggest that typical signs include:

  • Working long hours / not taking breaks
  • Increased sickness absence or lateness
  • Mood changes
  • Distraction, indecision, or confusion
  • Withdrawal
  • Irritability, anger, or aggression
  • Uncharacteristic performance issues
  • Over-reaction to problems or issues
  • Disruptive or anti-social behaviour

Displaying one or more of these signs does not automatically mean that the individual is experiencing poor mental health. It does however prompt reason for a conversation surrounding the wellbeing of that person and possibly a referral to Occupational Health or professional coach.

Burn out and the impact of remote working

An alarming 86% of workers said that remote working has had a negative impact on their mental health, specifying increased anxiety and problems sleeping. A study commissioned by LinkedIn and in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation found that workers were pushing themselves to demonstrate their worth to the company, often causing burnout, through fear of losing their job.

The research found that on average, office workers were increasing their workload by an extra 28 hours each month of remote working. Presenteeism has simply metamorphosed into ‘e-presenteeism’. Workers feel obliged to be online, even outside of their working hours, and in many cases when they are feeling unwell.

So, what next?

It’s clear that 2020 has had a severe and detrimental impact to large proportions of the workforce. The LinkedIn/Mental Health Foundation research found that three in five (58%) leaders fear that the mental toll of homeworking will cause them to lose staff through burnout and poor mental health.

The question is, how do we begin to put the pieces of this fractured society together again? How do we build a workplace where people feel safe? Thought leader and HR consultant Josh Bersin has been studying the impact of Coronavirus within the workplace. He believes it is vital for organisations to communicate and reinforce the changes they are making to create a resilient, safe, and sustainable workplace.

You don’t go to the workplace; the workplace comes to you."

It’s a new concept that Josh says will require patience, flexibility, and forgiveness during this period of ambiguity. A shift in focus to healthcare is crucial, and the art of listening has never been more important.

Listen to the podcast as Josh shares his thoughts and findings with Winningtemp on how you can best support and guide your people to good mental health and wellbeing through the pandemic and beyond.

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June 16, 2020

Trust & performance - Managing the return to work

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When the pandemic hit back in March, organisations’ first priority in response to the crisis was ensuring workers' health & safety. As organisations begin to emerge from this phase, what factors must leaders now focus on to successfully address the next set of workforce challenges as they plan for the return of their workforce, and for the recovery?

In this latest report, Gary Brown of Winningtemp outlines the key factors organisations are seeking to address, and the 3 actions to help take your organisation and people on the right path to recovery.In the latest surveys with HR professionals, the #1 topic in “back to work” was “how do we make it optional to return, yet create a safe set of workplace protocols that people will trust?

The issue of safety is clearly key amongst workers and leaders. However, in a recent survey by Culture X, 54% of employees rated Job Security as their number one concern, with Personal Health coming in second at 38%.

Therefore, whilst physical factors such as effective social distancing protocols, hygiene measures etc. are paramount to ensure workers feel safe to return, it is just as important for leaders to address concerns around job security head-on in order to maintain and build trust amongst their workforce.

But how can leaders address such concerns?

Today’s new business environment is characterised by disruption and uncertainty.

With high profile companies such as BP, Rolls Royce, British Gas, and Heathrow announcing new job losses almost daily, workers know that the economic outlook is uncertain. Add to that the expansion of remote working, the displacement of many services to tech-based solutions, and the requirement for many firms to consider reducing working hours or headcount in order to manage a slow climb back to previous activity levels, and it should come as no surprise that the Mental Health Foundation recently reported that 56% of adults surveyed said their mental health had deteriorated since lockdown began, and a recent study by Gallup found overall percentages of people "thriving" has dropped to Great Recession-era lows.

Why building trust is so important

It takes an exceptional level of resilience for organisations and employees to thrive in such an uncertain and radically disrupted climate. However, unclear plans of action create further mistrust.

Whilst employers scored highly in the initial handling of the crisis, (with 89% of workers saying senior leaders put measures in place to ensure people felt supported during the initial phase), a worrying 52% of employees felt their management was ‘not very’, or ‘not at all’ effective in making expectations explicit. (2020 Talent Implication Survey).

Employees' need for information is more acute in a time of crisis, as is their need to trust leaders. This requires increased listening as well as increased messaging. Addressing this trust deficit will affect the success of your company's return-to-work transition plans.

Employees' need for information is more acute in a time of crisis, as is their need to trust leaders. This requires increased listening as well as increased messaging.

Maintaining Performance through the transition

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the number of people who have worked remotely because of concern about the coronavirus has risen by 46%. In the U.S. this is equal to 63% or almost two-thirds of all employees. (Gallup)And as the CEO of Barclays bank, Jes Staley, recently told The New York Times: "The notion of putting 7,000 people in a building may be a thing of the past."

In this new environment - where coffee catch-ups, office gossip, or having a moan about your boss to the colleague who sits next to you is no longer a natural part of your working day - greater information exchange and trust in the leadership become even more closely related.

When they're absent, employee performance suffers.Prior to the pandemic, Gallup analysis found a correlation in France between workers believing leadership can successfully manage emerging challenges and being more likely to be engaged. And employee engagement, or the lack thereof, absolutely affects productivity and performance outcomes for workers.

They found that to repair employees' sense of broken trust, French leaders needed to signal that they're not just pondering, but acting and sharing what answers they have, that they're creating solutions where they can and have mastery over the elements within their control.

Despite the many unknown factors -- which workers understand -- leaders' motto should be "the situation is serious, but we are working on it."Consider the consequences that come from these two different types of organisational cultures:

1. High trust:

Employees who trust their leaders are twice as likely to say they will be with their company one year from now. High-trust organisations also have an enormous advantage in the speed with which any new initiative will take hold. And even when there are periodic mistakes in decisions or communication, employees will give leaders the benefit of the doubt.

2. Low trust:

When people don't trust leaders, they're already planning their exit and have no interest in making a new strategy work or creating new customer initiatives.There's nothing in it for them; they've already mentally checked out.

Despite the many unknown factors - which workers understand - leaders' motto should be "the situation is serious, but we are working on it."

Actions you can take

In a recent webinar, we shared case studies from E-On, PwC and AddSecure on the 3 actions that our clients are adopting to address the issue of building Trust and Performance during this period of change.The 3 key actions: Humility, Re-define KPI’s and Daring to Act.

Humility & increased listening = increased trust

As a leader, it's ok to not have all the answers. Instead, listen to the staff in your team more. Increase the opportunities for feedback, especially anonymous feedback to allow less confident team members the opportunity to have their concerns heard or questions answered.

Remote workers are 3 times more likely to be engaged if they receive feedback from their manager at least a few times per month. If you are going through periods of change - ask your people how they feel about this change. How they are adjusting, are things moving too fast or too slow? Is the process clear or do you need to spell things out more? Share your company’s planned response to challenges.

By being humble, increasing your listening, and showing how employee feedback is helping you make decisions for the business - you will increase levels of trust amongst your teams. Through periods of uncertainty and change, trust is often the most valuable commodity in any organisation.

Re-define KPI's - what gets measured gets achieved

You've probably put a number of initiatives in place to help your workers adapt to working from home and returning to the workplace safely. How effective are they? What impact are they having on your people as you take them through this change period? What impact are they having on maintaining your performance levels, keeping morale high, ensuring you retain your key people, and your ability to attract people with new skills when required?

Being clear of what is most important to you and what is expected of your employees right now is paramount. Communicating this clearly is a great start. Measuring your progress against these new KPI's in real-time is going to make all the difference.

Dare to Act - use data to stay agile

Taking bold actions during periods of change can be scary. But failing to act quickly can be paralysing for an organisation. Having the confidence to take actions to remain agile in this period comes down to one thing: real-time data.

Using real-time data to support your leadership discussions will enable you to address concerns before they impact the business, pivot quickly, and take your people with you.

Data-backed decision making will give you the confidence to take action in areas that may just make the difference between your organisation surviving or thriving in your return to full capacity.

