Plan ahead for the January productivity slump

So December is only a couple of weeks away and around this time of year spirits are generally high with everyone looking forward to the opportunity to take a little time out with friends and loved ones.

However, by the New Year the general mood and feel has often shifted slightly. With nothing but rainy dark days and credit card bills to look forward to, productivity in the workplace can come to a grinding halt. Here are our best tips for overcoming the January slump!

Give thanks…

It’s likely that your employees may have worked longer shifts over the Christmas period. They’ll have dealt with stressful situations and difficult discussions, and it’s understandable if they’re feeling a bit burnt out. Some might even be asking themselves what the point in all of it even was.

Saying thank you is so simple and it’s something that you should be doing regularly, but it’s all too easy to overlook the basics in favour of developing complex strategies. Make sure your employees know that their contribution didn’t go unnoticed.

Set new goals…

January can be a time when everyone settles back into their usual routines. The pressure might be lifted slightly, and whilst this can be a positive thing, it can also sometimes encourage complacency. Instead of letting this happen, make sure that you have a plan of action to guide you through the first quarter.

Call a team meeting, invite feedback and opinions, and ensure that everyone is fully up to speed and engaged with new priorities. This will act as a timely reminder that it’s time to get back to business!

Get ahead in 2018…

You might be the boss, but that that doesn’t mean that you’re immune to the January blues! You should ensure that you celebrate your successes and take time to reflect on your achievements over the past 12 months, but it’s important that you also look at ways in which you can improve your skills and start the New Year with a bang.

Ask your employees to give you an open and honest assessment of how you’ve performed as a leader, and what you can do to support them better in the future. The best business owners are always considering how they can step up and lead by example.

If you need any help, why not let HR Revolution give you the HR solutions you need to get 2018 off to a flying start…

Give us a call +44 203 538 5311 or email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

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

 

Don’t lose track of who’s in and out of the office this summer…

HR Revolution are a gold partner of breatheHR and we couldn’t be happier to recommend them, we love their HRIS software and our clients love it too.  However, this isn’t a sales pitch we want to show you how easy it can be for you to manage who’s in and out of the office over the summer period when the workforce tends to be at minimum strength.

Running a busy office is timely enough without having to check spreadsheets for who’s in and who’s due to go off, can you approve holiday? is your system up to date? well why not let technology to do the leg work for you!

Just for the holiday season alone, here’s how breatheHR can help:

Holiday Booking

Most HR Managers agree that holiday booking is the most time consuming aspect of people management unless it is fully automated. Employees can request holidays online at any time through the website or an app.

Holiday Approval

The approval process needs to be quick and easy too. With breatheHR the line Manager (or approver) receives an email with the holiday request, they can easily compare the request with the calendar of all their teams holidays as well as synchronising holidays through to Outlook or Google calendars.

Holiday Allowance

Not sure how much leave an employee has left to take? Well how about a reliable holiday allowance calculator for dummies. You just choose the holiday rules that apply for each employee (you can have as many as you like) for example full or part time in days or hours and it does it for you, you’ll even find the bank holidays are already in the system. At any time the employee, manager, or HR user can check how much holiday has been taken and how much is available to take.

This cloud based HR System can do so much more than just organise holidays for you, there’s sickness, appraisals, expenses, employee data review and much more.

The best part, if you don’t have time to input all the data to get you started, HR Revolution can do it for you call +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

 

 

6 office tasks UK workers waste over 400m days a year on

Research commissioned by Red Letter Days for Business found that workers are wasting time on mundane office tasks, including replying to emails, attending pointless meetings or completing admin.

The research identified six key areas where UK employees are wasting their time:

  1. Too many meetings that go on for too long (46%)
  2. Too much admin (38%)
  3. Too many emails (29%)
  4. People management i.e. misbehaving colleagues (25%)
  5. Technology being slow (24%)
  6. A micromanaging boss (21%)

Employees spend an average of 1.2 hours every single working day in meetings, totalling six hours every week, whilst 22% say their time is eaten up by admin tasks, such as filling out timesheets.

Overflowing inboxes also prevent employees from getting things done, with 45% of workers saying they have to respond to emails out of their contracted working hours to keep up. 26% said that they have trouble finding documents due to their email volume.

It seems our modern office environment has created bad habits. Technology, such as emails, should be speeding up processes not slowing them down. Something is going very wrong here. Businesses’ need to work together to retrain on areas like email etiquette in the workplace and to encourage better collaboration and efficiencies.

The research also found 42% of employees have seen no response from their employer to the Government’s ‘Fixing the Foundations’ plan, launched in 2015 to improve productivity levels in the workplace.

Employees were also asked about what could be put in place to help improve their output. The top five responses included:

  1. Flexible working (22%)
  2. Better technology (19%)
  3. A happy workplace (17%)
  4. Increased job satisfaction (15%)
  5. Better recognition from senior management (14%)

The fact that flexible working is at number one is very interesting, most jobs now require us to be flexible with our time; in fact 44% of employees polled confirmed they did overtime because they have a flexible role and work to complete a job, rather than work specific hours. Yet, with 57% of employees confirming they only work from the office, it seems businesses need to catch up with the flexible working idea.

