All posts tagged: morale

“Grim” By-Election Defeats Leave Rishi Sunak Battling Crushed Tory Morale

“Grim” By-Election Defeats Leave Rishi Sunak Battling Crushed Tory Morale

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (Alamy) 5 min read8 min Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will return from parliamentary recess to a restless and despondent Conservative party after another disastrous set of by-election results further diminished Tory hopes of electoral recovery in 2024. A former secretary of state said that Labour’s wins in formerly Tory seats of Wellingborough and Kingswood in the early hours of Friday morning felt nothing less than “grim” for Conservatives.  “It’s difficult to see anything other than a Labour Government with a reasonably decent majority,” they told PoliticsHome. The fact that Labour’s victory in Kingswood, where Keir Starmer’s party overturned a Tory majority of more than 11,000, felt like a fairly unremarkable result speaks to the depth of the electoral hole that the Tory party finds itself as the next general election approaches. Sunak must call a vote this year. By-election headlines on Friday were largely dominated by the result in Wellingborough, where Labour destroyed a Tory majority of 18,000 with a 28.6 per cent swing from the Conservatives, the second largest recorded in any by-election held in the post-war period.  “These by-elections confirm what …

Ukraine’s Military Shake-Up Will Come at a Cost

Ukraine’s Military Shake-Up Will Come at a Cost

Zelensky had every right to fire his top general, but the politics could get ugly. Valentyna Polishchuk / Global Images Ukraine / Getty February 9, 2024, 6:05 PM ET That Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would fire his top general, Valerii Zaluzhny, was rumored for months, leaked and officially denied last week, and finally confirmed yesterday, when Zelensky replaced Zaluzhny with General Oleksandr Syrsky. The leaks and denials seem to have reflected political maneuverings behind the scenes. Zaluzhny, who is charismatic and popular with both the public and the troops, is widely thought to have political ambitions. The notion that Zelensky might have been about to fire him because he felt threatened by the general’s popularity helped stir public sentiment in Zaluzhny’s favor. But Zelensky countered adroitly with a different narrative: Two years into the war—after the counteroffensive Zaluzhny designed and led had stalled out—the president sought to refresh his national-security team. Zelensky asked for Zaluzhny’s resignation, but the general refused, requiring the president to fire him. The president then offered the general other prominent positions …

Russia’s plan to relocate its Black Sea naval base from Crimea is priceless for Ukraine’s morale

Russia’s plan to relocate its Black Sea naval base from Crimea is priceless for Ukraine’s morale

With Russia on the offensive around Avdiivka in the east of Ukraine, most commentators’ attention is once again focused on the battlefield on land. But it’s also crucial to keep a close watch on what is happening in the Black Sea. On October 24, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, made the claim that: “The Russian fleet is no longer able to operate in the western part of the Black Sea and is gradually fleeing from Crimea. And this is a historic achievement.” Following attacks on the Sevastopol shipyard on September 13 and on the Black Sea fleet headquarters on September 22, it has been reported that Russia is redeploying key naval assets away from their main base. The fleet reportedly intends to base itself increasingly in two safer ports: Novorossiysk and Feodosia, on either sides of the Kerch strait connecting eastern Crimea with the Russian mainland. There are even reports of plans to build naval facilities in the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia. Whether this is a partial redeployment or a major one, and whether this …

Moscow drone attacks are a morale booster for Ukraine and a warning for Russia – here’s why

Moscow drone attacks are a morale booster for Ukraine and a warning for Russia – here’s why

A wave of approximately 30 drones appeared in skies around the Russian capital, Moscow, on May 30. Though widely sensationalised as a major attack against the heart of the Russian government, they caused only minor damage, mostly to high-rise buildings. These drones were not intended to cause major destruction. Rather, they were meant to send a message that Ukraine – which has not claimed responsibility for the strikes – has both the capacity and will to strike back at the capital of its enemy invader. Although different in scale, this is not the first such strike against Moscow. In early May, Russia alleged that Ukraine had targeted President Putin with a drone strike, which Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, promptly denied. And Ukraine is thought to have been behind a series of drone strikes against airbases in Russia’s Kursk, Saratov and Ryazan regions, up to 300 miles inside Russian territory. More recently, the Russian defence ministry claimed that a Ukrainian drone attack on one of its spy ships the Black Sea, the Ivan Khurs, had failed. …

LLMs come to workplace morale monitoring, as Loopin raises .9M for its platform

LLMs come to workplace morale monitoring, as Loopin raises $1.9M for its platform

There have been several startup attempts to measure staff morale, some more halting that others. We reported on Plasticity Labs back in 2014, though their web site seems no longer functioning. Officevibe appeared around the same kind’ve era. More recently out of the UK, WorkBuzz has raised £2.3M. And Spill ($3.5M) is a startup that offers a message-based therapy app to help improve workplace well-being. But now a Bristol-based, UK startup hopes to make waves in the ‘workplace measurement’ space, and it plans to use the rocket fuel of Generative AI. Employing a combination of Open AI’s ChaptGPT, combined with its own proprietary coaching platform for staff well-being, Loopin hopes to break out from the rest of the field. Now, it might be easy at this point to shrug at yet another startup pulling an Open AI API. But this is not your average startup. The two founders are battle-hardened, former Royal Marine Commandos, Ben Williams and Antony Thompson. After leaving the armed forces, Ben went into coaching leadership teams at corporates, including the England …

The layoffs will continue until (investor) morale improves

The layoffs will continue until (investor) morale improves

Since the start of 2023, more than 150,000 people have been laid off at tech companies, large and small. That’s a staggering number of people who have been put out of work. When you think about how Meta, Amazon and Salesforce have handled these layoffs, the situation becomes even more grim. Salesforce announced in January that it was laying off 10% of its approximately 80,000 employee workforce. Since then, it has been letting people go in dribs and drabs. Amazon also announced in January that it was laying off 18,000 employees, then announced another 9,000 this week. Meta laid off 11,000 in November and let another 10,000 people go in a second round this week. In addition, the company shut down another 5,000 open recs. This, some would say, cruel, rolling approach to layoffs leaves employees anxious and uncertain about their own positions, while grieving about the loss of valued colleagues who have been let go. Investors, on the other hand, seem to like layoffs as a way to move companies toward greater operating efficiency. …

Jakarta-based Mindtera helps companies keep an eye on employee morale

Jakarta-based Mindtera helps companies keep an eye on employee morale

During the pandemic, Tita Ardiati and Bayu Puspito Bhaskoro began developing life coaching content to support employees who were increasingly burned out by working from home. They got a good enough reception that they decided to develop their product into an employee assistance program called Mindtera, which now serves more than 10,000 employees in Indonesia. Today, the startup announced total seed funding of $850,000 led by East Ventures, with participation from Seedstars International Ventures and angel investors. Bhaskoro told TechCrunch that the startup is focused on B2B markets, including mid- to large enterprises. It also provides a self-service platform for small- to medium enterprises. Its main sectors are finance, consulting and retail, and its typical client has more than 200 employees. Mindtera aims to support employees with challenges related to their work, and also in their personal lives like finances, family and relationships. Companies, on the other hand, get insights about what employees want and how to create a more engaged and productive workforce. Mindtera includes two platforms. The first, called Mindtera Pro, is an …