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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.

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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My Boss Lies....

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, September 25, 2018

My Boss Lies…..

Most people have probably experienced a situation where their boss or their boss’s boss has lied, or said an untruth, or inferred an untruth.Lying is more common than I want to believe it is.Whether it is a “big” lie or a “little” lie, it’s still a lie.And that affects your credibility.If you lie, even by making a covert only partially true inference, your credibility is shot – people will not trust you completely.

I have had a boss who lied.I have also been in the same room with HR professionals who have lied to the employee standing right in front of them.Ten minutes later, they are saying something different to that employee’s manager.

Why do people lie?In the situation above, I believe the HR professional was trying to put a positive spin on the situation.The problem was, it wasn’t true.The result of which is that employees see through the untruth and the HR professional loses their credibility.In the case of my boss who lied, I believe that deep down they were incredibly insecure and simply trying to make them self look better than they were.Unfortunately it backfired.I believe that type of behavior will always backfire.Maybe not right away, but eventually it will catch up with you.The sad part is that my boss was incredibly talented and their insecurity was misguided.

Others may lie because they grew up in a family where their lying was never called to the carpet, it was accepted.So they continued to lie because at the time, it was helping their situation. So they kept on lying throughout life. As an adult, well, that was probably the person who was my boss.

Do you have a tendency to lie?Resist the temptation.Don’t do it.The good news is that credibility can be regained – but it takes time.If you’ve lied your whole life, change won’t happen overnight; but you can change.You can learn to tell the truth if you commit to always being truthful.If you catch yourself having lied and have the opportunity to go back to the person and correct your statement, then do so.There is nothing that will build trust with others more than always telling the truth.You’ll gain respect and credibility.

How do you deal with others who lie?Always treat them with respect.Kindly call them out on their untruths – but only if you are 100% certain.The last thing you want to do is accuse someone of lying, when in fact, they did not.And be prepared when you call them out, they may not acknowledge it even then.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word trustworthy as “worthy of confidence; dependable”. In life, as well as in business, we should practice the art of being trustworthy and living up to our commitments. It is important to those you work with to be dependable and consistent. This shows that you can be counted on to provide excellent work on a daily basis.

As you relate to the good and the destructive people as a trustworthy person, one can only hope that they will see the error of their ways and work toward change and become trustworthy themselves.

Need help with your HR practices? Contact us today for your HR needs.

 

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Baggage In The Workplace

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Baggage In The Workplace   …read more


 

When HR IS The Problem...

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, September 04, 2018

What To Do When HR Is The Problem?  …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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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.

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Should Employers Be Worried About Pokémon Go?

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Should Employers Be Worried About Pokémon Go?

 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the latest digital trend to be sweeping the world. Pokémon Go involves using your mobile device to locate and capture virtual creatures. It’s currently being used by more than 100 million users.

 

Some have praised the app for encouraging people to get outside and become more active, but it’s also had its fair share of criticism. Concerns have been expressed about the likelihood of players being involved in accidents while engrossed in the game. There have also been reports of trespassing, and even fights breaking out in the street.

 

Whether you’re an addicted player or a bit of a cynic, if you’re an employer then you have some serious considerations to make. Statistically speaking, it’s very likely that your staff are indulging in a little Pokémon Go in their spare time, and possibly even at the office. So what are you supposed to do about it?

 

Interestingly, Boeing was the first large company to ban the use of the app for employees during working hours. It was reported that it had been installed on more than 100 work devices. One employee was almost injured after being distracted by the game. The aerospace company didn’t mess around and Pokémon Go was added to their software blacklist.

 

There have also been concerns raised around security. The app allows users to take photographs of their ‘catches’, including a live shot of the location. These shots are often shared to social media networks by those eager to show off their latest achievements. If your staff are capturing images of your workplace, then this is a can of worms that you probably don’t want to open. Sensitive data and documentation could very easily be compromised.

 

But is an outright ban on the game really the best answer here? It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if your staff are chasing Pikachu when they should be working, you’re going to see a drop in productivity and profit. It’s not necessarily all doom and gloom, though. Playing the game could inject some fun and excitement into the working day. It could also encourage your staff to get away from their desks for a little while, which is often a positive thing.

 

Before you issue an outright ban on Pokémon Go in the workplace, think about the bigger picture. What are your existing social media policies? Do they cover the current issues? Do your policies need a refresh, to ensure that they’re still fit for purpose? What opportunities and threats are you facing, and how can you handle them without overreacting, while keeping business priorities in mind?

 

When it comes to people issues, there are often no right or wrong answers. What’s important is that you can keep a level head and act in your best strategic interests.

 

If one thing is for certain, it’s that challenges surrounding social media and the usage of mobile devices are only going to become more prevalent in the coming months and years. Make sure that you’re ready for them. Need help to navigate these issues, contact us today!

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