10 inappropriate questions interviewers need to stop asking!

According to new research, the vast majority of organisations have asked candidates inappropriate and potentially illegal questions during a job interview.

Researchers of the study found that 85% of interviewers have asked questions such as ‘Are you physically fit and healthy’, ‘Have you any plans to start a family’ or ‘Did you grow up outside of the UK’.

All of the above questions are potentially breaching the law, which requires all potential employers to treat candidates fairly.

It’s true though however that many interviewers could be completely unaware that what they think is innocent questioning could be a legal grey area, with 47% saying they have never had official training on what questions to ask in an interview.

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Below are the top 10 inappropriate interview questions that hiring managers have asked:

  • What year did you graduate? (59%)
  • What year were you born? (55%)
  • Do you have any children? (56%)
  • Are you physically fit and healthy? (53%
  • Are you in a relationship or married? (51%)
  • Have you got any plans to start a family? (42%)
  • Where is your accent from? (46%)
  • Will you need flexible time for family life? (46%)
  • Did you grow up outside of the UK? (45%)
  • Will you need time off during half term? (43%)

This highlights the need for training for any person involved in the process of interviewing prospective candidates, so they know what is and isn’t acceptable in the recruitment process.  Ensuring all prospective employees are given a fair and honest opportunity to secure a job based on their skills and ability not their gender, personal choices or maternity/paternity choices.

If you need any HR help, advice or tips on interviewing, get in touch:+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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Our new website has launched…

We are excited to announce our new and improved website has been launched…

We’ve listened to our clients and customers and made some key changes.

We our proud that we take an innovative approach to HR, cutting through the industry jargon to help make a real difference to any business, by providing excellent HR consultancy and HR support.

We know HR can be a scary prospect for businesses both big and small and there is a lot to take in.  However we ask questions that other HR consultancies don’t, because we want to make a positive impact on your business and understand your people, by providing excellent HR and Talent services in the form of employee documentation, support, management and advice regarding employment queries and processes.

Come and take a look:

Website Launch 1 - hr revolution - outsourced hrIf there are any of our services that you would like to discuss in more detail or
might be interested in then please give us a call 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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Signs it might be time to initiate a disciplinary

Disciplining an employee is always a difficult decision for an employer or manager to face and equally being disciplined is one of the most stressful things that can happen in a person’s life, so taking this decision can weigh on a someone’s conscience. However, disciplinary action can sometimes be necessary to maintain the health of a business and the satisfaction of its workforce.

Before making a final decision about whether to go down the disciplinary route with an employee, it can be helpful to have some guidelines to distinguish between an employee that needs extra help and one where disciplinary action is necessary.

Habitual Lateness and Absence

If lateness or absence is a perpetual problem with an employee, it’s important to first speak with them to establish whether there may be personal problems that can be addressed with scheduling changes or other means, before making the decision to initiate the disciplinary process.  However, if these types of conversations have not resolved the issues, it will be time to follow the formal disciplinary process.

Noticeable Apathy

Apathy can be a sign that an employee isn’t feeling challenged enough, but it can also be a sign that an employee has given up on a company or is considering leaving. Before assuming that an employee has given up on their job, try to find out whether they are feeling unchallenged or whether they are overwhelmed and inadequately prepared to handle tasks. A simple conversation can often be instrumental in identifying the source.

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Performance Issues

Organisational performance can be unpredictable and multiple factors can influence it. However, if one employee’s performance has noticeably declined or is lagging way behind organisational trends, it can be concerning. Coaching or mentoring should be offered and if their performance still doesn’t improve then disciplinary action will be required.

Frequent Conflicts

If an employee is argumentative with colleagues or management, it may be because they are no longer satisfied with their job or are having personal problems that are affecting their work attitude. While employees should be encouraged to come up with creative solutions to problems, ideas should be expressed respectfully. Continual argumentative tones and behavioral issues should be addressed with disciplinary action.

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Unwillingness to Adapt to Changes

Changes are bound to occur within any type of business, especially as technology develops and more efficient processes are discovered. While adapting to change is difficult for many, a complete unwillingness to make adjustments or a poor attitude about every change that’s introduced can be warning sign that an employee isn’t going to fit into your company culture well anymore.

