Connect with us

Business

3 WAYS TO MAINTAIN YOUR POSITIVE COMPANY CULTURE WHEN YOUR STAFF ARE WORKING REMOTELY

Published

on

Here, Paul Rowlett from the corporate gift specialists EverythingBranded offers his top tips for maintaining your positive company culture, even when your staff are working from home.

 

Although the ongoing coronavirus pandemic might have forced your hand when it comes to letting your staff work remotely, you might be thinking about making this more of a long-term arrangement. Perhaps your company has been hit quite hard financially and you’re looking for ways to reduce your overheads, or you might have personally enjoyed working remotely over the last few months.

It’s likely your employees will appreciate more remote working going forward, too. In fact, research by Michael Page has found that 66% of professionals working in banking and financial services would like flexible working hours, and 53% also listed work from home options in their top three desired benefits. Regardless of whether your staff are in the office or working remotely, though, you’ll still want to hold onto your positive company culture. And, here, I’m going to offer my top three tips that should help with that.

 

Check in with everyone regularly

When you’re trying to achieve or nurture a positive company culture, making your workers feel appreciated and valuable should be your number one priority. A lot of business owners make the mistake of assuming that paying their staff’s wages is all the thanks they need, but you need to remember that your workers could probably find a similar job elsewhere quite easily. It’s the company culture and people that they’ll stay for, so you need to try your best to give them the attention they need, even if they aren’t physically in the office with you.

One of the easiest but most effective ways to make sure your employees feel valued is by checking in with them individually on a regular basis. Give everyone some space in your diary, so you can catch up with them, give them some feedback, and ask if they have any concerns regarding their jobs. This will also give you a chance to ensure you’re catering to everyone’s needs. For example, you might find that a number of your staff members would benefit from their working hours being tweaked, or they might need a particular program or piece of equipment to help them with their job. There are lots of little things your employees might just struggle along with if they aren’t given some one-one-one time with you, so checking in with them will ensure you get the whole picture of how they’re finding their job, and you might find there are some ways in which you can help them out.

 

Reward their hard work

It’s also important that you reward your staff for their hard work, as this will help to make them feel valued, as well as motived. Obviously, working in the financial sector is particularly difficult at the moment, as so many businesses and markets have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. So, it’s worth reaching out to let your employees know that you appreciate things are quite tough right now, and that you’re proud of how they’re handling things. And, if they hit particular targets, or you have a very impressive month, make sure they know that you’ve noticed!

Practical corporate gifts are ideal for showing your gratitude and, if you choose to have them printed with your logo or company name, they’ll also remind your staff of how much your business values them. Choose your presents wisely, though, because you don’t want to send your staff items that will just be left on their desk or forgotten. Think about what they could actually use. Most people working in financial services will often require stationery, a tablet that might need a cover, and possibly even some headphones, so there would make great work presents. A reusable water bottle or coffee cup could also work very well.

 

Host remote socials

Due to the UK being on lockdown for the last few months, we’ve all had to get a lot more creative when it comes to how we socialise. This means video chats and online pub quizzes have become increasingly popular. So, even if your whole team are working remotely, don’t think that this means you can’t still hold staff socials. These might just have to take place online from now on — especially while social distancing measures are still in place, and if your employees are spread quite far and wide.

If you’re planning to let your staff work remotely for the foreseeable future, consider scheduling a work social every quarter. This will give everyone something to look forward to, and will also help to keep relationships strong among your team. You’ll know that everyone works a lot harder when they’re working with a team they love to achieve a common goal, so it’s still important that your staff have fun together, even though they might not see each other too often. And making it a priority to invite everyone along to remote social events is sure to make all the difference.

If your company and staff have benefitted from working remotely throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, you might be thinking about allowing everyone to continuing working from home. You’ll still want to maintain the positive company culture you’ve fostered, though, and these tips should help you do just that.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

TOP TIPS FOR BOOSTING YOUR CASH FLOW AND BUSINESS IN 2021

Published

on

By

Ian Gass, CEO at Agitate

 

Many small businesses are still dealing with the disruption caused by the pandemic. Improving financial performance is most likely to be at the top of agenda, and a good place to start is reviewing cash flow. No matter what the product or services a company provides or the size of the business, cash flow still remains king.

