New Frontiers programme https://www.newfrontiers.ie An Enterprise Ireland programme Mon, 18 May 2020 09:20:37 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.1 Video Sherpa signs hospital deal after €500k funding round https://www.newfrontiers.ie/blog/video-sherpa-signs-hospital-deal-after-e500k-funding-round Mon, 18 May 2020 07:59:30 +0000 https://www.newfrontiers.ie/?p=15451 Video Sherpa, founded by New Frontiers alumna Anna Downes, has announced a deal with University Hospital Galway (UHG) to provide remote services to patients using its online video platform. This good news follows a €500,000 funding round closed at the start of the month by the Galway start-up.

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Video Sherpa, founded by New Frontiers alumna Anna Downes, has announced a deal with University Hospital Galway (UHG) to provide remote services to patients using its online video platform. This good news follows a €500,000 funding round closed at the start of the month by the Galway start-up.

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New Frontiers companies are rising to meet COVID-19 pandemic challenges https://www.newfrontiers.ie/blog/new-frontiers-companies-are-rising-to-meet-covid-19-pandemic-challenges Tue, 07 Apr 2020 11:24:39 +0000 https://www.newfrontiers.ie/?p=15398 The post New Frontiers companies are rising to meet COVID-19 pandemic challenges appeared first on New Frontiers programme.

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New Frontiers companies are rising to meet COVID-19 pandemic challenges

In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, companies and individuals have acted fast to come up with innovative solutions to the many new challenges facing all areas of society. As one of the leading medtech hubs in the world, Ireland is certainly leading the charge. We look at various New Frontiers companies that have been playing their part.

Darren Robb & Facteq

Facteq, which brings innovation to workspaces, has been manufacturing sneeze guards and Perspex barriers for shop staff and health care workers. Their shop counter shields can come in any size and are made with “clean room” specification materials so are non-porous and wipeable. Facteq founder, Darren Robb, was a New Frontiers participant at Sligo and Letterkenny Institutes of Technology.

https://www.linkedin.com/company/facteq-ltd

Sonia Neary & Wellola

Start-up Wellola developed a practice management and patient portal designed to bring medical facility communications into the 21st century. The company was co-founded by Sonia Neary, a New Frontiers alumna who participated in the programme at TU Dublin – Tallaght. Now Wellola has partnered with the HSE’s Digital Transformation Team to launch a COVID-19-focused portal combining secure communication software for healthcare professionals with a complimentary patient app called HSE Portal.

https://irishtechnews.ie/hse-wellola-secure-patient-communication-portal

https://www.hsecovid19.ie

Keith Lynne & MyClinic365

Keith Lyne is the co-founder of MyClinic365 and came through the New Frontiers programme at IT Tralee. In response to the current emergency, MyClinic365 is making its telemedicine platform free for GPs in Ireland for the duration of the crisis, reducing the administrative burdens inside GP surgeries and improving patient relationships.

https://www.siliconrepublic.com/start-ups/myclinic365-free-gps-telemedicine-coronavirus

Tony Ryan & Medvault

Medvault, founded by Tony Ryan who is a new Frontiers alumnus from TU Dublin – City Campus/IADT, provides an analytics solution for GP surgeries. The company partnered with GP Buddy to create a free COVID-19 GP Screening Form which will help to facilitate patient screening for COVID-19. Over 350 GP practices are already signed up, seeing an estimated 50% drop in the pressure from phone queries as they channel patients through the platform.

https://www.screeningform.com

Hanan Swan & Slunchbox

Hanan Swan, an alumna from Dundalk Institute of Technology/DCU New Frontiers programme, recently launched Slunchbox, a hot school meal delivery platform. In response to COVID-19, Hanan has pivoted her idea to deliver hot meals to the vulnerable in our communities. She accepts donations (€4 buys a meal for a vulnerable person) and has so far raised over €5,000 via the company’s crowdfunding campaign.

https://www.slunchbox.com

https://www.gofundme.com/f/slunchbox

Gurusharan Singh Gogna & HealAir

Coming through the New Frontiers programme at Athlone Institute of Technology, Gurusharan Singh Gogna’s startup, HealAir, uses safe plasma technology to kill airborne viruses and bacteria. They are currently seeking funding for microbiology tests and manufacturing. The patent-pending, simple and stationary unit is destined for high-risk areas such as surgery waiting rooms, ICUs, aircraft, or any enclosed space requiring air sanitisation.

