Why Real Leaders Don’t Need a Corner Office

real leaders don't need corner office

For some people, power (and therefore impact) sits in symbols of power such as a corner office, a nice company car or an executive assistant.

Symbols can, at times, play an impactful role but real and lasting impact is so much bigger than that. It’s how you conduct yourself, your actions and behaviours, that will speak the loudest. And if you do that effectively, you definitely don’t need to have the biggest office to have an impact. (more…)

Balancing the Positives & Negatives of Stress at Work

how to spot signs of stress in employees

Stress is an inevitable part of everyday life and our bodies are hard-wired to respond to it. However, it’s clear stress is taking a negative toll on businesses across the country.

Poor mental health costs employers between £1,205 and £1,560 per employee every year. This cost is for all employees, not just those who are ill, so we asked Brendan Street of Nuffield Health to show how employers can cut the cost of stress. (more…)

Is Hugging at Work Considered Sexual Harassment?

is cuddling at work sexual harrassment

When fashion chain, Ted Baker, hit the news last year among stories of ‘forced hugging’, it’s likely that many businesses across the country began to look at how practices in their own organisation’s culture may be received by its staff.

And the key question many business owners will be asking is, can hugging at work constitute sexual harassment? (more…)

Are Your Employees Coasting at Work?

coasting employee

Whilst most employers will be well versed in dealing with under-performing staff, the situation can be trickier when faced with those who appear to be coasting at work.

Given the increasing demands placed on business owners it can be easy to overlook staff who are doing just enough to get by, however failing to recognise and address this can come at a significant cost to a business. (more…)

When Teams Go Wrong – How to Turn Around a Failing Team

tackling team problems

We’ve all been there. The team meeting where nothing is achieved. The group discussion where it feels like you can cut the air with a knife. The team that is actually a team in name only, where it’s everyone for themselves and only the most vocal, political or best-connected survives.

So how can you get a broken team back on track, and make sure everyone pulls together? (more…)

A Practical Guide to Flexible Working Rights for Small Businesses

Request for flexible working

The statutory right to request flexible working is available to all employees who complete 26 weeks of continuous employment.

Whilst flexible working is certainly becoming a more common feature in the workplace, it could stand to become even more significant in 2019 as discussions continue around whether employers will be required to state whether positions can be worked flexibly in job advertisements.

In the meantime, here’s what every small business owner needs to know about flexible working rights, and how to handle flexible working requests from staff so that you don’t end up in front of an Employment Tribunal; (more…)

The Importance of Roles and Responsibilities in Project Management

project management tips and advice

One of the key attributes of projects is that they are not structured in the same way as ordinary business departments. A number of people, possibly including contractors or consultants, are brought together to deliver a project.

This lack of a corporate structure leads to a need for clearly defined roles in the project structure. (more…)

Can You Dismiss an Employee if They Lied on their CV?

what to do when employee has lied on CV

It is common for individuals to exaggerate or embellish certain aspects of their CV when applying for a role, however employers can be faced with a serious problem if it turns out the person they hired does not have the experience or qualifications needed to carry out the job at hand.

So what can you do if after you’ve hired an employee, you subsequently find out they lied on their CV? (more…)

Becoming an Employer – Your Responsibilities When You Hire Staff

what you need to do when employing staff

No matter how successful your business has been with just you working in it, if you want to grow you’ll need to employ people.

There are innumerable benefits of having employees. The right people will ease the workload on you and allow you take holidays. Good staff keep your business running day to day, so you can focus on the most important part of your role as the leader: growing the business. (more…)

How Companies Can Motivate Staff in 2019

ways to motivate staff

Human resources as a role within organisations has grown significantly in the last 20 years, and today, employers need to find ways to motivate their staff and keep them satisfied at work.

Not only are happier staff likely to be more productive, but they are a less likely to leave and companies will save money on recruiting and retraining staff. With this in mind, we offer a number of ways that companies can motivate staff in 2019. (more…)

Can You Dismiss an Employee for Posting a Negative Company Review?

Negative company review by employee

Company reviews left on websites such as Glassdoor and Indeed can be a great way for your organisation to build a positive reputation and help in efforts to recruit new talent.

