Essential Information for All Employers Looking to Maintain a Content Workforce

Whether your business has one staff member or thousands, it’s absolutely essential that you maintain a content workforce to guarantee the high levels of productivity and brilliant customer service that generate your business’ income. But with so many different responsibilities, few business owners fail to give the necessary amount of thought and support to their staff members to be truly considered good employers. So, if you’ve neglected your staff a little and are looking to start making changes to this, where should you start? Not to worry. That’s where we come in to help. Here are a few areas of employee care that you need to begin focusing on.

Contracts

First things first, if an individual is working for you on a consistent basis, it’s important that you offer them the opportunity to become a full or part time employee, as opposed to being self-employed. Of course, bringing in self employed people for one off jobs is absolutely fine and some individuals simply prefer being self employed. But if these people are working for you most days, then the offer of becoming an employee will go down well. Contracted hours (which go hand in hand with a steady and regular income) will give them a sense of loyalty towards your brand, boosting their efforts to do an effective job.

Wages

By law, all employees should be paid the minimum wage. This goes without saying. But how about offering your staff base a good living wage? This may take a little out of your own profits, but it will draw the best individuals towards your brand and will also ensure that your staff have sufficient cash flow to maintain a good quality of life. This will mean less stresses at home, which means better efforts in the workplace. If your staff are stressed with money worries, their mind is often going to stray from their work, they are less likely to get a good night’s sleep before their shift and they won’t have the positive mindset required to deliver friendly customer service.

Holiday

Staff should be allowed a certain amount of time off from work each year. They can take this in one large chunk or individual days. Try to be as lenient as possible with holidays. Remember that not everyone will want to take a solid week off for a getaway holiday. They may have familial commitments which will mean taking one or two days off for a wedding here and a couple of days for a birthday celebration there. The more lenient you are with negotiating leave, the more likely your staff are to have a stress free time off, rejuvenating themselves and returning to work happy and enthusiastic.

Sick Pay

If employees are too ill to work they can claim statutory sick pay of £89.35 per week. You are obliged to pay this for up to 28 weeks. This is not negotiable and is required by law. However, you are entirely in your right to request sick notes from a doctor as proof that the member of staff is too ill to work. If you receive an appropriate sick note, refrain from acting in an unprofessional or harsh manner to the employee: they are unwell and it is their right to be helped through this time. Remember that stress can enhance and accentuate existing illness, so undue stress for the employee is only likely to prolong the issue.

Bereavement Leave

Needless to say, bereavement leave is an extremely sensitive topic. Surprisingly, many employers lack empathy when negotiating this with their staff. It is essential to remember that staff who are requesting bereavement leave may not be in the best state of mind and you do not want to add to their troubles and worries. Consult the employers bereavement leave guide if you have any concerns or questions.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

Paid maternity leave is standard practice in the U.K. and law has developed to also allocate paid paternity leave too. This allows both parents of a child, regardless of their gender, to spend necessary bonding hours with their child as they enter the world. Statutory maternity leave is 52 weeks: ordinary maternity leave of 24 weeks and additional maternity leave of 26 weeks. Not all new mothers will necessarily wish to take the entire time off, but it should at least be offered. It is recommended that new mothers take at least two weeks off following their child’s birth (four weeks if they are working in a factory). Statutory paternity leave is only two weeks paid leave, however, further paid time off can be issued at your own discretion.

Training

Once all of these areas have been talked through with your employee and outlined in their contract, it’s time to get them to work. Before setting them to the job, encourage them to undertake a training process which will endow them with all of the essential information required to excel in their position. A staff member who is confident in their job role, what is expected of them and how to deliver the best performance are going to be a much better asset to your workforce than someone who is feeling lost and as though they are faking their way through each day.

These are just a few areas of employee care that you should prioritise. Remember that your workforce is the backbone of your company and without them you wouldn’t be able to thrive or make the turnover that you are used to. So treat your employees in the best manner possible. Workers who feel appreciated will take extra steps to ensure that they are providing the best quality work for what they are being paid. Appreciation also encourages staff loyalty, ensuring that professionals stay within your company rather than taking their skills to competitors. Maintaining the same staff members for extended periods of time also saves you from having to take on new staff. This means less cash paid out in advertising positions or using recruitment agencies, less time spent training new members of the team, staff members to bond more effectively and allows you a better understanding of your workforce as a whole.

