Ted Learning - ted Learning - Experiential & Drama Based Training http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/ en-gb web-enquiries@tedlearning.co.uk (Ted Learning Web Sites) Wed, 09 Jan 2019 08:06:49 +0000 JSitemap Pro New apprenticeships funding rules are a boost for small business http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/71-new-apprenticeships-funding-rules-are-a-boost-for-small-business.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/71-new-apprenticeships-funding-rules-are-a-boost-for-small-business.html Small businesses will receive more support for apprenticeships under new rules which come into effect in May 2017. Instead of paying a full third of the cost of apprenticeships, as per current rules, non-levy paying employers (those who pay bills of under £3M) will pay just 10%, with the Government paying the remaining 90%.
Employers with fewer than 50 staff who deliver apprenticeships to young people 16-18 will no longer receive the £1,500 AGE grant and will instead have their apprenticeships funded in full by the Government.
These significant changes will really help young people from all backgrounds take their first steps into work – and also help small employers recruit young talent into these positions.
But it’s not just young apprentices who’ll benefit from the new rules. Under the new rules, there'll be an increase to 15 funding caps for standards, which means there will be more funding available for the Level 3 Management Trailblazer - up to £5,000 from £4,500.
The new rules also mean that those employers who want to deliver leadership and management apprenticeships to staff who are highly qualified in their technical role (including graduates) will get funding to do so. Individuals will now be able to undertake an apprenticeship at the same level or lower than a qualification they already hold – as long as they ‘acquire substantive new skills and the content of the training is materially different from any prior training or a previous apprenticesh
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Apprenticeships Fri, 16 Jun 2017 11:35:58 +0000
"Can I Give You Some Feedback?" http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/49-coaching-and-feedback-tips.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/49-coaching-and-feedback-tips.html How do you feel when you hear these six words: ‘Can I give you some feedback?’
Terror? Anxiety? Automatic defensiveness and resentment? We are so used to the word ‘feedback’ being used as a euphemism for criticism, that we often forget how useful it can really be. But there are few scenarios, professional or otherwise, in which (well delivered) feedback won’t be helpful, even if it amounts to the verbal equivalent of a pat on the back.
In my experience, there are three potential outcomes from delivering feedback. And more often than not, it’s personal behaviours that decide which scenario is played out.

Scenario #1: Positive Impact of Feedback

When it is delivered successfully, feedback is a powerful tool. The most obvious benefit is that it can keep everyone on the right track; delivering timely feedback can nip potential problems in the bud before they develop into serious issues or conflicts.

The positive benefits of feedback don’t stop there. Recognition and encouragement are excellent tools for boosting productivity and engagement company-wide.

Feedback is also a great way to build relationships at work, and can contribute to a supportive atmosphere of mutual respect and trust. This is especially true when feedback goes both ways, rather than solely being given by managers to members of their team. It was recently discovered that most people would prefer to work in a family-style mentoring organisation; feedback is an essential way to achieve this productive environment.

Scenario #2: No response to Feedback

Surprisingly, this isn’t the worst possible outcome from giving feedback. But let’s not pretend it’s ideal. In a recent Employee Outlook Survey, the CIPD found that only 52% of employees felt that performance management was helping them to perform better at their job.

There are a number of reasons why you might feel like you’re talking to a brick wall when you’re trying to make constructive comments. A few of the most common ones are:

  • You are not making yourself clear. Sometimes we are so reluctant to criticise others that we over-euphemise, with the result that the core message gets lost. Clouding your feedback with hints and politeness won’t get you any results, and could even generate distrust
  • Your employees are not engaged. It’s a difficult truth to confront, but sometimes it can feel like your team simply don’t mind whether they are performing satisfactorily or not. This is usually a more deep-rooted issue and needs to be addressed through sustained changes in behaviour and attitude.
  • You aim for quantity over quality. This applies whether you are giving positive or negative feedback: your comments will lose value if they are too frequent and lack a real message, especially when they are not followed up with stronger action for greater achievements or more serious transgressions. Simple expressions of congratulation or displeasure are useful, but change only comes out of more insightful suggestions.

Scenario #3: Negative response to Feedback

In a report published in Psychological Bulletin, A. Kluger and A. Denisi concluded that at least 30% of performance reviews ended up in decreased employee performance. This is a classic and too-common example of feedback gone wrong. Unfortunately, delivering feedback can feel like a bit of a minefield; it is hard to strike a balance between being aggressive and overly critical, being too condescending, or not getting to the point at all. Getting it wrong can breed resentment, de-motivate employees, and erode confidence, creating an overall lapse in productivity.

I think I can guess which response you’re aiming for when you give feedback to a member of your team. Critiquing someone’s performance can sometimes feel like walking a tightrope; it’s one of the hardest things to get right

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Coaching Tue, 07 Jun 2016 09:25:16 +0000
Is there such a thing as a Difficult Conversation? http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/42-is-there-such-a-thing-as-a-difficult-conversation.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/42-is-there-such-a-thing-as-a-difficult-conversation.html We are often asked by our clients to deliver courses around how to have'difficult conversations.'  Our course has been called this since we founded the business 4 years ago (with many other companies doing the same) and I have often wondered 'what is difficult about having a conversation?'

Last week we were discussing our products for this year and myself and my business partner Clare Samuels wanted to simplify what our courses are called.   So we are moving to calling it simply: "Let's Talk" - surely great communication skills at all levels will remove the need for such a thing as a 'difficult conversation?"

 The use of the word 'Difficult' implies a problem to start with, so we are trying to overcome a problem and fear before we even start speaking?   If a business has created a culture where people just talk to each other, have great communication skills at all levels, highlight things that are done well (all of the time!) and also aways give feedback (well structured mind you) when things don't go so well, we will remove the need for anything difficult.  People who join the business will be inducted into a culture where talking is embraced ?  Many companies having being 'open' and 'honest' as values (honest can be taken for "I can say what ever I want!") but in order to really create cultures that are open and honest and respectful, if we are good at talking in a business environment we will really move things forward.

We believe it's about : 

  • Being a good listener first and foremost.  How can you be an effective communicator and good at talking if you are not listening?
  • Considering others emotions and being 'Emotionally Intelligent'  Having a great understanding on how others might be feeling, showing empathy and understanding and really thinking about what we are going to say
  • Planning the 'Talk' - sometimes we need to really consider what we are going to say and why we are saying it.
  • Providing encouragement - making sure we always give positive feedback and are honest when things haven't gone quite according to plan.  
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Communication Skills Thu, 12 May 2016 12:35:12 +0000
Five Tips to Develop Your Emotional Intelligence http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/50-five-tips-to-develop-your-emotional-intelligence.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/50-five-tips-to-develop-your-emotional-intelligence.html As they do in every area of our lives, our emotions can influence the way we act and react in the workplace.
Emotional intelligence is about developing the skills to better understand both our own emotions as well as those around us and effectively managing how we react to them so that we can be more productive in our work life. The objective is not to suppress or ignore difficult emotions or feelings but rather learning to handle them intelligently when they arise. Emotional Intelligence (EI) is what makes the difference between top performing leaders and the rest. Managers with strong EIs are more measurably more successful in recruitment, employee retention, productivity, and customer service.
But EI is not just for Managers and Executives it is critical for success at any level in your career. If you want to rise to higher levels of responsibility in your job, having a strong EI is essential. Indeed, the benefits of improving your EI is not just confined to your career. Research has shown that a stronger EI translates to into higher levels of happiness, better mental and physical health and improved relationships.
So, how can you increase and improve this vital life skill and put emotional intelligence to work for you?

1 Develop Your Emotional Self-Awareness

Emotions can cause people to display uncharacteristic, sometimes counterproductive behaviour; Self-awareness is the ability to understand and interpret your own emotions, moods and inner drives, and how your resultant behaviour impacts on others.

Developing self-awareness can also help you identify the emotional states of others, enabling you to look beyond their words or actions to identify causes and meanings and causes. Logically if you don't understand your own motivations and behaviours, it's nearly impossible to develop an understanding of others.

Action points for developing self-awareness:

  • Learn to use three word sentences beginning with “I feel” – Using this technique you will be able to identify to yourself how you feel and increase your self-awareness.
  • Take time during each day to recognise how you feel and identify the source of your emotions, rather than the action or motives of others.
  • Remind yourself that emotions are volatile and fleeting and ought not to be the foundation of communications or decision-making.
  • Reflect upon and learn how your negative emotions such as frustration, disengagement, anger or jealously will have impacted upon your colleagues and even clients.
  • Identify your fears and desires – This action will help you be more aware of what is concerning you and what drives you, increasing your conscious awareness over these fears and desires.
  • Examine how you react to stressful situations. Do you become upset every time there's a delay or something doesn't happen the way you want?

2 Self-regulation or emotional self-control

Self-regulation or emotional self-control is the ability to control or redirect impulsive actions and emotions that negatively impact your potential for growth and leadership. It is the next step after developing emotional awareness. Emotional Self-Control can be summarised as the ability to “rise above” petty arguments, jealousies, and frustrations by learning to control emotional influences and not allowing them to dictate your behaviour.

People who can exercise emotional self-control think before they act and then not to make impulsive decisions. By developing emotional self-control, you will be able to consistently make valuable contributions and sound decisions thus building your reputation as a dependable team player.

Action points to improve your emotional self-control
  • Avoid the herding instinct to be part of a group by engaging in office politics, drama, or conflict.
  • When a situation is emotionally-charged or difficult, step back and take time before responding or making a decision.
  • Set time aside to reflect upon your feelings. If you find yourself in a difficult or charged situation where your emotions are high, ask yourself what is the meaning that your attaching to the event or situation. Look at other possible meanings and alternatives.
  • Accept that just as in life uncertainty, frustration and disappointment are simply part of all work environments. Rather than complaining or disengaging, brain storm solutions or alternative strategies and present them in a professional manner.
  • Don’t join the blame game where you point your finger at everyone and everything except yourself. Hold yourself accountable learn to admit your mistakes.
  • Stay focused on yourself and on the things that you can control, not on the things you can’t.
  • Identify ways you can better manage your emotions avoiding knee-jerk reactions or making inappropriate or off-putting comments.

