Job descriptions – why getting them right is so important

We all know what job descriptions are, but how much importance do we actually give them? Writing a good job description should be a really important part of your business, as they provide a road map for potential employees, explaining what the job they are applying for involves.

Here we list a few reasons why job descriptions are indispensable for employers and employees alike:

They set-out expectations

How can you expect someone to do their job if you don’t explain their responsibilities to them properly? Providing applicants with solid job descriptions ensure they understand exactly what will be expected of them if they are selected. Clarity in a job description puts potential employees on the same page as you, and aligns them with your company’s vision and goals and assists you in finding the best person possible for the role.

They empower communication

A well written job description should fully communicate the essential requirements of your vacancy to any applicants. Among other things, they should include a job summary and all the requirements which need to be fulfilled by applicants, such as relevant qualifications and experience. This will avoid any mistaken interpretations being made on what the job role involves.

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They facilitate recruitment and training

Job descriptions need to set out all the important aspects of a particular position, so an employer can easily refer to them when recruiting or training existing employees. All-encompassing job descriptions can improve a company’s ability to manage its people and their respective roles, as well as help them develop both professionally and personally.

They provide structure

Good job descriptions establish structure and discipline within the workforce. In reality, it isn’t that difficult to create them, especially if you involve the employees you already have to help you develop them. As long as they promote the company’s values and re-enforce the company’s culture, job descriptions will help you attract the right people and manage the roles of all your employees effectively.

A well written job description opens the door for a successful hiring process, if you need help or advice get in contact with HR Revolution: +44 203 538 5311 or email: talent@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

HR Revolution; supporting you, your employees AND your business.

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Ideas to help with your HR costs..

In any business there always has to be conversations about where you can cut down on spending and get a better handle on your finances. I think most business owners often recognise that whilst their people are their greatest asset, changes must sometimes be made to make sure that the company can weather any storms that might be coming its way.

However, HR is not just important within a business, it’s vital. Cutting corners, or cutting spending without thinking about the bigger picture, could leave you facing problems that will have a tangible and long-lasting impact on your business.

Sometimes it’s essential to be realistic, if you need to make savings to keep your operations afloat, you may need to examine where you’re perhaps spending money unnecessarily, or make choices that don’t result in the best possible return on investment.

If you are thinking about reigning in your HR budget and want to do it the right way, then you’ve come to the best place. Here, we are going to talk you through some key considerations to help you to understand where you can make those necessary cost savings.

Harness the power of technology

How much time are you currently spending on HR activities? From making sure that everyone gets paid on time, through to creating and filing end-of-year review documentation, seemingly small tasks can eat up a huge chunk of your day.

If you think that you could better use this time for more strategic activities, then the answer could be technology. There are plenty of options when it comes to affordable software solutions that improve your levels of compliance and ensure that you always know what needs to be done, and when.  HR Revolution offer a great HR admin solution designed to do this to find out more details breatheHR.

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Get creative with reward

You need to be offering employees a competitive benefits package if you want them to stick around – and we are sure you are fully aware of the implications that can arise if your best people start to look elsewhere because they don’t feel valued within your business.

The answer isn’t always about pay though. It comes down to getting to grips with what really makes your workforce tick – and often, it’s not what you think. How can you offer more flexibility? How can you empower your employers to lead fulfilled lives outside of the office? How can you create a better sense of community and joint purpose? Remember just throwing money at a problem rarely creates any kind of meaningful change.

Take communication online

How do your employees access important policy documents, employee handbooks? If you are providing hard copies, then make a change and get everything up on your internal intranet system. The cost savings may be very small, but this is about creating more productive ways to operate for the future.

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How HR Revolution can help

Ok you may feel that hiring a HR professional is going to involve a massive spend? Well, not necessarily. It’s wise to think about the bigger picture here. Do you have issues within your workforce that are bubbling away under the surface? well ignoring them won’t help and could prove to be hugely expensive in the longer term.

Think of it like this. A modest investment right now could pay dividends in terms of the hassle and fuss that you could avoid in the future. Can you really afford to find yourself facing an employment tribunal, and the consequences that this could have on your reputation as an employer? This might sound extreme, but it’s a very real possibility if you’re just hoping for the best when it comes to complying with relevant legislation.

