Ideas for a greener office environment

With all the news recently about reducing plastic waste and the UK Government now proposing a ban on certain single-use plastic, I’m sure many businesses are very aware how important it is to look for ways to reduce their own carbon footprint and encouraging schemes for employees to live greener lives. Research also shows that more than a third of young professionals value working for a caring and responsible employer over earning a higher salary!

So below we list a few ideas that would be helpful to introduce into organisations large and small to get the eco-warrier ball rolling:

An Environmental policy

This is a great way to present to anyone interested in your business the initiatives and targets which your organisation is committed to. It’s also great to be transparent, which will resonate well with customers and contribute to your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy.

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A Cycle to work scheme

Cycling is great exercise and one of the greenest ways to travel to the office and there is now Government funding for any business looking to encourage it, Cyclescheme gives your employees the chance to buy a bike tax-free.

Car share schemes

These schemes are a great way to reduce the number of single use vehicles clogging up your carpark. They will also help reduce the number of vehicles on roads and lower your employees’ carbon footprint.

Green computers

Yes they really do exist and can make a big impact on your organisation’s carbon footprint. When old machines need replacing make sure to check out the ethical and environmental records of different manufacturers.

Green certifications 

These provide businesses with a great opportunity to focus on a goal and then work together to achieve it. Having a green accreditation is great for publicity too and can be featured on your website and letterheads.

The ISO’s (International Organization for Standardization) 14000 family of standards provides practical tools for companies and organisations of all kinds looking to manage their environmental responsibilities.

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Printing guidelines/recycled paper

Despite our best intentions to avoid printing documents needlessly, it can’t always be avoided, however, it makes sense to impose some level of guidelines for which documents are printed, to avoid waste of both ink and paper.

Where possible, how about printing on both sides of the paper? We know for important documents and contracts this isn’t possible, however, there’s little reason to avoid this when printing in-house.

Did you know it takes a staggering amount of energy to produce paper but recycled paper is produced with 28-70% less energy and you’ll also be supporting the UK economy as recycled paper is often made on our shores.

For more helpful advice and check our green credentials 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.

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How to deal with stress

These days we all lead busy lives, with longer working hours, time spent commuting and seeing our friends and family we are often being pulled in different directions and this can leave us feeling time poor and not able to do the things that help us relax and switch-off.

Stress is a well-known side effect of modern life. Infiltration of the internet and smart phones in everything we do means we are expected to appear available and engaged at all times, leading to burn out and little time left to ourselves.

Pressure from work can, in some cases, help to increase productivity and allow us to reach our deadlines faster by pushing us that little bit further when we may not feel like it. However, it’s important to remember that this isn’t sustainable and that overall, stress can cause long term problems such as anxiety and/or depression.

Bupa have found that up to 44% of adults feel stressed, demonstrating the scale of the impact that our busy lives our having upon our well-being.

Engaging in simple and effective activities that help us reconnect our minds with our bodies helps us take a step away from the factors causing us to reach peak stress levels, and avoids us reaching breaking point.

In support of April’s Stress Awareness Month, we have put together a list of ideas to help you reduce your stress levels, have a read and decompress!

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1.Meditation

A few minutes a day can have a profound effect upon reducing anxiety. Research has shown that practicing mediation daily can help to realign our neural pathways, thereby making us more resilient to dealing with stress.

It’s also easy to do. Sit comfortably with both feet flat on the floor and focus on your breathing, recite a soothing mantra in your head (something that calms you) and let go of any negative thoughts that interfere with your focus.

Why not try: Mediation apps, there are plenty available and can help anyone who may not have tried the technique before and unsure of how to clear their minds. Give one a go and see if it can work for you.

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2.Connect with your body

Stress in the mind leads to stress in the body. Office jobs that involve eight hours plus sat at a desk cannot only leave our minds frazzled but our bodies tense, causing our muscles to tighten and ache.

Small amounts of exercise at regular intervals can give us a break from concentration and help us reconnect with our bodies.

Why not try: Going for a stroll at lunchtime or doing 20 minutes of yoga before work. If you find it difficult to fit exercise into your day, simply getting up and walking around the office every 30 minutes or so will help you reconnect with your body and take your mind away from work stresses.