Taking Better Care Of Your Workers – 5 Top Tips

Every business needs excellent workers at its core to succeed. Your employees might drive the sales. They represent your company in customer service or manage your administration. Each function is essential to keep your business running. Without people power, your business would simply fail. So how do you make sure that your people are performing as well as they should be and can continue to do so for years to come?

Develop Yourself

Looking after your employees should be every manager’s priority. Of course, nobody is born with a built-in ability to manage and lead effectively. It takes time to acquire the experience. It also takes time to acquire to achieve the level of skills you need to be as effective in your role as you want to be. Reflective practice is a great way to self-develop your managerial skills. Beyond this, aim to continue your education and training with continuing professional development.

Keep On Top

Use online and computer-based apps or systems to keep on top of your staff development, vacations, and performance reviews. There are plenty to choose from. Some HR software is available for free, so you can keep on track with the needs of your employees. It helps you to schedule key meetings, and ensure there are enough human resources during holiday periods. Most importantly, it means you can stay on top of your recruitment program and applicant tracking.

Benefits

Many companies review their benefits packages annually. Usually, these are carefully crafted to attract the best talent while caring for the needs of your employees. You might choose to include things like gym memberships if many of your workers are office-based. You might operate a diversity in the workplace policy. Still, many companies find that parents of school-aged children make up the majority of employees. In this case, you might prefer to add childcare support to your package.

Health & Safety

Small startups can’t always afford to hire a specialist health and safety officer. This means it is down to you to ensure all employees are trained and working safely. Accidents and illnesses often have to be reported to official bodies. How do you handle that sensitive administration? How do ensure that employees are in good health and enjoy good levels of fitness? Of course, there are interpersonal clashes that can occur too. The physical and mental well-being of your team should be your utmost priority.

Careers

Ultimately, your employees work for you as part of their career aspirations. Are you supporting their progress or hindering it? If you’re unable to offer continuous professional development, pay rises and promotion, you’ll suffer a high turnover of personnel. The cost of recruitment is much higher than working to retain your current employee list. It’s not just money that motivates a worker to perform well.

Taking better care of your workers should always be on your mind as a manager or business owner. They are the force that drives customers to your business and converts them to revenue. You workforce keep your business running and help you to grow it, develop it, and make it a success. What more can you do today?

Vital Employee Issues You Seriously Can’t Afford To Get Wrong

Running a business isn’t easy, and usually, it’s a crash course in humility and work ethic for any entrepreneur looking to expand their initial idea. Once the initial success has been hard won and the team starts to grow, your business considerations only serve to become more difficult, as opposed to easier. Despite having a team under you who you can now delegate tasks to, this is paid for not only with salaries but with the responsibilities that come from being a competent leader.

If you have never managed people before, this can be a daunting prospect. While money is the golden capital that moves every operation you have, it’s also true that the human resource of your firm is essential to the entire smooth running of your firm. An unmotivated, disenfranchised or simply ineffective employee might lack in effectiveness in many different ways, and all the results of these attitudes are compoundingly negative. For this reason, it’s important to help optimize the happiness and health of your employees.

Luckily, this article is here to help you focus on the ‘do nots’ so you can then focus on imbuing team with inspiration in your own personalized way.

Irregular Or Unreliable Shift Patterns

If your team must take on differing shifts during the week, or work overtime, you need to have laser precision when crafting a working schedule for your employees to follow. Let’s say that you run a busy inner-city restaurant. Putting a chef on too many ‘early morning opens’ followed by ‘late night closes’ drains them of their sleeping hours, and while chefs are known for working hard, you need to be respectful of their time.

