adult at computer
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A bit on the side – four in 10 workers have second ‘jobs’

People managers need to start considering how they will tackle this growing trend…

We often talk about developing careers and keeping employees engaged on our blog, but what do you do when alongside their career with your organisation, employees have a second job or small business?

Side hustle

It is a growing trend – with four in 10 working adults having some kind of ‘side hustle’ alongside their full-time job or career, according to Henley Business School’s white paper, The Side Hustle Economy.

And these side hustles form an important part of the economy too – their income adding up to a not-so-inconsiderable £72bn for the UK economy in 2017.

HR policy

Does your organisation have any policy in place for these kinds of activities? It won’t be surprising if not as, in a recent survey, around half of the companies asked had no such policies in place.

With the trend on the increase – figures are expected to double in the next 10 or so years – it is an issue that anyone involved in human resources should be seriously considering.

According to the School’s Dr Charmi Patel, associate professor in international human resource management: “A key issue is compliance; if staff are working flexible hours, from home or virtually, the control might not be there, on whether they are conducting their own business on company time and using company property, resources and data to do so,” she said.

Open for business

But while it is important to have these policies in place, organisations should otherwise be open to the idea of employees running a separate business or job on the side. Often these kinds of activities are creative and involve the employee’s passion – and perhaps one that cannot be fulfilled at work. Of course, there is the risk that they eventually may become so successful that they are able to leave to pursue their dream full-time but, in many cases, it is the key to your employee feeling fulfilled and successful, and becoming someone who will carry that success into their full-time job as well.

Organisations that seek to restrict or control side hustles are likely to see employee engagement slide – and in turn well-being and hence productivity dip.

Where human resources may need to keep a careful eye is on people burning the candles at both ends to keep up with both their career and their extra-curricular business. And of course, you will want to ensue that it is not going to conflict with your own business.

A life balance, which enables staff to manage their job and their side hustle, is the ideal, and maintaining that equilibrium is something that people managers need to focus on.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and how it may affect your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 07767 308717 or contact us here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

People working
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Is Yours a People Company?

Do you value your staff above all else…?

Is your organisation a People Company? Does it put the success and well-being of its staff at the top of its dream board? And would your staff say this is true?

If so, congratulations, you truly have a People Company!

So what exactly is a People Company?

As we have already stated, it’s an organisation where the staff are highly valued, and where the management know that they need to help their people to develop in order to grow the company. Not only do the company’s leaders believe that, but their staff will know that they are important and valuable to the organisation. In return, these staff will value their place in the company and work to the best of their ability to help the organisation succeed.

One of the most vital factors is that employees actually believe that you, as an organisation, are people-oriented – which means the company’s actions must support this point of view.

The importance of the HR department

To keep and retain the best people, you must take on a proactive role, ensuring that staff are engaged, which in turn will increase levels of productivity. You need to be ahead of the game to succeed, to recruit the right people, to develop their skills, and to keep them on board.

To do this, HR must ensure that it is focusing on the people who work in the organisation. It means automating the processes it can, in order to let its HR team focus on what they are skilled at – getting the best out of the staff.

The importance of automating routine processes

Making it easy to do many HR tasks automatically and online makes sense. For instance, if your staff can book their own holidays using an online system, that’s a routine job that a member of the HR team doesn’t need to handle. If managers can book appraisals and other people-managing tasks online, yet again, it’s a job an HR person doesn’t have to be involved in.

And a new job title has emerged as this trend continues – Chief People Officers. They are likely to appear in the kind of forward-thinking organisations that always spring to mind, such as Google – but even the Cabinet Office has one in the shape of Rupert McNeil [GOV.UK Rupert McNeil] – providing “professional leadership on a range of people issues, including talent, capability, inclusion, capacity, pay and employee deal, performance, employee relations, culture and behaviours.”

It’s all about the experience

However, there’s more to being a People Company though – you need to ensure that your staff are being offered engaging working experiences throughout their time with you. It starts with the recruitment process – companies now must market their own brand to would-be employees, to ensure they attract the best possible candidates.

Finding out about your new staff during the recruitment process is vital – understand them and you’ll get to understand what drives them and what will make them want to stay within your company and succeed.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and how it may affect your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 07767 308717 or send an email.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

Care Staff

Embrace our New Care Package

Specialised HR support and advice for those who employ care staff…

Having staff who work in your home can make for a delicate situation and one that requires some specialised knowledge. That’s why here at Embrace HR Limited, we have a special package to support independent case managers and their clients who employ care staff directly.

