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Returning to Work during COVID-19 – Things to Consider

As the government encourages construction and manufacturing businesses to get staff back to work unless they can work at home, we take a look at what SMEs need to consider to ensure their staff are kept safe…

The current message from the government is now for businesses to start getting back to work if they possibly can. And with a clearer idea of how long the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) is to go on for, and a plan for getting people gradually back to work in place, now’s the time to look at how to manage staff back.

For now, anyone who can work from home should do so, but the government is suggesting that other employees get back to work by June where appropriate. The CIPD has said that employers should meet the requirement of a three-point checklist before bringing staff back to work. These are as follows:

  • Firstly, that it is essential for employees to be present in the workplace
  • Secondly, that it is safe for them to be there
  • And thirdly, that both employers and workers agree that they should come back into the workplace.

The workspace

The key questions to pose before your office staff return to work are:

  • Can they still work from home?
  • When they do come back to work how will that be achieved to maintain social distancing and minimise the risk and spread of infection?

You must consider how staff can safely distance from each other, not just when sat at a desk, but when walking around the office, using the toilet and drinks areas. You need to work out safe walking routes around the workspace and, if space is tight, consider splitting shifts or alternating days so that you don’t have all of the staff in at all times. Screens should only be used if you have no more space to distance employees, and meetings should be avoided. If they must take place, keep everyone distanced or take it outside if possible. Hot desking is also to be avoided. If someone has to use another desk, computers and phone, or other equipment, these should be thoroughly cleaned between users.

Changing the way you work

Perhaps this whole situation has made you realise that your staff can work from home. Maybe you don’t need an office or can utilise a smaller space. Now is a good time to consider how your business might look in the future. Start looking at the implications of people working full time from home – what do you need to do to make this happen – for instance:

  • Do you need a more robust IT provision in place?
  • What extra insurance cover will you need?
  • Have you been using Microsoft Teams or other collaborative software? Can this work in the future? If not, consider what sort of software and systems you need to make the shift in order to work more effectively and efficiently.

Getting to work

The message is that the youngest school children and those in Year 6 (age 10-11) will go back to school first. For some of your staff this will mean that they have children who cannot be left at home alone. Remember that even if your staff have slightly older children, they may have needs that mean they cannot be left at home all day either. Also, staff who need to use public transport may be unwilling to do so. In both cases, you need to have an open discussion with them about what the alternatives are:

  • Can they continue to work from home?
  • Can they work different hours to avoid going on busy transport systems, or work around a partner’s work hours to enable childcare?

Keeping safe

Government guidance says that all employers should be carrying out risk assessments on returning to work, consulting both with their workers and trade unions where applicable. If you employ more than 50 people you will be expected to publish the risk assessment on your company website.

To keep any contact to a minimum, staggered shifts and keeping staff in the same teams are good ways to minimise the number of people with whom they come into contact.

On construction sites, staggered arrival times and multiple entrances are suggested, along with screens to separate workers. Where social distancing is not possible, workers should work back to back or side by side. Swapping of tools should be avoided to lessen the risk of contamination.

In addition, in factories, plants and warehouses, employers should look at how people can work away from each other, in order to maintain the required social distancing, and to stagger the times and locations of breaks.

Working in other people’s homes

If your staff work in people’s homes, such as carers and support workers, or even nurses, they should discuss how social distancing will be achieved. However, working with people means often being close to them. They may require personal care which means that social distancing is not possible. There are other areas to consider. Recommendations can be to leave all internal doors open to minimise touching door handles; restricting the number of people working in normal busy areas such as kitchens and bathrooms; and the mantra of ‘wash hands on arrival and regularly throughout’ cannot be repeated enough. And, of course, it should go without saying that everyone – whether in the home or workplace – should try and minimise the spread of infection.

Restaurants

Keep kitchen access limited to essential staff to minimise any contact. If the kitchen is large enough, install screens to separate workers and only allow one person to enter walk-in freezers and pantries at one time.

Shops

Shops should limit customers in the premises to maintain social distance, use contactless payment where possible and reduce customer service to enable the safety for staff.

Vehicles

If your staff use the company’s vehicles, they should be provided with hand sanitiser and cleaning products. Keep staff in teams so that contact is minimised and supply screens to keep them separate if possible. Contact for deliveries should be kept to a minimum, using online payment and pre-arranging for goods to be dropped off in a safe and secure area.

 

You can read the full government guidance on working safely here.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and find out how we could help you with work from home contracts, risk assessments, staff safety, the furlough scheme and other COVID-19 related issues, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 07767 308717 or contact us here.

If you would like to receive our quarterly newsletter, please sign up 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.