3 Improve your ability to show empathy.

Empathy is a natural offshoot of developing emotional awareness; it is the ability to step outside of your personal experience to understand an issue from someone else's perspective. By developing empathy, you demonstrate that you are skilled in treating people with respect, kindness, dignity and professionalism. People with empathy are good at recognising the feelings of others, even where those feelings are not immediately obvious. If you want to earn the respect and loyalty of your colleagues or team, then show them you care by being empathic.

Action points to improve your empathy.
  • Live by the Golden Rule; treat others the way you want to be treated in all situations.
  • It's easy to support your own point of view so put yourself in the other person’s shoes - view situations from their point of view or perspective.
  • Develop your active listening skills and reflect back what the other person is saying, so it’s clear you both understand what’s being communicated.
  • Actively ask how they feel for example on scale of 0-10. This provides then with the opportunity express their feelings and helps you develop empathy and understanding.
  • Validate the other persons concerns or feeling by acknowledge that you understand where they’re coming from and that their view point has merit.
  • Avoid the trap of thinking of a response, while others are speaking instead of actively listening.
  • Double check your own attitude and motives. In any discussion are you just trying to score point and win the argument or are you seeking the best outcome or solution, even if it’s not your suggestion?

4 Improve your motivation

Motivation is your passion and enthusiasm for your work and career for reasons that go beyond money or status. Instead people who have high EI are have a passion to fulfil their own inner needs and goals. They are driven by energy and fulfilment in their work and pursue their goals with persistence.

Action points to improve your motivation
  • Every time you face a challenge, or even a failure, try to find at least one good thing about the situation.
  • Identify when and stop yourself speaking and thinking negatively, pause and consciously reframe your thoughts and words. Change your negative thoughts and words, even if you have to fake it at first.
  • It's easy to forget what you really love about your career so identify what you love about your job and the bigger reason why you find your role fulfilling.
  • Remember that people are drawn to positive, energised, and inspiring people. By improve your levels of motivation, you’ll get more attention from colleagues, decision makers and clients.
  • Set inspiring achievable goals for yourself and determine specific actions to reach them. Reward yourself as your reach key milestones and goals.

5 Improve Your Social Skills

Being able to interact well with others is another important aspect of emotional intelligence but does that mean people who are shy or introverted don’t have a high an EI. Social skills take many forms – it’s more than just being friendly. Social skills range from active listening, verbal communication skills, nonverbal communication skills, leadership, and persuasiveness. Demonstrating good social skills in the workplace enables you to be more proficient at managing relationships, building networks and connections with employees. Leaders with good Social Skills are often very good communicators, good at conflict resolution and communicating the vision to team members. They set the example, for others to follow by demonstrating the acceptable behaviours and values.

    Action points to improve your social skills.
  • One of the best ways to improve social skills is by becoming an effective communicator.
  • Learn and understand conflict resolution - Good Leaders must know how to resolve conflicts between their team members, customers, or vendors.
  • Learn how to praise others, you can inspire the loyalty of your team simply by giving praise when it's earned.
  • Understand the person you’re talking to. You can’t have a one-size-fits-all approach to interacting with everyone in the workplace.
  • People who master social skills can leverage it develop lasting workplace relationships.

Conclusion

Improving your emotional intelligence can dramatically increase your effectiveness as leader, manager or employee but it takes time and commitment. Start today by using ted Learnings Emotional Intelligence Tips and applying them in your workplace right away.
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Emotional Intelligence Tue, 07 Jun 2016 11:24:14 +0000
Tips for Managers on how to deal with discrimination complaints http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/43-dealing-with-discrimination.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/43-dealing-with-discrimination.html If a worker says that you or another worker employed by you or your agent have unlawfully discriminated against them in a work situation, your responsibility is to deal with the complaint in a way that finds out if there has been unlawful discrimination and, if there has been, to put the situation right.
This guide focuses on the equality law aspects of dealing with a complaint from a worker. If a worker makes a complaint (which is often called 'bringing a grievance') about something else at work, which is not related to a protected characteristic, then you can get advice from the Arbitration and Conciliation Service (Acas) about how to deal with this.

Contact details for Acas are found within Further sources of information.

A worker may:
  • complain to you
  • make a claim in the Employment Tribunal.
These are not alternatives, since the person complaining still has a right to make a claim in the Employment Tribunal even if they first complained to you.
 
Good practice tips for avoiding and sorting out claims about discrimination at work
  •  A worker who believes they have experienced unlawful discrimination has a right to make an Employment Tribunal claim.
  • Defending an Employment Tribunal claim can be lengthy, expensive and draining, and it can have a damaging impact on the reputation of your organisation.
  • It is likely to be in everyone's interest to try to put things right before a claim is made to an Employment Tribunal.
  • If you have good procedures for sorting out complaints about discrimination, you may be able to avoid the person feeling it is necessary to bring a claim against you.
  • An important factor will be for your workers to be sure that complaints about unlawful discrimination will be taken seriously, even if they are raised less formally, outside your formal grievance procedures, and that something will happen to put the situation right if someone has discriminated unlawfully.
Tell your workers what the options are for bringing unlawful discrimination to your attention, and how to use your procedures, including:
  • discussing the situation informally with you or a manager, and
  • using your formal grievance procedures.
Make it clear what will happen if, after investigating, you find out that someone has discriminated unlawfully against someone else:
  • that if necessary you will take any disciplinary action you decide is appropriate
  • that if necessary you will change the way you do things so the same thing does not happen again, then make sure you do this.
Also:
  • consider equality training for yourself and/or people working for you
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Employment Law Thu, 12 May 2016 16:32:25 +0000
MPs want action on 'motherhood penalty' http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/45-mps-want-action-on-motherhood-penalty.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/45-mps-want-action-on-motherhood-penalty.html A group of MPs is demanding that greater steps are taken to combat a "motherhood penalty" that has left women being paid less than men.

A report by the Women and Equalities Select Committee said the government has failed to close the pay gap. It said policies were needed to tackle barriers such as women's disproportionate responsibility for childcare and low part-time wages.

It warned that the UK economy was suffering as a result. It estimated that a failure to use women's skills was costing the country £36bn a year, equal to 2% of GDP. A 19.2% difference in pay for full and part time workers has remained the same for four years, the committee found, with women aged between 50 and 57 facing a differential of 27%.

MPs said more should be done to help women return to work and not enough attention has been paid to low wages of women in sectors such as retail, care and cleaning.

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Gender Discriminatrion Sun, 13 Mar 2016 10:24:00 +0000
The Gender Pay Gap…. It isn’t really about the money. http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/48-the-gender-pay-gap-uk.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/48-the-gender-pay-gap-uk.html Over the last year or so you may have read some shocking headlines about the gap in equal pay for men and women sitting at over 20% (in favour of men). You may have tutted, whinged, discussed it with friends and perhaps looked around the office, trying to work out if Steven really is earning more than Fiona.

But it turns out that we weren’t really looking at the figures properly. It turns out that the pay gap isn’t actually about the money, infact it turns out that the pay gap is really about under-representation of women in senior roles and industries. A recent white paper from the Korn Ferry Hay Group identifies that the mooted pay gap discrepancy (a disturbing 28% in the UK) is the difference between the average male employee salary and the average female employee salary. It doesn’t take into account job level, company or job function. Actually once we do take these factors into account, the difference between male and female pay is a negligible 0.8% in the UK. Not quite so newsworthy.

So maybe Steven is earning the same as Fiona – for now. But the trends highlighted in KFHG’s report show that Steven is more likely to progress to a more senior level, and also more likely to work in a higher paid functions and industries than Fiona, and this is the real issue. It’s predictable to assume that this state of affairs is down to pregnancy and related career breaks – and this certainly is a factor, but by no means the only one. Unconscious bias, not only in recruitment and succession planning but throughout company culture (and throughout some industries) plays a huge part, as do women’s own intrinsic motivations and culturally imposed norms.

From next year, companies with over 250 employees will be required to report on their pay gaps. How ready is your business for this? What trends are already surfacing in your data, and what can you do about them? Forward thinking businesses are reviewing Inclusion & Diversity strategy, evaluating Professional Development processes, and analysing how these could better support a cultural shift to narrow the gender pay gap and improve results. Talk to ted about how our 5 step approach can support your business to drive positive change.

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Gender Discriminatrion Wed, 18 May 2016 13:31:11 +0000
"It is political correctness gone made... you can't even wish someone a Happy Christmas anymore....." http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/58-it-is-political-correctness-gone-made-you-can-t-even-wish-someone-a-happy-christmas-anymore.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/58-it-is-political-correctness-gone-made-you-can-t-even-wish-someone-a-happy-christmas-anymore.html Despite it being only September, the team at ted Learning are already starting to think about our ted Learning Christmas lunch - an event we hold every year to recognise and thank our team for their hard work and commitment to our business. It also tends to be a quieter time for training so means we can all make it. We think of this as an inclusive event, held for all of our team regardless of their faith or religion and take into account the environment to ensure its inclusive to all.

So can we say Christmas or do we risk 'offending' others? Well this is an often quoted myth that time and time again we hear in the training room when we deliver Equality (Inclusion) & Diversity Training – that we cannot celebrate (or even mention) Christmas for fear of offending other religions within the workplace. We hear examples of people using other words like "Winterville" or "Winter Holiday's" instead.

This is completely false. There is nothing in the Equality Act of 2010 that states we should refrain from celebrating Christian Festivities in the UK and we most certainly CAN say Christmas. Indeed by allowing this myth to continue, we are at risk of creating a less tolerant society rather than a more positive one as people believe the PC Police are at work.

Indeed a Government paper due out in the next few weeks argues that British traditions (including the Christian Festival of Christmas) need to be defended to help prevent divisions within communities and workplaces across the UK.

The review led by Dame Louise Casey (the Governments Integration Tsar) stresses that cultural differences need to be dealt with head on rather than ignored by Local Authorities (who often ignore promoting British traditions for fear of being branded racist).

At a meeting of Council Leaders, Casey highlighted a situation where a community centre she had visited referred to their Christmas tree as a ‘festive tree’. The incredibly well meaning (white) Manager, called it this to avoid offending his Asian and Muslim workforce and was concerned that using the word Christmas would do this or that they could be prosecuted.

Casey argues “what offence did this manager think he would be causing?” Her report is expected to emphasise the importance of promoting “Core” British values, traditions and cultures within ethnic communities across the UK.

