Download your copy of our insight paper It’s no surprise that most businesses have been forced to rethink their strategy and operating model in recent months. As a result, business leaders have come to recognise the importance of Organisational Design & Development (OD&D) expertise and the vital role HR functions serve in ensuring organsational structures and processes are fit for the ‘new norrn’. Download our insight paper to learn:How HR's priorities have shifted and been impacted by the PandemicHow businesses have been forced to rethink their strategy and operating modelHow OD&D expertise has been propelled to the foreWhat OD&D specialists can help with What the signs are that your organisational structure may not be fit for purpose The People and Process mistakes to avoid when it comes to restructure Download
10 Nov 2020
Download your copy of our insight paperLaws and regulations governing privacy and the protection of data, particularly sensitive personal data, continue to proliferate across the globe. But why should CISOs care about data privacy and how should they manage regulatory transitions to ensure their information security program stands up to data privacy protection laws? To get ‘real’ insight into this topic, we hosted a virtual roundtable where we invited a small group of top CISOs, operating in highly regulated industry sectors in the US, to share their lived experiences. Our guest speaker Robert Ball, Chief Business Development Officer & General Counsel from Ionic, also shared insight into why the domain of the CISO has expanded in light of emerging data privacy and protection laws. Download our insight paper for the key takeaways from the event and to discover 10 technology tips for CISOs to effectively manage data privacy. Download
29 Oct 2020
Convincing decision makers to invest in Cyber Security According to Senior Technology Leader, Dan Crisp, there are several strategies which can be used to get past organisational resistance and convince decision makers to investment in Information and Cyber Security. Read his guest blog below to learn more... Dan Crisp, Senior Technology Leader About Dan CrispDan Crisp is the founder of Digital risk Insight, a technology risk strategic advisory consultancy. He began his career as a technology merger & acquisitions analyst at Citi. Subsequently, he led the technology risk, cyber risk, and Basel programs for JP Morgan Chase in the US. Dan went on to serve as Chief Operations Officer for Barclays Global Information Security in London.Dan also served as the CISO and Chief Technology Risk Officer for BNY Mellon with technology risk, cybersecurity and data privacy oversight responsibility at BNY Mellon Corporation and its affiliates and subsidiaries. While there, he led the innovation, development and deployment of a global technology risk regulatory controls and analytics system for technology and privacy risk. Many decision makers overestimate their company's cybersecurity defenses – ‘no news is good news’ and they may not be enthusiastic about allocating more budget to protect themselves. One of the biggest barriers experts in my line of work find is convincing executives that doing nothing allows cybercriminals to gain advantage and potentially is putting the company at peril. I believe that there are several strategies which can be used to get past organisational resistance and convince decision makers to investment in Information and Cyber Security: 1. Reframe success metrics - what worked before is no longer effective It is an arms race, what used to work doesn’t work six to twelve months later, you’ve constantly got to be thinking about upping your game and getting that across to non-technical people is essential. For want of a better analogy – executives need to understand that they can’t simply buy the car and then continue drive it for a decade - without servicing it - just because they don’t want to spend further money or buy a new one.Use problem statements to help push back on the status quo and facilitate conversations as to why what you’ve always done is no longer good enough. Here is an example:“Our information security management system requires reassessment and transformation to ensure continued effective protection for our clients and the company.” 2. Benchmark with peers to challenge assumptions about the adequacy of cybersecurity investmentsFor example, when the Travelex breach occurred in London other currency exchange companies wanted to make sure it didn’t happen to them. There were questions like – what was Travelex’s Cyber Security footprint? What was their approach to risk management? How did it compare to their own company and therefore, how likely was this to happen to them? 3. Follow the organisational expectationsUse provided expected financial templatesWork with finance in advance to ensure your budget can withstand challengeUse storytelling to illustrate the risk Although it’s important that you have done your homework, laid out a clear budget and you speak the language of finance – you want your conversations to be risk based- not dollars and cents based. 