Four Steps to Improve Employee Productivity


Employees are at their desks for an average of about five hours every day, and companies are paying for that time. But often the results of an employee’s work vs. time spent don’t exactly match up. A model employee that seems perfectly productive can turn out to be one of the worst offenders.

I recently came across a survey conducted by Deloitte, which indicates that companies are beginning to realize this and are starting to allocate resources for performance management, which focuses on the performance of employees and ensuring their output aligns with the company’s goals. Within the report, analysts explain that last year, only 8 percent of their survey respondents believed their performance management process drove business value. “This year, the importance of performance management rose significantly, with 75 percent of respondents rating it an ‘important’ or ‘very important’ issue, up from 68 percent last year.”

Here are some suggestions

1. Relax on Internet restrictions.
Too often, employers overly restrict the use of the Internet. This may be out of fear that company-owned computers might be misused. However, with the amount of resources available online, the truth is that most tasks can be completed more efficiently if employees are allowed to roam freely online in ways not anticipated by the employer.

A perfect example is the growing use of social media, which often times has a legitimate business purpose. Marketing on social media is becoming increasingly important to help businesses and employees grow, and social media can be useful in keeping up to date with competitors’ latest moves.

Yet, there are many employers today who simply do not allow employees to use social platforms at work. It’s not always about Facebook; people can have zero productivity without even opening it. On the other hand, some employees can be super-productive social networking gurus.

2. Consistently measure overall employee activity and productivity.
In a way, measuring productivity to increase ROI is similar to sales and marketing data. In order to increase number of leads, you have to start counting those leads. If you want to increase sales, understanding the source of current sales is imperative. Breaking an entire process of working with customers in to steps, measuring every step and experimenting with improvements can lead to an increase in ROI.

The same can be said about employee-performance management. To improve the structure in general, you have to see the entire picture — it’s even better if you can have a recorded history to compare. That way, managers can ask, “how are we doing in this April in comparison to April 2014 when we worked from different office?” Or “How many productive hours per day does the financial team have now, compared to last month when we had less on the payroll?”

In other words, in order to improve productivity stats, the reporting numbers must come first to get a clear idea what needs to be improved.

Recording usage of websites and applications can help companies keep track of productivity levels, as long as it’s handled the right way. I’ve typically found that when employers are open about monitoring desktops, it creates a transparent, accountable environment. Managers shouldn’t go into it with a “Gotcha!” attitude but rather with the mindset to identify overall trends and find ways to improve productivity.

3. Set goals and use results to help employees grow.
When establishing a measurement system, managers should understand what their company’s current state is and then set up rules and expectations. For example, if someone is spending seven hours on email and office applications, and one hour on personal sites per day, he or she could be considered acceptably productive. Or not. It really depends on the management, which is why these guidelines need to be set within each department or the company as a whole.

Managers should have regular check-ins about goals and progress, just like any other critical KPI. For example, goals could include a 10 percent increase in sales, a 10 percent satisfaction in support and 5 percent less time spent on entertainment websites. There should also be a plan in place for counseling employees who may be falling behind due to unproductivity. An employee’s unproductive hours may result from spending too much time on non-work related sites or too many distractions in the workplace, whether in a traditional or home office. By identifying the areas where an employee is struggling, employers can work to help the individual reach their full potential and grow as a professional rather than letting them go (and paying the cost of turnover).

Furthermore, with certain services, employees are able to keep track of their own individual performance and hold themselves accountable for fixing any problems. When they are able to visualize where wasted time comes from, it becomes much easier to focus on eliminating those distractions. It can also create a gamification effect of sorts – “how productive was I today, and did I beat yesterday’s measurement?”

4. Account for brain breaks.
Although understanding and monitoring employee productivity is critical to the overall health of a company, it is important for managers to acknowledge that everyone is human, and we all need a break from time to time. Short breaks (and vacations) have been proven to help the brain function better. As such, it is perfectly reasonable to allow employees some latitude in conducting personal business while on a work computer.

 From an article i Entrepreneur magazine by Herb Axilrod


Please check out our website if you have a vacancy that needs filling or need advice on your own career development.
Gary Pike MD  Right International
Tel: 01932 837798  Email me Click Here



How to Turn Your Ideas into Action

ideaSet up a new discipline when the idea strikes you—when it is hot and the emotion is strong.