Even regular workers can quickly become drained, demotivated and even spread that attitude among the staff if working too much overtime. Conversely, even the opposite is true. An employee feeling as though you are not meeting the hours listed in their contract will only cause them to look for work elsewhere, robbing you of precious talent. Using shift planning software can help you plan around the nuances of employee commitments and availability, while also giving them a regular, calculated and easily amendable shifts to trust and plan around.

Neglecting Workplace Drama

Employees can butt heads from time to time. It’s just part of working in a confined area with other people for upwards of fifty hours a week. There might be times where you want to apply a sharp tongue to one of your employees. It is never, never, never worth it. Workplace drama and in-fighting serves to create a horrible working atmosphere that can suffocate a firm from the inside. You must also consider your relationship with your employees, and do everything you socially can (within reason) to improve it.

A strong workplace policy with a zero bullying tolerance and also open door acceptance to anyone wishing to voice complaints to you anonymously MUST be implemented. However, you must also remember that in this case, it’s not your job to try and govern the proper behavior of your staff. You are paying them, and they are required to bring professionalism to the role because of that. Whatever you do, keep a sharp observing eye aimed towards any difficulties that arise. Neglecting them can quickly turn into a much bigger.

With these two tips, you’ll be avoiding the most commonly found mistakes employers make in the business world.

Happy Employees= Better Business!

Without your staff, you essentially have no business. These people are what makes your business run, what makes it work. They are so crucial to the success of your company that from an entirely practical point of view, their happiness shouldn’t be an afterthought. Not only will happy employees be more productive but there will be a lower turnover rate which will reduce costs spent on hiring, interviewing and training. Here are some of the ways to attract and keep!) the best staff members for your business.

Make Your Company An Attractive Place To Work

There are certain things employees will be looking for when they’re searching for a job. In order to attract the best workers with the most experience, you need to offer more than just a good salary. Benefits such as pensions, life insurance, dental and disability plans all make your company more attractive. You could even offer training and education for the right person, allowing them to study and work. If you’re in an IT field, something like an online Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems degree could be useful, that way they could study around their working hours. Training up staff and paying for their education means you can ensure they are qualified in the exact areas you need them to be. Plus it allows you to snag the best candidates since there’s something in it for them too. Other ways you can offer good employee benefits is by providing smartphones, tablets, laptops or company cars to certain staff members. If you have salespeople, for example, these are things that can make their lives a lot easier.

Focus On Your Office Space

Your office is where your employees spend most of their day, so it’s not something to overlook. If yours has seen better days, did you know it could be having an effect on the morale productivity of your workers? Give the walls a fresh coat of paint, something light and neutral will make it look bigger and brighter, not to mention newer and cleaner. Dot around some living plants which have been shown to boost mood and promote productivity in the workplace. As well as making a good impression to clients or customers that visit your office, it will be a much nicer environment for your employees to work in too.

Ensure You All Work Well as a Team

Business is highly complex. Different departments have to work together in harmony, much like the individual cogs of a finely tuned machine. To ensure everyone is on the same page, and that staff can work together as a team as well as just individually, why not arrange some team building activities? You could book in with a company that offers this kind of thing, and either attend for a day or even a full weekend. You could practice team building activities in the office, and you could also arrange regular social gatherings. The occasional free lunch or dinner is always going to go down well with employees and will encourage interaction between them.

Be a Good Boss

Research has shown that strict bosses don’t get the good results you might expect. When people are scared of their boss or find them unapproachable, you can find that issues aren’t raised as quickly as they could be and that actually the stress doesn’t allow employees to do their best work. While professionalism is important, be friendly and approachable. Let your workers know they can speak to you if there’s a problem. Things like workplace bullying, theft and other issues will be raised far more quickly and can be resolved more quickly that way too.

Is Colleague Procrastination Costing You?

Controlling an office full of employees is never an easy task. The best bosses may be all seeing, but that isn’t always possible. Despite your best efforts, you can never be in all places at once. As such, it’s impossible to keep an eye on what your colleagues are up to at all times. You may think you have the best team going, but are you sure they aren’t wasting company time? Even top-notch colleagues can be guilty of this crime. It may not even be that they don’t want to do the work. But, procrastination is always calling, and the internet makes it all too easy. The good news is, there are steps you can take to ensure no one’s browsing your money away.

