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A blog providing trustworthy Human Resources advice to business owners, managers and employees plus the occasional LOL true story from the workplace.

A Quick Drink After Work, Or A Serious Problem For Your Business?

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Quick Drink After Work, Or A Serious Problem For Your Business?

 

Many of us are no strangers to a little tipple after work.

A glass of wine with colleagues to put the world to rights.

An informal brainstorming session over a few beers.

Some all-important bonding and team building away from the constraints and routine of being tied to a desk.

But as a leader, you no doubt fully recognize that alcohol can turn into a serious problem in your workplace if it’s not carefully managed.

What would you do if an employee turned up for their shift looking worse for wear?

What if rowdy behavior in the bar brought your business into disrepute?

And what exactly is the difference between your staff enjoying a couple of drinks, and your business being faced with a deeper and more serious problem?

You must have policies that ensure that issues are handled fairly and consistently. And your managers should have sufficient training and capability to deal with workers who need help.

It should be noted here that taking a hard-line approach rarely serves anyone well. You probably don’t need us to tell you that dragging an employee with a serious problem into your office and giving them a telling off isn’t going to fix anything.

As a responsible employer, you’ve got a duty of care to make sure that you support your staff through difficult times… Which is a solid reason why many employers now view alcohol and drug problems as illnesses that need to be treated through rehabilitation practices.

Of course, drugs can be a different kettle of fish entirely. They’re less socially acceptable, and can have a much more damaging impact on a person’s life than enjoying a few drinks with workmates now and again.

Remember too that if you have a team of managers, their role is important in all of this. Can they spot potential problems? Do they have the confidence and ability to tackle them? Do they know where to turn to for expert help if things start to escalate?

If you’re just reading this guide out of interest, and you don’t have an issue like this in your workplace at the moment then that’s great. However, you must understand that you need to be prepared. Firefighting problems like this is always going to be seriously difficult for everyone involved. But if you’re dipping into this advice because you’re worried about a current situation regarding alcohol or drugs in your business, then getting some tailored advice from a professional is highly advisable. This is complex stuff, and you don’t have to manage it on your own.

Get in touch today to arrange a no-obligation and confidential discussion around how we might be able to work together to deal with alcohol and drug problems at work. If we are unable to fulfill your HR needs, then we will direct you to an HR professional who can.

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How Much Bereavement Leave Should You Give To Your Staff?

Tiffany Boyes - Wednesday, April 19, 2017

How Much Bereavement Leave Should You Give To Your Staff?

 

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg recently announced that the company would double its standard bereavement leave allowance, giving employees a total of 20 days off work to grieve for immediate family members.

 

Sandberg herself has spoken publicly about the death of her husband back in 2015, and in a statement issued via the social media network, she said: ‘We need public policies that make it easier for people to care for their children and aging parents and for families to mourn and heal after loss’.

 

Though many issues in the workplace are sensitive and difficult to handle, it could be said that this one is one of the very hardest to navigate.

As a leader, this kind of situation can leave you wondering what to do for the best. Of course, you’re conscious of the needs of your staff, and you want to make sure that they’re supported during what is one of the most stressful and upsetting times in their lives… But you also have a business to think about. It wouldn’t serve anyone at all for you to not have robust policies that you can implement in such situations.

 

Let’s consider the legislation when it comes to bereavement leave. Here in the US, there is no statutory right to receive paid leave after the death of a loved one or a family member. Bereavement leave benefits are a matter of agreement between employers and employees. In other words, there are no Federal employment or labor laws that require U.S. employers to provide bereavement leave, whether with or without pay.

 

Small businesses often have cohesive employer-employee relationships that resemble a family work environment. In a 2009 survey, the Society for Human Resource Management conducted on paid leave options, it found that 90 percent of employers provide bereavement leave and the average number of days granted was approximately three days. Small businesses may grant longer periods of leave because they can afford to have more flexible policies. However, all employers should have policies for workplace structure. Despite that it's not required by Federal law, many employers still provide bereavement leave benefits, just as they provide other voluntary benefits to attract and retain employees.

