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Following advice from the Government, everyone in our team is now working from home. We want to assure you that we are fully able to help with any recruitment needs or career guidance. Click the link below to find the right person to contact for any questions or advice. 

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We're not everything to everyone

With over 260 years of recruitment experience within the team, we are confident in our knowledge, skills and expertise. We are a specialist agency that has the experience to help and advise on lots of recruitment issues and queries so if you have any questions about recruitment or need career advice we are on hand to help.

Make Cherry Professional the first call if you're contemplating your career/hiring into your team. 

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If you’re looking for a new finance or office role in the East Midlands, we provide introductions to leading employers and all the support you need to make the most of the available opportunities. As the region’s leading finance and office recruitment agency, we’ll use our expertise, knowledge and networks to help you secure the right role in the right company, enabling you to achieve your aspirations and ambitions.


We’ll find the best candidates for your roles and enable you to recruit the right people for your business. We get results through relationships, working closely with you to build a deep understanding of your requirements, preferences and priorities. We can then make sure that you get the most from our expertise, knowledge and networks so we can move quickly to secure the skills and talent you need.

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Cherry Professional

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About us

​We strive to be the most trusted finance and office recruitment partner in the East Midlands; the first call if you are contemplating your career or hiring into your team. We know that people make business happen and in recruitment that couldn’t be more true. Our entire business is built on long termtrusting relationships with candidates and clients alike. We truly value how important your ambitions are and that is why we work tirelessly to understand your needs.

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Latest Blogs



How to reduce burnout and increased stress in key/core workers

Over the last few weeks the UK and indeed the world has been thrown in to uncertainty and chaos. With people being told to self-isolate and many being made redundant or furloughed, there has been a huge focus on peoples mental health. We wrote a blog previously about this subject – you can read it here. But this blog is about the critical key workers still leaving the comfort and safety of their homes to go into work, staff who haven’t been furloughed, still working long hours, keeping the wheels moving as much as possible. We all know that over-working can lead to burn out, burn out (if not addressed and treated) can lead to all sorts of mental issues that people are left to battle with such as depression, anxiety, extreme stress, insomnia and more. Even before this pandemic, extra pressure and mental health issues within the UK workforce caused 44% of absences. COVID-19 has taken organisations by surprise and there is, therefore, an increased pressure on existing key/core workers, many working in conditions that aren’t safe. With all of this in mind, mental illnesses are expected to rise. As a manager or business owner it’s imperative you create an open working environment where possible. We understand at the moment that certain sectors are massively under-staffed and over-worked to even have the time to support employees who may be suffering. Here are a few suggestions to bear in mind or implement within your team: - Allow employees to talk with one another, whether that’s via electronic devices, over team video calling or even face to face whilst following social distancing rules and wearing protective equipment. In an organisation in which employees can talk freely with each other, productivity and problem-solving is usually enhanced. - Try to ensure efficient training is in place. If you are hiring temporary staff to fill holes for sickness, or just to cover increased demand, they NEED the correct training. Invest the time as much as you can at the start as that will reduce new members of the team distracting current employees or their manager. When a member of staff doesn’t fully understand a task they themselves tend to procrastinate, which just results in the work still not being done and being passed to someone else, increasing their risk of burn out. - During this time trust is key. You need to give employees adequate control over how they do their work. If staff are working from home, on a warehouse floor, in a dispensary or on a checkout, you need to have faith that they know how to complete their job. Of course newer members of the team will need more support initially, be there to offer it, but bear in mind, after training, workers are more productive and able to deal with stress better if they have some control over and flexibility in how they perform their work. - Talk openly with employees, communication is important now more than ever! Management should keep colleagues informed about what’s happening in the business, transparency is key. This also gives employees the opportunity to ask questions, make suggestions and feel valued. - This might be an obvious one but right now it’s vital that management appreciate all employees’ efforts. Workers are better able to cope with heavy workloads if management is sympathetic, understanding and encouraging. Listening to employees and addressing their issues is helpful for moral. During COVID 19 most employees understand that as management you may not have all the answers, you may not have the resource to support the issue or ease any work load but you need to explain that. Don’t make false promises, or over promise and under deliver. You’ll find loyal and committed employees will value the honesty and will persevere more positively as they know what to expect. We are now swimming in muddy waters and navigating a situation that we have never experienced before. As Business Owners, CEO’s, Managers and employees we all have to pull together and share knowledge. Offer support to other businesses where possible and think about the people, the business and the ‘other side’ of this pandemic; the best way to get through this is together.

