Engage for success

We know that healthy, happy workers lead to healthy, happy and successful organisations.

Are your people delivering the results you need?

Is your business performing as expected?

When was the last time you asked your people what they loved about their job?

If your employees feel unhappy or unappreciated, you can be sure as eggs is eggs that they won’t be giving their all to the business that employs them.

Just as in life, being engaged with something leads to so many great things including high energy, happiness, motivation and loyalty. If it feels a great place to be then why would you leave?

Personal Group, in a recent survey revealed that almost half of UK workers are unhappy with their job. And here is the magic from that survey…

…happy employees are a massive 12% more productive than those unhappy with their work situation.

Hands up anybody who would like to see a 12% increase in productivity in their business this month?!

When you take the time to show your people you care, in a variety of ways, they are going to be happier, more engaged in their jobs, and more productive. The bonus is that when your staff are happy, this typically leads to better customer service, too. Yet again we see the ripple effect in these critical areas is huge. And who doesn’t want that?

Here are a few of my low-cost ideas to boost your employee engagement and productivity going into the exciting year 2020;

  • Give more than is expected – with this I mean environment, understanding their goals, incentives and perks – small gestures that have great impact. To avoid any cost, you can hand write a thank you note where relevant. The little things in life carry the highest value because of how you are left feeling.
  • Get the welcome mat out. Make sure that new employees feel welcomed. Have an existing staff member mentor the newbies until they get on their feet, and ensure that they get a full and thorough induction into the business to make them effective in their role asap.
  • Work in the Cloud. A work-from-home day is always useful for employees waiting on deliveries or with childcare issues. It shows trust and your employees will be just as productive if not more. Also making your systems available remotely means work does not have to grind to a halt should adverse weather conditions make commuting impossible.
  • Safety and Wellness. Don’t forget the little things that make life liveable. Onsite minor vehicle maintenance, basic medical assistance, basic medications, access to health-based time off, company sponsored flu jabs – can all be helpful, particularly for those companies that don’t offer healthcare to their employees. Productive employees help a company succeed
  • Be on your employees’ side. To build trust you have to be trusted. To build respect you have to be respected. If an employee knows you will fully support them then they are going to respect you and be loyal.

In our Highly Effective Manager programme, which starts in January in London, our fourth module is all about Employee Engagement. It is so important that your managers understand the benefits of creating and maintaining engagement within their team. They will learn what we really mean by employee engagement and why it’s important, and how to create an employee engagement strategy that works for your team and your business, and that’s just one of six modules that we know will help your managers to be highly effective.

If you want to talk more about the programme then let’s have a virtual cuppa together
Book a cuppa with me here.

As we are now in December, we will be counting down the sleeps to the booking deadline to secure your places on this programme – 20th December.

More details here about the HEM programme

There are only 12 places and this is absolute gold when it comes to educating your managers to be the best they can be – the bonus is great managers run great businesses.

PS – Have you connected with us on LinkedIn? For ease here’s the link to my page. Emma Browning LinkedIn – happy connecting!

Are you ready to take the advice of Richard Branson?

I talked about mentoring and coaching recently and for many of us, when you think of influential people from the world of business, Richard Branson is a name that’s likely to feature pretty high up on your list.

He has talked many times about mentoring and recently quoted at an event hosted by Purple Cubed, ‘I am often asked what the link between a promising business person and a successful business person is, and mentoring always comes to mind. Giving people advice on how to achieve their goals is often overlooked in British businesses.’

The lesson here is really quite clear. Though formal training and development programs will always have an important role in any business, it’s time to start paying serious attention to the alternative options that could give your staff the capacity to shine.

A huge difference can be made by creating and implementing learning and development programs that will give staff members at all levels a chance to shine. They could work alongside skilled and understanding managers who are trained in coaching techniques, or work with qualified coaches or internal mentors who can help them overcome their barriers to success, look at challenges in a different light, and help your employees step into their full potential.

