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.

Happy Valentines… the do’s and don’ts of office romance…

Today is the 14th February, ring any bells?  Of course, it’s Valentines, the day where love is all around us – well commercially anyway!! and yes I’m sure I will be inundated with cards, chocolates and flowers, well I can dream!!

However, is it ever a good thing when it’s in the office?

Clearly given the amount of time we spend at work, it is no surprise that things happen.. 51% of working professionals have participated in some kind of workplace relationship, with 10% meeting their spouse at work.

So what are the do’s and don’ts of relationships that don’t upset the rest of the team or end in your unemployment?

If he or she is married, don’t embark on a relationship, exciting it maybe, but you don’t want to run the risk of wife/husband turning up at the office looking for answers, remember when families etc are involved there will be far reaching consequences.

Emails – I would think very carefully before sending anything incriminating, all it takes is to hit the wrong key and the whole company will know about your oh so “secret” relationship! Also, remember it is likely that your company can access your emails anyway, so always think with your head.

PDA’s or public displays of affection, your colleagues won’t want to witness this, especially after lunch!! you must remember to remain professional at all times, and as for sex in the workplace, this could be grounds for instant dismissal so best save the passion for after hours.

Don’t be a blatant flirt, discretion is the key, a stolen glance is more enticing that draping yourself over someone’s desk and remember people are always watching.  So to avoid malicious comments keep your appearance in check, keep your look professional.

If things do start to get serious, consider whether it would be better for both your relationship or your job if one of you were to move on before you are not given the choice or it begins to interfere with the office equilibrium.  Also, consider the worse case scenario, what happens if it all goes wrong, you still need to act professionally and work in the same office, so no uncontrollable crying or planning a Lorena Bobbit style revenge, make sure that you have someone to talk it through with after work, friends or family being a good start.

How you handle things as an employer can also have a big impact.  So creating clear, legal and ethical policies will guide your employees and help develop the running of a harmonious workplace.  Let employees know that you expect office romances or relationships etc. to be kept separate from the work environment and don’t be afraid to spell out the consequences of any “romantic” relationship that is negatively impacting on your business or workplace.

If you would like to discuss any potential issues, give HR Revolution a call for a confidential chat and ensure that no situation ever turns into an HR disaster.   +44 203 538 5311 or email info@hrrevolution.co.uk

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Employers’ bizarre excuses for failing to pay minimum wage

I find this unbelievable in 2017!  Please make sure you are not an employer to be accused of this and keep on top of Employment law in your workplace.

One boss failed to pay the minimum wage to a worker because “she only makes the teas” and that is just one of a string of bizarre excuses by employers.

Another argued their case for not paying the legal minimum, saying that a member of staff “wasn’t a good worker”, while one said employees should “prove their worth”.

These excuses, heard by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), were published as part of a government awareness campaign.

It is encouraging people to check their wages and warning employers of fines.

Business Minister Margot James said: “There are no excuses for underpaying staff what they are legally entitled to”.

“This campaign will raise awareness among the lowest paid in society about what they must legally receive and I would encourage anyone who thinks they may be paid less to contact Acas as soon as possible.”

All workers must be paid at least £7.20 an hour if they are aged 25 and over, in order to comply with the National Living Wage.

The National Minimum Wage means that:

  • Workers aged 21 to 24 should receive a legal minimum of £6.95 an hour
  • Staff aged 18 to 20 should get at least £5.55 an hour
  • Pay should be at least £4 an hour for the under-18s
  • Apprentices should receive a minimum of £3.40 an hour

Among the cases investigated by HMRC was a boss who thought it was acceptable to pay foreign staff below the statutory rate.

I also heard from one employer who said: “She doesn’t deserve the national minimum wage because she only makes the teas and sweeps the floors.”

Another said: “My accountant and I speak a different language – he doesn’t understand me and that’s why he doesn’t pay my workers the correct wages.”

Len McCluskey, general secretary of the Unite union, said: “Too often, companies are skimming their profits out of the pockets of their workforce. It is a continuing reminder that, for too many working people, work in this country just does not pay.