Rather than focus on the fear of offending others by mentioning (or not) Christmas, let's all get better at recognising other religious festivities throughout the year. Some of our clients have made great progress in doing this already and reaped the benefits of a more inclusive workforce, with a better, clearer understanding of other faiths. This is the solution, not banning Christmas just in case we upset others. I see the genuine surprise and optimism when I let learners know this.

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Inclusion and Diversity Mon, 12 Sep 2016 13:08:25 +0000
"Surely that doesn't happen in our business... I don't believe people are THAT racist anymore...." http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/57-race-and-religion-beliefs.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/57-race-and-religion-beliefs.html It is political correctness gone mad - you can't say anything anymore!
Just some of the things that I often hear, when we deliver Equality & Diversity Training courses to our clients. Delegates observe our actors performing (amongst others) a scene around Race and Religion & Beliefs (which are always based on real case studies and behaviours taking place in the business we are working in) and at the end when we download the content and explore the impact it's had, people look on in disbelief.
  • Are the actors over the top in what they have said?
  • Is it just theatre?
  • Do people in the workplace REALLY say some of the things we portray?

Sadly, the answers are always in order

  • NO
  • NO
  • YES.

I simply will never understand why people feel that because they can express an opinion, that they should - perhaps this is one of the fundamental flaws in social media. Or am I doing this now?!

I have been driven to write this short piece by the London Evening Standard picking up the story of Great British Bake off contestant Rav Bansal receiving racist abuse on Twitter, purely because of his race and/or religion... It is beyond shocking that people have taken valuable time to express abuse towards someone taking part in a cake making show (which I happen to love!). Why should he, and clearly other contestants from past series, be subjected to abuse because of their heritage? And how are those on the receiving end of this abuse supposed to just close their ears to it? I LOVE the fact that a female muslim won before - but actually not because of her sex, or religion but because she came across genuine, made great baking and DESERVED to win!

I often hear people say "all this equality stuff, shouldn't it just be the best person who gets the job?" Ideally - yes. Doesn't the same apply in a baking competition? Is sex, religion, age, faith, gender identity, sexual orientation etc REALLY important? Shouldn't it just be about who baked the best cakes & biscuits. To get angry because of someones success based on their skin colour is a deep rooted problem that can all challenge more in the workplace when we see undercurrents of this behaviour.

I realised within the last few months, an ex-student of mine (who happens to be black) posted on social media that as she walked with her family, a car of people stopped and told them to "go back to where they came from" - totally ignorant, as they happened to LIVE right there and were from there - however this has driven my ex-student to tell us all on social media - Goodbye racist England.

A member of our acting team, who also happens to be black, happened to be a different race to an individual she sadly came across and was told "We voted out, so go home!" She is from Britain and an exceptionally talented actor - how is this linked to Brexit and the vote to the Leave the EU?

Delivering Equality & Diversity training to all employees and getting them to understand the uncomfortable feeling of being on the receiving end of some of these behaviours, really has impact. Just last week, one delegate said to me "Thanks, because I have seen how awful it feels to hear some of the things your actors have said today, and I could see myself in it, I now realise I need to change" If everyone had one of those reflection moments, wouldn't this be the start of a great journey together?

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Inclusion and Diversity Tue, 06 Sep 2016 08:39:28 +0000
Just call me Bob, or preferably Adam http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/66-just-call-me-bob,-or-preferably-adam.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/66-just-call-me-bob,-or-preferably-adam.html BBC News reported that it can be easier to get a job if you have an English-sounding name. In fact, you are 3 times more likely to be invited for an interview than someone with a muslim sounding name for example. Both applicants had an identical CV, yet Adam was invited to 12 interviews and Mohamed to only 4.
I wish I was surprised by this article, but sadly, despite delivering Inclusion and Equality & Diversity training regularly, I am still surprised by the amount of overt and more-often unconscious bias still out there. I had an interesting debate recently with a delegate who said that he agreed with the decision that a muslim woman who applied to be a hairdresser and was turned down because she refused to uncover her hair - his passionate argument was that you need to see the hair of a hairdresser to have faith and confidence in them. When I pointed out that my own hairdresser was completely bald and it didn't stop him from being an extremely talented hairdresser, he was stumped. "Good point", though he looked at my hair on the day and said "whether he is good or not is open to debate!"
I often hear, and have indeed written blogs about it in the past, "it should be the best person who gets the job. End of" and I completely agree, wouldn't society be wonderful if that was truly the only factor. Some of our clients have made huge leaps, removing candidate names, years they worked and attended uni etc so that only a candidate number appears on the application form and managers select delegates for interview based entirely on their ability and talent not what age, sex or faith they are. Of course this doesn't stop discrimination taking place once the candidate arrives for interview and this is often where our unconscious bias comes in; but its a huge step forward and I salute this progress.
I worked with a group recently and some of the delegates dismissed that they had any bias when it came to recruiting, rejecting any need for a certain number of women in management roles or disabled people only being allowed to apply for jobs, saying they always picked the best candidate. However, when we started to break it down, explored what values they had, what they looked for in friendships, how this seeped into their work lives and then started to explore the dynamic of their own teams, they recognised that they DID recruit to type, people they felt comfortable with, people that shared interests, values or indeed in some cases cultural or educational background. And that by doing this, they were potentially missing out on a huge amount of talent. They were creating a very 'safe' environment around them, but was that the best team?
I'm absolutely not suggesting that quotas are the way forward. Although passionate about inclusion and diversity, I do accept that this approach can be counter-productive. However, I do feel all managers need to explore and acknowledge their unconscious bias, the impact this is having on their business and the missed opportunity in terms of candidates. Allowing our judgements on someones background, be it faith, sex (gender), or any of the other 9 protected characterstics to determine if we interview someone has to be challenged and eradicated. There simply aren't enough women in senior management roles and it cannot always be purely because they weren't the best candidate? Disabled people are 4 times more likely to be long-term unemployed because employers feel it can be a "risk" to employ them? Google has made huge progress recognising that candidates with autism make great programmers. I recently watched an incredible video on how Google was trying to breakdown the barriers to employing people with 'hidden' disabilities and utilising their talents within their business. I hope in 5 years time, this type of news article and comment don't exist. Lets see.
ted Learning offers courses on both Inclusion, Equality and Diversity and Unconscious Bias to help and support managers in recruiting the best talent, and creating a positive culture. Get a copy of our guide here http://signup.tedlearning.co.uk and more details on our management course http://tedlearning.co.uk/equality-diversity-managemement.html
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Inclusion and Diversity Mon, 13 Feb 2017 09:22:37 +0000
Marriage and Civil Partnership discrimination http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/46-marriage-and-civil-partnership-discrimination.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/46-marriage-and-civil-partnership-discrimination.html The Equality Act says you must not be discriminated against in employment because you are married or in a civil partnership.

In the Equality Act marriage and civil partnership means someone who is legally married or in a civil partnership. Marriage can either be between a man and a woman, or between partners of the same sex. Civil partnership is between partners of the same sex. People do not have this characteristic if they are:

  • single.
  • living with someone as a couple neither married nor civil partners.
  • engaged to be married but not married.
  • divorced or a person whose civil partnership has been dissolved. 
What is marriage and civil partnership discrimination?
This is when you are treated differently at work because you are married or in a civil partnership.
 
Different types of marriage and civil partnership discrimination
There are three types of marriage and civil partnership discrimination.
  • Direct discrimination
    This happens when you are treated worse than other workers in your workplace because you are married or in a civil partnership. For example, a woman works night shifts in a distribution warehouse but is dismissed when she gets married because her employer thinks a married woman should be at home in the evening.
  • Indirect discrimination
    Indirect discrimination happens when an employer has a policy or way of working that puts people who are married or in a civil partnership at a disadvantage. Such a policy is only permitted if your employer is able to show that there is a good reason for it and if the implementation of the policy is appropriate and necessary. This is known as objective justification.
  • Victimisation
    This is when you are treated badly because you have made a complaint of marriage or civil partnership related discrimination. It can also occur if you are supporting someone who has made a complaint of marriage or civil partnership related discrimination.
Circumstances when being treated differently due to marriage or civil partnership is lawful
The Act only protects you from discrimination at work  because you are married or in a civil partnership. In some specified circumstances an employer can refuse to employ you because you are married or in a civil partnership if the work is for the purposes of an organised  religion, for example as a Catholic priest.

The harassment provisions that relate to other protected characteristics do not apply to marriage or civil partnership but if you are subjected to hostile, intimidating, humiliating, degrading or offensive treatment because you are married or a civil partner you could bring a claim for direct discrimination if you can show that you have been treated worse than others who are not married/in a civil partnership. Alternatively, you may be able to bring a claim for sexual orientation harassment.
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Inclusion and Diversity Sun, 13 Mar 2016 10:44:00 +0000
Why 'gay' gestures are discrimination http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/33-why-gay-gestures-are-discrimination.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/33-why-gay-gestures-are-discrimination.html A gay man has won a landmark discrimination test case, based on homophobic gestures alone, has been awarded £7,500 in a landmark case after shop staff made vile 'vile homophobic hand gestures' towards him in ten-month dispute over a refund.

The customer, who has been named only as Tim, had gone to a Southend on Sea business several times over a period of ten months to resolve a dispute over a refund. Southend County Court heard that locksmith Peter Edwards who worked at Taylor Edwards Ltd blew a ‘sarcastic kiss’ at the disgruntled customer when he walked out. This was apparently followed up with more than 20 ‘homophobic’ gestures over the next few months, ranging from winking to ‘vile and vulgar gesturing’

The court ruled that Tim’s distress had ‘not been minor’ and awarded him compensation at a hearing last month. The case is believed to be the first time a business has been ordered to pay damages for discrimination that was entirely non-verbal. Tim decided to take the firm to civil court, where he was awarded £7,500 in compensation from Taylor Edwards Ltd of Southend, Essex, under the Equality Act 2010 – which prevents anyone supplying goods or services from discriminating against customers on grounds including race, religion, disability and sexual orientation.

