Three signs that your business isn’t ready for the festive rush…

The decorations, tinsel and chocolate tubs are filling up the shops.  There is no way to avoid it, Christmas is most definitely on its way.. and it offers some wonderful opportunities for businesses, but if you are not prepared, you could find yourself hugely disappointed come January when you’re taking a look at your figures and assessing how your operations shaped up.

So how do you know if you are ready?  Below, we’ll take a look at three important indicators that you’ve still got some serious work to do.

You haven’t started recruiting your Christmas staff

Maybe you’re planning on getting started with your festive recruiting as soon as possible.  You already know that it’s a really important task, but you just can’t seem to find any spare time to give it the attention that you know it deserves.  Before we get into anything, it’s vital that you don’t panic, that isn’t going to help you and it’s not going to help your business.

You don’t have a back-up plan

Even the most inexperienced business owners realise that Christmas presents its own unique challenges and opportunities, so they get to work creating a plan that will help with them to get the best results possible.  The problem is that this is often where the preparation ends, you need to ask yourself whether you’ve got a Plan B and whether you know what to do if things don’t work out the way you first imagined.

What will you do if your new recruits decide that the role isn’t for them, and leave you in the lurch? What if your management team comes down with a nasty bug and can’t get to work? What if your Christmas party turns into a disaster that could do some serious damage to your business’s reputation?  Hopefully, these things won’t happen, but you don’t want to find yourself in a situation in which you have no idea how to pick up the pieces.  Having compliant Employee Handbook will help you manage your staff effectively, take a look at HR Revolution’s ready to use handbooks.

You haven’t made customer service training a priority

High levels of customer service are essential at any point in the year, but now is the time to make sure that it is firmly at the top of your agenda.  There are numerous reasons for this, you’ll hopefully have more customers coming through your doors and you need to ensure that standards aren’t gong to slip, as well, you’ll probably have the opportunity to impress prospects for the very first time.

Refresher training should be rolled out so carry out an audit of where you are right now, and where improvements can be made.  You don’t necessarily have to invest huge amounts of time and money.  It’s about establishing your current position and working out where you want to go next.  HR Revolution will be happy to carry out a full HR Audit of your business, click here to read more. (Free when you mention “Festive rush” normal audit price £750).

Of course, you now have an option, do you want to do all of this on your own or do you want to call upon some expert help? HR Revolution have a wealth of  HR experience and can work to tackle the issues you may face by providing you the HR solutions you need to overcome them. Have a look at our Outsourced solution below…

If you’ve recognised that you need to make improvements, you are already in a great position for making sure that you really raise the bar this Christmas, acknowledging that there’s work to do is the very first step and HR Revolution can help.

Call +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.

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

 

 

4 reasons why small businesses should invest in HR…

When starting up a business, spending money on HR initiatives and policies can easily slip to the bottom of the to-do list. The general focus is to drive immediate returns, and so it can take time to see a real return on investment of HR. As a result, HR is being thrown in the mix with ‘business admin’ and is reduced to a mere box-ticking exercise.

In place of an effective HR strategy, small business owners frequently try to encourage friendly and informal relationships, working under the implied promise of trust and  casual compliance with ‘this is the way that we do things around here’.

Many of the start-ups that began life this way, in a burst of enthusiasm, optimism and sheer hard graft, do not make it past their fifth birthday. Unfortunately, relying on their inherently goal-orientated and collaborative start-up culture to support people management requirements is not an effective plan for growth and longevity.

Small businesses need to strike the balance between managing ground-breaking innovation and challenging the status quo, with ensuring that they have streamlined processes in place that pave the way for long lasting growth. HR is not there to squash these cultural ideals, it’s there to form the foundations on which a successful business can grow and thrive.

So why should small businesses invest their time and money in HR from the beginning and ensure they get a return on their investment? Here are four reasons why small businesses should invest in HR.

1. HR adds value

Small businesses see little, if any, distinction between the strategic and transactional elements of HR. As a result, it is systematically undervalued and under resourced. And yet there is plenty of evidence to show that strategic HR delivers real dividends – especially among disruptive companies that are challenging the status quo. Netflix is a good example of fresh thinking about people management and how centralising and prioritising the employee experience can deliver exceptional results. This innovative culture has been a key factor in the company’s success.

2. Small businesses are leaving themselves vulnerable

With their relaxed attitude to people management, small businesses are leaving themselves exposed to claims that they may struggle to defend in an Employment Tribunal. By investing in HR and developing policies and best practice they will have a fundamental framework to fall back on.

Employee handbooks are essential in today’s workplace as they help set out core Company expectations in terms of general conduct and integral UK policies and employment legislation, take a look at HR Revolution’s employee handbook template designed to cover everything your business requires to remain compliant.

