No cost morale boosters for the workplace

The sun is set to shine this week (once we get over the storms!)… could it be that summer is here?  But when the sun is shining, most of us can easily think of dozens of things that we’d rather be doing than sitting at a computer in a stuffy office.

The summer months can be a tricky time for employers; employees are likely to be jetting off on holiday, and those left holding the fort can feel demotivated and restless.

To stop this, we are giving you our top 8 tips that you can implement for your employees to make a real difference in productivity and the general mood and feel within your business.

Why not pick a couple, and get to work, you might be amazed by how much difference they can really make!

1. Find out what your employees really want

It’s easy to jump to the assumption that a pay increase is what will really make the difference, often though, this isn’t actually the case. The best way to find out what you employees are looking for, is really simple; ASK them! Next time you have a team meeting with your employees, ask questions about what they’re currently dealing with, what their biggest challenges are, and how improvements could be made.

2. Support a local charity

There will be causes that are close to your employees’ hearts, for a variety of reasons. Think about how you can support charities and get your employees in some fundraising (not forgetting team building) activities. From sponsored cycles to fun runs, there are many options that you could pursue.

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3. Say thanks

Think that boosting morale is about huge gestures and complicated initiatives? Not at all, never underestimate the value of thanking your employees for their contribution. It might seem like common sense but it is something that is overlooked in the day to day running of a busy business.

4. Gym membership

At this time of year, many of us are thinking about how to improve our health and fitness for that break on the beach! As an employer well-being is vital if your employees are to make a solid contribution to the business. Consider how you could create a partnership with a local gym or fitness facility to kick-start a healthier lifestyle. Involvement should never be compulsory, so take into account personal preferences, and don’t make employees feel obliged to get involved.

5. Encourage taking a lunch break

In most offices now a lunch break involves a sandwich hastily eaten in front of the computer. This can decrease creativity, and leave your employees feeling lethargic. Why not lead by example by taking a your lunch break away from the office, maybe lunchtime walk, or checking out a new local café, and encourage your employees to do the same.

6. Ice creams anyone? 

Everyone enjoys an ice cream when the temperatures are soaring. Why not treat your employees to a cool treat during the afternoon – who doesn’t love a Magnum!!!

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7. Get the creative juices flowing

Creativity is something which should be harnessed and encouraged in the workplace. So what can you do to shake up day-to-day routines and inject some creative thinking? What about a chill-out zone, with ping-pong and pool tables, or quiet areas that are conducive to creative thinking, or encourage employees to learn new skills or get involved in new leisure activities.

8. Introduce short daily meetings

Email can be a wonderful tool for communication in the workplace, but there’s no substitute for proper face-to-face communication. Try holding brief meet at the start of every day, so employees can get a feel for what everyone else is working on, and be reminded that they’re working towards a common purpose.

There’s a huge amount of value that can be taken away from trialing and testing different initiatives to boost morale. Every business is different, so it’s really important that you take an approach that works for you and gets the best possible results.

If you’re concerned that low morale could become a serious problem, then you need to take action right away, 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

5 steps to help manage difficult employees

A difficult employee in any business will reduce productivity, have a negative impact  and potentially upset other colleagues too. So the quicker you can resolve the problem, the better your business will do.

If you let things slide for too long and just don’t act, you will miss important opportunities, waste time and probably money, that you simply can’t regain.

Also remember employees will be looking to you, to see how you manage the situation. Action’s speak louder than words and your action’s send a message to every employee, however any lack of any action sends an even more powerful one.

Perhaps what seemed to be an impressive characteristic during the interview stage has proved to be negative as the months have gone by?  or maybe an experience in your employee’s personal life has changed their behaviour at work?

On the other hand, could a series of small difficulties be starting to mount and cause concern.

Below we have listed 5 tips to help when you’re managing difficult employees in the workplace.

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1. Clear communication

Always give your employee the benefit of the doubt. They may not realise that they’re causing difficulties.

It’s also possible that they know things aren’t going well, but they’re struggling to improve the situation.

