Probation reviews – how to make them work for you…

The first day, the first week, perhaps even the first month! These are generally key milestones for you as a new employee. Hopefully, by the first month you’ve mastered the tea/coffee round, you’ve found your place within the team and you’ve fallen into the pattern of the day-to-day routine; you may even have even forgotten that you’re still a newbie… until you’re reminded of the, often, dreaded probation review.

‘Is it a test?’, ‘Have I been doing my job as well as they’d like?’, ‘This is a waste of time!’, ‘What is the point of this?’  the questions are endless and I presume the feelings are mixed.

An employers approach to the probation review varies from company to company. Some have a very structured approach and almost treat it as a ‘test’, whereas others have a 5 minute chat over coffee to ‘check in’. However, either approach can bring about negative feelings for the employee if not managed properly, so employers beware!

The probation review is often viewed as a tool only for the employer.

  1. To check the employees true skills and understanding of the role and job.
  2. A check to ensure the company have hired correctly and effectively an employer’s safety net, as you will.

However it can also be a powerful tool for you the employee, here’s how:

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Review

The review provides you with a chance to check the work you have done so far against what you were employed to do. You can do this by looking at your job description. This will highlight areas that you may not have covered yet, which is something you can discuss with your employer to ensure you are covering the full responsibilities of your role.

Assess

Use the review as an opportunity to assess whether the job has met YOUR expectations. Think about what you have liked so far and what you have disliked. Reflect on your initial perception of the job before starting and how the reality matches up. Do you have any concerns?

This is very useful for your well being, if you feel any negativity towards the role this is a great time to put this to bed. It could be resolved with a change in your working environment, a change or clarification of a complicated process or simply some reassurance that ‘’you are doing a great job, keep it up!’’

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Discuss

Employers use reviews as a way to assess your performance. You can use this as a way to show off and reaffirm what you have learnt to date. Don’t be scared to ask questions about things you aren’t sure of or may need extra training on. To experience the full benefits of a review it is important to be completely open with areas you are struggling with. This allows your employer to support you and ultimately strengthens your relationship.

Also use this as an opportunity to show your employer your aspirations! A helpful tip: go in there with a project, perhaps there is something you have noticed that could be developed or implemented or something you would like to learn, big or small, that will not only aid in your development but add value to the business.

Ask

Ask for feedback for your own progression and improvement. This will give you a good understanding of how you’re doing. It also gives you an idea on what you need to work on in the coming months leading up to your first quarterly or annual appraisal and the willingness to improve will always be noted by an employer.

Take ownership of your probation review, don’t treat it as an examination or a quick conversation by the photocopier. Treat it as an adult discussion, where both parties can benefit and support each other; a discussion that will pave the way to a healthy and strong employment relationship.

If you need any advice or guidance, please get in touch with us to find out more:+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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Does your company suffer from ‘Leavism’?

Ok, so what does ‘leavism’ actually mean?

It’s the latest term for defining employees who end up working, during non-paid work hours, annual leave or whilst off sick. According to new research from CIPD, 69% of employees have said that ‘leavism’ has happened in their workplace in the past year.

Unfortunately, it is an increasing issue for all types of companies and needs to be taken very seriously.  If you don’t combat low morale and increased stress levels among your employees eventually it will affect your productivity.

Below we’ve outlined a few red flags you should look out for:

Employees working out of hours

Answering urgent calls and messages is one thing. But if an employee is consistently working late at night or very early in the morning in order to finish work they couldn’t get done during working hours it clearly needs to be addressed.

Employees constantly checking emails

We can’t escape it, the world is connected these days, however, your employees may feel pressure to be available at all times, even while they’re away from work. They may think you expect them to read and answer emails 24/7, and see it as a sign of their commitment to your business.

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Employees too scared to book holidays

Research shows that 23% of UK workers struggle to book time off or take allocated annual leave because they are too anxious to leave their work in a fellow colleagues hands.

As an employer – what can you do?

If you start to see a trend in your business of your employees regularly working beyond their contracted hours and spending their annual leaving completing jobs, then you should strongly consider redistributing their workloads or hiring extra employees.

