Have we lost the work-life balance?

Work-life balance

Work-life balance. We talk about it all the time. It’s so important to make sure you have a balance between your work and home life – we’re big advocates of it here. But how good are we all at keeping the balance and should it even still be a ‘thing’?

There are many factors to be considered when addressing the work-life balance argument – for me, they all centre around technology. Technology has allowed us to change the once rigid working environment – with a set place of work and working hours – to be much more fluid and relaxed. Which, although positive in many ways, doesn’t help to keep the structure in place between your work life and your social life.

Remote working

Remote working allows us to work from anywhere, not just in the office. At home, on a train, in another office, even abroad. All you need is your laptop and phone and Wi-Fi connection and you’re away.

Flexitime

Flexitime gives employees the freedom to choose their hours to fit around their other commitments outside of work and can sometimes mean starting late but finishing late or, starting early to get an early finish.

Technology

Mobile phones and laptops are great because you can take them easily wherever you go, to work remotely. But this often comes with its own problems – if you use the same laptop or phone for both personal use and for work, it can be difficult to switch off. Many phones have emails and Slack and other forms of communication for work connected to them, which allows totally switching off from work almost impossible! Then, of course, there is the work WhatsApp groups, which can go off at any time, day or night.

Blurred lines

All these technological factors blur the lines between your work life and your home life. But is it necessarily a bad thing? In my opinion, the freedom and flexibility businesses and employees now have, to work where and when they want, is brilliant. And, although the factors blur the lines so work can creep into your home life, it also means your home life can merge into work life too – you are able to juggle other responsibilities around work, rather than following a strict 9-5 Monday – Friday in the office. Having said that, it is still important to make sure you keep a balance and sometimes – press the off button!

To discuss further or to have a chat about your executive search, contact me at carl@refind.co.uk. You can view more about Carl Hinett our Executive search of HR professional’s specialist here.

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Your first 30, 60 and 90 days in a shared service leadership role

Starting a new role in shared services can be a little overwhelming. Imagine starting a new position managing a team in excess of 30, 50 or 100 people, with new systems and new processes, in a completely new environment.

Where would you start? Most of your first 30 days is a learning curve, and a chance to absorb as much info as possible. Break it down into smaller chunks…

30 Days

  • Introduce yourself:

First impressions count. It is important that you understand your team, and they understand you. What are their frustrations, what makes them tick, and what motivates them to go that extra mile? It is important to understand the dynamics of the team initially and they understand your reasons for being hired. Most managers within a shared service are appointed to make change and drive efficiencies within their function. The whole team need to understand the journey you’re on as they will be a fountain of knowledge to help you reach it.

  • Define your role:

Why have you been appointed? Most roles within shared service have a purpose, and you need to define your existence in the role and what you are there to achieve. The team need to understand your motivations too, so you need to be transparent around this and what you are trying to achieve. This way the team will understand why changes are being made.

  • Understand the business and culture:

What is the business strategy? What are the business’ long term goals? Is it to reduce costs, headcount, make processes more efficient or to grow the team to manage an acquisition? Whatever it is, your team in most cases need to be aware of it, to understand your vison and to help you achieve the journey that you’re on. Understanding the product or service of the business is key, as you will need to think outside the box and consider any challenges that the business may face, and how that will impact the wider shared service.

  • Evaluate your own performance:

Monitoring your performance over a 30, 60, and 90-day period is important. Set yourself achievable objectives, short and long term based on what you have set out with your line manager. Once you’ve set yourself these objectives, it is important not just to deliver them but to go above an beyond.

  • Plan…plan…plan….

60 Days

  • What were your observations in the first 30 days?

Start by looking back on your first 30 days. What have you achieved, what objectives did you meet/not meet and how realistic were they?

Did you identify any risks, skills shortages or areas for improvement? This is the perfect time to reflect on your observations and speak up.

  • Implementing new strategies/processes

What needs to be changed? Is it people, process or systems? This is where you will need to consider the changes you want to drive, and again what impact this may have on the wider business. Most importantly, your team, key stakeholders, and wider business should all be ‘bought in’ to the change agenda and just as importantly your customers and suppliers should be too, if the changes could potentially affect them.

