Your December survival guide…

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

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

First thing, stay calm…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

HR Revolution’s guide for a successful 2018 – PART 1

So the end of the year is getting closer, and as a business owner I’m sure you’re no doubt taking a little time to reflect on your successes during the past 12 months, and assess your growth plans for next year.

So we thought we’d would take the opportunity to put together this three part guide, giving you the perfect opportunity to take stock, get your head well and truly in the game, and work out precisely what needs to be done to allow you achieve your big goals during 2018.

If you haven’t already started the planning process, then you might be feeling the pressure. It’s true that a head start can give you a great advantage, but help is at hand to make sure that you have the key points covered.

HR Revolution specialise in giving SMEs the tools, frameworks, and knowledge to get the most out of their employees ensuring that people practices help them to achieve big things.

In this three part guide, we are going to walk you through the key action points that you need to consider:

Have you translated your business goals into tangible policies and practices?

Your HR policies and practices aren’t just there so you can demonstrate that you’ve ticked a few boxes. They should guide your business, help you to navigate your big challenges, and bring you closer to your goals.

So with this in mind, grab a pen and brainstorm the following points:

  • Do your employees fully understand their personal and team objectives, and how these fit into the bigger picture?
  • Have you considered how you can use reward practices to motivate employees and drive productivity?
  • Do you encourage ongoing learning and development? How can you engrain this into your workplace culture?
  • Are your line managers confident in their roles, and playing a part in your growth plans?
  • Can you clearly articulate how everyday working practices are translating into key results?
  • How confident are you that your plans are robust enough to guide you forward?

Sometimes, taking the time to really assess where you are can make it clear where you need to make changes, or perhaps adapt your approach.

Will you need to bring in new employees?

Recruiting new employees may be essential if you want to expand, so it’s possible that you’re starting to think about how your team will grow during 2018.

Consider:

  • Do you need temporary employees? Could using the services of contractors give you more flexibility?
  • Are your recruitment processes in line with relevant legislation? Do you know your responsibilities in terms of ensuring that you don’t discriminate during the selection process, for example?
  • Do you have a strategy around how you’ll tackle the war for talent? Do you know where to find the very best candidates, and how to get them excited about the opportunity to work with your business?
  • Do you have an induction and onboarding process to help new recruits to really hit the ground running and get off to the best possible start?

Look out for Part 2 of HR Revolution’s guide on Wednesday!

We’ll be attaching the guide in full for you to download and keep in our final installment, so keep an eye out for Part 3…

If you would like to contact us to discuss anything in the meantime, please call us on +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk or click here to visit our website.

How to nail your 2018 HR planning…

Any business owner knows the importance of using the end of the year as a chance to return to their people policies, consider the achievements and challenges of the past 12 months, and do some careful planning for the future. Keeping on top of your HR can be tricky, but it’s also essential to running a successful business.

However, before getting stuck into finer details, it is wise to take a step back and think about the big issues that need your attention. Here, we’re going to provide you with the inspiration you need to make your planning as effective as possible.

Anticipate any key legislative changes

Not a year goes by without a new piece of legislation coming in that will have an impact on your business. Of course, these are often for the greater good, and will help you to build a stronger workforce. But if you’re not prepared, they can catch you off-guard and cause you significant problems.

Make sure this doesn’t happen by taking the time to anticipate any legislation that will be coming into force, and working out what you need to do to ensure that you’re compliant. In 2018, necessary considerations are likely to include gender pay reporting, taxation of termination payments, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and restricting employment allowance for hiring illegal workers.

Consider external forces that are out of your control

Often, a lot of thought is given to planning for internal factors, such as sales that you might be running, employee holidays, and so on. You need to make sure though that you’re also thinking about external forces that may have a significant impact on your business.

Are there any big events coming up in your area, and what will they mean for your operations? Are there any other businesses that are likely to be setting up shop, and what are the implications? Could your top talent be tempted to look elsewhere? You can rarely stop these things from happening, but you can make sure that you’re as prepared as possible.

