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Unemployment Rates: How Low Can We Go?

Over the past couple of years the signs of Ireland’s recovery following the economic crisis have been increasingly positive. One important cornerstone of recovery is of course employment. Previously, we saw a situation in which there was an increasing rate of unemployment and an increase in qualified people seeking employment on other shores or taking on unpaid work they were overqualified for on our own shores in a desperate attempt to seek stable employment. This is a situation that both employers and workers would be loath to recreate.

In recent months, the unemployment rate in Ireland has been dropping at a steady rate which shows positive movement for Ireland’s continuing recovery, even in the wake of the Brexit panic. In June, the unemployment rate continued its downward trend going from May’s figure of 6.4% to 6.3%, which is a significant positive movement over the course of one month. Over the twelve months between June 2016 and June 2017 however, this figure has dropped from 8.3% to 6.3% according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) report.

In terms of actual figures, the unemployment rate has dropped by 42,100 people over the course of one year which is of course a move in the right direction for all. EMEA economist for Indeed, Mariano Mamertino has been quoted as saying that the Irish unemployment rate is on track to fall below 6%:

“Ireland remains on a clear trajectory for unemployment to fall below 6pc in the coming months, which bodes well in terms of the likelihood of increased consumer spending and retails sales as more people take home a weekly pay cheque.”

This, of course is encouraging news for all businesses particularly those in the retail sector who are expected to see an increase in business in the coming months. The unemployment rate in Ireland remains lower than some EU countries, but is moving in the right direction for recovery.

Naturally, the swift and continuing downward movement of the unemployment rate causes some minor concerns as Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has stated his concern over the possibility of more jobs being available than there are workers to fill them in the future. In his opinion, the unemployment rate looks likely to fall below 5.5% which would be both an “extraordinary achievement” and a cause for concern as it would be possible Ireland would “experience capacity constraints.” It has however been stated that this is merely a potential situation and not one that is envisioned to come to pass, so we can carry on celebrating the continuing recovery of our economy

Should you require any help, guidance or information on these or any other financial and business matters, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at EcovisDCA where we are always happy to help.

 

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

WORKPLACE FLEXIBILITY

We have spoken in the past about the importance of maintaining a feasible work/life balance and how important a reasonable balance is for the mental health and wellbeing of both employees and employers alike. Whether you are still working your way up the career ladder or have reached the peak already, the maintenance of a healthy work/life balance is what ultimately helps you to reach your goals. With a busy season for business and customers alike fast approaching, we thought it wise to discuss the modern day phenomenon crucial to a happy and healthy workplace: workplace flexibility. Now, don’t panic, we aren’t going to ask you to unroll that dusty yoga mat before January 1st. Rather, we will be speaking of ways in which the workplace itself can contribute to a healthier and happier home life.

 

As both our working and our home lives become increasingly busy and filled with integral conflict it is important to create flexibility where possible. In these modern times, maintaining flexibility is becoming increasingly easy as it is possible to be connected 24-7 (which is, of course an issue for another day).

 

From a business point of view, it is beneficial to the company to ensure that its employees are satisfied and happy on a daily basis which, as we have previously discovered is essential to maintaining a functional workplace. The inclusion of alternative working styles is important to maintain a good balance. Working remotely has become one of the most popular methods of gaining flexibility in the workplace and one which has seeped into most modern lives as few among us are innocent of checking our working email from home on our phones.

 

Maintaining flexibility in the workplace has been proven to increase productivity as the interconnectedness of our modern offices can combine differing work types or schedules at once whilst working from home reduces time and effort spent battling the daily traffic. Meanwhile skype and other video call platforms have allowed for meetings and hiring interview processes to become more immediate as we no longer need wait for a face to face meeting. Technology has now begun to redefine the workplace as well as how we communicate, and Irish companies are beginning to harness this new power through video and instant messaging as well as file sharing.