 

Ultimately, this means that it’s down to you to decide what’s fair, and how you want to make sure that you strike an effective balance between being a sympathetic and reasonable employer, and ensuring that day-to-day operational requirements are being met.

 

The issue of bereavement leave is something that you might not even think about until you find yourself trying to navigate your way through a particularly sensitive set of circumstances. But it’s in the kind of situation when you need to ensure that you know exactly what your approach is going to be.

 

The bottom line here? No one likes to think about the practicalities of creating a bereavement policy. Taking action now though is likely to save you – and more pertinently – your staff a great deal of heartache in the longer term. Please contact us today. If we are unable to fulfill your HR needs, we will direct you to an HR professional who can.

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Is Work-Life Balance Ever Really Achievable For Business Owners?

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Is Work-Life Balance Ever Really Achievable For Business Owners?

 

 

When you dip into an article from an HR consultant about work-life balance, you probably have a few preconceptions about what we’re going to say to you.

You might imagine that we’re going tell you that time off is vital, and that no one can fire on all cylinders without getting some well-deserved time away from the office.

 

Maybe you think that we’re going to drive home the importance of adhering to the legislation around working hours, and ensuring that you aren’t breaking the law when it comes to how you require your staff to turn up and get stuff done.

And of course, all of these things are important and most definitely have their place.

 

Here’s the thing though…

 

We’re business owners too.

 

We understand that it can feel like your work is never going to be done.

 

We know the pressures of running the show, managing a team, and trying to hold it all together.

 

So how about today, we have a frank and honest conversation about YOUR work-life balance, as the head honcho in your business?

 

Sure, sometimes the long hours are inevitable if you want to reach your goals, make more sales, and put food on the table.

But the reality is that you can’t serve anyone – including yourself – if you’re constantly tired, burnt out, and spinning way too many plates at the same time.

No one said that running a business was going to be easy, but it can certainly be a lot simpler when you recognize that you aren’t a machine.

 

What is one of the best things that you can do right now, if you know that it’s only a matter of time before things start to spiral out of control?

 

Delegate, and outsource the things that you’re just no good at.

 

If you’re spending half your days firefighting people management issues, or focusing on anything at all that isn’t your zone of genius, then you’re definitely limiting your earning potential.

Want to chat about how we could potentially work together to get you some breathing space, a bit more time outside of the office, and a more cohesive plan to allow you to reach your goals?

Give us a call today, and we can arrange to have a no-obligation discussion about your next steps.

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Is Your Next Business Disaster Looming On The Horizon?

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Is Your Next Business Disaster Looming On The Horizon?

You might not be surprised to hear that a high percentage of the inquiries that we get are from business owners who are experiencing what they consider to be ‘a bit of a disaster’, to say the least.

 

Sometimes, it’s that productivity levels have slumped to the extent that they can’t fulfill their agreements with customers and clients.

 

Occasionally, it’s because they’re facing a lawsuit.

And often, relations with staff have spiraled out of control and they’re not quite sure what to do for the best.

 

They recognize that they can’t fix these problems on their own, and they call in expert help. Of course, this is a pretty sensible thing to do.

But as good as we are at helping you to sort your people issues, we don’t have a magic wand.

 

Sure, we can help you to create a plan that’s going to give you the best chances of navigating your way out of a tricky situation. We can make sure that you’re acting on the right side of the law, and that your next steps minimize the potential of any long-lasting damage to your business.

But prevention is always better than cure.

 

 

Consider this…

 

Right now, are there issues that are bubbling away beneath the surface of your business?

 

Do you worry that you’re only one mismanaged situation away from landing yourself in hot water?

 

In so many businesses, the answer here is a very firm YES… Regardless of whether or not you’re willing to admit it.

 

If so, then don’t wait until the proverbial hits the wall before you do something about it.

 

Fixing issues before they spiral out of control is going to save you a whole load of time, money, and hassle in the longer term.

 

Give us a call today, and we can arrange to carry out a no-obligation review of where you could be putting your business under unnecessary risk.