This isn’t about making cuts for the sake of it. It’s about establishing what’s really adding value and what isn’t, and then implementing changes accordingly.

If you would like to find out how we can help, give HR Revolution a call: +44 203 538 5311 or email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

HR Revolution; supporting you, your employees AND your business.

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Keeping your business compliant

In our opinion when you are an HR consultant, you can often find yourself having in-depth conversations about how business owners can avoid legal action or help with an issue. However, we offer services that go way beyond that add real value to your business, we can help boost your profits, create a happier and more productive workforce and achieve big strategic goals.

Although steering clear of expensive and potentially reputation-damaging legal action is something that many business owners are very keen to do, for obvious reasons, if you’re worried about ending up on the wrong side of employment law, then it’s important that you take some positive steps towards minimising the risk.

Let’s take a look at how HR Revolution could help you keep your business practices compliant, up to date, and above board.

Know the law

As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to keep up to date with the law. New pieces of legislation are passed on a regular basis, so it’s vital that you stay on the ball. The last thing that you want is to find out that new provisions came into force, rendering your existing policies and procedures unlawful.

This might seem like a huge burden, but it doesn’t have to be. HR Revolution will ensure that you get the information that you need well in advance, and are given useful, practical advice so you can implement the necessary changes.

Implement consistent people policies

People policies are there for good reason; they outline acceptable standards of behaviour, make your expectations clear, and map out what will happen if a problem occurs. If you decide though that they should only be applied to some employees some of the time, then you could be accused of discrimination.

The bottom line here is that your whole workforce should be held to the same standards. You’ve no doubt spent a great deal of time creating and implementing your policies. They’re there to help you, so use them properly!

Always keep records

If problems arise, having a comprehensive paper trail can be extremely useful. Your documentation should clearly outline the details of each stage of everyday employment situations, such as absences, performance discussions, grievances and so on.

You can find solutions that will allow you to safely store information of this nature online, or on secure systems. This isn’t always necessary, but it will absolutely save you time in the long run and make sure that your records are up to date, accurate, and confidential.

Give your managers the capability they need

As your business grows, it’s unlikely that you’ll be personally handling all people management practices and if you ensure your managers have the HR training they need, you could avoid finding yourself in a situation whereby your operations aren’t compliant with the law.

It’s down to you to make sure that your managers are consistently compliant. When you invest in your leadership team, you’ll find that many potentially volatile incidents can be quickly defused before they spiral out of control.

Not many business owners would intentionally break the law when it comes to how they treat their greatest asset – their employees, but if you aren’t vigilant, you could find yourself in a tricky situation.

If you’ve decided that it’s time to take control when it comes to complying with employment legislation, then get in touch on +44 203 538 5311 or email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

HR Revolution; supporting you, your employees AND your business.

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Why bother with Employment contracts?

Despite it being a legal obligation, many business owners think that it’s in their interests to delay giving an employee a contract, or not bothering at all, but this blog will explain the importance of having employment contracts in place.

Firstly…It’s the Law!!

It is a legal requirement to have an employment contract in place within two months of hiring an employee but if you didn’t know act now – don’t ignore it!

Contracts actually benefit both employers and employees; it helps the employer by setting out clearly what is expected of the employee the hours they should work, how much and how often they are paid, holiday and sick pay arrangements and other day to day issues. It is important for the employee because they then know in addition to items above, how to lodge a grievance, what notice to give and their rights under family friendly policies such as maternity or paternity leave and the company expectations in larger company for more senior employees this is a vital tool for the employer often overlooked. Contracts should be regularly reviewed and updated and if an employee is promoted they should always be issued with an updated contract reflecting their new rights and responsibilities.

Also, given this is a contractual agreement you are putting in place between you and the employee, I would advise that you take professional advise so that you can clearly articulate what you want the contract to say and that you fully understand what you as the employer are committing to.

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It avoids disputes

Even without anything written down, when an employee turns up  for work and gets paid, there is a basic employment contract agreement between the two parties.

Without any written terms then it’s either statutory rights that are in place (which often benefit the employee), or oral agreements which can be open to interpretation and misinterpretation.  Dealing with disputed oral terms is at best time-consuming and at worst can also be financially costly.

