Issue 12 2023

Issue 12 2023 Featuring: Extreme Excellence World Records Best Luxury World Record Company 2023

Welcome to the December issue of Corporate Vision magazine. A monthly publication dedicated to delivering the latest insight and news from across the corporate landscape. The festive season is upon us once again, and for many, it is a period of joy, but also a time for reflection and recuperation. In the workplace, this time of year can be used as an opportunity to come together as colleagues and reflect on all that has been achieved over the past year, as well as to look ahead at what is to come. It allows teams to pause, to build stronger connections, and to be there for each other at a time that can be quite overwhelming for some who may be experiencing financial concerns or time pressures. It also serves as a time for celebration, and we are, as always, delighted to be showcasing the successes of our award-winning businesses who are ending 2023 on a high. From a renewable energy provider, to a luxury world record company, to a travel agency inviting voyagers to its native of Equatorial Guinea, we showcase the organisations who continue to see vast success within their respective industries. We have no doubt that they will be taking a moment to celebrate their accomplishments. The team at Corporate Vision wishes you a wonderful end to the year and that the new one brings great prosperity. In the meantime, we look forward to welcoming you back again soon for our January issue. Rebecca Scotland, Editor Website: Editorial Team Sofi Parry, Senior Editor | Rebecca Scotland, Editor Isabella Mifsud, Writer | Matthew Wright, Writer Emily Godbold, Writer | Michelle Strozykowski, Writer Design Team Lauren Baldwin, Graphic Designer Ali Mohammed, Junior Graphic Designer AI Global Media, Ltd. (AI) takes reasonable measures to ensure the quality of the information on this web site. However, AI will not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness or completeness of any information that is available through this web site. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. The information available through the website and our partner publications is for your general information and use and is not intended to address any particular finance or investment requirements. In particular, the information does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by us or any of our partner publications and is not intended to be relied upon by users in making or refraining from making any investment or financial decisions. Appropriate independent advice should be obtained before making any such decision. Any arrangement made between you and any third party named in the site is at your sole risk and responsibility.

Issue 11 2023 3 Contents 4. News - Edinburgh and New York CEOs Andrew Ward and Charles Ferraz join the Group of Boutique Asset Managers. - The Christmas Switch: Half of professionals aren’t attending their work Christmas party this year 6. Quantum NRG Ltd: Recognised Experts in Renewable Energy Innovation 2023 - UK 7. Extreme Excellence World Records: Best Luxury World Record Company 2023 8. Basile Travel: Best Travel Agency 2023 – Equatorial Guinea 9. How to have a merry corporate Christmas 10. 5 Things Your Business Needs to Consider to Improve Staff Retention 12. The Biggest Demands in Customer Service – and How to Manage Them 14. Employee Experience: How to Make a Positive Impact with Recruitment and Onboarding 15. A Happier and More Productive Workforce: How to Encourage Staff to Get More Active

4 Edinburgh and New York CEOs Andrew Ward and Charles Ferraz join the Group of Boutique Asset Managers. Andrew Ward, Chief Executive Officer at the Edinburgh and London-based asset management boutique Aubrey Capital Management, and Charles Ferraz, Chief Executive Officer at the New York-based investment boutique Itaú USA Asset Management, have joined the Group of Boutique Asset Managers (GBAM) to share business perspectives. GBAM is a global organisation with boutique members across five continents. It comprises specialist asset management firms that share ideas to strengthen their presence in international markets. Ward and Ferraz have joined to add their experience into the mix across the network and increase the presence of both the Group and its constituents across the investment industry. Andrew Ward has over eleven years of asset management experience following a 22-year career in the British Army. In 2012, Andrew Joined First State Investments from the British Army, where his last role was Commanding Officer of the Infantry Battle School. Andrew initially worked in the EMEA Distribution team of First State Investments, before being promoted to the Head of the Institutional Client Team for Stewart Investors (a separately branded division of First State Investments). He was latterly the Chief of Staff of Stewart Investors, working across the business on a range of multi-disciplinary projects, before moving to Aubrey in January 2019. In 2019, Ward joined Aubrey Capital Management from Stewart Investors, following a similar path by working across multiple areas of the business as Chief Operations Officer, Chief Compliance Officer and Director. He was promoted to Chief Executive Officer in March 2022. Charles Ferraz brings over twenty-six years of Brazilian and American asset management experience to GBAM, having worked in São Paulo, Miami and New York. Ferraz began his asset management journey at BankBoston in 1997. As Managing Partner, Ferraz oversaw the BankBoston Asset Management unit and managed approximately USD 13 billion, roughly R$27 billion in AUM as of 2006. Itaú acquired BankBoston in 2006, and Charles stayed within the business, working across the roles of Head of Investment Strategy at Itaú Private Bank (2006 – 2008), Chief Investment Officer at the Banco Itaú Europa International Miami Headquarters (2008 – 2010) and Chief Investment Officer at Itaú Private Bank Brazil (2010 – 2016). In August 2016, Ferraz assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer at Itaú USA Asset Management in New York responsible for the operations and the growth strategy of Itaú Asset Management across the USA. Besides his executive role for Itau USA Asset Management, he is the Global Head of Solutions at Itaú Asset Management, responsible for teams based in NY, Miami and Sao Paulo. GBAM Chairman Tim Warrington said, “We are thrilled to welcome Andrew Ward of Aubrey Capital Management and Charles Ferraz of Itaú USA Asset Management to our esteemed Group of Boutique Asset Managers. Their expertise and proven success across multiple geographies will undoubtedly enhance our community’s collaborative spirit and innovation. We look forward to their valuable contributions to our Group.”

