How to improve your HR practices by the end of the year…

Ok business owners it’s now the final quarter of 2018! if you still have some goals that you haven’t quite achieved, now’s the time to do it and make that final push.  It’s also time to look back and see over the year and work out your wins, losses and what needs to be done differently in 2019!!

When you are reflecting on the year make sure that you don’t forget to factor in your people practices and how they have performed over the last 12 months.  Of course we know that most HR challenges can’t just be achieved overnight, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t act now to make positive and noticeable changes.

We outline/suggest a few ways in which you can take control and start making changes before 31 December.

Make a plan for 2019

You may be looking at what is needed to be done around the Christmas period, maybe recruiting temporary employees or tying up any loose ends an that is great.  But what about the bigger picture, will you be facing any challenges it the coming months?, are there any opportunities you can look at to help you meet your wider strategic goals?

Planning or having a plan will help to put your mind at ease that you have thought about things and hopefully not be faced with any nasty surprises.

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How compliant are your legislative changes?

I’m sure you would like to say that you are fully compliant, but when it comes down to it are you absolutely positive that you’re doing everything you should be?

We understand that the day-to-day complexities of running a business can sometimes get in the way, but if you haven’t done everything that’s required of you, you could be leaving yourself very vulnerable to problems in the future.

Do you need an HR audit?

Keeping on top of everything people orientated as your business grows can be a daunting process, but it need not be and as an early Christmas present why don’t you benefit from an having an experienced HR professional come in and assess what is working and what needs to be improved.

By having an end-of-year HR audit HR Revolution can help, let us carry out a HR healthcheck on your company and assess what’s working and what needs to be improved, this could be just what you need to make sure that you end the year on a high note and put practical steps in place to raise your game.

If you like to book an HR audit or need any HR advice please do 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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The UKs 10 most irritating office habits

In a recent UK survey, employees were asked to list what the most irritating habits of their co-workers were, while some of the findings might surprise you, are there any of them that you are guilty of?

In reverse order…

10. Wearing the same clothes – what does this say to your bosses? could you be giving the impression that you don’t care about your appearance?

9. Cooking smelly foods – be mindful of what you bring in to the office to microwave, fish and eggs not being the best choice for lunch!

8. Smelling of cigarettes – if you do smoke – why not pop a mint in after having a cigarette break.

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7. Talking loudly on the phone – you could take calls in a meeting room or corridor, or lower your voice if you need to stay at your desk.

6. Staying in the toilet too long – don’t be seen a time waster, only go to the loo when you really need too!

5. Interrupting when people are speaking – implement the ’10 second rule’, listen and wait before you speak.

4. Messy desks – keep your work area clutter-free – get a desk organiser, filing tray…anything that helps you get organised.

3. Not washing up – don’t expect somebody else to do it for you,  it should go without saying that you do your own washing up.

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2. Ignoring emails – this is unprofessional, if you’re overwhelmed by the amount of emails you receive, allocate a particular time each day to deal with your inbox instead of dipping in and out and not actually achieving anything.

1. Offensive body odour – top of the list and this is a difficult one to deal with, as you might not notice it yourself, but wearing clean clothes and showering daily will help.

Can you think of any other annoying habits that weren’t listed, we’d love to hear them, why not comment below?

If you need any HR advice or guidance, 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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HR disaster? HR Revolution can help

You might not be surprised to hear that at HR Revolution high percentage of the enquiries we receive are from businesses who are experiencing what they consider to be ‘a bit of a disaster’, to say the least.

Sometimes, it’s that productivity levels have slumped to the extent that they can’t fulfill their agreements with customers and clients and occasionally, it’s because they’re facing a tribunal.

But often it is relations with employees that have spiraled out of control and they’re not quite sure what to do for the best.

Most businesses recognise that they can’t fix these problems on their own, and they then draft in expert help, this being a sensible course of action.  As good as HR consultant’s are at helping you to sort your people issues, we don’t have a magic wand.

Of course we can help you to create a plan that’s going to give you the best chances of navigating your way out of a tricky situation and make sure that you’re acting on the right side of the law, and your next steps minimise the potential of any long-lasting damage to your business.