Returning your workforce to the new normal will require renewed workforce planning, job restructuring and the establishment of ongoing employee engagement measures to weather the initial change, the potential of the second wave of COVID-19, and a prolonged downturn in the economy.By taking steps to build levels of trust and maintain levels of performance through this transition phase, you will lead your teams into ‘Workplace 2.0’ with a revived spirit equipped to manage any change successfully.

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June 4, 2020

Webinar recap: The 3 winning practices for leadership in times of change

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Recently we had the pleasure of hosting a lunchtime webinar on the challenges we face as leaders in an increasingly uncertain world. The current Covid19 pandemic, coupled with its after-effects (which will likely bring forward a recession), pose multiple challenges to how we lead our teams and, perhaps most important of all, ourselves.

Responding to these obstacles has been a mixed experience for many. In the recent 2020 Talent Implications Survey, a majority of employees reported that they expect clear goals, better communication, and improved support from the organisation when it comes to task prioritisation.So, how are we even supposed to respond?

The short answer is - we need to adopt a new way of working - both as individuals and as an organisation. Josh Bersin, the HR guru, labelled this looming recession a transformation. Successful workplaces will embrace accelerated digital transformation, a faster pace of change, and increasingly data-backed decision-making when it comes to leadership. These new and evolved workplaces will demand effective leadership.To misquote Darwin, it's a matter of 'Adapt or Die'.

Our webinar focused on three tangible practices for leaders, sourced from the experiences of some of our clients, as well as some of Winningtemp's own observations.

Let’s start with PwC. They believe in practising compassionate leadership. I can write a novel around this, but I would rather keep it short and emphasise the need to show humility. Start by trying to understand the perspective of your employees at every interaction. It’s not a new concept, but personally, I sometimes need a reminder of the importance of listening.

Parts of E.on use real-time data extensively within each team (by using Winningtemp, of course!). To guide managers, they have set a range of KPIs to which managers are held accountable. The first one is the survey participation rate to ensure people are heard. Second is a compound measurement, The Company Temperature, covering nine metrics which through validated research from over 600 studies which predict that a team will be high performing and innovative with high levels of wellbeing. Finally, the eNPS, or employee Net Promoter Score, is a crucial KPI as it directly shows how the people in the organisation contribute to the employer brand.

From AddSecure, we learn the importance of working in an agile way with real-time data. They use these trends to touchdown where needed, to target training initiatives, and to quickly see the impact of their activities.

What’s in common for these three organisations is that they use real-time data to support and guide their leaders.

As a starting point, they have the same metrics – The Company Temperature. Winningtemp can use the desensitised datasets to train our AI. The implication is that when you as a leader receive recommendations or tips from the platform, that it is based on what is most effective given the exact conditions and trends in your team, based on the experience of thousands of teams worldwide who have previously gone through something similar.As a final takeaway, we did run a poll about what issues the participants expect to encounter over the coming six months:

Leadership in times of change

Hand on heart, we probably missed the most important option of all. It was clear from the questions and comments that leadership starts from within.

To lead well, our own wellbeing is paramount.Winningtemp can help you as a leader make decisions quickly and with calculated risks by providing real-time insights and data on the impact, helping you both to save time and make better people decisions.

Watch the entire webinar here

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April 24, 2020

My favourite tools for successful remote leadership

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Now is a time of uncertainty, and that makes it more important than ever to pull out all the stops when it comes to leading, focusing, and motivating your teams.

Are you a veteran of the office-kitchen and a natural at juggling homeschooling with the last-minute end-of-year budget revisions? Perhaps you oversee what became a remote working organisation overnight?

Either way, fear not! As always there is a tech stack which can help, and here is a list of some of my favourites to support your team’s focus, cohesion and wellbeing.

  • Communicate effectively with video conferencing, chats, and memes – all to help reduce isolation and to keep the team spirit alive. Popular tools are Slack, MS Teams (bundled with Office 365) and Zoom.
  • Children, daytime TV, and strangely enough, washing up can prove to be a tempting distraction for many. Now is the time to up your performance management game and stay focused! Use a simple, online platform to set clear goals that will help you promote accountability and follow up daily. One way of boosting performance and making autonomy a strength whilst delivering a great employee experience is OKRs. Here’s a practical guide on OKR created in collaboration with Bisnode.
  • Start using e-learning. This can help you introduce your new home-working toolset, and an extended time at home will provide ample opportunities to learn new things if the business is a bit slower than usual. I have been told good things about Docebo and they offer a two-week free trial. Linkedin Learning also offers lots of content for free.
  • No scanners at home? Move to digital contracts. GetAccept does a great job for HR, Finance, and Sales.
  • Oh yes, the list does include Winningtemp, but not without good reason! Our clients say the platform is crucial at this time, as it helps bring the team together, provide direction on where support is needed, increase wellbeing and supports positivity. You can use the free trial to generate engagement data, identify strengths, and focus your team with OKRs or SMART goals straight away.
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April 16, 2020

Remote is the new norm: What's expected of the leaders now

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People & Culture
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Welcome to the world of freelancers.

Fortunately, it hasn't been an over-night transition for many. The phrase 'working from home' has (almost) lost its stigma as companies worldwide have been gradually shifting to remote working for years now. And, for most of them, it has been working remarkably well. Naturally, it has taken them quite some time to set and perfect the work culture, but overall, studies show that 83% of employees enjoy the opportunity of working from home!

That being said, the situation is quite different for those who were forced to think on their feet while switching to remote to ensure business continuity. It dealt a heavy blow to their traditional policies, company culture, and processes that weren't quite ready to handle the rapid digital evolution. Now, when the whole world is learning to adapt to a different lifestyle due to the voluntary/mandatory lockdown, some businesses have no choice but to set up new processes and systems to move their operations online. They are coming to terms with the circumstances and digitalising their traditional way of working to avoid extinction.

Surprisingly, a pandemic has brought forward a digital transformation that was long pending.

People are talking about how this is going to be the fourth industrial revolution with different technologies changing fundamentally how we work.

Jennifer Christie, the Head of People at Twitter.

Source

Remote working is here to stay. There's no time to do a trial run now. As a leader, you have to take fast actions, nurture real relationships with your team members, and find creative solutions while maintaining performance standards. You have to instil a sense of urgency into the organisation, learn to trust more, celebrate more successes, and pay attention to the emotional needs of your colleagues.

In short, you are (directly or indirectly) responsible for boosting the spirit and motivation of every employee irrespective of their location - be it a Pinterest-worthy home office or a kitchen with an over-flowing sink.

The biggest challenge is not lack of productivity

Inexperienced remote workers deal with several issues but decreased productivity is not the biggest threat to performance. On the contrary, a study by Digital Ocean revealed that 82% of remote tech workers in the U.S. felt burnt out, 52% work longer hours than those in the office, and 40% feel as though they are expected to contribute more than their in-office colleagues.

Furthermore, workers feel more stressed to maintain their work standards and exceed expectations to prove their value. They end up experiencing more pressure to show tangible results every day.

Buffer's State of Remote Report 2020 puts collaboration, communication, and isolation as the biggest challenges when it comes to working remotely over an extended period of time.

remote-working-challenges

For a number of people, the line separating their work-life and home-life starts getting blurry after some time which results in excessive stress and an inability to switch off their work-mode after a long day.

39% of people who mostly work from home often work additional hours to complete their tasks compared with 24% of those in fixed workplaces.

Source

Some workers feel that they waste extra time and effort in clearing up misunderstandings and waiting on their colleagues to respond or confirm. Some have issues reconnecting with their old desk mates and sometimes, the internet. They feel out of the loop and run the risk of losing touch with the company vision.

Lack of preparationon the management's side also paves the way for unnecessary stress and bottlenecks in the process. Especially during times like these, employees look up to their leaders to help them feel secure and drive the business forward. If instead, they find more confusion and lack of direction at the top-level, they are bound to become aimless and disengaged.

Bring structure and balance to the process

It's not the optimal time to think long-term when the immediate goal is strictly revenue-driven. Priorities change. Companies have to stay afloat first. However, finding temporary fixes to organise a makeshift arrangement for employees ends up taking more time and energy than anticipated. To focus on the goals that matter, first, you need to spend some time bringing structure and balance to the operations. Compartmentalise issues and spend some quality time to figure out protocols and sustainable frameworks that will help you reduce miscommunications and misunderstanding.

