Secrets of a Brighter Workplace


Tips on how to understand, recruit and keep the best people for your business


A Christmas countdown: my top 10 blogs of 2016

Wishing you a very merry Christmas!

christmas countdown

As traditional as fairy lights and mince pies, the Christmas countdown of the year’s highlights is a staple of TV and radio schedules.

So, for your delight and delectation, I thought I’d do one of my own.

I’ve published 26 blogs this year, covering everything from new developments in leadership recruitment, how technology and austerity is affecting the way we recruit, to dealing with stress and the benefits of mindfulness, to how to answer curveball interview questions and cope with the EU referendum result.

So, pop-pickers, read on for the 2016 Christmas countdown chart of Work Brighter Secrets – which one do you think has made the number one spot?

No. 10. Restrain your inner reptile. The stressful brain and how to take control

Coming in at number 10 is a golden-oldie from all the way back in April. Remember April? When the spring was in full swing and the world hadn’t quite yet gone mad?

This blog explored how our brain’s structure influences how we respond to situations we find challenging. And how by knowing that we can take steps to calm everything down. And it included tips on how to improve your own resilience to stress.

No. 9. Sadiq Khan or Zac Goldsmith? My good practice guide to assessing job candidates

The election of London mayor seems like a long time ago now, but the topic of this blog remains highly relevant.

Making sure job candidates are assessed effectively, fairly and consistently is critical to making the right (and legally defensible) hiring decision. In this blog, I explain the key tactics involved in candidate assessment and provide a free good practice guide for you to download.

No. 8. The age of the machine: the impact of technology on employment, recruitment and development

This new entry clearly struck a chord with its readers.

Technological advances in robotics, automation and AI, means we’re seemingly on the cusp of a revolution in our workplaces. So it’s worth assessing how we as human beings are affected by the technology we encounter, the technology we embrace, every single minute of every single day.

Having attended an ABP conference on the future of work, I shared some of the keynote speakers’ insights into our relationship with technology and what implications that has for those of us tasked with recruiting and developing real, actual, live human beings.

No. 7. It’s good to talk: the art of the difficult conversation

When it comes to human interactions none are more fraught than those conversations we don’t want to have. Those conversations where we need to reprimand someone for bad behaviour or pull them up on their poor performance.

In this blog, I talk through my learnings from Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott who shows us how to approach a challenging conversation in a productive, non-confrontational way.

No. 6. Getting to know you: three practical exercises for building effective teams

Another new entry is this one on how to help your team come together, to develop shared goals and support each other in the delivery of those goals.

I talk through three really simple exercises – no yomping on the North York moors required here – to help your team get to know each other on a deeper, more trusting level and to agree a way of working that will improve performance and team harmony.

If you haven’t tried these exercises on your team yet, what better way to start the New Year!

No. 5. Making it stick: how to enhance your brain’s ability to learn new things

A non-mover at number 5, this blog described how to embed learning through an awareness of your preferred learning style – whether that’s visual, verbal, social or physical.

Readers were drawn to insights into how the brain grows the more we learn and that when it comes to learning anything, effort is what counts, not innate levels of intelligence or ability.

No. 4. Watch your step! Eight mistakes to avoid when designing a competency framework

Just missing out on a top three chart position is this recent blog which catalogues eight mistakes organisations often make when developing a competency framework.

And as well as highlighting common pitfalls to avoid – like not doing your research or over-using jargon – the blog also offered tips and hints on what you need to do to ensure your framework has the maximum impact for your business and your people.

No. 3. We don’t like strangers round ‘ere – when a new employee upsets the status quo

Straight in at number 3 is this blog on how to integrate a new employee into an established team.

Often managing a new employee’s introduction into a team is right down at the bottom of the priority list. After all, you’ve been focusing all your time on hiring the right person for the job. But even a highly successful team can crumble if it’s not done properly and carefully. This blog shows you how. 

No. 2. How fear and anger about the EU result puts us on a path to nowhere good

A huge hit with readers, this blog was published just after the EU referendum result in June and neatly gets to grips with the fear and anger many of us were feeling at that point.

This blog was a guide to not letting that fear and anger take over, about helping your team take stock, avoid getting mired in despair and start to reframe the conversation to look for opportunities rather than threats.

But even this timely blog was not the most popular one of 2016. It was – fanfare please – held off the top spot by this perhaps surprising, but undoubtedly worthy, poptastic chart entry:

No. 1. Addressing unconscious bias and stereotype threat: 22 tactics to use when recruiting to improve diversity

That’s right, 22 tactics to help improve the diversity of your organisation. No wonder it sits at the top of the chart as the most popular blog of 2016.

From simple tips like using social media to tell good news stories and ensuring your recruitment marketing materials include images of a diverse range of people to more strategic tactics like validating your selection process to ensure it predicts success in the role – this blog is a rich resource for businesses large and small.

Its popularity reflects, I’m pleased to say, the increased importance organisations are placing on diversity, not least because of the benefits a diverse workforce brings to the bottom line.

Those are my top ten. What were your favourite blogs of the year? And what topics would you like to see covered in 2017?

No comments so far.

Have Your Say