What is your ‘Social Safety Net’?

What is your ‘Social Safety Net’?

You may or may not have heard of this in an employment context, but simply put, it where an employer takes a more holistic approach in regard to employee welfare and support – something that has definitely come to fruition since the pandemic.

The last 12-18 months has for many caused employees to look at their own well-being and what they want from work and home life.  

Pay is not the only important factor to an employment contract – areas such as flexible working and working from home are prevalent and enhanced benefits for sick pay, pension contributions, health insurance and childcare are all on the tick list of wants.

By thinking about your social safety net and what you can offer, will in turn improve recruitment and attraction, attendance, performance and productivity.

Areas to consider for your social safety net:

  • Employee assistance programmes, offering counselling, financial, legal, and health support such as alcohol/drug abuse support
  • Mental health support, such as mental health first aiders and policies
  • Menopause and Andropause support
  • Your corporate social responsibility – support for the community, and charity, where you can add value to the local community (such as schools)
  • Support for those suffering from domestic abuse

Whilst these types of areas were perhaps not seen as appropriate, relevant, or ‘too sensitive to discuss’ in previous years, this is something that very much now needs to be reviewed by employers in relation to managing employees.

If you need help or support in this area, do get in touch to discuss.  Please phone: 07841 568 637 or email: info@mariespeightconsulting.co.uk

Until then all the best!

Hybrid Working A New Way Of Working

Hybrid Working A New Way Of Working

Recent surveys find that two-thirds of workers expect to continue to work from home at least twice a week since the pandemic and the forced alternative working arrangements.

Whilst there will be many firms that are unable to or unwilling to offer working from home (WFH) as an alternative or an option to consider, there are many that will be considering permanent WFH or a blended onsite/off site working practice (known as hybrid working).  

Hybrid working can be far ranging, from static set days working from home and the office to flexible hours to suit between office, home and or hot-desking.  


Overhead costs will be lessened as office space reduces, this and the increased flexibility with hybrid working could be well received by employees, helping them to better work towards a work-life balance, something that is becoming increasingly popular with a modern-day workforce.

With the option of hybrid flexible working/part WFH, will widen your search when hiring new staff as well as it being crucial in maintaining morale and staff retention, especially if employees are still anxious about a full-time return to the workplace.

A further point – time away from ‘disruptions’ at work can help focus productivity which will assist the completion of tasks/objectives. (I have definitely benefited from some quiet time at home in order to complete a piece of work).

And the not so positives…..

As side from the practicalities on if you can actually perform the job remotely, issues around staff feeling isolated when working from home may come in to play (although hybrid working may go towards mitigating this) as well as overall communications with management and the wider team.  

Staff may also be more difficult to manage remotely, with the potential for them to see the days they aren’t in the office as days where they need to work less hard. It will be important for management to monitor these situations and be prepared to take further actions should there be issues in productivity.  There is strong evidence however, if the setup is appropriate, that WFH can increase productivity.  

Finally, not all employees want to go down the hybrid working route, and indeed may feel very demotivated by a move to do so.  Do not underestimate the importance of having a workplace that encourages team engagement.

Next steps…..

Reviewing the options as a business as well as with your employees will ensure that the right approach is taken – with all variables considered.   In all, the introduction of hybrid working comes with varied positives and negatives, it is something that many organisations may increasingly be looking to introduce.

As to how this should be done, please feel free to contact me and we can review your requirement and understand if hybrid working is practical and importantly adds value to your business.  

Marie Speight


T: 01630 638580M:  07841 568637 , email: info@mariespeightconsulting.co.uk

The Five Stages For Successful Project Management

The Five Stages For Successful Project Management

Every project goes through five phases.

The length and details may vary from project to project, but all will still follow the same process.

While some project methods may condense or duplicate the following stages, every successfully implemented project no matter the size/spend or scope will follow these stages.

The Five Stages

  1. Initiation:

Project team formation, project chartering, agreeing senior management sponsors, budgets, project kick-off and Communicating to business.  

  • Planning:

Finalising the project scope, defining the detailed work required as a breakdown, assessing risk, identifying resource requirements, finalising the schedule/timelines, preparing for the actual work and communicating to business. 

  • Execution:

Performing the actual work required by the project, completion of actions – ensuring priorities are met, including a review of timelines and intermediate goals and communicating to business. 

  • Monitor and control:

The actual management, reporting, and control of the resources and budgets during the execution phase and communicating to business. 

  • Project close & Review:

Delivery of the project, assessment of lessons learned, adjournment of the project and project team and communicating to business. 

The common theme throughout is communication of the project within the business. This is not just with the project team or the senior team that are sponsoring – but to the whole of the business. Whilst the nature of the information will vary depending on who, the need to update all on progress will not only assist the project completion but will allow time for staff to adjust to any subsequent changes arising.

As project manager I will lead your team through these five phases in succession—regardless of project size—until the project is complete.  

Until then all the best!

Marie Speight


T: 01630 638580M:  07841 568637 , email: info@mariespeightconsulting.co.uk