You should also make sure you aren’t promoting a culture of fear, where your employees are scared of what will happen if they don’t finish their work.

If you ignore these signs, you may think in the short term, you’re saving money because employees are completing work without getting paid for it! but at some point down the line you’ll need to weigh this against the cost of employee burnout, mental health issues and retention.

If you need any advice on any HR issue, big or small, then please get in touch: +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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5 ways to set a positive example in the office

To lead, literally means an example for others to follow, so when you are a business owner, leader or manager you are in control, directing your team on what they should be doing.  However, to be an effective leader you must inspire people to follow and to do so, you must lead by example.

So here are 5 ways you can show your team that as a leader, not only can you talk the talk, but you can walk the walk too!

Listen to your team

Sometimes as a leader you can get so wrapped up in ensuring that everything gets done, you forget to take a minute to stop and listen! It’s good to remember that just because you are a leader you aren’t always expected to know everything, so its wise to seek advice and guidance from those in the know. Asking for feedback from your team or other departments will provide you with valuable insight.

Always take responsibility

It doesn’t really matter whether you are the one who’s made a mistake or it was one of your team, you’re still accountable. You should be able to take it upon yourself to guarantee that there is a solution to the problem and put processes in place to stop it from ever happening again.

Take care of yourself

In any job, you must always think about your own health and wellbeing. If you are working yourself into the ground or stressing about a big work project coming up, then chances are this will rub off onto the people you work with too.

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Give “sincere” praise

It has long been documented that when you positively reinforce desired behaviour, it is extremely likely that behaviour will be repeated. You should recognise both the big and small things that your employees are getting right and reward and appreciate them accordingly. This is probably one of the best motivational methods you could use.

Be inspirational

Leadership isn’t about bossing people around to make sure things get done, it’s about inspiring your employees and getting the best out of them, as you all work together to achieve a common goal.

Always work with a lead by example mindset in order to demonstrate a good example to your colleagues and the team that you work with.

All of the above have one thing in common though; they enable you to build trust with the people you work with, once you have their trust you can be sure that they will be willing to follow.

We provide HR solutions and advice for businesses of all sizes and sectors so get in touch: +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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A version of this blog first appeared on Breathehr

 

How to onboard new employees effectively

Getting the onboarding process right is one of the most important things a company can do, get it wrong and the results can be devastating on the bottom line. If employees don’t have a positive onboarding process it can lead to them leaving their job out of frustration, or feeling that they don’t have a worthwhile place within the company.

So what is Onboarding?

New employee onboarding is the process of getting new recruits adjusted to the social and performance aspects of their new jobs quickly and smoothly. It is the process through which a new hire will learn the attitudes, knowledge, skills and behaviours required to function effectively within a company.

Onboarding isn’t about giving your new employee a computer and showing them to their desk! A truly effective onboarding process needs to be much more than just a morning or a day. It needs to be a continuous process, one which serves to engage, train and develop, giving them the tools for future success.

So why is onboarding so important?

Your employees are your greatest asset as they determine whether or not your business will succeed and grow. Investing in your people is a guaranteed way to capitalize on your investment, so keeping employees informed, engaged, productive and loyal is well worth the effort.Remember developing a highly effective on-boarding process;

  • Engages your new employee from the very beginning, setting a precedent that you value your employees.
  • Gets everyone on the same page in terms of the company’s expectations.
  • Increases employee engagement.
  • Improves employee retention.
  • Integrates new recruits into your corporate culture.
  • Reduces costs by preventing future spending on re-hiring and re-training.
  • Increases work performance and productivity.

The onboarding process

An effective onboarding process;

  • Provides ongoing, clear, concise and consistent channels of communication.
  • Facilitates technical learning throughout the employees first three months.
  • Aligns new employees to key business strategies.
  • Sets milestones to gauge and measure new employee success.
  • Discusses their job description, setting company expectations right from the outset.
  • Presents information in easily-digestible amounts, as if it is not managed properly, the first week in a new job can be information overload.
  • Reinforces the brand and other positive aspects of the company culture.
  • Ensures you cover all the key elements such as health and safety and fire evacuation procedures.

