How to switch off from work when you go on holiday…

Many of us find holidays more stressful than being at work, wondering what will happen in the office during our absence.  We do this because we are human, but unfortunately it isn’t good for us.

A holiday should be time away from the daily office grind, all our commitments and routine allowing you to unwind fully.   We should be coming back from our holidays de-stressed, refreshed and re-invigorated!!

Here are some tips to switching off and leaving the office behind…

Remind yourself that holidays are really necessary… They will let your unconscious mind work out problems and let you repair, recharge and relax.

Don’t feel guilty about being away, your holiday entitlement is as much a part of your package as your salary or pension.  Remember good employers will want you to take holiday to come back refreshed and do a better job!!

So prepare by finishing us all loose ends and delegate everything else.  Maybe make up a list of what to do if things go wrong (unlikely but…), if X happens, it can wait till you return or if Y happens then refer to another colleague.

Set your out of office email.  Ideally you can set the dates you are away and the name of a work colleague who can be contacted to deal with any issues or emergencies, which should stop you worrying about being contacted whilst you are away.

Get some perspective, you are not indispensable while you are away, other colleagues will cover for you, in much the same way you would cover for them it does not mean they will get your job!  If they were better than you, they would already have it and going away for 1 or 2 weeks is not going to change this…

Enjoy your holiday… if you find being on holiday very stressful, it may be because there are problems in other areas of your life.  If you’d rather be in the office than being on holiday then you need to ask yourself why?  Perhaps you need to make some changes in your life that have nothing to do with work emails or delegation!!

So stop worrying and love your holidays…

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

Are you the Employer they want to work for?

Getting your company branding right is key, it says everything about you and the business you are promoting… and has a huge impact on the people that you REALLY want to work for you and the products and services you are promoting.

As business owners we all have a mission… to make a success of our business! For each of us though that success will be different; revenue, size, growth, reputation, global domination but we all have the same mission… to be successful.

To achieve this there are many key objectives to focus on; ensuring your products and services are right for the market, driving profits, hiring the right team, finding the best suppliers for quality, cost and delivery.   To get this all right you must focus on your brand message… the message that people (people being, potential customers, suppliers or employees!!) see you are giving off to the business world!

Think of a business that you would love to emulate, a business that if you were a potential employee, you would love to work for.  What attracts you to them? In the beginning it will be the brand that got you interested in the first place. Think Apple, Nike, IBM, Google, Adidas, Victoria Secret, Ralph Lauren, Porsche, VW… their brands are all very well defined and have an air of trend about them that makes you want to belong to their club!  Just like being back at school!  As human beings we naturally want to belong, to be part of a tribe, and that’s how the branding process works… learn how to build your own club/tribe and you’re half way there.

How do you know what your ‘club’ or ‘tribe’ should be?

Well that depends on what your culture is… at the centre of your brand, is the beating heart of your culture… once you have worked out exactly what that is and can put that down on paper – hey presto! your employer brand begins…

  • What are the things that make your best employees tick?
  • What is the ethos of the business?
  • What is important to you as a business owner, your morals, your ethics in business?
  • What do you expect from your teams?
  • Every brand has a promise… what is your promise to potential employees?

These are just some of the starting questions to ask yourself.

Now all you need to do is build your employee offering around that… create your job expectations, training manuals and induction and orientation programmes.  Design and tailor your appraisal and review processes and your employee handbooks to mirror and echo this brand promise and expectation and your people processes are and ready to roll.

Download our free helpful guide on How to write a good job ad and start being the employer of choice today…

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

How to give positive feedback to an unsuccessful candidate

Do you dread telling someone that they have been unsuccessful for a position with your company? Don’t worry, you are not alone, but why is it people harbour this deep rooted fear of giving feedback over the phone?  Probably because there is a negative stigma attached to giving and receiving feedback, but ‘feedback’ is being looked at all wrong and it doesn’t have to be this way…

Telling someone that they are unsuccessful is not actually giving feedback, it is just the outcome. If you give people details on their performance in an interview, you are actually telling the person how they can improve, so they can do better next time. Whether they need some additional experience and/or exposure, or just some feedback on how they perform in an interview situation, it is 100% more effective for candidates to get feedback directly, rather than to sit around wondering what on earth they did wrong! Sure, there are candidates out there who are ‘not the best’, but by giving them constructive feedback we can make them that little bit better.

