Doing the right thing or risking a lawsuit? Food for thought?

As a Mental Health Instructor for over 10 years, I am enthused to see the growth towards seeing and respecting mental health in in the same way we see and respect physical health.  Everyone is comfortable enquiring if a cold is better – not quite so comfortable asking how someone is feeling on their return to work after say depression.

 

The internet is full of well intentioned plans and events to raise the bar in talking about mental health and I see more employers supporting events like #MHAW2019 – Mental Health Awareness Week which starts 13 May.  Really great intentions.

 

But is there a risk of being sued under the Equalities Act 2010 and taken to Employment Tribunal?

 

Some of the employers I know allow all staff, regardless of screening to see if they are equipped to listen to someone else’s pain, to be a ‘listening ear’.

 

You don’t know what you are going to hear when you sit down to listen to someone struggling.  It can be an emotive area the listener has strong views on – such as self-harm.  Even if they can listen without judging – are they knowledgeable on how to signpost someone on? do they know how to take care of themselves after listening to someone’s pain?

 

I feel very strongly that we should be talking more openly in every day conversations about all human issues especially mental health.  But I feel just as strongly that we need to train those listeners how to listen, signpost and look after themselves.

 

Why not have a #MHAAT (Mental Health Aware And Trained) badge for trained employees to wear all year – not just one week.  Wouldn’t we make more of an impact and reduce the risk of a challenge under the Equalities Act at Employment Tribunal?

 

What do you think?

‘Sacrifice People to save numbers’

I came across this quote whilst reading work by Simon Sinek – the renowned motivational speaker – check him out on YouTube.

 

We’ve all seen companies downsize their staff in turbulent financial times with no thought about the impact on those individuals, their families nor the overall drop in moral on the staff they keep.

 

Even when there isn’t a financial downturn, companies will often shred staff to reduce their payroll bill and thus increase their profits – more palatable for the shareholders – or is it?

 

I worked for a company for over 12 years.  Just before the financial reporting, a round of redundancies would be announced to ensure the company retained it’s double digit growth.  In reality, they haven’t grown at all.  All they had done was culled their staff.

 

Simon’s point was what would happen if companies did the reverse? ‘Sacrificed the numbers to save the people’ – what a thought.  The example he gave was of Bob Chapman Chair of Barry-Wehmiller in USA.  This company was a £1bn plus turnover and made big machinery.  In the 2008 financial crash he decided to ‘sacrifice the numbers to save the people’.   With 30% written of the company’s value in one fail swoop – it was time to try something new.

 

He suggested everyone – from himself downwards, would take four weeks unpaid holiday.  They didn’t have to take it consecutively and they could take it when they wanted but everyone would keep their jobs.  The response was huge.  Those senior people who could afford to take more unpaid leave traded with those that couldn’t.  Everyone worked as a family, pulling together.  They were involved in the decision, given the support to do it and felt safe and happy.  The company prospered.  It enjoys 20% year on year growth compared with the average 6%.

 

When you believe in why you are doing something, everything else falls into place.  People support you because they believe in the same thing.

 

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if all companies ‘Sacrificed the numbers for the people’?

 

How much more would their profits grow?  What do you think?

How do you recruit the perfect candidate without incurring any cost?……

Growing Talent!

Sounds simple doesn’t it.  A try before you buy for both the applicant and employer based on personality – no cvs, employment history etc.  With 116 success stories, we want more.

 

Amongst this 116 are people from diverse backgrounds – homeless, graduates, no education, solid employment history, no employment history, mental health issues etc.  This unique business funded initiative has seen diverse success studies.

 

There is a wide talent of unemployed people hungry to work and willing to learn.  Employers can’t see this talent in a short interview/assessment.  So we are spreading the work with a poster campaign.

 

Some things really aren’t too good to be true!  You just have to give it a go and see for yourself!

 

Although the cost table below shows HR Review’s breakdown of traditional recruitment costs from 2014 – it’s logical to believe these have risen over 3 years.  One solid fact the display below shows is Growing Talent remains completely free!

 

 

Check out http://www.growing-talent.co.uk and @Growing_Talent for more information.

 

Unacceptable Stats

It’s shocking to read BiTC’s report on mental health in the workplace 2017 – link below.  The feature photo shows two startling facts BiTC’s report has uncovered.

 

https://wellbeing.bitc.org.uk/all-resources/research-articles/mental-health-work-report-2017

 

Have we learnt so little?  For employers there is a huge positive hit to their bottom line when they address mental health in their business but raising awareness and delivering training.  As a Mental Health First Aid Instructor I know businesses are doing more.  Let’s consider some stats from MHFAEngland:

 

  • 31% of staff said they would leave their current job if stress levels didn’t decrease in the coming year
  • 70 million sick days are lost to mental health costing UK plc £70-£100bn
  • Presentism – underperforming at work due to mental health issues costs £15.1bn to UK plc
  • Awareness, training and openness on mental health in the workplace decreases the risk of being sued
  • Legal obligation – mental health issues including self-harm are protected under 2010 Equality Act.