Issue 11 2023 5 News The Christmas Switch: Half of professionals aren’t attending their work Christmas party this year • 48% professionals aren’t planning on attending their work’s Christmas party this year • Almost two fifths state it being ‘too much effort’ this year • 31% are not attending because of the ‘cost associated’ with going • 59% of workplaces are having a downsized celebrations or noneat-all Over a quarter planning to ’not drink at all’ at their office celebrations 48% of professionals in the UK and Ireland are planning on missing their work’s Christmas party this year – whilst 20% are going just to ‘show their face’. A new poll from Walters People has shown that many professionals in the UK and Ireland are being deterred from the idea of a workplace Christmas party this year – with less time in the office, cost-of-living, and economic uncertainty all playing a role in employees decision making. What’s changed? When asked about the reason behind them not wanting to attend their work Christmas party – the two most common responses from professionals were that it is ‘ too much effort this year’ (37%), and the personal costs associated with attending (33%). Janine Blacksley, Director of Walters People UK comments: “The Christmas or end-of-year party has always been an important diary entry in professionals calendar – in particular in the whitecollar world where the end of the year is typically a period where the company is able to slow-down or shut for a few days. “This year it feels there has been a tide-change on the end of year Christmas party being a festive calendar staple. Our poll results show that the main deterrents echo a fatigue in professionals to make the effort or foot the costs associated with attending their office party this Christmas – they’d rather spend on their own personal Christmas plans.” A mixed bag for many A further quarter stated another primary deterrent for attending their Christmas work party is that their employer is spending less on the actual event. In fact, when asked if their employer was holding a Christmas party this year – 59% stated they were either having smaller celebrations or none at all due to cost cuts. Contrastingly, less than a third (32%) of professionals stated their workplace Christmas party was going to be a ‘big one’ this year. Janine comments: “2023 has been a mixed bag for many companies, so it isn’t surprising that festive celebrations this year will be very dependent on industry and employer. Whilst the majority are having pared down celebrations or none at all – a percentage are planning to push the boat out. “Whilst typically more money being spent often signifies that a company is doing well from a profit perspective, we are increasingly seeing organisations invest in their workplace culture – including Christmas parties – as an attraction and retention tactic.” But what do professionals want this Christmas? When asked what sort of Christmas party they’d prefer – 38% of professionals opted for ‘ an open bar, party, Santa hats galore’ – whilst an almost equal amount (32%) stated that ‘ a simple lunch would suffice’. A further fifth wanted a relaxed affair, with less focus on alcohol. Many keeping this festive period dry The theme of not drinking seems to be a preoccupation for many professionals this year – with almost double the amount (39%) of professionals planning to ‘only stick to one or two festive tipples’ at their office celebrations, compared to just a fifth who are planning to go ‘ all out’ (22%). Whereas, a further 31% are planning to ‘ stay entirely tee- total.’ Whilst Gen-Z seem to leading the charge in lessening the dependence of alcohol in workplace socialising, and more generally – according to Drinkaware UK, 86% of employees in the private sector are still more likely to say there is an ‘expectation’ to drink at employer events than those who work in the public sector. Janine comments: “Our polls show a real change in attitudes towards how work Christmas parties could be carried out going forward – and potentially a permanent shift in workplace culture where there is more focus on oneself rather than team building, and a bigger lens on wellbeing and balance rather than socialising. “Time will tell - on whether this is a more fleeting change in light of what has been a globally economically difficult year.”