Martin Tighe & Univiv

Univiv, founded by Martin Tighe who took part in New Frontiers at Athlone Institute of Technology, is developing solutions in areas such as agriculture and aquaculture. Their product, Virex (patent pending), is a safe and effective human anti-viral formulation, already proven to kill the H1N1 human form of swine flu in pigs. They are accelerating production to treat COVID-19 infections. Taken orally and made with “generally regarded as safe” (GRAS) certified ingredients, it will be a preventative dose to quell infections before they start as well as treat infections. Univiv is currently awaiting funding to manufacture the first 100,000 doses and hopes to deliver in one month.

https://univiv.com

Jag Gunawardana & MediPlex

Before the emergency, the startup was working on MediPlex, a product to enable full e-prescribing, compliance, and related functionality – about to trial with local pharmacies. When Jag, who participated in New Frontiers at Sligo and Letterkenny Institutes of Technology, saw how pharmacies were responding to the COVID-19 crisis, he realised that part of the solution he was building could be applied to these services. He produced a slimmed-down version of the product that focuses on capturing prescriptions, sending it to the selected pharmacy, enabling pharmacy-patient communication, and taking payments. It decreases risk by minimising patient-pharmacist contact and improves customer service.

Tom Cotter & Rash’R

Cork New Frontiers alumnus, Tom Cotter, started a high-end eco sports apparel company called Rash’R. In response to demand, they have started to make washable, reusable face masks with disposable replacement filters. Currently, these are being sold to bulk buyers such as corporates rather than retail.

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6650435016650297344

Do you have an idea in response to the pandemic?

Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, and IDA Ireland have launched a joint rapid-response call to fund research, development, and innovation (RD&I) activities that will deliver significant and timely impact for Ireland within the context of the current emergency. This call will be closely co-ordinated with the rapid response call launched by the Health Research Board and the Irish Research Council.

Some of the innovations from Enterprise Ireland companies

The level of innovation and blue sky thinking triggered by this international emergency has been quite extraordinary. Many new products and ideas will continue to be used and valued well into the future. Synergies and collaborations have sprung up in the most unlikely of places. It’s a real sign of hope in these troubled times.

About the author

scarlet-merrill

Scarlet Merrill

Scarlet Merrill is Editor of the New Frontiers website and founder of her own startup, Engage Content Marketing. She is an expert in designing and executing content strategies and passionate about helping businesses to develop a quality online presence… [Read Scarlet’s profile]

Other articles from the New Frontiers blog

Enterprise Ireland’s Action Plan For Women In Business

Top tips for dealing with late-paying clients

Leaders can help employees achieve their New Year’s resolutions

The big business trends to watch out for in 2020

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Video Sherpa is pursuing global ambitions https://www.newfrontiers.ie/blog/video-sherpa-wants-is-pursuing-global-ambitions Wed, 01 Apr 2020 08:04:31 +0000 https://www.newfrontiers.ie/?p=15377 New Frontiers alumna, Anna Downes, is co-founder of Video Sherpa. The company's aim is to sort out the technical side of video production so that businesses can focus on storytelling. Read her story on siliconrepublic.com.

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New Frontiers alumna, Anna Downes, is co-founder of Video Sherpa. The company’s aim is to sort out the technical side of video production so that businesses can focus on storytelling. Read her story on siliconrepublic.com.

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Meat-free sauces pack a big flavour punch https://www.newfrontiers.ie/blog/meat-free-sauces-pack-a-big-flavour-punch Fri, 27 Mar 2020 14:34:09 +0000 https://www.newfrontiers.ie/?p=15423 Vegan sauce company Porter & Nash has spotted a plant-based gap in the market. New Frontiers participant Gavin Cassidy is featured with his cofounder Eoin Lennon in this irishtimes.com article.

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Vegan sauce company Porter & Nash has spotted a plant-based gap in the market. New Frontiers participant Gavin Cassidy is featured with his cofounder Eoin Lennon in this irishtimes.com article.