If a candidate has physically come in to meet with you, then calling them directly is a must, as it will show them that you value you the time they took to come and meet with you. It will also portray a professional company image and let’s be honest, a phone call can be as quick if not quicker than writing feedback in an email, we just need to get rid of the fear of the phone!

The first step in becoming more confident with issuing feedback is being armed with the facts. If you have a proper recruitment process and a good interview question guide, then you should have no problems issuing a valid and factual reason as to why the candidate is not successful. “We don’t feel you are the right fit”, will not cut it. It can seem a little personal and a candidate has the right to read into it. They can even assume in extreme cases that you are not moving forward due to discriminative reasons. The word ‘feeling’ really has no place in any feedback setting, facts should be presented.

 “The other candidate we interviewed was stronger” is also right up there in most hated reasons for being declined from a position. If it actually is the case, then there will still be a clear reason why the other candidate was chosen over the one you are turning down… so write it down and let the candidate know why the other was hired instead of them and beware of using this as an ‘excuse’ for not selecting a candidate if it is not the entire reason they have not been successful. You don’t want to give unsuccessful candidates a false impression that you would in fact hire them if the other candidate fell through and the job became available again. Don’t learn this lesson the hard way… just remember, it’s important to be honest.

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

Workplace predictions for 2017

Ok, so it may have been the first day back in the office for many today and believe me I so wanted to turn off the alarm at 7am and just turn over and go back  to sleep!!!  But getting back into the work routine isn’t so bad and I find I’m excited by what is in store for HR Revolution in 2017 and my part in it’s journey.

Looking ahead, I came across this interesting article on 5 predictions of how our working lives may change in 2017.  Food for thought for the coming year…

1. New talent will be harder to come by than ever

UK unemployment has hit its lowest level in 11 years, at 4.8% and there’s a shortage of people for many significant roles. Companies are finding it difficult to attract talented new people and will find 2017 harder to keep their employees.

Garnering staff feedback will be crucial in ensuring that employees are happy, and that changes can be made.

2. Everyone will be more vocal

The race to find the best and most talented employees, mean companies will have to showcase their employer brand and with an increasing number of employees speaking up about both the strengths and weaknesses of the business, it will be imperative that employers need to take constructive criticism on board. 

Employees feel the have got something to say and they want to be taken seriously.

3. Employees will insist on greater flexibility

Technology allows many workers to have the ability of getting things done from anywhere, and with the constant delays and strikes, commuting has become a stressful and miserable experience for many of us. Over the course of 2017, it is inevitable that more and more people will be requesting to work from home some of the time, and that companies must listen and take this on board to keep their employees happy.

4. Millennials will drive companies to success

Recent research highlighted that 83% of millennials, Generation Y or Generation Me as they are also know, disagree that people should spend years in a role before expecting a promotion regardless of status and performance. They are driven and don’t’ want to wait for what they’re working towards, so employers will need to ensure that their employees have a clear career path and feel valued if they want to hold on to them.

5. A comeback for the work/life balance

Since technology has evolved, it has become increasingly common for people to check their work emails late at night and run work errands over the weekend. While this is not likely to change, there will be more of a balance when it comes to leaving work at work in 2017.

Some years ago companies experimented with a ‘no email day’. That didn’t really work because emails are such an integral part of our working lives that it wasn’t really practical.  However, responsible employers are now becoming concerned that we haven’t got the balance right and that it’s a contributing factor to staff sickness and stress in the workplace.  Could the UK follow France, who’s government has introduced legislation giving workers the right to disconnect from work emails outside office hours…  I’m sure many UK employees would welcome this change…

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A version of this article was first published on HR Grapevine

Looking to recruit some fresh new talent…

Are you looking to recruit some of the fabulous new talent that has recently entered the market?  If the answer is yes, then make sure you have got your basics in order, or here’s how it could all go wrong!

Hiring a new member of staff is pretty straight forward; but only if it is handled correctly. Many employers however can get it so wrong, which as we know is unproductive for any working environment.

A recent survey has shown that the No.1 reason for it all going so wrong is “not managing the candidate experience”.  This may sound a little fluffy if you do not work in HR or Recruitment, but it basically comes down to communication.  It is important to keep in constant contact with the candidate, providing them with quality information and feedback and remembering that honesty is the best policy. Providing a poor candidate experience can have many negative consequences including damaging comments about your company and lack of faith in the overall brand.