3.Become more present

Smart phones and social media allow us to connect to a variety of different spaces whilst only being physically present in one. This means we can take on the pressures and expectations of spaces and places that we wouldn’t have necessarily dealt with had we not been connected to our phones.

Why not try: To make a conscious effort to reconnect with the present moment in times of stress. If you feel like there are too many expectations, too many people to please, or there is too much to take in, breathe deeply and focus on an object in the present only. This will help you to gain perspective and hopefully leave you feeling more connected to the positives that are immediately around you.

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4.Be grateful for the positives 

Happiness breeds happiness! If you often find yourself in stressful situations, then take time to note down things that you are grateful for and cast your mind back to these when you are feeling stressed.

Why not try: Keeping a journal of gratitude, by your bed or in your desk draw, trying to visualise these feelings can take you away from any negative thoughts and help you to relax.

5.Listen to music

Research has shown that listening to soothing music can reduce your heart rate, leading to lower levels of stress and anxiety. Similarly, listening to music that reminds you of happy times and positive emotions is also a great way to reduce stress levels.

Why not try: To get into a routine of listening to music during times when you are most happy, for example, at dinner with friends and family or on a lazy Sunday morning. Keep a playlist of these songs and play them just before (or after) a stressful situation, such as on the way to a meeting or on the way home from a difficult day. Your mind will associate the music with happiness and help you reach a place of relaxation instead.

If you need any further help or guidance about how to deal with stress, 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.

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‘Beast from the East’; snow disruption – your questions answered…

As I sit in the office this afternoon watching a few flurries of snow outside the window, waiting in anticipation for the Beast from the East to hit and listening to the radio with claims of weather colder than the arctic circle – winter has most definitely arrived in the UK!

A bit of snow is normally great fun, but for employers it is a headache; are you legally obliged to pay employees who fail to make it to work because of adverse weather conditions? What steps can employers take if they suspect an employee is using the weather conditions as an excuse not to turn up to work? What are the implications for employers if schools close, if the office has to close, or for the employees who actually do make it in?

It never hurts to plan from a business perspective and indeed having extreme weather and disruption policies in place can never be a bad thing, here a few things to consider:

Do you have to pay employees who are unable to get into work due to snow and difficult transport conditions?

Employees are obliged to attend the office unless they are on holiday, sick or on maternity leave etc; the responsibility is on employees to come into work. Technically, this applies even in extreme weather conditions. Therefore, if the office is open and employees cannot make it into work because they are ‘snowed in’, depending on the contract, you are entitled to treat their absence as unauthorised and are under no obligation to pay them.  If an employee’s normal mode of transport is out of action due to severe weather disruption, there are a number of other issues which an employer would need to consider before withholding pay.

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First, you should encourage employees to explore alternative means of transport. However, employees should not feel pressured to risk their safety to get into the office so it may be sensible to consider whether employees could usefully work from home until the weather situation has improved. If this is not a viable option, then the alternatives available are for you to advise employees that:

  • any time off work in these circumstances will be unpaid (ideally, you will have a contractual provision to support this); or
  • they will be paid but will be expected to make up the time at a later date; or
  • they can request to take the time off as paid annual leave or as unpaid time off for dependant’s leave (e.g. if schools close – see below).

Employees have statutory protection against an unauthorised deduction being made from their wages without their consent.  They could therefore challenge your decision to withhold their pay.  However, it is arguable that there was no entitlement to pay as no work was done.

Can you require an employee who cannot get into the office to take a day’s holiday?

This is not likely to be an option for most employers, unless the employee’s employment contract contains an express right for the employer to require when an employee can take their holiday.  Without this provision employers cannot force employees to take a day’s holiday without their consent.

School closures

To avoid the office becoming a temporary crèche, there are statutory rules which allow parents to take time off when there is an ‘unexpected disruption to childcare’ and parents are protected from suffering a disadvantage for doing so. If the school closure was announced first thing in the morning and alternative childcare arrangements cannot be made, this could constitute as an emergency situation and employees would be entitled to statutory protection for taking the day off. Strictly, the day would be unpaid but not all employers will take this approach. It is also important for employers to adopt a consistent approach to the policy adopted for employees without children.