Melissa Kilday


How to answer difficult questions

Line Managers, Business Owners and Leaders have been asked difficult questions recently due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Employee queries are becoming increasingly more frequent but, unfortunately, difficult to respond to due to the fact that we don’t have all the answers. This isn’t unique to COVID-19, in business there are always issues and topics that raise uncomfortable conversations. We wanted to compile some top tips on how to handle difficult conversations, because 2020 is throwing us some real curve balls! Understand the root of the question Some questions will be asked out of different emotions, stress, anxiety, uncertainty, ambition, curiosity etc. It’s vital you seek first to understand the reason behind the query in front of you. That should help you devise the best response in the most appropriate way. Finding the root of the question and fully understanding it will allow you to be prepared for any reaction that may follow during the conversation. It’s important to allow the person to express their emotion freely too and feel safe doing so otherwise they may leave the conversation dissatisfied. Take time to respond If you’re asked a difficult question, give yourself time to determine how you want to respond, having processed the information. This tactic­­­ is evident when politicians or vocal celebrities don’t answer the question instantly, they’ll repeat or rephrase the question as a lead in. If they do it well, that method gives an opportunity to think of ways to reposition the information. Utilise that when you’re approached about difficult topics, it may give you those vital seconds to create the right response, but if you need more time just say so and get back to them with a well thought out reply. Don’t get defensive It’s important not to let people hit your emotional triggers when you’re answering questions. If that happens during a 1:1 or a business conversation and you get defensive, you lose. Maintain your confidence by maintaining your composure. During this time not a lot of organisations have all the answers, and some employees may get emotional and question the businesses sustainability and methods which can raise emotions and cause business owners and leaders to get defensive. Make sure you communicate your point that even if you don’t have all the answers right now, give them the answers you do have, even if that only clears up half of the query. It will allow the employee to leave the conversation feeling more informed that they were previously. Be honest It’s easy to tell white lies to avoid a difficult conversation, that applies to personal and professional life. But you need to establish and understand your core values and how you want to be perceived amongst your employees. If you don’t have all the answers or feel unsure on how to answer something specific, be honest about it. Most employees will appreciate your transparency and understand no one has all the answers all of the time. Communicate your position If you feel you are not in a position to answer a question then explain why. If It’s because you don’t have time to go into the detail needed, ensure you rebook for a time when it’s more suitable, allowing you to obtain external help where appropriate. If you feel you're not the right person to answer that question due to knowledge around a specific subject or that the question may need input from different departments such as HR or finance, make sure you communicate that. Employees would much rather be given the correct answer from the right people, than to be passed between departments and various business leaders seeking answers. By explaining this you gain credibility, it shows your dedication to business synergy and also shows that you want the employee to get the right answer. Our number one piece of advice for this specific situation (COVID -19) would be to keep employees up to date on any changes as soon as possible, be as honest as you can about the businesses position and try to keep people engaged and motivated. If you would like additional guidance on ways to do this, please let us know and we will share our help guides with you.

Melissa Kilday


7 ways to stay motivated, productive and positive during lockdown!

