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…)
As business leaders, it’s easy to get consumed in the pressures of running your business. It’s stressful, but there is a consequence to that stress, and it can be damaging for business, as well as your own health. (more…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, employees are entitled to take a minimum of 5.6 times their normal working week as paid annual leave each year.
As employees typically place great significance on their holiday entitlement, the act of declining an annual leave request can often be met with annoyance. (more…)
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…)
We’re all faced with obstacles at work and sometimes just coming back after a holiday can feel challenging. However, when an employee is returning to work after mental ill health, the experience can be even more daunting.
We asked Liz Walker, HR Director at Unum, to share advice on how employers can support returning staff and help ease them back into the work that can be so beneficial to their recovery. (more…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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 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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
As a business owner, it’s likely that you struggle to find time to do the performance appraisals for your team.
You are not the only one.
Surveys have indicated that owners and managers hate doing performance reviews and as many as 58% think it is a waste of time. (more…)
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…)
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.
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…)
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.
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…)
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…)
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…)
This week (5-9 March) marks National Careers Week, it highlights the importance of good careers education and support for young people leaving education. The week brings together schools, colleges and universities with employers to showcase best practice in careers guidance.
Work experience can help kickstart a career for young people, but it also offers many great opportunities for employers too. If managed effectively, a well-structured work experience programme can deliver returns from bringing in fresh insights, through to training the next generation of talent with the skills your business need. So, this National Careers Week we’re looking at how and why more SMEs can reap the rewards of offering work experience. (more…)
The issue of gender equality in the workplace has garnered much publicity in recent months and is one of the biggest issues facing employers in 2018.
Most of the media attention has surrounded information on Gender Pay Gap Reporting (GPGR) which forces companies with 250+ employees to publish a report detailing aspects of staff pay and bonuses.
Whilst smaller employers are not caught by this requirement, it will be wise for all employers to take appropriate measures to address gender equality in their workplace. So what steps can you take to do this? (more…)
What constitutes ‘fun’ at work, and why is ‘fun’ in the workplace deemed essential anyway? And more crucially for business owners, does having a fun workplace bring real benefits to the business?
We asked change consultant, Philip Cox-Hynd to share his experience and reveal the 9 Do’s and Don’ts of building an open and honest work culture where employees feel valued and engaged. (more…)
Your people are one of the most powerful forces available to you in realising your goals and ambitions, and the way you culturally think about your people strategy is critical to your commercial and business success.
Getting the most out of your team is pivotal to a thriving business, so motivating your employees isn’t an optional extra.
The key to really energising your staff is finding their motivational triggers. Best-selling author, Royston Guest, explains how you can do this.