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/.

HR Blogger

Tips for creating a positive workplace

We all know that the environment you work in has a big impact on how you feel, so it’s probably no surprise that as adults we spend over two thirds of our life at work!! a very sobering thought indeed…

So it is really important for employers to create a positive, healthy workplace, where employees have mutual respect, feel valued and appreciated as these things all strongly contribute to creating happy employees.

Listed below are ways to help achieve this:

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Acknowledge accomplishments

It is a proven fact that employees respond to praise and appreciation expressed through recognition of their good work, because it reinforces their work is valued.  When employees feel like this, their satisfaction and productivity rises and they are motivated to keep up or improve their good work.  Doesn’t everyone appreciate a ‘pat on the back’ to make them feel good, I know I definitely do!

Positive Communication

Make sure you communicate, as we know feedback whether good or bad is fundamental in the workplace.  You need to discuss regularly with employees what they have accomplished and what is going well in their job, helping them to feel connected and part of a team. Delivering feedback ensures your team strengths are being highlighted and made good use of, and of course gives employees direction on what they can improve on.

Celebrate employees

Look for ways to celebrate with your team whether it’s an employee birthday or recognising a milestone or achieving a goal. Honoring wins and milestones improves morale by encouraging the person recognised and showing team members that important events are noticed and praised.

Happy Successful Business People Celebrating and Jumping in New

Reward good work

As an employer you may not always be able to reward by means of a pay-rise, but there are alternative ways to reward your employees, implementing exciting incentives that give the employee something tangible to work towards, such as a competition to win a gift card – which are low cost and give the employee the choice of what they want.

If you need any help or guidance about creating a positive workplace, 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.

HR Blogger

 

 

A guide to good office etiquette

Whether you’re straight out of school, University, moved to the UK from abroad or simply not sure about what to do or say in an office environment, we have compiled a little guide of office do’s and don’ts. Hopefully these tips will help you make a good impression:

Do always assume people are listening

Even if you are talking to someone that you feel very comfortable with, can you be sure that nobody else is listening in? You may accidentally offend someone or say something that gets repeated to the wrong person and the same applies to online activity – don’t ever talk negatively about colleagues or your employer on social media or your blog. Remember, whatever you post can and probably will come back to haunt you.

Discuss your salary

In the workplace it all begins and ends with money and there’s a distinct possibility that you won’t be earning the same salary as someone else.

NEVER discuss how much you’re paid.  It’s not respectful to discuss how much you’re earning and you don’t want to offend anyone that’s being paid less than you.

Be careful who you address your emails too

Ok we’ve probably all done it, written a text/email about someone, then accidentally sent it straight to them instead of the intended recipient? The same applies in the office, be careful who you address your emails too, also when replying to all ask yourself if everyone on the list needs to receive the email and always check before you press send!

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Offer to make drinks for everyone

It’s polite to ask everyone if they’d like a drink, however, this can lead to a long list of beverages that you’ll need to make. You’ll have to remember who likes milk, who wants sugar who drinks tea and who has coffee – have a notepad handy!

A good idea is to suggest that everyone write their preferred beverage on a notice board by the kettle, so that you only need to remember who’s ready for their next hot drink. And if you decide not to make drinks for everyone, make sure that you never accept the offer when it’s someone else’s turn!

No smoking

Smoking indoors has been illegal since 2007, but using e-cigarettes, or ‘vaping’, is allowed in public places. Most workplaces will have their own rules about electronic cigarettes, but even if yours doesn’t mention them specifically, it’s wise to go outside for your vaping. Many people simply aren’t comfortable with having e-cigarettes used in their presence and the verdict is still out on any potential health risks too.

Don’t change the temperature without asking

In reality it is likely you’ll be sharing an office with a few other people, some of whom will wish they worked in the Sahara or the Arctic!  Don’t upset anyone by opening a window without asking, or making unscheduled changes to the air conditioning settings.

Turn up to work with layers of clothing to cover every eventuality, just in case someone else makes a change that you don’t want to openly complain about.

Do mind your language

Swearing in the office is simply unacceptable, remember using bad language could lead to warnings and/or disciplinary action.

What not to eat at your desk

Fish products are a no-no in the office environment, along with eggs, fast food and stinky cheese… you get the picture… Remember you don’t want to risk your business relationship with someone over bad food choices, if in doubt about a specific food, leave it at home and opt for something you are sure won’t offend others.