Panic surrounding Covid-19 has caused a lot of stress and anxiety; with confirmed cases rising, stock market volatility and worrying for loved ones, it’s completely understandable that people feel emotional at this time. With most of the nation now working from home making huge changes to their normal routine, it is important that we are all taking care of our mental health – with all the above stress combined with no social contact for the next few weeks it’s fair to say we will all be feeling cabin fever soon. Here are a few simple tips/reminders to help keep you motivated, productive and most importantly positive during this time! Try to maintain normal routines The coronavirus has altered how we now live our everyday lives, but that doesn’t mean that everything has to change. Try to stay as close to your normal routine as possible. Maintain some kind of structure from your pre-quarantine days. If the new you is working from home, start your day as you would normally have, and maybe take a walk instead of your routine commute to the office. The situation seems to change daily, however, if you have some consistency in your daily activities it will make it all feel more manageable. Studies have shown that our bodies tend to function better when eating, sleep and exercise patterns are set to a regular schedule. Stay connected According to studies, loneliness can be as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, so don’t isolate yourself completely. Keep in touch with your family, friends and colleagues via Skype, FaceTime, a phone call, texting… really any form of digital communication. Ask how they are and let them know how you are! If you’re used to getting up and walking over to a colleague’s desk, then use Microsoft Teams, Zoom or other software that allows you to have video conversations with colleagues rather than just emailing them. Staying connected is important as it helps us to manage stress and some studies have found it helps us to live longer and happier lives. Go outside We have been advised to stay inside as much as possible, but this doesn’t mean we have to be imprisoned in our own homes. If you suddenly find yourself dwelling on your problems or if you feel a little less productive, go and sit in your garden if you’re lucky enough to have one or take a short walk. Research has shown that exposure to nature not only makes us feel better emotionally and mentally, it also contributes to your physical well-being – reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the production of stress hormones. Take a break It can be so easy to avoid breaks altogether when you are working from home. It’s important that you don’t let the association of working in the place that you sleep, prevent you from taking five minutes to relax and get a brew. Rather than using your breaks to catch up on the next episode of a TV series or getting lost on YouTube, take the time to get up and move away from your desk. Go for a wander, get some fresh air and take a breather. Breaks, like making and eating lunch can recharge you and give you a renewed focus to do better work. Don’t assume that you need to be working 100% of the time while you’re at home, it’s important to take those breaks like you would in the office. Plan and Prioritise Spend some time at the beginning of the day to figure out what you’ll be doing and the things that are a priority. It’s easy to run out of time or energy for work without a structured plan. It’s equally important to plan time to stop work. The danger when working from home is that work and personal life can start to merge together, and you might start to feel like you’re always “on”. To aid this choose a time to “check out” of work. Even if it is a mental checkout, this will help to separate work and personal life, maintaining a work life balance. Designated workspace One of the biggest challenges when working from home is all the distractions: your family, children, pets and even the kitchen. This is why it is so important to have a designated workspace. If you have a sperate home office or spare room, then perfect. But if you don’t, pick a space where you can close the door and achieve a bit of solitude. Focus on the positives it is almost impossible to know exactly what the future looks like! Try not to obsess over things; What will happen next? Will the supermarket shelves be restocked soon? How long am I going to be trapped in the house? When will this all end? Instead try to focus your mind on more positive things. For example, despite Italy being one of the worst affected countries by coronavirus, Italians can be heard singing from their windows/balconies to boost morale. Even in the darkest of times, we must try to find a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel. Over the next few days we will be creating a bank of helpful guides and tips to ensure we get through this time as well as can be expected.

Libby McCaughey



Last week Cherry Professional started the week a little different. Rather than being in our office, most of the team are working from home, following the advice given by the government. We wanted to reach out and reassure you of our plans to keep the business wheels moving as best we can, whilst ensuring that each of us are protecting ourselves, our families, our customers and our communities during these unsettling times. This is a time for us to pull together, everyone is in a similar position and as each new development unfolds, we will continue to adjust our approach accordingly. We understand there are challenges to face and as a business we are committed to staying positive and we are working as flexibly and agile as possible to meet the needs of our clients, candidates and team, playing our part in keeping the economy moving forward as much as we can. We have a dedicated Internal Business Improvement Manager responding to Government advice and keeping the entire team up to date as we adapt our approach in response to the developments. We have a robust business continuity plan that has been rolled out across our organisation. Our fully functioning internal infrastructure allows our whole team to work remotely using Microsoft Teams, cloud technology, laptops and mobiles which will enable us to keep “business as usual” as normal as possible. We will carry out our meetings and interviews using video technology, we will also be updating our blog with tips and hints for you, your loved ones and colleagues to stay motivated, active and mentally safe during this time. For those that want to get in touch with us we are at the end of the phone (or an email) to help you, as always putting our relationships at the heart of everything we do. Whilst we are doing absolutely everything we can from our end, we appreciate that this is an uncertain time for many and there will be situations beyond our control, so in advance, we want to thank you for being flexible and patient. Finally, a huge and heart felt thank you to those working in the public services who are helping keep us safe and healthy as much as possible. We are incredibly grateful, Thank you!!!