So perhaps it’s not actually that fancy e-learning platform that you really need. Or maybe that expensive training course that you’ve had in mind wouldn’t get you the very best return on your investment. It could be the case that you could reap the biggest rewards by going back to basics and enabling great conversations between your employee and their manager or internal mentor about how they can reach their full potential and career goals.

Are you ready to take the advice of Richard Branson, and try a different approach to the ongoing development of your staff? If your managers can become mentors or coaches of their teams, they will definitely see a huge change in their teams’ performance. We’ve got some great case studies from our clients where mentoring and coaching has taken their management skills and teams performance to the next level.

In our ‘Highly Effective Manager’ program which starts in January in London, we cover a whole module on coaching. If your managers understand not only the benefits of coaching but how to coach effectively themselves, you are well on your way to having happy, motivated people and in turn this creates trust and loyalty.

The benefits are endless.

So why not book a virtual cuppa with me and we can have a chat over a cuppa about how your managers can be part of this amazing program. Book your call here.

More details about the ‘Highly Effective Manager’ program here

PS – Have you connected with us on LinkedIn?  If not, be great to see you on there too, for ease here’s the link to my page. Emma Browning LinkedIn – happy connecting!

Are you attracting the right people to your business?

This week I am talking about recruitment.

A 9-5 working week, 4 weeks holiday a year, and a corner desk were once considered perks to a job, creating satisfaction and loyalty. Not anymore. Today’s businesses need to be much savvier if they want to attract and retain key talent.

These days prospective employees are searching for a better work/life balance, and a greater sense of fulfilment from their jobs. They are more discerning. The structure of work has broken down and shifted, and small business owners must take note of this new, progressive work environment that’s needed, or risk missing out on great talent. Your employer brand story is now more important than ever.

The knock on effect of not getting the right talent can be huge and costly. So let’s look at some great ways to get this right from the start.

Here are just 5 of my current favourite examples of innovative HR practices and policies being used by the savvy companies in their Employer Brand Story to compete against you for the best quality staff……

1. Workplace and corporate wellbeing schemes

People are your most important asset. What better way to demonstrate value for your staff than investing in their health and wellbeing? Consider the benefits of providing workplace access to services such as nutritional advice, yoga, massage and mindfulness. The benefit is that you will see a reduction in your employee stress levels, improved attrition, reduced sickness absence and a generally refreshed and re-engaged workforce.

2. “Owning” unused holiday entitlement

Annual leave days are technically an employees to use as he or she sees fit. If they don’t use them, for whatever reason, a fresh idea is to let them donate them to another employee. Perhaps the beneficiary is taking a trip around the world or preparing for a life-changing event. The point is that the business acknowledges the employee earned these days and can dole them out without company involvement. Google practices this policy, with great success. Word of caution though – your employee legally must take at least 28 days off (that’s 20 days holiday and 8 days BH – before they can donate holiday to a colleague – it’s the LAW!)

3. Customising the position for the talent

Progressive business owners are ditching job descriptions, opting for building the position based on an employee’s strengths and interests. Whilst it can be challenging, this new practice is highly successful if moulded correctly. It takes a mix of knowing the employees, and accurately measuring their skill sets.

4. Two-way mentoring

You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. While newer employees learn invaluable product knowledge and process requirements from company veterans, seasoned employees can get their imaginations sparked, absorb new technology, and discover new “hacks” from the newbies. Smart companies tap into the mentoring relationship as a back-and-forth, not up-to-down.

5. Setting up workplace flexibility as the new normal

Focusing less on work/life balance, and more on the integration of life and work, is a paradigm that is emerging in the workplace. It’s all about how a company values the contribution of an employee, not just the physical hours worked. Time off for appointments and leaving early for school plays brings about loyalty and satisfaction in employees. I can testify here. I’ve adopted this approach with my own business and as a result I’ve been able to attract and retain the best people for my business!

The businesses that embrace one or more of these progressive practices will enjoy higher success rates in their recruitment, (which let’s face it, is pretty tough at the moment) greater employee engagement and higher levels of morale.