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Don’t take an extended lunch break

Most offices are strict on time-keeping, which means they’ll notice if you turn up a bit late, leave a bit early or take a few extra minutes on your lunch break. Your manager might also be adding up the minutes, with a very clear picture of how many hours you miss each year.

In the end it all comes down to common sense, remember being comfortable at work is great, but you should still think carefully about everything you say and do.

If you need help or guidance with office etiquette please 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

Office parties – a word of ‘festive’ warning!

For HR departments and employment lawyers alike, it is as much a Christmas tradition as turkey and mince pies. Every December we bring out articles on the perils of holding an office Christmas party, so as not to disappoint here are this year’s top tips.
Venue
It’s worth thinking carefully about the venue for your Christmas party. Is it accessible to all? including those with a disability? Can people get home easily? Choosing a venue that might encourage people to ‘drink and drive’ is clearly not advisable. So consider whether you have good public transport links or ready access to taxis.
Invitation list
When compiling the invitations be as inclusive as possible, no one should feel left out. Remember to make an effort to invite those who are currently away from work, whether because of maternity leave, sickness or any other reason. If employees are encouraged to invite their partners along, allow for the reality of unmarried couples and same-sex relationships.

Group people in santa hat at Xmas business party.

Party planning
Think how you can make the party appealing to all. Organising an event based solely around the consumption of large quantities of alcohol will no doubt please some of your employees, but it could well be a turn-off for others. In particular, be sensitive to the religious and other beliefs of your employees; make sure there are plenty of non-alcoholic drink options and any food on the menu contains a vegetarian option.

Also be mindful of any guest speakers or entertainers you choose to use. There is a very well-known Employment Tribunal case circa 1996 that arose out of the booking of the ‘stand-up comedian’ Bernard Manning. You can probably guess what went wrong there!

Discussion topics
When a lot of alcohol has been consumed, people become less inhibited and more likely to say (or do) precisely what is on their mind. As a result, the risk of discrimination and harassment claims rears its ugly head. So make sure people understand that this is a work event and a level of professionalism is still required. Oh, and if you’re the boss, remember that alcohol and conversions about pay rises don’t mix!
The morning after
Make sure people understand whether they are required to be in work the day after the Christmas party. If they phone in sick, carefully consider whether it is genuine sickness or the result of over-indulgence. Then consider whether disciplinary action is required.
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Policy revision?
You don’t need a policy specifically to cover your Christmas party, but it is worth considering whether your existing policies on conduct, harassment etc. are clear about what is expected of employees in this context. Take a look at HR Revolution’s Employee Handbook, it helps set out core Company expectations in terms of general conduct and includes all of your integral UK policies and employment legislation.
Lastly; enjoy, let your hair down and have fun!
Finally, and before we begin to sound too much like the equivalent of ‘Scrooge’, the Christmas party is a chance to come together, celebrate a successful year and thank your colleagues/employees for their efforts. It is also an opportunity to have fun. So having taken some sensible precautions, relax, unwind and enjoy yourself. You deserve it!
If you need any help or advice with any issues discussed above or updating any office policies all found in our comprehensive Employee handbook, why not get in touch HR Revolution and make sure your office Christmas passes without incident.

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.

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HR Revolution’s guide to organising work Christmas parties…

The Christmas period is a challenging time for many companies and business owners alike.  Profits are at the forefront of their minds to ensure sales continue right up to the end of the year and their products and services are the ones consumers want to spend their hard earned cash on.

If you’re caught up with the complexities of planning your approach to maximising sales and profits, you might not have yet thought about whether you’ll organise a Christmas party for your employees.

On paper, it’s a great idea. Everyone enjoys a chance to unwind, and you reward your employees for all their hard work that they’ve put in over the past year.

What could possibly go wrong?

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Generally speaking, Christmas parties get a lot of bad press. You’re probably familiar with horror stories involving workers who have taken full advantage of the free bar, and then went on to well and truly disgrace their employers. The truth of the matter here though is that these incidents are few and far between.

Yes, of course things can go wrong. But if you do some thorough planning in advance, you can avoid problems and give your employees the motivational celebration that they deserve.

Download our FREE guide, where we will go through the bases you need to cover so you can round off 2017 on a high note for you and your employees.

download here...

Why not give us a call, or visit our website: HR Revolution, we are ready to answer any Christmas related questions you may have +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

HR Revolution, expert CIPD HR professionals, supporting your employees and business.

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Holidays over – our back to work survival guide!

