Embrace HR Aylesbury adult-brainstorming-businesswoman

Focusing on employee experience is vital if you want to improve recruitment and retain your team. We look at some simple ways to help you make your employee experience better…

How often have you looked at how you can improve your customer’s experience? Whether it is updating the online buying process or improving sales aftercare, it is probably something you do as a matter of course.

And yet while you are busy ensuring that your customers have the best experience – acknowledging that they live in the 21st century and can make the most of all that technology can offer them – many companies are just not doing the same for their staff!

Of course, it is easier for the big names, such as Google, to offer flexible working, staff incentives, team building days out, social opportunities and so on, but there are things that smaller companies can focus on too.

Making sure that your employees get the best possible experience ensures that you will be able to recruit the best people – and retain them on your payroll too. Not only that, but if they are getting the best experience from work, this will be passed on to your customers, with staff being more focused, more efficient and more likely to be enthusiastic ambassadors for your brand.

After all, in so many sectors – retail, sales, media, hospitality and so on – your staff are your best asset. Surely it makes sense to take care of them, including their health and safety etc – the same way you would ensure your lorries were well maintained if you were a transport company, or your servers were looked after if you were an IT company.

Research also shows that a positive employee experience results in better productivity. [IBM Smarter Workforce Institute: The Employee Experience Index, September 2016].

Keep up to date

First, take a look at the tools you expect your staff to use. In a world where virtually every home has a laptop, smartphones, tablets and even smart TVs, coming to work and having to use an out-of-date operating system, or slow laptop can be frustrating and can really impact on their productivity.

Allowing your staff access to social media – in the right environment and with guidance – shows that you respect their work ethic and besides, so much work contact goes on around social media now – LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and so on are useful business tools now, not just time-wasting fripperies. However, it is important to recognise that in some workplaces and certain situations, this would not be appropriate.

You should also be open to your employees’ thoughts and opinions. Organise regular group meetings to bounce ideas around, or where they feel enabled to bring up any issues without fear of retribution. Or perhaps use technology – Microsoft Teams or Yammer maybe – to have group discussions. Particularly appropriate if you have staff who work at home, or from other remote locations.

Stay flexible

Ensuring the satisfaction of employees who don’t come into the office or who work from a less central location is key. Allowing them to book holidays using cloud software, or to update documents and project paperwork held in a central location will enable them to feel more engaged.

Talk to us if you would like to learn more about HR cloud software.

Offering flexible working will also help to retain staff, especially those who may have family commitments. Allowing the opportunity to work at home, or to stagger hours to enable them to drop the kids at school, or look in on an elderly relative can make their lives a lot easier, resulting in less stress for them, and allowing them to concentrate on work during their allocated hours. They are also far more likely to stay loyal to a company that acknowledges that they have a life outside of the office.

Thanks for everything

Recognising your employee contributions is also vital. And it needn’t cost the earth. Just a compliment about someone’s work can be enough – maybe some lovely fancy biscuits by the kettle to say thanks to the team for a job well done? If you can afford a lunch out for the team – great – but grand gestures are not always necessary. If someone has done something to really raise your productivity or made a major sale, a bonus or pay rise may be in order, but it’s amazing how just an acknowledgment of a great idea or creative effort can really boost someone’s mood. As can a chance to advance their career. Offering your staff opportunities to improve themselves and advance within your company will ensure they don’t move on elsewhere.

Not all positions lend themselves to promotion, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t offer training to help people broaden their skillsets. And in order to help them keep up in an ever-changing world, ensure there are opportunities to gain skills in the latest technological advances – social media skills for the marketing team perhaps, as well as training in any new software that you bring on board.

Employee experience

The user experience for your employees should be as good as the user experience for your customers. Think about the processes within your company. How easy is it for new staff to find out how everything works, how they can apply for holidays, or overtime? If a member of staff needs to take maternity leave, how easy is it for them to access the necessary information?

And how easy is the day-to-day experience at work? Is there car parking? If not, how does your company help them to find or pay for a space? Is the commute to your office a nightmare? Could you stagger office hours to make this easier?

These little things can make a big difference to your staff and allow them a better work/life balance – which ultimately is what many of us are looking for.

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

T: 01296 761 288 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.

Embrace HR Aylesbury Mental Health Awareness

How would you feel if your employees were putting their own mental health at risk in their bid to succeed at work? We look at how you can be aware of how workplace pressures can affect your staff and how you can help…

As May 13-19 is Mental Health Awareness Week, make this the time to take a look at the mental wellbeing of your staff.

How often do your staff work outside of their set hours? Is there a culture of ‘presenteeism’ in your workplace – where anyone who leaves the office at five, or works part-time, or has time off sick, is looked down on, or considered a slacker?