The great news is that our Highly Effective Manager Program, which starts in January in London delivers a recruitment masterclass in the second module. Amongst other things your managers will learn how to inject some leading edge, and highly valued innovation, into your recruitment policies and practices that will in turn help you to attract and retain the best talent, and have highly engaged employees!

Here’s more details:- Highly Effective Manager Program 

Let’s have a virtual cuppa if you want to know more about this fantastic new program. Book a date here.

So here’s my challenge to you – be daring! Be more ‘millennial’ in your business thinking. Treat your prospective employees like potential customers; ask yourself, ‘what is my USP as an employer?  What can I bring to the table that will attract the best candidates – who will, in turn bring success to my business?’  Create a sense of excitement and buzz about working in your business. You can inject some leading edge, and highly valued innovation into your HR policies and practices that will in turn breed success, both with recruitment and employee engagement.

Managing Employee Performance

At Meraki HR we work with lots of clients on what I call proactive HR. That’s helping them to design and implement a people strategy that helps them create great places to work which in turn means their people deliver great business results. But life isn’t always rosy, and we are dealing with people and things can and do go wrong – that’s life!

I would say that in my experience, the most common problem that I am asked to help my clients with is underperforming employees.  I’ve not only helped managers with this issue within their teams and have coached them to deal with these matters successfully, I’ve also managed my own teams and had to deal with under-performing employees too! I know that it’s something none of us look forward to doing, but if it’s done in the right way, it really doesn’t have to be time consuming or complicated. Just follow my five steps below to see if you can turn this employee around, and if not, how you can deal with it fairly and effectively.

Here are my five top tips things for managing poor performance …

  1. How do you know that someone isn’t performing? It’s important that you don’t just “think” or “feel” that someone isn’t performing, as it needs to be based on fact. Facts can be based on not delivering or meeting targets or objectives or facts can be based on colleague or customer feedback with examples of the poor performance/behaviour.
  2. Once you start to either see this poor performance or hear about it from others as noted above, it’s important that you address the issues immediately. Don’t ignore it and hope that it will go away, because unless the person knows that what they are doing or how they are behaving is unacceptable, they don’t have the opportunity to do something about it. These are always difficult conversations to have, so make sure you go into the conversation prepared. This may mean that you have to tell the person who the feedback has come from, but you must give examples of the poor performance. So, if it’s that they have been rude to a customer, then you need to give the customer’s name and the feedback received from that customer. If it’s that they have not met a target or an objective or a deadline then be specific about exactly what it is they have failed to achieve and tell them the impact that this has had on the customer/the employee/the business.
  3. Once you have given them the details about the poor performance, you need to ask them why they think this has happened and be prepared to listen. There could be a very plausible reason why the incident or behaviour has happened, or they could tell you that they didn’t know of the target or the deadline.  Finally, it could be that they have some problems at home at the moment and they are finding it difficult to concentrate on work. Just listen and take notes, using this time to think about how they or you can address or resolve the problem. If there are issues which you need to address, then address them, as this will then mean they can perform to the required standards as the excuse has been removed. If the reasons for them not performing are of a more personal nature, ask them what you can do to help and support them through this difficult time. It might be that they need to change their hours for a short period of time or that they need to go to a counselling appointment once a week and have a little time off. What’s important here is that you agree a plan of action that the business can support and in return you expect to see the required improvements.
  4. Put it in writing – whatever you have discussed and agreed should be written up. This doesn’t have to be in a formal letter but an email at least that can be referred to by both parties in the future if necessary. It’s important that this letter/email reflects accurately what was discussed and agreed. I would suggest that someone such as an HR professional checks this letter/email before it is sent to the individual.
  5. It’s now your responsibility to keep an eye on things. Have they improved? If so then that’s great. If not, what are you going to do next? Sometimes these informal approaches to performance management can be very successful as they can “nip” minor problems in the bud. However, on occasion, a more formal process may be needed where targets and improvement objectives are set, often known as a PIP (Performance Improvement Plan) with agreed deadlines which need to be monitored on a regular basis and documented as part of a formal performance management process. I would suggest that if you get to this stage, you may need the support of an HR professional.