problem is that my pay doesn’t always line up with bills’ due dates. This has caused me quite a few close calls with payments. Luckily, the team has been an absolute lifesaver. They are super helpful and understanding when it comes to managing my bills. Thanks to their support, I’ve been able to avoid late payment fees and stay on top of my bills. I can’t thank the team enough for making it all a lot less stressful.” The team is an international force with offices in China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, the Philippines, and the UK. Members of the consultancy team are also part of MKP Property Management in the UK and possess decades of proven experience. With dedicated customer service and research and development teams, the business is committed to delivering all-inclusive services that allow customers to focus on living their best lives. Quantum NRG is dedicated to providing a one-payment solution to shared student house bills. With its comprehensive services, the business combines bills into one single convenient payment for a stress-free billing process. Quantum NRG aims to create industry change by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources and changing when and how we use power. The company will continue to provide green energy alternatives and reward its customers for their sustainable choices. Quantum NRG Ltd. has received our award for this year’s Recognised Experts in Renewable Energy Innovation – UK. Contact: Louise Liu Company: Quantum NRG Ltd. Web Address: Sep23236 Recognised Experts in Renewable Energy Innovation 2023 - UK Established in 2009, Quantum NRG Ltd. provides a hassle-free solution to shared student house bills. The company provides a one-stop service dedicated to making moving home easier for both landlords and tenants. Quantum NRG is a pioneer in the field of renewable energy innovation and is passionate about ending reliance on fossil fuels for energy, heating, and transport. For its green energy solutions, Quantum NRG Ltd. has received a Global Business Award for this year’s Recognised Experts in Renewable Energy Innovation – UK. The team at Quantum NRG possesses over 25 years of experience in managing student accommodation portfolios across the UK. Through their combined industry knowledge, the team became aware that utility suppliers were not meeting customers’ expectations. Many accommodations have issues such as multiple suppliers, slow transfer processes, slow billing cycles, repeated fees from multiple suppliers, and a lack of fee transparency. Specialist language can also create a barrier for clients trying to communicate with and understand their suppliers. Quantum NRG is dedicated to providing a streamlined solution with comprehensive services designed to save customers’ time and energy. The company collaborates with its network partners to provide clients with the best quality energy providers in the UK. Quantum NRG is passionate about creating industry changes to end reliance on fossil fuels. Its leading technology utilises green energy sources and implements eco-friendly energy into homes. The business serves international students and is equipped with a Chinese language service to ensure customers have access to efficient communication. Quantum NRG provides customers with one account for all services, meaning payments are consolidated into one bill. The team can also expedite the refund of a customer’s security deposit by dealing directly with landlords and sorting out any final billing issues. With its customer portal, Quantum NRG provides a convenient hub for utility management. From one centralised platform, clients can easily submit meter readings, monitor spending predictions, and update their account details. The portal is designed to offer customers a hassle-free solution to managing their utilities. Unlike domestic state-owned energy companies, British energy companies are more market oriented. Quantum NRG’s product design concept is unique as it is based on the different housing energy supply methods at home and abroad. In 2015, the team launched the Student Bills Packages after years of research into international students needs. Over the last decade, a total of 20,000 international student customers have used the Student Bills Package and provided excellent feedback. The team has utilised data from its Chinese consulting company’s market survey to further improve the design of its product and meet the requirements of Chinese students. Features included in the Student Bills Package are high-speed internet, natural gas, electricity, and water. As well as these household billing services, the team manages students’ council tax to ensure there are no conflicting problems with visas or legal issues during their stay. Quantum RG sets up all energy suppliers for students before they move to the UK so that customers have access to services immediately. After their stay, students do not have to worry about cancelling with multiple suppliers as Quantum RG provides a one-stop service for all their energy needs. On her experience, Priya Gupta shares, “As a foreign student in the UK, I have to juggle part-time work to support my studies. My

Issue 11 2023 7 Aug23691 Extreme Excellence World Records is involved with the certification and championing of elite achievements. As a company, it also offers clients business and consulting services that are deeply embedded in the arena of entrepreneurship, advocate for innovation, and profoundly honour ethical sensibilities. Many of its clients are Guinness World Record Holders, having achieved impressive feats of enormous worth. Others are just starting down the path to reach their goals, with the support of Extreme Excellence World Records behind them all the way. Extreme Excellence World Records is a company founded and run by women, and is driven to support and amplify the ethically powered goals of its amazing clientele. As part of its enterprising ambitions to support and empower entrepreneurs, it is involved in producing cinematic documentaries and books with a particular focus on strengthening the history of excluded persons, including women, first nations people, BPIOC, LGBTQIA+, and