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Enterprise Ireland’s Action Plan For Women In Business https://www.newfrontiers.ie/blog/enterprise-ireland-action-plan-for-women-in-business-diversity Fri, 28 Feb 2020 10:22:59 +0000 https://www.newfrontiers.ie/?p=15350 The post Enterprise Ireland’s Action Plan For Women In Business appeared first on New Frontiers programme.

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Enterprise Ireland’s Action Plan For Women In Business targets diversity - New Frontiers programme

Enterprise Ireland has launched the Action Plan For Women In Business, an ambitious and wide-reaching strategy to achieve greater representation of women in business and, particularly, in business leadership across Ireland. We spoke to Sheelagh Daly at Enterprise Ireland to find out more.

Numerous studies prove that having women in executive positions and on boards leads to better outcomes for organisations – with better financial performance and higher employee engagement. Putting women in decision-making roles improves all kinds of business metrics, but we are still not seeing gender parity in business.

An ongoing commitment to gender balance

Focusing on gender balance in business is not new for Enterprise Ireland. There have been a number of initiatives over the past years aimed at improving the ratio, such as Going For Growth or female-only Competitive Start Fund (CSF) calls. The success of these is evident, with Enterprise Ireland investing in three times more women-led companies in 2019 compared to 2011.

Looking forward, it was clear that as the national agency for economic development, Enterprise Ireland had an important role to play in improving diversity in business. CEO Julie Sinnamon asked the agency to put together a plan.

“Harnessing the full talent and expertise of our diverse population will result in better businesses and faster economic growth. Unleashing the creativity and skills of more women represents an unparalleled opportunity for fuelling economic growth in Ireland.”

Julie Sinnamon – CEO, Enterprise Ireland

The plan has been piloted by Sheelagh Daly, Entrepreneurship Manager at Enterprise Ireland. She spent a year putting together the strategy and identifying the first 24 actions for 2020. She started by asking four key questions about the lack of female participation in enterprise: What are the reasons? What are the barriers? What needs to change? What additional supports are required?

“Women in leadership roles means increased profits, improved productivity, better returns on assets, and overall superior performance. We want companies making smart decisions about the senior management team that will help them be the best they can be.”

Sheelagh Daly – Entrepreneurship Manager, Enterprise Ireland

An evolving plan with multiple themes

Action Plan For Women In Business

Research demonstrates that – in general – women take a different approach to business, so the plan includes a commitment to working on a one-to-one basis with women as well as addressing systemic barriers that women tend to face. An excellent example of concrete action is a new grant for Enterprise Ireland clients that offer part-time leadership roles. While a grant already exists for full-time roles, this new funding reflects the reality that many women ready to take on such responsibilities may need more flexibility.

The scope of the plan is broad and in addition to the horizontal focus across Enterprise Ireland activities, we will see initiatives developed in partnership with other agencies, stakeholders, the private sector, and government departments. Input into policy development is likely to be significant as the plan evolves.

But if you were thinking this strategy is just about startups, think again! Research and development, education, mentoring, investment and venture capital, networking, leadership development, showcasing successful businesswomen, and bringing experienced female leaders back to work are all going to be a feature of the Women in Business plan.

“People with more senior management experience in their industry are more likely to spot opportunities for innovative new businesses, plus the beliefs and skills to go ahead with the idea. These people are also more likely to have the all-important network of connections that will make things happen in the business.”

Sheelagh Daly – Entrepreneurship Manager, Enterprise Ireland

The objectives of the Women in Business plan

In total, the plan comprises four main objectives, each with six associated actions that Enterprise Ireland has committed to starting in 2020.

