Wellbeing In the Spotlight

The impact of mental health and tackling it post Covid-19

Following the launch of the PRS Wellbeing practice, Andrew Pullman has recorded a podcast with the Master of the Guild of HR Professionals , Annette Andrews.

Topics discussed include the impact of the Corona Times on mental health, mental health first aid, and what the future holds beyond the current pandemic.

Listen as a stream below, or subscribe via iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.

https://lnkd.in/dhaU9rF

People Risk Solutions (PRS) launches Wellbeing Practice

Since our inception in October 2006, PRS has successfully built four business practices:

  • HR Outsourced Support
  • Management Effectiveness
  • Culture, Values & SMCR, and
  • Outplacement and Career Transition

All specially designed for the Financial Services and Professional Services sectors.

In response to unprecedented demand from our clients and the market in general, we have now launched our own dedicated Wellbeing Practice. Andrew Pullman, CEO of PRS, is acutely aware of the tsunami of mental health challenges likely to arise in response to the government’s announcement to lift lockdown and get the country back to the workplace. Not only has 100% of the workforce been affected in some way by the six months of lockdown, but the new paradigm of work throws up an unprecedented set of challenges to all organisations, large and small.

Our new Wellbeing Practice is set up to help organisations tackle this issue, and in particular we can:

1.  Conduct initial organisational Wellbeing checks.

2.  Help organisations set themselves up for success. implementing some immediate ‘quick wins’.

3.  Lead on assisting companies to establish and embed their own Wellbeing & Mental Health strategy.

4.  Put in place ‘review and refinement’ processes.

With the increasing return of employees into the workplace, our ‘quick wins’ rapidly put in place some best practice measures, including:

  • Training Mental Health First Aiders as the first line of support in your organisation and establishing a support network for these Mental Health First Aiders;
  • Manager Briefing sessions to recognise the warning signs of mental ill health and introduce the skills and confidence to safely approach and support someone;
  • Coaching PLUS … one to one coaching for senior leaders, incorporating a focus on their own and their team’s mental health;

And coming soon …

  • Providing a Virtual Mental Health First Aid support service; for those organisations which are either too small to form their own in-house Mental Health First Aiders, or those demanding an immediate, transitional support service.

Aligned with PRS’s existing brand, providing a quality service sits at the heart of our new Wellbeing Practice. Indeed, all of PRS’s MHFA trainers are national trainers for MHFA England, and our practice is led by a fully qualified Mental Health First Aider. Our programmes are also tailored for the Financial Services and Professional Services sectors.

If you would like to find out more please contact us at [email protected]

How PRS flipped their thinking

office flipped upside down

How PRS flipped their thinking… and changed their approach to training

A fresh approach to developing your people

The Covid-19 pandemic has flipped the world upside down. We are learning to live in a world where the established norms and routines have been cast aside – with no certainty as to when, whether or how they return. But we are living and working still, and they way we develop as professionals must flip too if we are to continue learning and growing.

New ways of learning are needed that not only address the situation as we find it but will remain relevant, engaging and effective in the professional world that will be built out of the current crisis. This is no small task, and putting together a pragmatic solution called for reflection and contemplation on the scale and nature of the turmoil.

The upheaval has been dramatic, on all levels. Almost 50% of people in the UK have been forced to work from home; unprecedented amounts of money have been invested to shore up the economy; and as thousands of people have died from the pandemic, millions more have been locked down at home for many weeks.

New Tech meets Old Tech

In the personal sphere, the technologies and luxuries of the twenty-first century have been joined by a new interest in traditional crafts and skills as old as civilisation itself. Lockdown in the home has resulted in a desire for increased self-sufficiency – baking, sewing, knitting and growing our own food. Collectively remembering that we are not entirely reliant on pre-packaged options is something which crossed over into training.

We have remembered that we enjoy doing things for ourselves. We also have been given the time to do them. While there may be frustration at patchy zoom call connections or a longing for more conclusive face to face meetings, precious few have missed the grinding commute. Lockdown has granted many the gift of time, or control over time. The ability to be in command of your own day, to set your own timetable and to work when you’re at your most productive.