Libby McCaughey


Safeguarding your business against Coronavirus

Planning for operational resilience can reduce concerns in your workplace during the global panic surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19. Here are a few tips on how you can take the appropriate measures to mitigate your business and employees against disruption. Identify the specific risks posed by Coronavirus that are unique to your business. Ensure your pandemic or business continuity plans are updated accordingly. Communicate such plan(s) to employees, customers, suppliers and partners. If your business requires employees to make national and international travel, set limitations as a precaution. Hysteria is contagious, so talk to employees. Let them know you are prepared and are protecting them. Communicate effectively what the businesses response plans could mean to them, including health and risk education and social distancing through working from home. Identify operational and revenue impacts from potential disruption to key suppliers and vendors. It may be weeks or months from now, but as a business you should consider the feasibility of obtaining goods, ingredients and potentially component parts from alternative suppliers. Monitor updates from public and/or global health officials and governments, continuing to keep employees informed and educated about the outbreak. For more information and guidance on what to expect across the UK and action plan tips visit Gov.uk Other key sources; Guidance for employees, employers and businesses. Latest advice on how to protect yourself. Global map of coronavirus cases, recoveries and deaths.

Libby McCaughey


Paid less because you're female.

#BetterForBalance, last year’s International Women’s day theme. Although international Women’s day was back in March, the battle of equality is one we continue to fight! Over the last several decades women have worked tirelessly to break stereotypes, glass ceilings and constraints, yet gender inequality is still prevalent. When this year’s gender pay gap report was published, it found that hundreds of ‘big firms’ saw an increase in their gender pay gaps(gasps), that’s around 2 in 5 companies. I was surprised at this, especially considering there has been numerous campaigns and social events to minimize it. But, why has there been an increase? Dharshini David, BBC’s economics correspondent suggests that as a result of an influx of female hires in junior positions the gap has widened and progressing them through the ranks could take years. I understand that this could be a contributing factor, but I am skeptical to it being the sole cause, aren’t you? Yes, there has been a 121% increase in women within accounting and finance roles which is fantastic, but for every 10 men in senior roles there is only 1 woman!! Even more significant there is an average 21.5% gender pay gap. So, what the 121% increase really means is that MORE women are getting paid less than their male counter-part to do the same job. Along with construction, finance as a sector has the largest gender pay gap. Does it come as much of a shock? No? We didn’t think so either. It’s no secret that finance has long been an industry monopolized by men, nonetheless it does not justify the vastness of the gap. So, what does the 21.5% gender pay difference mean? In theory women work for FREE 1hour and 40 minuets each day. That totals to 57 days a year. Shocked? Even more jaw dropping a senior CFO role where the average salary in the UK is £106,980, a woman could be getting paid a staggering £23,000.70 less than her male counter-part. Think of what you could do with that amount of money. Luckily, it’s not too late to rectify it. In fact, real women are taking real action to make themselves heard! Recently we saw Carrie Gracie resign from her position as China Editor at the BBC over equal pay, after the GPA report was released. For a company that claims to be ‘golden standard’ you would have expected it to be the last place to see the gender pay gap have such a large effect! The BBC has since said that it has now made “significant reforms”. If you don’t know the gender pay gap in your business be keen to find out. Although you’re not legal obliged to report into .GOV if your company has 250 employees or less, it is something you should know and be aware of. Research supports the claim that diversity is not only economically beneficial but essential for the wellbeing of your staff. Companies who invest in diversity and inclusion have a 57% better team collaboration and increase their staff retention by 19%, saving them around £11,000 a year. In this current skill short market finding new talent to replace staff is becoming increasingly difficult, so any way to retain staff need must be acted on! Want to know if your salary is competitive or are you interested what you could be paid depending on your career? Or if you’re an employer wanting to know how you could be competitively playing your staff take a moment to fill in our Salary Survey!

