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.

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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.

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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.

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Handling the Summer productivity slump…

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Yes it’s Summer, holidays are being booked, the weather is hot, hot, hot, and workers all across the country are looking forward to a bit of well-deserved time away from their desks.

But whilst many people will be worrying about how much they can squeeze into their luggage allowance and whether last year’s swimwear still fits, many business owners will have a more pressing concern. As temperatures start to rise, and they certainly have this year!!! how do you ensure that the summer season doesn’t have a negative impact on productivity?

As always, we’re here to help with some practical suggestions. Read on to find out more about what yothe time to think about how you’ll approach the working calendar next summer. As well, it won’t be long before you’ll have to start thinking about how you’ll manage your staff over the Christmas period, so you can probably take away some very important lessons.

Click on the link below to see HR Revolution’s HR software solutions in partnership with breatheHR, which will save you time, energy and money by managing your HR online, giving you access to all of your employee documents, employee holiday planner and appraisal management system from wherever you are.

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Bring the summer feeling to your office

When the weather’s warmer and there are – let’s face it – many other things that your employees would rather be doing than sitting in the office, it could be worthwhile to think about how you can raise spirits and inject a bit of oomph back into proceedings. If some employees are away on holiday, you can ensure that those who are left behind aren’t feeling deflated and demotivated.

Your approach here needn’t cost you a fortune, there are many options for you to choose from. You could you treat the office to an ice-cream, or you could contact a nearby personal trainer and ask them to lead an outdoor workout for your staff? Or maybe a lunchtime picnic in a local park, small gestures can make all the difference.

Give your HR processes an overhaul

It’s natural that there will be certain times of the year when you notice a change in productivity. Sometimes, slight fluctuations are unavoidable, and you need to simply do all you can to minimise the impact. If reduced productivity has become a longstanding problem though, it’s time to address the reasons why, and do something about it.

Your people processes and procedures will often provide you with clues, and they can also be the remedy. Is your business suffering as a result of poor management practices? Are you using outdated systems? Are your employees dissatisfied with certain aspects of their roles, or the way in which the business is being operated?

If you have any questions or need help give HR Revolution a call today +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk, we look forward to hearing from you.

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Are you the Employer they want to work for?

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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!

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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…

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The heat is on! Are your staff dressing appropriately for this extreme weather?

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This week has seen temperatures well exceeding 30 degrees, which to be honest is fairly rare in good old blighty. Non the less, for many workers the heat has been unbearable, in particular in offices and on public transport.

The Workplace Regulations state that an employer must maintain a reasonable temperature but it does not specify a maximum temperature and that can lead to people being in offices that feel more like the heat you would experience on a beach in Dubai than at work, only without the cocktail bar and swimming pool!

So it is really important that at times like this, companies help their employee’s feel as comfortable as possible and part of that it ensuring staff know what they can and can’t wear in the office. In fact it is times like this that a company’s dress code policy should exist!

Before I continue though, I would perhaps use this week as an example of when you may wish to relax the dress code, such as allowing men to do away with the jacket and tie, you can still look smart without them.

 

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I agree that it is perhaps easier for a woman to dress for work in the heat, a short sleeve dress can still look professional, but there are people out there that just don’t know where to draw the line, and you need to ensure that “beach vibe” doesn’t creep into the workplace; unless of course you are happy with hot pants and strings vests all over the place!

The corporate world still often requires very much a “business dress” code to be followed, but if it is not part of your company handbook as a policy, employees don’t really know where they stand.

So if you don’t want people turning up to work in crop tops, hot pants and flip flops then be sure to put it in writing. Here are some key points to remember when putting together your dress code policy:

  • Avoid unlawful discrimination in any dress code policy.
  • Employers may have health and safety reasons for having certain standards.
  • Dress codes must apply to both men and women equally, although they may have different requirements.
  • Reasonable adjustments must be made for disabled people when dress codes are in place.

Your dress code policy should always be reasonable and relate to the job, for example employees may be required to tie their hair back or wear a head cover for hygiene reasons if working in a kitchen.

As we have mentioned, the policy must be non-discriminatory and apply to both men and women, however, the requirements may be different i.e. you might state “business dress” for women but more specifically state “must wear a tie” for men, again it would be worth relaxing this on days where temperatures hit the high twenties (just be specific!).

It is always good to remember the reasoning behind your decisions in regards to the dress code policy you put in place, after all, if an employee does not comply with the standards contained within it, it may result in disciplinary action.

If you are still unsure whether you have the correct policy, then get in touch, we’re here to help, but in the meantime we hope you are keeping cool and helping your employees to do so too!

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Happy Easter – 10 fun facts…

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Tomorrow is Good Friday – marking the start of Easter and for most people a nice 4 day break from the daily grind…

Here at HR Revolution, we have been dreaming of chocolate eggs, easter egg hunts, hot cross buns and bunnies…

So to get your Easter off to a cracking start we’ve come up with 10 fun facts for you to think about…

1. Every child in the UK receives an average of 8.8 Easter eggs every year – double their recommended calorie intake for a whole week.

2. In 2007, an Easter egg covered in diamonds sold for almost £9 million.

Every hour, a cockerel made of jewels pops up from the top of the Faberge egg, flaps its wings four times, nods its head three times and makes a crowing noise.

The gold-and-pink enamel egg was made by the Russian royal family as an engagement gift for French aristocrat Baron Edouard de Rothschild.

And here it is: The Rothschild Faberge Egg.

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3. When people gorge on a chocolate Easter bunny, 76 per cent bite off the ears first, 5 per cent go for the feet and 4 per cent opt for the tail.

4 With all those chocolate eggs for family, relatives, loved ones and friends, it should be no surprise that households spend an average of £75 on Easter treats each year.

