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Lisa Askwith

Director, Apex BRS

 



Describe Apex BRS.


Apex BRS is a boutique Business and Restructuring agency, that focusses on helping companies build their business to form a people-centric view, while utilising the best structure and strategy. We see the key synergy between people feeling valued and being able to add value to their workplace as the driving force to success. 


How would you describe the current relationship between employers and employees? How is Apex BRS influencing it? 


Currently, in most workplaces the employer/employee relationship is in flux, our fundamental beliefs behind work have changed quickly in the space of a few short years. This has been the biggest and most profound change the workplace has ever seen. People no longer feel like they have to have jobs for life, they now know they can enjoy a lot more freedom to pursue careers that they find value in. They can successfully job hop as often as they like, and they have the power to say no if something does not meet their value needs. This means as employers, the ways we recruit, retain and value our people have to keep up with these changing needs. It is not easy as we now need to recognise individual values as being the driving force behind workplace happiness and culture, and that means a lot more work for leadership and HR teams. We are seeing the relationship between employees and employers becoming more open, and value based, where people can share their true beliefs without (or at least with less) fear of a negative outcome. Leadership and coaching are key skills our senior teams need to navigate this, and as they embrace it, we are seeing a much more humanistic approach to the two-way relationship.


What are the biggest challenges that leaders face inside companies? How is ApexBRS helping them?


We focus on helping leaders navigate what successful, authentic leadership looks like. We do this by helping them understand the shift the employer/employee relationship needs. Then we focus on helping them develop the core skills of authenticity and coaching, while still being able to set goals and hold teams accountable for success. It’s a progressive learning, but one that is very powerful and equips leaders to have the skills to support their people no matter what new challenges lie ahead.


How is remote work changing companies' environments? How is this affecting the employees and leaders of different teams? 


Remote work, has opened up a Pandora’s box, one that will not be closed. Employees now understand they don’t have to be in an office all the time, and progressive companies are embracing this, and changing their work expectations accordingly, while still being able to drive success. Companies need to revalue what an office environment offers their people and what they need from it, to find the right way forward for all. This has an impact on employees and leaders both, and needs to be managed careful to ensure benefits are shared and people supported, while ensuring the ‘job’ whatever that is, is still being completed successfully.


Does a good recruiting process make the difference inside teams? What are the most effective ways in making this process friendly for the candidates and the workers?


Yes, it makes all the difference, and is a fine balance between involving the existing team in ways in which they can have confidence in the new employee, while ensuring the prospective candidate can understand if they will be a good fit. 


Encouraging key team member to be involved in the selection process is key, as is establishing environments where people can feel at ease enough to be honest about the job role as well as the candidate’s abilities. I always recommend radical honestly. If you can allow your team to really share the good and the bad with candidates you can see if they can really work together to achieve success. Sugar-coating things will only lead to failed expectations.


What inspired you to create your podcast “Engaging Your People for Success”? How has it been received by the public?


I started this podcast, because I was seeing so many good people, with great skills being lost in the workforce. Often being pushed out by overbearing managers who believed they were leaders. It saddened me to see this, when a few simple changes to the leadership bench strength could change things massively for the better. We are people and as such have values and feelings, and leaders need to understand how they can embrace that for the better, rather than use it negatively. I have been very humbled by the positive and reactions to my podcast, and happy that so many people have found value in the episodes that have led to changes in their work place happiness.


Finally, how do you project the future of the podcast? What topics do you think will need to be addressed in it?


I see the podcast evolving more and more to become more people-centric, and following key themes that we are seeing in the emerging workforce of the future. It will always be about helping people to succeed in their careers, and as such I need to make sure I keep it current and reflect the many changes that key workplace tools like AI will bring in over the next few years.

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