Be prepared to listen to their viewpoint. Take time to ask how they’re feeling and to find out what’s going on in their lives. Are they having trouble with their workload? Are there frictions between multiple employees? Is something outside the workplace having an impact on performance or behaviour?

Share the experience from your side, without being overly critical or apportioning blame on your employee. It’s important that they know what difficulties you’re facing as their manager, but accusations will not go down well.

When communicating, it’s important that you’re clear about exactly where the problem lies. Is their performance below the required standard, or is there a specific behaviour that’s becoming a concern? Work with your employee to find ways to improve the situation.

When you listen to a difficult employee, you can often turn things around. Equally as important, you might discover legitimate complaints that you can act on for the good of your business.

2. Always keep a written record

Written records benefit everyone.

If you need to take disciplinary action, it’s essential that you’ve got examples to back up your decision.

Write down any instances of difficult behaviour. Who was involved? What happened? What effect did it have?

You can use your records if you need to take formal steps, but should also be able to refer to them when speaking with the employee in question.

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3. Always refer to your handbooks and HR policies

Every workplace should have handbooks and policies that detail what’s expected of an employee, and it’s essential that everyone has access to these at all times. Storing them within your online HR software is the most effective way to reach every person in the workplace, and to keep everything up to date.

4. Know when to seek advice

Managing a difficult employee is a challenge. Their behaviour will almost certainly be having an impact on their colleagues, and the business as a whole.

Unless you’ve been through it before, it’s like that you will not know how to deal with a difficult worker. What are you allowed to do, and what might cause more trouble?  Even if you’ve been managing difficult employees in the workplace before, these specific concerns might be different.

Don’t be afraid to seek help and advice, whether that’s from another member of the management team or an external HR consultant.

5. Keep going

It’s all too easy to speak to a an employee, tell them that their behaviour isn’t acceptable and then forget to follow things up. Much like being a parent, threatening “I’m going to count to 10…” and having no plan for what happens afterwards.  After you’ve counted to 10, it’s vital that you make another move.

If you provide a warning and the behaviour continues and you don’t take further action, your initial conversation is wasted. You’ll probably need to start again further down the line or even worse, you send a message that you are inconsistent and that your threats are meaningless.

If you need 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.

HR Blogger

 

 

 

 

Ideas to help with your HR costs..

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

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

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

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

Harness the power of technology

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

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

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Get creative with reward

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

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

Take communication online

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

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How HR Revolution can help

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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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

 

 

What is PILON? and what you need to know from April 2018

PILON (payment in lieu of notice) is a payment made to an employee when their employment has been terminated immediately without notice.

How should an employer deal with it?

PILON only arises when you want an employee to leave straight away therefore ending employment immediately and is a payment to compensate the employee for money they would have earned during their notice period if they had worked it. It is different from ‘gardening leave’, in which the employee is still in employment during the notice period and is paid, even though he or she is not present at work.

PILON will usually depend on what provision has been made for it in the contract of employment. In some instances, a contract may specify that termination can be made immediately by making a payment in lieu of basic salary for the notice period. Benefits and other extra costs that would have accrued during the notice period may not need to be paid. Employers are generally required to pay benefits and any extras when the contractual provision for PILON doesn’t specify what the pay should be, or if there is no contractual clause for PILON.

Employers need to know that without contractual provision, a termination of employment with PILON is likely to be a breach of contract. Usually the employer would compensate for this by including all the remuneration and benefits the employee would have been entitled to during the notice period. To avoid any later disagreement, employers could include a payment for any holiday that may have accrued during the period, even though they may not technically be required to.

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Sometimes there can be confusion about when the termination date falls in a PILON situation. To make sure there are no disputes, it is always advisable to make this clear in the contract, whether it’s the date notice of termination is given, or the date the PILON is made or in the end of what would have been the notice period. Some employers prefer to give notice of termination and make the PILON at the same time so that there are no misunderstandings.

Usually in the event of a dismissal for gross misconduct, PILON is not normally paid.