But prevention is always better than cure.

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Consider this…

Right now, are there any issues that are bubbling away beneath the surface of your business?  Do you worry that you’re only one mismanaged situation away from landing yourself in hot water?

In so many businesses, the answer here is a very firm YES… Regardless of whether or not you’re willing to admit it.

If so, then don’t wait until the proverbial hits the wall before you do something about it.

Fixing issues before they spiral out of control is going to save you a whole load of time, money, and hassle in the longer term.

Don’t put your business at unnecessary risk.

That’s where HR Revolution can help, we have different HR solutions to help businesses whatever the budget, give us a call today and we can arrange to carry out a no-obligation review 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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How to work efficiently from home

As technology becomes ever more erudite and employees demand more work-life balance, many companies are implementing remote working policies.  However, even though it might seem like your local Pret or Costa is packed with people tapping away on their laptops, still 35% of businesses do not offer the option of working from home.

One in four people who are not currently offered remote working choices said they would consider changing jobs if they found a role which offered working from home, so if you are one of the 35% you may want to look into it.

How to work effectively from home 1 - HR Revolution - Outsourced HR

Working from home has become more popular than ever while people try and redress the work-life balance.  So here are a few guidelines on how to best to work from home, whilst being productive and getting the most out of your day.

  1. Make a to-do list to keep yourself accountable. Being organised is crucial if you’re to avoid spending the day wandering around the house or surfing the internet!
  2. Some people who work from home love the fact they can answer emails in their PJs however many advocate getting showered and dressed as normal to maintain a feeling of professionalism…
  3. Be firm with friends who have time on their hands and who may overlook the fact that just because you’re working from home, it doesn’t mean you can take a break anytime you like.
  4. Invest in a comfortable office chair so you don’t have an excuse to keep getting up to stretch your legs. This is important for your physical health too. If you have the resources, create an office space that you genuinely enjoy spending time in – and banish clutter!
  5. If you want to separate home from the office and prefer to work from a coffee shop make sure the documents you need are accessible by storing them in the cloud e.g. in Google Drive or Dropbox, but please be mindful of your surroundings if you are working on something of a sensitive nature!
  6. Define your working hours if your job allows for it and if you prefer starting and finishing work earlier or later do so, but stick to a schedule.

Lastly, it’s good to be mindful that if you work remotely, you won’t be as visible. Make sure that your colleagues realise you are still part of the team, so make sure you check in with the office a couple of times a day, even scheduling meetings via Skype or conference call avoiding lowering your profile in the workplace.

If you need any advice, please get in touch with us to find out more:+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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FRIDAY HR FAQs – Should you set a task at interview?

In essence there is no right or wrong answer to this question, it’s a decision you will need to make based on what competencies and skills you want to assess during the meeting.

As part of the selection process, employers may conduct numerical testing or ask candidates to complete a technical questionnaire to establish their level of knowledge on a certain area of the job.  These are quantitative approaches and provide easily comparable results between candidates.

If you want to find out about a candidates communication skills, how they approach scenarios, what their level of enthusiasm for working in your industry is, or whether they prefer following a process or their gut feeling, then setting a task for the interview could be beneficial.

Tasks require the candidate to come prepared to talk about a particular area of the job or company during their interview. Setting a question accompanied by background information in advance for the candidate to prepare a response, will encourage creative thinking. Your candidate can then plan a well-rounded argument with the benefit of being able to research the topic and fully understand the brief.

Allowing candidates to come prepared with an answer to a task will no doubt help you to get the best out of them and reduce the risk of uncomfortable silences from springing tricky questions on them.

That’s not to say that challenging, on the spot questions should be avoided at interview, and this approach is tried and tested and allows the interviewer to see how the candidate thinks on their feet and whether they react well under pressure.

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However giving a candidate the chance to prepare and hopefully excel on a particular topic is also a useful interview technique, as it can reveal other important qualities and traits about them.

Interviews are generally seen as nerve-wracking, with the employer doing the grilling and the candidate often crumbling under the pressure.

So it’s important to remember that the interview scenario should be an opportunity for you to build rapport by speaking openly and honestly with your potential new team member, and so you should want them to do their best and hope they leave the interview feeling positive about working for your company.