people living with disabilities. The founder of Extreme Excellence World Records, Crystal Anne Davis, is herself a world record holder for endurance rickshaw cycling. Building on her own experiences and successes, she has created a consultancy service whereby she can help others to achieve elite success. Having operated as a consultant for some 21 years, Crystal has truly engaged in the decision to promote her clients in a manner that is “beyond world best”. She consults with other professionals and entrepreneurs to achieve her aims, and is a master when it comes to developing the highest performing ROI-ethics balanced business success. To foster impact, Extreme Excellence World Records has an Excellence Media arm that produces intentional documentaries that help to develop clients immortal legacies. The company believes in the power of film to preserve memories forever, as life moves on and achievements are resigned to the past. It crafts documentary packages that are designed to be inspirational heirlooms, immortalising clients for their strong ethics. The ‘Media’ arm of the company concentrates strongly on the human stories behind its clients’ achievements, and endeavours to capture people and communities in their unguarded, natural states, focusing on how they have developed themselves to become the very best. Extreme Excellence World Records currently has two documentary cinematic projects that are under consideration for awards. Origins of Excellence, Crystal Davis’s story, and Stacey Sargison, a record-breaking entrepreneur story. Both films were directed by visionary filmmaker Rose Davis. Rose believes that “our personal relationships, facing death, and the choices we make based on our values, are universal human experiences.” She enjoys combining old footage with interviews to create a cinematic style that helps to simplify the often complicated themes of extreme challenges. Her aim is to help the audience comprehend extraordinary people, who choose a path that rewrites history, even under duress. “Excellence and the everyday are not mutually exclusive.” - Rose Davis Extreme Excellence World Records is the only women-founded company operating in its field, designing and adjudicating unbreakable world records that are unique in their ability to unite millions, create global movements, and immortalise ethical entrepreneurs. One of its recently achieved world records was ‘The most photos of black women with a graduation certificate uploaded to social media in 24 hours’. This project was led by Jen Franks Ahaghotu, a US based CEO and graduate of Harvard University. Jen believes black women’s educational achievements have the power to change the world, and stands behind them speaking their disruptive, natural truths. The results of Jen’s world record include 1.43 million social impacts in 24 hours, 3,527 registered participants, and 1,894 user generated posts. The world record certainly had the power to get people talking. Extreme Excellence World Records believes it is wholly possible to make seismic shifts in all areas, and is leaving a plethora of appreciative testimonials in its wake. For example, Cathy Dumoney recommends Crystal for her world beating consultancy advice. She comments, “Crystal is an absolute powerhouse. Her vision, resilience, and determination is second to none.” Extreme Excellence World Records has been selected for the title Best Luxury World Record Company 2023, in the Global Business Awards. Our congratulations go out to a company that is groundbreaking in so many ways, and always striving to positively impact the world. Why don’t you get in touch yourself, join a project, and attempt a world record! Company: Extreme Excellence World Records Web Address: Contact Name: Crystal Davis Best Luxury World Record Company 2023

Aug23512 Best Travel Agency 2023 – Equatorial Guinea With attractions that are suitable for all tastes, impressive natural monuments, enchanting landscapes, and strong ties to its heritage, Equatorial Guinea is a land stepped in culture, history, and tradition. Basile Travel is the country’s premier travel agent, offering all of the comforts one would expect from a range of modern and luxury hotels from the colonial era. These accommodation offerings include stellar facilities suitable for conferences, relaxation, recreation, and leisure, with many located near shopping districts, others just minutes from the impressive selection of international airports, and some on the outskirts of cities in areas of natural beauty that allow patrons to enjoy its exuberant white sand beaches. Furthermore, across the country’s two capital cities and the many other notable towns located throughout, a vast array of restaurants and bars can be recommended by the agency that can easily fulfil any criteria, with something available for everyone’s liking. Within some of the country’s most popular regions, quality restaurants can also be found in abundance, with many of these being situated in fantastic hotels. The choice selection of bars provides a pleasant time for all looking for a drink and a social occasion, with leisure areas and cultural centres serving to encompass the local culture and offer a slice of Equatorial Guinea’s esteemed heritage. Another element that makes Equatorial Guinea a superb holiday location is its food offerings, with a cuisine stemming from a combination of authentic native dishes through to the delicacies found in the country’s colonial homeland of Spain, with inspiration coming even further afield from Morocco and other such Islamic states. With its status as the wealthiest nation in Western Africa to boot, a variety of meats are also common in dishes, with the most popular of these being fish and chicken. Spicy dishes are too popular in the region, bringing together a host of flavours influenced by other nations. This in addition to a host of vibrant, staple fruits and vegetable that are fresh and native to the island. Those looking to relax can enjoy access to spa and wellness facilities in many of the hotels Basile Travel partners with for its holidays, such as Sifitel Sipopo Le Golf, Hilton Bisila, Sofitel President Palace, Gran Hotel