4. Refine your presentation approachKeep the focus on the risk to the organisation (operational, reputational, regulatory, litigation, etc.)Present in non-technical languageUse storytelling to illustrate the riskCreate a sense of urgency. Inaction is dangerous.Leave a strong document trail leading to the person(s) who grant budgetAlways provide a follow-up email regardless of the meeting outcomeYou want to leave a strong document trail, and I call that the smoking gun, where it’s been explained in layperson’s terms and is abundantly clear to the budget granter – this is what’s at stake... 5. Use the three-slide technique Problem statementRisk storytelling Solution with costingThe discovery of the three-slide technique is a defining moment in my career. When I was working for a bank, we had a Big 4 consultancy firm provided us with a 40-slide presentation deck, which we spent quite a bit of money on. We were to use these slides to present our justifications to the board for asking for exponentially more money. The CISO I worked with at the time said she didn’t want to use them. She only wanted three slides. One explaining what the problem was. The second was to be the scary slide – explaining what would happen if they didn’t address the problem. The third was the solution and cost. It was so powerful and effective that we got the funding we asked for. I have gone back and used this technique, incrementally, for projects and programme fund raising with great success. 6. Use narratives to illustrate the risk of inactionI have found the use of narratives incredibly powerful. We used to call those the scary slides i.e. here’s an example of something that has happened recently and here’s why it might happen to you.News headlines cause decision makers to take action — even if it's short lived Storytelling activates sensory centers in the brain that make people relate to the story on a personal level — it places them inside of the storyStorytelling is extremely powerful when it comes to marketing and other forms of communicationUse storytelling to demonstrate the risk, create a sense of urgency and leave them with the impression that you have laid this at their feet, with all of the risks and consequences outlined and now the decision is in their hands.You almost want to worm into a person’s thinking so that they wake up in the middle of the night thinking about what you’ve laid at their feet. You want them thinking - what if we have a cyber-attack and I’m the budget granter who said no? That said, it’s important to use storytelling to convey the drama for you- you want to portray yourself as the calm and collected person who has the plan.A helpful the trick for me with the storytelling is to make them as scared as you are and no more. If you’re stretching your own fear, it's going to be transparent. Remember...you are competing for finite resources and budget. The best storytelling wins the day and the funding! Download our insight paper For more insights from top CISOs download our recent insight paper. It features the key takeaways from our recent CISO virtual roundtable where the challenges of setting best practice for secure remote working and obtaining budget were discussed. Download Speak to a Cyber Security recruiting expert If you need help finding and hiring exceptional Cyber Security professionals or you are searching for your next opportunity, please get in touch to speak with a Cyber Security recruiting expert at Stanton House.
20 Oct 2020
At Stanton House, we are driven by the belief that diversity and inclusion is inextricably linked to business performance and employee engagement and retention. We are passionate about unlocking potential at the individual, team and leadership levels to drive high performance through inclusive practices. We regularly partner with Diversity and Inclusion experts to bring our customers insight, advice and guidance. This week we bring you expert insight from our guest blog author, Liz Johnson. Liz Johnson, Founder, The Ability People & Podium Liz Johnson is a Paralympic gold medallist and disability campaigner. She is the founder of two organisations which aim to close the disability employment gap. The Ability People is the first disability-led employment consultancy, which works with companies to change their outlook on disability and transform their operations to be authentically inclusive. And recently, Liz has launched Podium, the first jobs marketplace for disabled freelancers. The new platform empowers disabled people to access meaningful remote work which meets their needs, and enables employers to access diverse talent across any sector and from any part of the world. Implement policy, don't just pay lip service The benefits of diverse workforces are as multifarious as the people which make them up. Different backgrounds and experiences lead to new insights, which in turn foster stronger decision making, better innovation and ultimately more revenue. So how can employers reap the rewards of a diverse workforce? Firstly, employers must not treat diversity as a box-ticking exercise. They must also ensure that diverse hiring translates into true inclusion in the workplace.Events of late have put diversity back on many businesses’ agenda, and rightly so. Businesses have