It’s a myth that you can’t dismiss people for poor performance, you can, but only if you have followed the right process and have communicated this process to the person and given them the time and support needed to improve. Careful and good record keeping is key to the successful dismissal of an employee for poor performance.

I should point out that it’s never plain sailing when dealing with poor performance issues. The reason for this is that you are dealing with a human being, and you are essentially saying that someone is not performing well in their role and this can provoke several different reactions from people. Some can become very defensive and angry; some can get very emotional and some can just decide they can’t face the process at all and get themselves signed off work by a DR as “unfit for work due to stress.” These types of reaction are common because no one likes to hear they are not doing well and fundamentally people want to go to work to do a good job. Therefore, it’s important to have professional help and support throughout this process. An experienced HR professional will have seen and dealt with all of these reactions and will know exactly how best to deal with them to minimise the risks of the process not being followed to a successful conclusion for both parties; either the person improves, or the person is dismissed.

Book yourself in for a virtual cuppa and I can chat through my top tips on managing employee performance. Click on the link here.

Engage for success

Are your people not delivering the results you need and your business not performing as expected?

Consider for a moment, the findings of research conducted by employee services provider Personal Group, which revealed that almost half of UK workers are unhappy with their job. The same survey showed that happy employees are a massive 12 per cent more productive than those unhappy with their work situation. Hands up anybody who would like to see a 12% increase in productivity in their business this month?!

So, if your employees feel unhappy or unappreciated, you can be sure as eggs is eggs that they won’t be giving their all to the business that employs them.

When you take the time to show your people you care – in a variety of ways – they are going to be happier, more engaged in their jobs, and more productive. The bonus is that when your staff are happy, this typically leads to better customer service, too. And who doesn’t want that? Here are a few of my low-cost ideas to boost your employee engagement and productivity in this final quarter of the year;

  • Give more than is expected. Think outside the standard wage and benefits box you provide to your employees. Observe them at work and see what you can do to improve their work environment and make it a more welcoming and pleasant place to be. Ask your employees what their career goals are and help them achieve them. If your company has the budget, reward outstanding performance with extra perks such as gift cards, dinner at a local restaurant, or a surprise paid day off. It needn’t be expensive, and the small gestures are often the most impactful. If cost really is an inhibitor here, why not consider ad hoc personally handwritten thank you notes? They can be a highly valued, lovely touch.
  • Get the welcome mat out. Make sure that new employees feel welcomed. Have an existing staff member mentor the newbies until they get on their feet, and ensure that they get a full and thorough induction into their role and the company to make them effective in their role asap.
  • Work in the Cloud. A work-from-home day is always useful for employees waiting on deliveries or with childcare issues. By putting as much of your company’s shared content in the cloud as possible, it frees up your staff by offering more flexibility. This will also show your staff you trust them to work well, without you having to look over their shoulders. From a productivity point of view, this is a win-win. We are now entering into a time of year when adverse weather can sometimes mean people can’t get into work.  Making your systems available remotely means work does not have to grind to a halt should adverse weather conditions make commuting impossible.
  • Safety and Wellness. Don’t forget the little things that make life liveable. Onsite minor vehicle maintenance and other machinery/equipment repairs can go a long way towards keeping your employees happy. Who else hates it if their laptop or printer isn’t working? It can take up tons of time trying to sort out these issues, but will also cause a massive frustration for your employees if they simply don’t have the tools to do a good job!  Likewise, offering basic medical assistance, basic medications, access to health-based time off, company sponsored flu jabs – can all be helpful, particularly for those companies that don’t offer healthcare to their employees. Incentives keep employees productive. Productive employees help a company succeed. And the double win here is that some health and safety incentives even lower the costs of keeping your employees employed – think of the sheer number of employee sick days that get taken by the dreaded flu virus…..a company-sponsored flu vaccination might seem like great business sense in this context and now’s the time to be getting your flu jabs!
  • Be on your employees’ side. It is always important to have your employees’ backs, even if an issue has something to do with a customer. The customer is not always right. Show the members of your team that you respect and care about them by defending and supporting them when needed. And yes, sometimes that may mean losing a customer.