Being genuinely disciplined requires that you develop the ability to take action. You don’t need to be too hasty, but you also don’t want to lose much time. The time to act is when the idea strikes us—when it is hot and the emotion is strong, before the feeling passes and the idea dims. If you don’t, you’ll fall prey to the law of diminishing intent. A month from now, the passion will be cold—a year from now, it won’t be found.

So take action.

Set up discipline when the excitement is high and your idea is clear and powerful. You’ve got to take action, otherwise the wisdom is wasted. The enthusiasm will soon pass, unless you apply it to a disciplined activity. Discipline enables you to capture the emotion and wisdom and translate that into action.

The greatest value of discipline is self-worth, also known as self-esteem. Because once we sense a lack of discipline within ourselves, it starts to erode our psyche.

One of the greatest temptations is to ease up just a little bit. Instead of doing your best, you allow yourself to do just a little less than your best. Sure enough, you’ve started, in the slightest way, to decrease your sense of self-worth.

There is a problem with even a little bit of neglect. Neglect starts as an infection. If you don’t take care of it, it becomes a disease—and one neglect will lead to another. Once this has happened, how can you regain your self-respect?

Act now. 

 Reproduced with kind permission from Jim Rohn

Please check out our website if you have a vacancy that needs filling or need advice on your own career development.

Gary Pike MD  Right International
Tel: 01932 837798  Email me: Click Here 



I spend my time (and have done for the past 22 years) helping companies like yours to find the very best and highly talented candidates. By doing this, we remove some of the headaches you might be having in filling those important roles you need to build your company in this very competitive world.

Please have a look at our new website to see how we could help you.


gary playaround
Gary Pike
Managing Director
Right International Headhunters
Tel: 01932 837798
Mob: 07710 313 663

This Might Interest You

Do you have a key role you’re looking to fill?

Would you like to meet with an experienced individual with a proven track record of influencing the future success and profitability of an Insurance business.

Please see below an overview of candidates we are confidentially representing in the market in search of their next career opportunity. 

Candidates we are confidentially representing include:

  • Head of Digital/CEO – InsurTech 
  • Head of Audit – Leading Personal Lines Insurer
  • Commercial Director – Leading B2C Insurer
  • CEO – Claims Management Company 
  • Regional Claims Director – Leading Insurance Company
  • CFO – Leading Broker
  • Head of Change & Transformation – Leading Insurance Intermediary
  • Head of Ops/IT – Leading Lloyd’s Syndicate
  • Head of Strategy – Leading Insurer

For more details on these candidates please contact me.

Alternatively please tell me what you’re looking for and I’ll guarantee a shortlist of the best candidates in the market within 20 working days.

Latest vacancies click here


Gary Pike
Managing Director
Right International Headhunters

3 Ways to Face your Fears with Courage

Here are a few techniques to help you build your courage and face your fears.

1. Put all remote possibilities out of your mind.
Don’t worry about things you have no control over. Don’t spend your time thinking about all of the bad things that might happen to you. Don’t spend your time plotting and planning ways to make sure these things will never happen.

Courageous people don’t worry about things that are out of their control or things that are unlikely to happen. They concentrate on what they can control.

2. Face your fears before you start something.
Imagine difficult situations before they occur. Make a list of the worst that could happen, and you’ll probably see that the situation is not so bad after all.

A friend of mine lost everything a few years back—her home, cars, possessions, antiques, art, jewelry and credit. She lost it all. Now, on her way back up, whenever she’s faced with a tough decision, she asks herself, What’s the worst that can happen? And guess what, she’s already been through the worst and she survived. It’s not an issue anymore.

You don’t have to lose everything to lose that particular fear. But once you face your fear, you can move on. Once you’ve figured out the worst that could possibly happen, you’ll see that you have the inner strength to deal with it if the worst scenario comes about. And here’s the best part: If you’ve looked at the possibilities beforehand, you’ll probably never be faced with the situation at all. Why? Because you’ve already been through it. By contemplating what might happen, you’ve charted your course to ensure that it doesn’t.

3. Imagine the alternative.
Picture the result of giving into your fears. Really feel the cost of being ruled by fear; then really feel the benefits of courageously following your ambition. Carefully weigh the two and see the difference.

If you’ve been invited to address your national sales convention and are scared to death of public speaking, what should you do? You could decline the invitation, knowing full well that your fears are holding you back. Or you could take some classes, read some books, practice with a friend. See yourself stepping into a whole new league. You’ll be accepting the opportunity to gain more notoriety in your field. And you’ll be increasing your opportunities for future success.