Lack of Development

If there are programs in place to educate employees and development is encouraged, a lack of development can be a warning sign that an employee is no longer as interested in or as loyal to your company as they may have been previously. While not every employee hopes to move into management, employees should at least show interest in learning about making developments relevant to their job. Employees that refuse to learn may burden a company.

I think the main point that we are trying to highlight here is that in the first instance you should always talk to your employees to establish if there are bigger issues at play, but when this doesn’t work as hard as it may be, disciplinary action may be necessary. If that is the case for you, then the one thing you must remember is disciplinary action is a formal process that must be followed correctly, or it can result in costly repercussions for your business.

If you are unsure whether disciplinary action is the right course of action or if the process you have in place is compliant please get in touch:+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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Don’t forget about HR

When many of us think about companies that have made big HR mistakes, we’re quick to jump to the assumption that it’s all the fault of greedy bosses who are more interested in lining their own pockets than doing the right thing by their loyal employees.

Mistakes with administrative processes that result in employees receiving their wages far later than expected.

Employees forced to give up their holiday entitlement because of a last-minute crisis.

Disgruntled employees who are vocal about their negative experiences at work.

The list goes on and there’s no smoke without fire right?

Not always.

Employment legislation exists for a reason, and for the greater good. As an employer, you have a responsibility to make sure that you’re compliant and you’re implementing the best working practices to create an environment that’s fair and nurturing for your employees.

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However, mistakes can happen, and even the most dedicated and ethical employers can find themselves facing extremely difficult circumstances.

When your business is growing fast, and you have a million and one things to balance, you can take your eye off the ball. You can overlook important details. And you can find yourself facing circumstances that you never imagined, but which can put your entire business in jeopardy.

So at this stage, it is imperative what you do next and how you decide to put things right.

If you’re worried that there could be an HR nightmare on the horizon, then we can help. We can assess your current circumstances, and help you to create an action plan that gets things back on the right track as quickly as possible, with the least amount of fuss.

We’re not here to judge – we’re passionate about getting things right, and we understand the challenges that you’re facing. Get in touch: +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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5 ways to set a positive example in the office

To lead, literally means an example for others to follow, so when you are a business owner, leader or manager you are in control, directing your team on what they should be doing.  However, to be an effective leader you must inspire people to follow and to do so, you must lead by example.

So here are 5 ways you can show your team that as a leader, not only can you talk the talk, but you can walk the walk too!

Listen to your team

Sometimes as a leader you can get so wrapped up in ensuring that everything gets done, you forget to take a minute to stop and listen! It’s good to remember that just because you are a leader you aren’t always expected to know everything, so its wise to seek advice and guidance from those in the know. Asking for feedback from your team or other departments will provide you with valuable insight.

Always take responsibility

It doesn’t really matter whether you are the one who’s made a mistake or it was one of your team, you’re still accountable. You should be able to take it upon yourself to guarantee that there is a solution to the problem and put processes in place to stop it from ever happening again.

Take care of yourself

In any job, you must always think about your own health and wellbeing. If you are working yourself into the ground or stressing about a big work project coming up, then chances are this will rub off onto the people you work with too.

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Give “sincere” praise

It has long been documented that when you positively reinforce desired behaviour, it is extremely likely that behaviour will be repeated. You should recognise both the big and small things that your employees are getting right and reward and appreciate them accordingly. This is probably one of the best motivational methods you could use.

Be inspirational

Leadership isn’t about bossing people around to make sure things get done, it’s about inspiring your employees and getting the best out of them, as you all work together to achieve a common goal.

Always work with a lead by example mindset in order to demonstrate a good example to your colleagues and the team that you work with.

All of the above have one thing in common though; they enable you to build trust with the people you work with, once you have their trust you can be sure that they will be willing to follow.

We provide HR solutions and advice for businesses of all sizes and sectors so get in touch: +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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A version of this blog first appeared on Breathehr

 

Friday HR FAQs – Can I get a day off work because of the heatwave?