Consider using an interview task to dig a bit deeper into why a candidate wants the job. The right task, which focusses on a plausible work scenario or issue, can reveal what the candidate’s ideas are about the industry, their plans to develop their position (or even wider team and business), and how their previous experience has set them up for the challenge.

You may want to suggest they prepare a PowerPoint presentation or bring handouts, as these will also give you an insight into their writing style, presentation skills and also how committed they are to getting the job depending on how well they prepare.

If you have any handy hints, tips or real life experiences we would love to hear them, please reply in the comment section below.

Or get in contact:+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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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

 

 

Putting a few HR myths to bed…

At HR Revolution, we’ve heard our fair share of HR myths and misinformation, so we thought we would list below the most common ones and why they are just that…

Employees don’t have a contract unless there is something in writing

A contract of employment is an agreement between an employer and employee whether it is verbal or in writing. Once work has commenced the employment relationship has been forged. A full contract of employment does not need to be given writing to make the agreement legally binding, however it is worth bearing in mind that it is a legal requirement for an employer to provide at least a statement of written particulars to an employee within one month of starting.

You can’t make a pregnant employee redundant

Yes you can. However it must be a fair procedure, you have to be very careful that there is no risk of discrimination in the selection process. Also be mindful that once a pregnant employee goes on maternity leave, they have extra legal protection by having first option on any available positions that they are qualified to do if placed at risk of redundancy. Make sure you take HR advice!!!

 No one can take you to tribunal without two years’ service

It is a common misconception among employers that dismissing an employee who does not have two years of service will mean that they are “safe” from an employment tribunal claim.  But an employee can and for a range of reasons such as discrimination related to any of the nine protected characteristics, like underpayment of wages of the National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage, breach of working-time regulations in terms of holiday pay or a breach of contract.

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I can decide if I want someone to be self-employed

No, there are strict rules for deciding the status of people in a business. It is unhelpful that HMRC and employment law rules are different in deciding if someone is an employee, a worker or self-employed as the recent cases of Uber and Pimlico Plumbers can attest!

You don’t have to give part-time employees the same benefits as full-time employees

Part-time employees must suffer no disadvantage, so must have the same benefits as full-time employees. Many benefits can be pro-rated for part-time employees, such as holiday allowance.

Casual and zero-hour employees do not get holiday

All employees and workers accrue statutory holiday from day one. This is 5.6 weeks prorated to hours worked.

I am not able to contact sick employees

Not at all, as an employer you have a ‘duty of care’ to keep in touch with a sick employee when they are signed-off to see how they are. However, this doesn’t entail daily calls and emails as this could lead to a harassment case. Also, regular contact should not just focus on their return to work, but their well-being and if any realistic adjustments could be implemented to help their return.

So there you have it a few HR myths debunked…

If you need and HR advice or guidance give HR Revolution a call and see how we could 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.

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How to manage football fever in the workplace…

Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no escaping from football at the minute. The FIFA World Cup 2018 has begun in Russia and apparently Goldman Sachs have devised an algorithm that says Brazil will win, so let’s hope that you’ve picked them in a sweep-stake!!!

England played their first game yesterday evening winning 2-1 (opinions are divided as to how well they played…. especially here at the HRREV offices!).

So between now and 15th July, when the tournament draws to a close, there’ll be some key considerations that you’ll have to make to ensure that it’s business as usual in your workplace, as far as possible.

And lets not forget Wimbledon too!! So here, we tell you what you need to know.

Be flexible wherever possible

Trying to bury your head in the sand is very rarely a good idea. Acknowledge that the football is a topical issue at the moment, and that you may well have employees who want to tune into the games. Consider reworking your timetables to accommodate any requested time off, or make provisions for watching big matches in your office environment.

Operational requirements should always be at the top of your agenda, but if you’re organised, it’s very possible to offer a degree of flexibility without it having an impact on productivity and output. In fact, you’re likely to find that it will boost morale and motivation, which is always a positive thing.

