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.
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.
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…)
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…)
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, we highlight five ways small businesses can address workplace stress and help employees manage anxiety and depression.
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.
Building a business isn’t just about making money. It’s about building a workplace that people want to be part of.
Whether you are building a new business or part of an existing one, you can and should take steps to make the culture of the workplace a positive one.
In this article, I’ll discuss some of the challenges that workplaces face, why it’s important to focus on workplace wellbeing and how to change your workplace for the better. (more…)
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…)
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;
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…)
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…)
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.
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.
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.
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…)
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…)
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.
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…)
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…)