So in case you hadn’t noticed the UK is in the grip of a heatwave, and offices without air conditioning are slowly melting!!! But can you get a day off work?

The simple answer is no.

By law there is no maximum workplace temperature, Health and Safety Regulations simply require temperatures to be “reasonable” and this applies all year round.

However, it can cause issues when temperatures outside are very hot and result in warmer workplaces.  The best way is to undertake a risk assessment to help determine a reasonable workplace temperature; are there windows that can be opened or machines that generate a lot of heat?  Don’t discount your employees opinions, see what their view is on comfortable working temperature.

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Ok so you will have employees that moan weather the office is too hot or too cold, but please don’t just ignore their pleas, don’t let them have cause to raise any grievances.  Have you fans that they can use in the office or portable air conditioning units?

Please be aware that if you employ any disabled employees that have any medical conditions that are directly affected by the heat (or the cold if the air conditioning is turned up to reduce the warmer temperatures) you have a legal obligation to make workplace adjustments.

Relaxing the dress code during a hot summer will help your employees feel more comfortable in the office, obviously we are not talking bikini’s and crop tops, so it is still important to have rules in place of what is and what’s not acceptable.

HR Revolution provide a fully outsourced solution for businesses of all sizes and sectors and can help you with any HR dilemma, give us 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.

HR Blogger

How to plan for the Summer holidays

The school summer holiday’s are nearly upon us, when all across the country, teachers are breathing a sigh of relief and getting ready to wind down.  However the opposite is true for working parents who will be worrying how they’ll balance childcare responsibilities for the next 6 weeks.

The bottom line here is clear. When the kids are off school, either due to organised breaks throughout the academic year, or because of other factors, it can have a big impact on business. As an employer, it definitely pays to take a proactive approach. Here, we share our advice and guidance for managing the associated challenges effectively.

Have a more flexible approach

Giving your employees more flexibility can help to ensure that an appropriate balance is struck. Consider whether you could offer your team members the opportunity to work from home, or slightly alter their hours during the summer holidays.

When most people think of flexible working, they think of arrangements like the above, and it’s true that these can really help. Don’t be scared to get a little more creative though and think outside of the box. Many businesses have successfully offered term-time only contracts for employees who are balancing their careers with caring responsibilities.

Be prepared for an influx of holiday requests

At this time of year, many of us are tempted by the prospect of booking a last-minute getaway. We all like a bit of sun and sand, but when your employees are planning a mass exodus, the situation can turn into a major headache. Remember that giving priority to employees with children could be discriminatory.HR passion - outsourced hr - hr revolutionIf you feel like you’re struggling to manage holiday requests, it might be time to implement a more robust system, take a look at breatheHR which can help you organise stress free employee holiday management. It can ensure that your processes are fair and equal, and that you’re fully prepared for the challenges that the summer period can bring.

Take the time to plan

Many workplaces experience a bit of a lull during the summer months. Employees are away on holiday, they’re thinking about spending time with the kids, and you might find yourself slipping into the trap of letting the time just pass you by. Instead of going down this route, take the opportunity to get your leadership team together and focus on where you’re going.

What are your priorities for the second half of the year? What challenges do you need to overcome? Are there any opportunities that exist that you aren’t tapping into? A little planning can go a long way.

If the summer season is beginning to cause HR headaches in your business, get in touch with HR Revolution and let us help you get things back on the right track and stop any minor issues escalating into something more serious.

Why not get in touch: +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.

HR Blogger

 

 

The benefits of hanging out with your colleagues…

For many employees these days their job is no longer seen as separate from their social life. Millennials are set to constitute 50 per cent of the global workforce by 2020 and they are changing the way our jobs function in the process. Socialising with team mates outside of the office has become a desirable part of the job, with work being seen to this generation as a key part of who they are and no longer separate from their personal lives. This shift away from traditional attitudes towards professional environments being a place for all work and no play has meant hanging out with your colleagues is now an ordinary occurrence. Companies need to embrace this cultural shift and ensure they are open to their employees socialising, whilst ensuring they have HR processes in
place to manage the effects this can have upon your business.