According to the CIPD, presenteeism has quadrupled since 2010 [CIPD: Presenteeism hits record high in UK organisations as stress at work rises 02/05/2018] and according to Personnel Today the trend is rising for employees to go into work when feeling mentally unwell [Personnel Today: Mental health presenteeism on the rise 10/10/2018], and yet more staff are taking time off sick.

What has come to light in research from wellbeing charity CABA, is that as many as three-quarters of HR professionals believe that making a good impression at work is having a detrimental effect on the wellbeing of employees.

Technology has a part to play in this – thanks to smartphones we are all available 24-7, at the end of the phone or contactable via email. And businesses can be guilty of expecting staff to check emails or take calls over weekends and evenings when they are not officially contracted to work.

Take a walk through your workplace after the official end of the day. How many staff are still in the office? If there are more than you expected, ask yourself why – ask them why! Being realistic, there will always be someone who has a deadline or a major project coming up who is likely to put in more hours, but this should not be the norm.

Encouraging this culture puts stress on your employees. They end up working late, maybe drinking to wind down after the day, or not having time to spend with family, exercise, or enjoy a hobby.

Having well-rested staff is only going to benefit your organisation. A well-rested team with a good work/life balance will perform better, be more focused and less likely to make careless mistakes. They are also less likely to suffer from physical or mental illness.

Think about how you can help your staff enjoy good mental wellbeing. Conduct a survey to find out how much they feel they must stay behind after working hours, discover how much work is actually done during that time, and why people feel they need to work past their normal hours.

Ensure that senior managers and line managers are on board and understand the issues, as they will have a great impact on preventing these unhealthy working practices.

Establish guidelines around contacting staff outside of working hours and when they are on annual leave.

Finally, work out whether there is a culture of presenteeism or if there are too few staff to deal with the workload. HR can be the champion of promoting a healthy work/life balance. Have some fun with it – maybe if working overtime through the week is an issue, think about introducing an early home time on a Friday afternoon, or as some companies do, turning Friday afternoon into a social downtime.

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

T: 01296 761 288 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.

Embrace HR Aylesbury Bank Workers

Bank workers are the mainstay of the care industry, yet HR professionals have struggled for years to define whether they are employees. A recent employment tribunal may have answered the question…

What are bank staff?

The term refers to a pool of people that an employer may call on when they need to cover shifts, holidays or just need extra staff as and when. They are prevalent in the care industry – many nurses and care assistants are on call when they are needed in care homes, hospitals and other health facilities. It is also a form of employment used for industries where work is seasonal.

When workers are classed as bank staff, there is no obligation on the part of the employer to provide regular work, nor is there an obligation for the worker to accept any shift or work if it is offered.

While employees benefit from the ability to get extra staff at short notice, for the bank worker there is none of the security of a permanent position, and none of the protection that is usually offered to employees.

For some bank workers this is perfect – they may only want to work on a very flexible basis, perhaps to work around their partner’s shifts, or around other obligations they have – perhaps caring for their own children or grandchildren, for instance.

However, where a bank worker has been used by one employer on a regular basis, there have been instances where they have taken the employer to a tribunal – arguing that in fact they are actually an ‘employee’ rather than a ‘worker’ and that they should be afforded the same rights.

Little v BMI Chiltern Hospital UKEAT/0021/09

A recent case involved Mr Little, who took the BMI Chiltern Hospital Trust to Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT). In Mr Little’s case, he had been working regularly for the BMI for various periods over nearly 16 years, working an average of between 20 and 30 hours a week as a bank theatre porter.

Written agreements were in place that confirmed that the work would be on an ‘as and when’ basis, that no work was guaranteed, and that Mr Little was perfectly entitled to refuse any work offered. However, there was a stipulation that if he refused work on four consecutive occasions, or was unavailable to work on four consecutive weeks, he would be removed from the bank.

The unfair dismissal claim resulted when the BMI terminated the arrangement for Mr Little to work on the bank.

However, because only employees can bring a claim for unfair dismissal, a pre hearing review had to be held to decide if he was an employee or not. Thanks to the fact that there was no obligation on the part of either party to provide or accept work, the tribunal decided he was not an employee and his claim failed.

That was not the end of the story – Mr Little appealed the decision, on the basis that each separate period of work for the BMI equated to a separate contract of employment and that during each period, there was mutual obligation.

However, the tribunal decided that while there were separate contracts, these were for freelance services and not employment contracts, so his appeal failed.

So, what does this mean for employers?

While you may think this means that you will never be at risk of bank staff claiming that they should have the rights of an employee, you would be wrong. Each case will still be judged on its own values.