Decide the terms that work for your business, by offering a job with terms and conditions that you have set, you are not only presenting a professional image and setting the tone for the employment relationship, but giving clear guidelines to what the employee can expect when working with you.

You can specify working hours, any overtime payments (or not), the notice period you require from them, how much sick pay they can expect, how much holiday they are due, and when they can or cannot take holiday, amongst many other things.

It protects your business

If an employee leaves your employment, you can put restrictions in place (within reason) so that your business is not adversely affected if their next role is in competition with your business. You also need to put in place protection for your business regarding critical, confidential information.

If it’s not specified in the contract, you may be taking a risk if you decide to put someone on gardening leave, or pay them in lieu of notice, if your rights to do this are not detailed in the employment contract.

Finally, to reiterate we would always advise that you take professional guidance so that you can clearly articulate what you want the contract to say and that you fully understand what you as the employer are committing to.  HR Revolution have fully comprehensive contract templates available to download on our website www.hrrevolution.co.uk  and we can also tailor them for you, please do get in touch for further details.

Businesses often wonder if there are contracts in place, do they also need a Company handbook… the answer is yes! A contract is a legally binding document mutually agreed and any variation to it again needs to be mutually agreed and to undergo a period of consultation before any change is implemented. A handbook is a document setting out company policies from expenses to confidentiality, to dealing with harassment and bullying, email, social media and internet policies and many others. It is not legally binding and therefore does not have to be mutually agreed. It gives the employer the ability to change and amend policies to deal with the changes in legislation and social trends eg. Maternity/Paternity etc.

HR Revolution would advise that employers and employees need both.

If you need any further advice on employment contracts or handbooks get in touch, call +44 203 538 5311 or email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

HR Revolution; supporting you, your employees AND your business.

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Cyber security – What are the responsibilities?

It is a company’s responsibility to identify information that could be at risk and needs to be protected and also understand the ethical, legal and regulatory requirements relevant to holding and protecting such information.

The company also needs to establish policies and procedures to manage the risks and reduce the impact to the business should a breach occur. Companies can do this through training employees, contractors and suppliers etc. on the policies and procedures in place; this will ensure they are aware of what is required of them.

The company will need a mechanism for managing and reporting cyber security incidents ensuring they do not transfer ownership of risk through outsourcing.

Companies are legally bound by certain acts within the law, the most important being the Data Protection Act 1998. There are eight principles to follow however the following two principle’s are worth  highlighting:

Principle 7 – Information security; Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data.

Principle 8 – International; Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the EEA unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data.

All other legal requirements to be followed can be found in the Companies Act 2006 and Computer misuse Act 1990.

What are the employee responsibilities?

It is important for employees to be aware of the potential risks in their day to day tasks. They need to be aware of and adhere to companies security policies and procedures and understand their personal, legal and ethical responsibilities for protecting the business.

There is always a real and present danger and both companies and employees need to be aware of the damage that can be caused by a cyber incident. Here are some statistics from 2016:

46% of small businesses experienced at least one cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months (2016 – 2017).  The average business faced costs of £1,570 as a result of these breaches.

(April 2017, Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017)

Cyber breaches are caused by system failure, human error or maicious acts.  Not only resulting in the loss of revenue and damage to the companies reputation, but a potential for personal and professional embarrassment, potential legal action and possible career consequences.

HR can put systems in places to monitor:

  • Employees working unusual hours
  • Employees requesting access to information that they are not allowed
  • Employees who are leaving with a thorough exit interview
  • Sharing of passwords
  • Sharing of computers
  • Using company computers for personal emails and social accounts
  • Emailing confidential information without adequate protection
  • Emailing confidential information to organisations external to the company without adequate checks.

We hope you enjoyed our article, check in tomorrow for the next blog in this series: “Cyber security – Managing the risks”

Why not get in touch and let HR Revolution run through a GDPR audit to see where and how quickly changes can be implemented.

Call +44 203 538 5311, email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

HR Revolution; supporting you, your employees AND your business.

