They’ve all been accused of creating a toxic workplace environment for their staff, and they’re not the only ones. Almost 30% of employers have reported an increase in employee grievances over the last two years, according to a survey carried out by XpertHR.
In an article published by Rolling Stone employees describe being afraid of Fallon’s outbursts and erratic behaviour. With one stating that ‘everybody walked on eggshells, especially showrunners’. Meanwhile three of Lizzo’s dancers have filed a lawsuit against her and her dance captain Shirlene Quigley. And earlier this year the BBC reported a toxic workplace culture of sexual harassment, racism and bullying across McDonalds UK outlets.
Jimmy Fallon has since apologised to his colleagues and said that he didn’t intend to ‘create that type of atmosphere for the show.’ In an Instagram post, Lizzo has asserted that the allegations are false ‘sensationalised stories’. She claims ‘it’s never my intention to make anyone feel uncomfortable’. While McDonald’s said it had ‘fallen short’ and it ‘deeply apologised’. In all three cases the alleged perpetrators seem to have been unaware of the environment they were creating and the culture they presided over. So, what can business owners learn from these allegations?
Complaints should be encouraged
This may seem counterintuitive, but business leaders should want to hear their teams’ complaints. Employees need to feel safe to raise their concerns and confident that they will be listened to. If your staff don’t have an outlet to raise complaints in a constructive way, they will raise them elsewhere. Which can be damaging to your business’s reputation and employer brand, as Jimmy Fallon, Lizzo and McDonalds have all learned.
Employees at McDonalds reported that their complaints weren’t taken seriously. One young female employee complained to her manager about the behaviour of a colleague but was told to ‘ignore the man’s behaviour and go back to work’. Several workers also said that when complaints were made about managers, they were moved from one McDonald’s restaurant within the franchise to another. Nobody called out the behaviour or did anything to ensure that it didn’t happen again.
Encouraging complaints promotes open and honest communication. When employees feel heard, they are more likely to share their ideas, identify problems, and suggest solutions, which can lead to a more productive and innovative work environment. When employees feel comfortable raising concerns, issues can be addressed before they escalate into more significant challenges. Organisations that actively listen to and address employee concerns are often more attractive to top talent. In addition, employees are more likely to stay with a company where they feel concerns are addressed.
You are lucky to have your team, not the other way around
In all three cases staff report being made to feel that they were lucky to have their job, and therefore should be accepting of poor conditions and behaviour. As one Tonight Show employee put it ‘It just always felt like, ‘You should be grateful that you have a job, and you should be grateful that you have this position at this show’’. At McDonalds many of the employees featured in the report were on zero hour contracts and felt as though they would risk losing shifts if they complained. Employees who feel this way are unlikely to stick around forever. And employers will discover that finding a replacement is more difficult and costly than they thought.
The reality for employers is that every employee brings their own unique perspective to their role. Not to mention their understanding of your organisation, and the relationships they’ve built with colleagues, clients and customers. When an employee leaves, their colleagues inevitably ask themselves why, and consider whether they might be better off following. Similarly, clients who have a relationship with this employee may wonder if something is wrong. Then there are costs of advertising a role, interviewing, onboarding, and training a replacement. Even in the most competitive industries leaders need to remember that people are not parts of a machine. Employers who treat their staff like replaceable objects will soon discover what a toxic workplace means for them and are likely to struggle with retention, loyalty, and productivity.
Walk the line between the personal and the professional
We get it, your business is your baby, and you’ve put your heart and soul into it over the years. But for your team, this is their job, and they need to draw a line between their professional and personal lives. Which is something that Lizzo’s dance captain, Shirlene Quigley allegedly struggled with. Dancers reported that Quigley spoke extensively about her religious views. Even going so far as pressuring dancers to participate in group Christian prayer, regardless of their own religious beliefs. Religion is a protected characteristic and employers must have an ED&I strategy in place that respects this, or risk allegations of discrimination and harassment. However, maintaining professional boundaries should extend to all aspects of your relationship with your team. Wait until morning to let your employees know about the great idea you had at 10pm. Your team will thank you for it.
