Your December survival guide…

Well I don’t know about you, but this year just seems to have flown by! There is no denying it – December is here… A slight panic rose in my stomach this morning thinking of all the things I have to do in just a few weeks!! I hope I’m not the only one that is experiencing feelings that seem to put in me in a very odd and slightly snappy mood when really I should be full of festive spirit, skipping around singing falalalala’s in my head!

So how about the rest of the world? Are you stressed, working every hour, trying to do a million and one things at work and at home? So what is the best way to deal with December’s impending chaos… I have a few tips to share with you all to ensure you get the balance and enjoy the best of the festive season!

First thing, stay calm…

Control – If a difficult situation arises don’t lash out, be calm and controlled and take lots of deep breaths take a moment and think about your response, think it through, you will be less likely to say or act in manor you will regret! Be it with a work colleague or a queue of stressful shoppers waiting to purchase the last of their Christmas gifts!

Communicate – We are all guilty of communicating via email, with colleagues or Managers even if they only sit across the desk! Remember emails can be misinterpreted; arrange a meeting, or pick up the phone, talk to each other and you will not be misunderstood! This carries through with home life too, remember it’s good to talk!

Calm – If someone upsets you at work, try and separate the person from their actions. You cannot stop stressful situations happening, but you can change your attitude towards them.  Think of your success and strengths and this will boost your self-esteem!

Stay healthy – Take time to look after you, you cannot function through illness or tiredness so make sure you eat well and get lots of sleep. We all over look our well being at this time of year, especially as we have such busy lives.  However to function at our best  we need to do all of the above.

Remember to take time and enjoy the festivities, find your Christmas ritual or maybe just believe a little bit!!!

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.

 

Embarrassing employee workplace gaffes…

I’m sure we all have experienced the uncomfortable feeling of embarrassment that presents itself when least expected, crumbling our confidence and reputation as others observe with pitiful looks and concealed laughter.  Sadly, the worst part is, that the cringe-worthy story has its way of emerging, days, weeks and even years later…

However, even if your trousers have split in front of colleagues or you accidentally overshared with your boss, you can’t be reeling from embarrassment as much as the best man at Pippa Middleton’s wedding is.  Awkward.

However, these come pretty close!!! The Guardian have collated a few of the worst employee workplace blunders… read on if you dare…

Not work safe!

“My best friend had just given birth the weekend before and sent loads of cute baby photos to our group messenger. I was showing my manager the pictures on Monday morning when I swiped one photo too far back and a horrific, pornographic photo involving an obese woman and a lot of bananas captioned “it’s Friday c****, let’s go bananas” popped up.

“Someone had sent it to the group ages ago as a joke and I’d completely forgotten. We both screamed and I started apologising profusely, saying I had no clue what it was doing there as this was my girly school group messenger! It was so cringe-worthy I was completely speechless and we were both completely shocked silent for a couple of hours. After I got a stern talking to about private affairs at work.”

Run for it!

“I was responsible for mixing the chemicals that processed colour slides in a professional photo lab. One afternoon I inadvertently picked up an old version of a chemical and mixed the reaction together. The result was a wall of foam that rose over 6ft high and moved like a tsunami out of the mixing room and into the main room forcing everyone to run for it. Luckily, my boss saw the funny side of it.”

Caution – hot liquids

“At an important meeting with some Board members, a colleague made me a cup of tea. Unbeknownst to me, there was no milk in it. At the start of the meeting I took a big gulp of tea, but clearly without any cold milk the liquid was boiling hot.

“My mouth on fire, I had no option but to spit the tea straight back out onto the carpeted floor. Not only was I embarrassed, but all of my mouth was burnt and swollen. I made a swift exit – fortunately my line manager followed me out and I was able to explain.”

Put it away!

“I was in the lift at work heading down to the canteen with a mug of hot soup. It was lunchtime so the lift was full of people. For some reason the mug slipped from my hand, smashing on the floor and soup was thrown everywhere.  “All over me, over the people next to me and across the floor. In my red-faced embarrassment, I bent down to pick up what was left of the mug. It was at that point my trousers split completely, from my backside to about half way down my leg. The whole lift burst out laughing. Needless to say, I made a quick exit at the next available floor.”