3. It will come back to haunt you if you don’t

The value of HR is often downplayed in the early stages of a business and this can come back bite them, just look at Uber. And they are not alone. There has been no shortage of news stories revealing issues within larger businesses that could have been avoided if even the most basic of HR procedure was in place. Unfortunately, these companies thought about it too late and it rebounded back on them ten fold because by this time they are no longer a small start-up.

4. Managing HR admin is a misuse of individuals’ skillsets

As a small business, you probably don’t have a dedicated HR person – this is typically because at this early stage, survival is the biggest business priority. As a result, the management of HR administration such as approving holidays, managing sickness, and approving expenses, is landing in the laps of busy senior employees by default.

According to recent research, CEOs of small businesses are spending, on average, eight hours a week on all HR-related tasks. That’s more than office or operations managers who spend seven hours a week and might more realistically be expected to spend time on administrative activity. To put that into perspective, the median average cost of CEO time spent on HR equates to £18,700 each year and is an absolute misuse of individuals’ skillsets.

This is where HR Revolution can help you save valuable time and money by automating your all consuming HR tasks…  with breatheHR, an online HR information system starting from as little as £9 per month.

It has been shown that dedicated HR software saves small businesses, on average, four hours a week on HR admin with the use of software that can assist you with your day-to-day tasks.  Take a look at breatheHR below and manage your people, not paper!!

Summary

It’s no longer acceptable for small businesses to allow HR due process to fall by the wayside, prioritising new business over their people management. In the current business economy, where 40% of businesses fail within the first five years, enthusiastic entrepreneurs need to change their tact. Whilst your investments may not bring about immediate returns, your return on investment will be clear when your trained, supported and rewarded employees grow with you.

Call +44 203 538 5311, email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit http://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.

A version of this blog first appeared on breathehr.com

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

Need HR help, it’s time to admit you’re only human

When many of us think about companies that have made big HR mistakes, we’re quick to jump to the assumption that it’s all the fault of greedy bosses who are more interested in lining their own pockets than doing the right thing by their loyal employees.

Mistakes with administrative processes that result in employees receiving their wages far later than expected? Obviously a ploy so the business can keep hold of their cash for as long as possible and make some interest from your hard earned cash!

Employees forced to give up their holiday entitlement because of a last-minute crisis? Probably a crafty trick concocted to make sure that staff are worked to the bone.

Disgruntled staff who are vocal about their negative experiences at work? Well, there’s no smoke without fire.

We’ve all seen the stories in the press, often sensationalised for the purpose of selling more newspapers, and we’ve made our own judgements about the moral standing of those in charge. Sometimes as in life, it isn’t  black and white.

However, let’s not get too cynical.   This is the reason that legislation exists and as an employer, you have a responsibility to make sure that you’re compliant, that you’re implementing best practices, an employee handbook (download below) would be a good place to start, in making sure that you’re doing everything you can to create an environment that’s fair and nurturing for your employees.

However,  mistakes can and will happen, we are human after all, and even the most dedicated and ethical employers can find themselves facing extremely difficult circumstances.

When your business is growing fast, and you have a million and one things to balance, you can take your eye off the ball. You can overlook important details and you can find yourself facing circumstances that you never imagined, which can put your entire business in jeopardy.

The thing is though, what really matters is what you do next, and how you decide to put things right.

If you are worried there could be an HR nightmare on the horizon, then we want to help. We can assess your current circumstances, and help you to create an action plan that gets things back on track as quickly as possible, with the least amount of fuss.

At HR Revolution we’re just passionate about getting things right, and we understand the challenges that you’re facing. Give us a call today and see how we can help.

Outsourced HRHR Documents | Talent Solutions

HR Revolution HR Documents

Visit HR Revolution’s document shop, for all your HR document needs 

Employee handbooks – 5 mistakes that businesses make…

According to a recent survey, over 90% of companies have created employee handbooks to share with their employees; but the finished document is about so much more than just listing your policies and sharing some mission statements.

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.

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!

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 will be able to 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.

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, we can help. Contact us for a no-obligation chat about working together.

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!

So what changes will you be making?  Let us help, download our guide to Employee handbook requirements or our ready to use Employee handbook template…

 

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

HR Revolution, HR Documents, outsourced HR,

 

4 small business HR mistakes to avoid…

Owning and managing a small business in this day and age can mean wearing many hats, from planning and strategy, marketing and sales to accounting and human resources.  Unfortunately, the pitfalls of having to juggle multiple roles can increase the likelihood of making mistakes.

It’s easy for small business owners to ignore the HR function when things are running smoothly. However, in doing so, it can lead to costly mistakes (think legal action and high employee turnover) and these can have serious consequences.

How can you stop dropping the ball when it comes to HR? Listed below are the four most common HR management pitfalls faced today (and how to avoid them!):

1. Rushed recruitment

When it comes to hiring employees for a small business, mistakes are sadly all too common. From poorly written job descriptions to hurried interview processes, these practices can result in attracting less than ideal candidates.  Have you ever stopped to think how much a “bad hire” could cost your company?