So, we know that healthy, happy workers lead to healthy, happy and successful organisations.  If you want to increase productivity and boost your profits employee wellbeing needs to be at the top of your agenda.

A well-being strategy and policy is a good place to start and we can provide you with a well-being policy that is right for your business and give you loads of creative ideas for a well-being strategy to get you started. Want to know more? Then book a virtual cuppa with me and we can have a chat about how to improve your employee well-being and boost your productivity. Book a cuppa with me here.

Would you ignore Richard Branson’s business advice?

When you think of influential people from the world of business, Richard Branson is a name that’s likely to feature pretty high up on your list. With a multi-billion-pound empire that has included transport, music, and even his own private island getaway retreat, he certainly knows a thing or two about creating and sustaining huge success.

With that in mind, it might pay to carefully consider his latest comments on the value of mentoring.

Speaking via a recorded message to an event on mentoring hosted by Purple Cubed, he said: ‘I am often asked what the link between a promising business person and a successful business person is, and mentoring always comes to mind. Giving people advice on how to achieve their goals is often overlooked in British businesses.’

The lesson here is really quite clear. Though formal training and development programs will always have an important role in any business, it’s time to start paying serious attention to the alternative options that could give your staff the capacity to shine.

A huge difference can be made by creating and implementing learning and development programs that will give staff members at all levels a chance to shine. They could work alongside skilled and understanding managers who are trained in coaching techniques, or work with qualified coaches or internal mentors who can help them overcome their barriers to success, look at challenges in a different light, and help your employees step into their full potential.

So perhaps it’s not actually that fancy e-learning platform that you really need. Or maybe that expensive training course that you’ve had in mind wouldn’t get you the very best return on your investment. It could be the case that you could reap the biggest rewards by going back to basics and enabling great conversations between your employee and their manager or internal mentor about how they can reach their full potential and career goals.

Are you ready to take the advice of Richard Branson, and try a different approach to the ongoing development of your staff? If your managers can become mentors or coaches of their teams, they will definitely see a huge change in their teams’ performance. We’ve got some great case studies from our clients where mentoring and coaching has taken their management skills and teams performance to the next level. So why not book a virtual cuppa with me and we can have a chat over a cuppa about how coaching could help you or your managers. Book your call here.

Or if you want to be a great leader, why not come along to my next FREE workshop being held in Bicester on 8th November – 5 Steps to becoming an Inspirational Leader.  Make sure you sign up below and I look forward to meeting you there!

The Law of Attraction

Are you attracting and retaining the key talent you need for your business to flourish?   Read on for my top examples of high-performance business thinking that will make sure you attract and retain the best talent for your business!

A 9-5 working week, 4 weeks holiday a year, and a corner desk were once considered perks to a job, creating satisfaction and loyalty. Not anymore. Today’s businesses need to be much savvier if they want to attract and retain key talent.

The so called ‘millennials’ have a different set of expectations. These days potential employees are searching for a better work/life balance, and a greater sense of fulfilment from their jobs. They are more discerning. The structure of work has broken down and shifted, and small business owners must take note of this new, progressive work environment that’s needed, or risk missing out on great talent.

So here’s my challenge to you – be daring! Be more ‘millennial’ in your business thinking. Treat your potential employees like potential customers; ask yourself, ‘what is my USP as an employer?  What can I bring to the table that will attract the best candidates – who will, in turn bring success to my business?’  Create a sense of excitement and buzz about working in your business. You can inject some leading edge, and highly valued innovation into your HR policies and practices that will in turn breed success, both with recruitment and employee engagement.

