How good are you at giving feedback? A recent survey conducted by Threshold found that less than half (45%) of employees feel they receive helpful feedback regularly from managers, and only 44% felt that the feedback they get helps them to do their job better.

“Unless managers have honest performance conversations, they are in danger of leaving staff feeling isolated, lacking in direction and demotivated,” says James Brooks, director at Threshold. “Constructive feedback generates clear messages and allows employees to address weaknesses and build on strengths.”

In her article 2011 trends for managers Ruth Spellman, chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute, warned that improving the “desperately low levels” of morale currently affecting UK workers would be a “key challenge” for businesses and HR this year.

The key to this? Providing appropriate, practical, solutions-focused training  for managers, to help improve morale and make staff feel more engaged. Yet only 34% of those surveyed felt that managers were well trained to give effective, honest feedback.

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This post was written by Mary Appleton

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“I’m the managing director of a small company and am concerned about how the upcoming bank holiday weekends are going to impact my business. In particular, I’m worried about my staffing levels.

“Because of the nature of my business, I’m not able to give everyone time off during the period, and I have had to limit the number of people taking time off in the three days between the two bank holidays. I’m worried, though, that some members of staff will phone in sick in order to make the most of the holiday period. Can you give me some advice on how best I can manage this period?”

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This post was written by Mary Appleton

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Effective employee engagement is driving serious discussions at board level. In a 2010 CEO report from Accenture, 31% of CEOs said that employee engagement and recruitment were factors that had driven them to take action on sustainability issues. In addition, 72% said action was prompted by the perception of their ‘brand, trust and reputation.’

Generation Y are driving a shift in employee engagement and company culture. They want meaning and purpose from their career, as well as the organisation they work for. The next generation of employees want to work for a company that really cares and does its bit to improve the world.

When brand trust and brand reputation are intrinsically linked with a company’s approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR), anything that merely pays lip service to CSR just won’t cut it with employees. Employees are savvy and they know when their company is serious about CSR.

Malcolm Scovil, managing director of LeapCR, examines ways that organisations can improve employee engagement and enhance brand and reputation, through a commitment to volunteering schemes:

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This post was written by Mary Appleton

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A recent survey of 3,000 professionals by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), Ambition and Gender in the Workplace, revealed that a third of female managers believe their gender has hindered their career progression.

There’s been much talk of ’smashing the glass ceiling’ in recent months. But what exactly is it that holds women back from achieving career success?

Cathe Gaskell, managing director of The Results Company, believes it’s a lot to do with mindset and confidence. Just half of female managers surveyed by the ILM described themselves as having ‘high’ or ‘quite high’ levels of confidence, compared to 70% of men. Women also exert caution when applying for new positions – the survey revealed that 20% of men would apply for a new job if they ‘partially’ met the job description, compared to 20% of men. And 85% of women would only apply to a new role if they met the job description ‘fully’ or ‘pretty well.’

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This post was written by Mary Appleton

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