How progressive firms look to beat the skills gap

ADAM MCCULLOCH | April 4, 2019

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Fluid work practices, flexibility and agile reward schemes are the chosen route to beating the skills gap for a growing number of forward-looking businesses, according to a new study of organisations across sectors. A New Deal for the Future of Work, from consultant Korn Ferry, surveyed 70 “leading” companies to glean evidence that industries are exploring alternatives to the traditional “give and get” style of reward in favour of more employee-centric approaches.

Spotlight

Western Downs Regional Council

Western Downs Regional Council is among the top twenty largest councils in Queensland. It spans an area of 38,039 square kilometres, services a population of 30,018, operates a $100 million budget, holds public assets of $572 million and employs a 700 strong workforce. With a $10 billion energy industry within its boundary, Western Downs Regional Council aims to act in the best interests of its regional community to ensure local infrastructure keeps pace with growing demand. As a super council, it has the resources and the political power to capitalise on the future growth of the Surat Basin.

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6 Ways to Motivate a Remote Workforce and Boost Productivity

Article | November 28, 2020

In 2019, over 4.3 million people were reportedly working remotely in the U.S. This number does not include the ones who work from home partially or temporarily. If there is one thing we can infer from this statistic, it is that remote work is bigger than ever, and it is not a mere trend or a phase. Traditional workforces are rooted in conventional standards of productivity and efficiency. While it may work for an in-office, always available team, it is less than ideal for a remote workforce. A remote team, by the virtue of being remote, is not as connected as a physical team usually is. There are several benefits to working from home, but there are some downsides as well. As per a study by Harvard Business Review, employees who work remotely are reportedly less motivated than those who work from an office. Low employee morale can lead to lower performance levels or dissatisfaction and it your responsibility as the employer to enhance the remote experience. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain morale as and motivate your remote workforce. Here are some ways to figure out how to motivate your team: Develop a Remote Work Culture Work culture is a buzzword used often in terms of employee management of human resource management. But what does it really comprise of? Work culture is an amalgamation of several factors that make up your entire office experience. In an office setting, it includes everything from your tasks and processes, to the lunch timings, celebrations, water cooler conversations, and even non-work related banter. This is an impossible feat to achieve with a remote workforce because chances are that they never meet each other or talk beyond the scopes of work. Many people believe it to be the natural course of things and leave the situation be. But because of the nature of the remote workforce, it becomes that much more important to develop a work culture. So how to keep your employees motivated and develop an office culture? Do not try to replicate an office work culture exactly, as it isn’t possible. Instead, try to start small traditions and rituals that work for your team. Whether it is sharing what you’re having for lunch or discussing a current issue, conversations make for a better team. You can also include several virtual activities at the end of the day to help everyone cool off. Offer Flexibility and Autonomy You can scratch your brain for ideas to motivate your remote employees, but studies have shown that employees who work from home are already more efficient than those who do not. One of the biggest reasons why multiple studies have shown remote employees to be more productive is that they are accountable for their own work and time, which is often not the case in the office. The autonomy that comes with working remotely tends to be a powerful driver in terms of efficiency. However, employers tend to micromanage remote employees in a bid to control an uncertain situation. This not only demoralizes your employees but can also create trust issues. The best course of action is to trust your employees and let them take care of the work in whatever way they like. Offer Support Remote work can often be a lonely process. There is no one to interact with and several employees report feelings of isolation when working remotely. Google shows a severe spike in the search team ‘how to stay motivated working from home’ since early 2020. The reason could be the forced shift to remote work. Offer support in terms of interaction and regular communication. This will make your employees realize that you genuinely care about their well-being. There are also other forms of support such as technical and resource-based. Make sure that a tech team is available to your employees at all times for support. Also, ensure that they have all the required tools to function at their highest capacity. Update Your Metrics Working remotely is very different from working from an office. The lines are blurred, and the personal and professional aren’t always separate. So it makes no sense to calculate your employees’ efficiency based on factors such as punctuality or time spent on a task. Instead, update your metrics to reflect end results. Creating a result based metric system such as the OKRs will allow you to measure the true efficiency of your employees and also motivate your remote team to function more efficiently. A result based system will encourage the employees to push themselves add to their work from home motivation. Conduct Frequent Reviews Remote work can be an extremely efficient process if the lines of communication are clear and precise. One of the quickest ways to ensure that is to conduct frequent reviews with your employees and discuss the work, shortcomings, and achievements. This offers feedback to you as well as your employees and helps you stay on the same page. Feedback loops are a great way to motivate remote employees working in an isolated environment. Incentivize Goals Everyone works differently and is motivated by different factors. Some employees find motivation intrinsically, while others require external motivators. In any case, incentives work as a great motivator as well as a good form of reward for most employees. Incentivizing goals for the entire team can enhance the camaraderie and team efforts while motivation the remote team. Frequently Asked Questions How do you manage and motivate a remote workforce? The key to managing and motivating a remote workforce is communication. Communicate with your team frequently and understand their needs. Offer feedback and take their suggestions seriously. You can also introduce virtual activities, new rituals, or even a virtual hangout session for better communication. How do you incentivize remote employees? While most people think of money or bonus as an incentive, the nature of the incentives is such that the cost does not matter as much as the acknowledgment of the effort. Make sure to offer incentives for completing goals rather than abstract expectations. How does remote working increase productivity? Remote work offers a lot more autonomy to the employees than working in the office. They are responsible for their own productivity and this motivated them to function more efficiently. The flexibility of remote work also plays into this, as employees can work within the comfort of their own home.

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WHY HR DIGITISATION SHOULD BE A BUSINESS PRIORITY

Article | March 31, 2020

Digitisation is affecting business functions across the board, from finance to sales and marketing – and increasingly HR, which has a lot to gain from taking greater advantage of data and analytics. While in the global media we see stories of automation and job losses making headlines, widespread digitisation is actually causing global organisations to place a far greater focus on their people. Business leaders are becoming acutely aware that to achieve a competitive edge in this digital future, they must attract and retain the right people.

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Coaching for Schools: Leading key worker teams

Article | June 20, 2020

As a CSR initiative to support our community in these challenging times, Lane4 have been delivering ‘pro bono’ leadership development to an often-overlooked group of key workers: school leadership teams. The pressure and demands they face are incredibly high right now. Managing the anxieties of pupils, parents and staff is a real challenge. It has been our privilege to deliver both individual coaching and group workshops to a range of schools, academies and trusts to optimise their leadership at such a vital time. In this second of our three part blog series, our consultant Duncan Lewin highlights the four qualities he sees as critical for both school and key worker leadership teams in the current climate.

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why HR are worried about digital skills

Article | May 26, 2021

COVID-19 has accelerated the digital transformation of organisations in the UK, with many adopting new technologies to adapt to and bounce back stronger from the pandemic. This has made digital skills even more highly valued and the development of digital capabilities across the workforce is now viewed as a key component to successfully recovering from the current crisis. However, it is estimated that two-thirds of the UK workforce could lack basic digital skills by 2030 if we carry on the same path. As a result, there is now a huge concern that this growing gap in digital skills will hamper any chance of a strong bounce back from the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.

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Spotlight

Western Downs Regional Council

Western Downs Regional Council is among the top twenty largest councils in Queensland. It spans an area of 38,039 square kilometres, services a population of 30,018, operates a $100 million budget, holds public assets of $572 million and employs a 700 strong workforce. With a $10 billion energy industry within its boundary, Western Downs Regional Council aims to act in the best interests of its regional community to ensure local infrastructure keeps pace with growing demand. As a super council, it has the resources and the political power to capitalise on the future growth of the Surat Basin.

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