Have you given your employees written contracts of employment? Does it matter if you don't?
Actually, you don't have to provide a full contract of employment in writing but you do have to provide certain information in writing within 2 months of the employee joining. If you don't, the risk is a legal claim against you.
You are legally obliged to provide the following in writing:-
However, a full and agreed contract of employment does not have to be written down, or signed, to still exist between you and your employee. It is still formed regardless . Your day to day dealings, your decisions, what you provide for your employees, employment practices, all set your contract. And then it may be difficult to change. So whatever you start, make sure you are happy for it to be your permanent contractually terms regardless of whether it's written down or not. Ideally, you should think this through from the outset and set all your desired working practices and offerings in the form of written policies and procedures so that all parties know what to expect (Employee Handbook). But at a minimum, you must provide at least the basic minimal legal requirements as listed above..
For more advice and help, please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07557 363208.
Grievance - complaint, problem, concern, wrong doing, ill feeling. A harsh sounding word with negative meaning and feel.
Are your employees too scared to raise a grievance due to its perceived severity and for fear of repercussion or damage to their future careers? And worse still, are these fears founded? Or conversely, do you have a grievance culture whereby as soon as an employee is pulled up for conduct or performance they immediately raise a grievance and it's just become the norm? Both these cultures and use of the process are ineffective, and can be damaging to your internal working relationships and general morale. But it doesn't have to be this way.
It could be time for a change.
So it starts with a negative - a concern, something in which the employee is unhappy about. But what if rather than it be seen as a complaint and one in which to just associate negative blame and sanction, it was seen as a problem, a problem that required commitment to finding a solution? What if all efforts and energies were put into getting it fixed, with fairness and respect for all parties and no unnecessary damage to relationships. What if the policy was to formally highlight a problem that needs addressing and fixing, and focused on all parties willingly working together to find a solution or to help reach some acceptance and agree a way forward.
Is it time to replace your Grievance policy and procedure with a 'Problem Resolution policy and procedure'. Some essential steps to the process would not change as it still needs to meet legislative requirements, but the tone and spirit of the policy and how it's used and perceived within your organisation could change.
Give it a positive slant, readdress its purpose and aim. Let it become a positive resolution policy. What difference could that make to your organisation or business?
If you think this could be of benefit to you and you would like support implementing these changes, please contact me and we can make it happen together
Strategic Guidance for Small Businesses
If you are considering employing people to work for your company, this is a fantastic achievement because it means you are experiencing demands for your service or product. But make sure you really need to employ someone full time. First consider whether it’s a permanent requirement, seasonal or temporary, or even part-time. Think about what their continued employment is reliant upon and with the very best of foresight that the requirement is going to continue.
You’ll also be thinking about all the practical elements of becoming an employer, such as the job you’re creating, what the salary will be, and how to advertise and select someone. And then of course you must provide them with a written contract of employment, carry out some background checks, inform the HMRC, and decide how you are going to pay them. And don’t forget your employers’ liability insurance and swotting up on all those employment rights!
But what else must you consider?
You may not be able to afford paying a highly competitive salary (think about cash flow, employees need the same basic pay each month), therefore you need to create a different selling point. Sell the benefits of working for a small business instead. Benefits such as involvement, learning how businesses run, variety of tasks, flexibility, truly feeling part of something, easily able to identify individual contribution and the achievement of helping to build a business. Consider bonuses to share when profits are good due to their contribution. Praise and recognise, include them in business articles, post their achievements on social media or news publications.
And now - here is the point I want to get to -
Have you considered what type of employer you will be?
What does your company value internally or what do you want it to value? What conduct or behaviours will you expect from the people who work for you? What internal working culture would you like to start to develop for your company?. Have you created a mission statement yet? What type of boss do you want to be? What do your customers love about you and how can you make sure this is also delivered by your new employee?
Don’t underestimate how important it is to get this right. You’ve worked your socks off to build your business, your brand, your reputation and you cannot afford for anything to affect that. Articulating this to your employee is essential. You need to help your new employee understand what is expected of them, not just in the work they carry out but the behaviours they demonstrate internally and externally with customers. This will help them to be successful in their role.
Small companies cannot afford to carry under-performing employees. Nor can they accommodate any form of unprofessional conduct as any damage to reputation, morale, productivity, or service can be devastatingly damaging far more quickly. So, draw up a mission statement, a list of company values, and expected conduct and behaviours. Explain to your employee what type of company and employer you are. Explain how much you need them as they are helping you to run your business, and they are an additional face to front your business. Explain the importance of this and be quick to talk to them if things aren’t going the way you want them to. Don’t let it fester, be open and honest and start to build that open dialogue and trust.
Try and find someone who shares your values and hire for attitude and potential. Someone you instantly feel comfortable with and you could trust. Knowledge and skills can improve and be developed, and in a way that compliments YOUR business.
Written by Rachel Gilbert
Motivate HR Ltd
People are different, individual, and need understanding
'Motivate HR Ltd' is a strategic HR consulting company that respects people. We believe that people should be treated fairly and treated as individuals. No two people are the same. We believe in a direct link between investing time in people to truly understand them and get the best out of them, and having a thriving, happy and successful business.
As a company advising you, we won't just apply the law, look for clever ways out, and calculate risks without considering the wider picture for you as a company. Other HR Consultancies may advise you like this as it's seen as a quick resolution to a problem. However, we believe that this alone is short sighted. Problems often reoccur and you are not doing any favours for your reputation (internally and externally) and the morale of your people. How much consideration was given to why the problem occurred in the first place?