Working from home

If it is safe to travel, employees should come into work as usual. If employees are concerned that the conditions are not safe or if they are dependent on public transport systems that are badly affected, many employers take the view that employees should remain at home and do what work they can from there. This is becoming more feasible as many employees can now access their work email and office applications remotely via a laptop, PC or mobile phone.

However, even though they are at home, employees need to be clear that they must still work as they would in the office not just watch TV and do odd jobs! A home working policy could be helpful, making it clear that working from home is a privilege, not a right and that the employer will, if necessary, monitor output.

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What if an employee could have made it into work but chooses not to?

If you believe that an employee is using the weather conditions as an excuse for absence (or lateness), particularly if they live locally (or are spotted shopping), this could be a disciplinary matter. However, it is doubtful that most employers would want to devote time and resources to investigating the circumstances of each individual worker who is suspected of taking a ‘snow’ day. In a blatant or persistent case you may, of course, choose to investigate the matter in the usual way and take any necessary action in line with the company’s disciplinary policy.

What if you are forced to close the office due to the severe weather conditions?

If you decide to temporarily close your business premises at short notice because of unforeseen circumstances, such as heavy snowfall, and there is no work available for your employees as a result, you cannot usually withhold pay. If you do, employees could bring unauthorised deduction from wages claims to recover the pay owed. The only exception to this is if you have an ‘unpaid lay-off’ clause in your contracts of employment, or the employees expressly consent to being laid off without pay. There are, however, complicated rules surrounding lay-off clauses, including rules about statutory guarantee payments, and you should always take professional advice before proceeding.

What about the employees who actually make it into work? Should they get a day off in lieu as compensation?

In some situations it can lead to resentment among employees who have battled into work in difficult conditions; especially once they are in the office and laden with the work of their absent colleagues. Ideally, the employees’ efforts should not go unnoticed but a day off in lieu or other financial rewards are unlikely. Employers should, however, carefully observe weather warnings and let employees leave when appropriate to avoid any treacherous travel conditions on the way home, otherwise they may spend it digging their employees’ cars out of the snow in the office car park!

It is worthwhile for employers to consider introducing an ‘adverse weather policy’ so employees know what is expected of them when severe weather strikes. This will also help avoid confusion and conflict when the extreme weather arrives. Alternatively, you could amend your normal absence policy to cover such instances. The policy should contain guidance about workplace closures, disruptions to public transport, working from home and remote IT access, whether employees will be paid if they fail to attend work, disciplinary sanctions for ‘snow’ days and whom employees should contact once they know they will be unable to make it in. As the occurrence of severe weather is on the rise a clear adverse weather policy could be a worthwhile investment.

If you need help or advice on anything we have covered above or need help with crafting disruption policies, then get in touch on +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. No ‘snow’ days for us!!

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Why should you worry about your employee’s New Year resolutions?

This time of year presents a fantastic opportunity to ensure that your employees are fully onboard with your big strategic goals. By now, you’ve no doubt considered what you need to do to tap into the general feeling of renewed motivation. However, are there things going on beneath the surface that you need to consider? Or any potential threats that could harm your business as we kick off the new year?

A real concern that business owners have is losing their top talent, people often reassess their goals in January, and if your business isn’t staying ahead of the game, then you may well find that your best employees are looking for new roles. You might think that this isn’t happening, but the reality is that it can be hard to gauge what’s going on beneath the surface.

So what can you do about it?

Well you can’t physically tie your employees to their desks; even the best businesses lose valued employees from time to time, and though it’s costly to replace them, it’s something that you’ll no doubt have to deal with from time to time.

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So now is a great time to do an audit, and establish the current climate in your workforce, and how you would cope if any of your employees did decide to move on to pastures new. It’s always sensible to have a succession plan in place, so you don’t find yourself with an operational disaster on your hands.

Also consider what you can do to improve retention rates. It’s easy to jump to the assumption that it always comes down to cash, and that keeping your best people involves regular pay rises and bonuses. This is not always the case though, retention levels are impacted by a wide variety of factors, and you may need to take a closer look at how you can get creative without blowing your budget.