Currently an employer may pay up to £30,000 free of tax and National Insurance but as of 6th April this is set to change in an attempt to make termination payments ‘fair’ and provide more clarity on the rules behind the payments.  From this date all employees will pay tax and Class 1 NICs on the amount of basic pay that they would have received if they had worked their notice, even if they are not paid a contractual PILON.  This means the tax and NICs consequences are the same for everyone and it is no longer dependent on how the employment contract is drafted or whether payments are structured in some other form, such as damages.

Here is a quick overview of the changes:

1. PILON will be subject to deductions for income tax and National Insurance contributions.  This is irrespective of whether there is a PILON clause in the contract of employment;

2. Employers National Insurance contributions (but not employee NI) will be payable on any part of a compensation payment that is taxable; and

3. Foreign Service relief will be abolished.

The good news:

1. The £30,000 tax exemption will stay in place.

2. The tax treatment of legal fees paid under a settlement agreement will remain as it is now.

3. Statutory redundancy payments remain exempt from income tax and NICS.

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If you need help or guidance regarding PILON 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

 

How to manage maternity leave in a small business

When an employee announces their pregnancy, of course you’re all smiles, you congratulate them, you’re happy for them.

However, you’re now faced with issues surrounding maternity leave and businesses are expected to take this in their stride. The truth is, things are never that simple, especially for small businesses, maternity leave is a predominantly concerning challenge.

You risk losing a key employee for a significant amount of time. You can’t just replace them, because they’ll need to come back once they’ve comfortably settled into motherhood. You may need to pay them for not working for you, whilst paying someone else to do their job.

You might need to recruit someone new, invest in training and hope that they keep things on track. You need to keep everything running smoothly.

Something we would most definitely advise is to be supportive, having a flexible approach to employment can help ensure that talented, experienced and productive employees remain with your business after the birth of their child.

You’ve heard the term fail to plan etc, well it really does apply with maternity leave.

The key to managing a positive maternity experience is effective planning and good communication throughout.  Things don’t always go to plan, of course things can change after the child is born; so start planning as soon as your employee tells you she is pregnant. Make sure all important information about their role is written down and ask them to help write a clear job description when looking for replacements.

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Here are some essential facts to get you started and make sure that you are not breaking any employment laws:

Pregnant employees have four main legal rights:

  • Maternity leave
  • Maternity pay or maternity allowance
  • Paid time off for antenatal care
  • Protection against unfair treatment, discrimination or dismissal

Other maternity rights

Notice of pregnancy

Employees must tell their employer about the pregnancy at least 15 weeks before the beginning of the week the baby is due. If this isn’t possible (for example, they didn’t know they were pregnant) the employer must be told as soon as possible. Employees must also tell the employer when they want to start their Statutory Maternity Leave and Statutory Maternity Pay.

Maternity Leave

Eligible employees can take up to 52 weeks’ statutory maternity leave (26 weeks’ ordinary maternity leave and 26 weeks’ additional maternity leave). They don’t have to take the full 52 weeks’ but they must take 2 weeks leave after the baby is born (4 weeks if the work in a factory). This can begin, but not before, 11 weeks before the expected week of birth.

Pregnancy-related illnesses

Maternity leave and Statutory Maternity Pay will start automatically if the employee is off work for a pregnancy-related illness in the 4 weeks before the baby is due, and this supersedes what has been previously agreed.

Maternity Pay

Eligible employees can claim up to 39 weeks of statutory maternity pay (90% of their average weekly earnings before tax for the first six weeks, then 33 weeks at £138.18 per week or 90% of their average weekly earnings, whichever is lower).

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Some employers may offer more generous leave and pay conditions and this should be included in the employees contract terms or Employee Handbook. Employers pay SMP to the employee, and businesses whose total annual National Insurance contributions are less than £45,000 can claim all of it back plus 3%. This is deducted from tax payable to HM Revenue & Customs.

Whilst on leave

Staying in touch is extremely important and there are 10 statutory KIT (keeping in touch) days available, which are a great way to make an employee still feels part of your business.  They are paid for coming in, without it affecting their SMP and can be used for training, actual work or even business social events and are a great way of easing their journey back to work. These days however, are not mandatory and an employee should not be made to feel that they must use them.