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Always apply your existing people policies

You don’t have to start from scratch and create a policy that handles the implications of sporting events. It’s very likely that everything you need will already be covered in your current policies and practices, including provisions around annual leave, sickness absence, and alcohol in the workplace.

If you suspect that your documentation is no longer fit for purpose, or that changes need to be made to ensure that you’re compliant with relevant legislation and best practice, then take this as you cue for getting things sorted.

Consider your stance on social media usage

Social media usage is another consideration that you may well already have covered within your existing policies. It’s a relatively new issue though, and it’s important to consider the fact that your employees may be turning to social platforms and online news sources to stay up to date with the latest scores and commentary.

A web use policy should encompass what’s acceptable and what isn’t, and it should be very clearly communicated to all employees. Remember to keep things fair. It wouldn’t be a good idea, for example, to allow football fans to use social media during Russia 2018, and apply a blanket ban on usage for other reasons. Remember that not everyone is interested in the game!

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In just a couple of weeks, football will become a distant memory for many people. In the here and now though, it’s important that you consider your role as a leader and ensure that problems and issues are sidestepped wherever possible.

Not to offend any of our colleagues or clients but…. COME ON ENGLAND!

If you need any other pointers do give HR Revolution a call and see how we could 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.

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Why good body language is important in an interview

The whole idea during an interview is to put your best self forward so the person sitting opposite you, can’t wait to employ you and your body language plays a significant role in the way you are perceived. Poor body language can derail an interview regardless of how confident and well-spoken you are, body language is as much a part of your communication style as what you say.

Impressions are made within seconds of reviewing body language.

Don’t worry though we have put together a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to how you use your body language to make that great first impression!

  1. Shake Hands – Shaking hands at the beginning of the interview breaks down boundaries, shows confidence and implies that you are open.
  2. Good Eye Contact – This is the best way to show you are paying attention and engaging with the situation, don’t stare at them like it’s a contest as this can be intimidating, but do meet eyes with the person you are conversing with.
  3. Don’t Slouch – Sitting hunched forward or lounging has the effect of looking a little too relaxed.  You want to show that you are taking the interview seriously, looking confident and professional rather than you were wishing you were somewhere else (even though you probably may be!).
  4. Lean towards the interviewer – This implies that you are taking an interest in the conversation and that you are engaged by what they are saying.body language - outsourced hr - hr revolution
  5. Mirror your interviewer – You can quickly get on good terms with your interviewer by matching their positive body language.  If you are unsure on how you should sit or act, watching how your interviewer does can give you a good indication of how they think it is appropriate to act.
  6. SMILE – If all else fails and you completely forget to remember where you should have your hands or where you should look, just smile. A genuine smile creates a favourable image and shows you have personality and you are paying attention to what is being said and will ensure your interviewer remembers you in a positive light.

Lastly it goes without saying you should always listen attentively and try not to interrupt, focus on keeping your tone of voice even and polite, too soft and you’ll seem timid, too loud you’ll seem domineering.

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If you need any help or guidance about creating a good first impression, 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

Why small businesses need HR

Interestingly small businesses make up more than 99% of private sector business and account for 60% of private sector employment: there are a lot of small businesses out there! Unfortunately another statistic is that the basic lack of correct management skills is responsible for the failure of over half of them.

Budgets are tight when small businesses start out, therefore a lot of managers are expected to multitask which means dealing with employee issues as well as growing the business. With focus on rapid growth, this results in the need for investment in an HR function being overlooked, which can actually have the opposite effect and halt growth in its tracks. Without the training required or the skills that HR brings, decision makers are not often able to identify and use the talent within their business to be able to push it forward in the right way.

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In most cases, and we see this a lot, small businesses only approach us once the problems have already started or when a major change happens in employment legislation. It seems that the mindset of small businesses is that the HR function is a reactive one, when in reality it should be part of the strategic planning they need from the outset.

Our Managing Director, Wendy Read comments:  “People are the key to a successful business, without them the wheels just do not turn. The problem is that most businesses don’t focus on their people and only concentrate on the bottom line. Our philosophy is simple; focus on your people, hire, on-board, train, manage and develop them and the bottom line will look after itself”.

If you would like to see how an outsourced HR consultancy can help why not 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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