However, there is always the risk that staff may leave negative reviews on these websites, which can have a very different impact altogether. (more…)

How to Give Feedback When an Employee Does a Terrible Job

how to deal with staff errors

In a small business or start-up culture there is often limited time available for formal employee appraisals or structured feedback planning. However, developing a business culture where structured feedback is routinely given, received and acknowledged is essential for long-term growth. (more…)

Making a Contractual Job Offer to a New Employee

Making a contractual job offer to new employee

Following a successful recruitment and selection process, employers will be able to identify which candidates they wish to employ.

Making a job offer to the successful candidate appears to be a straightforward area of law, however, there are several factors that employers should consider to put themselves on the best path. (more…)

5 Ways to Implement Learning at Work

learning at work

The business landscape is constantly changing, and new technology is accelerating the pace of developments. These changing dynamics have redefined the ‘ability to learn’ as an essential skill, whatever your role in the organisation.

‘Learn something new today’ should not be just a lesson for when you are in school or university – it should be a life lesson; personally, and professionally, in or out of the workplace. (more…)

How to Hire Graduates for Your Small Business

Attracting graduates to SME

A recent study found that 48% of millenial graduates believe a small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) to be the ideal sized business to work for as opposed to a larger organisation.

Even with this encouraging statistic, graduate recruitment can be difficult for small businesses. If you are to succeed you need to take a multi-faceted approach to gain interest from students and graduates alike. Here are 4 things you can do to ensure your graduate hiring process delivers. (more…)

How to help make sure your business survives a marriage breakdown

Ensure your business survives a divorce

Being a business owner ultimately means you will face tough times, whether that be the loss of a key staff member, a dip in revenue or an untimely economic recession. However, one of the greatest – and most unsuspecting – challenges to a business owner, is a divorce.

To help ensure you don’t lose your business if you get divorced, we asked Matrimonial Consultant and Family Lawyer Sheela Mackintosh-Stewart to share her advice on how to ensure business survival in the event of a marriage breakdown. (more…)

5 Strategies for dealing with office politics

tackling office politics

Office politics, workplace politics, corporate politics… You may refer to ‘politics at work’ by a different name, but, they all mean the same thing.

The danger for a business where office politics take hold is that everybody involved becomes distracted and loses sight of the common purpose that galvanizes a team. (more…)

Science of Success – How to Apply Team GB’s Gold Medal Winning Techniques to Your Business

Team GB golds - business lessons

In 1996, Britain’s team of athletes returned from the Olympic Games in Atlanta with one solitary gold medal from rowing. This was a low point in British international sporting achievement and was the subject of a good deal of national self-flagellation in the media.

Fast-forward to 2016 and Team GB had completed an incredible turnaround in performance, securing over 20 gold medals. So what was behind the change in fortunes? And what lessons can you take and apply to boost your business? (more…)

Improve your business profitability with the 3C approach to employees

I should put on the invoice

Can you say that you and the people in your business form a dynamic team?

When geese fly in V formation, I see a dynamic team at work. This level of cooperation benefits each goose and the overall team. They reach their destination quicker and use far less energy.

Let me share an effective approach for translating this into the small business environment – the V is a great example of employee engagement. (more…)

The Do’s & Don’ts of giving gifts at work

workplace gifts - what employers need to consider

The practice of giving gifts to colleagues and clients is becoming an increasingly frequent occurrence in the workplace.

Although this activity is predominately centred around the Christmas holiday period, it is also common to see gifts distributed at other times of the year in celebration of birthdays, work anniversaries or the closing of an important business deal.

With this in mind, there are several factors employers must think about the next time they consider giving a gift to someone at work. (more…)

How to improve company culture by enlisting your ‘Culture Champions’

Growing your company culture

Why does your company do what it does?

If you’ve thoughtfully identified this motive, you have probably embedded it in statements of your business mission, vision, and values.

These documents are akin to the ten commandments – guidelines that suggest how to act in the course of delivering your products or services. They are foundational to any corporate culture. (more…)

5 Principles to cut your meetings in half and still make them more productive

organising worthwhile meetings

Many businesses, organisations and leaders have created a ‘meeting culture’ whereby they need a meeting to decide what they are going to be meeting about and then another meeting to prepare for the meeting itself and another to de-brief after the meeting.

