How to manage staff holidays

managing employee annual leave

All workers are entitled to receive a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave. Whilst this is a benefit for staff, employers can find themselves struggling to manage staff holidays around their business needs.

Even large companies can find managing holidays difficult, for example, Ryanair’s recent flight cancellations were caused by too many pilots booking leave off at the same time.

To help make sure your business runs smoothly, here is an overview of how you can successfully manage staff holiday.

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5 Ways small businesses can implement a successful CSR program

successful CSR for small business

When it comes to implementing an effective Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy, small business leaders can often feel overwhelmed.

However, CSR activity shouldn’t be reserved just for the big players. Small businesses can also enjoy the benefits a good CSR program can bring. (more…)

10 of the most common workplace accidents and injuries

Common accidents and injuries suffered at work

There are hundreds of thousands of accidents – many of them serious – in workplaces every year. That’s why it’s so important for every small business owner to take the proper precautions.

Of course, even the best prepared among us can still fall victim to accidents at work. But to be forewarned is to be forearmed, so here are ten of the most common accidents and injuries in the workplace;

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A Guide to employee perks and benefits for small businesses

Guide to employee benefits, staff perks and incentives

As salaries, working hours and development opportunities are becoming more aligned from business to business, offering staff perks, benefits or incentives is a way of attracting, and retaining, talent.

Glassdoor, the career site, say that 57% of all workers rate perks and benefits as one of the top factors they consider when deciding whether to accept a job offer.

So what perks can your business offer to help you attract and retain staff, and what should you watch out for? (more…)

How small businesses can encourage mothers returning to work, and why this makes business sense

Over 99% of businesses in the UK are small and medium enterprises and, according to Wasp Barcode’s annual State of Small Business Report, 50% of small businesses say hiring new employees is the top challenge they face.

‘Parents’ represent a great pool of talent; however they seem to not be noticed by many small businesses.

In fact, in some cases they are avoided. According to the Guardian: 40% of managers avoid hiring younger women to get around the issue and costs of maternity leave. (more…)

3 Top Tips for a dynamic December

being productive in December

The Christmas holiday season is eagerly anticipated. But the forthcoming festivities mean that the number of working days in the month is curtailed – and at a time when planning for the new business year makes life busier than ever.

So how can you maximise available working days to ensure a fully relaxing festive period? Richard Morris, UK CEO of workspace provider Regus offers three top tips for a dynamic and productive December.

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5 Key employment law issues that should be on every business’s radar in 2018

Employmenr law in 2018

From the removal of tribunal fees to widespread claims regarding sexual harassment, 2017 has been a busy year in employment law.

Although employers might hope for a quieter 2018, it’s looking likely that there will be a number of issues that are prevalent throughout the year, amid the on-going uncertainty of Brexit.

With this in mind, Alan Price, Employment Law Director at Peninsula highlights 5 key employment law issues that businesses will need to address in 2018;

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Why recognition and reward matters for small businesses

reward employees

Every business, regardless of size, scale or industry wants to get the best from its people. When people work hard, it logically follows that output goes up.

The idea of achieving that through incentives is not a new one, but from the outside, it seems that a defined recognition and reward program is reserved for big business.

Smaller businesses just don’t have the time or resources to invest in developing something as grandiose as this and, when the focus needs to be on sustaining the business day-to-day to protect the jobs for everyone involved, it certainly doesn’t look like a business priority.

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How a social conscience can help small businesses attract the people they need

attracting motivating and retaining millennials

By 2020, millennials will comprise more than 50% of the total workforce, according to PwC.

This generation is radically different to any other, with new tastes, preferences, and expectations – and we’re not just talking about selfies.

With millennials shortly to make up the majority of the UK’s workforce, businesses need to understand what motivates and drives this generation when it comes to work and their career. So how can small businesses attract and retain millennials? (more…)

What Employers Need to Know About Hiring Staff From Overseas

employing staff from outside UK

In all businesses, the focus is on employing the right person for the role. When the person you intend to hire is not a UK citizen, you need to be aware of the legal requirements to ensure you stay on the right side of the law.