Here are my current favourite examples of innovative HR practices and policies being used by the savvy companies in their Employer Brand Story to compete against you for the best quality staff……

Workplace and corporate wellbeing schemes

Progressive-thinking companies understand that people are their most important asset. What better way to demonstrate your value for your staff than investing in their health and wellbeing? Investing in your employees’ mental and physical health can be of enormous benefit to company productivity. Consider the benefits of providing workplace access to services such as nutritional advice, yoga, massage and mindfulness. As well as delivering a powerful recruitment message to potential top-class candidates, consider the practical day-to-day benefits of these schemes such as reduction in your employee stress levels, improved attrition, reduced sickness absence and a generally refreshed and re-engaged workforce.

“Owning” unused holiday entitlement

Annual leave days are technically an employees to use as he or she sees fit. If they don’t use them, for whatever reason, a fresh idea is to let them donate them to another employee. Perhaps the beneficiary is taking a trip around the world or preparing for a life-changing event. The point is that the business acknowledges the employee earned these days and can dole them out without company involvement. Google practices this policy, with great success. Word of caution though – your employee legally must take at least 28 days off (that’s 20 days holiday and 8 days BH – before they can donate holiday to a colleague – it’s the LAW!)

Giving time off for volunteering

Businesses are stepping up and becoming good corporate citizens, and some are encouraging their staff to do the same. Experian, for example, offers up to three paid days for employees to volunteer. Days off to work in a soup kitchen, or volunteer at a hospital are worth their weight in gold at building a well-rounded, happy employee who works hard for the privilege of being part of the greater good. With Experian staff stating it as a key reason for working there, it’s as no surprise that offering time off for volunteering is increasingly high on the HR agenda of many a pioneering company today.

Customising the position for the talent

Progressive business owners are ditching job descriptions, opting for building the position based on an employee’s strengths and interests. While challenging, this new practice is highly successful if moulded correctly. It takes a mix of knowing the employees, and accurately measuring their skill sets.

Getting rid of job titles

Looked upon as old and stodgy, renegade companies are refusing to pigeonhole employees with one title. The opinion here is that titles stifle creativity and produces an unproductive hierarchy. Removing them fosters a more united, cohesive team of employees.

Blinkist, the 15-minute book app people, have eliminated job titles completely.  What’s in a name? Nothing but trouble according to them! They abolished job titles and launched their most-requested feature in record time. They are now positively evangelical about why job titles are detrimental to success and how getting rid of them can revolutionise an organisation.

Two-way mentoring

You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. While newer employees learn invaluable product knowledge and process requirements from company veterans, seasoned employees can get their imaginations sparked, absorb new technology, and discover new “hacks” from the newbies. Smart companies tap into the mentoring relationship as a back-and-forth, not up-to-down.

Setting up workplace flexibility as the new normal

Focusing less on work/life balance, and more on the integration of life and work, is a paradigm that is emerging in the workplace. It’s all about how a company values the contribution of an employee, not just the physical hours worked. Time off for appointments and leaving early for school plays brings about loyalty and satisfaction in employees. I can testify here. I’ve adopted this approach with my own business and as a result I’ve been able to attract and retain the best people for my business!

Providing free food

Many tech and Internet companies like Airbnb, Facebook, Dropbox and Etsy provide creative in-house food programs to their employees. Their in-house dining options are used as a recruitment and retention tool. For these businesses, it is a way to draw people to their company and keep them there. According to Gabriel Cole of Fare Resources, “it helps employees to be productive and engaged.”  Now – everybody older than 40 knows full well that that there’s no innovation here!! Subsidised work canteens were once an oft-seen norm. However, with seismic shifts in social demographics and lifestyles, onsite catering could be an incredibly alluring prospect for potential millennial candidates – let’s face it, it is no longer uncommon for new town and city apartments to be built without kitchens. Time is in short supply these days and people are increasingly attracted to quick fix meal solutions, so providing a healthy and nourishing lunch at work for your team, could be a great recruitment and retention strategy.

Offering referral bonuses

According to research, new employee referrals hire better employees with higher retention rates. Recruitment by referrals works well because employees at your company are familiar with the work culture and values. High performing employees will be more likely to refer potential employees with similar qualities.

