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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.

Are Your Employees Coming To Work Ill?

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Are Your Employees Coming To Work Ill?

 

 

A survey by NSF International stated that at least 26 percent of American workers admit to going to work when they are sick, with men being twice as likely to show up at the office while ill than women. 42 percent say it’s because they fear missing deadlines or having to make up too much work, 25 percent say their boss expects them to go to work no matter what.

 

On the surface, statistics like these can seem to demonstrate that employees are loyal. They don’t want to let their colleagues down. They don’t want to make a fuss. They want to ensure that they get their work done and make their contribution to the bottom line.

 

It’s true that the root cause can be positive feelings, but in reality, it can be a serious problem. Their productivity is likely to suffer, their morale can go through the floor, and there’s quite often the risk of illnesses being passed to other workers, which amplifies the problem.

 

And of course, we need to remember that as an employer, you’ve got a duty of care. If you have a workplace culture that frowns upon taking time off – even when it’s for genuine reasons – then you’ve got a problem on your hands. Ultimately, it can lead to lower retention rates, higher costs and a damaged employer brand.

 

So what can you do about it? Here are some areas that you might want to consider…

 

  • Create a medical leave policy
  •  

Do your staff know what they should do if they need to attend a medical or dental appointment during working hours? Managing things on a case-by-case basis can cause problems. It’s also important that all members of staff know what the provisions are.

 

  • Ensure that you hold back-to-work meetings
  •  

Some members of staff may feel anxious or worried about the prospect of returning to work after a period of illness, even if it’s only a few days. Make sure that you’re carrying out back-to-work meetings so you can bring your employee up to speed, and they know that they’ll be supported.

 

  • Don’t neglect the problems that can’t be seen
  •  

If someone is suffering from the flu, that’s often pretty obvious. Many other issues though, such as stress and depression, can sometimes be hidden. Make sure that your agenda and policies are inclusive and also tackle the areas which are less black and white.

 

  • Lead by example
  •  

Listen, we completely understand that you’re a busy leader with work to do. But if you’re seen showing up at the office when you’re quite clearly unwell, it’s sending the wrong message about what’s expected. Learn to recognize when taking a break is the best option.

Battling presenteeism isn’t an overnight thing, and there are rarely quick fixes. It requires a shift in culture and good practice being encouraged and supported over a longer period of time. However, it is an important issue, and it deserves a place on your agenda.

 

For help with your HR needs, get in touch with us today. If we are not able to support all of your HR needs, we will be happy to direct you to a HR professional who can.

 

  …read more


 

The World Cup And The Workplace

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, July 03, 2018

The World Cup And The Workplace   …read more


 

Should HR Be Encouraging More Women To Save?

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Should HR Be Encouraging More Women To Save?   …read more


 

Important HR Tasks For The New Financial Year

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Important HR Tasks For The New Financial Year   …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


 

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


 

Are You Taking Sexual Harassment Claims Seriously?

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Are You Taking Sexual Harassment Claims Seriously?

 

 

The Harvey Weinstein scandal has once again shone a light on the very serious issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. Though we’ve come a long way in recent years in terms of creating legislation to protect individuals against inappropriate behavior and gender related discrimination, it’s crystal clear that there’s still a great deal of work to be done.

 

As a business owner, you have a responsibility. To meet your legal obligations and your duty of care as an employer, you need to make sure that you’ve got provisions in place to deal with sexual harassment claims. In practical terms, what exactly does this look like? There are several things that you need to consider to ensure that you’re fulfilling your obligations. Let’s take a look at the questions that you need to be asking…

 

Are you merely being reactive?

 

Dealing with sexual harassment shouldn’t just be about handling issues once they arise. It’s about being proactive, and taking extra steps to create a positive working environment. Are your staff trained in what’s acceptable and what isn’t? And are your line managers and employees in a position whereby they feel comfortable in challenging unacceptable behavior from the offset? Your approach should be about creating a positive culture, rather than just firefighting.

 

Are you handling complaints swiftly and sensitively?

 

If a member of staff came into your office right now with a complaint of sexual harassment against another employee, what exactly would you do? You need to be certain that you’d be able to act quickly and professionally. Remember that a thorough investigation should be carried out, and you should never jump to assumptions about what may or may not have happened.

 

Do you have a policy in place, and is it being implemented?

 

The value of having a robust policy covering harassment in the workplace is often overlooked until it’s needed. Having a clear set of procedures that outline how a complaint should be made and how it will be dealt with is essential. A clear policy has many benefits for you as a leader, as well as for your employees. However, you need to remember that this isn’t about ticking boxes. Your policy is only going to work for your business if it’s clearly communicated and implemented by your management team. This also underpins a wider organizational culture that refuses to tolerate bullying or harassment.

 

The headlines in the news at the moment may be dire, and indeed deeply distressing. Sexual harassment is very clearly still rampant in many industries and workplaces. The conversation though does present an opportunity to talk about these serious issues, and consider how positive change can be made. How can your business play a role in stamping out unacceptable behavior? Contact us today to discuss your HR needs

  …read more


 

Five critical actions for managing an employee grievance

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Five critical actions for managing an employee grievance   …read more


 

What If You Refuse Vacation Time, And The Employee Takes Time Off Anyway?

Tiffany Boyes - Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What If You Refuse Vacation Time, And The Employee Takes Time Off Anyway?   …read more


 

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