If you need some help with ensuring that your business is fighting fit for 2018 then get in touch, HR Revolution can carry out an HR audit on your business to make sure you are set up for success.

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.

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Childcare vouchers are changing…

The government have introduced a new tax-free childcare subsidy which has been rolled out gradually in 2017.  The new Tax Free Childcare Scheme (TFC) currently runs alongside the existing childcare voucher benefit which remains in place and you can sigh up to the childcare voucher benefit at any time until April 2018.

Tax Free Childcare will provide working parents and now self-employed workers with another option for tax savings on their childcare directly through the Government.

What is the new scheme?

The government have introduced a Tax Free Childcare (TFC) scheme which will allow some working parents (where both parents are working or are single parents) to claim up to £2,000 per child towards the cost for childcare per year.  IT has been proposed that for every 80p parents transfer to a dedicated online account and spend on regulated childcare, the government will top this up with 20p, which is capped at £2,000 of saving per child per year.  This is equivalent to the basic rate of tax.  Parents will be able to use the vouchers with any Ofsted regulated childcare provider in England and the equivalent bodies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, just as they can with the current Childcare Vouchers.

The new TFC will not be offered through employers as a salary sacrifice, it will work a bit like a savings account.  Parents pay money into an account form their net pay, so it’s taken after tax and National Insurance have been deducted.

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Who is not eligible?

Those not eligible for the TFC scheme include any couples where one parent is not working and parents who claim for children older than 12 years old.  The proposed scheme will only be open to some working parents (where both parents or single parents are working) and the parent is not already getting support through the existing Childcare Voucher scheme.  To be eligible, parents must be earning less than £100,000 annually, working a minimum of 16 hours per week and not receiving support through tax credits.

Under the new proposal, parents will be able to sign up for employer supported Childcare Vouchers until April 2018.  They can continue to order vouchers beyond 2018, making tax and National Insurance savings for as long as their employer continues to run the scheme, or until their child is 15 years old (or 16 years old if disabled), whichever is sooner.

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The existing employer funding Childcare Voucher scheme will be closed to new joiners after April 2018.

It is therefore important to join the existing Childcare Voucher scheme before April 2018, to give you the choice in case you are not eligible for the scheme and ensure you have access to the scheme that best suits your family.

Download our helpful at a glance Childcare vouchers vs Tax Free Childcare factsheet

Or 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.

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Cyber security – How HR can help

The majority of cyber security incidents have been proven to be as a result of human behaviour.  One of HR’s roles is to educate and monitor employees throughout their employment life cycle, therefore reducing the possibility of a cyber attack.

Cyber attacks can affect employees well-being causing stress, anxiety, upset and embarrassment and HR are well equipped at minimising such situations to ensure business returns to normal with minimal disruption.

In addition, HR will take responsibility for the following:

Recruitment and selection

  • Ensure the appointment of employees with cyber security awareness.
  • In case of sensitive roles, additional security such as background checks should be considered.
  • Sensitive data should only be available to the individuals directly involved.
  • Ensure best practise is demonstrated throughout.

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Onboarding

  • Set the cyber security process from the offset.
  • Communicate the policies, procedures surrounding cyber security and risk awareness.
  • Set a culture where the employee appreciates the importance of cyber security.
  • Outline the consequences of cyber attacks and how seriously the company takes cyber security.
  • Make sure the employee has not brought confidential information with them from a previous employer.

Performance reviews

  • Include discussions on cyber security – are passwords changed regularly? Does the employee understand the importance?
  • Performance objectives should be written to include a reference to compliance.j
  • Ensure there is an ongoing awareness and education programme to maintain good practice.
  • Ensure employees receive refreshers and up to date training on cyber security on an annual basis.

How to identify and manage disgruntled employees

  • Provide anonymous reporting outlets.
  • Have IT configured cyber security tools on all software.
  • Train managers to see the signs.
  • Send out frequent campaigns to create awareness of the risks, good and bad practice and the message to remain vigilant at all times.

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Regulatory compliance

  • Review the practices you use when gathering personal data at the recruiting stage.
  • Ensure employees are aware of the privacy controls that need to be set on their equipment.
  • Work with IT to ensure the monitoring process complies with legal requirements.

