6 Ways Managers Can Help Reduce Stress in the Workplace

Your staff are your strongest asset. The benefits of having healthy and happy employees are endless. Predominately, happy and healthy staff are proven to be more motivated, productive and take less sick leave, which in turn makes them more profitable.

Likewise, happy staff will become your biggest advocates, not only bringing in clients but also new recruits.

Intermittent stress at work is normal and can be a good thing. It energises people, motivates them and helps them focus.

On the other hand, persistent stress in the workplace can be expensive. Accumulated days off, unproductive staff and high staff turnover can quickly affect a company’s profit margins. In fact, 57% of lost working days between 2017 to 2018 in the UK were due to stress, the highest level on record.

There has never been a more important time for employers to make reducing stress in the workplace a priority.

Here are CK’s top recommendations for managers to follow, to reduce stress in the workplace.

 

  1. Helping staff manage their time

The predominant cause of stress in the UK is pressure related to excess workload at work (44% of stress cases to be exact). Regular tight deadlines and the constant feeling of ‘not doing enough’ can quickly mount up, and become a mental health concern.

The second most cited cause for stress in the workplace is a lack of managerial support. As a manager, understanding you employees’ main stressors and working with them to eliminate these will not only show your team that you care, but will also encourage them to be more productive.

A simple solution can be setting reasonable deadlines and giving your staff enough time to complete each task properly, to avoid them from feeling overwhelmed with long to-do lists. Another good time management method is to start every morning with a short planning meeting, where you set out the requirements and what is expected of each employee ahead of the day.

 

  1. Communicating clearly with employees

As an employee, being kept in the dark and not knowing where you stand can be a major cause for anxiety. Likewise, managers can also feel stressed if they don’t have a clear understanding of what their team is up to.

The best way to avoid this two-way stress is regular communication. This can be done via workshops or one-to-one interviews, questioning your staff on how they feel at work, what they wish to achieve and what you expect from them.

Being transparent with employees and setting out clear goals is an excellent way to relieve stress for both parties.

 

  1. Allowing flexi-time and remote working when required

Nowadays, everyone is looking for that flexibility at work. Letting staff choose their working hours means they can work to a less stressful schedule that best suits them. For example, they can avoid the morning rush hour or work around family requirements. As a result, they can come to work more focused.

Not all organisations are able to offer this perk, but for those who can, this has been a proven method to help reduce stress levels up.

Furthermore, allowing employees to occasionally work from home is another proven way to successfully motivate them and help them feel more relaxed whilst at work.

 

  1. Creating a stress-free environment

After a stressful period, your brain will continue to play the stressful experience for an hour afterwards. To avoid developing chronic stress, stress expert Dr Mithu Storoni suggests always following up an episode of stress with another enjoyable intense activity, to engage your mind in something else and avoid rethinking about the stressful episode.

Providing staff with an area to relax and engage in fun activities, such as a table tennis area, after a period of stress will allow them to recover from a stressful episode.

More importantly, keeping the stress period to as short a time period as possible avoids the brain seeing stress as a major threat, and will allow it to be less reactive to future stressors.

Does your office allow your employees a place and the time to recharge after moments of stress?

 

  1. Encouraging staff to stay active

Research has proven that the best ways to reduce stress are by exercising and meditating. Studies have shown exercise reduces fatigue, improves alertness and concentration, and enhances individuals’ general cognition, all contributing to keeping the brain energized and avoiding the negative effects of stress.

Introducing workplace wellness schemes like discounted gym memberships or a lunchtime running club are good ways to encourage your staff to keep active. Other ways could include an office step count competition, organising charity runs or an active day out.

 

  1. Encouraging social activity at work

According to the NHS, spending time with friends helps us relax and alleviate some of the stress we feel from day-to-day life. Therefore if people enjoy spending time with their coworkers, they will feel more relaxed at work.

All in all, encouraging staff to interact with one another and be sociable will improve the office morale and boost employee satisfaction. This in turn improves employment retention and supports recruitment campaigns.

Posted in Articles, General, Home Page, Homepage, Homepage Clients, News

7 Alternative Career Paths for Scientists

What happens when you have worked so hard to get a science degree and even a Ph.D., only to realise that you don’t want to follow the expected research trajectory, and instead you want to try something new?

