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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.

How To Reward Your Staff This Christmas On a Budget

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, October 30, 2018

How To Reward Your Staff This Christmas On a Budget

 

With Christmas creeping up on us, employees all over the country are pulling out the stops to ensure that they’re playing their part in driving sales and keeping happy customers coming back for more. In short, your staff are working hard to help you to get your business to where you want it to be. So shouldn’t you be rewarding them accordingly?

Of course, this is where the age-old issue of managing a budget rears its head. In an ideal world, you could give your workers a generous cash bonus to say thank you. Sometimes though, this just isn’t possible. It’s time to consider your other options. Let’s take a look at how to reward your staff this festive season while keeping a close eye on your expenditure.

 

Consider your total reward package

 

It’s long since been recognized that pay and financial incentives make up just one facet of what’s considered in the HR world to be a ‘total reward package’. Put simply, there are so many tools that you can use to motivate and compensate your staff.

If you haven’t yet started to think about the bigger picture, now’s the time. Could you offer flexible working arrangements, either right now or after the busy Christmas period? Could you offer learning and development opportunities to those who are eager to progress? Have you thought about things like pensions, healthcare, and social initiatives? When you really get to grips with total reward, you’re likely to find that you’re offering plenty that you aren’t really showcasing.

 

Team up with local businesses

 

You probably already have contacts within your local business community. You might have been introduced to other entrepreneurs at networking events, or just in the course of your day-to-day operations. Have you ever thought about teaming up with them to offer something a little out of the ordinary for your staff?

A gym might consider offering some cut-price sessions. A gift store may offer a discount. The list of possibilities is endless. This approach could also open doors in the future when it comes to collaborative working opportunities.

 

Never underestimate the power of ‘thank you’

 

When’s the last time that you stopped to say a genuine thank you to your staff? It might seem obvious, but when you’re busy, it can be really easy to forget to do this. Staff don’t always want something concrete that you can hand over to them.

Many people take an immense amount of satisfaction away from simply being told that they’re doing a good job, and that their efforts are appreciated. Why not make it your mission today to ensure that you say thanks when it’s due?

 

Though our focus is on Christmas right now, it’s important to note that regardless of the time of year, rewarding your staff for their hard work doesn’t always have to be purely about financial incentives. It could be time to review your systems, so you know that you’re harnessing all opportunities.

Do you need a little help when it comes to fine-tuning your reward strategy? If so, give us a call. We’ll be happy to discuss how we might be able to work together.

 

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Four strategies for reducing absenteeism

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Four strategies for reducing absenteeism
 

A few years ago Forbes reported that U.S. workforce illness from sick days to worker's compensation is costing the economy $576B annually. Simply put, your staff are calling in sick and it’s having a severe impact on your bottom line. If you want to mitigate the impact, it’s time to think about how you can nip the problem in the bud.

Now of course, it’s important to note that managing absenteeism isn’t about trying to ensure that every single employee is always present and correct. Even with the best people management policies and procedures, it’s highly likely that you’ll still have to pick up the phone now and again and be told that an important member of your team can’t make it into the office today.

However, there are certain things that you can do to make sure that the occasional absence doesn’t spiral out of control and become a real problem for your business. Here, we’re going to outline some proven strategies that you can put into action.
Clearly outline your expectations
If you don’t already have an absence policy, then this needs to be a key priority. You can’t expect staff to follow your guidelines, if they don’t even exist! A good policy will outline arrangements for calling in sick, identify trigger points that indicate that absence has reached an unacceptable level, and will be clearly communicated to all staff.

Of course, your policy won’t be worth the paper it’s written on if it doesn’t become part of the way you do business on a daily basis. Line managers need to be confident with putting it into action. It’s vital that the rules are applied to everyone. If you have staff members with a disability, then there will be extra considerations that need to be made. For help with complex issues, speak with an HR consultant about your circumstances.
Always hold return-to-work discussions
After any period of absence, whether it’s three days or three months, there should be a return-to-work discussion between the individual and the line manager. It’s important that you establish the reason for the absence, assess what you might be able to do to support that person back into work, and follow the procedures outlined in your policy.

Even when schedules are busy, make sure that these conversations are always marked into the diary. When they’re carried out correctly, they can help you prevent a whole load of potential issues.

Think about how you can make reasonable adjustments to get staff back into their roles

Coming back to work after a period of absence can be daunting. What can you do to make the process more manageable? It might be that you can slightly alter roles and responsibilities so that you can encourage long-term absentees to come back to their jobs and ease themselves back into routine.

In practical terms, you could agree to shorter working hours for the first couple of weeks, or you could ensure that the staff member has a reduced workload. If you’re unsure about what you could do, talk to the individual in question to establish a way forward that will help them.
Take a flexible approach to managing the rota

It’s important to recognize that staff have a life outside of your business. They may want to attend a parents’ evening, go see their favorite band, or have to take care of serious matters such as an ill family member. If they’re forced to choose between missing out and calling in sick, then you aren’t always going to win.

Ask yourself whether it would be feasible, from an operational point of view, to add some flexibility into how working schedules are managed. From time to time, could you allow staff to swap shifts or catch up with their work later in the week? As long as you have firm boundaries in place, this kind of approach could help you to minimize problems.

If absence is an issue in your business, then the bad news is that you probably can’t make improvements overnight. You need a considered and careful approach, and it’ll certainly be a learning curve. But when you get it right, the benefits will be huge.

Do you want to discuss your challenges with a professional, and walk away with a manageable action plan so you know exactly what you need to do? Contact us today.

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How to avoid costly legal action against your business

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, October 16, 2018

How to avoid costly legal action against your business   …read more


 

Use Your Greatest Asset To Maximize Profits in The Final Quarter

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, October 09, 2018

 Use Your Greatest Asset To Maximize Profits in The Final Quarter   …read more


 

Halloween Tips for Business Owners

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Halloween Tips for Business Owners

 

 

 

 

 

It’s quickly approaching that time of year when we start to get questions coming in about Halloween office parties. What are appropriate costume choices and how to inject a little fun and joviality into the workplace without letting things get out of hand.

 

We used to make do with bobbing for apples and perhaps a poorly made costume crafted out of a discarded bed sheet. Today however, it’s big business. And whether you think of it as a trick to force us to part with our hard-earned cash, or a little treat to lessen the blow of the darker nights and colder days, there are certain things that you need to consider as an employer.

 

First of all, don’t blow things out of proportion. If you’re the boss, then you probably shouldn’t be spending your time worrying about who’s going to bring the caramel apples to the lunchtime party, or whether you’ve got the right equipment to organize a pumpkin carving competition. By all means, it’s fine to allow your staff to enjoy some lighthearted fun, but delegate the smaller details so you can focus on more strategic matters.

 

However, it’s sensible to think about the stance you’ll take if things take a sour turn. Your staff are adults and they should be well aware that offensive costumes aren’t appropriate. Tackle issues head-on – just because it’s Halloween, it doesn’t mean that you should let standards slide. You definitely shouldn’t dismiss inappropriate behavior as ‘just a bit of fun’.

 

Use your common sense and enter into the spirit of the season if you wish to do so. And once things are done and dusted, remember that it’s only a few months until you face a whole new set of challenges in the shape of Christmas!!

 

Need help exploring the issues surrounding the festivities and your responsibilities as an employer, we would love to help. Contact us today.

 

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