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What To Do When An Employee Unexpectedly Resigns

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, March 28, 2017

What To Do When An Employee Unexpectedly Resigns

 

So, things are ticking along nicely in your business… Your staff are engaged, productive, and they’re smashing their goals. Sales are on the rise, and you’re feeling pretty pleased with the fact that you’ve managed to grow and nurture such as awesome team of employees.

 

But suddenly, there’s a wrench in the works.

 

Completely out of the blue, a key member of staff tells you that they’re moving on to pastures new. In a small business, this can be a serious blow, and it can have a real impact on your bottom line if it’s not managed effectively.

 

So let’s take a look at what you need to do, in practical terms…

 

Establish exactly when they’ll leave

 

You might already have a policy in place surrounding the necessary notice period. Of course, things don’t always go according to plan, so don’t make any assumptions. Make sure that you know the precise date that your employee will leave. This way, you can sort out any outstanding admin arrangements, including payroll, and you can also start to work out your next steps so there’s minimum impact on your business.

 

Carry out an exit interview

 

An exit interview will allow you to get some valuable feedback about why your member of staff decided to leave. You can’t retain everyone you recruit, but it makes sense to keep an eye on the reasons why people move on to different things.

 

Do remember that because you’re the boss, you’re not always going to get the full and complete truth. It might be worth outsourcing this part of the process, so you can be sure that you’re getting more reliable and meaningful information to work with.

 

Craft your continuity plan

 

Right now, it’s no help whatsoever for us to mention that you should have already planned for these kinds of circumstances. You already know this, and you’re probably kicking yourself. However, there’s work to be done. You need to establish how you’ll make sure that productivity remains high, and that your business doesn’t suffer.

 

Part of this is likely to involve looking for a new member of staff. For now, consider how you can bridge any gaps by utilizing your existing workforce, without making unreasonable demands. It may not be ideal, but there’s often a silver lining. You could be giving an ambitious employee an opportunity to step up and broaden their experience.

 

Don’t forget to thank your employee for their contribution

 

We know that you don’t need us to tell you that this is a good idea, but when you’re stressed out about the future, it’s easy to overlook the most obvious things. Your member of staff could go on to refer business your way, or they may even become a customer or a client in the future.

 

And of course, you definitely don’t want to face the fallout that could come with your employee ending their time with you on a sour note. A little bit of consideration can go a long way.

 

If you’re currently dealing with the potential nightmare of having a member of staff hand in their notice, or you’re worried that you might be in the not too distant future, then get in touch. We can have a chat about your options, and how you can navigate your way through the potential pitfalls.

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Why You Should Never Download Your People Policies Online

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Why You Should Never Download Your People Policies Online

 

What did you do the very first time that you realized that you were going to need some people policies? If you’re like most employers, then you probably carried out a quick Google search to grab what you needed to make sure that you’re compliant with the law and doing everything you can to drive performance and engagement.

 

It seems like the obvious place to start. You’ve no doubt picked up a ton of valuable business advice online during your time as an entrepreneur. So, naturally, search engines often become your trusty advisor when it comes to the things that you just don’t know.

 

However, it pays to exercise more than just a little bit of caution. You’d know better than to search for medical advice online, or just hope for the best when it comes to what you’ve heard about managing your finances… So should you really trust Google to give you the policies and templates that have the power to make or destroy your business?

 

Here’s why you might want to rethink…

 

You have no real idea where your advice is coming from

 

You don’t have to be an expert legal advisor, or even an HR consultant, to create a website and share your views and opinions online. Pretty much anyone with a laptop and the patience to watch a few YouTube videos can do it. You might say that it would be pretty pointless for someone to intentionally give you the wrong advice, and that’s probably true. But it’s not worth leaving anything to chance.

 

Working with a skilled HR professional will make sure that your documentation is informed by legal requirements and cutting-edge best practice.

 

The law changes regularly

 

What?

 

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 today and we will have a no-obligation chat about where you stand and what your options are.

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Will Facebook’s New Jobs Feature Make LinkedIn Obsolete?

Tiffany Boyes - Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Will Facebook’s New Jobs Feature Make LinkedIn Obsolete?