Djibloho, and Flavia Residential Complex (Flarex), with some of these offerings even complete with 18-hole golf courses. All in all, there are more than a dozen hotels available that are situated in a range of nature, beach, or urban areas, reinforcing the company’s claim that the country really does offer something for everybody. Music, cinema, and theatre are also big parts of Equatorial Guinea’s culture, and one particular way that these can be experienced firsthand is through Basile Travel’s routes, which span a number of days from 7 to 16, and also offer excellent opportunities to explore the country’s wildlife, flora, and other elements of its history and culture, with these detailed itineraries combining all of the best bits Travel agency Basile Travel invites everybody to its native Equatorial Guinea, an underappreciated paradise that is located right in the heart of Africa and possesses within the jewel that is the Gulf of Guinea. With Spanish as its official language and a range of others spoken, including Portuguese, French, and English spoken across the country, this land boasts cities of European influence, as well as exotic flora and fauna nestled between its cocoa, coffee, and banana plants. Referencing the equator in its name, this sovereign state is situated just north of the equator, and as such is dominated by a warm climate that consists of an average temperature of 26 degrees throughout the year, something that is welcomed by its myriad of visitors, who seek an authentically nature-filled African adventure. into handy, detailed tour where tourists can become well-versed with everything that makes this breathtaking location so unique and special. In every destination offered by Basile Travel, a variety of scenery can be experienced that offers rich cultural, wellness, rural, and urban tourism, enabling patrons to savour every element of this exotic, cultural, and multi-communal landscape, from exquisite gastronomy through to sports and water paradises, all while soaking up the flawless beauty of serene, largely untouched pillars of nature. A holiday in Equatorial Guinea thus serves as a tourist experience blended with an unrivalled passion that elevates it to another plane and provides a journey as authentic as one can find across the African landscape. Contact: Nchama Nzoho Maria Company: Basile Travel Web Address:

Issue 11 2023 9 Leading lawyers are warning that businesses need to be careful as office party season approaches. The Christmas period can be an excellent time for workplaces to relax and employees to have fun. It gives an opportunity for a company’s culture to blossom, teams to bond and for everyone to get into the Christmas spirit. However, with social events like office parties, the blurring of personal and professional can present some unique HR problems that frequently occur during the festive period. Phil Pepper, employment expert at law firm, Shakespeare Martineau, gives some top tips on how to encourage employees to have fun but also maintain boundaries at the same time. The infamous office Christmas party “So notorious, movies have been made on the topic – the office Christmas party gives employees an opportunity to let their hair down with their colleagues. While boundaries may vary from workplace to workplace, the urge to let loose can take the party to an extreme which is unsuitable for any workplace environment. “Behaviour is often top down, so ensuring that management and senior team members are upholding the company’s’ values and being an example to others is key to making sure other employees follow suit. Office parties are generally considered extensions of the workplace, so all the usual policies will continue to apply. Not so secret Santa “Secret Santa is popular in workplaces as an inclusive way to give gifts during the festive period. However, there have been cases of employees using the game as a way of gifting offensive presents in order to bully, harass or embarrass their colleagues. The secrecy involved in this Christmas tradition is what makes it risky for workplaces, as employers still need to be able to hold people accountable. “Online secret Santa name draw generators are a tool which can allow employers to have a way of tracing back who could have potentially gifted a present. While this does not guarantee that someone who has gifted something will be caught, it can be a good starting point for employers who do have to investigate incidences. Think about drink “Many of the social occasions at Christmas can revolve around alcohol, which can feel isolating for those who can’t or don’t drink for a variety of reasons. Booking an activity or going for a meal can be more inclusive, as opposed to a party or going to the pub. Either way, making sure all employees feel included will help strengthen the team spirit and ensure a happy workplace. Mental health at Christmas “Christmas can be a difficult time for many people, especially if they are separated from loved ones. This has to be respected and treated sensitively to make sure everyone is given the opportunity to be included in the festive fun but are able to opt out if necessary. “The key here for employers is open communication with employees, making sure you understand everyone’s wants and needs during the Christmas period. Employers should consider if they can offer further services, for example mental health support, for people who may be struggling. Discretion without discrimination “With the rising cost-of-living set to cause problems for some employees over the Christmas period, many directors have been thinking of ways to help their workforce. One such way could be to introduce a discretionary Christmas bonus for employees who may be in more need of support over the winter months, however, it is important that the workplace does not make itself liable for discrimination in who and how the bonus is awarded. “If a bonus is given regularly over a period of time, then employees could argue that it has become contractual even if it is not stated. Companies should ensure that their policies and contracts state that any bonuses are discretionary in order to avoid this confusion.” How to have a merry corporate Christmas

