Don’t let Summer impact productivity…

Well the holiday season is well and truly underway and workers across the country are looking forward to a bit of well-deserved time away from their desks, or maybe they have just returned from holiday and their heads are still on a sandy beach somewhere sipping margaritas!

However, 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 more pressing concerns;  how to 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 you can do to ensure that you’re doing all you can to avoid any problems.

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Organise the holiday rota in advance

If you find yourself in a situation whereby 50% of your employees are off at the same time, it’s quite likely that you’re going to run into difficulties and those employees who are in the office will be struggling to cover their teammates’ absences and keep up with demand.  We have just the software to help with this, breathhr, simplify and automate your people management, to find out more click here.

Obviously, it might be a bit late to get this sorted out for this year, but it’s definitely worth taking the 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 employees over the Christmas period, so you can probably take away some very important lessons.

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 members of staff 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, and there are many options for you to choose from. Could you get in touch with a local ice cream seller and have them come round your workplace with some cool treats, paid for by you? Could you contact a nearby personal trainer and ask them to lead an outdoor workout for your employees? Small gestures can make a big difference 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?

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An overall HR health-check/Audit could be exactly what you need to start making some positive changes. We’d be delighted to have an initial chat with you about how we could help, give HR Revolution a call: +44 203 538 5311 or email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

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We’ve been shortlised – Times Business Awards 2018

HR Revolution are very excited to have been shortlisted for the Best Business (1-25 employees) and the Service Excellence Award at the Times Business Awards 2018 being held at Salomon’s Estate in Tunbridge Wells on Wednesday June 13th.

The awards are a chance to network with some of the most successful and influential people and business leaders in the Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks and Malling area.

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We can’t wait to attend the glittering event hosted by former Conservative Minister Michael Portillo.

Good luck to all our fellow nominees!

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Why small businesses need HR

Interestingly small businesses make up more than 99% of private sector business and account for 60% of private sector employment: there are a lot of small businesses out there! Unfortunately another statistic is that the basic lack of correct management skills is responsible for the failure of over half of them.

Budgets are tight when small businesses start out, therefore a lot of managers are expected to multitask which means dealing with employee issues as well as growing the business. With focus on rapid growth, this results in the need for investment in an HR function being overlooked, which can actually have the opposite effect and halt growth in its tracks. Without the training required or the skills that HR brings, decision makers are not often able to identify and use the talent within their business to be able to push it forward in the right way.

HR Admin Your Solution

In most cases, and we see this a lot, small businesses only approach us once the problems have already started or when a major change happens in employment legislation. It seems that the mindset of small businesses is that the HR function is a reactive one, when in reality it should be part of the strategic planning they need from the outset.

Our Managing Director, Wendy Read comments:  “People are the key to a successful business, without them the wheels just do not turn. The problem is that most businesses don’t focus on their people and only concentrate on the bottom line. Our philosophy is simple; focus on your people, hire, on-board, train, manage and develop them and the bottom line will look after itself”.

If you would like to see how an outsourced HR consultancy can help why not give HR Revolution a call: +44 203 538 5311 or email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

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Ideas to help with your HR costs..

In any business there always has to be conversations about where you can cut down on spending and get a better handle on your finances. I think most business owners often recognise that whilst their people are their greatest asset, changes must sometimes be made to make sure that the company can weather any storms that might be coming its way.

However, HR is not just important within a business, it’s vital. Cutting corners, or cutting spending without thinking about the bigger picture, could leave you facing problems that will have a tangible and long-lasting impact on your business.

Sometimes it’s essential to be realistic, if you need to make savings to keep your operations afloat, you may need to examine where you’re perhaps spending money unnecessarily, or make choices that don’t result in the best possible return on investment.

If you are thinking about reigning in your HR budget and want to do it the right way, then you’ve come to the best place. Here, we are going to talk you through some key considerations to help you to understand where you can make those necessary cost savings.

Harness the power of technology

How much time are you currently spending on HR activities? From making sure that everyone gets paid on time, through to creating and filing end-of-year review documentation, seemingly small tasks can eat up a huge chunk of your day.

If you think that you could better use this time for more strategic activities, then the answer could be technology. There are plenty of options when it comes to affordable software solutions that improve your levels of compliance and ensure that you always know what needs to be done, and when.  HR Revolution offer a great HR admin solution designed to do this to find out more details breatheHR.