 

HR Revolution’s guide for a successful 2018 – PART 1

So the end of the year is getting closer, and as a business owner I’m sure you’re no doubt taking a little time to reflect on your successes during the past 12 months, and assess your growth plans for next year.

So we thought we’d would take the opportunity to put together this three part guide, giving you the perfect opportunity to take stock, get your head well and truly in the game, and work out precisely what needs to be done to allow you achieve your big goals during 2018.

If you haven’t already started the planning process, then you might be feeling the pressure. It’s true that a head start can give you a great advantage, but help is at hand to make sure that you have the key points covered.

HR Revolution specialise in giving SMEs the tools, frameworks, and knowledge to get the most out of their employees ensuring that people practices help them to achieve big things.

In this three part guide, we are going to walk you through the key action points that you need to consider:

Have you translated your business goals into tangible policies and practices?

Your HR policies and practices aren’t just there so you can demonstrate that you’ve ticked a few boxes. They should guide your business, help you to navigate your big challenges, and bring you closer to your goals.

So with this in mind, grab a pen and brainstorm the following points:

  • Do your employees fully understand their personal and team objectives, and how these fit into the bigger picture?
  • Have you considered how you can use reward practices to motivate employees and drive productivity?
  • Do you encourage ongoing learning and development? How can you engrain this into your workplace culture?
  • Are your line managers confident in their roles, and playing a part in your growth plans?
  • Can you clearly articulate how everyday working practices are translating into key results?
  • How confident are you that your plans are robust enough to guide you forward?

Sometimes, taking the time to really assess where you are can make it clear where you need to make changes, or perhaps adapt your approach.

Will you need to bring in new employees?

Recruiting new employees may be essential if you want to expand, so it’s possible that you’re starting to think about how your team will grow during 2018.

Consider:

  • Do you need temporary employees? Could using the services of contractors give you more flexibility?
  • Are your recruitment processes in line with relevant legislation? Do you know your responsibilities in terms of ensuring that you don’t discriminate during the selection process, for example?
  • Do you have a strategy around how you’ll tackle the war for talent? Do you know where to find the very best candidates, and how to get them excited about the opportunity to work with your business?
  • Do you have an induction and onboarding process to help new recruits to really hit the ground running and get off to the best possible start?

Look out for Part 2 of HR Revolution’s guide on Wednesday!

We’ll be attaching the guide in full for you to download and keep in our final installment, so keep an eye out for Part 3…

If you would like to contact us to discuss anything in the meantime, please call us on +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk or click here to visit our website.

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

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

 

 

5 mistakes employers are making with Employee Handbooks..

A recent survey has stated that over 90% of companies have created an employee handbook to share with their employees; that is positive, but in reality are these handbooks HR compliant?  Just listing policies and sharing some mission statements, will not cut it!!!

So based on the statistics, you’ve probably made a token attempt at creating an employee handbook for your business – but are you missing the mark? Here, we uncover the mistakes that too many businesses are making, and explain how you can turn things around.

Taking a cookie-cutter approach

Of course there are certain things that all employee handbooks should include, but this certainly doesn’t mean that you should just download a free template from Google, fill in the blanks, and hope for the best. Your business is unique. Its culture and practices make it individual, and your handbook needs to reflect this. After all, first impressions count, so you need to make sure that you’re giving your employees a quality document that reflects what you’re really all about.

Don’t be scared to showcase your business’s personality and create something that demonstrates what it’s like to work for your company. Your new employees should feel inspired, motivated, and ready to face their new challenges.

Neglecting to seek out a professional opinion

You wouldn’t finalise your end-of-year accounts without speaking to an accountant, so why should your employment documentation be any different? HR Revolution can advise you on anything that you might have missed, unearth any points that could potentially get you into hot water, and give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that everything’s in order.

Speaking in legal lingo

Your HR practices need to be created in accordance with relevant legislation. Staying on the right side of the law will save you a whole load of time and hassle. Before stuffing your handbook with jargon though, take a step back and think about how you can make the important information as easy as possible to digest. A better understanding of what’s expected will ultimately lead to higher rates of compliance.

Consider your audience, and keep things as straightforward as possible. At the end of the day, your handbook should be there to help people – not overwhelm them.

