Virtual doctor appointments for employees…

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Do you struggle to see the doctor or put it off because of the worry of missing work?  Would you welcome your employer introducing a virtual appointment scheme, investing in your health and wellness?

Well a local business near to HR Revolution’s office has done just that, AXA PPP Healthcare, has recently conducted a healthcare poll of 250 SME employers in the UK to discover how employees’ life admin, such as booking dentist and doctor appointments and the subsequent time away from work to attend them, from car problems to poorly children, and how it impacts their businesses.

virtual-doctorThe findings were quite telling, 75 per cent of managers think innovations in digital healthcare, such as virtual doctor appointments, would help their business, new research found today.   When asked how, 44 per cent said they think the introduction of virtual appointments (through Skype for example) would mean a reduction in employees’ time out of the office, whilst 16 per cent said it would reduce presenteeism and 15 per cent said it would boost productivity.

In addition to the impact of an individual employee being away from work, over 76 per cent of managers reported an adverse effect on employees left remaining in the office:

  • 28 per cent said it affected their business’ overall productivity
  • 25 per cent said it affected employee morale
  • 24 per cent said it put pressure on remaining employees’ workloads
  • 23 per cent felt it caused unnecessary stress among teams

The research comes as the healthcare company launches its own virtual GP service, Doctor@Hand, designed to help employees see a GP quickly and conveniently.

If you have any HR issues that you need to address, get in touch, where one of our HR consultants we be available to help.

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Putting health and fitness on the business agenda

Heart Shape on Apple Love Healthy Eating Healthy Lifestyle Food Romance Fruit

The 2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics may have finished, but for many people, the motivation to get more active is still burning bright. Even the most dedicated of couch potatoes would have struggled to not feel inspired by the achievements of athletes from across the globe, and as an employer, now’s a good time to think about how you can encourage your staff to adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle.

Promoting health and fitness at work isn’t just a nice idea, or a fluffy initiative with no measurable business impact. Fitter staff are likely to be happier and more confident, have more positive attitudes towards work, and suffer less from stress and related illnesses. They’re also much less likely to have to take time off. In short, promoting activity and healthier living can help you to achieve your business goals.

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We’ve all heard about massive corporations offering fancy benefit packages, such as private healthcare and on-site gyms. This approach may be a recipe for success for some, but the reality of the situation here is that smaller businesses often have smaller budgets. The good news is that there’s plenty that you can do, even if you’re trying to keep an eye on your costs.

One option is to get a team of eager individuals together, and work towards completing a challenge together. It could be something big and ambitious, like a marathon or Tough Mudder, or it could be something on a smaller scale, such as a local Parkrun, or even a daily stroll around the office grounds. Remember that your staff will have differing abilities, so consider how you can get everyone involved, without creating any pressure to perform.

An element of competition can sometimes be motivating, so it’s worthwhile considering how you could create a healthy challenge for you staff to take part in. It could involve hitting a certain number of steps each day, or taking part in some form of exercise every working day, or something a little more creative. It’ll be a great talking point in the office, and it’s often a great way to strengthen working relationships.

With the Olympics still fresh in everyone’s minds, and hopefully a week or so of good weather left to enjoy, there has never been a better time to make sure that health and fitness are firmly on your business agenda.

Would you like to have a chat with us about how you can design your very own health and fitness initiative for your staff? We’d love to help. Give us a call today, and we’ll book you in for a no-obligation consultation.

CHECK OUT HR REVOLUTIONS DRAGONBOAT RACE BLOG, TO GIVE YOU SOME INSPIRATION…

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DragonBoat race…

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Friday fun… Take a break… your lunch break!!

lunch-break
We don’t need to be told twice in the HR offices to take a lunch break, mostly because it means we get what we’ve been working towards all morning, food. However, many of us don’t take proper lunch breaks. You know, the kind where you get up from your desk and sit somewhere else; the kind where you aren’t struggling to eat your lunch with one hand and manoeuvre the mouse with the other.

Research shows that less than one third of UK workers take an hour off for lunch, with half saying that heavy workloads meant they worked through lunch. A study conducted by Leerdammer found that on average British workers only take 26 minutes and 28 seconds of lunch each day and all that lunchtime you miss adds up to working an extra 133 hours, equivalent to 19 unpaid days each year!

lunch-breaks-infographicAccording to ACAS the 1998 Working Time Regulations (WTR) don’t specifically mention lunch breaks but do allow for one uninterrupted 20 minute rest break during the working day, providing the working period is longer than 6 hours. Despite this, many employers are more than generous with their break time in their contracts of employment, with many employees entitled to enjoy one wonderful hour a day dedicated to eating, refuelling and relaxing away from their desks.

The UK has a big culture of lunchtime denial and reasons for cutting lunchbreak short, blaming pressure from bosses, or employees thinking that skipping lunch will impress their employers and worry that their bosses won’t like them taking time out from the office, or colleagues thinking they’re slacking when there is lots of work to be done. This worry is all for nothing, as employers think it is perfectly acceptable for their employees to take full advantage of their lunchtime, and, whilst you can encourage your employee to take their well earned break, you can’t legally force them to take the time out.

On the flip side, employers will not tolerate employees regularly taking extended lunch breaks and understandably so. Whilst you should always encourage your employees to make the most of their allotted break times, you need to ensure that they know the boundaries and respect them. One thing that us Brits do love is our tea breaks (obviously) and employers agree, although you should monitor the frequency of these, as they shouldn’t be compensating for the lack of time that your employees decide to take at their allotted lunchtime.

It is crucial that workers take breaks. It can be easy to get into the habit of quickly getting some food down before you carry on with your tasks but a lunch break should be exactly that, a break. It is only by having a good, proper break from work that they get the chance to refresh their minds, socialise with colleagues, consume some healthy food and have a hope in hell of avoiding the afternoon slump that usually occurs around 3pm or in our office another tea break!

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 *This post was originally published by breatheHR and has been updated.

Sexual Harassment – as an employer are you doing enough…

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A recent report from the TUC, in association with the Everyday Sexism Project, who surveyed more than 1,500 women found that 52% have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace and out of these, 79% said that they did not report it to their employer.

These statistics are shocking, and demonstrate that whilst we may have come a long way in recent years, there are still serious problems that are deeply engrained into workplace cultures.

As an employer though, you have a responsibility to make your standards absolutely crystal clear. Here, we tell you what you really need to know in practical terms.

Don’t ignore ‘banter’

Most workplaces have their fair share of jokes and lighthearted jibes. It’s vital though that you recognise that it’s never okay to make ‘flippant’ comments. Even if the person making the remarks doesn’t think that they’re offensive or serious, this is no defense.

The research found that 32% of women have been on the receiving end of unwelcome jokes of a sexual nature, so it’s quite likely that this has happened within your business. The stance that you need to take here is clear. Tackle inappropriate behaviour head-on, regardless of the intention.

Look beneath the surface

Perhaps you’re thinking that you have no problems when it comes to sexual harassment in the workplace. After all, surely your employees would come to you if they were facing issues? But as the statistics state above this is not necessarily the case.

Sometimes the reasons why are somewhat obvious. Often, the perpetrator holds a higher position, and the victim worries about losing their job. So before you jump to the assumption that everything’s fine in your business, take a closer look at what might be happening.

Have a robust policy

Ensure that you have a comprehensive anti-bullying and harassment policy in place and that any existing harassment policies are fit for purpose. Tailor the policy to fit your business: consider the company’s culture and consider outlining relevant examples of what might constitute sexual sexual-harassment-statisticsharassment.  Also consider whether or not this policy needs to be linked to other policies you already have, to ensure that all types of harassment are covered, for example to your social media policy.

Take action

If an incident is reported, ensure that allegations are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly, with appropriate action being taken against the perpetrator.

Employers must build a working culture where employees are encouraged to report incidents of sexual harassment and ensure that the allegations are treated seriously and with care. Not only will this create a more positive working environment, but it will help reduce the risk of claims and ensure the corporate reputation is protected.  Dropping the ball when it comes to tackling sexual harassment in the workplace isn’t an option. Neglect your duties as an employer, and you could face employment tribunals, a fractured workforce, and a seriously damaged reputation.

If you’re concerned about any of the above issues in your workforce, or you’re eager to ensure that you’re meeting the mark, HR Revolution may be able to help you. Give us a call for initial advice around your circumstances and what your next steps need to be.

Free guide to anti-harassment and bullying in the workplace

Free guide to anti-harassment and bullying in the workplace

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Pokemon Go in the workplace…

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the latest digital trend to be sweeping the world, Pokémon Go.   It involves using your mobile device to locate and capture virtual creatures, and it’s currently being used by more than 100 million users.

Personally I know lots of kids and adults! that are hooked, but most surprisingly though, was that some of my friends had been playing in the office!! I’ve seen plenty of photographic evidence of the virtual Pikachu or Pidgey being caught at Shell or Barclays to name but a few!!  However, I’m confident that their employers are not paying them to do this on work time!

Some have praised the app for encouraging people to get outside and become more active, but it’s also had its fair share of criticism. Concerns have been expressed about the likelihood of players being involved in accidents whilst engrossed in the game, and there have been reports of trespassing, and even fights breaking out in the street.

If you’re an employer you have some serious considerations to make. Statistically speaking, it’s very likely that your staff are indulging in a little Pokémon Go in their spare time, and possibly even at the office. So what are you supposed to do about it?

Interestingly, Boeing was the first large company to ban the use of the app for employees during working hours. It was reported that it had been installed on more than 100 work devices, and one employee was almost injured after being distracted by the game. The aerospace company didn’t mess around, and Pokémon Go was added to their software blacklist.

There have also been concerns raised around security. The app allows users to take photographs of their ‘catches’, including a live shot of the location. These shots are often shared to social media networks by those eager to show off their latest achievements. If your staff are capturing images of your workplace, then this is a can of worms that you probably don’t want to open. Sensitive data and documentation could very easily be compromised.

But is an outright ban on the game really the best answer here? It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if your employees are chasing Pikachu when they should be working, you’re going to see a drop in productivity and profit. It’s not necessarily all doom and gloom, though. Playing the game could inject some fun and excitement into the working day, and it could encourage your staff to get away from their desks for a little while, which is often a positive thing.

Before you issue an outright ban on Pokémon in the workplace, think about the bigger picture. What are your existing social media policies, and do they cover the current issues? Do your policies need a refresh, to ensure that they’re still fit for purpose? What opportunities and threats are you facing, and how can you handle them without overreacting, whilst keeping business priorities top of mind?

When it comes to people issues, there are often no right or wrong answers. What’s important is that you can keep a level head, and act in your best strategic interests.

If one thing is for certain, challenges surrounding social media and the usage of mobile devices are only going to become more prevalent in the coming months and years. Be sure that you’re ready for them by having a robust Social Media Policy in place.  HR Revolution has a ready to use template, download now.

Social Media Policy

Social Media Policy

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Friday fun… Check out these silly “sick-note” excuses!     

Outsourced HR, Absenteeism, Sickness absence, sickness policy, absence policy

Do you remember the time a few months ago,  when you had to call in sick because a swarm of bees was surrounding your car and you couldn’t get in it to get to work… No.. didn’t think so?

However, someone does, believe it or not that is a real excuse that was given by an employee to her manager to explain her not turning up to work. According to a survey carried out by Career Builder, this is just one of the many outrageous excuses that popped up.

Did you know that over 30% of workers have called in sick when they were actually well…. But be warned, there are a high number of employers that do actually check up to see if it is legitimate, and some of these excuses might not cut the mustard…

In order of popularity:

  • They just didn’t feel like going to work.
  • They simply need to relax (personally I relax more at work than I do with 3 kids running round!).
  • They had a doctor’s appointment (ok, my doctor is always running late, but not by a whole day!).
  • They needed to catch up on some sleep (poor little lambs).
  • They have a few personal errands that need running (could you drop off my dry cleaning whilst skiving!).

They seem a bit lame don’t they and Managers I’m sure you’ve heard them all, but have you heard some of these “real” little beauties….

The employee was giving up smoking and so was too grumpy to work.

The employee had bitten her tongue and couldn’t talk.

The employee’s false teeth had flown out of the window while driving.

The employee simply couldn’t decide what to wear.

And my favourite…

The employee said that someone had glued all her doors and windows shut and she couldn’t leave the house!

What do you think… real or not??

If you have issues with absence and sickness in the workplace why not download HR Revolution’s FREE guide now!

FREE guide to sickness and absence

FREE guide to sickness and absence

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We went, we rowed and we raised for charity!

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Well we did it, we completed the Dragon Boat race held at Bewl Water, on Saturday 10th September.

Ok so we didn’t win, but we certainly put up a fight… and as one of the rowers I can tell you, it was a tough one, I can still feel the wooden bench of the boat when I sit down! It was so worth the aching though as it was such great fun. By race number 3 we had all really got into our stride/paddle and walked away feeling like little warriors, very tired and wet but warriors none the less!

We want to say a massive thank you to everyone that came down and supported us on the day, even though the weather wasn’t really at its best, but it really spurred us on.

We have raised a whopping £2205 (and still rising) for our charities which is amazing, so THANK YOU to everyone that gave so generously.

There is still time to donate, just visit one of the links below to support one of our amazing little girls…

Ellenor – Supporting our wonderful Elise:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/DirtyOars1

And Tree of hope – Supporting our wonderful Becca:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/BeccasWish2

Check out below some pictures of the team in action…

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