Archive: Feb 2014


    Comments Off on OARSOME WORK CREW!

    It’s been two weeks since the crew left for the great row and we are delighted to report that James and the guys are still alive with all limbs intact! Through the noise of splashing, crashing and muscle groans, James has reported that spirits are high and the determination of the men is as relentless as ever. The best news of all – they’re currently a whole half day ahead of the existing world record of rowing the Atlantic in 32 days! It would seem the motivation to raise as much research money as possible for Crohn’s and Colitis UK has made them unstoppable.

    We can only imagine what it is like aboard the Toby Wallace with just eight baby-wipes a day to blot away the sweat and dried food for fuel. All of the support back home really does give them a boost to power through the waves – Fergus has even written to the Queen (we have our fingers crossed for a hefty donation!).

    Keep up the good work chaps, you can do it!

  2. The Leader As An Example

    Comments Off on The Leader As An Example

    “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

    John C. Maxwell

     If we agree that the role of a leader is to influence the actions and attitudes of his or her team, then what better way to be a leader than to act as a positive role model?

    By walking the walk, you become someone that people want to follow.

    As Mary Kay Ash so beautifully put it: “The speed of the leader is the speed of the gang”. Followers learn behaviours through observation. Leaders, therefore, set the trend of a workplace, by acting as a beacon of the acceptable and progressive way to do things.

    So, when it comes to encouraging involvement, you, as a leader, must be the most involved team member.


    “Great leaders remind themselves regularly that actions speak louder than words”


     People watch more than they listen and so remind yourself on a daily basis that everything you do is being observed and copied – and act accordingly. Be careful what you say, and wary of who is listening and watching.


    Know Your Stuff


    To be an effective exemplary force for your team, you need to make sure that you know your industry inside out, and also be willing to work alongside them, to show that you are developing your skills and that you are willing to get your hands dirty.

    You also need to be genuine and consistent. We are not talking about being seen to behaving in the right way, you must become the example. If you don’t genuinely subscribe to the behaviours you are advocating, neither will your team. ‘Leading by example’ should apply to every part of your behaviour and business life.

    Giving orders is not an effective way to lead by example. You must listen to your team. Often they are more knowledgeable in their individual fields, so respect their opinion and act on it. By showing respect, you will earn the same in return. Dictatorship is a thing of the past!

    The influence of a leader cannot be overestimated. Leading by example is a unique opportunity to create a culture of involvement. Think about every aspect of your working life, even your personal life, and about the example you are setting for your team.

    Is it the right example? Are you acting as you hope they will? If the answer is no, then you need to make some changes if you are to be a truly effective leader.

    Great leaders lead by example. Are you one of them?

    If you would like to chat to us about leadership techniques, please get in touch!








  3. What Netflix Can Teach Us About HR

    Comments Off on What Netflix Can Teach Us About HR

    The best thing you can do for employees — a perk better than foosball or free sushi — is hire only “A” players to work alongside them.”

    Patty McCord, Harvard Business Review


    There has been a lot of buzz online lately about the ‘Netflix HR Revolution.’ Leading HR publications are convinced that Netflix’s compelling approach to talent and culture has reinvented the business of human resources.

    In a PowerPoint document on the ideas that shaped culture and performance at Netflix, Patty McCord and Reed Hastings outline the elements that make it stand out in the area of talent management.


     “We’re like a pro sports team, not a kid’s recreation team. Netflix leaders hire, develop and cut smartly, so we have stars in every position”

    ‘Netflix Culture: Freedom and Responsibility’ Document

    So what is it that Netflix can teach us about the delicate business of HR?

     Netflix are unapologetic about their hunger for excellence, and are dogged about what they believe to be the best way to find it. For example, in the document they write that hard work is irrelevant. Sustained B-level performance, with A-level effort, only generates ‘a generous severance package, with respect’, while an A- level performance, despite minimal effort, is rewarded with more responsibility and great pay.

    Netflix focus on what people get done, not how may days they have worked, tapping into a deep understanding of  how to maximise productivity, creativity and motivation.

    They develop their people by giving them the opportunity to develop themselves.

    They have been encouraging the same seven cultural behaviours since the company was launched:

    – Values what we value
    – High performance
    – Freedom and Responsibility
    – Context, not control
    – Highly aligned, loosely coupled
    – Pay top of the market
    – Promotions and development


    We’d like to home in on one aspect in particular – Context not Control.

    Netflix’s policy of ‘Managing Through Context’ is based on the idea that people do better work if they understand the context – if they can link what they do to company goals, or understand the key metrics of success.

    Netflix call this context. We call it involvement.

     A clear idea of the bigger picture, and their part in it, is essential to context and involvement in an employee.

     At Netflix, developing a great team is clearly the manager’s most important task. Great teams accomplish great work, after all. It is a rigorous talent management process that means that its’ employees can:


    Imagine every person at Netflix is someone you respect and learn from”

    ‘Netflix Culture: Freedom and Responsibility’ Document

     Netflix undoubtedly sets a fine example of an organisation that is nailing its involvement strategy. By making these radical changes to company culture, they have become an entertainment force, growing to 29 million subscribers last year.

     We could all learn a lot from them.

    If you would like to discuss with us an involvement strategy for your team, please call us today!




  4. What’s In A Game? Gamification And Employee Engagement

    Comments Off on What’s In A Game? Gamification And Employee Engagement

    Gamification is changing the very DNA of HR.”  

    HR Zone

    Should you make work a game to engage your employees?

     The “Gamification” of workplace systems is gathering hype as an effective tool for productivity, reward and recognition and employee engagement. Some have even argued that it is changing the fabric of human resources.

    One report suggested that the principles of gamification could actually improve creativity, learning, participation and motivation.

    The question is, does it work?


     What is “Gamification”?


    Gamification, the use of game elements to promote desired behaviours among customers and employees

    The Business Insider

     Gamification appeals to people’s natural desires for competition, achievement, status and self-expression. It asks people to deal with situations in the workplace in the form of a game.

    The way people play and interact in a game setting can tell leaders a lot about what makes them tick. This technique can be used in recruitment, as a way to select the candidate with the best leadership and problem solving skills, or as an engagement tool, to stimulate the workplace. It has even been deployed to promote health and wellbeing in the workplace.

    Gamification has been a popular strategy for decades, with employee of the month schemes and loyalty programs formerly the games of choice. But the digital age has propelled gamification to the forefront of employee engagement strategies. Much of what we do in the workplace now is conducted through software, apps and mobile devices, and so the opportunities for introducing motivating games into everyday proceedings are endless.


     Points Mean Prizes

    Is your job a game? Should it be?”

    Wall Street Journal

     Are you a competitive person?

    Imagine your job performance was measured in points and rewarded in bonuses. Would the expectation of winning or the fear of losing make you a better employee?

    That’s the clincher. Competition.

    We all have that fire within us, and as we play a game we become more competitive, and thus more engaged. We feel a greater sense of accomplishment and are willing to go the extra mile for more points on the board.

    Remember, fun is not an ugly word in the workplace – it can be a powerful tool for motivating, captivating and involving your team in common company goals and values.

    Could gamification be the ultimate employee engagement tool?

    Would you like to know more about how games can help facilitate employee engagement? Please get in touch!