Ask yourself whether you’re really considering strategic goals

We’re past the days of HR being all about tea and sympathy. Savvy business owners know that HR needs a seat at the table and that it can play a significant role in meeting strategic goals. Despite this though, many business owners still aren’t using policies and practices to truly drive their business forward, to say that this is a wasted opportunity would be a huge understatement.

So how are you nurturing your teams so they can fulfill their potential? Are your performance management processes encouraging employees to excel? Is everyone up to date and on-board with the future direction of your business and do they understand the part that they will play? It’s easy to get caught up with all the everyday, operational concerns. And these are of course important. But if you want to move forward, you need to ensure that you’re taking the time to think strategically.

Finding enough hours in the day to plan your 2018 can be a challenge in itself, but it’s non-negotiable though if you’re serious about smashing your goals.

The good news is that you don’t have to do all of this on your own. HR Revolution have many years of experience and can help. Get in touch today for an initial chat about how we may be able to work together, call +44 203 538 5311 or ask us a question below…

 

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

 

How to manage stress in the workplace

Stress is a very real problem in the workplace and so it is really important that businesses have a genuine and supportive culture, not just policies that are applied inconsistently by different managers.

Losing a valued member of staff as a result of Stress, is expensive not only in terms of absence but potentially in any discrimination claim they could bring if it is found an employer has contributed to their condition.

Below are five tips for employers and businesses on how to ensure a culture that guards against workplace stress:

Communicate – Employers should have open lines of communication with all employees, making them feel valued and involved in their company.

Consult on change – Employers should inform and consult employees on changes that are likely to affect them before they take place and encourage them to ask questions, before, during and after any changes so that they feel involved in the process, making sure that their opinions are valued ad respected.

Manage Absence – Make sure you are dealing with employee absences appropriately, helping people return to work with the appropriate health services, such as, occupational health and return to work interviews.

Offer Help – Employee assistance programmes should be made available, for example confidential or in person counselling.

Lead by Example  Employers should lead by example and actively promote healthy lifestyle themselves by having a good work/life balance, managing working hours, using full holiday allowance and taking lunch breaks.

Stress is a tricky subject to handle, so if you are unsure we are here to help. For further advice or assistance relating to Stress Management or Stress in the workplace, please contact HR Revolution on +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

We are friendly expert HR professionals who can help you resolve any issues whilst supporting your employees and minimising any risk to your business.

 

 

Best practice guidelines for employers with employees who give birth to sick or premature babies

“Working parents deserve support at work, and those who have premature babies should expect nothing less than total backing from their employers at what can be an exceptionally difficult and worrying time.”                          (Business Minister Margot James)

As an employer, are you aware of the statutory entitlements and the best ways in which to support your employees with premature or sick babies? Here are some of the best practice guidelines to help employers manage employees through this difficult period.

MAT B1

MAT B1 forms must be provided in order to receive Statutory Maternity Pay. In such circumstances as a premature baby, mothers are unable to obtain a MAT B1 form before the baby is born. In the chaos of it all the parents may forget or not be aware of the statutory requirements for SMP so, when/if appropriate, the employer could give the employee a supportive reminder.  HRREV recommends providing expectant employees with a Maternity Pack which highlights points such as this. This will prepare the employee should something like this happen and be a central point of reference during any stage of their pregnancy/birth.

Whilst the employee is waiting for their SMP to kick in it may worth considering providing the employee with financial aid such as a loan or advance in salary. Whilst handling offers like this sensitively you should always formalise such agreements in writing.

Communication

Communication is always a grey area when an employee goes on maternity leave. Employers should always ask the parents if they are happy to be contacted and what the best way of doing so is.

Take care when first communicating with the employee after the birth of their child. Usually congratulations are in order, however it may not be appropriate in some circumstances but it is still important to acknowledge the birth perhaps a “thinking of you and baby card” or a personalised video message from the team.

Fathers/ Partners

It’s important that an employer is compassionate towards the father/partner of the mother. They will also be stressed and their main priority will be supporting mother and baby. As an employer you may need to be flexible with time off or working hours. It is important to remind fathers and partners that they are eligible for Paternity leave and pay, which they can take within 8 weeks of the actual date of birth or within 8 weeks of the expected date of birth.