Libby McCaughey


Dominating Your Industry at a Young Age: The Key to Success

We know that success is personal, and everyone has a different perception of what it is to be successful. What we want to talk about in this blog is what patterns there are or personal characteristic that draw strong connections to achieving professional success. Every successful entrepreneur has to start somewhere. Sadly there isn’t a “magic pill” that launches you into the free world of leadership (that we know of). Richard St. John, TED Talks speaker and Success Analyst concluded after 7 years and 500 interviews there are 8 secrets to success; passion, work, focus, push, ideas, improve, serve and persist. Richard published these ideas in his book “The 8 Traits Successful People have in Common”. Richard’s concept can seem a little too simple without context. So, let’s look at the successful female entrepreneur Grace Beverley, who is the 22-year-old CEO of multimillion-pound businesses TALA, B_ND and SHREDDY. Grace, who graduated from Oxford University last year, started her first company B_ND making vegan-friendly resistance bands whilst she was still a student. She began to build a name for herself on social media documenting her fitness journey and showcasing to her increasing number of followers her passion for working out and being active. Through this passion she found her first opportunity. “I’ve always been interested in finding gaps in the market and opportunities in items that don’t exist” she told Radio 1 Newsbeat. “I had been using resistance bands and there were either really expensive good ones or really cheap, rubbery and plastic ones [on the market]” “So, I looked into manufacturing to see how I could produce an affordable product, while still being ethical and I ended up making resistance bands and vegan barbell pads.” The UK gym wear industry is set to be worth £6.7bn over the next five years so it is fair to say it is a highly competitive industry to break into. Beverley focused on what would set her apart from her rivals like Gymshark and Nike. Her focus in business has always been primarily on sustainability and creating affordable gym products that don’t fall under the ‘fast fashion’ label – because they are eco-friendly. Being aware of the financial setbacks that come with making products that are 100% recyclable and wanting to price them as affordable for their young customer base, Beverley worked hard to manage expectations and created a range of 92% recycled clothing. “For sustainable brands to be able to make their mark – we need to show there is that demand and people are choosing them over fast fashion equivalents.” In May last year when Beverley’s second brand TALA launched her first set of clothes sold out in 20 minutes, with a new collection selling out online in December. One of the standout commitments of her brand has been showing that women of all sizes can feel comfortable in gym clothes – her range caters for sizes 4-20 with options for taller women as well. Beverley’s innovative ideas of improving existing products on the market gave her an industry leading business model that has led her businesses to end the year with combined sales over £7.6m. She pushed herself managing businesses and completing her degree at one of the most prestigious universities in the world. She serves to make the fashion industry more sustainable and to provide customers with eco-friendly fashion at an affordable price. Beverly persisted through the mounting obstacles women face in the business world, even recently in an interview with The Telegraph she faced criticism on her appearance and willingness to take photographs. She responded saying “it’s hard not to get frustrated when all-female entrepreneur angled approaches seem to lead instead to thinly veiled misogynistic pieces.” While it is clear success is personal, perhaps John’s ideas on The 8 steps to success has some truths to them. If you embody the 8 key characteristics of a successful mindset you might find yourself in a place of personal success, whatever that might be.