 

For the past couple of years, LinkedIn has well and truly had a monopoly when it comes to being the social network of choice for recruiters and small business owners on the lookout for top new talent. With the new changes recently announced from Facebook though, the more ‘professional network’ might have a fight on its hands.

 

Of course, many business owners have been using Facebook for recruitment more informally for quite some time now. We’ve all seen the posts from companies letting their followers know that they’re hiring. The new feature simply makes the process a little more intuitive.

 

As soon as the job listing is posted to Facebook, anyone who visits the page will be able to make an application. There’s even the option for candidates to auto-fill their information based on the details that Facebook holds on them, such as name and location, to make the process a little speedier.

Similarly, Facebook will allow page owners to pay to ‘boost’ their job ads to reach more people, based on their demographics and interests.

 

The feature’s brand right now, so it’ll be interesting to see how it works out over the coming weeks and months, and how businesses manage to leverage the power of Facebook to find their top talent. Still though, the move demonstrates that online recruitment is very much a growing phenomenon, and it’s something that businesses absolutely can’t afford to ignore. Putting an ad in your local paper is not likely to cut it anymore, and you need to make sure that your recruiting toolkit is up to date.

 

With Facebook more traditionally being the less formal social network, favored by those looking to connect with their friends rather than seek out professional opportunities, the new developments also raise some compelling points about how the world of business is changing. The lines between work and play are becoming more and more blurred, and this is a challenge and an opportunity in its own right for small business owners.

 

What do you think about the recent announcement from Facebook? Will you update your recruitment practices accordingly? Get in touch today for a free no-obligation consultation. If we are unable to meet your HR needs, we will put you in touch with an HR professional who can.

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Should You Let Your Staff Work From Home?

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Should You Let Your Staff Work From Home?

 According to recent research by WorkplaceTrends.com, 45% of employees feel that they don’t have enough time each week to do personal activities. A whopping 75% ranked workplace flexibility as the most important benefit they desire, so it’s not really surprising that working from home is a trend that a ton of savvy employers are considering.

Homeworking provisions vary between businesses, but the overarching principle is that you let your staff carry out their tasks from the comfort of their own space. They might do this once or twice a week, or it might be a more permanent solution.

It’s an approach that’s likely to be welcomed by those with caring responsibilities, and let’s be honest here... Probably everyone else, too. After all, no one enjoys doing the commute, or being stuck in an office all day long.

As a business owner though, you’re likely to have a few concerns. Could it really work? Will it provide your staff with the temptation to sit twiddling their thumbs all day? Or is actually a wonderful way to give your staff what they really desire, utilize the benefits of modern technology, and strengthen your reputation as a desirable employer who everyone wants to work for?

There’s no denying that there’s a lot to consider, if you’re to get it right.


You need to think about how you’ll make sure that team members are in communication, and they all understand their responsibilities and how they fit into the bigger picture. In some cases, you’ll also have to look at how you can ensure that everyone has the equipment they need.

And working from home isn’t right for everyone. Some of your staff will crave face-to-face contact, and will be able to imagine nothing worse than just staring at the same four walls all day, with only their dog for conversation.

But it’s 2017 now, and you can’t afford to stay stuck in the past. Fail to give your employees what they really crave, and they WILL start to look elsewhere…

Regardless of how much they might enjoy their work.

The concept of a job for life is over, and you have to work hard to win loyalty.

If you’re not looking at ways to bring more flexibility into your business, then you’re seriously missing an opportunity. It can be a difficult shift to manage, but get it right, and it could work some real magic. Need help with planning your approach? Get in touch today for a free no-obligation consultation. If we are unable to meet your HR needs, we will put you in touch with an HR professional who can. 

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Recruiting For Less Desirable Roles… What Do You Need To Know?

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Recruiting For Less Desirable Roles… What Do You Need To Know?

 Picture the scene…

Your business is growing, and it’s time to bring in an extra pair of hands to manage all the various different tasks that are clogging up your desk. Excellent! It’s a sign of growth, and it could mark the start of an exciting new chapter for your business.

But you sit down, and you start to put your job description together.

All of a sudden, you’re worried.

You know that you need to recruit a cold-caller, but you also know that finding someone who loves getting on the phone to complete strangers and attempting to sell them something is going to be a bit of a challenge.

