5 Top Tips for Staff Engagement

Blog Photo - Chalkboard

One of the latest key themes in HR and recruitment is how to create and maintain engagement with existing employees. Engagement is a broad term; simplified it is the relationship between an employee and the company they work for. An engaged employee is one who is “fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work”. Many companies find that they struggle to get staff to retain an interest in the affairs of their employer. Here are our top tips for ensuring that your colleagues remain connected and attached to the company:

Produce an engagement survey and act on the results

A survey is often the first step companies take when trying to measure engagement, but it is only as useful as the action taken. The first thing to consider is the format of the survey itself. Shorter surveys, with some open-ended questions, are proven to generate a higher response rate, with more useful answers. Colleagues will appreciate the smaller time commitment and the ability to voice their suggestions in a free format.

You can then identify themes and recurring issues throughout the answers and decide on any remedial action. Crucially, by involving your workforce in the process and giving them a platform to voice their opinions, which are then acted on; they’ll feel valued.

Create a social culture

Participation in events outside of the office is a great way of improving relationships and adds a social aspect to the work environment.  Events, such as a corporate family fun day or taking part in something for charity, have a range of benefits for staff wellbeing and in turn, strengthens their ties to the company.  By seeing their employer and their colleagues in a different setting, can help to build a happier, more productive workforce.

Offer opportunities for growth and development

One of the most common reasons for disengagement from staff is a feeling of being underused and not tested fully in their roles. Ensure you have a process in place, such as appraisals, so individuals can discuss their aspirations and ambitions. Look to expand their job description and responsibilities, and include them in one-off projects to give new experience as and when they arise.

Offer wellness opportunities

Gym memberships and get fit schemes have both been proven to be hugely beneficial. The practice of giving employees the option of free fitness opportunities is well established. It helps to create a culture where the company demonstrates its consideration for their employees’ physical and mental welfare. Healthier staff are happier and more productive, which naturally benefits the working environment.

Reward staff

Rewarding good performance is a simple, and cost-effective, way of driving engagement. It allows staff to feel appreciated and valued by the company and reassures them that good work does not go unnoticed. It doesn’t have to cost the earth and can be done in a lot of different ways. A longer lunch break, a company-wide email or a personal thank you note are just a few of the many ways that people can feel rewarded. Alternatively, a specialist service, such as a rewards and benefits platform like Perkbox (which we offer to all Ambitions staff), where staff can access exclusive discounts and savings, are a great way to improve morale.

No tags



5 Transferable Skills Temp Jobs Can Teach You

CV Library Blog (2)This week we have a guest blog from CV-Library. They have written some advice on the benefits of Temp jobs, and how it can make you more employable in the long-term.


Every piece of work experience you undergo can provide you with valuable skills to help boost your career. That even includes temporary work that you take on to make ends meet. While you may look at it as a way to pay the bills, you’ll actually be building on your key skills, making your more employable in the future.

This means that you can highlight these transferable skills on your CV when it comes to searching for a more permanent job. So what sort of skills will you be learning? We outline, below.


Teamwork is essential in any workplace. The ability to work harmoniously as part of a team can stand you in good stead, especially when it comes to impressing a potential employer. Businesses want to hire team players that can get stuck in and won’t shake anything up within the company.

Your teamwork skills could be a result of working together to reach store targets, or to complete a particular task. Think about any instances where you’ve worked with other people and what this has taught you. You’ll probably notice that it’s given you insights into how to deal with different individuals.


When you’re working in a temporary position, it’s extremely important to be organised. After all, you’ll likely be moving from role to role and only be in each job for a short amount of time. What’s more, you’ll need to ensure that you are assisting with the work of the permanent employees, helping to make their lives easier.

Employers value organisation skills because it shows you can get your work done efficiently and in a set time frame. Showcasing these skills on your CV can definitely give you a better chance of securing those interviews.

Time management

Similar to the above, time management is crucial. With experience in temp work, you should understand the importance of turning up to work on time. Alongside this, you’ll know that certain tasks need to be completed in a set period of time.

Being able to effectively manage your time will put you in a positive light amongst employers. After all, it’s respectful and shows that you appreciate the rules and will adhere to them. What’s more, it suggests that you are a reliable individual, which is important for building a trusting relationship.

Customer service

A lot of temp work will involve engaging with customers. This is a great opportunity to boost your customer service skills and gain practice in dealing with individuals from a range of backgrounds. Customer service skills are a real asset in the workplace. Especially when dealing with clients, or even your colleagues.

To build on these skills, consider how you’re coming across to the customers. Do you have a friendly manner? Are you being proactive with your assistance? Thinking of these factors can help you to improve the service you offer.