Block Sites

The best way to control internet use is to block access to distracting sites. Of course, there are an endless number of websites on which colleagues could waste time. The good news is, there are plenty of companies out there which allow you to restrict usage. Better, you’ll receive a notification if someone tries to access restricted sites. Of course, blocking every site out there is a long-winded way of doing things. It may be better only to allow access to sites you know your colleagues need. Major distraction areas include Youtube and social media, so make sure these are on the no-go list!

Make Allowances

Sometimes, you may need to make allowances to the blockage you set in place. For one, the boss should have access to any site they want, right? It may also be the case that certain colleagues need access to sites you’ve banned for others. In that situation, you could turn to something like this YouTube proxy site with SSL.Working around a block you’ve put in place may seem a strange way of doing things. But, it’s sometimes the best way to get around the issue. Though, keep this under wraps. You don’t want your colleagues finding out about sites like this and using them to their advantage! Of course, nothing’s to stop them discovering these cheats on their own. That’s why it’s worth reassessing your blocks every few months. You need to make sure they’re still in place!

Set Clear Rules

Blockages aside, your colleagues may not realize that you don’t want them accessing sites like these during company time. If you haven’t said otherwise, they may not see the problem with browsing the net when they have no work on. Setting clear rules in place is the best way to avoid such confusion. After all, you can’t shout at colleagues for doing something they didn’t know was against your rules. It may be worth entering a clause about this in the contracts you hand out. Write down a list of allowed websites, then outline the banned ones. That way, you can ensure you’re both on the same footing. Plus, it means you have more of a leg to stand on if someone does misuse your connection.

Digital Business: Angling For Success Without A Degree

Digital Ipad Internet Online Tablet Screen

The growth of digital business has changed the realm of entrepreneurship forever. Daily processes are now handled in vastly different ways compared to previous generations. Moreover, the opportunities for modern entrepreneurs are greater than ever too.   

 It doesn’t require much research to find a host of modern businesses that have made millions in spite of very modest budgets. Those inspirational sources also include many college dropouts and people that never used the uni route. So even if you aren’t particularly blessed in terms of formal education, it shouldn’t stop you from chasing those dreams.

 Firstly, you should appreciate that university degrees aren’t the only way to develop skills. The digital world has created a plethora of new job roles, and experience is often the best route to perfecting that craftsmanship.   

 Working in the industry first is a great way to gain confidence, even if it’s just doing a little freelance work on the side. Alternatively, developing skills as a hobby can prepare you for a far brighter future. The Pi Hut, for example, can provide you with the tools needed to learn to program. Once you’ve mastered those skills and built up a track record through experience, the lack of a degree won’t matter.

As a modern business owner in the digital age, the choice between sole trading and a limited company is equally crucial. After all, you might simply want to provide a personalised service rather than build a store that manufactures and sells goods. There are plenty of available avenues out there, so doing your research is key.

 Aside from knowing your place in the industry, you need to know your place in the market too. Whether it’s a B2B client or a direct consumer, appreciating your audience is vital. By expressing your personality in a way that resonates with the user, like these companies do, you’ll see far greater success. Let’s face it; people buy from people, even in the digital arena. Gaining that bond is key.

 Sales techniques aren’t only influenced by your knowledge of the client, though. Being able to present yourself in a winning fashion can give you a huge edge. As well as dressing well, developing communication skills should be a priority for any budding entrepreneur.

Building a successful business is possible, but the harsh reality is that new ventures fail more often than they thrive. Ensuring that your innovations are allowed to grow before money runs out is pivotal. Whether it’s running the business remotely or learning to seek the best deals on every expense doesn’t matter. Keeping a firm grip on the overheads will buy you more time. Quite frankly, that time is probably more valuable than any degree.

 There’s no denying that a degree can aid your career and business ideas. Nonetheless, the world has changed massively, and this is no longer the only pathway to the top. As long as you invest in the right ideas, methods, and markets, you will be just fine.