Helen Law, Senior Client Service Director at Jumar, says: “You need to be bringing people together in your business to see any success. Your business likely runs on the people you employ, so making sure they’re happy means considering not only their professional but also their personal lives. “Unhappy employees can lead to sudden spikes in turnover, inconsistency across the business, and a lack of communication and productivity. By investing in your employees and their skills, you can foster a better working environment.” Skill gap hires Talent acquisition is crucial to secure the correct members of your team. You want to ensure that you’re hiring the right people for the right jobs so that your current employees benefit from the new hire. If you have a current skills gap, focusing on this as an area of recruitment can help strengthen your teams, bringing fresh knowledge into the company and ensuring you have the right people, resources, and skills to achieve your goals in the coming year. Helen says: “If you knowingly have a skills gap in your business, you could be putting additional stress on existing team members and ultimately losing valuable income. Ensuring you’re hiring the best people for the positions means your team can be more productive, but additionally can bring skills and growth opportunities to your wider workforce.” Hiring to fill your skill gap doesn’t only ensure you’ve got the right skills on your team, but it can also provide more opportunities for other staff to be trained in a new skill area. Invest in development Today, employees are often seeking more than simply doing their dayto-day tasks at work. Instead, they’re looking to enhance their skills and advance professionally. In fact, 70% of employees surveyed wanted to upskill last year. With such an appetite for growth, it is essential for you to proactively invest in your employees’ development by providing training and upskilling opportunities, which in turn can foster both individual and organisational growth. Whether you’re hiring consultant-level workers into your business to nurture the growing skills of your teams or you’re investing in spending time training new staff on your processes, ensuring everyone across the business has access to growth opportunities can lead to a happier workforce. Helen Continues: “If you have the right skills in the company, training your staff and encouraging growth opportunities becomes a much easier process. Whether it is upskilling in the specific business area or making sure you have the resources to allow your staff time to train in other areas, supporting professional development at all levels is key.” Reduce burnout According to data, 51% of long-term sick leave is due to stress, depression, and anxiety – with the effects of burnout causing staff to take time off to recover. Burnout can represent itself in many ways, but some of the common themes include helplessness, cynicism, and a loss of motivation. Employers should be able to recognise these symptoms and act quickly to help understand how to improve the situation for their employees. Confidence is important when it comes to reducing stress and burnout. It is important to make sure your staff are well equipped and trained to perform any tasks they are given. Open communication and transparency can help address worries quickly, as well as keep your employees well-informed if their job roles require new tasks. Helen says: “A well-informed workforce is going to work better than one with poor communication. Keeping your team updated can ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal. By cutting down on unnecessary stress, you can help your staff manage their workload better and provide a more comfortable work environment.” Embrace workplace wellbeing In the UK, it is estimated that 1.8 million employees are suffering from work-related illnesses, including mental health problems. Whether this is a physical injury brought on by repetitive strain or stress-related anxiety, focusing on your employee wellbeing can ensure a happier, healthier workforce. Helen highlights: “An unhealthy workforce can make for a difficult time for everyone. No one wants to find themselves struggling with work, while sick days can cause extra strain on the remaining team members. Having wellbeing spaces in your workplace can give your employees a break area during the day. These should be work-free zones which encourage social interaction. Incentives such as discounted healthcare or gym memberships can also encourage workers to maintain their mental and physical wellbeing. Take quitters seriously Helen says: “Employees who have handed their notice in can be a great source of information when it comes to how to improve your business. If you’re looking to improve your staff retention, talk to those who are leaving the business. “Knowing why people are quitting can help you identify areas for improvement within the organisation – whether you need to hire more skilled staff to help with the workload or it is a shift in policy your company needs, past employees could have the answer.” Not only should you be putting in place measures to ensure future employees don’t leave for the same reasons, but you should also be taking quitters seriously by managing the workload they leave behind. As discussed earlier, burnout can be a substantial factor in employees considering resignation. Ensuring you have steps in place to handle the extra workload can prevent your teams from burning out quickly. With what has been termed the “Great Resignation” and younger workforces preferring to choose unemployment over unhappiness in the workplace, it is more vital than ever that employers look into what staff actually want from their jobs. Whether you’re improving growth opportunities or managing burnout, keeping your staff happy is the only way to maintain staff retention. 5 Things Your Business Needs to Consider to Improve Staff Retention According to data, the employment rate for people aged 16-64 was down to 75.7% in the last quarter. As employment levels dip, it is important to keep in mind what is needed to keep your staff happy and in their jobs.