Similarly, if you suffer a setback recognise your emotional response to the situation, but don’t allow it to impact the way you treat people. At the Tonight Show staff reported that Jimmy’s moods often dictated the toxic workplace culture. Staff would relay whether it was a ‘good Jimmy day’ or a ‘bad Jimmy day’. One employee stated ‘You never knew which Jimmy we were going to get and when he was going to throw a hissy fit.’ Emotional fluctuations can lead to inconsistent behaviour, which can be confusing and demoralizing for employees. Consistency in leadership behaviour is important for establishing trust and maintaining a stable work environment. It also sets the tone for the workplace culture. When employers display emotional outbursts or engage in unprofessional behaviour, it can encourage similar conduct among employees. Maintaining professional boundaries allows everyone to work together more successfully.
Maintaining a healthy workplace culture
Creating and maintaining a healthy culture rather than a toxic workplace is an ongoing effort. It requires commitment from leadership and active participation from all employees. When employees feel valued, supported, and engaged, they are more able to do their best work. Valued employees remain loyal to the company and positively impact those around them. One of the most effective ways to bolster your workplace culture is through robust HR processes. Your HR team are intrinsic in creating safe reporting mechanisms for staff, ensuring performance management is fair and transparent, and helping your staff feel valued.
At Morson we believe in the transformative power of HR. Our HR teams work as an extension of your business, either working hand in hand with your internal HR team or plugging in as your HR team. By working in true partnership, our benchmarks, tools, and experts help unlock your biggest HR challenges quickly, while supporting the development of your people, culture, and leadership.
Want to transform HR into a powerful and strategic department? Talk to us.
Finding the right recruitment solution for your company can be a daunting task. There are different models and different providers, all promising to help you to find the very best candidates in your field. But how do you know which model is right for you? Choosing the right recruitment model will depend on your business requirements, goals and ambitions, so it’s important to consider exactly what you hope to achieve when choosing your talent solution
Key factors to bear in mind:
Scale of requirements – are these short or long-term, are you looking to recruit at pace, for a high volume, or in a niche skillset?
Workforce mix – do you need contractors, permanent hires or both?
Cost – the cost will vary based on the functionality and complexity of the recruitment model you choose, you may need to factor in TUPE costs when transferring in-house colleagues to the new supplier.
Collaboration – do you want to use your own hiring managers or bring in a completely outsourced team? Either way, you will need to find a provider that understands your business and will work with you to achieve your goals.
Once you’ve established your pain points it’s time to consider the different types of recruitment solutions available.
RPO: The holistic permanent hiring solution
Outsourcing your permanent worker recruitment to a Recruitment Process Outsource (RPO) provider can be a game-changer if you are looking to completely offload your hiring worries. An RPO is the complete, or part, outsourcing of the recruitment function for permanent workers. An RPO provider should act as an extension of your company, sitting on-site and providing a holistic recruitment solution.
Benefit from cost savings, process consistency, and direct market sourcing capabilities. With an on-site team, you’ll experience better engagement and understanding of your company’s needs as well as increased workforce planning opportunities. A shorter time-to-hire and consistent candidate experiences are added advantages.
You need to find an RPO partner that you can trust to become one with your organisation. As your RPO partner will become part of your business, you need to find one whose values align with yours. You’ll need to take the time to get to know one another properly in order to achieve the best possible outcome.
RP01, is our take on the RPO model, it offers a complete talent solution that wraps around your brand, today, tomorrow and in the future. Our talent and optimisation teams seamlessly impart our expertise into businesses to help recruit niche skills, create diverse, engaged candidate pipelines, control supply chain quality and reduce costs, remove the burden of HR, source niche skills and manage processes with intelligence and data.
MSP / Master Vendor: Managing the entire contingent workforce
If managing your contractor workers is a challenge, a Managed Service Provision (MSP) / Master Vendor model is the model for you. A Master Vendor solution is where a single supplier provides over 75% of all roles across your business. An MSP manages the entire temporary worker recruitment process and is responsible for the end-to-end management of the contingent workforce. This means that utilising a master vendor is one of the most cost-efficient ways for a business to manage its contractors
By entrusting a single supplier with your temporary roles, you can consolidate invoicing, ensure a consistent candidate experience, and benefit from economies of scale. With one point of contact, you’ll experience efficient supply chain management and have full visibility of your contractor workforce, making it much easier to demonstrate compliance with regulations such as IR35.
