Archive for August, 2008

TUC annouce new Bank Holiday?

August 31, 2008

Nearly one million UK businesses could benefit from a new bank holiday, according to a new TUC report out today (Friday). The TUC are calling for a ‘Community Day’ bank holiday in late October to celebrate and encourage volunteering and community activity.

The TUC report – Why the UK can afford a Community Day – says that many customer-facing businesses, such as those in the retail, hospitality, leisure, tourism and transport sectors, have stronger trading days on bank holidays and could benefit from a new public holiday. These sectors have grown over the last forty years and now account for nearly a million UK businesses – over one fifth of all UK businesses – according to the Government’s VAT registrations.

Deputy Executive Director of UK volunteering charity CSV Bill Garland said: ‘Research indicates that enabling people to volunteer their time as part of a community day could improve health and increase productivity. Up to half of volunteers report it improves their health and fitness while up to a third of younger volunteers say it helps them smoke less. Employers who actively encourage their staff to volunteer see improvements in staff morale, productivity and a reduction in absenteeism.’

Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in the Employee Assistance Program, Stress Management, Staff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit


No “care” for care home staff

August 31, 2008

According to Lisa Hitchin of Nursing Times

Over 40% of care home staff leave their job within a year of taking up post and 60% within two years, according to a National Care Forum survey of over 37,000 people.

The NCF said such high turnover threatened implementation of recent Government reforms for the sector. It has surveyed its members for the last five years. The 2008 figures on staff leaving have increased to 42.3% from 34.5% in 2007, and to 61.5% from 53.9% that left in two years.

However there was wide variation in vacancy rates from the 15 organisations that reported them – overall an average of 8.7% – down from 9.1% in 2007. Average sickness absence (based on 20 organisations) had also fallen to 4.7% – down from 5.2% the year before.

A total of 35 organisations took part in the survey – a 64% response rate. Over 40% of the respondents are care workers with 2.6% (829) registered nurses.

‘The most disturbing result is the loss of so many care workers in the first year or two of work,’ noted Des Kelly, executive director of the NCF.

‘We don’t yet know enough about why they leave or where they go,’ he said. ‘As we enter a period of unprecedented change to deliver the policy of more personalised care and support services, a stable and well-trained workforce is crucial to success. Paying attention to staff retention, satisfaction and motivation is therefore absolutely essential.’

Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in the Employee Assistance Program, Stress Management, Staff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit

Wellbeing benefits reduce absenteeism…

August 31, 2008

In an article written by HRZone

“Having health and wellbeing benefits can help companies manage staff absence, leading to increased productivity and profits.”Matt Millard, Oval Healthcare

They continue:

Managing absence is another positive, says Millard: “Having health and wellbeing benefits can also help companies manage staff absence, leading to increased productivity and profits. Private medical insurance programmes mean that non-urgent medical procedures can be scheduled into the companies’ less busy periods, therefore minimising disruption. Offering employee assistance programmes such as counselling services can help to avoid stress in general, making employees happier in the process. It can also help protect businesses against expensive lawsuits brought by employees for stress or stress-related illness.”

When it comes to absence, it’s certainly a route that is worth trying. According to the Health and Safety Executive, around 13.8 million working days were lost in 2006/07 due to work-related stress, depression and anxiety whilst high level estimates suggest that stress and back pain are expensive conditions, costing the British economy £3.7 billion and £5 billion per year respectively. According to the CBI, sickness absence can cost roughly £495 per employee per year.

Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in the Employee Assistance Program, Stress Management, Staff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit

Absenteeism is costing employers at least £662 per employee!

August 28, 2008

Taken From

Employee sickness costs British companies more than £1,000 per employee each year, according to new research from an influential human resources services company.

The estimate by Hewitt Associates shows that absenteeism is costing employers at least £662 per employee. However, this rises by as much as 60% once indirect costs, such as lost productivity, overtime and recruitment, are included.

