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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.

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


 

How To Handle Office Romances

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, February 13, 2018

How To Handle Office Romances


With many of us spending more and more time at the office, it’s no surprise that many working relationships blossom into something a little more intimate. In fact, research carried out by CareerBuilder.com found that 38% of workers have dated a colleague at some point in their working lives.

As an employer though, you’d be right to be a little cautious about what the implications could be for your business. If you suspect that there’s an office romance, you may be concerned about the impact that this could have on your team or what might happen if things turn sour.

Spring is in the air, so now is a great time to consider what some of the best practice is on this subject. Without any further ado, here’s what you need to know:

Accept that these things happen


It would be unreasonable to try to implement any kind of policy that banned romantic relationships between employees. Also, it probably wouldn’t act as a deterrent. If anything, you’d be simply creating a culture of secrecy and mistrust.

The bottom line here is that these things happen and, as a leader, you have to accept it.

Nip any problems in the bud ASAP

Public displays of affection aren’t appropriate in the workplace. No one wants to see PDA by the water cooler, or have to navigate their way through a kissing couple just to get to the break-room. Luckily, most couples will know this already, and will often do everything they can to make sure that there are no awkward moments for their colleagues.

If you do feel that boundaries are being crossed, you need to take action as soon as possible. Have a discreet word with both individuals, explain your worries, and remind them of what’s acceptable and what isn’t.

Consider the team as a whole


You’re probably not in the office all day long, every day of the week. So in many ways, you only get a very limited snapshot of what’s going on and how everyone’s interacting on a day-to-day basis. This means that you need to be extra vigilant when it comes to monitoring sentiment.

Of course, this is a larger issue surrounding workplace culture and it covers more than just office romances. Keeping your finger on the pulse and collecting meaningful, insightful feedback from your staff on a regular basis will ensure that you’re creating a productive, motivated, and happy workforce – if, of course, you’re taking action on your findings.

Don’t take sides if things go wrong

Many employers worry about the potential fallout of office relationships turning sour. It’s essential that you’re prepared for the worst-case scenario. Stay impartial, try to exercise a degree of understanding and sympathy, but make sure that you keep overall business objectives and priorities in sight.

Of course, it’s vital that you can recognize the difference between a break-up and something more sinister. Your policies and procedures on serious matters such as sexual harassment and bullying should be tough and always implemented.

If you’ve got these key areas covered, romance at work doesn’t have to leave you feeling stressed out and uncertain about what to do for the best. If you feel like you need to ensure that you’re prepared for anything that your business might throw at you this year, we can help to make sure that you’re ready. Give us a call to arrange a consultation.

  …read more


 

Can you make your staff sign a Love Contract?

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Can You Really Make Your Staff Sign A Love Contract?   …read more


 

How To Handle Blossoming Romances In Your Workplace

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, January 30, 2018

How To Handle Blossoming Romances In Your Workplace

 

 

Dating apps might often be considered as the modern way to find a romantic partner, but plenty of people still find love at work. According to a study by Approved Index, 65% of office workers have been involved in at least one workplace relationship during the course of their career. And of course, it’s hardly surprising. Many of us see our coworkers much more than we see our family and friends, so it’s natural that working relationships sometimes blossom into much more.

 

But as the boss, relationships between your coworkers can seem like a disaster waiting to happen. With Valentine’s Day coming up, it’s a great time to think about what your approach should be, and the challenges that you should be aware of. Here’s our advice…

 

 

Be a realist and keep calm

 

 

Plenty of workplace relationships have a happy ending. In the majority of circumstances, you’re going to experience no problems whatsoever if your workers start seeing each other romantically away from the office. Your staff are likely to want to be discreet, and there’s usually no need for any intervention whatsoever on your behalf.

 

 

Nip any problems in the bud

 

 

It would be hugely inappropriate for your staff to share a kiss over the photocopier. If a line manager starts showing preferential treatment to a team member because of their relationship outside the office, that’s a problem. Similarly, gossip could get out of hand and create a bad atmosphere.

When something like this happens, it’s important that you act quickly and seek to find a suitable resolution. Sometimes, that could be as simple as having a quiet word with the members of staff involved. There’s rarely a case when doing nothing and hoping that everything sorts itself out is a wise approach. Where relevant, always act in accordance with your people policies.