Woman sitting on luggage flexible furlough Embrace HR
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Being Flexible About Furlough

With so many companies furloughing their staff so quickly, there is now some essential work that needs doing – some flexibility would help companies, especially SMEs, to keep afloat…

With two-thirds of British companies using the furlough scheme during the COVID-19 crisis, it is no surprise that important tasks that should have been done before everyone left the office have been missed. It all happened so quickly that, especially for SMEs, who do not have a lot of manpower, many important back-ups were not put into place.

The problem is that once an employee has been furloughed, they are not supposed to do ANY work whatsoever. However, in real life, business cannot just come to a full stop like that, and there is work still to be done. For example, out-of-office replies need to be set up on emails, calls and emails need to be redirected, websites and social media need updating, and clients need to be contacted. Loyal and conscientious staff may want to ‘volunteer’ to undertake these roles so that things don’t fall through the cracks, and in the hope that there will be a business for them to go back to when this is all over. However, under the current rules, this is not possible.

The CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel Development) is calling for increased flexibility within the scheme, so furloughed employees can work reduced hours for their existing employer where possible.

Flexible furlough

It is in these situations where we at Embrace HR would support a scheme that allowed for a more flexible furlough scheme – one where employees were 50 per cent furloughed and 50 per cent employed, for example. We appreciate that there would be some additional administration required for this to work, but as the situation continues we believe it would be more realistic and give smaller businesses more opportunity to help keep their companies afloat until we can all get back to work. It would also help employees to keep abreast of the business and client requirements and would enable them to ease back into the workplace. Many people have had to adjust to working remotely, and those with children have had the added responsibility of having to find time to school them. This has caused changes to working in a ‘traditional’ office, and daily commuting.

“Flexible Furlough will, in my opinion, go some way to supporting both businesses as well as employees”, said Embrace HR Director Cecily Lalloo.

Holiday allowance

Something that has been updated within the scheme is the Government’s guidance about annual leave during the furlough period. The new guidance will make it easier for employers to plan ahead. It states says that employees will still accrue their holiday allowance while on furlough. The government has relaxed the regulations and now permit 4.6 weeks’ holiday to be carried over to the next two years.

Something else that has been made clear is that staff can take holiday during the furlough period. This would mean that they would be paid 100 per cent of their usual renumeration salary. The employer can still claim 80 per cent of the holiday pay from the Government but would have to top up the other 20 per cent.

We have been lucky that the weather in the UK has been glorious since lockdown began, and many people may feel like they are on holiday anyway. But the real concern is that once people go back to work, they may still want to take their holiday time. Many staff will not have claimed any holiday during the first part of the year. If a small company has five employees, with the statutory paid holiday entitlement of 5.6 weeks (in normal circumstances), they will be expecting to take a total of 140 days’ holiday between the end of lockdown and the end of the year. This is quite a lot of time out of a small business.

For smaller companies, especially those struggling to recover, this may be difficult to manage and is going to be unsustainable, particularly if they have to pay for temporary or freelance cover when staff take holidays. It is a good idea for business owners and managers to consider how they will manage holidays, and to talk to their people.

Rolling over holiday allowance

At the end of March, the Government announced that staff who did not take all of their annual leave – because it was not practical for them to do so – because of the virus, would be allowed to carry it over into the next two years. This applies to most businesses with a few exceptions.

You may like to read our previous article on furloughing staff – good news as furlough deadline is extended.

To apply for the furlough scheme for your company, visit the gov.uk website.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and find out how we could help you navigate the furlough scheme and other COVID-19 related issues, 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.

Woman Wearing Face Mask Coronavirus Embrace HR
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Good News as Furlough Deadline Extended

Your newest employees may now be eligible for furlough, after the deadline was extended to 19 March 2020…

If you have new employees who were not initially eligible under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), now’s the time to take another look, as the rules have just been revised. The eligibility date for furlough has now been extended to 19 March 2020, which means tens of thousands of people who thought they had missed out will now be eligible.

The furlough scheme is designed to help companies struggling to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. If you furlough staff, they remain employed by you but mustn’t actually work. The government will repay employers 80% of an employee’s salary (up to £2,500 a month) and it is up to the employer if they top up the pay to 100%.

However, it is not enough for a member of staff to have been employed by your company by that date. In order for your employee to be eligible you must have made a payroll notification to HMRC on or before 19 March.

If any staff were employed on 28 February, but were made redundant before 19 March, they can also qualify for the scheme if you choose to re-employ them and then put them on furlough. It is expected that a quarter of UK workers – that’s more than 9 million people – will be furloughed during the COVID-19 crisis.