Do you have any embarrassing stories you’d like to share?, HR Revolution would love to hear them, comment below if you dare!!!

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

Do your colleagues like you as much as you think?

In all probability the answer to this is no! Very blunt I know, but I am just being honest with you.

In truth we all have bits about us that are completely unlikeable, but we just don’t want to believe it!

Take a look at the top reasons for being disliked in the workplace and ask yourself…  Is that me?

You gossip: and I mean the negative kind. What you don’t realise is that you are venting about someone to the very person they are best friends with. In short, neither of them like you now and they have told everyone else not to trust you!!

You lengthen meetings: with the most ridiculous questions, which in all probability have been answered already if you hadn’t been too busy doodling to notice, or just wanted to make your presence known. Now it’s past going home time you are very unpopular indeed!

You depend on everyone: for every single answer. You have google on your computer, it pretty much knows everything so use it and stop asking me!

You moan: OMG is your cup ever half full? Apparently not, it’s too cold, there are no teabags, you broke a nail, you hate Mondays, the stationery cupboard is too far away, don’t depress the office…

You tell white lies: It wasn’t your idea stop saying it was aaarrggghhh!

You know it all: about everything and you can do my job better than me!!! (even though you don’t know what you are talking about). Get over yourself your insecurity is boring!

You are lazy: and you know it. It’s never your responsibility, so why should you step up to take on extra duties? Well people might like you a bit more if you pulled your weight for one!

You are Little Miss Sunshine: really?! No-one can be that happy all of the time. The lift breaking down when you work on the 15th floor is NOT a good excuse for light exercise! I don’t want a group hug, high fives or to turn my frown upside down… so please go away.

You talk too much: and when I say too much I mean all the time! Now I don’t mind a quick catch up on last night’s TV, but seriously I have work to do and I really am not that interested in Aunt Maud’s bad back. Rein it in a bit hey!

You are always sick: I mean taking every Monday off is a bit suspect, do you really always have something dodgy to eat on a Sunday!?? I’m suspicious and I don’t really like you for it.

You smell: ok sensitive subject but it’s true no-one like to sit with someone who’s got BO or bad breath.

You suck up to your colleagues: all the time. Did you do your hair differently? I like your dress, is it new? Did you lose weight? It’s all rubbish, the boss looks the same as always and you are not getting a promotion.

So if you want to win favour in the office, take an interest in other people, listen to a story they want to share, give the odd compliment and maybe offer to buy the coffee or make one at least!

Even as I wrote this blog I couldn’t help thinking ‘actually I do a bit of all of those’, so I will sign off and go and spray myself with some perfume, make my team a coffee or tea and not moan when there is no milk! and tell my colleague that I did notice her hair cut and I like it!

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

Happy Easter – 10 fun facts…

Tomorrow is Good Friday – marking the start of Easter and for most people a nice 4 day break from the daily grind…

Here at HR Revolution, we have been dreaming of chocolate eggs, easter egg hunts, hot cross buns and bunnies…

So to get your Easter off to a cracking start we’ve come up with 10 fun facts for you to think about…

1. Every child in the UK receives an average of 8.8 Easter eggs every year – double their recommended calorie intake for a whole week.

2. In 2007, an Easter egg covered in diamonds sold for almost £9 million.

Every hour, a cockerel made of jewels pops up from the top of the Faberge egg, flaps its wings four times, nods its head three times and makes a crowing noise.

The gold-and-pink enamel egg was made by the Russian royal family as an engagement gift for French aristocrat Baron Edouard de Rothschild.

And here it is: The Rothschild Faberge Egg.

3. When people gorge on a chocolate Easter bunny, 76 per cent bite off the ears first, 5 per cent go for the feet and 4 per cent opt for the tail.

4 With all those chocolate eggs for family, relatives, loved ones and friends, it should be no surprise that households spend an average of £75 on Easter treats each year.