So what are the benefits of colleagues socialising with one another? Put simply team socialising helps to boost company morale. Employees want to feel motivated by their work and at ease with their colleagues and so a team that feels happy at work leads to a more productive business. Being part of a friendly, collaborative and supportive company is also going to make it hard for an employee to have their head turned by a competitor, particularly as having an open working culture – not just with regards to their team relationships but towards communication around the goals of the business – helps to give employees a highly-valued sense of purpose.

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Let’s not forget though that a team that decides to spend time socialising with each other might strike a feeling of fear in many employers and HR departments. There is always the potential for colleagues to become too relaxed around one another leading to a lack of focus and possibly a dip in business output. However it’s important for companies to remember that people are at the core of their business and if employees feel comfortable enough with each other to hang out outside of work then this is likely to improve retention levels for the business. Ultimately, if your company is equipped with robust business processes and a comprehensive HR support system for the team, then the benefits of friendly working relationships will always outweigh the negatives.

On a professional level socialising within the team can be confidence boosting for junior members. Mentoring is a fantastic way to bring out the potential in a person and the informal mentorship that can come from having an informal, friendly conversation with a more senior team member shouldn’t be overlooked. Similarly, whilst it’s a delicate balance to strike, managers shouldn’t be too wary of socialising with their teams. The change from a work dynamic can serve to create comradeship and demonstrate their support for an open and supportive company culture.

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.

This article was published in the Recruiting Times on Thursday 26th April https://recruitingtimes.org/opinions/23160/benefits-hanging-colleagues/.

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6 reasons why employees quit their jobs

When you think about why employees leave jobs, you may be quick to assume that it is money that is the main driver, but in reality money is much less of an issue than personal factors and as an employer surely the number one priority for the continued success of your business is finding out why your employees are leaving.

When one of your employees hands in their notice, finding out why could be the key to discovering whether something is remiss within your business, i.e. a manager that people aren’t happy with, or heavy and demanding workloads.

On the other hand, they could be leaving for a job at a different company. Why is that? You need to ask yourself, what are they doing better? and why is working for them more appealing than working for you?

If you know why an employee is leaving you can then start to gather valuable information that could boost your recruitment and retention practices.

Below we list 6 reasons why employees quit their jobs:

1. Feeling undervalued

All employees want to feel that they are making a positive contribution in the job they do and more importantly that they are appreciated.

It might be interesting to know that this doesn’t necessarily mean giving rewards or salary raises, although I’m sure nobody would complain!! Often, a simple ‘thank you’ is a powerful way of changing someone’s perspective.

2. Insufficient management

If employees don’t feel that they’re being managed effectively, they may look for jobs elsewhere. People won’t always get along, but if an employee is struggling to connect with their manager then there will be difficulties in the workplace.

However, if many people are finding one manager particularly difficult to work with, then this could indicate a rather bigger issue.  Sometimes, the opposite is true, a manager could be a good friend to everyone on their team, but might struggle with delegating, communicating and keeping projects on track.

3. No progression prospects

Most employees will want to feel that they can progress in their role, inspiring them to work hard so they can be rewarded with promotions and pay rises.

New challenges are valued. It can be demotivating for workers to feel that they’re trapped at their current level, with no room to grow and improve. They might be tempted to leave if they feel they aren’t progressing, especially if they have opportunities being offered to them from another business who offer great career development.

Be aware though that some employees will be happy in their current positions and not want to be continually pushed to progress.  For them, promising promotion opportunities could be just as likely to make them feel pressured and inclined to leave. Your main aim is to know what each employee wants, so it is a good idea to make sure you discuss these in performance reviews.

Always bear in mind that a lack of progression ambition does not indicate a lazy or unmotivated employee, some people are simply happy with their current level of responsibility.

4. No work/life balance

A good work/life balance is now more important than ever, especially as we are connected to our smartphones and laptops 24/7, sometimes, no amount of money is worth certain sacrifices, early mornings, long days at work, hours travelling to and from work, people need and value their free time.

