What leadership lessons can we learn from the experience of the pandemic? In recent weeks, PRS has been running various virtual Round Table discussions in partnership with Frazer Jones. HR Leaders from across Financial Markets have been discussing a range of issues, including remote working, SMCR and creating a coaching culture.
It’s been a fantastic opportunity for our clients to network, collaborate and share ideas. One of the recurring themes of the discussions was what the future of work will look like and how leadership will need to adapt to this future. PRS Head of Practice, Michele MacKinnon, has summarised some of the thinking in this article hosted by Frazer Jones:
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.
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 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?
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.
• Simple to implement
• Take away the heavy lifting
• Low maintenance and low risk
• Hassle free
• 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.
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.
‘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’
Time’s Up in 2018 – Making work place changes to deal with harassment and intimidation
The start of every New Year is an occasion to make changes – 2018 has some particular opportunities.
The wave of change for those who fear oppression or harassment in the work environment continues to gather pace. Hollywood made a major stand at the Golden Globe awards. As we wait to see whether fine words and matching black outfits can be translated into positive action and a genuine cultural shift, the world is hopeful that real change will follow – in the film industry and beyond.
Recognising there is a problem is a vital first step in solving that problem. It can be a very difficult step, but that doesn’t mean the steps that follow will feel easier. Having acknowledged that culture needs to change across all industries and sectors, we need to enable that change and ready ourselves for the new challenges this will bring.
It is expected that both women and men who experience harassment will be more emboldened to make complaints. So organisations need to be prepared to investigate these situations and deal with them head on. This passive approach of waiting for complaints alone will no longer suffice and organisations need to encourage their staff to step forward if they are treated badly.
Some of our political parties have shown us how not to do it. A lack of investigation and untested allegations have led to suicides by those accused. By mismanaging the situation, it is not just the victims who can suffer. With peoples’ lives and livelihoods at stake, it is not appropriate to wait until a situation arises and ‘learn as you go’ how to manage it.
We have seen the abuse of power in various guises revealed across society – not just in the headline grabbing spheres of showbusiness and politics. It is no longer realistic to think ‘it couldn’t happen where I am’ – all businesses need to be prepared.
2018 may present difficult challenges, we may have to deal with damaged trust and to help damaged people; but our response is the key to unlocking the positive. Each claim and case thoroughly investigated and satisfactorily resolved is a foundation stone for building a new, open and honest work environment. This New Year, real change is possible.
The Weinstein Scandal – protecting against the abuse of power
The Harvey Weinstein story raises the issue of senior manager bullying and psychopathic type behaviour. The allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment made against him are terrible but, sadly, not shocking. Described as an ‘open secret’, it is behaviour widely assumed to occur in casting couch scenarios but which has been allowed to pass due to a cultural tendency to disbelieve the victim. Only now are the reports, allegations and accusations being treated seriously.
What is shocking is that some reporting on this story would lead you to believe that this behavioural problem is confined to Hollywood. It is very visible in all businesses as well as the film industry. It is all about abusing power. The abuse may take different forms, but it is always bullying. Bullying occurs all through life from school onwards. Bullies need to be rooted out, named and shamed.
It is well documented that there are many sociopaths and psychopaths in business. Key features of these conditions – a lack of empathy, no guilt, no conscience, lack of emotional intelligence, and the manipulation of people – have traditionally aided bullies’ rise to positions of power, from where they are able to hurt more individuals and enjoy a greater degree of protection.
A strong HR function should aim to protect organisations from these types of people. Although successful in the short term, they cause a great deal of direct and collateral damage in the long-term. Firms harbouring them will eventually suffer expensive legal cases, loss of talent, and loss of clients. The greatest damage is that done to the individuals who have suffered at the hands of the bully. Personal damage can be irreparable and irreversible.
Hollywood’s ‘open secret’ – a culture in which people are prepared to look the other way in exchange for continued success – is not confined to Hollywood. Individuals exhibiting the characteristics of a bully are often excused if they are temporarily useful. Euphemistic epithets can sometimes hide serious behavioural issues – he’s ‘a character’, she’s ‘larger than life’. In Hollywood films, the villains arrive onscreen to ominous music. In real life there’s no tell-tale music but there are signs and HR must be vigilant.