5. Sales at Easter time make up 10 per cent of UK chocolate spending for the whole year.

6. The UK’s first chocolate egg was produced in 1873 by Fry’s of Bristol.

7. The tallest chocolate Easter egg was made in Italy in 2011. Standing 10.39 metres tall and weighing 7,200 kg, it was taller than a giraffe and heavier than an elephant. But Portugal is the home of the largest decorated Easter egg, which reached almost 15m in height and 8m in diameter when it was made in 2008.

8. In 2012, London hosted the world’s biggest-ever Easter egg hunt.

9. Temptation can be too much and 43 per cent of kids say they eat their first chocolate egg before Easter Sunday, but the average time for children to eat their first Easter egg is 11am on Easter Sunday morning.

10. The name Easter owes its origin to Eostre or Eastre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess of light and the dawn who was honoured at pagan festivals celebrating the arrival of spring and the custom of giving eggs at Easter has been traced back to Egyptians, Persians, Gauls, Greeks and Romans, for whom the egg was a symbol of life.

And one last one, almost one in five children (19 per cent) and I would also say adults!!! say they’ve made themselves ill by eating too much chocolate over the Easter holidays, so try not to over indulge!!!

Wishing you all a very happy Easter….

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

Friday fun HR facts…

We hope that as well as providing our readers with useful HR advice and guidance we offer you some fun HR facts too…  Here at HR Revolution we have never been known as the ‘fun police’!

Here are a few Friday fun facts… enjoy…

  • Nearly a third of the UK’s office workers find their co-workers’ moaning to be one of the biggest annoyances in the workplace.
  • 47% of females refuse to poo at work.
  • 2.16pm is the most common time for workers to feel tired and find it hard to concentrate. This is known as the ‘office slump’.
  • Jobseekers said access to good quality tea or coffee at work outweighed other employee benefits such as subsidised gym memberships and childcare vouchers.
  • Half of British workers would walk out of their dream job in exchange for a free round the world trip.
  • 2.3% of jobseekers have witnessed an interviewer pass wind during the interview.

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

Odd employee behaviour – what does it mean?

It’s very interesting how we interpret other people’s behaviour; often our perception can be skewed by how we are feeling ourselves or from a previous experience.

I was recently asked about an employee who had started to arrive late for work on a regular basis, and kept ‘popping out’ to take phone calls. At this point most of you are already thinking clearly looking for another job!. That was my colleague’s immediate thought, however, being quite an empathetic soul I also wondered if something had changed in their personal life; had a family member been taken ill? or other circumstances changed?

The point here really is how important it is to talk to your employees.  Say that odd behaviour is a result of covert calls to a Recruitment Consultant, how do you feel about the employee leaving? Are they a talent you want to keep in your business? This could be a wake-up call to address any issues that are making them feel dissatisfied or underappreciated.

Alternatively, they could be dealing with real difficulties within their personal life and it’s now impacting their ability to be fully focused on their role. I have seen many good, productive employees suddenly start to fall away from expected standards, and I’ve seen the massive impact a show of concern; a listening ear; a hand on the shoulder to say ‘we support you’ can have.

Most employers agree that these types of conversations are not always easy to have, but it doesn’t have to be a big production. Dependent on your relationship with the employee it can be a formal conversation in a meeting room or quick chat in the kitchen, or perhaps you have someone fairly senior within the business who is more at home talking to people on that level.

Always approach people with the benefit of the doubt, experience has shown you never know what kind of answer you’ll get in return. Start by telling them that you have noticed a change in their behaviour recently, what those changes are, and how it’s impacting their work or their colleagues.   Try to ascertain if there is anything troubling them at home or work and whether they would like to discuss the issue so that you can help them? It is imperative to be fully supportive.

If they are looking for another job, this could be the catalyst for an open conversation that needs to happen.  If they have already decided to leave, there may be little you can do to change their minds, so it’s important to remind them of what is expected whilst they are still an employee.

Whatever the outcome by talking to your employees you are creating a more positive, loyal productive workforce.

