Hey! It’s a new week so I’m here to bring you your next round-up of news and resources! Enjoy!

The Effect of Robots on the US Economy

Caroline Fairchild, the LinkedIn New Economy editor has had some very interesting statistics to share with her subscribers this month. One of the many headlines circulating around the US at the moment is the future impact of automation on their economy. Caroline points out that most stories focused on one statistic in particular: “For every robot put in place per thousand workers, up to six workers will lost their jobs and wages will go down.”

Caroline then took a thorough look at the 91 pages of research and shared what she believed to be the best key findings:

  • – It is said that “as many as 57% of jobs could be automated over the next two decades”, but the limitation with this statistic is that it assumes automation is going to be cheaper than human labour which would encourage employers to favour it.
  • – Interestingly, “Men will likely be impacted more than women by mass adoption of robots: They will likely lose more work, however the decreases in wages for men and women will be the same.”
  • – The industry said to be impacted the most by the implementation of robots is to be the manufacturing industry and according to the report, there will be very few employment increases across other occupations to offset this decrease.
  • – There’s only one occupation title that is said to not ever be effected by robots: managers. We guess it goes to show no matter how much automation may take over, a human still must control it.
  • – “Workers with less than a high school degree, a high school degree and some college will see the most negative impact on employment and wages thanks to robots.” Caroline says. “The only group not hit in the researchers’ exercise was workers with post-college degrees.” This is a gut wrenching stat.

It is said that robots in America will “quadruple by 2025 to 5.25 more robots per thousand workers leading to a nearly 2 percentage points decrease in employment, according to one very aggressive model.” So what does this really mean? Could it all be a very biased or overdramatic view towards automation in the interests of human labour, or are robots really a threat to the US economy?

Goldman Sachs to move hundreds of staff out of London due to Brexit

It has been reported by the Guardian that Goldman Sachs is to start moving hundreds of staff out of London before a Brexit Deal is struck and this was confirmed by the Bank’s European boss. The chief executive of GS International Richard Gnodde said that the decision to relocate workers was part of the bank’s contingency plan for the UK leaving the EU. “We are going to start to execute those contingency plans”, he said in a statement to CNBC.

Gnodde also said that the bank (which employs 6,000 staff in the capital)  would take extra office space in Frankfurt and Paris to accommodate this. He spoke a week before Theresa May would be formal triggering of Article 50 and he continued: “We start with a significant European footprint, we are licensed with banks in Germany and in France….Over the next 18 months or so we are going to upgrade those facilities, we’ll be taking extra space in a number of them and be increasing our headcount and infrastructure around those facilities,” said Gnodde.

He also said that the numbers involved were just in the hundreds as opposed to larger than this and it would also involve hiring people in the remaining 27 EU countries. He finally added that no final decisions have been made as to how many staff will eventually work in which locations. “This is all in the context of contingency planning,” he said. “What our eventual footprint will look like will depend on the outcome of [the Brexit] negotiations and what we are obliged to do because of them.”
We’ll keep you updated as more arrives.

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4 Unusual Ways to Train Your Staff

Skill development and employee training is they key to unlocking a lot of the true potential within your workforce. Encouraging your workforce to engage in activities that put their mental abilities to the test while being sociable and fun can have an amazing impact on their skills. So here’s 4 unusual ways you can train your staff:

  • 1. Switch Off the Lights – Allianz the insurance giant has recently pioneering the technique of ‘Dialogue in the Dark’ and it requires that a group of employees are given a task – like completing a jigsaw- in total darkness or without talking to each other. It encourages them to think on their feet and work closer as a team in order to achieve a totally blind goal. It also helps them be adaptable to unexpected situations.
  • 2. Get It Wrong – Improving confidence is a vital element of your employee development. There are so many ways of developing employee confidence with entire books written on the subject. An interesting way to train your employees is to tell them they must get it wrong on purpose. People become self conscious and embarrassed, so by getting them to do it wrong on purpose, they will overcome the feeling of always having to be right and brainstorm fresh ideas they might not have before and above all remember that sometimes it’s okay to be wrong.
  • 3. Climb A Mountain – Impending deadlines, heavy workloads and manic schedules, it’s no wonder that employees are tired. The ability to clear your mind and focus on one task at a time until an entire list is done is a skill every employee should improve on. Pilgrimage training has been used by Japanese businesses for several years and the way it works is that you place your employees into total wilderness with only a map to guide them on their way back to civilisation. This is how you train an employee to truly focus on one thing at a time.

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How to Reduce Employee Absenteeism

A new UK report has found that stats are showing the lowest level of sickness absence since records began, but before you think this is good news, when employees do call in sick, sadly not all that absence is actually genuine. Unauthorised absenteeism is most prevalent just after Christmas and especially between January through to March.