Objective 1: Increase the number of women-led established companies growing internationally

  1. Drive the Women in Business action plan in each division of Enterprise Ireland
  2. Engage with financial institutions to deliver a finance and funding landscape that is accessible and inclusive
  3. Develop a #GlobalAmbition campaign featuring Women in Business leaders and initiatives
  4. Offer increased one-to-one engagement to women-led companies to effectively support growth ambitions and expansion into new global markets
  5. Ensure all Enterprise Ireland programmes and supports are designed to maximise participation by women
  6. Explore proposals for new finance offers to support scaling for women-led established companies

Objective 2: Increase the number of women in middle and senior management and leadership roles

  1. Introduce a new grant for Enterprise Ireland-supported companies to facilitate the recruitment of part-time senior managers
  2. Promote the benefits of diversity to enterprise and provide funding support for diversity planning to Enterprise Ireland-supported companies
  3. Work with external stakeholders to influence national policies to address identified barriers to women’s participation in enterprise
  4. Work with key stakeholders to facilitate Irish companies to improve gender diversity on their boards
  5. Target women managers in Enterprise Ireland-supported companies and within Enterprise Ireland for participation on leadership development programmes
  6. Promote a focus on diversity in the development of skills and talent for Irish enterprise through the National Skills Fora and within Enterprise Ireland

Objective 3: Increase the number of women becoming entrepreneurs

  1. Partner with key stakeholders to drive better access to finance and funding for women at all stages on their enterprise journey
  2. Collaborate with the Local Enterprise Offices to develop and grow female entrepreneurship in every county
  3. Target more women to become founders, mentors, and investors
  4. Ensure enterprise and entrepreneurship policy is aligned with the objectives of the Enterprise Ireland Women in Business plan
  5. Develop, support, and promote a national network of role models to interact with and inspire future entrepreneurs
  6. Promote a focus on women in business in the actions and funding of Regional Enterprise Plans

Objective 4: Increase the number of women-led start-ups with high growth potential

  1. Appoint a dedicated team in Enterprise Ireland to develop and drive initiatives directed at female founders
  2. Issue a series of funding calls targeting women entrepreneurs, and women researchers from third level institutions
  3. Pilot an initiative to include women leaders/senior managers in project teams spinning out from third level institutions
  4. Explore the potential to establish a women-focused seed investment group with key finance industry stakeholders
  5. Roll out national and regional communications campaigns showcasing women entrepreneurs
  6. Offer increased one-to-one engagement to women-led HPSUs and support female founders through mentoring with experienced entrepreneurs who have scaled their businesses

The Women in Business plan addresses a broad range of factors contributing to the underrepresentation of women in enterprise and will help to initiate sustainable and enduring change in the Irish economy. If you’d like to know more, you can download the action plan brochure, visit the Enterprise Ireland website, or talk to your Enterprise Ireland/Local Enterprise Office advisor.

About the author

scarlet-merrill

Scarlet Merrill

Scarlet Merrill is Editor of the New Frontiers website and founder of her own startup, Engage Content Marketing. She is an expert in designing and executing content strategies and passionate about helping businesses to develop a quality online presence… [Read Scarlet’s profile]

Other articles from the New Frontiers blog

Top tips for dealing with late-paying clients

Leaders can help employees achieve their New Year’s resolutions

The big business trends to watch out for in 2020

Coworking space vs the traditional office – which will you choose?

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Sonia Neary’s (Wellola) insights into equity crowdfunding https://www.newfrontiers.ie/blog/sonia-neary-wellola-equity-crowdfunding Thu, 27 Feb 2020 10:34:55 +0000 https://www.newfrontiers.ie/?p=15366 [Video] Wellola closed a successful equity crowdfunding round of around €180,000 in 2019. CEO Sonia Neary was interviewed about why she decided to go with equity crowdfunding when raising funds for her business, what the process was like, and how the company has grown since the campaign ended.

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[Video] Wellola closed a successful equity crowdfunding round of around €180,000 in 2019. CEO Sonia Neary was interviewed about why she decided to go with equity crowdfunding when raising funds for her business, what the process was like, and how the company has grown since the campaign ended.

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Top tips for dealing with late-paying clients https://www.newfrontiers.ie/blog/top-tips-for-dealing-with-late-paying-clients Tue, 18 Feb 2020 17:40:34 +0000 https://www.newfrontiers.ie/?p=15335 The post Top tips for dealing with late-paying clients appeared first on New Frontiers programme.

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Top tips for dealing with late-paying clients - New Frontiers programme

We’re not pointing any fingers, but you know who we’re talking about! When it comes to late-paying clients, there are always a few stragglers. Although it’s not personal and usually just an indicator of clunky business processes, if you’re a small business trying to grow it is hard to be sympathetic. However, if most of your late-paying clients also happen to be your biggest clients, your problem is a bit more of a challenge.

