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HR U Can Trust Blog

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

Is Your Workplace Ready For Summer?

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Is Your Workplace Ready For The Summer?

 

The days are getting longer and the temperature is finally on the rise. Talk around the office has turned to bikini diets and discount airlines. The parks are packed full with joggers and cyclists. There’s no denying that summer is very firmly on the horizon. But is your business ready?

As always, a little preparation can go a long way. Here, we’re going to talk you through the considerations that you need to make to ensure that your business is fighting fit to contend with its upcoming challenges.

Are you keeping spirits high?

 

The summer can be a bit of an unsettling time for employees. There are often many factors at play that can present unique issues. Team members are taking time off, sunny gardens seem much more appealing than the office and sporting events are scheduled for right in the middle of the working day. The list goes on and on.

So it’s easy to see why motivation and engagement can sometimes be sorely lacking during the warmer months. Instead of trying to firefight problems once they arise, be proactive and consider what you can do to raise spirits. Organize an outdoor picnic during the lunch hour, treat your staff to an ice cream, or organize to have the biggest sporting events streamed into the workplace. Small gestures can often go a long way.

How will you handle a heat wave?

 

Okay, so this might be wishful thinking. But every now and again, the weather throws a pleasant surprise our way. Do you know what you should do when it comes to managing the working environment when the temperatures soar? There’s no guideline, which is partly because some industries require extreme hot or cold conditions just to get the job done.

When there’s no legislation to refer to, use a bit of simple common sense. Is the office getting hot and stuffy? Is it uncomfortable for your staff? If so, think about making some adjustments. Fans can make a good quick fix, and you should always ensure that fresh cold water is available for drinking.

Have you mapped out staffing requirements?

 

More often than not, the summer months pose challenges in terms of making sure that you effectively manage the annual leave rota so work still gets done. The starting point here must involve working out what you need. How will you ensure the phones are answered, and questions are dealt with in a timely manner? How many team members need to be present at any given time? Go back to basics.

Don’t forget to think about how you can use this period to create opportunities. Members of staff who are eager to progress may be keen to step up and contribute to ongoing projects while their colleagues are away, or take on a more diverse range of responsibilities to assist with their professional development.

Perhaps you’ve got your plan of action mapped out and you’re confident that you’re ready for the summer. Or maybe you’re feeling unorganized and worried about the issues you know you’ll have to handle in the very near future. Need some help? That’s exactly why we’re here. Give us a call today for an initial chat about your circumstances.

 

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How To Raise Your Leadership Game

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Six Ways To Raise Your Leadership Game This Week   …read more


 

​Essential Questions That You Need To Ask HR Software Vendors

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Essential Questions That You Need To Ask HR Software Vendors   …read more


 

HR TASKS TO TICK OFF YOUR LIST

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, April 03, 2018

HR Tasks To Tick Off Your List This Month   …read more


 

Improve the health of your Employees

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, March 27, 2018

   …read more


 

Your guide to minimizing conflict in a family business

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Your guide to minimizing conflict in a family business


Being part of a family business can seem like a dream come true for many people. The opportunity to work alongside your nearest and dearest to pursue your goals and create financial independence is something that can have huge appeal. So, it’s no surprise that Harvard Business School has reported that family firms account for two thirds of businesses across the globe.

Regardless of how close your family unit may be, there are unique challenges that come hand-in-hand with working alongside your relatives. It might sound good on paper, but when you have to line manage your brother and answer to your sister-in-law, all before 9am, cracks can very easily start to appear.

It’s vital that you lay the right foundations for avoiding unnecessary conflict. Here, we share some of our top tips.

Utilize official channels of communication

It’s natural to occasionally want to discuss work outside of the office, especially if you’re socializing with people who play an active role in the projects that you’re working on. However, it’s important to think about the potential consequences. Imagine that you tell your family members about some big upcoming changes within the business over Sunday dinner. By the time they get to work the next day, they’ve already digested the information, and they’re eager to discuss the details with their colleagues. Your other members of staff are going to feel out of the loop. This can only lead to despondency. Schedule meetings where all stakeholders can be present, and stick to other topics of conversation when socializing with family.

Create a succession plan

You might plan on handing your business over to your children when the time comes for you to enjoy your retirement, but making assumptions is never wise. They might have other plans, or they could quite simply be lacking the skills required to take over.

No one wants to think about what will happen when they’re no longer around, but if you want your business to survive and provide opportunities for your family for years to come, then it’s essential that you carefully consider what the management structure will look like in the future.

Ensure everyone knows who they should answer to


Think about the structure of traditional businesses. Employees have line managers, they know who’s in charge and where they should turn to for guidance and management. Just because the majority of your staff happen to be relatives, doesn’t mean that you should neglect the creation of an organizational hierarchy.

Of course, this also applies for non-family employees. They need to know who they can go to when they have questions, who they should be taking direction from on a daily basis, and who will be carrying out their important HR-related discussions, such as performance reviews.

Seek out external HR assistance

It can be hard to make impartial, strategic decisions when you’re dealing with family members. As your business grows, it makes sense to bring in some external HR help. This will give you a sounding board for your worries and concerns. You’ll be able to ensure that you’re acting in accordance with the law, and you’ll get guidance on how to handle difficult situations.

Our retainer clients love having the peace of mind that comes with knowing they can just pick up the phone and talk to us about their latest challenges, whether it be a small issue that they want to nip in the bud, or something more complex that they need to get right.