The majority of employers remain unaware of the true cost of absence, the consultant said in its first ever Hewitt Healthcare Fundamentals Survey. Less than two thirds of companies surveyed by Hewitt indicated that they properly record employee absenteeism.

The survey also showed that the biggest causes of absenteeism are flu, muscular injuries such as back pain and repetitive strain injury, and stress and depression. While more than half (56%) of respondents to Hewitt’s survey said that stress is an issue for their organisation, only a third provide stress management coaching for their managers.

James Kenrick, head of UK Corporate Healthcare Consulting at Hewitt Associates, said that poor employee health is an “enormous” problem for UK businesses, costing billions of pounds each year.

Stress is the “biggest threat to employee health in the UK”, Kenrick continued, and its impact on workforces is likely to worsen if there is a further downturn in the economy.

Kenrick said that reducing absenteeism is the “ultimate goal” for employers. He added: “To achieve this, they need to approach the problem from a total health management perspective. This means collecting quality data on the reasons behind absenteeism and developing a coordinated programme to encourage good health in their workforce.”

How you behave as a boss in times of personal employee stress…

August 28, 2008

In a Q & A given by the question was raised:

An employee recently asked for a week’s compassionate leave to spend time with a sick relative who isn’t a dependent, which was granted. I am keen to get a policy in place for dealing with this in the future, particularly if the next time it necessitates more time off work. What are the main things I should consider?

They responded :

How you behave as a boss in times of personal employee stress can be one of the most important factors in maintaining a happy and loyal workforce. The very first step is taking time to understand exactly what the problem is and how much leave they may need as a result.

It’s essential that the ‘Boss’ is kept in line by ‘HR’ so that the more delicate elements of employee relations are considered and administered effectively.

They continue saying:

If the employee’s job doesn’t necessarily require them being in the office then it may be worth suggesting that they work from home occasionally. That way you still benefit from their input while allowing them to respond to the needs of the situation.

Throughout this process it’s vital to keep talking. Arrange regular meetings to check how they are coping, as they will no doubt need and welcome your support during this time. You may wish to offer counselling or life coaching as a benefit during this period. This is great for encouraging loyalty and staff retention so that when the need for compassionate leave ends you have an appreciative and engaged employee.

The keywords here are:




Engaged (Employee)

By acting in this order engaging your employees can remain an important part of your companies operations.

Boost Employee Retention – Back to School!

August 26, 2008
    TORONTO, Aug. 21 /CNW/ - As students gear up to go back to school this
fall, those already in the workforce may want to consider continuing their
education, a new survey suggests. Eighty-four per cent of senior executives
interviewed said their firms offer tuition benefits for their employees. All
(100 per cent) of respondents said their companies also reimburse for other
forms of professional development.

    The survey was developed by Accountemps, the world's first and largest
staffing services firm specializing in accounting and finance. It was
conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews
with 100 senior executives from Canada's 1,000 largest companies.

    Executives were asked, "Does your company offer college or university
tuition reimbursement benefits for employees?" Their responses:

    Yes................................................................   84%
    No.................................................................   15%
    Don't know.........................................................    1%

    Executives were also asked, "Does your company reimburse for other forms 
of professional development or training?" Their responses:

    Yes................................................................  100%
    No.................................................................    0%
    Don't know.........................................................    0%

    "Providing educational and professional development opportunities helps
companies attract top performers, maximize productivity and boost retention
efforts," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Human
Resources Kit For Dummies(R), 2nd Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.).
"Employees who take full advantage of the resources available for learning
remain intellectually challenged and increase their ability to take on greater
responsibility at work."

    Messmer noted that technical skills aren't the only ones that
professionals should seek to acquire. "Interpersonal skills are vital as the
workplace becomes increasingly collaborative," he said. "Classes that offer
instruction on how to communicate more effectively can be especially useful
for career advancement."

Invest in Training – Retain Your Staff ?!

August 23, 2008

In an article written by Guy Logan of

“Employers in the UK hospitality industry provide more training than any other sector, and it has helped their retention, research has shown.