Sound daunting, then give HR Revolution a call we can give you the guidance you need to approach these situations.  +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

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National Apprenticeship week… 20 key facts about apprenticeships

Yesterday marked the start of the 10th annual National Apprenticeship Week (#NAW2017). The week will highlight the success of apprenticeships over the last decade, celebrating the positive impact on individuals, businesses and the economy.

Below are 20 key facts about apprenticeships.

  1. There has never been a better time to employ an apprentice, or start an apprenticeship.
  2. Up to 28,000 apprenticeship vacancies are available online at any one time.
  3. There were 1,656,680 on-line apprenticeship applications in 2015 to 2016.
  4. Apprenticeships are available in 1500 job roles, covering more than 170 industries, from advertising to youth work and from environmental engineering to legal.
  5. More than 2,600 employers are involved in designing the new apprenticeships standards.
  6. 270 apprenticeship standards have been published so far, of which over 84 are higher and degree apprenticeships.
  7. There have been 4,300 starts on new standards in occupations such as Software Developer and Aerospace Engineer.
  8. Apprenticeship participation now stands at a record level – 899,400 funded apprentices participated on an apprenticeship in the 2015 to 2016 academic year.
  9. Nearly all apprentices feel that they acquire or improve their skills as a direct result of their apprenticeship.
  10. Apprentices are most satisfied with the relevance of their training (89%), the quality of training (87%), their assessment on the job (86%) and the quality of feedback (86%).
    Almost 9 out of every 10 apprenticeship employer hoping to achieve business benefits tell us that apprenticeships deliver – including 75% reporting that it has helped their business improve the quality of their product or service.
  11. There are currently 100 higher and degree apprenticeships available, with more in development, including foundation degrees, HNDs and full honours degrees. These include job roles ranging from legal services to banking and engineering.
  12. After finishing, 7 in 10 apprentices (77%) stay with the same employer.
  13. 46% of apprentices had received a pay rise since completing their apprenticeship.
  14. 36% of higher apprentices report getting a promotion after completing their apprenticeship.
  15. Nearly 9 out of 10 (89%) apprentices were satisfied with their apprenticeship overall, and nearly three quarters (72%) were very satisfied.
  16. The majority (92%) of apprentices in work felt that their apprenticeship had had a positive impact on their career.
  17. Traineeships have been developed by employers making them a great stepping stone to an apprenticeship or other job.
  18. Traineeships are continuing to grow – there were 24,100 traineeship starts in 2015 to 2016.
  19. 94% of employers consider traineeships an effective way of increasing young people’s chances of finding paid jobs and apprenticeships.

If you are interested in starting up an apprenticeship, follow the government link here.

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Source: http://www.gov.uk

How long should you stay in a job?

Ok so we know that a job is not for life anymore, gone are the days where you joined a company from leaving school or university and stayed there until you collected you golden carriage clock!!

So what is the norm now? research shows that in fact, a UK worker will change employer on average every five years but is there a magic number that will make sure that you don’t stop progressing or doesn’t make you look flighty?

Ok so moving jobs every 3 months without extenuating circumstances wouldn’t look good, but most employers would probably look favourably on a prospective employee who had changed roles every three to five years.  What’s important to see, is that candidate has an open attitude and continuous learning approach, driving him/her to embrace new challenges.

Also the size of a company can often be a factor in determining how long a person stays, with a smaller company often offering less opportunity for people to progress than a larger rival.

However, the most influential element driving how often you change jobs is age.   Millennials, those born between 1980 – 1999 have a drastically different outlooks from previous generations who were used to working in large corporate firms and work a set number of years in a particular role before progressing.  Millennials aren’t motivated by the same factors, such as a job for life, but instead good work-life balance and a sense of purpose beyond financial success.

With this in mind, it poses a challenge to companies, as losing employees and their knowledge and having to recruit and retain replacements is costly.  Companies need to be more creative in their ways to retain employees and holding regular chats on career progression is a good place to start.

It’s also important for companies to stay on good terms with departing staff, who may decided to return at a later stage in a different role adding wider experience to their already existing knowledge.