Essentially having a company culture capable of attracting, developing and retaining talented employees!

Download our free guide to successful onboarding here.

Or if you would like any practical help or guidance on anything outlined above, please get in touch: +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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Think you wouldn’t benefit from an outsourced HR service? 4 ways we can help you save money

Thinking your business could do with some help with issues that are bubbling away under the surface, but wondering whether you really can spare the budget to outsource?

Is it easier just hoping for the best and carrying on as you are?

We know that it can be scary to make that leap and bring in some HR help, but the reality is that we can often actually SAVE you money.

And that’s an astute investment to make in your business.

Outlined below are just a few of the ways in which we could help you reduce your costs…

1. We can keep you out of tribunals

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that because you’re a fair employer who tries to do your best by all your employees, that you’re not at risk of having to face a tribunal. This isn’t necessary true though.

Employment law is complicated, and if you miss something, you could find yourself with a potentially very costly situation on your hands. We can make sure that your people practices are on the right side of the law.

2. We can increase the performance of your workforce

Imagine if you could double the output of your workforce overnight. Realistically, that’s probably not going to happen, however, HR Revolution can dive deep into your business, pinpoint the exact issues that are at play, and create a step-by-step plan to fix them.

This could increase your productivity and make sure that your employees are firing on all cylinders. You might think that a marketing budget, or some social media tactics are going to give you the edge. But the real breakthrough happens when you look INSIDE your business, rather than outside.

3. We can educate your managers

We don’t just come into your business, work some temporary magic, and then leave. We provide on-site services and can give your managers the skills to ensure that they’re playing an active role in driving your business forward. This means less of a learning curve, less mistakes, and more strides forward.

Your employees are the most important investment that you can make, so it makes sense to nurture that investment. If you know that your managers have room for improvement, take responsibility and talk to us to get things moving in the right direction.

4. We can provide a flexible, pick-and-mix service

Maybe you’re not quite at the stage where you need full-time, permanent HR help. That’s exactly why we can assist you; we don’t tie you into ridiculously long contracts that you don’t need, we can create a bespoke package that’s perfect for your needs.

Just what you really need to move forward and solve your problems, right now. Our aim is to make you a better employer, not tie you up with unnecessary bureaucracy.

HR Revolution can save you money, and can seriously add to your bottom line. Get in touch, 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.

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HR Revolution’s guide for a successful 2018 – PART 3

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 and in the final part of this guide, we take you through the last key action points you need to consider:

Are your line managers firing on all cylinders?

Your line managers are the oxygen of your business. They motivate employees, help you to achieve your goals, and can often be your eyes and ears when the workload starts to mount up and you can’t possibly keep on top of everything on your own.

The managers that you choose can make or break your business, so it makes good sense to consider how you will support them in their roles, and ensure that

Here are some important points to consider:

  • Do you assess your managers on their leadership skills during regular performance discussions?
  • Are you giving managers the tools they need to excel in their role? If you don’t have carefully crafted people policies, for example, then you are not providing the focus and direction that is really required
  • Who are your managers of the future? Do you have a succession plan?

How can you become an exemplary employer?

HR is not just about ticking a few boxes and making sure that you’re not breaking the law. Savvy leaders know that becoming the best employer that they can possibly be can give them a huge competitive edge.

But what does this look like in practical terms? And what do you need to look at to make the shift from compliance to true excellence?

Ask yourself:

  • What do people really say about working for your business?
  • How have you built a positive employer brand? And if you haven’t, how can you get started?
  • How does your performance measure up against other businesses in your area and your industry?
  • Would YOU want to be an employee in your business?

Are you tapping into modern technology?

Make 2018 the year when you finally decide to make your life easier by harnessing the true potential of systems and processes. It could save you time, money, and a whole load of stress.

Here are some points for you to consider:

  • When’s the last time that you caught up with your current providers? They may have new tools that you can utilise, or suggestions on how you can ramp up your return on investment
  • Where are you putting man-hours into tasks that could be automated?
  • What new solutions are being launched into the marketplace that could help you to achieve your goals?

