High Performing Teams Survey

All research tells us that people who work well together and form high-performing teams not only produce more for their organisation but are happier at work.

This survey and associated action plan can be used to help your team judge how effective they are and what they could do to become a well-regarded high performing team.

It asks delegates to rate the team on the following:



Relationships & Communication


Optimal Productivity

Recognition & Appreciation


Facilitator notes and handouts are included in this activity.


Employee Communications and Consultation

Good communications and consultation are central to the management process when dealing with changes in working practices and procedures.

Communication is concerned with the exchange of information and ideas within an organisation. Consultation involves managers actively seeking and taking account of the views of employees before making a decision.

A communication and consultation policy could be a particularly effective way of setting out the attitude of the organisation and defining the responsibilities of those involved.

The main links in any communication and consultation system are the line managers and supervisors. They are responsible for passing on information in both directions.

This guide produced by ACAS, advises managers about what employee communications and consultation means from their perspective.




Four Decisions Every Business Leader Should Make

There are plenty of legendary bad business decisions: Blockbuster passing up the chance to buy Netflix and Kodak sitting on the digital camera just two that spring to mind.

But there are also some legendary smart moves: "I'll have the merchandising rights in exchange for a smaller pay packet," said a certain film director George Lucas.What separates good companies from great companies, and good leaders from great leaders is decision-making. And there are four key decisions that you need to nail if you want to see your business grow.

1.Decide… on the right people to work with

No company can work towards growth without good employees.

Google's recruitment processes and incentives, for instance, are geared towards attracting and retaining the best available talent. Hammocks, arcade games and free ice-cream may not be your thing, but just like Google, your staff are vital to your company's growth, and just like Google, you want the best available talent.

Continue reading

Working at Amazon: Their Story

It takes just a few minutes for three words to take centre stage when HRmagazine catches up with Tina Oakley, HR director of Amazon UK Operations. These are associates, peak and… fun.

First up: ‘associates’, the term Amazon uses to describe the 24,000 individuals working across the UK business, including the thousands Oakley oversees in her role leading HR for Amazon’s 16 British fulfilment centres.

It’s clear from pretty much everything Oakley shares just why the firm steers away from more traditional, hierarchical descriptors. This is a business where the ‘associate’ experience is king, and where everyone is empowered to speak up with suggestions.

Which brings us to the next of Oakley’s favourite words: peak. “I’ve been here three years now but it just goes so quickly,” she muses as we sit down to chat at Amazon’s shiny new headquarters in Principal Place, Shoreditch (complete with the exposed brickwork and modern furniture you’d expect of such an East London locale).

“Here we measure in how many peaks you’ve done. So I’ve just completed my third peak, which was by far my best from an HR perspective,” says Oakley, whose previous roles include senior HR positions at British Airways (BA) and HR director at Premier Foods, P&O Ferries and Gatwick Airport.Continue reading

Developing a Strategy – An Overview

Developing strategy, put simply, is about determining where an organisation aims to be in the future and putting in place the framework for achieving this. 

However, developing a strategy is by no means a simple process.

This article provides an overview of three key stages of developing a strategy - Analysis, Options and Selection and Implementation.

ANALYSIS: The aim of the analysis process is to define an organisation’s identity and purpose. An analysis may be based on either:

  • the resources that the organisation currently has and the best ways of capitalising on these (sometimes described as the Resourced-Based View, or an ‘inside-out’ approach); or
  • how the organisation positions itself within its industry, relative to its competitors (sometimes described as the Positioning View, or an ‘outside-in’ approach)

The process of analysis can itself be broken down into three sub-sections:

  1. Purpose - an organisation’s strategic aim or eventual goal
  2. Environment - the internal and external factors that will affect an organisation in pursuit of its strategic purpose
  3. Capabilities - the way in which an organisation goes about achieving its strategic purposeContinue reading

Learning Point: Understanding Benchmarking

Benchmarking is a systematic tool that allows a company to determine whether its performance of organisational processes and activities represent the best practices.

Benchmarking models are used to determine how well a business unit, division, organisation or corporation is performing compared with other similar organisations.

A benchmark is a point of reference for a measurement. The term 'benchmark' presumably originates from the practice of making dimensional height measurements of an object on a workbench using a gradual scale or similar

The term 'benchmark' presumably originates from the practice of making dimensional height measurements of an object on a workbench using a gradual scale or similar tool and using the surface of the workbench as the origin for the measurements.

Traditionally, performance measures are compared with previous measures from the same organisation at different times. Although this can be a good indication of the speed of improvement within the organisation, it could be that although the organisation is improving, the competition is improving faster...


  1. Internal benchmarking (benchmark within a corporation, for example between business units)
  2. Competitive benchmarking (benchmark performance or processes with competitors)
  3. Functional benchmarking (benchmark similar processes within an industry)
  4. Generic benchmarking (comparing operations between unrelated industries)
  5. Collaborative benchmarking (carried out collaboratively by groups of companies (e.g. subsidiaries of a multinational in different countries or an industry organisation).

Continue reading