However, HR teams should ensure that the following are in place to ensure that they are in a strong position should they ever find their company facing a tribunal:

  1. Ensure there is a written contract outlining both parties’ obligations.
  2. Ensure you conduct regular reviews of how and when bank staff are employed – ensuring that they are not regularly used for the same role, or same regular hours for instance.
  3. Written confirmation that the bank worker understands there is no mutual obligation.
  4. Ensure there is provision made for shifts to end partway through with no obligation for you to pay for unworked hours.

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

T: 01296 761 288 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.

Embrace HR Aylesbury Mental Health

We all know that a company must have appointed first aiders, but who is taking care of your staff’s mental first aid?

Did you know 57% of UK workers (MIND: Half of workers have experienced poor mental health in current job, 11/09/2018) have experienced some issue with their mental health? And yet, while there is a legal requirement to have a first aider on site in case someone gets hurt at work, there is no such requirement for looking after your staff’s mental health.

However, that could be set to change. Last month, a debate took place in Parliament on legislative change around mental health first aid in the workplace. A cross-party group of MPs backed a motion to introduce legislation that would see mental and physical first aid placed on an equal footing. The move followed a public petition that garnered 200,000 signatures and the backing of 50 UK businesses and 60 MPs.

HSE – the independent regulator for work-related health – has also released guidance on mental health first aid (HSE: First aid needs assessment).

The problem with mental health issues is that they carry extra challenges – the stigma attached to it, the fear that revealing issues to your employer will put your job at risk, that colleagues and managers will judge you… Little surprise that a survey conducted by Mental Health charity Mind revealed that while half those surveyed had experienced a mental health problem, only half of that number had discussed it with their employer.

Aside from the human cost of ignoring mental health issues in the workplace, there is a financial cost too. According to the Centre for Mental Health Mental ill health costs UK employers £34.9 billion each year (Mental Health at Work: The business cost ten years on, 05/09/2017).

Why you need mental first aiders

If you have trained mental first aiders within your organisation, they will gain a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding mental health and the impact it can have on people.

They will also learn how to spot the signs of those who are struggling and gain the confidence to lead them in the direction of the support they need.

Like physical first aiders, it is not the job of your mental first aiders to ‘cure’ anyone with issues – they are there to spot the signs and point people in the direction of professionals who can help them further.

Mental first aiders can help to empower those who have long-term issues and enable them to thrive in the workplace. They can also help prevent mental health issues arising in the workplace by helping to create a supportive culture.

How to get mental first aiders trained

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an internationally recognised training course. It can teach your staff how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health, offer help and guide them to the appropriate support.

Mental Health First Aiders need to complete a two-day MHFA course. See mhfaengland.org for more details.

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

T: 01296 761 288 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.

Embrace HR Aylesbury Laughter

It’s not just an old wives’ tale – laughter and keeping happy can be the secret to content and productive staff – it’s the science of Laughology!

Laughology is a training and consulting organisation founded by Stephanie Davies.

Working on the stand-up circuit, she realised that humour could help her survive as she performed on the club circuit (in particular the male-dominated working men’s clubs in the North), and in turn came to the realisation that it could help both individuals and organisations.

With a background in community arts and a master’s degree in psychology, Stephanie studied at the famous Gesundheit! Institute with Hunter Doherty ‘Patch’ Adams – the doctor portrayed by Robin Williams in the film Patch Adams. Stephanie is now one of the UK’s most renowned experts on the science of humour, laughter and happiness.

Built around the psychology of humour, laughter and happiness, Stephanie has taken the Laughology model of learning and development to businesses and schools, with a combination of organisational behaviour change programmes, one-off sessions and workshops.

Now for the science part

Laughter and humour can trigger processes in the brain that make it easier to learn. They lead to the release of neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin, which are capable of heightening emotional response and maximising neurological function.

Think about the last time you went to a workshop or presentation – which bit did you remember the most? Odds-on it was the part where the presenter or instructor used some humour, got the delegates to interact and made you laugh. So, ensuring that any key messages or content you want to be remembered come with a touch of humour is incredibly effective.

A happy workforce

No one can be 100% happy, 100% of the time – it’s just not realistic. But realistic happiness combines a mixture of emotional states and mindsets that lead to positivity, resilience and robust mental health. Confidence, coping skills, positive relationships, support and personal development are the main drivers for this realistic happiness.

According to research, happy people are healthier, more motivated, resilient – and more productive, so for businesses and organisation, promoting happiness among staff is key.

How do they do it?

Laughology has really focused on the science behind happiness and uses that to devise effective methods to help bring realistic happiness into people’s lives.