Return to work advice

A phased return to work at the end of maternity leave is probably a very good idea, as the reality is there will have been significant changes for them in their new role as a parent and probably your business since they’ve been away.

There are lots of other things to think about with the maternity process and we have only covered a few basics for you; there are health and safety issues to think about, as well as eligibility for SMP (Statutory Maternity Pay) and what documents you need to send and receive to name a few.

There are so many aspects of employment rights in respect of maternity leave and pay, flexible working requests, holiday entitlement, pension contributions, whether the employee keeps the mobile phone or company car, keeping in touch days etc, it is definitely worth considering professional help to make sure you have everything covered and compliant and HR Revolution can help you do just that.

If you would like to discuss further or get any advice please do get in touch: call +44 203 538 5311 or email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

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

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Cost saving HR

When you’re running a business you know that your people are your greatest asset, by recruiting and developing a team of talented and motivated individuals, you can ensure that you’re putting your business it the best possible position for smashing your strategic goals.

However, if HR is becoming a drain on your resources then it’s clear that something is wrong, effective people practices should be saving you money, don’t ignore the problem it’s time to get the help you need.

HR Revolution have the solutions and below we list the ways in which you can cut your costs, whilst bringing about fantastic results.

1.Invest in training/education

The more you know, the better you can perform. This applies to anyone in your workforce, think about how you can build their capability and skill, improving their output, training should really be seen as an investment rather than an expenditure.

2.Nip problems in the bud

Sometimes, dealing with HR issues can involve difficult and awkward conversations and it can be tempting to bury your head in the sand hoping that the problems will fix themselves. Needless to say, this will rarely bring about the results that you really need.

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Ensure that you are tackling issues head-on, and that you’re giving your managers the capability and confidence to do the same.

3.Say “thank you”

I’m sure even in the uncertain economic times, plenty of business owners would like to be able to give their hardworking employees a pay rise, but simply can’t afford it, but it’s essential to look at the bigger picture and consider the other elements of your reward package that keep employees motivated and engaged. Never underestimate the value of showing your employees that they’re valued, and that they’re doing a good job a ‘thank you’ costs nothing.

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4.Offer flexible working

Flexible working is an attractive prospect for many employees and can offer them a greater work-life balance. Business owners are sometimes wary about allowing their employees to work remotely, but it’s something that would be worthwhile to consider.

Think saving money on travel costs, IT, energy, and more and if you get it right, you could end up getting much more from your team.

5.Don’t cut corners

When cost saving is at the forefront of your mind, you need to keep sight of your priorities. You may need to save some cash, but this doesn’t mean that you should let quality and procedures slip.  If you neglect to carry out important HR discussions, such as performance management reviews and disciplinary hearings, you might cut costs in the short term, but you can guarantee that you’ll be paving the way for bigger, more expensive problems in the future.

6.Get your admin in order

Admin is a really important part of HR systems in any business. It’s vital that you keep timely and accurate records. Depending on how you manage this though, it could easily turn into a drain on your resources.

HR Revolution has the answer in the form of our fantastic HR information solution breatheHR, your online HR manager if you will.

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7.Supporting your employees

If you spend your time trying to second-guess what you employees really want, then you’re going to end up wasting money, when it comes to developing policies and practices that get the most out of your team, and drive them towards achieving big things communication is the key.

Can you honestly say that you’re regularly and consistently collecting feedback from your workforce, and taking action on the findings? You could carry out employee surveys, or run focus groups. The specific schemes aren’t as important as the fact that you’re getting your employees involved in decision-making, and taking their views onboard.

8.Outsource your HR

HR Revolution can offer you a full HR audit, detailing the core areas of your HR platforms and procedures, highlighting everything you need to make changes to help get your employees and business back on track. Again, this isn’t a cost, it’s an investment and one that could see a return many times over as HR Revolution has the people solutions that you have been looking for.

If you would like to discuss any challenges you are facing or get some practical advice, then 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.

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How to onboard new employees effectively

Getting the onboarding process right is one of the most important things a company can do, get it wrong and the results can be devastating on the bottom line. If employees don’t have a positive onboarding process it can lead to them leaving their job out of frustration, or feeling that they don’t have a worthwhile place within the company.