Libby McCaughey


Nottingham forecast to have one of the UK’s fastest growing economies

A recent article published by West Bridgeford Wire said that the East midlands as a whole had the UK’s fastest-growing regional economy in 2019, and Nottingham is expected to, over the next three years, have one of the fastest-growing city economies in the UK. According to EY in the latest Regional Economics Forecast, Nottingham’s economy will expand by 2.1% per year between 2020 and 2023. Manchester (2.2%), Bristol (2%) and Cambridge (2%) are all also outperforming overall growth for English regions of 1.8% and for the East Midlands of 1.6%. Nottingham employment is also expected to grow at an average rate of 0.9% per year up to 2023, which again outperforms the East Midlands average growth of 0.6% and the UK overall rate of 0.7%. Even with fears surrounding Brexit the latest IHS Markit Report found, business activity rose for the first time in five months in January. Staff recruitment also continued to grow after recovering from its lowest point seen last September. They saw a rise in permeant placements for the first time in a year, as well as sharp fall in staff availability. This indicates a higher demand for staff, but the overall availability continues to drop. Where lower temp labour supply was reported, this was linked to a combination of upcoming IR35 legislation changes, market uncertainty and tight labour market conditions. With the National Living Wage due to rise by 6.2% to £8.72 and the National Minimum Wage due to rise 6.5% to £8.20 data showed a sharp rise in permanent starter’s’ salaries as well as temporary pay rates. “Nottingham is undergoing a massive regeneration at the moment with £2 billion of developments on the city’s Southside well underway and more in the pipeline. “This new report reflects the positive impact this will have on the local economy and jobs over the next few years. “The next decade is a big opportunity for Nottingham. With our target to be the UK’s first carbon-neutral city by 2028, we’re ambitious for Nottingham to continue to grow and develop in a sustainable way that benefits local people, building an even better place to live, work and enjoy.” Said councillor David Mellen, the Leader of Nottingham City Council.

Libby McCaughey


Growing trend of "Duvet Days"

For years companies across the globe have discouraged absence at work. Yet being ill in the office is rapidly becoming the new ‘Frankenstein’ of the corporate world. On average absenteeism is costing UK Businesses an estimated £29bn annually. On the flip side, for every £1 that it cost a workplace of absenteeism, presenteeism costs £2.50. Over 70% of those businesses surveyed admitted that absences have directly affected profitability, yet more than a third have no idea how much exactly it is costing them. Both absenteeism and presenteeism are dramatically affecting your companies’ profits, and it seems to be a viscous unbreakable circle. If employees are ill and cannot come in your profit margins drop but if they are ill and do come in your profit margins drop over twice as much. While there may be no quick fix, in recent years studies have shown the positive impact flexible working can have on your business. So, where do you start? In 2017 131.2 million working days were lost to sickness (an average 6.6 days off each year) and 10% of those were due to stress, depression and anxiety. CIPD figures show that stress is one of the biggest causes of unplanned absence in the workplace. While you’ll never be able to entirely eliminate stress from the workplace, there is a way to manage it. Duvet days allow employees a rare opportunity to put their needs first, doing wonders for their overall mental health and wellbeing. Let’s be honest no job is perfect, and no one can be bright-eye and enthusiastic 100% if the time. Most jobs are inherently high-pressure, and many businesses operate to tight deadlines. If your employees are reaching a breaking point and you find sickness absences are spiking why not trial offering duvet days. They are a great way of managing workplace stress and send a strong message that you trust your employees and that you have a genuine care for their wellbeing. It’s important to identify that duvet days would be suitable for your business; some sectors require employees to be in a specific place for a specific amount of time. But if you feel like your business could operate with a more flexible working plan here are a few tips on how you can effectively incorporate duvet days into your workplace culture. 4-day week If your employees will be spending one day a week in bed, then they will need to make the time up elsewhere. Consider shifting from five seven-hour working days to four nine-hour working days. Studies have shown working longer days overall can boost productivity, reduce stress levels and improve employee work-life balance. Take a deeper look in how your organisation can benefit from shorter working weeks. Implement the right systems Tracy Nolan from PressPlug’s said that she was able to offer her team duvet days because the business operated with a cloud-based system. If you are considering offering your employees duvet days, you will have to consider the technologies that will enable to get there. Be clear In effect a duvet day is another form of absence, so its imperative employees understand what counts as a duvet day (and what doesn’t) and for them to have a clear outline of what will be expected of those who wish to take one. Shortfalls Manages only approve annual leave requests when they can ensure that their absence won’t be an issue for the business and the rest of the team. The same should be true for duvet days. e-Days absences management system is an effective tool for both employees and managers to simultaneously see who will be in on any given day at a glance, making it easy to see whether that duvet day will cause, and problems and the request approved in moments. If you think a member of your team may be a little stressed and over-whelmed, allowing them the opportunity to take some time out at home might make all the difference in helping them feel more refreshed and in turn be more productive. Let us know your thoughts and what your plans are to observe and implement duvet days in your organisation.