If you would like to discuss any HR issues, please give HR Revolution a call we’d love to help, call us on +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

A version of this article first appeared in HR Grapevine.

Travel chaos, how are your employees coping

It’s a common story in the press these days about commuters facing train misery on their morning commute.  Twitter is awash with stories of cancelled trains into London leading to overcrowding and delays, this is even before the office working day has started.

The above coupled with recent analysis from TUC and the Action for Rail campaign, that fares have rocketed by 25% over the past six years, while average weekly earnings have only seen a 12% rise. In other words, the cost of travel is increasing at more than double the rate of wages.

So is this something that employers need to be concerned about? You might think that how your employees get to work is largely their own business, and out of your control. With the cost of getting into the office increasing at an alarming rate though, business owners may find themselves facing some serious issues.

If your employees commute from a distance, what would happen if they started to seek out opportunities closer to home?

Could they be forced to seek out a higher pay packet, to cover their costs?

And could the stress of the daily commute leave your workers feeling frazzled and demotivated?

When you scratch the surface, it’s easy to see how the issue could start to create real headaches in terms of how you manage your workforce.

It’s definitely worth thinking about how you could take a more proactive approach…

First of all, let’s consider for a second whether you actually need to have your employees in the office, every single day of the week. In some businesses, it’s a very obvious pre-requisite to your ability to offer a quality service to your customers and clients. In other companies though, a more flexible approach could bring about huge benefits.

If your employees can work from home, their travel costs may be cut. They’re also going to be spending less time in cramped train carriages, and this can have a positive impact on morale and productivity. Alternatively, letting your employees choose their start and finish time, within a designated window, could mean that they miss rush hour. Plenty of business owners have reservations about offering flexible working practices, but it could be time for you to bring your business up to date.

Some employers decide to take a different approach, and provide financial assistance to help with travel costs. You could add season tickets to your employee benefits, or cover a chunk of the yearly fee. Or you might offer an interest-free loan so your employees can afford to take advantage of the savings that often come with booking a chunk of travel in advance.

You might jump to the assumption that you can’t afford to fork out for extra expenses, but it’s sensible to take a step back and consider the bigger picture. Can you afford to have your employees leaving your business because of escalating travel costs? It might be a balancing act, but it could be worth it.

If you would like to discuss any challenges or concerns that your business may have, pick up the phone and give us a call.

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Too much to do, too little time…

If the subject of this email seems all too familiar and you are overloaded with HR admin? let HR Revolution help you manage your people.

HR Revolution hunted high and low for a solution that would really work with our revolutionary approach to HR and we found it in breatheHR. The proof, if you need it, is that we love it, our clients love it and their employees love it!  We are excited to be a Gold Partner with breatheHR, a fantastic team that we hope to continue to develop with over the next year.

See which package would best suit your business and take the first step in taming your HR chaos.

 

 

www.hrrevolution.co.uk | www.hrrevolutionshop.co.uk | www.hrrevonline.co.uk

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Euro 2016 – Employers ‘no own goal’ Guide

Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no escaping from football at the minute. We’re currently slap bang in the middle of Euro 2016, and England have gone through to the knock-out rounds (skill or luck, opinions are divided…. especially here at the HRREV offices!).

Between now and 10th July, when the tournament draws to a close, there’ll be some key considerations that you’ll have to make to ensure that it’s business as usual in your workplace, as far as possible.  Here, we tell you what you need to know.

Be flexible wherever possible

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

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

Always apply your existing people policies

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

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

Consider your stance on social media usage

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

A web use policy should encompass what’s acceptable and what isn’t, and it should be very clearly communicated to all employees. Remember to keep things fair. It wouldn’t be a good idea, for example, to allow football fans to use social media during Euro 2016, and apply a blanket ban on usage for other reasons. Remember that not everyone is interested in the game!

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

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

If you need any guidance, please do not hesitate to give HR Revolution a call 0203 538 5311.

www.hrrevolution.co.uk | www.hrrevolutionshop.co.uk | www.hrrevonline.co.uk

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NEWS FLASH!! Flexible Working Open to All!

The right to request Flexible Working changes today, here’s what you need to know…
What is Flexible Working?
It is simply that, it allows and Employee to change their working pattern to assist in accommodating commitments / needs outside of work, for example:
 They may wish to compact their working hours into less days by working longer hours
 They may want to work part time, or partially from home
 Work their Annual hour spread differently across the year
 They may simply wish to start earlier or finish later
Who can request Flexible working?
From today, 30th June 2014, all employees that have 26 weeks continual employment with a company can make the request. Only one request can be made by an employee in any 12 month period.
How should someone apply for Flexible Working? 
All requests must be made in writing to the employer clearly outlining the following:
 Their exact requirements including start date
 The reasons for making the request to change
 The effect it could potentially have on the business and how it can be dealt with
 Confirm whether they have previously made a request and when
So What happens next? 