The Equality Act 2010

It is against the law to discriminate against anyone because of:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

You're protected from discrimination in these situations:

  • at work
  • in education
  • as a consumer
  • when using public services
  • when buying or renting property
  • as a member or guest of a private club or association
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Inclusion and Diversity Fri, 04 Jul 2014 09:33:00 +0000
10 Qualities That Make a Great Leader http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/70-qualities-that-make-a-great-leader.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/70-qualities-that-make-a-great-leader.html Leadership can be defined the ability to get others to willingly follow you. Every organisation needs leaders at every level. At ted Learning we believe that Leaders are trained not born. Good leaders come in all shapes and sizes and they operate at every but despite differences in backgrounds and professions, there are qualities that all good leaders have in common. Here are ted's top 10 qualities that we believe make a Great Leader:

1 Stay positive, even in the most difficult situations.

Great leaders know that they won’t have a happy and motivated team unless they themselves exhibit a positive attitude. This can be done by remaining positive when things go wrong and by creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere in the workplace.

2 Display an air of confidence.

All great leaders have to exhibit an air of confidence if they’re going to succeed. Please don’t confuse this with self-satisfaction and arrogance.

3 Have a sense of humour.

It’s imperative for any kind of leader to have a sense of humour, particularly when things go wrong. Because they will.

4 Great leaders embrace and manage failures and setbacks.

No matter how hard you try to avoid it, failures will happen; that’s okay. You just need to know how to deal with them.
Great leaders take them in strides. They remain calm and logically think through the situation and utilise their resources.

5 Great leaders don’t communicate to give commands, they listen and give feedback.

This is far more complex than it actually sounds. Good communication skills are essential for a great leader. You may very well understand the cave of crazy that is your brain, but that doesn’t mean that you can adequately take the ideas out of it and explain them to someone else.
The best leaders need to be able to communicate clearly with the people around them. They also need to be able to interpret other people properly and not take what they say personally.

6 Know how and when to delegate.

No matter how much you might want to or try too, you can’t possibly do everything yourself. Even if you could, in a team environment that would be a terrible idea anyway.
Delegation does more than simply alleviate their own stress levels. Delegating to others shows that you have confidence in their abilities, which subsequently results in higher morale in the workplace, as well as loyalty from your staff. They want to feel appreciated and trusted.

7 Great leaders help people around them grow.

Any good leader knows how important it is to develop the skills of those around them. The best can recognise those skills early on. Not only will development make work easier as they improve and grow, it will also foster morale. In addition, they may develop some skills that you don’t possess that will be beneficial to the workplace.

8 Take responsibility and don’t blame team members.

Great leaders know that when it comes to their company, workplace or whatever situation they’re in, they need to take personal responsibility for failure. How can they expect employees to hold themselves accountable if they themselves don’t?
The best leaders don’t make excuses; they take the blame and then work out how to fix the problem as soon as possible. This proves that they’re trustworthy and possess integrity.

9 Make decisions using lessons learned.

It is a sure bet that all great leaders will have to enter unchartered waters at some point during their career. Because of this, they have to be able to trust their intuition and draw on past experiences to guide them.

Commit to doing your best and lead by example.

Great leaders stick to their commitments and promises, and they are the most committed and hard working ones on the job. All great leaders lead by example.
Why should your staff and team members give it their all if you don’t bother to? By proving your own commitment, great leaders will inspire others to do the same, as well as earn their respect and instill a good work ethic.
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Leadership Fri, 16 Jun 2017 10:55:37 +0000
7 New Year's Resolutions For Managers In 2016 From ted Learning http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/37-new-yearresolutions-for-managersin-2016.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/37-new-yearresolutions-for-managersin-2016.html

The start of a new year prompts most people to reflect on what they've accomplished in the year just passed. Whilst personal resolutions are always a hot topic of conversation to help Managers returned to work with a fresh perspective and to set new goals, here are 7 suggested new year resolutions from ted Learning to kick start your thinking.

1. Focus on the Positives

Most employees when surveyed in 2015 said their manager often focused on what they hadn’t done, what hadn’t gone well and where they could improve. Most managers don't tell their team members when they do a good job. Praise when it's deserved is critical, it is a big motivator and drives productivity not only in individuals but also throughout the team. If someone on your team does a good job, make sure you tell them, the worst thing is to remain silent. Try and spend time every week telling your team what they have done well.

2. Try to avoid fault finding or blaming

Be sure to always provide constructive, non-evaluative feedback. Everyone makes mistakes and blaming an individual can really knock their confidence. Be very specific with your feedback and explain what didn’t go well and most important provide advice on how they can improve

.

3. Don't pitch one team member against another

Many managers do this thinking it will enhance performance, but it only ends up creating internal competition, reducing communication and even creates the potential for sabotage or non-co-operation.

Many people already feeling insecure about their jobs in the current economic climate, so you don't need to add competition to the mix as well. Instead focus on building internal relationships and trust within your team

4. Be supportive

As a Manager and team leader the more supportive you are, the better. And remember, the people you line manage might pass you in the hierarchy one day so it can pay to be helpful. Be honest and reasonable. You need to be balanced; ensure that your team is sufficiently supported but also meet their targets.

5. Create and foster a good work / life balance amongst your team

Don't foster a culture of long working hours. Overwhelming evidence shows that consistently working more than around 45 hours a week negatively affects a person’s health and they become far less productive.

Tell people they do not need to be in the office if they're staying too late, and send them home.

6. Provide opportunities that stretch individuals

Team members don't want to do the same thing over and over again as it can be boring and de-motivating. When people are given greater responsibility at work they feel trusted and valued, which helps to empower them and increase their confidence. If you feel that one of your team could take on more responsibility, tell them that you think they are capable and ask if they'd like a new challenge. You could give them ideas of extra tasks that would work for them, or let them come to you with ideas. But make sure you give them the opportunity to let you know if it is too much – you don't want to overstretch them.

7. Do more to create an inclusive workplace

Teams that are diverse in their make-up are able to come up with a wider range of solutions to business problems. Resolve to create an open and understanding working culture where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

Be on guard against racial and gender bias, discrimination, harassment or bullying in the work place.

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Learning Blog Mon, 04 Jan 2016 12:51:23 +0000
Anti-Bullying Week: ted L!VE Debate http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/73-anti-bullying-week-live.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/73-anti-bullying-week-live.html As part of Anti-Bullying Week 13th - 17th November, ted Learning is hosting a Facebook live discussion on the impact of bullying in the workplace. During the live session, we will look at the impact of bullying and harassment on performance and the legal implications for both employees and employers.
ted Actors will act out a scene that explores issues of bullying and discrimination.Bullying and harassment is a major problem within many workplaces, however often it remains a hidden problem and can be accepted or even encouraged by the culture of an organisation.
We will be joined by industry leaders and experts who will explore how to stop bullying and harassment through training, mentoring, performance management and implementing policies that bring about cultural change creating a working environment which is respectful and productive.
Click the Facebook logo for an automatic reminder: ted Live]]> Learning Blog Mon, 13 Nov 2017 18:03:48 +0000 Anti-Bullying Week: All Different, All Equal http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/72-anti-bullying.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/72-anti-bullying.html ted Learning is supporting Anti-Bullying Week which is being held between 13th and 17th November. The theme this year is 'All Different, All Equal'! The campaign is coordinated by the Anti-Bullying Alliance.

Whilst the focus of the campaign is school children, ted Learning is encouraging staff and employers to embrace the campaign to stamp out bullying in the workplace.

It is estimated that workplace bullying costs UK economy £18bn a year and is a source of considerable individual suffering and weakens the performance of organisations.

Join ted Learning next week on social media as we look at both the impact that bullying has on both the victims and their organisations as well as exploring how to bring about people and organisation change to stamp out this behaviour.

]]> Learning Blog Wed, 08 Nov 2017 13:45:00 +0000 How To Give Feedback and Get Results http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/54-how-to-give-feedback-and-get-results.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/54-how-to-give-feedback-and-get-results.html In my last post wrote about the different possible responses to feedback. A lot of the time, giving feedback or constructive criticism is less constructive than we might hope. At worst, it can create resentment and a decline in productivity.
So, how can you make sure you avoid negative or negligible responses to feedback? Here are my five top tips for becoming a Feedback Expert:

1. Be Positive.

Need to avoid the anxiety associated with Feedback? Make sure that you spend more time recognising achievements than offering criticism. When surveyed by the CIPD, only 13% of employees considered regular feedback one of the most important qualities in their boss; and yet ‘makes me feel my work counts’ and ‘recognises when I have done a good job’ – both key features of effective feedback – were considered important by nearly three times as many (36%). This shows that ‘feedback’ is considered a separate entity from the more positive, helpful encouragement that is expected from managers.

It’s high time we changed this perception. Engendering a positive attitude towards feedback boosts productivity and motivation. What’s more, it removes the conflict-inducing defensiveness of an employee who, offered feedback, is prepared for harsh criticism. Teach them to expect positivity, by being positive.

2. Be Clear

The most important thing about feedback is that it is a type of communication. Often, dressing it up as procedure diverts attention away from this crucial objective. What you are trying to do is communicate clearly where a person is succeeding and what they could do to improve their performance even more. The language you use to do this will have a big impact on how your feedback is received.

This comes back to the importance of being assertive. Being assertive is a powerful tool that relies on your personal conduct and choice of words. It involves a type of forcefulness that is different from aggression, and a level of respect that is more effective than over-politeness or submissive behaviour. Even though feedback might not always be as positive as you would wish, your team will appreciate an honest, direct approach, where they don’t have to second guess what you are saying, or feel the need to defend themselves.

3. Be Open

Feedback works best when you are working in an environment of mutual trust and respect. One way to nurture this environment is through communication: make yourself approachable. More importantly, make sure feedback goes both ways. By encouraging feedback form your staff, you will help to normalise the culture of feedback in the workplace, and remove the threatening stigma around constructive criticism.

What’s more, by genuinely paying attention to your colleague’s comments, you might learn something about how best to interact with them. A lot of how you behave at work will come down to the personalities you are working with. The best way to encourage best practice is to pay attention to each individual, and to lead in a way that motivates them.

4. Set Objectives

79% of those surveyed by the CIPD said that feedback was most useful when it contained clear objectives. This doesn’t mean arbitrary goal-setting, to make sure you have a box to tick in the next performance review. Think of it instead as adding real value to your comments.

Whether feedback is positive or negative, it is seldom helpful to merely state the case. The most valuable part of feedback is suggestions as to how an employee can further evolve – regardless of how well they have already performed.

