3 difficult questions you need to ask yourself before 2018

I’m sure by this stage in the year you have asked yourself the important questions about how your business measured up during the past year.  You’ll know how much you increased your turnover and how many new employees you recruited and what your goals are moving forward.

Planning sessions can be hugely useful, but it can be easy to miss the less obvious measures of what you are and are not achieving.  If you are serious about making 2018 a success, you really need to delve a little deeper and consider the questions that probably haven’t even crossed your mind.

So have you really thought or asked yourself the following questions:


What HR mistakes have you made over the past year?

Running a business is a steep learning curve, so whether you are completely new to entrepreneurship or been in business for years, the world is constantly changing and adapting and you need to make sure that you are keeping up.  What worked in the past won’t necessarily bring about desirable results right now.

So have you make any mistakes in HR during 2017?  Think about operational issues, as well as the bigger strategic picture.  Are your employees on-board with organisational goals?  Does everyone understand and embrace their role in achieving growth?  Only when you get really honest with yourself, can you start to work out how you won’t fall into the same trap.

Are your managers really capable?

It is safe to say that your managers are, in many respects, the backbone of your business.  They deal with the day-to-day issues, they handle unexpected events, they make sure your policies are implemented and adhered to and they keep things ticking over when you can’t be there.  So its vitally important that they can perform to the best of their ability.

It is important to note here that identifying problems when it comes to capability isn’t about pointing the finger.  You need to avoid knee-jerk reactions and carefully consider where there is room for improvement, and create a plan that will help you get to where you want to be.  This may involve training, coaching, mentoring etc.

What do you need to do to grow as a leader?

It’s easy to overlook your own personal development when  you’re trying to grow a team, but it is crucially important.  How can you be expected to get the most out of everyone else, if you aren’t constantly improving and growing yourself?  This should be a consideration throughout the year, but it is easy to drop the ball and now is a good time to look back and reflect.

Remember, asking questions can be a huge source of growth in your business, but you need to be really honest with yourself when working out the answers! Jot down your thoughts, then scrap them and work on being really truthful… It’s not necessarily easy, but the powerful tactics rarely are!

HR Revolution are here to help you get answers and get organised for 2018, get in touch today +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk


5 mins with HR Revolution’s CEO Wendy Read

In 2011 Wendy started HR Revolution, an outsourced HR business with one goal in mind, to show the business world how positive, energetic and fun HR and talent management can actually be… Simply put to revolutionise the way businesses work with HR.

Wendy loves a challenge, especially one that involves creativity, entrepreneurial thinking and adds value and positivity to the workplace.

Tell us about HR Revolution

At HR Revolution we do things a little differently, we deliver bespoke outsourced outsourced HR solutions.  Of course we cover everything you would expect from your HR team, admin, documentation, policies and procedures, but these things should be a given with any HR support you receive.  However, utilising the HR expertise we have in our team, we are able to positively push the performance of our client teams to help them become more accountable, more focused and enjoy their role, which in turn helps them grow the business.

What excites you the most about the work you do?

I love nothing more than seeing our solutions make a difference and breaking the mould when it comes to how HR is seen, used and delivered in business.  People are an amazing commodity in any business and by having the right HR support for them, you can really kick start the process of growing their success.

How do you make your employees happy?

Being part of the HR Revolution team is not for the faint-hearted, we are a team of positive, driven and energetic HR professionals who love what we do and keeping the team happy is something that everyone takes part in.  Autonomy is very important in our business, everyone no matter how long they have worked with us has a say, we love ideas!  To keep the team buzzing we have an office environment that we like to think helps stimulate creativity with space to think.  We are a social team and love nothing more than challenging ourselves to a boat race or marathon!  But the biggest driver for me is ensuring we support, train, develop and grow the team and have fun doing it!

What qualities do you look for most in your employees?

The core values we look for in our employees are:

Teamwork: We work as one team and we respect, support and protect every member of our HR Revolution family.

Accountability: We take responsibility and are accountable for our clients, promises, project tasks and deadlines.

Integrity: We are genuine, open and honest.  Real people, providing real solutions, for businesses with real drive.

Energy: We drive every project with high energy and commitment.

Drive: We love what we do and it is this passion that drives us to provide the very best solutions.

Tell us about a challenge you faced in your business and how you overcame it?

Breaking the mould of traditional HR has taken a while, and we are still not quite there.  It’s a tough one because there is nothing wrong with “traditional” HR but when speaking to colleagues and clients there is a lot of debate about how we could switch it up a little and make it more valuable and utilize the true essence of what HR is all about; ‘people!’  So because of this HR Revolution was born.