Relying on a single supplier can be seen as a risk, and your supply chain options may be limited.
At Morson, we believe in a holistic, cooperative approach, a new standard of MSP. Our end-to-end solution optimises every aspect of the hiring process. With Morson as your MSP, you’ll have an expert on hand to find the right people for every type of role, from white and blue-collar, specialist technical staff to office support. But more than that, together we’ll have a bird’s eye view of your talent, allowing us to keep spend consistent, track trends within your workforce, build diverse teams, and forecast and prepare for future issues and opportunities. It’s a collaboration that fuses your ambitions, objectives and intelligence with our talent expertise and market knowledge.
Thanks to our market intelligence, industry-leading technology, collaborative approach, our MSP solutions can support your business through the uncertainty of Brexit, the challenge of diversifying your workforce, legislative changes, fulfilling local employment quotas, and any other tests you might face.
Hybrid: The model built around you
When traditional models don’t meet your specific requirements, a Hybrid model comes into play. Increasingly common in the recruitment marketplace are hybrid models. These come about where a traditional model does not fulfil the client’s requirements. The most common form of hybrid model we see is a master vendor solution for white-collar requirements, alongside a neutral vendor solution covering all blue-collar requirements.
Hybrid models can tailor a mix of solutions to create a more complete service delivery. As a result you’ll enjoy the benefits of a partner ethos, more innovation, and sharing of best practices across the different
Having a bespoke recruitment solution created may take time and can incur extra costs, depending on the partner you choose. Equally, managing a hybrid model can be complex for your hiring managers.
A tailored recruitment solution is our bread and butter. We love solving clients intricate challenges, getting under the hood of your talent strategies, processes, people and culture to cost save, optimise and transform. We’ll join you not just as your recruiter, but as your strategic partner. Your people are your most valuable tool, and we hire to make an impact. Coupling our market intelligence with your ambitions, we can forecast, advise, and set a course for your success.
Neutral Vendor: The best model for technology & supplier management
For a comprehensive technology and supplier management recruitment solution, a Neutral Vendor (NV) model is ideal. An NV is a single management company that provides technology and supplier management but does not supply directly to the client. A truly neutral vendor must engage with the supply chain to succeed in delivering against all client requirements.
By engaging with the supply chain, NVs ensure your requirements are met. This model allows you to focus on stakeholder management, avoid commercial conflicts, and benefit from an overarching technology platform.
Time to hire may be increased, and there could be a potential cost increase. Businesses should also be mindful of over-reliance on tech when it comes to placing people.
We understand that so many of your bigger strategic goals are linked to talent. Thanks to our market intelligence, industry-leading technology, and collaborative approach, we can support your business in whatever challenges you might face.Our talent technology Vencuro was built by recruiters, for hiring managers. Vencuro combines business intelligence with our deep understanding of recruitment to eliminate common recruitment issues and business frustrations.
Vencuro’s four customisable modules underpin the entire recruitment process, providing full visibility and complete control of candidate attraction, hiring, onboarding and data capture.
Vencuro is used by more than 100 clients to payroll thousands of contractors without error, auto-anonymise CVs, ensure compliance with IR35, GDPR and Modern Slavery Act regulations and capture expenses efficiently and access business-critical data at the touch of a button.
Total Talent Solution: The single solution for contract & perm
Do you find it challenging to manage both permanent and contingent recruitment? A Total Talent Solution combines the best of both worlds. Combining the NV and RPO models a Total Talent Solution offers a single managed solution that covers both permanent and contingent recruitment.
With dedicated talent communities and a single technology solution, you can streamline your hiring process to find cost efficiencies. Enjoy the benefits of total talent analytics, an integrated process, and an optimised supply chain. A Total Talent Solution can enhance candidate experience, improve employee value proposition, and attract quality talent with a complete candidate journey managed from start to end.
Relying on a single source of talent may limit the talent pools you have access to. Keep in mind that a single-talent solution can also be a single point of failure.
Don’t let hiring challenges hold you back. Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all recruitment solution and what works for one business may not be right for you. We’ve been in the talent market for over 50 years. Whether you have specific hiring challenges or simply want to achieve growth, we can help.