It’s not about coming into the business and getting everyone belly-laughing and tittering all day long. It’s about ensuring that people have the skills to manage the ups and downs of life – whether at work or in their outside life – the ability to learn from their experiences and to grow and progress through the hard times as well as the good times.

The aim is to help organisations use the psychology of happiness to create a culture of happiness within their business, which allows the staff to build resilience, wellbeing, engagement and productivity.

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

T: 01296 761 288 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.

Embrace HR Aylesbury Christmas party dress code

How does your company dress code stand up to the latest government guidance and what do you need to consider for this year’s Christmas party?

Government Guidance

Earlier in the year, the government released some long-awaited guidance on discriminatory dress codes [CIPD: New dress code guidance published 22/05/2018].

Called ‘Dress codes and sex discrimination – what you need to know’ it offers best practice guidelines on how employers can avoid dress codes being discriminatory – with particular focus on sex discrimination.

The guidance followed a petition set up by Nicola Thorp, whose agency told her its grooming policy insisted women wear heels measuring between two and four inches. She was sent home for wearing flat shoes. The petition gathered more than 150,00 signatures.

The petition led to a report produced by two parliamentary committees, which gathered evidence from hundreds of women who felt that the way they had been forced to dress while at work was discriminatory or made them feel uncomfortable.

The guidance followed in May and while it doesn’t suggest that dress codes and uniforms for males and female staff should be identical, it does say that the standards imposed on both genders should be of an equivalent level.

The guidance isn’t very exact and it has been accused of being too wishy washy, with too many suggestions rather than hard guidelines – perhaps not surprising due to its very nature whilst considering LGBTQ. (For more information on LGBTQ, please click on the Wikipedia link.) But the general upshot is that while it says it may be unlawful to expect women to wear high heels, it would be best for companies to avoid making any gender-specific requirements at all when it comes to dress codes. For example, the dress code could require all employees – of either gender – to ‘wear smart shoes’.

Employers also need to consider religious requirements – for example expecting staff to wear a skirt, which could be against religious requirements to keep their legs covered.

Where the standards are the same for both genders – ie you need to dress smartly – you are on solid ground. Once you start expecting women to wear makeup or nail varnish or skirts – which is gender-specific – then that ground becomes legally shaky.

You might also need to think about making clothes accessible for those with disabilities. Not all disabilities are visible – someone with diabetes or arthritis may find it uncomfortable to wear smart shoes for instance. Someone in a wheelchair or with mobility issues may struggle with zips and buttons or find them uncomfortable when sitting in a chair.

Office Parties

Lots of companies have already booked their Christmas party – while some of us do little more than arrange a meal in a local pub with a few drinks, other companies arrange far grander affairs. It’s vital that you consider how any dress code could affect your employees and overshadow what is supposed to be a fun event to look forward to. At all times, think inclusiveness.

For instance, have you made it a black-tie affair? Not everyone has a dress suit in the wardrobe – and hiring one is not cheap. While your managers may think nothing of shelling out for suit hire, consider younger, lower-paid staff – and people who just don’t have spare cash to spend on one night out.

The same goes for female staff who may not be able to splash out for a new dress and for what should have been a fun night out with colleagues.

It’s important that everyone feels comfortable with the party dress code – if you are planning on some sort of themed event, ensure the fancy dress is easily attainable. Going for a colour theme – black and white for instance – allows people to enter the spirit as much as they want to/are able to. It’s easy to add a white scarf to a black dress, while those who want to go all out are welcome to hire a panda costume or get the department to dress up as a set of dominoes!

Giving people plenty of choice and options will allow them to do what they feel comfortable with and leave them to enjoy the night – which is the whole point of that office party!

If you would like to discuss any issues relating to inclusiveness, and how it may affect your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 761 288 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.

Embrace HR Aylesbury Employees Working

Guidelines released by the government show that protection of workers and the legal responsibilities of employers to their staff are set to remain…

The looming spectre of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit is breeding an atmosphere of uncertainty across the UK – whether you are a home owner, business owner or someone who has to deal with HR issues and workers’ rights.

March 29, 2019 will see the EU leave the UK – and if the increasingly likely-looking ‘no-deal’ happens, the government has released guidelines on what the legal implications might be.

Workers’ Rights

The good news is that the government has already confirmed that there will be no alterations to current rights for workers of their protection – this is all covered in the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018, which translates EU legislation into UK law. Dominic Raab, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, told a recent press conference that domestic law already exceeds the EU when it comes to these matters, and that existing EU provisions would be transferred into UK legislation after Brexit.