HR Revolution can help in all aspects of the employee lifecycle, including all the points mentioned above, so whether you need advice with any part of the process or perhaps looking to outsource your HR needs, get in touch on: +44 203 538 5311, 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.

We hope you found the information on GDPR and cyber security interesting and informative and you can download the full presentation here.

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If you have any comments we’d love to hear them, comment below or get in touch at hello@hrrevolution.co.uk

Remember if you don’t have your GDPR in place there is a lot at stake.  Get in touch and let HR Revolution run through a GDPR audit to see where and how quickly changes can be implemented.

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Expert tips for maximising your profits this Christmas

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Have you started to think about how you’ll maximise your profits this festive season? Savvy business owners are starting to pull together their plans and ensure that they’ve built some strong foundations for success. Of course though, some expert guidance can really make all the difference, and that’s what HR Revolution are here to provide.

Not convinced of receiving profit-boosting tips from an HR professional? surely we just take care of the ‘people issues’, leaving the tasks like income generation and new client acquisition to the sales and marketing team? Well actually, that’s not the case, HR isn’t a function operating on its own. When done correctly, it adds real value to the business, and is strategic as well as operational.

Make sure your employees are up-skilled in key areas

You probably already run regular training sessions throughout the year, as you’ll appreciate the importance of giving your employees the support they need to excel in their roles. It’s time build on that though, and consider what you can do take things up to the next level.

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You might want to consider some initial or refresher training on things like:

  • Identifying upselling opportunities and making the sale
  • Delivering exceptional customer service during busier periods
  • Understanding product and service lines
  • Leading and managing in stressful circumstances
  • Handling customer complaints

Balance your books

You might have decided that you need to recruit some temporary team members to help you to deal with an increased demand. Before you go ahead with this though, you need to ensure that you’ve struck the right kind of balance. Recruit too many, and your profits will take a hit. But if you don’t recruit enough, you could miss opportunities due to operational constraints.

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach here. It’s not possible to say that a business of a certain size will need ten seasonal workers, for example. It’s about getting down to the nitty-gritty and making calculated estimates that are fitting with your ways of working and overall goals.

Assess performance throughout busy periods

Christmas offers your employees a time to shine. If you get caught up in the rush, and all your usual people management processes get forgotten, you could really be missing out. Be sure that your managers know to keep their eyes open. You might discover that a certain employee really excels when it comes to up-selling. Or an individual might step up and show that they’re future leadership material.

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If you didn’t have these considerations in the back of your mind, you’d be going into the New Year unprepared. Whilst you may be focused mainly on the Christmas rush at present, don’t forget that what you’re doing right now will have a direct impact on your future profits.

Each and every business out there is different, so whilst these tips will get you off to the best possible start, there will be countless other unique opportunities that will allow you to get the most out of your human resources so you can drive profits towards the end of the year.

Give HR Revolution a call today +44 203 538 5311 or ask us a question below, we’d be happy to talk you through how we are able to help.

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How to handle employee incidents and grievances

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When incidents occur that affect the well being of employees or undermine the company culture, it is important to address issues in a way that is effective and legal. Far too often, employee incidents and grievances are swept under the carpet just with the explanation that the issue is “under investigation.” Since incidents that have not been handled correctly have the potential to detract from employee satisfaction, raise turnover and cause legal troubles, it is sensible to follow the actions below to handle any such problems.

Address Complaints

It is always a good course of action to address any employee complaints; sitting down and listening to their grievances or description of how an incident occurred is an important first step. Far too often, employees’ complaints are brushed off or even mocked, which can make employees feel under valued and can cause dissatisfaction in the workplace. If it makes more sense, allowing employees to report incidents or grievances using messaging or the telephone may also be helpful.

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Document, Document, Document!

Having a written record of when an incident occurred and having all relevant information can be helpful in an investigation. Make sure that all individuals that were involved, including employees, customers, and even bystanders, are interviewed and statements taken. If disciplinary action is required or if accident reports are relevant, these should be filled out and notations made on all documentation detailing the actions that have been taken.

Perform an Investigation

Investigations may differ depending on the type of incident, but an unbiased investigator should always be the one in charge. Bringing in a third party to investigate, such as an outsourced HR company (HR Revolution) is always a good idea and can save much hassle further down the line.