Other reasons the recruitment process can fail are:

  1. Expecting dull job descriptions to attract the right people – This is your chance to sell the position and entice the highest calibre of staff, if you waste this opportunity they will be looking to work for your competitors.
  2. Not taking advantage of employee referrals – a referral means they are pre-screened.  The best companies place nearly 50% of staff through referrals.
  3. Not fully understanding the actual job – If you don’t understand about the job you want them to do, how can you sell it to them or even know if they are capable of performing it?
  4. Using the same recruiting process for different level jobs – High level jobs require a different level of service, knowledge and relationship building. If you want the best out there, they definitely want to be treated that way too.
  5. Making slow hiring decisions – The best candidates are gone quickly, and will probably have more than one offer on the table, you simply can’t afford to hang around.
  6. Assuming interviews are accurate – Interviews are traditionally weak predictors, so poorly executed or generic interviews that do not challenge the candidate, will result in poor hires and put off the right people.
  7. Using Job boards alone – Only posting jobs on an advertising site means that 75% of the workforce that are not ‘actively’ looking will NOT see them. Make sure that your jobs can be found on various sites.
  8. Not prioritising jobs – Make sure if you are looking for more than one employee that you get the right person first, there is no point getting an assistant if you don’t have the manager.
  9. Not identifying job acceptance criteria – Do you know what the perfect candidates needs to accept the job? If you don’t, they won’t join you.

A final thought… With so many people getting it wrong, why don’t you let HR Revolution get it right for you the first time, download our free guide to recruiting talent below….

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

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Are you the Employer they WANT to work for…

Now I’m not an employer branding specialist and I don’t have training in how employer brands should be put together or any methodologies that are used.  What I do know is though that having started a couple of businesses myself in the past that it is so important to get your branding right, it says everything about you and the business you are promoting… and has a huge impact on the people that REALLY want to work for you and the products and services you are promoting.

As business owners we all have a mission… to make a success of our business! For each of us though that success will be different; revenue, size, growth, reputation, global domination but we all have the same mission… to be successful.

To achieve this there are many key objectives to focus on; ensuring your products and services are right for the market, driving profits, hiring the right team, finding the best suppliers for quality, cost and delivery.   To get this all right you must focus on your brand message… the message that people (people being, potential customers, suppliers or employees!!) see you are giving off to the business world!

Think of a business that you would love to emulate, a business that if you were a potential employee, you would love to work for.  What attracts you to them? In the beginning it will be the brand that got you interested in the first place. Think Apple, Nike, IBM, Google, Adidas, Victoria Secret, Ralph Lauren, Porsche, VW… their brands are all very well defined and have an air of trend about them that makes you want to belong to their club!  Just like being back at school!  As human beings we naturally want to belong, to be part of a tribe, and that’s how the branding process works… learn how to build your own club/tribe and you’re half way there.

How do you know what your ‘club’ or ‘tribe’ should be?

Well that depends on what your culture is… at the centre of your brand, is the beating heart of your culture… once you have worked out exactly what that is and can put that down on paper – hey presto! your employer brand begins…

  • What are the things that make your best employees tick?
  • What is the ethos of the business?
  • What is important to you as a business owner, your morals, your ethics in business?
  • What do you expect from your teams?
  • Every brand has a promise… what is your promise to potential employees?

These are just some of the starting questions to ask yourself.

Now all you need to do is build your employee offering around that… create your job expectations, training manuals and induction and orientation programmes.  Design and tailor your appraisal and review processes and your employee handbooks to mirror and echo this brand promise and expectation and your people processes are and ready to roll.

And before you know it, you ARE an Employer of choice!

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

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Is your office ready for the long hot summer*?!

This week finally the temperature is set to rise. Conversation in the HR Rev office has turned to bikini diets and summer holidays. I will be making the most of my lunch hour basking in the sunshine, watching the world go about its business will a smile – amazing what a blue sky day can do for moral of the masses, so as ever the optimist summer is very firmly on the horizon!!

However, is your business ready?

As always, a little preparation can go a long way. Here, are a few considerations that you might need to think about to make sure your business is ready…

Are you keeping spirits high?

The summer can be a bit of an issue for employers and there are often many factors at play that can present unique circumstances. Employees are taking time off, sunny beer gardens seem much more appealing than the office, popular sporting events Euro 2016, Wimbledon, Ascot, the 2016 Olympics in Rio to name but a few are scheduled for right in the middle of the working day.

