Colors: Blue Color

The finalists of the Wolverhampton Cares Awards have been congratulated by the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services. The winners of the inaugural event, organised by the West Midlands Care Association and sponsored by the council and the Wolverhampton Cares campaign, were announced at a ceremony at Grand Station.

Children and young people from Wolverhampton joined together at the city’s Art Gallery for the Takeover Day challenge. The annual event sees children and young people consulted on a host of current issues and get involved in making decisions about things that affect them.

Key challenges for discussion included how to tackle bullying across the city, improvement work in the city centre and the issue of climate change, which saw young people learn about the City of Wolverhampton Council’s commitment to reduce emissions and meet with the project team to share their views and ideas.

Actions to combat the cost-of-living crisis, health inequalities and homelessness will be top of the agenda when dozens of faith and community leaders gather with public sector officials at a key summit next week.

Around 200 people are expected to attend the 2022 Faith in Action Summit at the Bescot Stadium in Walsall on Wednesday (30 November) to help drive forward new ideas and projects aimed at tackling some of the most critical issues currently facing communities across the West Midlands.

The encouragement of self-harm will be criminalised in an update to the Online Safety Bill, the government has said. Content that encourages someone to physically harm will be targeted in a new offence, making it illegal.

The government said the changes had been influenced by the case of Molly Russell - the 14-year-old who ended her life in November 2017. Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan said she was strengthening the bill "to make sure these vile acts are stamped out".

One year on from the devastation caused by Storm Arwen, businesses and homeowners are being urged to act now to prepare for storms this winter.

More than a million homes lost power and thousands of trees were uprooted during the storm last November which brought severe winds of almost 100 mph. Tragically three people died when they were hit by falling trees.

Savvy shoppers hoping to grab a bargain in this month’s Black Friday deals are being asked to consider supporting West Bromwich based charity, the Kaleidoscope Plus Group. The West Bromwich-based charity helps thousands of people across the UK each year and offers a range of services for people in need, struggling with their emotional health and wellbeing. 

With homeowners up and down the country looking to control heating bills, NFU Mutual is warning people to take steps to prevent pipes from freezing and avoid repair bills which can run to £8,000 and beyond.

As people look to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and the rise in their energy bills, a YouGov survey shows 61% of people will use their heating less this winter.

There are many factors to consider when it comes to staff turnover – but while some may be inevitable, such as retirement, a change in career, or even moving away, others can be controlled.     

Employee wellbeing experts Loopin have highlighted six of the major factors in the workplace that could lead to a high staff turnover, from lack of opportunities and purpose, to overworked employees, all of which contribute to huge employee turnover costs. 

Little opportunity for growth  

Not providing any opportunities for employees to progress can cause them to feel stuck in their roles and feel as though their hard work and commitment aren’t recognised. A different company that can offer a role of higher authority will eventually become more appealing after plenty of time in the same role – not only for income but to further demonstrate their skills.  

Offering promotions for existing employees rather than hiring externally is one way to provide opportunities for growth. Communication is key in this instance to ensure that staff have clarity on how they need to perform in order for this to be possible, for example, a checklist of targets over a realistic time frame – this way, both you and the employees can assess how close they are to the next step. Alternatively, providing relevant training courses for staff allows them to educate themselves and stay up to date with the sector, thus being an excellent opportunity for growth.  

Lack of feedback  

Offering feedback to employees is a small implementation that can go far – not only does it show recognition, but it’s also a huge factor that can help them succeed.  Regular 1-1s are an excellent opportunity to provide feedback, as it gives employees the chance to address any areas they are particularly struggling in. 

As an employer, the purpose is not to provide top-down performance feedback, assess the company’s performance, or evaluate the status of certain projects. Instead, the employee needs to take centre stage. You should ask questions to discover more about their goals and ambitions, as well as any concerns or pain points. 

Micromanagement  

Micromanagement can have huge implications that can drive employees away. Not only does it limit creativity, but it also implies that you don’t trust employees to make the right decisions on their own. Micromanagement can also lead to burnout, which not only affects productivity and company success, but the employee will likely consider joining a company that offers a more supportive approach to management.