“While it is good to see the rogues being held to account in some way, the fines can only ever be a rap on the knuckles.”

Stewart Gee, of the conciliation service Acas, said: “We welcome this new government awareness campaign, as there are no good excuses for not paying staff what they are legally entitled to.

“Employers are breaking the law if they do not pay the national minimum wage and businesses face a maximum fine of £20,000 per worker for not paying the national living wage. Failure to pay the national living wage could also result in a company director being banned for up to 15 years.”

If this article has highlighted any issues, please do get in touch HR Revolution would love to help, call us now +44 203 538 5311 or email@ info@hrrevolution.co.uk

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A version of this article first appeared on http://www.bbc.co.uk

Key Employment Law changes to look out for in 2017

The saying is so true, there are few things in life you can guarantee but death, taxes and employment law changes are among them!!  So we’ve outlined 3 changes that will be coming this year, so make sure you get 2017 off to a flying start by being prepared.

Remember you need to be compliant and there are absolutely no excuses when it comes to employment law, let HR Revolution advise you.

Let’s take a look at the changes you need to pencil in your diary…

Gender pay gap reporting

For the first time, private sector, public sector, and voluntary sector employers with 250+ members of staff will be required to publish information relating to the gender pay gap, and how they are performing in terms of driving forward equality.

At the moment, the exact requirements are still being drafted, though it’s expected that the deadline for the first report will be 4th April 2018, based on data from 2016/2017. We’ll release more guidance on this once it’s available.

Changes to regulations surrounding employment of foreign workers

From April 2017, employers sponsoring foreign workers with a tier 2 visa will have to pay an immigration skills charge of £1,000 per worker. This will be reduced to £364 for small employers and charities.

In addition to this, the minimum annual salary threshold for ‘experienced workers’ applying for a tier 2 visa will be increased to £30,000. If you employ foreign workers, or plan to open up your recruitment channels in the near future? You need to make sure you’re compliant.

National minimum wage and living wage changes to be aligned

The dates for changes to national minimum wage and national minimum wage will be brought into alignment, so the good news here is that there are less dates to keep track of!

From April 2017, the national living wage for staff aged 25 or over will increase to £7.50 per hour.

All things considered, there’s plenty to think about in 2017, and plenty that you need to plan for. And of course, there’s the tricky issue of Brexit…

There’s still a grey area over what we should really expect, though things are likely to become clearer in the coming months. Make sure that you keep an eye on our updates for practical, no-nonsense guidance on what you really need to know.

Do you need help ensuring compliance? Give HR Revolution a call today: +44 203 538 5311 we’d love to help.

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Calling all small business owners, are you making these costly HR mistakes

As a small business owner, would you call yourself a ‘reluctant leader’? is it a title that you identify with.

Did you start your company because you had an exciting product or service to share, and believed in the impact that it could have on the world, only to realise as you grow there are a ton of extra responsibilities that end up on your agenda.

Hopefully, one of these is building and managing a team of productive and motivated employees, who can help you to reach these goals, but it’s easier said than done!

There are a few common mistakes that many owners make, often without realising, let’s take a look at what they are, and what you should do about them…

Acting with the best intentions, without understanding the law

You value your employees and want to do your best by them.  You have absolutely no intention of doing anything that could potentially harm your business or bring it into disrepute. The reality is though, that simply trying to do what feels right and fair often just doesn’t cut it.

Employment law can be complex, and it’s your responsibility to make sure that your business is compliant. Do you understand, for example, the legislation around acceptable working hours? Or how you should support disabled members of staff? Or what to do if a worker is expecting a baby? If not, then you need to either improve your knowledge, or take advice from an expert.

Developing policies and procedures as the need arises

Perhaps you’ve never really considered how you would handle the situation if a member of staff started to underperform, or if their behaviour became unacceptable. Surely, you can address issues like this as and when they arise? This approach certainly isn’t ideal, and it can result in all sorts of problems.

If you don’t have robust policies and procedures in place, then consider this your wake-up call. Not only will making changes reduce your risk of running into difficulties, but it can also help you to drive your business forward.