Working with Morson, you’ll benefit from the combined intelligence of our 1,000 people working across the globe, using state-of-the-art hiring technology, and constantly innovating to provide unparalleled service.
Contact Director Sam Menelaou, to find out how Morson can solve your recruitment challenges. Our team of experts is ready to work with you to provide a bespoke recruitment solution to enable your business to thrive.
Morson Market Analyst, Dr Gareth Owen offers his insight on the labour market trends which have defined this year across key industries; aerospace, rail, construction, tech and utilities. Within each report, he provides an accurate picture of what’s happening in each industry right now and into the future. We’ve seen optimism across most sectors in the first half of 2023, with big investment plans and strong revenue growth. But uncertainty lies ahead, as the UK economy is experiencing a turbulent ride, with a recession still likely in 2023.
Skills shortages and supply chain issues still represent the biggest obstacles to growth that breaks through pre-pandemic levels.
The labour market trends outlined in each report signify opportunities and challenges which will require a relentless focus on talent attraction and retention, concentrating on widening the talent pool through attention to welcoming diversity.
Aerospace & defence experience growth in spite of skills gaps
The UK aerospace and defence sector continues to thrive, on its journey to reaching pre-pandemic performance in 2024.
The UK aerospace sector had a 300% YoY increase in orders and a 40% increase in deliveries in May 2023.
Labour and supply chain shortages have slightly spoilt the party, causing airlines to express frustration with delays to plane deliveries. A full supply chain recovery is not expected until 2026.
The skills gap is becoming increasingly tight as international demand for workers increases on back of the war in Ukraine and rapid growth in artificial intelligence and machine learning activity. Cobham and Ultra boss, Shonnel Malani, has suggested that the rise in home working is an obstacle in the war for talent with foreign rivals.
Network Rail released its £44bn, five-year plan for England and Wales, an increase of £1.8bn on CP62. The plan shows increased investment in tackling climate change, improving train performance, and investing in things that matter to passengers and freight users.
This lack of certainty around the creation of Great British Railways, which will take on a wide-ranging management role for “track and train”. Which has caused some reduction in confidence and investment by the rail supply chain, as reported by Petards.
Though the increase in rail spending is welcome, the opportunity is balanced by significant challenges. Including managing infrastructure, which in some cases is nearly two centuries old, especially when combined with the impacts of a changing climate, and significant inflation risk.
The UK government’s decision to delay aspects of HS2 is unlikely to save costs in the long term. It feels like a short-term fix taken by a government more focused on the general election in 2024.
Inflation is an obstacle to growth for construction & infrastructure
A wide range of companies in the infrastructure sector have reported strong growth in 2023, particularly in revenue. However, this is tinged with inflationary pressures in the wider economy causing profits to drop.
The stabilisation of energy prices and supply chain issues in the construction sector have helped improve performance. However, there is still uncertainty ahead, as the UK economy is sailing close to a recession.
Another barrier to growth is the increasing importance of skills shortages in the construction industry. Currie and Brown reporting that skills are the primary threat to major infrastructure projects, with a predicted 8.3% increase in labour costs during 2023.
Infrastructure is missing out on a largely untapped source of talent as only 15% of the construction workforce is female. So it is good to see Katy Dowding taking the helm at Skanska UK, the only woman to run a tier one contractor.
Q2 also brings a reminder to sharpen up your talent strategy to tackle the challenges of a talent market that still remains competitive, and that exploring a more diverse talent pool can help companies to succeed.
Though the UK has much to be positive about in the first half of 2023, but storm clouds are still on the horizon.
The UK continues to experience high inflation, but the medicine of higher interest rates could easily stall the economy and act as a drag on the journey out of the pandemic era.
Government appears to have lost focus on the key challenges the UK faces in growing the economy. It appears more concerned with short-term measures to make quick impacts, before the next general election.
The labour market remains tight, with broad skills shortages trending, despite the supply of candidates across the labour market rising for four consecutive months. Continued inflationary pressures mean that people will redouble their job search efforts and companies will adapt their operations to battle against the challenges ahead.
Whatever future labour market trends may hold Morson is here to support you to attract, retain and develop the best talent.