Employers should hold a meeting within 28 days of receiving the request with the  employee, who has the right to be accompanied by a work colleague of their choice. Within 14 days of the meeting the employer must then either: Confirm that the request has been granted. It would be reasonable to request a trial period to ensure that the proposed changes will work for both parties with a set time period. **

OR

 Confirm that the request has been rejected, outlining clear business reasons for the decision. It must also be confirmed that the employee as the right to appeal.

Business reasons for saying No.

 Unable to re-organise work among other staff
 Additional cost will be incurred by the business
 The business will be unable to meet customer needs if approved
 There would be a detrimental impact on performance or quality of work
 Work is unavailable during the periods the employee wishes to work
 Planned structural changes

Remember the above must be supported with business evidence

** If the trial period was successful the employee should be informed in writing of the exact date these permanent changes will take place and that the changes will result in changes to their terms and conditions of employment. If the trial period is unsuccessful the employer as the right to revoke the request giving legitimate business reasons for the decision.

Get in touch today, the HR Revolution HR Team are waiting to help you! 
0203 538 5311 or info@hrrev.co.uk

Managers please Stop Annoying your staff!

Ok, so we know that it is not your top priority to be friends with your workforce, nor should it be, but there are times that it seems like you are going out of your way to annoy them!

Do any of the below scenarios sound familiar, if so take a look at why it is rubbing people up the wrong way.

Calling All the Time – Unless it is critical resist the urge to keep calling. You must respect their personal time and leave nights and weekends for relaxing, oh and holidays…. NO NO NO!

Don’t Pretend to Delegate – If you task your staff with a project let them do it, don’t micro-manage each step and even worse, don’t work on it at the same time it just leads to mistrust and demotivation.

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings – Don’t have them for the sake of it just because it’s Monday! If there is nothing to discuss then don’t people will only be thinking about the work they should be getting on with. If a meeting is necessary, only invite those that really need to be there and be prepared, have an agenda and stick to it.

Non Work Socialising – You should not make them mandatory, not everyone enjoys the same things and making them go will only make them hate the whole situation even more. Besides people have their own lives and commitments that you might always know about, is it really relevant to work?

Make a Decision – Please, it is after all part of your job. Delaying tactics won’t impress your employees and will in fact go the other way and they will lose respect for you. If you have received all the information you need, don’t keep asking for more in the hope the problem will go away, it won’t.

Managing people isn’t always an easy job, but hopefully these little tips will help you keep on the right side of even the most challenging staff.

For more tips and advice, or to share yours with us, get in touch! 

 

Ok, So Today is Blue Monday….

A day that falls on the Monday of the last full week of January, and given its name due to dark mornings, debt and time to payday and a couple of other things, in fact did you know that there is in fact an actual calculation to work out Blue Monday, I kid you not, it goes something like…..

Weather + D(unidentified factor) – debt x Time since Christmas squared by the time since failure of resolutions divided by Low Motivation combined with a Need to take action…… sorry, hope you didn’t nod off then! anyway…

I looked up a little bit about it this morning and came across an article outlining the top 10 ways to beat Blue Monday, so here they are with a little input from me!

1. Where Bright Clothing – Totally get where this is coming from but sadly I only read this once at work and I am fully clothed in black and grey (well I have a white t-shirt underneath does that count?)

2. Exercise – hmmmm, I did take the stairs this morning!

3. Get Stuff Done – Well I am writing this blog to you to pass on the wisdom and love… I think that’s getting something done! that on top of getting 2 kids up washed dressed fed, 2 two pack lunches (oh and one for me as it is blue Monday and I am skint after all!), one dropped to early morning gymnastics the other to pre-school and still in by 9 I think that is definitely getting “stuff” done (no wonder I am wearing black and grey though, it was the only think that didn’t need ironing!)

4. Relax – Well I am now I am at work – sorry boss!

5. Give yourself a laugh – Working on that one – thoughts please?

6. Be Nice – I am about to make everyone in the office a coffee 🙂

7. Sleep – No problemo, but should probably not do that in the office…. happy to try thought 😉

8. Think of one good thing in Life – At the moment that is a bit hard, after all tonight I will need to say a fond farewell to Hayley in Coronation street, I am weeping already! how cheery for them to air that on the most depressing day of the year!! 

9. Limit Stimulants – Impossible sorry, I am about to carry out point 6! (and that will be my 3rd one already!)

10. It’s ok to indulge or be selfish, but just  a little – I think that means I can take the last biscuit that I can see sitting next to the kettle and not offer it out! 🙂

so there you have it, that is how I will get through today and besides its only 5 months until the Happiest day of the year, woo hoo!

Let me know how your day is going….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just A Thought……

I have just had a email pop into my inbox that quoted “Monday is Productive Day”, well I got to thinking then, I thought the Monday just gone was also known as “Cyber Monday”, the day when the world suddenly takes to the internet to set about making all their Christmas purchases. So……

If the world is shopping on line, yet there was no rise in annual leave, who exactly was being productive and at what?? My guess…. they looked productive with all that shopping from their desk!! (cynical I know!)

What do you think?? As Managers have you resigned yourself to the fact that your staff will be doing this, Staff are you resisting the urge to shop as you work?? Have you realised that you can do both if you just work that little harder and smarter? hmm…… It’s Just a Thought!