Family Friendly Entitlements

To further support the parents, remind the employee about their entitlement to parental leave, special leave and/or (if you are happy to accept shorter notification) shared parental leave. Perhaps refer them to the policies within your employee handbook so they can digest the information in their own time.

Communication to their colleagues

Employers should sensitively ask the parents what they would like to tell their colleagues. The extra support of their work colleagues could really help the parent feel supported by their company, making the transition back to work easier when they are ready.  Some parents will prefer privacy and it is then up to the employer to ensure that this is communicated to their colleagues to ensure no upset it caused.

 Death of a baby

Sadly some parents experience the death of their premature or sick baby. It is important to remember that the mother is still entitled to take up to 52 weeks of Maternity leave and 39 weeks of Statutory Maternity pay (if eligible). Similarly the father/partner of the mother is also able to receive Paternity leave and pay (if eligible).  Ensure that this is communicated this to the employee compassionately and at an appropriate time.

Returning to work

Returning to work can be a difficult time for most parents, however if the baby is born early or sick and still in hospital this can leave the parents feeling more anxious and worried than normal.

Employers should recognise the need to support the employee by providing them with a flexible return to work plan, balancing the needs of the business and their parental pressures. It is also important to provide a return to work plan that is well structured and eases the employee into their role at a pace they are comfortable at.

Employers should always seriously consider formal/informal flexible working requests. Refer to a flexible working policy and discuss the options with the employee upon their return. This may help make them feel more supported and alleviate their work worries.

If you need further clarification or would like to discuss any of the guidelines above, please do get in touch with HR Revolution, friendly, expert HR experts who are here to help.  Call us today +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

Why you need HR Revolution

Do you need HR support?  Want to reduce your HR burden?

HR Revolution’s retained HR support could be the solution you are looking for, enabling you to focus on growing your business.

What are the benefits of using our HR Outsourced solution I hear you ask.

Simply put, it gives you peace of mind knowing you can call on professionals to handle HR issues, reducing the risk to your business from employee challenges.  It also helps you cut down the amount of time you spend on HR issues by making sure that all your employee documentation is legal and compliant.

For a fixed monthly fee, you can secure our expert services on a retainer basis. You can choose to get HR support over the telephone and by email, schedule regular onsite visits, or opt for full outsourcing of your HR function. We will discuss the type and level of support you need and allocate an agreed number of hours to be used as you wish.  Our aim is to provide a ‘flexible’ option that meets a changing business environment rather than tie you into a long arrangement that no longer suits your needs.

Bottom line, HR Revolution are a team who are passionate about performance based HR which means we commit to making sure your business and employees excel.

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

 

 

Have you taken your annual leave?

Annual leave is a benefit all employees receive. In the UK, the typical allocation is around 28 days, during which we’re encouraged to leave our work and focus on relaxing and rejuvenating.

However, we seem to be forgetting to take annual leave!! Reports suggest that only 1 in 3 of us actually takes our full annual leave allocation each year. Here, we’ll explore the benefits of annual leave and why it’s important to take yours.

The benefits of annual leave

There are many benefits to taking annual leave. These include:

  • Health
  • Stress relief
  • Productivity
  • Trust

Health benefits

Taking time away from the business gives our bodies and minds the chance to realign. It’s our opportunity to relax, away from the pressures of our day job, and to focus on other areas of our lives that also make us happy, such as friends and family.

Much like sleep helps our bodies rejuvenate, annual leave is an important part of our year and one of very few chances we get to truly forget about work.

This in turn relieves stress. We delegate tasks to our colleagues while we’re away, which means the period prior to annual leave is usually one in which we complete tasks and re-prioritise. This helps us to focus and clear our minds, bringing our levels of stress down.

Productivity

When we work constantly, our bodies are prone to burn out. This is where we’ve worked hard for so long, we simply can’t do it anymore.

Time out of the office gives you chance to relieve that stress and think about things in a more positive manner, with clarity to help you work more productively and effectively.

Encouraging your employees to use their annual leave can also reduce the number of sick days taken each year, which has a tangible impact on your bottom line.