Other than your own, which other businesses are exciting you right now?

Entrepreneurial businesses excite me – those that are driven to succeed in their industry.  We work with businesses of all sizes and the one thing they all have in common is their attitude.  We love working with businesses that are passionate about their success, looking to push to the next level and wanting us to truly help them do that.

What is your best piece of employee management advice?

Your people are the most important commodity you have, hire and on-board them well, manage and develop them thoughtfully and encourage them to succeed.  Your people are a reflection of you; treat them well, allow them to be accountable and you will build a strong and committed team that love what they do.

If you could employ one famous person who would it be and why?

Wow, that’s a big question, there are so many to choose from but Seth Godin, (Marketing Guru who’s outlook on life I love), Tom Peters (the guy whose book Re:Imagine helped me define what I wanted from HR Revolution); Davina McCall (TV personality, because she’s a committed business woman who loves a challenge and is always tremendously positive)… the list this goes on…

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk



3 truths about working with an HR Consultant

If you’re thinking about working with an HR consultant or outsourcing HR in your business, you definitely want to find out more about what the working relationship is really going to look like. You’ve done your homework, you’ve seen the websites, the promotional materials and you might be feeling pretty optimistic about the whole thing, the easy answer to your problems…

But realistically what is the truth?  Here are three things that you probably really don’t want to hear about working with an HR consultant!

We can’t fix your problems overnight

You probably expected us to tell you that we have a magic, top-secret strategy that you can use to revolutionise your workplace in hardly any time at all. The reality here is that employment legislation, human behaviour, and company cultures can be complex, and it isn’t always possible to fix deep-rooted problems overnight.

We’ll need to get to know you and your business, and make a thorough assessment of the issues that are at play. It’s vital that we manage everyone’s expectations, and this will ensure that once the consultancy project is completed, you’ve made real and tangible progress, and you’re in a position to move forward.

We can tell when you’re withholding information

Let’s face the facts here… If things were running according to plan in your business, you probably wouldn’t be calling on our services. Though we often work with exceptional leaders who are eager to go above and beyond the call of duty, most of our clients approach us because they need help with navigating through difficult or turbulent times.

For us to be able to give you the support you need though, it’s important that you’re completely honest with us, and share the full details of your circumstances. If you don’t, then there’ll inevitably be a period during which we’re simply skirting around the surface issues! In your consultations with us, we’ll ask all the right questions so we can unearth the details that we need. We appreciate your honesty!

Buy cheap, buy twice

It’s always sensible to keep a keen eye on your budget, but going for the cheapest option can often mean that you won’t get the level of service that you really need.  Whatever the size of your business we have a HR solution for you, simply put, when you invest in quality consultancy, you get better results.  HR Revolution offers performance focused HR that builds the business with you.

We’re happy to offer a no-obligation HR Audit, so you can find out more about how we might be able to assist you, the kind of results that we can help you to achieve, and what the process is likely to look like in practical terms.

We’d love to hear from you, give us a call today on +44 (0)203 537 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

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5 tips for getting the best out of your employees…

At HR Rev we think there are two general areas that you need to cover in order to get the best from your employees:
Firstly, Give them clear instructions about what you want from them
Secondly, Win over their hearts and minds so that they want to do a good job for you

If you can cover these two, then you are probably 90% of the way towards getting the best from your employees.  So in practice what can you do to improve these areas?

1.    Give them a clear job description

Oh yes, I can hear you!  You’re saying “it doesn’t matter that my staff don’t have a job description, they know what they’re supposed to be doing – and anyway we don’t need more paper around.”

Well of course you think they know what they are doing, and if you ask them they will say they do – because they don’t want to sound stupid in front of you.  OK they probably do know 80% of it, but if you want them to do the best job (not just OK) then it makes sense to start with the basics and make sure they are very clear about your expectations.  So get those job descriptions up to date and refer to them with your employees regularly so that they stay relevant and up-to-date.

2.    Set quarterly performance reviews

Of course the job description is a general statement, but the detail and the priorities will vary and for a senior job there will also be special projects that come and go.  So have a review meeting quarterly with each employee where you discuss what has worked and what hasn’t over the last quarter and then set targets for the next quarter.  I know it seems like alot of work, but believe me, everyone feels better afterwards.  It will give both you and your employee a boost and when you get into the habit it becomes easy and rewarding.