The National Employer Skills Survey, which polled 79,000 employers across all industries, found two-thirds of the 7,900 hospitality and tourism employers questioned invested in some form of training, with an average annual investment of £4m.

More than half (57%) hotel and restaurant businesses said training had a beneficial effect on staff retention, higher than the overall average of 44%. Hospitality employers also reported a 6% increase in staff productivity and product and service quality as a result of the training compared with the overall average.

John Cridland, deputy director-general of the CBI, said training can make a significant difference to retention, and encouraged more employers to look at taking part in schemes like Train to Gain.

“Unlocking the talent of employees through training can have a direct impact on a company’s ability to flourish in the long term,” he said.

“A well-trained workforce is indispensible to its success and programmes like this offer businesses tangible support and solutions to respond and excel.”

Paul Holme, director of skills for employers at the Learning and Skills Council, urged more organisations to increase training: “Tens of thousands of employers are already seeing a substantial impact on their bottom line. What’s more, learners are also reaping the rewards as they enjoy better skills and promotions.”

The annual research is commissioned in part by the LSC and is part of a campaign to raise awareness of the Train to Gain scheme.”

I think this shows a willingness in the hosptiality industry to demonstrate that best practice in employee management does ‘actuallly’ obtain results

Will other industries follow suit? I think so, give the rise in uncertainty in the workplace generally employers need to get back to basics to keep productivity on an even keel

Outplacing staff = Better retention rates

August 22, 2008

The Institute of Leadership and Management have recently stated:

“Outplacing staff who are made redundant improves retention rates, it has been claimed.

Research conducted by Reed Consulting highlighted that 65 per cent of Human Resources (HR) directors feel helping redundant staff find work will encourage other workers to stay on with the company.

Some 78 per cent added that such action will help improve an employee’s reputation.

Three-quarters of respondents said outplacing can reduce the pressure on line managers as they feel they can make staffing decisions more easily.

The study also showed that outplacing is becoming increasingly more popular, with the number of individuals being supported in this way increasing by half since 2006.

Meanwhile, a study by fish4jobs recently revealed that 64 per cent of companies are finding it harder to recruit employees due to monetary constraints.

The research showed there are still vacancies being advertised but firms could be missing out on top talent.”

Could working from home reduce employee absenteeism?

August 22, 2008

In an article written by PAUL HILL, EDP BUSINESS EDITOR

He suggests absenteeism is reduced when employers take a wider view of allowing their workers to do their jobs from home on occassion.

There are benefits to businesses in increased productivity and lower rates of sickness absence, she says. And, after all, do companies really need to pay for expensive offices?

“Home-working can be divided into two groups; there’s a group of people who are starting and growing their own business from home and a second group who are working from home as employees,” she said.

“Both groups are dramatically growing in size and there are a few good reasons for this.

“Working from home saves you time and money.

“Giving up a daily commute of just 60 minutes each way can earn you a whole extra day per week – that’s a full day you can spend doing more work, or with friends and family.

“You’re also giving up the costs of daily travel. Added to that, we’ve just done some research showing an average £28,000 increase in the value of your property, if you have a home office in it.

“For the individual, home-working offers freedom and flexibility.

“For employers, it offers increased productivity from staff, lower rates of absenteeism and savings on property costs. And everyone benefits from a cleaner environment with fewer cars on the road. It’s a modern way of working and the way of the future”.

Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in the Employee Assistance Program, Stress Management, Staff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit


August 20, 2008

According to the Daily Express

THE true cost of Britain’s public sector “sicknote culture” emerged yesterday as a new report revealed that days off work cost taxpayers £3.8billion a year.

A survey also showed that state employees take significantly more days off than their private sector colleagues.

Teachers, health workers and civil servants take an average of almost a fortnight – 9.8 working days – off sick every year.

According to the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development which conducted the research, “stress” was the major cause of long-term absence in the public sector.

For the full story see –