The Genie is out of the bottle

The genie has been let out of the bottle and it remains to be seen how willingly everyone will be corralled back into their offices. Those paying the rents on office property are also reassessing the true value of the physical workplace itself. Yet the old world will cling on. Many thought the September 11th attacks would change how we travel forever. However, within days we were flying again and very quickly ceased to bat an eyelid at scanning our belts and shoes. A desire for familiarity may temper truly radical change.

Training and development in the post-Covid world then must incorporate these newly discovered freedoms whilst retaining the very best of the traditional approach. A pre-packaged option pushed from above will not do. Nor will a total departure from all that is comforting and familiar. Learning must be recognisable, but new – not entirely transformed, but flipped.

Flipped Training

Our targeted modules have been flipped to put content directly into people’s hands. Those who now dictate the time, place and pace of their own workday can learn via phone, laptop or tablet in environments of their own choosing. This continuous development is enhanced through online access to the highly experienced PRS team of associates.

Online learning, tools and surveys allow the learner to drive their own development. Chat boxes, live group sessions and individual remote coaching consolidates the learning and sets out future steps. Teacher and technology work together to provide tailored modules from graduate development programmes to senior management training.

Find out more…

If the world flips, you can stand still and fall or flip with it and keep moving. To find out more about how PRS Flipped Learning can keep your organisation moving forward, please contact us directly to discuss how we can address the specific needs of your business in the new world that is emerging.

prs flipped training in desert

 

Building an Outstanding Workforce

Developing People to Drive Individual and Organizational Success

Wednesday 16th October saw the launch of Building an Outstanding Workforce, published by Kogan Page and jointly authored by Paul Aldrich and People Risk Solutions’ CEO Andrew Pullman. The official launch event took place in the luxurious surroundings of the Vintry & Mercer Hotel with guests from the fields of HR, psychology, neuroscience and many other sectors – all united in their work by their roles as leaders.

The book itself aims to assist leaders and aspiring leaders in empowering their people, unlocking their potential and building a culture that allows employees to perform to the best of their abilities. A range of strategies are covered to effectively attract, engage, develop and retain the staff needed for sustainable business success. These are explained and presented with practical guidance, expert advice and case studies from companies including Alibaba, Barclays Banking Group, Patagonia, Tata Group and Qantas.

Dr Paul Aldrich

Building an Outstanding Workforce is particularly relevant and useful for understanding the new reality of the workplace and, indeed, what this may look like in the future. Though AI may rise, people will still be central to any successful business. Key issues are covered including how to tailor people management to address the motivations of different generations, the impact of emergent technology on the workforce, the shift in the skills employees now need to learn and develop and how to handle the new challenges of remote and flexible working and the gig economy.

Andrew Pulman

Andrew Pullman brings to the book his 30 years’ experience in HR at various global firms, including JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Kleinwort and his own technology-based people compliance firm, PeopleClear plus his knowledge of people management advice developed and deployed here at People Risk Solutions.

Many excellent texts exist that focus on specific aspects of leadership, but this book draws the many strands together and presents a new people-focused framework for people management that redefines the structure, roles and responsibilities of human resource management and addresses the problems of role ambiguity and conflict associated with HR to deliver people management that everyone needs and deserves. In an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, achieving this sustainable competitive advantage has never been more important.

Building an Outstanding Workforce

Developing People to Drive Individual and Organizational Success
Available to buy at Kogan Page and Amazon
If you are interested in using Building an Outstanding Workforce in a teaching or learning capacity, please contact Kogan Page
For enquiries about professional speaking or other engagements, please contact Andrew Pullman or Paul Aldrich

Chris Cummings, Chief Executive, The Investment Association
Takes us on a comprehensive and engaging journey through what it takes to run a successful organization when the surrounding context is changing fast. The narrative combines deep insight from experienced business leaders, consultants and academics together with case studies from a range of employers. An essential guide for all current and aspiring leaders of people.

