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Richmond Events' Business Panel Report - Research and Development


Richmond Events’ latest business panel report on research and development is now available. Headline findings include –

  • The average number of people working within an organisations' research function is 21.
  • 55% of respondents have between 1-5 employees within their research function.
  • Around a third of the panel don’t have a specific research department yet allow whoever comes up with a new idea / product to research it themselves.
  • The average amount the panel commits to R&D as a percentage of their overall turnover is 4%.
  • 80% of the panel say they purchase from external market research agencies - 20% regularly and 60% sometimes.
  • Organisations tend to undertake research more frequently with their customers than non customers.
  • The majority of the panel are positive in their views towards research - almost one third say it keeps them up with or ahead of competition whilst over half feel it greatly increases effectiveness / product development.
  • Well over half of organisations use their own employees to continually research their customers.
  • Just under half of the panel feel it is always almost money well spent. However it is closely followed by 45% who feel measuring ROI on R&D is more difficult.
  • On a less positive note only 39% of the panel use research to better understand their competition.
To request the full report, please contact David Clark.

Richmond Events’ Business Panel Report – Employee Engagement


Richmond Events’ latest business panel report on employee engagement is now available. Headline findings include –

  • 82% of the panel feel employee engagement is essential within their organisation, with a further 15% feeling it’s nice to have.
  • Only 70% of the panel say their organisations actually measure employee engagement. A worrying 4% are unsure if they do or not…
  • The panel feel that levels of employee engagement are higher within their department than they are for their organisation as a whole.
  • 50% of the panel feel that engagement levels have increased within their organisations’ over the past 3 years.
  • The most popular measurement tools for employee engagement are questionnaires and appraisals. However, only 4% of the panel feel engagement questionnaires completely reflect the true feelings of their organisation.
  • The two most important factors in terms of employee engagement are good line management and a good leadership team.
  • The two areas needing most improvement are good line management and a good leadership team!
To request the report please contact David Clark.

Richmond Events’ Business Panel Report – Economic Outlook


Our latest Business Panel report on the UK economic outlook is now available. Headline findings include:-

  • Only 8% rate the government’s handling of the economy as very good, 52% as acceptable, 28% could have been better and 8% as shocking. 
  • The panel predicts interest rates will be at (average) 0.8% in 1 year’s time and 1.88% in 3 years’ time.
  • Not a single respondent expects the economy to grow significantly over the coming year, whilst 24% expect it to grow marginally.  A further 45% expect it to stay much the same as it is now, whilst 29% expect it to shrink a little and 2% shrink a lot.  These figures are down versus last year.
  • The Retail sector is the most pessimistic, with 92% predicting things are going to get a little or a lot tougher (transport & travel are the only ones who predict ‘carnage’!)  
  • Less than half the panel feel their organisation’s profit will increase in 2012, though up from 41% last year.  19% feel their profits will fall this year, 6% more than last year.  3% are undecided.
  • Budgets – mixed news. The proportion expecting an increase has remained similar to last year, 23% down from 24%. However this figure is still dwarfed by the 33% expecting a decrease (though also down from 37% last year). The remaining 44% don’t expect to see a change.   

Download the full report.

For further information please contact David Clark.


Richmond Events' Business Panel Report - Leadership


Our latest report is now available on the topic of leadership. Here are the headline findings and to view the full report please click the link at the bottom.
  • Almost 75% of the panel feel they are good leaders and 13% are prepared to claim they are excellent! 
  • IT are the most are most bullish about their leadership abilities, followed by Marketing and Finance.
  • 100% are honest enough to admit their leadership skills can be improved, be it slightly or significantly.
  • The majority of the panel feel their leadership style involves them supporting and developing their staff (we haven’t asked the staff).  The panel also feel they value input and seek commitment.
  • When asked where improvements can be made in terms of leadership, the most popular responses were relationship building with senior colleagues, followed by better communication skills and encouraging more innovation and creativity.
  • The majority of people have picked up their leadership skills from a combination of people they’ve worked for.  Only 10% say they acquired them from their current boss.
  • The panel has more confidence in their team delivering the strategy and vision of their organisation than they do in the organisation’s leaders.
  • Over 75% of the panel admit at some stage to experiencing anxiety in their role, with the  majority feeling at some point it affects their ability to do the job.
  • Only just over 25% currently admit to having both the desire and ability to one day become the leader of an organisation.
  • Unsurprisingly the current economic situation is the biggest challenge that over half the panel face.  This is followed by growing their businesses and culture change.  Budgets are in 4th place, followed by increased regulation.
  • Good news for David Cameron, less so for Ed Miliband.  Whilst 65% of the panel rate Cameron’s leadership qualities as good or excellent, the corresponding figure for Miliband is 8%.  In terms of being poor / very poor the figures are 8% and 56% respectively.
Download the full report.

For further information please contact David Clark.

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



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