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The Losers’ Club? Which UK sectors need to up their employee engagement game?

Chris Shenton | Head of People Science at Weekly10 / September 4, 2019

We all know that for the past 5 years or so, HR directors, managers and CEO’s have had the words ‘employee engagement’ rattling through their minds, scrawled on meeting notes and appearing in the subject line of countless emails. We also know why, with strong levels of employee engagement linked with a raft of business benefits including:

  • Higher employee satisfaction
  • Improved staff retention and lower turnover
  • Increased levels of productivity
  • Boosted profitability
  • Less absenteeism
  • Enhanced employee loyalty

In 2017, according to Gallup’s ‘State of the Global Workforce’ report, an alarmingly small minority of just 15% of employees felt strongly engaged at work. At the time, Gallup predicted this meant a global loss in productivity amounting to $7 trillion. The US and Canada led the way with 29 and 30% respectively. The UK lingered around mid-table with 16%.

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So, what is employee engagement?

Chris Shenton | Head of People Science at Weekly10 / August 22, 2019

It may seem like a simple question. We certainly know employee engagement is a key focus for the vast majority of HR Directors, CEOs and CHROs out there. We too have seen the hundreds of blog posts, tweets and stylish infographics all about it. And yes, we’ve watched the TED talks also!

We also know about all the benefits, with both academic research and real-world findings highlighting the correlation between engagement scores and boosts to productivity, job satisfaction, discretionary effort and reductions in employee turnover.

But the question remains, what exactly is employee engagement?

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Weekly10 wins UK’s largest seed funding competition, The Start-Up Series.

Press Office | Weekly10 / August 14, 2019

It’s already been a big twelve months for us here at Weekly10; we moved in to our home at Wrexham Enterprise Hub, made the regional finals of the prestigious PitchAtPalace, are nominated for a Wales Start-Up award and now, we have won a six-figure investment from a prestigious start-up funding competition.

The Start-Up Series was launched in October 2016 by (the UK’s longest running independent online resource for start-ups) and investment promoters Worth Capital and is the largest seed funding competition in the UK. The competition looks to boost the growth of one lucky winner with a six-figure equity seed funding.

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Say hello to our shiny new Senior Software Engineer, Mike.

Weekly10 / July 25, 2019

That’s right all, Weekly10 has grown again!

This time we’ve added some good looks and youthful charm to the development team, in the shape of Mike.

Mike (or Michal if he’s in trouble), joins Weekly10 as our Senior Software Engineer this month, bringing a wealth of software development experience to the team, with an aim of driving platform performance and innovation. He also brings over 10 years' worth of industry knowledge having developed software within the HR Tech sector since 2008.

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10 Top Tips For Being an Effective and Happy Remote Worker

Chris Shenton | Head of People Science at Weekly10 / July 18, 2019

Gather round one and all, we’re here to talk (Weekly)10 Top Tips!

Following on from our recent blog series looking at some of the crucial topics around remote working, we thought it would be handy to provide a list of Weekly10 Top Tips for effective remote working and keeping happy while telecommuting.

Occasionally we here of companies trialling remote working, deciding it’s not for them and rolling back to an office-based approach (we see you there Yahoo!) and yet for every failure that seems to be a success, for every Yahoo! a dozen Buffers, Auttomatics and GitLabs (all 100% remote based) stand triumphant. Whilst remote working won’t be (and in some cases, can’t be) for everyone, where an unsuccessful remote work trial does crop up, it often feels like some of the issues faced, could have been avoided with some better forward thinking.

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Remote Working – 3: But what’s in it for my company?

Chris Shenton | Head of People Science at Weekly10 / July 11, 2019

And so, the end is near…

That’s right guys, we’ve nearly reached the end of our series of blogs looking at the remote working revolution that is shaking up business in the UK and further afield. If you have missed either of our previous posts looking at what remote working is and the impact it can have on wellbeing, these are available at the end of this post. Go give them a read, we’ll wait here for you…

For those avid readers who are up to date with the series, well done first of all. Secondly, you may be asking yourself:

“OK Chris, you’ve told us what remote working is, how the remote work revolution rumbles ever forward and the benefits & negatives of remote working on employee wellbeing, but what about the bottom line, how does remote working impact my company’s performance?”

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Remote Working – 2: Wellbeing

Chris Shenton | Head of People Science at Weekly10 / July 4, 2019

Well hello there and welcome back to our blog series looking at the world of remote working. In Part 1 of the series (available here), we discussed the past, present and likely future of the remote work approach to employment. We also looked at the often-overlooked environmental benefits of larger numbers of employees working from home on a regular basis and the huge improvements this could have for our urban and rural areas. In this post we look in more detail at one of the real key areas of remote working, that of employee wellbeing.