Once again, it’s your choice. Be fueled by your fears, or face your fears. It all depends on how badly you want something. It all depends on how you choose to live your life; do you always want to be afraid of taking the next step, or do you want to build your courage and open the doors of opportunity? I know what my answer would be.

Reproduced with kind permission from Jim Rohn

Please check out our new website and if you have a vacancy that needs filling or need advice on your own career development.

Gary Pike MD  Right International

Tel: 01932 837798  Email me: Click Here


You Can’t Please Everybody So Don’t Try

cant please everyoneBefore we start this, it is important to point out that being helpful or wanting to support others is definitely not a bad thing. Volunteering, charity work or even getting a stressed co-worker a drink at the end of the day are all things that can enrich your life and make you and others around you feel better. However, it is when you try to do this too much and your own life starts to suffer that you need to take a step back and assess what is right for you.

Why you shouldn’t do it

Often people think that if you do what people ask and go that bit further they will admire you more- sadly this is not always the case. Indeed, if people feel that you are not standing up for yourself you can appear weak.

This can also negatively impact on you- people can feel that if you only tell them what they want to hear they may end up trusting you less. In turn the reaction other people give you can hit your confidence, creating an emotional vicious cycle.

The cycle is not only necessarily restricted to work- for example let’s say that you really like cooking. At first you may enjoy cooking for your housemates. But over time they stop saying thank you when you do it for them and come to expect it. What was pleasurable slowly becomes less and less so.

This can seem very depressing- fortunately there is a way to break this cycle.

Learn to say no

It can seem daunting and first but the way to stop being a people pleaser is to learn to say no. What this means is not being rude but being firm- if you are busy then let people know, if something is bothering you don’t be afraid to tell people.

Initially this may be hard and some people may be turned off by this. But conversely some people may be surprised in a positive way, pleased that you are doing your bit to reclaim your life.

This does not mean you have to be hard-hearted or stop helping people. What it means is that you gauge a situation for yourself and be honest. Have a checklist in your head before you answer yes or no-

• Is this something I’m really prepared to do?

• Would refusing to do this really negatively impact on the workplace, friends, family etc?

• Do I have time to do this?

• Is this something that can wait until later on?

Remember– you have the right to think about what you want to do and whether or not it is appropriate. Sometimes it is okay to not try to please everyone but ultimately to do what you can to help yourself and then help others in a way that is good for them but still leaves you feeling positive at the end of the day as well.

In short just remember to say no when necessary and say yes when it is something you are genuinely prepared to say yes. In the long-term honesty, really is the best policy when it comes to organising your life and working with everyone around you!

Please check out our website if you have a vacancy that needs filling or need advice on your own career development.
Gary Pike MD  Right International

Tel: 01932 837798  Email me: Click Here


Top Producers Guaranteed

top producersThe number one problem that most UK businesses face is finding and recruiting the very top candidates that they need to rapidly grow their organisations.

Here is a short selection of such candidates that have confidentially asked us to help them in their next career move.

Candidates we are confidentially representing include:

Broking Transformation & Change Director – Leading Broker
Head of HNW – Leading Global Insurer
Head of Technical Claims – Leading Insurer
Divisional CEO – Claims Management Company
Head of Change Transformation & Programmes – Leading Insurance Intermediary
European Claims Director – Leading Insurer
CFO – Leading Life/Pensions Group
Head of Ecommerce – Leading Broker
Commercial Director – Leading MGA
COO – Leading European based Life Company
Head of Customer Service – Leading Insurance Intermediary
Account Manager – Leading Insurer

For more details on these candidates please contact me.

Alternatively please tell me what you’re looking for and I’ll guarantee a shortlist of the best candidates in the market within 20 working days.

Gary Pike
Managing Director
Right International Headhunters
Tel: 01932 837798
Mob: 07710 313 663


9 Practices that Make Great Leaders Great

great leaders1. Positive Leaders Drive Positive Cultures – Leaders who drive the culture and create a culture that is strong on the inside will withstand the forces trying to sabotage it from the outside. Culture is not just one thing. It’s everything.

2. Positive Leaders Create and Share a Positive Vision – Positive leadership is all about seeing and creating a brighter and better future. It’s about inventing, innovating, creating, building, improving, and transforming every aspect of our lives and the world in which we live. A positive leader sees what’s possible and then takes the next steps to rally and unite people to create it.