So what is Onboarding?

New employee onboarding is the process of getting new recruits adjusted to the social and performance aspects of their new jobs quickly and smoothly. It is the process through which a new hire will learn the attitudes, knowledge, skills and behaviours required to function effectively within a company.

Onboarding isn’t about giving your new employee a computer and showing them to their desk! A truly effective onboarding process needs to be much more than just a morning or a day. It needs to be a continuous process, one which serves to engage, train and develop, giving them the tools for future success.

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So why is onboarding so important?

Your employees are your greatest asset as they determine whether or not your business will succeed and grow. Investing in your people is a guaranteed way to capitalize on your investment, so keeping employees informed, engaged, productive and loyal is well worth the effort.Remember developing a highly effective on-boarding process;

  • Engages your new employee from the very beginning, setting a precedent that you value your employees.
  • Gets everyone on the same page in terms of the company’s expectations.
  • Increases employee engagement.
  • Improves employee retention.
  • Integrates new recruits into your corporate culture.
  • Reduces costs by preventing future spending on re-hiring and re-training.
  • Increases work performance and productivity.

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The onboarding process

An effective onboarding process;

  • Provides ongoing, clear, concise and consistent channels of communication.
  • Facilitates technical learning throughout the employees first three months.
  • Aligns new employees to key business strategies.
  • Sets milestones to gauge and measure new employee success.
  • Discusses their job description, setting company expectations right from the outset.
  • Presents information in easily-digestible amounts, as if it is not managed properly, the first week in a new job can be information overload.
  • Reinforces the brand and other positive aspects of the company culture.
  • Ensures you cover all the key elements such as health and safety and fire evacuation procedures.

Essentially having a company culture capable of attracting, developing and retaining talented employees!

Download our free guide to successful onboarding here.

Or if you would like any practical help or guidance on anything outlined above, 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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Is your HR planning on track?

You might have blinked and missed the first quarter of 2018 and while it may seem like five minutes have passed since you mapped out your big goals at the end of last year, it’s actually a good time to stop, take stock and refocus.

Ask yourself honestly, have you successfully met your HR obligations during the first quarter, or are you lagging behind? Of course it’s undeniable that other things can get in the way, but if you want to be compliant and you want your business to thrive, then it’s absolutely vital that you take time to get your people practices right.

Need some pointers around where to get started? Here’s our checklist for assessing whether your HR planning is on track.

1. Have you made provisions for new legislation?

It can be hard to keep up with changes in employment law, but it’s absolutely non-negotiable. Neglect this area and your business could seriously pay the price, you must regularly be pinpointing relevant changes, and making adjustments to your policies and practices accordingly.

2. Is your paperwork in order?

Having a paper trail of key HR decisions might seem like a dull admin task, but if you don’t put some time into creating and filing the right documents, then you may live to regret it. If you run into any problems, your paperwork could make a huge difference to how you rectify the situation.

3. Have employees had performance discussions?

If you only discuss performance with your employees once a year, then you’re seriously missing out on many opportunities. Encouraging your team to thrive should be part of day-to-day processes, but at the very least, formal conversations should be carried out and recorded once a quarter.  Take a look at our effective performance review documents ready to use for your own business.

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4. Have you planned the summer holiday schedule?

The second quarter tends to be the time when employees start to think about booking their summer leave. The weather’s getting warmer, and everyone wants to enjoy a little downtime. Make sure that you update any policies that you might have if necessary and consider operational demands in advance.

5. Have you identified training needs?

Some of your employees may need to brush up on their knowledge and skills to keep moving towards your goals. Work out where the gaps are and create your plan so you know exactly what you’re going to do about it. The options are plentiful, and include formal training, coaching, mentoring, job shadowing, and more.

6. Have your managers been brought up to speed with your priorities?

It’s pointless setting wider strategic goals if you aren’t going to make sure that the right people are on board and know how their work plays a part. The end of the quarter is a good time to bring your management team together for a catch-up and refresh.

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7. Have you collected feedback from your employees?