The marketing and industry insights manager at Kronos, Neil Pickering says:”Our research shows that 24% of British workers have 5-6 of their working days disrupted by unauthorised absence between January and March, the most disrupted time of the year. Many also feel these absences are not for legitimate reasons, with nearly three-quarters (73%) accusing their colleagues of taking sick leave when they were not ill, and a third admitting taking sick leave when they shouldn’t have. While the ONS report suggests that men are less likely to miss work through illness, our research suggests that they are the most likely to fake illness (40% compared to 32% of women).”

So what can you do about this issue as an employer? How can You reduce unauthorised absenteeism?

  • Show that you care – You can show an employee that you care in several ways but sometimes all it takes is just to listen to them. Their issues may not lie within the workplace, so letting them know they can talk to you can go a long long way. Having an open-door policy lets them know they’re welcome to come and talk to you. Offer a cookie if you have to.
  • Flexible Working – More and more companies are offering this as an option to employees. Giving employees flexibility cuts them a bit of slack. The ability to work from home or an office closer to home can have great benefits. There’s a lot of myths out there about flexible working and workers being less committed but in fact, flexible working has been proven to increase employee engagement and productivity.
  • Employee Responsibility – This isn’t just about the responsibility that an employee has to you and your business, but the responsibilities you can give them to make them feel empowered. It’s a buzzword that’s commonly used by management but is actually very rarely. The concepts revolves around trust in both ways. By giving them the responsibility to manage their own shifts, they have the power they need to feel better, and are more inspired to be committed.

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Donald Trump Signs Order Making It Easier to Sexually Harass Women at Work

The Independent has freshly reported that Donald Trump has signed an executive order rolling back Obama-era protections for women in the workplace. He has revoked the 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order that Obama put in place to ensure companies given federal contracts definitely complied with a raft of civil rights laws.

Of these, it included two rules that helped protect females in the workplace: a ban on forced arbitration clauses for sexual harassment known as “cover-up clauses” and wage transparency. This wage transparency requirement was forcing companies with federal companies to provide each employee with a “wage statement” making clear their rate of pay, specific additions or reductions, total amount of pay and number of hours worked.

The director of anti-sex discrimination law firm Equal Rights Advocates told NBC “We have an executive order that essentially forces women to pay to keep companies in business that discriminate against them, with their own tax dollars. It’s an outrage.” Women in America currently earn 83 cents for every dollar a man earns according to the latest analysis by the Economic Policy Institute.

The director of workplace equality at the National Women’s Law Centre also chimed into the news channel stating “Arbitrations are private proceedings with secret filings and private attorneys, and they often help hide sexual harassment claims.” They continued: “It can silence victims. They may feel afraid of coming forward because they might think they are the only one, or fear retaliation.”

It’s unfortunate we have to report this sickening news to you. Trump has again made it possible for companies to force sexual harassment cases into secret proceedings never seen by the public.

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The Ad Industry Has a Responsibility over Gender Equality

In a think piece from AdWeek written by David Krupp he quotes Gandhi by saying “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” He agrees with the statement and says we need to take these necessary steps by writing to your local government or starting a petition. But, what if it was also a smart business decision to make – to participate in equality for women.

“It’s interesting to note that women control an estimated 85 percent of purchasing choices, yet over 91 percent of them feel that marketers don’t understand them. It’s imperative for this reason to diversify to properly comprehend and communicate to consumers. And I believe the advertising industry is exemplifying this by demanding transformation.” Krupp explains.”Furthermore, women-run businesses are thriving around the world. According to the EY Global Job Creation Survey 2016, a survey of 2,673 entrepreneurs globally, female entrepreneurs were found to be 19 percent more likely to be running billion-dollar companies than men, and due to their executive positions, women are leading in the job-creation stakes.”

If creating opportunities for women becomes a smart business decision then we must explore what corporate America’s role should be. He says that in order for us to progress we must commit to gender diversity and advancement of women in our work force. “The long term future for many organisations is female not by mandate but my merit.”

This was incredibly refreshing piece to read, and especially as it was written by a male ally. We salute you David Krupp!

Did you know?

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About the author…

Nicole Debson
Director & Founder

With 30 years in recruitment, a genuine interest in people and a desire to help forge careers, Nicole has built ABL on the principle of making businesses better and that little bit more international. Seeking to help candidates navigate their career path; to help clients find the ideal employee, her hands on approach is what has moulded our company. Fluent in French, with good Spanish, and a Masters in Industrial Relations & Personnel Management, you’ll find Nicole thumbing through her well-worn copy of Jack London’s White Fang, her all-time favourite book.