Research has shown that 38% of small business owners who have suffered cash flow problems have been left unable to pay debts. With 1 in 7 small business owners having been left unable to pay employees because of cash flow issues, this equates to a huge 2.2 million people in the UK not being paid on time.

 

The importance of positive cash flow

Profit has traditionally been seen as the most important measure of an organisation’s financial performance. However, the focus is increasingly shifting from the income statement to the balance of cash inflows and outflows. Prioritising profit levels reflect long term fiscal health, but it does not necessarily mean that a business can pay its bills on time and survive in the short term.

Ian Gass

Sudden drops in demand prove how keeping an efficient cash flow balance is essential, and can expose shortcomings of currently used solutions. When reviewing your cash flow, you need to look at ways to get more money coming in and better manage the money that is going out. Here are a few ways to improve cash flow management and see positive changes in a short period of time.

 

  1. Efficient forecast

It is important to be able to compare actual income and expenses with those that are in the pipeline, as it helps to determine which area of business is under performing or generating unnecessary costs. Start by looking at your projected income and expenses for the next three months, don’t wait until you receive a bill to realise there are not enough funds to cover it. An easy way to overcome this issue is a free cash flow template available online.

 

  1. Terms and Conditions review

Making sure that T&Cs are clear and comprehensive not only provides your business with a protective layer, but also makes customers understand when and how the payment is expected, and the process and penalties for late payments. That’s why regular checks and reviews of existing agreements prevents businesses from potential loses. It is also good to use reward tactics to encourage customers for prompt or early payment such as discounts or free shipping.

 

  1. Payment terms

Payment terms that are understandable and realistic is clear T&Cs in place. As it creates a contract with suppliers and obliges the organisation to pay on time, it is important to match these terms wider operation processes. For instance, if you have 14 days to pay your suppliers, but your customers get 30 days to pay you, a problem of late payments will be inevitable. To avoid damaging relationships with suppliers, you should consider an extension of the terms or reducing the credit period for your clients. It is worth taking deposits, asking for payment in advance or on receipt.

 

  1. Invoice management

Another method that can quicky improve cash flow is sending invoices promptly and ensuring they are accurate. Any mistakes will simply require queries to be resolved and it will take longer to receive payment. In addition, it is important to remain persistent at following up late payments and moving the money to the bank as soon as possible. Some clients will always need chasing and, without a follow up, they will hold on to the cash as long as possible.

 

  1. Payment options

Making it easy for clients to pay gives businesses the best chances of being paid quicker. While accepting card payments might be common place, there is a high risk of fraud. For example, in 2019 £620.6m was lost in card fraud in the UK. Also, it can be expensive to process and often leaves an organisation to wait days to receive the funds. Using a free bank-to-bank payment app means businesses can send payment requests from mobile phone straight to customers via email or messaging app (such as WhatsApp).

In that case, the consumer will receive a message with all the information they need to make the payment instantly. They click the secure ‘Paylink’, which directs them to their online banking app and all the relevant information is displayed such as your name, the amount to be paid and a reference. The transaction needs then authorising with their bank and the money moves instantly from their account to yours.

 

  1. Cost reduction

If there is too much money going out that a company can’t afford, business owners need to think of ways to reduce those expenses. There are a few questions to help understand where money can easily be dislocated:

Is there software or equipment that you are paying for that you don’t use? Can overhead costs such as utilities and administrative expenses be reduced? Are card transaction fees putting an unnecessary pressure on cash balance? If so, it can be eliminated with a bank-to-bank payment app.

Although profit might be seen as the ultimate goal for companies of all shapes and sizes, sustaining positive cash flow provides vital foundations on which a company can grow. By using the right tools, business owners can not only get paid faster and more securely, but also improve customer experience, reducing the transaction to a quick QR scan. Making a few smart changes to the existing balance sheet can have a big impact and future-proof an organisation in no time.

 

Continue Reading

Business

BRIDGING THE DIGITAL EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE GAP

Published

on

By

Matthew Sturman, senior technical consultant, AppLearn

 

While the financial sector was arguably some way along the digital transformation curve before the pandemic, embracing innovative solutions to enhance customer experience and security, the last 12 months have required a step change like no other for employees.