According to ISME, the Irish SME Association, 55% of companies experience payment delays of two months or more (Q2, 2019). CEO Neil McDonnell points out that:

“Smaller businesses do not have working capital to wait for payment as long as big businesses. 36% of multinationals are taking longer to make their payments, showing a total disregard for SMEs.”

It all comes down to big companies wanting to have as much ready cash available to them as possible, but this can turn into a serious problem for SMEs in the long run.

Although no healthy business should be reliant on any one client, this worrying trend of late payments can be detrimental to a small business if not managed correctly. That’s why in this blog we’re going tackle the credit control challenge head-on.

Should you be giving credit at all?

Providing credit is not uncommon in business, but it is not the rule and you are not obliged to offer it. If you’re a small business ticking over with only a handful of clients and you can’t afford to give credit, then perhaps you shouldn’t. In the creative industries and for freelancers, payment on delivery is the most common payment term. For larger or longer projects, it’s typical to pay half upfront, or even staged payments throughout the life of the project. Maybe your business could adopt a similar model? Take a close look at your current cash flow situation and determine what kind of figure you should be starting the month with. If getting to that figure requires bringing those invoice deadlines closer, then don’t be afraid to put your foot down. Remember, it’s your business and you make rules, not your debtors.

Set clear terms before you start

When a new project or contract comes through the door, it’s tempting to show how keen you are for the business and dive in as soon as possible. But not setting clear boundaries from the outset can be something you come to regret. If you do need to offer credit, then agree in advance what that will be and get it in writing. Ideally, this will already be laid out in your Terms and Conditions, but even so it’s worth drawing the new client’s attention to what these are. If you don’t have Ts & Cs already, or if you want this client to stick to different payment terms, make sure to get this agreed in writing beforehand including a) at what point(s) you will invoice, and b) how many days they will have to pay. If they subsequently don’t stick to these terms, you can start chasing straight away and draw their attention to the agreed terms.

Offer an early-payment discount

As with everything in business, you are dealing with human beings, which means that incentives and motivational tactics can work a treat – especially when it comes to saving money! You don’t necessarily have to offer this to all your clients, but you can pick a select few who you think would be open to the idea. You can offer them a discount for paying within, say, 10 days if that is helpful to your cash flow situation. The only drawback with this strategy is that payments may still be unpredictable. It is up to your client whether they take you up on your offer, and even if they do you won’t be sure exactly when they’ll pay.

Penalise those naughty late payers

Did you know that you are entitled by law to charge interest on late payments? It doesn’t just apply to your Irish customers, as this is a European Union regulation. The majority of businesses don’t do this, perhaps because they don’t know they can, don’t want to rock the boat, or think it isn’t worth the hassle. But you can do this for any commercial transaction and you don’t even need to send a reminder first; you can start charging as soon as the invoice is overdue. The Late Payment Interest rate is currently 8%. This means that if a client was a month late paying a bill of €2,000 + VAT, you’d be able to charge them €16.13 in interest. You can use this online interest calculator to work out what you are due.

In addition, you are automatically entitled to “compensation for recovery costs” without needing to provide evidence of having incurred recovery costs or issuing a reminder. This is a flat fee entitlement. If you had a particularly tricky situation and had to hire a solicitor or debt collection agency, this would obviously be a whole different situation. The automatic compensation you are entitled to under the regulation is:

  • Up to €1,000: €40
  • €1000 – €10,000: €70
  • Over €10,000: €100

Automate the credit control process

These days, there is a software solution to alleviate any business ailment. If you’re tired of payments dribbling past the finish line like the world’s slowest snail race, the time has probably come for more proactive credit control. There are lots of fintech solutions for debt management out there that make it easy to chase late payers. Some examples are Chaser and Fluidly.  With Chaser, you simply connect with your Sage, Xero, or QuickBooks account and set up auto-reminders so that your clients are prompted when their invoice is past due. Solutions like this allow you to personalise these prompts so that your business brand is kept intact. You can also control who gets reminders and how often, and even escalate the reminders to get more serious the longer the debt is outstanding – for instance by changing the recipient and sender of the reminder to more senior counterparts in your respective businesses.

