June 5th 2015
05 Jun

5 Things The Employee Benefits World Taught Us This Week – June 5th

 June 5th 2015

We like to keep you updated on the latest employee benefits stories; here are this week’s top five news items.

1. 45% Of Managers Not Meeting Expectations Still Get Paid Bonuses

According to a study commissioned by XpertHR and the Chartered Institute of Management, underperforming managers (around 45% of managers surveyed) receive substantial cash bonuses despite failing to meet their objectives or requirements. The average size of these bonuses is in excess of £8,000. The phenomenon boils down to what XpertHR Content Director called: “rewarding past glories.”  The XpertHR/CMI survey also revealed that managers’ pay has increased by 3% on average in the past year, with the average salary level across all executive levels at £38,328.

 2. Mindfulness Could Be Key To Business Productivity

Mindfulness is the awareness that arises when we pay attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally.  This ability to respond rather than react makes mindfulness a very attractive approach for workplaces, particularly now that standardised mindfulness programmes with strong research evidence are becoming broadly available.   Research findings frequently report a reduction in stress, depression and anxiety levels and an overall improved quality of life and wellbeing. It also has been found that mindfulness prevents burnout and promotes job satisfaction. It can also facilitate better performance. Finally, a study with HR staff showed that mindfulness training improves memory for tasks, increases concentration and supports less switching between tasks.  HR Managers of the world, it is time to look into that!

 3. Caring Is Working

A new study has confirmed what most employees have already suspected; that line managers are key to shaping how engaged staff are in the workplace. The research revealed a correlation between high engagement and having someone who inspires your development (97%), belief that your job was a significant contributor to your company (63%), having co-workers who are dedicated to quality work (57%), and being able to do your best every day (56%).   Over three-quarters of respondents who were highly engaged received reward or recognition for their work, while 35% who have no or low engagement in the workplace said they had never received any reward or recognition.

4. An Update On Zero-Hour Contracts

From 26 May 2015, a clause in a zero hours contract that prohibits the worker from working under another contract, or that requires the worker to get the employer’s consent first, is unenforceable. Banning exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts was a coalition Government promise, and they continued to be a Conservative party manifesto commitment. We may furthermore see tribunal claims as a result of the ban. Until further regulations come into effect, workers have no real power to assert the ban. However, the new Act enables further provisions to be introduced, to support the ban and prevent zero hours workers from being restricted by contractual clauses from doing other work. Finally, the ban may not apply if a certain level of income is guaranteed. During the public consultation about zero hours contracts, concerns were raised about employers attempting to avoid the ban on exclusivity clauses by setting up agreements with minimal guaranteed hours (so that they would not fall within the definition of a zero hours contract). Under the proposed draft regulations , the prohibition on exclusivity clauses will apply to zero hours contracts where the worker is not guaranteed a certain level of weekly income, unless the rate of pay for each hour worked under the contract is at least a certain amount. The suggested amount is £20.

 5. Turning The Office Into A Second Home

Regardless of an organisations size, the bulk of employees crave a company that has a “family feel, held together by loyalty and tradition”. A new survey asked 2,226 employees to summarise the ‘feel’ of the firm they currently work for, with nearly half describing company culture as “a formalised and structured place to work, where procedures govern what people do and hold people together.” This sentiment was highest in the public sector (74%), in large organisations with over 250 employees (59%), and in the voluntary sector (43%). Comparatively, only 26% described their current employer as having a ‘family feel’, but over half specified their preference for an atmosphere that has a “family feel, held together by loyalty and tradition.” This mood was higher in women than men (60% compared with 50%), but was consistent across all age groups.

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