No ball games? Camaraderie in the workplace

Following yesterday’s post about Neil’s eBook ‘Engage for Profit’ going on sale, I’m going to continue with the employee engagement theme.


There’s a chapter of the book about changes that can be made in the workplace to increase engagement.


One tip is to encourage camaraderie.


It says: “Encouraging your teams to get to know each other and build bonds can be a really effective way of increasing engagement.


It will encourage your workers to consider themselves as part of a team and take responsibility for their role and obligations to co-workers.”


In truth, this can be achieved through the smallest of changes.


I remember when I worked at a previous job. There was a small basketball hoop in the office, and after a few weeks a kind of unofficial basketball league emerged.


Every now and again someone would have a shot at the basket, with different points for successful shots further away etc.


It wasn’t much, but it encouraged a sense of fun within the office – broke the ice with new starters, was a talking point, you know, that kind of thing.


Unfortunately, a new manager came in one day and immediately took it down.


Apparently it was unprofessional and a waste of time.


Don’t get me wrong, I’d understand that stance if the ball was flying around constantly in an unsafe way, but it really wasn’t.


The heavy-handedness of the manager naturally left everyone feeling deflated, and, despite it only being a minor thing, it basically made everyone in the office feel like idiots who couldn’t be trusted.


Bizarrely, said management then attempted to bring in their own fun by setting up a Nintendo Wii in the next room.


An activity that would surely take longer and be more disruptive in the long term.


It ended up being a total failure, as the sudden U-turn seemed somewhat patronising and hypocritical.


So the takeaway from this for managers is to not shut down any genuine camaraderie or sense of fun your employees have.


By all means, try to channel that into something that can suit both employees and management, but simply shutting it down and branding it as “unprofessional” won’t do you any favours.


So what’s the best tactic for a manager? Have a read of Neil’s book and see:



Engage for Profit eBook – now available on Amazon

Did you know that Made Not Born MD Neil Atkinson has a book out?


You do now – Engage for Profit is available on Amazon as an eBook for only 99p, or for free if you’re a Kindle Unlimited customer.


The book looks into the benefits of employee engagement, and how it can give your business committed employees, increased productivity, fewer absences, increased loyalty and more ‘brand ambassadors’.


It’ll also explore the following:


  • How grievances can actually be good for your company
  • The tell-tale habits of a bad manager
  • Why employees being at work isn’t always the best case scenario
  • How your workplace environment can affect staff sickness rates
  • What you can do to get to the root of any problems within your business


It might be the best 99p you ever spend!


Download it right here:



Employers! Do you know what you want?

Some straight-up advice for employers today.


It’s a lesson in what not to do during the recruitment process.


It might sound a little “ranty”, but it’s not, I promise.


A few years ago I applied for a copywriting job at an ecommerce company.


I met all the criteria in the job description and person specification, and was invited for an interview.


It went great – I gave good, thorough answers to show I knew my stuff and felt I gave a good account of myself.


I also got on great with the interviewers, they were nice people.


But two whole weeks after the interview, I finally got an email telling me I hadn’t got the job.




Because I hadn’t had any previous experience at a marketing agency.


Normally I’d say “fair enough”, but it seemed especially annoying because that wasn’t in the job description or person specification.


If that was an essential requirement for getting the job, then perhaps they should have said.


What’s more, despite not having that particular quality I was invited to an interview.


Ultimately, it just made me feel like I’d wasted my time. What’s more, I’ll never understand why’d they’d waste their time on a candidate who didn’t have the required experience.


It’s that kind of thing that can damage a company’s reputation, and can make them seem amateur.


It’s easy to avoid though. Just think about what qualities and experience you need a potential employee to have, and then eliminate anyone who doesn’t match that.




And you can learn how to do that and translate it into a job advert right here:


It won’t waste your time, honest.



The recruitment process blues

I’ve just been reading an interesting debate on the business forums.


It’s about how a builder is really struggling to find – and retain – a new employee for their firm.


In his own words: “I’m currently trying to recruit a new joiner but just can’t seem to find anyone suitable.


“I’m offering decent money and conditions. I’ve had a few guys out on trial who just weren’t good, and another few who’ve lasted a day then said it wasn’t for them.


“I can’t work out why. We’re a good team and all the guys I have are pleasant and polite. We do work hard, maybe some people just want an easy life!”


This query got a good response from the message board, with several reasons as to why things hadn’t worked out.


Here are a few:


  • Good staff are hard to come by
  • Maybe your company benefits aren’t as good as you think
  • Try getting an apprentice (he’d already tried)
  • Pay more for a more experienced employee


Fair suggestions, but it wasn’t until later that someone said what I’d been thinking – maybe the recruitment process needed tightening up.


When it comes down to it, if you’re employing people who aren’t right for your company, people aren’t going to stick around.


Employing the wrong person costs money, takes up valuable time, and puts a strain on other employees who have to take on the burden of extra work.


And you keep having to repeat the process, as this business owner found out.


There are so many stages where the recruitment process goes wrong.


By the sounds of this, it could be anywhere from writing an accurate job description and posting an advert where applicants can find it, to filtering out candidates who are completely unsuited through interviews.


But how to do all this right first time?


Find out here: