Don’t lose track of who’s in and out of the office this summer…

HR Revolution are a gold partner of breatheHR and we couldn’t be happier to recommend them, we love their HRIS software and our clients love it too.  However, this isn’t a sales pitch we want to show you how easy it can be for you to manage who’s in and out of the office over the summer period when the workforce tends to be at minimum strength.

Running a busy office is timely enough without having to check spreadsheets for who’s in and who’s due to go off, can you approve holiday? is your system up to date? well why not let technology to do the leg work for you!

Just for the holiday season alone, here’s how breatheHR can help:

Holiday Booking

Most HR Managers agree that holiday booking is the most time consuming aspect of people management unless it is fully automated. Employees can request holidays online at any time through the website or an app.

Holiday Approval

The approval process needs to be quick and easy too. With breatheHR the line Manager (or approver) receives an email with the holiday request, they can easily compare the request with the calendar of all their teams holidays as well as synchronising holidays through to Outlook or Google calendars.

Holiday Allowance

Not sure how much leave an employee has left to take? Well how about a reliable holiday allowance calculator for dummies. You just choose the holiday rules that apply for each employee (you can have as many as you like) for example full or part time in days or hours and it does it for you, you’ll even find the bank holidays are already in the system. At any time the employee, manager, or HR user can check how much holiday has been taken and how much is available to take.

This cloud based HR System can do so much more than just organise holidays for you, there’s sickness, appraisals, expenses, employee data review and much more.

The best part, if you don’t have time to input all the data to get you started, HR Revolution can do it for you call +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

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Have you taken your annual leave?

Annual leave is a benefit all employees receive. In the UK, the typical allocation is around 28 days, during which we’re encouraged to leave our work and focus on relaxing and rejuvenating.

However, we seem to be forgetting to take annual leave!! Reports suggest that only 1 in 3 of us actually takes our full annual leave allocation each year. Here, we’ll explore the benefits of annual leave and why it’s important to take yours.

The benefits of annual leave

There are many benefits to taking annual leave. These include:

  • Health
  • Stress relief
  • Productivity
  • Trust

Health benefits

Taking time away from the business gives our bodies and minds the chance to realign. It’s our opportunity to relax, away from the pressures of our day job, and to focus on other areas of our lives that also make us happy, such as friends and family.

Much like sleep helps our bodies rejuvenate, annual leave is an important part of our year and one of very few chances we get to truly forget about work.

This in turn relieves stress. We delegate tasks to our colleagues while we’re away, which means the period prior to annual leave is usually one in which we complete tasks and re-prioritise. This helps us to focus and clear our minds, bringing our levels of stress down.

Productivity

When we work constantly, our bodies are prone to burn out. This is where we’ve worked hard for so long, we simply can’t do it anymore.

Time out of the office gives you chance to relieve that stress and think about things in a more positive manner, with clarity to help you work more productively and effectively.

Encouraging your employees to use their annual leave can also reduce the number of sick days taken each year, which has a tangible impact on your bottom line.

Building trust

It’s important we show our colleagues that we trust them with our work, and that we can rely on them to do a great job in our absence. Taking annual leave, especially if you’re more senior in a business, tells your colleagues that you do trust them and gives them the chance to develop professionally too.

Top tips for annual leave

Follow these tips to make the most of your annual leave time:

  1. Set an out of office response that gives people an alternative contact during your absence
  2. Turn off your email notifications and work phone so you can relax and forget about your day job
  3. Delegate work in advance so your colleagues have chance to ask questions of you before you leave

Time for a break?

Many companies are implementing initiatives to make working life more flexible. But despite that, we’re still failing to even take our full annual leave allocation.

It’s important that we lead the way in ensuring we take the holiday we deserve and that we make the most of that time. It is good to remember that the business won’t fall apart just because you’ve been away for a few days!  Happy holidays…

HR Revolution is a gold partner of breatheHR, a cloud-based HR employee software that is a straightforward and intuitive system that you and your team will love. You will be able to see your employees holiday allocations easily, so you can see who needs a little nudge to take a day off!

If you would like to discuss any HR issues, please give HR Revolution a call we’d love to help, call us on +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

 

Personality traits are NOT an excuse for poor behaviour!

Here in the HR Revolution office we have just undergone the DISC profile training, which is a modern interpretation of Dr. William Marston’s behavioral dimensions; a personal strengths profiling exercise that uncovers four quadrants of behaviour. Once you understand your natural behavioral patterns, it is said that you will find it easier to recognize the right opportunities to achieve the results you desire. These for quadrants are:

D – Dominance  I – Influence  S – Steadiness  C – Compliance

What I personally think the great thing about DISC is, it highlights other people’s personality traits, so you can understand better why they work the way they do, for example why one person might like to have all the facts and figures, while others are just, let’s just get on and worry about the details later…. It turns out we have both in our office which is actually a really good thing as we all fulfill different roles.

Anyway, DISC is a lot more in depth than I can offer in this blog and not the reason for me writing today, but it got me thinking… why is it that people tend to use their personality traits as an excuse for unacceptable behaviour?

How many times have you said “ignore him, you know what he’s like” or “don’t let her get to you, it’s just the way she is” or “why does everything have to revert back to them” and whilst this is true, does it make it ok?? I don’t think so.

I personally like to think that no one person is just one personality type and we are intelligent enough to know how to behave and adapt our styles towards other people.

Here is just one adjective describing a personality trait from each of the above groups: D: direct, I: emotionless, S: easily distracted and C: retreating, and I don’t think any of them are particularly positive (obviously there are lots of happy ones too!). But just because they are ‘part’ of our personality does that mean that’s how we should act? For example just because you are ‘direct’ naturally, does that mean you can use absolutely no tact whatsoever when communicating with colleagues? OR just because you tend to be ‘retreating’ does that mean you should get out of doing the things you are not comfortable with? Of course the answer is absolutely no.

So I guess what I am trying to say is, if we know what we are predominately like rather than using that behaviour as an excuse, why don’t we all try to bring through some of our other personality traits, or just take time to think about how we are being perceived by the recipient… be less blunt, show empathy or be bolder, whatever you feel would work best in that given situation.

Personality traits should be used to benefit you and others, not as an excuse to make people cry or be lazy!  Trust me, I know how difficult it is to adapt your natural behaviour to suit the needs of the situation, as my profile is DS the two most polar opposites!

If you are interested in learning more about DISC or any other personality testing within your business, please get in touch with HR Revolution +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk, it may be what you need to get your team working more cohesively together.

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Feeling the January blues? They are real you know!

What was once just a phrase following all the happy frivolity of Christmas and New year is now an actual recognised health complaint!  And I’m not joking!  Well I don’t know about that but feeling tired, bloated and skint can certainly be a little depressing.

The mornings are dark and if not cold, the very least dreary and it can be very hard to get yourself motivated to even get out of bed, let alone embark on the ever more difficult journey to work! Also, to cheer you up even more, as temperatures plummet across Europe, they have now said that snow is almost certainly on it’s way this week, so that won’t impact the commute to work… much!!  Sorry about that…

Ok, so I realise I am not making you feel any better at this point, so let me help you snap out of this maudlin mood and get Monday motivated!

Here are a couple of tips that I am going to put in place and hope you do to…

First give yourself meaning.  Do you know why what you do is so significant? Are you aware really, of how you are impacting on the company, clients and even your colleagues.  No? Then find out. Who wants to be working with a “what’s the point” attitude – Not me! Look at your goals, targets and see the bigger picture; feeling like you have a purpose is a huge motivator, after all don’t we all want to make a difference.

Next…. Stimulate your brain…

If you have a number of tasks to work through, I am pretty sure you will find some much more enjoyable than others. So instead of doing a whole day of the fun stuff knowing that you will dread the bore of tomorrow, why not break all the tasks up into more palatable chunks; perhaps morning and afternoon sessions could work for you? After all they do say variety is the spice of life!

Now you need clear thinking. Sometimes even the most comprehensive to-do list can be overwhelming and you feel like you’re on a never ending hamster wheel achieving very little and getting nowhere fast. In reality you are probably getting through more than you think. There is always “stuff” that comes up that you deal with, distracting you from your tasks, and this is what makes you feel that you aren’t getting through your core jobs. These distractions are probably very important but they just get forgotten about, so why not make a “done” list so you can see what you are really getting through and you will be surprised just how satisfying it is…. Go on, I can already see that little smirk of over achievement!

And finally…. It’s time to set yourself up to manage your own work. You’ve got your brain pumped and ready, you know what needs to be done now let’s take responsibility for the task in hand.
Autonomy in a role is a wonderful thing, that’s not to say you are not part of a team, but it really allows you to take ownership of your work.  Set out your ideas and get the training you might need to allow you to truly pick up your projects and run with them and in turn get the results you want. Achieving your goals, what better motivator is there than that.

If all the above fails to get you motivated… there’s only 14 weeks until the next Bank Holiday!!

For more advice on how to give your team a little boost, then get in touch with HR Revolution +203 538 5311 we’d love to hear from you!

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5 tips for getting the best out of your employees…

At HR Rev we think there are two general areas that you need to cover in order to get the best from your employees:
Firstly, Give them clear instructions about what you want from them
Secondly, Win over their hearts and minds so that they want to do a good job for you

If you can cover these two, then you are probably 90% of the way towards getting the best from your employees.  So in practice what can you do to improve these areas?

1.    Give them a clear job description

Oh yes, I can hear you!  You’re saying “it doesn’t matter that my staff don’t have a job description, they know what they’re supposed to be doing – and anyway we don’t need more paper around.”

Well of course you think they know what they are doing, and if you ask them they will say they do – because they don’t want to sound stupid in front of you.  OK they probably do know 80% of it, but if you want them to do the best job (not just OK) then it makes sense to start with the basics and make sure they are very clear about your expectations.  So get those job descriptions up to date and refer to them with your employees regularly so that they stay relevant and up-to-date.

2.    Set quarterly performance reviews

Of course the job description is a general statement, but the detail and the priorities will vary and for a senior job there will also be special projects that come and go.  So have a review meeting quarterly with each employee where you discuss what has worked and what hasn’t over the last quarter and then set targets for the next quarter.  I know it seems like alot of work, but believe me, everyone feels better afterwards.  It will give both you and your employee a boost and when you get into the habit it becomes easy and rewarding.

3.    Weekly 1-2-1s 

Again, I can hear you thinking that this is a waste of time, but it really does work.  It is a simple discipline of a weekly ½ hour catch up when you discuss how things went last week and set priorities for the week ahead.  But the major thing it does is provide a time when they can bring up minor concerns and you can pull them up on minor things too.  So the little niggles get dealt with while they are just niggles and don’t build up to be big issues.

4.    Listen to your employees

Find time occasionally to take relaxed moments with your employees, when you can get them talking and then listen carefully.  Hear their view of the world and what is important to them.  It may seem irrelevant, but there may come a time when you need to draw on that relationship, so it will pay off in the long run.

5.    Be seen to be fair

It is important to be fair with your employees, but even more important to be seen to be fair.  So when you catch yourself favouring an employee, just make sure they know why and, if possible, others know why too.

 

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Are you the Employer they WANT to work for…

Now I’m not an employer branding specialist and I don’t have training in how employer brands should be put together or any methodologies that are used.  What I do know is though that having started a couple of businesses myself in the past that it is so important to get your branding right, it says everything about you and the business you are promoting… and has a huge impact on the people that REALLY want to work for you and the products and services you are promoting.

As business owners we all have a mission… to make a success of our business! For each of us though that success will be different; revenue, size, growth, reputation, global domination but we all have the same mission… to be successful.

To achieve this there are many key objectives to focus on; ensuring your products and services are right for the market, driving profits, hiring the right team, finding the best suppliers for quality, cost and delivery.   To get this all right you must focus on your brand message… the message that people (people being, potential customers, suppliers or employees!!) see you are giving off to the business world!

Think of a business that you would love to emulate, a business that if you were a potential employee, you would love to work for.  What attracts you to them? In the beginning it will be the brand that got you interested in the first place. Think Apple, Nike, IBM, Google, Adidas, Victoria Secret, Ralph Lauren, Porsche, VW… their brands are all very well defined and have an air of trend about them that makes you want to belong to their club!  Just like being back at school!  As human beings we naturally want to belong, to be part of a tribe, and that’s how the branding process works… learn how to build your own club/tribe and you’re half way there.

How do you know what your ‘club’ or ‘tribe’ should be?

Well that depends on what your culture is… at the centre of your brand, is the beating heart of your culture… once you have worked out exactly what that is and can put that down on paper – hey presto! your employer brand begins…

  • What are the things that make your best employees tick?
  • What is the ethos of the business?
  • What is important to you as a business owner, your morals, your ethics in business?
  • What do you expect from your teams?
  • Every brand has a promise… what is your promise to potential employees?

These are just some of the starting questions to ask yourself.

Now all you need to do is build your employee offering around that… create your job expectations, training manuals and induction and orientation programmes.  Design and tailor your appraisal and review processes and your employee handbooks to mirror and echo this brand promise and expectation and your people processes are and ready to roll.

And before you know it, you ARE an Employer of choice!

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Now lets get you a winning CV…

So you have decided that you are going to go out into the big wide world of work and you’ve got your online presence looking tickity boo (we hope you read our blog, Finished full time education, what next?) so what now? Well, as we’ve said competition is fierce, particularly among graduates and that first impressions are extremely important.  So now it’s time to concentrate on your CV, and you need to make sure it is looking great and really jumps out of the pile, for all the right reasons of course!

We see lots of CV’s here at HR Revolution, for all sorts of job positions, but whether you are going for intern position or the top spot of CEO all CV’s should follow some basic rules.

Here are our top 5 things which should play a part in your CV:

  1. How does your CV look?

It’s not just about the content; it’s about how you have presented it! You want it to look clean cut and professional. A CV that’s crowded with text doesn’t look attractive. These days, CV’s are initiated through email so make sure the format is easy to read on screen. No funky text formats, stick to Arial or Times New Roman. No funky, floral borders and keep your text a readable colour!

  1. Long profiles

Now we’re all about profiles, a paragraph giving the employer a taster to what your personality is like, your job role, what you are looking for next etc… But… people don’t need your life story! Keep it short and sweet, a paragraph is more than enough! Put as much personality in as you can (keeping it professional!); give the employer a view as to who you are and what would attract them to bringing you in for an interview.

  1. Grammar and spelling

This is a real bugbear; there is nothing worse than getting a CV through with mistake after mistake. The actual experience is good, but the spelling and grammar just puts you off… Double/triple check; get your friends/family to check that there are no spelling/grammatical errors in your CV!

  1. Irrelevant information

Potential employs don’t need to know how many children you have, your wife/husbands name, how much you weigh… you may also be proud you won the village pub quiz of the year… your potential employer may not be so engrossed! Keep the CV about your career history, educational background and personality.

  1. Unexplained employment gaps

Were you travelling? Looking for work? On maternity leave? Save yourself and give an explanation! It can be a real put off seeing unexplained gaps on your CV – it makes people nervous so be sure to outline the reasons why.

The important thing to remember, is what is your USP (unique selling point)? Why are you the best person for the job?  Now think about how to market yourself. If you’re looking to break into a very competitive market, what have you done that could support that…. Voluntary work, organising events for local groups, these additions will help you shine, just remember to keep it relevant, there should be a reason behind why you are telling them.

And there you have my guide to getting it right!

We hope our CV tips help you put together a winning document!  Why not get ahead of the game and download our FREE First Impressions guide so you’re fully prepared when that interview invitation drops in your inbox!

Psst… why not let us help you with your CV??  We’re giving 15% off our CV template pack, with code CVP15 so head over to our HR Revolution Shop now… Just Click HERE … no one needs to know you had help with your fab new CV!

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Appraisals are a two way street!

Are you about to carry out your appraisals/performance reviews?  You may have been given an outline of what should happen or written instructions; but are you comfortable with what to do and how to do it? Do you really know what you want to get out of it?

Remember performance reviews aren’t just be about filling in rating boxes, 1 for poor, 5 for excellent and giving an average to decide whether a bonus is due or not.  It should be about building relationships with your team, where both parties should be completely honest and find ways to work and improve together.

Here’s how you can achieve it:

Firm, fair and thoughtful feedback – Remember you should be communicating regularly with your employees, so negative issues shouldn’t come as a complete surprise so no need sugar coat your review, but of course that doesn’t mean you should reduce them to tears.  Remember be constructive, people will want to improve, but may just need the correct guidance.  Are your expectations clear enough?  Honest, sensitive feedback and realistic goals are key.

Listen to them – Like I said it is a two way street so don’t do all the talking.  Of course you need to point out your observations and feedback, but give them a chance to express themselves too. Steer clear of yes/no questions and encourage them to talk about their goals, you will learn more about them and where they are heading.

Look to the future – Although a review is exactly that, a review of work over the past quarter (six months etc.), talk about how things can be turned around to work for you both going forward. Ensure you explain to them where the company is heading so they want to work with you to get there.

Get their feedback – You should respect your employee’s opinions and should want to learn things about your management style/skills too, so ask them. They will know better than yourself if they truly feel guided and supported.