Building trust

It’s important we show our colleagues that we trust them with our work, and that we can rely on them to do a great job in our absence. Taking annual leave, especially if you’re more senior in a business, tells your colleagues that you do trust them and gives them the chance to develop professionally too.

Top tips for annual leave

Follow these tips to make the most of your annual leave time:

  1. Set an out of office response that gives people an alternative contact during your absence
  2. Turn off your email notifications and work phone so you can relax and forget about your day job
  3. Delegate work in advance so your colleagues have chance to ask questions of you before you leave

Time for a break?

Many companies are implementing initiatives to make working life more flexible. But despite that, we’re still failing to even take our full annual leave allocation.

It’s important that we lead the way in ensuring we take the holiday we deserve and that we make the most of that time. It is good to remember that the business won’t fall apart just because you’ve been away for a few days!  Happy holidays…

HR Revolution is a gold partner of breatheHR, a cloud-based HR employee software that is a straightforward and intuitive system that you and your team will love. You will be able to see your employees holiday allocations easily, so you can see who needs a little nudge to take a day off!

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

 

5 mistakes employers are making with Employee Handbooks..

A recent survey has stated that over 90% of companies have created an employee handbook to share with their employees; that is positive, but in reality are these handbooks HR compliant?  Just listing policies and sharing some mission statements, will not cut it!!!

So based on the statistics, you’ve probably made a token attempt at creating an employee handbook for your business – but are you missing the mark? Here, we uncover the mistakes that too many businesses are making, and explain how you can turn things around.

Taking a cookie-cutter approach

Of course there are certain things that all employee handbooks should include, but this certainly doesn’t mean that you should just download a free template from Google, fill in the blanks, and hope for the best. Your business is unique. Its culture and practices make it individual, and your handbook needs to reflect this. After all, first impressions count, so you need to make sure that you’re giving your employees a quality document that reflects what you’re really all about.

Don’t be scared to showcase your business’s personality and create something that demonstrates what it’s like to work for your company. Your new employees should feel inspired, motivated, and ready to face their new challenges.

Neglecting to seek out a professional opinion

You wouldn’t finalise your end-of-year accounts without speaking to an accountant, so why should your employment documentation be any different? HR Revolution can advise you on anything that you might have missed, unearth any points that could potentially get you into hot water, and give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that everything’s in order.

Speaking in legal lingo

Your HR practices need to be created in accordance with relevant legislation. Staying on the right side of the law will save you a whole load of time and hassle. Before stuffing your handbook with jargon though, take a step back and think about how you can make the important information as easy as possible to digest. A better understanding of what’s expected will ultimately lead to higher rates of compliance.

Consider your audience, and keep things as straightforward as possible. At the end of the day, your handbook should be there to help people – not overwhelm them.

 

Letting the document gather dust

The world of business changes and adapts every single day. New legislation is rolled out, light is cast on exciting and innovative ways to get the most out of a workforce, and advances in technology present new challenges. What works right now isn’t necessarily going to be fit for purpose in the near future.

Before signing off your document as completed, set a date for review. Keeping on top of changes can be a manageable job only if you make sure that you don’t let the grass grow under your feet. Shockingly, 2.8% of employers don’t know when they last carried out any reviews or changes – don’t fall into this camp!

Forgetting to make sure that every employee has their copy

Creating a document to be proud of is only the first part of the story. It isn’t going to make any difference unless you ensure that all employees get their copy, and that they’re given time to digest the information. These days, this is easier than ever before. Many companies decide to distribute their handbooks via email or an intranet system.

And finally, be sure to lead by example. When’s the last time that you familiarised yourself with the content? Do you have a copy on your desk? Are you confident that you could answer questions about the points that are covered? If not, consider this your wake-up call!

Ready to seek out some advice that you know you can trust? Whether you’re starting from scratch with your handbook and you’re not sure where to begin, or you’ve done the work yourself and just want a second opinion, HR Revolution can help. Contact us for a no-obligation chat about working together.

HR Revolution’s employee handbooks will help you to set core business policies and expectations and help portray your business culture, values, branding and vision, setting the tone for your business and employees, whilst maintaining HR compliance and best practice for all.

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

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