The unusual dynamics of having someone working in your home should not be underestimated – which is why we offer empathetic and expert advice for those who are managing staff who work in people’s homes.

It mustn’t be forgotten that the usual workplace issues of managing time-off, family-friendly leave, absence, performance and so on, need to be tackled just as they would be if you were employing someone to work in an office.

Our expertise in human resources can ensure that the usual employment requirements are not forgotten about just because these people are working in someone’s home.

“I am writing to acknowledge the services of Embrace HR and express my gratitude.

I would not hesitate to recommend your company to others following the service you have supplied in support of my business and my clients.

Working within the care sector brings an HR provider additional challenges. This does not just involve complex knowledge of the recruitment and employment issues for the staff engaged but also the complications of dealing with exceptionally vulnerable people and difficult family dynamics surrounding the employees.

Embrace HR has delivered an exceptionally personal and flexible service in this respect. Cecily and the Embrace HR team has been empathic and responsive to the unique customer needs. This has involved supporting highly bespoke organisation for a 24-hour care team in liaison with legal and professional partners, family members and care workers.

Each contact has required a specific approach and relevant support and information. I have found Embrace sensitive, receptive and highly professional to this at all times. The HR arrangement, support, communication and advice I have personally received has made my job a good deal easier, freeing me up to deal with my own professional priorities.

I have already recommended the service to others and look forward to working in partnership with Embrace HR into the future.

H.M. Independent Case Manager, Middlesex”

What we can do for you

  • Recruitment – getting the right staff is vital. We successfully recruit the right special needs nannies and support staff for our clients.
  • Advice – empathetic and expert advice on all employment-related issues. This might cover managing absence, maternity/paternity leave and pay, performance management, grievances and disciplinary hearings.
  • Guidance – helping case managers, team leaders, staff and parents learn how to manage staff well.
  • Employment documentation – not only will we provide all the relevant documents such as handbooks and contracts, but we will navigate through this minefield for you, explaining their importance.
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) applications – leave all of that to us.
  • Liaison – we will ensure that the case manager, parents or family are all kept in the loop.

We understand that no two cases are the same, that no two families are the same, that no two support workers are the same and, as such, we strive to provide a high level of service. Our 20 years of experience in the human resources arena means that you can rely on our highly professional consultants to offer a knowledgeable service.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and find out how we could help you, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

Tel: 07767 308717 or send an email.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

 

HR Tech and Trends

HR Technology and Trends for 2018

Here we look ahead to what’s coming up for the world of HR in the coming year…

People management never keeps still – there are always developments to keep on top of –  like the changes from last month’s budget that we mentioned in our November blog. Read it here.

Artificial Intelligence

AI (or Artificial Intelligence) is making great strides at the moment – and chatbots and other automated re-creations of HR ‘people’ are starting to appear. It’s not quite as weird as you may first think, though! Don’t worry that chatbots will replace you – but what they can do is help to automate some of the time-consuming tasks that you don’t have time for, or speed up certain processes.

For instance, they allow employees to connect with the HR department via their mobile devices and they can also respond really quickly to employee questions that need instant answers. You can’t be in two places at once, so it makes sense to let them deal with these things.

Chatbots also offer a really efficient way to collect employee data – then you can do the clever stuff by analysing what that data tells you.

See! Nothing to be afraid of – it’s like having another assistant.

Job Seeking

In the old days (well, not that old really!) the newspaper was the only place to look for jobs.

Social media is where it’s all happening nowadays – LinkedIn has long been identified as one of the best job sites around – and Facebook has recently introduced its new job posting feature. You’ll know from your own experience with Facebook that it is very clever at targeting its ads to the right people – and the job postings are proving popular already with local companies. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to be picked up by the bigger corporations – one to watch.

Recruitment

Another interesting development around recruiting is collaborative hiring. One of the best ways to recruit new people is to enlist your staff – they are the best ambassadors for your company, they are in your workplace, are (hopefully) happy there, and will be keen to let people they want to work with have the opportunity to join them.

There’s a number of ways in which you can encourage them to help you recruit new staff – for instance employee referral programs are a good idea, teamed with incentives.

You can also take advantage of content such as employee testimonials, which can be shared to prospective candidates, and use communication tools for the team – you could collaborate using an online project tool such as Slack or Asana.

Finally, you could look at the Interactive rating and ranking of candidates with an ATS (applicant tracking system see www.recruitee.com).