5. Sales at Easter time make up 10 per cent of UK chocolate spending for the whole year.

6. The UK’s first chocolate egg was produced in 1873 by Fry’s of Bristol.

7. The tallest chocolate Easter egg was made in Italy in 2011. Standing 10.39 metres tall and weighing 7,200 kg, it was taller than a giraffe and heavier than an elephant. But Portugal is the home of the largest decorated Easter egg, which reached almost 15m in height and 8m in diameter when it was made in 2008.

8. In 2012, London hosted the world’s biggest-ever Easter egg hunt.

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9. Temptation can be too much and 43 per cent of kids say they eat their first chocolate egg before Easter Sunday, but the average time for children to eat their first Easter egg is 11am on Easter Sunday morning.

10. The name Easter owes its origin to Eostre or Eastre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess of light and the dawn who was honoured at pagan festivals celebrating the arrival of spring and the custom of giving eggs at Easter has been traced back to Egyptians, Persians, Gauls, Greeks and Romans, for whom the egg was a symbol of life.

And one last one, almost one in five children (19 per cent) and I would also say adults!!! say they’ve made themselves ill by eating too much chocolate over the Easter holidays, so try not to over indulge!!!

Wishing you all a very happy Easter….

Easter 10 fun facts

Why you need HR…

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In any business people really are your greatest asset and effective HR practices and procedures can be the cornerstone of strategic growth.

However, what happens when you no longer have the time or energy to manage everything HR all on your own.  You’ve decided that bringing in a dedicated employee to take care of people issues within your company is the way forward. Having your own HR director, HR manager, or even HR administrator could be the next step in your big plan.

What should you even be looking for?

Let’s consider what you need to know when it comes to finding your new team member.

Look for a businessperson, first and foremost

These days, people management isn’t all about ticking boxes and offering employees tea and sympathy. Savvy leaders know this, and recognise the strategic value that HR can bring to the table.

It is important to make sure that you aren’t getting bogged down with the finer details, and that ultimately, you’re looking for a talented business mind that can drive profits and help you to exceed organisational goals.

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Typing up a list of general requirements for the role that cover what you think you might expect from your new member employee isn’t enough. Sure, they might have responsibility for ensuring that your policies are up to date, and records are kept, but you need to carry out much deeper analysis of what the role will entail, and who it will suit and what skills are needed.

Never forget that the recruitment process works both ways. Even in times of economic uncertainty, talented candidates will have other options. Giving them a realistic view of what’s involved in working with you and your business will make sure that you get the right person, and more importantly that you hold on to them.

Sometimes, recruiting a permanent member of staff really is the best option. Welcoming a new team member, and everything that’s involved in this process, can be costly and time-consuming, so it’s definitely worth ensuring that you’ve considered all your options before you rush into something that might not be the best fit right now.  However there are other solutions that are overlooked.

How hiring an HR Consultancy can help

Think; what do you really need? One route that’s definitely worth thinking about is bringing in an HR consultant. If you want more flexibility, but still want a positive experience and more importantly a proven track record, then HR Revolution might be able to help.

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HR Revolution was founded with a rebellious spirit, and we believe that HR should make a difference in how business treats the importance of its people.  We work with you to plan and deliver an HR solution that is tailored to truly fit your business.  We always ensure we use a transparent, honest, jargon free approach to your people strategies, if we do not add value we are not happy.  There is no consultancy out there that is more passionate about HR! and our mission is simple – to revolutionise the way in which businesses work with HR.

Let us help you take the right route, give us a call to arrange a no-obligation consultation. +44 (0) 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

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Make sure you download your HR policies from a reputable source…

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As an employer you need people policies and procedures, employee handbooks etc, to make sure that you are compliant with the law.   Maybe you carried out a quick Google search to get some guidance as to what you need, I’m sure it seems an obvious place to start, as search engines often become your trusted advisor when it comes to the things that you just don’t know.

In reality though it pays to exercise more than just a little bit of caution. You wouldn’t search for medical advice online… or I hope not… So should you really trust Google to give you the policies and templates that have the power to make or destroy your business?

Here are 3 reasons why you might want to have a rethink…

  1. You have no real idea where your advice is coming from

You don’t have to be an expert legal advisor, or HR consultant, to create a website and share your views and opinions online.  These days pretty much anyone with a laptop and access to YouTube videos can do it.  You might argue that it would be pretty pointless for a someone to intentionally give you the wrong advice, but it is not worth leaving anything to chance is it?

Working with HR Revolution, we will make sure that your documentation is informed by legal requirements and forward looking best practice, after all it’s our speciality!

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2. The law changes regularly

What applies right now in terms of good HR advice isn’t necessarily going to be good advice in 6 months from now. New legislation is released on a regular basis, so you need to make sure that you are compliant.

You need a reliable source of information when you access information and templates online, you can never be certain when they were last updated. Of course, at HR Revolution we will always keep you up to date with what you really need to know, go to our HR online shop with up-to-date people polices, templates and free guides.

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3. One size doesn’t necessarily fit all

It’s true that the law applies across the board, regardless of what kind of business you run. You’re not exempt from following the rules just because you have just a few employees, for example. Still though, there are certain things that only apply to businesses of a certain size, and what works for a large multinational corporation isn’t necessarily going to work for a small family business.

When you work with a professional to get what you need, you can ensure that your practices are fit for purpose. HR Revolution can get to know your individual needs, and craft a strategy accordingly.

There are times in your business when doing a few online searches is going to give you exactly what you need. But when it comes to managing your most valuable asset – your people – it’s never worth cutting corners.

If you’re concerned about whether your practices are hitting the mark, get in touch with HR Revolution and we can have a no-obligation chat about where you stand, and what your options are, or visit our online shop and download all the up-to date HR policies you will ever need.

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