Take, for example, the following scenarios:

Structure: Set a few reasonable yet non-negotiable rules to strengthen the work environment and enforce discipline.

Balance: Provide flexible working hours, especially for parents who are home-schooling their children.

Structure: State individual responsibilities and clear expectations from the get-go.

Balance: Ensure that employees get access to the resources they need. Organise knowledge sharing sessions to help them do their tasks efficiently.

Structure: Set priorities for teams and individuals, along with a follow-up plan.

Balance: Track progress without micromanaging.

Structure: Come up with creative social interaction opportunities and set up virtual workspaces.

Balance: Schedule breaks so the casual meetings don't go over time.

Structure: Set 'tickets' for communication channels, tasks, and requests based on priority: Urgent, time-sensitive, medium, and low priority.

Balance: Keep wiggle-room for wrong estimations or planning fails.

As one might expect, leadership capabilities will be tested during these tough times. It's quite natural to feel as though you have the sole responsibility to help your team perform better and show results faster. However, being available 24/7 is not a healthy alternative for you. Along with clear rules, managers should also draw clear boundaries and learn to delegate responsibilities better. That entails collecting and providing access to resources and information, so everyone knows where to find the right data, whom to consult, and how to plan and seek approvals ahead of the deadline. It's a challenging task - to help employees retain a sense of purpose and keep the vision of the company alive - but it's definitely not impossible.

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February 25, 2020

Employee performance review questions

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Performance Management
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24% of workers would consider leaving their jobs if they had managers that provide inadequate performance feedback.

Having the right performance review questions and format in place are important for that optimal manager and employee relationship where both parties can feel comfortable discussing performance.

Frequent performance conversations are one of the most productive ways to connect with your employees, understand their fears, motivations, ambitions, and to ensure that their vision and goals align with the organisation on a broader scale. Having said that, a poorly organised review session can culminate in resentment and eventually, resignation.

Lack of regular feedback and recognition can have a negative effect on your employees' morale and a sense of purpose. So what is the best way of asking questions for employee performance review.

Discard the traditional annual/bi-annual performance reviews and make the process more dynamic for increased engagement and productivity. Being agile and flexible in your approach enables you to connect with your people on various levels and crucial touch points to provide a smooth employee experience throughout their lifecycle.

One of the winners of 2019 Sweden's Best Managed Companies, Bisnode does continuous performance development differently. They have opted for a two-part, interwoven process.

  • The first part is setting quarterly and annual goal using the OKR framework (Objectives and Key Results).
  • The second part entails regular and ongoing conversations tailored to the needs of the individual/teams. Through these follow-ups, the management team encourages each individual at Bisnode to reach out to their leader and have at least four performance conversations over the year.

They empower their people to choose the frequency of their one-on-one sessions other than the obligatory quarterly ones.

"You must have frequent one-on-ones to stay on track. We have stopped having annual performance evaluation forms, as no one reads the stuff anymore!

Let's face it - making every employee fill out an evaluation form and sitting down to talk about it every year-end is a huge waste of time and energy. Most employees - and leaders hate annual performance reviews. And for a good reason.

We encourage people to have a one-on-one with anyone they want – let it be their colleague or supervisor, or the HR manager. We even ask them to choose the frequency of their one-on-one meetings. They must have one of these meetings at least once a quarter, but it's up to them to decide if they want to have it more often.

Also, it is equally important for each employee in Bisnode to update the progress of their OKRs in Winningtemp regularly. The overall progress on OKRs is a good indicator of how one has performed."

"At Bisnode, when we commit ourselves to a larger goal than to hit our weekly and quarterly numbers, we don't need to waste time rating and grading employees. We only need to reinforce them and give them room to run! We need every millisecond of our time and energy to be spent inspiring and encouraging our teammates — not to mention moving obstacles out of their way."

Cecilia Westerholm Beer, Chief HR Officer at Bisnode.

Learn how Bisnode is leveraging the OKR magic to create a connected workplace that's characterised by productivity, collaboration, and transparent culture.

Grab a copy of 'The OKR Effect ft. Bisnode' for free here!

All-year-round feedback system lets your employees feel heard. They appreciate the opportunity to be vocal with their thoughts and opinions, which leads to better engagement and commitment. It strengthens the position of the leaders as coaches and paves the way for meaningful conversations and real-time exchange of information and suggestions. Additionally, it enables managers to have deeper connections with newer employees.

Instead of following the age-old method, customise your own performance review system keeping in mind the following factors:

Methodical preparation and consideration

Managers should be well-prepared to take part in a sincere conversation about the employee's professional growth and development. They should be able to look into the OKRs, past records, progress updates, achievements, oversights, future prospects and have the talking points ready well before the meeting.

Unbiased, fair reviews

While preparing for the meetings, managers should request for inputs from colleagues who work closely with the contributor. However, these inputs shouldn't cloud their judgement. It's wise to leave individual opinions aside and review the case based on evidence and measurable insights.

68% of employees who receive accurate and consistent feedback feel fulfilled in their jobs.

The right balance

Complete honesty is crucial for these dialogues, but it's also essential to keep the tone neutral. Managers should celebrate the small/big wins of the employees but at the same time, provide constructive criticism without placing blame or condemning them.

Two-way communication

These performance reviews present a great opportunity to coach employees to drive better performance. Managers should moderate a stimulating conversation between the two parties by asking open-ended questions and requesting candid feedback.

Frequency of one-on-one

Brief review sessions held regularly take much less time to prepare and execute. This practice also enables the managers to provide real-time feedback promptly without micromanaging the tasks or projects.

About two-thirds of Gen Z said they want to hear timely, constructive performance feedback throughout the year.

Solid action plan

Managers should be able to record the critical moments of the meeting to create the next action plan along with the employee. It helps both parties to benchmark the progress and follow-up whenever required.

Download the most effective performance review questions to ensure well-structured review meetings and to prepare for different types of dialogues.

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January 22, 2020

Why annual employee surveys belong to the past decade: A checklist

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The 2010s called. They want their annual employee surveys back.

Several progressive organisations have already ditched it, a few are on the fence, but quite a large number of traditional organisations still believe this is too important to give up.

We get it. Employee engagement surveys are instrumental in understanding employees’ thoughts, concerns, and frustrations around their working conditions, leadership, compensations, company policies, anything and everything that can affect their productivity and mental health.

However, these 20-page annual surveys are not the most effective tool when it comes to identifying underlying issues, providing significant insights, and taking action on the crucial factors that lead to turnover and lousy Glassdoor reviews.

Here’s why:

  • Annual employee engagement or feedback surveys are pretty outdated. These questions, when asked once in a year, fail to capture the real intention or motivation behind an employee’s actions. The results may tell you what your employees think, but not the reason behind their thought-process.
  • A survey by Allied Workforce Mobility revealed that companies lose 25% of all new employees within the first year. With annual feedback system, it becomes challenging to discover the cause behind dissatisfaction and to take immediate actions in real-time.
  • Growing organisations are in a constant state of transition; their goals and priorities change with the changing business needs. These traditional surveys aren’t ‘smart’ enough to evolve with time; thus, most of the data collected in the process end up being irrelevant.
  • It becomes nearly impossible to find a pattern or identify underlying issues since the result of the survey depends on just one data point. A few pressing issues that might have materialised months before the survey are usually ignored or forgotten.
  • It’s not cost-effective. The results don’t offer any concrete action plans or insights into the problems that plague the workplace.
  • It goes against the fundamental rule of agility. It doesn’t allow you the time to be pro-active or to plan future initiatives that may reduce employee turnover. You get the results when it’s already too late.
  • Speaking of which, it takes quite some time to get the final results of the surveys. By the time it arrives at your desk, chances are the at-risk employees who have been holding onto grudges have already started looking for other vacancies.
  • Sifting through the collected data is an exhausting task that requires time, patience, and energy. Even if you manage to comb through the data, it doesn’t offer you relevant talking points that can impact business performance.
  • Employees do not feel heard. Companies can’t act on the vague results, thus confirming the suspicion that the management team do not give importance to what they have to say. Naturally, they do not feel motivated enough to respond to the surveys honestly.
In the 2009 Cornell National Social Survey, 26% of respondents admitted to withholding information about problems or ideas for workplace improvement because they felt that it was futile.
  • The survey collects employees’ feedback, but it doesn’t let you delve deeper into the unresolved issues. You can’t ask follow-up questions or get a better understanding of the factors that impact their sense of well-being, for example, job satisfaction, autonomy, team spirit, personal growth, etc.
  • Similarly, due to the lack of consistency, it becomes difficult for organisations to distinguish between issues that are long forgotten and potentially harmful problems that need to be addressed now.
  • One of the crucial factors that affect the response rate and quality is the length of the survey.
Research records a 15% drop in response rate when a survey has more than 12 questions and up to 40% drop when it takes longer than 10 minutes to complete.

