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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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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


 

Baggage In The Workplace

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Baggage In The Workplace   …read more


 

Three Difficult Questions You Need To Ask Yourself Before 2019

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Three Difficult Questions You Need To Ask Yourself Before 2019

By now, it’s highly likely that you’ll have asked yourself the big, important and very obvious questions about how your business measured up during the past year. You’ll know how much you increased your turnover. How many new staff you recruited. And what your goals are moving forward.

Planning and reflection sessions can be hugely useful, but sometimes, it can be easy to miss the less obvious measures of what you are and aren’t achieving. If you’re serious about making this next year a success, you need to delve a little deeper and consider the questions that probably haven’t even crossed your mind.

Let’s get started right away.

Are your line managers really capable?

 

It’s safe to say that your line managers are, in so many respects, the backbone of your business. They deal with day-to-day issues. They handle unexpected events. They make sure your policies are implemented and adhered to, and they keep things moving along when you can’t be there. So it’s crucially important that they can perform to the absolute best of their ability.

It’s important to note here that identifying problems when it comes to capability isn’t about pointing the finger. You need to avoid knee-jerk reactions. Carefully consider where there’s room for improvement, then create a plan that will help you to get to where you want to be. This might involve training, coaching or something completely different.

What HR mistakes have you made in the past twelve months?

No one is perfect. Running a business is a steep learning curve, whether you’re completely new to entrepreneurship, or you’ve been in the game for decades. The world is constantly changing and adapting, and you need to make sure that you’re keeping up. What worked just a few years ago won’t necessarily bring about desirable results right now.

So what mistakes did you make when it comes to your human resources during the past year? Think about operational issues, as well as the bigger strategic picture. Are your employees onboard with organizational goals? Does everyone understand and embrace their role in achieving growth? Only when you get really honest with yourself, can you start to work out how you won’t fall into the same trap twice.

 

What do you need to do to grow as a leader?

 

It’s easy to overlook your own personal development when you’re trying to grow a team. It’s crucially important though. How can you be expected to get the most out of everyone else, if you aren’t constantly improving and growing yourself? This should be a consideration throughout the year, but it’s easy to drop the ball. Now is a good time to reflect.

Of course, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution here. You can’t just book yourself on a training course and assume you’ve ticked the box, or download a generic management book and promise yourself that you’ll get stuck into it. Your approach needs to be tailored to your needs, and it must be an ongoing process rather than a one-off task.

Asking the right questions can be a huge source of growth in your business. Obviously though, you need to get really honest with yourself when it comes to working out the answers. Jot down your initial thoughts. Then scrap them and work on being really truthful. It’s not necessarily easy, but the powerful tactics rarely are.

Contact us today for your HR needs.

 

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When HR IS The Problem...

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, September 04, 2018

What To Do When HR Is The Problem?  …read more


 

Improve Your Email Communication Skills

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, May 08, 2018

How Leaders Can Improve Their Email Communication Skills   …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


 

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.

 

  …read more


 

GOALS FOR THE YEAR

Tiffany Boyes - Tuesday, March 13, 2018

GOALS FOR THE YEAR   …read more


 

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