Through The Keyhole

With many of us spending as much time at work as at home, is the office now a place for creature comforts?

We personalize desks.

We arrange furniture for comfort and familiarity.

Some of us even bring our pets to work.

When we look through the keyhole into the modern British workplace, what do we learn about individuals and the organisations they serve?

Commercial property specialists LondonOffices.com have researched 2018 trends and the results give us plenty of clues.

We’re prioritising adaptability and collaboration, with flexible office set-ups that encourage colleagues to interact, share ideas and create a motivation culture.

We’re not only aware of the need to be tech-savvy, we’re eager to keep our organisations on the cutting edge of sector-specific developments

The concern for employee well-being is real, and it’s being actioned in measurable ways.

For those of us whose working lives have included spells in miserable, claustrophobic cubicles this is a welcome development. As a graduate I worked at the Head Office of a major retail plc and saw both sides of corporate life. When I had to deliver a report to directors, I took the elevator to a higher floor with plush carpets I was not permitted to walk on and penthouse-like offices where I was not permitted to sit. Descending back to my own floor, I would contort myself into a cubicle the size of a large dog kennel and settle down for a day’s work that might feature little or no human contact.

According to LondonOffices.com the fashionable 2018 office will free us from any sense of confinement by bathing us in sunlight, it will encourage interaction with open plan seating and support remote working to accommodate our lifestyle choices.

At Jane Systems we have high hopes […]

Everything Costs Something

When a fee-paying scheme was introduced for UK employment tribunals in 2013, it led to an estimated 70% cut in the number of cases. If that statistic was predictable, then it’s hardly a surprise that the recent decision to abolish those fees is set to open the floodgates.

What’s the emotional and professional cost to an individual of nursing a grievance? Even when a tribunal gives someone the opportunity to make themselves heard and gain compensation, restitution or closure, the road to that outcome can be hard and damaging. It’s difficult not to wonder what’s gone so badly wrong with HR procedure and practice that this is the long-drawn-out result.

Sometimes people and organisations just don’t fit, and the sooner they part ways the better it is for all concerned. But how often do relations between good employees and good employers reach breaking point for avoidable reasons?

In HR, as in all things, good practice is good business. When line managers are well versed in your company policies and procedures and follow them because they believe in them, results will follow.

Make those policies understandable and transparently fair. Not just following the letter of employment law but the spirit. Let your people know they really are your people, and see how that impacts on their loyalty and performance.

And have a system in place that smoothly converts your good intentions into good practice.

How much easier would it be for you to build on your people’s skills and motivation if their training needs could be logged via appraisals, business plans, project workflows or direct requests, and the training itself could be monitored at every stage, enabling you to audit and evaluate its […]

Wishing Well

Over the closing weeks of 2017 Jane Systems will share our thoughts on HR and systems development trends, and as always we’ll be here to help our clients and partners stay ahead of the curve.

When we began our journey as a HR software provider at the turn of the 21st century the phrase “employee wellness” wasn’t in common usage. But we did start out a firm grasp of the concept of engaging staff, catering for their best interests and making them happier and more productive. That’s why from our earliest days in business Jane software has focused on delivering interaction, communication and quality of experience in the workplace. Today, with wellness rightly high on most corporate agendas, that’s proving to be a wise choice. When analysts tell us the employee wellness market could be the next big thing for 2018 we politely remind them that for us, it’s always been a big thing.

Wellness initiatives may have started out with a focus on health and ways of stopping employee burnout, but as valuable as preventative measures are the focus for today and tomorrow is more on enhancing performance. Put simply, it’s not just about stopping your people collapsing in a heap when issues come to a head. It’s about delivering a working environment where they never get close to that level of disenchantment and distress. It’s about helping them deliver optimum performance.

In Britain in 2016/17, a staggering 25,700,000 sick days were lost to work-related ill-health. Not all of those absences could have been avoided, of course, but how many of them could? Without an effective HR system in place that becomes a far more difficult question, because you can’t manage what […]

The £13 Million Question

Thriving SMEs are crucial to economic success and at a time when business confidence seems to be fluctuating, Britain’s entrepreneurs need to maximise their opportunities. In a recent report, the Lloyds Bank Business in Britain review indicated that confidence among SMEs had grown in the first half of 2017. Their “confidence index” measuring expectations of sales and profits rose by 10%, but there was a downside. Over 50% of companies surveyed now say they are struggling to hire skilled employees.

The CIPD have a solution. They want to expand their People Skills Initiative. This scheme has provided a sample group of employers with free part-time HR support, and in many cases it’s laid the foundation for success. In Glasgow, 400 small companies were aided with such good results that the city council kept funding the programme after the trial run ended. Measurable improvements in employee relations, productivity and bottom line profit all tell the same positive story.

To make this a UK-wide initiative would cost £13 million a year. Will the money be found?

We admire the CIPD’s efforts and our systems dovetail perfectly with their initiatives. The Jane solution is tried and tested, and won’t cost anyone £13 million.

The Jane Recruitment and Staff Development Modules offer a complete lifecycle solution allowing teams of any size to streamline their hiring processes. Cutting edge skill-matching software fits job applicants to your business needs, delivering tailored analysis of external and internal candidates. If they can do the job, we help you find them.

The Jane Self-Service Portal has been praised by clients across all sectors as a tool that actively encourages employees to take responsibility for their working lives, leading to an increase in training activity, […]

The Dog Day Aren’t Over

It’s been an up-and-down decade for Britain’s favourite pet.
In 2012 Pudsey, a border collie, won the sixth series of Britain’s Got Talent by dancing to the theme from “Mission Impossible”.

In 2013 canine talents were put to more dubious use when a government language service contractor tried to falsify their staff figures by registering pet dogs as courtroom interpreters.

In 2014 the good times were back as “Pudsey, the Movie”., produced by Simon Cowell, hit British cinemas. Admittedly, with a thud.

And now?

Amazon and Google are famously pet-friendly, and this week Nestlé announced that its Gatwick office would be the first of its global HQs to officially welcome pets.
As part of its Pets at Work (PAW) programme, Nestlé has adapted its Gatwick office, creating an open-plan workplace where staff and their dogs can work together comfortably and happily.

The programme is a key component of Nestlé’s wider Health and Wellbeing agenda, and their own internal surveys have revealed that employees are happier, healthier and more productive when their pets are welcome in the workplace. Among the younger generation it’s seen as a notable positive, with 47% of 18-24 year-olds saying that in their eyes, bringing a pet to work is a valuable employment perk.

A series of studies have indicated that pet-friendly workplaces can reduce stress, improve performance and generally promote a “family” atmosphere of engagement and well-being. This strikes a chord with us at Jane Systems. Working in partnership with HR professionals, we admire their continuous efforts to make people feel comfortable and valued.

The Jane self-service portal gives employees access to their HR, payroll and training data, encouraging them to buy into their own career development. HR Managers have their workload reduced while retaining oversight and […]

By |August 8th, 2017|Employee Engagement, Employee Wellness|Comments Off on The Dog Day Aren’t Over|