I am naturally a happy, optimistic, positive person, I believe life is short and you have to embrace it and not waste time on negativity or on people who create negativity.
These views I bring into both my personal life and work, if people are happy they are more productive, if they are surrounded by a team of happy, positive people then they will all be more productive, the more productive you are the happier you are, so how do we as Owners / Managers help our teams to feel this way.
Work life balance – I’m not the first to discuss this, in fact in the 20 (ish!) years I have been working it has been a constant topic of conversation, so why are so many companies still getting it wrong – I have worked in environments where you have to be in before your ‘boss’, leave after they have left, your ‘standard’ hours are totally different to the hours you are ‘expected’ to work why? And part time / flexi hours do work in recruitment; retaining talent is key, so why say no to requests for flexibility.
I encourage standard and expected hours to be the same, in recruitment this is not the norm, our Consultants work 8.30am – 5pm or 9.30am to 6pm – the Ashley Kate HR offices are open 8.30am – 6pm our clients and candidates get the level of service they require and should expect, but our team get the time outside of work to have a ‘life’. If someone is doing excessive hours I look at why, do they require support in prioritising workload, extra training? I do not reward it.
The working environment – I absolutely want a professional environment but that doesn’t mean stuffy, not able to have fun whilst at work, encouraging and allowing simple things like charity days, dress down (or dress up!) days helps people enjoy their time in the office. Our clients and candidates are professionals but they are also people, they support our Charities and CSR initiatives, and feedback regularly that they like to see what the team are doing.
Social Media – In a world that is embracing social media the importance of being present having a strong brand is high, there are so many guidelines on how to build your brand and the tone you need to use, my advice is be yourself, be professional, share relevant industry information, comment, be authoritative in your field, but be true to who you are, people buy people first, restricting people will not support them in their SM growth and forcing people to be present in forums/platforms they are not comfortable in for example videos or blog writing will not work, if these are essential for everyone a lot of training and support is required but ideally pull on peoples strengths those who don’t like certain things will be comfortable elsewhere.
Supporting underperformance – the recruitment industry has a tendency to view people on their last month’s performance, one bad month and you’re out – why? Even your top Consultants will have a bad month, before placing blame find out why, our ‘product’ put crudely is people, they are a lot harder to control than a tin of beans, things happen, interviews get rearranged, clients have to be off, candidates are ill, an extra stage is added to the process, if your consultant isn’t hitting targets they need support, they need training, not auditing and blaming.
Motivating – everyone is motivated by different things, respond to different incentives, find what works, in recruitment it tends to be ££££ but a simple cup of tea made for them, box of chocolates or a well done goes a long way – people are quick to mention the negatives make sure you reward or even just acknowledge the positives.
To put a caveat to all the above, sometimes extra hours are needed, sometimes the working environment has to be fully focused on the task in hand, some things are not appropriate to post on SM, some underperformers can’t be turned round by training, I am realistic, but let’s give the positive a try first and see what happens……
I enjoy going to work, I am not naive enough to think the whole team feel this way every day but I do know the majority of time they do and no one dreads their working day.
Combining professionalism with fun to me is how you achieve a ‘Happy Team’
I’m a great believer in 360 feedback, take a look at what our consultants say about working for Ashley Kate HR. Ashley Kate HR Feedback
If you would like to discuss working with Ashley Kate HR either directly or indirectly email me firstname.lastname@example.org or register your interest on our website or call 0845 413 3200.