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Get creative with reward

You need to be offering employees a competitive benefits package if you want them to stick around – and we are sure you are fully aware of the implications that can arise if your best people start to look elsewhere because they don’t feel valued within your business.

The answer isn’t always about pay though. It comes down to getting to grips with what really makes your workforce tick – and often, it’s not what you think. How can you offer more flexibility? How can you empower your employers to lead fulfilled lives outside of the office? How can you create a better sense of community and joint purpose? Remember just throwing money at a problem rarely creates any kind of meaningful change.

Take communication online

How do your employees access important policy documents, employee handbooks? If you are providing hard copies, then make a change and get everything up on your internal intranet system. The cost savings may be very small, but this is about creating more productive ways to operate for the future.

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How HR Revolution can help

Ok you may feel that hiring a HR professional is going to involve a massive spend? Well, not necessarily. It’s wise to think about the bigger picture here. Do you have issues within your workforce that are bubbling away under the surface? well ignoring them won’t help and could prove to be hugely expensive in the longer term.

Think of it like this. A modest investment right now could pay dividends in terms of the hassle and fuss that you could avoid in the future. Can you really afford to find yourself facing an employment tribunal, and the consequences that this could have on your reputation as an employer? This might sound extreme, but it’s a very real possibility if you’re just hoping for the best when it comes to complying with relevant legislation.

This isn’t about making cuts for the sake of it. It’s about establishing what’s really adding value and what isn’t, and then implementing changes accordingly.

If you would like to find out how we can help, give HR Revolution a call: +44 203 538 5311 or email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

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Cost saving HR

When you’re running a business you know that your people are your greatest asset, by recruiting and developing a team of talented and motivated individuals, you can ensure that you’re putting your business it the best possible position for smashing your strategic goals.

However, if HR is becoming a drain on your resources then it’s clear that something is wrong, effective people practices should be saving you money, don’t ignore the problem it’s time to get the help you need.

HR Revolution have the solutions and below we list the ways in which you can cut your costs, whilst bringing about fantastic results.

1.Invest in training/education

The more you know, the better you can perform. This applies to anyone in your workforce, think about how you can build their capability and skill, improving their output, training should really be seen as an investment rather than an expenditure.

2.Nip problems in the bud

Sometimes, dealing with HR issues can involve difficult and awkward conversations and it can be tempting to bury your head in the sand hoping that the problems will fix themselves. Needless to say, this will rarely bring about the results that you really need.

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Ensure that you are tackling issues head-on, and that you’re giving your managers the capability and confidence to do the same.

3.Say “thank you”

I’m sure even in the uncertain economic times, plenty of business owners would like to be able to give their hardworking employees a pay rise, but simply can’t afford it, but it’s essential to look at the bigger picture and consider the other elements of your reward package that keep employees motivated and engaged. Never underestimate the value of showing your employees that they’re valued, and that they’re doing a good job a ‘thank you’ costs nothing.

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4.Offer flexible working

Flexible working is an attractive prospect for many employees and can offer them a greater work-life balance. Business owners are sometimes wary about allowing their employees to work remotely, but it’s something that would be worthwhile to consider.

Think saving money on travel costs, IT, energy, and more and if you get it right, you could end up getting much more from your team.

5.Don’t cut corners

When cost saving is at the forefront of your mind, you need to keep sight of your priorities. You may need to save some cash, but this doesn’t mean that you should let quality and procedures slip.  If you neglect to carry out important HR discussions, such as performance management reviews and disciplinary hearings, you might cut costs in the short term, but you can guarantee that you’ll be paving the way for bigger, more expensive problems in the future.

6.Get your admin in order

Admin is a really important part of HR systems in any business. It’s vital that you keep timely and accurate records. Depending on how you manage this though, it could easily turn into a drain on your resources.

HR Revolution has the answer in the form of our fantastic HR information solution breatheHR, your online HR manager if you will.

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7.Supporting your employees

If you spend your time trying to second-guess what you employees really want, then you’re going to end up wasting money, when it comes to developing policies and practices that get the most out of your team, and drive them towards achieving big things communication is the key.

Can you honestly say that you’re regularly and consistently collecting feedback from your workforce, and taking action on the findings? You could carry out employee surveys, or run focus groups. The specific schemes aren’t as important as the fact that you’re getting your employees involved in decision-making, and taking their views onboard.

8.Outsource your HR

HR Revolution can offer you a full HR audit, detailing the core areas of your HR platforms and procedures, highlighting everything you need to make changes to help get your employees and business back on track. Again, this isn’t a cost, it’s an investment and one that could see a return many times over as HR Revolution has the people solutions that you have been looking for.

