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!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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How to handle office romances

With many of us spending more and more time at the office, it’s no surprise that many working relationships blossom into something a little more intimate. In fact, research carried out by CareerBuilder.com found that 38% of workers have dated a colleague at some point in their working lives.

Those individuals are in pretty good company as well, as just one power couple that met in the workplace is none other than Barack and Michelle Obama. Back in 1989, the pair met whilst they were spending time working at the same law firm in Chicago.

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As an employer though, you’d be right to be a little cautious about what the implications could be for your business. If you suspect that there’s an office romance in the pipeline, you could be concerned about the impact that this could have on your team, or what might happen if things turn sour.

February is the month of love, so it’s a great time to consider some best practice on this subject. Without any further ado, here’s what you need to know:

Accept that these things happen

It would be unreasonable to try to implement any kind of policy that banned romantic relationships between employees altogether and it is unlikely that it would act as a deterrent. If anything, you’d be simply creating a culture of secrecy and mistrust.

The bottom line here is that these things happen, and as a leader, you have to accept it.

Nip any problems in the bud ASAP

Public displays of affection aren’t appropriate in the workplace. No one wants to see canoodling by the canteen, or have to navigate their way through a kissing couple just to get to the kettle. Luckily, most couples will know this already, and will often do everything they can to make sure that there are no awkward moments for their colleagues.

If you do feel that boundaries are being crossed though, you need to take action as soon as possible. Have a discreet word with both individuals, explain your worries, and remind them of what’s acceptable and what isn’t.

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Consider the team as a whole

You’re probably not in the office all day long, every day of the week. So in many ways, you only get a very limited snapshot of what’s going on, and how everyone’s interacting on a day-to-day basis. This means that you need to be extra vigilant when it comes to monitoring sentiment.

Of course, this is a larger issue surrounding workplace culture, and it covers more than just office romances. Keeping your finger on the pulse and collecting meaningful, insightful feedback from your staff on a regular basis will ensure that you’re creating a productive, motivated, and happy workforce – if, of course, you’re taking action on your findings.

Don’t take sides if things go wrong

Many employers worry about the potential fallout of office relationships turning sour. And it’s essential that you’re prepared for the worst-case scenario. Stay impartial, try to exercise a degree of understanding and sympathy, but make sure that you keep overall business objectives and priorities in sight.

Of course, it’s vital that you can recognise the difference between a break-up and something more sinister. Your policies and procedures on serious matters such as sexual harassment and bullying should be robust, and always implemented.

If you need any further advice or guidance to make sure that you are prepared for any eventuality 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.

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Valentine’s Day; Office do’s and don’ts

It’s Valentines Day… the day where most of us are filled with thoughts of love and romance!?  However it can be a somewhat tedious process for HR… can employers have rules on personal relationships at work? Is it harassment for a worker to ask a colleague out on a date? In today’s business world, dating someone at work is not at all uncommon so here is a list of office do’s and don’ts.

Studies show that after online dating, the workplace is the second biggest place where people meet their significant others. It makes a lot of sense, you are sharing the same space for eight or more hours a day with people who tend to be like-minded and share similar life goals.

Also, the everyday stresses of work life tend to be an easy thing to relate and bond with an individual over. While it can be a great thing, office romances can also cause a lot of undesirable stress and tension. Surely, ending an office relationship can be uncomfortable for both parties, since they  have no choice but to continue to see each other every day, despite the fact that the relationship has dissolved.

DO:

Know Your Company’s Policy

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Every company tends to have a bit of a different policy when it comes to dating among colleagues. There isn’t one golden rule, so if you’re thinking about asking someone from work out, it might be best to make sure right away that you know where your company stands on this issue.

There are some businesses that make it a requirement for you to come forth with the relationship and let your higher-ups know about it. Others don’t. Romance is an important part of life, but you shouldn’t allow it to negatively affect your career in any way. So do the research and check out your company’s policy before you set the ball rolling.

Try to Keep it a Secret

Even if the company requires that you tell the bosses about the relationship, you shouldn’t have to tell everyone. One of the best reasons for keeping it a secret is that it can be fun. Having a special relationship with someone while keeping it hidden from plain sight at work can be thrilling and fun for both of you… so long as it doesn’t affect your work!

You will need to avoid public displays of affection at work whatever you decide. Even if you do decide to tell coworkers about the relationship, you should still resist the PDA. The only thing it can lead to is making your other colleagues feel uncomfortable around you.

Take it Seriously

No matter how much you want it to be, an office romance is unlike any other romance. It comes with its own rules, and it’s something that you should take very seriously, not only to help make it a successful relationship, but to avoid issues if the relationship does end up going sour in the end.