Overnight, teams were operating remotely, using an array of new business applications from communications tools to support systems. Business critical processes which may have been stagnant for some time due to a risk adverse culture, quickly evolved with a need for greater agility.

In a post-pandemic world, it’s crucial that financial leaders don’t become complacent about the employee experience; KMPG put employees at the top of their list for financial institutions six considerations in dealing with the impact of COVID-19. Organisations have rapidly undergone transformation to facilitate home working while maintaining operations, however the proliferation of technology has also highlighted a critical digital employee experience gap. Addressing this will be key to embedding digital strategies which enable and support employees in the long-term.

 

Matthew Sturman

The overwhelmed employee

Even before the pandemic, research from Okta detailed how the number of worker applications deployed by organisations had increased by 68% over the past four years.

You only need to look at how employees access IT support to realise just how complex this picture has got for employees. Every technology application – from risk and complicance to payroll software– has a different route to access support, with employees having to navigate chatbots, online knowledge bases, resource hubs or the helpdesk. The result? Context-switching. Time spent flitting between different applications or windows to complete tasks, taking employees out of the flow of work. Studies have shown that switching contexts has a dramatic impact on time lost mentally re-focussing between tasks, in addition to time wasted navigating to try and find support.

In fact, research from McKinsey has found that workers spend up to 20% of their working week searching for information or support on tasks. This issue has only been compounded further with employees working from home, and not knowing where to go for timely support.

 

Prioritising the user

Over time, these small interruptions can add up to a significant impact on an organisation’s performance – and lead to user frustration, as well as decreased motivation amongst employees.

Historically, financial services businesses have taken a customer-first approach to investing in user experience – prioritising external customer service and communication over the internal employee experience. However, most employees are also users of this technology, and expect the same smooth transitions and consumer grade experience when using their work devices or software. When their digital experience is seamless, employees can focus on their role without interruption.

In a recent report, KPMG said organisations should create an ecosystem of tools and technologies that work together to enable experiences that help people work better. Any shifts in technologies should consider the combined impact of features and integration. It’s this sentiment financial leaders must embrace to truly empower digital workers.

 

Bridging the employee experience gap

According to a recent report from analyst firm Constellation Research which looked at the impact on the pandemic on the digital workplace, organisations have a historic opportunity to transform the employee experience.

It encourages organisations to adopt an ‘employee experience platform’ (EXP) model that connects disparate digital tools into a more cohesive digital workplace. This model is made up of disruptive technologies that bring together siloed applications and software.

Technologies such as digital adoption platforms (DAPs), machine learning, ‘people analytics’ tools and on-demand talent sourcing have been highlighted by Constellation as key components to the EXP. DAPs, for example, help solve the issue of disparate IT estates by overlaying software applications and providing a consistent support experience across multiple applications. This can take the form of step-by-step guides to navigate the user through new digital tasks and workflows, through to ensuring knowledge articles and chatbots are seamlessly available when required and provided in context of the individual requiring it and the task they are performing. Crucially, this keeps employees in the flow of work and avoids wasted time switching between applications and searching for support.

 

Looking ahead

It’s been an immense year of change for financial leaders, organisations, and importantly employees. As we move out of the pandemic, getting this next phase right will be absolutely key. For many businesses, this will be about moving from survival to thriving in a digital world.

The steps are simple. Identify the experience gaps, explore disruptive tools and technologies that bridge them, but most importantly, create an employee experience that enables and empowers them to do their job better.

 

Continue Reading

Magazine

Trending

Top 1022 hours ago

DOGECOIN MADNESS

by Nathalie Janson, Associate Professor at NEOMA Business School   After the unstoppable increase of Bitcoin (BTC) since January –...

Business23 hours ago

TOP TIPS FOR BOOSTING YOUR CASH FLOW AND BUSINESS IN 2021

Ian Gass, CEO at Agitate   Many small businesses are still dealing with the disruption caused by the pandemic. Improving financial...

Wealth Management23 hours ago

WHY COMPLICATED INCOME STRUCTURES SHOULDN’T PREVENT HIGH NET WORTH INDIVIDUALS FROM INVESTING IN PROPERTY

Mike Coates, Founder and CEO of Commercial Expert   An investor’s preference is usually to split their investment across different...

