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Friday, 06 August 2021 13:46

Make Time for HR

We need to recognise that even though we are making progress against Covid-19, there isn’t going to be a defining day when it’s finally all over; no Victory over Covid or VC Day. We may never eradicate the disease in entirety and whilst cases exist, there is always the danger of a new variant of concern arising, such as the Delta variant, which could set us back.

What has become apparent during the pandemic is that businesses have recognised that they need HR. Not just in the practical sense of issuing furlough letters, dealing with flexible working request or making redundancies. But also in supporting employees’ mental health, ensuring a safe working environment and strategic workforce planning.

We shouldn’t allow this newfound reliance on HR just to be something we did because there was a global crisis. With staff already conditioned to accepting new rules and ways of working, now is the perfect time to re-enforce, or introduce where necessary, positive working processes and practices that will benefit employers and employees alike. The traditional summer lull is a perfect opportunity to re-group and plan ahead. After all, nobody saw Covid coming, and another crisis cold be just around the corner.

After nearly 20 years of working with other businesses, we see some recurring themes. Certain issues that keep cropping up, which, if dealt with effectively or pre-emptively would have a huge positive impact on how businesses operate, and on the wellbeing and attitude of employees.

Below, we’ve compiled the usual suspects when it comes to getting your HR in order. Easy to implement quick wins that organisations should be on top of to keep operations running smoothly and employees happy.

  • Contracts of Employment and Staff Handbooks: Employees will be happier if they know the rules and boundaries and what is expected of them. Just look at the disquiet that’s been caused from the ambiguous and wishy-washy rules the Government has tried to implement during Covid. There’s no excuse for not having your company handbook in place and up to date, with clear rules against which employees can be held to account. Contracts are a legal requirement from day one of employment so again, there’s no excuse not to have them. If you don’t have your own rules in writing, in place and up to date, you’ll have to rely upon statutory regulation, which isn’t always as geared toward the employer as you may like, or require.

  • Document Implementation: Simply having contracts and handbooks isn’t enough. These are crucial documents that dictate your expectations from employees. Initiate a proper launch and make a copy available to all employees. If you have updates, and we suspect you will after Covid, a relaunch is a great way to re-enforce policies and introduce new ones.

  • Employee Reviews: Regular employee one-to-one meetings with a line manager give you the opportunity to assess and appraise performance, set individual targets and discuss development plans. They’re also an opportunity to deal with small problems before they are allowed to become serious issues. Remember, they should be a two-way communication channel and opportunity for both sides to raise concerns. If action is required, make sure it happens.

  • Staff Survey: Sometimes you need an anonymous staff survey to give your employees the chance to air their true views without fear of reprisal. You’ll get to know the general sentiment and levels of morale amongst the workforce, and you may get some good ideas and suggestions about how processes can be done differently or improved from the people at the coal face.

  • Continue Development: Senior managers and Directors usually know their business or industry inside out, but few take steps to make themselves better managers. Leadership can always be improved upon and the effects of good leadership and management practices will translate to increased productivity. Even if senior managers don’t go on an official course, they should put themselves in position where they can continue to learn from others. Peer Networks is a good example of this.

We’re scratching the surface with the points laid out here, but these suggestions will create the foundations for a truly successful, people-centric organisation. To discuss any of the points in more detail simply call us on 01452 331331 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Read 192 times Last modified on Thursday, 26 August 2021 11:14

IN A NUTSHELL

HR Champions provide first class HR and Employment Law support and advice to UK businesses; operationally and strategically. If you're an employer you'll potentially need some, if not all, of the services we offer.

We deliver excellent management and soft skills training suitable for all organisational levels. We are ILM and City & Guild accredited and Ken Blanchard approved.  

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