 

 

Take harassment claims seriously

 

 

There’s a very big difference between a consensual relationship and unwanted advances, and as an employer, you have a legal obligation to ensure that you take harassment claims seriously and act swiftly. If you don’t already have a policy that covers exactly how you’ll handle such matters, then it’s absolutely vital that you get that covered.

The policy should be clear and well communicated. Also, it’s essential that your line managers have the skills, understanding and confidence to see that it’s enforced. If a member of staff came to you today and claimed that they were being sexually harassed, would you know exactly what to do? If not, this needs to take a top spot on your to do list.

Managing and leading human beings is a complex business. We all need to recognize that we’re not dealing with robots here. Emotions and relationships and affairs of the heart might not strictly be your line of business, but when you’re running the show, they’re things that you’ll probably have to deal with at one point or another. It doesn’t have to be a drama, but it does have to be something that you’ve considered.

 

For guidance on your people policy, contact us today. If we can not fulfill your HR needs, we will direct you to HR professionals who can.

  …read more


 

Three Signs That You Do NOT Need To Work With An HR Consultant

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Three Signs That You Do NOT Need To Work With An HR Consultant

 

You might think that because we run an HR consultancy, we have a list a mile long of all the reasons why you should definitely work with an HR professional to help you to hit your business goals. It’s true that there are many ways in which we can help you to hit those targets and create a positive, productive workplace. But it’s also true that we know that we can’t help everyone. There are some people who just aren’t in the right position to use our services, and if you’re on the fence right now about what your next moves should be, then we want to make sure that you’ve got all the information you need.

 

Let’s explore three of the biggest reasons why now might not be the right time to look at outsourcing your HR practices…

 

 

You’re at the stage where it’s necessary to employ a permanent HR member of staff

 

 

HR consultancy can be a great option for small and emerging businesses that could benefit from knowledge and expertise on matters relating to personnel management, but are not yet ready or able to bring on a permanent employee. There often comes a point though when it just makes better sense all round to build your own HR team.

There are obvious benefits of having a dedicated HR member of staff who knows your business inside out, and is out there operating on the front line each and every day. Most of our clients aren’t quite yet at that stage, though many do plan to get there in the not too distant future. Your HR function should grow with your business, and it’s important to carefully assess your needs.

 

You’ve got a wealth of knowledge on the nuances of employment law and its application

 

Employment law can be complex, to say the least. Keeping on top of changes and ensuring that your business is fully compliant can almost be a full-time job in its own right. Depending on your background though, you might feel like your knowledge is up to date and will keep you on the right side of compliance for a long time to come.

It’s true that many of our clients are business owners whose skills and talents are very much in a different area, and so they choose to outsource the tasks where there are gaps in their knowledge. We’re their eyes and ears when it comes to searching out new developments, and seamlessly bringing their practices up to date. If you have a deep understanding of employment law, you might be able to do this for yourself.

 

You’re not willing to have open and frank conversations with your consultant

 

 

So many businesses have problems of varying sizes bubbling away beneath the surface. Leading human beings can be a complicated and messy business. It’s inevitable that mistakes will sometimes be made. When you’re outsourcing, you’re only going to take value away from your relationship with your consultant if you’re willing to have honest conversations. This includes giving them access to everything they need… The good, the bad, and the ugly.

It can be overwhelming and daunting, but a good HR consultant is not there to judge, or to point the finger of blame. Of course, your confidentiality will always be a key priority.

If you would like to discuss whether working with an HR consultant is right for you, get in touch today for an initial no-obligation consultation. We can discuss your current challenges, and the options that are available to you.

  …read more


 

Three Tricky Challenges That Bosses Experience In January

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Three Tricky Challenges That Bosses Experience In January   …read more


 

The Call That HR Consultants Dread in January

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, January 09, 2018

The Call That HR Consultants Dread in January   …read more


 

THREE QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK YOURSELF BEFORE THE NEW YEAR

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, December 19, 2017

THREE QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK YOURSELF BEFORE THE NEW YEAR   …read more


 

Five Struggles That New Line Managers Face

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Five Struggles That New Line Managers Face   …read more


 

Top Tips To Combat Fraudulent Expense Claims From Your Employees

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Top Tips To Combat Fraudulent Expense Claims From Your Employees   …read more


 

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