Increased Engagement

Interestingly, the use of technology will enable HR to engage more with candidates. In the past, with so many people applying for each position, it has often been impossible to respond to each one, unless you are inviting them for interview. Using mail templates, you can now create personalised responses to candidates – adding in feedback and so on.

One of the great things about the technological advances being made is that the routine, admin-type tasks can now be handled by specific software, freeing the HR professional up to work on the more complex jobs, such as ensuring staff are happy and offering development opportunities.

HR Software

There are many HR software solutions which enable you to automate many of those admin tasks – such as employee personnel details, managing time off like holidays, sickness absence and family friendly leave among others. They enable workflows that offer best practice for jobs such as recruitment, training and induction.

 

If you would like to discuss this subject further and find out how we can help you embrace the latest developments in managing people, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 07767 308717 or contact us via our website.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

Business Planning Image

Planning Ahead for 2018

Don’t leave it until the last minute, human resources planning for 2018 should start now!

No doubt the business planning process within your organisation has already started, so you’ll want to consider any impact on your staffing capabilities.

Here’s some tips to help with any resultant impact and at the same time to improve your HR department’s performance by looking at the following areas:

Talent acquisition and development

The world of business never stands still, and there is always a need to recruit new staff. Think about how you could improve your recruitment programme – fill more positions within the target deadline maybe and improve your employee retention rates.

One way to improve retention is to ensure that staff are well trained and being developed so that they can achieve their potential. Look at ways to improve your development programmes; ask yourself how more employees could achieve development goals – and how you can improve the feedback you receive on the development and training programmes.

Performance management

The ultimate goal is that your staff perform to their very best within their targets. Make sure you’re on top of the game by managing performance reviews, so that they happen by the target date and also ensuring that the reviews are a positive exercise, rather than just a box-ticking one. Read more on appraisals here. [Appraisals and Why once a Year is not Enough Blog January 2017]

What incentives are there to help keep employees motivated? Revisit your company’s benefits and incentives programme and decide whether you need to improve it.

Boost employee morale

Consider the morale levels in your company. This is especially important in a worrying economic climate. Are there ways that you could improve the working conditions and recognise achievements that will keep your staff happy? Find ideas on keeping your staff happy on an earlier blog of ours here. [Happy Employees in the Workplace Blog August 2017]

Develop your leaders

Training, professional development and mentor programmes are really valuable to managers and would-be managers within an organisation. Helping people to progress on their career path will encourage them to stay within your company and to pass on the skills they have learned.

Improve efficiency

Work with your managers to increase the efficiency of both individuals and teams within your organisation. Look at work routines and keep an eye out for areas where work is duplicated – encouraging departments to work together can easily eliminate this.

Another way of doing this, would be to automate your HR administration. If you haven’t yet looked at HR software or an automation tool, then now would be a great time to do so – get it in place for 1 January 2018!

HR software takes the hassle out of everyday HR management; providing a self-managing role for staff, managing attendance, family friendly leave, performance, communication and other HR processes. Staff can easily access holiday information, and review and request holiday time from their own home. Find out more on that here. [HR Software Free Trial]

If you would like to discuss this subject further and find out how we can help you achieve your new year goals, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 07767 308717 or send an email.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

Satisfied employees
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Happy Employees in the Workplace

From a rather way out suggestion from a Swedish politician, to some rather more reserved suggestions – there are plenty of ways you can make your workplace a happier place!

HR professionals must have been left reeling in Sweden after a politician suggested that sex breaks in the workplace would be good for the physical and mental health of employees! The vote on his proposal is due in the spring, so we will look forward to seeing the results…

In the meantime, it is worth looking at how you can keep your employees happy in more conventional ways. After all, we all know how ensuring your workforce is content can result in better productivity for any company. It also encourages your people to stay with you, cutting back on time and resources spent on recruiting and training new staff.

Work/Life Balance

We are certainly not suggesting that you introduce conjugal breaks, but ensuring that your staff have a healthy work/life balance will help them maintain healthy relationships outside of work. And people who are in happy, healthy relationships tend to work better and be more focused, which can only be of benefit for your organisation. Considering policies that allow flexible working and discouraging a workplace culture of outside-hours working will also help.

When it comes to relationships at work, you need to consider whether you have some sort of Romance Policy in place, and what needs to happen should romances between colleagues flourish – according to reports around 15% of people meet partners at work, so it’s something that needs to be addressed by HR. I have written about this subject before.