Outplacement and Career Transition – What are the advantages of working with PRS?

People Risk Solutions

There are several advantages that working with PRS will bring you:

We keep our range of services and programmes simple. We offer personalised and tailored programmes and we can provide these flexibility both to you as an organisation and to your employees. There are also five other features of our programmes.

1. Our programmes are straight-forward.
2. Our service is flexible.
3. We provide generous time frames for completing programmes.
4. We offer increasing levels of support.
5. We provide an opportunity to add further services.

What are the benefits?

We believe that you will see benefits at three levels – to the organisation, to HR and to your employees.

To the Organisation

• Managed risk
• External – reputation management
• Internal – enhanced employee morale
• Clear, transparent pricing structure
• Guaranteed response time
• Proactive Outplacement Partner
• Support in implementation

To HR

• Simple to implement
• Take away the heavy lifting
• Low maintenance and low risk
• Hassle free
• Transparency
• Hand over whole process to us
• Clear reporting of usage
• Clear guidelines for HR team
• End of phone / email support
• Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure

To your employees

• Clear level of service
• Top up facility
• Tailored to individual learning style
• Ownership rests with employee
• Focus on fulfilling dreams
• Job versus self-employment
• Flexibility to meet personal timescale
• Best practice

Our style and approach

PRS is wholly flexible and individual in our approach to outplacement. We create a structure around the individual to meet their very unique requirements whilst avoiding a sense of “processes”. PRS has quickly established a reputation in the London and the South East and is expanding this to other areas in the UK. We have become acknowledged as a niche player able to advise organisations on the best way to support their people who are going through career transition.

PRS works with people in a way that best suits them and their organisation. We offer one-to-one coaching, group workshops, a remote telephone and online support or a combined approach.

To find out more, contact PRS here

8 Top Tips for Your Job Search

top tips

In our experience you can avoid some of the early mistakes and pitfalls by following this simple, practical advice:

1. Call PRS before you start

Meet your career coach before you start making calls and meeting contacts. This will help you gain practical and valuable advice to help you get the most from these opportunities.

2. Think about what you will tell people who stop you in the road and ask you how you are?

Develop a single sentence that explains your current situation and your plans for the future.

3. Start to focus on this as an opportunity to do something new and better

When you see and speak to people try to focus on the positive aspects of your current situation.

4. Think about how you might use your network contacts and friends

When people see or call you tell them that you appreciate their interest and know they will be helpful if they can be, don’t put them on the spot by asking them to keep their ears open for job opportunities.

5. Keep your salary expectations quiet

By announcing a price tag you weaken your appeal and bargaining position. We will show you how to deal with salary questions. For the moment, if asked, just say you want your next position to offer fair reward for what you have to give.

6. Don’t prepare and mail CVs

We will work with you to construct a powerful CV which reflects what recruiters are looking for. We will also help you with covering letters. Bear in mind that in some situations you may not need a CV.

7. Advertised jobs are not the only way!

The advertised market is only one route to your next role and is very competitive. Keep a copy of advertisements that interest you so that you can discuss your approach to answering them with your career coach. We will show you how to differentiate yourself from the hundreds of other applicants and identify unadvertised sources of jobs in the hidden job market.

8. Take time to consider the alternatives

Don’t assume that you should continue in your current career path – there may well be other options. We can show you how to identify these and pursue them if they are appropriate for you and realistic for the marketplace.

If you have any questions about job searches, feel free to contact PRS here.

Outplacement – What steps can a company take to help people?


Last week’s news bulletins played footage of Deutsche Bank employees leaving their offices carrying cardboard boxes probably elicited a variety of feelings in viewers. Perhaps some are envisaging themselves in the departing employees’ shoes. Perhaps some have been there. Others will be thinking of employees they have had to let go and the responsibility they bear to their current employees.

We have already looked at why it is important and beneficial for employers to invest in their people at all stages during the employment cycle. But what does that look like in practice?