Libby McCaughey


Chinese New Year: Empower a Successful 2020

Unlike most Western Holidays, Chinese New Year falls on a different day each year as it follows the Lunar calendar. 2020 Chinese New Year is the year of the Rat, but what does that mean? The word ‘rat’ has lots of connotations, some of which can be negative but according to Chinese astrology, the rat is associated with the Earthy Branch and the midnight hours. The rat is the first of all the Chinese zodiac animals and in Chinese culture, rats are seen as a sign of wealth and surplus. Rats are clever, quick thinkers; successful but are content with living a quiet and peaceful life and they represent the beginning of a new day. The Chinese New Year has us thinking about the qualities and characteristics people could embrace to empower a successful 2020. New Day: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift that’s why they call it the present.” Today is a new day, with new challenges, new opportunities and new successes. If you take life one day at time it allows you to forget what happened yesterday because you cannot change the past and not worry about what might happen in the future. This concept is something we take for granted in a society that is never ‘switched off’ and that is always looking for the next thing. In August 2019 a study found that 91.39% (8.61% of worries did manifest) of participants worries never manifested. Even when the participants tried to think more logically, their probability estimate was still very inflated at 44.67% vs the actual 8.6%. Optimism: Oscar Wilde once said the difference between an optimist and a pessimist is that the optimist sees the donut, the pessimist the hole. Optimism has been shown to prevent depression, increase social interaction, boosts workplace performance, increases success and can make you more resilient to setbacks. Like the Rat, optimists turn unlucky events into fortune. When faced with a problem, only 27% of pessimists try to look at the problem from different angles in order to come up with the best solution compared to 94% of optimists and 51% of pessimists see failure as an opportunity to learn a valuable lesson compared to 96% of optimists. Take advantage of new opportunities: It’s important to remember, opportunity is always present. “Lucky’ people realise this. Try and seek out situations and ideas that match your interests and skill set and use that as an opportunity to further grow and develop. I believe whether you face good fortune or bad, there is always a way to give it meaning and transform it into something of value. Your mindset and attitude has an effect on everything you come across, from social to professional relationships, our jobs to our health and wellbeing. The way you choose to think, positive or negative, has a great impact on the final outcome and is mirrored in everything we do. Think like a Rat in 2020, take this year one day at a time, grab each opportunity you can and see the donut not the hole! Happy Chinese New Year!

Libby McCaughey


Mental health in the workplace

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Melissa Kilday


Are you prepared for Blue Monday?

