Can your managers manage or are they just good at their job?

We get it. 

You need more managers and instead of recruiting externally, you promote an existing employee who excels at their job. They don’t have any line manager experience, but hey… what could possibly go wrong? 

Slowly but surely the team that he/she is managing starts to drift. Productivity dips and before you know it, you’re having resignation letters land on your desk. 

Sound familiar?

It’s a common theme that we see time and again, in organisations of all sizes. 

Poor managers can create a huge problem for your business. Instead of taking a chance at who to promote or hire, we’re going to summarise what skills you SHOULD be looking for to save your SME any costly mistakes: 

What makes a good manager? 

A good manager inspires a team, fosters growth and productivity, and frequently asks for feedback on their management style.  They lead from the front, as a role model and put effort and leadership into making their team successful.

A good manager is less concerned with how much praise they get, and more focused on their collective team performance and seeing the people they manage flourish and grow.  

Of course, it goes without saying that they should be great and skilled at their job, but their values need to be inherently aligned with that of your organisation in order for their team to thrive. 

Which brings me on to the next point..

Look for attitude over skills 

When I’m looking to recruit on behalf of a client, I’m looking at their attitude, how they approach communication with me, what it is that motivates them and how they work best. 

There’s a school of thought when recruiting that you should ‘Hire for culture fit, train for skills’ because doing so will ensure that a person can adapt to the core values of your organisation which in turn will help drive long-term growth and success for your business.

Attitude is much harder to learn, skills can easily be acquired…so long as they have the right attitude. 

Training for your managers

SMEs need to invest in all levels of their business, but management training should be high up the agenda. 

When you invest in management training for your SME, not only will your managers be trained in how to support the HR function, but they’ll also learn invaluable skills which are transferable to other areas of the business, including empathy, delegation, and decision-making skills. 

Some areas where managers may need training include: 

  • The ability to effectively recruit
  • Managing poor performance
  • Dealing with disciplinaries 
  • How to communicate effectively
  • How to keep your organisation legally compliant

How to upskill your managers

We work with SMEs across all industries to upskill managers, giving them robust learning and development opportunities that will help your business thrive. 

Contact us here: and let’s have a conversation to understand your challenges and requirements in more detail. 

Inclusion and Diversity quotes – and what they really mean

There are so many inclusion and diversity quotes that get thrown around the boardroom, but what do they really mean and how can they help to make your SME more inclusive and diverse?

‘Jumping to conclusion leaves no space for inclusion 

Visually you may have got it spot on with diversity in your organisation from age, gender, race and disability but what about the things we can’t see neurodiversity, linguistic, cognitive or lived experience? All great factors that impact on your diversity strategy. 

‘Light the torch at the top and the people will follow the light’

Lead by example don’t just say it live by it, we are all great at making sweeping statements but show you mean it by demonstrating it. That way you will drive a strong culture and attitudes that embrace diversity and inclusion in your organisation.

‘Inclusion and diversity is not a tick-box exercise’

Do you know and understand the demographics of your organisation both visual and none visual? Do you lead by example? Starting with these 3 steps will quickly set the businesses position on diversity and contribute towards an engaged workforce.

Engage your employees from the start in this process by creating safe spaces to have conversations and communicate on inclusion and diversity. Think about having Champions to campaign your organisations strategy.

How can 1850 support your ‘Inclusive and diverse workplace’?

We can carry out an audit of your organisation to discover how diverse your organisation is. We can then identify the visual and none visual gaps through a gap analysis, making recommendations on how to bridge those gaps. Those gaps might include:

  • Employee’s desires for personal and professional growth
  • Creation of a belonging culture rather than employees fitting in to the existing culture
  • Attraction of new people through creative ways
  • Create a safe space for two way communication with respective views on both sides
  • Inclusion and Diversity Champions
  • Consistency in actions to create positive change

Book a FREE 30 minute consultation with us today to help your organisation with a solid inclusion and diversity policy.

The importance of ‘wellness’ and what this means for your employees and business

The importance of wellness not just during a global pandemic which has changed our lives in the last 18 months, but as life returns to some kind of normality, it is important to take care of your general health and wellbeing.

Here are some commitments that you can make TODAY that could make a huge difference to productivity and overall staff wellness.

