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Richmond Events' Business Panel Report - The Eurozone


Our latest report is now available on the topical subject of The Eurozone.  

Here are the headline findings and to view the full report please click on the link at the bottom.
  • Asked for their views on the Euro a 69% majority of the panel feel it’s likely to stagger on much as presently.
  • The next highest proportion of 13% feel the Euro will recover and strengthen within one year, whilst 12% feel the polar opposite, i.e. it will collapse within one year.
  • Only one person feels it will strengthen within 6 months, whilst 2% feel it will collapse within 6 months.  Interesting times indeed!
  • Asked about their view of a return to individual currencies for the Eurozone the highest proportion of the panel is indifferent.  Of those with a view over one third believes it would be advantageous to Britain whilst one in five believe it would be disastrous.
  • We then asked if Europe was to regain stability and its former economic strength would the panel favour Britain joining the Eurozone.  Only 14% said yes compared to 63% no, the remainder maybe; never say never.
  • 6% of the panel feel the Eurozone will return to a sustained period of growth within the year.  The highest proportion, 43% feel it will return within 2 years, whilst 41% feel it will within 5 years.  10% admit to having no idea whatsoever! 
  • In terms of banks lending to British businesses, one in five claims it’s not as easy to obtain credit as it was before the recession, whilst 9% say ‘their’ banks have not always been helpful lately.  7% have found it excessively expensive to borrow from their banks whilst 3% admit to having real problems. 
  • Two thirds of the panel believe unemployment will eventually fall; over half the panel feels it will reduce within 2 years and 9% within the year.  Against this, the remaining third cannot see a fall in unemployment for the foreseeable future.
  • Asked for their agreement levels from a series of statements: the most vehement are that British banks should separate their retail functions from the more speculative investment arm, and, that whilst the Coalition promised to slash the numbers of quangos and civil servants, the results so far have been wholly unimpressive.
  • Interestingly over half the panel disagreed with the statement that the Government should relax some of its austerity measures to stimulate the economy.  Just under one third agreed they should.
  • Over ½ the panel agree that Anti-Europe sentiment is increasing in Britain.
  • Almost two thirds of the panel agree that British banks have been insufficiently penalised for their role in provoking the credit crunch.
Download the full report.

For further information please contact David Clark.

Women On Top: Getting Women On Board(s)


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Nicola Bunting, Owner, La Vita Nova Executive and life coaching will be attending The Human Resource Forum at Savoy Place on the 1st November. She has conducted a study which looks into why such a low percentage of woman hold senior management roles:
 
Almost half of the UK workforce are women, but only 12% of FTSE 100 directorships are currently held by women, and women hold just 22% of senior management positions.

These are extraordinary statistics, especially considering how little this imbalance has been even spoken about until recently. And there are strong commercial reasons for redressing the balance. Mckinsey's study, "Women Matters" found that companies with most women in senior management roles outperform their sector on many levels...return on equity, operating results and stock price growth. On a more human level, including women in senior roles clearly adds to the rich multidimensional range of contribution, perspective, and growth.
 
What is holding women back from leadership positions? Here are a number of factors:
  • maternity and childcare-related issues
  • women choosing to step off the career ladder
  • the male breadwinner career model
  • the need to create a work pattern of career advancement that is more family-friendly, with less focus on time worked, and more attention to work/life balance and flexible working
  • women having less clarity about their career direction than men
  • women being less ambitious than men
  • women having less self-confidence than men and being more cautious about developing their career and taking on new opportunities and more challenges
How do men and women's different communication styles factor in? A new book by American academic John Lock, "Duels and Duets: Why Men and Women Talk So Differently," argues that men often have a more forceful, win/lose, confrontational communication style which can be perceived as more authoritative, serious, and business-like, whereas women tend more toward the collaborative and connective, which can make them appear less leader-like.
 
Perhaps we need to expand our images of leaders and extend our archetypes to make more space for alternative models?
 
Carol Gilligan's classic, "In a Different Voice," also looks at men and women's relational styles as essentially different. So when we look at patterns and dynamics in work interactions , for example, we need to see who speaks up, who is comfortable asking for a raise or promotion, who is openly celebrating their achievements, who gets important clients...all of these areas may have gender implications.
 
Another fascinating new book, "Honey Money: The Power of Erotic Capital" by Catherine Hakim, contributes a different perspective by arguing that women should actively use their social skills, beauty and sex appeal to their advantage to get ahead at work, rather than trying to disguise their femininity in order to be taken seriously. Personally speaking, I can see a distinction between embracing who you are as a woman and being comfortable expressing your femininity authentically as part of who you are and your leadership style, versus actively using the impact of your sexuality to manipulate. But this is probably a different article!
 
For now, though, I celebrate the newly formed 30 Percent Club, a UK movement set up by Sir Roger Carr and others, designed to make boards thirty Percent female, and I suggest we all look carefully at how we can empower women and empower ourselves as woman to reach the full range of our leadership potential and make a difference at work and in the world. Clearly, work / life balance culture, flexible working, and recruitment policies all need to be addressed.
 
Leadership development also has a crucial and powerful role to play. I suggest that coaching, mentoring, and training programmes to help women actualise their leadership potential and step up into higher levels of confidence and aspiration could well be the most targeted and effective route to creating more balanced and successful companies where senior management positions are held equally by men and women, and where the board edges steadily up to at least 30% female representation.
 