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Remote Working – 1: The What, Why and How of Remote Work

Chris Shenton | Head of People Science at Weekly10 / June 26, 2019

In a break with tradition (appropriate given the subject matter) we thought we’d bring you not just a single hit blog post, but a full-blown series on just one topic. We considered Britain’s favourite cakes, the impact of topsoil erosion on invertebrate colonies and Eurovision winners from the seventies, but in the end, we’ve settled on the hot topic of remote working.

You might have been involved in casual chat around remote work, with phrases like “I work remotely now” or “I now get to travel and take my work with me” often overheard both in social and corporate settings.

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Slack: Where Employee Engagement Happens

Andy Roberts / June 19, 2019

Here at Weekly10 we believe employee engagement is for everyone in every organisation – and that is why we are always looking for ways to make our Weekly10 process as accessible as possible to every person in every team.

So today, we are very excited to announce that Weekly10 is now available from right inside your Slack workflow.

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Getting ‘bang for your buck’ on employee engagement? If you’ve no idea, you’re not alone.

Shelley Heath / June 12, 2019

Employee engagement is a hot topic right now. Businesses left, right and centre are attempting engagement programmes. Discussions industry-wide are being held about how companies could be creating workplaces where every employee happily puts in their best performance, day in, day out. Yet 61% of UK employees remain disengaged, this is despite HR spending an average of 15% of their week on employee relations and engagement.

Clearly, something is amiss. Yet those that are getting it right, are outpacing and outperforming their competitors2 by 10% in customer loyalty/engagement; 21% in profitability and 20% in productivity – so for some, employee engagement is paying big dividends. But for the vast majority that invest in training and engagement – some 92% of companies - they have ZERO idea as to the impact of their programmes, good or bad.

In this blog we’re about to demystify this topic, once and for all.

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Choice paralysis? Social proofing? Oedipus what now? Meet our Head of People Science, Chris.

Weekly10 / June 6, 2019

So, who do we have here then?

  • Approx. 5ft 10
  • Shabby-chic face fluff
  • A rucksack of books about behavioural economics, social psychology and statistics
  • White lab coat

It can only be, our new Head of People Science & Marketing, Chris!

Chris is a trained consumer psychologist, having studied at Bangor University for both his BSc in Psychology and MSc in Consumer Psychology and Marketing. In his Master’s year, he graduated with distinction, top of his class, picking up a national student marketing award win from the Chartered institute of Marketing on route.

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The Price of Attention

Will Robinson / May 30, 2019

Perhaps like my own, many people’s school days were regularly punctuated by the sound of the words “Pay attention!” accompanied by an accusatory glare and a (short) shift in my focus. This phrase is embedded in our language and frames quite clearly that our attention is a resource much like time or money, that we make choices on how to spend. The question is, are we making wise choices?

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The unpopular truth: Middle managers are critical to your business

Shelley Heath / May 17, 2019

Middle management – it’s become something of a dirty word. Once held in high regard, all too often those who have the tall task of encouraging, supporting and motivating are reduced to mere meme fodder. Yet they are there – a key connection between the boardroom and the shop floor. Undervalued? Certainly. Under-invested? Most definitely. All of which hasn’t been helped by the focus on leadership - a focus that seems to have come at the cost of middle managers who go overlooked.

The allure of leadership is outshining the reality of middle management

The allure of leadership is outshining the reality of middle management

“89% of executives surveyed believe strengthening organizational leadership is a top priority”.

“More money is spent on leadership development than any other area of corporate learning”

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Building a self-sustaining culture of feedback – why (and how)

Shelley Heath / February 22, 2019

You know that your managers are mission-critical to the happiness of your employees. But were you aware that managers alone account for 70% of variance in employee engagement?

Given that just 13% of employees worldwide are engaged1, and an even lowlier 8% in the UK2, all too many businesses are overlooking the opportunity that crystal-clear communication between manager and employee can lead. Central to this story of open communication and engaged employees is the building of a virtuous circle…

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Regular Communication: The heartbeat Of Your Organisation

Rod Alford / February 11, 2019

Good communication is an essential tool in achieving productivity and maintaining strong working relationships at all levels of an organisation. Employers who invest time and energy into delivering clear lines of communication will rapidly build trust among employees, leading to increases in productivity, output and morale in general. Poor communication in the workplace will inevitably lead to unmotivated staff that may begin to question their own confidence in their abilities and inevitably in the organisation.

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How to build a workplace culture with millennials at the centre

Alistair Evans / February 1, 2019

Millennials (anyone born between 1981 and 2000) are different to previous generations whether it be Generation X or Baby Boomers because they are more diverse. In the UK 17% of millennials are in non-white ethnic groups with 26% of them born abroad, they earn less in their 20s than did Gen X and are concentrated significantly in London (where around 19% of them live). Households led by 25-34 year olds are less likely to own their own home and more likely to rent privately than any other age group and they have grown up during the growth of the internet – as a result 56% have shared a selfie and 81% sleep with their mobile phone!