If you get things wrong you could be fined £20,000 for every worker you’ve wrongly employed. Some cases could even result in an unlimited fine and a 2 year prison sentence. With such a lot at stake, we asked HR expert, Peter Done of Peninsula Business Services, to explain what employers’ need to know about taking on people from outside the UK. (more…)

DBS checking employees – 6 tips to make sure you get it right

Tips to DBS checking staff

Whether you are a small or large business owner, it’s likely you will welcome any method that cuts down the level of effort and time needed to successfully perform a given activity.

Employee recruitment and security checks can be time-consuming and laborious, so it’s helpful to know whether there are quicker routes that will benefit you and your business.

The Disclosure and Barring Service, or DBS, gives organisations the opportunity to identify who might, or might not, be a suitable employee, so many businesses now run a DBS check as a matter of course when recruiting staff.

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Setting up an induction process for new employees

Developing an onboarding or inductoio process for new employees

Once the recruitment process has completed with your chosen candidate accepting your job offer and agreeing their starting date, this should not signal the end of your plans for the new recruit.

To give the new employee the best opportunity to flourish you should set up an induction process.

But what is an induction, or onboarding, process, and what should you do to help your new staff members settle in quickly? We asked Peter Done, Managing Director of employment specialists, Peninsula Business Services to explain. (more…)

Creating a proactive mental health strategy for your business

avoiding mental health problems in business

According to Unum UK’s “Mental health as a workplace asset” report in partnership with The Mental Health Foundation and Oxford Economics, 15 percent of UK employees – 4.9 million people – are affected by common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.

Such issues are fast becoming a top priority for businesses both large and small, especially as it’s clear mental health challenges have no boundaries when it comes to the world of work. (more…)

How to spot, and respond to, mental health problems in your business

helping staff with mental health issues

Each year around ten million adults in the UK will experience mental ill health, meaning one in four of us will experience a mental health issue at some point in our lifetime.

Over the past decade, mental health awareness has accelerated, and more and more employers now understand that mental health is not only a serious issue for society but for businesses too.

With ‘mental health in the workplace’ as the theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day, we asked Poppy Jaman, CEO of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, to share her advice on how to look out for, and respond to, signs of mental ill health in your employees. (more…)

‘The ideal leader’ – Is there such a thing? What are the qualities of great leaders?

Leadership qualities - Sir Winston Churchill

Some people say that the ‘ideal leader’ is a myth. They argue that there are leaders that suit some situations but not others.

The notion of ‘good’ leadership is always relative to the need. There is no single ideal leader. Yet there is a common theme to good leadership: access to a particular set of energies and skill-sets.

None of us has all these naturally: becoming a leader means having to grow. But it means growing in a clear direction, acquiring certain qualities that we need but don’t have enough of.

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The real business case for inclusion

How diversity can make a better, more profitable business

As a small business owner, you may think ‘inclusion’ is an issue for big corporates, with large HR departments.

This misperception assumes that inclusion is a cost, when in fact, done properly, inclusion is one of the best free resources available to smaller businesses.

Here’s how being an inclusive business can help you succeed and how it can help you to build a more profitable company. (more…)

How finding a great mentor could help you to grow, and your business to flourish

business mentor helping business owner

If you could have lunch with any businessman or woman in the world, (alive or dead), to discuss your commercial/professional situation, whom would you choose – and why?

Chances are that you’d choose someone you admire or are intrigued by, perhaps because of their achievements, their values or their reputation/personal brand.

Most of us recognise the need to learn from the life experience and wisdom of others. We also aspire to accelerate the pace towards our own success, or at least smooth a few of the bumps in the road. A business mentor can be an invaluable asset to enable us to identify relevant principles of success and adapt them for our own situations and use.

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Managing staff sickness absence – A Guide for small businesses

staff sickness absence guide

It is virtually impossible to eradicate staff sickness absence entirely. However, for small businesses, the costly nature of absenteeism can be extremely disruptive to the day to day running of the business.

There are many costs associated with staff being off sick, including compensation to the absent employee, the additional expense of finding temporary workers and the possible decline of productivity due to other employees being tasked with additional workloads.

Despite its unpredictability, there are steps small business owners can take to minimise the negative effects of absenteeism. This guide provides you with advice on how to effectively manage the different aspects of sickness absence. (more…)

Interviewing job candidates – How to get it right

conducting good job interviews

Getting the recruitment process right is important for any business as employing the wrong person can have a significant impact on future success. It will also save time and costs as the process will only have to be carried out once and not repeated.

