Thursday Brunch: what did we learn?

Thursday Brunch: what did we learn – find out everything you need to know about the #1 networking event in Birmingham – Thursday Brunch!

Thursday Brunch is jointly organised and hosted by re:find, the incredible Stuart and Tony from Masgroves, tech whizzes BVU and Eventologists.

If you would like to chat with the guys at Masgroves and BVU about hosting an event like this for your business, they’d love to hear from you. Just give them a call on 012 1369 9631.

This month’s instalment of Thursday Brunch was on how we will work after the pandemic.

2021 AD: How will we work After the ‘Demic?

For many, 2020 was the year when “home” became “work.” Millions joined those who have ‘WFH’d’ for years – like small business owners, freelancers and sole traders. To say some have found it tough is an understatement. It has also been tough for companies to flip how they operate, literally overnight.

Now light is at the end of the tunnel, we look to life after the pandemic:

  • What will the world look like?
  • How do we rebuild?
  • Will things ever be normal again?

We got the views of three leading thinkers:

Tom Goodwin – #1 Voice in marketing on LinkedIn globally, with over 700,000 followers and currently sits on the World Economic Forum’s Future of Workboard.

Rebecca Seal  is an award-winning food, drink, lifestyle and personal development writer.

Marco Bertozzi was until recently Vice President EMEA and Multi-market Global Sales at Spotify.


So what were the main takeaways from this session? 

  • Focus on ourselves and what’s important to us and be more optimisic.
  • Look after ourselves when working from home by eating well, working in daylight, taking regular breaks and not sitting for too long – ‘sitting is the new smoking’.
  • Go “all-in” and embrace what’s happened and look at the benefits to carry on post-pandemic.
  • Trust your teams.

You can watch the full session here:



Mental health strategies for a crazy world.

The statistics on mental health are widely known. What is less well known are the strategies to adopt to respond to a growing workplace challenge. And the scale of the challenge becomes even greater as more of us struggle with the pandemic.

  • Deloitte say poor mental health in the workplace is equivalent to almost 2% of UK GDP (in 2016)
  • The cost ranges from £497 to £2,564 per employee depending on the industry and sector
  • The return on investment of workplace mental health interventions is overwhelmingly positive, with an average ROI of 4:1

We look for answers with three of the leading thinkers on wellbeing: David Beeney from Breaking the Silence; ex-professional footballer, Drewe Broughton; and founder of The Performance Club, Stacy Thomson. What did we learn?

  • Kindness and wellbeing have a significant impact on culture and the engagement of colleagues.
  • Our brain is our most powerful tool, yet we are not taught how we can manage it to get the best out of it
  • The fear of failure and constantly striving for perfection are massive contributors to poor mental health.

You can watch the whole session here:


The joy or serotonin: why happiness matters.

Human happiness has a positive effect on productivity, organisational success, and a whole host of other things too. Here are some ‘stats’ to back that up.

  • Companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20%.
  • Employees who report being happy at work take X10 fewer sick days.
  • And happy salespeople produce 37% more sales.

Most leaders want happier workplaces – but aren’t sure where to begin or how to achieve it. Hear from three guests who will share practical tips and advice to make your workplace more than just colourful walls and a few free snacks in the fridge!

You can see what our three great guests –  neuroscientist, Amy Brann; author of “Freedom to be Happy: The Business Case for Happiness” Matt Phelan; and David Bellamy, founder and CEO of Happiness Lab – had to say, watch the recording here:



Thursday Brunch 2020


We ran three virtual Thursday Brunch events in 2020. The final Thursday Brunch of the year was a controversial subject that had a mixed response – How to thrive without HR:

Can companies not only survive but thrive without a formal Human Resources function?


Is it possible?
Is it legal?
Is it commercially savvy?


What a great event it was, some really thought-provoking and inspiring discussion with our 3 guests, PTHR’s Perry Timms, Brave Goose co-founder and radical truth-teller C-J Green and Rich Sheridan, CEO and Chief Storyteller at Menlo Innovations.

If you missed it, here is the full show:



Thursday Brunch 2019

We ran three live events in 2019, the final event in November was the best, with over 60 attendees, a line-up of fantastic speakers and our hosts – Stuart and Tony from Masgroves – really knocked it out of the park!