Since the surveys cover several different topics, it naturally becomes lengthy, which results in fatigue and imprecise responses.

Take a deeper dive into how modern engagement surveys work and how Winningtemp is reinventing the game by asking the right questions and providing the leaders with insights that they can actually use!

Blog
January 22, 2020

How Winningtemp's employee engagement survey works

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How AI and the science behind Winningtemp make your working life easier

If you don’t ask, you’ll never know the answer. Most of us know that phrase from our parents, school or workplace. And that is what Winningtemp really comes down to - questions and answers. In the last few years, an entirely new set of data-based tools for efficient employee performance management have entered the market, often replacing the traditional annual employee surveys, and they are all based on... yes, you guessed right, questions and answers. But that’s where the similarity ends, and the contrasts between the solutions become evident.

The key to success (which in this case means better performance, increased productivity, happier and more engaged employees) is to ask the right questions and draw the correct conclusions from the answers. This is where the years we have invested in combining behavioural science and research with artificial intelligence and deep learning come to play.

This is what makes Winningtemp stand out from the crowd.

The customers who have used Winningtemp for a year or more, on average have reduced staff turnover by more than 30%!

What does the platform actually do?

To explain how we can help our customers to achieve numbers like that, we need to take a few steps back to when it all started in 2014. Winningtemp was born from a simple notion - if you could combine all that science knows about what contributes towards building a thriving organisation with a tool that helps business leaders apply that knowledge to their organisations, we would make a real difference. And that is what we have done since then.

We began our research with 600 validated scientific studies on the identifiable factors related to employee engagement, efficiency, and productivity that lead to a successful organisation. From that knowledge base, we then developed a platform based on artificial intelligence and machine learning that automatically measures and gives qualitative insights into how the employees of an organisation compare to these data points.

We let the system automate which questions should be sent to an employee, based not only on their previous answers but also on the patterns and learnings from answers of more than 100 000 other users of Winningtemp. The responses are then analysed to generate insight, predictions, and suggestions for improvement to help business leaders better manage their employees.

How does it work in real life?

Let’s go back to the 30% reduction in staff turnover that we used as an example to illustrate how the platform works. The platform identifies triggers when a team member (anonymous) displays behavioural patterns in their answers that are similar to those who have left their position in the last 3-5 months. The intuitive tool uses a combination of the scientific data and the learnings from the full user base of Winningtemp to set off the trigger. The system will then use this insight to create accurate suggestions for the right manager on how to rectify this situation before the person actually decides to leave.

This is just an example of one area where Winningtemp can help leaders manage their organisation more proactively. The platform is fully operational and is equally efficient in improving the overall employee well-being, preventing sick leaves and negative stress, increasing productivity and engagement etc. The logic remains the same - to help make the right analysis and the right decisions by asking the right questions. To make things even better, the more data that is fed into the system, the better it gets, as the built-in intelligence and continuous deep learning helps increase accuracy and analysis as the database grows.

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January 7, 2020

Driving people-centric organisations: 6 practical ways to improve employee experience

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Monthly team outings or free access to the gym are quite effective in keeping your employees engaged but are these extrinsic factors enough to retain your top talents and help them reach their full potential?

Today’s workforce is digitally capable; they want smarter solutions, faster responses and are not willing to compromise on crucial factors such as self-esteem, working conditions, and career growth. They deserve technical support, guidance, and streamlined processes that are conducive for both personal and professional growth.

It’s high time for forward-thinking organisations to adopt the perspective of their people and think on a broader scale to improve their end-to-end employee experience.

Research shows that companies that invest in employee experience are twice as innovative, provide double the customer satisfaction, and deliver 25% greater profitability.

They record higher ELTV (Employee Lifetime Value), demonstrate responsibility towards their job, enjoy collaboration, and are deeply invested in the success of the organisation.In this article, we are focusing on the six most important factors that pave the way for robust employee experience.

Fluid work environment

Aspire to build an agile environment that’s characterised by flat hierarchy, absence of workplace biases, free-flow of ideas, and meaningfulness. It’s a tough endeavour, no doubt. However, the employee experience is your competitive advantage, and it makes complete sense to try to provide the employees with an environment where they feel comfortable enough to open up and work harder to achieve both their personal and organisational goals.

Employee insights

Gather employee feedback at significant touchpoints to give them the voice they deserve. Send relevant, personalised questionnaires regularly (after momentous events/one-on-ones/group meetings, etc.) to grasp their thought processes and identify emerging patterns of dissatisfaction.

improving employee experience

Leverage digital tools to automate the surveys and the data-crunching processes. Working with real-time insights about how the employees feel about their situation, their journey, and the organisation as a whole is crucial in building the workplace of the future.

Frictionless processes

73% of employees who work in a fully-enabled digital workplace reported a positive impact on their productivity

Your employees’ success depends on their ability to perform in an environment that doesn’t hinder their productivity. Make it easier for them to collaborate faster and work smarter with tools that enable them to set milestones, goals in a few simple steps and follow-up on their progress whenever required. Make the system transparent enough so they can follow the organisational goals and decide how they can contribute to achieving those as a team.

Skills development

“CFO asks CEO: What happens if we invest in developing our people, and then they leave us?CEO: What happens if we don’t, and they stay?”

A quite well-worn quote no doubt, but the idea behind the expression stands true. Your employees are your biggest reinforcements; the skill set they bring to the table defines the success or failure of the company. They must be given the opportunity to hone their skills, to train themselves so that they can do their jobs better. Facilitate organisational growth by investing in skills development for both the people and their leaders. LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report states that 93% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers and development.

Guide Modern Performance Management – Transforming your employee experience Get the guide now

Meaningful conversations

The most effective method of knowing your employees better is through performance evaluation meetings or one-on-ones. Make the most of these face-to-face conversations by planning and designing a structure around the sessions. Set a frequency, have questions and conversation points ready well before schedule, create an action plan based on the result of the meetings, and follow-up regularly to help them stay focused.

Management accountability

Leaders can make a difference by taking up the responsibility of coaching their teams, inspiring them, and celebrating their successes. They must reinforce the ideals, values, and purpose of the organisation and provide support whenever necessary. That doesn’t just imply professional assistance, but it also includes support and flexibility during personal crises.

Blog
December 5, 2019

Creating a value-driven organisation: Our Head of People and Culture shares her insights

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Winningtemp’s Head of People and Culture, Cecilia Holmblad started her journey with Winningtemp last winter, and it has been a wild ride ever since. The company's primary focus is growth, which implies that both recruitment and the development of digital pre- and onboarding programs were high on the agenda. But in order to succeed in retaining talented employees, she must also work parallelly on building up an exceptional company culture.

It all started with the new brand identity and positioning. When the management team got together to decide the purpose, the vision, and the values, it gave Cecilia more elbow room to work on the company culture that reflects those values. Thus, began the journey towards forging a value-driven organisation.

We are passionate about creating successful workplaces, and we know that one of the most important building blocks to success is to build a strong culture.
value-based organisation

Higher engagement and stronger team spirit

It’s common knowledge that shared values are crucial for engagement and team spirit. It impacts how we treat each other and reinforces the idea of ‘us’. This, in turn, boosts better communication and understanding among each other. The best part is, this is not just limited within the four walls of the company.

“The goal is simple. Our values should guide us in everything we do and the decisions we make. For instance, refer to your values during recruitment – from the first contact to the final interview. It becomes an effective tool for you to decide whether the candidate fits in with the rest of the people. In the same way, the candidate also gets the chance to decide if they are comfortable with your values.”

