Top Tips for... creating better working lives

Top Tips for... creating better working lives

At cHRYsos HR we are big advocates of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) because they help to inspire and champion better working lives.

With the CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition (ACE), taking place in Manchester in November we feel motivated by the theme of ‘inspiring better work and working lives.’

The event theme follows the CIPD’s first comprehensive survey of the UK workforce under their new Job Quality Index, called the UK Working Lives Survey 2018.

The survey evaluates what a good quality job looks like and how measuring job quality can improve the world of work for everybody.

You can read more about the CIPD’s findings online, but here our Top Tips for creating better working lives:

1. Offer fair pay

The CIPD survey shows that 59 per cent of people would work even if they didn’t need the money. Sadly, one in four people still earn less than the minimum wage but the survey also showed that people place a positive, intrinsic value on their work. So there’s an opportunity for employees to harness that desire and motivation to work and channel it into something positive. With full-time employees spending at least 37.5 hours at work, it’s up to employers to ensure their employees feel personally and financially rewarded.

2. Offer better terms of employment

There has been a lot of noise in the media regarding the number of employees who are on zero-hour contracts and the impact this can have on people’s financial stability. The survey showed that 2.9 per cent of people are still on zero-hour contracts, although this is becoming less common than the media would lead us to believe. Employers should be looking at the types of contracts on offer and how they can be shaped to become more employee-friendly.

3. Support career development

The survey shows that nearly half of all jobs fail to provide decent career development, with one in six workers – normally in the lower social grades – being in jobs that offer no way up or out. By having regular one-to-ones and team meetings you can glean valuable information from your colleagues about what they want to achieve and how you can help facilitate their career development. This could be something as simple as offering work shadowing opportunities, time out for networking events or support to access new qualifications.

4. Help to manage stress in the workplace

The CIPD’s survey identified that 30 per cent of employees feel their workload is unmanageable and one in 20 said they felt ‘swamped.’ If you own or manage a business then you should have a Mental Health Policy to reassure your employees that you care about their mental health and wellbeing. You should continually review your working practices to ensure they promote good mental health. This could include reviewing job descriptions to ensure they set out clear and realistic expectations and encouraging staff to take breaks away from their desk.

5. Work on your relationships

The relationships we have with our peers and managers in the workplace can have a big impact on our job satisfaction. There’s nothing worse than suffering a job where you don’t feel supported and valued by your co-workers and managers. It’s really important to invest time into individual relationships and team building as it will make the workplace feel more human and a positive place to be.

6. Improve work/life balance

We spend the majority of our lives at work but balancing work life with busy families, hobbies and holidays can be tricky. Many of us can feel torn between the pressures of our work and home lives, particularly as mobile and social technology now means we are more easily contactable 24/7. The feeling of always being ‘on’ can become unbearable. To help mitigate this, you could encourage your employees to take regular breaks, support flexible working and ban emails after hours and during holidays.

7. Build a sense of belonging

Building a meaningful sense of team spirit, having a shared purpose and identity goes a long way towards promoting wellbeing amongst employees and leads in turn to higher levels of engagement. Employees are more likely to feel proud of where they work and therefore more rewarded and mentally fulfilled if their employer rewards loyalty. Where possible, it’s important to involve colleagues at all levels in making key decisions and to celebrate successes across the board.

8. Engage with your colleagues

Employee voice is most positive in the private sector and least positive in the voluntary sector, according to the CIPD’s survey. A happy and engaged workforce is a more productive one – which means business is better for you too. That’s why businesses of all genres and sizes invest time, money and resources into engaging with their colleagues to find out what really makes work more satisfying and rewarding.

9. Help colleagues to work smarter

Employees feeling stressed and overloaded was a key finding of the CIPD’s survey, particularly among middle management jobs. Colleagues at all levels often need help working smarter and to make the most of their skills and time, without burning out. This could be something as simple as communicating better with colleagues about workloads during team meetings, or delegating better and creating achievable goals.

10. Look at your employee experience

The CIPD research identified common trends and themes among worker types – those who feel ‘stuck, squeezed or satisfied’ with their jobs. The insightful results show how employees rate their job quality. Carrying out a similar evaluation at work will help you to identify which employees potentially need and want further career development opportunities, mentoring, opportunities to improve their work/life balance or relationships at work.

For more information about the CIPD UK Working Lives Survey visit - www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/work/trends/uk-working-lives.

Alternatively, for advice about creating better working lives contact cHRysos HR.

Julie Gordon is Managing Director of cHRysos HR Solutions, a Doncaster based HR training and consultancy company providing CIPD and CMI accredited qualifications, apprenticeships and HR Consultancy Services, nationwide and overseas. Contact Julie on info@chrysos.org.uk or call +44 (0)1302 802128.

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