There is a solution however…  Create a consistent interview process, start by writing clear and accurate job descriptions that will attract good talent and make sure too include all relevant information on the role (remuneration, qualifications, bonus job duties, company info, etc.)   You want to make it enticing to the candidate, what sets your company apart from the rest? and why would they want to work for you?

A really critical factor that employers tend to overlook when hiring, is ensuring a candidate is a good fit to the company culture, this is just as important as having the right skills for the job especially within a small business.  Get more people involved in the interview process, the best hiring decisions are made as a team.

2. No Employee handbook

Not having any company policies in writing is just asking for trouble and it doesn’t really matter what size company you are either, you NEED some form of employee handbook.

Having an employee handbook is a start, but not enough, as the policies within it need to be reviewed, updated and communicated on a regular basis.  What’s more you should get every employee to sign an acknowledgment form stating that they have read and understood everything in the handbook.

3. Addressing performance related issues

While no termination of employment is really a positive one, complicated ones may lead to legal action.  It is much easier when you are properly prepared and that preparation starts by addressing and documenting performance-related issues. When performance problems arise, aim to nip them in the bud by addressing them during performance reviews. This then gives employees an opportunity to correct the issue.

But what happens when that feedback doesn’t solve the problem? Sometimes terminations are unavoidable, but doing them right can avoid any unwanted issues. The key is to thoroughly document employee performance problems. This may seem time-consuming, but in the long run it can serve as valuable evidence should a termination be necessary.

4. No investment in employee training

As an employer when you invest in your employees you are investing in your company. This investment is most clearly demonstrated by providing appropriate training opportunities for employees. These opportunities should begin with a thorough on-boarding process for new hires and continue with structured professional development and training plans for current employees.

By providing your new employees with the tools they need to hit the ground running and current employees with opportunities to grow, you can be rest assured that your employees, at whatever stage of their career, are performing at peak performance.

If you are struggling to get the most out of your HR function… book your obligation FREE audit with us today…

 

Employee grievance? 5 critical actions to manage the process

If an employee brought up a grievance, would you know how to handle it? Regardless of how good your HR practices may be, and how capable your managers are, you might find yourself in a situation whereby you need to follow a formal grievance procedure.

The grievance procedure should always be included in your employee handbook and be followed to the letter. This is crucially important because it can help you nip any problems in the bud, and keep your business out of costly employment tribunals.

Here, we outline the five critical steps that you need to cover.

  1. Informal discussion

All grievances should be taken seriously, so it’s essential you address the problem head-on rather than attempt to brush the issue under the carpet, in the hope that it will just disappear or fix itself. However, there’s no need to blow things out of proportion. Many problems can be handled with an informal chat between the employee and their manager.

If a suitable outcome can’t be reached, then the employee should be asked to submit a formal grievance letter, if they haven’t already done so.

  1. Formal meeting

At this stage, the issue needs to be discussed in more depth. The meeting should be held in a confidential setting, chaired by the manager designated to handle the full grievance process, and your employee should be advised that they can bring along a colleague or trade union representative.

In the meeting collect as much information as possible, and ask plenty of questions. It’s always wise to remain impartial, and treat the meeting as a fact-finding operation before going away to tie up loose ends and verify the finer details.

  1. Investigation

If the issues being discussed are particularly complex, then it may be necessary for you to pause proceedings for a short period of time to gather more information, and cross-reference the accounts that you’ve received.

Though it’s important that you’re thorough here, be mindful that the time is ticking. Having unresolved grievance procedures carrying on can have a real, tangible negative impact on your workforce. Wherever possible, give your employee a date that they can expect to hear an outcome.  Managing expectations is critical, and shows that you’re treating the situation with importance.

  1. Communicating your final decision

At this stage, the employer must decide whether to uphold or dismiss the grievance. The decision should be communicated to the employee in writing, and they should also be provided with notes and minutes from any formal grievance meetings that were held as part of the process.

To fulfill your obligations here, you’ll need to make sure that all paperwork is carefully collated throughout the procedure. It should go without saying that your records need to be timely, accurate, and confidential.

  1. Right to appeal

It would be easy to assume that once the final decision has been communicated, everything is done and dusted. Although, this isn’t always necessarily the case. So you need to offer the option of an appeal, which would essentially restart the entire process.

To minimise the potential impact of bias, the case should be handed over to another manager wherever possible.

The very nature of grievance procedures means that they can be uncomfortable for everyone involved. However, they’re sometimes unavoidable, and you need to be sure that you can handle the situation in line with your responsibilities as an employer.

If you’re handling a particularly contentious grievance procedure, or it’s your first time navigating your way through the process, then speak to one of our HRRev Consultants to help ease the load and get the best possible outcome.

Download our ready to use Grievance Policy or Employee handbook or get in touch and talk to one of our Consultants today to see how we can help!  +44 (0) 203 538 5311