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Whitepaper: Senior Management Recruitment in 2020 and Beyond

  • June 05, 2020

We have just released our Whitepaper 'Senior Management Recruitment in 2020 and Beyond'. An extensive and informative insight into the future of the working environment post Covid-19, based on anecdotal evidence and expert opinion. We bring in our expertise in the market and how we’ve tackled the challenges of the lockdown using technology to carry out interviews and on-boarding for our clients. Read the paper below. MRG White Paper on Senior Management Recruitment in 2020 – …    

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The 'New Normal' Workplace

  • May 21, 2020

As I think back to Christmas Day, I doubt very many people were debating around their tables what life would be like in a ‘global pandemic’ having eaten a Christmas feast without a thought about their food actually arriving in time for the big day. Taking it further would we have discussed keeping our children indoors? Home schooling? Buying food for elderly neighbours? Keeping our families safe from an invisible killer? Now do something for me, take your phone and look back to the last time you were ‘being normal’, I did; it was a photo of me and my family enjoying lunch in a busy pub in Devon, sat by a roaring log fire on the 21st February. Forward-wind to the 15th March and I find a photo I took in a heaving supermarket commenting to my wife ‘why is everyone emptying the shelves?’. The madness begins… Like many of us, I have not been into an office building or workspace for over 2 months, but there are signs that I might be able to (if we do things right) in the next few months. That is only if it is ‘safe’ to do so. What is safe? We can all have educated guesses and having spent the majority of the last two months discussing the ‘new normal’ with my family, friends, colleagues and clients, here are mine: The journey back to work has to start with a safe working environment for employees, teams and visitors to come to. However, before flinging the doors open to your offices the first questions to answer are; Who needs to come back first? Who can work at home a little longer? Who can become a long-term homeworker without affecting their productivity, mental health and of course the operational efficiency of the company? Identify and engage with your stakeholders from the board, the heads of department and your service partners to come up with the answers. A word of warning, getting the above answered needs attention right now, which thankfully everyone in my network is well on the way to solving. So, as I mentioned, we all need to start to prepare our workplaces for the inevitable return of ‘some’ employees. Maintaining building integrity might be your sole responsibility, or that of a landlord. Either way if you don’t have measures in place to monitor those who come in you are not going to be able to maintain the ‘health integrity’ of your space. A potential melting pot of trouble for your organisation. We need to rethink our customers journey. Sadly, it’s not about improving on our 5-star service or creating more memorable experiences right now, it’s about hygiene, social distancing, safe mingling at the canteen or in the coffee queue and minimising risk to all. Perspex screens over reception desks, tensa barriers, paperless and contactless visitor management systems are a great start but only really scratch the surface and we need to think way beyond these measures. We should all get used to the phrase’s ‘proactive maintenance’ and real time monitoring. For example, should reactive maintenance tasks be replaced with a proactive ‘out of hours’ regime? Should, daytime housekeeping be scaled right back? Should we move our security to more of a remote monitoring model rather than manned guarding? I say, all good steps in the right direction. Do we need to know the occupancy levels of our buildings and the density hotspots around it? Yes, we do. Even prior to COVID-19 this was a good way to manage real estate and its usage, in my opinion this will be a given in every office over a particular size within a couple of years. Many organisations have adopted advanced monitoring over the last few years as the technology has become easier to install and much cheaper, or should I say better value for money. It is definitely time to get smarter about this, occupancy monitoring takes us one step further and the technology is out there, I’ve seen it and I work with those who develop it. Indoor Air Quality monitoring may not necessarily be a legal requirement nor may it ever be, but the health and wellbeing of your employees should always be at the top of the priority list. If you can proudly announce to your organisation we have good quality, clean air (not saying its COVID free as the can’t happen right now) the likelihood that your organisation’s ‘I want to work for you and feel comfortable in doing so’ O’meter immediately swings in the right direction. So, is that it? Sorry, no. Bring the right people together sooner rather than later. It’s vital if a successful and safe transition back to work is a priority. I strongly believe it is not okay to rely purely on your service partners and landlords to come up with the answers. It is everyone’s challenge we must come together. It’s now, it’s real and it’s all about engagement. Engaging with your people has to be intuitive as it is for me otherwise your workplace is destined to limp into next year. Let’s go ‘all in’ and ensure this crisis is not a hot topic over our turkey dinner in 2020.   About the Author Will Tyler is a workplace consultant who guides organisations through change by skilfully identifying the best solutions for sustainable and progressive operations. His main focus right now is getting his clients back to work by engaging with key stakeholders to develop strategies and execute urgent plans for new ways of working.

