Virtually every organisation has a list of behaviours that are considered to be “gross misconduct”. 
 
Gross misconduct is something considered so serious that it strikes at the heart of the contract of employment, and effectively tears it up. So serious that an employee can be dismissed, without warning or notice, even for a first offence. 
 
So here’s a question for you. 
How big is your employee handbook? 
 
Seriously, if it was printed out, how many pages would it be? 
 
Have you ever asked yourself why you need so many policies? How many you have ever used? What the purpose of such a hefty tome is? 
1. Know your purpose (and make sure the team know it too!) 
Why, exactly, does your team exist? What value do they add to the business, or if you prefer, what would happen if the team didn’t exist? We underestimate people’s need to find purpose in their work. Studies repeatedly show that those who have a clear sense of purpose are more engaged, less stressed, stay longer in their roles, and work more productively than their colleagues. So make sure your team understand why they matter to the business, and how they make your business better just by being there. 
Managers often ask me what the secret is to improving employee performance. Usually, I imagine, in the hope that there is something about the employee that can be "fixed". Sometimes those managers are surprised to find out that the answer may be a bit closer to home! Here are 5 mistakes people managers regularly make, that can have a serious impact on employee motivation and performance. 
Last week saw publication of the latest list of companies to be “named and shamed” for not paying staff the national minimum wage, or national living wage (for over 25s). Included in the list were High Street names such as Debenhams and Peacocks. And within days of its publication, we discovered that Argos would be on the next list, having failed to pay over £2.4 million to 37,000 current and former employees. 
2016 was definitely an eventful year. The UK had its EU referendum, and the associated political fall-out afterwards, while the USA elected a new President with perhaps equally unexpected results. Leicester City produced a miracle, the Olympics brought even more medals back to the UK than expected, and every month seemed to bring us news of another much-loved celebrity's departure. 
Five months after the UK voted to leave the European Union, you could be forgiven for thinking that it was all a bit of a storm in a teacup. For many businesses, so far there has been very little change. We have been told that “Brexit means Brexit”, but we still don’t know what Brexit will actually look and feel like when – or if – it ever happens. 
What is the one thing you have in common with every single person you work with, every customer or potential client you come into contact with, every supplier you deal with, and every competitor in your market place? In fact, with every other person on this planet? 
Imagine spending hours completing a job application, researching the organisation, carrying out a lengthy pre-interview questionnaire, preparing for interview, travelling to and attending the interview. 
 
Consider, after all that effort, commitment, anxiety, and time, how agonising the wait must be to find out if you were successful or not. 
How many hours have you spent in unproductive meetings this week? 
 
A YouGov poll in 2015 suggested that 49% of UK employees waste time in meetings every week, with distracted employees, waffling, lack of agenda and failing to reach decisions being particular bugbears. Here are a few of our top tips for more effective meetings. 
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