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The Biggest Demands in Customer Service – and How to Manage Them Owen Campbell, Operations Director at Kura, says: “Customer satisfaction is crucial for the growth and success of any business. Happy and well-looked-after customers tend to become more loyal, whereas a bad customer service experience might turn your customers away for good. Making sure you understand what it is that customers want, and need, is essential for offering the best service possible and keeping your customers.” Reducing complaint times According to the UKCSI, businesses are now taking longer and longer to solve customer complaints. This not only causes further customer dissatisfaction but also costs the economy £9.8 billion a year in lost time. Campbell says: “Making sure your customer service team is working as efficiently as possible is essential for productivity and customer satisfaction. No customer wants to be waiting extended periods of time for a resolution. Finding the root cause, whether it is a lack of training or an influx of calls, is important for improving your customer experience.” One way to reduce your resolution time is through customer service outsourcing. By working with a trusted and experienced third-party company that understands your business, your customers, and is comprised of a team of highly skilled advisors, you can reduce call waiting times and speed up problem solving. Whether you’re delayed due to a lack of problem-solving training in your team or because your customer service hasn’t been scaled correctly alongside your business, outsourcing can help you achieve better scalability and flexibility. Another way to guarantee that your customers are getting the quickest service is by ensuring that they’re contacting the right person for their query or complaint. All channels need to be kept up to date with the right, key, information for your customers. An experienced customer service provider can ensure that the complexities of omnichannel contacts are maintained, whether your customers are reaching out through social media platforms or voice call, meaning that your customer service provider has the full context behind all queries. You should also make sure customer notes are maintained across all communications. Implementing an integrated CRM means that everyone has access to the right context around your customer’s complaints and previous complaint history – meaning that your advisors can find an answer quicker without having to repeat conversations with your customers. When customers want to contact you through multiple different channels, and have contact with multiple different advisors, the right contact centre software can help with scripts and Data showed that the UK Customer Service Index (UKCSI) score dropped to 76.6 out of 100 in July 2023. With the numbers dropping, it is important that all businesses investigate their own customer service offerings and understand exactly how to make their customers happy. automatically bringing up a customer’s full history, helping reduce call times and improve complaint resolution. Assisting with financial plans and debt management It has been found that customers who feel their financial situation is bad or very bad tend to have a worse experience with bad customer service. With 18% of customers experiencing poor financial situations, and with the current cost-of-living crisis affecting many, businesses and their respective customer service teams must focus on offering additional support to their customers. Having a team of advisors trained in handling sensitive information and difficult situations is important during this time of financial insecurity. Customer service will often have to solve payment complaints, refunds, and more. So, ensuring your team is confident in sorting financial plans and debt management is crucial. Campbell says: “Finances can be difficult due to their sensitive nature, but being able to offer your customers an empathetic advisor is important for maintaining a good customer experience and finding a solution that works for both the company and the customer.” Human contact As AI starts to take over more roles in the workplace, it is important that you maintain a human team of customer service advisors to help your customers. In fact, 79% of customers still want direct human contact during their customer service, so ensuring that you’ve got people in place to answer queries and complaints is essential. Campbell says: “While AI can be useful in automating processes and taking tasks off the advisor, ensuring you have the human touch is more essential for customer service. An advisor being able to provide empathy and compassion in order to connect with the caller is key to customer satisfaction. AI and automated software can help us increase call efficiency, but when customers don’t want to be on a call, and want the right resolution first-time round, it’s the human touch that can make the difference.” “Taking a human-centric approach to your customer service means that you can find better solutions that actually work for your customers, which aren’t always the most logical or straightforward. Everyone has their own needs, and being able to solve complaints and complex problems requires that human addition.” Keeping your customers satisfied is essential for the success of your business. In fact, 68% of customers say they are willing to buy more products from a company they know to have good customer service. So, ensuring you’re providing customers with what they want to keep them happy is important – whether that is direct human contact or quicker response times.