Performing an investigation can help to ensure that an incident occurred the way that it was reported, but can also help to identify issues that can be changed to prevent future incidents and complaints.

Take Action to Make Changes

Taking decisive action is important and shows employees that the company is serious about resolving issues. However, actions taken may widely vary and not everyone is going to agree with the actions taken in any given situation.

If a grievance stems from harassment, for example, instituting training to identify and discourage harassment may be helpful. If a grievance stems from theft, implementing cameras may work to prevent future problems.

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Keep Everything Confidential

Talking too much about an incident, especially with individuals not affected by it can be damaging to an investigation and can even result in legal action. Employees that could have been helpful to an investigation may clam up after being forewarned about what is going on. If a person has been accused of something and finds out because of a rumour, the individual may also have grounds for a libel case.

Use Disciplinary Tools Wisely

In many cases, employers are tempted to immediately dismiss anyone accused of wrongdoing, but this may be the wrong approach. If someone made an honest mistake that had affected others unfavourably, coaching may be more helpful and change the situation rather than dismissal. If employees have engaged in violence, predatory behaviour, or theft, dismissal is appropriate after the incident has been investigated adequately.

Dealing with an employee grievance can be daunting if you don’t know how to handle the situation correctly. HR Revolution are here to help you every step of the way, from the initial advice through to running the entire process for you, so if you don’t know where to start why not give us a call +44 203 538 5311 or email us info@hrrevolution.co.uk

Remember getting the process wrong, can result in costly repercussions for your business, so let’s get it right, together!

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Job Descriptions – Why getting them right is so important!

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Job descriptions vary from company to company. Some companies don’t understand the need for job descriptions so they put very little time and effort into them often resulting in a description that isn’t a true reflection of the job. In addition to this some companies don’t update job descriptions as the role evolves with the business needs, thus leaving the descriptions to become outdated.

On the other hand, some companies create detailed job descriptions, which in some cases can be overwhelming. A detailed and well-structured job description gives clear guidance of what is required by the employee but it can also leave the employee little flexibility to think and perform outside of the box.  For the majority of companies the ability to think and perform outside of the box allows for fresh ideas and pushes the company in exciting new directions. The inability to be flexible can also disengage employees which could cause issues with their performance.

Let’s strip it back:

What is a job description? Wikipedia tells us…

“A job description is a document that describes the general tasks, or functions, and responsibilities of a position. It may specify the functionary to whom the position reports, specifications such as the qualifications or skills needed by the person in the job, and a salary range”.

These details help to illustrate the type of job, how it is supposed to be performed and what is expected to be delivered. It also outlines the important reporting relationships creating a clear communication path between the employee and employer.

Job descriptions are not only used for hiring but are also effective for the management of an employee. If kept up to date job descriptions can act as a well devised job plan for the employee and become a significant tool to great business success.

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Download HR Revolution’s Job Expectation Pack HERE…

Purpose – The purpose of this powerful yet underrated document.

There are various areas of a business that a job description can be useful for. The first use, perhaps the sole use, that probably springs to your mind is the use for recruitment and selection; used to accompany a job advert and outline the role the company is recruiting for. The world of recruitment is fast becoming a ‘buyer’s market’ which means companies need to appeal to not only new talent but the right talent.  Job descriptions can be used as a platform to reflect and promote the companies goals, values and company culture to attract the right person.  The job description then forms a basis for the interview questions and ultimately helps inform hiring decisions. Many employees become disengaged from their new roles as ‘it wasn’t what was expected’; a detailed job description should hopefully mitigate this, encourage behavioural accountability and instil commitment to the company mission.  This should also discourage employees from refusing work because ‘it’s not my job’.