The good news is scientists are not confined to the lab anymore. In fact, candidates with a science degree and a science background are becoming increasingly desirable in other fields.

We’ve compiled a list of seven popular alternative career paths for scientists looking for a change.

  1. A career in scientific writing

Writing requires many of the same skills you learn whilst studying a science degree; analysing a lot of information and presenting it in a way that is easy to understand.

The best writers are the ones who know first-hand about the topics they discuss in their writing. Consequently, writers with a science background are always in high demand for scientific writing.

Writing opens up a world of opportunities including journalism and writing about science and science novelties for the general public, or technical writing and presenting science findings for patents and authority bodies.

Alternatively, if you love reading and writing, a science degree can help you get a job for a specialist publisher such as Bloomsbury Sigma or IOP, whether that be in production, editing or proof reading.

  1. Working in intellectual property law

If you are interested in the legal side of science, becoming a patent attorney could be an interesting option. Patent law is already a well-established career path for scientists, as companies recruiting trainee patent attorneys usually ask for a degree in science or another STEM subject. This is because to draft a patent, you need to understand the research and technology behind it.

  1. Turning to consultancy

Moving into consulting is another popular move for scientists looking for a more client-facing role.

Big consultancies such as BCG, Accenture and Deloitte will have a dedicated science department recruiting analytical candidates with science backgrounds, to head projects for clients in the science and clinical space. Alternatively, there are also opportunities at a number of specialist scientific consultancies like IQVIA and Alacrita.

  1. Working for a funding body

If working in an office seems more appealing than working in a lab, but you still want to stay up-to-date with the latest science news, then working in funding could be a great option. You might want to look at organisations such as Research Councils UK (for example, the BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC and the STFC) and major funding bodies like the Leverhulme Trust and the Wellcome Trust.

  1. Sales and marketing for Pharmaceutical companies

Why not explore different areas of the value chain, and look at jobs selling and promoting products, rather than creating them?

Being knowledgeable on the product you are selling is particularly useful when presenting products and answering client needs and questions. These jobs tend to be less about pure selling and more about becoming a product expert.

  1. Recruitment

If you enjoy using your people skills, then specialist recruitment companies like CK Science are always looking for recruitment consultants with science backgrounds.

Good knowledge of the science world helps recruitment consultants not only understand the jobs they are recruiting for, but also understand which skills are needed and which types of candidates would be better placed in each role.

  1. Teaching

Science teachers at all levels are in high demand right now in the UK, as great initiatives are being taken to close the current STEM skill gap. So, if you have a passion for science and sharing your knowledge, teaching might be something to consider.

Thinking of trying out something new? At CK we offer a range of different jobs for experts with a science background. Why not have a look at our jobs here or get in touch for recommendations.

Posted in Articles, Careers Advice, Homepage Candidates, News

6 popular recruitment trends to look out for in 2019

In the current challenging candidate driven market, coupled with the likes of Brexit, a new generation of demanding candidates and an unstable economy, recruiting the best candidates for a job could become harder than ever.

Whereas once upon a time companies had to make no effort to recruit the best talent, in 2019 it’s a very different game. This year, to increase their chances, companies should be marketing themselves as best they can.

To give you a head start here are the top recruitment trends to look out for this year, and some advice on how we can help you implement them.

 

Trend #1: Recruitment Marketing

Recruitment marketing is one of the most popular topics in HR in 2019. As the recruitment process becomes even more competitive with the likes of LinkedIn, job comparison sites and an increasing number of job board sites, companies have to work harder to get their job advertisements noticed by the right candidates.

With 86% of HR professionals agreeing that recruitment is becoming more like marketing, these days advertising jobs is very similar to advertising products to attract potential customers.

Recruitment software, Talentlyft, state the 4 main goals of every recruitment marketing strategy are to:

  1. Make potential candidates aware of your company and opened positions
  2. Trigger their interest
  3. Make them consider you as their next employer of choice
  4. Drive talent to apply to the open positions your company has available

The good news is it doesn’t have to be all that complicated. By using a recruitment specialist like CK Group, we can take care of marketing your job openings for you, ensuring that they are marketed on all the right sites and to all the right candidates. Furthermore, we can ensure your company’s identity stays anonymous if needed.