Investing in departing employees doesn’t mean cheaply discarding them.

When asking for our proposal for an outplacement assignment, one executive said: “We want to give the employees we let go a soft landing, but we don’t want to put too much into it.” When asked what he meant, he said, “Is there some online way to do this cheaply?”

There are many such ways, and in some cases they are entirely appropriate. There will be times when the job market is flourishing or when the employee in question is incredibly self-sufficient, has a battery of sought-after skills, and perhaps has youth on their side.

For senior executives with long service, or during times when the job market is a difficult or uncertain place to navigate, a deeper level of support may be required. In order to manage departures positively and ensure a successful ongoing relationship, a cheaper online option is not sufficient.

Think about what action you need to take and when.

PRS are available at every stage and our service doesn’t start when the severance agreement is drawn up. We will talk to you earlier on before any decisions have been taken and can work with you and support your in-house team during any initial consultation process. If you have a limited HR resource you may want to consider this option.

When you decide to meet us after a decision has been made we will help you decide exactly what level of support you want to give to each departing employee. We are flexible in our choice of programmes. One HR Manager who hired us for outplacement said: “I want a mix of online, on-the-phone and in-person connections. These people need real support and specific advice, not just webinars and tutorials.”

A bespoke and appropriate programme for each individual.

Overall we believe that regardless of the mode of delivery of services for exiting employees, companies should not make it about severing a relationship but rather view it as investing in an ongoing relationship. We don’t make it complicated and always tailor our level of programme to your budget and the needs of the departing employee.

For more information about our tailored Outplacement services, please contact PRS here.

Why should I give my people Outplacement?

your employees are your best pr

Your Employees and Ex-Employees are your best PR.

Companies invest in PR and Communications to promote their positives, their products, the benefits of their service and their commitment to the community. One of the most important “press releases” a company can have is how it handles the employee who leaves.

Even though employees may sign their severance agreements, they usually don’t feel happy to be let go, regardless of the circumstances. They’re angry. They’re also upset, embarrassed and confused. They will want to talk to people and the way in which you handle their departure will influence what they say.

Your Ex-Employees talk to others.

Through social media, ex-employees have a louder voice and wider audience than ever before. Scathing comments from disgruntled former employees can spread as virally as photos of cats and videos of politicians making gaffes. A company’s reputation can take a huge hit from the negative feedback and it can make recruiting top talent far more difficult in the future.

Yet the way a company deals with ex-employees should not be seen as a cynical damage-limitation exercise. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate that you genuinely care about the people who have worked hard for you. The relationship is not over – they will likely require references and, when they do talk to others, you would like to be recognised as an employer who takes care of employees at all stages of the career cycle. This message is equally important for potential and current employees to hear.

Your future Employees will look at how you treat people.

Employees who have been let go will be experiencing a barrage of negative emotions. However, for companies that provide a strong severance agreement and pay for months of outplacement or career services, it can mean the world to someone who needs support and help in finding new employment.

This can be a powerful lasting benefit for a company. One HR manager said to us: “You know, we are laying off many of these people, but they are people I care about and people I hired. When we recover from this setback in the business, we may want to hire them again. It’s a small world.”

Your current Employees are watching too.

Investing in your exiting employees often means that you care about them, and it sends a strong message to those left behind in the business too: “We care about you from beginning to end.” It builds esprit de corps with your current workforce and shows how you respond to something negative in a positive way.

Those employees who are leaving go on to talk to current employees with whom they often still have a relationship. They may even be tempted to post reviews on Glassdoor or provide a reference for your company. One HR manager who hired told me, “These people still have friends here, and they will need them as references. I know those who signed our severance agreed not to sue us, but they talk to others, and I want them to speak positively about the way we treated them. It will come back to us.”

For more information about Outplacement Services, please contact us here.

Brexit uncertainty and the current job market

Festival over uncertain future
Photo credit: SWNS:South West News Service

‘All we know is that we don’t know’ sang Oasis back in the 1990s. An apt summation of our current times. Many aspects of 90’s culture are experiencing a revival in 2019, though it’s not clear if there is a Masterplan for Brexit. Uncertainty looms large.