For this Thursday Brunch, we gathered together to discuss ‘What leaders want, an alternative look at employee engagement’.

In the absence of a video recording to share, here is a roundup of what we learnt:



Don’t get too intellectual about it!

We can get too intellectual about engagement at times – particularly when it comes to company purpose.

You cannot just create purpose and expect people to care about it. It’s about helping people understand what’s important to them and then find some alignment to that.

If you work on a production line and do the same process 20 times a day, do you care about purpose or do you just want to get your job done?

Some people want to come into work, work hard and go home and there’s nothing wrong with that! Shoving engagement down someone’s throat isn’t going to make them engaged.



Keep it simple

The employer/employee deal has skewed. A lot of it is being driven by what we see on LinkedIn that other people are doing, rather than what the business and employees need and want.

Not asking what people want is a huge mistake. Doing initiatives that you think people will like rather than what they actually want is a risk. By doing things people haven’t asked for, it can disengage on a number of levels.

Every business is individual – dogs at work and beer fridges are great, but that doesn’t mean that is what your people want. Keep an eye on the basics and go with your gut on what will work.

For example – your IT hardware is hugely out of date. Are people more likely to leave your business because you don’t have a beer fridge, or because you haven’t invested in a decent enough laptop and operating system for them to do their job effectively?



Create psychological safety

Create an environment where people feel comfortable saying things that are unpopular and challenge the status quo. Creating an open environment where people can say what they mean is key, as is creating space and time to have those conversations. Tell stories about people challenging things within the business – put them on a pedestal. We need diversity of thought – the conversation may not lead anywhere, but let’s celebrate the fact the conversation was had.



To learn about all our upcoming events for 2021, you can sign up here.

Thursday Brunch is jointly organised and hosted by re:find Interim & Executive Search, BVU and Masgroves.  

If you would like to chat with the guys at Masgroves and BVU about hosting an event like this for your business, they’d love to hear from you. Just give them a call on 012 1369 9631.

Achieving business goals

Achieving business goals, whether they’re personal or professional, can be tough. We’ve all got our own personal mountain tops. The goals that we set ourselves that, from the outset, seem nearly impossible to conquer. So how do we overcome this and allow ourselves to reach those goals?

If you haven’t read  ‘The One Thing’ by Gary Keller, then you absolutely should. The premise is: what is the ‘one thing’ that you need to do that will subsequently make everything else fall into place and become easier? “The surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results.”

In the book, Keller talks about breaking down your goals into long and short term, and how by doing this you can turn them into more manageable and less intimidating tasks.

Once you’ve broken them down, you can then consistently go back to that one thing and ask yourself if what you’re about to do is going to add to your progress and keep you on track with achieving business goals.


The process

This process works in two parts. The first is about finding the right direction, and the second part is about chasing the right action.

For the first part, think about the big picture and identify what your overall goal is: what is the one thing that you want to do or achieve. This can be anything from your career goals to a personal ambition that you have.

The second part of this process is more short-term and practical. You have to ask yourself questions that provide you with a small focus on what you can do right now to help you get to where you want. You can break it down into what you’re going to do today, this week and this month to achieve that one thing. By always going back to your one thing, you ensure that everything you are doing is helping you to progress forward with that goal and increases the chances of you achieving it. 


Stay on track

By repeatedly asking yourself these more focused and short-term questions, you will not only keep on target to your overall goal, but you will also find yourself taking actionable steps that all build on one another and provide you with the momentum to finally reach your mountaintop!

Once you break it down, it’s so much easier to achieve those goals.

  1. Define goals
    It’s important to clearly define your business goal, so you know exactly what it is you want to achieve and where you are aiming.
  2. Be specific
    Being specific is important – understand exactly what you are aiming for and why – what will this goal mean for you? It’s a lot easier to stay on track when you know the benefits.
  3. Keep going back to the one thing
    Make sure everything you do is going to helo you reach that goal.
  4. Stay committed and motivated
    Commit to your goals – write them down, share them with colleagues, friends and family so they can hold you to account. Give yourself a deadline to keep you motivated and pushing forward.

Don’t forget to celebrate and reward yourself for achieving those goals or reaching a milestone and share the progress with everyone around you to keep you motivated.