an important role to play in empowering minority groups to access equal opportunities. But there is a risk that their support will be limited to lip service unless they implement inclusive policies, too.For companies to be truly inclusive, they must not only recognise that value lies in people’s differences, but also the ways in which these differences impact their needs at work. Crucially, they must proactively put in place processes to accommodate these needs. Team members with disabilities are a good example of this, and incidentally are one of the groups who are routinely overlooked by employers. People with disabilities often rely on remote work; but until working from home became the norm just recently, few employers took action to accommodate the flexible working needs of disabled colleagues.Prior to the pandemic, staff had to ask and were often denied permission to work from home. One of the few positives to come out of COVID is that we’ve debunked the idea that remote work is a ‘perk’, and paved the way for more inclusive policies on a permanent basis. But the reopening of offices now threatens progress for disabled staff. For those who continue to work from home, the renewed emphasis on office culture threatens to exclude them. For disabled staff who return, working around structures designed for able-bodied people will increase the physical and mental demands of going to work, making it harder for them to do their jobs effectively. Whether COVID remains a threat or not, flexible working policies are necessary for many disabled people to work comfortably and safely. And for companies to be inclusive of this group, remote work and flexitime need to be a prerequisite.Of course, this is all assuming disabled people are able to work at all.Remove accessibility barriersBarriers to access and failure to address them mean that disabled people in the UK are twice as likely to be unemployed. This is a tragedy; not least because a wealth of talent and skills is going unnurtured and underutilised.Workers with disabilities have so much to offer employers. Flexible contracts often suit their needs better, meaning disabled people are ideally placed to support companies who depend on freelancers to plug gaps in knowledge and skills. Workers with disabilities could also play a crucial role in ‘new normal’ business models, as offices downsize and teams restructure in response to the pandemic.But the benefits of employing workers with disabilities goes beyond contractual convenience. Since they have to overcome obstacles every day - which their able-bodied colleagues simply need not consider - people with disabilities offer a unique perspective, as well as resilience and resourcefulness by the bucketload. That is, only for employers who are prepared to support and empower them. And this goes beyond facilitating remote work. Accessibility is also key. Just as coronavirus has demonstrated that working from home is feasible, the redesign of workplaces in line with COVID-secure guidelines has highlighted how it’s possible to make physical adaptations to office spaces quickly. There’s no reason why we cannot make accessibility changes just as fast; whether this means providing access to wheelchair ramps, or introducing equipment with speech-to-text software. True inclusivity also depends on equal involvement in company life; wherever staff are based. For those outside the office to feel connected to the wider team, managers will have to make a special effort to maintain communication and extend opportunities. Wellbeing support and access to HR resources will also become central.Provisions such as these are the difference between a workplace which meets the needs of a member of staff, and one which enables that person to thrive. It means setting employees up for success. But, whatever their needs, the onus for this should not be on the individual.Those with needs which are not considered the norm shouldn't have to fight to access what others have as standard. Employers and managers need to take responsibility. And the buck doesn’t stop there; inclusivity is everyone’s responsibility and should be treated as such.Ingrain inclusivity into your company culture Workshops and training can promote a better understanding of diversity and inclusion for all members of staff. Carefully considered sessions should offer minority groups a platform to share their experiences and assert their needs, as well as make it the collective responsibility of the team surrounding them to support them. Only when inclusivity is ingrained in a company’s culture at every level can employers hope to facilitate the honest conversations and trust required for all staff to feel truly included. So, whilst inclusive policies lay the groundwork to attract and retain diverse workforces, a culture of inclusivity is key in order for everyone to reach their full potential. For more information about The Ability People or Podium please get in touch with Liz. Share your insights Stanton House would also love to hear from leaders on how you are adapting, implementing and assessing your workforce inclusion strategies in this new era of work. Please get in touch to share your insights.