Although some employers perceive interviewing as a small part of the recruitment process, it is a vital opportunity to examine how potential candidates measure up against the needs of the business and, as such, it is important to get it right.

There are also risks of discrimination that employers should be aware of to avoid a tribunal claim, so here’s how to make sure your interviewing process gets the right results. (more…)

Getting your job adverts right

job advert in newspaper

Advertising for a new member of staff is something many business owners will need to do. Whether it’s because an existing employee is leaving, or a new role is being created, advertising for job vacancies is part and parcel of running a business.

One of the first steps for many businesses seeking a new employee will be to write a job advert. However, there are legal implications, as well as practical concerns regarding the advertising of job vacancies, that employers need to be aware of.

If you get this crucial part of the recruitment process right, the next steps are more likely to go smoothly, but get it wrong and you could get into hot water.

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How to increase productivity and positivity with an employee engagement scheme

It has been proven that the happiness of your employees can have a huge impact on their productivity. In fact, job satisfaction can lead to your workers being 12% more productive, according to a study carried out by the Social Market Foundation and the University of Warwick.

One of the best ways to increase happiness and morale throughout your business is by implementing an employee engagement scheme.

Here, Steve King, Director of Gifts International, explains how you can help your staff to be happier and more productive with an employee engagement scheme.

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When could your small business benefit from an interim manager?

how to choose an interim manager

Businesses often find themselves requiring some management resources and skills on a temporary basis.

Hiring an interim manager, or an entire management, team can ensure the business successfully fills this temporary, but urgent, business gap.

To help you understand if your business could benefit from the input of an interim manager, we asked Clive Hyman of Hyman Capital Services to explain when an interim manager make sense and how to go about hiring the right person. (more…)

People first: How to engage key talent through a great employee experience

Recruit exceptional talent

Attracting, hiring, developing and retaining the right people is crucial to the success of any business.

Staff turnover is costing businesses more than ever and recent research from the Recruitment and Employment Federations reveals that companies are reporting skill shortages across 60 different types of role including engineers, IT specialists, care workers and accountants.

Not only that but the world of work is changing so rapidly that jobs that will be essential in three years’ time, don’t even exist yet.

The stakes for many employers have never been higher. It’s vital to compete to get the right people if your business is to flourish but what’s the best way to do this? (more…)

A guide to carrying out a disciplinary investigation

Disciplinary inestigation

A disciplinary investigation is the first important step in carrying out a full and fair disciplinary process. It is one step that employers may find insignificant but, on the contrary, a proper investigation will generally lead to a smoother disciplinary rocedure.

An investigation is key as it is required by the Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures and will be taken in to account by an employment tribunal when deciding compensation awards. It is usually detailed in a company’s disciplinary policy and procedure which should be followed internally.

Here’s what every business owner needs to know about a disciplinary investigation; (more…)

How to tackle disputes in the workplace

How to deal with staff disputes informally and formally

It’s not uncommon that when an employee makes a complaint about a fellow colleague that employers wish to bury their heads in the sand and ignore the issue.

A getting on with business approach, however, is unlikely to solve the dispute and can cause the situation to spiral out of control. Employers who manage disputes and try to resolve these when raised will see the benefits of taking such an approach.

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Becoming the type of leader people want to emulate and do business with

People learn through observing others – how they act, how they react, how they make others feel. They do it so they can work out how to be successful, or to survive. They do it so they can emulate them, or avoid their mistakes.

When we are leaders, it means they are observing us and making judgments about whether to be like us, or not.

As a business leader, your actions can have a profound effect on your business. Not only does it set the tone for your company culture but it shapes how you and your business are viewed by potential customers and partners.

You therefore need to ask yourself, ‘What can I do to be the kind of person that people want to emulate and do business with?’
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Purpose, values and goals: The 3 Key ingredients for a successful business

Purpose, values and goals

Striving to find a meaning in life is the most powerful driving force in humans. Acknowledging this as the key motivator for everyone involved in your business will help you to nurture the best achievements and results.

Neuroscientific research taking place around the world is beginning to piece together connections between the brain and behaviour, especially at work. This research is providing valuable insights into how to be a more effective leader. (more…)

Restrictive covenants and contracts of employment – Advice for employers

restrictive covenants

For most employers, setting in place rules and responsibilities for employees during their time with the company is their most important consideration. This can be achieved through having effective contracts of employment, alongside employee handbooks.