1. Sleep patterns – Make a routine and stick to it, aim for 8 hours sleep at night with the same time to bed and the time you wake up.

2. Schedule – Share home life responsibilities chores, kids, shopping. Don’t overload yourself and ‘be a hero’ doing everything share with your partner and children. Use a notice board in the kitchen listing the weekly tasks assigning them to each person and mark them off once completion. Even think about having a weekly family award for completing tasks such as a Sunday afternoon in the park, playing a board game, cooking dinner together. Rewards don’t have to be financial, the biggest reward is time together.

3. Hydration – Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. By drinking more water you will increase your energy levels and relieve fatigues which ultimately helps you think, focus, concentrate and be more alert. 

4. Hunger – Meal plan to prevent hunger and eating out of boredom. Make use of family time to bulk cook for the freezer, make use of those gadgets in your cupboard and get the slow cooker on.

5. Exercise – Aim for 10,000 steps a day, plan in 3 walks a day before work, on you lunch and after work to achieve your step count Or even just 15 minutes of exercise anything is better than nothing. 

6. Hobby – Do something for you. What have you always wanted to do but never had the time? Maybe during lockdown you have started that hobby you always wanted to, continue to make time for this as life returns back to normal. It’s ok to have some ‘me’ time. Read a book, take a bath, play a sport, watch a box set – whatever it may be make it happen.

Most of all be consistent in these 6 steps and be kind to yourself.

5 employee incentive initiatives to attract the right talent to your SME

Employee benefits are becoming a major recruitment battleground for businesses of all  sizes. A recent study by PageGroup found that 78% of Britons would be more likely to apply for a job if it mentioned the benefits on offer, and this only goes to show that attracting the right talent to your business is so much more than just a decent salary. 

Recently we have seen a pattern of SMEs struggling to retain their best talent, as they lose valuable staff to larger organisations with bigger pockets to invest in attractive packages. 

To help YOUR SME become the employer of choice, we’ve got five innovative (and cost effective) employee incentives that will position you as a thoughtful, caring and respected employer in what is currently a very competitive market. 

  1. Netflix subscriptions 

Offer your employees a free Netflix subscription. Subscriptions reached an all-time high during lockdown, and now we’re all addicted to binge watching box sets and checking out the UK’s top 10 films. This isn’t likely to be a passing fad, since experts are predicting that coronavirus will result in permanent societal changes, with more people likely to spend more time at home.

2. Free employee helpline 

Mental health related absence is the most common cause of long-term sickness absence in UK workplaces, with work-related stress, depression or anxiety accounting for 44% of work-related ill health.  These stats are pre-covid, and early indications suggest that a mental health pandemic could be on the horizon. 

Employers could adopt a preventative rather than reactive approach to mental health issues by offering their employees a free counselling helpline where they can pick up the phone at any time to an independent mental health specialist where they can talk through any issue confidently.  

3. Employee Rewards App 

One of the secrets of keeping your valuable employees is to recognise their hard work and reward them – and this really doesn’t have to be hard to implement.  

There are many employee reward apps that your SME can sign up to with a huge list of retailers and restaurants offering employees attractive discounts.  

You can also set challenges and polls for your employees to complete to promote a bit of friendly competition, while also drawing attention to the effort your employees are putting in.

4. VIP Parking slots 

You could offer your employees a VIP parking slot for a set time if they achieve targets or do outstanding work.  This could be a slot right outside your office (if you have allocated parking), or you could purchase a parking pass with a parking operator from a nearby car park. 

5. Celebrate employee birthdays and work anniversaries

Celebrating your employee’s birthdays can make a difference to how an employee thinks about their workplace, particularly if they’re spending their birthday at work. 

Whether you choose to buy in cupcakes for staff on their birthday or give them a gift voucher to their favourite store, it’s a thoughtful way to better engage employees and show them they’re appreciated members of the team.

Introducing some of these employee incentives and advertising these when you are recruiting will make you a thoughtful and celebrated employer. These small efforts and gestures could go a long way to help attract and retain the talent you want way beyond what a good salary has to offer.  

We can help you brainstorm and implement some of these employee incentives on your behalf.  Let’s have a conversation today about how we can help.