To work successfully with values, it’s not only necessary to consistently talk about what you stand for but to also dare to define an anti-culture. This means one should even dare to express what they don’t stand for. It’s not always easy, but it paves the way for a stronger bond between your colleagues and the organisation.

Secure and confident employees

Value-driven organisations are thriving because they provide a common purpose for employees. The values ​​serve as principles that everyone can practice when performing their work and promote qualities such as personal responsibility and better decision making.

Mathias Hansson Fredlund, one of Winningtemp's founders, sees the values ​​as enablers of a faster and smoother organisation.“Our values ​​give us guidance on issues that arise in everyday life. They help us make decisions and enable us to move forward much faster as an organisation. The values, together with clear instructions and responsibilities, create a self-sustaining and efficient organisation.

The Executive Assistant at Winningtemp, Erika Wohlert, agrees.

“This way of working gives us more freedom, along with more responsibility. We do not have to ask for permission all the time but must use our judgment, which naturally makes the decision-making process faster. Besides, creativity spikes when we have to find solutions to challenges by ourselves.”

”When you as employees have values ​​that guide you along the way, it is easier to make decisions per the company's values. The purpose of it is to become more fast-footed by reducing unnecessary follow-ups that tend to take up a lot of energy and resources.”, says Cecilia.

Satisfied customers and increased profits

Studies have shown a clear link between value-driven companies and higher growth and better profit margins. Living by its values enables companies to drive employee and customer satisfaction.

Actually, it's not that strange. If there is clarity in communication both inside and outside the organisation, it leads to an increased sense of belonging, participation, and understanding. It also helps inspire confidence among the customers. It’s merely like the well-known saying - What you see is what you get", concludes Cecilia.

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November 18, 2019

Winningtemp Smart AI releases ‘Smart Prediction’ that identifies at-risk employee groups and suggests immediate measures

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For entry and mid-level positions, the cost to replace an employee is between 30% and 150% of their annual salary. For executives, this figure can rise up to 400%.

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Staff turnover costs companies big money. Needless to say, the time and resources spent on recruitment, onboarding, and training serve no purpose when the employee leaves, adding ‘loss of knowledge’ to the existing pile of losses suffered by the company. The most frustrating part is that the constant risk of employees leaving impedes the organisation from working proactively with the underlying issues behind the high attrition rate.

Even today, several organisations rely on gut feelings or obsolete data to put forward preventive measures against employee turnover. Not surprisingly, the management team gets caught off-guard every time one of their top talents leave the organisation.

Since the inception of Winningtemp, our product has helped around 1200 companies in visualising the accurate state of employee well-being in real-time. It enables managers and HR leaders to act on day-to-day data and quickly see the impact of various activities on the overall results. This has been an immense step forward in defining the future of work.

However, it still didn’t provide the users with churn indicators and the ability to identify the issues behind staff turnover.

Introducing Winningtemp Smart Prediction. Our data scientists have been working with artificial intelligence and deep learning to make Winningtemp more intuitive and robust. It works with millions of data points to find patterns in real-time and send warning signals to notify the managers of risks and opportunities.

winningtemp smart prediction

The turnkey function adapts itself to your organisation’s ecosystem, analyses the results and transforms the time-series data into digestible information to

  • Point out high-risk employee groups
  • The approximate time until the employee quits
  • The factors that can contribute to the employees leaving
  • Suggest concrete actions that will help managers reduce staff turnover

How does Smart Prediction work?

To get insights about employee turnover from data, we need to somehow transform a stream of answers into estimates of when each user will quit. We also need to model uncertainty in these estimates so that we can accurately analyse the risk over different periods. This requires a model that can find and represent the intricate patterns inherent in users' answers.

The setup is illustrated in the diagram below, where we have historical data with answers to different questions on the left and to the right a probability distribution over time to the event that the user quits.

winningtemp smart prediction

This is a supervised learning problem where the data consists of variable-length sequences of events, and it is not immediately obvious how to represent the explanatory variables. A simple approach would be to calculate various aggregates over rolling time windows. We decided to instead feed the raw event stream directly into a Recurrent Neural Network (RNN), which has the capability to learn relevant features on its own.

The target variables, i.e. the network output, are the parameters for the probability distribution that describes when and how certain the model is that the user will quit. This differs from regular binary churn classification in one important way - we need not specify a fixed churn-definition before training the model. The end result is an interpretable and flexible model that can be used to predict employee turnover in any time period.

When evaluating the accuracy of a model on historical data, we can see how well the probability distributions match the actual outcomes of users who have quit, primarily by evaluating how likely the model is to generate the same data. For currently employed users, however, all we know is that they did not quit before today's date. In Survival Analysis, this is called the censoring point, and the target for active users is to push the probability distribution beyond the point of censoring. By utilising all available data, every user, including the currently active ones contributes to the model training process.

How is the Smart Prediction model built?

Our approach is based on Deep Learning using recurrent neural networks (RNNs) with a Long short-term memory (LSTM) architecture. The network's feedback connections allow the model to identify and retain patterns in sequences of answers. It is implemented using Pytorch - a Python framework for differentiable programming.

What else can the model be used for?

At the lowest level, the model output consists of two parameters to a Weibull probability distribution that controls its location and shape. This approach is mostly inspired by the thesis and accompanying blog post by Egil Martinsson. It allows us to further calculate:

  • The expected time until a user quits.
  • The number of users per group that have a very high risk of leaving within, e.g. six months.
  • How every single answer affects the churn probability.

The last item is derived from the ability to track the model's prediction over time, effectively allowing us to attribute employee turnover to every specific answer. This allows us to construct recommendations on a per-group basis on which question categories that should be prioritised to reduce employee turnover.

What’s in store for the future?

For an upcoming release, we are working on predicting the answers to single questions - generating a predictive index for each question category. This will help new customers focus on areas where their time is well spent and to significantly reduce their time to receive the first insight.

We are also working on Natural Language Processing (NLP) models that will structure and help navigate a large amount of textual feedback given in the system. By modelling natural language, we are able to extract the essence of a text and connect it to other essential data.

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November 4, 2019

Agile HR in practice: What it means for employee experience

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The age of digital disruption ushers in a radical shift in the way organisations perceive HR, hierarchy, and talent management. The early adopters of the lean methodology are replacing the traditional, one-dimensional, and sluggish processes with an agile framework that focuses solely on increasing efficiency and enabling continuous improvement.

The agile doctrine was initially designed to remove the bottlenecks and improve collaboration between the software development teams. Since then, it has been adopted by progressive organisations to reinvent how HR should function to attract, retain, and develop their skilled employees. With these people-centric organisations kicking their competitors to the curb, it’s becoming increasingly critical for others to pick up the pace and exhibit agile HR in practice.

In a 2017 Deloitte survey, 94% of companies reported that agility and collaboration are critical to their organisation’s success, and 79% of all global executives rated agile performance management as a high organisational priority.

Agile HR implies more co-creation, greater flexibility, constantly evolving solutions, and better adaptability between processes, employees, and projects to allocate finite resources responsibly.

agile HR in practice

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The underlying principle is simple - identify the problem at its source and work your way up to ensure maximum flexibility. The solutions should be co-designed, tested, and frequently improvised to maintain coherence and relevance.

When it comes to employee experience, in practice, agile HR works broadly with systematic recruitment, defining shorter work cycles, ensuring autonomy and cross-functional collaboration, streamlining review meetings, and allowing more time for reflection and learning.

Agile Recruitment

The very first interaction between the candidate and the organisation sets the tone for the entire employee experience. Several factors contribute to the process of attracting, hiring, and onboarding skilled employees, but organisations with agile HR at the helm enjoy a distinct advantage over the rest.

  • Setting the standard set of rules and protocols aside, recruiters must be on the lookout for breakthrough talents even before the needs arise.
  • The ‘right fit' doesn’t only imply the ‘right set of skills’; it also incorporates culture, attitude, and value fit.
  • Streamline the post-interview feedback process to ensure that the candidates are receiving helpful feedback at regular intervals.
  • Stand apart from other recruiters by instilling a sense of belonging in the employees. That can be done through employee branding, being transparent about the company’s vision and missions, etc.
  • Customise the onboarding process so that the employee fits into the ongoing operations in a matter of days. Give them access to resources, training materials, and maintain a continuous dialogue with them to get feedback during and after onboarding.