Companies invest hugely in talented women, and need to retain them and help them reach their full potential from a business standpoint. Women are often not prepared to sacrifice their personal lives for their work lives, even if they are ambitious, and for their careers to be kept on track, companies do need to think about helping them manage their careers, rewarding business performance rather than simply hours in the office. And of course men can benefit equally from more enlightened workplaces which allow and encourage employees to have careers and personal lives that inspire each other, rather than being in constant mutually draining competition.
 
It's not just about "diversity" for the sake of it...or quotas as a reflection of the need for diversity. It's about giving capable, bright, and ambitious women every opportunity to step up and shine as senior leaders within an organisation, for everyone's benefit.
 
Nicola Bunting will be joining us a supplier at The Human Resources Forum at Savoy Place on the 1st November.

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Richmond Events’ Business Panel Report - Workplace Happiness


Business-Panel-Report-image.jpgIn these joyful times that we currently live it seemed only right that the latest piece of research from Richmond Events’ UK Business panel focuses on Workplace Happiness.  However, all is not lost.  As the report reveals employees still have a real sense of pride for their organisation and whilst the economic situation has clearly had an effect,  individuals are utterly determined to succeed both for themselves and their organisation. 

The headline findings can be found below and if you’d like to view the full report please click on the link at the bottom. 

We hope you enjoy!  

  • Whilst just over ½ the panel claim to be content in their present position, this means 47% are not.
  • 63% of the panel say their workplace happiness has reduced or remained static over the past year.  37% say it has improved.
  • Unsurprisingly the current economic situation has left its mark on the panel.  Only 31% say it hasn’t affected their workplace happiness whilst 37% say it remains difficult but they’ve had to learn to adapt.
  • Figures are similar for organisations as a whole with all but 19% being affected; 14% admitting it remains a difficult time for their organisation.
  • The top two areas that give the panel most workplace satisfaction (excluding promotion & a pay rise) are helping their organisation improve its competitive position & helping the team reach peak performance.  The panel say they receive little satisfaction from proving a superior wrong or getting rid of a troublesome team member.  Of course they don’t…
  • The top two reasons the panel are likely to experience periods of discontent at work are slow / poor decision-making and actions of colleagues.
  • If the panel are asked to take on extra work (without additional resource or remuneration) the highest proportion are likely to view it favourably, believing it confirms the confidence their superiors have in them.  Only ¼ feel they are being taken advantage of.
  • The two departments to give the panel most grief on a regular basis are Operations and Finance.
  • Asked about their families’ happiness the top three areas for concern are; the high levels of debt their children will take on to fund university, the ever increasing cost of living and how their children will get on the property ladder.  

For the full report please click here


Richmond Events’ Business Panel Report - Looking across the pond


Business-Panel-Report-image.jpgThere are interesting differences between how organisations seem to function in the US compared with those in the UK. Looking at our most recent two Business Panel reports on how Organisations view themselves we note some key differences:

US Organisations have closer or more productive relationships with IT than UK Companies but are less close to the CEO and to Sales

In the US, Sales is the most adversarial department according to 27% of respondents, clearly causing more problems than IT in second place. In the UK, Sales were regarded as adversarial, but no more so than Finance and IT and only 17% felt sales were a problem – two thirds of the US figure.

The Finance Department is viewed with the greatest contrast on each side of the Atlantic. In the UK it is the most adversarial department according to 18% of respondents. The US is completely different with only 8% saying it causes problems, the least adversarial department apart from the CEO and Production.

CEOs in the UK are regarded as far more responsible for driving the organisation (52%) compared with their counterparts in the US (36%)

Sales departments are regarded equally positively in terms of driving the organisation forward but contrarily in the US there are just as many who view them as holding the organization back. In the UK their positive contribution is regarded as three times as much as the negative one.

In the UK, Finance departments are regarded as three times more likely to impede the progress of the company. In the US they are regarded as just as positive as they are negative.

In the UK, Sales departments are regarded as three times more likely to drive the business forward as impede its progress, in the US Sales are viewed as almost as likely to impede progress as to achieve it.

Non Executive Directors are viewed as quite influential in the UK Board Room but almost irrelevant in the US.

UK Finance Directors are viewed as effective at achieving cost saving in the UK, they are not in the US.

Innovation is greatest in the IT and Marketing departments. The US sees IT as more innovative than Marketing. The UK thinks Marketing is twice as innovative as IT.

There appear more similarities than differences between the US and UK but the differences, including those above, are very interesting.

For full copies of these reports please contact David Clark.

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Social Media Latest




The Richmond Events’ UK Business panel has recently carried out some research into social media.

Headline stats include…
  • 44% of organisations do not currently spend any budget on social media. Of those that do the average percentage of departmental budget spend is 2.8%.
  • Over half the panel are likely to increase their spend on social media, 40% moderately and 13% drastically.
  • In terms of the social media platforms individuals use in the workplace, LinkedIn is by far the most popular, three times more so than 2nd placed Twitter.
  • Only 5% of organisations have strict ROI measures in place for social media. Almost two thirds don’t measure ROI at all.
  • LinkedIn and Blogs are viewed as the most effective social media.
  • The 2 most popular areas for employing social media within organisations are towards customer engagement and brand promotion. These are followed by general marketing and building web traffic.
  • In over half of organisations the marketing department is responsible for social media content.
  • On average 5.5% of individuals within organisations are using social media for business purposes.
  • A high proportion of the panel still perceive social media as ‘still more of a personal than a business tool’.
If you would like to receive a full copy of the research please get in touch. The research is free of charge.

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