5. Be Constructive

Negative feedback can hinder even the most motivated employees. New research by psychologists at Kansas State University has shown that those who have a real desire to learn and grow are significantly bothered by negative criticisms.

But you can’t be positive all the time; sometimes, you need to highlight issues. The best way to do this is not to dwell on what hasn’t gone well, or invite your colleague to make excuses. Instead, try to start a genuine discussion on what could be done to improve the situation, and what support you as a manager can provide to help make sure they are performing to the best of their ability.

So how do you react when someone pulls you up on your performance, or when it falls to you to mentor another colleague?

Keep an eye out for the final instalment of ted Learnings feedback series later this week. And don’t forget to share your thoughts on this article below - of course, I’d welcome any feedback

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Learning Blog Tue, 02 Aug 2016 10:07:40 +0000
Inspirational Client... http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/53-inspirational-client.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/53-inspirational-client.html We first met Vicki Anderson (L&D Manager) from Steinhoff Retail UK in 2014 at a trade show, exchanged cards, had a conversation and just clicked. We really felt we could add value to their business and loved their fresh and commercial approach to Learning & Development. It's great to meet and work with such an inspirational team who are totally focused on delivering a positive, value adding, learning environment.

Two years later, having supported them with some small projects, and we have just recorded 15 films for them at their amazing new Learning Store based in Bolton. A state of the art learning and development centre, designed for all new employees and Managers to learn the essential skills required to work in Harvey's and Bensons Beds. Featuring a mock shop, mock house, delivery area and excellent learning spaces, this whole environment has been created with the learner in mind. It's brilliant!

Having spent most of my life working in retail, there are very few companies I know that are this forward thinking, investing so heavily in ensuring all new starters, prior to going live on the shop floor, go through their 'Great Start' programme. Everyone will have a consistent induction into the business and learn the art of selling before going live with customers. For Managers, ted Learning is going to be supporting their 'Knowledge' programme - our 15 films all show best practice on how to deliver feedback and coach team members. We worked closely with Jackie Peake, Learning & Development Officer, to really understand what the business needed. In addition, we are providing actors every fortnight on a rolling basis to help Managers on their final day of their programme, practice giving feedback.

Managers will be given a cast study the night before, tasked with preparing for it and then the following day have a chance to practice with our actor (in character). We will then give feedback on how the Manager performed, what worked, and any developmental areas. My business partner, Clare Samuels (Creative Director of ted Learning) wrote the scripts along with the client and played 15 different managers on the day along with our actor Jerry Lindop playing 15 different staff members on the receiving end of the feedback. Scenarios ranged from poor performance, an unrealistic expectation of promotion, regular sickness, return to work interviews and not managing upwards effectively! From recording the scenarios yesterday, we will ensure a quick and cost effective turnaround for the client, delivering the completed product in just two weeks.

Once Managers have completed their scenario, they will then have the chance to watch the best practice video (featuring the same actor they have interacted with on the live session) on the Steinhoff Learning Store.

Jackie Peake "working with ted Learning has been great fun. They really partnered with us and challenged us on the scripts to make sure they were absolutely right" <>All of us at ted Learning are so passionate about adding value to learning, from providing experienced trainers, professionally trained actors (who can be part of a full learning offer or provided seperately to support your own L&D team) to video production as a way of embedding learning and supporting it long-term.]]>
Learning Blog Fri, 22 Jul 2016 08:09:32 +0000
Porn, sex toys, groping and tears... all in a days work? http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/56-porn-sex-toys-groping-and-tears-all-in-a-days-work.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/56-porn-sex-toys-groping-and-tears-all-in-a-days-work.html As I headed to deliver one of our Equality & Diversity sessions yesterday, I, as I always do, checked the news for any recent case studies to reference in the training session. Usually our E&D sessions focus on all 9 of the protected characteristics but this client had asked for a specific focus on sex (gender) to ensure female employees were treated respectfully.

Seeing that 50% of women have experienced some form of sexual harassment at work was a disturbing read, ranging from passing comments, physical (uninvited) contact, sexual discussions, pornographic content and material being left out and in the most extreme cases sex toys.

Discussing it on the session, some of the female employees stated that they had in the past experienced the 'banter' and that at times it has caused them distress - many were concerned at the (often perceived but inevitably real in some cases) impact it would have on their employment if they did make a complaint. Would they be seen as weak, trouble makers, causing problems? Would it impact their career in the business and in the words of one "was it worth the hassle it would cause?" Women said they often have to "be one of the lads" but is this through choice or necessity and for survival? Sadly I think it was the latter.

Comments posted on the BBC news website from women affected by this include: -

'The company did nothing'

'I didn't tell anyone because I was so embarrassed'

'I left in tears and signed off sick'

How in 2016 can it be acceptable to leave a sex toy on a colleagues desk and why should it be considered just banter? What tends to happen is that this behaviour has become common place and therefore perceived to be acceptable. If we don't stop it, it spreads like a cancer to be "that's just part of the culture"

Another client recently told us that he told male staff to take down a (very dated) page 3 calendar as it was likely to cause offence. The argument back "but we have always had it up, and no woman has ever complained" When the manager reminded them no woman had ever worked in that department (!) but that two females were joining the department soon and it wasn't the environment or culture they wanted them to come into. Clearly the perception that this was acceptable was because for years it had gone unchallenged.

<>Today, BBC Radio 2 had a discussion around this subject matter with two females being interviewed about this matter, with differing view points. One of them claimed that this type of stuff doesn't happen anymore to this degree, that women need to stand up for themselves and that no male would touch her uninvited. Vanessa Feltz pointed out that both women were confident, forthright in character and might be better placed to manage this but what about the new junior, young female, being touched by an older, more senior male colleague? Are they really going to be confident enough to say "Don't touch me?"

As Managers in business, we ALL have a responsibility to ensure that no employee, whether because of their gender or indeed sexual orientation or race is subjected to this level of prejudiced or unwarranted harassment in the workplace. I can't pretend for one moment to understand a) how women feel to be (regularly in some cases) on the receiving end of discrimination and b) what it is like to be on the receiving end of sexual harassment but I do know it makes me feel extremely angry, frustrated, disappointed and committed to delivering our engaging programme of Inclusion training that challenges these behaviours and gets ALL employees to consider the impact that their behaviour and comments has on others.

That's why, delivering Values led Inclusion training that enables all employees to understand the impact "office banter" and the more overt comments can have on people, by seeing it performed by our actors and then discussing how it felt, is one way of tacking this potentially 'dry' (learners words, not mine!) subject matter.

When we discuss gender equality on our course, specifically around recruitment and ensuring women have equal opportunity to senior roles, often (and sadly 99.99% of the time these comments are made by men) we get told "It should just be about who the best candidate is not what sex they are"

Wouldn't it be a wonderful world, if only that were the case.....]]>
Learning Blog Fri, 12 Aug 2016 11:28:55 +0000
Productivity or Pokemon? You’re my favourite waste of time…. http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/52-productivity-or-pokemon.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/52-productivity-or-pokemon.html The recent launch of the inexplicably popular ‘Pokemon Go’ has me pondering whether all these people wandering the streets ‘catching’ made up digital characters have actual jobs they should be doing? Is it, combined with our Summer-Is-Finally-Here heatwave providing the perfect excuse for extended lunchbreaks and ahem, 24 hour sickness bugs? And with so much of our work generated through mobile devices and digital mediums, how do we know if our team are actually working, or simply time wasting?

A recent survey from Conference Genie revealed that 80% of 18-24 year olds admitted wasting time at work, with ‘looking at mobile phones’ being the most frequently cited culprit. The research confirms some fairly obvious thoughts – like the fact that we’re all least productive on a Friday and when we’re tired – but there’s some useful nuggets in there too – such as creative industry employees citing the positive effects of music and the relationship for younger employees between their salary and their productivity.

For most of the survey’s respondents, productivity fluctuates throughout the day and the week, so offering flexi-time should be a business no-brainer, but what else can you do to make sure your team are at their most productive? Time management training is great, as long as it’s not a sheep dip approach – not all of us work effectively in the same ways and one man’s to-do-list is another’s unachievable nightmare. Ted Learning’s Being Highly Effective at Work course helps employees and managers make the most of their talent, energy and time by exploring what works best for you as an individual. Visit our website or talk to ted to find out more. Now where did I put that Poke Ball……………

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Learning Blog Wed, 20 Jul 2016 08:46:09 +0000
System message: Your Inbox is full……. Time for a rethink? http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/51-personal-effectivness-email.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/51-personal-effectivness-email.html A recent article on the Harvard Business Review looks at a company which has committed to becoming email free and whose productivity and profits are on an upward trajectory as a result.

Reading the article made me reflect on Life Before Email (which, sadly, I am old enough to remember), and my initial thought was goodness how did we ever get anything done?! Then I realised that without email as a means of contact, we actually all talked to each other. The phone (desk not mobile of course) rang frequently and we didn’t always know who was on the other end, ideas were discussed in person not in forwarded attachments, plans were physically arranged, not accepted into an Outlook calendar. But of course, those discussions did require everyone to be in the right place at the right time, and that ringing phone was often downright distracting, so our now long-established email culture is much more efficient and flexible, right?

Well, yes, kind of. For all its obvious benefits, email is a common time stealer, often making us less effective and easily distracted. Whilst it's great to break up your work day into manageable chunks, and vary activities to keep stimulated, productivity suffers with the 'refocusing' required each time we dip out of a task to answer the latest inbox ping. Follow some of ted's top tips to take control of your inbox:

  • Set 3 fixed points in the work day to check your email and deal with actions that arise as a result. Let people know this is how you're planning your time and use your out of office if necessary. If it's really urgent, they'll call you! Food for thought …. If one of your fixed points is at the end of the work day – do you really need to check emails again first thing the following day?
  • Have a system and keep things in order - delete unnecessaries, archive important but dealt with, create folders to aid storage and searching (topics are more effective than people as folder names).
  • Prioritise important 'live' emails requiring attention using an '@action' folder name as this will always stay top of your folder list.
  • If the email prompts an action or response that will take you less than 5 minutes: do it now: build time for this into your ‘fixed email' slots. Everything else should be prioritised and planned into your day / week etc.
  • Use a messaging system to communicate quickly within your team: make sure everyone signs in daily, syncs it to their calendar and utilises the offline function when they really can't be disturbed.
  • For more great tips to help you and your team work smarter, talk to ted about our ‘Being Highly Effective at Work’ course.]]> Learning Blog Thu, 16 Jun 2016 10:21:53 +0000 The Business Case for Equality & Diversity Training linked to your Values http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/9-the-business-case-for-equality-diversity-training.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/9-the-business-case-for-equality-diversity-training.html "We want to deliver Equality & Diversity Training, so that we can 'Tick the box' and show compliance.." But will this add long-term benefits and really change your culture and importantly your peoples behaviours? I believe the answer is a resounding no unless this type of training is directly linked to your company values.