We, along with the rest of the world, went to see the Barbie movie this weekend. Greta Gerwig’s lovingly satirical take on the iconic doll, traditional gender roles and everything the Barbie brand represents.
The film opens in Barbieland, where every Barbie is living her best Barbie life, in her perfect Barbie Dreamhouse. Meanwhile, the Kens compete for their attention. As Helen Mirren’s wry narrator informs us
“Barbie has a great day every day, but Ken only has a great day if Barbie looks at him.”
Barbie flips traditional gender roles on their head. In Gerwig’s stunning Barbieland, the Barbies are in charge. They hold every position of power (hello Madame President Barbie) and win every award (“I worked hard, so I deserve it”). All while being stunningly beautiful, wearing perfectly coordinated outfits and without a single hair falling out of place. Meanwhile the Kens hold vague titles devoid of any real meaning, as Ryan Gosling’s Ken tells us:
“Actually my job is just beach”.
This has led some commentators to denounce the film as ‘an assault on men’. But, Ryan Gosling’s sheer joy in playing Ken radiates from the screen. The film is just as much about Ken discovering what it means to be a man as it is about Barbie’s journey to form her own identity beyond ‘Stereotypical Barbie’.
Of course, Barbie’s perfect life doesn’t stay perfect for long, and Barbie finds herself pondering death and worrying about cellulite. After a consultation with Kate McKinnon’s ‘Weird Barbie’ and a hilarious allusion to the matrix red pill/blue pill dilemma, only with shoes, Barbie and Ken set off to discover the source of her problems in the real world.
The real world
Barbie believes that women and girls will thank her because:
“We fixed everything in the real world, so all women are happy and powerful”
Only to discover that things are not quite so simple. Self-righteous teenager, Sasha lambasts Barbie, telling her that
‘You’ve been making women feel bad about themselves since you were invented.’
Barbie discovers that Sasha’s mother Gloria, played by America Ferrera, is the one who has been influencing her thoughts. Gloria and Sasha’s relationship forms the heart of the film. Fererra’s hopes for her daughter and powerful speech about the difficulties of being a woman in the modern world, will strike a chord with female members of the audience.
The villain of the piece
Meanwhile Ken discovers the patriarchy. People in the real world call him sir and he starts to believe that he should be able to do any job he likes, simply because he’s a man. Newly entitled, he returns to Barbieland to share the wonders of these patriarchal gender roles with the rest of the Kens. They then build Kendom in its place, brainwashing the Barbies into serving them beer and giving foot rubs.
The film reaches its climax as the Barbies work together with Gloria and Sasha to de-programme their brainwashed sisters and pit the Kens against one another once more. Culminating in an incredible fight scene/dance battle, the Kens’ patriarchal fantasy is dismantled and Ken admits
“Once I realized the patriarchy wasn’t about horses, I kind of lost interest.”
At the film’s conclusion Ken relinquishes the patriarchy and hopes to discover who he is without Barbie, reinforced by the hilarious ‘I am Kenough’ hoodie. While Barbie resolves
Gloria requests an Ordinary Barbie who is just trying to get through the day, without the pressure to be perfect or extraordinary.
So what does all this have to do with recruitment? Well, Barbie’s exploration of gender roles in modern society reminds us that we still have a long way to go to achieve gender parity in the workplace. The USA is yet to have a ‘Madame President’ in real life, but Barbie has been one since 1999. In the film, Barbie visits Mattel’s headquarters and asks to speak to the woman in charge only to discover that the board is entirely made up of men. Of course, the film isn’t far from the truth as, according to the company’s website, all but one of Mattel’s executive officers are men.
Over the course of the film Margot Robbie’s Barbie learns that her belief that
‘Because Barbie can be anything, women can be anything’
isn’t exactly true for most of us. From the gender pay gap, to the motherhood penalty and lack of representation at the top, women still face significant barriers to progress in their careers. The UK has a gender pay gap of 14.3%. Although enhanced parental leave policies are on the rise, only 1.4% of job adverts mentioned them in 2022. There are only eight women leading FTSE 100 companies. For the few women who do reach leadership positions, they work for 2 years and 10 months longer than men. Small gains are being made at the top, but the number of women in mid-career roles has dipped. Without an adequate pipeline of female talent, businesses will struggle to maintain this trend.