Many employers are finding solutions that benefit everyone, such as offering on-site facilities: gyms, coffee shops, childcare facilities and customised office spaces, to help bring the work/life balance into the workplace.

5. Colleague clashes

Being in an workplace environment where employees feel they are among friends can make all the difference to job satisfaction.

If an employee spends every day clashing with a colleague, either because they don’t get on, feel they are not pulling their weight or have very different opinions about how the work should be done, then there’s a disaster waiting to happen.

You might want to step in and mediate. If you can’t identify the problem and help resolve it, then there’s a good chance that someone will be leaving.

6. Lack of work enjoyment

Of course personal tastes and preferences change, at every stage of life, what you may have aspired too at 23 maybe very different at 40.

Some people decide after years in the workplace that they are ready for something new, while others spend a couple of months in a role and realise that they’ve made a mistake.

There are very few things that you can do to retain an employee with a different path in mind, but it might be worth seeing what alternative jobs you can offer if you would really like to keep them within your business.

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At HR Revolution we understand what it takes to create a great team, and as experts in HR we are well placed to support you with the first steps towards achieving a competitive business through your people.

So if you are looking for recruitment solutions that go beyond simply hiring your newest team member get please get in touch +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.

HR Blogger

5 challenges of managing remote teams

Remote working or ‘working from home’ has become increasingly popular over recent years and with good reason. Businesses are changing and, in turn, so is the requirement for us all to be herded like sheep into grey office spaces miles from our homes. Business owners are starting to realise that certain employees can actually increase their quality of work and levels of productivity by being allowed the flexibility of remote working.

However, with an ever expanding global workforce, it’s becoming more and more important to be aware of the issues that arise in regards to effectively managing productivity within more productive remote teams, once you know what these are you can then decide whether or not it is a astute move for your business.

Below we list the 5 biggest challenges:

1. Accountability and visibility

Building trust between a manager and employee; if they aren’t sitting at their desk where you can see them, then how do you know they are working? If this isn’t addressed early on and you don’t have management information to see how and what they are delivering it will be an issue and one that could spiral out of control.

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2. Isolation and communication difficulties

If you have employees working remotely within different time zones, this may lead to a feeling of isolation for team members. If your employees also speak different languages there’s an added level of communication to factor in in order to make the team and business work.

3. Culture

A business that has their whole team or the majority of it’s employees working remotely will likely have to work harder than most to ensure it’s company culture is established and that individuals well-being is looked after. Remote working can cause a lack of team communication and therefore a poor company culture and team community – leading to employees feeling disconnected from the overall company mission and goals. A clear company culture and a feeling of purpose are essential for creating a motivated team, without these the team can begin to feel isolated and employees may become dissatisfied with their roles.

4. Security – both physical and digital

Policies and processes for office and online security are fairly straight forward to manage, but when you have remote workers the needs of those individuals may change because their working set-up is different. If appropriate security procedures aren’t dealt with as part of the remote working setupit could cause major issues and potential danger to business functionality. If remote workers feel unsupported or at risk this can quickly lead to disengagement and a loss of productivity.

5. Trouble separating work/home balance

The inability to ‘turn off’, is an ongoing issue for all workers, but these issues seem to increase with remote workers.  Working from home can lead to longer working hours and no real definition between work and home environments, this can result in longer or unpredictable hours worked, increased stress, a strain on personal and professional relationships and the threat of one or both sides taking advantage.

Having a balance between work and life is a very important and even more so now companies are offering new and improved perks to help support workers. Having a balance between work and life is very important and even more so now companies are offering new and improved perks to help support workers. Remote working can be a great incentive for employees – encouraging trust and reducing travelling time and costs. But on the flip side it can become a negative issue that results in low engagement, lack of productivity, burn out and even resignations. It’s worth remember that working remotely can be difficult and isn’t for everyone, especially if you are unable to define the difference between remote working and under-working!

Please be aware that a failure to address these challenges can cause decreased productivity and employee engagement, an impact on overall team morale, increased employee turnover and a negative impact on business outcomes.

If you need any help or guidance with managing remote teams do get in touch, HR Revolution are here to help: +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.

HR Blogger