3. Positive Leaders Lead with Optimism, Positivity and Belief – Pessimists don’t change the world. Naysayers talk about problems but they don’t solve them. Throughout history we see that it’s the optimists, the doers and the positive leaders who transform teams and change the world. Positive leaders don’t lead in a sea of tranquil positivity but through the storms of negativity and adversity. That’s why optimism and belief are so essential.

4. Positive Leaders Confront, Transform, and Remove Negativity – One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is that they ignore the negativity within their team and organization. They allow it to breed and grow and it eventually sabotages them. A key piece of advice is “Don’t be negative about negativity.” There’s a better way to deal with it.

5. Positive Leaders Create United and Connected Teams – It’s the leader’s ability to unite and connect people that truly creates great teams and organizations. Positive leaders create unity which is the difference between a great team and an average or dysfunctional team. The more united and connected a team and organization is the more they are able to accomplish together.

6. Positive Leaders Build Great Relationships and Teams – When you focus on building relationships with your team, performance, morale, and engagement rises. It’s about making time to communicate, encourage, connect, commit, serve and care about those you lead. It’s probably the most important chapter in the book.

7. Positive Leaders Pursue Excellence – Some think that positive leaders are just about having fun and don’t care about winning. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Positive leaders are very competitive. They pursue excellence, build greatness and often try to accomplish the impossible. You don’t have to choose between positivity and winning. Positivity leads to winning.

8. Positive Leaders Lead with Purpose – There will be days and nights when you wonder why you chose a leadership position at all. That’s why you need a purpose to fuel your positivity. We don’t get burned out because of what we do. We get burned out because we forget WHY we do it. Positive leaders are driven with a bigger purpose and they inspire others to live and work with purpose.

9. Positive Leaders have Grit – A leader will face countless challenges, failures and setbacks that will become roadblocks unless they find a way forward. Positive leaders have grit and find a way to navigate the roadblocks or run through them to move closer to their vision and goal.

Reproducerd with kind permission by Jon Gordon author of “The Energy Bus”

Please check out our website if you have a vacancy that needs filling or need advice on your own career development.
Gary Pike MD 

Email me: Click Here 

Right International
Tel: 01932 837798  



Informing Your Customers About Scams

scamsScams can cost customers thousands. Unfortunately, sometimes a scammer may use the name of your business and this can cause a lot of problems for you- aside from lost revenue it can damage your reputation. Fortunately, there are ways that you can let your customers know about scams before they happen and help protect them.

Payment problems

  • Electronic payments- Your website should offer secure payment protection. It is also important to make clear what you will and won’t ask when you contact a customer as well as inform them about how you handle their data.
  • Cash- Customers need to be wary about paying for services in cash. The big problem is that the cash is not traceable. If a company says they can provide a discount if you pay the full amount upfront in cash do not agree to it. 
  • Cheques- If someone pays you with a cheque you have to be sure it is legitimate. Check with your bank to be sure.

Identity check
A big problem people have is being conned by people posing as someone from a company. If it is in person then ask a customer to check their ID, checking the company rather than any phone number on their ID (a company will be able to verify whether or not someone genuinely is an employee).

If someone calls on the phone remind customers what questions you will ask (for example a bank should not ask for a PIN number.) Always encourage your customers to check your website and make clear what information you will ask for.

Getting money back
Scammers often work by making people feel embarrassed about being conned. You should be sensitive and patient with your customers, explaining what to do while at the same time encouraging them.

Anyone who has been a victim of a scam should contact you immediately. You should encourage them as you can inform other customers to help them avoid being scammed in the future.

It is also possible to get money back by contacting your bank- Which offers a free template to help write a letter to explain the situation (link available here) If a customer is misled into calling a premium rate phone number Phonepay Plus can ensure you get a refund.

There are a number of other contacts available as well- organisations such as Action Fraud, the Citizens Advice Bureau or Trading Standards. Helping to guide your customers to the appropriate people to talk to will show that you care about them and this means they will be more likely to stick with you as customers.

In short
In a strange way, this situation can be positive- showing that you want to help resolve a problem and help customers get their money back shows that you are loyal to them. Furthermore, cracking down on any scammers posing as your business prevents them stealing your revenue and shows you take this issue seriously.

With the right approach, you can get increased customer loyalty, reduce fraud and even enhance the reputation of your business.

 Gary Pike MD  Right International
 01932 837798  Email me: Click Here 

Please check out our website if you have a vacancy that needs filling or need advice on your own career development.