3.    Weekly 1-2-1s 

Again, I can hear you thinking that this is a waste of time, but it really does work.  It is a simple discipline of a weekly ½ hour catch up when you discuss how things went last week and set priorities for the week ahead.  But the major thing it does is provide a time when they can bring up minor concerns and you can pull them up on minor things too.  So the little niggles get dealt with while they are just niggles and don’t build up to be big issues.

4.    Listen to your employees

Find time occasionally to take relaxed moments with your employees, when you can get them talking and then listen carefully.  Hear their view of the world and what is important to them.  It may seem irrelevant, but there may come a time when you need to draw on that relationship, so it will pay off in the long run.

5.    Be seen to be fair

It is important to be fair with your employees, but even more important to be seen to be fair.  So when you catch yourself favouring an employee, just make sure they know why and, if possible, others know why too.


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Guide to managing your SME talent…

In a small to medium sized business, the management of your talent can make or break your business and its growth. Managing an SME comes with its challenges, but your people don’t need to be one of them. We at HR Revolution have developed, through our experience and expertise as a team, a few helpful tips that may just come in handy.

  1. Sourcing your talent: No one wants to have the added expenditure of instructing an agency to do your recruitment, but sometimes, just sometimes, you do get what you pay for and after all your people are your business engine. Agencies have the expertise, skill, resources and most importantly, time that you as a business owner don’t necessarily have.
  2. The talent: You want team members that share your vision for the company and who want to take ownership of their role and the part they will play in the success of the company. Yes, this does need to be coupled with the skills and experience required to do the role, but in a SME it’s about more than that. Yes you want a reliable member of the team who turns up on time and can do the job, but every team member needs to have the mind-set of we are one, we are a team in every sense of the word.
  3. The Law! Scary!? There are some basic legal requirements that you need to be sure to comply with, but they don’t need to be scary. They range from putting in recruitment policies which include checking new employees have the right to work in the UK, to giving them a written statement of terms and conditions, in other words an employment contract, within 3 months of joining.
  4. Keeping your talent: There are several tips we can offer for keeping your talent and they don’t all involve remuneration:-
  • Communicate – effective communication doesn’t cost anything but time, and in the long run it can actually help you save time. 10 – 15 minute catch ups with your team on a regular basis can avoid issues festering and can avoid mistakes being made.
  • Open ideas forum – welcome suggestions from your all your team members, after all they are on the front line.
  • Motivation – this can come from inspiration.  It is your role to inspire your team to greater things, get them to buy into the company mission and let them see the part they play in it and keep them informed of any new developments within the business.
  1. Managing your talent: Deal with performance issues promptly. No matter how good your management skills are, you will most likely still encounter issues with poor employee performance. The key here is speaking to the individual as soon as the issue becomes apparent.  The longer you leave it, the harder it will be to resolve, and you will start to become frustrated yourself which can make things worse.  Additionally, find out the cause of the problem rather than just focusing on the symptoms – is it due to personal problems?, lack of knowledge or training?, or not feeling recognised?  A good employee does not start under-performing or making mistakes for no reason, so find out why and agree a joint action plan to address it.
  1. I need help! Knowing when to seek help is key after all we aren’t all experts in every field. Being an effective manager requires skills that not everyone has naturally. Some tasks require different or more unique knowledge and skills, such as managing internal restructures, changing employment contracts or undertaking criminal record checks.

These are just a snapshot of things to consider when running an SME and HR Revolution can help you tick them off your to do list.

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Looking to recruit some fresh new talent…

Are you looking to recruit some of the fabulous new talent that has recently entered the market?  If the answer is yes, then make sure you have got your basics in order, or here’s how it could all go wrong!

Hiring a new member of staff is pretty straight forward; but only if it is handled correctly. Many employers however can get it so wrong, which as we know is unproductive for any working environment.

A recent survey has shown that the No.1 reason for it all going so wrong is “not managing the candidate experience”.  This may sound a little fluffy if you do not work in HR or Recruitment, but it basically comes down to communication.  It is important to keep in constant contact with the candidate, providing them with quality information and feedback and remembering that honesty is the best policy. Providing a poor candidate experience can have many negative consequences including damaging comments about your company and lack of faith in the overall brand.