 

Letting the document gather dust

The world of business changes and adapts every single day. New legislation is rolled out, light is cast on exciting and innovative ways to get the most out of a workforce, and advances in technology present new challenges. What works right now isn’t necessarily going to be fit for purpose in the near future.

Before signing off your document as completed, set a date for review. Keeping on top of changes can be a manageable job only if you make sure that you don’t let the grass grow under your feet. Shockingly, 2.8% of employers don’t know when they last carried out any reviews or changes – don’t fall into this camp!

Forgetting to make sure that every employee has their copy

Creating a document to be proud of is only the first part of the story. It isn’t going to make any difference unless you ensure that all employees get their copy, and that they’re given time to digest the information. These days, this is easier than ever before. Many companies decide to distribute their handbooks via email or an intranet system.

And finally, be sure to lead by example. When’s the last time that you familiarised yourself with the content? Do you have a copy on your desk? Are you confident that you could answer questions about the points that are covered? If not, consider this your wake-up call!

Ready to seek out some advice that you know you can trust? Whether you’re starting from scratch with your handbook and you’re not sure where to begin, or you’ve done the work yourself and just want a second opinion, HR Revolution can help. Contact us for a no-obligation chat about working together.

HR Revolution’s employee handbooks will help you to set core business policies and expectations and help portray your business culture, values, branding and vision, setting the tone for your business and employees, whilst maintaining HR compliance and best practice for all.

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

6 office tasks UK workers waste over 400m days a year on

Research commissioned by Red Letter Days for Business found that workers are wasting time on mundane office tasks, including replying to emails, attending pointless meetings or completing admin.

The research identified six key areas where UK employees are wasting their time:

  1. Too many meetings that go on for too long (46%)
  2. Too much admin (38%)
  3. Too many emails (29%)
  4. People management i.e. misbehaving colleagues (25%)
  5. Technology being slow (24%)
  6. A micromanaging boss (21%)

Employees spend an average of 1.2 hours every single working day in meetings, totalling six hours every week, whilst 22% say their time is eaten up by admin tasks, such as filling out timesheets.

Overflowing inboxes also prevent employees from getting things done, with 45% of workers saying they have to respond to emails out of their contracted working hours to keep up. 26% said that they have trouble finding documents due to their email volume.

It seems our modern office environment has created bad habits. Technology, such as emails, should be speeding up processes not slowing them down. Something is going very wrong here. Businesses’ need to work together to retrain on areas like email etiquette in the workplace and to encourage better collaboration and efficiencies.

The research also found 42% of employees have seen no response from their employer to the Government’s ‘Fixing the Foundations’ plan, launched in 2015 to improve productivity levels in the workplace.

Employees were also asked about what could be put in place to help improve their output. The top five responses included:

  1. Flexible working (22%)
  2. Better technology (19%)
  3. A happy workplace (17%)
  4. Increased job satisfaction (15%)
  5. Better recognition from senior management (14%)

The fact that flexible working is at number one is very interesting, most jobs now require us to be flexible with our time; in fact 44% of employees polled confirmed they did overtime because they have a flexible role and work to complete a job, rather than work specific hours. Yet, with 57% of employees confirming they only work from the office, it seems businesses need to catch up with the flexible working idea.

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

A version of this article first appeared in HR Grapevine.

How SME owners can prevent an always on culture

Small businesses are the powerhouse of the UK economy, employing 15.7 million people and accounting for 99.3% of all private sector businesses at the end of 2016. So what can small business owners do, if anything, to prevent this always on culture from manifesting and resulting in an absence epidemic as research findings predict?

We’re all trying to keep up

Wendy Read, Founder and Managing Director of HR revolution, an HR consultancy with the mission to revolutionise the way in which businesses work with HR, says that in her experience many business owners have an open attitude to absence. “A lot of business owners expect to be able to see if there is a problem and hope that their employees will let them know when they are feeling stressed or in need of down-time, but in reality many working environments are so fast-paced, highly-energised and driven to succeed that anyone not on the treadmill gets left out of the loop quickly.”

She goes on to say that, “a standard working week is no longer Monday to Friday it can be 24/7, we all have mobile devices that keep us in the loop whenever we request and a culture that means we want to be included and up to speed constantly updating our apps and email to see what’s going on. Downtime is often still ‘online’ so there is still no real separation angle. This does then tend to lead to a mentality where we are always on. If this is not managed properly it can lead to many more stress related absences and longer-term workforce management issues.”