    More and more, working with our clients we have linked all of the training we do to the values already in place - this helps reinforce them, and ensures the E&D sessions we deliver are much more than tick-box and more about changing behaviours for the long-term. After all, as trainers we are not the 'thought Police' and in 2.5 hours cannot change how people think but we can influence how they behave if they understand the impact their behaviour and comments are having on others. We can do this through observational sessions allowing people to look in on work based conversations and then discuss how this made them feel - we use real case studies aswell to really add to the impact. Suddenly, being on the receiving end of negative conversations and feeling this adds a different dimension.

    Good diversity management is also good business.

    Many organisations have an Equality policy in place, but how do your team deliver this day in and day out? It is after all down to them to be the ambassadors of your policy in order for it to really change the culture and attitudes towards others.

    Most companies and organisations believe that a policy alone is sufficient to cover them but actually evidencing that your teams understand their personal role in delivering this might be required and could lead to significant bad publicity and financial costs if anyone gets it wrong. How does £125,000 sound for getting it wrong?

    Regularly we read in the press and hear on the news about major companies and small business getting things wrong through ignorance, bad planning, poor training or lack of policy and/or understanding.

    In 2010 the UK Government introduced The Equality Act 2010. This act “legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society”

    It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations. It sets out the different ways in which it’s unlawful to treat someone.

    The training of staff is an important signal that an employer is committed to embedding equality and diversity. And this is key - embedding it - thats why e ALWAYS link it to values - usually companies have trust or respect or open or honest - this is what respecting diversity in the workplace is about.

    The benefits of a robust E& D program for the organisation include:
    - Promotion of organisational reputation
    - Supporting recruitment and retention
    - Increasing productivity
    - Mitigation of risk
    The ted E&D course, provides employees with an understanding of what E&D means, and how the Equality Act 2010 impacts them. Featuring the EDWheel and Edopoly. Actors bring to life the 9 protected characteristics through observational role-play.

    I passionately believe that in giving your team a full understanding of the Equality Act you will: -

    • Help them understand their specific role in creating and delivering a positive culture where diversity is respected,
    • Create confidence to challenge unacceptable behaviour (no matter who this is coming from)
    • Greatly reduce the risk to your business – financial, publicity wise, tribunal
    • Embed your values into your business
    • Protect your business from claims
    ]]>
    Learning Blog Fri, 04 Jul 2014 09:33:00 +0000
    The curse of the Accidental Manager and the cure http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/55-the-curse-of-the-accidental-manager-and-the-cure.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/55-the-curse-of-the-accidental-manager-and-the-cure.html In 2014, I remember reading an article in the London Evening Standard, stating that 4 in 5 Managers had no formal management training, and were often promoted into a management position based on their previous skill set in the role below. 'They are a great technician, so let's make them the Technician Manager, they will be ok!'

    Sadly I wasn't shocked by the article or the statistic. However what is disappointing is that two years after this article was written, I still see and hear of many examples where 'accidental managers' are still in place and getting no support, training or guidance.

    Often we work with employees who vent their frustrations that their Managers don't have basic people skills ("they never ever say hello to me" and "don't understand what I do") or with Managers who themselves say they are crying out for support "I just want to get the best out of my team, I just dont know how and no-one has ever trained me" is not an uncommon statement.

    How do we get ourselves into this position though? Would we interview an external candidate for a management role and say "well you have absolutely no management experience, but I can see you know how to do the job of the team you will be managing, can you start next week?!" - I really doubt this would happen - external candidates would have to demonstrate a level of management competence or experience and might be asked questions on how they would approach various staffing situations. Often though, this valuable insight and questioning is missed for internal candidates who get their next run of the ladder based on their on-the-job experience and then are left alone to get on with it. And we all then wonder why they are struggling, getting it wrong, frustrating their team members and often leaving after short periods or in the worse case scenario, staying in that role for years demotivating team members.

    I remember being promoted into my first Management role and taking a lead from my then Manager - 'shout at them, tell them they are crap and they will soon deal with things better, trust me" he said. I followed his lead and did just that - stunned silence, groans and I thought 'job done'. That weekend (I later discovered!) the entire team interacted with each other on the phone to plan a strategy to 'bring me down!' and 'put me in my place'... including a long chat with Personnel (yes, pre HR days!). As a result of the near mutiny, I quickly learnt that in order to be an effective Manager, I needed to understand how to engage and motivate my team and that involved training for me, with a proper structure in place to ensure I became a good Manager with a set of rounded skills.

    Yet, almost 20 years on and the same mistakes are being made with new managers often having so little support in how to manage people. In order to satisfy internal desire for progression we need to be planning not only their next steps but what their management training looks like and ensuring we skill them to interview candidates, (in a fair, legal manner and free of unconscious bias) coach staff, confidently delegate, give feedback, have challenging conversations, conduct a performance management session, and deliver an appraisal or career planning meeting. If all new Managers had this level of support from day one and a great mentor within the business, we would surely reduce the number of accidental managers, improve employee engagement and trust in their manager and ensure a fully supportive learning environment. Only two weeks ago I heard an employee say "why does my Manager need training, they are a Manager, they should just know" and perhaps that sums up our expectation some times of Managers - they should just know? But the reality is none of us do, we need to learn how to be fully rounded. Some people are great managers and just 'get it' others need more support, but a consistent approach to management training, will at least ensure a consistent and fair approach in how people are managed, leading to a more motivated workforce and less performance issues.

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    Learning Blog Tue, 02 Aug 2016 17:10:20 +0000
    Thoughts on Presenting http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/60-thoughts-on-presenting.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/60-thoughts-on-presenting.html Often as managers we’re required to facilitate meetings, present ideas or talk to our team as a group - situations which can be quite daunting and require us to demonstrate good communication skills.
    The key to coping with these situations successfully is confidence – not just in the content of what you’re saying but also in your ability to say it! One tip is to shut down that negative voice in your head and replace it with someone much more motivational (asking yourself endlessly “Oh my god what if I forget what to say ....” is a sure fire way to make it happen) – so have a word with yourself and make it a positive one! Think thoughts to fire yourself up not shoot yourself down – repeating phrases like “this will be great” or “I’m really excited to tell everyone about this” are confidence building. Choose one that works for you and find a quiet place to concentrate on your breathing and repeat your positive mantra – my personal favourite is a 2-minute silent repetition of ‘everything is going to be awesome’ whilst channelling my inner Wonder Woman (google ‘Power Pose’ to find out more about confidence building postures and their positive effects). In time, gathering your thoughts and adopting an
    optimistic outlook will become a supportive routine for potentially stressful situations, giving you focus, clarity and confidence.
    Want to improve your ability to communicate? Why not talk to ted about our Presentation Skills courses where you’ll get individual feedback on how you can polish your presenting. ]]>
    Learning Blog Mon, 30 Jan 2017 14:33:19 +0000
    Want to work more effectively? http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/62-want-to-work-more-effectively.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/62-want-to-work-more-effectively.html Want to work more effectively? All the time saving tips in the world won’t work if you’re not thinking holistically, & that means focusing on the body not just on the mind. Here’s 4 simple ways you can make sure you’re not sabotaging the best laid plans for maximum performance:
    1) Step away from the sugar. And the caffeine too for that matter. We know that when you’re tired, a strong coffee seems an obvious choice, and reaching for a chocolate bar mid-afternoon might seem like a good idea to perk you up, but it’s a false economy. Caffeine and refined sugar create short term rushes of energy that aren’t sustained, resulting in a crash a few hours later and a slump that has you reaching for the same crutch again, creating a vicious cycle that messes with your blood sugar levels and muddles your brain. Staying well hydrated (think water, herbal, fruit or green teas, or coconut water) is the key to staying alert, and healthy snacks such as fruit, rice cakes with a dip or a handful of nuts & seeds will give you the energy to stay focused.
    2) Get the right amount of sleep. Not too little, not too much. 8 hours is the recommended amount and it’s best to establish a regular routine, going to bed and getting up at a similar time each day. Don’t lay in bed browsing social media, and switch your devices onto red light a few hours before bed so that even if you can’t tear yourself away, the blue light isn’t tricking your brain into thinking it’s daytime. In the mornings, although it’s tempting, don’t set the snooze alarm - you’re just delaying the inevitable and encouraging your body to wake up more slowly, which means you’re fuzzy-headed for longer. Try drinking a warm glass of water with a slice of lemon when you get up, before eating breakfast or doing any exercise: it’ll wake your body up and is great for flushing out toxins.
    3) Eat lunch away from your desk. It’s called a lunch break for a reason! Don’t just sit at your desk hunched over a sandwich: if for no other reason than the crumbs will play havoc with your keyboard! Ideally, get outside - take a walk around, breathe non-office air and look at the sky – even if it’s wet and cold, time outdoors will make you much more productive when you do return to your desk. If the weather’s just too awful, make sure you go and sit somewhere else for lunch, read a book, check the news or just watch cute cat videos: do whatever you want, but don’t do work. Working from home? – no excuse: eat lunch in a different room and switch your brain onto something else for at least half an hour.
    4) Move more: You’re in the zone and working to a tight deadline... before you know it several hours have passed and you haven’t moved. Not only is this horrendous for your posture it’s also pretty horrendous for your concentration. Get up. Go for a walk. Stretch. Make a drink. Do a dance if you want to: just move! It gets your blood pumping, sending oxygen to all your muscles including the brain, so you’ll be more productive when you return to your work. ]]> Learning Blog Mon, 30 Jan 2017 19:08:54 +0000 What is LGBTQQIAAP? http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/34-we-know-what-lgbt-is.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/34-we-know-what-lgbt-is.html We know what LGBT stands for! Of course four letters are not enough to account for all of the variations in human sexuality and gender and not suprisingly there are many other terms people now identity with, giving us the acronym LGBTQQIAAP or LGBTTIQQ2SA

    LGBT+ is an "inclusive" way to represent all the different identities in the longer acronym but here's a breakdown of what each of the letters in LGBTQQIAAP mean.

