Tuesday 23rd June 2015

Tea-tering on the brink

Trendwatch: which workplace institution is in hot water?

Nobody ever accused us being of untrendy. So when the latest Talent Trends report came out we were of course quick to saunter down to catwalk to have a look at it.

Globally, it was reported that the primary factor in enticing candidates to a given role was “Compensation”, at 49%. That’s hardly a surprise.

However, we learn a humbling lesson here about why you should never take statistics from global reports at face value.

The UK itself was unique in the 29 countries surveyed in identifying “Work/Life Balance” as the primary motivator behind taking a new job, where globally it ranked only third.

What that says about UK jobs or perhaps UK culture is up for debate. But it shows that taking work/life balance seriously as an issue is vital towards finding and keeping the best, especially in the UK, if there was any doubt as to whether that was not the case.

Point of Tetley, please

In a feat of perfect timing, Tetley has just released a report with dark findings on the decline of the British tea break.

Of those not partaking, 44% find themselves “too busy” to take tea breaks, and even more concerningly 25% feel they are not allowed to.

While we hesitate to equate tea breaks with “life” in work/life balance, it is hard not to get an ominous sense from those statistics.

If employees fear or feel unable to take tea breaks, a tiny slice of any given working day (with proven benefits on productivity!) then the state of more major contributions to a decent work/life balance cannot be in a good place.

Other interesting tidbits from the Talent Trends report include:

  • 94% of candidates would like interview feedback, while only 41% have ever received any. Candidates also indicate they would be four times more likely to apply for another role at a company that offered constructive feedback.
  • 77% of candidates would like to hear good news by phone, and 65% would prefer to hear bad news by e-mail. Common sense.
  • A big takeaway is also the importance of not keeping candidates in the dark. They like to be kept in the loop, and that is a crucial part in their forming a good impression of a company.
  • Despite all the hype around social media, 50% of candidates still primarily use word of mouth to find new opportunities. Don’t underestimate the value in current employees as brand ambassadors.

About the author

Jerome Langford

Jerome is a graduate in Philosophy from St Andrews, who alternately spends time writing about HR and staring wistfully out of windows, thinking about life’s bigger questions: Why are we here? How much lunch is too much lunch? What do you mean exactly by ‘final warning’?