Halloween in the workplace

Next Monday is Halloween and here in the UK, celebrations around 31st October are a fairly new phenomenon, but gone are the days when we used to bob for apples and perhaps make a poorly crafted costume out of a discarded bed sheet. Halloween is now a big money making business.

There are definite business benefits to Halloween, injecting a little fun and joviality into the workplace, team building and stress reduction to name a few.  But, there are a few things for employer’s to keep in mind.

Make sure if you have a fancy dress theme that your employees know what is and isn’t acceptable. Fancy dress has the scope to offend some groups. For example costumes that stereotype someone with a mental health issue or from a particular religion on nationality, could lead to a discrimination claim.

Also, what employees post on social media. Make sure that you have a good social media policy in place to make it clear that any inappropriate use of the internet could result in disciplinary action if it brings the company’s reputation into disrepute.

Your employees are adults,  but just because it’s Halloween, it doesn’t mean that normal standards should slide and inappropriate behaviour should never be dismissed as ‘just a bit of fun’.

So let your employees enter into the spirit of the season if you wish to do so and remember that it’s only a few months until you face a whole new set of challenges in the shape of Christmas!!

Next month, we’ll be exploring the issues surrounding the festivities, and your responsibilities as an employer. Be sure to sign up for our updates so you get all the guidance that you need, delivered directly to your inbox.

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5 Questions to ask your Team this week…

If you speak to most employers, they’ll probably tell you that they have a pretty good grasp on what’s going on in their workplace. There’s small talk over sandwiches in the canteen, and important discussions in the meeting rooms. You probably feel like you have your finger on the pulse, and know exactly what’s going on beneath the surface.

Here’s the thing though. If you want to excel, you need to go a little deeper. Want to have some more meaningful conversations this week?

Ask the following questions…

How do you think we could improve the business?

Sometimes, you’re so involved in your own business that it’s hard to see the wood for the trees. Your staff are working with your clients and customers each and every day. They’ll often have an advanced understanding of what’s really happening. So find out how they think you could move forward. You could pick up some amazing ideas, and it could do wonders for engagement and morale.

What can we do to make your job easier?

Improving productivity could have a real impact on your profits. Your staff know what’s expected from them, but are you giving them the support they need? Maybe you could roll out a system that automates a trickier part of their daily activities. Perhaps you could invest in new equipment to cut down on the time that’s spent on certain tasks. It’s about supporting your staff to be the very best they can be.

What are we doing within the business that is no longer necessary?

Outdated systems and procedures could be costing you a fortune and ensuring that you play small. It could be time to ditch the things that aren’t working, and start moving towards the future. Your staff keep things running on an operational basis, so it’s likely that they’ve got plenty of thoughts to share.

Where do you want to be in the next 2/3/5 years?

If you’re not nurturing your team and doing your bit to keep them motivated and on track, then a time will come when they start to look elsewhere. When you know their ambitions and aspirations, you can consider how you can align these with your succession planning.

How’s your work-life balance at the moment?

Have you stopped to consider what your employees get up to outside of work? It’s important that they have time to relax and unwind. Ask about your employees’ families, children, pets, interests, and hobbies. How could you support them in striking an effective balance? Showing an interest is often greatly appreciated, and it could help you to get a better understanding of wider issues that are having an impact on your workforce.

If you ask these questions this week, it’s guaranteed that you’ll unearth some extremely valuable gems when it comes to working out what makes your staff tick.

Perhaps you already know that your people practices need some work, but you’re not quite sure where to start. If this is the case, then we want to help. Our 10 Point HR check list could get you on the right track to making some serious improvements. Give us a call to find out more or download your free copy now.


What does your employer brand promise?

Now I’m not an employer branding specialist, I don’t have training in how employer brands should be put together or indeed any methodologies that are used, but what I do know is that by starting a couple of businesses myself in the past 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 in 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 that success will be different; revenue, size, growth, reputation, global domination whatever it is we all have the same mission… to be successful.

To achieve that mission there are many key objectives to focus on; ensuring your product and service is right for the market, driving profits, hiring the right team to get you there, 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 (those people that could be potential customers, suppliers or employees!!) see… the vibe 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… why?  What attracts you to them? In the main it will be the brand that has got you interested in the first place.  Think Apple, Nike, IBM, Google, Adidas, Victoria Secrets, 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 your tribe and you are half way there.

How do you know what your ‘club’ is or your ‘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 in paper and 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, build your induction and orientation programmes, design and tailor your appraisal and review processes and your staff handbooks to mirror and echo this brand promise and expectation and voilà your people processes are in place and ready to roll.

HRREV Blogger, HR Revolution | HR Outsourcing UK