Business owners want action

Wendy believes that it’s tough for business owners to change this mentality. ”They want action,” she says. “If someone is thriving on working long hours to deliver and over achieving, why should that be a bad thing? The employee wants to develop and build their skills; the business gets the input and ultimately the success rates rise. As a business owner myself I get it, I can really see why many of my peers will always ask, ‘What’s the issue?’”

However, the issue is that, according to breatheHR’s sick report, not only do one in three business owners think it’s fair game to contact staff whilst they are on holiday, over half (51%) of business owners contacted staff whilst they were on sick leave. The source of their persistence is clear with 85% of business owners admitting that staff absences have an economic impact on their business. This is leading to more than half of employees (54%) not taking their full annual leave entitlement and feeling pressured to continue working despite being on paid leave, with 52% responding to work emails whilst on annual or sick leave.

Setting a good example

Spin the situation round and we see it really is truly a short-sighted vision for your workforce and not a positive example to set. Business owners don’t take holiday themselves (on average business owners have taken 18 days annual leave in the last 12 months) and they contact employees whilst they are on holiday which in turn leads to employees calling in sick to have rest, but not succeeding. It’s a vicious circle that businesses are increasingly becoming caught up in.

“Short-term it leads to stress, anxiety and lack of sleep, which then potentially leads to workforces that don’t take their full holiday, fearful they may miss out or lose work. This is likely to result in more time out with stress and ultimately burn out. This is not a sustainable solution and makes for a stressed-out unhappy workforce that means ultimately your business will lose them through absence, resignation or burn-out” warns Wendy.

She goes on to advise that helping to change this mentality has to come from the top and that business owners, managers and mentors have to embed a sense of achievement and success, alongside the ability to be able to take some time out. “We almost have to start retraining our workforces to encourage downtime to allow true focus when employees are working and switch off when they are not. Always working; actively monitoring emails, apps and web traffic is not a healthy way of working. There are many ‘switch off and slow down’ policies that are starting to work their way into the workplace, but many of these still aren’t taken seriously.”

How you can prevent an ‘always on’ culture

It’s clear that this always on culture isn’t manifesting itself in a positive way for employees. What can begin as a refreshing thirst for drive could soon lead to burnout. But how can you redefine your workplace culture? Here is what Wendy thinks you should do to prevent this from happening because it’s not as simple as rolling out a policy.

“Rolling out a policy and hoping that resolves things won’t work. I believe it’s about setting an example, providing support, and training staff to explain why switching off and taking your holidays is important; for wellbeing, for longevity and for business success. This isn’t just the case for employees. As a business owner or manager you need to lead by example. It’s so important that you have down-time and are fresh and energised, as you are responsible for the development and support of not only yourself, but also your business and your workforce.”

Making sure your workforce has a way of raising any issues that enables them to seek support when they really need it is as important and is how you can ensure you get to the root of the problem. Here are some of the ways you can make this happen in your workplace:

  1. Set up great management, mentoring and support functions. Employees need someone they can turn to.
  2. Utilise an Employee Assistance Programme
  3. Research more holistic solutions such as massage or relaxation programmes like yoga. Chill out areas are built as standard to many office environments as its important to have somewhere that employees can get away from work.
  4. HR support for allocation and usage of holiday time to ensure employees are fully supported in scheduling time out of the office.
  5. Return to work support for those that are absent due to stress or illness.
  6. Wellness training in-house to help support your team’s development
  7. For the more serious levels of support many workplaces offer counselling support through their medical or EA programmes that can help directly with specific issues.

Join Wendy for this webinar to see how you can implement these ideas in your small business to prevent your staff from taking sickies.

Conclusions

Fostering an always on culture is causing an absence epidemic. Whilst business owners reap the rewards from an engaged and driven workforce they are subsequently not considering the long-term effects this has on their employees. Small businesses are thinking about their people too late, and are being hit in the bottom line because of it. Through setting a good example, encouraging communication early on and supporting their staff this can all be prevented.

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