23 Sep 2020
In my last blog, I wrote about the necessary workforce competencies and the type of cultural mindset that is needed to make digital transformation a success in this new era. But what are the technical skills and areas of expertise that support digital transformation? Here are five areas where talent is in high demand right now:Talent in demand1. Strategy & TransformationIncreasingly organisations are looking to the future, modelling different crisis scenarios, investing in new technology and exploring new customer engagement models or partnerships. The question of who is thinking strategically, beyond the business proposition as it stands today and shaping how it may look in 3, 5- or 10-years’ time is paramount to an organisation’s survival and future growth. Many organisations are facing wholesale changes to their operating model which is a highly complex and often daunting piece of work. As such, there has been a proliferation of new roles in the areas of strategy, innovation and change management. ‘Directors of Strategy’, ‘Project or Programme Directors’ and ‘Change Managers’ have become common place across many different types and size of organisation. However, the unprecedented speed with which organisations have had to react to the Covid-19 pandemic, and its ensuing challenges, has triggered an acceleration of digital transformation projects and compounded the need for senior professionals who can facilitate transformative change, alongside the complexities of a remote working environment. 2. Cloud-based servicesUnsurprisingly, as we have transitioned to remote working, skills in cloud-based services such as AWS, Google Cloud and Azure, have and will continue to be of critical importance. The shift to cloud based technology will no doubt remain prevalent even when we all get back to the office without restrictions. Professionals that have the skills to deploy cloud-based services as needed will be required to ensure continuous and reliable connectivity to these systems to ensure business continuity and productivity. 3. Cyber securityRemote working increases the risk of cyberattacks as hackers target people’s increased use of and dependence on digital tools, data sharing and communication. As such, organisations must enable secure remote working using a virtual private network (VPN) to create an encrypted connection from the user's computer to their company IT system. However, even businesses with a quality VPN may need to improve the server capacity and network security to enable their entire workforce to use it at once and work remotely, securely. This means that top cyber security talent, already in high demand, will remain indispensable for employers as agile working practices continue for the foreseeable future. 4. Data analytics As organisations race to adapt to different ways of working and evolve best practice across their systems, people and processes, Data Scientists and Analysts continue to be in high demand. Modelling the impact of the Covid-19 crisis and understanding evolving customer behaviour is vital to the strategic decision-making process of any organisation right now. Data analysts who can provide the accurate analysis and interpretation of data, to the right people at the right time, will provide much needed foresight in these unprecedented times. 5. Automation & AITo help reduce administrative tasks and enhance process efficiencies, within and between different systems and departments, most organisations have invested in automation technology and artificial intelligence (AI) to some degree. The specific artificial intelligence or automation technology, its application and tools available (such as Robotics Process Automation, Chatbots or CRM) varies across industry and profession. Professionals who have demonstrable experience of either developing, implementing or integrating this technology within and between business functions and adapting it to the new virtual world of work, will be highly prized. As well as investing in technology and talent, organisations must look at their people from top to bottom and involve individuals who can provide ideas, or champion and lead transformative change. Those that believe it will all be driven from the boardroom and do not engage a diverse group in tackling change may well struggle. Understanding individual challenges in remote project delivery requires diverse perspectives and agile leadership that utilises the capabilities of individuals from every corner of the business. In an increasingly geographically agnostic business world, leaders have to understand how they can embrace technology, help their people to bring about better customer experiences and deliver lasting change that enables them to remain relevant. After all, how can you compete if you don’t evolve your operating model in today’s rapidly changing world?Those that can win both the hearts and minds of their workforce will successfully deliver the most complex of technical change with the highest levels of engagement. It’s strange how even the most baffling of technical puzzles always falls back to people! Download our insight paperFor more on this topic, download a full version of our insight paper 'Digital Transformation: What does it take to succeed?,' where we explore what constitutes the right mindset needed for change and share the technical skills and talent in demand right now. Download Share your insights If you need help finding talent with the necessary competencies to transform your business please get in touch. We’d also love to hear from leaders on how you are progressing your digital transformation projects in these challenging times.