The ability to communicate effectively with your colleagues and third parties is important in the workplace. After all, without strong communication, you would struggle to complete tasks and projects on a daily basis.

When working in a temp position, you can practice your communication skills. And that’s not just verbally. Think about how you come across over email too. This is good practice and gets you used to the types of interactions you’ll have once you’re in permanent employment.

In summary

Don’t overlook your experience in temporary work. While you may view it as a simple way to make money in between finding permanent employment, it could actually arm you with vital transferable skills that will be useful throughout your career.

CV-Library is the UK’s leading independent job board. For more expert advice on careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice and Recruitment Insight pages.


No tags



How to Stay Motivated at Work


Blog Photo - Chalkboard

Staying motivated at work is something that is crucial in order to be productive, feel fulfilled by your job and boost your overall wellness.  We want to help you get the most out of your day and enjoying the time you spend with your colleagues.  Apply these top tips to your everyday routine and you’ll soon be reaping the rewards in your career:

Push Yourself

In order to stay motivated, you must push yourself outside your comfort zone from time to time. Working within your limits can be constraining, lead to a predictable routine and feelings of frustration or boredom (the biggest killer of motivation). Working outside of what is familiar may be a little daunting, but it will add variety. Achieving something you never thought you could can be inspiring, and give you the confidence to achieve even more in the future. So the next project or opportunity that presents itself, agree to take part, and see how the change benefits you.  Or go one step further, and actively seek ways to push yourself; suggest a new way of working to your employer, ask for extra responsibilities or think about organising a charity event with your colleagues.

Short-Term Targets

Think of a daily or weekly target that will help your motivation. By committing to achieving something within a set timeframe, however small, will help you stay focused. This could be to complete one job which you’ve been putting off for ages, or even just to organise your workload with a to-do list, or clear your desk of anything you don’t need anymore.  Alternatively, set yourself the goal of doing something different to break away from your routine, like walking somewhere new at lunch, or organising to meet a friend or colleague for a coffee.

Think About Your Career Direction

Thinking about your career more broadly can also help. Evaluate what you would like to achieve compared to your current position, and determine the steps to get there. Working towards a bigger target can seem daunting, but by setting smaller, achievable goals, you’re more likely to stay on track. Some people find it helpful to write these goals down or save as a screensaver on your phone for a daily reminder of what you’re working towards.  Remember to take a moment to congratulate yourself when you hit those goals, you could even reward yourself with a little treat!


Regular exercise, especially in the morning, can actually help to give you more energy during the day. Exercising in the evening will also help, as you will be more likely to have a good night’s sleep. You could combine this by working out with a colleague, helping both your fitness and work relationships.  If you don’t have access to a gym, there are plenty of free workouts available online on websites such as YouTube, which you can do with equipment you’d have around the house or office. But exercise doesn’t necessarily have to be high-impact; something like simply taking a walk outside during your lunch break will boost your energy and mood, enabling you to perform better.

Think Positive

Cultivating the right mindset is key to staying motivated. An ideal time to do this is before you even start the working day. Thinking about all the good things in your day allows you to go to work in a positive frame of mind. You could even try repeating a positive mantra to yourself or, if you find a quote/affirmation which resonates with you, write it on a post-it note and keep it in your work area.

No tags



How to Succeed in a Telephone Interview

Blog Photo - Candidate Advice

A telephone interview is often the first stage after you submit your application. This may be with a recruitment agency (such as Ambitions Personnel) or your new potential line-manager. Generally this is quite informal, the idea is to go through your CV and give you a chance to talk about your experience and interests.


Treat the telephone interview how you would a face-to-face interview. Have a copy of your CV, the job description and a pen and paper ready. An interview is not a memory test, so have as much as you need in front of you. Perhaps make some short notes of the most important things you want to say, to guide you throughout the interview.

Find a quiet place where you know you won’t be disturbed and have a glass of water ready. It’s important for you to be as professional as possible, without worrying about your surroundings.

Short Introduction

One thing you can do, which is transferable across interview formats, is preparing a short introduction. Often the first question is ‘tell me about yourself?’ all you need to do is prepare 3 to 4 sentences about your current position. This can be your present job responsibilities, educational history and previous experience all in one paragraph. Don’t worry about putting too much detail in there, you have a whole interview to do that.

Competency Questions

This is a technique used by lots of recruiters when there are lots of candidates who have similar technical qualifications. A common use is on graduate schemes, but the method is widely used. These questions usually start with a “tell me about a time…” or “give an example…” The key here is to answer in the STAR format.

Situation – Where were you when this happened?

Task – What were you required to do?

Action – How did you achieve what you needed to?