Employee Benefits

A study in the Journal of Labor Economics in October 2015 found that happy employees generated about 12% more work than others, so it really is worth spending the time to ensure your staff are content, especially if you consider that research by employee benefits and perks company Perkbox found that 30% (that’s 6.5 million!) of UK workers are unhappy at work and would move jobs for better benefits.

A massive 69% said company perks and benefits were important to their overall satisfaction and more than a quarter pointed out that lack of reward and recognition for good work was their main grievance at work.

Recognition & Praise

Recognising and acknowledging good work and effort is not hard to do – encourage your managers to praise on a daily basis where it is due – and make sure that it is widely known that recognition can come in several forms, whether verbally, by email or for more major achievements using a more public vehicle such as company newsletter or intranet.

Holiday Entitlement

Finally, while it is still summer – though we think someone may have forgotten to tell the weather – do remember that it is vitally important to have a break. Managers should not only encourage their staff to take at least one long break, rather than lots of odd days, but should also plan in advance for cover and ensure there is a sufficient handover. This will help your staff to go away without fear of being contacted while they are on holiday – and also ensure that the remaining staff members don’t end up doing two jobs while their colleague is away. More advice on this here.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and how it may affect your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR.

T: 07767 308717 or send an email.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

Cybercrime Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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Fighting Cybercrime

The threat of cybercrime to British businesses is very real – and increasing all the time. This is one subject you shouldn’t ignore…

British businesses lost almost £30 billion due to cybercrime in 2016*. And nearly half fell victim to some kind of cybercrime, whether that was phishing, hacking, denial of service attacks or viruses.

If you are unaware of the damage cybercrime can do – just think back to May, when the NHS was subject to a ransomware attack, which brought down systems around the country, resulting in chaos and cancelled operations.

Is your data safe from hackers?

As hackers increasingly exploit human vulnerability, what can HR do to fight back? Protecting against cyber assaults is a more complex issue than just throwing money into better software and training your IT department. Read People Management’s new report [CIPD: Cybersecurity is too important to be left to the IT department 27/06/2017] to find out about the vital role HR has to play in educating employees and addressing organisational vulnerabilities.

People Management’s report reveals that 46% of UK employees spent half an hour or less on cyber security training in 2016, with 27% having done none at all. A new attitude towards training is clearly needed and Peter Cheese, CIPD Chief Executive, believes the trick to delivering effective cyber security training is to show how cybercrime could affect staff in their personal lives.

Take this free e-learning module [CIPD: Cyber Security for HR Professionals] on cyber security for HR professionals, to learn how to protect yourself and your organisation.

Speaking recently at an event with the Financial Times, Peter Cheese said that lifelong learning will be vital to future sustainability in a world where ‘data is the new electricity’.

So, it’s vital that companies are protected – and it is not just down to the IT department, HR has a role to play too.

HR’s role in cybercrime

The HR role is to educate employees, after all that is your strength. IT staff may know all the ins and out of cybersecurity, but it is the HR staff who have the skills to pass that knowledge on to the staff. And at present, according to Government research, only 17% of businesses are training their staff to be aware of cyber security.

It is obvious that that figure needs to change – and fast. This has to be a culture change within the organisation: you need to make sure employees buy in to the very real threat that cybercrime can pose to the company. They need to be aware, for instance, that you can’t just use random USB sticks in company computers without knowing what’s on them and where they come from.

And it’s not just in-house staff that need to be part of the culture change – freelancers and contractors need to be brought on board and made aware of the risks and the protocol to follow within your organisation.

When it comes to your training methods, if you can make it fun and engaging, you’ll be halfway to winning the battle. For consultancy firm PwC, the answer was to introduce a digital game called Game of Threats, which mimics a cyber-attack on an organisation.

And at the end of the day, companies also need people who are experts in the matter. HR has a role to play in ensuring that IT staff or consultants with specialist knowledge in this area are brought on board and are up to speed with the varying threats from cybercrime, as well as having the tools to tackle it.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and how it may affect your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR.

T: 07767 308717 or send a message.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

*Data from a report by Beaming [Beaming Ltd: Cyber security breaches cost British Businesses almost £30 billion in 2016 01/03/2017]

The 'Always-on' generation. Image courtesy of nenetus at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
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The Youth of Today – Are you Ready for Generation Z?

When it comes to managing HR, you need to understand your market, and while you may have got a handle on the Millennials – those who reached young adulthood around the year 2000 – do you know about what’s coming next?