Agile Leadership

The new-age workforce demands an evolved way of working with flatter hierarchical structure and increased self-leadership. They do not shy away from responsibility and accountability, which may give rise to frictions if the leaders are not mature enough to provide them with space and freedom.

  • Agile leaders should be trained to coach the employees rather than ‘managing’ them. People respond to positive criticism and encouragement, which motivates them to perform better and reach their potential.
  • During project allocation, leaders should ensure that the teams are comprised of the right people with the right set of skills.
  • Leaders should always be available, listen to their employees and prioritise their tasks keeping in mind the needs of their people. They must have the time and ability to talk to individuals and groups about their current state of mind.
  • They must equip their teams with appropriate ammunition that will allow them to operate independently.

Agile Employee Feedback Process

One of the standard old-school practices that the organisations are scrapping is the annual employee feedback process. Those surveys render no viable results as the data collected are already outdated and too complex to analyse.

  • Gather insights into your employees’ feelings and well-being in real-time with specialised tools that can analyse and produce the results in real-time. Leaders can leverage the information and predictions provided by the tool to act on time, even before the problems arise.
  • Ditch the outdated processes and paperwork to work in a much more efficient way with automated pulse surveys that can track the engagement, satisfaction, and happiness levels of the employees.
  • Seek feedback from the employees frequently and at optimal touchpoints, for example, after company-wide transitions or events that can potentially induce dissatisfaction.

Agile Performance Management

Performance management is a crucial process that can arguably have the most impact on your employee experience. Without a healthy dose of agility, it can end up being process-heavy and ineffective.

The first step is to train the leaders so that they can guide the employees to align their goals to the organisation’s vision and objectives and keep track of the progress through regular conversations and feedback exchange.

  • Equip leaders with convenient tools that will make it easier for them to assign tasks, track progress, and make impromptu changes if necessary.
  • Scrap the annual performance reviews and focus more on encouraging the employees through ongoing conversations and check-ins. This will allow them to reflect on the tasks or goals after each cycle and learn from the results.
  • Frequent one-on-ones will allow the leaders and the employees to have more development discussions instead of review meetings, which will help create a connected workplace where everyone feels valued and respected.
  • ‘Upward’ feedback is equally important in an agile organisation. Allow your employees to share their thoughts and opinions in a safe environment.
  • Provide more opportunities for skills development and training for the leaders and the employees.

Working with agile HR is about effectively influencing the employee experience at the organisation, down to the individual level. Implemented well, HR can work with real-time employee satisfaction insights to identify the core issues and take actions immediately. By visualising the data in graphs, reports and key figures, they are given the opportunity to demonstrate the extent to which their work creates business value, and thus the issue gets the bearing it deserves.

Blog
September 30, 2019

The anatomy of an effective employee engagement survey

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On a scale of 1 to 10, how effective do you think annual employee surveys are?

You might respond with a four if you think there should be a better option, or an eight if you believe these surveys are somewhat effective. However, if we simply ask for a number to gauge how receptive you are towards employee engagement surveys, the only intelligence we will gain from the results is just quantitative. How can we use this data to improve the surveys?

The concept of standard employee surveys is problematic due to this reason. The questions are close-ended, un-inspired, and can only measure what your staff thinks, not why they feel that way. The chances are, you are already aware of the major grievances if you are working with your co-workers in close quarters. You are not getting any new information or insights into their behavioural changes and what has triggered these changes. You can’t be proactive in your approach to reduce employee turnover if you only measure job satisfaction and staff engagement levels once a year. The engagement levels may vary with their current mood or emotional state that can reflect in the survey results and make the entire exercise futile.

The new workforce deserves a better employee experience

The new and evolved workforce is influential, dynamic, ambitious. They need quick solutions, fast responses, and real-time information. They want to work smart, engage with the team, and make an impact. Now, imagine the management team reaching out to them with the age-old one-dimensional employee surveys asking for their feedback. Your employees’ values, work ethics, and goals are linked to the company image you portray, the benefits that you provide for them, and the culture you promote. They want to be heard, influence their work conditions, feel confident knowing that they have a say in how the company is growing. Leaders should provide them with the channels to do so. By not allowing them to have a voice, you are running the risk of alienating your employees, and ultimately, you are pushing them away to a business competitor who’s more than willing to appreciate their enthusiasm.

Studies have shown that “the cost of losing an employee can cost anywhere from 16% of their salary for hourly, unsalaried employees, to 213% of the salary for a highly trained position.”

What are the factors that should be considered while drafting an employee engagement survey? In this article, we’ll focus on the most significant ones below.

The power of anonymity

This is arguably the most crucial factor that contributes to the response rate of these surveys. Every employee isn’t built the same way, and every company culture doesn’t offer a high level of transparency. To avoid unnecessary frictions, or to spare the feelings of the co-workers, employees prefer to be anonymous in their feedback. This offers them the freedom to speak their minds and drive the change that they want to see.

Frequency of employee surveys

Relevant surveys at regular intervals are effective in getting a real response from the target group. This practice allows you to analyse the effect over time and identify behaviour patterns that can prove to be harmful in the future. You can dig into the inputs to get a clear understanding of their emotional conditions and stress levels.

Research-based questions

There are several factors that drive employee engagement – mutual respect, compensation and benefits, professional growth, skills training, team morale, recognition and rewards, work-life balance, meaningfulness, leadership style, and so on.

Leaders must ensure that the questions in the survey focus on each of these categories to get a clear understanding of the overall health and well-being of the organisation. The questions should be direct, to-the-point, and emotive. Bear in mind that you are not just asking these questions to understand your employees better, but you are also allowing them to dive deeper and think about what’s affecting their mental state – if they are working on an auto-pilot mode or if they feel that they are a part of the organisation. The surveys should force them to think, study themselves, and respond with their original thoughts.

Closed-loop feedbacks

Engaged employees want to share their thoughts if you give them a chance and show them that you’re willing to work on their suggestions. Delve deeper to get the required insights by triggering follow-up questions based on the mood/response of the employees. The process can be automated with AI-powered tools that study employee reactions and send more follow-up questions to get to the bottom of the problem.

The main purpose of these surveys is to enable the management to react to the feedback or to follow-up (as required) in time, not after the disheartened employee has already left the organisation.

The ability to personalise

The same issues don’t plague every department of an organisation. To ensure that the surveys are relevant and are focused on specific areas of concern, send customised questionnaires to particular subsets or groups to get an accurate measurement. This way, each manager can identify red alerts and take actions faster before the situation deteriorates. You should be able to customise these surveys based on specific tasks, events, or company-wide transitions that may affect team spirit and morale.

Wrapping it up,

Employee engagement surveys are beneficial only when you can leverage the insights gleaned from the results and use that in a productive way. If done right, systematic surveys allow you to visualise the entire employee experience over time so that you can identify opportunities to make the employee journey smoother and provide value in every step of the way.

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September 30, 2019

Designing a positive employee experience – 5 factors to consider

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The global labour market has witnessed a radical shift in the way organisations treat their employees. Forward-thinking companies are acutely aware of how a positive employee experience paves the way for unparalleled customer experience. It is not only the paying customers who are treated with priority and a customer-first mentality, but the people responsible for acquiring and retaining these customers are also given equal importance.

The days of attracting talents with free lunch and a fantastic health plan are gone. To engage and retain a skilled employee, the management team must work on and personalise all interactions - from pre-hire dialogues to the exit interview (in short, touchpoints), journey milestones, and employee expectations.

Candidates assess future employers from the very start of the talent acquisition experience and make quick judgments about what life will be like for them in the organization, based on how they interact with the enterprise during the recruiting cycle.

Deloitte Insights

Ensure that your employees enjoy an integrated experience with professional, emotional, and financial support. The ideal employee experience should incorporate every element that can have an impact on the staff's physical and mental health, starting from a sense of belonging, security, confidence that they can influence their own work condition, trust and autonomy to workplace hygiene, opportunities to grow and contribute to the success of the organisation.

