Absence management is a key priority for most organisations due to the costs involved and potential impact. The focus for organisations that wish to reduce absence is often on the policy framework for managing absence. But there are often deep-rooted cultural barriers which are not addressed by a policy framework alone.
For example, a health care organisation was finding that, despite implementing a new framework to manage staff absence, sickness levels continued to be too high. After reviewing some key absenteeism metrics, it was clear to us that considerable disparities existed across different departments. This indicated that the policy framework was not necessarily the root cause. There were other reasons why sickness absence was excessive, some of which were cultural. These included:
In my experience as an Executive Coach, one of the most difficult challenges for leaders is always maintaining a positive perspective whilst dealing with the constant demands of their role. Leaders in an organisation are role models by virtue of their function. Employees watch them carefully and respond to the cues they perceive regarding appropriate behaviour. So, a positive persona is critical to engaging and inspiring employees. But we are all human, and maintaining a positive attitude through tough times can be challenging. This article provides some useful insights into how this can be achieved in practice.
Maintaining a positive perspective is often referred to as ‘bounce-back ability’ or ‘being bullet-proof’. But these descriptions are more suited to the world of super-heroes. In the more real and practi...
Having the right reward strategy will help you attract, motivate and retain the right people for your organisation. To help develop the right strategy it is important to challenge your organisation by asking some very simple questions. From our experience of working with clients in this area, the three most important questions to consider are:
What does your organisation want to reward?
How much does your organisation want to pay?
How will your organisation reward its people?
The main considerations for each question are set out below.
This is the most important question in your pay philosophy and therefore worthy of top management time. In our experience the answer to this question is not necessarily as obvious as it might appear. These are some examples of the factors our clients consider:
‘There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.’ (Niccolo Machiavelli, 1532)
This observation from Niccolo Machiavelli rings true today – research indicates that 60-70% of major change initiatives fail. But experience suggests that many failures could be avoided by understanding, and differentiating between, not only the change process but also the individual components of change. This principle was used to help a senior finance team of an NHS Foundation Trust get their change initiative back on track.
The finance team of the NHS Foundation Trust had embarked upon a programme of transformation to ensure that the demands and challenges of the function could be met now and in...
“A MASSIVE thank you” says Sam Healey, Group People Experience Director..
This newly formed People Experience Team, faced with a huge wish list from the business (Countrywide), needed to define their game plan for 2016.
Sam (who heads up the team), asked Deborah Betts and Geoff Dodds to facilitate an ‘away day’ for her team to:
“Define the key areas of focus and who needs to work together on what, and how it all links together to deliver a connected service to the business”.
Keen to encourage the team to be creative and to think broadly, exploring ideas beyond their normal boundaries, we utilised big picture thinking and graphical recording techniques to help the team define their game plan.
The approach?We used an ‘orchard’ theme to enable the team to think creatively about their future focus. We tasked the team with creating...
Over recent years we have worked with a variety of clients designing and implementing capability frameworks. During our work we are often asked to explain the difference between competencies and capabilities. This question is far more complicated than it might seem. The terms are often used interchangeably, which makes it difficult to distinguish between them. The following is an attempt to explain the differences based on our research and experience of working with clients in this area.
Competencies are often associated with the behaviours that lay behind job performance, such as critical thinking or analytical skills. They evolved from the work of researchers and consultants specialising in managerial effectiveness during the 1970s. They developed an approach to identifying competencies based on obse...
I’m a visual person: I think, analyse, record and communicate in pictures! To me it is the most natural thing to do. But not everyone is like me. In business we need to be conscious of different learning/thinking/communication styles and this is our challenge in workshops, meetings and presentations.
Combining powerful imagery and words unleashes group creativity; encourages big picture thinking, breaks down complexity and virtually guarantees engagement!
“The language of symbols has no words but it can shout warnings, give instructions, direct traffic, and play cards. Without words it can speak in a hundred languages…all at once. Almost everyone understands it but no one speaks it." – Jan Adkins, Symbols: A Silent Language
Explaining the concept…
Visual thinking and graphical recording is not just abo...
We are delighted to announce that after five years of hard work, Aquarius' Angela Ellam has been awarded a PhD from the University of Huddersfield.
Angela is now a Doctor of Philosophy for research in political power in local government, which follows on from her Post Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Modernisation.
All her friends and colleagues at Aquarius would like to offer our congratulations to Angela and to say how proud we are of her and her achievement. Well done, Angela!
For the past five years, we have supported Angela's decision to combine part-time consultancy work and studying - and we're delighted that you, our clients, will now be able to reap the benefits of that hard work and dedication by being supported by such a highly qualified consultant.
Angela has decided to keep her consultancy hours...
Aquarius Management Consultants is pleased to announce the launch of a totally redesigned and improved website.
Our new website has a user friendly layout as well as an updated new look. The Projects section provides real examples of how we have helped our clients turn their strategies into reality. The Services section provides more information on the main types of work that we do and you can also access more about who we are and who we work for. The site will be updated on a regular basis with news, articles and information, so please keep visiting the website!
We hope you like our new website, and we encourage you to send your feedback by contacting Penny West.