If you would like to discuss any challenges you are facing or get some practical advice, then get in touch HR Revolution are here to help: +44 203 538 5311 or email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

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How an HR Consultancy can help your business…

You know that your people are your greatest asset and that effective HR practices and procedures can be the cornerstone of strategic growth, however, do you now feel like 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.

How do you know that you’ve found the right person, and what should you even be looking for?

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

First and foremost, look for a businessperson

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.

Position expectations

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 employee 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 you 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.

Get in touch with us to discuss how we can help your business: call +44 203 538 5311 or email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

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Keeping your business compliant

In our opinion when you are an HR consultant, you can often find yourself having in-depth conversations about how business owners can avoid legal action or help with an issue. However, we offer services that go way beyond that add real value to your business, we can help boost your profits, create a happier and more productive workforce and achieve big strategic goals.

Although steering clear of expensive and potentially reputation-damaging legal action is something that many business owners are very keen to do, for obvious reasons, if you’re worried about ending up on the wrong side of employment law, then it’s important that you take some positive steps towards minimising the risk.

Let’s take a look at how HR Revolution could help you keep your business practices compliant, up to date, and above board.

Know the law

As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to keep up to date with the law. New pieces of legislation are passed on a regular basis, so it’s vital that you stay on the ball. The last thing that you want is to find out that new provisions came into force, rendering your existing policies and procedures unlawful.

This might seem like a huge burden, but it doesn’t have to be. HR Revolution will ensure that you get the information that you need well in advance, and are given useful, practical advice so you can implement the necessary changes.

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Implement consistent people policies

People policies are there for good reason; they outline acceptable standards of behaviour, make your expectations clear, and map out what will happen if a problem occurs. If you decide though that they should only be applied to some employees some of the time, then you could be accused of discrimination.

The bottom line here is that your whole workforce should be held to the same standards. You’ve no doubt spent a great deal of time creating and implementing your policies. They’re there to help you, so use them properly!

Always keep records

If problems arise, having a comprehensive paper trail can be extremely useful. Your documentation should clearly outline the details of each stage of everyday employment situations, such as absences, performance discussions, grievances and so on.

You can find solutions that will allow you to safely store information of this nature online, or on secure systems. This isn’t always necessary, but it will absolutely save you time in the long run and make sure that your records are up to date, accurate, and confidential.

Give your managers the capability they need

As your business grows, it’s unlikely that you’ll be personally handling all people management practices and if you ensure your managers have the HR training they need, you could avoid finding yourself in a situation whereby your operations aren’t compliant with the law.

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It’s down to you to make sure that your managers are consistently compliant. When you invest in your leadership team, you’ll find that many potentially volatile incidents can be quickly defused before they spiral out of control.

Not many business owners would intentionally break the law when it comes to how they treat their greatest asset – their employees, but if you aren’t vigilant, you could find yourself in a tricky situation.

If you’ve decided that it’s time to take control when it comes to complying with employment legislation, then get in touch on +44 203 538 5311 or email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

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Why your business needs HR Revolution

As a small business owner, you might be tempted to cut costs and eliminate your HR function. After all; your managers can probably hire, terminate and discipline their employees without assistance from HR – especially if you only have a small team. Right?

Wrong. There’s a lot more to human resources than hiring and firing; there’s payroll, benefits, performance reviews and much, much more and you have to make sure you’re doing all of that in compliance and following employment law.

So – does your small business really need HR? Absolutely. Here are a few reasons why:

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Hiring an on-boarding

Hiring and on-boarding a new employee can take a lot of time; time that as a small business owner, you don’t have. If you have positions that need to be filled (and growing companies often do), you need someone who can dedicate their time to hiring and everything that it involves. That means recruiting, sifting through cvs, screening applications, setting up interviews, selecting candidates and more. Hiring new employees is incredibly important for your business – you want to find the best talent and the best fit the first time around, so you don’t end up wasting time or money. And to do that, you need HR.

Employment Law

Another reason you need a HR professional; they know the ins and outs of employment law, all it takes is one mistake when hiring or terminating an employee, and you could end up in a tribunal. If you don’t know employment law, you could be putting yourself, your business and your reputation at risk.

Employee documents

All businesses collect data relating to their employees – their HR records – including personal information such as pay, sickness absence, or hours worked. HR records should be stored hard copy or electronically, but it’s important for businesses to keep information well organised and in an appropriate system, so that it complies with relevant legislation and can be easily accessed, especially in light of the General Data Protection Regulation coming into effect in May.