Result – Summarise the end result

By using this guide you will sound professional and concise, giving the interviewer everything that they need in the answer.

Things to Avoid

Avoid saying too much and ‘waffling’, both you and the interviewer will find this unnecessary. Any gaps in the call are perfectly normal, both of you may be writing something down. The other important thing is to keep the conversation professional. Many people make the mistake of being too conversational, as if they are speaking to a friend. Keep in your mind that it is still a formal situation and that you need to stay professional.

If you do have a telephone interview soon then we wish you the best of luck, let us know how you get on!

No tags



Register on-site at Knowhow

Blog posr - KnowhowIt’s now easier than ever to work with us at Knowhow as we’re now offering registration on-site at Newark. Previously, all the registration was completed in the town centre branch, we’ve now added the facility for this to be completed straight on-site. Additionally, you can register for these roles online by following this link

These changes make it much easier to start, and we look forward to welcoming more and more people to the site.

No tags



Temp of the Month – March 2018

Temp of the month - March Photo

Congratulations to our March ‘Temp of the Month’ Alice Pearce. Alice is a great addition to our temporary team, she is hardworking, reliable and always willing to go the extra mile at work.

As a prize, she received a £25 Intu Shopping Centre voucher. Congratulations Alice!

No tags



Top 5 Time Management Tips

Blog Photo - Candidate Advice

Do you ever find yourself thinking that there just isn’t enough time in the day, wishing you could magic up an extra hour? Well now you can! Our list of top tips can help you create that extra time in the day (without the use of a wand).

To-Do Lists / Prioritise

This is the easiest and best thing you can do to try and make your day more efficient. Just make it part of your routine at the end of the day; by writing down the most important things for the following day. Getting into this habit should help your days flow, and you’ll ensure that the most pressing things on your mind are completed.

Timing your tasks

Another easy thing you can do to help is timing your tasks. Simply finding out the time you spend doing your daily tasks can show you where you are losing out during the day. It might seem excessive at the start, but an honest assessment of your working day is incredibly useful. You will be able to restrict yourself to better time limits and mini-deadlines throughout the day, until your new schedule becomes routine.

Block out Distractions

One of the main reasons for reduced productivity in the office is a lot of distractions whilst you are at your desk. Unfortunately some of these, such as calls, are difficult to postpone and are a natural part of the working day. However other examples, such as personal social media, can be more easily managed. Taking steps such as removing the sites from your taskbar, deleting saved login details and keeping your personal phone out of eyesight. You’ll find that the restricted access greatly improves your focus, as well as giving you more time to complete tasks.

Put Good Systems in Place

Having well organised computer filing and emails can help you save time throughout the day. Spend a bit of time setting these up, and ensuring they are logical. It will remove one bottleneck from your working day. There is no need to spend hours on this, a few minutes can make a huge difference, making your working environment much cleaner and more efficient.


One of the most important things to do if you are struggling for time is to get some help from your colleagues. The people you work with are there to help. If you are a sole trader and do a lot of your work independently, there are many outsourcing options you can explore.


No tags



Newark Job Fair 2018

Sweet Cart Newark


Our team in Newark is at the annual Job Fair in the new District Council Offices today. They have loads of vacancies available to suit a range of people. So if you’re looking for work, or would like to talk about your career, come and meet the team! They’re more than happy to answer any questions you have over a bag of pick & mix.

The event is free for everyone and runs from 12:30 – 17:00. We’ll be there all day to answer any questions. If you would like any extra information about the event it’s all on this link

No tags



National Minimum Wage Increase – April 2018

Blog Photo - Chalkboard



In the latest of our blogs, we want to give you an update on the changes to the national minimum wage, and a breakdown of this at every age range.

The hourly rate of minimum pay you receive depends on your age and whether you’re an apprentice.

The government has announced that the following new rates of National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage will take effect from April 2018.

Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2017 (current) £7.50 £7.05 £5.60 £4.05 £3.50
April 2018 £7.83 £7.38 £5.90 £4.20 £3.70


The National Minimum Wage increases now take place every April (previously October), in line with National Living Wage since its inception in April 2016.

Apprentices are entitled to the minimum apprentice rate if they’re aged under 19, aged over 19 but in their first year of their apprenticeship.

If you think that you are not being paid the correct amount, this link has all the information and contact details to resolve your situation.


No tags



Temp of the Month – February 2018

Temp of the Month - Feb Photo 2

Congratulations to February’s ‘Temp of the Month’ Andrejus Zemajtis from Peterborough. Andrejus has been commended for his impeccable attendance record and his excellent work in his role as coordinator when on site.

As a thank you, Andrejus received a gift card for the local Queensgate shopping centre, well done from all of us!

No tags

Latest posts

Older posts