Do you have any issues surrounding recruiting and retaining good employees, HR Revolution can help, give us a call on+44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

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4 ways outsourced HR can help you save money…

Think that you can’t afford an HR consultant?  Think again…

We understand, you need a helping hand with some HR issues that are bubbling away under the surface, but wondering whether you can really spare the budget? Or whether you’d just be better off hoping for the best and carrying on as you are?

We know it can be scary to make that leap and bring in some HR help, however, the reality here is that we can often actually SAVE you money.

That has to be a great investment to make in your business.

Here are four ways in which we could save you money…

1. We can keep you out of tribunals

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that because you’re a fair employer who tries to do your best by your employees, that you are not at risk of having to face a tribunal. Not necessarily true.

Employment law is very complicated, and if you miss something, you could find yourself with a potentially very costly situation on your hands. We will make sure that your people practices are on the right side of the law.

2. We can increase the performance of your workforce

Imagine if you could double the output of your workforce overnight. Ok realistically, that’s probably not going to happen straight away, but we can dive deep into your business, pinpoint the exact issues that are at play, and create a step-by-step plan to fix them.

This can absolutely grow your productivity and make sure that your employees are firing on all cylinders. You might think that a big marketing budget, or some fancy social media tactics are what are going to give you the edge.  No the real breakthrough happens when you look INSIDE your business, rather than outside.

3. We can educate your managers

We don’t just come into your business, work some temporary magic, and then leave. We can give your managers the skills to ensure that they’re playing an active role in driving your business forward. This means less of a learning curve, less mistakes, and more strides forward.

Your employees are the most important investment that you can make, so it makes sense to nurture that investment. If you know that your managers have room for improvement, then stop blaming, take responsibility, and talk to someone who can help you to get things moving in the right direction.

5. We can provide a flexible service

Maybe you’re not quite at the stage where you cannot justify the cost of full-time, permanent HR help. That’s exactly where we can assist you. We don’t tie you into ridiculously long contracts you don’t need, and we can create scalable solutions that are perfect for your needs.

No ongoing retainers that don’t serve you. No off-the-shelf guidance. Just what you really need to move forward and solve your problems, right now. Our aim is to make you a better employer, not to bog you down in detail.  The best HR consultancy services can save you money, let HR Revolution take care of your HR needs so that you can take care of your business.

If you want to talk about how we can move forward together, get in touch today, help is only a phone call away +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

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10 of the best “i’m sick” excuses…

Do you remember the time last year,  when you had to call in sick because a swarm of bees were surrounding your car and you couldn’t get in it to get to work… No.. didn’t think so?

However, someone does, believe it or not that is a real excuse that was given by an employee to her manager to explain her not turning up to work, according to a survey carried out by Career Builder and this is just one of the many outrageous excuses that popped up.

Did you know that over 30% of workers have called in sick when they were actually well… Be warned though, there are quite a high number of employers that do actually check up to see if it is legitimate and some of these excuses might not cut the mustard…

In order of popularity:

  • They just didn’t feel like going to work.
  • They simply need to relax (personally I relax more at work than I do with 3 kids running round!).
  • They had a doctor’s appointment (ok, my doctor is always running late, but not by a whole day!).
  • They needed to catch up on some sleep (poor little lambs).
  • They have a few personal errands that need running (could you drop off my dry cleaning whilst skiving!).

They seem a bit lame don’t they and as an employer/employee I’m sure you’ve heard them all, but have you heard some of these “real” beauties…

I’m too drunk to drive.

I got arrested!?!

My friend is on annual leave so I can’t get a lift.

It’s my dog’s birthday and I need to arrange a party for him.

And HR Revolution’s favourite excuse to call in sick…

An employee said that someone had glued all her doors and windows shut and she couldn’t leave the house!

These are all genuine – honest – please do let us know if you have any more weird and wonderful excuses, we’d love to hear them.

All jokes aside though, as an employer you are perfectly entitled to challenge the authenticity of an absence and if an excuse seems a bit too far-fetched then ask for evidence if appropriate.

HR Revolution can help, download our FREE guide to dealing with sickness and absence in the workplace HERE.

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