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.

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.

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.

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.

 

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

 

 

Expert tips for maximising your profits this Christmas

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.

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.

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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School’s out for summer…

It’s that time of year again. All across the country, teachers are breathing a sigh of relief and getting ready to wind down for the summer holidays, whilst parents are forced to consider how they’ll balance childcare responsibilities with their working lives.

The bottom line here is clear. When the kids are off school, either due to organised breaks throughout the academic year, or because of other factors, it can have a big impact on businesses. As an employer, it pays to take a proactive approach.  Below, HR Revolution shares our advice and guidance for managing the associated challenges effectively.

Harness a more flexible approach

Giving your staff more flexibility can help to ensure that an appropriate balance is struck. Consider whether you could offer your team members the opportunity to work from home, or slightly alter their hours during the summer holidays.

When most people think of flexible working, they think of arrangements like the above, and it’s true that these can really help. Don’t be scared to get a little more creative though and think outside of the box. Many businesses have successfully offered term-time only contracts for employees who are balancing their careers with caring responsibilities.

Be prepared for an influx of holiday requests

At this time of year, many of us are tempted by the prospect of booking a last-minute getaway. We all like a bit of sun and sand, but when your staff are planning a mass exodus, the situation can turn into a major headache. Remember that giving priority to employees with children could be discriminatory.

If you feel like you’re struggling to manage holiday requests, it might be time to implement a more robust system. This can ensure that your processes are fair and equal, and that you’re fully prepared for the challenges that the summer period can bring.

Take the time to rethink your priorities

Many workplaces experience a bit of a lull during the summer months. Employees are away on holiday and you might find yourself slipping into the trap of letting the time just pass you by. Instead of going down this route, take the opportunity to get your leadership team together and focus on where you’re going.

What are your priorities for the second half of the year? What challenges do you need to overcome? What opportunities exist that you aren’t tapping into? A little planning can go a long way.

If the summer season is causing you HR headaches in your business, seek out HR Revolution’s assistance, we can help you get things back on track and stop small issues from escalating into something more serious.

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

 

Do you really communicate with your colleagues?…

It’s easy to stop and moan about work or discuss a work related project but how often to you ever stop and just have a little chit chat with your work colleagues on a more personal level?

At HR Revolution we like having a bit of office banter, finding out what our colleagues did during their holidays or at the weekend, we think it’s important to remember that we all have interesting lives outside the workplace.  Establishing a conversational comfort level with your colleagues will allow you to talk to them about anything and make it easier to share your ideas.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Be the first to speak. It doesn’t pay to be shy, so just go ahead and ask a question to get the conversation started. They might be pleased that someone has stopped to talk to them.

It’s ok to be nosy, sorry I mean inquisitive! People generally like being asked about themselves, just don’t get too personal or sound like you’re trying to get the dirt, you’re supposed to be having a light hearted conversation.

Be positive,  again it’s meant to be light hearted so don’t drone on about a miserable experience, focus on something good, like a new fantastic restaurant you’ve tried, maybe a new box set that has you hooked (if you’re like me, I love a box set, Game of Thrones, Line of Duty, Walking Dead to name but a few!), this will definitely get them interacting.

Remember to listen in return. If you plan too hard what you are going to say they won’t get a word in edgeways, and next time they won’t bother engaging with you at all. Besides they might have some great ideas you can use too.

Be discreet. They may also be “inquisitive” about you but they don’t really want to know the in’s and out’s of your life’s back story and remember you do have to work with these people so keep some things to yourself!

Know when to draw the conversation to an end. Remember this was a quick chit chat, and shouldn’t detract from your working day, but make sure you end it on a high, maybe with a “we’ll talk about that next time”! which also then lends itself to be an inner for the next one.