News23 hours ago

ENTRUST INTRODUCES ADAPTIVE ISSUANCE™ PRODUCTION ANALYTICS SOLUTION TO OPTIMIZE CARD ISSUANCE OPERATIONS

The new solution provides intelligent, data-driven insights to card issuers with Central Issuance systems for improved and timely management decisions...

Technology3 days ago

OPTIMISING DIGITAL EXPERIENCE IN AN INTERNET-RELIANT FINANCIAL SECTOR

Tony Finn, EMEAR Lead, ThousandEyes   It would be unfair to say that the events of the last year have...

Finance3 days ago

CAN THE CLOUD REVOLUTIONISE FINANCE?

By Walter Heck, CTO, HeleCloud    The scale of the Cloud revolution that businesses have gone through over the last few...

Business3 days ago

BRIDGING THE DIGITAL EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE GAP

Matthew Sturman, senior technical consultant, AppLearn   While the financial sector was arguably some way along the digital transformation curve...

Business3 days ago

6 TIPS FOR KEEPING DATA SECURE WHEN WORKING FROM HOME

Tim Bandos, CISO at Digital Guardian   The importance of data in the financial sector has grown exponentially in recent...

Top 103 days ago

SOFTPOS: EVERYTHING KEY PLAYERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DEVICES

By François Drouard, SLM Terminal & Mobile and Emmanuel Desdoigts, Project Manager at Fime   SoftPOS solutions harness untapped potential...

Wealth Management3 days ago

WHAT DOES RETIREMENT MEAN TO YOU?

By Gary Fisher, Head: Member Education Services and Individual Consulting at Alexander Forbes   No matter your age or current...

Business3 days ago

HOW AN OUTDATED PROCUREMENT PROCESS WILL IMPACT CUSTOMER RETENTION

Never before has the business world been held to ransom by an invisible and yet totally disruptive force. We are,...

Technology3 days ago

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION FOR FINANCE: LEADING WITH SAAS AND COLLABORATION TOOLS

Gary Duggan, VP Technology Solutions EMEA at Riverbed Technology   Throughout the pandemic, software as a service (SaaS) and collaboration...

Finance3 days ago

PREPARING YOUR HEDGE FUND FOR THE MODERN CYBERCRIMINAL

By: Simon Eyre, Head of Europe, Drawbridge   The familiar adage that “every organization is a target” when it comes...

Business3 days ago

UK READY TO SPEED UP THE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION REVOLUTION

More than half of businesses set to accelerate projects due to pandemic British business is set for a digital revolution...

Finance3 days ago

ADAPTING YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS MONEY AS YOU AGE

By Buhle Langa, financial well-being consultant at Alexander Forbes   Much of financial wellbeing begins with the choices that we make...

News3 days ago

DELOITTE: 61% OF EXECUTIVES, DOUBLE PRE-COVID 19 LEVELS, FOCUSED ON TRANSFORMING WORK

Amid unprecedented workforce disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations are enacting radically new ways of working and operating – and the...

News3 days ago

FINCAD ANNOUNCES COMPREHENSIVE BOND DATA AND ANALYTICS SERVICE

Combines Market-Leading Derivatives Analytics Services with Data and Insight on Fixed Income Securities In One Simple Solution FINCAD, a pioneer...

News3 days ago

ALVEO ANNOUNCES NEW ESG DATA MANAGEMENT CAPABILITY TO HELP MEET SFDR REQUIREMENTS

Alveo, a leading financial data management solutions provider, announces new environmental, social and governance (ESG) data management functionality. The new functionality...

Business3 days ago

THE FUTURE OF REGULATION IS UNFOLDING IN YOUR UNSTRUCTURED DATA

By Simon Cole, CEO at Automated Intelligence.   When you picture the future of finance, what do you see? The...

News4 days ago

AGILE LEADERSHIP: HOW TO CLOSE THE ‘KNOWING-DOING’ GAP

Almost all organisations are looking for faster, smarter ways to deliver their mission critical programmes and/or recovering programmes that have...

Trending