Outsourced HR

Why is it that when children go back to school in September they get about a week’s worth of half days to ‘ease them back in’?  Ok I’m probably exaggerating and I might be a bit bitter (definitely!), but my point is; they get a nice steady transition period to help them adjust to the harsh reality of going back to school. However, workers are faced with the reality of returning to work with no settling in phase!!!.  So if your going back to work with an error 404: ‘brain not found’ message, fear not, I have put together this back to work survival guide to help you get through it.

Be an early bird

If your first day back after a holiday falls on a Monday, then I feel for you, I really do. As if Mondays aren’t bad enough, this is a workers’ worst nightmare. However, I always find that getting up early, eating a proper breakfast then heading off to work early is a good way to set you up for having a productive day.

Also, being in work early before your co-workers descend on you with queries that they’ve been building up whilst you’re away, gives you the chance to acclimatise into work mode. It also means you get the peace and quiet you need to remember your computer password that has completely slipped your mind!

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Tackle your emails head on

Inevitably, when you return from annual leave, even if its just one day, you’ll return to email Armageddon (why is it that everyone has questions for you when you’re not there?). First you should scan through and delete anything that is not critical, is that latest 20% off Gap clothing offer really something you need to look at right now. Then, when you’re down to a manageable number read and respond in chronological order. You’ll need some method to the madness or it just will never end! Top tip: when someone responds to your reply, DON’T immediately respond to them. Get through the rest of your remaining unread emails before you start engaging in conversation and get pulled away from your email-ocalypse.

Catch up on the goss

Returning to a busy office with lots to do and lots to catch up on after spending your days relaxing on the beach without a care in the world, can leave you feeling discombobulated. You’ve been ‘out of the loop’ and when it comes to the world of office goings on you’ll have missed a ton of gossip and activity.

Schedule a tea break with your colleagues to catch up on all the news you’ve missed whilst you’ve been away.

Regroup

It’s only natural to return to work after a holiday and feel a bit like workplace deadwood. You’ll be reminiscing about what you were doing this time last week and you’ll be easily distracted and when you’ve got a mountain of things to tackle at work, it’s sometimes really hard to get back into the swing of things and you’ll be struggling to get motivated!

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When this happens, regroup and remind yourself of what you’re trying to achieve at work. Giving your work some meaning will give you the boost to get stuck back in. You might be working towards a bonus, promotion or working hard to save for something special. Reassess your goals and see where you’re at with them, plan your next steps in achieving them and crack on and succeed.

Don’t let your holiday spirit be put out

We all get a boost from taking time off of work to relax and recharge, so don’t let returning to the office instantly crush your joie de vivre. Everyone in the office will want to hear you gush over what you got up to, it’s their duty, so revel in it. Show off your holiday pictures, pass round the holiday sweets and keep your holiday spirit alive just a little bit longer.

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Do you really communicate with your colleagues?…

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It’s easy to stop and moan about work or discuss a work related project but how often to you ever stop and just have a little chit chat with your work colleagues on a more personal level?

At HR Revolution we like having a bit of office banter, finding out what our colleagues did during their holidays or at the weekend, we think it’s important to remember that we all have interesting lives outside the workplace.  Establishing a conversational comfort level with your colleagues will allow you to talk to them about anything and make it easier to share your ideas.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Be the first to speak. It doesn’t pay to be shy, so just go ahead and ask a question to get the conversation started. They might be pleased that someone has stopped to talk to them.

It’s ok to be nosy, sorry I mean inquisitive! People generally like being asked about themselves, just don’t get too personal or sound like you’re trying to get the dirt, you’re supposed to be having a light hearted conversation.

Be positive,  again it’s meant to be light hearted so don’t drone on about a miserable experience, focus on something good, like a new fantastic restaurant you’ve tried, maybe a new box set that has you hooked (if you’re like me, I love a box set, Game of Thrones, Line of Duty, Walking Dead to name but a few!), this will definitely get them interacting.

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Remember to listen in return. If you plan too hard what you are going to say they won’t get a word in edgeways, and next time they won’t bother engaging with you at all. Besides they might have some great ideas you can use too.

Be discreet. They may also be “inquisitive” about you but they don’t really want to know the in’s and out’s of your life’s back story and remember you do have to work with these people so keep some things to yourself!

Know when to draw the conversation to an end. Remember this was a quick chit chat, and shouldn’t detract from your working day, but make sure you end it on a high, maybe with a “we’ll talk about that next time”! which also then lends itself to be an inner for the next one.