18 Sep 2020
Download your copy of our insight paperIn these times of great technological change, unlocking the power of Business Intelligence (BI) is vital to the strategic decision-making process of any organisation. Download our latest insight paper which features top tips on increasing your BI capability along with case studies from leading Business Intelligence experts operating in different sectors. Download
04 Sep 2020
Business leaders are discussing what increased remote working and reduced real estate costs mean for investment and budgets for their different business functions going forward – including of course - Information and Cyber Security. So, now more than ever CISOs need to ensure that they have a voice in these discussions and a seat at the board table. Download our insight paper Our recent insight paper features the key takeaways from our recent CISO virtual roundtable where the challenges of setting best practice for secure remote working and obtaining budget were discussed. Our guest speaker and Senior Technology Leader, Dan Crisp also shares the techniques he has found most valuable in convincing key stakeholders to invest in Information and Cyber Security. Download
26 Aug 2020
Will the office exist in a post Covid-19 world?It’s fair to say that the world of work has changed forever as we enter a new era of remote working. But what is the sentiment to remote working amongst the professional working population now?The cost and time savings of not having to commute every day are hard to dismiss and as lockdown eases, employee expectations are bound to have changed when it comes to the ‘return to the office’.So, how many days in the office do working professionals really want - given their varied individual experiences over the past few months? Over 70% of professionals now want to work in the office less than two days per weekStanton House’s recent poll, taken by over 600 professionals, reveals that a large majority (72%) would prefer to work two days or less per week in the office going forward. Less than a third (29%) would prefer to work three days or more per week in the office and only 4% would like to go back to four days plus per week.One to two days in the office comes out on top, with over half, (54%) voting for this as their preference and 18% say they would prefer to work from home 100% of the time. These findings suggest that while some crave the return to an office environment the vast majority have come to the conclusion that they will never want to work in the office five days per week, ever again. 43% more men than women want to work remotely 100% of the timeInterestingly, when comparing sentiment to remote working between gender, our poll reveals that a higher proportion of men (20%) would prefer to work remotely all of the time - compared to only 14% of women – that’s a 43% increase. The opposite is true for one to two days in the office, where a higher proportion of women (58%) voted for this as their preference - compared to 51% of men.Our poll cements what we already know - that organisations will be required to rethink their approach to remote, agile, and flexible working - putting People and Culture teams, front and centre, to design and drive this change. But have employers really seen clear benefits from this forced change to a homeworking environment and how committed are they to expanding and extending remote working, organisation-wide, for the long term? Will new HR policies align to the consensus revealed by our poll, or indeed go even further and flex to the individual?Employers realise the benefits of remote working Many of the business leaders I speak to tell me, that they have had their eyes opened to the benefits of remote working, not least the tremendous cost savings that can be achieved with reduced real estate needs.Not including utilities, security and maintenance the rent per seat in the UK can range from *£150 to £1500 per month, depending on location and the amenities available. London’s West End tips the scales, where it can cost **£207 annually just to put your laptop down on a desk.If you consider the floor space some large corporates take in the expensive high-rise buildings in Canary Wharf and The City of London for example, these cost savings can amount to millions. There can be no doubt that employers across the country will be modelling different scenarios with reduced office space. Leadership teams within organisations, both large and small, will be debating not if, but how much and to what extent, their workforce will continue working remotely in the long-term.Just a few of the companies that have already announced intent to expand work-from-home in the UK include Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Thomson Reuters, Vodafone, HSBC, Twitter, Facebook and Unilever. “We’ve proven we can operate with no footprint….I see a future where part of every week, certainly part of every month, a lot of our employees will be at home.” James Gorman, Morgan Stanley, CEOHowever, this commitment to expand remote working it is not just to save costs on office space. Most leaders I speak to tell me they have experienced increased productivity, better collaboration and teamwork, increased employee engagement and a significant reduction in absenteeism - dispelling the many concerns and misconceptions to homeworking pre-Covid-19. Having the right, secure technology and communication channels has been critical to achieving this, however, as has having managers, who don’t revert to micromanagement amidst uncertainty, but are able to trust and enable their teams.Training needs have also been highlighted and identified, particularly for middle management, where resilience, adaptability and agility are often cited as key competencies which are lacking. Additionally, the spotlight on employee wellbeing has only magnified through this crisis as has the continued importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The challenge for employers right nowAs many employers once again pivot their people, processes and systems from full remote working, to a hybrid (office/home) working environment, maintaining the benefits gained amidst lockdown and addressing the technology and talent issues identified will be critical to lasting innovation and growth. The ramifications of getting the technology, talent or operating model wrong will be catastrophic for the competitiveness of any business as we enter this new era of work. Employers now need to ask themselves - do they have the internal expertise needed to design, implement and sustain the huge culture shift that is required? And if big corporate offices are a thing of the past where and how will people come together to collaborate? How do individuals continue to nurture the ‘social equity’ they’ve built over the years with colleagues and customers - remotely? Can we ever really replicate the benefits of socialising after work, the corridor conversations and meeting someone face-to-face? The critical questions many business leaders and HR professionals are now trying to answer now are:1. How do we once again pivot our people, processes and systems from full remote working, to a hybrid (office/home) working environment?2. Do we have the right / secure technology and communication channels to support a hybrid (office/home) working model?3. How do we maintain the benefits gained from remote working amidst Covid-19? 4. How do we tackle the tech and training needs identified and truly enable our manager population? 5. How will we evolve our employee value proposition (EVP) to attract and retain the best talent, now that flexible and remote working is the ‘new norm’?6. What are the ramifications of getting any of these considerations wrong? *Instant Offices UK Commercial Market Summary 2019 ** Instant Offices Get in touchIf you need help finding talent with the necessary expertise to transform your business for the new era of remote working, please get in touch. About the pollThe poll was posted to Stanton House’s company LinkedIn network of over 25,000 followers. The poll was live for 1 week from the 27th June 2020 to the 4th July 2020. 611 people voted answering the question: “How many days in the office would you prefer to work per week?”