Remember, it’s not all about making it fluffy and everyone walking out with the “best employee award”, potential problems need to be tackled, just put some thought and structure into how you do it.

And…

Make plans together, people always try that little bit harder to make their own ideas work!

Make sure you get the very best out of your appraisals and download your FREE Guide to Effective Performance Review now…

 

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Motivate yourself today!

We all like to receive positive feedback from our bosses, clients and colleagues; it puts a spring in our step allowing us to simply glide through the day. It’s like being given a little pat on the back by happiness itself and I don’t know about you but it motivates me to try that bit harder to do even better. Yeah right, that never happens to me I hear you say!

Well you are not alone. Most staff feel they are never congratulated or praised nearly as much as they should be, leaving them feeling unappreciated and even, well, a little sulky. And the fact is the more demanding your role the more likely it is you are facing negative critic let alone a “well done or thanks”! This sadly has the absolute opposite effect on your motivation leading to a more stressful working environment and there is nothing uplifting about that.

But I say, let’s face this negativity head on get motivated. Here are a few simple steps that can help…

The first rule, start the day as you mean to go on! Prepare yourself for a positive constructive day; it makes a huge difference and you will feel uplifted and your momentum will follow you throughout the day… you will be amazed at how much you will get done!

Surround yourself with positive, employees that enjoy their work and are driven, high achievers. There is no room for Mr(s) Whingy in our team…. any negativity should be stamped out!

Be proud! Your work is an important part of your life, you spend more hours at work than at home so treat your job, whatever it may be, with pride and you will feel your motivation elevate along with your success! Even if your role is not your ideal job there is a reason why you are doing it, so aim high and you will be rewarded; even if it’s with your own self-satisfaction that you’re doing it to the best of your ability!

When you can be satisfied with your work ethic and attitude, then you are truly living life the way it was meant to be lived and will stay motivated everyday… You never know, your new found happiness may just be catching and others might just give you the “well done” or “thank you” that gives that mini fist pump feeling after all.

Let us know if this helps, or if you want to share how you get motivated at work, we’d love to hear from you!

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5 Questions to ask your Team this week…

If you speak to most employers, they’ll probably tell you that they have a pretty good grasp on what’s going on in their workplace. There’s small talk over sandwiches in the canteen, and important discussions in the meeting rooms. You probably feel like you have your finger on the pulse, and know exactly what’s going on beneath the surface.

Here’s the thing though. If you want to excel, you need to go a little deeper. Want to have some more meaningful conversations this week?

Ask the following questions…

How do you think we could improve the business?

Sometimes, you’re so involved in your own business that it’s hard to see the wood for the trees. Your staff are working with your clients and customers each and every day. They’ll often have an advanced understanding of what’s really happening. So find out how they think you could move forward. You could pick up some amazing ideas, and it could do wonders for engagement and morale.

What can we do to make your job easier?

Improving productivity could have a real impact on your profits. Your staff know what’s expected from them, but are you giving them the support they need? Maybe you could roll out a system that automates a trickier part of their daily activities. Perhaps you could invest in new equipment to cut down on the time that’s spent on certain tasks. It’s about supporting your staff to be the very best they can be.

What are we doing within the business that is no longer necessary?

Outdated systems and procedures could be costing you a fortune and ensuring that you play small. It could be time to ditch the things that aren’t working, and start moving towards the future. Your staff keep things running on an operational basis, so it’s likely that they’ve got plenty of thoughts to share.

Where do you want to be in the next 2/3/5 years?

If you’re not nurturing your team and doing your bit to keep them motivated and on track, then a time will come when they start to look elsewhere. When you know their ambitions and aspirations, you can consider how you can align these with your succession planning.

How’s your work-life balance at the moment?

Have you stopped to consider what your employees get up to outside of work? It’s important that they have time to relax and unwind. Ask about your employees’ families, children, pets, interests, and hobbies. How could you support them in striking an effective balance? Showing an interest is often greatly appreciated, and it could help you to get a better understanding of wider issues that are having an impact on your workforce.

If you ask these questions this week, it’s guaranteed that you’ll unearth some extremely valuable gems when it comes to working out what makes your staff tick.

Perhaps you already know that your people practices need some work, but you’re not quite sure where to start. If this is the case, then we want to help. Our 10 Point HR check list could get you on the right track to making some serious improvements. Give us a call to find out more or download your free copy now.