In summary, it is wise to avoid micromanagement. Although it can be daunting to let go of projects, delegating to your team members will allow employees to feel valued, trusted and therefore, confident to complete the task. Seeing your employees complete these tasks will help you to see their skills first-hand and allow for timely feedback. Managing expectations instead of tasks is essential to zone out of the micromanagement phase and offer more freedom to employees. Therefore, ensure that before the task is given to a team member, you have made clear your thoughts and goals on the task at hand. This enhances communication between yourself and the employee and allows them to have clear structure before you trust them with the task.

Lack of flexible working  

Flexible working options offer a practical solution for employees. It can help those using unreliable public transport, those who need to take their children to school, or those with pets, to name a few. Implementing flexible working options where employees can be more autonomous and set their own schedules offers a healthier work-life balance; without it, employees may turn to a different company that does provide this benefit.  

To incorporate flexible working into the organisation, you can start by selecting the core working hours in which every employee must be present – but outside of this, employees can decide when they start and finish. On top of this, switching to a hybrid workplace where employees split their time between the workplace and working remotely can increase productivity and allows them to use their time more efficiently – not to mention, it’s an attractive factor to job-seekers.  

Overworking employees  

Of course, there may be times when employees will have additional responsibilities. Particularly whilst many companies are making significant redundancies, resulting in employees having a bigger workload. However, managers must monitor the workload of all employees and find ways to protect them from burnout and stress caused by unavoidable workloads. Without doing so, staff are more likely to search for another role that offers a better work-life balance. On the other hand, employees must have enough work and understand their contribution to the make-up of the organisation’s overall mission, vision, and success. 

This is another area where regular 1-1s are particularly useful. You can use this time to ask questions to your employee about how they are finding the workload and alter it based on their answers. Additionally, a preventative employee wellbeing strategy is key to understand how employees are feeling. It’s crucial to offer early support to employees who are feeling stressed, burnt out, or disengaged, which could be related to their workload.  

Feeling undervalued and unappreciated

Free lunches and table football are great, but they barely scratch the surface when it comes to creating a culture where employees feel appreciated, cared for, and understood. If employees feel their work is not valued and their contributions go unnoticed, they are likely to lack motivation and may consider leaving their current role for a job that is more rewarding and enjoyable. 

Understanding an employee's concerns, values, needs, and hopes for the future is crucial to retain your top talent. Efforts should be made to communicate and understand individuals' needs and inspirations, so their hard work can be recognised in a way that has the maximum impact.

A spokesperson from Loopin commented: “It’s vital that employers consider the reasons for high employee turnover, particularly if they are due to factors that can be prevented in the future. This requires spotting signs at the earliest opportunity and having a true understanding of employee concerns. High staff turnover not only affects the efficiency of a business, but also comes at a huge cost to businesses too. It’s essential to understand the reasons why past employees have left to prepare for the foreseeable and secure future business success.”    

This information was provided by Loopin, Ai predictive people software that helps businesses to foresee risks in burnout, engagement, productivity and turnover. 

  

  

Homes across the West Midlands will now enjoy life saving protection, thanks to new laws for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

The new legislation means that in England all landlords now have to provide a Carbon Monoxide alarm in their properties. The legal changes follow years of campaigning from the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group, which includes fourteen MPs and two members of the House of Lords, together representing five political parties. 

Marlbrook-based employees from global snack provider, Mondelēz International, have got in the festive spirit and added a touch of Christmas magic to local hospice, St Michael’s Hospice. A team of 11 employees from the Marlbrook site spent eight hours volunteering at St Michael’s Hospice to install Herefordshire’s most-loved Santa Grotto experience, which included setting up Santa’s giant sleigh, an animatronic reindeer, as well as installing more than 50,000 fairy lights.

Severn Trent have announces plans to help tackle the underlying causes of poverty across the Midlands in a landmark scheme designed to help up to 100,000 people find employment, while supporting them to reach their potential.

With households facing the most acute cost of living pressures in decades and the Midlands home to a large number of high deprivation postcodes in the UK, Severn Trent has launched a partnership programme to help address these challenges.