Investing in HR

While many business owners think about working with an HR consultant, they imagine that it might be something that they’ll do in the future, once they’ve built a huge team. In actual fact though, we can provide affordable solutions to businesses with just a few employees, and really help nip any potential problems in the bud, and create a clear growth plan for the future.

Seeking out HR help earlier can ensure that any niggling issues don’t become the norm in your workplace and can give you peace of mind in your role as an employer.

If you’re reading this and you know that you’re guilty of making any of these mistakes, then please do get in touch, we can arrange to have a no-obligation consultation and make a plan for getting your business firmly on the right track!

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Your Christmas HR questions answered…

Can you believe that two weeks today will be the 1st of December.  Most people think of the Christmas period as a time to relax and enjoy the festivities and I’m sure the office party/lunch/dinner details will dominate office conversation.  But not for business owners and managers I fear, the Christmas period can come with a whole host of issues, so why not this year, plan ahead a little and keep the period problem free.

Read the following Q&As to get the important information you need to know for your business.

Do I have to organise a Christmas party or function for my employees?

There is no legal requirement for you to organise anything for your employees.  There are some wider issues to consider here though. Just because you’re not obliged to do something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t. After all it is the season to be jolly and organising a get-together could be a great way to thank everyone for their contribution and show them that you really appreciate all that they do for the business.

Cost is always a key factor in thinking about Christmas parties, but you don’t always have to spend a fortune, keep a budget in mind and have a look at all options, there are plenty around.

Everyone wants to take time off, how can I manage this?

Getting this right all comes down to the finer details of your employment contracts. You must take the time to assess the precise terms and conditions that you’ve laid out regarding how holiday can be taken. Generally speaking, employees should know how to request time off, and how decisions will be made by the management team.

If you have certain busy periods, you may decide that you’ll only accept requests for time off between certain dates in exceptional circumstances. If you had a employee who was getting married, for example, then you may reconsider your stance.

Not all of my staff are Christian, what are the implications here?

Having a diverse workforce has a multitude of benefits. You do need to make sure though that you’re conscious of differing beliefs, and the issues that could be at play. Remember that Christmas is a national holiday in the UK, and it’s recognised among many religious groups (including the non-religious) as having a special status. If you have many employees from different religions, it may be worthwhile considering making arrangements to recognise other holidays that your employees may wish to celebrate.

This can seem like a minefield, but it’s very possible to devise an approach that will suit all needs. You may need some help though when it comes to understanding the relevance and important of various different holidays. As such, you might decide to hold a consultation exercise with your employees. Getting everyone involved in decisions that will have an impact on them will ensure that they’re accepted.

Should I give my employees a present?

I’m sure there is no employee in the world that would not gratefully a Christmas present! However there are a few things to consider.

First of all, make sure that everyone receives their gift. This includes anyone who may be away on maternity, paternity, or sick leave.  Also, think carefully about the nature of the gift, a bottle of wine may seem like a good idea, though not so much if you have members of staff who abstain from alcohol. Use your common sense, and get a professional’s opinion if you’re struggling with ideas.

If you need any help with updating your HR policies and procedures, get in touch with HR Revolution and will be happy to advise you or visit our HR document website www.hrrevolutionshop.co.uk, where you can download our ready to use templates and documents.

It’s worth taking a bit of time to do some planning, then you and your employees can have a very merry Christmas indeed.

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Time to get honest in the workplace…

Ok, so corporate jargon is something that plenty of us use each and every day without giving it too much thought.

Maybe you encourage a lot of ‘blue-sky thinking’, or perhaps you might suggest to your team that you ‘take things offline’ when you’d rather have a more private conversation about an important issue.

Or, a little disturbingly, you might occasionally (but hopefully not!), consider yourself to be ‘punching a puppy’ when you do something that you know won’t be too popular – a term that Forbes magazine pinpointed as being amongst the most annoying business slang.

 

Right now though, let’s take a minute or two to talk about the art of ‘managing expectations’ and honesty.