Other reasons the recruitment process can fail are:

  1. Expecting dull job descriptions to attract the right people – This is your chance to sell the position and entice the highest calibre of staff, if you waste this opportunity they will be looking to work for your competitors.
  2. Not taking advantage of employee referrals – a referral means they are pre-screened.  The best companies place nearly 50% of staff through referrals.
  3. Not fully understanding the actual job – If you don’t understand about the job you want them to do, how can you sell it to them or even know if they are capable of performing it?
  4. Using the same recruiting process for different level jobs – High level jobs require a different level of service, knowledge and relationship building. If you want the best out there, they definitely want to be treated that way too.
  5. Making slow hiring decisions – The best candidates are gone quickly, and will probably have more than one offer on the table, you simply can’t afford to hang around.
  6. Assuming interviews are accurate – Interviews are traditionally weak predictors, so poorly executed or generic interviews that do not challenge the candidate, will result in poor hires and put off the right people.
  7. Using Job boards alone – Only posting jobs on an advertising site means that 75% of the workforce that are not ‘actively’ looking will NOT see them. Make sure that your jobs can be found on various sites.
  8. Not prioritising jobs – Make sure if you are looking for more than one employee that you get the right person first, there is no point getting an assistant if you don’t have the manager.
  9. Not identifying job acceptance criteria – Do you know what the perfect candidates needs to accept the job? If you don’t, they won’t join you.

A final thought… With so many people getting it wrong, why don’t you let HR Revolution get it right for you the first time, download our free guide to recruiting talent below….

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All Startups need HR

You’ve got your idea, you’ve got your funding, you even have some customers and your startup is beginning to grow. Fantastic! You now need to hire employees to meet the demands of your customers and to begin to expand your fledgling business. Employees are your most important asset (bit of an overused phrase, but a true one never the less) and can grow your revenue as well. From sourcing, interviewing, writing job specs and hiring to contracts, policies, procedures, employee files and benefits the list goes on and on, but these are all things any startup that has visions of grandeur, and what entrepreneur wouldn’t have them, need to be compliant and have engaged, efficient and great employees.

With a daunting task like this it is critical to start with the five most important tasks and get those done first… This is where HR REV steps in.  Here are our 5 first steps:

1.  Employee Handbooks – Startups are fun and innovative, and handbooks are boring and outdated and so corporate right?! WRONG! From an HR point of view, a handbook is necessary, regardless of the company size. A handbook lets a company lay out what they expect of the employee and what benefits are offered.  This is important to have as a reference for any situations that may arise down the line and offers protection for both the employer and the employee and they are easily changed as the company evolves.

  1. Culture! Culture! Culture!  This is extremely important in any startup.  As HR professionals we often think of ourselves as Chief Missionaries of Culture.  It is part of the job of the HR team to make sure that the company stays fun and innovative by maintaining a great culture. It is important that even though we are in HR, people know they can come and talk to us about anything.  Make sure people know that they can make suggestions about improvements or new benefits. Quite often the people on the shop floor have the most practical ideas.
  1. Recruitinthe Right People is one of the most important things for any company. I can’t stress this enough. As a startup when you have only a few employees, hiring the right people is especially critical. They need to have the right experience, the right mentality and be a culture fit based on what you are trying to build. This is the time to find and implement great talent management practices and software.
  1. Documents – Once you start hiring people you’re going to quickly notice paperwork, everywhere! It’s time to create some personnel files!!  We are strong advocates for a paperless office by the way, as lots of trees can be hurt in the making of an employee file. Get everything online in a secure place such as DropBox.  I can’t stress enough how important your Contract of Employment is. It is a legal document first and is the protection you afford yourself and your business if something should happen between you and your employee and if it is badly written then your legal protection can go out the window before you even have time to blink. There are also specific legal requirements when storing personal data, ever heard of the Data Protection Act?
  1. Attraction – How do you compete with other startups to get the best employees? Remember you are competing with some of the big players for the best talent out there. Providing amazing benefits is a good way to start! Employees aren’t just looking for monetary reward; they want to know about your work-life balance.  Benefits in the standard sense are great, for example medical benefits – this is a benefit most employees look for,  but if you really want to draw people to work for you offer other things like gym memberships, lunches, versatile working environment, flexible working, holiday allowances; the list goes on and on! Some benefits can be very costly, especially for a startup, so think outside the box when considering your benefits offering and consider what packages go with what roles.

It can be daunting to start any company and have to be responsible for sales, IT, marketing, design and HR as well.  But as a startup you probably won’t need an HR Manager as a full-time employee (you don’t want the salary, the NI payments, and them sitting twiddling their thumbs for half of the month), but you will need their expertise so what do you do?  Contact us at HR Revolution, that’s the first step. We can offer all the support your growing business needs, but offer it flexibly so you don’t have all the costs of a permanent employee and don’t have an employee who is only productive half of the time they work.



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