    L - lesbian: a woman who is attracted to other women

    G - gay: a man who is attracted to other men or broadly people who identify as homosexual

    B - bisexual: a person who is attracted to both men and women

    T - transgender: a person whose gender identity is different from the sex the doctor put down on their birth certificate

    Q - queer: originally used as a hate term, some people want to reclaim the word, while others find it offensive. It can be a political statement, suggest that someone doesn't want to identify with "binaries" (e.g. male v female, homosexual v straight) or that they don't want to label themselves only by their sexual activity

    Q - questioning: a person who is still exploring their sexuality or gender identity

    I - intersex: a person whose body is not definitively male or female. This may be because they have chromosomes which are not XX or XY or because their genitals or reproductive organs are not considered "standard"

    A - allies: a person who identifies as straight but supports people in the LGBTQQIAAP community

    A - asexual: a person who is not attracted in a sexual way to people of any gender

    P - pansexual: a person whose sexual attraction is not based on gender and may themselves be fluid when it comes to gender or sexual identity

    Plus we have 2S by adding respect for a non-European category:

    2S: Two Spirit. The traditional gender variation in First People communities who often served as the community’s visionaries and healers.

    ]]>
    Learning Blog Fri, 04 Jul 2014 09:33:00 +0000
    Why is curating a personal brand so important in the world of work? http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/68-building-a-personal-brand.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/68-building-a-personal-brand.html When I speak to the headhunting firms who hire Chief Executives I always hear that they’re looking for candidates who are seen as an authority and leader in their industry, not just from their CV and track record, but from their online personal brand. Not all of us want to become Chief Executives but much of what is the norm at this level trickles down to become day to day hiring practice.
    So why has your online personal brand become so important that it even eclipses your CV when you are looking for a job or to be promoted internally?
    • - On average people are moving jobs a lot more frequently than they used to, with Generation Y predicted to have worked in 4 jobs by the age of 32. If you move jobs fairly often then how you brand and market yourself online becomes more important as it is how potential employers will view you, as well as hiring managers in other parts of your organisation if you are looking to be promoted. -Much of the research suggests that your online presence is likely to replace your CV within 10 years. With the advent of predictive software, which employers will use to search for candidates who meet their hiring requirements by assessing their online profiles, you will be targeted for future jobs based on what is available to view.
    • - Your online presence is fast becoming like a business card so, even if you’re not looking for a new job, in every work relationship your online brand is how you will be viewed by suppliers, partners, competitors and colleagues. So, if it is the case that your online brand is really important how could you curate it to present yourself in the most effective way? Instead of letting other people’s posts and tags become your online identity why not start planning how you want portray yourself?
    • - Social media and networking is often how you will be found online by a new employer or business contact. By tailoring what information is available you can turn social media into a positive. That means having a professional LinkedIn profile which acts as a business card for you, including a summary about yourself, what you are responsible for and have achieved in your job roles. Conduct regular online “audits” on yourself, taking care with privacy settings on social media, removing other people’s tags which may portray you in a poor light and deleting less professional content which you posted when you were at college or school.
    • - Establish yourself as an authority online by starting a blog, moderating a forum or being active in a LinkedIn industry group. Video is a really important medium now, so if you can post vlogs, live video or do regular podcasts then they will all boost your profile.
    • - Get out of the office to industry events, conferences or supplier presentations, either as a delegate or, if you have been responsible for a project or a key product launch, then ask for the opportunity to speak about it as this will give you online leverage with positive stories and material about you.
    • - And finally, a third of people don't get offered jobs because of what they post online. When I train people on personal branding many of them find surprise postings or tags and aren’t happy when they search themselves, so make sure that isn’t you.
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    Learning Blog Sat, 04 Mar 2017 12:53:14 +0000
    Will new petition bring sexist uniform guidelines to heel? http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/41-will-new-petition-bring-sexist-uniform-guidelines-to-heel.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/41-will-new-petition-bring-sexist-uniform-guidelines-to-heel.html A corporate receptionist working in the City of London has launched a petition asking for it to be made illegal for a company to require women to wear high heels for work.

    Many of us reading Nicola Thorp’s news story of how she was sent home without pay after refusing to wear heels for work will comment that her employers are in breach of Equality Law already. Surely their actions are a clear example of Sex (gender) discrimination? – After all, how many male employees have been treated the same way we wonder?

    Surprisingly, her employer’s actions are not illegal. Company uniform and dress guidelines are commonplace in service industries and customer facing roles, and it’s perfectly legal for a company to have different uniform guidelines for female and male employees, as long as they have a comparable ‘level of smartness’. If the employee has read and signed these guidelines on joining the company, it forms part of the employment contract and therefore disciplinary action can be taken if the guidelines are not adhered to.

    Thorp’s petition urges a law change which makes wearing heels at work a personal choice, not something an employer can dictate. In a matter of days it has already reached well over the 10,000 signatures needed to require an official response from government. If it gains over 100,000 it will be debated in parliament.

    Could this be the first step (apologies for the pun) in appearance becoming a protected characteristic under Equality Law?