I hope this helps and encourages you to talk to each other, communication is a key factor in good relationships and the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Click this link now to download your FREE guide to Communicating Effectively:

HR Revolutions Guide – Are you communicating effectively

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

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Handling the Summer productivity slump…

Yes it’s Summer, holidays are being booked, the weather is hot, hot, hot, and workers all across the country are looking forward to a bit of well-deserved time away from their desks.

But whilst many people will be worrying about how much they can squeeze into their luggage allowance and whether last year’s swimwear still fits, many business owners will have a more pressing concern. As temperatures start to rise, and they certainly have this year!!! how do you ensure that the summer season doesn’t have a negative impact on productivity?

As always, we’re here to help with some practical suggestions. Read on to find out more about what yothe time to think about how you’ll approach the working calendar next summer. As well, it won’t be long before you’ll have to start thinking about how you’ll manage your staff over the Christmas period, so you can probably take away some very important lessons.

Click on the link below to see HR Revolution’s HR software solutions in partnership with breatheHR, which will save you time, energy and money by managing your HR online, giving you access to all of your employee documents, employee holiday planner and appraisal management system from wherever you are.

Bring the summer feeling to your office

When the weather’s warmer and there are – let’s face it – many other things that your employees would rather be doing than sitting in the office, it could be worthwhile to think about how you can raise spirits and inject a bit of oomph back into proceedings. If some employees are away on holiday, you can ensure that those who are left behind aren’t feeling deflated and demotivated.

Your approach here needn’t cost you a fortune, there are many options for you to choose from. You could you treat the office to an ice-cream, or you could contact a nearby personal trainer and ask them to lead an outdoor workout for your staff? Or maybe a lunchtime picnic in a local park, small gestures can make all the difference.

Give your HR processes an overhaul

It’s natural that there will be certain times of the year when you notice a change in productivity. Sometimes, slight fluctuations are unavoidable, and you need to simply do all you can to minimise the impact. If reduced productivity has become a longstanding problem though, it’s time to address the reasons why, and do something about it.

Your people processes and procedures will often provide you with clues, and they can also be the remedy. Is your business suffering as a result of poor management practices? Are you using outdated systems? Are your employees dissatisfied with certain aspects of their roles, or the way in which the business is being operated?

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

 

Where has “Customer Service” gone???

I’ve had to deal with a couple of suppliers over the past fortnight that quite clearly missed the training sessions on “Customer Care” and “Customer Relations” and quite frankly have left my blood boiling!

It is so frustrating that good customer service seems to be completely non-existent now days and companies think it’s acceptable to do the absolute minimum for their customers and usually all whilst hiding behind an email.

Being a people focused company,  I want to share my top 3 tips for you to share with your teams to ensure you don’t offer the same, what I consider unacceptable, level of service!

  1. Don’t tell your customer that you “don’t do something” – There is a reason they contacted you in the first place, they trust you and know you will be able to help them.   So even if it is a service that you don’t provide, then offer to help them with something you do!  Even if in the end, you offer them an alternative source of supply, they will still come back to you in the future and will leave the conversation on a happy note knowing how you tried to help them.
  2. Don’t put the onus on them – They are calling you because they want someone to do what they can’t or don’t want to, so saying the words “if you do…” or “you need to…” just irritates. What you think is an easy task others may not and fobbing them off in this manner is just giving them the excuse to find someone that will actually help…. And guess what, they may not come back to you next time.
  3. Don’t hide behind an email – If you must tell the customer you can’t help, or that things will take longer than expected, pick up the phone! It is so much harder to be cross with someone if you are actually speaking to them. Also lazy typing and the use of text speak just gets peoples backs up and will lead no further than the complaints department.

Playing devil’s advocate though just for a second, perhaps it’s not their fault they are providing a less than adequate service, do they even know what’s expected or been fully trained for the role? Either way, if we all try that little bit harder to provide a service that is over and above expectation, then good customer service will prevail once again!

We have a saying at HR Revolution “look after your people and the bottom line will look after itself” and that can apply to your customers too.

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

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.