  • Start building your own personal brand

It’s important to start building your own personal brand and be recognised for doing things well. You want to use this next 30 days to really step up and show people why you were hired, and what you do well. By now you should have established relationships within the business and have started to help develop your team and potentially upskill them in in certain areas. By now you should understand your key stakeholders too, and how much influence is needed.

  • Get some feedback

It is important now that you obtain regular feedback to ensure your vision aligns with your line managers. Talk around your observations, and future planning, and some of the key points you’re considering changing.

  • Plan, plan, plan…..

90 Days

  • Create an internal comms plan

Align your plan with the business, and create your own strategy and objectives to share with your team and stakeholders, so they have a clear understanding of the journey you’re on. 

  • Present your gatherings

After spending 60 days analysing and absorbing info, it’s now time to present your findings. Show your stakeholders your problems and create solutions of how to make improvements and how you will measure success.

  • Start the transformation

Now it’s time to really get your sleeves rolled up and start making the changes!

Making a good first impression is important when you’re starting any management role, and by now your confidence should have grown and you will have made an impact on the team in some shape or form. Planning your first 30,90 and 60 days is important if you want to achieve your goals.

If you would like to discuss further, email me at sam@refind.co.uk.

You can view more about Sam Perry our Shared Services Executive Search expert here.

Why won’t top performing shared service professions join your business? And what to do about it. Download our free eBook here.

What does chemistry have to do with recruitment?

chemistry and refind

In my case, chemistry was at the heart of the recruitment company I started nearly 5 years ago.

My degree was in organic chemistry, the main purpose of the degree was to make a chemical called Chrysanthemic acid. Now, you weren’t just measured on succeeding in making it, but on the purity of the final chemical that was made, as well as the % amount that you made from the starting chemicals.

This meant that you had to work out the processes needed to make this more effective – i.e. you needed a more refined process.

Refined: ADJECTIVE

“Developed or improved so as to be precise or subtle.”

When launching my business, people were always saying how poor recruitment firms were and that they didn’t do a great job. I didn’t want my firm to be perceived in the same light.

I took the decision to launch a business that would continually try to improve and refine what it did until it became refined (refind!)

Now, unfortunately, someone had taken the web domain I wanted, so it made sense to think of an alternative, hence the name refind (Well we do find candidates after all.)

And so re:find was born…

To chat to me about re:find you can email me on James@refind.co.uk.

You can view more about James Cumming our change and business transformation specialist here.

Hiring an Interim Executive? You need to get it right! Discover the 8 step process you should follow, by downloading our free eBook here.

Employee onboarding – warm welcome or completely clueless?

We know how important onboarding is for our candidates. The wrong experience can have a hugely detrimental effect on a new starter.

The process ensures new employees receive all relevant information and understand how the company works and what is expected of them. This information allows them to transition from a new joiner to a productive team member, and so is a vital process within any organisation. 

It’s not just about the new starter

It’s not just about the new joiner either, your onboarding process can affect existing team members who will register the way a new employee is treated.

Onboarding begins before the new team member even enters the building – both internally and externally. Calling the new employee is clearly important to let them know the basics, but also letting the existing team members know what is happening.

King of onboarding

We understand how important onboarding is, so we’ve incorporated it into our process. We’ve had congratulations packs created for all our new starters – a nice surprise and welcome on the first day in your new role.

Graze are king of onboarding. Check out this desk set up for their new starters. How happy would you be if this was your desk on your first day…

Graze – king of employee onboarding

Returning to work onboarding

My wife, Gemma, wrote a blog about onboarding, with a difference – the importance of onboarding returning maternity leavers. “Yes, they’ve always been employed and aren’t “new’, but when I returned to work after 10 months out, a lot had changed, and I mean a lot. It was almost like returning to a new business. This, coupled with the fear of returning to work, was surely a recipe for disaster.”

Some key points are addressed about being introduced back into the company/role after a substantial period away, including new technology, new faces and new structure. You can read the full blog here.

In any capacity, onboarding is important to your business – it makes for happy employees and better business efficiency, as it gets employees up to speed quickly.

To have a chat about your experiences with onboarding or returning to work you can contact me on carl@refind.co.uk.

You can view more about Carl Hinett our Executive search of HR professional’s specialist here.

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