Want to discuss how we could work together, to make sure that you get timely and confidential HR advice? Give us a call today and we can talk you through your options, without any kind of obligation.

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GOALS FOR THE YEAR

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, March 13, 2018

GOALS FOR THE YEAR   …read more


 

MARCH MADNESS – A Guide For Employers

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, March 06, 2018

MARCH MADNESS – A Guide For Employers

 

Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no escaping from basketball at the moment. We’re about to enter March Madness. Business owner’s will likely have to handle some issues that go a little deeper than arguing with your partner over the remote control.

Between March 13 and April 2, when the tournament draws to a close, there will be some key considerations that you’ll have to make to ensure that it’s business as usual in your workplace, as much as possible.Here, we tell you what you need to know.

 

Be flexible wherever possible

 

Trying to bury your head in the sand is very rarely a good idea. Acknowledge that basketball is a top issue at the moment. You may well have members of staff who want to tune into the games. Consider reworking your timetables to accommodate any requested time off, or make provisions for watching big matches in the break room.

Operational requirements should always be at the top of your agenda, but if you’re organized, it’s very possible to offer a degree of flexibility without it having an impact on productivity and output. In fact, you’re likely to find that it will boost morale and motivation, which is always a positive thing.

 

Always apply your existing people policies

 

You don’t have to start from scratch and create a policy that handles the implications of sporting events. It’s very likely that everything you need will already be covered in your current policies and practices, including provisions around annual leave, sickness absence, and alcohol in the workplace.

If you suspect that your documentation is no longer fit for purpose, or that changes need to be made to ensure that you’re compliant with relevant laws and better practice, then take this as you cue for getting things sorted. We can carry out a review of where you currently are and make recommendations for moving forward.

 

Consider your stance on social media usage

 

Social media usage is another consideration that you may well already have covered within your existing policies. It’s a relatively new issue though. It’s important to consider the fact that your staff may be turning to social platforms and online news sources to stay up to date with the latest scores and commentary.

A web use policy should encompass what’s acceptable and what isn’t. It should be very clearly communicated to all employees. Remember to keep things fair. It wouldn’t be a good idea, for example, to allow basketball fans to use social media during March Madness, and apply a blanket ban on usage for other reasons. Remember that not everyone is interested in the game!

 

In just a couple of weeks, basketball will become a distant memory for many people. In the here and now however, it’s important that you consider your role as a leader and ensure that problems and issues are sidestepped wherever possible.

If you’re concerned about the implications of big sporting events, and you’d like to take the opportunity to chat with an expert HR consultant about your responsibilities as an employer, then get in touch for a no-obligation chat about how we might be able to help.

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​ Think Your Business Is Too Small To Worry About HR? Think Again…

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, February 27, 2018

 

Think Your Business Is Too Small To Worry About HR? Think Again…

 Growing a business from the ground up can be one of the most challenging but rewarding experiences in the world, and we’ve worked with ambitious leaders at practically every stage. From recruiting your very first member of staff, to really stepping things up a level and recruiting entire teams and departments. We’ve helped business owners navigate it all.

When you’re at the beginning of the journey, however, you can feel like getting some help with HR is not entirely necessary. You might see it as an extra expense that you just don’t need, or a ‘nice-to-have’ that you’ll come to at some point in the future. The reality though is that if you’ve got big ambitions for your business – whether that be in terms of income or impact – then working with an HR consultant in the early days could be one of the wisest moves you make.

Of course, you could say we’re biased, and you’d have a valid point. But if you think your business is too small to worry about HR, we’d like to at least encourage you to consider whether you might in fact be ready for that next step.

Here are some important reasons why even the smallest of business owners should reconsider their approach…

Small business owners aren’t exempt from complying with legislation

It’s true that there are certain legal requirements that don’t apply to smaller businesses. However, there are many, many pieces of employment legislation that you must comply with whether you have 1 or 1,000 members of staff. If you’re not compliant, you’re running the risk of having legal action taken against you, regardless of how small you might be, or how recently you started hiring staff.

Prevention is always better than cure

It’s easy to take your eye off the ball with your HR practices, and let issues bubble away beneath the surface. So for example, you might have no problems whatsoever when it comes to absence management with the three members of staff you currently have, so you see no reason to implement a policy.

But you might find that as your team grows, you start to hit bumps in the road. Having some robust and clearly communicated policies and practices from the onset is likely to save you from a whole load of HR headaches, and ensure that you’re growth-proofing your business.


Good HR practices could save – and make – you money

You’re no doubt already aware that HR problems could cost you money, and could also cost you your reputation as a business owner and employer. A little investment could go a long way towards saving you a chunk of cash in the near and distant future.

HR can help you to generate more cash and more profits, as well. While plenty of leaders turn to marketing to tick this box, it’s essential that HR plays a role in cash creation. We can help to ensure that your staff are performing, your leaders are inspiring and that everyone is working effectively towards a common goal.

It might be more affordable than you think

Getting some professional HR help doesn’t mean that you have to splash thousands and thousands of dollars on big projects, or have consultants trailing through your office for months on end. We offer a range of packages for small business owners who recognize the importance of HR, but aren’t in the position just yet to embark on long term and costly commitments.

Get in touch today to book your initial consultation and discuss your options.

 

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Are your employees allowed to use work provided devices for personal use?

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Are your employees using their work provided devices for personal use and are they allowed too?   …read more


 

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