 

We have evidence that suicide is thankfully reducing even though it’s a slight reduction.  The ratio remains three times more men than women complete suicide,   Clearly there is a lot more work to be done for both business and us individuals.

 

Can hearts and minds be changed quickly enough?

 

 

Cost of recruitment – what does it mean?

Often the true cost of recruitment on a business is hidden.  It’s a combination of several things.  One of the latest UK stats I found was a guesstimate of over £30K!

http://www.hrreview.co.uk/hr-news/recruitment/it-costs-over-30k-to-replace-a-staff-member/50677

The two main factors that support this research is:

  • The Cost of Lost Output while a replacement employee gets up to speed
  • The Logistical Cost of recruiting and absorbing a new worker

On top of the cost and inconvenience to a business of advertising, sifting, shortlisting, interviewing, feedback, employment documentation – contract of employment, right to work in the UK etc and the ‘new joiner’ processes – raising a new profile for IT, issue a laptop/phone etc is the cost of the recruitment agency.

 

Average percentages of fees to be paid to an agency are:

Salary                                                   %                                Fee due

£15K                                                        14%                                  £2,100

£20K                                                        18%                                 £3,600

Over £20K                                               20+%                             £4,200

 

Using this method, apart from the cost, you won’t know if you’ve made the right choice until they’ve been onboard a while and are trained in the job.

 

With Growing Talent, a unique fee way of finding and growing new talent, you will be confident of your new hire as you train them in situ before hiring.  What could be simpler?

 

 

 

The World of Property Investment….

Growing Talent 12 (www.growing-talent.co.uk) is now firmly underway.  Reports so far are all good.

 

Yesterday I visited Sebastien who has a background in sales, abroad and at home.  With a passion for property but no experience he was a strong fit for Invest In Buy To Let who selected him to join them via the Growing Talent programme.

 

Two weeks in – the shine is not wearing off!  Cold calling, researching and evening events have meant Sebastien has been able to work with multiple people and learn quicker in situ.  He’s building his own client contacts and formulating strong relationships.

 

Luckily, Silin from Growing Talent 10 works for Shane, one of the directors in his other business Create A Business.  Based at the same venue, she can give Sebastien the encouragement doing the programme demands.

 

It always amazes me how some people write off those who are unemployed without knowing their stories, personalities etc.  Everyone on Growing Talent has to work full-time – often unsociable hours – for no money other than their benefits.  Grated, at the end there is a permanent job on offer where both employer and new employee have a confident match.  But the journey to that goal can be quite gruelling – especially the longer you’ve been out of work or the more negative, discouraging voices you have around you!

 

It takes a lot of tenacity and integrity to complete Growing Talent – definitely not for the faint hearted!

World Mental Health Day – 10 October 2016

This year I attended an event hosted by EY led by MHFAEngland where they launched their new Instructor’s pack, new branding – including logo – and vision for the future.  The audience were fellow Instructors across MHFAEngland’s core product offering – Standard, Youth and Armed Forces MHFA.

 

new-mhfa_logo_rgb

It was great to see a video message from global leaders in the field of Mental Health First Aid and know what we are doing really does make a difference.

The stats on courses run in England look promising too:

115,294 – Standard         24,259 – Youth          7,782 – Armed Forces

So the word is clearly spreading……………..

The theme for the day was ‘Take 10 to Talk’.   Shouldn’t this be part of our DNA everyday?  Let’s start noticing those around us and spotting those subtle, early changes to start a conversation.
MHFAEngland’s vision:
Train 1 in 10 people in Mental Health First Aid
Ensure business and communities see Mental Health on parity with Physical Health
For everyone to seek help for mental health issues without fear of discrimination
Interesting to see Norman Lamb MP is setting in  motion the beginning legal journey to make mental health a partity with physical health within all businesses.
Now, wouldn’t that be something?
What do you think?
Should businesses be made to have trained Mental Health First Aiders?

Rewards come when you don’t go looking……………..

Finalist_AWARD FOR INNOVATION IN RECRUITMENT

 

When starting my business back in December 2013, I had very low expectations.  I didn’t expect to last past six months and I didn’t expect to bill more than £15K-£20K.  In fact, I was shocked when Professional Indemnity/Public Liability Insurers asked if i expected to bill over £50K!  That seemed in the world of make-believe

 

Trying to get the right publicity to build the reputation of a new business solidly and with integrity isn’t an overnight task.  Patience is demanded – which is probably one of the most difficult things to accept no matter what age you are or what type of business you have.

 

It’s all about ‘I must have it now’!

 

After the initial frustration of moving slowly, suddenly, without really trying, businesses are interested in working with Jane James Consultancy Ltd!  Not just for employment programmes but bespoke mental health and wellbeing at work courses as well.