You’ve done the hard work, your new employee is hired, their employee file is created, their job description is (or should) be saved and then … it’s forgotten about. Now I won’t tarnish you all with that brush, I am sure there are some of you out there who realise the many uses’ of a job description long after the employee is hired. However for those of you who don’t, I’ll let you in on a few secrets:

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  1. You can use the new starter’s job description as a basis for the induction. The job description could provide a great structure by working through each expectation in the order of importance or frequency of use. For example, a receptionist answering the phones would be one of the first tasks they would need to become familiar with, whereas building the knowledge of staff movements may be something they begin to develop towards the end of the week as they get to know everyone. This approach ensures that the new starter is comfortable with all tasks they are expected to carry out and sets them in good stead to passing their probation.
  2. The job description can then be used during the probation review and later on performance reviews. The job description will provide areas in which the employee can be assessed against and determine areas in need of additional training and development. This creates a great communication line between the employee and employer providing a supportive culture and promoting career progression. Performance reviews are also a great time to assess the roles purpose and update the job description as required to fit the business needs.
  3. Businesses can use an up to date job description for reward and remuneration decisions such as job levelling, salary increases or obtaining comparable industry salaries. This ensures the salaries within the business are competitive enough to encourage employee engagement and performance and stay in line with the industry.outsourced hr - hr solutions
  4. Periods of absence such as holiday, sickness, maternity leave requires a role to be covered. With an up to date job description this makes for easy planning and anyone stepping in to cover the role will easily be able to see what is required and expected. In the event of long term sickness or maternity leave the job description can be used to map out a return to work programme to ensure the employee is fully supported back into their role.
  5. Finally and this is a rare use of a job description but they are useful in the event of a disciplinary. Job descriptions are a legal document and are helpful when outlining an employee’s key responsibilities which may be in dispute. If the role and the expectations of the role are clearly communicated in a document which can be referred to by each party, throughout employment, the excuse of not being aware of what was required is less likely to be a valid point.

As you can probably tell from the above you’d be crazy not to invest some time and energy into your company’s job descriptions, it may just save you a headache down the line.

HR Revolution can help why not give us a call +44 203 538 5311 or email us: info@hrrevolution.co.uk or download our Job Expectation template pack HERE

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What to do when an employee unexpectedly resigns…

So things are ticking along nicely in your business… Your employees are engaged, productive, and they’re smashing their goals. Sales are on the rise, and you’re feeling pretty pleased with the fact that you’ve managed to grow and nurture such an awesome team.

However quite out of the blue there’s a spanner in the works.  A key employee tells you that they’re moving on to pastures new and in a small business, we know this can be a serious blow and have a real impact on your bottom line if it’s not managed effectively.

So in practical terms, let’s take a look at what you need to do…

Establish exactly when they’ll leave

You might already have a policy in place surrounding the necessary notice period. Of course though, things don’t always go according to plan, so don’t make any assumptions. Make sure that you know the precise date that your employee will leave. This way, you can sort out any outstanding admin arrangements, including payroll, and you can also start to work out your next steps so there’s minimum impact on your business.

Carry out an exit interview

An exit interview will allow you to get some valuable feedback about why your member of staff decided to leave. You can’t retain everyone you recruit, but it makes sense to keep an eye on the reasons why people move on to different things.

Do remember that because you’re the boss, you’re not always going to get the full and complete truth. It might be worth outsourcing this part of the process, so you can be sure that you’re getting more reliable and meaningful information to work with.

Implement your continuity plan

Right now, it’s no help whatsoever for us to mention that you should have already planned for these kinds of circumstances. You already know this, and you’re probably kicking yourself. Still though, there’s work to be done. You need to establish how you’ll make sure that productivity remains high, and that your business doesn’t suffer.

Part of this is likely to involve looking for a new employee. For now, consider how you can bridge any gaps by utilising your existing workforce, without making unreasonable demands. It may not be ideal, but there’s often a silver lining. You could be giving an ambitious employee an opportunity to step up and broaden their experience.

Don’t forget to thank your employee for their contribution

We know that you don’t need us to tell you that this is a good idea, but when you’re stressed out about the future, it’s easy to overlook the most obvious things. Your employee could go on to refer business your way, or they may even become a customer or a client in the future.

And of course, you definitely don’t want to face the fallout that could come with your employee ending their time with you on a sour note. A little bit of consideration can go a long way.

If you’re currently dealing with the potential nightmare of having an employee hand in their notice, or you’re worried that you might be in the not too distant future, then get in touch.

Give HR Revolution a call today and have a chat about your options and how you can navigate your way through any potential pitfalls.  We look forward to hearing from you +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

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