If you want to be a business leader known for being trustworthy, respected by your teams, have a fully engaged and loyal workforce that go out of their way to help you and your company be a success, you have to treat them fairly and with respect. It's all about transparency. If they are not performing tell them, and explain why and help them reach the expectation. If that doesn't work, use a performance management process that ends their employment in a fair way that's factual and transparent. Don't cover up with redundancies or other reasons or excuses that may raise suspicion, as you will start to lose trust. If you want your staff to be trustworthy, open and respect you, you must do the same.
So how can we help you? We can implement a variety of different measures that enable you to manage your people effectively and fairly. Permanent measures that will motivate them, engage them, encourage them, reward them, build positive relationships with you and with each other. Measures that are preventative in nature so you won't need to deal with grievances, disciplinaries, poor performance and argumentative or miserable staff. And best of all, you'll achieve a high performing and happy business that's respected by all.
Identify who you are, not just what you do.
So you've started up a business, or may have been operating some time. You may have even recruited some people to work for you. You've spent countless hours on marketing, generating leads and have secured some repeat customers, its all going really well. So far its all been about providing the best service you can to your customers.
Do you think about why these customers chose you? Was it your product, your skills in the service you provide, a referral or price maybe? Or could something else have attracted them:- YOU. Maybe they chose who you are, what you value, how you relate to people and your business ethics.
When starting up a business, which I have recently done myself, I think its really important to get across your personality, your style of working and how you like to engage with others. Think about what is important to you, try to articulate these values and start to formulate who you (and therefore your company) is, in a way you can commute to customers. Formulating a strong identify not only of your product or service, but who you are as company can strengthen your relationship with your customers and employees. Perhaps devise and communicate a vision and mission statement. Before you know it, you have determined your company culture and you can base any future employee hiring decisions, business opportunities, internal processes and activities around this to truly embed it into your company and create a sense of purpose and belonging for your employees.
Its never too late to tweak a company culture if its not quite gone down the road you anticipated. Have a think about all these points and start to incorporate them into your day to day business operations, including how you can support your employees to adapt and embrace it too.
Motivate HR Ltd is a HR Consulting company, specialising in workplace transformation, helping people feel motivated, engaged, happy and productive at work.
Motivate HR Ltd in Basingstoke launches 'Free HR Advice for Charities'
Motivate HR Ltd is a professional HR Consulting company based in Basingstoke, specialising in transforming workplaces, creating happy, motivated and productive people.
Our aim is to use our knowledge, skills, expertise and beliefs, to benefit lives of others in the working environment. Including people who work hard for charities, often as volunteers.
In line with our ethics and values as a company, we understand that people are important and some organisations simply cannot afford the services of a HR consultancy to help them with their people matters.
We are therefore proud to launch our new Division focussing on helping people who manage and work for charities in and around Basingstoke.
Our service includes a free telephone discussion, a free onsite consultation, and an additional 2 hours of free work. If any further work is required, we can offer reduced rates for these organisations.
Please visit our website, email or call us today to see how we can help.
Business owners and managers in Basingstoke and surrounding towns:-
Been thinking of getting that nagging HR question answered? Been thinking of engaging a HR professional for support or would just like a second opinion on how to deal with a situation? Need quick tips, advice or to be pointed in the right direction. Call Motivate HR Ltd on Tuesday 3rd May on 07557 363208 from 9.00am to 6.00pm to take advantage of free professional and confidential advice as part of our one day company promotional event.
As usual complete confidence and discretion guaranteed.
We can be so focussed on making money and getting the best results for our business and can get frustrated when our staff or team aren't as motivated as we are. We haven't got time to think about anything else, surely they just need to do as we say and be happy that they've got a job? They are paid really well, so what more do they need? If they don't like the job, surely they should just go and find a another? Mostly they scrape in on time but sometimes late, and coats are always on at 5.29pm. They take a few sick days here and there when the sun is out or after their weekend away. They generally moan about something at least once a day, and I'm getting fed up of some of the attitude. Its like pulling teeth to get them to get on with their jobs, and its pointless asking if anyone can stay late to help out!
I probably need to get rid of a few people and recruit new people with better attitudes. Let me ring an HR consultancy and see how I can get rid of them. Or....
Actually, I've got some really good people working for me, they came in so positive, the interview was great, and they have some good skills. I wonder how I can improve things and get more out of them and get them helping me make this business a success. Let me ring a HR Consultancy that focusses on motivating people and see how they can help me turn this around so that everyone is happier. I really don't want to get known as a hirer and firer, or a company that people don't enjoy working for. I want to be known as a good manager that people like and respect and want to work hard for. Reputation is really important and I want to be happy at work too!
As a company, Motivate HR Ltd is a strong advocate for promoting a positive, supportive and happy workforce. We know exactly how to get the best out of people at work and can quickly recognise the traits of an unhappy employee and the potential causes. Often the cause is something easy to fix. We really remember that people are all different, everyone is important and should be valued, and all have the same fundamental basic needs at work.
I like to refer to an old but trusted model, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Often it's these needs that aren't being fulfilled. Some simple measures can rectify the situation for these individuals. Some of the work we can do to support businesses may be individually focussed, team focussed, or business wide. It may involve training, coaching, counselling, self awareness, confidence building, relationship building, or improved communication skills. Or it may involve introducing new processes or initiatives into the company to aid positive day to day changes. The list of support initiatives and solutions we can provide is vast, and we have a genuine interest in people, and the link between motivation/productivity and being happy at work!