 

I entered one of my clients for Personnel Today’s Innovation in Recruitment Award – Now my little business is shortlisted for a Personnel Today award as well!

HR Supplier Partnership Award

Shortlisted supplier

AdviserPlus
Digital Balance
Impact International

Jane James Consultancy
Mercuri International
MIX Diversity Developers
TypeCoach

http://www.personneltoday.com/hr/personnel-today-awards-2015-shortlist-announced/

I guess this proves the point that if we focus on our personal performance, how we can support others rather than rewards, the rewards will come quicker.

 

‘I’m finally a working man again’, Alenchenu

20150420_120819

Alenchenu, without even knowing it, is sitting next to his future boss!  Taken from the Employers’ Selection & Assessment day for Growing Talent 5 on 24 April.   He’s in the electric blue shirt with Pauline of Mitie Total Document Solutions on his left.  Pauline manages the Service Solution desk for Mitie at PwC’s prestigious offices in Embankment Place.  She was impressed with Alenchenu’s style of communicating.  He listened to the questions and answered with passion.

Alenchenu is a giant of a man with a heart full of passion and empathy for others.  With a Pastor father, he is used to travelling to new congregations and joined Growing Talent to secure a steady job to give him independence.  Alenchenu’s passion for others showed in the Social Enterprise idea he devised and presented with his team partner Shennell.  Through his father’s work, Alenchenu had supported vulnerable people in deaing with any issues they had.  This shone through his presentation.  Although in his own words he ‘waffled’ a little.  Alenchenu thought this was a bad thing, but acutally it showed how important what he spoke about was to him.

Alenchenu

Alenchenu practising his presentation skills ahead of his Social Enterprise presentation with Shennell………..entitled ‘Bridge to Society’, a supportive return to the worlds of work and community for those leaving prison life.

Alenchenuand Shennell

Judges above left to right were Jo from JobCentre Plus, Jordan ex Growing Talent now Executive Host for Portico, Patti –  Pertemps, Jon – PwC, Gillian – MHFAEngland, Simon – Portico and Chloe – Iron Mountain.

The Social Enterprise presentations saw the end of the Orientation Week.  On Tuesday 5 May, Alenchenu and his peers went on site to learn the vacant roles in situ.  Working with the Rapid Response team Alenchenu’s role entails the collection and delivery of high value/critical documentation and goods.  Responsible for accurate tracking and dealing with any issues as they arise.

Alenchenu’s dedication paid off!  Just a few short weeks in, he’s been employed!  It’s a shame he’ll miss the holistic week but Alenchenu aims to catch-up with the guys later.  With his steady income, Alenchenu is going to focus on education in his ultimate field of passion – robotic prosthetics.

Seen below in Service Solutions, Alenchenu’s story is just beginning……………..

Alenchenu EP

‘So rare – people were laughing and joking together…………….’

I love it when employers I work with are impressed and surprised by the work I do.  This week has been full-on diversity of tasks.

On Monday we had the initial assessments for the next round of Growing Talent – over 45 attendees met with managers from global and national employers.  The five tasks included:

  • Sell yourself on Google – 2 minute sales pitch
  • Follow a process – with a hidden trick!
  • Sell a famous person into a job
  • Debate a contentious issue giving a conclusion as a team
  • Truth & vision – pick one true attribute and one power you would like

Ice was broken.  I’m not sure who was more nervous at the start, the unemployed attendees or the employers!  Great to hear things like ‘that was fun’, ‘I’ve never witnessed anything like this at any assessment day – everyone laughing and joking together’.

I’ve always found it strange in the 20+ years I’ve spent in recruitment and we still cling to recruiting staff in the same way.  We never find out their personality, skills or potential until we’ve employed them.  Growing Talent enables each side to know the other before an employment offer is made delivering commitment and longevity.

Yesterday was spent delivering a 3 hour power house workshop to a national front of house hospitality organisation.  A room full of managers with their minds on their increasing in-trays back at the office.  The core ‘want’ in the room was to learn more about the delicate subject of mental health.  How to approach and support staff and when to escalate to HR/Occupational Health.

Stress levels almost increased for me when I discovered the screen had a HDMI cable not the old style pin connector.  Luckily an old connector was found.  Note to self – upgrade equipment!!!

The room was hot and small – not a great combination for training.  However, the time flew by.  Conversation flowed as did the interaction and contribution of all managers.

At the end of the session, I was really pleased to see all evaluations had been marked ‘good’ – the top score!  Some additional comments:

‘I thought the content was really good and I feel more confident on this issue.’

‘I learnt how to talk to staff about mental health in the workplace’

‘Really informative, definitely makes you look at things differently’.

‘Really good – loved the group exercises’

The end of my week will be focussed on Growing Talent with the Employers Selection on Friday.

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