21 Jul 2020
Talent versus technologyI passionately believe that digital transformation is about talent just as much, if not more so, than technology. While finding the right balance between technical and soft skills will always be essential, business leaders must go further in these times of uncertainly to ensure that digital transformation is a success. Technology can improve efficiencies, productivity and enable human value but only if you have the right behaviours and competencies across your organisation.So how can organisations ensure they have the right skills across their organisation to enable successful transformation? Aligning workforce competencies and behavioursIt’s an unfortunate fact that many digital transformation programmes which aim to implement new technology, develop digital capabilities and achieve sustainable business performance improvement, fail to deliver in the long-term. The biggest obstacle is that new digital capabilities call for specific workforce competencies (the skills, knowledge, and beliefs held by employees) and fundamental changes in behaviors (the ways that leaders, managers and employees work on a daily basis). These are the ‘muscles’ that companies must build and strengthen in order to sustain the benefits of digital transformation. Leaders must engage their people in understanding what this change will mean for them individually and for the business. Crucially, the communication of the vision must be relatable to all, this will ensure that change is truly embraced, adopted and sustained. Without a systematic and explicit approach, organisations can, at best, acquire or develop the right workforce competencies and change behaviors only superficially and temporarily. Once the transformation process is over and attention shifts to the next priority, employees can easily revert to their old ways of working and the improvements of the transformation disappear.Ensuring that you set out to identify, align and purposefully develop the workforce competencies and behaviours that enable digital transformation is therefore paramount to success. The competencies which enable digital adoption & transformationEvery employee now needs the ability to perform tasks, manage information, share knowledge and work with others in a digital and remote context. The employers we speak to regularly identify the following workforce competencies as essential for enabling successful digital adoption and transformation: • Resilient / Emotionally Intelligent - Self-aware and able to cope with pressure and setbacks• Adaptable - Learn from setbacks and changing course quickly • Analytical - Evaluate situations and analyse information to form data-driven decisions• Curious - Ask questions, listen and solve problems creatively • Collaborative - Interact with others remotely and work together towards common goals• Communicative - Communicate, influence and maintain rapport with others via technology• Proactive - Take initiative and follow through to accomplish objectives• Process Oriented - Methodical approach to task and project delivery• Commercial - Understand the business, the needs of customers and develop new opportunities• Coaching mindset - Support the development of others and motivate them through feedback and encouragement The hiring managers we spoke to during strict lockdown, most often referred to Resilience as the competency that they needed most from their workforce during that time. One senior professional said to me, “Resilience has been key for getting through this period. It is clear to see which individuals are more resilient and adaptable to change as business priorities quickly change.”So, to survive the digital future, organisations need employees who are adaptable and digitally ready and able to cope with rapidly changing circumstances.In fact, I’d go further and say that it is not possible to leverage the changes and opportunities afforded by digital technology if your talent does not have the right mindset towards technological change. Download our insight paper For more on this topic, download a full version of our insight paper 'Digital Transformation: What does it take to succeed?,' where we explore what constitutes the right mindset needed for change and share the technical skills and talent in demand right now. Download Share your insights If you need help finding talent with the necessary competencies to transform your business please get in touch. We’d also love to hear from leaders on how you are progressing your digital transformation projects in these challenging times. Join our virtual roundtables We are hosting virtual roundtables on this topic. Please get in touch, expressing your interest and we will ensure you are included in our promotion of these.
