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

 

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.

PRS to Develop Business in US

We are delighted to announce that Gerry Cappelli is joining the PRS team to lead the business in the US. Based in New York, Gerry has a wealth of experience across financial services firms. Together with her coaching and mediation expertise she will be a strong ambassador for PRS. Andrew Pullman, CEO, says “I am pleased that Gerry has joined the team. Having worked with her for over 9 years at Dresdner Kleinwort, I know that she will bring strong leadership to our activities in North America.”

Gerry is an experienced HR executive who is spearheading our initiative to grow our business in the US. She has worked for several leading global financial services firms in a senior leadership capacity. Her expertise includes employee relations, litigation risk management, talent acquisition, talent management, reductions in force, change management and company reorganisations. Gerry is certified as a Conversational Intelligence Coach, an Executive Coach and a Master Career Coach. She is also skilled in administering a number of assessment instruments as MBTI, TKI, ELI and SEIQ. In addition she is qualified as an Arbitrator, Community and Workplace Mediator.

Walking Through History: The City of London

PRS Team in Leadenhall Market

On Tuesday 30 October some members of the PRS Team were given a walking tour of the City of London by Sam Bailey from the City HR Association. Sam is a qualified Blue Badge Tour Guide. The tour concluded with drinks at the Brand Exchange in Birchin Lane.

The History of the City of London goes back over 2,000 years and our tour included tales of Charles Dickens, trading in coffee houses and the remains of a church which was taken brick by brick to the USA after being bombed in the Blitz.

Further events are planned for 2019.

The Final Frontier – a case study on coaching across cultures

executive coaching culture

Today we are featuring an article of interest by Ian Claffey about his coaching work in Mongolia. It is a fascinating look at the opportunities and challenges that working in a different culture presents, and the approaches required to meet them. Importantly, if you ever find yourself in this part of the world, Ian also provides a selection of top tips for doing business in Mongolia.

Coaching in Mongolia – The Final Frontier

Arriving at Chinggis Khaan International Airport on a cold winters day was always going to be a shock to the system, more so as I had left Thailand several hours earlier, which had been +38 degrees. I had known cold as a child in Glasgow, but this was different. Ulaanbaatar is one of the coldest capital cities in the world. It would be easy to think that an average 250 days of sun each year would bring warmth. However, temperatures range from -40°C in the winter to+40°C in the Gobi Desert in the summer.

My first contact with Mongolians was through their Embassy in London. I was invited to a function, and I was delighted to attend. It was there I was introduced to the leadership team from the Association for Development of Mongolian Women in Europe, (ADMWE) when they held a dinner to celebrate Mongolian Lunar New Year, ‘Tsagaan Sar’.

The (ADMWE) were planning their ‘Mongolian Woman of the Year’ awards to be held in Frankfurt. I thought I would show goodwill and offer to provide and pay for a leadership coaching programme for their fund-raising auction, not thinking they would ask me to attend the event in Germany.

coaching mongoliaMy coaching career has provided me with some interesting experiences over the years, including conflict mediation in Nigeria, team development on the Vaal River in South Africa, coaching Group Internal Audit Teams in Singapore, Tokyo, and Zurich, as well as supporting a Leadership Team, at Board level, in the mountains of Tuscany, none of which prepared me for being auctioned off to 150 Mongolians. At the auction the programme I provided was bid for by a CEO from a leading company in Ulaanbaatar, I was very happy the (ADMWE) made some money from the event. The proceeds from last year’s event provided a range of programmes for children in Mongolia. These included supporting girls to build confidence and leadership skills. Also, a strong boy’s initiative, helping to develop good interpersonal skills, along with providing 200 children with school bags and writing materials for the start of the new school year.

I have travelled extensively with my work in Asia, mostly in South East Asia, but arriving in Mongolia was like entering a new world. The more I got to know the people, the more I liked them. I read about their history, values, beliefs, and culture. I also noticed they are fiercely proud and have a unique presence – a quiet strength.

My professional career has been built, in part, trying to understand different cultures, to provide solutions for the clients, and organisations I work with, who are operating in new cultures, and who are often facing cross-cultural challenges or conflict.
In my experience, having empathic understanding is key to getting the best out of people when arriving in a new country. Depending on which part of the world a direct approach may also be needed. To be too inclusive may be seen as a weakness in some countries. I was interested to see what might work best in Ulaanbaatar.

One of the largest opportunities and cultural challenges facing Mongolia is the Oyu Tolgoi mine. The mine was given its name from the turquoise-coloured copper ore found in the Gobi Desert. Mongolia has an abundance of natural resources including coal, copper, gold, uranium, and rare earth minerals. This has made it a very attractive destination for international organisations. I suspect that doing business with international organisations, without losing their identity, will remain high on the agenda for Mongolians.

Mongolia joined the free market in 1990, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This was followed by the introduction of a multi-party system and a market economy.

coaching UlaanbaatarOne of the few countries in the world not to have embraced executive coaching, I was keen to look at how coaching could work in Mongolia. I wanted to make sure it was set at international standard. When in Bangkok, I met with the Regional Director from the International Coaching Federation (ICF) for Asia to explore how we could ensure quality. We are now looking at getting an (ICF) Chapter set up in Ulaanbaatar.

Resource-rich in copper, gold and coal, Mongolia is in a very strong position to make the most from its natural wealth, in particular, Oyu Tolgoi mine and other mining projects. Strong leadership and direction from the MPP, The Mongolians Peoples Party, along with investment by the IMF, the Asian Development Bank, World Bank and input from China, Japan and South Korea will make it possible for Mongolians to reap the rewards.

Taking a corporate approach, with a long-term view of creating robust senior leaders, is where coaching can help. Developing local ‘talent’ will, in my opinion, facilitate better relationships when dealing with multiple stakeholders from a range of different countries, levels and disciplines. Building a goal-setting and solution-focused mindset, based on the ability to both give and receive constructive feedback, is critical when developing strong leaders.

I have put together a list of tips for doing business in Mongolia:

• Mongolians are very hospitable people. Try to accept any food or drink you are offered, even if you only take a little. They can be offended if you refuse. Having said that horse milk is an acquired taste!
• Accepting with two hands is the way things are done, the right hand supports the other at the wrist or elbow.
• Respect for elders is shown by greeting them first, try not to walk in front of an older person, this is seen as sign of rudeness.
• As you enter the meeting room, it is normal that your host will indicate when you are to sit.
• Your host may be late, this is part cultural and part Ulaanbaatar traffic. It is not meant to be disrespectful.
• Legal and business documents may be viewed as work in progress, rather than the finished item. A flexible mindset may be required from time to time.
• Giving or exchanging small gifts is often seen as part of the relationship building stage and a nice experience.
• The exchange of inexpensive gifts may also take place on the signing of contracts or agreements.
• It is sometimes customary to toast with a shot of vodka, be careful if you are offered Chinggis Khaan ‘Gold Label’ vodka, it is 39% Alc. Vol.
• My final tip and one that works in most countries is to behave as you would if you were a guest in someone’s home. This one has never let me down.

Ian Claffey MA – Executive Coach, APECS Acc, NCP Acc, MAC