As Mark Levy, the former head of Employee Experience at Airbnb, puts it eloquently, "Anything that sets employees up for success or improves our culture should be a part of Employee Experience.

"It is unwise to assume this can be implemented in a day; employee experience is a long-term plan that should be adopted and developed over time. The end goal is to have a community of engaged, committed employees who are eager to work towards a common goal, to deliver exceptional service, and to (eventually) act as advocates for the organisation. The end result is reduced stress and in-house politics, enriched customer experience, increased productivity and profit per employee."
employee experience

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It is the management team's responsibility to get rid of siloed departments, take accountability of the entire employee journey, and view it from a holistic perspective. If done right, you can visualise five major areas where you can focus on improving the employee experience for the entire organisation.

Meaningfulness

PwC's 2017 Employee Engagement Landscape Study shows that the primary obstacle affecting people's engagement negatively is “ doing work for others that is not part of my job." When the functional divisions work separately in silos, unaware of organisational goals or the mission they're on, the enthusiasm and commitment to work dwindle.

Employees need to know that their work is meaningful, and they are contributing to the ultimate objective. With transparent goal management and open conversations, this understanding can be achieved. It's not a rare occasion for an employee to feel burned out and frustrated due to lack of direction - they know what they're supposed to do, but they have no clue why they are doing it. It is crucial (especially for huge corporations) to have all your employees on the same page and to move in the same direction to fulfil one common purpose.

Work environment

Both the physical and psycho-social work environment play their part in ensuring that the employee is feeling contented and secured. They deserve a safe environment where they are treated with respect, where others recognise their values ​​and achievements, and they receive support and empathy during tough times. Employees reach their potential and take pride in their work only when they are surrounded by people who encourage them, and conditions that are conducive to productive work.

Several organisations still grapple with concepts of diversity, inclusion, workplace bullying and biases that affect how employees view their employers and their values. In these cases, top-line executives should take the responsibility of educating their co-workers and driving the organisation toward positivity. To stay on top of things, seek your employees' inputs and feedback regularly on grave matters affecting their mental health and well-being. This enables you to identify issues and decide on a plan of action in real-time.

THE KEYS TO A THRIVING, HIGH-PERFORMING ORGANISATION  The science behind effective organisations: 9 factors that matter most Download the guide

Modern performance management

Employees often feel that their supervisors are not acknowledging or appreciating the work they have put in. In several organisations, performance reviews are tied with compensation and other benefits that push employees to perform better. Leaders often skip regular feedback meetings or fail to have open conversations with their team due to lack of time which leads to employee demotivation. It is vital that you align your employees' needs, goals, and ambitions to the organisation's objectives and missions. It's high time for companies to start automating the process of performance management to make it more efficient and cost-effective. Promote a culture of complete transparency and team collaboration by setting personal and professional goals for all levels, encouraging systematic one-on-ones, and tracking activities so that you can inspire them to do more or celebrate their achievements.

One of the winners of 2019 Sweden's Best Managed Companies, Bisnode, encourages its employees to set the frequency of their own one-on-ones. By giving the staff the power to decide when they want to talk to their leaders, they are cultivating a company culture that's free, engaged, transparent, and people-oriented.

Growth opportunities & skill development

No employee wants to be stuck in the same role, doing the same tasks day after day with no growth curve in the vicinity. Your talents offer unique skills that need to be honed and celebrated. The management team should drive training sessions and workshops to keep everyone updated on the fields they specialise in. Employees should be able to upgrade their skills and knowledge at their own pace to contribute more to the organisation.

These growth opportunities for leaders and staff help build trust, stronger connections and reduce apathy. Employees feel more motivated and optimistic because their advanced knowledge will help them get ahead in their careers.

Trust in leadership

The degree of trust that employees have in their leaders directly impacts their overall performance. They expect their managers to be fair, unbiased and treat them as individuals with original thoughts and opinions. Managers, on the other hand, need to invest in their employees on a continuous basis to help them grow and succeed.

The moment employees start feeling like they are being exploited, they sever all emotional connections with the organisation. They look up to their leaders for direction and inspiration, which fuels the need to reach their potential. The company culture, mission, and vision help employees stay on track and strive to achieve a common objective. When the leaders' actions deviate from their words or promises, the employees feel duped, and they look for a way out if that suits them better.

To reiterate,

Humanise your employee experience by being personal, transparent, and honest in your approach. For your employees, you are creating a safe workplace where they are comfortable enough to share their thoughts, where they receive the support and encouragement required to achieve their goals. For your organisation, you are moulding a culture that is strengthened by positivity, team collaboration, meaningfulness, purpose, and mutual trust.

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September 11, 2019

Scrap annual performance review talks – and implement scheduled evaluations

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Employee appraisals, performance reviews, feedback discussions - a process has many names! The purpose, however, is the same regardless of what we call it - to increase employee motivation, performance, and well-being. Most people probably agree that annual performance review talks are not the optimal method for achieving these effects. Is it time to scrap these once-a-year meetings, and instead focus on scheduled evaluations?

Here are five reasons why you should reconsider annual performance review meetings and shift to more a more systematic form of discussion.

1.   It contradicts everything Agile HR stands for

Are you familiar with the concept of Agile HR? It's not surprising because it's a buzzword that's been buzzing around since 2012. Agile HR is a method that advocates all processes and projects being conducted in a flexible and agile manner. The reason the approach has grown so exponentially is that organisations need to adapt to a complex world where demands are always changing. It's glaringly obvious how the traditional personal appraisal talks strongly contradict the Agile method:

  • An agile approach strives for dynamic objectives. Annual targets quickly become outdated.
  • It seeks a robust feedback environment. Annual feedback is not enough to create commitment among employees.
  • It strives for cooperation and strong team spirit. Annual performance appraisals, without links to employees' teams, do not get the job done.

With this in mind, it's really a question of why annual employee appraisal talks are still standard for so many organisations!

2.   Development is achieved through dialogue

Everyone knows that the best discussions take place in a conversation, not in monologue. During a traditional annual meeting, the supervisor is the one with the most questions and thus leads the discussion in the desired direction. This asymmetry is often something the employee is unaware of, but it has a significant influence on the nature and outcome of the talk.

Furthermore, an appraisal talk is mostly about evaluation, rather than development, which is not a proactive way of working with employees' performance and well-being. Discussions where the supervisor listens and gets to know an employee's day-to-day duties are a much better starting point.

3.   The labour market is in a state of flux and is flexible

The time is right when organisations employ people who will stay with a single company all through their careers. In today's labour market, conditions are changing daily, both because the market is evolving, but also because employees are more transient. When an employee leaves a workplace, staff turnover increases, which is both costly and burdensome for the remaining staff. It is, therefore, of utmost importance that organisations focus on employee engagement and skills development. From this perspective, managers should find more conversational opportunities that shed light on areas such as employees' ideas for development, future prospects, and goals.

4.   Annual feedback is not enough

In just over five years, 75% of the global workforce will be made up of the millennial generation, according to a study by EY. Something that characterises the generation is that they are both flexible and transient - if they are not happy with their employers, they will find new ones. Millennials want to feel motivated and seek a working environment where they are appreciated and can contribute to something meaningful. They are looking for leaders who will provide them with the opportunity to reach their full potential and develop as individuals. Getting feedback at an annual performance review talk will not produce the required results. Frequent evaluations that focus on employee strengths, motivation and development potential are more effective in retaining the talents.

5.   A lot happens in a year

Just like a good salesman collects information about customers' needs, the best leaders pick up on employee signals. To pick up these signals, managers must have more frequent catch-ups with their employees. Mainly since the data collected from the annual employee appraisal talks will be out in a month!

With continuous evaluations, employees and management staff can maintain a dialogue about what works and what doesn't. Furthermore, the manager gains the opportunity to detect signals that may indicate ill health and other problems. To sum things up, scheduled evaluations shed light on minor annoyances that might bother an employee; inconveniences that could eventually lead to an employee resigning.

