A fresh take on ideas and trends in Human Capital

Data Analytics and 'Big Data'

Big data is the large data that comes in to a business every day. Collecting every bit of data allow

Big data is the large quantities data that comes in to a business every day. Collecting every bit of data allows for really useful information to be picked up and utilised. If this data is analysed and interpreted correctly it can be used to make decisions, find and predict trends, and make your company more efficient – all of these will reduce costs and gain profits. Therefore, being able to harness the relevant big data has recently become really important to businesses. As there is so much data constantly coming in to a company, this can be difficult.

Data analytics is the process of gathering, organising and examining ‘big data’ to find trends and useful information and opportunities which can be utilised by the company, and it is revolutionising how businesses make decisions. A recent KPMG study found that CEO’s who are confident about their growth are increasing data analytics capability by 26%. It can be a challenge to bring data analytics to a business as the massive volumes of data from all over the company can be difficult to harness, so it is also important to ask what information does your company want to analyse; what is important to your business? More are more data analytics roles are now required due to these issues and are being created as a result of the growth of big data analysis. There is now a great demand for data analysts, with roles in all sectors. Therefore, these skills are now highly sought after.

Data analytics is used in most sectors, from retail to HR, often in business-to-customer situations, but it can be used in relation to employer-to-employee. The retail industry can use data taken from loyalty cards and point of sale scanners to, for example, optimise staffing by discovering at what times more customers are in their shop and when there are fewer, so less staff are needed. They can also recommend products and services to customers and make predictions based on spending habits and the volume of certain types of products being sold, this all leads towards gaining profits. It is important to note that privacy issues should be considered when getting and using information about customers. HR teams can use data analytics to find out more about the people within their company, as well as potential employees. For example, they can be used to measure how effective employees are at reaching their target and be able to predict who can be relied upon to reach their targets. Data analytics can also be used to show the impact of HR policies etc. they have been put in place and see how they are effecting the company.

Essentially data analytics is about efficiency. It is becoming a norm within business and will allow your company to make more informed decisions and boost your business for the better!

Motivate Without Money

  Incentives are used by employers to endorse a certain level of performance, to promote certa


Incentives are used by employers to endorse a certain level of performance, to promote certain styles or behaviours (e.g. teamwork, efficiency, working by values of company) and motive employees. Employee engagement can be improved by feeling that they are valued and appreciated within the company. Using cash incentives can have a negative effect on your company, they can lead to unethical behaviour and cause rivalry among colleagues, it can also be difficult for small companies to provide monetary incentives. If you were to ask employees would they prefer cash benefits or non-monetary incentives, it is likely they will choose cash, however cash may not actually lead to a more motivated workforce; because it is something everyone receives anyway it is not memorable and usually ends up being spent on boring things like household bills. Receiving extra cash won’t make an employee feel as if they have done or achieved anything, this isn’t memorable and won’t motivate them to do it again. By using alternative incentives, not only could you save money, you will probably do a better job of motivating your staff. Here are eight ways to motivate your employees without breaking the bank:

Personal Incentives: For small business it could be a good idea to find out each employee’s preferences, such as what is their drink of choice or hobbies. For example, a voucher for their favourite restaurant or tickets to a football match. Not only does this save money, but it also shows your employees you care and you personally think of them.

Training: Training programmes can also incentivise employees. Especially in a small company, attending conferences or training programmes are less commonly offered and often people appreciate being able to learn new skills (- to earn more incentives!).

A reserved Parking space/clean their car: If your company has a car park this can be completely free and something an employee may really appreciate – not more worrying about the weather! Having someone’s car cleaned can be a really nice surprise and it definitely brighten their day. If they don’t have a car replenish their bus or train pass.

Office incentive: Receiving a new office chair or footrest can make an employee more productive and items like this need to be bought from time to time anyway, so this can also save money.

Recognition: This is so simple but it can be really motivating. Simply sending a letter or mentioning your employee’s achievement at the weekly meeting can improve relationships and confidence. Having someone higher ranking who was effected by their work pop in to the office to say thank you can also be a good motivator.

Time off: Allowing employees to have a day off, getting the option to work from home or flexibility on coming and leaving work for a day. This costs very little, as employees will still be doing work, and if they are given an extra day off they will be more motivated and productive on their return!

Task swap: If all employees are willing, allowing employees to swap tasks can motivate them, as they may not enjoy that task or would prefer to work on something else. This could also be beneficial ask getting in to a new or leaving an old project they did not enjoy could improve productivity.

Let them bring their pet to work: This fun idea could really boost morale among everyone in the office, but be wary of allergies!



Is Business Formal a thing of the past?