Wow, that’s a whole lot of meetings going on.

Meetings are the killer of productivity and part of being a ‘productivity ninja’ is centred on valuing your time and the time of others. Small businesses tend to understand this better than big business, simply because resources are tight and time is scarce, but I have no doubt we’ve all fallen into the ‘meeting for meeting sake’ trap.

Now, if you’re in this trap and not sure how to get out of it follow these five simple, but effective, guiding principles on how you can halve your meetings AND reduce the time they take whilst still making them productive. (more…)

The Challenges of recruitment for startups

Challenges new businesses face when hiring staff

Hiring the right people is vital for the growth of your company. It is likely to go some way in contributing to the development of the business and helping it to become successful.

The task of recruitment varies across different industries depending on their nature. For example, recruitment in hospitality is seasonal and finding the right people can be difficult.

Moreover, recruitment can be even harder for startups, so here we take a look at some of the main challenges facing startups when it comes to looking for people to join their team. (more…)

Employment Status – Why do I need to know the difference?

employed, self employed and worker

It would be fair to say that employment status has been a contentious issue in recent times as business owners and staff in various sectors dispute the true nature of their respective working arrangements.

As a business owner it is important that you are familiar with the differences between the three main categories of employment (employee, worker and self-employed) as this will help determine the rights of the individual and the obligations you have towards them. (more…)

5 Simple ways for SMEs to address workplace stress

workplace stress

This year, Mental Health Awareness Week (14 – 20 May) is shining a spotlight on stress.

With one in six adults experiencing depression, anxiety or issues relating to stress at any one time, it’s important for smaller employers to recognise the signs that their team may be under too much stress.

Here, Jaan Madan of Mental Health First Aid England, highlights five ways small businesses can address workplace stress.

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4 Reasons why SMEs should invest in an Employee Assistance Programme

stressed female employee

1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health issue at some point in our lives and the UK Government is taking this statistic seriously, recommending all companies with more than 500 employees should provide tailored mental health support for their staff.

But what about smaller businesses? With millions of small businesses in the UK, making sure these businesses are equipped to support the mental and physical wellbeing of their staff is essential for keeping the majority of the working population healthy. (more…)

Incentivising and rewarding staff with an EMI share option scheme

Retaining and rewarding key staff with EMI share options

For many companies, staff retention is a key issue. Giving employees a slice of the business can foster a sense of ownership and can be a key element in retaining and rewarding them.

One of the most widely used methods of achieving this is the use of Enterprise Management Incentive (“EMI”) Share Option Schemes. EMI Share Options are significantly more generous than ordinary share options from a tax perspective so can help you attract and incentivise key staff, in a very tax-effective manner. We asked John Leyden FCA, to explain how.

(more…)

Minimum Wage and statutory rates increases – April 2018

statutory payments and minimum wage changes April 2018

The beginning of April has likely been a hectic time for many employers, with usual accounting and financial deadlines sandwiched in between important updates to employment law rates and payments.

Here, we outline the increases in the National Minimum Wage, National Living Wage and other statutory payments, all business owners need to abide by from April 2018. (more…)

How to improve your company culture to attract, and keep, the best employees

how to improve your company culture to foster a happier, more positive and productive workplace

Improving company culture is at the top of the agenda for most modern day businesses, as more employers are coming to appreciate the role it plays in attracting prospective employees.

However it is not as simple as placing a ping-pong table in the staff room; a company culture needs to be fostered over time. To foster a better culture businesses need to take a multifaceted approach that demonstrates genuine commitment to equality, transparency and valuing employees. (more…)

How to help more of your employees to stay in the company pension scheme

helping employees stay in auto enrolment company pension

Workplace pensions are a legal requirement for all UK businesses no matter how small. Since 2012 more than 8 million people have been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension by their employer.

With auto enrolment contribution levels set to rise on 6 April 2018, it’s more important than ever that small businesses improve pension awareness to prevent employees opting out of the company pension scheme. To help you do this, we asked Steve Butler, CEO, Punter Southall Aspire to reveal his tips on how you can help ensure how your staff continue to save for their retirement. (more…)