An alternative to annual performance reviews

  • Arrange scheduled employee evaluations on a weekly or monthly basis that focus on maintaining a proactive dialogue instead of a reactive summation.
  • Use temperature measurements that transparently and automatically present your organisation's strengths and development areas.
  • Initiate group discussions that shed light on issues such as work environment, leadership and commitment.
  • Work strategically with goal management through, for example, OKR goal formulation.
  • Empower employees to advance their skills development.
  • Create a corporate culture characterised by openness, honesty and straightforward communication.
  • Ensure a strong culture of feedback where daily feedback is encouraged.
  • Give leaders work processes and tools that give them the prerequisites for being the best versions of themselves.

Conclusion

The annual review talks belong to an old tradition that does not meet the demands of our fast-moving world. With everything that can happen in the course of a year, annual goals and feedback data quickly become outdated. Furthermore, employees require continuous feedback to maintain a high level of engagement. To implement Agile HR throughout the organisation, these yearly talks are not enough. Focus instead on scheduled and individual evaluations, employing dialogue with a proactive focus.

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September 9, 2019

Digital HR – 5 areas with digital opportunities

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Areas such as marketing, sales and finance have fundamentally changed in conjunction with digitalisation. Now is the time for HR to step in as a key player in the digitisation of operations, while at the same time exploiting digital opportunities. An HR study conducted by the University of Gothenburg identified digitisation as an upcoming HR challenge.

What is Digital HR?

Digital HR is about using digital techniques and working methods to make HR more efficient. The digital approach creates data-driven evidence that demonstrates how HR's work creates business benefits.But what does digitalising areas related to HR mean in concrete terms? In this blog post, we provide suggestions for five digital HR transformation opportunities.

1. Digital HR automates discussions with employees

Many functions, including marketing, sales and customer service, have begun using chatbots to improve the customer experience and expand their accessibility. Now is the time for HR to start leveraging chatbots - robots that simulate human conversations based on AI.

Chatbots have tremendous potential in several HR functions, including recruitment, onboarding and management of internal routines. With the help of chatbots, HR can free up time that can instead be allocated into strategic efforts. A practical first step is to let chatbots handle simple requests from employees, such as time off, business insurance, payroll audits, etc.

2. Digital HR provides data-driven decision support

Have you ever decided on a course of action without data-backed information that turned out to be a mistake? You're not alone! Many people, especially in managerial positions, are struggling to make quick decisions due to lack of relevant data. It's high time for businesses to put more emphasis on decisions based on facts, rather than trusting "gut feelings".

Today, most organisations collect a fixed amount of data, but they are lagging behind in collecting regular feedback from employees. By working with what we call temperature measurement, with frequent health checks of the organisation, various functions - senior management as well as HR, supervisors, and rank-and-file employees - are provided with data-driven material that helps them in taking time off and smart decisions.

3. Digital HR creates rapid feedback loops

Rapid feedback loops correlate with success in today's evolving world. There is substantial value in creating a culture of closed-loop feedback. That involves establishing digital support where awards, awards and performance are recorded in the same platform. The opportunity to give and receive awards helps employees feel that their achievements are not going unnoticed.

Rapid feedback loops are also created through frequent checks and strategic goal management. Annual personal development talks are no longer enough since goals can become outdated, sometimes even before they are documented. It is significantly more effective to have individual discussions with employees on a weekly or monthly basis. The focus should be on proactive dialogues and goal management, preferably based on the target model OKR. The implementation of strategic goal management requires both a goal management model, supportive processes and digital support.

4. Digital HR supports agile teams

Many businesses are working to minimise hierarchical structures and instead, letting organisational structures be characterised by agile working methods. By allowing individual units to make quick decisions, a market-oriented and efficient working method is created. The units can reflect on the goals and their progress to decide on the next steps and not rely on top-line management for instructions.It also contributes to commitment and accountability - both for the individual and the team. However, it requires a culture based on genuine reliance on the individual's ability to perform. To get started with an agile way of working, one can derive inspiration from development teams that often work with agile methods such as Kanban or Scrum. Next, you need to create both structures and digital support. Monday.com is an example of an easy-to-use tool that supports an agile approach.

5. Digital HR improves the employee experience

Enriching the customer experience has been popular in recent years, but the importance of the employee experience has now also begun to attract considerable attention. The employee experience encompasses everything from how businesses attract, introduce and develop their personnel to the wellbeing of the workplace, including both mental and physical aspects. Most people expect the job experience to reflect their personal lives. It is, therefore, no coincidence that businesses dedicate resources to, for example, office environments, health and wellness training, flexible working hours, etc.

Real-time employee engagement can be measured through automated “temperature measurements” utilising employee feedback. Through visualisation of the collected data, enterprises can gain an overall picture of how their organisations are doing and then make adjustments to strengthen the employee experience. One should not forget the link between profitability and the well-being of the organisation - a better employee experience also means a better customer experience.

In Conclusion,

HR is an essential piece of the puzzle for an organisation's digitalisation, but ironically, it falls behind. Nowadays, HRs can get digital support for working more proactively with employees. Factors such as agile teams, fast feedback loops and data-driven decision-making support are success factors for businesses. All of this at a time when the most attractive employees not only become more challenging to attract and retain but also when they reevaluate their relationships with their employers on an ongoing basis. By embracing digital technology and new ways of working, HR can obtain data-driven input that helps demonstrate how HR contributes to business value.

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September 9, 2019

HR success factors - tips from our Customer Success Manager

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Winningtemp's customer success manager Matilda Andersson was one of the first hires of Winningtemp. She sees a significant difference in how HR works now compared to when she started her journey at Winningtemp just over two years ago.

"Even the most conservative industries are starting to leverage the opportunities of digitisation to become more agile in HR," says Matilda Andersson at Winningtemp.

Employee well-being is as important as business revenue

When Matilda started working at Winningtemp, she had no idea what lay in front of her. She felt the energy and drive of the founders Pierre and Mathias, and their enthusiasm rubbed off! She understood that there was a certain amount of risk in joining a startup that's still in its early stages, but she was captivated by the founders' grand plans and wanted to become a part of them.

"I haven't regretted the decision for a second, and it turned out that I could trust my gut feelings," says Matilda.Matilda's duties as the customer success manager include helping customers gain the highest possible value from Winningtemp.“I provide customers with initial support by planning the onboarding of Winningtemp together with them,” she says. “Next, I guide them through a process for finding an appropriate approach for implementing Winningtemp in their organisations. When the customer has found the right approach, and it has become natural for them to talk about well-being as revenue figures, that's when I'm satisfied. "Matilda notices a huge contrast in how HR works now compared to two years ago. When she started at Winningtemp, HR departments wanted to implement Agile HR. Still, many organisations were not yet prepared when it came to working with digital employee surveys in real-time.

"Many organisations were not mature enough, but there were early adopters in HR who jumped on board and saw the benefits of working agilely and digitally," she says. "Today, the situation is quite different, and even the most conservative industries are starting to open their eyes to leveraging opportunities of digitalisation in becoming more agile when it comes to HR. ”

HR success factors

The biggest challenge Matilda has identified is working proactively with HR issues. HR has traditionally been viewed as a peripheral function, but as society evolves and employee influence is strengthened, the authority of HR departments has increased. Having an appealing workplace buzz with energy and good vibes is one of the most crucial factors in attracting and retaining talents.

Unless HR is mandated to work proactively with well-being, the organisation's all-important employer brand is left to chance. Matilda has identified two success factors for creating an HR department that meets the new requirements.“Organizations that work proactively with HR often have a strong mandate on the management team. Furthermore, companies at the forefront have often found enthusiasts in the organisation who help spread HR's message, ”she says.

Matilda believes that there is a clear link between HR and profitability. With digital tools like Winningtemp, an HR department can work data-driven, freeing up time that can instead be put into activities that create value. That entails that HR can show how their work contributes to business value. A snowball effect is created - the more HR can demonstrate business value, the more influence the department will have.“HR can improve the opportunities for a business's employees, which in turn leads to high-performing organisations,” says Matilda. “By working proactively with factors linked to well-being, HR can contribute to increased profitability.

Lastly, Matilda sums up what it takes to create a modern HR department.“First of all, there must be support from the management team. With no support from above, it's difficult to get the entire organisation to listen. You also have to understand the importance of proactive work and digital tools. Finally, you need to be responsive to what the employees want, combined with a business approach, ”says Matilda.