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The constant challenge of retail: How employee wellbeing has emerged as a model for success

You don’t need a subscription to Retail Week to know that the British high street has been an unforgiving place of late. Like the markets it serves, the Retail industry has been polarised by recession; a mix of thriving businesses, household names in administration or liquidation and not much in between. Yet it’s this stark landscape which has thrown light on an emergent theme in Retail strategy: employee wellbeing and engagement. High levels of employee wellbeing and engagement unite the…

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The changing face of wellbeing – using Google to track trends

Over the past decade the concept of wellbeing has changed dramatically as organisations and employees respond to the challenges of modern life and work. The scope of occupational health, views on the responsibility of organisations for their staff and the business benefits of different areas of wellbeing have all driven the development of the concept and the terms we use to define it. It’s vital to stay in touch with these changing trends – not just so that we know the right buzz words, but so…

Skills under-utilisation and missed opportunities

As unemployment continues to rise the need to reverse the trend becomes ever more pressing. For many, any job would be a welcome one, for financial reasons, but also to break a spell of long term unemployment which results in low levels of confidence. But taking ‘any’ job increases the likelihood of skills under-utilisation; and according to a recent publication by The Work Foundation this is a particular problem in the UK, especially among low-wage workers. The situation has developed as a…

The reality of working life today

Today the TUC released their Labour Force Survey results (Summer Quarter 2011) showing that 5.3 million workers put in an average of 7.2 hours of unpaid overtime a week last year, worth around £5,300 a year per person.  The headline is that “Workers gave bosses almost 2 billion hours of unpaid overtime last year, or the equivalent of 1 million full-time jobs” .  I have to take issue with this conclusion. Just because there is extra work to be done (there is always extra work to be…