So it’s easy to see why motivation and engagement can sometimes be lacking over the warmer months. Instead of trying to firefight problems once they arise, be proactive and consider what you can do to raise spirits. Organise an outdoor picnic during the lunch hour, treat your staff to an ice cream, or organise to have the biggest sporting events (see above) streamed into the workplace. Small gestures can often go a long way and will make for a happy workplace.

How will you handle a heat wave?  (we can live in hope!!!)

Every now and again, the weather throws a pleasant surprise our way and it is the topic of most offices during the summer months as to whether the Met Office has got its predictions right and we will have the “hottest summer on record” and be able to wheel out the BBQ on a daily basis.  But as an employer do you know what’s expected of you when it comes to managing the working environment when temperatures soar? There’s no upper guideline or legislation to refer to, so it’s about using a bit of simple common sense. Is the office getting hot and stuffy? Is it uncomfortable for your staff? If so, think about making some adjustments. Fans can make a good quick fix, and you should always ensure that fresh cold water is available for drinking.

Also, it may be wise to revisit your dress code policy with employees and set some parameters for summer dress, what is acceptable or what is not in the office.  Nobody wants to have the conversation summer casual vs. summer sloppy!! And in my experience there is always a lot of scope for interpretation!!

Download our free ready to use Dress Code policy template here

Have you mapped out staffing requirements?

More often than not, the summer months pose challenges in terms of making sure that you effectively manage the annual leave rota so work still gets done. The starting point here must involve working out what you need. How will you ensure the phones are answered, and queries are dealt with in a timely manner? How many team members need to be present at any given time? Go back to basics.

Don’t forget to think about how you can use this period to create opportunities. It can be a time to engage employees who are eager to progress and step up and contribute to ongoing projects whilst their colleagues are away, or take on a more diverse range of responsibilities to assist with their professional development.

Perhaps you’ve got your plan of action mapped out, and you are confident that you’re ready for the long hot summer*. Or maybe you’re feeling unorganised and worried about the issues you know you’ll have to handle in the very near future.   If so, don’t hesitate to give us a call to discuss any concerns you may have.

*wishful thinking

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

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3 Signs your HR practices are in need of an overhaul

When you started your own business, undoubtedly it was because you were passionate about bringing your product or service to the world, and providing a first class solution for your customers and clients.

However people management, HR… that’s a different story.  Call it a necessary evil if you wish, but the fact remains that if you want to grow a thriving business, you can’t get away from it.

You need the correct practices, procedures, and policies in place to ensure you’re hitting the mark and developing the right kind of team to guarantee your future success.

If you take your finger off the pulse or let things slip, you could find yourself with problems that are deeply embedded in your company’s culture, and these can be extremely difficult and expensive to solve.

Think this may apply to you? Recognising this is the first step towards fixing any issues and turning things around.

Firstly you need to ask some searching questions about where you currently are, so you can start to establish where you might need to make changes.  At HR Revolution we specialise in outsourced HR and can work with you to deliver an HR solution that is tailored to fit your business.

Suffering from high turnover rates?

Recruiting good employees can be expensive and providing them the skills and developmental support they need to excel in their roles can prove costly, too.  However, this should be seen as an investment rather than a cost, but if your employees are leaving on a regular basis, this can be a massive headache.

You’re likely to notice the impact on the bottom line, and it may well be the case that you’re also damaging your employer brand. If too many people leave, the word will get around, and people will start to ask why. This could lead to you struggling to attract top talent in the future.

Are you meeting all your legal obligations?

All business owners know that they need to be compliant with relevant employment legislation. Are you confident that you’re meeting your obligations? If not, there should be a big concern that something could go wrong at any time.

Don’t let this happen as the consequences can be very damaging to your business. Often, all it takes to ensure that you’re where you need to be is seeking advice from a professional and the peace of mind this can bring can be priceless.

Are you struggling to meet your primary business goals?

HR is no longer about tea and sympathy. Robust HR practices will always be in line with wider company objectives, and they’ll actively help your business to get to where you want it to be. Take a second to think about what HR looks like in your business, is it fulfilling its potential?

Do your practices improve productivity? Do they encourage your staff to be the best that they can be, and reward them accordingly? Do they play a significant role in facilitating business growth? If not, you’re missing out.

Though the points we’ve discussed here are really just the tip of the iceberg, they’ll hopefully give you plenty to think about. If you’re falling behind, the main thing to remember is that action is the only thing that will help you to remedy the problems. The sooner you decide enough is enough the better.