January is one of the most exciting times of the year for businesses, with the promise of another 12 months to implement change, hire new staff where applicable and, hopefully, go from strength to strength. However, when it comes to your current employees, morale is often low after the buzz of the festive season has worn off, and parties, mince pies, and Christmas films are swapped with early mornings, busy commutes, and endless meetings. Do you know what Blue Monday is? Well this year, on the 20th January, Blue Monday will sweep the nation. This day is considered to be the ‘most depressing day of the year’ due to a range of factors including the weather, failed New Year’s resolutions, debt, and the amount of time since our last payday (let’s face it, December is an expensive month for even the most budget-savvy of us). We are trying to encourage Managers to help employees beat the ‘New Year Blues’, and increase office morale after the festive season. Promote a better work-life balance It’s not hard to identify why people feel exhausted after the Christmas Break. After a week or two of sleeping in, festive parties, and sitting on the sofa watching films, the dark, damp, early mornings can make it difficult for employees to readjust to their regular working day (I’m sure you’re feeling it too!). Reviewing your employee perks can help you identify how to promote a better work-life balance. For example, offering flexible working such as the ability to work from home when needed, can be very useful. Additionally encouraging staff to leave on time and also take their full lunch break will also help staff to feel rested and recharged. Highlight how staff can develop and build a roadmap for opportunities. Opportunities for development are now more important to employees than ever before! With such a skill short market it is now the new normal for people to “hold between 10-15 jobs in their lifetime (with 12 being the average), it shows that many won’t hesitate to move on if they feel their current role doesn’t offer them the best opportunity to develop their skills and career.” As January is the start of a new quarter for many organisations, it’s the ideal time to work with your employees to set personalised goals and highlight the year’s opportunities. Not only will setting clear goals help to keep your staff focused on their work (which will increase their motivation as they’ll want to work harder to reach these goals), but if they’re both small and realistic, this will increase morale by giving them a sense of achievement when these are completed. Have some fun! One of the easiest ways to beat the New Year Blues and ease your employees back into working life is by ensuring they are having fun! At Cherry, we try and take teams out to lunch at their favourite spots, after work drinks on a Friday, music in the office and just to encourage an open dialogue about how staff feel and how we can help to lift them back up! January Blues isn’t something you should fear and it isn’t something you should ignore either. Mental health and morale go hand in hand. If you need any advice on how to talk to someone who is suffering with depression please visit www.mind.org.uk

Melissa Kilday


Poor Financial Well-being is effecting your bottom line.

Employees of all ages and levels of seniority are facing tougher financial decisions than ever before. Younger workers are burdened with student debt yet are aspiring to get onto the housing ladder. Some are navigating complex decisions about how to fund retirement. So, why should employers, politicians or society worry about the money concerns of workers? A report conducted by Close Brothers and CIPD concluded financial wellbeing not only affects employees but also business performance; costing the UK economy an estimated £120 billion, not to mention having a detrimental impact on employee mental and physical health. One in ten workers said they have found it difficult to concentrate/make decisions at work because of money problems. One in four said money worries have affected their ability to do their job. The need to boost employee’s confidence about their financial future has never been greater. Financial wellbeing is a company-wide issue, not just something that affects a handful of workers. Close Brothers and CIPD are not the only high-profile name doing extensive research into employee financial wellbeing; a Barclays survey found one in ten employees is silently struggling with financial woes. Staff in a “scarcity mindset” simply do not have the bandwidth to be devoted to contributing innovative and creative ideas. And while your staff may not be part of the 8% who take time off work due to financial stress, those left standing maybe one of the 19% of employees who lose sleep over it. “The relationship between staff’s overall financial wellbeing and productivity at work is a compelling case for employers to take steps towards improving their workers financial wellbeing and so their business bottom line” says Close Brothers Head of Financial Education, Jeanette Makings. More employers are now actively researching financial education programmes in order to provide support for employees and improve their financial capability. By educating and offering support to staff to better manage their money, business can improve the overall wellness of their workforce; simultaneously demonstrating a duty of care and refine business performance. A good financial wellbeing strategy will be more in depth than just pensions and debt – it will have the ability to raise awareness and confidence across all areas of workplace benefits and financial wellbeing. It will make it clear where further help and advice can be obtained and how to find other saving solutions alongside those offered within the business. It’s about creating a healthy culture in the workplace when it comes to money. Implementing a stable and effective financial wellbeing strategy demonstrates your interest as an employer, contributing to attracting and retaining the best skills on the market which is becoming hugely competitive, especially within Accounting and Finance. With 74% of finance professionals looking to make a career move in the next 12 months, employers have developed retention efforts by revising benefit packages, working environments and work-life balance. Around 43% of Accounting and Finance professionals said wellbeing initiatives and working environment were motivational factors aside from salary in a resent Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) Member survey. Investment in a financial wellbeing strategy is, therefore is not just a decision based entirely on employer responsibility towards employees but also a step towards boosting your bottom line. To find out more about how to build a financial wellbeing strategy for your business take a look at this free webinar from Salary Finance. * Lifetime Savings Challenge research 2017 ** CIPD/ Close Brothers Workplace Financial Wellbeing research 2017

Libby McCaughey