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Latest leadership news for August

Rhian Morgan

Rhian Morgan looks at the leadership news this week - and finds that all this work has made her tired. Maybe it's a lack of sleep - or the fact that it's nearing 2.20pm

Professionals find it hard to talk about their success

Only 35% of professionals feel confident talking about their career achievements. 46% of the professionals surveyed in LinkedIn’s latest #workstory study, admitted they would not feel confident describing their achievements if they came face-to-face with their dream employer. The study found respondents were more likely to share health updates (25%) on social media than news of a promotion (17%), as they were worried they would come across as overly self-promotional. 

Crackdown on tax avoidance

Accountants or advisers who help companies bend the rules to gain a tax advantage, even if was never intended, face tougher fines under new penalties proposed by the Treasury. A fine of up to 100% of the tax that was avoided - including via off-shore havens - has been suggested. The rules in the consultation document also make it simpler to enforce penalties when avoidance schemes are defeated. It follows Theresa May’s pledge last month to clamp down on corporate tax avoidance.   

Data breach affects 280 UK businesses

Reports of a data breach at software group Sage could have compromised personal information for employees at 280 UK businesses.  Sage provides software services to help businesses across 23 countries manage their accounting, payroll and payment systems, meaning a breach could have exposed the bank details of members of staff in the affected companies. The company said it was "investigating unauthorised access to customer information using an internal login". Sage said it had notified those whose data may have been accessed, but there was as yet had no evidence that the data had been used, only viewed. Data breaches have proved disastrous for firms such as TalkTalk, which lost more than 100,000 customers as a result. Other companies, such as Morrisons and British Gas, have been hit. Andy Herrington, Head of Cyber Professional Services at Fujitsu UK and Ireland: "To combat this issue, organisations would be advised to clearly understand and manage access and data in partnership with their suppliers. The insider threat should form a component of a balanced security plan as many are often highly focused on the external threat. One area that can be improved quickly is expansion of security monitoring to key internal systems."   

How sleep affects productivity at work

New research surveying 1,000 business leaders shows that lack of sleep is a hidden threat to high-performing corporate culture. The report, from Ashridge Executive Education's Hult International Business School, slowed lack of sleep is affecting performance, including motivation to learn (60%); having difficult conversations (48%); generating new ideas (60%); and understanding new concepts quickly (52%) were most frequently cited by respondents as ‘like me’ or ‘very like me’. The ability to manage competing demands (44%); staying focused in meetings (45%); and remaining focused on daily activities (43%) are three behaviours that were also noted as being frequently impacted. Leaders are reporting less negative effects than younger colleagues despite getting the same amount of sleep.    

Office gossip may be damaging your business

The recent dismissal of the head of legal services for Northumbria Police for "gossiping" to other staff about legal advice she had given to senior officers regarding allegations against them has thrown the serious consequences of chitchat into sharp relief. Indeed, a little gossip over a coffee break can be potentially destructive in the workplace. The consequences are many. Trust and morale can break down, causing productivity to be lost and time wasted. It is likely that anxiety among employees will increase in an environment of distrust, and there is a greater risk of formal grievances being brought forward. After all, gossiping is a divisive activity; people take sides which causes hurt feelings and reputations, and disruption among employees. In some cases, valued staff end up leaving the company. Leaders are advised to favour open communication, a no-gossip policy, and to immediately tackle any ringleaders. 

Nearly 200 employers fail to pay national minimum wage to staff

UK businesses have been named and shamed after failing to pay the minimum wage to staff. The Government released the named of 198 employers who failed to pay their employees the legal minimum wage of £7.20 per hour, introduced in April. The new rate would see some employees receiving a pay rise of more than £900 a year. 

The UK companies winning international awards

Stevie® award-winners in The 13th Annual International Business Awards have been announced, and 36 companies in the UK are among this year’s winners. The British companies won a total of 69 gold, silver and bronze awards in a variety of categories. The big winner was Say Communications, a top technology and healthcare public relations agency, who scored five gold and three silver Stevie awards. Weber Shandwick, a leading global PR firm, was the next big winner, with four gold, three silver and three bronze. The complete list of Stevie winners is available at http://www.StevieAwards.com/IBA 

And finally

Is it 2.20pm yet? If so, you may be reaching for the coffee machine. This is the exact time of the 'lunchtime slump', when our productivity and concentration dips, according to research by Get More Vitamin Drinks, in a survey of more than 2,000 employees. The most common reasons we'll be yawning at our desks are due to, warm working environments, not enough sleep and hefty workloads. Following this was not enjoying work, hot weather outside, and eating too much at lunch. Yawn... think I need a break...

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