You might think that this is all about what happens directly within the workplace, but it’s actually much deeper, and it’s worth taking a little time to understand this. If, for example, an employee has money problems outside of the office, then the fact that you suggested when they were first recruited that they would have had a pay rise by now, is the type of thing that’s going to create some serious problems. However, it’s not just about the pay slip at the end of the month, it becomes about the everyday lives and worries and concerns of your employees.

Sure, the cause of the money problems might have absolutely nothing to do with you, and of course they’re almost certainly not your fault. But when you fail to manage expectations effectively, the impact can be far reaching. The working environment can amplify the issues, and put you in the position of taking the full blame.

So what’s the solution? It’s simple. Get radically honest, from the very beginning. You might think
that embellishing the truth a little is just part of attracting the best talent, but telling the truth from the offset is going to save you a whole load of time, money, and hassle.

  • If you specify a pay bracket, but new recruits start at the bottom and won’t progress for at least two years? Tell them that.
  • If working weekends is something that you expect of everyone, even those in higher positions? Make sure they know that in advance.
  • If budgetary constraints mean you won’t be giving out any cash bonuses in the near future? That’s fine, but for goodness’ sake , don’t try to paint a picture that suggests something different.

Your employees will respect you a whole lot more if you’re not living in a world of exaggeration, and if you’re really, ridiculously honest about your objectives, their role in the business and what’s likely to be achieved in the near and distant future. It’s about keeping them motivated to drive your business forward.

This isn’t about reducing your team’s hopes and dreams to dust. It’s about recognising both the positive and less-positive sides of leadership, acting with integrity and empathy, and ultimately, it’s about doing the right thing.

After all the right thing to do, is always the right thing to do.

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Highlight the positivity in your workplace

We all know that the environment you work in has a big impact on how you feel, but did you know as adults we spend over two thirds of our life at work!! a very sobering thought indeed…

So it is really important as an employer to create a positive workplace, where employees have mutual respect, feel valued and appreciated as these things strongly contribute to creating happy employees.

Listed below are ways to help achieve this:

  1. Acknowledge accomplishments – It is a proven fact that employees respond to praise and appreciation expressed through recognition of their good work, because it reinforces their work is valued.  When employees feel like this, their satisfaction and productivity rises and they are motivated to keep up or improve their good work.  Doesn’t everyone appreciate a ‘pat on the back’ to make them feel good, I know I do!
  2. Listen to employee feedback – As we know feedback whether good or bad is fundamental in the workplace.  You need to discuss with employees what they have accomplished and what is going well in their job, a good way of making sure you make good use of their strengths or demonstrate what they can improve upon.
  3. Reward good work – In the current climate, as an employer you may not always be able to reward by means of a pay-rise, but you could implement exciting incentives that give the employee something tangible to work towards.  Gift cards are a good cost effective way to do this, and gives the employee the choice of what they want.

Does your company have any novel ideas of keeping morale high, we’d love to hear them, please comment below.

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Fri fun… 10 secret office confessions we can all relate too

I came across these funny work related confessions whilst doing some research the other day. Hopefully you’ll laugh, relate or at the very least, feel better knowing that you’re not the only one who’s had a meeting “over run” on a beautiful spring day!  Good, glad it’s not just me!!

  1. Sometimes, the hardest part of my day is trying to look busy.
  2. It’s Monday morning and I’m still hungover from Saturday night.
  3. I get to work at 8am every morning, however I don’t start working till after lunch.
  4. My “all day” meeting finished at 2pm, it’s 85 degrees outside, no way am I going back to the office.
  5. I think the receptionist judges me by the amount of Amazon parcels that I have delivered to the office.
  6. My boss told me to dress for the job I want, not the job I have.  I am now sat in a disciplinary meeting dressed as Batman.
  7. I’ve been secretly taking naps at work, its made me so much more productive.
  8. The thing I fear most at work?  Clogging the toilet!!!
  9. Everyday at work after 5pm, I wait for my boss to leave then gather my belongings and run out the door.
  10. I may or may not have eaten a whole packet of biscuits for lunch.

If you have any funny confessions, we’d love to hear them, reply below.

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