    You will find the petition here: Make it illegal for a company to require women to wear high heels at work]]>
    Learning Blog Thu, 12 May 2016 10:40:34 +0000
    Barriers To Delegation http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/63-barriers-to-delegation.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/63-barriers-to-delegation.html This week at the ted Learning office we’ve been thinking about barriers to delegation, and we decided that one of the most common is lack of time: it’s true to say that often it will be quicker to do it yourself! But in taking this approach, you’re missing a valuable opportunity to use delegation as a developmental tool to increase your team member’s motivation at work and aid succession planning. Whilst it’s important to lead from the front and set an example to your team, to be a successful manager, you need to remember that your job is to ‘manage’ – not to ‘do’. That means not being the person who does everything, but being the person who makes sure that everything gets done, and the key to this is effective delegation.
    There will always be standard, commonplace tasks which need to be delegated out amongst the team, but it’s important to remember that you can delegate higher level tasks which carry greater responsibility too. This probably means you’ll need to put some training or coaching in place to support the individual in completing the project, check in points along the way and some feedback and follow up at the end. It’s important to plan this time in to make sure they feel fully supported – so it may take longer in the short term than if you had just focused on completing it yourself. Long term however, the pay-off is much bigger: the individual will have learned a new skill and taken on greater responsibility; they feel trusted, involved and motivated to do good work; your follow up and constructive feedback enables them to improve further, and the next time a similar task needs completing you can delegate it to them straight away.
    This in turn means that your time is freed up to concentrate on other projects – potentially meaning your manager may delegate some higher level responsibility work to you, facilitating your own development.
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    Performance Management Mon, 30 Jan 2017 21:30:23 +0000
    The Effective Manager http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/59-the-effective-manager.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/59-the-effective-manager.html This week in the ted Learning office we’ve been thinking about the essential and desirable qualities to be an effective manager, and it’s interesting to think about how we recognise these, even when we may not be that adept at displaying them ourselves yet. Throughout our education and our working life, we encounter role models and figures of authority in lots of different situations which shape our views and opinions on how a good manager should behave. Think back to that teacher at school whose lessons you always liked more than the others – chances are they were great at making the work fun, and bothering to figure out what inspired you about the subject so they could tap into your motivation. How about that first boss in your Saturday job when you were 16 and new to the world of work? Whether they were supportive or scary, they probably taught you a lot about the basics of being in charge of a business and team whether you realised it at the time or not!
    Sometimes the best examples of how to be a great manager are experienced when we’re on the receiving end of a not-so-great one ourselves: Working for a manager early on in my career who spent our busiest times out shopping taught me an invaluable lesson about leading from the front; Dealing with the fall out from an aggressive bully of a senior manager showed me clearly that managing through fear is never an appropriate approach; And reporting to an ineffective line manager who offered no direction or support but repeatedly told me to ‘do my best’ helped me understand the importance of gaining the respect of my team. What lessons have you learnt along the way? And how have they shaped you into the manager you are today?
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    Performance Management Mon, 30 Jan 2017 11:59:26 +0000
    What’s my motivation? http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/65-what-is-my-motivation.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/65-what-is-my-motivation.html When a performer asks ‘What’s my motivation?’ of their director, it’s usually a request for guidance, context, clarity on the role they are playing, and unless you’re an actor, it’s unlikely to be a question you’re used to asking your boss, let alone asking yourself. But what if you did? What would you really be asking? Chances are it would roughly translate to ‘Why am I doing this?’
    Let’s think about some answers to that question ........ “Because I was told to” / “Because it’s my job” / “Because it needs to get done” are probably our most common responses. All of which indicate a low level of motivational purpose, and a definite lack of any substantial buy-in. In order to feel motivated at work, what the majority of us need is a clear understanding of how our role – and the responsibilities and tasks it carries – fits into the bigger picture, and in turn how this impacts us. It’s all about finding the WIIFM (What’s in it for me?) in everyday tasks, understanding how each of our parts forms a whole, creating a sense of belonging and inspiring a sense of purpose and motivation.
    This links back to delegation, because different things matter to different people: for me it’s all about the satisfaction I take in ensuring things are correctly completed, so if I’m asked to action work that specifically requires an attention to detail, I feel motivated. For others it might be the achievement of always hitting a deadline, improving something to make it work better, sharing knowledge to support others, or coming up with a creative solution to a tricky problem. When we understand what matters to us as individuals, we can begin to apply this to our work. Getting to know your team, finding out what makes them tick and taking notice of what fires their enthusiasm will help you to position tasks and responsibilities in a way which that keeps them motivated, engaged and happy in their work.
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    Performance Management Tue, 31 Jan 2017 10:54:14 +0000
    Giving Recruitment Candidates Feedback http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/61-giving-recruitment-candidates-feedback.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/61-giving-recruitment-candidates-feedback.html Whilst not every candidate will be the best person for the job, they have all taken an interest in the business and the time to apply, so the least they deserve is your attention and a pleasant experience. This will also reinforce your business as an employer of choice, in turn increasing the likelihood of sustained talent attraction (remember we are much more likely to tell our friends, family and anyone who’ll listen when we have a bad experience: this ‘negative social press’ could influence other potential candidates not to apply for future roles).
    We’ve gathered some of the worst interview experiences we’ve heard over the years - in the spirit of learning what not to do, here’s ted’s guide on how not to interview...... The environment: We know how important it is for interviews to take place in an uninterrupted, private place so candidates can talk openly. Imagine how one poor applicant felt when her interview for a sales position took place on a bench on Oxford Street (the manager’s office was occupied apparently!)
    Putting the applicant at ease: Interviews are always nerve wracking, so it’s our job to try to help candidates relax and reduce their nerves – small talk at the start does this effectively, taking their mind off the impending interview. Unlike one applicant’s experience when his prospective boss remarked as he walked in the door “Gosh you look terrible, like you’re about to be sick!” Asking the right questions: The core purpose of any job interview is to ask questions that will allow each applicant to highlight their knowledge, experience and suitability for the role. Some managers will always feel the need to ask the odd ‘killer question’ though – designed to destabilise the candidate and see how they react under pressure. It’s a recognised technique, but not a particularly nice one! Killer questions can vary from the fairly standard “tell me something about yourself that’s not on your CV” to the faintly mind-boggling “how many tennis balls could you fit inside an aeroplane?” ....... just make sure if you’re going down the killer route, that your motives are related to the job you’re hiring for, not just to make your delegates squirm.
    Leave a lasting impression: The end of the interview should give the applicant the chance to ask questions, and re-assure them about any next stages: everyone wants to know when they’ll know if they’ve got the job. Give your candidates a realistic indication of how and when they’ll hear and don’t wait for them to ask – our hearts go out to one candidate who was told “well if you’ve got to ask, then clearly you haven’t realised that you’ve not been successful” OUCH!
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    Recruitment Skills Mon, 30 Jan 2017 17:23:00 +0000
    How will you be hired in the future? http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/67-how-will-you-be-hired-in-the-future.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/67-how-will-you-be-hired-in-the-future.html As we all know the world of world has changed hugely over the last few years, with the impact of globalisation and technology changing how we communicate, our ability to work flexibly or as a freelancer, and the movement of people for work. So, what future changes should we be looking out for in the world of work and recruitment?
    Video interviewing: companies are starting to use specialised software to interview people based more remotely in the UK or internationally without the need to travel. I’m also seeing it frequently used for customer service based jobs in retail or call centres where how you communicate and present yourself is key. If companies get a high number of applications for these roles they’ll often ask candidates to record video interviews to help with the selection process so that they have a more manageable shortlist of applicants to meet face to face. The negative side can be that candidates lose the personal touch they would get from face to face contact but I think that, if companies avoid it for harder to hire roles and make sure they engage applicants by explaining why they are using it for other positions, then it can be a positive experience for everyone.
    Customer relationship management: an interesting trend within recruitment is that many large businesses are starting to use similar customer relationship management (CRM) systems to the ones they use to market and interact with consumers. I think that this led from some careers site application systems being clunky, with a lot of different pages to navigate, so that they acted as a barrier to candidate communication and relationships. With a lack of skilled talent in many roles companies are having to think seriously about engaging candidates more effectively or losing them to competitors, as well as how to create talent communities for future hiring needs. CRM systems do this job far more effectively than traditional recruitment software.
    Apprenticeships: from April larger businesses will need to pay an Apprenticeship Levy to the government, in return getting funding for their apprenticeship schemes. Interestingly I’m finding that statistically (Association of Graduate Recruiters figures) the number of graduates hired by employers is likely to go down, alongside more apprentices being taken on. With the debt that many graduates incur from university, along with the challenge of finding a well-paid job when they graduate, it will be interesting to see whether some talented A level students decide to join companies at 18 instead on an apprenticeship.
    Fairer hiring: you may have read about how some public sector and financial services employers are recruiting “CV blind” where they don’t see the name, university or qualifications of candidates applying. They ask applicants to take online critical and situational reasoning questions as part of their application and make a decision about interviewing them from their answers, rather than a CV. This avoids bias and discrimination when hiring but companies are also realising that if they fish outside what may have been their usual pool of private school/top 20 universities then they are more likely to have diversity of background, culture, thinking and approach to work which will benefit them as a business working in a global economy.
    Reality or something from Doctor Who: last but not least, what I’ve also seen but don’t think will happen immediately, is the use of virtual reality in hiring. Instead of an applicant turning up for a face to face assessment day, they would use virtual reality goggles to work remotely on an assessment, perhaps looking round a “room” to solve puzzles and get information to use for decision making. Predictive software is also an area which is likely to expand in recruitment, with data analytics being used to look at someone’s online personality and skills and then highlighting them as suitable to employers, without them needing to even apply for a job. If you want some fun while you are at work today then download the Crystal app, which bills itself as giving “you personality insights for everyone in your network, helping you understand differences, adapt style, and communicate with empathy” and is one of the new breed of this type of predictive software.
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    Recruitment Skills Fri, 03 Mar 2017 14:13:56 +0000
    Interview Skills: Why bother to give unsuccessful applicants feedback? http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/47-why-bother-to-give-unsuccessful-applicants-feedback.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/47-why-bother-to-give-unsuccessful-applicants-feedback.html In a recent survey from the City & Guilds Group in conjunction with Business in the Community (BITC), 30% of young female applicants, and 18% of young male applicants said they didn’t get feedback after a job interview. Perhaps there’s no surprise here – after all busy managers and recruiters will always prioritise filling the next vacancy over giving advice to unsuccessful applicants – a ‘nice-to-do’ task that remains consistently at the bottom of our to-do lists.

    But what if it wasn’t just a nice-to-do? What if taking the time to respond and feedback to those unsuccessfuls was actually a key tool to pipe-line new talent?
    We all know that positive candidate experience is an important factor in positioning your business as destination employer, so why undermine this by ignoring candidates the moment they leave? - The same survey identified that at least a fifth of young women having a bad recruitment experience would be put off a company entirely, so factor in the social-media-bad-word-of-mouth element and you hardly have a winning formula for attracting new talent.

    If, on the other hand, giving constructive guidance and feedback to all unsuccessful interviewees is a standard part of your recruitment process, imagine the respect you’ll quickly gain from candidates, and the positive impact this will have on brand reputation, reinforcing applicants’ perception of yours as a progressive, modern employer that values staff development. At ted Learning we offer fun, engaging interview skills courses which really deliver results. Talk to ted today to find out how we can help you improve your recruitment processes and boost your business

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    Recruitment Skills Wed, 18 May 2016 08:56:05 +0000
    Who cares what University you went to anyway? http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/44-who-cares-what-university-you-went-to-anyway.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/44-who-cares-what-university-you-went-to-anyway.html We know that when recruiting, a candidates’ age shouldn’t be something we’re taking into account, as it’s been illegal to age discriminate for the last decade. Some companies have also increased anonymity by removing candidate names from applications, to prevent potential racial and sex (gender) discrimination and to promote an unbiased recruitment process.

    Now, some big companies such as Deloitte UK and the BBC are taking this one step further as part of their diversity strategies’ by also removing University details, asking for grades, but not place of study.

    Whilst scholastic discrimination is not protected under Equality Law, educational snobbery has unfortunately become more commonplace. This potential unconscious bias has been compounded by the increasing visibility of university league tables and the ever more competitive graduate job market.

    A move further towards what is termed as ‘blind’ recruitment is being embraced as a method of increasing the diversity of the workforce and attracting more talent. By reducing the amount of irrelevant information on job applications, recruiters can focus on which applicant’s skills, knowledge and experience make them the best candidate for the job.

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    Recruitment Skills Thu, 12 May 2016 22:21:25 +0000
    Giving Feed Back http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/64-giving-feed-back.html http://www.tedlearning.co.uk/about/ted-learning-development-blog/item/64-giving-feed-back.html A few years ago I was working on a joint project with a colleague in a similar role to me within our wider team – we’d allocated out the work we would each complete, and as we were based in different parts of the country we liaised mainly over email. Part way through I sent her some elements of the project that I’d worked on. It was a direct email as I was in a rush to get to a meeting but needed to get her the information. When I returned to my desk a few hours later she’d sent me a message saying simply “thanks for the info – can I call you tomorrow to give you some feedback?”.... I was immediately worried, thinking that I’d offended her with my direct email (she’s a people person, who loves to build rapport and chat), or that I’d stepped on her toes with the work, or perhaps what I’d produced wasn’t up to her standards? Whichever it was, I was sure that it was going to be an awkward conversation and that I’d damaged our working relationship somehow.
    The next day came and the phone call wasn’t at all as I’d feared. Her feedback was really positive and we ended up bouncing ideas off each other and improving our original plans. I hadn’t offended her at all, and when I told her about my concerns she laughed and said I needed to stop assuming that feedback would be negative. This really gave me pause for thought. Why did I automatically assume the worst? Why do we think ‘feedback’ is always going to be bad? I’m generally an optimistic person, so why the glass half empty approach? I later read an article that resonated with me, which talked about the concept of feedback being a gift. I realised that my pessimistic assumption about feedback was coming from a lack of self confidence in my ability – a belief that was unfounded, and meant I was taking a very unhelpful approach to other’s opinions on my work. The lightbulb moment was realising that even if feedback was negative, it was actually a really good thing – because it showed me how I could improve – information I would not have had at my disposal had the feedback not been given.
    These days I actively ask for feedback whenever I get the opportunity. It always gives me food for thought and a new perspective on my work, and as such supports continuous improvement. As you develop your team, encourage the positive receiving of feedback by following these 3 simple rules:
    1) Make sure any negative feedback is constructive: that means making sure there are supportive suggestions on how to improve, not just a statement of things not being good enough.
    2) Make sure positive feedback is also given frequently so that individuals can recognise their strengths, not just their areas for development: that means not just saying well done, but letting people know what was particularly good about their work.
    3) Pass it on: if you receive positive feedback from another team / manager / customer about your team’s work: don’t keep it to yourself! Let the team know about it, and make sure you position it as feedback not just a thankyou: this will help to reinforce the idea that feedback is not something to be scared of, but instead helps everyone be the best that they can be.
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    Team Building Mon, 30 Jan 2017 23:56:23 +0000