Leverage outstanding bills with invoice financing

A 60- or 90-day credit window can become too much to bear for some small businesses. It’s a situation many businesses try to suffer through but there are ways to get around this problem if chasing your clients isn’t enough. If existing credit terms are now proving challenging for your company’s cash flow, you could look into invoice financing. Invoice financing is a finance facility that allows businesses to borrow money against outstanding customer invoices. Typically, you’ll receive a large portion of the funds immediately and when your client settles the invoice, you’ll receive the rest (minus a fee for the service, of course). This isn’t an ideal scenario in the long-term, but it can get you through a challenging period.

As you can see, there are many ways to manage late-paying clients. The key is to find the solution that works best for your type of business as well as your clients. It can be uncomfortable talking about this issue with clients, but never forget that you deserve to be paid for your hard work. Asking for what you are due is a fair and reasonable thing to do!

About the author

scarlet-merrill

Scarlet Merrill

Scarlet Merrill is Editor of the New Frontiers website and founder of her own startup, Engage Content Marketing. She is an expert in designing and executing content strategies and passionate about helping businesses to develop a quality online presence… [Read Scarlet’s profile]

Other articles from the New Frontiers blog

Leaders can help employees achieve their New Year’s resolutions

The big business trends to watch out for in 2020

Coworking space vs the traditional office – which will you choose?

5 tips for recruiting a stellar first hire for your startup!

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Subsninja takes hassle out of admin for small clubs https://www.newfrontiers.ie/blog/subsninja-takes-hassle-out-of-admin-for-small-clubs Tue, 18 Feb 2020 15:05:55 +0000 https://www.newfrontiers.ie/?p=15333 Jer Ryan's software makes it easy for clubs to manage records, subs and GDPR compliance. Find out about his startup, Subsninja, on irishtimes.com.

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Jer Ryan’s software makes it easy for clubs to manage records, subs and GDPR compliance. Find out about his startup, Subsninja, on irishtimes.com.

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Paul McCarthy wins Lead Entrepreneur award https://www.newfrontiers.ie/blog/paul-mccarthy-wins-lead-entrepreneur-award Sat, 01 Feb 2020 14:17:04 +0000 https://www.newfrontiers.ie/?p=15418 The New Frontiers Annual Showcase for TU Dublin Hothouse and IADT Media Cube saw the 30 programme participants going head to head for the Lead Entrepreneur Award. Paul McCarthy of Snapfix impressed the judges most with his simple solution and potential for scaling. Congratulations! Read his interview with siliconrepublic.com.

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The New Frontiers Annual Showcase for TU Dublin Hothouse and IADT Media Cube saw the 30 programme participants going head to head for the Lead Entrepreneur Award. Paul McCarthy of Snapfix impressed the judges most with his simple solution and potential for scaling. Congratulations! Read his interview with siliconrepublic.com.

The post Paul McCarthy wins Lead Entrepreneur award appeared first on New Frontiers programme.

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Leaders can help employees achieve their New Year’s resolutions https://www.newfrontiers.ie/blog/leaders-can-help-employees-achieve-their-new-years-resolutions Mon, 20 Jan 2020 14:50:02 +0000 https://www.newfrontiers.ie/?p=15326 The post Leaders can help employees achieve their New Year’s resolutions appeared first on New Frontiers programme.

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Leaders can help employees achieve their New Year’s resolutions - new frontiers

When the new year rolls around, what kind of person are you? Do you roll your eyes at your peers’ overly ambitious attempts to abolish decades of deeply entrenched habits in the hope of metamorphosing into a new, glossier, 2.0 version of themselves? Or do you cheer them on while dusting yourself off from the overindulgence of the previous month and get busy picking your own shiny goals to hurtle towards?

Whichever person you are, there are a few statistics we’d like to share with you because we think they’ll bring a bit of perspective to the setting of New Year’s resolutions and how you can make them more than just a passing fad at the beginning of the year.