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Employee handbooks

Do you have an employee handbook? If not, it’s definitely advisable, take a look at our ready to use handbook template. Even if you only have a few employees, you still need a manual or handbook to lay out the rules, regulations and expectations you have for your employees. Handbooks make it easier for employees to know exactly what’s expected of them, but they can also be used to cover your back in case of employee disputes.

HR on a small business budget

The bottom line? Every business, however small needs some kind of HR presence, there are a number of things that HR professionals can do for a business that other employees just can’t. It will save time – and likely money – in the long run by using HR from the start and outsourcing could be the solution you have been looking for.

If you would like to discuss how Outsourced HR can help your business call: +44 203 538 5311 or email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

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Can stress ever help an employee perform better?

As we all know stress, in all its forms, can be life changing. In the workplace, multiple measures are taken by HR professionals to attempt to eradicate, or least cut down, on factors which encourage employee stress. And for good reason.

A recent report from workforce consulting firm, Life Meets Work found that stress from leaders causes ripples throughout their company – negatively impacting on everything from employee engagement to the bottom line.

“Companies often focus on fixing individual employees to help them be less stressed and therefore more engaged. Yet, our study found that employee engagement was better predicted by the leader’s ability to manage stress than the employee’s current stress level,” explained Kenneth Matos, psychologist and Vice President of Research for Life Meets Work. “A leader’s inability to manage stress ripples through the entire company in a negative way.”

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Does this then suggest that all stress is negative stress?

A report from the University of California found that short periods of stress can actually help stimulate cell growth, which in turn results in new brain cells.  After monitoring rats, which were placed in stressful situations, researchers found that a few weeks later their alertness, learning and memory had improved.

However, this doesn’t mean HR will be promoting stress in the office – rather monitoring how stress affects different employees in different ways. A study from Leadership IQ, titled ‘Does Your Job Require High or Low Emotional Intelligence?’, found that just over half (51%) of employees admit that they always or frequently have to ‘act’ or ‘put on a show’ with their emotions at work. This in turn can lead to anxiety, or at the very least dismay.

As for dealing with workplace stress, Dr Christian Jessen, Doctor and TV Presenter of ‘Embarrassing Bodies’, revealed how the pressure of presenteeism is affecting our mental health as well as our work-life balance.

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“The fact that we don’t really know how to do nothing is something I find rather sad,” he says. “We always feel like we should be doing something – we feel guilty about sitting and watching television; we feel guilty about reading a book for an hour; we think that we need to be emptying the dishwasher or putting another wash on.

“But, we need to get over that guilt if we want to fully encompass all arms of our health. Eastern medicine has been doing this for a long time, whilst in the West, we’ve been ignoring it – and look who is suffering more.”

What do you think? is all stress is negative? or does it have a part to play in a productive work environment, let HR Revolution know your thoughts and comment below.

If you need any further advice on managing stress in the workplace please get in touch, call +44 203 538 5311 or email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

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A version of this article first appeared in HR Grapevine

Blue Monday may not be real, but Mental Health issues in your business will be

Ok so if you’re reading this, then you made it through the most depressing day of the year. ‘Blue Monday’ the time when the festivities are well and truly over, we’re back into our daily routine and there feels like there’s not a great deal to look forward to.

It’s also right in the middle of a period when employee absences are likely to be high and this is a challenge that a lot of businesses HR Revolution work with face every year. January is a long month and employees may not be able to face coming into work especially when you add financial woes into the mix. 

Mental health issues often create a pattern of short-term sickness absence, and sufferers often find it easier to face disciplinary action for faking a sickie than to admit they have a mental health issue because of the stigma attached.  Not only does being in trouble make them feel even worse, it also prevents them from getting the support they could get if their managers were aware of the problem.

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Whatever your views, mental health isn’t something that can be solely tackled from the top down. Business owners and line managers need to take responsibility and recognise that they play a role in the well-being of their employees.

So whilst you breathe a sigh of relief that the most depressing day of the year is now behind us, it might not be time to look forward to the summer months just yet. Take the time to think about how you can ensure that your employees are happy, productive, and enjoying good mental health.

It has business benefits sure… But it’s also simply the right thing to do.

If you need any further advice or want to chat confidentially about an employee that might need assistance get in touch, call +44 203 538 5311 or email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

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