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Changing the perception of a career in hospitality – how to attract and retain talent

Shelley Heath / January 24, 2019

Let us ask you something, if we say ‘hospitality worker’ – who do you picture? A student, part-time worker, a person on a zero hours contract? In the UK, one in 10 people work in hospitality and tourism (that’s 4.49 million people, or 10% of the working population).

Big statistics indeed, and the age ranges may not be what most would imagine either; waiting staff have an average age of 26, bar staff 28 and kitchen and catering assistants 35. Yet despite hospitality being such a popular choice of career for people of all ages, there are serious challenges in attracting and retaining top talent. And as you’re about to discover, the commercial consequences of these challenges are incredibly serious. But before we question what can be done, let’s first explore today’s landscape for the hospitality worker (and their employer).

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Women in car dealerships and why they are critical to success

Rod Alford / January 11, 2019

I recently read a book called 'Amateur' a true story about 'What Makes a Man' by Thomas Page McBee. It is an interesting read in which the author looks to untangle the relationship between masculinity and violence whilst training to fight in a charity boxing match at Madison Square Garden. It is a fascinating and thought-provoking insight into someone's life who has been on both sides of the gender divide. One paragraph in particular got me thinking about the recruitment and retention of women in male-dominated businesses, on page 49, I quote “…I'd promised to face the truth even ugly ones. At work disturbing patterns came into focus. I kept a tally of how often I tried to get my point across in meetings - a practice I'd honed aggressively in my 'before-body' that had a different impact now. Whom did I talk over more often? Women, at the rate of three to one.”

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The Role of Feedback Apps in Small Businesses

Caitlin Evans / November 2, 2018

In small businesses problems of employee engagement and productivity are perhaps at their most critical. For a small business every wasted hour of employee presenteeism or disengagement effects a far larger percentage of the company’s economic performance. In this article we take a closer look at how an investment in a feedback app can help the efficiency of a small business.

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The Place of Anonymity in Internal Communications

Caitlin Evans / October 19, 2018

Does anonymity ever have a productive role to play in your business? It has been suggested that one of the beneficial aspects of feedback and internal communication apps is their ability to allow employees to rate or offer improvements to their superiors without having to reveal their identity. However, does this actually increase productivity and effectiveness?

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Employee Wellbeing: Asking the Right Questions

Caitlin Evans / October 10, 2018

The role of managers is changing. Increasingly businesses are aware that their financial success is limited by their levels of employee engagement. The topical subject of mental health is becoming more relevant (or perhaps more illuminated) in the workplace. It falls to managers to promote the emotional well-being of their team to ensure productivity and engagement remain high, and that absenteeism, presenteeism and staff turn-over are kept at a minimum.

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Employee Engagement – Is more Technology really the answer?

Caitlin Evans / September 28, 2018

Have you heard the outdated and much-repeated news that the UK (and the rest of the world) has a huge problem with employee productivity and engagement? If you haven’t, you need to get familiar with the issue fast, because as an employer it will probably be costing you a great deal of time and money. The Government report, Thriving at Work estimated that a lack of productivity, staff turnover and absence due to mental illness cost the UK economy 42 billion in 2017. Over half of this estimate is attributed to presenteeism, where employees attend their workplace but are unproductive and disengaged. Despite the well-recognised prevalence of the issue, HR departments across the world are still struggling to find a solution.

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Cultural Iceberg - Infographic

Andrew Roberts / May 2, 2018

The cultural aspects of an organisation can often be described as an iceberg. The most visible culture of an organisation is at the tip above the water’s surface with the invisible day to day culture lurking beneath the surface.

The cultural aspects of an organisation can often be described as an iceberg. Download our infographic for free.

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Getting Beneath Your Organisational Iceberg

Andrew Roberts / May 2, 2018

The cultural aspects of an organisation can often be described as an iceberg. The most visible culture of an organisation is at the tip above the water’s surface with the invisible day to day culture lurking beneath the surface.

This analogy demonstrates the difficulties that management have in assessing the health and well-being of an organisation outside of the standard metrics, KPIs and visible culture that is more clearly visible.

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Engage Your Customers & Your Employees

Kym Darragh / February 18, 2018

Happy customers have long been the most important thing in most businesses. Recently though, employers are starting to understand the increasing importance of having happy employees. Happy employees make for happy customers which makes a happy employer. Not that customer service isn’t important, but is it more important than happy employees? Latest research shows that engaged employees are more likely to be happier, work harder and take less time off.

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Why You Should Ditch the Annual PDR

Andrew Roberts / August 11, 2017

Annual employee 'Professional Development Reviews' (or PDRs for short) are well established in most organisations. Characterised by a rush of activity at the beginning of the year to align to company and individual performance goals and then hasteily completed or fudged at the year end. A 2016 CEB survey found that 9 out of 10 HR Leaders felt that annual reviews did not accurately reflect the performance of employees. Some prominent organisations have already decided to ditch the forced ranking system and yearly overhead which have come to be associated with PDRs.

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