According to a  survey published by the British Chamber of Commerce, (BCC Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker dated 15 April 2020) two-thirds of British companies have used the scheme, and a third of companies have 75% of their staff on furlough.

Do’s and don’ts of furloughing

Here is a quick reminder of the things to consider if you are furloughing staff:

  • You must instruct your employee in writing that they are to cease all work in order to be eligible under the scheme.
  • We asked Embrace HR’s employment law solicitor IBB about the rules for rotating furloughed employees. They told us that it is allowed ‘provided that the employees are furloughed for a minimum of three weeks at a time’.
  • Anyone working in a full time, PAYE job – even if on a zero hours contract – is eligible.
  • The grants to businesses are due to be paid out some time in April and will be backdated to 1 March.
  • If staff are self-isolating, they must receive Statutory Sick Pay. They can then be furloughed when they return to work. However, those who are shielding due to health conditions can be furloughed.
  • If you have staff who earn variable pay due to zero hours or flexible working contracts, the 80% will be calculated one of three ways: using figures from the same month in 2019, average monthly earnings for the 2019/2020 tax year, or an average of monthly salary since they started work. The highest figure will be used.

You might like to read our other blogs on the matter of Coronavirus:

Please contact us for more advice on the furlough scheme. To help businesses during the pandemic, we are pleased to be able to provide, free of charge, a template document for notifying your staff about the furlough scheme.

If you would like to request a copy of the free template or to discuss this subject further and find out how we could help you comply with new laws, 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.

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HR Help in Unprecedented Times

BUSINESS OWNERS AND MANAGERS

How can we help?

Stop Press: We’ve listened to the Prime Minister and Chancellor’s speech this afternoon on the Coronavirus UK latest. Significant measures are being put in place for businesses to provide economic support so that many employers may consider keeping on employees. We will update ourselves on the offers but we understand that HMRC will be the place to go. We will keep you up to date as far as we are able.

The Press are asking questions and the PM, Chancellor and others are responding.

Tonight businesses such as cafes, restaurants, gyms, will have to close. Take-aways will still operate. Many of the staff working in these businesses are on zero hours contracts. This means that they do not have contractual hours or pay. The Chancellor says that they are part of the plan to cover their pay through grants to cover up to 80% of pay up to £2,500 per month.

If you missed it, here is the PM and Chancellor’s live conference with summary.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-51969508

STAY SAFE. KEEP WELL.

There is so much information out there that it’s difficult to know what to do for the best.

We’re offering a FREE 30 minute consultation to discuss with us your people concerns

  • Lay off and short-term working
  • Working from home
  • Looking after family
  • Keeping well

Here is some brief information to consider. Always talk to your employees as they may suggest something different.

What you need to do if you place employees on short time working

  • Check the contract – is there an allowance for short time working
  • Agree with your member of staff that they will accept shorter working hours, the options may be a that there is a lay off or redundancy situation
  • Agree the reduction in pay
  • Ensure you have agreement in writing
  • This is where you can check further information on gov.uk or the CIPD fact sheet
  • If you need further help contact us

What you need to do if you lay off your employees

  • Check the contract – is there an allowance for lay off
  • Consult and agree with your staff that you will lay them off
  • Agree the period of lay off with a caveat that it may be increased
  • Ensure you confirm in writing
  • This is where you can check further information on gov.uk or the CIPD fact sheet
  • Your employees may be eligible for statutory guaranteed pay
  • Your employees may claim redundancy if unpaid for 4 continuous weeks
  • If you need further help contact us

What you need to do if you believe there may be a redundancy situation

  • Consult with your employees, they may discuss other options such as short-time working or layoffs
  • Follow the redundancy process consider whether you will pay in lieu of notice or whether your employees will work their notice
  • Calculate redundancy payments, pay in lieu of notice (PILON), holidays that have not been taken that you will need to pay in lieu
  • If the decision is still to make redundancies ensure that you follow procedural guidelines, information on gov.uk or on the ACAS website
  • Ensure written confirmation of end of contract due to redundancy
  • If you need further help contact us

We are all in this together. If we can help, we will. Embrace HR are working throughout this time.

You may find this information on the BBF (Buckinghamshire Business First) very helpful.

Take care. Keep well.


 Embrace HR Limited is an HR Department based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, working with SME’s and other small employers in the Home Counties and London. 

Our clients have teams up to 35 employees and we provide whatever HR support is needed, from recruitment to transactional HR, TUPE, redundancy, and other employee relations processes, contracts and handbooks, policies and much more.

Contact us if you would like more information.

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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.

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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.

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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.