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Emotional Resilience in the Workplace

  • May 22, 2020

By Matthew Evans With all monumental changes happening at the moment, mental health has been at the forefront of concerns for employers and employees alike. Massive changes to routine, workload and livelihoods have unsettled the vast majority of people in the UK and across the world. 19% of remote workers say that they struggle with loneliness when working remotely. (source – finder.com). The charity Anxiety UK have experienced an unprecedented rise in callers since the outbreak of coronavirus, due to the uncertainty and worry experience from people all over the UK who face an uncertain future. But what determines our capability to cope with change? Emotional Resilience is the name given to the ability to cope with stress, bounce back from hardship and deal with change, and is something many people are tapping into. When you have a good level of self-awareness, are able to rationalise anxious thoughts and understand yourself, you can improve your own performance and response, leading to better coping strategies, allowing to make the most out of a bad situation. Tough times are inevitable. It’s how to get back up after you’ve been knocked down that’s the key. Emotional resilience is something we are born with and develop throughout our lives, but there are things that you can do to actively improve your bounce-back ability. In their book “Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges”, Steven Southwick and Dennis Charney detailed some of the top traits resilient people were found to have in common when studied. Optimism. Realistic optimism is a common trait in emotionally resilient individuals. They do not remain focused on the negative, tending to disengage rapidly from problems that appear to be unsolvable. They don’t remain focussed on negatives, turning their attention to problems that are solvable. 2) Facing Fears. Neuroscience says there’s only one real way to deal with fear: you need to face it, head on. This is what the most resilient people do. When we avoid scary things we become more scared. When you face your fears they become less frightening. Several approaches to treating anxiety disorders encourage patients to confront the fear and anxiety head on. Acknowledging the fear and facing it head on, with an attitude that says “I’m scared, but I can learn from this,” or “This is a test that’s going to make me stronger.” 3) Have A Moral Compass In studies, many resilient individuals possess a keen sense of right and wrong that strengthened them during periods of extreme stress and afterward, as they adjusted to life following trauma. Also altruism – selflessness, concern for the welfare of others, and giving to others with no expectation of benefit to the self – often stood as a pillar of their value system, of their “moral compass.” 4) Get Social Support A strong network of friends and family are key when life gets hard, and our brains need social support to function optimally. Connection with others releases oxytocin which calms your mind and reduces stress. Oxytocin’s actions in reducing amygdala activation and arousal may help to explain why positive support from others can reduce stress (Heinrichs et al., 2009; Lee et al., 2009). 5) Have Resilient Role Models A study by Emmy Werner involving the lives of children raised in destitution found that resilient children – those who grew up to be productive, emotionally healthy adults – had at least one person in their lives who supported them and served as a role model. Although we generally think of role models as providing positive examples to admire and emulate, in some cases a particular person may stand out in the opposite way – embodying traits we emphatically do not want to have. We can think of such a person as a negative role model. 6) Maintain Physical Fitness The most resilient people had good exercise habits that kept their bodies (as well as their minds) strong. The stress of exercise helps us adapt to the stress we will feel when life challenges us. 7) Keep Your Brain Strong Resilient people tend to be lifelong learners, continually seeking opportunities to become more mentally fit. Resilient people are very often lifelong learners. They keep growing their mind, learning to learn, and adapting to new information about the world. 8) Be “Cognitively Flexible” All of us have one way we typically cope with difficulty, but what sets extremely resilient people apart is they use a number of ways to deal with stressful situations. People who are resilient tend to be flexible – flexible in the way they think about challenges and flexible in the way they react emotionally to stress. They are not wedded to a specific style of coping. Instead, they shift from one coping strategy to another depending on the circumstances, such as humour. Source: https://time.com/4306492/boost-emotional-resilience/ https://www.finder.com/uk/working-from-home-statistics

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