BWS issue 36 November December 2015 - Page 17

business advice BUSINESS WOMEN SCOTLAND 15 ask the expert SQUARE CIRCLE HR LTD • TEL: 0141 248 7826 • WWW.SQUARECIRCLEHR.COM Alison Welsh is a Director of Square Circle, a human resource consultancy and employment law company. Email Alison with your HR queries and she will answer in following issues of BWS magazine. e: How do you rate on the Soft and Fluffy Stuff? At the BWS live event we talked about differentiating factors for businesses today. Richard Branson recently quoted “Clients do not come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” Leadership and Engagement are common terms and both are very wide-reaching subjects, however being able to listen, sense how others are feeling and to communicate with empathy are highly recognised as effective leadership traits. There is strong evidence to support that leaders who display strong social skills, empathy, and who are able to inspire others are the most successful leaders. This is often referred to as the ‘soft and fluffy stuff’ which a lot of businesses struggle with. In simple terms this can be just remembering to make the time to have regular meetings with your team, to discuss organisation targets and progress. To listen to how staff are feeling and involving them. Having ‘social’ time together can be very beneficial to the ‘well-being’ of the team. Understanding ‘the human element’ and taking time to reflect on where you would be without your employees can be very powerful. To regularly involve people in the operational management, to listen and ask for their feedback is a strong motivator. Consider how you recognise and reward effort, commitment, good performance and loyalty, often an informal gesture or a token of appreciation can mean a lot. In our world of 24 hour constant communication and fast pace of working, employees often struggle to manage their work/life balance with stress and poor mental health increasing in the workplace. Thinking about how you can offer flexibility in the workplace can help people manage balancing home and work life better and has been shown to lead to greater productivity. As with most effective people management interventions it usually comes down to communication and top level organisational awareness and involvement. The key is making the time to really listen and have meaningful discussions. Evidence seems to support the notion that employees who feel valued, know that their employer cares about their well- being, who can see how they contribute to the success of the organisation and who receive regular communication, will be more loyal and committed in the long run. It also helps make for a happier and more successful working environment. Square Circle can help you explore your ‘soft and fluffy’ side, to assess where you are now, identify the people culture in your business, find out if there is a sense of well-being in the working environment, explore where you would like to get to with your business and to help you have a people plan to achieve your goals. n Contact your Consultant or Alison Welsh on 0141 248 7826 for more information or a no obligation discussion. Post a question to Alison on the BWS website at