I hope this helps and encourages you to talk to each other, communication is a key factor in good relationships and the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Click this link now to download your FREE guide to Communicating Effectively:

HR Revolutions Guide – Are you communicating effectively

Or for more FREE guides, advice and great HR Services head over to www.hrrevolution.co.uk or Call us on +44 203 538 5311 now!

We are always looking for ways to improve, so we’d love to know what you think,  email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk with your thoughts and feedback!

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Handling the Summer productivity slump…

Outsourced HR Services

Yes it’s Summer, holidays are being booked, the weather is hot, hot, hot, and workers all across the country are looking forward to a bit of well-deserved time away from their desks.

But whilst many people will be worrying about how much they can squeeze into their luggage allowance and whether last year’s swimwear still fits, many business owners will have a more pressing concern. As temperatures start to rise, and they certainly have this year!!! how do you ensure that the summer season doesn’t have a negative impact on productivity?

As always, we’re here to help with some practical suggestions. Read on to find out more about what yothe time to think about how you’ll approach the working calendar next summer. As well, it won’t be long before you’ll have to start thinking about how you’ll manage your staff over the Christmas period, so you can probably take away some very important lessons.

Click on the link below to see HR Revolution’s HR software solutions in partnership with breatheHR, which will save you time, energy and money by managing your HR online, giving you access to all of your employee documents, employee holiday planner and appraisal management system from wherever you are.

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Bring the summer feeling to your office

When the weather’s warmer and there are – let’s face it – many other things that your employees would rather be doing than sitting in the office, it could be worthwhile to think about how you can raise spirits and inject a bit of oomph back into proceedings. If some employees are away on holiday, you can ensure that those who are left behind aren’t feeling deflated and demotivated.

Your approach here needn’t cost you a fortune, there are many options for you to choose from. You could you treat the office to an ice-cream, or you could contact a nearby personal trainer and ask them to lead an outdoor workout for your staff? Or maybe a lunchtime picnic in a local park, small gestures can make all the difference.

Give your HR processes an overhaul

It’s natural that there will be certain times of the year when you notice a change in productivity. Sometimes, slight fluctuations are unavoidable, and you need to simply do all you can to minimise the impact. If reduced productivity has become a longstanding problem though, it’s time to address the reasons why, and do something about it.

Your people processes and procedures will often provide you with clues, and they can also be the remedy. Is your business suffering as a result of poor management practices? Are you using outdated systems? Are your employees dissatisfied with certain aspects of their roles, or the way in which the business is being operated?

If you have any questions or need help give HR Revolution a call today +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk, we look forward to hearing from you.

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Where has “Customer Service” gone???

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I’ve had to deal with a couple of suppliers over the past fortnight that quite clearly missed the training sessions on “Customer Care” and “Customer Relations” and quite frankly have left my blood boiling!

It is so frustrating that good customer service seems to be completely non-existent now days and companies think it’s acceptable to do the absolute minimum for their customers and usually all whilst hiding behind an email.

Being a people focused company,  I want to share my top 3 tips for you to share with your teams to ensure you don’t offer the same, what I consider unacceptable, level of service!

  1. Don’t tell your customer that you “don’t do something” – There is a reason they contacted you in the first place, they trust you and know you will be able to help them.   So even if it is a service that you don’t provide, then offer to help them with something you do!  Even if in the end, you offer them an alternative source of supply, they will still come back to you in the future and will leave the conversation on a happy note knowing how you tried to help them.outsourced hr - hr revolution
  2. Don’t put the onus on them – They are calling you because they want someone to do what they can’t or don’t want to, so saying the words “if you do…” or “you need to…” just irritates. What you think is an easy task others may not and fobbing them off in this manner is just giving them the excuse to find someone that will actually help…. And guess what, they may not come back to you next time.
  3. Don’t hide behind an email – If you must tell the customer you can’t help, or that things will take longer than expected, pick up the phone! It is so much harder to be cross with someone if you are actually speaking to them. Also lazy typing and the use of text speak just gets peoples backs up and will lead no further than the complaints department.

Playing devil’s advocate though just for a second, perhaps it’s not their fault they are providing a less than adequate service, do they even know what’s expected or been fully trained for the role? Either way, if we all try that little bit harder to provide a service that is over and above expectation, then good customer service will prevail once again!

We have a saying at HR Revolution “look after your people and the bottom line will look after itself” and that can apply to your customers too.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on “Customer Service” comment below or give us a call on +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

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