As Liam Gallagher’s Glastonbury set ends and festival goers, whose average age is 39 (the second most highly represented age group is 41–50 year olds) travel home, many are returning to jobs which may well not feel as secure as they did three years ago. Manufacturing industries fill the headlines, but the shadow cast by the mysterious monolith of Brexit falls across all sectors.

Though employment in Britain reached a record high of 32.75 million in April, growth has slowed in the months since. What is significant though is the nature of the employment. Uncertainty about the future dissuades employers from making long term investments in people. Until the future starts to become clear, firms are looking to meet immediate demands with short-term hires.

This short-term approach means more people are changing jobs more frequently. This is coupled with a second important difference. Though slowed, the employment figures taken from the Office of National Statistics still seem to defy Brexit fears. However, what has changed significantly in 2019 is the number of vacancies. Though generally increasing since 2012, since January the number of available jobs fell from 861,000 to 837,000.

In short, Brexit has brought particular uncertainty to employers and those in the job market. In the current environment many of your departing employees may be highly skilled but facing a fiercely competitive job market without any knowledge of how or where to market themselves.

• Most will not know that up to 80% of jobs are unadvertised.
• Only 20% are likely to be proactive on Linkedin.
• Those with a strong business network may not be adept at working it.
• Some will be the victim of ageism and need to look at other options.
• Many will regard redundancy as an opportunity to explore new avenues including making a career change but not sure of their options.
• A few will want to start a new business or develop a portfolio career.

PRS has many years of knowledge of working with people during uncertain times and managing every one of the situations above.
Some organisations do not choose to invest in outplacement. Today there are many automated choices to land a job and to help with job search or outplacement. However, the process can be hard and time consuming for the employee and dealing with a layoff can often be emotionally draining, financially difficult and hard on anyone at any level.

The human approach provided by PRS is particularly valuable in difficult times. Automation can be a great route to a new job for those who already have their own masterplan. However, many people just don’t know what their next step should be. In an environment of ambiguity and anxiety, robots can offer little comfort or guidance.

Departing employees will be your brand ambassadors whether you want them to be or not, so quality providing outplacement should always be a priority. In these days of uncertainty, providing quality, human support is more important than ever.

‘And sail them home with acquiesce
On a ship of hope today
And as they land upon the shore
Tell them not to fear no more’

Business leader behaviours to help you to implement strategy in your team successfully

Even the most brilliant of strategies need to be communicated and implemented effectively in order to be successful. You may have drawn up the grand plan, but is it understood and followed? Adjustments and tweaks to a leaders behaviour can sometimes make all the difference. We are very grateful to Floor Slagter, one of PRS’ newest associates, who has extracted some practical advice from her PhD research on the subject in the form of some top tips which we hope you will find useful.

What business leader behaviours help you to implement strategy in your team successfully?

Many organisations spend a lot of time formulating their strategy. However, a formulated, well-thought out strategy that remains unimplemented is worthless.

Also, if management has communicated the headlines of the strategy, but operational follow-up from the other parts of the organisation does not happen, the strategy becomes fragmented, creating misalignment throughout business units.

Consequently the image of management on the work-floor is undermined – How serious or professional are they perceived, if they don’t do what they set out to deliver?

If you are struggling to implement your strategy, you are not alone:
Research (1) points out that “two-thirds to three-quarters of large organizations struggle to implement their strategies”, and that often a majority of the employees are not aware, or do not understand the strategy of the company they work for.

If you are thinking “So what?”, maybe you should think twice. Companies that have no clear strategy implemented suffer from less employee commitment and satisfaction (2), hence more employee turnover or underperformance that simply costs you money. This is old news, since we discovered this fact over 60 years ago. However, we still fail to give strategy implementation the attention it deserves.

As a business leader you can start changing this tomorrow, by simply focusing on the following 4 categories of behaviours (3), you will be more successful in delivering strategy implementation within your team.