Savvy employers operating in a tight labour market realise the value of enlisting staff as head-hunters. Not only does cutting out advertising and agency middlemen slash the recruitment bill, the chances are that a skilled reliable worker will bring on board a like-minded cohort.

Now I admit, staff referral schemes are nothing new, but they are still only used in about a third of UK companies, and less so in smaller businesses.  The benefits of this method of recruitment are obvious. The only fee goes to the employee referring the newcomer, and the cost is at the employer’s discretion.

Now you won’t see these ten practices in every business because they just aren’t practical or affordable for everyone. However, the businesses that embrace one or more of these progressive practices will enjoy higher success rates in their recruitment, (which let’s face it, is pretty tough at the moment) greater employee engagement and higher levels of, morale.

You could find out more about the leading-edge recruitment practices and interviewing techniques on our Highly Effective Manager Program. You can find out more about the program here; https://www.merakihr.com/want-to-be-a-highly-effective-manager/

Or let’s have a chat for 15 minutes and you can ask me how we can inject some leading edge, and highly valued innovation, into your recruitment  policies and practices that will in turn help you to attract and retain the best talent, and have highly engaged employees! Book your virtual cuppa here;

Book a virtual cuppa with Emma at Meraki HR

Do you know what Employment Law Changes are coming?

Key Employment Law Changes for 2020

There are a few things that you can guarantee in life. Death, taxes, and employment law changes. As we make our way towards 2020, it’s essential that as a business owner, you know exactly what’s coming, and how to prepare for it.

Now, I am sure that you don’t think you can just hope for the best and plead ignorance if you’re caught out? You need to have a good understanding of employment law and be compliant, and we’re here to help you. So, let’s take a look at the changes that you need to pencil in your diary…

Changes that came into force in April 2019

All workers and employees have the right to receive a pay slip that outlines hours worked if the worker or employee is hourly paid.

Changes taking effect April 2020

1.Extension of the right to a written statement of particulars of employment

At present, employers must provide a written statement setting out the basic terms of employment to all employees whose employment lasts for one month or more, and this must be provided within two months of the start of their employment. Under new legislation, this statement must be given by day 1 of their employment. In another significant change, the right to a written statement of particulars has been extended to include workers as well as employees. In addition to who the statements need to be given to and when, the legislation also requires additional information to be given, including:

  • The days of the week the employee is expected to work
  • Whether days or hours are variable and if so, the basis on which they will be determined
  • All benefits provided by the employer
  • Probationary period details including conditions for passing and duration
  • Details of training entitlement, mandatory training etc. (including mandatory training which is not funded by the employer)

2.Increase in the period over which holiday pay is calculated

Currently, the holiday pay of a worker who has irregular working hours is calculated by averaging the number of hours worked over the previous 12 weeks (known as ‘the pay reference period’). Under the new regulations, from 6 April 2020, the pay reference period will be 52 weeks or, for those workers who have been working for less than 52 weeks, the total number of weeks they have worked. This change is designed to avoid workers losing out where their working hours are subject to fluctuations such as seasonal variations.

3.Increased Protection for Agency Workers

Currently, agency workers are entitled to be paid the same rates as permanent employees doing the same work after 12 weeks, unless they are working under specific contractual arrangements under which they receive a minimum level of pay when they are between assignments (this is known as the ‘Swedish derogation’ model). From April 2020, this distinction will be abolished and the right to comparable pay will apply to all agency workers after 12 weeks. The government has also introduced an obligation to provide agency workers with a Key Facts page providing basic information about their contract, pay rates and pay arrangements.

And of course, I’ve got to mention the B word – sorry! There’s the tricky issue of Brexit… There’s still a grey area over what we should really expect, though things are likely to become clearer in the coming months. As always, make sure that you keep an eye on our updates for practical, no-nonsense guidance on what you really need to know.

Do you know enough about Employment Law to avoid making can avoid costly mistakes?  You can book your virtual cuppa with me and let’s make sure you have the right policies in place to keep you legal!