The truth of the matter is that a workplace romance has the potential to impact many more people than a regular romance, whether it lasts or ends. And if the relationship does end, try to be as professional about it as possible. It might be incredibly hard to do, but making sure that no negativity enters the workplace as a result is something you need to do. It doesn’t only affect the two of you, it can affect coworkers and clients as well.

DON’T:

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Parade it

This has already been mentioned, but it should be reiterated, public displays of affection at work should be absolutely forbidden. No one in the office wants to see that, no matter how relaxed they seem about your relationship. It is something that has no place in the office; this includes not only kissing, but also hugging, hand-holding, and even winking and sending kisses to each other across the office.

These rules should not only apply to work hours, but to all work-related functions, including holiday parties and even trips to the bar with colleagues after work.

It’s also important not to let the relationship affect other relationships you have around the office. If you’ve been going to lunch with the same group of people all year, don’t suddenly abandon them because you all of a sudden only have eyes for your office flame.

Let it Affect Your Work

It’s important not to change the person and employee you are when your partner is present. This could make things really weird in meetings and when working with a group of people in which your partner is included. Be sure not to treat that person any differently than before… remain professional at all times.

If your partner has an idea which you don’t agree with, say something. Don’t let it slide just because of your relationship, things should be the same way they were before you became an item.

Discuss it with Coworkers

Your coworkers are probably going to want to hear the juicy details about your relationship, but you must not give them any. Feeding the office gossip machine is the worst thing that you can possibly do for your relationship and your job.

Discussions of your relationship have no place in the office, no matter how bad you’d like to talk about it. You must remember that you are not the only person affected by what is said.

Conclusion

An office romance can be very rewarding. The workplace is a great place to meet someone who you might be able to connect with romantically on a long-term basis. Just be smart about it and try to keep your romantic life and your business life as separate as possible in these circumstances.

If you need any further advice or guidance 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.

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How to have a better “Blue Monday”…

How is your Monday going?  It is the start of a new week, probably lots to do, reading and actioning emails and maybe planning ahead for yourself and your team members.

But did you know that today is “Blue Monday”, why is it you may ask; Blue Monday is calculated using a series of factors in a (not particularly scientific) mathematical formula. The factors are: the weather, debt level (specifically, the difference between debt and our ability to pay), the amount of time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and the feeling of a need to take charge of the situation.

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However, not all psychologists agree with this description:

“The reality is there’s no such thing as the most depressing day of the year and it trivialises serious mental health issues” says Dr. Mark Winwood, Director of Psychological Services at AXA PPP healthcare.  “Mental Health and Mental illness is an ongoing matter and achieving a good work-life balance is important to being a healthier you”.

The emphasis shouldn’t focus on a “once a year” effort to cheer employees up, but should be something that is addressed all year round, encouraging better worklife balance as Dr Winwood explains.

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“When you are mentally well, you are better at making the most of your life and work.  That doesn’t mean you’ll never experience any type of emotional problem, but it can mean that you’re able to deal with difficult or stressful situations more easily.  Research also shows that positive people tend to live healthier lifestyles”.

However, Dr. Winwood agrees that the “Monday Blues” can lead to less motivation, so employers should be looking at ways to improve on employee morale.

“If you think you workforce are lacking Monday motivation, identifying the reasons behind the low morale is key.  For example, improving the working environment is just one step to changing this.  Some minor improvements, such as better lighting, more comfortable chairs, or a supply of hot drinks, water and caffeine free alternatives may improve things for everyone and thus alter the mood”.

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AXA PPP have designed the above infographic with tips on how to power on through and stay positive whenever those feelings hit.  However, it is important to stress that depression and mental illness shouldn’t be blamed on any single day – as there are 52 Mondays/weeks in a year and if you are struggling with feelings of depression over a long period you should speak to your doctor, a trusted family member or friend.

So lets not have a Blue Monday today, lets rename it happy Monday instead!

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

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Twas the office night before Christmas…

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the office
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse,
which is not really surprising as the very night before
was the office Christmas party and everyone’s heads were quite sore!

Off in Lapland they had partied as well.
And poor old Rudolph wasn’t feeling too well.
Did he not get the memo on the office policy
that you must turn up for work the next day filled with glee!

Night before Christmas2

Nope his red nose was shining, from too much champagne.
And poor Vixon was blushing; she’d been on the copier again!
The head elf had bought the worst Secret Santa of all
So the PA was cross, shocked and appalled!

Then the big man appeared and said “this just will not do”.
Go grab some coffee we have much work to do!
So they all pulled together through the morning from hell.
Saying Don’t tell HR and all will be well!

And so a happy Christmas to all and all a good night

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers a very merry Christmas and happy New Year.

We’ll be back on 2nd January 2018…

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