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The Happiness Advantage 616 350 HR Studio

The Happiness Advantage

We spend the larger portion of our day at work – and if well, being unhappy for 8 hours a day, 32 hours a week and 128 hours in an average month sounds familiar, then you may want to consider a change. Of course it isn’t always as easy as changing jobs or even careers, particularly in the current climate in which we find ourselves but there is a case to be made that it is not always external circumstances that determine your state of being

American author Shawn Achor talks about The Happiness Advantage in which he advocates that as people we are chasing our happiness on the other side of success – which we may never achieve. The reality is that as people, when we succeed, the joy of that success is short-lived before we change our success goalposts, holding ourselves hostage to even greater results. According to Achor and other positive psychology work, we may be doing things backwards as happiness fuels success and not the other way around.

 Well what does that all mean for us grinding away 24/7. The theory suggests that by being more positive people you can use happiness to pursue success. To create lasting positive change of course does not happen overnight but again the research speaks for itself showing that certain behaviours repeated over a period of at least three weeks will help you kick-start this process and rewire your brain

 So what can you do to start creating more happiness in your life? 

  • Practice gratitude Thinking of what you’re grateful for throughout the day is believed to increase the level of dopamine in your brain, according to UCLA neuroscientist Alex Korb, author of “The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time.”
  • Get more sleep: There is a ton of research that shows the link between and sleep and improved well-being. Read more about all the ways sleep affects your happiness
  • Appreciate your accomplishments: It’s a whole lot easier for our brains to focus on the perceived failures in our lives. But we can change that cycle by choosing to focus on our successes. 
Client testimonial: Helping Hooligan Development scale 1024 682 HR Studio

Client testimonial: Helping Hooligan Development scale

No day is the same at HR Studio owing to the diverse and dynamic businesses with whom we work. One of those clients happens to be a bunch of hooligans and we’re proud to share their recent testimonial. And if you need world-class website design, web & app development and custom software  – then these are the guys to contact

Hooligan Development is a boutique development house established in 2013 and based in Johannesburg. Our speciality lies in the development of custom applications and websites for both desktop and mobile devices, but that’s not where our service offering ends.

Hooligan Development offers you a holistic solution from dev through to data analytics, SEO and design. We pride ourselves on building intuitive system architectures that translate into perfect development rollouts for our clients. It’s something we do well, really well.

Hooligan had always had a small team but as the business grew we needed to scale up fast –  without losing focus on our core business. This is when we met Stacy Perstein from HR Studio through the Civitas Community. The HR Studio team put in place critical hiring and onboarding processes that resulted in brilliant people being hired while the rest of us were able to focus on the business. As a ‘no excuses, let’s get things done and do it right’ business, we needed a partner who could handle the pressure, be direct with us and understand our business – HR Studio took the challenge head one.

Then came Covid-19 – and like so many small businesses we moved to a remote working model and HR Studio simply morphed with us and as we needed them to – supporting us to maintain the Hooligan culture and support employees despite our now dispersed workforce.

There is no challenge that the team cannot undertake and Stacy brings an energy and positivity for everything she does. With that said, I would highly recommend Stacy and her team to any agile business looking for the best talent, seamless HR processes and the know-how to support people through any scenario.

—  Ricardo Carvalho

Back to work but not out of the woods 616 350 HR Studio

Back to work but not out of the woods

Now that the country has entered Lockdown Alert Level 2 and many of us are heading back to our offices, it is more important than ever before to ensure we take the necessary precautions to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. Now is certainly not the time to let our guard down or take our foot off the caution gas. The resurgence of the virus in New Zealand is testimony to this very fact.

As business owners there is the additional responsibility to make sure that office environments are safe and compliant with the country’s Occupational Health and Safety regulations – which we know is a comprehensive process and can be quite daunting.

This includes everything from the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),  the spatial planning of the office to maximise social distancing, adequate and effective sanitizing measures in place and ensuring necessary risk protocols are designed – and that’s just the start. Some businesses are required to institute shifts based on the number of employees, others are expected to provide transport and of course there are specific regulations for employees over the age of 60 or with a comorbidity. Do you know what is expected of your business and industry? 

Ensuring that your business is compliant in this way will not only your keep your business open but will go a long way to put your employees at ease – no doubt some of whom may be anxious about returning to the office. 

It may all sound and seem overwhelming especially when those of us returning to our offices are focused on getting our businesses back on their feet. But you don’t need to do it alone. HR Studio can help your business with all of this. Let us help you keep your people safe and give them the peace of mind they need to do their best back at work.