What the data says about New Year’s resolutions

Strava conducted a survey studying over 31.5 million online global activities with regard to the setting and keeping of New Year’s resolutions. Their findings were grim:

  • 80% of people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions
  • The 12th January is the date people are most likely to give up on their resolutions
  • The main reasons for failure are a lack of motivation and unrealistic expectations

Now, you could look at those statistics and take them as the evidence you’ve been keenly waiting for never to set a New Year’s resolution again! But business leaders are all about the challenge, so we’re going to guess that you’ve zeroed in on the obvious obstacles here and are already thinking up ways that this problem can be solved. That’s what we’ve been doing, and we think the solution is to bring New Year’s resolutions into the workplace!

Introducing New Year’s Resolutions to the workplace

Ask for feedback from your team

Creating a partnership between work and personal goals could seem daunting at first. You might be wondering whether your team appreciates this new-fangled project of yours or considerate it a hindrance. The best way to find out the answer to that question is to ask. Bord Bia research found that 70% of Irish people would appreciate help with maintaining a healthy diet and less than one-third of us get the correct amount of exercise because we cannot find the time.

How to help your employees achieve their resolutions

There are many ways you can go about helping your team achieve their goals. The methods you pick will be based on what will suit your company best. You could decide to add a few additional activities to the workweek, or you could make smaller but equally effective tweaks to the workday. Alternatively, you could design a whole employee wellness programme!

Deciding which route you’ll take will involve taking some time to think about your budget, assessing how many people you expect to get involved, finding out what their New Year’s resolutions were and determining what kind of activities would benefit them best. Then map out how you imagine these activities will realistically coincide with job tasks and decide who will be in charge of making it all happen. If that sounds like far too much work, don’t worry; no matter how small or comprehensive your approach, we have a few ideas to get you started!

Great resolution ideas you can support all year long

Let’s dive into some ideas for how you can support your team in reaching their goals – not just in January, but all year long!

Diet

  • Ditch those pastries packed with saturated fat in meetings and instead think strawberries! Popcorn! Whole-grain sandwiches with low-fat fillings! Parfaits!
  • Combine healthy eating and team building by organising activities such as “Come Dine With Me” style lunches, food tastings, cookery classes and smooth- making competitions.
  • Request an employee discount from your local health-conscious eatery.

Spend more time with friends and family

  • Remote working puts an end to wasted hours spent commuting so your employees can spend more time with the people they love.
  • Offer an automatic day off for three important family events that occur annually.
  • Trial a four-day workweek. New Zealand company Perpetual Guardian reported a 20% increase in productivity when they did it and Pursuit Marketing in Glasgow enjoyed a 30% increase!

Exercise

  • Incentivise walk-to-work and/or cycle schemes.
  • Set up company sports teams and organise a gym buddy system to get peer pressure working in everyone’s favour!
  • Create a calendar for local fitness events, such as marathons for charity, and encourage people to sign up.

Quit smoking

  • Establish a tobacco-free workplace.
  • Include quit smoking programmes in your wellness initiative with one-to-one coaching or, if your budget can’t stretch to that, make external resources easily available for them.
  • Consider ways you can help employees through the withdrawal period, i.e. exercise regimes, improving diet, stress management.

Read more

  • Hold a monthly book club that people can either participate in after work or during the lunch break.
  • Include a book recommendation in the company newsletter.
  • Invite local authors to speak at your company.

Drink less alcohol

  • Organise alternatives to ‘after-work drinks’ such as movie nights, bowling, going to exhibitions, volunteering, sports training, attending a class, seeking out drink-free events, etc.
  • With your team’s help, set alcohol-free days to reduce the chance of hitting the pub at 5 pm on particularly tempting evenings.

None of these ideas are earth-shattering, but that’s precisely the point! Small changes that are simple to implement and easy to take up are most likely to be successful. If all goes to plan, not only will you have a happier, healthier team by the end of 2020, but you’ll have simultaneously increased job satisfaction and productivity.

About the author

scarlet-merrill

Scarlet Merrill

Scarlet Merrill is Editor of the New Frontiers website and founder of her own startup, Engage Content Marketing. She is an expert in designing and executing content strategies and passionate about helping businesses to develop a quality online presence… [Read Scarlet’s profile]

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