What could be a risk in the longer term is the fact that, because these rights will simply be under UK rather than EU law, Parliament could at any time choose to scrap them and there would be no redress to the EU Court of Human Rights.

EU Citizens

If you’re a European Union (EU) citizen, you and your family will be able to apply to get either ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status. This will mean you can continue living in the UK after December 2020.

The application fee will be £65 for adults and £32.50 for children. The application process will be phased and is intended to be fully operational by March 2019. There will be a grace period until 30 June 2021 for EU nationals to apply for either status.

Two useful articles on this include An employer’s guide to preparing for Brexit [People Management: An employer’s guide to preparing for Brexit, 3 Sep 2018] and, on the Gov.co.uk website here [GOV.UK: Settled and pre-settled status for EU citizens and their families].

European Councils

One group that may be affected are European works councils, which represent the European employees at a company or organisation. However, the document states that UK regulations will be altered to enable new requests for a works council to be set up and to allow existing ones to continue.

If your company has European Works Councils and trades unions that are parties to European Works Council agreements, you may need to review your agreements as there will no longer be reciprocal arrangements between the UK and the EU.

Insolvency

Another change relates to employer insolvency. Should an employer go into insolvency, employees will still be protected under the Employment Rights Act 1996 and Pension Schemes Act 1993 implementing the Insolvency Directive [EUR-Lex: Document 32008L0094] or relevant legislation in Northern Ireland.

However, UK and EU employees who work in an EU country for a UK employer may be at risk. It is possible that they will be covered under the national guarantee fund in that country, but that is not a given at this stage.

Finally, should we leave the EU without a deal, the UK would also no longer have access to the European Single Market. This would mean companies would have to make customs declarations on all EU trade, and you may need to employ customs brokers or warehousing. This could be pricey, especially for smaller businesses, so if this applies to your organisation it would be worth becoming familiar with existing guidelines for importing and exporting outside of the UK.

Read the full guidance document from the Government here [GOV.UK: Workplace rights if there’s no Brexit deal].

If you would like to discuss any issues relating to your HR provision and Brexit, and how it may affect your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 761 288 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.

Embrace HR Aylesbury Manager and employee engagement

Managers need to understand how they can support employee engagement and well-being. And why…

Employee engagement and well-being is vital if you want to keep your people happy and productive – and retain valued members of your team. But this kind of culture must be supported from the top down – so to ensure it works properly, managers must be on board.

What the research says

And yet in recent CIPD research [CIPD Community: New tools to help you develop managers to support employee well-being and engagement, 22 Mar 2017], it appeared that less than half of the surveyed HR professionals believed that their company’s line managers had indeed bought into the importance of their staff’s well-being.

On the back of this research, the CIPD has teamed up with Affinity Health at Work and a number of research partners to come up with a selection of tools aimed at giving managers the tools and skills they need to ensure the well-being of their teams – called the Maturity Model [CIPD: Developing managers for engagement and well-being, 21 Feb 2017]

Being the best

Working on employee engagement and well-being is key to becoming a great company to work for. Every year, the Sunday Times Best Companies lists reveal which companies and not-for-profit-organisations are the best to work for.

And it’s not just for the blue chips and global giants – this accolade is something that all companies can work towards, whatever their size. It’s an aim that will reap its own rewards in terms of employee productivity and retention. There are eight specific segments to be considered – including leadership, how employees relate to their managers, and the level of engagement they have with their company. How staff feel about pressure at work and their life/work balance, their satisfaction with pay and benefits and how their growth within their job/career is managed are other vital criteria.

Here at Embrace HR we work with a number of SME’s to help them address these eight important areas as part of the ‘Best Companies’ programme. Take a look here to find out more: www.b.co.uk/factors/ [Best Companies: The 8 factors of workplace engagement]

Taking it from the top

These things need to start at the top though, so the maturity model, mentioned earlier, which can help those involved in people management identify where an organisation is at in terms of management development, is really useful in helping to bring you up to speed.

Once you have assessed where your company currently sits within the maturity model – at the lower end for instance (little or no competence) – you can work on the required processes to achieve the next level, and ultimately aim for the lofty heights of level 3 – competence.

So to use the maturity model, you would evaluate your company’s approach and current leadership development offering to work out what level you were starting at.

For instance, at level 2, your managers receive some support to develop their management skills, and the company culture and policies support effective management development.

You can start assessing your team and making plans to bring your managers to the next level in order to increase employee engagement and well-being by downloading the report and maturity model here [CIPD: Developing managers for engagement and well-being, 21 Feb 2017].

If you would like to discuss this subject further and learn how Embrace HR can help 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.

Embrace HR Aylesbury People working

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.