Book a virtual cuppa with Emma at Meraki HR

Want to be a Highly Effective Manager?

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

  • Are you new to managing a team and worried about what you can/can’t do or say as you don’t want to fall foul of employment law?
  • Do you find that you keep hiring the wrong people with the wrong attitude who just don’t “fit” with your culture?
  • Feel like you might as well just do the work yourself – its easier than having to explain it over and over?
  • Are you an experienced manager but don’t know what you should be doing to get the best from your team and keep them motivated?
  • Have you got performance issues within your team and just don’t know how to tackle it?
  • Need to deal with a disciplinary matter within your team, but don’t know how to go about it?
  • Or just a lack of interest entirely from team members about the business or their role?

If one or more of the above statements apply to you, then our Highly Effective Manager program is just the ticket! Whether you’re an experienced manager looking to update and improve your people management skills or a new manager who wants to know everything there is to know about managing a team, then we’ve got you covered.  You’ll become part of a small but select group of managers who want to gain the knowledge and confidence to manage their teams to achieve great results. You’ll get to practice your newly acquired skills in a safe environment with a peer group that will encourage and support you as you develop and improve your skills and techniques throughout the course.  We keep our learning group sizes small so that there is plenty of interaction and opportunities to discuss and debate issues and learn from each other as well as from the trainers. Maximum no of learners on each program is 12 people.

To find out more – just download our brochure about the London program here;

The Highly Effective Manager program – London

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How to Get Your Staff Back on Track After Summer Holidays

The summer months aren’t best known for being the most productive of seasons in the workplace and output can often take a bit of a slide during the holiday season!  We’ve pretty much hit the final quarter of the year now, so if you want to make sure you smash your business goals, it’s worth taking a little time out to assess how you can get things back on track.

Let’s take a look at what you can do, in practical terms, to get the final quarter off to a flying start…

Reassess goals and priorities at individual and team levels

All bosses like to think that their staff have stretching but achievable milestones to work towards, and they know exactly what’s expected of them when it comes to carrying out their day to day roles. But when’s the last time that you spoke to your staff to make sure everyone’s on the same page?

Now’s a great time to consider whether current objectives are fit for purpose and ensure your managers are getting together with their teams to regroup and prepare for a big fourth quarter on a regular basis.

Check that all your policies are still fit for purpose

Up to date policies aren’t just a ‘nice to have’. If something goes wrong in your business, they can be the difference between you carefully navigating out of the situation with the least possible amount of fuss and causing a load of irreparable damage to your budget and your reputation.

Don’t wait until you’re faced with a problem. Take some time to look at your people policies, and ask yourself whether they’re still relevant, compliant with any new legislation, and clearly communicated to your workforce.

Get an HR health check carried out by a professional

Keeping on top of people management issues in your workplace can be tricky. You want to be a good employer, you want to get the most out of your staff, and you want to make sure that your business is a great place to work. But between client meetings and marketing and everything else that needs your attention, it’s easy to take your eye off the ball.

Having an HR health check carried out by an experienced consultant could help you to nip any potential problems in the bud, pinpoint opportunities for increasing productivity and morale, and ensure that your actions are aligned with your objectives.

If you recognise that you could do with a little help to make sure that your business is fighting fit for the fourth quarter, get in touch today to arrange a no-obligation consultation.

In fact, if any of the following sounds familiar to you, I would highly recommend you bagsie a seat at my exclusive workshop in November, book now before all the seats get taken – How to be an Inspiring Leader

  • Are you about to embark on your growth plan and recognise the need to get some expert help and advice?
  • Are you a business owner or MD of a business that’s struggling to achieve its goals?
  • Do you question yourself day after day about why your people aren’t delivering the results you need?
  • Are you worried that you just don’t have the right people in your leadership and management team to deliver the results you want?
  • Are you a successful business that’s growing and things are just beginning to go wrong, and you don’t know why?

No textbooks or extensive course obligations are required – just a couple of hours of your time and an open and enquiring mind!!