Where do you want your business to be a year from now?

Whilst you’re getting down and dirty with the nitty-gritty considerations, be sure to keep an eye on the bigger picture and what you need to do to make real progress towards bigger goals.

Take a look at:

  • Where you are right now, and the reality of the obstacles that you’ll need to overcome to move forward
  • Where you will have to make investments to ensure that you have the skills and practical tools that you need
  • How you can make fast progress, without cutting corners and creating avoidable problems

Summary

There’s absolutely no doubt about it… If you make your way through the considerations that we’ve outlined in this guide, and you take action against them, then you can make massive leaps forward during 2018.

You don’t have to do everything at once, but you do need to be sensible with your time and make sure that you’re consistently making time for implementation.  Download the complete guide below.

Maybe this information has made you realise that there’s huge room for improvement, and you need a helping hand with getting started. If so, pick up the phone and give us a call. We can carry out an initial assessment of your strengths and weaknesses in terms of your HR practices, and give you advice around how we may be able to guide you through making meaningful and profitable changes.

I hope you enjoyed our guide and that it has given you food for thought… why not give us a call, or visit our website: HR Revolution, we are ready to answer any questions you may have +44 203 538 5311 or info@hrrevolution.co.uk

HR Revolution, expert CIPD HR professionals, supporting your employees and business.

 

 

HR Revolution’s guide for a successful 2018 – PART 2

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 achieve big things.

In part two of this guide, we are  going to walk you through more key action points that you need to consider:

How can you get the most out of your employees?

Productivity can go through peaks and troughs throughout the year. To a certain extent, this is to be expected, and is sometimes unavoidable. Still though, you must unsure that you have mechanisms in place to encourage your employees to make their best possible contribution.

Address these points:

  • How have you recognised the achievements of your team over the busy Christmas period?
  • If organisational priorities have shifted over the past few months, how has this been communicated?
  • When’s the last time you said thank you?
  • How confident are you and your managers when it comes to initiating difficult conversations about performance?
  • What did you discover about how to get the most of your employees during 2017?

How will you retain your best employees?

You might think that your employees are happy and loyal, but January is a prime time for getting itchy feet, and imagining what other opportunities are out there. Can you really be confident that you won’t lose your key talent, and if this did happen, how would your business cope?

Ask yourself:

  • When’s the last time you assessed the workplace climate? Are you welcoming open and honest feedback? Can you be sure about how your employees are feeling?
  • How would you manage if a member of staff handed in their notice? What would happen in terms of covering the work, and reallocating responsibilities?
  • Have you considered external factors such as new businesses opening in the area?
  • How do you ensure that your business offers an attractive package to its employees?
  • If employees leave, are you holding exit interviews to collect meaningful feedback?

Are you up to speed with legislative changes?

Employment legislation changes and evolves on a very regular basis. This should be seen as a positive thing, as it often contributes towards fairer and safer workplaces. Still though, you can’t afford to get complacent.

You need to consider:

  • What legislation will come into force during 2018 that you need to comply with? What processes will you need to follow to ensure that you meet deadlines?
  • Will your policy documentation need to be updated?
  • Who will take responsibility for rolling out the changes?
  • How will you communicate any new provisions to your employees?
  • How will new legislation impact on any working relationships that you have with contractors, e.g. your payroll provider?

How will you develop your leadership skills?

It’s really easy to get caught up with all the finer details of running your business. At the end of the day though, you need to recognise that you are a leader, and you need to be keeping your skills sharp. You expect development from your team, so why should you be any different?

Consider the following:

  • What are your strengths, and how can you build upon them further?
  • How do you really know that these are your strengths? Would your staff say the same? And how can you find out?
  • Where do you need to bring your skills up to speed, and have you developed a plan for doing so?
  • How will your monitor your own progress? How can you stay objective? How will you keep going when the initial motivation wears off?
  • Do you need help and accountability from a mentor?

Look out for the final installment of HR Revolution’s guide, Part 3 on Friday and don’t forget we’ll be attaching the full guide for you to download and keep!

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.

HR Revolution, expert CIPD HR professionals, supporting your employees and 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