Take that step today and get in touch with HR Revolution and get an obligation free Audit, there is no-one out there more passionate about HR. 0203 538 5311

 

4 Reasons you NEED an Employee Handbook!

Compiling an Employee Handbook might seem like an unneeded task for a small business, and perhaps time consuming, but in reality it is a very useful tool that truly supports your business and its people.

Here at HR Revolution, we want to highlight 4 of the main reasons why we think Employee Handbooks are essential.

  1. An Employee Handbook can help prevent very costly employee disputes

In certain cases employee claims can run into the thousands of pounds and the vast majority of employment law disputes can stem from confusion over what is or not accepted practice within a business.  An Employee Handbook is your opportunity to clearly state your polices and procedures in relation to issues, such as:

  • Holiday and Sickness absence
  • Disciplinary and Grievance
  • Maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave
  • Anti-harassment and bullying
  • Anti-bribery
  • Health and safety
  • Equality and diversity

Having the above policies in place can help with preventing disputes happening in the first place.

2. An Employee Handbook promotes clear communication and manages expectations in your business

A handbook ensures that every employee knows where to find specific information on policies and procedures that need to be followed, even if they have not been discussed with them.  This gives the employee the knowledge on where they stand and is a major element of ensuring their satisfaction.

It also ensures you have covered all bases when you induct new staff, which is a vital part of your onboarding process, and will promote consistency across your business.

3. An Employee Handbook will set the tone for company culture and outlines acceptable conduct

Your employees need clear and concise information on what is deemed to be acceptable behaviour and conduct and setting the tone for the culture of your company. Leave no room for misinterpretation and set out your best practice on topics such as:

  • Dress code
  • Telecommunications, email, social media and internet
  • Company vehicle and Driving
  • Internal communications
  • Data protection
  • Severe weather and travel disruption
  • Flexible working procedure
  • Time off in Lieu

4. An Employee Handbook underpins your Contracts of Employment

A handbook can be an effective way to complement contracts of employment with company policies and procedures.

You need to be very clear however, which parts of the handbook are contractually binding and which are not.  Also, if you are changing any contractual parts of the handbook you might need to obtain employee consent and make certain that any changes are compliant with Employment Law.

Other considerations to think about when creating your Employee Handbook, is to ensure it can be adapted.  A handbook should be flexible and have the scope to be adapted as the company grows or any new issues or situations arise.  To make sure this flexibility is clear, it is always a good idea to include a note, which reserves the right to make these amendments.  It is also very important that you make sure your employees are fully aware of any changes as and when they happen.

If you are struggling to know where to start, HR Revolution are here to help!

We know how busy you are running and growing your business, so why not download our FREE Guide to Employee Handbook Requirements in the UK.  Or purchase our ready to use Employee Handbook template.  Click on the links below and let HR Revolution do the hard work for you…

Contact HRRevolution on +44 (0) 203 538 5311 or visit our online HR document shop for more information, we’d love to help…

 

 

Would you be on the Naming and Shaming List??

In 2013 the Government introduced a “naming and shaming” scheme that gave the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills the power to name companies that owe more than £100 to staff that have been paid less than the minimum wage.

You may have seen some big brand names in the news recently that have had exactly that happen to them as a percentage of their staff were not being paid in line with the minimum wage due to one reason or another, but they are not alone!

The list currently has 115 companies named on it, although undoubtedly there are many many more, owing a total of £389,000. What is even more shocking is that 4 of the top 5 companies alone owe a staggering £84,000 to just 38 employees, now that is one big oversight!

We don’t want your company to be put on the list, so here is a recap of what you should be paying:

By law ALL workers must be paid the National Minimum Wage which is currently:

£6.70 per hour for adults, £5.30 per hour for 18-20 year olds and £3.87 per hour for 16-17 year olds. 

Something worth noting is that the company that hit the headlines claimed the problem was caused by the firm ‘unintentionally’ failing to take into account clothing which its minimum-wage staff were made to buy to wear at work. As staff must wear outfits by the brands, which they can buy at a 25 per cent discount, those on the minimum wage had their total earnings pushed under the legal threshold. They now receive a clothing allowance!

If you have any doubts whether your staff are being paid correctly or if there are any circumstances that may change their earnings, get in touch now for advice.

info@hrrev.co.uk | http://www.hrrevolutionshop.co.uk | http://www.hrrevolution.co.uk

Or check out the national minimum wage calculator on the Government website

https://www.gov.uk/am-i-getting-minimum-wage