Generation Z (sometimes called the Post-Millennials) are the first generation to have grown up in a truly digital world. They are often referred to as the ‘always-on’ generation. They won’t remember a world without smartphones, and find the idea of being unable to be connected to friends, family and indeed the rest of the world by phone and internet completely alien.

So, have you thought about how you might be planning to attract, recruit and retain this new influx of workers?

The UK also has a severe digital skills shortage, so these young people, with their in-built digital skills are going to be hugely valuable in the workplace. But you need to be aware that their attitudes and expectations around the working environment could be vastly different to the previous generation.

Report Findings

The findings of the Amaze Generation: digital me report which has studied 10 to 15-year-olds over the past five years, are intriguing. It revealed that these young people have developed processes and strategies to deal with the digital world around them, in every aspect of their life from relationships, self-esteem and careers to education, pastimes and shopping.

They are not, as you might have first thought, digital slaves obsessed with taking selfies, instead they are shaping and moulding the digital world around them. See the video here.  They are already digital strategists and content editors – though they may not realise it yet – they edit their own personae online and create their own personal brands. They want constant communication, but in a form of their own – they want intimate networks, not intrusion.

What this means to an organisation

As they come into the workplace, Generation Z will already be able to manage their own lives from a smartphone, and be capable of dealing with the latest technologies or new trends quickly. They will be surprised if their workplace cannot do the same.

They won’t be scared of new technologies and processes, they will be able to work around them, not be scared that a new development will take their job away.

You can expect them to challenge communication technologies and processes, as well as ways of remote working – and coming up with their own, probably improved methods of working.

And for HR…

As HR professionals, we will have to be aware that they are used to getting almost instant feedback and will want their working lives to offer positive experiences. They will be looking for the freedom and flexibility to be creative, and will expect to work in an atmosphere where they feel valued and where they can achieve their potential.

So how can you attract these Post-Milennials to your organisation? Well, make sure they know that they can have an input into the way the company works, and that their ideas will be appreciated. You need to ensure they feel like they will have a future with your organisation – managers should have genuine conversations with them, recognise their good work, and offer decent benefits and salaries.

If you commit to investing in these young employees, allow them the freedom to grow and thrive and they will reward you with their loyalty and their talent.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and how it may affect your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR.

T: 07767 308717 or send a message.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

Election 2017
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What HR Professionals Need to Know about the General Election

From political discussions in the office to what the election result could mean to you, here’s what you need to know…

One of the first issues when a general election is called is the matter of politics within the workplace.

Of course, you can’t ban any talk of politics or the general election – it will be uppermost in many people’s minds and on the news constantly. But you are entitled to stop political campaigning at work, which might cause disruption or upset to your staff or customers – and of course if they try to use work equipment for their campaigning, for instance, using the photocopier to produces masses of leaflets.

You are also entitled to stop any political symbols being worn at work. Do you have a dress code or a policy on political activities in the workplace? Use these to let your staff know about your expectations. And with Brexit being at the fore of all parties campaigning in the run-up to the election, any comments that could be construed as harassment, particularly towards other nationalities, is a strict no-go area. HR departments may need to be prepared for conflict on this matter.

So, onto the election and the policies that could affect those of us working in HR.

Conservative Plans

It is expected that Theresa May is planning to protect workers’ rights, as she is said to want to create a fairer, equal society and to aid social mobility. The Conservatives said they would ‘protect and enhance’ workers’ rights in the Brexit White Paper – which would include the three million EU nationals living in the UK, as well as UK citizens in the EU.

Most parties want to keep the employment rights we already enjoy under the EU, so hopefully most of these won’t be changed much, whoever wins the election.

Hopefully May will also stay firm to her promise to help to end the stigma of mental health in the workplace, and the Tories have already promised to back legislation on the gender pay gap – so let’s hope that won’t change either.

Labour Plans

If Labour come to power, Jeremy Corbyn has promised that they would raise the minimum wage for all to a minimum of £10 an hour by 2020. Good news for employees, although there may be some companies questioning if they could afford it. Labour also want to add another four bank holidays to the calendar – these could be especially significant for companies that work with counterparts overseas who don’t have the same days off.

At the moment, the Taylor Review is looking into modern employment practices, including the gig economy and zero hour contracts – so it is hoped that this does not get forgotten amongst all the political campaigning – and its findings overlooked. Read more on the review here.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and how it may affect your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR.

T: 07767 308717 or send a message.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.