18 Jun 2020
Download our insight paperInclusion is critical to every aspect of any business that is about people and now more than ever, these challenging times call for business leaders to maintain focus on engaging and retaining their workforce. Undoubtedly, increased homeworking adds a new layer of complexity, but employees still need to feel secure in their connectivity to their organisation and be given the opportunity to contribute and participate in a meaningful way - albeit remotely. So how can leaders ensure that they are on the right path to being and becoming more inclusive? Download our insight paper, a culmination of our recent blog series, to discover top tips from diversity and inclusion expert Paul Anderson-Walsh, from the Centre of Inclusive Leadership. Download Share you insightsWe would love to hear from leaders on how you are adapting, implementing and assessing your workforce engagement and inclusion strategies in this new era of work. Please get in touch to share your insights.
18 Jun 2020
In previous instalments of this blog series we brought you expert insight from Paul Anderson-Walsh, Co-Founder of the Centre for Inclusive Leadership, where he explained the I.D.E.A.S © model on being and becoming more inclusive. This framework enables organisations to better understand where they need to focus their efforts if they are to develop and sustain an inclusive environment in which everyone can be their best self and do their best work. Part one explained the difference and importance of integrating new hires into an organisation rather than inducting them, part two explained the importance of developing employees rather than letting their value depreciate, part three looked at enabling managers rather than expecting them to know how to lead and part four discussed how to align talent rather than forcing people to assimilate. This week we take a look at the final element in the model, sustaining the shift to a culture or inclusion, rather than superficially ticking boxes. Paul Anderson-Walsh Sustaining the shift to a culture of inclusion The alchemic power of inclusion has been lost in the (critically important, but critically different) Equal Opportunity and Diversity agenda. Many of the initiatives that have been offered have produced superficial rather than sustained change. They have produced a change that failed to produce change. For instance, well intended or not one might reasonably ask how much lasting change Starbucks gained from shutting 8,000 stores for four hours recently to conduct racial bias training for its employees. Inclusion is aiming at something more sustainable. It is aiming at driving high performance through culture change. Charles Handy defined culture as “the way we do things around here”. Ultimately, it is how we do things that determines whether any change sticks and becomes a new habit. To sustain the behaviours consistent with an inclusive culture (one in which there is integration rather than induction; development rather than depreciation; managers being enabled rather than expected to know how; and where there is alignment rather than assimilation) leader-managers must be the embodiment of new habitual ways of being. They need to be able to lead in such a way that they inspire those who work for (and indeed with) them so that they are motivated to learn, grow and develop and become more adept at managing inclusion – their own and that of others. There are many barriers to inclusion, bias (in favour of, as well as against) being chief amongst them. Bias, as a result of stereotyping, assumptions and prejudgements is often the major cause of a shift to a more inclusive organisation culture not being sustained. We have developed a model that can enable individuals to embed new ways of “doing things around here” and thus support and sustain the organisation shift to inclusion by deliberately seeking to become bias interrupters. This is achieved when the organisation H.E.A.R.S. ™ An organisation that H.E.A.R.S. can be identified by the way in which all its staff interact with one another, with their clients, customers and other stakeholders. H.E.A.R.S. Top tips for sustaining the shift to inclusion Being our best selves & doing our best work Change entails new ways of thinking, being and doing, consequently, for change of any nature to be sustained it must be anchored in the culture. In order to do that we believe that you need to be intentional about inclusion so as to foster an environment where your people feel comfortable reaching out to all their colleagues to gain greater awareness of each other's experiences and perspectives. You need to have ongoing dialogue but without tolerating any incongruence between behaviours and your inclusion values. You need to build trust encouraging compassion and open-mindedness and reinforcing our commitment to a culture of inclusion. For information about the Centre for Inclusive Leadership’s Inclusive Leadership Programmes, please get in touch. Share your insights We’d love to hear from leaders on how you are adapting, implementing and assessing your workforce engagement and inclusion strategies as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Please get in touch to share your insights.
