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The coronavirus pandemic has not been fun for anyone. But for most if not all business leaders, it has served as a reminder that cohesion among teams is one of the most important aspects of their role. It isn’t always easy to achieve, though.
If your inbox and social media feeds are anything like ours, chances are you have been bombarded with wave after wave of thought leadership articles dishing advice on how to, well, lead during the current crisis. Each piece of content will offer the ‘definitive’ this or the ‘essential’ that, but what is the best way to lead your organisation, department or team through testing times?
In the days leading up to the Prime Minister’s announcement that the country was entering a period of lockdown, little had changed when it came to hiring. But the moment Mr Johnson addressed the nation by saying, “The coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced for decades,” many employers sought to defer their onboarding of new staff due to perceived difficulties in doing so.
In the midst of a crisis, anchoring the ship and guiding employees ashore is a task that typically falls to HR. Working closely alongside the senior leadership team, the HR department will be responsible for clearly communicating the employer’s plans to tackle the crisis, anticipating and answering any questions that may arise, and prioritising employees’ health and wellbeing.
Diversity and inclusion have been a huge focus for many industries over the past few years. There are now multiple surveys which highlight where companies are falling short in the race to achieve true equality and inclusion.
In a recent survey, Marketing Week found that a lack of diversity within marketing is a ticking timebomb that could undermine the creative future of the profession: while 60.9 per cent of respondents were female, their presence significantly lessens as roles become more senior. The same survey revealed that 82 per cent of marketers define themselves as coming from upper middle, middle or lower middle class backgrounds.
HR unquestionably now plays an essential strategic function for businesses of all sizes.Once focused predominantly on employee-related administration, with the advancement of digital technologies, the emergence of new sectors and an uncertain political climate, it’s not hard to see why HR has had to adapt to companies’ changing needs.
A new survey shows that 82 per cent of businesses are seeking to improve their people-first approach. It will come as no surprise that this tactic has become favourable over the past few years; more and more companies are now making headlines by offering welling benefits and incentives such as four day working weeks, flexible hours and on-site health and therapy facilities. Business leaders are realising that it’s the people that work at companies which make them successful, and that is who they need to look after.
It has been predicted that it will take the UK almost 75 years to reach gender parity – and it will be a staggering 208 years for the US to follow suit. Within the next half century, just 15 countries will close their gender gap, with Iceland paving the way. Thriving societies and economies must be driven at all levels by both genders, yet despite record numbers of women protesting, speaking up and even winning elections, there’s still a long way to go.
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