Identifying potential issues before they get out of hand could save you headaches later in the year. An employee survey could be a great option here. Just make sure that you act on your findings!

8. Have you arranged a discussion with your payroll provider?

The end of the quarter coincides with the end of the financial year, so if you outsource your payroll, it makes sense to have a chat with your provider so you can ensure that you’re both on the same page. There may be loose ends that need to be tied up, and it’s always best to action these matters in a timely fashion.

9. Have you commissioned an HR audit?

It can sometimes be hard to take a critical look at your own operations. You might feel inclined to brush tricky issues under the carpet, especially if you’re not quite sure how to tackle them, so why not let HR Revolution carry out an HR audit – it is an ideal way to assess the set up and compliance of your HR function.

After reading through the checklist, you might have realised that you missed the mark at least once or twice when it comes to keeping your people practices in order.  When you are running a business, you’ve got a lot of plates you need to keep spinning; between acquiring new customers and clients, managing the finances, and everything else that needs your attention, HR can sometimes get put on the backburner.

However, HR isn’t just another task to add to your to-do list, it can have a real and very tangible impact on your bottom line and at the most basic level, it can ensure that you don’t face costly damaging legal cases against your business. Embrace it, as its full potential could increase your profits, create a much happier and more productive workforce, and help you to smash through your strategic goals.

So isn’t it time that you started giving your HR practices the dedication that they really deserve? If you know that you need to make the change, but you’re not sure what to do first, then get in touch with HR Revolution, we can help you to establish a plan of action that will get your business to where you want and need it to be.

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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What is an employment status?

When you employ someone you need to assign them with an employment status. An employment status defines the rights and responsibilities that an employee has at work and therefore determines what is required from the employer; employee’s will have different rights depending on their employment status.

There are three main types of employment status that a person will fall into, they are:

  • Employee
  • Worker
  • Self-employed

Employee

There is often confusion surrounding the differences between an employee and a worker. It is important to remember that all employees are workers, but employees have extra employment rights that don’t apply to workers who aren’t employees. Employers should be aware of the employment status of the people working for them as they are liable for the majority of employment rights for their employees.

An employee is a person who works under the conditions of a contract of employment. The contract will include, but is not limited to, terms of payment, annual leave and working hours. For a contract to be binding, the terms should be put in writing and presented to the employee within two months of them starting work. A contract can be formed of a mixture of verbal and written terms but it is best practice to put it all in writing.

Employees are entitled to the same rights as workers plus:

  • Statutory sick pay
  • The National Minimum Wage
  • The right to request flexible working hours
  • Holiday pay
  • Statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave and pay
  • Statutory redundancy pay
  • Minimum notice periods if their employment is being terminated
  • The right to not be discriminated against

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Worker

A worker is a person who undertakes work personally as part of a contract or not. They generally have to carry out the work themselves but do have a limited right to sub-contract the work to someone else.

Typically these workers include casual workers, zero hour contract workers, agency workers, freelancers and seasonal workers.

The rights that workers are entitled to include:

  • Receiving the National Minimum Wage
  • Statutory minimum holiday pay
  • To not work in excess of 48 hours a week on average, or have the option to opt out of this right if they choose to do so
  • To not be treated less favourably if they work part-time
  • Protection against unlawful discrimination
  • The statutory minimum length of rest breaks

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Self-employed

A self employed person does not have the same employment rights as a worker or employee. They will run their own business and typically will be contracted to service a client. However an individual can be both an employee and self-employed at the same time. For example they could work for an employer during the day and work for their own business in the evenings.

Someone who is self-employed is their own boss. It’s because of this that in most cases they aren’t covered by employment law. However, a self-employed person is entitled to:

  • Protection for their own health and safety
  • Protection against discrimination (in some cases)
  • Their rights and responsibilities set out in their contract with their client

In general the self-employed are not entitled to receive holiday pay.

It is important for employers to know and understand the employment statuses and their rights and responsibilities of their employees, with the rise in the gig economy, companies are being caught out by not knowing the basics.

If you need any further help or guidance for your business in regards to employment status rights and responsibilites, HR Revolution are here to help, 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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A version of this article first appeared on breatheHR