Diversity doesn’t have to be a fantasy
All of this reminds us that Gerwig’s Barbieland, where women achieve greatness in every aspect of life and where every skin tone and body type are represented and celebrated, is a fantasy. (This is a film about a doll after all.) Equally, the film’s patriarchy is an over-the-top performance of masculinity, rooted in machismo and faux fur coats. By presenting these opposing extremes in a fun and flamboyant way, audiences are encouraged to reflect on their own perceptions of the ridiculous barriers imposed by gender roles in society.
At Morson we’re placing inclusion at the heart of the conversation. True ED&I has real impact, not just on the lives of people from all walks of life, but in creating stronger cultures and broader empathy in workplaces across the country.
We understand the complexities and opportunities of widening participation and take our commitment to this very seriously. Our ED&I consultancy services are designed to help clients attract diverse talent into their organisation, improve/create inclusive cultures and help identify barriers to inclusion in the recruitment process.
On the 16th of July 1993, the cinematic behemoth Jurassic Park arrived in UK cinemas. That’s an incredible 30 years ago! Since its original release, the film has spawned a decades-long film franchise, numerous spin-offs, and a vast array of merchandise. Jurassic Park astonished audiences with its spectacular visual effects, incredible soundtrack, and superb cast. It’s no wonder that it’s considered a classic. Jurassic Park’s longevity can also be attributed to its themes, which are as relevant today as they were in the 90s. Particularly the dangers of advancing technology without regard for the consequences.
“Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
Spoken by the character Dr Ian Malcolm, played by the endlessly charismatic Jeff Goldblum. And the idea is significant not just for the film, but also in the realm of real-world technological advancements.
Jurassic Park’s power and unpredictability
In 1993, Jurassic Park’s T-Rex stomped onto screens and captured our imaginations with its sheer size, power, and unpredictability. A symbol of the dangers of creating something that you can’t control, evoking both awe and fear in equal measure.
Technology, and particularly AI has come a long way in the last few years. We’ve seen breakthroughs that have revolutionised industries, improved efficiency, and enhanced our everyday lives. From voice assistants to self-driving cars, AI has proven its potential to transform the world around us.
Both the T-Rex and AI can be described as a leap into the unknown. AI advancements have brought excitement, but there are concerns about the risks involved. We should consider the ethical implications and potential consequences of AI development. In Jurassic Park, the scientists’ control of the park and the dinosaurs proved to be an illusion. This serves as a reminder that while designing AI systems, we need to consider all possible eventualities
Balancing innovation with responsibility
While AI holds immense promise, it’s crucial to balance innovation with responsibility. The unchecked pursuit of AI development could lead to unintended consequences.
To mitigate the risks, transparency, regulations, and ethical frameworks are necessary. Thankfully, there are organisations working towards responsible AI practices, to make sure that AI benefits society rather than causing harm.
There are certain jobs that we should think very carefully about before delegating to an AI solution.
Healthcare diagnosis and treatment.
AI can analyse medical data and make recommendations; it can’t replace a medical professional’s empathy and ability to consider the broader context.
There’s been a massive surge in AI-created art recently. However many people believe that it is only reproducing and remixing existing artistic styles rather than creating anything original.
Writing job applications and answering interview questions.
We’ve heard reports of AI chatbots that can provide answers to interview questions in real-time. While we understand how tempting this might be, a chatbot can’t give answers based on your personal experience or showcase your unique personality.
While AI can automate many tasks, and make our lives easier, we should think twice before we hand over too much autonomy to it.
Jurassic Park’s legacy in tech
On the 30th anniversary of Jurassic Park, we’re taking the message that just because you can, it doesn’t always mean that you should, to heart. The film serves as a cautionary tale about the unchecked pursuit of technological advancements. While we embrace the potential and progress AI solutions can bring, we should also take a step back and consider the possible consequences of our actions before we apply them to new situations.
Helping to advance thinking, streamline hiring processes, speed decision making and safeguard workforces our tech solutions balance technological advances with human interactions, intelligence, and analysis. At Morson, we love to talk tech. Let’s talk tech together. Find out how our tech solutions can support your business.