1. Provide the dot on the horizon

Communicate goals clearly. You can’t overdo this. An average person needs to see or hear a message 7 times before it sticks and he or she acts upon it. Often as a business leader you forget that employees have not been involved in the process of strategy formulation, so it will take time before the team has the same level of knowledge as you do. Inform your employees about goals, expected results and the importance, by tying the initiatives to the strategic goal it corresponds to. In this way, work instantly has more meaning for the employee.

Delegate… with all the consequences, so that employees feel ownership. Check up on progress and provide relevant information, facts, figures, and opinions.

Tip: Plan an OGSM workshop with your team (Objective, Goals, Strategies and Measurements) in which you link team KPI’s, activities and owners of these activities to the goals and objective of the company.

2. Enthuse people to participate

Tell stories! Talk positively about the initiatives that are taking place to your employees.. But also, confront and question: discuss when things are not working and learn from this. Call people to order if they get off track.
Identify threats and opportunities and discuss the pros and cons of new proposals.
Suggest problem solutions or brainstorm with your employees about the right solution and offer help where necessary.

Tip: As a business leader you don’t always have to come up with the solution. Asking questions (and preferably open questions) can be just as, if not more, powerful. Experiment with the power of questions during your team meetings and ask a minimum of 10 open questions (starting with “What?” “How?” “Describe?”).

3. Start the dialogue!

Ask your employees for their ideas, advice and opinions – and listen to these. As a business leader you don’t have to have all the answers. It is very powerful to involve your team in coming up with ideas. Simply ask the question “ What can we do better?”. Encourage your team to develop new ideas and use innovation. Give feedback, but also be open to receive feedback – both positive and negative. Lead by example and correct behaviour that is directed against the team.
Celebrate successes that are achieved, make these collective and communicate these. Do the same with failures. In this way you stimulate team learning.

Tip: Stimulate your team to experiment with their improvement ideas using the PDCA cycle (4) :

Plan

– Identify the problem, collect relevant data, and understand the problem’s root cause, develop hypotheses about what the issues may be, and decide which one to test.

Do

– Develop and implement a solution; decide upon a measurement to gauge its effectiveness, test the potential solution, and measure the results.

Check

– Confirm the results through before-and-after fact comparison. Study the result, measure effectiveness, and decide whether the hypothesis is supported or not.

Act

– Document the results, inform others about process changes, and make recommendations for the future PDCA cycles. If the solution was successful, implement it. If not, tackle the next problem and repeat the PDCA cycle again.

4. Don’t be the boss, be approachable!

As a business leader, make sure you spend time on the work floor, preferably every single day. Show interest in your team members and how your team feels when their work is accomplished. Show understanding and listen. If you make a mistake admit it and learn from it (again: lead by example). Don’t underestimate the importance of this sense of empathy and humanity you can add as a business leader to the workscape of your employees.
Reflect on your own activities and behaviour. Often as a business leader you get caught up in the daily, hectic ways of working and loose sight of the long-term goals, that are just, if not more, important.

Tip: Make sure that you reserve some time to reflect on your week, schedule this in your agenda, for example on the Friday morning. Simply ask yourself the question: How have I worked towards success this week in both the long term and the short term? And what will my actions be next week to be successful in both the short and long term?

(1) Sull, D., Homkes, R. & Sull, C. (2015). Why strategy execution unravels—and what to do about it. Harvard Business Review, 93, 57-66
(2) Drucker, P. F. (1954). The practice of management. New York: Harper & Row.
(3) Based on Floor Slagter’s PhD research at the Rotterdam School of Business, Erasmus University Rotterdam
(4) Langley, G., Moen, R., Nolan, K., Nolan, T., Norman, C., Provost, L., 2009. The Improvement Guide, 2nd Edition. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, page 24. https://theleanway.net/the-continuous-improvement-cycle-pdca

If anything you’ve read has struck a chord with you, or you would like to find out more please do not hesitate to contact PRS directly for a conversation.