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This is a great example of why a good onboarding program can play a huge role in the retention of top industry talent. Caroline Gleeson, CEO of Occupop, a provider of industry-leading hiring systems, offers expert insight into making a positive impact on your business with recruitment and onboarding. Introducing workers to the company’s culture When hunting for new prospective hires, it’s important to find workers who fit your company’s vision for what it means to be a hard worker with the same goals and drive. Knowing they’re aligned on your values can be reassuring that they’ll work hard to meet targets. You can also use the recruitment process to find out whether these new hires fit not only your company’s vision but the environment and culture that your workforce has cultivated. An ideal candidate would be someone willing to integrate into the team and get along with everyone while also being able to maintain their work-life boundaries. Increased engagement and greater retention Disengaged employees have been found to cost the UK economy as much as £340 billion a year. But how does a lack of engagement occur? One reason for employee disengagement is a lack of connection to their role and the business. If interpersonal connections to colleagues and management aren’t made, it can lead to workers feeling isolated and actively disengaging or looking for opportunities elsewhere. This area could be significantly improved when addressed at the source. When recruiting new talent to the workforce, onboarding them effectively can help with long-term productivity, as they feel more connected to the aims and goals of the business. According to B2B Assets, an in-depth onboarding process improves worker retention by 82%, proving that your recruiting and onboarding processes should be refined to ensure you’re retaining the top-quality talent within your staff. Overcommunicate and leave no stone unturned The recruitment process and onboarding can be highly formative for new starters to be made aware of exactly what their roles and responsibilities will be when they get to their workspace. However, research from Gallup has found that only 29% of new hires feel prepared and supported adequately to perform well in their new role. This is why when you’re first recruiting new starters, it’s important to communicate the expectations and specifications of the role through interviews. Building out your interview processes can help you find the right prospect for the job and ensure you’re making a quality hire. When you’ve filled the role, it’s important to help them feel confident in their new job by going above and beyond when it comes time to get started. Through onboarding, you can overcommunicate about the objectives and aims of the role through conversation and printouts they can keep while also keeping the floor open to questions. This way, they’re getting all the information they could possibly need to feel prepared to start. Employee Experience: How to Make a Positive Impact with Recruitment and Onboarding When recruiting for vacant roles within your company, a huge concern may be how to retain the talent you’re bringing in. Especially considering the research showing that 30% of new starters leave their roles within the first three months, and the financial impact of replacing them can be as much as £30,614 per research from Oxford Economics and Unum.

A Happier and More Productive Workforce: How to Encourage Staff to Get More Active In fact, a study by the University of Otago in New Zealand has found that employees who exercise regularly are 13% more productive at their workplace. This seemingly small percentage could have a huge impact over time if more workers took up exercising and could see huge increases in productivity and output. For those wondering how best to broach this topic with your employees, Ben Mercer, mountain bike enthusiast and director at bike business: Leisure Lakes Bikes, offers some top tips to encourage staff members to get more active for benefits both inside and outside the workplace. Share the statistics Many members of your team might already be considering investing more time into their exercise routines to benefit their health. One thing that could help them finalise this decision is sharing your findings with your wider teams. Effective, open, honest communication is crucial for making your workforce feel valued and part of the conversation. By conveying the data and research you’ve done into the benefits of activity and exercise can have on both mental and physical health, you can help push your workforce to engage more actively with their bodies. Embrace the everyday fitness – cycle to work and more There’s plenty you can do around your workplace to make it more accessible for those looking to benefit from exercising to and from the office. Many might see their morning and evening commute as the perfect opportunity to burn some calories and get the blood pumping through their bodies through the likes of cycling or even donning some trainers and running. Nothing is sure to discourage people from exercising before work than the prospect of arriving sweaty and worn out without a place to get changed into their uniform or appropriate attire. Or worse, be forced to smell for the rest of the day. Introducing purpose-built changing rooms with showers is a great remedy for this. Similarly, for those cycling, they’ll want to be sure they’re able to safely store their bikes while they’re working. Bike racks or sheds can encourage cycling without fear of theft or damage. Provide benefits and incentives Everyone loves a freebie, and offering benefits and incentives to those in your workforce who want to get a bit more active could help drive the idea home. You could partner with local sports brands that make and sell fitness and workout gear, ranging from apparel to peripherals like wrist straps for weightlifting. Their brand gets free exposure, and your workforce gets some additional equipment to help them during their workouts. Gym memberships can sometimes be costly, making people uncomfortable committing their hard-earned money to a membership contract. Offering a discount or a free trial membership for a few months when they first start with your business could help get them into the groove of going and exercising. If they enjoy it, they might sign up for a full membership and feel encouraged to go more frequently and learn about exercises that help them become more active. Research from the World Health Organisation has found that a quarter of adults around the world don’t get the sufficient levels of physical activity needed to live a healthy lifestyle. Businesses should take note of this, as there is a direct correlation between exercise and workplace productivity.