Remote Onboarding 616 350 HR Studio

Remote Onboarding

Six months ago, the notion of finding a job, applying for it, getting it and starting it ALL remotely may have seemed a bit far-fetched. How things have changed in just a few months . Perhaps your business has successfully embraced remote hiring (nicely done), and now comes the process of remote onboarding. To help you along, consider this check-list and for anything else, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

  • A virtual welcome pack: starting a new job at home, alone might sound less intimidating than arriving at a new office full of people, but it’s also going to be a bit lonely and overwhelming. Make your new recruit feel as welcome and included as possible with a big virtual welcome call or company wide email officially welcoming them to the team. Perhaps set up individual team meet & greets with the different people that your new hire will be working with so they get to know people from day 1. Check in regularly in the first few weeks.
  • Providing IT support and equipment making sure your new hire is set up and ready to go helps to streamline the onboarding process and makes all the difference. Facilitate some time with your IT support to help them set up and access your business’s remote working systems, and provide them with a copy of your relevant policies regarding IT security and data protection. 
  • Virtual training and support – put a plan in place on how you to upskill and train your new hire, getting them as comfortable as possible. You can do this via Zoom or TEAMS. Also, be sure to check in regularly as there isn’t that same support you would have in an office full of people where you can simply pop your head up and ask for help.
  • Set goals and expectationsyour new starter may need more guidance without the structure of the office. Set clear objectives right from the outset. Consider creating a checklist for the first few weeks detailing the various key priority tasks. 
  • Tweak the processthis may be your first virtual onboard but it is highly likely that it won’t be your last. So once your new hire is all settled in, find out as much as you can about the experience.  Someone who has been through the process can highlight what worked or did not work so you can improve the process.
HR & Beyond 616 350 HR Studio

HR & Beyond

Like so many industries, 2020 has redefined the role and status of Human Resources forcing those of us in the industry to step up and deal with accelerated change. So as we approach the second half of the year, here are some of the trends we can expect to see and stay.

HR culture heroes: as companies learn to put people before profit, the HR role must evolve from managing people and processes to driving new organisational culture – one that promotes wellness and productivity and accounts for the flux and uncertainty of our world. Those businesses who fail to see the need to address evolving culture and values as we start to make headway in our re-imagined and post-pandemic world, will risk losing their best talent, alienate critical stakeholders and put their brand purpose in question.

What if fortune favours flexibility? The adoption of remote working was accelerated ten fold at the start of the year with the outbreak of the pandemic. And for the most part we have survived it. Some companies may be waiting out the storm before relocating their work-force back to HQ  or look to offer a hybrid office/home working model. Going back to work may need to be optional at first which is an approach that some companies are adopting. But now that the remote cat is out of the bag – we can expect that some employees may not be willing to part with their new found flexibility – and if that is the general consensus what then. Additionally in cases where there has been no impact on productivity, will we see the opposite as people return to more structured work environments?

Renewed focus on employee health and wellness: core to this evolution of company culture will be a focus on staff wellness. With the extreme spike in stress and anxiety being felt globally around issues such as health, job security and finances – employees will need more support than ever before from their employers. While salary and career growth will remain key factors when looking for a new job or career opportunity, company health policies and plans will become more important than just the bottom line. Businesses will no longer be able to pay lip service around employee wellness – people want to see packages that account for their wellness and that of their families.

Remote staffing: from interviewing and recruiting to hiring and onboarding, the process of staffing up is expected to remain virtual at least until the end of the year for many companies.  We could also see more cautious hiring in the second half of the year. In the absence of traditional in-person vetting and a close onboarding or probation process, the risk of a bad hire will weigh heavier on recruiters than ever before.

While these are some of the trends we are seeing at the moment, the world is changing so quickly that whose to say what new HR challenges we could be facing in six months. What we do know for sure is businesses need to evolve and human resources plays a key role in that process.

Beating Burnout 616 350 HR Studio

Beating Burnout

As we work from home for a far longer period than anticipated, our work-life balance is out of sync. Right now helping your employees to maintain a work-life balance to avoid burnout is priority.  Here are ideas to advocate some balance in the best interest of your people.

Sanction a hard finish:  Without having to navigate traffic after work or rush home to make dinner, many find themselves working longer hours eating into their  downtime. Let your employees know that it’s ok to log off at 5pm and not feel guilty. 

Permission to pause: Before remote working, many people skipped lunch or ate at their desks. Now that we are working at home all day, encouraging people to take an hour for lunch, or a walk or to spend time with children also at home, allows a good break from the screen.

No work weekends: For younger employees and those wanting to impress, taking a brief the minute it pops into your mailbox from your manager has historically been part of the job. Let it come from the top that no briefs can be given on a weekend allowing everyone to really relax

Want to help your employees beat burnout  but not sure how? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us info@hrstudio.co.za