 

To conclude, a happy workforce is a productive one, and modern life allows for greater flexibility in the manner in which we work. A work/life balance has never been more important to the Irish workplace as our busy schedules create a time-poor workforce, the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs have been quoted as saying that

“Family-friendly working arrangements can play an important role in any overall pay and benefits package.”

 

This can be easily harnessed by employers to create a new working environment which will be increasingly productive as a result.

 

Should you require any help, advice or guidance on any business or financial matters, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at DCA Accountants where we will be happy to help.

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

DELEGATION IN BUSINESS

Delegation is defined as being “the act of giving control, authority, a job, a duty, etc., to another person.” You could be forgiven for thinking that delegation is just another buzz word used in management meetings or team building exercises but the truth is that whether your business is small and just now finding its feet or an enormous multinational corporation, delegation is an absolutely essential part of all aspects of business from the ground up. It has been noted that delegation is not a task, but an on-going process that becomes an integral part of a successful business.

 

We all know the saying “if you want something done right, do it yourself” and we are all guilty of reneging on delegating when we find ourselves frustrated or in a time crunch. Whilst this is a perfectly acceptable and sometimes expected practise, continually refusing to delegate can have serious professional and personal repercussions including exhaustion, low morale depression and burnout. It is essential to employ more long-term thinking practises. The process of delegation can also be beneficial in avoiding the pitfalls of micromanagement wherein your employees may not feel valued or trusted to carry out certain tasks. Delegation is not easy, but sometimes the most fulfilling and worthwhile things are difficult at first. Here we have collected some of the most important things to bear in mind, to help you engage in effective delegation in your workplace.

 

Plan ahead:
Long-term thinking is essential in all aspects of business, but particularly when it comes to delegation. It is important to know in advance what it is you want to achieve and be able to express this to your colleagues.

 

Know when to delegate:
Whether you are in a managerial or a more secondary role, the most important aspect of delegation is to know what tasks you can delegate and to whom. There will always be some tasks which should be completed only by you and it is important to identify what these are in order to separate them from all other tasks. Once you have identified your own most critical tasks, you can then make a note of those you feel could be completed by others – and if applicable assign those tasks as necessary. This frees up your own time to be used more wisely and also shows a level of trust in your employees/colleagues which they might not have felt previously.

Know which tasks suit which employees:
The next important step in effective delegation is deciding which person will be the right fit for the job. This can be as simple as assigning a sales job to a sales oriented employee, or simply matching an employee’s skillset or personality to the job at hand. Don’t be afraid to offer further training to employees who will require it before taking on a task.

 

Be specific:
This is perhaps one of the biggest keys to effective delegation, and also where many people go wrong. The worst thing you can do when delegating is to be vague, as this leaves your employee unsure of what their role is, causing undue stress to both them and yourself when you invariably fall into the “if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself” trap. The key here is to identify the task clearly, know what results you want to achieve here and ensure that the person to whom you are delegating is well aware of the expected outcome. Communication is the key to effective delegation and a successful business.

 

Deadlines:
Deadlines must be discussed when delegating so that the individual taking on the task is well aware of the parameters within which they are expected to complete the task. At this point, agreeing on methods of communication and “checking in” on the project should also be agreed. Setting a defined deadline can avoid problems further down the road.

 

Accountability:
This is the hardest part of the delegation process. All involved must know who is accountable should there be a problem from the outset, as well as what will be expected of them with this task. Accountability cannot be passed on, it can only be shared. Ensuring accountability means that your employees/colleagues will stay

 

Feedback:
Offering feedback on how the process/project has gone boosts staff morale and also ensures that all involved know their strengths and what aspects they can work on for the benefit of future projects.

The process of delegation is a difficult one to begin, but will become easier each time as your employees/colleagues become better equipped and experienced at dealing with certain similar tasks in the future. You will soon find yourself wondering why you didn’t start this process sooner as your business becomes a more defined and organised organism.