20 May 2020
The potential for better work-life balance This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week falls during unprecedented times. Many of us have been working from home for many weeks now and have gone through many ups, downs and adjustments along the way. There can be no doubt that it will be even harder for those already struggling with their mental health.There are of course many benefits to remote working, not least the absence of the daily commute and the potential now to have more of a work-life balance.One finance leader I spoke to recently said, “With no commute I start work at 7am but I dedicate the time between 5pm and 7pm to spend with my family and play football or basketball with my two sons.”I say potential however, as I am acutely aware that maintaining a healthy work-life balance may in fact be harder in these difficult times. It is of course different depending on individual circumstances. Some of us will be dealing will ill health, financial worries, isolation or caring for children or vulnerable relatives. These pressures all add layers of complexity, anxiety and stress to the remote working scenario most of us now find ourselves in. Take burnout seriously And while it can seem like a huge perk to roll out of bed and begin our workday, working from home, particularly in these challenging times, requires more planning and a different type of focus than most of us are used to. When the lines become blurred between our day-to-day and working lives it becomes easier to end up working longer hours and never really switching off. Over a sustained period, this can become damaging to our mental health, leading us to become overwhelmed and ‘burning out.’According to NordVPN, there is evidence that employee working hours have increased sharply since the outbreak of Covid-19. In the UK, workdays have typically increased by an average of two hours – and for many, it may well be more. Home working that works for youTo stay productive, we each need to test and learn what works for us and what does not, creating our own working structures, habits and routines - and these do not necessarily need to look anything like our old working schedules. What they must be, is sustainable and work for our own personal circumstances. In my job I have the privilege of being able to speak to an array of talented and insightful employers and jobseekers across a variety of different industries every day. The one thing they all agree on when it comes to staying productive is the importance of instilling healthy remote working habits and looking after their mental and physical wellbeing. Here are some of the best tips to follow to ensure you don’t ‘burn out’… 8 healthy remote working habits 1. Don’t neglect normal daily routinesSet a routine for working from home and don’t neglect normal daily routines. It is important to get up and get started. No matter how tempting avoid working in your pajamas all day – getting ‘ready for work’ will change your mindset and get you in the right frame of mind.2. Dedicate a space just for workWhile it might seem like you could work just fine from your sofa, having a separate space where you can work without any distractions not only benefits your levels of focus and productivity, but importantly for your mental health, it helps separate your day-to-day life from your work.If you have difficulties in doing this speak to you employer, they may be able to help with practical solutions. Likewise ensure you have comfortable furniture and an ergonomic set up. You wouldn’t put up with a sore back from an uncomfortable workspace at work, so don’t do it at home.3. Prioritise Try and set clear tasks for your day. To-do lists can help identify which tasks are a priority but one great tip to help you prioritise is to create a WEB list. W - what you want to achieve, E – What you expect to achieve, B – What you had better achieve that day. 4. Time blockIf you’re not time blocking your schedule, you may be wasting a lot of time. Time blocking consists of dividing your daily schedule into several sections based on priority. For example, you can work on replying to emails in the morning and meetings in the afternoon. This could also be done every week. The important thing is that you stick to your schedule and don’t get distracted, otherwise it won’t work. If you are home-schooling whilst trying to work, have a conversation with your employer about these realities. Try and set a routine which time blocks and clearly separates the two, trying to do both at once will leave both suffering. 5. Take proper breaks Even though you will want to achieve several goals during the day and be efficient, it doesn’t mean that you should forget about your mental or physical health. Since there’s no one to tell you when to start and when to finish and no one is coming up to your desk to distract you, it can be easy to forget to take regular screen breaks. Take regular breaks from your desk, including a proper lunch break.6. ExerciseTry and get outside and get some natural sunlight, if you can do so safely and try and get some exercise, again within guidelines on social distancing. Personally, I have been going out on my bike four or five times a week, often before work. I have found that this has really helped set me up for the day and I’ve seen a huge increase in my productivity and personal wellbeing. 7. Support your colleaguesWe should all be mindful that there will be further challenges ahead and whether you manage a team or not, colleagues will need to support each other and share their resilience. Maintain the relationships you had at the workplace and let your colleagues know you’re there to help if they need.8. Enjoy the perks Remember to enjoy the perks of working remotely – work during your most productive hours and tend to your personal and family needs when necessary. There’s no point to all of your hard work and increased efficiency if you don’t make time to enjoy it!Establishing a good routine is likely to involve a lot of trial and error, but if you stick to healthy working habits you will enhance your productivity, improve your mental health and wellbeing and enjoy a better work-life balance. Finally, here is a really helpful guide to working from home from Career Karma, with more ideas to help keep you on track.Stay safe and well.
19 May 2020