So what do you do?

Well first of all, don’t be tempted to write a whole load of lies (or even exaggerated truths) about what the role involves.

If you do that, then sure, you might get more applications.

But what happens once they’re working in the role? They’re quickly going to realize that you deceived them. There will be unrest, disappointment, and it’s highly likely that they’ll move on to new pastures … Meaning that you’ve pretty much just wasted your recruitment and training budget.

Giving your applicants a realistic job preview at every stage of the recruitment process is essential. They should know exactly what they’re applying for, and understand what their role is likely to involve on a day-to-day basis.

The key here is knowing how to craft an honest but compelling job advert and description, and getting it in front of the RIGHT people. It’s about knowing your audience, knowing how to draw out the key points of a role, and speaking the language of the kind of applicants who can take your business to the next level.

Just because YOU hate the idea of cold-calling, it doesn’t mean that everyone else does. Some people will love the challenge of jumping on the phone and forming profitable relationships with people of influence and buyers, and they’ll be dying to get plugged in.

Bringing those kinds of people through your doors is a challenge, but when you have the right tools in your kit, it’s definitely very achievable.

If you’re struggling to find the right talent for your roles, or you’re unsure about how to craft your descriptions and advertisements, then let’s talk. Working with a professional to get this right first time could save you a huge load of time, money, and hassle in the longer term.

Give us a call today, and we’ll arrange a no-obligation consultation. If we’re not able to fulfill all your HR needs, we’ll direct you to HR professionals who can.

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Four Ways That A Good HR Consultant Could Save You A Ton Of Cash

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Four Ways That A Good HR Consultant Could Save You A Ton Of Cash

 

 

Think that you can’t afford an HR consultant?

 

Know that you could do with a helping hand with some issues that are bubbling away under the surface, but wondering whether you can really spare the budget?

 

Considering whether you’d be better off just hoping for the best and carrying on as you are?

We get you!

We know that it can be scary to make that leap and bring in some HR help. The reality here though is that we can often actually SAVE you a big chunk of money.

And that’s a no-brainer investment to make in your business.

Let’s have a look at just a few of the ways in which we could slash your costs…

 

We can keep you out of the court room

 

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that because you’re a fair employer who tries to do your best by all your employees, that you’re not at risk of having to face a lawsuit. This isn’t necessary true though.

Employment law is complicated, and if you miss something, you could find yourself with a potentially very costly situation on your hands. We can make sure that your people practices are on the right side of the law.

 

We can skyrocket the performance of your workforce

 

 

Imagine if you could double the output of your workforce overnight. Realistically, that’s probably not going to happen. But a good HR consultant can dive deep into your business, pinpoint the exact issues that are at play, and create a step-by-step plan to fix them.

This can absolutely skyrocket your productivity and make sure that your staff are firing on all cylinders. You might think that a big marketing budget, or some fancy social media tactics are what are going to give you the edge. But the real breakthrough happens when you look INSIDE your business, rather than outside.

 

We can educate your managers

 

 

We don’t just come into your business, work some temporary magic, and then leave. We can give your managers the skills to ensure that they’re playing an active role in driving your business forward. This means less of a learning curve, less mistakes, and more strides forward.

Your staff are the most important investment that you can make, so it makes sense to nurture that investment. If you know that your managers have room for improvement, then stop blaming, take responsibility, and talk to someone who can help you to get things moving in the right direction.

 

We can provide a flexible, pick-and-mix service

 

 

Maybe you’re not quite at the stage where you need full-time, permanent HR help. That’s exactly why we can assist you. We don’t tie you into ridiculously long contracts that you don’t need, and we can create a package that’s perfect for your needs.

No off-the-shelf guidance. Just what you really need to move forward and solve your problems, right now. Our aim is to make you a better employer, not tie you up with unnecessary bureaucracy.

 

The best HR consultancy services can save you money, and can also seriously add to your bottom line. Want to talk about how we can move forward together? Get in touch today and arrange your no-obligation consultation. If we are unable to fulfill all your HR needs, we’ll direct you to HR professionals who can.

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