Recently business attire has change greatly. Blazers, shirts and ties used to be the norm, but it is

Recently business attire has change greatly. Blazers, shirts and ties used to be the norm, but it is becoming more and more common, especially in smaller companies, for people to be a lot more casual, no ties, maybe even jeans. Companies are now beginning to move away from formal dress codes and created a more relaxed environment and a more creative space. Employers have been moving away from stricter rules as can cause employees to resent management and this could have an effect on happiness and morale among employees.
There are no actual laws about workplace dress codes, employers can only give ‘guidelines’ which do not discriminate between gender, race, religion, ability etc. However, this does not mean that the dress code must be the same for both genders, simply they both must be reasonable and equivalent for their business environment, for example women cannot be asked to wear a suit, with men being allowed to wear tracksuits.
Applying a dress code can be difficult for employers, as if it is not instated correctly and fairly they can run the risk of being accused of discrimination. It is a good idea to find out the opinions and ideas of those who will be following the rules – your employees. This can give you a good idea of what people would like to wear and feel comfortable in, for example women may not feel comfortable having to hear a heeled shoe every day. Recently, a woman was sent home from work after refusing to wear heels between 2-4 inches. You must also consider the cost of a particular dress code; this cannot be too expensive as this is unreasonable, as well as giving a reasonable amount of time for employees to start adhering to the dress code. When creating a dress code, think about why you are asking people to dress a certain way, e.g. safety or to create a good image, but it is also important to consider the person themselves. A study has shown that wearing certain clothes can increase your attention. This shows it is important to not only consider how the employee looks to others, but also how they feel themselves. Dress codes may be necessary to make employees easily identifiable or communicate a desired image or for health and safety.
Dress codes can depend on a number of things. Some professions have the expectation for a certain type of attire, for example lawyers are expected to wear suits. It also depends of if your role is client facing or not, if you are going for an important meeting with a client, it is important to be dressed more formally, whereas if you do not have to meet anyone from outside the company, more casual work ware may be a better idea. However, some employers and employees believe that dressing too casually can interfere with career progression and make the atmosphere of the office too relaxed.

Overall, it is important to consider a lot of factors carefully when considering implementing a dress code including environment, but most importantly your employees!

Music in the Office

Music is becoming a more prevalent aspect of the work environment with most people working on a comp

Music is becoming a more prevalent aspect of the work environment with most people working on a computer every day and the advancement of technology over the past few years. Streaming and music services make it easier to pick songs that will fit the mood of the office, with playlists for absolutely anything from ‘Monday Motivation’ to ‘Easy listening office music’. But what affect does music really have?

A study in the Journal of Organizational Behaviour concluded that music can significantly affect cooperation in decision-making groups. Happy music made people more cooperative and willing to share within a group. Participants in the study were found to be more likely to contribute and be more efficient when songs like “Walking on Sunshine” were played.

However, some people can become more distracted when listening to music, often music with words, whether it’s the singing along or trying to understand the lyrics. I used to agree with this, but I have found that listening to music with people singing has helped me to multitask, like writing an email and having a conversation about a different topic.

It is important to remember that every workplace is different, some may have the radio playing, some may use earphones, and some may be in complete silence. People also have different preferences and music tastes, it is unlikely the entire office will be happy to listen to death metal all day. You must also consider everyone who can hear the music – are they all happy to listen? Some colleagues may need more concentration than others at times.

Overall, music on in the workplace is personal preference, but give it a go if you are unsure, it could change your mood and make your day that bit more productive and cheerful!

The Do's and Don'ts of Promotional Videos

In today’s digital era, promotional videos and presentations can be a really positive addition

Image result for marketing video

In today’s digital era, promotional videos and presentations can be a really positive addition to your marketing campaign. They are easy to watch and you can choose the key information you want to put across, target the right audience and promote your product. A high quality video will show that your company is professional and good and at communicating. They can be used across a range of platforms, such as social media and video sharing websites, making it easier to advertise, as many are free!


A promotional video is something every company should try, so, to help you get the most out of your promotional video presentation, I have created a few do’s and don’ts to help along the way:


  • Make sure your video is to the point. You want to connect with your target audience from the very beginning to make sure you get your point across. You also need to be realistic about your concept – will you be able to communicate your message effectively in the amount of time the video will be?
  • Use your logo and associated colours and fonts throughout, it will embed the company in the audiences’ minds and also makes the video look more professional.
  • Remember to add links to your social media accounts and a link to sign up to your newsletter – it’s a lot easier to click a link than go searching!
  • Make sure not to add too much text to your presentation, people will get bored of reading it. You also need to leave the text there long enough for people to actually read it, it is unlikely they will replay it if they miss it.
  • Use facts, figures and stats. These will stick in people’s minds and make them remember key information from your video.


  • The most important thing about a promotional video is don’t make it too long. People usually start to lose interest within the first few seconds if they don’t understand the message - you need to grab their attention straight away. A promotional videos optimal time is about one minute and should be no longer than one and a half minutes.
  • When making your video take time to get everything right – don’t cut corners and make it as quickly as possible. It can be so obvious and make your company seem really unprofessional. It can give the impression that you don’t really care about your audience or know what you’re doing. Also, don’t try to take on too much, if you don’t have much experience it is better to make something clear and simple.
  • If you are trying to sell something, don’t make is blatantly obvious. Of course you want to show how amazing your product is and everything it can do, but a hard sell is not going to work in a promotional video.
  • Don’t use too much text and try to overload information into the presentation as most people won’t bother to read it. Use infographics and images instead, people will actually remember them and be able to take something away from the presentation.
  • Finally, if you are using sounds and background music, don’t let it take over. Make sure it isn’t too loud and that there aren’t words as this can be very distracting.