 

Trend #2: Inbound Recruitment Marketing

Inbound recruitment marketing takes recruitment marketing a step further.

It’s all about proactively engaging and attracting candidates, with the aim of attracting candidates to your company instead of you having to search for them.

Inbound recruiting leads candidates through three stages: awareness, consideration, and interest. It involves working hard to create a strong and trustworthy employer brand and uses creative ways to provoke interest. This can be done through:

  1. Content marketing – creating interesting and informative content you are confident your target candidate market will find compelling
  2. Social media targeting – assessing and monitoring where your targeted potential applications spend their time online, therefore putting a budget into this area
  3. Personalisation – which creates trust and brand awareness for the company with a higher percentage of conversions

Ideal for a long-term solution to recruiting, inbound recruiting is a successful way to continuously attract and recruit high-quality applicants and employees.

 

Trend #3: Employer Branding

As candidates are now prioritising work-life balance and job satisfaction over their paycheck, it is more important than ever for companies to portray themselves as an appealing place to work to job seekers.

In fact, research by LinkedIn has proven that more than 75% of job seekers research a company’s reputation and employer brand on sites like Glassdoor before applying.

2019 candidates will be judging companies based on their staff perks and incentives, working hours flexibility and the perceived company corporate identity, based on the website and social media.

Linkhumans reported that 72% of recruiting leaders around the world agree that the employer brand has a significant impact on hiring, and even more so has a significant impact on your business’s success. It will enable a company to have a consistent stream of applicants and job interest.

 

Trend #4: Candidate Experience

The candidate experience reflects the current, past, and potential candidates’ feelings and perception of the company’s job application and recruitment process. The candidate experience starts with the first exposure to a potential employer, and the candidate’s feelings and attitudes they experience through the entire journey, from applying, interviewing, hiring or the unfortunate rejection.

Candidate experience has been proven to be directly tied to recruitment performance, and with the use of social media being so high, it is incredibly easy for candidates to spread the message of a positive or poor candidate experience. A survey showed that nearly 60% of candidates have had a poor candidate experience, with 72% of those candidates having shared their bad experience online or with someone directly, which creates a negative reputation of the company.

In contrast, a positive candidate experience can lead to better applicants, lowering recruitment costs.

By outsourcing your recruitment to specialists such as CK Group, we can ensure candidates have the best customer experience possible, helping to improve your employer branding and avoiding those bad reviews.

 

Trend #5: Social Recruiting

Social recruiting is quite simply using social media as a recruitment tool, and over the last couple of years has become a vital part of recruitment.

A range of social media channels can be used to find, attract, post job openings and hire talent such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Furthermore, there are many websites that can be used, such as blogs, forums, job boards, and review sites such as Glassdoor.

Surveys showed that at least 84% of organizations are currently using social media for recruitment and that 9% of those who don’t yet use it are planning to.

This is definitely a trend to adopt in 2019 if you are wanting to target millennials, with 73% of 18 to 34 years olds finding their last position through a social media platform.

 

Trend #6: Contractor Recruitment

With the uncertainty in the economy and the confusion about what exactly Brexit means for the country and many businesses, there has been a rise in demand for contractors rather than permanent candidates. According to a study by the Freelance Union, by 2020 half of the workforce will be made up of contractors – increasing from 35% of the workforce in 2014.

There are many benefits for hiring contractors, such as:

  • Flexibility: Contractors can be hired on a short-term or permanent basis.
  • Access to specialised skills set: Contractors have all the necessary skills and come already trained.
  • Contract recruitment has proven to lower recruitment costs.
  • It gives companies a ‘Try Before You Buy’ opportunity.

These are just a few recruitment trends which are going to continue to grow in popularity over the coming years. The recruitment and HR processes are continuously developing and changing, which is why it is so crucial that companies stay on top of these trends to ensure they attract and hire the best talent. For any advice regarding this subject please contact us here.

Posted in Articles, Homepage Clients, News