To have a chat about your goals contact me at carl@refind.co.uk.

Carl Hinett is our Director & Executive Search Specialist. If you’ve got a hard-to-fill role and need some help, get in touch

Want to hear more about our senior HR professionals golf society? Sign up here.

Shared Services vs. BPO – who will survive?

There has long been an argument between Shared Services and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) – is one better than the other? There are many factors to take into account including the business objectives, the budget available and the speed that is required for the project.

BPO is the process of engaging a third-party vendor with the right skills and resources, to carry out work on your behalf.

Shared Services relates to the creation of an autonomous business unit, based on-site, which carries out these processes for multiple functions within an organisation (HR, Finance, procurement).

The services that BPO and Shared Services provide is generally to remove manual, operational and often repetitive tasks from your everyday work.


Business Process Outsourcing

BPO is often thought to be more efficient, due to it having better systems and processes. It is frequently based offshore, so labour costs and overheads can be significantly lower than having this service in-house.

Outsourcing can often be implemented quickly and more effectively, due to the experience of the resource within these companies. The transition to an outsourced model may not offset the savings you make and the increase in the quality of the work you receive.

Feedback is often that ‘BPO can be seen as ‘faceless’ or lacking the human approach’ that people sometimes want from these services and in a world where employee engagement and experience is paramount, this can cause real issues.

Shared Services

Shared services can be a better solution if your needs are bespoke. BPO can often be one size fits all, and if you have requirements that are specific and processes that aren’t bog standard, then a shared services model may be the best choice.

However, the implementation of a shared services function within a business can be slow and painful. More often than not this is due to lack of experience internally to deliver this and if systems, processes and data are not clean and efficient, the service will fail.

If the service fails, it can be hugely damaging to employee engagement and if people aren’t engaged to use the service, then they will revert to old habits, rendering the service useless.

Is there a place for both?

General consensus seems to be that in the long term, only one will survive. I think there is a place for both: if you have a high volume of standard processes which need carrying out without the knowledge of internal factors or processes, then BPO is probably for you. However, if you have unique processes and you have the time, money and resources to do this properly, then shared services is the best option.

Before you decide whether to implement a BPO or Shared Services model, it’s a good idea to do a thorough diagnostic of your business and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the end goal is for your organisation in changing to a new service delivery model?
  • Do you have management engagement and support?
  • Are your systems, processes and data fit for purpose?

Once you have the answers to all of these questions, you should be able to make an informed decision.


If you would like to find out more about re:find and how we can support you and your business then please get in touch.

James Cumming is our MD, Interim and Transformation Search specialist. If you’ve got a hard-to-fill role and need some help, get in touch. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Wellbeing in the workplace

Wellbeing in the workplace is fast becoming just as important, if not more so, than salary or career progression. One issue at the forefront of this is mental health in the workplace. We are all aware of the importance of wellbeing, but could we be doing more?


Surveys over recent years have shown the true impact of poor mental health:

  • 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace (14.7%
  • Evidence suggests that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions.
  • Deloitte says poor mental health in the workplace is equivalent to almost 2% of UK GDP (in 2016).
  • 89% of workers with mental health problems report an impact on their working life.
  • Just 13% of employees would be comfortable talking about mental illness at work.
  • Last year, poor employee mental health cost UK employers £42bn.
  • The return on investment of workplace mental health interventions is overwhelmingly positive, with an average ROI of 4:1.

Last month our Thursday Brunch event was on ‘Mental health strategies for a crazy world!’ looking at the stats above and speaking to our guests about what we can do to help our own mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

We found that: 

  • Kindness and wellbeing have a significant impact on culture and the engagement of colleagues.
  • Our brain is our most powerful tool, yet we are not taught how we can manage it to get the best out of it. This needs to change. 
  • The fear of failure and constantly striving for perfection are massive contributors to poor mental health – but is in our control if we are aware of it.

So what can an employer do to support an employee with mental health issues?

Discuss
Ensure that you create an environment that is open, that encourages staff to discuss their challenges and problems. Have a culture of openness that allows you to go beyond a person’s workload, instead, it delves deeper into their role responsibilities and the opportunities that they would like to see appear. We know that 13% of employers would feel comfortable talking about their mental health and that percentage needs to be much higher!