Employers should, however, be putting thought in to what happens once employment ends to ensure that they are protecting their business interests. After the employee has resigned, or been dismissed, they are no longer bound by their contractual terms.

Restrictive covenants are an effective tool for restricting damaging activity by the ex-employee but employers need to carefully construct these covenants to ensure they are enforceable. (more…)

Understanding fixed term employment contracts – what business owners need to know

Fixed term employment contracts are generally seen by employers as those which “plug the gap” when their normal, permanent employees are absent for a period of time.

Fixed term contracts are useful tools for businesses who need to employ staff to cover short term peaks in business demands. But before employing staff on a fixed term contract, employers need to be aware of the rights fixed term employees have to ensure they are not at risk of a tribunal claim.

So to help make sure you don’t get caught out, we asked employment law expert, Peter Done to explain the key points of fixed term contracts for small businesses; (more…)

What creativity can do for your bottom line

How creativity boosts profits

If you’re running your own small business, or thinking about starting one, then chances are that you’re already creative and putting your ideas into practice.

But as any business owner knows that your initial idea is often just the start. Ongoing creativity is also not an optional extra for companies. It is a crucial component of a successful business. This is because creativity is really about change. It is about thinking differently and challenging the status quo. It is about having the same conditions as other people but coming up with something fresh.

And it is this new thinking and innovation that helps secure the future for businesses big and small, and keeps individuals relevant in a fast-paced changing world.

With creativity being so crucial to business success, we asked Claire Bridges, author of, In Your Creative Element to explain how to harness the creativity, within yourself and your team, to fuel your business growth;

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Why you must build on your strengths, NOT focus on trying to fix weaknesses

Positive Leader

Business owners and leaders looking to get the best out of themselves and their team will frequently spend a lot of time and effort searching for, and trying to improve on their weaknesses.

However, this is a completely counter-productive approach that can lower employee engagement and ultimately damage a business’ chance of success.

Here Jan Mühlfeit, Former Chairman of Microsoft Europe and author of The Positive Leader: How Energy and Happiness Fuel Top-Performing Teams explains why business leaders and owners need to stop focussing on fixing weaknesses; (more…)

A small business guide to employee handbooks

Nearly all employers are aware of the legal requirement to give new employees a statement of their main terms once they start working for you.

For some small businesses this may be the only documentation they give staff, after all this meets their legal requirements. However, many employers can find that well-drafted and implemented employee handbooks are essential to safeguard their business.

To help you understand how an employee handbook can help both employers and employees, here’s what every small business owners needs to know about them; (more…)

How happy employees can boost your bottom line – 5 Happiness strategy stories

Happiness in the workplace - business benefits

Today, more young professionals are making alternative choices to the standard roles assumed by their parents’ generation. As a result, the landscape of work has changed dramatically for this generation, and for generations to follow.

Why?

It’s simple. We want more from our jobs than just a salary. We also want to be happy in the place we spend 70% of our waking hours.

This may be surprising, but for small business owners and start-ups, this is actually really great news. Even if we’re not a multi-national company, we can still compete for talent by offering a happier workplace than our big business counterparts.

So how do you create a fun culture and put happiness at the core of your small business? Here are five examples of companies that are focusing on employee happiness and reaping the benefits; (more…)

A small business guide to carrying out effective staff appraisals

When staff appraisal or review time rolls around, many small business owners view this as a waste of their valuable time. This is not the case, however, and employers who spend the time and effort to make these meetings are a success will often get much more out of staff appraisals than they put into them.

In this guide, we look at staff appraisals and outline how smaller employers can reap the benefits of an effective employee appraisal scheme;

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Learning to lead your leaders

As a business owner, you’re also a business leader. And therefore, in order for your start-up to grow and develop beyond a one-man-band, there will come a time when you need to be able to lead other leaders within your business.

To do this successfully, you’ll need to develop a whole new set of skills and ways of operating because leading leaders is not simply a question of knowing what needs to be done and telling others to do it.

Instead, you will have to guide those leaders and inspire them to inspire their teams to deliver the results you need. When you can do that – you are a Super Leader.

To help you become a leader of leaders, in this article, Jean Gamester reveals 3 key steps, you’ll need to take; (more…)