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News Round-up

Posted On: 19/12/2016

Welcome to the first instalment of our brand new weekly news round-up dedicated to bringing you some of my favourite stories, news and articles from the world of HR. There’s never a dull day in this industry and in this segment we’ll be making sure that you’re informed of all the key news and insights as well as some of the most heart-warming and hilarious articles doing the rounds.

HR needs to get out of the office and stop hiding behind processes


To kick off this week’s news round-up we have a fascinating article from Diginomica, a site committed to informing readers on the latest news in digital. This story, penned by Nick Holley of Henley Business School calls on HR leaders to get out of the office and develop stronger relationships with businesses.

According to research by the Corporate Research Forum only 23% of companies are actually satisfied with their talent management initiatives, demonstrating a clear failing on the part of some HR professionals. The article goes on to attribute this failing to a reluctance to develop relationships, and instead rely on processes and technology.

At a time when the industry is becoming more and more enamoured by the latest innovations and technology that make the life of HR professionals easier, an article like this is a breath of fresh air. We agree with a number of the assessments made in this piece and make a point to prioritise our relationships with clients and their needs to guarantee a positive culture in their workplace.

Life-saving stem cells stored by employer for employees

HR Director

Precious Cells International, a stem cell research organisation, has hit the headlines this week with one of the most innovative and generous employee benefits schemes the industry has seen.

The benefits package, known as “Accellerate” allows employees to cryogenically store their own, and their loved ones’ stem cells for free. Created with the vision of connecting 7 billion potential stem cell donors to help fight life threatening conditions, the scheme has been rolled out to employees first, in a bid to make them feel valued and as a way of retaining talent.

The full “Accellerate” package comes with 6 components to protect employee well-being, including the storing of stem cells, cord blood and cord tissue, access to the Precious Cells stem cell registry, and personalised HLA typing. The package means that employees have access to potentially lifesaving stem cell treatment, without the expense and delay of attempting to access the national registry.

At a time in which employers are often in the news for all the wrong reasons, it’s fantastic to see such an act of generosity from an organisation to its employees.

Workplace Hygge: how to embrace it


This is a story that has seen coverage across the national media, as the Danish concept of Hygge picks up popularity across the country. As an activity that supposedly revitalises your mind and body as well as improving wellbeing, it was only a matter of time before it became the latest fad among some employers.

Hygge is a feeling, rather than an observable phenomenon, and involves taking genuine pleasure from making ordinary moments in your life more meaningful, or beautiful. This can range from the simple act of lighting a candle with a meal at home, or making a cup of coffee. Naturally this article looks at the phenomenon from a HR perspective and focuses on how employers can optimise their workplace to encourage Hygge.

From a smart casual dress code for employees, to innovative design solutions to improve lighting and the usability of office spaces, the article lists a number of ways that employers can encourage a Hygge environment.

We think that the concept of Hygge, though somewhat of a buzzword at this point, is a positive and could lead to a healthier and happier workforce for many employers. This in itself is proven to be a net positive to productivity, so the more workplaces experimenting with this trend the better!

Retiring employee accidentally emails entire office ruthless exit statement

HR Grapevine

To round out this week’s collection of stories, we’ve got a classic HR nightmare. A manager at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, set to retire and bring his 35 year career to a close, took the opportunity to fill out an exit questionnaire before he left, and he didn’t hold back.

Beginning the questionnaire with the following statement “I really didn’t want to retire yet. I like my job. The first 30 years were great but the last five years were terrible” the disgruntled employee went on to launch a scathing critique of upper management and the culture of political hires in the organisation. Now this normally wouldn’t be an issue providing the information remains confidential, however the document was sent to all 2,000 employees at the organisation.

This story certainly highlights the importance of an exit interview in the HR process, despite the fact that the employer in question here did not take the critique on board or act to fix the obvious issues, with the Chairman issuing the following response: “Mr Stuban, I don’t believe we ever met, and after reading your exit questionnaire, I am grateful that we didn’t.”

It just goes to show that HR issues can have significant reputational implications for an organisation if not acted on in a timely fashion. Stay tuned to our blog for more of the latest news from the world of HR.

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