Educate
Know what to do if a mental health problem arises within your workplace, such as where to direct the employees if they require specialist help. Also, educate yourself and staff on various mental health problems, so you can see the trigger. Always remember to be sensitive.

Be clear
The groundwork can be set from the minute a new recruit starts, just by letting them know that if any problem arises, big or small, that they can discuss it. It doesn’t take much to make an employee feel supported or to create a culture of openness, especially if it means it decreases the chances of mental health problems in the workplace. You could create a wellbeing policy with relevant support links and contact details, which is always available to employees. 

We have recently become a ‘Mindful Employer’ – we recognise that in the UK, people experiencing mental ill-health continue to report stigma and discrimination at work. Having signed the ‘Charter for Employers Positive about Mental Health’, we are committed to creating a supportive and open culture, where colleagues feel able to talk about mental health confidently, and aspire to appropriately support the mental wellbeing of all staff.


As an employer, we have made an on-going commitment to:

  • Provide non-judgemental and proactive support to staff experiencing mental ill-health.
  • Not make assumptions about a person with a mental health condition and their ability to work.
  • Be positive and enabling all employees and job applicants with a mental health condition.
  • Support line managers in managing mental health in the workplace.
  • Ensure we are fair in the recruitment of new staff in accordance with the Equality Act (2010).
  • Make it clear that people who have experienced mental ill-health will not be discriminated against, and that disclosure of a mental health problem will enable both the employee and employer to assess and provide the right level of support or adjustment.

If you’re struggling with your mental health at work or in general – mental health charity MIND can offer lots of help and support. Here are tips for staying well at work. 


If you would like to find out more about re:find and how we can support you and your business then please get in touch.

James Cumming is our MD, Interim and Transformation Search specialist. If you’ve got a hard-to-fill role and need some help, get in touch. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

How to nurture HiPo’s to benefit your business

High potential employees – or HiPo’s – increase the value of a business. They outperform their peers, doing more work and putting in more effort. Most businesses will have recognised that between 3-5% of their staff are high potential employees. There are 3 important attributes for a HiPo who is likely to succeed and get a senior position: aspiration, ability and engagement.  There are many factors that fall into these 3 attributes – leadership abilities, performance, competency and confidence when challenged.

HiPo’s need minimal supervision, are fast learners, reliable, can complete any tasks, work well under pressure and aspire to rise to leadership. They are a huge asset to your business.

So how can you nurture them to fulfil their potential and benefit your business?


Nurturing HiPo’s

The important thing to remember when discussing programs to retain and progress HiPo’s is that these individuals have been identified as having potential. They are not fully-fledged leaders, ready to step into a senior or critical role – yet. They likely will be, but they need developing and nurturing.

Training onsite and offsite, coaching, workshops and seminars can all help in the nurturing process, supporting the individuals to enable them to reach their potential. Real-life situations are really helpful, just be aware that it’s not too much, too soon.


Reducing risk

SHL’s ‘How to Reduce Risk and Realise More Value in Your HiPo Programme’ eBook says:

“Through objective assessment of all three factors (above), you can accurately identify your top talent while ensuring you avoid the most common HiPo programme risks:

  • The risk that they will fail to rise to a senior position
  • The risk that they won’t be effective in a more challenging role
  • The risk that they will leave to join competitors, diluting your bench strength”

Benefits of a successful program

HiPo’s represent a company’s strongest leadership pipeline. Investing in the success of them, means you are investing in the future of the company as a whole, because they will:

  • Deliver strong results
  • Master new types of expertise
  • Have a good attitude and a drive to excel
  • Have the desire to seek new ideas and the ability to convert them into productive action

By identifying, cultivating and investing in employees with exceptional aspirations, rare abilities, and greater engagement, you can ensure that the next generation of leaders within your organisation will be equipped to boost performance, foster innovation, and maximise corporate growth.

What are you doing with your HiPo’s and what successes have you had? If you have stories to share, I’d love to hear them, email me on carl@refind.co.uk.

Carl Hinett is our Director & Executive Search Specialist. If you’ve got a hard-to-fill role and need some help, get in touch

Want to hear more about our senior HR professionals golf society? Sign up here.